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From: “Seshagiri Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Itiha’sa Should Be Written
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2010 10:54:26 +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…

== ITIHA’SA SHOULD BE WRITTEN ==

Namaskar,
All Baba’s discourses should be named in the proper way– according to His
system. No 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. We should consider whether justice has been done to Baba’s
discourse or not.

TYPES OF WRITING

Before getting to the title of the discourse, we should examine Baba’s
guidlines on literature.

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.

THE TRUE MEANING OF ITIHA’SA

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)

ITIHASA HAS NO EQUIVALENT ENGLISH TERM

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.

BABA’S HISTORIC DISCOURSE

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,
vaeshyan 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.

DISCOURSE TALKS SOMETHING AND HEADING IS SOMETHING ELSE

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.

SOLUTION: FOLLOW BABA’S EXAMPLE

BABA HAS SET THE TREND TO USE SANSKRIT WORDS IN THE TITLE

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.

ITIHASA SHOULD BE WRITTEN…

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’ .

… BUT INSTEAD THE TERM BABA REJECTS WAS PUT IN THE TITLE

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.

MOVING TOWARDS A BRIGHT FUTURE

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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