Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 155 (of Vol 2) Dated 22 Sept 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 155 (of Vol 2) Dated 22 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 1,018, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. This e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 154 (of Vol 2) dated 19 Sept 2008.)
The Real Favourable Status of the Fourth Caste
90. I was telling you as to how the duties and responsibilities of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas; are all for the benefit of the whole society. The nation and society needs them to be working sincerely for their allotted roles. The contribution of the Fourth Caste of Sudra-s is equally important! It is their Dharma to be doing all the physical hard work. It may seem that they do not have as much comfort and status as other castes. The point should be noted that while seemingly down trodden, they have much less restrictions, stipulations and requirements of Do’s and Don’t’s. I would say that they were much closer to God and God Realization. Vyasa himself has said,”kalihi saaduhu, sudraha saaduhu”, meaning. ‘Kali is all right, Sudra is all right’. That is, the Kali Yuga is not to be considered as a bad period in comparison to other Yuga-s and Sudra is not to be considered as any less in comparison to other Caste-s.
91. What did he mean by that? To realize the unreality of life and ephemerality of existence, in the earlier Yuga-s, one had to take a lot of efforts as dhyanam, tapas, pooja and so on. In Kali Yuga, the process is much simplified. Chanting the name of God, known as ’nama sangeertana’ is good enough for self realization in Kali Yuga. In the case of the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vysya, there is every possibility of head-weight and pride! The Brahmin runs the risk of assuming himself to be too knowledgeable as evidently he would be on the grounds of access to Veda-s and all Vidya-s. Kshatriya is likely to become proud due to his wielding of power. In the case of Vysya, he is certain to be lacking in humility because of access to money power. They are all likely to go astray! In the case of Sudra, he does not run such risks. He is a repository of the quality of humbleness.
92. Thiruvalluvar says, “adakkam amararul uikkum adangaamai aarirul uiththuvidum”, meaning that the quality of humility ennobles and deifies man, while pride and vainglory is likely to take man to everlasting darkness. The Sudra has easy access to the quality of humility as a birth right. So for him the God is rather very close. That is why Vyasa Bhagwan says that ‘Sudra is Saadhu’.
93. Head-weight, ‘Ahankar’, vain gloriousness, pride, ego, arrogance and conceit; are all very closely related sinful qualities. While it is almost impossible to stand up in this over crowded world and taken note of, without some amount of ‘self-respect and pride’, as you become noticeable in any walk of life, it is equally impossible to subsequently avoid the pit fall of conceit. It is to avoid this very conceit that, the people of the other three caste-s have been ordained to participate in Karma Anushtaanaa-s, at three gradations. To be able to do those activities, there are a lot of restrictions, taboos and constraints in behaviour and diet.
94. Veda Mantra-s are effective only when these constraints, taboos and restrictions are strictly observed. These Do’s and Don’t’s, put together are known as ‘aachaaram’. It is sinful to let this ‘aachaaram’ go by default. We have to suffer the deleterious effects of such failures. Hence we have to maintain a strict watch over their observance. The fourth caste of the Sudra-s do not have these constraints. He has very little of the Do’s and Don’t’s. His work itself is worship! He accrues to ‘chitta Suddhi’ as a matter of course. He attains to much purification and clarity, very easily. That is why, Vyasa Bhagawan vouchsafes that ‘Sudra is Saadhu’, with both his hands raised high!
95. If he does not get enough food to eat or enough cloth to wear or a place to live; it is a sin of the society! It is a smudge in the name of the Government! The Brahmin too was to get the same facilities, without any difference in quality or quantity. I have said this before. I am saying this again. At the material and financial level, there was not to be any partiality.
No Disrespect; Only Removal of Pride.
96. If the reformists, who talk about socialism ask, ‘All that is OK. But, what happens to self-respect?’, it becomes a matter of objecting to their own avowed policies! What do they say? They at least verbally mouth the phrase, ‘dignity of labour’. Mahatma Gandhi washed the latrines himself. Rajagopala Achariyar washed his own clothes himself. To exhibit this dignity of labour, the Mayors of Corporations of the Cities and Towns, once every year at least symbolically, pick up the sweep and do the cleaning and dusting the roads themselves. This is given much publicity with photos in the news papers! Then to talk derogatorily of physical labour is simple double-talk and contradiction.
97. If you listen to me, I would suggest that we use the words, ‘Ahankar and pride’ rather than ‘status and self respect’ and then. Everything will be alright. The possibility of conceit and pride that the people from the other three castes are likely to fall prey to, is not likely to occur to the Sudra. From that perspective, Vyasa Bhagwan’s, ‘Sudraha saaduhu’ will become succinctly clear. As now these ‘non-difference, all-equal’ reformists claim, all Saastraa-s also declare that all Karya-s are equally great. As per the Saastraa-s, no body’s work is in any way less important. The engine or the driver are as important as the passengers or the tyre of the vehicle or the air in the tube! What is claimed by these reformists as equality is also emphasized by the Saastraa-s for spiritual advancement, with the added element of Bhakti / Devotion.
100. For the benefit of the world, country and the society, many jobs have to be done. There is just no gradation of importance there. Every part is as important as the whole! The only proviso is that all the actions have to be done as a humble offering at the feet of God! That endows on us clarity of mind and heart. Thereby we start our gravitation towards the Godhead! Then Chitta Suddhi, Atma Gnanam and Adwaitam are automatic.
101. So whether you look at it from the point of view of ‘dignity of labour’, or consider all your work as an offering to God; either way, pride and conceit gets annulled. As long as this ‘Ahankar’ or Ego is kept suppressed, we will not give our minds to the differences in our duties, restrictions, taboos and relative privileges or the lack of it. If a Brahmin gives in to the comforts and pleasures of the senses, as a Kshatriya or a Vysya, his mantra-s will not be effective. If a Sudra were to fast like a Brahmin, he will not be able to exert physically at all!
(To be Continued.)


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