Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Mind is composed of the following four faculties:
manas - Emotions, moods, likes, dislikes
buddhi - Intellect , reasoning, observation, conclusion, knowledge, creativity
cittam - Perception, cognition, memory, reflection, recollection
ahamkAra - Ego

Sunday, November 15, 2009


kAraNa SarIra ( Causal Body):
(a) Inexplicable
(b) Beginningless
(c) In the form of ignorance
(d) Sole cause for the gross and subtle bodies
(e) Ignorant of its own true nature
(f) Without thoughts (nirvikalpa)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


sUskhma SarIra (Subtle Body):
(a) Composed of five great elements ( panca mahAbhUta) which have not undergone the process of grossification (pancIkaraNa)
(b) Born as a result of good actions of the past (human body)
(c) Container for experiencing Pleasure and Pain
(d) Constituting 17 items –
5 organs of perception (jnAnedriyas – ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose)
5 organs of action (karmendriyas – speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals)
5 prANas ( prANa, apAna, vyAna, udAna and samAna)
mind (manah)
intellect (buddhi)

Friday, November 13, 2009


sthUla SarIra :
(a) Made up of five great elements ( panca mahAbhUta) which have undergone the process of grossification (pancIkaraNa)
(b) Born as a result of good actions of the past ( human body)
(c) Instrument for experiencing Pleasure and Pain
(d) Undergoes the six-fold modifications representing potential existence, birth, growing, maturing, decaying and dying.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whether computer or robot can have a "Being" ?

Based on the three-fold principles of Vedic Philosophy known as tatva traya, the Universe is composed of three types of beings as follows:
(a) cit - Consciousness -- Sentient Being --This is the Subject principle. Human Beings, Animals, Plants, Birds which have a life principle . With a body they are born and they undergo six-fold modifications and perish. They suffer pains and enjoy pleasures. They are conditioned beings and have a lot of dependencies. The Atman (Soul) is imperishable. This is known as BMIS concept.(Body-Mind-Intellect-Self)
(b) acit - Insentient Being - This is the Object principle. Materials which do not have consciousness like stone, gold, sand, iron and so on. These are perishable. There is no life principle involved.
(c) ISvara - God - This is the creator and sustainer of the entire Universe. He is ancient and eternal. He is fully independent. He is both the material and efficient cause of creation.

Bhagavad GItA Chapter XV is known as purushottamayoga adhyAya .Lord KrishNa beautifully summarizes the above concept in this Chapter. Accordingly, the world is made up of three things as under:
(a) kshara -Perishable objects (Insentient). This includes the three types of bodies comprising sthUla SarIra (gross body), sUkshma SarIra (subtle body) and kAraNa SarIra (Causal body).
(b) akshara - jIvAtmA -- Imperishable (Sentient)
(c) uttama purusha - paramAtmA -- ISvara ---Supreme God who is the Lord sustaining the worlds. (Chapter XV-16, 17)

In the light of the above understanding, a Computer or robot is acit. It is kshara which is perishable. It does not have the consciousness and life principle. There is no "Being" involved in a Computer or robot though we may say it has some built-in Artificial Intelligence.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Atman (Self) is the source of energy.

AtmanA vindate vIryam- Kena Upanishad ii-4

From the Self, one attains energy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The yuga dharma makes it difficult for any one to comply with the dharmas as enshrined in the scriptures. To-day no one including the renowned sanYAsis are strictly able to follow the dharma in letter and spirit. Day by day there are many distractions and onslaughts which weaken the dharma. There are many who are not concerned with following the path of dharma. They have almost given up every thing and have become a human robot for all practical purposes. But there are some who would like to abide by the dharma but are conditioned by the constraints of desa, kAla and vartamAna. It is only those people who want a dynamic approach to SAstras so that there is an assurance that whatever they do is as per the Scriptures.

The moot question now is whether in such a deteriorating situation we should also revise the SAstras to fit in the modern trends so that it makes every one happy and does not give a guilty feeling regarding non-compliance. In the past, all attempts to rationalize dharma SAstras to make them adaptable to modern times have been condemned by learned scholars as no one has the authority to do so.

Notwithstanding the above, there is always the demand to look at dharma SAstras more practically. Now who would categorically say that a particular aspect is as per dharma or not? The knowledge available is limited and anything said by one person can be easily questioned by others based on each one’s level of understanding. We would be spending time in asking and answering but without any definite conclusion.

The solution to all these questions concerning dharma should be addressed by a dharma sadas consisting of learned Srotriyas who are experts in dharma sAstras constituted by the respective Mutt Heads. It shall be the responsibility of the dharma Sadas to determine what is according to dharma in the prevailing circumstances. Even here, considering the force of kali yuga, we need to follow the three-fold classification of dharma viz., uttama. madhyama and adhama. In the ultimate analysis it would end up that even following the adhama paksha of dharma would be difficult for most of us in the modern context.

In my humble view, on-line Forums can only ask questions but cannot conclude any thing convincingly because of the divergent views. My suggestion is that the esteemed members of the Forums can prepare a set of pointed questions which affect the practice of dharma and leave it to the experts of the dharma Sadas to analyze and resolve based on scriptural authority.

What we have to keep in view is that there are certain prAyascittas prescribed in the dharma SAstras which would mitigate the effects for non-conformance to dharma. Even those would be difficult to follow in the current context. It shall be the endeavor of the dharma Sadas to explore the dharma sAstras in depth and recommend ways and means of compliance which are practicable.

To start with, one can take the initiative in approaching one reputed Mutt to constitute the dharma Sadas. This can then be extended.

In the ultimate analysis:

prAyascittanyaSeshANi tapah karmAtmakAni vai !
yani teshamaSeshANam krishNanusmaraNam param !!

hare krishNa hare krishNa krishNa krishNa hare hare !
hare rAma hare rAma rAma rAma hare hare !!


Regarding reciting the Vedas, the following six types of people are considered as "adhamAh"
gItI SIghrI Sirah kampI tathA likhita pAthakah!
anarthajnah alpakantasca shadete pAthakAdhamah!!
Among the six, those who read Vedas from Books are also condemned.

Based on my limited understanding, the modern mode of listening to digitized Vedas by any one at any place at any time based on one's convenience is not explicitly approved in the SAstras.

Regarding the listeners also, one has to maintain respectfully the sanctity and dignity of the Vedas. Otherwise, listening to Vedas casually as ordinary music while travelling or doing some other work or when one is impure would be against the Scriptural norms.The easy availability of Vedas in digital form to every one irrespective of adhikAri niyama would greatly undermine its sanctity.

A vipra can listen to Vedas keeping the above aspects in view.

No doubt kali yuga dharma is fast devouring all of us and we cannot escape from this fact. Only thing is that we should try to follow whatever little is possible in the circumstances.

By efflux of time though everything becomes acceptable to ordinary people like us, we should not be a party to recommend wholesome changes in the SAstras to suit modern thinking and consumerist living.