Tuesday, September 27, 2016

‘ Rites , Rituals and Dharma as a way of Life ‘

‘ Rites ,  Rituals and Dharma as a way of Life ‘
  • P.Natarajan.

Some allow a doubt how far the epics, puranas are true. To clear the doubt , we can approach the subject in both the ways. First, the places, happenings referred in puranas are all verifiable by visits and inquiries. People undertake yatra to visit such holy places and have darshan. Places referred in puranas exist today also. There are proofs for acts that had really taken place as referred by Krishna. In case we look at the contents are of story value only, they can.not be set aside as having neither morals nor themes. The essence of the teachings what epics, puranas and upanishads portray are of high discipline contents, wholesome and would guide the people to conduct and lead a life of dharma.. Once we lead ourselves in such a direction, we would realize the truth behind them and drop the negative views once and for all..

Krishna himself narrates in Bhagavat Gita how a true devotee should be and what discipline he has to adhere to.      Krishna.jpg

He does not say ‘be a devotee’ and do whatever one likes. That is the basic difference between learning in an educational Institution and learning veda or such devotional texts taught in a Gurukulam way. A bachelor degree may pave way for a career and yearnings. But in the context of learning to lead a devotional life, one has to be disciplined and perform only such acts that are worthy of, from day one till his life lasts. Bhagavan himself advocates the conduct of a true devotee for his acceptance. A person with staunch bakhti would always relish the thoughts about Bhagavan, his deeds, and share his feelings with others in no uncertain ways and lead them also to appreciate and carry forward such noble thoughts.
Let us understand the hypothesis of Sastras. Vedasastras teach rites and rituals -  which karma to be performed in what way..Vedantam discusses brahmam worshipped by Karmas. Smriti also advocates the same. Bodhayana Smriti, Asvalayana Smriti, Gautam Smriti educates about samsakarams. What to do when births take place, what to do for marriage or seemantham and what to do when one breathes last. Epics and puranas teach how to improve knowledge or jnana and bhakti with a real life background.

Bhagavan is represented by three ways - Matru Devo bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava - Parents lead the children to learn the right things, Guru imparts knowledge and Athithi Devo bhava tells the morals of ‘give and take’.

Sanathana Dharmic principles outline the relationship between body-atma- jnana which finds a strong root in the Vedantam of Indian way of thinking. It believes that body and atma are different. Body is perishable whereas atma is ‘nityam’ , siranjeevi or ever present. Where the atma of the deceased (?) -  would be  naturally the next question. It lives in the succeeding births based on prarabdha. Atma takes different bodies depending on the karma theory. Bhakti marga is the only way to get rid of the cycle of birth and death. Gita preaches how to make the atma trouble free and remain peaceful and entrenched in devotion. But when one looks after the body, he is bound to err and commit sin which makes the existing birth as miserable. Puranas , Srimad Ramayanam, Mahabharatham lucidly brings out the morals or first principles by judiciously mixing story, history and real happenings.

The role of dharma :-  Dharmas are that which is rendered, undertaken or practised without  anticipation of benefits any. The root in Sanskrit for dharma is dhri meaning to hold, support or protect.  Besides we should do such dharmas which are prescribed in scriptures. Non-violence, annadhanam, planting trees, constructing waterworks, speaking truth, dispassionate trends, developing no greed, no hatred feelings - are all dharmic ways which when adhered to pleases the Almighty.  “ Dharmena papam apanutati” -  atmarakshanam  takes place. Guru or Acharya guides the devotee in the religious matters and in performing dharma. The presence of Sun only makes the Lotus to blossom. Any artificial heat would only wither away the flower. Self medication would lead to troubles whereas a physician prescribes the medicine with dosage required. Guru is a mediator between God and an individual. An individual is not all knowing and has to seek knowledge or jnana to perceive God and noble ideals.

Krishna says “ pasur manushya bhakshivacha vaishnava samshraya:!
Thenaiva they prayachyanti tat Vishno: paramam padam “ !!

There Is no direct way to reach the lotus feet of Vishnu. (paramapadam).
Whoever the subject may be like pasu, man or bird, they have to take the help of a guru to reach the ultimate destination.

Sastras portray that jeevatma are the wealth or belongings of paramatma. Once this concept is conceived or enshrined, God takes care of the living beings as parents do. We rejoice in the thoughts of the Almighty. What we enjoy or eat should not be in loneliness Our pleasure is doubled when we share our thoughts or food we eat. When we share what we beget by the grace of God, it has a multiplier effect. Gita Acharya says: “ both yantha: parasparam machida mad gata prana” - meaning :- Those who tunes his mind towards me, spends time happily in speaking about me. This is what my devotee is.”  This how we reap the benefit from our mouth or the ears by hearing the namas of God.


man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.( Gita : 18/65)



Post a Comment

<< Home