Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (of Vol 2) Dated 08 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (of Vol 2) Dated 08 July 2008

( These e-mails 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 page number 919, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )


1. A young man who completes 12 years of stay in the Guru’s house-hold as a Sishya and learns a particular branch(Shaaka) of the Veda and possibly some specialization in some arts and or crafts, with the permission of the Guru, decides to change his status from a student to a house-holder. That is the change of Ashrama from Brhmacharyam to Gruhastam. The Karma involved here is ‘Samaavartanam’. At that time from wearing a single Poonool or Yagnyopaveetam, he starts wearing a double Poonool. He used to be sporting a ‘dandam’ (a small branch of a tree of about two feet with some green leaves), held in his hand, ‘krishnaa jinam’ (a small piece of the deer skin tied in his poonool), ‘mekalai’(a thread made of dharba grass tied around the hips) and a single piece of cloth around his body. All those accoutrements are gone now, when he changes his Ashrama.

2. He has to wear a proper double ‘Veshti’ around the hips with a ‘vastram’ covering the upper torso as ‘uttareeyam’. What was taboo in Brhmacharyam is all permitted now such as, sandal wood paste, ear studs, flowers, foot-wears, eye-make-up, umbrella etc. Well decorated, he goes to the King or local royal representative, presents his credentials proving his erudition and celibacy. He gets presents and endowments for his stepping in to the life of a married man that is Gruhasta Ashram. The very fact that as per the Sastra-s, he is entitled to receive such largesse before his marriage, it is evident that, the expenditure in marriage is that of the boy and not the girl’s people!

3. Another fact that emerges is that, after Samaavartanam, even if he is to remain a bachelor, the dress changes are applicable, such as double poonool and ‘veshti’ in ‘pancha kachcham’ of five folds or knots. Of course in the light of everybody wearing pants and shirts inserted copying the western way of dressing, it sounds funny and out of place to myself talking about ‘kachcham and kosuvam’! Now-a-days there is no Gurukula Vasam or Samavartanam or Kasi Yatra! But as a means of collecting some money and materials from the girl’s father, another item in the agenda is ‘Paradesi Kolam’ in which the bride-groom is dressed up as though he is to go to Kasi. So, he is presented with a walking stick, umbrella, cooling glasses, wrist-watch, apply kohl in his eyes and give him a gold ‘minor chain’(that is, to depict that he is a minor, now going to become a major), we enact and stage a farce!

4. Though some people may bypass the Ashrama of Gruhastam, they are only exceptions to the general rule. They are called, ‘Naishtika Bruhmachari’, such as, Bhishma Pitamaha, Narada and Anjaneya. In the case of all others, after you finish with ‘Brhmacharya Ashram’, the next that automatically follows is, ‘Gruhasta Ashram’.

5. A Brahmin is born with three debts. They are called ‘kadan’ in Tamil. They are due to, Rishi-s, Deva-s and Pithru-s. Veda Adhyayanam resolves the ‘to be paid’ kadan to Rishi-s. Through conduct of Yagna-s he can hope to pay back the loans towards Deva-s. To clear debt towards Pithru-s, you have to get a male off-spring. These two jobs can only be done in a systematic manner, if and when he gets married. It is not enough if he does the ‘divasam’ (that is, paying of obsequies to the departed manes,) for his parents. Each generation has to do that for the ancestors of three generations back.

6. To explain this, let me give my own example. I have to offer my respects and best wishes with the corresponding mantras, to my father and mother; my grand father and grand mother and my great grand father and great grand mother; and my mother’s father and his wife, my mother’s grand father and his wife and my mother’s great grand father and his wife! This is to be done on every new-moon day, 14 days during Mahalaya Paksha in September, at the start of every month and so on. Thus it adds to 96 Tarpanam-s to be done every year.

7. On the other hand, if some one remains a Naishtika Brhmachari or takes the Sanyaasa Vrata of renouncing, not three but 21 generations of the past and future(even if not directly a relative of his), automatically stand to benefit. The number of souls so benefited will run into millions!

8. Once a man finishes his studies, to live the life as a hose-holder, he has to have a wife, who will assist and hold his hands in all his actions, as a partner for life. That very act while being of use to him in all his moral, filial and social duties; in turn should also benefit her in more ways than one. She attains to her fullest development from being simply a woman to Mother-hood while surrendering her entire being to him. Together they go on to make a family, the bulwark on which the whole edifice of a the society rests!

9. Gruhasta Ashram is called ‘Illaram’ in Tamil. There is a proverb in Tamil which says, ‘Illaram alladu nallaram alla’, meaning what is not ‘illaram’ is not OK. A very clear denouncement of pre-marital and extra-marital sex and living-ins, call it what you want!

10. ‘Gruham’ is the house. Having returned from the Guru’s house, the one who drives a morally upright lively-hood is the ‘Gruhastan’, which means, the man who is ‘in’. It does not mean the owner of the house. He is ‘aham udaiyaan’, ‘aathukkaaran’, or ‘veettukkaaran’, as an important person in the house for her. Other than the wife, for everybody else he is just the one who lives there. Comparatively, she is known as ‘Gruhini’ that is the owner. While he is known as ‘il araththaan’ that is, ‘the one required to do right thing in the house’, she is simply the ‘illaall’, meaning the ‘woman of the house’. She could also be known as ‘illaththu arasi’ or the Queen of the House! In Telugu, it is made further closer to the point. She is just the ‘illu’ or the home itself! That is the natural pride of place in which the women are held in this cultural milieu of what is India !

11. Oupaasanam. This word you have seen being used in the previous two e-mails. This is one function which starts in Vivaham and continues till one takes Sanyaasa or death! ‘Paanigrahanam, Maangalya Dhaaranam, Sapta padi’ are all over and done with the conduct of Vivaham. But the Oupaasanam continues through out life. The marriage is conducted with ‘Agni’ as the main witness. That fire is nurtured and maintained throughout one’s life by way of Oupaasanam.

12. Agni Karyam is important for all Vedik activities. Brhmachari does ‘Samitaa daanam’ twice a day, in which he places dry twigs in fire with the necessary mantras. That job finishes with the conduct of his marriage. From then he has a lot to do with Yaga-s / Yagna-s. The first of those activities is ‘Oupaasanam’. Whatever is related to ‘Upaasana’ that is, devotional activities, is ‘Oupaasanam’. All Hindus are required to do this, inclusive of all castes.

(To be continued.)



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