Wednesday, September 01, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 65 (Vol #4) Dated 01 Sep 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 65 (Vol #4) Dated 01 Sep 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 last para on page number 355 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.}
534. Vidyas Not Within the Scope of Natural Laws as Understood by Us. There are certain areas of knowledge beyond the laws of nature as understood by us. Nowadays it is the trend to discard such arts as humbug! These should also be studied and practically checked as to whether these are true or not. It is my opinion that there may be some fakes amongst those who are practicing these. But the Saastraas themselves are not fakes. For example, Naadi Saastram that is reading the pulse, Prasnam that is asking questions and getting answers and Chaaya Purusha Saastram that is reading shadows! After the influx of the modern sciences, it has become fashionable to laugh at them as unscientific. Actually there are many areas outside the human interpretations that could be super sciences. There are some who have been practicing these arts or sciences for generations. These should be identified and nurtured and protected to continue. Rasa Vaadam and Jyotisham are such, that cannot be clearly said to be science or not, that they could be semi-science. They have to be preserved and permitted to grow or at least survive. There are some astrologers these days who have a big reputation and wealthy too. That is a different matter. I am mainly concerned about protecting the Vidya of Jyotisham!
535. Similarly there are some doctors of Ayurveda, Nattu Vaidyam and Siddha Vaidyam known as Vaidyas. Some of them are rather well to do. As I said before, we have a responsibility to see to it that these disciplines of knowledge are saved and conserved for posterity in a systematic manner and not left to individual’s whims! We have to endeavour in these lines with the purpose of ensuring fresh crop of students trained in the time tested methods of Guru Kula, who could continue the traditions!
536. Yoga Saastram. I do not know as to how I missed out on this all this time! When you say, ‘Yoga Saastram’ it means Patanjali Muni’s ‘Ashtaanga Yoga’ mainly. As it’s further off-shoots, there are many disciplines such as Kundalinee Yoga, Hata Yoga and Kriya Yoga and so on!
536. These are to be tried and practiced by people who have trained diligently with maturity. Normally even as part of simple devotional activities, some ‘PraaNaa Yaamam’ is required to be done. This is also part of Yoga only. But when we go beyond this, one has to be careful. If not done properly, it can lead to some serious troubles. Instead of mental and physical well being, it can be damaging to both! One can easily get diverted to opting for attainment of name, fame and power. One may be attracted towards achieving ‘Siddhi’ and making others subservient to one’s authority. The eight great ‘Siddhis’ are powers such as, become lighter than a feather, become as small as the atom, become heavier than the heaviest, be at more than one place simultaneously, read other people’s mind, enter into other’s bodies, become omniscient, become omnipotent and such. When all the powers are yours with one’s self realization, simply lusting for power makes one to try and attract others and if they do not get attracted, try to trouble them with malignant powers and so on! Though they are known as Eight Great Powers or Ashta Maha Siddhis, when the teaching goes into the hands of immature persons, it can lead to a whole lot of problems. As the saying goes, ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!’
537. There are a whole lot of Yoga Aasanaas meant for physical well being. Even in these one has to be careful in practice. This has caught the attention of people all over the world. There is talk of introducing this as part of the curriculum in the schools. There has to be sufficient number of teachers for this. There are some Aachaaraas about this like the time of the day when it can be done and that it is best done when the stomach is not full. Done with discipline, it can be taught to the children en masse. In the case of other Yoga Aasanaas, one should do them only with expert guidance. For this you need the help of Yogis, whom you may not be able to employ, unless they are already practicing as teachers and are willing to take on the responsibility! Neither can we recruit suitable students for them! There are many Yoga Aashramaas being run nowadays. Actually it is their proliferation that is rather a point of concern. Possibly we could have some places where the theory part alone is taught in the Guru Kula system, leaving the practical part to these privately run places. Thus there will be a check on what is being taught in the name of Yoga!
538. Only Theory - No Practice. A little while back I spoke about ‘Rasa Vaadam’. It is also to be run like this, in which only the theoretical aspect should be covered. We want to only nurture and protect the Vidya, the knowledge and not lead to a state where every household becomes a secret workshop for converting copper in to gold! There is a word in Tamil ‘Pittalaattam’, which means corruption! ‘Pittalai’ is brass and ‘Hatakam’ is Gold. When you combine these two words, you have ‘Pittalaattam’ which is a synonym for corruption, as many have duped gullible innocents! The aim should be to stop at proving the possibility. Such knowledge is not to be used for exploitation and profit! May be that the Guru could demonstrate the feasibility and retain it at theoretical level only. It is a Vidya to be handled with care and is not to be permitted to become extinct!
539. What I said about Yoga is similarly applicable to the next subject that I am coming to, that is Vedantam. As we cannot appoint the Guru and we cannot enrol the disciple for Yoga Aasanaas, for the subject of Vedantam too we will not be able to do so! Whatever the Siddhantam and whatever the tradition, how to identify as to who is a Gnaani and who is not? How to make him run a Guru Kulam and how are we to enrol the students? The Guru Kulams that I am recommending for various avenues of knowledge are all meant for providing the true information on what the Saastraas say about these. Not necessarily to make it practically demonstrable. My main point is that when it comes to learning any of these Vidyas, not caring for the right attitude and good behaviour is wrong! These are not only intellectual exercises but ways of ennobling oneself. So devotion, discipline, good behaviour are all equally important! That is the only way we can guard against misuse of knowledge at a later date as I have been reiterating all along.
540. Thus for all the Arts and Sciences of Indian origin, we should endeavour to put in a concerted effort with our ancient methods of imparting education as far as possible in the Guru Kula system. We are not to ignore the moral rules and regulations, severity of the Aachaaraas and discipline, which have to go hand in hand with learning of the Vidyas! ThiruvaLLuvar says clearly that more than even chanting of the Vedas, personal discipline is of primordial importance!
(To be continued.)



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