Saturday, August 28, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol #4) Dated 28 Aug 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol #4) Dated 28 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 page number 347 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.}
518. Comparative Studies of Principled Stands of View. (In today’s e-mail PeriyavaaL is talking about formation of such a modern University on the ancient lines.) In this we should be making a fresh start. There is a comparative study of all Philosophies being done in the Universities wherein they take up a number of systems and compare them as to where they are running parallel and where they are divergent. This is a research that should be appreciated. Even in the traditional method of debate, it has been the practice to first explain a Principled Stand Point of View and then put across the criticisms and then counter points of view of one’s own Siddhanta. That is how the arguments were presented. First the Poorva Paktcham, that is the other side’s point of view, is explained. Having developed that idea fully, you go over to your own Swapaktcham point of view. That is how Adi Sankara had argued and won over many opponents who belonged to other systems.
519. But, now whosoever is reading these things in the universities are only paying attention to whatever the author has to say about any side of the story or whatever is being quoted and do not see for themselves as to what is given in the original document. A quotation out of context can mean something entirely different from what was really intended. Instead we should go into more details and make up our own minds by reading the Saastraa-s first hand. We should endeavour to read and understand different viewpoints and know for ourselves, without being prejudiced by our own opinions and hazy ideas of notions. Actually depending on one’s own level of development and maturity, one may agree with Sankara or Ramanuja at different points in time! Whatever conclusion one may come to by an intellectual exercise may not be fully acceptable to one’s inner self! At the end point the differences between Sankara and Ramanuja are very subtle. Some time it may look like a very thin line and some other time it may seem to be two different peaks with an unbridgeable chasm in between! Something may appeal as correct to ones intellect and the exact opposite may ring true to the inner self! The reality is beyond all intellectual arguments. But still, when you undertake study of the scriptures, to get a thorough grounding, it is necessary to get to know one’s own Sampradaaya thoroughly and other principled stands sufficiently well to be able to appreciate other’s point of view also. We should not have a narrow vision that only our view point is good and other’s views are short sighted! When we form universities of higher studies thus, in the ancient style of Guru Kula, there could be some learned masters, with deep knowledge of English who could study the world view on these subjects, research, write books and act as the visiting lecturers for the student’s benefit!
520. National and Foreign Comparisons and Parallels. Similarly our ancient Indian sciences, semi-sciences (we will shortly talk about these semi-sciences PeriyavaaL says) and allied subjects should also be studied, researched and compared with modern sciences. We should encourage such studies in a big scale and make the result of such studies available to the students. We should carry out a comparison of what is stated in our old books with the present day scientific theories on the same and try to bring a confluence wherever possible. For example there could be much exchange of information between Ayur Veda and Allopathy enhancing and improving both lines of discipline.
521. Amongst the Veda Upaanga-s PuraNa-s have spread wide as novels, Hari Katha, Pravachanam, comics, and even TV Serials. Thus they seem to be much publicised. But, if you look carefully, amongst the 18 PuraNa-s, not all of them have come to the limelight. The 18 Upa-PuraNa-s and Sthala PuraNa-s are all on the wane. There was a time when the people conducting these Hari Katha in the temples and public places known as Pouraniks were the main force for disseminating nuggets of Dharma to the common folks. We must make special efforts to take care of such people and cultivate the profession of Pouraniks in a big way.
522. Poorva Meemaamsai, Tarkam / Nyaya Saastram and Dharma Saastra-s should also be taken care of similarly. In these the Dharma Saastra-s should be made part and parcel of our day to day life, as they are true indicators of our culture in all its glory. In an intellectual point of view, Meemaamsai and Tarka Saastraa-s should find their appropriate place in the wide spectrum of studies, for Master of Philosophy and Doctorate in all the Universities of the world as well as the one I am recommending.
523. Aagama Saastram. Beyond all this, Mantra Saastram is like an ocean. Actually there is a book on Mantra Saastram known as ‘Mantra Mahodhadhi’, meaning ‘an ocean of mantra-s’! With Mantra Saastra comes the Aagama Saastraa-s. When you make a temple of stones, it is the Aagama Saastraa-s which makes it possible to invoke the divinity of that particular God in the stone, in the environs and the enclosed space! So the Aagama Saastraas are important in terms of construction of the temples and their sanctification! It tells us as to how to build a temple, its measurements, sizes, materials, engineering, installation of the statues, method of their pooja and devotional activities, which particular God to be venerated with which mantras and which material and so on and so on! It is the temple that makes it possible for the common man to establish a direct one to one relationship with God. So I am mainly concerned about the re-vitalization of this particular line of learning.
523. So, I have been calling forth all the knowledgeable people in this line such as Sivachaaryaa-s, Bhattar-s and Sthapathy-s, giving importance to the science of Aagamaa-s, conducting big meetings and recording the proceedings. The Government too have given importance to this subject. But instead of going by the Saastraa-s, the attention is being given more for unnecessary issues of equality of castes and giving of pride of place for the Tamil Language, that the whole issue has been thoroughly muddled beyond recognition! Even now if we hand over the responsibility for revival of these Aagamaa-s to some worthy, well qualified Bhattar or Sivaachaariyar to conduct a classic Guru Kula with at least half a dozen students, we can hope for a recovery in a few years time.
524. Vastu Saastra. Aagama Saastraas talk about how to construct a temple. But before that, there is Saastra already existing which talks about where to construct a temple, in which part of the city and more than that, delineating the town planning and details of how to go about constructing a house; is all available in Vaastu Saastram. It is today more used by individual claimants of expertise, consulted by the well to do only. The teaming millions of people in India just cannot afford such a luxury!
(To be continued.)



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