Tag Archives: Hindu Dharma

Yaksha Prashna – 3

[This post is in continuation of the post – Yaksha Prashna – 1 , 2 , where Lord Yama in the form of a yaksha asks questions to Yudhisthira (eldest among the Pandavas). In the 1st post 4 sets and in the 2nd post 7 sets of questions & answers were posted. In this post, 6 sets of questions & answers have been posted. The next post on Yaksha Prashna will be on next Wednesday. Link for Yaksha Prasna – 1: http://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/03/yaksha-prashna-1/ , For post 2 : http://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/09/yaksha-prashna-2/ ]

12] Yaksha Prashna: What traverses its path all alone? What is it that is born again after its birth? What is the antidote to hima (snow)? What is the most expansive field?

Yudhisthira Answers: The Sun traverses its path across the sky all alone. The moon is born again (moon waxes after waning) . Fire is the antidote to hima. Earth is the most expansive field.

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13] Yaksha Prashna: What is the highest dharma (law of living)? What represents fame/glory? What denotes the highest standard of life? What defines the state of happiness?

Yudhisthira Answers: The ultimate dharma is in realizing one’s own true nature. Real glory is in being charitable. Truth is the highest standard of life. Moral and ethical values define the state of happiness.

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14] Yaksha Prashna: Who represents one’s own identity? Who is the companion provided by the laws of karma (destiny)? What is the prime support of all life? What is the prime duty of a human being?

Yudhisthira Answers: Son (off-spring) represents one’s own identity. Wife is the companion bestowed by the law of karma (destiny). Rain (water) is the prime support for all life. Charity is the prime duty of a human being.

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15] Yaksha Prashna: What is the greatest fulfillment? What is the noblest wealth? What is the biggest gain? What denotes the state of supreme happiness?

Yudhisthira Answers: Being in the state of mindfulness is the greatest fulfillment. Knowledge of the scriptures is the noblest wealth. Good health is the biggest and most important gain. Contentment represents supreme happiness.

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16] Yaksha Prashna: What is the greatest virtue? What dharma yields good results? What is that by controlling which man never experiences misery? What is that bond which never breaks?

Yudhisthira Answers: Absence of cruelty is the greatest virtue. The practice of the injunctions of the sastras yields good results. Mind is the instrument by controlling which man never experiences misery. Bonding with the wise never breaks. 

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17] Yaksha Prashna: By the giving up of what does one become endearing? By giving up what does one become devoid of sorrow? By giving up what does one become more prosperous? By giving up what does one become contented?

Yudhisthira Answers: Absence of pride makes one more endearing. Absence of anger leads to a sorrowless state. Renunciation of desire leads to real prosperity and fullness. Absence of greed leads to contentment.

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Sri Rama Anjaneya Yuddha!

Once there was a debate in Kailasa : whether Rama’s incomparable strength and might is greater OR the power and glory of Rama Nama is greater. Nobody could arrive at any conclusion. Sage Narada who also happened to be there decided on a plan to solve the problem. 

Narada took the help of Maya – the Lord’s power of illusion. She created rakshasic creatures and sent them to create havoc in the kingdom of Kashi, whose king was a great devotee of Lord Rama. Seeing his people in trouble, the king set out to destroy the demonic forces. The terrible creatures started to flee and he pursued them. One of them assumed the form of an ashramite and entered Sage Vishwamitra’s ashram. The king discharged an arrow which hit this illusory form. Sage Vishwamitra became very angry on seeing an innocent ashramite being targeted. However much the king tried to convince the sage that this was a rakshasic form, he would not listen. He walked off warning the king that he will have to indeed pay for his wrong doings. 

Viswamitra reached Ayodhya. He narrated what had happened in his ashram and asked Sri Rama to punish the wrong-doer with death. Rama agreed. When He heard that it was the king of Kashi, His devotee, Rama was taken aback, but He had given His word to the Sage.
On the other side, the worried king was going back when he met Sage Narada. On being questioned, he narrated everything to Narada. Narada asked him not to worry and sent him to Anjanadevi, the mother of Lord Hanuman for protection. Anjanadevi immediately granted the King protection. When Hanuman came, Anjanadevi told him all that had happened and to keep up his mother’s words, he too readily granted his protection to the king. The king happily stayed with Hanuman. Neither the king, nor Hanuman or his mother knew that Rama had given his word to Viswamitra to punish the king.

Narada came along and told Hanuman and his mother that it was Rama who had promised Sage Vishwamitra to punish the king. Hanuman was shocked and sad. It meant that he had to encounter none other than Lord Rama, His dear Lord and Master. In the meantime, Rama also came to know under whose protection the king was. He too was not happy. Rama and Hanuman, both of them had given their words and both of them were very firm on keeping up their words! It meant a conflict between the two of them!

Lord Rama came equipped with His bow, Kodanda to where Hanuman was and asked him to surrender the king to Him. Hanuman refused to do so, saying that he had learnt to keep up his words from Rama Himself! Words were exchanged – in the beginning soft and gentle, but slowly they became hard and firm.

Finally, Rama decided to use His strength and might against Hanuman. Hanuman on the other side was very clear. He was not going to fight the Lord; how could he? He asked the king to hide behind him, sat down facing Rama; closed his eyes and started chanting RAMA…RAMA…..RAMA. Rama very reluctantly released arrow after arrow towards Hanuman. Those arrows which never turned back, but always sure hit the target, could not even touch Hanuman! In front of the power of Rama Nama, they simply lost their power and paled into insignificance! All the devatas assembled in the sky to watch this unique battle between RAMA-SHAKTI and RAMA-BHAKTI!
Finally, Rama decided to use His Brahmastra to shake Hanuman out of his samadhi. By then everyone had understood the POWER and GLORY of RAMA NAMA. Narada immediately brought Sage Vishwamitra, and Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva also came there. Viswamitra then told Rama about the play of maya to prove to the whole world the power, glory and supremacy of the Lord’s name: SRI RAMA. Nothing can…..NOTHING CAN equal or stand in comparison to RAMA NAMA!

Hanuman woke up from his samadhi, prostrated to the Lord and asked for forgiveness for having stood against Him to keep up his mother’s words. The king of Kashi was overjoyed to have a glorious darshan of the Lord-of-his-heart and he offered his prayerful prostrations unto the Lord. Everyone went back to their divine destination. Sage Narada also went on his way supremely happy, singing the Lord’s glories.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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Sri Dakshinamurthi: Chin-Mudra

Lord Shiva, in order to instruct the Rishis and the Seers, assumed the form of a Guru and sitting on the peak of Kailash, He turned southward to serve all seekers. The term “dakshina” means “that divine power of subtle perception which is generated in a fully integrated pure intellect”. This “dakshina-power”, when flowing towards the vasana-conditioned hearts of the disciples, is called “turned southward” and this is Shiva. The Teacher is none other than the Supreme, who manifests Himself in the divine form of Sri Dakshinamurthi to bless the struggling aspirant.

It is such a Teacher, who has become one with the Infinite, and has established his Oneness with the Infinite Substratum of the Universe who instructs an integrated and well-disciplined student in the Highest Truth through the SIGN of Knowledge, called Jnanamudra (Chin Mudra).

The auspicious SIGN demonstrated beautifully to the disciple the oneness of the inner Self and the Self everywhere. Jnanamudra (Chin Mudra) is generally indicated by holding the little, ring and middle fingers erect, straight and together, and the index finger bent to touch the middle of the thumb, so that a circle is formed between the index finger, palm and the lower-half of the thumb. This sign shown with the palm they called as the “Sign of Knowledge”.

This is indeed significant. The three fingers can be indicated to mean the gross, subtle and the causal bodies, and when they are completely disciplined and made single-pointed, the (individual) Self indicated by the index finger, that presides over the body of the seeker, gets itself detached and comes forward to meet the thumb, that represents the Self everywhere present. This experience that the “Self within” is the “Self everywhere” is the Infinite Experience, and the Infinitude is represented here by the circle formed between the index finger and the thumb – a circle which can have no beginning and no end.

~ Swami Chinmayananda

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The Grandsire of Carnatic Music!

Purandaradasa

Srinivasa Nayaka (1484 – 1564) was a merchant dealing with gold and precious stones residing in Tirthahalli, Karnataka. Though wealthy, he was a miserly person. Charity was something unknown to him.

One day an old brahmana came to his shop asking for some monetary help. Nayaka sent him away asking him to come the next day. He came the next day, but again he was asked to “come tomorrow”. Nayaka thought that the old man will stop coming after a few days but he persisted — every day the old man was there in front of the shop! After months of postponement, one fine day Nayaka threw an old coin at the poor man and asked him to go away. The poor man refused the unusable coin and went away.

The brahmana went to Nayaka’s house and approached his wife, Saraswati Bai. He told her how he had every day sought help from her husband but in vain – an old coin was all that he got in response. He asked her for help, but she pleaded her helplessness, saying that she had nothing with her to give him. All money transactions and accounts were exclusively with Nayaka. The old man said that she could give to him the diamond nose-ring which she was wearing. After all that was a gift to her from her maternal house, and Nayaka had no claim or hold over it. She thought for a second, removed her nose-ring and gave it to the old man. He happily accepted it, blessed her and walked away.

With the nose-ring in his hand and a smile on his face, the brahmana returned back to Nayaka’s shop. He was furious to see him coming back again. The old man told him that he had not come to beg but had come to do business with him. He showed the merchant the nose-ring, asked him to fix up its value and give him the equivalent cash. A shocked and surprised Nayaka took the nose-ring in his hand and examined it in detail. He immediately knew that it was his wife’s nose-ring. He questioned the old man as to who gave it to him. He answered that a pious generous lady gave it to him. Nayaka told him to come the next day for money, sent him away, carefully put the nose-ring inside a trunk and locked it. He then closed his shop and hurried back home.
On reaching his house, he loudly called out to Saraswati. Seeing her in the courtyard he looked at her face. Sure enough the nose-ring was missing! He asked for it. The poor lady was trembling within and not knowing what to do, said that it was inside. He asked her to bring the nose-ring immediately. She went in, and knowing her husband’s anger, she decided to end her life. She picked up a cup of poison and was about to consume it, when she heard a metallic sound inside the cup. Inside the cup she saw her nose-ring which she had given away in charity! Overwhelmed at the Lord’s grace, she ran outside and handed it to her husband. Nayaka could not believe his eyes. The nose-ring he had locked up in his shop was here in his wife’s hand. Crazily, he ran back to the shop and opened his trunk. The nose-ring was not there! He ran back again home and asked his wife to tell him all that had happened. She told him everything.
Srinivasa Nayaka’s eyes opened! That was none other than Lord Sri Hari who had come to him disguised as an old brahmana to “wake” him up from the dream of materialism. Srinivasa Nayaka was a totally changed person now. He gave away everything in charity,  and went in search of a Guru. He came to Sri Vyasa Thirtha who accepted him as his disciple, gave him the name PURANDARADASA and introduced him to the Haridasa Sampradaya.
Sri Purandaradasa travelled extensively and composed songs on all the deities with the signature “Purandara Vittala”. The most difficult and profound philosophical truths were simplified and presented in the form of simple songs, and hence his compositions are known as “Purandara Upanishad”. He formulated basic lessons for teaching Carnatic music by structuring graded exercises. Even today the music lessons start with the simple “Gitas” he has composed. He is known as Karnataka Sangeeta Pitamaha — the Grandsire of Carnatic Music.
Purandaradasa was such a great personality that even his Guru, Sri Vyasa Thirtha glorified him in one of his compositions!!