naaraayaNa gaayatrii

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Feb 24 18:01:53 CST 1998

On Tue, 24 Feb 1998, Vaidya N. Sundaram wrote:

> Namaste;
>  I am sure jaldhar Vyas does not understand the basics of what a
> discussion is all about as is evident from his posting on this topic.
> Well, leave alone basic language constructs like crap etc as used so
> frequently by him,

Unfortunately much of what is taught in the name of religion or philosophy
ia worthless.  Why then pretend it is?  Do you really think the idea that
the Upanishads were created by Kshatriyas to counter Brahmin ritualism is
worthy of a second thought?  (This is what I referred to in the other
thread as crap.)  Let me counter the notion I'm against being polite
because I'm not. I'm however in favor of treating topics with a respect
relative to their worth.

> I seriously think he has no idea of what constitutes a
> proper puja.

What constitutes a proper puja?  A puja which is full of bhakti is the
proper one.  So what is Bhakti?  Bhakti is loving service to God.  Note
here the focus is on God.  A good puja isn't what the bhakta thinks is
appropriate, but what _Bhagawan_ thinks is appropriate.  And Bhagawan has
let us know what he finds appropriate in his Shastras.

>  I only have to think about the story of KannApa NAyanAr to realise how
> much mercy God has on his devotees. KannApa NAyanAr was a hunter by
> profession, never had a bath, yet was attached to a SIva Linga.  Not
> having a vessel to carry water for abhishekam of the lord, he used to
> carry water in his mouth and spit it on the Lingam. Not having anything to
> cook with, he offered raw meat to the Lord. Not having anything to clean
> the Lingam with, and having his hands full of meat and and with a bow and
> arrow on the other hand, he used to clean the Siva Lingam with his feet
> and slippers. And when he saw tears of blood from the eyes on the Lingam
> he sacrificed one of his eyes by plucking it right out of his face, and
> the second time, when he would not have his second eye also and would have
> to place it on the Lingam, he placed his leg where the eye of the lingam
> should be. And he is one of the most celebrated of all the Nayan-mars.

I am not familiar with Nayanars but there are many stories like this about
Saints.  Yes it shows Bhagawans karuna that even such low people have just
as much access to him as a king or sage.  As the Gita says, even a flower
or some water are acceptable if they are offered with devotion.  But just
because the minimum can be considered acceptable, should we cling to the
minimum?  Unless ignorant, poor, hunters have Internet access, we can be
pretty sure Vaidya Sundaram has more education, more money, and more time
than Kannapa Nayanar.  Therefore we should--rather you should hold
yourself--to a higher standard of behavior.  And the same for everyone
reading this including myself.  (And the standard should be twice as high
as that for someone who is taking the responsibility of being a teacher.)
The difference between a bhakta and the ordinary man is that even though
Bhagawan only asks for the minimum, the bhakta wants to give the maximum.

>  Good for KannApa NAyanAr that jaldhar vyas was not around, stopping him
> from offering puja in this fashion.

Hmm if I saw a poor man, half-blind, hobbling around on one leg, trying to
worship, you're right I wouldn't stand by.  If he had no water I would
fetch him some.  If had nothing to clean it with I'd bring him a cloth.
And if he didn't know what to do, _I'd_show_him_.

It's a strange kind of tolerance that would let things stand in the way
you describe above.

> Infact, good for jaldhar that he was  not around then stopping KannApa
> NAyanAr,
> for Lord Siva has stated in
> several occasions that he will not brook any interference in the matters
> of how a devotee should offer prayers.
But the bhakta does not take this as a license to offer prayers any which

And here's a thought.  As Shiva Bhagawan's own shastras have given his
Brahmin bhaktas the duty to teach, it would be interference in _my_
matters to stand in my way.

>  If Jaldhar thinks he knows so much about the alternates and that random
> bits and pieces should not constitute puja, I suggest he go and take
> lessons on what the mantras of the Sandhya vandana mean. There are slokas
> from the Mahabharata, recited by Draupathi. there are slokas recited by
> the fore fathers of Jarat-kArvar. there are slokas from Siva purana. And
> if all these can be put to gether and be HOLY as a Sandhyavandhana, then
> why not the nArAyana gAyathri ??

For the reason that it isn't.  Kumarila Bhatt argues against the idea that
we can find _any_ reason for the vidhis.  They are to be performed
that way because that's the way they are to be performed.  (If that sounds
like circular reasoning that's because it is but every system has its
first principles.)

In the case of the Shuklayajurveda Sandhya it is very clear what the
various puranic shlokas are doing there.  I'm sure it is the same for
yours too.

>  Infact, the gayathri as recited by most people in the Sandhyavandhana
> today is NOT the gayathri as taught by Vishwamitra. What we do today is
> called nij~rth gAyathri -- meaning the gayathri from which some thing has
> been plucked out. And all for what purpose?  that we may easily attain
>  ** That by which everything else is known **

It is not the Gayatri of Maharshi Vishvamitra we're interested in, it's
the Gayatri of Sandhyavandan.  And that we know we are doing the right

> > are Vedic in nature and those Gayatris are for the purpose of Upasana.
> > I'll say it nicely this time.  There is no spiritual benefit from their
> > incorrect use.
>  says who?

Says the shastras that teach the right and wrong way to do things.  Says
the people who toil away their entire lives trying to get things perfect.

> what do mean by incorrect use.

For all mantras there are rules governing their use.  When they should be
said.  Who should say them.  How many times they should be repeated to get
a certain result etc.  When this isn't done, they have no effect or less
of one.

>What is that which makes the
> reciting of the slokas at any prayer incorrect?

non-removal of vighna, mispronounciation, not following instructions etc.

> It is a well known fact
> that ANY and ALL forms of prayer has defects. Discussion on this topic
> comes up even when Dakshan is doing his Vajpayee yajyam ignoring Siva.
> Even one as arrogant as Dakshan himself agreed that any Yajyam has
> defects. There is a lot of importance attached to what is called
> -prayaschitam- correcting mistakes. The simplest form of prayaschittam is
> where one says:
>  mantra hInam kriyA hInam bhakthi hInam hudhasanA
>   yadd-uthanthu mayA deva paripurnam thathasthute
> oh Lord, please ignore completely all my short comings with respect to
> the mantras, the offerings and also lack of bhakthi. Inspite of all my
> mistakes please make my prayer complete.

All absolutely true.  Here is that minimum/maximum problem again.  Just
because we acknowledge mistakes were made is not a carte blanche to make

>  I'd rather have one such ** ignorant ** person who thinks of Sri Krishna
> and Radha even when the name Radha krishna is uttered than a billion
> people who have read parts of the vedas, and who have such a holier than
> thou attitude.

So would I.  In fact I do!  These kind of people are my friends and
neighbors.  Unlike the South Indian immigrants who are mostly
city-educated professionals, a good number of the Gujaratis in Jersey City
have come straight from the villages and are shopkeepers or factory

But do you think for a minute that such people are happy to be ignorant?
No, on the contrary they are eager to know (and do) what the shastras
command.  That's why on average the second generation kids from these
Vaishnava families tend to be much more culturally literate than those
from Smarta families.  To conclude my story, when the villagers of Rajkot
district discovered the truth, they did not stick around to hear
Radhakrishnan. It wasn't the name Radha Krishna they were interested in
but Their divine presence and they knew they wouldn't find it with some
politician no matter how nice his name.

> and if it is any consolation, even prayers offerd by people
> with such holier than thou attitude will also be accepted by Lord
> nArAyanA.

I know.  Shri Narayanas shastras tell me so :-)

> Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam
>  all you grammar and all your rules will not come to your aid at the time
> of reckoning.
>  -- Sri Sankara.

How can anyone understand that stotra unless they know the rules of

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list