Monday, January 19, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 45 ( Vol #3) Dated 18 Jan 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 45 ( Vol #3) Dated 18 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 195 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein the word 'man' includes 'woman' too, mostly.)
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at constantly updated.)
291. Ref. Para 284 of the previous e-mail # 44 (Vol # 3) Dated 16 Jan 2009. Venkaram is a chemical known as Borax and Padikaram is Alum. Now we continue with the series of e-mails, with the heading 'Paropakaaram'.
Physical Exertion and Progeny.
292. Advancement of technology and applied science, has made man's life more and more sedentary and luxurious. One of the immediate effect is wide-spread obesity literally spreading wide! The other effect is the ever decreasing percentage of male population as compared to increasing ratio of female population. This further leads to two very serious ills of the society. One is infanticide just before or after birth of the female fetus / child. The second is the heinous practice of taking 'Dowry', by the boy's parents from the Girl's parents! Taking or giving of Dowry, is just not approved by the Saastraa-s.
293. In times gone by, whether it was the Nitya Karma Anushtana by the Brahmin or the day to day work of the other castes, the work was arduous enough to keep them in trim! That gave them virility and strength. The food was also more nutritious with less salt, sugar, oil and spices. Then it was that, first the brahmin and then other castes copying him, started opting more and more for the white collared, sedentary jobs, of sitting in the office under the fan and working without a sweat, became popular!
294. I am not elaborating on the other imbalances created by such a state of affairs. The most important deleterious effect is that study of Veda-s and spreading of that Vedic education and culture suffered. The clear delineation of the duties of the castes suffered, leading to competitiveness, jealousy, hate and disrespect instead of acceptance and mutual co-operation! It was the lure of the Governmental jobs, money, name, fame and power; which was responsible for the brahmin to leave the village life. Once he could do that, there was no stopping the others from a similar exodus from the villages to the towns.
295. Thus the whole society was affected by an overall lessening of physical labour and lack of fitness. It is the manliness which suffered. More chemicals may increase agricultural productivity but, not the nutritional quality. Then arrived the ‘Coffee’ avidly appropriated by the brahmin wholesale, to play a permanent role of a ‘villain’ for generations to come! Brain work had increased as against brawn power. For the increased brain work, and pushing of pens, the requirement was a calm, unperturbed concentration of mental capability. But cinema, newspapers, magazines and so on, (Periyaval did not mention TV and Soap-opera serials), cause nervous break-downs, that people need reading glasses in teen-age and by the time one is 40 years old, people are suffering from Blood-Pressure and related ailments! Sedentary jobs have caused lack of virility and imbalance in the male / female ratios!
296. Manliness is achieved and maintained by physical hard work only. Physical fitness is essential for mental fitness, alertness, discipline and moral uprightness! Now-a-days people read the morning news paper while drinking coffee and roundly criticize all and sundry, for all the ills of the society, some real and some imagined! There ends all the manliness. There is no one ready to sacrifice his life for the cause, if need be! There is no one ready to get down to practical work to correct the apparent ills of the society! Talk and talk, whether some one hears you or not. When it comes to action, “ Sorry! Not my job!”, is the reaction! On the one hand there are more women taking man’s job and becoming more manly; while men are losing their manliness in their being and mental outlook!
297. Exposure to good ideas and good behaviour from childhood, builds up the character in individuals. Good education, devotion to God and respect towards elders keeps us on the right path. For others it is physical hard labour that guards them from going astray. If we are sitting in a chair and writing something, the mind often is found to be wandering far away! Whereas, when you are involved in physical hard work, you will find that, there is an automatic reigning in of the mind's tendency to run hither and thither.
298. So, at least in the initial stages, physical hard labour is a better tool in reigning in the mind than even sitting down for meditation. That is why Acharyal and other elders have laid down for us, the step by step ladder of progress as follows. First Karma Anushtana, to prevent us from going astray. That is preventing us from the negative. Then exposure to higher concepts and ideals. Then devotion to elders and God. Then total understanding of Gnana. In other words, the path of Karma --->Cleansing of minds--->Bakti / Devotion--->Gnana.
299. Sadhana. This word means the effort. The effort has to be physical and mental, towards Self Realization. If a man is very active physically throughout his life, without any exposure to the concept of God, devotion and such; then he has only lived an animal life! He has wasted a great opportunity of having been born as a human being! Otherwise you could have been born as any of the million other life forms, from ephemerals to long living Tortoise or Whales; small microscopic to giant sizes; two legged to four legged to centipedes; static plant lives to moving birds and or creepers; and so on. To be born as a human being means that you have evolved already very far!
300. Yes, I do agree that in the initial stages, to get ’Chitta Suddhi’, hard physical labour is the prescription. You see the difference between a blue-collar worker and the white-collar pen-pusher. The former has a good sleep whereas the latter’s mind is ever oscillating. To that extent physical fitness is directly the reason for good attitude and behaviour. Having started like that, one has to keep in touch with the finer and nobler aspects of what our religion provides.
301. As time goes on, instead of just keeping in touch with religious ideas, one has to wholly grasp and catch hold of the feet of God literally. Till then we should continue the physical work of Karma Anushtana of Sandya Vandanam, Pooja, Bhajan, Chanting of Sloka-s, circumambulation of the temple premises, visit to various temples and holy places and participation in related activities of social service! Even when you have evolved to the high exalted levels of ‘Atma Gnana’, bodily effort or ‘Sadhana’ has to carry on! What they call, ‘Jeevan Mukta’, as of now is not even within our grasp of understanding. Till that stage is reached, when we do not have a mind of our own, when we do not mind anything any more; when we have no separate plan of our own; when we have no more axes to grind; (that is till we become a beloved of God as described in sloka-s 13 to 20 of Chapter 12 of Bhagawat Gita), till then; as elders say, we should catch hold of God with one hand and do the Karma with the other hand!
202. Initially physical labour is heavy, with less of divine thoughts. Then after some time, physical work and ‘atmarta chintana’ become equal in terms of importance. This then graduates into less of physical work and more of the 'Ashtanga Yoga of Iyama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi'! By the time you reach there, you are beyond the confines of Time and Space. Please try and comprehend this one sentence. When you are beyond time and space, past, present and future merge into now and here and there, inside and outside, left and right, up and down, forward and rear, all is one! In that stage of supreme Gnan, there are and have been and will be, Saints who were totally lost to the world, as well as working amidst us like you and me!
(To be continued.)



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