‘SACRIFICE IS THE NAVEL OF THE UNIVERSE’- ON SACRIFICE AND STARS (Post No.4970)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 17-08 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4970

 

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 ‘YAJNAO BHUVANASHYA NAABHIH’

Rig Veda says ‘Yajno Bhuvanasya Nabhi’ (RV1-164-35); the meaning of the mantra is “Sacrifice is the navel of  (Naabhih= navel, nest, home, birth place etc) the Universe. Sacrifice has many meanings in the Bhavad Gita. It does not mean only fire sacrifice; it means penance; life itself is a Yajna; giving something to God, community, society is sacrifice. Jnana Yajna, Tapo Yajna, Dravya Yajna are few of the Yajnas.

Prajapati, the creator, created human beings along with the sacrifice (yajna) and told the human beings to benefit through the yajnas.

 

Lord Krishna explains the different types of Yajnas in Chapter 4 in slokas/couplets 24-32.

 

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STARS ARE HOLY SOULS

In several cultures including the Greek culturestars portrayed as good and bad characters; but in Hindiusm stars are seen as positive signs only.

Satapata Brahmana says,

The stars are the souls of the righteous who go to heaven and Mahabharata also confirms it (Sata.Br.6-5-4-8 and Mbh 3-174/5).

Druva (Pole star), Sapta Rishis (Seven Seers= Ursa Major), Arundhati (Alcol), Agastya (Canopus),Trisanku (Southern Cross), Krittika (Pleiades) and Arudra (Betelgeuse) are some of them.

Though the popular story thinks that the little boy Druva is pole star, W H Robinson thinks that Sunahsepa of Rig Veda is (Cynosure=Sunahsepa) Pole Star.

Sangam Tamil Literature which is at least 2000 year old mentioned Sapta Rishis (7 seers in Ursa Major), Pole Star, Arundhati, Krittika (Pleiades) etc.

Even before 2000 years ago the beliefs were same from the Himalayas to Kanya Kumari.

 

The great Vedic seers, who by Varuna’s holy act had been exalted to the stars, and who shine both by night and day, have taught him wisdom.

Seers and Bears

Rishi is seer and Rikshaah is bears. The Sapta Rishi constellation (Ursa Major) is called Great Bear in Greek and other cultures.

Dr.Martin Haug says,

It is found only once in the Rig Veda (1-24-10). According to an account in the Satapata Brahmana (2-1-2-40 this name was afterwards changed into ‘Sapta Rishyah’ the Seven Rishis, by which name the stars of Ursa Major are called in the Vedic hymns (RV 10-82-2; AV 6-40-1) and in the classical Sanskrit writings. The sounds of Riksha ‘bear’ and Rishi ‘seer-prophet’ were so near to one another, at  that time when they commenced to deify those great founders of Brahmanism nothing was more natural than to assign them a place in the sky and make them one of the brightest and most beautiful constellations.”

 

There is no doubt that the same constellation is alluded to under both names – rikshaah and sapta rishyah.

The seven wise and divine Rishis, with hymns, with metres with ritual forms, according to the prescribed measures, contemplating the path of the ancients, have followed it, like charioteers, seizing the reins 9Rig Veda 10-130-7).

Every Brahmin family of India claims to be descended from one or other of the Seven Great Rishis or sages, who were exalted to the stars of constellation, called Ursa Major (the Great Bear) in the West; but in India it is Sapta Rishayah.

THE ASVINS

The meaning is ‘possessors of horses’. They were two stars, said to appear in the sky before dawn, in a golden chariot drawn by horses or birds. They were also the physicians of the gods (Aitareya Brahmana 1-18)

They have mythological correspondence with the Castor and Pollux of the Greeks They are presiding divinities of the zodiacal asterism named from them. ; and which is figured as  a horse’s head from their name, and not from any fancied resemblance.

This constellation, at the time of vernal equinox appears in the heavens just before the dawn. That was the time for certain sacrifices in the olden days.

Asvins are also called Dasras (destroying, destructive, giving marvellous aid, overcoming enemies, doing wonderful deeds, worthy to be seen, handsome, beautiful, applied to the Asvins as being the destroyers of diseases.

 

–Subham–

 

 

Kashmir Minister’s Sacrifice Saved the King! (Post No.3872)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 2 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: 21-35

Post No. 3872

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

We have read about the great sacrifice of Dadhichi Rishi (see) who sacrificed his backbone to make Vajrayudha weapon to kill the bad people. We have heard about the sacrifice of eyes by Tamil saint Kannappa Nayanar and Mahavishnu. We also know the sacrifice of head by Dadhyank in the Rig Veda. But not many people know the great sacrifice of Devasarman the minister of Kashmiri King Jeyapida who ruled Kashmir around 750 CE.

Kalhana gives a graphic account of his sacrifice in his book Rajatarangni (River of Kings) in Sanskrit

From the Fourth Taranga (Chapter):

Jayapida invaded Nepal; but the King Aramudi did not fight with him. He was skilled in magic and statecraft. He retired to a great distance from his army. Jeyapida also followed him. Aramudi went to the other side of a river and beat the war drums. Jeyapida’s army crossed the knee-deep water in the river. Suddenly the water level rose from the tides of the sea. Aramudi was waiting for this moment; He caught the king from the middle of the flooded river. Jeyapida did not know the territory but Aramudi skilfully drew him to a place near the eastern ocean. Jeyapida’s army was washed away into the sea.

 

Kashmiris use Drti (Inflated skin) to cross the river; it was the primitive method to cross a river or stream. it is inexpensive because they use the buffalo skin to make this skin bag.

 

Jeyapida was imprisoned in a stone building on the bank of the River Kalagandika. The natural sceneries were so beautiful, Jeyapida composed slokas (couplets) on it. Kashmiris were reciting those slokas, at least until the days of Kalhana. Rajatarangini says his slokas were melting hearts.

Jeyapida had a very wise minister called Devasarman. He sent emissaries to the Nepalese King Aramudi. Devasarman told the Nepalese king that Jeyapida’s treasure would be given to him. Since the army is holding the war booty he had brought the entire army to the other side of the river bank. Nepalese King Aramudi believed all these things.

 

Devasarman had a different plan. After getting the permission of Aramudi, he went and saw Jeyapida.

 

Devasarman told Jeyapida:

“I hope you have not lostyour personal bravery; for it exists like mural support for frescoes, the plans of perilous adventure will be successful”

Jeyapida replied to him: “O minister! thus segregated and without arms what wonderful act could I do even if I were possessed of courage”

Devasarman said: Are you capable of, after falling into the waters of the river from this window, of going to the further bank? For your own army is there.”

The King said to him: “After falling from here one cannot come to the surface of the water without an inflated skin (Drti) and in this place even the inflated skin would burst owing to the distance of the fall.”

 

Then after consideration the minister said to him: “Stay out side for two nalikas (48 minutes). Then the minister entered the room alone and killed himself; He has written with his blood:

I am the inflated skin for you; the body is filled with breath, it having been destroyed just now, mount me and cross the river; to serve as a hold for your thighs when mounted, the turban has been tied by me around my own loins, get into this and jump at once into the water”.

Such was the direction tied to the neck with a strip of cloth, written in blood, torn with the nails from his limbs, which he saw and deciphered.

 

At first the king was surprised and shocked, but later without wasting time jumped into the waters and reached his army. His army went into Nepalese territory and defeated Aramudi. Thus, the minister sacrificed his own life and saved Jeyapida.

–Subham–

 

Great Sacrifice to Kailang Nag in Himachal (Post No.3149)

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Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 13 September 2016

Time uploaded in London: 8-05 AM

Post No.3149

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

Following is an excerpt from the book, “The Sun and the Serpent” by C F Oldham, 1905

 

“Some years ago I was invited by the Chak or local chief of Baramaor, in the valley of the Ravi River, to attend a great sacrifice to Kailang Nag. The object of the sacrifice was to obtain fine weather for the sowing, which had been delayed by storms. Kailang, like other Naga demi gods, is supposed to control the weather.

 

On my arrival, I found the people assembled on the open grassy space in front of the temple. The men and boys sat together, the women and girls being at a little distance. Soon the music struck up, and some of the men and boys began to dance in a circle, the chela dancing in the centre. After a time, the music became wilder and the dance more energetic. The chela continued dancing, and he applied the suungal (spear) to his own back and shoulders and to those of some of the dancers. Some of the men then applied another similar scourge to their own backs, with great effect, amid shouts of Kailang Maharaj ki jai (Victory to the great king Kailang).

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Then all being ready, the victim – ram – was led out, and having shown, by shivering, that it was acceptable to the deity, its head was struck off. The body was immediately lifted off by several men, and the chela, seizing upon it, drank the blood as it spouted from the neck, amid renewed shouts of Kailang Maharaj ki jai. The carcase was thrown down upon on the ground, and the head, with a burning coal upon it, placed before the threshold of the temple.

 

The dancing was then renewed, and became more violent, until the chela gasped out Kailang Aya (kailang has come). All then became silent, and the prophet announced that the sacrifice was accepted and that the season would be favourable. This was received with a storm of shouts of Kailang Maharaj ki jai and the chela sank down exhausted. Water was poured over him, and he was vigorously fanned till he showed signs of revival. The assembly then began to disperse.

 

There are many temples in the Himalaya, at which human beings are said to have been offered in times of drought and threatened famine (in the olden days).

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Buddhist Story

Kailang Nag had a shrine in the valley of the Chandra Bhaga river. Tradition says that human sacrifices were very frequent. At last it came to the turn, to provide the victim, of a widow, who had an only child – a son. The boy was accordingly devoted. The mother in great distress, was sitting near the temple, when a Buddhist monk came by, and, on hearing the woman’s story, offered to take the place of the victim.

 

Next day was fixed for the sacrifice. There was a great gathering, and the monk was present. He said, however, that he did not wish to be killed by anyone but the Naga; and that he would sit at the temple, until the deity came to devour him. This was agreed to. After sitting there for some days, without anything happening to him, the monk persuaded the people that the Naga did not wish men to be sacrificed.

From that time, no more human victims were offered to Kailang.

 

My comments

Sacrificing goats, sheep, rams, cocks happen in similar fashion in all parts of India. I have heard such stories in Madurai in Tamil Nadu. This shows that the culture was same even among illiterate tribal people.

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“At these temples, either of Nagas or Devas, votive offerings are made, as in the Catholic Church. These are in fulfilment of vows made during sickness, danger or misfortune. Thus a man may promise a trident or Vasuki or Takshaka; or a plough, or a sword or bullock yoke to the tutelary deity of the village. These are generally represented by small models, which are placed in the temple.

 

Memorial stones

Around most of the old temples , either of Devas or of Nagas, , are arranged a number of stone tablets, like small tombstones on each of which is rudely carved the figure of a man and woman. These are monuments of deceased villagers, and correspond to grave stones in our church yards. As the dead are burned, there are no graves.

Similar memorials are sometimes placed at the village spring, at the crossing of a stream, or in some other frequented place. And sometimes in addition to the tablet, some work of public utility, as a resting-place for travellers, a fountain or a bridge over a stream is erected in memory of the wealthier villagers.

The monuments to the rajas (kings) are on a larger scale, and upon them were, formerly sculptured the representations of the wives and dependants who accompanied the chief to the other world.

My comments

The votive offerings and the tulabharam (weighing oneself in a big balance against anything that one wants to offer to the deity) are in Tamil Nadu and Kerala temples as well as ancient Sumer ( I have written an article about it).

Even today replicas of body parts in silver and other metals are offered to gods and goddesses.

The tomb stones are also found in different parts of India. In Karnataka and Rajsthan had emblems were erected for the women who did Sati. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Hero Stones were erected. Navakandam statues (human sacrifices before a war by a loyal soldier) are found throughout Tamil Nadu. So the culture was same throughout the country.

xxx

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Indra Dwaja

“At some of the temples of the Devas, a pole or a mast, called Dhuj (Dwaja=Flag) is erected. This is a pine tree stripped of its branches, and it is renewed yearly,the old one being burned. As its name denote,this is the standard of the deity. It is referred to in the Mahabharata (Adi Parvan Adivansaavataarana, p.lxii.173), where Indra directs the king of Chedi to set up an Indra Dwaja. In processions a small Dhuj (Dwaja) is often carried by the chela. On the Indus and other Punjab rivers, the boatmen place a pole surmounted by a tuft of hair at the bows or at the masthead of their boats, as the Dhuj (Dwaja) of Kwaja Khizr, which is the Mussulman (Muslim) name for Varuna, the ancient Sea-God”

 

My old articles on the same subject:-

Indra Festival in the Vedas and Tamil Epics

Posted on August 11, 2012

Why did Sumeria and Egypt worship Indra?

Research Paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1288; Dated:14th September 2014.

Oldest Engineer in the World- Indra: A Dam buster or a Dam Builder?

Research Article written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1268; Dated 4th September 2014.

3000 Gods in Mesopotamia! Similar to Hindus!!

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1296;Dated 18th Sept. 2014.

Sapta Rishis in Sumeria! Similar to Hindus! More Tamil and Sanskrit words in Sumer!

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1419; Dated 18th November 2014.

Hindu Vestiges in Iraq ( Posted on 12th August 2014)
Indus Valley to Egypt: Lapis lazuli Export (posted 0n 6th Sept.2014)
Why did Sumer and Egypt worship Indra? (Posted 14th Sept.2014)
Double Headed Eagle: Indian—Sumerian Connection (18th December 2011)
Birds for Finding Direction: Sumeria to Tamil Nadu via Indus Valley (Posted 8th April 2013)
Cremation: Sumerian – Hindu Similarities (Posted on 14th May 2014)
Sanskrit Words in Sumerian: Sumukan Mystery (Posted on 12th May 2014)
A Hindu Story in Sumerian Civilization (Posted on 11th May 2014)
Mysterious Fish Gods around the World (Posted 27-10-2012)
Tulabharam: Indian – Sumerian Connection (Posted on 2nd January 2012)
Serpent Queen: Sabarimalai to Indus Valley
Hindu Vahanas around the World
Hindu Vahanas in Iraq (Posted on 21st October 2012)

(Most of these articles are published in Tamil as well around the same dates)
Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

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The Great Scorpion Mystery in History ( November 2012)
Mysterious Fish Gods around the World (October 2012)
Hindu Mudras in Egyptian and Sumerian Statues (October 2012)
Hindu Eagle Mystery Deepens — posted on 16th Feb. 2013
Gods and Birds, posted on 3rd Feb. 2013
Double Headed Eagle: Sumerian –Indian connection– posted on18 December 2011.
Tulabharam: Indian-Sumerian Connection (January 2012)
3000 Gods in Sumeria! Similar to Hindus!! (18th September 2014)
Why did Sumer and Egypt Worship Indra? (14th September 2014)
Sanskrit Words in Sumeria: Sumukan Mystery (12 May 2014)
A Hindu Story in Sumerian Civilization (11th May, 2014)
How old is Indian Civilization?
Creation: Vedic Hymn and Babylonian Hymn
Birds for Finding Direction: Sumer to Tamil Nadu
Indus Valley to Egypt: Lapis Lazuli Export (6th September 2014)
Did Indra Attack Sumeria? (9th October 2014)
Hindu Kings who Ruled Syria and Turkey (11th October 2014)
Hundred Sanskrit Names from 1800 BCE to 1400 BCE (14th October 2014)
Su Meru, Ku Meru, Pa Meru, Meru ((posted on 8th November 2014)
Rig Vedic king and Sumerian King 2600 BCE (posted on 14th November 2014)

வாகனங்கள் தோன்றியது எங்கே?
எந்தக் கடவுளுக்கு என்ன வாகனம்?
சுமேரியாவில் தமிழ் பறவை
தேள் தெய்வம்

 

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–subham–

 

Devotion and Sacrifice: Moving Stories from Titanic Ship and Samoa!

samoa

Article No. 2002

Compiled  by London swaminathan

Swami_48@yahoo.com

Date 18th July 2015

Time uploaded in London: 15-05

 

  

All of us would have read at least one of the stories by R L Stevenson, author of ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Prince Otto’, ‘Black Arrow’ and several other stories.

 

R.L.Stevenson won the devotion of Samoans. When the European powers imprisoned Mataafa, one of their chiefs, Stevenson visited him and other political prisoners, bringing them tobacco and other gifts. When they were released they voluntarily built a wide road up to Stevenson’s house; and they made him a chief of one of their tribes. Once when Sosimo, his body guard, had been unusually thoughtful, Stevenson complemented him, “Great is the wisdom.”

“No”, Sosimo replied, “Great is the Love”.

 R L Stevenson

When Stevenson died a group of picked natives bore the coffin to the place on internment on the mountain top. A stranger had appeared at the funeral, to which only close friends were invited, a Scotchman who explained that some years before Stevenson had met him on the road as a stranger on a day when he was contemplating suicide, but that Stevenson had dissuaded him. The Samoan chiefs tabooed the use of fire arms on the hill of his grave, that the birds might sing there undisturbed.

 

 samoa-stamps-1969-Robert-Louis-Stevenson

Damayanti or Savitri or Sita of New York

 

Hindu scripture have enough stories of women’s devotion and sacrifice. We have Sita, Savitri, Damayanti and scores of others.

Here is an American woman whose devotion made her immortal. There is statue for her in New York.

 

Mrs Isadore Strauss was one of the few women who went down on Titanic in 1912 and she went down because she could not bear to leave her husband. Both he and she were calm throughout the excitement of loading the life boats. Both aided frightened women and children to find places aboard them. Finally, Mr.Strauss, who had been urging his wife again and again to seek safety in a life boat, forced her to enter one. She was no more seated, however than she sprang up and got to the deck before her husband could stop her. There, she caught his arm, snuggling it against her side, exclaiming, “We have been long together through a great many years. We are old now. Where you go, I will go.”

 

Canada Post unveiled today the images of the five stamps that will be issued on April 5 to mark the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic. (CNW Group/Canada Post)

Canada Post unveiled today the images of the five stamps that will be issued on April 5 to mark the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic. (CNW Group/Canada Post)

 

Quotations on Sacrifice, Devotion and Greatness

 

Those who accomplish rare things are considered great;

While those who cannot, remain small – Tirukkural-26

Animals, stones, and trees are worshipped in this world, for their sacrifice.

“Tyaagajjagati puujyante pasu paasaana paadapaah- Subhasita Ratna Kanda manjusa”

While joys are shortlived, sacrifice is an endless stream of nectar

-Bharatamanjari 1-14-595

Susyatsukhesu kaalesu tyaago hi amrutanirijharah

Straus-Park-Memorial

Statue for Strauss in New York.

-SUBHAM-

Hindu Sacrifice!

Story_of_VritraDadichi
Picture shows Saint Dadhichi and Indra killing demon Vritra

“For the sake of a family an individual may be sacrificed;
for the sake of a village a family may be sacrificed;
for the sake of a nation a village may be sacrificed;
for the sake of one’s self the world may be sacrificed”
–(Panchatantra:1-8)

Two saints stand out as the symbol of sacrifice in Hinduism: Dadichi and Eranda Muni.
Hindus believe that the soul is eternal. It can’t be destroyed. Only the body which houses the soul can be destroyed. This concept made Hindu saints to treat body like a shirt or an upper cloth. When the cloth or shirt is worn out, it has to be thrown out. This also made them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of humanity.

I have already written about Emperor Sibi who came forward to sacrifice himself just to save a dove from an eagle. I have also written about the sacrifice of individuals for the sake of nation. They do it just before the war. We have examples in Mahabharata and Tamil literature. All of us know Bhisma’s sacrifice of family life. He vowed to be a bachelor for the sake of his father. There are innumerable cases like Lakshmana, Bharata, Gandhari who sacrificed their pleasures for others’ sake.

Of all the stories of sacrifice, Dadichi is the oldest. He was a Vedic seer and son of Atharvan. His story appears in Rig Veda and Maha Bharata with slight variations. Dadhichi was known as Dadhyanch and Dadicha. When he conveyed the secret knowledge to Aswins, they replaced his head with that of a horse so that he can escape the wrath of Indra. As expected Indra attacked him and then Aswins replaced the horse head with his real head.

A verse of the Rig Veda says , “ Indra with the bones of Dadhyanch, slew Vritras ninety nine times”. This story is explained in detail by the scholars. As long as Dhadhichi lived on earth the Asuras (demons) were under control. When Dadhichi went to heaven, demons became unruly. Then Indra and other gods requested Dadhichi’s bones to make a weapon that will kill the most powerful demons.

Dadhichi readily gave his bones to make Vajrayutha weapon of Indra. Then Indra killed the demons including Vritra. As many other stories, this is another story with symbolic meaning. The moral of the story is “For any great work, we need someone to sacrifice”.

The story of Saint Eranda

Eranda was a saint doing penance at Tirukkodeeswaram. During his days Kanaka choza was ruling the Chola country with his queen Shenbakangi. When River Kaveri suddenly changed its course and went in to the earth near Tiruvalam suzi, people represented their grievances to the king. There was an anonymous voice from above that the river will return to its original path, if a king or a saint sacrifices his life. Immediately the king came forward to fall into the place where the river went in to a deep pit. But the ministers stopped him from sacrificing his life and took the royal couple to Saint Eranda. As the royal party reached him, he blessed the queen “Deerga Sumangali Bhava i.e. long live with your husband”.

The royal party explained the reason for their visit. The saint came forward to sacrifice his help for the sake of the village people and royal couple. He fell in to the deep cave where the river went underground. Then River Kaveri returned to its normal course. This story also explains the significance of sacrifice. Without sacrifice, nothing can be achieved in life. And the men who sacrifice their pleasures or lives will live forever in the hearts of the people.

Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar also indirectly refers to the story of Dadhichi in couplet 72 of Tirukkural:
“Those without affection in their hearts will keep all they have for themselves;

The tender hearted will even give away THEIR BONES! “
The reason Valluvar mentioned BONES is because of Dadhichi!

Buddha ,Shankara, Jesus and leaders of many other countries sacrificed their lives for the sake of their countries or peoples. The Bible says, “Greater love than this no man hath, that he lay down his life for his friends”- St.John 15-13

This is a reference to Jesus Christ.

Let me conclude a quote from the famous English poet John Keats:

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs
for their religion–
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.
My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet.”

Pictures are taken from other sites; contact swami_48@yahoo.com