Appendix (Part 12)

This article is part 137 of 138 in the series Jīvana-dharma-yoga

In our country, it is not difficult to find instances where extreme religiosity makes one forget worldly duties. It is quite common to find educated people who,in the garb of renunciation and devotion, have shut their eyes to filth in society and country. If our śraddhā in dharma had been seen in our contemporary societal and political life, our country would not have to suffer from perpetual famine and fear of enemies[1]. Bhajans and festivals are quite commonly observed among us. Lectures on purāṇas and other religious texts endure. News about harikathas and religious discourses are published in the newspaper everyday. Along with that are seen countless accounts of corruption and inappropriate and immoral dealings in the administration. How can there be religious zeal on one side and moral decrepitude on the other? How can they go together? If śraddhā in the divine and dharma is truly prevalent among people, why do we see such incongruences?

The reason for this is not religion, but the misplaced sentiments that our people have in religion and dharma. If dharma should apply to all aspects of our life, we should observe that it acts in four domains:

  1. Ritual worship
  2. Familial
  3. Societal
  4. Political

Our people consider only the first one as bhakti and accept the second one as somewhat inevitable. They have kept the third and fourth out of the realm of dharma. Thus, the relationship between worldly life and dhārmic feeling in people has broken down. This is the reason for continuing disasters in our society. Music in bhajans and kīrtanas and the taste of naivedya and other celebrations are endearing to the mind. Societal obligations require hard work. Political duties can bring in harshness and resentment. Therefore, societal and political dharmas have remained away from our people. This is not the sign of a people who possess discernment about dharma. Just as dharma expects devotion for the divine, it also expects alertness and efficiency in performing one’s public duties. Those who neglect this are performing serious omissions in dharma.

Once, a great speaker came to Bengaluru and delivered twenty lectures about the Gītā. People were attending the lectures in hordes, in hundreds of cars. There were thousands of women also. Who knows how many among them had come to flaunt their finery and jewellery! Everyone had a copy of the Gītā in their hand. If their enthusiasm were to be considered sincere, Bengaluru would not be a destination of urbanites but a hermitage indeed! On the concluding day, a laukika gentleman of eminence was invited as the chief guest. In his speech, this chief guest challenged the speaker thus:

“Svāmin! There is an accountant in an office I know. He seems to be a pious person. He wears a dhoti with kachche. His forehead is smeared with vibhuti, and he keeps uttering statements from the Gītā always. He keeps saying “Rāma, Rāma, Śiva, Śiva”. But when asked to bring his documents, he can never find them. He makes mistakes in accounting. He does not remember anything. If asked why, he replies “Rāma will set everything right”. He regards office work as contemptible because it is just for livelihood. He does not respect the job that is paying him his salary. He is not dexterous in his work. But he is devoted to the Gītā.

In the same office, there is a typist. He may or may not be a Hindu. There is no mark on his forehead. He wears trousers and sometimes a hat also. He is always clean shaven. I have not heard the names of either the Gītā or Rāma from his mouth. But he is efficient in his work. He writes down dictations correctly. He types them beautifully, and prepares documents in time. Many a time, he finishes extra work after office hours in the night or early in the morning. Let us say that he is devoted to his work.

Whose devotion to the Gītā is greater among these two? The one who utters statements from the Gītā, or the one who does his duty?”.

If our people deliberate upon this question, then their devotion to the Gītā might become meaningful. Shouldn’t the quality of dharma be reflected in the lives of the people who claim to follow it?

Mahatma Gandhi effectively demonstrated that societal and political duties are suitable domains for the practice of dharma as instructed by the Gītā. It was his zeal for dharma that brought him to politics. He had understood that if there was no dharma in politics, it would not be there in the lives of people as well. Because of his śraddhā in dharma, politics became a necessary duty for him. The prayer meetings that he held every day were also political meetings. The most important aspect of his dharmic practice was to discuss important public matters and advise people and the government[2]. The devotees of dharma among us should keep this in mind. From no aspect of life should dharma be kept out.

The Nature of Time

kālo’mśaḥ paramātmanaḥ ॥

-MB, Śānti Parva  238-25

kālo’pi tanmayo’cintyas-triguṇātmā sanātanaḥ ॥

-Ibid. 43

kālātmanā tvidaṃ bhinnam-abhinnaṃ śrūyate hi yat ।
anādyantam-ajaṃ divyam avyaktam ajaraṃ dhruvam ॥

-Ibid. 44

All of us use the word ‘kālā’ or Time. Our minds understand the nature of time, or we interact as though we understand it. But, do we really understand its nature well? Is it possible to reveal its definite nature through mere words? That effort is now necessary for us, because at every moment, we behave as though we accept that the universe is subordinate to something called time. We say, “All this is due to the influence of time”, “This anomaly is because of time”. Therefore, let us think about some characteristics of time.

  • Time is an external thing that we experience internally. It is not physically perceptible to our eyes and hands, but only to our knowledge.
  • Since it does not have any form, it is only perceptible when it is associated with a physical object or activity. Just as we cannot isolate and show the characteristics of world-objects — white, red, sweet, spicy, thin, thick, goodness, badness, etc., — from the objects that possess them, we cannot separate out time from the physical objects or activities it is associated with. Adverbs such as then, now, when, today, tomorrow, and yesterday denote time.
  • Every part of our lifespan is time. Time is a fragment of one’s duration of life.
  • There was time before our lifetime, and it will be there after that. Our lifespan is a small part of eternal time.
  • Thus, time has always been there; it will exist forever. It is hidden, and also shows itself. Wherever there is existence, and wherever there is knowledge of existence, time exists. The feeling of time is in the universe. Where there is no universe, there is no time. The universe is action! The feeling of time is inevitable for any activity. The understanding of the expanse of existence is itself a measure of time. The mental experience of the vast canvas of existence is time. Existence is the nature of Brahma, and this existence is experienced by the jīva. Brahma existed before the universe was created. The energy that experienced the universe was, then, not separate from Brahma. Therefore there was no talk of time.
    • We can describe time in two ways:
    • Related to our lifespan 
  • As something that exists within and beyond our worlds.
  • The first is limited time, or transactional time. The second is unlimited time, or time beyond the universe. That is pure time or eternal time. Human life is limited. Bhagavān’s greatness is unlimited.
  • Something that is limited can be measured. Something that has a beginning and end can be counted or measured. Aspects of time such as second, day, month, year, yuga and kalpa are all understood this way. Of similar nature are words such as then, now, when, and feelings of time such as past, present, and future. Natural activities such as the blinking of our eyes, breathing through the nose, sunrise, sunset, and change of the seasonal cycle are all fundamental measuring sticks to measure time. These belong to the realm of worldly time.
  • The entity that is not amenable to such divisions and yardsticks is Bhagavān or paramātmā. He is infinite and therefore immeasurable. Therefore, in the context of Bhagavān, time is unlimited, eternal, and infinite. It is non-transactional. “sarva-svarūpī bhagavān anādimān” (“All forms are manifestations of Brahma, which does not have a beginning”). Brahma does not have any concept of time.
  • There is an aspect of ‘becoming’ associated with ‘being’. There is a spark; it becomes a flame. There is water, it becomes steam. There is a raw fruit, it becomes ripe. There is a baby; it will become a parent eventually. ‘Becoming’ is a result of ‘being’. When the qualities and energy that are hidden within an object gradually flow out, it ‘becomes’. Time is the continuity of existence that is required for this. The internal qualities of an object ripen as seconds, days and months flow and pass. “kālaḥ pacati bhūtāni sarvāṇyenātmani” (Mahābhārata, śānti). Thus, we can say that time is the opportunity for the external manifestation of the internal qualities of the universe. When we say that time causes everything to mature, it means that it softens and tempers the insides, hardens the soft parts and brings them out. Change is another form of existence. That is action.

To be continued...

The present series is a modern English translation of DVG’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award-winning work, Bhagavad-gītā-tātparya or Jīvana-dharma-yoga. The translators wish to express their thanks to Śatāvadhāni R Ganesh for his valuable feedback and to Hari Ravikumar for his astute edits.


[1]This was the situation in the 1960s.

[2]Since Gandhiji was a highly influential figure in those times, DVG might have cited him as an example.



Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.



Engineer. Lapsed blogger. Abiding interest in Sanskrit, religion, and philosophy. A wannabe jack-of-all.


Mother of two. Engineer. Worshiper of Indian music, poetry, and art.

Prekshaa Publications

Among the many contributions of ancient Indians to world thought, perhaps the most insightful is the realisation that ānanda (Bliss) is the ultimate goal of human existence. Since time immemorial, India has been a land steeped in contemplation about the nature of humans and the universe. The great ṛṣis (seers) and ṛṣikās (seeresses) embarked on critical analysis of subjective experience and...

One of the two great epics of India and arguably the most popular epic in the world, the Ramayana has enchanted generations of people not just in Greater India but the world over. In less than three hundred pages The Essential Ramayana captures all the poetic subtleties and noble values of the original and offers the great epic in an eminently readable form that will appeal to the learned and...

The Bhagavad-gītā isn’t merely a treatise on ultimate liberation. It is also a treatise on good living. Even the laity, which does not have its eye on mokṣa, can immensely benefit from the Gītā. It has the power to grant an attitude of reverence in worldly life, infuse enthusiasm in the execution of duty, impart fortitude in times of adversity, and offer solace to the heart when riddled by...

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...


इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।


अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...


ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...


“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...