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Moral Classes

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on October 17, 2008

When I was in the school, we used to have a one hour class every week called “Moral Class”. We used to look forward to that class as that was when no boring subjects were taught. A teacher will come to tell us stories, give us story books from the school library to read in his class or ask us to take turns to tell a story to the class.

The only criteria for all the stories that were told or given to be read was that it should have some moral and instil a sense of morality in the young minds. So that the student grew up with good values imbibed and the country in turn got good citizens who have high moral values. A strong and far sighted view.

Once you have the people with high moral values in the society, it is easy to get honest husbands, wifes, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants and politicians.

When I look back and think about those classes I note that a majority of moral values and good attitude that I have today were shaped by those classes and stories that I heard.

It also makes me think that they were too few to make a strong and sound impact. The fact that the moral classes and inpartation of moral values were inadequate is very evident when you look at the society around you, including yourself. We have too few morally strong people around us. All of us sacrificy morality and honesty at some area or other. If it gives some monetory gain we are prepared to do that.

However, the little amount of moral values inculcated in us do come out time and again as we do not intrinsically like dishonesty. We do not want to be one, but we are pushed to that by the larger society. It is the society that has grown up with lower level of moral orientation that forces one to disregard the moral values. I think that no one, including the politicians whom we think are most corrupt and have no moral values, do not want to be that way.
We all crave for a morally strong socieity and that thought keeps coming out in some form or other. Take for example the many emails that we receive, with some moral story, as forwards from our friends and relatives who in turn received it from their friends and they from their friends and so on.

These emails get forwarded because each one who read that story considered that it is a nice story, it contained a nice message. The person forwarding the message was impressed by the good message in that story and that story made an impact on that person. And he considers it a good thing to share the good message with his friends and relatives so that they are also enriched with that good message or thoughts.

If you think about it deeply, the spreading of these good messages emanate from a desire that we all have. A desire to have a better socieity. A society with stronger moral values. A society with an improved degree of honesty and trust.

If the small amount of moral dose that we got in the school prompts this small activity what impact it would have had if only we had lesser 10 minutes less of Maths, Science, English and History in each school day and added those minutes to moral classes?

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I was inspired to write what you read above on reading the story below that I got on email from a friend.
A blind girl hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.

She told her boyfriend “If only I could see the world, I will marry you”.

One day, someone donated her a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she could see the world. She could see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, “now that you could see the world, will you marry me?”

The girl looked at her boyfriend. He was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of living with a blind man for the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote to her a note that said “take good care of your eyes dear. Before they were yours, they were mine”.

This is an example of how human brain works when there is a change in the status. Very few remember what was life before and who was with them during the painful times.

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Sri Sudharsanashtakam

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on January 20, 2007

In the Hindu religion there are several beliefs with several more slokas and mantras for different purposes written centuries ago.

Many of these works were by saints from South India who were great poets and writers besides being devoted to the supreme Lord.

One of them was Sri Vedanta Desika. To read about Sri Vedanta Desika click here

We know the power of the Wheel in the modern world. In fact, Wheel is considered as one of the most important inventions of the world. With the advent of the wheel other inventions followed that used the wheel. Just look around and see in how may different forms the Wheel or the wheel structure surrounds you.

Interestingly, in Hindu religion, wheel finds a very important place and is worshipped as the Sri Chakra of Lord Vishnu.

Sri Vedanta Desika wrote 8 wonderful slokas in praise of the Sri Chakra, called the Sudarsanashtaka.

To download a PDF version of this sloka for daily recital click here
To download an MP3 version of this sloka for daily hearing and learning click here

I have been searching the net to get the meaning of these slokas as I have been fascinated by the verse and the rhythm of the sloka. I am sharing the same for those who get interested to read the meaning after having read / heard the slokas.

SudharsanAshtakam-The Eight on Sudarsana

Sudarsana-ashtaka is a stotra in eight verses on Sudarsana, the Discus (Cakra-aayuda). He is one of the chief Ever-free Angels who is of great help to Bhagavan in His fight against the Asuras. His greatness is sung by Vedic Texts like Satapatha-Braahmana and adored by Brahma, Rudra and Indra (2). He is endowed with the six qualities (4). He is installed in the idol form in the mystic symbol of a wheel (cakra) with his six spokes and is meditated upon by a six-lettered Mantra (7). In the concluding phala-sruti sloka (8).

Sri Desika declares that even if our mind chariot runs on uneven terrain, we will be protected by this Discus. (Sudarsana)

The one extra-ordinary feature of the entire Stotra is that all the eight slokas are in a very rare meter ‘Dhrithi-e-candas’, by name; there are at least eight addressed to Sudarsana in every sloka praising his all-round power and greatness. The last quarter of all the eight slokas has the same words in the form of a refrain. “Jaya jaya Sri Sudarsana”-Hail, Victory to Sudarsana.
Also furnished below is the Translation of Sri SudharsanAshtakam by Sri V Satakopan Swamin posted few years ago: [Thanks to him for his permission]

Swami Desikan chose the ‘dhrithas’ chandas as a meter for the 8 verses praising Sudarsana. He chose the ‘aupachandasikam’ meter for the phala-Sruti sloka. Both these meters hint at the the Vedic roigin of Sudarsana as indicated by Swami Desikan in one or more verses of this Stotram.

Verse 1:

O Sri Sudarsana! All the enemies of your Lord’s devotees run away fearing your prowess. All auspicious attributes find their home in you. Those , Who worship you cross the ‘shoreless’ ocean of Samsara and free themselves from their cycles of births and deaths. The entire Universe is stabilized by your mighty power. You cut asunder all the sins of those who approach you as their refuge. You bless all of your devotees with the knowledge about the righteous conduct prescribed by the Vedas. O Lord Sudarsana of these auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 2:

O Sri Sudarsana! You are resplendent as a precious decoration on the hand of Sriman Narayana, who has the universes as His body. Through your grace, Devas are freed from the fear caused by the Asuras. Indra and Brahma always worship you. The Satapatha Brahmana belonging to Sukla Yajur Veda hails your glories and pays its tributes to you. The scholars of this universe seek your help to overcome their contestants . Ahirbudhnya Samhita states that Ahirbudhnya (Siva) worships you and sought the boon to see your beautiful form with His own eyes. O Lord Sudarsana of illustrious attributes! Hail To Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 3:

O Lord Sudarsana! You shine like the resplendent assembly of lightnings. The bright tongues of flames surrounding you appear like a cage (home) for you. The forms of Vasudeva, Sankarshana and other vyuha murti-s find their positions around your geometric form (yantra). Even the scholars with sharp intellects stumble, when they try to understand the full extent of your glory. It is a beautiful sight to see the sixteen weapons of yours resting on your hands to serve you. You are dedicated to come to the rescue of those ,who seek your protection . O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious attributes! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 4:

O Lord Sudarsana! The Righteous people have firm attachment to your holy feet. The Six Kalyana Gunaas — Knowledge, Power, Strength, Wealth, Heroism, and effulgence– find their natural home in You. The Vedas have firmly established Your glory in their many sections. Like your Lord, You have the forms of para and vyuha. You cut asunder the fear caused by the foes of Indra, the foremost among your devotees. You were responsible for the burning down Kashi, the city of Siva to ashes. You stood at the tip of Siva’s arrow, when He was engaged in the campaign to destroy Tripuraasura. O Sri Sudarsana Of such Kalyana Gunas! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 5:

O Lord Sudarsana! You arrest the growth of the evil-minded Asuras and destroy them down to their roots. You are like the resplendent Sun banishing the dark night of Samsara, which bedevil your devotees. You Overcome any and every act of deception practised by the Asuras. You remove every shred of false knowledge that invade the minds of those ,who seek refuge in you. The Devas celebrate Your heroic deeds and experience joy in witnessing Your powerful actions. You revolve and rotate in many ways in your battles against the enemies of Your devotees. May Thou with such auspicious attributes prosper further! Hail to Thee! Hail To Thee!

Verse 6:

O Lord Sudarsana! You give darsana to us with Your dynamic gait of One foot placed forward in movement and the other rapidly following it. Your position in that gait is beautiful to behold. You are surrounded by Your magnificient and fearsome weapons. You are the conqueror of Powerful illusions (mAyA) caused by Asuras. You are not therefore affected by their acts of Mayaa. You are decorated with many beautiful flower garlands that add to your natural beauty. You are firmly bound in the warp of your great compassion for your devotees and bless them , when they worship You through Your Yantra and Mantra. O Sri Sudarsana of such auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 7:

O Lord Sudarsana of many prime qualities! The wealth of the righteous is their true knowledge about Your Lord. You Bless them with the unperishable wealth of Moksham, When they seek refuge at Your holy feet. Those who recite Your mantra made up of the six letters (aksharas) gain incomparable wealth. Your devotees (upaasakas) invoke You in Your yantra of six corners formed by two intersecting triangles and worship You at its epicenter. You pervade and reside in all the creations of Your Lord. You have the power to complete all deeds that you decide to undertake. You are thus a satya sankalpa and serve as the divine Kalpaka tree granting all the boons that your devotees request. O Sri Sudarsana! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 8:

O Lord Sudarsana, the eye of the Universe! You are of the form of the three Vedas. You are of the form of the three fires — gaarhapatyam, Ahvaneeyam and dakshinAgni — of the Yagaas. You are of the delectable form of true knowledge! You have the power to accomplish every deed. You have taken the form of the Universe and its contents. You are woorshipped thru the sacrificial rituals of your devotees. In return, You destroy the fears and diseases of those, who worship You from all directions. O Lord Sudarsana of auspicious qualities! Hail to Thee! Hail to Thee!

Verse 9: Pala Sruthi

Dwichatushkamidam Prabhoothasaaram patathaam Venkatanayaka Praneetham Vishamepi Manorata: Pradhaavan na Vihanyeta Rataangadhuryagupta :

Those, who recite this Stotram consisting of 8 verses in praise of Sudarsana composed by Venkatanatha known as Vedanta Desikan comprehend the deep references to the glory of Lord Sudarsana will have the fulfilment of all their wishes.The Boon-granting powers of Lord Sudarsana will make them realize all their wishes by overcoming all obstacles that stand in the way.

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