The foundational works of Hinduism have, for centuries, been transmitted by means of an oral tradition – teachers taught their disciples, who committed every word to memory and then passed it on to their disciples without any variation. Needless to say, many ancient texts have been lost over the years. For ease of understanding, in this article we use the term ‘texts’ instead of ‘works,’ or ‘compositions,’ or ‘treatises,’ but they include both orally composed works and written texts.
This is the second part of the article, Sanatana Dharma from Scratch by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh, discussing about several fundamental aspects of Hinduism.
In its original and purest form, Hinduism is a sanatana dharma, loosely translated as ‘eternal truth’ or ‘timeless religion’ or ‘eternal way of life’ or ‘timeless ethic.’ It is drawn from nature and thus unrestricted by space-time constraints. However, in the several applications of sanatana dharma, we adopt specific spatiotemporal frames.
Hinduism is the major religion of India with a worldwide following of over a billion people. In its original and purest form, it is a sanatana dharma (loosely translated as ‘eternal truth’ or ‘timeless religion’) that represents at least 7,000 years of contemplation, tradition, and continuous development in India. One who follows Hinduism is called a ‘Hindu’ (the term originally referred to a person who lived beyond the Sindhu river, i.e. in undivided India).
The fourth part of this translation comprises the verses that are not found in the critical edition but are in the Chitrashala edition. Most of them are as elegant as the ones found in the critical edition. This episode appears in chapters 311-12 of the Chitrashala edition. The verses are not numbered so as to avoid confusion.
This is the third part of the translation of the Yakshaprashna. With this, all the verses in the critical edition have been translated. In the fourth and concluding part of the translation we will take up all the verses from the Chitrashala edition that have not already been covered in the critical edition.
This is the second part of the translation of the Yakshaprashna, a conversation between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted lake.
किं क्षत्रियाणां देवत्वं
कश्च धर्मः सतामिव ।
कश्चैषां मानुषो भावः
किमेषामसतामिव ॥ ३२
How does a kshatriya attain divinity?
What is his true dharma?
What is the human trait of kshatriyas?
What is the wrong path for a kshatriya?
One of the most fascinating tales in the Mahabharata is the dialogue between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted pool. This episode is popularly known as the ‘Yakshaprashna.’ The characters of the Mahabharata, so richly sketched by Vyasa, find relevance even today among readers. Never one to judge his characters or paint them with a single shade of color, Vyasa highlights the ridiculous and the sublime in the characters at various points in the epic.
Religious fundamentalism can be defined as strict adherence to certain fundamental theological doctrines as prescribed in the sacred text(s). Originally, fundamentalism applied to the Christian faith and it called for belief in the literal truth of the Bible.
There is much discussion, debate, and even controversy about yoga these days. But what is yoga? First of all, it is far more nuanced than the typical image of a young lady sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, deep in meditation with a benign smile on her face.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union.’ It simply means joining two things. For example, Rigveda Samhita 7.67.8 uses the word ‘yoga’ when it refers to the yoking of the horses to the chariot.