Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 128 (of Vol 2) Dated 03 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 128 (of Vol 2) Dated 03 July 2008

(To-day’s e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 127 dated 30 June 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 from the second paragraph of page number 910, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )

122. I started talking about how ‘Vivaham’ is not a money matter! OK. All of that is accepted. But Sastra-s describe conduct of a four day marriage. That will be too costly in to-days circumstances, in terms of expenditure for the marriage hall and food for the invitees! I will talk to you about four-day’s marriage. Sastra-s are not made for creating scarcity and financial embarrassment. Vivaham is only for one day. After that, for three days the bride-groom should observe Brhmacharya Deekshai. That is, he has to maintain celibacy for three more days, till he completes all Anushtaanaas, in his own house. Those three days, you do not need the Band and Naadaswaram or nalungu or marriage hall. No need for guests either. That will be real reformation.

123. The son’s father can declare beforehand, “I will have one day’s marriage in your place and after that it will take three more days in our house, at no cost to you!” The second day of the marriage, Oupaasana Kundam has to be brought back to one’s home. There are mantras covering all the aspects of transfer of the fire from the place where the Marriage was conducted, to ones permanent residence, even if it is in a different town or State. You can temporarily arrange these three days ritual in somebody else’s house, such as a friend’s or relative’s house. This is because, these days, it is a problem to carry the Oupaasana Kundam in bus / train / plane! No one need to be invited for this, not even the Girl’s family other than her parents! The Purohit needs to be paid the Sambhavanaa. That is all!

124. It used to be even more taxing for the boy and the girl, in earlier times. They used to have a Samvatsara Deekshai, that is, observe one year of abstinence after marriage! That one year was reduced to three days. As is said in the proverb, ‘elephant kept reducing to become an ant’, even those three days of abstinence has been reduced to nil! If there is to be a reformation, marriages should not be ‘just a one day wonder’, but the Oupaasanam with abstinence should be done for at least three days!

125. Amongst Telugu speaking people and some in Uttar Pradesh in North India , the bride and bride-groom, wear only white cotton clothes tinged in yellow turmeric, however rich they may be. It is decent and low priced. We could adopt this method whole heartedly.

126. There is one ‘Pravesa Homam’ done by the bride-groom, while entering his own house. The fire brought from the Vivaham is turned in to Oupaasana Homam. This could be done in the temporary residence. But to do a marriage in a temple and finish all related rituals in one day is not just on! You do something wrong and set a precedence for others to copy. To do the marriage after delaying it much later than when she attains puberty is wrong. Then to take her to the in-laws house the same day of marriage or the next day is ‘confusion confounded’. Then to conduct the ‘nuptials’ on the day of the marriage itself is ‘further confounding the complication!’

127. The newly married should have ‘thri ratra deekshai’, that is a ‘three nights-vow-of-abstinence’, before the nuptials. There are eight types of ‘Brhmacharya Vratam’. These are meant for those who cannot maintain celibacy for ever, as required of Saints and Sanyaasi-s. These eight occasions when sex is forbidden are listed in the Sastra-s. In this a minimum of three days after the Vivaham is a must. Instead to have nuptials on the very same night is being irresponsible to say the least. This being done to avoid additional expenses on food for the guests and so on. Having brought in the pomp and show that is not in the Sastra-s, they try and cut down expenditure by cutting out what is required to be done as per the Sastra-s! To postpone the bride’s brother’s Upanayanam endlessly and conduct of nuptials on the very night of the marriage, (so as to cut down on expenditure, which anyhow was a self inflicted injury), are the sort of blunders like, ‘leaving the reigns and catching hold of the horses tail!’

128. What the Relatives and Friends Should Do? It all boils down to the fact that all expenses other than the barest essentials as given in the Sastra-s should be eradicated. In this what the friends and relatives could do is to send greetings and donation. What ever one would have spent on transportation could be sent as donation. Thus you also enable the man conducting the marriage from the likely expenses on your food. You cut down your own expenditure while enabling the girl’s father to do so. Let us do these things and encourage others to copy us. My concern is two fold. One is that because of making marriages too costly, it is the conduct of rituals as per the Sastra-s which is getting axed. Then such behaviour sets the trend socially and becomes tradition!

129. I recommend three economy measures. 1.) Everybody including the very rich boycott silk made by killing silk worms. Go for simple natural cotton fabrics only, which are quite cheap also! 2.) Say good-bye to the habit of drinking coffee. If you have to drink something, get used to having fruit juices or thin porridge of cereals called in Tamil and Malayalam as Kanji, or butter milk. Butter-milk known as ‘Dhahram’ in Sanskrit is said to be Amirtam or Nectar by Vaidya Sastra books of Ayur Veda! By doing this you get over the habit forming coffee, have more variety of beverages while saving on expenditure. For the price of the habit-forming-burnt-powder of the coffee seed per Kg, you can have seven to ten measures of the cereals! 3.) Stop the habit of offering and receiving dowry completely.

130. These above steps will make a move towards cutting down on a social evil, cut down on expenses, contribute towards better physical and mental health and most importantly enable bring back some of the important, essential rituals in practice as given in the Sastra-s! Talking about Vivaham, I have covered a lot of ground! There is one more pertinent point. Let me touch that also. I gave one reason for there being more women than men in the society. The ideal is to even it out. We will cover this point and some more in the next e-mail, which will be the end part on Vivaham!

(To be continued.)


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