Friday, July 31, 2009


PART 4 Samskaras (Duties)

EGO ( I )


1.Who is a true devotee ?

2.Essential Knowledge


4.Varnashrama Dharma



7.Samaskaras – 3 Main


1 Who Is A True Devotee

One who feels other sufferings as his own
One who serves those who are afflicted and one who has no deceit
One who bows before everyone, despises none, is steady in word, body and mind
One whose outlook is always dispassionate
One who has left all desires
One who sees a mother in another man’s wife (all women)
One who never speaks an untruth
one who never touches another’s wealth.
One who is not overpowered by ignorance
One whose mind knows stern detachment
One who has experienced ectasy in the worship of Rama
One who destroys evil thoughts
One who is humble in speech and deeds
One who considers his body itself as abode of the Lord
One who has no avarice; he knows no fraud
One who follows sastras as command of GOD
One who has outgrown desires and anger.

4.2 Essential Knowledge

1. Vedas Purusha Suktham
2. Dharma Manu Smriti
3. Ithihasa Bhagavat Gita
4. Puranas Vishnu Puranam
5. Slokas Vishnu Sahasra Namam

4.3 4 Purusharthas

Lead a life following the following 4 principles :

1.Dharma - performing duties and responsibilities laid down by Sastras

2.Artha - To earn wealth in a just way ( for HIS worship )

3.Kama - To avoid sensual pleasures in life and direct them towards worshipping God

4.Moksha - Final goal is liberation from cycle of births & deaths.

4.4 Varna shrama Dharma (Division of Society)

4.4.1 Varnas – Division of work for the welfare of the entire community . It is not a distinction based on birth but by vocation. An individual practices each of the above four functions at different stages of his life :

1.Brahmana study of Vedas,scriptures etc.,contemplate on them and perform
rituals. It connotes the function of counseling.
Counselors, Priests, Teachers, Scientists, Philosophers perform the role of a
Brahmana. Also, at old age, a person by his knowledge, experience and maturity acts as a counselor.
2.Kshatriya rule over kingdom,ensure protection and prosperity of subjects.
Kings, Judges, Legislators, Warriors perform the role of a Kshatriya . Also, one in the later half of manhood performs this function in respect of one’s family and society.
3.Vaishya deal with needs of society such as agriculture, trade, banking, management etc. and earns wealth.
Industrialsts , Traders who organise and direct factories, trade, resources etc. are
Vaishyas by their vocation. Also, one in the beginning of adulthood falls in this
Category as one’s main job is to earn wealth.
4.Sudhra (Labour) deal with services needed by society.
Artisans, Labour , as also youth whose duty is to learn and perform services to his
Family, Guru and elders fall in this category.

4.4.2 Asramas (Stages in Life)

The four stages of an individual as he ages is called Ashrama

1.Brahmacharya -Youth (student life), also one who does not marry
2.Grihastha - Householder (family life)
3.Vanaprastha - Old age (secluded life (in Forests) as a samsari (spouse))
4.Sanyasa - After youth (religious life as a monk)

4.5 Rituals

1.To purify and conquer the physical body and energy body around it .

2.To bring to one’s aid superior intelligence (similar to Rishis & Devas).

3.Improve the atmosphere around one to enable one to concentrate the mind
1)for leading a healthy and happy life and 2) to realise GOD liberation
Moksha). .

The rituals are facilated by :

1. Sound (Vibrations or Bio-Energy) in the form of Mantras

2. Postures and Gestures control the pranas and bio-energy

3 Agni (fire) is an important aspect of all rituals, wherein herbs are consigned to it.The smoke carries the beneficial effect to the body and the surroungings

4.Objects / accessories such as beads, flowers facilitate the rituals

4.6 Karmas (Actions)

Sastras prescribe 3 types of Karmas for every individual. They are to be performed
For HIS pleasure, as HIS servant without expectation of any fruits (attitude of Satvika Tyaga – sacrifice)

1. Nitya Karma (daily routines) such as bath, Sandhyavandanam, Japam etc.

2.Naimittika Karma (periodic routines) such as Tarpanam, Sradha etc.

3.Kamya Karma (rituals for fulfilling desires) – The highest form of Kamya Karma is performing the rituals for HIS sake (without any selfish desires).
(refer to Sradhas)

4.7 3 Samskaras

An individual has to undergo 3 main initiation process

1.Upanayanam (Brahma-upadesham) : initiates a child (at age of 7 years) to the
Gayatri Mantra and performance of Sandhyavandanam. It is a pre-requisite to
commence study of Vedas

2.Samasanam (Pancha Samskaram) initiates one to the three main mantras and makes one eligible to perform Aradhana (daily worship)

3.Saranagathi (Surrender/Bharanyasam) is the ultimate process of surrender to the
Supreme and obtain liberation (Moksha)
( refer to 16 purifying rites, 30 Dharmas, 40 Samskaras )

4.7. Brahma-upadesham

Upanayanam (Brahma-upadesham) : initiates a child (at age of 7 years) to the Gayatri Mantra and Performance of Sanayvandanam. It is a pre-requisite to commence study of Vedas Vamana (Vishnu born to Kashyap & Aditi) had HIS initiation as under
given by

1. Sun (Suryan) Gayatri Mantra
2. Brihaspathi Brahma Sutra (Sacred Thread)
3. Kashyapa Rishi Mekala (straw belt)
4. Bhu Devi Krishnarjeenam (deer skin)
5. Noon (Soman/Chandran) Danda (stick)
6. Sun (Adityan) Kaupeenam (langot)
7. Indran Chatra (Umbrella)
8. Brahma Kamandala (water pot)
9. Saptarishis Kusa (darbha grass)
10.Sarawathi Akshamala (bead string)
11.Kuberan Akshaya Patrika (bowl)
12.Parvati Devi Bhiksha (alms)

4.7.2 Pancha Samskaras (Samasrayanam)

1.Tapam : branding of Conch (Sankhu) and Disc (Chakra) on the shoulders,
symbolising that one is GOD’s property
2.Pundaram : 12 Namams (symbols) at different parts of the body to purify it
3.Dasyam (servant of GOD) one is renamed as * Ramunaja Dasan
4.Mantra : initation into the 3 mantras
5.Aradhana : initiation into daily worship

4.8 Duties

4.8.1 Homams

20 daily routines have been prescribed

1. Morning bath (Snanam)
2. Sandyavandhanam (Morning)
3. Astakshara Japam
4 .Brahma Yagya
5 .Aupasanam
6. Bath (Snanam)
7. Sandyavandanam (Afternoon)
8. Aradhanam
9. Vaisvedevam
10 Deva Yagnya
11 Pitru Yagnya
12 Bhuta Yagya
13 Manusa Yagya
14.Feeding guests (Adityam)
15.Meals (Bhojanam)
16.Swadhyayam ( study of Vedas etc.)
17.Patanam (Study of Ramayana and other Scriptures)
18.Sandyavandanam (Evening)
20.Meals (Bhojanam)

Pancha Maha Yagyas

1.Brahma Yagya (to Rishis) Study of Vedas
2.Pitru Yagya (to Forefathers) Sradha/Tarpanam
3.Deva Yagya (to Devas) Yagya/Homam – offerings to fire God
4.Bali/Bhuta Yagya (to Animals) food offerings to Crow, Dog etc.
5.Nru/Manushya Yagya (to Men) food offerings to guests

4.8 Daily Routines

1. Morning Worship (Abhigamanam)
2. Livelihood (materials for worship)(Upadanam)
3. Afternoon worship (Ijyai)
4. Study scriptures (Swadhyayam)
5. Sleep (Yogam)

4.8.3 Periodic Sacrifices

Prakrata (simple type) or Vaikrata (modified type)

1.Agnihotra daily offerings to fire

2.Darsapournima performed on full moon / new moon days

3.Chaturmasya performed every 4 months

4.Aswamedha (Horse) / Pasu (Cow) Yagya

5.Soma Yagya

Prepared by R. Jagannathan and R. Devanathan

-- E-

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scriptures -Coninued

Sub-division of Religious Texts

•3.8.1 Vedas - eternal , endless, exists by itself
Any sacrifice involves four priests, covering the four Vedas.
One who organizes the sacrifice is called Yajaman ( Master )
Branches Available Performed by Function Rishi vaisampayana
1. Rik Veda Hota praise of Devas & prayer
2. Sukla Yajur Veda Athvaryu rituals Vaisampayan
Krishna Yajur Veda Sama Udgata songs Jaimini
4. Atharvana Veda Brahma supervision Sumanthu
1137 13
; -6 Veda- Angas- 6 ( Auxilliaries)

1. Siksha Pronounciation, Philosophy
2. Vyakarana Grammer
3. Chandas Metres 0f poetry
4. Jyothisha Astrology, Astronomy
5. Niruktha Dictionary, Glossary, Etymology
6.Methods of performing rituals

( 1 to 3 relate to the main text ; 4 to 6 relate to meaning of the Sutras )

4 Veda Upa Angas (sub-auxiliaries)

1. Meemamsa Theology, interpretation of texts.
2. Nyaaya Logic
3. Dharma Sastra Law of Conduct
4 Puranas Mythology

3.8.2 Other Vidyas

1. Aurveda - Medicine (Dhavanthri)
2. Dhanurveda- Archery ( Brugu )
3. Gandarva Veda-Music, Dance ( Bharatha)
4. Artha Sastra - Governance (Brihaspathi)
( 64kalas )
3.8.3 Sub-Division of Vedic Texts

1. Samhitha Main Texts of Mantras.
2. Brahmana Guide Book to conduct rituals a) vidhi, b) explanation etc
3.Aranyaka Text for recitation
4.Upanishads Philosophical ideas in form of Q & A between students and Rishis

known as Poorva /Karma Kandam
known as Uttara/Gyana/Brahma Kandam

80% relate to Karma (action),16% relate to Upasana (meditation),4% Gyan (knowledge)

Each mantra is associated with

1. Rishi who discovered it (symbolized by Head)
2. handas (Metre/Rhythm) ( Mouth)
3. Devas associated with it (Heart)
• Brahmana (Vidhi, Artha Vada)

meaning of mantras & benefits.
instructions on performance of rituals.
Topics covered in Brahmana

1. Itihasas History
2. Puranas Legends
3. Vidya Esoteric Knowledge
4. Upanishads Philosophy
5. Slokas Verses
6. Sutras Aphorisms
7. Vyakhyana Explanations.
8. Anu-Vyakhyana Elaborations

Upanishads speak about

1. Aihiki Yagyas (here only- benefits to be obtained in this life itself). Not permanent Rain, children, wealth, power, cattle etc.
2.Amunishmika Yagyas (here after- benefits to be obtained after life). Temporary Post of Indran, Swarga. Etc.
3. Moksha freedom from birth and death. Bliss.

Daso (10) Upanishads ( Veda Siras )

1 known as Poorva /Karma Kandam
2 known as Uttara/Gyana/Brahma Kandam

Upanishads relates to ** Veda

1. Isavasya Yajur
2. Kena Sama
3. Kata Yajur
4. Prasna Atharvana
5. Mundaka Atharvana
6. Mandukya Atharvana
7. Thaittiriya Yajur
8. Aitareya Rik
9. Chandogya Sama
10. Brihadaranyaka Yajur

Smrithi or Dharma Sastras

Code of conduct for Individuals

The rules have been codified by

Manu *
Yagyavalakya *
Sanka Likita

* these Smritis are in common use ( Epics )
Legends that happened during the life of the authors. Supreme manifested and lived as human, Playing a role model for mankind.

1. Ramayana - Sage Valmiki
2. Mahabharata - Sage Veda Vyasar. Narrated by Sage Vaisampayan to King Janamejayan

Ramayana consists of 24000 verses, was composed by Sage Valmiki, as revealed by Sage Narada.

Mahabharata was narrated by Sage Vyasar. His mental anguish was removed only after he compiled Bhagavata Purana, detailing the story of Krishna, on the advice of Narada.

Great dialogues which act as a guide to mankind appear in these
1. Srimad Bhagavad Gita Mahabharata Krishna to Arjuna
2. Vishnu Saharanamam Mahabharata Bhisma to Yudhistra

About Puranas

Five Lakshanas (Characteristics) of Purana

1. Sargam Creation of Universe & Cosmos.
2. Visargam Destruction
3. Vamsam Geneology of Gods and Rishis.
4. Manvantram Manvantaras ruled by Manus

Within the above, Puranas cover religion, customs, ceremonies, sacrifices, festivals, duties, Gifts/donations, details of temples, description of places of pilgrimage etc.

Ten Lakshanas (Characteristics) of Bhagavatam

1.Sargam Creation of Universe & Cosmos.
2.Visargam Destruction
3 Sthan Protection of Earth by God
4.Poshan Protection of devotees
5.Creation of living beings according to Karma
6.Manvantaras Creation in Manvantaras and Dharma .
7.Ishanu Katha Avatars
8.Nirodh Pralaya and reabsorption of all creations inGOD
9.Mukti Realisation and merger with Supreme
10Asreya Merging with GOD through Sruti, Tatva and above 9 factors

18 Puranas

Satvika Puranas *
1.Padma 55,000 Brahma Pulastya
2.Vishnu 23,000 Parasara
3.Bhagavat 18,000 Vyasa
4.Naradiya 25,000 Narada
5.Varaha 24,000 Varaha Bhu Devi
6.Garuda 19,000 (Garuda Kalpa)

Rajasa Puranas *
7.Brahma 10,000 Brahma Marichi
8.Markandeya 9,000
9.Bhavishya 14,500 (Aghora Kalpa)
10Brahma Vaivrata 18,000 Narayana Narada
11Vamana 10,000 (Siva Kalpa)
12Brahmanda 12,200 (future Kalpa)

Tamasa Puranas *
13.Siva 24,000 Sivan
14.Agni 16,000 Agni Vasishta
15.Linga 11,000 Siva (Agni Kalpa)
16.Skanda 81,100 (Tatpurusha Kalpa)
17.17,000 (Lakshmi Kalpa)
18.Matsya 20,000
( * classification given in Uttara Kanda of Padma Purana )

Upa- Puranas - 18

1.Sanat Kumara
4.Siva Rahasya
13Saura (Aditya / Soorya )
17Devi Bhagavata


Is an upa-anga (sub-division) of Vedas analysing the later in-depth. It has statements clarfying Doubts about the Vedic texts and is divided into two parts :
Karma /Poorva part covers the rituals stated in the Karma Kanda of Vedas
Brahma/Uttara part covers the knowledge about GOD stated in the Gyana Kanda of Vedas

Brahma Sutra
Every Sastra has 3 components:
1. Sutra (aphorisms)
2. Vaartika
3. Bhasya (Commentaries)

Brahma Sutra relates to Brahma Mimamsa, clarifying doubts in the Brahma Kanda of Vedas. It Was authored by sage Veda Vyas ( also khown as Badarayana). Commentaries on it have been Written by the heads of all the three schools of Hindu religion viz. Adi Sankara, Ramuhaja and Madhvachariar. It contains 545 Sutras divided into 4 Chapters :

1. Brahman (Supreme) is sole cause of creation, sustenance and destruction.
2. Brahman is both material and instrumental causes.
3. Means of attaining Brahman.
4. Glory of salvation ( Moksha ).


Agamas deal with all aspests of temple worship, such as site selection,layout,architecture,design and construction of temple,design and construction of archa murthis (idols),installation and consecration,worship,festivals and processions etc. Temple rituals, following the Agamas, give purity of Mind (Chitta), Peace (Shanti) & Knowledge (Gyana) finally leading to Salvation (Moksha).

Alaya Swaroopa (rules for construction) covered in the Agamas

Vigraha Lakshana ( re Idols)

Pratistha Bhimba Lakshana
Nitya/Naimittika Utsavas

They originated as a result of the restoration of the Vedas, lost by Brahma,as outlined below:

Narayana Hamsa Avatar Brahma (Paushkaran) Asuras (Madhu & Kaitapan) Matsya Avatar taught ‘OM’ realised God & was snatched Vedas restored Vedas and taught Vedas

Hyagriva Brahma Kurma Avatar appearance of Paushkara
Veda upadesa creation,awaits archa taught Ashtakshari

Samhita - Form for worship


There are 28 Saiva, 64 Shakteya and 108 Vaisnava Agama sastras.
The Agama system (sidhanta) is explained in the 108 Samhitas, along with Mantra, Tantra and Tantrantra kriyas (activities). Three main Samhitas known as Ratna Treya are:
1. Ishwara (Satvata) 2. Parameshwara (Paushkara) 3. Padma (Jayakya)
( other important Samhitas are Ahirbudhya and Lakshmi Tantra )

The two main Vaishnava Agama systems are :

1. Pancharatra Agama : Srirangam, Kancheepuram, Melkote
Narrated by Sriman Narayana to 5 Rishis over 5 nights.
( Pancha – 5 )Methods for worshipping the 5 forms of God.
Unison of 5 entities viz. Brahman,Mukti,Yoga,Bhoga and Prapancham

2. Vaikanasa Agama : Tirupati
Narrated by Vaikanasa Rishi to other Rishis Pancharatra Agama System Vaikanasa Agni (Fire) Deity Sun (Surya) Aupagayana, Sandilya Rishis Marichi,Atri,Bhrigu,Kashyapa Bharadwaja, Kaushika & Maunjyayana *

Vedic & Tantrik Form of Mantra Vedic

ll after Samasana & Diksha Priests Only those born in Vaikhanasa Sutra,
Only householder (Grihasta)after Upanayanam Brahmachari,Grihasta and Vanprasta of any age

River banks/Mountains Place of temples Towns /Villages

Only Ashtanga type Prostration Panchanga type(5 limbs of body )
(8 limbs of body)
Dwaja Sthambam (Mast) Order of 4 places Bali Peetam
Bali Peetam Dwaja Sthambam
Garudan Sannithi Garudan Sannithi
Main Sanctum Main Sanctum
The 5 are incarnations (Amsas) of Anatan (Adiseshan), Garudan, Viswaksenar, Brahma and Indran respectively

Agama Sastra followed in the 108 Divya Desams :
1.Divine places (not accessible) 2
2.Tantra system 22 Nepal,Gujarat,U.P.,Kerala,Tamilnadu
3. No vaishnava rituals 2 located in Kamakshi Temple, Kanchi
4. Pancharatra system 43 Srirangam etc.
5. Vaikanasa system 39 Tirupati etc.

Archa Murthis ( Main Idols ) : 3 Postures (Reclining. Sitting and Standing). All three forms are found in the temples at Tirukkotiyur,Madurai, Uthiramerur,Parameswara Vinnagaram (Kanchi)

Idols) : Worship of Beras is considered best as compared to worship of God in water or Grass (Kurcha). There are different Beras for different purposes

1. Dhruv ( Moola - fixed )
2.Utsava (festivals,processions)
3.Snapana (Tirtha – holy bath)
4.Karma (Kautuka- archan with flowers) offerings to ....)
6.Sayana (sleep)

Installation (Prathista) : procedures to infuse divine forces in the Idols (Murthis), Pedestal (Peetam), Vehicles (Vahana) and all other instruments for worship. Jaladiwasa Dhanyadiwasa Nethron-milona Snapana Sparshana (infuse divinity through mantras & touch) Ratnayaasa (Precious stones buried in cavity where the
pedestal for the Idol is to be constructed)
Agni samskara
Transfer power from Balabimba to Kumbha to Idol

Nalyera Divya Prabandam ( 4000 Verses )

Verses sung in tamil, explaining the Supreme and ways to attain Him are known as the Dravida Veda. It originated with the saint Nammalwar and were lost after the era of alwars. Nathamuni rediscovered them after yogic penance. Arayar is the title of those who sing the verses.

It is elaborately sung during the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival in two phases :
1. 10 Days ( Pagal Pathu ), prior to the day of Ekadasi
2. 10 Nights ( Raa Pathu ), commencing from the Day of Ekadasi
The term Ubhayavedantacharya means one who is scholarly in both Sanskrit and Tamil Vedas.

In the Saiva system, elaborate verses have been composed by the 63 Nayanmars known as
Thevaram and Tiruvachakam. Odhuvars sing them in the temples.

---- END -------

Tuesday, July 28, 2009





3.1 System of Religion& Philosophy
3.2 Sanathana Dharma
3.3 Basic Schools
3.4 Hindu Religion - 6 Branches of worship
3.5 Schools of Vaishnavism
3.6 Guru Parampara
3.7 Vedic System
3.8 Division of Vedic Texts
3.9 Agamas
3.10 Dravida Veda (5th Veda)

3.1 System of Religion and Philosophy

I. Systems based on Vedas (Asthika)
1. Vedantha
2. Sankhya Kapila
3. Yoga Brahma, Patanjali
4. Nyaya Gautama, Akshapadar
5. Vaiseshika Kanada
6. Mimamsa Jaimuni
7. Sikhism Guru Nanak
8. Arya Samaj Dayananda Saraswathi
9. Brahmo Samaj
Iswar Chandra Vidya Sagar

Systems based on Vedas + GOD (Asthika)

1. Advaita Sankaracharya
2. Visihtadvaita Ramanujar
3. Dvaita Madvacharya

II. Based on logic ( Nastika )

1. Jainism Arhata Mahaveer
2. Budhism Gautama Budha
3. Charvaka

III. Foreign Origin

1. Christianity Jesus Christ
2. Islam Prophet Mohammed
3. Jews
4. Parsi (Zorasterian) Zoraster

Religions - Breakup

1. Christians 1,800,000,000 1/3 of total population of approx.6,500,000,000 (650 Crores)
2. Muslims 900,000,000 1/5 of total population

3. Non-religious 900,000,000 1/5 of total population

4. Hindus 700,000,000 1/7 of total population

5. Budhists 300,000,000 1/15 of total population

6.Atheists 200,000,000

7. others Chinese folk religion New Religions Tribal religions Sikhs Jews Shamanists Confucious Baha’is ains Shintoists Others
Total population approx. 650 Crores (6,500,000,000)
India’s population 110 Crores

3.2 Dharmas

1. Sanatana Dharma (Hindu Dharma)
Law of mutual rights and duties arising from the one and only Sanatanana- Paramatma

2. Varnasrama Dharma
Based on Varnas ( vocational class ) and asramas-stages of life.
3. Vaidhika Dharma Based on Vedas.
4. Manava Dharma Religion laid down by Manu for Manavas (Human beings)
Hindu Dharma covers
1. Unity (1) Parmathma / Supreme God
2. Duads (2) Purusha (one) x Prakriti( many ); Pravriti x Nivriti
3. Triads (3) Iswara Jiva Jagat
Iswara Chia Achit
Satva Rajo Tamasa gunas
walking Dream Sleep states of consiousness
4. Quartets (4) Chathur manaas,Chathur ashrams, chathur purushaarthams

3.3 3 Basic Schools

1. Advaitam ( Not 2 ) Adi Sankara based on Abeda Sruthi. Six forms of worship. Only God exists. The World is unreal - it is an illusion.(temporary / perishable)
2.. Vishishtadwaitam Propounded by Ramanuja – based on Bheda , Abeda struthis and their reconciliation. Only Narayana to be worshipped. God forms the soul of Jivatma (souls) and Prakriti (matter). The World is real.
3 Dwaitam ) (2): Madhvachariar - based on Bedha shruthi of Vedas. Worship Krishna.
Paramathma and Jeevathma are different and separate . The world is real.

3.4 6 Main Branches of Worship
(Shan Madam)
1. Vainavam Vishnu / Krishna
2. Saivam Siva
3. Saktam Sakthi / Devi
4. Sauram Sun
5. Kaumaram Murugan
6. Ganapathyam Vinayaka

3.5 Schools of Vaishnavism

1. Sri Ramunuja Philosophy (Sri Samprathayam)

2. Vallabhacharya (Sudha Advaitha)

3. Ramanada (Janaki Vallabh)

4. Chaitanya Doctrine of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and differences between Lord and His creation.

5. Nimbarkar-Dwaitha/Adwaitha –Hamsa Samparathaya

6. Madhavachariar (Dwaitam)

Saint Philosophy Sampradaya God Form of Bhakti Year (AD)

1 Shankarachya Advaita Shan (6) mada 788

2 Ramunaja Vishistadvaita Sri Narayanan Dasya 1017

3 Nimbarkar Swabhavika Bheda-abheda vada Hamsa Krishna Madhurya 11th centuary

4 Madhvacharya Dvaita Brahma 1197

5 Ramanada anaki Vallabh Rama 1299
Guru to Kabir, Tulsidas, Ravidas

6 vallabhacharya Sudha Advaita Rudra Krishna 1473
relied on Bhagavata Purana. Shifted idol from Govardhan to Nathdwara.

7 Chaintanya Achintya bheda-abheda vada Krishna Madhurya 1485

8 Sankara Dev (Assam) Nama Dharma Krishna Dasya 1486
relied on Bhagavata Purana & Bhagavat Gita or Mahapurshiya Dharma

9 Swaminarayan Ramunaja’s philosophy Bhagavad Krishna 1781
and Vallabhacharya’s bhakti Ekantika Dharma as Swaminarayan
had vision of / initiation by Ramunaja during stay at Srirangam. Vaikuntam is called Akshardam
( Seva implies I belong to GOD; Bhakti implies GOD is mine )
Guru Parampara


1. Sridhara ( Narayanan ) lst Guru
2. Sri
3. Viswaksenar (Senai Mudaliyar)
4. Satagopan ( Nammalvar )
5. Nathamuni
6. Uyyakondar (Pundarikashar)
7. Manakkal Nambi (Rama Mishrar)
8. Alawandar (Yamunacharya)
9. Peria Nambi (Maha Purnar)
10. Sri Ramunajar (founder of Vishistadvaita)


Vedabta Desikan Manavala Mahamuni
North)Sanskrit based (South) Tamil based
Ahobila Mutt Vanamamalai Mutt Parakala Mutt
Muni-treyam 1.Sringam Andavan 2.Poudarikapuram Andavan

Hamsa School of Vaishnavism
Vishnu as Hamsa bird
Brahma Sanat Kumars Narada Nimbarkar (founder)
Advaita school lst Guru Narayanan
Shakti (sons)
Govinda Bhagavatpada (disciples)
Adi Shankaracharya ( founder )
Adi Guru is called Dakshinamurhty – silent )

Vedic System


1. Prathyaksham perceived directly through senses

2 Inferred by logic and reasoning

3 Things recited in the form of vedic mantras

Shad Darshani - Ways of Seeing Things to Unite with Him

1. Nyaya Knowledge of God and His creation

2 Vaisesika Knowledge of God and His creation

3 Sankya Knowledge of Purusha, Prakrithi, their relation

4 Yoga use senses to unite with Him

5 Mimamsa Performance of Karmas (actions)

6 Vedanta Knowledge of true nature of God and Atma

3.8 Religious Texts

1. Veda Sruthi that which is heard.
2. Smrithi that which is remembered.
3. Ithihasa legends that took place during authors living.
4. Puranas that happened before the authors life.
5. Mimamsa emphsis on Karma not God
6. Agamas Temples construction, worship etc.

Sub-division of Religious Texts

3.8.1 Vedas - eternal , endless, exists by itself Any sacrifice involves four priests, covering the four Vedas. One who organizes the sacrifice is called Yajaman ( Master )

Monday, July 27, 2009


2.10 Worship


1. Puja (2 methods)

Vaidiki (South India)
Rituals Lapses are considered as misdeeds

Raga-Anubhava (North India)
Devotion in the form of bhajans,Arti.
Any lapse is not only ignored, He makes good the lapse. .

2. Upasana (Meditation)
Steps in worship

1. Prokshanam purifying place & self with holy water
2. Sthapanam invoking HIS presence
3. Sannidanam offering seat and other felicitations
4. Avakuntanam maintain purity & sanctity of the place
5. Sannirodanam Invoking retention of divine powers in the Idol till the
worship is over
6. Abhisekham bathing with water, milk, curd, etc.
7. Padhyam anointing with sandal paste
8. Achamaneyam offering water for intake
9. Argyam ofeering holy water
10.Pushpam decoration with flowers
11.Dhupam ofeering fragrant incense
12.Deepam offering lighted lamp
13.Neivedyam offering food
14 Paaneeyam offering fragrant water
15.Japa Samarpanam worship with 108 mantras
16.Deepa-aradhanam worship with 16 types of lamps

Finally, offer Tamboolam (pan) and prostrate

Accessories to Worship

1. Fire (Agni)
a)Ahavaniya Occassional Use
b)Garhapratya Household use
c)Dakshina Sacrifice(Homam)
d)NLSabhya Warming
e)Avasathya Alien

2. gj; Patram (Leaves)
e) Tulsi
f) Arugam leaves
g) Neem
h) Vilvam
i) Unni

3. J Sticks (should be of equal length)
j) Arasu
k) Unni
l) Palasam
m) Karungali
n) Athi

4. Grass of following plants of paddy grass
s) grass of grains

5. Dry Fruits
Sugar Candy

6. for worshipping the Devas of medicinal plants (Ankura Japam)
black gram (urad)
sesame (til)
green gram

2.11 Yuga Requirements
The requirements of conduct, worship, etc. vary according to the Yuga, Because the structure of man, his endurance power, availability of facilities /
resources etc. vary between one Yuga to another Yuga.

Kritayuga 10 years of severe penance / tapas (meditation)

Tretayuga 11 year of severe rituals / yagas (sacrifice)

Dwaparayuga 1 month of rigorous worship

Kaliyuga 1 day of simple nama japa (chanting of names)

Time is no limiting factor to obtain HIS grace. A moments change of heart of man and his bhava is sufficient for GOD to reveal HIMSELF

Dhruv - Enlightened after 5 months of Japa

Parikshit -Liberated in 7 days by listening to Bhagavatam

Pingala Obtained HIS grace by thinking about HIM for 1 Yamam (3 Hours)

Katwangan Was granted Moksha by merely thinking about HIM for few hours

Ajamilan GOD graced him for merely uttering HIS name, unknowingly

2.12 Results of Worship

1.Fulfill desires in this samsara itself. They may be good or bad and are temporary. Cycle of births and deaths will continue.
2. Obtain higher status in Swarga etc., which is also temporary. Cycle of births
And deaths will continue.
3.Obtain MOKSHA (liberation),freedom from cycle of births and deaths. Enjoy
Total bliss.
4.Some, due to intense practices of Yoga, may acquire Occult powers (Sidhis).,
which are obstacles to reach GOD.

Name Nature Vedas
Anima atomic size-move freely Studying
Mahima Largesize-visible simultaneously in several places Understanding
Lagima weightlessness Research
Garima Heavy weight Discussions
Praapthi Obtain desired things Philosophy (Tatva)
Parakamyam Present in diff world by thought Face adhyathmika forces
Easythvam Control others Face adhibauthika forces
Vasythvam Make others to do one’s wishes Face adhidaiveeka forces

2.13 12 Devotees who knew sukshmas of Bhagavatam

1. Brahma
2. Narada
3. Sivan
4. Sanat Kumars
5. Kapila
6. Swayambu Manu
7. Prahaladan
8. King Janakar
9. Bhisma
10. Maha Bali
11. Sage Sukar
12. ) Dharmarajan (Yaman)

Alwars (12) are saints in the Vaishnava system, Nayanmars (63) are saints in the Saiva system.

12 Alwars







Garudan _

Bhudevi _





Valmiki Tulasidas
Sukar Kabir
Narada Purandaradas
Namadev Thukaram
Pandurangan Gyaneshwar
Vyasar Jaidev
Udhava Namdev

2.14 Fruits of worshipping Devas

1. Brihaspati Brahma Tejas
2. Prajapati Offsprings
3. Agni (Fire) Tejas
4. Rudran Valour
5. Devas Swargam
6. Sadhya Deva Harmony (general)
7. Prithvi Prushti
8. Gandharvas Beauty
9. Brahma Mastery of all
10. Varuna Wealth
11. Parvati Harmony (Family)
12. Pitrus Protection of clan
13. Maruthi Strength
14. Moon Enjoyment
15. Indran Indriya (senses) shakti
16. Mayadevi Wealth (Lakshmi)
17. Vasus Wealth (Money)
18. Aditi Food
19. Visvedevas Kingdom
20. Aswini Kumars Longevity
21. Prithvi / Akash Prathista
22. Urvasi Wife
23. Yagya Purush Glory
24. Shankar Vidya
25. Vishnu Dharma
26. Yaksha Releief from bondage
27. Narayana Selflessness


Sunday, July 26, 2009


This chapter is the continuetion from previous blog. we discuss from now on the sarams of Sri Vaishnavam-it is the essence.


The goal of life is to manifest the divinity within”


2.1 The Path
2.2 Happiness
2.3 Reasons for seeking GOD
2.4 10 requitements for Moksha
2.5 8 practices for liberation
2.6 7 paths to Moksha
2.7 4 ways to seek GOD
2.8 9 kinds of Karma Yoga
2.9 Devotion (Bhakti)
2.10 Worship
2.11 Requirements of 4 ages
2.12 Occult powers ( Sidhis )
2.13 Devotees, Alwars, Acharyas
2.14 Worship of Devas

2.1 Path

1 Let me not live in a place devoid of your presence

2 Let me not learn any lore which does not enlighten me on the truth
about You

3 Let not my family and descendents be ever bereft of devotion at your feet

4 Let me not have a life empty of your contemplation
(Alavandar )

2.2 Happiness

Happiness is of two types.

1. Wordly pleasures, in this samsara ( life )

Material benefits, including welfare of family, are of temporary nature.
It is always associated with opposites, obtained in this world.
It does not lead to benefits after death or Liberation (Moksha).
This pursuits predominates one’s first two stages of life i.e.

Brahmacharya Grihastashrama.

2. Happiness / Benefits during life after death

Supreme bliss arising out of spirituality. Arises by controlling the senses and directing them to the service of GOD.

The benefits are of two types :
•Temporary nature such as higher posts of Indran. One has to take rebirth once the accumulated good deeds (Punya) are over.

•Permanent nature in form of Liberation ( Moksha )
One tries to pursue the spiritual path in the last two stages of life i.e. Vanaprasashrama and Sanyashrama.

Eternal Bliss ( not Happiness ) should be sought right from childhood by observing Spirituality and not wait for old age.

2.3 We Seek God For 10 Reasons

1 - To Secure Happiness
2 – To Offer Surrender
3 – To Achieve Liberation.
4 To Establish Relationship with GOD and HIS devotees.
6 To Overcome Temptation.
7 – To Reach HIM
8 - To Receive HIS Grace
9 – To Remove Sins
10 – To Acquire Knowledge
11 One who gets the 10 factors listed above, gets liberated automatically

2.4 10 Requirements For Moksha

1. Silence
2. Brahmacharyam
3. Sastra Sravanam
4. Penance
5. Swadyanam
6. Swadharma Palan
7. Sastra Vyakya
8. Ekantha Seva
9. Japam
10. Samadhi

2.5 8 Simple Practices To Liberation

1. Ganga - mere mention of will remove all the sins
2. Bhagavad Gita - One word of will purify one
3. Gayatri Mantra - purifies, give strength and take Tulsi (Basil) leaves - dearer to Lord Narayana - removes all ailements
5. Namam - removes the unwanted water from the face and purifies you.
6. Saligrama Aradhana
7. Nama Japa – chant always without restrictions/reservations
8. Ekathasi Fast

Sacret Rivers of India

Ganga – Yamuna – Godavari – Saraswathi- Narmada- Sindu- Kaveri

2.6 Path to Liberation ( Moksha )

Karma Yoga Gyana Yoga ------ Bhakti Yoga ------
(Rajasic (Satvic) (Tamasic) Liberation)
perform all work for Knowledge of Atma Devotion / Love
pleasure, on HIS behalf vs Supreme 36 vidyas
(known as Satvika Tyaga )

Saranagathi (surrender) is the easiest path for the feeble & ignorant.

2.7 Liberation From Bondage 4-Ways

1 Salokyam - To reside in a Holy Place

2 Sameepyam - Do Kainkarya in a Temple

3 Saroopyam – To do Archana to the Lord

4 Sayujjyam - To merge with HIM

(Advaita recognizes only merger with the Supreme)

2.8 9 Kinds of Karma Yoga

1 Worship
2 Yagya
3 Control Senses
4 Gifts to Deserving
5 Fasting
6 Reside in holyPlaces / bathe in holy Rivers
7 Learn and Read Vedas
8 Recite Vedas.
9 To do Pranayamam

Patanjali’s Ashtangayoga ( 8 steps )

1. Yama pure conduct
2. Niyama pure body
3. Asana posture
4. Pranayama breath control
5. Pratyahara abstraction (controlling senses)
6. Dharana concentration
7. Dhyana meditation
8. Samadhai Super Consciousness

Pure Conduct : Ahimsa, Satya , Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
non-violence, truth, honesty, celibacy, non-acceptance of gifts)

Pure Body : Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Swadhyaya, Iswara Pranidhara
(cleaniness, happiness, penance, spiritual study, surrender)


Bhakti comprises of three dimensions. Ultimate bliss is obtained by one
who follows the following ;
• A Gyani with firm faith like Prahalad
• Has Madhura bhava (total love) like Radha
• Practices Atma Samarpana like Maha Bali

4 Types of Bhaktan devotee)

Arthan to recover lost wealth
2. Artharthi to get new wealth
3. Jigyasu to realize self
4. Gyani to realise HIM

ii) 3 Attributes of Bhakti

1. Parinama is the first step to Bhakti. It progresses in stages, as one’s wishes are fulfilled in return for prayers. It starts with motives and ends with firm faith.
•Arthan / Artharthi (Motives) are of 4 types
- desparate to save life, calls specific or any God ( Gajendran)
- separate to save honour, call a specific God (Draupadi)
- obtain material benefits, one has to regret sincerely (Kuchelar)
- obtain status/honour, one seeks security of God (Dhruv)
•Jignasu (seeker) : HE reveals HIMSELF after testing one’s faith (Udhava)
•Gyani (firm faith) : one who sees GOD in himself and everywhere,
he does not see HIM materially. (Prahalad)

2. Bhava (attitude or disposition) is of 4 types :
• Serene, Calm, Equanimous (Vasisht)
• Dasya (servant) (Anjaneya)
• Vatsalya (parental love) (Yashoda)
• Sakhya (friend) (Arjuna)
• Madhura (total love) Radha & Gopikas)

3. Anustana ( 6 forms of worship )

• - Namaskar (prostration)
• - Stuti praise)
• - Samarpan (offering of all actions & their fruits)
• - Sravan listening to His glory)
• - Chintan (recollecting HIM)
• - Seva Puja (worship in physical form)

9 Nine forms of Devotion

Sravanam (hear) Parikshith
Keertanam (sing) Sukar
Smaranam (japa) Prahlad
Pada Sevanam (be at HIS feet) Mahalakshmi
Archanam (puja) Bhrudu
Vandanam (prostrate) Akrurar
Dasyam (servant) Anjaneyar
Sakhyam (friend) Arjunan
Atma Nivedanam (Surrender) Maha Bali

This chapter will be coninued in next Blog


Thursday, July 23, 2009


In learn Vaishnavam- this blog is devoted to give encyclopedia of vaishnavam. Plenty of texts are available in internet about Sri Vaishnavam. Hence we have chosen a crisp, short form of encyclopedia type for our readers to refer this blog for any facts about vaishnavam

Sentries of Vaikundam :

2. Kumudakshan
3. Pundaraikan
4. Vamanan
5. Sankukarnan
6. Sarvendran
7. Sumukan
8. ; Sukhapradekshmadan

Nagas (serpants) :

2. Vasuki
3. ; Dakshan
4. Sankhapalan
5. Karkodan
6. Kuligan
7. ; Paduman
8. Maha Paduman

Ornaments worn by Garudan )
Sentries at Tirumamani Mandapam :

2. Prachandan
3. Bhadran
4. Subhadran
5. Jayan
6. Vijayan
7. Data
8. Vidata

Dig Palakarkal (In Charge of Directions) :

1. Indiran
2. Rudran
3. Agni
4. Vayu
5. Yama
6. Niruti
7. Kuberan
8. Varunan


Rushes to save devotees - Gajendran, Draupadi, Prahaladan
HIS mere touch liberates one Ahalya, Asuras sent by Kamsa
HIS will grants knowledge Dhruva, Valmiki, Kalidasa
4. -
Manifests in this world for HIS devotees - Dhruvan, Gajendran, Prahladan
5. Always with HIS devotees Gopikas, Ambarishan, Pandavas, Prahladan

Objects Obtained During Churning of Ocean

GOD manifested as Koorma (Tortoise) and supported the mountain.

1. HALAHALA poison - Lord Sivan (Neelakantan) drank it and saved the universe
2. Varuni Devi (Liquor) Asuras
3. Uchaisravas (horse) King Bali
4. Iravatam (elephant) Indran
5. Kaustaba necklace worn by Vishnu
6. Chandran (moon) worn by Sivan
7. Apsaras Devas
8. Mahalakshmi Vishnu’s chest
9. Parajita tree Indran
10. Dhanvantri (with Nector) - Mohini Avatar
11. Kamadeny (holy cow) - Rishis
12. Ear rings (Kuntalam) Aditi
13. Bow Vishnu
14. Conch Vishnu

1.20. Qualities of MahaLakshmi (SRI)

1. Srunaate destoys sins
2. Sreenaate promotes good conduct
3. Sreeyate worshiped by all
4. Srayate in high position
5. Srinote listens to sufferings
6. Sraavayate recommends toHIM

Places where Lakshmi resides

1. Guests are willingly hosted
2. respects are paid to devotees
3. Guru is worshipped
4. Dharma is protected
5. Truth (Satyam) is observed
6. Cow is protected
7. grains flourish
8. Chaste women (Pati Vrata) reside

1.21. Ashta Lakshmi

1. Gajalakshmi (elephant)
2. Aadilakshmi (ancient)
3. Santanalakshmi (progeny)
4. Dhanalakshmi (wealth)
5. Danyalakshmi (grains)
6. Vijayalakshmi (victory)
7. Veeralakshmi (valour)
8. Aiswayalakshmi (wealth)

Shodasa Laxmi

1. Vidyalakshmi
2. Yachalakshmi
3. Dhanalakshmi
4. Gajalakshmi
5. Santanalakshmi
6. Danyalakshmi
7. Dhairyalakshmi
8. Sidhalakshmi
9. Samrajyalakshmi
10. Mokshalakshmi
11. Saundaryalakshmi
12. Veeryalakshmi
13. Srilakshmi
14. Jayalakshmi
15. Prasannalakshmi
16. Sowbaghalakshmi

1.22. Krishna’s 8 wives

1. Rukmani
2. Kalindi
3. Mitravinda
4. Nagnajeeta
5. Jambavati
6. Rohini
7. Madri
8. Satyabhama

( They represent the 5 elements, mind, speech & ego respectively)

Lord Krishna gave salvation to Gopis and 16100 princess captured by Narakasura

Sri Renganatha’s Consorts.

1. Ranganayaki
2. Sridevi
3. Bhudevi
4. Kamalavalli Nachiar
5. Seran Kulavalli
6. Tulaka Nachiar
7. Andal

1.23. Guru Parampara


1. Sridhara ( Narayanan )lst Guru
2. Sri
3. Viswaksenar (Senai Mudaliyar)
4. Satagopan ( Nammalvar )
5. Nathamuni
6. Uyyakondar (Pundarikashar)
7. Manakkal Nambi (Rama Mishrar)
8. Alawandar (Yamunacharya)
9. Peria Nambi Maha Purnar)
10. Sri Ramunajar (founder of Vishistadvaita)

Hamsa School of Vaishnavism

Vishnu as Hamsa bird
Sanat Kumars
Nimbarkar (founder)

Advaita school
lst Guru Narayanan
Shakti (sons)
Govinda Bhagavatpada (disciples)
Adi Shankaracharya ( founder )
( Adi Guru is called Dakshinamurhty – silent )