Archive for जून, 2011

Dakshinamurthy Stotra

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What is the most fundamental thought of India that makes it different from the rest and also gives a distinct pedestal over other eastern cultures?
Threads leading to the crust are many and it can be arrived at from different facets. Herewith is an attempt from Puranic conception.

The life of Prahlad of Srimad Bhagvatam constitutes a basic and popular tale  of  Sanatana tradition, that establishes many facets of the tradition It gives us a nice view of the position of different values that tradition cherish.

Prahlad’s born in Asura clan was son of King Hiranyakashipu. His uncle Hiranyaksha out of greed had pushed earth to nether region. Gods and sages prayed to Vishnu, who assumed form of a Varaha  (Boar) Avatara and liberated the mother earth, killing Hiranyaksha.

Hiranyakashipu, his younger brother was yet greedier; he forcefully acquired the Havis meant for Gods and others. When he tried to kill his son Prahlad, who was a great bhakta, Vishnu assumed form of Narsimha (half lion and half man) and killed the Asura king. (Hiranyaksha-Hiranyakashipu, Shishupal-Dantavakra and Ravana-Kumbhakarna as per puranic lore were Jay-Vijaya, two Dwarpala of Vaikuntha; who were cursed by Sanakadika rishis for their impudence, to be born in Asura Yonis.

Traditional Sanatana mind without difficulty identify the scientific and economic growth and resultant prosperity to prosperity of Asura kings. Puranas recounts the suffering mother earth at the hands of Daitya / Asura that break the rule of dharma and her subsequent deliverance by God. The similarity is something that can hardly be missed. Bhagvatkaars across the country rarely miss to point this out telling the literal meaning of Hirany-aksha (one who eyes on gold and riches) and so on. For example when University of California Astrophysicist Greg Laughlin recently came up with a formula to calculate the worth of Earth (something around 3000 trillion pounds) the identification becomes complete. This discovery of formula is revealing as it provides an opportunity to visit the moral and ethical base of the scientific age. Comparing this with Indian thought that sees earth as a mother nay mother goddess herself the contrast of sacredness of life and profaneness of knowledge come to fore like never before.
Needless to say these Bhagwatkaars don’t understand the history taught in modern sense and the modern republic of India also does not recognize their existence. Thus the current world view of science cannot go along with concept of Atman. Why, Let us see.

In the story Prahlad was sent to Guru. The King wanted his son to accept ‘materialist’ values.
At the Gurukula on being coaxed to tell his mind, Prahlad replies to the associates and disciples of Guru Shukracharya’s (Srimad Bhagvatam 7-5-11/12/13)
Those men whose mind remain attached to worldly possessions are affected by Maya the delusional power of Bhagwan and they wrongly see things as ‘mine’ and ‘others’; I bow to that Bhagwan who is the lord of Maya.
When such Bhagwan bestows grace, the minds of men are purged of those animal instincts which creates false distinction as this is I and that is different from I. That Parmatman (supreme soul) is this Atman (individual soul) and deluded people distinguishing in ‘mine’ and ‘others’ expound That only…

This is the concept of Atman or ‘Self’. It is this ‘Atman’ that makes ground of the ultimate unity of all being sentient and insentient the whole existence. Experience of this reality is the goal ultimate for a follower of Sanatana tradition. This experience is unattainable by any act, learning etc. though they are useful tool to avoid or remove distractions. This all pervading Self being true nature is available to all, one just has to turn gaze upon it. Since this Atman at nothing but Brahman only, the whole existence is sacred. This is finds resonated in all major theist schools of the tradition but not with some startlingly different tones or interpretations.

This tradition sees man as a part (just like any other living being) of ecology. There is sacredness associated with existence, the nature by origin is divine (preside by Gods) and there is a constant transaction between man and nature a Yajna is in happening; all this is happening within Brahman. So there is live relationship between human acts and nature, a mutual give and take. This grand orderly cosmic interrelatedness, the rta is inviolable. Being most fundamental to Indian tradition it constitutes the ethical and moral force of our being and constitutes our characteristic distinctness. . Despite terrible attempts and omissions this is visible in lives of common people even today. Some Examples: 1. In villages even today many farmers following Manu Smriti don’t carry more than 400 kgs of load on bullock-cart 2. Animals lost their utility owing to age or ailments are not sold. 3. Women while cooking food prepare bread for fire, cow-ox and dog. 4. Thousands of people following almanac throng sacred rivers, hills on their own. 5. People despite taught science and associated values, still see moksha or kaivalya as goal of life.

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