Manu Smriti : An Amazing Origin

I have chanced upon this remarkable reduction of Manu Smriti @ http://satyavidya.org … The treatise contains a set of codified, socially agreed laws to regulate human society, right through the reigns of successive Solar dynasty kings upto Rama Daasratha of Ayodhya and thereafter, until the rise of Lunar dynasts that came to overwhelm the subcontinental firmament around the Mahabharata times.

The laws, framed anytime between 12000 – 8000 BC at the origin of Sanatan civilisation, seem astoshnishingly contemporary except for contradictory portions that appear to have been appended later, perhaps after the dominance of Solar kings was on the wane and during the chaos of several rising Lunar principalities around 4000 – 3000 BC.

The entire text can be accessed @ http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/manusmriti.pdf

DR VIVEK ARYA helpfully points out … (Manu 2/8)

“But a learned man after full scrutiny with the eye of knowledge should perform his duties in accord with the intent of the revealed texts.”

The exhortation encourages due situational analysis and agreeability with values prevailing in the age.

Let us then inquire into the common unfavourable perception that the Smriti text supports casteism, inferior status of women, meat eating, etc. The book is considered by many as having a bias in favour of the upper castes and is often selectively quoted to establish that women were an inferior gender, to be chastised and put down, and that casteism was prevalent in Vedic times.

Swami Dayanand, the great Vedic scholar of the 19th Century, writes : “I believe in that part of Manu Smriti which is not interpolated (appended later) and is in accord with the Vedas.” He concludes that the Manu Smriti we read today is not as originally laid down by Swayambhu  Manu, the first Chief of Humanity. As it now is, he found the text as self contradictory and against the values espoused in Vedas, and hence injudicious. He therefore rejects those prejudicial texts which advocate discrimination against populations with alleged inferior status.

Let us look up the text itself pertaining to women and the “lower” castes …

Smriti Text … On Women

3/56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not, no sacred rite yields the desired result.

9/26. Women who bear (our) children secure many blessings (for the family and the society at large); they are worthy of worship, who suffuse (their) dwellings with prosperity; there is no difference between them and goddesses of good fortune.

2/138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, one who is above ninety years old, who is diseased, who carries a burden, and for a woman, the learned, the king and for a bridegroom.

3/114. A person may offer food without hesitation, even before serving the guests in one’s house, to newly-married women, infants, the sick, and to pregnant women.

3/60. Where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting in such families.

3/62. Where the wife is radiant and happy, the whole house is heaven-like; but if she is unhappy, all will appear as hell.

3/59. Hence, men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and  food (as desired by them).

3/55. Women must be honoured and well – adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

9/13. These six causes spell ruin for women : drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separating from their husbands, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling with other men.

3/57. Where the female relatives live in grief, the family wholly perishes soon; where they are not unhappy, the family ever prospers.

3/58. Houses perish completely, as if destroyed by magic, on which female relatives pronounce a curse, upon not being duly honoured.

9/28. Upon one’s wife alone depends the welfare of the offsprings, due and fruitful performance of religious rites, faithful service of all in the family, superior conjugal happiness and the blissful existence of our ancestors in heaven and of ourself.

4/180. Let no man quarrel with his parents, his female relatives, brothers, his son and his wife, and with his daughter and his servants.

8/389. Neither a mother nor a father, nor a wife nor a son shall be cast off; unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste (or social status earned over one’s lifetime), he who casts them off shall be fined six hundred (panas).

9/130. A daughter, who is even (as) oneself, (such a daughter) is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the family estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even as oneself) lives ?

9/131. The property of the mother is the share of the unmarried daughter alone and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son of his own.

9/192. But when the mother has passed away, all uterine brothers and sisters shall have equal share of their mother’s estate.

Smriti Text … On Marraige and Remarraige (Of Women)

9/176. If she be (still) a virgin or has returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, such a woman is worthy to again perform the (nuptial) ceremony with her second (or first deserted) husband.

9/90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she is marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom of her choice.

9/89. (But) the maiden should rather stay in (her father’s) house until death, though marriageable, than that be given to a man without good qualities.

8/28. In like manner, care must be taken of barren women and those who have no sons, as of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with disease.

8/29. A righteous king must punish those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime, as is due to thieves.

3/52. But those (male) relations who, in their folly, live on their woman’s property, their beasts of burden, carriages and clothes, commit sin and will sink into hell.

8/367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).

8/323. Men stealing from a noble family, especially women, and precious gems, deserve corporal (or capital) punishment.

8/352. Men who commit adultery with wives of others, the king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror, and they shall be banished thereafter.

9/232. The king shall put to death forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, who slay women, infants, (learned) Brahmins, and those who serve his enemies.

 9/96. Women were created to be mothers and men to be fathers; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.

4/149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible.

Contradictory Provisions In Smriti Appended Later …

2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.

5/ 154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

5/ 157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.

9/ 17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

As against these, Manu Smriti mentions equal status, good conduct, equal rights, freedom of choice and the right to remarriage.

Clearly, these interpolations are to be rejected.

Smriti Text … On The Under Privileged

Manu proposes varn vyastha — which was based on merit and not on account of one’s birth.

2/157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (devoid of virtues respective to their kind).

2/28. This (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman by study of the Vedas, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (recitation of) sacred texts, by (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to gods, sages and manes), by (procreation of) sons, by great sacrifices, and by (the Srauta) rites 

(The above texts lays the qualifications to be acquired, with great dedication and effort at specified works, in order to become a Brahmin, and not merely by being born to a Brahmin father.) 

The varn of a person (caste or status in society) was decided after completion of his education.

Two births were considered for a person in Vedic period : first, when he was born to his parents, and, next, when he completed his education with due thoroughness. It was after second birth (twice born) that the varn of person was determined.

The following text from Manu Smriti makes it even more clear.

2/148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with Vedas entire, in accordance with the law, procures for him (the student) through the Savitr (Sun), is real and exempt from his birth, age or death.

2/146. Between him to whom one is physically born and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Vedas, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for birth through arising in the knowledge of the Veda (ensures) eternal (reward) both in this (life) and that (afterlife).

A person who remained uneducated and devoid of the knowledge of Vedas was considered a Shudra.

That is, the Shudra varn was not based on birth but on merit.

10/4. Brahmana, Kshatriya and the Vaisya castes (Varna) are twice-born (educated) but the fourth, the Shudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).

2/172. He who has not been initiated with teaching of the Vedas is like a Shudra.

Manu also advises not to insult a person of lower Varna.

4/141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.

Why Manu started varn vyastha?

1/31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra varn origin in form of the body of the society : as its mouth, its arms, its thighs and its feet, respectively.

(Only the ignorant consider the shudra as being originated from the feet of god.)

1/87. But in order to protect this universe He (God), the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those as done in a body by mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.

1/88. To Brahmanas He assigned teaching and studying (the Vedas), sacrificing for their own benefit and for the welfare of others, giving and accepting (of alms).

1/89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;

1/90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate the land.

1/91. One occupation only the Lord prescribed to the Shudra : to serve these (other) three castes.

Manu considered anyone who is without knowledge or capacity for skilled deeds as a Sudra; so any uneducated person is fit only for being in the service, under the guidance, of others who have the requisite knowledge and skills.

Isn’t that how we are organised even today ?

Manu also advises people to exert in order to acquire a higher varna, and change his or her allotted Varna.

The advisory leaves varn vyastha changeable, fluid, and not based on birth but on merit alone.

10/65. (Thus) a Shudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Shudra; and know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.

9/335. (A Shudra who is) pure, accompanies his betters and is gentle in his speech, free from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains a higher Varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaisya) based on his qualities.

4/245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes a Shudra.

Is it not said : the company one keeps makes a man better or worse ? 

2/103. But he who does not worships in morning, nor in the evening, is like a Shudra and he shall be excluded, just like a Shudra, from all the duties and rights of an Arya (one of noble qualities).

2/168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Vedas, applies himself to other (and worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Shudra; and so do his descendants (after him).

2/126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, they must not be saluted by a learned man; they must be considered as a Shudra.

A Sudra too can teach the other castes.

2/238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste (Shudra), the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.

2/241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Vedas) from one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as long as the instruction lasts.

Superior rights given by Manu to shudras.

2/136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the preceding ones).

2/137. Whatever man of the three (higher) castes possesses most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Shudra who has entered the tenth (decade of his life).

In above text Manu gives respect to any Shudra who is in tenth decade of life.

That is, anybody who lives long enough transcends the varna vyavastha.

3/116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and his wife may afterwards eat of what remains.

Householders are advised by Manu to dine after sudras or the servants !

8/335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their duty.

8/336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.

8/337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Shudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteen fold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold …

8/338. … that of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

Manu advises strict punishment for a higher varna : punishing the Brahman many times more than a lower varn, say, a Shudra.

The above text is evidence of Manu’s unbiased social hierarchy and structure.

He considered a behavioural error as being more unpardonable in case of the learned one than for the ignorant.

Following are the examples of changing of varn vyastha in past.

Rishi Brahma, son Manu Swayambhu himself, was born to a Brahmana but became a Kshatriya king.

Manu’s eldest son, Priyavrat, became a king, a Kshatriya.

Out of Manu’s ten sons seven became kings while three became Brahmanas. Their names were Mahavir, Kavi and Savan. (Ref Bhagwat Puran Chap. 5)

Kavash Ailush was born to a Shudra and attained the highest varna of a Rishi. He became mantra-drashta to numerous hymns in Rig-Veda : 10th Mandal.

Jabala’s son, Satyakaam, born from unknown father became Rishi by his qualities.

Matang became a Rishi after his birth in low varna.

Maharishi Valmiki was born in inferior varna and became a Rishi.

Mahatma Vidur was born to a Dasi (maid) and became the prime minister to king Dhritarastra.

Raja Vishvanath, a Kshatriya, became a Brahmana – Rishi Vishwamitra.

There are many examples of varn vyastha to inferior level.

Ravan king of Lanka was son of a Brahmana Rishi Pultasya became a rakshasa.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Raghu’s son, Pravidh, was declared of inferior varna due to lack of qualities.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Samar’s son, Asmanjas, was declared a Shudra due to his bad qualities.

I leave the contradictory appended textsfor now … the ones that make the varna structure hard and fast, as indeed happened later.

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Beauty Of The Quest

Cover of "Altai-Himalaya A Travel Diary"

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part X : INDIA (1924)

The Talmud relates that the dove brought the first olive branch to Noah from Mount Moriah. And Mount Moriah and the mountain Meru both lie in Asia. Here is the beginning of all things. Here is the source for all travelers and all searchers. Here is raised the first image of the Blessed Maitreya—Messiah—Muntazar, the Messiah now awaited by the Mohammedans. Thrice powerful M ! Here, above all disputes, the teachings have raised up the olive branch of the new world. Here is ordained the universal commune.

Some one voluntarily approached and touched our tent ! Who is this man, with his long black braid and a turquoise earring in his ear, and garbed in a white kaftan ? It is the Lama, Pema Don-dub, the local ikon painter. We ask, “Can you paint for us the Blessed Maitreya, exactly like the one in Tashi-lhunpo ?” He consents and now he sits on a tiny rug in the corner of the white gallery, and with various pigments, paints the Image full of symbols. He prepares the fabric for the painting and covers it with levkas (a mixture of chalk on glue), and irons it with a shell. He works exactly like Russian ikon painters. In the same way does he grind his colors, heat them on a coal pan; and thus does he keep an additional brush in his thick black hair. His Tibetan wife helps him to prepare his colors.

And so, in the corner of the white gallery is being conceived the ingenious image, many-colored. And each symbol upon it more clearly defines the Blessed One. Here is the frightful bird-like Garuda and wise Magi and Ganeshi, elephant of happiness, and Chintamani, the Steed, bearing on its back the miraculous stone, Treasure of the World. A sacred cycle of chosen symbols. And upon the image and the hands is laid pure gold.

Like our ikon painters, the artist lama chants hymns as he labors. The chants become more fervent; this means he is beginning upon the Image itself.

And another wonder occurs, only possible in this land. In the deep twilight when the waxing moon possesses all things, one hears through the house the silvery tones of a handmade flute. In the darkness, the artist lama is sitting upon his rug, playing with rapture before the image of Maitreya-Messiah-Muntazar.

The Strings of the Earth !

Talai-Pho-Brang.


Panoramic Kashmir
Panoramic Kashmir (Photo credit: NotMicroButSoft

PIR-PANZAL (1925)

Where have passed the hordes of the great Mongols ?

Where has the lost tribe of Israel concealed itself ?

Where stands the “Throne of Solomon” ?

Where lie the paths of Christ the Wan­derer ?

Where glow the bonfires of the Shamans, Bon-po, of the religion of demons ?

Where is Shalimar, the gardens of Jehangir ?

Where are the roads of Pamir, Lhasa, Khotan ?

Where is the mysterious cave, Amarnath ?

Where is the path of Alexander the Great to forgotten Taxila ?

Where are the walls of Akbar ?

Where did Ashvagosha teach ?

Where did Avan-tisvamin create ?

Where are the citadels of Chandragupta-Maurya ?

Where are the stones of wisdom of King Asoka ? . . .

All have passed by way of Kashmir. Here lie the ancient ways of Asia. And each caravan flashes by as a connecting link in the great body of the East. Here are the sandy deserts on the way to Peshawar; and the blue peaks of Sonamarg; and the white slopes of Zoji-La. And in the flight of the eagles is the same untiring spirit; in the fleet steed is the same unalterable motion. Nor does the world of roses and shawls of Kashmir resemble that forgotten and hidden world of Kashmiri blades.

Sacre du Printemps“— when we composed it together with Stravinsky, we could not conceive that Kashmir would greet us with its very setting. In Ghari, camping out by night, when the vivid spring sky became afire with stars and the mountains were azured, we observed rows of fires upon the mountains. The fires started into motion, separated and strangely circled about. Then the mountain slopes became aglow with these fiery processions. And in the village below, dark silhouettes began to whirl about brandishing resin torches on long staffs. The flaming circles proclaimed the end of winter frosts. And the songs proclaimed the Sacred Spring. This is the festival of the Ninth of March.

Bulbul,” the nightingale, sings on the apple tree. The cuckoo reckons out a long life. White linens are spread on the meadow and a samovar is boiling. Red and yellow apples and sweet cakes are passed around to those seated upon the spring grass. The eyes of the violets and the white and yellow narcissus are woven into a many-hued carpet. At evening, flocks of ducks and geese completely cover the tiny islands over the lakes. Small bears steal out on the spring glades. But none fears them—unless the mother-bear is with her cubs. . . .

The river banks are sloping. A line of boatsmen steer their canopied boats. . . . Upon a broad road the oxen drag themselves and the wheels grind along. Three-hundred-year-old plantains and tall poplars guard the ways. And the teeth of the encoun­tered travelers gleam often in the smile of greeting.

In the sheds lie the sleighs—veritable Moscow sleighs. In the yard, a crane screeches above the well. The straw roof is over­grown with green moss. Along the road are gnarled willow trees. And the greetings of the children are noisy. But where is this ? Is it in Schuya or Kolomna? It is in Srinagar, in the “City of the Sun.”

Tiny, big-bellied pillars—small ornamental designs—steep little steps of stone—the gilded roofs of the temple—creaking, orna­mented window-shutters—rusty locks—low little doors with their “curtesy”—carved balustrades—slanting tiles on stony floors—the odor of old lacquer—small windows with diminutive panes. Where are we then ? Is this the Kremlin of Rostov ? Are these the monasteries of Suzdal ? Are they the temples of Yaroslavl ? And what of the endless flocks of daws ? What of the naked branches behind the windows ? This is the chief palace of the Maharajah of Kashmir. How curious is everything which re­mains from antiquity. But the modern additions are hideous.

Upon the road are many Fords. In the hotel dining room one sees the faces of Americans. In the jewelry shop, side-by-side, hang two paintings—one of the view of Delhi, the other the view of the Moscow Kremlin. Among the crystals into which one gazes for destiny; among the sapphires of Kashmir and the Tibetan turquoises, are shimmering green Chinese jadaites—and like a garden, many-colored are the borders of the embroidered kaftans. Like precious shawls, the rooms of the museum are strewn with minute Iran-designs and “Gandhara,” belabored by destiny, unifies the cleft branches of West and East.

In the styles of the temples and mosques; in the angular carved dragons; in the tentlike, sloping hexagonal tower, is seen an unexpected combination of the old wooden churches of Norway and the Chinese pagodas. Out of one well is drawn the Roman­esque Chimera, the animal ornaments of Altai and the tiny animals of Chinese Turkestan and China. The Siberian paths of the nations have carried afar the same meaning of adornment.

The fort of Akbar stands firmly planted. But after you have climbed the steepnesses and flights, you may perceive that the old bricks and the claybeaten cement barely hold together. The arches are ready to give way.

Nishad, the garden of Akbar, occupies the site from the lake to the hill—a high place. The structures are modest and upon the corners are the little towers so beloved by him. They are characterized by simplicity and brightness.

Shalimar—the garden of Jehangir—is also in character with its possessor, standing “for itself.” There is less of outward show, but more of luxury—of that luxury which brought the descend­ants of the Moguls to poverty. The last Mogul, in Delhi, secretly sold furniture out of the palace and destroyed the valuable fac­ings of the walls of Shah Jehan and Aurungzeb. Thus ended the great dynasty.

The weaver of Kashmir accompanied the making of each of his designs with a special chant. Such a searching for rhythm reminds us of the great harmony of labor.

No song relates why the mountain “Throne of Solomon” bears this name. This is a place of such antiquity. Janaka, son of Asoka, had already dedicated here one of the first Buddhist temples. Seven centuries later the temple was rebuilt and con­secrated to Mahadeva. . . . But whence comes the name of Solomon? The mountain received the name of Solomon from a legend that Solomon, desiring a respite from the conventions of a sovereign’s life and from the burdens of his court, trans­ported himself upon a flying carpet to this mountain with his favorite wife. Here, again, we come upon the mention of that “flying apparatus” possessed by Solomon. A similar mountain is in Turkestan and in Persia.

It is not alone the mountain “Throne of Solomon” which transports the consciousness into biblical spheres. In the valley of Sindh the prophet Elijah is reverenced in a special manner. Most stirring are the legends; how the prophet sitting in his cave saves fishermen and travelers. Under various aspects, at times benevolent, at times stormy, the prophet appears to defend the works of justice and piety. Mohammedans and Hindus, divided by many differences, equally reverence the prophet Elijah.

Purple iris will always recall Moslem cemeteries. They are covered with these flowers. But there is also joy. The lilacs have blossomed, lilies of the valley are nodding and the wild cherry tree glistens.

Mount Moriah Cemetery Gate


MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

Sculpture of the two Jain tirthankaras Rishabh...
Jain tirthankaras Rishabha (left) and Mahavira (right).

 

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems

that men have lived with over extended period, that they chose over others

for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through … 

Chapter III : The Arhat Or Jain Belief System

The Jain way of life was contemporaneous with the rise of Buddhism, after the catastrophic developments about 1900 BC, when the Vedic convictions were seriously in question. Yet, it was Buddhism that took to prominence with the advent of the third Buddha, Siddhartha Gautam. There are 24 Tirthankars, enlightened ones, in Jain tradition; but this particular belief system was widely embraced only with rise of Mahavir, about 1200 years after Gautam Budha.

Jain Arhats or Tirthankars reject the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness of everything. They say : If there is no permanent soul, then even attaining worldly fruit in life will be impossible; for, without that individual agency to regulate, the action or effort of one person would have its consequences reaped by another. Because there is a permanent soul, we have this conviction, ” I, who previously did the deed, am the person who now reaps its consequences.” 

The soul remains constant through the previous and the subsequent period; the discriminating Jain Arhats reject as untenable the doctrine of momentary existence, in which the soul is said to last only an instant and has no continuity from the previous to the subsequent moments. They define existence as “that which possesses an origin, an end, and an [intermediate] duration.” Therefore, the Arhats exhorted, they who seek the summum bonum of being (human) must not accept the doctrine of Buddha, and should rather honour only the Arhat doctrine. 

The Arhat’s nature has been thus described by Arhachchandra-suri : “The divine Arhat is the supreme lord, the omniscient one, who has overcome all faults, desire, etc. He is adored by the three worlds, and is the declarer of things as they are.” 

But may it not be objected that no such omniscient soul can enter the path of proof, since none of the five affirmative proofs can be found to apply, as has been declared by Tautatita [Bhatta Kumarila] ? The latter says :

1. No omniscient being is seen by the sense here in this world by ourselves or others ; nor is there any part of him seen which might help us as a sign to infer his existence. 

2. There is no injunction (vidhi) of scripture which reveals an eternal omniscient one, nor can the meaning of the explanatory passages (arthavada) be applied here. 

3. His existence is not declared by those passages which refer to quite other topics ; and it cannot be contained in any emphatic repetitions (anuvada), as it had never been mentioned elsewhere before. 

4. An omniscient being who had a beginning can never be the subject of the eternal Veda ; and how can he be established by a man-made and spurious “Veda” ? 

5. Do you say that this omniscient one is accepted on his own word ? How can you establish either when they thus both depend on reciprocal support ? 

6. If you say, the saying is true because it was uttered by one omniscient, and this proves the Arhat’s existence, how can either point be established without some previously established foundation ? 

7. But they who accept a supposed omniscient, on the baseless word of a parviscient, know nothing of the meaning of a real omniscient’s words. 

8. And again, if we now could see anything like an omniscient being, we might have a chance of recognising him by the [well-known fourth] proof, comparison (upamana). 

The Jains reply as follows : The supposed contradiction of an Arhat s existence, derived from the failure of the five affirmative proofs, is untenable because there are proofs, as inference, etc, which do establish his existence. In fact, any soul will become omniscient when, its natural capacity for grasping all objects remaining the same, the hindrances to such knowledge are removed. 

Interestingly, the Jains hold the soul to be a substance and not a person ! They say, “Whatever thing has a natural capacity for knowing any object will, when its hindrances to such knowledge are done away, actually know it, just as the sense of vision cognises form directly when the hindrances of darkness, etc, are removed. Now there is such a soul, which has its hindrances done away, its natural capacity for grasping all things remaining unchanged; therefore there is an omniscient being. Nor is the assertion unestablished that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; for, otherwise, it could not be maintained that knowledge can be produced by the authoritative injunction of a text * ; nor could there be the knowledge of universal propositions, such as in our favourite argument, ” All things are indeterminate from the very fact of their existence”. Of course, a follower of Nyaya (logic) will grant that universal propositions can be known, though he will dispute the truth of this particular one, because we [Jains] are convinced that there are certain special means to destroy these obstructions, viz. the three ” gems ” of right intuition, etc. By this charm too, all inferior assaults of argument are also countered.

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* The teachers of Purva Mimamsa accept that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; they allow that the knowledge embracing all things can be produced by the discussion of injunctions and prohibitions, as is said by Sankara in his commentary on the Sutras.

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But the Naiyayiks (logicians) may interpose, “You talk of the pure intelligence which, after all hindrances are done away, sees all objects, having sense-perception at its height; but this is irrelevant, because there can be no hindrance to the omniscient, as from all eternity he has been always liberated.” We reply that there is no proof of your eternally liberated being. There cannot be an omniscient who is eternally “liberated.” The very fact of his being liberated suggests that, like other liberated persons, he was previously “bound” ; and if the latter is absent, the former must be too, as is seen in the case of the ether. 

“But is not this being’s existence definitely proved by his being the maker of that eternal series of effects, the earth, etc ? For, according to the well-known argument, the earth etc must have had a maker because they have the nature of effects, as a jar.” This argument, however, will not hold, because you cannot prove that they have the nature of effects. You cannot establish this premise from the fact of earth being composed of parts, because this supposition falls upon the horns of a dilemma ! Does this “being composed of parts” mean (i) the being in contact with the parts ; (ii) the being in intimate relation to the parts ; (iii) the being produced from parts ; (iv) the being as the substance in intimate relation ; or (v) the being as the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ?

The Jains continue to decimate the logic behind the premise : Not the first, because it would apply too widely, as it would include ether which, though not itself composed of parts, is in contact with the parts of other things ; nor the second, because it would similarly include genus, etc. as this resides in a substance by intimate relation, and yet is itself not composed of parts ; nor the third, because this involves a term ( ” produced ” ) just as much disputed as the one directly in question ; nor the fourth, because its neck is caught in the pillory of the following alternative : Do you mean by your phrase used above that it is to be a substance, and to have something else in intimate relation to itself, or do you mean that it must have intimate relation to something else, in order to be valid for your argument ? If you say the former, it will equally apply to ether, since this is a substance, and has its qualities through intimate relation with other things ; if you say the latter, your new position involves as much dispute as the original point, since you would have to prove the existence of intimate relation in the parts, or the so-called ” intimate causes,” which you mean by ” something else.” 

We use these terms in compliance with your terminology ; but, of course, from our point of view, we do not allow such a thing as ” intimate relation,” as there is no proof of its existence. Nor can the fifth alternative be allowed, because this would reach too far. as it would include soul, etc, since soul can be the object of an idea involving the notion of parts, and yet it is acknowledged to be not an effect. Nor can you maintain that the soul may still be indiscerptible in itself but, by reason of its connection with some thing possessing parts, may metaphorically become the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ; because there is a mutual contradiction in the idea of that which has no parts and of that which is all-pervading, just as the atom which is indiscerptible but is not all-pervading. 

And, moreover, is there only one maker ? Or, again, is he independent ? In the former case your position will apply too far, as it will extend erroneously to palaces, etc, where we see for ourselves that it is the work of many different men such as carpenters, etc, and, in the second case, if all the world were produced by this one maker, all other agents would be superfluous. As it has been said in the ” Praise of Jina” :

1 ” It is said, there is one eternal maker for the world, all-pervading, independent, and true. But we have none of these inextricable delusions, whose teacher art thou.” 

And again :

2 ” There is here no maker acting by his own free will, else his influence would extend to the making of a mat. What would be the use of yourself or all the artisans, if Iswara (God) fabricates the three worlds ? “ 

Therefore it is right to hold, as we do, that omniscience is produced when the hindrances are removed by the three means we have alluded to. And an objection cannot be be made that ” right intuition,” etc, are impossible, as there is no other teacher to go to, because this universal knowledge can be produced by the inspired works of former omniscient Jinas. We accept an eternal succession of revealed doctrines and omniscient teachers, like the endless series of seed springing from shoot and shoot from seed. So much for this preliminary discussion. 

The well-known triad called the three gems as right intuition, etc, are thus described in the Param-agama-sara (which is devoted to the exposition of the doctrines of the Arhats) … ” Right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct are the path of liberation.” This has been thus explained by Yogadeva : 

When the meaning of the predicaments, the soul, etc, has been declared by an Arhat in exact accordance with their reality, absolute faith in the teaching, i.e., the entire absence of any contrary idea, is “right intuition.” And to this effect runs the Tattvartha-Sutra, “Faith in the predicaments is right intuition.” Or, as another definition gives it, “Acquiescence in the predicaments declared by a Jina is called right faith ; it is produced either by natural character or by the guru’s instruction.” “Natural character” means the soul’s own nature, independent of another’s teaching; “instruction” is the knowledge produced by the teaching of another in the form of explanation, etc. 

” Right knowledge ” is a knowledge of the predicaments, soul, etc, according to their real nature, undisturbed by any illusion or doubt ; as it has been said, “That knowledge, which embraces concisely or in detail the predicaments as they actually are, is called right knowledge by the wise.” 

This knowledge is fivefold : mati, sruta, avadhi, manas-paryaya, and kevala; they mean as stated herebelow – 

1. Mati … by which one cognises an object through the senses and the mind, all obstructions of knowledge being removed. 

2. Sruta … the clear knowledge produced by mati, all the obstructions of knowledge being removed. 

3. Avadhi … knowledge of special objects caused by the removal of hindrances, which is effected by ” right intuition,” etc. 

4. Manas-paryaya … clear definite knowledge of another’s thoughts, manifest upon removal of all obstructions raised by the veil of envy. 

5. Kevala … pure unalloyed knowledge, for the sake of which ascetics practise penance. 

6. The first of these (mati) is not self-cognised, the other four are. Thus it has been said – 

True knowledge is proof which nothing can contradict, which manifests itself as well as its object ; it is both supersensuous and is itself an object of cognition.

Right conduct is the abstaining from all actions tending to evil courses that have effects constituting the mundane. This has been explained at length by the Arhat : “Right conduct is relinquishing the entire blamable impulses ; this has been subjected to a five-fold division, as the five great vows – ahimsa, sunrita, asteya, brahmacharya, and aparigraka.”

Ahimsa is avoidance of injury to all life, movable or immovable, by any act of thoughtlessness. Kind, salutary and truthful speech is called sunrita. That speech is not truthful which is prejudicial and unkind to others. Not taking what is not given is declared to be asteya. 

The vow of brahmacharya (chastity) is eighteen-fold, viz. abandonment of all desires, heavenly or earthly, in thought, word and deed, whether by one’s own action or consent, or by causing another to act. Aparigraha is renouncing of all delusive interest in everything that exists or not ; since bewilderment of thought may arise from a delusive interest even in the unreal. 

7. When carried out by the five states of mind in a five-fold order, these great vows produce the eternal abode.

The full account of the five states of mind has been given in the following passage [of which we only quote one sloka] –

” Let him uphold the vow of sunrita uninterruptedly by abstinence from laughter, greed, fear and anger, and by deliberately avoiding speech;” and so forth. 

Convergence of these three – right intuition, right knowledge, and right conduct – produce liberation.

Tattvas or predicaments are two : jiva and ajiva. The soul, jiva, is pure intelligence ; the non-soul, ajiva, is pure non-intelligence. Padmanandin has thus said :

” The two highest predicaments are soul and non-soul ; discrimination is the power to discriminate between the two, while pursuing what is to be pursued and rejecting what is to be rejected. The affection, etc, of the agent are to be rejected ; these are objects for the non-discriminating. The supreme light of knowledge alone is to be pursued, which is defined as upayoga.” 

Upayoga or “true culmination of the soul’s activity” takes place when vision truly perceives and recognises the soul’s innate nature ; but as long as the soul, by the bond of pradesa and mutual interpenetration of form it produces between the soul and the body, considers itself as identified with its actions and with the body that they produce and form, knowledge may rather be defined as ” the cause of the soul’s cognition of itself being other than these.”

Intelligence (chaitanya) is common to all souls, and is the real nature of the soul viewed as parinata i.e. as it is in itself. But under the influence of upasamakshaya and kshayopasama, the soul appears in its “mixed” form, as possessing both, jiva and ajiva. Or again, by the influence of actions as they arise, it assumes the appearance of foulness, etc. 

Hence has it been said by Vachakacharya : ” The aupasamika, the kshayika, and the mixed states are the nature of the soul. So too are the audayika and the parinamika.” 

The aupasamika state of the soul arises when all the effects of past actions have ceased, and no new actions arise to affect the future. The Kshayika state arises when there is absolute cessation of actions and their effects, as in final liberation. The “mixed” (misra) state combines both these, as when water is partly pure. The audayika state is when actions arise exerting an inherent influence on the future. The Parinamika state is the soul’s innate condition, as pure intelligence, etc, and disregarding its apparent states. This nature, in one of the above-described varieties, is the character of every soul, whether happy or unhappy.

It is further explained : ” Not different from knowledge and yet not identical with it ; in some way both different and the same ; knowledge is its first and last form ; such is the soul described to be.” 

If you say that, ” As difference and identity are mutually exclusive, we must have it as one or the other; that the soul is both is absurd” ; we reply, that there is no evidence to support you when you characterise it as absurd. Only a valid non-perception can thus preclude a suggestion as absurd ; but this is not found in the present case, since (in our opinion, the advocates of the Syad-vada) it is perfectly notorious that all things present a mingled nature of many contradictory attributes. 

Others lay down a different set of tattvas from the two mentioned above, jiva and ajiva ; they hold that there are five astikayas or categories : jiva, akasa, dharma, adharma, and pudgala. To all these five we can apply the idea of “existence” (asti), as connected with the three divisions of time, and we can similarly apply the idea of ” body ” (kaya) from their occupying several parts of space. 

The jivas (souls) are of two kinds, “mundane” and “released.” The mundane soul reincarnates from birth to birth ; these are again divided into two : those possessing an internal sense (samanaska), and those without it (amanaska). The former possesses the power of apprehension, talking, acting and receiving instruction ; the latter are without this power. These latter are also divided into two, as ” locomotive ” (trasa) or ” immovable ” (sthavara). The “locomotive” are those possessing at least two senses [touch and taste], as shell-fish, worms, etc, and are thus of four kinds : as possessing two, three, four, or five senses. The “immovable” are earth, water, fire, air, and trees. But here a distinction must be made. The dust of the road is properly “earth,” but bricks, etc, are aggregated ” bodies of earth,” and that soul by whom this body is appropriated becomes ” earthen-bodied,” and that soul which will hereafter appropriate it is the “earth-soul.” The same four divisions must also be applied to the others, water, etc. Now the souls which have appropriated or will appropriate the earth, etc, as their bodies, are reckoned as “immovable” ; but earth, etc, and the ” bodies of earth,” etc, are not so reckoned because they are inanimate. These other immovable things, and such as only possess the one sense of touch, are considered as ” released,” since they are incapable of passing into any other state of existence. 

Dharma, adharma, and akasa are singular categories [and not generic], and they have not the attribute of ” action,” but they are the causes of a substance’s change of place. Dharma, “merit,” and adharma, “demerit,” are well known. They assist souls in progressing or remaining stationary in the universally extended sky [or ether] characterised by light, and also called Lokakasa; hence the presence of the category “merit” is to be inferred from progress, that of ” demerit ” from frozen station. The effect of akasa is seen when one thing enters into the space previously occupied by another. Pudgala body possesses touch, taste, and colour. 

Bodies are of two kinds, atomic and compound. Atoms cannot be enjoyed; the compounds are binary and other combinations. Atoms are produced by separation of these binary and other compounds, while these arise from the conjunction of atoms. Compounds sometimes arise from separation and conjunction combined ; hence they are called pudgalas, because they “fill” (pur), and “dissolve” (gal). Although ” time ” is not properly an astikaya, because it does not occupy many separate parts of space [as mentioned in the definition], still it is a dravya [or tattva], as the definition will hold ; “substance” (dravya) possesses “qualities and action.” Qualities reside in substance but do not themselves possess qualities, as the general qualities, knowledge, etc, of the jiva, and form, etc, of the body, and the power of causing progress, stationariness, and motion into a place previously occupied, in the case respectively of ” merit,” ” demerit,” and akasa.

” Action ” (paryaya) has thus been defined ; the actions of a substance are, as has been said, its existence, its production, its being what it is, its development, its course to the end, as, e.g., in the knowledge of objects, as of a jar, etc, happiness, pain, etc ; in the pudgala, the lump of clay, the jar, etc ; in merit and demerit, the special functions of progress, etc. Thus there are six substances or tattvas [i.e. the five mentioned above and ” time “]. 

Others add more tattvas … Asrava is described as the movement of the soul called yoga, through its participation in the movement of its various bodies. As a door opening into the water is called asrava, because it causes the stream to descend through it, so this yoga is called asrava because by it, as by a pipe, actions and their consequences flow in upon the soul. Or, as a wet garment collects the dust brought to it from all sides by the wind, so the soul, wet with previous sins, collects, by its manifold points of contact with the body, the actions which are brought to it by yoga. Or as, when water is thrown on a heated lump of iron, the iron absorbs the water altogether, so the jiva, heated by previous sins, receives from all sides the actions which are brought by yoga (mixing of the soul with the body and actions). 

Kashaya (” sin,” ” defilement “) is so called because it ” hurts ” the soul by leading it into evil states ; it comprises anger, pride, delusion, and lust. Asrava is two-fold, good or evil. Thus abstaining from doing injury is a good yoga of the body ; speaking what is true, measured and profitable, is a good yoga of the speech. These various subdivisions of asrava have been described at length in several Sutras. ” Asrava is the impulse to action with body, speech, or mind, and it is good or evil as it produces merit or demerit,” etc. Others, however, explain it thus : ” Asrava is the action of the senses which impels the soul towards external objects ; the light of the soul, coming in contact with external objects by means of the senses, forms the knowledge of respective objects or bodies.”

Bandha, ” bondage,” is when the soul, by the influence of “false intuition,” “non-indifference,” ” carelessness,” and “sin”, and also by the force of yoga, assumes various bodies occupying many parts of space, which enter into its own subtile body and which are appropriate to the bond of its previous actions. As has been said : “Through the influence of sin the individual soul assumes bodies suitable to its past actions; this is, bondage.” 

The causes of bondage are false intuition, non-indifference, carelessness, and sin.

(a) “False intuition” is twofold, either innate from one’s natural character, as when one disbelieves Jain doctrines due to influence of former evil actions, or by influence of another’s teaching. 

(&) ” Non-indifference ” is the non-restraint of the five senses, and the internal organ, from the set of six, earth, etc. 

(c) “Carelessness” (pramada) is want of effort to practise the five kinds of samiti, gupti, etc. 

(d) ” Sin ” consists of anger, etc. Here we must make the distinction that false intuition, etc, cause those kinds of bondage called sthiti and anubhava; yoga [or asrava] causes kinds called prakriti and pradesa. 

” Bondage ” is fourfold, as has been said : ” Prakriti, sthiti, anubhava, and pradesa are its four kinds.” 

I. Prakriti means “the natural qualities,” as bitterness or sweetness in the vimba plant or molasses. 

2. Sthiti lasts beyond billions of units of time.

3. Anubhava is effect produced in different material bodies caused by our actions ; there exists a special capacity (anubhava) for producing their respective effects. 

4. Pradesa is the entrance into the different parts of the soul by the masses, made up of an endless number of parts, of the various bodies which are developed by the consequences of actions. 

Samvara is the stopping of asrava by which the influence of past actions (karma) is stopped from entering into the soul. It is divided into gupti, samiti, etc. Gupti is the withdrawal of the soul from that ” impulse ” (yoga) which causes mundane being. It is threefold, as relating to body, speech or mind. Samiti is acting so as to avoid injury to all living beings.

Moksha ( or Nirvana)

Moksha is the attainment with which there is an entire absence of all future actions, as all causes of bondage (false perception, etc) are ceased forever ; and, since all past actions are abolished in the presence of their causes, there arises the absolute release from all actions. As it has been said : “Moksha is the absolute release from all actions through decay (nirjard} of all actuated and potential causes of bondage and mundane being.” 

Then the soul rises upward to the end of the world. As a potter’s wheel, whirled by a stick and by hands, moves on even after these have stopped until the impulse is exhausted, so the previous repeated contemplations of the embodied soul for the attainment of moksha exert their influence even after they have ceased and bear the soul onward to the end of the world.

Others hold moksha to be abiding in the highest regions, the soul being absorbed in bliss with its knowledge unhindered and itself untainted by any pain or impression thereof. 

” The doctrine of the syad-vada arises from our everywhere, rejecting the idea of the absolute …” If a thing absolutely exists, it exists altogether, always, everywhere and with everybody, and no one at any time or place would ever make an effort to obtain or avoid it. The whole is thus summed up : Four classes of our opponents severally hold the doctrine of existence, non-existence, existence and non-existence successively, and the doctrine that everything is inexplicable (anirvachaniyata) ; three other classes hold one or other of the three first theories combined with the fourth. 

Now, when they meet us with the scornful questions, ” Does the thing exist ? ” etc, we have a ready answer, ” It exists in a certain way,” etc. Syad-vada ascertains the entire meaning of all things. Thus said the teacher in the Syadvada-Manjari :

“A thing of an entirely indeterminate nature is the object only of the omniscient ; a thing partly determined is held to be the true object of scientific investigation. When our reasoning based on one point proceed in the revealed way, it is called the revealed Syad-vada, which ascertains the entire meaning of all things.” 

” All other systems are full of jealousy from their mutual propositions and counter-propositions ; only the doctrine of the Arhat has no partiality and equally favours all sects.” 

The Jaina doctrine has thus been summed up by Jinadatta-suri :

” The hindrances belonging to vigour, enjoyment, sensual pleasure, giving and receiving, sleep, fear, ignorance, aversion, laughter, liking, disliking, love, hatred, want of indifference, desire, sorrow, deceit … these are the eighteen faults (dosha) according to our system. The divine Jina is our Guru, who declares the true knowledge of the tattwas. The path of emancipation consists of knowledge, intuition and conduct. There are two means of proof (pramana) in Syad-vada doctrine – sense-perception and inference. All consists of the eternal and the non-eternal ; there are nine or seven tattwas. The jiva, the ajiva, merit and demerit, asrava, samvara, landha, nirjard, mukti … we will now explain each. 

Jiva is defined as intelligence ; ajiva is all other than it ; merit means bodies which arise from good actions, demerit the opposite ; asrava is the bondage of actions, nirjard is the unloosing thereof ; moksha arises from destruction of the eight forms of karma or “action.” But by some teachers ” merit ” is included in samvara and ” demerit ” in asrava. 

” Of the soul that has attained the four infinite things and is hidden from the world, and whose eight actions are abolished, absolute liberation is declared by Jina. The Swetambaras are the destroyers of all defilement, they live by alms, they pluck out their hair, they practise patience, they avoid all association, and are called Jain Sadhus. The Digambaras pluck out their hair, they carry peacocks tails in their hands, they drink from their hands, and they eat upright in the giver’s house; these are the second class of the Jain Rishis. 

“A woman attains not the highest knowledge, she enters not Mukti, so say the Digambaras ; but there is great division on this point between them and the Swetambaras.”

English: Jain sadhvis meditating (in Brindavan...
Jain sadhvis meditating (in Brindavan)

MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

 

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems that men have lived with over extended period,

that they chose over others for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through …

Chapter II : The Buddhist Belief System

A Greco-Buddhist statue, one of the first repr...

Puranas, the traditional record of dynasties and kings place the great Buddha about 18th Century BC, a time of great chaos and uprootedness, just after the River Sarasvati had dried up and life was displaced from its settled origins in its valley in present day Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. People moved North into Punjab and towards East along the the course of rivers Ganga and Jamuna. 

These eastern regions in Kosala and Magadha were already populated

and the massive migrations from the West led to much social conflict and churn through survival pressures, power quests and aspirations to affluence. It was a melting pot of gigantic proportions, which threw up several alternate life-views while people picked up their lives with severe ethical and moral questions on the social and personal perspectives they all had largely subscribed to before, through the millennium after the Kurukshetra War that had laid to waste millions of lives and ushered in a new world order. The drying up of the River Sarasvati was no less catastrophic, concomitant as it was with a number of frequent famine cycles.

In those interesting times, the Buddha’s way was a great call for moderation. It was universally heard, appreciated and adopted, though expectedly life throw up the extreme alternates as well. Charvaka’s materialist atheism was one of them.

Buddhists observe : The reasons you (Charvakas) lay down to establish the difficulty of ascertaining invariable concomitance are unacceptable, inasmuch as invariable concomitance is easily cognisable by means of identity and causality. It has accordingly been said : ” From the relation of cause and effect, or from identity as a determinant, results a (specific) law of invariable concomitance … not through mere observation of the desired result in (other) similar cases, nor through the non-observation of it in (other) dissimilar cases.” 

On the hypothesis (of the “logician” Naiyayikas) that it is concomitance and non-concomitance, say, A is where B is and A is not where B is not, which determines an invariable (cause and effect) connection, but that the unconditional ( or unconditioned) attendance of the major or the middle term is unascertainable in all instances, it being impossible to exclude all doubt with regard to instances in past and future and present but unperceived … an inadequacy that also affects the Buddhist system … the latter says, “Not so, for such a supposition as that an effect may be produced without any cause would destroy itself by putting a stop to activity of any kind; for such doubts alone are to be entertained that do not implicate us in practical absurdity; as it has been said : Doubt terminates where there is a practical absurdity.“

And, if a man does not allow inference as a form of evidence, pramana, one may reply, “You merely assert thus much, that inference is not a form of evidence : Do you offer no proof of this assertion, or is there one you have ? The former alternative is not allowable according to the maxim that bare assertion is no proof of the matter asserted. Nor is the latter alternative any better, for if while you assert that inference is no form of evidence, you produce some truncated argument (to prove, i.e. infer the contrary), you will be involved in an absurdity, just as if you asserted your own mother to be barren ! 

Besides, when you (logician) affirm that the establishment of a form of evidence and of the corresponding fallacious evidence results from their homogeneity, you yourself admit induction by identity. Again, when you affirm that the dissent of others is known by the symbolism of words, you yourself allow induction by causality. When you deny the existence of any object on the ground of its not being perceived, you yourself admit an inference of which non-perception is the middle term. 

Hence has the Tathagata said : The admission of a form of evidence in general results from its being present to the understanding of others. The existence of a form of evidence also follows from its negation by a certain person.

All this has been fully handled by great authorities; and we desist for fear of an undue enlargement of our essay. 

Buddhists discuss the highest end of man from four standpoints, subscribers to which are respectively categorised as Madhyamika, Yogachara, Sautrantika and Vaibhashika. The Madhyamika adopts the doctrine of universal void (nihilism); Yogachara, of an external void (subjective idealism); Sautrantika, of the inferability of external objects (representationism); and the Vaibhasika, of the perceptibility of external objects (presentationism). 

Thus the venerated Buddha, the one teacher, has disciples of four kinds, in consequence of this diversity of views; just as when one has said, “The sun has set,” the adulterer, the thief, the divinity student, and commoners understand that it is time to set about their assignations, their theft, their religious duties, household chores and so forth, according to their several inclinations.

In effect, the Buddhist belief may be simply expressed as :

  • All is momentary;

  • All is pain;

  • All is like itself alone; and

  • All is void.

The Buddhist thus drives the non-physical, non-ephemeral nature of the soul :

” What has rain and shine to do with the soul ? Their effect is on the skin of man. If the soul were like the skin, it would be non-permanent ; and if the skin were like the soul, there could be no effect produced upon it.”

Dilating on existence of beings and things, celestial bodies included, it is perceived that each of them change in part or full, without exception, in short and long term, and are replaced by another, like or unlike. They all – positive projections in existence – are hence categorised as “momentary.” And the “infinite” universal or mother existence that contain these successive momentary entities in existence is neither perceived nor is cognisable by any other valid means. Hence the universal infinite from which these entities form and into they unform, that permanence with character contrary to all these in existence, is void or non-existence. Therefore it has been said by Jnana-sri (Buddha, the knowledgeable) : 

  • What is … is momentary, as a cloud, and as these existent things.

  • The power of existence is relative to practical efficiency and belongs to the ideal, but this power exists not as eternal in things eternal (ether, etc).

  • Each entity has only one form, otherwise one thing could do the work of another.

Conformably it has been said … ” Great is the dexterity of that which, existing in one place, engages without moving from that place in producing itself in another place. This entity (universality) is not connected with that wherein it resides, and yet pervades that which occupies that place : great is this miracle. It goes not away, nor was it there, nor is it subsequently divided, it quits not its former repository : what a series of difficulties ! “ 

If you ask : On what does the assurance rest that the one exists in the many ? You must be satisfied with the reply that we concede it to repose on difference from that which is different (or exclusion of heterogeneity). We dismiss further prolixity.

That all transmigratory existence is identical with pain is the common verdict of all the founders of institutes, else they would not be found desirous to put a stop to it and engage in method for bringing it to an end. We must, therefore, bear in mind that all is pain, and pain alone. 

If you object : When it is asked, “like what ? you must quote an instance,” we reply : Not so, for momentary objects self-characterised being momentary, have no common characters, and therefore it is impossible to say that this is like that. We must therefore hold that all is like itself alone.

Objects are not determined by any one of the four alternatives. Hence it has been said …

“A religious mendicant, an amorous man, and a dog have three views of a woman s person, respectively that it is a carcass, that it is a mistress, and that it is a prey.” 

In consequence of these four points of view – Madhyamika, Yogachara, Sautrantika and Vaibhashika – when all ideas concerning any or all entities are come to end, to their final extinction, the result is a void. To be true, there is nothing more to be taught : The student has only two duties, interrogation and acceptance. Of these, interrogation is putting forth questions in order to attain knowledge not yet attained here and now. Acceptance is assent to matters enunciated by the teacher. 

Critically speaking, the nihilists on the Budhist way are excellent at assenting to that which the religious teacher enounces but defective in interrogation, whence their traditional designation of Madhyamikas (or mediocre). The “method” does not answer the question : Who is witnessing the void, and how ? If the void itself is witnessing it, then it could hardly be void proper !

Yogacharas, on the other hand, seem to realise the predicament : they accept the four points of view proclaimed by the spiritual guide and the void of external things, but question : Why has a void of the internal (or baselessness of mental phenomena) been admitted ? Their reasoning is : Self-subsistent cognition must be allowed or it will follow that the whole universe is blind.” Therefore does Dharmakirti proclaim, ” To one who disallows perception, his vision of objects is not competent (to start with).” 

Likewise, the Sautrantikas hold that the absence of external world is untenable, as wanting evidence, which the Vaibhasikas provide while admitting the perceptibility of external objects. It brings the “truth” content in Buddhist thought to a full circle !

The testimony of one’s own consciousness however is an important contribution by those Buddhists who continued their contemplation along the lines of prevailing Yoga – Sankhya studies. Sense perception occasioned by six cognitions : sound (ear), touch (skin), colour (eye), taste (tongue), smell (nose) and, in addition to traditional inclusions, pleasure (mind). The four conditions necessary to sense-perception are : data, suggestion, medium, and the dominant (organ). For instance, the form of blue is the data in our understanding, cognised upon a suggestion in our sight, through the medium if light and the dominant eye organ.

So too with the universe, our perception of which consists of mind and five kinds of its modifications : sensational, perceptional, affectional, verbal, and impressional. Of these, the sensible world is the sense organs and their objects, the perceptional world is the stream of subject-recognitions and of presentments of activity, the affectional is the stream of feelings of pleasure and pain generated by the two aforesaid worlds, the verbal (or symbolical) world is the stream of cognitions conversant about words … the words ” cow,” and so forth, and the impressional world is constituted of the miseries … as desire, aversion, etc caused by the affectional world, the lesser miseries … as conceit, pride, etc, and merit and demerit. 

Reflecting, therefore, that this universe is pain, an abode of pain, and an instrument of pain, a man should acquire a knowledge of the principles and the method of eliminating this pain. Hence it has been said, “The principles sanctioned by Buddha are, to the saint, the four methods of eliminating the aggregate of pain.” In these words the sense of pain is known to every one; the ” aggregate ” means the cause of pain. 

This aggregate is twofold, as (1) determined by concurrence or (2) determined by causation. Of these, there is an aphorism comprising the aggregate determined by concurrence, ” which other causes resort to this effect ; the condition of these causes thus proceeding is concurrence ; the concurrence of causes is the result of this only, and not of any conscious being ” … such is the meaning of the aphorism. To exemplify : A germ, caused by a seed, is generated by the concurrence of six elements. Of these, earth as an element produces hardness and smell in the germ; water as an element produces viscidity and moisture; light as an element produces colour and warmth ; air as an element produces touch and motion ; ether as an element produces expansion and sound ; the season as an element produces a fitting soil, etc. 

The aphorism comprising the aggregate determined by causation is : “With the Tathagatas, the nature of these conditions is fixed by production, or by non-production ; there is continuance as a condition, and determination by a condition, and conformity of the production to the cause ; the nature of these conditions, that is, the causal relation between the cause and effect, results from production or from non-production. That which comes into being, provided that something exists, is the effect of that as its cause ; such is the explanation of the nature (or causal relation). Continuance as a condition is where the effect is not found without its cause. Determination by a condition is the determination of the effect by the cause. 

One might interpose that the relation of cause and effect cannot exist apart from some conscious agent. For this reason it is added that there existing a cause, conformity of the genesis to that cause is the nature which is fixed in conditions (that is, in causes and effects) ; and in all this no intelligent designer is observed. 

Emancipation is the suppression of these two causal aggregates, or the rise of pure cognition subsequent to such suppression. The method (path, road) is the mode of suppressing them. This method is the knowledge of the principles. Such is the highest mystery. 

As an anecdotal instance, the name Sautrantika arose from the fact that the venerated Buddha said to certain of his disciples who asked what was the ultimate purport (anta, end) of the aphorism (stitra), “As you have in quired the final purport of the aphorism, be Sautrantikas.” Thus did the name come to be.

It should not be contended that a diversity of instruction according to the disciples modes of thought is not traditional (or orthodox) ; for it is said in the gloss on the Bodha-chitta :

” The instructions of the leader of mankind (Buddha), accommodating themselves to the character and disposition (of those who are to be taught), are said to be diverse in many ways, according to a plurality of methods. For as deep or superficial, and sometimes both deep and superficial, these instructions are diverse, and diverse is the doctrine of a universal void which is a negation of duality.”

It is well known in Buddhist doctrine that the worship of the twelve inner seats (dyatana) is conducive to felicity.

” After acquiring wealth in abundance, the twelve inner seats are to be thoroughly reverenced ; what use of reverencing aught else below ? The five organs of knowledge, the five organs of action, the common sensory and the intellect have been described by the wise as the twelve inner seats.”

The system of the Buddhists is described as follows in the Viveka-vilasa :

” Of the Bauddhas, Sugata (Buddha) is the deity, and the universe is momentarily fluxional ; The following four principles in order are to be known by the name of the noble truths : Pain, the inner seats, and from them an aggregate is held, and the path (method). Of all this, let the explication be heard in order… 

Pain, and the features of the embodied one, which are declared to be five – sensation, consciousness, name, impression, and form. 

The five organs of sense, the five objects of sense, sound and the rest, the common sensory, and the intellect (the abode of merit), these are the twelve inner seats. 

This should be the complement of desire and so forth, when it arises in the heart of man. Under the name of soul’s own nature, it should be the aggregate. 

The fixed idea that all impressions are momentary is to be known as the path, and is also styled emancipation.

“Furthermore, there are two instruments of science, perception and inference. The Bauddhas are well known to be divided into four sects, the Vaibhashikas and the rest. The Vaibhashika highly esteems an object concomitant to the cognition ; The Sautrantika allows no external object apprehensible by perception ; The Yogachara admits only intellect accompanied with forms ; The Madhyamikas hold mere consciousness self-subsistent. All the four (sects of) Bauddhas proclaim the same emancipation, arising from the extirpation of desire, etc, the stream of cognitions and impressions.”

” The skin garment, the water-pot, the tonsure, the rags, the single meal in the forenoon, the congregation, and the red vesture, are adopted by the Bauddha mendicants.”

Related articles

Buddha statues in a temple on Jejudo, South Korea
Buddha statues in a temple on Jejudo, South Korea

Health Through Matters Gross !

Since my post on a health blog got a thumbs up, I feel encouraged to share it here.

My body is not in the best of health but I do without many medicines … there’s one for my diabetes, a vitamin cap and one for calcium. Yet I’d like to share this one single prevention, amongst all mother ill functioning of the body that are widespread and proven disease multipliers… constipation. It’s worked for me since ages and the rules are remarkably simple.

It’s through remembering to follow some rules for seat behaviour :

  1. Sit as if you have the whole day for the job; don’t worry, it’s never taken more than 10 odd minutes !

  2. Don’t start with pushing, pressing and puffing down below; trust your body to do the job.
    After all, you’re in there because of signs that it would.

  3. Just sit, spine straight or just a little bent over as it suits, but shoulders dropped and body at ease and relaxed. Give the neck some respite from having to hold up your great thinking box … yes, let even the head drop with chin close to the chest.
    There is no other thought or concern more important than the job at hand. The sky could tumble for all you care !

  4. Just breathe in fully, letting the stomach puff out as it would;
    and breathe out as it comes, taking the stomach in as it would.
    That’s your only real task while you are in there, not the area lower on !

  5. Give the body time enough till it does what you are there for, aiding it now and then ever so slightly.

  6. And please, don’t leave the place prematurely, just because you “feel” it’s done.
    Most of the time it’s just the trailer or an intermission …

Happy relieving !

Awakening …

Of  Religion, Enlightenment and Liberation (Moksha) …

” It’s great to be born into religion but terrible to die in one.”  ~ Swami Vivekananda

Русский: Свами Вивекананда Свами Вивекананда в...

Religion has connotations :

To the historically aware in the West, it is dogmatic …

and has led to cramping of man’s urge for freedom, Inquisition, Crusades,

social hold to power by the clergy, priviledged heirarchy

of self-proclaimed God representativess … That’s a lot of history to beware of !

In India, on the #Sanatan way, religion has aimed for liberation, of absolute kind …

to freeing the individual of all books, limiting religious practices,

and every other hold on man’s spiritual expansion.

It’s all that man needs for his spiritual, mental and physical well-being !

Hence, “secularism” has a meaning in the Western context,

and our West inspired members of Constituent Assembly included it our constitution.

Indian courts of law have consistently deemed Hinduism to be non-religious, to being a way of life.

The word “secularism” has hence no meaning, no context in the #Sanatan way.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures (forms) of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ~ Carl Jung

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung

Secular enlightenment sets the human being up with knowledge,

intellectual insight –  with humanity and humanism.

Spiritual enlightenment is the next level,

where the entire life and the whole existence is embraced.

 

Liberation, the summum bonum, is quite quite another …

–  where the discrimination between mtl form and ego being is absolute and permanent.

–  where the discrimination between mental form and witness being is absolute and permanent.

–  where discrimination between spiritual form and pure consciousness is absolute and permanent.

" Die Inquisition in Portugall " - O...

 

* * *

I’m back to challenge this namby-pamby-ness … (in the Buddhist way of constant prayer to save oneself from the rough impacts of life on our being, cycles of peace and discontentment, agitation and calm, etc.)

One, the mind is agitated not only because of discontentment. Sometimes, life throws up a situation when we have fight for what seems just, or an event is rolling in to harm all that is dear to us … but this love for fake peace will forever throw us into a paralysis, when the need of the hour is that we deliberately allow power to flow into the mind and vitality, and wield it. 

Two, even in the case of discontentment, when the mind is agitated, it is good … for that is how it will exhast itself. We only need to be awake while it happens. That capacity to remain wakeful is important, not a constant call for some imagined calm.

Life is … face it with strength, embrace it with love. Come what agitation, we must remain awake to make deliberate choices, love even the enemy we are fighting against, and live through the experience mindfully as it happens.

With that strength and capacity to discriminate, love and struggle, perhaps, life itself will sue for peace that we will gratefully accept with honour, while putting aside our guard and allowing relief to take over. One day … life itself will open the way to peace and contentment — in reality, not just in our wailing imagination.

That is the Sanatan way … as distinct from the Buddhist one.

Dare To Know …

What Is Enlightenment ?

Immanuel Kant 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.

Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas, these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use–or rather abuse–of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.

It is more nearly possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself; indeed, if it is only given freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers, even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man’s value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterwards forces these very guardians to remain in submission, if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors’ descendants. Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought. New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.

This enlightenment requires nothing but freedom–and the most innocent of all that may be called “freedom”: freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: “Do not argue!” The officer says: “Do not argue–drill!” The tax collector: “Do not argue–pay!” The pastor: “Do not argue–believe!” Only one ruler in the world says: “Argue as much as you please, but obey!” We find restrictions on freedom everywhere. But which restriction is harmful to enlightenment? Which restriction is innocent, and which advances enlightenment? I reply: the public use of one’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment to mankind.

On the other hand, the private use of reason may frequently be narrowly restricted without especially hindering the progress of enlightenment. By “public use of one’s reason” I mean that use which a man, as scholar, makes of it before the reading public. I call “private use” that use which a man makes of his reason in a civic post that has been entrusted to him. In some affairs affecting the interest of the community a certain [governmental] mechanism is necessary in which some members of the community remain passive. This creates an artificial unanimity which will serve the fulfillment of public objectives, or at least keep these objectives from being destroyed. Here arguing is not permitted: one must obey. Insofar as a part of this machine considers himself at the same time a member of a universal community–a world society of citizens–(let us say that he thinks of himself as a scholar rationally addressing his public through his writings) he may indeed argue, and the affairs with which he is associated in part as a passive member will not suffer. Thus it would be very unfortunate if an officer on duty and under orders from his superiors should want to criticize the appropriateness or utility of his orders. He must obey. But as a scholar he could not rightfully be prevented from taking notice of the mistakes in the military service and from submitting his views to his public for its judgment. The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes levied upon him; indeed, impertinent censure of such taxes could be punished as a scandal that might cause general disobedience. Nevertheless, this man does not violate the duties of a citizen if, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his objections to the impropriety or possible injustice of such levies. A pastor, too, is bound to preach to his congregation in accord with the doctrines of the church which he serves, for he was ordained on that condition. But as a scholar he has full freedom, indeed the obligation, to communicate to his public all his carefully examined and constructive thoughts concerning errors in that doctrine and his proposals concerning improvement of religious dogma and church institutions. This is nothing that could burden his conscience. For what he teaches in pursuance of his office as representative of the church, he represents as something which he is not free to teach as he sees it. He speaks as one who is employed to speak in the name and under the orders of another. He will say: “Our church teaches this or that; these are the proofs which it employs.” Thus he will benefit his congregation as much as possible by presenting doctrines to which he may not subscribe with full conviction. He can commit himself to teach them because it is not completely impossible that they may contain hidden truth. In any event, he has found nothing in the doctrines that contradicts the heart of religion. For if he believed that such contradictions existed he would not be able to administer his office with a clear conscience. He would have to resign it. Therefore the use which a scholar makes of his reason before the congregation that employs him is only a private use, for no matter how sizable, this is only a domestic audience. In view of this he, as preacher, is not free and ought not to be free, since he is carrying out the orders of others. On the other hand, as the scholar who speaks to his own public (the world) through his writings, the minister in the public use of his reason enjoys unlimited freedom to use his own reason and to speak for himself. That the spiritual guardians of the people should themselves be treated as minors is an absurdity which would result in perpetuating absurdities.

But should a society of ministers, say a Church Council, . . . have the right to commit itself by oath to a certain unalterable doctrine, in order to secure perpetual guardianship over all its members and through them over the people? I say that this is quite impossible. Such a contract, concluded to keep all further enlightenment from humanity, is simply null and void even if it should be confirmed by the sovereign power, by parliaments, and the most solemn treaties. An epoch cannot conclude a pact that will commit succeeding ages, prevent them from increasing their significant insights, purging themselves of errors, and generally progressing in enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature whose proper destiny lies precisely in such progress. Therefore, succeeding ages are fully entitled to repudiate such decisions as unauthorized and outrageous. The touchstone of all those decisions that may be made into law for a people lies in this question: Could a people impose such a law upon itself? Now it might be possible to introduce a certain order for a definite short period of time in expectation of better order. But, while this provisional order continues, each citizen (above all, each pastor acting as a scholar) should be left free to publish his criticisms of the faults of existing institutions. This should continue until public understanding of these matters has gone so far that, by uniting the voices of many (although not necessarily all) scholars, reform proposals could be brought before the sovereign to protect those congregations which had decided according to their best lights upon an altered religious order, without, however, hindering those who want to remain true to the old institutions. But to agree to a perpetual religious constitution which is not publicly questioned by anyone would be, as it were, to annihilate a period of time in the progress of man’s improvement. This must be absolutely forbidden.

A man may postpone his own enlightenment, but only for a limited period of time. And to give up enlightenment altogether, either for oneself or one’s descendants, is to violate and to trample upon the sacred rights of man. What a people may not decide for itself may even less be decided for it by a monarch, for his reputation as a ruler consists precisely in the way in which he unites the will of the whole people within his own. If he only sees to it that all true or supposed [religious] improvement remains in step with the civic order, he can for the rest leave his subjects alone to do what they find necessary for the salvation of their souls. Salvation is none of his business; it is his business to prevent one man from forcibly keeping another from determining and promoting his salvation to the best of his ability. Indeed, it would be prejudicial to his majesty if he meddled in these matters and supervised the writings in which his subjects seek to bring their [religious] views into the open, even when he does this from his own highest insight, because then he exposes himself to the reproach:Caesar non est supra grammaticos. 2    It is worse when he debases his sovereign power so far as to support the spiritual despotism of a few tyrants in his state over the rest of his subjects.

When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment. As matters now stand it is still far from true that men are already capable of using their own reason in religious matters confidently and correctly without external guidance. Still, we have some obvious indications that the field of working toward the goal [of religious truth] is now opened. What is more, the hindrances against general enlightenment or the emergence from self-imposed nonage are gradually diminishing. In this respect this is the age of the enlightenment and the century of Frederick [the Great].

A prince ought not to deem it beneath his dignity to state that he considers it his duty not to dictate anything to his subjects in religious matters, but to leave them complete freedom. If he repudiates the arrogant word “tolerant”, he is himself enlightened; he deserves to be praised by a grateful world and posterity as that man who was the first to liberate mankind from dependence, at least on the government, and let everybody use his own reason in matters of conscience. Under his reign, honorable pastors, acting as scholars and regardless of the duties of their office, can freely and openly publish their ideas to the world for inspection, although they deviate here and there from accepted doctrine. This is even more true of every person not restrained by any oath of office. This spirit of freedom is spreading beyond the boundaries [of Prussia] even where it has to struggle against the external hindrances established by a government that fails to grasp its true interest. [Frederick’s Prussia] is a shining example that freedom need not cause the least worry concerning public order or the unity of the community. When one does not deliberately attempt to keep men in barbarism, they will gradually work out of that condition by themselves.

I have emphasized the main point of the enlightenment–man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage–primarily in religious matters, because our rulers have no interest in playing the guardian to their subjects in the arts and sciences. Above all, nonage in religion is not only the most harmful but the most dishonorable. But the disposition of a sovereign ruler who favors freedom in the arts and sciences goes even further: he knows that there is no danger in permitting his subjects to make public use of their reason and to publish their ideas concerning a better constitution, as well as candid criticism of existing basic laws. We already have a striking example [of such freedom], and no monarch can match the one whom we venerate.

But only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not afraid of shadows, and who commands at the same time a well disciplined and numerous army as guarantor of public peace–only he can say what [the sovereign of] a free state cannot dare to say: “Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!” Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core–namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.

Resource :  http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html

Journal : My Odyssey

Light
Light – Courtesy @Doug88888)

This publication is my tribute  

to  the wayward amongst us;

and especially to ones who outgrew it.

……   ……

This spiritual saga over years score

Shimmers alive at a temple door…

Today, I hold myself erect

Halt at the temple entrance

But skip the practice ancient

I demand my own light

Submission I refuse

And all forms I deny

Here and now, O’ Deity

At your hallowed shrine.

Great you are, same

Being in all

The Master Grand

Cause primordial

But screened in

By our ceremonials.

Thy ritual dos and donts

No more compel, thy priests

With faith without love

Seem just a cartel

In their cloister of sad smiles

Flags, façades and piety.

*  *  *

Now this burden of life

I take upon myself

To costs I agree

Its choices I embrace

I know It’s me…

Small and weak

But the sole thing too

That’s known to me.

It’s where I’ll stay

Whom I’ll discover

Shrink all space

Let Time arch over.

I will break in, O’ Deity

To the depths of peace

And its light revealing.

*  *  *

Sure, it daunts

The vastness barred

In me haunts

Unknown and spread dark.

But the alternates just distract

And I reject yet the game false

Upon all souls hangs its pall –

Our fear masked in playful calls.

I trundle long in black tunnels

Fail to grasp a speck of heaven

Fling off hard and bounce sharp

But crash back in with vengeance

It shocks and tries, draws to test

The mind taut : deny or consent ?

In my eye rise each term and form

As a vagina wet stands in witness

Alluring still, accusing harsh

The dripping penis caught offguard.

And so goes the series march

Boxing me to voluting prompts

Libidinous – the despised rot

Bonds of yore, cravings taunt

Teeming abrim but worth nought

Transitioning nights, vague dawns

On empty core, bombed raw

Vigil in pits … awake now –

Cannot yet embrace myself

With choices diseased

I no longer defend

In that dungeon dark

Though depressed

Transfixed, yes

I refuse to crank

And I frozen face

Edgy sandstorms

Moral marshlands

Whirling sqall

In my mind’s mirror

In which I’m had

My universe

In cloudy bands

Where the soul bleeds

Pinned stiff

Lacerated within

By revelations demonic …

There’s more

Stubbed senses for sure

Of imposing forms

Unblessed, forlorn

The far sound of running tap

Unnerves the neural nap

Dead, dumped odd

Hung estranged, out cast

On just a thought nebulous

Of a hurl sudden, victorious.

I yet honour the memory

Of many a false start

Of fired highs

And puffed starch

So I sit over the furled self

Unharmed by head

Its mingled thoughts

Into feelings on the lurch

Bear unmoved

The throbbing pulse

Alassed recount

Of acts corrupt :

This licentious prisoner hovers

On wracked breath

And draining cough

But is in fact choked

On a past present

Of ambitions frayed.

*  *  *

‘Twas a journey long, my dear

To witness all and keep safe

On the path blank but unclear

For a spark just my trust’d pave

For those late mornings clear

Unencumbered winter delights

With a sun warm and mellow

On lazy cats half asleep alive

Contrary to that unsure bed

To discordant shades my will would take

Spent on view

On the first cue

At body feast, gazing vivid

With overrun sensuality

Chasing the shapely hind

Tinge in fancy nets sweet

” Possess not, O Youth !” I knew

But the sage call seemed so far

Too wrongheaded for my regard !

But then I began to see

With just half a good eye

Wherein it reflected strange

The world, its masks

Its ugly mirage

Stranger ways

Roles – give and take

Swings mighty fake

Without root or heart

Faith or permanence.

‘Twas a blind alley, O’ Deity

But that half eye was yours

Which saw the farce

Lent weight to pause

For the burst of shine

On a cold summit

Impelled glad dance

And bells resonating repeat.

I wait … instead

With familiar anti-self

Same paths of lure

“Not mine,” I sense

Then hold dilemmas clear

In my spirit –

Where light still flickers

In snag heaps

And weaning disunion.

*  *  *

Barely upright, on what I know

I doubt each moment in the flow

Witness, accept and now embrace

The rocky views, their barrenness

Slip, collide, slide into wreckage

Stare close at the mind, incessant

Holding myself with love

Wipe off the damned tears

Pat the fears to sleep

And dress up my own sears

For day next in odyssey

Wade into pains

Burn the same

To be free …

Untill that day, in radiance

Enveloped with transcending sense

I stood high

On the walling fence

Still hauling up

The rest of myself

Eyeing all

The being in morn

Before the rising peer

Basking healed

In its glowing balm

With nothing

Not a trace in between.

Unburdened complete I found myself

Stripped neat

Free of subtexts

Layers mental

And body zones

Sans celebrations then

Just smiles about

Beaming from the sun

And lit I everywhere

No hope or fear

No gain or loss

No being made

… Homogeneous.

I met myself much later

The buddy from start

Then witness dear

Of all that I thought.

There was no being–for–itself ever

The one who lived was a prayer

By whom I know not, O’ Deity

To whom or why is the mystery.

*  *  *       *  *  *

This is an intimate poem, started in late 1980s,

reviewed umpteen times and finished minutes before.

Body-Mind-Spirit s

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

Truth & I

This is a spin off from a discussion on the web … on God !

“Is this not an important part of the dynamic multidimensional mind …

Can you find nothing of value with meeting this view, at least as a challenge ?”

My response to the plea is that starting any discussion with God is a bad idea.

Perhaps, ending up at that would make for more sensible exchange.

Consider, what God can we really speak of while we know so little about ourselves ? Sharing personal experiences is fine because that would be on an informal and subjective matter. But to write something on stone would be premature without a clear perception in our truth, with which others can relate and which one can stand up and defend using commonly understood terms.

I do speak of bliss and the Self because they are in our experience and notion; it isn’t the same as speaking of God. Is God relevant to the dog sucking on the bone ? I am not sure if he is even aware of God, but it is plain that nobody in the entire universe is more pleased, fed and satisfied than a dog with a bone. And, like it, our senses need their respective objects to home in, not God as a hard, formal entity. Experience is a matter between the world and us, or us and ourself, subject to rules and laws, norm and order. And the Self is indisputably evident to each one of us.

When I broach bliss infinite, I also speak of zero identity, silence and love, and of the process to take ourself from being between the world and ourself, from sense and vanity, to love without object, to silence without thought. What remains is peace that I term as bliss infinite. So when people with vanity speak of God, I instantly choose to be counted with atheists.

It’s impossible to find someone without vanity ordinarily, much less hear him speak… of God. I am fortunate to have met one such and have heard him speak, when it was plain that he was referring to the all-inclusive truth supreme. The common skepticism at any mention of the over-individualised notion of “inner reality” is understandable. I mean, only an overly vain person would com-municate notions of the “inner” to the dog perched on his senses !

The dog is equally an individual and he ‘knows’ that all other individuals are no different. He would be right in wondering what the whole babble and brouhaha was all about. Almost all voluntary attempts by us at introspection are short-lived and prove to be more of fad or diversion, which make no difference to the individual’s spiritual content or moral perspective. Forced attempts, imposed by others, are worse. 

There is something fateful or innate at work when the introspection abides for long, deepens with increasing withdrawal from material values, without loss of honesty. There is a surge of courage and quiet determination to live by one’s own accepted truths.

* * *

Dawkins was in Jaipur and I found his view a lot more balanced, less bigoted and militant. All knowledge or realisation must deal with morality. As an aside, that is my compelling argument against intellectual property rights. What damned “rights” on knowledge of any kind ? Or, why must we have to give references, when all of what we wish to say is ours, with us ? If it’s not, we shouldn’t be saying it anyway.

The formal aspect of Truth or truths is onerous. There are libraries out there where it goes dry. It is the informal one that I wish to put across : it is mine… and for that reason could be shared with everyone. That Truth is… my HOME, that which is truly me and mine, which I am, with which I can rest without fear, be absolutely free and fulfilled, which nothing in the whole universe can remove or distort. There is no other Truth than the one which is our Home. 

This is no parable I’ve begun. People are spent on a ” home ” for themselves. They build, buy, rent one for their body… a house or apartment, car or craft. But then the worst amongst us, who constitute the 99%, come to believe that the home they have so invested in is also the ”home” to their emotion, to their thought, their identity, and their happiness !

What is concurrent within us, the ego-person, is a build up and an intensification of vanity… which says : I possess; I win; I acquire; I am successful. It is all a matter of process that is normal to our drive and inevitable in our quest.

But, as surely as sure can be, it is vanity too that blocks our outgrowing, our evolution and progression into the true Home …

for our emotion – which is Love,

for our thought – which is Silence,

for our identity – which is Void, and

for our spirit – which is Bliss Infinite. 

The vain phenomenon limits us to what we have, even as it automatically makes us pore over all that we do not have. Without liberating ourself from that acquisitive pitch, we can never give up our right to pride … and can hence never view people with Love or see things with Silence.

To my mind, these are the real aspects and issues to spirituality : Home of the Self and being Void of Vanity. I find these ideals more pertinent to my quest than God. It is these that will address the monstrous twists with which we reduce ourselves to the gutter.  

I myself have experience with belief in God … the Hindu way, which posits that God is all there is in eveidence. It served to connect me better with others, the environment around, and with the wider universe. It topped up my capacity to accept life and its experiences, both happy and sad. It also shored up my ability to remain focused on whatever I had set for myself and fortified my moral strength through clarifying my values perspective.

But I’d fully appreciate if one did not believe in God and could still avail the stated capacity, ability and strength for himself.

* * *  

Our monstrous idiot, Digvijay Singh of the Congress Party, says :  

Can an individual be allowed to hurt the sentiments of the ”people ?” 

My answer is a clear ” Yes,” provided the individual is true to himself in intent and the mode and manner is completely non–violent. I can visualise the Charvaka, the Jain, the Advaiti and the Buddhist … standing in the courtyard of a temple, before a Vaishnava shrine or any place of worship or congregation, professing their contrary beliefs without any physical obstruction or violent opposition. 

That is the culture of this land from ancient times.

That is what we must all affirm today. 

Freedom is above all the freedom of speech and expression… which must allow every person to say what the people do not want to hear, what they disagree with, and what they might find hurtful to their belief.

Of course, I repeat, with the caveat that the expression be accompanied with peace in mode and manner. 

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

 

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – III

What is the most important thing about us, in the way we are ? Admittedly, it would be everything for someone or other, more or less : survival and daily ablutions, basic needs, food, sex, house, travel, car, possessions, girlfriend or wife and family, clothes and sartorial accessoties, home, friends, countryside, fishing or other hobbies, rest and leisure and, of course, money. 

There is nothing the wrong with any of it and there is nothing complete about each of them either. Every time we are fulfilled with these, the fulness lasts for a while, more or less, and recedes. The right or wrong about them lies in ourself, in the limiting manner we are held up by them or in the way we acknowledge it with gratitude and move on in our quest. It is common to begin being defined by what things comes to mean to us, in the way each one of them cyclically fulfills us in some measure, more or less, over and above their truth in the balance. We start with liking them, then are obsessed by them, which we deem as “love,” which but is nothing more than a auto-suggested habit, as it happens in case of addiction.

What would we move on to ? The wit says, self-improvement, which is a wise thing to point but needs more specific pointers to direct ourselves. Improvement along what lines ? It speaks of a more exact and real understanding, a more calm and non-violent values orientation, more moral strength to stand by one’s values, and an evolution towards obtaining a more adequate and complete understanding in truth. But, in a way, I seem to be repeating myself, for all of these are inter-related and inter-dependent. 

The picture then emerges of broadly two kinds of humans, by their spiritual make-up : one that projects and is ready for the conflict and violence and, the other, of one who is involved in examination and understanding than in projecting oneself. So, how do we distinguish them ? By naming the categories and mapping out the essentials of the human animal and the human human. It would be difficult to accept the nomenclature but it is no more than the commonly encountered attitude against admitting that one is imperfect and that one needs to improve !

The mapped essentials are sketched out here below :

 The Human Animal Loop

The Human Human Loop

On the whole, spiritual evolution, moral strength and values orientation are more a matter of understanding and truth, ability and skills, than God, faith and religion. It takes immense effort to understand anything material or mental, and the difficulty only increases when it comes to knowing oneself. There are so many material distractions and preoccupations to overcome, so many trapping psychological hold-ups to encounter, so much failure to persist and retain the quest in focus … When, in fact, the only obstacles are our own naturalised habits !

But the super-human arises out of this battle against oneself. The Vedas and Krishna, in Bhagwad-Gita, acknowledge : ” It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder.”

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – II

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/journal-awakening-into-the-truth-10/ … Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself… contd

Karmas are attracted by the activity of mind, ...

The mind is not in the horizontal spread of, and of the same order as, the material universe, in which the body-identified individual finds itself as one amongst trillions. The Mental Space is a vertical shift away within the self and, phenomenally speaking, is of an entirely different order. A view of one’s mind is available only to the particular individual to whom the specific mind unit belongs. So, there can be no group study, examination or observation, of the mind. 

The task is an uphill one : for, the individual-self must rise to identify with the witness consciousness peering through the buddhi or the intellect to avail of the toehold unaffected by the mind, against one’s own sensory habits anchored to material objects that, to our vitalised sensibility rooted in subconscious drives, promise what we all prefer in our experience : pleasure, joy, ecstasy and happiness. 

But that involves allowing the emotion-backed will to take over our self, consenting to the consequential intent, wading into action for specific result, and pushing ourself through hope and despair. That choice we commit ourself to, through consent and action, is our Karma; and the habitual proclivity in the nature of our mind, to act in order to avail, is a display of the dominating Guna or the Great Qualifier of each thing or being manifest, which in this instance is Rajas.

The entire creation, gross and subtle, is qualified by the three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Though all three Gunas are present in each being, there is predominance of one at any given point in time in accord with its Karma or the nature of choices it has habituated itself to, the general character of the species to which it belongs, and the environment it finds itself in. 

Typically, the dominance of Sattva leads one to arise and rise into more calm and peace, non-violence, quest for truth, inclination to focused contemplation and persevere at effort to gain knowledge, patience and honest conduct, freedom from envy and covetousness, and attenuation of worldly ambitions. Rajas makes one more driven to action, more given to vitality and less to self-examination, reduced scrupulousness, to more ambition for material acquisition and attachment to sensory pleasures, and to more agitated states of the mind. Tamas causes the tendency to remain in inertia and general inaction, and easy slide down into mere physical pleasure, without assuming responsibility or striving to exert.

The mind is made of wholly non-material impressions left by our Karma in the unit mind. These too determine the predominant Gunas that characterise the mind unit and qualify the “person” or the individual self attached to it. Hence, phenomenally, one with reduced residual karma would have progressively attenuated activity in Chitta and Manas, in that order. 

Theoretically, an individual without any residual karma, with his quest for knowledge and experience quenched, will not have a mind unit as the rest of us are attached to. Such a person will no longer be an “individual” but will be unified with the undifferentiated infinitude of the Causal Space, where the three gunas exist in a state of perfect balance and there are no object things or differentiated beings to observe ! 

One is then the being itself, of which all beings are manifest and de-manifest; one is then knowledge itself, of which finite knowledge forms arise and become extinct; and, one is then bliss itself, of which all transient pleasures and joys are experienced and which all beings constantly desire. One is then the Soul of the universe, pervading the Mental and Material spaces, pervading all phenomena and beings in them.

Buddha, The Conqeror

Courtesy Nicholas Roerich archives : http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – I

What is the mind ? Where is it located ? What is it made of; its warp and woof, so to say ?

Of what does it take on its distinct, individual character ? What is it that determines it ?

I’ve asked a couple of these questions at a time on all social media forums I frequent. Predictably, but surprising nonetheless, there wasn’t a single response, not even a tentative one. The reason however is not difficul;t to fathom : none had spent time exploring it and, therefore, had no idea to contrbute. The most the “gurus” online dish out are generic advisories, dos and dont’s, promises and dreams.

A clear, self-verified knowledge, cutting through the mind’s inscrutability and myths alike, would be more enlightening and useful to every interested individual on the planet. For everybody has a mind in which all one’s experience is sensed, in which all reactive emotions arise with will and thoughts respective to each, and where the wilful ego takes on the colours of the moment. It’s the animal loop within us, largely characterised by auto-inputs from the subconscious.

Of course, we all have the human loop in the mind as well, starting with the triggered or imagined thought but brought over to intellect and conscious memory. It leads us to analyse, comprehend, corelate with facts in memory, conduct further research, form defining ideas, understand, contemplate, and arrive at the truth or fulness that abides. It takes effort, at times much, to direct oneself along this loop, keeping calm all the while and pushing oneself on to that peace where our understanding is complete.

This line of investigation of the mind, which can virtually contain the whole of the universe within it, brooks no presence of God, faith, religion or cleric. It is about the individual and his mind : what is it, how does it work, etc. But before one can take the inquiry any further, the reality of the mind must be acknowledged, as distinct from our material appendages such as limbs and organs. The mind seems virtual in comparison and hence comes to preoccupy few amongst us. Those who are taken up however would vouch that the mind is more real, more fundamental to being human, than the body or its parts !

The inscrutability of the mind is both a cause and a consequence of the complexity involved in our understanding of it, of perception perceiving itself : it is already defined by the very mind we seek to understand. We will need a place apart to stand on before, to paraphrase Archimedes’ famous quote, we can observe the happenings in the mind objectively. It takes a while, usually a long while, before our individual-self becomes free enough to witness the mind-field phenomena.

Once the individual-self graduates to the witness mode, he begins to observe the nature of the mind, its propensities and their root, which Vivekananda best summarises, “As pleasure and pain pass before the soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called a person’s “character.” If you take the character of any person, it is really but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of the person’s mind. You will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in molding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness.”

Unlike the physical body that grows old and weak and lies forsaken, inanimate, upon its death, the mind has no such limitation of lifetime or ageing. It temporarily ceases to be during our deep sleep state; but it comes back to being with the same structure and architecture, specific tendencies and identities that it held before. It is subject to laws that are of entirely different nature than the ones that prevail in the Material Space. The space in which the individual mind exists is infinitely more subtle, such as to be invisible to the physical eye. The individual self however, being more subtle than the mind, can perceive the latter if it is lead to shed its engagement or preoccupation with gross objects, by cutting asunder the attraction they hold for our respective sense organs – smell taste, sight, hearing and touch.

The Mental Space is the transit buffer between the manifest and unmanifest universe, along both directions : projection and absorption. This domain is available to our awareness, to all beings that have a developed brain and nervous system. The unit mind is trifurcate : Chitta – Feeling and Emotion, powered into action by vitality, in which our animal will arises and most instantly overpowers the individual self; Manas – Thought and Ideas, where doubt and rationality works itself out to the contemplating self; and, Buddhi – Knowledge and Wisdom, where true witness conscious self resides and avails of long-term integration of learning impressed from past experiences in current lifetime.

Mind - Sructure


Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself.

To be continued …

English: Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Jaipur ...
Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

THE SANATAN WAY

The world capitalises on our need to be happy in a variety of ways : by the economic order in which food is available to those who either have land and money for inputs to grow and harvest or have the money to buy it in the marketplace; it keeps billions on our planet hungry and deprived, and enslaved. There are regions where water is sold by owners of fresh water bodies and clean air to breathe can be had only in costly air-conditioned areas. Governments and oligarchs big and small buy up natural resources held untill then in common and, as “property owners,” do as they please untill the environment is too polluted and is no longer self-generating, leaving the “public” more in want of fish, firewood and animals, even air and water that was earlier consumable and freely available till then.

Then, there is the ubiquitous media and “urban” advancements – food, gadgets, civic amenities, security, transport, communication, entertainment, lifestyle – that get propagated to multiply people’s needs, create where there was not, which again ropes in a much larger population that perpetually feel disatisfied, constantly aspires to enter the set graded channels and end up either enslaving, being enslaved, or becoming mediates in between.

The apparent priviledges of the masters too is less real than it seems : they might have more than they need, but the needs multiply, with real risks to their wealth and income; that it all might disappear in a jiffy or diminish alarmingly for any number of causes, leaving them rather poor. If not enslaved by bigger cats in business, there would be robbers and killers on the prowl, or taxmen and politicians who may or may not be humoured unless the stakes are met on the high. Money itself begins to enslave the masters and dangerously too, like a man astride a tiger !

Apart from material causes, rather as perceived material causes, images or impressions in memory, or imagination, trigger the same persistent emotional distress – pain, want, anger or despair, nowhere thoughts, darkness in awareness and inadequacy of being. Every craving that issues of recall and takes us over, everytime we are lost in the maze of thought or are unable to extend it to light, we suffer the same smallness of the slave, of being a mere for-other distressed robot under remote control. Occasionally, some of us meet a guide or chance on our own the ability to hold the dissatisfaction in our very hand and summon the intuitive will to take the grapple on to the next level, where our purity of being fills us with manifold more moral strength and intellectual acuity required to wring the truth out of matters in our subconscious and those thrown up by out mental ground.

Few are fortunate and sagacious enough to remove themselves from this worldly game of being in the master-slave trap, of ensnaring and entrapping others into it. But it continues blatantly for the billions in every secular and religious walk of life; yes, every ‘faith’ plays by it, more or less. 

In the Sanatan way, its varnashrama society codifies the “householder” period of life during which the man is expected to fulfill two goals : acquire income and wealth and attain physical pleasures and sensuous joys. The period covers approximately 25 years, one-fourth of the total, after he has gone through the rigours of leading a celibate life and educating himself in a whole range of disciplines including dharma, which equips him with moral clarity, ethical norms, and a well-etched perspective of matters in truth and the ability to discriminate between right and wrong.

Unlike the contracted souls of bleak, colder climes in the West with fewer hands, less sunshine and deficient resources, which conditions tethered them to survival-induced barbary amongst themselves and compelled them to colonise faraway lands and its populations, the agriculturally rich energy-surplus tropical lands fostered far more expansive and embracing ways of life in the Indian subcontinent. The Sanatan way evolved with the refinement of the thread of thought from Vedic antiquity, its culmination in the Upanishad era and popularisation through the Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas and, above all, the Bhagavad Gita. 

Though there were codified norms laid out by various authorities for public behaviour and conduct in private, the evolution of both the community and the individual was more an integrated and inherited affair, with rules and values perspective even the unlettered were aware of. The elite and the laity grew into the Sanatan way without an elaborate enforcement bureaucracy or judicial vertical, and fell in step in accord with their nature and station. The community was responsible for the welfare of its people; and individuals for themselves, for each other and the community. 

A community of people that lives responsibly must have collective institutions and agreed processes to educate and skill its people in diverse arts and sciences. It must also value truth : as God to theists and as pure knowledge to atheists. The truth is self-evident to the man unified with himself, his day and his environment, his people and his time. How the man’s being expands with thought and action issuing from the unified self, and contracts of segregagtion or alienation, also yields his moral and ethical values. The book merely records them and makes it formal.

The Sanatan way, and the Hindu country, produces scriptures and saints. Untill history began with kings and monuments, and truth was no longer evident : it only remained in debates and arguments. People were no more responsible for their karma, for living out the consequences in their awareness in order to learn, know and remember, and transcend with their awakening. Instead, men and women came to be seized by concerns of wealth and power, slave and enslave !

Karma is the thread vibrating between our immortality and now, over the seen and unseen. It spans the five sheaths of our being across the three great spaces, in our life and death and beyond through umpteen iteration of forms gross, making or unmaking the subtle untill its unity with the causal and ultimate turning away for liberation absolute. Our preoccupation with the body, with material possessions and worldly station only distracts us from the primary task here and now : of attending to the karma pulsating in the unseen. The shrink is of no help … for he only takes his norm and references from the mundane.

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

IV             Whom The Way Calls

In common with every other perception, experience and knowledge, the way to truth surfaces within ourself. The witness in object–subject relatedness is forever between the fact in our eye, the meaning in our perception and the knowledge with ourself, including of our own self at the foundation of our subjectivity. 

In setting ourselves up on the way to truth, we shall have to exclude much, nearly everything, and all ultimately. This work therefore does away with jargons common in religious texts, and most certainly their fervour and calls on faith, though not the values or knowledge they signify in a philosophical or spiritual discourse. This work is about us, our being as we are and as it resonates with us. If we are a creation, and only the vain or absolutely knowledgeable amongst us will aver that we are not, there is an urgent need to discover its universal matters of fact.

Each one of us is in a material environment, with a body that is wondrously formed – a marvelously organised physiological system. It works excellently without our intervention, very predictably if watered and fuelled timely, adequately and appropriately. It signals for its needs from time to time, for particular cares necessary on account of environmental factors, and warns us of its misuse, activating alarms when stretched too far and even scaring us into mending our abusive ways. And if we let it be, not deny it of rest and sleep, it diagnoses its problems to correct, undo, regrow and recover by itself.

But however dire, immediate and wholly intimate it feels, our body is only as it serves us to mutually survive and a mere means for adults to use it as they choose. Sure, we deliberately dress it up to impress or time its presence to surprise others, who look upon it as we are in their perception, what we mean and how they deem. All men and, as I hear, some women too, know how beautiful the fairer gender can seem. We all have a story or two to tell about the powerful impact of their inviting curves, mesmerising countenance or awesome proportion. But mostly it soon clarifies and we begin to look beyond the body before us, at the person behind or within it… at the one who is thinking and opining, emoting or touching, setting the deal or laying the trap for us ! 

Not everyone is a human soul; not yet, though every person has a line to one. Most of us are animals without their nakedness, which is both an advance and the first lie we tell ourselves, and project to others. The religion we subscribe to is for afterwards – to confess and feel awashed for a new day of lust and greed, apathy and lies. In Islam, the communal faith confers celestial merit and heavenly rewards for what, in the eyes of you and I, is inhuman behaviour and subhuman conduct. We are informed that it is growing the fastest ! Clearly, being with a normal human body, most of us are not wanting in intelligence; but it is through developing the intellect, equipping it with universal human values, that we characterise ourselves with humanity. Fostered in an environment of entrenched feudal power structures, equally common in rigorously instituted religious societies and in those with extreme Gini index, it is our intellectual blindness that arrests our spiritual evolution to universal values, individual liberty and creative freedom.

I really am not sure how far the truths laid out in these pages would resonate with the beast within us. But there are many who are prone to be content and happy, even if disadvantaged or less fortunate than those around. They might be hounded into moral fatigue or failure on occasions but, by nature, are courageous enough to follow their calls of conscience in utter honesty and truth. Their ethics is their life and covetousness has no place in it, though they might not be entirely free of envy. It is these individuals, I trust, who would have the patience, love and the pure drive for the quest of truth. Likely, I believe, they would have the richness of experience that living against our animal propensities invariably fetch us, and the internal instrument to intuit the facts of spirit, as opposed to those of matter. They would sense the sinister in propaganda, however socially acceptable, and self – promotion would be beyond the pale of their own instinctual priority. Though not ashamed, they would be aware of unhappy consequences of unchecked lustful impulses, and of those easy inner processes which lead us to greed. They would value facts, liberty and truth, and constantly initiate to add, examine, change or modify their own views and perspective. They would be happiest leading clean, honest lives, being monogamous in their affection, nurturing moral and ethical values in their progeny, extending their love to beings and having a ready regard for life everywhere.

It is for them that I have the pleasure of writing these essays. But that is only to give me a start. There is no one who cannot arise, raise himself here and now, and step up to gain from these truths I have availed from my glimpses of Vedanta.

Journal : Symbols, Rituals and Religion

When I wrote the wrote the gist of it on a respectable forum on the net, in response to a question addressed to me, one fellow member on the list replied : ” It must be one of my dumb days. This is not making any, or at best little, sense to me.” 

I was not surprised, even though I know him to be a fine, truthful man. None of that helps in the science of being, as it pertains to homo sapiens. Its too vast, deep and infinitely subtle. No religion, other than those derived of Sanatan Hindu tradition, has been able to evolve specific terms and language, and the processes, to map and expose the spiritual science of man. It just doesn’t work, when we use the literary language to discuss the physical sciences ! 

The question was about religion, rituals and ceremonies, and their utility to modern man. 

Here’s the summary post I made in response : 

To speak of “humans” is to bring into consideration unimaginable diversity with various analog measures of essentially three qualifying natures in our capacity and drive – 

 

Tamas

Inertia… dullness, sloth, stillness, unwillingness, regression, darkness, heaviness …

Best symbolised by a rock and represented by a sloth.

With its predominance, the individual being is naturally aligned with the id – ego.

 

Rajas

Disposed to move and act… drive, curiosity, vitality, desire, daring, strength, power …

Best symbolised by the boiling cauldron and represented by higher animals especially in heat and lust. aligned with ego – vital – mind.

 

Sattva

Filled with calm… balance, freedom, focus, awareness, knowledge, light …

aligned with ego – intellect.

 

The way these natures determine us —

I   Overall, by proportion of their nature in our being – drive and capacity to inform.

II  In Time, by their power of predominance over others at any one point in time.

For instance, a person with 70 : 15 :10 proportion combo would be lazy overall;

but at a time when his vitality is on the flare, he will show unexpectedted zeal.

Or, when calm nature predominates, he will be surprisingly awake and receptive.

 

To answer the question :

ALL things are useful and can become a means for our self-improvement as aid to memory, focus to gather ourselves around, activity to engage in so as to free our self from our own ill-thoughts and predispositions, and lay out a process to build up our concentration and conserve our vitality.  

In particular, most people have a need of symbols and myths… a form to see, remember or imagine, in order to conceive of that which is intangible. Geometry uses a lot of it for space. The idols in temples or god-persons of yore are a means of reminding us of ourselves, beyond the piggish, mulish or cocky self we take on in our lives. 

Rituals and ceremonies engage us, our vitality and mind, to a particular emotion or thought in our spirit. Armed forces regularly make use of this form of engagement. 

Ethics and morals are extremely intangible and tenuous matters for most human beings. In addition, they are difficult to carry and institute in ourselves. It is so much easier to be willful, to give ourselves away, and to indulge in. 

Religion, as i was introduced to, was more in the way of propping us up by morals and ethics, beauty and happiness, compassion and freedom. 

Once the the overall nature is transformed into being calm, especially when needed, to holding on to ethics and morals in our person … religion is not of much use, nor are symbols and rituals. 

Going by what I see however, in news and life in general, that time is not yet come for most people on this planet. We need to build the capacity in our self to outgrow religion, not just follow or deny it. 

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote Zarathustra in this urgent context … 

 

The White Woman’s Burden

The White Woman’s Burden | OPEN Magazine.

 

An amazingly frank and simply expressed experience of an Australian woman married to an Indian husband who not only happened to be brown but was actually shorter than her. She occasions the worst of attitudes in otherwise perfectly common of our countrymen. Our behaviour then reeks of racism, by that colour we associate with erstwhile colonial masters – privileged, powerful, carnal, sensuous, high up and prized.

Run the colonial hangover into current society and we would be inclined to conclude that this brunette or goldilocks would be a pleasure to have, perhaps a drug addict and just, just possibly cheap ! Her coloured husband – who ? – is likely be upon as a shady, un-Hindu, creature of the shadows, making hay of this shining beauty. ” Move aside,” he’d be roughly sidelined.

The indignity of prejudice is deep on the Indian psyche and it is important we became aware, on our way to its purge. That supeiority, even if found of the great Sanatan pride, leaves us prey to abysmal inferiority that surfaces before a white woman with a ocal husband, in India.

O, my countrymen ! It’s human being, just … since your judgment is stuck in your hind, in your exclusive cultural ignorance, your wallet or in your genitals. Wake up to the beauty and freedom of being just human.

 

Journal : Diary Rhythms

Extremities, In Between

[ These are ‘ Diary Rhythms’ from another age. But I perceive that nothing has changed.]

 

The sunset reflects the day
Casting blood in the west :

They walk in file, load on padded crowns
Eying the feet ahead, to pace and drown
Steps, stepping on steps…

In silence

Stop on cue
To tilt their heads

And throw the damned pile off

Sitting light on disdain

In a jerk practiced

To scorn the Fates.

The thud loud is but without relief
Prompts the humour best

Calls in beauty

Of the body

On its return vicious

And in thought cool

To more of it

For these tribes women

I leave my soul

So, like the forest people, may I be

Free at heart while bound still.

*     *    *        *  *  *        ***

A kid asleep is pulled up sudden
By the hair, jsmacked hard then…

Horror of horrors, the eight corners fill
With the lad’s terror, howling screams
As if he’d woke up without his limbs
Or watched a ghost face in slow-twist

Trembling, traumatised by Dracula king.
*     *    *        *  *  *        ***
Nothing soothes …
Questions terminate on own failings
Spirit voluting in harsh rhythms …
Looking now at men addicted to sodomy
Their curious, gullible or bored victims !

They bend to offer to ego lord
Hum and shriek to ecstasy sad

Harnessed to inadequacy…
Curled in defeat

Impressions bloody
Too weak to strike

Angry, surging …

Unsought beauty, joy disused
Potential latent, sleeping muse …

The options are clear

In soft breeze
And shimmer rustling

Off sesame leaves.

*     *    *        *  *  *        ***

Sunlight pours on choking humidity …

I curse behind the squint

As inflaming sweat trickles

Into the eye…
It makes me yearn of cool drafts

Of the winter months

Of romance filled days

Deep yellow mottles

And nights under a warm quilt

Content with happy dreams.

And now, walking the streets

I rush, imagine

A pick-axe in hand

To kill the burning sun.

Anything, any… I mutter

But that fiery presence !
The damned heat exhausts

Blasts off indoor walls
Into hair, clothes, water and air
And this very body

I am off again

To lie bare in mango grove
In its shade and breeze

That quiet shore …

It comes back then

As matter of course
The night frozen

That morning cold
With a chit in pocket for rail patrol
To identify myself, just in case

I was dead before the sun rose

Famished, dying

Feverish, curled up

On my own shivers

And a bleak platform
The last train since long gone
Leaving the lone

Moonlit soul

Stretched, deserted

Breathing half and losing slow …

I feel and know the heat now
Know and feel the freeze

And how !
Think yet of pleasant mid-day sun
An afternoon open and summer fun …

Feel and know, know and feel
The insufferable extremes
Sweet and sour in between
This power overwhelming me

How do I find and tread the path
In the middle

The wise mean ?
Must I bite the apple to spur on
To ‘nother knowledge on the brink ?

Till the fruit is known once more
Through shattered balance

And restoring chores !

*     *    *        *  *  *        ***

 

I’ve had enough of the fruit, I say
One day …

The facts impressed integrate

In me, the self, free in itself
Knows meanings widely spread
Over space, cultures, time scales
In these tip-of-the-iceberg appearance

Of forms, names and relevance
To desires imagined

Real and apparent.

Bang !

Now I tread the middle way
With this perspective, seated at apex
Awake to all perceived

As hearsay !

Journal : An Approach To Truth

There is only one self – evident Truth :  our Self.

Every other truth follows, to us, in its evidence.

It then appears, seems, modifies, mutates… and is only in the moment.

That’s what and how things mean to us, in that moment.

It may be, if your memory is deep, sharp and focused enough… that you discover one such truth that modifies no more, mutates no further. It appears again and again, seems the same, unaffected by Time, Ourself or the Environment. You then become aware of something with longer scale validity.

Such an unchanging truth, in respect of one object, being or attribute, is of value. It becomes a core around which other truths of the moment, pertaining to the same or like things, may be link – cluster – arranged, a foundation on which the others may be laid on.

The link – cluster meaning of one thing is arranged and laid on till it connects with another such meaning cluster, of another thing. And with one more… and so on, in time, to an aggregate that presents a more accurate and complete perspective of life and living, beings and things, world and our experiences.

Life perspectives, arising from longer validity truths, yield valuable guides to effective living, decisive morals one does not have to belabour at when the need is already too hot upon us nor does there remain the need to commit the knowledge to memory from what may have been gained in hindsight.

This is the way to living meaningfully, truthfully, and more completely.

*   *   *

While we at it, there is a need for exactness in our speech :

Truth is not “many” things… It is EVERYTHING. 
Even a lie is a truth for a time, for someone… it might get superceded by another truth, but until then… Some lies remain as truth for decades, even centuries !
Fact vs Truth
A fact is a truth for the moment, usually for a limited constituency.
It would change, with more info…
A truth is a fact for life… more universal, even universe wide…
And it remains valid for generations, even all time.
Nature Of Truth
Truth is of the nature of knowledge of oneself – – –
Facts are truths about other things of being.
Knowledge of Gravity remains a fact about material bodies until we conclusively know what it means to ourself… to our body, its processes, its routine, our thoughts, our sights and views, our walk, etc.
Use of Truth
Indeed, one “could”… not would… profit by knowledge of any kind.
But that is absolutely secondary and peripheral to the knowledge itself.
There is knowledge in itself, for its own sake. It is not essential that one profits by it.
Profit has nothing to do with the knowledge itself;
it has something to do with our ignorance, the very opposite of knowledge !
*   *   *      *   *   *

Journal : My Recent Musings

 

How exactly do you specify that ? Being Human, that is…

Put aside the biologist telling you of your classification or the scientist detailing the features… What exactly tells that you are a human being, apart from the rest of the animal kind ?

I know it is easy to go frivolous, or quote the millions of texts in the library. But what does it mean to you, that you can vouch for, pointedly ?

What sets me apart is my capacity to know, to engage single-minded in that process of discovery of what I seek to know, one after another, and to be able to tell myself what I do know, its how and why, and share it with others. The knowing leads me everywhere… into the universe, the earth, environment, other beings and things, language, arts, economics, values system, and myself.

The next important capacity is to love other people, not just my own offspring, not just for people’s utility value or until they are useful to me, but precisely because of the lifetime of knowing they represent, and
for the values they embody on account of what they know. In fact, love isn’t just directed towards individuals… it invariably includes the “good,” life and growth, light, greenery, panorama, beauty, truth, honesty, freedom, expression… and much of what the universe itself is.

What else or more, as it is with you ?

*   *   *

Cool, L.
But animals can’t tell themselves what they know or and consciously decide to investigate what they do not know, nor can they share with others what they know or invite co-operation of others at investigating what they do not know… in such precision, complexity and detail as human beings can.

There’s no problem, A. Just an attempt at questioning myself at what I might be taking for granted… that, I am a human being, without really, really knowing what that specially and specifically means.

*   *   *

If mere being raised by human beings, and being a part of their family, is the criterion… I’m afraid, even dogs and cats can lay a claim to being human.

#*BrainIsNotTheMind*<https://twitter.com/search/?q=%23BrainIsNotTheMind&src=hash>

I’ve never held in hand or dived into the brain 2 connect neurones, or throttle endocrine glands, 2 deal with matters in the mind !

And, to those who continue to primacy to the animal in man … I’ve not known of any animal devising 84 different, well thought out positions to copulate, or prepare thousands of distinct food preparations and still distinguish their flavours enough to write volumes on each !

*   *   *

*Let me push through one “ridiculous” instance of what it is to be human, of his capacity to know …*

* Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”*

<https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-pa…>

*These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much transgression in ethics and rarely concerns itself with morals. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.*

*On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now.*

I believe most humans do not want to believe that this could be a fact and, indeed, fervently hope they would NOT have to live with the “moral” consequences of their intent and deeds on their conscience even after they’ve breathed their last !

But we’ve heard of cries of truth being “outlandish” before !

*   *   *

Couldn’t disagree with a word of what you said. It’s sickening how they parrot calls for “lasting peace” and cannot have a larger expanse than their family or own body ,,, than their daily dime or a lifetime !

The promised morality and ethics of the rationalist, materialist, and that pitiable bundle of confusion called “relativist” is more a delusion or pious wish, in actual effect. Because morals cannot be derived from the phenomena; they are matters of fact evident to the universal and dilated witness… the truth.

*   *   *

Truth … *sigh* … is not in what we pick up in the book, what Momma says, what ‘great’ men seem or say, not even in what I feel or think or know … it is first and foremost in what I see and know of *my* self, sans thoughts and meanings… in the way I am, within the body-mind structure, and their sub-structures, the subconscious qualifications and attributes that pre-load me and form and shape my emotions and will, my thoughts and meanings, the knowledge I think I know, and the very idea I have of myself.

It’s only after we’ve covered that distance upto ourself … do we get the perspective of the universal structures, material and mental, and its very cause.

Truth … is NEVER contradicted. One may be superseded by a higher, more fundamental or universal one, but never contradicted.

There may not be a truth in our knowledge to accord with that rigorous definition ! Even gravity gets contradicted by a little sprout … it grows upward !

*   *   *

Truth is truth for all times… not yours or mine, local or universal ! No, no, there no scorn or smirk I have while I’m releasing the reply… The fact is that there isn’t anybody who can offer something anywhere close to
this rigorous criteria. And, nobody cares, about that poverty… of truth, in truth !

I just saw a response that seemed to equate the truth with crap… God bless.

And, too, I saw A. go on the defense, perhaps because the doubts did creep in. Or, because he did not know what he was espousing from the start !

Yet, that is the only way forward. If one has not inched there, one has been nowhere.

*   *   *

Cool comebacks …

1) If what you know is changing, then it is not the truth. You need to wait until the changing stops and you are able to say to yourself with certainty that this it … what I now know holds good forever. It does not depend even upon me ! Or, you need to look elsewhere.

2) Truth is not subjective. It is of the subject, but not dependent upon the subject. Whether one knows or not, knows correctly, completely or incorrectly, incompletely … the truth remains, as it ever was and will forever be.

Truth is not understanding, thought, idea or speculation. It is futile, as in it does not make us richer or powerful, nor can it applied technologically.

But it illuminate us and, through that, illuminates all phenomena mental and physical. And that is an infinitely powerful way to be… without fear, want or hurry, without the least sense of inadequacy or incompletion. without any subconscious.

Suppose, I am handed a bolt and asked what is it means. I wouldn’t know a shite except for the description, as it looks and can be metallurgically tested. It’s only when I discover that it is a critical member of an aeroplane, the functions it facilitates, on which hundreds of lives depend … do I get to know what it really means.

So too is the pin hole view : it is a view alright. But what is it of ? I wouldn’t know until I look upon the entire panorama. The whole system view or the universal view, the complete view is absolutely essential, even if I have to understand what a blade of grass means !

That is what truth offers.

*   *   *

“The Soul is One, not many, as is claimed in common parlance in such terms as : my soul, his very soul, the soul of the man, etc… The same Soul reflects in each ideate impression of the individual self in the Mental Space and vests it with its own separate – I – consciousness.”

——

“In truth, the Mental universe of the individual self is more real, infinitely more real, than its material one.”

*   *   *

The #Muslim Herd : @ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mob-turns-violent-in-lucknow-mediapersons-thrashed/1/213643.html

Maulana Fazlur Rahman Waizi is the imam of Teele Wali Masjid. He is known for his proximity with PWD minister Shivpal

 Singh Yadav and was prominently present in Thursday’s roza iftar party of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

On Friday, after their communal prayer, the Maulana called upon the community to get ready for a bigger war. So, the #Muslim herd rioted, beat up media persons in sympathy with a rioter arrested for Mumbai riots, destroyed vehicles, and left the society in terror !

Is this the form and shape of the “bigger war” Muslim community leaders are preparing for in this country ?

——
‎#India #Hindus r a spiritually secure, OPEN society w/out obligation 2 clerics or community ldrs. #Muslims r opposite, in ghettos n herds.
*   *   *
This is a very traditional fare, slightly laboriously prepared but in varied taste, flavour and form, and called, as it suits from home to home, region to region, in the Indian subcontinent.

What is it ? Clue : It is a seasonal thing, limited to monsoon months from June to Sept…

A blogpost on this preparation, which I personally dig, might take shape soon.

Photo: This is a very traditional fare, slightly laboriously prepared but in varied taste, flavour and form, and called, as it suits from home to home, region to region, in the Indian subcontinent.

What is it ? Clue : It is a seasonal thing, limited to monsoon months from June to Sept...

A blogpost on this preparation, which I personally dig, might take shape soon.

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part IV

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Part I @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/journal-atharva-veda-part-i-29-2/

Part II @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/journal-atharva-veda-part-ii/

Part III @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/

Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd

LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 2 )

Is there life after death ?

What will happen to me after death ? ”

Through Part ( 1 ) @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ we are laying out a consistent basis for reincarnation and life after death, as a matter of fact and not of speculation or mere belief and faith that the Death – Burial – ‘ Day Of Judgement ‘ process proposed in monotheistic religions demand, which billions of their followers are taught of and abide by, even though the thesis beggars belief, calling on huge imagination and immense leap of faith.

The reasoned “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can, involved positing three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. Every man can observe the living body is preserved by vitality that inert bodies lack. In human beings, with a developed nervous sytem and brain, the body is pervaded and acted upon by the mind, which is absolutely non-material and has a nature entirely other than that of the inert body.

It is so far established that the human being is not just the body with which one is identified during waking hours. That, the brain is not the mind, though certain phenomenal happenings in the mind and brain might be concurrent ; that, we derive all our experiences through and of the body but all experiential phenomena actually takes place and is perceived in the mind.

Humans are mental beings that have a vitality powered physical body to sense and act, experience and learn, think out and know. Even the Vitality behind all manner of cyclic effects is a programmed form of energy, essentially non-material, which enables life forms to digest, respire, recharge, purify and excrete. An effect of the divergent ways, nature and laws particular to matter and mind is evident in transaction analysis The three ego states – child, adult and parent – are nothing more than subconsciously qualified ego-individual-being pervading the mind-body complex while it is awake. The body follows the “thermodynamic direction” of time, from past to present, child to adult to parent… but the respective impressions in the mental space do not age or die, unless consciously dealt with, adequately and in certain completeness ending upon our self.

Mortality, death, loss of form and ultimate disappearance is natural to all bodies in material space, as their normal course. The regular phenomenal effect is inevitable and does not require the slightest human intervention, if we are willing to wait. But what is “Death ?” It is the cessation of life functions in the body… the loss of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, that carries our cognition faculty and our ability to think, know and recall. But is it “cessation” of “directed vitality” or its mere “separation” from the body that it had preserved and kept alive until then ?

We know material forms destruct in time. The forms in mental space however are not subject to the same norm, as can be observed in our direct experience : the knowledge we acquire consciously and clearly when we are younger keeps fresh forever if our brain, the doorway to mental space, is not damaged or atorphied; the subconscious impressions from past arise with the same effect in our present, whether auto-qualifying the unaware ego with urges and compulsions or raising those surreal dreams during which our subconsciously impressed memories are revealed.

We are now in a position to answer the questions :

Is there life after death ?

What will happen to me after death ?

The clear conclusion is that the material body will die and there would no “life” for it as it was before. It will degrade and breakdown into atoms and molecules that will find their use in forming other life or inert forms. But the “subtle” combination including the individual form departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The subtle being includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The immobilised and lost but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, inclusive of its potential organs and functions. Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material body, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul – and is reincarnated in another body in the material space in due course of time.

The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that oversees the transmigration. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age and another death !

* * *

Next Part… a discussion on Moksha – liberation from the transmigration cycle.

To be continued …

* * *

( 23 ) A Benediction At The Election Of A King   –    BOOK III : HYMN IV

 O King ! Shine as the lord

The sole ruler of the people.

For, to thee has come the splendour of kingship

Let all regions of the heavens invite thee.

Here, invite the waiting men

And acknowledge each, as they bow before thee.

 
O King ! The clansmen have elected thee.

These five celestial regions have elected thee.
Rest thou on high, on top of this power supreme.

Thence, as a mightiest amongst us
Award us all with the treasure of your great deeds.

 
O King ! The kinsmen shall now invite thee

And thou shall go to meet them.

But with thee shall go Agni, as an active herald.
Let women have your good in their heart

And their sons be friendly, disposed well towards you.

Thou, O Mighty One, shalt receive tributes in abundance.

 
First the Asvins, Varuna and Mitra…

Then, the Universal Gods and Maruts shall call thee.
Thence, O Mighty One, direct thy thought

To spreading the wealth …

To giving the gifts of your treasure to us all.

 
Speed to us hither from the farthest distance.

Propitious unto thee be the Earth and Heaven.
Even so hath Varuna, the Lord, asserted…

He himself has called thee : Come thou hither.

 
Welcome to the tribes of men, O Indra !

O Indra, Varuna deems thou accordant.
To his own place has he called thee

Saying, “Let him adore the Gods.

Let him guide the clansmen.”

 
The bounteous paths, O King, all in concert

Have given thee room and comfort

In sundry places and forms.

Let all of these call thee hither

In unison and harmony.

Live thy tenth decade here, O King.

Be a strong and kind ruler.

( 24 ) A Prayer For The New Year  –  BOOK III : HYMN X

The First Day has dawned.

May Yama be with the cow

With blessings for her to pour forth her milk.
May she be rich in milk

And provide for us through many a coming year.


May the Night who approaches as a cow

she, whom the gods accept with joy

she, who is the Consort of the Year

Bring abundant happiness to us.


Thou, O Night, whom we revere

And look upon as representating the Year,
Vouchsafe us children to a long life

And bless us as to enhance our wealth.


This Night is the same

Whose light first dawned upon us.

She moves, established in the midst of others.
Great powers and glories are contained within her.

A first-born bride, she conquers all

And bears us children, being her own.


Loud was the wooden pass-gear’s ring and rattle

As it made the annual oblation ready.
First Ashtak
ā ! may we be lords of riches

With able and cultured children
And good men about us.


The shrine of Il
ā flows with oil

And is lined with fat :

Accept our oblations, O Jātavedas !
Tame animals of varied form and colour —

May all the seven abide with me contented.


Come thou, O Night !

To nourish me and make me prosper.

May the favour of the Gods attend us.
Filled full, O Ladle, fly thou forth.

Completely filled fly back again.
Serving at every sacrifice

Bring food and energy to us.


This Year hath come to us, O Ek
āshtakā!

Thou art its lord and consort.
Vouchsafe long lives for us children.

Bless us to enhance our wealth.


I worship the Seasons

And Lords of the seasons.

Over the year, its parts and groups
Years, Half Years and Months…

I offer to the Lord of all existence

Beings and things.


I offer to the Seasons

To their several groups

To Months and Years.
To Dh
ātar, Vidhātar, Fortune

And to the Lord of all things existing.


With clarified butter and libation

We sacrifice and adore the Gods.
Wealthy in kine, may we retire

To rest in our modest homes.


Ek
āshtakā, burning with zealous fervour

Brought forth her offspring…

The great and glorious Indra.
With him, the Gods subdued their adversaries :

The Lord of Might became the Dasyus’ slayer.


O Mother of Indra and Soma !

Thou art the daughter of Prajāpati.
Satisfy thou our hearts’ desires.

Accept our sacrifice gladly.

( 25 ) A Blessing On Barley Crops  –  BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI

Spring high, O Barley

And become much

Through thine own magnificence.
Overflow all storage vessels.

Let the bolt from heaven forbear

From striking thee down.


As we invite thee, O Barley

We call upon the God who heareth us.
Raise thyself up, like heaven on high

And become immeasurable

As the sea.


Let thine out-turns be beyond measure.

Beyong measure be thy gathered heaps.
Exhaustless be the givers of thee

And exhaustless be those

Who eat of thee.

( 26 ) A Blessing On Cattle  –  BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI

O’ My Good Man !

Vayu collected these cattle for us.

Go thou, find their sustenance

And keep them in Tvashtar’s care :
May Indra bless and comfort them

And Rudra look after them

So that they would surely increase.


Take thou the iron axe

And make a pair by marks upon their ears.
This sign the Asvins have impressed :

Let these increase and multiply.


Even as Gods and Asuras

Even as mortal men have done
Do ye, that these may multiply in thousands.

O Asvins ! Now, pray, make the mark.

( 27 ) A Benediction On A Newly Built House  –  BOOK III : HYMN XII

Here, I fix my firm-set dwelling.

May it overflow with clarified butter.
May it stand in safety.
May we approach thee, O House

With all our people

Good men, free of charms
And dwell within thee.


Even here, O House

Stand thou on firm foundation

Wealthy in horses

Rich in kine and gladness
Wealthy in nourishment

Milk and fat that rise up (in sacrifice)

For great felicity and good fortune.


Thou, O House, art a spacious store

With lofty roofs and full of clean corn.
Let the young calf and the little boy approach thee

And milch-kine stream homeward in the evening.


May Savitr and V
āyu establish this House.

May Brihaspati, who knows, show the way

And may Indra protect it.
May the moist Maruts sprinkle it with clarified butter

And may King Bhaga make our corn farms laden with grain.


O Queen of the home ! In the beginning

Thou sheltering, kindly Goddess was established by the Gods.
Clad in thy robe of grass, be thou friendly, kindly disposed

And give us wealth, with good men about us.


Thou, O Pole, mount the pillar in due order.

Strong and shining forth afar, keep off our foes.
O House ! Let not those who dwell within thee suffer.

Let us dwell within thee through a hundred autumns

With all our men and folks in the family.


To this House, the tender boy has come.

The calves have come with all the beasts
To drink from this crock hither

Foaming with jars of curdled milk upturned in it.


Bring hither, O Dame, the pitcher full

And pour out the molten butter blent with nectar

Bedewing these thirsty beings with a draught of ambrosia.
May abundance itself guard this dwelling

And fulfill all our hopes and expectations.


H
ere, I bring Water that is free from all impurities

That kills all cause of illness and disease
With Agni, the immortal one

Here I enter and make the house my own.

( 28 ) A Merchant’s Prayer For Success In His Business  –  BOOK III : HYMN XV

I stir and animate, Indra the merchant .

May he approach us and be our guide and leader.
Chasing ill will, wild beast and highway robber

May He who has the power

Give to me the riches I seek.


The many paths that Gods are wont to travel

The paths that go between heaven and earth
May they all rejoice with me

Through these oblations I offer

Of milk and clarified butter

That I may be rich

And make profit by my purchase.


With fuel for thou. O Agni !

I offer butter and my longing

For strength and conquest.

And, with prayer for strength

I adore this holy hymn
To gain a hundred treasures.


O Agni, pardon our repeat submission.

We have trod this distant road.
Favour us in our effort to sell and barter.

Make our merchandise exchange deals profitable.
Accept the twin offerings in our libations

And grant that they be propitious.

Make our ventures prosperous and enhance our income.
.
Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.
May this wealth grow for me, not less.

O Agni, upon this sacrifice
Chase away those that hinder our profit !


Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.

Herein, with this libation

May Indra, Savitr and Soma

Prajāpati and Agni give me splendour.


We sing thy praise, O Hotr-priest Vaisv
ānara, with reverence !
Keep thou watch over our children

Over our bodies, kine and lives.


Still to thee, O J
ātavedas, ever will we bring oblation

As to a stabled horse.
Joying in food, O Agni

And in the growth of our riches

May we, thy servants, never suffer.

( 29 ) A Farmer’s Song And Prayer To Speed The Plough  –  BOOK III : HYMN XVII

Wise and devoted to the Gods

Skilful men fast bind the ropes to the plough
And lay the yokes on either side.


Lay on the yokes and fasten well the traces :

Sow the seeds in the furrow formed.
Vir
āj, vouchsafe us while we sense plenty with restraint !
Let the ripe grain come home with drawing of the sickle.


The sharp share of the plough bringeth bliss

Traces on the oxen

Stilts on the ground hold it right and steady.

Shear out for me a cow, a sheep

Get a rapid driver the cart

And a blooming woman, plump and strong !


May Indra press the furrow down

May Pūshan guard and cherish her.
May she, well stored with love

Yield lovingly for us

Through each succeeding year.


Happily let the share turn up the soil

The men happily follow the oxen.
Suna and Sira ! Pleased with our sacrifice

Make the plants bring abundant produce to this man.


Happily may our steers and men work.

May the plough furrow happily.
Happily be the traces bound.

Happily may the driving – goad ply.


Suna and Sira ! Welcome ye to this laud.

Bedew ye both this earth of ours

With the milk that ye have made in heaven.

Auspicious Sitā, come thou near :

We venerate and worship thee
That thou mayst bless us and bestow prosperity

And bring to us abundant fruits for our efforts.


Loved by the Visvedevas and the Maruts

Let Sitā be bedewed with oil and honey.
Turn thou to us, O Sit
ā, with the wealth of milk

In vigour and strength

And pouring streams of clarified butter.

( 30 ) A Jealous Wife’s Incantation Against A Rival  –  BOOK III : HYMN XVIII

From out the earth I dig this Plant and Herb

Of most effectual power
Wherewith one quells the rival wife

And gains the husband for oneself.


O Victorious Plant ! Sent by the Gods !

Auspicious thou, with expanded leaves !

Drive thou the rival wife away

And make my husband only mine.


Indeed, he hath not named her

But dalliest not thou with this husband of mine.
Far into the most remote distance

We drive the rival wife away.


Stronger am I with you for support, O Stronger One !

Aye, mightier than the mighty, indeed.
Let my rival be beneath me

Lower than the lowest dame !


I am the conqueror with thou

And it is thou who art truly victorious.
And, as victory attends us both

We will subdue the emulating bed-mate.


I have girt thee, my Man !

With the conquering Plant

And laid the Mightiest One beneath thee.
As a cow hastens to her calf

And water on its way

So too will thy spirit speed to me,