Respected Guruji , Sat-Sat Pranam and  Namaskar


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With Warm regards

Sukhvir Sangwan and Rakesh Kumar from India

By Dr.Satish Prakash

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This article titled "Ethics and Morals Enrich Our Lives" was written by Dr. Tara Singh of The West Indian newspaper.



Ethics and Morals Enrich our Lives

Narayan's "Hito'padesha" Guides Us On This Path


“A child is truly born if,through his birth, his familyattains eminence in society.Otherwise, in this changingworld, who is not born after having died.” This quotewas made famous by Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnanon the occasion of the adop-tion of the Indian constitution and has had a profoundimpact upon a prominentNew York based Vedic stu-dent, who vowed to inquirefurther into its genesis andcontext. This quest openedup to him the visionary workof Narayan Pandit on “Eth-ics and Morals,” and which found expression in theHito’padesha, considered amaster piece by scholars.While the Hito’padesha(literally means “advice withbenevolence”) is well-known in India (it’s one ofthe most widely read San-skrit books there) and it’sperhaps 2nd in popularityto the Bhagavad Gita, butfor the overwhelming major-ity of Indo-Caribbeans, it was anobscure text until Saturday, Feb-ruary 29, 2009, when the richteachings of this code were un-raveled at the elegant MaharshiDayananda Gurukula in Ja-maica, Queens, for the first time to the New York community, aswell as, others at various learn-ing centers in different parts ofthe world. The Hito’padesha com-prises short stories that have “thepriceless treasure of morality andknowledge.” According to Wikipedia: “The tales from theHito’padesha are written in avery logical and clear way, andone does not have to make much effort to figure out what moral aparticular story is implying. Thestories feature animals and birds as main characters.” Dr Satish Prakash, SpiritualLeader of the Gurukula, has thus begun to popularize theHito’padesha in the westernworld, as Shri Prakash Gossai had done, about two decades earlier, with the “Raam Charitmanaas.” The Hito’padesha workshop was soenthralling that the capacity au-dience (with over 210 registeredlocal participants and a similaramount overseas) didn’t want itto come to an end, although theyhad already spent about 4 hoursin session. Their thirst for knowl-edge of the Hito’padesha was re-markable. Not to disappoint them, the Vyakaranacharyavolunteerd another ½ hour of discourse. Though written by NarayanPandit around 200 BC, the Hito’padesha was narrated tosome young princes by a youngBrahmin, named Vishnu Sharma. It has been publishedin several major languages of theworld. In many respects, it is simi-lar to another treatise known as the Panchatantra, which is a codification of proper political andsocial conduct, and was de-signed for rulers (princes). TheHito’padesha makes no refer-ence to faiths, and just articulatesthe necessary principles for agood life. However, the influenceof the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita,the Ramayan, and other Hindiscriptural texts on the Hito’padesha, is noticeable. In discussing the significanceof charity, for example, theHito’padesha says (2:16) that thebest form of charity is that whichis given “to someone deserving,and who cannot return the ges-ture; and at a proper place andtime.” The Bhagavad Gita (Chap-ter 17, verse 20) says: “Thatcharity is ‘sattwika’ [pure] whichis done as a duty and unself-ishly, and which is given to de-serving persons, and at the righttime and place.”There are numerous excel-lent verses in the Hito’padeshathat one can consult regularly.Verse 38 says: “A mother and afather prove to be enemies whenthey fail to train and instruct theirchild.” This has been a common theme of Shri Prakash Gossai in his “pravachan,” but it’s only nowthat we get to know its source.Verse 2:65 states: “Dharma is the one friend that follows a soul even after death, for everythingelse is lost when the body per-ishes.” According to verse 40 “Evena fool, dressed in fine clothes, shines in an assembly—but heshines only as long as he doesnot open his mouth to speak aword.” And verse 39 claims: “People endowed with beautyand youth and born in a noblefamily, would never shine if theyare destitute of knowledge. Theyare like pretty flowers that haveno fragrance.”The Hito’padesha workshopwas broadcast live (on theinternet) to several learning cen-ters in countries/states such asNew Zealand, Australia, En-gland, Holland, Guyana,Trinidad & Tobago, Canada,Arizona, Florida, and India. There, students gathered to par-ticipate in the workshop, too.Several religious leaders fromvarious Mandirs in New York City were in attendance. Specialguests included DharmacharyaRamlall, who praised the highquality of the workshop, as wellas, Dr Pierre Martin, a NYC neurologist of Trinidadianbackground. He too, said thatit was a great learning ex-perience for him.Pt Rohit Deocharran of the magnificent BhavaniMandir in the Bronx advised everyone to encourage theirfriends and relatives to ac-quire a copy of the Hito’padesha. DharmacharyaLaldharry Seerattan, Spiri-tual Leader of the Shi Devi Mandir, Jamaica, Queens, was extremely impressedby the scholarship, erudition,and presentation of DrSatish Prakash, whom manybelieve is the most outstand-ing Hindu scholar in ourcommunity. These sentimentswere shared by PanditE Motiram, Pt P Ramrattan, Lolita Singh, Mohan Singh,Anand Persaud, GayatriTeakram, Pt TillackdharrySeerattan, Suraj Baboolall,Dr Satish Prakash explainsthe significance of the Hito-padesha Students in Holland join theworkshop via video streaming Gurukula devotees offer song of praise Dr Satish Prakash welcomes students to the Hito'padesha workshop and many others.The feedback of the work-shop has been tremendous,so much so, that the audience called for another workshop onthe Hito’padesha that is set forMay 30, 2009 at the Gurukula.According to the author ofthe Hito’padesha, NarayanaPandit, the main purpose of creating the Hito’padesha “is toinstruct young minds in a waythat they learn the philosophy oflife and are able to grow into re-sponsible adults.” When askedwhat were the expected benefitsof a workshop on the Hito’padesha, Dr Satish Prakash notes the following, namely,

(i) it will provide for elegant speech, 

(ii) give facility for a variety ofexpressions related to all occu-pations, and

(iii) provide a basicknowledge of the science of Eth-ics. Not only that, it also affordedthe audience with an opportu-nity to chant selected verses (insanskrit) of the Hito’padesha,something which they craved for more.  

Dr Satish Prakash praisedIndia for giving us such greattexts as the Mahabharata, the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, theRamayan, the Upanishads, theSatyaarth Prakaash, theHito’padesha, the Panchatantra,and many other texts. In tribute,he opened and closed the pro-gram with the Indian national anthem, “Jaana Gaana Maana Adhinayaka JayeheBharata bhagya vidhata.”He expressed his deepest grati-tude to all participants, and fortechnical help received fromAcharya Vishwajit, BushPrakash, and Dr Surendra Kumar of Maharshi DayanandUniversity of Rohtak, Haryana state, India, as well as, his local team at the Gurukula and the worldwide learning cen-ters’ coordinators. Every participant gaveDr Satish Prakash highmarks for his scholarshipand readiness to share his knowledge of thescriptures.     BY DR. TARA SINGH


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