This blog aims at bringing out the past glory and history of India, Hinduism and its forgotten values and wisdom. This is not copyrighted so as to reach genuine seekers of these information. Its my prayer that only genuine seekers - and not vandals & plagiarists - come to this site.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Rama in Treta yuga – Yuga is defined on the basis of dharma and not the number of years.
It is generally thought that the Yuga classification is
on the basis of chathur yugas which run into lakhs of years.
It is on this basis, Ramayana is believed to have occurred about 17 lakh years ago.
But there is a distinction between yuga classification on the basis of ‘Div”
or stars that revolve in the universe
and the classification based on the human level of existence.
The yuga classification on the basis of divya yuga (sun and stars) is used
to express a particular event in the macrocosmic time scale,
starting from the beginning of creation
which occurred 10 to the power of 17 times the solar years.
(Bhaskara has given this number which is equal to Para-ardha = half of Brahma’s Parama ayuL
of 100 deva / divya years)
An year in this 100 year duration is made of 365 days of devas.
Each of this day is made of 2 kalpas.
A kalpa =a day of Brahma = a night of Brahma = 14 manvanthras of 71 chathur maha yugas each = 20 rounds of sun around the galactic centre of roughly 220 million years of duration = ½ the duration of Sun’s estimated life )
Since a day is made up of a day--kalpa and a night-kalpa,
a day of Brahma is equivalent to the life of sun with its brilliance for 10+ billion years +
a period of anthakaara (darkness) without sun for the same duration of 10+ billion years.
This yuga classification runs into millions and billions of years which is suitable
to express the life span of stars (nakshathras which are considered to be devas ) (1)
This classification is primarily used in the context of dik, desa and kaala.
Dik (direction), desa (country) and kaala (time)
are the most important factors
in any work.
When someone wants say or convey something,
he / she will say the place and time from where he / she is speaking or communicating.
This is about desa.
Dik is also important as desa,
because the division of earth into north and south in terms of ayana
makes a difference to the other two, namely, desa and kaala.
Dik is important for another reason too
as it is relative to desa and time (night or day).
So any religious rite that has to be done, is carried out
first by stating the place of performance in terms of dik, desa and kaala.
Kaala is not just about day or night at a place.
It is about that time in the month (solar / lunar month),
in the paksha,
in the rithu,
in the ayana,
in the 60 years rotation (prabhavaadhi) of the sun,
in the divya yuga,
in the manvanthra,
in the kalpa and
in the context of Para (parama ayuL of Brahma).
This line of progression from the lowest unit to the highest unit
is reversed in practice and is said from the highest to the lowest, for,
only then it will make sense!
(It is interesting to note that this kind of deduction from
the large scale to small scale
or the unit level is followed in Russia in their postal address!)
It is like how it is said that I am the great grand child of so and so,
grand child of so and so and child of so and so.
We start from the higher unit or that which forms the Whole
and deduce from that,
our relationship or position at the bottom level.
It is from the Whole, the location of the Part is known.
Any religious rite starts with a sankalpa or vow in this way
by identifying oneself
with dik, desa and kaala.
Thus the Divya yuga classification had been vogue for enunciating Kala-parimaaNa.
Whereas, the yuga classification at human level is known by Yuga dharma only.
Even in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that he will be born again and again
The Kshathriyas and Brahmins took part in or conducted these yajnas.
The others were doing their duties as prescribed.
But some violation of dhrma happens in Tretha yuga.
Because in Tretha yuga, adharma spreads ¼ of its influence.
The adharma in Tretha yuga was in the form of rivalries among kings.
The first symptom of this is seen in the reign of Rama’s ancestor, Asita,
when rivalries were first reported.
Asita however defeated the detractors and banished them as mlecchas.
They were settled in the middle east,
which later came to be known as the cradle of civilization of the modern era –
as the yuga dharma of Kali yuga in the cosmic scale (Kali of Chathur maha yuga)
is that what is banished in the previous yugas will get glorified in Kali yuga
(and vice versa).
In Tretha yuga, the first symptom of violation of that yuga dharma was untimely death.
When adharma was there, the first casualty was the life span.
This means there will be unnatural, and untimely death, calamities and sorrow.
In Dwapara yuga, adharma spreads 2/4 th of its influence,
and that is why it is dwapra (dwi).
In this yuga, Brahmins, Kshathriyas and Vaisyas get equal status in doing tapas.
In Kali yuga, only ¼ th dharma is there, as adharma spreads ¾ of its influence.
In this yuga,
all the four vanas get equal status in doing tapas or in religious activities.
This is how it is explained by sage Narada in urttara khanda of Valmiki Ramayana.
This explanation is given by Narada to Rama in the context of
why a young boy died before 14 years (alpaayuL) in Tretha yuga.
Such an incident could not happen in Tretha yuga
unless the yuga dharma was flouted.
It was found that a person belonging to the 4thvarna
was doing tapasya which was a dharma only in kali yuga
and which was against the yuga dharma of Tretha yuga.
That person was eliminated by Rama as it was his duty to see that
Tretha yuga dharma was maintained.(the dead boy regained life after this)
This is something unacceptable in today’s world.
But we must know how Rama lived.
His yuga dharma was such that
he did not even accept his wife after securing her release from Ravana.
He banished her later, after knowing the mind of his subjects.
We can say that Rama could have as well relinquished his crown
and chosen to live with his wife who was pregnant then.
The same predicament, if it has happened in this Kali yuga,
would have been dealt with in this way only.
We know of a British monarch in waiting,
who gave up his right to the throne to live with his lady-love.
Such an incident is indicative of Kali yuga dharma
but can not happen in Tretha yuga.
Rama could not leave the throne for the sake of his wife.
Instead he and his wife had to do the needful
so that the Throne receives the first born as a blemish-less king.
That was the dharma then.
Yes another dharma of Tretha yuga is that,
the king must be the first born of his father.
It is on this basis only,
Bharatha refused to accept the throne after Rama’s return
and in spite of Rama’s request. (5)
That is also why Sibi,
the ancestor of Rama is not mentioned in the chronicles of Ikshvaku dynasty (6).
It is known from the copper plates of Thirvaalangaadu,
that the Cholas were the descendants of Sibi..
The copper plates reveal the Chola genealogy,
according which, the ancestry was the same for Rama and Cholas until Mandhatha
(mentioned as Mandhathri in the copper plates).
But the lineage differs from then onwards.
It is known from Valmiki Ramayana (6)
That Mandhatha’s son Susandhi had two sons
of whom the first one, Dhruva sandhi took over the reigns
and the lineage continues from him.
There is no mention of the lineage of the second son, Prasenajit.
In the copper plates of Cholas,
the lineage continues with Muchkundha and others
whose descendant was Sibi.
Though there is no mention of Sibi in the Ikshvaku chronicle
described by Vasishta at the time of Rama’s wedding,
Rama mentions Sibi as his ancestor elsewhere in Ramayana.
This is true as he belonged to the Ikshvaku family only.
But he was not of the direct lineage –
that is, in the lineage of the first born,
to be qualified to ascend the throne in Tretha yuga.
But Sibi's ancestors seemed to have got connected with other families
which will be discussed later in the 'No dravidian divide' posts.
This rule about the first born male,
also lends an explanation or rationale for the craving of Dhasharatha for a male child,
though there are indications in Ramayana
that he was not childless
and was already blessed with a female child, called Shantha.
The craving for a male child as the first born for even commoners
can be traced to this rule of Tretha yuga
when yajnas and manthra- based activities were at their peak.
The first son bequeathed the tradition of the family then.
Thus it can be seen that only the first born was given importance
for succeeding the throne.
When so much importance was attached to the King
there is no wonder that Rama stuck to the rule-book of the king.
Rama could not abdicate his responsibility to the throne
for the sake of his wife.
He had to sacrifice his personal life for the sake of the throne.
When he had to be ruthless - even with reference to his beloved wife,
he could not act against the yuga dharma
which did not allow the 3rd or 4th varnas to do tapasya.
But this particular episode (of killing the 4thvarna doing tapas)
has become the whipping stuff
to accuse Hinduism itself.
We accept this accusation as the yuga dharma of Kali!!
Thus we find that yuga is based on yuga dharma.
(1) Purusha sookhtham which says that Purusha has the roopam or appearance of nakshathras / stars – “nakshathraaNi roopam”
(2) Srimad Bhagavatha (11-7-2), Vishnu purana (4th and 20th chapters) and Matsya purana (adhyaya 271 – slokas 51 & 52) say that Kali yuga entered immediately after Krishna shuffled off his mortal coils.