Saturday, April 02, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #170 (Vol #4) Dated 02 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #170 (Vol #4) Dated 02 Apr 2011

(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 953 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
86. Two Types of Adakkam. There are two types of Adakkam required in man. One is that his senses should be under control. The eyes should not look at scenes which will titillate and excite his senses. He should be seeing more of good, pleasant sceneries such as ennobling sight of a temple. The ears should not hear discordant notes, shouting, cursing and agnostic speeches. Nama Sankeertanam, slokas and description of excellent ideas and concepts such as kindness, dispassion, compassion and helping of others in distress, should be heard and talked about. Mouth should not eat or drink liquor, meat and other non-vegetarian foods fit only for animals and or over spicy food. Food that will enhance the noble qualities of mind and body (Satva GuNa) should only be partaken. Another job done by the mouth is talking. Wasteful scurrilous talks and gossiping should be avoided. The body should be used for all actions in service of others, doing pooja, Namaskarams, going around the temple, yoga aasana and such things. To avoid bad company and seek the company of saints is also a type of an adakkam. In Ashtaanga Yoga, the ideas covered under, ‘Sama and Dama’ would all contribute towards this adakkam. Appar has sung a song starting with, “thalaiye nee vaNangaai”, covering all these points on how to bring about control of the senses by employing them all in divine activities.
87. Sama is equanimity and Dama is control of mind, body and intellect. These two preferable qualities are normally mentioned as ‘Sama, Dama aadi’. Sama is concerned with action of the senses, in not letting the senses run hither and thither. Dama is concerned with control of the mind, curbing the thoughts from taking shape. If the mind generates negative thoughts and aspirations; it is potentially more harmful than simple control of the senses. You may look quite innocent and harmless, but your heinous and nefarious thoughts have to be curbed. So Dama is about inner control and as you know, simply outer control is just not good enough!
88. But, this inner Adakkam is very difficult to achieve. First, for long the outer Sama of balanced approach has to be practiced in all our actions of speech, diet, sights, sounds, taste and smell. Concurrently we have to go on instructing the mind. In Bhagawat Gita too Sri Krishna talks about this very aspect (2 – 59). For a man who has given up food or is fasting, even when he is without food, the smell, taste and the memory of the experience of eating will continue to linger in his mind. (Here the food can be food for the tongue and stomach, as also food for the eyes, nose, ears and mind.) For this ‘vaasanaa’ to go and for his mind to become clean and lucid; he has to have a ‘darshan’ of God the Almighty!
89. You can immediately complain like this. “This is very funny, Swamiji! You often say that only when all the ‘vishaya vaasanaas’ go from the mind we can have a ‘darshan’ of God! Now you are telling the exact opposite! It is like saying, ‘if rid of insanity, he will get married and if married, he will be rid of madness’! This is a quandary which is also a dilemma!” OK! Let me put it this way. First we have to have the longing in us that our minds should become clean and all the lingering ‘vaasanaas’ should be erased. But it is not easily attained even when ardently wished for. First ‘Sama’ has to be practiced. As you progress, slowly bit by bit, ‘Dama’ will also be at hand. The intensity of the ‘vaasanaas’ in the mind will dwindle and become less pronounced. But they will not vanish completely, often causing a slip here and a major faux pas elsewhere.
90. Have you seen able bodied athletes trying to climb the ‘mal khamb’? On top of a smoothly polished beam made of the thick trunk of a tree, firmly planted on the ground, they would tie a pot full of butter. The surface of the beam would have been given a thick coating of some oil to ensure that it is very difficult to hold on to, let alone climb! But however much one may slip, there will be someone or the other amongst the contestants who will be able to finally reach the top and bring down the pot of butter! Similarly, we have to keep up the effort despite the apparent failures, to achieve inner clarity. Seeing our sincerity, God will grant us with success one day or the other. He will give us the ‘darshan’ which may be some form of His in all splendour with salubrious qualities of ‘SaguNa’ roopa. The Saadhak may enjoy the NirguNa Brhmam in Adwaita Anubhava already inwardly or one day in the future eventually! Anyhow, that initial glimpse will do the needful to take this man through! After that there will be no slipping, no falling and no more interest in any other ‘vaasanaas’.
91. This ‘Sama, Dama and four other qualities have been put together as the six essential character qualities required in an Aatma Saadhak. These have been listed by our AachaaryaaL as ‘sama aadi shatka sampatthi’. The state of being with ‘Sama’ is Shaanti. The state of being with ‘Dama’ is Dhaanti. In them Shanti is well known and more in use. The second mentioned Dhaanti is not so much in use. Some of you might have noticed that in out Matam when ‘Swasti Vachanam’ is chanted, the phrase ‘shaanti dhaanti bhoomnaam’. In this Shatpadi Stotra that I am talking about, our AachaaryaaL is praying for both Shaanti and Dhaanti.
92. Before control of the mind and senses, first we need to possess the quality of humbleness and adakkam, is it not so? Only when we first have that sort of simplicity and humility will we think of praying for Sama and Dama. So, you will agree that the basic requirement in approaching God is ‘Vinaya’. That is why AachaaryaaL started the Shatpadi prayer to Vishnu with the words, ‘avinayam apanaya’. Then having got His attention by calling him ‘Vishno!’ he says “dhamaya mana: samaya vishaya mruga thrishNaam”, he says. “This mind needs Dhaanti, so, do tha by controlling my mind. The sense organs which run after the mirage of sensual gratifications need Shanti; so, control them and create Sama”. From my talk so far, you must have clearly understood the meaning of ‘dhamaya mana:’ from ‘samaya vishaya’. Now let me tell you about this ‘animal thirst’ of ‘mruga thrishNa’.
93. Here there are two words, ‘mruga’ and ‘trushNa’. The word ‘mruga’ means an animal normally. It has a special meaning indicating a deer. When the Sanskrit words are used in Tamil, there are some variations in the meaning. In Tamil, the word ‘mrugam’ stands for all types of animals such as, goat, cow, donkey, horse, lion, tiger and such animals. Though such is also the meaning in Sanskrit, it has a special connotation as the deer. Siva is called ‘mruga paaNi’ or ‘mruga dharan’, because he is holding a deer in his hands. Similarly, there is this word ‘pasu’ which in Tamil means only mulch cows whereas in Sanskrit it is a common name for all animals including human beings. Pointedly in it also, it stands for the animal sacrificed in Yagnas. Though normally it is the goat that is used as the sacrificial animal and called the ‘Yagna pasu’ in usage, goat as well as the cow are called pasu. Man as an animal is also the pasu. So Siva is the ‘Mruga paaNi and Pasupathi’. So, between Tamil and Sanskrit, there is a ‘quid pro quo’ logic between the use of the words ‘mruga and pasu’; mruga standing for all animals and deer especially in Sanskrit and pasu standing for all animals and the cow especially in Tamil!
94. Here in ‘mruga thrishNa’, mruga means deer and thrishNa means thirst. Even this English word ‘thirst’ seems to have evolved from the Sanskrit original ‘thrishNa’, I think etymologically! The word ‘mruga thrishNa’ means the thirst of the deer. What is the connection between ‘deer’s thirst’ and mirage? (See even here this word ‘mirage’ has something to do with the word ‘mruga’!) In deserts there are many deers roaming about in herds. In summer they will feel the inevitable thirst for water. Not finding any water in their normal habitat, they will move out in huge herds in search of water.
95. In summer in the water less plains there is an illusion created by layers of air at different temperatures putting up a vast show of illusion as though one is seeing the reflection of trees and other objects and as though the reflected image is moving in water! As you get nearer the place where you thought there was a source of water, the illusion will be seen to have moved further away. Thinking it to be a real river or pond, the herds will keep running after it till they fall dead due to utter exhaustion!
96. It is said in the Adwaita Saastraas that this life in this world itself is a huge hoax by Maya. You are likely to ask the question, “How can it be so? This world is seen by all of us to be existing and we believe in the proverb, ‘seeing is believing’! The Adwaita Saastraas counters with, “So also the mirage is seen! This entire universe is a mirage of Maya! Are you going to correctly interpret that data or die a pathetic death like the deer herds in the desert?”
(To be continued.)
Sambhomahadeva.

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