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February 24 , 2012

Special issue on Hanuman !

This issue continues the series on the Role Models from Ramayana. This time the series moves on with Hanuman as the focus.

"Vikrantah tvam samardhah tvam" says Sita .

"Kritam Hanumata karyam" says Sri R ama.

"Tvayyeva Hanuman asti balam buddhi parakramah" says Sugriva.

Such is the awe inspiring part played by Hanuman! Like millions we are forever in love with Hanuman. So much so that we had earlier presented a two part series in praise of Hanuman Hanuamastuti Part 1 and Hanumastuti Part 2 . In a sense this issue is a continuation of our very first efforts.

In the Ramayana Role models we are looking at Hanuman as an embodiment of selfless service. The lead article on Ramayana in this issue is contributed by Turaga and is thus titled "Hanuman- The embodiment of Selfless service ". And this appears under Ramayan

No single article can cover all the deeds of Hanuman and we were tempted to add some more . We added two more articles on Hanuman. One is under the title 'In the thick of the Battle", which brings out an interesting side story during the battle in Lanka when everything is seemingly lost. Jambavan himself was almost dead. He was unable to see. He was not even sure who is alive and could recognize Vibhishana by his voice only. Jambavan asks Vibhishana if Hanuman is alive? . Vibhishana was surprised and asks Jambavan why he is asking about Hanuman and not about the two Brothers Rama and Lakshmana or even the King Sugriva or the Prince Angada ? The answer is the story and it appears on the Ramayana page .

We also cannot forget the "Jaya mantra" the battle cry of Hanuman in Lanka. Millions know this and this is brought out under "one more thing". That Sita's favorite is Hanuman is well known. Rama too is touched by the selfless service of Hanuman. And his famous last words to Hanuman remain prophetic:

"As long as Rama's story is told and retold amongst men, so long shall your kirti (fame) form part of it."

There will be more in the coming weeks on Ramayana.

Bhagavatam Chapter 82 of Dasama Skandha. It is a description of the meeting of virtually all people referred to in Bhagavatam Dasama Skandha. This in includes Pandavas and Kauravas , it includes Bhishma and Drona and all those warrior kings who participated in the Kurukshetra war.The Solar eclipse of those days brought all of them together at Syamantapanchaka. Apparently this event is before the war, although in earlier chapters of Dasama Skandha stories referred to an going Kurukshetra war. The Poet has probably used the chapter to close some loose ends. This chapter also brings to close the story of Gopis when Gopis get instructed by Lord Sri krishna about his realself and their relationship with him.The Last sloka says " Having been thus instructed by the Lord, the Gopis by constant meditation eradicated the mask on the soul, understood the Lord fully".

Athato Brahmajignyasaa this week continues with the elaboration of "Kathopanishad . Kathopansihad is one of the most widely read Upanishads in East and West. As usual the elaboration/ teaching on " Atman" and "Brahman" comes along as part of a story of Nachiketa's quest for knowledge. When Nachiketa was given boons by Yama, he chooses the knowledge of "Brahman" as his boon . Nachiketa tells Yama " Some say there is life after death and some say say not. I want to know the truth" . Yama was at first reluctant to tell . After testing Nachiketa by offering him several worldly temptations, Yama finally gives in and gives him the secret of "Brahman". When one reads a text of this nature one choice is to remove the complex language and paraphrase the same and give the gist of the Kathopanishad in a simple language. The other choice would be to stick to the rendering as is done in the original and present the same as is. A third choice is to stick to the rendering as is andadd he elaboration as given by the "Bhashyakars". The third would have been too complex and the first option too simple. So we are choosing the middle path. We will present the kathopanishad in its original form . This Upanishad is told in Two Adhyaya( Chapters) with Three Vallis (parts) each . The first part ( valli) of the first Adhyaya (Chapter) appears in this issue. The three parts of first Adhyaya will be brought on alternate week basis , alternating with "Ramayana Role models".

There are several slokas in Kathopanishad which are very beautiful and carry deep philosophical meanings. We will try to capture a few of such slokas and present them as part of the text.

Part of the effort in bringing the upanishads is to set at rest the common fear that Upanishads mean difficult text , difficult language and difficult thought processes. That simply is not true though to assimilate the thought processes does take an effort.

As stated the Ramayana Role models is appearing under Ramayanam.Shri Turaga has provided two links ( 1 , 2) for further readings.

As already stated the Ramayan and the role models are a perennial fascination for us and we had also published some books ( Raamudu- Sugunaabhiraamudu) and articles earlier !! This is available for download !!.

We continue our requests for suggestions and contributions.

Om Tat Sat


Witty Wisdom !

- contributed by Kamaraju Turaga


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