Ramayana

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE LOVE

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The origin of love
Image by svennevenn via Flickr

WHAT IS LOVE?

Sri Satya Sai Baba has descibed man as an embodiment of PREMA and it appears that he was inspired by The New Testament of Holy Bible which defines God as Love and asks man to Love God and Love one another.

 Love is a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in deep affection, devotion or sexual desire. If love is viewed as fondness or affection it may include or based in part on sexual attraction which is related to libido( sexual urge or instinct ), and lust( a desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetite that seeks unrestrained gratification ). Love implies feelings that are attached to relationships or objects and assumes various forms such as sexual love, brotherly love, and love of God. The attachment may be felt for inanimate things as well as people, or ideas, or expressed as an abstraction. There are many different kinds of love; different in object, different in tendency, and different in expression. The problem of the kinds of love is further complicated by the need to differentiate and relate love and desire. The category of love known as sexual love has the tendency to desire possession of the object that is loved. The tendency of desire is acquisitive. Sexual love is a love born of desire, and the drive of desire continues until it is satisfied by possession of the loved object. Physical possession is the basis for the satisfaction of sexual desire, sexual appetite, or sexual hunger, or sexual thirst. The other forms of love do not tend to possess the object loved but seek to benefit the object that is loved. Love is selfish when it acts like hunger, thirst, or appetite which need to be satisfied for the benefit of the person expressing that love. Love is altruistic when it acts for the good or the benefit of the beloved. Conjugal love may include a combination of selfishness and altruism. The ancient languages have three distinct words for the main types of love; EROS, PHILIA, and AGAPE in Greek language; AMOR, AMICITA or DILECTIO, and CARITAS in Latin language. However, English language has no such distinct words and hence it becomes necessary to use such phrases as “sexual love”, “love of friendship”, and “love of charity” in order to indicate plainly that love is common to all three, and to distinguish the three meanings. The idea of love expressed in Biblical Scriptures makes no distinction between AMOR, DILECTIO, and CARITAS. For example, in The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 37, 38, and 39 speak of the Great Commandments of The Laws of Moses: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Jesus brings unity between the idea of self-love, love of God, and the love of one another without making distinction between the three different kinds of love. Jesus does not specify if man should wish and expect to be loved in return. Jesus did not attach any purpose to this act of love, and did not describe the nature of desire, the attachment, and the gratification of his Love Commandment.

THE ORIGIN OF LOVE :

Sigmund Freud places the origin of Love in sexual instincts and he claims that the many varieties or categories of Love are simply the forms which love takes as the libido fixes upon various objects.

Sigmund Freud’s theory places the origin of love in the sexual instincts, and so for him the many varieties of love are simply the forms which love takes as the ‘LIBIDO‘ fixes upon various objects. He states, “The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists …… in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. We do not separate from this; on the one hand, self-love, and on the other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas….. All these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctive activities…. They differ from sexual love only because they are diverted from its aim or prevented from reaching it, though they always preserve enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable.” If love is the passion of the sexual instinct, temperance is an inadequate restraint. Neither reason nor law is adequate to the task of subduing the nature of the sexual instinct. Sexual instinct is a very powerful biological instinct and it profoundly influences human behavior. Hence it becomes necessary to transform sexual love either by repressing it, or sublimating it, or mixing it with tenderness or kindness. In that context, friendship, charity or compassion, and devotion to God could be stated as transformations of sexual love. Sexual instincts are inhibited or actually repressed in the expression of brotherly love, or feelings of deep affection for children and others where the relationship should not be based upon feelings of sexual attraction.

THE COMPLEXITY OF LOVE :

Love is a very complex emotional instinct and it is complex as it may not always provide a sense of joy or happiness. There is a fact about love; love frequently turns into its opposite, HATE. Sometimes there is love and hate of the same object; sometimes love inspires hate, and love may also cause jealousy, anger, and fear. Love seems to be the primal passion, generating all the others according to the oppositions of pleasure and pain and by relation of cause and effect. The individual’s experience of love is extremely variable and it includes the operation of both positive and negative impulses. Indian tradition has carefully examined this complex instinctual behavior and has instructed people of the Land of Bharat or India to understand the three major distinctions or categories of love and to apply a sense of restraint, or that of repression has brought love under the purview of morality, the code of Right Conduct or DHARMA. Indian Culture does not provide the linguistic tools to express feelings associated with sexual passion without using temperance. There is no linguistic equivalent in classical Indian languages to profess love. The terms and words that Indians use have specific meaning attached to them.

LOVE vs PREMA :

Love is not a universal term and this idea is not expressed in Indian tradition and classical literature. The word “LOVE” appears repeatedly in the Bible, in several different editions of Bible. I am not a language expert and I believe that people who had translated Bible have exercised great care to convey the meaning of love. Many editions of Bible have further clarified the meaning of Love in their glossary section or Bible dictionary and define Love as a deep sense of affection, devotion for someone or something and they very carefully exclude sexual desire and sexual passion. In English speaking world, and in English literature, the word Love is used to describe desire, libido, lust, and passion based upon sexual attraction. So, Love is a generic term and it may not always mean brotherly love and goodwill. Indian Culture has erected subtle barriers and has not provided linguistic tools to use the word Love as we like. It separates Love into various categories and sets them apart. The feelings of affection, or fondness that are associated with sexual attraction are specifically known as ‘KAMA’ and intense sexual passion or desire is called ‘MOHA’. Any intense or passionate desire could be called KAMA and to act under its influence could be stated as MOHA. My love for God could only be expressed in terms of Bhakti or Devotion, and the desire could be called PREET. The desire called PREETI or Preet is a legitimate desire. It is also called “ISHTA”. I am allowed to seek or desire certain things in my life and that desire is subject to the rule of Good Conduct or Dharma. I can express the sentiment of Preet only when, and where such desire is allowed to be stated in a legitimate manner, and is acceptable to tradition and established conventions and social norms. If I entertain thoughts of sexual attraction about my attractive and rich neighbor, I am not allowed to express my feelings as Preet. It can not be called “ISHTA”. I can call it Kama or Moha. In the epic poem of Ramayana, when King Ravana of Lanka had wanted to marry Princess Sita and had attended her Swayamvara, the desire was legitimate and he was allowed to feel sexual attraction and it was not Kama. But, when he had abducted her while she was lawfully married to Prince Rama, that desire and sexual attraction represents an impulsive action of Moha, and Kama. King Ravana was not entitled to express his Love for Sita if it is formulated by Kama, and intense sexual passion known as lust or Moha. Similarly, a man can express his love or Preet for a woman in a respectful or legitimate manner and to seek a valid relationship. If the relationship is illegal, it can not be called Preet. A father’s love, or mother’s love, or brother’s love is described as “VASTHALYA”, a natural sense of affection and fondness which is not related to sexual attraction or desire. The word “PREMA” or “PREM” is used to describe the feelings of affection, fondness, friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA, or KARUNA), compassion(KRUPA), happiness, joy(ANANDA) that have no direct relationship to the satisfaction of sexual desires and passions. The deep sense of affection between husband and wife is often called “ANURAG” which indicates an intimate friendship. I can not literally translate this word LOVE into any of the Indian languages as such expression is not allowed without stating the nature of its contents.

If Jesus gives the Commandment of Love your neighbour as thyself; I would not be able to express that thought in Indian languages. Jesus has not stated that idea in terms of friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA), or giving happiness(ANANDA). Only when, and if those qualities of friendship, kindness, and giving joy or happiness are specifically included; Jesus could Command others to express PREMA to one another. However, in Indian tradition, the deep sense of affection or fondness of God is stated as Bhakti or devotion. Mirabai has expressed such deep sense of affection and I would not call it as her love of Krishna. Jayadeva in his famous description of Lord Krishna’s creative activities in Brindavan(Vrindavan) has depicted the intense erotic feelings of the young maidens as a product of their intense devotion to the Lord. I can not use the word Love to describe the sexual passions of the Gopis or the young maidens of Brindavan.

SELF-LOVE AND NARCISSISM :

My concern is not about PREMA or LOVE. My concern is about self-love, a man’s love of himself. In psychology the word ‘NARCISSISM’ is used to describe excessive self-love. In my medical practice, I have not encountered such narcissistic tendencies among people of Indian origin. Indian tradition has erected barriers and would not easily let us identify ourselves with the physical-self. Indian tradition repeatedly instructs us about our Essence and true Identity and reminds us not to get attached to the physical-self. If I have no feelings of attachment to my physical-self, I can not really love myself. If I can not truly love myself, I can not also love my neighbor in the same manner, or to a same degree of my self-love. If man is not expected to love himself, the issue of loving the neighbor is redundant.

The Times of India has published a news story about the likely reincarnation of Satya Sai Baba as “PREMA SAI BABA.”My impression about this story is, Sri Satya Sai Baba has attempted to import a foreign idea to the Land of Bharat without fully understanding the subtle cultural barriers that exist in the Land. The notion of PREMA could only be expressed in terms of Friendship( lack of animosity ), kindness and goodwill, and that of giving happiness to others. It can not be related to the idea of Love. The theory of reincarnation is not the issue. The issue is about the idea itself. He has to attach meaning to the word “PREMA” that he used and distinguish from the word “LOVE” that is used in English language.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

“Prema Sai will be born in Doddamalur”

M B Maramkal & K R Rajendra Kumar, TNN | Times of India, Apr 28, 2011, 05.52am IST

DODDAMALUR(Mandya): Will the reincarnation be reality or not?
Whatever happens, the tiny village of Doddamalur, off the Bangalore-Mysore highway, will definitely be in the news in the coming years, with scores of stories doing the rounds here over the reincarnation of Sathya Sai Baba as Prema Sai.

What has lent credence to claims of people of the Vaishnava sect temples of Aprameya (Vishnu) and Ambegalu Krishna (toddler Krishna) is based on a book `Sri Sathya Sai — Anandasai’ authored by one Swami, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. In that, he claims that the godman, during his visit to Doddamalur, had told him that Sai Baba had three avatars in kalyug, and of them, he is the second avatar (reincarnation) of Shirdi Sai Baba. The third will be Prema Saiand he will be born in this village. He also claims that Baba, during his visit in the ’60s, showed a small house where he will be born.

However, confusion prevails among people who are making claims of Baba’s reincarnation in the village. According to Ramadas, who runs a Krishna charitable trust, Prema Sai will be born in this village after 2023, as predicted by Sathya Sai Baba. Ramadas said Baba had predicted that his personal assistant, Narayan Kasturi, who died long ago, will reincarnate himself as a woman in a village near Bhadravathi, marry a person from this village and give birth to Prema Sai. “Today you are my assistant, in the next life you will be my mother,” Sai Baba is supposed to have said.

Doddamalur, located on the banks of the river Kanva, will be called Gunaparthy after the reincarnation, said Raghav, an aged villager, disclosing that the soil and water of the village have curative powers. The village will be called Gun (cure) parthy (place) in the years to come.

WHY DID BABA CHOOSE THIS VILLAGE?

Villagers who are well-versed with its history claim that Baba was carried away by the religious history and mythological importance of this village. People say a Kanva sage did tapasya (penance) here and it was an agrahara (Brahmin settlement) in medieval history. It is said that saint Purandaradasa visited the Aprameya and Krishna temples here and presented a kirtana (discourse) on this village and temples. Baba was enamoured by the historic significance of this village.

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WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE EXPLORATION

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Neural Correlates Of Consciousness
Image via Wikipedia

A SQUIRREL’S CONSCIOUSNESS AND DISPLAY OF MATERNAL INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR LEADS ME TO EXPLORE CONSCIOUSNESS.     

IRATE MOTHER SQUIRREL ATTACKED A VISITING TEACHER ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS :     

The Ann Arbor News has reported this story about a mother squirrel’s angry attack. A 52-year-old Detroit Public School teacher was with a group of students touring the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Thursday, April 23. She had spotted some baby squirrels that were outside of their nest. The teacher had tried to alert the mother squirrel that was at a distance about a baby squirrel that was left behind. The mother squirrel could instantly recognize that the teacher was giving unwanted attention to her baby. The mother squirrel was instinctively aroused, turned on the teacher. The teacher tried to run away from the angry mother squirrel. She slipped and fell on the ground and injured her ankle. Seizing the opportunity, the mother squirrel bit the teacher on her leg. The teacher managed to escape and went to the Hospital Emergency for treatment.     

PARENTAL CARE IS AN INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR :     

Parental care is an aspect of social behavior exhibited by all animals. This is a complex unlearned or innate behavior that is influenced by heredity(genetic basis) as well as by experience. The study of behavior provides valuable information about relationships among animals. No animal is ever completely isolated from some kind of environment. Animals exhibit social behaviors and form parental societies to care for their offspring. This parental care/maternal instinctive behavior is highly organized amongst mammals. The young are part of the mother while growing inside the mother and are nourished before birth by the ‘placenta’ of the mother. After birth, the young still seek nourishment from the mother and suck or lap milk produced by the mammary glands of the mother. This ensures that there is a strong family association between mother and the offspring.     

BEHAVIOR AND CONSCIOUSNESS :     

The mother squirrel while displaying its maternal instinctive behavior has demonstrated that it is a ‘CONSCIOUS’ entity. Consciousness is defined as the state of being ‘conscious’ which has two components. 1. Being ‘conscious’ means being aware or recognizing the fact of one’s own existence. 2. Being ‘conscious’ also means being aware of our natural environment and it represents the state of knowing what goes on around one. Being conscious gives us the ability to interact with our environment and display an appropriate behavior. In higher animals this consciousness or awareness is also characterized by the presence of mental activity which includes an awareness of our own thoughts and emotions. A living entity is always conscious of its own existence. A living entity always exists in a state of consciousness. We identify a person as ‘UNCONSCIOUS‘ if the person is not spontaneously interacting with his environment. There are several medical conditions that alter and affect our state of consciousness. Several drugs and intoxicants such as alcohol and poisonous agents like carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide cause drowsiness, stupor, and various levels of semiconscious to deep unconsciousness. Consciousness is very important in evaluating people with head injuries and neurovascular accidents such as ‘stroke’. While a person is unconscious of his environment, he is still aware of his existence. This fact could be easily demonstrated by conducting tests. A living organism or a living cell responds when exposed to a stimulus. For example, an unconscious individual is evaluated by testing to see the response of the pupil of the eye which reacts by constriction of its size on exposure to a light beam.     

CONSCIOUSNESS AND SURVIVAL :     

An organism uses its awareness to survive in the environment. I could illustrate this by narrating my personal experience. While I was camping in the Himalayas, We were using the quarters left by the British while they ruled India. On a cold winter night, I was sleeping in a small room that was not heated, and the room had no fire-place or a chimney. However, I had used a coal burner to heat the room. The coal burns very slowly giving heat and it lasts for several hours and needs no attention. On that particular night, I did not recognize, the coal was of poor quality and it was not burning as expected and was giving away smoke. The door and the windows were shut, and the smoke started filling up the room. The smoke is lighter than the room air, and it slowly went up filling the room from top. While I was fully asleep in a dark room, unaware as to what was going on around me, I was suddenly alerted when I experienced ‘palpitation’, a consciousness of my heart’s rapid beating. I awoke, but still could not see the smoke in the dark room. I had evaluated my condition to understand my rapid heart rate. I was in good health and there was no reason to experience an increased heart rate. I had decided to investigate my problem and walked up to the door to turn the light switch on. The moment I had turned the light on, I could immediately see the smoke-filled room and the fresh, clear layer of room air was below my bed level. I immediately left the room to get fresh air from outside and saved my life. Many people are not that fortunate, and we read about entire families losing their lives while sleeping in rooms that are heated by improper burners. I was not conscious of what was going on around me while I was sleeping. However, my body was aware and conscious all the time. The chemical sensors in my body worked alright, they sent signals to my brain centers, which in turn sent signals to increase my heart rate to improve the oxygen delivery. It fortunately worked like an alarm for me. Very often, people become more drowsy, become fully unconscious, and lose life while asleep in smoke-filled rooms.     

THE SQUIRREL IN THE STORY OF RAMAYANA :     

 

Three striped Indian Palm Squirrel, a native of India, and Sri Lanka is mentioned in the epic poem of Ramayana. All living entities are conscious.

Just like the mother squirrel in Ann Arbor which demonstrated its consciousness, in the epic poem of ‘RAMAYANA’, the awareness and the behavioral response of a squirrel is described. The story narrates the construction of what is popularly known as “SETHU” or a bridge across the sea from the southern shores of Indian peninsula to the island of LANKA. The squirrel was apparently conscious of its environment. It had observed the activities of thousands of monkeys throwing stones to build the ‘ADAM’S BRIDGE’, and recognized the presence of LORD Rama who had initiated the effort to build the bridge. The squirrel had volunteered to help and in its behavior it showed attributes of devoted service. The abilities of the squirrel are very small and yet it won the favor of the LORD and is blessed. The LORD is pleased with the squirrel’s conscious efforts to offer devoted service.     

CONSCIOUSNESS AND ENERGY :       

 
In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains the nature of Human Existence. Consciousness gives the ability to seek and establish a connection between an energy seeker and an energy provider and both are Conscious entities.

The living human entity or man is known as “NARA” in the Sanskrit language, and the superior energy is personified and is known by the name “NARAYANA”. The poem of ‘BHAGAVAD GITA'( The Divine Song) narrates the dialogue between ‘Nara’ known as prince ARJUNA and ‘Narayana’ known as LORD KRISHNA. The LORD describes the relationship between the human soul( ATMA) and the divine soul( PARAMATMA). In Chapter 7 which is called ‘PARAMAHAMSA VIJNANA YOGA'( The Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth), verse 5 describes the ‘energy’ relationships. The material nature which is composed of sky, earth, air , water, and fire are constituted of ‘inferior energy’ of the LORD. The superior energy of the LORD is manifested as the embodied soul of all living entities. This superior energy of the LORD which is in the living entities gives the ability to the living entities to exist in the world by exploiting the inferior material energy from nature.     

THE ENERGY PROVIDER AND THE ENERGY SEEKER :     

 
 
What is Consciousness? Consciousness is not a simple psychological function. It is a mental experience of thoughts, moods, feelings, and emotions; a sense experience provided by organs of Special Sense and also other sensory input; a body experience of its state of existence like temperature, oxygenation of blood, and hydration; a cellular experience of its motion, nutrition, and other metabolic and physiological functions. The Composition of Consciousness, and the content of Consciousness includes both body, and mind.

Humans like other living entities supports his existence by deriving energy from the environment. Living cells obtain nutrients such as sugars and use oxygen in their metabolism to generate energy to carry out their vital biological functions. The primary source of energy of all living entities on planet Earth is derived from Sun. The Sun provides energy by burning its hydrogen fuel. It is reasonable to assume that Sun has derived its energy from a higher source of energy or “Higher Power”. This is evidenced by the observation of stars in various stages of their natural cycles of birth , and death. We can observe the birth of stars, the stars that are existing for a long time, the dying stars, the spectacular supernovas, and the dead stars like the white dwarfs, and the brown dwarfs. Human consciousness brings us the awareness and sustains the connection between the energy provider and the energy seeker. We manifest our existence with this unique ability to gain energy from the environment. Just like the squirrel in the story of Ramayana, if we use our awareness, we will become ‘CONSCIOUS’ of LORD’s presence whose superior energy we manifest.       

 

Can man know God? How does man acquire knowledge of God? Does man come into existence with this fully developed organ called brain? How does human embryo, a mere clump of cells with no brain establish an anatomical connection with a host whose physical identity in the real world is not known or experienced by the embryo seeking its own growth and development.

 

Belief in God - Is it a matter of Faith or is it a matter of Pure Reason? What can be known? How it can be known? How certain man could be about his intuition, sense experience, or deductive reasoning? Is there an acceptable method to know God? Consciousness of Innate Knowledge with which man exists in the natural world would provide information and knowledge about God Connection.

 

Please also view related blog post titled ‘I am consciousness, therefore I am’.  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/i-am-consciousness-therefore-i-am/  

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,   

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,   

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE ILLUSION

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TRIBUTE TO CAPTAIN. R. R. RAO
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the life of others."

 

‘A MILLION HAPPY LANDINGS’ – A LONG AVIATION CAREER   :    

Captain. R. R. Rao, Aviation Consultant, SKYCARE Aviation Society ( India ) as a pilot, General Secretary of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, a Manager, and as a Flight Instructor, won the hearts of several thousands of pilots, colleagues, and students. His dedication for aviation and his constant drive to improve safety of flight will forever remain his greatest contribution to all pilots and the flying public.    

A   PSALM   OF   LIFE   :    

“Tell me not in mournful numbers,    

Life is but an empty dream!    

For the soul is dead that slumbers,    

And things are not what they seem.”    

( Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882 )    

‘THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM’ – AN ENCOUNTER WITH REALITY AND AN ILLUSION  :    

1948 Single Engine Aircraft - An encounter with Reality and Illusion.
Myself, and my friends, while I was ten years of age, walked eight miles to view a single engine, fixed wing aircraft that had arrived at an airfield in Rajahmundry.

 

Rajahmundry Airport at Madhurapudi.
During 1958, this airfield at Madhurapudi, Rajahmundry was not providing any civil aviation service.

 

During the academic year of 1958-1959, at about ten years of age, I was a 9th Grade ( IV FORM ) student at Danavaipeta Municipal High School, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India. Amongst other subjects, I was  studying Physics and the Laws of Physics that operate in the physical world. One day, myself, and a few of my classmates saw a small airplane circling in the sky over Rajahmundry. At that time, we had no Airport in Rajahmundry. The airfield at Madhurapudi had one runway and had no terminal building. It is located 8 miles away from Danavaipeta. Myself, and my friends had spontaneously decided to physically see this aircraft and had walked all the way to the airfield under the hot Sun. Fortunately, the plane had returned and we found it parked on the runway. We found the pilot relaxing under the shade of the plane. Captain. R. R. Rao, my uncle was that pilot. As far as my memory goes, that was my very first time I was meeting him during my life and it was also the last time that I had met him during my life. During that brief and purely chance encounter, he had asked me to climb into the cockpit and had guided me in checking the instrument panels, operate the wing flaps and the tail while explaining a few basic aspects about flying a plane. Apart from this reality of meeting my pilot uncle at Madhurapudi airfield, I had also witnessed for the first time in my life the illusionary phenomenon known as Mirage. Rajahmundry gets very hot but we do not get the right atmospheric conditions to actually witness a highway or a hot road Mirage. I had learned about it in my Science class but the actual sensory experience of this illusion in the natural world is really memorable.    

THE PERCEPTION OF PHYSICAL WORLD  :    

This 'FULL MOON' exists in the sensible, manifested, perceived World. While living upon planet Earth, we perceive the waxing and waning phases of the Moon. The appearance of the Moon changes, but in reality it is one and unchanging. To understand the unchanging reality, we need to understand the problems of Perception.

 

Human perception is the process and experience of gaining sensory information about objects and events of the natural world. The process of perception translates sensory stimulation into organized experience. That mental impression or percept is the joint product of the stimulation and of the process which involves the intuitive and rational parts of the brain. However, a real, physical world exists independent of man’s experience. A real, physical world has existed long before man’s arrival and man’s  physical interaction with the elements of nature. The branches of Physics concerned with electromagnetic energy, optics, and mechanics describe the apparent physical world. When physical energy such as light interacts with the perceiving individual, percepts are formed. The degree of correspondence between percepts and the physical objects or events to which they relate also depends upon certain other external factors beyond human control. There could be a difference between Real World and the ‘Perceived World’. Sometimes, man perceives physical objects or events that may not exist in reality, and yet other times man fails to perceive physical objects or events that may actually exist and the manner in which they really exist. These perceptual problems are not attributable to the sense organs and are not due to inadequate sensory endowment. Apart from the basic Four Fundamental Forces that operate this physical world, there is another Fundamental Force that alters or transforms human perception. The Force of Gravitation gives the man the ability to experience his body weight and like all other objects in the environment, man exists on the face of Earth according to the Laws of Motion and the influence of Gravitation.    

FLYING  AND  PERCEPTUAL APPRECIATION OF REALITY  :    

Flying demands an acute awareness of the physical world. Man interacts with his physical environment using his sense organs of vision, hearing, touch, and smell. To move effectively, we must perceive our own movements to balance ourselves. The eye is by far the most effective organ for sensing. Movement detectors exist in the human brain. The vestibular organs in the inner ears provide us with the sense of balance and equilibrium apart from other kinesthetic sensations from muscles, tendons, and joints. A visual field containing familiar objects provides a stable framework against which relative motion may be judged. For purposes of path recognition and navigation while flying in air, the pilot requires reliable perception of the vertical and horizontal dimensions. Preservation of perceptual constancy for the vertical and horizontal dimensions during the flight are based on the parallel activity of vision and the vestibular sense of balance or equilibrium. Even in flying small aircraft it has been shown that the pilot becomes disoriented unless he preserves visual control of the horizontal dimension. The movement of an airplane produces centrifugal and centripetal forces, particularly as the plane tilts or changes direction, which easily mislead a person’s vestibular( balance ) receptors. For this reason, in high-altitude flying the horizontal line of the surface of the Earth is simulated for the pilot by an optical display unit. When an aircraft takes off to begin the flight, and when it returns to land at the end of the flight, the perception of depth and distance are of critical importance. The perception of depth and distance depends on information transmitted through various sense organs. Sensory cues indicate the distance at which objects in the environment are located from the perceiving individual. Man has the ability to differentiate his own body from the surrounding environment. Man has the ability to perceive his own movement, and also the movement of other objects in his physical environment. But, man has no sensory perception of the reality of the movement of his earthly home in space. Man only recognizes relative motion of objects in his visual field. Just recall the illusion that your train is moving, when in reality, it is really the moving train along that is seen through the window; and the moving train on the adjoining track is falsely accepted as the visual frame of reference.    

PERCEPTUAL  CONSISTENCY  AND  CONSTANCY  :    

The Moon Illusion - Perceptual Consistency and Constancy
The intuitive and rational parts of brain interact to modify sensory information. In these images, the moon is of the same size but is perceived differently.

 

Spatial perception tends to ensure that a person experiences the continually changing circumstances of the environment in which he moves and lives with some degree of stability or constancy. Some degree of selectivity in perception is required for the survival of the individual. The individual gradually learns about the significance of observable ( empirical ) spatial cues. There is a well-known apparent difference in the size of the moon when it is at the horizon and when it is fully risen. The horizon moon, though it is actually further away from the observer, looks larger than it does when it is high in the sky and closer. The retinal images in the eye of the high moon and the horizon moon are about the same, but the perceived size of the moon differs grossly. Indian thinkers have always asserted that ‘TRUTH’ and ‘REALITY’ have the qualities of consistency and constancy and hence are not subject to sensory perceptions which tend to vary because of external influences.    

THE  NATURE  OF  ILLUSIONS  :    

Pencil in Water Illusion
Stimulus Distortion Illusion - A visual or optical illusion produced by the refraction or bending of light rays as it passes from one substance to another in which the speed of light is significantly different. A ray of light passing from one transparent medium(Air) to another(Water) is bent at the surface where the air and water meet.Thus the pencil standing in water seems bent.

 

Desert Mirage- The Perception of Reality- MAYA is a Fundamental Force.
Mirage is an illusion that depends on atmospheric conditions.

 

inferior_mirage - An optical illusion produced when the stimulus presented to the senses has been altered by environmental conditions that affect the refractive index of the air.
The vision of a pool of water is created by light passing the layers of hot air above the heated surface of the land. The cooler layers of air are denser and refract the sun's rays at different angles than the less dense strata of heated air. The result is the appearance of water where there is none.

 

Figure and Ground Illusion
This Illusion depends upon the 'Perceiver' and his selection of figure and ground.Illusion of organizational phenomena caused by perceptual distinction between figure and ground.

 

Perceptions accord more often with object’s properties than with the sensory stimulation. Perceptual constancies cause one to perceive the world more correctly than would be expected from sensory stimulation. Illusions are perceptions where perception accords neither with how the sensory receptors are stimulated nor with the characteristics of the objects themselves. Illusions are pervasive phenomena. Such experiences have been regularly and consistently reported by virtually everyone. Illusions are defined as special perceptual experiences in which information arising from “real” external stimuli leads to an incorrect perception or false impression.An illusion is not a simple error in perception. Illusions have features whose nature it is to evoke an incorrect perception. Illusions describe subjective perceptual experience that contradicts objective reality. Some of these false impressions arise from factors beyond an individual’s control. Bending or refraction is a property of light rays. We seek light energy for its ability to provide a realistic experience. When the illumination is insufficient, such as in a dark room, a rope could be misinterpreted as a snake(“Rajju Sarpa Bhranti”). The moment the room is illuminated with light, the darkness is gone, and the misconception is destroyed. Indian traditions encourage individuals to avoid the products or results of an illusionary experience. A rational individual would not chase a mirage to find water. When we use sensitive instruments, we take care to avoid optical errors while recording our observations. Any impression that contradicts the ‘facts of reality’, or fails to report the ‘true’ character of an object or an event should be discarded. The apparent daily motion of the Sun and stars across the sky is an illusion that we experience all through our existence. This illusion is not caused by any of the Four Fundamental Forces that operate in the universe. Gravitation is the universal force of attraction that affects all matter and it could explain the consistency of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Gravitation is not the force that is mediating the mechanism that gives us alternating periods of darkness and light while the reality of Sun is different.    

Sunrise is an Illusion
Sunrise, Sunset, and the apparent motion of Sun across our sky is an illusion with which we exist all of our lives.

 

MAYA  IS  A  FUNDAMENTAL  FORCE  :    

The most important motion of the Earth is its rotation or spinning on an axis. This is the motion that gives us the experience of alternating days and nights while in reality, the Sun shines brightly all the time.The speed of the earth’s rotation can be described in two ways, the angular speed and the linear speed( of a point on the surface of the Earth). The angular or Omega speed of Earth is 0.00007272 radians per second or about 0.5 degrees of rotation in two minutes. The Linear speed or the Linear velocity on the surface of the Earth is 0.278 miles per second or about 1,000 miles per hour. It is surprisingly a very fast motion. While it spins on its axis, the Earth orbits the Sun at a speed of 18.6 miles per second( 30 Kms/Second ). On an average, Earth travels about 66,660 miles per hour and in a year Earth travels about 584 million miles. Earth also partakes of the Sun’s motion as a member of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Sun revolves around the galactic center at a speed of about 155 miles per second( 250 Kms/Second ). We exist upon this planet Earth with no sensory perception of the physical motions of the Earth.We exist in a universe without knowing the reality of our physical movement and position in a system that is constantly in motion. However, the periodicity of man’s earthly existence depends upon Earth’s spin. Man’s fundamental biological functions are synchronized with the rhythmic phases of environmental changes caused by Earth’s rotation. Apart from ‘Sleep-Wakefulness’ Cycles, man seems to be unable to live without some concept of time. Through conditioning to time, and by way of biological rhythms ( Diurnal Rhythm, Solar Rhythm, or Circadian Rhythm), human physiology provides a biological clock that offers points of reference for temporal orientation. The biological clock induces age related changes. As long as Earth is spinning, it would cause both environmental changes as well as physical changes in our bodies. Since, we do not have the ability to stop the Force/Power/Energy that is causing the rotational spin, we are encouraged to dissociate our sense of ‘Identity’ with our physical body which is subject to physical changes such as old age and death. To perceive is to become aware of a stimulation in the present. The present is only a point along the continuum of becoming an instant when future is transformed into past. As the Earth is constantly spinning beyond man’s control, the instant known as ‘present’ gets transformed into ‘past’. Indian tradition claims that ‘ reality’ could not be an experience of past, present, or future. Reality has to exist in a state that is unchanging and eternal. A Fundamental Force that moves the Earth and contributes to this spin governs man’s earthly existence. Man is virtually ruled and dominated by this Force/Power/Energy which causes the rotation of Earth on its axis. No other planet that we know today exhibits an Earth like spin. The length of day and night is totally different on planet Venus. One day on planet Venus is equal to 243 Earth days. Moon spins with the same speed as it revolves around the Earth, one face always points towards the Earth. The Moon rotates on its axis and revolves around the Earth in 27  1/3 days. Because of the rotation and revolution speed being the same, man never sees the dark side of the Moon. Man celebrates ‘Full Moon’ Days when in reality Moon is never fully lit. Man marks his Lunar Calendar with important events with his limited knowledge about the waxing and waning phases of Moon. Man is literally trapped to exist upon Earth and live in accordance with the changes it brings while it is spinning. These are the trappings of the Fundamental Force which I would like to describe as “MAYA” which provides the man with an illusionary sensory experience of Sunrise and Sunset. The physical world is real. Sun is a real object. Darkness and Light are actual, real visual experiences. But, Sunrise and Sunset, in reality are not actual events in man’s life and existence. The reality of man, the reality of man’s identity does not belong to the material realm where man perceives the physical world in which he exists. “Maya” is also described as “AVIDYA” which contributes to ignorance and it would not let man gain true knowledge of his identity. Man gains true knowledge when he gets away from the trappings of Maya and recognizes that there is no dawn or dusk and he has the same identity of that Light described as “PARAM JYOTI” which shines with constancy and consistency and is the Ultimate Reality.     

Adi Shankaracharya - MAYA is a Fundamental Force.
Man's perception of Reality is changed by the external Force/Power/Energy known as Maya. "MAAYA MAYA MIDAM AKHILAM HITVAA"

 

The only Force/Power/Energy which can help man to overcome “AVIDYA”, the Force that causes the Illusion of Sunrise and Sunset, is the Force that I have described before as “KRUPA”( Krupa – A Force to Preserve Human Existence, published on August 10, 2009). I have described the importance of Gravitational Force in my post titled ‘Earthly Existence – Enjoy the Fragrance’ published on November 20, 2008. Man should realize that he is not the perceiver. He is not the organ of perception. What has been perceived does not describe his true identity or the ‘Real World’. Since its time of origin, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Sun, and Earth have existed in a state of motion. The universe is still expanding, the Galaxies are moving apart and we do not know our precise location in this ever-changing universe. As long as man is attached to his physical body, man would experience the changes in his environment and also in his body that causes old age and death. He need to illuminate his mind with a light that illuminates the three planes of human existence, the physical, the mental, and the causal or spiritual dimensions in a constant and consistent manner.    

Gayatri Maha Mantra - The Perception of Reality
Gayatri Maha Mantra connects the person to the illuminating power of Light, a power that shines constantly and consistently and this illumination is not associated with the property of refraction that contributes to illusions.

 

Lord Rama - The Fundamental Force of "MAYA"
Lord Rama's earthly journey is celebrated according to a calendar which is created by the Force of Maya. The position of Sun, Moon, Planets and Stars that describe the major events of 'RAMAYANA' in reality are not actual positions but are only apparent postions perceived by man. Man needs the Force of "KRUPA" to overcome the trappings of "MAYA".

 

The personality of Rama had an earthly existence. The name of Rama is identified as Eternal Truth. His name is associated with the power to destroy the Force of illusion that causes old age and death.    

Jayatu, Jayatu Mantram, Janma saaphalya Mantram,    

Janana marana chheda klesha vichheda Mantram,    

Sakala nigama Mantram, sarva saastraika mantram,    

Raghupati nija Mantram, Raama Raameti Mantram.    

Please view related blog post titled ‘The Ushering of the New Year – The Perception of Change’ 

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/the-ushering-of-the-new-year-the-perception-of-change/ 

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,   

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,   

M.B.B.S.,   Class of   April, 1970.

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE KARMA

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The Land of India or Bharat Varsha is traditionally identified as 'KARMA KSHETRA' or 'KARMA BHUMI'.Human Existence is operated by the 'Law of Karma'.
The Land of India or Bharat Varsha is traditionally identified as 'KARMA KSHETRA' or 'KARMA BHUMI'.Human Existence is operated by the 'Law of Karma'.

 

THE LAW OF KARMA AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO FATE OR DESTINY :   

The Sanskrit word ‘KARMA’ describes the totality of a person’s actions in any one of the successive states of that person’s existence. The ‘Law of Karma’ governs all action and its inevitable consequences on the doer. The ‘Law of Karma’ determines the consequences on the doer not only during the course of his current existence but also during the course of  the next successive states of future existence. In whichever manner an individual chooses to act, the action may have been predetermined by his past Karma. In this sense, Karma could be described as the rootcause of any action or event. The word FATE or DESTINY is described in Sanskrit language as ‘DAIVAM’,’BHAAGYAM’, ‘NIYATI’, and ‘VIDHI’. Fate or Destiny is the Power or Divine Agency that determines the outcome of events before they actually occur. Fate or Destiny determines what happens or has happened to a person during his past, present, or future existence. Very often, people are confused about the relationship between the concept of Karma and the concept of ‘Daivam’, or ‘Vidhi’ which is popularly described as Fate or Destiny. People very often invoke the concept of Fate or Destiny to explain only when something inexplicable and unexpected happens in one’s life. The belief in a Supreme Being and the belief in God as the ‘Prime Cause’, and the concept of God’s Will are slightly different from the concept of the Power represented by Fate or Destiny. God will not contrive the actions of an individual for His own benefit. God has the intrinsic ability to execute  His own Plans. It is the individual’s Karma ( from present and past stages of existence ) that determines his Fate or Destiny in the next and subsequent stages of existence. The Power or Agency of Fate or Destiny is not operated by the individual but by a Divine Strategy. The individual has no control on the Divine Strategy. A person can exercise control over his own actions but cannot modify the manner in which the consequences for his actions manifest. The consequences for the actions in one’s own life may manifest at an unknown time, in an unexpected manner strictly according to the Divine Strategy, the Power or Agency that administers Fate or Destiny. Karma literally writes the Fate or Destiny of an individual and yet they may not be used as synonyms. However, it would be correct to attribute any inexplicable event to the doings of Karma or Fate/Destiny. Because of this deep-rooted belief in the inevitability of consequences on the doer, the Land of Bharat or India is identified as ‘Karma Kshetra’ or ‘Karma Bhumi’ where the ‘Law of Karma’ is enforced upon all living and non-living entities. Since most living entities are dependent upon Sun for their biological existence, the Sun God or Lord Surya is also known as ‘Karma Saakshi’ which means that Sun is a Witness to all of our activities( Karma) during our physical existence. In the ‘AfterLife’, if an individual has to be punished for his actions, a divine entity known as Lord Yama or ‘KARMAKAR’ imposes punishment strictly according to Karma. The idea or concept of Karma is firmly associated with the idea or concept of ‘SAMSARA’ and the belief that a living entity has existed in the past, and would continue to exist in the future and death is viewed as a transition from one stage of existence to the next.    

THE ATTRIBUTES OF KARMA :   

Karma encompasses all actions performed by the organs of Karma known as ‘Karma Indriya’. These are identified as hands, legs, feet, speech( Vaak), ‘Paayuvu’, and ‘Upastha’. The last two describe bodily functions associated with excretion and reproduction. In the West also there are stringent laws to protect people from offensive behavior. Lewd public behavior is prohibited by law. Karma describes a variety of activities. It includes occupational duties and work, rituals and ceremonies particularly in the context of death and mourning, the rituals of sacrifice such as ‘Havan’ or ‘Yajna’, the interest paid on a loan or debt, the struggle or effort to safeguard existence ( ‘YATANA’ ), the good deeds ( ‘PUNYA’ ), and also the sinful activities ( ‘ Paapa’ ). An individual is expected to exercise control on his ‘Organs of Karma’ and this attitude of self-restraint is described as ‘Indriya Nigraha’. An individual has no foreknowledge of his own Fate/Destiny and the only manner by which he may shape the future events is by choosing appropriate Karma according to the ‘Laws of Right Conduct’ described in Sanskrit language as ‘DHARMA’.   

THE MECHANISMS OF KARMA :   

Karma operates like a Bank Account. An individual entity comes into existence with a Credit Balance of Karma known as ‘SA BEEJA KARMA’. This Credit Balance represents the Account Balance that is carried Forward from the individual’s previous existence. An individual’s physical existence may end with death, and the Karma Account would not be permanently closed and the Balance is carried Forward and represents the Beginning Balance with which an individual begins a new journey in the cycle of Life-Death-and Life. Whenever, an individual actually experiences the consequences of his past Karma, the Karma that is withdrawn from the Karma Bank Account is called as ‘PRARABDHA KARMA’. The individual actually tastes the Fruits of this Karma and hence it is also known as ‘KARMA PHAL’. The taste of the Fruit depends upon the nature of Karma that is being consumed by the individual.The experience of Prarabdha Karma has direct consequences as it afflicts the human body in its present state of existence. Individual has no choice in matters concerning this Withdrawal. Individual cannot control the Amount of Withdrawal, the Time of Withdrawal and the effects of the Withdrawal. The Authority which administers the Bank Account makes all the decisions in the manner  a Karma Account is operated. The individual during the course of his existence would be continuously replenishing his Karma Bank Account. This Credit Balance in the Karma Account is known as ‘AGAMI KARMA’. This Balance is not yet Withdrawn and is held in store until such time the individual gets a chance to experience its Fruits. Agami Karma represents an individual’s Pre Destination of which the individual has no foreknowledge. It is not exactly ordained by God. It is only operated by a Strategy which chooses its own Plan to deliver this Agami Karma to the individual from his own Credit Balance. When the Karma Bank Account’s Balance becomes ‘ZERO’, the individual is promptly released from its shackles and entanglements. Such Liberated individual Entity would gain his total independence from the Cycle of Life-Death- and Life. The Purpose of Life and Human Existence is ultimately that of eliminating the Balance in the Karma Bank Account and a Zero Balance is the Goal to be obtained. The idea of ‘Liberation'( Moksha ) or Salvation is unlike a reward or punishment and should not be confused with the concept of ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’. Liberation requires that there should be no ‘credit’ ( positive Karma ), or ‘debit’ ( negative Karma ) Balance in the Karma Bank Account.   

Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF.
Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF.

 

It may not be easy to empty the Karma Bank Account as the individual could only make deposits into his Account and the Account is withdrawn under a Plan operated by Daivam. Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF and Self-Knowledge is the key to obtain ‘RELEASE’ or ‘VIMOCHAN’ or ‘MUKTI’ from the entanglements of Karma. He had asserted that the Five Organs of Karma known as Vaak(organs of Speech ), Paanee( Hands ), Paada( Feet ), Upastha( organs of reproduction ), and  Paayuu( organ of excretion ) would “NOT” describe his True Identity.   

In the epic poem of Ramayana, Princess Seetha had instructed Hanuman;"The Fruit of one's own making is indeed experienced in one's life."
In the epic poem of Ramayana, Princess Seetha had instructed Hanuman;"The Fruit of one's own making is indeed experienced in one's life."

 

WHO CAN OPPOSE DESTINY ?   

Who can resist Fate ?  The epic poem of Ramayana very explicitly states that human entities are ‘WEAK’ ( ‘DURBALA’ ) and should not attempt to challenge or fight against Fate/Destiny. Since it is the work of Divine Strategy, we need to humble ourselves, exhibit an attitude of humility, and seek Divine Compassion or Mercy to deal with the doings of Fate. In the story of Ramayana all the central characters willingly submit themselves to the Power of ‘DAIVAM’, the Agency that operates Fate/Destiny. To illustrate this point of view, I shall quote from Valmiki Ramayana, Book VI, Yuddha Kanda – The Book of War, Chapter(Sarga) 113, verses 30 to 47. It describes the scene after the killing of King Ravana of Lanka who had earlier abducted Princess Seetha and held her captive in a grove known as ‘Ashoka Vana’. Prince Rama dispatches Hanuman to give Princess Seetha the message about His victory in the War. After having delivered the message, Hanuman seeks the permission of Princess Seetha to kill the notorious female-demons, the servant-maids of King Ravana who were frightening her during her prolonged captivity. In her response to Hanuman, Princess Seetha claimed that the servant-maids were only acting in obedience to the orders of their King and hence should not be targeted with anger. She had also further explained that she was only reaping the consequences of her misfortunes on an account of misdeed she may have committed in the past and stated that ” The Fruits of one’s own making is indeed experienced in one’s life.” In verse number 42, Princess Seetha asks Hanuman to refrain from talking in that manner ( about angry retaliation ) and instructed Him; ” This indeed is a great Divine Strategy. It was ordained that this type of situation( her captivity ) is to be obtained by Me, due to the application of Fate. Feeble as I am in these matters ( about counteracting the Power of Fate ), I shall grant protection from retaliation to the servant-maids of Ravana here.”   

MaivaM vada Mahaabaaho Daivii hye Shaa paraa gatiH,   

 PraaptavyaM tu dashaa yog Anmayaitaditi  nishchitam   

Daasiinaam Raavanaasya aham marShayaami iha durbalaa.   

Mahaabaaho=O’ the Great Armed( Hanuman), maa vada= do not speak, evam=like this, eshaa= this, paraa hi= it is indeed great, Daivii gatiH= Divine Strategy, Nishchitam= it was decided, iti=that, idam= this situation, praaptavyam=is to be obtained, ma yaa= by me, durbalaa= feeble, aham=(as) I am, marshayaami=giving protection from retaliation,daasiinaam= the servant-maids, Raavanaasya= of Ravana,  iha=here.   

 It is very interesting to note that Princess Seetha had specifically chosen the phrase “Mahaa baaho” to glorify the physical prowess of Hanuman. He had merely asked for Her permission to punish the female demons and it is absolutely clear that no physical effort is truly required on Her part to execute that punishment. And yet, She claimed that She would not consider punishing the servant-maids just because of Her own physical weakness. In saying so, She is actually suggesting to Hanuman that He must also consider Himself to be physically feeble and should not engage in any action with an intention to counteract the doings of Fate. Princess Seetha has delivered a clear message to all living entities and reminded all of us to realize the ineffectiveness of our physical abilities and the Superiority of the Divine Power which governs Fate/Destiny. In her concluding remarks, Princess Seetha has further instructed that it is incorrect to respond to evil with evil. No evil is to be done, even to those cruel persons of sinful deeds, who take pleasure to harm others and continue to perpetrate their sinful acts. Kindness is to be shown by a noble person either towards a sinner or to a virtuous person or even to a person who deserves death, for , there is none who never commits a wrong. Virtuous persons value good conduct as an ornament. A Superior person does not take into account the sin of those who have committed an offense or a transgression.   

The epic poem of Ramayana firmly establishes the concept of Karma and the inescapable consequences of Karma and the role played by Daivam, the Divine Power which is manifested as Fate/Destiny and supports an attitude of humility and submission to the Divine Strategy.   

THE SECULAR ASPECTS OF INDIAN IDENTITY :   

The ideas and concepts that originated in the Land of Bharat or India are secular. None of the concepts demand that the individual must worship any particular God. While embracing these ideas and concepts, Indians are free to worship a God of their own choice. Apart from a Divine Entity, Indians are free to choose a living entity or even a physical entity for an act of Worship and Devotion. The ideas or concepts of Karma, Fate/Destiny, Satya (Truth), Dharma ( Right Conduct), Samsara, Mukti, Moksha(Liberation) are not attached to any particular God. The ideas of Karma and Fate/Destiny do not demand absolute Faith in a particular God. The idea of Karma describes the activities of an individual and its consequences upon the individual. God is not involved in this idea. The idea of Fate/Destiny involves an unknown Supernatural Power or Agency and the Strategy used by this Agency. God does not contrive or conspire to cause an unfortunate event. In the epic poem of Ramayana,Prince Rama and Princess Seetha being reincarnations of Vishnu and Lakshmi, had arrived upon planet Earth for their earthly existence without any Credit Balance of Karma and the mechanisms of Karma were not responsible for  unfortunate incidents in their lives. They had behaved and acted like ordinary mortals and hence we should not be surprised by Princess Seetha’s remarks about any misdeed She may have committed in Her prior life as an explanation for the sufferings She had endured. The entire Story was set into motion by a Divine Strategy and the principal players were not directly aware of that Strategy which would unfold in their lives with direct physical consequences. Ordinary mortals would be better off by contemplating upon their misdeeds and seek redemption and obtain protection from the Energy/Power/Force of Mercy, Grace, and Compassion described as ‘KRUPA’.   

The idea of Karma helps us to accept a sense of personal responsibility for any action that we perform, shapes our attitudes,  controls our behavior, and strengthens our character.    

Please also view the related blog post titled ‘East and West – The Idea of Forgiveness’  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/east-and-west-the-idea-of-forgiveness/  

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,   

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,   

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.   

    

 

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE LEAP

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Rama's coronation: Rama depicted with Sita and...
Image via Wikipedia

LORD HANUMAN’S LEAP – PRUDENCE IS INDISPENSABLE TO  GOOD HUMAN LIFE 

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP 

The Indian epic poem of ‘RAMAYANA‘ describes the life journey of Lord Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya Kingdom. He is exiled to live in the forest. The story narrates the abduction of His wife, Princess Sita. While searching the forest to find Sita, Lord Rama befriends the ‘VANARA’ or Monkey Forces of Kishkindha Kingdom. The Vanara King Sugreeva in an effort to find Sita dispatches his forces in all directions with very strict orders to report back within a month. The search party that proceeded southwards eventually reach the southern sea-shore at the end of their appointed time for reporting back to the King. As they are feeling anxious being delayed, they receive a vital clue that Sita is held captive in the island of Lanka that is ruled by the demon King Ravana. The search party now gets fearful about the course of action they have to choose. They seek counsel from the eldest member of their party. They decide against returning to home with secondhand information about Sita’s whereabouts. After due deliberation, they choose to physically verify the accuracy of the information that Sita is present in the island. The action that they have selected requires crossing the sea, entering an enemy kingdom, searching diligently tightly guarded places, and returning safely crossing the sea one more time. In the context of the story, as there is no land bridge to reach the island, the safest way to get there is to jump across the sea in one leap. The party’s elder leader recommends that Hanuman is to be entrusted with this difficult and challenging mission. The choice of Hanuman is prudent because of His strength, courage, intelligence, and other special abilities like changing of body size at His discretion. The story describes that Hanuman stood on a hill by the name of Mahendra to gain advantage for the proposed leap. He looks at the sea and directs His mind towards the island of Lanka. He is sure about His devotion to Lord Rama and He is certain about His desire to fulfil Lord Rama’s purpose. He said to Himself : “I shall search and find Sita. I shall fly in the sky and cross the sea”. However, He undertakes this mission with a sense of absolute modesty and humility. He offers worship and prayers to God and to all creation before He leaps into the sky with a roar of triumph. With that leap, Hanuman’s role in the story of Ramayana reaches heroic proportions and continues to be very exalted till the end of the story. 

THE QUALITY OF PRUDENCE 

The quality of prudence is most concerned with action. Prudence is a product of experience and a possession of reason. The maxims of prudence are counsel, deliberation, and judgment. A prudent man knows how to deliberate or calculate well about things to be done. He evaluates the negative as well as the positive consequences of his actions. Prudence also shapes the character of the person. Use of unjust or dishonest means to achieve the end or goal set for oneself is not prudence. ‘ One cannot have prudence unless one has the moral virtues; since prudence is right reason about things to be done, to which end man is rightly disposed by moral virtue’. The choice of the best means is as important as the election of the right end. The clever thief who plans and executes a successful robbery exhibits no prudence but its counterfeit called cunning. The rightness of the means requires not merely that they be adapted to an end, but that the end itself be right. Prudence has a role in all the concerns of life. The right end, whether that be the goal of personal happiness or the common good of society, or the performance of one’s duties, cannot be achieved unless the means to it are rightly chosen. Prudence can be acquired through learning to take sufficient counsel and to deliberate enough before taking any action. The habit of prudent action can be gained by remembrance of the past experience, by the understanding of what is present, and providing for the future by resolving thoughts and making decisions and commanding their execution. 

A PRAYER TO LORD HANUMAN 

Budhi heena tanu jaanike 

Sumirau Pavan Kumar 

Bala budhi vidya dehu mohe 

Harahu kalesha vikaar. 

Having known that my body is deficient of intelligence, I call upon Pavan Kumar(Son of Wind God or VAYU) and ask Him to grant me strength, intelligence, and true knowledge to dissolve all of my blemishes which cause pain and misery. 

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., 

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, 

M.B.B.S.,  Class of  April,  1970.

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE LIFTING

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Taj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India.
Image via Wikipedia

 

  
I would very much love to be known as a rational thinker and my faith is just a byproduct of my rational thinking. I started my life in Mylapore, Madras and had stated as to how Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam gave me concerns about my Identity. Kindly refer to my entry titled ‘DEFINING INDIAN IDENTITY-THE LANGUAGE FACTOR’ http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/defining-indian-identity-the-language-factor/  . I grew up in the “SMARTHA” tradition established by Shankaracharya, and  rational thinking is always acceptable to me.The ancient Land of India is known for the lively debates and the battle of intellects at all of its seats for higher learning.

  

 

 

 
SETHU SAMUDRAM - LORD RAMA'S BRIDGE ACROSS THE SEA - THE STORY OF RAMAYANA GIVES A VERY VIVID ACCOUNT OF THIS BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION.

 

 

  

 

 

   

 

 

Adam's Bridge, Lord Rama's Bridge across the Sea, Sethu Samudram or Sethu Bandhanam - Sage Valmiki gave a very detailed account of its construction in his epic poem known as Ramayana. I give credit to all those denizens of Southern India who had lifted the stones and trees to participate in this Herculean Project.
We often attach too much importance to the Kings and the Emperors who had ordered building of monuments such as the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal. The real credit should be given to those nameless workers who had actually labored, carved and lifted the stones and made the monuments a cherished reality. The ‘Adam’s Bridge has generated some controversy. The DMK Party leader M.K. Karunanidhi would prefer to view this structure as the legacy of Prince Rama, an Aryan person. I would like to say that we must give recognition to the denizens who had lived south of Vindhya mountains. They had lifted the stones and the trees and built this land connection to Sri Lanka. If these workers were of Dravidian origin, the Adam’s Bridge represents the heritage of Dravidians. 

  

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,  

 

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,  

M.B.B.S.,  Class  of  April,  1970.  

 

 

 

 

 

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE SURRENDER

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“Vishno pade parama” ituudita prasamsau  

Yo “madhva utsa” iti bhogyatayaapyu paatau  

Bhuyasta dheyti tava paanitala pradhistau  

Sree Venkatesa Charanau Saranam Prapadey.  

 PADA VANDANAM,PADA NAMASKARAM,PADA ARCHANAM,PADA SEVANAM, PADA PUJA OR WORSHIP OF FEET  : 

The land of India is a very unique place on this planet where people are culturally endowed with an ardent desire to worship feet.No other society or social community has openly exhibited this behavioral trait and feet worship could be described as the hall-mark of Indian Identity.This tradition and literal practice of feet worship was well established by the time the epic poem of Ramayana was composed.In AYODHYA KANDA,we read the very moving account of Rama touching the feet of His father Dasaratha and queen mother Kaikeyi after having received the orders for his banishment to live in the forest for fourteen years.Later in ARANYA KANDA,we read about the younger brother Bharata who literally clung to the feet of Rama seeking His refuge.Eventually,Bharata carried Rama’s sandals keeping them on his head and installs them on the throne( PADUKA PATTABHISHEKAM ) and served them with great devotion for fourteen long years during Rama’s exile.  

Lord Rama and the Tradidtion of 'Feet Worship'
Ramayana gives detailed accounts of the Tradition of Feet Worship.Rama had worshipped the feet of His father, mother, stepmothers and His Gurus. Bharata, the younger brother of Rama had installed the sandals(Padukas) worn by Rama upon the throne and had worshipped them for fourteen years.

India is the land where you witness people touching the feet of living persons as an act of worship.This is a fairly common event and sometimes the remembrance of such worship lingers in your mind.I would like to narrate one such event that I had witnessed in the past and my act of remembrance may add-on to the blessings these feet worshipers may be receiving even today.  

I was traveling by train from Rajahmundry to Lucknow City to serve in the Indian Army Medical Corps. I was motivated by a desire to see the land of India with my own eyes and know its people.For the first time, I was traveling in a first class compartment and was the sole occupant. Later in the night, a lady entered the compartment and was apparently traveling alone. She was elegantly attired, looked modest and the picture of an upper middle class house wife. Early morning, when the train had halted at a station, I did not realize that she had reached her destination. She was quietly seated, was not gathering her belongings and was not even looking outside to check if some one had arrived to receive her. After a little while, I had noticed three young men, well- dressed and well-groomed, all of them little older than me, checking the list of passenger names on the door of the train compartment and entered the compartment. They did not pay any attention to my presence. One after the other, they went forward to bend and touch her feet and paid their respects. The behavior of the young men that I was keenly observing was natural, spontaneous and unpretentious. That early morning hour, they were not putting up an act in a public place to impress any one. They acted in a deliberate, purposeful and reverential manner and I am very sure that they grew up in that manner and clearly they were not inhibited in displaying their respect in front of strangers. I was a silent spectator of this scene wherein an unassuming woman suddenly got transformed into a living deity. I can assure you that you would witness such a scene only in the Land of India. Hence, I would claim that the desire to worship the feet of a living person would define Indian Identity.  

Every deity that Indians seek to worship are better pleased when we worship their feet. PRAHLADA had described ” PADA SEVANAM ” as one of the nine ways to worship VISHNU. Indians worship feet not only as a sign of humility but also as a mark of submission, total surrender to the will of God. They touch feet as a plea for protection. This is not a mere religious rite or ritual and it actually shapes the attitudes and behavior of people. The final resting place for the individual souls(‘ JEEVATMA ‘)has been described as the Lotus Feet of the Lord. This is described as ‘CHARANAM'( Feet of the Lord ) ‘SARANAM’ ( Ultimate Refuge ).  

Please also view a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian identity – The Land of Karma’  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/defining-indian-identity-the-land-of-karma/ 

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,  

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,  

M.B.B.S.,  Class of  April,  1970.