Culture, Politics

The need for Hindu parents to inculcate Hindu values in Children

I am glad my daughter studies in a “Hindu” school. It is not easy nowadays to get an admission into a “Hindu” school given how the RTE act discriminates against “Hindu” establishments while privileging minority institutions.

The decision to move to Mysuru from Bengaluru has obviously helped. Mysuru is less crowded, less competitive, and importantly more culturally rooted, unlike Bengaluru where the majority have been deracinated from their cultural and religious moorings.

Importantly, she gets to read and learn Sanskrit, Kannada, and Hindi along with English. She gets to chant the Bhagavad Gita and Vande Matharam without having to worry about being “Secular”

I myself unfortunately studied for 12 long years in a christian missionary school. It is only now when I think back to those years that I realize how I was not exposed to a single Hindu custom or culture during those 12 long years. Syncretic culture is just plain bullshit. I remember listening to parables from the Bible, attending Mass before exams and participating in Elocution and poetry competitions where it was always about Shakespeare, Wordsworth and a litany of English authors and poets. No Vande Matharam, no Indian poets and nothing from the Hindu culture or History. I was just lucky that despite all this my upbringing at home kept me tied to my roots however tenuously. It has been a long and (still ongoing) uphill task as I make up for the “lost” years trying to play catch-up

I have over the last few years made every attempt to make up for the lost time as I battle on – learning sanskrit, reading and understanding the Vedas and Upanishads, the Gita and all of the other treasures that are scattered across the immensely vast landscape of Sanatana Dharma.

The responsibility of preserving our culture lies with us, this generation – it starts with Hindu parents telling their children about who they actually are and introducing them to the fountainhead of spirituality and culture. Else, I am afraid in a few decades Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma as we know it will be long gone…

Culture, History, Religion

The Vedas and their grand concept of TIME – Yugas, Kalpas, Manvantaras, and Brahma

The sheer grandeur with which the concept of “TIME” in its macro sense is discussed in the Vedas boggles the mind. Often, modern interpreters make the mistake of trying to look at similarities between these calculations and those arrived at by modern science as if validation by modern science is the only way the Vedas could be redeemed.

The more important point according to me is to soak in the grandeur and conceptual brilliance of the minds that could think at such a grand cosmic level and come up with numbers that run into Trillions without the help of modern telescopes, satellites and all the other paraphernalia of modern astronomy and science. That their numbers are so close to what modern science says is testimony to the greatness of those seers and vedantins.

In the Srimad Bhagavata (Skandha-III; Chapter-11; Verses 21-23) it is said:

For the Brahmaloka and the realms outside the Universe, a day of Brahma is equal to the 4 yugas multiplied by a 1,000. His night is of equal duration. Creation starts at Brahma’s waking and continues for the entire duration of his day. When he approaches his (Brahma’s) night, he stops all activities, dissolves everything in himself and sleeps…

A short summary of the concept of macro-time as envisaged in the Vedas and explained in the Bhagavata is given below:

  1. There are 4 yugas and each yuga consists of a fixed number of years. {Note that the number of years in each Yuga is in the descending ratio of 4, 3, 2, 1}

    • Satya Yuga: 17,28,000 years (1.728 million years)
    • Treta Yuga: 12,96,000 years (1.296 million years)
    • Dvapara Yuga: 8,64,000 years (0.864 million years)
    • Kali Yuga: 4,32,000 years (0.432 million years)
  2. The 4 Yugas together constitute 1 Maha Yuga (Chatur Yuga) =  43,20,000 years (4.32 million years)

  3. 1,000 such Maha Yugas (i.e 4.32 million years X 1,000) = 43,20,000,000 years (4.32 billion years) makes 1 KALPA or “1 day of Brahma”

  4. Each Kalpa is divided into 14 Manvantaras with each Manvantara headed by a Manu. In other words each Manvantara consists of 71.4 Chatur Yugas. 14 such Manvantara cycles adds up to 1 Kalpa. We are believed to be in the reign of the 7th Manu – Vaivasvata (which is what we say in the Sankalpa mantra “Vaivasvata Manvantare“) and within this Vaivasvata Manvantara we are in the 28th Chaturyuga (again we say this in the Sankalpa mantra “Ashta-vim-shatatitame“)

  5. A similar 4.32 billion years constitutes the “night of Brahma” adding up to a total of 8.64 billion years (which is very close to the modern scientific belief that the earth will not be inhabitable when it reaches the age of 7.5 to 8 billion years and is also the accepted period spanning creation through dissolution)

  6. From now the numbers  are so mind boggling they take one’s breath away: As we have seen 8.64 billion years is the one full day of Brahma. 365 such days constitute 1 year of Brahma! and on this basis his lifespan is a 100 years!! 311 to 315.36 Trillion years!!!

The image below is perhaps easier to comprehend:

vedic timeImage Source: mcremo (Image is not used for any commercial purpose. Copyright belongs to original creator)