Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140 (of Vol 2) Dated 09 August 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140 (of Vol 2) Dated 09 August 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 961, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 139 of 07 August 2008.)


97. I talked about 40 Samskara-s and probably one or two more. Doing all these Samskara-s throughout one’s life, thereby after having made a Yagna of one’s life in service to the entire community, country and the world at large, when he finally dies, he sacrifices his body as the final offering in the Dahana
Samskara, to the accompaniment of mantra-s. Samskara-s are meant to cleanse the individual of all his dirt, desires, wants and make him aware of his completeness. While doing this to him, the beneficial vibrations has an effect on the very atmosphere and thereby benefit other living things too. There is no Karma and Mantra, which benefits one individual at others cost. The prayers are never meant for narrow parochial interests. They are always meant for the benefit of all. This liberalism and universalism is equally spread throughout the mantra-s of the Samskara-s. All of them start with, ‘jagat hitaaya Krishnaaya’. The Gayatri mantra does not say, ‘canalize my mind in the right path’, but rather, ‘canalize our minds!’ This does not mean however that, ‘if some people do Gayatri, since the mantra benefit is meant for everybody, all of us do not have to chant the mantra!’ For the sake of all others, such as the fourth caste, women, people of other nations, animals, birds, insects, and so on and so on; other static life forms et al., the Gayatri has to be chanted by Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas! The word ‘our’ includes them all.

98. You would have noticed that amongst the forty Samskara-s, Yagna-s are the majority. Brihad Aaranyaka Upanishad, while talking about the effect of these Samskara-s says, (IV.4.22), “Brahmins try to become aware of the Atma, by way Veda Practices(Vedabyasam), Yagna-s, Daanam that is, giving of alms, Tapa-s, and fasting.” Once this aim of knowing about the Atma is achieved, they leave all these practices and Karmas, they take up Sanyasa as, ‘sarva aaramba parityaagi and sarva sankalpa rahitaha…’, it goes on to say. So, all these elaborate Karma-s are meant to enable one to get across Karma. This transcendence of Karma is more valuable than all the fruits of Karma. ‘What does that mean? Through Karma, get over Karma? How is that done? Come again please’, you may say!

99. Karma is of two types. One is what we do out of our desires and wants, wishes and fancies! These actions instead of giving clarity, will only cause, ‘confusion confounded’ and increase the Karma bundle of, to-be- laundered-load. The other type of Karma is what is done without any desires and wants because Sastra-s require us to do so! Having done that action, we are to surrender the ‘Karma Phala’ to the God Almighty with a ‘Krishna arpanam astu or Easwara arpanam astu, na mama’, meaning, ‘it is all God’s, so let the fruits of all these actions go to Him, they are not mine!’ Such an attitude, cleanses our mind and lightens the load, finally resulting in no more Karma! Then if required the Para Sakti / the God Almighty, may get things done through them for the sake of the welfare of the humanity. But there will not be any sense of ‘doer-ship’ in such a person!

100. How is the dirt of the mind removed? With no chance for residual presence of feelings such as, hate or desire, gain or loss, victory or defeat; when you take up on yourself a huge responsibility of conducting a Yagna of magnificent proportions, and get involved in it with your heart, mind, speech and soul; by this one pointed concentration, the dirt of the mind gets cleansed automatically! When the mind is prevented from it’s normal proclivity of running hither and thither and focused one-pointedly, like the sun’s rays being concentrated by a prism, it becomes intensely hot, capable of burning off all the dross! In each Yagna there will be tens of thousands of activities, many mantra-s, many different types of materials, many loose ends to be tied at different times! All this is so created with the main purpose of cleansing the mind of the Doer of the Yagna, of it’s dirt.

101. To conduct an Ashwameda Yagna is something like organizing the Kumbh Mela once in 12 Years or managing the modern Olympics, once in four years! Let alone managing men and materials, many animals, including a Tiger some times, had to be brought in to the Yagnasala. Thus when somebody works with such one pointed concentration, over a number of years; that very focused involvement, makes his mind rid of all blemishes and become spotlessly clean and prepares him to raise to higher levels of existence where you do not have to do anything anymore. Similar is the effect of construction of a Temple or digging a lake or some such huge facility of social necessity. More than the direct effect of its usefulness socially, the cleansing effect on the mind of the individual, in such jobs is what is something special.

102. After having done his Samskara-s and various Yagna-s, it does not matter if a man does not become a Sanyasi. Because he also attains to the Punya Loka and oneness with the God Almighty, eventually. When God restarts the next cycle of creation, it does not affect this devotee, since he has lost his separateness, long long back. This point is made in a slightly different way in Bhagawat Gita, when Sri Krishna says that, “a ’Yoga brashta’ (that is some one who despite making some progress in the path of trying to become aware of his oneness with the Atma or God, dies short of his goal), is born in his next life, to restart from where he left off and eventually attain to his goal of ‘Atma Saatchaatkaara!” (Such a person would be noticed by the world to be born with a tremendous level of maturity and apparent divinity, like say Ramana Maharshi!) Those who do not have these Samskaras, attain to the correct path, by the process of doing their duties faultlessly, visiting temples with devotion, reading and listening devotional songs, doing the Oupasana & Pitru Karya-s, and by being responsible, honest and sincere members of the society.

Brahmin’s Daily Activities in To-day’s World

103. One question that is often put to me is this, “In to-day’s world is it humanly possible for any Brahmin to do all these Samskaras? What is the use of telling all these impossible things?” If I myself make a list of, what can be done and what cannot be done, it is likely that the latter list will keep on becoming longer and make everything impossible! So, whether you can do these things now or not, I leave it to you. But, at least after retirement, instead of thirsting for extension and re-employment, I would suggest that you try and do as many of the Anushtana-s as possible and prepare yourself for that, while still in service! Now let me tell you about what a daily routine of a Brahmin will look like, in the next e-mail, which will be the last, in the series about Gruhastam.
(To be continued.)


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