Thursday, August 26, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol #4) Dated 26 Aug 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol #4) Dated 26 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 second para on page number 343 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.}
509. There are some Brahmins in some places who have done Adhyayanam. Their numbers are rare nowadays. If I ask any of them as to why should they not start a Guru Kulam of their own and teach somebody the Vedas, their reaction is something on the following lines. “We may agree to pick up the begging bowl, but we will not do this. Even if we are ready to take the plunge, there is no one willing to become our students. When you know that there is no future in this profession, I do not know as to why you are calling us! Even if someone becomes our student, we doubt if we will be able to remember as to what is to be taught!” Instead of providing them with the facilities to remember and enhance their knowledge base, if we let them forget the Vedas, there can be no greater self inflicted insult and injury!
510. Vedabhashyam, Vedaangam & Vedaantam. All Vidya finally is to be included in Brhma Vidya only. When Bhagawan Sri Krishna describes Himself in Bhagawat Gita in Vibhuti Yoga says, “I am the Sama amongst the Vedas, Meru in mountains, Aswatta amongst trees, lion amongst animals, eagle amongst birds, jasmine in flowers and the month of Mrigaseersha amongst the parts of the years; also says that He is Brhma Vidya that is the Atma Vidya, amongst all sorts of knowledge. His words, “adhyaatma vidya vidyaanaam”!
511. This Matam has been created for the very specific purpose of spreading this knowledge of the Vedas! Not only Veda Adhyayanam but also, Veda Bhashyam as a means of knowing the meaning of the Vedas, then Vedaangam as the parts of the body of the Vedas and finally the summation of all Vedas, namely the Brhma Vidya as Upanishads that is known as Vedaantam; are all the interest areas of this Matam. This is our mission! We have to do much more as, what we have done is just not enough. I wish that in all such schools so far created for the study of Vedas, all these Saastraa-s of Veda Bhashyam, Vedaangam and Vedaantam should all be taught. We should be creating more such schools in all townships all over the country.
512. In the past few generations all studies of Veda Vidyas are on the down swing. There is one part that has become completely on the decline. That is, while there are some schools teaching the Vedas, where they are being learnt more by rote and reiteration, there is hardly a place where the meanings of Vedas are being taught! Many GaNapaatis (a Title for those who have mastered learning of Vedas up to the level of GaNa Paatam), themselves may know the Vedas and not the meaning! That is why after learning the Vedas, now there is facility for them to learn the Veda Bhashyam too. In this there is a need for every body’s co-operation.
513. This is directly about the Vedas. Similarly, the Veda Angas should also be brought under the plan of wider assimulation. Especially grammer that is Vyakaranam and as off shoots of Jyotisham, Vaana Saastram of Astronomy, Astrology and GaNitam (that is Mathematics), should also get much publicity. Amongst the four Veda Upa-Angas the fourth one is Meemaamsai. In its end Uttara part is ‘Vedaantam’ or Philosophy, which contains all the 108 Upanishads. The principles as expounded by Sankara, Ramanujacharya and Madhva are all covered under Vedaantam or the concepts of Philosophy. As far as this Matam is concerned, its main role is to nurture and spread the word of the Adwaita Philosophy. For this sake we conduct special conferences. Since the end of the last century, (that is, the 19th Century) we have been conducting Adwaita Sabha. We have also made arrangements for recording, printing and publishing these discussions in book form. So also the Ramanuja and Madhva Siddhanta followers too have made arrangements for publication of books on Visishtadwaitam and Dwaitam philosophies. Actually to tell you the truth, those Madhvas and Vaishnavas have much more attachments to their line of philosophies than what Smarthas have for Adwaitam.
514. Though we differentiate between Vedantam (end of Vedas that is Philosophy) and Siddhantam (that is, a principled stand of a particular line of philosophy), Saiva Siddhantam is a line of thinking that has emanated on the basis of the Vedas only. (In Saiva Siddhantam, totally observing the Vaidic concepts verbatim, albeit in a Tamil version, it is similar to Vaishnavam in which instead of Vishnu, you have to read Siva!) That is what is nurtured and cultivated by various Mataadipathy-s (heads of institutions known as Aadeenam-s) in Tamil Nadu. Then there are traditions of followers of Chaitanya, Nimbalkar, Vallabha and others in our Hindu religion.
515. What is taught in the Universities for a degree in Philosophy is based on Adwaitam, Dwaitam and Visishtadwaitam. All over the world, since more than the procedural methodology, the theoretical aspects have gained greater importance; it is Vedantam that has won every body’s attention! Within these theoretical principled stands too it is Adwaitam that has attained universal fame, to the extent that if you say Vedantam or Philosophy, people think of Adwaitam, in some way irritating people of other traditions! Anyhow that aside, I came to say that more than all other things, philosophy is a much sought after subject of study today in the Universities.
516. But, here too, without any scope for observing the rules and regulations of taboo as per the Aachaaraa-s, in the name of research, many things are bandied about, against the views and directions of our ancestors. Though it is claimed that they are doing the analysis with an open mind, their views are biased due to their lack of Samskara and existing preconceived notions! Thus their theories are not fully acceptable as they are ill conceived! Thus the Vedanta theories of these universities are leaving much to be desired.
517. In Adwaitam also, let these foreigners genuinely practice these theories to the extent possible. Some of them with previous Samskara of positive merits accumulated in previous lives may be able to attain to realization with little efforts, may be! Since after all it is this past life connections that is pulling them in this direction, first of all! But mostly, any efforts on the part of anybody for that matter, without Vaidic regular systematic Aachaara and Karma Anushtaana, if people are looking for short cuts, I am afraid, no amount of lectures or writing of books naming oneself as ‘Adwaita’, is going to help! Without the individual personal Anubhava, it will prove only to be a case of mental gymnastics and verbal diarrhoea! AachaaryaaL who established Adwaita as a concept had directed that the Adwaita Anubhava comes from systematic successive preparative efforts of Karma Anushtaana and one minded devotion of Easwara Upaasana. Here too he had said that instead of exclusive devotion to any God, he had recommended devotion to any God as inclusive of all Gods, as the representatives of the One God. With such devotion when he attains to clarity of mind, then and only then he gets the Adhikaara for Philosophical analysis! Where is the scope for such self ennoblement in the university curriculums? So my point is that
in these matters of Vedanta Saastra, traditional practitioners of Vaidic Aachaara are the best to be supported and given all help to teach the next generation.
(To be continued.)



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