Thursday, December 25, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 33 (of Vol 3) Dated 25 Dec 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 33 (of Vol 3) Dated 25 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 140, 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.
171. Poorta Dharmam: Collective Social Service. 'Poortam khaadaati karma yat' says Sanskrit dictionary 'Amarakosam'. That means, activities like digging a common facility like a well, pond or irrigation channel, are included in this word, 'poortam'. This responsibility is being ignored these days creating water shortage all over the world. In earlier times this was an important social responsibility that, if we call someone and he does not turn up, it became customary to say, "What great digging is he so involved in?" It would mean that, if the person referred to is so involved in an activity of digging as part of a 'poortam', may be he could be slow in responding to our call!
173. Now instead of digging, 'land filling' is the major pastime of many! When dirty, slimy water comes in the corporation taps, we feel bad that we had earlier closed a well or filled up a nearby pond. (KTSV adds:- In most of the towns all over the country, 'land filling' is not a pastime but a covert profession of many so called land developing companies or real estate businesses. The natural lay of the land is badly interfered with no social responsibility whatsoever but only the narrow aim of monetary gains in the short run. This is the reason for water logging leading to floods in the cities, often these days!)
174. In earlier times, when lakes were created, existing lay of the land was made use of, to deepen the feeding tributaries and draining branches emanating from the lake; to ensure proper input and drainage! A well would be useful only to the human beings who are capable of lifting the water. Whereas, a pond or a lake could be made use of by birds and animals too.
175. To lay a road is a Dharmam. To plant a sapling of a tree is another. While planting new trees, the old ones should be protected from damage. Having planted a tree, it should be nurtured over a period, till it becomes capable of self sustenance. One day in a year, we also celebrate 'Vana Mahotsava'. But there is no purpose served, if for that one day we ensure much publicity and then let the plants go uncared for! Instead, if someone removes the thorns or pieces of glass from the path traversed during the morning walk; that will clean up the path for others and give this man clarity of heart and mind!
176. The defects of each part of the body can be got rid of, by some act of 'Punyam' that can be done by that part of the body itself. This mind of ours is a dust bin! But, it could be cleansed by using the same mind for meditation and dhyanam. This tongue which talks of all nonsense, could be used for chanting God's name. This brain which does much scheming and planning, could be used for analyzing philosophical concepts. Like this we do many avoidable wrongs by our eyes, hands, legs and so on. By the same physical being we could make efforts to do things of social usefulness for eventually gaining 'chitta suddhi'. That is what is achieved by these activities of social service through ‘poortam’. Because for all these physical activities, our intention is the common good. Care and compassion are essential qualities of everyone’s mind. To give expression for those qualities, one has to do physical actions of social service!
177. What Vinoba Bhave used to call ‘sram daan’ or what the Sikhs call ‘Kar Seva’, are the same as ‘poorta dharmam’ mentioned in our saastra-s. It is my sincere wish that we should all be doing ‘sram daan’ at least once a week. We all take a day off once a week. On that day we should do some service which would be useful to all the people, with the clarity in the heart that it is being done for the sake of others as well as one’s own refinement.
178. Yes we are all likely to have many family responsibilities and jobs to be done. In the tight schedule of our daily jobs, we are likely to postpone many of them to that weekly holiday only! But, with all those family responsibilities, there is another bigger family responsibility of contributing our bit for the universal family of Parvathy-Parameswara, in which all the families and societies of the whole world are included! That onus remains due. We have to do our little bit for that responsibility! Doing social service as a ‘sram daan’ is exercise for the body and rejuvenation for the mind, leading to ‘chitta suddhi’
179. This should be a collective effort. We can achieve more when we do things together. That too in this Kali Yuga, collective effort alone will have the necessary effect. That is what is meant by, “kalou sange shakti:”. In the earlier Yuga-s individuals had much greater physical and mental capabilities. Now it is all gone. That is why we are seeing mostly ‘mass movements’, whether it is a strike or representation or ‘rasta roko’. Instead of being negative forces such as burning of buses and destruction of public properties, we should try and direct these ‘sanga shakti’ for socially constructive activities.
180. For people who wish to work like this, there are some necessary character qualities. The first is discipline. In the job under taken, there should not be any lack of care and responsibility. Inner purity and truthfulness are equally important. One should be able to talk sweetly with diligence. One should be above board in handling money with perfect accountancy and accountability. Capable of generating trust, they should be able to give clear and precise responses to genuine queries. There should be no irresponsible and flippant replies. Just because there are too many pointing fingers, one should not be too prompt to retire from public service either!
181. One should have some capacity to stand up to criticisms, without being too sensitive. Certain amount of leadership qualities are required in such a person. There is a saying, "na hi jaanapadam du:kam eka: sochitum arhasi". This literally means that, 'society's problems are not one man's worry'. That is to say, that it is everybody's baby, requiring a collective effort to tackle. But, this statement should not be taken to mean that we are not worry about such problems at all! First it means that you do not have to worry about such problems individually. Secondly, instead of fretting and fuming, one should get going with collective physical work to solve the problem.
182. When the tendency now-a-days is to get one's own job done, even at the risk of troubling others, what I have said above may sound ambitiously too fanciful! But ignoring one's own physical discomfort, when we get together with love and respect for each other in a joint venture of common good, the pleasure in such an activity itself is the great benefit!
(To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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