DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 5) Dated 22 Aug 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 5) Dated 22 Aug 2011
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 No 254 of Vol 5 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
114. We saw how Guru reveals himself as a Guru for our sake. Similarly here too, though we cannot do anything in gratitude to Vasantham, we can do much in the case of the Guru. Whatever we can do, such as a small service or care or monetary contribution can be done, isn’t it? Saastraas say that to pay Guru DakshiNa is important. The reason why he reveals his identity, has to be repeated here too, it seems. It is for our sake that he reveals his identity and accepts our service and DakshiNa so as to give us the satisfaction and PuNya Phala and not because he has any expectations of name, fame and benefits from us. One of the most important lessons he has to teach us is to reduce our attachment to money. His Anugraha is spontaneous, ‘ahetuka’ and without any expectations like what Vasantam does.
115. Without any intentions or motive, universal unconditional love emerges from him like water from a spring. The only logic can be that God has willed it so! Always and every time the constant thought that emerges in their minds is, “lokaa: samasta: sukhino bhavantu and sarve janaa: sukhino bhavantu”, meaning, ‘let all the worlds be at ease and comfort and let all the people be happy and comfortable’! Not only wishing so, he is also doing his best for that purpose! Then what he does finally is “bheema bhava aarNavam janaan taarayanta:”, that is enable people to cross this treacherous waters of the ocean of worldly life! That he can do because he has done it himself – swayam teerNa:, so ‘anyaan taarayanta:’, can enable others to cross!
116. Our AachaaryaaL Aadi Sankara has blessed us all with a work of his, containing a thousand Upadesas, known as ‘Upadesa Saahasri’. The moment I mention his name, 90% of people will be reminded of ‘Bhaja Govindam’ and then ‘Soundarya Lahari’. May be ‘Viveka ChudamaNi’ will bring his name to the mind of some 50% of the people. Less than 10% of the people are likely to have heard about ‘Upadesa Saahasri’! It is a thesis addressed to people in a Guru’s role, on how to train the disciples in bringing high principles, ideas and concepts in to practice. The first part of that work is in prose and the latter part is in poetical form. In this book, at the very beginning AachaaryaaL has talked about the same idea as to how the Guru is required to enable the disciples to get across the ocean of ‘Bhava Saagara’!
117. The traditional Vidya that is taught from generation to generation is useful to the society as a boat enables many travellers to cross the river. The sloka runs like this:- “vidya santadichcha praaNyaan anugrahaaya bhavati nouriva nadim titeersho:” For a person wishing to cross the river, ‘nadim titeersho:’, like a boat ‘nouriva’. ‘Nau’ and Nouka’ both mean a boat in Sanskrit and Hindi. In Tamil it becomes ‘Naavaai’. In Christian mythology at the time of apocalypse like our pralaya, the man who was ‘righteous in his generation’ is enabled by God to build an ark in which, a pair of all sorts of animals along with his own family are accommodated, to withstand the floods of Armageddon! His name was also ‘Noah’! That story is almost like the story of Vaivasvata Manu in our mythologies. In the flood of this worldly life the boatman is Guru. He can cross the floods and enables others to do so. To cross and reach the shore symbolically means the one who realizes his true being and enables others to do so! That is the meaning of, “guru saakchaat param brhma”.
118. He is not one to do ‘varattu vedaantam’, i.e., talking dry philosophy without himself realizing what he is talking about! But he can talk on ‘vedaantam’ with clarity, capable of supporting his argument with positive inputs of guess work, examination of data, drawing the correct inferences with intuition and having the ability to counter opposing viewpoints with equal felicity. One is ‘ooha shakthi’ and the other is ‘aboha shakthi’, together known as ‘oohaaboham’! Having given many other defining characteristics of a Guru, our AachaaryaaL goes on to say that the Guru is, “brhmavid brhmaNi sthitha:”. The word ‘brhmavid’ means ‘a knower of Brhmam’. Having said that, so that this may not be misunderstood to be simply having knowledge at the level of mind and intellect, like a professor or doctor, the next word ‘brhmaNi sthitha:’ is added, to mean ‘established in brhmam itself’’! That is a person who has completely identified himself to be that Brhmam only devoid of all other adjuncts and deluded ideas! So, ‘Guru: Saakchaat Param Brhma’ is perfectly appropriate. When you add the last phrase, ‘tasmai Sri Gurave nama:’, again the question arises! Should we do Namaskaaram to him?
119. We are making a difference here in our understanding of Brhma as one of the office holders like Vishnu and Maheswara; and Param Brhma as the one Muzhu Mudar KadavuL. We may not be doing Namaskaara to the Thrimurthy-s as they are simply doing their duties only, while Para Brhmam is all inclusive, wide and all powerful, beyond the reach of mind and speech. So even if we do Namaskaaram it won’t reach. Para Brhmam being Nishkriya, NirguNa; will it receive just some Namaskaara or our prayers? We do not need to do Namaskaaram to the Thrimurthy-s and Para Brhmam doesn’t need our Namaskaaram. So, if Guru is Para Brhmam, why should we do Namaskaara to him? OK, in one way we saw that even when the Guru was equated to the Thrimurthy-s also, to do Namaskaaram to him was still justified. Exactly similarly if there is any logic here too, let us see that.
120. This is simple! Though Guru is Para Brhmam, he is not beyond our reach, isn’t it? Despite the fact that he has all the qualities of Para Brhmam, for our sake he is not Nishkriya. So as to be within our reach that Para Brhmam has come in our lives as the Guru! Though we do not have to do Namaskaara to that Para Brhmam, to Guru we should be doing all that Ananta Koti Namaskaaraa-s. Instead of being happily without any concerns, he is so keen on correcting our innumerable faults and quirks that, for his kindness we can never be able to be thankful enough. So we should be obedient and subservient to him and be doing Namaskaaraa-s endlessly!
121. This Namaskaara is our biggest asset. AachaaryaaL says so! When he was a young Brhmachaary and was standing with a begging bowl outside her hut, this aged and poor Brahmin lady wished to give something or the other to this tiny tot saying, “Bhavati bikshaan dehi”. She could not find anything to give. After searching all her empty pots, she could locate a shrivelled berry, which she gave him reluctantly ashamed of her own poverty. AachaaryaaL’s heart melted with this gesture of hers. He broke out with the song ‘Kanaka Dhaara Sthavam’, praying to Maha Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. She caused a rain of gold nuggets the size of berries to pour around this old woman’s hut! Though still a child, he didn’t take even one bit from it? But having prayed to Lakshmi, if this beautiful child doesn’t take anything, will that Goddess of Wealth not be offended?
122. He couldn’t have said, “Amma, I prayed for that poor Brahmin family only. I do not need anything from you”, that would not have been very acceptable and so he thought for a split second, that he should do Namaskaara to her and question her as to what he should ask for. He did Namaskaara and by the time he stood up, he knew the answer! When we make ourselves humble enough and do Namaskaara to someone with love, humility and gratitude; see how satisfying the experience is! So he told her, “Amma, give me the pleasure of ever doing prostrations to you, that is all!”
123. Look at the sloka. “sampath karraaNi saklendriya nandanaani saamraajya daana nirataani saroruhaakshi I tvat vandanaani duritod daraNotyataani maameva maataranisam kalayantu naanye II” Last word is ‘naanye’, meaning nothing else! That is the final word. ‘Vera onnum vendaam’, ‘aur kuch bhi nahin chaahiye’, nothing more! That is, he says, “Amma, Maha Lakshmi! Amongst all that you may grant as blessing, give me the biggest wealth of being beholden to you, ever! I do not want anything else. ‘tvad vandanaani’ – Namaskaarams to you may; ‘maameva’ – to me; ‘anisam’ – always; ‘kalayantu’ – reach me; ‘na anye’ – not anything else! To be doing Namaskaaram-s to you always is all that I wish for!”
124. ThiruvaLLuvar has said, “aruL selvam selvattut selvam”, meaning that, ‘gracefulness is the biggest asset, whereas any unworthy character could have money.’ (Refer to the first KuraL in Adikaaram No 25, in Turavara Iyal.) AruL or Grace is bountifully given by God. What we do with a sense of gratitude is Namaskaaram. This is not a ‘levaa devee’ or transaction! Both are spontaneous and not as ‘quid pro quo’! AachaaryaaL is not even begging for the Grace of God. He says give me the opportunity to do Namaskaaram forever, nothing else. Let this wealth come to me, ‘tvad vandanaani...maameva maata: anisam kalayantu, na anye’! Let this Namaskaara Lakshmi be with me eternally!
(To be continued.)
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