Thursday, September 09, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 69 (Vol #4) Dated 09 Sep 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 69 (Vol #4) Dated 09 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 page number 375 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.}
563. We talk about all these Vidyas and Arts so as to project our image to foreigners for the pure and simple purpose of attracting them to our shores and thereby earn some foreign exchange! Neither is it in any way related to our belief and trust in God or done the way as laid out in the Saastraas! You cannot expect anything more out of what is done officially commercially! We cannot even blame them as we should be happy that they are doing at least this much!
564. So, now generally the common Vidyas should be cultivated by the common man and the special Saastraas be the responsibility of Guru Peetams and the followers of disciples of these religious organizations like ours. It is time for us to wake up to our, this responsibility. It is in one way good that the Governments are not doing much for this. As long as the Governments or rather the Kings of yore were taking care of it, the common man could be uncaring about this. Now it is best that we wake up to our responsibility with the feeling that these Saastraas and their continued well being are the biggest treasured legacy as well as responsibility of ours! So, we have to apply our minds to it and get involved whole heartedly.
565. When you look at the existing state of affairs, there is cause for alarm. As the time goes by, the standard of Vidyas are all generally dwindling down and or vanishing. Many of the arts are becoming extinct! This degeneration is so wide spread that when we come across some slightly knowledgeable person, we end up praising such a person to the skies and he in turn decides that he more than deserves all the kudos and that he does not have to know anything anymore! It is like comparing the lights from a firefly to that of a Light House! Talking about firefly I am reminded of an actual event involving Nilakanta Diktchidar and Pazhmarneri Mahadeva Saastrigal.
566. Nilakanta Diktchidar was a minister under the Naickar King in Madurai. As the grandson of the famous Appayya Diktchidar, he was well known for his erudition, discretion and devotion! Pazhamarneri Mahadeva Saastry was also a great scholor and devotee of AmbaL, but not as famous as Diktchidar. As the story goes, Mahadeva Saastry happened to be in Madurai visiting the Meenakshi Amman temple. There was a chance meeting on the roadside, when the minister was being carried in his palanquin. He looked at the Saastry who happened to scurry across the road right in front of the palanquin and made an inadvertent derogatory remark. Mr. Saastry replied promptly in pure and chaste Sanskrit, in the verse form to the effect that, “In a dark world lacking in real knowledge, even the light of a firefly is praised to the heavens!” This spontaneous response had the effect of deflating Diktchidar’s ego from its flight of fancy!
567. We are all in a similar situation as that Diktchidar, with even less knowledge, awareness and devotion to God. We have to successively move from this light of the fireflies to that of stars, to the brilliant Moon Rise to that of a Sunlight! The light of Vidya has to be amplified and enhanced as the Light of Asia for the whole world! Now there are some qualified Vedic scholars of Vidwaans and Pundits; Sthapathys who are Shilpa Saastra experts; Vaids, who are masters in Ayur Veda; Singers and Dancers of classical Music and Bharata Natyam; Astrologers knowledgeable in Jyotisham; Vastu Saastra exponents and so on! But, when the world is giving more attention to only show-off and blowing of one’s own trumpet, the experts who are really good, do not get good publicity, name, fame and in the bargain, not the required support! Then party and caste loyalty comes in the way. Those with the gift of the gab, with peripheral knowledge are able to get their half cocked ideas and concepts published while real research and analysis gather dust in the waste paper baskets! Nobody is ready to publicise or publish their findings. It seems as though boasting is more the need of the hour than real worth! The reason for this is the fact that the level of knowledge of Saastraas has really gone down. Though people are well qualified in western education, they have next to nil knowledge of our own Vidyas and Saastraas. This leads to a situation of not being able to correctly assess the real value of ideas and concepts and so one ends up praising and supporting anything foreign over our own!
568. Without patronage and the much needed income, those with real knowledge loose heart and fail to convey their expertise to the people of the next generation. You can often hear them say, “Let this knowledge die with me. I do not want the future generations of my family to suffer like me. Let them survive by any means!” I am talking so much to prevent exactly this sort of a thing from happening that the very few remaining knowledgeable experts in Saastraas and Vidyas should not disappear from the face of the earth without imparting that knowledge to the children of the next generation! Simultaneously I am duty bound to request the knowledgeable few remaining Pundits as under. “You as the few remaining experts in your fields, whatever the sacrifices that you have to make, please have a big heart uncaring for the presence or the lack of support, take pains to impart your Vidwat to children of the next generation as an offering to God Himself!”
569. Ideal Vidwaans That I Have Come Across! During my visit to various places all over India, I have come across a few such Masters of erudition, who uncaring for name, fame or wealth, being totally devoted to the Goddess of Learning. Meeting them, I have had the greatest pleasure! One such place I came across, when I was roaming around Kerala in the year 1927-28 was Thiru VanjikkaLam. Once upon a time it was the capital of Kerala. One amongst the 12 Aazhwaars (that is devotees of Vishnu) Kulasekara PerumaaL and one amongst the 63 Naayanmaars (that is Devotees of Siva) Seramaan PerumaaL, both kingly devotees and both having the surname of PerumaaL, were rulers from this place. {This is the only place (oNNe oNNu kaNNe kaNNu) in Kerala which has been mentioned in the Tevaaram songs eulogising Siva. All other place names mentioned in the Tevaaram are in Tamil Nadu. This Malayala Desam of Kerala contains 13 of the 108 Divya Desams mentioned in the Aazhwaar’s paasurams of 4,000 songs eulogising Vishnu!} Near Thiru VanjikkaLam is the famous Bhagawati temple town of KudungaLur which has been made in ‘Kranganur’ by British map makers! It is in that place and villages around, which have many such Pundits who practice the Veda Vidyas uncaring for worldly possessions and support! In KodungaLur and the villages around have all got a Raja each. That is, each small place is a royal Kingdom of its own unique sovereignty and freedom.
570. Normally as it is, in the Malayala Desam there are more Kings than the common man. Everybody is special in some way. So there are more Rajas in Kerala. They have a peculiar lineage by which the family assets accrue to the ‘maru magan’, which is slightly different from maternal hierarchy! This is known as ‘marumakka daaya murai’! Let me explain.
(To be continued.)



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