The Antiquity of Vedic civilization

The Antiquity of Vedic civilization

 

By Dwaipayan De

In his Discourse on Sanskrit and Its Literature, given at the College of France, Professor Bournouf states, “We will study India with its philosophy and its myths, its literature, its laws and its language. Nay it is more than India, it is a page of the origin of the world that we will attempt to decipher.”

In History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature , Max Mueller observed, “In the Rig-veda we shall have before us more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt or Ninevah. . the Veda is the oldest book in existence”

On a more personal note, another famous German thinker, Schopenhaur, remarked in his book, The Upanishads, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life (and) it will be the solace of my death.”

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Teens And Celibacy

Teens And Celibacy

By Urmila Devi Dasi

CELIBACY IS SUCH an important part of Vedic education that the Sanskrit word for student is brahmacari (“celibate”). The pressure to give up celibacy begins, of course, in adolescence, the most dangerous ageand often the turning point of one’s life. Young adults need guidance before and during the teenage years to recognize and follow the right path.

Celibacy trains adolescents for self-restraint, whether they stay single or get married. It develops their inner strength, self-control, and good character. It also fosters good health and a fine memory.

Without celibacy we can never realize that we are spirit soul, distinct from the body. Sex reinforces the illusion that we are these bodies. Sexual attraction and its extensions in family and society are the main knots that bind us to material identification. Vedic education aims to free the child from these knots so the adolescent can act on the spiritual plane. Children, of course, have no knowledge of sex. How do we train them to value celibacy before they reach puberty? By association and environment.

Modern educators know well how children’s early impressions influence their later moral behavior. And these educators are passing on their decadent moral values to our children. For example, the New York City public school board recently introduced textbooks in the first grade that show families with two “mommies” or two “daddies,” to get children used to homosexuality.

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Unity Among Diverse Personalities

 By Visakha Dasi

“So far your question regarding women, I have always accepted the service of women without any discrimination” (Letter to: Gurudasa — Los Angeles 26

May, 1972)

In terms of our personalities and abilities, no two of us are alike. Why should we be? And why would anyone want us to be? Variety, Srila Prabhupada tells us, is the mother of enjoyment. Whatever our personality, whatever our talents, Prabhupada wants us to use them in Krishna’s service.

Yet when we learn from Prabhupada’s teachings that women are to be chaste, tolerant, shy, and subservient, it may seem that while men have variegated personalities, women’s personalities are expected to be uniform. But in fact, in their service to Krishna, women’s personalities differ from one another’s as much as men’s.

To accept the wonderful variegatedness inherent within each of His devotees, Krishna is unlimitedly variegated. Srila Rupa Goswami describes Krishna’s personality in his Bhaktirasamrita- sindhu. Krishna, he says, is dhirodatta, or grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, determined, humble, highly qualified, chivalrous, and physically attractive. He is also dhiralalita, or naturally funny, always in the bloom of full youth, expert in joking, free from all anxieties, domesticated, and submissive to His lover.

As a dhira-prasanta Krishna is peaceful, forbearing, considerate, and obliging. And as a dhiroddhata He is envious, proud, easily angered, restless, and complacent.

We may ask how someone can have four quite opposing personality traits, but as Krishna is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities and activities, and as He exhibits limitless varieties of pastimes, there’s no contradiction in Him possessing all types of character traits and exhibiting them at different times and in different circumstances.

Krishna’s devotees also have different character traits. Among His wives, for example, Rukmini is grave, always engaged in her service to Krishna, and always feeling satisfied in that service. Satyabhama, on the other hand, has quite a different nature. She sometimes feels inferior to Rukmini, is sometimes envious of her, and competes with her.

When Krishna appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rukmini’s mood was exhibited by Gadadhara Pandita. “Gadadhara Pandita’s pure ecstatic love for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also very deep. It was like that of Rukminidevi, who was always especially submissive to Krishna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes desired to see Gadadhara Pandita’s affectionate anger, but because of his knowledge of the Lord’s opulences, his anger was never invoked.” (Cc. Antya 7.144, 145). Satyabhama’s mood was present in Jagadananda Pandita: “The affectionate loving exchanges between Jagadananda Pandita and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued in this manner, exactly like the exchanges between Satyabhama and Lord Krishna related in Srimad- Bhagavatam.” (Cc. Antya 12.152)

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