Gaurang Damani’s ‘Fifth Veda’ also offers location of places mentioned in the epics and scriptures on today’s maps
GN Bureau | January 15, 2022
Essence of the Fifth Veda
By Gaurang Damani
Divine Destination, 234 pages, Rs 350
‘Veda’ literally means ‘knowledge’. There are four of them, but Itihasa – that is, the two historic epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata – and Purana are collectively called the Fifth Veda. Whenever Gaurang Damani finds time from his entrepreneurial career and civic activism, he dips into this knowledge base, and here, in the first of a proposed series of works, he presents a highly readable collection of nuggets from the Fifth Veda.
Less a retelling of the famed stories, this selection of 44 articles under three sections is more an inquisitive reader’s guide to Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. The unique feature here is an exercise in locating places mentioned in these epics and scriptures on today’s maps. It thus gives a bird’s-eye view of India’s sacred geography.
The opening section, ‘Tirupati Balaji and Ramayana’, includes not only lesser-known legends like Maya Sita’s relation with Sita and God Tirupati Balaji, but also has a chapter devoted to ‘The Philosophy of Yoga Vasishtha’. The text, also known as Maha Ramayana, Arsha Ramayana, Vasiṣṭha Ramayana and Yogavasistha-Ramayana, brings together several strands of Indian philosophy. It is held to be an exceptionally great guide to spiritual liberation. Damani gives the reader a succinct summary:
“The text advocates four paths to moksha:
* Self-control meaning not delighting in pleasure and not getting distressed in pain, but resting the mind on the Supreme Soul.
* Spirit of inquiry wherein there is a constant asking of the question, ‘Who am I?”
* Santosha (contentment) which means there is nothing to acquire and nothing to reject
* Satsanga, the good company of holy men, is superior to charity, fasting, penances, rituals and pilgrimages.”
The second section is devoted to ‘Miracles of God Krishna’, also answering questions like why God Krishna has 16,108 wives. The third and final section is about ‘The World War Called Mahabharata’. In mere 21 chapters, it gives a good overview of the voluminous epic and also distills its life lessons.
Damani wears his deep and wide reading lightly and the writing is ever so reader-friendly. In his next work, he plans help the reader go deeper within, based on the prescribed Vedic path to happiness and spirituality. That would be anxiously awaited by curious readers.
For NCC, the Republic Day Celebrations (‘RDC’) this year – in the year of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh culminated’ –with the PM’s rally at Carriappa Parade Ground at Delhi Cantt on Friday. Cadets from 17 NCC director
COUNTDOWN Can India Rebound from the Meltdown of the Century? By Anshuman Tiwari and Anindya Sengupta Bloomsbury, 268 pages, Rs. 799
On January 29, the Governance Now a platform for analysis of public policy and governance from the house of Sri Adhikari Brothers will honour achievers with the Visionary Awards of 2021 in a virtual webinar attended by thousands of followers. Hon’ble Union Minister, Law and Justice, S
Why sanitation in budget 2022-23 is important? The upcoming budget 2022-23 will be of significant value as India is in the middle of the third wave of the pandemic. The budget presents an opportunity to aid the specific sectors of the economy to recover as well as combat the severi
The making of the Indian Constitution and its subsequent adoption on January 26, 1950 required the founding members to go through several pieces of the legal document that the country already had during the British rule, let alone the Constitution of other countries. Until 1857, these laws, although applie
President Ram Nath Kovind led the Nation in celebrating the 73rd Republic Day today as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. The celebration saw a series of new events conceptualised by the defence ministry during the main parade on Rajpath along with ‘Beat