Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 49 (Vol # 3) Dated 28 Jan 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 49 (Vol # 3) Dated 28 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 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 212 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man' includes 'woman' too, mostly.)
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at constantly updated.)
Preta Samskaaram : Importance of the Body.
335. You could possibly have a doubt as to, how this body can be very important. You may say, "OK. We will agree about what you said earlier, that doing monthly Tarpanam and yearly Sraardham for the departed soul and such actions can all be considered as part of 'Paropakaaram', as a way of helping another person. But once life is gone, how does it matter as to how we dispose off the physical body? What is the need for all the Samskaaram for the body?"
336. "As it is we are finding it difficult to take care of living beings. After the death, what is the need for 'Seva' for the cadaver? OK! Just because it is the custom and tradition, as and when death occurs in ones own houses, out of fear and social embarrassment, we have to do the Preta Samskaaram for ones dear and near ones death. As though that is not enough, when some orphaned, unclaimed, unknown individual dies and when the municipality people are going to somehow dispose of the body, what is the use of interposing ourselves that we will still do the Preta Samskaaram? As it is the dead body causes fear in our minds. That too a totally unknown some-body literally! What is the Paropakaaram needed here for just a dead body?" That could be your question. Let me answer you!
337. If you carefully look into the Saastraa-s, one can notice that even after the departure of the Jeeva (or Life) from the body, in it's various body parts, there is still some divine presence. Sun in the eyes, Fire in the mouth, Indra in the hands and so on do not vanish at once! They are to be returned to their origins through Preta Samskaaram. This can be more clearly understood by carefully studying the Apara Mantra-s.
338. It is said that the Jivaatma is made up of 16 'Kala-s' or ingredients. 15 of them together go to make the Life. The sixteenth one is the body itself. That one is also required to be disposed off as an offering to God, for which the 'Antyeshti' samskaaram is required. In Saastraa-s this 'Antyeshti' is considered as a final 'Yagna', as the word meaning indicates:- 'anta + ishti = Antyeshti', to mean, 'end + yagna'! This is also one of the Yaaga-s where there is an element of our wish to be fulfilled. That is why, it is an 'ishti'! From the time the woman accepts the pregnancy, till the departure of life from the body; there are 'samskaaraa-s', i.e., cleansing actions. The very word 'samskrit' as a name for the language Sanskrit, means, 'well done!' Sanskrit is a classic well made language, unlike the English the most unscientific and unsystematic language. That English and further aberrations of it, such as what is used for SMS Text in Cell Phones, are the most widely used in to day's world, can only be considered as indicative of further aberrations to come in the 'Kali Yuga'!
339. All the 40 Samskaaraa-s from the time a life is borne in the womb, till it is finally assigned to flames, all of them are for maturing the Jeeva to such fineness as making it capable of being accepted back in its source! For a person who has made his very life an offering to God, the last and the least that the others can do for him (which includes her), is the final Yaaga, this Antyeshti or Preta Samskaaram. He did all other Yagna-s by using this body. That body itself is the final 'Aahuti'. So say the Preta Samskaara mantra-s! As all other items offered in Homa are all cleansed in ghee, so is this physical body cleaned and cleansed in ghee and offered in Homa. Offered to the God Almighty. What is interred in the earth is also similarly an offering to God!
340. There is something more. It is true that, our ancestors have iterated that this body is dirty. Full of dirty excretions, from the nine holes in the body. Manikka Vaachagar says, ‘...malanga p pulanaindum vanjanayai seyya...’, meaning that all the five senses are all the time duping us! But, from another perspective, this human body is worthy of much praise, awe and admiration! This body is a super-duper machine, instrument, tool, calculator, computer, artist, innovator, creator and so on, all rolled into one! Each part of the body is a far advanced, sophisticated, marvel yet to be matched by modern science! The eye is capable of seeing far and near and differentiate between shades of colours. With two such equipments, it is capable of seeing the depth, by a process of compare, contrast, assess and mutually superimpose! Ear is capable of hearing a wide range of sounds. By using two of them, it can make a fair guess of the origin of sound in three dimensions!
341. Though these two sets of equipment are controlled only by the same mind / brain, the ear cannot see, and eyes cannot hear, though located in each others vicinity! Then there is a mouth near by. It knows the taste. It can speak. By manipulating the vocal chords, it can produce wonderful music and play on a variety of musical instruments! Then the power, dexterity and softness of the hands, I can never tire of admiring. Whether holding hands or plucking the strings of the Veena, playing an instrument or flying a plane or wielding the chisel to shape a stone, or coaxing a piece of clay on the potter’s wheel, nothing can match their ability! There is a beauty in the way the hands have been formed, with its bones and nerves and muscles! Then the legs suitable for walking, stepping, climbing, running and kicking the ball! Look at the concave portion between the foreleg and the heel, to let small creepers and insects under foot to get away, when being stepped upon! The engineering of the knee with its bone and muscle structure is a marvel, enabling us to sit on our haunches! Look at the blood circulatory system, breathing system, nervous system, digestive system, immunology system and so on, with their various parts and their inter actions and responses! The subtlety and intelligence that has gone in to making these, cannot be by accident and or chance; however many million times it may happen. Accidents and aberrations can be by chance.
342. Then the brain controlling all this! How beautifully all these have been created! Flesh, muscles, nerves, blood, bones, skin, each with a purpose! There is living marrow inside the bones, with its own manufacturing process. Then the crores of cells in the human body is a separate world of wonders. Not only is there so much difference and separateness, the way they all function together, mutually co-operating, co-ordinating, nourishing with mutual feed-backs; is all wonder of wonders!
343. So, may be one in a million may come to the correct conclusion of Gnana, that this mind is a lie and the body is Maya. All the others have to take this body to be real, a wonderful gift from God! Then he has to live life within the discipline of moral uprightness and Dharma, while endeavoring to move to Gnana! Come to think of it, why should we decry this body as something demeaning? After all it is only an instrument of the mind! If the mind gives the correct orders, the body and its parts will only obey truthfully. Hands will do Paropakaaram or Pooja. Legs will go to the temples. Eyes will feast on Gods vision. Mouth will chant the mantra-s or speak sweet words to everybody else! So. it is utterly wrong to detest the body! It is to be considered as God’s precious gift. It is the body that enables us to do the Dharma Karyas. There is a statement as, “...sariram aadhyam khalu dharma saadanam...”.
344. “Deho devaalaya : prokto jeevo sanaatana :”, is a statement which means that, ‘this human body is a temple of God and the Jeeva who resides there is forever’! Appar also says, “...kaayame koyilaaga...”, with the same meaning. Thiru Moolar similarly says, “ I used to think of this body as a handicap. But once I identified that God Himself resides here, I started taking good care of it.”
(To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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