Philosophy

Ch. 2 Yoga of Discernment of Reality (Part 6)

Dharma is a word not used just by the vaidikas but also employed reverently by the Buddhists and Jains. The vaidikas have employed this term in different śāstras and as part of different terminologies. Śrī Śaṅkara gives the following meaning:

jagataḥ sthiti-kāraṇam prāṇināṃ sākṣād-abhyudaya-niḥśreyasa hetuḥ yaḥ sa dharmaḥ...
Śāṅkara-gītā-bhāṣya upodghāta

The system and set of acts that bestows

(i) Welfare upon beings in the world now and

Ch. 2 Yoga of Discernment of Reality (Part 4)

It may be apt to recall the maxim of the English philosopher John Stuart Mill. It is not enough if one person forms an opinion or follows a certain set of actions because of faith in the words of others’ words. One should yearn to understand the exact reasons why a certain thing is good through one’s own analysis. Then the thing becomes truly beneficial. A belief that arises from blind faith may not be as fruitful.

The same words are stated by the Vedas that are thousands of years old –

Ch. 2 Yoga of Discernment of Reality (Part 1)

Gist

ಸ್ಮಿತದಿಂ ಸೌಹೃದವೀಕ್ಷಾ-
ಮೃತದಿಂ ಫಲ್ಗುಣನ ಸಂತವಿಡುತವನುಲಿದಾ
ಮತಿಮೋಹವ ನೀಗುವ ಜೀ-
ವಿತತ್ತ್ವವ ಪಾಡಿದಂ ಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ || 1 ||

With a smile and a nectar-like glance of friendship,
the world-teacher, Kṛṣṇa, sang the essence of life,
curing Phalguṇa’s (Arjuna’s) mind delusion 
that caused him to utter words of unhappiness.

 

ಅವಿಚಾರದ ಕೃಪೆಯೇಂ ತ-
ತ್ತ್ವವಿಮರ್ಶಾಧಾರಮಿರದ ಧರ್ಮಾಸ್ಥೆಯದೇಂ
ಸವಿಷಾದ ವಿರಕ್ತಿಯದೇಂ
ನವಕುಸುಮಾಸ್ತರಣಗುಪ್ತಗರ್ತಂ ಸುಖಮೇಂ || 2 ||

Chapter 1. Yoga of Inconsiderate Compassion (Part 3)

It is claimed often that ours is an Age of Science, an era of intellectual superiority. On the one hand, the intellect is mighty but on the other hand, the mind is fragile. Our times despise difficulties. Let nothing be difficult, may everything be easy – a piece of cake – this is today’s mindset.

This starts in our schools. Indian languages have the letters cha, bha, kṣa, hra – who needs these letters? They weary the children.

Chapter 1. Yoga of Inconsiderate Compassion (Part 2)

At this point, as an example of the severity of the result of one’s own experience, we can recollect the episode of the blind king Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Vyāsa offered to give him the capability to witness the scenes in the battlefield.

yadi tv-icchasi saṅgrāme draṣṭum-enaṃ viśāmpate
cakṣur-dadāni te hanta yuddham-etan-niśamaya
(Bhīṣma-parva 2.6)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra replied –

Chapter 1. Yoga of Inconsiderate Compassion (Part 1)

Gist

ಭರತಕುಲದುಭಯವಾಹಿನಿ
ಕುರುರಂಗದಿ ಸೇರಿ ಸಮರಶಂಖಂ ಮೊಳಗಲ್ ।
ನರನುತ್ಸಹಿಸದೆ ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ
ಗೊರೆದಂ ತನಗಾದ ಧರ್ಮಸಂಕಟಭಯಮಮ್ ॥

When the two armies of Bharata’s descendants
met at Kurukṣetra, and the war-conch sounded,
Arjuna, having lost his will
told Kṛṣṇa of his fear and doubt about his dharma