A humble request!

Bhagavad Gita, most illustrious book from India, has been the source of inspiration for many great personalities in the past. Be it Swami Vivekananda or Tilak. In India everybody knows about it, but very few have read it.  Let me ask a question from you all and it is not for shaming anyone but just to reflect on our status, Have you read Bhagvad Gita from cover to cover? At least 100 verses out 700? Yes, No.

Have you read at least one verse from the book and not fromthe calendar (Jo Hota hai acche ke liye hota hai sort of thing..)? Please let me know the answer in comment section if you wish. 

I conducted this survey in my friend circle and the result was appalling. When I asked them, have you heard of Bhagvad Gita?  They all said in unison, Yes. They also said that it is great book form India and depicts the civilizational heights from India.

Then I fired the next volley. I asked them “tell me one thing that you liked most in this book? Majority of them either responded that they don’t know anything, or quoted a verse or two (Yada Yada Hi Dhamaya or Karmanye vadhikaraste…)

Mere glorifying things will not help. Keeping Gita in sacred red cloth will defeat the purpose of having it. It is for the reading, not for the purpose of testifying false oath in the courtroom.

On this Gita Jayanti, I urge you all to read the message ofthe Lord. It is the need of the hour. When world is suffering from so manynegativities, this is a ray of hope, a way to live.

Thank You!

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Qualities of Lord

Namaste to readers and fellow bloggers,

Today I chose to write something different than my usual content. Let me know, if you enjoyed reading.

There is hardly any doubt that whenever anyone in India would be asked to recite some verse from Bhagavad Gita, majority of them would land up in mentioning below two verses

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

 paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

I am not sure that how many of them will know the real meaning of these verses. For that matter, even I was oblivious of the meanings till few years back. But somehow got to know  and on this auspicious day of Ramnavami, when Lord Ramchandra manifested himself in this world, I thought of writing about it.

In these two slokas (verses) Lord mentions the reason why he appears in this material creation. The reasons why He came can be concluded from the verse as..

Lord comes,

  1. Whenever there is decline in religiousness and irreligion rises
  2. To deliver those who are pious and
  3. To annihilate the miscreants

So in Hinduism, we are aware that Lord had ten incarnations called as Dashavatar. If we would study a bit it about these incarnations, then we will surely find that every time when he came,  above three criterion were satisfied.

Lord Ramchandra came in Treta Yuga, and whatever happened after that, is an epic and known to all Indians (not only Hindus), at least the overall story. So I am not going to tell you about the story of Ramayan. My purpose of this writing is to remember the qualities that Lord had displayed during his stay on this planet. He was an ideal as He was Lord himself. So we cannot imitate or emulate him, but by knowing his qualities, surely we can try to follow his footstep. So today is Ramnaumi and taking the cue from the Ninth day of the Chaitra Month, I tried to write nine out of innumerable qualities of Lord in short. However I am not competent to describe the glory of him, yet I gave it a try.

ram ji
Credit: ISKCON

  1. A Perfect Son: Nowhere in the world you wouldcome across a story where a son in his youthful stage left all his lavishness and luxuries of kingdom and spent 14 years in exile, faced innumerable hardship as Ram did and that too just for the sake of keeping his father’s word. Even though he knew his stepmother is the culprit for all his adversity, yet no where we come across an incident where he has raised a voice of disrespect against her.
  1. A Perfect Brother: When Lord Ram got to know that her stepmother wanted to coronate his son Bharat as Crown prince of Ayodhya, even though Lord had exclusive right over throne. Yet, he readily agreed to the proposal and left for the forest as if he was relinquishing a blade of grass. The same love was from the other side too. All three younger brothers were so attached to Ram that they were even ready to accept death but not the separation from him. Till today the brother’s relationship between Ram and Bharat is revered in India.
  1. A Perfect Student: Ram had formal education in ashram of Vashishta and Vishwamitra. Both the teachers taught the intricacies of diplomacy, weaponry, politics etc. Lord Ram excelled in all the discipline and was revered by them as well.
  1. A perfect Husband: Lord Ram is known as Maryada Purushottam, a supreme in Virtue. When polygamy was prevalent in that era especially among the Kings and Kshatriya (warrior class), he vowed and later observed that he will have only one wife in his life. When Mother Sita was taken away to Lanka by Ravana, Ram was so tormented and agonized that he saw her in trees, in stones, in rivers etc. As her presence was unknown, he was helpless and asked about her from birds and the animals of Dandakaranya. Later when he got to know that Ravan has kidnapped her, with meager of resources and army of Monkeys and Bears he attacked mighty Ravan(from whom even Indra, king of Demigods, was affraid) and defeated him in war and brought back Maa Sita home
  1. A perfect Friend: His friendship was conspicuous when he assisted Sugriva, who was on the weaker side and made him the King of Kiskindha. The story of his friendship with the King of Nishad is well known and highly revered.
  1. A perfect Enemy: As we know that he was a perfect friend, at the same time he was a perfect enemy of the devils and miscreants since the childhood. As stated earlier one of the reasons that he came to the earth was to destroy the evil force. So he killed many demons who used to trouble the Sadhus or the Saints . Some of them were so powerful that they had even defeated Demigods. Ram killed many demons during his stay.
  1. A perfect warrior: Ram was a perfect Kshatriya and a valiant warrior. On one hand Ravan had well equipped with all the mysterious weaponry, yet Lord defeated him with handful of army which manly comprised of Monkeys and Bears.
  1. A Perfect Master: There is a very interesting past time of Lord Ram, when he eat the berry given by Sabari, a lower caste women in her old age, who herself has tasted them before giving to Lord. In Indian context, it is an offence to give something to the master after first consuming or defiling it. But she was so engrossed in the love of lord that she did not wanted to give a sour berry to Him. And Lord was so generous that he accepted and consumed all the berries.
  1. A perfect King: In Ramayan we come across an ideal world, where a king used to go in disguise to see the wellbeing of his countrymen. It is said that in his state no person was in distress. His reign was so celebrated that till today politicians cutting across the party lines claims before the election that they will bring Ramrajya, yet they had no intention to follow the footsteps of him.

Although, my words will not do justice to the describe the qualities of Lord, yet I am hoping that you have enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading.

Why most Hindus are cremated but some are buried?

Why most Hindus are cremated but some are buried?

Recently when Jayalalitha, a very popular leader of South Indian state Tamilnadu, died, it produced unprecedented shock waves across the country. After her demise, unlike most of the Hindus, she was buried and not cremated. It was baffling for me as well as for many others that why there are two pronged approach in same religion. Then I searched for the reason of this exception. Whatever the understanding I got, presenting it in the blog. But you are also entitled to get differed from my opinion

Why Hindus are cremated?

It is important to know that in Hinduism, saints and sages came to conclusion that Jivas (Humans are one of the Jivas) are not their body but the eternal Soul and Soul never dies. It just changes the body. This concept is known as Transmigration of the Soul.

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This is substantiated in one of the most revered scripture of Hinduism,

Bhgavad Gita 2.13

 dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati

As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

One more essential pillar of the Hindu doctrine is “Moksha”, along with “Dharma”, “Artha”and “Kaam”. Moksha in it’s literal sense means “to be free”. Now the question will be Freedom for whom and from what? So this freedom is for the Soul and from this material conditioning that is from perishable body.

According to Vedic injunction, when a person attains Moksha, then he/she doesn’t come in this material world again and either merges with Bramhan (Super Soul) or resides with the Lord in his abode which is permanent unlike this world.

So when a person dies, he has to leaves his body, but since he has spent a long time with this body, he develops attachment for it. When anyone is attached with any person or object then a desire to associate with it for longer duration of time, remains inside him. But the desire to be in this perishable body is conflicting with the real objective i.e. to be free and attain Moksha. Hence by burning the body, soul can witness and realise the temporary nature of the body and hence the will ultimately crave for Moksha.

But saints and children are cremated

There are some exceptions to it. Saints and Children, when they die, there is a Provision for them to buried. The reason for it, which I have understood after reading some text and hearing from some specialists in this subject, is as follows.

Saints and sages (I am talking about real ones which are few in number yet existing, not the bogus which has proliferated and made religion a business), in their whole life time goes through severe penances, meditations, rituals, sacrifices, association with the pious personality etc. By going through all these process they not only knows but become self realized that the body which they got is perishable and ultimate objective is to attain Moksha. Hence after this realization, the body which they got becomes purified from the material contamination such as lust, greed, anger, enviousness, attachments etc. Since they have no attachment for the body, hence they are buried.

One more consideration which I came across is that, the real Gurus, sages or the pious personality come to this material planet just to relieve the ones which are suffering in this world due to the ignorance that they are soul, not the body. So even though they appear like ordinary human beings, yet they are the direct messenger of the Lord, hence they are not having any longing for their body. They just finish their duty and leave their body.

There is also a provision to bury the children. The reason for this, which I have read is that since they die at very young age and hence they don’t develop so much longing and attachment for themselves. Hence they are buried.

Now coming to the point of why Jayalalitha is buried, I am not able to figure out the real reason other than the whims of her follower, as she was not and ascetic personality and of course, neither a child.

The uniqueness of Hinduism lies in the fact that it is a very liberal. If you are worshiping idol still you are Hindu, not worshiping it makes no difference, even if you are atheist you can accommodate in Hinduism. That’s why Indian Supreme Court termed, Hinduism as a “Way of Life”. This also very much true for the last right. When majority cremates the body, yet you will find exceptions to it.