ShauryaT wrote:There is something for "traditional" vedic paths to learn from new paths.
No. All other 'paths'(new or old) have not done anything unique/new. They have only highlighted a particular concept of SD, while rejecting all other concepts. SD is comprehensive and perfect. There is no need for SD to learn from anyone or anything on any issue. One assumes that those who are down must be doing something wrong and those who are on top must be doing something right. But, thats an assumption. Sometimes, it is just general circumstances that determine success and failure.
Atri wrote:It is time we become sanatan dharmiks by practice. To begin with, we should start performing our kulacharas and kuladevta and ishtadevata upasana and please our ancestors.
The gods in our home are our real care-takers. They are members of our family. One should start treating them as ones first.
And most of all, teach these kulacharas of family to kids in family. This is how dharma is propagated
A general SD/Hindu 'doctrine' that would be useful for Bharatiya 'Dharmic' living is: Doctrine of Pancha-Yagna.
Doctrine of Pancha-Yagna
(5 Yagyas) contains 5 duties for a family(married couple):
Ravi_g saar has pointed out a very important point.
ravi_g wrote:1) virtually zero relevance at how one person should behave with other. In any case on this point most of the modernists will be satisfied if their life and limb are saved. It is the rest of the crowd that needs it. A kind of directive principle of personal policy would have helped.
This is a vital lacking apart from many other general flaws. The doctine of Pancha-yagya is useful to fulfill this gap.
The basic idea of pancha-yagya is following:
For any individual/family to sustain itself, it needs several others(society). So, an individual must have gratitude for this and repay the others as much as he/she can in a positive manner.
1) Deva-Yagya (worship of Gods)
According to Shaastras(scriptures), every human is indebted to various Gods for the boons that he receives from them. Every human is depending on devas(gods) for his day-to-day existence. This is called Deva-runam. Deva means Gods and Runam means debt. So, Deva Runam means debt towards Gods.
Human beings depend on these various gods for day-to-day existence. A person needs timely rains, proper sun light, and heat, ...etc. A person also needs all the organs of his body to function properly. All these needs are fulfilled by the Gods.
Every person is already enjoying many of these boons given by god everyday. For example, every creature on earth is benefiting from sun. So, each person is obliged to express his gratitude to the gods for the blessings he/she has already received. This doctrine goes one step ahead of 'count your blessings'. It tells us not just to count the blessings, but to express gratitude for these blessings because one is indebted by receiving these blessings.
How to repay the Deva-runam?
Shaastras(scriptures) state that this debt can be cleared by performing Deva-Yagam.
What is a Deva-yagnam?
Deva-yagnam means worshiping the gods. One must regularly worship gods and express gratitude for the blessings that one has already received and may also ask for more.
Which Gods to worship and how?
One can worship one's favourite Gods(ishta-devata) according to one's convenience. The best method is to follow one's kulachara/sampradaya(family tradition). Of course, the general caution is that one must not do what is prohibited by the scriptures. So, one can choose one's favourite God from the figures that are accepted by the scriptures:
1) Shiva(and His various forms), 2) Vishnu(and His various forms and avataras), 3) Amba(and Her various forms and avataras), 4) Ganapati, 5) Skanda/Subramanya and 6) Surya/Aditya.
The method of worship must also be in consonance with the scriptures.
Now, the question of practicality raised by Bji:
The answer to practicality is, 'Yatha-shakti'(depending on one's capability). One can worship the Gods depending upon one's capability(not necessarily convenience, but capability). One can perform an extended/elaborate worship or a brief/simple one depending on one's capability. If one has very less capability(in terms of time or materials), then one can perform a simple worship. But, one has been cautioned not to forgo the worship completely. Perform, atleast a cursory worship instead of completely abandoning it.
Deva-Yagya(worshiping Gods) can range from most simple(ex: bhajan/stotra) to highly elaborate(ex: fire altars).
2) Pitri-Yagya(Worship of Ancestors)
Every creature is indebted to its parents for giving birth to it. One's body which is the source of all the comforts and which is also the primary tool for all the pursuits has been bestowed by one's Parents. One must be grateful to the parents for giving birth. The parents also nurture the child from the time of his birth and raise him. Therefore, one is indebted to the parents. If one thinks further, the genes in one's body are passed down from one's forefathers. One is indebted to the forefathers also. This is called Pitri-runam.
Without this mental attitude, an individual is beneath the animals. Even animals have compassion for their parents. Of course, they have several limitations. But, civilized human beings are supposed to be better than them. It is this kind of attitude that raises the man above the animals. One can use one's intellect to argue that reproduction is nothing but a simple result of sexual enjoyment and therefore, there is no need for gratitude on the part of the child. But, such an attitude would lead to debauchery.
How to repay the Pirti-runam?
What is pitri-yagnam?
Pitri-yagnam means worship of ancestors.
The first and foremost step is: Matru devo bhava and Pitru Devo bhava. Take care of mother and father.
The next step is: take care of all the elders of the family.
One must take care of them, to the best of one's ability(yatha-shakti), until they are alive. Once they have departed, the next phase in Pitri-Yagya starts. The next phase of Pitri-Yagya is to perform Shraddha karma.
Finally, Pitri-runam is completely cleared only when one reproduces a heir to carry on the family name and family tradition. The family line must not end. So, one has to marry and give birth to a child. Then raise the child appropriately. In short, repeat what was done by one's parents. One must inculcate proper attitude in one's children, so that they will also follow this same path.
3) Rushi-Yagya(Worship of Rishis)
Rishis have passed on great knowledge to humans through their magnificent works. Generally, a poet or a writer composes a work for money or fame or some other selfish motive. Unlike this, a rishi is neither interested in material wealth or worldly fame or any other selfish motive. A rishi creates the literature with only one purpose: the welfare of the world. Thus, that literature is extremely auspicious and precious. Such a great literature is gifted by the rishis to humankind. Therefore, every human is indebted to these rishis. This is called rishi-runam.
That knowledge given by rishis must not go in vain. It must not go extinct. So, it is the duty of all human beings to learn that knowledge themselves and then pass it on to their next generation. One may not know the worth of the knowledge that is being passed on from generation to generation, but still one must not break that chain.
Today, there are many researches being done based on these ancient source from different angles. These sources have survived because they were passed on from generation to generation. Those passing the knowledge may or may not have known the worth of it. They may or may not be in a position to envisage how this knowledge would be lead to new researches in future. But, if they had not passed on this knowledge dutifully from generation to generation, then the knowledge would have been extinct. And nothing left to do any research on.
Today, one may not realise the importance of the knowledge that is being passed down. May be, it will have great importance for future generations. Generally, people(specially, modern day Hindus) tend to think,"first prove to me that this ancient knowledge is worth preserving, then I will try." This attitude is wrong. Because one may not realise the full worth of the ancient knowledge today, but if one does not propagate it, then nothing will be left for the future generations to research on.
One may complain that one does not have the time and capacity to pursue this course. The answer to that complaint is: Yatha-shakti(depending on one's capability).
One can learn and pass-on as much as one is capable of. Chanakya says,
"Let not a single day pass without your learning a verse, or half a verse, or a fourth of it, or at least a single letter; nor without attending to charity(dana), study(sva-adhyaya) and other pious activity(karma)." Chanakya Niti, Chapter 2, shloka 10.
Chanakya is saying that not even a single day must be allowed to pass without learning atleast one shloka from the literature of Rishis. If one does not have the time for even one shloka, then one can learn half of shloka. If not even that, then learn one-fourth of shloka. If even that is not possible, then atleast learn a single letter. But, do not abandon it completely. Inculcate the habit of learning. The habit is important. The amount of time will increase slowly. The capability will increase gradually. But, first and foremost inculcate the habit by not skipping it for even a single day.
After, 'matru-devo bhava and pitru devo bhava', the next step is:
acharya devo bhava(worship the acharya) and svadhyaya na pramaditavyam(don't neglect the self-study).
This is an important distinguishing factor. Abrahamic religions(particularly X-ianity) has a history of being opposed to learning. Church had tried(and perhaps, still tries) to keep strict control over the transmission of knowledge. Libraries containing valuable books were burnt down and most of that knowledge is unavailable today. Church had perpetuated ignorance and illiteracy.
With the decline and fall of the Roman Empire the Christian religion spread and grew, among the Barbarian destroyers of Rome. The Dark Ages contemporaneously spread their intellectual pall over Europe. Scarcely any but priests and monks could read. Charlemagne learned to wield the pen only to the extent of scrawling his signature. The barons who wrested Magna Carta from John Lackland signed with their marks and seals. The worst criminals, provided they were endowed with the rare and magic virtue of knowing how to read even badly, enjoyed the “benefit of clergy” (i.e., of clerical learning), and escaped immune or with greatly mitigated punishment. There were no books save painfully-written manuscripts, worth the ransom of princes, and utterly unattainable except by the very wealthy and by the Church; not till about 1450 was the first printed book known in Europe. The Bible existed only in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and the ignorant masses were totally ignorant of it other than what they heard from the priests, who told them that they must believe it or be tortured and killed in life and damned forever in the fires of hell after death. It is no wonder that faith flourished under conditions so exceptionally favorable
(Wheless, Is It God's World, 1926)
In contrast to the above policies, Hinduism/SD urges the people to pursue knowledge. Except Vedas, there are no restrictions on learning. Even Vedas can be learnt indirectly through other sources, according to the scriptural precedents.
4) Manushya-Yagya(Worship of Humans)
No individual can live in isolation. No family lives by itself. Every individual depends on others(society) directly or indirectly. Just as one takes from others, one must also give back to others as much as possible(yatha-shakti).
The most famous aspect of this is: 'athithi devo bhava'(worship the guests). Take care of those guests(invited or uninvited) who come to your home. Take care of them with a cheerful heart regarding it as a privilege, instead of thinking the hosting job as a punishment.
Helping others as much as possible(danam). The least one can do is not harming others(ahimsa).
But, danam and ahimsa must be understood properly.
varunkumar wrote:^^^ The Indian habit of giving privileges to others for free without asking for anything in return keeps coming back to bite it in the arse. When you keep distributing rights to others as Santa Clause, they start treating you like dirt. These rights and privileges should be given after hard negotiations and extracting equal value in return.
Apatra danam... (charity/generosity to undeserving). Ex: India's relationship with India's neigbours.
Charity/generosity beyond one's capacity. Ex: India trying to provide electricity to pakis.
Charity/generosity without taking into account geo-political implications(Desha-Kala-Paristhiti). Aman ki asha, Hindi-Chini bhai bhai, ...etc.
Charity/generosity motivated by the leadership based on their own bias(or vested interests), rather than welfare of the country. example: India offering flood-aid to pakis.
The scriptures prescribe certain attitudes and conditions under which daana becomes fruitful and effective. First, one must give according to one's capacity. One must not give in excess of one's capacity and then expect a favour in return from the recipient. Anything which is given with a hidden motive or with an expectation of material returns is not daana.
Second, the donor must have a proper attitude - Shraddha (with deep respect, sincere trust and dignity). Any act of charity done without Shraddha becomes meaningless. The donor must not consider oneself superior to the recipient. Swami Vivekananda says the donor that we must feel grateful that someone is giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge or resources; it is the donor who benefits from the act of giving; not the recipient. The donor must look upon the recipient as God himself in human form and perform charity with great humility.
Third, the recipient also must satisfy some conditions. He must be a worthy recipient - adhikari. The scriptures prohibit apatra daanam- charity done to an unworthy recipient is not only fruitless but can also prove dangerous - like money given to a drunkard or a drug addict who might injure others after indulging.
Finally, one has to be sensitive to the desa-kala parameters. Charity should be done at the right time, at the right place and with due respect to all the protocols and rituals. Charity thus performed becomes a boon both to the giver and the receiver.
The above factors are applicable to ahimsa also. Force is not equal to himsa. Only unnecessary/unreasonable force is equal to himsa. Punishing the guilty is not himsa. Even if it is himsa for the guilty, it is ahimsa to the victims of the guilty. Self-defence is not himsa. himsa-ahimsa is a huge topic, but this is the gist of it.
5) Bhuta-Yagya(worship of beings)
Human beings depend on each other for survival. But, human beings collectively depend on other beings for survival. And therefore, it is the duty of the Human beings to take care of other beings to the best of their abilities.
That means taking care of animals, plants and nature in general. Abstaining from unnecessarily
hurting the animals or plants or any other creatures. Helping other creatures(plants and animals) as much as one can, is called bhuta yagya.
These 5 yagyas are collectively called Pancha-yagya. Lalitha Sahasranama praises the Goddess as 'Pancha-Yagya-Priya)(Lover of Pancha-Yagyas). These 5 Yagya are based on love, compassion and gratitude for one and all. Practicing them refines the practitioner.
Practising the Pancha-Yagya leads to qualities like Maithri(friendliness) and Karuna(compassion).
Practising the pancha-yagya without expecting any results(or offering the results to God/Goddess) leads to Chitta-shuddi(cleansing of mind).
Maitri, Mudita, Karuna, upeksanam Sukha-Dukkha-Punyapunya Visayanam bhavanatachitta Prasadanam (33rd Yoga Suta of Patanjali)
Friendliness, happiness, compassion, tolerance towards comfort/pain and virtue/vice makes the mind suitable.
Once the mind is in this state, then the vairagya(detachment) can be inculcated. After that, mumukshutvam(yearning for liberation).
Marriage and Family:
The basic requisite to follow the above 5 yagyas is a family(married couple). A married couple is the basic unit of society from hindu perspective. So, marriage has to be preserved. Break down in family structure will spread havoc in society. In modern times(particularly in the west and increasingly being aped by others), the state is trying to destabilize the family structure and instead replace with a dependency of all individuals on the state for security, succor and livelihood. This is a wrong model with several flaws. Instead, state most support and promote the marriage and discourage the break down of family structure.
Divorce or separation of family members must be a final resort when there is no other choice.
Here is a discourse of Samavedam Shanmukha Sharma on this topic: Idi na bharatiyata(This is my Indian culture).http://vimeo.com/56317676
It is in telugu. Those who know telugu, can avail it.
My post has been based on that discourse...
devesh wrote:RajeshA ji,
I am not advocating "othering" of the Dvaitins. I am only suggesting that the "surrender theology" needs to relax a bit. the gurus and acharyas need to stop stressing this aspect, and eventually after the political awakening happens, we can revisit the concept and reinterpret it.
regardless of my issues with the extreme Dvaitins, I personally have not given up Bhakti marga. to me, that was the first seed of SD I was endowed with from family. and that will remain with me till the end. but I do wish that there is a reorientation of focus.
misuse and abuse of any concept is quite natural and par for the course. Any concept can be misused and abused deliberately or inadvertently. First thing is to check whether the concept is inherently flawed. Most of the SD concepts are not inherently flawed.
And if a concept is being misused or abused, it is better to rectify the usage than to abandon it. In case of surrender, one can rectify it by saying, 'surrender does not mean inaction, but detached action(without fretting about results). That means surrendering the rewards of the action. Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani
(You have the right to perform your actions, but you don't have power on results of the actions.
Don't act for results(instead act because it is your duty). Don't be attached to inaction
Harbans' hypothetical situation is not unique to Hindus. The same choice can be placed before any other community: make compromises and live(to fight another day) or fight(and risk extinction).
Different people react to the above choice differently based on the various calculations(including geo-political calculations, emotional temperaments, social values, ...etc). One cannot make judgements on such choices unless one is placed in the same situation. It is easy to pronounce judgements, but talk is cheap. Having said that, one cannot use this logic to justify all surrender, especially when the circumstances are favorable. Of course, those who surrendered would like to justify their actions.
RajeshA wrote:ravi_g ji,
The Constitution fails to address what belongs in the purview of "religion". Does Jihad belong to it as well? After all it is considered a religious duty of the Muslims? Does Shariah belong to "freedom of religion"? Does "death for apostates" belong to "freedom of religion"? Does spreading hate propaganda against polytheism, idolatry and vegetarianism constitute "freedom of religion"? Is killing or cutting off of hands in the name of blasphemy constitute "freedom of religion"? Does expanding demographically to an extent that one can usurp the Constitution belong in the field of "freedom of religion"? Does passing fatwas on singing girl bands constitute "freedom of religion"?
Religious Freedom should be applicable for the citizen only to the profession and practice of personal "Moksha Marg". Everything else should be overseen according to Dharmic principles, and Bharat's security and civilizational interests.
the real problem is that religion(and culture) politics and modern science does not have any boundaries.
Politics wants to decide the boundaries of religion and modern science, while politics itself wants to be unlimited.
Modern science wants to decide the boundaries of politics and religion, while modern science itself wants to be unlimited.
Religions wants to decide the boundaries of politics and modern science, religion itself wants to be unlimited.
Strictly speaking modern science is almost a religion. Not just modern science, but many political ideologies and economic ideologies are becoming a religion. A religion is supposed to be dogmatic and based on blind belief...
Constitution because it is drafted by the politicians, wants to limit the religion by defining boundaries of social life where religion is valid. If the constitution were drafted by the religious minded, then they would have limited the power of politicians.
ravi_g wrote:Most of what is there in the constitution is very acceptable. A few points are fossilized remains of Gulam Zeheniyat debated heavily which are well known, talked over on this forum too. These parts are very very harmful in any run and that is why the long debate.
Also most of the Constitution has remained unchanged from its inception and was drafted by a team which was reasonably aware of Dharmic memes. They actually did a rather good job considering the limitations.
A lot of this discussion was actually avoidable had people read it and understood its practice before voicing their concerns. The so named constitutionalists are not even constitutionalists actually. They just think they are. So I went along with the flow.
Personally I have a view that the Constitution has some of the following additional limitations and these can only be addressed by the Dharm-Karm framework being used at ground level:
1) virtually zero relevance at how one person should behave with other. In any case on this point most of the modernists will be satisfied if their life and limb are saved. It is the rest of the crowd that needs it. A kind of directive principle of personal policy would have helped.
2) strong limitations on how the individual should understand the layered existence of themselves and of people/institutions around. This too is required only in principle in the constitution for the general guidance of Judiciary. The practice of a layered existence cannot be upheld for any length of time without the involvement of people and that is where the focus should be.
3) Over the years Constitution has been used as a religious book itself. That is the pain point. This ‘cannot change the basic structure of the constitution’ is dangerous business. Weak people come to it thinking it will protect the varied minorities that constitute Hinduism. And while it actually fails to do that it also lays down a trap for the future Dharmics when the Abrahmics become majority on this land.
The basic solutions in these regard remain executable at the level of society only and no amount of law giving will solve a problem that is drivers for which are below the constitutional radar. The smarter foreigners know this that is why they keep prodding the general population, using various agencies. This way they hope to drive the general population around a khunta/peg so their shenanigans go unnoticed and one fine day they will come up with the highly contorted version of the constitution the basic structure of which cannot be changed.
Baaki kuch yaad ayega to likhunga. Thanks.
interesting thought experiments...