In the process of Learning with the intense desire to experience the ripples of the endless Ocean of Hindu Dharma, a venture has been made to present a Summary of ‘Dharma Sindhu’ so exhaustively scripted by Maha Panditha Kashinatha Upadhyaya in 1790 AD. The Pandita himself stated that while the doyens of Dharma Shastra should readily appreciate the nuances of his Treatise on Dharma, the Commoners and Students would have an opportunity to acquire the rudimentary know-how on the Subject. This Summary seeks to make an honest effort in that direction.
This swifty Digest on the Practice of Dharma opens up with the basics of ‘Kaalamaana’ or Time Calulations ranging from Tritis to Yugas; the Tithi-Vaara-Paksha-Maasa-Ayana-Samvatsara Nirnayas; the influence of Solar-Lunar-Planetary-Nakshatras on Humanity and the Highlights of the Occasions that all Hindus tend to observe. Such opportunities include Social-Family-Individual Occurrences; they are also outlets for recalling the Almighty by way of Stotra- Japa- Keertana- Vrata-Homa-Tirtha Yatra Practices as are enabled by Mantra- Tantra-Yoga means. The next Subject of Coverage deals with ‘Samskaraas’ or Rituals signifying the milestones of Human Life from Births to Bereavements; these Ceremonials reflect the Character of the Society and normal compliance of Formalities as interpreted by distinct Sections of Hindu Dharma. The Samskaaras that constitute the way of Hindu Life range from Garbha Daana, Pumsavana, Janma Shanti, Nama Karana, Anna Prashana, Chooda Karma, Vidyaarambha, Upanayana and Vivaha. Brahmacharis and Grihastas enter into ‘Ahnika Karya Krama’ from Sandhyopaasana, Homa Prakriyas, Tarpanaas, Prayaschittas, Vaishwa Devas, Yagnaas, Daanas, Nitya-Naimittika-Kaamya Vratas, Murti Pratishtha Karyas for Societal Benefits and so on. In fact, these major components establish the Core of Dharma or the Unique Approach to Virtue, keeping in view the high pedestals of the foregone Yugas vis-a-vis the diluted and disillusioned Kali Yuga. The Uttara Bhaga handles the inevitable part of mortal Life and its Termination. Its coverage ranges from Preta Samskaraas, Antya Kriyas, Dina-Paksha-Maasa-Abdika Vithis etc. which need to be carried out in favour of the Pitru Devatas as one expects that his / her sons should perform too for the Peace and Liberation to the Departed Souls like they did themselves. The Extra-Terrestrial Duties are strongly beholden as the Relieving Points to redeem the Departed Ones as also to bestow gratification to the Performers. Appropriately enough, the essence of Human Life leads to the final conviction of Vairagya or the Other-Worldliness and the chapter on ‘Sanyasa’ fits in well as the last portion of Dharma Sindhu.
The thought of concising and editing Dharma Sindhu in English occurred since such works have not been identified easily. Also, this desire was overdue but the last few years of mine were over-crowded
with the preparation of concising some twenty Puranas in English all of which were released by the website of Kanchi Shankara Matha viz. kamakoti.org/news in the Articles Section. Indeed I am highly indebted to the grace of HH Vijayendra Saraswati for his inspiration and pro-active guidance.
I dedicate my efforts in this venture to my parents Shri Vemuri Narayana Murti and Smt. Sita Ravamma and seek their blessings from Heavens.