Showing posts with label Dakshina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dakshina. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Harishchandra In Hindu Mythology?


A ruler in Hindu mythology who is known for his honesty and sincerity.

He has become a metaphor for someone who patiently bears unfair hardship in contemporary Hindu society.

Harishchandra's sorrow stems from a long-running dispute between Vasishtha, his family priest, and Vishvamitra, the sages.

When Vasishtha praises Harishchandra's goodness, Vishvamitra becomes desperate to disprove him.

Vishvamitra, disguised as an elderly brahmin, conjures up a fictional son using his magical skills and convinces Harishchandra to agree to provide whatever is required for the boy's wedding.

Vishvamitra claims Harishchandra's kingdom when the time comes to repay this vow.

Vishvamitra expects the king to refuse this demand, yet Harishchandra fulfills it right away.

When offering a gift to a brahmin, Vishvamitra observes that it is traditional to give a gift of money (dakshina) and requests a considerable quantity.

To acquire the money, Harishchandra sells his wife (Chandramati) and kid into slavery, then sells himself to an outcast who employs him at a cremation yard, where he burns corpses.

Harishchandra's kid gets bitten by a snake and dies after undergoing these hardships for some time.

He doesn't recognize Chandramati when she delivers the corpse to be burnt.

He refuses to bury the kid until the cremation price is paid, claiming that doing so would deprive his master of his due pay.

Chandramati is unable to pay the price due to a lack of funds, and Harishchandra identifies her after hearing her lamentations, making him even more wretched.

The pair ultimately determines that the only way out of their pain is to commit suicide and builds a bonfire on which to burn themselves.

The gods come before them as Harishchandra is ready to fire the pyre, praising his righteousness and dedication to his promise, and Harishchandra's exiled teacher is revealed as dharma ("righteousness") incarnate.

Harishchandra's son is brought back to life, along with his kingdom, and everyone lives happily ever after. 


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Hinduism - What Is A Dakshina?

 

("fee of the preceptor") Gifts or payments paid to a teacher in exchange for their services. 

The dharma literature, or works on religious obligation (dharma), which suggest an idealized theory for the four phases (ashramas) of a man's life, is the prototype for this. 

The first stage is that of a celibate student (brahmacharin), in which the young man lives with his instructor and begins studying the Vedas, the earliest Hindu sacred writings. 

As a token of gratitude, the student would offer dakshina to his instructor at the end of his studies. 

In modern times, this pattern has been extended to other contexts, particularly the arts, and it has become customary for students to give gifts to their teachers on various occasions, especially on Guru Purnima, the full moon that occurs in June or July. 

Dakshina is always given in exchange for services, and thus is essentially "owed" payment for these services. 

It is a very different mode of exchange from dana in this regard (charitable giving). 

Dana creates religious merit for the giver, but the donor gets nothing in return. 



You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.