Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 133 (of Vol 2) Dated 15 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 133 (of Vol 2) Dated 15 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 932, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 132 of 12 July 2008.)

34. Those who accuse the Brahmins for having forsaken their duties, in their place may have done the same thing, under those circumstances. A community that has been involved in the sort of work requiring more brain power than brawn power, traditionally over thousands of years; to have become more materialistic and money minded; is what I am concerned about! I am not justifying their behaviour at all. Since these days, these writers on Reformation, justify even prostitution on grounds of Psychology! On similar grounds, there is some sympathy and empathy that I can feel, for what has happened to the Brahmin community.

35. The fact that I can tick them off, does not give universal license to all and sundry, to add insult to injury! It is the duty of all to point out the need for them to revert back to their traditional role. The society needs to assist and encourage them to retrace their steps. Especially in the past four or five decades (this lecture is dated 1959), the Brahmin has been ill treated in many ways. He has been vilified, criticized and made the butt of all jokes, like the Jews of Europe! Despite all the ill treatment, they are of immense tolerance and forbearance. For generations, they have been the guardians of arts and crafts and continuous cultural and spiritual enrichment and refinement. Keeping their vast contributions to our society and culture, people of all other castes should enable and encourage them to find their bearings right. With sincere gratitude, all others should remind the Brahmins of their tradition of high thinking and willingness to sacrifice.

36. Some ill informed Brahmins some times might have unfairly misused their position and power. That has never been the norm but only exceptions. It is not correct to return the compliments in the same coin! If you study it carefully, you will notice that it is Brahmins who have been in the fore-front of the movement to correct the ills of the society! Here in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere in India , such as in Bengal and Maharashtra ; it is the Brahmins who have been pioneers of the Reforms Movement! So there is no meaning in feeding the fires of hate. That is not Tamil culture either!

37. Unfortunately some Brahmins in all good intentions, thinking their actions to be Reforms, instead of raising the down trodden, have brought down the high and mighty! Equality can be of two varieties. Either all can be high or all can be low. It is difficult to carry the load up. It is easier to let things roll down. In repeatedly insisting on Equality, we have lost on quality. What we do not need is an equality in which everyone is doing the same job. People doing their own job, does not mean disparity either. Instead of uniformity, we should be aiming at unity in diversity!

38. If we come to one understanding, it is good enough; that in Tamil culture, there has never been place for two negative concepts, namely, anti-Brahminism and anti-Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a language in which there is an ocean of books on matters spiritual, Sastra-s, pure classic literature, fine arts, crafts and science! The hatred for Sanskrit should go and a feeling that, ‘it is also our language only’ should take its place! The society has to accept the fact that Brahmins have an important role to play, in learning the Veda-s and the intricacies of the literature on various crafts, fine arts, and do the Yagna and other Karma Anushtana-s. What ever be the reformation, impartial good intention should be the basis. As long as non-parochial intentions are there, there will be no need to go against the Sastra-s!

Women’s Only Vedik Asset.

39. Oupaasanam is applicable to all castes I said. It is a common activity between male and female, that is a joint effort of the husband and wife. When the husband is at home, she does Oupaasanam with her husband, and when He is not at home, it is her duty to put the ‘Atchadai’ in the fire. This is her ‘right’ as given in the Veda-s. Then all the Vrata-s, that is the periods of abnegation and fasts, have evolved from the Purana-s only. It comes down to the fact that, for her this is the only Veda Karma, required to be done by her. Whatever Nitya Karma Anushtana-s, Yagna-s and devotional rituals that he does, she stands to gain the ‘Punya’, that is the good credit points, automatically! Other than Oupaasanam, her only job is to take care of the hose-hold. That is all!

40. So, when all the women are running after their ‘rights’, I want to instigate them at least in this respect and thereby make the ‘Oupaasana Agni’ burn brightly in each house. Each woman should be able to nudge her husband with the following words, “At least you have some connection to the Veda-s. You have been given Upanayanam and even if you have forgotten the Gayatri mantra, some day you would be able to revive it. For me there is no Upanayanam and no Gayatri mantra. The Veda-s that are like the foundation of all life, all worlds and our religion too; the only right and connection for me is the Oupaasanam. Is it not so that, if I do not do it and you do not enable me to sustain that connection, I am totally cut off from the Veda-s?” For this inalienable right of theirs women should fight, demand and get their reinstated!

(To be continued.)


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