Saturday, August 29, 2015

746. Yajñopavīta, the Sacred Thread......!

Santana Dharma endorses Shodasa Samskaras, the sixteen sacraments that serve as rites of passage to bring positive impressions in the mind of an individual. Upanayana is the tenth in this series which is performed at a young age to provide “new vision” Upa Nayana are two words “Upa” is additional “Nayana” is eye…a la Third Eye, so that one can perceive things in a proper way and learn to discriminate what is wrong and right in terms of thought, word and deed.

It is a ritual which is performed at the young age by initiating the mother of all mantras, the “GAYATRI MAHA MANTRA.”As a symbolic gesture a thin consecrated cord, composed of distinct three cotton strands is donned which is called “Yajnopavita?” This Sanskrit word is a combination of three words “Yagya” meaning best action, “Upa” meaning near and “Pavita” meaning cherished. So, one who dons “Yajnopavita” pledges to do the best of the best action. It is a strong motivation to follow the very pious and sacred of ideals. This sacred thread is worn starting from left shoulder passing over the heart and going backwards near the right side of the trunk and ending in a knot. Left shoulder is the base for carrying the load of life with tolerance. Heart is the point of determination and faith. Back is a symbol of commitment. Thus the sacred thread represents the sadhana of the purest of pure with determination, courage, faith, commitment and a spirit of toleration.

Now let’s understand the significance of the three strands in the sacred thread. Every human is in debt to his Pitru (parents and ancestors who are the cause for his existence), his Guru (preceptor who provided him knowledge) and Rishi (sages who have given him priceless scriptures to comprehend the Art of Living). Each strand of the scared thread reminds about the vow he needs to take to clear those debts. The debt of Pitru is repaid when he becomes the strength of his parents during old age, the Guru debt is fulfilled when the knowledge assimilated is shared and Rishi debt is cleared when the nature is protected. And after his marriage the number of strands increases to six as takes responsibility of his wife vows too.

This day the Shravana Purnima is the day to change the sacred thread annually. It is symbolic to change on this day as it was on this day Hayagriva appeared to restore Vedas which were stolen from Brahma by the two demons Madhu and Kaitabha. But methodically this is the day to re-read the scriptures again to acquire the knowledge from a different dimension. Hayagriva is the embodiment of knowledge and hence it is consider auspicious to continue gaining a divergent knowledge by renewing that sacred thread.

I would just wish to add that the “Yajnopavita” is not a sign to boast superiority it just signifies the transition of a person. Donning the sacred thread without knowing its relevance is like participating in a Fancy Dress show. No one is born a Brahmin, all are Sudras at birth and the character and past resultant fruit of action makes an individual a Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya or a Shudra. Every individual be it a Sudra or a Brahmana or a Kshatriya or a Vaishya he is important to the well-being of the society this is what our Vedas and Puranas say. Due to some ignorant people the original essence is lost today while the meaningless ritualistic tradition still continues. Many who are born in a Brahmin family wear this sacred thread and use it as key bunch and just by wearing a thread does not make one a Brahmin, but knowledge does and his love and compassion he has towards his fellow beings has.
May Lord Hayagriva bestow us all with Supreme Knowledge to enhance love and compassion in all of us.

Monday, August 17, 2015

745. Happiness can be got from Money......!

Happiness, Peace and Bliss are three words that we mistakenly interchange and use without know the meaning of it. Bliss is “Ananda” which is our true nature and is never got from outside us. It is a light always present within and we have to be aware of it to experience it. No external situations or circumstances can dim the light which shines from within. No one not even a person who is depressed in life can lose it luminosity. That light is present irrespective of whether a person is rich or poor, healthy or sick, educated or illiterate. When it is universally present in all of us there is no need to feel elite and name ourselves and point out that we are in bliss.

Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness which is experienced when there are no worries, fears or stress. It is called “Nemmadi” in Kannada in this state our mind is quiet and tranquil. Such peaceful moments are not so rare. Every individual has experienced this state when engaged in some kind of an absorbing or interesting activity. It’s a sort of mental numbness forgetting our work and day-to-day-life chaos.

Happiness is “Santosha” and is derived from inner satisfaction can be in terms of a task done. While some argue that happiness can be achieved from money, some disagree that money cannot provide happiness. Most easy way to explain any view is by citing an example: If a teenage son is asking for a motorbike as a present for doing well in exam, the father needs to have enough stuff to buy him. When the bike is brought the kid is happy and in turn so is the father.

Once a person argues with his father that money can bring happiness and says he can prove it. He takes his father to a nearby park, asks him to sit on a park bench and watch what he does. The person walks to a balloon vendor and gives him a Rs.1000 currency note telling him that he was sent by God to give him that money. The balloon vendor was happy to accept it without batting an eyelid, he had to pay the rent that evening. Next was the sugar candy man and then the ice-cream vendor, florist and finally the cobbler who sat outside the park.

The person told his father sitting on the bench and watching him that his Rs.5000 has made all those five people happy. The father agreed to his son that the five crispy notes had indeed brought happiness. But, not for those who had taken them as they would be back to square one the next day. It had indeed brought happiness to himself, he told his son that he could see happiness on his face as he had offered some sort of financial help to five people that day.

Yes, Money brings Happiness not when obtained or spent but when given……. Do you agree????