Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 150 (of Vol 2) Dated 10 Sept 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 150 (of Vol 2) Dated 10 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 page number 1,000, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. This e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 149 (of Vol 2) dated 08 Sept 2008.)
39. I said that even in western countries which are known as developed countries, with the maximum of modern amenities and facilities plentifully available, they are not happy. Actually there is more per capita unhappiness and gross unhappiness than anywhere else! Every American individually and the Nation collectively is deeper in the ‘red’ than any other country in the world!
40. Last years model car is outdated by the time it is purchased on credit! There are other costlier brands already plying on the roads! What more modern amenities can they think of? May be soon they will make individual flying, from roof-top to roof-top an ordinary happening. Then what? Look at house construction. A hut which was man’s dwelling place, had tree leaves closely meshed as the roof with the mud floor being coated with cow-dung! Such a house became cemented with mosaic floor, to tiled to vitreous tiles to granite to marble to deferred loan payment to fore-closures! There is no end to human desire for luxury and there can be no end to human greed!
41. Look at textiles. Everyday there are different kind of materials being added to the repertoire. More and more newer, nicer, softer and costlier materials only lead to the state when one is never happy enough and satisfied enough! Without satisfaction, we have to carry on increasing our income, endlessly! This was very well known to our fore fathers. That is why they insisted that man should ‘not’ try to earn more than what was required to satisfy the bare necessities. In recent times this is what Mahatma Gandhi emphasized.
42. In this century, in the name of ‘progress and equality’, man has been driven to ever widening chasm between what he has and what he wants! This so called ‘progress and equality’ will never let anybody be happy and satisfied. Competition, jealousy and heart-burn are ever widening vicious circles engulfing everybody in their wake! As per the Varna Ashrama Dharma, economically without any variation between Jaati/Varna, everybody was supposed to be at the same level. They were all required to lead an equally simple life of no pomp and show! Then only there can be equality without any scope for heart-burn.
43. Too much money and luxury should not be available to anyone of any profession. More than all that money can fetch you, the most important thing that we are all looking forward to is ‘inner self satisfaction’ or ‘Atma Trupti’. All the events and actions of this life are for that satisfaction only! It is the mind that has to feel that fullness, wholesomeness. That fullness is not going to be achieved by any possession whatsoever. This fullness, wholesomeness, is actually a prerequisite for ‘Bhagawat Dhyanam and Chintanam’! ‘Podum enra maname pon seyum marundu’, is a Tamil proverb, which says, ‘the mind that says ‘enough’ is a golden medicine! Another Tamil proverb says, ‘alavukku meerinaal amirtamum visham!’, meaning, ‘even nectar is poisonous if limits are crossed!’
44. That is why, if you give too much importance to bodily comforts, you can never get away from the clutches of the senses, which will pull you down into the mire of never ending dissatisfaction! Similarly, if you avoid physical hard work and look for comfort and luxury; this mind will be corrupted beyond recognition. So, spiritual advancement is only possible with certain amount of discomforts coupled with hard work and perseverance!
One Big Misunderstanding.
45. There is one big misunderstanding videly prevalent, instigated by some vested interests that, in the arrangement set up as per the Varna Aashrama Dharma of the Saastra-s, the Brahmin has the easiest of jobs, with the maximum of income and least of inconvenience. This is totally wrong!
46. In the system as evolved by our Saastra-s, the physical labour required to be in-put by a Brahmin is not any less as compared to a farmer in the field or a blue collar worker in the factory! There is a wrong notion in the minds of people who, not being aware of the Karma Anushtaanaa-s required to be observed by a Brahmin, that having drawn maximum work out of other castes, the Brahmin used to sit happily and enjoy the benefits of a comfortable life! The Brahmin had to get up at four in the morning. Rainy season or winter, he was required to have a bath in cold water. From then onwards, he had an endless series of Karma-s lined up. Sandya Vandanam, Brhma Yagna, Oupaasanam, Deva Pooja, Vaisvadevam, and then may be some Japa and may be one of the 21 Yagna-s. In the heat and smoke of Homa he had to fast on many days. If other caste people sit like this for four days, they will know as to how physically tiring the Brahmins work could be! How many days the Brahmin had to go without food! To give you one example, Ekaadasi Vratam could go on till next day afternoon. And that day if it happens to be a day for Sraardham, you just had it!
47. Other caste people do not have this sort of requirements to fullfil. They are expected to eat their full before starting the day’s work. The farmer could have yesterday’s cooked food especially left over for next day morning, known as, ‘pazhiadhu’! If you have that rice cooked and soaked overnight in water, now eaten early in the morning with some salt, a few pieces of onion and some hot red pepper to bite on; Oh! The experience could be heavenly! Brahmin does not have this ‘right’! The Dharma Saastra-s were not written for the sake of ensuring the ‘rights’ of the Brahmin.
48. If that was the case, he would not have assigned to himself the toughest of the regimen, with the most rigorous discipline. By the time he has his food of the day, it would be one or two in the afternoon! On days of Yagam / Sraardham, it could even be 3 or 4! By that time the farmer in the field would have had the Lunch (his second meal of the day), brought by his wife to his work spot and would be taking his afternoon nap under the shade of a tree! What do you think that the Brahmin’s food would contain? He was not supposed to eat a very nutritious food. His cloth were not required to be to elaborate either. One loin cloth, one Veshti to go around (literally Veshti means to ’go around’) his hips and legs and one smaller piece of cloth, thrown on the upper torso, as ‘uttareeyam’ (meaning the ‘upper‘). The farmer could save money, but the Brahmin was not to do that! Then he had no right to take a loan!
49. In Maha Bharata, Yaksha Prasna, it is clearly given as to how simple a life was to be led by a Brahmin! “panchame a-hani shashte vaa saakam pachati svegruhe I anrunee cha a-pravaasee cha sa vaari chara modate.” Try and decipher the meaning of that. I will give you the meaning in the next e-mail!


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