Author Topic: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad  (Read 2415 times)

I

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raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« on: March 02, 2013, 08:41:05 PM »
i came across raikva the cart driver on a facebook page. this reminded me of the story i read when i was a child from the Amar chitra katha series. (God bless them for translating such stuff in to comics)

he seems to be a cart driver who is suffering from leprosy. he is a brahma jnani. he teaches the king janasruti about brahma jnana when the king overhears swans (or is it birds) talking about his greatness. the story goes that  the king offers many gifts including the hand of his daughter but the jnani says that gifts cannot buy you knowledge. when the king comes to him alone asking him to bestow knowledge, the jnani instructs him.

can you tell me where (any book, website) i can get this dialogue intstructing the king? has this teaching been explored in any of the ashram's books?

Regards
varun

Subramanian.R

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 12:10:36 PM »
Dear I,

you have to read it only in Chandogya Upanishad in full detail and enjoy it. Do not go for website link where they give only,
normally, abbreviated versions. The said Upanishad with some commentary is available in Sri Ramakrishna Math, at any center.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 04:28:10 PM »
Dear I,

I am giving you the detailed English rendering of Raikva story, as given by Swami Lokeshwarananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math.
The book is published by Sri Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta 700 029.  I have omitted the Sanskrit slokas,

The story comes in Ch. 4 of Chandogya.

Section 1.

1. In ancient times, here was a king  who was the great grandson of Janasruta.  He was a highly charitable person, who gave
many gifts in charity and always with due respect. He also had large quantities of cooked food for people. With the thought in
mind, 'People all over will eat my food', he had many rest houses built in different places.

There was once a king named Janasruti., who was the great grandson of Janasruta. He was a highly charitable person.  He not only
made large donations but whatever he gave he gave with love and respect. Everyday large quantities of food were cooked and he fed
many people. He also had the rest houses built all over his country.  He wanted people to come, stay in those rest houses, and enjoy
his food.

2. Once he saw some swans flying overhead at night. The swan flying behind called out to the one ahead: 'Hey! you short sighted one!
Didn't you see that the brightness of Janasruti has spread all over the sky like daylight? Beware you don't touch it. See that it does not
burn you.'

One evening the king was resting on the roof of his palace and he noticed a couple of swans flying above him in the sky. These swans
were actually sages or gods in disguise.  Just then the swan flying behind joked with the one ahead about the king, within king's
hearing.

3. The swan in front replied: 'Say, who is this person? From the way you are talking, one would think he is Raikva with the cart.' Then
the other swan asked: 'And who is this Raikva with the cart you are referring to?

What the swan in front meant was: 'This prince is a worthless fellow. He by no means deserves the honor you are paying him. You are
talking as if he had attained Self Knowledge --- as if he were a great person like Sayugva Raikva (that is, Raikva, who rides the small cart).'  But the other swan did not know who this Sauyugva Raikva was.

continued....   
             

Subramanian.R

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 04:40:09 PM »

continues.....

4. Just as in a game of dice, when a person wins the toss called krta he automatically wins the lower tosses also, in the same way,
whatever good work people do goes to the credit of Raikva. If anyone knows what Raikva knows, he becomes Raikva. This is how
I would describe Raikva.'

Krta is the highest number possible in a toss of dice, so it is said to include all the lower numbers within it. The swan says that Raikva
is a person like krta, because he includes within himself all the good things that other people do. He is the sum total of all that is good
in the world.  If anyone has the Self Knowledge that Raikva has, then he becomes the same as Raikva.

5-6. Janasruti Pautraayana overheard what the swan said.  He got up from his bed and the first thing he did was to ask his attendant,
(who was standing nearby): 'O child, can I be compared to Raikva with the cart? Who is this Raikva with the cart? What sort of person
is he?'   Then he quoted what he swan had said. 'Just as in a game of dice, if a person wins the toss called krta, he automatically wins the lower tosses also, in the same way, whatever good work people do goes to the credit of Raikva.  If anyone knows what Raikva knows, he becomes like Raikva. This is how I would describe Raikva.'

Janasruti was disturbed by what he swans had said about him.  May be he could not be compared with Raikva, but in what way did
Raikva excel over him?  Who was this Raikva with a cart?

Janasruti had a sleepless night. The next morning when he got up, the first thing he did was to question his attendant about this
Raikva. He wanted to somehow find out in what respect Raikva was superior to him.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 05:28:04 PM »

7. Janasruti asked his attendant to go and look for Raikva.  Having looked for him, the attendant thought, 'I can not find him.',
and returned to his master. Janasruti then said to him: "Well, why don't you go to places where brahmins are to be found ---
in forests and solitary places? Look for him there."

Janasruti's attendant looked for Raikva in many places, but obviously they were unlikely places, such as a forest or by the side'of a river,
It would be there that such a person would prefer to stay. So Janasruti asked the attendant to search in those places.

8. The attendant noticed a man sitting under a cart, scratching a rash on his body.  Sitting down close to him, the attendant asked ,
'Sir, are you Raikva with the cart?  The man answered, 'Well , yes, I am.' The attendant thought, 'I have found him,' and returned.

Section 2:

1.  Then Janasruti Pautraayana went to that place, taking with him, six hundred cows, a gold necklace, and a chariot drawn by mules.
He said to Raikva:

Hearing the report from his attendant, and thinking, that Raikva might be poor, and in need of money, Janasruti went with some
gifts to offer Raikva, so that Raikva would teach him,'

2. 'O Raikva, all these --- six hundred cows, a gold necklace, and a chariot drawn by mules --- are for you.  Please tell me about the god
you worship.'

3. Raikva said to him , 'You Sudra, the necklace and chariot along with the cows --- let all these be yours.,'  Janasruti left again and then'
came back --- this time with one thousand cows, a gold necklace, a chariot drawn by multes, and his own daughter.

Janasrurti was a Kshatriya, Why then did Raikva address him as a sudra?  Because Janasruti thought he could tempt Raikva to teach
him Brahmavidya, the Knowledge of the Brahman, through wealth.  He did not understand that a teacher does not care for money. A
teacher becomes pleased when a student renders him good service,

4.  He said to Raikva: 'I am giving you these thousand cows, this gold necklaced, this chariot drawn by mules, this daughter of mine to
be your wife, and also this village in which you live, Now, Sir, please teach me.'

Janasrurti offered Raikva many things, but most important, he offered his daughter in marriage and also the village where Raikva was
living.  The only thing he wanted in return was that Raikva accepted him as a disciple.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                                 
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 06:39:20 PM »

5. Lifting the face of the princess, Raikva said: You have brought me many things but they are not making me speak. It is this
face that is making me speak. The villages in the Mahaavarsha province, where Raikva lived were known thenceforth as Raikvaparna.
It was here Raikva taught Janasruti. Raikva said to him.

Raikva was a brahmacharin.  He had no house and he lived an austere life.  He had, however attained Self Knolwledge. When
Janasruti approached him for spiritual instructions, he was unwilling. He did not like Janasruti offering him wealth. This is why he
called him a sudra. But when Janasruti offered his daughter in marriage, Raikva was impressed by his keenness.  He then agreed
to teach him.

Section 3:

1. The space swallows everything. When fire is extinguished, it disappears into the space. When the sun sets, it disappears into
the space. And when the moon sets, it disappears into the space.

Earlier, he question of imparting spiritual instructions has been discussed. Here, how the instruction is given is being shown./ The
instruction begins with the forces of nature -- adhidaivata -- by stressing the importance of the space. Space can overcome everything,
including even the sun, the moon and fie.

2. When water dries up, it disappears into the space. The space swallows all these. This is the worship of the forces of nature.

This is to show that space is supreme. It can even destroy such a powerful thing as fire.

3. Next is the worship concerning the body. Prana swallows everything. When a person sleeps, speech, the eyes, the ears, and the
mind --- all these go into prana. Prana swallows everything and remains even during sleep.

When a person falls asleep, the sense organs stop working, They retire into prana, as if they have been swallowed by it.

4. These two swallow everything, space among gods and prana among organs,.               


continued....


Arunachala Siva.

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Re: raikva the cart driver from chandogya upanishad
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 05:33:46 PM »
Dear I,

This is a continuing story, which speaks about Sunaka, but  I am not sure whether it should be read with Raikva story.

Once Saunaka, the son of Kapi, and Abhiprataarin, the son of Kaksaseana were being served their meals when a brahmacharin
appeared and begged for some food.  They, however refused to give him any.

Saunaka and Abhiprataarin were having their meals and the cook was serving.  Just then a brahmacharin came to them
for some food. He was one who has attained the knowledge of Brahman.  Saunaka and Abhiprataarin, however, wanted to see
if the brahmacharin's knowledge was genuine, so they did not give him anything.

The brahmacharin said: One god has swallowed four sages.  Who is he who protects this world? O Kaapeya, O Abhiprataarin,
that god exists in many forms, but human beings cannot see him. The food is meant for him but you are not giving it to him.

Fire, the Sun, the moon and water --- these are said to be the four sages. Air controls all these, and air is called the god Prajapati,
Similarly prana is also the god Prajapati, and the sages are speech, the eyes, the ears and the mind.

After thinking this over, Saunaka Kaapeya went to the brahmacharin and said, 'He who is then self of all the gods and goddesses
the creator, of all things movable and immovable, who eats with golden teeth, who is intelligent, whom others cannot eat, who eats
things which are no food, whose greatness wise people think highly of -- O brahmacharin, we worship him' After this, he said,
'Give this man alms               
       .'
Saunaka told the brahmacharin: It is not correct that we do not know him. We do know hi. He is Prajapati. He creates and also
destroys everything. He is the self of all. And he is also the destroyer of all. He is the Supreme. All wise people worship him such.'

*****

Arunachala Siva,