Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 32 (of Vol 3) Dated 23 Dec 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 32 (of Vol 3) Dated 23 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 middle of page number 137, 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 http://advaitham.blogspot.com constantly up-dated.
161. To think of the guest as God incarnate and feel embarrassed if the guest is not given the due welcome; are important concepts of our religion. We are all generally rather afraid of talking discourteously or flippantly about Yama the God of Death! But, there is a story of how Yama Himself was shaken out of His wits, in Katopanishad! About whom was He afraid? He was afraid about a young Brahmin boy who had come to Yama's house unscheduled and was not taken care of for more than three days. How did he happen to come to Yama's abode unexpectedly, is another story. But Yama was completely taken aback that an 'atithi' had not been taken care of and had gone without food for three days.
162. That was an unacceptable blemish on the name and reputation of the host Yama! The whole world is afraid of Yama the God of Death. (KTSV adds:- Even in these modern times, in all the countries of the world, everybody from the poorest to the richest are afraid of death! No one wants to die. Actually they are all trying their level best for longevity. Vast amounts of money is being spent on research for finding that something, which can enhance their youth and life!) Here that dreaded Yama was himself tied in knots, virtually shivering with fear that a guest has gone uncared for, for three days and nights!
163. That Yama about whom the whole world is shivering with fear was, shaking shamefacedly before this brahmin urchin! He was saying hesitatingly, "For three days and nights you have been in my household without food. My dear Sir, I beseech and pray to you that I may not face any unfavorable developments because of this! For each of the day you have fasted, please ask for a boon and I shall grant them all." The questions asked and the answers given constitute the subject content of the Upanishad, which we are not going into here. It suffices to say that, the concept of taking care of the guest is so much part and parcel of the ethos of Hindu dharma!
164. So, it is important that while doing ‘Paropakaaram’ and taking care of Guests, it is essential that a sense of superiority complex be avoided. Instead, we should respect the receiver of our help and or hospitality and avoid making him feel inferior in anyway! The veneration and adoration displayed should be exactly as though we are receiving God Himself amongst our midst. A very important part of ‘Paropakaaram’ is giving or donating. Our Veda-s, Upanishad-s, Purana-s and classic literature has many anecdotes where Philanthropy has been eulogized. Sibi, Karna, Satyavan and so on, the list continues.
165. The ‘Vallalgal’ of Tamil Nadu. In the Tamil land, the philanthropist is known as 'Kodaiyali or Vallal'. From time immemorial, they are revered and eulogized very highly. They are listed as, 'mudalezhu, idaiezhu, kadaiezhu', meaning the first, middle and last seven Vallalgal, which includes Kumanan, Adhiyaman and so on. The Kadaiezhu Vallalgal are a series of seven greats starting with, Kaari, Paari, Ori and it goes on. Paari Vallal come across a jasmine plant with fragrant flowers in the open. By the time he halted for some time, the plant had entwined his chariot. Now Paari did not want to deprive the plant of a support. So he disconnected his horses and left his royal chariot as a permanent present for the jasmine plant! Began was another such. He found a peacock which was shivering in the cold. He promptly removed his own upper garment and covered the bird with it!
166. Adhiyaman got a 'Nellikkani', a type of a berry fruit capable of giving longevity to the person who consumes it. He thought on these lines. "What am I going to achieve by consuming this fruit and living a long life? If I give it to this Avvai Patti then, she who goes all over the land and gives wonderful interesting advices to all and sundry especially children, that will be of much use to this world." With that thought, he gave it to Avvaiyar!
167. Your comment could be on these lines, 'What Adhiyaman did is OK. But, what is so great about giving one's chariot to the Mullai plant? It is more like gratifying an instant whim of his, this Paari Vallal's action! So also, Began's action of giving his outer garment to a so called shivering Peacock, is nothing more than being a show off!' But, I would rather say that, these sort of spontaneous expressions of love is more natural than any deliberate, planned display of Social Service!
168. When love comes flooding out, there is no scope for any function of the brain for the analysis as to whether the action was in the rightness of things or not! That is how, one Nayanmar gave his wife in Daanam; another cooked his own son's body! You should not be just commenting that these are expressions of madness. At the moment when the incident occurred, they just did not think about themselves and other's opinion and comments. The only driving force was the other's perceived need. In my opinion these are true sacrifices. There has been a continuous flow of such great donors in our country from time immemorial!
169. Sanatana Dharma Saaram. The essence of this Vaidika dharma, that is Hindu religion, which has gone on for thousands of years is what is known as ‘Pancha Maha Yagna’ are five. One is ‘Brhma Yagnam’ which is Veda Adhyayanam and Adhyapakam; of learning and teaching the Veda-s. This itself is a big ‘paropakaaram’ of doing social service through chanting of the Veda-s and thus benefiting the universe; and donating real education. Then is ‘Pithru Yagnam’, which as explained earlier is still benefiting the society through ‘tarpanam’ to the departed manes. ‘Deva Yagnam’ is prayers and pooja to God. ‘Boota Yagnam’ is feeding the animals, birds and insects. Last is the ‘Nru Yagnam’ that is taking care of all visitors and guests. Considering this ‘Pancha Maha Yagnam’, I can not but observe that, no other religion of this world can match the Hindu religion in this aspect of taking care of all life forms, gross and subtle; past, present and future!
170. In addition, in the name of ‘poortam’ our Dharma Saastraa-s talk much about social service, which will be covered in the next e-mail!


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