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Thread: Great Questions...

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    Great Questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    Have you heard or listened or read a question that made you think, Wow what a great question. For me I find them to be the ones that are potent, or profound. I find some to be so simple in the questioning , yet the answer turns out to allow the truth on multiple levels to come out. There are many like this and wondered if you care to share some that you have heard.

    Let me start if I may by the following:
    In the muṇḍaka¹ upaniṣad Śaunaka approaches his teacher and asks,
    venerable Sir, by knowing what does all the world become known?

    He is asking, what one thing can I know, that I will know ( the nature) all things? With this one simple but profound question, he is asking about brahmavidyā.

    Do you have any you care to offer? It can be of any nature or subject you wish to offer.

    praṇām प्रणम्

    words
    muṇḍaka मुण्डक - shaved , shorn ; the shaved ones (saṃyasin);
    This upaniṣad comes from the Ātharva Veda.
    Last edited by yajvan; 09 April 2009 at 06:32 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Namaskar,

    I was visiting a philosophy professor in India last month. He has written several books translating sastric works. He told me that as he presented his translation of the Gita to the President of India, he was asked the following question by the President before the President even looked at his book.

    • Mahabharata gives details of the massacre that took place due to a family dispute. Crores of people were slaughtered. Why is God telling Arjuna to slaughter his loved ones? Why God never spoke a word about the tactics of war but going on an on about yoga and the nature of man? Shouldn’t God be instructing Arjuna on the tactics of war instead? Why God doesn’t speak a word about the actual war in the Gita?
    Then the professor posed the above and the following questions to me. Told me not to provide an answer right now but to begin my studies of the hindu sastra but keep these questions in mind. The answers will come to you automatically he said.

    • Don’t you think hindu God’s have a weird behaviour? For example, when the evil spirit bhairon is after Durga, she goes and hides in the mountains. What kind of Gods are these? They hide when the evil spirits are after them? They cut off their son’s head and place an elephant head over his shoulders? What’s all this?
    Last edited by satay; 09 April 2009 at 12:49 PM.
    satay

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    Why is God telling Arjuna to slaughter his loved ones? Why God never spoke a word about the tactics of war but going on an on about yoga and the nature of man? Shouldn’t God be instructing Arjuna on the tactics of war instead? Why God doesn’t speak a word about the actual war in the Gita?


    Namaste Satay,

    Let me make an humble attempt.

    i) Why is God telling Arjuna to slaughter his loved ones ?

    Ans : May be the professor didn't know the answer. However, Satay must be aware of it, I am sure. If someone asks this question, it means he has never read the B.G. Asking this question after reading B.G. is akin to asking "who was Sita ?" after listening to the Ramayana !

    ii) Why God never spoke a word about the tactics of war but going on and on about yoga and the nature of man? Shouldn’t God be instructing Arjuna on the tactics of war instead? Why God doesn’t speak a word about the actual war in the Gita?

    Ans : Arjuna had everything with him to go for the war. He was brave, the best archer, one of the best warriors of his time. He didn't need tution on war tactics. What he needed most was the "will & motivation" to fight with his full capacity. He considered 'killing" (that too of his own relatives) a sin & therefore, he was not in a perfect mental condition for the war. So, God taught what he needed at that time. Does anyone really think, Arjuna needed a lecture on how to fight ? He was already an expert of that field !

    iii) Don’t you think hindu God’s have a weird behaviour? For example, when the evil spirit bhairon is after Durga, she goes and hides in the mountains. What kind of Gods are these? They hide when the evil spirits are after them? They cut off their son’s head and place an elephant head over his shoulders? What’s all this?

    Ans : First of all, in Hinduism there is a difference between 'devas' (god ?) & the God (the Supreme Lord). Devas are the beings (taijsa state) who live in the heaven & once their karmic period is over, they come back again to the Mirtyuloka. So, they are not much different from the human beings in so many aspects.

    There are wars when the Devas flee from the battlefield. However, there are not many instances when the Supreme Godhead like Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu or Ma Durga have fled from war. There was once the case of BhasmAsur when Lord Shiva didn't fight .... that was because BhasmAsur was a devotee of Lord Shiva (it would have given a wrong signal, if a devotee was killed by the same God whom the devotee worshipped) & also enjoyed boon from him which made it difficult to defeat him in the usual way of fighting .... In such a case, fighting would have created only destruction & not the end of the evil & also would have sent a wrong signal to the devotees. So, he thought it bettet to leave it for Lord Vishnu. In fact, this was the reason that Lord Shiva refused to help Rama against Ravana directly but helped Rama in killing Ravana through the incarnation of Lord Hanuman (who is considered an "ansha" of one of the rudras of Lord Shiva) .

    I have not heard of Ma DurgA running away from Bhairava. (It was Ma PArvati running away from BhasmAsur). First of all, Bhairava is not an evil spirit but a Gana of Lord Shiva. However, you have mentioned "Bhairon" & not Bhairava. I am not aware of any other "Bhairon" --- please update me. And it was not an evil spirit who cut off the head & placed an elephant's head on Ma PArvati's son (i..e Lord Ganesha) ... it was done by Lord Shiva himself. Or are you referring to some other story ?

    There is another story of Lord Krishna running away from battlefield .... but that running away was also an effort not to hurt the glory of the devotee (God always enjoys getting defeated by his true devotees).... he knew how to kill him without fighting directly ! Lord Krishna had nothing to prove by trying to kill a devotee by his own hands ( an egoist approach).

    Regards,

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 09 April 2009 at 11:43 PM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post

    Namaste Satay,

    Let me make an humble attempt.

    i) Why is God telling Arjuna to slaughter his loved ones ?

    Ans : May be the professor didn't know the answer. However, Satay must be aware of it, I am sure. If someone asks this question, it means he has never read the B.G. Asking this question after reading B.G. is akin to asking "who was Sita ?" after listening to the Ramayana !

    ii) Why God never spoke a word about the tactics of war but going on and on about yoga and the nature of man? Shouldnt God be instructing Arjuna on the tactics of war instead? Why God doesnt speak a word about the actual war in the Gita?

    Ans : Arjuna had everything with him to go for the war. He was brave, the best archer, one of the best warriors of his time. He didn't need tution on war tactics. What he needed most was the "will & motivation" to fight with his full capacity. He considered 'killing" (that too of his own relatives) a sin & therefore, he was not in a perfect mental condition for the war. So, God taught what he needed at that time. Does anyone really think, Arjuna needed a lecture on how to fight ? He was already an expert of that field !

    iii) Dont you think hindu Gods have a weird behaviour? For example, when the evil spirit bhairon is after Durga, she goes and hides in the mountains. What kind of Gods are these? They hide when the evil spirits are after them? They cut off their sons head and place an elephant head over his shoulders? Whats all this?

    Ans : First of all, in Hinduism there is a difference between 'devas' (god ?) & the God (the Supreme Lord). Devas are the beings (taijsa state) who live in the heaven & once their karmic period is over, they come back again to the Mirtyuloka. So, they are not much different from the human beings in so many aspects.

    There are wars when the Devas flee from the battlefield. However, there are not many instances when the Supreme Godhead like Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu or Ma Durga have fled from war. There was once the case of BhasmAsur when Lord Shiva didn't fight .... that was because BhasmAsur was a devotee of Lord Shiva (it would have given a wrong signal, if a devotee was killed by the same God whom the devotee worshipped) & also enjoyed boon from him which made it difficult to defeat him in the usual way of fighting .... In such a case, fighting would have created only destruction & not the end of the evil & also would have sent a wrong signal to the devotees. So, he thought it bettet to leave it for Lord Vishnu. In fact, this was the reason that Lord Shiva refused to help Rama against Ravana directly but helped Rama in killing Ravana through the incarnation of Lord Hanuman (who is considered an "ansha" of one of the rudras of Lord Shiva) .

    I have not heard of Ma DurgA running away from Bhairava. (It was Ma PArvati running away from BhasmAsur). First of all, Bhairava is not an evil spirit but a Gana of Lord Shiva. However, you have mentioned "Bhairon" & not Bhairava. I am not aware of any other "Bhairon" --- please update me. And it was not an evil spirit who cut off the head & placed an elephant's head on Ma PArvati's son (i..e Lord Ganesha) ... it was done by Lord Shiva himself. Or are you referring to some other story ?

    There is another story of Lord Krishna running away from battlefield .... but that running away was also an effort not to hurt the glory of the devotee (God always enjoys getting defeated by his true devotees).... he knew how to kill him without fighting directly ! Lord Krishna had nothing to prove by trying to kill a devotee by his own hands ( an egoist approach).

    Regards,

    OM
    I think it an excellent post. There is no defeat or retreat for the Supreme and the knower of Brahman.

    Regards
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Great Questions...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté
    regarding other great questions...

    In the Bṛhadaraṇyaka Upaniṣad the ṛṣi Yajñavalkya talks that a man is similar to a tree i.e. the skin is like the outer bark, the hair on his head like the leaves, etc.
    He then asks the assembly of brāhmaṇa-s¹ who have just been questioning him for some time, the following: Since the tree when felled ( cut down) grows anew from its root, from which root does the mortal too, when cut down by death, grows anew (or grows again) ?

    He gives the assembly a few more pieces of information, as he says If together with the root the tree is uprooted ( that is the tree is cut and the roots area also removed) it would not grow again; from which root, the mortal, when cut down by death grows up? If you say 'he is never born' (again) I say (Yajñavalkya) no. He is born again (after death). Who brings him forth?


    praṇām

    words

    brāhmaṇa ब्राह्मण one who has divine knowledge; a Brahman , a man belonging to the 1st of the twice-born classes ; also as a noun the brāhmaṇa-s are a portion of the veda (distinct from its mantra and upaniṣad portion), consisting of a class of works called brāhmaṇas. They contain rules for the employment of the mantras or hymns at various sacrifices , with detailed explanations of their origin and meaning and numerous legends.
    Last edited by yajvan; 10 April 2009 at 04:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Namaskar devotee,

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post

    Namaste Satay,

    Let me make an humble attempt.

    i) Why is God telling Arjuna to slaughter his loved ones ?

    Ans : May be the professor didn't know the answer.
    Thank you for the post.

    Please note that there was no malice intended in the professor's questions. He and I are both Hindus. If my post created the impression that the questions were asked in an insulting tone by the professor then that was my fault and I should have worded my post in a better tone.

    The questions were not meant to be answered right on the spot. They were not an exercise by the professor to show that he knew more than I did becuase he had written many books on the subject etc. It was to give me a background theme to have in mind as I start my study. They are meant to be pondered upon and meditated upon. Not to intellectually be ripped apart.

    In hindsigth, I see that my post and the questions are not in alighnment with the theme of this thread.
    Last edited by satay; 10 April 2009 at 02:38 PM. Reason: spelling
    satay

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Namaste,

    Thanks Atanu !

    Sorry Satay, I think there was no need for me to be too prompt ! I didn't think too much about the Professor. Yes, I was a bit surprised.

    I also have a question which always bothers me.

    If this World is nothing but a dream of the great Dreamer, why this dream is made more like a nightmare than a sweet dream ? Was it really necessary to fill this world with so much pains & sufferings ? What was the harm in creating a little better world where everyone would have sufficient food to eat, a home -- the basic necessities of life ? Pain is ok to keep one alert but, imho, God forgot to have a proper sense of proportion when he decided to create this world !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Namaste everyone.

    This thread is beautiful! The questions and their import are great for spiritual inquiry! Thanks to Yajvan and Satay for the questions and Devotee and Atanu for their answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    I also have a question which always bothers me.

    If this World is nothing but a dream of the great Dreamer, why this dream is made more like a nightmare than a sweet dream ? Was it really necessary to fill this world with so much pains & sufferings ? What was the harm in creating a little better world where everyone would have sufficient food to eat, a home -- the basic necessities of life ? Pain is ok to keep one alert but, imho, God forgot to have a proper sense of proportion when he decided to create this world !
    Suppose you write a novel. Would you populate your fictional world with just good or mix it with bad in things, characters and incidents? If you would mix good and bad, why should it be so? Why can't you write a pure novel with goodness only that you might enjoy even if the world ignores it? In one sense a novel could be deemed as an extension of its author, but would this mean that the author has all the good and bad of the characters of the novel?

    No, the author is certainly good in nature and wiser than his/her characters but still he/she makes them what they are for his/her own sporty enjoyment. In doing so, the author is exploring himself/herself with a view to better knowledge of the changing self and the unchanging Self underneath it.

    When we dream, we have no control over the world we create. When God dreams out creation, he has perfect control over everything and is always conscious of his dream, which is why we have the maya of the world, though it is difficult for us realize it as such. And remember, God is the only member of the audience witnessing his own play; we are only the characters in the play, with no independent life.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    Suppose you write a novel. Would you populate your fictional world with just good or mix it with bad in things, characters and incidents? If you would mix good and bad, why should it be so? Why can't you write a pure novel with goodness only that you might enjoy even if the world ignores it? In one sense a novel could be deemed as an extension of its author, but would this mean that the author has all the good and bad of the characters of the novel?
    Namaste Saidevo ji,

    I agree that evil is necessary to be able to appreciate the good. If ugliness would not exist who would appreciate the beauty ? Pains & sufferings are also necessary for keeping us on the right path. If everything comes easily, why anyone would do anything & that would make the life boring.

    No, I am not saying that it should not be there. What I am saying that in my opinion, the amount of pains & sufferings in this world is apparently too much. If you see the animal kingdom .... one animal survives by killing & eating the other ... the complete food chain contains a series of animals survive on killing the other ! Was it really necessary ?

    In human beings there are more poor than people who have all the basic needs. People are forced to live the lives of a beggar, petty thieves, prostitutes & killers ... there are people who also indulge in creating beggars, thieves, prostitutes & killers.

    Why is so much killing of the innocent souls in the name of religion ? Why Dalai Lama & many innocent Buddhist saints are crying for their own homeland for decades but there is no respite for them & China is able to suppress their voice mercilessly ? Why was Hallaz Mansur killed when he proclaimed, "I am the Truth" & nothing happened ?

    Yes, from God's point of view, it is nothing more than dream. But then, was it necessary in so much proportion ?

    Regards,

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Great Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Namaste Saidevo ji,

    I agree
    .........................What I am saying that in my opinion, the amount of pains & sufferings in this world is apparently too much. If you see the animal kingdom .... one animal survives by killing & eating the other ... the complete food chain contains a series of animals survive on killing the other ! Was it really necessary ?

    In human beings there are more poor than people who have all the basic needs. People are forced to live the lives of a beggar, petty thieves, prostitutes & killers ... there are people who also indulge in creating beggars, thieves, prostitutes & killers.

    Why is so much killing of the innocent souls in the name of religion ?
    Yes, from God's point of view, it is nothing more than dream. But then, was it necessary in so much proportion ?

    Regards,

    OM
    Dear Devotee: I find answers in asking myself these powerful questions …..How good is good enough? Or how bad is bad enough? How much is enough? Or how less is enough? I observe neither God answers these questions but intentionally for a purpose. Only life measures things. I have highlighted "more and much" in your posts. God is beyond life, He is Love, need to be experienced only. Good and bad things are only relative things, but I need these in my freedom to understand what Love is.


    Ref: BG Ch 2 verse 47

    Always Love..........VC

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