Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Science as a Saarathi

While reading Brahmasutra-Anubhashya-Prakaash-Rashmi, I came across this nice segment in the commentary on the Sutra 1-2-4-12 "विशेषणाच्च |" within the "गुहां प्रविष्टौ आत्मनौ इति" adhikaran 4 of the second section of volume 1.

यस्त्वविज्ञानवान भवति अयुक्तेन मनसा सदा |
तस्येन्द्रियाण्यवश्यानि दुष्टाश्र्वा इव सारथेः ||
यस्तु विज्ञानवान भवति युक्तेन मनसा सदा |
तस्येन्द्रियाणि वश्यानि सदश्र्वा इव सारथेः ||
यस्त्वविज्ञानवान भवत्यमनस्कः सदा अशुचिः |
न स तत्पदमाप्नोति संसारं चाधिगच्छति ||
यस्तु विज्ञानवान भवति समनस्कः सदा शुचिः |
स तु तत्पदमाप्नोति यस्माद्भूयो न जायते ||
विज्ञानसारथिर्यस्तु मनः प्रग्रहवान्नरः ||
सोअध्वनः परमाप्नोति तद्विष्णोः परमं पदम ||

The rough translation of the above four verses is :

He who becomes a possessor of non-science due to always uncollected mind, his senses become uncontrollable like the bad horses of a charioteer.
He who becomes a possessor of science due to always collected mind, his senses become controllable like the good horses of a charioteer.
He who becomes a possessor of non-science, always remains unbalanced and unclean and doesn't reach The Goal (of being liberated or being with Supreme) and goes (afterwards) to the realm of false reality.
He who becomes a possessor of science, always remains equipoised and clean, reaches The Goal (afterwards) from which he isn't born again as mortal.
He who has Science as his driver and the controlled-mind as reins, reaches the Supreme state of Vishnu.

Vallabhacharya has quoted this (methinks Kath Upanishad) in the context of explaining the concept of Jiv (Soul) and Brahm (Supreme). The Bhagavad Gita also has a similar verse "आत्मानं रथिनम, शरिरं रथमेव तु | बुद्धिं सारथिं विद्धि, मनः प्रग्रहमेव च ||". The author of Rashmi - Shri Gopeshwarji - intelligently construes the synonymity between बुद्धि (intelligence) and विज्ञान (science) and explains why बुद्धि is given the analogy of सारथि (charioteer) as follows : "बुद्ध्या पदार्थान जानातीति ज्ञाने करणत्वेन बुद्धिसारथेर्विनियोग उक्तः |" ( Buddhi or Intelligence facilitates in the process of acquiring knowledge about objects i.e. Science). In nutshell, this segment asks us to make Science our driver in life. Science is equally important to Society as is Spirituality.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vitthaleshwar's Stay at Adel

Some time back, I had posted a poll on "How many years did Vitthalnathji (Gusainji) live in Adel?" And the correct answer to that is 47 years. We also know that he had lived for a total of 70 years (1516-1586 AD) which includes around 5 years in Gadha near Jabalpur and the rest in Gokul and Vraj. Surprisingly, almost all the literary references that we normally come across are for his time in Vraj, but rarely about the most significant duration of his life spent in Adel!

Of these 47 years, the first 15 were spent under the watch of Vallabhacharya and we get some references that he used to enjoy sports, swimming etc. In fact we also get the reference that he wasn't very attentive in his studies after the departure of Vallabhacharya. It is a mystery how the remaining 32 years - peak of his life time - were spent in Adel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ujjain Baithak

Ujjain or Avantika as known in the ancient times is one of the 12 sites in India that has a natural Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. It was home of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidas and the king Vikramaditya after whom the Vikram Samvant calendar system is based. It was also an active research center in mathematics and astronomy as exemplified by the contributions of Varahmihir, Bhaskar and Brahmgupta who spread the usage of Zero and positive and negative numbers to the Aarab.

Ujjain also has a Baithak of Vallabhacharya near the Sandipani Ashram where Lord Krishna had studied. It is a well maintained Baithak with good amenities and the Seva Prakar is quite elaborate. The residential staff (Mukhiya, Mukhiyani, Adhikari, Bhitariya etc) are very cordial and conducive to the devotional aspirations of the visitors. Here are some of the shots I had taken for you to enjoy.