Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 151 (of Vol 2) Dated 12 Sept 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 151 (of Vol 2) Dated 12 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 1,004, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. This e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 150 (of Vol 2) dated 10 Sept 2008.)
50. I am going to translate the sloka which I had quoted in the last e-mail. If you divide the day time into eight parts, the Brahmin may be able to partake his food only in the fifth or sixth part of the day! Before that, he is not to have some ‘Nasta or snacks or light eats’! Even in that, ‘panchame a-hani shashte vaa’, what is his menu supposed to be. He is not to have ‘Sakkarai Pongal or Badam Kheer’ and so on! No. He is to have some, ‘saakam pachati’, meaning green leaves to be plucked, cooked and eaten. Some ‘mullik keerai or ponnaangkanni keerai or pasalai keerai(spinach), not belonging to anybody, but growing wild on the river bank! That is why the Brahmin was required to locate his hut on the river bank.
51. Another reason is that he was required to take a bath, say ‘at the drop of a hat’ to borrow a phrase from the English language! He is not supposed to keep money. He is not supposed to beg, for his own sustenance! He can do ‘Yaachagam’, that is begging, for conducting a Yagna, may be a small one or even a Vaajapeyam! But no one should be able to say, “Who is this Brahmin? Where has he come from, to grab and eat?” This is the meaning of the word, ‘anrunee’ that is, irreproachable, because he is not indebted to anybody! ‘Daaridryam’ that is, poverty and ‘aparigraham’, that is, not possessing anything more than the minimum essential requirements; are the defining Brahministic characteristic quality. So he is not supposed to take anything on loan either!
52. The trend now-a-days for the common man to industrialists and corporate entities to Governments; is to take loan and do everything on credit / deficit financing! You are clever if you do business with other peoples money and never with your own! Governments want to exploit other countries resources and safe-guard their own! If there is one lot of people who are living by their own by-laws, without taking loans, I think, they are the ‘narik-kuravargal’, that is, the nomadic gypsies only!
53. The last character quality of that Brahmin described in that sloka is, ‘apravaasam’. Whether recognized or ignored, whether respected or disrespected, even when in utter poverty, he has to do his Dharma and remain within his place or region! Now, when people claim that they are settling in England or America or Australia; when people for some extra earning want to go and settle in other countries; it is looked down upon in our Saastra-s.
54. Since the early stages of our history, till recently, all the Jaati-s were used to daily hard work, irrespective of whether they were Brahmins or Kshatriya-s or Vysya-s or Sudra-s. They used to willingly abide with simple living. There was never any hatred between the Jaati-s and there was never any talk of doing away with the caste system of the society! All this talk of reformation and correctional arrangements, basically evolved from an idea that the very caste system was with the ulterior purpose to facilitate exploitation of some castes by others. There might have been some misfits or aberrant behavior on behalf of some. But those were only exceptions and not the rule!
55. Simplicity in life and physical hard work are the best for attaining (Trupti and Chitta Suddhi), satisfaction and clarity of mind. That is how it has been going on for not only centuries, but for thousands of years, in this country! We should take note of the fact that the Saastra-s which divides the society into various Jaati-s, insist and emphasize, the importance of the requirements of ‘simplicity and physical hard work’, in day to day life!
56. I said that Guna and Manobhava are not being considered as the basis for selection of prospective candidates for jobs these days. All the problems in the job market are due to the fact that, money and personal convenience are the only criteria. The competitiveness, jealousy and heart-burn; are all due to this only. In the olden times, when birth was the basis, the natural talent and aptitude, accrued automatically! People were hereditarily entitled as though to refinement and expertise. Now, it seems as though that everyone is entitled to mediocrity and inefficiency!

The Matter of Equal Opportunities
57. Like talking about Guna and Manobhava, as the basis of employment, the matter of equal opportunities, is another impossible dream! The number of seats say for Engineering and Medicine every year, are pre decided based on other considerations such as, availability of qualified teachers, and the profitability, in each College or Institution, in each State and the whole Country. Then much less number of seats are planned for many other new specialized subjects such as Atomic Science and so on. Then when selecting students for these courses, some are selected and some are discarded. Same thing happens in all sorts of selections, even at the highest levels. People dropped or selected, are exactly similar in capabilities and qualifications! We are not arguing about these things.
58. We are not questioning as to how the Government arrives at the number of Engineers, Doctors, Auditors and so many other professional jobs; required for the country, in the next year or decade. We are not raising our voice, as to why is someone selected and as to why someone else is dropped! Evidently we cannot say that all the qualified persons should be selected. Though Education is a subject of concern to the whole country, many private organizations are entering in to this area, as it is good business. We are quietly accepting what ever is happening. Then why are we objecting and interfering only with whatever is said in the Saastra-s? Why are we trying to import many of the policies and concepts which might have been suitable for conditions elsewhere in the world, in to our midst, without due consideration of the deleterious effects such concepts could have in our country? Many of these concepts have been verbatim taken from the French Revolution. Those ideas were suitable for the conditions existing in that country at that time!

Unifying Force
59. If your question is, “ OK. If the Jaati-s are so separated, how can the society be integrated?”, my answer is that, say in the India of yore, the whole country was more united, than to-day! The reason was the fact that, despite the division into different Caste-s, they were aware of being belonging to one religion and had equal trust and belief in the Saastra-s! In center of each town or small hamlet, there was a Temple. There, they were all devotees of the same God. That bound them in to unity. They all joined hands in prayer, devotional rituals and religious celebrations! They all contributed and participated, individually and collectively.
(More about this to continue.)


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