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Vedanta Sandesh
The free Monthly E-zine of Vedanta Mission
December 1998


‘PRAMANA SPECIAL’


CONTENTS :

1. Preface : The means of knowledge
2. Vedanta : Six Pramanas
3. Know your Scriptures :
………...Brahma Sutras

4. Queries : Why accept Shastra as Pramanas ?

5. Stress Management : The Fight & Flight Response

6. General : A poem by Swami Chinmayananda

7. Mission Activities :

(a) Earlier : Gita Gyana Yagna at Ahmedabad

Gita Mahayagna at Mumbai

(b) Forthcoming : Visit of H.H.Swami Vidyanandaji to Vedanta Ashram

Gita Gyana Yagna at Indore

Youth Meet at Mumbai

Sadhana Camp at Khandala


;% 'kkL=fof/keqRl`T; orZrs dkedkjr% A

u l flf)eokIuksfr u lq[ka u ijka xfre~ AA

He, who having cast aside the ordinances of the Scriptures, acts under the impulse

of desire, attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal.

Gita Ch.17 / Sh.23


PREFACE :

Pramana - the means of knowledge :

Every knowledge requires a definite ‘means’ of knowledge, which is called Pramana. The possibility of bringing about right knowledge depends only on our having taken resort to the right ‘means’. If someone likes to see forms & colors then the right means which has to be resorted to is eyes. Ears for sound and so on. What ‘means’ have to be resorted to is not decided by the person but by the ‘object’ of knowledge. Knowledge is called vastutantram. The vastu or the object decides, and we have to take resort of that particular means, if we are desirous to know that object. Resorting to wrong means will not bring about the knowledge of the object. If I want to see some star, then I have to first know what is the right means for the knowledge of star to be brought about. For knowledge to be brought about it doesnt really matter if we are just sincere, enthusiastic, had put lot of hard work, or have lot of devotion and all that. The knowledge will simply not take place. With due respect to such good virtues, which do have their own role, we should realise that these are not the pramana for knowledge, but qualities which prepare the seeker of knowledge, thus they are by themselves not suffecient. If we are really sincere then discern the right means too. When we do we take resort of the right means, and in the above example, get a telescope and put our eyes in the right place, focus the thing in the right direction, then that very moment, whether you like it or dont, the star gets revealed in all its glory. So before starting any effort to know something it becomes extremely important to know the exact means of knowledge which is applicable in that context.

The advances in the field of instrumentation is ample proof of the above fact. The moment we get the right means, knowledge is not far behind. The ‘objects’ of knowledge are dictating terms to us, and we sincerely look out for the right means. For any knowledge to take place there are in fact three things which are required. The availability of the ‘object’ of knowledge, the right state of mind of the knower, and resorting to right means. They are called Prameya, Pramata and Pramana respectively. We devote this issue of Vedanta Sandesh to that extremely important means of knowledge - the Pramana.


‘Vedanta Lessons in VM list

Poojya Guruji is at present taking lessons on

‘Tattva Bodha’ (an introductory text of Vedanta philosophy) in the VM List.

Subscribe to the list by going to the following URL :

http://www.onelist.com/subscribe.cgi/vedantamission


VEDANTA :

The Six Pramanas

Any knowledge of even the existence of an object takes place in our minds. The mind becomes conscious of the various ‘objects’ by the various ‘faculties’ available to it. The very fact the mind has various faculties at its disposal shows that knowledge of different objects call for taking resort of diffrent means. It is extremely important that we take resort to the right means, otherwise even the existence of that object will not be evident to us. These ‘means of knowledge’ are called Pramanas. Before we jump into the bandwagon of people who want to know ‘all the different facets’ of this beautiful blessing called life, it is extremely important that we first know which all faculties or rather means of knowledge are at our disposal.

The teachers of Advaita Vedanta philosophy have gone into this aspect of the process of knowledge in great detail, and have enumerated ‘six’ pramanas. Which pramana has to be resorted to & also when, is decided by the situation and the nature of object concerned. These six means of knowledge are Pratyaksha (Perception), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (Comparison), Arthapatti (Postulation), Anupalabdhi (Non-apprehension), and Sabda (Verbal Testimony). These are the six valid means of knowledge available to us, and we consciously or unconsciously use them too in our day to day life to ‘know’ various things which come our way. It is extremely imporatnt for us to understand each of these pramanas properly, so that we dont start using the wrong means to know a particular kind of object. This is specially so when we are inquisitive to know the Self, the Atman, which is the ultimate, transcendental, infinite, non-dual truth refered to as the Brahman in the Upanishads. Proper understanding of Pramanas not only facilitates channelising of our energy properly but also culminates in the attainment & fulfillment of the objective.

1. Pratyaksha : Pratyaksha or Perception implies direct, immediate cognition. There are two kinds of direct perception, external and internal. The ‘external’ perception implies cognition of sense objects, namely - sound, touch, form, taste and smell by our five sense organs (ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose). When the sense organs contact their respective objects then the Pratyaksha knowledge takes place. The ‘internal’ perception means the direct & immediate cognition of pain, pleasure, love, hate, anger, knowledge or ignorance of various objects etc. in & by our minds. The Acharyas elaborately reveal that in any direct perception, the awareness existing at the level of mind of the person desirous to know an object, as though flows out through his respective sense organ and envelops the available & illumined object. This awareness is thereafter presented to the knower in the mind as a thought of the object, who then ‘knows’ the object. The entire process is extremely fast and implies the involvement of both the mind and the sense organs in all direct perception. Sitting in one place the knower knows even far off objects directly, provided they come in the range of our sense organs. The immediacy of direct cognition is the intrinsic characteristic of perceptual knowledge, and does not merely depend on the organs of perception.

In all direct perception the knowledge is extremely clear but its scope is very limited. What we can directly see not only constitutes an extremely small iota of the wide spectrum of things existing in this universe, but many a times that which is directly cognised is far from truth. We have an extremely beautiful creation right in front of our eyes, but we dont see a creator directly, but as there cant be an effect without a cause so we have to take resort of some other valid means of knowledge to know that inevitable creator. So also regarding the intenal perceptions, the thoughts are gushing through our minds, but we dont directly see their cause, which has to be inevitably there. Moreover, we directly see a rising sun but astonishinghly our deeper probes reveal that the sun never rises. Thus come the great neccessity of other means of valid knowledge.

2. Anumana : Literally translated the word anumana means ‘knowing after’. It means the method by which knowledge is derived from another knowledge. It is an indirect, mediate knowledge. We have knowledge of an invariable relationship between two things and on that basis while seeing one we deduce the presence the other. Thus anumana refers to the logical process of gaining knowledge. The knowledge thus gained is called inferential knowledge or the logical deduction. The nearest word to anumana is inference. We say it is nearest word simply because of a slight difference between the exact process of logical deduction in Eastern thought as compared to the Western system of logical deduction.

Perception forms the basis of anumana, but at the core of all inferential knowledge lies the knowledge of vyapti or the ‘invariable concommitance’, the invariable relationship between the two objects. We know on the basis of our perceptual knowledge that wherever there is smoke there is fire (the opposite however may not be true). Having known the invariable connection between the two we can logically deduce the presence of fire whenever we see smoke. This is anumana.

In all inferential knowledge there are definite steps to be followed. The following steps are accepted for logical deduction of knowledge by the teachers of Advaita Vedanta :

a. Perceptual evidence - We see smoke on the hill

b. Invariable concommitance - Wherever there is smoke there is fire, as seen in kitchen.

c. Conclusion - Therefore the hill has fire

3. Upamana : The Mimamsakas & Advaitins define Upamana as the process by which the knowledge of A’s similarity to B is gained from the perception of B’s similarity to A, which has been seen elsewhere. This methodology is seen as distinct from mere inference, and is thus accepted as a valid mediate method of knowledge. For example, a person who has seen his cow at home goes to a forest and sees a gavaya (a wild cow but without dewlap). The person sees the similarity ‘This gavaya is like my cow’, and on this basis also concludes the opposite to be equally true, that ‘My cow is like this gavaya’. Thus by upamana he gains the knwledge of his cow’s similarity to the gavaya from the perception of the gavaya’s similarity to his cow.

Upamana is a distinct means of knowledge, and cannot be clubbed under anumana, because we cannot have a universal proposition that a thing is similar to whatever is similar to it. Such a knowledge cannot be gained without the observation of the two similar things together. The Advaitins use this method of kowledge by comparison & similarity to logicaly communicate the nature of Brahman and various other things. Brahman is said to be resplendent as the sun. By percieving the luminosity of the sun, the seeker can appreciate the terms like the self-luminosity of Brahman.

4. Arthapatti : This means postulation, supposition or presumption of a fact. It is a distinct valid method of mediate knowledge. It is in fact a method of assumption of an unknown fact in order to account for a known fact that is otherwise inexplicable. The classic example of this method of knowledge is a fat person A says that he never eats in the day, then we can easily postulate that he eats in the night, for the simple reason that without this assumption his fatness & also his getting fatter cannot be explained. Arthapatti can either be from what is seen or from what is heard. The use of this method in Vedanta is in assuming rightly the implications of Upanishadic statements. Like in the statement ‘The knower of Self transcends grief’. Here we see that merely knowledge destroys grief, then it can be assumed without any doubt, that all grief has to be false then alone it can be destroyed merely by knowledge. So this is assumption.

5. Anupalabdhi : The Advaitins and the Mimasaka school of Kumarila Bhatt believe Anupalabdhi to be a seperate independent pramana. It literally means non-apprehension. Non-existence of a thing is apprehended by its non-perception. By not seeing a jar in a place one knows that it is not there. We use this method of knowledge also very often, and this is evident from statements like : ‘There is no teacher in the class-room’, There is no sound here’, ‘This flower has no fragrence’ etc. It may seem paradoxical that non-apprehension of a thing is a means to the apprehension of its non-existence (abhava). But in fact both non-perception as well as perception serve as a means to get various knowledge, for the simle reason that the knower is conscious of both. They lead to positive & negative experiences. Knowledge of non-existence of a thing can be on the basis of direct or indirect knowledge. It could either be on the basis of our immediate non-perception of a thing or even on the basis of inference or verbal testimony. In the former the knowledge is immediate while in the latter case, which is applicable in suprasensual objects, the knowledge of abhava of a thing is mediate.

6. Sabda : Sabda pramana is verbal testimony. It is also called ‘apta-vakyas’ (statement of a trust-worthy person’, and agama (authentic word). A verbal statement, uttered or written, is man’s most potent instrument for transmitting knowledge. We learn mostly by means of words. An oral or written message is a universal mode of communication. We constantly get various information, direction & knowledge through words. Right from school days to this moment we use words as a valid & effective means of bringing about awareness of things, ideas or emotions. Books, magazines, newspaper, letters, conversations, chats, radio, TV, movies, songs etc. etc. All use or depend on words. We cannot do without verbal testimony.

A verbal statement conveying valid knowledge must have an authentic source which must be free from defects. Only a competent person possesed of knowledge can impart accurate knowledge. Such a knowledge needs no verification, unless ofcourse there is doubt about its reliability. If all that we know from verbal testimony were to await confirmation, then the bulk of human knowledge would have to be regarded as baseless. Among the Western philosophers only a few recognize verbal testimony as a valid & independent means of knowledge, but a majority of Indian philosophers do. Those who do not accept it as an independent method of knowledge do realise its great role but simply club it along with other means like inference etc. The process of verbal knowledge cannot be clubbed with inference because it does not involve any knowledge of invariable concommitance as is the case in inference. So it is a category by itself. It is interesting and also worthwhile to go into the exact process of derivation of meaning from a sentence. At times there is substantive-adjective relationship between the subject & predicate of the sentence and at times there may not be such a realtionship, but a non-relational entity could form their locus. Such understanding becomes important when it comes to derivation of meaning form sentences like ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ (That thou art). Lot of work has been done in regards to derivation of meaning of a sentence, specially by the Mimamsakas. Only that combination of words is called a sentence when four factors are taken care of. They are expectancy (akanksa), consistency (yogyata), contiguity (asatti), and knowledge of the purport (tatparya-jnanam). Understanding of all this facilitates us to understand why verbal testimony is an independent means of knowledge very different from inference etc.

Having known these ‘pramanas’, when a qualified ‘pramata’ (knower) takes resort of these and turns his focus to ‘prameya’ (object of knowledge) then ‘prama’ or valid knowledge is instantaneously brought about. The knowledge brought about by any valid means of knowledge is alone valid knowledge, it does not & can not depend on verification by other means, because the other means have no reach to that. The right knowledge does have some difinite indications and thus validity of a means is confirmed by the perception of those indications in the pramata. So instead of wasting ones time trying to see a form by our nose we should rather open our eyes and fulfill our aspiration. This alone is the objective of understanding the various means & methods of knowledge at our disposal.


‘Lessons on Tattva Bodha

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KNOW YOUR SCRIPTURES :

Brahma Sutras :

In the good old days of Vedic times, when there were no paper or pens around study of various subject was conducted in an all together different format. The wisdom of men of knowledge of any field was passed on to the posterity in the form of short aphorisms, called sutras. The student had to first learn these sutras ‘by heart’, for there was no way out. Books were made out of various barks and leaves, and were indeed a great luxury. Later students who showed sincerity and hard work were accepted for subsequent teaching and elaborations by the teacher. Sutra means aphorism. They are like capsule or seeds in which the whole tree resides. They had to be slowly ‘opened & unfolded’ by the teacher. Thus we have today all the basic texts of grammer, dharma, bhakti, yoga, sankhya, nyaya, or vedanta in this form. The sutras which reveal the fundamentals of Vedanta philosophy or Brahma Vidya are called ‘Brahma Sutras’ or the ‘Vedanta Sutras’.

Brahma Sutra was written by none other than Bhagwan Sri Ved Vyasa, the celebrated author of Mahabharata and thus the Bhagwad Gita. Brahma Sutras along with Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita constitutes the ‘Prasthan trayi’ or the ‘three pillars’ of Vedantic scriptures, which till date all students of Vedanta study. Brahma Sutra is called the Yukti Prasthan, because it logically reconciles and explains the various questions & doubts which may possibly come while going through the Upanishads, the basic pramana granths. Whatever possible inconsistencies which may come to our mind while studying Upanishads are sorted out here, and a clear cut vision or philosophy of Vedanta is thus propounded.

All good teachers always take into consideration the level of student while communicating with them, and thus at first glance their may appear some inconsistency amongst the teachings of various Upanishads, which are but different dialogues between different students and teacher. Thus inspite of the fact that texts like Upanishads were around, necessity of text like Brahma Sutra was felt by Bhagwan Sri Ved Vyasa. The commentary of Sri Adi Sankara on Brahma Sutras further provides greater insights and depths into each Sutra. His commentary or Bhasya is like a crest jewel out of his various immortal works. It is indeed a masterpiece, and today study of Brahma Sutras

is never said to be complete without the study of the Bhasya of Sri Adi Sankara on Brahma Sutras. Brahma Sutras should best be studied after completing the study of all Upanishads and that also through a proper teacher.

Brahma Sutra has in all 555 sutras. They are divided into Four Chapters (Adhyaya), which subsequently have four sections (Padas) each. Each section has various sub-sections (called adhikarans), which deal with one topic each. In all there are 191 adhikarans in the text. One adhikaran may have number of sutras, and the number of sutras per adhikaran varies. The names of the four chapters of Brahma Sutras are Samanvaya, Avirodha, Sadhana and finally the Phala adhyaya. Today, with all the modern means of communication at our disposal, the necessity of a student to learn these sutras by heart may not be there, yet the text is a masterpiece and should be studied by all students of Vedanta philosophy.


SADHANA CAMP

at Amrutvela Ashram, Khandala

by Poojya Guruji and Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji

23nd to 26th Jan 1999


QUERIES :

Why are Shastras taken as the 'only' pramana for Self-knowledge ?

(From: Sadananda, US Naval Labs, Washington <sada@anvil.nrl.navy.mil>)

Pujya Swamiji - My pranaams.

I enjoyed reading the introduction (on Naishkarmya Siddhi). Please forgive me if I am out of bounds in presenting my understanding (or misunderstanding!) here. I do have some concerns in relation to the word ‘Only’ - that implicates as Vedantic scriptures as the only pramaaNa. This statement is also reflected in the many of the bhaasyaas on the B.S. - "shaastra yonitvaat" - in a way shaastra justifying shaastra. Here is my understanding:

That I exist and that I am conscious - I do not really need shaastras to teach me. Shaastraas are validated because I exist and am conscious entity. Thus Sat and Chit, I am. Now by analyzing my experiences logically, I can arrive at the truth that Ananda that I am seeking is also me. Happiness is not an object outside or happiness is not in any object outside, hence the happiness that I get by acquiring my desired object is due to my mind freed (at least temporarily) from the desire -or freed from longing-ness - this much I can deduce logically too. Since as Bhagavaan Shankara points out that what I am looking for - that ananda - I am that. I can also deduce logically that ananda is state free from any limitations since any limitations will leave my mind wanting. Realization that I am ananda free from any limitations is the knowledge.

Thus I am sat, chit and ananda - could (in principle) be arrived at by logical analysis. In spite of my logical understanding, I may still go after objects since that understanding is not as an understanding as a fact but only as a thought. The same thing can happen in Vedantic study - aham brahmaasmi can be understood from scriptures and from logic - but realization is a different story. My question pertains ‘ Are Vedanta Shaastra only pramaaNa’ to know that I am sat, chit, and ananda and to know that sat chit ananda is one without a second. Am I falling into the trap, that since I studied Vedanta, and now I can say that I can deduce the conclusions or aphorisms of Vedanta, logically, therefore I do not think that that is the only way to arrive at the answers? Since Vedanta Shaastra also comes under apara vidya, I am wondering the justification that that is the only pramaaNa. If I have not studied Vedanta Shaastra, it is also possible, I could not have reached the above conclusions logically! - But if I want to communicate to others, should I need to use the Vedanta Shaastra to suppot what can be arrived at
logically or use logic to support what one can learn from Vedanta Shaastras. I do believe that Vedanta is perfectly logical and the truth is beyond logic and beyond Vedanta too since it concerns about para vidya.

Swamiji, I dared to present my reactions with the hope that I will not be misunderstood and any of my misunderstanding gets clarified. Hari Om!

Poojya Guruji’s reply :


Dear Sadananda,

Hari om ! Hari om !

It was a great joy to have received your reaction to the ‘Sureshwara’s intro to his Naishkarmya Siddhi’. Far from being out of bounds you have presented here not only the right spirit but also the right direction of discussions to be carried out on such lists. Your letter is like an ideal which I would wish all list members to emulate. Let none of us agree to anything without proper understanding, yet the disagreement should be with due personal respects and in the spirit of learning. There may be many things which I may learn from others and many which others may perhaps learn from us, but nothing should be without proper understanding. May that alone be the purpose of this forum.

It is a fact that ‘aapta vakyas’ are the only pramana for the knowledge of Self. The reason of using the word ‘only’ is not merely because the shastra is justifying itself but because no other pramana has any reach to that which is the very light behind all senses. Except sabda pramana all other pramanas require the help of some perceptual basis to directly or indirectly reveal their respective objects and thus are not the right means to know the Self. All logic too require the help of some perceptual evidence to finally prove their point, otherwise logic itself becomes baseless & thus illogical. Regarding your point that we can as well come to the same conclusions logically. Well, I humbly differ. One, your statement is indeed like the one of a person who is saying that the boat is redundant after crossing the river. And two, if merely by some logic you can so easily come to the above conclusions then don’t you wonder why is it that thousands of so very intelligent people in the world are not coming to such conclusions. Once the facts have been revealed they do become very obvious but till then you can rarely even imagine the possibility.

I presume many of your questions will be taken care of if we go slightly deeper into what pramana is all about. A pramana is that independent means which when aligned with the pramata and the prameya brings about prama-the knowledge. The ‘prama’ thus brought about has to be anadhigatam (not known earlier), asandigdham (free from all doubts) and abadhitam (non-negatable by any other pramana). All pramanas are means and therefore there is no problem if they come under the category of apara vidya. What is important is that they bring about the prama, which in the case of self is that gyana-vritti which having brought about the awareness of self drops and it all culminates in bringing about awakening of that which is eternal, the para vidya.

The word ‘anadhigatam’ implies that the pramana is not even meant to know that which is already known. The self which is always existing and revealing doesn’t require any pramana. You have rightly said that even the knowledge of pramanas come later. The ignorance is only regarding our Brahma-swaroopata, and therefore the sabda pramana is only meant for that. ‘Asandigdham’ implies that the knowledge thus brought about is so very clear & direct that there are no more any doubts about it. Finally ‘abadhitam’ implies that the knowledge thus brought about doesn’t require any validation by any other pramanas. It brings about direct knowledge, the very realization. Understanding brought about with the help of logic certainly is merely a possibility but not the knowledge brought about by using the appropriate pramana properly. So there is no question of any dependence on logic or experience thereafter. Logic if used is only to eliminate our previous erroneous presumptions. Sravana, manana and niddidhyasana together contribute to complete the process of realisation handling all the three aspects respectively. Real knowledge however dawns in sravana itself. Just as science, because of the hard work of thousands of scientists, has attained the status of a definite & tested compendium of knowledge regarding the objective world, which can be verified & validated by anyone at any time & place, so also the vedanta shastra from time immemorial has gained the status of a compendium of truths regarding the subjective tenets, which are similarly available for verification and validation by anyone & at any time with the help of logic & our experience. The aapta vakyas are basically words of men of knowledge and they could have been anywhere, but it is our privilege that the Vedic Rishis did that hard work. They are so perfect and infallible that traditionally we believe that they are the words of the Lord himself. You can very well come to the same conclusions which our scientists have come to all by yourself, but as of now the right way is to study their propositions and validate it with your own understanding and experiences. Similarly, in the subjective field also you may stumble upon the conclusions which Vedanta has been talking about, but that amounts to starting with the discovery of wheel all by yourself once again, and at the end of the day the fact will again have to be revealed by someone, which may as well be your very intuition. So if we don’t want others to go around beating about the bush then it should be clearly stated that Vedanta shastra are the ‘only’ pramana for the knowledge of self.

Bhagwan Sankaracharya, our other great acharyas right till our present day teachers could have very well kept aside the shastras and talked about their own experiences and could have given some great logic too, but they deliberately made vedanta shastras as the basis of their teachings. Some people could have been benefited but thenwe wont be having such sruti & scriptures, which are available for validation by yukti and anubhuti at any time and place by anyone. This alone is the most unique feature and even the hallmark of our tradition & sanatan dharma. If we already have such a heritage & tradition then why waste time & energy on any thing else. Rather, giving due credit to those who have already started this Gyana Ganga we just have to take a plunge in it, using logic only as a scrubber wherever we deem fit. The anubhuti is like the final prasad coming to us unasked after the lovely bath in this Gyana Ganga.

Yes, I do wish to take up Naishkarmya Siddhi in this forum, but I have not kept any time limit. We will go into it slowly, making the text instrumental to initiate various such discussions and interactions.

With love & om,

Swami Atmananda


A Mailing List (Discussion Forum) called 'Arjunas' has been started.

The list will be dedicated to the aspirations, perceptions, challenges & problems of Youth.

The List is open to all, to get it's membership please send a blank e-mail to :

arjunas-subscribe@egroups.com


STRESS MANAGEMENT :

The Fight or Flight Response

The in-built protective mechanism of body :

When ever there is a danger signal the in-built protective mechanism of our body called the ‘Stress-alert system’ is put on. In this there are a series of sympathetic & other reactions in the body to face the danger in a concerted way. The response brought about by this alert-system is called the ‘fight or flight response’.

The stress-alert system :

When the danger signal reaches our brain, then in a split second it is sent to the rest of our body through its various networks. The message goes to two channels :-

1. To the voluntary nervous system, which directs our skeletal system to contract, we thus get the feeling of churning of legs etc. With about 1,030 seperate skeletal muscles in our body - almost half our body weight, that’s a lot of tension. Responses like clenching of fists etc are seen to face the threat, or the body gets ready to retreat.

2. To the autonomic nervous system, that which controls all the involuntary functions of our body. The autonomic system, on it’s part has two subdivisions. The Sympathetic Nervous System ( SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which are the fire alarm and the calming down mechanism of the body respectively.

(a) The SNS commands release of various hormones in the body - adrenaline, noradrenaline, glucocorticoids etcthrough our various endocrine glands, like the pituitary, adrenal etc. Together these hormones increase our heartbeats & blood pressure at times by 100 % (to increase the blood supply), breathing becomes faster (to increase the intake of oxygen), throat muscles and nostrils open wider, pupils dilate and eyes alertly stare. The hormones stop the secretion of saliva & mucus, and the process of digestion temporarily halts (conserving precious energy). Sugar is released from liver (for instant energy), subcutaneous fat is also released into the blood stream (for greater energy). More fat (cholestrol) is produced by the liver for fuel. Sweating increases thus decreasing the temprature of the body.

(b) The PNS calms, relax’s & slows down the body. When the SNS is activated then for obvious reasons the PNS is inhibited simultaneously. In other words the brain shuts down its primary calming mechanism to force you to remain alert & ready to face the threat.

It’s the longer periods of stress that creates problems :

Short doses of such response has its own excitement value, it is in fact a blessing. If the danger is short-lived then the body quickly reverts back to its normal state through its PNS. But the problem comes when because some reason or the other the high level of stress-inducing hormones in the system continues. The normal functioning of heart, blood pressure etc continues to be affected. It is only then that the various physical, psychological & behavioural problems come which could make life a hell - literally. It is this aspect of stress which has to be warded off.


The second interactive Youth Meet will be organised at

Shiela Raheja Hall, Juhu-Tara Road, Mumbai

on 22nd Jan 1999 from 5 - 7 PM


GENERAL :

I am with you :

(A poem by Vimla Thakar)

I am that rocky mountain, smiling silently upon you.

I am those dark green trees, waving arms of love at you.

I am those soft meadows, inviting the lover in you.

I am the crystal clear river, pouring out my being to you.

I am the fresh mountain air, whispering the song of love to you.

I am the glorious full moon, with thousand arms embracing you.

I am the love unquenchable, in thousands forms I am with you.


Visit the Home Page of Vedanta Mission at

http://members.tripod.com/~vedantamission


MISSION ACTIVITIES :

  1. Gita Gyana Yagna at Ahmedabad :

A Geeta Gyana Yagna was organised at Ramkrishna Mission Hall at Ahmedabad from 8th to 15th Nov. Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji conducted discourses on the 4th chapter of Gita in the evening sessions, and on Kena Upanishad in the morning sessions. These Gujarati discourses were highly appreciated and the Hall was overflowing, compelling the organisers to start looking for a bigger Hall in the days to come. Vedanta Mission-Ahmedabad has been staedily growing and discussions have been initiated to start a seperate Trust to take care of its fledgling activities. The same Hall has already been booked for the next Gyana Yagna to be conducted by Poojya Swaminiji from 7th to 12th May ‘99.

B. Gita Mahayagna at Mumbai :

A great grand Gita Gyana Mahayagna was organised at Hinduja Hall, in Khar from 19th to 28th Nov 98. Poojya Guruji conducted discourses on all the eighteen chapters of Gita. Sh.Mohan Lala along with his devoted team gave out their best and won everyone’s heart by their hard work and selfless sewa. Poojya Guruji was very happy too. The discourses were being telecasted on various cable TV Networks in the city. On the final day of the Mahayagna there was the beautiful program of Vishnu Sahasranama Archana, in which more than four hundred devotees participated.

A new chapter was also started at Mumbai during the Mahayagna. The Youth Wing of Vedanta Mission. It started with an interactive session which Poojya Guruji had with the youth. The agenda was to identify the reasons because of which the youth were not seen to be going for a detailed understanding of texts like Gita. There were very positive open house discussions in which more than 100 youngsters in the age group of 18-28 actively participated. No parents were allowed in this meet. Poojya Guruji handled all the various questions of the group. The success of the program can be judged from the fact that it was immediately decided upon to have more such sessions shortly. Next open house discussion forum has been planned on 22nd Jan 99 most probably at Shiela Raheja Hall, Juhu-Tara Road in Mumbai itself.

During this visit Poojya Guruji inducted three new Trustees in the Board of Trustees of the Ancient Indian Culture Trust at Mumbai. They are Sh.Gul Malani, Sh.Chandru Kukreja and Sh.Jagdeesh Singh Raikwar. He also was pleased to induct four new Vice-Presidents in the Executive committee of Vedanta Mission-Mumbai Sh.Gul Malani. They are Sh.Ramesh Sahajwani, Smt.Shanti Juwani, Sh.Ramesh Tara, and Sh.Chandru Kukreja.

Forthcoming Programs :

A. Visit of H.H.Swami Vidyanandaji to Vedanta Ashram :

Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj, of Kailash Ashram-Rishikesh will be paying a visit to Vedanta Ashram on 3rd Dec 98. Poojya Swamiji will bless the inmates of the Ashram and the various devotees of the area. Apart from his discourse the monthly Bhajan of Vedanta Mission-Indore will also be conducted in the Ashram on the same day.

B. Gita Gyana Yagna at Indore :

A Gita Gyana Yagna is being organised at Gandhi Hall, Indore from 12th to 17th Jan 1999. The texts to be taken by Poojya Guruji in the Yagna will be Gita Chapter Six in the evening session and Kaivalyopanishad in the morning session.

C. Youth Meet in Mumbai :

The second interactive session of Youth of the age group of 18-28 will be organised at Shiela Raheja Hall, Juhu Road, Mumbai on 22nd Jan from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Rights of admission will be reserved and will be decided by the Youth wing of VM-Mumbai.

D. Sadhana Camp at Khandala :

A four day Sadhana Camp is being organised at Amrutvela Ashram, Khandala from 23rd to 26th Jan ‘99. The delegates will reach the venue on 22nd evening, and will leave on 27th Jan. The texts to be taken are Panchadasi Chapter 10 and Gita chapter 14 by Poojya Guruji. Poojya Swaminiji will conduct lectures on ‘Navdha Bhakti’ as revealed in Ramcharitmanasa.


For any details about Vedanta Mission please contact :

‘Vedanta Ashram’

2948-50, Sector - E, Sudama Nagar

Indore - 452 009 (India)

Tel : 0731-486055, Fax : 789497

E-mail : vedanta@usa.net


OM TAT SAT


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