HUMAN VALUES AS OBSERVED IN SANSKRIT-
THE GREAT EPIC MAHABHARATA
Dr. O. Rama Rao Selection Grade Lecturer in Sanskrit Mrs. A.V.N. College, Visakhapatnam & Dr. K. V.R.B. Vara Lakshmi Reader in Sanskrit YNM College, Narsapuram
of Human Values:
The Sanskrit Literature i.e., Vedas, Upanishads, Epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatam, Puranas, satakas, etc., has given much importance to human values in ancient India. This country is rich in culture believe that it is full of values and virtues. They know how a man can make his life happy by adhering human values. The Kurukshetra war was at Dharmakshetra which was based on value. The ancient sages from Viswamitra to Swami Vivekananda and Sankaracharya to Sivananda taught their disciples morals and human values through their teachings and writing like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Sukraneeti, Vidura Neeti, Neeti Satakam, Arthasastra of Kautilya, etc. Even modern world deals with several human values i.e., business values, medical values, professional values, educational values and Cyber values, etc., according to the present social cultural, religious, ideals, standards, non-violence sources to emphasis to the mankind in various ways.The most human value deals with in day today life are truth, beauty and goodness, thinking, feeling and willing satyam, Sivam and Sundaram. Kautilya tells that Artha is the most important than that of Dharma, Kama and Moksha elements. Dharma and Karma are dependent on Artha.
What are Human Values?
The contribution or participation of human being is in larger order of the cosmos to ensure harmony, happiness and sustainability.
Definition of Human value according to Mitton Rokeach:
“A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally of socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence”. Thus values which tell that the belief system of an individual that guide his/her actions and decision making pattern. Thus we need Human values-
- To study human beings in relation to all that is in existence
- To know the role of human being in relationship with everything in existence
- To know the responsibility of human being towards the other beings in existence.
When all human beings are equated by him there is no point of enemity and difference. Human values are not obtained by mere speech, but they are to be practiced. Purushottama, a great human being is considered as supreme when he experiences the original nature of human being that is to say being helpful to all without expecting anything from the society. This is the nature of selfless persons. Vaisampayana, the great sage told Janamejaya about the tale explaining the Purity of the charitable deed at the time of Yudhishthira’s Aswamedha sacrifice.
The story of the Golden Mongoose…
When Yudhishthira was crowned as king after the Kurukshetra battle, then he performed an Aswamedha Sacrifice. All the princes of the kingdoms have attended to the sacrifice. The Brahmins and the poor and destitute people who had come from all over the country. They received bounteous gifts. Everything was done in magnificent style relating to the sacrifice. The unseen a blue-eyed Mongoose suddenly appeared in the middle of the Brahmins, Pandavas and Vrishnis. The Mongoose’s body was golden luster. The Mongoose spoke to Kuru king and the others in perfect human speech. The sacrifice is not as great as that of a poor Saktuprastha Brahmin’s belonging to Kurukshetra.1 He gifted a pound of maize flour to the Rutviks, though they have completed the sacrifice according to the tradition. In this case in which way this is inferior to the present sacrifice? Though the material gifts offered by Yudhishthira may please the kings in no way, these gifts satisfy the people in comparison with that the generosity of the Saktuprastha Brahmin.
The Golden Mongoose explained that the poor Brahmin’s sacrifice is virtuous as his body turned to half as golden in the flour which was offered by the Brahmin The Vrata of the poor Brahmin is so pious and ideal, the Brahmin family3 i.e., Poor Brahmin, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law used to glean in the fields and they are satisfied with what they get it. They never preserve anything for the next day. They have equal satisfaction whether they get food or not for days4. Thus they practiced the uncchavritti.2 Thus they passed their days for many years, when a terrible drought came and there was femine all over the earth. As such, all the cultivated fields dried up and lay desolate. The poor Saktuprastha Brahmin’s family starved. One day after wandering in hunger and heat, with great difficulty they came house with a small quantity of maize which they had gathered. They ground it and after saying their prayers, they divided the flour into four equal parts and sat down eagerly to eat. Just then a Guest entered and he was exceedingly hungry5. Seeing an unexpected guest arrive, they got up and asked him to join them. The poor-souled Brahmin and his wife and son and daughter-in-law were delighted to have the good fortune of receiving guest6. He gave his share of the flour to the guest. Though he ate it but he was not satisfied.7
The Brahmin was embarrassed hardly knowing what to do. His wife called husband from the kitchen. She pressed her bowl into her husband’s hand to give it to the guest, in no time, he licked the second bowl clean and then looked around but he was still hungry. In the meantime the conversation takes place between Brahmin and his wife. She tells that he is well versed in the sastras. Is it not true that dharma, artha and the objects of human activity are common and equal benefit of both of them who have joined together? Do Look on her with compassion and take her share of the flour and satisfy the requirements of our visitor. No distinction can be seen between both of them. She entreats him not to deny her request. At last Brahmin accepted her’s share to offer him to eat greedily, but he was still hungry! His son saw this, came forward to offer his share and gave it this guest who seems to be still hungry. He will be indeed happy if they will thus be able to fulfill our duty.
The father’s distress increased. Telling that old men can stand starvation, but youths hunger is severe. Hence he does not accept his son’s request. Then his son insisted that it is the duty of the son to look after his father in his declining years. The son is not different from the father. Is it not said that the father is born afresh in his son? At last he accepted his son’s request and gave it to guest by offering his son’s flour. He ate the third part of the flour also, but he was still hungry! The daughter-in-law called old Brahmin and handed him her bowl in order to feed this visitor. She shall have eternal good as my reward by requesting him. If he accepts her offer, he will indeed be guilty of cruelty. How could he possibly look on when she wither in hunger? The girl would not listen. She implores him to accept her flour. Is not this body of her dedicated wholly to serve my lord? He should help her to attain the good. Do take this flour, she entreats him. At last he accepted her share of the floor and blessed her saying, loyal girl may every good be her. “The guest received this portion avidly and ate it and was satisfied.
“Blessed is our hospitality, given with the purest intent and to the uttermost of their capacity. Their gift has pleased him. Lo there! The Gods are showering flowers in admiration of their extraordinary sacrifice. See! The Gods and the Gandharvas have come down in their bright chariots with their attendants to take him with their family to the happy region. Their gift has achieved Swarga / Devaloka for them as well as for their ancestors. Lord Indra has sent a Vimana for them. Their sacrifice is greater than any Aswamedha or Rajasuya. The Saktuprastha Brahmin family followed the guest into the Vimana. He took them into heaven. Saying this, the mysterious guest disappeared. Having related this story of the Kurukshetra Brahmin who lived by gleaning scattered ears of corn in the field, the Mongoose continued. It was nearby and caught the fragrance wafted from that flour of the Brahmin. He made its head all gold. He then went and rolled in joy on the ground where some of the flour had been scattered. He made one side of it into bright gold. It turned on the other side, but there was no more flour left and that part of itself is still as it was. Desirous of getting his body made all gold, he has been trying every place where men perform great sacrifices and penances. He heard that Yudhishithira was performing a sacrifice and came here believing that, this sacrifice might come up to the standard. But he found it did not8. Hence he said that his great Aswamedha was so great as the gift of flour which that Brahmin made to his guest.” Then the Mongoose disappeared. Yudhishthira non-violent, self-restraint, contentment, uprightness and gentleness, sincerity, austerity, truthfulness and charity are superior to the greatest ritual sacrifices. All the fine offerings of his sacrifice are not equal to a few drops of the Saktuprastha Brahmin’s gruel”.
While narrating this story of a saktuprastha Brahmin, it is understood that the selfless charity even at the cost of their suffering will result in greater virtue than that the physical materialistic gifts. The sacrifice offered by the poor Brahmin offering food to the guest is measured as the realistic Dharma. Hence the willful sacrifice of his comforts for the sake of protecting others is valued as the highest virtue dharma. That is human value.
- Vyasa Mahabharatam, Published by Bhandaskar Oriental, Poona
- Translation by C. Rajagopalachari, Published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay
- Manudharma Smruthi, Published by Bala Saraswati Book Depot, Madras
- Vachaspatyam, Published as Oriental Book Centre, Delhi
- Bharthruhari Subhashitani, Pallavi Publications, Vijayawada
- Mahabharatam Commantary of Prof. Pullela Srirama Chandrudu, Published by Samskruta Bhasha Prachara Samiti, Hyderabad.
Survey Based study on Attitude of Listeners of Telugu Pravachanams towards Human Values in Literature.
Dr. (Mrs). P. JAYALAKSHMI1 Dr. Ch. ANNAPOORNA2 Reader & Head, Dept. of Economics Reader & Head, Dept. of Telugu St. Joseph’s college for women (Autonomous), VISAKHAPATNAM
“Try not to become a Person of Success, Try to become a Person of Values”
– Albert Einstein
The human values in life hold great importance from the point of personal, social and spiritual development. Values, morals and ethics are inextricably tied together. Values are what we learn from child hood, the stuff, we acquired from our parents and immediate surroundings. Values are the motive power behind purposeful action. Ethics and character are closely related. Values are essential to ethics develop at an early age and can be instrumental to building character. By cultivating the habit of listening pravachanams (speeches on Mythology), we will strengthen not only ourselves but more important our families and our society. The main purpose of this study was to analyze the attitude of listeners of pravachanams (through T.V. channels and directly attended) towards human values in Telugu literature. In this study, random sampling method was adopted. The participants of the study are covered youngsters and old age groups. The author totally interviewed 352 samples, out of 352 only 320 are given detailed information. The sample covered in Visakhapatnam district. To analyze data, t-test, averages are used. Major findings of the study was found that total listeners (old age and youngsters) were having positive attitude towards acquiring human values through pravachanams, but a significant differences of subgroups.
Key words: Attitude, Mythology, Pravachanam, Human values.
INTRODUCTION: India is spiritual culture abundant country. Its philosophy is full of values. Its values are reflected on human beings life and they did practice daily values are the essence of their culture and civilized in society. Indian society is marked by spiritualism, principles of honesty, obedience and non-violence. The values reflect different philosophical positions. The concept of values is closely related with the concept of human life. According to Dictionary values means worth. When the human beings are following the values in their life’s they will tune their life in worthwhile manner. Values are classified into four types according to Indian Mythology. They are dharma, artha, karma and moksha. In these four, Dharma is psychological value. Artha is economic value and Moksha is a spiritual value. The value system itself is included a set of beliefs about the nature of human being, and motivate that what is the right and wrong. And another important thing is beliefs about ideals that what are good. Human values explain the sense of humanism, a deep concern for the wellbeing of others and society.
NEED FOR HUMAN VALUES: Human values are motivating the people towards personality development. Mainly, self-direction, stimulation, Hendomism, achievement, power, security, conformity, tradition, benevolence, universalism and spirituality. It improves the quality of life, moral development among them, cultural development with family and society, develop positive attitude of men, submissive nature in their lives, cooperative living in the society, and develop humanitarism, maintaining harmony in nature against to conflicts.
PURPOSE OF STUDY: The topic selected by the author for the present study was entitled as “survey based study on attitudes of Listeners towards telugu pravachanams on Human Values”. Pravachanams on mythology about human values to the public in Visakhapatnam conducted by various spiritual centers. Most of listeners prefer social media channels to listen pravachanams. Especially old age people and disabled people are prefer T.V
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY: The main objective of study is to identify the significance of value – oriented pravachanams and its impact on human beings.
I) SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF STUDY:
- to identify the attitudes of Listeners of telugu pravachanams through T.V channels and directly attended.
- To collect the opinions of listeners about the impact of pravachanams on mythology towards improvement of human values.
II) METHODOLOGY: The tool used for data collection was questionnaire developed by the researcher on human values and its impact on human beings (both positive and negative).
The questionnaire included listener’s personal information more than 70 statements regarding human values posed to listeners to elicit information on the degree of agreements and disagreements.
Out of 70 statements, with numbers 4, 7, 11, 15, 16, 23, 25, 67, 68, are negative statements while remaining are positive statements.
The Likert’s method of summated ratings was used and the weightings on the five point scale were strongly agree – 5, Agree – 4, Nuetral-3, Disagree – 2, Strongly disagree -1 for positive statements and strongly and strongly agree- 1, agree- 2, neutral -3, disagree – 4, strongly disagree- 5, for negative statements. Listeners scores the sum of all the scores for the 70 statements.
Method of Data Collection: The author distributed the questionnaire to the listeners and the filled in questionnaire were retained on the spot.
DATA ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode and standard deviation) the attitude scores of the entire sample and its sub-samples were calculated. The null hypothesis for sub-samples was tested by employing “t” test at 5% level of significance.
Data and Interpretation
Distribution of the sample of the study
|Locality of Listerine’s
|Group of Listerine’s
- Source: primary data
Table-1 show that the total sample is 320 out of this 200 from urban and 120 from rural area. T.V listeners 160 and directly attended listeners are 160 in both areas. Both male and female are included in the study. There are sub-groups aged (40-70) and youngster (20-40). The results were presented in line with research statements and hypothesis. The table – 2 Mean and standard deviations of different variable and subgroups of listeners are calculated.
TABLE – 2
Mean and S.D of different variables & Sub-groups of Listeners
|C P f
- Source: primary data
From the above Table-2 we calculated Mean is 276.12, Median is 277.50 and Mode is 290.00. The S.D also calculated 30.3. From this table, it is clear that the mean and standard deviation score of listeners towards human values in puranams and Ithihasas Literature for total sample of the study 320 is 276.12.
From the above table it is clear that the mean and standard deviation score of listeners towards human values in Ramayana, Mahabharatha and other puranam literatures for total sample of 320 i e. 276.12. Since mean, median and mode are not the same. The minimum possible score for attitude scale is 70 and the maximum score possible for attitude scale is 350. The mid value is 70+350/2=210. It is the neutral point. Hence any score above 210 was considered as the positive attitude and below it was considered as the positive attitude and below it was considered as the negative attitude.
means and standard deviation of different variables and subgroups of listeners towards human values in literature.
Null Hypothesis (H0)
- Source: Primary data
The calculated mean scores of subgroups ranged from 368.26 to 289.23 which were greater than 210 (neutral value). Hence all the listeners (both T. V and Direct attendees) were having positive attitude towards pravachanams in acquire human values in their lives. Table value of‘t’ at 5% level of significance is 1.96. The calculated‘t’ values for all variables are greater than the table values so we reject the null hypothesis. Major findings of the study made that all the respondents of the study were having positive attitude towards acquiring human values through pravachanams whereas sub-groups had a significant difference in their attitudes towards acquire human values through pravachanams.
Listener’s opinions towards Telugu Pravachanams:
- Listening habit of Human values, pravachanams help in perfecting literature knowledge in Indian Mythology, change their attitude in main relations, habits, behavior etc.
- Through listening pravachanams directly or through TV s increase moral values and human values in aged and students to make them better and more useful members of the society.
- Listening of pravachanams promote social harmony and develop liberal attitude, positive approach towards religion.
- Listening to pravachanams will only eliminate obscurantism religious phantisam, violence, superstitions and fatalism.
- It strengthen and accelerating the process of modernization and development of scientific temper and outlook.
- Inculcating the features of great characters in puranams for example, Sri Rama, Ravana, Arjuna, Dharma raja etc.
- With the degree of relations in value oriented pravachanams, youngsters are encouraged to live in the harmony with nature of arts, music and build good nation.
- The moral value oriented stories of pravachanams with inclusion of common ethical teachings of all great religious highlights the nation utility.
- Only listening pravachanams system cultivates the basic value of humanism, democracy, socialism and secularism.
- Through listening great characters life stories ( ex: Rama, Ravana, Dhuryodhana, sravana, Arjuna, etc.) inculcate for motherland and proper praise in cultural heritage and achievement.
- Stories, illustrations and events mainly from Indian nation and its literature from various religions that included in value oriented knowledge leads to national integration.
The impact of listening pravachanams among youth is more effective and thought provoking and also it helps to frame a good future plan in their lives. Pravachanam listening is a soft tool to change the attitudes of human beings (both aged and Youngsters). It gives mental peace and strengths to people. Among four learning skills listening is a Key factor to improve knowledge and good decision making. Due to listening pravachanams reduce social evils, and decline the Naxalism, sexual abuses, cruelty in their behavior etc. Every listener inculcate good habits and change their attitudes and behaviors in a positive manner. So the entire society will change. Social media is a key tool to listen the good and spiritual speeches in different channels. It is a universal available tool to listen even previous episodes also. Majority of foreign Indian residents are listen these speeches in all varieties of social media.
By cultivating the habit of listening pravachanam speeches, we will strengthen not only ourselves but more important our families and our world, whereas morals are the intrinsic beliefs developed from the value systems of how we, should behave in any given situation. Human values are the standards of good and bad, which govern an individual’s behavior and choices.
“The preservation of human life is the ultimate value, a pillar of ethics and the foundation of all morality”.
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