Monday, August 30, 2010


According to Devala, there are eight types of BrAhmaNas as follows in the ascending order of greatness:


MAtra means one who is born in a BrAhmaNa family who has not undergone upanayanam and not following any ansuhthAna.

BrAhmaNa is one who has done some veda adhyayana, who has ACara, SAnti, Satyam, dayA.

Srotriya is one who has done the Veda adhyayanam of one SakhA along with kalpasUtra or six vedAngas, knower of dharma, performer of six karmas like yajanam.

anUCAna is one who is vedavedAnga tatvajna, Suddha citta, devoid of Sins and having the qualities of Srotriya.

BhruNa is one who is vrataguNopeta, follower of niyamas in yajnas and vedAdhyayana, devapitruSishtAnna BhojI, jitendriya.

Rishikalpa is one who has all vaidika and laukika jnAna, Asramastha, jitendriya.

Rishi is one who is Urdharetas, tapasvI, follower of AhAra niyama, powerful to give SApa and anugraha, satyasandha.

Muni is one who is not attached towards vishayas, knower of all tatvas, without KAma and krodha, dhyAnastha, nishkriya, jitendriya, viewer of gold or sand equally.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Predictive aspect of jyotisha is nothing but predicting the karmaphala in various points of time. The karmas done by a person in the previous births yield fruits in the form of sukha or dukha.

Based on SAstras, the interpretation of the karma phala cannot be done casually or through computer programs. Thus a well-versed person who knows karma siddhAnta, nyAya siddhAnta, vedAnta siddhAnta, dharma SAstra, Ayurveda and so on, who is good at inference and deduction and who is having Mantra Siddhi alone can be a reliable and authentic astrologer.

Aneka horA tattvajnah Panca-siddhAnta kovidah !
Uhapoha patuh Siddhah Mantro jAnAti jAtakam !!
Astrology is like a lamp which can only reveal the objects as they are in the dark. Beyond that it is only by karmaphala that one's life and circumstances are determined.

Yaduparjitam anya janmani subhAsubham tasya karmaNah patim !
Vynjayati SAstrametat Tamasi dravyaNi dIpa iva !!
The predominant objective of VedAnga jyotisham is about determining the kAla for performance of yajnas. This has got lesser to do with individual horoscope based interpretations. The ancient Smritis also do not highlight horoscope based matching for the purpose of marriage.

jyotishAm ayanam puNyam pravakshAmyanu pUrvaSah !

sammatam brAhmaNendrANAm YajnakAlArtha siddhaye !!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Vedas are intended for the performance of yajnas.

VedAnga Jyotisha is also known as KAla vidhAna SAstram as understanding time is necessary for performance of yajnAs.

vedA hi yajnArtham abhipravruttAh
kAlAnupUrvyA vihitAsca yajnAh !
tasmAd idam kAlavidhAna SAstram
Yo jyotisham veda sa veda yajnAn !!

Friday, August 20, 2010


There are six limbs of the Vedas, known as VedAngas. They symbolically represent the organs of the Veda Purusha.

1. SikshA -- Nose
2. Chandas -- Feet
3.VyAkaraNa -- Mouth
4. Nirukta -- Ears
5. Jyotisha -- Eyes

6.Kalpa -- Arms

SikshA is the science which deals with articulation and pronunciation.

Chandas is the science of metrics. It deals with Vedic metres.

VyAkaraNa is the science of grammar.

Nirukta is the science which deals with the etymological interpretation of words.

Jyotisha is the science of astronomy. It is primarily oriented towards determining the most appropriate time for performance of Vedic sacrifices and rituals.

Kalpa is the science which deals with rituals and prescribes rituals for sacrificial acts.
The Srauta sUtras contain a detailed description of sacrifices.
The Grihya SUtras prescribe rules for conducting various ceremonies pertaining to domestic life.
The Dharma SUtras consist of laws governing religious ways of life and secular matters as well.
The Sulva sUtras deal with the architecture of sacrificial altars for undertaking different kinds of sacrifices.

The VedAngas greatly help us in proper understanding and application of the Vedas. In case there is a difference between the two, Vedas will always prevail over the VedAngas .
Thus Sruti PramANam is the most authentic pramANa.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Ratha SaptamI is for invoking Sun God.

TarpaNam to SrI BhIshma has to be offered on BhIshmAshtamI which is normally the day next to ratha saptamI.


(a)On BhIshmAShtamI day morning, perform sandhyA vandanAdi nitya karmas.

(b)Be seated facing East .

(c) Say the sankalpa " BhIshmAshtamI puNyakAle BhIshma TarpaNam karishye"

(d) Having YajnopavIta in NivIta mode, offer Arghyam by both hands in pure water without mixing tila by chanting the following Slokas:

1. bhIshmah SAntanavo vIrah satyavAdI jitendriyah !
AbhiradbhiravApnotu putrapautrocitAm kriYAm !!

bhIshmAya namah idamarghyam !

2. vaiyAghrapAda gotrAya sAnkritya pravarAya ca !
aputrAya dadAmyarghyam salilam bhIshma varmaNe !!

bhIshmAya namah idamarghyam !

3. gangAputrAya SAntAya Santanoh AtmajAya ca !
aputrAya dadAmyarghyam salilam bhIshma varmaNe !!

bhIshmAya namah idamarghyam !
anena arghyapradAnena bhIshmah PrIyatAm !

In fact all BrahmaNas should necessarily offer their respects to SrI BhIshma pitAmaha. In my humble view, he alone deserves the first praise of honour by all vipras as he considers them dearer than his own father.

My respectful salutations to SrI BhIshma.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The subject of SrAddha is vast like an ocean.

There are two basic forms of SrAddha. One is known as PArvaNam and the other is called as Ekoddishtam.

SrAddha can be broadly classified into three categories nitya, naimittika and kAmya.

There are 12 types of SrAddhas:

(1)Nitya SrAddha
(2)Naimittika SrAddha
(3)KAmya SrAddha
(4)NAndI SrAddha
(5)sapiNDIkaraNa SrAddha
(6)PArvaNa SrAddha
(7)gaushtha SrAddha
(8) Suddhyartha SrAddha
(9)karmAnga SrAddha
(10)Daivika SrAddha
(11)YAtrA SrAddha
(12) Pushti SrAddha

PratyAbdika SrAddha especially for one's father or mother has to be necessarily performed as anna SrAddha only. No substitute is allowed in the form of Ama SrAddha or HiraNya SrAddha.

In other cases, if anna SrAddha cannot be performed, it can be done as Ama Sraddha under certain conditions.

If Ama SrAddha cannot be performed, it can be done as HiraNya SrAddha under certain conditions.

If HiraNya SrAddha cannot be performed, under extreme conditions beyond one's control, one can give grass or piNda to cow/perform tila tarpaNam/ undertake upavAsa/chant the SrAddha Mantra.

Kindly note the compassion of dharma SAstras towards all under varied circumstances.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It is advisable that the praNavopAsana is learnt directly from the Masters. PraSnopanishad Section V deals with meditation on "OM" .

When we chant "OM" as part of the Vedic Mantras whatever MAtra and Svara is prescribed in that context has to be followed.

Before reciting the Vedas one has to start with : Harih Om
( 4 MAtras)
On concluding the Vedic recitation one has to end with : Harih Om ( 3 MAtras)

GAyatrI Mantra Japa has to be recited mentally as per Vedic svara as ordained in one's SAkhA.

For Mantra japa involving praNava there is no svara but it goes by certain conventions.

For OmkAra Meditations , there are many ways of reciting "OM" which have to be learnt directly from the Yogic Master.

Friday, August 13, 2010


The subject of Karma is very vast , complex and it has multiple dimensions.
"gahanA karmaNo gatih."

I am presenting certain thoughts on the same:

(1)In the case of a realized person, whatever karma he does after realization gets distributed to those who praise and follow him and also to those who find fault with him. The former gets his puNya phala and the latter the PApa , if any. He experiences the prArabdha karma while his Sancita karma gets neutralized.

(2)Like a young calf which recognizes the mother cow amidst thousand other cows, the karma done by a person follows him meticulously.

(3) Like the tree which yields flowers and fruits at the appointed seasons, the fruit of action also manifests at the proper time.

(4) When there is great natural calamity like famine etc, all the people including great Rishis by-pass the dharma and adopt what is known as the Apad dharma.

(5) If a person cuts trees with an axe, then the person who cuts incurs the sin and not the Axe nor the maker of the Axe.

(6) For one's action Supreme is not responsible.

(7) There is the Supreme who by his Laws dispenses the Karma Phalam.

(8) Good and bad deeds rotate like a wheel.

(9) Karma done without the sense of doership and offered at the feet of the Supreme does not bind one.

(10) The Supreme intervenes in the case of a very select few (who deserve) and neutralises their karma due to his divine grace.

(11) Whether destiny is responsible?

(12) Whether it happens by chance?

(13) Whether KAla is responsible?

(14) The ultimate solution is to follow the Scriptures and do PrAyascitta to mitigate the grave sins.

prAyascittAnyaSeshANi tapah karmAtmakAni vai !
yAni teshamaSeshANAm KrishNAnussmaraNam param !!

Friday, August 6, 2010


The concept of "dharma" gets influenced by the factor "KAla". That is why with each passing Yuga there is a decline in the practice of "dharma."

While one follows whatever dharmAnushthAna is possible by him in this Kali yuga, there is no need to condemn others who do not follow it totally.

The following quote from ParASara is worth remembering in this regard:

yuge yuge ca ye dharmAs tatratatra ca ye dvijAh !
teshAm nindA na kartavyA yugarUpa hi te dvijAh !!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


According to dharma SAstras, VAnaprastha ASrama is prohibited in Kali Yuga.

ayam ca VAnaprasthASramah "devareNa sutotpattir VAnaprasthASramagrahah " iti kalau nishiddah.

MAmsa dAnam tathA SrAddhe VAnaprathASramas tathA !

imAn dharmAn kaliyuge varjyAnAhur manIshiNah !