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Monday, February 28, 2011

Myths about the Swami Vivekanada – Part I & II by Sri Arun Shourie - Magsaysay award winner

Myths about the Swami Vivekanada – Part I & II by Sri Arun Shourie - Magsaysay award winner - published in the Sunday on 31st Jan 1993

by Ravindra Vikram Singh on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 11:29pm



http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=203726562977852&id=186088177680

Swami Vivekanada - "Of course, he said, Hindus who became Muslims must be taken back into the Hindu fold. Otherwise our numbers will keep dwindling -- we used to be around 600 million by the reckoning of Ferishta, the oldest Muslim historian, now we are just 200 million. "And then", he continued, "every man going out of the Hindu pale is not only a man less, but an enemy the more.""



That is the new darling of the communists and secularists, Swami Vivekananda, answering questions put to him by the editor of Prabuddha Bharat. Not only what he goes on to say but the word he uses for the converts is bound to stick in the secularists’ throat. "Again," says Swami Vivekananda continuing his reasons for accepting them back as Hindus, "the vast majority of Hindu perverts to Islam and Christianity are perverts by the sword, or the descendants of these. It would be obviously unfair to subject these to disabilities of any kind. As to the case of born aliens, did you say? Why, born aliens have been converted in the past by crowds, and the process is still going on..." (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume V, pages 233-4. In all subsequent references to these books, the number of the volume is given first followed by the page number.)



That is the trouble with rushing into the charge with a quotation or two, without immersing oneself in the thought and world view of the person. Not just the CPI and CPI(M), but a host of fellow-travellers, too, have suddenly alighted upon Swami Vivekananda as if he can be a handy instrument. They forget -- or at least would have us forget -- what they used to say about Ramakrishna and Vivekananda till the other day. If one were to just reproduce today what they used to allege about the relationship between the two, that would be enough to start a riot in Bengal. There are two other ways to weigh their sudden fondness for him.



The central premise of Swami Vivekananda’s entire life was that the essence of India lay in religion; that the religion of our people was the Hindu dharma; that this was not the just the lever by which India was to be reawakened, the truths the Hindu seers had uncovered were the goals to which that reawakened India had to be turned, and that these truths were that pearl of inestimable value which it was India’s mission to give to the world. Which red-blooded communist or secularist will own up to this credo? The other way to assess their quotation mongering is equally telling: before you launch on your hunt for serviceable quotation from the Swami, consider what he said on Islam. Considering that you suddenly find him to have been a man of such insight will you accept his views on that too?



The Swami on the Prophet



There is the embarrassment to start with that, unlike Jesus and the Gospels, the Swami never thought it worth his while to devote time to studying the Prophet’s life and teaching in any depth. When he recounts the life of the Prophet (see for instance, I. 481-3) it is in extremely simplistic terms: number of wives and all. His general view of the Prophet seems to be that the Prophet was an inspired but untrained yogi, and the Swami uses him as a warning. This is how he puts the matter in his treatise on Raja Yoga:



"The yogi says there is a great danger in stumbling upon this state. In a good many cases, there is the danger of the brain being deranged, and, as a rule, you will find that all those men, however great they were, who had stumbled upon this superconscious state without understanding it, groped in the dark, and generally had, along with their knowledge, some quaint superstition. They opened themselves to hallucinations. Mohammad claimed that the Angel Gabriel came to him in a cave one day and took him on the heavenly horse, Harak, and he visited the heavens. But with all that Mohammad spoke some wonderful truths. If you read the Koran, you find the most wonderful truths mixed with superstitions. How will you explain it? That man was inspired, no doubt, but that inspiration was, as it were, stumbled upon. He was not a trained yogi, and did not know the reason of what he was doing. Think of what the good Mohammad did to the world, and think of the great evil that has been done through his fanaticism! Think of the millions massacred through his teachings, mothers bereft of their children, children made orphans, whole countries destroyed, millions upon millions of people killed!... So we see this danger by studying the lives of great teachers like Mohammad and others. Yet we find, at the same time, that they were all inspired. Whenever a prophet got into the superconscious state by heightening his emotional nature, he brought away from it not only some truths, but some fanaticism also, some superstition which injured the world as much as the greatness of the teaching helped." (I. 184)<



On The Book



The central claim of Islam, as of Christianity, is that it has been given The Book, that it alone has been given The Book, that therefore it alone possesses The Truth. That there was The Book- the Talmud, the Bible, the Koran- the Swami said had one effect; it helped the adherents to hold together. But apart from that the effect of The Book – whichever this happened to be – was baneful. Our communists will not find the Swami’s verdict palatable, not the least because the Swami’s words apply to them and the fetish they made of their Book just as sharply as to Islam etc.!



"One of the great advantages of a book," the Swami says, "is that it crystallises everything in tangible and convenient form, and is the handiest of all idols. Just put a book on an altar and everyone sees it; a good book, everyone reads. I am afraid I may be considered partial. But, in my opinion, books have produced more evil than good. They are accountable for many mischievous doctrines. Creeds all come from books, and books are alone responsible for the persecution and fanaticism in the world. Books in modern times are making liars everywhere. I am astonished at the number of liars abroad in every country." (IV. 44).



Moreover, the Jew, the Christian, the Muslim each has his own book. The Books are at variance. Each says his books alone are right. How is the contest to be settled? Surely it cannot be settled by using any of the Books themselves as the yardstick. It can only be settled by subjecting all of them to reason (I. 368, II. 335) -- the very procedure the faithful will not allow!



The Book itself is but a specific example: an instance of the claim to being the sole possessors of Truth. That is the central claim of every Semitic religion, of Islam most of all. Again I doubt if our communists will reproduce what he had to say about this claim, if for no other reason than because once again the words apply so very aptly to their own claim to being the sole possessors of The Revelation. Here it is:



"Therefore we at once see why there has been so much narrow-mindedness, the part always claiming to be the whole; the little, finite unit always laying claim to the infinite. Think of little sects, born within a few hundred years out of fallible human brains, making this arrogant claim of knowledge of the whole of God’s infinite truth! Think of the arrogance of it! If it shows anything, it is this, how vain human beings are. And it is no wonder that such claims have always failed, and, by the mercy of the Lord, are always destined to fail. In this line the Mohammedans were the best off; every step forward was made with the sword -- the Koran in the one hand and the sword in the other: ‘Take the Koran, or you must die; there is no alternative!’ You know from history how phenomenal was their success; for six hundred years nothing could resist them, and then there came a time when they had to cry halt. So, will it be with other religions if they follow the same methods." (II. 369-70).



On Universal Brotherhood



The claim of Islam, as of every other Semitic religion right up to and including Marxism-Leninism, that it is the doctrine of Universal Brotherhood, the Swami punctures on this count: these religions talk of Universal Brotherhood even as they divide the world between believers and non-believers, not just consigning the latter to external damnation, but binding the believers to exterminate them altogether.



"The more selfish a man," says the Swami in words that the communists will certainly not quote, "the more immoral he is."



And so also with the race. That race which is bound down to itself has been the most cruel and the most wicked in the whole world. There has not been a religion that has clung to this dualism more than that founded by the Prophet of Arabia, and there has not been a religion, which has shed so much blood and been so cruel to other men. In the Koran there is the doctrine that a man who does not believe these teachings should be killed; it is a mercy to kill him! And the surest way to get to heaven, where there are beautiful houris and all sorts of sense enjoyments, is by killing these unbelievers. Think of the bloodshed there has been in consequence of such beliefs!" (II. 352-2).



The consequence is inevitable. "Now", says the Swami, "we all shout like these drunken men, ‘Universal Brotherhood!’ We are all equal, therefore let us make a sect.’ As soon as you make a sect you protect against equality and equality is no more. Mohammedans talk of universal brotherhood, but what comes out of that in reality? Why, anybody who is not a Mohammedan will not be admitted into the brotherhood; he will more likely have his own throat cut. Christians talk of universal brotherhood; but anyone who is not a Christian must go to that place where he will be eternally barbecued." (II. 380).



On Iconoclasm



The scorn Islam has for idol worship and the enthusiasm it has for smashing idols and temples meets with more than scorn from the Swami. Pratika and Pratima have a deep meaning, the Swami explains again and again. They are aids to gathering our wayward minds, devices for imbuing ourselves with higher attributes -- over the ages the idols are endowed with these attributes through lore, and tradition, and association, and then by contemplating the idols and attributes we imbibe them. The iconoclasts don’t just miss the significance of the idol. They become idolators of the lowest kind themselves.



People -- Muslims no less than others- find it difficult to worship the Spirit as Spirit. They therefore revert to the same forms of worship one way or another. But not having been taught, and not having reflected on the true and higher significance of the idol or mental image, they get stuck at the lowest level, at worshipping the object "in itself but not as help to the vision" (Drishtisaukaryam) of God", so that it remains "at best only of the nature of ritualistic Karmas and cannot produce either Bhakti or Mukti." (See, for instance, III. 61, 362; VI. 59-60) Worship of saints, worship of their graves (all entirely forbidden by the Prophet) are examples that the Swami often gives of Islamic idolatry, as in the following typical passage:



"It is a curious phenomenon that there never was a religion started in this world with more antagonism... (to the worship of forms) than Mohammedanism... The Mohammedans can have neither painting nor sculpture, nor music... That would lead to formalism. The priest never faces his audience. If he did, they would make a distinction. This way there was none. And yet it was not two centuries after the Prophet’s death before saint worship (developed). Here is the toe of the saint! There is the skin of the saint! So it goes, Formal worship is one of the stages we have to pass through." (VI. 60)



In view of such reversions the Swami scoffs at the claims of Christians against pagans and of Muslims against idolators. He puts all of them at par, saying that they are all at the same preliminary stage all must pass through. Here is how he puts it:



"All over the world you will find images in some form or other. With some, it is in the form of a man, which is the best form... One sect thinks a certain form is the right sort of image, and another, thinks it is bad. The Christian thinks that when God came in the form of a dove it was alright, but if he comes in the form of a fish, as the Hindus say, it is very wrong and superstitious. The Jews think if an idol be made in the form of a chest with two angels sitting on it, and a book on it, it is all right, but if it is in the form of a man or a woman, it is awful. The Mohammedans think that when they pray, if they try to form a mental image of temple with the Caaba, the black stone in it, and turn towards the west, it is alright, but if you form the image in the shape of church it is idolatry. This is the defect of image worship, yet all these seem to be necessary stages." (IV. 44-5).



Central teaching and consequence



Islam is the religion of peace, we are told again and again. Sufis -- their thought, their music -- are presented to us as the hallmark of Islam. That is certainly not the reading of the one our communists and secularists suddenly find so quotable.



"Why religions should claim that they are not bound to abide by the standpoint of reason," Swami Vivekananda writes, "no one knows. If one does not take the standard of reason, there cannot be any true judgment, even in the case of religions. One religion may ordain something very hideous. For instance, the Mohammedan religion allows Mohammedans to kill all who are not of their religion. It is clearly stated in the Koran, ‘Kill the infidels if they do not become Mohammedans.’ They must be put to fire and sword. Now if we tell a Mohammedan that this is wrong, he will naturally ask, "How do you know that? How do you know it is not good? My book says it is’. " (II. 335)



It is not only philosophic among them who have objected to this thrust of the teaching, the Swami says:



"The mother recognizes her child in any dress and knows him however disguised. Recognize all the great, spiritual men and women in every age and country, and see that they are not really at variance with one another. Wherever there has been actual religion -- this touch of the Divine, the soul coming in direct sense-contact with the Divine -- there has always been a broadening of the mind, which enables it to see the light everywhere. Now, some Mohammedans are the crudest in this respect, and the most sectarian. Their watchword is: ‘There is one God, and Mohammad is his Prophet.’ Everything beyond that not only is bad, but must be destroyed forthwith: at a moment’s notice, every man or woman who does not exactly believe in that must be killed; everything that does not belong to this worship must be immediately broken; every book that teaches anything else must be burnt. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, for five hundred years blood ran all over the world. That is Mohammedanism! Nevertheless, among these Mohammedans, wherever there was a philosophic man, he was sure to protest against these cruelties. In that he showed the touch of the Divine and realized a fragment of the truth; he was not playing with his religion, he was talking, but spoke the truth direct like a man." (IV. 126).



Little seems to have come of the remonstrations of the philosophers however. For in Swami Vivekananda’s reading, the influence of Islam was determined by its central teaching -- to kill or be killed in the war to bring peace to the world.



The Hindu more than others, and the Hindu priests more than ordinary Hindus, Swami Vivekananda recounts, became the targets of slaughter:

"To the Mussulman, the Jews or the Christians are not objects of extreme detestation; they are, at the worst, men of little faith. But not so the Hindu. According to him, the Hindu is idolatrous, the hateful kafir; hence in this life he deserves to be butchered; and in the next, eternal hell is in store for him. The utmost the Mussulman kings could do as a favour to the priestly class -- the spiritual guides of these kafirs -- was to allow them somehow to pass their life silently and wait for the last moment. This was again, sometimes considered too much kindness! If the religious ardour of any king was a little more uncommon, there would immediately follow arrangements for a great yajna by way of kafir-slaughter." (IV. 446).



History accordingly turned gory with the coming of Islam to India, the Swami says:



"You know that the Hindu religion never persecutes. It is the land where all sects may live in peace and amity. The Mohammedans brought murder and slaughter in their train, but until their arrival, peace prevailed. Thus the Jains, who do not believe in a God and who regards such belief as a delusion, were tolerated, and still are there today. India sets the example of real strength that is meekness. Dash, pluck, fight, all these things are weakness." (V. 190).



The depths to which society had pushed sections of its own induced the latter to convert to Islam, for them the conversion was a liberation, and the people who even today do not see this are "lunatics", says Swami Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume III, page 294-5 and page 298. In all subsequent references to these books, the number of the volume is given first followed by the page number). That is one fact, which accounts for the conquests of Islam. There are others, says the Swami. For instance, there is the fact that the Hindu kings adhered to some self-imposed codes of war, while the invaders did not:



" The most curious thing was the code of war of those days; as soon as the battle for the day ceased and evening came, the opposing parties were good friends, even going to each other’s tents; however, when the morning came, again they proceeded to fight each other. That was the strange trait that the Hindus carried down to the time of the Mohammedan invasion. Then again, a man on horseback must not strike one on foot; must not poison the weapon; must not vanquish the enemy in any unequal fight, or by dishonesty; and must never take undue advantage of another and so on. If any deviated from these rules he would be covered with dishonour and shunned. The Kshatriyas were trained in that way. And when the foreign invasion came from Central Asia, the Hindus treated the invaders in the same way. They defeated them several times, and on as many occasions sent them back to their homes with presents etc. The code laid down was that they must not usurp anybody’s country; and when a man was beaten, he must be sent back to his country with due regard to his position. The Mohammedan conquerors treated the Hindu kings differently, and when they got them once, they destroyed them without remorse." (IV. 93-4)



The aim of the Bhakti movement was not just an ecumenical one of picking the best in all traditions. The aim, the Swami says, was to prevent wholesale conversion to Islam:



"The movements in northern India during the Mohammedan period are characterized by their uniform attempt to hold the masses back from joining the religion of the conquerors – which brought in its train social and spiritual equality for all... The friars of the orders founded by Ramananda, Kabir, Dadu, Chaitanya, or Nanak were all agreed in preaching the equality of man, however differing from each other in philosophy. Their energy was for the most part spent in checking the rapid conquest of Islam among the masses, and they had very little left to give birth to new thoughts and aspirations. Though evidently successful in their purpose of keeping the masses within the fold of the old religion, and tempering the fanaticism of the Mohammedans, they were more apologists, struggling to obtain permission to live." (VI. 165-6).



Nor is India the only country on which, on Swami Vivekananda’s reckoning, Islam brought down such consequences. The Turks were tolerant and humane, till Islam came, says the Swami for instance:



"In very ancient times, this Turkish race repeatedly conquered the Western provinces of India and founded extensive kingdoms. They were Buddhist, or would turn Buddhists after occupying Indian territory. In the ancient history of Kashmir there is mention of these famous Turkish Emperors, Hushka, Yushka and Kanishka. It was this Kanishka that founded the Northern School of Buddhism called the Mahayana. Long after, the majority of them took to Mohammedanism and completely devastated the chief Buddhistic seats of Central Asia such as Kandahar and Kabul. Before their conversion to Mohammedanism they used to imbibe the learning and culture of the countries they conquered, and by assimilating the culture of other countries would try to propagate civilisation. But ever since they became Mohammedans, they have only the instinct for war left in them; they have not got the least vestige of learning and culture. On the contrary, the countries that come under their sway gradually have their civilisation extinguished. In many places of modern Afghanistan and Kandahar etc. there yet exist wonderful Stupas, monasteries, temples and gigantic statues built by their Buddhistic ancestors. As a result of Turkish admixture and their conversion to Mohammedanism, those temples are almost in ruins, and the present Afghans and allied races have grown so uncivilised and illiterate that far from imitating those ancient works of architecture, they believe them to be the creation of supernatural spirits like the Jinn, etc. and are firmly convinced that such great undertakings are beyond the power of man to accomplish.



"The principal cause of the present degradation of Persia is that the royal line belongs to the powerful, uncivilized Turkish stock, whereas the subjects are the descendants of the highly-civilized ancient Persians, who were Aryans. In this way the Empire of Constantinople -- the last political arena of the Greeks and Romans, the descendants of civilized Aryans -- has been ruined under the blasting feet of powerful, barbarous Turkey. The Moghul Emperors of India were the only exceptions to this rule; perhaps that was due to an admixture of Hindu ideas and Hindu blood. In the chronicles of Rajput bards and minstrels, all the Mohammedan dynasties which conquered India are styled as Turks. This is a very correct appellation, for, of whatever races the conquering Mohammedan armies might be made up, the leadership was always vested in the Turks alone... What is called the Mohammedan invasion, conquest, or colonisation of India means only this that, under the leadership of Mohammedan Turks who were renegades from Buddhism, those sections of the Hindu race who continued in the faith of their ancestors were repeatedly conquered by the other section of that very race who also were renegades from Buddhism or the Vedic religion and served under the Turks, having been forcibly converted to Mohammedanism by their superior strength." (VII. 394-5).



Not quite the reading of history our communists and secularists would find quotable!



Indeed, while these personages would find Swami Vivekananda’s exhortations to tolerance and broad-mindedness and love appropriate and quotable, the words in which he urges these, the activities of Christian missionaries and Muslim conquerors he contrasts these with will make the passages highly unquotable. Here is a typical exhortation:



"Therefore the world is waiting for this grand idea of universal toleration. It will be a great acquisition to civilisation. Nay, no civilisation can long exist unless this idea enters into it. No civilisation can grow unless fanaticism, bloodshed and brutality stop. No civilisation can begin to lift up its head until we look charitably upon one another; and the first step towards that much-needed charity is to look charitably and kindly upon the religious conviction of others. Nay more, to understand that not only should we be charitable, but also positively helpful to each other, however different our religious ideas and convictions may be. And that is exactly what we do in India as I have just related to you. It is here in India that Hindus have built and are still building churches for Christians and mosques for Mohammedans. That is the thing to do. In spite of their hatred, in spite of their brutality, in spite of their cruelty, in spite of their tyranny, and in spite of the vile language they’re given to uttering, we will and must go on building churches for the Christians and mosques for the Mohammedans until we conquer through love, until we have demonstrated to the world that love alone is the fittest thing to survive and not hatred, that it is gentleness that has the strength to live on and to fructify, and not mere brutality and physical force." (III. 187-8).



On others as well.



Please do not get me wrong. Swami Vivekananda did not single Islam out for harsh words -- in fact he almost always talked of it in the past tense, as something that had faded away. He did not attribute our miserable condition to Muslim rule: that he attributed to our own divisions and sloth, as in the following:



"Remember the old English proverb, ‘Give every man his due’. Therefore, my friends, it is no use fighting among the castes. What good will it do? It will divide us all the more, weaken us all the more, and degrade us all the more. The days of exclusive claims are gone, gone are forever from the soil of India, and it is one of the great blessing of the British rule in India. Even to the Mohammedan rule we owe that great blessing, the destruction of exclusive privilege. That rule was, after all, not all bad; nothing is all bad; and nothing is all good. The Mohammedan conquest of India came as a salvation to the downtrodden, to the poor. That is why one-fifth of our people have become Mohammedans. It was not the sword that did it all. It would be the height of madness to think it was all the work of sword and fire. And one-fifth to one-half -- of our Madras people will become Christians if you do not take care. Was there ever a sillier thing before in the world than what I saw in Malabar country? The poor Pariah is not allowed to pass through the same street as the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to a hodge-podge English name, it is alright; or to a Mohammedan name, it is alright. What inference would you draw except that these Malabaris are all lunatics, their homes so many lunatic asylums, and that they are to be treated with derision by every race in India until they mend their manners and know better. Shame upon them that such wicked and diabolical customs are allowed; their own children are allowed to die of starvation, but as soon they take up some other religion they are well fed. There ought to be no more fight between the castes." (III. 194-5).



And it is this trough of wretchedness out of which he endeavoured to life us. But not only was the goal to which he sought to turn us the exact opposite of what the communists and secularists have peddled, his method was the exact opposite too. These worthies have kept themselves aloof from our culture; they have sought to heckle it down as outsiders looking down at something rotten in a pit. Contrast their denunciations with this way:



"Did India ever stand in want of reformers? Do you read the history of India? Who was Ramanuja? Who was Shankara? Who was Nanak? Who was Chaitanya? Who was Kabir? Who was Dadu? Who were all these great preachers, one following the other, and a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude? Did not Ramanuja feel for the lower classes? Did he not try all his life to admit even the Pariah to his community? Did he not try to admit even Mohammedans to his own fold? Did not Nanak confer with Hindus and Mohammedans, and try to bring about a new state of things? They all tried, and their work is still going on. The difference is this. They had not the fanfaronade of the reformers of today; they had no curses on their lips as modern reformers have; their lips pronounced only blessings. They never condemned. They said to the people that the race must always grow. They looked back and they said, ‘ O Hindus, what you have done is good, but, my brothers, let us do better’. They did not say, ‘You have been wicked, now, let us be good’. They said, ‘You have been good, but let us now be better’. That makes a whole world of difference. We must grow according to our nature. Vain is it to attempt the lines of action that foreign societies have engrafted upon us; it is impossible. Glory unto God, that it is impossible, that we cannot be twisted and tortured into the shape of other nations." (III. 219).



His entire life was premised on one conviction: that India had a message of inestimable worth to give to the world. He had the confidence of course that the ways and message of India – and not the Church or the Prophet, nor of Marx or Lenin – would in the end prevail:



"All religions have struggled against one another for years. Those which were founded on a book, still stand. Why could not the Christians convert the Jews? Why could not they make the Persians Christians? Why cannot any impression be made upon China and Japan? Buddhism, the first missionary religion, numbers double the number of converts of any other religion, and they did not use the sword. The Mohammedans used the greatest violence. They number the least of the three great missionary religions. The Mohammedans have had their day. Every day you read of Christian nations acquiring land by bloodshed. What missionaries preach against this? Why should the most blood-thirsty nations exalt an alleged religion which is not the religion of Christ? The Jews and the Arabs were the fathers of Christianity, and how they have been persecuted by the Christians! The Christians have been weighed in the balance in India and have been found wanting. I do not mean to be unkind, but I want to show the Christians how they look in others’ eyes. The missionaries who preach the burning pit are regarded wit horror. The Mohammedans rolled wave after wave over India waving the sword, and today where are they?" (VIII. 217-8).



He was in addition filled with a passion against the scorn and falsehood which was being heaped on India and its tradition by the very ones whose doctrine and slander our communists and secularists have internalised, and which they regurgitate. Will they quote the following in their pamphlets? Better still, will they spot how much of it applies to them?



"One thing I would tell you, and I do not mean any unkind criticism. You train and educate and clothe and pay men to do what? To come over to my country to curse and abuse all my forefathers, my religion and everything. They walk near a temple and say, ‘You idolaters, you will go to hell’. But they dare not do that to the Mohammedans of India; the sword would be out. But the Hindu is too mild; he smiles and passes on, and says, ‘Let the fools talk’. That is the attitude. And then you, who train men to abuse and criticise, if I touch you with the least bit of criticism, with the kindest of purpose, you shrink and cry, ‘Don’t touch us; we are Americans. We criticise all the people in the world, curse them and abuse them, say anything; but do not touch us; we are sensitive plants’. You may do whatever you please; but at the same time I am going to tell you that we are content to live as we are; and in one thing we are better off – we never teach our children to swallow such horrible stuff: ‘Where every prospect pleases and man alone is vile’. And whenever your ministers criticise us, let them remember this: if all India stands up and takes all the mud that is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and throws it up against the Western countries, it will not be doing an infinitesimal part of that which you are doing to us. And what for? Did we ever send one missionary to convert anybody in the world? We say to you, ‘Welcome to your religion, but allow me to have mine. You call yours religion, but allow me to have mine’. "



"You call yours an aggressive religion. You are aggressive, but how many have you taken? Every sixth man in the world is a Chinese subject, a Buddhist; then there are Japan, Tibet, and Russia, and Siberia, and Burma, and Siam; and it may not be palatable, but this Christian morality, the Catholic Church, is all derived from them. Well, and how was this done? Without the shedding of one drop of blood! With all your brags and boastings, where has your Christianity succeeded without the sword? Show me one place in the whole world. One, I say, throughout the history of the Christian religion -- one; I do not want two. I know how your forefathers were converted. They had to be converted or killed; that was all. What can you do better than Mohammedanism, with all your bragging? ‘We are the only one!’ And why? 'Because we can kill others.' The Arabs said that; they bragged. And where is the Arab now? He is the Bedouin. The Romans used to say that, and where are they now? Blessed are the peace-makers; they shall enjoy the earth. Such things tumble down; it is built upon sands; it cannot remain long." (I. 211-3).



Did they -- that is, the quoting communists -- not brag as much? Did they not proclaim that their victories too were forever? Were their victories based any the less on the sword and on falsehood? And where are they today?



Conclusions



In brief, lessons upon lessons for friends who suddenly find Swami Vivekananda so quotable:



Stray quotations cannot be set up to counter the entire life and work of such a man;



As that life and work is the exact opposite of what you have been propagating, the more you lean on Vivekananda, the more he will recoil on you;



Never forget what you have been saying about a man when you suddenly find him handy, others are not likely to have forgotten;



And finally, never proclaim your intention to quote a man before you have read him!

Yoga with a mission to save country

Yoga with a mission to save country

riginal Source: NEPS


Baba Ramdev (left) giving Yoga Class at 16 Assam Rifles ground, Kohima on February 26, 2011. Pic. NEPS

KOHIMA, FEB 26 (NEPS): Noted Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev said he would continue his crusade against corruptions and asked citizens to join the movement. Talking to pressmen after his historic Yoga Class here at 16 Assam Rifles ground was over on Saturday, the Yoga Guru also hinted launching of his own political party in near future to fight the scourge of corruption in the country.

See more photos from the event >>

Asked about his reactions on the Congress leaders’ demand to probe to his assets, Baba Ramdev said the Government was free to do so any time anywhere. He however disclosed that Rs 400 lakh crore have been spirited away to foreign banks by “corrupt and the dishonest.” “If this money is brought back to our country, India will be ten times richer than the United States of America,” he said. “Each village in the country will get about Rs 100 crore each for development if we distribute this money spirited away in foreign banks.”

The Yoga Guru who launched his “Bharat Swabhiman Yatra (The Journey of India’s Pride)” from Dwaraka, Gujarat in mid 2010, disclosed that it would focus its fight mainly on five points: to eradicate corruption, black money and corrupt practices; to bring back the huge looted money of about Rs 400 lakh crore, hidden in foreign countries; to end conspiracy of foreign governments and their companies to loot the country and to build the character of the country’s citizens.

Baba Ramdev was happy to be here at Kohima for the first time to conduct Yoga classes and was thrilled to see massive participants. He recalled the Nagas contributions to the freedom struggle and also those who sacrificed their precious lives during Kargil war for the defense of the country.

Today’s historic Yoga class of Baba Ramdev was attended by government officials, army and paramilitary officials, hundreds of Kohima residents.

Baba Ramdev’s Yoga and visit to Nagaland unique

Baba Ramdev’s Yoga and visit to Nagaland unique

By Oken Jeet Sandham

Baba Ramdev Maharaj, internationally famed Yoga Guru, has done remarkable job by personally visiting Nagaland state to impart his rare “Yoga classes” to the Naga people. He has done this at State’s commercial hub, Dimapur and Capital, Kohima. Participants of his “Yoga classes” included VVIPs, Press personnel and ordinary citizens. Such rare opportunity has also come to the people of the State with free of charges and the only thing is they should have “Entry Pass” which, according to the organizers, is only for security reasons, as the “Yoga Guru”— due to his world-wide fame— has Z-Plus security cover.

Another great step the great Yoga Guru has done is his visiting to the Kohima Village where he is attending Model Village Program. His visit to this one of the greatest villages in Asia would surely show a very positive message to the rest of Naga people who are Christian. In fact, Nagaland is considered as a Christian State having over 90% Christian population. His visit to Kohima Village itself will make an indelible mark in the history of India in general and Nagaland in particular. He has plainly and sincerely shown that his coming to Nagaland is a message of universal brotherhood and nothing to do with religion, caste and creed. One of his main crusades is also fighting against “corruption.”

Here in the Northeast many consider that Sadhus and Gurus from mainland India are only to preach Hinduism and they could not bring any changes and understandings with the people in the region. Many also thought their wisdoms are not matched with that of regions’. Also many Indian Yoga gurus were not prepared to visit this part of the country in the past. Baba Ramdev’s extensive tours in the Northeast and Nagaland in particular have rather surprised many and this would really bring changes in the thinking of the people who are more gullible, simple and straightforward. Once the true message of life and the benefit of such “Yoga” are given to them, it will be there with them forever and even generations to come. We need many Baba Ramdevs to visit Nagaland and hope Baba Ramdev would visit Nagaland again in near future and stay here for at least few days.

http://kanglaonline.com/2011/02/baba-ramdevs-yoga-and-visit-to-nagaland-unique/

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Is the Cosmic Entity? by Baba A'nandamu'rtijii- Ananda Marga: Elementary Philosophy



What Is the Cosmic Entity? by Baba A'nandamu'rtijii- Ananda Marga: Elementary Philosophy
1955


It has been established that Brahma exists and also that It is Paramátman, Bhúmácaetanya, Universal Consciousness or Consciousness in its totality.



Bhúmácaetanya or Cosmic Consciousness or Consciousness in its totality is also known as Citishakti or Puruśa. It was also explained earlier that Prakrti is a principle or a unique energy or force of Puruśa (Consciousness) and that She also qualifies Puruśa. Prakrti is a principle of Puruśa and She is always so intimately bound up with him that it is impossible to separate the two. They are inseparable like fire and its burning property. Just as these two cannot be separated, Puruśa and Prakrti can also never be separated. Prakrti is the unique force, the qualifying principle of Puruśa. A force or principle which gives something a characteristic or property, cannot be separated from it. Similarly although Puruśa and Prakrti are two distinct entities, they cannot be separated. So Puruśa is bound to be present wherever there is Prakrti, and the collective term for them is Brahma.



Puruśa we know is Jiṋána, Caetanya or Consciousness. From these terms we can understand the existence of something but cannot visualize any figure or form. We can only form an idea of Puruśa or Caetanya with the help of our bhávaná (introversial flow of our objective mind). So Puruśa or Caetanya is an abstract entity and can be appreciated by our mind only in objective expression. Prakrti, the qualifying principle of this abstract entity, can also only be understood as an energy, force or principle which cannot be seen even though it qualifies the crudest of things. Its form or shape cannot be described. Fire is a crude object and its attribute, the burning principle, is also a crude quality. Yet even this attribute cannot be seen. However crude the attribute of a thing may be, it will always be subtle in form. An energy or principle can never have a shape. It cannot be seen or heard. Prakrti, also a unique force, a principle, is a subtle entity. Puruśa and Prakrti are both subtle. Brahma, the collective name for these two, is also subtle and can only be appreciated in the final stage of the mind’s merger in its source. Brahma could not, therefore, have any form or shape. It would not be possible to describe It or even to say what It looks like. Brahma must be shapeless or formless. It really cannot have a form.



It was said earlier that buddhitattva comes into being as a result of the influence of the sattvaguńa of Prakrti on the unit consciousness or átman. Ahaḿtattva is formed due to influence of rajoguńa on buddhitattva, and lastly, citta is the result of the influence of tamoguńa on ahaḿtattva. The formation of citta is dependent on ahaḿtattva, as it comes into being only as a result of the influence of tamoguńa on ahaḿtattva. The existence of citta is, therefore, not independent. If the tamoguńa of Prakrti does not influence ahaḿtattva or if ahaḿtattva ceases to exist, citta cannot be formed. But the absence of citta would not mean the absence of ahaḿtattva and Prakrti. It only means that the tamoguńa of Prakrti is not influencing ahaḿtattva and that the existence of ahaḿtattva does not depend on the presence or absence of citta. It is independent of citta. If we apply the same reasoning to ahaḿtattva we can see that it is dependent on the influence of the rajoguńa of Prakrti over buddhitattva. But the existence of buddhitattva does not depend on the presence or absence of ahaḿtattva. Buddhitattva is independent of ahaḿtattva. Similarly, the existence of buddhitattva depends on the influence of the sattvaguńa of Prakrti on unit consciousness. But the existence of unit consciousness is independent of buddhitattva. For example, steel can be moulded to form a steel pan, but that does not mean that, if the pan does not exist, steel will also not exist. As the pan is made of steel it is dependent on steel, but steel would exist even if there were no pan. The existence of steel is therefore independent of the existence of the pan. Similarly unit consciousness is independent of buddhitattva. All the different forms from citta to buddhitattva are dependent on unit consciousness, as the existence of each one of these is dependent on the other. But when we come to consciousness we can see that its existence is not dependent on any of these forms. In fact we cannot find anything on which the existence of consciousness depends. Consciousness is therefore absolutely independent.



Consciousness or Puruśa is absolutely independent. It was seen in the preceding paragraph that it is not dependent on anything and has no beginning or root cause. It is non-causal. Prakrti is the qualifying principle of Puruśa and is bound to be present wherever Puruśa exists. This, however, does not mean that Prakrti has been created by Puruśa. The burning quality of fire is its qualifying principle and always exists wherever there is fire. Yet this quality has not been created by fire. Just as fire cannot create its qualifying principle, Puruśa also cannot create Prakrti, His qualifying principle. Puruśa is even incapable of realizing His own existence without the qualifying influence of Prakrti. Such a Puruśa can surely never create Prakrti. Just as in the case of Puruśa, the origin of or cause for the creation of Prakrti cannot be found. Prakrti is also non-casual. Puruśa and Prakrti are thus both non-causal. Brahma is the combined name for Puruśa and Prakrti. Hence Brahma is certainly non-causal.



Brahma is without any beginning or root cause. It has no origin. But does Brahma have an end? If It does, we should find out how big it is. In order to find this out we will have to measure Brahma. Different instruments are required to measure different things. For instance, to measure land we need rods and chains; to measure food-grains we require scales and weights. We have to use a thermometre to measure temperature and a barometre to measure atmospheric pressure. The instrument required depends on the nature of the thing to be measured. Brahma is subtle and is only an ideological expression as we already have seen. The instrument required to measure Brahma has to be subtle. Something subtler than Brahma must be found to measure it.



All matter in this world can be classified into five rudimental factors or tattvas. It may exist as ákásha (ethereal), váyu (aerial), agni (luminous), jala (liquid), or kśiti (solid). The presence of tanmátras distinguishes something crude from something subtle. A crude thing will always have tanmátras, while a subtle thing will not have any. So anything containing a larger number of tanmátras will be cruder. There are five tanmátras: shabda (sound), sparsha (touch), rúpa (form), rasa (taste) and gandha (smell). Ákásha or the ethereal factor or the supposed subtle atmosphere beyond the atmospheres of the planets, etc., contains nothing which can be visualized. Yet it carries shabda tanmátra and is called crude. Váyu has two tanmátras – shabda and sparsha. That is, váyu carries sound and may also be felt. Váyu is thus cruder than ákásha. Agni, jala and kśiti are all still cruder, as they can be seen; they have rúpa tanmátra in addition to the other tanmátras. Therefore all the five rudimental factors or tattvas in which matter can exist are crude. None of these could make an instrument subtle enough to measure Brahma, which is a subtle entity.



In these five rudimental factors, that is, ákásha, váyu, agni, jala and kśiti, there is another element present apart from matter. This other element is mind or antahkarańa (introversial psychic force). Applying the same test to mind as we did to tanmátras, we find that mind is subtle. Only mind can be abstract; it cannot be found to contain any tanmátras. That is, mind alone is subtle and everything else in this universe is crude. Mind, therefore, is the only thing out of which an instrument for measuring Brahma can be prepared, but since mind has no tanmátras, no crude or physical form can be attributed to it. It cannot be heard, touched, seen, tasted or even smelt. In the absence of these qualities an instrument cannot be made out of mind. Mind is subtle and only has the qualities of grasping an idea, thinking and feeling. These are the ways mind can measure Brahma.



Mind is made up of buddhitattva, ahaḿtattva and citta. Buddhitattva is formed by Prakrti qualifying unit consciousness; ahaḿtattva comes into being due to the further influence of Prakrti over buddhitattva. Similarly citta comes into existence being qualified by Prakrti. Ahaḿtattva is that part of the mind which works. The capacity to perform any action is only in ahaḿtattva. Hence if Brahma is to be measured by the mind it will have to be done by ahaḿtattva. Buddhitattva separates unit consciousness and ahaḿtattva. Ahaḿtattva will thus not be able to reach unit consciousness unless it passes through buddhitattva. But ahaḿtattva is only a functional form of buddhitattva. The “I” of “I exist” of buddhitattva, becomes ahaḿtattva when it adopts the function of “I work.” The moment Ahaḿtattva reverts to buddhitattva, the functional identity of “I work” of ahaḿtattva ceases to exist. Ahaḿtattva cannot merge in unit consciousness as ahaḿtattva. It must be converted into buddhitattva before coming into contact with unit consciousness, and in that state it cannot perform any function, far less that of measuring unit consciousness. As mind is incapable of coming in contact with unit consciousness, it can never measure it. Brahma is the collective name for all the unit consciousnesses. Mind cannot measure a single unit consciousness; so the question of measuring the supreme multiple of all the multiplicities of unit consciousness does not arise. Mind can never think, feel or grasp any idea of the size of Brahma.



Mind can only determine the boundaries of something which is within its scope. It cannot set limits to a thing which is beyond its reach. The creation is only a part of Brahma. (This will be explained in the following chapter). Mind exists within this creation. On withdrawing mind (ahaḿtattva) to its limits we still find something left beyond it, which it has no capacity to comprehend. Creation thus extends beyond the limits of mind. It is infinite. Creation is only a part of it, and if a part can be infinite, Brahma, the whole, is bound to be infinite.



The combined name for Puruśa and Prakrti is Brahma. It was seen earlier that both Puruśa and Prakrti are non-causal. Naturally if they are both non-causal it means that they are also independent of each other. Neither of them is subordinate to the other. The state of Brahma where both Puruśa and Prakrti are independent, because they are non-causal, is the supreme state of Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa. Prakrti is a principle or a unique force, the function of which is to attribute guńa or to qualify Puruśa. Guńa ordinarily means an attribute or a qualification. In Sanskrit, guńa means a rope used for tying something. To attribute guńa means to bind with a rope. Prakrti qualifying or attributing guńa to Puruśa means Prakrti is binding Puruśa with a rope and driving Puruśa according to Her designs and wishes. But in the supreme state of Brahmasvarúpa, Puruśa is independent. Hence Prakrti cannot qualify or bring Puruśa under bondage; still Prakrti exists there with Puruśa, as Brahma is a combined name for them. Those asleep are incapable of using their facilities or capacity to work. They are inactive in that stage. Yet they still have capacity to work. Similarly, Prakrti is inactive in Brahmasvarúpa. She does not perform functions or is unable to perform them. The function of Prakrti is to qualify or to attribute guńa to Puruśa. Puruśa does not acquire any attributes or qualifications when Prakrti does not function. Then He is beyond guńa or without guńa.



How is it that Prakrti, whose only function is to qualify Puruśa, does not influence or is unable to qualify Puruśa in Nirguńa Brahma? There can be only two reasons for this: Prakrti is either asleep and hence inactive or is weaker than Puruśa and is thus unable to bind Puruśa. If we accept the first probability, we will have to admit that Prakrti is asleep in Nirguńa Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa. But Prakrti does qualify Brahma at some stage. If She is in the state of sleep in Nirguńa Brahma, someone will have to wake Her up so that She may qualify Puruśa. In Nirguńa Brahma there are only Puruśa and Prakrti. There is no other entity, so only Puruśa can do it. But Puruśa, we know, is even incapable of realizing His own existence without being qualified by Prakrti. How can He then perform the function of awakening Prakrti? We have, therefore, to dismiss the possibility of Prakrti being asleep in Nirguńa Brahma, otherwise in the absence of any other entity, it would not be possible to rouse Prakrti to qualify Puruśa and to manifest him as buddhitattva. Prakrti is awake even in Nirguńa Brahma. She is not asleep. The quality, dharma or function of Prakrti is to qualify Puruśa, and if She is awake in Nirguńa Brahma, She must qualify Puruśa. Puruśa in Nirguńa Brahma is not qualified in spite of the presence of Prakrti, fully awake. That Prakrti is weaker than Puruśa in Nirguńa Brahma can be the only reason for this. She is less powerful and so is unable to qualify Puruśa. This is how Prakrti and Puruśa have existed in Brahma for eternity. Puruśa, therefore, is by nature more powerful than Prakrti and is the transcendental entity and Prakrti is the innate principle. The state where Prakrti is feebler than Puruśa and is incapable of influencing or qualifying Puruśa, is the state of Nirguńa Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa, that is, the state where Puruśa in Brahma is not metamorphosed.



In the state of Brahma where Puruśa is not influenced or qualified by Prakrti and hence Puruśa in Brahma remains unexpressed, Puruśa is called Nirguńa Puruśa – Non-Qualified Consciousness – and where Puruśa is influenced and qualified by Prakrti He is called Saguńa or Guńayukta Puruśa or the Qualified Consciousness. Saguńa Brahma is therefore that stage of Brahma where Puruśa is influenced and qualified by Prakrti.



This gives rise to two questions: First, if Nirguńa Brahma is the Brahmasvarúpa or the supreme stage of Brahma then what could be Saguńa Brahma? Secondly, if Puruśa is more powerful by nature, how could He be influenced and qualified by Prakrti in Saguńa Brahma? In other words, the question is how Saguńa Brahma came into being.



Nirguńa and Saguńa are only two different states of Brahma. In the nirguńa state Puruśa and Prakrti both exist together, but Prakrti is not able to qualify Puruśa. In the saguńa state also Puruśa and Prakrti exist together, but here Prakrti influences and qualifies Puruśa. It is because of this difference in the relationship between Puruśa and Prakrti that the former is called Nirguńa and the latter is called Saguńa Brahma. Rama asleep and Rama awake only indicate the two different states of existence of the same person. It does not mean that they are two different persons. Similarly Nirguńa and Saguńa Brahma are two different states of the same Brahma.



It was concluded earlier that buddhitattva comes into being as soon as unit consciousness is qualified by Prakrti. Bhúmácaetanya, Parama Puruśa or Cosmic Consciousness is only a collective name for an infinite number of unit consciousnesses. Parama Puruśa must also follow the same principles or dharma as unit consciousness. The properties of the two must be the same, the only difference being that the scope of unit consciousness is finite, while that of Cosmic Consciousness is infinite. This must, therefore, mean that creation comes into existence as soon as Cosmic Consciousness or Parama Puruśa is influenced and qualified by Prakrti. The stage where Puruśa is qualified by Prakrti is Saguńa Brahma. The universe is created because of Saguńa Brahma.



We have to accept the existence of Saguńa Brahma, as this creation which is formed from or which comes into being because of Saguńa Brahma, can be seen at every moment of one’s existence. This also shows that Prakrti influences and qualifies Puruśa in Saguńa Brahma. There can be only two conditions under which Prakrti might influence Puruśa. Either Prakrti in Saguńa Brahma is stronger than in Nirguńa or Puruśa in saguńa is feebler than Prakrti. Prakrti, we know, is a special principle or unique force. She is present with the same intensity everywhere. She can be compared to any crude energy, for example, electricity. An electric current running though a mile-long wire will measure 440 volts at every point on the wire. The voltage will not be different at different points. Similarly Prakrti as a unique force, will always be present with the same strength everywhere. The question of Her being more powerful in Saguńa Brahma does not arise. Puruśa in Saguńa Brahma must then be weaker than Prakrti or else He could not be influenced by Prakrti. Puruśa is condensed as well as less condensed in the infinite Brahma. The consciousness of the infinite Brahma is not the same everywhere. Prakrti qualifies Puruśa finding Him feeble wherever consciousness or Puruśa is less condensed, and as a result of this creation springs forth.(1) Prakrti is helpless and cannot qualify Puruśa where consciousness is condensed. Puruśa is unqualified there and is called Nirguńa Brahma – the Unqualified Cosmic Entity.



Brahma is infinite and Its supreme state is Nirguńa. Wherever the infinite Puruśa (Consciousness) in Nirguńa Brahma is less condensed, he is influenced by Prakrti and we find Saguńa Brahma. Surely then Saguńa Brahma is within Nirguńa. Ahaḿtattva is like a huge iceberg in an ocean. Due to imbalance in climatic conditions, a part of the ocean gets frozen into an iceberg, but the rest of the water remains in its original state. In the same way, wherever, owing to the influence of Prakrti over Puruśa, He is less condensed in Nirguńa Brahma, He is qualified and becomes Saguńa Brahma, but the rest remains Nirguńa. Saguńa Brahma, therefore, is within Nirguńa Brahma.



Saguńa Puruśa or Qualified Consciousness is within Nirguńa or Non-Qualified Consciousness. Where Puruśa is qualified by Prakrti it is called Saguńa. We have seen earlier that the supreme state of Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa is Unqualified Consciousness. Saguńa Brahma or Qualified Consciousness is therefore not the supreme state of Brahmasvarúpa, yet It has to be called Brahma as both Puruśa and Prakrti are present. What Saguńa Brahma is can be explained by taking again the example of an iceberg in an ocean. Due to variation in the climatic conditions some of the water of the ocean changes into an iceberg. If we compare the ocean with Nirguńa Brahma, the iceberg may be compared with Saguńa Brahma. The ice is comparable to Puruśa in Saguńa Brahma, and the climate which freezes the water to Prakrti. The unfrozen water of the ocean stands for Puruśa in Nirguńa Brahma. The ice and the unchanged water of the ocean are two different forms of water only, the only difference being that climate at some places is able to change it into ice, while in other parts of the ocean the climate cannot change it into ice. Ice is only a changed form of water, but we cannot call it water; it has to be accepted as a changed form of water only. Similarly we cannot call Saguńa Brahma the supreme state of Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa. It is only another state of Brahmasvarúpa. Hence for the realization of Brahmasvarúpa or the supreme state of Brahma we shall have to know Nirguńa Brahma. The mere realization of Saguńa Brahma will not lead us to the realization of the supreme state, for it is only another status of the supreme rank.



What then is Bhagaván, Saguńa or Nirguńa? Bhagaván is a Sanskrit word derived bhaga + matup; that is, the one who has bhaga is Bhagaván. Bhaga means absolute power, benevolence and light. Bhagaván therefore is that which is the most luminous, benevolent and omnipotent (jyotirmaya, mauṋgalamaya and sarvashaktimán). So Bhagaván has these attributes or qualifications. Bhagaván thus is qualified Puruśa (Guńayukta). In Nirguńa Brahma, Puruśa is not qualified. He is qualified in Saguńa Brahma. Thus Bhagaván is only Saguńa Brahma. It is Nirguńa Brahma which is the supreme state of Brahma or Brahmasvarúpa. Brahma is only Its other status. Hence Bhagaván is not the realization of Brahmasvarúpa or the supreme state. To know Brahmasvarúpa one has to step beyond Bhagaván and has to realize Nirguńa Brahma. It is that entity which is to be attained.



Footnotes



(1) The question why Puruśa is in a less condensed state or how long Prakrti has been wanting to influence Puruśa does not arise. This is so because causal relation is only a mental action. Neither Cosmic Mind nor unit mind existed before Saguńa Brahma. No Mahattattva, Ahaḿtattva, etc., were created. Hence the law of cause and effect (causal relation) did not exist. To investigate the cause of the creation of Brahma is thus beyond the scope of mind. It has been said in the Veda (Násadiiya Súkta) that even Brahma does not know the reason why It came into existence. This is absolutely true. We could not call Brahma non-causal if Brahma had known the cause of Its creation. Had Brahma not been causeless, It would have come within the scope of the law of cause and effect (causal relation) and It would have had to create other foregoing things which would have only marred Its infinite character.







Baba A'nandamu'rtijii

Ananda Marga: Elementary Philosophy

Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization 1-Shrii P R Sarkar


Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization 1-Shrii P R Sarkar

Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization

Publisher's Note



Gondwanaland is the name given by geologists to a super-continent as they consider it to have existed hundreds of millions, even billions, of years ago. And the very oldest part of that continent that has remained above water came to be called, after human beings appeared who could give names to things, Ráŕh. (Or more precisely, western Ráŕh.) When Gondwanaland broke up and gradually metamorphosed into a number of our modern land masses, that ancient land of Ráŕh was to be found within the Indian sub-continent, occupying an area that is now mostly coextensive with the western part of West Bengal. (Geologists do not necessarily speak of Gondwanaland in the past tense, but sometimes speak of all the dispersed parts of Gondwanaland, as Gondwanaland even today.) Then came the geological birth of eastern Ráŕh, the appearance of human beings in Ráŕh, and the geological birth of the remaining portions of Bengal still farther east than eastern Ráŕh. With Ráŕh as the main nucleus, civilization developed throughout Bengal, and Ráŕh spread its influence to other lands also. In Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization, Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar tells this story.


The original book was published in Bengali in 1981. In view of the wealth of information that the author has given in the book on geological and geographical, historical, archaeological, sociological, linguistic, artistic and even spiritual subjects, there has been a long-standing demand for an English version (a demand to which some noted archaeologists have recently added their voices). We are now happy to be able to fulfil that demand, however belatedly.


This book contains a multitude of place names and names of historical figures. Since Europeans first came to India, such proper names have been rendered in roman script according to a variety of romanization systems, and also sometimes in haphazard ways that could not be called systems at all. The surname that in Ananda Marga’s romanization system would be rendered as “Ráycaodhurii”, has over the years been romanized in about sixty ways – “Roychoudhury”, “Roy Choudhury”, “Raychowdhuri”, etc. Nevertheless, such spellings have stuck, and citizens of India are now familiar with them. In this book we have normally tried in the case of each proper name to use the romanization preferred by that particular person or that particular place themselves, and with which Indians might be most familiar; but obviously we may often have been wrong as to what was preferred or most familiar. If the name was an obscure one for which there might be no preferred or familiar romanization, we have followed the Ananda Marga system. For all common nouns, name of gods and goddesses, name of religions, philosophical systems, literary movements, etc., we have followed the Ananda Marga system.


Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization

Chapter 1

Ráŕh – 1.



There was a great ocean, its surface agitated by rows of towering waves, an ocean which had neither name nor gotra [clan]. Who was there to name it, who was there to tell others about it? No one, because human beings had not yet come on earth. This was about 300 million years ago.(1) [And as regards the land mass,] there was no name yet on earth for that arid, mountainous terrain, nor even yet a single grove of trees to which a name could be given.(2)

After a long time this very terrain, this nameless mountainous terrain, was given the name Ráŕh. The word ráŕh originated in the ancient Austric language and means a land of red (laterite) soil. In the world of those days there was no Áryyávartta;(3) there were none of the plain lands of Bengal and the Deccan, nor were there the deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The northern part of the Arabian Sea did not exist either; what existed was its southern part, which linked the Deccan peninsula with Africa, the Andamans, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. They were linked by [land] that lay sometimes a little above the water level, sometimes a little below.(4) In that world uninhabited by human beings, the Ráŕh of those days was older than any other land. The snow-covered mountains of Ráŕh gave birth to numerous rivers. These rivers, fed by melting snow, flowed some to the east and some to the southeast, towards the ocean.


Days passed, time passed, from beginninglessness to endlessness. Rainstorms and thunderbolts struck the mountains, and gradually the mountains diminished. Their snowy crowns fell off their heads, their height decreased. As the mountains became smaller and smaller through erosion, each river basin that lay between two mountains became higher. The undulating red soil that we see today in the west of Ráŕh, the undulation that advances ahead of us till it mingles in the remote blue, the undulation that gives a hint of some lost address as it recedes behind us – that undulating land is our Ráŕh.


Miśt́i Ráŕher mát́i –

Sonár Lauṋká, sonár svarga ceyeo jáni khánt́i.




[Sweet is the soil of Ráŕh –

Purer, I know, than golden Lanka(5) or golden heaven.]


The mountains were gradually eroding and were being transformed into sand and silt. This sand and silt, carried by the rivers of Ráŕh, formed eastern Ráŕh. This was lakhs and crores(6) of years ago.


The Himalayas were born many crores of years after the birth of Ráŕh.(7) From the Himalayas issued a daughter, the River Gauṋgá [Ganges], and a son, the River Brahamaputra.(8) The sand and silt their waters bore formed new soil; northern India and Báḿlá [Bengal] were formed.(9) The bed of the sea that was to the east of Ráŕh rose higher and higher thanks to that sand and silt, and – after the formation of eastern Ráŕh – long after – many lakhs of years after – formed a vast plain (samatal). That plain [to the east of eastern Ráŕh] is known as Samatat́a in the Sanskrit language and Bágŕi in the Bengali language. Farther to the east, the sand and silt borne by the rivers of Ráŕh mingled with the sand and silt of the Brahmaputra and formed Vauṋga,(10) or D́abák. The people of western Ráŕh migrated to eastern Ráŕh and set up habitation. This happened some lakhs of years ago. If human beings appeared a million years ago, then those inhabitants of the western Ráŕh of a million years ago found eastern Ráŕh to have been in a ready condition for them even before their birth. Even a portion of northern India arose before the origin of human beings. Samatat and D́abák, however, originated a little after the appearance on earth of humans. The people of western and eastern Ráŕh removed the forest cover and dwelt in Samatat-Vauṋga-D́abák.


This is a description of the genesis of Ráŕh and Báḿlá.(11) What we consider, roughly, to be Samatat is 1) eastern Murshidabad, 2) Nadia, 3) 24 Parganas, 4) Kusthia, 5) Jessore, 6) Khulna, 7) western Faridpur and 8) western Bakhargunj.(12)


We consider eastern Ráŕh to be, roughly, 1) western Murshidabad, 2) the northern part of Birbhum, 3) eastern Burdwan, 4) the whole of Hooghly, 5) the whole of Howrah, 6) eastern Midnapur and 7) the Indás Police Station(13) of Bankura District.


We consider western Ráŕh to be 1) Santhal Pargana,(14) 2) most parts of Birbhum, 3) western Burdwan, 4) Bankura District except for the Indás Police Station, 5) Purulia District, 6) Dhanbad District, 7) Kasmar, Peterwad, Gola, Jeredi, Ramgarh, etc., of Hazaribag (now Giridih) District, 8) Silli, Sonahatu, Bundu and the Tamar Police Station of Ranchi District, 9) Singhbhum District and 10) the Jhargram Subdivision and Sadar North and Sadar South Subdivisions of Midnapur District.


Human beings originated at a few particular points on this planet. Even without getting into a detailed discussion as to which humans appeared first and which appeared later, I can say that the origin of humankind in Ráŕh is very ancient. No trace can be found of any more ancient human habitation.(15) When forests appeared on earth, dense forests spread over the hard [e.g., granitic] rock, the metamorphic rock, the igneous rock and the sedimentary rock of Ráŕh. This very forest of that time provided vital nectar to Ráŕh as a human habitation. This very forest reined in the rivers of Ráŕh. Again, it was this forest, after the erosion of the snow-covered mountains, that invited rain clouds to Ráŕh. And the rain-god conferred his abundant and inexhaustible blessings on Ráŕh. This is our land of Ráŕh – a living onlooker to many a cycle of creation, preservation and destruction, a mute witness to a host of changes.


Countless were the wild creatures in the forests of Ráŕh. Human beings appeared on the soil of Ráŕh after the ice age had retreated from its heart. The enormous animals were gradually becoming smaller. The mammoths (aerávatas in Sanskrit) had been frozen in ice and fossilized, leaving behind elephants as their descendants. The age of gigantic dinosaurs, guntosaurs and kakt́esiyás was over, and other kinds of large animals took their place. The forest-dwellers of Ráŕh, clad in leaves, bark and animal skins, lived by hunting. The human beings of today may disregard them, but those people were the epitome of simplicity, they were the representatives of the undulating soil and the thunderous reverberation of Ráŕh, the underdeveloped humans of that time who were the revered ancestors of the people of today, and the dust of whose feet we touch to our heads as we march ahead.


Afterwards, those people learned how to tend animals, and slowly learned a little agriculture. The flaming colours of the palásh [Butea monosperma] forests in the month of Phálgun [mid-February to mid-March, when the palásh tree blooms] set their minds as well into a colourful dance. A fire for self-expression stirred their hearts as well. This was many thousands of years ago. Surely, they did practise tapasyá [suffering or austerity for the attainment of a certain goal]. But what was it for? How did they do it? Who taught them? No one but the Lord of their inner world, the Supreme Master of their life, taught them – “Search, search, someone is there – someone is coming – someone will give you what you need to journey forward, and help you properly direct your efforts to reach the target.” This was their nameless, silent tapasyá. When the Aryans started coming into India, at a time when some had already come, and some were about to start from the barren, arid lands of Central Asia – Lord Sadáshiva, that great personality, the life and soul of everyone, was born. The people of Ráŕh came in touch with His eternal gospel and infallible guidance and received the much-desired touch of the enlivening wand of their Abhiiśt́a.(16) Thus Ráŕh became the cradle of civilization.(17)


Ráŕh was not only the starting-point of civilization, Ráŕh represented the first-ever steps towards cultural progress. The intermingling of the basins of small and big rivers, and the exchange of activities and ideas, laid the foundation for the civilization and the culture of Ráŕh, whose splendour in turn ushered in a golden dawn not only in Ráŕh, but also in the life of all of the underdeveloped humanity of that dark age. People of many lands started converging on Ráŕh to hear the páiṋcajanya, the clarion call, of humanity, and to join in singing the paean of humanity. China called Ráŕh by the name of “Láti”, Greece called it “Gauṋgá Rid́i” and the Aryans called it “Rát́t́ha”. This civilization and culture of Ráŕh were not confined to Ráŕh alone – they could not be confined, and it would have been wrong to confine them. They sailed by sea from its port of Támralipta [modern Tamluk], responding to the call of its far-off nameless and unknown friends.


Ráŕh’s contribution to the building of a social structure was also extraordinary. There was no stratum of life, no vein in the tender leaf of life that did not throb to Ráŕh’s touch. The ancestral land of the majority of the Brahmans of modern Báḿlá was Ráŕh. Hence they call themselves Ráŕhii Brahmans even today. Wherever they are now, the Bandopadhyays (of Bandyaghati village of Birbhum), the Mukhopadhyays (of Mukhoti village of Bankura in western Ráŕh), the Chattopadhyays (of Chatuli village of Burdwan in Ráŕh), the Gangopadhyays (of Gangoli village of Burdwan) and the Ghosals(18) (of Ghosali village of Manbhum) had their roots in Ráŕh and subsequently set off for other parts of the world.


Though intellect is what makes a human being most venerable, one’s kśátra shakti [soldierly strength] and kśátra shaoryya [soldierly valour] can in no way be ignored. Vijaysingha, the son of Singhabahu the king of Singhapur(19) of southern Ráŕh, conquered Lanka [now Sri Lanka], and as a mark of his victory gave it the name Singhal. Pandu Basudev, the nephew of the sonless Vijaysingha, ascended the throne of Singhal in c. 534 BCE and conquered the south-western coast of India. The transplanted people of Bengal laid the foundation of the Nair society of Kerala. The Ráŕhii Brahmans of Bengal set sail for the coast of Konkan where they set up the Gaoŕiiya Sárasvata Brahman society. Sahasrabahu, another prince of Singhapur, founded the Thailand dynasty and named the country Shyámdesh. None of the above went as a conqueror; wherever they went they became sons of the soil and merged with the local inhabitants. This is a matter of great joy. The superiority of Ráŕh did not lie, as a hidden agenda, in the conquest of those lands; it lay in devoting themselves to the service of those new places. This was Ráŕh – Ráŕh the starting-point of civilization.


Shrii P R Sarkar

Ra'r'h: Cradle of Civilization

1981, Kolkata



Footnotes



(1) The Carboniferous Period of the Palaeozoic Era was 270-350 million years ago. –Trans.



(2) Seed plants first emerged during the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era, 210-250 million years ago. –Trans.



(3) Lit., “land of the Aryans”; northern India, which the Aryans at one point occupied. –Trans.



(4) The name used for this ancient land mass is Gondwanaland. Where Áryyávartta was to arise there was still sea; the plain lands of Bengal and the Deccan were still sea and had not yet been built up from alluvial deposits; where Rajasthan and Gujarat were to arise there was still sea; the northern part of the Arabian Sea was a land link between the mass that was to become India and the mass that was to become Africa. –Trans.



(5) Sri Lanka. –Trans.



(6) One lakh = one hundred thousand. One crore = ten million. –Trans.



(7) As with northern India, where the Himalayas were to arise there was still sea. –Trans.



(8) The words “Gauṋgá” and “Brahamaputra” are feminine and masculine, respectively. –Trans.



(9) The name Ráŕh is not used for any modern political area. The Ráŕh area forms the western part of what is now Báḿlá. So strictly speaking the meaning here is “the rest of Báḿlá was formed”. –Trans.



(10) The term “Vauṋga” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Báḿlá”, “Bengal”; but at other times, as in this book, “Vauṋga” refers only to the easternmost part of Bengal – i.e., what is now basically eastern Bangladesh. –Trans.



(11) [Correction: A footnote was to come here, but was found unnecessary.]



(12) In these paragraphs the author defines the ancient areas of Samatat, eastern Ráŕh and western Ráŕh in terms of the districts of West Bengal, and regions adjoining West Bengal, that existed as of the composition of this book in 1981. Some of those districts have now been split up into various districts, while in other cases a few districts have been combined into one district. –Trans.



(13) The jurisdiction of a police station is often used in India to denote a geographical area. –Trans.



(14) Now six districts. –Trans.



(15) “… the farthest eastern part was that part of Gondwanaland that people nowadays call Ráŕh.… Elsewhere [in Gondwanaland] it was extremely cold and full of snowstorms. There was no proper environment there for human beings to evolve. Ráŕh had the living touch of warmth so humans came there first.” (Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Shabda Cayaniká Part 1, “Apána” section) –Trans.



(16) The collective name of all a person’s desiderata in the physical and psychic spheres, together with that person’s Desideratum in the spiritual sphere. –Trans.



(17) Lit., “starting-point of civilization”. –Trans.



(18) Surnames of Ráŕhii Brahmans. –Trans.



(19) Modern-day Singur in Hooghly District. –Trans.



Shrii P R Sarkar

Ra'r'h: Cradle of Civilization

Bhaskar Deva




February 13 at 11:08pm · Like · Report

Misuse forces a review of dowry law - Hindustan Times

Misuse forces a review of dowry law - Hindustan Times
Misuse forces a review of dowry law
Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 28, 2011

Following widespread complaints of the anti-dowry law being misused to lodge false cases, the government has decided to review the stringent provisions of the legislation. The Law Commission of India, which advises the government on legal issues, is considering grounds to

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recommend amendments to sec

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Demand for business is dowry: SC
Anti-dowry laws are being misused: HC
'Harassed' husbands protest 'misuse' of anti-dowry laws
Changes in the dowry law will shut out frivolous complaintstion 498A of the Indian
Penal Code, which deals with physical and mental cruelty by husbands and their relatives against wives over dowry.


Currently this section allows the police to arrest the accused named in a complaint without a warrant and even before investigation. Besides, there is no provision for a compromise between the two parties.

"We've referred the matter to the Law Commission for its opinion since a very large number of complaints have been received against this section," law minister M Veerappa Moily told HT.

He said the Supreme Court had last year asked the government twice to take a re-look at the 28-year-old anti-dowry law following a spurt in its misuse, resulting in old people, pregnant women and even children being booked on false complaints.

Independent studies have put the conviction rate in cases registered under this section at less than 5%, indicating that most of the cases are false.

The Law Commission is examining three aspects - whether it is feasible to categorise the offence as bailable, to allow the complainant to withdraw a complaint in case of a compromise with the court's permission, and if the police should retain the power to make arrests on their own.

"We are examining how to give a human touch to this section, which has a very high potential for misuse. Our concentration is to make the offence bailable, non-cognisable and compoundable," said commission member justice (retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma.

A compoundable offence permits withdrawal of a complaint if both sides patch up.

On August 13 last year, the Supreme Court had stated, "Such is the level of exaggeration of cruel behaviour on the part of husbands and their relatives that to find the truth is a Herculean task in a majority of these complaints."

The top court's observation had come in response to a petition filed by a resident of Surat, Preeti Gupta, who had been named in a dowry complaint by her sister-in-law Manisha Poddar in Jharkhand, after Poddar's marriage with Gupta's brother soured










witan 2 hours ago

It is heartening that the govt has taken note of the misuse of Dowry Law. Govt should also recognize that genuine cases of dowry harassment and dowry murder usually go unpunished. Actually, the situation is same with regard to ALL laws intended for protecting the so-called "weaker sections". Examples are R a p e Law, Domestic Violence law, and SC/ST "atrocities" law. Misuse of the last is especially frightening. At least in one case, a Court of Law has taken notice of the misuse of SC/ST act (reported in HT, "Court says ‘victims’", Saturday, 03 April 2010). The Judge in that case observed, "... even the educated class have started resorting to the misuse of the SC/ST Act merely to satisfy their personal ego."
I worked in an academic institution, and I have known very highly qualified persons — holding PhD degrees, no less — resorting to this devilry for various purposes: including harassment of their colleagues and bosses, getting promotions, making money through getting illicit "indents", demands for purchase or (fictional) "repair" of instruments, passing departmental examinations, and so on. In one case, the "victim" almost managed to get his prey arrested and put in police lock-up.


Krsnananda Avt Amazing Baba Stories - From Anandamurti The Jamalpur Years by Devasish


Krsnananda Avt
Amazing Baba Stories -
From Anandamurti The Jamalpur Years by Devasish



A Family Relationship

While doing as per his desire, one should always remember: that Supreme Entity is not the boss; that Supreme Entity is the loving Father. The relationship is not official; the relationship is purely personal.(1)

Baba's Namaskar to Margiis

As the new decade began, the spiritual lives of most disciples still revolved around seeing Baba in the jagriti, going on field walk, and attending DMC programs whenever they got the chance. When they would see other Margis in the street, they would often embrace each other and shed tears. One day, Baba was talking with Kshitij when he warned him that this devotional phase would not last much longer.

"You will all be sad to see it pass," Baba said.

"But Baba," Kshitij asked, unable to hide his disappointment, "why does this have to happen?"

Baba remained impassive. "After the devotional phase comes the intellectual phase. Without an intellectual revolution, an ideology cannot be established."

During the fifties and early sixties there was no system of recording Baba's General Darshan talks or taking notes, nor did Baba re-dictate them afterward, as he did with his DMC and RU talks. Occasionally, some interested devotee would take notes of his own volition, but the vast majority of those discourses have been lost.2 In March 1963, one devotee took notes during a General Darshan. The following excerpts show the informal nature of Baba's General Darshan talks at that time. In the preface to his notes, this disciple explained that while it was too difficult to preserve Baba's exact words, the spirit of what Baba said was faithfully reproduced.

As Baba took his seat, he said, "In the Mahabharata period we find two persons coming quite close to Shrii Krishna—Arjuna and Sudama. Both were greatly devoted to him. Now tell me, which of the two is the greater devotee of Shrii Krishna, and whom would you choose
as the ideal of your life?" One by one, the persons present there
expressed their views ... when all had expressed themselves, Baba
said, "Devotion means unconditional self-surrender. One who has
more of it is a greater devotee than one who has less. Arjuna and
Sudama were both great devotees, but while comparing their devotion
by this yardstick we have to say that Sudama was a greater devotee
.. . Arjuna refused to fight when Shrii Krishna asked him to do so.
This shows that Arjuna did not have full faith in, and complete sur­
render to, Shrii Krishna... On the other hand we notice a complete
surrender by Sudama. He never desired anything from Krishna, his
friend who could have given him anything and everything ... Even
when his wife forced him to go to Shrii Krishna to request him to
remove his poverty, he went to him but didn't ask for a thing... Now
whom should you take as your ideal? Neither of the two, neither
Arjuna nor Sudama. Neither of the two is perfect, so how can you
take anything imperfect as the ideal of your life? Your ideal is to be
perfect, so your ideal should be the Lord and the Lord alone. No one
else should be your ideal.

"And if he finds that you have the potential to do his work, but you are lacking in self-surrender and you have nirt foregone your ego, then in such a case he will first create circumstances in which your ego will be forced to yield and surrender. Only after this will the Lord choose you to be the medium for his work. This was the case with Arjuna. Arjuna had the potential, but he also had some ego left in him. Shrii Krishna first made him surrender by showing him his cosmic form, and then alone was Arjuna chosen to be his medium."

In one of these General Darshans, Baba asked everyone if they wanted to hear the cosmic sound.3 Their response was an enthusiastic yes. Baba asked for the doors and windows to be closed. He had the women sit on one side and the men on the other. Then he asked everyone to begin meditating. "Those who do not hear the sound," he said, "should raise their hands but remain silent." A few disciples raised their hands but put them down again a few moments later.

Sakaldev, a lawyer from Muzaffarpur, started hearing the beautiful sound of a flute. The longer he meditated, the more it grew in intensity. But at one point he felt a sudden urge to open his eyes. When he did, he was surprised to see Baba leaving. The rest of the Margis were deep in their meditation. Some had already fallen into trance. Afraid that he might never hear that sound again, he ran after Baba and caught up with him just outside the gate. When he reached down to touch Baba's feet, Baba said, "Sakaldev, what do you want? Mukti? Moksha?"

"Baba, I just want to be with you."

"Tatastu" Baba replied. So be it.
___________________________________

Excerpted:
Amazing Baba Stories - Anandamurti- The Jamalpur Years
by DevashishAmazon.com: Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years (9781881717102): Devashish Donald Acosta: Books
www.amazon.com
Amazon.com: Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years (9781881717102): Devashish Donald Acosta: Books

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
While Sai Baba may have been India's most famous spiritual master during the latter half of the 20th century, Anandamurti was arguably its most interesting and controversial spiritual figure. Considered by some to be a social revolutionary with secret intentions of overthrowing the Indian government and by others to be a powerful Tantric with supernatural powers, Anandamurti kept himself scrupulously hidden from the public eye throughout his lifetime. His only interaction with the public was through Ananda Marga, the spiritual and service organization he founded in 1955, and its thousands of orange-robed monks who by the late 1960s had become so ubiquitous in Northern India that they began drawing daily mention in the press and literature of the time. While Ananda Marga gained great notoriety, Anandamurti himself remained a mysterious figure in India until his death in 1990. Based on the oral histories of his disciples, colleagues, and family, Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years unveils a remarkable portrait of this often misunderstood saint and social thinker. Rather than being an academic study of one man's life, Anandamurti is primarily a collection of devotional and mystical stories set in a biographical framework that provides the reader with a portal into the magical world of Indian mysticism, yoga, and Tantra. "A fascinating story. Devashish has risen to the challenge of capturing this extraordinary life with grace and eloquence. I highly recommend it." - Dada Nabhaniilananda, Meditation teacher and author of Close Your Eyes and Open Your Mind


A Fascinating Life, July 28, 2010
By
Dada Nabhaniilananda - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anandamurti: The Jamalpur Years (Paperback)
For more than 20 years now people all over the world have been waiting for a worthy biography of the spiritual master Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. The Jamalpur Years more than satisfies this need. Meticulously researched and artfully crafted, it tells the story of one of the most enigmatic figures of the 20th Century. Was he a visionary saint? A Tantric master? A miracle worker? A political radical?
Anandamurti was all of these and more: a giant personality, who established a world wide organisation, yet was so reclusive that few have heard of him.
In Devashish's book, part one of three, the first layer of the veil of mystery is removed. As the story progressed I found myself wondering how it could get more incredible, and then it did. I lost sleep and cut my meditation short to find the hours to continue. Close Your Eyes and Open Your Mind An Introduction to Spiritual Meditation
If you want to take your understanding of spirituality and Anandamurti's amazing vision of a world where peace and justice prevail to a deeper level, you must read this book.


 

Sadashiva's 7 Secrets of Success by Bhaskar Deva


Bhaskar Deva
Sadashiva's 7 Secrets of Success by Bhaskar Deva

Now, to establish oneself in this realm of karma, what are the essential factors for success? Lord Shiva, when asked by Párvatii, said, “You know, Devii, there are seven essential factors for success in physico-psychic karma or in psycho-spiritual karma, whatever it may be. But there are seven essential factors, you must remember those seven factors.” What are those factors?

Phaliśyatiiti vishvásah siddherprathama lakśańam;
Dvitiiyaḿ shraddhayá yuktaḿ trtiiyaḿ gurupújanam. Caturtho
samatábhávo paiṋcamendriyanigrahah; Śaśt́haiṋca
pramitáháro saptamaḿ naeva vidyate.

–Shiva Saḿhitá

The first essential factor is, “I must be successful in my mission.” This firm determination is the first essential factor.

Secondly, dvitiiyaḿ shraddhayá yuktaḿ – “the sádhaka, the spiritual aspirant, the intuitional aspirant, must develop shraddhá for his goal.” And what is shraddhá? You know, there is no corresponding word for shraddhá in English or Latin. Shraddhá means Shrat Satyaḿ tasmin dhiiyate iti shraddhá – “My objective – ” What is the objective? The Supreme Subjectivity here becomes the objective.

The Supreme Self, the Transcendental Entity, is the subjectivity of all subjectivities, hence it is the Supreme Subjectivity; but here, in the case of psycho-spiritual practice, that Supreme Subjectivity becomes the object. So one should develop shraddhá for this Supreme Subjectivity, that is, for one object. And what is shraddhá? Shrat Satyaḿ – accepting that goal as Absolute Truth. (Shrat means Satyaḿ.) Tasmin dhiiyate – that is, “Withdrawing the mind from all other objects, and guiding that mind unto that object which has been accepted as the Absolute Truth, is shraddhá.” It has no corresponding term in English or Latin, or in any other language. The Sanskrit is the term. Dvitiiyaḿ shraddhayá yuktaḿ – “one must develop shraddhá for the object.”

Thirdly, trtiiyaḿ gurupújanam – “one must develop shraddhá for one’s preceptor, one’s teacher.”

Next, Caturtho samatábhávo – “One should develop mental equipoise.” “He is a Brahman – he should be respected. He is an Ezhava – he is inferior to me.” This idea is dangerous. If one encourages this idea, one will not be able to attain that supreme beatitude. So, caturtho samatábhávo – “one must develop psychic equipoise.”

And fifth, paiṋcamendriyanigrahah – “one must have restraint over one’s sensory and motor organs.” “I must not see that object, that may pollute my mind. I must not hear that sound, that may pollute my mind.” These are all restraints over sensory and motor organs. Lord Buddha said, Cakkhuná saḿvaro sádhu – “O sádhu, O spiritual aspirant, you should have proper restraint over your eyes.”

Cakkhuná saḿvaro sádhu, sádhu sotena saḿvaro;
Ghánena saḿvaro sádhu, sádhu jihbáya saḿvaro;
Káyena saḿvaro sádhu, sádhu vácáya saḿvaro;
Manasá saḿvaro sádhu, sádhu sabbattha saḿvaro.

[Control your eyes, O sádhu; sádhu, control your ears; control the sense of smell, O sádhu; sádhu, control the sense of taste; control your body, O sádhu; sádhu, control your speech; control your mind, O sádhu; sádhu, have overall control.]

(It is in the Pali language.) “There must be all-round restraint over your motor and sensory organs.” Paiṋcamendriyanigrahah.

Sixth, śaśt́haiṋca pramitáháro – “You should have proper restraint over your food.” That is, your food should be nutritious, but you must not be voracious. “Voracious” means “eating too much”. Śaśt́haiṋca pramitáháro.

Seventh, saptamaḿ naeva vidyate – that is, “O Devii, I said there are seven factors, but now I say the seventh factor is nil. That is, there are six fundamental factors helping a sádhaka to establish himself or herself in the realm of karma in order to attain the Cosmic beatitude.”

I think you have followed this, and you should remember it.

Shrii Shrii A'nandamu'rti
Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 23
November 1966, Ernakulam

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