Sunday, November 21, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (Vol #4) Dated 21 Nov 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (Vol #4) Dated 21 Nov 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 middle of page number 576 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
88. When Bhagwan Sri Krishna told Arjuna, “Even at the cost of your life do your Swadharma to which you are born. To die doing one’s Swadharma is Sreyas. It is that which helps in balancing out all Karma effects and brings this cycle of repeated births and deaths to a stand- still. It is Para Dharma which increases the fearfulness.” Having heard this, Arjuna thought about it in depth. His thought process ran on the following lines as given hereinafter.
89. “What is That Power Forcing Us to Go Astray? We decide that we should not have any desire of our own and that we should do exactly as required of whatever Kulam and Gotram in which we are born and perform those duties as we are supposed to do at each stage of our life, that is during bachelorhood (Brhmacharya), married life (Gruhasta), retired life (Vanaprasta) and after renouncing the worldly involvement (Sanyaasa). But what happens? Instead of simply doing things as per our decision, instead of going in the right direction as preferred by our own sense of reason and logic, something preventing us from all this, forces us on the wrong path, compelling us to do all the things that we did not want to do! That force causes us to make the required things unwanted and make us want for the really unwanted things! What is this force which has this power to compel us to do sins lovingly, despite our best intentions? We are at a loss to name this force or exactly identify it! Now you tell me as to what it is?” Arjuna asked Sri Krishna.
90. Let us turn to the question asked by Arjuna, in his own words. “ata kena prayuktoyam paapam charathi poorushaha I anichchannapi vaarshneya bhalaadiva niyojitaha II” He is addressing Krishna as Vaarshneya, the famous name of one of Krishna’s ancestors. I was about to tell you the meaning of this sloka even earlier. Before that I was going to explain the reference to the context in brief. But that has kept growing covering much of what I was going to say. Anyhow, no loss! “ata” – that is, as you say, even if a man keeps his mind under control and intends to do his Swa Dharma; “ayam poorushaha” – this man the jeevan; “anichchannapi” – despite not wanting to do so, that is purely involuntarily; “kena” – by whom; “prayuktaha” – having been caused to; “bhalaat iva” – as though forcibly; “niyojitaha” – launched or propelled into; “paapam charathi” – enters into sin?
91. Let us look more closely at this word “niyojitaha iva” – as though launched into or pushed into; ‘yuj’ – ‘yoj’ is the root word. To join something with something else or coupled; ‘yoga’ and ‘yuktam’ are derived from that root. To tie the mind locked without being scattered is ‘yoga’. The polished wooden piece that ties two bulls together pulling the cart or the tiller is called the ‘yoke’, is from this Daatu word. Joining or coupling is with the purpose of launching or propelling into some venture. When you add a prefix ‘ni’ to any word, it gives emphasis to the meaning. For example, ‘paatam’ is to fall. If you say ‘nipaatam’, it means a collapse. The word ‘darsanam’ means ‘visible’ and if you add a ‘ni’ to it, it becomes ‘nidarsanam’ which means evident! So, ‘niyojitaha’ means chained and pushed into!
92. “Instead of voluntarily doing it, as though compulsorily chained and pushed, people fall in to Sin! Who is this person propelling us in this manner?” Arjuna asks Sri Krishna. Samsara is Dwaitam and so fearful, as we have seen earlier. What instils fear is Sin. So adopting other’s Dharma is ‘bhayaavahaha’. Not only that. There are many Sins that human being is capable of. You will be surprised to know or read through a complete list. When you read as to what all punishments are there for which all Sins, in a description of Naraka Loka, that is Hell, you will be shocked to know man’s ingenuity and capacity for innovation in Sinning! That is why, Arjuna is asking this question.
93. If you go on a visit to the holy places such as VaraNasi, the Panda there will ask you to take ‘Sankalpa’ for pooja. In it the actual ‘Sankalpa’, that is, declaration of intention to do pooja is only one sentence. But before that, after a detailed description of space (starting from the bigger picture of the cosmos, earth, geographical description of India with all its mountains, rivers and states, bringing you down to this place in India) and time (starting from the Surya Siddhaanta description of Manvantara, Kalpa, Yuga, to this particular day, hour and minute), there is a whole list of Sins that we could have done knowingly or unknowingly which are described! Not all sins are done intentionally, though we do them as though we could not just help doing it! That is what Arjuna calls, ‘anichchan iva’ ! Here Arjuna is asking as to what is that power that makes us do such things. He is not asking as to what is the way out of this zugzwang, where we seem to be slipping more than climbing! Because, Sri Krishna has already told Arjuna that, if we do our Swa Dharma relentlessly under all circumstances that will slowly but surely delink ourselves from sinful behaviour. He has also emphasised that practicing of Swa Dharma even in a perfunctory manner has the power to save us from all sins and the fear of Samsara! Fear, sin, binding ties and Samsara are all concerned about the methods of saving oneself from the same set of hazards! So, now Arjuna is mainly interested in exactly identifying the culprit who creates the sinful tendencies in man and forcibly gets him involved despite his wanting not to do so! The fight between the evil and divine tendencies happens in individual man’s mind only. That is the battle field!
94. “Oh! That? There are two main powers which are the reason for all sinful tendencies”, says Sri Krishna. “One is Desire and the other Anger!” “kaama esha krodha esha rajoguNa samudbhavaha I mahaashano mahaapaapmaa viddhyenamiha vairiNam II” It is desire, it is anger born of Rajas, all-devouring, all-sinful; know this as the foe here in this world. It is ‘kaama’, that is desire, the main reason that instigates man in all evil tendencies. The other is ‘krodha’, that is anger! They are both ‘rajo guNa samudbhavaha’, meaning, arising out of what is, neither quite, collected, balanced and diligent ‘saatveeka’; nor lazy, inert and sluggish ‘taamasa’; but agitated and uncontrolled state of ‘raajasa’ ! In the Sloka of Gita 3.37, Bhagwan is considering these two qualities as one only. For the question as to what pushes man into sin, the answer is, “That is Kaama, that is Krodha!” Desire and anger are so inter-twined as love-hate relationship! If you look at the Sanskrit grammer of this sloka, you will see that both these two qualities are being treated as one only! Had they been treated as two different words, the phrase, ‘rajo guNa samudbhavaha’, should have been ‘rajo guNa samudbhavow’ ! Does it meen that they are both the same? Kaama is a feeling of desire, wanting and need. Krodha is a feeling of anger, disgust and hate. How can they be one? You give up Swa Dharma that is dislike or hate. You pick up Para Dharma that is attraction and passion. How can wanting and not-wanting be one?
(To be continued.)



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