Saturday, September 20, 2008

An answer to "The Ashwattha Tree Riddle"

Hello friends,
I believe it is time for me to provide an answer for the question I had posed in my previous post:
"Is the Bhagavat Geeta, against the Vedas since it asks to cut the Ashvattha tree, the leaves of which are the Vedas themselves?"
Before I provide one answer to this question (there could be others, far far better that mine), let me tell you that when the answer struck me, my first reaction was to bow to this wonderous land called Bhaarat, that has produced such a culture and such Mahatmas (and we call just one man now-a-days as the "Mahatma", how much have we fallen!). Hopefully, the esteemed readers would realise the greatness and gravity of what I am going to say. So, here goes:

Vedas are no doubt the important and fundamental (well, as fundamental as leaves are, to a tree) philosophical constructs of the Indian philosophy, but they can be understood or chanted only through the indriyas (senses). In this sense, they are only equal to something called "shadba brahman"--The state that has attributes, and is just below complete perfection.So what?
The point is, we are looking at something beyond the indriyas, the state which has no attribute, no qualities, completely neutral, i.e., a state that is nowhere near to anything we see, hear, touch, feel, smell, or taste. We need to aspire for that "totality of nothingness".
When a person becomes "Vedavit" (this word occurs at the end of the first verse), he has no need of either chanting, or understanding the Vedas-- he "knows" the crux of them. In this state, just as a snake sheds its skin when it has to grow, even the mighty and lofty Vedas, which are but a layer and just instruments to help towards that way to perfection, just wither away like leaves on a tree in autumn, when the person has grown to that state.

Then, in such a state, the presence of that cosmic tree called the wordly "samsaara" is an impediment to attain that moksha. Hence, it needs to be cut.

Fine! But there is one more thing that I struck me here. Just imagine-- can Islam exist without Holy Quran, or christianity without the Bible? These personality cults are stuck within their own "koopasthamandookas" and keep revolving around the the personae and books that they themselves have created. On the contrary, just imagine our culture: You take any book-- the puraNas, dharma shastras, geeta, even the Vedas-- everyone of them point to the fact that they are not a central or "indispensable" part of the sanaatana dharma. Thats because we dont worship books or persons in the way they do. They are only a part of our belief system, not central. The real Sanaatana Dharma exists within us. We are the puraNas, shaastras, and the Vedas ourselves.

We need to awaken to this fact and arise as a nation.


poonam said...

quite true, books, person or i would call them the idols are part of the central system not the central system itself and they are to support the belief.. BUT this is exactly like two types of architectures , central and distributed..

the fact is this whole system is constructed with such details that to pin point every single element out. we 'll find definitions and names of every single living and also inactive thing in the world as our devi's devata's names and their lokas. and that precisely suggest how vast and ancient this could be. yet everything in this system leads to a single god.

now as for kuran or bible is concerned.. i think they are quite centralized..and focussed.. and also limited to certain extent.. BUT at the end of the day, if you think from a person's point of view.. its again unique.. even in hindus, we have ishta dev and we have a guru.. now if a muslim puts kuran as his ishta/guru it does come to same term...isn;t it?

Gandaragolaka said...

"BUT at the end of the day...isn;t it?"

You have actually put forward another great and unique aspect of Sanaatana Dharma!

Can you imagine each person holding a Quran or Bible having different Deities as their ishta-Devathas or even a different (read personal) interpretation of their holy-texts?

If you are a believer in an abrahamic faith (well agreed, Jews are a bit different), you cant have an Ishta-Dev, because by definition Ishta-Dev is some deity chosen among many. But I guess you see the faulty assumption here-- there are no "many" here. Just the one thrust upon you in the way the local cleric wants you to believe.

poonam said...

well.. not really aligned on that line..
"you cant have an Ishta-Dev, because by definition Ishta-Dev is some deity chosen among many. But I guess you see the faulty assumption here-- there are no "many" here. Just the one thrust upon you in the way the local cleric wants you to believe.

but that should be fine..:)

Gandaragolaka said...

"well.. not really aligned on that line.."

I dont understand what you mean. But since we digress from the main topic at hand (Geeta), I am willing to have a conversation on this topic offline.