Comparison of Sankara’s Viveka Cudamani and Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural (Post No.5444)

Written by London Swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 18  September 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 8-57 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5444

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Adi Sankara, one of the greatest Hindu philosophers, has beautifully explained the Advaita (Non Dualism) Philosophy in his masterly work, Viveka Cuudaamani, ‘Crest Jewel of Discrimination’. It has got 580 couplets in Sanskrit.

 

Tiruvalluvar, the greatest Tamil poet has dealt with 133 subjects of moral importance in his work Tirukkural. The 133 chapters have got 1330 couplets on ethics in Tamil.

It is said that ‘Great men think Alike’, which is amply illustrated in the following comparisons of the two great geniuses.

If we couldn’t get access tomorrow to important Hindu scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas we don’t need to worry. Tiruvalluvar has given the gist of Hinduism in fifty or so couplets.

In his first chapter on God, Valluvar says
‘None but those who have meditated constantly on the feet of god can cross the oceans of birth’- Kural 10
‘Ocean of birth and death’ is known to every learned Hindu as ‘Samsara Saagaram .

Sankara says in Viveka Cudamani (VC),
‘Having attained the Yogaruda state one should recover oneself, immersed in the sea of birth and death, by means of devotion to right of discrimination’- VC 9

Yogaruda state is when onr is attached neither to sense objects nor to actions, and has given up all desires.

Xxxx

Shankara continues,
‘Therefore, a man of learning should strive for his best for liberation, having renounced his desire for pleasures from external objects, duly approaching a good and generous preceptor, and fixing his mind on the truth inculcated by him’–VC 8

Valluvar says,
‘Of what avail is a man s learning if he does not pray to god’- Kural 2

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Can wealth help you to reach heaven?
‘There’s no hope of immortality by means of riches- such indeed is the declaration of Vedas. Hence it is clear that works/karma cannot be the cause of liberation’ –VC 7

Valluvar also says it, but indirectly,

‘As those without riches can have no enjoyments in this world so also are those without compassion denied the belongings of the world above’.

Here Valluvar clearly associates wealth with the human world and compassion with the heaven.

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Desire and Egoism

‘Let the wise and erudite man, having commenced the practice of realisation of the Atman give up all works/ Karma, and try to cut lose the bonds of birth and death’-VC10
A child plays with its toys forgetting hunger and bodily pains ; exactly so does the man of realisation take pleasure in the Reality, without ideas of I and Mine and is happy—537 Viveka Cudamani
He who renounces the egoism of I and mine shall attain the highest heavenly bliss rare of attainment even by the gods– Kural 346

Only when one renounces the two -fold desires can one overcome births. Other wise one will be subject to the rotation of births and deaths caused by desires–Kural 349

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Time and Place
Though Shankara wrote a religious manual and Valluvar an ethical manual certain things are common for one who wants to achieve something or to reach a goal.

Shankara says,
Success depends essentially on a qualified aspirant; time, place and other such means are but auxiliaries in this regard’– VC14

Valluvar also acknowledges it,
‘Consider these five before deciding on an action: finance, instrument, time, proper place and the nature of action’- Kural 675

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Use of certain similes such as ‘tiger and cow’, ‘actors’ etc show that Hindu geniuses think in the same way. There is a possibility ofone influencing the other as well as both are from South India. Both of them might have spoken Tamil at home.

Tiger Simile

 

The pretentious conduct of a man who has not the firmness of mind to direct him in the path of true ascetism is likened to a cow grazing clothed in tigers skin– Kural 273

O Master, you have awakened me from sleep and saved me . I was wandering in the forest of illusion, troubled by the tiger of egoism–
VC 518

The arrow which is shot at an object with the idea that it is a tiger, does not, when the object perceived to be a cow, check itself, but pierce s the object with full force –VC452.

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Actor Simile
‘Fortune coming to one and its departure are likened to the assembling of a crowd to witness a drama and its dispersal respectively’- Kural 332

‘As an actor, when he puts on the dress of his role or when he does not, is always a man. So the perfect knower of Brahman is always Brahman and nothing else’– VC 555

 

–subham–

RADISH GANESH AND CAMEL HANUMAN (Post No.5429)

 

Written by London Swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 14 September 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 7-58 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5429

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

 

 

Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. When other ancient religions of Egypt, Greece, Rome and China went into museums how did hinduism survive? Even the name Hinduism is only 2500 years old: before the Greeks and Persians called the people living beyond Indus River, Hindus, the religion was flourishing, aptly under the name Sanatan Dharma- The Eternal Religion.

 

The reason for the amazing success of Hindus is adaptation, absorption and digestion of foreign thoughts and newer ideas. Earlier I wrote about the newest vehicle of Hindu Gods- camel for Anjaneya. Each Hindu god has a vahana/vehicle. Camel is added as a vehicle of Anajaneya also called Maruti, Hanuman and Vayu putra. Strangley the vehicle is found in South Indian Anjaneya temples, where as the camel is a desert animal of Rajasthan and other western states. But Hindus can adopt, adapt, absorb and digest anything and make it look like ‘pukka’ Hindu!

 

Here is another story not known to many of us. Radish Ganesh! Ganesh with Radish (Muli) is found mostly in South East Asian countries.

 

Ganesh is one of the most original gods of Hindu pantheon and one of the most loved. Associated with intelligence- knowing and knowledge—he is said to have worshiped by all other gods before embarking on any new adventure. He put the Mahabharata- the longest epic in the world, into writing for Veda Vyasa. He lost one of his tusks in the gigantic task of writing 200,000 lines.

 

Ganesa is considered the protector of corps. That is why a rat is shown as his vehicle/vahana. It is believed that he protects the crops by controlling the crops. Considered as one who surmounts of obstacles, Ganesh or Vinayaka (or Pillaiyaar in Tami)l is invoked before each undertaking. He does not need big temples. He is shown in natural surroundings in caves, under the trees ad in open spaces without even a roof over his head!

One of his attributes is the axe (Parasu) which cuts and tears down the bad things such as sins and evil fate. In places like Vietnam (Champa of olden days) he is shown with a radish (Mulaka gandha) in one of his hands. The association of the deity with with the world of agriculture, vegetation, more widely, with nature is betrayed by the attribute of a radish in his left hand. This radish with acidic taste is loved by the elephants. We see it in some of  the Indian Ganesh statues of 6th and 8th centuries. The other attribute of Ganesa is a bowl with Modakas ( sweets made up of coconut and rice flour or sometimes ladduka). Ganesh image is rich in symbolism. We see snakes, tiger skin draped around his hips, gem studded gold necklaces, Brahmanical cord (the sacred thread) on left shoulder. One statue of Ganesh was recovered from Myson in Vietnam with missing parts, but others are intact and displayed in museums.

–subham–

 

Max Muller’s Sanskrit Knowledge – Abhedananda’s Comment (Post No.5364)

COMPILED BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Date: 26 August 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 6-58 AM (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5364

 

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Swami Abhedananda was the founder President of The Ramakrishna Vedanta Society
Born October 2 , 1886
Samadhi (Died) 8 September 1939

Swami Abhedananda gives some interesting information while answering three questions sent by Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, great philosopher and ex-President of India. It was published in 1936 in the book titled ‘Contemporary Indian Philosophy’.

The three questions are
What is your religion?
How are you led to it?
What is its bearing on social life?
ABHEDANANDA said,
I was born in Calcutta October 2,1866 . My father, late Rasiklal Chandra, was a student of philosophy and teacher of English in the Oriental Seminary in Calcutta. I was educated in a Sanskrit school, then in a Bengali vernacular school and afterwards in the Oriental Seminary, from which I successfully passed the entrance examination at the age of eighteen.

From my childhood I wanted to know the cause of everything and used to ask questions about the ‘Why and How’ of all events. When for the first time I read in Wilson’s History of India, that Shankaracharya was a great philosopher, I had a thrilling sensation, and I wanted to become a philosopher and to study his philosophy. At that time, I was a student in the drawing class of the seminary and was learning to paint from nature. Suddenly a thought came to my mind that I didn’t want to be a painter but I would be a philosopher, and so I gave up the study of the art of drawing and painting.

Xxx

I found a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in my father’s private library and began to study it. When my father saw me reading that book, he took it away from me, saying that’ the Bhagavad Gita was not for boys; it would make you insane’. But his remarks could not stop me from reading it.

Xxx
In my youth I was fond of listening to discourses on Hindu philosophy and used to hear lectures on various religionsas well. I studied Patanjali’s Yoga system. Then I studied ‘Siva Samhita’, a treatise on the practical methods of Rajayoga. But I was told not to practise any of the methods without being instructed by a competent Guru. My class mate asked me to go to Sri Ramakrishna.
One Sunday morning I reached the temple garden at Dakshineswar where I met the great yogi Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and I asked him whether he could teach me practical methods of Yoga Philosophy. He replied ‘Yes’, and after reading of my past life, he said, ‘you were a great yogi in your past incarnation. Come my boy! I will teach you how to practise Yoga’. Then he initiated me and then gave me instructions in concentration and meditation. He touched my chest and aroused my ‘Kundalini’, the ‘Serpent Powe’r and I went into Samadhi, the state of super consciousness.

In him I found the embodiment of the Absolute truth of the highest philosophy, as well as of the Universal Religion. I became his humble disciple.

Xxx

Image of Max Muller
I travelled bare footed from place to place, depending entirely on alms cooked and uncooked, whatever chance would bring to me. I endured all sorts of privation and hardship, practised austerities of all kinds, walked up to the sources of Yamuna and Ganga. I stayed for three months in the caves of the Himalayas at the altitude of 14000 feet above the sea level, spending most of my time in contemplation of the Absolute. I realised that the phenomenal world was like a dream. Thus wandering for ten years all over India visiting sacred places, I met great sages and saints like Trailinga Swami, Swami Bhaskarananda at Benares, Pavahari Baba At Gazipur, many Vaishnava saints at Brindavan and great Vedanta philosophers at Rishikesh where I studied monistic Vedanta Philosophy under the great scholar Dhanaraj Giri.

In 1896, Swami Vivekananda , who after his successful lectures in USA came to London . He invited me to assist him and I went to London in1896 . Swami Vivekananda entrusted me with the charge of conducting classes on Vedanta and Rajayoga.

 

Swami Vivekananda took me to meet Professor Max Muller and Professor Paul Daussen of Kiel University who had translated sixty Upanishads into German. I had conversations with them in Sanskrit. But Professor Max muller could neither speak in Sanskrit nor understand Sanskrit words when spoken, because, as he said, his ears and tongue were not trained in the sounds of Sanskrit utterances. So, I exchanged my views with him in English. He was deeply interested in the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and said, Ramakrishna was an original thinker, for he was never brought up within the precincts of any university and therefore his teachings were new and original. This remark created a deep impression upon my mind. Later on, he published the ‘Life and Sayings of Ramakrishna’.

In 1897 I went to New York at the request of Swami Vivekananda. There in six months I delivered ninety public lectures before large audiences on Vedanta philosophy.

In 1898 , Professor William James held a discussion with me in his house on the problem of the ‘Unity of the Ultimate Reality’. This discussion lasted nearly for four hours. In which Professors Royce, Lanman, Shaler and Dr James from Cambridge took my side and supported my arguments in favour of ‘unity’.

I travelled all through the USA Canada and Mexico and delivered lectures. In 1921 I sailed to Hawai, Japan, China, Singapore Malaya and Philippines before returning to Calcutta. In 1922, I went to Tibet from Kashmir crossing the Himalayas on foot to study Lamaism. My destination was Demis Monastery near Leh in Ladakh. In 1923 after returning from Tibet I established  Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Calcutta. In 1924 ,I opened a branch in Darjeeling.

 

This short sketch of my life will give the reader some idea of the different influences which have moulded my convictions.”

Published in 1936

 

–subham–

WHY I AM A HINDU?- MAHATMA GANDHI (Post No.5358)

 

COMPILED BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Date: 24 August 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 17-33 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5358

 

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GANDHIJI’S ANSWER TO THREE QUESTIONS

I have been asked by Sri S Radhakrishnan (later President of India) to answer the following three questions:

What is your religion?

How are you led to it?

What is its bearing on social life?

my religion is Hinduism which, for me, is Religion of humanity and includes the best of all the religions known to me.

 

I take it that the present tense in the second question has been purposely used instead of the past.. I am being let to my religion through Truth and Non Violence, i.e. love in the broadest sense. I often describe my religion as Religion of Truth. Of late, instead of saying God is Truth, I have been saying Truth is God, in order more fully to define my religion. I used, at one time , to know by heart the thousand names of God which a booklet in Hinduism gives in verse form and which perhaps tens of thousands of Hindus recite every morning. But nowadays nothing so completely describes my God as truth. Denial of God we have known . Denial of Truth we have not known. The most ignorant among mankind have some truth in them. We are all sparks of Truth. The sum total of these sparks is indescribable, as yet unknown Truth, which is God. I am being daily led nearer to it by constant prayer.

The bearing of this religion on social life is, or has to be, seen in one’s daily social contact. To be true to such religion one has to lose oneself in continuous and continuing service of all life. Realization of Truth is impossible without a complete merging of oneself in, and identification with, this limitless ocean of life. Hence, for me, there is no escape from social service, there is no happiness on earth beyond or apart from it. Social service here must be taken to include every department of life. In this scheme there is nothing high. For, all is one, though we seem to be many.

 

–M K Gandhi

Source book:-

Contemporary Indian Philosophy, Edited by S Radhakrishnan and J H Muirhead, 1936 (second revised edition 1952)

(My father V santanam bought this book on 3-9-1956 for 26 rupees 4 Annas and numbered the book as 580. Probably his book collection number. It was bought from Bharathi Puthaka Nilayam in Madurai. I see his underlining of important points  throughout the book. Total number of pages 650.  I used to go to Bharathi Puthaka Niayam with my father and the owner’s name was also Swaminathan; so I got a chocolate every time I went there!—London swaminathan)

 

 

Hanuman is No.4- Kamban on God! (Post No.5281)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 2 August 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 13-14    (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5281

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

Kamban, the Tamil poet who lived one thousand years ago, is considered one of the greatest of poets of India. He gave us the Valmiki Ramayana in Tamil verses. Though he himself said that he followed Valmiki, he deviated from Valmiki in several anecdotes.

He refers to the Trinity- Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva. He deals with Omkara and Upanishads.

 
He used the words Upanishad, Om , Vedas and Valmiki in several places . His prayer in the beginning of last kanda “Yuddha kanda” is interesting.Kamban says in the very first verse,

“TO THOSE WHO SAY HE IS ONE, HE IS ONE
TO THOSE WHO SAY HE IS MANY, HE IS MANY
HE IS NOT, YET HE IS; NOWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
HOW THEN ALAS! CAN THE LIKES OF US
EXCEPT THROUGH FAITH ACCEPT HIS BEING?”

Radhakrishnan , former President of India and a great philosopher also says,”if god is somewhere , he is every where”.

Kambar (Kamaban) lived in a period that followed the age when Saivites and Vaishnavites clashed with each other on the topic of Who is the Supreme God – Shiva or Vishnu?

Kamban never indulged in such petty fights. He praised Rama as an incarnation, but kept on praising Shiva as well. His epithets for Shiva were sweet and multi coloured. It is in hundreds of verses.


Hanumar is the Fourth God
!

In the chapter ‘The Phantom Sita’ of Yuddha kanda, Kamba Ramayana,
Through the mouth of Malyavan, Kamban praised Anjaneya:

“If he wants to alter the norms
He will do it through main force
Why is it said that the prime gods are Three ?
This can be but a thoughtless notion
With Hanuman their number is Four

Kamban wants to say that next to the Hindu Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu Shiva, Hanuman is the greatest.

Tulsi das also praised Him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva
Sankar suvan kesari nandan
Tej pratap maha jag vandan- Hanuman Chalisa verse

Xxx

And Kamban concludes his magnumopus Ramayana with the following two verses,

“The great one who had arrived
From Sesha in heaven to Ayodhya on earth
Ruled with his brothers guarding Dharma and the earth
So that all in heaven and below
And in the seven worlds, hailed and praised him
As Our Lord, and gladly did his bidding”.

“Those who tell the story of Rama
Who appeared on earth to kill Ravana
And guard all the world, and with his brothers
Stands as the one beyond the beyond
Will become kings and conquer even Death.”

(Translation of Tamil Verses by P S Sundaram, Tamil Nadu Government Publicaion)

–Subham–

 

TAMIL POET EXPLODES DRAVIDIAN MYTH! (Post No.5275)

Written by LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Date: 31 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 13-46   (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5275

 

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Famous Tamil poet Kamban in his epic work Kamba Ramayana explodes several Dravidian myths; Dravidian politicians and half- baked Dravidian ‘scholars’ are fooling the Tamil community for long by projecting the womaniser Ravana as a Dravidian. They say Aryan Rama killed Dravidian Ravana; They even celebrate Ravana Jayanti on Rama Navami day or Desersa Festival. But according to the famous poet Kamban, who wrote Ramayana in Tamil, Ravana was a Brahmin!

My mum wants Rama’s Skull for Tarpana!

Here is the proof from Tamil verses of Kamban:-

When Ravana lost his important commanders in the battle against Rama, Karan’s son came forward and said to Ravana:

“How is it my father (Ravana), you didn’t send me

Against who killed my father (Karan)?

Did you not know I am available

Alas, that you should have that sorrow!”

 

“My tearful mother, plunged in sorrow

Will not part with her wedding-string

Before offering obsequies to her husband

In the skull of the one who killed him!

You whom the vultures love as their feeder

Be pleased, said he, to send me to the fight.”

 

Wedding string= Mangala sutra, Thaali in Tamil.

The message is clear: Demons also do Tarpana and Tithi to the departed soul. So Karan’s wife was waiting to do using Rama’s skull as a vessel!

 

In another place, when Vibhishana asked his brother Kumbakarna to come to Rama’s side, he refused to join Rama’s army because he did eat Ravana’s food all through his life and he did not want to see Ravana dying before his eyes.  He added, “My dear brother Vibhishana! You continue to be in Rama’s side, so that you can do Tarpana (water offering to departed soul) to all your brothers including me”.

So they all believed in the funeral tites like other Hindus.

Rama encourages Karan’s son to fight him saying,

 

“The hero (rama) heard what the sinner (karan’s son) said

Are you Khara’s son come here

To avenge your long-standing grievance?

That indeed is a son’s duty

You spoke well, Sir”, he said,

His shoulders well fitted for fame”

–Yuddha Kanda, Kamba Ramayana

Here also Rama  appreciates son’s duty to demon Khara.

Here is another proof:

“Such is the strength of these men.

I will tell you now what I know of Ravana

He is the son of the son of Brahma

And raised himself through penance

By the boons he obtained from Brahma and Siva”

 

-Yuddha Kanda

 

Kamban repeats three facts in hundreds of places:

  1. Ravana is Brahma’s grandson, thus emphasizing that he is a Brahmana.

This is confirmed in several Tamil sthala puranas, where Rama was said to have got rid of his sins of killing Brahmins (Ravana and his son’s).

 

  1. Ravana and his son Indrajit got all the powers from Hindu gods through penance!

 

  1. They all did water obsequies to the departed souls like any other Hindu.

All these explode the Dravidian propaganda about Ravana.

 

Kamban lived 1000 years before our time. What Kamban said was  already said by Valmiki and others.

One more verse from the chapter of ‘Vibhishana takes refuge’ in Yuddha Kanda:

“The son of Brahma’s grandson

A good soul, truthful and virtuous,

has come here to take refuge

With the scion of solar race

The Lord of the world, and so live:

 

This is about Ravana’s brother Vibhishana.

 

Any one reading Kamba Ramayana or other scriptures will find umpteen references to Ravana and his brothers as Brahmins.

Then how come they are called demons?

They did not follow a disciplined life and more over violated all the rules laid for Brahmins. They got all the benefits and powers of penance, but abused them!

Even today we see people who abuse religious powers even when they are at the top posts.

 

–Subham–

 

 

 

Upagupta and a Beautiful Prostitute- Interesting Story (Post No.5268)

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 29 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 7-48 am  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5268

 

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A young lady, a healthy child of nature full of animal spirits, met Upagupta, the disciple of the Buddha, one fine evening and made advances to him. He was in a dialectical mood. She checked him and said,

 
“Do not talk to me about stars and saints, the suffering of the world and the plan of the cosmos . They are not in my line. I believe in warm, natural, happy, healthy life. What the blood feels and believes is all that real for me.”

 
With difficulty Upagupta got out of the situation that evening, not before promising to return on another occasion.

 
Long years elapsed. The young lady of leisure and life, of wealth and beauty, with her easy morals made a mess of them all till she decayed and became a mass of rotting flesh, festering with sores, stinking with horrible odour. As if this were not enough, she committed a crime for which she was condemned to have her limbs cut off. Despised and rejected by all, she was turned out of the city gates and left on the spot where her punishment was carried out. A few years ago, she was a spirit aflame with zeal, now nothing but a mass of weakness and helpless ness

No more revolt, no more passion, not even complete darkness, just emptiness. Accepting nothing, refusing to be touched, to be cared for, remaining empty, she saw through everything. No one can deceive her again. In what she thought her last moment amid prayer and silent weeping she remembered her interview with Upagupta and felt a gentle touch.

Her eyes found Upagupta shining with an unearthly radiance and vitality, looking down on her, tender with a mother’s love for a sick child. He noticed in her eyes an expression of anxiety, distress and self- reproach, an appeal for mercy.

She said,
“Upagupta when my body was adorned with brilliant jewels and costly clothes and was as sweet as a lotus flower, I waited for you in vain. While I inspired flaming desire, you came not. Why come you now to witness this bleeding and mutilated flesh full of horror and disgust”?

Upagupta gently stroked her hair, stirred her whole being and said,

“Sister, for him who sees and understands, you have not lost nothing. Do not covet the shadows of the joys and pleasures which have escaped you. My love to you is deeper than what is based on vain appearances.”

Her eyes brightened, her lips parted and with a new sense of well-being and lightness of heart, she became his disciple, which is another illustration that saints start their careers by first losing their characters!
It needs a great soul to respond to a soul in torment”.
From Radhakrishnan Reader- An Anthology.
–Subham–

HIMALAYAN WONDERS- NANDA DEVI and KUMARI (Post No.5234)

WRITTEN by London swaminathan

 

Date: 18 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 18-31 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5234

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

Nanda Devi is the second highest peak in India; Kangjenjunga is higher than Nandadevi. Kangjenjunga is the distorted Sanskrit name Kanchana Srngam (Golden Horn or peak) . Sangam Tamil literature literally translated it in to Tamil as Por Kottu Imayam.

The height of Nada Devi is 25643 feet. Nanda Devi is the name of a goddess. It means boon giving goddess.

There are two interesting stories about this Goddess.

The natives maintain that smoke is seen to issue from its summit, which they regard as the kitchen of the local deity. Probably they mean the smoke like white clouds.

 

The locals believe Nanda Devi is a boon giving goddess and at the same time she can destroy those who stray from the moral path.  The legend of Nanda Devi says that the daughter of a Garhwal chieftain escaped to the mountains and took refuge there. Temples dedicated to her can be found in Almora and other places in Garhwal.

 

In the hills, there are more stories about British people, who visited  it during their rule. The first commissioner, was stuck blind because he moved Nanda Devi temple near his office in the Badhan Fort to Almora. He did not like the festivities of the temple. He regained his sight only when he begged for forgiveness.

 

Another version of the story is, “When the British took possession of the Kumaon, the revenue free villages attached to the temple were sequestrated by Mr Traill. In 1818, he was on a visit to Bhotiya Valley of Juhar. While he was passing Nanda Kot was struck blind by the dazzling colour of the snow. People told him unless the worship of Goddess was restored, his temporary snow blindness would remain for ever, and on promising to this effect, his eyes were opened and healed.

KUMARI OF NEPAL – A LIVING GODDESS

In Nepal,  a young virgin is worshipped as Kumari, Goddess. This custom started in the seventh century. King Jayaprakash Malla was ruling Nepal under the guidance of goddess Taleju, hidden behind the screen. One day fascinated by the Goddess, he decided to see her. She became angry and told him that she would appear in the form of a girl in future.

They selected one girl with 32 Divine Marks (shamudrika Lakshanas) as Kumari. All the Kings go to Kumari to get her blessings.  The Kumari is said to embody Goddess Taleju. She has to possess 32 perfections that are marks of Goddess. Before a girl child has been recognised as Kumari,  she is inspected by female attendants for this purpose. They look for clear skin with small pores, even teeth, black hair and eyes, soft hands, a moist tongue, and absence of bad body odour.

A girl does not stay a Kumari for ever. With the first hint of tell tale bleeding (puberty) , the ritual of worship is transferred to a new virgin Kumari and the previous Kumari goes back home. She has to enter family life like any normal girl.

In other parts of India also Kanya Stris (virgin girls)  are worshipped as Goddess, but for a brief period. They invoke Goddesses on those girls and at the end of the day they are treated as normal girls.

Source Book- Himalayan Mysteries, Ganesh Saili

–subham–

 

40,000 LINES IN THE RIG VEDA! (Post No.5221)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 15 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 20-46  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5221

 

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Some Interesting facts about the Oldest Book in the world

 

Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Hindu Vedas.

This is the oldest book; oldest anthology

It has 40, 000 lines

It is divided into TEN mandalas (books/divisions)

Another division is Eight Chapters

It has 1028 Hymns (suktas)

In those 1028 hymns we have 10,600 verses (mantras)

Significance of 432,000

The number of syllables in the Rig Veda is 432,000.

This number has a great significance in Hinduism

The total number of years in Kali Yuga is 432,000 years. Other Yugas have the multiple of this number.

Katyayana’s count of Verses in the RV is 10,662 (minus the appendix- 10,402)

The words in the RV – 1,53,826

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Age of the Vedas

It is believed that they were composed around 6000 BCE or 4000 BCE. There are internal astronomical references to justify this date.

Others date it around 1800 BCE on the basis of external evidence of River Sarasvati’s disappearance and carbon dating of underground water.

 

The very fact no two scholars could agree on the date of the Vedas, the very fact that there is difference of opinion about the oldest part of the Veda show that it is very difficult to confirm the date of the Vedas.

 

Hindus believe that they are not compositions but that which is heard from the heaven. They consider them eternal. Like scientific laws, they are there whether you discover it or not.

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Repetitions

Like any old literature it has repetitions; following are some facts about repetitions:

In the ancient world poets composed and spread their poems orally. Nothing much was written. Because of the rhythm and tune it was easy to remember and it was passed from one generation to another easily. Repeating lines or phrases or word blocks is an Important feature of oral poetry. We see such repetitions in the oldest book Rig Veda, Homers works Illiad and Odyssey and later Tamil Sangam literature.

Rig Vedic repetitions and Homeric repetitions have been studied for long With more modern tools deeper studies are done and new facts are revealed.
The Rig Veda claims accurate oral transmission of almost 40,000 lines in all.

Rig Vedic repetitions have been studied by Maurice Bloomfield, Prof. J Gonda, T G Mainkar and NilanJana Sikdar Datta.
They say
The Rig Veda itself asks the poets to compose long verses orally like the rain god pouring his showers; sing praises in the Gayatri metre( R V 1-38-14)

Tamil Tolkappiam and Sanskrit rhetorics condemn repetitions as a fault punaruktavadaabhasa ; in Tamil kuuriyathu kuural Kutram.

But in old oral literature it is common.

 

A line or word block or phrase becomes a part of tradition. A new poet picks it up and uses it in his composition, sometimes changing it slightly to suit his own needs.

In the Rig Veda ,we find a good deal of repetition, about 8000 paadas in about 40,100 paadas. Gonda regards it as natural to magic, for it is supposed to give power . Others considered repetition primitive. They are wrong. It is part of oral tradition. We see it in the Rig Veda and Sangam Tamil literature. There is a time gap of at least 2000 years between the two. Even in modern film songs the words and tunes are repeated.

A thorough analysis of Rig Vedic repetitions offers a glimpse into the mental makeup, the psychological disposition of the society of that period- the collective beliefs , assumptions, aims and objectives as also a record of their spiritual experiences.

When we compare Vedic repetitions with other repetitions in Homer or Sangam Tamil literature we must remember the time gap between those compositions and the fact that Vedas are religious and others are secular.

 

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Animals in the Vedas
In the Rig Vedic repetitions, man’s nearest neighbours, the animals, both wild and tame figure prominently.
Quite a large number of repetitions are drawn from the relation between the cow and its calf.
“come to us as cows come to their stable 5-33-10

“Indra is involved to come to the sacrifice as a cow with her calf 1-32-9

“Indra drinks Soma as a bull 5-36-1

A common and frequent image is
O god come to partake of the sacrificial feed as cattle come to their fodder”

Indra is invoked to come and drink like a thirsty deer 1-8-8
Or as thirsty doves 1-30-4.
The Maruts are like fast running horses 7-56-16
Asvins are compared with a pair of deer, cows, or two birds or two swans 5-78-12, 8-35 , 7-9
Indra and Brhaspati are compared with two chariot horses 2-24-12

These show Vedic Hindus loved nature and lived one with nature. We see such imageries of nature throughout Sangam Tamil literature which came at least 2000 years after the Vedas

Scholars who did not study Tamil literature bluffed a lot about Aryan Dravidian differences. But the repetitions and natural imagery in both, though divided by a period of 2000 years, show they belonged to the same tradition.

Source book for Repetitions:– The RGVEDA AS ORAL LITERATURE by Nilanjana Sikdar Datta, Harman Publishing House, New Delhi, 1999.

–subham–

HINDU BRONZES IN COLOMBO MUSEUM (Post No.5211)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 12 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 15-42  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5211

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

COLOMBO MUSEUM IN SRI LANKA HAS GOOD BRONZES OF Lord Nataraja and Tamil saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Maniikavasagar. Parvati’s statues and Kathirgama Karthikeyan are also remarkable pieces.

 

Following are some good bronzes:

NATARAJA, DANCING SIVA

SIVA WITH FOUR HANDS

SIVA AND VISHNU WITH SRI AND BHU DEVIS

 

SUNDARAMURTHI NAYANAR, TAMIL SAINT

TAMIL SAINT MANIKKAVASAGAR IN THE CENTRE

TAMIL SAINT APPAR IN THE CENTRE

PARVATI

SIVA, SAMBANDAR, PARVATI

KATHIRGAMA DEVA KARTIKEYA

HANUMAN

–subham-