Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Vikas » 25 Mar 2009 04:11

Another piece of info that I had read sometime back.
In Treta yug,Vali the Manas putra of Indra was killed by Sri Ram the manas putra of Surya (hence Surya Vanshi) and in Dwapar yug,
Arjun the Manas Putra of Indra returns the favour by slaying Karana the manas putra of Surya.
The universe completes the cycle always.
In Mahabharata, why Duryodhna refused the 5 villages to Pandava is because Duryodhna believed himself to be the legitimate successor of Kuru Empire and by agreeing to give 5 villages to Pandava, he would have ended up diluting his own legitimacy.
His sole claim to throne was his being eldest Son of the ruling King and the whole peace movement by Yudhishther before war was meant to thwart this claim of his. For Dhuryodhna,it was to be all or none.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Vikas » 25 Mar 2009 04:15

There is no mention of Sri Krishna's clan participating in MB ? The only person mentioned is Satyaki IIRC.
Where was Yadav clan during the biggest war on earth ?

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 25 Mar 2009 04:19

3100 BCE appears to be a significant period in global climatic records. Very rapid Sea-level fluctuations, abrupt climatic change are seen. Moreover, a large extra-terrestrial object could have crashed or exploded (meteor/comet) somewhere in the near-East (Levant). This in itself could have created climatic disruptions.The very rapid sea-level fluctuations was one strong indicator for me that the date could be related to Mahabharata -(Prabhas parva). This was not "flood" as such, but the climate disruptions were sufficiently string to have left mark on human civilizational records archaeologically globally, especially in the middle east. Not sure about specific studies for this period in the Indian context.

Regarding Yadava non-participation - were there no Yadavas among the Sanngshaptakas, the "private" army of Krishna? If not then Krishna was already maintaining a multi-ethnic-multi-clan standing army somehwere on Yadava territory that however had no "natives" in it. Would be quite risky, I would think.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby sudarshan » 25 Mar 2009 04:43

Arya Sumantara,
Here's my take on how astrology can be perfectly consistent with Karma Yoga.

According to the theory of Karma, whatever action an agent undertakes, will have consequences. Some of these consequences will occur relatively soon after the original deed (or cause), while others will occur much later. So what happens to those consequences, which are slated to have an effect long after the physical death of the agent that caused them? This is where rebirth comes in. Now when a being is reborn, he/she/it, for whatever reasons (maybe because he/she/it now has a new physical body, whose brain functions/memory etc. are blank at birth) remembers nothing of his/her/its previous actions. So the stars act as a stellar cataloging mechanism. Maybe each living being is inserted into the world at such a time, that the astrological configuration for the duration of the being's expected life, will indicate what consequences the being's unfulfilled past actions would hold at various points of his/her/its life. Please note that if thousands of living entities are inserted into the physical realm at appropriate times, that automatically takes care of a large part of the consequences to come- because it fixes the other living entities with which this particular entity can interact, etc. etc. In effect, this could be an internally consistent, "self-fulfilling prophecy" kind of mechanism. So the stellar configurations will certainly indicate what is to come (based on unfulfilled consequences of past actions), but they do not govern your life- because you are free to modify future consequences with current actions, up to the point of no return (i.e., when it is too late to modify an impending consequence by further action). When you reach this point of no return, you will simply have to submit to fate. This could be the meaning behind childless couples being told (as Dasharatha was in the Ramayana) that some unfulfilled consequence was keeping them childless, but that the consequence could be mitigated by performing an appropriate Yagna.

Just my own attempt to make sense of astrology in a world supposedly governed purely by cause and consequence (aka Karma). Take it FWIW.

@VikasRaina:

Krishna's yadava army fought on the side of the Kauravas, I thought? This was the choice Krishna offered Arjuna and Duryodhana, who both went to request him to fight on their side- that Krishna would join one side, but would not fight, while his entire army would join the other side and fight. Arjuna got first choice (because he sat at the sleeping Krishna's feet, while Duryodhana sat by his head, which is why Krishna saw Arjuna first when he woke). To Duryodhana's great delight, Arjuna opted to have Krishna on the Pandava side.

Apart from Satyaki, another yadava warrior who fought on the Kaurava side was Kritavarman. In fact, towards the end, it was Ashwatthama, Kritavarman, and Kripacharya who went and killed the sleeping sons of Draupadi, as well as Drishtadyumna in a night-time revenge attack. When the time of destruction of the yadava clan came (33 years after the war, I think), the carnage started with Kritavarman and Satyaki taunting each other- "you (Satyaki) cut off the head of a man (Bhoorishravas) who had already lost one arm, and was about to give up his life on his own;" "so what? at least I never went attacking sleeping warriors in the dead of the night;" etc.

Sudarshan

[Added later: Sorry, Satyaki did not fight on the side of the Kauravas- he was on the Pandava side.]
Last edited by sudarshan on 25 Mar 2009 10:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby sudarshan » 25 Mar 2009 04:46

http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/a ... artak.html

This is the scholar(?) I was talking about before, who dated the Mahabharata war to circa 5500 B.C. This was what prompted me to start my earlier thread on dating the Mahabharata, etc. There was some nice discussion at that time (around 3/4 years ago?), but nothing conclusive came of it as to when the Mahabharata might have happened.

Sudarshan

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby madhum » 25 Mar 2009 04:55

And here are the dates for Ramayana:

http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/a ... artak.html

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Keshav » 25 Mar 2009 05:22

It's funny how the original post said discussing religion was out of bounds, but how do you talk about Indian culture without it? How do you talk about the Mahabharata without taking up these issues?

It brings in the whole idea about what secularism really means to India.

Jwala Mukhi -

Sudarshan confirmed my thoughts when he reminded me of the relevant episode. Krishna did promise not to get involved when Arjuna picked him over his Yadava army.

Your explanation was a bit confusing so maybe you could rephrase it. How can someone be both human and God? Isn't the whole idea that we are not God (in the typical sense, not the Vedanta sense that we are all Brahman) the difference between Krishna and the rest of the people?

In light of this, how do you reconcile his promise to avoid entanglements in the war with the obvious favor he had for the Pandavas? He even went out of his way to defend Arjuna who he seemed partial to?

Perhaps the Pandavas were simply part of his master plan to remove the Kauravas and save India?

A general question to all -
Since this is a military website, I wanted to ask a military question.

Considering the culture, leadership, and comraderie that is part and parcel of military life, doesn't it seem farfetched that Krishna would all of a sudden just give the most powerful fighting force on the sub-continent away? How did he justify killing all his own people?

I suppose you could ask the same thing about the Rajputs and how some fought for the Mughals and vice versa on the whims of kings.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Vikas » 25 Mar 2009 05:42

Why then there is absolutely no reference to Pradhuyman and other sons of Krishna in MB ? They were great warriors after all.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby putnanja » 25 Mar 2009 06:11

VikasRaina wrote:There is no mention of Sri Krishna's clan participating in MB ? The only person mentioned is Satyaki IIRC.
Where was Yadav clan during the biggest war on earth ?


The yadava army actually fought for the kauravas. There is an interesting episode regarding that. Both Arjuna and Duryodhana came toDwarka to request Krishna's help in the war. Duryodhana came first, and thinking himself equivalent to Krishna, sat near his head. Arjuna came next, and since he considered Krishna as divine, sat near his foot. When Krishna woke up, he first saw Arjuna and asked him what he wanted. Duryodhana objected to this as he had come first. But krishna told him he saw Arjuna first and so Arjuna will get to request first. Krishna then told them that since Balarama has decided not to participate in the war, he too won't bear arms. So he told them that they could get either the unarmed Krishna or the full army of the yadavas. Arjuna sought Krishna, and Duryodhana was delighted as he got the powerful yadava army. He went away thanking his stars. :)

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Tilak » 25 Mar 2009 06:23

<FWIW>

Folks,
Great thread, but kindly make sure that the thread doesn't get dragged/trolled into contemporary issues (wrt. drawing parallels, justifications, politics et. al), although this temptation will arise and I am sensing some on this thread already. Its a minefield that one doesn't want to step into. IMHO

Humble request onlee..
</FWIW>

Back to lurk mode

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby BajKhedawal » 25 Mar 2009 07:00

I am very glad that Chandra started this thread; I have always felt that our scriptures have more to offer than we can comprehend. I am surprised that while we are on page 2 and yet no mention of the 4 Vedas, after all they are the crux, the genesis of everything else discussed here. I for one would definitely welcome insights on the Vedas by the scholars present here. Here is a brief description on the Vedas I found elsewhere, please feel free to elaborate and correct where necessary.

The ancient Indian Vedic scriptures are the greatest heritage of India. These sacred texts were not preached by any single Messiah but evolved over a period of time - a sort of a culmination of the wisdom of several saints. Hence the depth and range of these ancient texts is so vast that one can pick and choose ones path to salvation as per ones attitudinal and spiritual inclinations.

The four Vedas, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Athar Veda form the core of the Hindu religion. They contain the Hindu rituals, worships, mantras and all the religious and social principles, which are the foundation of Hinduism. They also contain several coded instructions and secrets related to use of medicines and secret Tantrik rituals to attain various objectives.

“Veda” means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it manifests the language of the God in human speech. The Vedas are the most sacred books of India. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, and contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Sage Veda Vyasa grouped the mantras into four Vedas as Rig, Yaju, Sama and Atharva and propagated through his disciples Paila Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu, respectively. The four Vedas were said to have 1131 branches earlier. But now only 13 branches are traceable ( about 1%). Out of these 13 branches only 7 are now chanted in different parts of India.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby JwalaMukhi » 25 Mar 2009 07:42

Keshav wrote:I
Jwala Mukhi -

Sudarshan confirmed my thoughts when he reminded me of the relevant episode. Krishna did promise not to get involved when Arjuna picked him over his Yadava army.

Your explanation was a bit confusing so maybe you could rephrase it. How can someone be both human and God? Isn't the whole idea that we are not God (in the typical sense, not the Vedanta sense that we are all Brahman) the difference between Krishna and the rest of the people?

In light of this, how do you reconcile his promise to avoid entanglements in the war with the obvious favor he had for the Pandavas? He even went out of his way to defend Arjuna who he seemed partial to?

Perhaps the Pandavas were simply part of his master plan to remove the Kauravas and save India?

No, no. Krishna's help was sought by both Arjuna and Suyodhana for the impending Kurukshethra. Krishna divided his help in terms of placing his army on one side and himself alone (with a clause as to not take part personally in combat in the capacity of warrior/fighter) Arjuna opted for Krishna. And that ensured Suyodhana to obtain services of Krishna's army. He could be the chief advisor, planner and guide to Pandvas, as long as he does not use arms directly in combat. That is exactly what he did.
Krishna is embodiment of sanatana Dharma and his duty is to protect and in the process Arjuna was on the righteous path and hence he chose to support and guide him. If Suyodhana was following Dharma, Krishna would have supported him and as simple as that. No partiality there, other than ensuring dharma exists in the land of bharathvarsha.
Krishna manifests in human form and is seen and treated by many in such a form. Divine form cannot be seen by people without preparation. The capacity to behold and decipher divine form requires one to have undergone preparation. For example, the divine form of Krishna (Vishwarupa) is revealed to Arjuna. All the while suyodhana and others (except few as Bhishma), treat Krishna as human. The divinity manifests in human/ human friendly form so as to be easily digestable form for humans to comprehend.
Krishna the divine form and krishna the human form coexists in anthromorphic personality. Krishna seen as a buddy by Sudhama. Krishna seen as consort for Radha. Krishna seen as husband for rukmini. Krishna as divinity seen by few such as Arjuna.
Where there is Krishna, there is Dharma and it is very simple. The rules of engagement would have been changed to suit the opponents tricks., and may seem as incorrect when looked in isolation, but when holistically viewed, the sustenance of Dharma requires usage of all kinds of tricks that are available.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Sridhar K » 25 Mar 2009 09:45

A good site on Mahabharata.
http://mahabharata-resources.org/

Kisari Mohan Ganguli's translation is considered to be the most comprehensive, the link to which is given in the above site.

Satyeki though from the Yadava clan fought for the Pandavas as he was Arjuna's disciple. Krishna's sons/grandson (Pradhuymna, Anirudha) etc. remained neutral like Balarama.

As for Krishna not yielding weapons, there is an explanation. Bheeshma who is considered a Krishna baktha had taken a vow that he will make Krishna lift his chakra. So, he lifted his chakra at an opportune moment in order for his Bhaktha's vow to come true i.e. when Arjuna refuses to attack Bheeshma, who is on a rampage after taking another vow to defeat Pandavas before sunset. This paves the way for Bheeshma's defeat later. There was another strategem. As per the rules, if a Sarathy lifts a weapon, the war has to end for that day. This way, Krishna very well knows that his lifting a Chakra will not slay anybody, but will defeat Bheesma' plan of vanishing the pandava army before sunset. Krishna facilitates Bheesma's first vow has it has a God- Bhaktha relationship to it whilst he refuses to facilitate the second one as it is Bheemsa's confidence in his own ability (where he is acting on his own free will)

Krishna states that if Arjuna fails in his duty of Dharma, he won't be a quite spectator and wield arms to protect the larger Dharma, even it means that he will be breaking his vow of not wielding arms (which is smaller dharma). Tactics can be sacrificed in the larger interest of strategy. This is also considered as one of Bheesma's failing, him sticking to his small dharma of protecting Hastinapur's throne and due to which he failed in his duty as a Kshatriya of protecting the larger Dharma (did not intervene when Draupadi was disrobed, he let tyrants like Jarasandha and Kamsa rule over Bharata and many others).

Krishna' action treads on the borders on Adharma many a times, but he uses adharma on the adharmi's only. He builds his case for punishing the adharmi's and does not hesitate to resort to adharmic means to kill Adharma. This is prevalent in other avataras as well (Ramayana - Vali incident, full of Parasurama avatar.)

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ShivHari » 25 Mar 2009 09:51

If someone can please give me an answer for my question, I will really appreciate that.
It is said that just by reciting Lord Shri Krishna's name, one can wash his/her sins from many many births. If it is true then during Mahabharat, every person good or bad who participated in this war had a "Darshan' of Lord Shri Krishna. Does that mean that millions of participants in that war achieved 'Moksha" including Duryodhna, Shakuni, Dushasan etc. Weren't these cruel people supposed to get punishment for thier misdeeds?

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 25 Mar 2009 10:13

Tilak wrote:<FWIW>

Folks,
Great thread, but kindly make sure that the thread doesn't get dragged/trolled into contemporary issues (wrt. drawing parallels, justifications, politics et. al), although this temptation will arise and I am sensing some on this thread already. Its a minefield that one doesn't want to step into. IMHO

Humble request onlee..
</FWIW>

Back to lurk mode


Please keep this in mind and not let nay sayers win.

Thanks, ramana

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Raghav K » 25 Mar 2009 11:06

ShivHari wrote:If someone can please give me an answer for my question, I will really appreciate that.
It is said that just by reciting Lord Shri Krishna's name, one can wash his/her sins from many many births. If it is true then during Mahabharat, every person good or bad who participated in this war had a "Darshan' of Lord Shri Krishna. Does that mean that millions of participants in that war achieved 'Moksha" including Duryodhna, Shakuni, Dushasan etc. Weren't these cruel people supposed to get punishment for thier misdeeds?


To answer your question in a different way, consider the story of slaying of Hiranyakashipu by Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. You would expect that Hiranyakashipu was a cruel man, but infact he was more blessed than Prahlada. When we look at the tree,we do not know anything about its root.

According to a story from Bhagavata Purana, The Four Kumaras, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara who are the manasaputras of Brahma (sons born from the mind or though power of Brahma), visit Vaikuntha - the abode of Vishnu, to see Him. Due to the strength of their tapas, the four Kumaras appear to be mere children, though they are of great age. Jaya and Vijaya, the gate keepers of the Vaikuntha arrogantly stop the Kumaras at the gate, thinking them to be children. They also tell the Kumaras that Sri Vishnu is resting and that they cannot see Him now. The Kumaras grow angry at the gate keepers. They tell Jaya and Vijaya that Vishnu is available for his devotees any time. They lay a curse to Jaya and Vijaya that they would have to give up their divinity, be born on Earth, and live like normal human beings. Vishnu appears before them and His gatekeepers ask Him to lift the curse of the Kumaras. Vishnu says that the curse of Kumaras cannot be taken back. Instead, he gives Jaya and Vijaya two options. The first option is to take seven births on Earth as a devotee of Vishnu, while the second is to take three births as His enemy. After serving either of these sentences, they can re-attain their stature at Vaikuntha and be with Him permanently. Jaya and Vijaya cannot bear the thought of staying away from Vishnu for seven lives. As a result, they choose to be born three times on Earth even though it would have to be as enemies of Vishnu.

In the first life they were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Vishnu takes the avatar of Varaha to kill Hiranyaksha, and the Narasimha avatar to kill Hiranyakasipu. In the second life, they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna, being defeated by Rama avatar as depicted in the great Hindu epic Ramayana during the Treta Yuga. Finally, in their third life, they were born as Sishupala and Dantavakra during the time of Krishna also part of the great Mahabharata epic which took place during the Dwapara Yuga.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiranyakashipu

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby SaiK » 25 Mar 2009 11:12

any reason or more reason that our kathas has different versions for the same event, be it diwali, holi or for that matter kathas of various lords. for example: Ganesh getting this elephant head. or why diwali is celebrated that way.. which version or katha should we preach our kids? and which would be the original or more authentic one or older version.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Dilbu » 25 Mar 2009 11:35

which version or katha should we preach our kids? and which would be the original or more authentic one or older version.

Why do we need to choose between the versions? Let the kids read about all the versions. This is not Hoko we are talking about to have only one TFTA version.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Sachin » 25 Mar 2009 11:52

ShivHari wrote:Does that mean that millions of participants in that war achieved 'Moksha" including Duryodhna, Shakuni, Dushasan etc. Weren't these cruel people supposed to get punishment for thier misdeeds?

I don't know about the other two chaps, but Duryodhana is supposed to have attained "Veer Swarga", for he faught bravely during the war and was KIA :).

ChandraS

Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ChandraS » 25 Mar 2009 12:35

Keshav - It was indeed the Srimad Bhagwatam my mom was talking about. Thanks to you and ravi_ku for the clarification about the status of 'wives'.
Regarding your question on discussing without invoking religion, I agree with you that it is almost impossible to discuss Indian epics and texts with no reference to religion. Hence my post stated that one can do so without any comparison to other religions (Abrahmic or not) or to contemporary events. This should give you enough latitude to discuss and beyond that I don't think BRF is the place. India Forum might be a better place. Additionally this thread is still in its nascent stages and hence the RoE still needs some fine tuning depending on how the discussion evolves. Thanks for your cooperation.

A general question to all -
Since this is a military website, I wanted to ask a military question.

Considering the culture, leadership, and comraderie that is part and parcel of military life, doesn't it seem farfetched that Krishna would all of a sudden just give the most powerful fighting force on the sub-continent away? How did he justify killing all his own people?

I suppose you could ask the same thing about the Rajputs and how some fought for the Mughals and vice versa on the whims of kings.


The above questions while valid may be out of the scope defined in this thread. See above for explanation. {Ramana or other mods frequenting this thread - Can we have some clarity on whether the above questions can be explored?}

ChandraS

Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ChandraS » 25 Mar 2009 13:15

Airavatji - Thanks for the information about the efforts to date the Mahabharata.

Brihaspatiji - Can you elaborate on the Sanngshaptakas? Were they the a separate 'battalion/regiment' of the Narayana Sena or altogether different?

Sudarshan & Arya Sumantra - You both have good arguments on your side regarding astrology but it is off topic for our discussion here. You both have made some good posts, please cooperate and continue in that vein!!

Baj - Wiki has some good background info on the Vedas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas You can use it as a starting point though the dates may be contested by different people.

JwalaMukhi, Sridhar K - Good explanations on the dharma aspect of Krishna's vow to not bear arms.

Raghav K - I didn't know this back story. Thanks!! So if I understand that story correctly, then all the Kauravas were 'blessed' in some manner to have been facing Krishna in the war. Of course only a few were really blessed to view him is supreme glory - Viswaroopa Darshan. As an aside, I know that Arjuna and Karna were shown the Viswaroop, but did Bhisma also get to see the Viswaroop? I seem to have a vague recollection of it from watching the TV serial.

Dilbu - Let's not use our famous acronyms in this thread. As it is, this thread is under heavy surveillance and the acronyms will only serve to attract more predators, We have had enough friendly fire for the time being. Please cooperate. :)

SaiK, as Dilbu said the kids should learn all the versions they can. They represent our diverse culture which is inclusive of the different beliefs and thought process leading to a rich body of knowledge.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 26 Mar 2009 00:18

ChandraSji,
apologies - I should have said Narayani Sena, and Kritavarman of the Andhak clan of Yadavas. But the Yadavas appear to be kin with the real Sansaptaks, the Trigartas. Vasudeva married a Trigarta princess, and had a son. The clan priests were also related - brothers-in-law, shaishirayana and Garga - the priest of Yadavas.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Vikas » 26 Mar 2009 01:54

ChandraS wrote:Airavatji - Thanks for the information about the efforts to date the Mahabharata.
Raghav K - I didn't know this back story. Thanks!! So if I understand that story correctly, then all the Kauravas were 'blessed' in some manner to have been facing Krishna in the war. Of course only a few were really blessed to view him is supreme glory - Viswaroopa Darshan. As an aside, I know that Arjuna and Karna were shown the Viswaroop, but did Bhisma also get to see the Viswaroop? I seem to have a vague recollection of it from watching the TV serial.

ChandraS, I think only Arjun and maybe Sanjay got to see the Vishwaroop of Sri Krishana. Lord had to grant special vision to Arjun to view his cosmic swaroop. No one else got to see that state of Lord.
This brings me to my next line of thought. What exactly was the Vishwaroop that Lord revealed to Arjuna ? I am sure it was not some gigantic image of Lord.

Some people think that Sri Krishna showed Arjun the full view of this cosmos while others think that Arjun at that moment saw the rise and fall of this universe and understood real swaroop of God.
I think Hari showed him the real Swaroop of Maya and the illusion it creates and that behind every particle of energy, there exists God itself. Arjun probably achieved the state of Samadhi at that moment and could perceive whatever Sri Krishna said by activating his Ajana chakra.
"Divya Nethra" probably referred to some inner source to understand the God in all his glory.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby putnanja » 26 Mar 2009 02:59

There is one other incident when Krishna revealed his divine form, and that was when he went as a messenger to the Kaurava court asking for at least 5 villages for Pandavas. When Duryodhana tried to imprision him, he revealed his divine form which only Vidura, Drona, Bhishma and other rishis there could see, and all others closed their eyes at the divine form as it was so brilliant with light and fire!


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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 04:47

in kannada there is a classic 'remake' of mahabharatha called gadhayuddha. basically it is all about the battle at vyshampayana between duryodhana and bheema. but it goes about the precedents to that battle in the form of flashback - ranna the author calls it simhavalokana.

since it is in old kannada, it is about accessible to modern day lay men as sanskrit. but once you have got a hang of the meter and have found a good teacher to break down complex sandhis, you get a hang of what ranna was going for. awesome, vivid stuff it is.

+ what it makes it unique is that it takes great pains to describe duryodhana's pov. we had an awesome teacher. by the time he was done with it, most of the class was rooting for suyodhana.

so when krushna thumps his thighs, to hint bheema on the sly, we were all so dissapointed. the greater disappointment was that bheema who was until then possibly the most chivalorous and brilliant pandava succumbed to it.

but then hey, there was no way he could have bettered duryodhana after gandhari had shielded him up using up her all powers. bheema had no special powers, simple human application he represents. but i personally love him because he avenged every single attrocity draupadi had to suffer. and always played the protective husband to her.

i would have loved him more if he would have held dharmaraja accountable for putting her in trouble in the first place. but hey, that is me speaking in 21st century. what do i know of nepotistic pressures of that era?

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 05:13

the thing with indian texts is you should not read them literally.

there definitely is something behind the idea that sanjaya - as a detached objective observer explaining goings on to a 'blind' overlord - represents.

abhimanyu story is also like that. the kid knew all the theory. but the real battle field is something else altogether. there is a structure to the real battlefield that theory captures, but there are also components to the battlefield that theory does not capture. and that was abhimanyu's limitation & failing. but he is still heroic because, he didnot get intimidated by that, and went and did what he had to. fight a battle, that his dad could not - at the time.

does anyone know if there was a 'chakravyuha' set up for arjuna also? i doubt it. arjuna was a different class of warrior. so chakravyuha would not have materialized. its a game. also note, that despite being a well know formation, that a strategist like krishna would chat about to a pregnant woman, there is no story of pandavas ever setting up chakravyuha. wonder what it means. that pandavas despite an army of considerable count, were really the secondary force in that battle field, and could not really dictate the terms of the battle?

the value indic texts is also not as historic records. they are quazi historical texts. some of the advances in the science of time localization may have been captured in them, but from a purely spiritual angle, neither the historicity nor the divine sanction, of either the author or the events themselves, is important.

therefore you have ramayana written by a, hitherto unknown, valmiki and not an accomplished yagnavalkya. (though some people point out vedavyasa would have to be a learned master himself to collate all the different darshanas into the bhagvadgeeta.) but even then, the whole stress is about the ideas and not about author himself or his claim to fame. the author constructs a character(krishna) who represents the key and important ideas. and even that character is subject to human follies.

so what does showing vishwaroopa mean? visualization of the physicality of wisdom - thousand heads, million hands, humongous figure? or does it represent the idea that idea of really seeing through a wise idea when told about it? i dunno. i think vedavyasa, true to many of the brilliant indics, was using metaphors.

you cant capture everything in human experience with words - not without trivializing the essence of the experience. the sanskritic term for that is shabda sutaka - the inherent impurity of the spoken word vis-vis experienced reality. i think, they worked on the puranic principle of making experience deliberately fantastic precisely because puranic writers tradeoff essence of basic message to historic and experiential authenticity.

if i am reading it right, who the fukk cares if krishna was an incarnation or not. what matters is that he embodied many invariants, even if not all.

infact, if you thread it back, the basic question is,
shrusti se pehle sat nahi tha, asat bhi nahi.
chupa tha kya, kaha, kisne dhaka tha?
hein kisi ko nahi pata.

kimavarivaha?, kuha?, kasya? who the fukk knows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBbSbCczYeM

zillion passages in the vedas. the nasadiya remains the most celebrated one through the ages. for a reason.
Last edited by shaardula on 26 Mar 2009 05:53, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 05:39

tilak, can you explain what you had in mind? what are the specific current day experiences that you are asking us to avoid?

ChandraS

Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ChandraS » 26 Mar 2009 05:47

VikasRaina wrote:ChandraS, I think only Arjun and maybe Sanjay got to see the Vishwaroop of Sri Krishana. Lord had to grant special vision to Arjun to view his cosmic swaroop. No one else got to see that state of Lord.


Vikas, Karna also got to see the Viswaroop of Shri Krishna on the verge of his death. The story being - After Karna was hit and incapacitated by Arjuna, he did not die immediately. His soul was struggling to leave his body but was unable to do so by the raksha ganas around Karna. These raksha ganas had been with Karna due to his magnanimous nature and of not refusing anything to anyone. All that punya earned him those ganas and they refused to let his soul leave. Krishna was able to see this and then approached Karna in the guise of a brahmin asking for alms. He asked Karna for all his punya and Karna, true to his nature, gave it to him. Only then did the Lord reveal himself and being impressed with Karna showed him his Viswaroop before he achieved Moksha.

Brihaspatiji - Please not to address me as 'ji'. You deserve it for all your knowledge and willingness to share. I have a very long way to go before the 'ji' can be justified :)

Shaardula saar - Nice perspective on interpretation of the texts.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 26 Mar 2009 06:29

shaardula, I was thinking and extrapolating the idea of Duryodhana's protection due to Gandahri's gaze and wondered about similar instances in non-Hindu lore. There is Achilles being dipped into the River Styx by his mother and his vulnerable ankle that paris shoots at in the Torjan War. Then there is the dragon in Nordic lore with the weak spot in his scales and Sigfried who bathed in the dragon's blood after killing him and except for a leaf on his back is also invulnerable. So there is this running meme in Indo-Greco- Nordic lore of invulnerablity of the heroic figure with a weak spot.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 06:46

one of the greatest pleasure of me learning hindi has been to soak into the brilliance of vasanth deo's translation of the nasadiya. absolutely the best. i have read many, in kannada, in english nothing even comes close.

shrusti ka kon hein karta? karta hein va akarta?
unche aakash mein rehta? sada adrushya bana rehta?
hein kisi ko nahin pata! nahin hein pata!!
if you dont known hindi you dont know where to put the question marks. loosely, so, who is the creator of this creation? is it a creator or is it an un-creator?, is it the one who resides in the heavenly abode? or is it the one the who is imperceptible**?, no one knows, actually, no one can know!!

these guys were serious about the fundamental question. they were not pussy footing. nor where they interested in self deceptive answers - god created the world in his own image. that is BS. fundamental question is, if god is so complete, then what is his 'chaska' - the potential difference in what he is and what wanted to be, that lead him to create this world? we call it loTu/korate in kannada - unfulfilled desire. we dont know. cant know. what we know it is there. and these, XX, YYY and ZZZZ are the invariants of whatever created or not this world. well, we dont/cant know, but these seem too work - must be invariants.

in the context of what the upanishadic seer unknown to me* wrote, and what deo wrote this is what those two mean. atleast as far as i know.

*every text upanishadic text comes prefixed with author and biliography and unlike modern intellectual papers, they cite sources first. but i am too lazy to follow up on he bibliography.

** the idea of imperceptibility is fundamental to upanishadic thought - nirguna brahman - a divinity that is all that we can perceive and beyond it. for example, the famous dialogue between gargya balaki and ajatashatru. where a self confident and self delusional 'brahmin' balaki walks upto ajatashatru('kshatriya') and says: i know IT and i know all. i will tell you what IT is. and goes on to desrcibe that IT as this, that and the other - the breath in life, the light in a glow etc etc... ajatashatru systematically shoots down all of balaki's description of IT with a concise and yet profound, neti neti neti. not just this, not just this, not just this.
Last edited by shaardula on 26 Mar 2009 07:26, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 07:17

possible ramana. i have very limited exposure to western 'puranas'. but if these 'stories' by vedavyasa and ilk, were truely capturing invariant human conditions, then it is not surprising that others have similar stories. quite possible.

without knowing the world outside, vyasa et al.,make imminent sense, even in these times, to people like me, of a much later times. at the worst it accounts for temporal invariance. that others, far off from our borders, have told similar stories only establishes spatial invariance. that's four out of four of the dimensions experienced by ordinary humans.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby shaardula » 26 Mar 2009 08:18

chandra, i have an adavitic frame to me. this i realized after debating with my father's brother's wife - kaaku/doddamma, we call them. she being staunch dvait-ist is a staunch empiricist and rejects some of the advaitic axioms i work with. she finds some of the advaitic ideas repugnant, yes repugnant. i thought you should be aware of that. and honestly, i dunno enough to refute her or have the knowledge to clarify her. there is scope for personal tastes in all this. but these questions of epistemology have been dealt in depth by our ancestors -that much i know. but it will be unfair to talk of that as if 'I' know. thats all what i know what they said.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Dilbu » 26 Mar 2009 09:51

ChandraS saar, no more acronyms from me. I am in the student-lurker mode here.

ChandraS

Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ChandraS » 26 Mar 2009 10:57

Shaardula, Advaita or Dvaita does not make any difference to me. I will lap up all there is to know about them. Your posts have really whetted my appetite. Please continue to post such nuggets of what you know about what they said. Also, any book/text recommendations for a beginner/kora kagaaz type to get into Vedic philosophy?

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Tilak » 26 Mar 2009 11:11

shaardula wrote:tilak, can you explain what you had in mind? what are the specific current day experiences that you are asking us to avoid?


shaardula saar,
I have said what I had to, with a <For whatever its worth> tag around it. Wrt. Your question I dont want to straight jacket the limits of whats ~about to be discussed. I would leave that to the Thread starter, and Mods as to whats within the "spirit" of this thread. However I/We will/should let out an occasional whine.. on seeing some "action", which might "potentially" lead to a thread closure. As this has happened earlier.

:AOT:

and back to lurk mode..

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby negi » 26 Mar 2009 11:15

^ Ah I remember ; sanatan dharam , nirguna, saguna, brahman all this was discussed on the 'Religion thread' .Btw where is sir Valkan these days ?

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Raghav K » 26 Mar 2009 19:27

Just wanted to share this with you guys.The poison that Lord Shiva drank was infact the karmic residuals of living beings.

Significance of Sri Nandikeshwara (Nandi).

Image

Sri Nandikeshwara or Nandi is a very important deity, since he's the only witness to the creation of the Universe and all beings therein through Shiva-Shakthi. So praying to him will bestow us with spiritual knowledge, and enhance our receptiveness of the Lord's grace. Nandi is also the embodiment of intuition and instinct. That is why it is said that we should look at Lord Shiva from in between Nandi's horns. That way, we can perceive and receive the Lord's grace by maximizing our instinctive & intuitive abilities.

An idol of Nandi is commonly seen at all Shiva temples facing Lord Shiva, signifying constant and silent conversation with the Lord. He is regarded as the Lord's mount, is the foremost of the Ganas (followers of Shiva), and is a gatekeeper at the Lord's door. He is most often depicted as a Divine Bull, and sometimes as having a human body with a Bull's face. There are temples in India solely dedicated to Nandi. Devotees are often seen whispering their wishes in Nandi's ears, since it is believed that all sincere & pure wishes conveyed to him will be granted.

Mythological Legend

During the churning of the ocean by the Devas & the Asuras to obtain the nectar of immortality, which was done using Mount Mandara for a churning rod, perched on Maha Vishnu in the form of the Kurma (Tortoise) Avatar for stability; and the serpent Vasuki for a churning rope; the asuras pulled the head-end of Vasuki, and the Devas took the tail-end. Several cosmic forces and divine objects emerged from the ocean.

During the process, Vasuki - the King of the serpents emitted out the deadly poison Hala-Hala, which represents the remaining karmic residuals of all living beings in the past creation & dissolution cycle, and which would have wiped out all earthly creations, and threatened the very existence of all divinities. Lord Shiva came to the rescue, along with Nandi. Lord Shiva collected the poison in the palm of his hand, drank it, and held it in his throat. Hence, he is also known as Neelakantha (one with a blue throat). At that time, Nandi observed some poison spilling out of Lord Shiva's mouth, and immediately drank it to prevent it from harming others. The Devas & Asuras were at once concerned if Nandi could survive the poison. Lord Shiva assured them that Nandi was so steeped in devotion towards him, that he had access to all of Lord Shiva's powers and his complete protection.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby SaiK » 26 Mar 2009 19:47

negi wrote:^ Ah I remember ; sanatan dharam , nirguna, saguna, brahman all this was discussed on the 'Religion thread' .Btw where is sir Valkan these days ?

I guess he migrated to IF along with alok, ashok kumar ? et al.

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Re: Dicussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby achit » 26 Mar 2009 23:05

shaardula wrote:one of the greatest pleasure of me learning hindi has been to soak into the brilliance of vasanth deo's translation of the nasadiya. absolutely the best. i have read many, in kannada, in english nothing even comes close.

shrusti ka kon hein karta? karta hein va akarta?
unche aakash mein rehta? sada adrushya bana rehta?
hein kisi ko nahin pata! nahin hein pata!!
if you dont known hindi you dont know where to put the question marks. loosely, so, who is the creator of this creation? is it a creator or is it an un-creator?, is it the one who resides in the heavenly abode? or is it the one the who is imperceptible**?, no one knows, actually, no one can know!!



Shaardula

Do you have the compllete translation in hindi for nasadiya?
I was only able to find the english translation
Non-being then existed not being:
There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it.
What was concealed? Where in? In whose protection?
And was there deep unfathomable water?
Death then existed not nor life immortal;
Of neither night nor day was any token.
By its inherent force the one breathed windless:
No other thing than that beyond existed.

Darkness there was at first by darkness hidden;
Without distinctive marks, this all was water.
That which, becoming, 'by the void was covered,
That one by force of heat came into being.

Desire entered the one in the beginning:
It was the earliest seed, of thought the product.
The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom.
Found out the bond of being in non-being.

Their way extended light across the darkness:
But was the one above or was it under?
Creative force was there, and fertile power:
Below was energy, above was. impulse:

Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it?
Whence was it born, and whence came this creation?
The gods were born after this world's creation:
Then who can know from whence it has arisen?

None knoweth whence creation has arisen:
And whether he has or has not produced it:
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
He only knows, or haply he may know not.

(Rg Ved 10:129 :1-7)
Radhakrishnan and Moore's Indian
Philosophy, PP. 23-24)


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