Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 144 (of Vol 2) Dated 24 August 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 144 (of Vol 2) Dated 24 August 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyavaal 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 978, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 143 of 22 August 2008.)
22. Manusmruti expresses a similar sentiment as done by Thiruvalluvar, Appar and Aachaaryaal. Like Ganges is considered to be foremost ‘Teertha Raajaa’, amongst all sacred places, Kurukshetra is the foremost. Manusmruti says, ‘Once Dharma is imbedded in a person’s heart, all his sins are automatically annulled. He Himself becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for others. He does not have to search for the sanctity of Ganges or Kurukshetra!’ I quote, “Yamo vaivasvato raja yastavaisha hrudi stitaha I Tena chetavivataste maa gangaam maa kuroon gamaha II”. Here, ‘Yamo vaivasvato rajaa’, is Dharma Raja that is, a sense of fairness, balance and equity.
23. Why should there be any doubt? Vedam itself states, that once there is maturity in a person’s heart, there is no need for Saastraa-s, Teerthaa-s, and Kshetraa-s. At that stage, Veda-s(that is, all the scriptures) and Deva-s(that is, all the deities) are of no relevance! I am quoting from Brihad Aaranyaka Upanishad IV.3.22.
24. This is not to be misinterpreted to mean that, Manu and Aachaaryaal and Appar were against observance of Karma Anushtaanaa-s. While adhering to all the restrictions and taboos and Karma-s as required of us, we should have an underlying thought that, one day we should be giving-up all this. To put it more appropriately, the back-ground conviction in our minds should be that, ‘there will be a time one day, when all these Karma-s will come to a stand-still. Then we would have transcended any need for any Karma. Then we would have dissolved ourselves in the only essential truth of all existence, without an iota of individuality and or separateness!’
25. The same Aachaaryaal who asked the question as to why we should go from Ganges to Saagaraa the Ocean, walked to each and every little hamlet or hillock, if that place had any temple or water source of the slightest religious significance! Not leaving any Kshetraa or Teerthasthaan uncovered, in the entire length and breadth of this country. That too, he did so by foot, when there were no roads and tracks, let alone Highways and Railways! Though he had a dig at the Pundits who were well versed in Vyaakarana and Literature, in ‘Bhaja Govindam’ and ‘Sivaananda Lahiri’, there was no subject in which He was Himself not an expert! There was no Saastraa unknown to Him!
After all, He had got the ‘Sarvagna’ certificate of Merit!
26. As the story goes, a cobbler tried to test Aachaaryaal, as to whether He knew the art of Shoe Making. When asked by him, Aachaaryaal’s reply was, “Oh Yes, I do”. Thus replying, He picked up the raw-materials, held the piece of leather between his legs, wetted the thread with the saliva by passing the initial lead of the thread between the teeth and lips and rubbed the sharp point of the needle on His nose and proceeded to pierce the leather held firm between His legs and start stitching! With that, the cobbler was convinced that, Aachaaryaal knew the ‘tricks of the cobbler’s trade too’! The Jagat Guru was rightfully proud of receiving accolades from the cobbler!
27. Similarly there is another story. The cow has a peculiar characteristic. When touched on its back, you may notice that the animal reacts to the touch, with the hair on its back standing on ends. This spreads out from the point of impact, in a rippling effect; like it happens when you drop a stone in the surface of calm waters. This was demonstrated by a gentleman, with the hairs on his back! This was appreciated by the King, who gave him a silk shawl. There was also appreciated by a shepherd who was present there. He also presented the torn, tattered wool blanket, on his back to the gentleman who had demonstrated this phenomena! That gentleman treasured that spontaneous appreciation more than the silk shawl from the King!
28. From these two stories, I hope you do not miss out on the most important point! What ever your own expertise, people had mutual respect and regards for such expertise of .Artists, Artisans and Craftsmen, in whatever their fields.
29. At one level, all these are required. At another, none of them are necessary! In Ygnavalkya Smruti, it says, “grantham abhyasya medaavee gyaana vigyaana tatparaha I palaalamiva dhanyarthee sarva saastram parityajet II”. This can be translated to mean, ‘the man in the field does his level best for the successful growth of the plant. Once that is over, what does he do during the harvest period? He removes the grains from the plant and chaff and takes only the grains. He leaves everything else as unwanted! Similarly, having read all the Sastraas, once attained to the Gnaana, all other things are to discarded as chaff only!’
30. As a Kissan is clear in his mind that he is doing whatever he does for harvesting the grains one day, all the sciences and saastraa-s; all the Karmaa-s and Kaaryaa-s; all the Anushtaanaa-s and procedures; the end result for which we do all this is, ‘A T M A G N A N A’, period, kaput! This is the plant that we are growing. I am saying all this for that purpose only!
(This series on Vidya Sthanam’ will be over in the next e-mail.)


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