07182011 - Daivi Vak - The celestial voices..

Its been long since I wrote a blog.. As I prepare for my first project under Story Telling - Advanced Communicator Bronze - title from Toastmasters International, I write this blog. Lets dive into the story now, shall we ?

This is a story from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and it goes like this:

trayah prajapatyah prajapatau pitari brahmacaryam usuh, deva manusyaasurah, usitva brahmacaryam deva ucuh; bravitu no bhavan iti;tebhyo haitad aksaram uvaca; da iti, vyajnasista iti; vyajnasismaiti hocuh, damyata, iti na attheti, aum iti hovaca, vyajnasisteti.

Once the "devas", "manavas" and "danavas" or "rakshasas" performed penance to gain knowledge. Pleased by their penance GOD himself appeared in front of them and asked them what they wanted. When the intentions were told, GOD called them each and spoke the following:

To the Devas, he said, "Da". The Devas nodded. GOD asked them, "Did you understand?", they said "Yes". He said, "then go and follow it".

To the Manavas, he said, "Da". The Manavas nodded. GOD asked them, "Did you understand?", they said "Yes". He said, "then go and follow it".

To the Rakshasas, he said, "Da". The Rakshasas nodded. GOD asked them, "Did you understand?", they said "Yes". He said, "then go and follow it".

Thus, GOD spoke of the divine knowledge, DA. DA is a root word (or dhatu) in Sanskrit. And the three kinds understood the root word in different ways.

The "Devas" who are beings without a body, are immersed in sensual pleasures. They understood "DA" as "Damyata", which means, refrain (or here, the lesson taught to them was - learn to refrain)

The "Manavas" who are the descendants of "Manu", are always greedy and want everything to themselves, understood "DA" as "Datta", which means, to give (or here, the lesson taught to them was - learn to give)

The "Danavas" or "Rakshasas" who are beings with gigantic body, are cruel and inhuman in nature and they understood "DA" as "Dayadvam", which means, to show mercy.

The lesson helped each of the kinds, live a happy and prosperous life.

Now, Lets go a little deep. If you think about this for a minute, all the "three kinds", are within us. Its the human being who wants sensual pleasure, for which GOD said, "Damyata". For his greed HE said "Datta" and for his cruel nature HE said "Dayadvam" and the lessons addresses points to counter the most important of the arishaD vargas - kama, lobha and krodha respectively. Infact, in the 2nd chapter of Bhagavadgeetha, Krishna talks about the origin of Kama and krodha, and what happens after that. Refer the 62nd and the 63rd slokas.

I am listing a few points I could gather after reading this story:

1. A lot of things can be said - without saying much. In this case "DA". This brings out the actual concept of "meditation". Do more by doing less more on this in a separate blog.

2. Each of the "kinds" understood the meaning based on the experience or a context - which is precisely the underlying point of the Vedas, the Upanishads, and all the Hindu scriptures. People say that these texts are encrypted, but I don't think so. The texts contain contextual meanings not generic ones. The words are woven such that they appear different to people with different mindset and this is what mandated the presence of a "guru" to learn the different meanings of these texts.

3. Management lesson: If you want to make a point, strike at the root. No explanation required!

4. They say spirituality is difficult to understand, but I don't think so. I have given this a lot of thought, and I believe that Spirituality is one of the most easiest things that's told to folks. Its a bunch of simple principles, but the difficulty lies in "following" them for a duration of time which is very long !! This thought in itself is worthy of another blog.. so let me save it for future.

5. The point that all the three kinds are within us, and its is "we" who choose our "kind", reminds me of Harry Potter's statement - The sorting hat allows you to choose your house!!

6. Why is this a "daivi vak" or the Celestial Voice ??

To answer this, I want to quote from T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" poem collection, and especially from the poem, "What the Thunder Said" -

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves Waited for rain,

while the black clouds gathered far distant, over Himavant.

The jungle crouched, humped in silence.

Then spoke the thunder - DA

So, the next time, in the monsoon season, when you hear the thunder, its a reminder, that you are the embodiment of the three kinds, and you have to follow the lesson taught to you by GOD. These lessons are echoed every where via the Celestial Voice the thunder makes, before the black clouds pour the rain - DA, DATTA, DAMYATA, DAYADVAM !!

Happy Guru purNima everyone :-)