Today on the occasion of Ganga Dusshara, I extend my wishes to you and everyone at home.
Let Maa Ganga delivery us from all our sins and so let us understand this utsav in this context.
GANGA DUSSHARA means the one who takes away our 10 sins (Duss + Hara) from our lives.
These 10 sins are ‘Kaayik’, ‘Vachik’ and ‘Mansik’ (physical, speech (thoughts) and pshycological).
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
1. To take away even if not offered ie to steal
2. To commit violence for no reason
3. To have adulterous connections
These are the sins committed by the body ie physical self.
पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।
असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।
4. To speak arrogantly,
5. To lie (To spread falsehood)
6. To backbite about others
7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk
The above mentioned 4 sins are committed through tongue (thoughts)
वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
8. To think about snatching others wealth
9. To think that bad happen to others
10. To wrongly insist / persist
These are the 3, and the last of 10, sins committed in our minds
एतानि दश पापानि हर त्वमथ जाह्नवी।
दशपापहरा यस्मात्तस्माद् दशहरा स्मृता।।
O Ganga ! you are the one who will deliver me from the above said 10 sins and so I remember you (bow down to you) on the Dusshara day as “Duspaaphara”.
While writing the meanings, and you my readers, while reading the meanings must have realised that we do commit some or the other sin/s from the above 10 everyday. These first 3 Shlokas bring inferiority complex in us while reading them, but the last ie 4th shloka installs the confidence that Maa Ganga will deliver us from them.
And for this, Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji suggests thus :
“Human has to bathe / cleanse his body, his thoughts and his mind daily. The body has to be cleansed with water, the thought with ‘Swadhyay – self introspection’ and the mind with ‘Bhakti – devotion’. If we dip in Ganga with this understanding, then Maa Ganga will surely deliver us from our sins”
– Sanskruti Pujan (Utsav Vibhag), based on discourses given by Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
Lastly, A humble pray to Maa Ganga to keep blessing all of us in the way She has always.
Pray to God that may India receive the rainfall it needs.
Pray to God that let the world feels it oneness with its Creator
And once again Pray to deliver us from our above said 10 sins.
A strong proponent of Hindu Philosophy, yet Savarkar was a pragmatic practitioner of the Philosophy. He insisted for validating religious myths/blind faith against the test of modern science. In that sense he was a rationalist and a reformer. While in prison, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, espousing what it means to be a Hindu, and Hindu pride, in which he defined as all the people descended of Hindu culture as being part of Hindutva, including Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. In 1921, under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency (today the narrow minded make fun of him for writing it, but he had a bigger goal in mind and a better work to do than to churn oil everyday in the cellular jail). He was released on the condition that he renounce all his revolutionary and political activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, a political party, Savarkar endorsed the idea of India as a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation). He even started a temple for the so called untouchables of that time and anointed them as the “pujaris” of the deity of that temple.
Yes, he had his differences with the Congress and its way of working, but he was never personal. He would criticise Nehru and his government’s policies, but never did he personally attack Nehru or any other Congress leader. Yet, he never got pension as a freedom fighter till Nehru was alive. He received it only in the Government of Lal Bahadur Shashtri.
The Congress and particularly, the Gandhi clan hated / hate him to the core and have not left even a single chance to criticise him or politically oppose his thoughts for their own personal gains. He was named in the FIR for plotting to kill Mahatma Gandhi, but acquitted by the Highest Court of our country, the Supreme Court. Yet even today, the so called Gandhi’s blame him for that dastardly act. They even went to the extent of spying on him for years after independence.
He has written many books too. A few but famous amongst them are worth a read. 1857, The First War of Independence, Maajhi Janmathep, The Six Glorious Pages of Indian History, and Hindu-Pad-Patshahi. His poems are still sung by the young and the old with the same fervour and love for country. “Sagara Pran Talmalla” and “Jayostute” imbibe a spirit of Nationalism and love for one’s own country.
On 1 February 1966, Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water which he termed as atmaarpan (fast until death). Before his death, he had written an article titled “Atmahatya Nahi Atmaarpan” in which he argued that when one’s life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than wait for death. On 26 February 1966 at his residence, Savarkar Sadan, in Dadar, Mumbai, he faced difficulty in breathing; efforts to revive him failed and he passed away at 11:10 a.m.
The radiant Sun light merged into the Sun. Today we can just bow down to this Mananshil Vyaktitva and as a tribute try to imbibe atleast one of his thoughts in our life during the coming years.
This is one of the most read blogs from the day it has been written. I see readers reading it even after 2 years of writing it. I see it as a blessing of my teacher whom I have quoted in the blog. I urge my readers to give me a feedback about this blog, in particular. And thank all for reading the first 6 blogs. The series continues even after this blog
Continuing from last blog, the above Shlok is a prayer for wealth for our (any) country. Wealth of all types. People who will help spread knowledge, people who will rule, people who will fight, women who can administer and rule, healthy cattle, fast horses, swift chariots and above all the youth which is brave and courageous. Also for rains so that we get a good crop and so are carefree about our worldly life. Let us understand it one by one.
It talks about “Aa Brahman Brahmano Brahmavarchashi”. It says God! Please bless our country with Brahmins who are educated in the Vedas and lead a Veda-centric life. They will help our country prosper. The prayer asks for the Brahmins who are learned and work for God, not the ones who are Brahmins by birth or caste.
At this juncture itself, I would like to clarify that am in no way supporting any type of caste system by birth. But at the same time, I also believe that any society, overall, will be divided into 4 main sections. First section will guide it academically and put forth it’s philosophies. Second section, which will rule the country, administer it on the basis of philosophies. Third section, which will take care of countries economy through business and industry. Fourth section but not the least, the part which will look after the basic necessities of the society and provide them to it. Our seers have broadly classified our society thus and named them as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. These sections have their well defined work areas which one cannot transgress and rules which one cannot overrule. But the choice of work was dependent on the person himself/herself who had the liberty to make his/her choice after gaining an understanding about these four sections. At the same time we should know and understand that all these four sections are very important to the structure of the society and in no way is one greater or better than the other. All are equal. Later they have become based on birth, which must have been due to some compulsions. My limitation, today, is not to go into the details of it. But some other day and with some other topic, would surely like to dwell upon it.
Veda, the word comes from “VID” which means “to know”. “Thought” is very important to the Vedas. “Thought with experience” is what is the Vedas. So many thoughts and many experiences make up the Vedas which have been guiding us over centuries. These thoughts were first passed on from the teacher to his student by word of mouth, that is by repeating and learning what the teacher has said. Hearing was an important part of this whole excercise, so the Vedas are called the “Shruti”. They are considered the highest authority as regards to rules and regulations to lead a wholistic life.
And from these came our surnames. The one who learned it directly from the Guru, are called Ek Pathi (one who learns by listening once) who are called ‘Pathak’. The next who learns after hearing it twice, from Guru and from Ek Pathi’s, are called Dwipathi. Then Tripathi, Chaturpathi and so on. The beauty of our surnames is that it has its own history, which some of you my readers, are not aware of. Every surname has its origin related to the characteristic of our genetical lineage.
The next question which comes to our mind Who owns the Vedas then, if written by so many people? It is but obvious question as the world and society we are living in has made us think like this. This question never came up for the Vedic people as the Vedas belonged to everyone. No doubt, the thought is an individual experience, but when shared becomes the property of all who hear it and know it. So the owner of the Vedas is the “Samaaj Purush” (the society). And this Samaaj Purush is God. So God is the owner of these Vedas.
And if these Vedas belong to the Samaaj Purush, then they have to be taken to them, shared with them. This was done by the “intelligentsia” at that time which we call as Brahmins. From this we infer that anyone who does this work of carrying the Vedas to the common people are the Brahmins.
As, Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji explains, that when this class used to work selflessly, they developed a relationship and a strong bond with people to whom they went to. So the people started sharing all good and bad happenings of their life with these Brahmins. The people felt that these people are truly selfless and so people started inviting them to their homes in all good and bad happenings /moments in life. And that is why a Brahmin comes in, in a marriage or a funeral. The people called them to marriages to bless the newly wed couple for a prosperous life and to guide them to lead a pious life. Otherwise the mantras of marriage are to be said by the bridegroom and the bride and not the Brahmins. He was called on the 12th day after the death of a family member so that he will console the family and help them cope up with the loss. Explain the process of death and explain life after death. But today, alas! all this is lost. And we have started worshipping just the outer covering (the tradition and not the thought).
The mantra calls for such Brahmvarchasi Brahmins. Next it asks for the Kshatriyas, ones which are brave and courageous. We will talk about them in my next blog.
A simple yet lucid translation into English done by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh is worth a read as well :
Mother, I praise thee! Rich with thy hurrying streams, bright with orchard gleams, Cool with thy winds of delight, Dark fields waving Mother of might, Mother free. Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Laughing low and sweet! Mother I kiss thy feet, Speaker sweet and low! Mother, to thee I praise thee. [Verse 1]
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands When the swords flash out in seventy million hands And seventy million voices roar Thy dreadful name from shore to shore? With many strengths who art mighty and stored, To thee I call Mother and Lord! Thou who savest, arise and save! To her I cry who ever her foeman drove Back from plain and Sea And shook herself free. [Verse 2]
Thou art wisdom, thou art law, Thou art heart, our soul, our breath Thou art love divine, the awe In our hearts that conquers death. Thine the strength that nerves the arm, Thine the beauty, thine the charm. Every image made divine In our temples is but thine. [Verse 3]
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned, And the Muse a hundred-toned, Pure and perfect without peer, Mother lend thine ear, Rich with thy hurrying streams, Bright with thy orchard gleems, Dark of hue O candid-fair [Verse 4]
In thy soul, with bejeweled hair And thy glorious smile divine, Loveliest of all earthly lands, Showering wealth from well-stored hands! Mother, mother mine! Mother sweet, I praise thee, Mother great and free! [Verse 5]
It still gets us excited when we read it again and again and again. A feeling of nostalgia and Divine.
People say that it starts with the abstract notion of the Motherland and turns to the praise of Goddess! But who will explain to them that for us Indians, we see no difference between the two. From time immemorial, this land has been our Mother. The comparison to Durga and Laxmi is nothing but a feeling that She is the one who protects us and She is the one who has so much of wealth to take give us and take care of us. People forget that Bharat has never crossed Her borders to conquer the world. Yes, She has conquered the world by Her thoughts of Vedic civilisation and Buddhism, but never their lands. People who look at their countries as mere land/s will never understand this. Their perspective of utility of anything and everything, has killed the emotions within humans. Atleast people born in this land need to understand this. Under the grab of secularism, Reverence for Her cannot be and should not be undermined.
The feelings of She being everything is very well emphasised in the third verse (literally unknown to our generation as only the first two verses make the national song). This feeling of our motherland being everything, is something which one will find only in India. Some may disagree and can argue that my statement is wrong and prejudiced for others but let them answer one question. Will you be able to equate your country with the Divine? This, In Bharat, has been possible due to the efforts and lives given up for this by our rishis and ancestors. And due to the thought that everything, living and non living is divine.
When one learns from modern sciences that even the living have evolved from the non living, it justifies the Bharatiya stand for reverence for the creation. We see Divine in everything. At the same time, we see Divine in each person and country. And herein lies the concept or thought or philosophy of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”, The whole world is one family.
This is the Bharatiya civilisation.
Who built it? How did they build it? Does the feeling exist today? Is it practical? Is a question I leave to my readers to ponder over and will try to answer it in my upcoming blog/s.
Till then let us just repeat those lines above and try to inculcate a feeling of motherliness for our respective countries. In our daily run of survival let us not forget the love of our country and the care She has taken, is taking and will be taking.
On His birthday am just sharing a stotra written by the Adi Shankaracharya with the story behind it. One doesn’t know if the story is true or a folklore but the shatak (षटक) written by the great teacher needs just to be read again and again to experience bliss.
This is one of the rare stotras written by Adi Sankara identifying himself as the Supreme Soul and clearly explaining his theory of non-dualism. It is has a remarkable tempo.
There is a story that one of his disciples started saying Shivoham like the Acharya without understanding its significance.
The Acharya visited a black smith’s house and happily drank one tumbler of molten iron and ordered the disciple to do so. Naturally he was not able to it.
The Acharya told him that as for himself the molten iron or ice cold water are not different because he has realized that he is no different from Supreme So and till the disciple attains that state, there is no point in his repeating Shivoham i.e “I am the Supreme Soul”.
मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहम् न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रे न च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजो न वायु: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥१॥
I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory, I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes, I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
न च प्राण संज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायु: न वा सप्तधातुर् न वा पञ्चकोश: न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायू चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥२॥
I am not the breath, nor the five elements, I am not matter, nor the 5 sheaths of consciousness Nor am I the speech, the hands, or the feet, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
न मे द्वेष रागौ न मे लोभ मोहौ मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्य भाव: न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो ना मोक्ष: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥३॥
There is no like or dislike in me, no greed or delusion, I know not pride or jealousy, I have no duty, no desire for wealth, lust or liberation, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दु:खम् न मन्त्रो न तीर्थं न वेदा: न यज्ञा: अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥४॥
No virtue or vice, no pleasure or pain, I need no mantras, no pilgrimage, no scriptures or rituals, I am not the experienced, nor the experience itself, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
न मे मृत्युर्शंका न मे जातिभेद: पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्म न बन्धुर् न मित्रं गुरुर्नैव शिष्य: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥५॥
I have no fear of death, no caste or creed, I have no father, no mother, for I was never born, I am not a relative, nor a friend, nor a teacher nor a student, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
अहं निर्विकल्पॊ निराकार रूपॊ विभुर्व्याप्य सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् सदा मे समत्वं न मुक्तिर् न बंध चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥६॥
I am devoid of duality, my form is formlessness, I exist everywhere, pervading all senses, I am neither attached, neither free nor captive, I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Supreme Soul…
I bow down to this Supreme Soul…
Today is also the birthday of Ramanujacharya, the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita. Bow down to this great Soul as well.
She will bloom and smile and rejoice,To us She will share her fruits and joys!…
Am sharing the poem which I wrote last year on the same day as we earthlings celebrate Earth Day.
The context today has completely changed. Today we are fighting the most dreaded virus, Corono, collectively called Covid-19. Our Mother Earth is blooming and purifying herself as Her favourite son, Human, has stopped all his activities which were polluting Her.
Am reading reports that the water of the Ganges which we have polluted during the last many years of industrialisation and development, has been cleared and people living on her banks are just filling up their pots with pure water of the Ganges.
The flora and fauna around my house is blooming too. From a last few days we are observing a crow couple building their nest and preparing themselves for the upcoming raining season. It’s a treat to watch them work so hard to build their nest. It made me realise that every animal does work for it’s well being and tries to live in harmony with nature.
Hope we Humans realise our mistakes and try to correct them!
Hope we Humans try to learn to live in Harmony with Nature!
Hope we Humans make this Earth a better place to live in!
The director of Tom and Jerry series and Popeye, the sailor man, Gene Deitch, passed away yesterday.my generation will always be grateful to him and his work, which made us smile, laugh and roll on the floor watching his work.
One of the five main acharyas in India, the other being Aadi Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbakacharya and Ramanujacharya.
Vallabha means “dear one“.
Born today, that is the 11th day of the dark half of lunar month of Chaitra at Champaranya.
Son of Illamma and Lakshman Bhatta.
People say that His was a still birth so his parents left Him under a tree wrapped in white clothes. Later Shree Krishna appeared in their dreams to tell them that it is He who has arrived in this form and is well alive. The bewildered parents rushed back to the place to find the kid alive.
Studied Vedas at a very young age and earned the title of “Baal Saraswati“. Participated in many debates and earned the titles of “Acharya” and “Jagadguru” at the age of 12.
Later travelled throughout India, not once, not twice but thrice to explain Krishna bhakti and spread Vaishnavism.
He gave discourses on Bhagwat at 84 different places known as “Baithakji” (seats of learning) today. These “Baithakji’s” still have a relevance for all the practising Vaishnavas even today and a visit to any Baithakji is a divine experience. Every Vaishnava wishes to visit all the 84 places once in his life time.
Later, in Gokul he initiated his first disciple and laid the foundations of what we know today as Pushtimarg (Path of Grace). He made the first Vaishnava by giving / teaching him the important “Brahma Sambandh” (Realisation of a person’s relation with the Almighty).
He gave the mantra, “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah” (श्री कृष्ण शरणं ममः) to Surdasji and initiated him to the Vaishnavaite fold. We all know Surdas through his devotional songs which he has sung for the Lord Incarnate. The mantra itself explains complete devotion to Lord Krishna.
“SHARANAM” means to offer oneself to the wish of God. To believe that it is only Krishna who can take care of oneself. To believe that He operates our life and full submit oneself to Him and become His instrument.
He took Samaadhi at a very young age of 52 into the waters of the Ganges at Kashi.
His work “Madhurashtakam” is a lucid yet romantic version for Shrinathji, the deity at Nathdwara. In it, He glorifies Shrinathji and all His activities, ending every verse with the line “Madhuradhipate Akhilam Madhuram” (every act of the Lord is madhur). Madhur as a noun means sweet, tender, full; as an adjective means melodious, beautiful, sweet.
Many of His works are still being read and His followers are still trying to understand what the Acharya has written.
He talks about God being in the form of a child. He has hence asked Vaishnavas to worship the “Baal Krishna” (Krishna in child form). And treat the Lord as a child. As we fulfill all the wishes of the children, we should fulfill all the wishes of the Lord. The devotees express their love for the Lord by acts of giving Him a bath and feeding Him and making Him sleep. The tradition of 8 Darshans, from Mangala (Rising) to Shayan (Sleeping) are started by Vallabhacharyaji. The significance of these 8 darshans is that the Lord is just like us. He is no different and so we need not be afraid of Him, rather as He is a child, shower Him with all the love we can.Such a personality is called the Mahaprabhu.
Our seer’s called him so meaning He is the greatest amongst the Gods. Revered Pandurang Shastriji Athavale explains it in his own simple way that “Jo Bhagwaan ko milne bulaaye aur Bhagwaan ko aana pade, aise jo log hain unhe Mahaprabhu kehte hain”, (the Lord upon being called, is compelled to come to meet, such is a Mahaprabhu)
On this day of Varuthini Ekadashi, I bow down to this anshavataar and during these days hope that we all will chant the mantra he gave to this world “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah”.
A day before you gave you words, a form of prayer,
I felt as if the God has taken a form, in their flair…
“I create” is what You trust and believe in the most,
And “I will come again” when the world is way lost,
The above two phrases are not just words alone,
But the drive to do HIS work, as it is my own…
A very spontaneous flow of words which just flowed through the mind, and I have just written it the way the words shaped up. No editing, no correcting, so it might sound raw, but I dont want to change a word, as it has come from within.
My dear friends, the world is passing through a very bad phase, when we are fighting against our own selves, as these viruses are also allegedly man made. Don’t know where this fight will lead us to, as it is too early to take a call.
One thing is for sure, it can be fought only with Prayer.