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Thread: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

  1. #41
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namast


    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post

    In post number 7 above I offered my view on why 18 is a significant number in the mahābhārata i.e. 18 chapters, 18 days of fighting, etc. Let me extend this idea just a bit more:

    I wrote on another post:
    • the pāṇḍva army lost 7 akśauhini-s
    • the kaurava army lost 11 akśauhini-s
    • Total 18 akśauhini-s lost ; total kṣatriya deaths at ~ 3.54 million in 18 days

    Note that 1 akśauhini = 21,870 chariots ; 21,870 elephants; 65,610 horse-mounted warriors and 109,350 infantry, as per the mahābhārata;

    Now if we add each number :
    21,870 or 2+1+8+7+0 = 18
    65,610 or 6+5+6+1+0 = 18
    109,350 or 1+0+9+3+5+0 =18
    In the quote above and post #7 I considered this number 18. Yet my mind kept on saying where else have I viewed this 18 before ?


    This 18 appears in jyotish ( the basis of post 7 ).

    We know rāhu and ketu as the ascending and descending nodes of the moon. It just so happens that these nodes spend 18 months in each sign (rāśi). 18 months is 1 1/2 years. There are 12 signs X 1 1/2 years = 18 years for a complete trip around the zodiac. Add to the fact that the rāhu period in the Viṁsottari daśā system equals 18 years.

    Why is rāhu and ketu significant in the mahābhārata one may ask?
    Rāhu has much to do ( and influence) with material gain and loss, arguments, falsehood, cunning, travel and the like. Ketu has much to do with imprisonment withdrawal, intrigue. Yet ketu also influences philosophy, occultism, detachment and above all mokṣa. Do these qualities sound familiar regarding what transpires in the mahābhārata?

    The connection to these two nodes and 18 as I see it is not by happenstance, but the wisdom of veda vyāsa.

    praṇām

    words
    • rāhu - ' the Seizer' ; a name of a daitya or demon who is supposed to seize the sun and moon and thus cause eclipses ; when the gods had churned the ocean for the amṛta or nectar of immortality , rāhu disguised himself like one of them and drank a portion ; but the Sun and Moon revealed the fraud to viṣṇu , who cut off rāhu's head , the tail became ketu ; rāhu is regarded as a dragon's head , as the ascending node of the moon or point where the moon intersects the ecliptic in passing northwards
    • rāśi - is a heap, a mass, a pile, a group; in joytiṣ it is the name given to sign, as a collection point.
    Last edited by yajvan; 14 November 2010 at 07:19 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #42
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté


    Within the mahābhārata we find hanuman-ji ( some prefer writing hanumān-ji) . Due to being a son of vāyu or māruta ,
    'the wind' he then is a ~natural~ brother of bhīma, one of the 5 pāṇḍavaḥ.

    If we fast forward to the bhāgavad gītā we will find that arjun holds the flag ( banner) of hanuman-ji on his chariot.
    Why did arjun choose this among many symbols ? Here are my thoughts on this matter.
    Please add your ideas as you see fit.

    hanuman-ji
    Hanuman-ji is from hanumat, meaning having large jaws. If we go down one level to hanu it means
    'anything which destroys or injures life ' , a weapon ; as han means to smite , slay , hit , kill , mar , destroy.
    Hence from this level arjun's symbol is that of a weapon - let all be warned who wish to encounter us!

    On another level hanumān-ji was the perfect devotee of śrī rāmacandra in his war with rāvaṇa .
    This as I see it shows arjun's devotion to kṛṣṇa-jī , another form of viṣṇu and śrī rāmacandra. He
    will be unwavering to the will of kṛṣṇa-jī. This too, the flag is a reminder to his opponents just as rāvaṇa
    was defeated, so too will you.

    sugrīva
    Another name for hanumān-ji is sugrīva .Here the inference is a bit more subtle.
    This word can mean 'the countenance of a friend'. And who is arjun's most dear friend? Kṛṣṇa-jī. Yet sugrīva can
    be a name for indra , arjun's father, showing his respect. Another idea too is sugrīva means hero
    ( when used in the masculine gender); Hence arjun shows his confidence, via this banner.

    Another point is that sugrīva is one of the four horses kṛṣṇa-ji guides. The other three being balāhaka,
    megha-puṣpa, and śaivya. What to you think the meaning or symbol that is being offered?



    praām
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 May 2011 at 10:42 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #43

    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    Namaste YajvanJi

    I thought ... Shri RAm had promised HanumAn that He will reside on His flag - dhvaj in the dharmayuddha in future (KrushNa avtAr), and assure victory. Always acting as protector on behalf of the Lord. Of course, Bheem is Hanuman's little brother and they met later on that's a different story.

    Just as - the mountain that Hanuman was about to carry but had to leave back on the ground, and so the mountain could not see Lord RAmchandra as a result. He was feeling sorry when Ram gave him darshan and said - don't worry, if not this time, when I come back again, you will not only live in my presence, you will be worshipped just as me. Who is this mountain ?

    GirirAj Govardhan !

    praNAm

    Jai Shri KrushNa Jai Shri RAm
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  4. #44
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    Namast,

    Yajvan, I read this passage the day before you posted your question about Arjuna's banner. Though it's the opinion of a scholar linking Vedic symbols to later religious rituals and writings, rather than a devotee's spiritual considerations, I thought to add it here since it is somewhat relevant to the question asked, and also seems to support your thought of Hanumān-as-Sugrīva being a subtle reference to Arjuna's father (as well as to Kṛṣṇa).

    The earlier part of the chapter discusses war symbols and then enters a section entitled "The Banner and Indra," from which this analysis is excerpted. (Not all of it is relevant, but I've left in most of the discussion so that it reads more clearly than a bunch of choppy segments would. Offered without commentary, as I am fairly new to Mahābhārata and thus nowhere near competent to express opinion on it.)

    "...In this connection the banner of Arjuna poses an important point and appears to be only another form of the banner of Indra. Arjuna is said to have a monkey on his banner. It is important to note that, in spite of the account of how Hanumān took his position on the banner of Arjuna, the latter is never called Hanūmat-dhvaja, the usual epithet being only monkey-bannered. Now looking to the close association of Arjuna with Indra, it will be well to see if there is any connection between the monkey and Indra. Indra is actually said to have assumed the form of monkey, when he stole soma from the sacrifice of Naimiṣa. He is also said to have been propitiated with an oblation when he ran away with soma and sat upon a tree. Now the banner of Indra has more than the monkey. It is said to be having the tail of a lion and a fierce face. This tallies with the description of the banner of Aśvatthāman which also has the tail of the lion and is said to be like the banner of Śakra. The epithets ugra and bhīma are primarily used in RV for Indra, with the few exceptions of Brahmaṇaspati and Agni who are also war-gods. He is also often compared with the lion (X.180.2; IV.16.14, etc.). It seems probable, hence, that the idea in the war-banner of Arjuna or of Aśvatthāman is that of the Śakra-dhvaja...."

    He discusses a bit more about banners in RV, then adds this:
    "...In the verse VIII.61.12, the terrible Indra is said to be employed in war as he is the destroyer of the enemies. Probably, this employment refers to the actual ritual of hoisting some sort of an image - possibly on a banner - prior to the advance....
    It is easy to understand that it is not the banner, in itself, that protects; it is the deity that it represents! The deity in the banner, thus, has a twofold purpose - (i) to protect the army; and (ii) to keep defeat away. In the second is the germ of the custom of making the banner look fierce, or imposing, by means of various figures. We have already noted how the monkey and the bird Garuḍa are associated with the war-banner. We learn from the Mb. that the banner of Arjuna was not merely kapi-dhvaja, but also, it was terrible. It had a terrible face and the tail of a lion. It is said to protect the army of Arjuna, causing fear in the minds of the enemy. The same idea is reflected in the speech of Hanumān, who says that he would roar terribly from the banner of Arjuna so as to cause death in the rival army (Mb. Vana-149.17, 18). This belief in the divinity that the banner represented is to be marked from the account of the army of Porus, according to which it was an offense punishable by death to discard the image in the field of battle, for it was the god that would take revenge if so insulted. The point gets support in RV in the fact that the arrows or the weapons were directed at the banners (dhvajeṣu didyavaḥ patanti - VII.85.2), obviously to smash the banner and nullify the divine support of the enemy."

    -Sadashiv A. Dange, from ch. 13 ("Aspects of War"), Images from Vedic Hymns and Rituals, pp. 174-176.

    Indraneela
    ===
    Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

  5. #45
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by Indraneela View Post
    "...In this connection the banner of Arjuna poses an important point and appears to be only another form of the banner of Indra. Arjuna is said to have a monkey on his banner. It is important to note that, in spite of the account of how Hanumān took his position on the banner of Arjuna, the latter is never called Hanūmat-dhvaja, the usual epithet being only monkey-bannered.
    What you have provided is quite interesting and gives some support to the views of my studies. Its all about symbols. This is how the wise teach - by ideas, inferences, they do not use sludge hammers over our heads ( yet at times this may be a useful approach, no ?)

    As mentioned - the flag marked with hanūman-ji is called out in the bhāgavad gītā ( chapt 2, verse 20) as kapi-dhvaji :
    kapi = monkey/ape + dhvaji = mark , emblem , ensign , characteristic - which supports the notion of monkey bannered.

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 05 May 2011 at 11:18 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #46
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté

    There are some other HDF posts as of late that are discussing killing and suicide. It is said we do this every day. How can this be ? It is told to us as a story within the mahābhārata, and the battle of kurukṣetra.

    The story that appears in the mahābhārata, karṇa parvan, offering the notion of killing and suicide begins in section 65¹. Let me set the stage from a maco point of view so one can appreciate the condition : Ajun is contemplating killing his brother yudhiṣṭhira and then killing himself, suicide no less. How does this occur ?

    We find yudhiṣṭhira sorely wounded 'with his limbs scorched from the shafts of karṇa' and returns to his camp. Arjun and bhīma talk and arjun requests bhīma to return to his eldest brothers' side to see how he is doing. Bhīma suggests it would be best if he himself goes and checks up on yudhiṣṭhira , so arjun and kṛṣṇa-ji head back to camp.

    Well, when yudhiṣṭhira sees arjun he surmises that that arjun must have slayed karṇa. When arjun tells the king that this was not the case, there are some words exchanged. Yudhiṣṭhira took great issue with arjun leaving bhīma in the battle field. Some very harsh words are spoken by yudhiṣṭhira to arjun. So much so that yudhiṣṭhira says to arjun to give away his bow ( gandiva) to another more deserving; this is a very serious charge and offence as seen by arjun; add insult to injury yudhiṣṭhira says it would have been better if you , arjun, were never born!

    Well that sets the stage for the following. Arjun is filled with rage and draws his sword. Kṛṣṇa-ji tries to calm arjun down. Arjun , breathing like an angry snake casts his eyes towards yudhiṣṭhira and tells kṛṣṇaI would cut off the head of that man who would tell me to give-up my gandiva to another person, this is my secret vow. Slaying this best of men ( his brother, king yudhiṣṭhira), I will keep my vow.

    Arjun then asks kṛṣṇa what is suitable to do. Kṛṣṇa in short says this action is not best, worthy of merit and he ( arjun) is functioning out of ignorance. Kṛṣṇa takes the time to talk of dharma, what is proper and improper actions ( you can read this section as you see fit); yet in the end He tells arjun to do as he sees fit.

    Arjun sees the wrong of his ways and asks kṛṣṇa what can I do now so I keep my word, yet save killing my brother ? Kṛṣṇa offers this advice - As long as one that is deserving of respect continues to receive respect, one is said to live in the world of men. However, such a person meets with disrespect, he is spoken of as one that is dead though alive.

    Kṛṣṇa suggests, this king has always been respected by you arjun , so show him disrespect. Address yudhiṣṭhira as 'thou' when the proper address is 'your honor.' By being addressed as 'thou,' he is killed though not deprived of life. Without being deprived of life a superior is yet said to be killed if that venerable one is addressed as 'thou.' Having addressed him in this way, then you may then worship his feet and speak words of respect unto him and soothe his wounded honor. Your brother is wise and will never be angry with you.

    Then arjun vehemently addressed king yudhiṣṭhira in language that was harsh and the like of which he had never used before. ( Much more then just one word of 'thou' - please read the story to find out).

    Now grief comes to arjun for these words used to his most noble brother. Upon saying these bitter words he draws his sword as he was shaken by the words used and the sin he commited. He now plans to end his own life. Kṛṣṇa says this action is not approved by the rightious - By destroying one's self, you would sink into a more terrible hell than if had slain your brother.

    So , now what can arjun do ? Kṛṣṇa-ji offers the path to arjun... that of self-praise, of self- merit (being a braggart). Kṛṣṇa says to arjun declare now, in words, your own merit. Then you should have then slain your own own self.

    Arjun says to Kṛṣṇa-ji let it be so and begins to tell yudhiṣṭhira how great he is:
    • there is no other bowman like unto myself, except the deity that bears Pinaka; I am regarded by even that illustrious deity.
    • In a moment I can destroy this universe of mobile and immobile creatures.
    • It was I, O king, that vanquished all the points of the compass with all the kings ruling there,
      and brought all to thy subjection.
    • No one can vanquish a person like me in battle.
    • I alone have slain half of the entire (hostile) army.
    • I slay those with (high) weapons that are conversant with high weapons.
      For this reason I do not reduce the three worlds to ashes.
    • etc.
    So how does this relate to us ? Every day many of us show little respect to our elders -
    greeting them and treating them as equals and even scolding them or arguing with them in a condesending manner.
    And every day most of us look to our own selves and boast, give self praise. In both cases we are killing and executing suicide even without one body falling to the ground.

    praṇām

    references
    Section 65 is LXV in Roman numbers for those that have the mahābhārata by Kisari Mohan Ganguli ; you can find the story here http://www.mahabharataonline.com/translation/mahabharata_08068.php as it begins with section 68.
    Last edited by yajvan; 15 May 2012 at 11:04 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #47
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    namaste

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom on the Mahabharata. I think that Sri Krishna's words
    in this context were specifically for a kshatriya like Arjuna and anyone else who desires
    merit and ascension to heaven. However shastra is replete with examples of sadhakas
    who treat everyone of all levels the same and IMO this is superior to the meritorious
    way described in the text. This approach also has several supporting slokas in the Bhagavad
    Gita (apart from the worship and reverence it advises to be offered towards the guru).
    IMO, one who feels that he has been killed because he has not been offered the
    proper homage (or being outright disrespected) has a warrior's spirit.

    Aum Shanti



    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté

    There are some other HDF posts as of late that are discussing killing and suicide. It is said we do this every day. How can this be ? It is told to us as a story within the mahābhārata, and the battle of kurukṣetra.

    The story that appears in the mahābhārata, karṇa parvan, offering the notion of killing and suicide begins in section 65¹. Let me set the stage from a maco point of view so one can appreciate the condition : Ajun is contemplating killing his brother yudhiṣṭhira and then killing himself, suicide no less. How does this occur ?

    We find yudhiṣṭhira sorely wounded 'with his limbs scorched from the shafts of karṇa' and returns to his camp. Arjun and bhīma talk and arjun requests bhīma to return to his eldest brothers' side to see how he is doing. Bhīma suggests it would be best if he himself goes and checks up on yudhiṣṭhira , so arjun and kṛṣṇa-ji head back to camp.

    Well, when yudhiṣṭhira sees arjun he surmises that that arjun must have slayed karṇa. When arjun tells the king that this was not the case, there are some words exchanged. Yudhiṣṭhira took great issue with arjun leaving bhīma in the battle field. Some very harsh words are spoken by yudhiṣṭhira to arjun. So much so that yudhiṣṭhira says to arjun to give away his bow ( gandiva) to another more deserving; this is a very serious charge and offence as seen by arjun; add insult to injury yudhiṣṭhira says it would have been better if you , arjun, were never born!

    Well that sets the stage for the following. Arjun is filled with rage and draws his sword. Kṛṣṇa-ji tries to calm arjun down. Arjun , breathing like an angry snake casts his eyes towards yudhiṣṭhira and tells kṛṣṇaI would cut off the head of that man who would tell me to give-up my gandiva to another person, this is my secret vow. Slaying this best of men ( his brother, king yudhiṣṭhira), I will keep my vow.

    Arjun then asks kṛṣṇa what is suitable to do. Kṛṣṇa in short says this action is not best, worthy of merit and he ( arjun) is functioning out of ignorance. Kṛṣṇa takes the time to talk of dharma, what is proper and improper actions ( you can read this section as you see fit); yet in the end He tells arjun to do as he sees fit.

    Arjun sees the wrong of his ways and asks kṛṣṇa what can I do now so I keep my word, yet save killing my brother ? Kṛṣṇa offers this advice - As long as one that is deserving of respect continues to receive respect, one is said to live in the world of men. However, such a person meets with disrespect, he is spoken of as one that is dead though alive.

    Kṛṣṇa suggests, this king has always been respected by you arjun , so show him disrespect. Address yudhiṣṭhira as 'thou' when the proper address is 'your honor.' By being addressed as 'thou,' he is killed though not deprived of life. Without being deprived of life a superior is yet said to be killed if that venerable one is addressed as 'thou.' Having addressed him in this way, then you may then worship his feet and speak words of respect unto him and soothe his wounded honor. Your brother is wise and will never be angry with you.

    Then arjun vehemently addressed king yudhiṣṭhira in language that was harsh and the like of which he had never used before. ( Much more then just one word of 'thou' - please read the story to find out).

    Now grief comes to arjun for these words used to his most noble brother. Upon saying these bitter words he draws his sword as he was shaken by the words used and the sin he commited. He now plans to end his own life. Kṛṣṇa says this action is not approved by the rightious - By destroying one's self, you would sink into a more terrible hell
    than if had slain your brother.

    So , now what can arjun do ? Kṛṣṇa-ji offers the path to arjun... that of self-praise, of self- merit (being a braggart). Kṛṣṇa says to arjun declare now, in words, your own merit. Then you should have then slain your own own self.

    Arjun says to Kṛṣṇa-ji let it be so and begins to tell yudhiṣṭhira how great he is:
    • there is no other bowman like unto myself, except the deity that bears Pinaka; I am regarded by even that illustrious deity.
    • In a moment I can destroy this universe of mobile and immobile creatures.
    • It was I, O king, that vanquished all the points of the compass with all the kings ruling there,
      and brought all to thy subjection.
    • No one can vanquish a person like me in battle.
    • I alone have slain half of the entire (hostile) army.
    • I slay those with (high) weapons that are conversant with high weapons.
      For this reason I do not reduce the three worlds to ashes.
    • etc.
    So how does this relate to us ? Every day many of us show little respect to our elders -
    greeting them and treating them as equals and even scolding them or arguing with them in a condesending manner.
    And every day most of us look to our own selves and boast, give self praise. In both cases we are killing and executing suicide even without one body falling to the ground.

    praṇām

    references
    Section 65 is LXV in Roman numbers for those that have the mahābhārata by Kisari Mohan Ganguli ; you can find the story here http://www.mahabharataonline.com/translation/mahabharata_08068.php as it begins with section 68.
    With our ears may we hear what is good.
    With our eyes may we behold thy righteousness.
    Tranquil in body, may we who worship thee find rest.

    AUM Peace Peace Peace

  8. #48
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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté R Gitananda

    Quote Originally Posted by R Gitananda View Post
    namaste
    IMO, one who feels that he has been killed because he has not been offered the proper homage (or being outright disrespected) has a warrior's spirit. Aum Shanti
    Yes, I can see your point. I think there is another valuable lesson that is offered in post 46 above. It is not opposed to, but a different level or layer of wisdom that hides within the principles offered.


    The principles that are taught in the story above is that of respect for elders, and also that of humility in one's self. Yet we find in the upaniṣads ( in this case the īśavāsyopaniṣad); the notion of ātmahano janāḥ i.e. the person or creature ( janāḥ ) that is the killer (hano) of the Self or ātman.
    Not knowing one's Self (ātman) and living in ignorance is equal to one that has killed one's self. This is applied when arjun's praise on his own individual-self. Not knowing his SELF (ātman) he gives his ego praise that over-shadows the SELF (ātman) as if killing it, not knowing it even exists. Hence the Self-killing, is suicide as mentioned in post 46 without one body hitting the ground.

    This also applies to one's elders. We can say the ancient one ( puruṣa ) resides within our elders. When we treat them as less then equal we have (as if) killed the SELF in them. We have avoided recogniton of thier eternal status - there is the killing via dis-repspect.

    These are the notions I pick up from the lesson in the mahābhārata. Perhaps you wish to add more, or offer another point of view.


    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 12 October 2016 at 01:03 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #49

    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    one point that i see goes missing here is the concept of Dharma in Mahabharat. yuddhishthira had a different notion of Dharma while his brothers and Draupadi had different notion of Dharma. Throughout the epic the concept of Dharma is explored and an attampt to reconcile the different notions of Dharma is finally abandoned or remains unresolved in the end.

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    Re: The 5th Veda - Mahabharata

    hariḥ o
    ~~~~~~
     
    namasté
    Quote Originally Posted by anisha_astrologer View Post
    one point that i see goes missing here is the concept of Dharma in Mahabharat. yuddhishthira had a different notion of Dharma while his brothers and Draupadi had different notion of Dharma. Throughout the epic the concept of Dharma is explored and an attampt to reconcile the different notions of Dharma is finally abandoned or remains unresolved in the end.
    The śrīmad bhāgavatam ( some prefer to call bhāgavata purāṇa) Book 6, 3rd discourse, the 20th śloka informs us , as yama-ji is talking, there are 12 alone that know the essence of dharma. They are brahmā, the sage nārada, lord śiva Himself, the sage sanatkumāra, lord kapila, svāyambhuva manu, prahrāda, king bali, king janaka, bhīṣma, the sage śuka and myself (yama) know dharma that is taught by the Lord - secret, pure, and difficult to understand.

    Now it is interesting to note that kṛṣṇa-ji advises yudhiṣṭhira to go to bhīṣma's side ( as he lies on a bed of arrows) and have all his questions answered on dharma. Hence a very long dialog comences between him and yudhiṣṭhira. The wisest of information is offered... even the viṣṇu sahasranām - 1000 names of viṣṇu is offered here.

    Now one may think how will I ever know this dharma ? We can study and practice it the best we can, but we can also live it to its fullest and most complete merit. That is, a fully realized being lives this natural state of dharma all day-and-night. It does not have to come from a book but from the complete absorbtion in the Self; then one does no wrong and uplifts the world with each and every breadth.

    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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