Wednesday, March 04, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 3) Dated 04 Mar 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 3) Dated 04 Mar 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 269 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at constantly updated.)
12. The Hindu Temples are depositories where the Rishi-s of yore have accumulated infinite quantities of assets of spiritual values from which the people of this country and the world at large continues to draw! This is an inviolable fact. It is also a fact the we continue to derive inspiration from the divine 'sanctum sanctorums' and anointed statues of these temples(that is, not only smeared with oils and unguents but also spiritually enlivened statues called Murthy-s in which ‘Prana Pratishta’ has been done). It is true beyond doubt that the devotional activities conducted in these temples continue to generate a constant supply of beneficial vibrations to all living things. These devotional activities are valuable because of being sincerely true to the 'Mantra Uchcharana', i.e., faultless rendering of mantra-s with the correct pronunciation and undulations in pitch, swara and emphasis. What happens in the Temples thus, is also meant for individual, personal advancement and not for collective emancipation!
13. In our Temples when many people assemble to conduct festivals and Kumbha Abhishekam and such activities, offering the Shodasa Upachaara Pooja-s, the purpose is different. These collective activities by themselves are not an end purpose of the religion! These are more for expressing our collective gratitude, love and devotion to God from whom the whole mass of living beings get so many benefits! Can you ever show light to the Sun? So, all those 16 Upachara-s with 64 or 72 materials as offerings to God, who we know does not need anything from us, are more symbolic of our combined gratitude!
14. But, as I said earlier, these activities are not an end in itself for salvation. Yes there have been people who have attained to oneness with the God just by circumambulation of the Temple premises, totally engrossed in devotion! There have been devotees who have so unconditionally sublimated themselves in the divine, that they have lost everything to obtain the supreme! But each one of those occasions are their individual efforts only. So our Religion is aimed at individual cleansing and attaining to purity through a way of life of strictest discipline and abnegation. Visiting Temples is thus complimenting individual efforts.
15. A controversial author of the west by name Arthur Koestler asked me as to why our temples are full of noise and bustle. I replied to him that our intension is not to make Temples silent as is done in Buddha Viharas and Churches. For the King we give a palace, with much pomp and show and also pay him taxes; don't we? Similarly, for the King of the whole Universe, we give gold and jewels with gems; huge artistic edifices; where festivals are conducted which show case our music, arts, crafts and culture; as collective expression of our appreciation and gratitude. When it comes to meditation and quite prayers, everyone could do it in their own homes or river banks or isolated places in hills, caves and forests!
16. When I say this, it does not mean that I am giving license to all and sundry for creating a raucous in the Temples. I am only talking about peeling of the bells, sound of chanting of the Veda Mantra-s, singing of Tevaram and Bhajans, Nadaswara Melam with Dhavil and beating of Drums and the sounds of Crackers and Fire-works when the Murthy-s of Gods are taken around during processions! These are done only when permitted by the laid down procedures as per the Saastraas!
17. These very sounds as approved by the Saastraas has the unique power to involve and submerge a person deep into the quietness of sublime aloneness. As the aim of meditation is to raise above the cacophony of the individual mind with its endless thoughts, despite this bustle of the Temple, you just close your eyes and mind for a few seconds and experience the bliss of oneness with God! You just sit in Padmasana or Sukhasana in front of the Deity Dakshinamurthy and start your Japa; pronto you are transported to a different realm of quietitude! Individual man, by cleansing himself by the observance of procedures and rituals meant for him depending on his Varna and Ashrama; is to live an exemplary life for others to follow. That is how the 63 Nayanmar-s and 12 Azhwar-s came into being. That only accounts for the historically known great saints of Tamil Nadu alone. Still there have been more from Tamil Nadu by the name of Sadasiva Brhmendra, Thaiyumanavar, Poondi Swamigal, Velur Mouna swami, Vallalar, Pattinathar, and so on! There have been many in Karnataka and Maharashtra chronicled in Bhakta Vijayam. Then the 18 Siddhas, Gorakhnath, Kabir, Sai Baba, many more Pir Baba-s, Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa, Aravinda, Ramana, Rama Dasa, Rama Teerta and so on, in to the 21 Century. The physically alive saints continue the tradition till date. To name a few, Mata Amirtananda Mayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Dayanand, Swami Nityananda, Swami Onkaranand, Swami Tejomayananda and so on! For every swami's name that comes known to the world, there may be a thousand not slated for publicity but, contributing their silent bit for the welfare of the humanity at large! This is the live-wire part of this religion!
18. Other than the years spent in young age as a Brhmachary in Gurukula Vasa and in old age in Vana Prasta/Sanyasa Ashrama, which not many people reach up to; a major part of ones life is spent in Gruhasta only as a house-holder. That is why, our Dharma Saastraas predominantly cover the Gruhasta's duties towards his self, his family of wife and children; relatives, towards his ancestors, living elders and seniors, others lower in status or wealth and so on quite exhaustively! The idea is to continue motivating him to become one of those mentioned in the para 17 above!
(To be continued.)



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