Friday, September 12, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 34 of (Vol 2) of 12 Oct 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.Deivathin Kural # 34 of (Vol 2) of 12 Oct 2007.(continued from DK # 33 of 11 Oct 2007.)The Main Logic of Velvi / Yagna Karma.124. Why is there this Yagnam, an effort to give 'Aahuti', to Devatas as God's representatives; only in our religion and in no other? When we think about this, and think of the logic of it, I feel that we should look at how the world functions. When there is surplus production of any commodity in one place, it is sent to other places where it is not in abundance and get something else in turn; that is more plentifully available there. All trade and commerce the world over; is based on this simple logic! This happens between houses, areas, cities, regions and countries! Carpenter, goldsmith, blacksmith, and so many such craftsmen either sell their finished goods or provide repair service. They do our work and we look after their requirement. We give grass to the cows and they give us milk. We pay taxes to the government and they manage the nation's affairs and provide protection from external threat and internal law and order. The whole world runs on such 'give and take' of exchanges, including international trade.125. Engineers could help in diverting the rain water in suitable channels for irrigation while avoiding wastage and spillage. They cannot themselves make the rainfall. (Now-a-days they do what is known as seeding the clouds. For that however, we need rain bearing clouds.) For rains we need to send some things to the Heavens. This mutual exchange is described in Baghawat Gita. "devaan bhavayataanena te devaa bhavayanthu va: I parasparam bhavayanta sreya: param avaapsyata II" This means, 'through Yaagas you keep the Devas happy. Let them take care of your welfare by rains and such actions. Thus mutually helping each other, you may both attain to the highest, ('param sreya: avaapsyata') . Killing Animals & Offering as Aahuti in Yagna?126. Yagnam is in the form of Mantra, Devata and Havis (or Aahuti). Mantra is to be chanted by mouth; Devata is to be thought of by mind; Havis is to be offered as the material; thus combining the oneness of concentrating 'mano-vaak-kayam' in their respective modes of thought, speech and action. In havis, ghee is important. Not only is the melted butter directly poured in the fire of yaagam; anything put in the fire as Aahuti, is said to be cleansed by a few drops of ghee over it, before that item is offered in oblation! In some yaagas, animal has been permitted to be offered.127. Is it a sin to offer animal meat while doing Yagnam? Madvacharyar, had ruled that we should not kill an animal and do Yaagam, offering its body parts in oblation. He adviced that we should make a symbolic offering of a piece of rice powder kneeded with water to form a ball of material, to represent a 'pasu'. (Incidentally, in Sanskrit, every animal is a 'pasu' and not necessarily a cow.)Vyasa who organised the Vedas in to four, also wrote the 'Brhma Sutram'. In it he has covered the 'gnana kaandam' portion of vedantam as given in the Upanishads. The Yagna part are in the 'poorva meemamsa' that is the earlier karma kaandam. The usefulness of doing Yagnam is given in the 'uttara meemamasa' of gnaana kandam. You cannot graduate to the later portion, without going through the primary portion, which cleanses the mind. So, the actions of yaaga and yagnam of the earlier portion of Karma Kaandam, cannot be sinful, as that is the process of refinement and graduation to the later part. 128. "Asuddham iti chenna sabdaat", says Brhma Sutram. This means that, Veda itself is saying, "to do yagnam is the prelude in action, to the later awareness. So it is not to be done as though it is a dirty thing!" How do we decide as to what is clean and what is not? That decision itself is done by referring to Saastras. Vedas are the highest of the saastras. Yagnam as a Sabdam is ordained in Vedas. "So, there is no sin in doing it!", says Veda Vyasa in Brhma Sutra. Elsewhere, Veda clearly forbids, "Do not drink alcoholic drinks". So it is clear that 'to imbibe liquor', is not approved as per the Vedas. As Madhvacharyar had adviced, even when we make symbolic representation of an animal, in a piece of kneeded dough; we still do 'prana pratishta' of the animal. So it is tantamount to killing the animal in sacrifice only!129. Now we move one gear Up. In Thirukkural, Thiruvalluvar says. "avi sorindu aayiram vettalin onran uyir seguththu unnaamai nanru". Meaning, 'compared to conducting a thousand yagnas, it is better not to kill one life form and eat it'. This is interpreted to mean that, Thiruvalluvar is against conduct of Yagnas. How far can one be from what is meant? Dharmam should be done. Don't we kill in war? Do we not put a murderer in the gallows? For the sake of many people's benefit, there is nothing wrong in sacrifising an animal's life. 130. When Thiruvalluvar says that, 'instead of a thousand yagnas, it is better not to hurt even one animal', has he decried conduct of yagnas? Manu also says elsewhere that, 'one aswa medha yaagam is superior to thousand yagnas'. (Aswamedha yaagam is one in which a horse is sacrificed.) Then he goes on to say that, 'to utter one truth, is better than conduct of a thousand aswamedha yaagas'. What does it mean? It means that they are all great things. But they are being listed in their order of preferability. Comparison is always between similar things. You can compare Ekaadasi fasting with fasting in Siva Rathri. But we cannot say that, 'fasting in Siva Rathri' is better than 'opening a super-market' ! At the end of 'Chandokya Upanishad' while recommending the the preferability of "Ahimsa", it says clearly that, such preferance is to be exercised in all activities other than, Veda Karmas. In the 'Kural' if Ahimsa is superior to conduct of Yagnas, it means that, it is great to conduct Yagnas but, it is greater to observe Ahimsa. Conduct of a thousand yagnas is great. But it is even better not to kill an animal!131. Now if we note as to where this 'Kural' occurs, we will see that it is part of the chapter on 'thuraviyal, under the head, pulal maruthal', that is, the kind of advices given to people who have taken to a life of renouncement, with no attachments whatsoever, living on alms. Such a person is supposed to give up eating meat also. So, the 'Kural' goes on to say that, a householder may conduct a thousand Yagnas, but a 'sanyasi', should refrain from eating meat. As per Saastras too, a Sanyasi has no right to do Yagnas; his is the total 'Ahimsa'. To quote the Kural out of context is the 'fluent sleight of hand' of some. 132. Yagnas are of many types. Onethe 'Vedangas' is Kalpam, about which I am going to talk to you later. Then I will cover in detail, the various types of Yagnas. Here, what I wanted to say was that, animal sacrifice is not to be done in all types of Yagnas. The things offerred in Havis are, Ghee as 'Aajyam', cooked rice with ghee; cooked cereals as 'charu'; baked 'purodasam', that is dry cakes of mixed cereals and pulses; milk in Agnihotram; 'Akshatai' or dry rice coloured with 'Haldi and Kumkum', in 'Aupaasanam' ; dry twigs of some selected plants, in 'Samita Daanam'. Even in those Yagnas, where animal sacrifice is permitted, only a very very small portion, is left out as remainder, which is to be consumed as 'prasaadam', by the Ritwiks. 133. There are 21 Yagnas to be done. In this, in those which are to be done daily, there is possibility of animal sacrifice. The 21 Yagnas are divided in to three parts of seven each, as Bhaga Yagnam, Havir Yagnam and Soma Yagnam. There is no 'pasu bali' or animal sacrifice in any of the Bhaga Yagnams. So is the case on the first five of the Havir Yagnas. So 12 out of 21 areYagnas, without, animal sacrifice. The balance nine are rarely done events. It is a fictitious canard, the way it is described in the text books that, 'a whole lot of animals were driven to the place of Yaaga; many animals were slaughtered in sacrifice and the Brahmins ate a lot of meat!'. There is no such Yaagam! The 'Vajpeyam' lists 23 animals. 'Aswamedham' is done by Emperors, in which 100 animals are sacrificed. In all our Puranas, Aswamedham is mentioned two or three times only! If a Yagnam of that magnitude was done more times, it would have been mentioned more number of times, naturally? 134. "Because they had love for eating meat, which otherwise they are not supposed to have, just on the pretext of satisfying the 'Deities', the Brahmins did these Yaaga / Yagnas", is far far from the truth. The Veda is quite clear as to which part of the body of the animal is to be used and how much the part is to be cut. Out of that, the Ritwiks are supposed to swallow, a very small piece, the size of a grain of a pulse, without salt or sugar or sour or pepper; tastes added to it! So, to say that, 'Brahmins out of greed for meat-eating, were duping the general public in the name of conducting Yagnas', is a totally irreverent falsehood.135. Now,in the name of Research and Analysis, in Medical laboratories all over the world, is there any account of how many animals are being held captive and how many are being killed every day? Does anyone raise a finger against this? The understanding in everyone's mind is that, for the general benefit of many, some lives may have to be sacrificed! It is exactly this reason for which Yagnas have been thought of. In reality there is nothing wrong. The belief is that, those animals get 'sat gati' for having contributed for a noble cause. (Now stop for a moment and relate this matter under discussion, to the number of animals being killed all over the world in every city, in the butcheries / abbatoirs / slaughter houses, and so on, just to satisfy human hunger!) 136. Another fallacious ditortion is, 'in the name of 'Soma Yagam', the Soma Rasam that is drunk is like drinking liquor only. 'Soma Rasam' is not an intoxicating drink at all! What is said in an over statement that, "...Indra got mad after drinking Soma Rasam and killed his enemy...", is being misinterpreted and misquoted. First of all, the very Physiogeny and Morphogeny, of Human beings and Devatas; are totally dissimiler. Also to think that the Ritwiks drank some barrels after barrels or bottles after bottles of intoxicating drinks by way of 'Soma Rasam' is simply ignorance. The whole of 'Soma Rasam' made from a plant 'Soma Lata', is less than a tumbler full of say a few ounces! What is left in that tumbler, which is less than one fluid ounce, is shared by the Ritwiks as 'huta sesham'. By no strtch of imagination can this be construed as sufficient to get anybody drunk! 137. Yet some people have compared the Soma Rasam with the modern day coffee brew. This is also a far fetched idea. 'Soma lata', the creeper is not at all available now-a-days. The King of Kollangodu, used to provide this plant for making Soma Rasam, whenever Soma Yagam was conducted anywhere. Now-a-days as the keenness and involvement for doing as per the Veda Dharma is getting dissipated, the availability of this plant is also on the wane. There is no connection between the Coffee brew and Soma Rasam made from that creeper.138. In short, Yagnas mean offering 'Aahuti' to each Devata, through chanting of a particular Mantra. In one way the Mantras themselves are the Sound form of that Devata. If the material being offered in oblation is that Devata's, food; the Mantra too is like a nourishment contributing towards increasing that Devata's power. Thus the combination of action, material and sound, makes the Yagnas, multi-pronged and multi-purposed. We pay taxes. They are all going to one government only, may be state or center. For each thaere is a seperate place, office, procedure and paper work. So there is a seperate karma and seperate mantra. But, the final intention and destination are uniformly the same. The King or Government may not know individually each one of us, except that we have to keep the reciept / acknowledgement. But in the case of God, more than us He knows as to who is sincere and who is evading! He is one government that cannot be fooled!139. Thus for each Yaaga Karma, there is the specific Mantram, Material and Devata. Chanting the Mantra by mouth (Vaacha); keeping the Dravya or material ready in hand for offering (Kaayena); with the mind fully focussed on the Devata (Manasa); the Yaaga is to be done. Should we continue with live sacrifices of animals in the Kaliyuga? This question will be answered in the next e-mail! Sambhomahadeva.



At 8:43 PM, Blogger prp said...

I read yr notes today.In fact i was looking for this for many years.If can guide me how exactly i should follow or practice atharvanam and other vedhams i shall be greatful to u.


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