Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 147 (of Vol 2) Dated 03 Sept 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 147 (of Vol 2) Dated 03 Sept 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 988, of volume 2, of the Tamil original.)

9. The Point of View from Veda-s and Gita. Let us now first look at the argument in the Veda-s itself that ‘Jaati is not by birth’. Since after all, Veda-s are the root, we must clarify this first. This is exactly like the insistence that Veda-s approve of only ‘Adult Marriage’ and not ‘Balya Vivaham’. That is without reference to the context and continuity, to quote from some corner of the Veda-s with wrong generalization and misunderstanding.

10. I will give you one strong proof of the fact that as per the Veda-s, Jaati is from birth and not by Guna, (a term which includes in its meaning shades of inclination, tendencies, traits and characteristics). The Samskaras such as SouLam done at three years of age, Upanayanam done at five or seven years of age, are done as per being born in a Brahmin family and not by assessing your Guna-s! At very young age (that is, before the traits or aptitudes can be identified), since there are various Samskara-s based on birth; it is clear that as per the aim of the basic Saastraa-s, the differentiation on Jaati, were not based on Guna but on birth.

11. Let us look at the Gita. “Sama Darsanam” is a concept mentioned in Gita (V.18), meaning ‘to see everything as equal’! From this to conclude that there are no differences between Jaati-s is, ‘jumping to conclusions’! At what stage did Krishna Paramatma say that this concept evolves? This is the stage when all involvement is over, all separateness is gone, all sense of God and his creation is no more and the man or woman has gone beyond the stage of being an individual! In that stage, everything is equal, no more disparity or separateness or differentiation! This is talked about by the Veda-s and Upanishad-s too, as being applicable for a Gnaani, who has no duty or Karma to perform. This is not applicable to you and me, who are deeply involved in the functional world of give and take, known as ‘vyavahaara ulagam’. For the Yogi, is ‘sama darsanam, sama chittam, and sama buddhi’. Never ever did Bhagawan Sri Krishna say that this ‘sama darsanam’ is applicable in this world of disparities galore! He never talked about ‘sama karyatvam’, equality in the work!

12. Bhagwan never said that there is no Jaati ‘bhedam or vitas’; but only says, “chaturvarnyam maya Drushtam guna karma vibhgasaha”, meaning that ‘the division of Jaati which divides the work as per the Guna-s, has been done by Him’. (Gita IV.13.)

13. At what age are we to identify the Guna-s of an individual and classify him under one of these Jaati-s and make him responsible for a certain set of duties? Then when is he to learn his Vidya-s and practice his profession? If he is a Brahmin or if he is to considered as a Brahmin, he should have been given his ‘ChouLam’ (of fully shaved head, with a tuft of hair left uncut, which will subsequently grow in to a proper ‘Kudumi’ after periodical hair cuts), at age three; by age five he should have been given Yagnopaveetam/poonool; and by age seven or eight, he should have joined the Gurukulam! Otherwise, the whole process of his Adhyayanam(learning) and Adhyaapakam(teaching) of Veda-s and Vidya-s(arts and crafts), will get delayed.

14. If the rule and practice were to teach his profession only after the Guna-s have formed, would lead to the situation that much of the young impressional age would have been wasted! Ask any artisan and check this point out. Let it be carpentry or jewelry or iron smith’s work or masonry or sculpture; they will uniformly tell you that the finer aspects of their craft is best learnt at a young age by repeated iteration of watch and learn! Once he is into the teen-age, laziness, greed, ego and unwarranted ambition would have over taken his personality and attitudes! He would rather like to be an artist of Bollywood or Tollywood or Hollywood or at least of the Idiot-box! The society will be denied of the benefits of the arts of his trade, as it is happening now-a-days. Instead of arts of his trade, we are subjected to only the tricks of his trade; in which he has learnt as to how to make more money out of you, whether he is a plumber or electrician or carpenter!

15. Bhagwan who repeatedly insists that ones Karma is to be done as per ones duty without wastage of even a second could not have supported the picture painted in the above paragraph. He is not a politician to have differences in his theoretical point of view and practical policy! What do we see in His life? When Arjuna sat in the floor of his chariot saying, “I will not fight. It is better for me to become a beggar living on alms instead of blood-letting my kith and kin and assuming emperor-hood!”, what did He tell him? He said, “You are born in the Kshatriya Jaati. Your ‘Swadharma’ is to fight battles and wars. Pick up your Bow Ghandeeva! Fight your battles. Demonstrate your prowess of archery.”

16. At least here one may give some sort of explanation. Arjuna was known as a great charioteer ‘Maharathan’ and ‘Maha Veera’. So, his hesitation about having to kill his kith and kin, might have been momentary. Otherwise his inner being was more prone to display his valour and fighting qualities! So, Krishna instigated him to fight, calling it his ‘Swadharma’, you may say. That Swadharma cannot be cannot be considered as Jaati Dharma, can be your view point! Thus we could make circuitous explaining away of Sri Krishna’s actions and statement and say that Arjuna’s natural tendency that Sri Krishna pointed out cannot be taken as Jaati Dharma!

17. But then let us look at Dharmaputra. He was of the view that there should never be a war. Come what may, he was ready to agree to whatever pittance the Kourava-s were ready to grant the Pandavas. From the beginning he was ready to accept even five houses in place of half of the empire! It was Sri Krishna, who having gone for last minute consultation as a Royal messenger between the two sides; who got them deeply into an irrevocable war! Even before that, he egged Dharmaputra to win over all small kingdoms to become ‘Saarvabowma’ and made him conduct the ‘Raajasooya’ Yagna! This Raajasooya Yagna was supervised directly by Sri Krishna. Dharmaputra was never for such ‘fame and name’! So it is clear that with Dharmaputra also He insisted on Jaati Dharma of the Kshatriya-s and not his natural proclivity. So, why did he say, (in the earlier quoted sloka), ‘guna karma vibhaaghasaha’?, answer follows.

18. Swadharma of Guna and Profession, Follows Birth! This Jaati dharma traditionally becomes second nature to each and everyone from generation to generation. So, when Sri Krishna says, ‘guna karma vibhaaghasaha’ there is no contradiction between theory and practice, in what Sri Krishna says and does! These very individual traits, qualities, characteristics and idiosyncrasies; put together known as Guna is also the same as ‘Swadharma’! (More about this in the next e-mail.)


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