By Dr Ram Mohan Saxena 
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FROM GRANDPA’S

DESK  

01.01   HINDU MYTHOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION 

01.01   HINDU MYTHOLOGY 

Lord Narayana is the Supreme God according to Hindu mythology. He creates, sustains, and destroys the Universe as and when He wishes to do so. He alone existed when there was no Universe and after Mahapralaya (the ultimate great Annihilation) He alone will exist. He was never born and He will never die. He is illuminated by His own light. His divine light exists in every living being and in every inanimate object of the Universe. All creatures of the Universe are His manifestations; no one is higher or lower, bigger or smaller, better or worse. Every living and inanimate object is what Lord Narayana wants him/it to be. Lord Narayana has created, sustained, and destroyed the Universe innumerable times.


Lord Narayana is without any form or shape. When He wants to create the Universe, He appears in the form of JYOTI PURUSH (the Divine Light). Then He creates MAYA which can be called by different names for different purposes like Nature, Illusions, Temptations, Desires, Elements, etc. After doing this, Lord Narayana appears in the form of the four-armed Lord Vishnu lying on the stretched body of Sheshnag (the Snake Supreme) in the Ksheer Sagar (the Ocean of Milk) with Goddess Lakshmi sitting there and with Lord Brahma sitting atop the lotus flower stemming from Lord Narayana’s navel.  Thereafter, Lord Vishnu commands Lord Brahma to create the other Gods and Goddesses, Rishis (the Great Worshipers), Human Beings, Demons, the Universe, etc. All creatures in the Universe are only one-fourth of Lord Vishnu (Purusha) and His three-fourths lives eternally in Heaven.  According to Rigveda Book X Hymn 90,


“So mighty is his greatness; yea, greater than this is Purusa. All creatures

 are one-fourth of him, three-fourths eternal life in heaven.”


As per the wishes of Lord Narayana, KAL CHAKRA (the Time Cycle) keeps moving so as to empower Gods, Demons and Man. Whenever Lord Narayana thinks that the Evil has become too strong, the Good has declined too much, and the Believers are suffering too much due to this, then He incarnates Himself in a form He deems proper and appears on the face of the Earth. This is called AVTAR ( the Incarnation). After destroying the Evil, restoring the Good, and giving relief to the Believers, He goes back to His original form i.e. formlessness and shapelessness.


So far Lord Narayana has incarnated Himself into form TWENTYFOUR (24 ) times. He appeared as Lord Rama in the TWENTIETH ( 20th) incarnation in the TRETAYUG and as Lord Krsna in the TWENTYSECOND ( 22nd ) incarnation in the DWAPARYUG. The present times  are  those of the KALIYUG  ( the Dark Age of 25% Dharma ) and the preceding ages  ( in chronological order) were SATYUG ( the Age 100% Dharma),  TRETAYUG (the Age of 75% Dharma)  and DWAPARYUG (the Age of 50% Dharma). Towards the end of the Kaliyug – when Evil will be at its peak and the Good will be at its lowest ebb – Lord Narayana will incarnate Himself again as Son of Unmarried Mother to annihilate the Evil, restore the Good, and provide relief to the Believers. Then, there will be  Satyug again. 


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01.02  HINDU PHILOSOPHY

According to Hindu philosophy, human endeavors consist of four things viz.   DHARMA ( observance of what is  called as Religion or Duty ), ARTHA  ( earning of  Wealth ), KAMA ( sometimes erroneously called as Sex but appropriately understood as Gratification of the five senses viz.   Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, and Skin ) and MUKTI or  MOKSHA (Salvation ). The highest and the ultimate goal of all human endeavors is MUKTI or MOKSHA ( Salvation). It is believed that if  Artha and Kama are sought to be achieved  in the proper manner and Dharma is properly  observed during the lifetime in this world, then after death the soul gets Mukti ( Salvation ).


 01.03  HINDU RELIGION  

A number of treatise have been made available by Hindu philosophers to explain the meaning of  Dharma. Important among these  are the four VEDAS, the eighteen PURANAS, the UPANISHADS, the BHAGAVADGITA ( the SONG  DIVINE ), etc. However, the exact and operative meaning and content  of DHARMA still remains unclear to many. Hence this brief note in all humility. 


As per my understanding, Dharma consists of some FAITHS,  DOs and DONTs in everyday life. I am narrating them here very briefly so that everyday life may be lived on their basis and in their accordance.


Lord Narayana is the Supreme God. We should remember Him all the time and  worship Him as often as possible in a manner convenient for us. Cleanliness and sincerity in worship are the most important requirements.


Since everything present in the Universe is a manifestation and creation of Lord Narayana, we should be Kind to all.



Lord Narayana  does everything and uses us as instrument. So we should not take unnecessary  pride in what we do. Also we should not blame ourselves unnecessarily for our failures. Whatever happens in our lives is the will of God.


Keeping in view the Time, Place, and Situation  we should do our work and perform our duty with full concentration, with full use of our resources, in the best possible manner, and without unduly worrying about the outcomes whether good or bad in an Unattached manner.



In spite of all our efforts to gratify our senses we never get complete satisfaction; in fact, the lust only  increases as we try to gratify. This is called TRISHNA ( MIRAGE ). In the process, we commit all sorts of sins and get only ever increasing frustration. This deprives us of all peace, grace, and humane qualities  in life and prepares us for Hell after death. Hence, we should try for self-control to minimize our needs and lead a simple life within our rightful means.


There are five emotions, which  operate as the five enemies to misguide our minds  and motivate us to commit all sorts of sins. These are KAMA 

( the lust for Gratification of the five senses viz. Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, and Skin)), KRODHA ( the Anger), MUD ( the Pride), MOHA ( the Infatuation ), and LOBHA ( the Greed).  Hence we should try to exercise self-control over these emotions with our rationality. I feel the test of good and bad behavior  is very simple. If I find something to be hurting there is every likelihood that so shall others-we should not do unto others what we would not like to be done unto us.


Of the  above five emotions , KRODHA ( the anger ) is most difficult to control. Lord Vishnu is deemed to be the supreme God also because He alone never gets angry. Once a man is angry, his rationality is distorted, his knowledge is lost, and he takes all wrong decisions, commits all sorts of sins, and gets only pain and suffering in return. Hence, control over anger is very important.


We should think very carefully before saying or doing anything. This is because our behavior – actions or words – works  as stimuli for others and leads to a chain of  reaction – response – reaction.



Once we are convinced that something is right, we should do it without worrying about who thinks or says what  in the matter.

Human life consists of four stages/quarters viz.  BRAHMACHARYA (the first stage, called as Celibacy, is the stage of preparation of Body, Mind, and Soul for the times to come by observing celibacy and strengthening the body, acquiring academic and scientific  knowledge for the  work to be done in future, and acquiring spiritual knowledge to have a stable and strong personality and character); GRAHASTHA ( the second stage, called as Householder, this is the time to get married, have child/children, pursue the work of choice, make decisions, and do all the related things);VANAPRASTHA  (traditionally the time to go to jungle for meditation, I think this is the time of post work –Retirement- where under the present situation the person shall live in the society but  focus on meditation at home without unnecessarily getting involved in worldly matters so that he gets some peace before life is over – here I must add that if the person is living with his son, daughter-in-law etc he MUST refrain from  involvement in decision making  regarding family affairs though he should  be available for guidance if sought); and SAMNYAS  (traditionally the last stage of  life of an Ascetic with no relation with anyone or anything, I think under the present situation, this stage is non-existent). Human beings should try to do the duties expected of him at the current  stage of life and one should NEVER try to go back to tasks  of a prior stage of life because he would only get social mockery and frustration out of that.


Human body consists of five elements viz.   Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky  and Soul; on death the five elements return to their origin  and the Soul is eternal. Rebirth is like change of clothes or home by the Soul. Death is the natural culmination of life. One should not be afraid of it. Remembering  God (Lord Narayana or  Lord Vishnu or Lord Rama or Lord Krsna) minimizes the pain of death.  Also before death one should remember that in this world we bring nothing, we carry with us nothing, and  no one ever accompanies anyone in birth and death. That will make life happy and death comfortable.



We must respect all other religions, faiths, beliefs, scholars, races, castes, etc even if we don’t understand or agree with them.


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