Ashtottaram 95 OṀ KARTAVYABOḊHAKA BHŪMYAI NAMAH: OṀ (AUM)-KAR-TA-VYA-BO'-DHA-KA-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA

ॐ कर्तव्यबोधकभूम्यै नमः (Kartavyam: What to be done, duty; Boḋhaka: That which preaches, conveys)
Representative Image.
Representative Image.Devakinanda Pasupuleti

By: Devakinanda Pasupuleti

Swami Vivekānanda once said, 'In whatever circumstances you are in, if you remember your duty (svadharma), things will be done automatically'. Our father of the nation, Mahāṫma Gandhi said, 'Nobody can degrade your self-respect without your consent'. Many great people of India have conveyed to us the messages about our duty. Great people with duty as their virtue have walked on our land and sanctified it. They not only did their duty to the country but also preached us about those duties. From the Vedas to Rāmāyaṇa and Srimaḋ BhagavaḋGītā; whatever book, text, scripture or doctrine you read, they all preach our duty as human beings, especially as a Hindu. Our Sanātana dharma teaches us that- being born as a human we should not just eat, drink and propitiate like animals; every human has a goal and duty in life. Some of the quotes that convey this are: -'We cannot become just clay dolls and with effort, ambition, devotion, commitment, and focus, we can become 'Brahman' and 'with krushi (effort) and śrama (hard work), man can become a sage, seer, and ṛishi'.

In Srimaḋ BhagavaḋGītā, on the battle field Lord Shri Krishṇa delivered the same message about one's duty to Arjuna, the warrior. He said that 'if one fulfills his own duty, he is automatically qualified as one who has followed dharma'. From a person who eats dog's meat to the person who performs somayāgam, both are qualified dhārmic people as long as they performed their prescribed duties. In Lord Shri Krishṇa's view they both are equal to him and both are his favorites. This shows how much significance is given to one's own duty (svadharmam).

Our scriptures, sacred texts, brahmasūtrās and dharma sūtrās explain in detail one's duties according to dharma; the do's (yamas) and don'ts (niyamas) and also the knowledge of the 'Brahman'. They taught us the knowledge of sādhana ćatuṣhtayam (four means of practice) along with the 'anubandha -ćatuṣhtayam' (four connections). It also taught us the discriminative knowledge useful for the sādhana (spiritual practice). According to our qualities and attributes, we can choose the path of karma or the path of jnāna, whichever suits our life style. That is the beauty of our Sanātana dharma, which we cannot find in any other religion. There are no mandates or doctrines to follow and the śhāstrās leave it up to the individual and his ambition. Our land has blessed us with gurus, swamis and sanyāsins as guru parampara to convey to us the message of duty (svadharmam).

The land which preaches our duties as humans is our land and it is 'Kartavyabodhaka Bhūmi'.

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