Ramayana and the Mahabharata

The crown jewels of Hindu mythology are its two grand epics, Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These reflect Vishnu’s incarnations as Rama and Krishna. Both epics are literary masterpieces containing a wealth of history, legend, philosophy, and ideology. They are post Vedic works considered smiriti or recollection rather than sruti or revelation.

The Ramayana was composed by Valmiki, a bandit turned saint and poet. Lord Brahma inspired him to write the Ramayana, a dramatic poem consisting of seven books divided into five hundred stanzas and 24,000 verses. It is believed to have been recorded about 500 BCE or earlier. The story is an intricate one with a large cast of characters including gods, demons, humans, super humans, animals, and birds who personify good, evil, or both. The well-developed characters act out their karma with elegance and might. The master plot containing intricate subplots takes many twists and turns and contains many diversions designed to keep its listeners riveted to every adventure and full anticipation up to the very end.

—Excerpt from On Hindusim, by Irina Gajjar

Read more from Irina at www.irinaspage.com.

 

God Is God’s Home

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In the last verse of Chapter 14 of the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, states:

I am Brahma’s home.

I am everlasting and unchanging.

I am unending goodness and unending joy.

Though these few beautiful words are open to interpretation, they embody an important concept: Lord Krishna is the home of Lord Brahma. How is this true?

Hindu Scriptures teach that Lord Brahma, the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the Preserver and Lord Shiva, the Destroyer all emerge from Brahman, the idea of an unfathomable God, beyond the grasp of humankind. This momentous idea gives rise to more easily imaginable ideas about more fathomable aspects or forms of God. The invisible, unimaginable, all powerful and all knowing Brahman is the source of Lord Brahma. Brahman is the first idea, the origin and hence the home of Brahma, the Creator.

Thus, we see how the notion of God led to the visualization of God and how an extraordinary superhuman concept has empowered human devotion, thought, and action throughout living memory

See The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture by Irina Gajjar.

God’s Three Acts

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Act One – Brahma, the Creator

While God is beyond human understanding or perception, Hindu scriptures have conceptualized the force that gave rise to our universe. When God sleeps the universe disappears and when He wakes, it appears.

Brahma is Act One of on the drama that creates the universe. Lord Brahma, the Creator, lights the spark of existence at His pleasure.

See On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar