Monday, December 01, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 23 (of Vol 3) Dated 01 Dec 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 23 (of Vol 3) Dated 01 Dec 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 98, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein the word 'man' includes 'woman' too. )
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at constantly up-dated.)
Rantideva's Second Sloka.
64. "Kshud-drut-sramo gatra paribramascha dhainyam klama: shoka vishada mohaa: I sarve nivruttaa: krupanasya janto: jijeevisho jeeva jalaarpanaat me II" As we sign-off our donations and offerings to deities and Brahmin Panditji-s by pouring out water through our hands, as he gave away the last bit of potable water, Rantideva said these words. What is the meaning of what he said?
65. "This water that I am giving away is not meant to quench the thirst, wants and needs of this one man only? No. It is meant to for the immanent life principle in all living beings, the God Himself, The Narayana. Through Him, let this water be capable of quenching the thirst, wants and needs of all life forms!"
66. Jeeva jijeevisho = wanting to live, krupanasya = orphaned, janto: = life forms, me = given by me, jala arpanaat = by this water donated, nivruttaa: = may be saved from, sarve = all, srama: = inconvenience, gaatra paribramascha = bodily discomfort and diseases, klama: = depression, shokha, vishaada, mohaa: = sorrow, dejection and delusion, caused by kshud = hunger, dhrut =thirst and all such needs and wants!
67. If you ask me as to how that little water could achieve all the above expectations, my answer is this. Remember the story we read in Maha Bharata about how hungry Durvaasa and his entourage of thousands were satisfied and satiated, when that small bit of crumb sticking to the utensil was eaten by Sri Krishna, to save Droupadi from embarrassment! This is also like that only. Instead of thinking of the beggar as some 'lost soul', Rantideva looked at him as another form of the same God Narayana! All life forms gets automatically included and satisfied! It is your sincerity that is more important than the material, 'as matter does not matter', but attitude does!
68. At the pinnacle of sacrifice thus when Rantideva gave that glass of water, (which was the only thing that could have prevented his certain death out of exhaustion caused by hunger and dehydration,) to that beggar from the lowest ladder of caste, the whole procession of beggars, came back one by one as Emissaries of Vishnu and exhibited their real form. (In Bhagavatam, it is said that they were the triad of Brhma, Vishnu, Maheswara; while in the notes written by the gentleman while Periyaval was giving the lecture, it is mentioned to be Envoys of Vishnu.)
69. The story in Bhagawatam ends with the statement that, he prostrated to them and entered into meditation on Lord Narayana. This imaginary world of Maya, slipped away from him like a dream! Normally such stories in Purana-s will end happily in a marriage or coronation. Vyasa and Vaalmiki have mentioned in the original texts of Ramayanam and Maha Bharatam, that Sri Rama and Panja Pandava-s rose to the Vaikuntam and Heavens respectively! The Pouranik-s who do 'pravachanam' on these, may stop short of the end and finish with the Coronation of Rama or Dharma Raja respectively.
70. In the case of Druva and Prahlada, though they wanted to merge in to the God Vishnu, God Himself is said to have refused that and installed them as the reigning Kings. Only in this story of Rantideva, instead of saying that all the draught conditions vanished and he lived a long life in plentiful luxury and comfort of royalty, it says that, "Maya itself vanished like a dream!" Evidently it means that Rantideva attained to total understanding and comprehension of the ambit of existence!
71. Unlike all other ends and culminations, this end is more effective in impressing our minds the extreme intensity of Rantideva's sacrifice! This worldly happiness is flippantly transient. Birth, growth, marriage, coronation, progeny and so on are only so many mile stones on the road-map of ones life and so is death another mile stone! They are all only temporary, fleeting incidents. The only permanent happiness is that of understanding, awareness and gnaana of self-realization! That is the real end of Rantideva's story! There is another story like this in Maha Bharatam. That is the story of the peculiar Mongoose!
72. As part of conduct of Ashwa Meda Yagna, he donated a lot of food. As it is said that the shortest route to a man's heart is through the stomach, people were totally filled in stomach and thrilled at heart! It is easy to fill the stomach, but it is something else to thrill the heart. To serve with love, is what is required. 'This is a part of the Yagnam and only if I do this, will I get the necessary effect', is too business like an attitude lacking in sincerity.
73. Sri Krishna as the cousin of Pandavas, was very much concerned that Pandava-s should not end up with the boosted ego, from the encomiums of praise pouring in from all quarters. So He thought of 'putting a spoke in the wheel'. It is not enough to just make a dent in their self-image He thought, but through that, demonstrate to the whole world the ideal concept of giving alms! So the following drama unfolded.
74. There was a crowd of people praising Dharma Putra. There arrived a funny looking Mongoose. The peculiarity about him was that, half of his body was shining like gold! That Mongoose rolled itself on the bits and scraps of food that was scattered in the dining hall, and got up to say in a loud human voice for everyone to hear, “ What is great about this Aswa Medha Yaagam? This is no match on the daanam done by the unchavrutti brahmin in Kurukshetra!”
75. First of all that mongoose with half it’s body in shining gold was already a sight to see! Then if it’s action of rolling in the left-over food particles was rather funny, it further took everyone by surprise by speaking in a loud human voice. Then it’s statement that Dharma Raja’s Yagnam was not a patch on the poor ‘unchavrutti’ brahmin’s daanam in Kurukshetra, made everyone sit up and take notice!
76. ‘Unchavrutti’ is thought to be simply begging, these days. To go to each house and ask for alms of grains of cereals and pulses. To go around like this, while singing the praise of the Lord, has come to be known as traditional Unchavrutti Bhajanai! This is far from the truth. As per Dharma Saastraa-s, the farmer while dehusking the grains was not supposed to virtually clean-up his area. He was required to leave some scattered grains of pulses and cereals on the dry field. The poor brahmin who has no other source of income (and who was not supposed to look for any other income either), was required to scrounge and collect. This process of picking up the scattered grains from the fields was known as ‘uncham’. To live on such is ‘vrutti’.
77. When the Mongoose thus praised the ‘uncha vrutti brahmin’ of Kurukshetra thus, all the assembled people questioned the Mongoose, “Who are you? Who is that ‘uncha vrutti brahmin’? What was the great daanam that he did?” The Mongoose was very old. He told of an incident of some ancient times. This we will see, in the next e-mail!
(To be continued.)


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