Tuesday, January 06, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 39 ( Vol #) Dated 06 Jan 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 39 ( Vol #) Dated 06 Jan 2009

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 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 on page number 166 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers reminded that herein the word 'man' includes 'woman' too, mostly.)
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at http://advaitham.blogspot.com constantly updated.)
233. Once every week all the people should assemble in the nearby temple, pray together as children of the same Para Sakti, circumambulate the temple chanting God's names, before proceeding to the place meant for the Seva. That may be cleaning up the temple premises or digging a pond or creating a flower garden in the temple environs or laying of a road. After the day's work is done, return to the temple as though to tell the God, " Oh God! By your grace this day we could do some thing to undo our past sins, thereby justifying our embodiment", before dispersing. May be some one could give a small talk about Nayanmar-s or Azhwar-s, to the accompaniment of bajans. That will make an impression in our minds as to how devoted one could be. The whole day thus should be spent in an ambient atmosphere of hard work, devotion and noble thoughts!
234. Expenditure; Need for Care and Control. For any expenses in such ventures, instead of totally relying on some wealthy people only, everyone must contribute. The rich should also strive physically; poor should also give some little bit! That is real sacrifice. We should not be too dependent only on the rich. I will tell you the reasons why.
235. When you think about it, the rich man's problems are more. Whether he likes it or not, for name and status he has to incur a lot of expenditure. To show that he is a big man, he has to be a member of many clubs and subscribe for them. He has to institute endowment funds in some schools and colleges, from which the interest will provide funds for some periodic prizes for the students. Then he has to incur some direct and some indirect expenses for getting some awards and or titles. Then he has to incur expenses on maintenance of Car, Bungalow, etc. His Farm or Factory or Office has to function profitably, for which he has to bear some overt and covert liabilities. All such expenditures almost become part of his duty. Then he has to pay official and unofficial taxes, including Value Added Tax, Income Tax and so on; including for the gifts that he gives. He has to give donations to not only the political party that he believes in, but also to the party in power so as not to antagonize them!
236. Then he has to open the flood gates as though, when ever he has to celebrate a birth-day or anniversary within his family. So finally when you go to him for some donation like this, he cannot help giving the barest minimum for obvious reasons of thrift! Because expenses concerned with name, fame and business interest, become essential unavoidables! There is no meaning in criticizing him for this. In his shoes, we will also do like that only! He may be feeling guilty already. Why should we go and ask for donations in such a situation, emphasizing his guilty consciousness? That is how I look at it.
237. There are many socially important projects. If you look at who all could be the patrons in a given area, there will be some 10 or 12 rich people. Every time those who try to collect funds invariably land up in their presence, with pamphlets, brochures and receipt books. What can they do? Either they will feel bad that they are not able to help more substantially or reluctantly give something. Then I think as to whether, “What they end-up giving is black or white money? Should we enable him to convert his heavy load of sins into ‘Punya’, that is, merit points?”
238. So, social service activities should not be too dependent on such people’s contributions only. If they hear about it on their own and donate something voluntarily, we can certainly make use of it. But we should not pester them, I feel. One more thing. By contributing a major share, they may start having a major say in the execution of the project. This should not be permitted to happen. Touch of money has a corrupting influence. So, those who are setting out to do social service should be doubly careful with money matters.
239. Even when we get very active financial support, we should not become over-enthusiastic and do ambitious planning to amass wealth. This drive to collect more and more will swallow the love and compassion required in such service and the devotion to God. Be warned that here the means will obfuscate and eclipse the ends. Instead of attention to the enactment of the service, our minds will be running after collection of funds, activating the media, publishing of foreigner with plenty of advertisements. We should be constantly wary of the fact that we can never know as to how we can be corrupted, handling such money! When too much inflow of money is there people will wonder as to how well that money is being utilized. As I said before, collection from reluctant contributors and then being beholden to them, will corrupt the very service we are envisaging! So, however good the project may be, thrift and optimization of money use, should be the guiding principle. Remember one of the economics dictum says, ‘expenditure has a tendency to catch up with the income and overtake it!’ So, it is more cost effective to control the expenses rather than enhance the collection.
240. For social service, the main strength is not money power but integrity of the masses. The occasion should not become a publicity stunt for the well to do. When we dug up a pond in Thiruppoondurai Ayyanar Koil, some money was collected, workers were paid and they published the details of collection, with the names of donors, in the next issue of the Kamakoti magazine! Then we made amends by publishing in the next issue in big capital letters that, “Such events should be done with people’s power and not money power. We published as we did in the last issue of the Kamakoti magazine, so as to emphasize the contrary point in this issue. We express our apologies and regrets for having done what we did then!” That is how we got out of the ‘ZUG ZU WANG’!
241. Recently, there was this pauper gentleman Sivan. He had such a reputation that he used to be known as ‘Anna Daana Sivan’! In many religious festivals of great temples, he has come forward to take care of feeding the masses. All the rich land owners, businessmen and wholesale merchants will dance to his wishes most obediently. His wishes were their orders. Bags and bags will just arrive just where required in time. Lakhs and lakhs of people would be fed to their heart’s and stomach’s content! He himself would only take a few handfuls of some left overs of the previous day. Seshadri Swami of Thiruvannamalai is another of such a reputation for expansiveness of the heart!
(To be continued.)



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