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Universal Wisdom: Q&A with author Vennelakanti Prakasam

Vennelakanti Prakasam is a Telugu speaker of Telugurayapuram of PSR Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh.  He has published research papers and books in English and Telugu dealing with linguistics, stylistics, comparative religious studies, semiotics, forensic linguistics, homeopathy, and grammar of English and Telugu.

In this book, the wisdom of divine humans of different cultures is presented in triplets. The Prologue and the Epilogue give a summary of cosmic guidance in prose.

In our Q&A with the author, we will discuss how divinity can flow through humans…

Virtue is a guiding path to contentment and liberation. How true is this?
‘Virtue’, reflected in ideation, verbalization, and praxis, helps the individual to be contented. The contentment leaves the individual undisturbed and that state is ‘liberation’ (Mukti). 

Does divinity flow through humans?
Daivam Manusha Rupena’ is a saying which means that the supreme divine being operates through human form. We can define divinity as transcending dualities and the barriers of time and place. All this we can see in divine humans. Many humans have been deified, and many deities are endowed with human qualities. 

What do the prologue and the epilogue give us an understanding of?
The prologue and epilogue give us a summary of universal wisdom in a short prosaic form. This is to help us get a good grip on the ‘Mukti Marga’. 

Does salvation mean ‘going to the pleasure dome?
Salvation is not ‘going to the pleasure dome. It is freedom from desire, which helps us achieve awareness and ultimately effect equanimity. 

Heaven is a place of bliss and will bless us based on our actions. Do you agree?
Heaven is a haven or state of bliss resulting from our correct actions along the path of life, which should be a reflection of the ‘Mukti Marga’. To treat heaven as a physical place is treading the known material path. 

How can the five principles dovetail themselves and guide us to salvation?
Socialness, love, forgiveness, duty, and compassion are the five principles that go hand in hand along the ‘Mukti Marga’. Socialness helps us free ourselves from the ‘cocooning self’ and leads us onto the ‘spiraling self’ where others are absorbed into one’s cognition where ‘centripetality’ is forsaken and ‘centrifugally’ is adopted. This spiraling is reciprocally found with ‘agape’ (‘Divya Prema’) where our love is for one and all, devoid of selfishness, fear, doubt, and suspicion. 

Once that socialness is well bound with agape, we end up forgiving the weaknesses or misdeeds of others. The spiraling self continues to spiral, and we take on the responsibility of doing our duty to all the members of society. We finally end up doing our duty as a member of society without any attachment to self-boosting. We are guided by the principles of socialness, agape, forgiveness, dutifulness, and finally, we cream our actions with compassion which becomes a mode unto others.

Our lifestyle while alive and our post-life style will be the same. What does this mean?
Our lifestyle while we are alive will be the yardstick by which we will be judged by our ‘Atma’ or/and the ‘Paramatama’. What we get as a result will be a reflection of our praxis. We reap what we sow. 

Do religious experiences prove that there is a God? What is your opinion?
God is a subjective reality. Planets are objective reality. Sri Krishna, at the age of seven, tells his foster father Nanda that man’s life is guided by his ‘Nija Swabhava’ and his own ‘karma’. Indra cannot change his life pattern. This is in the Bhagavat Purana.  Humans with ‘divinity’ are said to be divine, and we can assume the supreme divine being is God. Whether we name him ‘Waheguru’, ‘Paramatma’, ‘Allah’, or ‘Jehowa’, we will realize the supreme divine being by experience.

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