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Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (1st Bin)
<!--QuoteBegin-Reichsjugendfuhrer+Sep 10 2006, 04:24 AM-->QUOTE(Reichsjugendfuhrer @ Sep 10 2006, 04:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->what do u guys think about buddhism
You say you are a Buddhist from Arunachal Pradesh. I would like to hear YOUR views on Buddhism and of Arunachal Pradesh. Yours is an insiders view.

There is a verse from Dharmapada that would be apt to be quoted here.

<i>Better than a thousand utterances, comprising useless words, is one single beneficial word, by hearing which, one attains peace.

Better than a thousand verses, comprising useless words, is one beneficial single line, by hearing which one is pacified.

-- Dhammapada Chapter 8 (The Thousands)

Better than a thousand posts that has useless questions, is one post that has meaning and is useful in general. I hope you agree with this.

Thats a good idea. You may share some useful information about Buddhism and Arunachal Pradesh yourselves. And by the way, any true Hindu would be always sympathetic to Buddhism. Read Anand Coomarswamy or Swami Vivekananda about Hinduism-Buddhism synthesis.
i agree with you. indeed there is so much similarity between the two. i even read somewhere that lord buddha is a incarnation of lord vishnu
Could anyone tell me who wrote Guru Paduka Stotram.

Who recited it and to whom?
<!--QuoteBegin-kusumlatha+Sep 18 2006, 04:27 AM-->QUOTE(kusumlatha @ Sep 18 2006, 04:27 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Could anyone tell me who wrote Guru Paduka Stotram.

Who recited it and to whom?

Source: http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/texts/index.html

Shri Guru Paduka Stotram
By Swami Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Narasimha Bharati, the 33rd Jagadguru of the Shringeri Matha in praise of his master Swami "Ugra" Narasimha Bharati With English translation by Swami Yogananda Saraswati.

The Stotram itself... http://www.chinmaya-chicago.org/BV/Guru%20...ka%20Stotram%22

PS: This thread can be merged with an appropriate existing thread..
Hi Sunder

Thank you for the reply and the links you have provided. I appreciate for the fast reply to my query.
Does anyone know about the origins of 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' and how it became so popular?
OK, got the answer.

Composed sometime around 1870s by Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri in Punjab, India , now it is sung around the world by Hindus of all background. Even though it is in Hindi, it is universally used by Hindus speaking any of the numerous Indian languages, or belonging to any of the many sects.

Shardha Ram Phillauri is almost unknown, although his composition Jai Jagdish Hare is recited every day by millions of Hindus throughout India and everywhere in the world.

He is also regarded to be the first novelist of the Hindi language. having written Bhagyavati, published in 1888.

Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri was born in a Brahmin family at Phillaur, Punjab in 1837. He was a dedicated scholar and proponent of traditional Hinduism Sanatana dharma. He studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology and music. He died in 1881 at Lahore.

ॐ जय जगदीश हरे, स्वामी जय जगदीश हरे .
भक्त जनों के संकट, क्षण में दूर करे ..

जो ध्यावे फल पावे, दुख बिनसे मन का .
सुख सम्पति घर आवे, कष्ट मिटे तन का ..

मात पिता तुम मेरे, शरण गहूं मैं किसकी .
तुम बिन और न दूजा, आस करूं मैं जिसकी ..

तुम पूरण परमात्मा, तुम अंतरयामी .
पारब्रह्म परमेश्वर, तुम सब के स्वामी ..

तुम करुणा के सागर, तुम पालनकर्ता .
मैं सेवक तुम स्वामी, कृपा करो भर्ता ..

तुम हो एक अगोचर, सबके प्राणपति .
किस विधि मिलूं दयामय, तुमको मैं कुमति ..

दीनबंधु दुखहर्ता, तुम रक्षक मेरे .
करुणा हस्त बढ़ाओ, द्वार पड़ा तेरे ..

विषय विकार मिटाओ, पाप हरो देवा .
श्रद्धा भक्ति बढ़ाओ, संतन की सेवा ..

ॐ जय जगदीश हरे स्वामी जय जगदीश हरे
Also I learrnt that there is a story that Guru of Pandit Shraddha Ram Phillauri was not happy with him for some reason, and once told him that by God's inspiration he would write something which will become very popular uniting Aarti of all Hindus, but no one will remember Pandit Phillauri. How that actually happened - I will try to find that story and post later.
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I posted the following in the BJP's future thread:

There is something here that we <b>have</b> to understand.
1. Typically, the way we have been informed by education is that Hindus are approximately 75-80% of India's population.
However, religious Hindus are less than a majority in India. I don't think they form even a plurality. That should be our working assumption.
Most urban people have very little connection to either the Hindu understanding of God and life, or the normal detail of day-to-day Hindu ritual. And, as people migrate to urban areas, this number will increase.
I think we should start with the following number: <b>the percentage of lay religious Hindus in India is about 25% of the population, or less.</b>

2. Of the remaining, most adults have kept religion very far away from their ordinary lives - except marriage and the death ceremonies, no actual Hindu ceremony is performed for/by these people. Celebrating Diwali with firecrackers does not count. In effect, since most adults have kept their lives and their children away from actual religious activity, the children grow up without any emotional investment in the faith of their forefathers. They find the marriage ceremonies weird and hugely inconvenient, and the death ceremonies very traumatizing - because they don't know the significance of either. Even these ceremonies they see less and less of, because they have smaller families. So, really, in most cases, the first person to actually have a long talk with them about God, is usually a missionary.

3. Education in Convent schools: Education in convent schools causes two problems:
a) The student's dominant view of religion comes from Christianity. As if, that were the default religion of the world. His understanding of Christianity is usually much better than his understanding of Hinduism. (it was true, atleast then, in my case). And his understanding of Christianity and its traditions comes from those <i>uniquely equipped to teach it, the trained corps of missionaries</i>. He becomes used to seeing these people as naturally deserving respect, and as fundamentally good people. And this attitude of respect to these missionaries will naturally meet with approval from his parents.

b) Even if he doesn't convert, he develops a broad-mindedness to the concept of religion that is debilitating to Hinduism. He sees all religions as the same, except that he sees Christianity as fashionable and as the "in" thing. I will talk about this broad-mindedness in my next point.

4. For a religion to survive as a living and vibrant tradition, it requires a certain level of narrow-mindedness in its adherents. Usually, the ultra-modern set make a fetish of their broad-mindedness. This makes sense, in a way. A broad-minded person is likely to flourish in a globalized world, but not the ideas he is so broad-minded about. A good example are the Parsis. Most Parsis are urbane, tolerant and broad-minded. They have done very well for themselves. On the other hand, their religion in India is close to extinction. So, one must be broad-minded about most other things, but not about the things that one values - in this case, Hinduism and the Hindu lifestyle.

A true, traditional Hindu should be narrow-minded - in the sense that he dismisses other religions completely, is intolerant of Islam and Christianity, and is openly hostile to its proselytizers. This does not mean that he has to react violently, but he should be so hostile that a missionary should find it an unpleasant experience to meet with him.

A good example is a religious Muslim. He is pretty narrow-minded. He will normally do slightly less well in life than a "broad-minded Hindu", but his religion is likely to be the one that will survive any civilizational conflict. A jihadi is extremely narrow-minded, so the ideology of Jihad has a distinct likelihood of being destroyed, but not the religion of Islam - and that is because of the religious Muslim, who is consistently more narrow-minded than most religious people.

Also, perhaps, having family friends among members of other religions is not a good idea. An adult may feel free to have friends among Muslims or Christians, but a watching child may get the idea that mixing with people belonging to other religions is just fine, and they are just like us. This tends to give the wrong sort of ideas to young children. So, limiting one's contact to members of one's own community, especially at home, is a good idea. Leave "inter-religious dialogue" to those who have the time, inclination and maturity to do a good job.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Sep 25 2006, 06:11 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Sep 25 2006, 06:11 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->the solution is not to tie up Hindu kids with other Hindus, they should be self confident enough to mix with non Hindus and even then retain their religion, after all if Jews could keep their identity intact then why can't we?
Actually, <b>not all Jews</b> have been doing a good job keeping their identity in the US. Remember, there are at least 2 different types of Judaism practised in the US.

One is the orthodox/ultra-orthodox variety. These Jews do limit their interactions with the non-Jewish (actually non-orthodox Jewish) world. They run their own schools for the Orthodox, where their children are <b>immersed</b> in their religion, its history and its rituals. And, because they have drawn a sharp line between themselves and the "Other", their religion, Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism is more likely to survive in the future. That <b>sharp line</b> will keep their religion alive and thriving. They also have the highest population growth in the US,along with the mennonites, in accordance with the dictates of their religion.

The rest of the Jews are basically reform Jews. This larger section of the community regularly loses large numbers of adherents to Christianity by marriage and subsequent conversion. Many of the other Jews are atheists, or even Jews only in name, basically "ethnic" Jews.

Here are some links about what is happening with the Jews:
Will Your Grandchildren Be Jews?
Extract from the above link:
In summary, the most recent analyses of Jewish population indicate two distinct trends in American Jewry. During the period from 1945-2000 -- and particularly from 1960 to 2000 -- the Orthodox have steadily increased the duration and intensity of their children's education, their birth rate, and the percentage of those raised Orthodox and remaining Orthodox. At the same time, their intermarriage rate has been reduced (see above). Also, for the first time in American history, significant number of Jews who were not raised Orthodox are becoming so. During the same period (1960-2000), intermarriage among other denominations of Judaism has evidenced different trends. The level of education among Secular, Reform and Conservative Jews has (with a few notable exceptions), remained about the same; their birth rate has declined, and their rate of intermarriage has multiplied. <b>Once a Jew intermarries, he or she as an individual remains Jewish, of course, but the likelihood of that person having any Jewish descendants is close to nil.</b>

Jews and the Jewish birth-rate
In the meantime, the outlook of the organized Jewish community has been characterized mostly by denial. <b>Faced with irrefutable evidence of demographic decline, communal leaders have worked to <i>“reframe” </i>the discussion.</b> The reframing goes like this: the Jewish population should be seen not as hemorrhaging, but rather as evolving new forms of expression. Yes, today’s Jews are choosing to behave differently from Jews in the past, but, if treated with dignity and respect, they will surely return to play a positive role within the community. Yes, Jews are intermarrying at high rates, but if intermarried couples are offered a more welcoming environment, they will participate gladly in Jewish activities and both they and their offspring will come to identify strongly with Jewish life. Yes, Jews are producing fewer children, but what counts is quality, not quantity. Yes, fewer Jews are affiliating with synagogues and other communal institutions, but eliminating exclusionary and inhospitable attitudes will cause the situation to reverse itself.

The challenge of demographic decline, then, is to be met by inclusiveness, pluralism, and a welcoming atmosphere. The worse the decline has grown, the more fervently has this mantra been invoked—and not just invoked, but acted upon.
Can someone trace the historical origin of the term "sanatana dharma". In which scripture is it first mentioned?

It is to point out the 'First' statement as Sanathana itself is eternal. However Manu Smrthi 4.138 mentions "Esha Dharma: Sanaathana".
Words 'Sanatan Dharma' find highly respectable place in Bauddha tradition and philosophy. Another synonym used in Bauddha texts is "poranako dhammo" (Pauranik Dharma or The Old/Established Law)

In Yamakavagga chapter of DharmaPad (Dhammpada), the fifth verse uses the words "dhammo sanantano". In this, Bhagvan Gautama Buddha says:

Na hi verena verani, sammantidha kudacanam
averena ca sammanti, esa <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>dhammo sanantano</span>
(DP, Yamakavagga, 5)
Rough translation: "hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. It is treated only by loving-kindness. Such is the ancient law, sanatana dharma."

There is a story behind this saying of Buddha, known as "Kalayakkhini Katha".

Once there lived a householder, whose wife was barren; later he took another wife. The feud started when the elder wife caused abortion of the other one, who eventually died in child birth. In later existences the two were reborn as a hen and a cat; a doe and a leopardess; and finally as the daughter of a nobleman in Savatthi and an ogress named Kali. The ogress (Kalayakkhini) was in hot pursuit of the lady with the baby, when the latter learned that the Buddha was nearby, giving a religious discourse at the Jetavana monastery in the city of Savatthi (today Shravasti in Uttar Pradesh).

She fled to him and placed her son at his feet for protection. The ogress was stopped at the door by the guardian spirit of the monastery and was refused admission. She was later called in and both the lady and the ogress were reprimanded by Buddha. Buddha told them about their past feuds as rival wives of a common husband, as a cat and a hen, and as a doe and a leopardess. They were made to see that hatred could only cause more hatred, and that it could only cease through friendship, understanding and goodwill.

Then the Buddha spoke the above verse, and explained the principles of Karma as the prime law of Sanatana Dharma, and principles of Hatred. At the end of the discourse, the ogress was established in Sotapatti Fruition and the long-standing feud came to an end.

added later:
This particular part of Dhammpada exactly agrees with the recommendation of Bhagvan Patanjali as in Yog Darshan, about the cure of 'Dwesha Bhav'- which is treating the subject of hatred through our Vipreet Bhava of "Maitri-Karuna-Mudita-Udaseen-Upekshya Bhava" - Friendship-Mercy-Goodwill-Indifference-Ignoring - sentiments preferrable in the same order.
<b>Theological Reflections on the Kolam</b>

<b>The Kolam</b>

A. Preliminary Definition: The kolam, or rangoli, is an auspicious diagram drawn on thresholds with rice powder. There are three basic designs: the labyrinth (a single line drawn around a matrix of dots), the figurative (images of gods, goddesses, plants, animals, and things), and the landscape (pictures conveying messages of harmony).

B. "Relatives" of the Kolam

a. The kolam is a South Indian ritual art
b. Similar arts are the Chowkpurana (northern India ), Madana (Rajasthan), Aripurana (Bihar), and Alpana (ancient floor art in Bengal )
c. Yantras and mandalas are also similar to the kolam, but it is not known if or how they are related.

C. (from) Dr. Vijaya Nagarajan and her Kolam Research

D. Sacred People, Sacred Times, Sacred Spaces

a. Cross-religious, Cross-caste and Cross-gender
1. Ritually, however, the person making the kolam possesses and communicates auspicious female power
2. Men who live as women create the kolam to confirm, proclaim, and wield female power

b. Time of Day and Month

1. Time just before dawn is most auspicious time of day
2. Markali: most auspicious month
3. At these sacred times, the gods and goddesses are waking up. The diagrams are designed to catch their eyes.

c. The Threshold

1. Thresholds are sacred crossing spaces between male and female, human and divine, and public and private
2. Three major thresholds where the kolam is placed: before deities in the house puja room, on thresholds in temples, at the household threshold. Each threshold has its own ritual creation of the kolam. I concentrate on the kolams at the thresholds of houses.

E. Ritual at the Threshold of a House

a. Clean and sweep the threshold (the porch)
b. Purify the porch by spreading fresh cow dung paste over the porch
c. Posture must be standing on both feet, bent over at the waist (in a "V")
d. Pinching the rice flour through the fingers, create patterns on the porch
e. As the designs are made, the creator focuses on her desires ("earthly" and "spiritual"), transferring them into the kolam. These desires become auspicious power.
f. Desires are bound by the created sacred space and then released as people walk over the kolams

F. Auspiciousness and Female Power

a. Women are Lakshmi in the household; as such, they have tremendous power over their families’ lives and fortunes. Her auspiciousness is power for the household and beyond.
b. The kolam signifies female auspiciousness (the absence of a kolam indicates inauspiciousness; it indicates that something is "wrong" in the household, either illness, sickness, death, mourning, or lack of a ritually pure female)

G. Hospitality: Lakshmi, Bhu, and Narayana

a. The kolam is an invitation and hosting of Lakshmi (Goddess of auspiciousness, fortune, wealth), Bhu (Goddess of the Earth), and Narayana (Vishnu)
b. The woman calls Lakshmi (auspiciousness, luck, fortune, and wealth) into the kolam to be transferred into the home and out in the world as people walk over it and release its power
c. The kolam is dedicated to Narayana, a demonstration of the woman’s love for Vishnu and her husband (who is Vishnu in the home)
d. The kolam also hosts Bhu Devi. The rice powder feeds ants and other animals throughout the day. This is meant to replenish the Earth, to give something in return for the many things taken from Bhu during the day.

H. Pollution and Power

a. Kolam hosts auspiciousness and prevents pollution (such as death, misfortune, and the evil eye)
b. Yet the kolam must be ritually polluted (stepped on) to release its auspicious power; this is similar to menstruation and childbirth, being both polluted and auspicious

<b>Theological Reflections on the Kolam</b>

<i>A. Women’s Ritual Power </i>

a. The kolam is a ritual art where women are powerful agents. They call the goddess into their home, they become the goddess, and they bestow their blessings onto all who step on the kolam. It is important that the power of their blessed desires is not simply for the home, but it flows out into the world as well. In the kolam, then, women’s ritual power is horizontal and vertical ("earthly" and "spiritual"), private (home) and public (world).

<i>B. Hospitality and Sacramentality </i>

a. The idea of "hosting the divine" (Nagarajan’s term) is an interesting symbol to connect to the notion of sacramentality. "Hosting" implies reciprocity and relationality.

<i>C. Finding the "Center"? </i>

a. The kolam is seen by some as marginal to religious tradition. However, it is central in the lives of many of the women who create it. They focus their social and religious lives around it, spending many hours practicing new designs, looking at other women’s designs, and talking about it. What, then, is the "center" of any religious tradition? And how do we know it? The significance of the kolam points to the importance of attending to religious experiences and voices we sometimes ignore.

b. The centrality of the kolam for many South Indian women also suggests the priority of ritual in religious life. Although theological principles and rules are a part of the kolam ritual, they are flexibly interwoven into the fabric of the kolam practice.

c. Moreover, the deep impact this "popular" practice has on the lives of so many means that theologians must take seriously "popular" religious expressions.

d. The complexity of the kolam as religious ritual, social marker, and artistic expression finally suggests that rituals touch our lives on many levels. As a result, understanding ritual will require a willingness to engage it at these multiple levels.

<i>D. Ecology, Ritual, and the Changing Face of the Kolam </i>

a. One of the fundamental purposes of the kolam is to give back a little of what we take from Bhu Devi everyday. Yet industrial powders cheaper than rice powder have proliferated and become quite popular. In temples and houses, kolams are sometimes replaced by kolam stickers or acrylic paintings (e.g., The New England Lakshmi Temple). This takes away from the ecological meaning in the ritual.

b. Kolam competitions sponsored by temples and universities are becoming more and more popular. They have led to a less ritualistic and more artistic view of the kolam. Men have become quite prominent at these kolam competitions, and this leads to less emphasis on female power.

c. Although the kolam is primarily a Hindu women’s ritual art, it is gaining wider appeal. We cannot say that all recent developments in the kolam are necessarily negative. Certainly they change some of the meanings associated with the kolam. However, new possibilities also arise. For example, the kolam points to the fluidity of boundaries, where a ritual art can be flexibly interpreted and incorporated into multiple frameworks. It also brings many people together who live otherwise separate lives. Finally, kolams are changing as social consciences change. Many kolams at kolam competitions now incorporate messages of peace, interreligious harmony, and ecological awareness.

<b>triangle power</b>

I t is said-Triangles are a magnificent way to bring about positive change. As your triangle links into the network of Triangles, it adds to the channel of light flowing from the Ultimate to the minds and hearts of humanity.

<b>The Triangles Work:: </b>Link daily in thought with your triangle/s members or as often as you can. Visualize the energies of light and love circulating from point to point. Then direct this flow of energy through the network of triangles and say the Great Invocation with concentration and intention.

<b>Requirements:</b> Click in and light up each day or so. You may click in for each time that you have activated your Triangle with the world invocation when you did not light up online. If you are in several triangles, visualize each member and then say the Invocation once. After you visualize light moving from point to point to outline the triangle, mentally picture it interfacing with thousands of other triangles. Imagine your triangle helping to illumine all people to see higher purpose, live in more light, and to express love from their hearts. All men and women of goodwill who are willing to do the work outlined above are invited to participate. There are no other requirements. The process takes only a few minutes.

Activate your Triangle any time or the day or night. When you light up your Triangle online, your whole triangle will be brighter the next time you go online. Triangles form a powerful group channel and make light more available to all people.

<b>How many Triangles to create or join:</b> There is a limit of three Triangles for each member. Once you establish the habit of doing Triangles each day for a month or so, you are invited to create a second triangle and a third triangle also if you wish.

<b>How Triangles Affect You:</b> When you are active in Triangles, you become more sensitive and receptive to these spiritual energies. You may find the distribution of light and love more powerful. Each triangle expands over time and becomes quite magnetic. As your spiritual links within your triangle grow stronger, the light of the triangle grows brighter and overlaps other triangles.

What is the network of Triangles? The network is built and maintained by the daily action of each Triangles worker invoking spiritual energies and using the creative power of the mind. This network provides the necessary interlocking strands or channels along which flow the spiritual energies of light and goodwill invoked by all Triangles workers. The network is built of strands of lighted mental substance along which flows the energy of goodwill. We are only one unit of this world network.

<b>Spreading the Word:</b> As your receptivity increases, you realize the delight of telling others about Online Triangles. This strengthens and expands the network. The radiant power of Triangles keeps expanding as more of us add our light and love to this worldwide network. Spreading the word is part of each one's spiritual contribution to the whole.

<b>A Unversal Spiritual Project: </b>Triangles is not connected with, or confined to any one of the great world religions. It is a universal spiritual project which, in practice, includes men and women of all faiths. The Triangles work, is an act of service to humanity. Triangles workers take up the activity in a spirit of co-operation and selfless service, and in order to stimulate and increase the flow of light and goodwill all over the world.

<b>The Plan:</b> The world has a spiritual destiny. Behind evolution there is an abiding purpose, which we can call the Plan of God. All who respond to spiritual need can, in their own way and within their own environment, co-operate in fulfilling the divine Plan. The Plan works out through humanity. We are responsible for understanding it, and for doing what we can through our daily living to express its meaning and significance.

<b>The Great Invocation:</b> This invocation carries the light of wisdom, understanding, and love that exists beyond all barriers of belief and prejudice. It does not belong to a religion or group. Every moment, someone is invoking light and love for the world in one of 70 languages, and adding to the grid work of light for humanity. The Great Invocation forms a channel for spiritual energies to reach humanity and aligns you with other spiritual workers invoking help for humanity. You are also "lighted up" as the energy of the Great Invocation generates healing and transforming energy from solar fire.

<b>A Bridge of Light : </b>Triangles attract and weave the substance that builds a lighted bridge from the Great Ones to the human race. This bridge will reveal all souls as descended from the same divine source. not just as theory, but in conscious realized sight and sound. Expect changes for humanity, as divine light can flow more easily into their minds and hearts. When enough humans tap into the Will and Purpose that lies beyond our little human wills, a spontaneous link will unite them, and the lost knowledge of higher purpose will be revealed.

<b>World Service through Triangles:</b> Our Online Triangles site is in response to the mass call for help, hope, and sanity. When you link with your Triangle members, visualizing light, love, and higher purpose for humanity, you provide a profoundly useful world service. You invoke spiritual help for humanity through the network of Triangles, and help step down spiritual energies to be more available. Each participant adds light to this great channel and participates in lifting the masses out of reactionary and separative domination or using hatred and revenge for motivation.

The energies that flow through Triangles stream into the world -- carrying Divine Love, Divine Light, and Divine Purpose. Presently, the subtle energy interlacing our planet and all life is a grid of squares. The higher spiritual energies have to move very slowly around this network of squares as the energy travels from point to point to point. Imagine the squares like a sieve. Triangles break up this congestion of squares and the energies can flow freely. Triangles cut across these squares diagonally and form two triangles from each square. Spiritual energy from higher levels can then smoothly pass through the grid. The Path from the higher dimensions to the denser dimensions of earth becomes radiant with light
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Scared of N-bomb? Read the Mahabharata</b>
The Economic Times, Oct 11, 2006
Einstein could never pardon himself for having been one of the founding fathers and guiding light for the American atomic commission that created the first pair of atom bombs, that showed the world a trailer of the kind of devastation that can be created by the same science which brings about the best of the comforts for you and me.

Post atom-bomb, the world started decrying these actions and Einstein was the first among them with the loudest voice – probably because all his life he couldn’t pardon himself for being the father of a conspiracy that murdered thousands of innocents, worse still – where the living envied the dead – such was the pain.

Probably a situation very similar to that of Bhishma in Mahabharata – whose bed of arrows represented his conscience and how much of repentance could not undo the actions performed. He could probably never pardon himself for his inactions in moments where his pro-active role could have spared every one of the pain that they went through.

In fact, it has been my firm conviction that it is absolutely useless to debate upon the actual happenings of the events such as the ones mentioned in epics like Mahabharata , but what is of absolute consequence is the deeper meaning and the ethos that it signifies and that is what makes Vyaasa a great teacher.

The beauty probably lies in the fact that one always finds a person in our daily life who is similar to the characters in that epic.

What Vyaasa succeeds in portraying through the Mahabharata is the process of collective error – my error as a consequence of your error and all of us are collectively responsible for the errors committed and the laws of nature are such that every one – individually and collectively suffers the eventualities of mistakes.

Isn’t this similar to what we all are witnessing now – with Pyongyang a new entrant in the nuclear game, there is a beautiful blame game going on. People who are out to create sanctions against this new boy, have already dirtied their hands. Let me ask a simple question – does US have the moral right to ask these questions to anybody after they killed innumerable people in Japan – just to emphatically announce their power and supremacy over others. Probably the only one nation which can stand up with Moral authority is Japan.

I don’t mean that if the US had not created the deadly weapon, there wouldn’t have been others who wouldn’t have become the first, yet the truth is that, just because of this argument, US can not be absolved of the crime it has committed.

This is the dilemma. 

In this nuclear world we know that there will be some who will abide by the protocol and some who wouldn’t. However, it is equally true that since it is a world where there is a strong power equation and all the weaker nations will need to be somewhere pick up some strength to fight, and if not fight at least to keep the big guys off their back, this is bound to happen.

Yet the million dollar question is – is there a way out of this?

Again, in the Mahabharata , Vyaasa talked of a situation when the war seemed inevitable. Incidentally, he has always portrayed Krishna as a person who is clairvoyant and knows the past – present and the future. Hence one thing is for sure that Krishna knows that the war is going to take place and is also aware of who’ll win the war. Yet he proposes for a last ditch effort. Now, Krishna has been insulted and slighted by Duryodhana and his comrades endless times, yet of all people, Krishna agrees to play the role of a Shantidoota – Ambassador of Peace.

It is difficult, yet the spirit is clear – give peace a chance.

Another element that Vyaasa mentions in his epic is – when Gandhari, the wife of the Blind King, Dhritarashtra, who was one of the people responsible for the war leading to mass destruction, came to curse Krishna saying – Krishna, of my hundred sons, not one has survived and if I have any virtue in my bag of deeds, then with the power of that I curse you that may your clan get destroyed the same way as has mine.

Krishna smiled and said – Gandhari, I feel sorry to see you do away with the little stock of virtues you had, for you only made my work easier. The ruling class, neck deep in all kinds of vices, has lost its moral right to rule. That’s why I came to destroy the Kshatriyas. Henceforth, the will of the masses should be considered as the divine will.

That is why I keep saying that the earliest trace of democracy is seen in the Mahabharata .

This also makes it very clear that unless the people of the world – rather- the human beings of the world unite and stand up to fight this there is no way out and as Vyaasa had put it – that alone is probably the way the lord will manifest in today’s age – to relieve the world of this burden of nuclear fear.

(The author conducts self-transformational & performance enhancement programmes for people from all walks of life. He can be contacted at Vijnanswami@gmail.com)

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The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.

Hindu philosophy

the philosophical speculations and systems of India that have their roots in Hinduism. 1

Hindu philosophy began in the period of the Upanishads (900–500 B.C.), but systematic philosophical elaboration did not appear until several centuries later. Philosophical tenets were presented in the form of aphorisms or sutras, intended to serve as an aid to memory and a basis for oral elaboration. Their extreme conciseness presupposes an oral or written commentary, and the traditions developed through successive layers of commentarial tradition. Although all six schools of classical Hindu philosophy accepted the authority of the Veda, they had widely differing philosophical positions; they developed in competition not only with one another, but also with the so-called heterodox schools, which rejected the authority of the Veda: Buddhism, Jainism, the Ajivikas or skeptics, and the materialist Carvaka school. 2

Schools of Hindu Philosophy
Nyaya, traditionally founded by Akshapada Gautama (6th cent. B.C.), is a school of logic and epistemology that defined the rules of debate and canons of proof. Its views were accepted with modification by most of the other schools. The atomist school, Vaisheshika, founded by Kanada (3d cent. B.C.), analyzed reality into six categories: substance, quality, activity, generality, particularity, and inherence. The universe is made up of nine kinds of substance: earth, water, light, air, ether, time, space, soul (or self), and mind. 3
The Samkhya school, founded by Kapila (6th cent. B.C.), admits two basic metaphysical principles, purusha (soul) and prakriti (materiality). Prakriti consists of three gunas or qualities: sattva (light or goodness), rajas (activity or passion), and tamas (darkness or inertia). When these constituents are in equilibrium, prakriti is static. However, disturbance of the equilibrium initiates a process of evolution that ultimately produces both the material world and individual faculties of action, thought, and sense. The purusha appears to be bound to prakriti and its modifications and may become free only through the realization that it is distinct from prakriti. Early versions of Samkhya, now lost, may have been theistic, but the classical system does not include God. The yoga school expounded by Patanjali (2d cent. B.C.) accepts Samkhya metaphysics to explain the validity of yogic processes described in the Yoga Sutras and also accepts the concept of an Ishvara, God or supreme soul. Yoga is defined as “cessation of the modifications of consciousness” and is achieved by an eight-stage discipline of self-control and meditation. 4
The Purva Mimamsa school, founded by Jaimini (2d cent. B.C.), set forth sophisticated principles for interpreting the Veda, which was regarded as entirely composed of injunctions to ritual action. Its epistemology and theory of meaning were constructed to show that the words of the Veda had eternal and intrinsic validity. The different schools of Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta are all based on the Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutras of Badarayana (c.200 B.C.–A.D. 200), but differ in their concepts of God, world, soul, and the relation between them. 5

See F. M. Müller, The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy (1899, repr. 1963); S. N. Das Gupta, History of Indian Philosophy (4 vol., 1922–55); S. Radhakrishnan and C. A. Moore, Source Book in Indian Philosophy (1957); K. H. Potter, Presuppositions of India’s Philosophies (1963) and Guide to Indian Philosophy (1988); A. Embree, The Hindu Tradition (1972) and, with S. Hay, ed., Sources of Indian Tradition (2 vol., 1988). 6


Very interesting article in Sulekha.
The trial of Adi Shankara

<!--QuoteBegin-prem+Oct 19 2006, 02:36 PM-->QUOTE(prem @ Oct 19 2006, 02:36 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Very interesting article in Sulekha.
The trial of Adi Shankara

Superb! Thanks Prem.

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