Rig Veda on Friendship and Food for All! (Post No.3929)

Research article Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 21 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London: 15-59

 

Post No. 3929

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, google and Wikipedia; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

There is a beautiful hymn in the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. It is amazing to see such a lofty thought in the remotest period of human civilization. This shows how civilized were Hindus and how much advanced in thinking. I have already written about the last hymn of Rig Veda praying for world peace. What we find in the United Nations motto of today was voiced by Vedic poets several thousand years ago. Every Hindu must feel proud of that hymn and the following one on Friendship and charity.

Several thousand years later we see such thoughts in the Bhagavad Gita and Tamil Veda Thirukkural. The proverb ‘A friend indeed is a friend in need’ came from India!

 

In the Tenth Mandala (10-117) of the Rig Veda we come across this hymn:

 

1.The Gods have not ordained hunger to be our death; even to the well-fed man comes death in varied shape.

The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him.

 

2.The man with food in store who, when the needy comes in miserable case begging for bread to eat,

 

Hardens his heart against him – even when of old he did him service – finds not one comfort him.

 

3.Bouteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food and feeble.

 

Success attends him in the shout of battle. He makes a friend of him in future troubles.

 

4.No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing.

Let him depart—no home is that to rest in –, and rather seek a stranger to support him.

 

5.Let the rich satisfy the poor implorer, and bend his eye upon a longer path way.

 

Riches come now to one, now to another, and like the wheels of car are ever rolling.

 

6.The foolish man wins food with fruitless labour; that food – I speak the truth – shall be his ruin.

He feeds no trusty friend, no man to love him. ALL GUILT IS WHO HE EATS WITH NO PARTAKER.

 

7.The ploughshare ploughing make the food that feeds us, and with its feet cuts through the path it follows.

Better the speaking than the silent Brahman; the liberal friend outvalues him who gives not.

 

8.He with one foot hath far outrun the bieped, and the two footed catches the three footed.

Four footed creatures come when biepeds call them, and stand and look where five are met together.

 

9.The hands are both alike; their labour differs. The yield of sister milch kine is unequal.

 

Twins even differ in their strength and vigour; tow, even kinsmen, differ in their bounty.

Ralph T H Griffith in his translation added a footnote for one foot etc.

One foot =Sun

biped = man

Three footed= old man with a walking stick

Four footed creature=Dogs

Five = several men.

 

I don’t know how correct was Griffith in his translation. But we can get the picture clearly from the lines.

A friend indeed is a friend in need.

and wealth is for distribution

Food is for a sharing.

 

Later Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

The good people who eat what is left from sacrifice are released from all sis but those WICKED PEOPLE WHO PREPARE FOR THEIR OWN SAKE – VERILY EAT SIN Bhagavad Gita 3-13.

We may interpret the sacrifice here as Pancha Yajna ( Five sacrifices) which Manu and others mention; They are the ones Hindus do every day; feeding relatives/guests, living beings (animals and birds), ancestors, devas/gods and the last Brahma Yajna i.e. studying holy books and teaching.

 

Tamil Veda Thirukkural has at least sixty couplets on friendship and feeding the guests. Hospitality is a typical Hindu concept, absent in Western Literature, and found only in the Vedas, Epics, Puranas and Sangam Tamil Literature.

 

Here are two important couplets from Thirukkural written by Thiru valluvar:-

Enjoying one’s food, sharing it with others, and sustaining other lives is held out as the highest virtue by the learned sages (322)

Genuine friendship hastens to redress distress even like the hand which picks up quickly that garment that slips (788)

Great men think alike! Rig Vedic poet/seer, Lord Krishna and valvar and several great people said it.

-subham-

 

 

 

 

Strange LUTA Disease in Kashmir! (Post No.3890)

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 8 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London: 21-41

 

Post No. 3890

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Kalhana, the 12th century chronicler of Kashmir History, gives strange information in his Rajatarangini. He talks about a disease called Luta (meaning Spider). In Tamil also we have a disease called Silanthi (Spider), but it is not a fatal disease.

 

Here is what Kalhana (Fourth Taranga, slokas 524-529) says,

“At this junction in the principality of Rajah,there arose among the townsmen a calamity caused by the epidemic of Luta.

“The disease is contagious and fatal there owing to a peculiarity of the country and hence the living being who is attacked by Luta is forsaken.

Hearing this King Jayapida planned and brought secretly through his servant the necessary articles to prevent the disease.

By swallowing this, which tended to cause an overflow of bile, his bile was excited and he got fever; by applying the milk of Vajravrksa (tree) he was covered with boils.

His adversary having heard from the mouth of the guards that he was attacked by Luta and thinking that he would no doubt perish expelled him from the country.

In this manner, having crossed with the might of his own intelligence the ocean of calamity he seized the hill fort, which extended up to the sky, as well as the fame of the antagonist”.

 

Kalhana here explains how the king used the fatal disease Luta and escaped and captured new territory in around 750 CE.

The translator of Rajatarangini M P Pandit says in the footnote,

“ Luutaa= Literally a spider. It is a common belief that a certain kind of spider if it walks over the human body produces skin eruptions, hence a kind of skin trouble – rash and pimples- it is known as Luta.

 

Vajravrksa = a shrub like Arka, the juice of which if applied to the skin produces eruptions. Kig Jayapida used this to get false eruptions and pretended that he got Luta!

(When he British were looking for freedom fighters in Tamil Nadu, they used to pretend that one of the house holders was afflicted with small pox and hung the margosa leaves (neem eaves) in front of the house. The British were scared of this and never entered the street or the village).

 

Fatal disease!

And in the Sixth Taranga (chapter) of Rajatarangini, Kalhana says that Kng Kshemagupta died of Luta:

“Thus on the dark fourteenth (Krishnapaksha Chaturdasi) the , while engaged in the case, saw flames emerging from the mouth of a howling she jackal.

“The sight of this produced fear and trembling; he was seized of the Luta disease which fever was the cause of his death.

“With his body covered with eruptions of the shape of the split lentils on the ninth day of bright Pausa (Suklapaksha Navami), in the year 34 (of his rule), he died.

“Ksemagupta’s son, the infant Abhimanyu thereafter became king.”

 

In the Seventh Taranga

Kalhana says, “Then when Rudrapala died of the Luta disease the other Sahi princes, too, very soon met their end.

 

In the Eight Taranga

Thus, when some months had passed by, the king as luck would have it, suddenly fell ill suffering from a skin disease.

 

In another foot note here the translator MP pandit adds, “I am indebted to Vaidyaraj Pandit Ramachandra, my fellow prisoner in the district jail at barely, for the following references to the disease of Luta, Dadakaalasaka (7-1443) and Trsnaa mentioned by Kalahana.

Lutaa- see Astaanga Hrdaya, Sutrasthana chapter 5-verses 6-13.

–Subham–

 

 

Dravidian Magician in Kashmir: Kalhana’s Strange Story! (Post No.3869)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 1 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: -12-21

Post No. 3869

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Kalhana, the 12th century historian and author of Rajatarangni mentioned DRAVIDIAN in three places. There is a very interesting story about a Dravidian magician in his book Rajatarangini (River of Kings).

 

It is a true story according to Kalhana and it happened during the reign of Jayapida (751 CE).

 

From Fourth Taranga (Chapter) of Rajatarangini:

On one occasion, to the king who had acquired glory in all directions a certain person of divine figure spoke in a dream with folded hands:

“O King! in your realm I have been residing in comfort with my relatives; I am the Lord of the Nagas called Mahapadma, I come to you for asylum.

 

‘A certain Dravidian spell-monger is trying to draw me away from here in order to sell me for money in the Territory of Maru (desert) which yearns for water.

If you save me from him, I shall show in your country, a hill which produces god ore. The king having heard it in the dream, despatched spies in all directions the very next day. King’s spies found him and brought him before the king (Jayapida).

 

Ulur Lake Near Sri Nagar, Kashmir, India (also known as Wular)

When he confessed his intention, the king pardoned him. The king asked the Dravidian spell-monger (magician):

“How is it possible for you to draw out this Naga, who excels in spiritual power,  from the interior of the lake which extends for several Yojanas?”

Dravidian magician said to the king, “O, King! Inconceivable are the powers of the spell (mantra). If you desire to see it, come and see the marvel.

 

 

The king followed the magician to the lake. The Dravidian muttered incantations and then shot some arrows. The lake became dry. Then the king could see a snake (Naga) about a span in size with a human face, which was wriggling in the mud surrounded by several small snakes.

 

O King! I am going to catch him now. But the king ordered him not to catch the snake. At once the Dravidian spell monger (magician) withdrew the power of his spell and the lake became full. (The Vulur/Wular lake was called the Mahapadma lake after this naga who was supposed to live in it).

 

King disposed the magician by paying him some money.

 

The king was expecting the Naga to show him the Hill of Gold ore. But it did not happen. When the king asked him about it Mahapadma Naga said, “I asked for asylum; you did not give me asylum; but you drove away the spell-monger. So I will show you the hill of copper. When the king got the directions to it, he excavated copper from Kramarajya Hill and struck a hundred crores of Dinnaras (coins)”.

 

Dravidian Brahmins

In another chapter Kalhana referred to Dravids (Dravidian Brahmins in Kashmir). Until Max Muller and Caldwell gave the wrong connotations for the words Dravidian and Aryan, the words meant only A South Indian (Dravida) , A cultured person or ascetics of Himalayas ( aryan) in Indian literature.

Following is the reference found in Eighth Taranga (chapter)

“The daughter’s son of the chief of Karapatha settled in this place (Simhapura). Brahmans born in Indus region as well as Dravid Brahmans who formerly lived in the centre of siddhacchatra.”

 

Translator R S Pandit adds a footnote: As late as the 12th century Dravid Brahmans are mentioned as students in Kashmir.

 

My old articles on Kalhana’s Rajatarangini and Kashmir

 

1.Who are Dravidians? | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2013/07/17/who-are-dravidians/

17 Jul 2013 – He says ‘Pancha Dravida‘ means the Brahmins of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Here again the word …

 

 

2.Ramayana cures Curses! Rajatarangini Episode! (Post No.3754); Date: 24 March 2017

 

3.Kaliyuga Calculation: Kalhana’s Blunder!

Post No: 1574: Dated 14th January 2015

 

4.Nehru on Rajatarangini; Article No.1465; Dated 7th December 2014.

 

5.Kashmiri King who attacked Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka; Article No.1468; Dated 8th December 2014.

 

(6). 106 Kings of Hindu Kashmir!; Post No: 1577: Dated 15th January 2015

 

7.Beautiful Names of Ancient Kashmiri Women!; Article No 1583; Dated 17th January 2015.

 

8.Sanskrit in Mahmud of Ghazni Coins!; Article No 1579; Dated 16th January 2015

 

–SUBHAM–

 

Muslim Blood, Hindu Blood, Christian Blood- What is the Difference? (Post No.3850)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 25 APRIL 2017

Time uploaded in London:- 10-58 am

Post No. 3850

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Part 2 of Needs of Hindu Patients in U.K.- Talk by London Swaminathan;

I posted the first part here yesterday.

 

Kalyanji, who worked as a volunteer chaplain in London hospitals, was called once by a Muslim woman, while he was seeing other Hindu patients. Knowing the rules in the hospitals, he heisted for a moment. The Muslim lady, whose child was bedridden, told him, “There is no difference in the blood of a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu. All of us accept the blood of others when it is needed in the treatment. In the same way, there is no difference in the prayers. God will accept prayer from anyone. Can you please pray for my child as well?”. Kalyanji was surprised and moved. he prayed for the Muslim child as well. I told this anecdote in the group discussion in the training course.

Now I continue with my talk,

“All of you are aware of the case going on in the country where a hospital nurse was sacked for telling a cancer patient that she would pray for him. Hindu chaplains must be careful in dealing with patients of other religions. Unless they themselves call us for help we should not approach them. But a smile and a ‘hello’ would cheer them up.

Someone to Talk to….

Two staff came to a ward and changed the beds and bed linen for half hour joking and laughing loudly, and never said good morning or hello to the patients on the beds.

 

Patients need chaplains mainly to discuss some matter which they can’t discuss with others. In additions to prayer and other god related matters, slowly they open their heart and discuss personal matters. They even tell you the divisions and fights in the family, fight for the share of property, clashes between husband and wife etc. We tell them to pray for better health first and then to get solutions to all the problems. They can’t such matters with nurses and doctors. They see chaplains as relatives closer than family members. They have so much confidence in the priests.

Organ Donation

Sometimes the hospital staff or the patients consult us regarding organ donations. Whenever I go to deliver talk at the medical colleges in London, the students always ask me questions regarding Hindus’ views on organ donation. This is a grey area where we don’t have clear directive. As a human being I would like to help others by giving my organs to others if I am going to die in the next few days. But neither me nor my sons have signed any organ donation card until today, because of some taboos. Hindus believe the body should be cremated in full. We have umpteen examples of organ donations in our mythology (Kannappa Nayanar giving eye, Vishnu giving eye, Dhadichi giving his back bone to Indra, Dadhaynk giving his head etc.), but not from dead bodies. We know that the body parts are removed when the dead body goes to a funeral director from the mortuary. But voluntarily giving the organisation after death is not found in our scriptures. Even if the meeting passes a resolution today, our authority may be questioned by religious heads in India. So I want meetings like this to discuss it thoroughly and get the seal of approval from Hindu religious heads. Whenever I am asked, I tell them that it is their personal choice.

Hindu Diet

There is a big confusion regarding the diets of Hindu patients. Not all the Hindus are vegetarians; but beef is prohibited by the scriptures. But when a Hindu says that he is a vegetarian, they as whether he is a vegan. The vegan did not exist in our religion. All the sages used Madhuparka (Honey and Milk) according to our scriptures. If someone wants gluten free, lacrosse free diets, that is individual’s choice. I tell the patients and the hospital staff that Vegetarianism means No Fish, No egg, No meat, No poultry; but if the individual wants egg or chicken it is his choice. Fasting is also another grey are.

 

When they look at the Asians they (Black and White communities) think all are fasting during Ramadan period. They don’t know the difference between Hindus and Muslims. Then I explain to them not all the brown skinned people are fasting during Ramadan. Hindus do fast on different days in a different way.

(Whenever I visit Prisons to see Hindu prisoners, this fasting issue became a problem. Hindu women prisoners fast during Navaratri and Vasantha Navaratri. But the prison kitchen knew only Ramadan fasting. They are not ready to do anything unless one month notice is given. Moreover, I must explain ‘’no Salt no Garlick, no Onion’’ etc)

Unfortunately, if you are a vegetarian, your food choices are very limited. Hindus eat different dishes at home. Those South Indian or North Indian dishes are never available in the hospitals.

Patients Need Hymns

 

Sometimes the chaplains are asked to give the prayer in writing, particularly in roman script, because of many of the Hindus born and brought up in the country can’t read an Indian language script. Chaplains do this in addition to providing them Ganga Jal (Holy Ganges water), Vibhuti, Kunkum, Hymns etc.

 

Strange Request

One old bedridden lady suddenly wished to wear saree but he was shy to tell the medical staff. When the chaplain asked her whether she needed anything, she expressed her desire. The Asian nurse readily came forward to fulfil her wish.

 

Patients have so much confidence in the chaplains. They see chaplains are very reliable. They always have some suspicion about the doctors and nurses. Though the doctors and nurses very good, they wonder how come the person in the next bed came after I came and left within a few days and I am still her. Why? Are the doctors giving me correct treatment? Are the nurses looking after me well? We know that each person is different and the doctors look after their health. So, patients believe in us more than anyone else.

 

I am sure many of the points raised by me were dealt with by earlier speakers as well. I have summarised the experience of three chaplains in London. I spoke here in my capacity as a volunteer chaplain at the Northwick Park Hospital in London, and Sessional chaplain at two prisons in England and as the Chairman of the Chaplaincy Board at the Hindu Forum of Britain.

Thank You.

 

–subham–

 

 

 

Needs of Hindu Patients in U.K.- Talk by London Swaminathan -Part 1 (Post No.3847)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 24 APRIL 2017

Time uploaded in London:- 10-16 am

Post No. 3847

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

I was invited to deliver a 20-minute talk on the “Needs of the Hindu Patients in the United Kingdom” on 23rd April at the Health Care Chaplains Training Course held in Swaminarayan temple, London.

 

Here is a summary of my talk:

“Let me begin with a story. A terminally sick patient was admitted to hospital with serious illness. Doctors told him that his days were numbered. From that minute, he started praying to God piously and intensely and he was lucky to have the Darshan of God. God asked him what he would like to get as a boon. He told God: I am eighty years old now. Doctors say that I would not live for long. I would like to live up to 100 years. God said, “Granted”. He was immensely happy.

Next day, the doctors came to see him in their usual ward round. They reminded him about his condition and told him that they may prescribe some pain reliving medicines because he is going to die soon. He said to the doctors: “Get out; I will look after myself.” Then came the nurses with the medicines prescribed by the doctors (whether the patient wants or not, they write in his case file, please give him XYZ tablets or capsules at this time). The patient said the same to the nurses. Then came the Hindu (priest) chaplain. He told the patient, “ I heard the bad news about your health condition. Don’t worry, I will pray for you”. The patient said the same thing to him. Unfortunately, the patient died within a few days. His soul was angry. When it went to heaven it challenged the God. How dare you finished my life so soon, after promising me 20 more years of life. God smiled at him and said, I sent the doctor, the nurse and the chaplain to help you to prolong your life up to 100 years. You drove them out saying that you would take care of yourself”. Then he realised the mistake of rejecting God’s messengers.

 

Friends,

This is to illustrate that there are three key persons in a hospital to look after the needs of the patients. We, chaplains , are one of the links in the chain. We should not over step our limits. our role is to look after the spiritual needs of the patients. Doctors and nurses would take care of the physical needs of the patients. The patient must also understand it.

 

To illustrate the same point I will briefly tell you the story told by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. A disciple wanted to learn the highest truth. Then the Guru taught him the great mantras ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (I am God), ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ (You are That), ‘Soham’ (I am That). He was very happy and went out of the ashram after several years. On that day, a mad elephant was running amuck through the streets. The mahout was shouting to everyone to run for their lives. This person stood just in front of the mad elephant and said, I am Brahman/God; elephant is also a Brahman; why should I run away? The elephant lifted him and dashed him on the ground and went its way. The severely injured disciple met his Guru after several months of treatment. He was angry and shouted at his Guru: How dare you gave me the wrong mantra. Because of you I was hospitalised for several months.

 

Guru smiled at him and asked him to narrate the full story without omitting a single bit. He did the same. Guru told him, “my dear friend. You have correctly identified the Brahman in the elephant. But there was another Brahman sitting on the elephant and asked you to run for life. Why didn’t you listen to that Brahman/god?” The disciple learnt his lesson.

 

Friends,

We must understand our role. The patient also must understand who we are. He must follow what the medical personnel tell him to do to cure his disease. We are not doctors.

 

Let me get to the points now.

 

Why do the patients need a chaplain?

The chaplaincy is a new concept for the Hindus. We don’t have Hospital chaplains, Prison chaplains, University Chaplains, Army/Navy/Air Force chaplains in those days. Now we have chaplains employed in all these places. The patients need us to get some moral support. A consultant was admitted to hospital in coma stage. His wife was also a consultant. But they wanted to meet the priest (Hindu Chaplain). My friend Kalyanji, who was the chaplain in the hospital was surprised to know that the patient and his wife were doctors and yet they wanted to see the chaplain. Kalyanji slowly came to know their background and he gave them a picture of Vishnu and they saw it as an auspicious sign. Priest also comforted them with soothing words. She wanted to consult some astrologer to know whether her husband would come out the coma stage and work again as a consultant/ doctor. Though it was not a chaplain’s area, still Kalyanji (chaplain) helped them to get good, positive advice from an astrologer. The fear in them and the faith in God only made them to seek the help of the priest. Fortunately, her husband was completely cured and started working as a consultant (doctor).

This is one example to show even educated people need the help of a chaplain, when they were confused and confounded.

 

Patient who can’t speak

Once the staff approached our chaplain for help because they were not able to communicate with the patient, who had a throat infection and could not say yes or no to any question. (Body gestures like shaking the head left to right or up and down have different meanings in different cultures). The Hindu chaplain went and prayed by reciting some hymns. At the end of the session he wrote ‘Thank you’ on a sheet of paper and showed it to the chaplain. From that minute on wards the medical personnel used written communication with the patient. Very simple matter; but it did not dawn upon the minds of the staff. Priest/chaplain opened the gates of communication!

 

To Bury or To Cremate

 

Once a one year old Sri Lankan Tamil child died in the hospital; The parents were upset and could not take any decision about the disposal of the body. They have to say whether they agree to post-mortem, burial or cremation by the hospital or do it on their own. They consulted me to find out what the Hindu scriptures say about it. I told them that any child under three is buried not cremated according to Hindu customs. But I advised them to consult the elders in his family. The child’s father rang his parents in Sri Lanka and decided to bury the child. When someone is desperate or sad, even the normal faculties of the body are shut. The chaplain can help them to get balance of mind.

 

to be continued……………………

 

India- Iran Vedic Connection (Post No.3831)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 19 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 6-55 am

 

Post No. 3831

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com 

 

In the first part titled “Who was Zoroaster? Why did Parses Return to India, I gave  20 points listed by Dattopant Thengadi and what Kanchi Paramacharya (1894-1994) told us about Zoroaster (Please see at the end for the details)

 

Today I give below some interesting points discussed by Professor Herman Lommel:

1.It is a well known fact that old India and Iran have in common many related traditions, mythical conceptions, tales and legends. We need mention only such names as Soma, Mitra, Vrtrahan, Yama, Apam Napat, Vayu, Trita Aptya in order to recall the memory of those versed in these things a much debated domain of associations.

(all the above are in Rig Veda and Persian scriptures; I  add Usana Kavi, the great poet of Rig Veda and Varuna which are also found in Persian)

 

2.We see some other Vedic concepts in the teachings of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster). i.e. principall ythose in the Gathas. We can again suggest correlatives with a few catch words:

Rta in the Vedas= asa in Gathas

aramati = armaiti

Purandhi = Parendi

3.There is a systematic connection in the Zarathushtrian doctrine between Asa as a spiritual and heavenly power and FIRE as its earthly corporeal counterpart. And this has parallel I the Vedic religion in the relationship between Agni, the God of Fire and Rta.

Cinvat Bridge

4.The chief point to be discussed here is the Cinvat Bridge. Earth and heaven are separated by a space, empty except for the wind. In order to go from the earth to the heaven one must pass through this intermediate space. Only the soul is capable of such an act, so that except for special cases like that of Arda Vira, it must take place after death. So far these ideas are not Iranian singularities, but are rather widely spread. The old Indian views are at any rate very similar. The path by which  one can cross this empty space is the bridge. The wind will help the good people to go to heaven and the bad people will be made to fall into hell.

 

5.In the Rig Veda the bridge occurs only once (RV.9-41) as a figure of speech and not at a as a path into the other life. We find this conception however in the Yajur Veda. Kathakam 28-4: “By means of the midday pressing the gods entered into the world of heaven. Their steps and ladder were the ‘dakshinas’. If one offers dakshina, one crosses a bridge and enters the world of heaven.

 

This is found in Maitrayani Samhita (4-8-3), Taittiriya Samhita (6,5 3-3) and Satapata Brahmana (13-2-10-1).

 

Upanishads also (Brh14-7-2-27; Chando 8-4-1; Kathaka 3-2) talk about the bridge.

 

More often than to crossing of a bridge occur references to steps or rungs of a ladder which one must climb. The symbol of the bridge is used in a sense which corresponds to the philosophy of the Upanishads; one reaches the Brahman world through recognition of Atman and faithfulness to him.

  1. I search for the meaning in another direction. In the language of the Avesta for instance Apam Napat (Vedic God) means the crossing of the water. In the sense the crossing, the ford or the bridge over the water. Cinvat Bridge can therefore mean the crossing over that which is Cinvat.

 

7.When the soul arrives in the world beyond, the other souls come to meet it. Zarathushtra himself says so only with a reference to perdition (Y-49-11). Later it is told with reference to paradise. Strangely similar is the report in Kausitaki Upanishad, 1-3 of what Brahman says upon the arrival of a deceased person in that other world: “run to meet him through my glory he has attained to the ageless stream, truly he shall not grow old”.

8.According to Rig Veda (10-154-1) ghee among, other things is eaten in heaven which corresponds to the raoghna zaramaya, the spring butter (Had.N.2-18).

 

 

  1. In the same way we can compare with the sweet scent which blows from the southern quarters to the soul of the pious on the third morning after death (Had.N.2-18) – i.e. shortly before his arrival in the world beyond – the aggregable and beneficent winds which according to the Atharva Veda (18-2-21) the fathers and Yama waft toward the deceased (not the wind which blows them thither, as Whitney translates).

 

10.According to old Hindu belief the heavenly courtesans receive the deceased, while to the Zoroastrian his own Daena appears and the pleasures are spiritualised. That the Daena appears as a glorious damsel is in V.19.30 (but not in the Gathas).

 

11.I need mention only the well-known fact that the two dogs which accompany the Daena (V.19-33) and which guard the bridge (V.13-9) originate in the Hindu mythology.

 

12.I might also observe that the locality of the Cinvat Bridge and the sojourn of the souls, which are neither good nor bad, “in wind” remind us somewhat of the numerous references in India to the belief of the “self” (atman RV 10-16-3) or its vital breath or spirit goes to the wind when it dies.

 

 

13.Every reader of the Veda is acquainted with the references to the rain as semen engenders life on earth. This is very clearly expressed, but also embellished with the idea of metempsychosis, in the passage mentioned in the Kausitaki Upanishad (1-2). The moon lets the soul, which cannot answer its questions satisfactorily, turn to rain and fall upon the earth, from which animals are born. It is probably an earlier idea, at any rate it coincides more nearly with the Iranian. (according to Chandogya Upanishad 5-10-6 which says all plants originate in this way). Compare with this Bundahis (9-2).

 

I do not know whether the primitive natural science theory common to old Indians and Iranians that the plants spring from the rain-water, can be found by other peoples or not.

 

(Summary of the article “Some corresponding conceptions in old India and Iran” written by Prof.Herman Lommel in the Dr.Modi Memorial volume, published in 1930)

–Subham–

From my old article posted in 2013

“Why Did Parsees ‘Return’ to Gujarat?”

 

By London Swaminathan; Post No 759 dated 25th December 2013

Who was Zoroaster?

 

The date and the birth place of Zoroaster are not yet settled. He is placed between 6th and 10th centuries BC. Two interesting details point out that he was born in Saurashtra area in Gujarat. Kanchi Paramacharya (Shankaracharya) Swamikal said in one of his talks that Zoroaster was from Saurashtra. The reason for Parsees coming back to Gujarat after the persecution by Muslims in Iran also confirms they were from Gujarat. Kanchi Paramacharya Swamikal on Zoroaster Kanchi Shankaracharya in his talk in Chennai in 1932 says: “Now Parsees are worshipping Agni (fire). Their scripture is called Zend Avesta. It is Chando Avasta.Their Acharya (teacher) was Zoroaster. This is the distorted form of Saurashtrar. Their country was called Iran. This is the distorted form of Arya Desa.” Sri Shankaracharya repeated the same in a talk again on 17-11-1932.

There is another interesting story of Parsees migration into Gujarat when Yadhava Rana (Jadi Rana) was ruling. His date was not known. He might have ruled in 10th century. When the Parsees were persecuted by the Muslims in Iran, they came to India. Why did they come to Gujarat in India? Because it was their original home .There was an interesting meeting between the Parsee priests. When Yadhava Rana was informed about the new immigrants he came with a glass of milk. The milk was filled to the brim. He showed it to the priests to convey the message that the area was full and no place for the new people. The wise priests put some sugar into it meaning we won’t displace any of you, but mingle with your people like sugar in milk. To this day the Parsees kept their word. Their contribution to the development of India was great in all fields from Nuclear reactors to big Steel industries. They are a peace loving community.

 

I think Zoroaster was a rebel and went to another country to start a rival group. That justifies their scriptures calling Devas of India as Asuras and vice verse. But yet they did not differ on basic issues. They still praised Varuna and Mithra. I reproduce Dattopant Thengadi’s article below which gives a good comparison of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism:

 

Zend Avesta—A Neglected Hindu Scripture By D B Thengadi written on 22-2-67 (From his book The Perspective, page 32) “ The Vishva Hindu Parishad is trying to bring together Hindus all over the world on a common platform. Hence it is necessary and useful that a thorough research is conducted into our many neglected scriptures. If these scriptures continue to be neglected the blame lies squarely on our own shoulders. The scriptural text of our Parsi brethren- Zend Avesta—falls into this category. There searches made by Prof. Max Muller, Dr Hang, L.H.Mills, Sir William Jones and others throw on that scripture much light which reveals some important facts:

 

1.Zend Avesta is a corrupt form of Chhanda Avastha. 2.At least sixty percent of the words in Zend Avesta are of pure Sanskritic origin. 3.There is grammatic similarity in the language of the Vedas and the Avesta. 4.The corruption of Sanskrit words has followed a particular pattern.For example, Sanskritic ‘ta’ has changed into ‘tha’ in the Avesta; ‘swa’ into ‘sya’, ‘ha’ into ‘ja’ and ‘sa’ into ‘ha’. Even in Arabic, the Sanskrit ‘sa’ has becpme’ha’.

 

5.Aryamana in Sanskrit means both a ‘friend’ and ‘God’. In the Avesta also Airyamana means the same. In Sanskrit ‘Mitra’ has three meanings—Sun, Friend ad God Mithr in the Avesta also means the same three things. Gau has the same two meanings—cow and earth—in both the languages. 6.The Vedic and Avesta language are two forms of the same language. 7.Many prosodies of the Vedas such as Gayathri, Trishtup, Anustupha, Asuri, Ushati etc. are to be found in the Avesta. 8.The institution of Yajna, its different types and tools ae treated similarly in both. They give the same importance to Soma and Homa. 9.Both deal with the significance and worship of Agni (Fire). 10.Both refer to the importance of the Gau (cow) and Gomutra (Urine of the cow).

 

11.The Parsis are described as Arya and Aryatva is praised in the Avesta.

12.There is surprising similarity in the views of both about metaphysics, cosmology, the process of the evolution of the universe etc.

  1. The Thirty Three Gods in the Vedas resemble the Thirty Three Rathus in the Avesta. 14.The Avesta recognises the concepts of rebirth and Karma. 15.The Cow is considered as the representative of the entire society in the Avesta.

 

 

16.There is a reference to ancient metaphysics in the Avesta. 17.The Parsis also have the Sacred Thread ceremony. It is called Kushati. 18. The social order described in the Avesta is similar to Chaturvarnya. 19.The Brahmin is referred to as ‘athrva’, ‘atharvana’ and the Kshatriya as rathesto, ratheshta in the Avesta. 20.Dr. Hang concludes that Brahmins and Prsis are two different types of the same caste.

 

 

Against the background of all these facts, it is our duty to consider Zend Avesta as a neglected Hindu scripture and conduct proper research into it. (From the book THE PERSPECTIVE by D.B.Thengadi, 1971) Contact swami_48@yahoo.com; pictures are used from other websites; thanks. Pictures are taken from Wikipedia and other websites;thanks.

 

–Subham–

 

Why do Hindus worship Grammar every day? (Post No.3814)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 13 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 10-12 am

 

Post No. 3814

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Hindus are the strangest people in the world. Every day they worship sandals (shoes), sun and moon, Tulsi and Bilva leaves, several flowers and trees, cow and elephant, stones and metals (statues and idols), umpteen gods and innumerable symbols including Om and Swastika. In short they worship earth and all its occupants and stars and planets above the earth. This means they see God in everything. Since they have been doing it for 3500 years continuously according to Max Muller and 6500 years continuously according to Herman Jacobi and B.G.Tilak, I consider the Hindus ‘living fossils’.

 

But if one worships even prosody and grammar, numbers and mathematics for 6000 years until today they must be the most advanced civilization and most intelligent people on earth.

Five Years ago, I wrote an article in this blog with 41 points in 41 paragraphs under the title:

Brahmins deserve an entry in to Guinness Book of Records”; posted on 26 January 2012

 

in which I mentioned the following as one of the points:

G for Grammar: When we do the Gayatri  Japa we do touch our nose and say Gayathri (24 syllables) , Ushnik (28), Anushtub (32), Bruhathi (36), Pankthi (40), Trustub (44), jagathi  (48 syllables)–all these are Vedic meters. Grammar for writing poetry-prosody. Who in the world use grammar (prosody) terms for worship? Don’t we deserve a place in the Book of Records for using Grammar in our daily rituals?

Brahmins do Sandhavandana three times a day: before sunrise, noon and after sunset. They do worship Vedic Gods in the prayer. Just before doing the most important Gayatri mantra they touch their nose and say Gayatri, Ushnik,Anushtubh, Brhti, Panti, Trshtubh, Jagati.

 

These are the Vedic metres, part of prosody (the study of versification, especially, the systematic study of metrical structure). Vedic Hindus paid so much attention to it and stressed its importance by including it into every day rituals. They studied sounds and its rhythm and patters. Vedic Hindus classified it in an order; we can see a pattern, arithmetic pattern in it. Lot of research is required to study them scientifically. Since Aitareya Brahmana says,

 

“He who wishes for long life, should use two verses in Ushnih metre; for Ushnih is life. He who having such a knowledge uses two Ushihs arrives at his full age (100 years).

 

“He who desires heaven should use tow Anushtubhs. There are 64 syllables in two Anushtubhs. Each of these three worlds (Earth, Air and Sky= Bhur Bhuva Suvah) contains 21 places, one rising above the other (just as the steps of a ladder). By 21 steps he ascends to each of these worlds severally; by taking the 64th step he stands firm in the celestial world. He who having such a knowledge uses two Anushtubhs gains a footing (in the celestial world).

“He who desires strength should use two Trishtubhs. Trishtubh is strength, vigour and sharpens of senses. He who knowing this, uses two Trishtubhs, becomes vigorous, endowed with sharp senses and strong.

He who desires cattle should use two Jagatis. Cattle are Jagati like. He who knowing this uses two Jagatis, becomes rich in cattle”.

GAYATRI METRE (or Meter)=24

Three times 8 syllables

This is the most sacred one and it is the proper metre for Agni (Fire God).

USHNIH = 28

It has got 28 syllables

This is the symbol of life; anyone needs longevity use this.

ANUSHTUBH = 32 Syllables

It is the symbol of celestial world

Those who wish to go to heaven should use this.

 

BRIHATI = 36 Syllables

This metre is used to attain fame

PANKTI = 40 syllables

Five times 8

This is also used to get wealth.

 

TRISHTUBH=44

It expresses the idea of strength and royal power

This is the proper metre to invoke Indra

Kshatriyas use it to get strength and power.

Four times 11 syllables

 

JAGATI= 48 syllables

Anyone who wishes for wealth, cattle wealth must use it.

 

(Viraj = 30 syllables; It helps one to get food and satisfaction.)

 

Why did Vedic Hindus attribute certain qualities to each metre?

Why did they arrange them in a particular (number) pattern?

Is there a scientific basis for it?

Has any one studied the Vedas form this angle?

Are they just symbolic way of saying something else?

(Number five is used to denote five senses; 64 used to denote 64 arts; Cattle and elephant are used as symbols of five senses)

 

We must do more research in these metres and its claims of longevity, fame, strength etc.

Dance and Music

Max Muller says, “The metres were originally connected with dancing and music. The names for metre in general confirm this. Chandas, metre, denotes stepping, vritta, metre from vrit, to turn, meant originally the last three or four steps of a dancing movement, to turn, the versus which determined the whole character of a dance and of a metre. Trishtubh means three steps”.

 

Griffith says, “The Hymns are composed in various metres, some of which are exceedingly simple and others comparatively complex and elaborate, and two or more different etres are frequently found in the same hymn, for instance in Book 1 shows nine distinct varieties in the same number of verses”.

More research with all the scientific instruments will prove how advanced were the Vedic Hindus in the science of sound and music.

They were highly civilized, far ahead of the known ancient civilizations.

 

Source Book:

An Account of the Vedas with Numerous Extracts from The Rig Veda by J Murdoch.

-Subham–

Meticulous Details of Funerals of Vali, Jatayu and Ravana (Post No.3791)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 5 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-19-37

 

Post No. 3791

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

 

First part of this article, “Interesting Funerary Customs during Ramayana Period” (Post No.3782) was posted on 2nd APRIL 2017

 

 

 

Valmiki amazes us by giving us very minute details.

 

Following is the second and final Part:-

 

“On the 11th day of the funeral of Dasaratha, Bharata donated gold and gems to the Brahmins. The donation list includes cows and goats, male and female servants, chariots and special mansions!

 

When Bharata broke the news of Dasaratha’s death to Rama in the forest Rama fainted and looked like an elephant crushed by a landslide. Another simile Valmiki used was Rama fell like a tree with its flowering branches that is severed by an axe in the forest.

 

Sita also felt sad and Rama consoled her. Then he said to Lakshmana, “ Bring the pressed pulp of the Ingudi tree and fresh bark so that we may proceed with the water rite for our magnanimous father. Let Sita go first, you follow her and I will be the last in the funeral procession. Sumatara, Chief Minister, held Rama’s hand and led them to the Mandakini River. There they offered the water to Dasaratha, saying ‘Father, may this prove agreeable to you.’ Then Rama turned towards south and offered water again saying, ‘I offer it to you. Let it reach you in the region of your ancestors. Then Rama offered Pinda. He placed the pulp of the Ingudi tree mixed with Badari fruits on the Dharba grass.

 

( Though we don’t use Ingudi pulp and Badari fruits nowadays, Dharba grass is used until now.)

 

Then Rama killed demon Viradha, by throwing his body into a pit, at his request. We didn’t know what happened to his body. Viradha was the one ho suggested that he must be thrown into a pit

 

Jatayu cremated! (Aranya Kanda)

 

When Jatayu died half way through his speech, Rama decided to give the honour by cremating him. He instructed Lakshmana to bring the fuel. Then Rama himself placed the King of Winged Creatures on the funeral pyre and ignited the flame. Then Rama went into the forest with his brother, killing a few fat Rohi deer, stewed the flesh on the green grass as an oblation to the bird. Tearing off the flesh of those deer and kneading it into balls, he offered it. He recited those sacred formulas uttered by the Brahmins so as to send Jatayu’s soul to heaven. Both the brothers went to the river, bathed and did Udaka ceremony (ritual presentation of water to the ancestors).

 

Vali’s Funeral Rites (Kishkinda Kanda)

 

Vali (Bali) was the monkey king. When he was killed by Rama, Sugriva, Tara and others were grief stricken. Lakshmana says to Sugriva, “Inaugurate obsequies without delay with the assistance of Tara and Angada. Issue the order that a large quantity of dry would be gathered together with the sacred sandal wood, for the funeral pyre. Let Angada bring garlands and robes of every kind, together with butter, oil, perfumes and all that is requisite. O Tara, you do find a palanquin without delay. Let those who are skilful and strong, accustomed to palanquins, hold themselves in readiness to bear Vali away.

Vali’s body was placed in a chariot with beautiful carvings. Priceless ornaments, strings of pearls and splendid crowns gave it a dazzling appearance; it was covered with clay, painted red and sprinkled with sandal paste. Festooned with wraths of lotuses, shining like the dawn, it was strewn with innumerable flowers.

 

“ Having laid the corpse on its couch, Sugriva covered the body with ornaments of every kind together with wreaths and cloths. The great monkey leader preceded the litter, scattering jewels of every kind in profusion. All the wives of Vali accompanied the procession. Angada ignited the funeral pyre. He circumambulated it. Rama officiated at the funeral rites.

 

Valmiki gave all the minute details of the funeral ceremony. Normally people consider it inauspicious to talk about it. But Valmiki was very descriptive. Thanks to him, now we know how it was done several thousand years ago. For great saints like Valmiki, life and death are like changing worn-out clothes.

 

Ravana’s Funeral (Yuddha Kanda)

 

When Ravana was killed by Rama in the final battle, his brother Vibhishana refused to do the cremation. But Rama asked him to do it saying, “ Death brings enmity to an end”.

 

At these words of Raghava, Bibishana hastened to carry out the funeral rites.

 

Entering the City of Lanka, that Indra began to prepare for the Agnihotra Ceremony in honour of his brother. Carts, wood of varying essences, fire utensils, sandal, logs of every kind, fragrant gums, perfumes, cloths, jewels, pearls and coral were all assembled by him and he soon returned surrounded by titans, whereupon accompanied by Malyavan, he initiated the sacrifice.

Having placed Ravana, the Supreme Lord of the titans, wrapped in linen cloth, s on a golden bier, the Twice born with Bibishana at their head, their eyes suffused with tears, raised the litter decorated with many fragrant and divine symbols to the sound of innumerable music instruments and funeral chants and all, turning their faces towards the south took up pieces of wood which had been distributed among them.

 

Then the Brahmins, versed in the Yajur Veda, bearing flaming brands went forward and those who had taken refuge with them and the women of the inner apartments followed sobbing with tottering steps, running hither and thither. And Ravana was placed in a spacious ground, amidst profound lamentation and a great pyre was built with pieces of sandal and Padmaka wood and grass, according to tradition; and he was covered with antelope skins.

 

Thereafter in honour of the King of the Titans, a rare offering was made to the ancestors and the altar was installed to the south-west with the sacred fire in its proper place. Then curd and clarified butter were poured on Ravana’s shoulder and a wooden mortar placed at his feet with one between his thighs. Vessels of wood and the lower and upper sticks, with a spare pestle, were set there to the prescribed rules.

 

Now the titans sacrificed a goat in honour of their king, according to tradition, as taught by the great Rishis, and, dipped a cloth in butter, they covered the face of their sovereign, who was adorned with garlands and sprinkled with perfumes. Thereafter Bibisbana’s companions, their faces bathed in tears, covered the body with cloths and every kind of roasted grain, whereupon Bibishana kindled the fires according to the sacred rites and, having laved him with a cloth which had been previously wetted with water and mingled with linseed and sacrificial grass, be bowed down to him; then he addressed the consorts of Ravana again and again in order to console them, finally entreating them to return home. And when they had all re-entered the City of Lanka, that Indra among the Titans, took up his place by Rama in an attitude of reverence.

 

A lot of details are here about the funeral of a Rakshasa King. It differs in many ways with the modern funeral. But in a vast country like India with thousands of castes and sub castes the funeral rites differ widely from area to area.

In Dasaratha’s funeral Sama Veda was used and here in Ravana’s funeral Yajur Veda was used.

 

Earlier in Aranya Kanda, we came across the shapeless demon Kabandha who was killed by Rama and Lakshmana. he was also cremated by the brothers; though he melted like butter in the fire, he rose up from the ashes, wearing spotless raiment ad a celestial garland. Now he looked very handsome and wore ornaments in his limbs and ascended a chariot drawn by swans. Before ascending to heaven he instructed Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sabhari, a female ascetic.

The chapters on funerals raise many questions. If Vyasa was the one who divided Vedas into four, how come Valmiki mentioned two different Vedas. Probably the Vedas were known as Rik, Sama and Yajjur already and Vyasa allocated the portions to his four disciples for preservation. Why two different Vedas were used in two different funerals is also another debatable matter.

 

The funeral processions were pompous, but we must remember they were ones for kings like Dasaratha,Bali (Vali) and Ravana

 

Lot of Dhanams (gifts) were given to Brahmins. Bird Jatayu, Demon Ravana, Monkey Vali/Bali and Human Dasaratha were cremated according to the scriptures. So there were no caste differences among them. Thanks to Valmiki we learnt a lot which can be compared with the funeral rites in the Smrtis and other cultures.

 

–Subham–

Interesting Funerary Customs during Ramayana Period (Post No.3782)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 2 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 15-30

 

Post No. 3782

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

There are very interesting funerary customs in Valmiki Ramayana. Since they are only minor details, many of us miss them. Some of the dead were cremated; some were buried. We don’t know why. Let us look at them one by one:-

 

Bhagiratha performing the funeral rites for his ancestors occurs in the Balakanda. Bhagiratha made the Ganges water to flow on the ashes of ancestors and liberated them. He also performed the funeral rites with the sacred water in accordance with the tradition.

Here we come across some important points:

1.Dissolving the ashes of the dead in Ganges water existed at least from the days of Bhagiratha. Even today Hindus dying in different parts of the world, make arrangements for their ashes to be dissolved in the Holy Ganges. From Vedic days, Hindus were mostly cremated.

2.Even During Bhagiratha’s days there was a tradition of performing funeral rites.

3.Water is used in all the rites.

  1. In the Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world and in the Sangam Tamil literature, we come across both burials and cremations.

 

When Dasaratha died….

Dasaratha’s body was immersed in a vat of oil for preservation.

 

“Raising the body of King Dasaratha from the earth, where it had been immersed in oil, seeming as it were asleep, the face like the colour of gold, he (Bharata) placed it on a magnificent couch, adorned with every kind of precious stones, and, plunged in grief, said to his father……”

(Ayodhya Kanda, Chapter 76)

Vasishtha said to him, “ O Valiant Prince, without hesitation or repining, carry out the funeral rites of the king that should be performed”.

Be it so! answered Bharata, and obedient to Vasishtha’s command, he summoned the priests speedily from all side with their attendants and sages. The fires for that Indra among men were prepared outside Agnyagara (Fire Chamber) and kindled in accord with the rituals by the priests and sacrificial attendants. Thereafter the servants placing the body of the king on a litter, with dejected minds bore it away, weeping the while; the people scattering gold, silver and cloths of many kinds went before the king, whilst others assembled sandal wood, sweet aloes and different fragrant essences with heaps of Sarala, Devadaru and Padmaja wood in order to build the funeral pyre. Then drawing near where the king lay, the Ritvijas offered sandal, stalks of water lilies, sweet roots and perfumes, and, pouring oblations into the fire, began the recitation of the silent prayer; thereafter, as laid down in the scriptures, the singers of the Sama Veda started their chanting.

Then the women of the inner apartments left the city in palanquins and chariots according to their rank, escorted by aged guards; and the priests circumambulated the royal pyre, keeping it on their left and the women plunged in grief followed, led by Kauslaya. Thereupon piercing cries, like unto ospreys, arose, which was the wailing of the women, who in their despair emitted innumerable plaints as they descended from their chariots on to the banks of the Sarayu River.

Having performed the water ritual (The Funeral rites consist of two parts, the burning and the cooling of the body by libations, called Tarpana. Each attending is required to offer an Anjali of water – that which can be contained in the hollow of the hands – to the deceased.), the wives of the monarch, as also the counsellors and priests, in company with Bharata, returned to the city, their eyes bathed in tears, and for ten days, observing deep mourning, slept on the ground.

(The Smriti lays down twelve days for the kings and sixteen for other Kshatriyas, but the sage Parasara fixes ten days for Kshatriyas in general).

My comments:

1.Hindus and the Government of India observe a mourning period of ten to thirteen days until today.

2.Funeral pyre is made up of sandal, aloe, agar and other fragrant woods.

3.Holy water from different sources are used

  1. Our forefathers knew the technique of preserving dead bodies. Since Bharata had to travel very fast in Chariot from the border of Iran-Afghanistan to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh (India), Chief Priest ordered the body to be preserved in medicinal oil.
  2. Royal women also came in palanquins to attend the funeral.

6.Note that there was no Suttee (wives dying with husband in the funeral pyre); all the three queens returned home after bathing in Sarayu.

7.Tarpan (water oblation) continues until today. We can’t see such a continuity in any other parts of the world. For over 5000 years the ceremonies are kept almost intact. Only now it is changing because relatives have spread far and wide.

  1. Going around the dead body in the anti-clock wise direction is done even today.

Chapter 77 of Ayodhya Kanda gives following details: –

Ten days have passed; on the eleventh day Bharata and Shatrugana fainted during the ceremonies; those who watched them also felt sad. The bothers fell like Indra Dwaja (standard).

 

This simile use in the chapter twice shows Valmiki lived long before other poets. Indra dwaja (flag of Indra) is knocked down during the festival. Tamils also celebrated according to Tamil epics. But later it stopped.

 

On the 13th day, the virtuous and gentle spiritual preceptor Vasishtha said, “O,Lord, this is the thirteenth day since the death of your father. Why do you delay in collecting the bones and ashes? All beings, without exception, suffer three things. Once cannot eschew them.”

 

Three things= Hunger and thirst, Pleasure and pain, Life and Death.

 

Then helped by the Chief Minister Sumantra both brothers completed the funeral rites.

In some communities, the ashes are collected on the second day and the ceremony finishes on the 12th day; on the thirteenth day, they do the purification ceremony.

 

We will see what Rama did with the bodies of demons, Bird King Jatayu and others in the next article.

 

Source book: The Ramayana of Valmiki, Translated by Hari Prasad Shastri

 

—Subham–

 

30 more Golden Sayings from Panchatantra (Post No.3763)

b7ea3-raman2blotus

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 27 March 2017

Time uploaded in London:- 20-44

Post No. 3763

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

April 2017 Calendar
30 more Golden Sayings from Panchatantra (Last month calendar carried 31 quotes from Panchatantra)

Festival/ Holidays: April 5 Ram Navami; 9 Mahavir Jayanti; 14 Tamil New Year Day & Good Friday; 16 Easter Sunday; 29 Akshaya Trtyai; 30 Shankara and Ramanuja Jayanti

Ekadasi (11th day Fasting)- 6, 22; Amavasya/ New Moon- April 26
Paurnami/Full Moon- April 10; Auspicious Days:- April 2, 9, 10, 17, 21

April 1 Saturday
Don’t waste words:
The chickpea may hop up and down frantically
but will it crack the frying pan?

April 2 Sunday
What are dreams?
What a man watches or does
or yearns for during the day
he does the same at night in his sleep
He talks about it; he acts it out.

April 3 Monday
Which man does Fortune not render proud?
which seeker after pleasure sees his troubles end?
whose heart is not shattered by a woman?
who does not fall into the clutches of Time?

April 4 Tuesday
whoever saw or heard of these?
cleanliness in a crow,
truth in a gambler,
forbearance in a serpent
spent passion in a woman

April 5 Wednesday
Rulers live off their lands,
physicians off the sick;
merchants live off consumers
the learned off fools

928f5-rama2bold2bstyle
April 6 Thursday
Money! Money!
A trouble to acquire; a trouble to protect;
a trouble if it is lost; a trouble if it is spent;
money is nothing but trouble,
alas! from beginning to end.

April 7 Friday

one without ambition does not hold office;
one fallen out of love does not care to adorn himself;
one who lacks learning displays no eloquence;
one who is blunt in speech is never a cheat.

April 8 Saturday

The senses age first, then the body
in those blessed with virtue and piety
but in those who possess neither
body ages, senses never.

April 9 Sunday

A tiller of the soil, an outcaste with matted hair,
or another man duly initiated
with Siva’s mystical names and vows; whose body
is marked with sacred ash becomes a twice-born pure.

April 10 Monday

A king is ruined by bad advice
an ascetic by company
a child by fond indulgence
a Brahmana by lack of learning

b4e1a-brahmin2

April 11 Tuesday

Hospitality:
A stranger at dusk must not turn back unwelcomed
householders who honour and serve a guest
brought by the setting sun, themselves
take on an aura of divinity.

April 12 Wednesday

Water, a pile of straw, and a place to sleep
kind words of welcome, these four things
are never found wanting in the houses
or mansions of the good and virtuous.

April 13 Thursday

Delirium, trembling, tottering, falling down,
a constant patter of incoherent babbling
these are the sure signs of foul fevers, lie threatening,
and of drunkenness as well

April 14 Friday

Honest man:
The man who appears in open court
calm and cheerful, with smiling face, defiant eye,
and speaks in clear, firm tones with confident pride,
know him to be true and upright.

April 15 Saturday

Women:
They laugh, they weep, to gain their own ends;
they win the trust of others; trust no one themselves
Let them be shunned therefore like burial-urns
by all men of good conduct and noble birth

dd3f1-ammami

April 16 Sunday
Criminal:
Altered speech, changing complexion,
eyes darting from side to side in alarm
drooping, broken in spirit: such a man
having committed a crime is afraid of his own act.

April 17 Monday

Death Sentence:
A Brahmana, a child, a woman, a sick man,
and an ascetic may not be put to death;
if the offence be serious, the law lays down
that disfigurement is proper punishment.

April 18 Tuesday

Seven Sins of Rulers
Women, dice, hunting and dice
abusive speech, that is the fifth,
punishment severe beyond reason,
and rapine – that completes the seven.

April 19 Wednesday

The Crow and the Serpent Story
Where sheer prowess cannot succeed
a clever ruse may accomplish the end;
the hen-crow by means of a golden chain
brought about the deadly black serpent’s death.

April 20 Thursday

Animal Behaviour:
Crows, cowards, deer, these three,
will never abandon their home;
elephants, lions, and noble men, these three,
faced with dishonour will always leave home.
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April 21 Friday
Women:
Pretty on the outside; poisonous within;
they resemble the Gunjas’ bright berries
Women God! Who did create them?

April 22 Saturday

Health:
There is no friend like good health;
there is no foe like sickness;
no joy equals that of children;
no pain equals that of hunger

April 23 Sunday

Evil men perish:
Why need you think of ways and means
to do harm to evil doers,
when they are sure to fall on their own
like trees that grow by the river’s edge.

April 24 Monday

Sacrifice for a Friend:
Imbued with passion for benevolence,
saints on earth, possessed of steadfast minds, cherish
service to others alone, and count as nothing
even the sacrifice of their own life for a friend.

April 25 Tuesday

Foolish Friends:
Better take a walk with a snake
or share your home with rogues or foes;
never put your trust in evil friends,
false, fickle and foolish

dracula
April 26 Wednesday

Fear danger while it is still to come;
once you are face to face with danger
strike hard with no hesitation.

April 27 Thursday

Arrogance:
In blind arrogance, men often mistakenly disdain
a weak foe; only to find that foe
easily put down first, soon growing unassailable
like a disease that flares if not contained in time.

April 28 Friday

Women:
Falsehood and daring, folly and deceit,
uncleanness of body and spirit too,
excessive greed, and lack of compassion,
these vices are inborn in women

April 29 Saturday

Sinful Act:
The sinful acts the ignorant commit
for the sake of a single life,
bring them only sorrows that extend
over a thousand recurring lives.

April 30 Sunday
King:
A king is a lamp, wealth, the oil
gathered from the people.
Who has ever perceived him as shining
lit by in-dwelling virtues radiant.

68f52-siva2bthird2beye
–Subham–