Author:Haricharan Mylaraiah

One day, sometime during 1905-06, at about 10 in the morning, my grandfather’s brother was sitting at the veranda of our house, chatting with someone. At that time, a man came there, stood at a distance, and spoke in Telugu in a soft voice, “Right now, if I requested you for some food, would it be inconvenient?”

In both the Vedas and the Puranas we can see a lineage of seers and kings. Again and again we see a reference to the panchajana in the Vedas; it is a reference to the five tribes (or clans) – यदु, द्रुह्यु, तुर्वष, पुरु, and आनु. The group that primarily ruled our country are the Purus. The Yadus and the Turvashas were under them. The Aanus and Druhyus went to various parts and settled there, creating colonies. In summary, we can say that these five tribes/clans grew like five families/dynasties. All these are primarily associated with the चन्द्रवंश – the moon dynasty.

Sukanta Bhattacharya (1926-1947) is counted as one of the great Bengali poets along with Rabindranath Tagore, Jibanananda Das, and Kazi Nazrul. For someone who died at twenty, that is quite something. Many of his poems have sociopolitical undertones but are romantic at the core.

Ananda Coomaraswamy is one of the little-known figures of India. Which is baffling because a vague estimate of his works runs into more than 15,000 pages. It is all the more baffling because his range of subjects is almost beyond belief and his grasp of their intricate nuances is staggering.

The basic idea of the Gita was to convince Arjuna to fight the war and kill his enemies. Krishna tells Arjuna without mincing any words that he has to face his enemies and march ahead. And in the course of this persuasion, he uses various lines of argument (see for example, BG 2.31-33, 11.34). But this is not an empty exhortation. Krishna himself has killed others. He has killed his own people too. He killed his own maternal uncle Kamsa because the latter was not adhering to dharma and was ruling over the kingdom as a tyrant.

If you grew up in India or if you were associated with Indian culture in any form – literature, music, dance, or films – you would have heard the word dharma. Most Indian languages have this word as is or at least have the concept (for example, in Tamil, we use the word aram, which is similar to dharma).

In the dharmashastras, there are sections exclusively dedicated to raja-dharma that are both specific and elaborate. In the smrtis of Manu, Yajnavalkya, Narada and others, as well as the dharma-sutras of Apastamba, Bodhayana, Gautama and others, there are thousands of pages dedicated to raja-dharma. All those deal with how governance should be in a manner that is transparent and is in the best interests of the people, which are aligned to the fundamental principles of sanatana dharma.

The scriptures declare "धर्मो विश्वस्य जगतः प्रतिष्ठा" (तैत्तिरीय-आरण्यकम् – IX-63). Dharma indeed is the foundation of the universe. Sri Vidyaranya saw that dharma, once firmly established, engenders establishment of all that is good.  While dharma refers to cosmic order in the highest sense of the term, it is seen manifold in reality as conduct, practice, punishment and penance(अाचार,व्यवहार,दण्ड,प्रायश्चित्त). This should not be construed as a duplicity or flaw in dharma.

9

The difference in meanings of ऋत and सत्य is unequivocal in the following mantra of the Vedas:

ऋतं त्वा सत्येन परिशिञ्चमीति सायं परिषिञ्चति |
सत्यं त्वर्तेन परिशिञ्चमीति प्रात:|
अग्निर्वा ऋतम् |
असावादित्य:सत्यम् |
अग्निमेव तदादित्येन सायं परिशिञ्चिति |
अग्निनाsदित्यं प्रात: स: |