Philosophy

Shiva-Rama-Krishna: The World as Family

In the Ayodhyakāṇḍa, we see that Rama knew his subjects well and cared about them. He would often meet them and learn of their joys and sorrows. If they were happy, he laughed with them and if they were sad, he wept with them. If Rama didn’t see someone on a given day, he would feel that he missed seeing such-and-such a person and the one who didn’t see Rama would feel that he missed the sight of Rama! Such was the mutual affection between Rama and his subjects. In sum, it was rare that Rama didn’t meet his subjects; if he failed to do so, it was only accidental!

Shiva-Rama-Krishna: Family Values in Rama

When Dasharatha orders Rama’s banishment, he again rushes to his mother to give her solace. At that moment, Kausalya reminds Rama that the mother is a hundred times more important than the father, and that it is more important to heed to the words of the mother than the father. Saying so, she orders him to take her along with him into the forests. But if that happens, the family would break; husband and wife would separate. Rama doesn’t want his parents to separate. His response is at once dharmic and clever.

Shiva-Rama-Krishna: The Family Ideal

When we discussed about Shiva, a lot of symbols were invoked. Instead of taking Shiva’s form and attributes at face value, we explored the metaphor. The reason for this is quite simple: human beings are abstract. They are so hard to grasp. It is so difficult to wholly understand an individual. But societies are more tangible – or at least we feel that we can see it better, in a more concrete manner.

Shiva-Rama-Krishna: The Symbolism of Shiva

Shiva holds the Ḍamaru in one of his hands. This master of laya (dissolution) plays a laya-vadya (percussion instrument). It is said that from the beating of his ḍamaru, the fourteen Māheśvara-sūtras emerged, which form the basis of Sanskrit. There is also a charming legend in the Tamil country that when Shiva beat his drum, Sanskrit appeared from one side and Tamil from the other. The ḍamaru also represents a strange paradox of Shiva – on the outside, he speaks and makes music but within, he is utterly silent.

Shiva-Rama-Krishna: The Three Ideals

In the Indian tradition, the deities Shiva, Rama, and Krishna have been revered by the learned and the lay for millennia. While Rama and Krishna were historical figures, Shiva is a mythological ideal. Whether one is a believer or a non-believer in the Supreme, one will greatly benefit from realizing the values that these three greats embody. Such is the conception of Shiva-Rama-Krishna.

The Concept of the Three Cardinal Values in the works of M. Hiriyanna

A paper titled "The Perspective of Practical Vedanta in the Works of M. Hiriyanna" was presented by Arjun Bharadwaj at the international conference "New Frontiers in Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge" (NFSI) on 12th June 2017 organized by the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth. The current article contains excerpts from the paper.

Vairāgya Pañcakam: Five Verses on Detachment

There is a beautiful poem ascribed to Vedānta-deśika (born Veṅkaṭanātha) that deals with the topic of vairāgya (detachment from worldly indulgences).

क्षोणीकोणशतांशपालनकलादुर्वारगर्वानल-
क्षुभ्यत्क्षुद्रनरेन्द्रचाटुरचनाधन्यान्न मन्यामहे ।
देवं सेवितुमेव निश्चिनुमहे योऽसौ दयालुः पुरा
धानामुष्टिमुचे कुचेलमुनये दत्ते स्म वित्तेशताम् ।१।
(Meter: Śārdūlavikrīḍitam)