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Itiha'sa Should Be Written

From: "Seshagiri Deva" To: Subject: Itiha'sa Should Be Written Date: Fr, 19 Sep 2008 22:48:28 +0530 Baba "Toma'ke cena' na'hi ja'y..." (P.S. 2089) Purport: Baba, it is not possible to recognize You. When I think that I have recognized You, then my consciousness gets completely enveloped by the Cimmerian darkness. Baba, Your divine Presence shifts from one extreme to the next. On the one side You are so tough and other times You are very soft and sweet. Baba, sometimes You are vehemently sounding Your sermons by the beating of the marching drum and blowing of the military trumpets; and on other occasions You are smiling sweetly and showering Your causeless grace with the flower pollen. Baba, such is Your beauty. O' Baba, in the end, in the lonely, isolated moment, I see that everything happens by Your grace. What You desire that is what happens-- that is the final truth. O' Parama Purusa Baba, in Your grand Kingdom, everything belongs to You. I cannot boast that anything is mine; indeed to think that something is mine is a crime. Because everything is created by You-- this whole expressed universe is Your mental projection. Then how can I say that anything is mine. Baba, only You are mine; everyone is Yours. Baba, everyone longs for Your karuna'-- divine compassion. Baba, to recognize You is not possible without Your grace. Baba only with the showering of Your grace can one realise You-- otherwise not. Baba please grace me...
Namaskar, All Baba's discourses should be named in the proper way-- according to His system. Not title should mislead or go against the spirit of His teachings. Here following is a discussion about the naming of one of His historic discourses. Has the Publication department done justice to Baba's discourse or not.
We know that there are various types of writing such as kavya, purana, itikatha, and itihasa etc. And each of these categories has their own special qualities and distinguishing features. For example kavyas are known for their beauty, puranas are a type of mythology, itikatha is a chronology of events or history etc. Baba says, "Kavya might not be real, but the way of expression is lucid and beautiful. 'Vakvam rasatmakam Kavyam'- stories which were narrated in a graceful language were known as 'kavya'." (MHB, p.2) Baba says, "Purana (mythology). In it the stories told are not real but have educative value. Therefore it has its value in society. For instance, the Ramayana is a purana." (MHB, p.2) Baba says, "Itikatha is also known as 'purakatha', 'itivrtta', 'puravrtta' etc in Samskrta. It is known as 'history' in English." (MHB, p.3) So like that in easy to understand, crystal-clear fashion Baba has clarified the terms kavya, purana, and itikatha for us. And in similar fashion Baba has done the same with the term itiha'sa. Despite that, one or two persons remain confused to the extent that such translators are wrongly titling Baba's discourses.
Here Baba describes the speciality of the term itiha'sa.
"Iti hasiti ityarthe itiha'sah"
Meaning: "A resplendent reflection of collective life whose study will be of immense inspiration for future generations. "Iti hasati" literally means, "glowing example of glorious human dignity." (PNS-8, p. 24) And Baba here furthermore is describing the uniqueness of the itihasa term:
Dharma'rtha ka'ma moks'a'rtham Niiti va'kya samanvitam' Pura'vrta katha'yuktam'itiha'sah pracaks'ate
Thus in the above shloka Baba guides us that in itiha'sa there a minimum of seven key ingredients which in totality transcend all the layers of life in all the directions. Itihasa has: [1] dharma (psycho-spiritual development), [2] artha (that which relieves pain), [3] ka'ma (mundane longings), [4] moksa (salvation), [5] niiti (morality), [6] pura'vrta (facts and records), [7] katha (stories). All these factors are components of itihasa. Thus itiha'sa is a unique, diverse, and complete approach for encapsulating the trials and glories of human existence. Baba says, "Itiha'sa is that...which a man gets the fruits of caturvarga-- dharma, artha, kama and moks'a-- as well as a system of the do's and don'ts of niiti." (MHB, p.3)
By this we can understand that itihasa is one unique type of term that has no English equivalent. Thus Itihasa cannot be translated directly into any single English word such as 'history'. And in clear-cut language Baba reveals this very fact: Baba says, "Let me tell you at the very outset that the English word 'history' and the Sam'skrta word itiha'sa are not synonymous." (PNS-21, p.1) Then Baba goes on to explain further that the English word 'history' instead means itikatha. Which as we read above is vastly different from the term itiha'sa. Baba says, "The chronological record of past events which is called "history" in English should be called itikatha'&in Sam'skrta." (PNS-21, p.1) Baba says, "Itikatha. In English this is known as "history". Itikatha is a chronology of events. In itikatha there is simply a collection of different happenings. In it the author bothers little about the educative value of the affairs. People at large derive little benefit from knowing the dates of birth and death of different kings." (MHB, p.2) Thus the English term 'history' meaning itikatha has nothing to do with itiha'sa. The term history is comparatively flat and wholly fails to carry any of the vitality, insight, or dynamism which the term itiha'sa portrays. Baba says, Itiha'sa is "A resplendent reflection of collective life whose study will be of immense inspiration for future generations. "Iti hasati" literally means, "glowing example of glorious human dignity." (PNS-8, p. 24) Thus the English term history falls far short of the mark. And it refers to itikatha'-- NOT itiha'sa. So as huge as these practical and philosphical differences are, even then top of all Baba's commanding opinion is there. Baba says, "Let me tell you at the very outset that the English word 'history' and the Sam'skrta word itiha'sa are not synonymous." (PNS-21, p.1) Clearly then the term itiha'sa cannot be translated as 'history'. Yet certain translators of Baba Prout discourses have swapped out the itihasa term and replaced it with the English term- history. Here below is more of the story how this negative affair happened.
In Patna DMC in January 1980 Baba is giving the discourse and guiding us that Itiha'sa should be written. The point being that up till now the past history has been written in such a way where those in power were just telling about how they themselves were great kings and queens etc. Means in their own way the leaders of each of the eras -- ksattriyan, vipran, veashyan etc-- were just selfishly preaching about their own magnificence. Baba says, "History Books are selected in order to establish the glory of a particular era. For example, the heroic tales of the chivalry of the Ksattriyas form the main basis for the writing of the history of the Ks'attriya era." (PNS-8, p. 25) And like that the leaders of all the eras followed this negative trend. So straight-away Baba rejects this misguided manner of recounting the past. Baba says, "Unfortunately, the biased history is always written according to the dictates of the ruling class of different countries. The study of this biased history is detrimental to society. It should not occur." (PNS-8, p.26) Then Baba guides us that we are to create a full-fledge, colorful picture of the whole society. One which tells how society developed, how the problems were solved, and how the people lived. And such type of comprehensive, honest, educative, and dharmic account is known as Itiha'sa. Plus about the speciality of Itiha'sa Baba tells the following. Baba says, Itiha'sa is "that treatise alone which increases human beings' arena of spiritual awareness and thus renders the intellect more subtle, which enhances the knowledge of various branches of art and science - such as literature, fine art, pure science, technology, social science, etc - and which places human beings on a firm foundation."(PNS-8, p. 25) By all it is quite clear that Itihasa itself is a unique approach. And in that Patna discourse of January 1980 Baba is guiding us about the great import of Itihasa. And He is telling that Itihasa should be written-- not history.
And by Baba's grace I was present there in that Patna DMC where Baba is giving this discourse in Hindi and He is telling that itihasa should be written. But later on when the book got published then in the English edition certain translators wrongly put heading of the discourse as 'Let History Be Rewritten' etc. When the English term 'history' has a completely different meaning-- one which is more limited and static in nature. That's why the word 'history' is equated with the Sanskrit word itikatha-- not itiha'sa. Baba says, "Itikatha is also known& as 'history' in English." (MHB, p.3) So unfortunately all this got wrongly translated. Because in the Patna discourse Baba is revealing the deep significance of itiha'sa. And that itiha'sa covers all the realms of human existence and that it has no English equivalent word. Baba says, "Let me tell you at the very outset that the English word "history" and the Sam'skrta word itiha'sa are not synonymous." (PNS-21, p.1) But even then the translators wrongly titled Baba two discourses about itiha'sa. And they translated the itiha'sa term itself as 'history'. In that way they did a big blunder and gave the misleading title(s): (1) What History Should Be Like and (2) Let History Be Rewritten. When in fact Baba clearly guides us that history is not the equivalent of itihasa.
In numerous discourses Baba has led the way by placing various headings in the Sanskrit language. Such as the discourse 'The Glory of Kiirtan'. Here we do not translate the Sanskrit 'Kiirtan' term as devotional chanting etc. Rather the Kiirtan term is kept in its original Sanskrit as it gives a more pointed meaning and also because there is not a proper equivalent English term. And not just in that example. But there are many, many occasions where Baba has assigned Sanskrit terms in the English headings of His discourses. Words such as Sadhana, Ista, Yoga, Diiks'a', Mantra, Guru, Dharma to name a few. And in that way there are English discourses titled as: 'Guru Puja' (AV-3), 'The Importance of Diiks'a' (DT-2), 'What is Dharma?' (APH-1), 'The Forms of Sadhana' (SS-1), 'Dharma Sadhana' (AV-31), 'Satya' (GHC), 'Where There is Dharma There is Ista' (SS) etc etc.
So when such above listed discourses contain Sanskrit words and those are not translated into English but are kept in their original Sanskrt and used in the title. And when Baba Himself has set this trend. Then, in the same way, the discourse at hand should be titled as 'Let History Be Rewritten' .
Because here Baba is opening new Vistas by introducing the term itihasa and demonstrating how it is different from the English term 'history'. Thus when the translators use that very term-- i.e. history-- which Baba has rejected and they are using the history term in the title of the discourse. Then that is misleading. Since in that very discourse itself and in numerous other discourses Baba goes to great lengths to differentiate the two terms-- history and itihasa. Means on multiple occasions Baba has objected to the use of the English term 'history' in place of Itiha'sa. And in that way, by this mistranslation, these precious discourses have lost their charm. Means they became tainted. So the titles of all such discourses should be corrected. Because Guru's teaching is divine and it should not be altered or placed in the wrong way such that it misguides the readers. Here it should also be added that not just in the title but throughout these two discourses the translators have splattered the word 'history' such that not just the title but indeed the entire discourse is outright misleading. Thus it gives the reader a convoluted and wrong understanding of Baba's discourse. So those who do not have the capacity to do translation work should give up the job. They should not ruin Baba's divine gifts and mislead others.
Baba guides us that by studying the past and present according to the dharmic guidelines of itiha'sa-- "people will gain inspiration and derive great strength to move ahead." (PNS-8, p. 28) Namaskar, Seshagiri Note 1: Up till now, the itiha'sa term has been commonly used in India; but in the name of Itiha'sa all people do is write traditional history. Because they mostly just translate overseas history books and then categorize or label them as itiha'sa. So this is not proper. For this reason when speaking to the audience in Patna, Baba guides us that Itiha'sa should be written. Note 2: The English version of these two discourses are printed in Prout Nutshell part 8. So anyone can review this whole matter by consulting that Prout-8 book which contains the discourses, 'Let History Be Rewritten' & 'What History Should Be Like'. Plus the first discourse of Prout 21 titled 'History and Superstition' and the first chapter of the book 'Discourses of the Mahabharata' are also good resources for this entire topic of the true meaning of itiha'sa etc. Note 3: All the negative translation errors noted in this entire letter were done by Jayanta (SUVA). The main point being that unqualified people such as J should not get the scope to do translation work. Baba says, "When the question of social responsibility arises, it should be considered with care and caution. Irresponsible people cannot be entrusted with social responsibility." (PNS-7, p. 60) About the present era Baba furthermore guides us. Baba says, "Those who are selected for discharging social responsibilities do not possess the necessary qualities [morality]. They have occupied the posts either for money or for recommendation, but no social good has been accomplished." (PNS-7, p. 61) Baba finally warns us: Baba says, "If power is given to an incompetent person, it is the equivalent to leading society astray in cold blood." (PNS 7- p.61)
**************************************** Slowly Moving Towards Cemetery
Baba says, "Human beings often attached less importance to the spiritual aspect of nitya karma and more importance to the physical aspect. This is detrimental because one should not forget that human life is short while act is long. From the very moment of birth one slowly and steadily advances towards death with every passing moment of time. This short period of time from birth to death is human life. Human beings have come from the world of invisibility and at the end of this short span of time will return to the land of invisibility. Those people can be called intelligent who utilised every moment of their short life engaged in spiritual practice." (APH-4, p. 251)

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