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Dharma Shastras

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Mon Dec 20 1999 - 07:53:18 PST

Dear Bhagavatas,
Namo Narayana,

I have been reading about dharma sastras from a few sources.  
I would be very grateful, if one of our learned members can post 
a serial on dharma sastras.  I feel repeated exposure to the lofty
ideals in the dharma sastras may help in initiating remedial action.     

Sri. Anbil Ramaswamy your writings in the Saranagati Journal, 
from Hinduism Rediscovered, are comprehensive and excellent.
If someone could post along those lines it would be great.

The dharma Sastras are common to all schools of Vedanta. 
To my limited knowledge there is no difference in opinion regarding
these.  The methods of performance of some of the duties may vary, 
but the requirements are very much the same. ( If I am wrong in drawing
such a conclusion, please correct me.)  As such, I submit
the following excerpts as motivation,  even though they originate 
from an Advaitic Yogi. 

"The Lord himself has declared in the Gita that it is better to die abiding by
one's dharma that prosper through another man's dharma ("nidhanam

"We are always tempted by the feeling that there is some worldly
pleasure yet to be savoured and we know no rest until we have done
so. After draining pleasures to the dregs we will discover the
impermanence of it all. That is the moment when we will turn to matters
of the Self, to the quest of enduring bliss. When we realise the peace
and harmony that society derived from Vedic practices, we will be keen
to take to the path shown by them. If we of this generation create a
break in the chain of Vedic study kept for ages, from generation to
generation, we shall be committing the unforgivable crime of denying our
descendants the opportunity of learning the Vedas. "

"The Brahmin is not to regard his body as a means for the enjoyment of
sensual pleasures but as an instrument for the observance of such rites
as are necessary to protect the Vedas- and the Vedas have too be
protected for the welfare of mankind. The basic dharma is that to the
body of the Brahmin nothing must be added that incites his sensual
appetite. It was a fundamental mistake on the part of the Brahmin to have
forgotten the spirit of sacrifice that incites his dharma and become a
victim of the pleasures and comforts easily obtained form the new
gadgets and instruments. "

ramanuja dasan,