HIGHEST DUTY OF PARENTS TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN
It is the highest duty of parents, preceptors, and relatives to adorn children with good sound education, nobility of character, refinement of manners, and amiability of temper.
The wearing of jewelry (gold, silver, pearls, rubies, diamonds. etc.) adds no beauty to the soul. It only arouses vanity and other lower passions, gives rise to fear of robbery, and may even be the cause of death. Many a child has been known to lose its life at hands of cut-throats because of wearing jewelry.
“Blessed are the men and women whose minds are centered on the acquisition of knowledge; who possess sweet and amiable tempers; who cultivate truthfulness and other similar virtues; who are free from vanity and uncleanliness.; who enlighten the minds of those who are in ignorance; whose chief delight consists in promoting the happiness of others by the preaching of truth, by generous distribution of knowledge without fee or reward; and who are engaged in altruistic work as prescribed by the Vedas.”
Yaiyopavita to be performed at the age of eight, both in the case of boys and girls.
Boys and girls, when they attain the age of eight years, should be sent to their respective schools. In no instance, should they be placed under the tuition of teachers of low character. Only those persons are qualified to teach who are master of their art and are imbued with piety. Dwijaas (twice-born) should have the Upnayan* of their children (both sons and daughters), done at home, before sending
*Initiation into student life of which the outward symbol is the sacred thread. – Rama Deva.
them to their respective schools. The seminary should be situated in a sequestered place. The boy’s school should be at certain miles distant from that of the girls. The preceptors and employees, such as servants, should, in the boy’s school, be all of the male sex, and the girl’s school of the female sex. Not even a child of five years of the opposite sex should be allowed to enter each others school. As long as they are Brahmacharis (students) they should abstain from the following eight kinds of sexual excitement in relation to persons of the opposite sex:-
The students of both sexes to be guarded against sexual excitement of all sorts.
. Looking upon each other with an eye of lust;
. Embracing each other;
. Having sexual intercourse with each other;
. Intimately conversing with each other;
. Playing with each other;
. Associating with each other;
. *Reading or talking of libidinous subjects;
. *Indulging in lascivious thoughts.
The principles underlying the Gurukula (seminary) system of Education
Teachers should see that students keep aloof from the above things, and thus they perfect knowledge, cultivate amiable dispositions and manners, gain in strength both of body and mind, and thereby grow up in happiness. The school must not be nearer than five miles to a town or a village. All scholars should be treated alike in the matter of food, drink, dress, seats, etc.
Be they princes and princesses or the children of beggars, all should practice asceticism.** They should be not allowed to see the parents, or hold any communication whatever with them. Being thus freed from all worldly worries and cares, they should devote themselves heart and soul to their studies. Their teachers should accompany them in all their studies. Their teachers should accompany them in all their recreations, so that they may not fall into any mischief, get indolent
*The last two constitute a sort of mental intercourse with persons of the opposite sex. -Tr. **By asceticism is here meant sever bodily and mental discipline – in other words simple living and high thinking should be the motto of the students. They should not solicit bodily comfort, instead bear all kind of hardships in order to wholly and solely devote themselves to the acquisition of knowledge, culture, etc. -Tr.
or naughty. Manu says:- “Both state and society should make it compulsory upon all to send their children (both male and female) to school after the fifth or eighth year. It should be made a penal offence to keep a child at home after that age.” MANU : (Free compulsory education).
THE GAYATRI MANTRA – A PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION OF THE UNDERSTANDING
The first Upanayana ceremony should be performed at home, and the second in the school. Parents as well as teachers should teach Gaitri Mantra* to the children with its meanings, thus:- “O lord! O personification of True existence, Intelligence and Bliss! Everlasting, Holy All-wise, Immortal, Thou art unborn, without any symbolical distinction and organization, Omniscient, Sustainer and Ruler of the Universe, Creator of all, Eternal, Protector and preserver of the Universe, O All-pervading Spirit! O Ocean of mercy! Thou art the Life of the Creation, Thou art an All-blissful, Being the very contemplation of Whom wipes off all our pains and sorrows; Thou
*Aum Bhur Bhuvah swah, Tat Savituh Varneyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyoh Yah nah Prachodyaat. The words and meaning of the Gayatri Mantra are:-
Aum – See Chapter one
Bhur – One Who is Life and Support of the whole Universe, is dearer than life itself and is Self-existent.
Bhuvah – One Who Himself is free from all sorrows and pains, and Whose contemplation wipes off all over, pains and sorrows.
Swah – One Who pervades this multiform universe and is the Support of all.
Tat – Him.
Savituh – Of One Who is the maker of the Whole World and from Whom all power proceeds.
Varneyam – One Who is All-holy and worthy of our adoration.
Bhargo – is One Who is Himself pure by nature and purifies others and Who is All-intelligence.
Devasya – of One Who bestows happiness on all and is sought after by all.
Dhimahi – May we contemplate.
Dhiyoh – Understandings. (intellect).
Yah – Who.
Nah – Our.
Prachodayaat – May guide art the Sustainer of the Universe,
Father of all; may we contemplate Thy holy adorable nature so that Thou mayest guide our understanding. Thou art our God, who alone art to be adored and worshipped. There is none beside, Thee, who is equal to Thee or above Thee. Thou alone art our Father, Ruler, and Judge. Thou alone bestoweth happiness.” YAJUR VEDA : .
After they have learnt the above mantra with its meanings, they should be taught the method of ‘Divine Worship’ (Sandhyaopaasanaa)* with its preliminaries and accessories a Bathing. Achamana (Sipping of sanctified water) and Praanaayaama (Deep Breathing).
PRELIMINARY ACCESSORIES OF SANDHYA OR DIVINE MEDITATION
The preparatory, non-essential stages of worship are:-
. Bathing – which effects bodily cleanliness, and ensures health. Manu says:- “Water washes off the impurities of the body. Truth exalts the mind. Knowledge and strict devotion to duty elevate the soul. Possession of ideas refines the intellect.” MANU : . Every man should, therefore, bathe before his first meal.
o Achamana – This consists in taking in as much water as can be held in the palm of one’s hand by applying the lips to the root and centre of it. The quantity of water should be just sufficient to reach the lower part of the throat. Its object is to relieve irritation of the throat of dryness thereof if present.
o Maarjana – is to sprinkle wate, with the points of the middle and index fingers, on the face and other parts of one’s body. Its object is remove drowsiness. If a person be not drowsy, or if water be not obtainable, it can be dispensed with.
*Only the stages of ‘Divine Worship’ are her given. The author has treated this subject in detail in his book called “The Five Great Daily Duties.” – Tr.
THE ESSENTIAL STAGES OF DIVINE MEDITATION
The essential stages of (Sandhyaopaasanaa) are as follows:-
. Praanayaama – or control of the breath. Says Patanjali, in his Yoga Shaastra :- “The practice of Praanaayaama gradually burns off all impurities and exalts the soul. The light of knowledge in the soul goes on continually increasing till the soul is emancipated.” YOGA Shaastra Saadhanapaada, .
Manu says:- “Just as a goldsmith, by blowing strongly against a piece of impure gold, removes its impurities by oxidation, so does Praanaayaama burns off all impurities of the mind and senses.” MANU :
Method of Praanaayaama – “As in the act of vomiting all the contents of the stomach are violently expelled, so should the breath be exhaled forcibly, and held out as long as possible by drawing up the pelvic viscera.” YOGA Shaastra, Samadhipada, .
When discomfort is felt, the air should be gently inhaled. This process should be repeated according to one’s desire and strength. This exalts the purity of the soul and develops concentration of mind. Praanaayaama is of four kinds:-
o Baahya Vishaya – It is the process described above in which the breath is held out as long as possible.
o A’Bhyantara – In which the breath is held in as long as possible.
o Stambha Vritti – In which the breathing is suddenly stopped at any stage of respiration.
o Baahyaabhyaantaraakshepi – In which the ordinary course of breathing is reversed, exhalation is forcibly begun
when inhalation is going on, and vice versa. By thus reversing the course of respiration, both exhalation) and inhalation are in turn stopped, and thus the processes of respiration comes under control, and consequently mind and senses come under the control of the Will. During Praanaayaama one must recite AUM in mind, by doing so ones soul and mind become pure and stable.
By the increase of bodily strength and activity, the intellect becomes so subtle that it can easily grasp the most abstruse and profound subjects. It also helps to preserve and perfect the reproductive element in the human body, which, in its turn, produces self-control, firmness of mind, strength, energy, and acuteness of intellect.
Girls as well as boys, should practice Praanaayaama.
. Aghamarshana – Repentance and intense desire to keep aloof from even the thought of sin.
. Manasaa Prakrimana – Mental Rotation, i.e., – directing one’s mind in all the six different directions of space – North, South, East and West, Above and Below – and feeling in each direction the presence of God.
. Upaastha – Realization of God as the source of all Light, Life, Knowledge, etc.
. Stuti – Glorification; Praathnaa –Prayer; Upaasanaa – Communion.
THE SITE SUITABLE FOR DIVINE MEDITATION
This Sandhyopaasanaa should be performed in some lonely spot, with a concentrated mind. Manu says:- “Seek some lonely spot, by the side of the water, concentrate your mind and perform your Sandhyopaasanaa. Never forget to recite the Gayatri Mantra mentally and contemplate its manifold meaning and act accordingly.”MANU : .
Teachers should also teach all that is necessary regarding diet, dress and proper behaviour towards superiors and inferiors.
THE SECOND GREAT DAILY DUTY
Devayagna, the second Great Daily Duty, comprises (Agnihotra – the feeding of fire with clarified butter and aromatic substances for sanitary purposes – and associating with, and serving devout and learned persons.
These two duties – Sandhya and Agnihotra- are to be performed twice daily – morning and evening – it is only twice during hours that day and night meet.
One hour, at least, should be devoted to Divine Contemplation, which should be practised with perfect concentration of mind, as Yogis practise Yoga.
The time for Agnihotra is twice daily, i.e., just after Sunrise and just before Sunset.
The vessels to be used are:-
. Vedi – a vessel (earthen or metallic, having the shape of an inverted truncated pyramid, for making the fire in. It should have the following dimensions Top square having each side of 12 to 16 fingers length, having depth of same dimension as side of top square and bottom square having side of one-fourth the tops dimension.
. Two vessels for containing water, which may be required for washing hands, etc.
. A butter dish, to keep the clarified butter in
. A spoon, made of wood, silver or gold.
Method:- Let few sticks of wood (Sandal, Buica Frondosa or Mango) (of good quality) be laid at the bottom of the Vedi, fire
be placed in the middle and similar pieces of wood laid on this again. Let the clarified butter be properly warmed, mixed with odoriferous substances and then poured over the fire in the Vedi, one spoonful after each HOMA MANTRA being recited. Reasons for performing Homa are given below in Question and Answer form:-
1– What is the good of doing Homa?
A.~ It is a well-known fact that impure air and impure water are productive of disease, which, in turn, causes so much pain and misery, whilst pure air and pure water are productive of health, and consequently of happiness
I should think it would do people more good to apply Sandal locally as a plaster, and eat butter instead. Is it wise to waste these things by destroying them in fire?
A.~ That only shows your ignorance of Physical Science, for it is one of its cardinal principles that nothing is really lost in this world. You must have noticed that, even when you are standing at some distance from the place where Homa is performed, you can smell a sweet fragrant odour in the air. That alone proves that an odoriferous substance put into the fire is not destroyed, but, on the other hand, being rarefied, fills the room, and is carried by the air to distant places where it rids the air of its foulness.
If this be the case, the keeping of such odoriferous things, as saffron, musk, camphor, scented flowers and attar, in the house will serve the same purpose.
A.~ That scent has not the disintegrating power to rid the house of its impure air, and replace it by the fresh pure air. It is fire alone which possesses that power, whereby it breaks the impurities of the air, and reduces them to their component parts, which, getting lighter, are expelled from the house and replaced by fresh air from outside.
What is the object of reciting mantras whilst performing Homa?
A.~ The objects are three:-
. The Mantras explain the uses of Homa.
. In this way Vedic texts are learnt by heart.
. It helps the study of the Veda and preservation thereof.
Is the omission of Homa a sin?
A.~ Yes, the amount of suffering, a man inflicts on his fellow-beings by polluting the air, and water with the waste products of his system and consequently bringing on disease, becomes the measure of his sin, to atone for which it becomes incumbent on him to perform Homa and thereby purify air and water to an extent, equal to, or greater than the mischief he has done.
As regards the internal use of these things, those are used in Homa, such as butter, that would benefit only the individual who takes them; but the same amount of material, used as directed above, benefits hundreds of people. If people were not to eat and drink such nutritious substances as butter and milk, they could never gain in strength, physical and mental. Therefore, it is only right, that they should do so, but more material should be used in Homa than as food and drink. It is, therefore, our bounden duty to perform Homa daily.
How many aahootis* (spoonfuls) should a man pour, and how much clarified butter should each aahooti contain?
A.~ Sixteen aahootis and a dram and a half clarified butter in each aahooti at the least; but it is permissible to put more butter in each spoonful.
In the ‘Golden Days’ of India, saints and seers, princes and princesses, kings and queens, and other people used to spend a large amount of time and money in performing and helping others to perform Homa; and so long as this system lasted, India was free from disease and its people were happy. It can become so again, it the same system were revised.
*At the end of each Homa mantra a definite quantity of clarified butter is poured over the fire. This called aahooti. – Tr.
We have described these two Yajnaas which, alone, are enjoined upon students (Brahmacharis)
Who is entitled to invest students with the sacred thread?
“A person can perform Yajnopavita of his own class, and of the classes below his own. These he can also teach. Thus a Brahmana can perform it for Brahmans, Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas. AKshatriaa, for Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas only; and a Vaishyaa, for Vaishyaas only. An intelligent, respectable Sudra should also be taught all the Shaastraas barring the Veda, but without performing his Upnayana. This view is held by many authorities.” SUTRA Sthana, Chapter .
BRAHMACHARYA OR STUDENT LIFE (Period of Celibacy)
Period for Brahmacharya – Maximum and minimum.
Says Manu:- ” A student should observe Brahmacharya and study the Vedas with their subsidiary subjects until age of 44 years or 26 years, or until they are completely mastered”.* MANU : .
“Brahmacharya is of three grades:- The lowest, the intermediate and the highest:-
The lowest – “Man, who is composed of a body – formed out of the elements derived from foods and drinks – and a soul that resides in the body, is verily a Yajna. He should be endowed with the most excellent qualities; and in order to accomplish gain , longevity, strength (physical and mental), and the like qualities, the shortest period for which a student should observe is 24 years age, just as there are letters in the Gayatri metre (Chhanda). He should, during this period, keep
*Thus after joining the school at the age of years, if a student studies the Vedas with their subsidiary subjects for years, (i.e., he devotes years to the study of each of the three Vedas), he completes his education at the age of –, if for years, at the age of — years, if for years, at the age of — years. (The last period of Brahmacharya is meant for a girl who wants to marry at the age of years.-Tr.
perfect control over his passions* and devote himself to the acquisition of the knowledge of the Vedaas and of culture, etc. By virtue of this Brahmacharya, vital forces, called Vasus, are fully developed and mature. These help to produce noblest qualities in his body, manas** and the soul.
Should anyone advise a Brahmachaari to marry or have sensual enjoyment before the age of 24 years, let the Brahmachaari answer him thus: “Look you here, my dear fellow! If my vital forces, mental faculties and physical organs were not fully developed and strong, I should not be able to observe Brahmacharya of the next grade ( which lasts till one is 44 years old), as the observance of the lowest grade helps one to keep Brahmacharya of the intermediate grade.
Am I a fool like you that I should ruin my body, my vital forces, my mental faculties and even my soul – which, if properly looked after, endow one with a noble nature and produce sterling qualities and help one to perform great deeds, – waste my precious life, deprive myself of the fourfold fruit of human life, destroy my Brahmacharya which is the main spring of all Ashramas or Orders,*** the best of all good works and the source of all that is good and noble in life, and consequently sink to the lowest depths of misery and degradation?” CHHAANDOYYA Upanishad : .
“Since he that observes this Brahmacharya, acquires healthy body and age of 70 to 80 years.
*And even after marriage should not give a free license to his passions. – Tr. **Under the term manas include the principles of attention, thought, memory and individuality. – Tr. ***Life is divided into stages or Orders – . Brahmacharya or the period of student life. . Grihasthi aashram or married life. . Vanaprastha or spiritual Science, and divine contemplation. . Sanyas aashram or the period of Renunciation devoted to the preaching of truth and righteousness allover the world by abandoning all worldly connections. – Tr.
The intermediate – He, that observes Brahmacharya, for 44 years of age, – there are letters in Trishtup Chhanda (metre) – by virtue of this Brahamacharya attains to that degree of pranas or vital forces called Rudras, in other words, he becomes a terror to the wicked and an asylum for the good. No rascal dare practise his rascality before him. Should anyone advise such a Brahmachaari to abandon his life of Brahmacharya, marry and enjoy himself, let him answer such a man, thus:-
“The happiness that results from the observance of Brahmacharya of a higher degree, cannot even be dreamt of by one who has not led a life of Brahmacharya and even sensuous pleasures, are more keenly enjoyed by the former than by the latter.
Since it is a Brahmachaari alone, who attains to success in worldly affairs, enjoys perfect unsensous and spiritual happiness, I will never destroy my Brahmacharya – the source of the highest happiness . On the other hand, by virtue of thorough observance of this Brahmacharya one becomes learned, virtuous, strong in body and mind and enjoys longevity and perfect happiness. I will never listen to the advice of such senseless creatures as you are, marry early, and bring ruin on myself and my family.”
The highest – He that remains a Brahmachaari, till he is 48 years of age, – there are letters in the Jagati Chhanda (metre) – by virtue of this highest kind of Brahmacharya acquires perfect knowledge, perfect physical strength,* perfect wisdom, perfect development of
*And enjoys the full span of life which is years.
good qualities, nature and characteristics, shines like the sun, enlightening all, and is enabled to master all kinds of knowledge. Should anyone tempt such a Brahmachaari to destroy His Brahmacharya – which is really the highest virtue – let him answer thus:
O you, foolish wretch! Get away from me. I will never destroy this Brahmacharya of the highest order. May the Supreme Spirit, through His grace, help me to keep this holy vow so that I may be able to enlighten such fools as you and teach you and particularly your children, and thereby help you all to lead happy lives.”
There are four stages of the human body:-
One growth from birth up to age of 16 , second from 16 up to age of 25 when all elements are growing. Third completeness from age of 25 years up to age of 40 when the tissues, organs and secretions of the body reach their highest state of perfection. Thereafter comes the period of loss -in which excess of such secretions as reproductive element, begins to be lost, in sleep or through perspiration, etc.
The best time for marriage, therefore is the fortieth year, but the best of all is forty-eighth year.
Does this law of marriage apply equally to both sexes?
A.~ No. If a man were to remain celibate (Brahmachari) for 25,30,36,40,44,48 years, then a woman should do so only for 16,17,18,20,22,24 years, respectively.
Man must not remain celibate beyond 48 years and woman beyond 24 years. But this rule applies only to those people who intend to marry, but those who intend not to do so, are welcome to remain celibates till death, if they can. But they must bear in mind that this is possible for those persons alone whose knowledge is perfect, who have full control over their mind and senses, and who are perfect Yogis, free from all vices. It is a most difficult task to be master of the senses, and restrain the flood of carnal desires. The following rules should be observed both by pupils and teachers:-
“Let them conduct themselves properly, and study and teach, be truthful in word, deed, and thought and study and teach, be indifferent to joy or sorrow, worldly applause or censure, walk in the path of righteousness, and study and teach (the Vedaas and the other true sciences), keep their senses under perfect control, and study and teach, restrain their minds from evil pursuits (such as the practice of injustice), and study and teach, learn the properties of heat, light , electricity, and other natural forces, and study and teach, perform Homa daily, and study and teach, serve atithis guests, and study and teach, fulfil their duties and obligations towards other men, and study and teach, protect their subjects and children, and study and teach, preserve and prefect the reproductive element, and study and teach, protect and educate their children and pupils, and study and teach.” TAITREYA UPNISHAD : .
“A wise man would do well to practise both Yamaas and Niyamaas daily.
Yamas are five in number:- (a) Harmlessness; (b) Strict devotion to veracity; (c) Honesty in word, deed and thought; (d) Abstinence from sexual indulgence; and (e) abstinence from the headlong pursuit of worldly things and freedom from the prides of one’s possessions (such as wealth and Power). YOGA SHASTRA Sadhanapada,
Niyamaas are also five in number:- (a) Cleanliness (physical and mental); (b) Contentment – which does not mean contentedness with physical inertia, but which does mean that you do your utmost to attain your object, but are not carried away by the resulting profit and loss, joy or sorrow; (c) Devotion to duty regardless of consequences; (d) Acquisition and discrimination of true knowledge; (e) Resignation to the Will of God through extreme devotion to Him. YOGA SHASTRA
He who practices one without the other, never makes any progress, on the contrary he simply degenerates, in other words, leads a degraded life in this world.” MANU : .
“Neither inordinate desire nor its total absence is conductive to a man’s happiness, since it would be simply impossible, either to lead a virtuous life, or to acquire (Vedic) Knowledge without desiring for the same.”MANU :
“The study and teaching of all true sciences; observance of the vows of Brahmacharya, and truthfulness; performance of Homa, as well as the acceptance of truth leading a virtuous life, as enjoined by the Veda, communion with God, and acquisition of the knowledge of the Veda; performance of seasonal Homa,** reproduction of good children, performance of the Five Great Daily Duties,*** and doing such other good actions as are productive of beneficial results to the community such as developing technical arts; all the eight things go to make a Brahman, in
**Specials Homas are performed at the change of season, as well as on the occasion of full moon, etc. -Tr.
The Five Great Daily Duties
The five great daily duties are,
. Worship of God;
. Homa and duty towards the learned;
. Service of one’s parents and other learned and righteous persons;
. Duty towards animals and the poor and helpless, and
. Duty towards the altruistic teachers of humanity and ordinary guests, i.e., to show them proper respect and serving them to the utmost of one’s power and means. -Tr.
other words, his mind ought to be the repository of Vedic learning and devotion to God.” MANU : . Without the practice of these an individual is never entitled to be called a Brahman
“As skilful driver keeps his horses under control , even so should a wise man keep his senses – which are apt to lead both mind and soul into the pursuit of wicked objects – under complete control.” MANU : .
“Verily, that man alone can achieve his heart’s desire who is a master of his senses; he who allows himself to become their slave soon loses* his character.” MANU : .
“A man of low character can never succeed in acquiring knowledge of the Veda; in keeping up his vows of celibacy, truthfulness, etc.; nor in fulfilling his duties towards man and God, keeping control over his passions and desires, being steadfast in his devotion to truth and righteousness, and performing good deeds.” MANU :
“There should be no omission in the study of the Veda and performance of the Five Great Daily Duties and other good works even on holidays, as there is no omission in the act of respiration without risk to life, so there can be no omission of one’s daily duties; a good deed done even on an Anadhayaaya – so called day of exemption from study, etc., cannot but bear good fruit.” MANU : , .
As it is always a sin to tell a lie, and always a virtue to speak the truth, a man should on all days shun vice and practise virtue.
*Literally, becomes addicted to great vices. – Tr.
“He who has a sweet and amiable disposition and serves the wise and old with all his heart, continually gains in knowledge, reputation and strength and enjoys a long life.” MANU : . Whilst he that is otherwise, never advances in knowledge, etc.
“Let a wise man bear malice to no living soul and let him show all men the path that leads to true happiness, let his speech be sweet and kindly, let him be truthful in word, deed, and thought. This alone can lead to the spread of truth and righteousness. Verily, he alone can have a true conception of the teachings of the Vedaas whose mind and speech are pure and well under control.” MANU : , .
“That Brahmana alone is said to possess true knowledge of the Veda and God, who shuns the world’s applause like poison and courts its censure like immortality.” MANU :
“Thus let the twice-born students (male and female) who had their Upanayana performed go on gradually acquiring knowledge of the Vedaas, which is their highest duty.” MANU : .
“A Dwija as well as his children who, instead of studying the Veda, wastes his time in doing other things soon goes down to the level of a Shoodra(lowest in character).” MANU : .
“A Brahmachaari (male or female) should abstain from meat and alcohol, perfumes, garlands of flowers, tasty foods and drinks, the company of the opposite sex, sour articles and injury to all living things, from anointing the body and handling the reproductive organ unnecessarily, from the use of collyrium, from the use of boots and shoes and of an umbrella, or a sunshade, from harbouring low passions such as anger, avarice, carnal passion, infatuation, fear, sorrow, jealousy, malice , from singing, dancing, playing gambling, gossiping, lying and back-biting, from looking upon women (with the eye of lust), and embracing them, and from doing harm to other people, and indulging in such other evil habits. Let every student sleep alone and never lose his reproductive element. He who loses it through passion breaks his vow of Brahmacharya.”MANU : – .
Always be eager in Cultivation of any skill or talent you may possess. Never be indifferent to the acquisition of wealth, power, etc. Never neglect your duty to serve your father, mother, teacher, and all preachers of the true religion (atithi). Love virtue and shun vice. Imbibe our virtues, not our faults and imperfections. Always keep the company of those Brahmans (wise men) amongst us who are learned and imbued with piety; put your trust in them and them only. Be charitable. Give – in faith or without faith. For fame, or through shame, give. Give – whether through fear of public opinion, or simply for keeping your word.
Always give. If you are ever in doubt as to the truth of any practice of religion, or a doctrine, or mode of divine worship, follow the practice of those highly virtuous Brahmans, whether Yogis or not, who are free from prejudice, charitable in disposition, and well versed in philosophy and science (physical and spiritual), and extremely desirous of furthering the cause of righteousness. This the advice. This the commandment. This is the mandate of the Vedas. Aye, this is the Law. Follow this advice. Obey the Law.” TAITREYA UPNISHAD , :-
Let all bear in mind that “even the most insignificant action, in this world, is impossible without a desire on the part of the doer. Therefore, whatever a man does is the outcome of his will.” MANU : .
“Character or righteous living as taught by the Vedas, as well as, Smritis* in conformity with Vedas, is the highest virtue.
*Writings of Aptas in conformity with the Veda. (An Apta is a pious, truthful, unprejudiced, honest and learned man.) – Tr.
is the end-all and be-all of all reading and reciting, studying, teaching and preaching. Let a man, therefore, always walk in the path of righteousness. He that swerves from it can never enjoy true happiness – which is born of strict adherence to the conduct of life enjoined by the Veda. He alone enjoys, all true happiness, who acquires, knowledge and leads a righteous life.” MANU : ,
“He is an atheist, and a slanderer of the Vedas, who disparages their teachings, as well as the writings of true teachers in conformity with the Vedas. He should be excluded from good society, aye, even expelled out of the country, (if necessary).”MANU :
“The Vedaas, the Smrities, the practice of men, good and true, in conformity with the Vedas – the Word of God, and the satisfaction of one’s own soul – these undoubtedly, are the four criteria of true religion, which enable one to distinguish between Right and Wrong” MANU : .
Equitable dealings, the acceptance of truth and the rejection of untruth, under all circumstances, constitute the true conduct of life; or Religion,* and the reverse of this is Irreligion
“It is only those, who stand aloof from the headlong pursuit of both wealth and carnal pleasures, that can ever attain a knowledge of true religion. It is the duty of everyone, who aspires after this object to determine, what true
* word used in the text is Dharma which is a very comprehensive term. If translated into the guiding principle of all human activities, it may give some idea to the reader as to its meaning. – Tr.
Teachers should instil the aforesaid teachings into the minds of their pupils. They should take care that they do not neglect the education of Classes other than Braahmans, viz, Princes and other Kshatriyaas, Vaishyaas, and intelligent Shoodras. Because, if Brahmans only were to acquire knowledge, there could be no advance in knowledge, religion, and government, nor increase in wealth, for Braahmans, whose sole duty is to acquire knowledge and disseminate it, depend for their living on Kshatriyaas, etc., to whom they are law-givers.
Brahmans would be relieved of all restraint and fear from Kshatriyaas, who, being uneducated, would be quite incapable of judging the soundness or unsoundness of their teachings. They would thus gradually use their power for their own selfish ends, drift into hypocrisy and do whatever they like and their example would be followed by other Classes. But when Kshatriyaas and other Classes are also well educated, Brahmans will study still harder to keep ahead of the other Classes and walk in righteousness.
They could never then falsely teach and lead selfish, hypocritical lives. It follows, therefore, that it is in their own interest, as well as that of the community at large, to try their best to teach the Veda and other true sciences and philosophies to the Kshatriyaas and other Classes, that are the real cause of advance in knowledge, religion, and government, and of increase in wealth, etc. They never live on alms, and, therefore, can have no reason to be partial in religious or scientific matters. When all Classes are well educated and cultured, no one can set up any false, fraudulent, and irreligious practices.
All this goes to prove that it is the Brahmans, and the Sanyaasis, who keep Kshatriyaas and others in proper order and vice versa. Therefore all persons of all Classes should be given good and sound education and be well instructed in the principle of true religion.
THE FIVE TESTS OF TRUTH
The truth of everything that is learnt or taught should be carefully examined by the following five tests:-
First. The Veda and nature of God – All that conforms to the teachings of the Vedas, nature, attributes and characteristics of God is right, the reverse is wrong.
Second. Laws of Nature – All that tallies with laws of nature is true, the reverse untrue; e.g., the statement that a child is born without the sexual union of its parents, being opposed to the laws of nature can never be true.
Third. The practice and teachings of A’ptaas, -i.e., pious, truthful, unprejudiced, honest, and learned men. All that is unopposed to their practice and teachings is acceptable and the reverse is unacceptable.
Fourth. The purity and conviction of one’s own soul. – What is good for you is good for the world. What is painful to you is painful to others. This ought to be the guiding principle of one’s conduct towards others.
Fifth. Eight kinds of evidence
Non-existence or Negation.
o Direct Cognizance (Praatyaksha) is that kind of knowledge, which is the result of direct contact of the five senses with their objects,* of the mind (faculty or organ of attention) with the senses, and of the soul with mind. NYAAYA Shaastraa : i, .
. But this knowledge must not be that of the relation of words with the things signified, as of the word “water” with the fluid called “water”, For example, you ask your servant to bring you some water. He brings water, puts it before you, and says : ‘Here is water, Sir.’ Now, what you and your servant see is not the word “water” but the object signified by it. So you have the direct knowledge of the object called water. But the knowledge
*As of eyes with light, or ears with sound, of olfactory sense with colors, of tongue or question sense with flavours, of tactile sense with objects that give rise to the sensation of touch. -Tr.
. This knowledge must not be of temporary or transient character, i.e., not the product of observation under unfavourable circumstances; for example, a person saw something at night and took it for a man , but when it was daylight he found out his mistake and knew that it was not a man, but a pillar. Now, his first impression of the thing was of a temporary or transient nature, which gave place to permanent knowledge later on, when the true nature of the thing was revealed in the light.
. It should be free from all elements of doubt, and be certain in character. For example, you see a river from a distance and say: “Is it water there or white clothes spread out to dry?” Or take another example, you see a man from a distance and say: Is it Deva Datta standing there or Yajna Datta?” Now, as long as you are in doubt and consequently not sure about a thing you observe, your knowledge cannot be called Pratyaksha (Direct Cognizance). To be that the element of doubt must be absolutely eliminated from it.
Briefly therefore, that knowledge alone is said to be Direct Cognizance, which is not the outcome of the relation of name with the object signified by it, nor gained under circumstances unfavourable for observation or experiment (Hence transient in character) nor into which any element of doubt enters.
Anumaana – inference – Literally it means that which follows from direct cognizance. Two things have been observed to exist together at some time and place, when on some other occasion, one of the two is observed, the other, i.e., the unknown can be inferred.* For instance, you see a child and you at once infer that he must have had parents. Again, seeing the smoke issuing from behind a hill you infer the existence of fire. You infer the previous incarnation of the soul from observing unequal joy and sorrow in this world at the present moment.
Inference is of three kinds:-
. Purvavat – is one , in which you reason from cause to effect, e.g., the inference of coming rain form the sight of clouds; or, again, you see a wedding and naturally infer that someday the wedded couple will have children. Or, again, you see students engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and you infer that someday they will become men of learning.
* Note — In order to make this point clear I subjoin the following quotation from “Evidences of Human Spirit” , by the Late Pundit Guru Datt Vidyarthi, M.A., bearing on the subject of Inference. – Tr.
” The known datum or data, from which the unknown something is inferred is called in Sanskrit Logic, the Linga and the something inferred is called the Anumeya. With reference to this question of Inference, says Kashayap the logician:- That alone is valid datum for inference (Linga) which has, firstly, been known to co-exist with the thing to be inferred at some time or place, secondly, is also known to be present wherever the like of the thing to be inferred exists, and thirdly, to be absent wherever the unlike of the thing to be inferred exists.
To take, for instance, a concrete example. From the fall of the barometer is inferred the decrease of the pressure of air. Let us see if such an inference can be a valid inference. The fall of the barometer is known. But we know, from a specific experience, i.e., an experiment conducted at a particular time and place, that the decrease of pressure produces the fall of barometer. This fulfils the first condition. Secondly, similar cases of the decrease of pressure, by whatsoever cause, are attended with the fall of barometer, but the third condition is not fulfilled. It is not true that wherever there is no fall in the barometer, there is no decrease of pressure, for, there may be no fall of barometer, although, the pressure may have been decreased.
The mercury, through rise of temperature expands and becomes lighter. Had the same pressure continued, the column of mercury would have rise higher up, but the fall of pressure compensated for the rise, and left the mercury conclusively proved that the fall of the barometer is not the linga of decrease of pressure. Similar reasoning will show that the decrease in the weight of the super-incumbent column of mercury is the linga (inference) of the decrease of pressure.”
Sheshavat – inference is one, in which you reason from effects to causes. Examples:- You see a flood in the river, and infer that it must have rained on the mountain from which the river issues. Again, you see a child and at once infer that the child must have had a father. Again, you see this world and infer the existence of the Spiritual cause – the Creator, as well as of a Material cause – the elementary matter. Or, again, take another example. When you see a man in pleasure and pain, you at once infer that he must have done a virtuous or sinful deed before, since you have noticed that the consequence of a sinful act is pain, and that of a virtuous deed, pleasure.
Aaamaanyatodrishata – is that kind of inference, in which there is no relation of cause and effect between the known datum and the thing to be inferred, but there is some kind of similarity between the two. For example, you know that no one can get to another place without moving from the first, and hence, if you find a person at a certain place, you can easily infer that he must have come to the latter place by moving from the first.
Upamaana – Analogy – is the knowledge of a thing from its likeness to another. The thing which is required to be known is called Saadhya, and that which becomes the means of this knowledge from some kind of likeness between the two is called Saadhana
Examples: – a man says to his servant : “Go and fetch Vishnu Mittra.” The latter answers that he does not know him, as he has never seen him before. Thereupon the master says :- You know Deva Datta, don’t you?” Upon the servant’s answering in the affirmative, his master continues: “Well, Vishnu Mittra is just like Deva Datta.” So the servant went out to find Vishnu Mittra. As he was passing through a street, he saw a man very much like Deva Datta, and thought that, man must be Vishnu Mittra, and forthwith brought him to his master.
Or, take another example. You want to know what a Yak is. Well, someone tells you, it is just like an ox. Next time you go to a jungle and happen to see an animal very much like an ox, you at once know that it is the Yak you asked your friend about. Now this kind of knowledge, i.e., knowledge of Vishnu Mittra from his likeness to Deva Datta and of a Yak from its likeness to an ox is called Upamaana or knowledge by analogy. The words Vishnu Mittra and Yak are called Saadhya, whilst Deva Datta and ox are called Saadhana, in the above two instances.
Shabda – Testimony (literally, word) – “The word of an A’pt (altruistic teacher) is called Shabda.” NYAAYA Shaastra :,i, .
An A’pt is a person who is a thorough scholar, well versed in all the sciences and philosophies, physical and spiritual, is virtuous, truthful, active, free from passions and desires, imbued with love for others, and who is an altruistic teacher of humanity solely actuated with the desire of benefiting the world by his knowledge, experience and convictions. God being the truest and greatest of all A’ptas, HIs word the Veda is also included in shabda (Testimony).
Itihaas – History – is that which tells us that such and such a person was so and so, he did such and such a thing. In other words, Itihaas is the history of a country or the biography of a person. NYAAYA Shaastra : ,.[The experience of the past recorded in history can be applied to solve many a difficult question of the day. – Tr.
Arthaapatti – Conclusion or deduction. – It is a conclusion which naturally follows from the statement of a fact; for instance, one says to another: “Rain falls from clouds” or ” and effect flows from a cause.” The natural conclusion that can be drawn from the above statement is: “There can be no rain when there are no clouds,” or “no effects follow when a cause does not exist.”
Sambhava – possibility. – When you hear a thing, the first thing that enters your mind is whether such and such a thing is possible. Anything that runs counter
to the laws of nature is not possible, and hence it can never be true; for example, if you are told that a child was born without parents, such and such a person raised the dead to life again, or made stones float on the sea, lifted mountains, broke the moon into pieces, was God incarnate, or saw horns on the head of a man, or solemnized the marriage of a couple born of sterile mother. You could at once know that it could not have possibly happened, being opposed to the laws of Nature. That alone is possible which is in conformity with the laws of nature.
Abhaava – Absence or Negation.– You infer the existence of a thing in some other place from its absence from the place where you were told you find it; for instance, a gentleman said to his man: “Go and bring the elephant from the elephant-house.” He went there but found that the elephant was not there. He naturally conclude that he must be somewhere near about. So he went out and looked about for the elephant and found him not very far from its proper place and brought him to his master.
These eight kinds of evidence have been briefly described. Their number can be reduced to four if History be included under Testimony, and Deduction, Possibility, and Negation under Inference.*
It is only by means of these five criteria that a man can ascertain what is right or wrong and not otherwise.
THE SIX ENTITIES
Supreme Bliss (Moksha) is obtained by living a truly righteous life and thereby getting the soul purified and exalted, and gaining a true conception of the six entities, viz., Noumenon, Attribute, Action, Commonness, Dissimilitude, and inherent relation,
*They can even be reduced to three, viz., Direct Cognizance, Inference, and Testimony if Analogy be included under Inference. – Tr.
( as of cause and effect, of whole with its parts).
Drayvyaas (Noumena) are nine in number:- Prithivi (Solids), A’paah (Liquids), Teja (Luminous matter), Vaaya (Gases), and Akasha, Time, Space, Soul (human and Divine), and Manas (Principle of thought and attention). VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
Characteristices (Lakshana)* of a Dravya (Noumenon):- It is something in which attributes and actions or attributes only reside, and which is capable of becoming a co-inherent** cause of an effect. A cause always precede its effect. Out of the nine Noumena, Solids, Liquids, Luminous matter (Ether), Gases, Manas and Soul possess both attributes and actions; whilst A’kaasha, Time and space possess attributes only but no action. VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“Prithivi (Solids) is something, which excites the optic, gustatory, olfactory and tactile impulses. Colour,*** taste and touch are derived from liquids, Luminiferous, matter or ether, and Gases, respectively.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra: i, .
“The power of exciting olfactory impulses is the natural inherent attribute of solids” VAISHEHIKA Shaastra : ii, ., similarly taste is the attribute of Liquids, Light of Luminiferous matter (Ether), touch of Gases and Shabda,**** of A’kaash.
*A lakshana, is that by means of which, and object (to be known) is known, for example, colour is seen with the eyes. Eyes are therefore called a Lakshana. **Co-inherent means capable of combining. ***i.e., the power of exciting visual, gustatory, and tactile impulses. These terms are used in this sense throughout this chapter. ****Shabda is erroneously translated into sound. Now shabda is not sound, though it is true that shabda is accompanied by sound, when it is spoken. It is very difficult to convey to the reader what the term shabda in the Sanskrit philosophy signifies. The Sanskrit philosophers hold that man being incapable of inventing language, the root-language must be inherent in nature itself. The root-language, which is the mother of human speech is called shabda. and is supposed to inhere in a noumenon called A’kaasha. This root-language is revealed to man by God in the beginning of each creation. – Tr.
“A’pah (Liquids) is something which excites the optic, gustatory, and olfactory impulses, and in which fluidity and moisture are to be found. The attribute of exciting gustatory sensation is naturally inherent in Liquids, whilst colour and touch are derived from Ether and Gases.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“Coldness is also a natural attribute of Liquids.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
“Teja (Luminous matter) is something which excites the optic and tactile impulses.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra :i, . The former is its own inherent attribute, whilst the latter is derived from Gases.
“Vaayu (gases) is something which excites tactile impulses.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, . Though heat and cold are also to be found in it but they are derived from Teja (Luminous matter and A’pah (Liquids).
“Akaasha has not the attribute of exciting these impulses,” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, , i.e., of light, touch, taste, and smell. Shabda alone is the attribute of A’kaasha.
“Egress and Ingress are the linga* of A’kaasha.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“Shabda, not being observed to be produced by solids and other substances, is not their attribute.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, . It resides only in A’kasha.
“Time is that of which nearness, futurity, simultaneity, slowness and quickness are predicated.”VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
*i.e., the datum from which the existence of A’kaasha is inferred. – Tr.
“It is an essential element in the production of effects, whilst causes are independent of it. Time is, therefore, spoken of as a cause.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
Space – “That to which “this side” or “that side” i.e., North, South, East and West), above and below are applicable, is calle dspace.”VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
“That direction of space where the sun is first seen to rise is called East, where he sets, is West. A man facing the East has south on his right and North on his left.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
“Other directions are South-east, South-west, North-east and North-west.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
Soul – “That substratum, in which desire, repulsion, feelings of pleasure, feeling of pain, conscious exertion (will), and consciousness,* are found is called the Atmaa (soul).”NYAAYA Shaastra : .
The Vaisheshika Philosophy defines soul thus:-
“That substance, in which respiration, nictitation, physical building and animation, movement, sensation, activity of the senses, organic feelings (such as hunger and thirst, fever, pain, etc.),** desire, repulsion, feeling of pleasure, feeling of pain, conscious exertion, and consciousness are found, is called soul”. VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : ii, .
*Here only the voluntary functions of the soul are enumerated. **So far the involuntary attributes and functions are mentioned, then follow the voluntary functions which are the same as in the foregoing definition. – Tr.
Manas (Principle of thought and attention- “The existence of Manas(the mind or the organ of attention) is established from the fact that one is only capable of attending to one thing at a time.”* NYAAYA Shaastra ; i, .
“The powers of exciting impulses,** of colour, taste, smell, touch; number, measure, separableness, property of combining, divisibility, proximity, distance, consciousness, pleasures, pain, desire, aversion, conscious
*To give the reader a clearer idea of this substratum called Manas, I cull the following from “Evidences of Human Spirit”:- “It is said of a Greek Philosopher that he was engaged in solving a mathematical problem when and army passed by and he was altogether unconscious of it till a soldier effaced the circle, the philosopher had drawn on the earth, a fact which alone disturbed the attention of the philosopher. What followed may be left to history. Was the movement of an army entirely noiseless? Were no sound waves propagated when the philosopher was solving his mathematical problem? Did not the waves enter the cavity of his ear and put to vibration the tympanic membrane, the delicately placed steps and the grain filled liquid in the internal labyrinths of the ear, in fact the invisible medium of sensation upon the nerves, the indriyas? All this did take place but the philosopher was not attending to it.
There was in the philosopher a something which when engaged in thinking (i.e., solving the problem) was not in contact with the internal ear, a something whose contact with one indriya or faculty precluded its contact simultaneously with another. Its contact with an indriya and therefore with an organ is called what is called Attention; its separation from this cuts the cords of connection and the result is what we call Absent-mindedness. Nor is this Manas the conscious faculty, for who does not know that all the ideas, that our experience has acquired for us, lie for the most part in a latent state in the brain or more correctly in the manas but each and any of them is remembered whenever it is recalled. **What is perceived by the eye called colour. What is perceived by the tongue is called taste, which is of different kinds, such a sweet, salt, etc. What is perceived through the nose is called smell. What is perceived through the skin is called touch. What conveys the idea of one, two, etc., is called number. What conveys the idea of lightness and heaviness is called measure. Separableness is the quality of being separate from others. Sanyoga – power of combining, explains itself. Divisibility is the quality of being divisible. Proximity is the immediate nearness either in place, time or relationship. Distance (in time or place) explains itself. Virtue – just conduct. Sinfulness – unjust conduct. Other term explain themselves. – Tr. exertion
exertion, gravity, fluidity, oiliness and love, impressibility, virtue and roughness, sinfulness and smoothness or laxity and Shabda (sound and language) are twenty-four attributes or qualities (Gunaas ”VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“An Attribute (Gunaa) is that which is dependent upon or resides in a substratum which cannot itself possess an attribute, is not the cause of combination or of an attribute, is not the cause of combination or of division into parts, and is anaapeksha, i.e., independent on another attribute.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“Shabda is that, which is received through the ears, grasped by the intellect, expressed through speech, and resides in A’kaasha.”
“Ascent, descent, contraction, expansion, coming, going, and rotation, etc., are the different kinds of Karma (motion and action).” MAHABHASHYA
“That which resides in a substratum, possesses no attributes, and is an absolute cause of a combination or a division, is called Karma (motion).”VAISHESHIKA : I, .
“Among effects:- Substrata, attributes, motions (or actions) that which is the cause of all and is, therefore, common to all, is called Saamaanya (common-element).” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra: i, .
“Among effects of the same Dravya (Substratum), the Saamaanya (common-element), is the fact of their being all effects.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : i, .
“Among dravyaas (Substances), dravyaaship,* among gunas (attributes), Gunaship; among karmaas (actions) karmaship* are Saamaanya (common-element), as well as Vishesha (distinctive element).” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra. : , . For example – dravyaahship i.e., the fact of being a dravyaa (substance), is common to all substances , but it also distinguishes them from attributes (gunaas). Therefore it (dravyaship) is Saamaanya (common-element), as well as Vishesha (distinctive element).**
“Commonness and Dissimilitude are relative term.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : , . for instance, among human humanship,* i.e., the fact of being human, is the Common element (Saamaanya), whilst it also distinguishes human beings from animals, thus in this sense it is also the distinguishing-element (Vishesa) ; similarly, masculinity or feminity is common to all men and women respectively, but Braahmanism, Kshatryism, and Vaishyism are the distinguishing-elements among men and women, whilst Braahmanism is the common-element among all Braahmans, Kshatryism is the common-element among all Kshatriyaas and so on.
Samaavvaaya (Inherent relation) is the inseparable and eternal relation between the whole and its parts, between an action and its agent, between an attribute and its substratum, between genius and its species, and between a cause and its effect.” VAISHESHIKA Shaastra : , .
The mutual relation of substrata with one another being in the nature of a combination (physical or Chemical -Tr.), is of a temporary character.
*I apologize – to my readers for coining such terms as these. For want of equivalent words in Englinsh I have been compelled to do so in order to make the text intelligible. – Tr. **
*We take for example a cow:- All that is common to all cows is called the common-element (Saamaanya). Now this common -element distinguishes every cow from the rest of the creation, hence it is also the differentiating- element (Visheshha).
The relation between substances, that they possess some attributes in common and can also be converted into different forms which are always essentially of the same nature as the substances out of which they were made, is called Saadharmya (similar). For example, take earth and water. Both are inanimate substances, both can be converted into different forms, as earth can be molded into a pot, etc., and water into a lump of ice, etc. Therefore, earth and water are Saadharmya (similar) in this respect.
The reverse of Saadharmya is Vaidharma (dissimilar), when the attributes are dissimilar, as in the case of earth and water, earth is hard, dry and excites* olfactory impulses, whilst water possesses moisture, fluidity and power of exciting gustatory impulses.** These attributes are quite different from each other, hence earth and water are (Vaidharma) in this respect.
“An effect presupposes a cause” VAISHESHIKA :,i, .
“Where there is no cause, there can be no effect.” VAISHESHIKA : i, .
“Absence of an effect does not prove the non-existence of the cause.” VAISHESHIKA : ii, .
“The effect only reveals whatsoever pre-existed in the cause. No new attribute can spring up.” VAISHESHIKA: I, . Small and great are relative term as a tetratomic molecule is smaller than a likshaa*** but greater than a diatomic molecule; or as a mountain is smaller than the earth, but greater than a tree.
Satt (existence) is the state of being whether of a substratum, an attribute or an action.” VAISHESHIKA : ii, .
*As earth is a kind of Prithivi. **As water is a kind of A’pah. ***i.e., a mote.
“Satt can be affirmed of everything that exists. Therefore satt is called the Greates Common Element (Mahaa saamaanya)i.e., common to all the entites.” VAISHESHIKA : ii, .
So far entities have been discribed. Now we shall briefly describe non-entities (non-existences or abhaavaa) which are of five kinds:-
. ” Praagaabhaava.– That kind of non-existence which precedes the formation of a thing is called praagaabhaava.”VAISHESHIKA : : i, For instance, a piece of cloth or a pot did not exist before either of them was made. This non-existence of a piece of cloth or a pot before its formation is called Praagaabhaava.
. Pradhawansaabhaava. – “Non-existence following the existence of a thing is called Pradhwansaabhaava”VAISHESHIKA : i, . As when a pot is broken it ceases to exist as a pot, its none-existence then is called Pradhwansaabhaava.
. Anyonyaabhaava.VAISHESHIKA : i, . – “That which exists in relation to one thing and does not exist in relation to another is called Anyonyaabhaava. As a cow exists as a cow, or a horse exists as a horse, but a cow is not a horse, nor is a horse, a cow. That is, a cow in relation to itself exists, but a cow as a horse, or a horse as a cow, does not exist. This kind of non-existence is called Anyonyaabhaava
. Atyantaabhaava. – “That which is different form the aforesaid three kinds of non-existences, is called Atyantaabhaava.VAISHESHIKA : i, . As the horns of a man, or an ethereal flower, or the child of a barren woman. This is impossible sort of non-existence is called Atyantaabhaava.
. Sansarga Pratishedha. – “Non-existence of a thing in one place whilst it exists in another, is called Sansarga Pratishedha“VAISHESHIKA : i, . – As, for example, a person says: “the pot is not in the house”, i.e., it is outside in some other place. Here the pot and the house are not related to each other in any way.
Ignorance (Avidyaa) is the result of defective faculties and education.”* VAISHESHIKA : ii, .
“It is another name for incorrect knowledge.”VAISHESHIKA : ii, .
“The correct knowledge or the knowledge of a thing as it exists, is called Knowledge (Vidyaa).“VAISHESHIKA : ii,
All those substrata, as, Prithivi etc., and their attributes that are effects, are non-eternal or transient (Anitya); whilst those that are causes are Eternal (Nitya).” VAISHESHIKA :i, .
“That which exists and has no cause is called Nitya (Eternal); whilst that which has a cause or has been made is Non-eternal (Anitya).” VAISHESHIKA : i, .
There are kinds of Inferential knowledge, i.e., knowledge derived from the relation of a sign with the object signified:-
When we proceed from causes to effects. Example. A man at some distance sees a man clap his hands and at once infers that sound will be produced.
*I have used the word Education in the widest sense possible, whether it be there result of direct teaching or of association with other people or of environments. The word used in the text is sanskara which means an impression made on the soul either subjectively or objectively. – Tr.
When we proceed from causes to effects. Example. A person hears the sound (peculiar to the clapping of hands) and at once infers that there has been clapping of hand close by.” VAISHESHIKA ; ii, .
Samyogi (Concurrent) knowledge is that which is obtained from the concurrence of one thing with another. Example. The mention of the word body at once suggests the existence of skin along with it.
Samvaayi* (Inherent) knowledge is that which is obtained from the inherence of something (i.e., an attribute substance or an action) in another. Example. We know Extension inheres in Ether, therefore, from the mere mention of the word Ether, Extension is at once inferred.
Ekaartha Samvaayi knowledge. When two things (such as attributes) reside in a substance, the knowledge of one at once suggests the other. This kind of inferential knowledge is called Ekaartha Samvaayi. For example, we see the orange colour of an orange and at once infer that it must be smooth to touch or sweetish in taste.
Viradhi (Antithetic) knowledge; is that which is gained from the natural opposition of ideas or things. White colour will suggest black colour; sweet taste suggests bitter taste; hissing of a snake at once will suggest that its natural foe, the mongoose, must be close by.
Vyaapti is the relation of two things (one of which is a known datum and the other not known) which are related to each other in a definite, fixed relation so that either of them always accompanies the other, or only one accompanies the other; as an example of the latter we
*Samvaayi is the inseparable, inherent relation of a substance, an attribute on an action with another substance, just as the relation of fluidity with fluids, whole with its parts, genus with its species, etc., see .
“The Saadhana (sign) sometimes exists temporarily by its own power”, SAANKYA Pravaxhan, : , as smoke, caused by the disintegrating power of fire (from wood, etc.) when carried to distant places, is seen hanging by itself without the fire being found near it. This also called Vyaapti.
“The relation of one pervading the other is also called Vyaapti just as the primeval matter (Prakriti)* pervades the principle of wisdom , whilst the latter is said to be pervaded by the former, i.e., the higher pervades the lower whilst the latter is pervaded by the former. In other words, the relation of the thing pervading this called Vyaapti.
Teachers should examine everything they teach to their students with the help of the above criteria; so should the students. Otherwise they can never be profound scholars. They will only be mere crammers. Teachers before teaching a book should thoroughly study it themselves and test the truth of its contents by the application of the aforesaid test. On finding it true they should teach it to their scholars, otherwise not.
” It is only by their properties and the applications of (the aforesaid) tests that the true nature of things is ascertained.”
THE SCHEME OF STUDIES
. First of all comes Phonetics (shikshaa) by Panini. Parents and teachers should teach their children and pupils how to pronounce different letters in their right places, with the right amount of effort and the right agent. For example, take the letter P. The
*Prakriti is held to be the subtlest form of matter, out of which all the visible and the invisible objects of the world are evolved. Prakriti being subtlest and the cause , next in the stage of evolution – a little less subtle than it – comes what is called Mahaatatwa (the principle of wisdom), a stage lower still comes Ahankaara (the principle of Individuality) and so on. – Tr.
right place to pronounce it is the lips, the proper amount of effort is what is called full and the right agent is the tongue.
. Then comes grammar. It includes Ashtaadhayayi; Dhaatupaath(Book of roots), Ganapath (book of groups), Unaadikosh (Book of prefixes and suffixes, etc.). Last of all comes Mahaabhaashya(Exposition of the above four books of Panini or Patanjali.
If the teachers and their scholars be intelligent, energetic, honest and extremely anxious to advance their knowledge, the pupils can master the Science of Grammar in three years, and thus become profound Grammarians thoroughly acquainted with the construction of every word – Vedic or Laukika (i.e., of ordinary Sanskrit literature)
Other sciences are easier to learn. The amount of labour that is required to learn the Science of Grammar is greater than that required to master any other subject; and the amount of knowledge acquired by the study of the above books on Grammar in three years cannot be gained by the study of such books as Saarswata Chandrikaa, Kaumadi, and Manormaa, in fifty years.
The reason is that the great sages have expounded the most abstruse subjects in their books in such an easy way that it is entirely impossible for ordinary men to approach it. The aim of those great souls in writing their books was to make the subject so easy as to be readily grasped in the shortest possible time; whilst the object of little minds has always been to clothe their subject with such a difficult-round -about style as would necessitate great labour and waste of time, on the part of the student, to comprehend it, whilst he would profit but very little.
We can liken this to digging up a whole mountain and finding a penny-worth of gold; whilst the study of the books of the great sages can be well likened to the diving of a man into the sea and finding most valuable pearls in one plunge.
. Then let them read Nighantoo and Nirukta (books on Vedic Vocabulary and Philology) by Yaska in six to eight months, but not waste years of their valuable time over Amarkosha and other such books written by atheists.
. Thereafter they should study Chhandograntha (Prosody) by Pingala, so that they may thoroughly master the rules that govern versification – Vedic and Sanskrit –and be able to compose poems of their own. This can be done in four months. They
should not waste their time over Vritratnaakar and the like books written by mean scholars.
. Then they should study the Manu Smriti, the Vaalmiki Raamaayana, the Vidurniti and other selections like this from the Mahabhaarat. The tutor should teach these as poetry ought to be taught. The study of these books tends to eradicate evil habits and bring culture. It should not take the students more than a year to finish them.
. Then they should study the six Shaastraas (commonly called the six schools or systems of philosophy) with the expositions of Rishis – the enlightened great souls, the true seers of nature – as far as possible, or in the absence of these, with the help of the true commentaries of other honest scholars. But before taking up Vedant Shaastraa They should learn the ten Upnishads.** All these books should be finished in two years.
. Thereafter, they should study the four Vedas*** with their four Braahmanaas**** with proper accent meanings, (and finish this course in six years). The Vedaas should be both taught by example and precept.
Says Nirukta on this subject:-
“He, who reads the Vedaas even with proper accents, but does not know their meanings, is like a tree weighed down by its fruit, branches, leaves and flowers, or like a beast of burden carrying on its back grain which it cannot eat. But he, who understands their meanings and acts up to their teachings by avoiding sin and leading a virtuous life, enjoys perfect happiness in this world and eternal (extreme) bliss hereafter in consequence thereof.” NIRUKTA : .
*Poorva mimansaa, Vaisheshika, Nyaaya, Yoga, Saankhya and Vedanta. **I’sh, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Moonduka, Aitreya, Taitreya, Chhandogya and Vrihadaaranyka. ***Rig, Yjur, Saama and Atharva Veda. ****Aitreya, Shatapatha, Saama and Gopatha.
Says the Rig Veda:- “An ignorant man has eyes to see but sees nothing, has ears to hear but hears nothing, has a tongue to speak but speaks nothing. The ignorant can never understand the hidden mysteries of knowledge. But it is to the learned alone that knowledge reveals its true nature, just as a woman longing to meet her husband, dresses in her best and puts on her finest jewelry, so as to display her charms to him.” RIG VEDA : ..
“What good can the Vedaas do unto him who does not know that Great Being, who is All-pervading and Eternal, Holiest of all, Who sustains the Sun and the Earth, and is the support of the learned, the method of Whose realization is the chief aim of Vedic teaching? But they alone enjoy eternal bliss who study the Vedaas, live a righteous life, become perfect Yogis and realize God. RIG VEDA : . .
. After the study of the Vedaas they should learn the Upavedaas (or sub-Vedaas) which are four in number:-
o Ayurveda – Medical Science – Herein are included the works of Charak and sushrut, and other sages. They should learn both theory and practice, including Medicine, Therapeutics, Materia, Physiology and Pathology, Hygiene with Dietetics and Climatology and the sciences of Temperaments, Anatomy and Surgery with the proper use of instruments in different operations, etc., in four years.
Dhanur Veda – Science of Government – It consists of two parts:- ((i) Civil) part – is the art of governing people, protecting their lives and property, developing the wealth and resources of the country, making the people happy and contented by the right administration of justice – protecting the good and punishing the wicked, etc.
(ii) Military part, comprises organization of the army, use of fire-arms and the knowledge of different kinds of drill, tactics and strategy, etc. They should learn both branches of the Science of Government in two years.
o Gandharva Veda – Science of Music – They should learn all the different parts of music, such as tunes, modes, modifications of modes, time, harmony, refrain. They should also learn singing, playing, and dancing, etc., properly, but chiefly singing and playing of the Saama Veda Mantraas on musical instruments. But they should never sing amorous songs like Nauch-girls nor bray like sensual Vairaagees..*
The books on this subject are Naarad Sanhitaa, etc., composed by Rishis.
o Artha Veda – science and practice of mechanical arts –also called Shilpa Vidyaa. They should study the laws of matter and motion. They should also know how to make various kinds of machines, etc.
In short, they should learn theoretically and practically, the nature and properties of all substances from solids to A’kaashka. This is the science that helps to increase the wealth and prosperity of a country.
Thereafter, they should thoroughly study the Jyotisha Shaastra – which includes Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Geography, Geology and astronomy in two years. They should also have practical training in these Sciences, learn the proper handling of instruments, master their mechanism, and know how to use them. But they should regard Astrology – which treats of the influence of stars and constellation on the destinies of man, of auspiciousness and non-auspiciousness of time, of horoscopes, etc. – as a fraud, and never learn or teach any books on this subject.
Both the teachers and their scholars should so endeavour as to be able to master all the sciences and arts, and become highly cultured in twenty or twenty-one years, and thus accomplish the object of their lives and live in happiness.
The knowledge that can be acquired by following the aforesaid schemes in twenty or twenty-one years cannot be gained in any other way even in one hundred years.
*A sect of mendicants.
BOOKS APPROVED AND BOOKS CONDEMNED
We have recommended only the books of Rishis for students to study, because they were men of great learning, masters of all the sciences, and also imbued with piety. but the books of mean scholars we have condemned, because they had only a smattering of knowledge, and were not free from prejudice either. How could their writings, then, be free from the faults of their authors?
Out of all the above-mentioned books (we have recommended the student to study), – the Vedaas , Angaas (Limbs),* Upangaas,** (sub-limbs), Braahmans*** and Upvedaas**** (sub-Vedaas) – the Vedaas alone are held to be Divine in origin, the rest were made by Rishis – seers of the Veda and Nature.
Should anything be found even in their writings contrary to the teachings of the Vedaas, it is to be rejected, for the Vedaas alone, being of Divine in Origin, are free from error and axiomatic Swataah Pramaana), in other words the Vedaas are their own authority; whilst other books such as the Braahmanaas are Prartaahpramaana, i.e., dependent upon the Vedaas for their authority. They stand or fall according to their conformity or conflict with the Vedaas.***** The books to be avoided are:-
. Grammar:-a.Katantra, b. Saaraswata, c. Chandrika, d. Mugdhabodha. e. Kaumudi, f. Shekhar, g. Monorma, etc.
. Dictionary – Amarkosha, etc.
. Prosody – Urittaratnakar, etc.
. Shiksha is the Science which teaches the proper pronunciation of words and laws of euphony. Atka Shiksham Pravakshyami Pranamyan matam yatha.
. Jotisha (astronomy) – Shighrabodha, Mahurta, Chintaamani, ettc. books on astrology.
. Poetry – Naya ka bheda, Kuvabja nand, Raghuvansha, Maagha, Kiratarjunira, etc.
. Mimansa – Dharmasindhu, Vratarka, etc.
. Visheshika – Tarkasangraha, etc.
. Nyaya -Yogdishaa, etc.
. Yoga – Hathapradipka
. Saankhya – Yagavashishtha, Pancha dashi
. Medical Service – Sharangdhar.
. Smriti – all Smritis except the Manu Smirit barring the interpolated verses.
. all Tantras, Puranaas, Upapuraanaas, Ramaayaana by Tulsi Das, Rukmani Mangala, etc., and all books of this kind) written in Bhaashaa.
They ought to be looked upon as snares; once caught in them a student can never know the truth.
Is there no truth to be found in these books?
A.~ There is a sprinkling of truth mixed with a large amount of rubbish, myths and fabrications; but as even the best food mixed with poison is to be avoided, so should these books.
Do you not believe in the Puraanaas, Ithihaasa, etc.?
A.~ Yes, we do; but only in the true ones, not in the forged ones.
Which of them are ture and which forged of false?
A.~ ” Ithihaasa, Puraana, Kalpa, Gaathaa and Naaraashansi are five names given to Braahmanaas (that have been mentioned before). The Bhaagvat and the like books are not the real Puraanaas.
*There are six in number:- Phonetic sciences of morals and duties, Grammar, Philology, Music and astronomy. **They are also six in number. They are the so-called six Schools of Philosophy, see . *** & ****They are four in number, and have been enumerated before, see . *****or further elucidation of this subject see Chapter of this book as well as our book called “An Introduction to the exposition of the four Vedas.
Why do you not accept whatever truth there is to be found in the condemned books?
Whatever truth is to be found in them is of the Vedaas and other true Shaastraas, whilst whatever is false in them is of their own invention. With the acceptance of the Veda and other Shaastraas the whole truth is accepted. He, who tries to extract truth from these false books, will have to unavoidably swallow untruth as well. Therefore even truth, which is adulterated with untruth, should be avoided like food adulterated with poison.
What is your faith?
A.~ Vedic. We believe that the Vedaas alone are the supreme authority in the ascertainment of true religion – the true conduct of life. Whatever is enjoined by the Vedaas we hold to be right; whilst whatever is condemned by them we believe to be wrong. Therefore we say that our religion is Vedic. All men, especially the Aryas, should believe in the Vedaas and thereby cultivate unity in religion.
Are the Rishis in contradiction with one another?
Even the Shaatraas written by Rishis – contain truth mixed with untruth, and contradict one another like other books. Take for example, the subject of Creation. Now all the six Shaastraaas contradict one another on this subject. The Mimaansaa, for instance, gives application of the cause of the world; the Vaisheshika, time; the Nyaaya, atoms; the yoga, activity; the Saankhya, primeval matter, and the Vedant, God. Are not their teachings mutually contradictory?
A.~ Firstly, barring the Vedaant and the Saankhya these Shaastras do not treat of the subject of creation directly. It is only indirectly mentioned. Secondly, there is no contradiction in their teachings. It only shows that you have no knowledge of contrariety and conformity. Now tell me pray, do you call it a contradiction when different statements are made on the same subject or when made on different subjects?
When different statements are made on the same subject. Here, too, the subject is the same, viz., creation.
A.~ Is knowledge one thing or more than one?
A.~ If it be one, why then are there so many divisions of this knowledge, such as Grammar, Medicine, and Astronomy. As in the
case of one science, its different branches are treated of separately, so are the six branches of the Science of Creation treated of separately in the six Shaastraaas. You can never call it a contradiction, can you? Just as six different causes take part in the formation of a pot, viz., application, time, clay, intellect, labour (required for mixing or separating different materials), the properties of matter, and thereafter, similarly six different causes of the world have been discussed by the six Shaastraas, thus application by Mimaansa,Time by the Vaisheshika, material cause by Nyaaya, Divine activity by Yoga, atoms and the gradual formation of the different substances of the world out of them by the Saankhya and the efficient cause God by the Vedaant.
There is no contradiction in it. Or take for illustration the Medical Science. Its six different branches, Pathology,* Medicine and Therapeutics, Materia Medica, Hygiene and Surgery,* are separately treated, but all these aim at curing disease. Likewise six different causes have operated in the formation of this world; on cause having been discussed by each Shaastra there is no contradiction in them **
Both the teachers and their scholars should avoid all those things that act as hindrances in the way of the acquisition of knowledge, such as the company of the wicked and lascivious people, contraction of bad habits (such as the use of intoxicants), fornication, child-marriage,*** want of perfect Brahmacharya, want of love on the part of the rulers, parents and learned men for the dissemination of knowledge of the Veda and other Shaastraas,.
Over eating, keeping late hours, sloth in learning, teaching, examining or being examined, or performing these duties with dishonesty, not regarding knowledge as the highest thing in the world, want of faith in Brahmacharya as the source of health, strength, intellect, courage, political power and wealth, leaving off the worship of one true God, and wasting time in going about from place to place for the purpose of seeing and worshipping images made of stone, and other inanimate objects, absence of the worship of the five true living gods – father, mother , teacher, altruistic teachers of humanity (atithis)and other great men, – neglect in the performance of the
*Physiology is included under Pathology, and Anatomy under Surgery. -Tr. **We shall discuss this subject more fully in the Chapter on Cosmogony. *** i.e., marriage under years in the case a girl, and under years in the case of a man.
duties of their Class and Order, and instead, wearing different marks of sectarian distinction on the forehead and other parts of the body.* Chaplets and rosaries, etc., observance of fasting on certain days of each month, having faith in the forgiveness of sins by pilgrimage to such sacred places, as Benares, and by constant recitation of the names of gods and goddesses such as Rama, Krishna, Naaryaaa, Shiva, Bhawati and Ganesha, indifference towards the acquisition of knowledge through the wicked advice of hypocrites, believe in the possibilities of obtaining salvation simply through hearing such books as Puraanas and (Bhaagvat and the like) read, and thus neglecting the study of the true philosophies of and sciences, the living of good and righteous lives, the practice of Yoga, and communion with God – which alone can lead to eternal bliss – want of love for knowledge through greed of gold, and loafing about, etc.
People (of India), at the present day, who are involved in the aforesaid false practices, remain destitute of the advantages of Brahmacharya and education, are consequently sunk in ignorance, and afflicted with diverse diseases.
The sectarian and selfish Braahmans of the present time prevent other people, through their false teachings, from acquiring knowledge and association with men of learning, ensnare them in their own nets and thus ruin them physically, mentally, and materially. They want to keep the Khatriyaas and other classes illiterate, since they are afraid that if they acquired knowledge and become enlightened, they would expose their hypocrisy, get out of their selfish grip, and become disrespectful towards them.
Both the rulers and the ruled should see that these obstacles are removed from the path of the students (male and female) of all classes. In order to give their children sound education, they should exert themselves to their utmost with all their hearts, all their souls and all their wealth.
Are even women and Shoodraas (low-caste) allowed to study the Vedas?
What shall we do if they take to reading? Besides, there is no authority for their doing so. On the other hand, is condemned by the Vedas thus – Shruti “Never should women and the Shoodraas study.”
*such as Oordhava pundra – a single perpendicular line on the forehead; Tripundra- three lines made across the forehead and other parts of the body; Tilak – a coloured mark on the forehead made with ashes, etc.
~ All men and women ( i.e., the whole of mankind) have a right to study. You may go and hang yourselves. As for the text you have quoted, it is of you own fabrication, and is nowhere to be found either in the Vedas or any other authoritative book. On the other hand, here is a verse from the Yajur Veda that authorizes all men to study the Veda and hear it read:- God says:- “As I have given this Word (i.e., the four Vedas) which is the word of salvation* for all making [Here someone might say that by the word Jana, which we have translated into all mankind, only Dwijas are meant, as in the Smritis** ( so-called) they alone are allowed to study the Veda but not women and Shoodraas, the other half of this verse answers this objection by adding] – Braahmans, Kshatryas, Vaishyaas, Shoodraas, women, servants, aye, even the lowest of the low, so should you all do, i.e., teach and preach the Veda and thereby acquire true knowledge, practise virtue, shun vice, and consequently being freed from all sorrow and pain, enjoy true happiness.” YAJUR VEDA :.
Now sir, shall we believe your word or God’s ? God’s, certainly. He who will still refuse to believe, (that women and Shoodraas are entitled to Veda learning) shall be called a Nastika (an infidel) because Manu has said, “He is an infidel who is a reviler and disbeliever of the Veda.” Does not God desire the welfare of the Shoodraas? Is God prejudiced that he should allow the study of the Veda to Dwijas and disallow it to Shoodraas?
Had God meant that the Shoodraas should not study the Veda or hear it read, why should He have created the organs of speech and hearing in their bodies? As He has created the sun, the moon, the earth, the water, the fire, the air, various food and drinks, etc., for all, so has He revealed the Veda for all. Wherever it is declared (in the books of Rishis) that the Shoodraas are debarred from the study of the Veda,
*i.e., Happiness here and after. **Books written by Rishis on the conduct of life. -Tr.
the prohibition simply amounts to this that he, that does not learn anything even after a good deal of teaching, being ignorant and destitute of understanding, is called a Shoodraa. It is useless for him to learn, and for others to teach him any longer. As for you debarring women from education, that only shows your ignorance, selfishness and stupidity. Here is an authority from the Veda entitling girls to study:- “Just as boys acquire sound knowledge and culture by the practice of Brahmacharya and then marry girls of their own choice, who are young , well educated, loving and of like temperament, should girl practice Brahmacharya study the Veda and other sciences and thereby perfect her knowledge, refine her character, give her hand to a man of her own choice, who is young, learned and loving.” ATHARVA VEDA , :, .
It follows, therefore, that girls should also practise Brahmacharya and receive education.
Should even women read the Veda?
~ Certainly. Here is an authority from the Shraut Sutra: “(In the Yajna) let the wife recite this mantra.”
Were she not a scholar of the Veda as well as of other Shaastraas, how could she in the Yajna recite the Vedic Mantraas with proper pronunciation and accent, as well as speak Sanskrit?
In ancient India, Gaargi and other ladies, – jewels among women – were highly educated and perfect scholars of the Veda. This is clearly written in the Shatpatha Brahmana.
Now if the husband be well-educated and the wife ignorant or vice versa, there will be a constant state of warfare in the house. Besides if women were not to study, where will the teachers, for Girls’ schools come from? Nor could ever the affairs of the state, the administration of justice, and the duties of married life, that are required of both husband and wife [such as keeping each other happy, the wife having the supreme control over all household matters] be carried on properly without thorough education ( of men and women).
The Kshatriyaas women in ancient India, used to be well-acquainted even with the military science, or how could they have gone with their male relations and fought side by side with them in battle-fields, as Kekai did with her royal husband Dasharatha. Therefore it behoves Braahman and Kshatriyaa women to acquire all kinds of knowledge, and Vaishya women to learn trace, and the mechanical arts and the like, and Shoodraa women, the art of cooking, etc.
As men should, at the very least, learn the science of Grammar, Dharma and their profession or trade, likewise should women learn Grammar, Dharma*, Medical Science, Mathematics and the mechanical arts at the least, for without a knowledge of these, ascertainment of truth, proper behaviour towards their husbands and other people, bearing of good children, their proper up-bringing and instruction, proper management of the household affairs, preparation of foods and drinks in accordance with the requirements of Medical Science, ( so that they may act on the system like good medicine and keep the whole family free from disease and thereby make them happy), can never be effected.
Without knowledge of mathematics, they can never keep accounts of their household properly; and without knowledge of true religion, as taught by the Veda and other Shaastraas, they cannot know what God and Dharma are, and can never, therefore, escape going astray from the path of rectitude.
Verily, those parents have done their duty and, therefore, a thousand thanks to them, who have put in their best to make their children practise Brahmacharya, acquire knowledge, and perfect their character, which all help to develop both their bodies and minds to the fullest extent, so that they may accord a just and righteous treatment to all – parents, husbands, wives, fathers -in-laws, mothers-in-laws, their king and fellow subjects, neighbours, friends and offspring, etc.
Knowledge alone is the inexhaustible treasure; the more you spend it, the more it grows. All other treasures run out by spending, and the claimants inherit their shares as well. Thieves cannot steal this treasure, nor, can anyone inherit it.
*comprises righteousness, justice, honesty, proper discharge of one’s duties, etc. – Tr.
It is the chief duty of the rulers, as well as of the ruled, to protect and augment this treasure.
Manu says:- “The State should make it compulsory for all to send their children of both sexes to school at the said* period and keep them there for the said** period till they are thoroughly well-educated. It should be made a penal offence to break this law. In other words, let no child – whether a girl or a boy – be allowed to stay in the house*** after the eighth year; let him remain in the seminary till his Samaavartana time, [i.e. the period of Return home****] and let no one be allowed to marry before that.” MANU :.
Again says Manu:- “Of all gifts (that one can bestow on another) – water, food, animals ( as cows, and buffaloes), sesamum seeds, land, clothes, gold, and butter, etc. – that of the knowledge of the Veda is the best and the noblest.” MANU :
Let all, therefore, try their utmost to disseminate knowledge with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all the material resources at their command.
That country alone prospers where Brahmacharya is properly practised, knowledge is keenly sought after, and the teachings of the Vedic religion followed.
END OF CHAPTER