Friday, December 30, 2016

926. Problem of Plenty....!



A few days back we had been to Mosale Hosahalli in Hassan district, Karnataka. This small hamlet about 12 kms from Hassan city holds two unique identical temples noted for its rich architectural value. Constructed on the lines of Hoysala architecture, the twin temples are dedicated to Nageshwara and Chennakesava respectively standing side by side, a few feet apart. 

As we move around the temple, exclusive carvings of Gods and Goddesses can be seen on the outer walls. The temples were built in 1234 A.D under the patronage of Veera Ballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhanaraya. Though the temples have survived for more than 800 years, the sculptures on the outer wall has been heavily damaged. As we were going around the temple one of the tourists out of dejection said, “We Indians are victims of PROBLEM OF PLENTY, we have never learnt to safeguard or showcase our archaeological treasure.”

I too had to agree with what she said, but are we really so??? 

There are countries which create theme parks to attract tourists from all over the globe, some countries organise electronic music festivals like “Tommorowland” with drug and sex solicitation to pull tourists to load their treasury. Even more we have known countries which promote sex tourism to enhance their revenue.

We have the architectural grandeur which is centuries old with delicate carvings that can never be recreated. This treasure is neither protected nor projected to the world. Amazingly we are unaware of them, for example many in my own state Karnataka know only about Belur, Halebidu and Somanathapura as the Hoysala architecture treasure, while there are many like Belavadi-Veeranarayana Temple (1200A.D), Haranahalli-Chennakesava Temple (1234A.D), Koravangala-Buccheshwara Temple (1173A.D), Doddagaddavalli-Lakshmi Temple (1114A.D), Arasikere-Iswara Temple (1220A.D), Nuggehalli-Lakshminarasimha Temple (1246A.D), Javagallu-Sridhara Temple (1250A.D), Govindanahalli-Panchalingeshwara Temple (1250A.D), Hosaholalu-Lakshminarayana Temple (1250A.D), Basralu-Mallikarjuna Temple (1234A.D), Kikkeri-Brahmeshwara Temple (1171A.D), Nagamangala-Saumyakesava Temple (1170A.D), Kambadahalli-Panchakoota Basadi (900A.D), Amruthapura-Amruteswara Temple (1196A.D). Aralaguppe-Chennakesava Temple (1250A.D)..... many more.    
     
It is so unfortunate there are no proper sign boards to guide the few enthusiastic travellers who read about them and make a plan to visit these enchanting places. Also the roads leading to these ancient structures are badly maintained. The locals are also least bothered they want the administration to take the initiative.    

I was pulled towards the monuments of Hoysala era and loved to visit them. I read a lot about them too and in one such book titled “Hoysala Sculptures in the National Museum, Copenhagen” written by Prof. Shadakshari Settar, there is a mention of how our valuable sculptures were moved to Denmark. The author writes with heavy heart that the locals in early 20th century were lured by a Danish art collector. A beautiful idol of Sri Ranganatha Swamy from a temple in Heragu, Hassan belonging to 10th century was loaded on a bullock cart with the help of locals and was taken to Malabar Port in Kerala by enticing the locals with a pair of sun goggles and 32 Anna's(Rs.2.) The magnificent idol still remains in the museum at Copenhagen, Denmark. Prof S. Settar does not forget to attach the picture of the idol in his book.

Could this too be the PROBLEM OF PLENTY for us to help load our treasure to some shameless looters???     

Thursday, December 29, 2016

925. Organic Hungama......!


The usage of the word “Organic” is now a new trend to market the products. Organic stores have mushroomed all of a sudden; we have organic vegetables, organic cosmetics, organic health products, organic cloths and organic wine too. Veggies grown in farms are not organic. Savayava Krushi (Organic Farming) involves nil usage of chemicals in pesticides or fertilizers. 

A farmer using “Jeevamrutha” (Nectar of Life) as fertilizer and “Neemastra” (Neem Missile) as the pesticide can only proudly say that the produce from his farm is organic. Jeevamrutha is a preparation made by mixing fresh cow dung of humped Vedic cow with water, cow urine, a small quantity of jaggery and any pulse flour along with a handful of soil from the same land. The mixture is stored in shade for 4 to 5 days, but stirred twice a day. It is used as fertilizer to enhance the fertility of the soil. Neemastra is got from marinating fresh neem leaves in cow urine for 4 to 5 days in shaded place and sieved. It is used as pesticide, fungicide, herbicide and insecticide.    
   
Now the latest addition to the list of organic products is organic milk. I was curious to know what this organic milk is. I visited a web page which elaborated the meaning of this organic milk. It said, “Our cows grow in natural environment and we feed them with “young green grass” of Maize, Napier and Oilseed complements to get healthy organic milk.” 

Will just feeding the cow with best fodder make them yield organic milk I wondered??? 

A little deep study gave me the clarity I needed which I wish to share here. 

First we need to know about milk. There are two types of milk A1 and A2. A1 milk is got from the hump less Jersey cow while A2 milk comes from the humped Vedic cow. Though the milk got from these humped Vedic cows is less in quantity, the quality is much better compared to those got from Jersey cows. Our ancients used to rear only humped dwarf Vedic cows prior to the introduction of jersey cows in the name of “white revolution” which no doubt enhanced the quantity of milk but at the cost of its quality.    

If a hump less Jersey cow is nurtured with green pasture and fed with protein fodder it will never yield organic milk. The milk from the humped Vedic cows is A2 milk which is good for health. It is found from recent research that when the A1 milk from the hump less Jersey cow is consumed the proteins in the milk breaks down to compound called Peptides which play a major role in development of autism. Autism is a complex mental condition that includes impairment in social interaction, communication skills and repetitive behaviour. 

In our scriptures we have noticed the mention of “Kamadhenu” cow it is supposed to be of the breed of Vedic cows. The speciality of this breed of cows is the presence of Suryaketu Nadi a specific vein which has the capacity to absorb the energy and radiation from the sun, moon and other luminaries in the universe and garner them in their milk which is A2 milk. The breeds from the pastureland of Gir in Gujarat produce this milk. Some vegans feel that milk is harmful for human consumption but none in Vrindavana had an iota of doubt about consumption of milk in Dwapara Yuga. No Jersey Cows there only Gir Cows.

It is an irony that we just are contented with the half baked knowledge poured out from internet that we have forgotten to verify or validate from books. There is nothing wrong in using Google but it is not the ultimate Guru....What say??? 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

950.The Abode of Anathapadmanabha.


Sanatana Dharma reiterates that Satya (Truth) is a Tattva (Principle). Hence it also guides a seeker to transcend from Sagunopasana (Ritualistic worship) to Nirgunopasana (Mental worship). Sagunopasana is the stepping stone for Nirgunopasana and Nirgunopasana is the ability to experience the Oneness. Even Vedas which advocates the Karma Khanda and Jnana Khanda prefers that the seeker excel to Nirgunopasana. 

Nevertheless Nirgunopsana never stops the seeker to adore a personal Deity. The personal Deity differs from seeker to seeker, depending on dispositions and tendencies towards a particular emotion. This made it necessary to the advent of Agamas. Agamas are set of rules in the Sagunopasana. This was to bring in discipline in the minds of the seeker.

Agamas Shastra laid down the guidelines for the construction of temples and the rituals to sanctify them. The flow chart for the daily rituals from the dawn and dusk is neatly mentioned too. The guidelines in the Agama Shastras have made it possible for us to have a glimpse of temples which are as old as a millennium.   
Of the three principal Deities, Maharudradeva and Maha Vishnu have the maximum number of temples. These temples are called Punya Kshetras (Holy Place). 

There are 108 temples dedicated to Maha Vishnu which the Alwars, the flowers of Vaishnavism praised and sange about them. These 108 temples which are called “Divya Desam” (Sacred Land) have their origin to ancient times and are referred to in Puranas.

Out of the 108 temples 106 is on this earth plane. 84 in Tamil Nadu, 11 in Kerala, 4 in Uttar Pradesh, 3 in Uttaranchal, 2 in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Gujarat and Nepal. The remaining two is in spiritual realm, one is Ksherasagara (Milky Ocean) and the other is Vaikunta (Point of No return).    

Going on Tirtha Yatra (Centres of Sacredness) has been an integral part of Hinduism and are considered quite important by the ritualistic followers of Sanatana Dharma. Those sacred places are held at high esteem by the ardent devotees who dream to travel and have the glimpse of the presiding Deity there. The pinnacle act of worship is to stand before the Deity and to see and be seen by the Deity to experience the ecstasy. 

Most importantly it is not and I repeat again it is NOT the decision of the seeker to visit any one of these Divya Desam to have the glimpse of the Deity there. The Deity has to bestow the grace for the seekers’ eye (both the physical and mental) to get soaked in the Darshana of the Deity.      

Sri Anathapadmanabha Swamy, the presiding Deity of Thiruvanathapuram has been kind enough to grant me that moment for which I had been longing for so long. I am eager to have the Darshana of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy...... Pranam. 

Om Namo Anatha Padmanabhaya Namah!      

924. Tasty Food at Udupi Hotel…..!


We South Indians love to “break the fast” by relishing steamy Idlies. Idlies are non controversial food to start the day. They are rice cakes got after the batter is steamed. The batter consists of de-husked black gram and rice. It is the fermentation of this batter which breaks down the starch and makes the idly ideal for the metabolism of the body. Idlies go well with Sambar, the toor dal (dried and split pigeon peas) based vegetable stew with tamarind. Idlies from any kitchen is a delight, but when it comes from Udupi Hotel its authenticity is doubled. The tag line “Udupi hotel” is the benchmark for taste. 

What is the secret behind the taste at Udupi Hotel???    
         
The story goes back to Mahabharata time. When the war was inevitable, the kings from all over the country started to take sides. Udiyanjeral, the Chera king who was ruling the Udupi region of South India remained neutral. The King went to Sri Krishna and expressed his feeling about the war, he said, “O, Madhva, the war between the two cousins does not bring any change in the lives of the people of my region. If we participate in the war there will be only bloodshed, also we cannot completely ignore the Great War too. Me and my people will cook and serve food for all the soldiers participating in the war. Serving the army is also a way to participate in the war. Kindly permit me and my people to do seva by providing food.”

“True, someone has to feed the armies, so let it be from you.” Sri Krishna said.  

There is a custom which is followed by the women in our house hold, the women folk cook food for the day such that it is neither in excess nor will be inadequate. It is the knack that every Indian woman is familiar with. Now the King of Udupi too felt that the food prepared should be well quantified so that there is neither dearth nor there is wastage. It is not a difficult task to prepare food to any number of people when the cook is aware of how many are invited. Here in the war there was no roll register to know how many survived in the battle at the end of the day. In the 18 days of war thousands and thousands of soldiers died each day. Amazingly the food prepared by the King and his men was well quantified never surplus or insufficient. Everyone admired the catering service by King of Udupi.

“How is it you are able to cook the exact quantity daily? No one can estimate the number of death each day. How is it possible to cook and serve for the exact number of soldiers?” asked Yudhisthira.

King of Udupi smiled and replied, “Sri Krishna likes to have boiled groundnuts after dinner. So, I peel the groundnuts, count them and place them in a bowl and live it in His tent. After he has consumed the bowl comes back to me. I count how many He has consumed. If He has had ten groundnuts, it means 10,000 will die in the war the next day. So the quantity of food to be prepared next day will be for 10,000 people less. Every day the number of groundnuts decides the strength of the team for which we have to prepare the food. Never has it gone wrong and hence there’s no wastage of food too!”

When the Lord has graced the King of Udupi and his people with the calculation of number of people to cook, will He have not granted them the ratio and proportions of the ingredients to be added to prepare the recipe???

Saturday, December 24, 2016

923. Cashless Transaction.....!



Does adopting cashless transaction curb corruption??? Using debit cards and making online payments is a good way to control bribery. But is it enough, is the big question. What i feel is more than this or along with this we as the citizens of this country should have an active part, a will to say no to bribery. Come what may I should not bulge to pay to get away. I should have the mindset to face the charges than to pay bribe to get away from the situation.

It was in 1984 my father purchased a house with Mangalore tile roofing in Chamaraj-pet, Bangalore. We wanted the Mangalore tile roof replaced by R.C.C. As my father was a government servant he had hardly any time to supervise the alteration. I was in college at that time and had vacations. We had a very good civil contractor and I was assigned to procure the raw materials for the construction. Though there was corporation water connection for the existing building but my father insisted we have a well. Fortunately for us we could tap water within 10 feet; our well was just 20 feet in dept. The water was not hard and it was potable. It was fun to look at the water oozing out from all side when it was being dug. My mother welcomed “Gangamma’ (ground water) by applying turmeric and vermillion and lighting camphor.      
         
On the day when the R.C.C moulding was to be done we had gangmen who worked in tandem from mixing the concrete to lifting it above lentil level and pouring it over the prefabricated bar bending. I was curiously looking at the ratio of cement, sand, gravel and water thrown into the mouth of that concrete mixer. One person came to me and told he wanted to talk to the owner of the building. I told my father was at work. He said he was from the water supply department and will come again in the evening. Our civil contractor told me it is a routine for these fellows from department to come to the construction sites expecting bribe.
When my father came home for lunch I told him about that gentleman. By evening the moulding work was over and the gangman were washing their hands and legs. The person from the water supply department came to me and asked about my father. My father had not yet come from the work. I told him that my father would meet him at the office in the morning. All of a sudden the man pulled out a book and wrote my fathers’ name and gave it to me. It was a notice served for using the corporation water.

I gave it to my father when he came home. He did not tell anything, the next day was his day off. In the morning the gentleman from the water supply department came in a jeep with his higher officials. The higher officials started questioning my father why we had used corporation water for R.C.C moulding. My father without uttering a word took the officials to the well and showed them the source of water used for the construction. The higher officials reprimanded the department person for issuing the notice without inspecting the source of water used.

Later my father told me, “When we are right in the first place there is no need for us to worry about the law. Only when we are not with the law, we out of fear and to escape from the situation we feel like giving bribe. Always remember if you are a law abiding person you need not feel insured and be afraid. It is better to pay the penalty than offer bribe.”

My fathers’ words “law abiding person need not feel insured” is even today resounding in my ears.

Yes we can go cashless only if we are ready to abide with the laws. I have always wondered how the strict law becomes saggy when the grease is applied to the officials hands.....        


Friday, December 23, 2016

922. By the side of the unlawful......!


Before the war could start Yudhisthira proclaims, “In this battle of Dharma against Adharma, if anyone would want to join our side I welcome them.” Yuyutsu, the half brother of Duryodhana shifts sides.
Many knew that Kauravas were fighting against Dharma but remained with them. Loyalty, friendship, blood relationship and revenge were the reason for them to fight for Duryodhana.    
Let us now see who were with Duryodhana in the war.

BHISHMA: Son of King Shantanu and Goddess Ganga. He was grand uncle to both Kauravas and Pandavas. He was the commander-in-chief of Kauravas for first 10 days. He was the only warrior against whom Krishna himself took up weapons. Bhishma had a boon that he would die when he wishes. He was mortally wounded by Arjuna with the help of Shikhandi on 10th day. He was on bed of arrows for remaining days of the war. He left his mortal coils 58 days after the war got over.

DRONA: The invincible preceptor, son of Sage Bharadwaj, and a student of Parashurama. He was the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army for 5 days (11th -15th day). He formed the “Chakravyuha” and was involved in the killing of Abhimanyu. He dropped his weapons on the 15th day on hearing that his son Ashwattama was killed (which was a trick played by Sri Krishna). He was by Dhrishtadyumna, son of Drupada and brother of Draupadi.

KRIPA: Son of Shardwan and grandson of Sage Gautama, he taught Vedas and martial arts to Kauravas, Pandavas and almost all the warriors of Kurukshetra. He was one of the 10 survivors of the war.

ASHWATTAMA: Great warrior known for vengeance and brutality, son of Dronacharya and nephew of Kripacharya. He was the possessor of the mighty “Narayanastra” and “Bramhashirastra.” He was among the 10 survivors of the war. Dying Duryodhana declares him the commander-in-chief of army, when the war was officially over. He along with Kripacharya and Kritvarma killed the sons of Draupadi, Dhrishtadyumna, Shikhandi, Yudhamanyu and Uttamanuj. He was cursed by Krishna to wander on the earth forever alone. According to Hindu mythology, Ashwattama is one of the 8 Chiranjeevis and is believed to be still alive.

KARNA: Son of Kunti begotten by Surya. He was abandoned by Kunti and was raised by a charioteer Radha. He was the best friend of Duryodhana. He learnt warfare from Parashurama and an arch rival of his half brother Arjuna. In Kurukshetra war, Karna was not allowed by Bhishma to participate. After the fall of Bhishma from 10th day onwards, Karna along with his sons and other sons of Adirath defeated many warriors. Karna killed Ghatotkatch and was involved in the killing of Abhimanyu. He was the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army on the 16th and the 17th day. Karna was killed by Arjuna on the 17th day.

SHAKUNI:  He was the brother-in-law of Dhritrashtra and uncle to Kauravas. He was the mastermind behind the evil policy of Duryodhana and one who was responsible for the war.

ULOOKA: Son of Shakuni, he was sent as the final messenger to threaten the Pandavas before the war. Both Shakuni and Ulook were brutally killed by Sahadeva on the 18th day of the war.

JAYADRATHA: The ruler of Sindhu and son-in-law of Dhritrashtra. He had a boon from Lord Shiva that he could defeat all the four Pandavas other than Arjuna once.
In the war, he used that boon to defeat all the 4 brothers in absence of Arjuna on the 13th day of the war when son of Arjun, Abhimanyu was killed in the “Chakravyuha” and none of the 4 Pandavas could rescue him. Arjuna upon knowing that because of Jayadratha, the other Pandavas could not come to rescue Abhimanyu, he took an oath that he will kill Jayadratha before the sunset of the next day.
On the 14th day of the war more than 7 lakh warriors were killed single handed by Arjuna while they were trying to protect Jayadratha. The 14th day of the war was the bloodiest day. Jayadratha was slain by Arjuna just before the sunset on.

KRITHAVARMA: The warrior from Yadav Race, the cousin of Sri Krishna and one of the teachers of Abhimanyu. He was the commander of the “Narayanasena” of Sri Krishna. In the war, Krithavarma was involved in the killing of Abhimanyu. On the night of the last day, i.e. 18th day of the war, he aided Ashwatthama in the merciless killing of all the Panchalas and sons of Draupadi. He was one of the 10 survivors of the war. Krithavarma was killed by Satyaki 36 years after the war in the famous Yaduvanshi slaughter.

BHAGADATTA: The ruler of Pragjyotisha, was son of Narkasura. He was a great admirer of Arjuna but an arch rival of Krishna.
Bhagadatta was the possessor of the mighty “Shaktiastra” and Vaishnavastra.” On 12th day of the war, his Vaishnavastra was neutralized by Sri Krishna and then he was killed by Arjuna.
Susharma was the ruler of Trigarta. He was a great warrior and an arch rival of Arjuna. He formed the Samsaptaka forces (suicide squad) against Arjuna in the war. On the 13th day he took the suicidal task to keep Arjuna away from the battlefield while Dronacharya formed the “Chakravyuha.” Susharma along with his brothers were killed by Arjuna during the course of the war.

Sudakshin, was the ruler of Kamboja. His half sister Bhanumati was married to Duryodhana.  He was killed by Arjuna on the 14th day of the war.

Alambusha was a rakshasa warrior and friend of Duryodhana. He killed Ajuna’s son Iravan on the 8th day of the war. Alambusha along with another rakshasa Alayudha were killed by Ghatotkacha on the 14th night of the war.

Besides, Duryodhana also had friends from Avanti kingdom by name Vinda and Anuvinda who were killed by Arjuna.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

921. Attachments


One morning a villager went to the district office to meet his childhood friend who was a District Collector. That day the D.C seem to be in distressed, sensing his discomfort the villager friend asked him the reason. D.C replied, “My wife and my children are all down with viral fever. My son contacted viral infection in his school and now his sister and his mother are also infected.” The villager asked, “What did the doctor say?”  

"Doctor has prescribed some medicines and said that they would recover in a few days time" said the D.C. 

The villager friend was surprised by the way his friend was behaving, he said, “If you are so upset about the illness of three of your family, how are you going to tackle an epidemic in your jurisdiction which is wide spread?” 

“I will take charge and set a team to investigate the type of epidemic, treatment and preventive measures including sanitation will be carried out on a war footing. I will handle any such situation efficiently, with a cool mind” said the D.C. 
The villager said, “If you can deal with such a major problem without getting ruffled, why are you so upset about a minor problem confined to three members of a single house?” 
D.C was taken back he shot back, “Unlike the others, those who are ill now are my very own” he said.

Such is the deleterious influence of strong attachment and of the feeling, “This person or thing is MY OWN”, that the collector who worked hard and efficiently discharged his official duties without losing his composure became inefficient and beset with worry when it came to his wife and children. 

A pilgrim was on the way back to his home town. As it was night he halted at a Dharmashala. He appeased his hunger with the free meal offered there. Then desirous of doing something good, he joined the inmates in serving food to all the other pilgrims who had come there. Thereafter he helped in cleaning up the place too. Before retiring for the night, he engaged in conversation with others, expressed his sympathy to those who voiced their personal problems and also gave them a few beneficial suggestions. He behaved as if the Dharmashala was his home and the people there were his family members. Yet, his mind was fully at peace and he left the next morning without the least hesitation or regret. 

After he had returned home, his wife asked him, “Where did you spend last night?”
"At the Dharmashala”, he replied. “What happened I could not reach you over phone?” asked his wife out of curiosity. “Nothing of any importance, I ate and then met few people from other place we chatted for a few hours and then I slept. Early morning I left from there, that’s it” said the man.

A person who has responsibilities will face a few problems that might affect either his duty or his family life. Our scriptures advise us all to lead a life without attachment. One ought to be like the District Collector when engaged in the discharge his official duties and like the pilgrim when engaged in family duties. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

920. What’s in a Name???


“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” writes William Shakespeare in his epic drama Romeo and Juliet. But I need to mention the name “William Shakespeare” here to indicate that it was his statement. When I ponder upon the question from that great play writer, I can conclude that name is nothing from personal point of view but it is everything from general point of view.

Rose called in any name is still a fragrant flower but if I say that “Romeo & Juliet” was scripted by Christopher Marlowe I will definitely be corrected for the error made. Rose is a rose because the fragrance emitted by any of its kind is the same but the thought scripted by William Shakespeare cannot be similar to that from Christopher Marlowe.      



Namkarna (Naming Ceremony) is one among the Shodasa Samskara (16 sacraments). It is the first tangible award a Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) gets when it takes the human birth. Name provides the identity and individuality. We have this gusto to name our kids on Gods and Goddess. Some consider the names of the Historical or Puranic characters, while a few want the names of Gurus and Saints. Though the infant will not know about the character it is named after, as it grows it will know and in some cases try to emulate the character.


In Hinduism it is common to look for names starting with the Aksharas (syllable) pertaining to the Rashi. The Rashi of the child is determined by the presence of Moon in that particular Zodiac. Each Rashi has a few ordained syllables which are preferred to be the starting of the child’s name.


Why is it important to name the child using the Rashi-Akshara???            

Sanskrit is Deva-bhasha, the language of Gods and is also the mother of all languages. Its Aksharamala (Garland of Alphabets) contains 13 Swara (Vowels), one Anuswara, one Visarga, 33 Vyanjana (Consonants), one Avagraha along with the Primordial syllable “OM.” The Maharishis of ancient times had found through their intuition that the Aksharas have different influences on the energy centres called the Chakras. 6 Chakras are placed along the length of our Spinal Cord. Each Chakra has a particular number of petals. Each petal corresponds to a Sanskrit alphabet. In all the 50 Aksharas are said to be distributed to the 6 Chakras with 50 petals. Each petal vibrates with the utterance of that particular syllable; it was not mere visual experience but the experience of Nada, sound of cosmos.

These vibrations control various parts of the body and various aspects of our personality. The six energy centres are well connected through the nerves spreading throughout the body carrying the messages from the Sahasrara (Brain). When an Akshara is pronounced repeatedly, it heightens the influences of these Charkas. Hence it is important to have the name of the child which starts from the syllable pertaining to that Rashi.


Name does not decide the nature of an individual. A woman with the name Sowmya can be seen to be rude and arrogant and a man called Ugrappa can be calm and composed. Naming a child after a malicious character will not make it evil nor naming it after a magnanimous character makes it good. Naming a child is very personal. In Srimad Bhagvatham we have the story of Ajamila who was granted “Vishnuloka” for calling out the name of his son “Narayana” at the eleventh hour. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita “Whoever, at the time of death quits the body remembering Me, at once attains My being.” Ajamila had named his son Narayana and when on death bed kept on calling out his favourite son’s name. Sri Krishna, the epitome of compassion did not even bother to look if the chanting was unintentional. He granted Ajamila His abode........All for naming his son after Him.        


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

919. 84 Lakh Species.......!


All objects and elements of physical matter have energy component in them which is called Chaitanya (Consciousness). Only those physical matters which have Prana (Vital Breath) in them do have Chetana (Conscious). The awareness of the Chetana is Chaitanya.

According to Dvaita Siddhanta when Vayu who is Jeevottama (Supreme among living beings) leaves the body Sri Hari who is Sarvottama (Supreme among ALL) follows and it is death. Note: One should not confuse this Chetana (Conscious) to Antahkarna (Conscience) which is only in Humans. Conscience is the individual moral sense which helps in discrimination. It has its origin in Buddhi (Intellect).


Modern biology reiterates that this biodiversity we find is due to a genetic variation propelled by occasional chance mutation. However, according to Vedanta it is the Karma and Trigunas at play. As if to justify this Vedas explain that biodiversity is a process to accommodate the various states of Consciousness in different life forms. There is a gradual evolution of Consciousness through various species of life forms owing to the subtle laws of karma. These life forms are said to be 84 Lakhs in number which include microorganisms, insects, plants, birds, reptiles, animals, and humans. Padmapurana gives an approximate statistics of these 84 Lakh yonis. 

9,00,000 forms of Jalaja (Aquatic). 
20,00,000 Sthavara (Trees and Plants). 
11,00,000 Krimayo (Insects and Reptiles).
10,00,000 species of Pakshinam (Birds).
30,00,000 varieties of Pashavah (Animals).
And finally 4,00,000 Manavah (Humans). 

This Consciousness evolution in the Cosmic Time scale grants human form of life after passing through millions of varieties of life forms. Hence different degree of Consciousness is expressed through different bodies. Vedanta classifies the degree of Consciousness into five categories taking a metaphor of a Flower: 

Acchadita (Covered): This degree of Consciousness is found in Trees and Plants. Hence they can feel but do not act or react. 

Sankucita (Closed): This degree of Consciousness is found in animals, birds and reptiles. They can feel and also act and react but cannot resolve. 

Mukulita (Budding): This degree of Consciousness is found in Humans they can feel, react and also revolve, but by using illogical mind. Though civilized they have only the four goals SEED namely Sleep, Eat, Enjoy, Defend. They don’t believe in Cosmic Laws and think “Might is Right” or occasionally they follow a whimsical system of law that is pleasing to the body, mind and senses. They perform action with the sense of Doer-Ship, hence the action they do has the tinge of selfishness. The outcome so is engrossed by Vikalpa (Conceptions).

Vikasita (Blooming): This degree of Consciousness is found in Humans they can feel, react and also revolve, but by using logical mind. They know that the universe is running on Cosmic Laws. They perform action without the sense of Doer-Ship, hence the action they perform is selfless. The outcome thus is Savikalpa (Visionary)

Poorna Vikasita (Blossomed).: This degree of Consciousness is where spontaneous unconditional love is manifested. Here one is not concerned about any laws. They do not perform action but live in them, hence there is neither selfishness not selflessness. The outcome thus becomes Nirvikalpa (Trans conceptual). Such individuals will have attained complete transcendental realization, SATCHITANANDA-the “fully blossomed’ state of Consciousness. There is no further evolutions and it is the final Oneness-Advaitha.

918. YOGAKSHEMAM VAHAMYAHAM.....!


The Great Mahabharatha war ended and Sri Krishna returned to Dwaraka. Sage Uttanaka who was unaware of the war enquired about the wellbeing of the members of the Kuru Clan. When the sage heard of the war and the decimation of Kauravas, he became angry on Sri Krishna. He felt that Sri Krishna could have stopped war and resolved the ill-will between the two cousins. Sri Krishna explained about His failed mission to prevent war and how adamant Duryodhana was by refusing to part with even five villages to Pandavas.

Sage Uttanaka was extremely remorseful for being angry with the Lord for no reason. He expressed his ignorance and sought pardon and expressed his desire to have a vision of  His Vishwaroopa (Cosmic Form). Sri Krishna out of compassion showed the Sage His Cosmic form and granted him a boon. Sage Uttanaka said, “It is sufficient for me now that I have had a vision of Your cosmic form. Yet if you are asking me for a boon let me take this opportunity to serve mankind. As I travel in desert areas and water is scarce there. I would wish to get water whenever I wish for it.” Sri Krishna told when you need water just think of me.

Many days passed and once while traversing a desert, Sage Uttanaka felt extremely thirsty and could not find any source of water. So, he thought of Sri Krishna. Immediately he saw a fierce-looking man smeared with dirt coming his way. Sage Uttanaka noticed that a copious stream of water was oozing out of his penis. The dirty man came up to the Sage and said, “I can see that you are thirsty and I feel pity. Accept this water from me and quench your thirst.”

Sage Uttanaka not imagine even in his dream that he would quench his thirst with this dirty man’s urine. He refused it outrageously but the dirty man insisted that the Sage drink the water and quench the thirst. Angered Sage Uttanaka shouted at the dirty man to leave immediately to avoid being cursed by him. The man walked away.

Sage Uttanaka was amazed and he wondered how could Sri Krishna failed to send him water. Immediately Sri Krishna appeared before him and said, “For your sake, I requested Indra to give you Amrita (ambrosia). He objected saying that mortal do not have rights over it. But on insisting repeatedly, he agreed to do. He, however, said that he would offer Amrita to you in the guise of a dirty man. If you are not willing to receive it he would leave without giving it to you. Unfortunately you did not have faith in my words and you thought that the liquid coming from the penis was urine and rejected it. Indra too wanted this to happen and this is what you have done too.”

Sri Krishna further told Sage Uttanaka, “You did request to have a vision of My Cosmic form, but you failed to know that I reside in all. Let go My Cosmic form, you did not have faith in My word too.”

In our daily life we have the undoubted grace of the Lord. Which I term it as "yoga" (fortune). This yoga is there for all of us, but it will materialise only when we have the "yogyatha" (deservance). We might have a few "hitashatrus" (enemies in the disguise of friends) who would see that we do not have that yogyatha to achieve that yoga.

This story from the Puranas guarantees me that with His assured grace I need not be skeptical. Here Sage Uttanaka can neither blame the Lord nor Indra but himself for losing out in relishing the ambrosia.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

917. Never hog like Hogs.....!


In business arena there is a lovely saying “Bull and Bears make money; Hogs get slaughtered.” Hog is synonymous to greed. Greed is the dangerous emotion than fear. Fear may stop a businessman from venturing into new field of business. But then his capital is saved as long as it is in the safe, on the other hand greed pushes to act, in ways and at times when he shouldn’t. Hence it is dangerous. 

I am saddened looking at the way some of the staff members of the private bank are behaving at this time of currency note crunch. When the common man is finding it difficult to get his quotes of Rs. 2000 per day, this selfish people in the bank are exchanging the old notes to new ones on commission basis. The purpose of the demonetisation drive will go down the drain. Moreover I am surprised that knowing very well that they will surely be prosecuted for their criminal act these people are not concerned at all.       

Once a young man was walking past a hill region saw an elderly man tying a narrow neck bottle to the branch of a tree. In the bottle he had put some peanuts.  Out of curiosity, he asked, “What are you doing?” 

Elderly man answered, “I am setting a trap for a monkey. I intend to catch one of them and train it to perform tricks”. 

The young man asked, “Where is the trap I see you have only tied a bottle with some peanuts in it.”

The man replied, “This place is infested with monkeys. One of them will certainly notice this bottle and the peanuts in it. So, it will put its paw in and grab the peanuts. The bottle neck is too narrow for the monkey to withdraw its paw along with the peanut. The monkey is captured.”

The young man said, “Are you kidding? Will not the monkey release the peanuts; extricate its paw and escape.”  

“You’d think the monkey will let go the peanut and escape? The monkey is so greedy that it never does. Greed is the trap here.” The elderly man quipped.

The young man did not believe this technique will work and moved on. Just as he was going past a pond he noticed a frog shooting out its tongue and catching a fly with it. Amused, he started to watch the frog. It jumped from one lotus leaf to another busy swallowing the flies that get stuck to its sticky tongue. As it was near the bush a water snake stealthily came up to it from behind and swiftly caught it in its mouth. With half of its body in the mouth of the snake the frog protruded its tongue to catch a fly which was sitting on a twig. 

Meanwhile, the snake proceeded to swallow the frog. The young man thought to himself, “What a strange sight! Even at its moment of death, this silly frog was busy catching a fly!” 

A few of them are behaving like those moneys and frogs. What to make quick buck. They seem not to be like bulls and bears but want to hog like hogs thinking what they are doing is good. A lot of successful individuals have said that they’d rather be lucky than good. For them, it’s better to attribute success to luck than their own skills. It might not be good for the ego, but it’s definitely good for the wanton psyche. And that’s probably one of the secrets of success. 

Don’t be a hog and you won’t get slaughtered.......!

Friday, December 16, 2016

916. Her undeterred love.......


Vishnuchitta, a pious Vaishnava collected flowers & made garland to offer them to Sri Ranganatha at Srirangam. This was his daily routine, once while at the garden he heard a murmur sound. He found a little smiling girl under a tulasi plant. Being childless he took her home thinking it was the gift to him from Him. He named her Godha (from earth) but fondly called her Kodai, for she had curly hair.     

Over a period of time, the pious atmosphere at home, the regular making garlands, listening to Krishnaleela were embed in Kodai’s mind. She too started to make garland to Sri Ranganatha along with her father. Her love for her Lord became such a force that filled all her being. She decided that He alone was her Lord & no one else.  

One day she thought, “If I were to wear this garland & put it back into the basket, then the priest at the temple will adorn it to the Lord. It will be as if Ranganatha & I have exchanged garlands. Isn’t exchange of garland one of the most important rituals at weddings?” She wore the garland & looked at her reflection in the mirror, she visualised how it would look on her Lord. She then put it back into the basket. Vishnuchitta took the basket to the temple & offered the garland to the Lord, unaware of what his daughter had done.

At the temple when the garland was offered the priest noticed a long strand of hair in it & understood that someone had worn it. He gave the garland back to Vishnuchitta saying, “This garland is already used by someone get me a new one.” Vishnuchitta made another garland immediately & handed over it to the priest. When the priest tried to adorn it to the Lord, he heard a voice, “Why have you not brought me the garland worn by my Godha. It has the fragrance of her love that makes it special. I don’t want any other garland!”  

Stunned Vishnuchitta rushed back home & hugged his daughter & called her “Andal” (the one who rule the heart of the Lord). Godha too got the confirmation that her love was accepted by Him. She now requested her father to let her marry Ranganatha. 

Was it possible, wondered Vishnuchitta.

That night Vishnuchitta had a dream; it was the wedding of his beloved daughter Godha with Sri Ranganatha. The whole village had gathered to witness the wedding. He overheard some people talk, “How did this poor man managed to strike such a divine alliance?” Vishnuchitta felt his existence as human had got its fulfilment. 

Soon the wedding was over & it was time to send off his daughter with Ranganatha. He led her to the palanquin & the procession started to go towards Srirangam. As the procession reached the temple sanctum sanctorum Sri Ranganatha, the bridegroom walked in & merged with the idol. Godha was dumbstruck! What should she do? In a flash it occurred to her that now she was His wife, she had every right to be with Him! She gave a quick smile & climbed onto the idol of Ranganatha to sit beside Him. In a blinding flash of light, she disappeared. 

Vishnuchitta who saw this was in tears. He was not sure whether the tears were of joy or sorrow. Joy of begin the father-in-law of the Lord or sorrow of losing his daughter forever. As his thoughts raced from one emotion to another he heard a voice, “Vishnuchitta, don’t worry. Your daughter is with me & shall always be by my side. & you too shall always be close to me as the father of my Kodai & also as my special devotee. Spend the rest of your days by making garlands to me as always & then you too shall soon reach me.”  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

915. The Honey Trap......!


The inferno of the asura Shoorpaka’s severe penance reached Kailasa. Maharudradeva who sat in the seat of silence was nudged by the heat emitted by the chants of “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA.” Maharudradeva was pleased with the intense devotion displayed by his devotee.  He appeared before Shoorpaka in a jiffy. Shoorpaka asked Maharudradeva to grant him a boon. The boon was very weird; Shoorpaka wished that the moment he places his right hand on head of any person, that person should be reduced to ashes instantaneously. 

Maharudradeva who is known to be compassionate to his devotees grants him the boon and from that moment Shoorpaka acquires the name “Bhasmasura.” Ecstatic over the new found power the asura lost control of himself and wanted to test his destructive skill on his benefactor. 

Maharudradeva flees from the asura and hides in a cave. Maha Vishnu comes to the aid of His best friend. Donning the form of a bewitching beauty with the name Mohini, Maha Vishnu appears before Bhasmasura. 

Looking at the enchanting beauty the asura wants her to be his wife. Mohini agrees on one condition, he has to dance with her in rhythm to her dance steps. Both start dancing, and during a certain dance move, Mohini touches her head with her right hand. The asura follow suite and touches his head. Instantly he is reduced to a heap of ash.

This according to me is the first “Honey Trap” ever. From Sri Hari, the Mohini to Mata Hari, the Dutch Dancer to the recent Damini McNaught have all used their beauty to lure the men and make them fall into their trap. Also there were “Vishkanya” (poison maidens) who were used as Honey Traps by kings to assassin their enemies by exploiting their sexual appetite. While those Honey Traps were used earlier as stratagem to counter ruthless opponents now in recent days it is used as a blackmail tool. 

Latest to this Honey Trap saga is the excise minister of my state, Karnataka. His Gunman uses a lady who is alleged to be the relative of the minister as Honey Trap to blackmail with a C.D recording. Both the gunman and the lady planned to get money and transfer done respectively by blackmailing the minister. Everything goes as per plan and the act is recorded.  

An RTI activist gets the whiff of the C.D and spilled the beans to the regional media channels. For the past fortnight our regional media channels have gone hammer and tongs to nail the minister, rightly so it has made the tainted minister to resign from his post. I can only liken this minister to the rogue elephant which the forest officials trap using “Kedda” operation. Sense gratification which when goes out of control, humans act beastly. There is neither fear of society nor will the self disgrace matter to them. 

There is this beautiful Subhashitam: 

Arthaturanam na gurur na bandhu 
(One who is desperate for Wealth, has neither guide nor friend).

Kamaturanam na bhayam na lajja
(One who is blinded by Lust, has neither fear nor shame).

Chintaturanam na sukham na nidra
(One who is engrossed in thoughts, has neither peace nor sleep).

Kshudhaturanam na ruchir ba pakvam
(One who is starving hungry, doesn’t care for taste and will not wait till cooked).

Nevertheless in this whole redundant episode, I noticed that our media were using a word “Nonda Mahile” (aggrieved woman) to address the lady used as Honey Trap. But to my knowledge and understanding the real “Nonda Mahile” (aggrieved woman) is not her but......... do you know who???

914. Sun enters Sagittarius....!


Hindus refer to two types of calendars one is based on the movement of Sun and is called Sauramana (Solar Calendar) while the one which relies on Moon is Chandramana (Lunar Calendar). The transit of Sun from one zodiac to the other decides the months in Solar Calendar and in the Lunar Calendar it is based on the Nakshatra (Constellation) occurring on the Paurnami (Full Moon) day. 

When Sun transits into Dhanus (Sagittarius) that month is denoted as Dhanurmasa. It generally occurs around the middle of the winter month December in between the two lunar months Margasira and Pushya.  Sri Krishna while explaining His vibuthi to Arjuna has stamped His presence in Margarita by proclaiming “Maasanaam Margasiroham” (among the months I am Margasira). 

As per the Gregorian calendar, Dhanurmasa mostly starts on 16th December and ends on January 13th or 14th on the Pongal festival day.  This Dhanurmasa is the ninth month of the zodiac starting from Meshamasa (Aries) and is the last month before the onset of Uttarayana Punya Kaala.
Dhanurmasa has acquired a unique significance of auspiciousness in Hindu spiritual calendar for devotional activities especially worshiping of Maha Vishnu.  More significance is given for worshipping during the early hours before sunrise known as Arunodaya Kaala.  

There is a reason behind the early hour worship at Arunodaya Kaala. As per the concept of Hindu time element, it is said that, one day for Divine Beings is equal to one human year comprising of 6 months of Uttarayana and 6 months of Dakshinayana. That means Uttarayana is the day time and Dakshinayana is the night time for Divine Beings.  

Accordingly one human month is equal to two hours for Divine Beings. The period of Dhanurmasa falling at the fag end of Dakshinayana indicates the last leg of the night time for Divine Beings (Arunodaya) when they worship Sri Hari. Hence, it is befitting for human beings also to worship Maha Vishnu at a time that coincides with the Arunodaya Kaala for Divine Beings. This incidentally coincides with the Dhanurmasa. This auspicious period is known as Arunodaya Muhurtha.
Any worship conducted at Arunodaya Muhurtha is said to be of highest quality that yield meritorious results. It is said that worshiping Maha Vishnu during this auspicious and sacred period of Dhanurmasa, the dearest month for Sri Hari even for a single day is equivalent to worshiping the for 1000 years. Also Vaikunta Ekadashi is at the waning phase of the moon in this month.  

In Hindu philosophy for everything a specific time measure is set and prescribed according to the concept of time element.  It specifies the unique significance given to the month, day, thithi, Nakshatra etc in Hindu religion. Therefore perform right deeds at the right time and seek Divine blessings that yield higher outcomes.

Considering the superior sacredness and spirituality attached to the Dhanurmasa, auspicious functions like Marriage, House warming etc. are not generally undertaken during this month.  It is only to give more focus and attention to the Divine worship rather than mundane materialistic activities.

There is also a health benefits attached to the naivedya (obalation) preparation prescribed in this Dhanurmasa. While Huggi (prepared with Rice and Moong dal mixed in equal proportions and boiled with black pepper, cummin and salt) is the general dish some temples offer hot Shunti Kashaya (Ginger brew) which is very helpful in this winter mornings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

913. Treatise of Convenience...!



A lawyer placed his argument before the judge, “Your Honour, my client is innocent he should not be rewarded with any kind of punishment. Yes, I agree he did steal but if you know the details you too will agree with me. My client is unemployed and he stole because his family would starve if not. With the money he got by stealing he not only helped himself but also his family of four. He did not destroy any property to steal in fact he did not even break the lock he used a duplicate key to enter the house. Also the money he stole from the house is too little compared to the rich man’s hoard of black money. My client did what the income tax department could not do unearth the black money. Above all this ugly rich man has so much cash that a little loss in his treasury would not be a big thing to him.”

Now do you wonder how that Judge might respond???

He would presumably declare thus: “I as a judge would not be interested to know why your client had to steal and what he did with that or where he went to steal. He has ignored the law of the land. Stealing is an offence in my country. Even you admit that your client did steal. So, I am duty-bound to punish him according to the law of this land.”

Then he would hold the man guilty and sentence him to jail for 6 months.

If we observe how judges decide whether an act is a punishable offence or not we can pin point on the Penal Code. This Penal Code does not give room for fanciful arguments it is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law. Likewise to know about the Law of Cosmos we must turn to the Vedas. The Penal Code, having been formulated by humans and hence it may require occasional amendments. However, the Vedas which consists mainly the Law of Cosmos emerged from the flawless and so is superlative.

Vedas being tough to comprehend were palliated as Upanishads. When even Upanishads became difficult to understand the essence of Vedas was articulated in the form of Puranas and itihasa. The Puranas and itihasa in the form of stories could visualise the Law of Cosmos.

But the Puranas and itihasa gave different views of those laws and the ignorant branded them as Anukula Shastra (Treatise of Convenience). In Ramayana killing of Vaali or sending Sitadevi to forest has the justification of that law. Likewise killing of Karna or depriving archery lessons to Ekalavya too could be approved when viewed from the realm of that law.

Those who are ignorant of the Law of the Land or as well as the Law of Cosmos give excuses to abide the Law and blame them as the Treatise of Convenience. Those who are living the life of righteousness do not need the shelter of treatise of convenience.....what say???

Monday, December 12, 2016

912. Debate & Panel Discussions.....


Debate and discussions are the only mean to bring in change and I am a firm believer in discussions. I was very keen on public debate shows since my college days. I used to watch “We, the people” “Big Fight” “Left Right and Centre” “Big Picture” and so. The public debate in the late 80’s and early 90’s were aiming at identifying the problem if not trying to solve them. In the public discussion and debates that are aired today the panellists and the anchor are more interested in forcing their views rather than making a real attempt to realise the problem and find means to address them.  Those on the panel seem to have an opinion on everything. If their point is not accepted they start trivialising the issue of discussion. Hence there is very little or no accountability on what they stand for.

Debates are a way to transcend from the Level of Ignorance to the Level of Truth. The panellist has to think that the final outcome of the discussion is more important than his say-so. 


If the discussion is held in a right perspective then what started off as Bhavana (Imagination) in the minds of the panelists will then take the turn as Abhipraya (Opinion). Here the thoughts are related to each other and verified with deep contemplation on the subject in the debate. 


Further if the discussion is held in an even more cordial way with calm minds working together then the individual opinions will become Anubhuti (Perception). In this stage the subject in debate is examined from different dimensions and those views which were partial now has multi angles. 



The last threshold to reach the truth is Darshana (Vision). In this stage the individual not only examines the subject in debate in details from different angles but also internalise the various ideas, thus developing a holistic vision. Thus it becomes clear about what the imagination were, what the facts are.

Not all know about every topic, some may have knowledge about science some about history some about medicine and so on. Hence in ancient days the most important requirement for the debate was to ascertain if the person was the Adhikari (qualified to talk about the subject). One becomes an adhikari if he has knowledge about the Vishaya (subject of debate). As it is the subject is neutral and it can have a far or against debate. If the person has knowledge of the subject he has to be clear on what he is talking the Sambhanda (connection) is he far or against. Then finally the debater has to be aware of the Prayogana (purpose) of the discussion.


Ironically we have film stars invited to discuss demonetization drive, a model talks about economy, an astrologer debates on spirituality, a leader confined to up-liftment of certain community questions about socialism, a clergy argues on the secularism. I am not saying they should not be invited to discussions but it is better if they have the courtesy to travel from the stage of Imagination to having a vision on the subject of debate. If uniform civil code is made mandatory we have some mullahs opposing it and shouting at the peak of their voice instead of looking at the liberty their women folk enjoy. When the law of the land creates equal status for all to enter a temple some of our pundits and Hindu fundamentalists are offended. The right wing are stuck to their ideologies while the leftist are adamant not to bulge out of their principles none of them are interested in progress of the nation.


Above all this we have the media here which is mostly controlled by capitalist who predetermine the way the debate has to be conducted and have the only intention of climbing up the ladder of the Television Rating Point.


The healthy discussion is the sign of progress and development.......it is a worst thing to run away from discussion and also stall discussion.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

911. Shiva as fire.....


Uma once closed the eyes of her husband Shiva in a playful mood. She came from behind and not only closed his physical two eyes but also the Third Eye, the Ajna Chakra. Although it was only for a few minutes, the entire universe was submerged in darkness for years. This was a wonderful way for Shiva to make his consort in particular and everyone of us in general understand that everything that is inside him is also outside, and everything that is outside is also inside him. Uma realising that a small fun she played with Paramaguru had left the whole universe without light. She requested him to restore light. Then Shiva appeared as a AGNISTAMBHA (column of fire) with neither the base not the plinth. The column was so vast that none knew where it started and where it was going to end. Just a huge column of fire appeared at a place called Thiruannamalai. The column of fire brightened the universe. 

Maharudradeva had manifested as Agni. Agni Tattva is one of the five elements. The fire element is the storehouse of illusions relating to name and fame, issues related to power, authority and control over others, wealth and longevity vs poverty and death. Agni is the one and only element of all the five elements (Earth, Ether, Water, Air and Fire) that cannot be adulterated. Agni will burn anything which is put into it in an intention to pollute or adulterate it. We can pollute or adulterate anything but not fire. 

The manifestation of Shiva as Agni Tattva is commemorate even today at Arunachalagiri. On Karthika pournami a huge lamp is lit on the top of the hill.
Arunachaleswara is Tejo Linga. When the light on the top of the Tiruvannamalai is unveiled on the Karthika pournami day people pray to Shiva in the form of fire. 

The esoteric symbolism behind lighting the lamp on the hill is to have the vision of the light of lights that is burning eternally in the chambers of ones heart through constantly remembering the Paramaguru and be ready to receive his guidance. 

The light if lights annihilates the three impurities - egoism, selfish action and delusion. The eternal light in the cave of the heart burns the mind, senses and the desires. To attain full illumination and behold the light of lights is real Kartikha Deepotsava.

May the light of lights illumine all of us from within! May Lord Shiva bless us with abundant light! May we all merge in this supreme light and attain the eternal abode of bliss and immortality!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

910. Dharma is Subtle.....!


Draupadi could not get the answer to her question at the Kuru Sabha, The Grand old man of the clan, Bhishma says “Dharma is subtle.” 

Moral Ambiguity is bewildering because when I take a moral stand about somebody's action, I must take the same stand when I am in the similar act in similar circumstances. The kind of behaviour I am ready to prescribe to others should be the same I observe in the same situation. It is very hard to develop this sort of reasoning, but it is not impossible. Draupadi’s question also points out to the most important issue about who has the authority to decide about Dharma. 

We Hindus do not believe in God to be the authority of Dharma, as He is just a witness. Human reason and the search for a rational basis of Dharma is often compatible with these religious traditions. But if God is not an authority, then who is? Manu in his book of Law, Manusmriti cites “The root of Dharma is the entire Vedas.” But many do not agree with Manu and questions if Vedas can be the arbiter. Could the wise decide on Dharma?  Though the intellect shines same in different individuals, the delight they take in applying it is different. Hence even the wise cannot conclude on Dharma. 

God is not the authority of Dharma, Vedas are not the arbiter, and wise cannot conclude on Dharma, so how can an ordinary individual know if his actions are Dharmic or not???

Draupadi questions Yudhishthira, “What is the point in being good when it brings grief? What kind of world is this where those who cause harm to others seem to be rewarded while those who uphold Dharma suffer? Dharma is supposed to protect the good, but I have observed that it did not protect you though you have never strayed away from following Dhrama. You have treated everyone alike. You remained faithful to your word even after losing the game of dice which was played cunningly.”

In a typically modest way, Yudhishthira expresses his instinctive sense of dutiful action, “I act because I must. I am not following Dharma because of any hope of reward. I act from a sense of what I have to do. The sense of what I have to do is a standard of conduct and a society needs standards.” 

Yudhishthira is setting a standard. He is saying, in effect, that following Dharma is its own reward. Just acting according to Dharma is itself a motivator. Dharma is neither a thing to be taught nor does it exist in the character. The character of a person is not something that one is born with. It is constantly evolving through repeated actions, and one can be guided to become better that what he was. To become a musician one requires skill and repetitive practice. In the same way, to follow Dharma one has to go on repeating virtuous actions.

I tend to view the old concept of karma in this light. When I repeat certain actions, I accumulate karma of a certain kind, which builds a certain kind of character and predisposes me to act in a certain way. Karma for me is not something Alaukika (Uncommon) but Svabhava (Inherent Nature). It is an inclination to act in a certain way as result of my Vasanas (Tendencies), which have been formed as a result of my past Samskaras (Impressions). If it benefits me alone and is putting other to hardship then I need to change those patterns.