1 Truth, 2 Principles and 3 Debts

0 truth

Post 2 in BLOG SERIES ..

|| The Wonder That Was Bhaarat ||

In the last post, we saw that Vedic People were the SEEKERS OF TRUTH.

Not the TRUTH which WE manipulate and create our versions to suit our selfish motives, but the ULTIMATE TRUTH which can only be ONE.

Let’s try to understand what kind of 1 TRUTH those Sages were longing to realize or experience.

Yes, it was experiential knowledge, which they called Vidya विद्या.

(what knowledge we learn in school or college is not Vidya, but it is Skill or Kalaa कला).

Sages or Rishis of Vedic Period followed a method very different from the one followed by modern science and it did not need any laboratory experiments.

Their method was

  • to contemplate,
  • to meditate and
  • to go into a deep state where they would connect to Cosmic Power strongly

What they realized was in the form of Voice.

They arranged it in the form of Vedas.

Since it was heard it was called Shruti.

What is 1 TRUTH?

1 SATCHITANANDA

RIGVEDA, World’s known oldest scripture revealed the TRUTH that our Universe was CREATED by SUPREME POWER.

Rishis called it BRAHMAN ब्रह्म which is a combination of:-

  • SAT सत, i.e. EXISTENCE (The WORLD Part)
  • CHITTA चित्त i.e Awareness or CONSCIOUSNESS (The SELF Part)
  • ANANDA आनंद i.e. Happiness or BLISS (The GOD Part)

This ‘Satchidananda’ or ‘Paramatma’ has created the ‘Atman’ or ‘Spirit’ or ‘Soul’ and is prevalent in the Universe.

Just like Body has Cells, Universe has Atman.

SOUL takes the form of the BODY.

But, it’s ultimate aim is to finally merge into ‘Paramatma’ from where it separated.

When created SOUL is in pure BLISS form. Along its journey in EXISTENCE, it gets CONSCIOUSNESS. 

2 PRINCIPLES which govern this Universe.

Vedas initially identified the principle of  ‘Ruta’ ऋत i.e. One Cosmic Order or Law of Nature according to which ‘BRAHMAN’ who is COSMIC POWER governs this Universe.

This COSMIC ORDER leads to creation of many FORCES or DEITIES or  देव  like

– Indra (Leader of All),

– Mitra (Daylight/Protector of Ruta),

– Varun (Water/Ocean),

– Agni (fire),

– Marut (Air),

– Ushas (Dawn),

– Soma (Moon)

– Aditi (Moral Order)

– Yama (Death)

Each Deity or Force follows a law of Nature as its Dharma and is bound by it.

So basically Vedas neither mention about religious fearful Gods nor the Gods who needing appeasement.

The GOD of VEDAS is ONE and

DEVAS are MANY BUT

PART of ONE COSMIC ORDER.

Sages experienced the TRUTH of

  • Existence,
  • Awareness, and
  • Bliss

in their Sadhana or Penance and

concluded that this world is MAYA, an illusion.

Behind it lies a Cosmic Order which is established by Ultimate Reality.

The sages delved deeper and explained the same ‘Ruta’ as 2 different principles of

Dharma

&

Karma

2 D and K.jpg

Dharma is unlike today’s religion and states that there is unchanging, ever present, universal law ‘Ruta’ which defines our duties and rights.

All our acts and deeds need to follow it as

Moral order,

Natural order and

Ritual order.

Moral Order will determine every being’s behavior with each other.

For example a code of conduct like not to harm others, not to steal or kill others etc.

According to Sanatana Dharma of Vedic Culture:-

  • To live is to live together.
  • To live is to live in Harmony with Nature and other Human beings.            Those who do not follow this Order will suffer the fruits of such Actions.

Here comes the Law of Karma.

Soul in the form of Body over various births suffers or enjoys fruits of past birth’s actions which is ‘Karma’.

If a Soul needs to get liberated from the cycle of birth and reach the stage of ABSOLUTE BLISS then all the Karma needs to be discharged.

So Dharma and Karma are like siblings driving the Universe.

Humans also interact with natural forces and Sages devised RITUALS for the same

Today, they look very mechanical but each Ritual has a natural or scientific principle behind it.

For example, if one has to write a letter to someone, he will have to post it by putting a stamp over a cover at the post office.

All these tasks are also rituals but needed.

Thus, RITUALS of VEDAS are needed to harmonize with NATURE.

What are 3 Debts or ‘Runa’ ऋण ?

runa.png

The Principles of Dharma or Karma when followed or violated create a Debt.

Since in any relation or interaction, there is a give and take, it’s part fulfillment results in a debt.

If as embodied human being, the soul does some act of goodness to another soul, these two souls can again interact with each other in some other bodies in some other birth.

So, just appreciate that your parents, spouse, friends or enemies are all result of your past debts. They are in your Life with a purpose.

In Vedic Texts, ‘Runa’ are 3 types of Debts which needs to be discharged by Human Being in his or her course of Journey.

(1) Devaruna Debt due to Divine Forces like Sun, Rain, Fire, Earth etc. To be discharged by performing sacrifices or rituals.

(2) RishirunaDebt due to Sages by the acquisition of and imparting knowledge which they passed on from Universal Power to Humankind.

(3) Pitruruna Debt due to ancestors and parents by becoming a householder and maintaining the continuity of the family institution by begetting children.

Along with discharging ‘Karma’, a SOUL has to discharge all of its ‘Runa’ in order to again reach the stage of absolute BLISS.

ONE COMMON WAY to discharge them is follow rituals like

PUJA, PRAYERS, YAGNA, SHRAADDH ETC.

ANOTHER way is to

Always follow the PATH OF DHARMA

Do all actions by treating them as just an insignificant part of this COSMIC ORDER.

The Sun always rises,

A River always flows,

A Tree gives shadow and fruits.

JUST DO YOUR KARMA

AS DHARMA

TO

REALIZE TRUTH

AND

BE FREE FROM DEBTS.

ASTU. AUM SHANTI.

|| A WONDER THAT WAS BHAARAT ||

To reach WISDOM, one needs to begin in WONDER.

Today, on auspicious Gudi Padwa, I am going to write briefly about a WONDER called INDIA

Oops.. not India, which has a history of just Hundreds of years. Rather, I would call it  ‘A wonder that was BHAARAT’ which has a rich history of Thousands of years.

After 250 years of Foreign Rule and 70 years of Independence, we still see a divide between INDIA and BHAARAT.

For Centuries, the world had an outlook of ‘mystery’ or ‘ ‘curiosity’ or even ‘greed’ for BHAARAT.

When they left us, the INDIA was born with new challenges, aspirations and always having a feeling of lagging behind in the race of DEVELOPMENT

Most of us Indians still live the Life somewhere between BHAARAT and INDIA but do not know much about BHAARAT as it is missing from formal Education.

The best way out is to travel back to that era i.e. Vedic Era which roughly started around 5000 years back.

Imagine this ancient nation BHAARAT as a big PALACE and yourself as a little curious Kid who wonders about this palace’s size, interiors and everything it has hidden.

With the energy and wonder of that kid, we need to visit each and every corner of this palace to realize the magnanimity of our Country’s philosophical, natural and cultural wealth.

About the Blog Series

This Blog Series will be a humble yet firm attempt to take readers as travelers to different nook and corners of BHAARAT like:-

– Six Sytems of Indian Philosophy. One of them is most famous  as ‘Yog’

– Wisdom of Vedic Scriptures and various Epics like MAHABHARAT

– Vedic Women who are not known to us who were truly empowered

– Interesting Customs/Traditions removing myths and misunderstanding surrounding them

– Unknown Communities, Cults, and Beliefs which brought Unity in Diversity

& last but not the least

– Sages, Saints, Acharyas, Reformers, and other great personalities who shaped our present

WHY do this?

Because Humankind’s progress depends on

– The QUALITY OF THE PEOPLE &

– The ENVIRONMENT.

– PEOPLE of this Nation over the years have got inspired by dedicated efforts of many great leaders who need to be recognized and their Life-Work and Ideas need to be passed on to generations.

– HISTORY always repeats itself so we need to find connecting dots of today’s challenges to get some clues from the past for solutions.

Lastly, the ENVIRONMENT or context in which it thrived for ages can help us to APPLY Vedic Philosophy and its Way of Life in Modern Times.

How we got name BHAARAT?

BHAA means ‘bright light/light of fire’ and RAT refers to ‘engrossed/engaged/devoted’.

This brightness or fire like light is the light of KNOWLEDGE or ULTIMATE TRUTH

This land has always been a land of SEEKERS.

Seekers of the truth. The truth behind our existence.

THE PEOPLE OF BHAARAT

Can we say that BHAARAT as a nation or a place was full of knowledgeable and firebrand people in its ancient times? Not sure?

It was for sure that the main pursuit of people of Bhaarat was to engage in a search of True Knowledge which would take them to highest Truth.

Those original residents of BHAARAT founded and developed their own indigenous Way of Life, Way of Thinking and Way of Worshipping to achieve this.

Mind it, it was NOT A RELIGION as that word was even not coined then.

In the hindsight, they created civilization, culture, kingdom and a nation.

But, their GOAL was always only ONE – Reach the ULTIMATE.

Their Brightness and Prosperity is reflected through different types of archeological and linguistic research done by researchers across the world.

One such testimony to this prosperity is given by Marco Polo, a Venetian visitor to India in 1290 CE. He described India in his writings as “the most prosperous of all, in the world he had seen.”

Mark Twain, an American Author’s famous remark in 1896 CE highlighted this point:-

“India is

the cradle of the human race,

the birthplace of human speech,

the mother of history,

the grandmother of legend, and

the great grand mother of tradition.

Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

The reason to bring this association is the declaration in our scriptures..  दुर्लभं भारते जन्म  which means ‘Every Bhaaratiya must believe that to get birth in this country is a rare and precious event’.

This is now just a thought. Thousand years back it was a strong belief of the Sages which they transmitted to people creating a sense of love for the motherland and for its natural and man-made resources.

Hope you are ready to be my co-traveller in this Journey to the known Unknown about our own greatness. If yes, watch out this space for more.

While what I will present may appear as one side of the coin, you can very well be the other side of that coin by sharing your views in the comment section.

[ My next Post will be about – Principles of  Ṛta and  Ṛna  in Vedic Philosophy. ]

What to Go After ? प्रेय (preya) or श्रेय (shreya) ?

The new age problem is of CHOICE….

To be or Not To be is no more a question.

To  SELECT THIS or SELECT THAT is the Dilemma.

quote-in-every-one-of-us-there-are-two-ruling-and-directing-principles-whose-guidance-we-follow-wherever-socrates-267858

We are overexposed to Abundance or Plenty.. and so we have many choices… CHOICES in

– Clothes to wear

– Gadgets to own

– Books to read

– Ways of getting refreshed, recharged

– Food to eat..from Junk to Organic

– Places to visit on vacation and so on.

Few people spend time in deciding what to choose  but we

the Urban,

the Young and the Middle-aged lot

who are

– busy rushing through everyday combats of winning rat race or

– being triumphant over Success Targets

get carried away in selecting the CHOICE giving us quick sense pleasure or relief from the stress situation.

It becomes inevitable that such choice should give us back quick results on our Investment of time .. money .. relationships .. and efforts.

What we blatantly ignore or keep at bay while making CHOICE is

What is ‘GOOD’ for us ..?

What will give us ‘lasting benefit’..?

‘What we SHOULD have selected ?’ and

the final result of such choice many a time makes us feel LOST or FOOLED in the long run.

Look at this picture. It talks about Pleasure vs. Fulfillment.

ajDLzBG_700b

Any creative or constructive act will have a period of struggle and pain but the final product will bring a sense of fulfillment.That is श्रेय.

In a case of any act giving us pleasure it may be the reverse case. That is why many a time after watching a movie or coming back from the party what we get is a headache or feeling of tiredness.

So the यक्ष प्रश्न or burning question is what can guide us to decide about making choice?

Here comes to our rescue .. .. one of the Gems of Vedic Texts known as Katha Upanishad (कठ उपनिषद)

Beautifully woven and strategically placed as the last part of Vedas..they are basically discussions in dialogue or story form.

For instance .. a dialogue between a seeker and a guru or master of the subject.

Katha Upanishad is a discussion between young boy Nachiketa and the king of Death… Yama..

In the initial part of the Text, Yama grants 3 boons to Nachiketa.

The third one backfires for Yama because Nachiketa asks Yama to teach him आत्म विद्या ( Atma Vidya ) i.e. What happens after Death?

That’s the real unknown Truth which could have made Nachiketa a conqueror of Death.

This is very much like a new joinee in a company asking an old-timer expert about all the tricks of the trade. 😀

It being suicidal for Yama, he tried to tempt or lure Nachiketa by giving him other alternatives with CHOICES  which were full of worldly Pleasures and Lust.

Nachiketa declined all these worldly pleasures.

Yama was pleased with such a young truth-seeker who had rejected the path of enjoyment and chose the path of goodness.

He gave Nachiketa the knowledge of the ‘Atman’, realizing which man attains immortality.

The point which Nachiketa effortlessly drives home is that

श्रेय i.e. lasting benefit, always to be given priority over

प्रेय i.e. pleasure or enjoyment

while making Decisions or Choices.

Talking about we the lesser mortals, the story is no different.

We also face decision making moments now and then.

Yes, it happens to most of us most of the time but we don’t put this situation in weighing scale balance.

We never look at our choices critically from the angle of Shreya vs. Preya.

Let’s look at some of such choice events.

– Eating junk food giving pleasure to the tongue (प्रेय) vs. food that which is healthy as well as tasty (श्रेय) or including fasting in the diet schedule to clean up the system.

(I have suffered on health front in the past and can vouch for that going for प्रेय has made my metabolism go for a toss)

– Students succumbing to sense pleasures like movies, parties during study age i.e. Vidyarthi avastha.. taking my own example..a pleasure avoided in crucial exam time has helped me deliver better results.

– A sleep of half an hour vs. a walk of half an hour still makes a difference every day.

– Doing Painful uninteresting tasks at workplace vs. gossip.

प्रेय  – living a life with full freedom in relationships and lot of spending on travel, food, garments will be like WOW..but as the age passes loneliness .. diseases .. boredom can creep in.

श्रेय – having balanced life focussing on satisfaction and fulfillment ..reasonable control over senses and building sustaining relations.

I have also paid the price for putting self first (learned it the hard way) as it is easy to do always.

This is the point which ties back this theme to my first post. WE in Centre with श्रेय as the focus is all we need.

Unless we keep श्रेय  as priority in Life ..प्रेय will drown us into the Ocean of samsara

Moving on to ‘HOW TO DO IT’ .. let me quote a verse from Katha Upanishad itself spoke by Yama on this very topic.

Different is the Good (श्रेय) and different is the Dear(प्रेय).They both, having different aims, fetter (a chain at ankle of the feet to make you prisoner).

He, who chooses for himself the good, comes to wellbeing, he, who chooses the dear, loses the goal.

The good and the dear approach the man, The wise man, pondering over both, distinguishes them;
The wise one chooses the good over the dear,
The fool, acquisitive and craving, chooses the dear.

Both श्रेय and प्रेय  are like Prison Chain holding us back. However one helps us to elevate whereas other has potential to ruin us.

It boils down to SELECTING

– Knowledge/Wisdom as the pursuit of GOOD or श्रेय, VS

– Ignorance/Delusion as the pursuit of Enjoyment or प्रेय.

We fall victim to Enjoyment due to our Love for Ignorance and in hindsight, we blame Lack of Time for it.

Can’t we just give an Hour or so of the week to this process of acquiring worthy Knowledge which will allow us to think about श्रेय over प्रेय in any choice or deciding event?

Mind will always justify why प्रेय should be selected (what difference it will make by half an hour walk ? or nothing will happen if we skip it one day )

Let’s use Intellect as a weapon to kill Mind ki Masti (naughtiness)

Ask self….what श्रेय  my intended action can bring? and there you go.

Nothing can stop you on the path to wellbeing.

Finally, Love for own true self and others will push us to go for श्रेय.

Look at any mother of a newborn.

She happily and easily sacrifices all her pleasures and adapts a life routine full of श्रेय .. for her as well as her child.

Ask any head of the family and he will always be working for श्रेय of other members.

Our freedom fighters and our soldiers did it frequently for us in the past.

In short,  श्रेय is not success ..it is all about wellbeing..excellence..long lasting benefit..vs प्रेय which is not happiness ..but is misery wearing the mask of pleasure.

Readers, I will also urge you for my श्रेय to share any such incident where you did or did not succumb to प्रेय.

Use the comment section below or FB comment or Whatsapp me. More we share, more it will bring out the practical aspect of it.

अस्तु । Om Shanti

Is it ME or WE ?

Today’s times are tough times..

Specifically talking about growing cities and also established mega and metro cities.

Slowly and gradually we have moved to living life which has ‘I’ at the Centre.

Yes  ..

Without realising it WE have become self (I) centred…

Just keeping SELF as Focal Point in ………. our individual likes …………….. life style.. fashion… literature .. gadgets ……… feminism ……… rituals… even parenting and social work .. everywhere ME is ruling.

So everyone is shouting………

I can not be questioned..(kids)

I can not be restricted….(feminists)

I need not to be regulated (liberal)

I should not be judged (public figures)

I may not be intellectual and will frighten you (godman)

I will loot you (businessman)

I will confuse you (intellectual)

I will break up with you 😢

In all this I Me Myself we seldom think that in India..in long forgotten past..our ancestors had done पुरुषार्थ to create a Family System…a Marriage System..a Gurukul System..all keeping group as Unit of Universe and not 1 Person.

If you look at their original intention ..you will be astonished to find that in a very subtle manner they created a way of life  which had the capability to inculate values within humam beings…

To have a Family

To live in Community

To Rise as a Nation

To put WE ahead ME.. .. by creating Institutions where Duties or धर्म  was more focussed then Rights

Psychologically, it fullfiled many nascent needs of human being .Love Care Support Encouragement Fun  etc. and gave Emotions a positive direction..

Materialistically, it started Agriculture and Trade which helped us progress..

The result was a CULTURE.. or संस्कृती which culminated into astounding achievements . For example Vedic Culture, Greek Culture, Egyptian Culture, Roman Culture.

I was fortunate to join one such contemporary devotional family of millions …स्वाध्याय परिवार which is based on similar principles and has recreated  a succesaful alternative society having such system ( but thats a different topic and not to be shared but needs to be personally experienced)

Being part of it, I learned about our Cultural and Philosophical beauty ..beauty in Thoughts, Actions and Speech..

If you go and live in small cities or village for reasonable period you can feel what our sages have built…….

– Family Values to take care of other in good and bad times

– Marriage and other संस्कार …  16 to be precise …. to elevate mankind from mere material living..

– Keeping Spirituality and God at the centre ..daily routines were divided as धर्म अर्थ काम  and मोक्ष

– Keeping balanced Life in mind Ashram System came into functioning.. i.e. Student, Married, Forest dweller and Sanyasi..

All of this was done to keep at centre WE the Humankind living as वसुदैव कुटुम्बकम ।

With advant of Science and Technology are not we again rolling back to what I said initially.. only I ..I… and I as everything …

How that happened & How Much  of what I said is true.. I leave it upto you to think and ponder…(so much I again..)

Do respond here…

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