Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Uddhava aand Uddhava GITA

Uddhava

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Uddhava (also known as Pavanayadhi) is a character from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, who is the friend and counsellor of Krishna the Avatar. He plays a significant role in the Bhagavata Purana, being taught the processes of yoga and bhakti directly by Krishna. The principle of these discussions is often referred to as the Uddhava Gita, similarly to the Bhagavad Gita wherein Krishna instructs Arjuna. According to some texts Uddhava was also Krishna's cousin, being the son of Devabhaga, who was the brother of Vasudeva, Krishna's father. His physical appearance was so like that of Krishna's that in some instances he is temporarily mistaken for the latter.

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[edit]Message to Vrindavan

In the Bhagavata Purana, after Krishna had defeated Kamsa, Uddhava came to see him, much to Krishna's pleasure. Krishna then requested Uddhava to visit Vrindavan with a message on his behalf to the Gopis and other residents of the village, who were missing his company. The content of the message and the feelings aroused by it when heard by the residents of Vrindavan constitute the highest understanding of love of God in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

[edit]Uddhava Gita

Krishna spoke the Uddhava Gita (also referred to as Hamsa Gita) to Uddhava shortly before he left the world in order to help console Uddhava after his forthcoming departure. It commences with Uddhava's perplexity after he saw the impending destruction of the Yadava community, in which Krishna was also born.

Uddhava was famous as devotee and a dear friend of Krishna but even he could not fathom why he had not prevented the destruction from happening. Brahma, the creator, and the celestials implored Krishna to return to his divine abode after the purpose of his descent was over.

Krishna then explained why the Yadavas had to be finished, "Made insolent by prowess, heroism and fortune, and inclined to take possession of the whole world, this celebrated race of Yadu has been kept in check by Me as the ocean by its shore. If I depart (from this world) without destroying the huge race of the Yadus, who have grown insolent the entire humanity will meet its destruction..." Greatly saddened by this Uddhava approached Krishna and beseeched him to take him also. In reply Krishna then expounds the Uddhava Gita.

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Hamsa Gita

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Uddhava Gita)

Hamsa Gita (Sanskrit) (also referred to as Uddhava Gita) consists of Krishna's final discourse to Uddhava before Krishna draws his worldly 'descent' (Sanskrit: avatar) and 'pastimes' (Sanskrit: lila) to completion. Though the Uddhava Gita is often published singularly as a stand-alone work, it is also evident in the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavata Purana commencing from verse 40 section 6 through to the end of section 29, comprising more than 1000 'verses' (Sanskrit: shloka) and is considered part of the Purana literature proper.[1] This discourse importantly contains the story of an Avadhuta and though it does not state explicitly the name of this personage within the section or the Bhagavata Purana as a whole, Vaishnava tradition and the greater Sanatana Dharma auspice ascribe this agency to Dattatreya.

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[edit]Manuscripts and textual notes

The names Uddhava Gita and Hamsa Gita are popularly interchangeable but Hamsa Gita also specifically denotes (xi. 13- 16) a subset of the Uddhava Gita and the Bhagavata Purana proper.[2]

[edit]Nomenclature, orthography and etymology

Hamsa Gita (Sanskrit) (also referred to as Uddhava Gita) where the hamsa is a metaphor for the Paramahamsa as well as a natural teacher of grace evident in Nature. TheHamsa (हंस, in Sanskrit and often written hansa) is a swan or goose, often considered to be the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), but is really the Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus).[citation needed] It is used in Indian culture as a symbol and a decorative element. The term 'gītā' (literally "song" in Sanskrit; Devanagari: गीता).

[edit]English discourse

Tigunait (2002: pp.39-45) render the narrative of the 24 teachers of Dattatreya in the Uddhava Gita into English.[3] Though the consensus of scholars hold the Bhagavata Purana to be a composite work of the oral tradition of many mouths, the Vaishnava tradition as well as the Bhagavata Purana itself uphold that it was scribed byVyasadeva.[4] That said, the narrator of the Hamsa Gita is the sage Shuka, son of Vyasadeva.[5] It is important to note that even if the work is composite, that it "...does not show the lack of cohesion or compactness that must mark the work handled by many writers..." says Upadhyaya in the Forward to Brown & Saraswati (2000: p.8) and then Upadhyaya moreover opines that whosoever the poet of the Hamsa Gita and the Bhagavata Purana may be that "[h]ere is a poet who uses pattern and metaphor in a complex craftsmanship to create a ritual of celebration."[6] Haigh (2007: p.127) in his opening paragraph to his work on the Uddhava Gita frames its import as a model ofenvironmental education:

Sri Dattatreya, who Lord Krishna quotes in The Uddhava Gita, has been evoked as a guru for environmental education. Sri Dattatreya gained enlightenment by observing the world, which provided Him with 24 instructors. These taught Him the futility of mundane attachments, the benefits of contemplation and forebearance [sic], and a path towards the spiritual self-realization of the Supreme. Sri Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, features in several Puranas where His teachings involve direct challenges to the pretensions and prejudices of the learner. His core message is "never judge by surface appearances but always seek a deeper Truth": the Earth is sacred, an aspect of God, and a puzzle that challenges the spiritual self to awaken to its true nature.[7]

Paramahamsa (2008: unpaginated) arrays a suite of Gita literature enshrined and subsumed within the auspice of the Srimad Bhagavata and holds that they are all songs ofMonism:

"The Gitas that find place in Srimad Bhagavata such as the Uddhava-Gita, the Rudra-Gita, the Bhikshu-Gita, the Sruti-Gita, the Hamsa-Gita propound Monism as the essence of their philosophy."[8]

[edit]English renderings

Upadhyaya, in the Forward to Brown & Saraswati (2000: p.8) holds that Saraswati (that is Ambikananda) who herself is a sannyasin and took this ashrama from a very young age, writes thus:

Swami Ambikananda's success in rendering the work into metrical composition is a tribute to the versatility of Sanskrit and the lucidity of the original writing. The method of her translation is marked by two considerati ons. She has sought to find close equivalents, keeping in view both the formal and dynamic aspects of the language; and her interpretative translation aims at complete naturalness of expression, pointing the reader to the modes of behaviour within the context of his or her own culture.[9]

Sarasvati in Brown and Sarasvati (2000: p.14) holds holds that it was both Venkatesananda (1921 - 1982) and his guruji Sivananda (1887 - 1963) that opened her heart to this work:

It was Swami Sivananda and Swami Venkatesananda who opened my heart to this sacred text, and their teaching that enabled me to undertake this translation, which attempts to convey its message to all spiritual seekers. [10]

[edit]Marathi renderings

Acharya of Mahanubhav Dharma have compiled this with the name of 'Uddhav Gita', the supreme knowledge bestowed by Lord Krishna to his devotee Uddhav Dev. In thischaubees guru akhyaan, the story of Lord Dattatreya's discourse to king Yadu is mentioned.

[edit]Primary resources

[edit]Sanskrit

[edit]English

[edit]Notes

  1. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor, author) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. Source: [1] (accessed: Monday march 8, 2010)
  2. ^ Ramanand Vidya Bhawan (n.d.). The Indian historical quarterly. Volume 2, Issues 3-4. Ramanand Vidya Bhawan. Source: [2] (accessed: Tuesday March 9, 2010) p.537
  3. ^ Tigunait, Rajmani (2002). The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition. Himalayan Institute Press. ISBN 0893892270, 9780893892272. Source: [3] (accessed: Friday March 19, 2010)
  4. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor, author) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. Source: [4] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010), p.8
  5. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor, author) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. Source: [5] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010), p.17
  6. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor, author) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. Source: [6] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010)
  7. ^ Haigh, Martin (2007). 'Sri Dattatreya's 24 Gurus: Learning from the World in Hindu Tradition'. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education; Volume 12, Number 1, 2007. Source: [7] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010), p.127
  8. ^ Paramahamsa, K. R. (2008). Ekam SAT 5. TotalRecall Publications, Incorporated. ISBN 159095873X, 9781590958735 Source: [8] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010)
  9. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. Source: [9] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010)
  10. ^ Brown, Manisha Wilmette (editor) & Saraswati, Ambikananda (translator) (2000). The Uddhava Gita. Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 0711216169, 9780711216167. With a Forward by Prof. Vachaspati Upadhyaya, Vice Chancellor, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit University, New Delhi. Source: [10] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010), p.14

[edit]References

  • Haigh, Martin (2007). 'Sri Dattatreya's 24 Gurus: Learning from the World in Hindu Tradition'. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education; volume 12, number 1, 2007: pp.127-142. Source: [11] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010)
  • Paramahamsa, K. R. (2008). Ekam SAT 5. TotalRecall Publications, Incorporated. ISBN 159095873X, 9781590958735 Source: [12] (accessed: Monday March 8, 2010)

[edit]External cites


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