At the time of writing this preface, all news seems to be good news: Srimathiji Lara Dutta has been crowned Miss Universe 2000. Srimathi Dutta is a graduate and a model; with her Master's degree in Communication, she demonstrated her skills by claiming that such Beauty pageants gave women a platform to voice their choice and opinion and made them strong and independent. In this regard, Kena Upanishad affords us a precedent in that, recorded in about 600 BCE, a similar pageant was held when the most alluringly beautiful Uma Haimavati was chosen to instruct the devas led by Indra. Uma Haimavati, adorned with golden ornaments and most splendorously beautiful was declared the true Miss Universe.
It has been reported that the one-billionth citizen of India arrived on the 11th May, at 32 minutes past midnight. Strength lies in numbers, as politicians well know. Population policies need to be carefully planned and pursued, in accord with the directions of Hindu Sastras, and not responding to the pressures brought on by "modernity's cry for democracy".
Earlier, it was reported that India's nuclear capabilities have been recognised by the United States, following India's successful testing. It was finally conceded that in matters of defence and security, India was entitled to adopt her own policies independently of foreign intervention. It is about time, too. Significantly, one of the scientists engaged in this national undertaking, is reported to have claimed that absolute secrecy was maintained only because those who participated in this great national responsibility upheld the ancient tradition of Teacher-disciple relations as advocated in Guru Parampara Sampradaya. Hindu India has thus well and truly regained her Virya, as Kena Upanishad has it. For centuries and for reasons beyond her control, Hindu India has suffered Ojas Kshaya resulting from the dissipation of her Virya. It now seems as though the vital question the Yaksha asked in this Upanishad, Tasmin(s)tvayi Kim Viryam reverberated through the nation and by an act of pratyabhijna, the Hindu Samaj has finally succeeded in rehabilitating herself.
Last year, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Book University under its auspices published my monograph on Isa Upanishad-A study of the Universal Law from the Karma Mimamsa perspective. The present work in a number of respects may be considered its sequel: the interpretation issues from its Shakta perspective, Shakti signifying the Universal Law, Dharma. This work also seeks to restate the validity of Dharma, Sastras, of the Varnasrama organisation of Hindu Society and of the imperative of Sadachara. It maintains that exceptions should not be allowed to become the rule and the norm and that principles and practices and personalities should not be allowed to become the rule and the norm and that principles and practices and personalities should not be confused in seeking a true understanding of the Hindu Thought and socio-cultural organisation.
I with to record here a general acknowledgement, noting the valued data I have received from a number of scholars and writers on the themes discussed here, although I have adopted and adapted these to suit the objective of this study. I thank the Executive Secretary and Director of the Bhavan, Sri Ramakrishnan and Sri Sankarankutty of the Bhavan's Book University for kindly accepting this work of mine and presenting it to the Hindu Astika audience, who, I hope, will accept it as a valid interpretation and representation of the Shakta Perspective.
I record my thanks to Miss Lucy Laliberte of Buderim for kindly seeing the manuscript brought to its present format.
S. A. Sarma
Guru Poornima, 2000
About the Author:
Shuddhananda Sarma is a registered practitioner of Ayurvedic and Unani systems of Indian medicine. Since 1966 he has been living in Australia where he has founded his School of Oriental Studies dedicated to the dissemination of Hindu Vidya of its philosophical and socio-cultural traditions and the Hindu Way of Life. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1988 and is now completing his Master of Social Science (Honours) studies in World Politics and International Relations. He is 75, married and has three children.
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