Author Topic: Ancient Tamil books in English  (Read 24336 times)

Nagaraj

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 07:40:35 PM »
Sri Bhashyam is a commentary of Brahma Sutras by Sri Ramanujacharya. Sutras or thread or Aphorism of Para Brahmam.

The Vedas and Upanishads were neatly categorized by Badarayana or Vyasa or Krishnadvaipayana (He is known by these names) Before he categorized the Veda, upanishads etc... the great sages of the yore even before Vyasa, Vashishta, Vishwamitras. It was a time when there was no written record, teaching was only by listening to their Guru. these great sages transfered from generations to generations the sutras or Aphorisms of Brahma Gnana. They are very very abstract aphorisms and are the root of the entire Vedas themselves. Vedas themselves are birthless, Brahma Sutras are considered the roots of the Vedas.

Greats like Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka and few others have written commentary on Brahma Sutras. It is so abstract that it is capable being interpreted in multiple ways. These commentaries were supported with evidences from Upanishads by Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva etc...

The very fact that it is capable of being interpreted in multiple ways viz. Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, Dwaita proves that ultimate truth can be attained by any of the interpretations!

Sri Ramanuja wrote a commentary on Sutras to as a proof(study) his system of doctrine Vishishtadvaita like Shankaras Advaita.

proof or study here to find out what the Brahma Sutras say finally? do they really convey what the student has understood from the Vedanta!

Shankara through his study of Vedas, understood Advaiata Bhava and through his study of the Sutras, he found that the Brahma Sutras too conveyed the same doctrine of his Advaita

Ramanuja through his study of Vedas, understood the Vishishtadvaita(Qualified Advaita) and through his study of the Sutras, he found that the Brahma Sutras too conveyed the same doctrine of his Vishishtadvaita

Similarly, Anandatheertha or Madhvacharya his doctrine Dvaita

No study of Vedanta is complete without close examination of these Brahma Sutras. They are also called as Nyaya Prasthana or logical standing point of Vedanta.

Nagaraj
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 07:55:06 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

karthikeyan M

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 11:10:08 PM »
Thanks Nagaraj for the post, but my question was

SRK Math book on Sri Ramanuja, I read the book, but in some sections the book comes heavily against Siva. Have you read the book.


Nagaraj

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 08:56:40 AM »
Dear Karthikeyan,

I have not yet read the book on Sri Ramakrishna published by RK Math. However I have read the story of Sri Ramanuja from different sources.

Sri Ramanuja's reforms were rather too strong for his time. Admitting women and all castes in the maTams. He questioned the authority of Adi Sankara's maTams. There indeed was a lot of ideological opposition. Also he was not prepared to sign the declaration that "nothing is greater than Siva". The aazvaars accepted Siva, but accorded a higher status to Vishnu. Ramanuja considered naadhamuni, aaLavandhaar and the aazhvaars as his spiritual leaders.

Even among the Vaishnavites, there are two groups, one follow Vedanta Desikan of 13th Century and others Sri Ramanuja.

Since I have not read the book, to have a clear understanding, it would be great if you can share the exact text from the book on Sri Ramanuja so that we can investigate for our understanding

Nagaraj

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2009, 09:02:33 AM »
Dear karthikeyan. M

SRK Math as philosophy, approves only Advaita.  But Sri Ramakrishna's religious tolerance is well known.  He supported
all religions and sects.  Sri Ramakrishananda, who came to Madras
and started the Madras Math, the second in the whole world, after
Belur, wanted to know about Sri Ramanuja who is a Tamil scholar and visishtadvati.  Hence, Sri Ramakrishananada, read Sri Ramanuja's books and wrote a biography on him.  Sri Ramanuja's book naturally would consist ideas establishing Visishtadvata and also the Supremacy of Narayana.  Sri Ramakrishnanada is faithful to Sri
Ramanuja's philosophy while writing the biography. That is all.
Srimad Bhagavatam, written by Sage Vyasa, speaks about the supremacy of Narayana.  It says Narayana gave birth to Brahma and
Brahma gave birth to ten sons, one of them is Siva.  Sage Vyasa
is neutral.  That is why his Brahma Sutram, gives rise to interpretations by all the three great Saints.  Sankara, Sri Ramanuja
and Madhwa.  Sri Ramanuja's Brahma Sutra Bhashyam, naturally interprets Brahma Sutram, as per qualified non dualism.  Sage
Vyasa's Skandam, extols the supremacy of Skanda.  All devi slokas,
and devi bhashyam extols the supremacy of Uma.  This is not uncommon in Hindu philosophy.  Abhirami Andati says She is one,
and she became many.  That sums up the whole thing.  Sankara is
par excellent, because he extolled Advaita, Non dual Brahman.  But he also wrote numerous slokas on all the deities.  You should read Sri
Soundarya Lahari, of Sri Sankara.  He says that Uma, Sri Lalita Tripurasundari, is the greatest, and all gods including Siva, remain as four legs of her sleeping cot and Siva her bed!  Can you beat it?

Arunachala Siva.        

Nagaraj

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2009, 09:03:43 AM »
A little more to add from my previous post...

Sri Vaishnavas understand the Vedas to teach that Sriman Narayana is the Supreme Brahman, and that meditation and surrender to him is the only means to moksha.

The Tamil heritage of the Sri Vaishnavas also teaches them that Narayana alone is the supreme entity. With these as a background, the question of worshipping Siva as envisioned in temples and puraanas cannot even arise, since according to the Vaishnava tradition, Siva is not God as such.

This is somewhat contrary to the smaarta view that both Vishnu and Siva are merely subjective and ultimately false conceptions of the formless, undifferentiated Absolute.

According to me these differences arises form the doctrine stand point of view. Just like how Jesus is for Christians, Vishnu was to Vaishnavites, He is the only supreme God Vushnu is the only Brahman. Whereas from Shankaras stand point of view, Vishnu, Shiva are only representation or manifestation of the supreme reality or Bharman.

Nagaraj
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

karthikeyan M

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2009, 09:13:17 PM »
Thanks a  lot,

I have to admit, at the beginning I had little knowledge of siva and I was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Until the age 22 or 23 for the first time I visited Arunachala, got introduce to Siva and importantly with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi from there till now its no turning back (date: around 2004), honestly speaking it was Arunachala who made me to visit the Scared Chidambaram Temple.

An interesting incident occur in my life i want to share with you people.
We had our house shifted in 2007 August, while shifting there was a aluminum cast idol of Nataraja, while shifting I found this Idol and told my mother that let the idol be thrown or kept away in old house, my mother said it is siva and should be not thrown. Even at that moment I had no knowledge of ''Dancer of the Cosmos, the Lord of the Universe', NATARAJA.

Ok we moved to new house(rent), that same year December 2007 we visited Scared Chidambaram Temple, we went inside we were searching for main deity, we came across Lord Govinda, and asked for the main deity, an retired Professor made us to turn the otherside, suddenly all people lifted their hands up in salutation, and there was the Idol of Nataraja behind it was the Secret.

But all i can say now is that I pray both Siva and Vishnu likewise giving more to Nataraja.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The quest for me was to understand our ancient Tamil works on Hinduism through books.
But there seems to be many books.
I'm a tamilian but being brought up in Bangalore, can speak tamil but cannot write or read it. Yes one day i will learn soon.

Going by what Subramanian.R and Nagaraj post, it looks so complicated our Hinduism is. But for a common man hearing what Subramanian and Nagaraj words it is really difficult to understand and to accept which.

More confusion has got into me.

Siva Chidambaram

« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 09:16:01 PM by karthikeyan M »

Nagaraj

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2009, 12:18:25 AM »
Dear Karthikeyan,

I would say don't get too much into intellectual and complications in your efforts or sadhana. somehow I or we have landed here with so much study or readings. The reality is that there is no difference between you and me in spite of the complications and extra intellectual learning from my side.

At the end of the day, if you are successful in tears dropping from your eyes out of devotion Bhakthi, nothing is equivalent to that. Just be as you are. Don't get caught in too much intellectualisation as well. Don't let yourself be confused. discard what is confusing as poison and keep going. Even mine or our posts. I would even go further saying don't even bother knowing further the doctrines of Advaita or Dwaita or Visishtadwaita and all. Just shower love.

Swami Vivekananda has said:

It is a man-making religion that we want. It is man-making theories that we want. It is man-making education all round that we want. And here is the test of truth --anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, truth is all  knowledge; truth must be strengthening, must be enlightening, must be invigorating.

Keep it very simple, I have come to understand that love and loving others and above all FORBEARANCE is the ultimate realisation. thats what jnanis do. we should strive to relieve or help others of their pain, spread love. love is everything.

Thirumular has said all that needs to be told in 2 simple beautiful words the sum of all knowledge of all Vedas and scriptures of all religions. Refer to a post on Auvaiyar's Aathichoodi simple teachings in this forum. they make best set of principles anyone needs to follow.

Anbe Sivam Love, indeed is the all pervading God!

Truly there is nothing more to know at all even from Vedas or Upanisdhads or any other scriptures of the world.

As the saying goes:

PAROPARAKARYA PHALANTI VRIKSHAH -    The trees bear fruits to serve others.
PAROPAKARAYA VAHANTI NADYAH -             The rivers flow to serve others
PAROPAKARAYA DUHANTI GAVAH -               Cows give milk to serve others.
PAROPAKARTHAM IDAM SHAREERAM -           This human body is meant to serve others.


We should never forget these in our life and even in our spiritual quests, we may tend to get lost in our search by forgetting our real purpose (above)

Paropakaram is the beginning and the end of all knowledge and even Self Realisation.

This body is not ours so it is only for Paropakaram

Nagaraj
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 01:04:27 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

karthikeyan M

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 10:38:40 AM »
Thanks

Going by the posts,
Should I completely stop bothering about the books as Nagaraj quotes and go ahead with simply love to god.

There arose a confusion in one of the posts, a post quoted Sankara stating Siva is one of the names of vishnu then the main thing what made the greats to divide gods, did it happen based on the rich and poor.

But again if one comes across these great people it will certainly make them to know what they preached, why our Bhagavan Ramana himself has written many books, so if i come across Ashram book stall i will quite get one.


My objective is to know what is Advaita or Dwaita or Visishtadwaita in simple terms, please
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 10:40:32 AM by karthikeyan M »

munagala

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2009, 01:09:06 PM »
Read books until your goal is clear and path to the goal is clear. Dont worry about advaita, vishishta-advaita , dwaita etc
They all talk about the TRUTH from different standpoints.

Don't worry about Siva or Vishnu as there are conflicting opinons about them in our ancient texts.
Each and every sect in our land praise the deity they worship and regard them as the ultimate.

God is formless.

Ramana Maharishi
1. always asked people to find out who they were instead of solving the riddle of siva or vishnu.
2. did not encourage reading books for ever. Books have a purpose but there is no use reading them for ever
3. did not encourage comparison between paths, gods and books etc

The idea is to still your mind. If you enter into comparisons, analysis of various paths then it defeats the very purpose.
I too was confused as you are. I got clarity after reading few book.
I have stopped reading any more books or getting into philosophical discussions.

To me "Talks with Ramana maharishi", "Who am I?", "Tripura Rahasya", "Yoga vashista" are the Bibles.
I keep reading them whenever i get time to re-jevenate my fire of self-realization.

hope this helps.

Regards,
Sambu

Nagaraj

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2009, 02:40:24 PM »
To know what is Advaita or Dwaita or Visishtadvaita is to know your Self. So why not find out your Self first and then you will know what is Advaita, Dwaita or Visishtadvaita. Bhagawan Ramana says first find out who is it that wants to know what is Advaita, Dwaita or Visishtadvaita.

Who is the enquirer?

Nagaraj
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

silentgreen

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Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita, Advaita
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2009, 09:43:12 PM »
Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita, Advaita

In short,
Dvaita --> Devotee feels God is separate and worships God as a master.

Vishishtadvaita --> Devotee feels God is whole and he is part of God.

Advaita --> Devotee merges in God completely and no separateness remains.


Here is a puranic story which shows that all the three ways of connecting to God can exist in the same devotee:

Once Ramachandra, God-incarnate, said to his great devotee Hanuman,
My son, tell Me in what relation you regard Me, and how you meditate upon Me.

Hanuman replied:
O Rama, at times I worship Thee as Purna, the undivided one.
Then I look upon myself as an Amsa, a part, a fragment as it were, of Divinity.

At other times I meditate upon Thee, O Rama, as my Divine Master and think of myself only as Thy servant.

When however, I am blessed, O Rama, with Tattva Jnana, or true Knowledge, I realise that I am Thou and Thou art I.



Om Shanti ..
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2009, 10:03:14 AM »
Dear karthikeyan. M.

There is no need for confusion.  Bhagavan Ramana has used one
simile.  There are toffees.  Some are green, some are yellow, some
are red.  Each child likes one particular colour and shape even though sweetness is same in all.  And that is the simile which you should keep in mind, while praying to your god, your ishta devata.  All are one.  The only other thing is:  You should not dislike or hate the other toffees, because some other child likes it!  Do not hate other gods. 
You pray to your chosen deity and then do meditation and self enquiry.  All gods merge in the Self within.

Arunachala Siva. 

karthikeyan M

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2009, 06:21:47 PM »
Thanks for the post,
I have got book on Periya Puranam from Ramana Ashram Library.

Subramanian R you have posted a numerous quotes and stories of Naynamars. I have readed Periya Puranam, but comparing my knowledge from the book to you, What you have known is more in detail. so are there any books on Naynamars and Alwars.

Thanks

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ancient Tamil books in English
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2009, 10:32:59 AM »
Dear karthikeyan. M

The English prose rendering of Periya Puranam published by Sri
Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, is by one Rangachari.  The original
sources are Tiru Thondar Thohai by Sundaramoorthy, which lists all the 60 (the remaining three being Sundarmoorthy himself and his
mother and father). This is part of his own composition which comes
under Book VII of Saiva Canons.   A slightly more elaborate Tamil composition is Tiruthondar Tiruvandati, by Nambi Andar Nambi, which comes in Book XI of Saiva Canons.  A good prose version in Tamil is by
Kripananda Variayar titled Sivan Arut Selvar.  I go by original
Tamil verses of Periya Puranam, by Sekkizhar, which is Book XII of
Saiva Canons.  This is a composition of about 4500 delightful verses.

The English version of Rangachari and Tamil version of Kripananda
Variyar would serve the purpose.  The Tamil book is published by
Vanadhi Padippagam, T Nagar, Chennai 600 017.

Arunachala Siva.