Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ignorance of fundamental principles by activitsts and rational thinkers

Wishing You & Your Family

Happy Deepavali and 

Happy New Year Vikram Samvat 2074

On the auspicious occasion of Deepavali and New Year, let us discuss ...

Our Social Journey So far ...

After independence (in 1947), we have have progressed decade by decade. Since 70 years, with each decade, there has been increase in per-capita income, the standard of living has rising constantly, people below poverty line are now in lower middle class or even higher middle class, more people are getting educated, still crime rate in increasing. Why? Has anybody thought on this issue? How many debates happen in main stream media on this topic? What is the mental condition of such people who would rape an innocent women or even rape own niece or daughter or murder innocent men. Mind and emotions are never focused. If a child gets mental and emotional nurturing s/he will be emotionally stable. The quality to restrain and not to cross the boundary is also helpful in controlling lower animal nature. Traditional education system puts a lots of focus on mental and emotional moulding of young minds. Traditional method of teachings focuses on holistic health, from physical, emotional, mental and spiritual perspective.

The illusion of equality ...

Progressive Hindus think that men an women are equal. In reality, no two human beings are equal. We are all unique. We all have good qualities and bad qualities. Some qualities are in greater percentage than others and so they define the character of person. Society is made up of good people and bad people or better people with good and bad qualities and with different levels of understanding and rational thinking power. Our śāṣtra-s teach us to increase good qualities by focusing on mental, emotional and physical actions that nurture these qualities and control negative qualities by not letting them control your thoughts and actions and by not feeding them, but staying neutral when they try to show their strength and try to get control of mind. Do not let yourself get dragged into any action triggered by negative quality like anger, irritation, greed, etc.

Modern education system and lifestyle is incomplete ...

In today’s material world, money is given prime importance and so people often apply for jobs that do not suit their nature.  The result is increase in stress and burden as the job does not suit your nature. Such a person may not be able to enjoy his life and may not give 100 % in work. Today’s education system may increase intellect, but does not focus on emotional bonding. So the emotional need is not fulfilled and a person feels loneliness. People may rush to help a stranger in trouble, but do not take care of their old parents. If modern society was so caring, there would not have been old age homes, which is a western concept. There is little moral teaching by parents especially via stories from panchatantra and purāṇa-s. This is true if both father and mother are both working professionals.  The golden teachings of ‘restrain’, ‘middle way’, ‘anything in excess is poison’ are not taught. So child does not know how to control emotions and may act in an objectionable way. Story-teaching of morality and ethics is missing these days in an era of social media, where the sentiment (trends) lasts just one day and ‘likes’ are easily evaporated from our memory. The addictive social media eats up 20-30 % time if we keep yourselves involved for too long. Alas, if we could devote 20-30 % in story-teaching and in shaping our kid’s mind.

Materialists taking in charge of reformation of dharma ...

We have seen that the modern education system and money centric life is not enough to cater all needs – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Modern educational system and way of living is incomplete. Now we will take few prominent objections of modern progressive Hindus and other rationalists like -
  • There should be equal rights of all castes.  
  • Men an women should have equal rights.
  • Untouchability is unacceptable.  

Talking on untouchability, they say that it is logically incorrect. They say, “I am a Brahmin by birth, let me touch a sūdra and see what happens”. They demonstrate it practically and conclude - “See nothing happens, am I impure. By giving respect to a sūdra how can I become impure. This is irrational”

On equal rights for women, recently, there is a debate whether women should be allowed to enter into Shabarimala temple and in Shani Dham in Shani Singanapur, near Shirdi. It is another point that in 6-8 temples of India, men are not allowed to enter inner sanctum sanctorium. However, men never complain.

These days, the definition of feminism has changed. Earlier feminism stood for ‘equality of men and women’. Both should have equal respect and equal opportunity. This looks true and any normal person, including the author, would agree. However, the current definition of feminism is changed. It is now reduced to men bashing and crying victim card. The temple issue seems to be trigged by such people. Ironically, people who themselves are not devout Hindus or Muslims will fight for womens rights. Restriction on entry of women in Haji Ali dargah is another issue. Even communists, who are atheists are supporting such movements to break the social integrity. Material ists and communists have taken incharge of reformation of our dharma.

Coming back to temple issue, prima-facie, these arguments seem very logical. Both temples have restrictions on women entering inner sanctum. While Shabarimala temple disallows women between age group of 10-50 years, Shani Temple allows women to enter into sanctum, but not inner sanctum and offer abhishekam of oil and disallows women to touch the idol. The reason centers around a point that when menstruation cycle is active in women i.e. when they have periods, there is negativity in them and so they are not allowed to enter into temple. The counter argument by rationalists is that it is a natural process which is created by God and so it does not cause any harm.

Though there are logical explanations available, (which are given in appendix later on after the series is over,) we will focus on a different aspect which is neglected by everyone whenever there is any kind of logical objection of customs and rituals. 

The major flaw ...

There is one major flaw in the argument of rationalists. This flaw is common answer to all the accusations. This is not to say that there is no evil in the society, but today this article will focus on something that is ignored for long by rationalists, social workers, human rights activitists, feminists an even progressive Hindus.

One factor which is not taken into consideration is that the sanātana dharma accepts the existence of five bodies and not just one body i.e. physical body. As per Sanātana dharma, we have five bodies. All the arguments of rationalists including untouchability is done taking into consideration only one body – physical body which is called as annamaya kosha.

If we take take only physical body as the factor to be considered for examination and verification of injunction of shāstra-s, then all the rationalist thinkers are correct on above discussed issues.

Irrational unverified approach by rationalists ...

However, as said earlier, we do not have just one body. We talk about dharma, we believe in God, we want to visit temples, but do we accept the existence of five bodies? For temple worship we have injunctions laid down by āgama shāstra-s. Do we believe in our śāṣtra-s? Has any rationalist accepted this fact? Do we know what happens to other four bodies when women have active period enters into inner santum and when a practising brahmin touches a non-believer or a shūdra? No, we do not take other four bodies into consideration which is a hugh flaw. That which is in different dimension cannot be verified with materialistic science and it’s instruments. To an extend only by inference one can conclude, but to be 100 % sure, one has to experience all five bodies personally and understand their working.

Lets know a bit about ourselves ...

Our rishi-s have done a lot of research on this matter. We must atleast know the basics of the functions that other bodies perform.

In texts like Vivekachūḍāmaṇi, Tatva bodha and Māṇḍukya kārikā (3.11) refer to Panchakoshas (5 bodies) which are described in the Ānandvalli or Brahmānandavalli of Taittirīya Upanishad. Tatva bodha gives detailed explanation of panchikaraṇa prakriyā i.e. theory of manifestation of universe from five great elements - earth, water, fire, are and space (ākaśa) and 24 tatva-s of sānkhya. These texts talk about creation of the world and composition of our five bodies known as kosha-s. It is called as panchikaraṇaṃ prakriyā.

Let us briefly understand these bodies (kosha-s or kośa-s):

Our five bodies or panch-kosha-s include
  1. Annamaya kośa – physical gross body – depends upon food for survival
  2. Prāṇamaya kośa – energy body, bioplasmic body – depends upon energy or prāṇa for survival.
  3. Manomaya kośa – mental body, body of thoughts (and emotions) – astral and mental bodies. - Depends upon thoughts and emotions.
  4. Vijñānamaya kośa – causal body (where the ego resides), related to buddhi i.e. intellect, which takes decision. Related to Ego and intellect. This body does not die until one reaches moksha. Hence, after death of physical body, we take our saṃskara-s, our nature along into the new body.
  5. Ānandamaya kośa – Body of Bliss, Body of Intuitions, Body of ignorance. - All past vāsanā-s i.e. desires and fruits of karma-s are present in this body. Theosophists call these as akashic records. This body too does not die until moksha.

These five bodies or 5 kosha-s (kośa-s) are divided into 3 sharira-s
  1. Sthula śarira - Annamaya kośa
  2. Sukshma śarira - Prāṇamaya kośa  and Manomaya kośa – astral and mental bodies.
  3. Kāraṇa śarira - Vijñānamaya kośa and Ānandamaya kośa

Except annamaya kośa, each of the kośa-s have chakra-s or psychic energy centers and 72,000 nāḍī-s or psychic nerve centers. Panchikaraṇaṃ prakriya will be taken up later in separate series.

Let us understand the importance and working of these bodies.

1. Annamaya kośa or Physical Body

This body depends upon food for survival. It is the first body that is directly exposed to material world that we see and experience. Mind experiences this world through senses.

2. Other four bodies

Prāṇamaya kośa is the bridge between annamaya kośa and manomaya kośa. Prāṇamaya kośa has energy counter parts of all internal organs. It also has it’s own nerve network.  Each major organ has it’s own chakra. Chakra or a wheel is said to be constantly in spinning motion. One time, it absorbs positive fresh energy and another time in reverse direction it throws away negative used up energy which it supplied to energy counterpart of an organ. There are other chakra-s which do not directly stand on it organ or gland, but are connected to a central nerve or nāḍī known as suṣumṇā nāḍī. Out of many chakra-s connected to this nāḍī, seven are major chakra-s as they are connected with seven loka-s or kingdoms like svarga (heaven), etc.

When a body gets infected or gets sick, it’s corresponding energy counterpart also gets contaminated or gets impure. It is this contamination that is talked about during untouchability. Though the author does not support untouchability, as Parāśara smriti says that in kalyuga one gets impure by own’s sins only. However this factor is also to be counted.

Whenever we enter into any area, all five bodies get affected by it.

If the place is decent, clean and attractive, mind via senses gets attracted to it.

If vibrations are positive and spiritual, then prāṇamaya kośa which gets in tune with vibrations absorb these vibrations, be it they are good or bad. If they are good, it is reflected in increase in size of this kośa and it’s chakra-s. If energy is negative, it is reverse effect and one feels unconfortable and wishes to leave the place as early as possible.

Similarly, every place has some emotions and thoughts floating in it. manomaya kośa tunes with these thoughts and emotions. The whole body experiences emotions and thoughts. If emotions are positive, the body begins to radiate brightly. Similarly thoughts gets embedded in it too and may remained stored in this body. Thoughts of great saints are so strong that in devout disciple and devotee, they stay for life time.

Similarly vijñānamaya and ānandamā kośa too absorb vibrations of that place. Only advanced sādhaka-s know their functioning. It is not revealed to general public. Ānandamaya kośa may pass on intuitions about the place and give a warning if it is bad for us.

All these bodies vibrate at a particular frequency and they absorb vibrations close to the frequency they vibrate with. They are all in different dimensions.

Some info on death ...

After death of physical body i.e. annamayakośa, energy body or prāṇamayakosa stays for some time as long as there is physical body. After physical body is destroyed, energy body will also die. Since manomayakośa is connected with prāṇamaya kośa and manomaya is connected with vijñānamaya and vijñānamaya with ānandamaya all other kośa-s are also stuck up with physical body. Until there is physical body, the soul may get attacted to old body and may wish to return back to it. If someone strongly and constantly recalls the lost ones, the soul will find it difficult to continue it’s journey and will get pulled back to this world. This is the reason why we burn the body. So that  the soul does not get attracted to it again. After 13 days of rituals, higher bodies get detached from annamaya and prāṇamaya kośa-s and can continue their spiritual journey. This is another reason why after 13 days, we must not have the photo or strictly any of the belongings of our ancestors as it may be a medium thoruhg which they can get attracted to this world again. They are in pain when they cannot continue their spiritual journey. Keeping photo of a realised saint is allowed as they are one with God and so God expresses or manifests through them.

The exception ...

In case of saints, jñānī-s, siddha-s or highly developed yogī-s like Bhagavān Buddha, Ādi Śankara, their bodies are not cremented i.e. burned but are buried or are offered to holy river Ganga. Even if the body is burned, their ashes are preserved.

This change in custom is due to the fact that after intense tapas (meditation), their all 5 bodies are greatly purified. The one who approaches such a saint will feel inner transformation as the vibrations of seeker’s bodies will get transformed in the presence of extrememly pure vibraitons of five bodies of a saint. Aperson may fēl s/he is reborn in the presence of saints. They may find a new thought or emotional fulfillment in the presence of a saint. Energy body is so strong that one nearby may get instantly healed. Sue to intense meditation, the vibrations have also entered into the physical body. There are some materials like metals (Copper, Brass, mercury and panchadhatū), Quartz Crystals (sphatika, used making in Śivalinga for home temple) and natural stones like the black stone used as Śāligram (symbol of Bhagavān Viṣṇu). In panchadeva pūjā i.e. panchāyatna pūjā, five stones of five rivers are worshipped as formless representations of five deities - Gaṇeśa, Śiva, Śakti, Viṣṇu and Sūrya deva). Ashes of human bones are also known to retain energy or prāṇa Śakti. Great Yogī-s can store energy in bones, blood and Hair. Their internal organs are highly charged with prāṇa śakti. This is the reason why yogī-s are not allowed to donate blood or organs and ar not allowed to cut hair. 

So when a yogī dies, the body is retained, as, if physical body is retained, energy body, which is tied to it is also retained. A samādhi is constructed at a suitable place. Such a place becomes pure in the presence of highly charged body. It becomes a place of pilgrimage.  Souls who offer obediences to this samādhi are immensey benifitted by being inside an aura (prāṇamaya kośa) of such a great saint.

While aura or prāṇamaya kośa of an average person is about 4-6 inches (6 angulā-s as mentioned in Yoga Yajñavālkya, higly revered by a great Yogī T. Kriṣṇmāchārya jī - T. Krishnamacharya), the size of aura of  great yogī may be several kilometers. In case of average person other higher bodies are underdeveloped, but in case of yogī-s they are hugh, have concrete thoughts and lofty emotions.

The emotions and thoughts of a yogī vibrate in a place where s/he has meditated for long period or has stayed for long time. Even if a yogī has left the place, still the emotions and thoughts are retained for along time for many years. If God wishes, it may stay for hundreds of years, as God himself manifests through yogī-s and Jñānī-s.  Hence samādhi is chosen to be built at such places like a meditation cave, room or at an āśrama (ashram). If a portion of ashes are taken to some place and are concetrated there, that place too becomes pure.

More info on death ...

Now we know that the physical body and energy body dies after some time the soul leaves the body. Mental body or manomaya kośa lives in some world like svarga (heaven) or narka (Hell). There are seven types of svarga-s and narka-s. Depending upon the amount of pāpa (sin) or pūṇya (merits), Iśvara may make the jīva (soul) stay  some some time. (Life after death, rewards and punishments, etc are described in garuḍa purāṇa.) Here, manomaya kośa experiences the fruits of karma. It cannot escape the punishment or reward. It has to pass through. It keeps experiencing karma-phala (fruits of karma) until they extinguish. It is by passing through experiences that manomaya kośa dies. Jīva does not have any choice of doing karma. It can only experience it i.e. have a bhoga. Hence all these kingdomes known as yonī-s are called as bhoga-yogī-s. Only pruthvi oe life of earth is called as karma bhumi or land of action, there Īshvara has given us choice by giving us ‘free will’. 

Now, only two kośa-s are left – casual body and body of bliss or ignorance. Both these bodies are indestructible until moksha. When jīva leaves physical body, Bhagavān in Gītā chapter 15 says that, ‘mind along with five senses travels to another body’. Here mind is referred as ‘antakaraṇa’, which resides in vijñānamaya kośa. After extinguishing all the ripe fruits of karma, the soul again takes birth on earth and the cycle continues until one attains moksha, which is the goal of every living being.

Since the soul retains all the experiences and all the actions of the life are recorded. Fruits of actions are decided. Most fruits happen in this life only for example results of exams we appear or the profit or loss in business. Howeve, some fruits may not ripe in this life. When they ripe, we are born with another body and must pass through experiences that extinguish those riped-fruits. This is pre-determined destiny. Hence not everything happens our way.

Respect our ancestors ...  

Our rishi-s and āchārya-s have done intense study of higher bodies. Our rishi-s were undoubtedly selfess in their motives. All they wanted is our progress on the spiritual path and attain the immortal state of consciousness that they have attained and gained fulfilllment of their lives. Rishi-s created rules created or advocated certain disciplines, keeping in mind the behaviour of all five bodies and not just one. Hence sanātana dharma is holistic in approach which takes into account all actions from simplest daya-2-day activities to moksha, which is eternal freedom from life an death and merging in intimate presence of God-consciousness. Ancient rishi-s studied all 5 bodies because they are important for our spiritual progress and to attain all-round development.

Question but not blindly ...

We must follow the holistic soul nurturing teachings of saints. However, in this prcess, it is human nature to have oubts. We must raise sincere questions so that we can gain clarity. Our eucation system is based on question-answer format. If there is no question, then there can be no answer. Hence raise doubts, but they shoul be sincere an not just raised out of superficial reaing or out of curiosity. With passage of time, evils have creeped into our cuslture an are are not immune to the effects of kalyuga. We must act responsibly and evil practices which does not find sanction in śāstra-s  must be rejected strongly, however, it is also true that there is a bais against sanātana dharma by some vested interest groups.

Do not accept things blinly, but we must first have faith in our ancestors, our culture, we must be prou of them. At the same time, we must keep up with chanigng times. We must also opposite injustice, but let us be careful not to fall in trap of desructive agenda of self-appointed so-called activitsts an rational thinkers.

Know Our Culture, Be Proud Of It’s Richness

If time permits, in the comming part of the series, we will try to understand panchikaraṇa prakriyā. Till then, try to read tatva bodha. 

Hari OM

1 comment:

Steph said...

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