Sunday, August 22, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 60 (Vol #4) Dated 22 Aug 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 60 (Vol #4) Dated 22 Aug 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. Today we are proceeding from the first para on page number 333 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
{Note: In these talks, PeriyavaaL is talking about Educational Institutions of yore, which were bigger than a single Guru Kulam, of the size of a School or College or even University, with a number of teachers, curriculums and syllabuses. These were called variously as Gatika or Gatikai or Katika or even Kadigai. As per English grammer rules, a pronoun can be spelt differently based on the pronunciation. In these translations, I am sticking to Gatika and Gatikai.}
484. Education becomes true only when all the acquired knowledge makes you beholden to God and instils a sense of gratitude to Nature and devotion to the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent power of God! That also automatically means that you acquire humility. The more maturity and wisdom that you acquire the more you become humble! Without the dietary control of ‘Vinaya’ the medicine of ‘Vidya’ will not be effective at all! That is why starting from Sri Krishna Paramatma, every Guru have tied up these two things ‘Vidya and Vinaya’ together. Uncaring for income when the Guru fed the disciple from within his capabilities, this ‘Vinaya’ was generated. When the student was made to go and beg for alms for himself, his co-students and the Guru’s family, annulling his pride, his humbleness was complete.
485. Whether being devoted to God or respectful to Guru, these things are meant to control the student’s pride, egotism and arrogance! Education which does not annul ones pride can be dangerous. When education is combined with religious practices, service to ones Guru and devotion to God, their combined effect is to cleanse the individual of his natural tendencies of pride and prejudice! When these very things are done without understanding this purpose they have a negative effect. Education will enhance ‘vidya garva’, meaning, ones pride to make you feel, “I know more than you!” Religious practices and devotion to God can become simply a ritual to show off.
486. It is not enough if you are seemingly very devoted and doing service to ones Guru. Still such a person could be too proud about the fact that he is highly educated and pious! Many learned Pundits thus are very pious and religious, hiding a huge mammoth pride of self deceit that they are ‘well educated’! It is targeting them that Thayumanavar says with a double certificate that the “kallaada pergaLe nallavargaL nallavargaL”, meaning ‘unread are good, very good!’ Having said so, he further laments, “kartrum arivillaada en kanmattai ensolgen?” That means, “Where to go and whom to tell about my fate when despite all education, I am so foolish as not to be devoted to God!” Instead of being seemingly a pious and devout person, if we are sincerely devoted to the high ideals of the religion and God, as taught by the Guru, such a person will be truly well educated, well behaved with the right attitude! The reason for a well read person being more criminally oriented is due to the fact that, the education system is wrongly prioritised ignoring the important aspect of character building!
487. Guru Kulam to Eradicate Ahambhavam. For the eradication of pride and egotism, the most useful and effective was the Guru Kulam! As a student when you join these Guru Kulam at a very young age, to believe and be devoted to a God who is neither seen nor understood is difficult. It is further a tall order to obey the Saastraas, which we do not know as to who wrote them and when! So these things will not eradicate the ‘Ahambhavam’ of pride and egotism and remain only at a superficial level! But when an elder man is pointed out as the Guru to be obeyed, followed and emulated; daily you are exposed to his words of wisdom; you are witness to his practical ‘nitya karma anushtaanaa-s’ of daily observance of devotional duties; these things get in to your very being as second nature! That is the best way of eradicating ones pride that is, ‘Ahambhavam’!
488. Why Not Possible? The general tendency is to simply set aside any consideration of running such Guru Kulam-s as impossible straight away, these days! I ask the question, “Why not?” It is not correct to throw the idea out of contention without due deliberation. Some of these Saastraa-s and art forms have survived and even thrived and flourished, till date through the Guru Kula system only, though in a small scale!
489. Our ancient system of music mentioned in Bharatha Saastram and Silappadigaram, the classical Indian Music has been saved, nourished and cultivated through this Guru Kula system only. In the south it is known as Karnatic Classical Music, while in the north, it is known as Hindustani Classical Music. For the past five to six centuries, these two traditions have thrived mainly through the Guru Kula system by the personal efforts of many experts and maestros known as Vidwaan-s and Ustaad-s, who have become famous all over the world. Their disciples have come from various countries forming an international pool of rich talent. They have done much to regain name and fame to these two fine art forms, thus proving to be treasure houses of Indian culture! Schools and colleges for music and dance have come into being only very recently, say within the past four or five decades. Before that there were only Guru Kula system for dance and music!
490. The miniature drawing works of Tanjavur (in which pieces of glass are pasted over a drawing of divine figures), Pazhukka Velai, Netti Velai, Pattamadai Paai, are all things that is valued by the royalty in England. These are some of the village handicrafts of one district of Tanjore in Tamil Nadu. Similarly there are such works of art which are famous emanating from every nook and corner of rural India. These have all been taught in those respective places by the Guru Kula system only till date. Any effort to bring modern techniques into them, have only been in areas such as finance and marketing. The teaching and learning have remained in the household Guru Kula system only, till the present generation! Individual Maestros have continued to teach and guide their kith and kin, not letting the system to die, creating the next one to take over as Guru! So, please note that the Guru Kula system is not totally dead and is continuing to be effectively functional.
500. So, I am not asking for the Moon, when I say that we must revive the Guru Kula system. More than any other subject, in the area of Veda Adhyayanam and Adhyaapanam, we should bring back this system of Guru Kula. The teacher has to accept all responsibility for the student’s food, clothing and other comforts, without expecting an iota of return or contribution from the student. The trouble is that such a Guru with the required qualifications, right attitude and financial where withal, to take care of himself, his family and the students, is not easily available, in these days of crass materialism. In the absence of royal endowments as was available in the olden times, it is the responsibility of the well to do part of the society to create the funds for their running. After all, in a democratic republic like India the common man is supposed to be King! So it is the duty of each one of us to take care that this wonderful system does not vanish from existence!
501. Instead of an ad hoc arrangement, leaving it to the whims and fancies of individuals at random, we have tried to centralize the efforts by creating a corpus fund for the protection of the Vedas. It is named, ‘Veda Rakshana Nidhi’, located at “Sreyas”, 2, VI Main Road, Nanga Nallur, Chennai, India, Pin – 600 061. It is your duty to contribute your might for this fund, so as to participate in the growth of Veda Saastra Vidya, in the same way as it was done in the ancient past. What to do? Since you are anyhow born in this country and do suffer by heat and cold depending on the altitude, latitude and seasons of this land mass; bear with a little more of your commitment as an Indian, and listen to my directions as your Guru!
(To be continued.)



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