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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Devas and Humans are Inter-dependent - Maha Bharatha Series 85 (contd)

In one version, Narayana, (Brahman) creates seven rishis to uphold the Vedas. They follow Pravritti marga because they have to procreate and populate the earth. They are Marichi, Angirasa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasishta.

Narayana also created seven other rishis who were proficient in Samkhya and Yoga philosophies and followed the Nivritti marga. They are: Aniruddha, Sana, SanatSujata, Sanatkumara, Sanandana, Sanaka and Kapila.

Maha Bharata documents  Gnana marga (nivritti) and  Karma marga (pravritti). One can see the beginnings of Bhakti marga also because of the way Vishnu is elevated to the status of Narayana, a manifest part of the One Supreme Brahman.

In a subsequent section, there is a different version of the creation of creatures by Brahma and the way Narayana passed on the Vedas to all the rishis through Brahma (not Brahman). In this version, Brahma is born seven different times from Narayana’s breath, mouth, eyes, navel and ears. The Vedas get lost between each one of these origins of Brahma. In this description, three so-called “cults” are mentioned. They are Pancharatra, Vaikanasa and Satwaata. This is important because the current method of worship (agama?) of Vishnu is said to be Vaikanasa, the other two having disappeared.

Ancient Sanskrit texts classified all objects in this earth into two major classes:  sthavara (immobile) and jangama (mobile).  Immobile included jata (non-living such as rock) and jiva (living). One text in Mahabharata classifies living into 4 groups:  egg-born, womb-born, soil-born and plants. Padmapurana classifies all living entities into:  water-born, reptiles, birds, animals (pasu, mrga) and human (maanava). Plants and trees are also included. Mahabharata classifies plants under 6 categories – vrksha (tree), gulma (shrub), lata (creeper), talli ( same as creeper but with a thicker stem), tvakshra (bamboo) and truna (grass).

As I have mentioned elsewhere, one learns about many things about the ancient land and its geography, botany, culture and customs by reading sacred texts. Classification of living and non-living objects in this world and their sub-classification as noted above is a prime example.  This was millennia before Linneus started modern taxonomy.

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