Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dharmo Rakhshati Rakshitaha!!

"Dharma protects those who protect it"

In the latest 7 tag spree, it was heartening to note, that a lot of people put in '7 things you plan to do before you die' as 'Starting Vedic school', 'donating money to vedic cause', 'contributing to veda patashalas', 'learning bhakti composition', 'spread the vedantam philosophy' and similiar sounding phrases.

The Dharma in based on Vedams, and protecting Vedams is what is meant by protecting the Dharma.

Very unfortunately, the current political set up in India, doesnot recognize the Dharmam and the Vedam. Hence protecting them and inturn getting protect has fallen into the responsibility of the Private.

I have argued with lot of my friends on the priority of Dharam Raksha, over the needs of a general welfare state, for a lot of reasons like this, and more.

A friend of mine had forwarded a request for a Tamil Vadhiyar, and asked joked abt me taking up that profession. The following is my reply to her.

*************************
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: Need reference to a tamil brahmin priest
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:55:52 -0000
From: Swaminathan T J
To:

Super! definitely.
That is the service which would give me atmost satisfaction.

I donot need any money or remuneration, but I want people there to appreciate and value what they are doing.
There is not point if the function they have at home is just for the sake of the ritual :(

---------
Brahmans protect and preserve the Vedas and Culture, The Vedas are belived to protect the Whole of the society, and the society in turn protects and takes care of the needs of the brahmans.

Rest of Society ----> Brahmins ---> Vedas
------<---------<--------------<----
With increase in atheism, and loss of values, the society's belief that, the vedas will protect them is gone.[this is what is called as Kali kaalam].

So, once this belief is gone, they no more protect the brahmans, who incidentally are directed by their Dharma, not to have any thing for the personal desires and are supposed to be thinking ONLY of the society.

This loss of belief transltes into Brahmin taking care of his ownself.[like what I am doing today, the society is not taking care of me, so I need to work and earn and live for myself]. In such a situation, the Brahmin is growing selfish, and he no longer confirms to what has been said as his way of life. So he no longer devotes time to protect the largest knowledge trove the Vedas.

This results in the most painful course, of loosing the vedas, since the protector of vedas, the brahmin, is busy feeding himself. But there are some brahmins left in the world, who still have, protecting vedas as their foremost duty, ahead of feeding themselves[or feeding themselves using vedas, sometimes]. They are great people and mahathmas. Selfless, Made of sacrifice and powerful.

Thus the above cycle becomes

Brahmins[like me] &
the Dharama accepting-->Real Brahmins[who protect vedas]-->Vedas
Non-Brahmin minority.
--------------<-------------------------------<---------------------------------- I always want to be tending to the real brahmin [selfless, not cared even about the next meal, leading the simplest way of life, no desires, no wants, just thinking about the good of the world, peace for everybody around]. But I cannot be the perfect brahmin because of social compulsions, and so I am bent on encouraging every individual who would want to be the real brahmin. All the above derivations, are built on the one and only conviction that the vedic form of life is the best way, and the vedas are the ultimate knowledge resource for self realization in this world. I will try and write to you on how I got convinced on the above truth and will pass on the convictions to u, sometime later.
-------------------------
*************************


28 Comments:

At Tue Sep 20, 09:37:00 AM CDT, Blogger Golden Face said...

Hi TJ,

I very much agree with your blog. I always feel that our Vedas and Upanishads are the guidelines for our life.
But we rarely have time and interest to secure and protect them. I do not suggest that every one should read Vedas and Upanishads but we should at least know the values that our ancestors preached us through them. We rarely have Moral Instruction classes in schools. They were very boring when I attended them during my school days, but I strongly believe that those have somehow entered my mind and are the real value additions in my life.

Keep up the good work. You have truly reflected the longings of many hindus here.

 
At Tue Sep 20, 09:41:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Tue Sep 20, 09:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Tue Sep 20, 10:23:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

"'Starting Vedic school', 'donating money to vedic cause', 'contributing to veda patashalas' "

Enna TJ - Ithu engayo paatha mathri iruke ;) - Yaaro Oru US pakkam irukira blogger eluthina mathiri irukku :))

 
At Tue Sep 20, 10:24:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

That was a very good post (seriously I read it :)) )..I wanted to write something about priests in temples..and interesting Kavitha also raised the same issue..I guess I will write it today..so that it coincides with ur post!

TJ enna irunthalum neenga ennaku seythathu nambikai drogam - I am referring to my previous comment I made above :))

Neruppuku mattum ketuchu - vanthu sutudum - jakirathai (hope u understand what I meant ;) )

 
At Tue Sep 20, 11:32:00 AM CDT, Blogger ~/rajesh/~ said...

"Dharmo rakhshati..." is valid only if everybody follows it, just like traffic rules. Following the vedas is just one way of protecting dharma and it has parallels in other literati also.

Early Brahmans influenced the culture because of their societal status. But in today's world there is a majority of those minorities that they cant protect and preserve culture.

 
At Tue Sep 20, 11:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

hey TJ gotta speak with you man ... lemme know what messenger yu using ... Yahoo, Google talk, msn, skype ... anything would do

 
At Tue Sep 20, 08:26:00 PM CDT, Blogger Ram.C said...

All the best for your new assignment, if you are taking it up.... :-) :-)

 
At Tue Sep 20, 10:45:00 PM CDT, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

 
At Wed Sep 21, 01:11:00 AM CDT, Blogger Anand Ramamoorthy said...

Dear TJ,

dharma is a very complicated word in sanskrit. restricting it to vaidhika dharma alone is not sufficient. such is my humble opinion. besides the concept of saamannya dharma in the Mahabharatha has a lot of things (14 to be precise) to be followed by all irrespective of gender, communtiy etc..we have to protect saamanya dharma- protection means only one thing

as mentioned in the taiitriya upanishad
SATHYAM VADA
DHARMAM CHARA!

speak the truth
tread the path of righteousness
for those who seek any clarifications as to what dharma is the Vidura Neeti , Gita, the dialogue between Rama and Bharatha on the chitrakoota hill and the advice given by Bhishma to Yudhishtira in the Anusaasana parva should be good references.

SARVAM SRIKRISHNAARPANAMASTHU!

 
At Wed Sep 21, 07:07:00 AM CDT, Blogger Ramana Siddharth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Wed Sep 21, 07:09:00 AM CDT, Blogger Ramana Siddharth said...

lovely letter tj!the vedas are sacred and must be preserved.there are some brahmin communities like some nambodri's in kerala who still lead a proper brahminical life.and i believe there is a village in karnataka where they speak only in sanskrit.have u seen vedam pudidhu?the relationship between the brahmin boy and balu thevar is so lovely.

where would you say prodigal brahmins like me who dont do gayatri japam and eat meat fit in?

 
At Wed Sep 21, 08:23:00 AM CDT, Blogger Random Access said...

Nice one! I want to learn the vedas (with my own interpretation if I can...but too bad none is willing to teach me sanskrit...sigh!)

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!

 
At Wed Sep 21, 11:02:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Vidya said...

we need more people like you. People who feel passionately about the subject and are willing to be a part of spreading it.

Cheers :)

 
At Wed Sep 21, 11:59:00 PM CDT, Blogger Ranj said...

TJ: That was an excellent post! I (with my very limited knowledge) too believe it this way of life. Protecting the Vedas - is required, but it falls in the category of any other form of work for the society, which in turn has a number of factors involved and the vicious cycle seems unending.

How should we position it with a dash of practicality for the society today, so that people see the value in it? (Unfortunate that we have all fallen prey to this kaalam, and materialism is placed so much more importance). I am of the feeling that the solution to problems would be an inquisitive soul (a person who can look within himself and question the reality of his existence), basically spirituality. Would love to talk to you about things and perhaps see how I can help. I want to do something too.

 
At Thu Sep 22, 08:48:00 AM CDT, Blogger Priya said...

hey tj,
ipdi kooda vaay vittu yaar solvaannu( manasula therinjaalum) nenechen.. good !!!
awaiting your post on how you got convinced..
well, are there any ways by which you can read vedas (any of them) online?

 
At Thu Sep 22, 01:18:00 PM CDT, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

TJ - Please explain, what you mean by protecting the Vedas. Is it same as living by it.

Regards,
Prem

 
At Thu Sep 22, 03:21:00 PM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

But one question TJ - Is it mandatory that only a Brahmin shuld protect the Vedas? Y not non brahmins?

 
At Fri Sep 23, 01:18:00 AM CDT, Blogger Ravi said...

TJ, you definitely have a very genuine and worthy thought. If you are able to persue it, then nothing like it.

Yes, there are such great treasures which are slowly getting faded away. I was particularly interested in 'Varma kalai' (am I saying it correctly) which is surprisingly used for defence as well as for healing!

Seriously hope if we can do something about it.

 
At Fri Sep 23, 04:03:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

SwarnaMukhi,
The Moral Instructions were an effective way of imparting the much needed value education. But in the day of academic rigour, the MI or Games classes have almost vanished from the schools!
Thanks for visiting.

Arjuna,
I saw your post, and have put comments there. You have accused the priest of being running for money et al, and the reason for it is what i had posted above. The patronage from the rulers [Kings / Zamindars], have vanished and they have to support themselves.

Rajesh,
Yes, DRR[not Disaster Recovery Representative :P] is true only when everybody follows it. Now there is a severe deviation from this, and we are not looking at who started it, but identifying what can be done from an individual stand point to straighten.
It again takes us to how did they get the societal status. They were never the ruler or the land owners, they got the status because of the cycle which i have said above.

Saravana,
I am mostly at work place and dont have access to messengers, u can drop me a mail.

Ram,
I would want to, but it is not as easy as we think, needs a lot of rigorous preperation. Small things like changing poonal or samithadhanam, i know, that too only for apasthamba krishna yajur veda. :D

Kasthuri,
Uff, We need to wait for the next avataram to bring in cleanlines!

Anand,
Yes, restricting dharma to Vaidhika is a gross mistake.
In this post, i did not mean, everybody should follow vaidhika dharma. Everybody has to follow whatever has been defined as their dharma. Now i am a doing the role of a shudra, working for a Vaishya, then i have to follow my dharma. Satyam vada and Dharmam Chara are the life notes of dharma i accept, and that would be the first step on the path to realization.

 
At Fri Sep 23, 04:40:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Siddharth,
The Speak sanskrit movement is doing a silent revolution in Karnataka. 3 years back i had attended one such 10 evening camp, and it was really effective
There is nobody in the world to control a Sanathani apart from his family and parents. There is no single authority who needs to follow. That is the beauty of our way of life. If your parents are completely okay with you eating meat and not doing gayathri, no body in the world could force you to do it.

RA,
Learning Sanskrit is surprisingly easy, though it has been publicised other way. It is very structured and the grammer is beautiful. It is one of my dreams to get paandithyam in samskritam.

Vidya,
Thanks! The fundamental aim of every one of us needs to be to identify the gems of our culture and preserver it for the future.

Ranj,
Very good question to ponder! The way forward is to take sanskrit, and vedas to the masses. There is a huge spritual boom in TN which is directing people towards false godmen, or evangelists. This is the time when people need to be pulled up towards Samskritam Vedas and Upanishads.

Priya,
Na sonnadhu, niraya per manasula irundadhu dhaan. All of us have the thirst and the drive to protect and carry forward our heritage. It is just a lack of direction, blocking us. Hope u have the links to some of the online vedic sites.

Prem,
Living by the vedas is a broad concept. Vedas donot provide rules for day to day activities, it just sets you broad guidelines. That is the reason why we have so many diverse people following this sanathana dharma accepting the same set of vedas. What is meant by protecting the vedas is first preventing the scriptures and interpretations from going to oblivion, second is spreading them.

Though it is a rough comparison, the brahmins are like the missionaries in christianity[i know it is a very crude comparison, but say]. What happens when all christians stop recognizing the churches and stop paying subscriptions. It will then just be a matter of time before the gospel slips into oblivion.

What i am talking about is Madarasa[only in concept] type of religious and value imparting institutions, which will be open to all those interested not restricting to a section.

Arjuna,
It is not that only Brahmins should protect the vedas. Infact, it is the other way around, those who recite, preserve, interpret and pass on the message of the vedas to the rest of the society is called as a Brahmin. Thus a 'non-brahmin protecting vedas' is a misnomer ;) If you belive learn and spread vedas, you are a brahmin, if i dont do it, i am not.

Ravi,
Thanks!. As i said earlier, everyone of us have the potential to raise up and gather resources to preserve and forward what we think is valuable. It would be a great betrayal if we dont pass it down to our future generations. The steps you would need to take forward would be, 1. Identify a master of Varma Kalai, 2. Identify a group of spirited students or youngster, who can spend some time in the week with the master and learn it. 3. You/Group of intersted people can provide all the resources needed for this! I am trying to make this happen for Samskritam and Vedas.

 
At Fri Sep 23, 09:36:00 AM CDT, Blogger ranganathan said...

it is irony that these things are still in 'to do' list:-)

simple tamizh cinema lyrics says.....

tharmam thalai kaakkum
thakka samayathil uyir kaakkum

tj - it is very difficult to lead a 'brahmin' life; hence, not everyone be termed a 'brahmin'

very touching indeed....

 
At Fri Sep 23, 09:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

TJ - If, all it takes to protect the vedas is to teach it, why the pre-conditions (protecting the brahmin, the society taking care of the brahmin etc.,) ?.
One of the main reasons for any kind of knowledge not to percolate to the grassroots is because of the restrictions of such dissemination. I believe Vedas had the same problem. Even though you say that everyone who learns and lives by the Veda is a Brahmin, you know that Veda was not taught to the anyone outsiders. There was restriction on that, not sure if that it exists, and if this is the case, then there is no way it could get a wider acceptance.
Sorry to say this, but instead of saying that the society is the root cause of its non-acceptance, I think it is more about the individuals who wanted to deny access to this knowledge.

 
At Fri Sep 23, 09:57:00 PM CDT, Blogger Priya said...

yeh. i got the links thru arjuna.

 
At Sat Sep 24, 05:59:00 PM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Ranga,
Vaanga vaana!! Thangal varavu nal varavaguga!!

Prem,
Yes, In any organizational set up there is a lot of mis interpretations, one such is the restriction of vedas.

That apart, to proove that point of view u had raised doesnt seem to be valid because according to that, the vedas shud have been extinct 1000 years before because that is not something that has just crept, in the last century or 50 years!!

Then what is it that has changed now which was not there all these years, was the point of analysis in the post, and what needs to straighten that. Reasons are
1. Loss of faith in the social structure of ancient India, mainly attributed to the divisive policies of the British.
2. General lack of spiritual consciousness [prevalent all around the world except in the hardline islamic coutries], due to the never before power for humans to control the variables deciding their destiny.

Thus the idea is to identify remedy for the above two.
1. Propogating the essence of the way of indian society.
2. Increasing and diverting the human drive towards inner discoveries.

 
At Mon Sep 26, 04:00:00 PM CDT, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

1. It is not an "organizational" setup, it is the cultural norm which exists even today.
2. Not sure what type of social structure you are referring to. My contention is; you want vedas to reach the common man, just go out and teach. Use your blog, create a website, include links for existing ones. I don't see a need for a keeper of this knowledge. If it is good for humanity, it should be distributed freely.
3. Hope you are not suggesting we go the way the hardline islamic countries are going. They do have a higher spiritual consciousness, but to what avail. Think about writing this blog sitting in any of the middle eastern countries.
4. "due to the never before power for humans to control the variables deciding their destiny." - Now I have a chance to be the philosopher. We humans never had and never will have control of our destiny, all we have are choices. Let's hope we make the right one.

Regards,
Prem.

 
At Sat Oct 01, 04:23:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Prem,
1. The interpretation of the norms have been misused by smaller interests. Whatyou see as the cultural norms doesnot exit.

2. Spreading the vedas is not an easy job as creating a blog and posting it. It is as huge as an ocean, simply because it is not just a 200 page book and its interprations. There are thousands of branches, texts and scriptures which have the knowledge.

There need to be specialized fulltime personnell to read, understand and propogate them. This is exactly what Brahmins were meant for, and this is the kind of folks who we want to support.

3. Regarding the religous consciousness in middle eastern countries, it is their culture and way of protecing and maintaining their way of life. I can easily do this writing a blog from anywhere, because i am not spreading any religious faith forcefully to anybody and nor am i doing blasphemy to other religions nor am is speaking ill or low of the culture of the land, unlike what missionaries do. I will be ready to write this blog sitting from anywhere.

4. Though i stand by them, Those were not my words, those are the words from Vatican report on decline of subscription for the churh from Europe.

 
At Mon Oct 03, 04:17:00 PM CDT, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

1. It is hard to believe when you say anyone, irrespective of his caste or creed will be taught Veda, in any of the institutions that does it now; But since its your word, I've to believe it.

2. My request all along has been to simplify it, make it accessible to the common man and see how it gets accepted. It could be a simple act like a including a line in every blog you write, but every drop counts.

3. Sorry, I wasn't questioning your courage or intention. I was just trying to draw your attention to the religious intolerance that exists when you go down that path.

4. Since you quoted Vatican, I've to agree on that - just kidding ;-). I'm not sure of the complete context in which this was used in the report, nevertheless, I don't think we ever really had control on our destiny. What are these new "never before power" they are referring to ?.



Regards
PA

 

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