Articles

Ved Gyan - Sadhana

11 Mar 11

SADHANA

yasmin richa saama yajoonshi yasmin pratis’thitaa ratha-naabhaa-viwaa-raah. Yasmin shchittam sarwa motam prajaa-naam tan-me manah shiva-sankalpa’mastu.  Yajur Veda 34:5

 

The mind in which the knowledge of the four Vedas are placed together like spokes in the navel of the chariot wheel and wherein the cognitive faculty of all the creatures is interwoven, may that mind of mine be possessed of auspicious intentions.

 

Smritis mean "that which has to be remembered".

 

Unlike the Vedas which are of divine origin, the Smritis have been composed by humans. These are meant to guide individuals in their daily conduct according to time and place. The Smritis list the codes and rules governing the actions of the individual, the community, society, and the nation. They are also called Dharma Shastras or laws of righteous conduct.

 

Manu is considered a law giver in the Hindu tradition. Manu Smriti is one of the 18 Smritis. It is important to note that laws given by Manu, in Manu Smriti although followed in some form even today, are not considered divine, and may be modified by the society to keep up with the times. Indeed, it has been speculated that in its current form, Manu Smriti represents laws that have been added or modified throughout the history.

 

The rules created thousands of years ago by our Rishis were based on divine knowledge. It teaches us how to behave in society. These rules have now over many years become cemented in laws in countries all over the world.

 

It is important for mankind to behave appropriately in respective places. There are acceptable ways to behave and present yourself in places. For example a person dresses and speaks informally at his home but when he is at work he is accordingly dressed and his mannerisms are different in his work environment then that at his home.

 

We should all take pride and pay special attention to our behaviour in places. Needless to say, that we should always have impeccable mannerisms and display this all the time.

 

The society today is made up of people who are extremely busy and all wish there were more hours in the day. Their problems have been compounded with increase in technological inventions. Almost everybody has a mobile telephone with them wherever they go.

 

Is it appropriate to use them everywhere you go? Our Smritis tell us how we should behave appropriately. Reference is made to various situations in life.

 

From time to time, we have some unpleasant tasks of attending the funeral of a loved one, a friend, neighbour or someone very dear to us. How should we behave at their funeral? The answer again is appropriately as per our society rules.

 

Is it appropriate to use a mobile phone while we are attending a funeral? Certainly not. It is most disrespectful. How many times have we been to funerals and while the service is being conducted, mobile phones have rung. And if this is not enough, the phone is also answered during the service.

 

This behaviour is most inappropriate. When we attend funerals we must do so with due respect to the deceased and their family. We must be appropriately dressed also. At funerals, dress up simply in light colours and not to attract attraction. At the place of the funeral one should be quiet and not join in conversation with friends. It is not a place to meet and greet friends and renew acquaintances.

 

One should learn these simple rules in life by attending “Satsanghs” and also by observing other people.

 

A lot can be learnt from observing the behaviour of learned people. It is important that in life we must learn from our experience and from others. It is an on going continuous development.

 

Om vishwani deva savitar duritaani paraa-suva. Yad bhadran tan-na aasuva.  Yajur Veda 30.3

 

O Self-luminous God! You are the producer of the universe. Every creature receives inspirations from you. We beseech you to dispel our evils and miseries. May we acquire all the virtues through your grace.

 

 

Pt Awindra Prasad, JP

Minister of Religion (Vedic Rites)

Registered Marriage Celebrant                              prasadawindra@aryasamaj.org.au

 

Veda Gyan - Acharan

17 Feb 11

ACHARAN

Suvi gyanam cikituse gyanaya sachasacha vachasi pasprdhate

Tayoryat satyam yatara drjiyasta ditsomo-vati hantyasat   Athar Veda 8.4.12

 

 A wise person knows that the truth and untruth compete at the same moment. Out of them, the truth is straightforward and that needs to be protected whereas the untruth ought to be destroyed.

 

One who leads a life of purity and pious readily knows that truth and falsehood compete in everyone’s mind in any given circumstance. But, he knows that the truth is simple and straightforward whereas the falsehood needs to be supported by concocted stories. Despite temptations of lust, greed, ego, etc. he must favour truth and destroy the tendencies of falsehood.

 

In Ved Gyan 55, we discussed how people should appropriately behave in society. When we think about this, every situation is different, but does this require different behaviour? A preliminary answer would be no. If a person is honest, polite and humble and presents himself well all the time, then that person need not worry about where he is as he will fit in any situation. It is like “one size fits all” situation.

 

There was a person I knew who was always dressed in a white shirt and black trousers, however presented himself very neatly. This was not his uniform but he chose this as his daily attire to work and wherever he went. This person once said to me, a person must always dress in a simple way. The reason he said is because if ever he has a bad time in life and cannot live up to a high standard, no one will notice this. How true. Life is unpredictable. A person’s situation changes on a daily basis. There are good times in life and also bad times. Happy days and sad days. We do not know what comes next in life.

 

Whatever we do in life should be done with good intentions and the thought process involving Gyan, Karma and Upasana.

 

Society must give more importance to education on how to behave. This should begin at home with parents imparting their knowledge to their children form an early age. They must set good example to their children to follow.

 

It has been seen from generation to generation that going to satsanghs and learning the society rules is an excellent way to educate ourselves. The word ‘satsangh’ can be broken down to ‘sat’ and ‘sangh.’ ‘Sat’ means truth and ‘sangh’ means company. Thus, literally ‘satsangh’ means keeping ‘true company.’ 

 

By attending satsangh’s regularly, we experience peace within our lives and we progress in society. Attending satsangh’s is important because not only do we get to learn about the greatness of God, but we also get to learn about the greatness of other devotees. We get to meet other people just like us. We get to make new friends, learn about our Hindu culture and traditions, and find out how we can live a spiritual life that will lead us to mukti.

 

Satsanghs have strict rules to be followed. Some satsanghs these days however are shocking. They are just regarded as social meetings. You all would have experienced these so called satsanghs. People just congregate to sing bhajans till early mornings without any consideration of their neighbours, who may not be followers of our religion or culture and find this behaviour totally unacceptable. They partake in substances that should not be permitted in satsanghs or devotional events. Such behaviours at satsanghs must not be tolerated. 

 

Our preachers and leaders must wake up and start to educate society. Satsanghs must have strict rules and timetable. If you are going to sing bhajans all night then use a community centre so that you do not disturb your neighbours.

 

And most important, if you host a satsangh at your place, do not offer substances that should not be offered.

 

Aum astoma sad gamaya

Tamso ma joytir gamaya

Mrityorma amritam gamaya

 

O God! Lead us from untruth to truth. From darkness of ignorance, to the light of knowledge and from the cycle of birth and death to immortality.

 

 

 

Pt Awindra Prasad, JP

Minister of Religion (Vedic Rites)

Registered Marriage Celebrant                              prasadawindra@aryasamaj.org.au  

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