Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sri Dakshinamurty Stotra Sanskrit - Gujarati - Hindi - English Translation



श्रीदक्षिणामूर्ति स्तोत्रम्






Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti stotra is composed by Śrī Ādi Śankarāchārya jī. Śrī Sureśvarāchārya jī has written a scholarly commentary, Mānsollāsa. Gujarati translation is done by Swami Tadrupanand ji. Hindi and English Translations are adaptoed from Gujarati translation by Swami Tadrupanand ji, Sri Alladi Mahadeva Shastry and online resources Green Message and Vedic Scriptures Inc


While Hindi Translation is almost similar to Gujarati Translation, English Translation is mostly adapted from Green Message with little inputs from Indian Scriptures Inc and Sri Alladi Mahadeva Shastry. Sri Alladi Mahadeva Shastry was used as a reference and for checking validity or correctlness of other translation in case of conflicting translations in Swami Tadrupanand ji’s and that present online.


Since Swami Tadrupanand ji’s translation has only five dhyāna sloka-s, we have translated only first five and not seven as mentioned by Green Message.


Generally, only one translation is presented. At times, translation of Sri Dakshinamurty stotra is difficult to understand due to long sentences. Authors well-versed in tradition translate this hymn keeping in mind Manasollasa of Shri Sureshwaracharya which is of polemical nature. Long commentaries by present day scholars and Swamis is written keeping in line with Manasollasa. At times, to incorporate the essence of both original hymn and Manasollasa, all three translations are presented to aid in understanding. Wherever necessary, words in brackets or square brackets are inserted. In some sloka-s additional notes are written for better clarity.


श्रीदक्षिणामूर्ति स्तोत्रम्


ध्यानम्

मौनव्याख्या प्रकटित परब्रह्मतत्त्वं युवानं
वर्षिष्ठांते वसद् ऋषिगणैः आवृतं ब्रह्मनिष्ठैः ।
आचार्येन्द्रं करकलित चिन्मुद्रमानंदमूर्तिं
स्वात्मारामं मुदितवदनं दक्षिणामूर्तिमीडे ॥१॥


જેઓ મૌન વ્યાખ્યાન દ્વારા પરબ્રહ્મતત્ત્વનું પ્રતિપાદન કરે છે, (નિત્ય) યુવાન છે, વાયોવૃદ્ધ અંતેવાસી (તથા) બ્રહ્મનિષ્ઠ ઋષિઓના સમૂહથી વીંટળાયેલા રહે છે, હાથમાં ચિન્મુદ્રાને ધારણ કરે છે, આનંદસ્વરુપ, સ્વાત્મારામ, પ્રસન્નવદન છે એવા આચાર્યોમાં ઈન્દ્રસ્વરૂપ શ્રીદક્ષિનામૂર્તિને હું ભજું છું - ૧


जो मौन वाख्यान द्वारा परब्रह्मतत्वका प्रतिपादन करते है, (नित्य) युवान है, जेष्ठ (बुधे) तथा ब्रह्मनिष्ठ ॠषियोके समूहके बिचमे है, हाथमे चिन्मुद्राको धारण किये हुए है, आनंदस्वरुप, स्वात्माराम, प्रसन्नवदन है एसे आचार्योमे ईन्द्रस्वरुप श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तिको मैं भजतां हुं - १


(Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti) Whose Exposition through Profound Silence is Awakening the Knowledge of the Supreme Brahman in the Hearts of His Disciples; Who is Himself Youthful but is Sitting Surrounded by Old and Great Sages who are Devoted to Brahman, the Hands of the Supreme Spiritual Teacher is Forming the Cin-Mudra (gesture of the Knowledge of Brahman) and Whose Appearance is peaceful and Blissful, Who is Rejoicing in His Own Self which is reflected on His Blissful Face; Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 1


वटविटपिसमीपेभूमिभागे निषण्णं
सकलमुनिजनानां ज्ञानदातारमारात् ।
त्रिभुवनगुरुमीशं दक्षिणामूर्तिदेवं
जननमरणदुःखच्छेद दक्षं नमामि ॥२॥


વડના વૃક્ષની નીચે ભૂમિ પર વિરાજમાન, સર્વ મુનિજનોને સત્વર જ્ઞાન પ્રદાન કરનાર, ત્રિભુવનના ગુરુ, ઈશ્વર, જન્મ-મરણરૂપ દુઃખનો છેદ કરવામાં કુશળ એવા ભગવાન શ્રી દક્ષિણામૂર્તિને હું નમસ્કાર કરું છું - ૨


बर्गतके वृक्ष के नीचे भूमि पर विराजमान, सर्व मुनिजनोको सत्वर (तेजीसे) ज्ञान प्रदान करनेवाले, त्रिभुवनके गुरु, ईश्वर, जन्म-मरणरूप दुःखकां छेदन करनेमे कुशल ऐसे भगवान श्री दक्षिणामूर्तिको मैं नमन करतां हुं - २


Sitting on the ground near the Banyan Tree, the one who bestowed knowledge to the Munis (Sages), who were (sitting) near, to the Guru of the Three Worlds, the Lord Himself, the one who is expert in severing the sorrows resulting from the cycles of Births and Deaths; I bow to that Bhagavāna Dakshinamurthy - 2


चित्रं वटतरोर्मूले वृद्धाः शिष्या गुरुर्युवा ।
गुरोस्तु मौनं व्याख्यानं शिष्यास्तुच्छिन्नसंशयाः ॥३॥


(અહો !) આશ્ચર્ય (છે કે) વટવૃક્ષની નીચે વૃદ્ધ શિષ્યો અને યુવાન ગુરુદેવ (ઉપસ્થિત) છે. ગુરુદેવનું વ્યાખ્યાન મૌનરૂપ છે (તેમ છતાં) શિષ્યોના સર્વ સંદેહો નષ્ટ થઈ ગયા છે - ૩


आश्चर्य (है की) बर्गतके वृक्ष के नीचे वृद्ध शिष्यो और युवान गुरुदेव (उपस्थित) है। गुरुदेवकां व्याख्यान मौनरूप है (फीर भी) शिष्योकें सर्व संदेह नष्ट हो गए है - ३

It is indeed a strange picture to behold; At the base of a Banyan Tree are seated old Disciples (i.e. aged Disciples) in front of an Young Guru; The Guru is Silent, and Silence is His exposition (of the Highest Knowledge); and that (Silence) is severing the doubts (automatically) from the minds of the Disciples - 3


निधये सर्वविद्यानां भिषजे भवरोगिणाम् ।
गुरवे सर्वलोकानां दक्षिणामूर्तये नमः ॥४॥

સર્વ વિદ્યાના સાગર, ભવરોગીઓના વૈદ્ય (તેમ જ) સર્વ લોકોના ગુરુ (એવા) શ્રી દક્ષિનામૂર્તિને નમસ્કાર – ૪


सर्व विद्याके सागर, भवरोगीयोके वैद्य (और) सर्व लोकके गुरु (ऐसे) श्री दक्षिणामूर्तिको नमस्कार – ४


The one who is a receptacle to all Knowledge, Who is a Medicine to all the diseases of Worldly bondage, Who is a Guru to all the Worlds; Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 4


ॐ नमः प्रणवार्थाय शुद्धज्ञानैकमूर्तये ।
निर्मलाय प्रशान्ताय दक्षिणामूर्तये नमः ॥५॥


ઓમ્ , પ્રણવથી જેઓ લક્ષિત થાય છે, શુદ્ધ જ્ઞાનસ્વરૂપ મૂર્તિરૂપ છે, નિર્મળ (તથા) પ્રશાંત છે તેવા શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને નમસ્કાર – ૫


ओम् , प्रणवसे जो लक्षित होते है, शुद्ध ज्ञानस्वरुप मूर्तिरूप है, निर्मल (और) प्रशांत है ऐसे श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तिको नमस्कार – ५


Salutations to the embodiment of Pranava (Om), Salutations to the personification of the Pure, Non-Dual Knowledge, Salutations to the Pure and Stainless, and Salutations to the calm and auspiscious; Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 5


स्तोत्रम्


विश्वं दर्पणदृश्यमाननगरीतुल्यं निजान्तर्गतं
पश्यन्नात्मनि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतं यथा निद्रया ।
यः साक्षात्कुरुते प्रबोधसमये स्वात्मानमेवाद्वयं
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥१॥


દર્પણમાં દૃશ્ય થતી પ્રતિબિંબિત નગરી સરખું તથા નિદ્રા સમયે મનમાં સ્થિત સ્વપ્ન સૃષ્ટિ, સ્વપ્નકાળે બહાર પ્રક્ષેપિત દેખાય છે તેવી રીતે આ વિશ્વ આત્મામાં આરોપ રૂપે સ્થિત હોવા છતાં માયા વડે, બહાર ઉદ્ભવેલું હોય તેમ અજ્ઞાન સમયે જણાય છે. પરંતુ જ્ઞાન સમયે જે જ્ઞાનીને આત્મામાં અરોપિત દ્વૈત સૃષ્ટિનો બાધ જણાય છે અને પોતાના આત્માનો જ, તે સર્વમાં સાક્ષાત્કાર કરે છે તેવા અરૂપ છતાં સર્વરૂપ સર્વાધિષ્ઠાન પરમાત્મા જ દક્ષિણામૂર્તિ સ્વરૂપ છે, ગુરુમૂર્તિ સમાન છે, તેમને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૧


यह विश्व दर्पण में दिखाई देने वाली नगरी के समान है (अर्थात् अवास्तविक है), स्वयं के भीतर है, मायावश आत्मा ही बाहर प्रकट हुआ सा दिखता है जैसे नींद में अपने अन्दर देखा गया स्वप्न बाहर उत्पन्न हुआ सा दिखाई देता है। परन्तु ज्ञान स्थितिमें ज्ञानीको जो आत्मामें आरोपित द्वैत सृष्टिका बाध होता है, और स्वयम् के आत्मा का ही सर्वमे साक्षात्कार करता है ऐसे अरुप होने के बादमे भी सर्वरुप सर्वाधिष्ठान परमात्मा ही दक्षिणामूर्ति स्वरुप है, गुरुमूर्ति समान है, उनको नमस्कार – १


This world is unreal like the image of a city in the mirror, it exists inside (mirror, paramātmā). Due to the power of Māyā, under ignorance, it looks as if it is manifested outside; like in dream we see things outside ourselves (whereas it is projected inside mind). During Jñāna sthiti (ātmasthiti) there is negation of dvaita, hence, a Jñānī does not experience this world, which is projected on ātmā. Salutations to Sri Dakshiṇāmūrti in the form of preceptor (gurumūrti), who, at the time of self realization, makes one aware that Ātmā is without second - 1


बीजस्याऽन्तरिवाङ्कुरो जगदिदं प्राङ्गनिर्विकल्पं पुनः
मायाकल्पितदेशकालकलना वैचित्र्यचित्रीकृतम् ।
मायावीव विजृम्भयत्यपि महायोगीव यः स्वेच्छया
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥२॥


બીજની અંદર જેમ અંકુર બીજથી અભેદ હોય તેમ આ જગત ઉત્પત્તિ પૂર્વે તેના બીજરૂપી આત્માધિષ્ઠાનથી નિર્વિકલ્પ અર્થાત્ ભેદરહિત-અભેદ-એક હતું. તત્પશ્ચાત્ માયા દ્વારા કલ્પાયેલ દેશ-કાળ આદિ વિભિન્નતાથી વિચિત્ર રીતે ચિત્રીત થયું. અર્થાત્ અનેકતાથી વિશેષતાવાળું આરોપિત જણાયું. આથી અનેક ભેદની પહેલાં જે 'નિર્વિશેષ' જગત હતું તે માયા દ્વારા વિશેષતાવાળું - અર્થાત્ 'સવિશેષ' ભેદમય થયું. એવુ આ જગત જે માયાપતિ = પરમેશ્વર અર્થાત્ માયાવીની જેમ અથવા મહાયોગીની જેમ સ્વયંની ઈચ્છાથી જ, માયાના બળે જ પ્રગટાવે છે, એવા શ્રી ગુરુમૂર્તિ શ્રી દક્ષિનામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર છે - ૨


बीज के अन्दर जैसे अंकुर बीज से अभेद होता है वैसे ही यह जगत उत्पत्ति से पहले उसके बीजरुपी आत्माधिष्ठानसे निर्विकल्प अर्थात भेदरहित-अभेद-अर्थात एक ही था। तत्पश्चात् माया द्वारा कल्पित देश-काल आदि विभिन्नताओसे विचित्र रीतसे (जिसका स्पष्ट ज्ञान न हो सके उस तरिकेसे) चित्रीत हुआ। अर्थात, अनेकतासे विशेषतावाला आरोपित जानने मे आया। इसके कारण, अनेक भेद उत्पन्न होने से पहले जो 'निर्विशेष' जगत था वह माया द्वारा विशेषतावाला अर्थात 'सविशेष'-भेदमयी हुआ - २


Like a sprout present inside a seed is undifferentiated from seed; this world, before it is manifested is not different from it’s substratum i.e. ātman. Later on it gets manifested due to Māyā which also creates space, time, etc various forms. Meaning that which was non-different (nirviśeṣa) than Ātman is now seen as having many attributes and qualities (saviśeṣa) and is of dual nature. Salutations to Sri Dakshiṇāmūrti in the form of guru who like a magician (māyāvī, māyāpati, parameśvara), happens to one Who is Like a Mahayogi out of His Own Free Will (i.e. a Mahayogi can enter the state of Samadhi out of his own free will and witness the unfolding of the world when He comes out of Samadhi) through his yogic powers, transforms it by his own will - 2


यस्यैव स्फुरणं सदात्मकमसत्कल्पार्थकं भासते
साक्षात्तत्त्वमसीति वेदवचसा यो बोधयत्याश्रितान् ।
यत्साक्षात्करणाद्भवेन्न पुनरावृत्तिर्भवाम्भोनिधौ
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥३॥


જેમની સ્વયંસત્સ્વરૂપ ચેતના જ માત્ર તમામ કલ્પાયેલા અસત પદાર્થ રૂપે ભાસે છે તેવા ચૈતન્યસ્વરૂપ શ્રી દક્ષિણામૂર્તિ કે જેઓ 'તે-તું-છે' આ પ્રમાણે વેદમાં વર્ણવાયેલા મહાવાક્યો દ્વારા, શરણાગતિ સ્વીકારેલા જિજ્ઞાસુ શિષ્યોને પરમતત્વનો સાક્ષાત્ અર્થાત્ હસ્તામલકવત સ્પષ્ટપણે ઉપદેશ આપે છે તેવા શ્રી ગુરુમૂર્તિને કે જેમનો આત્મસ્વરૂપે સાક્ષાત્કાર કરવાથી જન્મ-મૃત્યુ રૂપ સંસારસમુદ્રમાં પુનરાગમન થતું નથી તેમને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૩


जिनकी स्वयंसत्यस्वरूप चेतना ही तमाम कल्पित असत पदार्थ रुपमे भासति है, ऐसे चैतन्यस्वरूप श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति जो 'तत्वमसि' जैसे वेदो के महावाक्यो के माध्यमसे, शरणागति का स्विकार किया हुए जिज्ञासु शिष्योको परमतत्वका साक्षात् अर्थात् हस्तामलकवत स्पष्टरुपसे उपदेश देते है, ऐसे गुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति जीनका आत्मस्वरूपमे साक्षात्कार करनेसे जन्म-मृत्यु रूपी संसारसमुद्रमें पुनरागमन होता नही है, उनको नमस्कार – ३


Just by whose satya-svarūpa-sphurṇā i.e. ātma-chetanā, (eternal awareness of Ātman), all the imagined unreal forms get their meaning and appear over mind, This Knowledge of the Ātman Spoken of in the Vedas as "Tat-Tvam-Asi" is clearly and effortlessly Imparted by Our Inner Guru as a Direct Experience when we Surrender Whole-Heartedly to Him, By Direct Experience of this Knowledge, the Delusion of being tossed within an unending Ocean of Worldly Existence will Not Appear Again (i.e. one is freed from the unending cycle of birth and death), Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutations to Sri Gurumurty Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 3


नानाच्छिद्रघटोदरस्थितमहादीपप्रभा भास्वरं
ज्ञानं यस्य तु चक्षुरादिकरणद्वारा वहिः स्पन्दते ।
जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत्समस्तं जगत्
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥४॥


અનેક ચિદ્રવાળું ઉદર ધરાવતા ઘડાની અંદર રહેલા મોટા દીપકની કાંતિ જેવો ઉજ્જવળ પ્રકાશ જેવી રીતે ઘડાની દીવાલમાં રહેલા છીદ્રો દ્વારા બહાર પ્રસરે છે તેવી રીતે શરીરસ્થિત સ્વાત્મચૈતન્યરૂપી જેમનો પ્રકાશ આંખ, કાન વગેરે જેવી તમામ જ્ઞનેન્દ્રિયરૂપી છિદ્રો દ્વારા બહાર ફેલાય છે અને પદાર્થોને પ્રકાશિત કરે છે, ત્યારે 'હું 'આ' જાણુ છું' તેવું જ્ઞાન થાય છે. આ પ્રમાણે સર્વપ્રથમ અસ્તિત્વ સ્વરૂપે ચિદાત્માના પ્રકાશ્યા બાદ જ તે ચૈતન્યને અનુસરીને જ આ સમગ્ર જગત દૃષ્ટિગોચર થાય છે. તેવા જ્ઞાનસ્વરૂપ શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૪


अनेक छिद्रों वाले घडे में रखा हुआ बडे दीपक का प्रकाश जैसे घडे के छिद्रो मे से बाहर आता है, वैसे ही, शरीरमे स्थित स्वात्मचैतन्यका प्रकाश आख, कान, इत्यादि ज्ञानेनद्रिय रूपी छिद्रो द्वारा बाहर फेलता है और पदार्थोको प्रकाशित करता है। तब 'में यह जानता हूँ' ऐसा ज्ञान होता हैं। इस प्रकार सर्वप्रथम अस्थित्व स्वरुप चिदात्माके प्रकाशने के बादमे ही [चैतन्य के कारण] यह समग्र जगत दृष्टिगोचर होता है। एसे ज्ञानस्वरूप (चिदात्मा) श्री गुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति को मैं नमन करता हु - ४


As the Light of a big Lamp Situated Inside a pot (ghaṭa) having many Holes, Shine Outwards through holes, similarly, the light of Ātman inside body, shines (spreads) Outwards through our Eyes and Other jñānendriya-s (Sense Organs), and gives knowledge of existence of external objects, then the knowledge ‘I know this (object)’ is obtained. Similarly, one realises that, as the first existence chidātmā or Ātman shines, which enables one to see and experience external world or object. Salutations to Personification of Our Inner Guru (shrī gurumūrti) Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutations to Sri Dakshimurthy - 4


देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुः
स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः ।
मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणे
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥५॥


વિભિન્ન મતો ધરાવતા વાદીઓ સ્વયંને 'હું દેહ છું', અથવા 'હું પ્રાણ છું' અથવા 'હું ઇન્દ્રિય છું' કે પછી 'હું આ ચંચળ મન છું' તથા 'હું બુદ્ધિ છું' એવું માને છે, તો કેટલાક શૂન્યને આત્મા સમજે છે. અતિશય ભ્રાન્તિમાં પડેલા આ ભિન્ન મતવાદીઓ, સ્ત્રી, બાળક, અંધ તથા જડ અર્થાત્ ભૂલા ભટકેલા અબુધ અવિવેકીની ઉપમા આપવા યોગ્ય છે. આ પ્રચલિત મતો માયાશક્તિના વિલાસ દ્વારા કલ્પાયેલા છે. આ મહાન મોહનો અજ્ઞાનસહિત સંપૂર્ણપણે સંહાર કરનારા શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ સ્વરૂપ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૫


विभिन्न मत की धारणा करनेवाले स्वयंको 'मैं देह हुं', ‘मैं प्राण हुं', मैं ईन्द्रिय हुं' या फीर 'मैं चंचल मन हुं' और 'मैं बुद्धि हुं' ऐसा मानते हैं, तो दुसरे शून्यको आत्मा मानते हैं। ऐसी भ्रान्तिमें पडे हुए भिन्न-भिन्न मतवादीओ, स्त्री, बालक, अंध तथा जड अर्थात भूले भटके लोग अबुध अविवेकी की उपमा देने योग्य हैं। यह सब प्रचलित मत मायाशक्तिके विलास द्वारा कल्पित हैं *। यह महान मोहको अज्ञानसहीत संपूर्ण संहार करनेवाले श्री गुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्तिको नमस्कार – ५


*वास्तवमें यह सारे मत-मतान्तर नही हैं। यह सब मत मोह के कारण उत्पन्न होते हैं। मोह अज्ञानवश मायाके प्रभावमें अनात्माके साथ तादात्म्य के कारण होता हैं


(Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti Who Awakens the Glory of the Atman within us through His Profound Silence)
Those who believe in various mata-s (philosophies) like I am śarira (Body) or Prana (Vital Force) or indriya (Sense Organs) or the chanchala mana (unstable mind) or buddhi (intellect); or some believe themselves (Ātman, I) to be śūṇya (Void, Total Non-Existence); such ignorant people, ladies, children, blind, and dull-headed are deluded and are considered as abudha (one who has dull intellect) and aviveki (Unwise who do not use power of discrimination). These popular mata-s (philosophies) are created due to the effect of illusive power of māyā, The one who completely destroys this delusion created by the play of māyā, Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 5


राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात्
सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् ।
प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायते
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥६॥


ઈન્દ્રિયોને વિષયોના જગતમાંથી પાછી ખેંચી લેવાથી જે પુરુષ (શરીરધારી આત્મા) સુષુપ્તિ અવસ્થાને પ્રાપ્ત થતાં માયા દ્વારા આવૃત અર્થાત્ ઢંકાયેલો હોવાને લીધેએ, જેવી રીતે ગ્રહણ સમયે રાહુ દ્વારા ગ્રસિત સૂર્ય અને ચન્દ્ર માત્ર અસ્તિત્વ સ્વરૂપે જ જણાય છે પરંતુ સ્પષ્ટ જોઈ શકાતા નથી. તેવી રીતે સુષુપ્તિ અવસ્થામાં આત્મતત્વનું સ્પષ્ટ જ્ઞાન થતું નથી. પરંતુ જાગ્રદાવસ્થાને પ્રાપ્ત થતાં જ 'આ પૂર્વે હું સૂતો હતો' આ પ્રમાણેની પૂર્વાનુભવની સ્મૃરૂપે સ્વયંના અસ્તિત્વનું સ્પષ્ટ જ્ઞાન થાય છે. આમ અસ્તિત્વ સ્વરૂપે પ્રત્યેક મનુષ્યને જે અનુભવાય છે તેમને-તેવા આત્માથી અભિન્ન-શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ સ્વરુપ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૬


ईन्द्रियोको (अपने) विभिन्न विषयोके जगतमे से वापस खिचके जो पुरुष (शरीरधारी आत्मा) सुषुप्ति अवस्थाको प्राप्त हेकर माया द्वारा आवृत अर्थात् ढका होनेके कारण, जैसे ग्रहण के समय राहु द्वारा ग्रसित सूर्य और चन्द्र स्पष्ट नही दिखाई देते, मात्र उनका अस्पष्ट अस्तित्व ही जानने में आता है (क्योकी ग्रहणमे उनका केवल अंश ही दिखाई देता है)। ईसी प्रकार सुषुप्ति अवस्थामे आत्माका स्पष्ट ज्ञान नहीं होता। परंतु (निद्रा से जागने के बाद) जाग्रत अवस्था प्रापत होते ही 'पूर्व में मैं ही सोया हुआ था' - ईस प्रकारसे पूर्वानुभवकी स्मृति के फलस्वरुप स्वयं के अस्तित्वका स्पष्ट ज्ञान होता हैं। इस प्रकार प्रत्येक मनुष्य को स्वयंके भूतकालमें होनेका अनुभव स्वयं के 'अस्तित्व स्वरुप' होता है *। एसे अस्तित्व स्वरुप, आत्मस्वरूप, आत्मासे अभिन्न, श्री गुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति को मैं नमन करता हु - ६
*यह स्वयंके अस्तित्व का अनुभव – 'मै', ‘अहम्' अर्थात 'आत्मा' का ही है।


Just like the Sun and the Moon are Eclipsed by Rahu yet they exist but cannot be clearly seen, in deep sleep, one (whose consciousness is attached in physical body) withdraws senses from world of sense objects (both internal and extenal objects), due to consciousness being veiled by māyā does not realise one’s true Self; But upon waking from deep sleep one realises ‘earlier I was sleeping’ - in this way, by remembering the past state, ‘I was sleeping’, one realises one’s existence during deep sleep. In this way, each one of us realises own Self as ‘existence’ (during all 3 states), Salutations to Him, who is non-different from our own self (existence), the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 6


बाल्यादिष्वपि जाग्रदादिषु तथा सर्वास्ववस्थास्वपि
व्यावृत्तास्वनुवर्तमानमहमित्यन्तः स्फुरन्तं सदा ।
स्वात्मानं प्रकटीकरोति भजतां यो मुद्रयाभद्रया
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥७॥


બાળપણ, કૌમાર, યુવા વગેરે જેવી તમામ અવસ્થાઓમાં તથા જાગ્રત, સ્વપ્ન, અને સુષુપ્તિ વગેરે સર્વ (એક પછી એક) બદલાતી અવસ્થાઓમાં પણ અનુવર્ત અર્થાત્ અનુસ્યૂત (સતત) થઈને રહેલ તેમજ 'હું' 'હું' આ પ્રમાણે અંતઃકરણમાં હંમેશા સ્ફુર્ણા પામતા પોતાના ચૈતન્ય આત્માને જેઓ મંગળકારી મુદ્રા વડે પ્રગટવે છે એટલે કે પ્રત્યગાત્મા જે જીવાત્માનો બ્રહ્મ સ્વરૂપે જ સાક્ષાત્કાર કરાવી એકત્વનું દર્શન કરાવે છે. તેવા શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ સ્વરૂપ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિ ભગવાનને (મહાદેવને) આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૭


बचपन, कौमार, यौवन वगैरे जैसी तमाम अवस्थाओमें तथा जाग्रत, स्वप्न और सुषिप्ति वगेरे सर्व (एक के बाद एक) बदलती अवस्थाओमें भी अनुर्वत अर्थात सदा (बाधा रहित) (जो) रहता है तथा "मैं" "मैं" ('अहम् - अहम्') इस प्रकारसे अंतःकरणमें हमेशा स्फुर्णा पाते स्वयंके चैतन्य आत्माको समर्पित, शरणमे आये हुए शिष्यो को, जो मंगलकारी (चिन) मुद्राद्वारा* प्रसन्नतापूर्वक प्रगट करते हैं अर्थात जो (महात्मा), जीवात्माको ब्रह्म स्वरुपका साक्षात्कार कराते है और एकत्व का दर्शन कराते है, एसे श्री गुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति भगवान (महादेवको) में नमन करता हु - ७


*चिन मुद्रा जीव और ब्रह्म का प्रतिक हैं । अंगुठा ब्रह्म का प्रतिक है, पहली उंगली जीव का। जब दोनो मील जाती है तो जीव ब्रह्म के औक्य का प्रतिक होता है। बाकी तीन बाहर की और निर्देशित उंगलीया लोभ, मोह और क्रोध अथवा सत्व, रजस और तमस अथवा मल, विक्षेप और आवरण, इयादि त्रिपुटि के त्याग का प्रतिक है ।

(आत्मा (चेतना) सर्व अवस्थाओ को कभी नही छुति है फिरभी आत्मा सर्व अवस्थाओमे स्वयं प्रकाशित होती रहती है। )


During Boyhood and Other stages of Life (Youth, Old age etc), during Waking and Other states (Dreaming, Deep Sleep, Turiya etc) and Similarly in All Conditions the Atman Always Shines as the "I" “I” Within, Free from All Conditions but at the same time Present in All Conditions, The Inner Guru Awakens this Knowledge of One's Own Atman to those who Surrender to Him; this Knowledge which is represented by the Auspicious Cin-Mudra, Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 7


विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः
शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।
स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥८॥


જે આ પુરુષ (જીવાત્મા) માયા વડે ચારે બાજુથી ભ્રમિત થયેલો હોવાને લીધે સ્વપ્નમાં તથા જાગ્રત અવસ્થામાં વિભિન્ન પ્રકારના ભેદભાવ કલ્પીને જગતને કાર્ય-કારણના ભેદરૂપે અને વ્યવહારને સેવક અને સ્વામીના સંબંધથી ભેદયુક્ત કે પછી ગુરુ અને શિષ્ય તથા પિતા-પુત્ર વગેરે જેવા નાનાવિધ ભેદભાવનારૂપી સંબંધો ભ્રાંતિના લીધે જુએ છે, તે પુરુષનો માયાજન્ય મોહ નષ્ટ થતાં જે અભેદ આત્મસ્વરૂપ, જણાય છે, तस्मै - તે અભેદ આત્મસ્વરૂપ શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૮


जो यह पुरुष (जीवात्मा) माया द्वारा चारो दिशाओसे भ्रमित होने के कारण स्वप्नमें तथा जाग्रत अवस्थामें विभिन्न प्रकारके भेदभाव की कल्पना करके जगतके कार्य-कारणके भेदरुप और व्ययहारके सेवक और स्वामीके संबंधसे भेदयुक्त अथवा गुरु और शिष्य तथा पिता-पुत्र वगेरे जैसे नानाविध भेदभावनारुपी संबंध भ्रांति के कारण है, वह पुरुष का मायाजन्य मोह नष्ट होते ही जो अभेद आत्मस्वरूप जाननेमें आता है, वह अभेद आत्मस्वरूप श्रीगुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति को मेरा नमन – ८


Under the influence of māyā, in waking or dream state, puruśa (jīvātmā) sees relationships in the World such as kārya-kāraṇa, as svāmī-saṃpatti (svāmī-sevaka), as the guru-śiṣya, and Also as pitā-pūtra etc; When the moha (delusion) of that puruśa is destroyed, one sees abheda (non-dual) ātman; Salutations to that abheda ātmasvarūpa, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 8


Under the influence of māyā, in waking or dream state, puruśa (jīvātmā) sees differenciations in the World such as kārya-kāraṇa (Cause and Effect), as svāmī-saṃpatti, svāmī-sevaka (Possessor-Possession) Relations, as the guru-śiṣya (Disciple-Teacher), and Also as pitā-pūtra (Father-Son) Relations etc; when the moha (delusion) of that puruśa is destroyed, one sees (abheda) non-dual ātman; Salutations to that abheda ātmasvarūpa, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti – backup- 8


भूरम्भांस्यनलोऽनिलोऽम्बरमहर्नाथो हिमांशु पुमान्
इत्याभाति चराचरात्मकमिदं यस्यैव मूर्त्यष्टकम्
नान्यत् किञ्चन विद्यते विमृशतां यस्मात्परस्माद्विभोः
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥९॥


પૃથ્વી, પાણી, વાયુ, અગ્નિ અને આકાશ વગેરે પંચમહાભૂત તથા સૂર્ય, ચંદ્ર અને આત્મા, આ પ્રમાણે જે પરમાત્માની આ આઠ મૂર્તિઓ અખિલ વિશ્વંમા જડ અને ચેતન રૂપે જણાય છે તથા તત્વનો વિચાર કરનાર સૂક્ષ્મદર્શીઓને, તે સર્વવ્યાપી પરમાત્માથી ભિન્ન કંઈપણ જણાતું નથી. અર્થાત્ તેઓ જે સર્વવ્યાપક પરમાત્માનું દર્શન કરે છે તેવા સર્વવ્યાપક પરમાત્મા સ્વરૂપ શ્રીગુરુમૂર્તિ શ્રીદક્ષિણામૂર્તિને આ નમસ્કાર હો - ૯


पृथ्वी, जल, वायु, अग्नि और आकाश इत्यादि पंचमहाभूत तथा सूर्य, चंद्र और आत्मा, यह परमात्माकी आठ मूर्तिओ अखिल विश्वमें जड और चेतन रूपमें जानी जाती है तथा तत्वका विचार करनेवाले सूक्ष्मदर्शीओको, यह सर्वव्यापी परमात्मासे भिन्न कुछ भी जाननेमें नही आता है। अर्थात् जो (तत्वविचारक) सर्वव्यापक परमात्मका दर्शन करते है एसे सर्वव्यापक परमात्मा स्वरूप श्रीगुरुमूर्ति श्री दक्षिणामूर्तिको में नमन करता हु - ९


Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space, Sun, Moon and Jiva, are Verily His (i.e. Ātman's) aṣṭha mūrti-s shining within the Moving and the Non-Moving forms, Apart from Him (i.e. Ātman) there Cannot Exist anything; The Yogis who Reflect (i.e. Meditate) within Discover Him as the Essence From Which Everything Originates, i.e. Discover Him as Existing Beyond Everything as the Eternal Essence and that nothing is different from Ātman and Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti - 9


सर्वात्मत्वमिति स्फुटीकृतमिदं यस्मादमुष्मिन् स्तवे
तेनास्य श्रवणात्तदर्थमननाद्ध्यानाच्च संकीर्तनात् ।
सर्वात्मत्वमहाविभूतिसहितं स्यादीश्वरत्वं स्वतः
सिद्ध्येत्तत्पुनरष्टधा परिणतं चैश्वर्यमव्याहतम् ॥१०॥


આ સ્તોત્રમાં આ સમગ્ર વિશ્વ આત્મસ્વરૂપ છે એવું સમજાવ્યું છે. તેવા આ સ્તોત્રના શ્રવણથી, તેના લક્ષ્યાર્થના મનનથી, તથા તત્વાર્થના નિદિધ્યાસનથી, ઉપરાંત તેના સંકીર્તનરૂપી નિત્ય અભ્યાસથી, સર્વકાઈ આત્મા છે એવો સર્વાત્મભાવ તથા મહાવિભૂતિ સહિતનું ઈશ્વરત્વ આઠ પ્રકારની ઐશ્વર્યરૂપી સિદ્ધિ સાથે વિઘ્નરહીત સ્વતઃ જ સિદ્ધ થાય છે - ૧૦


यह स्तोत्रमें यह सम्पूर्ण विश्व आत्मस्वरुप है एसा समझाया है । एसे यह (आत्मज्ञान प्रदान करनेवाले) स्तोत्रके श्रवण से, उसके तत्वार्थके निदिध्यासनसे, ध्यान और संकीर्तनरूपी नित्य अभ्यास से, सर्व (समग्र विश्व) आत्मा है एसा सर्वात्मभाव तथा महाविभूति सहित ईश्वरत्व आठ प्रकारकी ऐश्वर्यरूपी सिद्धि के साथ, विघ्नरहीत स्वतः ही सिद्ध होता है - १०


सबके आत्मा आप ही हैं, जिनकी स्तुति से यह ज्ञान हो जाता है, जिनके बारे में सुनने से, उनके अर्थ पर विचार करने से, ध्यान और भजन करने से सबके आत्मारूप आप समस्त विभूतियों सहित ईश्वर स्वयं प्रकट हो जाते हैं और अपने अप्रतिहत (जिसको रोका न जा सके) ऐश्वर्य से जो पुनः आठ रूपों में प्रकट हो जाते हैं, उन श्रीगुरु रूपी, श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति को नमस्कार है - १० – alternate translation


(Salutations to Śrī Dakshiṇāmūrti Who Awakens the Glory of the Atman within us through His Profound Silence)
Since ‘Entire world is Ātmasvarūpa’ Made Clear in this Hymn, Hence by it’s sravaṇa,  manana on its lakshyārtha (Contemplation on inner Meaning), nididhyāsana, and singing it’s stuti i.e. by it’s sankirtana, One becomes Endowed with the sarvātmabhāva (divine knowledge that Ātmā is present in All); Perhaps sarvātmabhāva Itself will Awaken within him; and after that Again, Īśvara-tatva along all his splendour and it’s siddhi-s (aṣṭha mūrthi-s) will manifest unhindered and will be Self Evident - 10 


॥ इति श्री दक्षिणामूर्ति स्तोत्रम् संपूर्णम ॥

Volunteers needed to Translate Puri Shankaracharya ji's discourses


Namaste

There is an initiative by a few volunteers devoted to the propagation of the message of Sanatana Dharma to provide English subtitles to the Hindi speeches of His Holiness the Shankaracharya of Puri, Sri Nischalananda Saraswati. Since the group involved in this work is needing the assistance of some more volunteers, those who have a fairly good grasp of Hindi and ability to render the same into English may please participate in this noble endeavor and become beneficiaries of the blessings of the Mother Sanatana Dharma. For more details please contact Sri Ajay Bhargavan on phone: 72042 16181 and Sri Natraj Maneshinde email: natrajmaneshinde [at] gmail [dot] com

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Reclaim Temples – An initiative to reclaim and revive our Identity

Preface ...


Namaste,

Bhārata was once known as land of ancient civilization and a land of wisdom. Our saṃskriti was the best amongst all as it was the reflection of the eternal divinity, which is the truth, uncorrupted, untouched, bliss and peace itself.

Great mantra-dṛṣṭā ṛṣi-s (rishis) experienced truth as a flash in their heart and revealed them in a way that could be understood, digested and implemented by people of all walks of life. Our śāstra-s were revealed in this way. Since truth is eternal and was present at all times, even before the creation, during creation and will remain after destruction of creation, our śāstra-s too are reflection of this eternal truth. They teach us a way to reach and abide in the eternal truth which is sat-chit-ānanda. Our śāstra-s are collection of experience of innumerable ṛṣi-s (rishis) since time immemorial.

Veda-s are said to be the mother of all śāstra-s. They cover karma-kāṇḍa, upāsanā, bhakti and jñāna kāṇdā. They are multi coded to reflect many dimensions in one small sloka. There is also a yōgīka or tāntika interpretation of all śāstra-s. While Jñāna is the logic with the strong foundation of bhakti and karma, yōga is of meditative nature and is science behind everything. Our śāstra-s take into account all panchakośa-s (5 bodies) into account, think of nourishing all of them, and strengthening them. Any rules or regulations are out to be understood by taking into account all 5 bodies into account.

Not all are capable to live a purely spiritual life and only work to the extend that is just enough for survival. We all are born with some dis-satisfied desires and along with walking on the path to moksha, we must develop a strong dhārmika foundation, then earn fairly by staying within limits of dharma, then enjoy our life and fulfill our desires using fairly earned money. Last comes moksha which is freedom from cycle of birth and death. It is eternal freedom and abide in Self, to be truth.

Since most of us do not walk on the difficult path of sanyāsa (renunciation), ṛṣi-s (rishis) created a system which not only was practically applicable but would nourish all five bodies. They also saw our dependence on nature and natural forces. They taught us not to take them for granted by always use the natural resources with utmost gratitude. The result was a path that was in harmony with nature along with strengthening panchakośa-s.

Importance and need of Temples ...


Temple worship is relevant to masses. Temples are constructed in such a way that spiritual energy will be attracted at one place. The result will be that all those who worship with devotion at that place will receive boost in spiritual energy in proportion to their depth of devotion. In order to create reverence, gratitude and devotion towards any form of Īśvara, we have purāṇa-s and itihāsa-s (Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata) which teach the essence of veda-s in a friendly manner. Our mind is naturally attracted towards form and so they describe beautiful form of Īśvara, sing their stuti-s (glories) and have stotra-s (hynms) dedicated to any deity. Many glorious attribute of Īśvara can easily be imagined in a form of Īśvara than trying to visualize them in formless Īśvara. A form always has a name. It is easy to focus mind on form by chanting it's name, mantra and singing glories of Īśṭa devatā. Then we have devi- devatā-s (demi-gods) who are higher race than us, humans. They too are revered. Celestials and mortals help each other and maintain balance and harmony in this world. Temples and the nearby land is a place were masses can gather and perform rites and rituals for good of all. Praying in masses has great effect and the vibrations spread far and wide.

Our temples are integrated with our culture which originated from veda-s. Our śāstra-s, be it upaniṣad-s or itihāsa or purāṇa-s, they shape our thinking right from mother’s womb till the antyesṭhi saṃskāra-s i.e. post death procedure). In other words, they shape our thinking and so our character. They make us what we are today. They are the reason for our existence. Without them we would not be what we are. They are our identity. Abrahmic religions and so cultures do not have concept of jivan-mukti, moksha, guru and many other concepts that we see in dhārmika traditions. So their mind is not conditioned to think about these concepts. So their wasy of thinking and so their identity is culturally different. They have a concept of R.I.P. which is not there in our tradition but we pray for sadgati until a jīva gets moksha which is eternal peace itself.

Simply put, we owe our identity and our spiritual heritage and so the unique knowledge of panchakośa-s (5 bodies) to our śāstra-s. Temple worship is an integral part that is deeply rooted in our culture.

The current state ...


Our great ancient ṛṣi-s (rishis) foresaw many things and taught us and protected and passed on this glorious culture from generation to generation and it still exists today after thousands of years. But since last 1000 years there were too many attacks on our culture. The result was destruction of temples and the deities.

In independent India, we expect to reclaim our ancient heritage. However Britishers taught and passed on the divide and rule policy and the distorted history to make us feel inferior to their western culture. Nehruvian-communist Historians, in order to achieve their vested interest never wanted us to know our true culture. Sadly, we are taught wrong, distorted history even in independent India.

Time to Reclaim Our Heritage, Reclaim and Revive Temples ...


There are many things that need to be done like protecting our veda-s with pāṭha-bhedha (chanting method), our purāṇa-s and other śāstra-s. In order to revive the culture, history has to be re-written along with refuting false claims and anti-hindu narrative by communist historians.

On of the important aspect that needs to be reclaimed which will reinstate pride and self-respect amongst us is to reclaim our temples. #ReclaimTemples project is one such initiative started by Girish Bharadwaja and other Dharmik warriors in Karnataka. They took the lead and started organising the local Hindu community to revive the Hindu temples now lying abandoned and in ruins. The sincerity of their efforts saw people joining the project and leading from the front. #SundayForDharma campaign where every Hindu is asked to devote atleast one Sunday for Shramdāna and revival of ancestral temples in their locality is being embraced by people from all walks of life. The result is for all to see, as people started working for Dharma beyond the narrow confines of caste or organizational identities.

The revival of Hindu temples is happening
at never seen before pace, and two ancient Hindu temples were reclaimed and revived in less than 2 months.

This initiative is spreading to other parts of Bhārata. In Mallapuram, which is muslim dominated area, often controlled by radical Muslims, also saw some temples being reclaimed. Revival in Mallapuram is laudable effort by self-motivated groups.

Still there is a lot of work to be done. It is estimated that around 70,000 Hindu Heritage monuments exist in Karnataka alone. And needless to say the State Archeology Department and Archaeological Survey of India is ill equipped to preserve them, leave alone renovate them. It is estimated that around 2,00,000 (two lakh) Hindu Heritage sites remain abandoned across Bharat. Many of these sites don't exists in official records, and there is no clue in official records of its history.

Unfortunately, temples are Government controlled. All funds are diverted out of temples to fulfill vested interest of Govt Officials, politicians and Communo-Chrislamist lobbies.

Some blame is to be on Hindus who also mis-manage temple funds. Corruption is found in temple management commities, trusts and even ashrams. This needs to be corrected. However, corurpted is present in churches and Mosques too but Govt is not taking control of them. Hence it is humble request to donate less to temples and more to priests and support staff.

It is left to us to revive and reclaim our temples. In order to do so, there is a need to create local groups for better coordination. A committee of local Hindu society may be formed for upkeep and maintenance of the Heritage ruins. The main activity involves forming a team of committed individuals in your locality and leading the cleaning up and conservation efforts of Heritage Hindu temples. 

Spread the word ...


Secondly, awareness campains are needed so that like minded people can contribute to the initiative. It is always good to spread the word. As they say let us ‘Rebuild Bharatvarsha’

#ReclaimTemples has started fund-raiser to strengthen the #ReclaimTemples movement and actively intervene in various issues on ground. The objective is to create volunteers, capabilities in every district to protect and revive our Heritage sites.

Donate:
https://milaap.org/fundraisers/reclaimtemples 

Email:
contact [at] reclaimtemples.com 

Those who are interested to know more about this initiative please visit following links and follow twitter handle @ReclaimTemples

https://reclaimtemples.com/heritage-squads-in-districts-across-bharat/

https://reclaimtemples.com/about-us/

Hari OM

Note: Excerpts taken with kind permission of admin of from Reclaim Temples website.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

[Book Review] Musings on Hinduism by Shri Nithin Sridhar



https://www.amazon.in/Musings-Hinduism-Shri-Nithin-Sridhar/dp/9383826304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521994111&sr=8-1&keywords=musings+on+hinduism 




Nithin Sridhar, a young Hindu, like all other youths was living a normal life. He had average knowledge of the tradition of Sanātana Dharma. While reading booksm surfing internet and discussing Hinduism with friends and on online forums and discussion groups, Nithin ji had to face many questions. He also witnessed that there were many misconceptions about Hindus. He also realised that there are systematically planned attempts to denigrate Hinduism. In a response to clear misconcepts and to give correctly represent Hindu concepts about life, culture and spirituality, he started exploring Hindu scriptures and then writing articles and publishing them on his blogs 

http://nithinsridhar.blogspot.in/ titled ‘Erudition’
https://nithinsridhar.wordpress.com/ titled ‘Understanding Hinduism’

His writings are a result of engaging in debates, discussions, and his engagement with people interested in spirituality. Nithin ji has a great ability to understand the essence of topic. From his writings, it is evident that Nithin ji has a good understanding and grasp in traditonal teachings. His inclination is towards Sri Adi Sankaracharya ji’s Advaita Siddhanta (philosophy).

As time passed by, Nithin ji dived deep in study of various scriptures and kept publishing articles on his blogs. Later on he got oppurtuinity to publish his views popular news magazines like newsgram, Indiafacts and advaita academy to name a few.

Nithin ji’s writing style is simple, non-persuasive, clear and free of fear. He is not afraid to talk on topics considered as ‘taboo’ like sex in Hinduism or the tantras, which are often wrongly criticised as ‘Manuals of sensual worship’. He does not put tons of references in an article, which makes it easy to read. Necessary references are given at the end of article. Over a period of time, his articles were scattered on the net on his blog and other news portals of which he was/is an editor. It was time to collect few important articles and publish at one place. Compiling scattered articles over a period of many years must have been a difficult job. He carefully handpicked some of the articles and published them as a book under the title ‘Musings on Hinduism’.

Nithin ji considers himself as a proud Hindu and is inclined to the philosophy of advaita. His reverence to Sanātana Dharma and advaita is evident from his tribute to Jagadguru Śrī Bhārathī tirtha Mahasvāmī, Śankarāchārya of Sringeri Matha by putting the great saint’s photo on the first page of his book. So it is natural that his thoughts are of dhārika nature with reverence to the ancient tradition. This is reflected in his writings.

‘Musings on Hinduism’ by Nithin Sridhar is a collection of articles on vide variety of topics over a period of time. They not only give us clarity about Hindu culture, but are very educative.

Book is divided into five sections -

  1. Hindu Religion and Philosophy
  2. Vedanta
  3. Hindu Society
  4. Translation of Sanskrit Hymns
  5. Miscellaneous

Hindu Religion and Philosophy


This part deals with answering general questions on Hindu philosophy like the two paths of action (karma or pravritti mārga) and renunciation (nivritti mārga). Next chapter clears confusion about the advaita concept of mithyā by describing two realities, vyavahārika and pārmārthika which is explained in simple way. Then comes two type of karma - sakāma and niśkāma. Sakāma karma is done with expectation of fruits of karma while niśkāma is the one which is done without expecting fruits of karma. Finally one has to rise above karma to get moksha. Similarly, other topics like bhakti, māyā, līlā, explaining different western concepts like monism, theism, etc and where does Hinduism fit is explained. Sādhanā, vedika rituals, etc is also explained. Importance of vedika rituals and their relavence today is also explained in simple and lucid way. Then comes dharmika perspective of understanding our itihāsa and limitations of Historical analysis of our śāstra-s. Next comes topics of tantra and sex. These articles removes any negative feeling that one may have for tantra and sex. Sex does not need to be a taboo. It is a part of our life, it is natural and is present in each living being. Similarly, tantra means ‘method of worship’. It is not sex manual. The author has cleared this concept. He has also explained lesser known Yamalas and their supplimentaries in the chapter ‘Evolution of Tantras’.

Vedanta


Articles in this section deals with explaining the essence of vedānta and it’s systematic way of studying. It talks about purification of mind and other related topics. Māyā, mithyā, satya, nitya karma. Nature of Brahman is described. Advaita philosophy and vivarta-vāda (which advaita adapts) it explained. Mahāvākya ‘tat-tvam-asi’ is explained. Then there is an article on paroksha and aparoksha Jñāna is explained followed by moksha. Vedānta is a hugh topic. So naturally we cant expect everything to be covered in just one section. However articles written cover important concepts of vedānta.

Hindu Society


This short section deals with current status of Hindus and ignorance towards their own dharma and scriptures. It also refutes a claim that Hinduism was created by Britishers. This articles is written in points which may be point-by-point refutation of objections that he may have faced at the time of writing articles. This section reflects pain to see the ignorance of our culture by Hindus themselves. It also shows a little anger while seeing negative stereotypes about Hinduism and hence the points are impulsive. It is good that Nithin ji has included this section.

Translation of Sanskrit hymns


This sections not only translates sanskrit hymns, but also gives explanation in simple way.

Miscellaneous


This section is a collection of articles on topics like Does God exits? The three goddesses, Mahākālī, Mahālakshmī, Mahasarasvatī. Next is article explaining Mahākāla, Mahakālī. Another important article explains the importance and meaning of Śiva linga and gives three meanings of Śiva Linga’. Other articles include an article dedicated to Śrī Rāma, Bhagavān Ganeśa, Ardhanāriśvara and Gāyatri Mantra which readers may find it useful.

Titles may look ordinary, but they are explained from dhārmika perspective. Nithin ji does not try to sound neutral and as one does not need to sound like non-Hindu to be neutral.

Conclusion


In general, this book covers wide variety of topics and gives clarity and understanding of Sanātana Dharma from Dhārmika perspective. It is a good read for all sections of society.

Collection of articles in the book, ‘Musings on Hinduism’ is the journey taken by a common Hindu, who just like most of us was, at one time, lacking answers to misconcepts and accusations on sanātana dharma. What is important, which is reflected through this book, is the diligent study of śāstra-s and books related to Hinduism for many years. This state of mind is reflected in the section, Hindu Society’. The very first chapter ‘Indians have forsaken Dharma’ talks about disinterest in dharma (which is due to false equivalence of dharma with religion) and indriya nigraha (control over senses). Young Hindus must come out of this spiritual crisis. If Nihin Sridhar can, you too can. All it requires is a bit of dedication. You may not be a gifted writer or orator, but you dont need to. All you need is to get clarity of the real Sanātana Dharma ‘as it is’ from a dhārmika perspective, according to the tradition followed since 1000s of years, and not what is projected by the west or by historians or fact finders or linguists.

While the book aims at giving dhārika perspective of Sanātana Dharma, it is written in a way acceptable to the common men especially the educated youth. The real aim is to rekindle interest in dharma. We have grown up in a tradition which has it’s own concepts and culture. Our thoughts shape us. We get thoughts from itihāsa and purāṇa-s and other śāstra-s and also from family tradition as heredetiary knowledge. These thoughts and culture shape our personality, our identity. They shape us. If they do not exist, even we do not exist. Hence we must all contribute to protect our own śāstra-s which are neglected by many.

Always remember, do not get overwhelmed by the knowledge. If someone can do it even you can do it. There is a saying - All experts once were Newbies.

This encouragement is not complete without giving ‘Recommended Reading’, as leaving one direction-less does not help much.

Recommended Reading


In general, any book published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur is the best choice. If available, always try to have sanskrit-hindi or any other translation which has sanskrit text. We may not know sanskrit, but if we know Hindi and devanagri script, we can make out some words. It is always helpful.

One may not read entire purāṇa, but read a few chapters or sections. For example in Srimad Bhāgavat Purāṇa, one can read about Kapila Gītā, Uddhava Gītā, Sukhdeva-s upadeshas in canto 12 chapter 5, Dhruva Stuti, Pralhāda Charitra, Gajendra Moksha and info about 24 avatār-s of Viṣṇu.

There are short booklets published by Sri Ramakrishna Mission and Chinmaya Mission. They are not expensive and are written with youth in mind. Other known āchārya-s of advaita are Svāmī Śivānanda of Divine Life Society, his disciple Svāmī Chidānanda, Svāmī Tadrupananda Sarasvatī of Manana Āśrama, Svāmī Dayānanda Sarasvatī of Arśa Vidyā Gurukula. Svāmīnārāyaṇa Sampradāya , a vaiṣṇava sampradāya has also published books keeping in mind the youth.

In general, Audio-video is the best. Chinmaya Mission has published Gita Commentary in many volumes. Then comes Audio and then comes reading books. It is better to read translations, commentaries and articles of saints who has dedicated their life for Sanātana Dharma and have undergone intense sādhanā and of course have a dee pstudy of our śāstra-s. So when they give a discourse or write a commentary, they incorporate winsdom of upaniṣads and other śāstra-s.

I hope that this book written by Sri Nithin Sridhar ji will serve dual purpose i.e. help clear misconceptions, give clarity and also rekindle interest in Hinduism.

Note: I generally do not publish book reviews, but since all articles of this book are available on Internet and book is moderately priced as Rs. 200.00, I have decided to publish a book review. Another reason to publish review is to encourage young Hindus to start taking interest in our dharma. 

Dharma is different than religion which is generally visualized as rites and rituals. Dharma has a broader definition. There is Rāja Dharma, pitā dharma, pati and patni dharma, Then there are dharmas related to our varṇa (which is not caste. caste is jātī). Then there are dharmas related situation like āpata dharma (duties and responsibility during emergency) to Dharma also refers to type of action or qualities (guṇa). For example, dharma of mind is to think, etc.

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