Tag Archives: Ramayana

Narada Muni

There are many devatas and rishis who are wrongly depicted in movies and modern books. The roles of nArada, Yama, Indra, Chitragupta are the usually portrayed by comedians.
Laughing at any jokes, nay, even the mere act of watching these silently means you have accumulated sin.
In reality, we must forever be indebted to these devatas.

The etymology of the name nArada is — “nAram j~nAnam dadAti iti nAradaH” — bestower of wisdom and thus nArada. Most of the important literature that Hinduism rests on today has
a contribution from nArada. The first shloka of Ramayana starts with — tapaswAdhyAya niratam, tapsi vAkvidAm varam*, nAradam paripappracha vAlmikirmuni pungavam.

Observe that the first proper noun that occurs in Ramayana is that of nArada’s. Observe also the adjectives that are used for nArada- “ever engrossed in study of vedas and meditation”, “excellent among knowers of veda”, “eminent among sages”. Hindu literature gives a lot of importance to the mangalacharana shloka — no wonder then, that by taking the name of nArada in its first shloka
Ramayana has outlived all history books in the world and will be there for as long as the Sun and Moon. In the conversation that takes place, Valmiki asks nArada questions
and nArada preaches Valmiki the story of entire Ramayana. The first 100 shlokas of Ramayana which describe this condensed conversation are popularly called as Baala ramayana.
In one of the versions of how the robber Ratnakara got transformed into sage Valmiki, it is nArada who teaches “mara mara” to Valmiki.

It is nArada again who requests VedaVyAsa to compose BhAgawata purana. In the same BhAgawata, nArada describes his own story of a previous birth.

ucchiṣṭa-lepān anumodito dvijaiḥ
sakṛt sma bhuñje tad-apāsta-kilbiṣaḥ
evaṁ pravṛttasya viśuddha-cetasas
tad-dharma evātma-ruciḥ prajāyate

Highlighting the importance of good company and serving the wise rishis. nArada was a servant boy and served the rishis with a pure heart. The rishis blessed the boy with spiritual knowledge.

nArada was the guru of both prahlAda and dhruva. prahlAda is taught by nArada even while he in his mother’s womb. The child grows up to be a great bhagavadbhakta when he is born.

In the case of Dhurva, nArada first tests dhruva’s resolve and then gives the mantropadesha of Om Namo Bhagavate VAsudevAya.

on the instruction of Lord viSHnu, nArada also leads the ignorant and tAmasic souls to further ignorance . e.g nArada puts a doubt in Kamsa’s mind that any of the children born
to Devaki could be the cause of Kamsa’s death This makes kamsa develop further hatred for the lord and commit child killings. Many mistake this as a cruel act of nArada.
In reality, nArada has only brought out the true colors of kamsa.

The popular satyanArAyana kathA found in skanda purANa starts with nArada approaching viSHnu and asking for a simple solution for people on earth especially of kaliyuga.

In summary, devarishi nArada’s role in origins of Itihasas and Puranas, spread of namasankirtana, mentoring of other bhaktas is truly an act of benevolence upon
those who are on the path of spiritual progress.

The next time you or your well-wishers watch a movie and see any of our spiritual gurus being depicted in wrong light, just change the channel or lodge a protest if possible.
May nArada bless us all with sadbuddhi and take us on the right path. Jai Sriman Narayana.

 

-Arun Harnoor

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The Qualities of Shri Rama

Valmiki enquires about a man – a man with 16 virtuous qualities in the below 4 slokas
कः नु अस्मिन् सांप्रतम् लोके गुणवान् कः च वीर्यवान् |
धर्मज्ञः च कृतज्ञः च सत्य वाक्यो धृढ व्रतः || १-१-२
चारित्रेण च को युक्तः सर्व भूतेषु को हितः |
विद्वान् कः कः समर्थः च कः च एक प्रिय दर्शनः ||
आत्मवान् को जित क्रोधो द्युतिमान् कः अनसूयकः |
कस्य बिभ्यति देवाः च जात रोषस्य संयुगे || १-१-४
Narada Maharshi answers him as below starting with below sloka – that such virtuous qualities are found rarely in single person
बहवो दुर्लभाः च एव ये त्वया कीर्तिता गुणाः |
मुने वक्ष्ष्यामि अहम् बुद्ध्वा तैः उक्तः श्रूयताम् नरः || १-१-७
And explains Rama’s 64 qualities
इक्ष्वाकु वंश प्रभवो रामो नाम जनैः श्रुतः |

नियत आत्मा महावीर्यो द्युतिमान् धृतिमान् वशी || १-१-८

बुद्धिमान् नीतिमान् वाङ्ग्मी श्रीमान् शत्रु निबर्हणः |

विपुलांसो महाबाहुः कंबु ग्रीवो महाहनुः || १-१-९

महोरस्को महेष्वासो गूढ जत्रुः अरिन्दमः |

आजानु बाहुः सुशिराः सुललाटः सुविक्रमः || १-१-१०

समः सम विभक्त अंगः स्निग्ध वर्णः प्रतापवान् |

पीन वक्षा विशालाक्षो लक्ष्मीवान् शुभ लक्षणः || १-१-११

र्मज्ञः सत्य सन्धः च प्रजानाम् च हिते रतः |

यशस्वी ज्ञान संपन्नः शुचिः वश्यः समाधिमान् || १-१-१२

प्रजापति समः श्रीमान् धता रिपु निषूदनः |

रक्षिता जीवलोकस्य धर्मस्य परि रक्षिता|| १-१-१३

रक्षिता स्वस्य धर्मस्य स्व जनस्य च रक्षिता |

वेद वेदाङ्ग तत्त्वज्ञो धनुर् वेदे च निष्ठितः || १-१-१४

सर्व शास्त्र अर्थ तत्त्वज्ञो स्मृतिमान् प्रतिभानवान् |

सर्वलोक प्रियः साधुः अदीनाअत्मा विचक्षणः || १-१-१५

सर्वदा अभिगतः सद्भिः समुद्र इव सिन्धुभिः |

अर्यः सर्वसमः च एव सदैव प्रिय दर्शनः || १-१-१६

स च सर्व गुणोपेतः कौसल्य आनंद वर्धनः |

समुद्र इव गाम्भीर्ये धैर्येण हिमवान् इव || १-१-१७

विष्णुना सदृशो वीर्ये सोमवत् प्रिय दर्शनः |

काल अग्नि सदृशः क्रोधे क्षमया पृथ्वी समः || १-१-१८

धनदेन समः त्यागे सत्ये धर्म इव अपरः |

Ramayana and Mahabharata – History and not myths

The new chairman of ICHR argues that faith and reason can go hand in hand in the writing of history.

OUTLOOK INTERVIEWS YELLAPRAGADA SUDERSHAN RAO

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Ramayana-Mahabharata-Are-True-Accounts-Of-The-PeriodNot-Myths/291363

The media describes him as an RSS man and the author of the Mahabharata Project, but very little is known about the mild-mannered historian from Telangana in academic circles.Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, the new chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), describes himself as a colonial historian and argues that faith and reason can go hand in hand in the writing of history.

You have lashed out against Marxist historians and their interpretation of history. Why is the writing of history a Right vs Left debate?

I think it is time to think about India’s history from an Indian perspective. For the last 60 years, our writing and understanding of history has been influenced by the West. Indian research has been far too dependent on the West to write its own history. We are dependent on their translations and interpretation. And, these are my personal views, history writing in India is Euro-centric and imperialistic. The ICHR, I understand, is in the process of acquiring digital records from centres of history in the US and Europe. This will not only give us access to our own records but will also aid us in writing history from our perspective.

You have been appointed by the BJP government. Don’t you think institutions such as the ICHR should be free of politics?

The MoU (memorandum of understanding) prepared by the founding fathers of ICHR gave the powers to the government to appoint heads of social and historical institutes. I have no qualms in admitting that these appointments are political. Have previous heads of social institutes been questioned about their appointments? Why are these questions asked only about me? The government has been formed by a democratic process. It has been elected by the people. To question that is to question democracy itself. Unlike other social institutes, the ICHR attracts a lot of attention because history is an important subject. But history belongs to the people. We have not shown or written a comprehensive history of India to the people of India. History is by the people, for the people and of the people.

You are the author of the Mahabharata project? What is the project about?

There is a certain view that the Mahabharata or the Ramayana are myths. I don’t see them as myths because they were written at a certain point of time in history. They are important sources of information in the way we write history. What we write today may become an important source of information for the fut­ure in the future. When analysed, of course, they could be declared to be true or false. History is not static. It belongs to the people, it’s made by the people. Similarly, the Ram­ayana is true for people…it’s in the collective memory of generations of Indians. We can’t say the Ramayana or the Mahabharata are myths. Myths are from a western perspective.

What does that mean?

For us, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are true accounts of the periods in which they were written.

But shouldn’t the writing of history be rooted in historical evidence and research?

Western schools of thought look at material evidence of history. We can’t produce material evidence for everything. India is a continuing civilisation. To look for evidence would mean digging right though the hearts of villages and displacing people. We only have to look at the people to figure out the similarities in their lives and the depiction in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. For instance, the Ramayana mentions that Rama had travelled to Bhad­ra­chalam (in Andhra Pradesh). A look at the people and the fact that his having lived there for a while is in the collective memory of the people cannot be discounted in the search for material evidence. In continuing civilisations such as ours, the writing of history cannot depend only on archaeological evidence. We have to depend on folklore too.

Are you for correcting the writing of history?

I won’t put it that way. But real history has to come through. I am a follower of truth. The ICHR should encourage research about India and Greater India—from Southeast Asia all the way to Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. There is enough archaeological evidence to show the connect of our civilisation there.

What is your view on Ayodhya?

Is it not a fact that mosques as structures came to be in India in 1000 AD? Is it not a fact that the mosque was built by a lieutenant of Babur? A historian can only enlighten people on the facts of history. Historians can at best say evidence of earlier remains of a Hindu structure are there. Conflicting views are created by political leaders. If Ayodhya is not the place of Ram, where did he live? Looking at the present structures in Ayodhya, we can see people still living the way that finds a mention in the Ramayana. Historians can only give their opinion to enlighten people.

Doesn’t correcting history pose a problem? Why only cast it in the context of two communities? How about Dalits and untouchability?

The question of untouchability is relatively recent, as recent as 3,000 years. And it has its basis in the economy. It was not based on social status. Did we hear of untouchability before this period of 3,000 years? Let me give you an example. Sage Vishwamitra went to a Dalit hut and asked for dog’s meat as he was hungry. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are replete with instances of different castes, did we find a mention of untouchability there?

As a historian, are you trying to give a religious interpretation to history?

I am a Hindu and a Brahmin. To be a Hindu isn’t a religion. In my personal practices, I can adopt religious practices of the community to which I belong—as a Shaivite or a Vaishnavite. But that is not what being a Hindu is about. Reli­gi­ons are recent manifestations. I feel the­re’s only Sanatana Dharma. There was no conflict between communities or on religious lines as there was only one sanatana dharma. Now there are several reasons for conflict to take place. Besides, Muslims are the only ones who have retained their distinct culture. Can Christians or Muslims say all religions are one? A Hindu can say that. There was no conflict when there was sanatana dharma, Conflict or contests came about when temples were destroyed and mosques built on the sites in medieval times.

Didn’t Hindus destroy Buddhist monuments?

I agree. But Buddhism was on the wane then, in decline. But were thousands of people killed as they were in the raids to the Somnath temple? I won’t use the word corrections here. But the real history has to come up

Ramayana explains how Anarchy can destroy a nation

Our ancient Rishis covered various aspects of governance. This is covered elaborately in the book Political Thoughts in the Vedas.

The Kaschit sarga of the Ramayana is a treatise on political science and duties of a ruler. This is the chapter in which Bharata comes to Sri Rama to request him to come back to Ayodhya. Sri Rama ofcourse refuses to come back before completing 14 years of Vanvaas.  However, he talks to Bharata on a number of issues. Prior to this, Bharata was asked to govern Ayodhya. The Rishis,  Markandeya, Moudgalya, Vamadeva, Kasyapa, Katyayana, Goutama and Jabali- together speak to Vasishta on the dangers of Arājakata, i.e.,  anarchy and the ill-effects it has on society.

Sri Rama advising Bharata on duties of a ruler

Sri Rama advising Bharata on duties of a ruler

In the current state of society, it is worth reading the same. The country must make a choice to have a strong, visionary and effective leaders  rather than propping up those who make mileage out of anarchy and disorder.

The ill-effects of Anarchy as per Ramayana

न अराजके जन पदे प्रभूत नट नर्तकाः | उत्सवाः च समाजाः च वर्धन्ते राष्ट्र वर्धनाः || २-६७-१५
“In a ruler- less territory, festivals and gatherings exalting the kingdom in which actors, and dancers exhibit their talents are not frequently arranged”

न अराजके जन पदे कारयन्ति सभाम् नराः | उद्यानानि च रम्याणि हृष्टाः पुण्य गृहाणि च || २-६७-१२

People do not cause to make a delightful assembly nor erect beautiful parks or temples.”

न अरजके जन पदे सिद्ध अर्था व्यवहारिणः | कथाभिर् अनुरज्यन्ते कथा शीलाः कथा प्रियैः || २-६७-१६

“In a ruler less land, litigants do not get their disputes settled and persons who have a knack for narrating stories do not gratify story- lovers with their tales.”

न अराजके जनपदे उद्यानानि समागताः | सायाह्ने क्रीडितुम् यान्ति कुमार्यो हेमभूषिताः || २-६७-१७
“In a ruler less territory, girls adorned in gold do not go together to parks to play there in the evening.”

न अराकजे जन पदे धनवन्तः सुरक्षिताः | शेरते विवृत द्वाराः कृषि गो रक्ष जीविनः || २-६७-१९
In a lord less land, rich people living on agriculture and cattle rearing do not sleep in their abodes well protected, with their doors open”

न अराजके जन पदे वणिजो दूर गामिनः | गच्चन्ति क्षेमम् अध्वानम् बहु पुण्य समाचिताः || २-६७-२२
n a rulerless land, traders who go to distant places, carrying with them several merchandises, cannot travel safely in their voyages.”

न अराजके जन पदे चरति एक चरः वशी | भावयन्न् आत्मना आत्मानम् यत्र सायम् गृहो मुनिः || २-६७-२३
In a rulerless land, a monk who wanders alone, who has subdued his senses, who mediates himself on the soul and who takes up an abode wherever evening overtakes him, cannot roam around the city.”

न अराजके जन पदे योग क्षेमम् प्रवर्तते | न च अपि अराजके सेना शत्रून् विषहते युधि || २-६७-२४
“In a rulerless land; gain and security are not duly established. In anarchy, army cannot conquer enemies in battle.”

न अराजके जनपदे हृष्टैः परमवाजिभिः | नराः सम्यान्ति सहसा रथैश्च परिमण्डिताः || २-६७-२५
“In a rulerless land, people beautifully adorned, cannot go fast cheerfully in excellent horses and chariots.”

न अराजके जनपदे नराः शास्त्रविशारदाः | सम्पदन्तोऽवतिष्ठन्ते वनेषूपवनेषु च || २-६७-२६
“In a rulerless land, persons skilled in sacred treatises cannot sit speaking together in forests and groves.”

यथा हि अनुदका नद्यो यथा वा अपि अतृणम् वनम् | अगोपाला यथा गावः तथा राष्ट्रम् अराजकम् || २-६७-२९
A rulerless country is like the water less rivers, like the lawn less garden and like the cowherd less cows.”

न अराजके जन पदे स्वकम् भवति कस्यचित् | मत्स्याइव नरा नित्यम् भक्षयन्ति परस्परम् || २-६७-३१
“In a rulerless land, there is no one’s own property for any one. Like fishes, persons always eat away each other.”

यथा दृष्टिः शरीरस्य नित्यमेवप्रवर्तते | तथा नरेन्द्रो राष्ट्रस्य प्रभवः सत्यधर्मयोः || २-६७-३३

As the eye sight is helpful regularly for a proper setting -in-motion of the body, so also a king is the cause of existence for truth and righteousness of a country.”

Few more shlokas with English Transliteration followed by the English translation 

Nārājake janapade vidyunmālī mahāsvanah

Abhivarṣati parjanyo mahīm divyena vāriṇā //1//

Nārajake janapade vījanustih prakīryate

Nārājake pituh putro bhāryā vā vartate vaśe //2//

Arājake dhanam nāsti nāsti bhāryapyarājake

Idamatyāhitam cānyat kutah satyamarājake //3//

Nārājake janapade kārayanti sabhām narāh

Udayāni ca ramyāṇi hṛstāh pūnya gṛhāṇi ca //4//

Nārājake janapade yagnyaśīlā dvijātayah

Satrānyanvāsate dāntā brāhmanāh samśitavratāh //5//

Nārājake janapade prahṛstanatanantăkāh

Utsavāsca samājāśca vardhante rāsṭrabardhanāh //6//

Nārājake janapade siddhārthā vyavahārinah

Kathābhiranurajyante kathāśīlāh kathāpriyaih //7//

Nārājake janapade udyānāni samāgatāh

Sāyāhne krīditum yānti kumāryo hema bhūṣitāh //8//

Nārājake janapade vaṇijo dūragāminah

Gacchanti kshemamadhvānam

bahupaṇyasamācitāh //9//

Nārājake janapade caratyekacaro vaśī

Bhāvayannātmanātmānam yatra sāyamgrho munih //10//

Nārājake janapade yogaksemah pravartate

Na cāpyarājake senā śatrūn visahate yudhi //11//

Nārājake janapade narāh śāstraviśāradāh

Samvadantopatisthante vaneṣhūpavaneṣu ca //12//

Yathā hyanudăkā nadyo yathāvāpyatṛnam

Vanam Agopālā yathā gāvastathā rāsṭramarājakam //13//

Anarchy ( Arājakta ) will lead to 

      • Non-functioning of the water systems.
      • Adverse affect on agriculture.
      • Disturbance in Families.
      • Takeover by goondas over the Monetary system & families.
      • Social and cultural activities will take a beating. Deterioration of Temples, Dharmashālas.
      • Adverse affect on Spiritual activities including Yagyas.
      • Hampering of Peace, tranquility and harmony among people.
      • Adverse affect on Kathakaars and those who spread good incidents.
      • Young ladies will not be able to move out after sun-set
      • Security comes down, feeling of insecurity increases.
      • Morale of defense / security forces takes a beating resulting in reduced ability / inability to protect and defend against threats.
      • Spread of science will stop.

Definition of anarchy as per Webster’s dictionary :

The definition of anarchy as per the Webster dictionary is as follows : ” a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws”

1a   :  absence of government 1b   :  a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority

2a   :  absence or denial of any authority or established order 2b  : absence of order :

Read also Destablising India

– Ayush Nadimpalli

Corrections made in the above based on references provided by Sri Bhoga Pappu

Regional issues should not precede over National interest: Dr Swamy at India Foundation Lecture

New Delhi: India Foundation organised a symposium on “India Sri Lanka Relations and New Challenges” at the Indian International Centre at Delhi. The conference was attended by a galaxy of intellectuals and the list of speakers included Dr Subramanian Swamy, President of Janta Party, Shri Balbir Punj, Rajya Sabha MP and D Raja from the CPI. Shri Balbir Punj was the Chairman of a delegation of Indian MPs that had recently visited Sri Lanka. The symposium was held on Wednesday, May 09, 2012,

India-Sri Lanka Relations – New Challenges

Dr Subramanian Swamy said relations between India and Sri Lanka is both cultural and historical. Lord Ram anointed Vibhishan Ji as the King of Sri Lanka after defeating Ravan. In fact, scientific reports have proved that the DNA of people from India and Sri Lanka are the same. Dr Swamy said that in the wake of these facts the government of India should focus its attention on the plight of ordinary Tamils and not on the LTTE. He added that if India spoils its relations with Sri Lanka then yet another neighbouring country would become our enemy and would then be exploited by China and Pakistan. Dr Swamy further said that the issues of Tamil people are regional and regional issues should not be given precedence over national interest. Due to myopic policies of the present UPA government at the Centre, all neighbouring countries are turning hostile towards India which marks a big diplomatic failure of the government, he said.

Shri Balbir Punj said that Sri Lankan Parliament has a statue of Vibhishan Ji, who is revered and acknowledged by Sri Lankans as their first King. Shri Punj added that though Sri Lankan people do not understand much of Hindi yet they love and watch Hindi movies and like listening to Hindi songs. He further said that Lankans are followers of Buddhism and have a deep regard towards India. Yet, Tamil and Sinhalese live in complete separation in Sri Lanka. Sri Punj, further explained that Lankan Army has been imposed in all Tamil dominated areas and the situation is so grim that if any individual from the Tamil community wants to organize a function or a party, he/she needs to first inform the Army. No decision can be taken without Army’s permission, he added. Shri Punj said various associations of Sri Lankan Tamils have told him that they all want and favour an undivided Sri Lanka.

Symposium at India Foundation, NewDelhi

CPI’s D. Raja said that he was the first person who spoke for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils. Detailing on the ground realities, Shri Raja said Tamils can live in Sri Lanka but cannot be a part of the ruling set up. Preference to Sinhalese language is given across government jobs and other places. The Sri Lankan Army and Police have almost zero percentage of Tamils. He further explained that after independence, India and Sri Lanka had entered into an agreement under which Sri Lanka sent back a few Tamils to India. This was unfortunate. After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination Tamil movement in Sri Lanka turned into a terrorist movement. Shri Raja further pointed out that today all Tamil monuments are being destroyed in Sri Lanka. Though I am a Communist yet I have to say that Buddhist idols are being put up at the Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. At several places it becomes difficult to distinguish whether the temple is Hindu or a Buddhist. In fact, now the movement has graduated from terror opposition to being a Tamil opposition, said Shri Raja.

The symposium was convened by BJP’s National Spokesperson Smt Nirmala Sitaraman. Shri Chandan Mitra, Shri Tarun Vijay, Smt Jaya Jaitley, Shri R Balashankar, Shri Ram Madhav, Shri NN Jha and several other intellectuals of the society participated in the symposium.

 

Source : Samvada.org