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Thread: Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

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    Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

    Namaste,

    ** The following is sort of an essay. **

    A society becomes 'progressive' if it is open to newer ideas.

    No idea need to be accepted as such, but every single idea deserves to stand a chance for being scrutinized for its validity and/or applicability and profundity!

    If we take some examples from Vaishnava lore, we find that i) poets who thought themselves as making blasphemous claims have been infact rewarded directly by the Lord ii) Saints who were questioning the established understanding on scriptures have been praised eventually by the very same mentors who criticized them!

    Inspiration is like a 'seed'. Let us suppose that a certain rare plant grows only in some specific fertile soil. What will do if it grows unexpectedly in some ordinary soil for a change? Do we pluck it out and throw away, saying, "hey, you cannot grow in ordinary soil?". No, we come to realize the quality of the ordinary soil to not be so ordinary, and plant other possible rare seeds also in it!

    An idea therefore deserves to stand a chance i) if it genuine (not plagearized or copied with a false claim) ii) if it can serve to 'better' a situation that is under plague of rifts from incompatible ideas iii) In situations such as established Hindu norms from scriptures, yields itself to established principles, yet offers some newer food for thought!

    Let us see a few aforementioned examples:

    i) Saint Jayadeva Swami wrote Geetha Govindam. In one of the verses, he said, that Lord Krishna is longing for Radha to place her feet over his own head! Sri Krishna is none other than the lord and Radha is likened to jeevatman. For jeevatman to place her feet over paramatman and for the Lord to wish for this!!! How blasphemous, thought Jayadeva. So, after writing the verse, he tore it apart, threw them away and went for an oil bath. During his time away from home, Sri Krishna disguising himself as Jayadeva comes to Jayadeva's humble aboard. Padmavathi, the wife of Jayadeva, is unalarmed, thinking it was swami Jayadeva. Sri Krishna quietly re-writes the very same verses Jayadeva threw away and leaves. After sometime, poet and saint Jayadeva realizes what happened and feels immaculately blessed! This shows 'rasa' - even if placing jeevatma's feet over Paramatma's head would have been blasphemous for Orthodox people and devotees, the Lord approved of the very same verses because there is 'beauty' in them!

    ii) After Swami Alavandar's passing away, Thirukoshtiyoor Nambi, the perceptor of Srimad Ramanuja, took Swami Ramanuja to learn 'thiruvaimozhi saaram' (meaning of great Literary and devotional work Thiruvaimozhi by Swami Nammazhwar) from one of Alavandar's foremost sishya - Swami Thirumalai Andan. When Andan thought the meaning of Thiruvaimozhi to Swami Ramanuja, Ramanuja stopped/interrupted Andaan many times to correct the meaning that was offered to him and to counter with a different interpretation that seemed good for the swami! Andaan, irritated, stopped teaching him Thiruvaimozhi. But Thirukoshtiyur Nambi clarified the situation saying, "Ramanujar is only reciting whatever late Swami Alavandar might have had in his mind all along", and that "it is akin to Sri Krishna learning his lessons from his guru Sandeepani while young, it is with a lot of questions and clarifications themselves on this part!". To this, Swami ramanuja replied that he is akin to Ekalavya, who has been following Swami Aalavandaar's sayings for a very long time.

    The above circumstances indicate how valuable it is to question, challenge and re-define ideas. We will be able to find out if an idea is correct or not, or acceptable even if apparently incorrect (like Jayadeva Swami's case) ONLY if we are open to ideas in the first place!

    A society wherein newer interpretations and fresher ideas are open at least for scrutiny, is progressive and makes new turnarounds. A society that shuns any new thought and rejects them outright, is regressive.

    Even in times when non-Brahmana devotees were not allowed inside temple premises, uneducated saint Thiruppaanaazhwar's verses were accepted by the Lord! We never know who might have the answer to something or when he/she might give it out, unless we are open to 'give it a try'.

    Thanks,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

    As an addendum to the above thought, I would like to state the following -

    Even in a field/subject area as profound as Jyotish, which is a Vedanga, the principles of 'desha, kaala, and patra' apply. These are the triplicity of factors namely, 'place or country where a native is born into, including his living circumstances, the time period he is born into, and lastly, the quality of the soul (of the native) and his unique karmas'.

    In olden days, no women went to schools and colleges. Surely, there must have been special signs in the charts of a few privileged few to have earned their degrees at those times. But will we say that so many women all earning University degrees these days, all will have that 'special signature' in their charts? Surely, 'special' means something else to us these days!

    When Shankaracharya was born, conflicting religions such as Buddhism, Jainism were gradually gaining popularity in India. Similarly, when Swami Ramanuja propounded Vishishtadavaita and pursued Sri Vaishnavism to take it to the next level, there must have been a necessity for some of his statements, especially when addressing Lord Shiva! He must have thought the circumstances must remain same for a long while to come, and thus made certain thoughts of his as 'principles'. At least this is what comes to my mind.

    Therefore, 'Desha', "Kaala' and "Patra' principles are not limited only to Jyotish, but also to 'philosophy'. This is my personal opinion on the topic.

    Thanks again.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    i) Saint Jayadeva Swami wrote Geetha Govindam. In one of the verses, he said, that Lord Krishna is longing for Radha to place her feet over his own head! Sri Krishna is none other than the lord and Radha is likened to jeevatman. For jeevatman to place her feet over paramatman and for the Lord to wish for this!!! How blasphemous, thought Jayadeva.

    After sometime, poet and saint Jayadeva realizes what happened and feels immaculately blessed! This shows 'rasa' - even if placing jeevatma's feet over Paramatma's head would have been blasphemous for Orthodox people and devotees, the Lord approved of the very same verses because there is 'beauty' in them!
    More importantly, what is the meaning of the story? What does this action teach us?

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté




    More importantly, what is the meaning of the story? What does this action teach us?

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    Yajvan ji,

    What a profound question! I have thought about the meaning, even as I wrote the OP, but I can only speculate.

    Perhaps it means, jeevatman CAN and WILL rise above the state of the paramatman if it so desires and strives for and that is what the paramatma wishes.

    Am I correct?

    Many thanks,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Progression vs. regression (of ideas, thoughts, society, etc).

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    where the ego dissolves, that is the foot of the guru... rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi

    now what of this ?
    Radha to place her feet over his (kṛṣṇaḥ -jī's) own head!
    and, what of kṛṣṇaḥ -jī washing the feet of the brahmana-s in the mahābhārata ?

    Let's see what others say first.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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