Difference between revisions of "Education on Sanatana Dharma"

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== साध्यम् ॥ The Aim ==
 
== साध्यम् ॥ The Aim ==
The aim, as quoted in the Taittiriya Upanishad is, धर्मं चर । ''dharmaṁ cara ।'' (11.1).<ref>Taittiriya Upanishad, [https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_upanishhat/tait.html?lang=sa Shikshavalli], Anuvaka 11.1</ref> That is, to reinforce adherence to Dharma (धर्मपालनम्) at every step, every second. So that, no action be deemed as 'against dharma' (धर्मविरोधी). Other objectives include,
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The aim, as quoted in the Taittiriya Upanishad is, धर्मं चर । ''dharmaṁ cara ।'' (11.1).<ref>Taittiriya Upanishad, [https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_upanishhat/tait.html?lang=sa Shikshavalli], Anuvaka 11.1</ref> That is,  
* Developing a sense of social cognition. So that, no action goes against the well-being of the society as a whole. And this requires collective adherence to the following dharma by the society as quoted by Manu.  
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* To reinforce adherence to Dharma (धर्मपालनम्) at every step, every second. So that, no action be deemed as 'against dharma' (धर्मविरोधी).  
 +
Other objectives include,
 +
* Developing a sense of social cognition. So that, no action goes against the well-being of the society as a whole.
 +
And this requires,
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* Collective adherence to following dharma by the society as quoted by Manu.  
 
<blockquote>अहिंसा सत्यम् अस्तेयं शौचम् इन्द्रियनिग्रहः । एतं सामासिकं धर्मं चातुर्वर्ण्येऽब्रवीन्मनुः । । १०.६३ । ।</blockquote><blockquote>''ahiṁsā satyaṁ asteyaṁ śaucaṁ indriyanigrahaḥ ।etaṁ sāmāsikaṁ dharmaṁ cāturvarṇye'bravīnmanuḥ । । 10.63 । ।''</blockquote>Meaning: Abstention from injuring, truthfulness, abstention from unlawful appropriation, purity and control of the sense-organs,—this Manu has declared to be the sum and substance of duty for the four varnas.<ref name=":1" />
 
<blockquote>अहिंसा सत्यम् अस्तेयं शौचम् इन्द्रियनिग्रहः । एतं सामासिकं धर्मं चातुर्वर्ण्येऽब्रवीन्मनुः । । १०.६३ । ।</blockquote><blockquote>''ahiṁsā satyaṁ asteyaṁ śaucaṁ indriyanigrahaḥ ।etaṁ sāmāsikaṁ dharmaṁ cāturvarṇye'bravīnmanuḥ । । 10.63 । ।''</blockquote>Meaning: Abstention from injuring, truthfulness, abstention from unlawful appropriation, purity and control of the sense-organs,—this Manu has declared to be the sum and substance of duty for the four varnas.<ref name=":1" />
  
 
In this collective responsibility of the society, the Kshatriyas are given the responsibility of protection, Vaishyas take care of nourishment while brahmanas facilitate teaching.
 
In this collective responsibility of the society, the Kshatriyas are given the responsibility of protection, Vaishyas take care of nourishment while brahmanas facilitate teaching.
 +
* Making dharma the medium of achieving the goal.
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* Bringing forth people with a good understanding of dharma.
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* Establishment of teaching of Dharmacharana.
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* Making Dharma the foundation of Kama and Artha.
  
 
=== शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥ ===
 
=== शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥ ===
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*Seventh Step- Life long loyalty unity and all goodness forever.
 
*Seventh Step- Life long loyalty unity and all goodness forever.
 
}}All grhya sutras speak about seven steps only.<blockquote>अन्योन्यस्याव्यभिचारो भवेदामरणान्तिकः । एष धर्मः समासेन ज्ञेयः स्त्रीपुंसयोः परः । । ९.१०१ । । <ref name=":0" /></blockquote><blockquote>''anyonyasyāvyabhicāro bhavedāmaraṇāntikaḥ । eṣa dharmaḥ samāsena jñeyaḥ strīpuṁsayoḥ paraḥ । । 9.101 । ।''</blockquote>It is mentioned here that mutual friendship and fidelity is the highest Dharma to be observed by husband and wife, throughout their life. And the family in which husband and wife have mutual affection and respect always secures happiness and prosperity.
 
}}All grhya sutras speak about seven steps only.<blockquote>अन्योन्यस्याव्यभिचारो भवेदामरणान्तिकः । एष धर्मः समासेन ज्ञेयः स्त्रीपुंसयोः परः । । ९.१०१ । । <ref name=":0" /></blockquote><blockquote>''anyonyasyāvyabhicāro bhavedāmaraṇāntikaḥ । eṣa dharmaḥ samāsena jñeyaḥ strīpuṁsayoḥ paraḥ । । 9.101 । ।''</blockquote>It is mentioned here that mutual friendship and fidelity is the highest Dharma to be observed by husband and wife, throughout their life. And the family in which husband and wife have mutual affection and respect always secures happiness and prosperity.
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* Having conversations in Sanskrit in a disciplined manner.
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* Stories, making of pictures, drama and sports pertaining to one's field - teaching, protection or nourishment.
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* Giving birth to better future generation.
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* Inculcating knowledge of dharma so as to present adharmika actions. 
  
 
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* The process of Panchakosha vikas begins at this stage starting with the annamaya kosha. And hence, a balanced and Satvika diet is extremely important.
 
* The process of Panchakosha vikas begins at this stage starting with the annamaya kosha. And hence, a balanced and Satvika diet is extremely important.
 
* The choice of stories, games, songs as well as the general atmosphere should be conducive to the development of Annamaya and Pranamaya koshas.  
 
* The choice of stories, games, songs as well as the general atmosphere should be conducive to the development of Annamaya and Pranamaya koshas.  
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* Beginning with learning by heart shlokas from the Katha Rupi Gita.
  
 
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Other responsibilities include,
 
Other responsibilities include,
 
# Getting them to chant stotras like the Ekatmata stotra everyday.  
 
# Getting them to chant stotras like the Ekatmata stotra everyday.  
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# Learning by heart Katha Rupi Gita
 
# Having meals collectively.
 
# Having meals collectively.
 
# Telling them stories of Sambhaji, Banda Bairagi, Bala Hakikat, Sikh Guru putras.
 
# Telling them stories of Sambhaji, Banda Bairagi, Bala Hakikat, Sikh Guru putras.
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**Also, an emphasis on responsibilities is essential for breaking अहङ्कारः  
 
**Also, an emphasis on responsibilities is essential for breaking अहङ्कारः  
 
**Motivating them to study, think and contemplate on books like [[Bhagavad Gita (भगवद्गीता)|Bhagavad Gita]], Ekatma Manava Darshana, Satyartha Prakasha, etc.  
 
**Motivating them to study, think and contemplate on books like [[Bhagavad Gita (भगवद्गीता)|Bhagavad Gita]], Ekatma Manava Darshana, Satyartha Prakasha, etc.  
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**Gathering literature and commentaries prescribed for this age.
 
**This is the stage where there is development of the Manomaya and Vijnanamaya kosha.
 
**This is the stage where there is development of the Manomaya and Vijnanamaya kosha.
**The teaching in the context of Samavartana samskara as given in the Shikshavalli of the Taittiriya upanishad (First Adhyaya, 11th Anuvaka) is of prime importance in this stage of life:<blockquote>सत्यं वद ।  धर्मञ्चर ।  स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः । आचार्याय प्रियं धनमाहृत्य प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः । सत्यान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । धर्मान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । कुशलान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । भूत्यै न प्रमदितव्यम् । स्वाध्यायप्रवचनाभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् ॥ १॥<ref name=":2">Swami Sharvananda (1921), [<nowiki>http://estudantedavedanta.net/Taittiriya%20Upanishad%20-%20Swami%20Sarvanand%20</nowiki>&#x5B;Sanskrit-English&#x5D;.pdf Taittiriya Upanishad], Madras:The Ramakrishna Math.</ref></blockquote><blockquote>''satyaṁ vada । dharmañcara । svādhyāyānmā pramadaḥ । ācāryāya priyaṁ dhanamāhr̥tya prajātantuṁ mā vyavacchetsīḥ । satyānna pramaditavyam । dharmānna pramaditavyam । kuśalānna pramaditavyam । bhūtyai na pramaditavyam । svādhyāyapravacanābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam ॥ 1॥''</blockquote>Meaning: Speak the Truth. Perform Dharma. Do not neglect your daily Study. Offer to the Teacher whatever pleases him. Do not cut off the line of progeny. Do not neglect Truth. Do not neglect Virtue. Do not neglect Welfare. Do not neglect Prosperity. Do not neglect Study and Teaching.<blockquote>देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् । मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । आचार्यदेवो भव । अतिथिदेवो भव । यान्यनवद्यानि कर्माणि तानि सेवितव्यानि । नो इतराणि । यान्यस्माकं सुचरितानि । तानि त्वयोपास्यानि । नो इतराणि ॥ २॥<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''devapitr̥kāryābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam । mātr̥devo bhava । pitr̥devo bhava । ācāryadevo bhava । atithidevo bhava । yānyanavadyāni karmāṇi tāni sevitavyāni । no itarāṇi । yānyasmākaṁ sucaritāni । tāni tvayopāsyāni । no itarāṇi ॥ 2॥''</blockquote>Meaning: Do not neglect your duty towards the Gods and the Ancestors. Regard the Mother as your God. Regard the Father as your God. Regard the Teacher as your God. Regard the Guest as your God. Whatever deeds are blameless, they are to be practised, not others. Only the good practices are among us are to be adopted by you, not others.<blockquote>ये के चारुमच्छ्रेया सो ब्राह्मणाः ।  तेषां त्वयाऽऽसनेन प्रश्वसितव्यम् । श्रद्धया देयम् । अश्रद्धयाऽदेयम् । श्रिया देयम् । ह्रिया देयम् । भिया देयम् । संविदा देयम् । अथ यदि ते कर्मविचिकित्सा वा |<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''ye ke cārumacchreyā so brāhmaṇāḥ । teṣāṁ tvayā<nowiki>''sanena praśvasitavyam । śraddhayā deyam । aśraddhayā'</nowiki>deyam । śriyā deyam । hriyā deyam । bhiyā deyam । saṁvidā deyam ।''</blockquote>Meaning: Whatever Brahmins there are superior to us, should be honoured by you by offering a seat. Gift should be given with shraddha, it should not be given without Shraddha, should be given in Plenty, with Modesty, with Awe, with compassion.<blockquote>ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तत्र वर्तेरन् । तथा तत्र वर्तेथाः । अथाभ्याख्यातेषु । ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तेषु वर्तेरन् । तथा तेषु वर्तेथाः । एष आदेशः । एष उपदेशः । एषा वेदोपनिषत् । एतदनुशासनम् । एवमुपासितव्यम् । एवमु चैतदुपास्यम् ॥४॥<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te tatra varteran । tathā tatra vartethāḥ । athābhyākhyāteṣu । ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te teṣu varteran । tathā teṣu vartethāḥ । eṣa ādeśaḥ । eṣa upadeśaḥ । eṣā vedopaniṣat । etadanuśāsanam । evamupāsitavyam । evamu caitadupāsyam ॥4॥''</blockquote>Meaning: As the Brahmanas who are competent to judge, adept in Duty, not led by others, not harsh, not led by passion, in the manner they would behave thus should you behave. Then as to the persons accused of guilt  like the Brahmanas who are adept at deliberation  who are competent to judge, not directed by others  not harsh, not moved by passion,  as they would behave in such cases  thus should you behave. This is the Command. This is the Teaching. This is the secret Doctrine of the Veda. This is the Instruction. Thus should one worship. Thus indeed should one worship.<blockquote>आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥</blockquote><blockquote>''ācāryāt pādamādatte pādaṁ śiṣyaḥ svamedhayā । sabrahmacāribhyaḥ pādaṁ pādaṁ kālakrameṇa ca ॥''</blockquote>Meaning: one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence, one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.  
+
**The teaching in the context of Samavartana samskara as given in the Shikshavalli of the Taittiriya upanishad (First Adhyaya, 11th Anuvaka) is of prime importance in this stage of life:<blockquote>सत्यं वद ।  धर्मञ्चर ।  स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः । आचार्याय प्रियं धनमाहृत्य प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः । सत्यान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । धर्मान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । कुशलान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । भूत्यै न प्रमदितव्यम् । स्वाध्यायप्रवचनाभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् ॥ १॥<ref name=":2">Swami Sharvananda (1921), [<nowiki>http://estudantedavedanta.net/Taittiriya%20Upanishad%20-%20Swami%20Sarvanand%20</nowiki>&#x5B;Sanskrit-English&#x5D;.pdf Taittiriya Upanishad], Madras:The Ramakrishna Math.</ref></blockquote><blockquote>''satyaṁ vada । dharmañcara । svādhyāyānmā pramadaḥ । ācāryāya priyaṁ dhanamāhr̥tya prajātantuṁ mā vyavacchetsīḥ । satyānna pramaditavyam । dharmānna pramaditavyam । kuśalānna pramaditavyam । bhūtyai na pramaditavyam । svādhyāyapravacanābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam ॥ 1॥''</blockquote>Meaning: Speak the Truth. Perform Dharma. Do not neglect your daily Study. Offer to the Teacher whatever pleases him. Do not cut off the line of progeny. Do not neglect Truth. Do not neglect Virtue. Do not neglect Welfare. Do not neglect Prosperity. Do not neglect Study and Teaching.<blockquote>देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् । मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । आचार्यदेवो भव । अतिथिदेवो भव । यान्यनवद्यानि कर्माणि तानि सेवितव्यानि । नो इतराणि । यान्यस्माकं सुचरितानि । तानि त्वयोपास्यानि । नो इतराणि ॥ २॥<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''devapitr̥kāryābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam । mātr̥devo bhava । pitr̥devo bhava । ācāryadevo bhava । atithidevo bhava । yānyanavadyāni karmāṇi tāni sevitavyāni । no itarāṇi । yānyasmākaṁ sucaritāni । tāni tvayopāsyāni । no itarāṇi ॥ 2॥''</blockquote>Meaning: Do not neglect your duty towards the deities and the Ancestors. Regard the Mother as your Supreme deity. Regard the Father as your Supreme deity. Regard the Teacher as your Supreme deity. Regard the Guest as your Supreme deity. Whatever deeds are blameless, they are to be practised, not others. Only the good practices are among us are to be adopted by you, not others.<blockquote>ये के चारुमच्छ्रेया सो ब्राह्मणाः ।  तेषां त्वयाऽऽसनेन प्रश्वसितव्यम् । श्रद्धया देयम् । अश्रद्धयाऽदेयम् । श्रिया देयम् । ह्रिया देयम् । भिया देयम् । संविदा देयम् । अथ यदि ते कर्मविचिकित्सा वा |<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''ye ke cārumacchreyā so brāhmaṇāḥ । teṣāṁ tvayā<nowiki>''sanena praśvasitavyam । śraddhayā deyam । aśraddhayā'</nowiki>deyam । śriyā deyam । hriyā deyam । bhiyā deyam । saṁvidā deyam ।''</blockquote>Meaning: Whatever Brahmins there are superior to us, should be honoured by you by offering a seat. Gift should be given with shraddha, it should not be given without Shraddha, should be given in Plenty, with Modesty, with Awe, with compassion.<blockquote>ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तत्र वर्तेरन् । तथा तत्र वर्तेथाः । अथाभ्याख्यातेषु । ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तेषु वर्तेरन् । तथा तेषु वर्तेथाः । एष आदेशः । एष उपदेशः । एषा वेदोपनिषत् । एतदनुशासनम् । एवमुपासितव्यम् । एवमु चैतदुपास्यम् ॥४॥<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>''ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te tatra varteran । tathā tatra vartethāḥ । athābhyākhyāteṣu । ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te teṣu varteran । tathā teṣu vartethāḥ । eṣa ādeśaḥ । eṣa upadeśaḥ । eṣā vedopaniṣat । etadanuśāsanam । evamupāsitavyam । evamu caitadupāsyam ॥4॥''</blockquote>Meaning: As the Brahmanas who are competent to judge, adept in Duty, not led by others, not harsh, not led by passion, in the manner they would behave thus should you behave. Then as to the persons accused of guilt  like the Brahmanas who are adept at deliberation  who are competent to judge, not directed by others  not harsh, not moved by passion,  as they would behave in such cases  thus should you behave. This is the Command. This is the Teaching. This is the secret Doctrine of the Veda. This is the Instruction. Thus should one worship. Thus indeed should one worship.<blockquote>आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥</blockquote><blockquote>''ācāryāt pādamādatte pādaṁ śiṣyaḥ svamedhayā । sabrahmacāribhyaḥ pādaṁ pādaṁ kālakrameṇa ca ॥''</blockquote>Meaning: one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence, one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.  
 
One fourth is to be learnt by means of Svadhyaya. Here, the responsibility is to gather four people of one's own kind and explain viewpoints to facilitate lokasangraha.
 
One fourth is to be learnt by means of Svadhyaya. Here, the responsibility is to gather four people of one's own kind and explain viewpoints to facilitate lokasangraha.
  

Revision as of 17:52, 13 June 2019

Education on Sanatana Dharma is a page on the prospective educational steps that may be undertaken by an individual to initiate oneself, or the future generations into the concept of Sanatana Dharma. The table here, explains specific responsibilities of individuals in different stages of life, as well as an enumeration on personal role in the process of following these steps.

Disciples reading scriptures Courtesy: Permitted to use Copyrighted Images from the Book "Sarwang" Published by Adivasi Lok Kala Evam Boli Vikas Academy, Madhya Pradesh Sanskriti Parishad

Contents

परिचयः ॥ Introduction

Dharma Adhyayana (धर्माध्ययनम्) is the need of the hour. It is said that,

आहार-निद्रा-भय-मैथुनं च समानमेतत्पशुभिर्नराणाम् । धर्मो हि तेषामधिको विशेषो धर्मेण हीनाः पशुभिः समानाः ॥

āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca samānametatpaśubhirnarāṇām । dharmo hi teṣāmadhiko viśeṣo dharmeṇa hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ ॥

Therefore, an initiative towards Dharma Adhyayana is imperative for the following and many more reasons:

  1. Dharma Samvada : Establishment of Dharma in every facet of the society.
  2. Creating a mass of people with a good understanding of Dharma.
  3. Establishment of teachings in Dharma Acharana.

साध्यम् ॥ The Aim

The aim, as quoted in the Taittiriya Upanishad is, धर्मं चर । dharmaṁ cara । (11.1).[1] That is,

  • To reinforce adherence to Dharma (धर्मपालनम्) at every step, every second. So that, no action be deemed as 'against dharma' (धर्मविरोधी).

Other objectives include,

  • Developing a sense of social cognition. So that, no action goes against the well-being of the society as a whole.

And this requires,

  • Collective adherence to following dharma by the society as quoted by Manu.

अहिंसा सत्यम् अस्तेयं शौचम् इन्द्रियनिग्रहः । एतं सामासिकं धर्मं चातुर्वर्ण्येऽब्रवीन्मनुः । । १०.६३ । ।

ahiṁsā satyaṁ asteyaṁ śaucaṁ indriyanigrahaḥ ।etaṁ sāmāsikaṁ dharmaṁ cāturvarṇye'bravīnmanuḥ । । 10.63 । ।

Meaning: Abstention from injuring, truthfulness, abstention from unlawful appropriation, purity and control of the sense-organs,—this Manu has declared to be the sum and substance of duty for the four varnas.[2]

In this collective responsibility of the society, the Kshatriyas are given the responsibility of protection, Vaishyas take care of nourishment while brahmanas facilitate teaching.

  • Making dharma the medium of achieving the goal.
  • Bringing forth people with a good understanding of dharma.
  • Establishment of teaching of Dharmacharana.
  • Making Dharma the foundation of Kama and Artha.

शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

  1. In order to facilitate teaching, the atmosphere at home should be such that there is constant presence of Shastra Granthas, deity worship, yajna, etc.
  2. Chanting and listening of shlokas and Mantras.
  3. Using mothertongue in its pure form (so as to aid translations in the future).
  4. Giving charity.
  5. Volunteering in social welfare activities.
  6. Introducing Anuloma and Viloma Pranayama techniques.
  7. Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of teaching.

रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

  1. To facilitate the responsibility of protection, the atmosphere at home should be such that there is constant presence of Shastra Granthas, pictures of Rajrshis, etc.
  2. Constant chanting and listening of songs and slogans related to Rajas.
  3. Exposure to challenging situations to over come fear.
  4. A pro-charity surrounding especially towards the knowledgeable and the weak.
  5. Sports and exercises for physical strength.
  6. Learning the language of the opponents.
  7. Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of protection.

पोषणकार्यम् ॥

  1. In order to fulfill the responsibility of nourishment, the atmosphere at home should be such that there constant understanding of natural products, agricultural and diary, obtained without affecting the balance in nature.
  2. Constant discussions and efforts towards agricultural produce.
  3. Use of pure organic produce.
  4. Giving charity.
  5. Every family member should have some important contribution towards the livelihood.
  6. Knowledge about foreign products, Bharatiya raw materials and by products.
  7. Usage of dairy products through all the households.
  8. Providing support to Yajnas.
  9. Facilitating the nurturing of artists, teachers, soldiers, doctors, etc.
  10. Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of nourishment.
  11. Giving Annadana to others.

अन्यकार्याणि ॥

In observing all this, there should be adherence to truthfulness, simplicity, self-dependence, good behaviour, independence, empathy, tolerance, cleanliness, svadeshi, etc. It is advised to highlight those sayings from the tradition that establish the values enumerated above. For example: Where husband and wife live a relation defined by love, in that house, the deities Vishnu and Lakshmi stay even without the presence of their idols.

  • Revelation of the 10 lakshanas of dharma as given in Manusmrti.:

धृतिः क्षमा दमोऽस्तेयं शौचम् इन्द्रियनिग्रहः । धीर्विद्या सत्यम् अक्रोधो दशकं धर्मलक्षणम् । । ६.९२ । ।[3]

dhr̥tiḥ kṣamā damo'steyaṁ śaucaṁ indriyanigrahaḥ । dhīrvidyā satyaṁ akrodho daśakaṁ dharmalakṣaṇam । । 6.92 । ।

Meaning: Steadiness (refers to a stable behaviour even in extreme situations), Forgiveness, Self-control, Abstention from unrighteous appropriation, Purity (internal and outwardly), Control of the Sense-organs, Discrimination (sat-asat-viveka), Knowledge (the art of using all knowledge in a beneficial way), Truthfulness, and Absence of anger (in thought, word and deed)— these are the ten-fold forms of duty.[4]

  • Making Dharma an instrument for establishing a relation with the supreme reality and attaining the goals of life which may be individualistic as well as social in nature. Therefore, a feeling of family towards the entire humanity is essential. Also, it is the practice of trivarga, that is keeping kama and artha within the boundaries of dharma facilitates moksha prapti.

Understanding the different facets of Dharma:

  • Understanding Abhyudaya (for which adherence to trivarga, that is, dharma, artha and kama is essential) and Nishreyasa.
  • Understanding the Dharma Adhishthanatva (धर्माधिष्ठानत्वम्) of other Purusharthas like Artha (अर्थः) and Kama (कामः)
  • Understanding dharma as Nyaya as well as law. For, it was seen that,

न राज्यं न राजाऽसीन्न दण्डयो न च दाण्डिक: |

धर्मेणैव प्रजास्सर्वा रक्षन्ति स्म परस्परम् ||

na rājyaṁ na rājā'sīnna daṇḍayo na ca dāṇḍika: |

dharmeṇaiva prajāssarvā rakṣanti sma parasparam ||

  • Understanding the provision of Apaddharma. That is, the freedom to act different from the prescribed code of conduct during exigencies keeping the place and time in mind.

Personal Role

There are two main points as far as an individual's personal role in following the responsibilities as enlisted above is concerned.

  • Deciding one's role keeping in mind one's age and performing the prescribed activities therein.
  • Staying clear of any trouble by avoiding those activities whose execution is beyond one's capacity.

This is the crux of the understanding expected off one who aims at executing the responsibilities vested in one's hands through the different stages of life.

Age group Responsibilities

गर्भपूर्वावस्था ॥ Before Conception

  • Understanding the Varna Dharma or Svadharma as explained in the Bhagavad Gita. For, Svadharma relates to Samskrti and Svabhava relates to Prakrti.
  • Gathering knowledge as per one's Varna and cultivating appropriate habits.
  • Following Yama and Niyama (as explained in Ashtangayoga).
It is said that,

प्रजनार्थं स्त्रियः सृष्टाः संतानार्थं च मानवः । तस्मात्साधारणो धर्मः श्रुतौ पत्न्या सहोदितः । । ९.९६ । ।[5]

prajanārthaṁ striyaḥ sr̥ṣṭāḥ saṁtānārthaṁ ca mānavaḥ । tasmātsādhāraṇo dharmaḥ śrutau patnyā sahoditaḥ । । 9.96 । ।

Meaning: Women were created for the purpose of child-bearing, and men for the purpose of procreation. Hence it is that Religious Rites have been ordained in the Veda as common between the man and his wife.[2] While giving the girl in marriage, the father, or in his absence the guardian, addresses the bridegroom with the following words:

धर्मे चार्थे च कामे च नातिचरितव्या त्वयेयम् । dharme cārthe ca kāme ca nāticaritavyā tvayeyam ।

Meaning: You shall not transgress Dharma in the attainment of Artha and Kama.

The bridegroom accepts the condition with these words: नातिचरामि | nāticarāmi |

Meaning: I shall not transgress Dharma, in matters of Artha and Kama.

This aspect is brought out in the 'Saptapadi', (the ceremony of taking seven steps) at the end of which there is a declaration that the couple become life long friends. The seven steps are:
  • First step- For nourishment of each other.
  • Second step- To grow together in strength.
  • Third step- To preserve our wealth and become rich.
  • Fourth step- To attain happiness and harmony.
  • Fifth step- To care their children, in-laws and relatives.
  • Sixth step- For Long life togetherness.
  • Seventh Step- Life long loyalty unity and all goodness forever.
All grhya sutras speak about seven steps only.

अन्योन्यस्याव्यभिचारो भवेदामरणान्तिकः । एष धर्मः समासेन ज्ञेयः स्त्रीपुंसयोः परः । । ९.१०१ । । [5]

anyonyasyāvyabhicāro bhavedāmaraṇāntikaḥ । eṣa dharmaḥ samāsena jñeyaḥ strīpuṁsayoḥ paraḥ । । 9.101 । ।

It is mentioned here that mutual friendship and fidelity is the highest Dharma to be observed by husband and wife, throughout their life. And the family in which husband and wife have mutual affection and respect always secures happiness and prosperity.
  • Having conversations in Sanskrit in a disciplined manner.
  • Stories, making of pictures, drama and sports pertaining to one's field - teaching, protection or nourishment.
  • Giving birth to better future generation.
  • Inculcating knowledge of dharma so as to present adharmika actions.
  • शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • The responsibilities in this stage include engaging discussions, creation of intellectual groups, behavioural independence, increasing one's ability to read and teach.
    • In order to facilitate teaching, the atmosphere at home should be such that there is constant presence of Shastra Granthas, deity worship, yajna, etc.
    • Chanting and listening of shlokas and Mantras.
    • Using mothertongue in its pure form (so as to aid translations in the future).
    • Giving charity.
    • Volunteering in social welfare activities.
    • Introducing Anuloma and Viloma Pranayama techniques.
    • Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of teaching.
    • Describing the qualities of Brahmanas (predominantly identified with the Svabhava of Adhyayana and Adhyapana), the Bhagavad Gita says,

    शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।

    ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥१८- ४२॥[6]

    śamo damastapaḥ śaucaṁ kṣāntirārjavameva ca ।

    jñānaṁ vijñānamāstikyaṁ brahmakarma svabhāvajam ॥18- 42॥

    Meaning: Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also uprightness, knowledge,

    realisation and belief in God are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of (their own) nature.[7]

    • Following the steps necessary to become a teacher and being disciplined in self-study (स्वाध्यायः) and understanding the knowledge gathered through self-study. That is, to keep the process of learning and teaching in continuity.
    • Attaining one pointed concentration through spiritual practices and reading for attaining the aim of moksha.
    • To keep up a balance in reading and teaching, performing Yajnas, charity, firmness (being resolute at times of distress), renunciation, etc. thereby, nurturing resilience, wisdom (सत्-असत्-विवेक-बुद्धि), the art of using knowledge for the overall good.
    • Trying to understand the different components of the society through practical and time relevant techniques.
    • Learning byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding and enabling explanation of the history of India's geography.
    • Reading Bharatiya Shastriya Sahitya and contemplating on it.
    • Discussing the subject with people of different age groups.
    • Gathering people willing to know more and guiding them.
    • Making use of stories for kids in this context. For example: The story of Yudhisthira.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Creating groups for facilitating security.
    • Studying for lawful independence.
    • Improving the ability to learn and teach.
    • To facilitate the responsibility of protection, the atmosphere at home should be such that there is constant presence of Shastra Granthas, pictures of Rajrshis, etc.
    • Constant chanting and listening of songs and slogans related to Rajas.
    • Exposure to challenging situations to over come fear.
    • A pro-charity surrounding especially towards the knowledgeable and the weak.
    • Sports and exercises for physical strength.
    • Learning the language of the opponents.
    • Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of protection.
    • Describing the qualities of a Kshatriya, Bhagavad Gita says,

    शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् । दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् ॥१८- ४३॥[6]

    śauryaṁ tejo dhr̥tirdākṣyaṁ yuddhe cāpyapalāyanam । dānamīśvarabhāvaśca kṣātraṁ karma svabhāvajam ॥18- 43॥

    Meaning: Prowess, splendour, firmness, dexterity and also not fleeing from battle, generosity and

    lordliness are the duties of Kshatriyas, born of (their own) nature.[7]

    • Attaining one pointed concentration through spiritual practices and reading for attaining the aim of moksha.
    • Doing things essential for the fulfillment of the duty of protection.
    • Trying to improve one's physical health, strength and war skills.
    • Creating or joining groups.
    • Learning byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding the history of India's geography.
    • Reading and reciting the stories of Samrats and protectors of Dharma.
    • Having the satsanga of Dharma rakshakas.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • Creating organisations for financial regulation.
    • Financial independence.
    • Increasing the ability to learn and teach.
    • In order to fulfill the responsibility of nourishment, the atmosphere at home should be such that there constant understanding of natural products, agricultural and diary, obtained without affecting the balance in nature.
    • Constant discussions and efforts towards agricultural produce.
    • Use of pure organic produce.
    • Giving charity.
    • Every family member should have some important contribution towards the livelihood.
    • Knowledge about foreign products, Bharatiya raw materials and by products.
    • Usage of dairy products through all the households.
    • Providing support to Yajnas.
    • Facilitating the nurturing of artists, teachers, soldiers, doctors, etc.
    • Making or facilitating the creation of pictures, dramas and games to facilitate the duties pertaining to the field of nourishment.
    • Giving Annadana to others.
    • Describing the qualities of a Vaishya, the Bhagavad Gita says,

    कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् । परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम् ॥१८- ४४॥[6]

    kr̥ṣigaurakṣyavāṇijyaṁ vaiśyakarma svabhāvajam । paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdrasyāpi svabhāvajam ॥18- 44॥

    Meaning: Agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaishya (merchant class), born of (their own) nature; and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudra (servant class), born of (their own) nature.[7]
    • Attaining one pointed concentration through spiritual practices and reading for attaining the aim of moksha.
    • Making sure that the teachers and soldiers do not fall short of financial and other facilities.
    • Joining the forces of security.
    • Being in the company of upholders of Dharma.
    • Giving monetary donations, time and infrastructure.
    • Reading and teaching stories of Raja Raghu, Raja Harshavardhana, etc.
    • Learning byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding the geographical history of India.

    गर्भावस्था ॥ During Pregnancy

    • This is the best time to establish the foundation of Yama and Niyama explained in Ashtanga Yoga
    • This is the time for establishment of the Panchakoshas
    • Reading of stories and singing of songs related to dharma as per the monthly schedule
    • In this state, the mother plays a prime role with the father lending a supportive hand.
    • All those activities prescribed for the stage of 'before conception' that can be performed now, should be continued with the permission of a medical adviser.
    • The definition of Dharma as Dashalakshana Dharma in Manusmrti is widely accepted. That is as follows.

    धृतिः क्षमा दमोऽस्तेयं शौचं इन्द्रियनिग्रहः । धीर्विद्या सत्यं अक्रोधो दशकं धर्मलक्षणम् । । ६.९२ । ।[3]

    dhr̥tiḥ kṣamā damo'steyaṁ śaucaṁ indriyanigrahaḥ । dhīrvidyā satyaṁ akrodho daśakaṁ dharmalakṣaṇam । । 6.92 । ।

    Meaning: Steadiness, Forgiveness, Self-control, Abstention from unrighteous appropriation, Purity, Control of the Sense-organs, Discrimination, Knowledge, Truthfulness, and Absence of anger — these are the ten-fold forms of duty.[4]

    These are the 10 lakshanas of Dharma.

    • Internalising Yama and Niyama is indispensable for all the varnas.
    • Learning by heart the songs and stories pertinent to one's varna.

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • Reading Bharatiya Shastriya Sahitya.
    • Constantly thinking and contemplating on them.
    • Discussing the subject matter in these texts with people of different age groups.
    • Looking out for people who are keen to acquaint themselves with this knowledge and guiding them.
    • Making use of stories in this regard while engaging children. For eg. The story of Yudhisthira.
    • Learning by heart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Reading and teaching the stories of Samrats and the upholders of Dharma.
    • Aiming at improving physical strength, health, war skills with due care for the state of pregnancy under the guidance of a medical adviser.
    • Acquiring the company of upholders of Dharma.
    • Learning by heart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • Acquiring the company of upholders of Dharma.
    • Giving monetary donations, time and infrastructure.
    • Reading and teaching the stories of Raja Raghu and Harshavardhana.
    • Learning byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Studying the current cultural map of India.

    शैशवम् ॥ Childhood (Until the age of 5years)

    • This is a stage of creating impressions in the mind of the child so as to mould the evolving mind. Therefore, stories play a very important role. Especially, those like that of Prahlada that emphasize on the omniscience of the Supreme being.
    • It is said, लालयेत् पञ्च वर्षाणि | lālayet pañca varṣāṇi | In this stage, parents are advised to observe the child, having understood one's own Varna Dharma and then chose appropriate games, songs and stories. The atmosphere is to be created based on the observation.
    • Other important activities include practice of Sanskrit conversation in a disciplined fashion, collection and rendition of pictures based on respective Varna.
    • Here too, the main role will be of the mother. While the father, and the other members of the family will lend a helping hand.
    • Ensuring the practice of Yama and Niyama which in today's context translates to a simple life with sparing use of natural resources. This is nothing but दम, अस्तेय and इंद्रियनिग्रह (self-control, abstention from unrighteously appropriating anything and restraint of desires.
    It is said that,

    ईशा वास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किं च जगत्यां जगत् । तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्य स्विद्धनम् ॥ १ ॥[8]

    īśā vāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ yatkiṁ ca jagatyāṁ jagat । tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gr̥dhaḥ kasya sviddhanam ॥ 1 ॥

    Meaning: All that we find in this ephermeral world is created by God. Let us use them only to the minimum extent and let us not snatch the wealth belonging to another.
    • The process of Panchakosha vikas begins at this stage starting with the annamaya kosha. And hence, a balanced and Satvika diet is extremely important.
    • The choice of stories, games, songs as well as the general atmosphere should be conducive to the development of Annamaya and Pranamaya koshas.
    • Beginning with learning by heart shlokas from the Katha Rupi Gita.

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • Focus should be on शौचम् (cleanliness) and आर्जवम् (honesty).
    • Telling stories of how adherence to dharma helps attain moksha and those on Bharat's culture with special emphasis on शौचम् and आर्जवम्
    • For increasing levels of endurance and tolerance, explaining the power to endure extreme situations based on will power (इच्छाशक्तिः)
    • Showing the Cultural map of India to the child.
    • Making images of Veda Vyasa, Yajnavalkya, Madhvacharya Vidyaranya, Tukaram, Ramdas, Guru Govinda Sinha; making the child bow to them; telling their stories to them; making them dress like them; thereby inspiring them to become like them.
    • Getting them to learn by heart the explanation of the terms Bharata and Hindustan.
    • Getting them to learn byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.
    • Showing them the cultural map of India and making them draw it.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Organising games to tap the leadership qualities in the child.
    • Telling stories that emphasize on how adherence to dharma leads to attainment of moksha and those on Bharat's culture with special focus on शौर्यम् (valour) and दानम् (charity) for developing endurance (which is the ability to endure extreme situations on the basis of will power or इच्छाशक्तिः).
    • Showing the Cultural map of India to the child.
    • Telling them the valorous stories of Samrats, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Telling them the stories of Raja Raghu, Harshavardhana, Bappa Raval, Shivaji, Ranjit Singh, etc.
    • Inspiring the child to acquire strength.
    • Telling them stories of Hanuman, Bhima, etc.
    • Getting them to learn byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • Introducing पोषणकार्यम् through stories related to agriculture, protection of cows, trading, etc.
    • Telling stories that emphasize on how adherence to dharma leads to attainment of moksha and those on Bharata's culture with special focus on कृषिः, गोरक्षा and वाणिज्यम् for developing endurance (which is the ability to endure extreme situations on the basis of will power or इच्छाशक्तिः).
    • Showing the Cultural map of India to the child.
    • Telling them the stories of Raja Raghu, Harshavardhana, Bhama Shah, Damaji, etc.
    • Getting them to learn byheart stotras like the Ekatmata stotra.

    बाल्यम् ॥ Childhood (From the age between 6 to 10 years)

    • Here onwards, the role, though not explicit, of the father as well as the guru who is referred to as Manasa Pita is of prime importance. Mother and other family members lend a helping hand.
    • This age is extremely conducive to inculcation of good habits. In this regard, the following are suggested.
    • In this phase, reprimanding according to the need, is accepted. The quality of Paropakara or Service should be inculcated. It is said that,

      परोपकाराय फलन्ति वृक्षाः परोपकाराय वहन्ति नद्यः । परोपकाराय दुहन्ति गावः परोपकारार्थमिदं शरीरम् ॥

      paropakārāya phalanti vr̥kṣāḥ paropakārāya vahanti nadyaḥ । paropakārāya duhanti gāvaḥ paropakārārthamidaṁ śarīram ॥

      Meaning: The trees bear fruits to serve others. The rivers flow to serve others, Cows give milk to serve others. This human body is meant to serve others. This value inspires every individual to serve society through every profession or a vocation. It is inspiring that rivers serve others, animals and plants serve others, and are not selfish; man being the highest form of life should not lag behind in serving others; not merely human beings, but all living beings.

    Other responsibilities include,

    1. Getting them to chant stotras like the Ekatmata stotra everyday.
    2. Learning by heart Katha Rupi Gita
    3. Having meals collectively.
    4. Telling them stories of Sambhaji, Banda Bairagi, Bala Hakikat, Sikh Guru putras.
    5. Making them read and recite stories of great and valorous women like Anasuya, Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyi, Kunti, Draupadi, Satyabhama, Sita, Savitri, Bharati, Rani Rudramba, Rani Channamma, Tarabai, etc. as also of revolutionaries, Veda Vyasa, Yajnavalkya, Madhvacharya Vidyaranya, Tukaram, Ramdas, Guru Govind Singh, etc.
    6. Making them read and recite stories of Bharat's scientists like Kanad, Kapila, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya, Nagarjuna, etc. So also of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
    7. Making them aware of India's glorious past and her pioneering status.

    In this stage, the behaviour of the elders and an interactive atmosphere in the house is of great importance.

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • In the light of the points mentioned for बाल्यावस्था, explaining the nature of great brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas; thereby inspiring them to become a great brahmana inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to teaching field.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • In the light of the points mentioned for बाल्यावस्था, explaining the nature of great brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas; thereby inspiring them to become a great kshatriya inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to field of protection.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • In the light of the points mentioned for बाल्यावस्था, explaining the nature of great brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas; thereby inspiring them to become a great Vaishya inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to field of nourishment.

    कौमारम् ॥ Adolescence (Age between 11 and 15 years)

      • Here too, the role of the father as well as the guru who is referred to as Manasa Pita is of prime importance. Mother and other family members lend a helping hand.
      • In this stage, reprimanding should be vocal. Also, the behaviour of the elders and an interactive atmosphere in the house is of great importance.
      • This is the age where children begin to use their intellect. Therefore, it would be most appropriate to explain the importance of working, behaving and taking responsibilities as per one's varna.
      • Also, an emphasis on responsibilities is essential for breaking अहङ्कारः
      • Motivating them to study, think and contemplate on books like Bhagavad Gita, Ekatma Manava Darshana, Satyartha Prakasha, etc.
      • Gathering literature and commentaries prescribed for this age.
      • This is the stage where there is development of the Manomaya and Vijnanamaya kosha.
      • The teaching in the context of Samavartana samskara as given in the Shikshavalli of the Taittiriya upanishad (First Adhyaya, 11th Anuvaka) is of prime importance in this stage of life:

        सत्यं वद । धर्मञ्चर । स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः । आचार्याय प्रियं धनमाहृत्य प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः । सत्यान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । धर्मान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । कुशलान्न प्रमदितव्यम् । भूत्यै न प्रमदितव्यम् । स्वाध्यायप्रवचनाभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् ॥ १॥[9]

        satyaṁ vada । dharmañcara । svādhyāyānmā pramadaḥ । ācāryāya priyaṁ dhanamāhr̥tya prajātantuṁ mā vyavacchetsīḥ । satyānna pramaditavyam । dharmānna pramaditavyam । kuśalānna pramaditavyam । bhūtyai na pramaditavyam । svādhyāyapravacanābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam ॥ 1॥

        Meaning: Speak the Truth. Perform Dharma. Do not neglect your daily Study. Offer to the Teacher whatever pleases him. Do not cut off the line of progeny. Do not neglect Truth. Do not neglect Virtue. Do not neglect Welfare. Do not neglect Prosperity. Do not neglect Study and Teaching.

        देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम् । मातृदेवो भव । पितृदेवो भव । आचार्यदेवो भव । अतिथिदेवो भव । यान्यनवद्यानि कर्माणि तानि सेवितव्यानि । नो इतराणि । यान्यस्माकं सुचरितानि । तानि त्वयोपास्यानि । नो इतराणि ॥ २॥[9]

        devapitr̥kāryābhyāṁ na pramaditavyam । mātr̥devo bhava । pitr̥devo bhava । ācāryadevo bhava । atithidevo bhava । yānyanavadyāni karmāṇi tāni sevitavyāni । no itarāṇi । yānyasmākaṁ sucaritāni । tāni tvayopāsyāni । no itarāṇi ॥ 2॥

        Meaning: Do not neglect your duty towards the deities and the Ancestors. Regard the Mother as your Supreme deity. Regard the Father as your Supreme deity. Regard the Teacher as your Supreme deity. Regard the Guest as your Supreme deity. Whatever deeds are blameless, they are to be practised, not others. Only the good practices are among us are to be adopted by you, not others.

        ये के चारुमच्छ्रेया सो ब्राह्मणाः । तेषां त्वयाऽऽसनेन प्रश्वसितव्यम् । श्रद्धया देयम् । अश्रद्धयाऽदेयम् । श्रिया देयम् । ह्रिया देयम् । भिया देयम् । संविदा देयम् । अथ यदि ते कर्मविचिकित्सा वा |[9]

        ye ke cārumacchreyā so brāhmaṇāḥ । teṣāṁ tvayā''sanena praśvasitavyam । śraddhayā deyam । aśraddhayā'deyam । śriyā deyam । hriyā deyam । bhiyā deyam । saṁvidā deyam ।

        Meaning: Whatever Brahmins there are superior to us, should be honoured by you by offering a seat. Gift should be given with shraddha, it should not be given without Shraddha, should be given in Plenty, with Modesty, with Awe, with compassion.

        ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तत्र वर्तेरन् । तथा तत्र वर्तेथाः । अथाभ्याख्यातेषु । ये तत्र ब्राह्मणाः संमर्शिनः । युक्ता आयुक्ताः । अलूक्षा धर्मकामाः स्युः । यथा ते तेषु वर्तेरन् । तथा तेषु वर्तेथाः । एष आदेशः । एष उपदेशः । एषा वेदोपनिषत् । एतदनुशासनम् । एवमुपासितव्यम् । एवमु चैतदुपास्यम् ॥४॥[9]

        ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te tatra varteran । tathā tatra vartethāḥ । athābhyākhyāteṣu । ye tatra brāhmaṇāḥ saṁmarśinaḥ । yuktā āyuktāḥ । alūkṣā dharmakāmāḥ syuḥ । yathā te teṣu varteran । tathā teṣu vartethāḥ । eṣa ādeśaḥ । eṣa upadeśaḥ । eṣā vedopaniṣat । etadanuśāsanam । evamupāsitavyam । evamu caitadupāsyam ॥4॥

        Meaning: As the Brahmanas who are competent to judge, adept in Duty, not led by others, not harsh, not led by passion, in the manner they would behave thus should you behave. Then as to the persons accused of guilt like the Brahmanas who are adept at deliberation who are competent to judge, not directed by others not harsh, not moved by passion, as they would behave in such cases thus should you behave. This is the Command. This is the Teaching. This is the secret Doctrine of the Veda. This is the Instruction. Thus should one worship. Thus indeed should one worship.

        आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥

        ācāryāt pādamādatte pādaṁ śiṣyaḥ svamedhayā । sabrahmacāribhyaḥ pādaṁ pādaṁ kālakrameṇa ca ॥

        Meaning: one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence, one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.

    One fourth is to be learnt by means of Svadhyaya. Here, the responsibility is to gather four people of one's own kind and explain viewpoints to facilitate lokasangraha.

    Brahmacharyashrama : After the completion of childhood (around eight or nine years), an individual was required to take to higher education and to maintain celibacy to conserve physical, moral and mental energy and to devote himself to the studies for a period of about twelve to fifteen years. During this period the main obligation of an individual was to acquire knowledge and to increase his knowledge by research. This ashrama was not only intended to earn knowledge to earn for a comfortable life, but also to enable the discharge of one of the pious obligations, 'Rishiruna' (debt due to teachers) namely acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. An individual was also required to cultivate moral character and discipline which would enable him to develop his personality so that he would not only be useful to himself but also to the members of the family and to society as well. In today's times, education including physical fitness and moral education during the first period (Studentship).

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding the geographical history of India.
    • Contemplating on the role of a brahmana in this context inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to teaching field. The aim is to provoke thoughts on 'What is my role as a brahmana here'
    • Gathering friends of a similar thought process inclined towards brahmana vrtti (generally identified with the Svabhava of adhyayana and adhyapana).
    • Joining associations with similar thoughts.
    • Accumulating strength and training in the various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding the geographical history of India.
    • Contemplating on the role of a kshatriya in this context inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to field of protection. The aim is to provoke thoughts on 'What is my role as a kshatriya here'
    • Gathering friends of a similar thought process inclined towards kshatriya vrtti.
    • Joining associations with similar thoughts.
    • Accumulating strength and training in the various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.
    • Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible).

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the current cultural map of India.
    • Understanding the geographical history of India.
    • Contemplating on the role of a Vaishya in this context inorder to facilitate the duties pertaining to field of nourishment. The aim is to provoke thoughts on 'What is my role as a Vaishya here'
    • Gathering friends of a similar thought process inclined towards Vaishya vrtti.
    • Joining associations with similar thoughts.
    • Accumulating strength and training in the various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.

    यौवनम् ॥ Youth (Age between 16 and 25 years)

    • At this stage, a youth is capable of doing a lot of things as per his/her free will and understanding.
    • Keeping one's behaviour conducive to the Varna.
    • Presenting oneself to take up greater responsibilities as well as aiming for lokasangraha (integration).
    • A youth should have the realisation of Dharma in every situation. Therefore, there is a need for guidance especially through the discussion of the events of Mahabharata in the form of Kalakshepas.

    For eg. The discussion between Narada, Uddhava and Krshna at the time of the Rajasuya Yajna.

    • Understanding the Bhagavad Gita and making available the commentaries chosen for the युवावस्था
    • In the context of expression of feelings it is said to parents that at this stage, पुत्रं मित्रवदाचरेत् | putraṁ mitravadācaret | That is, guidance should be provided like a friend.
    • The realisation of responsibilities to increase significantly. Especially, towards Dharma raksha.
    • Knowledge and nurture of societal duties by which no action goes against the same.
    • This is the stage of choosing a subject for Svadhyaya on which one contemplates. And to establish in the Svadhyaya that Dharma is an instrument for attaining moksha.

    सुखार्थिनः कुतो विद्या नास्ति विद्यार्थिनः सुखम् । सुखार्थी वा त्यजेद्विद्यां विद्यार्थी वा त्यजेत् सुखम् ॥

    sukhārthinaḥ kuto vidyā nāsti vidyārthinaḥ sukham । sukhārthī vā tyajedvidyāṁ vidyārthī vā tyajet sukham ॥

    Meaning: The one who seeks pleasure (doesnt want to take efforts), where is education (wisdom) for such a person ? And there is no pleasure for those who seek knowledge. Those who seek pelasure should give up quest for knowledge and students should give up attachment to pleasures.

    This is the phase in which one may contribute to the educational, governmental and progressive systems. Therefore, responsibilities in this regard may be assigned keeping the duties in mind.

    Creation of organisations for the propagation, spread, establishment and protection of Dharma.

    • Contributing to the teaching and learning facilities within Bharatiyata, Islam, Christianity and communism.
    • Taking efforts towards preserving the identity of Bharatiyata through formulation of laws, security, etc.
    • Providing aid in keeping away those people and associations with an anti-national viewpoint.

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity and making people aware.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor and spreading awareness about these distinguishing factors in a logical way.
    • Acquiring skill in various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity and making people aware.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor and spreading awareness about these distinguishing factors in a logical way.
    • Acquiring skill in various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.
    • Providing services in the army, police, National intelligence agencies, etc.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity and making people aware.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor and spreading awareness about these distinguishing factors in a logical way.
    • Acquiring skill in various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.
    • Presenting Dharma in an appropriate way keeping in line with the current times.

    गार्हस्थ्यम् ॥ Householder's phase (Age between 26 to 60)

    It is said that every individual should discharge four pious obligations; namely, Devaruna (towards God), Pitruruna (towards parents), Rishiruna (towards teachers) and Manavaruna (towards humanity). One should discharge Devaruna by worship of God, Pitruruna by maintaining continuity of the family, Rishiruna by the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge and Manavaruna by every type of social service.

    ऋणैश्चतुर्भिः संयुक्ता जायन्ते मनुजा भुवि । पितृदेवर्षिमनुजदेयैः शतसहस्रशः ॥ १११.१२ ॥[10]

    r̥ṇaiścaturbhiḥ saṁyuktā jāyante manujā bhuvi । pitr̥devarṣimanujadeyaiḥ śatasahasraśaḥ ॥ 12 ॥

    That is why, in the second stage of life (ie. the Grhasthashrama), after the acquisition of knowledge or completing education, an individual has to get married and commence family life. During this stage, it was the joint responsibility of husband and wife to lead a pure and simple family life, to maintain sexual morality and to discharge the 'Pitruruna' by begetting children, educating them and making them good citizens. To do this effectively, they had to adjust to each other and live together.

    Also, it was the duty of every individual to serve the society, of which one was part and parcel. It was the special responsibility of those undertaking the teaching profession or literary pursuits to enrich and disseminate knowledge to the younger generation as part of the discharge of Rishiruna -the debt due to teachers.

    Further, it was necessary for an individual to earn his livelihood by legitimate methods and to spend whatever he had earned not only for his benefit but also for the benefit of the other members of the family, and also to utilise his income/resources and energy for the benefit of society having due regard to his capacity and aptitude and thereby discharge the fourth pious obligation namely 'Manavaruna'.

    Thus, the duties of a Grhastha in today's terms refers to a harmonious and honest married life, conforming to professional/ vocational ethics, and maintaining persons in the other three Ashramas. Therefore,

    • The well being, not only of the society but of all the movable and immovable things rests with a Grhastha (householder).
    • In this view, a very far flung responsibility of providing condusive facilities and environment for the fulfillment of the responsibilities enumerated for all the stages of life from गर्भपूर्वावस्था to वृद्धावस्था, taking efforts towards lokasangraha belongs to a Grhastha.
    • A few illustrations as to how the fourth pious obligation or Manavaruna can be discharged are:
      1. Construction of wells or tanks to secure drinking water to the public in general.
      2. Construction of water turfs at public places and on the roadside for the benefit of travellers and for animals.
      3. Planting of trees on both sides of roads to provide shade or shelter to the travelling public.
      4. Construction of Dharmashalas in towns and villages and more particularly at places of Pilgrimages for the use of pilgrims and travellers.
      5. Construction of hospitals for human beings, animals and birds as well as donations for construction of Hospitals or to hospitals already established.
      6. Construction of buildings for educational institutions, hostels etc.
      7. Establishing goshalas to look after cows and bullocks in their old age.
      8. Establishing public trusts and/or endowment for any public cause.
    • One more step that could be implemented is to discuss these subjects as a part of conversations within the family that clears these concepts to the younger generations.

    It is also in this phase that one may contribute to the educational, governmental and progressive systems by,

    • Facilitating teaching and learning within Bharatiyata, Islam, Christianity and communism.
    • Taking efforts towards preserving the identity of Bharatiyata through formulation of laws, security systems, etc.
    • Providing an aid in keeping away those people and associations with an anti-national viewpoint and helping those activities complementary and supplementary to the upliftment of the society.

    शैक्षणिककार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita in greater detail; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity and making people aware.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor and spreading awareness about these distinguishing factors through talks and writings.
    • Creating literature.
    • Starting classes for acquiring skill in various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting with the co-operation of the judicial system as per necessity.

    रक्षणकार्यम् ॥

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita in greater detail; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity and making people aware.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor and spreading awareness about these distinguishing factors through talks and writings.
    • Contributing to creation of literature.
    • Starting classes for acquiring skill in various forms of defence like Niyuddha, Danda yuddha and rifle shooting.
    • Forming security forces for sustained security of the nation.
    • In case of a Kshatriya, the principle of Akrodha and Kshama (two of the ten lakshanas of Dharma as given by Manu) is of great importance. Akrodha warns a Kshatriya against uncontrolled anger while Kshama suggests that the quantum of penalty must be in proportion to the gravity of the misconduct and should not be harsh. In today's parlance, it means that even when an employee commits a mistake, the employer's anger should not cross reasonable limits. And only in cases in which the misconduct is grave that the maximum or highest penalty should be imposed; for only then it is justified.

    पोषणकार्यम् ॥

    • The principle of Samvibhaga, requires that the employers must share the profit arising out of running any industry or business with the employees. In the case of a Vaishya, this principle is of great importance. If the principle of Samvibhaga remains uppermost in the mind of the employers and in the light of this principle they regulate their own life style and appropriate only a reasonable portion of the profit for themselves and distribute the profit among the employees, the relationship between the two would be cordial, and it would also promote a sense of gratitude among the employees towards the employers, which in turn increases the output of work both in quality and quantity.

    Apart from that, some responsibilities include,

    • Studying the Bhagavad Gita in greater detail; Studying the Kuran, Hadis, Old testament, New testament (Bible), etc.
    • Understanding Bharatiyata, Islam and Christianity.
    • Understanding that their difference from the Bhagavad Gita is their distinguishing factor.
    • Taking the financial responsibility of lectures, skill classes, publication of write-ups or any legal procedures in this regard.

    प्रौढं वार्धक्यं च ॥ Old age

    This is the stage of Vanaprasthashrama literally meaning, retirement to forest. It is nothing but life after retirement from profession and avocation (around the age of sixty). During this period, an individual was required to entrust the family responsibility to his grown up sons/daughters as the case may be, and to devote himself mainly to the service of the society. During this period, an individual was required to discharge his obligation to society, i.e., 'Manavaruna' to a greater extent by rendering various types of social services. In today's parlance, it refers to taking up Social service by giving up earning activity to the extent possible. That is, becoming a Social Worker. It is a stage of remaining in meditation and worship of God in the evening of life and giving advice and the benefit of one's experience to the younger generation. This stage of life is a reflection of devotion to divinity and humanity.

    In this phase too, one may contribute to the educational, governmental and progressive systems.

    • Facilitating teaching and learning within Bharatiyata, Islam, Christianity and communism.
    • Taking efforts towards preserving the identity of Bharatiyata through formulation of laws, security systems, etc.
    • Providing an aid in keeping away those people and associations with an anti-national viewpoint and helping those activities complementary and supplementary to the upliftment of the society.
    Some of the responsibilities of this stage are as follows:
    • The youth filled with enthusiasm should take initiatives. However, those initiatives should be bold and not overconfident. Guiding them in this regard, is the responsibility of the elderly.
    • Taking care of all the administrative and backend responsibilities.
    • Playing the role of a social caretaker.
    • Restricting one's responsibility to being an adviser.
    • Taking efforts, according to needs, in such a way that, the youth benefit from one's experience.
    • Guiding the youth and householders of one's Varna.
    • And building strength behind all National efforts in this regard.

    विषयसारः ॥ Summary

    The initial stages of शैशवम्, बाल्यम् and किशोरावस्था see the development of conducive mind set. It is adviced to get the dharmashastras and the Bhagavad Gita learnt by heart in this stage. In these stages the habits of the parents are emulated. It is in the यौवनम् that an understanding of responsibilities develop. At this stage, texts appropriate at this age are to be made available. And गार्हस्थ्यम् is the stage that has the responsibility to learn and teach. It is also essential to understand that स्त्री and पुरुषः are same at the psychological level. It is the nature of behaviour that is different.

    In the initial stages, parents are advised to observe the child, having understood one's own Varna Dharma and then chose appropriate games, songs and stories. Varna is obtained based on the fruits of previous actions. The atmosphere is to be created based on the observation. This observation is to be continued through the गर्भावस्था, शैशवम् and बाल्यम्. Other important activities include practice of Sanskrit conversation in a disciplined fashion, collection and rendition of stories, pictures, dramas and games based on respective Varna. There should be a reflection of lokasangraha (integration) in the stories and games. In all the stages from शैशवम् to यौवनम्, discussions on the Ramayana is encouraged. One is advised to have conversations of the Ramayana in बाल्य and किशोरावस्था and those of the Mahabharata beginning from the किशोरावस्था. In the किशोरावस्था and यौवनम्, there is need for guidance towards one's responsibilities (दायित्वम्). It is the responsibility of a गृहस्थ to give birth to a generation better than oneself and to nurture a feeling of collective social responsibility so that no action goes against the society.

    This entire exercise will bring to our attention that in this Curriculum of life provided by the Bharat's tradition, the subject matter covered will total up to give us a coursework for all stages of life beginning with the गर्भपूर्वावस्था to वृद्धावस्था.

    References

    1. Taittiriya Upanishad, Shikshavalli, Anuvaka 11.1
    2. 2.0 2.1 Ganganath Jha (1920-39), Manusmrti (Vol.7), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.
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