Saturday, February 14, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 3) Dated 11 Feb 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 3) Dated 11 Feb 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 second para of page 234 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.)
385. Now and forever, even if we have not been doing that ever, what we have to do is to make us deeply engrossed in thoughts of God. Though straight away we may not be able visualize or comprehend the indescribable, imponderable; we can train ourselves by repeatedly dwelling on the wonderful, salubrious 'Kalyana Gunas' of that Ultimate, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Immanent principle known as God in the form of Rama or Krishna or Muruga. Throughout one's life whatever one may be working on in any business or profession of this worldly involvement, one mode of ourselves should be constantly searching for that connection to God!
386. If such is the case, then even at the time of death, instead of all sorts of confused distraction, our minds will be thinking of God only. As He said, 'maam eva', in our final moments too we would be deep in His thoughts only! Whether it is a lingering death through some disease or an instant death, as through an electric shock or an attack by a tiger; this mind will be able to merge in the immanent reality, with total concentration. Before awareness goes, 'Bhagawat Smarana' will be there!
387. Kulasekhara says that, "at the time of the final journey of Life out of this body, one would be affected by the problems related to the imbalance of 'kapa, vaada and piththa'; when such is the condition, how can I think of you God!". He uses the phrase 'prana prayana', to point out the last moments of one's existence. Adi Sankara Bhagawat Paadaal also has used the same phrase. "praana prayana bhava bheeti samaakulasya lakshmi nrusimha mama dehi karavalambam". He is praying, 'at the time of the final journey of this life, to save me from the mortal fear, Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy will have extend me the dependable supporting hand'. Exactly similarly in Subrahmanya Bhujangam, he says, "...prayaanon mukhe mayi anaate...", meaning, 'when this destitute orphan starts off on the long journey, Appa the ever compassionate Guha, you should come to stand before me!' Thirup-Pugazh also echoes the same sentiment, verbatim! Those great devotees of God were not and could not have been really afraid for themselves. They have sung these lines for our sake, very clearly!
388. Periyazhvar takes a little more liberty with God. He says that anyhow, I am likely to forget about you in the last moment, with too many distractions and preoccupations! So, he says since now I am in full control of my senses, I take your name now, keeping it in reserve for then! You better do not fail me, when required! To quote him, "...appodaikku ippode solli vaithen...". As others put money in fixed deposit, Periya Aazhvaar is placing his prayers in God's memory for keep-sake!
389. But looking at the sentence in the Gita again, we can make out that God does not mean that sort of keeping 'Bhagawat Smarana' in reserve. By using the word, 'cha', He says that we should be thinking of Him only, at the last moment too! He is indirectly telling us that we should be thinking of God at all times including the ultimate few seconds! Actually two sloka-s later, He says so in as many words, "...tasmat sarveshu kaleshu maam anusmara...". If relentlessly our minds are in Him, we will think of Him only, in the last moment also.
390. The Importance of That Last Moment's Thought! What is this importance of the thought content of the mind in the last moment of one's existence? What is the connection to Paropakaaram, that is topic of so many of these e-mails since Deivathin Kural # 17 of (Vol 3)? Come to think of it, death does not affect the Atma even a flimsy bit! Only the body there is death. When a shirt is torn, does it affect the wearer? He removes the old shirt and wears a new one. Exactly similarly, the Atma gets into a new body when the old one wears out. So says Bhagawan Sri Krishna in Bhagawat Gita, Chapter 2, Sloka 22. How many times does the Atma thus has to wear out a body and get a fresh one? Is it not the same cycle of so many births and deaths? What is the way out? Is there no end to this?
391. There is an answer to these questions. Once your bodily identification comes to a stand-still, once you have attained to Brhma Gnana, Nirvana, Mukti; there is the release from this endless cycle that very second! It is not a matter of Time and Space at all! You lose your separate identity, become one with the only reality instantly. Like darkness disappears when there is light, Agnaana vanishes when Gnana dawns! Then you do not need another shirt of separate identity.
392. I know as to what is going to be your next doubt or question to God! "On the one hand you are saying that death is not an issue at all and that it is as relevant or irrelevant as changing a shirt. Then the next moment you are saying, that if I think of You at the very instant of death, the separate I-ness will go and I will become You! So You are giving importance to the time of death and what my mind is thinking at that instant! So, You are giving importance to the fact of death and its timing! Is it not an apparent contradiction?"
393. From the point of view of Atma, the body and its death are very much minor issues of hardly any relevance! But we are unaware of this fact that we are not the body. Is it not so? All that we are aware of, are the ever changing mind and world, which are both always in a state of flux! When death occurs, whatever are the connections of this life are severed and fresh connections are established in the next edition of life! Even if we are to be born again in the same place, in the same family, we are not going to be aware of that. For all we know, we may be born in a different place, species, tradition, religion, nation, culture, civilization and so on!
394. Though Atma may not undergo changes, that is an unknown area of knowledge as far as we are concerned. It is only the vacillations of the mind that we are aware of. The growth of the mind in the right direction or wrong, to a large extent is dependent upon the environment. Throughout our lives, we have somehow lived with a set of conditions and circumstances. Lived with a set of traditions and procedures. With death all these are cut off. Though death does not affect the Atma, it does affect this individual who thinks that he is a separate entity. So when he dies, he is born again under a totally different set of conditions. He has to learn all over again from scratch one! Great philosopher thinkers have been afraid of this dramatic and traumatic, re-plantation into a different life! Thayum Aanavar says, "Ippiravi thappinaal eppiravi vaaykkumo?!" What he means is that, "If I miss out in this life, I do not know what is in store in the next edition of life for me!?"
395. So, God in all his infinite compassion, at the moment of this transition when all connections are going to be severed and new set of connections are about to be made; may be considers our case on the following lines of logic! "Poor chap! He is again to start with a new set of circumstances and start all over again. As a concession let us leave a life-line open. It is possible for him to cancel out all the arrears of Karma or further add to his burden of Karma! So, if he thinks of Me, his immanent reality, at least in the last moment of existence in this life, let us salvage him out of this vicious cycle." So this is a concession from God!
(To be continued.)



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