in skand puraan asks saarsvat-muni
this question: (slok
"Some praise satya (Truth).
Others praise tapasya (penance) and
Some praise sankhya darshan
(philosophy). Others speak of yog shaastra
Some praise kshmaa
(forgiveness) and tittiksh (forbearance) as well as
Some praise maun-vrat
(vow of silence). Some say that learning is the greatest thing.
Some praise purna GNaan
(complete knowledge). Some praise param asaktah
Some know the dharmik vidhio of
agnistom as the greatest thing.
Some praise the GNaan (knowledge)
of aatmaa (soul), with which one views a lump of earth
or a stone or a lump of gold alike.
When this is the state of GNaan
in the world, people are deluded and confused in the matter of what
should be done and what should not be done.
People begin to argue as to which is
the best GNaan among the above and which is the GNaan
which contributes the most towards our welfare?
You who are conversant with dharma,
it is your dharma to say which of the above GNaan
is the greatest to be pursued by the noble aatmaa.
Which GNaan achieves all
purushartha (purpose, goals and objectives) of life?"
replied: (slok 1.2.40-41):
I shall speak about the essence that sarasvati-devi
told me. Listen to it.
"The entire vishva (universe)
is of the nature of a shadow. Origin and destruction are its guno
(characteristics features). vishva is transitory like
the bending and breaking of the eyebrows of a veshyaa
(wealth), jivan (life), yovan (youth) and
kaam (worldly pleasures) are unsteady like reflection of
the moon in water.
After performing dhyaan1
on this fact intelligently, one should resort to sthaaNu2
and daan (giving of charitable gifts as prescribed
by ved and shaastra which will be
explained later in the study)."
EXPLANATION OF 1: dhyaan
dhyaan is the 7th ang of the 8-ang
yog practice (please refer to TODAY'S PRAYER and VED PAGE for
learning about yog practice in daily life).
dhyaan is defined as a process of
meditation, reflection, thought, contemplation, through which divine
intuition or discernment is received.
Through the process of dhyaan one can form a
mental representation of the personal attributes of a dev or devi
or brhmah or any creation.
Explanation of 2: sthaaNu
sthaaNu is an epithet of shiv-dev who
is a manifestation of the tamas-gun-shakti of creator brhmah.
With this genesis of sthaanu, shiv-dev is
also given the attributes of brhmah-self which are firm,
fixed, steady, stable, immoveable and motionless. Figuratively, the
meaning is take refuge in brhmah to avoid the transitory and ephemeral
nature of this creation and all that is experience in creation. Only brhmah
is eternal. All brhmah's creation have origin in
brhmah and hence cyclically perishes at the end of one's cylce
of each life journey by being re-absorbed in brhmah for rebirth
to partake the karma-pahl (fruits of karma)
of each and every karma performed in sansaar
continues to reply: (slok 1.2.42):
says that a person inclined towards the rite of daan
is not liable to commit paap (sins). Similarly, the SHruti1
avers that a devotee of sthaanu does not undergo births and
Explanation of 1: Please look up SANSKRIT GLOSSARY
continues to reply: (slok
to the gaathaa (a dharmik verse or song not contained in shruti
in ved but comes from smruti) proclaimed
and sung by saavarNi-muni once
upon a time:
manifested as brhmah in the
naam (name) and ruup
(form) of shiv-dev is swami
or ishvar (lord) whose vehicle is the bull.
is truly tattvaM dharma
(essence of dharma).
(= sthaanu or shiv-dev) is
honoured and adorned. He is called param (most
Hara (= shiv-dev) redeems one from sansaar-saagar
(the ocean of worldly existence).
is where one gets immersed in its
is where dukh
(misery) is the whirlpool,
is where tamas-gun
(attributes which are non-sattvik or adharmik like
anger, greed, laziness) is intense,
is where dharma
constitute the water,
krodh (anger) is the marsh and mud,
is where ahankaar
(arrogance) and mada
(intoxication due to raag
or attachment) is the crocodile,
is where lobh
(greed) is the cause of all pain and difficulty,
is the bubble, and
is of which abhimaan
(false pride) and gourav
(prestige) is the majestic depth extending as far as paataal
(7 netherworlds where asuraao
have residence and where narak (hell)
is provided and graced with the vehicle of the sattva-guN."
continue to reply IN THE NEXT POSTING to enlighten us as to who we are as human
forms of embodied aatmaa and
what is the purpose of life of this human body with embodied aatmaa)
....om shaanti shaanti
(This presentation is prepared by shree champaklaal
dajibhaai mistry who acknowledge his debt to guru brahmaa-dev,
vyaas-muni, naarad-muni and saarsvat muni for their transmission of
original ved GNaan in sanskrit version of skand puraan. The above
presentation is based on sanskrit to English translation of skand
puraan by shree Dr. G. V. Tagare, G. P. Bhatt as published by Motillal Banarasidass
Publishers to whom shree champaklaal and PVAF acknowledges a debt with
offering of pranaam. The above presentation contains additional ved
text to the original puraan text for ease of understanding and learning
without corrupting the original text and its original GNaan.
Explanatory text from other ved sources is also added in brackets to
further facilitate the understanding and learning where it is deemed