Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shtamanam Bhavathi

Veda Mahavakya

Essense of Education

Uthishta Jagrutha

Sa Eershita Katharena

Avinaya - Shatpadee Stotram

Sa Evayam Maya

Neti Neti

Pranahuti - Hymn of Breath

Paritranaya Sadhunam - A Prayer of Surrender

Five Holy Syllables - Prayer on Shiva

Om Shakthi - Prayer On the Mother

PRachana Mantram - Sandhyavandanam

Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya

Saints of India - 3

Saints of India - 2

Saints of India - 1

Koham Iti?

Janani Janma Bhumi

Shruthi Smriti Purananam

Pujyaya Raghavendraya

Shanno Mitram Shan Varunaha

Saturday, August 11, 2007

FIVE HOLIEST SYLLABLES - RUDRA PANCHAKSHARI

You are mighty oceans, you are infinite skies,
You are the holy fire,
That dwells in the midst of cosmic vigor,
You are Rudra the origin of three worlds.
I pray to you, Oh! Fierce and Intense,
With the five holy syllables called
NA-MA-SHI-VA-YA

You are endless spirit, you are eternal bliss,
You are the consciousness,
That forms the power in earthly beings,
You are Rudra the seed of human soul.
I pray to you, Oh! Tranquil and Serene,
With the five holy syllables called
NA-MA-SHI-VA-YA

You are Vaikuntha; You are Satya Loka,
You are Kailash the haven,
That is the abode for Sage of all Sages,
You are Rudra the sanctity of heavenly domiciles.
I pray to you, Oh! Sacred and Pious,
With the five holy syllables called
NA-MA-SHI-VA-YA

You are Sruti, You are Smriti,
You are the absolute,
That stands personified in resonance of Omkara,
You are Rudra the life behind cosmic subsistence.
I pray to you, Oh! Prodigious and Almighty,
With the five holy syllables called
NA-MA-SHI-VA-YA

You are divine music, You are the rhythm,
You are the Cosmic Dance,
That you perform to create and recreate life
You are Rudra, bigger than universe, smaller than atom.
I pray to you, Oh! Master and Saviour,
With the five holy syllables called
NA-MA-SHI-VA-YA

OM NAMA SHIVAYA

RAMAYANA - SRI RAMA RAMA RAMETHI

Rama, Rama and Rama alone,
Thee is the soothing of all names
Needless to chant, else and none,
Chanting a ton other, is as the same.


Born were you, the holy ray,
On the earth, in the seventh play.
To the King of Saketh and queens royal
With the serpent, conch and disc loyal.
Blessed by fourth and foremost of seven,
Taught by fiery maker of heaven.
Gone to the dense and dangerous woods,
Killed the demons those under hoods.
At the age when boys just play,
You killed an ogre to hold her sway.

Went to Videha with brother along,
On order, to teacher that belong.
To meet the divine consort of yours,
And relieve a stone off a curse.
When kings tried and failed to move,
Bow you stringed and broke the groove.
A divine unison was in place,
As you wedded the dame in grace.
To see the divine as man and wife,
Gods in crores may wait for life.

At the time for you be a prince,
Hunchback schemed and made the king wince.
Queen wanted your brother crowned,
And for your exile, as father frowned.
Granting her wish, off to boscage,
With wife and brother to live as a sage.
You met the rower on river shores,
Made him a brother of your cores.
Traveled to south and lived in a hut,
Where the demon, wife did abduct.

Wandered in exile, sadness and grief,
Reached a mountain to meet the chief.
You killed his brother to rescue his life,
He promised to help you in your strife.
He set his army to go on search,
Round the globe wander and fetch.
They meet a hawk about to die,
That saw the demon and fought onto nigh.
She is carried to Lanka, who would go there?
Across the sea and snakes to spare.

He, born of wind and made of light,
Servant of lord who made a flight.
Saw the mother let to languish,
Gave the news to end the anguish.
Destroyed the garden made of pearl,
To meet the demon and made him whirl.
Demon was warned and asked to surrender,
Ordered to burn from his tail to render.
He, born of wind and made of light,
Burnt the city and left in its plight.

War begun and soldiers fought,
Scores died as Lanka caught.
Brother the mountain, killed in a moment,
Sorcerer the son was no element.
Ten headed demon and golden armor
Was slain by you, the lord savior.
Returned to home that waited with throne,
Ruled the world with a golden trone.
This is the story when god was born,
Born as man and lived as god.

Rama, Rama and Rama alone,
For thee is the soothing of all names
Needless to chant, else and none,
Chanting a ton other, is as the same.

108 Holy Names - SRI PURUSHA STHUTHI

Greatest of all, Oh! Master of Universe,
Obeisance to you, the origin of elements.
May this time be auspicious and may gods shower flowers,
May you bless me, as I pronounce your hundred and eight holy names.


Sages call you Paramatma,
For your feet are their destinies;
Gods call you Mahabali,
For your valour is their saviour;
Earthly beings know you as Annadatha,
For you are their mother that feeds;
I see you as Parambrahma,
For I shan’t see anything beyond, nothing beyond.
The very thought of Sripurushah,
Empowers one with thousand penances;
Oh! Yogeshwara, very mention of you,
Detaches one from earthly desires.
You are known as Purushothama,
You are the noblest of all beings;
Oh! Mighty protector, Janadhyaksha;
Your graces are source to all souls,
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You are the reason of cosmic bliss,
Thus are you Aananda;
Worthy of all lauds and praises,
You also are known as Archita;
You are holder of mighty mountains,
Thus are you Mahapaarvatah;
You are the endless oceans,
Thus are you known as Mahasaagarah;
You protect as a shell does to pearl,
Oh! Jagadprabhu, you are master of universe;
You conceive Holy Scriptures from your body,
Hey Gurothama! You are the greatest preceptor;
The truth of creation springs from your navel,
Oh! Padmanabha, to you belong all laud and praise;
Your soul is in itself the mother goddess,
Ye, Sreedhara, may you grant wealth and prosperity.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

As the swan separates water from milk,
Oh! Suparnah, you distinguish Maya from Brahman;
As an elephant gently carries the kings,
Oh! Chatushpada, you carriy truth of Brahman;
As a serpent carefully guards the stone,
Oh! Vyaladeesha, you protect the cause of Brahman;
As the Cow that prospers its surroundings,
Oh! Govinda, you grant prosperity as Brahman;
As the fire drives the darkness away,
Oh! Mahavahnih, you drive evil from Brahman;
As the rain drenches baron lands with water,
Oh! Surovarshah, you drench gods with knowledge of Brahman;
As the sun shines to pronounce goodness,
Oh! Ujjwaladithyah, you illuminate the world with Brahman;
As the moon nourishes vegetation with its rays of nectar,
Oh! Chandrabanu, you nourish the universe with Brahman.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

Who understands thou? Who witness your physical form?
Your grace falls on whom, are blessed by Ye Mahamayin;
Your form has been known only to a few,
Blessed were all they witness ye Trivikrama;
They who witness your divine form,
Eternally shall serve your domicile, Vaikuntha;
No sin shall follow them nor shall any bondage,
Shall they not have another birth, all lauds to ye Bhagavathe,
I see thou, in the form that blinds many,
Glowing as a thousand suns, Oh! Tejomayee, I shan’t see else;
Your form is great, Oh! Greatest of all,
You are Mahavishnu, whose refuge I seek;
Between heaven and earth You stands,
Ye Vishwaroopey, on your form the universe You bars;
You creats, You protects, and You destroys,
You dos you in the form of Nirgunabrahman.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You carry the mighty thunder,
Are you the great Nandakadhaara?
You bend skies to hold in your arms,
Oh! Sarangi, where are your arrows?
Sun with all its power glows in your fingers,
People see your discuss, ye Saudharshana;
Your breathe that sounds the subtlest Omkara,
Panchajanyadhaari, your conch recites the Vedas.
From your radiant face, Oh Vedavit,
Dawn the sacred most of sacred Vedas.
Astute Smritis, the most righteous Dharma Shasta,
Were born off your shoulders.
From your holy hips, Oh! Vrushodhara,
Originated the perpetual Puranas.
Agama blooms from your Lotus feet, ye Kamalapada,
And you are the way to salvation.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

Sri Avathaari, the king of all kings,
You incarnate to uphold Dharma;
You are the chosen priest, Mahadvaryu,
Ye marvelously do divine karma;
As I chant the name of Ye Aarthavirya,
You endow the universe with weal;
Oh! Mahasambhu, the blesser of your children,
May lauds and praises be sung to you.
Ye are Narayana as you reflect being of lives,
You are the fittest for all hymns of praise;
You create life under mighty waters,
Ye are known Mastyorkurmavaraaha;
When holy lands wants inhabitants;
Ye were born as Simhorvaamanarama;
To teach men your dharma,
Ye live here as Ramachanrdrorkrishnagautama.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You are known as Mahendra,
The king of all gods who wields the mighty thunder;
You are known as Agnivesha,
Whose fiery light chase the sin away;
You are known as Mahamarutah,
Whose power and vigor drives the earth;
You are known as Vishwavarunah,
Who pours generosity onto your subjects.
You are known as Vishwamitrah,
For your shine lights the earth to life;
You are known as Jitamanmatha,
For your penance conquered the lust;
You are the twins Asvinah,
For you grace me with heavenly elixir;
You are known as Deva Savitar,
Who travels the dark and protects lives.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES
.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

Vasishta, the wisest of all pious beings,
Represents consciousness of Ye, Siddhartha!
Gautama, lives as life-giving air,
Represents most beautiful nostrils of Ye, Samiradhipa,
Kutsa, whose words never are untrue,
Speaks your holiest words, Oh! Srivaagmi;
Atri and Bhrigu, the most luminous of sages,
Represent your divine eyes, Oh Suryaakshe!
Kashyapa & Angirasa teach srutis by hearsay,
Represent your holy ears, Oh Karnamula;
Kaushika, the initiator of Gayathri,
Is inspired by omnipresence of Ye Kriyamula;
Durvasa, the conqueror of emotions,
Does at the grace of you, Shakthimula;
You are the unknown substance of human body,
‘That is thou’, Oh!, sacred most Sarvamulaha.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You are worthiest of praises, Oh! Venkataprabhu,
Ye are worshipped by the seven-starred constellation;
Venkatesha is the presence of prosperity,
As Dhruva identifies position of Galaxy;
Search of the cosmic sway ends with you, Hey Sanathana
As you are eternal and You are the ultimate;
You set the rhythm of universe, Jagannayaka,
And wield the mighty whip to ride the time;
As Dharmasarathi, You ride the skies as riding a chariot,
You take us to the destiny that you desire;
You are the Vedadyaksha, oh luminous one,
Are You the creator of most divine knowledge?;
You perform the divine duties, Oh Karmayogin,
As a dutiful sage performs penance;
You are the most pious Jagadguru,
The inner substance of divine duty and righteousness.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You are the beautiful dawn,
You are Ushaspriyaha;
You run the day with your unending energy,
Oh! Ahaaskarta, You are the master of days;
You bring in dusk for the beings to rest,
You are Sandhyarupah, architect of dim lights;
Darkness is created by you,
Oh! Srisarvaree, to bring in light the next day;
Days and nights are commanded by you,
Thus are you called Dinochaaraka;
Moon-turns occur at your indication,
Hey! Masyakrit, you are the master of seasons;
Sixty are in number and are called by your names,
Oh! Samvatsaree, years bow to you;
You are the undending time that stands forever
And the time is You Yuganantha,
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

We seek you with prayers Oh! Bhaktavatsala,
For you are our sole saviour;
You are called Prajapathi
For beings across the universe are your subjects;
You protect your subjects Oh Prajarakshitaha,
As does a serpent to a treasure;
You are the greatest, Ye Paramapurusha,
As you are the first among humans on earth;
The foremost among rulers of universe, Ye Mahanrupaha,
Your wisdom is unmatched;
You bring the shine of Sun, Oh Suryavamshi,
Your dynasty is the seed of mankind;
You bring the clarity of Moon, Oh Chandravamshi,
Your progeny founded your kingdom on earth;
You are Mahaswayambhu,
And you create your ownself.
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You shine with your energy of knowledge,
Thus are you Vidyutaha;
You stand eternal and unmoved as dharma,
Thus are you Achyuta;
You are the purest of all creatures,
Thus are you Sadbhoota;
You are the most virtuous, as are rivers Ganga and Cauvery,
Thus are you Punyatheertha;
Holiest of all your names are four,
Foremost of them is Vaasudevah;
You are the well-keeper of beings,
Thus second of your manifestation is Samkarshanah;
You provide riches of the world,
Thus third of your manifestation is Pradyumnah;
You are unbeatable and ever victorious,
And fourth of your vyooha is Aniruddhah;
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

Your presence is the presence of wealth,
So are you known as Srinivasa;
Lauds sung to you by gods and humans,
Ye! Srisesha, you bare the world on your hood;
Your abode is my destiny,
Ye! Sriniketana, bless me with a place at your lotus feet;
Your form that is the most pleasing,
Shall be the only sight I see, Oh! Srirupa;
Shall you stand by me always,
And gracs me with victories, Oh! Srijaya;
You are my preceptor,
Ye! Sriguru, shall you shower me with your wisdom;
Shall you comfort me with your presence by my side,
You are Srimithram, a friend and a guide;
You are the purest, You are the purest,
You are Sriramam Sriramam Sriramachandramurthim;
MAY YOU BLESS ME, OH! GREATEST OF ALL,
AS I PRONOUNCE THE HOLIEST OF ALL NAMES.

SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]

You are the choicest of all gods, thus are You Sarveshreta,
You are the worthiest of all praises, thus are You Sarvaprabhum,
You comprise the universe in your form, may you bless me, Hey Samasthavishwaroope;
May I attain salvation by the mere utterance of the word Krishna Krishna Krishna

Greatest of all, Oh! Master of Universe,
Obeisance to thee, the origin of elements.
May this time be auspicious and may gods shower flowers,
May You bless me, as I pronounce your hundred and eight holy names.
SO BE IT! [Dhadhasthu]
____________________________________________
PURUSHA STHUTHI in Sanskrit Sloka Format
paramAtmA mahAbalI annadATa parambrahmA
sripuruSam yOgeSwarO puruSOTamam janADyakSaha
AanandA ArCitaha mahApArvata mahasAgarA
jagadpraBum gurOTamam padmanaBam sreeDaraha16

suparnaO CatuSpAdaha vyAladIshO gOvindaha
mahAvahnih surOvarshAm ujjwalAdiTyam CandrabAnu
mahAmAyin Trivikramaha vaikunthO BAgavaTaha
tejOmayI mahAviSnuhu viSwarUpam nirgunaparambrahmAn. 32

nandakaDAra sArangi sauDarshanO pAnCajAnyA
vEdavit DarmaSAstrum vrushODarAm kamalapAdAn
avaTAri mahAdvAryuhu ArTavIryo mahAsamBU
nArAyanO matsyOrkUrmavarAha simhOrvAmanarAma SriramOrkriSnagautamAn. 48

mahEnDrO agnivESaha mahAmaruTam viSwavArunAh
vishwAmiTrO jiTamanmaTaha AsvinAn DevasaviTruhu
siDArTO samirADipaha srIvAgmi sUryAkshuhu
karnamUlaha kriyAmUlam SakthimUlam sarvamUlAha64

vEnkatapraBum vEnkatESam sanAthanO jagannAyakaha
DarmasarathIm vEDADyAksham karmayOgin jagadguruhu
ushaspriyaha ahAskartA sanDyArUpA srIsarvarI
DinOcArakaha mAsyakrit samvatsarI yugAnanTaha80

BakTavatsalam prajApaTihi prajArakshitaha paramapurushA
mahAnrupaha sUryavamSI CandravamSI mahAswayamBuhu
viDyuTAha achyuTaha saDbhUto punyaTIrTa
vAsudEvO samkarSanah pradyumnO aniruDaha92

srInivAsam srIsESaha srInikETanam srIrupaha
srIjayO srIguruhu srImiTram srIrAmam
(srIrAmam jayarAmam jaya jaya rAmam)
sarvaSreStam sarvapraBUm samasTaviSwarUpe srIkrishna
(srIkriSna SriKrishna kriSna kriSna kriSna) 108}

Friday, May 4, 2007

Age of the so called "Religion"


History of the so called “Religion”

786 CE was the advent of Islam with the raise of Prophet Mohammed, 4 CE was the advent of Christianity with the raise of the Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Is there a similar dateline to mark the birth of Sanatana Dharma? As inquisitive as it is, the child in me wants to know the origin of Sanatana Dharma.

There is a famous analogy of life in a philosophical treatise written by Sage Yagnavalkya. The analogy is of a fig tree and he tries to explain the existence of god and soul through that. On being requested to explain which the inner substance of universe is, he asks his disciple to bring a fig and divide its seed, the inner seed and further. At one point, the disciple finds nothing inside to divide further. That none-ness, Yajnavalkya says is the essence of universe and its origin. It is the same analogy that occurs to me when I think about the origin of Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma originated from the very living of humans. It originated from the necessity of a disciplined, cultured society. Philosophical doctrines and spiritual texts are only later discussions, interpretations and explanations of this cultured, civilized style of living.

If at all I wanted to date the origin of this so called “religion”, how do I do it?

  • Do I take the earliest recorded scriptures as the date of origin?
  • Do I take the earliest available (religious) archeological evidence as the date of origin?

The solution I think is the confluence of answers to all these questions.

Let us try analyzing all the three aspects and find out what could be the earliest date of Dharmic practices.

Dating of the scriptures

The most popular dating method of writing the chronology of Dharmic scriptures is to start it from Rig Veda. This is universally accepted by scholars. It is said that Rig Veda was composed in stages between 6000 BC and 300 CE (approximately). In this little attempt to find the origin, I am not going to weigh archeological evidences for its credentials nor propound newer evidences. I assume the work of popular and ‘generally accepted’ work to be good enough as evidence. Rather, I would try to bring in certain logical questions in the basis of what is considered to be “Dharmic” in nature, and what when did it all begin?

With this as the backdrop, I have the following questions to be answered before qualifying Rig Vedic period as the origin of Sanatana Dharma:

  1. Are Dharmic religious works strictly in Sanskrit or Grantham alone?
  2. Do we consider the treatises and scriptures that supposedly predate Rig Veda as Dharmic (E.g. the First and Second Sangam Literature)
  3. Do we consider scriptures from Far East that were very much part of Indian civilization as dharmic literature?

Let us examine them on an individual basis.

Are Dharmic religious works strictly in Sanskrit or Grantham? No. I do not believe that any particular religion should be attributed to one particular language. Sanskrit undoubtedly is a very holy language and countless compositions including the holiest Vedas have been made in the language for worship and rituals. That does not disqualify other languages of the same status. For, I have never come through such linguistic prescriptions in any of the dharmic texts. As I already mentioned, Sanatana Dharma is open to any form and mode of worship and that also include the diversity of languages.

The Sindu/Saraswati Valley religion (though no treatises/religious scriptures have been found yet and you really do not know whether there were any) was very much Dharmic in nature. Idols of deities, evidences of nature worship, status of priests’ et al strongly suggest the same. Now, how do I support my claims as to Sindu/Saraswati Valley civilizations were Dharmic? There is an obvious continuity and blend of culture that necessarily is religious between the Sindu/Saraswati valley civilization and the later advent of Vedic civilization. Let us examine a few examples to test this theory.

First, Early Vedic worshippers were nature worshippers and were not necessarily idolaters (though early Vedic worship involved a lot of symbolism and iconography). Temple worship or idol worship as non-Dharmics term it, is one of the strongest pillars of Dharmic faith today, I believe, is the influence of pre-Vedic Dharmic religion that existed during Sindu/Sawarswati civilization. This also demonstrates another important feature of Sanatana Dharma. That is, the religion was founded by sheer evolution, as the mankind evolved. When it evolved, people to do not stop what had been done till the previous day, for the religion takes what is necessary and appropriate for that time and leaves the rest. Such is the tolerance levels and dynamism of Sanatana Dharma.

Second, Early Vedic worshippers were more associated with rituals around the fire and their predecessors were more associated with rituals in river banks or around water. Along the evolution of Vedic rituals, both water and fire based worships are simultaneously carried out in Dharmic religion and especially, even in strict Vedic rituals, water is used as an essential purifier. As what Vedic rituals stand today, it is very evident that it was seem-less blend of pre-Vedic worship and Vedic worship what we know today as Dharmic religion.

Brahmi script and the respective language that have been found in the cave writings, pottery and seals cannot be excluded of being non-dharmic. So, if a religious lifestyle existed and if this was supported by a religious treatise that would have been undoubtedly Dharmic. Since Sindu/Saraswati Valley period had quite an active and rich religious life and the postulates of worship were well within the broad perspectives of Sanatana Dharma I assume that Dharmic religion and scriptures certainly pre-date Rig Vedic period.

With the answer to first question, we conclude that pre-Sanskrit/Grantham literature are also dharmic and can certainly contribute to the origin and early practice of Sanatana Dharma.

Do we consider the treatises and scriptures that supposedly predate Rig Veda as Dharmic?

What texts and treatises are available those supposedly predate or contemporaries of Rig Veda? Without extensively researching religious chronologies and analyzing with the available material, not many “religious” texts have existed before Rig Veda. I would dare to include the First and Second Sangam Literature which were composed either earlier or about the same time as Rig Veda as composite Dharmic Literature. However, since the dating of the First and Second Sangams are not corroborated with solid archeological evidences (unlike the third sangam literature), I would place it between the Sindu/Saraswati Valley Civilization and Rig Vedic Period. Again, this is only an assumption due to lack of material. Since the third sangam literature easily proves itself to be a contemporary to Rig Vedic period, I can assume the First and Second to have preceeded the Vedic age but since I lack evidences for dating Kumari Kandam and since the scripts used in the First and Second Tamil Sangams are the same as not fully developed Brahmi Script of Sindu/Saraswati Valley period, I place it after the latter.

If I am to assume Sindu/Saraswati valley civilization and sangam literature to argue for antiquity of Sanatana Dharma isn’t it wrong for me to ignore Greek, Egyptian, Chinese and Sumerian Civilizations and Atlantis of Greek Mythology as equal to Kumari Kandam of Sangam Literature. Yes it is. So, I let my hypothesis pass through this new test.

Arecheological (Religious) Evidences

As far as the earliest religious archeological evidences are concerned, there have been many from around the world excavated from different world civilizations, say, the Egyptian, Sindu/Saraswati Civilisation, Sumerian/Mesopotamian Civilisation and the Greek Civilisation. All of them have been rich in their religious culture and ample evidences have been found to prove their religious life, which I prefer not to discuss, as it would be reinventing the wheel.

However, there is a difference between other ancient civilizations and Sindu/Saraswati valley civilization when it comes to religious life. Yes, the fact is to be accepted that the other civilizations had religious systems as rich as Sindu/Saraswati valley, but the difference comes later. The question is what happened to those religions after the civilizations met their dates of destiny? Sindu/Saraswati valley also met its end, but not its religion and ways of worship. Their religion wonderfully blended with their descendants and developed into the richest ever religious heritage of the world.

In fact, first evidences of Idol Worship and Nature worship are found in Sindu/Saraswati Valley civilizations which were the basis and foundations for further development of Sanatana Dharma. So, there is a clear continuity of religion from Sindu valley civizations to the following Sangam and Vedic Periods. The approaches towards worships have been the same since then. There has been a close continuity and natural blending with futuristic developments. Especially if we take the available hypothesis stories of “mother goddess” worship, the status of priests (conceived from the seals and other archeological artifacts available from Sindu/Saraswati Valley).

It becomes clear that Sanatana Dharma is the oldest existing religious faith. Also to be noted that Dharmic practices are the only ones that have never experienced break. Dharmic practices have only evolved with time and not dissolved. For instance, nature worship and idolatory practices slowly evolved with the supported of spiritual treatises and scientific research.

In support of the logic I have placed here, I have given below a historical chronology of Sanatana Dharma given by "Hinduism Today" - Himalayan Academy (Copyright to Himalayan Academy). The chronology given here seems very convincing in terms of its relativity to world history, archeological findings and Dharmic religious scriptures. I would say this chronology given is more agreeable on dating the religion that other timeline. I have also taken the liberty to cut off those instances which I felt were irrelevant to the given hypothesis and have given the first part of the timeline from 10,000 c.a till 10 c.e to be more focussed to the given topic.

  1. -10,000: Taittiriya Brahmana 3.1.2 refers to Purvabhadrapada nakshatra's rising due east, a phenomenon occurring at this date (Dr. B.G. Siddharth of Birla Science Institute), indicating the earliest known dating of the sacred Veda.
  2. -10,000: Vedic culture, the essence of humanity's eternal wisdom, Sanatana Dharma, lives in the Himalayas at end of Ice Age.
  3. -8500: Taittiriya Samhita 6.5.3 places Pleiades asterism at winter solstice, suggesting the antiquity of this Veda.
  4. -7000: Proto-Vedic period ends. Early Vedic period begins.
  5. -7000: Time of Manu Vaivasvata, "father of mankind," of Sarasvati-Drishadvati area (also said to be a South Indian Maharaja who sailed to the Himalayas during a great flood).
  6. -7000: Early evidence of horses in the Ganga region (Frawley).
  7. -6776: Start of Hindu lists of kings according to ancient Greek references that give Hindus 150 kings and a history of 6,400 years before 300bce; agrees with next entry.
  8. -6500: Rig Veda verses (e.g., 1.117.22, 1.116.12, 1.84.13.5) say winter solstice begins in Aries (according to Dr. D. Frawley), indicating the antiquity of this section of the Vedas.
  9. -6000: Early sites on the Sarasvati River, then India's largest, flowing west of Delhi into the Rann of Kutch; Rajasthan is a fertile region with much grassland, as described in the Rig Veda. The culture, based upon barley (yava), copper (ayas) and cattle, also reflects that of the Rig Veda.
  10. -5500: Mehrgarh villagers are making baked pottery and thousands of small, clay of female figurines (interpreted to be earliest signs of Shakti worship), and are involved in long-distance trade in precious stones and sea shells.
  11. -5500: Date of astrological observations associated with ancient events later mentioned in the Puranas (Alain Danielou).
  12. -5000: Beginnings of Indus-Sarasvati civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. Date derived by considering archeological sites, reached after excavating 45 feet. Brick fire altars exist in many houses, suggesting Vedic fire rites, yajna. Earliest signs of worship of Lord Siva. This mature culture will last 3,000 years, ending around -1700.
  13. -5000: Rice is harvested in China, with grains found in baked bricks. But its cultivation originated in Eastern India.
  14. -4300: Traditional dating for Lord Rama's time.
  15. -3928: July 25th, the earliest eclipse mentioned in the Rig Veda (according to Indian researcher Dr. Shri P.C. Sengupta).
  16. -3200: Hindu astronomers called nakshatra darshas record in Vedic texts their observations of full moon and new moon at the winter and summer solstices and spring and fall equinoxes with reference to 27 fixed stars (nakshatras) spaced nearly equally on the moon's ecliptic or apparent path across the sky. The precession of the equinoxes (caused by the wobbling of the Earth's axis of rotation) causes the nakshatras to appear to drift at a constant rate along a predictable course over a 25,000-year cycle. From these observations historians are able to calculate backwards and determine the date when the indicated position of moon, sun and nakshatra occurred.
  17. -3102: Kali Era Hindu calendar starts. Kali Yuga begins.
  18. -3100: Reference to vernal equinox in Rohini (middle of Taurus) from some Brahmanas, as noted by B.G. Tilak, Indian scholar and patriot. Traditional date of the Mahabharata war and lifetime of Lord Krishna.
  19. -3100: Early Vedic period ends, late Vedic period begins.
  20. -3000: Saiva Agamas are recorded in the time of the earliest Tamil Sangam. (A traditional date.)
  21. -2700: Seals of Indus-Sarasvati Valley indicate Siva worship, in depictions of Siva as Pashupati, Lord of Animals.
  22. -2600: Indus-Sarasvati civilization reaches a height it sustains until 1700 bce. Spreading from Pakistan to Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, it is the largest of the world's three oldest civilizations with links to Mesopotamia (possibly Crete), Afghanisthan, Central Asia and Karnataka. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have populations of 100,000.
  23. -2600: Major portions of the Veda hymns are composed during the reign of Vishvamitra I (Dating by Dr. S.B. Roy).
  24. -2600: Drying up of Drishadvati River of Vedic fame, along with possible shifting of the Yamuna to flow into the Ganga.
  25. -2600: First Egyptian pyramid is under construction.
  26. -2500: Reference to vernal equinox in Krittika (Pleiades or early Taurus) from Yajur and Atharva Veda hymns and Brahmanas. This corresponds to Harappan seals that show seven women (the Krittikas) tending a fire.
  27. -1915: All Madurai Tamil Sangam is held at Thiruparankundram (according to traditional Tamil chronology).
  28. -1900: Late Vedic period ends, post Vedic period begins.
  29. -1900: Drying up of Sarasvati River, end of Indus-Sarasvati culture, end of the Vedic age. After this, the center of civilization in ancient India relocates from the Sarasvati to the Ganga, along with possible migration of Vedic peoples out of India to the Near East (perhaps giving rise to the Mittani and Kassites, who worship Vedic Gods). The redirection of the Sutlej into the Indus causes the Indus area to flood. Climate changes make the Sarasvati region too dry for habitation. (Thought lost, its river bed is finally photographed from satellite in the 1990s.)
  30. -1450: End of Rig Veda Samhita narration.
  31. -1450: Early Upanishads are composed during the next few hundred years, also Vedangas and Sutra literature.
  32. -1350: At Boghaz Koi in Turkey, stone inscription of the Mitanni treaty lists as divine witnesses the Vedic Deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra and the Nasatyas (Ashvins).
  33. -1300: Panini composes Ashtadhyayi, systematizing Sanskrit grammar in 4,000 terse rules. (Date according to Roy.)
  34. -1300: Changes are made in the Mahabharata and Ramayana through 200 bce. Puranas are edited up until 400 ce. Early smriti literature is composed over next 400 years.
  35. -1255: King Shuchi of Magadha writes Jyotisha Vedanga, including astronomical observations which date this scripture-that summer solstice occurs in Ashlesha Nakshatra.
  36. -950: Gradual breakdown of Sanskrit as a spoken language occurs over the next 200 years.
  37. ca -900: Earliest records of the holy city of Varanasi (one of the world's oldest living cities) on the sacred river Ganga.
  38. -850: The Chinese are using the 28-nakshatra zodiac called Shiu, adapted from the Hindu jyotisha system.
  39. ca -800: Later Upanishads are recorded.
  40. -800: Later smriti, secondary Hindu scripture, is composed, elaborated and developed during next 1,000 years.
  41. -750: Prakrits, vernacular or "natural" languages, develop among India's common peoples. Already flourishing in 500 bce , Pali and other Prakrits are chiefly known from Buddhist and Jain works composed at this time.
  42. -750: Priestly Sanskrit is gradually refined over next 500 years, taking on its classical form.
  43. -700: Life of Zoroaster of Persia, founder of Zoroastrianism. His holy book, Zend Avesta, contains many verses from the Rig and Atharva Veda. His strong distinctions between good and evil set the dualistic tone of God and devil which distinguishes all later Western religions.
  44. -700: Early Smartism emerges from the syncretic Vedic brahminical (priestly caste) tradition. It flourishes today as a liberal sect alongside Saiva, Vaishnava and Shakta sects.
  45. -623-543: Life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, born in Uttar Pradesh in a princely Shakya Saivite family. (Date by Sri Lankan Buddhists. Indian scholars say -563-483. Mahayanists of China and Japan prefer -566-486 or later.)
    ca -600: Life of Sushruta, of Varanasi, the father of surgery. His ayurvedic treatises cover pulse diagnosis, hernia, cataract, cosmetic surgery, medical ethics, 121 surgical implements, antiseptics, use of drugs to control bleeding, toxicology, psychiatry, classification of burns, midwifery, surgical anesthesia and therapeutics of garlic.
  46. ca -600: The Ajivika sect, an ascetic, atheistic group of naked sadhus reputated for fierce curses, is at its height, continuing in Mysore until the 14th century. Adversaries of both Buddha and Mahavira, their philosophy is deterministic, holding that everything is inevitable.
  47. -599-527: Lifetime of Mahavira Vardhamana, 24th Tirthankara and revered renaissance Jain master. His teachings stress strict codes of vegetarianism, asceticism and nonviolence. (Some date his life 40 years later. )
  48. -560: In Greece, Pythagoras teaches math, music, vegetarianism and yoga-drawing from India's wisdom ways.
  49. ca -500: Lifetime of Kapila, founder of Sankhya Darshana, one of six classical systems of Hindu philosophy.
  50. ca -500: Over the next 300 years (according to the later dating of Muller) numerous secondary Hindu scriptures (smriti) are composed: Shrauta Sutras, Grihya Sutras, Dharma Sutras, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas, etc.
  51. ca -500: Tamil Sangam age (500 bce-500 ce) begins. Sage Agastya writes Agattiyam, first known Tamil grammar. Tolkappiyar writes Tolkappiyam Purananuru, also on grammar, stating that he is recording thoughts on poetry, rhetoric, etc., of earlier grammarians, pointing to high development of Tamil language prior to his day. He gives rules for absorbing Sanskrit words into Tamil. Other famous works from the Sangam age are the poetical collections Paripadal, Pattuppattu, Ettuthokai Purananuru, Akananuru, Aingurunuru, Padinenkilkanakku. Some refer to worship of Vishnu, Indra, Murugan and Supreme Siva.
  52. ca -486: Ajatashatru (reign -486-458) ascends Magadha throne.
  53. -480: Ajita, a nastika (atheist) who teaches a purely material explanation of life and that death is final, dies.
  54. -478: Prince Vijaya, exiled by his father, King Sinhabahu, sails from Gujarat with 700 followers. Founds Singhalese kingdom in Sri Lanka. (Mahavamsa chronicle, ca 500.)
  55. ca -400: Panini composes his Sanskrit grammar, the Ashtadhyayi. (Date accepted among most Western scholars.)
  56. ca -302: Kautilya (Chanakya), minister to Chandragupta Maurya, writes Arthashastra, a compendium of laws, administrative procedures and political advice for running a kingdom.
  57. ca -300: Pancharatra Vaishnava sect is prominent. All later Vaishnava sects are based on the Pancharatra beliefs (formalized by Shandilya around 100 ce).
  58. ca -300: Pandya kingdom (-300-1700 ce) of S. India is founded, constructs magnificent Minakshi temple at its capital, Madurai. Builds temples of Shrirangam and Rameshvaram, with its thousand-pillared hall (ca 1600 ce).
  59. -297: Emperor Chandragupta abdicates to become a Jain monk.
  60. -273: Ashoka (-273-232 reign), greatest Mauryan Emperor, grandson of Chandragupta, is coronated. Repudiating conquest through violence after his brutal invasion of Kalinga, 260 bce, he converts to Buddhism. Excels at public works and sends diplomatic peace missions to Persia, Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Crete, and Buddhist missions to Sri Lanka, China and other Southeast Asian countries. Under his influence, Buddhism becomes a world power. His work and teachings are preserved in Rock and Pillar Edicts (e.g., lion capital of the pillar at Sarnath, present-day India's national emblem).
  61. -251: Emperor Ashoka sends his son Mahendra (-270-204) to spread Buddhism in Sri Lanka, where he is to this day revered as the national faith's founding missionary.
  62. ca -250: Lifetime of Maharishi Nandinatha, first known satguru in the Kailasa Parampara of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. His eight disciples are Sanatkumar, Shanakar, Sanadanar, Sananthanar, Sivayogamuni, Patanjali, Vyaghrapada and Tirumular (Sundaranatha).
  63. ca -200: Lifetime of Rishi Tirumular, shishya of Maharishi Nandinatha and author of the 3,047-verse Tirumantiram, a summation of Saiva Agamas and Vedas, and concise articulation of the Nandinatha Sampradaya teachings, founding South India's monistic Saiva Siddhanta school.
  64. ca -200: Lifetime of Patanjali, shishya of Nandinatha and gurubhai (brother monk) of Rishi Tirumular. He writes the Yoga Sutras at Chidambaram, in South India.
  65. ca -200: Lifetime of Bhogar Rishi, one of eighteen Tamil siddhas. This mystic shapes from nine poisons the Palaniswami murti enshrined in present-day Palani Hills temple in South India. Bhogar is either from China or visits there.
  66. ca -200: Lifetime of Saint Tiruvalluvar, poet-weaver who lived near present-day Madras, author of Tirukural, "Holy Couplets," the classic Tamil work on ethics and statecraft (sworn on in today's South Indian law courts).
  67. ca -200: Jaimini writes the Mimamsa Sutras.
  68. -145: Chola Empire (-145-1300 ce) of Tamil Nadu is founded, rising from modest beginnings to a height of government organization and artistic accomplishment, including the development of enormous irrigation works.
  69. -140: Emperor Wu begins three-year reign of China; worship of the Mother Goddess, Earth, attains importance.
  70. -58: Vikrama Samvat Era Hindu calendar begins.
  71. ca -10: Ilangovadikal, son of King Cheralathan of the Tamil Sangam age, writes the outstanding epic Silappathikaram, classical Tamil treatise on music and dance.
    Western Calendar Begins. C.E. - Common Era

Invoke The Supreme - Prayer on Ganesha

{Foreword to piece – This is a prayer to invoke the supreme initiator of Sanatana Dharma – Lord Ganesha. Ganesha’s Bheeja Mantra (the root resonance) is OM SHRIM HRIM KLIM GLAUM GAM GANAPATHAYE NAMAHA. Every stanza of this prayer reflects the personification of the respective Bheeja. OM means supreme, SHRIM means goodness or prosperity, HRIM means divine and divinity of nature, KRIM means desires, that is, control of desires, GLAUM denotes knowledge and brilliance that Ganesha personifies and GAM is a unique Bheeja and means Ganesha himself.}

Om Shakthi - A Prayer On The Mother

OM SHAKTHI

OM… OM… OM…
When the sun dawns as I pray in hope,
In the holy east, by sides of her realm,
I see the skies shining as never,
I see my mother emerge from horizon,
With a radiant crown and the face golden,
With a protecting palm seated on a lion,
With a fiery trident and a mood serene,
With a glowing spear as symbol of sentinel,
Here cometh my mother, the force supreme.
Fear not, for the evil shall be destroyed,
Worry not, for the worst is now ended.
SHAKTHI IS LOVE,
SHAKTHI IS LOVE,
SHAKTHI IS LOVE THAT IS ELIXIR.


OM…OM…OM…
When the day begins in a string of force,
In the holy east, by sides of her realm,
I see the wind blowing as never,
I see my mother stepping on the ground,
With a mighty mace and binding whip,
With a thunderous conch in a reigning state,
With a prodigious bow and profuse arrows,
With a glittering sword for the fearful war,
Here cometh my mother, the force supreme.
Fear not, for the sinners shall be punished,
Worry not, for the sorrows art finished.
SHAKTHI IS POWER,
SHAKTHI IS POWER,
SHAKTHI IS POWER THAT IS DIVINE.

OM…OM…OM…
When life arises with a chant in mind,
In the holy east, by sides of her realm,
I see the ocean tumultuous as never,
I see my mother march on the earth,
With thunder in arms at lightning speed,
With lotus in hand as symbol of peace,
With a sharpened goad to pierce the veil,
With silken robes and silver shield,
Here cometh my mother, the force supreme.
Fear not, for the iniquitous shall be slayed,
Worry not, for the wrongs art scathed.
SHAKTHI IS PEACE,
SHAKTHI IS PEACE,
SHAKTHI IS PEACE THAT IS PERSON.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Dharmagraha & Sanyukta Sanatana Dharma

Dharmagraha

Dharmagraha literally can be translated as "holding to virtue" or "aggression and adhesion towards righteousness".

Dharmagraha as a "movement within" is a set of principles that we need to adhere, so as to bring in a radical change in the Dharmic Religious following and administration. What could be the radical change? Is it religious supremacy? Is it to fight against/for a certain cause? Is it time limited? Is it universally applicable? Let us examine.

Dharmagraha is a “movement”, a “revolution” within one’s ownself in a journey towards religious discipline and civil harmony. A practitioner of Dharmagraha is a Dharmagrahi who believes and practices the basic postulates of Sanatana Dharma. To a Dharmagrahi, religion is not subject of hateful discussion but a subject of duty, compassion and discipline. All the three, Duty, Compassion and Discipline are directed towards, god, self and society non-sequentially. Though, society is not restricted towards a geographic region or country in this context, a Dharmagrahi practices serious patriotism towards the nation that she/he belongs to.

Dharmagraha is a not a fight to religious supremacy, but an effort to consolidate faiths within and effectively establish the global administration of Sanatana Dharma. Dharmagraha is a penance that every practitioner needs to perform in this Himalayan task of consolidation and establishment. Dharmagraha is certainly an effort towards a cause but not a fight, where fight is mentioned in the sense of struggle or strives.

What does a Dharmagrahi adhere to?

  1. Dharmagrahi believes in Sanyukta Sanatana Dharma as the umbrella religion of all Dharmic faiths.
  2. Dharmagrahi’s faith towards her/his sect of Dharmic belief does not restrict her/him from recognizing and appreciating other sects of Sanyukta Sanatana Dharma.
  3. Dharmagrahi understands the necessity of one single religious administration of all Dharmic faiths.
  4. Dharmagrahi understands the holiness of all Dharmic Scriptures and their contribution towards human spirituality.
  5. Dharmagrahi understands that religious scriptures are dynamic and need to be interpreted with relevance to the need to contemporary society.
  6. Dharmagrahi strictly denounces inequality in treatment of fellow human beings across caste, creed, nationality and also religion.
  7. Dharmagrahi believes and adheres to those rituals and practices that she/he follows on a day to day basis.
  8. Dharmagrahi will make every attempt to understand the nature, cause and consequence of religious practices.
  9. Dharmagrahi will adhere strictly towards moral discipline as prescribed by Dharmic religious practices.
  10. Dharmagrahi is a devout patriot of her/his country.
  11. Dharmagrahi will choose patriotism to religion if there be a conflict between the two.
  12. Dharmagrahi believes that the Dharmic faiths and scriptures would never stand in her/his way to the national faith.
  13. Dharmagrahi makes every effort to explain/preach to Non-Dharmics the greatness of Sanatana Dharma.
  14. Dharmagrahi will never resort to undue use of violence.
  15. Dharmagrahi will at any given circumstance engage herself/himself in a healthy religious/philosophical debate within and outside the Dharmic faith.
  16. Dharmagrahi has a complete knowledge of the principles behind and consequent to Sanatana Dharma that are closely entwined to daily life.
  17. Dharmagrahi believes in peace, lives in peace, and worships peace at all circumstances.
  18. Dharmagrahi believes that a good deed done results and reverts back as good and a bad deed done results and reverts back as bad either in this or a subsequent birth.
  19. Dharmagrahi believes that knowledge leads to wisdom and peace and thus is knowledgeable and a spreads knowledge, both, material and spiritual.
  20. Dharmagrahi admires, nurtures and worships knowledge.
  21. Dharmagrahi will abstain from abusing nature and its resources.
  22. Dharmagrahi rightfully admires, conserves and worships nature.
  23. Dharmagrahi is an embodiment of humility. She/he abstains from the intoxication of ego and material pride.
  24. Dharmagrahi has is duty bound towards god, society, family and self.
  25. Dharmagrahi believes that god is love and godliness is expressed through love and compassion.
  26. Dharmagrahi believes that is godliness originates from one’s own self.
  27. Dharmagrahi believes that unqualified surrender to divine is the only path to salvation.
Sanyuktha Sanatana Dharma

Sanathana Dharma or the Eternal Law is fragmented due to the forces of external and contradicting faiths. While the world is facing a sharp religious divide that affects socio-political and economic life of every world citizen, it becomes imminent for the flag bearers of Sanathana Dharma to unify the faith into “ONE” beyond the political and geographical frontiers of countries and civilizations.

The Great Religious Divide

The world is divided sharply into three segments of faith, Christian, Islamic and Others. While, Vatican and Anglicans champion the causes of Christian administration, neo political crusades and the fast rising conversion targets, Islamic countries that offer minimal tolerance to other faiths and Jihadis champion the cause of Islamic interests all over the world.

Left over are the “OTHERS”. Surprisingly enough, “others” form about 50% of the world population out of which 20% of Dharmics. In spite of being one-fifth of world’s population, a) There is no common religious administration of Dharmic across the world; b) There is no sovereign to voice, propel and direct Dharmics through the weeds of contradicting faiths; c) There is no common umbrella under which fragmented Dharmics could identify themselves. Isn’t it not the time to unify one-fifth of world’s population that follows a single faith?

Sections Within

Dharmic faiths can be divided in two at large on the basis of schools of belief and worship. One is Vedic and the other is Non-Vedic.

Vedic faith could be further divided into a) Philosophy of Non-Dualism {Adwaitha} (universal and can be complementing any other Vedic worship), b) Followership/Worship of Shiva {Shaiva}, c) Philosophy of Dualism {Dwaitha} (which is also vaishnavism), d) Philosophy of Qualified Non - Dualism {Visishtadwaitha} (which is again vaishnavism), e) Followership/Worship of Mother Goddess {Shaakta} (which is complimentary to Shaivism) and f) Followership/Worship of Kumara {Kaumara} (which is also complementary to Shaivism).

Non-Vedic part of Sanatana Dharma comprise of a) Buddhism, b) Jainism, c) Sikhism and d) More contemporary schools of thought such as Brahma Samaj, Vallalar's Jothi Worship.

a) Such a rich philosophy of worship and life does not have a supreme seat now to pronounce religious decrees; b) Such a diverse faith does not possess a binding force at the preceptor’s level.

Don’t we need a supreme preceptor’s body to pronounce the course of Sanatana Dharma? Isn’t it time for us to come out of this fragmentation?

Unification

The first step towards cooperation, if not unification, has happened after the advent of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha that meets once in a year. However, this only comprises the Vedic Dharmic gurus and meets only to discuss some important issues when they arise like some legislations, to protest/support any governmental action etc. A larger agenda of Acharya Sabha is not yet clear.

What is imminent currently is a bigger and wider version of the Sabha also comprising of the Non-Vedic Sanatana Dharma. A body that also actively involved in codification of doctrines, postulates and holy scriptures of Sanatana Dharma to act as its Supreme Body. The seat should be universal including every single Dharmic of the world, a true Vasudeva Kudumbakam.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fear Not The Evil - Prayer For Self-Confidence

FEAR NOT THE EVIL
(Inspired from Bharathiar’s verses)

(Thou Shall) Be afraid not, be oppressed not,
Quiver not, nor shall thou shy away.
(Thee) Is no sin and shall veil thyself not,

We shan’t fall for unto anything,
Nor shan’t we fear catastrophe.
Fear we not the seethe of holy sea.

We shall fear none, we shall fear nothing
We shall fear nowhere, we shall fear at no time

Skies exist and so do the rains
Sun exists and so do the waters
We fear not till fire and the moon,
Mind, body and soul are in togetherness.

Paritranaya Sadhunam - A Prayer Of Surrender

PARITRANAYA SADHUNAAM

We stand before thee, My Lord!
As did Draupadi, with folded hands.
Hands folded above the head,
With abandoned ego and surrendered minds.
You promised us once, My Lord!
Of destroying the sinful.
Thus protecting the righteous,
At testing times when dharma needs to unfurl.

“TO PROTECT THE RIGHTEOUS AND DESTROY THE SINFUL,
TO REINSTATE MORALS, SHALL I BE BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN,”


We cry before thee, My Lord!
As did Gajendra, at top of the voices.
Voices crying for protection,
In belief of thy appearance to destroy the vices.
You promised us once, My Lord!
To be born again in this world.
Thus shall redeem the mankind
From sins of denial, deception and dishonesty.


“TO PROTECT THE RIGHTEOUS AND DESTROY THE SINFUL,
TO REINSTATE MORALS, SHALL I BE BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN,”



We pray before thee, My Lord!
As did Prahalada, with ultimate faith.
The faith that would undo all wrongs,
With commitment that bears the root & cause of dharma.
You promised us once, My Lord!
To be saviour of your servants.
Bless the good at times of anguish,
Onto regain trust in thee, thy ways and prayers.


“TO PROTECT THE RIGHTEOUS AND DESTROY THE SINFUL,
TO REINSTATE MORALS, SHALL I BE BORN AGAIN AND AGAIN,”



We fall before thee, My Lord!
As a devotee and completely surrender.
Surrender that is unqualified,
At thy lotus feet and pray for benevolence and compassion.
Promise us NOW My Lord,
Thy trial shan’t be prolonging henceforth.
With belief, faith and trust,
So goes the chant, NARAYANA, NARAYANA, NARAYANA!

Rahul! I am happy your boys did not win!!

Rahul, I am happy your boys did not win!

Dear Rahul Dravid,

You might think I am cynical, you might think I am negative and you might think I am being sarcastic, but the fact is I am happy that your boys did not win. Rather you did not deserve a victory because; you did not have the mental character to win. Rahul, I love Indian team, but I love cricket also. If would have won against Sri Lanka, or if you would have beat Bangladesh, I would probably think that a team that did not deserve victory on that day has won. I think you don’t deserve, not because you are inefficient players, but you are an inefficient team.

I am sure with the sort of pressure you had on field, you might not have appreciated Bangladesh’s performance the on that day. Find a recording and see the match again. You will start loving cricket more. I have witnessed the grit and determination that the team (…team, not individual players) exhibited, only with Australians and Pakistan before, and probably Sri Lanka in 1996. I have not seen such a performance by your boys on any given day. I would even say I have not witnessed such a performance from South Africa and Lloyd’s West Indies. While I am in awe of the Bangladeshi performance I am talking only about their team performing skills which you lacked on that day and which is your weak point, on any given day. Team performance is often exhibited on field through body language, intra-team communication and killer instinct attitude in every delivery (received or served). You guys were at rock bottom of your morale, exhibiting a dead man’s body language.

Successful teams can be classified into two types. One, that win on technical perfection; examples are South Africa under Hansie Cronje and Clive Lloyd’s invincible team. Two, that win on an emotional high supported by excellent individual skills; examples are Dada’s Indian team supported by excellent individual performances by Sachin and you, Imran’s Pakistani team supported by geniuses of Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram, Ranatunga’s Sri Lankan team with Sanath Jayasuriya and Arvinda De Silva. There is also a third variety which has a dangerous combination of both at the highest. That is Australia, both under Steve Waugh and under Ricky Ponting. Logically, a coach should have sat down to classify what is the temperament of the team, find its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and approached you accordingly. I don’t say that Greg Chappell has not done that, but I say, it just doesn’t show.

Individually just imagine the caliber of your boys. Between Saurav, Sachin and you, you share close to 35000 runs. You are the three of only six batsmen who have crossed 10000 runs in ODIs. What bad could be said about Sehwag apart that he has been in poor form for a long time? On a good day anyone knows and I am sure Ricky Ponting knows god of death cannot be deadlier. Yuvi, a man in form, who could perform even after an injury and seen as the future captain. And Dhoni? The messiah whom we have been waiting for all these years, a wicket keeper who could bat, an Indian version of Moin Khan, Boucher or Kaluwitharana, if not Adam Gilchrist. You had gone to the Carrebean with a five pacemen for the first time. Probably, for the first ever time, Indian team had these many pacers. And for the great Indian spin, you had Jumbo Kumble, the epitome of self confidence and how on earth could you drop him from a crucial match against Lanka? How come such great individual players could not perform as a team? Because they are just not used to.

I again reiterate that as a team your boys never deserved to win. There was no exhibition of team spirit. You could win or lose a match but you should never lose the morale. But your boys never had that morale in the first place. I don’t say that you are a bad captain but I am sure Saurav was a better captain, because he knew if at all India could win, it was only because of the emotional high, and only an emotional high will bring this team together. For god’s sake understand that India is not South Africa. Indians are made of emotions and our blood has slightly higher temperature than that of South Africans. Greg and you tried to make a South African lion out of this team but ended up making a Central African chimpanzee. Indians are Indians and you need to treat them the Indian way. Rahul, just tell Greg that we even eat pizzas with paneer and have vegetarian hot dogs.

To all of us, cricket is next to religion. We enjoy cricket when we travel in the local trains, when we get crushed in the crowded bus, when we walk on a polluted road or when we fight with a guy who has just banged on our car. We love cricket more than Amitabh Bachan or Rajnikant. Fans would not agitate in front of Amitabh’s house or Rajnikant’s house if they gave a bad movie, but even kill themselves if you played badly. Rahulbhai, victory comes and goes, matches are won and lost, but spirit should never die. Indian fans did not ask you to win every match, they did not even ask you to win the Bangladesh match and Sri Lanka match. They just asked you to die like a warrior when you had to die. Don’t present a meek surrender. On that day you weren’t boys in blue, you were boys in pale.

Boss, play cricket with that spirit with which Indian Junta watches cricket.

Don't Touch Rama's Bridge

A Loud Call – “Don’t Touch Rama’s Bridge”
Ashwin Kumar Iyer


First Hand Layman Witness

I have visited Rama's bridge near Rameshwaram. I went there last year. Though the place assumes a lot of importance historically and religiously, there is no sign board or organised tourism to this place. We had to go asking local residents on the way.

Once we reach the nearby area (there is a newly built small hanuman temple) we have to take a motor boat to venture close to a kilo meter into the sea to reach Rama Sethu. Reaching there was not exactly a great experience, since there was no organised facility. I was told that a good view of the Sethu can be had during low tide times and especially during the nights or early mornings, I had chosen such a time to visit the place. Once I reached the actual Sethu Site, I was astonished and was in loss of words. The bridge should be easily 40-50 feet wide (the visible part) and made of huge stones. For a normal logical mind it certainly does not seem to be a geographical phenomenon. It certainly looks like a huge manmade structure. At least that is was the structure of the bridge suggests.

Historical Facts

Let us get into a little bit of history and find out what the said structure means factually.

This structure of close to 48 kilometers which is 3 to 30 feet deep through its course and was well above the sea level till the 15th century. The oldest recorded map that mentions of Rama’s Bridge is the Malabar Bowen Map of Netherlands which is supposed to have been made in 1747, where the map mentions no name to the bridge but has mention about a place Ramencoil. Further, the same place is mentioned again in a 1788 Map of Hindoostan available in the Sarasvathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur.

This bridge has also been mentioned by James Rennel in his earliest maps of India 1788 as Rama’s Bridge. However, Rennel carefully and tactfully renamed the bridge as Adam’s Bridge in his 1804 version of the map.

Lying dormant under the waters, the bridge again came into light after the NASA’s satellite pictures released in the early 1990s created curiosity among historians and excitement among Dharmics. Tales started going around on the date of Rama’s Bridge starting from 1.75 million years to 3500 years. NASA though accepted the authenticity of the pictures, however refused to comment on the dating.

Few dating attempts have been made after that. While the Sri Lankan Archeological Department dates the bridge to close to 2 million years old, Centre For Remote Sensing, Bharathidasan University dated it close to 3500 years old.

While existence of this geographical phenomenon is not disputed, no research has been done to find out neither the man-made nature of the bridge nor the religious connection.

Religious Questions

For devout Dharmics who assume and believe the said structure or the geographical formation is a bridge built by Shri Rama, there are certainly a couple of religious questions that arise often. I have attempted to answer them supported by Valmiki’s Ramayana.

Why did Rama build a bridge instead of crossing over in a ship?

The number of soldeirs in Rama's army was huge. You might have to build too many
ships to cross over. Ramayana says "thousand crore monkeys crossed over". We can
take this number to be a poetic exaggeration, but the fact remains that the
number was on a higher side. Moreover, the sea god himself says that the waters
are rough and he will not be able to go against nature (even if god wishes, he
shall not breach the law of nature, is the beauty of Sanatana Dharma).

In slokas 2-22-25 to 2-22-28, the King of Ocean says, “O, beloved
Rama! Earth, wind ether, water and light remain fixed in their own nature,
resorting to their eternal path. Therefore, I am fathomless and my nature is
that it is impossible of being swum across. It becomes unnatural if I am
shallow. I am telling you the following device to cross me. O, prince! Neither
from desire nor ambition nor fear nor from affection, I am able to solidify my
waters inhabited by alligators. O, Rama! I shall make it possible to see that
you are able to cross over. I will arrange a place for the monkeys to cross me
and bear with it. As far as the army crosses me, the crocodiles will not be
aggressive to them.”

How was it possible to build such a bridge across the Ocean?

It was a planned effort and did not happen easily. Nala, the son of Viswakarma, the
celestial architect was a good architect as his father. I am giving below the
slokas and their translations on the building of the bridge. The posting of
slokas are too long, but then just read them, they are wonderful and worthwhile.
Valmiki describes construction of this bridge between Slokas 2-22-50 and 2-22-72

“I am a son born of Visvakarma’s own loins. I am equal to Viswakarma.
This god of Ocean has reminded me. The great ocean spoke the truth. Being
unasked, I have not told you my details earlier. I am capable of constructing a
bridge across the ocean. Hence, let the foremost of monkeys build the bridge now
itself. Then, being sent by Rama, hundreds and thousands of monkey heroes jumped
in joy on all sides towards the great forest. Those army-chiefs of monkeys, who
resembled mountains, broke the rocks and trees there and dragged them away
towards the sea. Those monkeys filled the ocean with all types of trees like
Sala and Asvakarna, Dhava and bamboo, Kutaja, Arjuna, palmyra,Tilaka, Tinisa,
Bilva, Saptaparna, Karnika, in blossom as also mango and Asoka. The excellent
monkeys, the forest animals lifted and brought, like Indra’s flag posts, some
trees with roots intact and some others without roots. From here and there the
monkeys brought Palmyra trees, pomegranate shrubs, coconut and Vibhitaka,
Karira, Bakula and neem trees. The huge bodied monkeys with mighty strength
uprooted elephant-sized rocks and mountains and transported them by mechanical
contrivances. The water, raised up due to sudden throwing of mountains in the
sea, soured upward towards the sky and from there again, gushed back. The rocks
befalling on all sides perturbed the ocean. Some others drew up strings a
hundred Yojanas long (in order to keep the rocks in a straight line.) Nala on
his part initiated a monumental bridge in the middle of the ocean. The bridge
was built at that time with the cooperation of other monkeys, of terrible
doings. Some monkeys were holding poles for measuring the bridge and some others
collected the material. Reeds and logs resembling clouds and mountains, brought
by hundreds of monkeys, lead by the command of Rama, fastened some parts of the
bridge. Monkeys constructed the bridge with trees having blossom at the end of
their boughs. Some monkeys looking like demons seized rocks resembling mountains
and peaks of mountains and appeared running hither and thither. Then, a
tumultuous sound occurred when the rocks were thrown into the sea and when
mountains were caused to fall there. On the first day, fourteen Yojanas of
bridge were constructed by the monkeys speedily, thrilled with delight as they
were, resembling elephants. In the same manner, on the second day twenty Yojanas
of bridge were constructed speedily by the monkeys of terrific bodies and of
mighty strength. Thus, on the third day twenty-one Yojanas of the bridge were
constructed in the ocean speedily by the monkeys with their colossal bodies. On
the forth day, a further of twenty-two Yojanas were constructed by the dashing
monkeys with a great speed. In that manner, on the fifth day, the monkeys
working quickly constructed twenty-three yojanas of the bridge up to the other
seashore. That Nala, the strong and illustrious son of Visvakarma and an
excellent monkey built the bridge across the sea as truly as his father would
have built it. That beautiful and lovely bridge constructed by Nala across the
ocean the abode of alligators, shone brightly like a milky way of stars in the
sky.”

Logical Questions to be Addressed

In the wake of Sethu Samudram Project, it is a known fact that the historically and religiously important Rama’s Bridge would be demolished to make way for a new shipping canal between India and Sri Lanka. A few political parties have raised security concerns over this idea and a few other experts have raised eyebrows on the economic benefits this project could offer. However, I have done no research on that subject and would not speak about security concerns and economic benefits. Besides security issues and economic viability the said project is attached to an extremely sensitive issue of history and religion.

It is highly surprising how the said project was approved and cleared by various departments (especially geology and archeological departments). It is understandable that the said project has not gone to their purview because no archeological activity or geological research is happening in the current site. However, in the wake of said allegations by various political parties, non-governmental organizations and religious institutions, these departments could have made a suo moto response to the Union Ministry of Shipping & Transport to halt the project till a research is commenced and concluded in the said site. The ministry in a self-confession in the parliament has come out with a statement saying that ‘no archeological work has been done in the said Rama’s Bridge site’. In that case, it is highly inappropriate to demolish a structure which has a historical and religious importance without a proper justified research backing the decision.

Relevant to this case, there are a few questions that are still unaddressed, say,

1) First and foremost question is that whether the said bridge is man-made or a geological phenomenon.

2) If it were a geological phenomenon it would assume a great importance for geologists and scientists, making it very important for us to preserve it. It would probably become the oldest natural rock formation in India and the biggest and oldest natural rock formation of the world and the only one under the sea.

3) If it were man-made but not built by Rama, still it is of extreme importance as an archeological site. Probably it would classify as one of the man-made wonders of the world and the oldest ever man-made bridge to exist.

4) If archeologists and theologists can prove it to be anywhere closer related to Shri Rama, the importance would be the greatest, since it has a religious connotation and probably the biggest find relating the religion (especially Dharmic) and also of archeological importance attached with religion.

Answers to these questions would certainly direct us to only one conclusion – the Rama’s Bridge should not be touched for demolition. It might/might not be a religious site, but it is certainly beyond even what we call as “precious”. It is a natural phenomenon which has surprised scientists and geologists by its sheer existence.

If Indian government tries demolishing Rama’s bridge for enabling a shipping canal project, I might probably even think that the government might take Qutab Minar off the place because it disrupts traffic. I do not think the UPA government would want themselves to be equated with the Taliban who destroyed Bamiyan Budhas while the whole world witnessed. In both cases of Taliban and UPA government the action is the same, destroying of world heritage, while only the motive is different.

The word of caution is loud and open – Don’t Touch Rama’s Bridge.