I dedicate this book to my father (late) Veluri Someswara Rao and to my mother (late) Veluri Subbamma

ESSENCE OF HINDUISM

COMPILED BY COLONEL V.A.SASTRY (Retd)

Address:
H.No. 4-190/2A, Bhaskara Rao Nagar, Sainikpuri (P.O.) Secunderabad – 500 094 (A.P.) Tele: 27116277 (Res) 94406 57704 (Mobile) E-mail: colvas44@hotmail.com

First Edition 2009

Copy Rights: Reserved

Printed At:

An Appeal
It is a well known fact that most of the Hindus are either ignorant or have vague perception and confused about their own religion. I intend to provide the basic information on Hinduism, to the persons interested, at my own cost and reach maximum people. The cost of printing this book is Rs.40-00 each. Any person who is not interested to purchase and own this book is requested to read and pass on this book to another person who is interested on the subject. You are also requested to intimate your advice, suggestions and comments for further improvement. Any voluntary contribution will be accepted, with humility, with a promise that amount will be utilized for getting additional copies printed for further distribution to wider section.

Col. V.A. Sastry (Retd)

Aum (OM) TAT SAT
Meaning  Aum (OM) : Aum (OM) is Pranava revealed first at the time of Creation. From Pranava, Gayatri Mantra (the Vedic metre) is revealed. From Gayatri Mantra three Vedas (Rg Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda) were revealed. So Aum (OM) is the root to Creation, Gayatri Mantra and the Vedas.  TAT : TAT means THAT, referring to distance and invisibility, means the Supreme Person (God) (Bhagavad Gita 15: 17), an object of faith and belief. All actions should be performed, in order to please God, without expecting any reward whatsoever. Such actions as His (God‘s) own and for His sake only becomes Godly i.e., those actions lead to God – Realization.  SAT : SAT means truth or reality. SAT is used in the sense of Existence Absolute and Saintliness. It refers to (a) Reality, (b) Goodness, (c) Praiseworthy, (d) Noble disposition, (e) Steadfastness and Steadiness and (f) Reverence and Faith. (Bhagavad Gita 17: 23 to 28, Mahanirvana Tantra 14: 154 and 155)

Preface
Every part of Hinduism, right from the Vedas all the way up to Tantras, is dealt with in this book. I collected and compiled the information from various books and tried my best to present in a most simple and concise form for the common people, to enable them to gain the basic knowledge about Hinduism. The most important aspect of Hinduism is to be Truthful to yourself; control your desires, be devoted and totally surrender yourself to Brahman (means God). Most of the Hindus are in false perception that Hinduism means becoming Sannyasi (recluse), doing ritualistic worship of God, visiting temples and holy places etc. Most of the Hindus were misguided and totally ignorant about their religion and proper way of their religious practices and blindly follow others without knowing meaning thereof. Many Hindus perceive Hinduism as dogmatic without knowing the Truth from Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Epics and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Many Hindus do not accept ignorance of their own religion and try to blame on other things, like the Hindu Scriptures are in Sanskrit language, which they do not know, (though many translated versions are available in most of the Indian and foreign languages), Brahmins (Priestly caste) did not tell them and kept it for themselves or their grandparents/parents did not tell them etc., in spite of the fact that they never made any attempt or effort to know about their own religion. The intentions are not to blame or criticize or comment on any individual, but to present the reality. I had come across similar reactions and feelings, during my discussions with different cross section of Hindus, which awakened my inner Self to undertake this publication.

OM

All human beings want to live in peace and be happy. People perform actions for the sake of happiness. But they neither attain happiness nor succeed in ending their sorrow thereby (Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, in short Bhagavata 3: 5: 2). They are driven by two powerful motivations--firstly—Desire (never ending) which leads to acquisition and ---secondly—Enjoyment (sensual pleasures) which are temporary and limited. They spend their entire life to fulfill these motivations and forget their final goal i.e. Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. Hinduism appeals to give up (or control) these motivations, provide means to overcome these weaknesses to reconstitute the personality for higher values of life for attainment of the final goal i.e. Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. Starting from 326 B.C.E (Before Common Era) India was repeatedly invaded by Greeks, Dutch, Portuguese, French, Muslims and British. From 13 th century during the rule of Islamic Sultanates and later during British Colonial Era, rulers of that period spread their religions through coercion and incentives. Some Western countries termed Hindu Scriptures as mythology (i.e. false notions, fictitious), with their vested interests, which is not correct. During 18 th and 19th centuries East India Company and later British rulers, with a hidden agenda (tactics of divide and rule India which has majority of Hindu population), tried to distort the Hindu religion and culture and misled/created divisions among Hindus, who have firm religious believes, (between the two major races of Hindus i.e., Aryans and Dravidians, between different castes of Hindus and between different religions i.e., Hindus, Muslims and Christians etc.), published and distributed huge quantities of literature about Hinduism incorporating their own fictitious theories of origin, growth

and philosophies. These publications affected the minds of Hindus (since original Hindu Scriptures were rare to obtain in those days) and started believing those fictitious theories. Some Hindu writers and organizations also started writing on those lines and this has further confused many Hindus. For Hinduism there is no single institution, organization or a congregation with a hierarchy for spreading and conversion like many other religions. Though there are many organizations preaching Hinduism, all are independent from each other and propagate Hinduism in their own individual way. Most of these organizations commercialized their activities to attract funds and thus the very theme of Spirituality in Hinduism is found missing. Over a period of time divisions have developed in Hinduism because of fanatic work of the zealot followers. Over 90 % portion of Hindu Scriptures stress on the Spiritual aspect of human beings. The present day followers of Hinduism lost sight of the Spiritual aspect of their Scriptures and give more importance on social aspects such as traditions, customs, rituals, festivals and the so called caste system (which has been completely misconstrued). Later with the influence of Western culture and materialistic values, Hinduism took further toll. Present generation is in a confused state about Hinduism, its values, culture, rituals, traditions, social customs and household practices. Even some political parties take advantage of these confused Hindus and exploit through religious and caste divisions to their own ends. Though Hinduism, being Sanatana Dharma (means eternal religion for humanity), has the potential to sustain such an onslaught, but going to oblivious state from generation to generation (because of the affects of Kali Yuga).

The aim of this book is to provide the essence of Hinduism in simple language for common people to understand and in a concise form as present generation cannot spare much time for this subject due to their day – to - day busy schedule. Some of the rituals, customs and practices (for example - caste system, which were requirements of those days for a balanced, organized and systematic society) may not be applicable, relevant or practicable to the present day life and those could be modified and suitably replaced and be Truthful to yourself. Hinduism does not claim that it has its own propriety or Truth. It advocates that all paths lead to the same Supreme Being. Hinduism being Revealed Eternal Divine Truth cannot be understood or dealt with by human beings without proper teaching from a competent Guru (means teacher who had perceived God) and also without the blessing and Grace of God Himself. OM Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.

Namaste

(meaning - namah means I am not (to subdue the ―I‖
(i.e. personal ego), ste means you are (I respect and bow to the God within you).

Index
Page No. 1. Introduction 1 2. Brahman (God) 11 3. Creation 26 4. Dharma 46 5. Hindu way of life 53 6. Vedas 60 7. Upanishads 67 8. Smritis 80 9. Darshana Shastras 101 10. Yoga 107 11. Mantra 125 12. Tantra 131 13. Moksa (Liberation) 135 14. Conclusion 143 15. Appendices: (a) Indian History…………………....Appendix ‗A‘147 (b) Hindu Scriptures………………...Appendix ‗B‘152 (c) Process of Creation……………..Appendix ‗C‘153 (d) Process of Panchikarana……....Appendix ‗D‘ 155 (e) Cosmic Day and Cosmic Night..Appendix ‗E‘156 (f) Levels of Dharma………………..Appendix ‗F‘158 (g) Raja Yoga………………………..Appendix ‗G‘159 (h) Kundalini Yoga…………………..Appendix ‗H‘161 16. Essentials of Hinduism 162 17. Glossary 170

Introduction
Religion
Religion is a faith, opinion or belief. It is an inquiry into the Truth and its ideal is the Knowledge. All religions aim at moral, social and ethical order of the society through Philosophical and Spiritual aspects. Human beings are always inquisitive of birth, life on the earth and fearful of death. The questions of who am I?, From where did I come?, What are my responsibilities?, What am I supposed to do?, What is the meaning of my life?, Where will I go (after death)?, including creation, birth, life on earth, death and after death always puzzled human beings. All religions aim to find answers to these aspects and phases and all paths lead to the same goal.

God (Brahman)
Hinduism deals in detail about the Creator (commonly known as God), Creation of the Universe, the physical body, Soul (Self, Atma), life on the earth, death and after death. Since we are created by God our aim should be to utilize this life, through spiritual approach, to accomplish and reach our source i.e. God (which is known as Liberation, Beatitude, Salvation, Moksa, Mukti). Hinduism explains God (Supreme Person, Brahman, Paramatma and also called Bhagavan) as the only One, Eternal, Infinite, Absolute and Bliss etc. God is beyond our time, space and causation (transcendental state). He is beyond human imagination (being Mayic) and human description (being limited). When human beings think 1

of infinite God (Brahman) with finite mind we unknowingly, project human personality and characteristics. Jagadguru (a title – meaning Spiritual teacher for the world) Adi Sankaracharya described God (Brahman) as Sat – Chit – Ananda. Sat means Existence (Truth, Eternal), Chit means Consciousness (Knowledge) and Ananda means Bliss. God (Brahman) is beyond sex i.e. can be male or female. Vedas use neuter pronoun Tat (THAT) means either He or She. Taittiriya Upanishad describes God (Brahman) as Truth, Knowledge and Infinity. Since God is beyond description, describing God is by stating what It is not. Describing God means confining infinite within the finite. In the Upanishads the word Neti – Neti (means -- not this, not this) is the method in which God has been explained because God is beyond description (Bhagavata 2: 6: 36).

God and Science
Humankind always believed that God had created this world and was up there in the Heavens guiding its destiny. Charles Darwin’s theory states that human beings have evolved from single cell lower creature through millions of years. Other men of science also started chipping away at the edifice of institutionalized religion until everything came under a cloud of doubt. A closer look would reveal that not all scientists had denied God. They had redefined Him. Johannes Kepler believed that God was the creative geometer. Sir Isaac Newton said the most beautiful system of the Sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and domain of an intelligent and powerful Being. Albert Einstein spoke in ecstasy about God, who revealed 2

Himself in the wonderful harmony of the Universe. Stephen Hawking has described his whole scientific venture as an attempt to read the mind of God. God, by His mere thought, created the Universe out of nothing whereas the scientists add or subtract from the already existing material/substances in the Universe for their inventions/discoveries (i.e. which are already existing but are unknown/hidden). Science does not create anything new.

Hinduism
In Hinduism Sages, Rishis (means Maha Purusa, Mahatma or Great Soul), who had revelation of Brahman (God), explained the Divine science systematically in Hindu Scriptures (Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Itihasas and Darshanas), the complexities of Creator i.e., Brahman (God), creation, life on the earth, death, after death, rebirth and provided means to reach life‘s ultimate goal i.e. Moksa (means Liberation) through God realization. As such Scriptures are not at fault if we do not make sincere efforts to gain knowledge contained in them. Most of the founding fathers of other religions are neither educated nor literates, but they had revelation and propagated their religion which appealed the common people. Sage Valmiki, author of Epic – Ramayana, was a savage in early part of his life but later got enlightenment through meditation. So no one should think that they cannot understand Hindu Scriptures and hence they need not attempt to know their religion. Hinduism is the way of life of Hindus and the oldest known religion in the world. Religion and Spirituality are two separate aspects. Most of the religions advocate the 3

customs, traditions and the social way of life on the earth. Blind following of religious practices, even though one may not believe in some of them, takes him/her away from Spiritual aspect and God. But if one believes in Spirituality, it closely connects to God which is better way to realize Him. Spirituality is a faith and belief that some super natural power has created this universe and maintaining it. Atheists, who do not believe in God, believe in the physical world for the happiness it provides for the physical body. It means they look for happiness. But the happiness gained from the physical world for the physical body is temporary and limited. Hindu Scriptures describe God as Ananda (Eternal Bliss), Love, Peace and Happiness which is unlimited, eternal and Divine. Every Jeev, Atma or Soul at every moment perform actions with the aim of attaining Ananda (Bliss), Love, Peace and Happiness (Taittiriya Upanishad – 3: 6), (Bhagavata 3: 5: 2). It means that every Soul (any living being), at every moment knowingly or unknowingly, is Spiritual (believe in God). If someone has a strong belief on the advanced science and technology, this so called advanced science and technology have no conclusive answers for – say blood, aging, life, death, soul, nature, space, planetary system, universe and finally God. It means the present stage of science, technology and knowledge is still in the primitive stage of human knowledge compared to the Divine science and technology involved in the above mentioned aspects. But in Hindu Scriptures one can find a systematic explanation and conclusive answers to all the above aspects. This is the evidence that Hindu Scriptures i.e. Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Itihasas, are the direct descents from Brahman (God), which are manifested in 4

Hindu Scriptures through eternal Rishis, Sages and Saints (Maha Purusa, Mahatma or Great Souls). Hindu Scriptures are in Sanskrit language, which itself is a Divine language, came from Lord Shiva (as per the first verse of Introduction in Panini Grammar). It is in its total perfect form since it landed on the Earth and there is no change since then with its 52 alphabets. Its vocabulary is so complex, vast and its grammar can create any number of words. Divine revelations, which are complex, require a Divine language to explain and so is Sanskrit. Human beings (Souls) are eternally under the bondage of Maya (Cosmic power) and under its influence, are ignorant of the Divine matters and are beyond the reach of human mind (Bhagavad Gita 15: 7). Hindu Scriptures, being Divine revelations, reveal the form, personality, nature, qualities, greatness and graciousness of God. Knowledge contained in Hindu Scriptures is beyond the limits of human intelligence. Vedic Sanskrit, which is known as Deva nagara lipi, means the language and literature used by Devas (means Demi Gods) living in the Heaven (that means one can communicate with them in this language), and hence it is Divine language. Such huge literature and Spiritual knowledge contained in Hindu Scriptures, considering its preciseness, extensiveness and depth, cannot be produced by any human being without the Grace of God. Those Rishis (Sages), who had the Grace of God, had revealed the complete Hindu Scriptures (i.e. Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Epics and Itihasas) for human beings to enable a Soul to attain its ultimate goal i.e. God realization (means Moksa) or Liberation (means Soul liberates from the bondage of Maya i.e. Cosmic power) and enjoys Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. It can be also be deduced that such 5

huge literature with perfection, precision, extensiveness and depth cannot be produced by any single individual in one‘s lifetime. Any literature produced by more than one individual certainly differs in their thoughts, theme, approach and method. But none of the thoughts, themes, approaches and methods contained in Hindu Scriptures contradicts one another. It is thus obvious, certain and beyond any iota of doubt that Hindu Scriptures are Divine revelations and eternal. References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Rg Veda………………………..10: 90: 9. Yajur Veda……………………..31:7. Atharva Veda…………. ………19: 6: 13. Brhadaranyaka Upanishad…...2: 4: 10. Bhagavata……………………...3: 12: 37 to 39.

Indian History
The history of Bharata Varsha (ancient India i.e., complete land portion on Earth at that period), which stretches from the present day Iran in the West up to Indonesia in the East and the history of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma means eternal religion) has been explained systematically and in chronological order in Hindu Scriptures from the start of present Kalpa (i.e. Shveta Varaha Kalpa) (Refer Appendix ‗A‘ - Page No. 147). Hinduism is also known as Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana means eternally exists in God and revealed by Him. Dharma means such actions and such Spiritual and religious practices that finally result in all good for the Soul. It also means such thoughts, actions and 6

practices that promote physical and mental happiness in the world and also ensure attainment of the final goal of the life i.e. God realization. Bharata Varsha (ancient India) is in such a location on the Earth planet, which is not much effected by natural calamities and disasters (except localized floods, earth quakes and change of contours), like the ice age and icy storms and blizzards that happened for many other countries and parts of the Earth. Because of these calamities the history of the other countries and parts of the world does not go back to about 30,000 years B.C.E (Before Common Era). Brahman (God), who has created this Universe and subsequently on the evolution of human race on the Earth, sends His eternal Rishis (Sages), at regular intervals, who reproduce and maintain the Scriptural Knowledge with their Divine power, for the benefit of mankind. Even these days, in spite of advanced materialistic development and technology, there are no physical and material means that could hold, preserve and reproduce the information and knowledge of the history in its original form without any damage or change for such a prolonged period of time. To hold, retain, protect and to reproduce such a great Divine Knowledge of the Hindu Scriptures the Divine personalities are needed. So Lord Brahma (Creator of our planetary system), with the Grace of Brahman (God), periodically sends such Divine personalities known as Rishis and Sages (Saints) to undertake such tasks. These Divine personalities are the eternal associates of Brahman (God), who are sent on the Earth planet, to protect and maintain the Divine Knowledge for the benefit of the Souls, in this world, to build their faith in God and proceed on the path to God realization or Liberation. Those Rishis (Sages), again with the Grace of 7

God, composed and produced many sacred poems, collectively known as Vedas. Vedas, in Sanskrit, means Knowledge and they are Revealed Eternal Divine Truths. These poems use many mnemonic devices to ensure its effectiveness. As they are taught by word of mouth and learned by hearing (not by writing and reading) those Truths (which are eternal) came to be known as Shruti (means sounds produced by mouth). Rishis and Sages, who had directly experienced God, had seen those Truths with their Divine and purified mind. Hindu Scriptures contain answers to Brahman (God) (Creator), Creation, Universe and Life (before birth, life on earth and after death). Rg Veda mentions about cosmic order known as Rta. Creation and destruction is cyclic as well as rhythmic. Everything in this Universe is pulsating and moves according to a Divine pattern, which is reflected in the rhythmic and cyclic movements of Nature. All matter, including human beings, has rhythmic movements within and our quest should be to create proper rhythm and harmony within ourselves. Mantra, a system of syllables made with particular frequencies of vibrations, is used to create or change one‘s vibrating frequencies to a better state. According to expanding and contracting theory, the Universe is rhythmic more or less like a pulsating heart. Hinduism calls this great rhythm of the Universe by the name Spandana. Hinduism teaches to accomplish to synchronize our rhythm and vibrations (our thoughts and actions including inactions) to that of the Universe. ―I” (Self or Soul or Atma) is the centre point of the Universe. As per Hinduism, every being in the Universe is a focal point. Every being in the Universe is a Sukshma - Jagat means minutest world (microcosm). The Universe and 8

human body are made of identical materials and as such all answers are within. If one can understand the factors and forces within, then one will be able to understand all factors and forces in the Universe and Nature. Human beings actions can affect the Nature and that affected Nature in turn can affects the well being of the human beings. The great scientists of those days, called Rishis (Sages), who had perfected themselves by meditation, with the Grace of God, are said to have heard in their hearts Eternal Divine Truths and those Truths were taught to their disciples telepathically as there were no material to write or to record them at that period. All Shruti literature existed all though eternity in the form of sounds. Therefore the sounds of the words of the Vedas and Upanishads are very important to ensure its effectiveness. About 5,000 years ago (before 3102 B.C.E. – the year in which Kali Yuga started) Sage Krishna Dwaipayana (later known as Veda Vyasa – Veda means Knowledge and Vyasa means compiler) reproduced and systematized the Mantras and Vedas. Sage Veda Vyasa dictated and Lord Ganesha (son of Lord Shiva) recorded them, because this was a huge task and it needs a Divine mind to record them correctly.

Sage Veda Vyasa
In Dwapara Yuga Sage Veda Vyasa, who is a part manifestation of Sri Hari (Lord Vishnu), was born of Sage Parashara and his wife Satyavathi. Sage Veda Vyasa is also known as Satyavathi - Suta, Vadrayana, Krishna Dwaipayana and Vyasa. He was born as a grown - up person and immediately after birth, he set out for meditation. The Sage, who had unfailing eye and could read the past as 9

well as the future, saw how by the flux of time, there ensued in every age (Yuga) an overlapping of duties, as a result of which the potency of the material objects had diminished and people had grown irreverent, weak, dull - witted and short – lived. The Sage began to investigate by means of his Divine in - sight as to wherein lay the welfare of human beings. Perceiving the Vedic sacrifices (i.e.Yajnas) are the purifiers of people; he divided the one Veda (revealed by Brahman) into four for the continuance of the sacrifices. He thus separated the Vedas as four under the names Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. First he dictated the Vedas including all 1,180 Upanishads, Upa Vedas, and Vedangas. Then he dictated 17 Puranas, after those 18 Upa – Puranas, then the Mahabharata (including Srimad Bhagavad Gita) and the Ramayana, which was originally written by Sage Valmiki about 1,80,00,000 years i.e. 18 million years ago. At the end he dictated Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana which is known as Maha Purana (means Supreme History). Details of Hindu Scriptures are at Appendix ‗B‘ (Page No. 152). The Eternal Divine Knowledge contained in the above Hindu Scriptures was in the abode of Brahman (God) and protected by Him. Brahman after Creation gave this Knowledge to Lord Brahma (God for Creation of this Brahmanda, means one planetary system in which one Lord Brahma functions the duties of Creation in that planetary system) (Note - There are innumerable Brahmandas). Lord Brahma produced them to the Rishis and Sages at the start of the Creation of this Brahmanda. Those Rishis and Sages reproduced them for the people on this Earth planet. Sage Veda Vyasa reproduced all of them just before 3102 B.C.E (Before Common Era). 10

Brahman (God)
Brahman (God) means The One without a second. He is Reality, One and the Only. Brahman (God) also means Ananda (Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss) and capable of making others also attain Eternal Bliss. He is absolutely great and can make a Soul, after God realization, great like Him. Brahman also means The Absolute Divinity. Brahman is also known as Bhagavan or Paramatma or Isvara. In Rg Veda, as per Nasadiya Mantra (Creation Hymn) Brahman has been described as an abstract principle – THAT - pure consciousness, pure spirit, changeless (beyond time, space and causation) and unknown by ordinary mind. Brahman cannot be seen or perceived by senses (i.e. eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin as they can see or perceive only material sense objects). Brahman cannot also be understood by the human mind and intellect because they are Mayic, i.e., evolved from Maya (Cosmic Power i.e., the material world, delusion). To see, hear, perceive and understand Brahman (God) one requires Divine faculties (eyes, ears and mind etc.) which can be given only by Brahman (God) (Bhagavata 2: 6: 36, Bhagavad Gita 11: 8). Brahman is also known as Bhagavan. The word ―Bhaga‖ denotes – power, virtue (Dharma), fame, affluence, wisdom and dispassion – each in its fullest measure. If the Soul, which is under the bondage of Maya, with the Grace of Brahman (God) and with His Divine power, can break the bondage of Maya then only the Soul can know Him and attain the Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. From that One and the Only, this Universe of many evolved. God is infinitely big and bigger than the biggest. Nothing is even equal to Him (Bhagavad Gita 11: 43 11

Bhagavata 2: 4: 14; Svetasvatara Upanishad 6: 8). He is capable of absorbing within Himself the entire Universe, including Maya and all the Souls, after total dissolution. God is also infinitely small and smaller than the smallest (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3: 20). He lives within all the Souls (Bhagavad Gita 15: 15) which are smallest subtle entities (Sukshma) in the Universe. God gives energy to the Souls to do their duties (work or actions i.e. Karma) through the physical body, which is Mayic. But the decision as to what to do (good or bad) is left to the Soul and therefore the Soul gets the results (fruits) for its actions (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 4: 4: 5; Bhagavata 11: 3: 20). In the Upanishads the word Neti – Neti (means not this – not this) is the method in which Brahman is explained because He is beyond human description. To know Brahman (God) one must experience one‘s oneness with God through God realization. Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya described Brahman as Sat – Chit – Ananda (Sat means Truth (Existence), Chit means Consciousness and Ananda means Bliss). As per his Advaita Philosophy Brahman alone is real and eternal, where as this Universe is unreal (means in transit or ever changing) and temporary. The Universe is evolved from God, exists in God and merges in God (Taittiriya Upanishad 3: 1: 1). God, is the one Self-effulgent Lord, the Self of all embodied Souls. He, who appears as the subject and the object, perceive Him as manifested in multitudinous forms through Maya (Prakrti) (Bhagavata 1: 13: 47). Everything and every Soul in this Universe long (live) for Brahman (God) (Ananda or Bliss). But many don‘t get Brahman (God) (Ananda or Bliss) due to their ignorance, being under the bondage of Maya (means under delusion and false 12

perception and association with this material world (Prakrti means Nature). Whatever may one say that they are happy is temporary and limited. That happiness is not the real happiness, not permanent and not infinite. God has two aspects (a) Nirakara or Nirguna or Impersonal form of God and (b) Sakara or Saguna or Personal form of God (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 2: 3: 1).

Nirakara or Nirguna Brahman (Impersonal form of God)
Nirakara means formless or shapeless. Nirguna means without qualities. Brahman means the Absolute Divinity. Nirakara or Nirguna or Nirvishesha (without attributes) Brahman (Impersonal form of God) is an abstract principle – THAT (i.e. pure consciousness, pure spirit, changeless and unknown by ordinary minds). Nirakara aspect of God is formless and action less. So It does not Create the Universe and Grace the Souls. Nirakara Brahman, being an existence of absolutely subtle and dormant state of virtues (Avyakta Shakti means expressionless power) does not even manifest blissfulness. Nirakara Brahman is beyond sex i.e. can be He or She. Vedas use neuter pronoun Tat (THAT) for Nirakara Brahman. With His mere thought He becomes Sakara, Saguna Brahman means Personal form of God (Brahma Sutra 4: 4: 12). Whoever does devotion (Bhakti) to Nirakara Brahman is called Jnani (means knowledgeable). There is very little description and mention of Nirakara or Nirguna or Nirvishesha Brahman in Hindu Scriptures.

13

Sakara or Saguna Brahman (Personal form of God)
Sakara means form or shape. Saguna means good qualities. In the Upanishads the term Brahman mostly refers to the personal form of God (Saguna Brahman). Nirakara Brahman is established in Saguna Brahman. So Saguna or Sakara Brahman or personal form of God is known as Bhagavan who is the main form of God. He is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent (Sarwa Shakti), all blissful, all pervading, all kindness, all gracious and all loving Divine personality. His main forms are Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna etc. Obeisance to that Supreme Person of infinite glory, who in order to carry on His Leela (Divine sport) of Creating, Preserving and Destroying of the Universe (in the form of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively) has assumed the three Shaktis (powers) in the shape of Sattva (harmony), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (darkness) (Bhagavata 2: 4: 12). Lord Vishnu (Sri Hari) has infinite glory, all pervading, irresistible power, and Supreme Divine nature, unequalled and unsurpassed known as Brahman (Absolute, Self-born). By His own Maya (deluding potency, creative energy) manifests Himself in different forms. He is Veda (Truth). He is Dharma (righteousness). His virtues are truthfulness, purity, compassion, forbearance, liberality, contentment, guilelessness, composure of mind, subjugation of the senses, austerity, evenness of temper, endurance, quietism, sacred knowledge, self-realization, dispassion, (absence of thirst for sensuous enjoyment) lordship (power to rule), heroism, majesty, strength, right judgment, independence (absolute freedom), dexterity, loveliness of 14

form, fortitude, gentleness of disposition, exceptional intelligence, modesty, amiability, quietness of mind, acuteness of the senses and bodily vigour, sobriety, steadiness, reverence, absence of egotism, embodiment of Supreme Bliss, all spirit, consciousness and many other excellent virtues (Bhagavata 1: 16: 26 to 29). He puts an end to the threefold agony i.e. (a) that having its origin in body and mind, (b) that inflicted by other creatures and (c) that having its source in the natural calamities. Whoever does devotion (Bhakti) to personal form of God is called Bhakta (devotee). Personal form of God with His Divine magical power (Maya – which He controls) assumes various forms, created this Universe with good and evil. By His mere will, He manifests Himself as the manifold Universe. With His thought He becomes Nirguna Brahman. So both Nirguna and Saguna Brahman is one and the same (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 2: 3: 1) and (Brahma Sutra 4: 4: 12).

Isvara (Universal Soul)
Isvara (Universal Soul) has three basic aspects. They are Creation, Preservation and Destruction (Taittiriya Upanishad 3: 1: 1). He is also the originator and upholder of Eternal Cosmic Order (in Sanskrit – Rta) means regularity and orderliness of the Universe. He is endowed with six eternal and Divine attributes, all in their fullest measure (Bhagavata 2: 9: 16) They are:     Lordship. Righteousness. Renown. Prosperity. 15

 Wisdom.  Dispassion.

Maya (Cosmic Power or Delusion)
Maya (Cosmic Power) means which conceals reality and projects unreal as real. It is eternal power of God (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4: 10). It is eternal, infinite and lifeless (action less i.e. Maya cannot act on its own) power of Brahman. Maya cannot be destroyed. God has absolute control over Maya. Maya is in between God and the Soul. Maya is under the control of God and the Souls (attracted by the charms of Prakrti, due to their ignorance, by their own will associated with Maya) are under the bondage of Maya. But the Souls can be eternally liberated from the bondage of Maya. Maya is also called Prakrti or Nature and God is the wielder of Maya. Material world is the bye product of Maya. Due to Maya we witness duality in this world i.e. good or bad, right or wrong etc. The world we see and feel with this materialistic body (which is also Mayic) is not the real world. True world is beyond Maya and beyond description. Maya creates inner weakness in living beings to indulge in material things (again Mayic) and makes us to forget our true Self (Soul). According to Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya, Brahman alone is real and everything else is Maya. Maya disappears when a person realizes True Knowledge. Why should imperfect (Maya) come out of perfect (God)? If Brahman transcends all personality feelings, how did He make a Creation with consciousness? Why the Absolute and Infinite should descend into finite? Mundaka Upanishad (1: 1: 7) explains that as hair and nails (which have no life) are grown from the body (which has life), similarly Maya (which is lifeless power of God) also comes from God. Both the Bhagavata and Bhagavad Gita address these questions in 16

an indirect manner. Both talk about the instrumentality of Creation. As per Bhagavata it is the Leela (Divine sport) for God to create things. Bhagavad Gita, on the other hand, states that it is part of Nature to create and procreate. In the Vedanta Sutra (1: 4: 26 and 27) the word Leela (Divine sport) is used to explain Creation as the desire-less expression of God. In the absence of Maya creation and procreation stops and the world ceases since this material Universe is indeed Maya. During Creation Universe comes from God and during dissolution Universe merges in God. Primordial matter (Prakrti) is the womb of all creatures; in which God place the seed of all life. The birth of all beings follows from the combination of matter and the Spirit (Soul) (Bhagavad Gita 14: 3). Maya has three qualities. They are called Gunas. They are (a) Sattva Guna (Pious), (b) Rajo Guna (Selfish), and (c) Tamo Guna (Evil). These Gunas bind the Spirit (Soul) to the body (Bhagavad Gita 14: 5). When the Universe is under absolute dissolution state, Maya stays in Brahman (God) in an absolute dormant form along with the Souls that are under its bondage. Before Creation the qualities of Maya remained in perfect equilibrium and harmony without overlapping one another. On Creation the qualities of Maya start intermingling and over lapping and evolve into the form of this manifold Universe and represent its existence with the above three qualities. In evolution process Maya (Prakrti or material Nature) becomes manifold Universe consisting of Mind and Matter.  Sattva Guna: It is light or buoyant and bright or illuminating. It has the nature of pleasure or joy and 17

ability to reveal or makes things known. It binds by creating attachment for happiness and knowledge (Bhagavad Gita 14: 6). If we see happiness, contentment, satisfaction, joy or bliss and purity in mind, it is due to Sattva Guna which has Divine nature that leads to Spiritual growth and progress. It is mode of goodness and symbolized as white. (Scientific explanation – has great amount of energy with little matter).  Rajo Guna: It causes passion, activity, movement and restlessness, avarice, hankering, anger, egoism, vanity and wish to dominate over others. It has the nature of pain and suffering. It causes bondage and binds the Soul through attachment to action (Bhagavad Gita 14: 7). It is mode of passion and symbolized as red. (Scientific explanation – It is in between Sattva and Tamo Gunas in relation to energy and mass).  Tamo Guna: It is inertia, passivity, sluggishness, heaviness and negativity. It resists, renders mind incapable and causes confusion, mental depression, bewilderment and ignorance. It induces drowsiness and sleep. It causes senseless violence. It binds the Soul through inattention, indolence and sleep (Bhagavad Gita 14: 8). It is mode of ignorance and symbolized as black. (Scientific explanation – has less amount of energy and big matter). These Gunas have one common characteristic. They are in constant conflict with each other and each one try to subdue the other in order to become predominant. 18

When Sattva Guna dominates the mind, which happens occasionally, a person is calm and serene. When Rajo Guna dominates the mind, which is more powerful than Sattva Guna and easily dominates, a person is active and ambitious. When Tamo Guna dominates the mind, which is most powerful and mostly dominates, a person is lazy and violent. There is always a difference in the degree of intensity of these Gunas in each person due to their interaction and constantly fluctuating of the Gunas. As a result a person‘s reaction depends on the dominance of one of these Gunas. Domination of Sattva Guna leads to happiness, domination of Rajo Guna leads to suffering and domination of Tamo Guna leads to confusion. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the three attributes or modes of Prakrti (primordial Matter) assuming these for the Preservation, Creation and Destruction of the Universe, the one Supreme Person severally bears the names of Hari (Lord Vishnu), Virinci (Lord Brahma) and Hara (Lord Shiva) (Bhagavata 1: 2: 23). Lord Krishna said, My Divine power of Maya, consisting of these three Gunas, can be crossed by the one who totally surrenders and perpetually worships Me. (Bhagavad Gita 7: 14).

God – Vision
One with Sattva Guna acquires Divine nature which is conducive to Spiritual growth. The qualities of Sattva Guna are as follows -- purity in mind, control over his sense organs, fond of Spiritual growth, strait-forwardness, mental and physical endurance, truthfulness, non-violence, absence of anger, renunciation of sensual pleasures, kindness to creatures, gentleness, modesty, freedom from malice, non19

covetousness, lack of restlessness, vigour, forgiveness, fortitude and knowledge about his inherent Divine Self. Sattva Guna leads a person to God. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that when a Soul goes beyond these three Gunas attains Immortality (Bhagavad Gita 14: 20), in other words go beyond matter and manifest your Divine Spirit.

Atma or Jeev or Purusa or Self (Soul)
Atma or Jeev or Self or Purusa (Soul) means Divinity. Soul is eternal, unborn, immortal, infinitesimal, conscious and divine entity (Svetasvatara Upanishad – 1:9; 4: 5), (Bhagavad Gita 2: 20 and 24; 13: 19; 15: 7). Soul in its pure form is substantially the same as God. There are innumerable numbers of Souls. Soul is not male, not female, not neuter; whatever body it takes to itself, by that it is held (Svetasvatara Upanishad 5: 10). Soul has no relationship with another Soul. Souls are a special part (Visista Ansh) of God (Divine Power) called Jeev Shakti (Soul power) which is affiliated to Chit Shakti (consciousness power) of God (Bhagavad Gita 15: 7). Aham Brahmasmi means ―I‖ (Soul or Self or Atma or Jeev or Purusa) am Brahman (God) (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – 1: 4: 10). Tat Tvam Asi means you are THAT, which means Soul, (in its pure form i.e. freed from the bondage of Maya), is same as Brahman (God) (Chandogya Upanishad – 6: 8: 7). Souls are Sukshma means smaller than the smallest in size and subtle (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3: 20). Souls, being part (ansh) of God, have got Chetana Shakti (power to perform actions) i.e., Tatasta Shakti (given by God) means in-between Para Shakti and Maya Shakti of God. Souls have permanent relationship with God and God lives within the Souls (Katha Upanishad 2: 2: 13). Souls are always active and cannot 20

remain inactive even for a moment and compelled to act by the modes of Prakrti (Bhagavad Gita 3: 5). The Souls have no relationship with Maya, but fell prey to the charms of Prakrti, accepted of their (Souls) own free will, the unmanifest Divine Prakrti (Maya), which finally resulted to their (Souls) bondage of Maya due to their (Souls) Sanchita Karmas (destiny of the Souls). Mind, alone, is responsible for the bondage and emancipation of the Soul. Attached to the objects of senses, it leads to bondage (Bhagavata 3: 25: 15). Because of the bondage of Maya, Souls lose their consciousness; lose sight of their identity (as being part of God) and associate themselves in the Mayic realm and are eternally blemished with the association of Maya (Eternal Cosmic power) (Padma Purana 11: 2: 37). Due to this bondage Souls get attached to the three modes of Prakrti (Gunas) deluded by egotism feel as doer. Due to this sense of doer - ship, brought about by the association with Prakrti, they helplessly are thrown into the wombs of good or evil – has to undergo births, deaths and rebirths (Bhagavata 3: 27: 3). By the will of God, Maya (Prakrti) evolves itself in the form of this material world. The Soul (Atma or Jeev means Life), because of its power to act, within a body activates the body (Maya or material world) which we call the body has Life. When the Soul (Atma or Jeev) leaves the body, the body becomes inactive or inert (no Chetana or action) which we call the body has no Life (Atma or Jeev) (dead) (Taittiriya Upanishad – 3: 3). The Soul and the body can be compared to electric power and the bulb respectively. The body, without a Soul (Atma or Jeev), is nothing but Maya or material world. The Soul that is bound by Karmas (actions – good or bad) is known as Self (Atma) and it has to take 21

innumerable births to enjoy or suffer the fruits of its actions (Karmas), till it exhausts its Karmas and breaks loose the bondage of Maya. Thus a person has to realize this truth, remove his ignorance and his false (Mayic) association with Maya and try to attain the True knowledge of the fact that it does not belong to Mayic (material) world and it (Soul) is part (ansh) of God. If one develops affinity and devotion to the Supreme Person (God) that brings Liberation (free from the bondage of Maya) to the Soul. Brahman (God) and the Jeev (Soul) have similar (visista) qualities in certain aspects and also different (vibhinna) qualities in many other aspects. The following are some similar qualities of God and Soul:  Both are unborn and eternal. (Bhagavad Gita 10: 3; 3: 20 and 24).  Both have Chetana (means power to perform actions). Brahman has Para Shakti and Soul has Brahman’s (God‘s) Tatasta Shakti (means in between Para Shakti and Maya Shakti).  Both do not change and come under the same category. (Svetasvatara Upanishad – 1: 6).  Always both are together and reside at one place (heart) (Bhagavad Gita – 15: 15, Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:17). Though Soul is part (ansh) of God it does not have same amount of qualities of God. The Soul differs in many other qualities of God. The following are few such qualities.

22

God  Wielder, ruler or above Maya (Material World)  Creator of the Universe  Cause of everything (Prerak)  Omnipresent  Omnipotent  Omniscient  Infinite  Absolute  Absolutely great and makes a Soul (after God realization) great like Him

Soul Under the bondage of Maya (it does not belong to Maya) Dwells within the Universe (Material world) Relative to cause (Prerit) Limited to the material body it enters Limited power Covered by ignorance due to Maya Finite Incomplete Lacks this quality

 Capable of Creation, Incapable of this action Protection and destruction of the Universe  Has unlimited love, These qualities are limited kindness and all Gracious  Sat – Chit – Ananda Lacks this quality (Truth, Consciousness and Eternal Bliss)  Can be compared to Can be compared to Sun Sun rays 23

References: Bhagavad Gita 15: 15; Svetasvatara Upanishad 4: 16; Mundaka Upanishad 1: 1: 9; Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5: 1: 1; Taittiriya Upanishad 3: 1; Brahma Sutra (By Sage Veda Vyasa) 1: 1: 18 and 22; 1: 2: 8 and 21; 1: 3: 4 and 06; 2: 1: 1 and 22; 3: 2: 27 and 3: 4: 08. Note: These are only few. There are innumerable Virtues in Saguna Brahman that no one can count. Individual Soul, though beyond the three Gunas, thinks itself as consisting of the three Gunas and suffers the evil consequences brought about by this identification (Bhagavata 1: 7: 5). A Soul through its Spiritual Knowledge has to realize the Truth that it is under the bondage of Maya (Cosmic or material power) and dispel its ignorance that it (Soul) is its body, (which is Mayic), do not belong to this Mayic (material) world and only belongs to the Divine God (Brahman). Identify the God that lives in all the Souls (the indwelling Self or Atma) or God – head (subtle or Sukshma element of God or power of God). Soul (Self) is one without change, pure (untainted by Maya) self - effulgent, beyond the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti), the substratum of Divine attributes, all pervading, unveiled, the witness (of all), having no other Soul and distinct from the body (Bhagavata 4: 20: 7). The man who understands the Self, existing in this body, as described above is never tainted by the modes of Prakrti (Bhagavata 4: 20: 8). He who knows the immutable Self as 24

if it were unconcerned, though presiding over the body, the senses of perception, the organs of actions and the mind, attains blessedness.

Devas (Celestial Gods)
Certain beings, which did meritorious work, are promoted and they acquire special powers and bodies which emit light (Div means light or shine) and they are called Devas (Celestial or Demi - Gods). These Celestial Gods have not yet crossed the barrier of Maya and are subjected to the modes of Prakrti (Gunas).

25

Creation
In Hinduism, as per Puranas, Manu Smriti and various Schools of Hindu Philosophies (Darshanas), there are many theories for Creation (Sristi). Creation (Sristi) and Dissolution (Maha Pralaya) of the Universe is cyclic. There is no beginning and end to this cycle. It is eternal and goes on perpetually. During Dissolution (Maha Pralaya) the creative energies and the forces remain in an absolutely subtle and dormant state (it is called Avyakta) within God. During Creation (Sristi) they evolve in the form of the Universe (Vyakta). For God Creation and Dissolution is only a Divine Sport (called Leela).

Aim of Creation
Souls are eternal and unlimited in number. They are in an infinitesimal and life form having a subtle mind (along with their Karmas) of their own. During Creation when the Souls receive the human body they do many good as well as many bad actions according to the discrimination of their own mind. The record of all those good and bad actions (called Karmas or Samskaras) are recorded or stored in a section of the mind and also by God (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4: 6). The doctrine of Karma (action) has theory of conservation of energy. As per this theory the Karmas we do dictate our past, present and future which are known as Karma – Vada (cause and effect of action). Karma – Phala is the fruits (results) of the actions. God is Karma – Phaladata (giver of the fruits of actions) and ultimate dispenser of natural justice as per Cosmic Law. No Soul can escape this law. During Maha Pralaya (dissolution period) Souls, which 26

are under the bondage of Maya, along with their Sanchita Karmas rests in an absolute subtle dormant state in Brahman (God). The aim of Creation is to give a chance to all the Souls to become human beings, do only absolute good actions (Karmas) and totally surrender to God, there by realize God and attain Liberation (Absolute Bliss).

Entities involved in the Creation
There are three eternal entities that are involved in the Creation. They are as under:  Brahman (God): One and the only One. He is Divine and has infinite absolute virtues.  Atma (Souls): Souls are, ansh (part) of God, also eternal, unlimited in number, infinitesimal and life form having a subtle mind of their own along with collective Karmas in a subtle, semi - dormant force which reside in the mind of every Soul.  Maya (Cosmic power): It is eternal, lifeless energy or power of God with three powerful qualities (Gunas). They are – (a) Sattva Guna (pious, positive, and pretty), (b) Tamo Guna (evil, negative and ugly), and (c) Rajo Guna (selfish, neutral and normal). These qualities exist in a mixed proportion in every part of Creation. It is a very strong force that starts the manifestation of the Mayic attributes which finally becomes the Universe and keep Universe moving forward until Dissolution (Maha Pralaya).  Forces Running the Universe: The egg-shaped Universe, has a breadth of 5 Million (50,00,000) 27

Yojanas (or 40 Million miles), covered outside by seven sheaths (viz., Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, the Ego and the Mahat - tattva) each of which is ten times larger than the one it surrounds, constituted as it is as under (Bhagavata 3: 11: 39 to 41):  Eight casual Principles: Primordial Matter, the Mahat - tattva, the Ego and five subtle elements viz., principle of Sound, Touch, Colour, Taste and Smell.  Sixteen Evolutes: The Mind (consisting of Reason and Understanding) whose thoughts and reflections give rise to desire, five Sense Perceptions (Auditory, Tactile, Sight, Taste, Olfactory), Five Organs of Actions (Vocal Apparatus, Hands, Feet, Genitals, Defecation (bowl) and Five Gross Elements ( Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) none of which evolve further. There are two forces that keep the Universe to move forward:  Karmas (Actions): The accumulative and collective force of the accumulated Karmas of all the unlimited Souls, as described above.  Kal (Time): Brahman (God) alone is beyond time. All the rest which emerged from Brahman (Lord) will change its shape and form in time, including the Universe. Time is a potency of Lord. Time, which in itself is undifferentiated and has no beginning or end, appears in the form of metamorphosis of worldly phenomena. The time we calculate is the parameter 28

that gives us the understanding of the period and helps us to record the events of past, present and future. But the Kal (force of Time) is an eternal energy, like Maya, that exists side by side with Maya and pushes the Universe to move forward. The measure of Time which (in the form of Sun) flits across the smallest particle of matter (Paramanu) the shortest, while that which extends over the whole life span of the Universe is the longest measure of Time. Two Paramanus make one Anu (an atom). Three Anus constitute a Trasarenu (the minutest particle of matter or mote). The measure of Time which (in the form of Sun) travels across a composite of three Trasarenu is known as Truti (Bhagavata 3: 11: 4 to 9 and Vishnu Purana Book 1 Chapter 3). Further calculation of Time is as under:  100 Trutis ……....one Vedha  3 Vedhas ………one Lava  3 Lavas ……….one Nimesa (twinkle of an eye)  3 Nimesas ……….one Ksana (also called a moment)  5 Ksanas ……….one Kastha  15 Kasthas ……….one Laghu  15 Laghus ……….one Nadhika  2 Nadhikas ……….one Muhurta (48 minutes)  30 Muhurtas ……...one day and night (24 hours (counts from Sun rise to Sun set) The time between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. is considered as Brahma Muhurta and supposed to be the most auspicious 29

time of a day. During this period, it is believed, that all celestial beings take rest and there is little activity in the ethereal world. It is considered that this is the best period for meditation and Spiritual activities. It is also believed that any problem can be solved if one tries during this period. Time is precious and valuable. Time once lapsed will never come back. Time is also a healer.

Creation as per Bhagavata
Before Creation this Universe existed in no other form than the Lord, His powers lay dormant although His conscious was wide awake. Souls (along with their Karmas i.e. force of accumulated actions), Maya (Primordial Matter) and Kal (Time) rests in Brahman (God) in an absolute subtle form and dormant state during Maha Pralaya Dissolution period). They are activated by the will of Brahman (God). It is this energy (Cit-Shakti i.e., power of intelligence, Time (potency of Lord), destiny of all the Souls acted upon Maya (Primordial Matter) that disturbed the equilibrium of the three Gunas (constituting this Maya). Lord placed therein as Purusa (Soul), who is His own fragment. From the unmanifest Maya (Primordial Matter), impelled by the Time, was evolved the Mahat-tattva (the principle of Cosmic intelligent). Mahat-tattva, as it underwent transformation, was evolved the principle of Ahankara (the Ego). Ahankara (ego) is of three kinds – (a) Vaikarika (Sattvika) Ego: When underwent transformation evolved the Mind (ego and reasoning) – whose thoughts and reflections give rise to desires, (b) Taijasa (Rajasika) Ego: When underwent transformation evolved Buddhi (understanding), 5 Sense Perceptions (Speech, Touch, Sight, Taste and Smell) and 30

5 Organs of Actions (Vocal Apparatus, Hands, Feet, Genitals and Defecation) and (c) Tamasika Ego: This ego underwent transformation, sprang up (Subtle and Gross elements). They are, the principle of Sound evolved Ether and auditory sense (which catches sound). From Ether sprang up the principle of touch and evolved Air as well as tactile sense (which perceives touch). From Air evolved principle of colour then Fire as well as sense of sight (enable to perceive colour). From Fire proceeded the principle of taste, thence Water as well as the sense of Taste. From Water proceeded the principle of smell, thence Earth as well as olfactory sense (perceiving odour) (Bhagavata 3: 10: 14 to 17 and 3: 26: 1 to 50). The above evolution can further be explained as follows. After certain subtle phases of evolution, endless empty Space was the first subtle manifestation of Maya (Cosmic power). In the infinite Space, unlimited space pockets of various sizes were formed and they become the base of unlimited sub – universes. The next phase of evolution of Maya was Vayu (Air) which created circular movements in the Space, as if the entire Space was in a circular motion from its central point. In this motion sub particles in the Space evenly merged. The next phase of Mayic manifestation was Agni (Fire). Then the particles in the Space annihilated to form hydrogen atoms. In the next phase gravity began to predominate which resulted in the formation of the basic structure of innumerable galaxies and their clusters. Due to the already existing motion in the Space the galaxies look like moving away from each other. The speed and orbit of movement of these galaxies vary from each other, but they are perfectly controlled and synchronized, which itself reflects the Divine activity in the 31

Universe. When the galaxies begin to stabilize and assume their normal shape, Brahman (God) creates great number of Divine Celestial Spaces in the galaxies and produces one Lord Brahma (God for Creation) in each Celestial Space, who controls the Creation of Sun and its planetary system. Thus there is one Lord Brahma, for each Celestial Space. Lord Brahma creates Celestial abodes of gods and goddesses. Celestial abodes are invisible, for human beings, as they are in different space dimensions. One planetary system with its Celestial abodes is called one Brahmanda. Brahmanda means the material and the celestial creation of one single Lord Brahma. There are three types of dimensions (material, celestial and Divine) and two kinds of spaces (material and celestial) in this Brahmanda. Material and celestial Creations are the two (material and celestial) dimensions of the material power of Maya. The Divine dimension is equally omnipresent in both (material and celestial) dimensions, but it is not visible to Mayic beings (both material and celestial beings). Material creation consists of the planetary system (Earth, Sun, Moon and planetary system etc) in the material space. In the celestial space, which is next to material space, there is celestial Creation. The top most celestial abode i.e. Brahma Loka belongs to Lord Brahma (God for Creation). The abodes of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga represent a branch of Vaikunta abode in the celestial abode. Other celestial gods like Indra (King of the celestial abode and also God of rain, thunder and lightning), Vayu (God of air), Agni (God of fire), Varuna (God of water), Kubera (God of wealth), Brihaspati (God of wisdom) and Prajapati (President of the God‘s kingdom) etc. represent the celestial creation. The 32

material reasoning and conditions are based upon the limitations of material time and space. This is the reason that happenings, which are beyond the Mayic sphere, cannot be intellectualized. There are innumerable numbers of Brahmandas along with one Lord Brahma each for each Brahmanda in one galaxy. After the formation of Earth planet, the ozone layer was formed, oceans began to exist. Vegetation is the first form of life that appeared on the Earth planet, as the soil itself contains the subtle form of the seeds of all kinds of vegetation. Lord Brahma transfers the Souls into these seeds and the vegetation grows. Afterwards they create their own seeds. When the Nature further evolves the bodies of insects, fishes, birds, animals and human beings are formed and Lord Brahma transfers the Souls into them. Since the Souls are eternal and they must have been living in some form or the other in the last stage of the previous cycle of Creation and just before Maha Pralaya (Dissolution) Lord Brahma transfers all the Souls exactly according to their previous status i.e. grass become grass, fish becomes fish, elephant becomes elephant and human being becomes human being and so on (Brahma Sutra 2: 1: 34 and 35). Lord Brahma produces the first pair of all living beings on the Earth planet and afterwards they multiply themselves. There are a total of 84,00,000 varieties of living beings on the Earth planet. This Knowledge (systematic theory and detailed chronological order of Creation) was already incorporated in Bhagavata by Sage Veda Vyasa with His Divine Knowledge over 5,000 years ago. In spite of advanced scientific and technological expertise none of the existing theories of scientists, cosmologists and historians could find conclusive answers to their own theories on Creation. The Creation 33

aspect is further explained in Puranas, Manu – Smriti and various Darshanas (Philosophies).

As per Puranas
The broad theme as explained in Puranas is as follows. In the beginning Brahman pervaded the entire Universe. When it was time for Creation, Brahman manifested Himself as three Supreme Gods i.e. Lord Brahma (God for Creation), Lord Vishnu (God for Preservation) and Lord Shiva (God for Destruction).Then water was created and out of the water many headed serpent arose which is known as Seshnag. Lord Vishnu took the Seshnag as his resting place. Next from the waters came a Golden Egg. Lord Brahma (God for Creation), entered the egg and within the egg He carried out the work of Creation for thousands of years. Then the egg hatched into two parts. The upper part was made the Heaven and the lower part the Earth. The Sun emerged from the egg and took its ordained place. Since it is first to emerge Sun is known as Aditya. Then Lord Brahma created various forms of Life.

As per Manu-Smriti
According to Manu-Smriti the Self- existent Brahman manifested to dispel the darkness enveloping everything. He created the Waters and deposited a seed that became Golden Egg (Hiranyagarbha), from which He was born as Lord Brahma. He divided the egg in two parts to create Heaven and Earth. Lord Brahma created ten Prajapathies (mind born sons), believed to be the fathers of the human race. They are Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasistha, Daksa, Bhrghu and Narada. The first seven are known as seven Great Sages (Sapta Rishis) to help him in 34

Creation. Brahman divided Himself into three parts i.e. Lord Brahma (became Creator), Lord Vishnu (became Preserver) and Lord Shiva (became Destroyer) of the Universe.

As per Sankhya Philosophy
Sankhya is the most ancient School of Hindu Philosophy. It recognizes three ultimate realities i.e., (a) Brahman (God) (b) Purusa (Soul) and (c) Prakrti (Maya).

 Brahman (God): Brahman (God) is all blissful, all
pervading, all gracious and all loving Divine personality. He is Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.  Purusa (Soul): Purusa (Soul) is pure consciousness or sentience, uncaused, changeless, eternal and pure spirit (totally devoid of matter). It is totally passive and all pervading. There are many Purusas (just like light from many candles can occupy the same space).  Prakrti (Maya): Prakrti (Maya) is unconsciousness, primordial matter. Though it is uncaused, it is the cause of everything in this Universe whether mind, matter or energy (Purusa is not caused by Prakrti). It is composed of three extremely subtle (Sukshma) substances called Sattva Guna, Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna (for detailed information refers Gunas).  Process of Creation: Intent upon becoming many (at the dawn of Creation), The Lord of Maya assumed at will (pressed into His service) by His own Maya (deluding potency), Time, Karmas (destiny of the Jeevas i.e., Souls) and Swabhava (their innate disposition) that had already existed in the latent form in His being. The Supreme Person (God) placed His 35

energy (in the form of Cit – Shakti or the power of intelligence) in His own Maya, the equilibrium of who‘s Gunas has been disturbed by the destiny of various Souls, The Maya gave birth to Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence) and the second is Ahankara or ― Ego‖. There are three types of Egos— (a) From Sattvika Ego, Mind and deities presiding over the senses are evolved. (b) From Rajasika Ego, the principle of Buddhi (understanding), and Indriyas (i.e., 5 Sense Perceptions i.e., Auditory sense (catches sound), tactile sense (perceives touch), sense of sight (perceives colour), sense of taste (perceives taste) and olfactory sense (perceives odour), as well as 5 Organs of Actions (i.e., Vocal apparatus, Hands, Feet, Genitals and Defecation (bowl) are evolved. (c) From Tamasika Ego, 5 Subtle elements (i.e., Sound, Touch, Colour, Taste and Smell) and 5 Gross elements (i.e., Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) are evolved. (Refer Appendix ―C‖ – Page No. 153). These five subtle elements mingle in different proportions following certain rules of permutation and combination, called as Panchikarana, and become the manifold Universe.  Panchikarana: The five subtle (Sukshma) elements are called Pancha Sukshma Bhutas. These five subtle elements mingled in five different ways to produce five gross (Sthula) elements. They are called five gross elements (Pancha Sthula Bhutas). They became manifold Universe (Refer Appendix ―D‖ Page No. 155)

36

½ Subtle Ether+1/8 Subtle Air + 1/8 Subtle Fire+1/8 Subtle Water+1/8 Subtle Earth ½ Subtle Air+1/8 Subtle Ether +1/8 Subtle Fire+1/8 Subtle Water+1/8 Subtle Earth ½ Subtle Fire+1/8 Subtle Ether +1/8 Subtle Air+1/8 Subtle Water+1/8 Subtle Earth ½ Subtle Water+1/8 Subtle Ether+1/8 Subtle Air+1/8 Subtle Fire+1/8 Subtle Earth ½ Subtle Earth+1/8 Subtle Ether+1/8 Subtle Air+1/8 Subtle Fire+1/8 Subtle Water

―Gross Ether Element‖ ―Gross Air Element‖ ―Gross Fire Element‖ ―Gross Water Element‖ ―Gross Earth Element‖

Maha Yuga
Four Yugas (Krta Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga) along with their Sandhya (transitional period marking the beginning of each Yuga) and Sandhyamsa (transitional period marking the end of each Yuga) consisting of 12,000 Celestial years (43,20,000 human Years) make one Maha Yuga. The period of Sandhya and Sandhyamsa is twice as many hundred years of each Yuga. Things in the Universe deteriorate from Yuga to Yuga. At the end of four Yugas (i.e. one Maha Yuga) the physical world is destroyed by rain, flood and fire which is called laya (deluge). After that Creation takes place once again. (Vishnu Purana Book I; Chapter 3) (Refer Appendix ―E‖ Cosmic Day and Cosmic Night – Page No. 156).

37

 Krta Yuga or Satya Yug: Krta Yuga or Satya Yuga has 4,800 Celestial Years (17,28,000 human years) (4 x Kali Yuga periods). During this period, Dharma (Virtue) exists complete in its four limbs (viz. austere penance, internal and external purity, compassion and truthfulness). During this period, children like all other things, come by mere wishing. Human beings live for about 4,000 years. People are always happy. There are no superiors or inferiors. Hatred and jealousy are unknown. Hunger and thirst are not felt. The earth yield an abundant supply of juices and mankind live happily with that. There is no need to build houses and people live on the shores of the oceans and in mountains. There is no concept of sin (Pap) and store of merit (Punya).  Treta Yuga: The period of this Yuga is 3,600 Celestial Years (12,96,000 human years) (3 x Kali Yuga periods). During this period austere penance falls into destitute. Only purity, compassion and truthfulness are practiced in the name of Virtue (i.e. Dharma standard reduces and stands on three legs). Knowledge is the chief virtue during this period. Procreation happens by mere touch. Human beings live for about 3,000 years. Clouds form in the sky and cause heavy rains. Because of the rains earth no longer yield juices. It rains so much that trees grow and people live on the sap of those trees. Individuals slowly turn evil and start to fight over the possession of those trees. The trees no longer provide sap, but start giving fruits and human beings live on fruits. When human beings continue to fight over the 38

possession of the trees, trees start to wither away. People learn to practice agriculture and animal husbandry to live on. Heat and cold manifest and people require building houses to protect themselves from the heat and the cold.  Dwapara Yuga: The period of this Yuga is 2,600 Celestial Years (8,64,000 human years) (2 x Kali Yuga periods). During this period, however, penance and purity both become obsolete; compassion and truthfulness alone prevail (i.e. Dharma (Virtue) standard further reduces and stands on two legs). Human beings are subject to disease and misery. Children are born out of male and female union. Human beings live for about 2,000 years. Mankind really starts to suffer from the time of Dwapara Yuga. Starting of evil traits like hatred, jealousy, fraudulence and quarrels can be traced back to this period. Famine and drought are first felt on earth in this Yuga.  Kali Yuga: Kali Yuga is the worst of all Yugas. The period of this Yuga is 1,200 Celestial Years (4,32,000 human years). During this period Truthfulness alone remains, the other three Virtues become very rare. Unrighteousness advances and Dharma (virtue) standard is further reduces and limps on one leg. No one pays any attention to good and it is the evil that prevails. During this period people are mostly shortlived, slothful (little inclined to thread the path of Godrealization), most dull-witted, unlucky and tormented with diseases and other evils (Bhagavata 1: 1: 10). Human beings live up to 100 years during this period. At the end of Dwapara Yuga, when Lord Krishna 39

renounced the world and ascended to (His abode in) heaven Kali Yuga is supposed to have started (Bhagavata 12: 2: 33) on the midnight of 17 February 3,102 B.C.E. King Yudhisthira realized the advent of Kali Yuga (which will be chaos), abdicated the throne and coroneted Arjuna’s grandson, Parikshit, to the throne of Hastinapura.

Laya (Destruction)
The length of one Maha Yuga (i.e. total of above four Yugas) is 43,20,000 human years. At the end of one Maha Yuga, Laya (Destruction) takes place when the physical world is destroyed by rain, floods and fire. Life on earth dies. Each destructive period is followed by the succession of Creation. Then the period of next Maha Yuga starts again with the life on earth.

Lord Brahma (God of Creation)
Lord Brahma (God of Creation) has a life span of 100 Cosmic years (equivalent to 31,104 Crore or 311.04 Trillion human years). !00 Cosmic years, which is called Para, is divided into two halves and each half is called Pararddha. Present Lord Brahma is in his first day of His 51st Cosmic year, i.e. second half of His 100 Cosmic years of his life, which is called Dwiteeya Pararddha. Each Cosmic year consists of 360 Cosmic days (i.e. day time) and 360 Cosmic nights (i.e. night time). Lord Brahma’s one Cosmic day or one Cosmic night is equivalent to one Kalpa each for human beings (i.e. there are 720 Kalpas in one Cosmic year). Till now 36,000 Kalpas (18,000 Cosmic day time (Creations) and 18,000 Cosmic night time (Pralaya or destructions) have already lapsed. The period of each Kalpa is equivalent to 40

432 Crore or 4.32 Billion human years. Present Kalpa is called Shveta Varaha Kalpa, (Shveta means yellow colour, Varaha means bore, i.e. Lord Vishnu took the form (incarnation) of yellow colour bore in this Kalpa for the upliftment of the Earth from the ocean to save from demon Hiranyaksa) (Bhagavata 3: 11: 33, 34 and 36), which started 197.12 Crore or 1.9712 Billion human years ago. One Kalpa has 14 Manvantaras. During each Manvantara a Manu assists Lord Brahma for the Creation. Present Manvantara (i.e., 7th out of total 14 Manvantaras) is called Vaivaswata Manvantara (Manu Vaivaswata is son of Vivaswan) (Bhagavata 8: 13: 1) which started 12.05 Crore or 120.5 Million human years ago. The period of each Manvantara is equivalent to 30.672 Crore or 306.72 Million human years. Each Manvantara is separated by an intervening period called Sandhya Kala that makes 15 Sandhya Kalas separating 14 Manvantaras. The period of each Sandhya Kala is equivalent to the period of one Krta or Satya Yuga i.e.17,28,000 human years. The period of 15 Sandhya Kalas i.e. 15 x17,28,000 is equal to the period of 6 Maha Yugas i.e. 6 x 43,20,000 ( 2.592 Crore or 25.92 Million human years). Each Manvantara has 71 Maha Yugas. Present Maha Yuga is 28th Maha Yuga. The period of one Maha Yuga is 43,20,000 or 4.32 Million human years. Each Maha Yuga has 4 Yugas. The present Yuga, called Kali Yuga, has 4,32,000 human Years, which has started at the midnight on 17/18 February 3102 B.C.E. Thus one Kalpa consists of 1000 Maha Yugas (i.e. 14 (Manvantaras) x 71(Maha Yugas) + 6 (i.e.,15 Sandhya Kalas, which are equivalent to 6 Maha Yugas).

41

At the dawn of the Cosmic day (Kalpa period starts) Lord Brahma starts Creation of three worlds (Bhu Loka (earth), Bhuvar Loka (the sphere immediately enclosing the earth), and Swarga Loka (immediately enclosing Bhuvar Loka i.e. Indra’s Heaven) as in the preceding Kalpa i.e. subhuman creatures, human beings, manes (pitras) and DemiGods are born according to their respective Karmas. By the end of Cosmic day (end of the day time) (for human beings Kalpa period ends) Lord Brahma stops Creation. At the start of the Cosmic night (for human beings next Kalpa period starts), Lord Brahma assumes an iota of Tamo Guna (the principle of inactivity), winding up his activity (Creation) becomes quit (by the force of the Time withdrawing all the worlds into his belly), starts taking rest (or sleep) and Pralaya (means ―to dissolve‖, ―melt away‖, ―liquefy‖, ―dissolution‖, ―reabsorption‖, ―destruction‖ and ―death‖) takes place. Means the Earth planet and the Sun along with three Celestial abodes (Bhu, Bhuvar and Swarga Lokas) means physical world and the subtle world are absorbed in the Casual world and the Souls takes rest in the Casual world until the start of next Creation. It means they enter into the transition period and during this period Lord Brahma holds, all the beings of the material and celestial worlds in a suspended state, within Himself. Duration of one Cosmic night is equivalent to the period of one Kalpa. During this period Lord Brahma takes rest (or sleep) and Pralaya or chaos reigns supreme. When Lord Brahma wakes up in the morning (at the dawn of the next Cosmic day) (another period of Kalpa starts) order is restored and Lord Brahma starts Creation again. The present age of Lord Brahma is 1st day of His 51st year, which is 15697.394 Crore or 156.97394 42

Trillion human years. Thus these processes of Creation by Lord Brahma during the Cosmic day and Dissolution during Cosmic night continue till Lord Brahma reaches his 100 Cosmic years. At the end of his 100 Cosmic years (end of Maha Kalpa i.e. the period of one Maha Kalpa (72,000 Kalpas) is 100 Cosmic years) Lord Brahma merges in Brahman. At this time Creation unwinds and Maha Pralaya (great deluge or complete dissolution) of Brahmanda takes place i.e. all the three Worlds, all time, form and space (i.e. the planetary system and its celestial abodes means the entire Universe) (Physical, Subtle and Casual) are withdrawn or absorbed into Brahman. Space is now reduced to 100 Cosmic years of chaos at the end of which Brahman Creates a new life span of a new Lord Brahma and the above process of Creation and Dissolution repeats itself and it is a never ending process. This view of Cosmic time is given in Puranas and Dharma Shastras. If one looks at this Creation (Evolution) and Laya, Pralaya and Maha Pralaya (Dissolution) from scientific point of view, it is nothing but expanding and contracting theory of Energy. This world is real for the time being only. It is not ultimate real. This world has a beginning and an end in time. Therefore, it cannot be eternal and hence it must be in transition. Being in transition it cannot be real. The apparent reality of the world is the essence of its ever changing character. Had it been real, it should be changeless. Brahman, being eternal and changeless, is the only reality that exists. To a person who has realized Brahman, this world is not real to him anymore.

43

Historical events of Creation
Major historical events, right from the start of Creation, and also the events of Bharata Varsha (ancient India) are given in Bhagavata and Puranas. Brahman (Personal form of God) Created present Lord Brahma about 15,697.3 Crore or 156.973 Trillion human years ago or precisely 15697,39,49,110 human years ago (as in 2008 C.E. i.e. Common Era). During the first Kalpa (i.e. first day time of Lord Brahma), which is called Brahma Kalpa, Lord Brahma meditated for Brahman, which is known as Brahma Sanhita, and conceived all the Vedas, with the Grace of Brahman. During the third Kalpa (i.e. second day time for Lord Brahma) Lord Brahma created Brahmanda, produces the first ten Rishis, known as Prajapathies (mind born sons of Lord Brahma) and Celestial Gods (Devas) and Asuras (Demons). The abode of Lord Brahma is called Satya Loka. The abodes for Celestial Gods (Devas) are called Tapo Loka, Jana Loka, Mahar Loka, Swarga Loka (the abode of Indra), and Bhuvar Loka. The abodes of the demons are Atala Loka, Vitala Loka, Sutala Loka, Talatala Loka, Mahatala Loka, Rasatala Loka and Patala Loka, which are below Bhu Loka (Earth planet). One Brahmanda consists of the above 14 Lokas. All the other Lokas, except Bhu Loka, are in a different Space dimensions and therefore cannot be seen by normal human beings. Later on the Ozone layer is formed on the Earth planet. Then Lord Brahma produces Manu Swayambhuva, who assists Lord Brahma for Creation during the first Manvantara. The Rishis (Sages) on the Earth planet conceive, with the Grace of Brahman (through Lord

44

Brahma) the Vedas and Puranas. Gradually the nature evolves and human civilization develops.

45

Dharma
The word Dharma is formed from the root word Dhryan (Dhryan Dharne). Dharma means religion. It also means such actions and such Spiritual or religious practices that finally result in all – good for a Soul. It also means such thoughts, actions and practices (virtues) that promote physical and mental happiness in this world and ensure the attainment of the final goal of God realization. Dharma also includes moral and ethical duties. Darayati dharm ity ahu means whatever sustains is Dharma. The Divine Self (Atma) is the foundation of our being and it is Self which sustains us. Atharva Veda states that Prithivim dharmana dhritam means the world is sustained by Dharma. The principles of Dharma are Self-Control and Self-Sacrifice. There are two kinds of Dharmas. Firstly Apara Dharma, means good Karmas (actions), which is secondary or general or preliminary discipline. It is the religious discipline and injections of Do‘s and Don‘ts that are explained in the Scriptures for uplifting the Sattvic (pious) qualities of human beings in general. It means having faith in God and then doing all the good actions to please God and not for personal gain. They are applicable to all kinds and all classes of people living with various ways of life. Such good actions pacify the doer in the existing life and in the next life they create a good destiny. Apara Dharma is preliminary or preparatory stage for entering into the next stage of Dharma. The next stage of Dharma is called Para Dharma or Bhagavata Dharma. This is the main Dharma which ensures attainment of the final goal of God realization to a Soul. God realization happens through absolute devotion (Bhakti) 46

towards God in His personal form. It gives both peace and happiness in this life as well as attainment of God realization or Liberation (Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss), which is the ultimate goal to any Soul. Devotion (Bhakti) is above all the religious formalities, practices and rituals. It is true Love of your Soul towards your beloved God. It can be observed by any person, at any time, at any place, in any dress and in any method. It is universal. Nishkama (without desire) and Nirantara (always) do Bhakti (devotion) which is the Dharma (duty) of the Atma (Bhagavata 1: 2: 6). Any Dharma which does not induce Bhakti (devotion) is no Dharma (Bhagavata 1: 2: 8). Dharma with Bhakti (devotion) is the only Dharma (Bhagavata 11: 19: 27). Thus the Dharma, which is based on such Devotion (Bhakti) and which establishes Devotion (Bhakti) for God as a universal religion of the world, is called Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Religion). God is Dharmadhishthana. It means that Sanatana (Eternal) Dharma (Religion) is established in God and resides in God as Divine power. It is revealed by Brahman (God) through Lord Brahma before human civilization and reproduced by Rishis (Sages) through Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas.

Vyaktigata (Individual) Dharma
Every individual must follow the under mentioned principles as their moral and ethical duties:      Dama Arjava Ahimsa Akrodha Satya - Control of external organs. - Strait forwardness. - No injury to any form of life. - Absence of anger. - Truthfulness in thought, speech and action. 47

 Brahmacharya            Santosha Thyaga Apaishuna Aparigraha Hri Mardava Daya Shanthi Kshama Shoucha Adhroha

- Control of carnal desires and passion. - Contentment and happiness. - Renunciation of selfishness. - Refrain from backbiting. - Non-acceptance of unnecessary gifts. - Modesty. - Gentleness. - Kindness and compassion. - Peace of mind (by controlling it). - Forgiveness. - Purity of body and mind. - Freedom from malice.

Parivarika (Family) Dharma
Family duties involve mutual self-sacrifice and respect. Wife is Ardhangini (half of your body) (Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad 1: 4: 3) and Sahadharma Charini (partner in Spiritual life). Hinduism offers two major Spiritual paths or sets of religious duties – one for family man (house holder) and the other for monks. The ultimate goal of human life, according to Hinduism, is God-realization and Liberation. Duties of family man assure this goal which falls under the category of Pravritti Marga (Note: Also refer Gruhastha stage of Hindu life – Page No. 55 and also 133):  Perform your duties as per Scriptures.  Surrender the fruits of your actions to God.  Your life is meant for the service of God, poor and helpless. 48

 Earn your livelihood through honest means.  Look upon your parents as representatives of God, please them and must not forget that you owe your physical body to them.  You must not take food before providing food to your parents, wife, children and the poor.  You must maintain complete fidelity to your wife.  You should never use improper language in the presence of women.  You should not brag about your achievements, wealth, power and position.  You must not give excessive attention to food, clothes and external appearance.  You should maintain cleanliness of your body, purity at heart and in mind.  You should lovingly bring up your children, properly educate and marry them.  Be active, should not be lazy and coward.  You should also help brothers and sisters (if poor), needy and the poor.  You should respect those who are good and noble.  Always speak truth.  You should struggle to become wealthy through honest means.  Engage yourself in social service for the benefit of the people.  Plant trees.  Selfless actions will help you to attain the Spiritual goal.

49

Samaja (Society) Dharma
Individuals must observe code of conduct to maintain a well integrated society. Duties towards the society are as under:  Non-violence.  Non-stealing.  Truthfulness.  Control of anger and lower passions.  Charity.  Hospitality.  Kindness.  Good to neighbours.

Rashtra (Nation) Dharma
Rashtra Dharma means duties towards your Nation. Individuals must make some self-sacrifice towards their country to sustain.

Manava (Humanity) Dharma
Every individual has a responsibility and duty towards humanity. Be compassionate towards all living beings. One should do service and render help for those who are underprivileged. Self- sacrifice means self-sustenance and not self- deprivation.

Levels of Dharma
The order of Dharma is Vyaktigata Dharma, Parivarika Dharma, Samaja Dharma, Rashtra Dharma and Manava Dharma (Refers Appendix ―F‖ – Page No. 158).

Ajnata Shatrus (Unknown Enemies)
In every human being these Ajnata Shatrus (unknown enemies), caused by Maya (Rajo Guna), are embedded. 50

Ignorance, caused due to bondage of Maya, leads to three gates to hell i.e. desire, anger and greed (Bhagavad Gita 16: 21). Besides this ego, attachment, jealousy and hatred etc. (material ailment) constantly disturb the embodied Soul. Numerous vices are greed, falsehood, thieving, wickedness, proneness to sin, poverty, wile, cantankerousness and hypocrisy. The places of vice are dice (falsehood), wine (intoxication), women (passion) and shambles (cruelty) (Bhagavata 1: 17: 32 and 38). Actions done under their influence, losing discrimination, cause harm and sufferings to own self, others and the society which results immense damage to Dharma. One should control and subdue these enemies and vices to progress their Spiritual growth. Ajnata Shatrus (unknown enemies) are as under: Kama - Desire.  Krodha - Anger.  Lobha - Greed.  Mada - Ego.  Mastarya - Attachment and Selfishness.

Pancha Kosas (Five bodies or Sheaths)
 Annamaya Kosa: Material or physical sheath or body.  Pranamaya Kosa: Vital sheath – means breath for sustenance of physical body.  Manoma Kosa: Mental sheath.  Vijnanamaya Kosa: Intellectual sheath (to control the tangible world Buddhi decides).  Anandamaya Kosa: Spiritual sheath (the attempt to connect with the Supreme object succeeds). (Taittiriya Upanishad 2: 5: 1)

51

Pillars of Virtue
Evolved four pillars of Virtues are as under (Bhagavata 3: 12: 41):  Vidya: Purity acquired through knowledge of God.  Dana: Charity prompted by compassion.  Tapas: Austerity.  Satya: Truthfulness.

Avidya (Nescience)
Five forms of Avidya (nescience) are as under (Bhagavata 3: 9: 20):  Avidya: Fundamental ignorance.  Asmita: Egotism.  Raga: Attraction.  Dwesa: Aversion.  Abhinivesa: Fear of death. Note: - Karma (actions) should be offered to God without expecting any results (fruits). (Bhagavad Gita 9: 27), (Isa Upanishad – 1). After doing any good deed, surrender its fruits to God. (Ye tat phalam Sri Krishna – arpana mastu :).

52

Hindu way of Life
Hindu way of life is based on the Karma Yoga. The Scriptures are the authority as to what is right and what is wrong. Everyone must follow the instructions of the Scriptures (Bhagavad Gita 16: 24). Hindu‘s main occupation was raising cattle. During rainy and winter seasons the cattle were kept under shelters at night. As the cattle population increased many families used to keep their cattle in common shelters at night and during winter due to shortage of shelters. Then disputes arose as cattle used to get mixed up. To solve their disputes highly noble people were appointed as supervisors who used to resolve their disputes. In Sanskrit shelter is called Gotra and those supervisors as Gotradhipaties. They were Sages, Rishis, Maha Purusas, Mahatmas and Seers. People and their descendents started identifying themselves with their Gotradhipaties. All the present Hindu generations are known by their Gotradhipaties i.e. those Sages, Rishis or Seers. Example - Bharadwaja, Srivastava etc. Gotras.

Stages of Hindu Life  Brahmacharya (Student).  Gruhasta (House holder or Family Man).  Vanaprasta (Semi - Retired).  Sannyasa (Monk or hermit or recluse). Farewell address to Students by Guru (Spiritual Teacher)
On completion of education the student was called Snataka means ―bather‖ which implies that the student had 53

successfully bathed in the water of Knowledge. The Guru or Maha Purusa or Mahatma or Great Soul or Saint is an intermediary between the Soul and God. He is the one who has known, seen and experienced God. In other words the Soul who has attained God is called Guru or Maha Purusa or Mahatma or Rishi (Great Soul or Saint). He gives the farewell address to students on completion of education at his ashram (residence) with the emphasis on the following aspects:           Conduct yourself by right action (as per Scriptures). Be truthful in your thought, word and deed. Practice austerity and your own self always come last. Be always poised and self - controlled. Do your duties with cheerful heart and unattached mind. You must revere virtues and do not deviate from the path of the good. Treat your Mother, Father, Guru (teacher) and Guest as God to you. Your actions should always be blameless. Give to others (donation) (daan) in abundance with love, reverence, joy, humility and compassion. When in doubt follow the practices of great souls (Maha Purusas).

Girls
Girls also used to receive education similar to that of boys. Later as society became more rigid, it became customary for the girls to be educated at home and taught by male relatives. Because of their natural instinct many girls 54

used to learn classical music from Sama Veda (Veda of melodies) and Indian classical dance. There were many learned women Gurus (teachers) who had the same status and honour to that of men Gurus (teachers). Among them were Saint Gargi Vacaknavi, the daughter of Vacaknu; Pathyasvati (who was given the title of Vaach means The Goddess of Learning), Sages Vishvavara, Ghosha and Apala. In the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad one of the persons asking grilling questions to Sage Yagyavalkya was none other than his virtuous wife Maitreyi and female Saint Gargi.

Gruhasta (House holder or Family Man)
The stage of a house – holder or family man (Gruhasta) starts with marriage. He lives the life of house - holder following the dictates of the Scriptures. A house – holder, who performs his daily duties with his mind completely attached to Me, remains unentangled in house – hold life and attains Divine Bliss (Bhagavata 4: 30: 19). Important aspects for a Gruhasta are as under:

 Daily worship ritual called Agnihotra (means offering
      (sacrifice) to the Fire). Fire being the purest is considered as God. Study Vedas regularly. Earn an honest livelihood. Practice hospitality. Raise the children with love and affection. Teach them noble qualities. Honour elders. Be charitable to the poor.

55

 Take care of your parents and other relatives living with you.  Treat women with honour, respect and make them happy. In other words of Sage Manu Swayambhuva ―Where female relatives live in grief, the family will soon perish and the family where they are happy ever prosper.‖  Husband and wife are expected to observe absolute fidelity.  It is the duty of husband and wife to create a happy atmosphere at home. As Per Sage Manu Swayambhuva ―Everlasting happiness will be assured in that family where husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband. Such family is an Ideal Home and loving environment for the children to grow”.  Wife is called Ardhangini means half of the body. She is also called Sahadharma Charini means partner in Spiritual life. Both the husband and the wife are expected to help each other in their Spiritual growth and their ultimate goal of God - realization. (Note: Refer Parivarika Dharma (Duties of House Holder - Page No. 48 and also Page No. 133).

Women as per Hinduism
Hindu society respect women. Hindu girls had the right to marry the men of their own choice through Swayam Vara (means self selection of the groom). It is the mother, sister or daughter who really used to rule the family with her love, affection, kindness, purity, chastity and selfless love. 56

Her love is superior to any other forms of worldly love. Hindu society never tolerates any insult done to a mother or sister or daughter. In Hinduism, the Supreme God is looked upon as ―Divine Mother - Lalita‖ (superior to three Murthies i.e. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). Also Goddess Saraswati (represents Knowledge), Goddess Lakshmi (represents wealth) and Goddess Parvati (represents Shakti or power) are the highest respected Deities for Hindus. When a girl is born in a family, she is considered as Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess for wealth) has taken birth in their home. Parents used to get maximum happiness during the growth (childhood) of their daughter and because of their happiness they used to prosper. Hindus consider Kanyadaan (Kanya means unmarried girl and daan means donation, meaning giving away (donation) of the daughter in marriage to the groom, a ritual in Hindu marriage) as the greatest and highest sacrifice (donation) than any other material sacrifice (daan). As the time passed and Virtues (qualities of Sattva Guna) diminished people started considering, due to their selfish attitude (domination of Tamo Guna qualities), the birth of a girl as a burden (as they have to grow the child, educate her and spend for her marriage and finally after the marriage she goes to another family) compared to the birth of a boy as he would earn and look after the parents during their old age. Even the mother and other women relatives used to have similar feelings, which is an utter disgrace to their own gender. In certain Rajput families they consider the birth of a girl as a disgrace (due to their inflated ego and domination of Rajo Guna qualities). (There is a requirement of change of attitude among Hindus in this regard). 57

Hindu way of Life (Samskaras)
Hinduism is a blend of Vedic and Non-Vedic faiths. It systematized several faiths into a way of life. The following are important occasions in a Hindu family which are celebrated with enthusiasm:  Marriage.  Consummation of marriage.  Prayers for pregnant women.  Birth of a child.  Naming of the child.  First solid food to the child.  First hair cut to the child.  Ear piercing to the child.  Introduction of the child to studies.  Upanayanam (Thread ceremony) (for boys only).  Returning home after studies.

Rituals
Hindu families observe the following rituals : Spiritual initiation.  Building of a new house.  Entering a new house.  Attainment of puberty (for girls only).  Funeral.  Shraddha (death anniversary).

Pancha Rina (Five Debts)
All forms of life belong to one ecological system and they are interdependent. God (Creator) upholds eternal moral order. As per Manu Smriti every human being is 58

indebted to the following and without repaying these debts, no Soul can attain Liberation: Debt to God: Because of God the Universe (Sun, Moon, Air, Water and Earth etc.) came into being. Because of the Universe every living being is surviving. Thus everyone is indebted to God.  Debt to Rishis (Sages): Rishis gave knowledge as to how one has to live in this world and attain Liberation. So is the debt to Rishis.  Debt to ancestors: Because of ancestors (parents) every being has come into existence. So every being is indebted to their ancestors.  Debt to mankind: Human being cannot survive alone and is dependent on another human being. Hence the debt to mankind.  Debt to sub-human beings: Ecological system is maintained and balanced by sub - human beings and hence debt to them.

59

Vedas
Veda means Knowledge. Vedas are Revealed Eternal Divine Truths. Vedas are known as Shrutis means oral citation (in those days there was no writing down and reading). Originally there was only one Veda. Sage Veda Vyasa separated them into four. They are (a) Rg Veda (21 branches), (b) Yajur Veda (109 branches), (c) Sama Veda (1,000 branches), and Atharva Veda (50 branches) (Bhagavata 1: 4: 20). There are a total of 1,180 branches having approximately 1,00,000 verses. But now a day‘s only 20,379 verses in total are available. Vedas contain highest Eternal Divine Truths that can lead a Soul to God realization. Vedas have three sections. They are as under:  Mantra or Samhita: It is metric texts of hymns, prayers, benediction, sacrificial formulas and chants. It relates to Yajnas (sacrifices) and Vedic rituals in the praise of Celestial Gods. All the Vedic hymns inspire a person towards God.  Brahmana: In Brahmana section there are 1,180 branches. The Brahmana section of each Veda is explanatory part and describes the details of the actual performance of the Yajnas (sacrifices), directions, meaning, connected themes and comments for the performance of sacrificial rituals for various almighty forms of God. Out of 1,180 branches only few are now available (Aitareya, Taittiriya, Kaushitaki and Shatpath etc.).  Aranyaka: Out of 1,180 branches of Aranyakas only few full branches are now available. But Upanishads, 60

the main section of the Aranyakas, are available in quite good number i.e. about 200. Aranyaka is the final essence and tells about God, His supremacy, to renounce the worldly attachments and surrender to God to attain His Grace and Eternal Divine Bliss. (This total collection is called the Vedas)

Purusardhas (Ends of Human pursuit)
Vedas contain highest Truths that can lead a Soul to God. The following are Purushardhas (ends of human pursuit) (Bhagavata 1: 9: 26 to 28):  Dharma (Religious Merit): Consists of moral and ethical duties (Training in Self – control and Self – sacrifice).  Artha (Wealth): Acquisition of worldly possessions or wealth.  Kama (Desire): To satisfy the desire of the sense organs.  Moksa (Final Beatitude or Liberation): To achieve the ultimate goal of attainment of God realization, with His Grace, and Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss.

Rg Veda
Rg Veda means Veda of Adoration. It is Veda of Hymns. Songs of praise consists a total of 10,600 verses (arranged in 10 mandalas means sections) for Gods like Indra (King of Swarga Loka i.e. Heaven), Agni (Fire) and Varuna (Rain) etc. A hymn has three basic parts. The first part is an exhortation, the second part is the praise of the deity in the form of prayer and the third part is a special 61

request. Sage Paila received (was taught) Rg Veda. The religion explained in Rg Veda can be called Brahmanism or Vedism. It consists worshipping all the powers of Nature such as Sun (Surya), Moon (Soma), Fire (Agni), Air (Vayu) and Water (Varuna) etc. The most important aspect of Rg Veda is the Cosmic order named Rta (Rta means Cosmic and sacred order) an ultimate and harmonic structure of reality. Later, this Cosmic order Rta, came to be known as Dharma or Sanatana Dharma or Righteousness Forever. Dharma became not only the Universal Law, but also the Moral Law of Hinduism. Performance of Yajna (sacrifice) pleases the Heavenly Gods, who then bless the sacrificer. One of the most important Yajna (sacrifice) in Rg Veda is the Soma Yajna (sacrifice). Soma is a narcotic beverage prepared from an herbal plant. Among all the Gods, mentioned in the Rg Veda, Rudra (Lord Shiva) is the most important. The popular caste system is also referred in it. There are also references to transmigration of Souls from body to body. It also deals with rituals like, marriage and cremation of the dead etc. (but not birth).

Yajur Veda
It is Veda of liturgy. It has 1,975 verses (in 40 chapters). Yajur Veda contains Knowledge of rituals and sacrificial formulas. Sage Vaisampayana mastered Yajur Veda. It explains the rules how to perform all rituals (priestly hand-book) i.e. how to make an altar etc. Yajna (sacrifice) is the most important aspect of this Veda. Yajur Veda has two branches i.e. (a) Krishna or Black and (b) Shukla or White. Human beings are inspired to translate good thoughts into actions. Yajur Veda inspires human beings to walk on the 62

path of Karma (actions). That is why it is also referred as Karma-Veda. The first incantation of Yajur Veda commands us to perform actions, which reads as under: ―DEVO VAHA SAVITA SHRESHTAMAYA KARMANE! ― PRAPRAYATU

(Means – O, Creator of the Universe inspire us to perform great deeds).

Sama Veda
Sama means melody. It is Veda of Chants and Knowledge of Melodies. Sage Jaimini learnt how to chant Sama Veda. The Indian classical music originated from Sama Veda. It consists of 1,875 verses in 21 chapters. This Veda is also based on Rg Veda. The verses from Sama Veda were sung by Saints when Soma Yajna (sacrifice) was performed. To some extent, much of this Veda is repetition of Rg Veda sung in melodious format. Invocations in this Veda are addressed to Soma (Moon), Agni (Fire) and Indra (King of the Celestial abode). Chandogya Upanishad is one of the supplementary treatises of Sama Veda.

Atharva Veda
Atharva Veda means the Veda of Wise and the Old. It has a large number of magic formulas. It contains 5,977 verses in 20 chapters. Sage Sumantu acquired proficiency in Atharva Veda, known as Brahma Veda, because it was used as a manual by the chief sacrificial priests and the Brahmins. Atharva Veda contains many magic charms and incantations. It has poems, glorifying the curative powers of herbs and waters (for diseases), relating to sins and their atonements, about errors in performing rituals and their 63

expiatory acts and regarding political and philosophical issues etc. Much of Hindu exorcize of devils come from this Veda. The important message in the Vedas is Everything and Every being is Divine. Divinity, present in everything and every being, when fully manifest become God-realized Soul i.e. attains Moksa or Liberation. God is equally present everywhere, but not equally manifest. Stones, trees, creatures, humans, angels and deities are at different stages of manifestation of the same Godhead. Divinity is the True Self of a Soul. Vedas Maha Vakyas speak of the Divinity of every Soul is the nature of God. They are as under: Aham Brahmasmi (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – 1: 4: 10) It means I am Brahman. I mean the Soul (not body) is part (ansh) of Brahman (God) (means the Soul which has the power to perform actions is part of God‘s power). Only God-realized masters can experience this. All of us find it difficult to fight delusion (Maya) which says I am the body, this body is mine.  Tat Tvam Asi (Chandogya Upanishad – 6: 8: 7) It means That art thou. What I am, that is He(God); what He is, that I am. You mean the Soul is Brahman (God). Brahman alone is real. The subtle essence of the entire world is the Soul (Atma). As long as the Soul is under the bondage of Maya, the Soul cannot realize this reality.

64

 Ayam Atma Brahman (Mandukya Upanishad - 2) It means This Self (Soul) is Brahman. The subtle essence is the Soul (Atma) which is real. The Soul, which is deluded by its past and present Karmas (actions), forgets that it is the part and parcel of Universal Soul (Paramatma) (Brahman). Knowledge or realization of one‘s own identity with God is Moksa (Liberation).  Prajanam Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad – 3: 3: 32) It means Intelligence is God. Supreme Knowledge (seeing, hearing, smelling and understanding God) is Brahman. When ultimate and eternal Truth is realized, Maya (ignorance) melts in the fire of Knowledge. Then Soul identifies with God (Brahman).

Upa Vedas
The term Upa Veda means subsidiary Knowledge. These Upa Vedas deal certain technical subjects. Upa Vedas are as under:  Artha Veda (Economics and Sociology): It is associated with the Rg Veda.  Dhanur Veda (Archery): It is science of war. It is associated with the Yajur Veda.  Gandharva Veda (Music and Sacred dance): It is science of music. It is associated with the Sama Veda.  Ayur Veda (Medicine): It is medical science. It is associated with the Atharva Veda.

65

(Note: - Sthapathaya Veda (Architecture) and Shilpa Shastra (Art and Crafts) are added later as Upa Vedas according to later sources).

Vedangas
Six technical subjects related to the Vedas are known as Vedangas means limbs of the Vedas. The Vedangas are on the following subjects (Bhagavata 3: 3: 2):  Vyakaran (Grammar).  Jyotish (Astronomy).  Chandas (Prosody).  Nirukta (Etymology). Explains the meaning of Vedic words.  Shikcha (Phonetics).  Kalpa Sutras (Rituals, Ceremonials and Sacrificial acts).

66

Upanishads
Upanishad means Sit down closely and devotedly. Upa means - near, Ni means – down and Shad means - to sit. An Upanishad is a teaching taught by the Guru for which the disciple sits close to him so that nobody can overhear the teachings. It is also called Vedanta means culmination of Knowledge (acme). They contain highly philosophical portions of the Vedas in a dialog form, revealing ultimate Spiritual Truths, ways to realize them and help a person to realize the illusive charm of the worldly pleasures and attachments and teach that devotion (Bhakti) towards God is the only way to attain Liberation and Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss of God. They also contain mystic and Spiritual interpretations of the Vedas and regarded as their essence, thus they are known as Vedanta (means the end of the Vedas). So Upanishads are called Jnana Khanda (means the true Knowledge of the Vedas). Souls are under the influence and bondage of Maya (Cosmic power) since eternity. Due to the influence of Maya, every person has an inherent weakness of leaning towards worldly pleasures and attractions (which are temporary, limited and Mayic). So they keep on running after the mirage of illusive hope of receiving happiness (which is temporary) through sensual gratification and egoistic attitude of name and fame in the world (again temporary). Their life ends, but the search for happiness never ends because of never ending desires. The Upanishads reveal the form of God, who is beyond Maya and its wielder, and explain the ways of freeing oneself from the bondage of Maya and with the Grace of God to attain Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss (Taittiriya Upanishad 2: 7). Out of 67

1,180 Upanishads related to the 1,180 branches of the Vedas about 200 Upanishads are presently available. But as per Mundaka Upanishad, 108 Upanishads contain the philosophies of God realization. Most popular among them, which are called principal (Mukhya) Upanishads are: (a) Brhadaranyaka, (b) Chandogya, (c) Aitareya, (d) Taittiriya, (e) Isa, (f) Kena, (g) Katha, (h) Mundaka, (j) Mandukya, (k) Prasna, (l) Svetasvatara and (m) Kaushitaki.

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
This is one of the earliest and longest Upanishad. This Upanishad expounds the teachings of the basic identity of the individual Self (Jeev, Atma or Soul) and the Universal Self (Brahman), philosophical justification of the teachings and certain modes of worship and meditation. One of the greatest teachers of this Upanishad, Sage Yajnavalkya, said: You cannot see the Seer of seeing, You cannot hear the Hearer of hearing, You cannot think Thinker of thinking, You cannot understand the Understander of understanding, He is Your Self which is in all things (3 or 5: 4: 2).

(Note: First two chapters of this Upanishad are not published. Some write 3rd chapter as 1st. So chapter numbers may differ) 68

This Upanishad talks about the Self (perceiver and organs of perception) as under: When one breaths, one knows him as breath, When one speaks, one knows him as speech, When one tastes, one knows him as taste, When one sees, one knows him as the eye, When one hears, one knows him as the ear, When one desires desires, one knows him as the mind (3 or 5: 2: 2 to 7). This Upanishad discusses multiple Gods and finally states that there is only one truth and that is Atma (Soul). It also explains God as Brahman (Paramatma) (the Absolute Soul). It states that the Atma (the individual Soul) is only a reflection of the Brahman. Everything in this world has a name, form and activity. The Absolute is the manifestation of these three aspects. One of the most popular prayers of Hindus, which is from this Upanishad (1 or 3: 3: 28) is as under: Asato ma Sad gamaya - means - Lead me from unreal to real Tamaso ma Jyotir gamaya - means - Lead me from darkness to light

69

Murtyor ma Amrutam gamaya – means – Lead me from death to immortality OM Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi – means - Protect me with Peace, Peace and Peace.

Chandogya Upanishad
Chandogya Upanishad belongs to the Sama Veda. This Upanishad deals with sacrifices and other forms of worship and chants. It discusses the problems of liturgy and doctrine such as the genesis and significance of Aum (OM).  One should meditate and chant the syllable Aum (OM), the Udgitha (1: 1: 1).  The essence of these beings (life) is Earth. The essence of the Earth is Water. The essence of the Water is plants. The essence of plants is human beings. The essence of human beings is Speech. The essence of Speech is Rg (Hymn). The essence of Rg is the Saman (Chant). The essence of Saman (Chant) is Udgitha. This is the quintessence of the essence, the Supreme, the highest - Udgitha (1: 1: 2).  Both the life (breath) and the Sun are Udgitha (1: 3: 2).  What is Udgitha is Aum (OM). What is Aum (OM) is Udgitha. The Udgitha is the yonder Sun and Aum 70

(OM), for the Sun is continually sounding Aum (OM) (1: 5: 1).  Ether (Space), is said to be origin, support and of the entire world (1: 9: 1). This is the Udgitha – the highest and the best. He, who meditates on Udgitha, the highest and the best becomes the highest and the best and obtains the highest and the best of the worlds (1: 9: 2). (Also refer Page No. 125).  There are three branches of duty – (a) Austerity: All forms of pursuit of Self – control and sacrifice, (b) Pursuit of sacred wisdom and (c) Absolute control over the body. All these attain to the worlds of the Virtuous (2: 23: 1). In this Upanishad, Brahman (God) and Self or Atma or Jeev (Soul) have been explained as under:  Brahman and Atma are united like salt dissolves in water. Tat Tvam Asi (What I am, that is He; What He is, that am I) (6: 8: 7).  Everything is Brahman. Brahman, who dwells within the heart of this body (Soul or Self), is to be sought after, inquired about and realized (8: 1: 1 and 2).  It is as large as the Universe outside; even so large is the Universe within the lotus of heart. Within It are Heaven, Earth, Fire, Air, Sun, Moon, Lightening and Stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm (8: 1: 3).  It is the true city of Brahman, untouched by age, 71

death, free from sin, old age, death, sorrow, hunger and thirst (8: 1: 4 and 5)  He who has found out and understands that Self obtains all the worlds and all desires (8: 7: 1).  Prajapati (President of god‘s kingdom) explains to Indra (King of celestial abode) the highest Truth of the Self (Atma Jnan).  This body is mortal (gripped by death). But within this dwells the immortal Self (8: 12: 1).  This Self, when associated with the consciousness in the body (causes desires), is subjected to pleasure and pain. So long as this association continues freedom from pleasure and pain cannot be found. Rising above physical consciousness and when this association ceases, knowing that the Self is distinct from the senses and mind, pleasure and pain ceases, one rejoices and is free (8: 12: 6).  He, who concentrates all his senses in the Self, who practices non - hatred to all creatures and who behaves thus throughout his life reaches Brahman and does not return to this world again (8: 15: 1).  As per Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya – Brahman and Atma are identical (Advaita Philosophy).  As per Jajadguru Ramanujacharya – Brahman and Atma are inseparable but not identical (Vishistadvaita Philosophy).

72

Aitareya Upanishad
Aitareya Upanishad belongs to Rg Veda. The purpose of this Upanishad is to lead the mind of the sacrificer from the material ceremonial to its inner meaning. All true sacrifice is inward. There are three classes of men who wish to acquire wisdom. The highest are those who have turned away from the world, whose minds are freed and collected and who are eager for freedom. This Upanishad (Aranyaka 2: 4-6) is intended for them. There are others who wish to become free gradually by attaining to the world of Hiranyagarbha (interpreted as Golden Embryo or Womb or Lord Brahma). For them the Knowledge and worship of prana (life-breath) is intended (refers Aranyaka 2: 1-3). There are still others who care only for worldly possessions. For them the Meditative Worship is intended (Aranyaka 3). Before Creation all that existed was the Brahman and Brahman alone. Then the Brahman thought, ―Let me now create the worlds” (1: 1: 1). He sends Ambhas (Heaven), then Marici (Sky), then Mortal World (Earth), then Apa (the world beneath the Earth) (1: 1: 2). Then He created guardians (human beings) (1: 1: 3) and then food for guardians (1: 3: 2). Then He thought, ―How shall there be guardians and I have no part in them? Without Me function speech, breath, eyes, ears, skin, mind and generative organs?” Then He thought, ―Let Me enter the Guardians” (1: 3: 11). The door by which He entered is called Vidrti (Door of Bliss – situated in the center of the brain i.e., Sahasrara) (He lives in the subtle form at three places i.e., in the eyes, throat and heart) (1: 3: 12). Its purpose is to lead the mind that all true sacrifice is inward. 73

Taittiriya Upanishad
Taittiriya Upanishad belongs to the Yajur Veda. It explains about Creation of the Universe and the Knowledge of the Supreme Self (Paramatma-Jnan).  Conduct yourself as under. This is the command, teaching, instruction, worship and the secret doctrine of the Veda (1: 11: 1 to 6):  Always speak truth.  Always practice virtue (Dharma).  Daily read teachings of the Scriptures.  Do not cut the thread of the off-spring.  Do not neglect the welfare and prosperity.  Do not neglect the duties to the gods.  Treat mother, father, teacher and guest as God.  Your duties should be blameless (cheerful with unattached mind).  Sacrifice (donate) plenty with faith, modesty and sympathy.  If there is any doubt regarding any deed (action) – follow the great Souls.  From God (Brahman), with His will, first Ether (Space) came into being, from Ether - Air (Vayu), from Air Fire (Agni), from Fire - Water (Ap), from Water - Earth (Prithvi), from Earth – food and from food - the person (2: 1: 1).  Then by His mere thought the Universe was created. Then He entered it and He Himself became the Universe (2: 6: 1).  Brahman is Bliss – the essence of existence (2: 7: 1). 74

 Brahman, is that from which the origin, continuance and the dissolution of the world comes is of Isavara – who is world creator, sustainer and dissolver (3: 1: 1).  Life is Brahman. Being here, everything is born from life, live by life and enter life when departing this world (3: 3: 1).

Isa Upanishad
Isa Upanishad belongs to the Vajasaneyi School of the Yajur Veda. Its main purpose is to teach God and God realization and essential unity of God and the World, being and becoming. It is interested not so much in the Absolute in itself (Parabrahma), as in the Absolute in relation to the World (Paramesvara). It teaches that life in the world and life in the Divine Spirit are not incompatible.  It (God) moves and It moves not. God is farther than the farthest and at the same time nearer than the nearest. He is within as well as outside of all (5).  He, who sees all beings in his own Self and his own Self in all beings, does not feel any abhorrence (6).  Knowledge and Ignorance -- He, who knows the two together, crosses death by ignorance and attains eternal life through knowledge (11).

Kena Upanishad
Kena Upanishad belongs to Sama Veda. It deals with the Supreme Brahman, the absolute principle underlying the world of phenomena, and also the Supreme as God, Isvara. The Knowledge of the Absolute, which secures immediate Liberation, is possible only for those who are able to withdraw their thoughts from worldly objects and concentrate on the ultimate fact of Brahman. The worshipping Soul 75

gradually acquires the higher wisdom which results in the consciousness of the identity with the Supreme.  Brahman is ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of the speech, breath of the breath and eye of the eye. Give up the false identification of the Self with senses, sense organs and the mind (1: 2).  Him (Brahman) the eyes do not see, the mind does not grasp, we neither know nor able to teach, different from the known and different is He from unknown (means difficulty in explaining the nature of Brahman) (1: 3).  If God is not understood in this human life, it is irrevocable loss. Hence, seeing or seeking God in all beings, wise men become immortal on departing this world (2: 5).

Katha Upanishad
Katha Upanishad belongs to Taittiriya School of the Yajur Veda. Vajasravasa, a poor and pious Brahmin hoping for Divine powers, performed Viswajit Yajna (sacrifice) which required giving away (donation) (daan) all his possessions. He donated only few old, feeble and barren cows. His son, Naciketas, feeling disturbed by his father‘s action asked his father ―I too belong to you. To whom will you give me?‖ When his father did not reply, he repeatedly asked and insisted. Vajasravasa got fed up and replied, ―I give you to Yama (God of death)‖. Naciketas goes to the abode of Yama and finding him absent, waits there for three days and nights unfed. Yama, on his return seeing Naciketas, offers him three boons in recompense for the delay and discomfort caused to Naciketas. Naciketas asked the following boons:  ―Let me return alive to my father and my father should 76

not be angry with me and accept me back with love‖ -Yama grants (1: 1: 10 and 11).  ―Give me the Knowledge of fire sacrifice by which one goes to Heaven and gains immortality‖ -- Yama grants (1: 1: 13 to 19).  ―When a man dies some say he is dead and some say he is not. Please impart me this knowledge (i.e., Atma Jnan)‖ (1: 1: 20). Yama says it is not easy to understand and even the gods were once puzzled by this mystery. Yama said to Naciketas to ask any other boon. But Naciketas refused any other boon and insisted to impart Atma Jnan. After testing Naciketas and knowing his fitness for receiving this knowledge, Yama explains the great secret to him as under:  The wise chooses the good in preference to the pleasant (1: 2: 2).  He, who is filled with selfish desires and attracted by worldly possessions, becomes subject to the laws of Karma which leads him to birth, death and rebirth and under the control of Yama (1: 2: 6).  Knowledge of Self, taught by Guru (teacher), who has realized his oneness with Brahman, attains the Truth (1: 2: 7 and 8).  Realizing through Self–contemplation that Primal Person (God), seated in the heart and difficult to be seen, the wise leaves behind both joy and sorrow (1: 2: 12).  The syllable Aum (OM) is ever lasting spirit (1: 2: 16). 77

 

Self is unborn, eternal, abiding and primeval (1: 2: 18). Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest Self dwells within the heart of all (1: 2: 20). The Self is not known by hearing, reading, intellect and instructions. Self is to be attained by the one whom the Self chooses (1: 2: 23). Self is known by him who, desists from evil, is tranquil, controls his senses, quits his mind and practices meditation (1: 2: 24). Know the Self as the lord of a chariot, the body as chariot, the intellect as the charioteer and the mind as the reins (1: 3: 3). The senses are the horses, the objects of senses are the paths, the Self associated with the body, the senses and the mind are the enjoyer (1: 3: 4). He, who has understanding, who has control over his mind and is ever pure, reaches the goal from which he is not born again. It is the end of the journey (the supreme abode of All – Pervading) (1: 3: 8 and 9). Beyond the senses are objects of senses. Beyond the objects is mind. Beyond the mind is the understanding (intellect). Beyond the understanding is the great Self (1: 3: 10). Beyond the great Self is the unmanifest (Prakrti). Beyond the unmanifest is the Supreme Being. This is the final goal and end of the journey (1: 3: 11). 78

Mundaka Upanishad
Mundaka Upanishad belongs to the Atharva Veda. It is in the form of questions and answers between Sages Saunaka and Angiras. This Upanishad states clearly the distinction between the higher Knowledge of the Supreme Brahman and the lower Knowledge of the empirical World. It is by this higher Knowledge (Wisdom) and not by sacrifices and worship that one can reach Brahman.  There are two kinds of knowledge. The higher is that by which changeless reality (Brahman) is apprehended. The lower is the Vedas (1: 1: 5).  Brahman, who is all knowing and all wise, whose austerity consists of knowledge, from Him are born Lord Brahma and the Universe (1: 1: 9).  What is luminous, what is subtle than the subtle, in which are centered all the worlds and those that dwells in them – that is the imperishable Brahman. That is the Truth, which is to be known (2: 2: 2).  The Self within the body, light and pure, is attainable by truth, by austerity, by right knowledge and by constant practice of chastity (3: 1: 5).  Desire is the cause of rebirth (3: 2: 1).

79

Smritis
Smriti means ―to be remembered‖. They are Dharma Sutras and manuals of Code and Conduct for Hindus. There are 18 Smritis (Manu, Brihaspati, Daksa, Gautama, Parashara, Yagyavalkya, Vishnu, Atri and Yama etc.) There are over 30 Upa (subsidiary) Smritis (only few are available now). They are Narada, Garga, Baudhayana, Vishwamitra, Skanda, Vyasa, Vasistha, Bharadwaja etc.)

Dharma Sutras (Law Books)
Dharma Sutras give elaborate details about the conduct and the duties for the men at different stages of life and rights and duties of Kings. They deal with the rights and duties of women, judicial matters and describe penances for various sins. They also deal with religious matters such as purification and funeral ceremonies.

Manu- Smriti
Of all the Dharma Sutras, Manu-Smriti, or the Code of Manu (Ethical Code) written by Sage Manu Swayambhuva, who was the first Manu to assist Lord Brahma for the Creation during the first Manvantara of this Kalpa, is the most important. Manu means Patriarchal Earth Ruler. The Code of Manu is known as Manava Dharma Shastra. According to Hindu history Manu dictated his Codes in 1,00,000 verses to his pupil Sage Bhrgu, who in turn taught them to Sage Narada. It was reduced to 8,000 verses by Sage Markandeya. Another Sage Sumati reduced it to 4,000 verses later subsequent Sages reduced it to 2,684 verses in 12 Chapters. It comprises rites and ritual obligations encompassing proper conduct and the right way to lead one‘s life. The moral dimension of Dharma comes to the 80

forefront and touches all aspects of life as under: Duties of house-holder (family-man) (2: 225 - 229).  Performance of sacrifices (3: 69 - 81).  Allowed and forbidden foods (5: 11, 17).  Offences and Penances (11: 49 – 266).  Repentances and Confessions (11: 228 - 231).

Caste System
Caste system has been created by God (Bhagavad Gita 4: 13). Originally the caste system had a qualitative base and all castes were categorized based on the inherent qualities (Gunas) or career potential of an individual. A person naturally endowed with noble qualities like truthfulness, serenity of mind, non-violence, compassion, unselfishness, spiritual and moral virtues (qualities of Sattva Guna) belonged to Brahmana caste (Brahmin) and was considered as a right person to teach and give Spiritual guidance to others. One with passion and martial qualities (qualities of Rajo Guna) was fit for Ksatriya caste. One with business acumen, farmers, herders and artisans who have mixture of passion and ignorance (qualities of Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna) belonged to Vaisya caste. Slaves and servants in whom laziness and ignorance dominates (qualities of Tamo Guna) belonged to Sudra caste. Those who violated the laws of Hindu society pertaining to food and matrimony were considered as out-caste. Though Sudras and out-caste people did not enjoy the same social status, they were never looked down, ill treated or hated at that time. Service is the root of the successful performance of all sacred duties; no sacred obligation can be discharged without the service. Hence the place of the Sudras, whose 81

allotted duty is service, the root of all virtues, is indeed high among all the castes. The Dharma (duty) of Brahmana has Moksa (final beatitude) for its goal, that of Ksatriya has Kama (enjoyment) for its objective, that of a Vaisya has Artha (wealth) for its goal, while that of a Sudra has Dharma (religious merit) for its goal. In this way while the Dharma of the first three castes has the other three Purusardhas (Ends of human pursuits) for their goal, that of Sudra has Dharma itself for its goal; hence it is declared above, that the very occupation of a Sudra secures the pleasure of the God. Manu wrote in book 10 ―For the growth of the World, Brahman (God) created Brahmanas from His mouth, Ksatriyas (warriors) from His arms, Vaisyas (traders, farmers, herders and artisans) from His thighs and Sudras (slaves and servants) from His feet‖ (Bhagavata 2: 1: 37 and 3: 6: 30 to 33). Initially the division of caste was based on inherent traits and qualities (as influenced by the qualities of Gunas) of an individual. Subsequently it has become hereditary resulting misfit people became Gurus (teachers) and Kings etc. This practice might have emerged due to continued practice of occupation to cater for the needs of the society during that period, but as time passed the false sense of superiority of one caste over the other crept in and it became an aberration on Hinduism. It can be observed from Hindu history that Sage Valmiki (who authored Ramayana) was a savage in early part of his life and there were many noble people from the present day belief of lower castes. Mahatma Gandhi said ―If untouchability is part of Hinduism I will discard Hinduism‖. He termed Sudras as ―Harijan‖ meaning ―children of God‖. Later it has been replaced by term Dalit. 82

Women
Manu wrote in Book 5 ―Women are to be honoured and adored who desire much prosperity. Where women are honoured there the Gods rejoice‖. Women should be protected by her father during childhood, by her husband during her youth and by her son during her old age. There were certain restrictions on women not to do certain things independently. Women, being weaker sex physically and emotionally, these restrictions were meant to give protection to women from evil (They should not be relevant for the present day women).

Theory of Reincarnation
Manu wrote ―Human beings obtain the life of plants (motionless) as a result of evil committed by the body, the life of birds and beasts because of the evil committed by the speech and the lowest form of life for the evil committed by the mind‖.

Puranas
Purana means ancient or history. Puranas are post Vedic texts. They are considered as fifth Veda. They explain Vedas and Vedanta (Upanishads) (Chandogya Upanishad – 7: 1: 4). Sage Veda Vyasa revealed (dictated) 17 Puranas and at the end Bhagavata, which is known as Maha Purana. These illustrate the Truths of Vedas and Upanishads. Deeper Truths of Vedas and Upanishads are difficult and beyond the scope of understanding by most of the people. In order to present those Truths in an interesting and easily understandable manner Puranas were created with stories and parables. Although these texts are related to each other, 83

each one present a view of ordering the society from a particular perspective to propagate particular vision, whether it be focused on Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, Goddess Durga or any other deities. There are 18 Puranas. To name few they are Agni, Bhagavata (on Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna), Brahma, Garuda, Brahmananda (includes Lalita Sahasra Namam), Linga, Markandeya (includes Devi Mahatyam which extols the virtues of Goddess Durga as Supreme Being), Padma, Shiva, Skanda, Vayu, Vishnu etc. These Puranas are classified by the three aspects of Three Murties i.e. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. They are also classified by the Gunas (qualities of Maya, material nature) i.e. Sattva Guna (Goodness), Rajo Guna (Passion) and Tamo Guna (Ignorance).  Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana: Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana is on par with the Vedas, revealed by Sage Veda Vyasa for stabilizing Bhakti (devotion), Jnana (knowledge) and Viragya (dispassion). It has emanated from the essence of the Vedas and the Upanishads. Jnana Yajna (sacrifice in the form of knowledge) is the reading of Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana (extract from Padma Purana Discourse 2: 60, 67 & 71). Bhakti (devotion) is the mother and her two sons are Jnana (Spiritual enlightenment) and Viragya (dispassion) (extract from Padma Purana Discourse 1: 45). Lord Krishna infused all His glory and energy into Bhagavata and disappeared in the ocean of Srimad Bhagavata (extract from Padma Purana Discourse 3: 61). It consists of 18,000 Verses divided into 12 Skandas (books). Bhagavata is the fruit (essence) of the wish-yielding tree of Veda came 84

from Sage Sukadeva (son of Sage Veda Vyasa) and full of nectar of Supreme Bliss (extract from Padma Purana Discourse 6: 80).  Upa Puranas: Upa means subsidiary. There are 18 Upa Puranas. To name few they are Sanat-Kumara, Narasimha, Shiva-Rahasya, Devi-Bhagavata, Varuna, Surya, and Ganesha etc.  Other Puranas: Sthala Purana (contains virtues and stories of Hindu temples and shrines). Kula Purana (caste focused).

Divine Love
He (God) is Truth, Infinite, Omnipotent and dwells in all beings and all things. Find joy in worship, devoted service and make sacrifice (renounce all pleasures) as all work done is towards the service of God. He, who surrenders himself to God (Divine Self within) becomes pure, tranquil and attains the Knowledge, Truth and Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. He (God) is all Gracious, all forgiving, ever kind and lives in all beings waiting and hoping that the Soul may realize Him at any moment and totally surrenders to Him so that He can bless the Soul with Eternal Bliss. I am the servant of My devotees. My heart having been (completely) taken possession of My pious devotees, I am not independent, but really subject to the control of their devotion (Bhagavata 9: 4: 63). My devotees are more dear to Me than My Divine Consort Goddess Lakshmi, My son Lord Brahma, My own elder brother Balarama, My own Self (Lord Shiva) and My own (Divine) personality (Bhagavata 11: 14: 15). I follow My devotees so that I may be cleansed by their foot dust (Bhagavata 11: 14: 16). At the same time He (God) is 85

selfish also. He (God) wants the Soul to love Him and only Him alone and does not want to share the love with anyone else unlike human beings who love mother, father, wife, children and others at the same time. When a person loves God and at the same time loves someone also, it means that person has still not broken the bondage with Maya and has attachments to the worldly objects (Mayic), in which case that person has not totally surrendered to God and not yet fit for God‘s Grace.

Knowledge of Self
Ego causes ignorance which leads to all the problems. Objects attract senses and the mind become attached, loses power of discrimination, deluded and loses the Knowledge of Atma (losing one‘s own Self). He, whose ego is consumed in the fire of Knowledge, manifold Universe vanishes, crosses the passions, lust, anger, greed, pride, delusion and jealousy, attains Sat-Chit-Ananda (Absolute Existence, Knowledge and Divine Bliss).

Requisites for Spiritual Life
Truthfulness, honesty, detachment, abstention from anger, modesty, faith in after-life, continence, patience, forgiveness, physical and mental purity, praying, sacrifice, self-reliance, hospitality, service to others, refrain from violence, give-up desires, surrender to God, control of prana (breath) and meditation.

Epics
Epics are called Itihasas. Itihasa means history. They are mainly Ramayana (means journey of Lord Rama), 86

Mahabharata (means the great tale of the Bharata Dynasty) and Mahakavyas (means the great literature). Ramayana, which was originally authored by Sage Valmiki about 1,80,00,000 or 18 Million years ago, was again reproduced by Sage Veda Vyasa about 5,000 years ago. Mahabharata along with Srimad Bhagavad Gita was also composed/revealed by Sage Veda Vyasa. They explain fundamental teachings of Hinduism, greatest Universal Truths and highly compressed Philosophy of the Vedanta Sutras by using historical events and factual stories of many great Sages and Demi - Gods.

Ramayana
Ramayana means journey of Lord Rama. Sage Valmiki, in the early part of his life, was a high - way robber without a name. He used to rob travellers to support his wife and children. One day the great Sage Narada was passing by and the robber attacked him. Sage Narada asked the robber why he was robbing him. The robber replied, ―To support and take care of my family‖. Sage Narada asked the robber, ―When you rob a person, you incur lot of sin. Would your family also share your sins?‖ The robber replied, ―I am sure, they will‖. Then the Sage said, ―All right. Why don‘t you tie me up here to a tree, go home and ask everyone in your family whether they are willing to share your sins also, along with the money you are bringing home for them.‖ The robber agreed, tied the Sage against a tree and ran to his home. There he accosted all the members of his family including his wife with the question, ―Will you share my sins also as you are all sharing the money I bring home?‖ All the members of his family including his wife gave an emphatic 87

reply ―No‖. For the first time in his life, the robber understood the Truth of Life. He ran to the Sage Narada and begged for his forgiveness. Because of his sins the robber should not utter the sacred word Rama. So Sage Narada taught the robber the word Rama in reverse order i.e. Ma-ra and told him to meditate as Ma-ra. On constant repetition of the word Ma-ra that word automatically becomes Rama. The robber got so engrossed in meditation of Lord Rama that ants built anthills surrounding him. After many years, a voice came from the sky asking the meditating robber to get up from the meditation. The voice named him Valmiki meaning born out of anthill. Once Sage Valmiki was walking through a forest and saw two doves were romantically involved with each other. As the Sage was engrossed in that particular sight, a cruel arrow passed by him and struck the male dove. The female dove went down in remorse and started chirping around the dead companion. Sage Valmiki saw the hunter and called him a wretch, but immediately realized that being a Saint he should not have said like that. Then a voice from the sky said, ―Oh Valmiki, your words are poetic. Don‘t be depressed. This is the right time for you to write the story of Lord Rama, who will be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.‖ Sage Valmiki wrote Ramayana (in advance) as he could foresee the future. Ramayana is (Itihasa or history) of Lord Rama and Princess Sita. It is a poem with 24,000 couplets. Ramayana is struggle of virtue over evil and projects the Hindu ideals of life. Lord Rama is the perfect son, Purushottama (noblest man), King and a ruler who inspired all His subjects with the greatest Love. Lord Rama has been referred to as an embodiment of virtues and Ravana as evil. 88

He established the proper execution of Karma (duties) prescribed by the Scriptures. Sita is a perfect, faithful and ideal wife. Bharata and Lakshmana are perfect brothers and Hanuman is a perfect Bhakta (devotee).

Mahabharata
Mahabharata means the great tale of the Bharata Dynasty. This Epic has been revealed by Sage Veda Vyasa. It is the longest Epic containing 1,10,000 couplets in 18 Parvas or sections. Mahabharata was composed in order that women, Sudras, fallen Brahmanas, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas (who are debarred even from hearing Vedas and did not know how to perform acts that are conducive to good) too to attain blessedness through the Mahabharata (Bhagavata 1: 4: 25). Mahabharata deals with the struggle of Dharma (righteousness) over Adharma (unrighteousness). This includes Srimad Bhagavad Gita (song of God) also.  Shanthi Parva: After the Mahabharata battle, Lord Krishna tells Yudhisthira to approach Bhishma (who is well versed in Dharma), who was lying on the bed of arrows at the bank of river Oghavati, with reverence and to request him to impart his Knowledge (various Dharmas means virtues) to you. Otherwise such Knowledge will die with him. When Yudhisthira approaches Bhishma and requests him to impart his Knowledge to him, Bhishma explains to Yudhisthira various Dharmas (duties) with due regard to Varna (caste or social grade), Asrama (stages of life) and twofold Dharmas – (a) Pravritti Marg - The Dharma involving worldly activities for those who are full of worldly attachment and (b) Nivritti Marg – Marked by 89

withdrawal from such worldly activities for those who are endowed with dispassion, Dharma relating to charitable gifts, the duties obligatory to Monarchs, the duties of women, the course of conduct that are intended to propitiate the God and the four ends of human pursuit (i.e., Dharma (religious merit), Artha (worldly riches), Kama (sensuous enjoyment) and Moksa (final beatitude) (Bhagavata 1: 9: 26 to 28). Few of them are as under:  In the fourth age (Kali Yuga) Dharma (virtue) becomes Adharma (no virtue) and Adharma becomes Dharma.  If one fights with trickery, one should oppose him with trickery.  If one fights lawfully, one should check him with Dharma.  One should conquer evil with good.  Death by Dharma is better than victory by evil deeds.  Human endeavour is greater than the dependence on fate.  Truthfulness and strait forward actions bring success.  Do good to others by your thought, word and deed.  Sacrifice your pleasures.  Conquer your own Self.  Avoid lust and anger.  Follow the path of the duty.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  Greed is the root cause of sin. Be selfcontrolled and destroy avarice. 90

Passion, hatred melancholy, anger, pride, delusion, laziness and envy constitute ignorance.  Forbearance, bravery, non-injury, truthfulness, calmness, affection, steadiness of mind and freedom from envy constitute Self control.  Truth is the Eternal Brahman. Truthfulness is the Eternal Dharma.  Happiness gained through the stilling of senses or renunciation of desires is 16 times greater than the happiness derived from fulfillment of desires.  The secret meaning of the Vedas is Truth of the Truth, Self-control of Self-control and freedom from all bondages. This is the sum of all Scriptures.  Vana Parva:  Alms giving are way to fame. Truthfulness is the way to Heaven. Right conduct is the way to happiness and contentment.  Kindness and compassion are great virtues.  Giving up of vanity, anger and greed leads to happiness.  Anushasana Parva:  Do not harm thy neighbour.  Worship God with devotion.  Freedom from anger, malice, avarice and evil thought leads to happiness.  Conduct yourself with pure thought, speech and actions. 91

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Srimad Bhagavad Gita means song of God. Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the Vedas and summation of Upanishads, giving it the status close to that of Upanishads. Some place Bhagavad Gita in the category of Shruti (Revealed Truths). It contains 700 verses in 18 chapters. Lord Krishna, eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the supreme God with unlimited virtues. Hindu Scriptures extol Lord Krishna as an ultimate Brahman (supreme to Saguna Brahman) in human form. He is the King of Yogas and gives excellent Spiritual teachings to Arjuna at the onset of the Mahabharata war. It deals, in depth, with all the Yogas or ways of God-realization. Bhagavad Gita has an answer for every problem one may face in their life. It gives the pros and cons of every issue and the final decision is left to the individual (18: 63). In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains ways for Liberation (Moksa) for all in various couplets (11: 54 and 55; 12: 3, 4 and 8; 13: 30 and 34; 16: 22; 18: 53, 55, 56, 65 and 68). Every one whether one believes in God or not, is destined to attain Liberation one day or the other. But only the time factor differs for the best and the worst. Bhagavad Gita says, ―The Truth shall set you free”. It advocates/teaches selfless actions, importance of the annihilation of desires and ego and different ways to control the mind and senses. It describes oneness with God with lines such as Realize Me, Attain Me, I am the way, Abide in Me, Come to Me, and Merge into Me etc. Lord Krishna says, ―All senses (Indriyas) love the sense objects. Just like tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell when it perceives

92

danger, so too wise men withdraw their senses from sense objects when they feel that the senses are losing themselves in the sense objects” (2: 58 – 60). Without proper control of senses, nobody can realize the Absolute Truth. Gita finally teaches the secret of devotion (Bhakti) – (18: 64 and 65) that selfless devotion to God by fixing the mind on God, worshiping Him, sacrificing to Him is the only way to realize God. The Yoga of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga) (Chapter – 2)  The wise grieve neither for the living, nor for the dead. I, you and all exist forever. Never shall we cease. The dweller (Atma) in this body (at death) passes into another body. Body dies, but that which posses the body is eternal (2: 11 to 13).  Embodied Self (Atma), has no beginning, birth-less, unborn, undying, indestructible, imperishable, unchanging, perpetual, eternal, immeasurable, weapons do not wound, fire do not burn, water does not wet, wind does not wither and all pervading. It is eternal ever and forever (2: 20 to 24).  If you avoid your own duty (inaction) you shall incur sin. If you do your duty treating alike success or failure, gain or loss, pleasure and pain, not hoping for the fruits of your actions, you shall not incur sin (2: 33, 38 and 47).  Yoga is evenness of mind and skill in action (2: 48 and 50).  The wise, renounces craving, abandons fruits of actions, leaves behind all desires emerging from the mind, is content in the Self by the Self, restrains and controls senses, withdraws senses from the sense 93

objects and frees himself from desire, anger, greed, ego and bonds of flesh (2: 51, 55 to 59).  From sense objects attachment is born, from attachment springs desire, from unfulfilled desires originates anger, from anger arises delusion, from delusion confusion of memory, from which grows loss of discrimination and from loss of discrimination paves the way for self-destruction. Uncontrolled mind, cannot feel the presence of Atma, turns better judgement, loses discrimination, cannot meditate, will have no peace and happiness (2: 62 and 63).  Recollected mind, is awakened, knows Atma, melts ignorance, abandons all desires, acts free from longing, is indifferent to possessions, is free from ego and pride, attains peace and enlightenment and feels Brahman and Soul are one (2: 68, 71 and 72). The Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga) (Chapter – 3)  Two-fold path is (a) Yoga of Knowledge (for men of renunciation) and (b) Yoga of Action (for men of action). Knowledge is better than action. He, who controls his senses by the mind and who engages the organs of action without attachment, is superior in the Yoga of Action. Perform your duty for action is better than non-action (3: 3, 7 and 8).  He, whose delight is only in the Self, whose satisfaction is in the Self, who is content only in the Self, for him the need to act, does not arise (3: 17).  Actions, in all cases, are performed by the qualities (Gunas) of material nature (Maya) (Prakrti). Those who are deluded by the qualities of material nature 94

are attached to the actions of the qualities (thinks, ―I am the doer‖). Deferring all actions in Me (allowing God to initiate all actions), having become free from desire and selfishness, meditate on the Supreme Spirit (3: 27 to 30).  Passion (attachment) and hatred (aversion) are seated in the senses in relation to their objects. These forces are desire and anger. One should not come under the influence of these two. Know that these are your enemies (3: 34 and 37).  Intellect is obscured by passion. Knowledge is obscured by desire (which is insatiable like fire). Desire seated in senses, the mind and the intellect confuse embodied Self (Atma) obscuring and destroying one‘s Knowledge and discrimination. Controlling the senses kills the evil and sinful demons (desire, anger and passion) (3: 38 to 41).  Senses are superior to gross body. Mind is superior to senses. The intellect is superior to mind. Greater than the intellect is desire. Destroy this desire which is a tough enemy and hard to conquer. (3: 42 and 43). The Yoga of Renunciation of Action in Knowledge (Chapter 4)  Whenever there is decline in righteousness and upsurge in unrighteousness then I (God) manifest Myself, for the protection of the good and destruction of wicked and evil doers, for the sake of establishing righteousness (4: 7 and 8).  I serve the devotee according to the sentiment with which he worships Me and to the degree of his surrender to Me (4: 11). 95

 Fourfold caste system has been created by Me according to the distribution of qualities (Gunas) and their actions (4: 13).  Those, who have no desire for the fruits of their actions, are not bound by their actions (4: 14).  He, who perceives inaction in action and action in inaction, who knows what to do and what not, who remains free from impurities and who is poised in the tranquility of the Atma, is wise. He is Yogi and performs all actions (4: 18).  He, who has excluded desire and motive, who acts without scheming and not for the rewards (fruits), who breaks the chain of Karma, who melts in the flame of Knowledge and who consumes his Karmas (actions) in the fire of wisdom, is a Sage (4: 19).  He, who performs necessary actions for the maintenance of his body, having no desire, with his mind and body fully subdued, giving up all attachments and possessions (is Karma Yogi), incurs no sin (4: 21).  He, who is content in mind with whatever ever comes to him (without desiring for it), who transcends and indifferent to the dualities (i.e. pleasure or pain; gain or loss; success or failure) and who is free from envy and jealousy, is not bound by his actions (4: 22).  All actions of a person, who is devoid of attachment, whose thought is established in Knowledge of the Self, are destroyed (4: 23).  All his actions, whose bonds are broken, whose actions are worship, whose heart beats in Brahman and who sees Brahman in every action finds 96

Brahman. The sacrifice is Brahman, the sacrificer himself is Brahman, the utensils are Brahman, the fire in which the sacrifice is offered is Brahman and the entire act consists of Brahman because it is the nature of Brahman (4: 24).  Wisdom (Knowledge) sacrifice is better than material sacrifice. Know this through humble submission, enquiry and service. Then you will perceive Truth and Knowledge. Knowing this you shall not fall into delusion and you shall see all beings and Brahman in yourself. The fire of Knowledge reduces all actions and sins to ashes. No purifier is equal to Knowledge. He, who possesses faith, attains Knowledge. Devoted to that Knowledge who restrains his senses, in time, finds that Knowledge in the Self (4: 33 to 39).  With body, mind and intellect (BMI) abandon attachment and fruits of actions. Perform actions towards Self - purification (5: 11).  Knowledge is enveloped by ignorance. Ignorance of Self is destroyed by Knowledge (5: 15 and 16). The Yoga of Meditation (Self - Control) (Chapter – 6)  He, who has conquered his Self by himself, his own Self is a friend. But to him who has not conquered the Self, his own Self acts as his foe (6: 6).  He, who conquered his Self, is perfectly calm (in mind) in the midst of antithetical pairs i.e., cold and heat; favourable and unfavourable; joy and sorrow: honour and dishonour, is in constant communication with the Supreme Spirit (6: 7).

97

 Practice of Yoga of self-purification is concentrating the mind and controlling the thinking faculty and the senses (6:12).  He, who controls his mind and constantly meditates on Me, attains everlasting peace (Supreme Bliss) (6:15).  Yoga is not successful for him who eats too much or too less and who sleeps too much or too less (6:16).  He, who perfectly controlled his mind and fixes on the Self (Atma) alone, free from desires for enjoyment, is said to be an achiever of Yoga (6: 18).  When the mind, disciplined by practice of Yoga becomes tranquil, the Yogi beholding the Self (Atma) by his Self, he is contended in the Self (6:20).  He, who sees Me (the universal Self) present in all creatures, who sees all beings existing in Me, I am never out of sight for him nor is he out of My sight (6: 30).  He, who established in union with Me, worships Me as abiding in all beings, though engaged in all forms of activities, dwells in Me (6: 31).  The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate, powerful and difficult to control, but by practice and by dispassion it can be done (6: 34 and 35).  The Yogi is superior to ascetics (not devoid of desires) and superior to Jnani (who has knowledge of Scriptures) and rituality (who perform elaborate rituals). Such Yogi, who devotedly worships Me (with his mind focused on Me), is most devout one (6: 46 and 47).

98

The Yoga of Renunciation (Chapter -- 18)  He, whose work or action is worship of God, attains perfection (18: 46).  He, who has conquered the Self, who becomes free from desire, with his intellect unattached at all times, attains the supreme state of non - action and attains perfection (18: 49).  He, who attains perfection, attains Brahman i.e., the highest state of Knowledge (18: 50).  He, who is endowed with pure intellect; who controls the senses with firmness; who abandons objects of senses; who has casted off attractions and aversion; who dwells in solitude; who eats lightly; who controls mind, speech and body; who is constantly devoted to Yoga and meditation; who takes refuge in dispassion; who relinquishes egotism, violence, arrogance, desire, anger and possession of property; who is devoid of the notion of mineness and tranquil in mind, is fit for oneness with Brahman (18: 51 to 53).  He, who is absorbed in Brahman, whose Self is serene, who does not mourn, who has no desire, who sees Brahman among all beings, has supreme devotion for Me (18: 54).  By devotion to Me, he comes to know that I am in Truth, having known Me in Truth; he merges unto Me (18: 55).  Performing all duties (actions) he, whose reliance is always in Me, by My Grace, attains the eternal and imperishable abode (18: 56).

99

 He, who has mentally dedicated all his actions in Me, who is devoted to Me as the Supreme Goal, who constantly thinks of Me, who takes refuge in the Yoga of discrimination, who fixes his mind on Me, through My Grace, shall pass all his obstacles (18: 57, 58).  Thus the Knowledge (Brahma Jnan) that is more secret than all that is secret has been expounded to you by Me. Do as you please (18: 63).  Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, prostrate yourself before Me, you shall come to Me (I promise you) (18: 65).  After surrendering to Me, one need not worry about the sins committed by them. From the moment one completely surrenders to Me, I (Lord Krishna) become his/her Governor or Protector and I will redeem all his/her sins and Liberate him/her from Maya (18: 66).  Having performed the highest devotion to Me, he who shall teach this Supreme Secret to My worshipers shall come to Me (18: 68).

100

Darshana Shastras
Darshana means ―to see‖. Darshana or Jnana Yoga is known as the Hindu Philosophy. There are primarily six Darshana Shastras means systems of Hindu Religious Philosophies developed at different periods of time. All of them are based on the Vedas. The Vedic literature is so exhaustive that it very difficult even for the Vedic genius to comprehend the theme of Vedas. So many Sages wrote Darshana Shastras to facilitate proper understanding of the Vedas and direct the Soul towards God realization. Original treatises using very concise aphorisms called Sutras were written. All paths lead to the same goal i.e. Salvation or Liberation (Moksa).

Sankhya Philosophy
Sankhya Philosophy is the most ancient system of Hindu Philosophy, founded by the Sage Kapila. This Philosophy explains Divinity and Mayic Creation. It is dualistic Philosophy in the sense between the Atma (Soul) and Maya (Cosmic power). It sees the Universe with the forces of Purusa (Soul) and Prakrti (Maya). It explains that discarding the Mayic attributes is essential to attain Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss.

Yoga Philosophy
Yoga is derived from the root word Yuj means ―to yoke‖ or ―to join‖ or ―to connect‖. This Philosophy is founded by the Sage Patanjali. It is similar to Sankhya system but more theistic. This philosophy explains about the practical process of mind and heart purification and practice meditation which may qualify a person to experience the 101

absolute Divinity. Their ideas are based on dualism (seeing the Universe as two i.e. subject and object). To some extent this Philosophy talks about God as an inanimate object with the word It. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are most important in this system of Philosophy.

Poorva Mimamsa Philosophy
Poorva Mimamsa means start of the Vedas and this system is to facilitate proper understanding of the Vedas. The founder of this system of Philosophy is the Sage Jaimini, who was the disciple of Sage Veda Vyasa. The leading exponents of this branch of Philosophy were Sages Kumarila and Prabhakara. It is based on avoidance of rebirth. It believes that one must have absolute belief in the Vedas, power of Sacrifice and Mantras to sustain all the activities of the Universe. It places great emphasis on Karma based on Dharma. The selfless activities prescribed in the Mimamsa texts are for the purification of the mind.

Vaisheshika Philosophy
Vaisheshika means ―Particularity‖. This system of philosophy is founded by the Sage Kanada. This philosophy describes the logical steps as to how to determine right or wrong in terms of finding what is good for a person. It refers God as THAT. It teaches that the Universe is made of nine elements i.e., Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Soul, Mind, Ether, Time and Space. Brahman is regarded as the fundamental force that causes consciousness in these elements.

Nyaya Philosophy
Nyaya means ―Justice‖. This system of Philosophy is 102

founded by the Sage Aksapada Gautama. It is similar to Vaisheshika system. This system of Philosophy primarily deals with the logical analysis of the world and its atheistic nature. It believes that obtaining valid Knowledge is the only way to gain release from suffering. This Philosophy identified valid sources of Knowledge as (a) Perception, (b) Inference, (c) Comparison and (d) Testimony and developed several criteria for validity of Knowledge obtained through these sources.

Uttara Mimamsa (Brahma Sutra)
Uttara Mimamsa (Brahma Sutra) means later to Vedas, is also known as Vedanta means end of the Vedas. This system of Philosophy is founded by the Sage Veda Vyas. The central doctrine of this Philosophy is that God (Brahman) is absolute Divinity and absolute Bliss and Grace. The ignorance of true nature of Soul results in the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It explains that God has Divine virtues. So lovingly surrender to God and with His Grace experience His Absolute Bliss eternally (1: 1: 7). His Grace would break the bondage of Maya (Cosmic power) and free the Soul (1: 2: 2). The Souls are unlimited in number and infinitesimal in form and are part (ansh) of God. Here the meaning of Soul is part (ansh) of God is that Souls are God – like Divine by nature and not a fraction of God as God being absolute cannot be made fractions. It reveals the importance and greatness of Devotion (Bhakti) and through devotion a devotee can easily realize God (3: 4: 38). Brahma Sutra reveals the total theme of the Upanishads which are the essence of the Vedic literature. The central doctrine is that God (Brahman) and the Soul is one and the same. 103

Nothing exists except Brahman (God). The human problem is not sin but ignorance. The ignorance of true nature of Self results in the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. From the above Vedanta Philosophy further three Philosophies are formed:  Advaita Philosophy: Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya was born in 509 B.C.E. at Kaladi in Kerala. By the age eight he had mastered all the four Vedas and by age twelve he was well versed in all Hindu Scriptures. He went to North India and became the disciple of Sri Govinda Bhagavadpada, who was the disciple of Sri Gaudapada. By the age sixteen he had completed writing many religious books i.e. Upadesa Sahasri, Viveka Choodamani, Atma Bodham and Bhaja Govindam etc. Among the devotional poems he wrote Soundarya Lahari is the best. At the age of 32 (i.e. 477 B.C.E.) he departed from this world. He established four monasteries which are known as Shankara Mathas. They are at Sringeri (Karnataka), Badrinath (Himalayas), Dwaraka (Gujarat), and Puri (Orissa). Through his commentaries on Upanishads and Brahma Sutras he established Advaita Philosophy. According to Advaita Philosophy that there is only one reality and that is the Brahman. The Brahman alone is real; all the rest is Maya or illusion. The Individual Soul (Jeevatma) is not a distinct entity from Brahman. The individual Soul itself is Brahman. Human beings are bound by endless cycle of reincarnations due to ignorance and Maya is the root 104

cause of all the problems. Knowledge eradicates the ignorance and delivers one from the bondage. The difference between God (Brahman) and Soul (Atma) is a matter of degree. Ultimately, they are one and the same like the space outside a cup and the space inside the cup. That, which is within the human beings is called Atma and that which embraces the Universe is known as Paramatma (Brahman). Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya came to fill the Spiritual vacuum and restored its past glory in India when Buddhism was on the raise.  Vishistadvaita Philosophy Jagadguru Ramanujacharya (1040 – 1137C.E.) is the founder of Vishistadvaita Philosophy and a devotee of Lord Vishnu. This Philosophy combines Advaita (oneness of God) with Vishesha (attributes). He is the foremost proponent of the concept of the Supreme Being having definite form, name and attributes (without Gunas – Sattva, Rajo and Tamo). He saw this form as that of Lord Vishnu and taught that reality has three aspects i.e. (a) Lord Vishnu, (b) Soul and (c) Maya or Matter (Prakrti). Lord Vishnu is the only independent reality, while Souls and Maya (Matter) are internal distinctions and are dependent on Lord Vishnu for their existence. It is thus known as qualified non-dualism. It believes that all qualities or manifestations are real and permanent and under the control of the Brahman. The Lord Vishnu (Narayana) has two inseparable modes (Prakaras), namely the world and the Souls. They are related to Him as the body is related to the Soul. They have no existence 105

apart from Him. They inhere in Him as attributes in a substance. Maya (Matter) and Souls constitute the body of Lord. The Lord is their indweller. He is the controlling reality. Maya (Matter) and Souls are subordinate elements. He used a word Prapatti (complete surrender to God) to express the feelings of a devotee, who very humbly surrenders his heart, mind and the Soul at the lotus feet of his loving God and earnestly desire for His Divine Vision.  Dvaita Philosophy Jagadguru Madhavacharya (1218 – 1317 C.E.) propagated Dvaita Philosophy of duality and devotion to God alone can lead for attainment of God and Liberation. He identified Brahman with Lord Vishnu, but his view of reality is pluralistic. According to Dvaita Philosophy there are three ultimate realities i.e. (a) Lord Vishnu, (b) Soul and (c) Maya or Matter. There are five distinctions i.e. (a) Lord Vishnu is distinct from the Souls, (b) Lord Vishnu is distinct from the Maya or Matter, (c) Souls are distinct from the Maya or Matter, (d) A Soul is distinct from another Soul and (e) Maya or Matter is distinct from another Maya or Matter. Souls are eternal and are dependent on the will of Lord Vishnu. The basic tenets of Dvaita Philosophy are:  Supremacy of Lord Vishnu.  Supremacy of Vayu (Air) among Jeevas (lives).  The world is Real (Satya) and not illusory.  Fivefold distinction (mentioned above).  Bhakti (devotion) towards God is the sure route to God. 106

Yoga
Yoga means yoke (connecting link) to God. It also means method and techniques to realize and reach God. Yoga is connecting the Soul (Jeevatma) to God (Paramatma). Yoga is science of creation and how to take this piece of creation (i.e., you) to its ultimate possibility. It is gaining mastery over the fundamental process of life (i.e., creation and destruction). Yoga has originated from Lord Shiva. He is the Adi Yogi or first Yogi. There are three types of Yogas. They are (a) Karma (action) Yoga, (b) Jnana (Knowledge) Yoga, and (c) Upasana or Bhakti (devotion) Yoga (Bhagavata 11: 20: 06). Brahman (God) is Sat – Chit – Ananda. By following Karma Yoga one attains Sat (Truth). By following Jnana Yoga one attains Chit (Consciousness or Knowledge). By following Bhakti Yoga one attains Ananda (Bliss).

Laws of Karma and Reincarnation
Hinduism believes in rebirth after death. Hindus also believe that whatever a person sowed, that shall he/she also reap. This is the basis of Karmic Law. Every action has a reaction. Even every thought, speech and action is weighed on the scale of Eternal Justice or unwritten Karmic Law which is universal and nobody can get away from the claws of Karmic Law. According to Hinduism, the body alone dies and the Soul is eternal. This body, constituted as it is of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), is subjected to the control of Time, fate (fruits of actions) and the three modes of Prakrti (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas)

107

(Bhagavata 1:13:45). The path the Soul takes, after death, is decided upon by the past actions (Karmas) which are known as Karma-Phala (fruits of actions). The Soul continues this journey with heavy load of Karmas from one life to another until it exhausts all its Karmas by under-going pain or pleasure sensation in the body. When this Karma exhausts Soul (Jeevatma) will merge with Absolute Soul (Paramatma) and this merging process is known as Salvation or Liberation (Moksa). God has given free will for the human beings to decide whatever they wanted to do and God never interferes in their decisions and actions. Individual is responsible for his actions and bear the results (Vedanta Sutra 2: 3: 41).

Doctrine of Karma
The word Karma is derived from Sanskrit word Kri means ―to do‖. Here the meaning of Karma is work or action. Vikarma means sinful actions or actions which are condemnable (Bhagavad Gita 16: 19). Karma implies strict observance of ritualistic actions specified in the Scriptures. Not doing work also turns out to be work. God gave Chetana (Shakti or power to perform action) to Soul (Atma or Jeev) (Vedanta Sutra 1: 5 to 8). Because of this power Soul always and at every moment does action. It cannot stop from doing actions. Everyone is compelled to act, by the modes born of Nature (Prakrti) (Bhagavad Gita 3: 5). But God leaves the decision taking authority to the Soul. God never interferes in the decision making of the Soul. It is left to the Soul either to do good actions or bad actions (Vedanta Sutra 2: 3: 41). (Example – when one has Nuclear energy and if one decides to use as bomb for military purpose it causes destruction and suffering for everyone and if one decides to 108

use for civilian facilities it provides comforts to everyone. So it is the decision that matters). So the Soul (Atma or Jeev) has to get results or fruits for its decisions and actions as per eternal Cosmic Law (Vedanta Sutra 1: 5 to 8), (Prasna Upanishad 3: 7). The Karmas (actions) we do dictate our past, present and future. In Nyaya Darshana it is explained that we observe, that one person though puts lots of efforts but get little or less results, where as another person with little effort gets great results (i.e., people are born with a particular talent). This is the result of Cosmic Law, which takes into account the Karmas of previous lives. We do Karmas (actions) to satisfy our desires. Desires originate in two ways. Firstly, by observing the world (material) and desiring for it. Secondly, by the subtle instincts of the old Karmas (actions) those are stored in the mind. Such instincts are stored in a very subtle form in the unconscious section of the mind (where all the Karmas are stored) and then emerge into the conscious mind in the form of a desire. It is impossible to abstain from desires until one attains Divine Bliss. Therefore as long as the Karmas are stored in the mind, the desires cannot be totally eliminated. Such Karmas are called Sanchita Karmas and their accumulation is unaccountable. They cannot be destroyed by any means, except to enjoy their fruits. Even the Saints and Sages could eliminate only the apparent material desires but not the internal inherent instincts of the desires (Sanchita Karmas). Sanchita Karmas of a person are destroyed, only with the Grace of God, upon God realization. It means that a person can get rid of worldly desires and attachments by constant practice of Yoga. When he devotedly surrenders to God, His Divine Grace destroys all the Sanchita Karmas and thus his 109

total desires are completely eliminated. Then he breaks the bondage of Maya, crosses its effects and Brahman (God) is revealed to him. (Katha Upanishad 2: 3: 14). According to Hinduism all destined duties are good Karmas popularly known as Sadharma. Attaining freedom by unselfish actions is known as Nishkama Karma. Selfish actions retard our goal. Unselfish actions take us towards our goal. Karma has the theory of conservation of energy. Karma-Vada is cause and effect of action. Karma-Phala is fruits (results) of our actions. God is Karma-Phaladata (giver of fruits of actions) and ultimate dispenser of justice. Good actions will give good results and bad actions bad results. God is always with the Soul and He resides in the Soul (Mundaka Upanishad 2: 2: 7 and 8). He notes all the Karmas (actions) done by the Soul (as doer through the modes of Prakrti) and gives the fruits for those actions (Karmas) according to Cosmic Law (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4: 6 and 7).  Kriyamana Karma: It is actions (Karmas) of the present which bear fruits (results). These fruits can be direct or in the form of impression or influence. These fruits can be seen (immediately felt) or unseen (can be reaped in this life or in future by becoming Prarabdha Karma).  Sanchita Karma: It is actions (Karmas) performed during past lives and till now (collected or accumulated). These are stored in the inner sense. A thought comes to the mind according to the Sanchita Karma as well as Prarabdha Karma. The thought of Sanchita Karma can‘t force a person to perform action. But if there are attachments or aversions in those thoughts, then those thoughts can force a 110

a person to act. But by applying discrimination one should check from performing prohibited or evil actions.  Prarabdha Karma: Out of accumulated Karmas, actions which are inclined to bear fruits are called Prarabdha (destiny) Karmas. Destiny bears fruits. They remain in potential state (like term deposit). When they mature, become kinetic energy, which is called Prarabdha (destiny). No one can get rid of (even Saints are not exempted) from the process or force of the Prarabdha Karma. When the force of this Prarabdha Karma exhausts the body dies. A person can get rid of Sanchita Karmas with the Grace of God upon God realization (Mundaka Upanishad 2: 2: 8) except Prarabdha Karma, if one performs actions without expecting fruits (Bhagavad Gita 2: 38, 47; 9: 27; 18: 11 to 18). After doing any good deed, surrender its fruits to God (Ye tat phalam Sri Parameswara arpana mastu: means – I surrender the fruits of this action to God (Isa Upanishad – 1).

Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga is the path of right action (Karma). It is the path for the one who is extremely attached to the world. It is a very difficult path because there are many conditions, rules and restrictions for the performance of right action (Bhagavata 11: 27: 06). Any action done with the attachment to its fruits generates a kind of psychological bondage. The art and science of performing unselfish work (without attachment to its fruits) is Karma Yoga or Akarma (means no action) or Yoga of right action. One has to work with proper 111

attitude, method and right action. Always work for the pleasure of God. Keep your mind completely attached to Me and perform your Karma (actions) (Bhagavad Gita 8: 7). The attachment of the mind to God (devotion) with the body engaged in Karma is referred to as Karma Yoga. Then the fruits of your actions will not come to you. It results in Liberation from material (Mayic) bondage and attainment of God realization. Any Dharma Karma (religious or right action) without Bhakti (devotion) is no Dharma (Bhagavata 1: 2: 6), (Bhagavad Gita 11: 55). Any Dharma Karma with Bhakti (devotion) is the only Dharma (Bhagavata 11: 19: 27). According to Sankhya Philosophy Karmas are performed by three forces i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (also known as Gunas). Rajas represent activity, Tamas represents inactivity and Sattva is the equilibrium of the former two. Karma Yoga involves employing these three forces to do our work properly. Attaining freedom by unselfish work is known as Nishkama Karma. Selfish actions retard our goal and unselfish actions take us towards our goal i.e. Salvation or Liberation (Mukti or Moksa). He, who performs all actions, taking refuse in Me, by My Grace, attains the Eternal imperishable State (Bhagavad Gita 18: 56). If one does Karma (actions) with the qualities of Sattva Guna (pious) he/she gets Swarga Loka (Heaven) till the fruits of those actions are exhausted (means limited period). If one does Karma with the qualities of Rajo Guna (attachment) he/she gets Mrutyu Loka ( life on Earth) and if one does Karma with the qualities of Tamo Guna (evil) he/she gets Naraka Loka (Hell) (Bhagavata 2: 10: 41). If one does Nirguna Karma (actions without the qualities of the above three Gunas) for God, then he/she will come to Me (God) (Bhagavata 11: 25: 112

22). One who devotionally and exclusively surrenders to God can cross over the barrier of Maya (Bhagavad Gita 7: 14). One whose mind is not attached to any material object, motive, sense of mine and egotism (i.e., giving up of all desires) alone deserves to attain God realization (Bhagavad Gita 2: 71). Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give in charity do it for Me alone. If your mind is attached to Me, then your actions will not bind you (Bhagavad Gita 9: 27). Karma Yoga is a system of attaining freedom through selfless actions. With selfless actions, mind gets purified and with devoid of sense of agency or doer-ship, fruits of their actions do not come back to them, then no new links will be created, continuity of birth, death and rebirth will be broken, becomes free and attains Liberation. Take refuse in Me and perform your duties (actions) for Me. Then the fruits of your actions (good or bad) will not come to you. (Means you will not accumulate your actions (Karma) (Bhagavad Gita 9: 28). The practical form of Karma Yoga is to perform your duties with your senses and body and lovingly attach your mind to God.

Jnana Yoga
Jnana means ―Knowledge‖. Jnana is of two types – (a) Theoretical or verbal Knowledge (b) Practical or experienced Knowledge. The theoretical knowledge without practical knowledge does not lead to the goal. There is nothing equal to Jnana (True Knowledge) in purity (Bhagavad Gita 4: 38). This is the path for the one who is totally detached from the world. First know yourself and True Self is Divine. Everything in this Universe is Divine. You are not your physical body. Question yourself ―who you are‖? Are you, your body or your 113

body is owned by the I in you? I, means not the body, senses, mind or intellect, but it is the Soul, an eternal fragment of God (Bhagavad Gita 15: 7). Jnana Marga means God realization through Knowledge is devotion towards Nirakara or Nirguna Brahman (Bhagavad Gita 12:1). To follow Jnana Marga one has to have absolute control over mind (which is root for lust, anger, vanity, greed, sorrow, infatuation, fear and many other evils), which is very difficult (Bhagavata 5: 6: 3 to 5; 11: 16: 11). Through Jnana Yoga one may get Atma jnan (Knowledge about Soul or Self or Atma) but not Brahma Jnan (Knowledge about God) except through God‘s Grace (Brahma Sutra 2: 3: 40). In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains Jnana Yoga to Arjuna in Chapter 2. (Details are already given).  Go through preparatory discipline of moral and ethical practices.  Purify yourself through selfless work.  Meditate on the Divinity of your True inner Self (there is God in you). The fundamental teaching of Vedas is Everything in this Universe is Divine and Indwelling Self is Brahman.  After mind and ego melts in, infinite Divinity (Nirvikara Samadhi) enters.

Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti comes from the root word Bhaj which means to be attached to. Bhakti means absorption of mind in God (Bhagavata 10: 29: 15). Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion to connect to Personal form of God (Saguna Brahman). The path of Bhakti Yoga is Jnana (Spiritual enlightenment) and Viragya (dispassion) worn out by the process of time (extract from Padma Purana (Uttara Khanda) 1: 45). One of the 114

greatest exponent of Bhakti Yoga is Sage Narada and the Philosophy of Bhakti is described in Narada Bhakti Sutras. Bhakti (devotion) is serene and a direct relation of the Soul with Personal form of God. It is above religion, nationality, caste, creed and sect. It can be adopted by anyone, at any place and at any time. There are no requirements, conditions, restrictions and any rituals. This is suitable for emotional people. If selfish love in human beings, is directed towards God through Sravana (hearing), Kirtana (singing), Smarana (thinking with mind), Pada Seva (service to His feet), Archana (pooja), Vandana (bow and pray), Dasya (doing His service), Sakhya (friendly), and Atma-Nivedana (surrendering yourself – with mind and not by mere physical actions) are effective means for God-realization. In the initial stage of devotional practice, one should minimize the contact with the material world so that the mind should not get attracted and attached to any material object. A man who loves God has no desires. Devotion eradicates elements of passion (Rajo Guna) and ignorance (Tamo Guna) (Bhagavata 1: 5: 28). In the highest aspect of Bhakti Yoga the devotee goes for total Self-surrender to God. By doing Dharma Karma only Pap (stored bad Sanchita Karmas) is destroyed, but heart is not purified. My Divine power (Maya), consisting of three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), can only be crossed by the one who surrenders to Me (Bhagavad Gita 7: 14). God showers His Grace on His devotee, the devotee so blessed gives up Karmas (actions) (Bhagavata 4: 29: 46). Bhakti also indirectly leads to the total dissolution of ego or the feeling of I (ego) and desires which is the cause of all the problems. Free yourself from the delusion of I and Mine. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains Bhakti Yoga (Chapter 12) as under:115

 He, who is eternally steadfast, who worships fixing his mind on Me, who is endowed with supreme faith on Me, is most perfect Yogi (12: 2).  Those, who worship (controlling senses and mind) on imaginary form devoid of all attributes (i.e., impersonal form of Brahman), also come to Me (12: 3 and 4).  I take the responsibility of those who surrender all their actions to Me, regard Me as supreme goal and worship Me with devotion. I liberate them from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth (12: 6 and 7).  Fix your mind and intellect on Me alone. You shall dwell in Me entirely (12: 8).  If you cannot fix your mind and intellect steadily on Me, then seek to attain Me by constant practice of chanting Divine name etc. (Yoga) (12: 9). If you cannot practice this, perform selfless actions for My sake. You will attain perfection (12: 10). If you cannot even do this, resorting to devotion towards Me, act with self - restraint (subduing your mind, senses and intellect) renouncing the fruits of your actions (12: 11).  Knowledge is better than practice. Meditation is superior to Knowledge. Renunciation of fruits of actions is better than meditation. Peace follows renunciation (12: 12).  He, who hates no being, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachment to possessions (sense of mine), who is free from egoism, who is indifferent to pain and pleasure (12: 13), who is forgiving, always contended and balanced in mind, who is self - controlled, whose conviction is firm, whose mind and intellect are fixed on Me, who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me (12: 14). 116

 A devotee, who is free from evils of attachment, aversion, rejoices and grief, is dear to Me (12: 17).  He who, with faith, holds Me as his supreme goal, follows this nectar of wisdom (law or doctrine) is exceedingly dear to Me (12: 20).

Other Yogas
In Hinduism the other Yogas and practices are also popular. They are (a) Raja Yoga, (b) Kundalini Yoga and (c) Pranayama.

Raja Yoga
Raja means King. Raja Yoga provides perfect path to enlightenment if one has the right understanding and practices correctly. This is the path of mental concentration and suitable for meditative people. It is Kriya Yoga. It is stoppage of vibrations or modification of mind, to achieve a state above the mind to reach a mindless state for Godrealization. This clears the mind of past thoughts in subconscious mind (called Samskara). In the course of practicing this Yoga one gets super human powers (called Siddhi). (Refer Appendix ―G‖ - Page No. 159). One should ignore these powers and proceed in their Spiritual path. Then their inherent Divinity will manifest and will become free from human limitations. Any individual who wants to practice this Yoga should observe the following aspects: Yama (Self-control): Non-violence, truthfulness, nonthieving, continence, non-accumulation of worldly possessions (Bhagavata 2: 9: 39).  Niyama (Religious observance): Observe good habits i.e. purity of body and mind, contentment, austerity, study of Vedas, repetition of Divine name and meditation on God. 117

 Aasana: Learn proper posture for meditation.  Pranayama: Practice proper controlling of breath (concentrating restless mind).  Pratyahara: Withdraw senses from sense objects.  Dharana: Fix the mind on chosen object.  Dhyana: Practice meditation.  Samadhi: Practice mental concentration. Ego dissolves and the mind loses its identity, assumes formless state and realizes ultimate Truth.

Kundalini Yoga
In Sanskrit Kundali means coil. Kundalini, (means one with ear rings) refers to Shakti (Goddess of Power), which is said to lie asleep like a coiled serpent in the base of one‘s spine. The vital energy or nerve current of a person passes through two vertical channels (Ida channel and Pingala channel) which are on both sides of spinal column (Refer Appendix ―H― – Page No. 161). When Kundalini power is awakened, vital energy (power) rises from the base of the spine, passes through Sushumna channel (which is inside the spinal cord and normally closed) and through six Cosmic centers known as Chakras (wheels) to the final centre called Sahasrara, located under the top of the skull envisaged as a thousand petalled lotus. Then Spiritual illumination takes place.  Ida Channel: It is on the left side of the spine. It meets Sushumna channel at Ajna Chakra (central point between eyebrows) and flows through left nostril. When exhales, if breathe is stronger through left nostril, means vital energy is passing through this channel. When resting, energy passes through this channel.  Pingala Channel: It is on the right side of the spine. 118

It meets Sushumna channel at Ajna Chakra and flows through right nostril. When exhales, if breathe is stronger through right nostril, means vital energy is passing through this channel. When copious amount of physical activity is done, energy passes through this channel.  Sushumna Channel: It runs through the centre of the spinal cord to the top most point of the brain under the skull. Pingala channel and Ida channel join this Sushumna channel at Ajna Chakra. Normally this channel is closed. It opens when Kundalini power is awakened and Kundalini power flows through this channel up to Sahasrara.  Chakras (Cosmic Centers): There are six Chakras (Cosmic Centers). They are:  Muladhara (at the base of the spinal cord).  Svadhishthana (at the base of the genital).  Manipura (at the level of the navel).  Anahata (at the level of the heart).  Vishuddhi (at the medulla oblongata in the throat).  Ajna (between the eyebrows).  Solar Plexus, which is between the navel and the heart, activates the body. When Kundalini power passes through these Chakras, Spiritual level enhances as the level goes higher.  Space: There are three types of Spaces:  Mahakasha: Outer Space i.e. We, the Planets and the Stars.  Chittakasha: Mental Space i.e. Dreams and the Imagination world. 119

 Chidakasha: Knowledge Space i.e. one gets
access to this Space when Kundalini power awakens and enters Sushumna Channel. Asamprajnata Samadhi: This is the goal of the Kundalini Yoga. When Kundalini power passes through Chakras (Cosmic Centers), Spiritual illumination enhances as the level goes higher. When Kundalini power enters Sahasrara, through Sushumna channel, Spiritual illumination takes place (unites with Purusa i.e., God). Leaving the body (dying) through this Yoga, the Self disciplined Yogi does the following (Bhagavata 2: 2: 18 to 21):  Sits squat pressing anus with heels.  Draws air located in the circle located within the navel (Manipura Chakra) upward into Anahata Chakra, located in the heart.  Following the course of Udana air, takes to Visuddhi Chakra, located at the medulla oblongata in the throat.  With the help of reason gradually pushes it to the root of the palate (i.e., to the top of the Visuddhi Chakra).  Closes the seven passages (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils and mouth) takes air from the root of the palate to Ajna Chakra (the circle located at the middle of the eyebrows).  If one has no desire to visit the higher worlds, he pauses at the Ajna Chakra for about half an hour with his gaze fixed on his goal and taking the air into the Sahasrara Chakra (at the crown of the head) attains union with God.

120

 Finally breaking open the crown of the head, he abandons his body and the senses. Caution: Swami Vivekananda, master of this Yoga said ―There must be perfect chastity in thought, word and deed. Otherwise it may lead to insanity.‖

Pranayama
Prana means life, breath or vital energy. Some say it means vital current in the body. It is Soul (which has Tatasta Shakti of God) in the body. Yama means control or restrain. Some define Prana as the link between Absolute Consciousness, the mind and the body. Striver should clear the passage of the breath, inhale the air to ones utmost capacity, and hold the breath and then finally exhaling it. Or by reversing the process i.e., by exhaling the air, then hold the breath outside and finally inhaling. Eradicate the disorders of three cardinal humours of the body (wind, bile and phlegm). Prana (vital airs) is of ten kinds. They are (a) Prana (the air which we inhale or exhale through nostrils or though mouth and has its seat in the lungs), (b) Apana (the air which has downward course and has its seat in the anus), (c) Samana (the air which has its seat in the navel and is essential to digestion), (d) Udana (the air which has an upward course and has its seat in the throat, functions at the time of vomiting), (e) Vyana (the air which circulates in every direction and is diffused through the body), (f) Naga ( the air which enables us to belch), (g) Kurma (the air which helps us to open and close our eyes), (h) Krkala (the air that functions at the time of sneezing), (i) Devadatta (the air which enables us to yawn) and (j) Dhananjaya (the air 121

which nourishes the body) (Bhagavata 3: 6: 7). These ten airs again manifest into three forms i.e., vigour, will-power and bodily strength. Pranayama is combination of Puraka (means inhaling), Kumbhaka (means holding breath) and Rechaka (means exhaling). Sage Patanjali in his text of Yoga Sutras explained Pranayama as means for attaining higher state of awareness and reaching Samadhi. It is the most scientific method of controlling vital current in the body. It has been found that those animals which take longer duration of breath (i.e. time for one cycle) live longer lives and those which take shorter duration of breath live shorter lives. A person‘s character and health are a reflection of his/her breathe pattern. Generally people who take shorter breath are weak, nervous and unpredictable, where as those who take longer breath are usually stronger, trust worthy and happy people. The following types of Pranayama are commonly practiced:  Bhastrika: Take deep breath and then completely breathe out by pulling stomach inside (2 to 5 minutes).  Kapala Bhati: Push air forcefully out by pulling stomach inside (30 times or maximum 10 minutes).  Baharya: Breathe air out, touch chin to chest, squeeze stomach inside completely, hold for a while, then raise the chin to normal position and breathe in slowly (10 minutes).  Anuloma and Viloma: Close the right nasal with right hand thumb, breathe in from left nasal. Now open the right nasal and close the left nasal with right hand middle finger and breathe out from right nasal 122

(Anuloma). Similarly opposite process is Viloma. Close the left nasal with right hand middle finger, breathe in from right nasal. Now open the left nasal and close the right nasal with right hand thumb and breathe out from left nasal and so on (10 minutes).  Bhramri: Close both ears with thumbs, put both index fingers on forehead and rest the other three fingers at the base of the nose, breathe in. Now breathe out humming like a bee (10 minutes).  Udgeeta: Breathe in deeply. Chant OM while breathing out (10 minutes). Caution: Pranayama is to be learned from competent and learned Guru (teacher) and practiced properly. Otherwise it will have negative and dangerous effects.

Character of Yoga
The character of Yoga (meditation) gets the mind purified and takes to the path of God (Bhagavata 3: 28: 2 to 7):  Do your duty to the best of your ability.  Shrink from prohibited acts.  Remain contended with whatever you got as a dispensation of Providence.  Cease from duties connected with pursuit of religious merit, worldly possessions and sensuous enjoyment. (ends of human pursuit except Moksa). Take delight in duties tending to final beatitude (Moksa). 123

        

Take pure food in measured quantity. Practice non-violence (in thought, word and deed). Speak truth. Limit your possessions to the barest needs. Abstain from sexual commerce. Practice austere penance. Observe purity – both body and mind. Control breathes by slow degree. Withdraw senses from their objects and direct towards the heart with the help of the mind.  Fix the mind as well as vital airs (Prana or life) and compose the mind.  Gradually curb the wicked mind – addicted to evil ways, apply it to the contemplation (meditation) on God.

124

Mantra
Mantra means something by reflecting on which a person is saved from danger or the bondage of this world. Mantra, a system of syllables made with particular frequencies of vibration, is used to change one‘s vibration and frequency of vibration to a better state. According to expanding and contracting theory, the Universe is rhythmic more or less like a pulsating heart. Hinduism calls this great rhythm of the Universe by the name Spandana. Mantra is a method to accomplish to synchronize our rhythm and vibration to the rhythm and vibration of a particular Divine power. If there is any slightest error in pronunciation and sounds of Vedic Mantra, it can have harmful effects than any benefit.

Aum (OM)
The Sanskrit verbal root of ―AV-‖ means that which protects. Its Sanskrit name is Udgitha or Pranava. Udgitha or Pranava (the mystic syllable of Aum (OM) flowed from the cavity of Lord Brahma’s heart. Chandogya Upanishad (refer page No. 70), Taittiriya Upanishad (Sec – 8) and Mandukya Upanishad (1) give elaborate explanations to this Udgitha. It is the first sound (big bang) that came on Creation. It is Brahman. It is the seed of the Veda (extract from Padma Purana 3: 34). It is the essence of True Knowledge. It is the symbol of Hinduism. It represents Three in One:  Three Murties i.e. Lord Brahma (God for Creation), Lord Vishnu (God for Preservation) and Lord Shiva (God for Destruction).  Three Vedas i.e. Rg Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda. 125

 Three Gunas i.e. Sattva (serenity of Brahman), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (ignorance).  Turiya (Consciousness) i.e. awakening, dreaming and deep sleep.  Body, mind and intellect.  Three Lokas (worlds) i.e. Patala (below the Earth), Earth and Heaven.  The entire Universe (God) since it starts from throat, then passes through the center of the mouth and finally ends up by lips.  Three levels i.e. Gross, Subtle and Casual.  Three states i.e. Consciousness, Sub-Consciousness and Un-consciousness.  Three Universal processes i.e. Coming, Being and Going.

Gayatri Mantra
Gayatri Mantra has been composed by the Sage Viswamitra in meter Gayatri. Gayatri is the mother of Veda (extract from Padma Purana 3: 34). It is a prayer from Rg Veda. Gayatri has three names i.e. Gayatri (master of Senses), Saraswathi (presiding deity of Speech i.e. Vaak) and Savitri (master of Prana i.e. life force and Truth). These three represent purity of thought, word and deed. Prime source of this Creation is Shakti (energy) which is the power of God. We all come from the same source and merge into the same source. That Shakti (energy) is Gayatri, who is mother of the Vedas. It is addressed to Shakti (energy) of Surya (i.e., Sun), immanent and transcendent Divinity. Gayatri Mantra, with its proper pronunciation, rhythm and sound vibrations have the infinite potentiality, vibrant formula 126

and immense power. It purifies the subtle Karmas, helps in Spiritual awakening and Self - realization. It is considered to be the supreme method for gaining the Spiritual enlightenment. It activates all the seven major Chakras and connects them to seven great Spiritual realms of Existence. Gayatri Mantra reads as under (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5: 14: 1): ―Aum Bhoorbhuwah Swaha, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat”. (Aum Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi) Many eminent people derived and translated the meaning of Gayatri Mantra. Some of them are as under:  OM, we meditate upon the Spiritual effulgence of THAT adorable supreme Divine reality, the source of the Physical, Astral and the Heavenly spheres of existence. May THAT Supreme Being enlighten our intellect (so that we may realize the supreme Truth).  I invoke the Earthly plane, the Astral plane, the Celestial plane, the plane of human Spiritual Knowledge, the plane of Spiritual austerities and the plane of ultimate Truth. Oh, the great Spiritual light, which is the brilliance of all Divinity, we meditate upon You. Please illumine our minds.  OM, the absolute reality and its planes, on THAT finest Spiritual light, we meditate, as remover of all obstacles that, IT may inspire and enlighten us. 127

 OM, we meditate on the effulgence of that adorable Divine Being, who is the source and protector of three Worlds i.e. The Earthly plane (Bhu Loka), the subtle Ethereal plane (Bhuvar Loka) and The Heavenly plane (Swarga Loka). May that supreme Divine Being stimulate our intelligence in order that we may realize the supreme Truth.  May we meditate on the effulgent light of Him, who is worshipful and who has given birth to all the Worlds. May He direct the rays of our intelligence towards the path of God.  May the almighty God, illuminate our intellect to lead us along the right path. Oh God ! Thou art the giver of life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh, Creator of the Universe, May we receive Thy supreme sin destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Prayers: Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – 1 or 3: 3: 28
 Asato ma Sad gamaya -- means: Lead me from unreal to real Tamaso ma Jyotir gamaya -- means: Lead me from darkness to light Murtyor ma Amrutam gamaya -- means: Lead me from death to immortality Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti --means: Protect me with Peace, Peace, and Peace 128

 Aum, Purnam adah Purnam idam - means: That (God) is Zero (full), this (Soul) is zero, Purnat Purnam udacyate - means: From Zero, zero is born, Purnasya Purnam adaya - means: If zero is deducted from zero, Purnam eva vasisyate - means: Zero only remains. (Note: In this Sloka (verse) God and the Soul are compared to Zero (complete, full or totality). Zero, being without beginning and the end, so also God and the Soul being eternal with no beginning and end and the Soul being part (ansh) of God) (Invocation of Isa Upanishad).  Aum, Sa ha nav avatu, saha nau bhunaktu -- means: May He Protect us, be pleased with us both Saha viryam karavavahai: -- means: May we work together with vigour Tejasvi nav adhitam astu: -- means: May our study make us illumined Ma Vidvisavahai -- means: May we not envy among ourselves

129

Aum, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti -- means: Provide us Peace, Peace and Peace (Invocation of Katha Upaishad and Taittiriya Upanishad)  Mrutumjaya or Rudra or Trayambaka Mantra Mrutumjaya means conquer death. This Mantra is in Shiva Purana. AUM, Trayambakam yajamahe -- means: OM, We worship all knowledgeable, all knowing Isvara (Lord Shiva who has three eyes) Sugandhi pusti varadanam -- means: Who spreads fragrance of knowledge, who nourishes, grows and provides life to all beings Urvaru kamiva bandhana -- means: May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality Mrutor muksheeya mamrutat -- means: Be pleased and bless us to be in Your deathless state

130

Tantra
Tantra means ―weave‖ denoting continuity. Tantras are associated with medieval India having been written between 500 and 1,800 C.E (Common Era). There are 92 Tantras (64 Bhairava Tantras, 18 Rudra Tantras, and 10 Shiva Tantras). These are parallel set of disciplines to Veda discipline. Tantrism is marked by rejection of the orthodox Vedic notions and points that the percepts of the Vedas are too difficult for our age and an easier cult or doctrine has been revealed to them. Tantric texts are classified as Shaiva Agamas, Vaishnava Pancaratra Samhitas and Shakti (Divine Mother) Tantras. In the process of evolution, Maya conceals reality and separates into opposites i.e. consciousness and unconsciousness, pleasant and unpleasant etc. Evolution or the Out-going Current is only one half of the functioning of Maya. Involution or the Return Current takes the Jeev back towards the source or root of the reality, revealing the Infinite. Tantra is understood to teach the method of changing the Out-going Current into the Return Current, transforming the fetters created by Maya into that which Releases or Liberates. God is looked upon as both male and female principle called Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. Lord Shiva can be compared to potential energy and Goddess Shakti, who is creative power of Lord Shiva, is kinetic energy (when potential energy becomes active it becomes kinetic energy). When Lord Shiva becomes active, He is called Goddess Shakti. When Goddess Shakti becomes inactive she is called Lord Shiva. According to Tantras the creative principle of the world is union of Goddess Shakti (Divine Mother) 131

with Lord Shiva. Goddess Shakti is not indistinct from Lord Shiva, the Absolute of the Upanishads, but is the power of the Absolute. Their relationship is inseparable, like fire and burning power. Goddess Shakti has many other names; one of them is Goddess Parvathi. The texts in the Tantras are generally in the form of dialogues between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. When Lord Shiva is giving Spiritual teachings and Goddess Parvathi is listener they are called Agamas. When Goddess Parvathi plays the role of teacher and Lord Shiva listener, the texts are called Nigamas. Tantra Spiritual discipline is suitable for people from the highest to the lowest cultural levels. Some of the popular Tantra texts are as under:         Mahanirvana Kularnava Kulsara Prapanchasara Rudra Yamala Vishnu Yamala Brahma Yamala Tantra Raja

Tantra discipline gained importance in the 5 th Century C.E. When images of deities are installed in temples, geometric drawings (Mandalas) representing Deities, the Cosmos are drawn on the floor for the people to meditate and perform rituals. By Tantric discipline we come to know the nature of Brahman (Sat-Chit-Ananda) i.e. Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Then we are freed from desire, live detached life from objects of senses, break the chain of Karmas and finally from birth, death and rebirth, no 132

longer return to this world and enter the ocean of Immortal Bliss.

Mahanirvana Tantra
Aum (OM) TAT SAT – By uttering this sacred text whatever action a house - holder or a Sage begins, with it he gets the desired fruits (14: 154 and 155). There are two paths i.e. Pravritti Marg for family man (house - holder) and Nivritti Marg for renouncing monks. Duties of family man (house - holder) as per Pravritti Marg are as under:  Surrender the fruits of your actions to God.  You should earn your livelihood through honest means (struggle to become rich through honest means).  Life is meant for the service of God, poor and helpless.  You must look after your parents as tangible representatives of God.  You must look after your wife well (do not scold, hurt and show anger) and maintain with complete fidelity. Please her with love, faithfulness, sweet words, gifts, cloths and money.  Do not use foul language and brag about yourself i.e., fame, wealth, power, position or poverty.  You should maintain with pure heart and clean body. Do not pay excessive attention to food, clothes and appearance.  You should be enthusiastic, active and brave and fight for the right.  You must lovingly bring up your children, educate and marry them. 133

 You should take care of your brothers, sisters, relatives (if poor) and servants.  Carefully judge and select good friends.  Always speak truth and earn good name.  Do social service and plant trees. (Note: Please refer Page No. 48 and also 55)

Kularnava Tantra
 Human birth, the highest step in the ladder to liberation, is difficult to obtain. Pity on him who gets this birth and yet does not save himself.  One who bears the body; it is not possible for him to give up all his activities. He, who abandons the fruits of his actions, truly renounces.  Ananda (Bliss) is the form of Brahman and that Ananda is installed in this body.  The body is temple, Jeev (Soul) is God and Sadashiva is Brahman.  There is no mantra higher than the meditation, no God higher than the Self and no worship higher than the pursuit of Inner-Self.

134

Moksa (Liberation)
Samsaar (Mayic and Material world) means repeated passing of Soul through different worlds of gross, subtle and casual (repeated birth, death and rebirth) in other words everything in the Universe other than God. Moksa, Mukti, Salvation or Liberation of Soul from Samsaar can be obtained only through God - realization. Maya is the barrier in between God and the Soul. Foremost requirement for God realization of the Soul and Liberation from Samsaar is to break the bondage and cross over the barrier of Maya. Whoever may be, he/she, cannot cross over the bondage of Maya without devotion (Bhakti) towards God. Whoever devotionally surrenders to God, He would bestow His Grace to His devotee and then only the devotee is freed from the bondage of Maya (Bhagavata 2: 7: 42). The greatest quality of Brahman (God) is that He resides in every Soul (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4: 17). He is so kind, gracious, ever ready and always resides within the Soul (omnipresent), hoping and awaiting that at any moment the Soul may realize Him so that He can bless and Grace the Soul with Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss (Ananda). God cannot be understood by hearing and reading (Mayic senses) without His Grace (Katha Upanishad 1: 2: 23), (Mundaka Upanishad 3: 2: 3) and (Bhagavata 10: 14: 38). When a devotee has infallible love and devotion to God, totally dedicated and surrenders to Him, only then that Soul, with the Grace of God, crosses the barrier of the bondage of Maya and then with Divine senses understand, perceive, conceive and becomes God realized (Svetasvatara Upanishad 1: 10 and 6:23). God realization (Brahma Jnan) 135

can never be obtained without devotion (Bhakti) and God‘s Grace (Brahma Sutra 2: 3: 40). After God realization when the devotee is going to enter the Divine abode, his physical body is replaced with the Divine body. With that Divine body the Soul enters the Divine abode (Katha Upanishad 1: 3: 9). When the Soul attains union with Brahman, it loses its identity and merges in Brahman (Mundaka Upanishad 3: 2: 8). Manu Swayambhuva (first Manu of this Kalpa) told his grandson Dhruva (greatest devotee) that ―It is through forbearance (towards our elders); compassion (towards our inferiors); friendliness (towards our equals) and evenmindedness towards all living beings – that the Lord is thoroughly pleased (with us). On being thoroughly pleased by Lord a man, is rid of three modes of Prakrti (Gunas and their evolutes i.e., the subtle body) and becomes one with the all blissful Brahman (Bhagavata 4: 11: 13 and 14).

Qualification for Moksa (Liberation)
The people who realize God are (a) Who is free from desires and worships the Supreme Person pass beyond the seed of rebirth (Mundaka Upanishad 3: 2: 1); (b) Whose all desires (along with their subtle form) are totally destroyed and eliminated from their mind (Katha Upanishad 2: 3: 14) and (c) Who whole heartedly worships and adores the personal form of God and Spiritual (Divine) Guru (teacher) , through whom he receives the Divine Knowledge, Vision and Love of God (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6: 23). As per Jagadguru Adi Sankaracharya, human birth is the highest form of birth to any Soul through which one can easily attain Liberation, if one follows correct path. Hinduism suggests the following approach to attain Liberation: 136

 Discrimination between eternal and noneternal.  Renunciation of the enjoyment of fruits of actions by controlling sense organs of the physical body.  Tranquility: Detach mind from all objects and direct towards Brahman.  Self-Control: Detach sense organs, withdraw them to rest in their respective centers and cut the bonds of desire (Maya).  Forbearance: Endure all kinds of affliction.  Faith: Firm conviction towards teachings of Scriptures and Guru (Teacher).  Self-Surrender: Concentrate the intellect upon pure Brahman.  Longing for Liberation: Free yourself from ignorance (i.e. ego, senses, bondage etc.) through realization of one‘s true Self. In Bhagavata (2: 2: 15 to 18) it has been explained that an enlightened Soul at the time of leaving the body (death) observes the following:  Detaches mind from time and space.  Controls breathe and restrain senses with mind.  Merges intellect (along with mind) in Ksetrajna (the conscious principle in the body).  And Ksetrajna in the absolute Self.  Merges the Self in the Supreme Spirit.  Abstains from all the activities.  There is neither Sattva nor Rajas nor Tamas (i.e., Gunas) in that state, much less the Ahankara 137

(Ego) or Mahat (the principle of Cosmic intelligence) or Pradhana (Primordial Matter).  Gives-up false identification with the body, embrace with heart (every moment) the adorable form of Lord Vishnu (Brahman). In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains Soul, God and ways for Liberation as follows:  Soul (Chapter 2): Soul is unborn; eternal; constant; primeval; imperishable; free from decay; cannot be cut by weapons, burn by fire, wet by water and dried by wind; unmanifest; inscrutable and immutable (Bhagavad Gita 2: 18 to 25). Tat tvam asi (THAT art thou). Tat (THAT) refers to Brahman and tvam (you) refers to Soul (Chandogya Upanishad 6: 8: 7). The greatest secret is that if any Soul (Atma) desires to come to Me and be with Me forever, the easiest path is that he/she should fix his/her mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, prostrate before Me, love Me, remember Me all the time and dedicate his/her life for Me. Then surely he/she will come to Me. It is My promise (Bhagavad Gita – 18: 64 and 65).  Brahman (Chapters 8 and 10): Brahman is immutable, independent of any cause but Itself. unborn, origin unknown, eternal, pure – consciousness, omniscient, omnipresent, all pervading and seated in the heart of all beings. The creative energy of Brahman is that which causes all existence to come into being. Brahman Satya (Truth), Jnana (Knowledge) and Ananda (Bliss). 138

Ways to Liberation:
 Jnana Yoga (By way of Knowledge of Discrimination -- Chapter 2): By attaining Scriptural and Spiritual Knowledge one may achieve wisdom that destroys one‘s past Karmas which liberates the Soul from Samsaar (Mayic or material world).  Karma Yoga (By way of Action – Chapter 3): One must do his duties. By unselfish actions and not hoping for the fruits of your actions, detach your actions from your Self and do not accumulate Karmas.  Bhakti Yoga (By way of Devotion –Chapter 12): Through total devotion surrender your Self to Brahman. He forgives all your sins and eradicates your Karmas.

Moksa According to Sankhya School of Philosophy
The Soul or Atma is Purusa. Purusa is pure consciousness. The mind – body complex is an evolved form of unconscious primordial matter i.e. Prakrti (Maya). Prakrti, inherently unconscious, functions borrowing consciousness from Purusa. The bondage of Purusa is caused by aviveka or ignorance (Maya) and its evolved products are mind and body. While in bondage Purusa suffers mental and physical pain because of its false identification with mind – body complex. Purusa has to acquire Knowledge (Viveka Jnana). In this Philosophy Moksa (also called Kaivalya) means complete cessation of suffering and pain. It is Viveka Jnana which causes disentangling of Purusa from Prakrti and thereby Purusa attains Moksa. 139

Moksa According to Dvaita School of Philosophy
This Philosophy believes in postmortem Moksa. A person who goes through religious, ethical and moral discipline followed by right Knowledge, action, devotion and meditation lead to Moksa. There are five gradations or levels of Moksa (which are finite and for a limited period), which a true devotee does not accept in exchange for God‘s service. (Bhagavata 3: 29: 13 and 14). They are as under:  Salokya (residence in His Divine realm): It is the lowest level of Moksa. Soul goes to Ishta Loka (desired world) and enjoys His presence blissfully.  Sarsti (enjoying His powers except Creation, Preservation and Destruction of the Universe): It is next higher level of Moksa.  Samipya or Saanidya (living in His presence): It is the next higher level of Moksa. Soul enjoys bliss of His extreme proximity.  Sarupya (possessing a form similar to His) : It is next higher level of Moksa. Soul acquires the form of personal God and enjoys His intense Bliss.  Sayujya (absorption into Him): Sayujya or Kaivalya is the next higher level of Moksa. Soul blissfully absorbed in Brahman.  Bhakti Yoga: It has been described that Bhakti Yoga is the highest (final) goal, for transcending the realm of three Gunas (modes of Prakrti) the devotee thereby becomes qualified for My (God‘s) state.

140

Moksa According to Advaita School of Philosophy
In this Philosophy one can attain Moksa from Samsaar even when alive (Jeevan Mukti). One has to go through various religious, ethical and moral practices and worship (Upasana). This purifies the mind. After that intense meditation enables him/her to acquire Atma-Jnan (Knowledge of his/her inner Divine Self). It destroys ignorance (avidya) that covers the Knowledge of reality. Then he/she attains Jeevan Mukti. To him/her the body, like rest of the world, appears illusory. The illusory body exists as long as his/her Prarabdha Karma lasts. When his/her Prarabdha Karma exhausts, his/her illusory body dies. Then he/she attains disembodied release called Videha Mukti.

Moksa According to Vishishtadvaita School of Philosophy
This Philosophy does not believe in Jeevan Mukti. As per this Philosophy, a person can attain Moksa only after death. Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga are the only aids to Bhakti Yoga. One can attain Moksa only through Bhakti Yoga with God‘s grace (Brahma Sutra 2: 3: 40). A person who attains Moksa lives blissfully in Vaikunta in a Spiritual body in the presence of God.

Karma Mukti or Avantara Mukti (Liberation through Stages:
A person who has intensely meditated Saguna Brahman (Personal form of God) using sacred Mantra Aum (OM) goes to Brahma Loka after death. There he/she attains the Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman through Hiranyagarbha. 141

When the entire Universe is dissolved after Kalpa his/her Soul becomes one with Brahman.

Moksa from Holy Places and Rivers
Puranas and Epics extol the sanctity of many holy places and rivers. To live at or to undertake pilgrimage to those places and bathe in those rivers is enough to destroy one‘s sins (Karmas) and assist in the attainment of Moksa.

Moksa from any form
God liberates the Soul and gives Moksa, if the mind is fixed on God even one does Karma (actions) with any form i.e. anger, fear, enmity, desire, greed and ego (Bhagavata 7: 1: 39 to 46).

142

Conclusion
Idol Worship
Hindus use Fire (dispeller of darkness, symbol of purity, giver of warmth) as symbol of God. Hindus worship the Supreme Being in temples in the form of an image rendered as incarnation, embodiment or form. During the consecration ritual called Prana Pratishta (establishment of life) an image ceases to be a gross matter and becomes an actual presence or incarnation of Divinity on earth. The Divine Spirit is believed to remain in the icon as long as the devotee wishes. The temples and shrines are dedicated to many Deities, but consider only one as the supreme or may consider all Gods and Goddesses as equal, but worship the one who is their favourite. Most Hindus view all Divinities to be the manifestations of a single Godhead. Hinduism has a unique characteristic of tolerance. Hindus believe that God is one and He has many names and forms as per Rg Veda. Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudh Vadanti means He is one but wise call Him by many names. Note: Salagrama (smooth stone) is considered as natural form of Lord Vishnu.

Religion
Over the years the increased usage of different local vernacular languages, due to lack of education, diminished the status of Sanskrit works of Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and Epics as Scriptures and challenged the orthodox claim that Sanskrit is the exclusive vehicle for revelation and theological communication. It is not that vernacular literature 143

is at variance with the message of the Vedas and Upanishads. It is a belief that holy people, who composed in the living tongues, gathered the Truths from incomprehensible Vedas and Upanishads and made them accessible to everyone (including Sudras and out-castes). They were held up as ideal followers of the God and Goddesses they revered. Hindus started identifying themselves with reference to their caste, community, region and language and thus created internal divisions. Local traditions, culture, customs, language and pattern of rituals played important role than the Spiritual aspect of Hinduism. Holy texts of all religions provide with Spiritual paths to Liberation from repeated cycle of birth, death and rebirth. More meaningful terms in Hindu context are Dharma and Moksa. Dharma is to sustain Truth, Righteousness, Duty, Law and Justice in this world. Moksa is Liberation of the Soul from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth until to achieve a state of Bliss (Ananda). Present day Hindu life and rituals do not directly lead to such transformation, but enhance quality of life on the earth. While few people have always learned and kept alive Sanskrit Vedic traditions, others may only know few Sanskrit hymns and heard some stories from Puranas and Epics (as they are not able to read or understand Sanskrit versions of Vedas and Upanishads) and gradually shifted to devotional Bhajans , Sankirtanas and songs written in their own languages by various Hindu Saints. Gautama Buddha (founder of Buddhism) and Mahavir (founder of Jainism) and others questioned the authoritarian structure of traditional Hindu religion such as religious leadership of priestly caste Brahmins and the very caste system itself. Some even questioned that Vedas are 144

not Divine Revelations. They said that paths of Liberation are open to all and not just to higher castes of the society. Some Hindu Saints, who wrote devotional verses, poems, songs and offered hope, inspired and consoled the masses, are as under:  Jagadguru Adi Shankarachrya (509 – 477 B.C.E): Advaita Philosophy.  Jagadguru Ramanujacharya (1040 – 1137 C.E): Vishistadvaita Philosophy.  Jagadguru Madhavacharya (1218 – 1317 C.E): Dvaita Philosophy.  Sri Kabir (1440 – 1518 C.E): Blend of Hinduism and Islam.  Sri Surdas (1483 – 1563 C.E): Lord Krishna devotee.  Sri Chaitanya Swami (1485 – 1533 C.E): Lord Krishna devotee.  Sri Tulasi Das (1543 – 1623 C.E): Lord Rama devotee.  Smt Mira Bai (1547 – 1614 C.E): Lord Krishna devotee.  Sri Bhakta Tukaram (1598 - 1650 C.E): Lord Krishna devotee.  Sri Tyagaraja (1757 – 1847 C.E): Lord Rama devotee.  Sri Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772 – 1833 C.E): Reformer and founder of Brahmo Samaj.  Sri Dayananda Saraswathi (1824 – 1883 C.E): Reformer and founder of Arya Samaj.  Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836 – 1886 C.E): Witnessed Divine Light.

145

 Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Col Henry Steel Olcott and William Q. Judge (1875): Founders of Theosophical Society (Universal Brother - hood, Religion, Philosophy and Nature).  Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902 C.E): Founder of Ramakrishna Math and Mission.  Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896 – 1977 C.E): In 1966 established International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York.  Maharshi Mahesh Yogi (1911 – 2008 C.E): Founder of Transcendental Meditation movement.  Jagadguru Sri Kripalu Maharaj Ji (1922 ): Known as Bhaktiyogarasavatara (Descension of Divine Love and Bliss). Established Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat. Devotee of Radha – Krishna.  Sri Satya Sai Baba (1926 ): Charismatic Religious Leader. Ye tat phalam Sri Parameswara arpana masthu: I surrender this fruit to Brahman (God)

146

Appendix „A‟ (Refers to Introduction, Page No. 6)

Indian History
1. 197,19,61,610 (Human years ago – as in 2008): Present Kalpa, known as Shveta Varaha Kalpa, started (1St day of the 51st year of Lord Brahma). 2. First Manvantara, known as Swayambhuva Manvantara (30,672 Crore human years): Period of Manu Swayambhuva and his wife Satarupa. Manu Swayambhuva assisted Lord Brahma in the process of Creation during this period. He had two sons (Priyavrata and Uttanapada) and three daughters. Bhakta Prahlada (son of demon Hiranya Kasipa) was in the family succession of his first son Priyavrata. Bhakta Dhruva (who became Pole Star, with the Grace of God) was from his second son Uttanapada. Earth rotates along the axis of the center point of Earth and Pole star, means Bhakta Dhruva is the guiding personality for human beings. 3. Second Manvantara known as Swarochish Manvantara: The period of Manu Swarochish started 166,33,90,210 human years ago. 4. Third Manvantara known as Uttam Manvantara: The period of Manu Uttam started 135,48,18,810 human years ago. 5. Fourth Manvantara known as Tamas Manvantara: The period of Manu Tamas started 104,62,47,410 human years ago. 147

6. Fifth Manvantara known as Raivat Manvantara: The period of Manu Raivat started 73,76,76,010 human years ago. 7. Sixth Manvantara known as Chakchush Manvantara: The period of Manu Chakchush started 42,91,04,610 human years ago. 8. Seventh (present) Manvantara known as Vaivaswata Manvantara: The period of Manu Vaivaswata (son of Vivaswan) started 12,05,33,210 human years ago. Manu Vaivaswata had ten sons and one daughter. Surya (Sun) Vansha (family) started from his elder son Ikchvaku and Chandra (Moon) Vansha (family) started from his daughter Ela. 9. Parashurama (sixth incarnation (Avatar), of Lord Vishnu) : To annihilate the then Kings, who used to obstruct the Rishis to pursue their Spiritual progress, during Kali Yuga period of 19th Maha Yuga of the Vaivaswata Manvantara i.e. about 3,97,44,000 human years ago. 10. Lord Rama (seventh incarnation (Avatar), of Lord Vishnu) : During Treta Yuga period of 24th Maha Yuga of the Vaivaswata Manvantara i.e. about 1,81,44,000 human years ago. He remained on the Earth planet for 11,000 years. 11. 27 Maha Yugas of the Vaivaswata Manvantara: The period of 27 Maha Yugas of the Vaivaswata Manvantara i.e.,11,66,40,000 have already lapsed. 12. 28th Maha Yuga (present Yuga) of the Vaivaswata Manvantara (present Manvantara): The period of present 28th Maha Yuga started 38,93,110 human years ago. 148

13. Lord Krishna (eighth incarnation (Avatar), of Lord Vishnu): During Dwapara Yuga period of the 28th Maha Yuga of the Vaivaswata Manvantara i.e. 3228 – 3102 B.C.E. He remained on the Earth planet for 125 years. 14. Mahabharata War: It lasted for 18 days in 3139 B.C.E. 15. First three Yugas of the present 28th Maha Yuga (i.e., Krta or Satya, Treta and Dwapara Yugas): The period of the first three Yugas of the present 28th Maha Yuga i.e., 38,88,000 human years have already lapsed. 16. Ascension of Lord Krishna and start of Kali Yuga (present Yuga) of the present 28th Maha Yuga: Kali Yuga (present Yuga) started in 3102 B.C.E (i.e., 5,110 years ago) (Bhagavata 12: 2: 33). 17. Brihadrath (Magad) Dynasty: 3128 – 2139 B.C.E (21 Kings ruled for 1,000 years). 18. Indus Valley Civilization (Harappa Culture): 27002500 B.C.E. 19. Pradyot Dynasty: 2139 – 2001 B.C.E (5 Kings for 138 years). 20. Shishunaga Dynasty: 2001 – 1641 B.C.E (10 Kings for 360 years). 21. Gautama Buddha (ninth Incarnation (Avatar), of Lord Vishnu) : 1894 – 1814 B.C.E. Founder of Buddhism. 22. Nanda Dynasty: 1641 – 1541 B.C.E. 23. Maurya Dynasty: 1541 – 1241 B.C.E (10 Kings for 300 years). 24. Chandragupta Maurya: 1541 – 1507 B.C.E (34 Years) 25. Bindusar: 1507 – 1479 B.C.E (28 Years). 26. Ashoka Vardhan: 1479 – 1443 B.C.E (36 Years). 149

27. Shung and Kanua Dynasty: 1241 – 784 B.C.E (14 Kings for 457 years). 28. Andhra Dynasty: 784 – 328 B.C.E (30 Kings for 456 years). 29. Maha Jana Padas: 700 – 300 B.C.E. 30. Gupta Dynasty: 328 – 83 B.C.E (7 Kings for 245 years). Chandra Gupta 328 – 321 B.C.E. Samudra Gupta Ashoka Aditya Priyadarshin or Ashoka the Great 321 – 270 B.C.E. 31. Alexander’s Invasion: 326 B.C.E. 32. Vikramaditya: 102 B.C.E – 15 C.E. 33. Shalivahana: 25 – 85 C.E (established Shalivahana Shaka in 78 C.E). 34. Rajput Rule: 85 – 1192 C.E (1,107 Years). 85 – 240 C.E – Kushan. 280 – 550 C.E – Gupta. 750 – 1174 C.E – Pala. 848 – 1070 C.E – Chola 34. Hoysala Empire: 1040 – 1346 C.E. 35. Kakatiya Empire: 1083 – 1323 C.E. 36. Islamic Sultanates: 1192 – 1757 C.E (565 Years). 1206 – 1526 C.E – Delhi Sultanates. 1490 – 1596 C.E – Deccan Sultanates. 1526 – 1857 C.E – Mughal Empire. 37. Vijayanagara Empire: 1336 – 1565 C.E. 38. Colonial Era: In 1757 East India Company established its regime in Bengal and in 1857 British rule was established all over India and ruled for a total period of 190 years. 39. Independent India: 1947 C.E onwards.

150

40. Balance period of the present Kali Yuga of the present (28th) Maha Yuga: The remaining period of the present Kali Yuga of the present (28th) Maha Yuga is 4,26,890 human years. Note: (a) In Puranas there are many more details of important rulers and Divine personalities like Harischandra and Bhagirath, who are from Surya (Sun) Vansha (family) between Ikswaku and Lord Rama. In Chandra (Moon) Vansha (family) important personalities are Dushyant (of Mahabharata), Bharadwaja and King Hasti (who established Hastinapura – Kuru Kingdom. (b) Other than Bharata Varsha (ancient India), no other country (or even any other place) on the earth planet has such an ancient history and such an eternal religion as Hinduism.

151

H

Hindu Scriptures

Appendix “B” (Refers to Page No.10) Darshanas
(Philosophies) Vedanta Sutras

Vedas
(Oral citation which is heard)     Rg Veda Yajur Veda Sama Veda Atharva Veda

Smritis
(To be remembered)

Tantras
 Bhairava (64)  Rudra (18)  Shiva (10)         Mahanirvana Kularnava Kulsara Prapanchasara Rudra Yamala Vishnu Yamala Brahma Yamala Tantra Raja, etc. Etc.

Dharma  Puranas (18) Sutras (18) (Agni, Bhagavata, (Law Books) Brahma, Garuda, Manu-Smriti Brahmananda, Linga, Markandeya (includes Devi –Mahatyam), Padma, Shiva, Skanda, Vayu, Vishnu, etc) Samhitas Brahmanas Aranyakas  Upa Puranas (18) (Hymns) (Explanations) (Interpretations) (Sanat-Kumara, Narasimha, ShivaRahasya, DeviUpanishads (108) (Vedanta) Bhagavata, Varuna, Surya, Ganesha, etc.)
Brhadaranyaka, Chandogya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Isa, Kena, Katha, Mundaka, Mandukya, Prasna, Svetasvatara, Maitri, Kausitaki etc.

Epics (Itihasas)

 Ramayana  Mahabharata (Bhagavad Gita)  Mahakavyas

 Other Puranas (Sthala, Kula)

(

 Sankhya  Yoga  Poorva Mimamsa  Vaisheshika  Nyaya  Uttara Mimamsa -Advaita ( -Vishistadvaita -Dvaita

Page No.152

Proc

Process of Creation

Appendix “C” (Refers to Page No. 36)

Consciousness

Brahman

Time

Atma

Destiny of Atma

Maya
(Page No. 153)

Mahat (Principle of Cosmic Intelligence)
Witness (Identifies itself with Maya)

Ahankara (Cosmic Ego)

(Continued in next Page)

(Continued from Previous Page)

Sattivika Ego

Rajasika Ego

Tamasika Ego

Mind Ego Reason

Buddhi (Understanding) Sense Perceptions Auditory Tactile Sight Taste Olfactory

Indriyas

Subtle Elements Sound Touch Colour Taste Smell

Gross Elements Ether Air Fire Water Earth

Organs of Actions Vocal Apparatus Hands Feet Genitals Defecation

154

Appendix “D” (Refers to Sankhya Philosophy, Page No. 36) Process of Panchikarana

155

Cosmic Day and Cosmic Night

Appendix “E” (Refers to Maha Yuga, Page No.37)

COSMIC NIGHT (Period of one Kalpa - 432 Crore Human years) Pralaya (Destruction) (Chaos) Creation Starts LORD BRAHMA (Life span - 100 Cosmic Years) (31,104 Crore Human Years) Now 51st Year is running Pralaya (Destruction) Starts

Dawn

Dusk

Creation Laya  Creation

(Page No. 156)
COSMIC DAY (Period of one Kalpa – 432 Crore Human Years) (Present Kalpa – Shveta Varaha Kalpa) (Continued in next Page)

COSMIC DAY (Period of one Kalpa – 432 Crore Human Years) (Present Kalpa – Shveta Varaha Kalpa)

(Continued from previous Page)

Krta or Satya Yuga (17,28,000 Human years) Y U G A S Treta Yuga (12,96,000 Human years) Dwapara Yuga (8,64,000 Human years) Kali Yuga (4,32,000 Human years) Maha Yuga (71) (Present Maha Yuga is 28th) (43,20,000 Human years)

M A N V A N T A R A (14)
(14)

SANDHYA KALA (15 ) INDRA SAVARNI (14 ) SANDHYA KALA (8th) VAIVASWATA (7 ) (Present Manvantara) SANDHYA KALA (2nd) Swayambhuva (1st) 30.672 Crore Human Years A SANDHYA KALA (1st)
th th

th

(4)

S A N D H Y A K A L A (15)
(15)

Present Yuga is Kali Yuga (Started on 17 Feb 3102 B.C.E.)

A

157

Appendix “F” (Refers to Dharma, Page No. 50) Levels of Dharma

158

Appendix “G” (Refers to Yoga, Page No. 117) Raja Yoga R

Siddhis – Super Human Powers
(Bhagavata 2: 2: 22)  Anima -- Ability to become as minute as a molecule and penetrate into solid objects.  Laghima  Prapti  Prakamya  Mahima  Isita  Vasita  Kamavasayita  Kechari Vidya  Mrutunjaya Vidya  Patala Siddhi  Kaya Siddhi -- Extreme lightness of the body or ability to levitate. -- Attaining anything (ex. Moon). -- Acquisition of free and irresistible will. -- Ability to produce material objects as real. -- Supreme domination. -- Subjugating all by occult power. -- Suppressing (controlling) all desires. -- Ability to fly. -- Ability to conquer death. -- Ability to acquire hidden treasures. -- Ability to enter into another body. 159

 Trikala Jnana    

-- Knowledge of past, present future. Ichcha Mrutyu -- Power to die at will. Antardhana -- To become invisible. Kshuptipasa Nivritti -- Going beyond hunger and thirst. Sarva Bhutanuta Jnana – Power to understand all animal languages.

160

161

Appendix “H”

(Refers to Yoga, Page No. 118) Kundalini Yoga

The Chakras (Cosmic Centers)

Sahasrara
(At the top most point of the skull) One thousand petals: Here yogi attains cosmic consciousness

Ajna Chakra
(Between the eye brows) 2 petals, controls mind

Vishuddhi Chakra
(At the medulla oblongata in the throat) 16 petals, controls hearing

Anahata Chakra Ida Channel
(Left nostril) (At the level of the heart) 12 petals, controls touch

Solar Plexus Sushumna Channel
(Inside backboneSpinal Cord) (Between the heart and the navel) Activates the body

Manipura Chakra
(At the level of the navel) 10 petals, controls sight

Pingala Channel
(Right nostril)

Svadhishthana Chakra
(At the base of the genital) 6 petals, controls taste

Muladhara Chakra
(At the lower end of the spinal cord) 4 petals, controls smell

Essentials of Hinduism 1. Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma (eternally exists in God and revealed by Him). 2. Hindu Scriptures are Revealed Eternal Divine Truths. 3. Hinduism and Hindu culture have rich values and heritage for humanity. 4. Love, peace, prosperity, dignity, happiness and humanity are universal religion. 5. The world of Spirituality begins where the logic (which is limited by the boundaries of intellect and reason) ends. 6. Hindu Scriptures contain Divine Science. 7. Sanskrit is a Divine language. 8. History of Bharata Varsha (ancient India) dates back to about 197 Crore human years (start of present Kalpa i.e., Shveta Varaha Kalpa). 9. About 5,000 years ago Sage Veda Vyasa reproduced Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. 10. Brahman (God) is Sat – Chit - Ananda (Truth – Knowledge – Bliss). 11. God is Divine with infinite absolute Divine virtues. 12. Pillars of Virtues – (a) Vidya (purity acquired through knowledge of God), (b) Dana (charity prompted by compassion), (c) Tapas (austerity), (d) Satya (truthfulness). 13. There are three eternal entities – God, Souls and Maya (material world). 14. Soul (Atma, Jeev, Self) is part (ansh) of God. 15. God lives within the Soul. 162

16. Soul is the central point of the Universe. 17. The consciousness that animates this mind – body complex is the true Self. 18. Maya (Prakrti, Cosmic power, Material world) is eternal power of God. 19. Universe has evolved from of Maya. 20. God is governor of both Souls and Maya. 21. Sattva Guna (pious), Rajo Guna (passion), Tamo Guna (ignorance) are modes (evolved) from Maya. 22. Every individual has a mixture of Sattva Guna, Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna qualities. 23. Indriyas (5 sense perceptions and 5 organs of actions); mind and intellect are made (evolved) of Maya. It is easy to get attached to Maya (worldly happiness) to satisfy Indriyas and mind (desires). 24. Everyone knows their body. But they don‘t know themselves (their Soul, Self or Atma). 25. Soul is part of God (Bliss) and always seeks Bliss (God). 26. There are two types of happiness (Bliss) – (a) Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss through God realization and (b) Limited and temporary worldly (Mayic) happiness by attachment to this world. 27. It is natural to get attachment to material worldly (Mayic) happiness to satisfy the sense organs and the mind. 28. Desire is the root cause for attachment to Maya (material world). 29. Everyone at every moment does action either to get happiness or to end unhappiness. 30. If one does not feel unhappy it does not mean that he/she is happy. But if one is happy it definitely means that he/she is not unhappy. 163

31. All beings are different, but everyone and at every moment wants only the same thing i.e., Happiness. 32. Happiness (God) is inside every being, but everyone seeks happiness from outside i.e., Maya (material world). 33. Material association is the cause of lust, anger, confusion, forgetfulness, loss of intelligence and total calamity. 34. To get happiness (Ananda – Divine Bliss) we had spent innumerable lives, but did not get happiness, because we loved the world all along. 35. We live in God‘s Ananda (this world). But still we do not have Ananda (Bliss) due to our ignorance. 36. There are five forms of ignorance – (a) Avidya (fundamental ignorance), (b) Asmita (egotism), (c) Raga (attraction), (d) Dwesa (aversion) and (e) Abhinivesa (fear of death). 37. To remove ignorance one should gain knowledge (Jnan) and enjoy Ananda (Bliss). 38. Mind is the root and desire, anger and greed are the causes for all evils. 39. One should put aside false pride, hypocrisy, and other vices and cultivate good qualities such as truthfulness, nonviolence, compassion, faith and cleanliness. 40. God dislikes the proud and is pleased with the humble. 41. Mind always waver, unsteady, uncontrollable, unbelievable and undependable. 42. Knowledge, Yoga (self control, meditation) and Bhakti (devotion) are the means to control mind. 43. He, who controls mind, becomes Saint. 44. Don‘t apply your mind. It is Mayic (evolved from Maya) and always misguides you which lead to ignorance. 164

Follow Scriptures. They are Revealed Eternal Divine Truths and lead to knowledge. 45. Desire is the root cause of this world (sorrows). 46. Desire arises to satisfy sense organs. 47. Anger erupts when desire is not fulfilled. 48. Ego, greed and attachment grow when desire is fulfilled. 49. One loses discrimination when anger, ego, greed and attachment grow. 50. Ego is bye product of Maya. 51. Once we get rid of our ego, our true nature emerges. 52. Sorrow is because of desire and ignorance. 53. Daan (sacrifice or donation), not for fame or name, is the method to subdue desire, anger, greed, ego and attachment. 54. Any amount of material offering to God has no meaning. All material world (Maya) or matter is God‘s own. 55. To get Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss detach from material worldly (Mayic) happiness. 56. Maya creates consistent mirage and coerce the senses into believing the appearance (material world). 57. Maya (material world) turns the Soul away from God. 58. Every Soul at every moment is Spiritual and seeks happiness, love and peace (these are virtues and attributes of God as per Vedas). 59. Love, compassion, humility, truthfulness, self-control, sacrifice and forgiveness are highest virtues. 60. Annihilation of ego opens the inner Spiritual realm. 61. By Yoga (meditation – connecting link to God) mind gets purified and takes to the path of God. 62. One, who controls the senses, mind and ego, attains God realization. 165

63. Souls, due to ignorance, lose sight of their identity (as part of God) and associate themselves on their own (bondage) with Maya (body, material world) attracted by its charm. 64. Maya is the barrier between God and the Souls. 65. Souls, attracted by and associated with Maya, have turned outward from God. Turn about towards God. 66. When one realizes God, Maya (material world) disappears like Sun light dispels darkness. 67. Detach from material world and attach to God. 68. If you avoid God you get worldly attachment, which gives you only sorrows and no happiness. Detach from worldly attachment and attach to God to get eternal Divine Bliss. 69. There are two types of happiness (Ananda) – Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss (Brahmananda) is attained when detached from worldly happiness (Mayananda). 70. Everyone (Souls) love their body (which has evolved from Maya and the Souls are embodied to it) which gives only sorrows, but neglect to love God, who lives within the Souls and ever ready and gracious to liberate the Soul, from the bondage of Maya, and gives Infinite Eternal Divine Bliss. 71. When Soul breaks the barrier of Maya, becomes free from bondage of Maya and attains God realization. 72. Soul, being part of God and Divine, can never be satisfied with material happiness. 73. God is omnipresent. See God in everyone, everything and everywhere. 74. Regard all living beings as God‘s own manifestation. 75. God is nearer than the nearest (for those who realize) and farther than the farthest (for those who are attached to Maya (material world). 166

76. God gave Shakti (power) to Soul to perform actions. Decision as to what to do is left to the Soul. So Soul gets the fruits (results) for its decisions and actions. 77. Soul is bound (gets results) by its own actions except when they are performed for the sake of sacrifice. 78. Attach mind to God and do your duties without expecting any results (fruits). 79. One need not ask anything from God. He knows what to give and when to give. 80. Karma Yoga (Yoga of action) means perform worldly duties with senses and body, while mind is attached and devoted to God. 81. Bhakti (devotion) eradicates the elements of Rajo Guna (passion) and Tamo Guna (ignorance). 82. Karma Yoga (Yoga of action) leads to Jnana Yoga (Yoga of knowledge), Jnana Yoga leads to Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of devotion) and Bhakti Yoga leads to Moksa (Liberation from birth death and rebirth). 83. Manifest your Divine power, hidden in your Soul, through Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas. 84. True devotion to God is the only means to attain God‘s Grace. 85. God‘s Grace can be obtained only by totally surrendering to Him. 86. God is ever ready to Grace when one totally surrenders to Him. 87. Our heart is restless until it finds rest in God. 88. Devotional service manifests as the most elevated, pure love for God.

167

89. The true nature of pure love of God is beyond description. 90. Pure love of God manifests at the most subtle consciousness, devoid of material qualities and material desires, increasing at every moment and never interrupted. 91. Having obtained pure love of God, one looks only at God, hears only about Him, speaks only of Him and thinks only of Him. 92. Bhakti (devotion) results from one‘s all obstructions to taking pleasure in the Supreme Self. 93. Bhakti consists of offering one‘s every act to the Supreme Lord and feeling extreme distress in forgetting Him. 94. Bhakti is the fruit of all endeavor. 95. Bhakti is its own fruit. 96. Bhakti is the embodiment of peace and supreme ecstasy. 97. There are no distinctions among pure devotees in terms of social class, education, bodily beauty, family status, wealth, occupation and so on. 98. He truly knows God, who knows Him as beyond knowledge. 99. When the Spiritual eye opens, bodily eyes close, and it sees nothing but God. 100. Spirituality is Soul‘s evolution from the pleasure of the senses to the realization of the Self (Atma Jnan). 101. Empty the mind of desires, thoughts and ego that makes the space for God to establish. 102. At the stage of Brahma Jnana (God realization) Maya disappears and Soul dwells in Bliss. 103. Aum (OM) is the start of Creation. 168

104. Moksa is not any elusive destination, but the sacred journey of life itself. 105. Without Bhakti (devotion) there is no Mukti (Moksa). 106. Love God repeat only God, not repeat not the world, which has evolved from Maya (illusion). 107. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. 108. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. 109. Aum (OM) Namah Sivaya. 110. AUM (OM) Namo Narayanayana Maha. 111. AUM (OM) Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

169

Glossary
1. Advaita -- A sub - school of Vedanta Philosophy teaching oneness of God, Soul and the Universe. 2. Altar -- Table or flat bloc for sacrifice or offering to a deity. 3. Atheist -- Belief that there is no God. 4. Brahman -- Impersonal or personal form of God (Absolute reality, Pure spirit, Pure Consciousness, One and the only cause of everything, Eternal, Infinite and Changeless). 5. Brahmin -- Who possess Spiritual and moral (Sattva Guna) virtues i.e., truthfulness, serenity of mind, nonviolence, compassion and unselfishness. 6. Causation -- To change. 7. Consecration -- Declare sacred, dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose. 8. Dvaita -- A sub-school of Vedanta philosophy teaching dualism. 9. Effulgence -- Radiant, Shine. 10. Exorcism -- Expel (a supposed evil spirit) by prayer. 11. Invocation -- Summoning of supernatural beings by prayer. 12. Liturgy -- Prescribed form of public worship, Book of Common Prayer. 13. Manifest -- Clear or obvious to the eye or mind, reveal itself. 14. Mnemonic -- Designed to aid the memory. 15. Omnipotent -- Having absolute power. 16. Omniscient -- Knowing everything. 17. Parable -- Story used to illustrate a moral or a spiritual teaching. 170

18. Philosophy -- Use of a reason in seeking Truth and knowledge of reality. 19. Polytheistic -- Belief in or worship of more than one God. 20. Prakrti -- Primordial matter. 21. Purusa -- Soul, Pure spirit, Consciousness, Eternal sentient principle (used both for God and Soul). 22. Revered -- Religious respect. 23. Scriptures -- Sacred writings. 24. Shruti -- Oral citation, Revealed Knowledge (The Vedas). 25. Smriti -- To be remembered. Scriptures other than the Vedas. 26. Snataka -- Student who bathed in the water of knowledge. 27. Subtle -- Elusive, mysterious, hard to grasp. 28. Tanmantras -- Elementary constituents of the Universe. 29. Tantras -- A class of Scriptural texts not derived directly from Vedas. 30. Tranquil -- Detach mind from objects and direct towards Brahman. 31. Transcendental – God‘s existence beyond our space, time and causation. 32. Treatises -- A written work dealing formally and systematically. 33. Upanishads -- Scriptures. Very rich in Philosophical content (part of Vedas). 34. Vanity -- Unreal thing, conceit of one‘s appearance.

171

About the Compiler

Colonel Veluri Annappa Sastry (Retired) is born in 1943 in an orthodox Hindu family at Bhimavaram (W.G.Dist, A.P). In 1968 he joined as Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army. In 1971 he took part in Indo-Pak war at Jammu Sector. In 1988 he was awarded Chief of Army Staff, Commendation by General K. Sunderji for his exemplary conduct and meritorious service. In 1992 he got promotion to the rank of Colonel. In 1996, on superannuation, he retired from the Army. He settled at Secunderabad (A.P) and leading a peaceful retired life. His hobbies are reading books (on subjects like Religion, History, Geography, Nature and Science) and plays Golf. His wife Smt Santha created a loving atmosphere at home for their Spiritual growth. He has two daughters. He got them married and they are well settled in U.S.A. Many times he went abroad and he interacted well with everyone without any different feelings for religion, region, language, caste and creed. He loves nature and has compassion for the less privileged and sub-human beings. He practices Hinduism to its true spirit and proudly says that he is the happiest person because he is always True to himself and follow Dharma at all levels.

.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.