God is too big to fit into any one religion.
“We work hard to disown the parts of our lives that were painful, difficult, or sad. But just as we can’t rip chapters out of a book and expect the story to still make sense, so we cannot rip chapters out of our past and expect our lives to still make sense. Keep every chapter of your life intact, and keep on turning the pages. Sooner or later you’ll understand why every scene, every chapter was needed.”Sandra Kring
“Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net’s every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite. The Hua’yen school [of Buddhism] has been fond of this image, mentioned many times in its literature, because it symbolizes a cosmos in which there is an infinitely repeated interrelationship among all the members of the cosmos. This relationship is said to be one of simultaneous mutual identity and mututal intercausality.”
~ Francis H. Cook, Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra
Also see: Atharva Veda 8.8.8
Some three thousand years ago or more, this ancient numinous
image of the Cosmos was first expressed in the sacred Indian text of the
Atharvaveda and termed Indra’s net; it was the means by which the Vedic
deity Indra, god of the heavens, created the appearance of the whole
world. Now, its revelation of integral reality and self-reflection at all
scales of existence is being rediscovered and restated in a less poetic but
equally majestic and scientifically based language.
Jude Currivan, The Cosmic Hologram
There are several aspects of Indra’s Net, that signify it as a crystal clear allegory of reality:
- The Holographic Nature of the Universe
Long before the existence of the hologram, the jeweled net is an excellent description of the special characteristic of holograms: that every point of the hologram contains information regarding all other points. This reflective nature of the jewels is an obvious reference to this.
This kind of analogy has been suggested by science as a theory for an essential characteristic of the cosmos, as well as as the functioning of the human brain, as beautifully described inThe Holograpic Universe by Michael Talbot.
- The Interconnectedness of All Thingss
When any jewel in the net is touched, all other jewels in the node are affected. This speaks to the hidden interconnectedness and interdependency of everything and everyone in the universe, and has an indirect reference to the concept of “Dependent Origination” in Buddhism. Additionally, Indra’s Net is a definitive ancient correlate of Bell’s Theorum, or the theory of non-local causes.
- Lack of a substantive self
Each node, representing an individual, simply reflects the qualities of all other nodes, inferring the notion of ‘not-self’ or a lack of a solid and real inherent self, as seen in the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism and Buddhism in general.
Indra’s Net shoots holes in the assumption or imputation of a solid and fixed universe ‘out there’. The capacity of one jewel to reflect the light of another jewel from the other edge of infinity is something that is difficult for the linear mind, rational mind to comprehend. The fact that all nodes are simply reflections indicates that there is no particular single source point from where it all arises.
- Innate Wisdom
The ability to reflect the entirety of all light in the universe attests to the inherent transcendant wisdom that is at the core of all nodes, representing all sentient beings, and to the inherent Buddha Nature.
- Illusion or Maya
The fact that all nodes are simply a reflection of all others implies the illusory nature of all appearances. Appearances are thus not reality but a reflection of reality.
- Universal Creativity
A familiar concept in various high dharmas is one of an impersonal creative intelligence that springs forth into reality through the instruments of all living beings.
- The Mirror-like Nature of Mind
The capacity to reflect all things attests to the mind being a mirror of reality, not its basis. This is a common thesis among various schools and religions.
“There is one only defect in forgiving persons, and not another; that defect is that people take a forgiving person to be weak. That defect, however, should not be taken into consideration, for forgiveness is a great power. Forgiveness is a virtue of the weak, and an ornament of the strong. Forgiveness subdues all in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? What can a wicked person do unto him who carries the saber of forgiveness in his hand? Fire falling on a grassless ground is extinguished of itself. And unforgiving individual defiles himself with many enormities. Righteousness is the one highest good, and forgiveness is the one supreme peace; knowledge is one supreme contentment; and benevolence, one sole happiness.”Vidura speaking in Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata (Parva 5 Chapter 33)
Samkhya postulate: The potential to bring about an effect exists in the cause.
When we are aware of something which begins to be, we are by the necessity of our intelligence, constrained to believe that it has a cause. But what does the expression, that it has a cause, signify? If we analyse our thought, we shall find that it simply means, that as we cannot conceive any new existence to commence, therefore, all that now is seen to arise under a new appearance had previously an existence under a prior form. We are utterly unable to realise in thought the possibility of the complement of existence either increased or diminished. We are unable on the one hand, to conceive nothing becoming somethingSir William Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics XXXIX
or on the other something becoming nothing. There is thus conceived an absolute tautology between the effect and its causes. We think the causes to contain all that is contained in the effect; the effect to contain nothing which was not contained in the causes.
This post lists 200+ ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Sanatana Dharma. This list is the tip of an iceberg and is short summary of the primary scriptures.
Sanatana Dharma or Hindu Dharma is based on several sources of knowledge in contrast to some other religions which are based on a single or few books.
Some sources attribute Sanatana Dharma to 80,000 years ago to a time before writing was invented. Sages from ancient times understood the nature and secrets of the universe in their meditative states and transmitted them verbally. This process of a realized sage speaking the truth by oral transmission was Shruti – meaning “of sound”. The spoken word, thus transmitted, had to be committed to memory and subsequently written down with numerous commentaries clarifying the original. This retaining of the transmitted knowledge was Smriti – meaning “of memory”
Sanatana Dharma, the eternal faith, was the way of life of people of Bharat. In the past 3000 or so years, the European and Arab invaders coined the terms India and Hinduism. In the name of religion and conquests, a substantial amount of the knowledge accumulated in the Indian subcontinent over a period of several millenia was destroyed by invaders.
Sanatana Dharma is based on the practice of eternal universal harmony which is encoded into life itself and and has no known single human founder. It arises from the collective wisdom several ancient sages who experienced different elevated states of consciousness and joyously expounded the greater truths about the nature of universe and life that were revealed to them.
Though reading of the scriptures of Sanatana Dharma would not directly lead a person to self-realization, the teachings of the seers provide a basis and a path for spirituality. Despite being the oldest religion, the truth realized by the seers proves that the truth and path provided by Hinduism is beyond time. Hinduism is more a way of life than a religion. Key principles of all religions of the world have similiarities to Hinduism. Many religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism emerged from it and preserve the Hindu knowledge in a different manner.
The values of peace, non violence and compassion emphasized by the Hindu way of life also make it defenseless and vulnerable to destruction. As Hinduism does not have a mechanism of propagation like Christianity and Islam, both of which are well-organized, funded and even violence-oriented, it has been helpless in stopping the destruction of the scriptures and the Sanskrit language.
Given the continuous deterioration of Sanskrit and the knowledge of the ancient eternal scriptures, every Hindu must at least develop an awareness of the scriptures.
Primary texts of Sanatana Dharma include 4 Vedas, 16 Brahmanas, 4 Aranyakas, 108 Upanishads, 6 Vedangas, 5 Upavedas, 18 Mahapuranas, 18 Upapuranas, 6 Darsanas, 18 Smritis and 2 Ithihasas.
The oldest and the most important scriptures of Sanathana Dharma are the Vedas. Veda means knowledge. Vedas are apauruseya, which means they are not attributable to human knowledge. The Vedas are known as the revealed Truths. Vedas are the recordings of the revelations received through transcendental experiences of the Rishis of ancient India. Vedic knowledge is considered to be flawless.
Maharshi Vyasa divided the Vedas into four, Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva in order to expand them among men.
The Rig-Veda Samhita is the grandest and oldest book of the Hindus. Its immortal mantras embody the greatest truths of existence and its priest is called the Hotri. The Rigveda contains 10,552 verses divided into 64 chapters. Besides that it has got twenty-five branches written by several Rishis. The Rig-veda contains the most sacred Gayatri mantra.
Its name is derived from the root word ‘yaj’ meaning worship. The term for sacrifice i.e. yajna is also derived from here. It primarily deals with the procedural details for performing different yajnas
There are two distinct Yajur Veda Samhitas, the Shukla Yajur Veda or Vajasaneyi Samhita and the Krishna Yajur Veda or Taittireya Samhita. The Krishna or the Taittireya is the older book and the Sukla or the Vajasaneyi is a later revelation to sage Yajnavalkya from the resplendent Sun God. About half of the Yajur-Veda are composed of verses taken from the Rig-Veda. They are arranged according to their importance in various rituals. The remaining part (mainly prose) deals with the formulae for performing the yajna, external as well as internal. The famous Rudra hymns belong to the Krishna Yajur Veda. The Yajur-Veda contains 1875 verses. Besides that it has got one hundred and eight branches.
The Sama-Veda Samhita is mostly borrowed from the Rig-vedic Samhita, and is meant to be sung by the Udgatri, the Sama-vedic priest, in sacrifices. ‘Sama’ means peace. Accordingly this Veda contains chants to bring peace to the mind. Many of the hymns of the Rig-Veda are set to musical notes in Sama Veda. Sama Veda is the basis of the seven notes (Sapta Swaras), fundamental to Indian classical music. The listening of the musical chants gives one a sense of universality and a mingling with the divine. The ‘udgaata’ or beginning ceremony before a yajna is actually a chanting of hymns from Sama Veda to ensure the grace of all the Devas. The Sama-Veda contains approximately 2000 verses. Besides that it has got one thousand branches.
This Veda is named after a sage called Atharvan who discovered the mantras contained in it. It is largely a collection spells to ward off evil and suffering and to destroy one’s enemies. It deals more with the things here and now, than the hereafter, and with the sacrifices which are a means to them. The mantras are in prose as well as verse. There also hymns addressed to devas other than the ones mentioned in the other three Vedas. There are hymns, which deal with creation also. Brahma is the representative of Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda gives a useful insight into the rich landscape of India at the time of its composition. The Atharva Veda contains of 5987 verses. Besides that it has got fifty branches.
Yajur-veda and Sama-veda use the hymns of Rig-Veda and Atharva-Veda and rearrange them in a manner suitable for rituals. In all, the four Vedas have got One thousand one hundred and eighty three (1183) branches.
Each Veda consists of four parts to suit the four stages in a man’s life Brahmacharya, Grihasta, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. The four divisions are Mantra Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads.
The Mantra-Samhitas which are hymns in praise of the Vedic God for acquiring material prosperity and happiness. They are poems comprising prayers, hymns and incantations addressed to various deities. This portion also contains information about the creative process, the universal laws, about the creation and the universe in detail. It is useful to Brahmacharins.
The Brahmanas are explanations of Mantras or rituals, which give guidance to people as to how; the sacrificial rites are to be performed. They are explanations of the method of using the Mantras in Yajnas or other rites. Details for various ceremonies like birth, naming, study, marriage, death are in this portion. The Brahmana portion is suitable for householders (Grihastashram).
Brahmanas of Rig-veda
There are three Rig-vedic Brahmanas.
- Ithareya Brahmana
- Sankhayana Brahmana
- Kausheethaki Brahmana
Brahmanas of Yajur-veda
There are three Yajur-vedic Brahmanas.
- Shatapadha Brahmana
- Thaiththareeya Brahmana
- Maithrayaneeya Brahmana
Brahmanas of Sama-veda
There are nine Sama-vedic Brahmanas.
- Jaimineeya Brahmana
- Thandya Brahmana
- Aarsheya Brahmana
- Shadvimsadhi Brahmana
- Chandhokya Brahmana
- Samavidhana Brahmana
- Abhootha Brahmana
- Vamsa Brahmana
- Samhithopanishathi Brahmana
Brahmanas of Atharva-veda
- Gopadha Brahmana
The Aranyakas are the forest books, the texts that give philosophical interpretations of the rituals. After a man has finished all his worldly duties (taking care of parents, marrying off children etc.) he proceeds to the forest to spend the rest of his days in solitude and meditation. The Aranyakas are intended for such people, hence the name. It explains the different kinds of rituals to be performed in forest by people, who go for Vanaprastha.
The Aranyakas are expositions on the inner meaning of the Vedic hymns and sacrifices. The hymns are interpreted symbolically to gain an insight into the reasons for performing yajnas and thus deal with higher metaphysical concepts.
Aranyakas of Rig-veda
There are two Rig-vedic Aranyakas.
1 Ithareya Aranyaka
2 Kausheethaki Aranyaka
Aranyakas of Yajur-veda
There are two Yajur-vedic Aranyakas.
1 Maithrayaneeya Aranyaka
2 Thaiththareeya Aranyaka
There are no Aranyakas for Sama and Atharva vedas.
The Upanishads are the essence of Vedic teaching. They are called Vedantas meaning the concluding portion of the Vedas as well as the ultimate conclusions of Vedic wisdom. Upanishads happen to be the most foremost authorities of the Vedanta system of philosophy that developed in later times in different forms.
They reveal the most subtle and deep spiritual truths and are meant for sanyasis. The collection of teachings generated by the ascetics who meditated on the mysteries of human existence came to be known as the Upanishads, which literally means “sitting close to” the teacher thereby indicating that the knowledge that it imparts is esoteric. Many, many Upanishads existed ages ago; a lot of them have been lost in time. Only one hundred and eight have been preserved so far some in prose, some in verse.
Upanishads of Rig-Veda
There are ten Rig-vedic Upanishads. They are:
1 Ithareya Upanishad
2 Kausheethaki Upanishad
3 Nadhabindhu Upanishad
4 Aathmabhodha Upanishad
5 Nirvana Upanishad
6 Mulgala Upanishad
7 Akshamalika Upanishad
8 Tripura Upanishad
9 Sowbhagyalakshmi Upanishad
10 Bhahvrucha Upanishad
Upanishads of Sukla Yajur-veda
There are eighteen Sukla Yajur-vedic Upanishads. They are:
1 Isovaasya Upanishad
2 Bruhadharanyaka Upanishad
3 Hamsa Upanishad
4 Paramahamsa Upanishad
5 Subhala Upanishad
6 Mantrika Upanishad
7 Thrisikibrahmana Upanishad
8 Niralamba Upanishad
9 Mandalabrahmana Upanishad
10 Adhwya Upanishad
11 Taraka Upanishad
12 Bhikshuka Upanishad
13 Adhyaatma Upanishad
14 Muktika Upanishad
15 Tarashara Upanishad
16 Yanjavalkya Upanishad
17 Shatyayana Upanishad
18 Turiyatheeya Avadhootha Upanishad
Upanishads of Krishna Yajur-veda
There are thirty two Krishna Yajur-vedic Upanishads. They are:
1 Kada Upanishad
2 Thaiththireeya Upanishad
3 Brahma Upanishad
4 Kaivalya Upanishad
5 Swetaswetara Upanishad
6 Garbha Upanishad
7 Mahanarayana Upanishad
8 Amrithabindhu Upanishad
9 Amrithanadha Upanishad
10 Kalagnirudra Upanishad
11 Kshurika Upanishad
12 Sarvasara Upanishad
13 Shukarahasya Upanishad
14 Tejabindhu Upanishad
15 Dhyanabindhu Upanishad
16 Brahmavidhya Upanishad
17 Yogatatva Upanishad
18 Dhakshinamoorthy Upanishad
19 Skanda Upanishad
20 Saareerika Upanishad
21 Yogashika Upanishad
22 Ekakshara Upanishad
23 Akshi Upanishad
24 Avadhootha Upanishad
25 Kadarudra Upanishad
26 Rudrahrudhaya Upanishad
27 Panchabrahma Upanishad
28 Pranagnihotra Upanishad
29 Varaha Upanishad
30 Yogakundalini Upanishad
31 Kalisantarana Upanishad
32 Saraswatheerahasya Upanishad
Upanishads of Sama-veda
There are sixteen Sama-vedic Upanishads. They are:
1 Kena Upanishad
2 Chandokya Upanishad
3 Aaruni Upanishad
4 Maitrayanee Upanishad
5 Maitreyee Upanishad
6 Vajrasuchika Upanishad
7 Yogachoodamani Upanishad
8 Vasudeva Upanishad
9 Maha Upanishad
10 Sanyasa Upanishad
11 Avyakta Upanishad
12 Kundika Upanishad
13 Savitri Upanishad
14 Jabhala Upanishad
15 Darsana Upanishad
16 Rudraksha Jabhala Upanishad
Upanishads of Atharva-veda
There are thirty two Atharva-vedic Upanishads.They are:
1 Prasna Upanishad
- Mundaka Upanishad
- Maandukya Upanishad
- Atharvasira Upanishad
- Atharvasikha Upanishad
- Bruhat Jaabhala Upanishad
- Sita Upanishad
- Sarabha Upanishad
- Mahanarayana Upanishad
- Ramarahasya Upanishad
- Ramatapini Upanishad
- Sandilya Upanishad
- Paramahamsa Upanishad
- Annapoorna Upanishad
- Surya Upanishad
- Aathma Upanishad
- Pasuptha Upanishad
- Parabrahma Upanishad
- Tripuratapini Upanishad
- Devi Upanishad
- Bhavana Upanishad
- Bhasma Jaabhala Upanishad
- Ganapati Upanishad
- Mahakavya Upanishad
- Gopalatapini Upanishad
- Sreekrishna Upanishad
- Hayagriva Upanishad
- Dhaththathreya Upanishad
- Garuda Upanishad
- Narasimhapurvatapini Upanishad
- Naradapariprajaka Upanishad
- Narasimha Uththaratapini Upanishad
Besides this 108 Upanishads, many Upa-Upanishads also exist.
The Vedangas and Upavedas are collections of texts that augment and apply the Vedas as a comprehensive system of sacred living. There are six Vedangas.
- Siksha (The nose of the Vedas)
Siksha means Vedic phonetics and lays down the rules of phonetics – sounds of syllables, of pronunciation- euphony. It lays down the parameters of Vedic words. Phonetics are very important in Vedic language because a slight change in sound may lead to change in the meaning of a mantra and consequently have undesirable effects on the sacrifice. Siksha explains how the sound of each syllable should be produced, how high or low should be its pitch and for how much duration (maatra) the sound must last.
- Nirukta (The ears of the Vedas)
Nirukta is the Vedic dictionary. Nirukta may be regarded as the Vedic equivalent of etymology i.e. the study of words. Nirukta explains the origin of each Sanskrit word in the Vedas. In Sanskrit, names or words are not assigned ad-hoc but there is a systematic way of forming words. Every word has a deep meaning and may sometimes be formed by the combination of two or more nouns. All words are derived from the basic roots or Dhatus. As Nirukta breaks each word into its component roots and analyses its meaning, so it is likened to the ear, which distinguishes speech by breaking words into its component phonemes. It is also regarded as the World’s first Encyclopedia.
- Vyakarana (The mouth of the Vedas)
Vyakarana deals with grammar and so is very important. There are many books on Sanskrit grammar, but the most famous and most extensively used is the Vyakarna of Sage Paanini. Paanini’s grammar is in the form of aphorisms (Sutras).
- Chanda Saastra (The feet of the Vedas)
Chanda Saastra deals with metric composition. Any verse has to have a specified ‘metre’ and number of letters in it, for a good fit. Chanda Saastra lays down the rules for this. It defines the boundaries of metrical composition into metre, rhyme, etc.
- Kalpa Saastra (The arms of the Vedas)
Kalpa Saastra is a collection of books of Shauwta Sutra, Dharma Sutra, Pithrumedha Sutra, Sulba Sutra, Gruhya Sutra and Prayaschitham. All our customs and rituals are explained in Kalpa saastra. Kalpa Saastra answers the questions like:
How should a ritual be performed?
What are the duties of the child, student, householder, King, mendicant etc?
Which ritual involves which mantra, which material and which Deva?
How many priests should be employed for a sacrifice? What objects should be used in various rituals?, and so on.
The Kalpa Saastra details the Vedic rituals to be performed from the time the embryo forms in the womb to birth leading upto the final sacrifice of death. Cremation or Antiyeshti, meaning the last rite is seen as a sacrifice of the whole body to Agni, the fire god. The Namakarana (naming ceremony), the Upanayana (sacred thread investiture ceremony), Vivaaha (marriage) are also described within the Kalpa. The Vedic system of architecture i.e. Vaastu Shastra is also described in Kalpa. The entire Kalpa Saastra weighs more than 250 Kilograms. (i.e., 2.5 quintals)
- Jyothisha (Astronomy + Astrology)
The eyes of the Vedas Jyothisha includes Ganitham, Kalakriya, Golam, Jatakam, Muhurtham, Prasnam and Nimiththam. Perhaps the most famous of all Vedangas, it is the science of astrology. Jyotisha gives rules to calculate the positions of the planets and stars at any instant in the future or past. Based on these positions and certain well defined rules, the fate of a person can be reasonably determined provided his/her birthdate, time and place of birth are accurately known. Vedic astrology is based on lunar signs in direct contrast to the solar sign system prevalent in the west. The premise is that the moon being closer to the Earth extends a greater influence on mankind than the distant Sun.
There are five Upavedas
Unfolds statecraft. It can be called as the Hindu science of governing by Kings.
- Dhanur Veda
Discusses military science. Discusses different kinds of weapons and war rules.
- Gandharva Veda
The science which enlighten music and arts. Discusses different kinds of music, musical instruments and arts.
Deals with medicine, health and longevity.
- Saapadhyaveda(Tachchu Saastra)
Deals with the architecture. Vasthu Saastra also comes under this.
Puranas are compiled from related historical facts, which explain the teachings of the four Vedas. The Puranas explain the Vedic truths and are intended for different types of men. All men are not equal. There are men who are good, others who are driven by passion and others who are under the veil of ignorance. The Puranas are so divided that any class of men can take advantage of them and gradually regain their original nature and get out of the hard struggle for existence Mahapuranas.
There are eighteen Mahapuranas. They are:
- Vishnu Purana
- Bhavishya Purana
- Garuda Purana
- Agni Purana
- Mahabhagavata Purana
- Siva Purana
- Markandeya Purana
- Linga Purana
- Brahmavaivarththa Purana
- Matsya Purana
- Kurma Purana
- Varaha Purana
- Vamana Purana
- Skanda Purana
- Brahmaanda Purana
- Padma Purana
- Vayu Purana
- Naradheeya Purana
There are eighteen Upa-puranas. They are:
- Samba Purana
- Devibhagavata Purana
- Kalika Purana
- Lakhunaradheeya Purana
- Harivamsa Purana
- Vishnudharmmoththara Purana
- Kalki Purana
- Mulgala Purana
- Aadhi Purana
- Aathma Purana
- Brahma Purana
- Vishnudharma Purana
- Narasimha Purana
- Kriyaayoga Purana
- Surya Purana
- Bruhat Naradheeya Purana
- Prushoththama Purana
- Bruhat Vishnu Purana
Darsana means, sight or vision. In the Vedanta philosophy, the first question is what is the source of everything? There are philosophers who saw different stages of the original source, and explained philosophy according to their vision. These are known as Darsanas. They are also known as Sad-darsanas (six systems of philosophy).
- Nyaya Darsana
Nyaya means the science of logic and expediency. It is also known as Tarka Shastra. This was composed by Sage Gautama and contains passages, which establish by means of disputation that God is the creator of this universe. It establishes the existence of God by means of inference.
- Vaiseshika Darsana
Vaisesika, philosophy of specialised logic, maintains that the combination of atoms is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. It was composed by Maharshi Kanada. He was the first philosopher who formulated ideas about the atom in a systematic manner.
Nyaya and Vaiseshika deal mainly with physics, chemistry and other material sciences and include reasoning or logic. Metaphysical studies or search for knowledge of God, however, formed the ultimate aim of the study of these saastras also.
- Sankhya Darsana
Sankhya, philosophy of analytical study, maintains that the material nature is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. Sage Kapila composed it.
- Yoga Darsana
Yoga, philosophy of mystic perfections, maintains that universal consciousness is the cause of the cosmic manifestation. It was composed by Patanjali Maharshi. He is the first systematiser of the Yoga school.
- Purva Meemamsa Darsana
Sage Jaimini composed the sutras for the Purvameemamsa, philosophy of actions and reactions, maintains that fruitive activities are the cause of the cosmic manifestation. This book consists of 12 chapters – 1000 Adhikaranas in all. In these Adhikaranas, selected Vedic verses are examined in details. In the 1000 Adhikaranas a thousand types of problems are taken up and various arguments against an apparent explanation are raised before coming to a conclusion.
- Uththara Meemamsa Darsana
The Uththarameemamsa deals with Vedanta and is thus close to the philosophy of the Upanishads. Maharshi Veda Vyasa composed Uththara Meemamsa.
Smriti means memory and are writings devised to fix in memory, the practical use of the messages stated or implied in the Vedas. Smritis embodies the teachings of Divine Incarnations or prophets, saints and sages. It is an explanation of the Srutis. Srutis are the revealed scriptures, as mentioned in the Vedas and Smritis are the commentaries and derived literatures, based on the messages of the Vedas; Some of the Smritis are in the form of Laws formulated by saints and sages for mankind.
There are eighteen important Smritis.They are:
- Usana Smriti
- Yanjavalkya Smriti
- Vishnu Smriti
- Manu Smriti
- Angeerasa Smriti
- Yama Smriti
- Atri Smriti
- Samvarththa Smriti
- Bruhatparasara Smriti
- Bruhaspati Smriti
- Daksha Smriti
- Saataatapa Smriti
- Likhita Smriti
- Vyasa Smriti
- Parasara Smriti
- Sanka Smriti
- Gautama Smriti
- Vasishta Smriti
Itihasas are literatures describing historical events pertaining to either a single hero or a few heroic personalities in a lineage: for example, Ramayana describing the pastimes of Sri Ramachandra and Mahabharata describing the pastimes of the Pandavas in the lineage of the Kurus. In these books there are topics on transcendental subjects along with material topics. The whole idea of the Mahabharata culminates in the ultimate instructions of the Bhagavad-gita that one should give up all other engagements and should engage oneself solely and fully in surrendering unto the lotus feet of Krishna. The conclusive teaching of the Ramayana also is to fully surrender and take shelter of Lord Sri Ramachandra.
- Ramayana The traditional author of this Epic is the sage Valmiki. This Epic is regarded as the first poetical work in the world, of purely human origin. The verses have great diffusivity, simplicity and charm. There are totally seven books of this great epic.
- Mahabharata This epic is traditionally authored by the sage Vyasa It is a rich collection of many histories and legends. The scene of the poem is the ancient kingdom of the Kurus; and the central story – ‘ the germ of which is to be found in the Vedas ‘ – concerns a great dynastic war. A very important portion of the Mahabharata is the Song of the God (called the Gita). Bhagavad Gita, as it is called, is the essence of all the messages to mankind contained in the Veda.
Hindus believe in one God expressed in different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity. Hindus believe in eternal truths and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them, even if he or she is ignorant of Hindu scriptures or ideas. This religion also professes Non-violence – “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma” – Non violence is the highest duty. True Ahimsa implies curtsey, kindness, hospitality, humanity and love. The most important aspect of Hinduism is being truthful to one’s own consciousness. Hinduism does not claim to have a monopoly on ideas and is open to all.
This post is based on document prepared in 2003 by A.V. Ajil Kumar with inputs from Dr.N.Gopala Krishnan, Scientist, CSIR & Hon Director, Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, Trivandrum.
Meaning: The term comes from the Sanskrit, tan, meaning “subtle”; and matra, meaning “elements.” They are 5 in number and are called panchatanmatra.
Another translation of tanmatra is “mother of matter,” meaning that the pancha tanmatra represents the mother energy of the world. The pancha tanmatra comprise the information through which we sense or experience the external world.
Pancha tanmatra are the five perceptions or subtle elements that are the objects of the five senses. The pancha tanmatra are: rupa (form and color), gandha (smell), sparsa (touch), rasa (taste) and sabda (sound).
Irrespective of how many types and forms of material exists in the world, the human body has only 5 senses. Because our knowledge of the world is established based on these 5 senses, at least five basic elements are needed to explain this experience.
The tanmatras are related to the five cognitive sense organs called pancha jnanendriya: caksu (eyes), ghrana (nose), tvak (skin), rasana (tongue) and srotra (ear).
Both the pancha tanmatra and the jnanendriya are among the 36 tattvas, or aspects of nature, in Saivism.
According to the Vedic theory of creation, the tanmatras are the basis of all corporeal existences because from them evolve the Bhutas, the building blocks of the perceptible universe.
The pancha tanmatra also combine to produce the gross elements that comprise the universe:
- Prithvi: Sabda, sparsa, rupa, rasa, gandha
- Jala: Sabda, sparsa, rupa and rasa
- Agni: Sabda, sparsa, and rupa
- Vayu: Sabda and sparsa
- Akash: Sabda
Reproduction from “Principles of Ayurvedic Medicine,” by Dr. Marc Halpern
“The first building block is actually the “potential” for a building block. These potentials are called tanmatras. They provide the potential for all existence. Tanmatra means “essence” or “potential.” These are the root energies of the five elements. They are the most subtle form of energy and it is only because of the tanmatras that everything comes into creation. This includes the mind, senses, and organs of action. Although the tanmatras are named after their related sensory experiences, their influence is not limited to the senses.
Being so subtle, the tanmatras are difficult to understand at first. Tanmatras are the most subtle form of energy, the root energies of the five elements. They provide the potential for all existence. The following information helps to round out the student’s understanding of the tanmatras. Refer to the section on Sankhya Philosophy for additional information. The following description brings in concepts that are described later in the text. Interested students are encouraged to come back and read this appendix only after reading the rest of the textbook.
The origin of the ether element is the tanmatra of sound called shabda. Shabda tanmatra is the primordial, unmanifested form of sound. Shabda is the primordial space from which vibration emerges long before it takes the form of sound in the ear. Sound and ether are inseparable. Because of their intimate relationship, the ear is considered the associated sense organ of the ether element, and voice (mouth) is its organ of action. Hearing loss and loss of the voice are difficulties that are often due to vitiation of the ether element in the body.
The origin of the air element is the tanmatra of touch called sparsha. Sparsha tanmatra is the primordial, unmanifested form of touch. Sparsha is the potential of the touch experience, expressed in its most subtle form. Touch and air are inseparable. Because of their intimate relationship, the skin (through which we receive touch) is considered the associated sense organ of the air element and the hands (through which we reach out and touch the world) are its associated organs of action. Hence, disorders of tactile perception and those of grasping are the result of disturbances in the functions of the air element.
The origin of the fire element is the tanmatra of vision called rupa. Rupa means form or color. Both form and color are the result of perception. Rupa tanmatra is the primordial, unmanifested form of perception, light, vision and, thus, the fire element. Fire and the visual sense have a special relationship. Fire provides the light for perception. The eyes are the vehicles through which light is digested and perception takes place. Hence, disorders of visual perception are primarily those of the fire element.
The origin of the water element is the tanmatra of taste called rasa. Rasa in this context is the primordial causation of the experience of taste. Rasa tanmatra is the causal energy that provides the potential for the experience of taste to occur. It is not the taste itself. However, since taste depends upon the water element for its manifestation, disorders of the ability to taste are due to an imbalance of the water element.
The origin of the earth element is the tanmatra of smell called gandha. The state of the earth element in the body and the capacity to smell are deeply connected. Gandha tanmatra is the primordial cause of the experience of smell. It is the seed energy or potential, emerging from the causal body, which sprouts into the earth element. The earth element then builds the potential for the experience of smell in the subtle body and the structures through which smell can be experienced in the physical body. Thus, the gandha tanmatra is not the smell itself but smell is dependent upon it. Disorders of the ability to smell reflect an imbalance of the earth element.”
1. Number of tanmatras is equal to the number of sense organs
2. Each human sense organ is powered by a tanmatra
3. The tanmatras create the panchabhutas. Panchabhutas create the world.
4. If one tanmatra, say rupa (form and color) is taken out, then the indirya called chaksu (eye) cannot function. Also, the elements such as agni, jala and prithvi will lose their ability to be seen.
5. The sharpest eye cannot create vision if light did not exist. The brightest light cannot create vision if the eye did not exist. Even together, the light and the eye cannot create vision, if the ability to see did not exist.
6. The tanmatra is the subtle element that ties the sense organ called the eye, to its ability to see and to the external reality of color.
7. The tanmatra is the binding rope that creates the ability to experience this universe by creating a triad of (a) The sense organ (b) Ability of the sense organ to function and (c) An aspect of external reality that can be sensed by the organ. It is by endless Mercy that a lifeform is blessed with all the three.
1. Drig Drishya Viveka
2. Shaiva Siddhantha
3. Swami Sarvapriyananda
Alternate terms: Ahankara, ahankar
English translation: Ego, Identity, Awareness, I-ness,
Meaning: (Ahamkara= I am the cause, I am the doer)
Ahamkara is a Sanskrit word that describes the ego, the image a person has of him/herself or the conscious mind as he/she perceives it. The term comes from the root, aham, which translates as “I am”; and kara, which means “doing” or “making.”
Purpose: The purpose of ahamkara is to create self-awareness. It is only by this self-awareness, a life form develops the ability to differentiate itself from the world around it and take ownership of objects as mine and not mine.
Position: Ahamkara is one of the four aspects of antahkarana, or the “inner organ”. In addition to ahankara, antahkarana includes buddhi , chitta and manas. The anthakarana are a part of the subtle body and exist in impure maya.
Working: The atman/soul is a source of pure consciousness. Ahamkara reflects the consciousness of the soul in its most true form to create a true reflection of the soul and thus create an identity. This reflection is not like the moon reflecting the sunlight but more like a dewdrop reflecting the sun. Moon’s reflection of sunlight does not reflect the sun truly and creates the illusion as if moon is also a source of light. But the dewdrop’s reflection of the sun is a miniature version of the sun itself. Like a red hot iron ball has both the attributes of iron as well as heat, this image of the atman created on anthakarana has attributes of both consciousness of the atman and the inertness of impure maya.
Role: The pure consciousness of the soul, is reflected and transmitted to ahamkara, is further transmitted to the other anthakaranas, sense organs and body so that the whole body till the tip of fingernails is illumined with consciousness.
This process of consciousness transmitting from the soul to ahankara to anthakarana to body organs is similar to heat flowing from fire to vessel to water to vegetable.
Inference only – not from text:
This consciousness that is imparted to anthakarana and the body is called “reflected consciousness” because:
1. It is an unclear indication of the source consciousness (like moon reflects the sun)
2. It is different from pure consciousness due to its association with impure maya of the anthakarana and the body.
1. Connection of ahankara with other anthakaranas is natural (sahaja) and cannot be broken
2. Connection of ahankara with the body has its roots in the karma (karmajam) carried by the subtle body and will be broken only by resolving the karma
3. Connection of ahankara with the atman is false (bhranthijam). By breaking this connection, the soul is liberated by staying rooted in pure consciousness.
- If there are three observers at 0 c, 0.5 c and 0.9999 c, their observations of the universe would be different. This is relativity. If observers see the same universe differently, then how can the universe be said to have a single nature?
- If a universe cannot have a single nature that it can present consistently to all observers, then there can be no unified theory of everything. If there is nothing fixed to refer to, then there is no standing ground for a theory. To arrive at the theory of everything, experience of constant existence at all frame of reference would be necessary. Interpretation of an observer at 0 c of the experience at 0.5 c, may not necessarily be true for the observer at 0.5 c.
- Thought experiment: Can relativity be applied on to quantum fields? If the large hadron collider is moving is at 0.9999 c with respect to the observer, would the experimental results still be valid?
- There are two different states of unconsciousness:
- Death state of unconsciousness: Atman/Soul has left the body and reengagement with mind/body is not expected. Person is truly dead and appears so.
- Pre-death state of unconsciousness: Atma/Soul has not left the body and reengagement with mind/body is possible. Person appears dead or in a coma to the world but is not truly dead.
- In between the two states of unconsciousness, pre-death and death, exists the clue to understand the bare essential functioning of the soul/atman. In this free state, the soul remains closer to its pure form, without having the need to engage the constructs of mind or the sense organs or the world outside or the need to look for a different body to live-in next.
- Like a person is standing at the door step of the house from where he can go inwards or outwards, the soul is free to engage the mind in the subtle body and go inwards into a given body and its experience or abandon the current body and seek another body more suited to the current evolved needs of the subtle body. If the current needs are zero, there should be no need for another body.
- When the soul decides to “go inside the house” by engaging the mind and the current body, the rules for extent of such engagement must be set. The sages (gyani) who study the soul (not so much the world) say that this engagement must be limited for it doesn’t matter how big the house and how deep one goes into it, the exit must happen. The scientists (vigyani) who study the world (not so much the soul) say this engagement must be maximum, for this one freak opportunity to learn the world should not be wasted. The sage says do not engage, for engagement creates karma and births. The scientist says engage with all your might or else your only go at life would be wasted.
- The scientists says, the universe is eternal but consciousness comes and goes. The sage says, consciousness is eternal and the universe comes and goes.
So, what are you? Are you a blip of consciousness that will be forever extinguished at death? Or are you eternal consciousness that will repeatedly come and go into the playground of universe till you learn to destroy your ego and burn your karma?
What is your world view? A fixed universe with random meaningless blips of consciousness and life forms? Or an eternal consciousness soul that craves for varying experiences in a semi-real universe?
|Science, 20 centuries after Christ||Vedas and Darshanas, many centuries before Christ|
|The universe we observe constitutes reality. Nature of universe must be established by experiments.||The universe is an appearance. Don’t bother with it.|
|Brain is the organ for producing consciousness and mind. Intelligence can be artificial.||Soul (Brahman) is the reality. Consciousness is its trait. Mind, intelligence and brain are its toys.|
|At the time of death mind and consciousness disappear. Life is finished.||Soul is eternal. Its lives will not be finished until its own karma is resolved.|
|Universe was produced from a big-bang. Everything came from nothing.||Universe was created by an intelligent infinite energy to be used as a playground for souls to act till they realize the futility of their actions and return to God.|
|Life comes from a chemical soup. Chicken comes from setting the right temperature on an incubator.||Life happens so as to improve the soul progressively. A chick will be born and be dead according to its own karma.|
|Reality is understood by looking outside at everything from the sub atomic particles to galaxies.||Reality is understood by looking inside at the soul.|
|We can use the Higgs field to search for dark energy, dark matter, supersymmetry, extra dimensions and multiverses.||Nature of maya is such that if you chase anything that exists, you will learn that it is does not.|
|String theory of 13 dimensions with 10^500 possibilities of compactification may present a unified theory of everything.||This universe is God’s play. (Dice, Mr. Einstein?)|
|Science can help human activity, colonizing other planets and win wars to establish world order.||All universe is eternally under divine order. Live with the universe without affecting it.|
|For science, the starting point of the study is the world around us. It attempts to observe, understand, theorize and verify reality with experiments. There is still much to be known.||In the Vedas, the starting point for study is the unverifiable soul (Brahman). The entire universe is an expression of the unmanifest energy. If one understands the nature of the soul, there is nothing else to be known.|
For many years, I have felt that science is a natural extension of the Hindu religion. Not understanding the universe, or not knowing the physical reality has never been a cause of concern because this material universe is considered to be maya and a veil that hides reality. Study of science is the study of the veil. No matter how intricate, it needs to be put away so that the light of the eternal truth can shine.
When studying digestion, it is almost natural progression to understand the need to eat first, the food next, the digestion later and the examination of the fecal matter as the last step. Similarly, studying the Vedic thought first and the scientific thought later provides a natural advantage that the learner will be able to assign the right perspective to science.
Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes.Panchatantra
- If the Higgs is an infinite field with a local value of 246 GeV, where does this infinite energy come from?
- Why is the infinite energy of Higgs field necessary to create the smallest possible mass and for things to “simply exist”?
- Why does the Higgs field interact differently with different particles with masses?
- Where does the mass of neutrinos come from?
- How many fields exist in empty space?
- As two gluons can occupy the same space, why should they “interact” to create a Higgs Boson?
- How do we see colors in our dreams when our eyelids are closed and no light enters past them? If vision can happen without the eye or light, why should we correlate reality what is observable?
- How do we hear speech in our dreams when we sleep in a room with pin drop silence?
- How do we explain consciousness, out-of-body experiences, near death experiences, premonition?
- Explanations of dark matter, dark energy and why they predominate the known universe
- Can supersymmetry be proved?
- What type of experiments will need to be designed to prove matter is made of strings?
- What kind of computing power is needed to solve 13 dimensional string theory problems with possible 10^500 compactifications?
- What are the correct values for vacuum energy?
The world is really made out of fields. Sometimes the stuff of the universe looks like particles, due to the peculiarities of quantum mechanics, but deep down it’s really fields. Empty space isn’t as empty as it looks. At every point there is a rich collection of fields, each taking on some value or another—or more precisely, due to the uncertainty that accompanies quantum mechanics, a distribution of possible values we could potentially observe.
The fields themselves aren’t “made of” anything—fields are what the world is made of. We don’t know of any lower level of reality. (Maybe string theory, but that’s still hypothetical.) Magnetism is carried by a field, as are gravity and the nuclear forces. Even what we call “matter”—particles like electrons and protons—is really just a set of vibrating fields. The particle we call the “Higgs boson” is important, but not so much for its own sake; what matters is the Higgs field from which it springs, which plays a central role in how our universe works. Astounding indeed.Sean Carroll, The particle at the end of the universe
The physicist John Wheeler once proposed a challenge: How can you best explain quantum mechanics in five words or fewer? In the modern world, it’s easy to get suggestions for any short-answer question: Simply ask Twitter, the microblogging service that limits posts to 140 characters. When I posed the question about quantum mechanics, the best answer was given by Aatish Bhatia (@ aatishb): “Don’t look: waves. Look: particles.” That’s quantum mechanics in a nutshell.Sean Carroll, The particle at the end of the universe
Mark you this, Bassanio, the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek.
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice
Act 1 Scene 3
- Sat-karya-vada: The argument of eternal action
- Source: Samkhya Sutras of Kapila
- Satkāryavāda (सत्कार्यवाद, “form”) refers to the Sāṃkhya’s concept of causation.—Satkāryavāda (the doctrine that the effect pre-exists in its cause), presents the three fundamental qualities (i.e. triguṇa) as the grounds for an argument by asserting that the diversity of the phenomenal world is also nothing but the transformation of the three qualities according to the relative superiority or inferiority among their forces. In this case, an aspect of superiority or inferiority among the three qualities is expressed in the concept of saṃsthāna.
- If something exists, it exists because of preexisting potentiality. Even if this potentiality is beyond grasp, it is considered to exist in an unmanifest state before it becomes manifest at the right time.
- Only nothing comes from nothing
- Something cannot be created from nothing
- The effect (manifest) is immanent in the cause (unmanifest) and emerges from it.
- Prakriti (manifest) in Sāñkhya philosophy is the feminine energy of the Purusha (Unmanifest). She is fully capable of producing everything, but She produces it based on purusha’s will. The prakriti is not inert, or unconscious; She rather has a subordinate will.
- What is not meant to be, will never be – like ungrown horns on a man which will never become a reality.
- Things cannot arise haphazardly, things can only be produced by what is capable of producing them.
- Because the making is possible [only] of what [the cause] is capable of
- Whatever happens, happens according to a rule.
- Everywhere, always, everything is possible. (Samkhya Sutra 1.116)
- User (purusha) and instrument (prakriti) are powerful to contain the causes and effects in themselves.
- Desire causes creation
Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (samkhya)
Satkāryavāda (सत्कार्यवाद) refers to one of the philosophical systems regarding the cause and effect relation prevalent in Ancient India.—Satkāryavāda is upheld by the Sāṃkhya-Yoga and Advaita Vedānta philosophers. According to Satkāryavāda the effect already exists in the cause in a potential condition. So, it is not basically new creation and different from the material cause. But effect is only an explicit manifestation of that which are contained in its material cause. For example, a pot is not different from the clay, a cloth is not different from the threads.
There are two divisions of Satkāryavāda—a) Pariṇāmavāda and b) Vivartavāda.
Pariṇāmavāda: Effect is a real transformation of its cause.
Vivartavāda: Effect is unreal
Sāṃkhya-Yoga’s view is known as Prakṛti-Pariṇāmavāda, Rāmānuja’s view is known as Brahma-Pariṇāmavāda, Śaṃkara is Vivartavādin.
It is the Sāṃkhyas who have actually established the theory satkāryavāda by different arguments. Īśvaṛakṛṣṇa has discussed the theory of satkāryavāda in his Sāṃkhyakārikā. He gives five arguments to prove this theory. The five arguments are discussed here as follows:
Original statement: The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in Discourse on the Method by René Descartes.
Latin translation: Cogito, ergo sum. It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy
From Wikipedia: Later translated into English as “I think, therefore I am” , so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.
As Descartes explained it, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt.”
A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’s intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”)
Descartes’s statement became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it purported to provide a certain foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception, or mistake, Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one’s own existence served—at minimum—as proof of the reality of one’s own mind; there must be a thinking entity—in this case the self—for there to be a thought.
One common critique of the dictum is that it presupposes that there is an “I” which must be doing the thinking. According to this line of criticism, the most that Descartes was entitled to say was that “thinking is occurring”, not that “I am thinking”.
Essentially, thought cannot end up being the sole provable thing in existence since it has requirements for its own existence.
St. Augustine was one of the early proponents of similar thinking. Parmenides 5th Century BC also said something similar.
Saiva Siddhantha identifies mind and thoughts as perishing with the body and hence these cannot be associated with the identity of I. The soul is believed to be more subtle than the mind. While energies associated with mental activity can be measured, the soul itself cannot be traced by outside methods.
- What can be
- Potential, Potency, Possibility, Capability, Dunamis (Greek) etc. – but there is an uncertainty if it will ever become actuality.
- Unmanifest, hidden
- Before the experience
- In his philosophy, Aristotle distinguished two meanings of dunamis (Possibility). According to his understanding of nature there were:
- Weak sense of potential (“Chance to happen or not to happen”, “Do something mindlessly”, “Natures that do not persist”, “Things happen by chance”)
- Strong sense of potential (“Preference to make it happen”, “How something could be done well”, “Things that are stable”, “Strong tendency to happen”)
- What is
- Currently happening, Reality
- Manifest, visible
- At the time of experience
- Actuality is often used to translate both energeia (ενέργεια) and entelecheia (ἐντελέχεια) (sometimes rendered in English as “entelechy”)
- Energia: Being at work, “is at work”ness (eg: Pleasure, happiness, kinesis)
- Entelechy: being-at-an-end, the realization of potential, whatever happens to be the case right now leading to final reality
Everything exists in a state of potentiality ready to spring forth into a state of actuality. But what converts the potentiality into actuality?
We cannot know the unmanifest potentiality. Even though the manifest actuality arises from the unmanifest potentiality, it only represents only a single possibility that materialized into reality. By studying the actuality post facto, we can learn of one potential that actually materialized. However, there could be multiple potentials that cannot be inferred as they are not yet manifest. Inability to know the unmanifest can be mitigated to some extent by learning from the manifest. However, a complete grasp of unmanifest potential is not possible.
From Ashish Dalela:
This idea is very unintuitive in Western philosophy where “reality” is that which exists independent and outside of our experience, and our experience is a phenomena, not reality. Therefore, we never call the phenomena a reality in Western philosophy because we think that reality exists materially and objectively outside my mind. However, if you extend this idea to its logical limit, then reality must also be outside God’s mind—i.e. exist even prior to God’s experience. How can then God be the origin of reality if this reality is outside God’s experience, and He only becomes aware of this reality? Atheism thus follows naturally from the idea that there is some reality outside the observer.
Possible meanings for the phrase “Hell is Other People”
“Hell Is Other People”
Author: Jean Paul Sartre
Novel: No Exit
The quote has been hailed as the slogan for introverts and a way to explain any dissatisfaction we encounter with family members, strangers on public transport and our time-stealing co-workers.
However, it cannot be literally true that other people are hellish. Alternate explanations exist based on the context of the novel which has three characters trapped in a room together. Each character wants to escape the watchful gaze of the others. But none can escape because because they’re dead and the room is hell.
Thus, being unable to escape from the gaze of other people who can potentially judge you and assign tags can be a hellish experience.
Alternate Explanation 1:
Without others, I was someone free.
When someone comes along, the new person restricts me with their own idea of what I am.
Alternate Explanation 2:
Once we die, we’re permanently trapped in other people’s interpretations of us.
See also: “Death makes angels of us”
When we are alive we can still do somethings to fix. But once we’re dead, we can no longer speak for our actions.
See also: “History is written by victors”
त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् ।
ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे ह्यात्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥
tyajedekaṃ kulasyārthe grāmasyārthe kulaṃ tyajet ।
grāmaṃ janapadasyārthe hyātmārthe pṛthivīṃ tyajet ॥
Give up one person for the sake of the lineage;
For the sake of a village, a lineage can be given up.
Give up a village for the benefit of the region;
For the sake of the soul, give up the pleasures of the earth.
Three different sources are listed for this quote:
Maha Bharata Adi. 115. 36 ; Sabha. 61. 11
Chanakya Neeti, Neeti 3 Rule 10
जन्मेदं वन्ध्यतां नीतं भवभोगोपलिप्सया ।
काचमूल्येन विक्रीतः हन्त चिन्तामणिर्मया ॥
janmedaṃ vandhyatāṃ nītaṃ bhavabhogopalipsayā ।
kācamūlyena vikrītaḥ hanta cintāmaṇirmayā ॥
This birth went futile in worldly indulgences.
Alas! A cintāmaṇi has been traded at the price of glass.
“Okay. Can you tell me what Ayn Rand says?” Like an interviewer Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar asked with eyes sharply fixed on me.
“I can tell, Bhagawan. I have read one of Ayn Rand’s novels many times. Three of her novels are very popular — ATLAS SHRUGGED, WE THE LIVING, and FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL. These are also my favorites.”
“Okay. Then, tell me about Ayn Rand’s philosophy.” He asked again.
“Ayn Rand says that SELFISHNESS IS A VIRTUE. SCARIFICATION IS A FRAUDULENT WORD. Nobody sacrifices anything for anybody. Behind every sacrifice, there is selfishness hidden. There is no necessity for anybody to sacrifice anything. Selfishness alone is the only sacred thing.”
“Is it?” Yogi shrunk His eyes, and continued, “What she says is against our culture, isn’t it? Do you believe in this? When every religion says we have to sacrifice, I think, she is talking on the contrary, and gaining popularity. What do you say about this?”
I mused for a while, and said “Bhagawan, I think what she says is right. Everybody, in every stage of life, is selfish. Our selfishness is what makes us to live. What husband has with wife; wife has with husband, father has with son; son has with father, is nothing but selfishness. It’s only with selfishness we live.”
“I didn’t ask you to take your life as an example. Here (in India), there are so many noble souls who have sacrificed their lives…do you say that they all did it out of selfishness? Do you say Mahatma Gandhi was selfish? Do you say Ramalinga Vallalar was selfish? Can we call Buddha, Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa, Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people? You say everyone is selfish. Will you include them too? Will Ayn Rand certify their lives as selfish too? Will she say their sacrifices were fraudulent?”
Though His face was calm, the question was intense. I was not able to say Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsa and Bhagawan Ramana as selfish people. At the same time, I was not able to ignore Ayn Rand too. I sat with an ideological confusion. My family was watching me.
Yogi gesticulated to talk. As I remained silent, He expounded, “Balkumar, once a person came to Bhagawan Ramana and said something similar to this: ‘Everyone in this ashram is working and doing jobs. You alone are sitting simply without doing any work. Why don’t you do something like others?’ Bhagawan Ramana retorted: ‘THERE IS NO OTHERS!’
Do you understand what it means, Balkumar? When there is no ‘I’; then, there is no ‘you.’ Only when you have the sense of ‘I’; then, there will be the sense of ‘you’. Only for those who have the ego ‘I’, there is a division called ‘others.’ Only when we separate ourselves as ‘I’ and ‘you,’ then, there can be a division that some are superior and some are inferior. Only for those who are divided, ‘selfishness’ and ‘sacrifice’ appears as two opposite ends. In our Hinduism, selfishness itself means only others’ welfare. SELF MEANS ONLY OTHERS. OTHERS ARE THE SELF. In truth, there is no such thing called division.
Birds, trees, animals, plants, stone, mud, sea, sky, wind, humans—nothing is separate. Everything is One. That’s called God. You and I are part of Him. You are in me, and I’m in you. In an ocean, is there a difference in the waves? Are two sea waves different? We see them only as a part of ocean, isn’t it? Within ocean, they may separate themselves as waves and bubbles. But still they remain only as a part of the ocean. Each wave and each bubble are part of the whole sea; rising and dissolving are an appearance. In fact, they are not different from the ocean. And so are we, like the sea waves in the ocean.
Balkumar, this is not just told for the sake of an example. This is truth. This is a reality. This is a state we all can attain. We all can live in.
If you feel hungry, I should also feel hungry. Your hunger should disturb me. If you cry, I should also cry. Your tears should shake me. This is the life of every enlightened men. Humans should always try to live such a life. Each one of us should continuously strive to live like that, even if it takes lifetimes.
What Ayn Rand says is a delusion. Something very superficial. Born out of ego.
In our lives, after marriage, the ‘I’ thought is slowly broken as it expands as my wife. Then it further expands as my children; my children’s children; my children’s relatives; my children’s friends, and also as my country men— so on and so forth. Likewise, as one grows older, this ‘circle’ called the ego must also grow bigger and bigger, and get expanded. That’s a life worth living. But if the opposite happens…if the circle shrinks…it becomes ugly. Such a mind will only become deluded.”
Since I didn’t fully grasp and digest what Bhagawan explained, a foolish question arose in my crooked mind: “If I eat, will your hunger be satiated Bhagawan. If you have food, will my hunger be satiated.”
But Yogi Ramsuratkimar is a Divine Master. He could easily read others’ thoughts.
“Once a river mingles in ocean, then it’s never called as a river. It can’t separate itself from the ocean to become a river again. Similarly, those who have dissolved themselves in God can never come back to ordinary state. God’s mercy and compassion are like the ocean that never drains. And that’s the state of those who have attained God-hood. In them too, God’s mercy and compassion will ever be there, flowing to all others.
This is how Shree Ramakrishna Pramahamsar, Bhagawan Ramanar, Shree Aurobindo lived. There was not a drop of selfishness in their lives, Balkumar. They never did their sacrifice as an act of deception.”
When He uttered the last line, there were tears in His eyes.
Seeing that, I panicked and got up. I prostrated before him, and said, “If I have spoken something wrong, please forgive me.”
He smiled and said, “What you spoke has made me happy. You should always speak like that. Only then you can clarify your thoughts, and write with ease.”
Yogi Ramsuratkumar made me realize the virtue of sacrifice, and the ugliness of selfishness. From then on, my writings got transformed. It was all because of my Guru, God’s child, Yogi Ramsuratkumar.
A man’s fate is his own temper; and according to that will be his opinion as to the particular manner in which the course of events is regulated.Benjamin Disraeli
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.Charles Spurgeon
Education gives humility. Humility gives social acceptance. Social acceptance gives industry. Industry gives wealth. Wealth gives the ability to perform good karma. Good karma gives happiness.Hitopadesa
Human suffering is not a sign of God’s anger with mankind. But a sign of man’s ignorance of divine law.– Paramahansa Yogananda
A few days ago an astrologer came here. At about 10 a.m., the day after his arrival, he asked Bhagavan several questions on astrology and obtained suitable replies.
I give below a brief report of their conversation:
Questioner: “Swami! According to astrological science, predictions are made about coming events, taking into account the influence of the stars. Is that true?”
Bhagavan: “So long as you have the feeling of egoism all that is true. When that egoism gets destroyed all that is untrue.”
Questioner: “Does it mean that astrology won’t be true in the case of those whose egoism is destroyed?”
Bhagavan: “Who is there to say it won’t be true? There will be seeing only if there is one who sees. In the case of those whose egoism is destroyed, even if they appear to see they do not really see. The window is open. Even so there must be some one to see. Does the window see anything?”
Questioner: “If that ego were not there how could the body continue to function from day to day?”
Bhagavan: “Yes. That is it. The body is a house for us. This house will be properly maintained only if you are in it. Hence we must realise that we are keeping the house habitable only so long as we are in it and must never give up the knowledge that the house is separate from the Self. The moment that is forgotten the feeling of ego comes in and troubles begin. Everything in the world thus appears realand the destruction of that feeling is the destruction of the ego. When that ego is destroyed nothing (of this world) is real. What is to happen will happen; and what is not to happen will not happen.”
Questioner: “You say that what is to happen will happen and what is not to happen will not happen; if that is so, why should it be said that good deeds must be done?”
Bhagavan: “If something good is done, it results in happiness. Hence people say good deeds must be done.”
Questioner: “Yes. That is why elders say that sorrow is adventitious.”
Bhagavan: “That is so. Sorrow is adventitious. It is only happiness that is natural. Every living being desires happiness because his natural state is the embodiment of happiness. All sadhanas (spiritual efforts) are for overcoming adventitious sorrow. When a headache comes on casually, you have to get rid of it by medicine. If it is a permanent ailment of the body, attached to it from birthto death, why should you try to get rid of it? Just as boils and other diseases of the body are cured by a doctor’s treatment, sorrows which are the result of various difficulties can be overcome by sadhana specially aimed at them. This body itself is a disease. The root cause of it is ignorance. If for that ignorance the medicine called jnana is administered all inherent diseases will disappear at once.”
Questioner: “Is it possible to get immediate results by sadhana?”
Bhagavan: Some yield immediate results and some do not. That depends upon the intensity or otherwise of the sadhana. If good acts or evil acts are done with great intensity the results will manifest themselves immediately; otherwise the results are slow. The results, however, necessarily follow.It cannot be helped.
“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.”– Anne Frank
What you gave up is of no importance now.
What have you not given up?
Sadhana is a search for what to give up.
Empty yourself completely.Nisargadatta Maharaj
Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.Carl Sagan / Aphorism derived from Archeology
Come out of the circle of time, and into the circle of love.
The mistake that makes you humble is better than achievement that makes you arrogant.
Remember, your own soul knows the reasons why you were born in this life. It knows what you need to accomplish in this birth. As a soul, you know what obstacles and challenges you need to face and overcome to grow stronger and conquer past karmic patterns through fulfilling your chosen dharma.Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today
From compulsiveness to consciousness: that is the journey.– Jaggi Vasudev
Science asks How; Philosophy asks Why; Nature doesn’t give a shit.
In the Verse 24 of “Reality in Forty Verses”, Ramana Maharshi says that neither the insentient body says “I”, nor the sentient, self-effulgent, ever-present Consciousness says “I”. Between them, the Ahamkara (ego-self) rises as “I” and ties both of them together and it is known as Chit-Jada Granthi (Sentient-Insentient Knot). This knot needs to be cut using Viveka, the sword of reasoning and discrimination. The non-emergence of the egoistic “I” is the pure state of being. To destroy the ego, the source of its emergence has to be sought by digging deep and turning the mind inwards. Then the Ahamkara (ego-self) subsides and the experience of the Self emerges as the real “I” – “I” – “I”.Arun Kumar, Author of “Pearls of Vedic Wisdom to Succeed” on Quora
I came from brilliancy.
And return to brilliancy.
What is this?
The poem was one line short of the customary four, so the disciple said: “Master, we are one line short.”
Hoshin, with the roar of a conquering lion, shouted “Kaa!” and was gone.
Before I was born, there was nothing that distinguished me from the galaxy and after I die there will be nothing to distinguish me from it. But now there is something that separates us, but I don’t really know what it is.
Stephen Damon, a Soto Zen priest who leads a small Zen group in San Francisco writes:
“After settling into a daily home practice and attending monthly one-day sittings for a while I began to sense that the great question of life and death was my question. The question became my “center of gravity” around which the rest of my life—in the Zendo and out in the streets—revolved. Most important, I felt an urgency, not to find an answer but to become more intimate with question, until I became the question. In a very deep sense, I was no longer “Stephen” or “Korin” or a Buddhist, I was the question of what is life and death. Over the years this question has deepened and broadened to include everything. And every time I take my seat at home or in a zendo and every time I pick up a sutra or any book on Zen I am that question.
If a book does not offer a response to the question I file it away, but if it does offer something, or if it does open me up to a place in myself that can respond to the question I keep it close by to come back to often. I will keep Hoshin’s poem in my mind and heart always. While the three lines are powerful, what is even more powerful is the emptiness of the fourth line. Every Buddhist teaching is incomplete and must be completed in oneself. Hoshin’s poem, while eloquent in its succinctness was incomplete until he yelled “KAA!” Perhaps, a death poem should be only three lines to be completed by an expression of a person’s last moment. Some may yell out something, and some may gently and peacefully breathe out one last breath and watch it blend with the air around him or her—into the Great Silence behind everything.”
“As Terence McKenna observed, “Modern science is based on the principle: ‘Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.’ The one free miracle is the appearance of all the mass and energy in the universe and all the laws that govern it in a single instant from nothing.”Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation
सतसंगत्वे , निसंगत्वे ।
निसंगत्वे , निरमोहत्वे।।
निरमोहत्वे , निश्चलतत्वम ।
निश्चलतत्वे ,जिवनमुक्ति ।।
सत् के सगंत मे हो तो, बुराइयां आप का साथ छोड़ देगी।
बुराई का साथ छुटेगा तो,मोह माय़ा से मुक्त हो जाओगे ।।
मोह माया छुटने पर ,समभाव की भावना आती है ।
समभाव की भावना से, जिवन की मुक्ति होती है।।
य़ोग रतोवा, भोग रतोवा ।
सगं रतोवा,सगं विहीनह् ।।
यसय बार्ह्मणी, रमते चित्हः ।
ननंदति ननंदति ननंदतेवा् ।।
चाहे आप य़ोग में हो या भोग में हो
किसी के संग मे हो, य़ा किसी के संग के बिना हो वह प्राणी जो ब्रह्माण के रचयीता को ध्यान मे रखता है,या फिऱ ब्रहम को चित्त में रखता है वह व्य़क्ति हमेंशा आनंद आनंद आनंदमय़ रहता है ।।
Sadhana is a practice; it is a discipline; it is a manner of streamlining one’s life – conducting oneself in daily life in a specifically ordered and scientific way. Doing anything that one thinks, going anywhere one likes – that is not a disciplined life. Even if it is necessary for you to do varieties of things in a particular day, those varieties have to be beautifully blended into the pattern of a unity, which is the day for you. The whole day is a unity of purpose. In every act of ours, every day, we are expected to take a further step of advance towards the realisation of Truth, an advance in the direction of Reality, which means to say an effort in the direction of imbibing in one’s own personal life those characteristics which are to be found in Reality Itself.Swami Krishnananda
If your efforts in life have not made you a little happier than you were yesterday, your efforts in any direction whatsoever are a waste.Swami Krishnananda
Truth is a pathless land.J. Krishnamurti
If I don’t care for myself, who else will?Dipanshu Rawal, Quora user
If I don’t invest in myself, who else will?
If I don’t create a life I want to live, who else will?
If I don’t pause and reflect on my current state, who else will?
If I don’t develop patience, stillness, and peace in myself, who else will?
When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.
The what-ifs and the should-haves will eat your brain.
-John O’ Callaghan
Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?Abraham Lincoln
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.Søren Kierkegaard
The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.Abigail Van Buren
அன்பே உன் அன்னை
அறிவே உன் தந்தை
உலகே உன் கோவில்
ஒன்றே உன் தேவன்