Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 7.00 am to 7.20 am Sri Mullaivasal Krishnamurthy Sastri gives a talk on Veda (Vedantin Suvai). As an acharya who teaches Veda in a traditional way at his Gurukulam, nobody can question his mastery over the Veda — however, one may disagree with his scholarship on Veda. Given his idea that the Veda has a solution to all practical problems of every kind, even of modern times, this morning he shared about how the Veda gives the solution to cynicism and questions about the ‘waste’ of material in Vedic sacrifice.
“While many perform so many Vedic rituals with good faith by collecting funds from various people, there are many who question such a colossal waste of material on fire, which could be distributed among the needy and poor,” said Sastriji. Then sharing the solution that the Veda provides for this cynicism, he continued, Continue reading
The book by T.S. Rukmani, Samnyasin in the Hindu Tradition – Changing Perspectives is a specialized subject on Samnyasins. This book is mainly based on the interviews among 31 Samnyasis/Samnyasinis by the author first giving an overview ‘in the Cultural World of the Hindus’ (pp. 9-30) followed by a scholarly perspective (31-56), and ending with the analysis of the author both on the scholar’s and the Samnyasis (211-250).
The interviews with 31 Samnyasis is the main section of the book (57-209), which provide several interesting perspectives by the Samnyasis covering various topics like their background, interest in this vocation, choice, deeksha, choice of successor, family ties, travel abroad and attire, social work, personal rituals and sadhana, about initiating woman Samnyasinis, involvement in politics and Moksha. These interview provided new information which was not widely known related to the particular ashram or sect (sampradaya) and also about ‘retrospect and prospect’.
However for me the topic on Moksha helped me to reflect on my own understanding based on my bhakti in the Lord and also from Muktiveda. As the author gave a final summary on this subject, I will share it here first: Continue reading
This evening around 7.30 p.m. the army officer whom I met yesterday came to see me and spent two hours. He is a Malayali and his name is Sri Padmakaran Narayanan. We had an interesting conversion and some things are worth sharing.
After some formal talk about his family he said that after retirement he thought of going back home to Kerala and do some social service, and he asked me for some advice. I said that before we start any social work it is good to keep a few principles.
The first principle in doing social service is to help people to help themselves. We should never make them depend upon us but help them stand on their own legs so that in turn they can go and help others. Continue reading
This morning when I went to See Dr. Priya (name changed) with my mother for her health problems, I had a very interesting dialogue with her. Despite having several other patients waiting outside, she was very interested to talk about the issue of ‘others changing our people to their religion’ in our local area.
“Instead of constructing the ashrams and living there (comfortably), people like you should come and tell our own people clearly about our faith,” she insisted. Then she pointed out how in olden days people like Krupanandavariyar and other religious orators used to give nice teachings about our faith to our own people.
For this I said, “Using people for our own particular agenda is wrong. Those who ‘convert’ others because of their particular ‘religious’ agenda and those who reconvert them for their particular ‘political’ agenda or ideology are simply using people without actually involving them. Without specifically addressing the grievances which forced people to change their faith and religion (or were used by others to intice them), we try to re-convert them because of our ideological interest. Only after a group comes and changes people’s faith and religion do we awaken to the reality and make all kinds of noise. Continue reading