Monday, 31 December 2012

My favourite moral story


The pride and concept of the two foolish pundits
Siddhamuni continued the narrative.

Sri Narasimha Saraswati told the pundits that it was wrong, presumptuous and childish on their part to believe that they had mastered all the Vedas and gained all knowledge. It is indeed beyond the ken and capacity of anybody, even of gods, to have full and proper understanding of the Vedas.
The Vedas are indeed countless and endless - "Ananta Vai Vedah", it is said. Even Brahmadeva could not gauge the extent of the Vedas. The Lord Himself had to incarnate on earth as Badarayana, .ie, Vyasa, and he collated a small portion of them into the four Vedas, which we have heard of. It is indeed a very very tiny portion of the original Vedic lore abstracted for the purpose of making a beginning and for paving the way for Dharmic life. Even Badarayana, in truth, could not find the beginning and end of the Vedas. As even these four Vedas, tiny portions from the original which is limitless, cannot all be studied and understood by anyone, even if he is allotted aeons of life. Vyasa Bhagvan taught each one of the Vedas (some little portion of each) to one student each, each of whom was specially blessed with the full extent of a Kalpa for their study, Paila learnt a small portion which goes under the name of Rig Veda, Vaisampayana learnt another small portion which goes under the name of Yajur Veda; Jamini learnt Sama Veda and Sumanta learnt Atharva Veda. These at least they could learn, only because of the special grace of their Guru, Vyasa Bhagwan. That being the case, how ridiculous it was for any man, whoose life span was so short to claim and boast that he had mastered the Vedas!

In ancient times, Bharadwaja Rishi resolved himself that he should learn and master all the Vedas. As he proceeded with his study, he found that although decades and centuries were rolling by, the progress he could make was too little. He undertook penance to propitiate Brahma and when Brahma appeared before him, he prayed "Grant me as much life span as would suffice for my completing the study of the Vedas". Brahmadeva smiled, as if in derision, and said, "My child! I can make you Chiranjeevi (an immortal), but alas, it is beyond all my powers to help you to make a complete study of all Vedas. See there are infinite heights of the Vedas". As he said this, Bharadwaja Rishi could see the splendorous mountains of the Vedas, their peaks hardly visible, and penetrating into the highest skies. Their effulgence was like that of a million suns. Bharadwaja instantly realised his folly in hoping that he could master all the Vedas, which would never be possible even if he granted millions and millions of aeons as his lifespan. He was crest fallen and fell at the feet of Brahma, that he should somehow bless him with the Vedic wisdom. Brahma gave him three handful of material from the infinite mountain peaks and told him "If you can study and understand this much, you will be most blessed indeed." Bradwaja strove for all his life and he could not complete that much study even, of the three handfuls of material that Brahmadeva gave him. Guru Nath again said, that being the case, how fallacious it is for a mere mortal of he Kali age to claim that he has mastered all the Vedas, alas!

Guru Nath now started speaking of the glory of the Vedas and their structure, which was unheard of before by any. Guru Nath said that this was what had been told Vyasa Bhagwan to each of his disciples regarding the respective Vedas he had taught them. Briefly it is as under;

Rig Veda has its auxiliary Ayurveda, the Science of Life. It is presiding deity is Brahma. Its Gotra is Atryasa. Its chandas is Gayatri. The Rig Veda Purusha has red lotus like broad eyes, and a three feet long shapely neck. He has beautiful flowing locks of hair. Rig Veda has all in all 12 sections or divisions. It's systematic recital, with the correct inontation, endows greatest merit. Much of the portion of Rig Veda is not known to any in the Kali Age.

Sri Narasimha Saraswati told the pundits that the Vedas are most profound. They are sole protection for mankind both in the world here and worlds thereafter. They are to be worshipped as Mother. Humility is the true mark of scholarship. He again emphasised that the knowledge, if at all anyone can gain and profess about the Veda, will be just no more than a grain of sand while the Vedic lore is like the unending stretch of the sandy shores of all seas of the earth.

The pundits, in their pride, could not grasp the wise counsel of Sri Narasimha Saraswati and still kept up the air of arrogance.

Thus ends the Twenty-sixth Chapter of Sri Guru Charitra giving "A brief account of the four Vedas and their infinite glory".

Glory to the All merciful, the OmniPresent and the ever responsive Guru Nath.

The pride and concept of the two foolish pundits

From this chapter commences the Karma Yoga section of Sri Guru Charitra.

Namdharak was rapturously listening to the glorious narration of Guru Leelas being narrated by Siddhamuni, the blessed disciple of Guru Nath. Siddhamuni continued his narrative as under.

There was a muslim nawab ruling Vidur Nagar at that time. He had no respect or tolerance for the Hindu religion. He used to tempt Brahmins to come to his court by offering money and gifts, and make them recite the Vedas and explain the meaning. Public recital of the Vedas before anybody and everybody, and especially before the non-believers and who have no reverence, is against the very Vedic injunctions. After making them recite and explain, he used to ignore the deeper sublime meaning of the words, and drawing perverse and distorted meanings of the Vedic words and hymns, he used to taunt the Brahmins, deride the Hindu Religion and gloat over it. But most of the Brahmins never used to come forward, however much the nawab was tempting and pressing them. Veda is our very Mother. It is profound. It is divine. How can any self-respected person bear the Sacred Text being taunted by shallow minded persons viewing at the Text, wearing goggles of prejudice and hatred? None used to come forward to oblige the nawab.

However, there were two Brahmins who came forward to be used as pawns in the hand of the nawab. No doubt there were very scholarly persons. They knew the Vedas by rote but had not imbibed even a grain of true wisdom from the Vedic study. 

The two Brahmin pundits impressed upon the nawab, that there was none in the land with scholarship comparable to theirs. They said that the Nawab should arrange a debate in scriptural and Vedic subjects in his court, and that they would be able to defeat anyone and establish the supremacy and superiority of their scholarship and knowledge over that of others. But none of the Pundits agreed to come to the nawab's court for the contest, because the Vedic subjects were sacred and were meant for Pathana, chanting and contemplation, and not for vada, (ie., not for acrimonious debates). The pundits said they would go out into the country and seek out contest in different villages and towns. If anyone ever dared contest against them, they were confident to defeat them. And in case nobody came forward, that meant an open acknowledgement by all, of the two pundit's supremacy and therefore, the ruler should recognise it and honour them benefitingly. The nawab encouraged them in this, only with object of enjoying watching the pundits disputing amongst themselves acrimoniously.

The pundits set out on their challenging campaign, puffed up with pride of the patronage and backing of the Yawan ruler. They came to Kumasi and they were told that Trivikrama Bharati was the most scholarly pundit of the area, and he was defeated, it would establish their unchallengibility. When the pundits proposed to Trivikrama Bharati that he should enter the contest against them, Trivikrama declined, saying it did not befit him, a renunciate and Sanyasi, to enter into discussions and debates for winning name and fame. The pundits said, if he did not want a contest against them, he should acknowledge them as unchallengeable and should accede "Jaya Patra' to them. Trivikrama Bharati saw their conceit and ambition and thought they should be taught a fitting lesson. He took them to Sri Narasimha Saraswati at Gangapur, as soon as they entered into the presence of GuruNath, Trivikrama fell down prostrate at Guru Nath's feet, offering his obeisance. The pundits, however, did not show any respect and they showed off their pride and arrogance.

Sri Narasimha Saraswati enquired as if he was not aware of what had brought them to him. Trivikrama Bharati narrated about the campaign on which the pundits had set out. The pundits demanded that Sri Narasimha Saraswati should enter into debate with them or should acknowledge their unchallengeability and should give them the "Jaya Patra".

Sri Narasimha Saraswati chided them saying what benefit would accrue to them by their showing off their intellectual scholarship. All the knowledge, knowledge of Vedas and scriptures, will have to be imbibed digested into integrated wisdom, into intuitive experience, fructifying in the realisation of the Self, the spiritual Reality. He cited the instances of Ravana, Banasura, etc, who were all very well versed and proficient in Vedic lore, but which made them highly conceited and egoistic. And what was the result? It led only to their total ruin and destruction, along with all their clan. The Vedic knowledge should be put to use for the conquest of one's senses and ego, and to realise the All pervading divine and spiritual Reality. All the loving well meant advice of Guru Nath fell on deaf ears. It did not change the minds of the Pundits, whoose hearts were deeply set on winning worldly acclaim for 'their scholarship'. 

Thus ends the Twenty Fifth chapter of Sri Guru Charitra, describing about "the Vain glorious and conceited pundits." 

Glory to the All merciful, the Omnipresent and the ever responsive Guru Nath.

The Vedas are meant for Buddhi-Yoga, but are not meant for Buddhi-Vada. Rationalism (especially the materialist rationalism) cannot reach us beyond Buddhi-Vada. It is only intellect and into the realms of the Spirit, which is the sole and true(ultimate) purpose and aim of the Hindu Scriptures, and for that matter, of all the Religious Scriptures of the world. From the plane of intelligence, into the realm of Intuition, they want men to rise.

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