Friday, March 12, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 196 (Vol #3) Dated 12 Mar 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 196 (Vol #3) Dated 12 Mar 2010.
(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 page No 892 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

103. If one man troubles another and then another troubles the first in return, then it is a multiplication of the first mistake! Here hate, anger and an urge to retaliate come in to play. But, when a neutral organization as government, without a personal reason punishes the offender for the sake of justice, then that is known as ‘sikshai’ as a punishment for the mistake he originally committed, also so as to deter repetition by him or by others. This is part of ‘Raja Dhandam’ and to do so is Dharmam, to save the society from this man‘s propensity!

104. If a mad person throws stone at others, even if he was our own son, do we not lock him up? Similarly some are kleptomaniacs, some believe in forgery and different people have slightly different type of madness. They have to be jailed or hospitalized. To reduce the hurt to the society, some have to be hurt, inconvenienced or put under restraint!

105. How does this ‘Raja Dhandam’ work towards foreigners? To protect ones citizen from being hurt by foreigners is also part of the King’s duties. What ever the other country, to wage a war against other countries to bring them under ones own control has been an age old practice. I am not going to justify such actions of the past. Actually one Mr.J.W.Yelder questioned me on this. He asked me, “It is said in Artha Saastraa, that a king may wage a war with a neighbouring country for the purpose of expanding his own influence. Can this be done in the present day circumstances?” I told him that this was a custom of the past, with more overtones of Artha and not Dharma. This need not be taken as having permanent applicabilityand validity!

106. Anyhow it was the in thing for a king to try and expand his area of influence and suzerainty. This was followed by all the countries of the world. But a point to note is that, even this was done in a more humane and acceptable manner in the Indian context. They conducted what was known as ‘Rajasooya yagnam’, in which a powerful horse was permitted to roam at will, accompanied by some representative armed escort. Where ever it strayed, the local chief, paid tributes to the king who was the original owner of the horse. War ensued only when the local chief had the guts and temerity to object to the free movement of the horse! Though this was also part of the three taboos as per philosophy, namely, ‘mannaasai, pennasai and ponaasai’, meaning the lure of land, lass and lucre; a king was to get over such desires only when he adopted the ‘Vana Prastha Ashrama’ in his old age!

107. Dharma Saastra neither restrict a king from going to war, nor do they instigate him to do so! Artha Saastraa recommend and justify going to war, either in self defence or when there is tyranny and dictatorship, for reasons of re-establishing Dharma as well as for establishing ones own suzerainty! But, simply for the sake of expansion of one’s own rule, it does not recommend going to war as the first act! It talks of, ‘upaaya chatushtyam”, meaning, ‘the four fold approach’! In this, going to war is only the last of the four methods! This is some thing about which we can be proud of really!

108. ‘Upaaya chatushtyam’ are, Sama, Daana, Bheda, Dhanda. These steps should be made use of successively by the king, in his approach to other kings / nations. First is ‘Sama’. With peace in your heart see if you can win the other kings friendship and good will. By suitable well known sages and saints, he should be given advices accordingly.

109. Next is ‘Daana’. We give him presents and co-opt him in our empire. Give him a small portion of ones own land, without any show of fear or submissiveness, when the other comes to fight with an army of his own. Give him a present of wealth and jewellery. Give ‘Kanya Daan’ of ones princess to the other king or his son, there by establishing blood relations. Since this method is slightly inferior to the first method of real genuine love and compassion, this has been opted for as the second step. If in Sama, you are mine and I am yours, with total equality, in Daana, the oneness of equality is gone.

110. The third step is the ‘Bheda’, which is lower still. Normally in our day to day life we should not be using this at all! Bheda and Dhanda are reserved for use by Royalty only! This is similar to the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy so successfully adopted by the Britishers, in expanding their strangle hold on all colonies, all over the world. In Artha Saastra, there is still a restraining clause. Having brought the opponent to his knees almost, you give him a chance to go submissively, accepting your primacy. You still reserve your application of ‘Dhanda’.

111. War is the fourth step ‘dhanda’ ! What is punishment for the internal offender, is the war on the external foe. Though there is much difference between the two, to be a power in being and show of force is common. To keep oneself capable of fighting a war when necessary is one of the pre-requisites of the rule by the king.

112. When we look into it closely, it will be found that a king has to use all these methods, in management of internal affairs too. Sama is spreading awareness of Dharma through temples and Dharmic pravachanam-s by Pouranik-s and Pujari-s. Awards, titles recognition of worth, praises and financial encouragement through manyata puraskar-s and such things come under Daana. To convert an accused as an approver, so as to be able to book the others, is Bheda. Punishment is Dhanda!

113. Being Kind to the Side Which has Lost. There are many restrictions in the application of Dhanda Neethi too! The winning side in dealing with the loser has to observe many niceties of behaviour. Firstly you are not to gobble up the other country totally! Without hurting the other nations individuality and identity, it should be entrusted to respectable people of its own. What ever is contrary to their religion and culture, is not to be imposed on them. These sort of noble ideas is not only said in the concerned Dharma Saastraa-s, but is also emphasised by Chanakya in his Artha Saastra.

114. When nations expand their area of influence by way of force or other means, invariably have used a variety of means to create cleavages in the defeated populace, so as to attract them to ones own religious and cultural beliefs, is generally what is seen everywhere in history. But our Saastraa-s have totally disapproved such practices. We do not believe in conversion at all. We believe that what ever be your God and methods of approach, through that you can come up to the highest level of becoming aware and understanding! That is the way we understand “...sarva dharma sahishnutvam...”, meaning tolerance of other’s point of view! Yagnya Valkya Smruti says, “yasmin dese ya aachaaro vyavahaara kula stiti: I tataiva paripaalyo asou yataavasam upaagata: II” This is to say, ‘In the country won over by war, the winning king is duty bound to keep and maintain its procedures, customs, traditions and religion, without making alterations in them’ is the clear ruling!

(To be continued.)




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