Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit


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Veeraswamy Krishnaraj: Tolerance with love is to speak in tongues of all faiths, hold in the heart the Truth of all faiths and see

all faiths in the face of humanity.


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About the author:

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D; F.R.C.P (Canada) is a board certified pediatrician in active practice until the end of 1998. He immersed himself in study of Hinduism in depth. He has sufficient knowledge and understanding of Hindu religion that he is confident to publish this book. He kept the words simple, supple, illuminating and to the point, while retaining the original flavor, beauty and grace. Compound words in Sanskrit are a nightmare for the beginner, as they are spliced together compactly in one continuous stretch of characters. He parsed the compound words into digestible syllables or words with superscripts and sequential numbers and rearranged the words in the verse in a readable form in English. In this book, he claims ownership of shortcomings and cedes the rest to Bhagavan. 

This book is good for students, and devotees reading the Bhagavad-Gita in Satsang (true company). Two verses nestle in two boxes in one page with no break or carry-over to the next page. Diacritics help the reader enunciate the words like a Sanskritist. The English words are reader-friendly. Wherever there is a need for elaboration, an addendum supports it.

Simplicity, authority, universality, and profundity are the hallmark of the Bhagavadgita, the Bible of the Hindus. The Bhagavadgita is the Song of the Lord. It provides guidelines for daily living with no dogmas and ritual overtones. It encourages and supports your individuality. It also explains the consequence of errant ways. Total surrender to Bhagavan releases the devotee from the ills of life on earth. Hinduism as a term is an external appellation from non-Hindus. Its true name is Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Law or Eternal Order) commensurate with Rta (Cosmic Order). The beauty about the Bhagavadgita is its appeal is universal.





bg Chapter 18 Renunciation and Liberation


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 The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 6 [ Page : 109 ]


Christ was a Sannyasin (ascetic), and his religion is essentially fit for Sannyasins only. His teachings may be summed up as: "Give up"; nothing more -- being fit for the favoured few.

"Turn the other cheek also!"-- impossible, impracticable! The Westerners know it. It is meant for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who aim at perfection.

"Stand on your rights", is the rule for the ordinary men. One set of moral rules cannot be preached to all -- sadhus (சாது = A gentle, harmless person --Tamil Lexicon) and householders.  Swami Vivekananda






Bhagavan is the Master of all the universes as depicted below. See one pixel size of the sun, and earth is invisible. See the ego-deflating size of Antares in the constellation Scorpius, by whose size sun is only one pixel. (File: The universe-antares-sun-earth)


The universe: http://www.trsiyengar.com/id07.shtml


bg Chapter 18: Renunciation and Liberation



Since the Lord is the owner of Para and Apara, He is Man (Purusa) and all created beings are women (Striyah). 

Para = The Supreme abode of Bhagavan Krishna, A world of Bliss and liberation. Apara = the pleasures enjoyed in inferior worlds.

In Vaishnava heaven (Vaikuntam or Paramapadam), every one qualified and destined to reach there, has to go through purificatory passage through lake and river. When they arrive at Vaikuntam, they have the same form as Bhagavan.

According to Brahma Sūtra, the individual soul is a repository of knowledge, a knower, an enjoyer, and a participating agent. The soul takes its qualities from the limiting adjuncts inherited from Prakriti and karma, while the natural state of the soul is that state, when it is not burdened with limiting adjuncts. The natural state is pristine and pure as that seen in a diamond, while the adjuncts are the dirt and grime covering the diamond. The apparent negative qualities of the soul are extrinsic in their origin and therefore are liable to change from birth to birth. The soul becomes an agent (purusha with a small 'p') when it wraps itself with the kosas (sheaths such as body, intellect, breath...) and Indriyas (sense organs). When the kosas fall, the agency falls. That the soul is atomic1 is not only a connotation of its size but also its adventitious nature in relation to Brahman. It is non-different from Brahman, when it is not covered with kosas or is in a state of liberation (compared to pure diamond without dirt and grime). It is different from Brahman when it is burdened with adjuncts or upādhis. The adjuncts are real and beginningless, because their cause is beginningless māyā. Māyā is neither SAT nor ASAT (Being or Nonbeing) and has the ability to transform one object or substance to another object or substance, and a substrate into a substance: The substrate is Brahman (Maya-Prakrti) and the substance is the manifest world. This transformation is called Parināma. Māyā, apart from being the progenitor of matter, is enzymatic in its quality and a substrate, and arises from Brahman; avidya or ignorance induces this enzymatic māyā. When avidya is removed or inhibited, the fog of māyā lifts and Brahman comes into view. This avidya-induced māyā regulates this phenomenal world. Brahman is One (= निश्चल Nishkala = no parts), but has the urge and capacity to become many (= शकल = Sakala = many parts). This phenomenal world is a toy for His plays (lila), pastimes (Vilāsa) and māyā.  

Vaishnava philosophy rejects the concept of Avidya of Monism.  Sri Yamuna (916-1036 CE) was the first of the kind to take on the Advaitins (Non-dualists = Monists) by the dialectical sword. He devoted himself to do 360 degree study of the nature of the individual self and the Absolute. Advaita Vedanta advances the triadic doctrine of  the Unity of Self, the illusion of the Universe and Avidya. The Advaitin's view is abhorrent to Sri Vaishnavism. Yamuna and Ramanuja seek to examine the fabric of Advaita philosophy by woof and warp, find loopholes and rip it apart. Among the opponents of Advaitins, Maya and illusion of the universe are some of their favorite subjects for disputation. They believe that attacking the fortifications of the opponent's philosophy is essential in building their own system of philosophy. Sankara's  (788-820 CE) fort of  Monistic philosophy withstands many forays from the likes of Yamuna (916-1036 CE), Ramanujacharya (1017-1137), Madhava (1238-1317). Monism does not fall with the likes of Sri Harsa, Anandabodha, and Cisukha holding the Fort. Vedanta Desikan (1268 CE – 1369 CE) tries to find chinks in the armor of Monism. Satadusani was the weapon he designed to pierce the armor. The weapon system (Satadusani) borrows heavily from Sri-Bhasya of Ramanuja and attempts to make a more polished, advanced and elaborate Stinger. Some original ideas are obvious in the system, designed to strike the opponent where they are most vulnerable. (Here read: the hollowness in the arguments of the opponents.) Counter arguments to invalidate all the Advaitic theories developed since Ramanujacharaya are incorporated in Satadusani, which takes advantage of all contradictions in the opponent's argument and attack their stand from all around (multi-pronged attack). Desika says that one could deploy the arrows of arguments contained in Satadusani in an endless repetition like robot (or like a broken record, a kind of Echolalia) to bring the Monism down on its knees.

Satadusani by Desika takes up one hundred philosophical issues for critical analysis. The target is the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta. At the outset Sankara and his philosophical cohorts come under the cross hairs of Desika. Desika takes up the position of the opponent (Purvapaksa) as the opening statement. Desika trucks through the illogical loopholes, shoots the opponents down and catches the contradictions by the nape of the neck which he wrings adroitly. Thus he clears the underbrush of pesky erroneous theories of opponents and thereby makes his position stand on terra firma. This process is called VAda, whereby the protagonist causes destruction of weeds of erroneous philosophy and establishes (construction) a fertile flower bed of his philosophy. The stance of VAda is unlike Jalpa and Vitanda.  Jalpa (wrangling) entails dictatorial dialectics, emphasizing on winning the opponent debater on pointless disputation, "quibbles, futilities and other processes which deserve rebuke." Vitanda (irrational reasoning; Caviling = trivial objections) is winning a disputation by advancing frivolous and perverse arguments with emphasis on drowning the loud uproar of the opponent. "It is mere attack on the opponent." In Jalpa and Vitanda, the truth is sacrified on the alter of debate forum, simply to establish a front as a debater. It is more psychological than sapient. There is more heat than light in Jalpa and Vitanda and mostly light and very little heat in VAda. In Jalpa and Vitanda, captious arguments may be used.  Desika establishes the validity of Satadusani by embracing VAda Grantha as the terra firma of Visitadvaita VedAnta.  VAda Grantha is a sword rather than a defensive shield on the fencing platform of debate.


Vādam = வாதம் = argument to establish the Truth. The requirements are to study and comprehend the opponent's argument fully and  to have clear concept of one's own position. Vādam  is twofold: effective destruction of the opponent's view and establishment of one's own view to the satisfaction of all.

Vitanda = விதண்டா வாதம்  Fallacious, captious argument, sophistryalso known as குதர்க்கம் = kutarkkam

a-vaakku = கோணவழக்கு =  Perverse argument;  நேர்மையற்ற வாதம்

ēkāntavādam = ஏகாந்தவாதம் = argument from only one point of view.

cutta-cūṉiya-vātam = சுத்தசூனியவாதம் = Nihilism = nothingness or nonexistence.

Go to TANTRA for more.


Desika goes to battle the Advaitins in the sacred halls of temples.

Satadusani is said to contain 100 VAdas but only 66 VAdas survive. It is thought that 34 VAdas are lost for ever.  Satadusani investigates epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, religious and ethical  issues. The first 8 Vadas deal with the 1st aphorism of Vedanta-sutras--the meaning, significance and nature of Brahman.  The first 8 also deal with Karma and Jnana. Vada 9 questions and dismisses the eligibility of Advaitin to engage in philosophical debate. Vadas 10 to 30 discuss the nature of Perception and Difference, Advaitin's view of the Universe as Illusion, the nature of Consciousness, the validity of scripture and other related subjects. Vada 32 is devoted to the doctrine of monistic Jivanmukti (liberation while alive), which the Vaishnavas do not accept. They believe in Videha Mukti, liberation after death or incorporeal liberation. The Vadas do not follow Sri-Bhasya in a numerical sense. Nirguna and Saguna Brahmans (Attributeless and qualified Brahman)  are discussed.  The lack of sequential treatment of subject, it is surmised,  is based on the premise that the debates are recorded as they happen.  One account says the following. A debate went on for seven days in Srirangam between Vedanta Desika and the Advaitins.  Perarulala Jiyar, a disciple of Desikan records the debate and submits the transcript (minutes) to Desikan on the 8th day after the Pundits are roundly defeated. Another account says that Desikan himself wrote the material soon after each debate. Though there is no coherent arrangement, the debate material is extensive, complete and comprehensive.

Eight points of debate-battle.

The 66 Vadas are grouped under 8 categories: 1) Pramanas [means to acquire knowledge], 2) Perception and Difference, 3) The Nature of Consciousness, 4) The Individual Self and the Absolute, 5) The Nirguna Brahman, 6) The Universe, 7) The Doctrine of Avidya, 8) Sadhana and Mukti.

The Monistic Advaita Vedanta theory: Brahman is the only Reality and all else is illusory. Avidya-māyā is the driving force behind the projection of this universe and is the creation of Mayin, the Lord, while Yogamāyā and atmamāyā are divine processes by which He self-creates Himself to be born in this world. In the latter two instances, Karma and Avidya are not in force, because He is Brahman and Supreme; and He is above Avidya and Karma.

Kashmir Saivism is monistic; Cit or Consciousness is the One Reality. Consciousness and matter are identical and not separate. There is no division between God and the world. The world is not an illusion as depicted by Monistic Sankara (788-820 CE). Thus Sankara's Monistic Advaita Vedanta is different from Kashmir Saivism, which was non-existent while Sankara was alive. Kashmir Saivism borrowed heavily from other earlier Saiva sects such as Saiva Siddhanta, Advaita Vedanta; its origin is later in time around 9th century. It was fashioned as a distinct sect of Saivism, whose nucleus is Saiva Siddhanta.

Though all Saiva Sects have Siva as their centerpiece, each claim that Siva initiated each sect  with a distinct impress, with many commonalities. Vasugupta (875-925 CE) is the first proponent of Kashmir Saivism from revelation by Siva as depicted in Siva Sutras. The bothersome question is why Siva gave different versions of Saivism to different sects. Could this be due to the difference in their understanding?

Before the advent of Kashmir Saivism, Saiva Siddhanta Primer in Saiva Siddhanta was prevalent in Kashmir.  Then came along Vasugupta who presented Siva Sutra of 78 verses as an alternative to Saiva Siddhanta. They were based on Monistic Agamas and advocated a three-way Marga (pathway) to Moksa (liberation). His follower Ksemaraja made commentaries on Siva Sutra Siva-Sutras and gave details as to how Siva Sutra came about. It was of divine origin, a dream revelation made to Vasugupta (875- 925 CE) by none other than Siva Himself. Upon instruction from Siva, Vasugupta found a tablet with inscription of Siva Sutra on the Mahadevagiri hill.  Authors believe the other version which says that Siva came in Vasugupta's dream and gave him a rendering of the entire Siva Sutra and instructed him to spread Monistic Saivism among his worthy followers.  The feather in his cap consists of three compositions: 1) Siva Sutra, 2) Spanda Karika, 3) Commentary on Bhagavadgita.

This universe according to Sankara is a projection from Monistic Brahman and is like the waves on the ocean surface. The waves are a projection or superimpositions, come and go, rise and fall, and are the stuff of Prakrti (matter). For the duration of the wave, it has a name, a form, and a “life.”  You, I, the universe, this and that are the waves. Here today and gone tomorrow. This transience and appearance (projection and superimposition) are because of a phenomenon called avidya-māyā (ignorance-illusion). The wave is a dink and comes up and goes down in a wink; that is māyā or illusion; it is real for the duration of its existence; but the wave itself is not Real. The Real is the Monistic ocean or Brahman and to say the wave is Real is avidya or ignorance. If you remove the Prakrti or the wave, you remove māyā and avidya. In other words, subtract all the waves on the ocean surface, you see only the Ocean (Brahman).  Now you receive the direct vision of Brahman and in this allegory, you see the ocean under the waves; the ocean is monism; the ocean and waves are dualism. The 'Rope and the Snake' explain Avidya-māyā, ignorance and illusion. In the dark, you see the rope and mistake it for a snake; and this is superimposition: the false snake is superimposed on a real rope. One should remove the superimposition or false impression of the snake from the real rope. Another example given is that the shell is mistaken for silver. What is the basis of the avidya-māyā? That is Time, Space, and Causation that play havoc on our perception and come between the Real and the relative real (unreal). Avidya-maya and Vidya (Knowledge) are the resident Saktis (powers) of the Lord and are like shade and Light of the sun; the former causes bondage, illusion, and veiling while the latter brings about liberation.

Desikan gives seven reasons why Monistic Avidya doctrine is untenable. 1) Its nature is unintelligible. 2) Its characterization as inexplicable as it is self-contradictory. 3) It is not established by any Pramanas--means of knowledge. 4) Neither Brahman nor Jiva-soul can be its locus. 5) Its obscuration of Reality-Brahman is unintelligible. 6) the removal of Avidya or nescience by true knowledge is untenable. 7) Its conception of cessation is a riddle. Faulty premise: Brahman (God) itself appears as universe. It is compared to a rope (Brahman) appearing as snake (universe). Seeing the snake in a rope is Avidya, ignorance or Ajnana. The rope does not transform itself into a snake. Ajnana (lack of knowledge) is the cause of this false perception. Rope is the cause of temporal snake and is the basis or substrate of the illusory snake. Likewise Brahman, the basis of the universe, is the material cause of the temporal illusory universe. Thus Brahman is the material cause of the universe without at the same time contradicting that Brahman is immutable. Vedanta Desikan examines the rope-snake theory in light of Vishistadvaita philosophy. Brahman, qualified by the individual selves and matter (Cit and Acit) in their subtle form is the material cause of the universe. Matter (Acit) exists in a subtle form in the body of Brahman; that matter, and not Brahman, undergoes transformation, mutation, multiplication into a world of objects. Brahman Himself stays immutable and is thus an indirect substrate of the world of objects through matter. (In Vaishnavism, mutability belongs to matter; Mutable Brahman is inconceivable. Impersonal Brahman does not exist.) But for Advaitins, Brahman is the locus of MAyA which is the direct substrate of the illusory manifestation of the universe. This entails that Advaitic Brahman undergoes mutation, which is against the tenets of Vedanta. Visishtadvaita Brahman (Visista Brahman = Qualified Brahman). Brahman is immutable and yet like an infant becomes a boy, youth, man... indicating that the body is changing while the self (the soul) the basis of the body does not change. Desikan says that the Causality of Brahman should be taken in the same vein. All the changes belong to Brahman and yet Brahman stays immutable in complicity with Vedantic precepts. Avastha (State) is integral with the substrate. Cit and Acit (Sentient souls and insentient matter) exist in a subtle unmanifest state in the body of Brahman in dissolution. -- adapted from Advaita & Vishistadvaita by S.M. Srinivasa Chari.

Avidya-maya and Vidya run parallel with Tirobhava and Anugraha (Veiling and Grace) of Saiva Siddhanta and are the innate forces (Sakti) of Mother-goddess of the Sakta sect.

Vedanta Desikan vigorously argues that Monistic (Advaitic) Paradigm of Shell-Silver illusion (snake-rope) tumbles down on its face with a rattle when one knows the nature of difference. Desikan called it everything except calling it a shell game of the Advaitins. The Advaitins are not cognizing the difference,  the shell-ness of the shell and the silver-ness of the silver to avoid the illusion of mistaking the shell for the silver (the wave for the ocean, the snake for the rope). They have to notice both the positive and negative qualities of shell and silver in order to transcend or escape from or avoid the illusion. Though the shell-ness is seen, the difference of the shell  from the silver is not cognized, leading to the illusion of silver in the shell. Thus superimposition (of silver on shell) is an invalid argument and lack of perception of difference. One should cognize two objects as different. All this essentially comes to support Vishistadvaita (qualified Monism) theory of  three distinct Reals: Isvara, Cit and Acit (The Lord, The sentient soul, the insentient matter). There is nothing unreal here. The world is not an illusion but real. The Acit is real; the phenomenal world is real; Isvara is Real; the individual souls (We the people) are real. Brahman cannot be burdened with Avidya-maya. If He is full of ignorance, how could He create this world? Brahman and individual souls are identical with a ton of difference. Vaishnava Brahman can create, maintain and recycle matter and beings (souls); the Cit or we the people cannot do them.  Isvara and the Cit become identical, once the impurities of the Cit are shed and the Isvara grants Grace. Vishistadvitins are of the belief that there is no such thing as impersonal Brahman, whom only transcendental Yogis can access. Brahman (Isvara) is Personal Brahman whom all and sundry can access. Brahman or Para Brahman of Vishtadvaitins is a living breathing God on earth, the universe and Vaikuntam, the Vaishnava heaven.


Go to bg04 for more details.


According to Garuda Purana (1.194.28), Kavaca of Visnu (coat of arms) is the origin of Māyā. This Kavaca has the ability to destroy all sins through the agency of Māyā. Since Kavaca is external to Vishnu, Kavaca-associated Maya is Bahiranga Maya (External Maya or power).  As you see, here Maya is said to be associated with Vishnu, which (Maya) Vaishnavas do not support.

atomic1: Tirumular (Tirumantiram: Tantra Seven, Verses 2011-2014) says that the soul (Jiva) is the size equal to 1 in 100,000 parts of a cow’s downy hair. Cow’s downy hair is approximately 16 microns in width. Go to Saiva Siddhanta view of the soul.  The term atomic is used both to indicate its size and its adventitious nature.

The soul according to Saiva Siddhanta

As you have noticed, I tried to bring into focus the points of view of many philosophies and  internal differences within.


18.1 Arjuna said:

I wish (or desire) to know the Truth about Sannyāsa and Tyāga and the difference (thereof), O Mahabaho, O Kesi-nisūdana.


Mahā bāho: Mighty-armed one. Hrisi kesa: Master of the senses. Kesi nisudana: Killer of demon Kesi. These are some of the names for Lord Krishna. 


Sannyāsa and Tyāga are renunciation of selfish acts and performance of deeds without expectation of rewards respectively. Sannyāsi renounces material objects and worldly comforts and has ascended the eight arduous steps or angas to reach that status. Sannyāsa is the fourth stage of life and the sannyāsi has no worldly possessions. A Tyagi on the other hand can be anybody who does acts without expectation of rewards. A householder can be a Tyagi, but not a Sannyāsi. The criteria for a Sannyāsi are more stringent and on a different and higher plane. A yogi (Sannyāsi) is capable of Kaivalya, Samādhi and Ānanda. See elsewhere for description.

As mentioned below, a yogi or a Sannyāsi has to climb eight arduous steps in full faith and accomplishment to reach the top. A true renouncer (Sannyāsin) is the one who relinquishes action without expectation fruits of such an action. Desirelessness (non-attachment--vairāgya) is one of the cardinal symptoms of a yogi. The Eight-in-one-yogi climbs the rungs of the ladder: withdrawal, observance, postures, breath-control, withdrawal of senses, fixed attention or concentration, contemplation or meditation, and superconsciousness or samādhi. He is an exemplar by practice:  Ahimsa, truth, non-theft, continence, patience, firmness, compassion, honesty, purity and rejection of gifts and moderation in food intake (only animal products allowed are dairy products). A yogi can attain samādhi only when he adheres strictly to the tenets.

Inaction is dereliction of duty (which he is sworn to, trained for, or ordained by birth) and performance of action with rewards on the mind. (Go to bg Chapter Six- The Yoga of self-control for more details.)


18.2:  Sri Bhagavan said:

The seer knows that sannyāsa is renunciation of work attached to desires. The wise declare Tyāga as renouncing the fruits of all actions.


Between Tyāga and sannyāsa, sannyāsa is a higher calling. Tyāga is for karma yogis and sannyāsa for the Jnāna yogis. For a sannyāsi, even the life-sustaining biological functions are work, and it is a burden that prevents him from total continuous immersion and absorption into Brahman.   Sannyasa = renouncer of action.  Tyagi: renouncer of fruits.


18.3:  Some wise men say that all work is evil and should be renounced, while others say that acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should not be relinquished.


    Let me give you an example of what a day-to-day act becomes an act of violence and evil for which atonement exists.  Don't we sometimes feel bad to core and cut an apple?  How could anyone plunge a corer right into the heart of the apple and cut such a beautiful creation of nature? That is why all work is evil. Take a practicing Jain in the extreme. When he falls in the river, his religion dictates, he should not flail his arms and legs to reach the riverbank but let the currents take him there. The teaching is that flailing causes violence to water particles.  What is the remedy or atonement for cutting an apple and eating it? This belongs to  obligate or necessary evil to sustain life; atonement is vaiccuvatEvam (வைச்சுவதேவம்), which entails making an offering to Visvadeva (விசுவதேவர்) before taking the main meal of the day. Visuvadevar (Visvadeva = all-gods) is an Aggregate of all gods, known and unknown.


 All Work is Evil bg 18.3. By extension, eating is also evil because in preparation of food, animals may have been destroyed. notes added on October 27, 2014.

The gods worshipped in the Vaiśvadeva are Vedic, and the ceremony is therefore from its antiquity far more interesting than the Pañćāyatana-pūjā, or any other modern form of the Deva-pūjā. It is described in its most ancient form in Manu III. 84-93. The idea involved in the entire service seems to be, that before a man begins eating he ought to consecrate and purify his food by making offerings of small portions of cooked rice and other food to all the deities through whose favour he is himself fed, and more especially to Fire, who is the bearer of the offering to heaven. In point of fact the whole ceremony resolves itself into a form of homage offered to the gods who give the food, and to the god of fire without whose aid this food could not be prepared for eating. There is also a notion that, in preparing the food by cooking, animals may have been accidentally destroyed, for which expiation should be made. --Monier-Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism


  18.4:  Certainly, hear from Me, O the Best of the Bharatas. In renunciation, Tyāga is declared to be of three kinds, O Tiger among men.


தியாகம் = Tyāga = giving, munificence.  தியாகி = Tyagi = one who gives.

There are three parts to Tyāga: the doer, the deed, and the reward. The Tyagi should surrender all three to the Lord because he is a mere anonymity, a mere instrument, a mere slave: The agency or doership is not his, but belongs to the Lord. When one claims actions or deeds as his, he claims the fruits of those deeds. Therefore, the tyāgi should surrender them too, to the Lord. Since you are a mere slave, you keep what is given to you; you work for Him and therefore, all your being (and existence) and anything that goes with that belong to the Lord. The Lord owns each one of us lock, stock, and barrel. He is the instrumental, material, and spiritual cause of our being. He enjoins the deed whether you know it or not, and therefore, the reward belongs to Him.

The deed or action is of five kinds: 1) Nityakarma examples are Sandhyavandanam and recitation of Gayatri Mantra.

2) Naimittika Karma refers to action performed on visiting holy places, during eclipses, full moon, dark moon, Ekadasi (11th day of every fortnight), birthday, marriage anniversary and much more. 3) KAmya Karma refers to religious rites and rituals for personal benefits (sons, riches, job) and for preventing and removing diseases, obstacles, catastrophes, and bad outcomes. 4) PrAyascitta Karma refers to acts of repentance to expunge sins of the past and the present. 5) Necessary and obligate actions include profession, work, business, farming, service, eating, sleeping, awakening, biological functions....


18.5:  Acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should not be renounced and must be done. Sacrifice, charity, and penance purify the wise.


Yajna, Dāna and Tapah: sacrifice, charity, and penance. Tapah or tapas means heat. The generative heat is conserved, sublimated, and channeled into asceticism.

Sacrifice, charity, and penance are the means of purification of those engaged in contemplation (worship), which expunges all prarabdha karma, according to Ramanuja.


18.6:   All actions should be performed renouncing the attached fruits. It is thus My decided (considered) and best opinion, O Partha.

  One should perform an action without attachment to the act or the fruit. Attachment to action and fruits lead to attachment to the body, mind, sensory and motor organs, possessions, family etc. We serve the family as a duty and not for praise, honor, gratitude, appreciation.... The father does not relinquish his duty to his family, but relinquishes his attachment to the acts and their fruits.

18.7:  Renunciation of prescribed duty is improper. Renunciation because of illusion is (said to be) due to Tamas or ignorance.


“Duty before all else:” The whole universe revolves on duty, work, sacrifice, universal and personal Dharma, or laws.

Tamas is the root cause of ignorance, negligence and delusion. Tamasic elements in ignorance and human reasoning consider wrong as right. Ignorance is false knowledge as opposed to right knowledge. Ramanuja says, "Renunciation of obligatory and occasional actions have their roots in erroneous knowledge "

Examples of Tamasic renunciation are not performing one's duty to one's family, employer, neighbor, place of worship, community, a nation and the world.


18.8:  He, who renounces his work because of difficulty or for fear of bodily pain, does not gain the fruits of Tyāga by doing Rajasic Tyāga or renunciation.

Rajas = Motion and passion. Rajasic people consider service to the family, employer, neighbor, place of worship, community, a nation or the world entail necessary pain and suffering and thus abandon such obligations; that is Rajasic relinquishment. Giving up is not the answer; doing it and not attached to the deed and fruit are the right attitude. Rajasic relinquishment is neglect of obligation and duty and pursuing luxury and its pleasures.


18.9:   When he does the prescribed duty, that ought to be done, O Arjuna, giving up the attachment and the fruits, in My opinion, is sattvic Tyāga or renunciation.


Sattva = Virtue, goodness. Attachment to action and its fruit is bondage; relinquishing of attachment to both is Sattvic renunciation. Sattvic Tyagi is the ideal type because he does not abandon his duty out of delusion like the Tamasic person making wrong choices or abandons his duty out of fear of pain and suffering like the Rajasic person pursuing comfort and luxury. Let me give you an example of disinterested action and renunciation of reward.  When you turn your ignition keys, run the engine and drive the car, the car is performing a disinterested action without serving you a homily; it is not asking for a reward; it is simply doing its duty. You could apply this analogy to the sattvic person. 

18.10:  He, who neither hates disagreeable action nor is attached to agreeable action, is a sattvika, a Tyagi, and a wise man, having cut off all doubts.

Purport: Action is of two kinds: agreeable and disagreeable. What is an agreeable action?  Agreeable action is that which pleases the senses, the mind and the mood and disagreeable action is that which riles the senses, the mind and the mood. Take a child for instance. To him playing and watching TV are agreeable action; doing homework is disagreeable action.

 Arjuna is sitting in the chariot getting ready for the battle; to him it is disagreeable action to fight his cousins. Bhagavan suggests that what makes a wise sattvic Tyagi is rising above the pain and pleasure of actions and performing one's duty. In this instance, it is to engage the enemy in battle, a disagreeable action.

A Sattvika, a Tyagi and a wise man all rolled into one person  has virtue and goodness, renounces selfish acts and performs deeds without expecting any rewards and  possesses wisdom and learning. To such a person with special endowment, agreeable and disagreeable actions do not generate either attachment or aversion respectively.  A Sattvic Tyagi, in a spirit of renunciation, rises above his reactive impulses in agreeable and disagreeable situations and performs what is expected of him.  When he does that, he becomes a wise man, having removed all his doubts. 

Mahatma Gandhi says the following: "Neither does he disdain the unpleasant action, nor does he cling to pleasant action-- this wise man full of Sattva, who practices abandonment, and who has shaken off all doubts."


18.11:  It is certainly never possible for the embodied one to renounce all actions. However, anyone renouncing the fruit of work is (said to be) a Tyagi.

A person (embodied soul) cannot give up actions, because he has to work, eat, drink, sleep, raise a family....  When a man is sleeping, apparently not doing any action, his heart beats, his digestive juices flow, his breathing goes on automatically.... He cannot renounce ALL actions and yet can renounce SOME actions. What could that be? It is not performing proscribed actions without the reactive element of aversion or dislike for that act; it is performing a prescribed action without the element of a liking for the act. What is the purpose of that attitude? The fruits. By doing these acts with an attitude of disinterestedness, he renounces all fruits of those actions. Now you see a Tyagi. Why is that attitude of relinquishment important? Thought, word and deed generate Karma. Relinquishment of aversion, liking and the fruits frees one from Karma and its consequences.  It is like working and NOT paying taxes. How is that? If you work as a volunteer and don't take a salary (fruit), you don't pay taxes. That volunteer work (action) is not rewarded with fruit and so there is no tax (karmic consequence).


18.12:  The desirable, the undesirable, and the mixed are the three kinds of fruits of work that come after death for the Atyagi but not for the Tyagi.


  Sankaracharya says that a non-renouncer (Atyagi) experience three kinds of fruits or results after death: 1) the Desirable, becoming god; 2) the Undesirable, going to hell; 3) Mixed, to be reborn as human being. On the other hand a Tyagi (= Sannyasi or renouncer) is not subject to these results or transmigration of the soul but attains eternal liberation.

Atyagi (he who is not a Tyagi; the one who has not relinquished the fruit) savors three kinds of fruits: sweet and pleasant, acrid and unpleasant, and mixed. These are karmic fruits one has to eat without exception or escape. Tyagi's selfless actions do not bear any fruits and therefore he does not eat any of these fruits now or anytime. Man feels happy eating sweet fruits meaning living  a joyous life. The same man feels dejected eating the acrid and mixed fruits. These actions and fruits are connected with the body and not with the soul.  The Tyagi relinquishes Prakriti (matter) associated with the body and its derivates such as mine-ness and egotism. He is Karmayogi, who performs actions for the welfare of others.  Here is a depiction of the entrance to the temple (Here it is a monastery for illustration). When you enter the temple, you give up Egotism, mine-ness and all negative thoughts and then only enter with humility and prayer on your lips. The door frame has four sides. The Mantra in honor, adulation and worship of Vishnu is Om Namo Narayanaya. In its parts it says, "O Narayana, nothing is mine; yes, all belongs to You. " That attitude does not bear any fruits though one acts.  For more details on Karma go to bg02.


There are three Karmas (Sanchita, Kriyamana (Agami) and Prarabdha); there are three fruits (desirable good fruits, undesirable bad fruits and mixed fruits).

Sañcita  are seeds; Prārabdha are sprouting seeds.

சஞ்சிதம் = सञ्चित  = Sañcita = Accumulated karma of former births that still remains to be experienced.

பிராரத்தம் = प्रारब्ध = Prārabdha =  Past karma, whose effect has begun to operate.

ஆகாமியம் = आगामिन्  = Āgāmin = Karma which is yet to come, good and bad karma of the present life which are expected to bring their rewards in future births. This karma yields results now, later or in the future births and if so becomes part of Sañcita karma.

Sañcita Karma, a collection of past Karmas, includes Prārabdha karma (under resolution now in this birth).

Sañcita has three kinds of seeds: Sattvic Shukla white seeds, Tamasic Krishna black seeds and Shukla-Krishna mixed seeds; these seeds give their respective fruits. They are only seeds, which when they start sprouting in this birth as Prarabdha Karma, results in rewards (White), punishments (Black) and mixed (Black and White) experiences.


Prārabdha karma: set in motion; Sprouting; germinates and yields fruits according to the seeds.

Arabdha Karma: begun, started, initiated, sprouting.

An-arabdha Karma: not begun, not sprouting, seed.

Sancita: Accumulated; stored dormant seeds = Silos or storehouse.

Kriyamana Karma (Agami): coming; being made; actively made


Abraham Lincoln said,

"The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future."


Ella Wheeler Wilcox said,


"With every deed you are sowing a seed, though


 the harvest you may not see."



Tamil Sacred texts have the following information on karma.


There are three basic karmas:  

1. Prarabdha Karma, Nukarvinai,  (நுகர்வினை--eating karma at present) Actively sprouting seed karma)

2. Agami Karma, Eruvinai  (எருவினை--coming, approaching, impending, harvested seed Karma)

3. Sanchita karma, Tolvinai (தொல்வினை--ancient karma; Storehouse seed karma, the silos)  

Prarabdha, Agami and Sachita Karmas are Sanskrit terms.


Nukar (நுகர்) +Vinai (வினை) = Eat, consume + Karma; Eru =  (எரு) Impending; Tol = (தொல்) distant in the past.

     1. Prarabdha Karma is Nukarvinai in Tamil, meaning that the person eats the fruits of his Karma now.  2. Agami Karma is Eruvinai meaning impending Karma.     3. Sanchita Karma, that includes Prarabdha karma, is Tolvinai or Pazavinai in Tamil meaning it involves distant deeds of former births.  Once all Malas and Karma are destroyed, there is no rebirth. Tamil saints are of the opinion that Diksai (தீட்சை) expunges Prarabdha and Sanchita Karmas and Guru's eye of wisdom expunges Agami Karma. Diksa Titcai or Diksai is initiation of a disciple into the mysteries of Saiva religion; it consists of three stages: Samaya-diksai, Viceta-diksai, and Nirvana-diksai (initiatory rites, second or middle step in initiation, which gives the disciple special privilege of making Puja to Siva, and Third and last step, which helps the disciple free himself from the bonds of existence and attain emancipation--Tamil Lexicon). As fire destroys cotton and reduces it into ashes, Diksai reduces all Malas into ashes and obtains liberation. Mantras destroy prarabdha karma and guarantees no rebirth, as fire roasts seeds and renders them unproductive. I introduce the term 'Acarpous Karma' for the Karma that is rendered sterile and not productive of fruit.

 Verse 30 Sivaprakasam  SivapprakAsam

Verse 30.

மேலைக்கு வருவினை ஏது என்னில் அங்கண்
விருப்புவெறுப்பு எனஅறி  அவ்விளைவும் எல்லாம்
மூலத்த வினைப்பயில்வாம்  என்னில் நாம்மேல்
முற்றி  அதன் பயன் உனக்கு முளைக்கும்  என்பர்
ஞாலத்து வினைகள் இருதிறன் ஆகும் புந்தி
நண்ணாத வினைநணுகும் வினைஎன  ஒன்று இரண்டாம்
ஏலத்தான் இதம்  அகிதமாம் இதனால் வழுவாது
எய்தியிடும் புண்ணிய பாவங்கள் என்றே. 30

The cause of future Karma is performance of deeds with like and dislike. The deeds are on account of Ahamkaram giving rise to Agamia Karma which is the cause of the next birth. The question is whether like and dislike are the fruits of previous Karma. The answer. The feeling of I and Mine gives the notion, 'I did the deed and the other did the deed to me' and remains as the germinal cause of next birth. There are two kinds of deeds: one of goodness and one of evil (இதம்  and அகிதம்). These deeds are also of two types: புத்திபூர்வம் and அபுத்திபூர்வம். They create Punniyam and PAvam ( புண்ணியம்  and பாவம் = Merit and sin) The fruits of these deeds occur without fail.

இதம் = That which is salutary, comfortable, acceptable, agreeable. அகிதம் = That which is unfit, unsuitable; Evil, harm


புத்திபூர்வம் = In full consciousness; conscientiously (Acts done in full consciousness) .அபுத்திபூர்வம் =  That which is unintentional (Acts done unintentionally).

Likes and dislikes during acts are of conscious and unintentional nature. That happiness and misery are the fruits of Karma is the right notion, while the nature of the world is to attribute acts to oneself or others. This attitude engenders Karma.

Intentional and unintentional acts are either salutary or harmful; the resulting fruits are served by God to the doer --the embodied soul-- to eat or experience.


18.13:  Learn from Me O Mahā-Bāho, these five  factors/causes for fulfillment of all actions as stated in the Samkhya doctrinal conclusions (Sānkhye-krtānte).    

What are these five factors governing either prescribed or proscribed action according to Sankhya Doctrine? Find out from the following verses.


18.14:  The body, also the agent or the doer, the organs of various kinds, various and separate efforts, and the  divinity the fifth is also here.


The action has five causes (elements) for its accomplishment: 1) physical body, 2) agent, 3) organs of perception, 4) various individual functions, and 5) divinity. These five are the factors needed for the prosecution of human acts as stated in Samkhya doctrine.  He (5) is the Antaryamin, Antarvarti, Antaratman and Paramatman


1) Adhisthanam is the body (the seat), the repository of love, hate, desire, aversion, happiness, sadness, knowledge, ignorance and many other dualities.  Body is called a seat because it is the seat of the individual soul and World-Soul

2) Kartā: Agent or doer. It should be understood that the Acharyas offer different interpretations of the agent. Who is this agent? Samkhya doctrine: Purusa is only a spectator or a witness; He does not participate in action because of his weak limbs; on the other hand, Prakrti is muscular but blind. If Purusa is weak-limbed, how could he be the agent or doer? It is said that Purusa is the agitator, the activator of gunas and therefore a doer. Without Purusa, Prakrti cannot act.

According to Sankara, Ahankāra (ego) is the agent. It is the “I” factor powered by Rajas, and both are in collusion. 

Ramanuja claims that jivātman (the soul) is the agent, while Madhava says that Lord Vishnu Himself (the World-Soul) is the Agent. For Sankara, the instrument and the agent are the same. Divinity is the wild card here: When the agent and the instruments go one way, divinity may go the other way. Is it karma? According to Sankara, the nature of deity (divinity) is not for analysis or inference by logic; what little we know is derived from scriptures: Divinity is beyond logic and reason.


3) Organs of perception are thirteen in number: 5 motor organs, the hand, the foot, the mouth, anus and genitals; 5 sensory organs, ear, eye, nose, tongue, skin; three internal organs (Antakarana) mind, intellect and egoism. The motor and sensory organs are the external organs. Modern anatomists say essentially the same thing and may use different terms.

4) Various individual functions: Ramanuja says that these refer to the five vital airs, without which the senses and the body cannot live. Go to  bg04 for more information on Vital airs.

5) Divinity: He is Antaryamin, Antarvarti, Antaratman and Paramatman. Go to bg18.73 for explanation.  He is the Resident of our spiritual heart.  From Him comes to us memory, knowledge and their removal (bg15.15).  The individual soul draws energy from the World-Soul, Bhagavan.  How he spends His Energy is up to the individual soul and it is left up to his free will to direct his senses, organs.... Bhagavan provides the Energy and Permission but not the direction, which is up to the individual soul.  The consequence of his acts is his and not Bhagavan's and yet nothing happens without BhagavAn's knowledge. Let me give you an example. Utility companies provide gas and electric power. You can use gas to cook your meals, and heat your house. That is what it is meant for. You can also use gas to burn down the house, which is not the intent and purpose of gas. You cannot blame the gas company for setting the house on fire. You bear the consequences for your acts. The same thing applies to God. He provides Energy and Permission. How you use them is your business.


18.15:  Whether karma is done in a proper or perverse manner (right or wrong), a man does it by his body, speech and mind; these are its five primary causes.


Nyāyam: Right or fit, axiomatic, standard, proper, conforming to scriptures. Viparīta: contrary, perverse.

Action in perverse manner is doing acts against the canons of Sastras. What are the five primary causes?

1) Action by body: The body being a composite entity of organs, elements, mind, ego, speech and the rest, functions under the aegis of the individual soul. 2) Action by the soul: The soul acts as the agent and the knower. 3) Action by organs: The motor organs like speech, hands, feet etc participate in action. 4) Action by the vital airs. The vital airs such as Prana, Apana etc sustain the actions of the organs. 5) Action by Divinity: The World-Soul, the Inner Self, the inner Controller brings action to its completion.

If Divinity is the ultimate doer of action, why should the individual self, organs, vital airs, and body be held responsible for such action?  Divinity is the Engine, Mover, Activator, or Impeller of action. The prosecution of action is left to the individual in the sense whether it is done within the purview of the canons of Sastras or against them. The freedom of choice and action is given to the individual.


All acts of man are done by speech, body and mind. Mind is the origin of thought and speech and the formulator of intended actions, which the body carries out for better or worse. The fruits of actions are also experienced by these three.


18.16:   He sees his own pure “Self” as the doer or agent due to lack of intelligence. Thus, this ignoramus never sees or perceives. 


Durmatih: ignoramus, one with false notion or opinion.


Mind, body and speech are products of Prakrti and do all the acts under the aegis of five causes as said above. The individual self or soul is not by itself the agent or the doer; it is subject to the consent of the Supreme Self, according to Ramanuja. Only an ignoramus considers the individual self or soul as the doer. The man with ego-deluded mind thinks he is the doer. When the delusion lifts, he realizes he is not the doer. Sankara give the following commentary.  A person riding the palanquin thinks he is moving; in reality he is not moving but the palanquin bearers are moving.


18.17:  He who is free from doership or ego, whose intelligence is not tainted, though he kills in this world, never kills and is never bound (by his killing).


This verse has contextual meaning and advice, directed to Arjuna, the prince and the warrior under battlefield conditions. It does not mean that somebody can kill somebody else and claim immunity. Every one acts according to his duty that he is born to fulfill, trained for, or ordained. Arjuna is ordained to fight to kill his enemy, since he is the warrior. One's duty is one's conscience. Performance of one's duty according to one's conscience is Sattva. Killing an enemy under battlefield conditions is a duty of a warrior, and therefore, his actions do not bind him. Brahmanda Purana ( states that killing an individual to save many is neither a major nor a minor sin.  The individual self is NOT the doer but a silent witness.

Individual soul belongs to and identifies with the Self (Bhagavan). By declivity, which is dissociation of the individual self from the Self or world-Soul, man identifies himself with the body. This is ignorance. If man develops egoism or body identification, dissociation (declivity) from Bhagavan takes place. This sense of I and identification with the body (Egoism) has two aspects: AhamsphUrti and Ahamkrti.

AhamsphUrti  ( "I"- vibration) is waking up and finding himself alive in his body (body consciousness). Soul-consciousness is absent or obtund.

Ahamkrti is waking up, looking at the body and saying I am white, black, brown, Brahmana, Vaisya, Sudra, professor, teacher...; all these are identification with the body or body consciousness. He forgets the universality of the soul. By this special affinity with a class, race, caste, quality, profession, man identifies himself with the unreal, impermanent and evanescent. With this affinity, he considers actions done by the unreal body as done by the Real or the soul


The unreal are the external markers of body; the Real is the self or the soul. When we greet a fellow human being with opposed palms, we are not addressing the person in his body aspect but greeting the soul in him. The fount of Ahamkrti is egoism, the arrogance of I overriding and subducting the soul.

The twin aspects of body consciousness and affinity refer to the body, the unreal element and not to the soul, the Real.  When man attains Self-realization, his body consciousness subsides. When he does actions in the name of self or soul without the impediment of body consciousness, those actions are without any Karmic load and do not bind him. He is not the doer any more. Bhagavan is telling Arjuna to lose body consciousness, attain soul consciousness and do his duty.


18.18: Knowledge, object of knowledge, and the knower are the three kinds of stimulus (impelling) to action. The sense organs, the action, and the doer are the threefold confluence of action.


  Knowledge, Knowable and the Knower are three essential impellers of action. Knowledge is to know the object of knowledge; it is like knowing the use of a pen. The object of knowledge is the act that has to be done; writing with the pen is the object of knowledge. The knower is he who knows the act; it is the man who knows to write with the pen. The sense organs, the action and the doer are essential for an action to come to completion. Illustration: the eye is the sense organ, the action is seeing and the doer is the person. What do all these mean? What are all these things leading us to?  Find out as you go.


18.19:   Jnāna, karma, and kartā are threefold, according to the difference in Gunas as said in the science of Gunas of Sankhya doctrine. Hear it rightly.


Jnāna, karma, and kartā: knowledge, action and doer (agent) yathāvat: duly, properly, rightly. 

Knowledge, action and the doer are governed by the three Gunas or modes of behavior: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (virtue and goodness; motion and passion; darkness, ignorance, sloth and slumber.

Knowledge, action and doer each is governed by Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.  Once knowledge is sattvic, it necessarily follows that action and doer are sattvic. The same is true of Rajas and Tamas.


18.20:   That is knowledge, by which “One” Being is seen in all beings as the Imperishable and the Undivided in the divided. Know that knowledge is Sattva.


सर्वभूतेषु येनैकं भावमव्ययमीक्षते ।

अविभक्तं विभक्तेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि सात्त्विकम् ॥१८- २०॥

sarvabhūteṣu yenaikaṁ bhāvam avyayam īkṣate
ṁ vibhakteṣu taj jñānaṁ viddhi sāttvikam 18.20


Knowing that Reality (Imperishable Being, World-Soul, Supreme Being, God) runs like an unbroken thread through all beings is Sattva or goodness. It like the thread running through and holding all flowers together in a garland or beads in a chain. This Atman (Self, World-Soul) is the Supreme Knowledge, which is One and the Same remaining undivided (like the thread) and imperishable in all beings, though existing apparently distinct and separate in each being, whether the being is particularized as a high-born, low-born,  poor, rich, learned, ignorant, multicellular, unicellular, animal, plant.... He is the Immutable and Imperishable Self or Soul abiding in the perishable forms or bodies like us and remaining completely unaffected by the fruits of actions generated by the individual and his karma. "Such knowledge of the immutability (and imperishability) of the Self in all changing beings is Sattvika." according to Ramanuja.


Sankaracharya defines "SaravabhUtesu as all things beginning from the Unmanifest to unmoving things, through which knowledge, one sees that Entity to be Avibhaktam, undivided; in every body, Vibhaktesu, in all the diversified things, in the different bodies.  That Reality, which is the Self, remains like space undivided. That realization of the Self as non-dual  is Sattvikam. That Self is Knowledge through which one sees a single undecaying Entity."  Sankara seems to include beings and matter in "Sarvabhuta".


18.21:  The knowledge by which one sees manifold divisions among all beings because of their separateness, distinct nature and diverse condition, know that knowledge is Rajas.


Rajasic knowledge sees manifold divisions among all creatures due to separate and distinct nature, and diverse condition.


Prthaktvena: due to separateness or distinct nature. Nānā-bhāvan: diverse conditions. Prthakvidhān: manifold divisions or types.

A Rajasic person is the one who sees diversity in unity, due to natural distinction and individuality among living beings, which include people, animals, birds, insects, trees.... He categorizes and divides living things (and objects) by Family, genus, species and individual parameters. He does not see the pervasiveness of the Lord or Brahman running through all living beings like a thread running through the beads in a chain. He notices the differences but does not see the Oneness of Brahman in all living beings. It is like a Rajasic white man seeing the blackness in the black people and the brown in the Indians or Vice Versa; the Oneness of Brahman in all these people eludes his rajasic perception and predisposition.

Ramanuja says that the bodily attributes do not affect the abiding Atman or the World-Soul in each being.  This knowledge, when lacking, is of Rajasa guna.  Rajas as guna is the cause of love and hate, aversion and attachment.... It thus sees diversity in unity, and fails to notice unity in diversity (World-Soul in diverse beings).

Bhagavan Krishna says, 'A Punditah (sage) regards (sees) with an equal eye a humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even a dog-eater.'  (bg5.18) 



18.22:  Tamas holds to a single act as if it were the whole, without regard to the cause, and knowledge of the Reality or Truth and therefore, is frivolous.  


यत्तु कृत्स्नवदेकस्मिन्कार्ये सक्तमहैतुकम् ।

अतत्त्वार्थवदल्पं च तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥१८- २२॥

yat tu kṛtsnavad ekasmin kārye saktam ahetukam
atattvārthavad alpa
ṁ ca tat tāmasam udāhṛtam 18.22


kṛtsnavat = as though it were all. ekasmin =  to one, in one. saktam = attached, cling, confined, ahaitukam = that which is irrational, bereft of logic. a-tattva-artha-vat = absence of Truth. alpam = trivial, frivolous. tāmasam = born of Tamas. udāhṛtam = said to be.


Kārye: effect, result, single type of act--Ramanuja.

Kārye:  form, to one body or to an external image--Sankara.

Kārye: work -- Ramanuja, Prabhupada.


The physical body comes from Prakrti (matter). If body, being an incomplete entity, were considered as a whole, it is an irrational and foolish thought because body without Soul is incomplete and contradicts the existence of life and Reality. Ramanuja’s interpretation is different: He calls Kārye as a single type of act. He says, "while an act of worship of Ghosts (anyone less than Bhagavan, the Lord) offers minor fruits (as if they are the ultimate goal), the worship of Bhagavan offers many fruits including the ultimate fruit of salvation."  


After reading many commentaries, the following is my take and understanding of this verse.

Tattvartha = Truth, Reality, Noumenon

The Tamasic person thinks as follows.  He regards one phenomenon as if it were the whole Tattvartha, the Noumenon. Phenomenon is one (single) thing as it appears; Noumenon is One Thing in Itself as it really is. One Thing in Itself is Purna, wholeness, or Plenitude and is an Entity with myriad things in its parts. The purport is that Thing in Itself is more than one thing as it appears. Phenomenon is one infinitesimal part and manifestation of the Noumenon, which is the whole. Noumenon is more complex than phenomena. A Tamasic person takes a limited and circumscribed view of a thing, takes it as a whole and loses sight of the Truth and its complexity. It is like the five blind men and the elephant.  He sees the phenomenal world and ignores the Tattvartha, the Noumenon (the Truth) that is Bhagavan. He takes the world for his selfish enjoyment as it relates to him and misses and ignores the Tattvartha.  He cannot see beyond the limitation of his ego, body and mind.

Sattvic person sees unity in diversity and the thread of Bhagavan running through all beings and objects of the universe. (This is the Vaishnava view.)

Rajasic person sees diversity in unity. To use Nehruvian idiom, Rajasic person has fissiparous trait.

Tamasic person is a man of trivial pursuits and misses the unity in diversity.


18.23:  That action, which is performed as duty or obligation, without love, hatred, or desire, by one without attachment to its fruits, is called Sattva.


नियतं सङ्गरहितमरागद्वेषतः कृतम् ।

अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत्तत्सात्त्विकमुच्यते ॥१८- २३॥

niyataṁ saṅgarahitam arāgadveṣataḥ kṛtam
aphalaprepsunā karma yat tat sāttvikam ucyate 18.23


saṅga-rahitam   = worldly attachment, desire - forsaken, deserted = without worldly attachment. a-rāga + dveṣataḥ = without love or hatred.  aphala-prepsu = no fruit + longing for = not longing for fruit.

The clouds rain, the sun shines, and the wind blows without attachment, love, hatred, and desire for fruits; that is Sattva.

There are so many common loan words like these between Sanskrit and Tamil.   Phala is fruit in Sanskrit; Pazham (ÀÆõ) in Tamil is fruit. Sangam = sangam-- ºí¸õ = attachment.   RAgairAgam, þá¸õ. dvesa = dvesam, Чńõ.

18.24:  Action, which is performed  with a desire to enjoy the fruits, and is prompted by ego and an extraordinary effort , is considered Rajasic.  

bahula-āyāsam: abundance of exertion, extraordinary effort, or great effort.


Here is a prototypical Rajasic person with TAB--Type A Behavior.

He talks fast; his voice is screeching, annoyingly loud, and unpleasant. His carriage is tense, robotic, and jerky.  He has palpebral (eye lids), facial, possibly body and limb ticks.  His jaws are tight and TMJs click. He smacks his lips. His masseters (chewing muscles of the face) are bulging from constant tonicity, indicating clenched teeth. He sucks in air to accommodate his rapid-fire staccato speech.  He sighs more often than not. His eyelids blink and pulsate like a wound-up haywire metronome. His teeth are worn out from excessive grinding while sleeping and awake. He has black circles under the eyes like a raccoon from loss of sleep, fatigue, smoking…. He drives fast, cursing pedestrians, and other drivers, honks unnecessarily, talks to himself while driving, and yells obscenities at passing cars, pedestrians and "ugly chicks." He weaves through traffic like a crazed snake shooting towards the hole in the snake-hill. He keeps looking at the light, starts moving at amber light; green is too late in coming for him. He screeches to a halt at the nick of time to avoid a pedestrian who is minding the green light and walking in the pedestrian crosswalk. He smokes, eats, talks on the cell phone, fiddles with the buttons on the dashboard, yells at the other drivers and shows the middle finger to the passing cars, all while driving.  He bares his teeth like a surly dog. His forehead has wrinkles and his mouth is puckered like a string purse  from contraction of muscles around the mouth. Sometimes his sourpuss sports a hesitant smile which dissolves into anger when faced with casual contacts at toll booths. He curses the toll booth employees for no fault of theirs for the rising toll charges.  He does not actually eat but wolfs the food down as fast as his gullet can safely pass it down.  Before his spouse could say, ‘second helping,’ he is all done with eating, taps his fingers on the table, shakes and pumps his leg like piston, looks at everybody else at the table as if they have nothing else to do except eat his food and wonders why they haven’t finished their meal.  He hates going to restaurants because the waiters are too slow for his liking.  When he ends up there during a long drive or vacation, he stands at the waiting line shifting his weight from one leg another and his roving eyes spin impatiently looking at whirling busy waiters and the cucumber-cool cashier to usher him (and his family) in right away.  His wife and children keep cautioning him to take it easy.  One of his daughters smilingly says, “Giddy Goody Dadyo, there are no empty tables; we just have to wait our turn.”  He loves his family toooo much to see any slight in her admonition. As he ambles to his table following the usher too closely for comfort, he knocks the towels, water pots, and silver evoking disgust from the patrons. His swinging wayward hand pokes the face of a baby sitting on a high chair, precipitating a sudden clap of thunderous pain from the baby, and consternation and anguished look  from the mother and inviting an unwelcome cynosural scowl from all directions. He apologizes to one and all instantly.  He can’t wait to get out of the restaurant. Something is "wronger." The food is bad, the service is atrocious, it is too noisy, he can’t smoke there,  the busboys clatter the plates and silver too loud, it is too stuffy, it is too hot, it is too cold, it is just not right. So he asks his spouse to pay the bill, goes to the bathroom, urinates all around the toilet bowl like a wayward garden hose (his hands are shaking from nervousness), pulls his zipper fast, nicks himself, yells obscenities, ambles out of the restaurant before his family, sucks a smoke nervously, fidgets with his eyeglasses, jingles the coins and the keys in his pocket, checks his back pocket for his wallet, curses the yelping dog, startles the squirrel by throwing a lighted cigarette at it with the flip of his smoke-stained finger, and keeps looking through the restaurant glass walls in the direction of his table for the shadow of his family. It is the moment they relish, being away from him, though they love him. He goes home; his family is glad that nothing worse happened. He settles down on the love seat, watches television, flips and surfs on all three hundred channels fast and furiously, calls his spouse asking for his favorite program, its channel and time, drinks his favorite beer, eats snacks, reads newspaper, belches loudly, opens the mail, and curses the utilities, and credit card companies for their bills and finance charges. He goes to bed with baggy eyes covered with sleep shade because he can't sleep without lights in his bedroom. His wife wears it too because she can't sleep with lights on. They look like a happy couple sunning in the sunshine of their lighted bedroom with sleep masks on.

Now you have an idea what a Rajasic person is. All his acts seek instant gratification; he projects his ego on men, animals and objects. He is the doer or agent, the center of the universe, which has to revolve around him. He expends a great deal of effort at everything he does, but the returns are poor. He arrogates himself by feeling and saying that he expends enormous energy to run his business, and support his partners, the staff and the family; he does everything by himself.  Ultimately he is fatigued physically, mentally and spiritually. He carries the world on his shoulders, which is telling on his physique, psyche and all; he is at a breaking point.


18.25: Work that is undertaken with delusion, and without regard to consequence, loss, injury, and ability, is said to be Tamasic.  Tamas = darkness, ignorance.


अनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसामनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम् ।

मोहादारभ्यते कर्म यत्तत्तामसमुच्यते ॥१८- २५॥

anubandhaṁ kṣayaṁ hiṁsām anapekya ca pauruam
mohād ārabhyate karma yat tat tāmasam ucyate 18.25


Anubhandam: attachment. Ksayam: loss. Himsam: injury to others. Anapeksya:  carelessness, disregard. Paurusam: human ability, relating to purusa or human. Mohāt: error, folly, ignorance, delusion


A Tamasic person (delusion, darkness, ignorance, folly) undertakes an action without due regard to consequences. anapeksya ca paurusam refers to lack of "human ability, time, skill, knowledge and resources to perform an act."


This verse, in fact, talks about the war that is about to take place in Kurukshetra. The Kauravas imposed the war on Pandavas. The Kauravas stole their kingdom, which is attachment and usurpation. They did not think of the ruinous consequences such as loss, injury, death, mutilation, and deprivation on the soldiers, generals, themselves, family members.... They entered the war with utter carelessness without any regard for future. They were blinded by their might and did not think of the disadvantage of Bhagavan Himself taking sides with the Pandavas. They were very derisive of almighty Bhagavan because of delusion.


18.26:   The doer or agent, who is unattached, not egoistic in speech, endowed with determination and enthusiasm, and unaffected by success or failure, is said to be sattvic.


He who is without attachment is a Sattvic Doer.  He does not claim any bragging rights for his actions or accomplishments. He is determined, firm and enthusiastic about what he does without any attachment; he does not lay any claim on the fruits. He does not claim to be or having a feeling of being an agent (An-aham-vAdI); he feels he is an instrument in the hands of Bhagavan. He and his ego do not occupy the central position in his acts or relationship with others. He remains unperturbed in success and failure; thus, he does not concentrate on fruits. His guiding principle in performing an action is approval from the scriptural authority and not the fruits thereof. 


18.27:  The doer, who is passionate and desires fruits of actions; who is greedy, injurious, and impure; and who is subject to joy and sorrow, is proclaimed to be Rajasic.


A Rajasic doer has passion for name, fame and fruits. He is greedy, injurious and impure. His greed is saddled with niggardliness. He causes injury for gain, covetous and cruel by nature (himsa-atmakah). His act lacks internal and external purity, which is mandatory for worship of Bhagavan. He is not dispassionate when it comes to action. He is elated at success and depressed at failure. If there is no fruit, to him it is not worth his effort. Joy for acquisition, sorrow at getting undesirable fruit, and losing a coveted object overwhelm him.


18.28:  The doer, who is unbalanced, uncultivated, obstinate, deceitful, usurping, lazy, despondent, and procrastinating, is said to be Tamasic.


Tamasic person is unsteady and unhinged (Ayuktah) when it comes to following Sastras. He is puerile, immature, unrefined and  ignorant of Sastric injunctions. He is materialistic, stubborn and inflexible like a rigid rod; he is deceitful, depraved and dishonest. He is too lazy to undertake and finish his own task. He is gloomy and procrastinating so much so that he does what has to be done today in the distant future.


18.29: Hear the three kinds of differences in intellect and steadiness explained fully and severally according to the gunas, O Dhananjaya.


बुद्धेर्भेदं धृतेश्चैव गुणतस्त्रिविधं शृणु ।

प्रोच्यमानमशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनंजय ॥१८- २९॥

buddher bhedaṁ dhṛteś caiva guatas trividhaṁ śṛṇu
procyamānam aśe
ṣeṇa pthaktvena dhanajaya 18.29

buddeh = intellect; bhedam = difference; dhreteh = of fortitude; gunatas = according to gunas (modes of behavior);  trividham = three kinds; asesana = in complete detail; prathaktvena = severally.             

The gunas are three: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Intellect and fortitude are affected by the three gunas. In bgT 6.4-25, Bhagavan says the following:

6.24 - 25:  Giving up all desires born of mental will and limiting by the mind all senses from all sides, one should withdraw slowly (little by little) by intelligence and firm conviction (from objects). With his mind steady on atman, one should not think of anything else


18.30:  Buddhi, by which one knows action and nonaction (renunciation), what should be done and what should not be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation, O Partha, is sattvic.


Pravrttim: activity, exertion or effort. Nivrttim: renunciation of action  Buddhi = discriminating intellect.


Sattvic Buddhi is to know worldly activity (Pravrttim) is living in the matter, and renunciation  (Nivrttim) is living in the spirit; the former leads to material prosperity and the latter leads to liberation. Pravrttim is centrifugal movement of the soul from its divine fountainhead, meaning living in the material world with embodied soul. Nivrttim is beating a path back to the Source; it is the centripetal movement of the soul to its fountainhead. The former is bondage in the world of diversity; the latter is liberation from the world of bondage. The former is the path of rites, rituals, responsibilities, and duties; the latter is renunciation and withdrawal from the world of matter.  Sattvic Buddhi also knows the prescribed and proscribed acts according to scriptural injunctions.  Fear and fearlessness are a referent to scriptural transgressions and observations; fear arises from transgressions and fearlessness arises from observation of scriptural dictates. Transgressions are inimical to an individual, a family, a community, a nation and the world and therefore induce fear in a transgressor. Fearlessness is liberating in an observer of injunctions.


18.31:  Buddhi, by which it knows imperfectly dharmam and adharmam, what should be done and what should not be done, is Rajasic, O Partha.


Dharmam and adharmam: right and wrong. Dharmam is following prescribed injunctions of Scriptures. Adharmam is the opposite of Dharmam.



Rajasic Buddhi does not know the essence of the verse 18.30 and has a wrong understanding of virtue and vice and prescribed and proscribed acts. Action performed by an individual for the welfare of all is Dharmam and Karyam; the opposite (Akaryam) is true of Adharmam. Karyam is action that ought to be done; Akaryam is action that ought not to be done. That is easy to understand.  Let us take simple examples where there is a moral, ethical and legal dilemma in the choice we make. Most of us know commonplace Karyam and Akaryam. Karyam is doing one's duty to a fellow human being according to the dictates of his conscience and job description. A teacher teaches and desists from abusing the pupils. A legislator serves his electorate and not the special interest groups. A doctor serves the patient and not the pharmaceutical industry. All this come under Karyam and Akaryam. What about actions in the grey zone?


There are some grey areas. When the Nazis were making house to house search for Jews, some Germans hid them so well that the Nazis could not find them and were sent on their way with a pack of lies. That is clearly a laudable moral and ethical act, while at the same time it is an illegal act. This is an example of Karyam that ought to be done, though illegal in the eyes of the authorities and the law.  You see a snake swallowing a frog and the snake in its turn is eaten alive by a mongoose. What should you do? Life is at stake and in danger. The best thing to do is Akaryam, wherein you do not interfere with the nature of things.


18.32:  Tamasic Buddhi, covered by ignorance, thinks Adharmam as Dharmam, and sees all things contrary to their real nature, O Partha. 


Dharmam = தருமம் = virtuous deed. This is what Ramanuja says, "That Buddhi is of the nature of Tamas (darkness, sloth and slumber) which is enveloped in Tamas and reverses every value. The meaning is that it regards Adharma as Dharma and Dharma as Adharma, existent as non-existent, non-existent as existent and higher truth as the lower and the lower truth as the higher, and thus reverses every value." 


18.33:  The unswerving determination, by which one controls and steadies the mind, the life-breaths, and the activities of the senses by yoga (meditation)-- that firmness-- O Partha, is sattvic.


Sattva = சத்துவம் = Virtue and goodness. Unfailing determination and fortitude through yoga and Samadhi (absorption in Brahman) with control of the functions of the Manas, Prana, Indriyas (mind, vital breaths, and organs) are of the nature of Sattva.  Dhrti or fortitude keeps us steady on the path to realization of Brahman. Dhrti keeps in check and sustains the activities of the mind, vital breaths and senses through Yoga. That man is Sattvic. Here there is clear reference to Kundalini Yoga, by which the Yogi steadies his mind, controls his senses, channels the breaths through Susumna Nadi and attains Samadhi.


18.34:  The determination, by which one holds fast to Dharma, Kāma, and Artha (duty, desire and wealth) with attachment to desires of fruit O Partha, is Rajasic.


Dharma, Kāma, and Artha: Duty, desire/passion, and wealth. Kāma has a carnal element. A person has four goals in his life: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa (அரம், பொருள், இன்பம், வீடு = தருமம், அருத்தம், காமம், மோட்சம்), which are collectively called Purushārtha (புருடார்த்தம்): any object of  human pursuit; aims of existence; the meaning of human existence. Though Dharma, Artha and Kama observed with determination and fortitude are of Rajasic nature, there are no injunctions against them.

Kāma is gratification of any and all desires; Artha, acquisition of wealth; Dharma, discharge of duty, righteousness; Moksa, final emancipation. There is no human existence without these four pursuits. These four pursuits pair off in a sattvic (virtuous) person. KAma pairs off with Moksa; Artha with Dharma. Kama is desire and if desire does not pursue the attainment of Moksa or emancipation, it has no value; if Artha (accumulation of wealth) does not pair off with Dharma (righteousness), it has no value. Ramayana has examples of these pairs. Rama is dharma, Lakshmana Artha; Kama is Satrugna and Moksa Bharata. All these four brothers born of Dasaratha are embodiments of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa.

     Purusharthas abide in Bhagavan,  Adhisesa,  Sudharsanam, and Panchajanyam.

    Bhagavan: He who has Bhaga (grace, excellence, beauty, distinction, majesty....)

    Adisesha is the First Remainders meaning the Primeval residue consisting of Spiritual substance (Consciousness) left over from the previous cosmic Manvantara after the dissolution (Pralaya) and which serves as the progenitor substance of the new universe. This Consciousness substance is represented by the bed of coiled snake with hood, upon which Mahavishnu goes into Yoganidra until the new world is ready to be created.  After destruction and before creation what is left (the residue) is the Consciousness-Substance (the snake that sheds the skin and makes a new appearance), represented by Sesha.

Acharya-initiated devotees of Vishnu wear scar-marks of Discus and Conch on their right and left shoulders from hot seals, impressions or brandings. The Acharya invokes Narayana and His weapons, Discus and Conch by Mantras and applies the hot seals on the shoulders. Agni or the fire and heat carry the spirit of Narayana and His weapons and deposit them on the shoulders of the devotee for whom Pancha Samskaram is performed; the weapons provide eternal protection to the disciple.

Sudharsana: Discus on His right hand

Panchajanyam: Sanku or Conch on His left hand stands for virtue and goodness, defeat of evil, warding off of Yama and his minions, protection from SamsArA, living in Vaikuntham (Vishnu's abode),

That conch was called the Panchajanya Conch.

Panchajanya was a wicked demon exhorting people to perform evil acts, which led to ruination of their lives. The son of Krishna's Guru Sandipany became a victim of Panchajanya, whom Krishna rescued and returned to his parents. Krishna fashioned a conch from the bones of Panchajanya and blew it to warn the evil people of the consequences of their evil acts. In the epic war of Mahabharata in Kurukshetra, Krishna blew the conch to strike terror in the hearts of Kurus, which essentially sealed the fate of Kurus. The conch is also blown on auspicious occasions and emanates the sacred syllable sound, AUM.

There is another story connected with the Conch.

There was a demon called Shankhaasura. He defeated the Devas, stole the Vedas (Sacred Scriptures) and went to the bottom of the ocean to hide it. The Devas prayed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu incarnated as the Matsya (fish) Avtaar, killed Shankhaasura, and  blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear. The ‘Om’ sound came out of it and the Vedas were released from captivity. That is the reason why the conch is called ‘Shankha’ and the knowledge of the Vedas is contained in the sound of ‘Om’ that emanates from the Shankha (conch).

18.35:  The determination by which a fool never gives up dream, fear, grief, despondence, and conceit or arrogance, O Partha, is Tamasic.

yaya svapnam bhayam sokam visadam madam eva ca |

na vimuncati durmedha  dhrtih sa partha tamasi||18.35||              

Here the Sanskrit word Svapna means dream. Many commentators interpret it as sleep.  This description is of a person with hypochondria and depression. Fear, grief, despondence and excessive sleep are signs of depression.

  Durmedha = dull-witted, stupid, ignorant.

Here “a fool who does not give up sleep” means that he does not want to give up excessive sleep. Sleep in another context means ignorance.


18.36:  And now hear from Me, O Best among Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness, which one enjoys by practice and by which he reaches the end of suffering.


18.37:  That happiness, which is like the poison at the beginning and nectar at the end, comes from Atma buddhi and is sattvic.


Sattvic happiness, coming from Atma buddhi, is like poison at the beginning and nectar at the end.


Atma buddhi: Knowledge of the Self.


Real joy is like poison in the beginning because Yoga is a strenuous practice and realization of Brahman has not taken place, which when realized is comparable to nectar in the end.  This ambrosial joy comes upon acquisition of Spiritual Knowledge and detachment, and absence of egotism.

18.38:  The happiness, which comes from the contact of objects of senses with the senses, is nectar at the beginning and poison at the end, and is known as Rajasic.


Rajasic happiness coming from contact of senses with objects of senses is nectar at the beginning and poison at the end.


18.39:  That happiness, which deludes the atman in the beginning and at the end and which comes from sleep, laziness, and negligence, is said to be Tamasic.


 Tamasic happiness deludes the atman in the beginning and the end and comes from sleep, laziness, and negligence.  

An embodied (Tamasic) being, divested of soul-consciousness is awake, alert, enthused, and dedicated to material pursuits, which is Tamasic happiness. It deludes the individual soul of a person, revels in spiritual sleep, and laziness and negligence in switching from sense objects to spiritual pursuits.


Sleep has two meanings: 1. normal physiological sleep that a person needs for recuperation from daily wear and tear. 2. Spiritual sleep.  Spiritual sleep is ignorance and seeking sense gratification. When we are awake to the world of senses and its objects, we are in spiritual sleep and Kundalini Sakti is asleep in the Muladhara Chakra. When we are awake spiritually, Kundalini Devi is also awake, which is the first requisite for the Kundalini Sakti's rise through all Chakras to Sahasrara to attain oneness with Siva and Sakti. That is opposite of sleep and becoming one with the Lord; that is knowledge of Reality. Laziness and negligence accompany Spiritual ignorance.


18.40:  There is no being either on earth or in heaven or among the gods, who is free from the three modes of Gunas born of Prakrti.


Prakrti: Material nature.


18.41: Brāhmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sūdra, O Parantapa, and their activities are divided according to the Gunas born of their own nature.


In answer to question #530, Sri Krishnan Swamy says, "There are two ways in determining caste - by birth and by conduct. All are free to chant Namas."



Character (Guna) makes a Brahmin and not natal caste

Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) should be the case with castes.

 The four classes are not determined by birth or colour but by psychological characteristics which fit us for definite functions in society.  Dr. Radhakrishnan, The Bhagavadgītā , page 364-5.

Sri Nārāyana Guru  (August 22, 1856  –  September 20 1928)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sree_Narayana_Guru 

Sri Nārāyana Guru  (1855–1928) 

From the beginning of time, so far as anyone knew, only Brahmins had ever installed an idol. Yet when Gurudevan (born in Ezhavan Caste) performed the sacred rite it appeared so natural for him to pick up a small rock and install it. When brahmins challenged his right to consecrate, he replied in his famous quote:This is not a Brahmin Siva, but an Ezhava Siva.To those who questioned the timing of the consecration saying it was not an astrologically auspicious time, he replied: Horoscope is to be cast after the birth of a child, not before. He instructed to place a plaque containing a motto on the temple wall which read as:

Devoid of dividing walls of Caste

Or hatred of rival faith,

We all live here

In Brotherhood,

Such, know this place to be!

This Model Foundation!

Next, he started a Sanskrit school in Varkala. Poor boys and orphans were taken under his care. They were given education regardless of caste distinctions.

In 1913, he founded the Advaita Ashram at Aluva. This was an important event in his spiritual quest. This Ashram was dedicated to a great principle - Om Sahodaryam Sarvatra (all men are equal in the eyes of God). This became the motto of the new Ashram.  He further said in that message, The name Ezhava does not denote a caste or a religion and he made temple rights to everyone. Therefore people can be admitted to this organization without paying heed to differences of caste.

Schools rather than temples are to be preferred, he exhorted in a dramatic shift of focus, he said. He advised Sri Buddha's principles of five purities - body, food, mind, word, deed called as Pancha Dharma.

An Advaithin to the core, he did not differentiate people on the basis of their religion, caste, colour or beliefs. He was tolerant toward all philosophies that stood for the progress of mankind.

In the year 1916, he proclaimed : It is years since I left castes and religions. Yet some people think that I belong to their caste. That is not correct. I do not belong to any particular caste or religion.

The fourfold order is not peculiar to Hindu society. It is of universal application. The classification depends on types of human nature. Each of the four classes has certain well-defined characteristics though they are not to be regarded as exclusive. These are not determined always by heredity.

The Gītā cannot be used to support the existing social order with its rigidity and confusion. It takes up the theory of the four orders and enlarges its scope and meaning. Man's outward life must express his inward being; the surface must reflect the profundity. Each individual has his inborn nature, svabhāva, and to make it effective in his life is his duty, svadharma. Each individual is a focus of the Supreme, a fragment of the Divine. His destiny is to bring out in his life this divine possibility. The one Spirit of the universe has produced the multiplicity of souls in the world, but the idea of the Divine is our essential nature, the truth of our being, our svabhāva, and not the apparatus of the gunas, which is only the medium for expression. If each individual does what is appropriate to him, if he follows the law of his being, his svadharma, then God would express Himself in the free volitions of human beings. All that is essential for the world will be done without a conflict. But men rarely do what they ought to do. When they undertake to determine events believing that they know the plan of the whole, they work mischief on earth. So long as our work is done in accordance with our nature, we are righteous, and if we dedicate it to God, our work becomes a means of spiritual perfection. When the divine in the individual is completely manifested, he attains the eternal imperishable status, śasvataṁ padam avyayam. The problem that human life sets to us is to discover our true self and live according to its truth; otherwise we would sin against our nature. The emphasis on svabhāva indicates that human beings are to be treated as individuals and not as types. Arjuna is told that he who fights gallantly as a warrior becomes mature for the peace of wisdom.

There are four broad types of nature and answering to them are four kinds of social living. The four classes are not determined by birth or colour but by psychological characteristics which fit us for definite functions in society.  Dr. Radhakrishnan, The Bhagavadgītā , page 364-5.



  'Caste is a state, not an iron-bound class, and every one who knows and loves God is a true Brahmin.'   Swami Vivekananda

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 2 [ Page : 508 ]

Mr. Thomas, Professor of Sanskrit, University of Oxford was visiting Tiruvannamalai Tamil Nadu in December 1937 and posed a question to Ramana Maharishi.

Q: What do you think of castes?

A: The castes relate to bodies and not to the Self. The Self is Bliss. To realize Bliss one realizes the Self. No need to worry oneself about caste, etc. Talk 433. Ramana Maharishi.


Here is what Vajrasucika Upanishad says about caste. This belongs to Sama Veda and undermines caste distinctions based on birth. This passage is a complete extract minus Sanskrit text of Vajrasucika Upanishad,  The Principle of Upanishads, translated by Radhakrishnan (page 935-938).


I.I shall describe the Vajrasuci doctrine which blasts ignorance, condemns those who are devoid of the knowledge (of Brahman) and exalts those endowed with the eye of knowledge.


2. The Brahmana the Ksatriya, the Vaisya and the Sudra are the four classes (castes). That the Brahmana is the chief among these classes, is in accord with the Vedic texts and is affirmed by the Smrtis. In this connection there is a point worthy of investigation. Who is, verily, the Brahmanas? Is he the individual soul? Is he the body? Is he the class based on birth? Is he the knowledge? Is he the deeds (previous, present or prospective)? Is he the performer of the rites?


3. Of these, if the first (position) that the Jiva or the individual soul is Brahmana (is to be assumed), it is not so; for the individual's form is one and the same in the large number of previous and prospective bodies. Even though the Jiva (the individual soul) is one, there is scope for (the assumption of) many bodies due to the stress of (past) karma, and in all these bodies the form of the Jiva is one and the same. Therefore the Jiva is not the Brahmana.

   4. Then if (it is said) that the body is the Brahmana, it is  not so, because of the oneness of the nature of the body which is composed of the five elements, in all classes of human beings down to the candalas (outcastes), etc.; on account of the perception of the common features of old age and death, virtue and vice, on account of the absence of any regularity (in the complexion of the four classes) that the Brahmana is of the white complexion, that the Ksatriya is of the red complexion, that the Vaisya is of the tawny complexion, that the Sūdra is of the dark complexion and because of the liability of the sons and others (kinsmen) to becoming tainted with the murder of a Brahmana and other (sins) on cremating the bodies of their fathers and other kinsmen: Therefore the body is not the Brahmana.

5. Then (if it is said) that birth (makes) the Brahmana, it is not so, for there are many species among creatures, other than human; many sages are of diverse origin. We hear from the sacred books that Rsyasrnga was born of a deer, Kausika of Kusa grass, Jambuka from a jackal, Valmiki from an ant-hill, Vyasa from a fisher girl, Gautama from the back of a hare, Vasistha from Urvasi (the celestial nymph), Agastya from an earthen jar. Among these, despite their birth, there are many sages, who have taken the highest rank, having given proof of their wisdom. Therefore birth does not (make) a Brahmana.


6. Then (if it is said) that knowledge (makes a) Brahmana, it is not so because among Ksatriyas and others there are many who have seen the Highest Reality and attained wisdom; Therefore knowledge does not (make) a Brahmana.


7· Then (if it is said) that work (makes a) Brahmana, it is not so, for we see that the work commenced in the present embodiment or accumulated during the previous or to commence on a future embodiment is common to all living creatures and that good men perform works impelled by their past karma. Therefore work does not (make) a Brahmana.


8. Then (if it is said) that the performer of religious duties is a Brahmana, it is not so; for there have been many Ksatriyas and others who have given away gold. Therefore the performer of religious rites is not the Brahmana.

 Giving away gold is an act of religious duty.


9· Then, who, verily is the Brahrnana? He who, after directly perceiving, like the amalaka fruit in the palm of one's hand, the Self, without a second, devoid of distinctions of birth, attribute and action, devoid of all faults such as the six infirmities, and the six states, of the form of truth, wisdom, bliss and eternity, that is by itself, devoid of determinations, the basis of endless determinations, who functions as the indwelling spirit of all beings, who pervades the interior and the exterior. of all like ether, of the nature of bliss, indivisible, immeasurable, realizable only through one's experience and who manifests himself directly (as one's self), and through the fulfillment of his nature, becomes rid of the faults of desire, attachment, etc., and endowed with qualities of tranquility, etc., rid of the states of being, spite, greed, expectation, bewilderment, etc., with his mind unaffected by ostentation, self­sense and the like, he lives. He alone who is possessed of these qualities is the Brahmana. This is the view of the Vedic texts and tradition, ancient lore and history. The accomplishment of the state of the Brahmans is otherwise impossible. Meditate on Brahman, the Self who is being, consciousness and bliss, without a second; meditate on Brahman, the Self who is being, consciousness and bliss without a second. This is the Upanisad,

   six infirmities: old age, death, sorrow, delusion, hunger and thirst. six states:  birth, being, growth, change, waning and perishing.

   Many texts declare that the determining factor of caste is character and conduct and not birth.

Listen about caste, Yaksa dear, not study, not learning is the cause of rebornness. Conduct is the basis, there is no doubt about it. M.B. Aranya-parva 312. 106.


O King of serpents, he in whom are manifest truthfulness, charity, forbearance, good conduct, non-injury, austerity and compassion is, a Brahmana according to the sacred tradition.


O serpent he in whom this conduct is manifest is a Brahmana; he in whom this is absent treat all such as Sudra. M.B. Aranya-parva 180. 20, 27. The gods consider him a Brahmana (a knower of Brahman who has no desires, who undertakes no work, who does not salute or praise anybody, whose work has been exhausted but who himself is unchanged.


Sanatsujata defines a Brahmana as one who is devoted to truth: sa eva satyānnāpaiti sa jñeyo brahmanas tvayā.


It is valuable to recall the teaching of this Upanişad which repudiates the system that consecrates inequalities and hardens contingent differences into inviolable divisions.

End of Vajrasuika Upanishad.



India: (Dalit) Woman Wins Post of Speaker, (proficient in Sanskrit, English, Hindi and Spanish).
Published: June 4, 2009

India’s Parliament on Wednesday elected its first female speaker, the daughter of a former deputy prime minister and a Dalit, a member of India’s lowest caste. Meira Kumar, 64, was elected unopposed and immediately assumed her post. She replaced Somnath Chaterjee, a member of the Brahmin caste, India’s highest. Ms. Kumar has been elected to Parliament five times and has also served as social justice minister.




Here is what Pujya Swamiji of  Rishikesh does in his Gurukulam; here is his stance on caste. He takes orphaned children irrespective of caste, names them Rishikumars, and offers them both secular education and Vedic studies.

Parmarth Gurukul, Rishikesh India 

At the sacred time of the Paush Purnima (full moon), 24 of the rishikumars had their official upanayana, or sacred thread ceremony. This ceremony marks the boy's official entry into the study of the vedas and the "gurukul" system. Although historically it was a ritual performed only for the brahmin caste, Pujya Swamiji made no distinctions between children born of different castes. Any of the boys who wanted to undergo the official ceremony - during which they also receive a sacred mantra from Pujya Swamiji - were welcome.

In India today there are thousands and thousands of abandoned and impoverished children, roaming the streets of the cities and the dirt paths of the villages. These are children whose parents were too poor to raise them, or who simply decided they did not want to accept the burden of a child, or who were befallen by an accident that left them incapable of fending for themselves, let alone a child. 

However, simple shelters with food, beds and babysitters are not sufficient. These children need not only to be fed and sheltered - they need to be educated and trained so they can be productive members of society. They need to be inculcated with values, ethics and spirituality which will make them torchbearers of Indian culture and divine cultural ambassadors. We have opened an orphanage /gurukul in Rishikesh where 100 young boys live and study - both basic academics as well as intensive Sanskrit and ancient Vedic texts. Their days are filled with yoga, meditation, Vedic chanting, reading of scriptures, mathematics, seva and special programs designed to infuse their lives with essential sanskaras. They are being trained to be not only doctors, scientists and engineers, but they are also being trained to be India's cultural ambassadors, to be the priests and guides who will travel throughout the world, carrying with them the ancient secrets of the Vedas combined with the blessings of Mother Ganga.

 From the first minute that the boys arrived, their identity was changed from "orphan" and "poor" to "Rishikumar." With that slight, simple change of term, their entire identities have changed. Looks of hopelessness have become looks of great optimism and hope. Lightless eyes have become bright, shining eyes. Feelings of destitution and despair have become feelings of pride, of faith and of enthusiasm.

 We currently have 150 young boys living in our 2 gurukuls, one on the premises of Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh and the other on the premises of the Veerpur ashram, 8 km. away. We are looking to take in up to 500 more children.

Computer Centre for Rishikumars

February 2005 saw the inauguration of a computer centre in the Gurukul, which was kindly sponsored by Bellaben and Yogeshbhai Patel. A special prayer was said at the function so that the rishikumars grow, blossom and bridge the gap between ancient traditions of the Himalayas and modern technology of the computer age.

 Janeo Sanskar of Rishikumars

On 12 July 2005, Parmarth Gurukul accepted 91 new Rishikumars into the Gurukul. The children, all of whom come from poor, disadvantaged situations (some of whom are orphans, some who have one parent, some who have both but the parents cannot properly care for the children) received their janeo sanskar. The sacred thread ceremony is an important ritual in the life of a Hindu boy (see www.parmarth.com/sanskaras.htm for details of the meaning of this ceremony), and one which prepares him to study the scriptures.

The ceremony was performed and all the rishikumars received the sacred mantra from Pujya Swamiji and a mala for japa, as well as a special asana for sitting for their meditation and sandhya.

 In the evening, after the Ganga Aarti, the rishikumars all (new and old) received new clothes, new school books and big sweet ladoos, by the hands of the Shahra family from Indore and Mumbai.

Here is a real-life story of a high-caste Nayanar (Naminandhi Adikal (¿Á¢¿ó¾¢ «Ê¸û), a devotee of Siva.  Lord ThyAgEsar (Image) rode in state from TiruvArUr to Manali. There was a huge crowd jostling with each other for a good clear obstruction-free Darshan (¾¡¢ºÉõ = Auspicious sight of the deity) of the Lord. The Brahmanas, Vaishyas, Sudras and other unclassified castes were mingling in the crowd and rubbing shoulders. Adikal went home that night but did not enter his pollution-free house because his body was polluted by the touch of the lower castes. He went to sleep in front of the house that night, as he was thinking he would take a cleansing bath. Siva in His Archana form appeared in his dream and told him that all those born in TiruvarUr are His Ganas (attendants) and that he should take a note of this condition. He woke up early in the morning, told his wife of his dream and being afraid of Apasaram («Àº¡Ãõ = irreverence) for not doing the morning worship, left for TiruvArUr. All the people of TiruvArUr appeared as Siva-Nilakanta (Siva with blue throat) to Adikal, who raised his hands above his head, held the palms together and fell prostrate on the ground in humility and became ecstatic at having seen Siva (Siva clones). Here you may notice several things. Siva is the egalitarian God. He forgives His devotees for any infractions and wrong notions about caste. He positively tells them what is right and what is wrong in a very non-threatening and amiable manner without flustering the devotee. He even gives a vision of Himself to his erring devotees. Pollution is just not a physical but mostly a mental perception. Siva tells the down-trodden and oppressed people that they are one with the higher castes and He has their interest in His mind. Siva gives Grace (அனுக்கிரகம்) to all irrespective of caste. Once Parvati and Siva played the roles of Chandalini and Chandala. The following verse depicts the appearance of Siva with blue throat to His devotee as myriad Clones of Himself, to teach the high-caste errant devotee that He belongs to all castes.

Periya Puranam (பெரிய புராணம்) Verse 1899 by Sekkizar.

தெய்வப் பெருமாள் திருவாரூர்ப் பிறந்து வாழ்வார் எல்லாரும்

மைவைத்து அனைய மணிகண்டார் வடிவே யாகிப் பெருகு ஒளியாய்

மெய்வைத்து அமர்ந்த மேனியராம் பரிசு கண்டு முடிகுவித்து

கைவைத்து அஞ்சி அவனி மிசை விழுந்து பணிந்து கண் சிறந்தார். 1899

All the people born in Tiruvarur under the aegis of the Supreme Lord of the gods (ThyAgEsar) with the black throat appeared as the blue-throated Nilakantappas with effulgent bodies. Having seen the nature and appearance and become afraid, he raised his hands above his head, brought his palms together, fell prostrate on the ground in worship and humility and became ecstatic at seeing the form of the Lord.

May 2009: Indian students in Australia, the land down under of Aussies and a former Penal Colony are the victims of assault by the Junkies among Aussies.

There is a lesson to be learnt from the Aussie Junkie Curry Basher, who is an equal opportunity  Basher. All Indians and Indian look-alikes joined together to protest the violence against Indians. The basher did not pick and choose one's religion, caste, economic status and other identifiers. The victim could be Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Brahmin, (Ksatriya), Vaishya, Sudra, Dalit, other or any one of the scheduled castes and tribes (SCs & STs constitute 24% of India's population). The Curry Basher goes by your look and not by your affiliation. All of you joined together in the protest, because each one of you felt the pain irrespective of that which separates one from the other. When you go back to India, you should remain Indian, advocate oneness of all Indians and do not engage in divisive politics or practices. In a larger global context, each one of us is a citizen of the world and thus should rise above that which separates us. Obviously the supreme ignoramus the curry basher is not destined for greatness. They are the scum, the dross, the riffraff, the dregs, the refuse, the curse of Australia and the world. We should not be part of his culture.

What Krishna Bhagavan tells about Varna in Bhagavad Gita:

4.13: I founded (created) the fourfold order of Varna according to guna and karma (fundamental quality and work). Though I am the founder, know me thou as unable to act or change.


  Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

One cannot move from one varna to another. It is decided when born. By conduct one can follow satvik qualities. Moreover there is no need to switch as moksham (मोक्ष = Liberation = Vaikuntam) can be attained from any varna.

Varna = वर्न = appearance, color = Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra (Brahmana, Warrior, Trader, worker)


9.32:  O son of Partha, they, who take refuge in Me, though they are women, Vaisyas, Sudras and Chandalas (those born of women with wombs of sin), attain the Supreme Goal.

 From the book, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says the following with regard to caste in reference to spirituality in his book, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (SRK),

Saying 254, page 84.  The spiritually minded belong to a caste of their own, beyond all social conventions.

Saying 313 Page 98: The rules of caste fall away of themselves from him who has attained perfection and has realised the unity of all things; but those who have had no such exalted experience cannot escape the consciousness of superiority and inferiority in others, and have to observe caste distinctions.

Saying 314, page 98: Is it proper for one who has attained Divine wisdom to keep the Brahmanical thread? When the knowledge of the Self is gained, all fetters drop off  of themselves. Then there is no distinction between a Brahmana and Sudra, between high caste and low caste. Thus the sacred thread, a sign of caste, falls off of itself. But so long as a man is conscious of any distinction and difference, he should not forcibly throw it away.

Saying 315: While a (blinding) storm is blowing, we cannot distinguish between an Asvattha (fig tree) and a Vata (banyan tree), So when the storm of supreme knowledge blows, there can be no distinction of caste.

Saying 317, page 99: Krishna Kishore took me (SRK) to task for having parted with the sacred thread. SRK says "You will see it all clearly if you are once seized with the madness for the Lord. When this change came over me, everything was blown away, as if by the great cyclone of Ashvin."



There is clear evidence here that the Varna system, commonly called caste division, is based not only on birth but also on character, aptitude, spiritual attainment, and ability.

Siva in answer to a question from Parvati tells her: Veda is not Veda, the eternal Brahma  is Veda. Whosoever knows the Brahma Vidya is a Brahmin, skilled in the Vedas (Verse 50).  After knowing Brahma Jnana, one is free from all distinctions of caste (57). Jnana Sankalini Tantra.


Gandhi's comment:  Hindu Dharma by M.K.Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) page 56-65.

Gandhi is a firm believer in Varnasrma Dharma. Gandhi admits he was born of Vaishya (Traders) parents, 3rd down the line. Gandhi says, "I as a Vaisya would be earning my bread by selling drugs (pharmacist) or groceries. Vaisya Varna includes all professions.  A tailor may not become a blacksmith although both may be and should be called as Vaisyas. No one is superior to any other (among the four varnas). A scavenger has the same status as a Brahmin. He endorses the view of Max Muller by quoting him: In Hinduism more than any other religion that life was no more and no less than DUTY. Varna does not make life dull and robs it of all ambition. Under the cover of Varna, hideous inequalities and tyrannies are practiced at the present day in Hinduism. Varna is not a mere institution made by man but it is a law discovered by him. The evil lies in the doctrine of superiority and inferiority superadded to it. I do regard Varnashrma as a healthy division of work based on birth. The present idea of caste is a perversion of the original. He (a non-Brahmin) who performs the duty of a Brahmin will easily  become one in the next incarnation.

It appears that according to Gandhi, any Varna can do any work suited to his temperament, training, intellect, aptitude,  education and spirituality, as long as he or she does not call himself or herself  by other than his Birth-Varna or the natal caste.




18.42:  Tranquillity, self-control, austerity, purity, patience, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in God are the duty of the Brāhmana born of his own becoming or nature (karma SvA-bhAva-jam)


Belief in God:

In UK, there is a movement to debaptize people. National Secular Society UK is offering to liberate yourself from the original Mumbo-Jumbo that liberated you from the Original Sin you never had. NSS offers a Certificate of Debaptism.

The certficate declares:

I ________ having been subjected to the Rite of Christian Baptism in infancy (before reaching an age of consent), hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out. In the name of human reason, I reject all its Creeds and all other such superstition in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged ORIGINAL SIN, and the evil power of supposed demons. I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.

ATHEIST, AGNOSTIC, INFIDEL, SKEPTIC refer to persons not inclined toward religious belief or a particular form of religious belief. An ATHEIST is one who denies the existence of a deity or of divine beings. An AGNOSTIC is one who believes it impossible to know anything about God or about the creation of the universe and refrains from commitment to any religious doctrine. INFIDEL means an unbeliever, especially a nonbeliever in Islam or Christianity. A SKEPTIC doubts and is critical of all accepted doctrines and creeds. --Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.


The Váyu Purana states that the castes were first divided according to their occupations; having, indeed, previously stated that there was no such distinction in the Krita age: 'Brahmá now appointed those who were robust and violent to be Kshetriyas, to protect the rest; those who were pure and pious he made Brahmans; those who were of less power, but industrious, and addicted to cultivate the ground, he made Vaisyas; whilst the feeble and poor of spirit were constituted Śúdras: and he assigned them their several occupations, to prevent that interference with one another which had occurred as long as they recognized no duties peculiar to castes.  --H.H.Wilson in Translation of Vishnu Purana page 69, Reprint 1989.


A true Brahmana should have these qualities born of his own becoming; his natal caste is immaterial.  Karma Sva-bhAva-jam = duty born of self becoming.  Karma = duty; Sva = self; bhAva = becoming. Do you see any reference to the birth caste of a person here? Certainly not. But "learned pundits" twist, turn, wring and torture the text; they muddle in the puddle of meaningless words,  twaddle, dawdle and speak for Bhagavan, which they should not do. The perverse should speak for themselves and should not drag Bhagavan to support their perverse arguments. Such is the case with some noted so-called saints.  Brahmana is not being (born in a caste) but becoming (BhAva) one. It is a post-natal condition and not a congenital one.  It is becoming a person of tranquillity, self-control, austerity, purity, patience, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in God.  An infant obviously is not all that at birth. Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita as told by Krishna, was born of a Brahmana father and a non-Aryan mother (Fisherwoman). Bhagavan had been a Fish, a Tortoise, a Boar, a Horse, a Lion-man.... It just shows that Paramatman is the Inner Soul of all beings and even matter. He had been there and done that. He doesn't need any body of any caste or race to append any pendant on Him. He transcends all. From the following table, you can have an idea of how the ancients abhorred the miscegenation of castes, races.... This fear of pollution, and desire for racial purity: It is not something new; it haunts people now and will haunt in the future. The inexorable march of Time will gradually erode the distinctions between multiple races, castes... in the global village and produce a human race of earthen colors. America is the caldron for the emergence of First Crop of generic man, a polyvalent DNA soup, wherein all races abide in all and sundry.


Mixed castes according to Garuda Purana 1.96-1-73, as narrated by Yajnavalkya.



The offspring









Nisaada, Parvata



Maahisya (Mahisya)









Suta  (Sūta)






Chandala (Lowliest of all)



Maagadha (Magadha)







Maahisya (Mahisya)






Satyavati (Sanskrit: सत्यवती) is the mother of Vyasa and great-grandmother of the Pandava and Kaurava princes, principal characters of the Mahabharata. She is nevertheless a commoner, daughter of a ferryman or fisherman. She is also known as Matsyagandha (one who has the smell of fish).  Now you see the principal characters of Mahabharata trace their origin to a fisherwoman, who is neither a Brahmana, nor a Ksatriya, nor a Vaishya, nor a Sudra. Whether all this is true or not is not the question. The lesson is the ideals of Hinduism are above the pettiness of demarcation of the so-called castes. As a young woman, she met the wandering Rishi Parasara by whom she had a son, Vyasa.  Parasara by his mystic power guaranteed that she would not lose her virginity from union and delivery. It sounds hypocritical that Parasara made the girl whole anatomically but vitiated her mind which has the imprint of forced illicit consortium and childbirth. This reminds me of girls  who had premarital sexual relations undergo hymenoplasty (surgical restoration of  inviolate contour of hymenal ring) to restore the appearance of  hymen to its virginal inviolate state to impress the husband who insists on virginity in his bride in certain countries. Parasara and Satyavati had union and Vyasa's birth took place in secret on an island in the river Yamuna.  Vyasa was also known as Krishna Dwaipayana because he was black in color and born in an island.  Rishi Parasara by his Yogic power created an ambience of mist around the island, so that no body could witness the famed union and delivery of the baby. Vyasa was born immediately after the union with no mandatory gestational period, which is the norm for humankind, and immediately grew into a young man. This is again a Yogic phenomenon.  (Consider Jesus Christ born of Virgin Mary.) The West says that Vyasa is a generic name like teacher, tailor, barber. There were many Vyasas. Many of the sacred texts span over many centuries and they could not have been all composed by one Vyasa. This is contested by devout Hindus.  Satyavati married king Shantanu as opposed to union with Rishi Parasara; Kauravas and Pandavas come in that lineage. Satyavati later marries king Shanathu; thus Satyavati had one child as a single mom and later married a king. See level 2 in the chart below.

See the pedigree chart below. Blue line indicate extramarital union; Pink horizontal lines indicate marriage and descendants. The green squares and the wavy lines indicate progeny from non-marital union.


Numbers indicate the levels of descent. Union or united = Extramarital or non-marital relations.

This is Kaurava genealogy. Shantanu had two wives: Ganga (3) and Satyavati (3), the fisherwoman. Rishi Parasara (3) previously united with Satyavati (3) and sired instantly an infant who grew immediately to an young man, Vyasa (4), who unites with Ambalika (4) and produced Pandu (5). Vyasa (4) again unites with Ambika (4) and her palace maid (4); Dhritarastra (5) comes from Ambika; Vidura (5) comes from the palace maid. Dhritarastra (5) in a fit of extramarital fling like his father Vyasa and Grandfather Parasara unites with a palace maid (5) and sires Yuyutsu (6). Dhritarastra marries Gandhari (5) and sires Duryodhana, Dushana, 98 others and Dushada (6). 

This is Pandu dynasty. Shantanu had two wives: Ganga (3) and Satyavati (3), the fisherwoman. Rishi Parasara (3) previously united with Satyavati (3) and sired instantly an infant who grew immediately to an young man, Vyasa (4), who unites with Ambalika (4) and produced Pandu (5). Vyasa (4) unites (extramarital) with Ambalika (4), sister of Ambika (4) and sires Pandu (5) who maries Madri (5) siring twins, Nakula (6) and Sahadeva (6), and marries Kunti (5), siring Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna (6). Sun God (5) sires Karna (6) with Kunti (5) premaritally.  This is Pandu dynasty.

Bhagavan Krishna (6) Chose Devaki (5) and Vasudeva (as His parents). Vasudeva was sired by Surasena (4) and Marisa (4).


18.43:  Heroism, boldness, determination, skill, not fleeing from the battle, generosity, and lordliness are the duty of Kshatriya born of his own nature or becoming.


Heroism or valor generates boldness which needs determination, confrontation, perseverance and skill to wrest victory from the enemy. The king by extracting victory from the enemy by risking his limb and life has shown his duty to his subjects. Charity and generosity are another strong trait of a true Kshatriya, without which all his army, victories, riches, jewels, throne, crown, royal robes, courts, and palaces are of no value.  Lordliness and leadership are essential requisites of a king without which he cannot lead and rule his subjects.


18.44:  Cultivation, cow protection, and trade are the duty of Vaishya, born of his own (Vaishya) nature. Duty of Sudra is of the nature of service (to other three), born of his own nature or becoming.   (Cow protection is rearing of cattle.)



The following is an excerpt from Jaiva Dharma Chapter 6 by ThAkura of Bengal.


The determination of varna on the basis of birth alone is a recent practice.

Vaisnava dasa: The qualities that are found in the nature of a brahmana are: sama (control of the senses), dama (control of the mind), tapah (austerity), sauca (purity), santosa (satisfaction), ksama (forgiveness), saralata (simplicity), isa-bhakti (devotion to Bhagavan), daya (mercy), and satya (truthfulness).  

The natural qualities of a ksatriya are teja (prowess), bala (physical strength), dhrti (resoluteness), saurya (heroism), titiksa (tolerance), udarata (magnanimity), udyama (perseverance), dhirata (gravity), brahmanyata (devotion to the brahmanas), and aisvarya (opulence).  

The qualities that characterize the vaisyas are astikya (theism), dana (charity), nistha (faith), adambhikata (absence of pride), and artha trsna (eagerness to accumulate wealth).  

The natural qualities of a sudra are dvija-go-devaseva (service to the brahmanas, cows, and celestial deities), and yathalabha- santosa (satisfaction with whatever is obtained).  

The qualities in the nature of an antyaja (outcaste) are asaucam (uncleanliness), mithya (dishonesty), caurya (thievery), nastikata (atheism), vrtha kalaha (futile quarrelling), kama (lust), krodha (anger), and indriya-trsna (hankering to satisfy one’s senses). 

The sastras prescribe that one's varna should be determined according to these different natures. The determination of varna on the basis of birth alone is a recent practice. An individual’s inclination for a specific type of work and his expertise in it are both related to these natures. A person’s nature gives rise to his inclination and taste for particular activities, and it is this particular nature (svabhava) that is known as the nature according to specific types of work (tat-tat-karma-yogya-svabhava). 

 In some cases, birth is the prominent factor in ascertaining a person’s nature, and in other cases association is the primary factor. Nature is formed by association, which begins from birth, so birth is certainly one cause that determines the development of nature. Indeed, nature develops from the moment of birth but that does not mean that birth is the only cause of nature and eligibility for a particular type of work. It is a great mistake to think like this, for there are many other causes. Therefore, the sastras prescribe that one must study a person’s nature when one assesses eligibility for work.

From Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 6, pages 130-134 by ThAkura

Cudamani: I understand. Now please tell me what you think about the brahmanas.

Vaisnava dasa: There are two types of brahmanas: brahmanas by nature (svabhava-siddha) and brahmanas by birth alone (jatisiddha). Those who are brahmanas by nature should be respected by adherents of all philosophical systems because they are practically Vaisnavas. Those who are only brahmanas by birth are given conventional respect by everyone, and this is also approved by the Vaisnavas. The conclusion of the sastra on this topic is expressed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.10): 

viprad dvi-sad-guna-yutad aravinda-nabhapadaravinda-

vimukhat svapacam varistham

manye tad-arpita-mano-vacanehitarthapranam

punati sa kulam na tu bhurimanah 

A bhakta who is born in a family of dog-eaters, but who has dedicated his mind, words,  activities, and wealth at the lotus feet of Krsna, is superior to a Brahmana who has all twelve Brahmanical qualities, but who is averse to the lotus feet of Bhagavan, whose navel  is shaped like a lotus. Such a BhaktA can purify himself and his whole family, whereas the Brahmana who is puffed-up with false prestige cannot even purify himself. That is my opinion (of Vaisnava Dasa).. 

Cudamani: Sudras are not eligible to study the Vedas, so can a sudra study the Vedas when he becomes a Vaisnava?

Vaisnava dasa: From the absolute point of view, when one becomes a pure Vaisnava, he automatically attains the status of a brahmana, whatever caste one may belong to. The Vedas are divided into two sections: instructions regarding karma, the performance of prescribed duties, and instructions regarding tattva, the Absolute Truth. Those who are qualified as brahmanas in a worldly sense are eligible to study the Vedas that promote karma, and those who are brahmanas by spiritual qualification are qualified to study the Vedas that promote tattva. Pure Vaisnavas can study and teach the Vedas that promote spiritual truth, no matter what caste they are born into, and it is practically observed that they do so. It is said

in the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.4.21): 

tam eva dhiro vijnaya prajnam kurvita brahmanah 

A brahmana is a sober and spiritually enlightened person who clearly knows  para-brahma, and serves Him through prema-bhakti which is a manifestation of the highest knowledge. 

It is also said in the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (3.8.10): 

va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah

atha ya etad aksaram gargi viditvasmal lokat praiti sa brahmanah


O Gargi, he who quits this world without knowing the supreme imperishable being,  Sri Visnu, is a wretched miser, whereas he who quits this world knowing the supreme being is recognized as a brahmana

“Manu has said the following in regard to those who are brahmanas by vyavaharika, or social considerations.” 

yo ‘nadhitya dvijo vedam anyatra kurute sramam

sa jivann eva sudratvam asu gacchati sanvayah

Manu-smrti (2.168) 

A brahmana, ksatriya, or vaisya becomes twice-born by investiture with the sacred thread, and this prepares him for studying the Vedas. If a dvija fails to study the Vedas after receiving the sacred thread, and instead studies other subjects such as economics, science or logic, he and his family members quickly become degraded in this very life to the status of sudras.


18.45:  Devoted to his own duty, man attains perfection. Hear now as to how he engaged in his own duty attains perfection. 


One should be adept at what one does and not do a work not meant for him. It is like the donkey wanting to be the dog. The wannabee (donkey) saw the master treating the dog better than he treats him. The wannabee followed the dog several days and watched what he did. He said to himself, "I do all the heavy lifting and heavy pulling. I don't get any cooing and cuddling from my master. Look at this wretched dog; he gets all the attention. I must emulate him and earn my adulation from my master. The master cuddled him for barking in the middle of the night."  One night, when the master was deep asleep, he brayed his lungs out as hard as he could, waiting for the master to come out and cuddle him.  The master came out with lantern rubbing his eyes, looked around, came to the donkey with the dog in tow and thrashed him to a pulp. The donkey did not realize that the dog barked when a thief tried to sneak into the house and rob the master. The donkey saw the master cuddling him but did not know the reason:  alerting him to the presence of thief on his property.


18.46: By worshipping Him, from Whom all beings arise, and Who pervades all this, and by doing his own duties, man attains perfection.


(Man attains perfection by doing his own duties and by worshipping Him, from whom all beings arise and who pervades all this.)

Worshipping Him is the first important element here. All beings arise from Him is the second important element;  therefore all who arise from Him are equal irrespective of race, color, nationality, religion and any other artificial categories and divisions. The third important element is He pervades all beings and matter (Cit and Acit); therefore, even matter is Brahman, demanding respect and adoration. Doing his own duties is the fourth important element, without which the world will come to a standstill.

Bhagavan says the following elsewhere in Bhagavadgita in support of this verse.       

        7.6:  All living beings have their source (Yoni or womb) in these two natures. Know it that I am the source of the universe and its dissolution.

        7.7:   There is nothing higher than Me, O Arjuna. All that is here (universe) is strung on Me, as a row of gems on a thread.

        9.4:  This entire universe is pervaded with My unmanifest form (Avyakta-mūrtina). All beings abide in Me and I do not abide in them. (All beings are dependent on Me and I do not depend on them).

        9.10: Under My supervision, Prakrti gives rise to both moving and unmoving. By this, O son of Kunti, the world turns or revolves.  

        10.8:  I am the origin of all. From Me everything emanates. Thus knowing, the wise ones worship Me with conviction.


18.47:   Better is one's own dharma though imperfectly performed than the dharma of another however perfectly done. By performing one's karma according to one's own nature, one does not incur any sin.


श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् ।

स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥१८- ४७॥ 18.47

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat su-anusthitat|

svabhava-niyatam karma kurvan na apnoti kilbisam||18.47||

Better  one's own duty  defective another's duty  well performed

ordained by one's own nature duty or work by performing never incur sin||


Better to do the duty of one's caste1,

Though bad and ill-performed and fraught with evil,

Than undertake the business of another,

However good it be. For better far

Abandon life at once than not fulfil

One's own appointed work another's duty

Brings danger to the man who meddles with it.

Perfection is alone attained by him

"Who swerves not from the business of his caste.

(III. 35, XVIII. 47, 48.

1Compare Śakuntalā, verse 133,’Verily the occupation in which a man is born, though it be in bad repute, must not be abandoned. ‘The words used (sahajaṃ karma) are the same as those in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Monier Monier Williams Indian Wisdom page 140

Notes dated July 8, 2015.


Vaishnava commentators of this verse by and large have a broad vision, since caste is not important in their mental horizon. Other commentaries from other quarters seem to hinge on delineation, demarcation, full faith on birth caste and pernicious divisive attitude which firmly assert the view the castes are divine dispensation, and people should do the duties within their own separate prescribed ambits and must not transgress them. As one passes from the rigid caste paradigm to the most liberal views on caste, one notices the transformation, which is partly due to the universal equality of all people (and even animals) espoused by Vaishnavas. All this is summarized in one verse by Bhagavan: 5.18: A learned humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even a dog-eater are seen with an equal eye by a Punditah (sage). 

All castes and people in the world fall between a humble Brahmin and the dog eater (outcaste).

The emphasis of this verse is on Svabhava and Svadharma, meaning one's own intrinsic nature and one's own duty or ability to perform a duty faithfully. 

  Svadharma is one's own duty according to his nature; Paradharma is the duty of the other. Svabhava (one's own nature) and Svadharma (one's own duty) run hand in hand. Some old-fashioned crusty commentaries put emphasis on Svadharma based on one's natal caste; in keeping pace with the attitude of modern times, the commentators are switching from caste emphasis to Vasanas--impressions from past lives; there is no way anyone can dispute Vasanas. That looks like a safe stance. Now that the caste of Kshatriyas has been eliminated by the constitution in Independent India, who are the new Kshatriyas? Since Brahmanas are weaning away from priestly duties, who are the Brahmanas? Since Vaisyas and Sudras are giving up their age-old caste duties and going up the social, economic and educational ladder, who are the Vaisyas and Sudras? There is a blur, a mess, and a hodge-podge, which are good in emerging India; it is not as neat and lethal as before! The new-fangled interpretation of the verse by modern commentators (afraid of being labeled casteist) cleverly and gratefully avoid talking about caste by birth but caste by Vasanas (impressions from previous life). All-embracing Vaishnavism subsumes caste as evidenced by Sudra Alvars who earned a place in the Vaishnava temples among Alvars.  The Dalits (including tribals) deserve all the support the constitution provides; preferential treatment is the way to go, when it comes to Dalit's education, financial support, job opportunity.... When Bhagavan says a dog eater is equal to a Brahmana, He refers to the Dalits and other oppressed people; who is there to defy his pronouncement?

Let me give you an example of the transformation taking place in India in the caste system. Take me for instance. My birth caste is Reddy; I did not ask for it at conception or birth; I am told it is my Karma that I am a Reddy (from Tamil Nadu); They are a dominant community in Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddy  At present they are in all walks of life esp in the upper echelon as it has been all along.. There were many (is a Reddy now as a chief minister--2009) Reddys as chief ministers in Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Many Reddys claim they belong to Kshatriya caste (Warrior caste), because there were Reddy kings.  From 1956 till to date (June 2009), there were about 10 Reddy Chief ministers among a total of about 14 in Andhra Pradesh. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Medical doctor (born 8 July 1949- Sep 2. 2009), was the past chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh India. He represents the Indian National Congress party. Reddy was sworn in as the chief minister for the term of 2009–2014 on 20 May 2009.--Wikipedia. The most highly regarded Reddy (2009) is Yaga Venugopal Reddy, Ph.D, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India. "If America had a central bank chief like Y. V. Reddy, the U.S. economy would not have been such a mess," Joseph E. Stiglitz, the economist and Nobel laureate, has said. Mr. Reddy is lauded for, among other things, restricting bank lending to real estate developers, increasing the amount of money banks must set aside as reserves, and blocking the use of some derivatives. “Where I do give them credit is they certainly were not in the Greenspan camp that said markets are self regulating,” said Mr. Bery, who is now the director general of the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi. “They were not afraid to call a bubble when they saw one in urban land.”  NYTimes June 26, 2009.


I am a retired pediatrician; I jumped out of my caste (traditional land owners) into a profession, normally considered fit for Vaisyas (or Brahmanas). Traditional Brahmanas are required to exclusively engage in Vedic adhyayana (Study, Reciting, learning) and adhyāpana (Teaching). In medical school those days, scholarship was not need based but religion and caste based. I know of rich boys belonging to Christianity and Islam getting scholarship and riding to the school on motorbikes and cars. It looks my Vasanas from my previous birth took over and made me act like a Brahmana by my immersion in Sacred Texts of Hinduism. This is not my assessment of the situation. This theory was voluntarily advanced by a Brahmana as to my present status without my prompting her. Why this downgrading of my present caste from the Brahmana caste in the previous life? Answer: Karma and Vasanas. I am a fallen Brahmana from the previous life; this is the dispensation of Karma. Or is it a proof that in True Vaishnavism (as it has been all along) caste  has no part to play? My DNA brands me Indo-European; most of the Europeans, Brahmanas and many other Indians excluding the tribals belong to this category. Are all Brahmanas Indo-European? Are Sudras something different? How do you know a Brahmana is Brahmana or a Sudra a Sudra?  Is it by DNA analysis, intellectual capacity, birth caste, behavior... that determines one's Svabhava and Svadharma?

The Sudras, the Sutras, the gotras and the Y chromosome

  The Brahma Sutra devotes a whole section 1.3.34 to 38 on the topic of disqualification of Sudras for Brahma-knowledge.  Janasruti, a previously documented Ksatriya, now mistaken for a Sudra was grief-stricken to hear words of disrespect. Of all birds, a flamingo derided Janasruti for lack of Brahma-knowledge and  he ran to Raikva in grief.  When Raikva saw grief written all over the face of Janasruti, Raikva called him a Sudra for the word Sudra also means "grief."  We have tons of grief in India by this paradigm. That makes every Sudra feel good; for a Sudra it is a little better to grieve than to heave in pain.  The Sudras are prohibited from offering  sacrifices, but not acquiring Brahma-knowledge.  A well-known Sudra of Mahabharata is Vidura, born of  Vyasadeva and a palace maid and is known to have mastered Brahma-knowledge.  

The Gotra game

This classification may vary from other texts.

Primary Trunk: SaptaRishis  the progenitors of Gotras.

Bhrigu Angirah Atri Visvamitra Kasyap Vashishta Agastya

Secondary Gotras in Alphabetical order

Arshtikhena Bharadvaj Atre Agarkarkhan Kasyap Jatukaraniya Idhamabahar
Bainya Gautam Badbhutak Aja Langakshi Kundin Sambhabahar
Bida Kewal-Angiras Garishtira Dhananjaya Nidruba Parashara Somabahar
Mitryu   madhugala Indrakaushika Rebha Upamanyu Yagyabhar
Shaunak     kamkayana Sandila    
Vatsa     Katab      
Yaska     Kaushika      

Tertiary Gotras


Five Rishis and the Primary progenitors

Bhargava Chyavana Apnavana Aurava Jamadagni


Gotra means "Cow-pen or Cow-shed" and is of two kinds - Vaidika and Laukika Vaidika is according to the Vedic prescription and the Laukika is "mundane, worldly, common". In ancient times the extended family members shared one cowshed and therefore that name stuck.   Gotra is a family tree whose root can be traced to a common ancestor. Since  it is exogamous and patrilineal, it is  based on the Y chromosome.  The females claim the gotra of  father, and of  husband after marriage. A man can not marry a woman of the same gotra.  But a male can marry a woman of the same gotra at least seven degrees removed from his father.  The Vaidika Gotra members trace their lineage from high priests and renowned  Rishis, namely  Bharadvaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Visvamitra, Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha (SaptaRishis) and more (Atharvan, Angiras, Bhrgu).  Strictly speaking only Brahmanas can claim a  gotra.  The Ksatriyas and others can not claim any such medallion or pendant, simply because they are not cognate to the original  Brahmana Rishis and for that reason they are categorized in the laukika (mundane) variety. There were exceptions:  Visvamitra and Vasistha,  both Ksatriyas by birth performed tapas ( austerity) and were accepted as Brahmanas. Mundane gotra members  are defined as non-cognate followers of  a succession of disciples of the original Priests and  Rishis.  There is no genetic or Y chromosome linkage here between the mundane gotra members and the original Progenitors listed above.  Y chromosome is  transferred intact from father to son. It is very common especially in everyday speech, in temples and in books that a person claims his Gotra from the High Priests of Yore. There are many people who claim Gotras of lower order. In temples, a person offers flowers, coconut, fruits, his worship, his loyalty, and his very soul to the deity. All these offerings have to conveyed to the God via the priest who asks, after taking the offerings, the votary's Birth Star, Gotra and name. The priest repeats the name, the Gotra and the Birth star to complete the process so that they are announced and recorded in ethereal space before God. Remember this information is sent to God in wireless mode that we are very familiar with in this modern day! Ha, ha, laugh if you must. The concept of wireless communication was there in ancient India. Is this a fact or factoid? Go on; belt out in belly laugh, if you must. It is like the communication between the cell phones or the Router and the Wireless USB adapter. How else God can hear the pleas of the devotees? God hears without ears, walks without feet. He is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and 'omni-aural.' The priest collects the coconut etc. goes to the Sanctum Sanctorum, invokes God on behalf of the worshipper.

The only way to resolve a particular Gotra claim is to perform DNA analysis of Y Chromosome in males,  and Mitochondrial DNA of all people and find out the common denominator or tree structure in Vaidika and Laukika Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, Sudras and the tribals. Additional benefit  would be finding any strays among other castes who belong to Brahmana caste and strays who are Non-Brahmins among Brahmana caste by the strength of DNA analysis. It is a known finding that Brahmins by and large belong to Eurasian genetic pool and are closer to Europeans than to tribal people of India. Ramanuja took in his fold a lot of Jains, Buddhists, and non-Brahmins; genetically there is a mingling between the Brahmins of yore and the neo-Brahmins of post-Ramanuja period. The Brahmins are not as pure as one would like, think, or wish for. Vaisyas, Ksatriyas, Sudras and Dalits also belong to the Eurasian pool. There are whites in USA who have African Y Chromosome, sickle cell trait or even disease, though they have all the conventional features of white people. Does it all mean anything? Claim of superiority by race, color or caste is for the weak, who has no other flotation device in this sea of Samsara; he or she clutches on the straw of race, color, caste or Gotra to claim superiority in a roiling sea, where intellect, knowledge, prudence, patience, tolerance, compassion, sympathy, and empathy are the flotation devices. Bigotry, arrogance, false sense of superiority, and inhumanity are the dead weights that sink the soul, body, and mind into the abyss of darkness. Coming back to those who swear by Gotra, the most pressing and scientific question is for example whether all male Bharadvaja Brahmanas carry a common Y Chromosome among them? That is the proof of the pudding. The same proposal applies to all Vaidika Gotras. Only by establishing such commonality of Y Chromosome in the individual Gotras, we can establish legitimacy of that claim. I see an advantage in that knowing Gotra avoids marriage between same Gotra members. That leads to a healthy and strong stock in the progeny. My take on this is that there were extraordinary Saptarishis whose names occur in Rg Veda, and whose male descendants carried on the tradition and their Y chromosome. My feeling is that there may be many Laukika strains masquerading as Vaidika strains or admixed with the original strains of The Great Saptarishis and vice versa.

Saptarisis: Different texts give some common and some different names.

Brahma's creative energy was bursting forth on his body and mind. Brahma created out of his mind seven sons. These seven sons are collectively called  SaptaRishis, seven Rishis.  These are the primary Rishis or sages.  They are Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Viswamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadwaaja These seven sons created seven sons  out of their minds.  Bhagavatam 8.13.5:  Narada popped out from the lap; Daksa trotted out of his thumb; Vasistha spiraled out of his breath; Bhrgu crawled out of his skin; Kratu muscled his way out of his hand; Pulaha sprouted out of his navel; Pulastya wriggled out of his ear; Angira gushed out of his mouth;  Atri  brimmed over the eyelid; Marici dawned out of his mind; Dharma burst out of his right breast; Adharma scratched his way out of his back;  KAma, the god of love, blossomed out of his heart; Anger bounced off his brow; Greed gyrated on his upper lip; the goddess of Speech (Vak) vaulted out his of mouth with the aid of a pole of nimble wit; the oceans rained down from his phallus; Nirrti plunked out of his anus; and the sage Kardama stepped out of his shadow . Dharma was Lord Narayana Himself. Thus Brahma's creations came out of his body and mind. 

Nirrti: Ms.Calamity.  Personified as the goddess of death.  Considered as wife of Adharma, Mr. Unrighteousness.  Ms.Calamity and Mr. Unrighteousness (Adharma) had three sons, Bhaya and  Maha-Bhaya and Myrtyu.  Bhaya is fear himself, Mahabhaya, the great Fear and Mrityu the death incarnate.  Another version states that Nirrti is a daughter of Adharma and Himsa, unrighteousnes and violence / Injury) and mother of Bhaya and Naraka (Fear and Hell)

Kardama is the husband of Devahûti and father of Kapila.   Kapila is the founder of Sankya system of philosophy.  See Chapter two for details on Samkhya system. 

It is said that Brahma, in order to hasten the pace of creation fell in love with his own daughter, Vac, who had no carnal desire in her.  His sons, Marici and others pleaded with him and pointed out the unrighteousness of his intentions.  They brought to his attention of historical precedent set by previous Brahmas and the moral precedent he will set for the future Brahmas.  Brahma became very much ashamed of his intent,  immediately gave up his body which became a dark fog.

Brahma brought out the four vedas from the mouths of his four heads. Vedas such as Ayurveda ( medical sciences), Danurveda (The art and science of Archery), Gandarvaveda (The art of music), Sthâpatyaveda (The science of Architecture), and the Ithihasas and puranas (fifth veda). Vidya ( knowledge), Danam (Charity), Tapah (penance) and Satyam (Truth) are created as the four legs of Dharma.  Varnashrama Dharma was established.  All human endeavors including  three Rs were created by Brahma.

Even with all serious efforts the population was sparse.  He worried about it. When he was engaged in contemplation, his body assumed a form that was two bodies in one.  This twin body had for one side a female body and another side had a male body.  This twin body or two-bodies-in-one was called KâyaThe male part was Swayambhuva Manu and the female part was Satarupa.  The bodies separated as two fully formed individuals, one male and one female and later united in conjugal relationship.  Manu  fathered five children with Satatrupa.  They were  two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada, and three daughters, Akuti, Devahuti and Prasuti.  Akuti was married to sage Ruci, Devahuti to sage Kardama, and Prasuti to Daksa.  The population increased on account of these unions.

These narratives about mind-born sons, sons from body parts... should not in any way be submitted to the scientific fact that the humanity came from African Eve and African Adam. Assuming self-promoting and self-aggrandizing Gotras and Gotra origin are true in a fit of wild imagination, where do the Chinese, the Europeans... fit in this Gotra system. The Gotra system does not accommodate these foreigners. Where did these foreigners come from: the mind, body... of Brahma? The foreigners were not inducted into the system because they were not known to exist at that time when Gotra system and the Varnasrama (A)Dharma were conceived, promoted and practiced to the detriment of people in the Indian subcontinent.

My belief is that there should be a national registry of Vaidika and Laukika registrants based on Y chromosome analysis. Let us extend this to all people. This is the age of computers and DNA. Let us do it right. Instead of consulting an astrologer, let us do the DNA and arrange marriage between compatible ones. I know a Brahmana boy in India whose parents had Thalassemia trait and the child inherited Thalassemia trait from both parents, suffered Thalassemia Major and needed periodic transfusions. This kind of tragedy can be avoided by doing DNA. My guess is that this particular family unknowingly traces their genetic heritage to the soldiers of Alexander the Great who came barging into India brutally and left DNA fingerprints. Chandragptal Maurya in 321 BCE overthrew the Greek satraps (Governors) and founded the Maurya Empire.

We are Africans, no matter what your race, color, caste or Gotra is. No Escape Clause

Mitochondrial  DNA can trace mother backwards to the African Eve. The first man and the first woman are Africans; the first Adam and the first Eve are Africans and not what you see in the paintings of the masters; one cannot wash that off from one's genes, body, mind and soul. Look at the Indian portrayal of Adam and Eve in the midst of the usual features plus a horse, an Indian elephant, a dog, a lamb, Indian birds, a ground hog, a deer.... Also note the relative short stature of Adam and Eve; all these fit the portrayed Indian Adam and Eve in the Indian Garden of Eden.

In a court case "Madhavrao vs Raghavendrarao" which involved a Deshastha Brahmin couple, the German scholar Max Mueller's definition of gotra as descending from eight sages and then branching out to several families was thrown out by reputed judges of a Bombay High Court.[3] The court called the idea of Brahmin families descending from an unbroken line of common ancestors as indicated by the names of their respective gotras impossible to accept.[4] The court consulted relevant Hindu texts and stressed the need for Hindu society and law to keep up with the times emphasizing that notions of good social behavior and the general ideology of the Hindu society had changed.[5] The court also said that the mass of material in the Hindu texts is so vast and full of contradictions that it is almost an impossible task to reduce it to order and coherence.[3]  Wikipedia

 It is the tradition which perpetuates the feigned superiority of race and high birth and doubtful mythical lineage to prop something that does not exist in real-life genetics.

According  to real-life genetics, Adam and Eve were black from Africa. They were certainly not Europeans as depicted falsely by the Great Masters (Of course, they did not have the benefit of modern genetics; they knew Jesus Christ was Jewish.) If you go around the world, you will see Jesus Christ morphs from Semitic, to European, to Indian to Chinese, to Nepalese, to African.... Jesus Christ looks like European in European countries and Americas. He was certainly not a Northern-European with sickle-sharp nose, blue eyes, tall stature.... He was Jewish and had Semitic features with olive or dark complexion and a short stature.

The SaptaRishis were the original Rishis, most favored by the gods and were saved at the time of the Great Deluge by Lord Vishnu by taking them on to a floatation device.  These seven Rishis are seven stars forming the Great Bear in the sky. Rig Veda says that Rishis came from all castes, meaning they were not all Brahmanas. That being so, let us embrace this delightful multi-chromatic hodgepodge.

My mom doesn't know my Gotra.

Jabala, the poor boy goes  to Gautama for Brahma-knowledge.  Gautama, a man way ahead of his time, asks him what his gotra is.  The youngster born of a maid working in a travel lodge (eons ago) admits to his undocumented and indeterminate Gotra status.  Gautama immediately puts his trust on his honesty and truth and takes him as a pupil.  The lesson here is that the content of his character and intellect rather than his  birth or gotra determines his eligibility to higher studies. To Gautama, Jabala is a Brahmana by honesty and intellect. The Sudra fortunately originated from a body part of the Lord, namely the feet, at which all the Alwars worshipped. At the feet of Lord Krishna, the Alwars, the Sudras, and the twice-born see eye to eye.  That is Lord's grace.

What do you do with a Dalit with high IQ? One cannot keep him down too long.

A Dalit (low-caste or Harijan- even below the Sudras) real-life Saint, Nandanar, A real-life story

    A Dalit (Pulaiyan) lived in Adanur in Tamil Nadu. He worked on the lands and dead carcasses of animals and made leather goods for the Chidambaram Nataraja temple for the temple drums. He was a Siva devotee.

(Dalit, known by the derogatory word Paraiyan (À¨ÈÂý) in Tamil Nadu; the word Pariah is derived from Parai, the drum; Pariah or Paraiyan is the one who beats the drum to make announcements. Mahatma Gandhi christened them Harijans (children of God). They live on the outskirts of the village and are mostly day laborers, tend cattle and lands for the village so-called upper caste landowners. I lived in such a village in Tamil Nadu and know their lot and plight very well. If there is anything nobody wants to do, that is the job that a Dalit takes. My grandmother went bonkers and I drove her bananas, when I intentionally touched the untouchables during my visits to her village. The worker admonished me for touching him because he might receive tongue-lashing from my grandmother for no fault of his. I received a reprimand and a scrub from my grandmother at each instance.)

   He was later named Nandanar, after people became aware of his saintliness. Before that, he could not go to Chidambaram to see Lord Nataraja because of his daily toil on the lands and low-caste status. People used to ask him when  he was going to visit Chidambaram. He used to say, "I will go tomorrow."  So people named him Tiru-naalai-povar (திரு-நாளை-போவார்), meaning the "sacred-tomorrow-goer." Right from childhood he was a devotee of Lord Nataraja but he never gained entry into the temple because of his caste status. He watched from a distance the temple and went  around the temple walls as a mark of his devotion to Lord Nataraja.  He did not want to break the caste barriers imposed by others on him and his caste. Once he went to Tirupungur to see the Deity Sivalokanathar. He and his friends stood outside the temple to see the deity in the Sanctum Sanctorum; the sacred stone bull Nandi was in the way for a proper Darsan (Viewing of the idol). Siva ordered the stone bull to move so that his devotee can take a look at him well. Nandi moved and he received the vision of the Lord. Since then he was known as Nandanar (நந்தனார்; named after Nandi), a very respectful name for a devotee.  He wished to visit the sanctum sanctorum in Nataraja Temple. How was it going to be possible for a Dalit to enter the temple? Lord Nataraja appeared in the dreams of Nandanar and the temple priests and ordered the priests to let him take a bath and walk through fire and visit him in the sanctum Sanctorum. 

    Nandanar enters fire.

Nandan's  physical body euphemistically called the illusory body perished in the fire with the emergence of a radiant Muni of great virtue with the sacred thread shining on his chest and matching matted locks.  When the crimson fire rose to the sky, he was radiant-looking like Brahma seated on the lotus flower. Dundubhi (large kettle drum) sounded; the celestials poured showers of flowers and ManthAra blossoms (shoe flower, Japapushpa, hibiscus rosa-sinensis). He,  to the amazement of the hereditary temple priests (Thillai-Vaz-Anthanar--¾¢ø¨Ä Å¡ú «ó¾½÷--native Brahmana priests) walked on his own power to the Sanctum (Golden Hall) and merged with the Lord with no trace of him either in the cinders or in the Sanctum.

Thillai-Vaz-Anthanar--தில்லை வாழ் அந்தணர் = Thillai-living Brahmanas. Thillai = Blinding tree, s. tr., Excoecaria agallocha. Chidambaram is named after the tree that grew in plenty in there.

What bothers me most why Nandanar entered or was forced to enter fire?

  Ramanuja says that one's own dharma refers to Karma Yoga which is easier and involves the use of senses. Dharma of another is Jnana Yoga which involves controlling senses which is harder to do.  Jnana Yoga, though done well occasionally,  engenders frequent failures. Karma Yoga involves use of body and the sense organs; one does not incur any stain.  Jnana Yoga  results in stain because doing it right every time without exception is next to impossible.  Ramanuja is true to Vaishnavite tenets. Personal Bhakti is the foremost of all paths; Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, belief in Impersonal Brahman are paths littered with perils. Vaishnavism and Impersonal Brahman are poles apart.

Sankara's take on this is different. One's own svabhaava (own nature) is safe. Sankara states that "a worm is born in a poison, which does not kill it. In like manner a person does not incur stain while performing duties, dictated by his own nature."  Take maggots: the flies lay eggs in the cavity of dead animals or humans. The thriving maggots emerge from the rotting flesh. That rotting flesh is poison to a human and not to maggots. That is what Sankara means by his analogy.


18.48:  One should not give up one’s innate karma, O Kaunteya, though defective. All endeavors are covered with defects as the fire is covered by smoke.  

Sahajam karma: usual and innate karma.  All undertakings are enveloped by defects; nothing is neat, clean and cut-and-dry.

Man is constituted of three entities: World-Soul or God, individual soul or Jiva, and Prakrti and its evolutes such as body, Mind, Buddhi, Ego.... God is Antaratman or Inner Soul abiding in the spiritual heart. That is the Fire in us; the Fire is surrounded by the body etc. Antaratman is eternal, pristine, pure and Supreme; the body is a defect because it is impermanent, changeable, and subject to death and decay. That defect is due to Karma and Vasanas. Once we expunge the Karma, we rise above the defect and attain Brahman.

A Kshatriya has to kill his enemy to gain victory. Victory is sweet and pure as Fire; death of enemies is Himsa (injury), defect and smoke in that undertaking and victory.  A Kshatriya should not give up fighting because it is attended with these defects; he is free from any stain engendered by his actions.  Actions by and large are not free from defects.

Bhagavan says to Arjuna the following:

2.31: When you view this from the perspective of your inherent dharma, in this case the duty inherent to a Ksatriya, you should not tremble in fear. There is no greater duty for a Ksatriya than a fight in battle.


Man and his actions are covered with eighteen defects, which Bhagavan does not have; all other negative qualities are variations, and permutations of these 18 qualities.

1. Moham = delusion; 2. tandra = தந்திரை = laziness or sleep; 3. bhramo = பிரமை = bewilderment; 4. ruksa-rasata= lack of joy, dullness; 5. kāma = lust; 6. ulbanah = superfluousness; 7. lolata = trembling or fickleness; 8. mada-matsaryau = intoxicating envy; 9. himsa = violence; 10. kheda = lassitude, depression; 11.parisramau = பரிசிரமம் = Great suffering; 12. Asatyam = untruthfulness; 13. Krodha = anger; 14. akanksa = desire, aspiration, expectancy ; 15. Asanka = fear, dishonor; 16. visva-vibhramah = universal confusion; 17. Visamatva = contradictoriness; Para-apēksā = dependence on others.


  18.49:  He, whose buddhi is unattached everywhere, having control of his self, and from whom the desires have left, attains sannyāsa through supreme perfection by transcending all karma.

He whose Buddhi is unattached everywhere,  who has control over self, whose desires have departed, who has attained perfection of non-action or transcendence of Karma,  attains the Supreme  through renunciation.18.49


Sannyāsa: renunciation. Naiskarmya: transcending karma or work.


18.50:  Learn from Me briefly, O Kaunteya, having achieved perfection, he attains Brahman, which is the supreme state of knowledge.


18.51:  Endowed with purified Buddhi, controlling self with determination, giving up sound, and sense objects, and casting aside likes and dislikes (continued)


“Giving up sound,” means getting away from the din, hustle and bustle of daily activity around him and practicing silence (mauna).


18.52:  Living in solitude, eating lightly, controlling speech, body, and mind, engaged all the time in yoga of meditation, having taken refuge in detachment (continued)


About 2000 years ago, the Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar said:
சொல்லுக சொல்லிற் பயனுடைய சொல்லற்க
சொல்லிற் பயனிலாச் சொல்.
Spoken words thus said do good (to the speaker and the listener). Say not a word that does not do good. By Tiruvalluvar

 Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:36 and 12:37  NIV

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Mt12:36

For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Mt12:37


Here are examples of uncontrolled thoughtless speech. Swami Ramsukhdas explains that speech should be truthful, agreeable and necessary, free from reproach and scandal etc.


 Bad Speech. Tomorrow's Mis-Leaders Today.  March 10, 2015

“There will never be a nigger SAE. There will never be a nigger SAE . You can hang him from a tree, but he will never sign with me. There will never be a nigger SAE.”

University of Oklahoma President David Boren expelled two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity who he said were leading the racist chant in a now-infamous video. Boren said Tuesday these students "created a hostile learning environment" and were thus expelled. The students, who are currently unnamed, have until the end of Friday to appeal the expulsion. "I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude," Boren said, adding that more will be punished. "We will continue our investigation of all students involved engaged in the singing of this chant. Once their identities have been confirmed, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions."--Daily Beast dated March 10, 2015

These incidents generally result in the students being punished on some level. As most are aware, the president of Oklahoma University David Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, announced Monday morning that“effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE are hereby severed.” He closed the fraternity house effective Monday and condemned the students involved in the harshest terms.


Excerpts as reported by newspapers on bad speech:




Canadian Judge Resigns After Furor Over 'Knees Together' Remarks In Rape Case


His questioning of a woman in a sexual assault case — asking her, "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" — sparked outrage. Now Federal Court Justice Robin Camp has resigned, after a judicial review board said he should be removed.


4. Rand Paul: Nugent Should Apologize --Cheat Sheet

At least one top GOP lawmaker is taking a stand against renegade right-wing extremist Ted Nugent after the rocker recently called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel.” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tweeted on Wednesday evening that Nugent should apologize, saying that his "derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics." Meanwhile, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has received Nugent's support for his campaign.

Read it at Mediate

February 21, 2014 7:12 AM



Race row DNA scientist quits lab  Oct/2007, 12/12/2007 NYTimes

James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and winner of the Nobel prize, raised a storm recently when a British newspaper quoted him saying that black Africans are not as intelligent as whites. But his own brilliant DNA seems to blur the lines of race. 

It was announced on December 9, 2007 in a Sunday Times article[60] that 16% of Watson's DNA is of African origin, sixteen times the European average of 1% suggesting that he might have had a great-grandparent of African origin. This conclusion was reached by deCODE Genetics, an Icelandic genetic company, which analysed Watson's genetic code, which he published on the internet in the interests of science---said Kari Stefansson, the chief executive of deCODE Genetics of Iceland, which did the analysis.


December 4 2014: NYTimes



photo credit NYTimes.

James Watson Puts Nobel Medal on Auction Block at Christie's

By Selling Prize, a DNA Pioneer Seeks Redemption

Christie’s estimates the medal will sell for $2.5 million to $3.5 million. Mr. Wahlgren said the medal, made out of 23-karat gold, is worth about $20,000 to $30,000 for its gold alone — just a trifle in proportion to its weight as intellectual property.

Christie’s is also auctioning Dr. Watson’s notes for his Nobel acceptance speech (estimated worth: $300,000 to $400,000) and the manuscript for the lecture he gave the day after he received the medal ($200,000 to $300,000).

”In the 2007 interview, in The Sunday Times of London Magazine, he told a former protégée, Charlotte Hunt-Grubbe, that he felt gloomy about Africa because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.”

He also said that “people who have to deal with black employees” found that everyone was not equal.

Last week, he told The Financial Times that the interview had turned him into an “unperson.”

He added that he was selling his medal because he needed the money, having been ousted from boards of companies. And somewhat puckishly, he admitted to a desire to buy a painting by David Hockney.

Watson gets back the Medal from the buyer.

December 10, 2014 Wednessday:  A Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist (Alisher Usmanov) revealed on Tuesday that he was the winning bidder at the auction of James D. Watson’s 1962 Nobel Prize last week and that he planned to return the medal to Dr. Watson — “the person who deserved it.”--NYTimes

January 1, 2019 New York Times.  Dr. Watson blames it on the sun.

It has been more than a decade since James D. Watson, a founder of modern genetics, landed in a kind of professional exile by suggesting that black people are intrinsically less intelligent than whites.

In later years, even before his 2007 comments, Dr. Watson began making offensive statements about groups of people, suggesting, among other things, that exposure to sunlight in equatorial regions increases sexual urges and that fat people are less ambitious than others.

In a new documentary, “American Masters: Decoding Watson,’’ to be broadcast on P.B.S. on Wednesday night (January 2, 2019), he is asked whether his views about the relationship between race and intelligence have changed.

His speaking invitations evaporated. In 2014, he became the first living Nobelist to sell his medal, citing a depleted income from having been designated a “nonperson.’’








July 12,2008. (It appears that a biracial candidate Barack Obama for president of USA stands 50-50 chance to become the President of United States.  Watson: Who is his choice for President of USA?). Would Watson vote to elect Barack Obama, his Genetic Compatriot? Both are biracial, though Watson has not acknowledged his biracial DNA.

Nov 04, 2008 10.45PM EST. Barack Obama wins the presidential election. America has projected to the world that it has outgrown racism by electing Barack Obama as the 44th president and the first African-American President. Most voters are white. This commands a new respect for America in the community of nations.  America moves forward, while some nations are still roiling in the sea of bigotry, and racial, ethnic, sectarian and religious violence.  America proves that as a country, it can look at a person beyond his race. America has set an (inimitable) example for the rest of the world.

January 20, 2009, 3.50PM EST: Biracial Barack Obama (African-American) the son of an African immigrant and a white woman of British descent becomes the first black president of U.S, at 12 noon, a sign of changing times in America. It is a happy day for Rev. Martin Luther King and all decent men and women. The nation and the world want him to succeed.  As of now, President Obama is riding the presidential limo USA1 on his way to the White House with ecstatic crowds of people watching the motorcade from the curbside and four secret service agents walking  beside the front and the back of the president's limo. The V configuration of the motorcycles are indeed a sight to see.  Bandobust (Security cover) is heavy.

4.03PM EST: The president is out of the limo, waving and walking with Mrs. Obama up the street. Two agents on their left and behind and two agents to the right and behind and one in front are walking on Pennsylvania Avenue.

4.11PM EST: President Obama gets back into the limo.


Andy Rooney always denied that he was a racist. In the 1940s, he was arrested after sitting in the back of a segregated bus in protest.[27] Also, in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, Rooney applauded the fact that "the citizens of this country, 80 percent of whom are white, freely chose to elect a black man as their leader simply because they thought he was the best choice." He said that makes him proud, and that it proves that the country has "come a long way — a good way."[28]  Wikipedia

Washington: Barack Obama and his family would make history on Tuesday (January 20, 2009) as the first black family to move into the White House, a mansion largely built by slaves, who also helped shape the national capital.

Until the Civil War, when Obama's idol Abraham Lincoln freed slaves, 12 American Presidents owned slaves and eight of them, starting with George Washington, owned slaves while in office. Almost from the very start, slaves were a common sight in the executive mansion.  Obama evicted the bust of Sir Winston Churchill from Oval Office and put Abraham Lincoln in its place

The US Capitol, the home of nation's parliament, on whose steps Obama will be sworn-in as the leader of the world's oldest democracy, too was built by a workforce that was made up largely of slaves from houses and farms in Virginia, Maryland and the capital. http://sify.com

A Nobel laureate who claimed Africans were less clever than Europeans has retired from his post at an American research institution. James Watson, 79, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York announced his departure on Thursday. ( The DNA Nobel Laureate forgot that his genes are derived from African Adam and African Eve. What a colossal forgetfulness for man of DNA fame.)  Nov 04. 2008: Would James Watson acknowledge that his genetic compatriot is his president as we all do?  Has his view changed? Whom did he vote for?

The laboratory, based in Long Island, suspended him after his comments appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine of London on 14 October, 2007. He was quoted as saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really". He said that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true".

Imus' on again/off again sidekick Sid Rosenberg was temporarily fired in 2001 for calling tennis player Venus Williams an "animal" and remarking that the Williams sisters—Venus and her tennis player sister Serena—would more likely be featured in National Geographic than in Playboy. Rosenberg referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals."

In his most recent racist outburst, on April 4, 2007, Imus called the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," just moments after sidekick and executive producer Bernard McGuirk (the "nigger jokes" hire) called them "hard-core hos." The Rutgers team, which recently played in the national championship finals, is made up of eight African-American women and two white women.

June 2010.

Nikki Haley is the SC-born daughter of a Sikh family hailing from India. She is running for Governor. June 2010

State Senator Jake Knotts on Nikki Haley, South Carolina-born daughter from a Sikh Family: 'We have already got a rag head in the White House; we don't need another rag head in the governor's mansion.'

State Senator Knotts said, "I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I do apologize to both for an unintended slur."

 Knotts' intemperate racial epithet against fellow Republican draws criticism.

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A South Carolina senator who referred to the Republican gubernatorial front-runner as a "raghead" was reprimanded Thursday by GOP leaders in his home county and asked to resign. 

The executive committee of the Lexington County Republican Party approved the symbolic resolution 26-7, after striking a clause to revoke his membership from the local party. 

The vote comes a week after GOP Sen. Jake Knotts' comments on fellow Lexington County Rep. Nikki Haley and President Barack Obama on an Internet political talk show. 

"We've got a raghead in Washington, we don't need a raghead in the Statehouse," Knotts said last Thursday on Pub Politics, a show cast as insider politics over beer. Knotts later apologized, saying the remarks were meant as a joke. 

The term is a derogatory reference to people of Middle Eastern or Indian descent. 

News coverage of Knotts' "racial epithets brought shame and disgrace upon himself, his office and his party. ... The Lexington County Republican Party condemns the racist statements," reads the resolution. 

Haley, whose parents immigrated from India, grew up in the Sikh faith but describes herself as Methodist. The gaffe did not hurt her at the polls, as she took a commanding lead in Tuesday's four-way primary with 49 percent of the vote, more than 27 percentage points ahead of No. 2, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, but not quite enough to win the outright nomination. They will meet in a runoff. 

Knotts, who did not attend, reiterated after the vote that he will not resign. 

"I don't care what they do. They can call for it all they want to. They can get on the mountaintop if they want to," Knotts said. "We were sitting in a setting sorta like Saturday Night Live, talking, cutting up. I said it. I realized what I said and immediately issued an apology." 

He added, "I'm truly, deeply sorry I used those words and there was no intention for them to be interpreted to be prejudice." 

Nikki Haley, despite opposition, vituperation, ethnic slur..., was elected Governor of SC in November 2010 elections.


Aug/2006:  Senator lost his reelection bid upon calling Siddarth a Macaca.

Sen. George Allen, national comic treasure:

S.R. Sidarth, a senior at the University of Virginia, had been trailing Allen with a video camera to document his travels and speeches for the Webb campaign. During a campaign speech Friday in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen singled out Sidarth and called him a word that sounded like “Macaca….”

“Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia,” said Allen, who then began talking about the “war on terror.” 

During a speech, Allen paused, then began referring to Sidarth:

In an interview, Sidarth said he suspects Allen singled him out because he was the only non-white face in the audience, which he estimated included about 100 Republican supporters.

The Facts:

1. George Allen said "macaca" three times to a young man of color, on tape.

2. "Macaca" is a French-Tunisian racial slur.

1. any of several lemurs, as Lemur macaco. (a monkey)

3. Allen's mother is French-Tunisian and Allen is fluent in French. (I'm not saying his mother taught him the word, but there seems to be a family connection; perhaps a grandfather, an uncle or a cousin).

4. Allen told this young man of color "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," as if this young man wasn't a native born American (as well as a native born Virginian, something George F. Allen is not).

(Macaca-fame Senator Allen did not know his Jewish roots until newspapers discovered his origins.

Voting public of Virginia Chose Webb in the place of Sen. George Allen simply because Allen called Virginia-born son, Sidarth a Macaca.  By the way, Sidarth is Indo-European (racial and genetic classification) as Senator Allen most likely is.

RICHMOND, Sept. 20, 2006 -- Henrietta "Etty" Allen said Wednesday that she concealed her upbringing as a Jew in North Africa from her children, including Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), until a conversation across the dining room table in late August.

She said Allen asked her directly about his Jewish heritage when he was in Los Angeles for a fundraiser. "We sat across the table and he said, 'Mom, there's a rumor that Pop-pop and Mom-mom were Jewish and so were you,' " she recalled, a day after Allen issued a statement acknowledging and embracing his Jewish roots as he campaigns for a second term in the U.S. Senate.)

Friday, September 30, 2005; Posted: 1:08 p.m. EDT (17:08 GMT): WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressional Democrats blasted former Education Secretary William Bennett on Thursday for saying that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate, and demanded their Republican counterparts do the same.

January 2009: Guess Who is coming to the White House? Guess who the president is, come January 20, 2009?

 Labor Secretary Elaine Chao is quoted saying that American workers not only have bad attitudes and lousy work ethics, they also need to dress better and to have better personal hygiene. Let's be blunt -- Chao thinks American workers have bad body odor. On top of all that, Chao thinks that Americans need to take anger management classes!

Of course, some people don’t have to be drunk to blather bigoted nonsense. Ronald Reagan’s interior secretary, James Watt, brazenly bragged in public his department was diverse: “I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple.”

 Definition of America

As opposed to James What (watt, with no joule or juice), Vice-President Joe Biden defines America as reported in the New York Times Magazine dated November 29, 2009. Biden loves a stage, and loves all-American hokum. "As corny as it sounds," he said, " damn, I'm proud to be an American."  He told a story about being driven to Camp Bondsteel, the home of American peace-keeping troops in Kosovo, and seeing, and standing together, " a female colonel, a black captain, a white sergeant, and, literally, a hispanic private." Turning to his Kosovo driver, he said: "That's America. And until you understand that here, you will never be free."


Former Vice-president Spiro Agnew described the members of media as "nattering nabobs of negativism" and as "a tiny fraternity of privileged men elected by no one and enjoying a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by the government". He denounced opponents of the Vietnam war as "an effete corps of impudent snobs" who "take their tactics from Fidel Castro and their money from Daddy".  Agnew himself was often in trouble for racist remarks. He once called a reporter a "fat Jap". Once Nixon was elected president, he used Agnew primarily as an attack dog, making violent attacks on liberals and the media to ecstatic applause from conservatives. If Agnew had not taken bribes, or had not been caught, he might have been President of the United States.

More on uncontrolled speech from Wikipedia

Tex Antoine, the weather man reported the rape of a five year old girl in a callous manner.

Herbert Jon Antoine, Jr. (April 21, 1923 January 12, 1983), known professionally as Tex Antoine, was an American meteorologist on New York City television for nearly three decades.

Rape quip and final years

On November 24, 1976, his weather spot came up just after a report of a violent rape of a five year old girl. Tex thereupon quipped: "With rape so predominant in the news lately, it is well to remember the words of Confucius: 'If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it.'" (The same joke later helped derail Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams' 1990 election bid and got Indiana University Basketball coach Bob Knight in trouble during an interview with Connie Chung in 1988). Roger Grimsby led the 11 p.m. newscast that night with the official apology from WABC. Five days later Grimsby would introduce Antoine's replacement, Storm Field with "Lie back, relax and enjoy the weather with Storm Field." Antoine closed out his career with a brief stint as weatherman for WNEW-TV in 1977.


November 13, 2013

One of India's most senior policemen has been forced to apologise after comparing rape to unlicensed betting which, because it cannot be prevented, should be enjoyed. Ranjit Sinha, who leads the Central Bureau of Investigation in India, made the remarks during a discussion at a conference on Tuesday night.

18.53:  giving up ego, power, pride, lust and anger, possession, and in perfect indifference to “mine,” and endowed with peace, he becomes worthy of attaining Brahma-būyāyas (absorption in Brahman).


The Yogis, Munis, Rishis and Paramahamsas retain residual ego of knowledge and service to serve humanity. They also retain residual abhimana (pride) for the preservation of the body, practice of devotion to God, associating with the devotees, and giving advice to others. It is for the public weal. Ramakrishna says that his divine Mother retains his abhimana (and ego). Adapted from Sayings of Ramakrishna, Page 52-53.


18.54:  Being one with Brahman, the tranquil atma neither laments nor desires. Regarding all beings equal, he attains Supreme devotion to Me.


18.55:  Through devotion to Me, he comes to know in Truth who I am, and what My nature is. Knowing Me thus in Truth, he enters into Me after that.


18.56:  While performing all activities all the time, he, who takes refuge in Me, attains the eternal imperishable abode by My grace.


18.57:  Mentally renouncing all actions to Me, and practicing Buddhi-yoga, think of Me in your mind as the Supreme Goal all the time.


18.58:  Thinking of Me, you will overcome all your difficulties by My grace. However, if you do not listen to Me because of your ego, you will perish.


18.59:  Taking refuge in your ego, you think: “I shall not fight.” Your decision is contrary (to Dharma). Your nature will compel you (to fight).


Mithyā: vain, contrary, to no purpose, fruitlessly, incorrectly.


18.60:   Born of your own nature O Kaunteya, bound by your own activities, what you wish not to do because of delusion, you will do even that against your will.


18.61:  The Supreme Lord resides within the hearts of all living beings, O Arjuna. By His māyā power, Isvara causes all beings to spin as if they are mounted on a machine (carousel or upright wheel).


Hrt-dese: within the hearts. Brahman resides in the hearts of all individuals. According to Chāndogya Upanishad 8.1- 6, in the city of Brahman, there is an abode called a small lotus flower (heart). There is a small space within that heart. The question arises in the mind: What is there to seek or what is there to understand? In that space, there is heaven and earth, fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars. Whatever there is of Him in this world and beyond is contained within the heart. What is left behind in the space of the heart (hrd-ākāsa), when death strikes? It is the Self that remains, free from sin, old age, death, sorrow, hunger, and thirst. Desire and thought of the Self is after the Real. Once merits and demerits have resolved upon death, liberation is obtained only when the desire of Self is realized. Sankara interprets the vision and the goal of the self: Seeing the Self in all and all in the Self, the self becomes autonomous and liberated.

The Māyā power, owned by the Lord, has three dissimilar sons: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. It is Rajas who spins the wheel of creation, it is Sattva that sustains it, and it is Tamas who brings it to dissolution. This Maya power works at Cosmic level.

Here the wheel allegorizes the sheaths of the body, according to Panchadasi (6.173-176). Spinning denotes good and bad deeds by the individual. At individual level, Maya power works with the Intellectual sheath and prompts Jiva to act. This does not preclude self-motivation of an individual.


18.62:  Surrender unto Him with all your being, O Bharata; by His grace, your will attain the Supreme peace and eternal abode.


  Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

The moment I realize that I am an absolute servant of Sriman Narayana and shed the last bit of independent will (svaatantryam) I am eligible for saranagati (= taking refuge, surrender). When I recognize that I am His belonging, then I realize that protecting me or elevating me is no more my responsibility, which is the state of a saranagata. A State of mind that is difficult to achieve does not mean it would be a delayed achievement. It can happen any day. Bhakti yogi is one who clings to his own efforts in attaining moksham. On the contrary a saranagata leaves it to Bhagavan.

Bhakti and saranagati are two means (upaya / sadhana) to attain mukti. Bhakti is accomplishment by our efforts. In saranagati, Bhagavan Himself is the upaya. We accept Him as our upaya. Now coming to the concept of antima smriti - this is remembering / meditating bhagavan during the last moments in the death bed in order to reach His lotus feet. This is mandatory for a bhakti yogi but not for a saranagata. In the case of saranagata the responsibility of remembering is on Bhagavan . He remembers His saranagata and escorts the jiva to Srivaikuntham. This is as per the 4th phrase of Sri Devaperumal to Sri Ramanuja ' antima smriti varjanam' and varaha carama sloka.


18.63:  Thus, knowledge that is more secret than the most secret has been related unto you by Me. Reflect on that fully, and then do as you wish.


18.64:  Hear from Me the most secret of all, My Supreme word. You are very dear to Me; therefore, I speak to you for your benefit.


18.65:  Think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, and offer your obeisance to Me. Certainly you will come to Me. I truly promise you that you are dear to Me.


    Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

Even though Perumal has all the right to arbitrarily choose to bless anybody, He follows all the rules set by him. So kindly do not lose hope that in spite of punyams Perumal may not choose us. Is it possible in this samsara? Can we ask perumal to grant moksham as a right? The only alternative is to plead to Him. Let me now explain a more important point here. Let us accept the supremacy and the arrogant (!) authority of Perumal over this jiva. At His will He can arbitrarily choose anybody to bless. Why cannot we plead to Him to choose us arbitrarily and grant moksham. Punyam is not an eligibility to attain moksham. In fact it is a hurdle to moskam. It only qualifies us to join the band of short listed people. It is finally the unconditional mercy (and the arbitrary choice) of Perumal that grants us moksham. Passing +2 exam (High School graduation in USA) qualifies you to join a college but cannot give you a seat in any college. One has to shed all the papams and punyams to attain moksham. Saranagata's papam gets distributed to his offenders and punyam to his well wishers.


Perumal = பெருமாள் = Eminent Person = Here it refers to Vishnu.

shed all the papams and punyams = equable resolution of merit and demerit = இருவினையொப்பு; Bringing merit and demerit to a zero sum status.

punyam = புண்ணியம் = merit; papam =பாபம் = sin, demerit.

saranagata = Refuge seeker, Surrenderer to God.




18.66:  Abandoning all duties, surrender unto Me only. I shall deliver you from all sins. Do not lament.

चरम स्लोक = Carama Sloka = final Slokam


सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज

अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥१८- ६६॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaraṇam vraja
aham tvām sarva-pāpebhya
mokṣyayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ 18.66  


 The View From The West

ahaṁ tvāṃ sarva-pāpebhyo mokćayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ 18.66 Cf. Bible Matt. ix. 2,

‘Be of good cheer thy sins be forgiven thee. ’A sense of original cor-

ruption seems to be felt by all classes of Hindus, as indicated by the

following prayer used after the Gāyatrī by many religious persons:

Pāpo 'ham pāpa-karmāham pāpātmā pāpa-sambliavaḥ,

Trāhi mām, puṇḍarīkāhsha sarva-pāpa-hara Hare,

‘1 am sinful, I commit sin, my nature is sinful, I am conceived in sin,

Save me, thou lotus-eyed Hari, the remover of sin.’

Monier Monier-Williams. Indian Wisdom. page 146. Notes added on July 10, 2015

Sir Monier Monier-Williams, KCIE (12 November 1819 – 11 April 1899) was the

 second Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, England.



   Sayings of Ramakrishna page 142      

518. Question: What are we to do when we are placed in this world?  

Answer:  Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will.


The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 6 [ Page : 110-111 ] NOTES TAKEN DOWN IN MADRAS, 1892-93.  

Swami Vivekananda says:

Shri Krishna was God, incarnated to save mankind. Gopi-lila (his disport with cowherd maids) is the acme of the religion of love in which individuality vanishes and there is communion. It is in this Lila that Shri Krishna shows what he preaches in the Gita: "Give up every other tie for me." Go and take shelter under Vrindavana - Lila to understand Bhakti. On this subject a great number of books is extant. It is the religion of India. The larger number of Hindus follow Shri Krishna.

Shri Krishna is the God of the poor, the beggar, the sinner, the son, the father, the wife, and of everyone. He enters intimately into all our human relations and makes everything holy and in the end brings us to salvation. He is the God who hides himself from the philosopher and the learned and reveals himself to the ignorant and the children. He is the God of faith and love and not of learning. With the Gopis, love and God were the same thing -- they knew Him to be love incarnate.

In Dwaraka, Shri Krishna teaches duty; in Vrindavana, love. He allowed his sons to kill each other, they being wicked.

God, according to the Jewish and Mohammedan idea, is a big Session Judge. Our God is rigorous on the surface, but loving and merciful at heart.


   Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

Tirumantram is explained by dvayam. The meaning of dvayam is exactly explained and ordered only in Krishna caramasloka (bg Verse18.66). It is Krishna's sloka which has the following 1. the virtues that are to be renounced (sarva dharman) 2. the way to renounce (parityajya) 3. the object of surrender (maam)4. the truth that Krishna is the only means and not even surrender (ekam) 5. the upayama - Krishna's lotus feet (saranam) 6. accept absolutely and belief that Krishna is the upayam (vraja) 7. Krishna - the supreme granter (aham) 8. jiva the beneficiary (tva) 9. the benefit (removal of sins) (mokshayishyami) 10. command to be relieved of concern (maasuca:) All these requisites of saranagati is complete only in Krishna caramasloka.

Samhita vakyam "bhaktya paramaya vaapi prapatya va mahaaa mune" A jiva reaches vaikuntham either through bhakti or through prapatti." Both are clearly different. Bhakti is saadya upaya which is achieved through my efforts but prapatti is siddhopaaya where Sriman Narayana Himself is the means. It is not mandatory for a prapanna to meditate on the Lord in his death bed to reach vaikuntham. But being a prapanna he would always be absorbed in His thoughts only.

Saadhya = சாத்தியம் =  to be accomplished; That which is attainable. Siddha = சித்தன் = one who has obtained his object or objective.  prapanna = பிரபன்னன் = pirapaṇṇaṇ = He who accepts God as his sole refuge

One endowed with supernatural powers and capable of performing miracles

 Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

Our cycles of birth and death are decided by our karma only. It is true for all, that karma rules. When we realise this truth and want to be liberated, we seek protection from Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna's compassion is (more) powerful than karma. Krishna chooses the one to be protected and destroys the karma of that atman. So we have to either go through karma phala or krupa phala. If there is no end to karma then it would mean that there is no end to birth and death. So there would be no meaning in the preaching of any acharya. The tool to end karma is krupa which is what Krishna assures in gita.

karma phala = Fruit of Karma.

Krupa = கிருபை = kirupai = Grace, mercy, clemency, compassion, benevolence. phala = பழம் = fruit. krupa phala = Fruit of mercy or show of mercy by God.



all kinds of duties giving up; to me only surrender |

I you all sin liberate, not lament ||


sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaraṇam vraja
aham tvām sarva-pāpebhya
mokṣyayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ 18.66  



sarva-dharmān = all forms of rites and duties; parityajya = abandoning (all duties and rites); śaraṇam vraja = take refuge with;  ma ekam = in Me alone;

aham = I; mokṣyayiṣyāmi = shall free; tvām = you, (who has the certitude of understanding); sarva-pāpebhya = from all sins;

= do not; śucaḥ = grieve.


Others give a variant meaning to this Slokam: Since you have abandoned all your dharma, surrender unto Me only. I shall deliver you from all your sins.


Ramanujacharya gives the following purport and commentary on this important slokam.

66. Completely relinquishing all Dharmas, seek Me alone for refuge. I will release you from all sins. Grieve not:

All Dharmas mean both Dharma and Adharma, which are dispositions of Buddhi.

"Relinquishing all Dharmas means the complete relinquishment of the sense of agency, possessiveness, fruits etc in the practicing of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas in the way instructed, and the realizing of Me as the agent, object of worship, the means and the end. It means that relinquishment is not of all devotional duties but only of the sense of agency and the fruits. This is the Sastraic relinquishment of all Dharmas. It is firmly established in the beginning of this chapter commencing from, 'Listen regarding My decision, O Arjuna, about abandonment; for abandonment is declared to be of three kinds' ·(18.4), and 'Renouncing attachments and also the fruit, such abandonment is regarded as Sattvika .. .for it is impossible for one who bears the body to abandon acts entirely. But he who gives up the fruits of works, is called the abandoner' (18.9-11).

If you practice such abandonment of the sense of agency and fruits, I will release you from all 'sins'-i.e., I will release you from all evil incompatible with the attainment of Myself, consisting of innumerable acts of the nature of doing what ought not to be done and not doing what ought to be done. These piled up from beginningless times form the obstruction in the way. Grieve not, you should not despair; for I shall release you from all these obstructions.

Another (alternative) explanation is this: Bhakti Yoga is possible only for those people to whom the Lord is exceedingly dear and who are free from all evils. Those evils are so huge in their case that the expiatory rites which could wash them off, could not be performed in the limited time of one's life span. Arjuna therefore thought that he was unfit for commencing Bhakti Yoga. To remove the grief of Arjuna the Lord said: 'Completely relinquishing all Dharmas, seek Me alone for refuge.' Expiatory rites can be taken here as what is meant by Dharma, Completely forsake these rites (Dharmas) appropriate for the removal of numerous and varied sins piled up from beginningless time and obstructing the starting of Bhakti Yoga. The expiatory rites consist of practices like Krcchra, Candrayana, Kusmanda, Vaisvanara, Vratapati, Pavitresti, Trvrit, Agnistoma etc., which are of manifold varieties, and which are difficult to perform on account of the brevity of life. So in order to succeed in commencing Bhakti Yoga, seek Me alone for refuge. I am supremely compassionate, the refuge of all without considering the differences of character among them, and am an ocean of tenderness for those dependent on Me. I will release you from all evil, the nature of which has been explained as incompatible with the commencement of Bhakti Yoga. Grieve not. [Both these interpretations of this famous verse are said to teach only Bhakti Yoga and not Prapatti. But the question will rise in one’s mind—why should it not be so taken?]

Swami Sivananda says the following: Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me alone: I will liberate thee from all sins; grieve not.

Commentary: This is the answer given by the Lord to the question put by Arjuna in chapter and verse 2.7  (bg02): "I ask Thee which may be better; tell me that decidedly. I am thy disciple, suppliant to Thee; teach me."

All Dharmas: Righteous deeds, including Adharma; all actions, righteous or unrighteous, as absolute freedom from all actions is intended to be taught here.

Taking refuge in Me alone implies the knowledge of unity without any thought of duality; Knowing that there is nothing else except Me, the Self is all, dwelling the same in all. If though art established in this faith, I shall liberate thee from all sins, from all the bonds of Dharma and Adharma by manifesting Myself as thy own Self.

To behold forms is the Dharma of the eye. The support or substratum of all forms is Brahman. When you look at an object, you behold Brahman, which is one essence and abandon the form which is illusory and unreal. Have the same attitude towards other objects which pertain to the other senses.

Give up the Jiva-Dharma (the notions: "I am the doer of actions,. I enjoy. I am Brahmana. I am a Brahmachari. I am endowed with a little knowledge and power, etc." and get yourself established in Brahma-Bhavana (the understanding and knowledge "I am Brahman"). This is what is meant by taking refuge in Lord Krishna, according to Vedantins.

Work ceaselessly for the Lord but surrender the fruits of all actions to the Lord. Take the Lord as your sole refuge. Live for Him. Work for Him. Serve Him in all forms. Think of Him only. Meditate on Him alone. See Him everywhere. Worship Him in your heart. Consecrate your life, all actions, feelings and thoughts to the Lord. Your will rest in Him. You will attain union with Him. You will attain immortal peace and eternal bliss. This is the view of another school of thought.

Sri Sankara strongly refutes the idea that knowledge in conjunction with Karma (action) produces or leads to liberation. He says that Karma and knowledge may not go together in the same man, that karma helps man to get purification of the heart, and that rihgt knowledge of the Self alone will give him absolute freedom from Samsara. He says that work and knowledge are like darkness and light, that action is possible only in the universe of illusory phenomena which is the projection of ignorance; and knowledg dispels this ignorance. (Cf. bg3.30; 9.22.)  bg3.30:  Dedicating or surrendering all your activities to me, with your consciousness fixed to or anchored in the Self, without desire, free from conceit (ego) and sorrow (fever), fight--Krishnaraj. (bg3.30 Renouncing all actions in Me, with the mind centred in the Self, free from hope and egoism, and from (mental) fever, do thou fight.--Swami Sivanda)  bg9.22:    To those people, who think of Me excluding all else, worshipping Me always and devoted to Me, I bring Yogam and Ksemam (success and security)--Krishnaraj. (9.22. To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, of those ever united, I secure what is not already possessed and preserve what they already possess. --Swami Sivananda). 

This is one of the most celebrated statements of Krishna and according to Ramanuja, (the final) Sarama Slokam meaning that it is the verse that teaches the meaning of attaining final bliss. It is the Maha Mantra of Krishna. What it means is that a devotee can give up daily injunctions of the nature of Yagnas, difficult to pursue in Kali Yuga. What a devotee can attain in terms of benefits by Yagnas can be obtained just by uttering His sacred names by way of Sahasranamam.

Abandoning all daily duties means NOT giving up Sandyavandanam (and Mātyānikam-- Rites performed by the twice-born daily at noon-- but giving up performance of Yagnas (Sacrificial worship). Uttering the names of Bhagavan gives three kinds of benefits: Dhrista Balam, Adhrista Balam, and Dhrishtādhrishta Balam. Dhrishta Balam is the benefit open for all to see. Adhrishta Balam is the benefit derived by the devotee from Bhagavan with His invisible arm. The third one is a combination of the previous two.

    Surrender to the Lord has its own advantages. Saranagata Raksa is surrender-protection and God is Saranagata Raksakan (Surrender-protector).  When a king surrenders to an emperor, the latter accepts the surrender, forgives and forgets all enmity and animosities of the surrendering king and offers him protection from other enemies. If you go to Bhagavan with all sincerity, devotion and love and surrender to Him, the Only One, he forgives all your sins and gives you Moksa. There are several examples of Saranagata Raksa.

(Aham = A is the first letter of Sanskrit alphabet; Ha is the last one and Ma (M) is the terminator. Aham encompasses all the letters and thus, is Sabda Brahman. Krishna encompasses and pervades the whole universe.)

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Since senses are subject to vitiation such as Bhrama (confusion, perplexity), Pramada (negligence, carelessness), Vipralipsa (deception), Karanapatava (misleading senses), one should take refuge in revealed knowledge as dependable evidence.

Here are the three Mantras of Vaishnavas. 1. AshtAksharam (eight syllable Mantra); 2. Dvayam (two-line mantra, Thiru Mantram); 3. Sarama Slokam (Final-Bliss Verse).  See below all three Mantras with translation and purport.


Strict Vaishnava Sampradaya Constructionists advice purification, initiation and induction into the Sri Vaishnava sect, before the the three Mantras are divulged ceremoniously to the prospective seeker.



Anyone who is interested in Purification, Initiation and Induction as Sri Vaishnava would be interested to read this article.

The above web site gives details about Samashrayanam and Pancha SamskAram. Here is an extract.

What is Samashrayanam?
SamAshrayanam means 'to approach (AchAryA) with all sincerity'. In a nut shell, during 'SamAshrayanam', the AchAryA initiates a person,
irrespective of caste, creed or sex, as his sishyA. It is a commitment from the disciple that he or she will live as per the wishes of the AchAryA. Thus the person gets the link to the Sri Vaishnava paramparA. During SamAshrayanam, Pancha SamskAram (five Purifications) is performed and he becomes a "Sri VaishnavA".

Everyone can in fact chant 'Namo NArAyanA' aloud in public (without even undergoing Pancha SamskAram). It is a humble request to all the bhAgavathAs, that the chanting of 'Namo NArAyanA' be propagated allover the world. This is the real medicine for the suffering of all the living entities swirling in the whirlpool of SamsArA. Since this has no restriction, anyone can be made to chant this and the soul can be saved. Propagation of the Holy Names of NArAyanA (esp. "Namo NArAyanA") is the best service for the whole society, irrespective of caste, creed, sex etc. The Holy Name will then make all the necessary arrangements for the spiritual upliftment of others.

Dvaya Mantram consists of two lines. It is eulogised as the 'Mantra RatnA' (Gem/Jewel amongst all the MantrAs). This helps one to perform SaranAgati unto Sriman NArAyanA. Once this mantrA is initiated by the AchAryA, it should be recited constantly within ourselves. It can be recited by the sishyA without bothering about time, place etc. In fact Dvayam should be dancing in the lips of all the SriVaishnavAs all the time. It is in fact an instruction from BhagavAn Ramanuja that Dvayam should be chanted for maximum time possible.

Charama slokam is the famous 'Sarva DharmAn. . . . . "sloka of Srimad Bhagavad GitA. It is a secret because of its invaluable hidden truth. Sriman NArAyanA during His Krishna AvatArA did the Gita UpadesA to all the people through ArjunA. Since Bhakti YogA was highly difficult even for ArjunA, KrishnA out of His Mercy asked him (all the people) to perform 'Prapatti', as a means of God-Realisation.

1. Ashtaksharam

Om Namo Naaraayanaaya (ஒம் நமோ நாராயணாய) (Tirumangai Azvar received this Mantram from Bhagavan Himself.)

Homage or obeisance to Lord Narayana

Purport: Ashtaksharam: Narayana is the Means and the Goal; He is the Fruit.

2. Dvayam or Tirumantram

ஸ்ரீமந்நாராயண சரணௌ சரணம் ப்ரபத்யே

ஸ்ரீமதே நாராயணாய நம:

Sriman Naaraayana1 Charanau2, Saranam3 Prapadye 4

Srimathe Naaraayanaaya5 namah6.

Sriman Narayana, I fall down and surrender at your feet

Sriman Narayana, my obeisance to you.




I hold Lakshmi-associated Narayana's feet as the object of my surrender.

Lakshmi-associated Narayana, my obeisance to You.

Dvaya Mantra has two lines and a total of six words.  It condenses a ten-point reference as follows:

  1. Goddess Lakshmi is the mediator between the Jiva and the Lord
  2. They are the divine couple, always together.
  3. The Lord is of auspicious nature.
  4. His form is divine.
  5. His feet are the means of liberation from the world of Samsara.
  6. We accept His feet as the means of liberation.
  7. Lakshmi and Narayana are our goal.
  8. His control and power are inimitable.
  9. We worship Him.
  10. We destroy the inimical stance of “I and Mine,” the enemies of our soul.

SrIman nArAyaNa charaNau = Sri Lakshmi, the auspicious Narayana- His divine feet
SaraNam =
take refuge (His feet are the refuge of Chetanas (souls) and the means for liberation.
prapadyE =
fall at His feet (We accept His feet as the refuge.)
SrImatE =
Lakshmi (and)  Lakshmi of the form mercy, and mediator between Narayana and the Chetanas
nArAyaNAya =
Narayana, the supporter and maintainer. aya = wishing an impeccable service.
nama: =
not mine. This destroys the attitude of "I am the doer, enjoyer, knower and the only devotee."

Purport: Devotee in body, mind and soul surrenders to Sriman Narayana and Sri (Periya PirAtti). The soul, the body, the doership, and the fruit belong to Narayana.  His Grace will destroy all impediments, bad thoughts, desires, speech and acts so that the devotee continues to perform his Kaimkaryam to Perumal and PrAtti.


3. Sarama Slokam

Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maamekam saranam vraja

aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo moksayisyaami maasucah

சர்வ தர்மாந் பரித்யஜ்ய  மாம் ஏகம் ஸரணம் வ்ரஜ

அஹம் த்வா ஸர்வபாபேப்யோ  மோக்ஷயிஷ்யாமி மாஸூச:


Surrender unto Me....

Abandoning all duties, surrender unto Me only. I shall deliver you from all sins. Do not lament.

      Indra’s son Jeyandran  behaves very ignominiously towards Sita. (He in the form of a crow pecks at the breasts of Sita.) Rama uses Brahmastaram (Brahma's missile weapon system) on Jeyandran who morphs into a crow.  Unsupported by Indra and the Holy triumvirate, he flies from town to town, from house to house. The missile follows him wherever he goes. (That is one Smart Weapon!) Jeyandran having been given up by the powerful now seeks refuge in ordinary households. All turn their backs to the Crow-demon. Later he comes back to Rama and seeks Saranagati Raksa. His feet are pointing to Rama and head is on the other end, not a proper position of the body in Saranagati. Sita, the victim of abuse, in her Motherly mercy turns his head towards Rama in the role of Purushakara (mediatrix).  Thus Sita, insulted and abused by Jeyandran, helps him attain Saranagati Raksa.  Rama took his sight from one eye and that is the reason why the crow tilts its head to see.  Since then, the crow started talking in Sanskrit (believe it or not).  When you dry your clothes on the backyard clothesline, the crow sits on the wall and cries Ka and KA.  Ka means who is he (evan-எவன்) and Kā means who is she  (எவள்). He and She are Rama and Sita. When the crow caws, it is asking the question, who the Saranagata Raksakan is.  It is saying எவன்-எவள் because Sita is the one who puts its head at the feet of Rama for the Kākāsuran (the Crow-demon) to ask for Saranagata Raksa from Rama. Sita helps the culprit to gain Raksa. The one who gives Raksa or protection to the crow demon is Rama. Naturally the question is Ka and Kā .

          In the same way Trisadai RAksasi asked for Saranagata Raksa at the feet of Sita; that made Sita prevent Hanuman from destroying all the RAksasis (the ogres guarding Sita in Sri Lanka).  Rama offered Saranagata Raksa to Vibhisana. Saranagata Raksam  destroys all sins. Saranagati Vidyai (சரணாகதி வித்யை) is the superior form as illustrated by Vibhishana Saranagati (விபீஷண சரணாகதி). Bhakti yoga may not confer Moksa in this birth; it may take one or more future births to attain Moksa. But Saranagati to the Lord immediately destroys all demerits (பாபம்) and confers Moksa.   

        There are four kinds of Surrender or Saranagati: Ukti Nishta, Suva Nishta, Acharya Nishta, and Bhagavata Nishta.  Nishta = abiding in firm meditation; Ukti = action done as told; Suva = Self without outside help; Acharya = Guru; Bhagavata = Great devotee of Vishnu. Many use the terms Saranagati and prapatti interchangeably.

            Ukti Nishta: The qualified aspirant receives a mantra from the Guru and surrenders to Bhagavan.

            Suva Nishta: This is Self surrender by pure souls without outside help from Guru or Acharya. One example is Ramanujacharya. These are highly evolved souls.

            Acharya Nishta: Here Surrender is obtained through Acharya who worships Bhagavan by chanting Mantra on behalf of the aspirant.

            Bhagavata Nishta: Tried and true devotees of Bhagavan can introduce the aspirant to Bhagavan and implore Saranagata Raksa (surrender protection) on behalf of the aspirant.

The beauty about Saranagatti/Prapatti Raksa is there is no bar on any one based on external inequities or castes.

Saranagati is the act; Brahmam (Bhagavan Krishna) is the target; atma is the seeker of Saranagati. This is explained by an example. PranavO Tanuh = Om is the bow and the Mantra. Atma is the arrow, which must be set on the Om bow and discharged to strike the target, Brahmam which has the ability to receive, grasp and hold the arrow point. Once the arrow is embedded in Brahmam, atma has found its destination at the feet of Bhagavan, who never lets go off the individual soul. Now Saranagati is complete and found its fulfillment. Pranavam is Om, bow, Vishnu and His Mantra.

Narayana, the surrender-protector

Nirguna Narayana becomes manifest; thus, Saguna Narayana is a composite divinity in that He is four-in-one unique entity: Para Brahma, Maha-Vishnu, Sadasiva, and Vasudeva. Narayana with Rajasa Guna in association with Bhu Sakti is Param Brahmaa; Maha-Vishnu endowed with Sattva Guna is manifest Narayana with Sri Sakti; Sadasiva with Nila Sakti is endowed with Tamasa Guna; the first three parts are imperceptible; Vasudeva is the fourth part of the composite entity with perceptible saktis (Sri, Bhu and Nila Saktis with three Gunas) and imperceptible saktis (Sri and Bhu Saktis).

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सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।

अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥१८- ६६॥

sarvadharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvā sarvapāpebhyo mokṣyayiṣ
yāmi mā śucaḥ 18.66

sarva-dharmān1 parityajya2 mām3 ekam4 śaraṇam vraja5
6 tvām7 sarva-pāpebhya
8 mokṣyayiṣyāmi9 ma
10 śucaḥ11 18.66


parityajya2 = abandoning; sarva-dharmān1 = all duties; śaraṇam vraja5  = take refuge; mām3 = in Me; ekam4 = only/alone .  aham6 = I; mokṣyayiṣyāmi9 = shall deliver; tvā7 = you; sarva-pāpebhya8 = from all sins.  ma10 = do not; śucaḥ11 = worry.18.66


18.66:  Abandoning all duties, surrender unto Me only. I shall deliver you from all sins. Do not lament.

I happened to read Psalm of David and found statements similar to bg Verse 18.66: Psalm 51: ...2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from sin (sarva pApebhyo moksayisyAmi = I shall deliver you from all sins)...7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow...10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. (moksayisyAmi = I shall deliver you from all sins) 14thou  God of my salvation, my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. 16For thou has no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou would not be pleased... (sarva dharmAn parityajya = Abandoning all duties) 17a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.

Krishna Paramatma gives assurance to Arjuna and all of us that He would deliver us from all sins. In Psalm of David, the aspirant seeks deliverance from God expressing similar sentiments. (Why would the aspirant ask, if he is not sure of receiving God's mercy?)

18.67:  This should never be divulged by you at any time to any one who is not austere, who is not a devotee (of Mine), who is disobedient (not god-obedient), or who speaks ill of Me.


18.68:  Anyone who teaches the Supreme secret of Mine amongst My devotees shall be doing the highest devotional service to Me and will come to Me without doubt. 


Samsara is compared to a poisonous fruit-bearing tree; only two of its fruits are full of nectar, one is devotion to the Lord and the other is a chance encounter with His devotee.

                                                                                                    --Garuda Purana, 1.227.33

My mind is a horse that falters and suffers myriad pains from Samsara. The sense organs pull me hither and thither. May I be tied down to your feet by the reins of devotion?

                                                                                                    --Garuda Purana, 1.227.38  


18.69:  There is no one other than him among men who performs a service dearer to Me and nor will there be any one other than him dearer to Me in this world.


18.70:  He, who studies the sacred conversation of ours, steeped in Dharma, will worship Me through the sacrifice of knowledge. This is My opinion.


18.71:  The man, who listens with faith and good will (anasūyah), being liberated, attains the auspicious world of the pious karmics.


An+asūyah: absence of ill will, envy, spite, displeasure, or indignation


18.72:  O Partha, did you hear this with a (focused) single-minded attention? Has your delusion born of ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?


18.73:  Arjuna said:

My delusion has been destroyed; I gained knowledge (smrti) by Your grace, O Acuyta. I stand firm with all doubts removed. I shall act according to Your word.


Ignorance is the cause of delusion. Knowledge through the Grace of Acyuta (Krishna) destroys the delusion. Knowledge is memory of the Self. Ramanuja opines that ignorance is thinking that non-self Prakrti is reality, which is not true.  Knowledge or remembering is as follows. Cit and Acit ( intelligent and non-intelligent entities) are the body of the Supreme Being, who pervades all in the universe.  The individual self is not matter, but the servant (Sesa) of the Antaryamin,  AntarVarti, Antaratman and Paramatman (Inner Guide, Inner Dweller, Inner Soul, Supreme Soul).  Bhagavan has auspicious qualities.  Evil is anathema to the Lord. Creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe are His pastimes or sport.  Worship through Bhakti is the way to reach Him.  Bhakti develops when mind and senses are controlled and used in worship of Him and all acts are done in the name of Bhagavan. 


18.74:  Sanjaya said:

Thus, I heard this marvelous dialogue between Vasudeva (Lord Krishna) and the great-souled Partha (Arjuna). (It was) so wonderful that it made my hair stand on end. 


18.75:  By the grace of Vyasadeva, I heard this supreme secret and yoga directly from Yoga-Isvara Krishna as He Himself was speaking (to Arjuna).


Yoga-Isvarat: The Lord of Yoga.


18.76:  O King, again and again remembering this pious and wonderful dialogue between Kesava (Krishna) and Arjuna, I am thrilled with joy every moment upon moment.


This is what clairvoyant Sanjaya told Dhrtarāstra in real time as the conversation was held between Lord Krishna and Arjuna.


18.77:  Remembering again and again the most wondrous form of Hareh ( Hari, Lord Krishna) in amazement I rejoice again and again, O King.


Sanjaya in this instance was able to behold the wondrous forms of the Lord as He revealed them to Arjuna.


18.78:  Wherever there is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever Partha, the archer is, there will be fortune, victory, power, and morality. That is my opinion (according to Sanjaya).


  Krishna is Yogesvara; He is Yoga; He is the origin of Yoga. Partha is Dhanurdharah, the bearer of bow.

fortune (Sri), victory (Vijaya), power and prosperity (Bhūti), and morality, right conduct (dhruva nīti)

End bg Chapter 18 Renunciation and Liberation


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