Thursday, October 01, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 133 (Vol #3) Dated 01 Oct 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 133 (Vol #3) Dated 01 Oct 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 the 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 last para on page 587 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 http://advaitham. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

73. In North India, during the time of Vallabha Aacharya Jains converted into Hinduism enmass. In the land of Kannadiga-s, by the influence of Ramanuja Aacharya all Jains including their King, returned back to the fold of Hinduism and became Vaishnava-s. In the North the followers of Vallabha Aacharya were known as the ‘pushti margi-s’! Around Gujarat, such erstwhile Jains who became Vaishnava-s and happened to be all of the business class, were known as ‘pushti margi baniya-s’. In Sanskrit what is ‘Vanijya’ became ‘Vaaniyan’ in Tamil and ‘Baniya-s’ in Hindi. They used to apply the ‘Naamam’ on their forehead using the saffron. They would all wear the ‘Tulasi Mani Maalai’ (of basil beads), in their neck. Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, the Father of the Nation was one of such background. It is that ancestral Jain background that made him too passionate about, “ahimsa paramo dharma:”!

74. In the ‘pulaal maruttal’ Adhikaaram, Valluvar asks a very pertinent question. “How can the grace of kindness and compassion happen to be in a person who nurtures his own body by the meat that is obtained by killing another life form?” I quote:- “tan oon perukkarkku taan piridhu oon unbaan enganam aalum arul?” When he does not have grace and compassion, how can he become worthy of God’s grace and blessing? You cannot talk of Grace, Arul, Love and then keep eating flesh of living beings in whatever form! The one God is Mother and Father for all of us. We are all children of the same God. That includes all human beings, birds, animals, fish and all life forms. To kill any one of them is nothing else but fratricide! If I support this killing of life forms for food of human beings, there is no meaning in talking about universal brotherhood whatsoever!

75. The only ‘tongue in cheek’ response to this charge is, “Why only birds, animals and fish; even the plants have life. Can you cook and eat them without cutting, hurting and killing them? Jagdish Chandra Bose and others have said that plants also have life, feelings and senses. So even vegetarian food fratricide only!”

76. I have to answer this. Many Yuga-s before J.C.Bose, Saastraa-s have held that all these plants, creepers and grass; are all life forms only. In the way of life, good and bad, ease and difficulty, pleasure and pain, positive and negative; are all co-existing, in this bi-polar world. In that some animals instinctively have to live by applying force with cruelty. It is in their nature to be so. But, man has the God given power to discriminate and weigh his actions. So, in this worldly drama, he is tied down by God by the laws of Nature that, he cannot avoid discomforts, problems and difficulties totally. Within the limitations of his own Nature, he has to look for justifiable gratification of his senses and satisfaction of his physical needs.

77. Though one in a billion may be able to walk away from life refusing to play the game as per Nature’s dictates, all the others have got to eat something to survive or perish! ‘OK, If I have to eat something to survive, let me find out the best method of getting the same while giving the least amount of trouble to self and others!’ Within the available options, the minimum hurt to others is in agriculture only!

78. Crops are harvested only when they have had a useful life and are anyhow about to finish. Then we separate the grains from them. When these vegetables are plucked, the hurt is about the same as the twinge we feel when our hair is plucked! It is also proved by scientists that the plants are not endowed with very high sensitivity to feel the pain. The greens and root vegetables, if not pulled out the earth, will anyhow be dried up and wasted where they are! So, the point is very clear that all said and done, vegetarian food is the one involving the minimum of ‘Himsa’ or hurt to anybody and we as human beings have accept that fact!

79. Sannyasi-s are to keep total ‘Ahimsa’ and so. are not entitled to even this. They cannot afford the vegetables as they are not to cause even a little bit of hurt, even to plants! So, they are to eat only the fruits and leaves that fall from the plants. Saastraa-s mention, “...jeerna parna asina: kvachit...”. Let me translate these words/phrases:- ‘jeerna parna’ are dried and dead leaves. ‘aasina:’ means, those who eat. ‘kvachit’ means, some times! That means that, they are to eat those dried leaves that have fallen from the trees on their own, as and when they get it, where ever they get it! It also means that, they are not to go looking for food! This is another occassion of keeping the Ideal as required of only a small fraction of the society!

80. The ‘Sannyasi’ is not to eat grains of cereals and pulses. They are all in some way seeds for future plants. So, they are not to eat that! While eating even fallen fruits, they are to carefully remove the seeds! Those Rishi-s who maintained such self control with discipline, were the ones who became Brhma Rishi-s! That was real ‘phala aahaaram’ and not what we eat these days! Now-a-days, leaving the cereals, to eat Iddly, Dosai, Uppuma, Vadai etc., with chutney, saambaar, gothsu, milagai podi and so on, is what is called, ‘phala aahaaram’! This ‘phala’ cannot mean fruit, but ‘many sided’ or rather ‘fully loaded’ aahaaram! Real ‘phala aahaaram’ would cause peaceful qualities of Sattva. Sexual urges will be less and without any effort on our part, family planning and population control will be achieved!

81. There is one more justification for Vegetarianism in this! We were first considering the quantum of hurt that we are inflicting on animals and plants and taking note of the fact that the sensation of pain in plants is rather subdued! Now we are looking at the flip side of the situation, that is, at the effect of the veg/non-veg food on the consumer. If we are interested in Sattva, purity and clarity of the mind and heart, non-veg is anathema. High protein diet of red and white meat, may be good for body building, but, not for exercises such Dhyana and Yoga. Though there are some items to be set aside in veg food too, they are all far better than the non-veg items per se.

82. Let us sincerely look at how much is the difference between the acceptance in our own minds, in partaking veg / non-veg food. Does cutting vegetables really make us feel as heartless and cruel as cutting and killing a living goat or fish or chicken or cow? This psychological factor has an importance, however much you may ignore it!

83. Within non-vegetarians there are some who are critical of those who eat the pig or swine. Some say that they draw a line at cipher, meaning that they only consume eggs. Some make a ‘holier than thou’ claim of eating only fish. Then there are hard core non-vegetarians who look down upon people such as Chinese and Japanese, who do not spare even the snails, frogs or crustaceans. During the Second World War, the Western allies used to make fun of Germans who had to rely on Horse meat due to scarcities forced by war! This gives me an idea as to how the vegetarians can score a point or two against non-vegetarians, who make a virtue of their vice, making a joke of the vegetarians!

(Note:- KTSV adds. Recently I happened to see video clippings of how the workers in poultries slaughter the birds every day in tens of thousands for outlets like those of Kentucky Fried Chicken! The utter dehumanizing scene had a traumatic effect on the viewer‘s mind and being!)

(To be continued.)




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