Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 132 (of Vol 2) Dated 12 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 132 (of Vol 2) Dated 12 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 the middle of page number 927, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 131 of 10 July 2008.)

24. I asked you a question as to why, having blamed the Caste system for all the ills of the Hindu-s, when organizations such as Arya Samajam (and many such similar set-ups), came into being, why did the non-brahmins not join those organizations en mass? One of the main reasons is the diffidence in trying something new and the reluctance to face a possible failure! The additional reason is the fact that the majority of them still had a lot of admiration and respect with awe at the traditional ritual acts and roles played by the Brahmin community! They did not want to deal flippantly with that serious responsibility!

25. Though some one or two struck out with bravado that they will form a whole new society, only a very small percentage of people joined hands with them. The majority continued to remain with the existing social order only. Even those who joined would have had to constantly confront their own sense of inferiority complex and a doubt if they can at all be successful! Under such conditions the main aim of ‘chitta suddhi’, can never be achieved.

26. Like ‘Ahankaara’, inferiority complex and self-doubt are all impurities of the mind only. Till they are persisting, the cleansing of the mind can never be achieved and by such actions there can be no useful purpose served for the society either. The feeling that, ‘what could not be done by him, I am doing it’, would only reinforce his pride and need for publicity and self praise! In the bargain, neither his self nor the society would get the intended benefit of, ‘chitta suddhi or loka kalyaan’.

27. Without getting agitated and sensitive, we should be able to analyze, differentiate and identify some ground realities, for what they are. I have talked at length about the importance of the correct pronunciation of Veda Sabdaas, in my earlier lectures! Those word-perfect intonations cannot come to anybody easily. This is not only about Veda Bhashaa, if we take French and German languages and even the Urudu, you will find many words difficult to pronounce correctly! Even if you take the nearby Telugu language, there are words with the phonetics such as, ‘sa, sha, cha, tsa, ja, jha, za and zha!’ Unless one is used to it from the time one is born, we will find it extremely difficult to catch the phonetic nuances. Point is that, what comes naturally cannot be imbibed under forced compulsions. However much you may argue against ‘paramparyam’ or natural traits, the fact is that it is there and can not be just wished away.

28. (KTSV adds. However much I may try to keep my mouth shut, I just cannot help recording my observations. To-day, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh Governments are actively pursuing efforts to induct Non-Brahmins as the persons conducting the functions, in the sanctum sanctorum of the Temples where traditionally it has been the duty of the Brahmins for millenniums! Not only simply the functions but, Adhyayanam, Adhyapakam and Purohitam! Inducting all sorts of people in various levels of administration of temples had already been achieved decades back. The latest one is aimed at throwing open the ‘Pujari / Deekshidar’s’ job to all and sundry! You may play any amount of tricks with genetics and cloning, but can never replicate what happens naturally. Cloning is very close to clowning, not only in spelling, but in real life too!)

29. On careful thinking, there are two behavioral quirks we are faced with. One is for the Brahmin to give up ‘Veda Anushtana-s’ go by default, as not required. The second is for others to try their hands at it! I find it difficult to decide amongst these two aberrant behaviours as to which is worse off! The person who is to do his duty, failing to do so or somebody else taking up that job! In Bhagavat Gita, Sri Krishna has given the ruling, “…swa dharma nidanam sreya : paradharmo bhyaavaha : …”

30. Let us be very clear about the meaning of that statement. To do one’s duty and die in doing so is venerable. To do others duty, that is not meant to be done by you, is awesome and fearful! Everyone some day or other has to meet their death. But if you die doing your own duty, you may get over this cycle of repetitive death and birth. By doing other’s duty, the greatest fear is that you may go astray and end up in Hell. Even if you do not believe in Heaven and Hell, you may take another life of untold amount of obstacles and difficulties, which may be as good or as bad as Hell! Actually when you are doing other’s duties, there is a constant fear of going astray!

31. So, it all comes down to this. Either you believe in the Sastra-s completely or you do not! There are no half way tracks. There is no scope for showing your brains in this issue and take some and leave some of the Sastra-s! Sastra-s are not malleable and ductile, open for amendments and interpretations. To believe that you could play around with Sastra-s is worse than being a non-believer!

With this thought, to commence learning of Veda-s is just deplorable!

32. I am neither angered about the reformists, nor do I doubt their sincerity of purpose. But I am convinced that lacking the right advice, they are committing a serious blunder. To go across a fence, you do not break it. If you really believe in Equality of labour, you should see that Veda Adhyayanam is as important as soldiering or paving roads or trading goods. If you say that I will re-direct all the Brahmins to go back to their work of Veda Adhyayanam, Adhyapakam, and Purohitam; then you are talking sense.

33. If I criticize the Brahmins, it does not mean that they are beyond redemption. I am not subscribing to the view that Brahmin is solely responsible for all the ills besieging the Hindu religion. I can see the historical compulsions of influx of hordes of Muslims into India followed by their Lordship over most of what is India . This was followed by the British suzerainty for a long period. So I instigate the Brahmins to pick up the threads and get back to their profession to which they are born. But that does not mean to say that they are responsible for all the things that have gone wrong! Any one under going the strains and compulsions the community has gone through, may have had to make similar compromises. At the same time I am not justifying and explaining away their compromises either!

(To be continued.)



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