There are a few rare individuals who don’t have a ‘formative age’ – they seem to be born complete. They are born with wisdom. They don’t require an internal evolution, for they are already evolved. They don’t need any enhancements. Krishna is one such person. While Krishna’s childhood antics are described in detail, we don’t know his thought process during his early years. What we can see, however, is that right from the start he was one who embraced life with its ups and downs. He accepts life choicelessly; good and bad outcomes don’t bother him (BG 2.50).
Professor M. Hiriyanna is one of the little-known scholar-giants who gifted us new insights, and corrected thriving misconceptions in Indian philosophy. The title of this post is derived from his 1939 Indian Philosophical Congress lecture bearing the same title.
For many of us, Krishna is the epitome of sanatana dharma. His every thought, word, and action embodies the spirit of Hinduism. It is no surprise that his wartime counsel to Arjuna is revered as the greatest summary of Hindu thought. We can never be sure if Krishna spoke the exact words of the Bhagavad-Gita as we know it today, but it seems likely that at least the core message of the text was spoken by Krishna. We have all been in situations where a despondent friend has asked us for advice.
An exploration into three fundamental but interrelated concepts in Indian philosophy: dharma (principle of sustenance), brahma (or brahman; Supreme spirit that pervades everything) and rasa (the aesthetic experience). While dharma is an efficient tool for managing life, rasa bridges the material and the spiritual, and brahma is the all-encompassing absolute.
Dharma is broadly classified into two groups – general or universal (samanyadharma) and special or particular (visheshadharma). In the category of samanyadharma, all the basic values which generally never change with space and time are included. Here, the divisions of caste, creed, occupation, nationality, gender, race and other distinctions are not decisive. What we would call as human values today – values like truth, non-violence, freedom from greed, purity of thought, word and action, self-control, etc.
Yajna, Dana, and Tapas
It is known that dharma is the only way to live. But how to practice it? The action plan of dharma is given in the pedagogy of yajna, dana, and tapas.