The Saints and other Divine Personalities which India has produced are in thousands. There have been innumerable books or Indian saints and avataras on individual saints or avataras in separate books or about several of them collectively. This book is however different. In this, the author has selected sixty such saints, avataras and vibhutis and has given their life-sketches concentrating on three important aspects viz. Early life, Transformation and contribution to humanity. The author, to make the book an interesting reading has taken care to give certain important anecdotes in the lives of these great personalities. What is making the book really unique are the beautiful quotations from the teachings of these Saints, Vibhutis and Avataras after giving their life-sketches. The life-stories of these personalities and the apt quotations from their works and discourses give really a glimpse of the Indian Spirituality. An important and interesting aspect emerging from the life-stories and selected sayings of these great personalities is the fact that the innermost core of all them and all their teachings is one and one only and that it is : Love.
b. 26th April 1948, Maharajapuram Natarajan Krishnamani, had spiritual bent of mind even from his childhood under of his father's influence. He has his education in Rama Krishna Mission Boys' High School, Vaishnava college, Madras and Presidency College, Madras and Madras Law College. He was enrolled in 1971 and was designated Senior Advocate in 1992. He had a brief political-life between 1969 and 1975. During this period he was a trade-union leader too. Under the influence of Late Mr. Navajata, the then Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society he left politics and plunged into spirituality. The author was the President of DTEA running seven schools in India's capital. At present he is the Vice President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. The author's another book published by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan viz. "Bhajagovindam" was a popular one. The author's other books include: "Essence of Gita", "Premopanishad", "Divine Incarnation - A Mystery."
I have great pleasure to present this volume of Golden Jubilee of India's Independence Series of Rashtriya Sanskrit. Sansthan to our esteemed readers. The Volume verily' represents the goodwill and cooperation, the Sans than has all along been receiving from the distinguished scholars all over the country.
The Sansthan was established in October, 1970 as an autonomous apex body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India with a view to promoting, preserving and propaga ting Sanskrit learning in all its aspects, with special reference to the in-depth shastraic learning. Apart from conducting the regular courses of studies at the constituent Vidyapeethas, it has' been bringing out invaluable publications representing dissemination of knowledge contained in the various Shastras.
Thanks to the continued help, encouragement and support from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India that the Sans than has grown by leaps and bounds and has been able to render its services to promotion of Sanskrit learning at national and international levels. Sansthan has decided to bring out 50 scholarly monographs by eminent Sanskrit Scholars of different fields as part of the academic programmes being organised to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of India's Independence.
The present book Godly Men and their Golden Words deals with great personalities, saints, avatars, and vibhutis of India and their valuable preachings for the welfare of mankind.
We are highly grateful to Shri M.N. Krishnamani, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, a multi-faceted personality blessed with divine grace and specialised in varied faculties, such as Sanskrit, Philosophy, Music, Literature, Law etc. who has contributed this unique book for Golden Jubilee of India's Independence Series being published by Sansthan.
The services rendered by my colleagues specially by Dr. Savita Pathak and Dr. Viroopaksha V. Jaddipal deserve special appreciation who have been working day and night for planning and organising the various programmes connected with the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, particularly the publications of the Golden Jubilee Series. M/s Nag Publishers deserve 'our thanks for bringing out this monograph at a very short notice.
It is not possible for everyone in this busy world with a bulk of everyone's time being taken away by one's quest after one's bread and butter and a sizeable part of the rest being taken away by T.V., Radio, Cinema and other entertainment-oriented activities, with hardly any time left for spirituality, to devote time to read and understand the innumerable works of great Saints, Godlymen and Avataras. In the little time left with him, the 20th century man is generally disinclined to undertake reading of heavy spiritual works. For creating an interest in spirituality in a man steeped in material life, it is necessary to expose him first to light reading in spirituality. Depicting of the life sketches of spiritual personalities with their teachings in the form of catchy quotations is the easiest way to expose the modern man to light reading of spirituality. That is the attempt which is being made in this work.
Why should one turn to spirituality?
Spirituality is different from religion. Religion, in the usual sense is narrow and dogmatic. Spirituality is expansion. It really means a genuine search for Truth. It means self-realisation and the understanding by Man that he is really God! Even the word religion etymologically means (i.e. from the root words Re ligare) going back to the source. It simply means that which leads the creation to its Creator. Every religion, in its broad sense is really spirituality, .be it Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity or Islam. In this broad sense all the religions are preaching the same thing. This broader aspect alone makes them all religions. The dogmatic, ritualistic and narrow aspects of all the religions make them different from one another. That is why Jalaluddin Rumi said:
All great religions are essentially the same; they proclaim the same truth
There is an inner yearning in Man to know himself. Religion is the result of this yearning coupled with Man's curiosity about the origin of creations and his feeling of wonder upon seeing the marvellous creations of God. Even the world renowned scientists like Einstein have acknowledged the necessity of religion in the broad sense.
Science without religion is lame. Religion without Science is blind.
It is, therefore, necessary that man is enabled to know where he has come from and whither he is fast heading towards. Sri Aurobindo, based on his syn- thesis of the thoughts of our sages and rishis as gathered from the Upanishads, says with clarity and certainty that Man is an involute of the Divine principle which was the one without the second and which was all-pervading' and that he is fast evolving into the same Divine principle Sri Aurobindo says that in a few hundreds of years, we would have a new species of supramental beings far better than Man.M
The All-pervading Divine which was all alone, in the beginning, wanted to see itself in different forms. A portion of it became grosser and grosser for this purpose. The original Divine principle, which the Vedas and the Upanishads spoke of as Sat-chit-aananda i.e., Truth-Consciousness (knowledge) and Bliss, for easy understanding could be referred to as the supramental consciousness to use the language of Sri Aurobindo. The Supramental consciousness is the unmanifest ultimate Divinity. This is the most subtle phenomenon which man cannot even conceive of. It is subtler than light. By becoming grosser, a portion of the same Supramental Consciousness became Overmental of consciousness. This is the manifest Divinity. Then it became Higher mental consciousness, the devas. Then it became illumined mind. Then it became Intuitive mind. Then it became Intellectual mind. Then it became mind. Then it became vital. Then it became physical. Then it became matter. As it became matter, the material worlds consisting of thousands of Stars, the Solar System in which we are, the Sun, the Planets and the Earth on which we live were all created. This process by which a portion of the Divine became Earth and stone and the material worlds is known as Involution. Then started the process of Evolution. In this, from the inert matter emerged Life in the form of plants and trees! From Life emerged instinct in the form of birds and animals! From Life and Instinct emerged Mind in the form of Man! Now man, is evolving further and he' is fast becoming God-the Supramental again.
Naturally, to become God being the human destiny, in fulfillment of that destiny, a yearning is created in man for spirituality. Why this yearning arises and why this burning Love for God increases by and by in man is beautifully portrayed by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the following words:
It is part of human nature that man desires to reach the presence of the Almighty, see Him and be ever with Him, for deep within the human heart is the urge to reach the place from which he has come, to attain the joy he has lost, the glary which he has missed. Man is himself Divine and so it is a matter of the deep calling unto the deep, of the part calling for the whole, of the sky pot yearning for the sky surrounding it.
Concept of Avataras and Vibhutis
It is to enable the above process of evolution, and to put the whole evolutionary process in proper direction, Divine Incarnations come. The Divine principle itself comes down in human and other forms for this purpose. It came as Lord Rama, as Lord Krishna, as Lord Buddha, as Lord Jesus Christ, as Sri Ramakrishna, as Sai Baba of Shirdi and also believed by many to be our own contemporary as Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The Divine Incarnations are very rare. When the Divine which descends is apparently conscious of its Divinity, it is called an Avatara. When it suits its purpose not to be apparently aware of its own Divinity, it is known as Vibhuti.
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