Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 154 (of Vol 2) Dated 19 Sept 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 154 (of Vol 2) Dated 19 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 last para of page number 1,013, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. This e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 153 (of Vol 2) dated 17 Sept 2008.)
79. These Members of Parliaments and Members of Legislative Assemblies, who talk so fluently about everybody being equal, equip themselves with enormous amount of privileges and money availability, in the pretext of doing their duties and developing their constituency. All that they end up doing is to feather their own nest and ensure supply of votes for the next general election! Then they empower themselves with abundant powers that this statement of mine could be declared as ‘contempt’ of some constitutional office or institution! They are not equal. They are some super humans! But the caste which put stringent restrictions on itself, for the sake of the society at large, is shamelessly declared as the one exploiting the society! In reality those who protected and nurtured Dharma are the Brahmins who for any aberration or mistake by others, took a bath and re-started the ritual and if need be put themselves under restrictions of fasting for any procedural error that might have been purely accidental.
80. The Brahmin was required to know all the 18 Vidya Sthaanaa-s. He had to know all that was required for the world’s normal functioning. He had to know the fine-art of music, called the Gandarva Vedam. He had to know the Krishi Saastram of agriculture. It is a Samhitai under Jyotisham, as agriculture even to day is dependent on periodic rains as input, which is part of Jyotisham! He should know Vaastu Saastra, for construction of houses and buildings. He was required to teach those other castes on all the subtle points, but not supposed to make it his own profession. He should do Veda Adhyayanam and Adhyaapakam. He is not to make too much money. He is not to take any loan!
81. Viswamitra knew Dhanur Vedam. When he was doing Yagna, two Rakshasaas Subhahu and Maricha, started creating problems in the conduct of the Yagna. He did not say, “Since I know Dhanur Veda, let me sort them out myself”. He requested Dasaratha for the helping hands of Sri Rama and Sri Lakshmana. He brought them on the scene to fight the demons. Enroute he taught them the Astra-Sastra Vidya-s required. Though Viswamitra was a Kshatriya by birth, while practicing as a Brahmin, he did not suddenly change roles!
82. So, a Brahmin has to carefully nurture Veda Adhyayanam and Adhyaapakam. But he should know other Vidya-s too. When asked as to if he knows fencing with the sword, he should be able to say, “Yes”. When asked as to if he knows medicine, he should be able see the patient and do diagnosis and prognosis! Thus he should be able to teach the village Vaidya, some of the intricate points of his profession! So should he be an Expert in Painting, Master in Carpentry and Maestro in Music! Having made the worker in that field his Sishya, having taught him the finer nuances of his job, he should accept whatever the Guru Dakshina, without cribbing and be satisfied!
83. Still in some odd areas, if there is some rare special privileges, then that would be absolutely justified. For example the person issuing tickets, say for a function, should be seated inside an enclosure. It stands to reason that, he cannot be milling around with the crowd jostling for the tickets! In the place meant for distribution of tickets, if you argue that, “It is not correct for the person issuing the tickets to be seated inside an enclosure while the recipients have to stand outside. This is not ’Samatvam’! We want equality for all!”, that would not be reasonable. Result could only be chaos. Everybody need certain special proviso, to do their duty effectively. If some one is sick in the family, we do take special care of that person. Everybody cannot be equal all of the time!
84. There are common Dharma stipulations for all castes in our religion. But there has to be some special proviso for certain duties. That is not partiality. Actually those conveniences and liberties are meant to be misused. Those provisos are meant for everybody’s benefit only. To give the Brahmin working space to move around, without being smothered in a crowded environment, is not too much to ask for. Since after all their actions are not for their own sake but on behalf of everybody!
85. There should be love and unity in our hearts. It is not enough to physically intermingle as one Jaati. You take all those societies for comparison, where there is no caste or Jaati. Even if you take the socialistic pattern of society, supposed to be obtaining in the Communistic countries, are there no gradations in them? Take the western countries, where anyone marries anybody. Look at the mutual hatred, competitiveness and intolerance prevailing in those societies! Comparatively, in our set up, people had different areas of responsibility as far as the work load was concerned. But they were all mutually complimenting each others job. There was mutual respect for each others work. Whether it was construction of a Temple or digging of a pond or conduct of a festival; there was co-operation and synergy.
86. If the daughter-in-law of the family does not speak directly to the father-in-law, it is due to inherent respect and not due to hate. When there is an occurrence of death or child birth, with in the family there is supposed to be varying periods of ‘Asoucham / Theettu’. Then even close relatives are not supposed to touch, that is, avoid physical contact. That does not mean ‘untouchability’ as a social evil, as it is made out to be. The defect is in the perception and not in the tradition itself!
All for Everybody’s Benefit Only
87. In the Brhma Yagnam, the Brahmin is required to share his food with, the Gods, Rishi-s, Pithru-s, Athiti-s, animals, birds and insects, everyday. In Vaisvadevam, he is required to specially cater for the visitor from the fourth caste if any. All that is said in the Veda-s are for universal benefit. “Lokaah samasthaah sukhino bhavantu!”, is a prayer literally wishing for everybody’s happiness. There is not a single sentence in the Vedas of narrow minded parochialism!
88. A Kshatriya’s activities of protecting the borders, internal government, administration, policing and so on; are all meant for everybody’s welfare. A Vaisya’s activities of trade and commerce are all meant for the society’s welfare only. Their Dharma is mentioned in Bhgawat Gita as, “krishi, gow raksha, vaanijyam vaisyam karma swabhaavajam”. Here three main duties of the Vysya caste are said to be, agriculture(food production and food processing), taking care of cattle, dairying and related activities, (especially taking care of the milk producing cows) and conduct of trade and commerce(Gita XVIII.44). Through these activities, they provide the services to the whole nation. To work for the welfare of the nation by producing more and more to meet the requirements of the population is a Vaisya Dharma. To increase productivity and help others in establishing industries is part of that Dharma. To procure things from different parts of the globe and fetch it to places where it is not available, is part of the same Dharma. It is a great service to the society.
89. At the same time not to do business, for a Vaisya is a sin! Similarly, for a Brahmin it is a sin not to be doing his Karma Anushtana and do some other’s job of trading or soldiering or providing service. We must refrain from thinking that they are all pulling in different directions. They are all doing their allotted role for everybody’s benefit, while benefiting their own selves. That is but natural! The idea should be to help each other while taking the rightful share. Personal advantage should not be at the undue cost of others.
(To be continued.)


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