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Indian Philosophy (sarva darshana saamkathya)

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Indian Philosophy (sarva darshana saamkathya)
#41
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Coming back to the "manuShya-centric" thinking, the karma theory in Hindu philosophy is a case in point. It is amazing how deep-rooted this dogma is in the Hindu mind. I think the whole karma doctrine has serious cracks. Now, one of the fundamentals of Vedanta is there is only Brahman. But, despite the fact that everything in the universe is pervaded by Brahman, the karma theory posits the pashu at a lower rung than man. How can this be so when there is only Brahman? Moreover, Brahman is absolute and impersonal, whereas karma induces a moral edge to things.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Sridatta,

You carried yourself well on the topic of evolution. I have also read Gould and others and broadly speaking am in agreement.

But the above quote suggests you don't understand Vedanta well. It is not an easy philosophy to grasp, but for the sake of objectivity it would be better if we reserved strong comments only about things we have spent enough effort understanding.

For a starter, were you aware of the principle of 'adhyaasa' and relative realities posited in Vedanta? Do you understand the concept of 'Atman' in Vedanta? Do you understand why Atman is equated with Brahman?

It would be good to not fall for the attitude that since I spent oh so manys milliseconds pondering over this matter and judged it worthless, all those hindoos of the past were blithering idiots who wasted lifetimes on such trivialities.

May be it is time to have a full scale debate on Vedanta. But it will be fruitless if Vedanta were to be judged as science. It is a system of philosophy and those who are willing to debate it as a system of philosophy are welcome to join in. Also if someone hasn't spent the effort in going through the Vedanta texts and understanding them but still wants to pass judgements on them, then all I can say is that I can find better use for my time on the web.
  Reply
#42
Folks,

<b>Souls in animal life forms,
Spirits in Elements.</b>


It is the ganas, boothas and yakshas that occupy animal lifeforms and spread over whole species, as well as the elements (mountains, rivers, etc).

The eighteen Ganas as per Hindu cosmology are:
Devas, Siddhas, Asuras, Daityas, Garudas, Kinnaras, Nirutas,
Kimpurushas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Vinjayas, Bhutas, Pisachas,
Antharas, Munivas, Uragas, Akashavasis and Bhoga Bumidars.

These being are non evolutionary and do not accumulate karma. Souls have the astral body(manomaya) in the antarloka(inner world), and the physical body(annamaya) in the bhuloka - operating in these bodies at birth and death.

Bootha and yaksha bodies are something else.

Regards.

Pathma
  Reply
#43
For the time being let all philosophical discussions be on this thread. I feel branching of threads dilutes the focus on this forum, if the discussion really catches up with a focus on vedanta, then let us bifurcate at that point. Other may want to comment on related by slightly tangential topics to the main thread, so the current set up allows freedom.
  Reply
#44
I am interested in Indian philosophical issues due to their exploration of the problem of consciousness. In particular it appears that vedanta has developed this to a significant level. I learned to appreciate one thing that much of the exploration of vedanta has been in the area of the "state of experience" which may also be termed consciousness. Literally this means that one cannot comment on some aspects of consciousness unless one has the experience in those planes. This does not mean it is unreal- it just means one needs to have those experiences to get full knowledge in these areas. Some people may achieve some level by using drugs and others due to psychiatric problems. Then there may be further levels beyond this. But one who has only only experienced or acquired some knowledge of the levels arising from drugs or pyschiatric disorders will not have first person knowledge of the planes beyond them.

But we can try to look at it from a different angle. Is this experience a reducible phenomenon. That is can we entirely explain consciousness based on what we known of molecules and constiuent particles.

I think in recent years there have been 2 major "scientific" attempts.
Consciouness as a quantum phenomenon- Penrose and others. Some discuss this in the context of the need of observer in quantum mechanics.
Second is consciousness as an emergent property of the subnets of neural interactions in the brains. Kristhof Koch and Crick have pioneered in this- they neural correlates of consciousness. Ramachandran belongs to this camp.

But Rene Descartes and more recently Chalmers takes a stance that consciousness is non-material. Descartes adopted the view that the seat of consciousness lay in the pineal gland. HH told me that part of this idea of Descartes may be ultimately traced back to the views of Hindus sages in the Taittiriya Upanishad.

So the bottom line is that this debate is live and active in contemporary philosophy. I t woul d be nice to see how the ancient Indian developments in this area can help out.

People should read the experiments the King Prasenajit did to "localize" consciousness described in the Payasi Suttanta. Interesting to see how much thought HIndus had put into that at time.
  Reply
#45
Ancient Greek Philosophy

Nice and long article on Greek Philosophy. Useful data point while comparing Indian philosophy, perhaps....
  Reply
#46
<b>Yajur Veda online in Sanskrit</b> -pdf
  Reply
#47
The bhagavata purANa preserves the 5 anuShTubhs composed by glAva maitreya, the priest of the kurus, when he was asked about the atomic doctrine by vidura vaichitravIrya. It contains a clear exposition of the atomic doctrine. It is interesting that these openly vaisheShika mantras are preserved along side the more theistic formulation of the pa~ncharatra. It may also suggest the source for the elements of atomism in Tantric vaiShNavism.

maitreyovAcha :
caramaH sad-visheShANAm aneko .asaMyutaH sadA |
paramANuH sa viGYeyo nR^iNAm aikya bhramo yataH || 3.11.1

pada:
maitreyaH | uvAcha |
charamaH | sat | visheShANAm | anekaH | asaMyutaH | sadA | parama-aNuH | saH |
viGYeyaH | nR^iNAm | aikya | bhramaH | yataH

maitreya said:
The ultimate reality is know to be made of numerous particles, which are always elemental, called paramANu and it is an error of men to consider it seen [existance] as continuous

sata eva padArthasya svarUpAvasthitasya yat |
kaivalyaM parama-mahAn avisheSho nirantaraH | |3.11.2

pada:
sataH | eva | pada-arthasya | svarUpa| avasthitasya | yat | kaivalyam | parama | mahAn | avisheShaH | nirantaraH |

These particles indeed comprise all substances, but retain their structure, even if the substance transforms, these are the eternally unchanging, original, supreme, indivisible [existence].

evaM kAlo .apy anumitaH saukShmye sthaulye ca sattama |
saMsthAna-bhuktyA bhagavAn avyakto vyakta-bhug vibhuH || 3.11.3

pada:
evam | kAlaH | api | anumitaH | saukShmye | sthaulye | ca | sattama | saMsthAna | bhuktyA | bhagavAn | avyaktaH | vyakta-bhuk | vibhuH

O great [vidura], in the same way time also has its discrete divisions, which comprise its gross form and this can be measured by the movement and combination of particles; viShNu is that which is unmanifest, existing in movement and in potential.

sa kAlaH paramANur vai yo bhu~nkte paramANutAm |
sato .avisheSha-bhug yas tu sa kAlaH paramo mahAn || 3.11.4

pada:
saH | kAlaH | parama-aNuH | vai | yaH | bhu~nkte | parama-aNutAm | sataH | avisheSha-bhuk | yaH | tu | saH | kAlaH | paramaH | mahAn

Those discrete units of time, which are verily further indivisible, correspond to the time required by a paramANu to cover the space equivalent to a paramANu; this is verily the primal, supreme time.


aNur dvau paramANU syAt trasareNus trayaH smRtaH |
jAlArka-rashmy-avagataH kham evAnupatan agAt || 3.11.5

pada:
aNuH | dvau | parama-aNu | syAt | trasareNuH | trayaH | smRtaH | jAla | arka | rashmi | avagataH | kham | eva | anupatan | agAt

Two paramANus are combine to form an aNu, and 3 aNus combine to form a trasareNu*; the rays of light emerging from a mesh can make these [trasareNus] move up in empty space.

*This idea follows the nyAya pattern of akshapAda as opposed to that provided by kaNAda.
  Reply
#48
The foundations of sAmkhya atomism of the tantras
“मनोरूपेक्षु कोदण्डा पञ्च तन्मात्र सायका”
[manorUpekShu kodaNDA pa~ncha tanmAtra sAyakA]

1. In the original prakR^iti there is an equilibrium of tamas, rajas and sattva. The in-equilibrium in prakR^iti results in the separation of the three components. Of these the tamas separates out as infinitesimal units of mass or inertia. These may be acted upon by rajas, which is work or energy. These infinitesimals are known as bhUtAdi.

2. Then the infra-atomic unit potentials, the tanmAtras form. There are 5 of these: shabda: a vibratory potential; sparsha: impact/pressure potential; auShNya rUpa: heat and light potential; rasa: viscosity potential; gandha: cohesion potential.

3. Then the sthUlabhUta paramANu that comprise the bhUtas or the elemental Atoms emerge.

Now three 3 principal schemes for the emergence of the tanmAtras and paramANus are provided in the Hindu works:
1) The viShNu purANa preserves an ancient idea attributed to nArada:
-First the action of rajas on bhUtAdi causes it to disintegrate and emanate a particle that combines with the surrounding medium mahat to form the shabda tanmAtra.
-this shabda tanmAtra combines with the bhUtAdi to form the atom of AkAsha
-this atom then disintegrates due to rajas and combining with mahat forms a sparsha tanmAtra. This tanmAtra then combines with the bhUtAdi to form the vAyu atom.
-this process continues giving rise to the 5 tanmAtras and atoms. This is detailed in the ancient vyAsa bhAShya 14.4.
2) The tantric author of several gaNapatya works, kR^ishNapAda, in his tattvatrayavivaraNa describes an alternative theory attributed to an ancient parAshara.
-First the bhutAdi under the action of rajas gives rise to a shabda tanmAtra, this then gives rise to sparsha, which in turn to auShNya rUpa and thus in linear series up to gandha tanmAtra.
-The shabda tanmAtra surrounded by the bhutAdi particles in the medium of mahat gives rise to the AkAsha atom.
-The sparsha tanmAtra surrounded by the shabda tanmAtra in the medium of AkAsha atoms forms the vAyu atom.
-The rUpa tanmAtra surrounded by the sparsha tanmAtra in the medium of a vAyu atoms form a heat or light corpuscle. This continues on till the pR^ithivi atom is formed.

3) pata~njali provides another theory that is explained in the commentary, the yogavArttika.
-First the action of rajas on the bhutAdi infinitesimal gives rise to the shabda tanmAtra.
-This tanmAtra collocates and conjoins with bhutAdi and is acted upon by rajas to give rise to the sparsha tanmAtra.
-This then collocates and conjoins with bhutAdi and is acted upon by rajas to give the rasa tanmAtra. This process continues till the gandha tanmAtra emerges.
-the shabda tanmAtra then combines with bhUtAdi to form the AkAsha atom. Then the sparsha and shabda tanmAtras combine to form the vAyu atom. Then the shabda, sparsha and auShNya-rUpa tanmAtras combine to form the tejas atom. This continues till the pR^ithivi atom is formed.
Then in a master-stroke attributed to vyAsa himself, we are informed that even though the tanmAtra are only 5 their combinations, collocations and numbers as well as the combinations of the bhutAdi (tamas) and rajas components in an atom may differ from substance to substance. This results in the almost infinite molecular diversity seen in the universe as stated by vyAsa <one of the most important developments of the Hindu atomic theories>:
अयुत सिद्धावयवः संघातः परमाणुरिति | परमाणुः सामान्य विशेषात्मा अयुतसिद्धावयवभेधानुगतः समुदायः |
[ayuta siddhAvayavaH saMghAtaH paramANuriti | paramANuH sAmAnya visheShAtmA ayutasiddhAvayavabhedhAnugataH samudAyaH | sutras 44.3-4 of the bhAShya]

This lore was said to be taught by pa~nchashika asurAyana of the clan of the bharadvAjas. In his wanderings he lived with a woman kapilA to whom he imparted this lore. She had a disciple whom she named kapilaH. He embodied the work in his sutras, which inspired pata~njala and parAshara the vasiShTha. From the latter vyAsa acquired the lore.
  Reply
#49
The lotus of the Heart: A Summary of the Upanishads
  Reply
#50
That quote 'from the 'LalitA sahsranAma' is very much part of the shAkta-tantra:

'manorUpekShu kodandA pa~ncha tanmAtra sAyakA'
meaning
(Goddess lalitA holds) the ikShu-dhanu(sugarcane bow) which is the manas and has five arrows of the five tanmAtras (subtle elements: mental vision, taste, sound, touch, smell ).

A sugarcane bow is jointed and branches out at the top, quite apt imagery for the central nervous system made of spinal cord and the brain.

Both vedAnta and tantra borrowed ideas from sAMkhya but even shAktas accept one ultimate reality (shiva) and one power (shakti) behind the whole universe. sAMkhya on the other hand stopped at multitudes of puruShas. It was vedAnta which proposed that beyond all the multitudes of puruShas there is one single observer or self.

The main principals of sAMkhya are PuruSha the witness & prakR^iti of three gunas (sat, rajas, tamas). Disequilibrium in the gunas leads to all the deformations in the prakR^iti in the following order:

1. mahat-tatva (the great element)
2. ahaMkAra (ego)
4. buddhi (intellect)
4. manas (mind)
5. five tanmAtrAs (or sUkShma bhUta) (subtle elements)
6. five j~nanendriyas (sense organs)
7. five mahA-bhUtas (the gross elements)


This upside down order is quite curious and is specific to sAMkhya.

Normally one would say that the gross elements (mahA-bhUtas) create the sensations that then carried through the five senses (indriyAs) which are then perceived in their subtle form as five tanmAtras. Manas (sMkalpa-vikalpAtmaka) or mind decides what to look at and what to reject and what to pick out for forwarding to intellect or buddhi for determination (nishchayAtmikA buddhi). The ego or ahaMkAra is the element which puts in the sense of 'I' in the experience.

But in sAmkhya it is inverted. The first deformation of prakR^iti gives rise to mahat-tatva which is still pretty rich in sattvas-guna. Further deformations then cause the ego, intellect, the mind, the subtle tanmAtras. These tanmAtras then give rise to senosry organs, and the sensory organs then 'create' the gross elements.

This inverted version is quite interesting from a philosophical viewpoint. For example the question is whether gross elements crerate the perception or the perception creates the gross elements, goes to the heart of ontology versus epistemology.
  Reply
#51
I found this in my notes under the heading of sakshi. Did not know where to put this but felt an irresistble urge to share this bit of vedantic truism

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The centrality of the concept of Sakshi (Witness, Observer) in the Gita</span>

In the view of Swami Ranganathananda, the head of the Ramakrishna Mission, the two important problems which occupy the attention of Sri Krishna are <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>1. The nature of the self and 2. The problem of right conduct.</span> Bhagwan tackles the former first and disposes of the later afterwards.

In the realization of the deeper reality of the nature of the self, an important Vedantic conception is that of the Sakshin (witness or ultimate observer), as yet another attribute of the Atman. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The 2 important characteristics of the Sakshin are 1.detachment (vairagya) and 2. Universality (there are several terms embodying Universality and these are dealt with in the verses 2-17 to 2-20, as adjectives for atma such as avinashi – indestructible, ajaha-unchanging, nityaha-eternal, shaashwathaha-unchanging, puranaha-ever new, sarvagataha-all pervading,sthanuhu-unmoving, achalaha-unmovable, sanaatanaha –eternal
etc.).</span>
When Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that the true self is unborn, immortal, and eternal, he is referring to this Sakshin. See for instance the following stanzas

2-16 ( The Real and the Unreal – the truth seen by the seers of the essence0
13-22
15-10 (The self visible only to the eye of knowledge)
18-17 (freedom from ego permits one to do one’s duty without attachment (I am the agent)

13-22, captures the congruence between the ‘witness’ and the Atman

The highest spirit in this body,
Is called the witness, the consenter,
The supporter, the experiencer,
The great Lord,
And also the supreme spirit
  Reply
#52
Your website is informative and excellant.



Article by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief Technical Examiner to the Government of Kerela, Radhanivas, Thaliyal, Karmana, Trivandrum, 695 002, Kerela, India, may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary.

Bhagavad Gita and Management


by M.P. Bhattathiri


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna

Introduction

One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight. The Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting . It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The Bhagavad Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord. The Holy Gita has become a secret driving force behind the unfoldment of one's life. In the days of doubt this divine book will support all spiritual search.This divine book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey. What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.

There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field(jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal(bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge(karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph.




Management has become a part and parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort.

Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says t Management Gurus. It creates harmony in working together - equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.

"We're discovering that what we thought was fine, which was to be more efficient, harder working and richer, doesn't actually lead to the Nirvana we hoped for ... those who are making the most money are not sure it's worth it. Who wants to be rich in the graveyard? And those who aren't making any money think that the world doesn't make sense, because money is supposed to be the only thing worth having and they haven't got any."

“Tomorrow we are going to wake up in a world in which we all need to realise that we are condemned to freedom ... There is no escape. Institutions won't shoulder responsibility because they are in a state of confused flux. There is no church, no nation state, no market to rely on. There are no cut and dried values to use as escape tools ... we are faced with the prospect of taking charge of our own freedom ... responsibility for our own health, for our own education, for our own careers - responsibility for our own lives."

"The recent anti-capitalist protests indicate a growing frustration with the institutional arrangements currently in place. They also, largely, miss the point. Global market capitalism is not a political ideology. It is neither good or bad, right nor wrong - it just is."



Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita

There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing.

Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Efficiency is doing things right.
The general principles of effective management can be applied in every field, the differences being more in application than in principle. The Manager's functions can be summed up as:

Forming a vision
Planning the strategy to realise the vision.
Cultivating the art of leadership.
Establishing institutional excellence.
Building an innovative organisation.
Developing human resources.
Building teams and teamwork.
Delegation, motivation, and communication.
Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.
Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit - in search of excellence.

The critical question in all managers’ minds is how to be effective in their job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita, which repeatedly proclaims that “you must try to manage yourself.” The reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.

Old truths in a new context

The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.

The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

The management philosophy emanating from the West, is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian is inferior.

The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life - although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalisation of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.

The source of the problem

The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western idea of management centres on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work more, produce more, sell more and to stick to the organisation without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has become a hireable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.

Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product. In such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start using strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organisations. Society-at-large is damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests. There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to suspicion, friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organisational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.

Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people some of the time at least - but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many.

Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social, and indeed national, development.

Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.

Utilisation of available resources

The first lesson of management science is to choose wisely and utilise scarce resources optimally. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to the nature of the effective manager - the former chose numbers, the latter, wisdom.

Attitudes towards work

Three stone-cutters were engaged in erecting a temple. An HRD Consultant asked them what they were doing. The response of the three workers to this innocent-looking question is illuminating.

'I am a poor man. I have to maintain my family. I am making a living here,' said the first stone-cutter with a dejected face.
'Well, I work because I want to show that I am the best stone-cutter in the country,' said the second one with a sense of pride.
'Oh, I want to build the most beautiful temple in the country,' said the third one with a visionary gleam.
Their jobs were identical but their perspectives were different. What the Gita tells us is to develop the visionary perspective in the work we do. It tells us to develop a sense of larger vision in our work for the common good.

Work commitment

A popular verse of the Gita advises “detachment” from the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Being dedicated work has to mean “working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its own sake.” If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate of commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not detached. It is not “generating excellence for its own sake” but working only for the extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.

Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the quality of performance of the current job or duty suffers - through mental agitation of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.

Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work and actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains in discharging one's accepted duty, the Gita does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his or her responsibilities.

Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work itself. Attaining this state of mind (called “nishkama karma”) is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of attention through speculation on future gains or losses.

Motivation – self and self-transcendence

It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs of workers - adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in motivation. However, it is a common experience that the dissatisfaction of the clerk and of the Director is identical - only their scales and composition vary. It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimising his contribution to the organisation and society. But more often than not, it does not happen like that. (“The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below.”) On the contrary, a lowly paid schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher levels of self-actualisation despite poorer satisfaction of their lower-order needs.

This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, emphasising team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony and trust – and, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, the opposite of Maslow.

“Work must be done with detachment.” It is the ego that spoils work and the ego is the centrepiece of most theories of motivation. We need not merely a theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.

The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as "Gurudev") says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which is described as “disinterested work" in the Gita where Sri Krishna says,

“He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure.”

Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is determination to keep the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean "materialistic") pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of “nirdwanda.” This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organisational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement.

Work culture

An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in pursuit of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work culture – “daivi sampat” or divine work culture and “asuri sampat” or demonic work culture.

Daivi work culture - involves fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.
Asuri work culture - involves egoism, delusion, personal desires, improper performance, work not oriented towards service.
Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an excellent work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.

It is in this light that the counsel, “yogah karmasu kausalam” should be understood. “Kausalam” means skill or technique of work which is an indispensable component of a work ethic. “Yogah” is defined in the Gita itself as “samatvam yogah uchyate” meaning an unchanging equipoise of mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is Yoga.

(Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by the people of India as "Lokmanya," probably the most learned among the country's political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the word "Yoga", see foot of this page.)

By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born circa 800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one's duty is that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid shortcomings in future.

The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done is the Gita’s prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been held that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at the very root of work ethic. To the contrary, concentration on the task for its own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the true mental happiness of the worker. Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita’s principle leads us to the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.

The Gita further explains the theory of “detachment” from the extrinsic rewards of work in saying:

If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone.
If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.
The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability, the cause of the modem managers' companions of diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.

Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of “lokasamgraha” (general welfare) but there is also another dimension to the work ethic - if the “karmayoga” (service) is blended with “bhaktiyoga” (devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a “sevayoga" (service for its own sake.)

(This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider application. It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to serve others, to make the world a better place – ed.)

Manager's mental health

Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.

Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:

Greed - for power, position, prestige and money.
Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.
Egotism - about one's own accomplishments.
Suspicion, anger and frustration.
Anguish through comparisons.
The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fibre, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being “economical with the truth”, deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as “yayati syndrome”.

In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This “yayati syndrome” shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)

Management needs those who practise what they preach

“Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow,” says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.

In conclusion

The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna's mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call “anomie” or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of “dharma” (ethical action.)

When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action - not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.

Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, “No doer of good ever ends in misery.” Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded.All clouds will vanish. Light will fill the heart and mind. I assure him of this. This is the message of Holy Gita.

My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India's holistic attitude of “lokasangraha” - for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. (“Profit,” said Matsushita-san in another tradition, “is the reward of correct behaviour.” – ed.)



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M.P.Bhattathiri.


Let us go through what scholars say about Holy Gita.


"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work."

Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California


"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita."

Thomas Merton, Theologian


"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University


"As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."

Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris


"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University


"If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."

Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo


"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College


"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."

Denise Levertov, Poet


"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold."

Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago


"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary."

Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California


"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.
"Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."

Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France


"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico


"It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."

Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University


"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place."

Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris


"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous."

Albert Einstein


"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."

Mahatma Gandhi

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Henry David Thoreau

"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions."

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization."

Sri Aurobindo

"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita."

Carl Jung


"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe."

Prime Minister Nehru


"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."

Herman Hesse


"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it."

Rudolph Steiner


"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures."

Adi Shankara


"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity."

Aldous Huxley


"The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity."

Ramanuja

The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati


"The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers."

Madhvacarya

Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings. Lord Krishna is real Yogi who can maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis."


Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
  Reply
#53
1. Please know that God is within you.

2 God is infinite love and peace.

3. God is the eternal light and joy that shine the whole universe.

4. People should rise to the occasion to do their duty.

5. People should reach the height and glory of God’s supreme presence.

6. The feeling that I and mine should be given up and see every thing equal.

7. Have an elevated thinking.

8. Remember God in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end for all ventures.

9. Be humble, pure, simple, and innocent and God is yours.

10. God in the form of love reside in everybody’ heart and be conscious of this at all times

Then your thoughts, words and actions will be of love.

11. The light of God will always illuminate the heart and light only can be seen inside and outside.

12. Come out of the darkness of ignorance enter into the light of knowledge then only we can feel the presence of God the light of all lights.

13. Let all our actions be as per the directions of God within us.

14. Ego should be avoided to allow everything to be done at the will of God.

15. God is the only reality, truth, and live for God alone.

16. Detachment to perishable things and attachment to only God will give peace of mind.

17. Desire for material things is the cause for all sorrows.

18. Taking more than one’s requirement will ultimately give grief.

19. Acquire knowledge which can’t be stolen or lost.

20. Enjoy always the sunshine of God’s splendor and glory.

21. Remember always God and live in tune with him.

22. Be happy and calm in all situations.

23. See, hear, and speak only good things,

23. Serve the needy and sick wholeheartedly.

24. Total surrender to God will give peace of mind.

25. Remember always the God’s grace for all achievements..

26. Avoid self praise and say only good things about others.

27. See everybody with respect irrespective of caste color and creed.

28. Anger, lust and ego are the only enemies.

29. Purify the heart for the God to sit in.

30. There is no greater virtue than humility, no vice greater than pride.

31. Be sincere in all works, work is worship.

32. Make God your friend, philosopher and guide.

33. Don’t get dejected in failure and fall, God’s grace will be upon us.

34. Always you are one with God and different from Him.

35. Like a flower give always the perfume of love and joy.

36. Pray for the awareness that always you may be in Him and He in you.

37. Remember always that everything in the Universe belongs to God, nothing is ours

38. We have got this birth at the will of God and we are on our way to Him.

39. Know that our goal is to rest in peace with God.

40. Always remember that we are the immortal spirit.

41. Chanting the name of God will save us from fear, doubt and anxiety.

42. Supreme knowledge is ultimate devotion to God.

43. What ever we do will be seen by the God.

44. Overeating, earning money by unlawful means, desire for others property are our weakness.



45 .We are all safe in the hands o god.

46. God manifesting Himself as a person; the object of worship of the bhaktas. By worshipping God as a person, devotees are able to assume human-like relationships with God, for example: God as parent, devotee as child; God as Lord, devotee as servant. It is also much easier for many people to develop love toward God when He is regarded as a person. Such love is capable of triggering a spiritual awakening once it is a pure, selfless love.

47. In this kaliyuga Chant always the name of God.

48. God can assume any form to protect the devotees.

49. To serve the devotees is equal to serve the God.

50.Awake, arise and do your duty justifiably . God will be always with you.
  Reply
#54
The list given is for those who accept a Personal God. Strict Kevala Advaitins will not accept the list. A more inclusive statement of the essence of Hindu scriptures will be:

"Attain chittasuddhi, experience Perfection and be free. Freedom is the goal."

The different Vedantic sects differ on the means to attain chittasuddhi, on the definition of Perfection and when exactly freedom (Mukti) can be attained. However, they will all agree with the statement given in quotes. Actually even Buddhist and Jains will agree.
  Reply
#55
Something interesting about this new theory about Universe with Snatani Idea...

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3077357/
  Reply
#56
I cama cross this exposition on the Gayatri Mantra, one of the oldest mantras in the Sanatan Dharma

http://wahiduddin.net/mantra/gayatri.htm

Interestingly the author is a Muslim. Now if most HIndus had as good an understanding of the gayatri mantra as this gentleman, surely we would have a much more intelligent discourse on public issues in India today.

Introduction:

The Gâyatrî Mantra is first recorded in the Rig Veda (iii, 62, 10) which was written in Sanskrit about 2500 to 3500 years ago, and by some reports, the mantra may have been chanted for many generations before that.

The word Gâyatrî (mw352) is a combination of Sanskrit words, although there is some disagreement in various texts about the exact derivation.

One suggestion is that the word Gâyatrî is made from these two words:
- gâyanath (mw352) what is sung, giving of praise
- trâyate ( mw457, root trai) preserves, protects, gives deliverance, grants liberation

Another viewpoint suggests that the roots are:
- gaya (mw348) vital energies
- trâyate ( mw457, root trai) preserves, protects, gives deliverance, grants liberation

The word Mantra (mw785) means instrument of thought, sacred text, or a prayer of praise.

So, the two words "Gâyatrî Mantra" might be translated as: a prayer of praise that awakens the vital energies and gives liberation.

And indeed, this is such a prayer.


The Use of Mantra:

Sri Aurobindo, in Hymns to the Mystic Fire, wrote:

"We have to invoke the gods by the inner sacrifice, and by the word call them unto us - that is the specific power of the Mantra, - to offer to them the gifts of the sacrifice and by that giving secure their gifts, so that by this process we may build the way of our ascent to the goal... We give what we are and what we have in order that the riches of the Divine Truth and Light may descend into our life."

In his book Sâdhanâ, Srî Swâmi Shivânanda wrote:

"Of all the mantras, the supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gâyatrî Mantra.

It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. It is only one's faith and purity of heart that really count. Indeed, Gâyatrî is an impregnable spiritual armor, a veritable fortress, that guards and protects its votary, that transforms him into the divine, and blesses him with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.

... It is universally applicable, for it is nothing but an earnest prayer for Light, addressed to the Supreme Almighty Spirit.

... This single mantra, repeated sincerely and with clear conscience, brings the supreme good."


The Invocation:

Chanting of the Gâyatrî Mantra is often prefaced with either a short invocation or a long invocation and is often followed with a closing.

The following are examples of two common invocations. In either of the invocations, we begin the recitation of the Gâyatrî Mantra with an invocation using the sacred symbol Om to acknowledge and pay homage to the One who is beyond name and form.

- Short Invocation:

This invocation is acknowledging and joyously celebrating that Om is bhûr, Om is bhuvas, Om is suvaha... Om is everything.

The terms bhûr, bhuvas, suvaha (mahâ vyâhritis) are invocations to honor the planes of our existence and to call to our aid the presiding deities of the three planes in which we live our ordinary life: the physical, astral and mental planes.

The three lokas (bhûr, bhuvas, suvaha) are the bîja (seed) mantrams of the devatâs called Agni, Vâyu and Âditya who are being invoked to assist in our transformation. (See Chandogya Upanishad (IV, xvii, 1-3) and (II, xxiii, 3)).

Then Prajâpati reflected on the three lokas and from this reflection was born OM. As veins pervade all leaves, so Om pervades all sound. Verily all this is Om! Verily all this is Om!

Chandogya Upanishad (II, xxiii, 3)

The short preamble is simply these four words:

om
bhûr
bhuvas
suvaha

click here to hear Sai Baba chant the Gayatri with short invocation.

The Sanskrit character that is transliterated as bh is a very earthy sound that virtually explodes from the diaphragm. Listen carefully to the Sai Baba recording. To learn to make this sound, try saying "who" while sharply pulling in the abdominal muscles and forcing the diaphragm upward.... then add the "b" sound and do the same with bhûr (pronounced "bhoor").

(Please see the notes below regarding spelling and pronunciation of Sanskrit words)


- Long Invocation:

As with the shorter version, this invocation is a recognition that there are many worlds, all empowered by the nameless, formless, birthless, deathless which is symbolized by om.... om is everything.

These seven lines of the long invocation are the seven lokas, or planes, of existence, and are used not only to recognize and honor the planes of existence, but also to call the presiding deities of those planes to aid in our transformation and realization:

om bhûhû
om bhuvaha
om suvaha
om mahaha
om janaha
om tapaha
om satyaM

click here to hear Sreedevi Bringi chant the Gayatri with long invocation.

This magnificent chant by Sreedevi Bringi is done in the ancient, traditional Vedic manner which has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.

The seven lokas, may be briefly described as:

bhûhû - earth, the physical world
bhuvaha - astral/desire/breath, the world of becoming
suvaha - mental, the world of thinking
mahaha - causal, silent mind, the world of emotion
janaha - world of creative generation
tapaha - world of intuition
satyaM - world of Absolute Truth

This recital of the lokas begins with the gross, physical world filled with separation and differences and then each, in sequence, becomes more refined, more transcendent, more unified, more all-encompassing.

The recitation of the lokas, done with intent and clarity, prepares one for the chanting of the Gâyatrî Mantra by harmonizing and attuning one with all the worlds.



Body of the Gâyatrî Mantra:

The body of the Gâyatrî Mantra is written as:



The transliterated text is:

om tat savitur vareNyaM

bhargo devasya dhîmahi

dhiyo yo nah prachodayât


Swâmi Shivânanda's translation of the Gâyatrî Mantra is:

We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who has created the Universe;
Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance;
May He enlighten our Intellect.

A succinct and delightful translation by S. Krishnamurthy is:

We meditate upon the radiant Divine Light
of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness;
May it awaken our intuitional consciousness.


Here's a simple word-by-word translation:

Om - Om (Brahman, the One, the Godhead, Supreme Deity)

tat - that (referring to Savitri, Paramatma, God)

savitur - (mw1190) - Savitri, the Spiritual Sun (that from which all is born), the One Light, the all-pervading Consciousness

O nourishing Sun, solitary traveler, controller, source of life for all creatures, spread your light and subdue your dazzling splendor so that I may see your blessed Self. Even that very Self am I!

Isa Upanishad (16)

vareNyaM - most excellent, adorable, fit to be worshipped, venerable, worthy of being sought

bhargo - (mw748) - radiance, effulgence, splendor (the light that bestows understanding)

devasya - divine, of the deity

dhîmahi - we meditate upon... or may we meditate upon

dhiyo - prayer, noble thoughts, intuition, understanding of Reality (buddhis)

yo - he who, the one who

nah - our, of us

prachodayât - may he energize, direct, inspire, guide, unfold... or he who energizes, directs, inspires, guides, unfolds

(Please see the notes below regarding spelling and pronunciation of Sanskrit words, as well as the grammatical ambiguity of dhîmahi and prachodayât.))


Short Closing:

bhûr bhuvas suvar om

This simple closing phrase is magnificent, and is a powerful meditation all by itself, a joyous and humbling panoramic sweep from the initial earthy, lower chakra "bh" sound gradually becoming ever finer, transcending all the worlds, and culminating in the nameless, formless essence.



and there is more.
  Reply
#57
Got it via email from my Guru

*********************************************************************
ESSENCE OF DOING PADAPUJA


"Rama! Krishna!! Hari!!!"


"So have you contemplated on Padapuja? What is it that you have understood?"


'It is a symbol of our complete surrender to our Guru.'

"So what will you get by doing it?"

Our ego will be destroyed and we can get Gnana.

"Good! Why do you worship the feet? Why not eyes, nose or any other part of the body? Even the mind or heart?"

'We cannot see a Gnani eye to eye. We worship the feet since they help us in reaching our destination whenever we want to go anywhere. It helps us in meeting our goals of life.'

"Yes, the feet are used as tool to reach the destination. Here it represents for reaching the Ultimate destination, meeting the Ultimate purpose of life. How do you do Pada puja?"

'We carry a lamp in procession and then see the Guru Padukas with the help of the light of the lamp as a symbol of removing our agnana, the darkness.'

"Yes. Guru helps us to remove our agnana and shows us the right path and the light to reach our true destination. 'Gu' stands for showing Light. 'Ru' stands for removing darkness. He makes you to bring Light in form of your attention from outside to inside. So that's what you do. You go in a procession with a light to all other places, but finally come back near the padukas. In Samsar also you touch the feet of your elders to show your respect to them since they train you, coach you and guide you. They show you the steps. Then what do you do?"

'We perform abhisheka to the padukas. First ahbisheka is performed to padukas using milk followed by curd, panchamritam, fruit juice, sandal paste, vibhuthi etc., then the padukas are decorated with Sandal Paste, kumkum and Garlands of flowers. Then archana with 108 names of Guru is done. Then we offer Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedyam, Karpoor (Camphor) Arathi and Pushpanjali.'

"Good! Why do we use milk first? Do you know? Milk is the essence even though it has water as substrate. By offering milk, we acknowledge this fact that milk is separate from water. It is a symbolic act representing use of Vivek, one's ability to discern and discriminate the real from unreal, truth from illusion. Next what? "

Next curd is used.'

What is curd?"


'Curd is milk in coagulated form. By churning it one can obtain butter.'


"Yes. Curd is a different appearance of milk. Milk becomes curd, butter and ghee. Similarly water becomes ice and steam. Water also appears as wave and foam. So these appearances keep on changing. One need to investigate what is the common denominator amidst the manifold appearances? By offering curd, we are reminded of That Unchanging amidst changes. That is PARAM, the TRUTH. What is next?"

'Panchamrita is used next.'

"Yes. Amrita is used for what?"

'Amrita is used for attaining Immortality.'

"Immortality of what?"

'It is for the sustenance of life in the physical body.'

"Yes you are right. It represents sustenance of functioning of five sense organs - indriyas. By doing Panchamrita Abhisheka one is reminded that the experiences felt by these five indriyas are not true but they are illusory and unreal. Whatever you see through your inner eyes as vision they are also not true. Next what?"

'We offer fruit or lemon juice, cocoanut water.'

"Yes. Honey also is used. Basically honey is juice of various flowers. The way lemon juice is juice of lemon, fruit juice is juice of respective fruit, and coconut water is juice of coconut. Similarly mind is the primary sense and is juice of the other five senses. One has to understand from this that even the experiences of mind are admixture of sensory experiences obtained in the past, at present or that anticipated in the future. So these experiences are equally illusory and hence unreal. Next what?"

'Sandal Paste.'

"What does it indicate?"

'Fragrance.'

"Along with fragrance there is a golden hue. Is it not?"

'Yes.'

"But this golden hue represents reflected light, reflected through Chitta. When the light is reflected through the chitta which is not pure, then the reflected light is also contaminated and not pure light. So that colored hue after reflection is not real. It is like an image reflected in a mirror which is not real but just an image. Similarly the fragrance that you experience through your nose is also reflected one and is not real. In the higher stage of silence, one experiences Divine visions and Divine fragrances. These too are noble imprints of past life reflecting from the inner layers of Chitta, once the gross impure layers of Chitta get purified. But these Siddhis are also equally unreal and need to be discarded. Next what?"

'We use Vibhuti next.'

"Yes. Vibhuti is white. When there is no taint of any color, you get white radiation. White represents pure sattva devoid of Rajas and Tamas. Then True Light is reflected as it is with no distortion. The white color is due to the reflector. This reflector also has to be ultimately dropped off. In final act of abhisheka, we wash out the bibhuti also. Is not it? Then what is left out is the padukas as they ARE without any taint or impurity. They are left in pure and pristine state, with a hue of COLORLESS COLOR."

"Then you offer dhupa, deepa, and karpur. It represents evolving stages of a devotee. First he is in a gross state like an incense stick. Even being lit by Guru (match stick), the flame shuts off immediately due to grossness. But it keeps on burning and in the process converts itself into ashes and fragrance. This is the stage of discernment, discriminating real from unreal."

"Burnt by the fire of discrimination, the devotee transforms himself into a wick in the lamp. His stock of contemplative devotion is like oil. Now when Guru lights the lamp, it keeps on burning as long as oil is there. The wick is more subtle than oil but it needs continuous pouring of oil in form of devotion."


"Then in the third stage, the devotee transforms himself into a piece of camphor. Now when Guru lights him, it catches fire immediately and after offering light vanishes along with the fire. This is the stage when there is no trace of grossness (EGO) in the devotee. It transforms itself into a potential spark of a match stick. Now it has merged into the status of the Guru and can light other incense sticks, wicks, and camphor slabs."


"Now I will tell you deeper meaning behind padukas. Have you ever traveled in a train?"

'Yes.'


"What do you see outside through the window while traveling?"

'We see that the external objects are moving and we are static in one place, even though we are moving and the external objects are stationary.'

"Good! Similarly you feel that the ground is static and you are moving from one place to another place due to the effects of Maya. Have you ever thought that it is the earth which is moving at great speed and not you?"


'No.'


"You are There where you are. Understanding this is Jivan Mukti."


"Whenever you want to go to any place, either you walk or go by train/bus/ air-plane. You make all sorts of effort and use all sorts of vehicles to reach the destination. You are restless till you reach your desired destination."


"But once you reach your home, the tension melts away and you are so relaxed. You do not take any psychological burden and effort whether you sit or walk or do anything when you are inside your home. Is it not? Though you are doing something or other, still you do not feel the burden of any effort. Because you feel that you have reached home and you are in a safe and secured state. Others who are watching you may feel that still you are active and taking great effort in carrying out various domestic chores. But you don't feel so. You get a feel of 'inaction in action', without undue psychological burden.

This psychological detachment is True Sannyasa, not the outward show. Pada puja done with true understanding and bhava leads to True Sannyasa and ultimately to Jivan Mukti."

"It is like a bud blossoming into a fragrant flower. Is there any effort or any struggle on the part of the bud for this blossoming? No, is not it? Because it knows that the tree with which it is connected is supporting it with life force. It just surrenders to the tree and lives a spontaneous life of no expectation. A bud never aspires to be the most beautiful or most fragrant flower. It does not aspire that the most handsome butterfly comes in its life. Under the care of the tree, it is not bothered and so it is not affected by storm or heat of the Sun or rain. But others think that it takes lot of efforts on the part of the bud to burst into a flower."


"So also while doing Pada Puja externally using various items, you have to think internally the symbolic meaning behind each step and thus by going deep and deep inside, you can establish the connection with the Life Force of TRUTH and that is Jeevan Mukti."


"Jeevan Muktas do everything spontaneously without taking any effort. Once you attain this state, then you can do everything effortlessly. They have reached their Home. It does not matter for them either to do or not do. They transcend both action and inaction. Here the Padukas represent the Absolute. You are in your Real Home and so no struggle or striving is required to go anywhere. Feet remain static and that is why feet are worshipped in Pada Puja. You have surrendered and your padukas are entrenched in the TRUTH. You need to understand this. It is the essence behind doing Pada Puja. So you need to do Pada Puja with proper understanding, instead of doing it as a mechanical ritual. Then only it will help you for your spiritual progress and evolution."

"Om Namo Narayanaya!"

***************************************************************************
  Reply
#58
I am not sure if this is the right thread to put my thoughts/philosophy of religion.

I believe there are 2 kinds of Gods.
God#1 is the God we worship. God associated with religion. His existence is purely based on faith. It does not matter, what we believe about this god or prophets are factual or not. Weather Mohammad really met an angel, weather Christ really resurrected, Weather Hanuman really tear his chest open to show Ram and Sita, does not matter. The actual occurrence of these events does not matter. These stories/events were passed down from generation to generation to generate love, respect and following of these Gods/Prophets, so that people may stay attached to them and thus, to everyone else who believe in these Gods/Prophets. This God#1 is nothing but the nucleus required to hold a society together. Affinity towards this God#1 holds people of a society together. That is the only role of this God. He is not responsible/capable of directly effecting any physical change in the life of us humans. He is not responsible/capable for rewarding or punishing humans. God#1, or rather what a religion tells us about God#1, gives us motivation, morals, guidelines and direction in life. Religion is nothing but Social constitution. Social constitution (religion) is required to have people behave in orderly and organized fashion. God#1(or belief in God#1) is required to validate this Social Constitution.

God#2 is the real GOD. He is the one responsible for real physical change in life of humans and world around him. He is the actual creator of the world and everything in it. He is the ‘know all’ and ‘do all’. To know him is to know ‘the truth’. When you would discover this God (God#2) you will understand the past and can predict the future. When you will completely unravel this God (God#2) you will become God your self. Who is this God#2 you say? Well he is, MATHAMATICS… PATTERN. Every thing in this world occurs in a pattern. The most random looking occurrence could be explained by some equation or pattern. Each pattern is a part of another pattern which is a part of another pattern. Just like cogs of a watch. When you find the master pattern you can predict ever other pattern. When you find the master pattern/rhythm you can predict and perhaps change the future.
  Reply
#59
Nyaya: Gangesa Misra and others.

Gangesa Misropadhyaya deals with 64 methods of logic in his Tattvacintamani. Since we were taxing our brains with philosophical questions, let me tell you a story, the story of Gangesa.

Gangesa was dull-witted in his youth. He belonged to a "kulina" Brahmin community of Bengal. "Kulina" means one from a good "kula" or clan. It was a custom in Bengal to give away a number of "inferior" Brahmin girls in marriage to young men born in "kulina" families. A kulina would sometimes take more than fifty wives. Gangesa had only one wife and he lived with his in-laws. Who would give away more than one girl in marriage to a dull fellow?

Bengalis eat fish. Six months in a year the whole land is inundated. There is no place then to grow vegetables. So during these months Bengalis eat fish. In the eastern parts of Bengal fish is called "jala-puspa" and regarded as a vegetable.

Fish was regularly cooked in the house of Gangesamisra's in-laws. People would call him "Ganga". Since he was slow-witted he was thought to deserve only the bones of fish at mealtime. Others were served the flesh and everybody would make fun of him. Gangesa, unintelligent though he was, could not stand it any more. One day he ran away from home, went to Kasi without telling anyone. Nobody bothered about it at home. "Let the stupid fellow go wherever he likes, " they told themselves.

Many years passed. One day, Gangesa returned home. People thought that he must still be an idiot. When he sat down to eat he was as usual served the bones of fish. Thereupon Gangesa exclaimed "Na'ham Ganga kintu Gangesamisrah" (I am not Ganga but Gangesamisra). Were he still the the dim-witted Ganga of the past it would have been all right to serve him the bones. Now there is a "Misra" tagged on to his name. It meant that he had returned home with a qualification or a title, that he was now a learned man. The message was brief but clear.

The in-laws realised that Ganga was now a great man. It was the same Gangesamisra who later wrote the Tattvacintamani. Many have written commentaries on it. The one by Raghunathasiromani is called Dhitti. It was after his time that the title "Siromani" came into use. Gadadhara has written a big tome to comment on ten sentences of Tattvacintamani, and not one sentence of it is superfluous. If a student reads five arguments presented in Gadadhari (Gadadhara's work) he would become a wise man; if he studies ten, he would be wiser still. Pramanya-vada is dealt with in it and it is believed that he who studies it will be brighter than all others. Gadadhari is still read by students of logic.

To explain pramanya-vada is to tax one's brain. But during the time of our Acarya even parakeets, it is believed, were capable of discussing it. (Arguments about pramanas is pramana-vada. )

Sankara Bhagvatpada went to Mahismati, the home town of Mandanamisra, where he happened to see women carrying water to their homes from the river. He asked one of them about Mandanamisra's house. In that city even ordinary women were learned. So their reply to the Acarya's question came in verse. Here is one of the stanzas from it:

<b><i>Svatah pramanam paratah pramanam
Kirangana yatra ca sangiranti
Dvarastha nidantara sanniruddhah
Janihi tan-Mandanapanditaukah</i></b>

From such incidents we know how wrong it is to say that in olden days only men in India were educated and that the women were condemned to remain unlettered. Not only females of the human species, even birds- in the present case "young parakeet women" (kiranganas)- discussed philosophy. " When you come to the doorstep of that house where the female parakeets discuss svatah-pramana and paratah-pramana, know that house to be that of Mandanamisra, " is what the women said to Sankara.

Svatah-pramana and paratah-pramana are part of the pramanya-vada I spoke to you about earlier. Let us now try to have some idea of this vada. An interesting story comes to mind.

A Southerner went to Navadvipa in Bengal to learn logic. Most of the logicians in the country were then in Bengal. This Southerner who went there was a poet. Through his poetry he had earned a small fortune. Tarka was too tough for him and he could not make head or tail of it. All his efforts to study it were in vain. In the bargain he lost his poetic muse and now he had also spent all his money. If he had retained his poetic talent he could have still earned some money. With the little poetic talent left in him he lamented thus:"Namah pramanya-vadayah mat-kavitvah paharine" (I bow to pramanya-vada that has robbed me of my poetic talent).

Let us briefly examine the pramanya-vada which the parakeets were discussing.

When we see an object we form a certain idea of it. Some kinds of knowledge are right and some, wrong. When we see a piece of glass we may think it to be sugar-candy. This is wrong knowledge. Right knowledge is "prama", wrong knowledge is "brahma". Then there is "samsaya-jnana" as well as "niscaya-jnana". "Samsaya-jnana" is knowledge about which we have doubts and "niscaya-jnana" is knowledge of which we feel certain. Sometimes, though our knowledge of an object (as we see it) is wrong, we think it to be right. An example is that of glass being mistaken for sugar-candy. Then there is the case of our perception of an object being recognised to be wrong at the very time we see it. For example, a tree seen reflected upside down in a pond: this is "apramana". At the very moment of our recognition an object we have two kinds of knowledge about it -pramana and apramana. What seems true to us at the very moment of our seeing an object is "pramanya-graha-jnana"; and what seems untrue at such a moment is "apramanya-graha-askandhikajnana". In brahma too as in prama there is pramana-jnana. That is why when we mistake glass for sugar-candy our knowledge seems pramana.

When an object appears to be true (pramana) or false (apramana), is the perception subjective(arising out of ourselves) or objective (arising from the object itself)? If it is subjective it is "svatah-pramana"; if objective "paratah-pramana". The parakeets in Mandanamisra's house were discussing these two pramanas.

Whether our perception is pramana or apramana is not a subjective matter. It is dependent on the quality of the object perceived. It is only when we know its usefulness in practice that we can confirm whether our perception is right or wrong. This is the view of Nyaya- whether our perception is right or wrong is objective. The view of Mandanamisra and other mimamsakas is the opposite. Mandanamisra's view is this: certainty about jnana is dependent on the jnana itself. But that our jnana is apramana is dependent on the outside object. "Pramanyam svatah; apramanyam paratah".

The word "vada" itself is nowadays wrongly taken to mean stubbornly maintaining that one's view is right. As a matter of fact it truly means finding out the truth by weighing one's view against one's opponent's. It was in this manner that Sankara held debates with scholars like Mandanamisra and it was only after listening to the other man's point of view that he arrived at non-dualism as the ultimate Truth. Vada means an exchange of thoughts, not a refusal to see the other man's point of view. To maintain that one's view of a subject is the right one without taking into account the opinion of others is "jalpa", not vada. There is a third attitude. It is to have no point of view of one's own and being just contrary: it is called "vitanda".

Nyaya received a new impetus, particularly in Bengal, after the dull-witted Gangesa, having blossomed into a great intellect, returned from Kasi, that is from the 12th century onwards; and it became to be called "Navya-Nyaya", "navya" meaning new. The is also another reason for this name. Gangesa and others who came after him belonged to Navadvipa in Bengal. The area is now called "Nadiad". Sri Krsna Caitanya belonged to Navadvipa. He was a great scholar, a master of many sastras and had the name of Krsna always on his lips. He propagated bhakti, especially through bhajana(singing the praises if the Lord) as the path to liberation.

Nyaya holds that the world is real (not Maya), that the Paramatman is different from the individual self. Even so it was opposed to atheism and established the existence of Isvara. Besides it laid the foundations for the path leading us to Advaita.

Nyaya is an Upanga of the Vedas and is highly intellectual in character. Puranas come next in the fourteen branches of learning (caturdasa-vidya) but they are dismissed by educated people as a product of superstition.
  Reply
#60
Sunder,

Nice writeup on Gangesha!

I had a book on analysis of Gangesha's navya-nyAya, and I started to read it but didn't complete. All I remember is being very impressed.

Just a couple of comments:

1. pramANa-vAda sounds very much like epistemology.

2. Where he uses the dual of 'pramA' as right knowledge and 'brahma' as wrong knowledge, I think brahma is wrongly spelled. It should be "bhrama". As brahma and bhrama are poles apart! (like brahma and mAyA). Reminded me of a nice gentleman from Punjab who used to pronounce brahma as bhrama, which put me into a bit of confusion at first. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
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