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(HinduDharma: The Vedic Religion And Varna Dharma)

IS ITSELF HIS GOD :

This is more or less a literal translation of the original. The Paramaguru means here more than what is conveyed by the statement. "Work is worship ". We may further elaborate his idea thus : A man who carries out the duties assigned to him by the sastras will come face to face with God. He will be freed from worldly bondage if he remains true to his svadharma or "own duty".

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RIGHT FLAVOUR:

In this passage the Paramaguru plays on the word "raga" which means [apart from a "musical mode"] "flavour", "mood", "quintessence", "taste", "the substance of aesthetic experience". "Rasam" is derived from "raga" and is used here for the well-known South-Indian culinary item, one variety of which is known to Englishmen as "mulligatawny:". "Rasabhasa" is diffuclt to translate. "Abhasa" literally means "reflection", "back-shining". In common usage "rasabhasa" means an "an important rasa", "contrary to good taste". In the South abhasa has come to mean anything that is "vulgar" or "indecent".

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BHAGAVATAR :

"Bhagavatar", strictly speaking, means a devotee of Bhagavan, the Lord. In the South the term also denotes a mucisian. ("Bhagavatar" is the honorific Tamil plural of "Bhagavata"). Here the word means particularly a musician who is also a story teller, what is called a "kirtankar" in Maharastra.

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SAMANYA DHARMA:

Part Twenty-two is devoted to this.

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COMMUNIST COUNTRIES :

This discourse was given many years before the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and EAstern Europe.

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ERUPT ANY TIME THERE :

These words spoken many years before the break-up of the Soviet Union have proved prophetic.

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KOMMUTTI CETTIS AND VELLALAS :

Non- Brahmin jatis of Tamil Nadu.

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NIDHANAM SREYAH :

Sreyan svadharmo vigunah para-dharmat svanusthitat

Svadharme nisdhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah

- Bhagavadgita, 3. 35.

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VAIDIKAS :

"Vaidika"is one learned in the Vedas. That the term has come to have a pejorative sense even among Brahmins shows the sorry state of the community.

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UPANAYANA :

For a detailed account of upanayana, see Part Seventeen. Also The Guru Tradition.

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MANTRA PART :

The mantra part of the Vedas is constituted by the Samhitas. This is dealt with in a subsequent chapter.

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VEDIC STUDY :

We must remenber that the Vedas are handed down orally from generation to generation. This precisely is the theme of the succeeding passages.

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SO MUCH IMPORTANCE :

See Chapter 7, Part Five.

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VIDVAN :

A Carnatic musician is usually referred to as a vidvan (f. "vidusi").

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BIRQAS :

Birqa is a fast and intricate passage in Carnatic music.

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OF THE SUBSTANCE :

The Paramaguru's holistic philosophy is reminiscent of Mach's Principle (Ernest Mach was a German physicist - it is after him that units of supersonic sound are named. ). Commenting on the principle Arthur Kostler says in his The Roots of Coincidence "Firstly there is the unity in things whereby each thing is at one with itself, consists of itself, and coheres with itself. Secondly, there is the unity whereby one creature is united with the others, and all parts of the world constitute one world. " Mach's Principle is stated in simple terms thus : "The whole is constituted of the parts and the part is constituted of the whole".

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ABSORBED IN INFINITY :

The transcendent space becomes the immanent space in the heart.

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VARUNA JAPA :

A rite in which Varuna, the god of the seas and water, is propitiated during times of drought.

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EKADASA - RUDRABHISEKA :

Ekadasa Rudrabhiseka is a ceremony in which the Sivalinga is bathed to the chanting of the Sri Rudra bymn (of the Taittiriya Samhita) eleven times.

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YOGA AND KARANA :

Tithi is the day according to the lunar fortnight. Vara is the day of the week and naksatra the astersim conjoining a given day. According to Mahamahopadhyaya P. V. Kane "Yoga is calculated from the sum of the longitudes of the sun and the moon (or it is the time during which the sun and the moon together accomplish 13 degrees and 20 minutes in space". Half a tithi is a karana. There are two kinds of karanas: cara (or moving) and sthira (immovable).

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EACH PADA TWICE :

This is dealt with again In Part Four.

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DEPENDENT ON HIS SUPPORT :

That is the Paramaguru's.

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MY VARNSASRAMA DHARMA :

Actually this is a collection of the Mahatma's writings on the subject. The Paramaguru must be quoting Gandhiji from memory.

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IN IT HE SAYS :

"Varnasrama is, in my opinion, inherent in human nature, and Hinduism has simply reduced it to a science. It does attach to birth. . . The divisions define duties, they confer no privilages. It is, I hold, against the genius of HInduism to arrogate to oneself a higher status or to assign to another a lowe. . . Varnasrama is self-restraint and conservation and economy of energy. .

" I have often shown the distinction between varnasrama and untouchability. I have defended the one as a rational, scientific, fact and condemned the other as an excrescence and unmitigated evil. . . . I do regard varnasrama as healthy division of work based on birth. . . . Varnasrama, in my opinion, was not conceived in any narrow spirit. On the contrary, it gave the labourer, the Sudra, the same status as the thinker, the Brahmin. It provided for the accentuation of merit and elimination of demerit, and it transformed human ambition from the general worldly sphere to the permanent and the spiritual. The aim of the Brahmin and Sudra was common -moksa of Self-realisation, not realisation of fame, riches and power. "

- from My Varnasrama Dharma by M. K. Gandhi.

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IN COMING TO THIS CITY :

This discourse was given in Madras.

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PITHA:

The reference is to the 50 th anniversary of the Paramaguru's installation as the Sankaracarya of Kanci Kamakoti Pitha in 1907.

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KANAKABHISEKA :

"Kanakabhiseka" literally means "showering ", "sprinkling" or bathing someone (usually a revered person likea an acarya) with flowers or coins made of gold or small pieces of the same metal.

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KACCERI -LIKE :

The term "kacceri"(from the Hindi kachari, meaning lawcourt) is used in the South for a music or dance recital.

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KALIDASA SAYS THE SAME THING :

The Paramaguru refers to this verse from Kalidasa's Malavikagnimitram:

Puranamityeva na sadhusarvam

Na capikacyam navamityavadyam

Santah pariksanyataarad bhajante

Mudhah parapratyayaneya buddhih

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SAMPATI - DANA :

Gift of wealth. Vinoba Bhave, the Gandhian started his movement first with bhoodan, then he enlarged it to include sampattidan and shramdan.

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JANMA-NAKSATRA:

"Janma-naksatra " is the asterism under which one is born. It occurs every month (or in a 27- day cycle).

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CANDRAMAULISVARA :

Candramaulisvara(Siva) is the tutelary deity of Kanci Kamakoti Pitha.

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"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here