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Prologue:

Its a guesthouse facility in a huge complex of an industrial township.

Neeraj, an external consultant, came out of his room and went into the dining hall.  He found many persons eating the breakfast and he was in a fix.  One of the members of the Guest House Staff  came to him with a smiling face and  requested him to accept serving the breakfast in his room itself.   During the lunch time too several policemen occupied the dining table and he had to take his food in the room itself.   Next day night again this Neeraj found a group of persons eating the dinner and thankfully he had a seat to finish his dinner along with them.   From their conversation the Consultant found that they are Reporters of various News Papers/ electronic media.

The next day the Neeraj was served by the Guest House In-charge with a very pleasing mannerisms and engaged in a very pleasant conversation, during the dinner time.

Neeraj:  I saw several govt employees taking food here is there any problem in the plant? 

Guest House In-charge:  No Sir, it is a routine practice.  Every day some policemen have their breakfast, three days a week some revenue department employees have their lunch, weekly once some other govt employees have their dinner and weekly once media persons have their dinner.  We spend nearly one lakh rupees to provide food for them every month.  In addition to that we host various other parties outside the guest house but within the premises of the plant and they are outsourced to the catering agencies that cost is directly paid by the company.

*****

The concept of debt is not unknown to many Indians both in material and spiritual terms. However an attempt is being made to briefly explain this concept for the current generation. Every day we indulge in many acts. Each act is orchestrated and occurs as a result of synchronodestiny but the free will of the person indulging in these acts play a vital role in giving the results of these acts.

The best examples can be the instances where some in the service of Central and State Govts and those in the corporate world take many free services from their “clients” in return of doing some “favours” out of the way. Some use their positional power to get free services like food, accommodation, transport, and various other favours.   Those who are reading this would wonder – or even may feel fear - at the depth of Vedic philosophy that speaks about the concept of debt. In other words, this ancient knowledge is the pure science that cannot be fully explained by the modern day science through empirical verification.

The mother of all Languages  Samskrutam explains many terms to their pristine meanings and that is why it is  the Deva Bhasha - the language spoken by the Gods – that was handed over to us by our Ancient Seers.  Let me share the beauty of our Samskutam before explain the concept of Debt so that you can feel its depth and inter-relationship with the human beings, Nature and the Divine Organization with several God Heads being lead by the Supreme God with as much ease as we breathe – the infinite organizing power.

Versatile Verbatim of Samskruta:

The year is called abda and varṣa in Sanskrit, showing us the kind of how importance given to  rain and water in ancient times. Abda, giver of water > ap water, da giver, from √dā - to give; and varṣa that (which brings) rain, from √vṛṣ - to rain. The ocean is called abdhi > ap water, dhi a collection of, from √dhā to place.  Ratnākara (ocean) > ratna jewel, riches, kara maker/creator of. Bhāskara (sun) from √bhā and √kṛ that which makes, creates light. Divākara (sun) – that which makes day. Ambu-ja, lotus, born in/of water, ambu water, ja born, from √jan to be born. Strangely, frog and fish are born in waters but they won't be referred to as Ambuja or Jalaja. That's the subtle difference that we need to understand while comprehending Sanskrit words.

Runa & its meanings:

In line with the above demonstration of multi-angles of Sanskrit words, the word ऋणम् (RuNam) has got several contextual meanings.  Let us take a look at them:

ऋण

RNa

n.

loan

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

debt

 
 

ऋण

RNa

adj.

guilty

 
 

ऋण

RNa

adj.

going

 
 

ऋण

RNa

adj.

having gone against or transgressed

 
 

ऋण

RNa

adj.

flying

 
 

ऋण

RNa

adj.

fugitive

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

fort

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

guilt

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

obligation

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

stronghold

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

anything wanted or missed

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

negative quantity

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

duty

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

anything due

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

minus

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

debt of money

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

water

 
 

ऋण

RNa

n.

minus sign -  [ math. ]

 

ऋण also means to move and to go. 

The Five Runas:

 

Our Vedic Knowledge informs us that we being the human beings with our very conception incur five kinds of debt:

  1. Pitru Runa
  2. Deva Runa
  3. Rishi Runa
  4. Manushya Runa
  5. Bhuta Runa

The first Runa is to be paid back by performing the Pitri Tarpana daily as you would not be here if your forefathers had decided not to marry. It is a different story that a sanyasi removes the Pitri Runa of at least eight of the previous generations when he decides to become one .However not everybody can become a true renunciate . Pitru runa is fulfilled by a) performing the required vedic oblations to the family forefathers and as a gruhasta to insure that the prodigy continues.  Story of Bhagirtha in puranas is the supreme example of this.

The second Runa it is to be paid back by performing Yagnas which benefit all of mankind. Deva rua is fulfilled by Giving.  Devas are givers.  You can consider them as the phenomenal forces.  Since you are enjoing the benefits of the nature, starting from food to eat, air to breath and water to drink etc. freely, it becomes your duty to return back to the nature.  This is symbolized in the yagas by offering oblations.  But life itself is a yaga and one should give to those who are less fortunate whatever you can give. This has to be done not to satisfy ego or for the name sake, but offering as a worship as in havan or homam.

The third Rishi runa has to be paid back by spreading knowledge among people. The guru or acharya runa is fulfilled only not by paying him or physically serving him although those may be important duties of a sishya, the runa or debt is paid only when the teaching is passed on to another (deserving) student that you received freely with love.  This is how the Guru-sishya parampara or linage of teacher-tought has been maintained and the vedic texts have been preserved intact for the generations to get benefit. 

The fourth one, Manushya Runa is to be paid by treating all living things kindly and in helping mitigate their problems. Mutual co-operation and serving others can help to repay this debt to mankind- like, giving money, clothes, home and land, to poor people, giving food and water to hungry people and helping orphans-or any other help that is appropriate.

The fifth debt to the cosmic elements and everything that arises out of them (bhuta runa) is added. It means debt to Nature -a person is indebted to plants, trees, birds, animals and nature (called Bhuta Rruna)- repaid by offering good will, food, water, or any other help that is appropriate.

Repaying these five debts is called pancha-maha-yajna which should be performed daily by every human being as per our Sanathana Dharma. By these five yajna the worshipper places self in right relation - in the process of being and becoming -  by affirming such relation with the God, ancestors, human beings, the organic creation, the nature and the self.

Now it is left to the individual self to ascertain as to how much repaying is being made or how much debt taking is still on!! 

Everything that we take without reciprocating it in any manner is a Runa

It is simply like the Newton’s law.  In the absence of equal and opposite reaction we do not close the loop and we accumulate our Runa.  The rich biodiversity that we see and the varied life cycles that we witness in the nature are the results of several loops not getting closed.  Here are some more actions that many indulge in that give us several clues about the concept of Runa:

  • Domesticating animals and birds
  • Sponsoring orphans’ education
  • Adopting orphans, donating to old age homes
  • Receiving best quality services from highly trusted persons at an abysmal cost
  • Giving free services to others at will or at compulsion, etc.
  • Getting a sudden fortune in terms of a good job, pay, facilities, etc.

In addition to these all of us accumulate many karmic debts to our parents and family members. In the present birth , one enjoys and the present relations are all caused by previous karma and cannot be changed. One cannot choose the parents he or she is born to, nor can one choose the children he or she will not have nor can one decide the time of his birth or death.  The paying back of all your debts is the stage when your karmic account is clean and you reach Liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This is a very exalted stage and all of us continue to pay back some debts while accumulating new ones.

An awareness that these debts are eternal and can only be nullified with Righteous Living and the grace of the Lord is the real realization.  Lord Narasimha the avatara of Lord Vishnu is said to be the form to be meditated up on to seek Vimochana from these Runas. Our seers blessed us with Narasimha Runa Vimochana Stotram.  Merely chanting this Stotram without conducting ourselves righteously does not yield any result. The human effort to the maximum possible extent is the pre-requisite for getting the grace of the Lord, small wonder that our Elders asserted “Prayatnam Eva Agrajam”.

Hope this brief article helps many to pause and ponder over before accepting any favor.

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