|SELF DISCOVERY KNOW THYSELF (THATVABODH)|
|All the things which are being in this world can be classified as sensient and insensient things. Sensient things are those with life and insensient things are the inert things.|
|The sensient things can be divided into human beings and animals. Though the necessity of food, sleep, fear of survival and procreation are common to both, the important criteria, which differentiate them, is the faculty called Budhi or intellect. In this context the budhi can be defined as that faculty which enables human beings to set goals, plan them and achieve the same.|
|The faculty is there from the childhood till the old age and it varies in quality and quantity relevant to particular stage of life. These could be as many ventures of goal as there are human beings.|
|Our shastras classifies all these qualities called as
purusharthas into four categories namely (1) Artha (2) Kama (3)
Dharma and (4) Moksha.
In this context the word purusha indicates only human beings and that includes both male and female. Now the important features of these classification are as follows : -
|1. Arthas :- Any purushartha that is undertaken for the sake of
security or survival is called Artha. Example money, property etc. This is necessary for
the basic needs of life. But the desire to accumulate money or power depending upon how
one has complicated his life.
|2. Kama: - Purusharthas persued for the sake of sense pleasures are
called kama. It does not mean desire alone but any boga can be called kama. Sometimes boga
will also include Artha.
|3. Dharma: - We believe in rebirth, which depend on the good or bad
deeds done in this life. These are called punya or papa. All the punya karmas are
classified as Dharma. This is not only applicable to the next life but also help us to
lead a better life in this life too. All the three purusharthas are called Preyas. Though
they are required and useful but they have three main defects.
|For people who want to be
free from all the above defects that is to be happy and always secured without depending
on the outside world we have the fourth Purushartha called Moksha.
We start out life with Artha and Kama and then Dharma comes into picture. Action can bring both Adhrusta pala and Dhrushta pala. They can be either positive or negative results. They are called punya if it is positive results and papa if it is negative results.
The three Artha, Kama and Dharma called Preyas are necessary and useful for our relative life. But the fulfillment we get out of them is fleeting in nature just like we get satisfied after full meals so after the food gets digested we are ready for the next meal. So also these preyas is endless and cannot give us satisfaction.
|Any addiction will create problem when these defects are not analysed thoroughly. By most of the people, the viveki, one who analyses starts seeing the defects and understands that there is a defect free goal. Absolute freedom from depending on external factors of the world to be happy and secured. This is Moksha and Moksha is called Sheryas. Preyas is pleasing and relatively good whereas Shreyas is for absolute good. The Shreyas in other words called as Paramapurushartha. This Shreyas, Moksha, Paramapurushartha puts an end to all our struggles. Having gained this Shreyas we need not gain anything. Very few only think of Shreyas and try for this.|
|To pursue Moksha purushartha we have to depend on a body of knowledge called " Shastras".
The shastras can be defined in two ways namely
(1) The body of knowledge by which human beings are taught is called Shastras
(2) It is also defined as that which protects the human being by teaching. Shastras cannot be forced upon a person but it is available for help.
The shastras can be grouped into two types namely:
|a. The Vedas which are moola pramanas.
b. Secondary scriptures into four classifications Sutras, Smruthi, Puranas and Ithihasas.
|a. Vedas: - Vedas are the original and self authentative. They are not written by any human beings. Hence they are called A pourisheyam. Vedas are given by the Lord and received by Rishis in their deep meditation. Thus the Rishis were like trasistors. The Vedas are always available in the atmosphere and can be received by those who are tuned to them. The body of Manthras are edited and compiled by Vyasa. The Vedas are four in number. They are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharvana Veda.|
The secondary Vedas are not authentic by themselves and written by Rishis to understand better by the common people. So it is Pourishya.
|Suthra :- Brief
presentation ; Aphorism example Apasthamba Suthra, Dharma Suthra.
Smruthi :- There are eighteen smruthis. Out of them Manu Smruthi is popular. They are in elaborate slokha form written by various Rishis and they talk mainly about Dharma.
Puranas: - Story form containing the recitation of Vedas only.
E.g.: Vishnu Purana written by Parasura Batta.
Ithihasa: - These are history which happened really E.g.:
Ramayana and Mahabaratha. It gives the teaching of Veda in the form of history.
|Vedas are divided into 2
(1) Poorva Baga (2) Vedantha
(1) The Poorva Baga is called karma kanda and it deals with preyas purushartha. Since this type of Athikaris and relevant purusharthas are different part of Veda and this part of veda is very voluminous
Vedantha : This is the end portion of Vedas. It deals
with Shreyas purushartha i.e. Moksha.
This is called Upanishad.
Vedas has given us the scheme both for social harmony and individual harmony. The scheme to organise the society for the social harmony is called Varnashrama vyavastha. Here varna means division and the society is divided into 4 varnas
i.e. Brahmana, Shatriya, Vysya and Sudhra.
|These divisions are
based on the three main factors as follows:
|There is gradation in the classification. Guna Brahmana is considered to be superior to the other three gunas. Shathriya guna is placed
second, Vysya guna is placed third and Shudhra
guna as the fourth.
This gradation is justified as every individual can evolve themselves from lowest guna to the highest.
The third criteria for the classification is based on the profession adopted by the
individual. Religious activity is considered as Brahmana Karma.
Politics and defence considered as Shatriya Karma. Business
and commerce considered as Vysya Karma. Serving the above
three is considered as Sudhra Karma. There is no gradation in
this, as all professions are important for the society.
As could be seen all the divisions (varna) are important for the societys harmony and infact varnas are regarded as part of Baghavan and all parts are important. Also except for caste (Jathi) we have a choice in guna and profession to choose our varna. Ones swabava and family profession forms the basis of this choice. We should realise money alone should not be the criteria for choosing ones profession.
An individual and society cannot be separated, as both are interdependent. Both Varna Vyvastha and Ashrama Vyavastha (stages of life) meant to take care of the harmony of the individual and the society.
Earlier there was a synchronisation of the three factors Janma, Guna & Karma of the Varna Vyavastha and there was a social hormony. But man because of his exploiting tendency, misused the system of Varna vyavastha Brahmana felt that they are superior because of their birth in the Brahmana family. The respect for guna lost its significance. Because of individuals raga dwesha the varna vyavastha itself losts its significance. But to get Moksha the guna is very important and the seeker should be a guna Brahmana. Thus to help the individual growth and harmony and to evolve himself we had the Ashrama Vyavastha i.e. the stages of life. According to our shastras the stages of life are divided into four namely (1) Brahmacharya (2) Gruhastha (3) Vanaprastha and (4) Sanyasa.
activities and practicing meditation.