Valluvar and Manu agree on Violence, Non-Violence, Leadership and Householder (Post No.4477)

Valluvar and Manu agree on Violence, Non-Violence, Leadership and Householder (Post No.4477)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 10 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  15-13

 

 

Post No. 4477

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Rev. G U Pope in the Sacred Kural of Tiruvalluva Nayanar compared the Tirukkural with Manu and Bhagavad Gita; he gave it in the appendix of his book published in 1886. This is another article in the series.

 

Householder

Tiru Valluvar says,

He is the true householder who helps the three orders of the virtuous (Brahmachari, Vanaprastan, Sanyasin) in their home life is the fruit of love begotten by a harmonious, right path of life.- (Kural 41)

 

Manu says,

“3.78. Because men of the three (other) orders are daily supported by the householder with (gifts of) sacred knowledge and food, therefore (the order of) householders is the most excellent order (Manu).”

 

Valluvar says,

The true house-holder gives succour to the forsaken, the poor and the departed (Kural 42)

The paramount duty of a house-holder is to cherish daily the manes, the gods, his guests, his relations and himself (43)

If a man acquires wealth by fair means and is charitable to whom charity is due his progeny will never become extinct (44)

 

Manu says,

3-71. He who neglects not these five great sacrifices, while he is able (to perform them), is not tainted by the sins (committed) in the five places of slaughter, though he constantly lives in the (order of) house (-holders).

3-72. But he who does not feed these five, the gods, his guests, those whom he is bound to maintain, the manes, and himself, lives not, though he breathes.

3-117. Having honoured the gods, the sages, men, the manes, and the guardian deities of the house, the householder shall eat afterwards what remains.

3-118. He who prepares food for himself (alone), eats nothing but sin; for it is ordained that the food which remains after (the performance of) the sacrifices shall be the meal of virtuous men.

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Ahimsa (non-killing)  chapter 33 of Tirukkural

Tiru Valluvar deals with Killing animals in the chapter Ten. He says,

Non-killing is a matchless virtue according to teachers of ethics. Truthfulness ranks as second in merit to non-killing (Kural 323)

Killing leads to all other sinful acts. Therefore non-killing is the highest virtue (321)

 

 Manu says on Ahimsa

5-43. A twice-born man of virtuous disposition, whether he dwells in (his own) house, with a teacher, or in the forest, must never, even in times of distress, cause an injury (to any creature) which is not sanctioned by the Veda.

10-63. Abstention from injuring (creatures), veracity, abstention from unlawfully appropriating (the goods of others), purity, and control of the organs, Manu has declared to be the summary of the law for the four castes.

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LEADERS and KINGS

 

Valluvar says,

He is a lion among leaders who has these six: an army, subjects, wealth, ministers, allies, fortification (Kural 381)

Courage, wisdom, liberality and zeal – these four qualities form royal features (382)

The three things alertness, learning and bravery should never be wanting in the ruler of a country (383)

A noble leader must be brave, virtuous, adventurous and free from vices and injustice (Kural 384)

An able leader makes and and earns wealth; guards and apportions it for people’s good (385)

Death Sentence:

The judge gives capital punishment to wicked killers like removing weeds from a flourishing field (Kural 550)

 

Manu says,

7-20. If the king did not, without tiring, inflict punishment on those worthy to be punished, the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit;

7-99. Let him strive to gain what he has not yet gained; what he has gained let him carefully preserve; let him augment what he preserves, and what he has augmented let him bestow on worthy men.

7-100. Let him know that these are the four means for securing the aims of human (existence); let him, without ever tiring, properly employ them.

7-101. What he has not (yet) gained, let him seek (to gain) by (his) army; what he has gained, let him protect by careful attention; what he has protected, let him augment by (various modes of) increasing it; and what he has augmented, let him liberally bestow (on worthy men).

7-102. Let him be ever ready to strike, his prowess constantly displayed, and his secrets constantly concealed, and let him constantly explore the weaknesses of his foe.

7-103. Of him who is always ready to strike, the whole world stands in awe; let him therefore make all creatures subject to himself even by the employment of force.

Manu says in the Third Chapter,

 

xxx

 

Marriage Types in Manu and Tolkappiam

Manu says,

3-20. Now listen to (the) brief (description of) the following eight marriage-rites used by the four castes (varna) which partly secure benefits and partly produce evil both in this life and after death.

3-21. (They are) the rite of Brahman (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva), that of the Rishis (Arsha), that of Pragapati (Pragapatya), that of the Asuras (Asura), that of the Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Rhashasas (Rakshasa), and that of the Pisakas (Paisaka).

3-32. The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.

Oldest book Tolkappiam (Porul Adikaram ) refered to the eight types of marriages.

Oldest Tamil book Tolkappiyam refers to eight types of marriages which is already said by Manu and other Hindu law books/smrtis. Most famous Tamil commentator Nachinarkiniyar explained them in detail.

xxx

More articles on Manu and Tirukkural

MARRIAGE – TWO OPPOSSING TAMIL VIEWS (Post No.4462) | Tamil …

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/marriage-two-oppossing-tamil-views-…

 

9 hours ago – Post No4462. Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. (Tamil Joke: Husband:While I read my love … Dr G U Pope compared couplet 41 with Manu’s 3-78 and showed Naladiyar, the poems of Jains were opposed to marriage.

 

 

Tamil Literature | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/category/tamil-literature/

 

MANU IN TAMIL VEDA TIRUKKURALRev GU Pope and Father Beschi compare -1 ( Post No.4459). MANU … RevG U Pope, a Tamil scholar and Christian preacher published The Sacred Kural of Tiruvalluva Nayanar in 1886 with his English translation. Throughout the book he had used his predecessors’ views. He had .

 

–Subham–

 

 

‘DIRGAYUTVA’ IN VEDAS; GREEK SCHOLAR ON LONG LIFE OF HINDU SEERS! (Post No.4465)

(Sri Ramanuja lived for 120 years)

‘DIRGAYUTVA’ IN VEDAS; GREEK SCHOLAR ON LONG LIFE OF HINDU SEERS! (Post No.4465)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 6 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  17-05

 

 

Post No. 4465

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

The concept of long life is found in the Rig Veda; the wish for a life span of 100 years is seen in lot of places in the Vedic literature. This shows that the Vedic Hindus were very much health conscious. This shows also that they were highly civilised. Their target was a welfare society.

 

Every day the Brahmins do Sandhya vandana (water oblation) three times and in the noon ceremony, they recite a long Mantra looking at the son through Varuna Mudra; this Mudra (hand gesture) prevents damage to the eye. In the long Mantra they pray to Sun God to give them good eye sight, good hearing, good speaking skills and ever happy mood. They also pray for invincibility. Every sentence finish with the words ‘for 100 years/autumns’ (saradas satam)

(Kanchi Shankaracharya 1894-1994)

Pasyema saradas satam

Jivema saradas satam

Nandaama saradas satam

Modaama saradas satam

Bhavaama saradas satam

Srnvaama saradas satam

Prabravaama saradas satam

Ajeetaasyama saradas satam

 

Dirgayutva, longevity, is a constant object of the Vedic prayers. Atharva Veda has spells to prolong existence.

 

When Hindu youths salute the elders they always bless them with long life. They say ‘Dirgayusmaan Bhavaha’ (Live for long). When they bless them like this, they mean a full life of 100 years without any disease or difficulties.

 

Atharva Veda and Panchvimsa Brahmana use the word Dasami for the period of life between 90 and 100 year. Rig Veda called it Dasama Yuga (1-158-6) meaning the ‘tenth stage of life’.

Dirgatamas lived for 100 years (according to Sankhayana Aranyaka)

Mahidasa Aitareya lived for 116 years (says Chandogya Upanishad)

 

(Trailinga Swami of Varanasi lived for 280 years)

Greek Scholar Onesikritos

Onesikritos, who accompanied Alexander the Great, visited India and wrote that the Hindus lived sometimes unto 130 years. Buddhist Jataka Tales also say people wished a long life of 120 years. This was the condition of India 2300 years ago.

 

The Brahmanas regularly express the reward for ritual actions by the phrase ‘sarvam aayur iti’ meaning ‘he lives all his days’.

 

In our own times Kanchi Shakaracharya lived for100 years (1894 to 1994). Sri Gnanananda Swami of Tirukovilur in Tamil Nadu lived for 150 years. Trailinga Swami of Varanasi lived for 280 years (1607-1887). If we go by these records Hindus lived longer than anyone mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records.

 

Sri Ramanuja lived for 120 years and Vedanta Desika lived for 101 years.

Bharadwaja story also shows that one could live unto 400 years.

Manu in his Manavadharma Shastra says,

“In the Krta Yuga people were free from sickness and worries and the life span of man is 400 years. In the Treta yuga it was 300 years, in the Dwapara Yuga 200 years and in Kali Yuga 100 years” (Manu 1-83)

It adds that the seers can increase their age through penance.

(Sri Gnanananda Swamil lived for 150 years)

Tamil saivites believe that Tirumular lived for 3000 years (but not in human body)

 

What we infer from all the Vedic writings is that the Vedic Hindus were health conscious and they aimed to live for 100 years.

 

The story of Bharadvaja (from my old post)

There is a story in the Taittiriya Brahmana (3-10-11-3) about  Bharadvaja studding the Vedas

Bharadvaja lived through three lives in the state of a religious student (brahmachari). Indra approached him when he was lying old and decrepit and said to him,

“Bharadvaja, if I give you a fourth life how will you use it?”

Bharadvaja said, I will be a Brahmachari studying the Vedas”

Indra showed him three mountain like objects, as it were unknown. From each of them he took a handful, and, calling to him, Bharadvaja!

“these are the three Vedas. The Vedas are infinite. This is what you have studied in your three lives. Now there is another thing which you have not studied. Come and learn it. This is universal science. He who knows this conquers a world as great as he would gain by the triple Vedas.

 

–Subham —

Interesting Story of Dirgatamas in the Veda and Mahabharata (Post No.4456)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 3 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  15-07

 

 

Post No. 4456

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Dirgatamas of Rig Veda was one of the famous blind poets like Homer of Greece. But he lived at least a few thousand years before Homer of Odyssey and Iliad. Dirgatamas meant ‘Long Darkness’. He was the son of Mamata and Ucathya. So he is known with two surnames Mamateya and Aucathya. His son was Kakshivan who was also a famous poet in the Rig Veda.

Though he was born blind he recovered his vision at the end. He lived a full hundred years. His name is found in the Rig Veda and Sankayana Aranyaka. In the Aitareya Brahmana, he was praised as the priest of the most famous king Bharata, whose name is given to India that is Bharat. He was thrown in to the river Ganga

 

In his old age by his servants. Traitana attacked him but killed himself. When he was floating in a raft in the River Ganga, he was rescued by the king of Anga Desa. There he married a slave girl by name Usij.

Though there are some contradictions in the Mahabharat version given below, we are able the get the outline of his life story.

Mahabharata version

He was the son of a Brahmana coupe- Uthathya and Mamata. His father’s younger brother Brihaspati forcibly possessed Mamata while she was pregnant.  The child inside her asked Brihaspati not to enter as there was very little space. When Brihaspati still insisted the child inside Mamata’s womb pushed out Brihaspati’s seed. Brihaspati became angry and cursed the baby in the womb to become blind. Thus, Dirgatamas was born blind.

 

He became a very learned seer and married Pradveshi. They had five children including Gautama. Some of the seers in the community hated Dirgatama and persuaded Pradveshi and his sons to send him out. They asked the servants to float him in a raft in the River Ganga so that he could find a better place to live.

 

Dirgatama was lucky to be found by the King Baliraja of Anga Desa. Hearing his full story he wanted to get him a child through his wife Queen Sudeshna. She had no issues and in those days kings without wards to succeed approached Brahmin seers to get them children.

Though Dirgatamas consented, queen Sudeshna did not like the idea of going to bed with a blind man. she feared her child would also be born blind and so she sent one of her maids to him. They had several children including Poet Kakshivanth.

One day the king asked Dirgatamas whether all of the children were his own, Dirgatamas told him the truth. The king insisted that Sudeshna should have a child through Dirgatamas and as a result they had five children: Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundra and Suhya. Each one of them was given a region to rule and they started their own dynasties.

 

This anecdote was narrated by Bhishma to Queen Satyavati to support the suggestion that a Brahmana be invited to produce children in the wives of Vichitraveerya who had died childless.

 

This is in the Adi Parva of Mahabharata.

 

From the stories in the Rig Veda, Aranyakas, Brahmanas and the epic, we are able to get the facts:

Dirgatamas was born blind. He was married and had children. He was hated by some jealous seers. They made his wife and children to send him out of his home. So he was floated in the River Ganges. He was rescued by a king. He produced children thorough King’s wife at the request of the king. They started new dynasties.

The reason attributed to his blindness is also based on medical science. If a pregnant woman was put under pressure through domestic violence o rape, then the child would be affected due to stress. Since Mamata was forcibly taken by her husband’s brother, it was possible that the child was born handicapped.

 

Dirgatamas became famous for his number symbolism and his quotations on one god with different names, four types of sounds and Adam and Eve story (At/dma= adam; Eve= Jeeve Atma) in the two birds on the same branch episode, in which one eating an apple and another being a passive observer. This is in the sculptures of India and post Vedic Upanishads as well. Bible used this story and gave Atma and Jeevatma as Adam/a and Eve/jeeva.

 

Dirgatamas hymn with 52 couplets in the Rig Veda 1-164 is the longest one and most often quoted. His number symbolism made this hymn a very interesting and debatable one. And the subjects he dealt with made this an encyclopaedic verse.

 

–Subham–

 

DIRGATAMAS HYMN- A RIDDLE IN THE RIG VEDA (Post No.4453)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  20-45

 

 

Post No. 4453

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

The Rig Vedic hymn 1-164 is a great hymn. Probably that is the longest hymn in the oldest book in the world with 52 mantras. It is like an encyclopaedia touching various subjects. It is a riddle because the poet Dirgatamas has used lot of numbers which can be interpreted in many ways. In fact Wilson, Max Muller, Ludwig, Hillebrandt, Griffith, Grasmann and many imitation western Sayanas gave their own interpretations. Even our own Sayana was struggling with the meaning of the mantras. The story of Dirgatamas itself is interesting. He was a blind poet like Homer who lived 100 years. His name meant Long Darkness.

 

First let me give you a beautiful comment on the Hymn RV 1-164 by Umapada Sen in the introduction of his book titled ‘The Rig Vedic Era’ (Calcutta, 1974):–

The Veda is an Indian mass product of a highly advanced civilised society based on class co-operation. It flowered spontaneously, breathing in Indian atmosphere, unassailed by extraneous influences for several centuries, till it was stifled by abrupt and strange appearance of liturgical codes of completely different character.

The clamour for ambiguity or inefficient articulation of the Vedic hymns by the protagonists need not be deplored. The critics should do justice to themselves in case they just take the pains to go through the hymns addressed to the Visvedevas or only the Hymn RV 1-164 and concentrate to find out the meaning of their own accord. Invariably it will dawn that the hymns are ovations addressed to all the luminaries, the then gods to the Rig Vedic singers. The sun, moon, nakshatras (stars), Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), Pole star (Dhruva) and others being mentioned and their functions, inter related with astral phenomena, minutely described in a riddle type song sung by a poet soliciting a solution.

 

The humble effort in solving the quiz has mainly been confined in rationally arranging the translation of Indologists when necessary and nothing further. Only the respective solutions, e.g. where a luminary is seen to revolve in a chariot with no wheels the axle only spinning without linear motion;  seven luminaries bearing seven distinct names journeying in a chariot but with seven wheels following the sun’s track closely; the variant sun Vishnu, never making a journey in a chariot, encompassing the entire expanse only with three strides and relate to the pole star so on, have been offered.

Logical deductions are palpably conspicuous and do not depend on superfluous elucidation or interpretations of the verses in greater details. It is apparent that the above mentioned allusions respectively relate to the pole star, the Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), seven planets, Vishnu’s sun (and not ordinary sun’s) three typical positions in the ecliptic, now known as the cardinal points, where through Vishnu’s annual revolution is completed. It would have been sheer folly if any other explanation was suggested. Nowhere, any farfetched idea has been construed or imported, nor any artificial rendering was adopted to spin a yarn or obliterate the real purport of the verse to suit the present deductions.”

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This verse is famous for a few other statements and quoted very frequently for those statements:

 

 

(1).Truth is one; scholars call it with different names!

“They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman.

To what is One sages give many a title; they call it Agni, Yama, Matariswan”-RV 1-164-46

 

(2).Speech has Four Divisions!

“Speech has been measured out in four divisions, the Brahmins who have understanding know them

Three kept in close concealment cause no motion; of speech, men speak only the fourth division.”—1-164-45

 

Four divisions of speech are

Four Types

1.Paraa, 2.Pasyantii, 3.Madhyamaa, 4.Vaikharii

Chathvaari vaak parimitaa padaani taani vidurbrahmanaa ye maniishinah

Rik Veda 1-164-45

Saayanaa in his commentary mentioned that the four types mentioned by the seers are Paraa, Pasyantii, Madhyamaa and Vaikharii.

 

(3).Adam and Eve Story from the Rig Veda!

“Two birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge.

One of the twain eats the sweet Fig tree’s fruitage; the other eating not regadeth only” 1-164-20

Kanchi Paramacharya has rightly pointed out that this gave birth to the Story of Adama and Eve and Adam eating the forbidden fruit.

Adam= ADma=Atma

Eve= Jeev (Jeevatma)

Sayana says that the two birds are the vital and the Supreme spirit, dwelling in one body. The vital spirit enjoys the fruit or rewards of actions while the Supreme Spirit is merely a passive spectator.

 

(4).Number Symbolism

“Seven to the one-wheeled chariot yoke the Courser;bearing seven names the single Courser draw it.

Three-naved the wheel is, sound and undecaying, whereon are still resting alhese worlds of being.”- 1-164-2

 

“The seven who on the seven wheeled car are mounted to have horses, seven in tale, who draw them onward.

Seven sisters utter songs of praise together, in whom the names of the seven cows are treasured.”- 1-164-3

Seven Sisters seal is found in the Indus valley civilisation as well.

The Seven: according to Sayana, the seven solar rays, or seven divisions of the year.

Seven sisters: Probably the seven celestial rivers, which as emblems of fertility may bear the name of cows.

 

Dirgatamas is playing with numbers! he used numbers 1 to 10 to denote various things. It gives scope for new interpretations touching from Astronomy to Zoology.

Tamil mystic poets Tirumular, tirumazisai Alvar and Siva vakkiyar followed this number symbolism in their poetry, but 2000 years after Dirgatamas.

 

(5). Vedic Metres

Seven Vedic Metres including Gayatri are mentioned by the poet.

(6) The Path of Knowledge

Unknowing, I ask of those  who know – the sages

as one ignorant for the sakeof knowledge;

who is that ONE in the form of the Unborn

that has supported these six spheres of the world? 1-164-6

 

(7). What is the use of Veda?

What will he do with the hymn of the Veda

who does not know its theme—the Eterna

in the supreme region, in which the Devas dwell?

But those who have come to know That are perfect. – 1-164-39

 

(8).Words of Ambiguity

Boneless one, Unborn image, Suprna, Five-footed, the single, Triplet, the buffalo, Garutman, the Sadhyas, Sraswati etc.  are interpreted differently.

Dirgatamas was one of the latest poets of the Rig Vedic period. Rig Veda covers a time span of at least 500 years. If we cant even understand Dirgatamas, how are we going to understand more ancient poets?

 

As Umapada Sen says one must read the entire hymn and come to one’s own conclusion. Don’t depend upon Western Sayanas’ interpretations. They were not Hindus and moreover they did not live the life of Indians. Unless one lives in the culture, one cannot understand the full meaning, thrust, import and significance of the poem or hymn.

 

(I will give the story of Dirgatamas separately)

–Subham–

 

 

Why did Hindu Gods lose their Heads? (Post No.4420)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 21 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 21–04

 

 

Post No. 4420

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Why did Lord Ganesh lose his head?

 Why did Lord Vishnu lose his head?

Why did Lord Brahma lose his head?

Why did Daksha lose his head?

Why did Bhrigu lose his head?

Daksha got goat’s head!

We have various versions of Daksha’s fire sacrifice in the Puranas and epics. In one of the versions Bhrigu loses his head. In another version Daksha himself lost his head. All this happened when he refused to invite Lord Siva for the sacrifice. Siva married Daksha’s daughter Sati.  Siva became angry and destroyed the Yaga. He decapitated Daksha and threw his head into fire. Later Siva was propitiated and he couldn’t find Daksha’s head. So he replaced it with that of a goat.

(We have goat headed figures in Indus valley civilisation)

 

Ganesh got Elephant’s Head

Ganesa is the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles. There is a variety of legends accounting for his elephant’s head. When his mother Parvati proudly asked Saturn to look at him he looked at him. Immediately Ganesa’s head was burnt to ashes. Brahma told Parvati in her distress to replace the head with  whatever she finds in the first place. Since she found only an elephant’s head , it was fixed on Ganesa’s head.

Another story is that Ganesh was guarding the bath room door of Parvati. Siva was refused permission. In his rage he cut off the head . When Parvati felt sad, Siva replaced it with an elephant’s head just to pacify her.

 

Brahma lost his head for lying

Again there are different versions about Brahma losing his head. One point is common in all these stories. Brahma had five heads and Siva also had five heads. And Brahma lost one. When Parvati got confused and went near Brahma thinking it was Siva, Lord Siva became angry and cut off one of the five heads to avoid future confusion.

 

Another version is Siva decapitated one of the 5 heads of Brahma, because he spoke disrespect fully. Now Brahma has only four heads.

 

Another version is that he was looking at his daughter Satarupa with bad intention and his head was cut off as a punishment.

 

All these Head losing stories are symbolic. They were told to illustrate certain points.

Why did Vishnu lose his Head?

There is a strange story of Vishnu losing head in Satapata Brahmana:

Satapata Brahmana (SB) belongs to the White (Sukla) Yajur Veda (Vajasaneyi Samhita). It consists of 100 sections (sata+path) and so it is known as the Satapata Brahmana. This is the most important Brahmana (SB) because it deals with various fire sacrifices, both minor and major. Most of the stories told in the Brahmana re symbolic. One of the stories is about Vishnu and ants.

The 14th book contains a legend concerning a contention among the gods in which Vishnu came off victorious. So it is customary to say ‘Vishnu is the luckiest (Sreshta) of the gods’ or ‘Vishnu is the most excellent of the gods’. Vishnu has brought into prominence for the first time. Earlier the legend of his three strides was known. The three stride episode is mentioned in the Satapata Brahmana also. Later the Puranas shifted this to the Vamana (Trivikrama) Avatar.

 

When Indra came to know that Vishnu won, he struck off his (Vishnu’s)  head in jealousy, says the SB. There is another version :-

 

The gods sent forth ants to gnaw the bow string of Vishnu. They did it out of jealousy. When Vishnu was standing leaning on the bended bow they sent the ants. They thought once the ants cut off the string, the bow will strike on Vishnu and knock him down. The string snapped as expected and sprang upwards, severed his (Vishnu’s) head from the body. The same legend appears in Taittiriya Aranyaka as well.

 

–Subham–

 

 

Miracles in the Life of Kerala King Kulasekara! (Post No.4416)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 20 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 18-49

 

 

Post No. 4416

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

Alvars are Vaishnava saints of Tamil Nadu. They are 12 in number. They were the famous authors of Nalayira Divya Prabandham, a collection of 4000 divine poems praising Lord Vishnu. They stand on the same footing of sanctity as Tevaram of the three Tamil Saiva saints. Kulasekara was the king of Kerala and one of the 12 Alvars.

 

Though he discharged his duties as a king regularly he was deeply involved in practising the ancient customs. As part of it he used to listen to Ramayana every day from his Guru. When he was engaged in hearing the story, he came to the stage of Khara Vadha—Killing of demon Kharan by Rama single handily. When he came to know that Rama was fighting single all alone, he ordered his army to march to back up Rama. He also put on his armours and went forth to help Sri Ramachandra. Rama lived several thousand years before Kulasekara, but he travelled back in Time, only mentally.

 

There was another occasion when his Guru was narrating the portion of Ramayana where Rama began to cross the sea to Sri Lanka. Immediately he armed himself and went into the sea with his retinue of soldiers!

These incidents and his deep emotional involvement made the ministers to devise a plan to keep him away from the Vaishnava devotees. They want to get rid of them so that he would pay more attention to his royal duties. They deliberately removed the costly jewels from the deity he worshipped and attributed the theft to his Vaishnava devotees and the priest. But Kulasekara did not believe it because he had so much faith in them. He offered put his hand in a pot containing cobras. If the cobras did not bite, it was a monumental proof of the innocence of the Vaishnava devotees and the criminal offence of the ministers. The cobras did not harm him. The ministers realised his sincerity and begged for pardon.

 

Later he crowned his son as the king and retired to lead a life of penance and prayer. He made an extensive pilgrimage to all the Vaishnava temples in South India. When he reached Mannarkoil in Tirunelveli district his soul departed from his body. He is the one who composed the well known Mukundamala in Sanskrit in addition to his Tamil poems ‘Perumal Tirumozi’ in Divya Prabandham.

He was very fond of Tirupati Balaji known as Thiruvenkaathan or the Lord of the Venkata Hills. The Lord of the Seven Hills is known as Venkatachapathi. He made very strange requests to Him in a decad.

“Oh Lord, Make a fish in the stream of Venkata Hills. Change me in to a crane in the Holy Hills. Let me be a servant holding a plate for you. Or at least make me a bush, a pathway, a flower or anything in the hills. It was heart melting poems.

 

Hindus believe that the dust of devotees has more powers than the Lord himself. He wanted to be a part of the dust of millions of devotees marching to see the Lord up above the seven hills. He wanted to hear the reverberating slogans of ‘Govinda, Govinda’ from the devoted pilgrims. So he wanted to be an animate or inanimate thing on the hills. A novel idea! His intense devotion is expressed in the aptest and most beautiful words in his poems. Very often the Vaishnava singers sing his poems in public platforms and the listeners are visibly moved.

–Subham–

Ingersoll believed in Baptism! (Post No.4409)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 18 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 20-35

 

 

Post No. 4409

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Robert G.Ingersoll (1833-1899), an agnostic and a great orator of America attracted huge audience in spite of the negative publicity from the press. People were ready to pay one dollar to listen to his lecture. In those days, it was a big amount! His lectures are used by atheists even today.

M D Conway, who had met him, gives some interesting details about Ingersoll in his book “My pilgrimage to the Wise Men of the East (New York, 1906).

“It was a stage in my pilgrimage to visit in his handsome mansion in New York a man who had for some time appeared to me the most striking figure in religious America. Many years before, a young relative of my wife, William Jencks, had sent me to London a book on The Gods apparently made up of occasional addresses by Ingersoll. He was then styled Colonel Ingersoll because of his services in the Union War, and he had also been a member of Congress.

 

In one of these lectures, he said “An honest god is the noblest work of man” which became a sort of Western proverb.

In 1881, being on a visit to Boston, my wife and I found ourselves in the Parker House with the Ingesolls and went over to Charlestown to hear him lecture. His subject was ‘The Mistakes of Moses’ and it was a memorable experience.

 

Every variety of power was in this orator- logic, poetry, humour and imagination, simplicity and dramatic art, moral earnestness and boundless sympathy. The effect on the people was indescribable. The large theatre was crowded from pit to dome. The people were carried from plaudits of his argument to loud laughter at his humorous sentences, and his flexible voice carried the sympathies of the assembly with it, at times moving them to tears to his pathos.

 

The perfect freedom of Ingersoll’s mind was often illustrated in his lecture: as for instance after having cited from the Bible some narrative of terrible cruelty ascribed to the command of Jehovah, he paused for nearly a minute, then lifting his hand and looking upward he said solemnly, “I trust that God, if there be a God, will take notice that I am down here on earth denouncing this libel on his character.”

The country was full of incidents and anecdotes relating to these marvellous lectures. Once when he was lecturing at San Francisco on a Snday evening in a crowded theatre, some man in the audience cried,

“Do you believe in Baptism?:

Ingersoll replied good naturedly,

“Yes, — especially with a soap!”

 

Long before his reputation as a free thinker was made he was noted in the West for his great ability in defending persons in danger of injustice. Ingersoll was a lawyer. On one occasion, he defenced a humble man charged with manslaughter, which had occurred in some broil. Ingersoll came into court and after listening to the prosecution arose and said, “On my way to this room I stopped at the house of a poor woman. She had been confined while her husband was in prison—the prisoner at the bar. The woman lay on her bed with the infant beside her, and with tears in her eyes she said to me, “Send me back my husband; he is a good husband, good father, an industrious man. Oh, send me back my husband!”. There was a moment’s silence after Ingersoll said this in his tender voice, and then one of the jury cried out, “By God, Bob, we will do it”. He was a very able lawyer and by his profession gained reputation and wealth; hiss religious iconoclasm was incidental. As he was always ready to answer, his audiences swelled until it was difficult to get a seat in the always crowded theatres.

Anti- Bible Tirades

Ingersoll said, I will give any respectable clergyman a thousand dollars if he will read to his congregation on a Sunday every word of a chapter I shall select from the bible.” This challenge was of course not accepted, and it was a blow all the more effective because of the orator’s always unblemished personal character and his charities.

 

There were several months during which an ailment of the throat prevented Ingersoll in from speaking in public. Curiosity and interest in the South led me to an assembly in Brooklyn to welcome a Southern revivalist – Rev Sam Jones – who said in his address, “The only way with infidels is to stop their talking; a touch on the throat of Ingersoll’—a burst of laughter from the preachers present ended the sentence.

 

I was somewhat amused by Mrs Farrel, who in her boundless devotion to her brother confided to me that she had remarked that “every public speaker who had defamed Robert (Ingersoll) had somehow come to a bad end.”

 

Walt Whitman

On Ingersoll’s last visit to Walt Whitman, — to whom he was bountiful – he said, “Walt, the mistake of your life was that you did not marry. There ought to be a woman here,” he added, looking around at the poor chaotic room. (Ingersoll’s address at the funeral of Walt Whitman was the grandest and most impressive utterance of that kind which I have ever heard.)

One very intimate in the family told me that whenever one of them applied for money, Ingesoll never asked how much or what it was for, but pointed to a drawer and said, “There it is; help yourself.”

 

I have gone far ahead of the year when I first talked with Ingersoll in his own home. My call had no purpose except to pay some homage to the ablest free thinker America has produced I remember nothing of our conversation except he surprised me by his thorough knowledge of Shakespeare.”

 

–Subham–

 

HELL in Rig Veda and Tamil Veda!(Post No.4405)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 17 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 20-33

 

 

Post No. 4405

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Hell and Heaven figure prominently in Hindu mythology. We read about in the oldest book in the world Rig Veda! There is not a single religious scripture without a reference to the hell. References to Hell are found in the Sangam Tamil literature and post Sangam Tamil book Tirukkural, the Tamil Veda.

 

Though later Hindu scriptures refer to various hells, Rig Veda only one hell is mentioned. It is a dark place; but no mention of torture or suffering is there. We read, “knowing he beholds all creatures; he hurls the hated and the irreligious into abyss” (RV 9-73)

 

In Manu Smrti, the Hindu Law Book, 21 hells are enumerated. Some of the name of the hells are: Darkness, Frightful, Burning, Place of Spikes, Frying Pan, Thorny Tree, Sword Leaved Forest and Place of Iron Fetters.

A liar would go to Raurava (dreadful) hell. He who kills a cow would go to the Rodha hell (hell of obstruction).

A horse stealer falls into the red hot iron hell. The wicked person who eats food before offering it to gods or ancestors or guests falls into where, instead of food, saliva is given to him. ( My comments: If people followed this rule and shared their food there woudn’t be any poverty, any beggar or communism in the world!).

TREE CUTTING – A SIN!

He who cuts down trees goes to the Hell of Sword Leaved Trees. So much environmental awareness was there during Manu’s days! Manu has listed the hells to fit each crime perfectly. He is a great law maker.

 

I have already the Bhavishya Purana story” about tortures in the heaven:–

“Yama was exceedingly pleased with a girl named Vijaya, a Brahmin’s daughter. When she first saw him she was greatly alarmed, alike at his appearance and on learning who he was. At length he allayed her fears and he consented to marry him.

 

On her arrival at Yama’s city, her husband cautioned her and assured her all would be well if she never visited the southern portion of kingdom. After a while curiosity overpowered her, and thinking that a rival wife may live in the Southern region and that is why Yama asked her never to visit that area, she visited the forbidden region.

 

There she saw the torments of the wicked, and alas! amongst these she recognised her own mother. Greatly distressed she appealed to Yama to release her mother but Yama told her that was impossible unless someone living on earth perform a certain sacrifice, and transfer the act of the merit of the act to this poor woman then suffering. After some difficulty, a woman was found willing to perform the sacrifice, and Vijaya obtained her release.”

 

Siva Purana gives a list of 28 types of hell. Each one has five levels!

 

A Scene from Heaven

 

HELL in Tamil Literature

Tamils have pure Tamil words for the hell, not Tamilized Sanskrit words. This shows that the belief was very old and independent of any Puranic influence. Alaru and Nirayam are found in Tirukkural (Tamil Veda) and Pura Nanuru (Sangam Tamil Book).

NIRAYAM (hell) – Aka Nanuru-67, Pura Nanuru -5

There are more references to Heaven in Tamil. They looked more at the positive side of the life.

From the Tamil Veda Tirukkural

ALARU (hell):- Kural 255, 835 and 919

“Abstinence from meat-eating contributes to this maintenance of life. Therefore if  a man has once committed the sin of eating meat the HELL which swallowed him will not open its mouth again to release him _ Kural 255

In one brief birth a fool can gain

Enough HELL for seven births pain- Kural 835

The delicate shoulders of harlots with fine jewels are a HELL into which are plunged the ignorant vile- 919

 

Jeevaka Chintamani, one of the Five Tamil Epics, also has reference to hell in several places (E.g.1235)

 

Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions curse those who defile or harm the inscriptions or the things mentioned in it to go to hell.

 

Scriptures like Bhagavad Gita have lot of references and one of them is as follows:

The gateway of this HELL leading to the ruin of the soul is three fold, lust, anger and greed Therefore these three, one should abandon. The man who is released from these, the three gates to darkness, Arjuna, does what is good for his soul and then reaches the highest gate.

It is very interesting to see the belief of sinners going to hell is found from the Rig Veda to latest poems in Tamil.

 

(Mr Rajendra Gupta has commented that NIRAYA for hell is a Sanskrit word. Thanks)

–Subham–

 

 

KILL ANYONE, NO SIN IF YOU ARE A BRAHMIN: MANU AND BUDDHA SAY! (Post No.4402)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 16 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 21-09

 

 

Post No. 4402

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

KILL ANYONE, NO SIN IF YOU ARE A BRAHMIN: MANU AND BUDDHA SAY! (Post No.4402)

Manu said that if anyone can recite the Rig Veda, even if he destroys the three worlds, he incurs no sin!

Buddha said that even if a Brahmin killed a king, his father and mother, he incurs no sin! It may look strange. But one must read between the lines.

 

What is the message they want to give us?

A true Brahmin who has mastered Rig veda can’t think of anything like hurting anyone; leave alone destroying the three worlds.

A true Brahmin, according to Buddha, is equal to a saint, i.e. one with saintly virtues. So, he can’t think of hurting anyone.

 

Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar also said that “A Brahmin is kind to all creatures” (Kural 30)

 

MANU ON RV

“A Brahmin by retaining Rig Veda (RV) in his memory incurs no guilt, though he should destroy the three worlds”– 11-261

Manu on the Veda

“The Veda is the eternal eye of the ancestors, gods and humans; the teachings of the Veda are impossible to master and impossible to measure; this is an established fact”–Manu 12-94

The same verse is translated by Monier Williams as follows:-

“The Veda is of patriarchs and men

And even of gods, a very eye eternal

Giving unerring light; it is beyond

All finite faculties, nor can be proved

By force of human argument—this is

A positive conclusion”–  Manu 12-94

 

 

Buddha Says:–

 

“And a saint, a Brahmin, is pure from past sins; even if he had killed his father and mother, had murdered two noble kings, and had ravaged a whole kingdom and its people”

–Buddha in Dhammapada, Sloka 294

 

Because he has put away evil, he is called a Brahmin; because he lives in peace, he is called a ‘samana’; because he leaves all sins behind, he is called a ‘Pabbajita’, a pilgrim.

–Buddha in Dhammapada, Sloka 388

Ons should never hurt a Brahmin; and a Brahmin should never return evil for evil

–Buddha in Dhammapada, Sloka 389

 

It is important that we should never quote anything out of context; more important is that we should understand the meaning behind the words.

Foreigners who quoted Vedic hymns always used them out of context and took literary meaning. So we must be careful when we read anything written by foreign and non-Hindu hands.

–Subham, Subham-

ELEVEN TYPES OF PENANCE OF DEMON TARUKA (Post No.4392)

 Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 13 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 16-25

 

 

Post No. 4392

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

SIVA Purana tells us that there was a demon king of Tripura, by name Taruka, who was exceedingly ambitious and oppressive. He forced Brahma by his austerities to grant any boon he should demand. A list of these austerities is interesting, as devotees in certain parts of India may be seen today practising many of them. Taruka went through eleven mortifications, extending over a hundred years:

  1. He stood on one foot, holding the other, and both hands up towards heaven, with his eyes fixed on the sun
  2. He stood on one great toe
  3. He took only water as sustenance
  4. He lived on air
  5. He remained in water
  6. He was buried in earth, but continued in incessant devotion
  7. He was burned in fire
  8. He stood on his head
  9. He hung on a tree by his hands
  • He bore the weight of his body on one hand
  • He hung on a tree head downwards.

Such merit was irresistible, and Brahma granted his request. After getting a boon that he should not be defeated by anyone, he became arrogant. Indra was forced to give his horse, Rishis had to part with their Kamadhenu/ magical cow. At last Siva’s son Kartikeya killed him.

MY COMMENTS

What is the message such stories give us?

1.Foreigners are wrong in describing demons as aborigines who were against Hinduism. In fact, all the demons got their boons from the same Hindu gods who Devas also worshipped.

2.Why did Hindu gods help the demons?

Hinduism go by mathematical rules. Success directly is proportional to the efforts you put in. Even bad people get their share according to their efforts, but the inherent weakness of bad people destroy them.

Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar, author of Tamil Veda Tirukkural says,

“Though the fate written by God stands in the way, strenuous effort yields ready fruit. Labour recompenses what fate denies.”

Even if providence is not particularly helpful, personal efforts will bear proportionate results.

In Hinduism, even Gods obey the rules. Once they are propitiated they must give the boon; once they give the boon they cannot withdraw it. But god and demons are controlled by Truth. Truth alone will triumph (Satyameva Jayate).

 

3.The third message we get is that the methods employed by demons and seers for doing penance requires utmost concentration. Once a student gets that much concentration he succeeds in his studies. Once an aspirant practise that much concentration and involvement in the task he or she undertakes, definite success is assured.

  1. The eleven types of penance gave stuff for modern comics like Superman, Spiderman, Phantom, Tarzan and Harry Potter.

–Subham —