And the Thunder Said DA

Stories of Dharma in the Mythology, Philosophy, and Religion of India.
  • Also available as: Perfect Bound Softcover
  • Published: October 2008
  • Format: Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 428
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9780595491100
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Prajapati, the Creator, had three kinds of offspring: gods, men, and demons. They lived with Prajapati as brahmacharins (celibate students) practicing austerities. At the end of their term, the gods requested him saying: "Please instruct us, Sir." Prajapati uttered the syllable Da and he asked: "Have you understood?" The gods replied: "Yes. You have said to us, control yourselves (Damyata)." Prajapati responded: "Yes, you have understood."

Then men spoke to him: "Please instruct us, Sir." Prajapati uttered the syllable Da and he asked: "Have you understood?" The men replied: "We have. You have said give (Datta)." Prajapati responded: "Yes, you have understood."

Then the demons spoke to him: "Please instruct us, Sir." Prajapati uttered the syllable Da and he asked: "Have you understood?" The demons replied: "Yes. You have said to us, be compassionate (Dayadhvam)." Prajapati responded: "Yes, you have understood."

That very thing is repeated by the celestial voice in the form the thunder that speaks to us: "Da, Da, Da" which means, "control yourselves," "give," "be merciful."

In other words, writes Kara, the instruction to comprehending the ultimate mystery begins from an ethical injunction. He who is self-controlled, charitable, and merciful is given proximity to the gods. Ethics takes precedence over epistemology and ontology.

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