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July - September 2023

Maithreem Bhajatha – The Lofty Ideals Of The UN by Naatyaachaarya V.P. Dhananjayan

MAITHREEM BHAJATHA, compiled By Pujyasri Kanchi Mahaswami Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi in Samskritam couplets and rendered by Bharataratna M.S.Subbalakshmi at the United Nations General Assembly New York in the year 1966, is an everlasting chant which should be included in the curriculum of educational institutions of the member countries of the UN. The chant says:

  1. Cultivate friendship which will conquer all hearts.
  2. Look upon others as yourself.
  3. Renounce war, forsake competition.
  4. Give up aggression on others which is wrong.
  5. Wide mother earth, our mother is here ready to give us all our desires.
  6. We have the Lord – our Father – compassionate to all.
  7. Oh! people of the world restrain yourself, give and be kind to all.
  8. May all people be happy and prosperous.

We wish the member countries of the UN explicitly follow this charter to bring peace and prosperity to the entire world.

Aarsha Samskriti promulgated and inculcated the human value system embedded in the Vedic tradition. Our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi often said that Bharatam lives in our villages even though he had his higher education (Barrister ) in England. The English language has united us in many ways but distanced us from the basic value system embedded in our meaningful traditions, customs, rituals and practices prevalent in a common cultural lineage that runs in the veins of people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Many such traditions and practices are cast aside as superstitions. Modern education failed to make our young generation after Independence understand the values and their scientific effects prescribed and proven by the great scientists and visionaries known as Rishis or great sages who gave us the Vedas, Puranas, Ithihasas full of everlasting knowledge and wisdom. The latest in this kind of scripture was left behind by Satguru Shankaraacharya Chandrasekhara Swamiji – Kanchi Paramacharya in his “Daivathin Kural”. Reading of this scripture will expel all kinds of notions that modern education has infused in the minds of the growing generation of Bharatam. Like Thiruvalluvar’s “Thirukkural ” ‘Daivathinkural’ has answers to every question on customs, rituals and meaningful practices. Though Gouthama Buddha shunned Vedic rituals, he failed to go deep into the Rishis’ justifications for them. The UN charter closely follows Gautama Buddha’s eightfold paths. We should at this point understand that Buddha did not found a religion, and his tenets implicitly followed the Sanathana dharma a non religious universal theory of coexistence of love and nonviolence. Later his disciples and followers only created the so called religion Buddhism.

In these times of pandemic and panic, people are suddenly awakening to the practice of rituals and prayers. Faith suddenly helps us to tide over pandemic panic. The sacred secrets of customs and traditions are shrouded by mystery to the youngsters. Some of the present generation may be casually familiar with the concept and practice, such as Aalayamani (temple bells), lighting the lamps at home and temples and churches and other places of worship, blowing conch, performing Yagas, Yagnas, Homa or sacrificial fire, etc. All these rituals have great significance and natural and scientific effect on the environment. Scientifically tested results are seldom made known to people by value based education or by media. In today’s scenario, the media is interested only in sensational news and fake political and other irrelevant matters that bring revenue to them. For their commercial success media is kindling the base instinct of the human mind that gives momentary sensation or pleasure out of negativism and fails in its basic responsibility and duty of giving the r ight kind of education, enlightenment and spiritual entertainment.

Octogenarians like myself have childhood memories of listening to conversations between scholarly elders in the village or bed time stories on the hidden significance of temple rituals, pujas , marriage mantras and so on. I can still remember them but I am unable to pass them on to my urban grandchildren. Unfortunately they have no time, burdened as they are with the pressures of a school curriculum clubbed with the modern gadgets which keep them occupied throughout. Now the panic pandemic lockdown has further deepened the situation of isolation and online classes.

Fortunately for me, being a Naatyaachaarya, I could create occasions to pass on these sacred secrets to my students through naatya practice while explaining the in depth meaning of old literary songs inherited as naatya repertoires. So my attempt here is to request all modern educational schools, colleges and universities to give importance to value based education to lead the younger generation into spirituality to instill good character and conduct.