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8: Creation and Life After Death : 1.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita  :

The Bhagavadgita is a moksha-shastra, a scripture on the science of the liberation of the spirit. Thus it follows the course of the return process along the same lines as the evolutionary process of the descent of the soul from the Supreme Being. The first six chapters may be said to be engaged in an exposition of self-discipline from the individual point of view, the integration of the human personality and the preparation of the whole man for the greater task which is yet to come – namely, the at-one-ment of the individual with the set-up of the universe. Some of the interpreters and commentators on the Bhagavadgita hold that the first six chapters have a relevance to the significance of the term 'twam' in the famous Upanishadic passage – tat twam asi. The next six chapters pertain to the characteristic of 'tat', or That, and the last six chapters are confined to the exposition of the process of the union of the two, signified by the term 'asi', That Thou Art. Thou That Are, to put it another way – twam tat asi. So this twam is in the first six chapters, tat in the next six, and asi in the last six. This is one of the opinions held by certain interpreters like Madhusudana Saraswati and commentators of that category. However, there seems to be some point in this opinion that the first six chapters are concerned with the discipline of the person, which culminates in the art of concentration, meditation – dhyana-yoga, which is the theme of the sixth chapter.

Now, if we can remember again the scheme of the entire process of the descent of the evolutes in the cosmological process from the higher realities, we would realise that this individuality, this personality, this so-called 'I-consciousness' of ours is a phenomenal appearance. The individual essence itself may not be phenomenal, but what we call the principle of individuality – characteristics which go to constitute the isolated individuality of ours – these externalising features are phenomenal in their nature because it is not true that the individual is totally cut off from the universe. This will be clear and obvious to us if we know how we came from the higher regions. So, the study of cosmology is the background and the rock-bottom, as it were, of any kind of study in philosophy, and certain modern thinkers have held that metaphysics is a critique of cosmologies. This is something very interesting, and without knowledge of the cosmological process it will be difficult for us to know where we are standing today. From the position we are occupying at this moment, we have to ascend further, gradually, through the stages by which we have come from the highest status – the Supreme Being. The Bhagavadgita, from the seventh chapter onwards, right up to the eleventh or the twelfth, occupies itself with this grand subject: the theme of the constitution of the whole universe and its relationship to the creator, Ishvara, Paramatman, Purushottama – the Supreme Being as the director of the whole of creation.

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
 To be continued  ....

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
To be continued ..

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
      To be continued...