Showing posts with label prayashchitta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayashchitta. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are The Yajnavalkya?


Yajnavalkya or "remembered" writings, a genre of literature that is significant but not as authoritative as the shrutis, or "heard" scriptures.

This smrti is attributed to the sage Yajnavalkya and is an example of a Dharma Shastra, which were texts that prescribed principles for proper human conduct and ideal social life.

Unlike the Dharma Sutras, which are attributed to identifiable individuals, the Dharma Shastras are usually attributed to mythic sages in order to strengthen the authority of these texts.

There are around a thousand verses in the existing text, split into parts on religious custom (achara), justice administration (vyavahara), and expiation (prayashchitta).

The Yajnavalkya Smrti was the subject of numerous commentaries, one of which, the Mitakshara, was given the status of a legal code for the greater part of India during the British empire.

Estimates on its date of composition range from the first to the sixth century, but it is clearly later than the Manu Smrti because some parts of the middle section are far more developed.

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Hinduism - What Is Surapana In Dharma Literature?



(“liquor-drinking”) In the dharma literature, one of the Four Great Crimes, the act of which rendered one a social outcast.

Although the name sura is often used to refer to "wine," it was formerly thought to refer to a specific sort of spirituous liquor derived from rice flour.

The most prevalent mandated penance (prayashchitta) for routinely drinking sura for members of the three highest social groups—brahmins, kshatriyas, and vaishyas—was to drink the same beverage boiling hot till one died.

Surprisingly, the shudras, the lowest socioeconomic stratum, are exempt from this punishment.

This distinction indicated their inferior social status, since they were not held to the same high standards as the "twice-born." 

Despite the high punishment for drinking sura, kshatriyas and vaishyas were allowed to consume other intoxicants without consequence, albeit brahmins who did so were required to do minor penances.

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Hinduism - Where Is Rishikesh In India?


Rishikesh  is a city and a holy location (tirtha) in Uttar Pradesh's Himalayan foothills.

Rishikesh is around fifteen miles up the Ganges River from Haridwar, India's holiest city.

Rishikesh, like many other places along the Ganges, is known mainly as a bathing (snana) destination, but it is also known as a haven for ascetics, notably at the ashrams in the region near Lakshman Jhula.

Rishikesh is also unique as a spiritual destination for having no specific charter myth.

According to legend, here is where the deity Rama kills numerous demons, allowing the sages to perform their offerings without interference.

According to another legend, here is where Rama does penance (prayashchitta) for slaying the demon-king Ravana.

In a third myth, Rishikesh is the location where a sage called Raibhya sees the divinity Vishnu.

Rama's brother Bharata is commemorated at Rishikesh's most renowned temple.

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Hinduism - Who Was Mitra Mishra?


Mitra Mishra (early 17th c.) is the author of the Viramitrodaya, a compendium of Hindu lore.

The Viramitrodaya is an example of a class of commentarial literature known as nibandhas (“collections”).

The compilers of the nibandhas culled references on a particular theme from the Vedas, dharma literature, puranas, and other authoritative religious texts, placing these excerpts into a single volume.

Each of the Viramitrodaya’s twenty-two sections is devoted to a particular aspect of Hindu life, such as daily practice, worship, gift-giving (dana), vows, pilgrimage, penances (prayashchitta), purification, death rites (antyeshthi samskara), and law; the final section is devoted to final liberation of the soul (moksha) (moksha).

In addition to citing the relevant scriptural passages, Mitra Mishra also provides extensive commentary of his own.

His work became an important source for later legal interpretation, particularly in eastern India.

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Hinduism - What Is Manu Smrti?


("Manu's Laws") One of the smrtis, or "remembered" texts, a subset of shrutis, or "heard" scriptures, that is considered significant but not authoritative.

This smrti is attributed to the sage Manu and is an example of one of the Dharma Shastras, which are texts that prescribe principles for proper human conduct and ideal societal behavior.

The Dharma Shastras are often attributed to mythological sages, bolstering their authority.

Manu's treatise is by far the most important of the Dharma Shastras, and it is thought to have been written just before the Common Era began.

Manu's book clearly distinguishes the Dharma Sutras from the Dharma Shastras, since it is clearly designed as a model for a whole society rather than a collection of rules for a specific brah min sect.

The first chapter describes the formation of the world and the social order that resulted; the chapter concludes by summarizing the remainder of the volume's contents.

The following five chapters use material from the Dharma Sutras to discuss the four primary social groupings (varnas) and the four phases of life (ashramas).

In chapters seven through nine, Manu's topics dramatically deviate from earlier sources.

The responsibilities of a king are defined in Chapter 7.

Chapters eight and nine deal with a variety of legal issues that may be brought before the monarch for decision.

Manu tries to categorize everything into eighteen categories.

These chapters cover a wide range of criminal and civil law, from assault and theft to contract law and marriage obligations, putting forth a legal foundation for society's stable government.

The subsequent chapters are a little less unique.

The tenth chapter examines the many occupations that members of various varnas might engage in during times of suffering (apaddharma), when conventional social norms are no longer applicable.

The eleventh chapter discusses donations to brahmins and expiation ceremonies (prayashchitta), as well as being true to the Dharma Sutras.

The last chapter of Manu's book is more abstract and theoretical, focused on the workings of karma and discussing the effects of different good and wicked deeds.

Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty and Brian K. Smith, The Laws of Manu, 1991, are two translations of the text.

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Hinduism - Who Is Considered A Mahapataka In A Hindu Society?

 ("Sinner Great") A person who has done one of the Four Great Crimes, namely murdering a brahmin (brahmahatya), stealing a brahmin's wealth (steya), consuming liquor (surapana), or engaging in adultery with one's guru's wife, according to dharma literature (guru talpaga).

These acts were so horrible that the perpetrator was ostracized from society.

Another indicator of the seriousness of these deeds was that their repercussions (prayashchitta) were so terrible that they usually resulted in death; in certain instances, death was directly ordered.

Apart from the real perpetrators, the dharma literature also imposed outcaste status for everyone who knowingly mingled with such individuals for more than a year.

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Hinduism - What Is The Notion Of Hells Or Hell In Hindu Spirituality?

Apart from the apparent physical domain, Hinduism believes there are many other levels of existence.

The hells are one of these parallel planes of existence, and they are said to be locations of retribution for one's previous transgressions.

Traditional Hindu traditions depict the hells in considerable detail, often tying specific punishments to specific sins.

Life in hell, like life in paradise, is ultimately temporary, but the period of punishment is often characterized as excruciatingly lengthy and agonizing.

Even yet, after the punishment period has passed and one's terrible crimes have been atoned for, one will be reincarnated in a higher form.

Naturally, birth in any of the hells should be avoided if at all possible, which is why individuals are encouraged to conduct penances (prayashchitta) for their crimes while they are still alive, so that the repercussions of their misdeeds do not burden them in their subsequent lifetimes. 

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