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September 17 , 2016 !!
Back to Sundarakanda !
Welcome to kasarabada.org !
This week we are back to Sundarakanda with an article on the first Sloka of Sundarakanda based on the commentary of Shri Bhashyam Appalaacharyulu garu in his"Tattva Dipika". It is an interesting thought. This is also available in Telugu
On the Teachers day in 2015 we remembered all our school teachers. It is widely accepted that teachers are not necessarily the ones we had in our schools only. The process of learning is continuous. Hardly a day passes without some learning. A few days ago in a discussion with my son I realized that there are still things I could learn. When that learning happens, the man of that moment is also a teacher.
This year on the teachers day of 2016, we fondly remember all those people from whom I learnt. In a long career there will be too many to mention. So this year's remembrances are focussed on those unheralded teachers from Naini who helped me get a foothold in the Telecom domain. This is part of our One more thing.
This week we also added the 15th chapter of Bhagavadgita in English. It is one of the important and oft quoted chapters of Bhagavadgita. Krishna elaborated in chapter thirteen that path of Devotion is also the way to overcome the three gunas ( Rajo, Tamo Sathvic)
But attaining the unswerving path of devotion is also not easy. To attain that path it is necessary to develop detachment about this world. Such detachment can be brought about by understanding the reality of the world. To bring out the reality about the world and thus develop detachment , Krishna brings about the discussion of Samsara and with that brings in a comparison with Asvattha tree. Asvattha is derived out of two roots "sva" tomorrow, "na stha" not there". Thus Asvattha means it that which is not there tomorrow , which is an apt description of a tree depicting Samsara.
The comparison of life to a tree has very much been part of ancient lore in different contexts. In Mahabharata itself at one point ( in Aranya Parva) it is said - "the eternal tree of Brahman which originated from the unmanifest as its root which is verily possessed of the intellect as its trunk which has for its hollows or the orifices the various organs, which has great elements as its branches, possessed of sense objects as its leaves, virtue and vice as its flowers with fruit of happiness and sorrow as a means for all living beings. This is the pleasure garden of Brahman. Felling this and splitting this with the supreme sword of Knowledge then as a result of obtaining Brahman, one does not again return from that !" Here the Samsara is effectively painted as a tree and felling that tree with the tool of knowledge or detachment one attains Brahman. Once one realizes Brahman he does not return from that.
In Kathopanishad also the comparison of life to "Asvattha" is used. Bhagavadgita being seen as having the nectar of Vedas naturally continues that comparison.
One may wonder why compare life with a tree when we are also so used to the reading about "Samsara Sagara", the ocean of Samsara to cross which we pray to the almighty. Sankaracharya gave a gem of clarity for the comparison with a tree. The Sanskrit word for tree is "Vruksha". Vruksha by etymology is that thing which can be felled. The tree is a thing that can be felled. The tree can be felled by an axe. Metaphorically the tree of Samsara also can be felled by the axe of detachment or the sword of knowledge.
The Asvattha tree with its roots or origins above in the Brahman , with its branches below with Vedas as the leaves is indeed imperishable. While the tree of Samsara is indeed some thing that is not there tomorrow , the Asvattha tree with Vedas as it's leaves is indeed imperishable. The one who knows this the perishability of the Samsara tree and the imperishability of the Asvattha tree emanating from Brahman with Vedas as its leaves is the knower of the truth of Brahman.
Krishna continues this comparison. That is what we hear in the Purushottama Prapti Yoga , the fifteenth chapter in Bhagavadgita.
We also have a new announcement on our Trust pages.
That is about the four scholarships offered through Athato Foundation at the Gayathri Vidya Parishad(GVP) Engineering college in Visakhapatnam in AP( India).
Happy reading !
||om tat sat||
- contributed by Kamaraju Turaga