Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (of Vol 2) Dt 25 May 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (of Vol 2) Dt 25 May 2008

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 110 (of Vol 2) of 23 May 2008. These are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding ahead of page 830 of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )

31. Other than giving the minimum and maximum ages of seven years and two months to sixteen, within which Upanayanam is to be done, it is also stated that Uttarayanam is the best period for this Samskaram. Uttarayanam is the period in which the Northern hemisphere of the earth is tilted towards the Sun. This is also the period when marriage is preferred to be conducted. Chitrai and Vaikasi, the first two months of the Tamil calendar (mid April to mid June) are the most preferred months for marriages while, Masi is the ideal for the conduct of Poonool Kalyanam. Dakshinayanam, that is the period when the Northern hemisphere of the earth is tilted away from the Sun, is not suitable for conduct of marriages and Upanayanam. Now-a-days, having procrastinated conduct of this important function of Upanayanam, it is claimed that it may be permitted in months other than Margazhi (generally falling between 15th Dec to 15th Jan). This is just not done. Even if we let a marriage take place during those months of Dakshinayanam, that too in conditions unavoidable; there is no question of conducting Upanayanam during that period. Having made these Samskaras into money matters, since it has become a trend to postpone conduct of Upanayanam, I have to be a little vehement in emphasizing this point! Even if you have done the Upanayanam in Dakshinayanam, please re-do it in Uttarayanam, I will say!

32. There is a tradition to conduct this Upanayanam at five years of age! This is known as ‘Kamyopanayanam’. ‘Kamyam’ means that it is done for a specific purpose, that is, if you want your child to develop greater keenness in spirituality especially. It is alright if you do not do so. For the purpose of correct pronunciation of the mantras, it is preferable to precede the conduct of Upanayanam with two years of teaching the child some knowledge of the Sanskrit language. So eighth year of age is good enough. Sankara Bhagawat Padaal is said to have been given Upanayanam at five years of age. If the child exhibits special keenness in matters spiritual and is extra-ordinarily brilliant and has clarity of diction, Upanayanam could be done at the age of five!

33. Two Exemplary Cases. Two children exhibited clearly the fact that they are divine beings come down to the earth for a cause pre-programmed for excellence, in my opinion. This they did immediately on conduct of Upanayanam at the very young age of five! One is Adi Sankara and the other is Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Swamigal. Periya Puraanam talks of the fact that, Sambanda was given the poonool at a very young age. He is said to have studied all the four Vedas. In many of his poems, he himself claims to be, ‘naan marai gnaana sambandan’, meaning ‘that he is well versed in all the four Vedas’. Aacharyal and Gnaanasambandar, both were capable of remembering by heart, what they heard once. Such people are known as, ‘eka sanda graahis’. So, within a year or two their Adhyayanam was over and done! They could know on their own, without being tutored! Achaaryal is the Avataara of Parameswara and Sambandar is the Avataara of Subrahmanya. Still, they were born in to this world like you and me, Upanayana Samskaram was done to them, they got the Gayatri mantra upadesam and then and then only, they started working towards the purpose of the mission of their birth! This is to convey to us, normal human beings, the essential nature of the Samskaras.

34. There was a poet by the name of, Raja Choodamani Deekshidar. He has said in a slokam that, “…before Gayatri could reach him, Saraswati came to him…”, meaning there by that, he had started composing songs even before he was eight years of age, when he could be given poonool and Gayatri mantra! Gnaana Sambanda was only three when he sang, ‘…thodudia seviyan…’. Immediately after being breast-fed by Parvati the Mother of all the worlds, he burst forth spontaneously into devotional songs of exceptional literary merit! But then, he took the poonool and Gayatri mantra and went onto achieve all that he did. Since his birth was with the purpose of re-establishing the systematic Sanaatana Vaidika Dharma, he demonstrated the importance of Upanayana Samskara and Gayatri mantra.

35. Whether Gayatri comes first or Saraswati, that is not as important as the need for Gayatri to precede Kama or Cupid and Eros, in our minds. That is why eight was the age decided. Once you have given space for lustful erotic thoughts in your minds, there is no chance for humbleness and humility! That is why beyond 16 years of age, digression and regression is likely to be more than any progress. So, it was thought necessary that chanting of Gayatri mantra should have taken roots strongly in one’s mind much before that. We do not take these things very seriously at all. Our actions are futile. We have no courage of conviction either to do it as per Sastras or even to go contrary to it. Having delayed and ‘dilly dallied’, we do these things more as a sop to our own guilt conscience. It is better to be a non-believer than being like this!

36. At young age the chanting of Gayatri mantra will make inroads into one’s very being like a nail in the as yet green trunk of a tree. It will make a remarkable difference to the child’s mental alertness, physical fitness, receptivity, comprehension, memory and IQ levels. His capacity for concentration and ability to muster his powers to bear on the task at hand will enhance immensely. He will be brimming rightly in self confidence without nervousness and agitation. Even when he becomes aware of the pull of bodily sensory pleasures, he will be the master of his own self and will know how to delay his gratification. Hence he is not likely to be waylaid by the pulls of the senses. All these advantages are being denied to their children by the parents for no apparent reason, now-a-days!

37. Doing Gaytri japam and Veda Adhyayanam; study of other Vedangas and the 14 Vidyas; imbibing the Eight Gunas of character qualities(repeated in the last e-mail); learning ‘adakkam’ that is, humility by begging for alms, serving the Guru; the Brhmachary completes his Guru Kula Vasam and at the right age of about 20, do Samavartanam and visit Kasi and return to his house hold, ready for marriage and facing the next ashrama of a Gruhasta. Now-a-days, we have made this Kasi-Yatra into a make believe ritual, with ever knowing the logic of it. The Brhmachary who has had a dip in the Ganges River is the ‘Snatakan’ and Samavartanam is like a convocation or passing-out parade. The is ‘Vivaham’ that is, marriage, which is also one of the Samskaras!

(To be continued.)



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