Tag Archives: valmiki

BOOK CORNER: DEVLOK with Devdutt Pattnaik–3

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

DEVLOK

With Devdutt Pattnaik—3

Based on the third season of the popular television show on EPIC Channel

    This book is based on the third session of the popular television show on EPIC channel. It is actually a question and answer session in which India’s favourite mythologist Devdutt Pattnaik answers questions. This book is the third episode published in 2018 by Penguin Ramdom House India.

    Generally we all feel we know a lot about our own religion. But after reading this book you’ll come to know how little you know about your own religion. For example did you know the answers to the following questions?

  • Names of Vishnu and Shiva’s father?
  • How many types of Ramayana are you aware of?
  • Where did the name of Radha come from?
  • Was Radha older than Krishna?
  • When did Christianity come to India?
  • What are Abrahamic traditions?
  • Did Jesus come to Kashmir?
  • Meaning of ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami?’

    The author not only covers Hinduism in this book. He also talks about, or rather takes questions on Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism. There is no storyline in this book. But yes it does have many short stories and tales explaining various aspects of each religion.

    It is a collection of easy going conversations about Indian mythology based on eponymous television show. There is however the caveat that what is discussed here is not meant to be factually correct—you may therefore refer to your Guru for clarity or even the author.

    It is not an academic work and does not claim to be authoritative. Contained here are simplified versions of mythological tales, taken from various versions found in different scriptures and in folklore. The attempt is to retain the essence embedded in the tales, and to provoke readers to dig deeper into the philosophy.

    The book takes you through a great mix of Hindu rituals, relationship, parent and child relationship. It describes Lord Krishna and Radha in great detail. It tells us how Christianity came to India and about Buddhism and Jainism.

    A chapter explains about Dwarka, types of Ramayana, various types of marriages, Dravid civilization. It also describes Ravana , Khajuraho temples and yoga and also about Prophet, Jainism and Kingship.

    It also talks about rites of passage, defines Indian riti riwaz, talks about Indian tradition,  gives a good and scientific definition of certain old words of mythology. And in simple ways he has explained the customs of Hinduism … in a way connected the dots.

    The book also deals with Hindu customs, details various Ramayanas in various languages. One gets to feel, the book is a brief history of various religions. It has many lok-kathas. Connects North and South of India where it gives a wonderful comparision between Asurs and Rakshas.

    The book does make an impact on you by increasing your knowledge base. It is around a hundred and fifty pages, written in easy read format. The price is rupees two hundred and fifty.

    I would give the book seven out of ten.

***

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

U.P. THE LAND OF SUPERNORMAL ROLE MODELS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    In the complex understructure of India, UP sits like her invisible heart and spiritual voice. One can also address her as a headstrong folklore and tradition champion. Indeed the most populated state that celebrates its lineage in its diversity. It has an irrefutable matrix of society that hails, from two major communities, the Hindus and the Muslims—both passionate lovers of their native.

    Even though, the expanse of Hinduism resonates much beyond India and goes right up to the global frontiers. UP has always been its formidable pillar in the ever lengthening axis. Rather, it has been the primordial hub of religiosity since time immemorial. If we deconstruct her, she expands to a vast region much before it was converted into administrative hedges like states and districts. Which, Gods loved and nature adored. So, one can say she has been the showcase, the playground and even the reliable archives of Hinduism since grand old times.

    She doesn’t require administrate boundaries to conjoin. As, she, connects, consolidates and even identifies herself in many other ways. To begin with she is the mix of Pancha Bhoota—where the elements of Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air) and Akash (ether or the sky) combine for her cosmic creation.

    If we translate this into ground realities we find. Starting from the texture of the soil, to the pitch of the lingo it is one. It has no less than Gods and super humans, as its role models. To say, some of its role models are even better known than the land they belong to won’t be a misnomer. And they all performed their incredible leelas in this very soil. We will come to that a little later.

    UP has that enduring fix of festivals, along with bucolic handholding and even similarity in cereal crops to live and breathe in congruence. There is no life without water they say and water forms the lifeline of any society. To that effect there are vaguely a series of some six or seven imposing rivers, leaving aside many small ones that almost run parallel but certainly from the western side of the state to the eastern corner. And finally,   they all merge as tributaries with Ma Ganga. The main stem of Ganga, begins with the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the town of Devprayag in Uttara Khand. As per mythology she was brought to earth by king Bhagiratha, where, eventually she grew up to the status of Ma Janani in the vast expanse of the state. She is indeed the queen mother of all the water bodies as she carries along with her almost all the rivers. Therefore, for certain she can be called the icon of motherhood the provider—an unbeatable role model again. So blessed is the state that there is hardly a district or a town that is not within the easy catch of a river. Where, inhabitants even identify themselves with the rivers, such as ‘Sarjupari’—person living across river Sarju. There are many annual melas that connect the rural fraternity and its vendors across the sub-regions like Ballia and Nauchandi, to name a few.

    Hinduism has four ashrams when it comes to completing a lifetime—Brahamcharya, (Balkal … Birth to student like), Grihasta (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation). The holy land of UP connects you to some quintessential examples of how some incarnations or avatars of Maha Vishnu have spent their time in these defined ashrams. Hinduism doesn’t come through, without UP. And all lessons of life are available here.

    It teaches us, nothing is easy and everything needs to be fought for, whether you’re an incarnation of God or just a human form. Even, when, Lord Krishna was the 8th incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Mathura was under turmoil at least the night little Krishna was born in Dwaparyuga (the 3rd Yuga). He demonstrated the victory of good over evil when he killed his maternal uncle Kans. And by lifting the Goverdhan Parvat he proclaimed nothing is impossible if you are hell bent upon doing it. On bhakti (devotion) no one can beat Radha as a role model and it all happened in the Braj Bhoomi that is now divided into many districts. But Krishna leela has no boundaries.

    In the same land Bhagwan Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya as the 7th incarnation of Maha Vishnu in Treta Yuga (2nd yuga). Although, he was born before Krishna I’m describing him after Krishna because he had a steady childhood, whereas, Krishna had a fighting one. But Sri Ram exemplified himself as Maryada Purshottam—the quintessential example of respecting contemporary times and fairness accentuating into super goodness. He had many mid life crises which he fought through valiantly all by himself and his devoted team. Prime was 14 years of Banvas (exile into forest) and the abduction of his wife by Ravana. Where, on the one hand he did show grief but on the other hand as a true karmyogi he found his bearings and organized himself to fight the great battle of Lanka to get his wife back. But while doing so he ensured he didn’t overstep the laid down tenets of science and its concomitants, even, when, he was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Today, Sri Ram is a household name and a role model that is not confined to any district or a religion and where his queen Sita is an epitome of devotion. His entire leela happened along the plains of river Saryu and the famous kingdom of Ayodhya where he ruled. Important to say—role models can be followed by any person from any religion or sect.

    Further, the great war of Mahabharat too, had its roots in Hastinapur near Meerut, again in UP. A well known mythological story of intensely disagreeing, blood thirsty royal cousins, that eventually escalated into a holy war. It is said, what is not seen and read in Mahabharat doesn’t exist in the world. It has again given many role models to the world while it was fought in Dwaparyug. It had many stalwarts. Some important names that one can immediately reflect upon are Krishna, Yudhistir, Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Kunti, Karan, Yudhistir, Bhimsen, Arjun, Nakul, Sahdev, Draupadi, Veer Abhimanyu to name a few.

    Krishna derives his umbilical and founding legacy from Braj Bhoomi. From where he goes on to recite those ultimate verses of Gita, that is destined to happen, only once-in-a-planet-time, to a tranced Arjun, challenging him to pick up arms and fight for righteousness. The heft of Krishna thus becomes so very onerous for any one human form to carry as a role model. Resultantly, he spends his life in the little fragments of his teachings to promote his cause.

    Post the battles of Lanka and Mahabharat you had those iconic—blazing writers and poets like Valmiki, Tulsidas and Ved Vyas capturing the vivid description of the proceedings that led to the deadly wars. Together with awesome description of the scenes of war that remain unparalleled even today.

    And going forward when it comes to Vanaprastha and Sanyas we have Varanasi to teach us how to approach retirement and death as a role model. People come to Varanasi to see live Hinduism and even to die. The pyre is ever lit in Manikarnika Ghat and they say if a person is cremated there he or she goes to heaven directly.

    It is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi. It is revered in Hindu mythology that when Mata Sati, Lord Shiva’s wife sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati, her father and one of the sons of Lord Brahma tried to humiliate her husband Shiva in the Yagya. Lord Shiva took her burning body to Himalaya. On seeing the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Vishnu sent his divine Sudershan Chakra to cut the body into 51 parts which fell on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati’s body had fallen. At Manikarnika ghat Mata Sati’s ornament had fallen. The lesson therefore is loaded with the despicable arrogance of king Daksh and the pristine relationship of Sati and Shiva—that can’t be emulated as a role model.

    In the treasured mythological scriptures such as Purans and Upanishads, battles between the Devatas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) have often been described in great detail and on many occasions. Asuras, have always troubled Devatas for some reason or the other. In fact, they were mostly stronger than the Devatas in strength, and therefore Devatas were always scared of them. Even Devraj Indra who was extremely powerful and laced with a lot of divine offence could not harm them in any manner.  Many such wars were even fought, in an around, the present day UP.   Samudra Mathan (Churning of ocean) resulting into Kumbh, has also seen the bitter war between the Devatas and the Asuras for Amrit (Divine Nectar). Where, Lord Vishnu had to intervene. Because, had Asuras drank Amrit they would have become immortal, and that would have meant destruction of the goodness in the world.

    There are innumerable stories and one can go on and on. But the moot point is, whether, the present day generation of the state is living up to the values created by these role models.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                      https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

THE TWO MAJOR HISTORICAL EPICS IN HINDUISM-VALMIKI, TULSIDAS AND VED VYAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Had it not been for the ultimate epic writers and sages such as Valmiki and Tulsidas who wrote Ramayan, and Ved Vyas who wrote Mahabharat. Hinduism would have remained incomplete and perhaps in the confines of God alone. It is only because of these great all time writers. The history of Hinduism has spread so comprehensively all across the world since inception.

    Ramayan and Mahabharat are the two historical sagas referred as Itihas (history) in Hinduism. That serves as the eternal inspiration for humanity and is considered as the putative and exemplary realization of the four … purusharthas (efforts): Dharma (righteous and dutiful) Artha (wealth) Kama (desire and fulfillment) and Moksha (liberation).

    Ramayan in the real sense is the ‘abode of Lord Ram’ and is smaller of the two great works. The tireless epic mirrors the highest ideals of Hindu tradition, culture and civilization. The story relates to Treta Yug (one of the four ages of the world) and centers on Ram. The prince of Ayodhya and the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his wife Sita as the incarnation of Mother Lakshmi. Ramayan sings the glory of Lord Ram and advises humanity on how to lead a fulfilling life and attain the four purusharthas. The epic is profound and timeless in its popularity. It teaches with the analogy of symbolism. As to how an individual can evolve into greatness and perfection.

    Sage Valmiki’s Ramayana has been translated into most Indian languages, as well as several foreign languages, including Russian. It consists of 24,000 stanzas in seven cantos, and depicts Rama as the ideal king, son, brother, friend, and husband. In Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan, we see exemplified ideal brothers. In Sita, we have the purest flower of Indian womanhood. Who is devoted to her Lord in thought, word, and deed.

    Ramayana is an ideal textbook of morals and values. That inspires nobler dimensions of character and conduct. Other noteworthy and famous versions of Ramayana include Sage Veda Vyasa’s Adhyatma Ramayana, Goswami Tulsidasa’s Shri Ramcharitamanas (Tulsi Ramayana), and Kambar’s Kamba Ramayana.

    Mahabharat on the other hand is an epic. That is more than eight times the size of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey combined. In philosophical content it is unparalleled to any other literary work in the world. This grand book of knowledge contains more than 100,000 stanzas in 18 chapters and is the work of the renowned Sage Veda Vyasa.

    The underlying theme of Mahabharata is yato dharma tato jayah, “where there is dharma, there is victory.” Indicating the ultimate triumph of good over evil and the establishment of righteousness.

    The story unfolds toward the end of Dvapara Yuga and describes the genealogy and events leading up to, and after, the familial war between the royal cousins.

    The story is used as a vehicle. To convey eternal philosophical truths of the highest order. It is said, “that which is in Mahabharata can be seen elsewhere, but that which is not there cannot be seen anywhere else.” This gives an idea of the comprehensiveness of subjects in the epic. Which is full of lofty instructions on all aspects of human life and endeavour—an inspiring saga of India’s past glory, portraying all that is great and noble in humanity.

    The guiding spirit throughout the epic is the divine figure of Lord Krishna. Who brings the pure and the righteous to Himself, and destroys the evil and the evildoers. Shrimad Bhagwad Gita or the “Lord’s Song” is part of Mahabharata.

 

*

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                   https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

     *

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

SHORT STORY: FORGIVENESS-TO REIGN OVER JEALOUSY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

forgiveness vashist vishvamitra

King Vishvamitra along with his army had left for Aakhet. And on the way while he was crossing the dense forest he came somewhat close to Maharishi Vashist’s ashram, and thought of paying him a visit. Maharishi Vashist was too pleased to receive him and offered him heartfelt courtesies and hospitality. But there was something that was now bothering Vishvamitra. He could not understand how an ever-meditating Maharishi Vashist from the confines of his small ashram and cottage feed a sumptuous meal to his entire army.

And when he came to know that this was possible because of his holy cow Nandini, he asked for the cow from Maharishi Vashist. But Maharishi Vashist refused to part with his holy cow at any cost. This annoyed Vishvamitra who then by using force tried to take away the cow from Vashist. But Nandini at the instance of Vashist mooed loudly to produce some tough warriors who then drove out Vishvamitra and his army from the surroundings of the ashram.

Vishvamitra then attacked Maharishi Vashist with his Divyastra (supernatural weapons) but in front of Vashist’s Brahmdand (weapons conferred by Lord Brahma) his Divyastra failed. This made Vishvamitra, who was Kshatriya by caste realise that the might of Kshatriya can do no harm to a Brahmin. Vishvamitra therefore decided to seek Brahminism through intense tapsiya (meditation)

And after many years of intense and harsh tapasiya he was able to grab the attention of Lord Brahma, who was now happy with his efforts and therefore gave him darshan (auspicious sight) but only to say—‘in case Maharishi Vashist recognises you as a Brahm-rishi you will become a Brahmin.’

It was both difficult and insulting for Vishvamitra to pray to Vashist as he considered him as his rival. And Vashist always addressed him as Rajrishi whenever he met him, and this further irritated Vishvamitra. And by now he had become a great enemy of Vashist. Vishwamitra then motivated a rakshas (demon) to kill all the hundred sons of Vashist, and was always on the lookout for an opportunity to disgrace and insult Vashist.

Since Vishvamitra was failing in all his attempts to demean Maharishi Vashist, he decided to wield the craftsmanship of Lord Brahma himself. And this was something crazy as he decided to create a new shristi (Universe) and become its Brahma. And with his tapobal (meditating power) he started creating a new world. New cereals, new flora and fauna, new animals—and he kept on creating and creating, as if testing Lord Brahma’s patience. And in the end Lord Brahma came and stopped him. And assured that whatever he had already created will remain and co-exist exist with the existing.

And this further frustrated Vishvamitra. For he realised nothing was succeeding for him and so he decided to eliminate Maharishi Vashist. And therefore: after arming himself with weapons, in the night he quietly sneaked into Vashist’s ashram. Actually he wanted to kill Vashist on the sly and without his knowing. It was a moonlit night. And outside his cottage Maharishi Vashist was sitting on his vedi (seat) along with his wife. Where, Vishvamitra was waiting for an opportune moment in the hiding, close by and behind a tree, to attack him.

And enamoured by the ambience Vashista’s wife Arundhati said—‘ what a beautiful moonlit night.’

Vashist replied—‘today’s moonlight is as bright and pure as the recent tapasya of Vishvamitra which is spreading in all directions.’

Vishvamitra upon hearing this went numb. He cursed himself for what he was planning to do—‘person whom you’ve come to kill and of whom you are so jealous; see the stature of that person. He is a Mahapurush, because, he is even praising Vishvamitra, the killer of his hundred sons, when in isolation with his wife.’

Vishvamitra dismantled all his shastras that he had worn on him. And after that he ran towards Maharishi Vashist and lay prostrate in front of him asking for forgiveness. The chronic jealousy in him was over in minutes. Simple forgiveness had conquered Vishvamitra. By dropping his weapons and forsaking his jealousy Vishvamitra had become a Brahmanav. Maharishi Vashist got off his vedi and with both his hands lifted Vishvamitra and while pulling him up he was saying—‘please get up Brahmrishi.’

***