Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 134 (of Vol 2) Dated 21 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 134 (of Vol 2) Dated 21 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 936, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 133 of 15 July 2008.)

41. I am saying all this with the sole purpose that, at least women should have involvement, interest and commitment in doing the Oupaasanam and Agni Hotram. Like Oupaasanam, Agni Hotram is done twice a day. (I will talk about this Agni Hotram in detail later.) Women folk should have an abiding interest in the continuation of Vedik activities. They should think that, ‘when there are so many fires for heating up coffee, to cook food, to heat water and so on; I should see to it that the fire which was witness to my marriage should continue to be kept alive, through Oupaasanam’.

42. For the fire to be kept alive, you have to keep putting ‘Umi’ in it. Umi, is the dry husk of rice. Umi takes time to burn. Keeps the fire smoldering. Does not give too much smoke. For getting Umi. You have to remove the husk from the rice, by pummeling on the rice with a mallet in a hollow stone. Other than the advantage of getting Umi for the Oupaasanam, you get unpolished rice, which has many body friendly nutrients. This is called ‘Kai Kuttal Arisi’ available at a cost in some of the towns. Some poor woman may be able to earn a living by this homely help of pounding the rice by hand. But those few grains of rice used as ‘Akchadai for homa karyam’ should be done by the Lady of the house itself. It is a requirement for her to be personally involved.

43. Oupaasanam does not mean too much of expenditure. It does not take too much time either. So if you have the mind for it, everyone can do it. To employ some for house-hold help is giving sustenance for others. Hand pounded rice is vastly superior to mill-polished rice in terms of nutrients. Then you also avoid use of machines; and to that extent has the concept of Ghandheeyam in it.

44. Oupaasana Agni if nurtured and maintained, the problems that arise out of ‘bootha, preta pisasam’ and such ogres, will vanish! The smoke of the Umi will keep the mosquitoes and flies away. Thus many of the diseases will be kept at arm’s length. Many of the current problems faced, for which relief is sought by methods like having to put neem leaves at the entrance, take the patient to the Masjid for the Mullah to blow away the heinous effects of ‘some thing’ and or bring the patient to me for treatment; are all happening because the Oupaasana agni is not being maintained. Oupaasana Agni helps in keeping the birth rates of male & female ratio also at par. Wearing the Oupaasana Saambal as Vibhuti is big protection!

Agni’s Greatness.

45. For the many things that a Gruhasta has to do with Agni, Oupaasanam is only the starting point. For the Veda Matam or Vedik Religion, Agni is very important. It is called Agni Narayanan. Rudra Sukta-s too are indicative of the connection with Fire / Agni! In Thiruvannamalai, Siva came in to being as a mountain of fire! To invoke Ambal the Goddess in the form of fire in the lamp as the ‘Jyotis swaroopini’ has been a special way of devotion. In Kerala, in Bhagawati Sewa, Moorti and Yantram are not as important as invoking the Goddess in the tall ‘Kuthu Vilakku’. Subrahmanya Swami too, since he materialized from the third eye of Easwara, is adored and revered in the form of Fire. Thus worship of fire is very crucial to us Hindus. The Western researchers have classified all Asians as Fire-Worshippers only. Parsis, who are a part and parcel of the Vedik Religion, also have their method of worship mainly related to the fire.

46. In Brahmin’s houses if Agni is effulgent and the things that are supposed to be placed in it such as ghee, milk, havis and atchadai, are properly being done, good physical health and mental well-being will occur to all people of all castes. In any Yagna, for any Devata, the things that are offered are put in the Fire only, as the Agni Devata is considered as the carrier.

Agni Karyas.

47. (The details here are as explained by Kumbakonam Sri Lakshmi Kanta Sarma and his Wife and Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariyar.) Veda-s contain approximately some 400 Yagna-s. In this Oupasanam is common for all four castes. Others are to be done by the other three castes. However, Kshatriyas and Brahmins are credited to have done more of these and Vysyas have stuck to their business of trade and commerce more. Then Kshatriyas too conducted less and less of these activities and Brahmins had the majority share of duties in this respect.

48. especially for the warrior caste, there are Yagna-s which give energy, power, prowess and victory such as Raja-Sooyam and Aswa-Medham, conducted by Emperors. There are some Yagna-s meant for economical well being and agricultural productivity. Among the organizational appointments for a Yagna, there are Hodha, Udghata, Advaryu, Brhma and Yajamanan. The first four are generally Brahmins(as they have to be well versed in all the Mantra-s and procedural intricacies of a Yagna!) and Yajamanan could be Kshatriya or Vysya.

49. All Yagna-s do not have to be done by each and everybody. Many of them are meant effect oriented, such as ‘Putra Kameshti’ for getting children, done in Ramayanam. These effect oriented Yagna-s are known as ‘Kamya’ karmas. These are optional Yagna-s. Some are obligatory and are to be done irrespective of personal likes and dislikes. They are collectively known as ‘Nitya Karma-s’, though here Nitya does not mean daily! These are totaling 21, to be done at least once a life time. I have told you earlier that, these 21Yagna-s are divided into seven each of Bhagha, Havir and Soma Yagnas.

50. Vivaham is done with Agni as the Sakshi or Witness. It is that fire that is used for starting the Fire of Oupaasanam. Then that Oupaasana Fire is to be protected without ever going out till one is alive.

(To be continued.)



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