As the evening rolls, a fireside book on Bhagavad Gita, translated by Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1980's
When Krishna spoke of his philosophy to his peers Arjuna, Yudhishthira, and his devotee Uddaloga, constraints such as religion and spirituality deterred not his speech. He spoke on what made sense - both in the worldly and the metaphysical universe.
The older Vedic order (much in need of reformation) was on the verge of disintegration, then crime was at its peak, morality was down to the pit. Krishna spoke of reformation. Vyas transcribed it.
The motivation to write on Krishna's philosophy today, is something internal which I find hard to explain through words; compounded with the scare of present digital cultural explosion that compels us to worship “the material,” superseding the most natural predisposition within us - a sublime connection to the divine. The essence of Krishna’s philosophy lies in its simplicity and reinforcement through building blocks of axioms to arrive at the complex.
Krishna network/ Krizn is a web-app-in-progress. Several years ago, I made my first effort with little success. Only after research and practice, and dispensing the nonessential words, I re-share the findings with you.
"In the form of a fish, when the flood of dissolution struck this world, with no effort did you clasp the revealed knowledge of the Vedas and kept them afloat."
Jayadeva ~1200 CE, Geeta Govinda (Sanskrit: गीत गोविन्द).
May the impeccable Mahabharata lotus,
That grows in gentle streams of Vyasa's words
Let it destroy the sins of the present Yuga
Of which Bhagavad Gita
forms an irresistible fragrance
So many tales of noble heroes and maidens
Lettered by a discourse on Lord Hari
Light’s nectar sought-after by a swarm of bees
Just like the joyous men of plenty
Mahabharata bestows on us the highest good
I salute my brother Lord Krishna
An embodiment of the Supreme Bliss
By his grace,
>even the mute speaks eloquent
And, the lame scales the mountains
I salute the burnished Veda lords
Bramha, Rudra, Varuna, Indra and Marut
Their glories proclaimed by us bards
Sung in verses and chapters of Veda scripts
Their limits unknown to hosts of gods and demons
Rig Veda is an ancient scripture in Sanskrit. These unwritten documents, communicated verbally for thousands of years contains the creative wisdom of 10 clans, each claiming their rights on a book. Rig Veda comprises 10 books ('mandala-s'). Clan and family members contributed to a single book. Around the same time, Sama and Yajur Veda adopted thousands of verses from Rig Veda. Sama added music and rhythm to the metrical verses. Founded on principles expressed as verses and poetry, Indic and neighboring civilizations thrived thousands of years back. With the advent of time, lost were the Rig Veda's importance to Vedanta and Upanishad texts. But Rig Veda occupied a special place in every philosophy that followed.
Rig Veda is ‘apaurashik’; it is not of human origin. Some of the original clan members heard the ‘riks’, celestial sounds which they interpreted into human mantras. Several mantras formed a ‘sukta’. The ‘sukta’ and its underlying mantras had a single author. A book was a compilation of many sukta texts from several authors of the same clan over many generations. A person who heard the ‘rik’ and spoke its interpreted mantra became a ‘rishi’. The rishi-s passed their valuable knowledge as an inheritable object to other clan members, faithfully reproduced till date over thousands of generations.
Sayan circa ~ 1300 CE of Vijaynagar (a large region in southern India encompassing Bangalore) completed the first written version in the Devanagari script along with his comments. His commentary on the Rigveda translated from Sanskrit to English by Max Müller, 1823-1900 became published then. Sayan's remained biased to his Mimansa teachings, though a majority of his peers contributed to his writings. The Sanskrit in Rigveda is unlike its current form. The language and syntactical layers are one of the oldest extant texts, that generated other Indo-European scripts.
Beyond religious beliefs
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Rig Veda 10.127 ra_trisu_kta (deciphered - University of Pennsylvania) The divine Night looks at many places with her eyes, she turns into myriads of beauties. [This sukta is recited at the sacrifice offered in the early morning by one who encounters unplesant dreams]