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Re:Upakarma, rites, rituals etc

From: Pradeep (pradeepjanakiraman_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 02:11:29 PDT

Well with due respect to all the people on this list...let me clarify 
that what I wrote was only from the translation of the Bhagavatham 
from an authentic press that sells the "Bhagvata-Moolam" in Sanksrit 
and other great religious books, their translations in Tamil, English 
etc. 

These translations to various languages now are done by great 
Sanskrit scholars who are well versed in the language. One more thing 
is that translation of the moolam just reflects 
the "translation"..not any personal opinion of the author. 

If we take for example the tiruppavai, we can consider how we 
ourselves can barely translate some lines with some basic Tamil 
knowledge. But when "interpreted" by great scholars and saints, they 
come up with so much of depth written in just a few lines. That is 
bhaashyam or commentary. 

For example if we take the "Gita" today everyone finds a "concise 
Gita" right from railway station stalls, to airports to other book-
stores with commentaries and interpretations by so many people. 

But with say an ISKCON publication, they first do a transliteration 
for readability (for people who cant read Sanskrit)...then they do 
a "translation" in a few lines and then they go on to give 
a "commentary" quoting other things and other aspects, which runs to 
several paragraphs or pages.

But my mail was based on only translations of the Bhagavatam to 
English and Tamil. I used both versions which were done by different 
people. It was neither a "pocked-Bhagavatam" nor the "summary or 
detailed bhaashyam with own views". 

But both the translations(english, tamil) meant the same. Now I also 
happen to know Sanskrit and though residing in U.S, I am now in India 
on a break, and I have the company of people around me who have M.As 
in Sanskrit right from my family to friends. 

So I just went on to mail what I read from an authentic translation, 
co-related and cross-verified from other sources...that's all. 
There's no personal opinion here. 

One of the responsed accused that I belong to come clan and that my 
counterparts ( i dont know who) make claims that Hinduism originated 
from Christianity. Well when I say that "bharatha varsha" is the main 
karma-bhoomi and that some say that even Jesus came there to get 
enlightened...how could that be "interpreted" as hinduism follows 
christianity ? That was not my claim anywhere.

And about the "trivikrama" avatar where the author of that response 
claims that Lord's foot touched the entire world and not just 
the 'bhaaratha-varsh". Ofcourse "yes". 

But I think even Vyaasa knows about that right...and so does Suka who 
tells the Bhagavatham!!! Infact it is a charithram that is well 
discussed in the Bhagavatham. Its not something that was discovered 
recently by someone in "Uncle Sam"'s country!!! But Sri Suka still 
maintains that 'BharathaVarsha' is a Karma-Bhoomi in the same purana.

There must be more reasons to it than can be discerned by the common 
man. Once again, its for each individual to really research this 
topic and know the truth, about the "vyakaranams" and the other 
nuances, connotations etc. Its not my personal opinion. 

I just said, I read the Bhagavatam and found this fact that's all. 

But everyone is united in the opinion that "Bhakti" can be done from 
anywhere. Bhakti is something that transcends rituals, rites, karmas 
etc. The objective of Nigamas, Sruthis etc. is to realise the 
existence of the supreme and try to reach him. 

Sri Vyaasa who's been credited with having restored the Vedas 
(Sruthis) and given to us in a form that we can read and survive in 
this age of Kali, is the same person who authored the Bhagavatham. 
And if Bhagavatham is regarded as the holiest, and the most accurate 
and valid of the Puranas, how can we say it needs correction with 
respect to Sruthis etc. ? 

"Nigama Kalpatharorgalitham Phalam, Sukamukathamrutha dhrava Samyutham
Pibatha Bhagavatha RasamAalayam, Muhuruho rasika bhuvi bhaavukaah". 

>From the Kalpatharu-tree of the Vedas, there is a ripened fruit
(Bhaagavatam). The ripened fruit is often the one that the parrot
(suka) pecks at. The parrot here is Sri Suka and the amrutha 
dhrava...and it results in the flowing of nectar of the Bhaagavatam. 
Please partake of this...rasikas of this world...ones who love the 
deeds and pastimes of the lord. 

This Bhaagavatham is the essence of reading all the vedas. When 
Vyaasa still felt unhappiness after doing such great works, Narada 
asked him to write the glories of the lord in a way that would 
instill bhakti in the minds of those who read it. That's what is the 
Bhagavatam.

Why does one need all the rituals and yagnas which only give us 
meritorius enjoyments like heaven at best? And these rites and 
rituals that involve agnihotrams seem to have so many restrictions 
about where they should be performed (place, time, varshas, etc.) 

But Bhakti to Lord, reading his pastimes, reciting his glories (which 
is the essence of the Bhagavatam) can take us straight to him. That 
Bhakti can be done from anywhere on the earth. It is the simplest and 
like a nuclear missile in this age which liberates much faster. Naama 
Sankirthanam is the most advocated method for Kali. 

The idea of this group is Bhakti and that's what its titled aptly. So 
that's why I brought up this topic. I felt it would only be relevant 
to discuss about bhakti, leelais of the lord, his glory than 
discussing the correct procedure for rituals, when where how to 
perform them and whether they should be performed at all in some 
places etc. 

-- Pradeep 



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