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4. Life as a Yajna or Sacrifice : 6.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita  :

The world of sense-perception is conditioned by space-time and the various categories of the psychological process; while the thing, the person, the being, the substance as it is in itself, is behind this curtain of space-time. Our real being also is behind this curtain of the psycho-physical individuality. Thus we are living in a phenomenal world, both subjectively and objectively. The thing-in-itself, as they say, the substance as such, eludes the grasp of this phenomenal process - thus no man can see God, and the intellect of man is not fit enough to contact reality. Unless we develop a mechanism within our own selves to go deeper into this large area of phenomenality – subjectively as well as objectively – the plumbing into one's own self is also the plumbing through space and time. Modern science says the inward, subjective, subatomic philosophy of quantum theory is identical with the spatio-temporal theory of relativity – Tat tvam asi: That is this and this is That. The inward depth is also the outward plumbing of the abyss of space and time. The deeper we go inwardly, simultaneously there is a going deep into the outer cosmos – and vice-versa, the plumbing into the cosmos objectively would also imply a going deep into one's own self. Knowledge of the self is the knowledge of the universe, and the knowledge of the universe is the knowledge of the self. Atman is Brahman.

This is a profound philosophy that is hidden behind performance of sacrifice, self-control, practice of yoga, the control of senses, the restraint of the mind and the stabilising of the intellect and the reason. We have to perform a double process – sometimes mentioned in the Bhagavadgita and also in Patanjali – of vairagya and abhyasa, a dual action of withdrawal and union. The performance of this dual function may be said to be a simultaneous action taking place, as recovering from illness is also the regaining of health and the going away of night is the coming in of day. There is no temporal successiveness in these processes; they happen to be a simultaneous occurrence. Thus, the vairagya that we speak of in yoga, the dissociation of consciousness from erroneous thinking and contact, is simultaneously a concentration of consciousness on that which lies above itself – the lower self concentrates itself on the higher. 

Now I am coming to that point as to what the lower self is and what the higher Self is. The lower self is that state of consciousness which is conditioned by the urge in the direction of objects. The higher Self is that which is the condition of freedom, attained by even a single step taken by this involved consciousness in the direction of disentanglement with objects. Thus every ascent is a regaining of one's Self, and an asset on the side of strengthening of one's personality. Vairagya and abhyasa mean detachment and communion. Here, many people may get misguided due to the difficulty in understanding the true meaning of these terms, vairagya and abhyasa – renunciation, abrogation, detachment or non-attachment, going together with concentration, meditation, etc. We have to correctly understand what detachment means in order to know what communion is; and the whole of yoga is this much. If we commit an initial error, then we would be piling error over error in our subsequent actions or performances. Thus, we have to be vigilant at the very beginning.

To be continued   ....

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All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : 2.1.1.g) -2.


The Scriptures :

1. The Srutis : g)-2

g ).The Vedangas-2.

Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.

Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

Nirukta is philology or etymology.

Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.

Kalpa is the method of ritual.

The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong to Kalpa.

The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa.

The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.

Swami Sivananda
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All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-4.5.



5. Ethical Codes In Hinduism :

Hindu ethics is superb. Hinduism lays great emphasis on ethical discipline.

Yama (self-restraint) and Niyama (religious observances or canons) are the foundations of Yoga and Vedanta.

Undeveloped persons cannot think for themselves.

Hence rules of conduct have been laid down by great sages or seers like Manu and Sage Yajnavalkya.

Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done.

Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures, thou oughtest to work in this world” (Ch. XVI-24).

The Smritis written by Yajnavalkya, Manu and other sages distinctly prescribe the rules of conduct.

As you have not got the power nor the time to think of the moral principles and rules given in the scriptures, you can get them from the sages and saints and follow them to the very letter.

Swami Sivananda
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All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-3.15-4.3.


15. The Law of Spiritual Economics-4.2.

4. Use and Abuse of the Caste System -3.

At the present moment, the Varnasrama system exists in name only.

It has to be rebuilt properly.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, who have fallen from their ideals and who are not doing their respective duties, must do their respective duties properly.

They must be educated on right lines.

They must raise themselves to their original lofty level.

The sectarian spirit must die.

They should develop a new understanding heart of love and devotion, with a spirit of co-operation, sacrifice and service.

Next : 5. The Four Asramas

Swami Sivananda
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