Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 46 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 Aug 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 46 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 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 page No 284 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)
SANKARA CHARITAM
1. Today we are starting a new series on the life of Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL, our AachaaryaaL. Some 2,000 or 2,500 years before now, the social situation in India, that is, Bharat Varsh was very bad. From time immemorial the religion in this country has been as per the Vedas, known as ‘Sanaatana Dharma’. As it is based on the Vedas, it is also known as Vaidic Madam. Much later only after the Muslim and British occupation of this country, people started calling it the Hindu Religion. Anyhow in none of the scriptures is any name for this religion mentioned as Vaidic or Sanaatana Dharma. As it was the only religion in this country from very olden times, there was no need to give it a name. As the foreigners came to India after crossing the Indus River, people living east and south of the Indus River came to be called the Hindus, their religion Hinduism and their country Bharath Varsh came to be known as India. (Please relate to an earlier e-mail under heading ‘Peyar Illaada Madam’ meaning the Nameless Religion, in Deivathin Kural Series No 30, dated 19 July 2006.) Before we go into the life history of Aadi Sankara, we will be cursorily perusing some of the salient principles of importance of our religion.
2. In this Sanaatana Dharma as directed by the Vedas, there are two paths – one is the Pravrutti Marga and the second is the Nivrutti Marga. To run one’s life as per the rules and regulations of ethical and moral codes of Dharma is the Pravrutti Marga. To leave the involvement in the worldly affairs or after having had one’s innings in the Pravrutti Marga to opt for total renunciation in the quest for understanding the secrets of existence, to comprehend and merge in the Paramaatma, thereby putting a full stop to the cycle of repeated births and deaths is the Nivrutti Marga.
3. To live a life according to Dharma, that is doing good to oneself and to the family and society in which we live, following the Do’s and Don’ts of rules and restrictions as per VarNa and Aashrama, to conduct oneself above board without a blemish, doing the Karma Anushtaanaas faultlessly; one earns much meritorious credits of PuNya. Accordingly, one enjoys the benefits of such noble actions and behaviour here in (that is, Iham) and in heavens (that is, Param). But none of these pleasures are forever. As we enjoy the benefits our credit balance of PuNya will keep diminishing. Then when it is back to Zero, one has to be born again, as said in Bhaja Govindam, ‘punarapi jananam punarapi maraNam punarapi janani jatare sayanam’, one has to be born again! But you do not go to square one as in the game of ‘Parama Padam’ played with the dice, in which between 98 and 100, at 99 there is this huge snake with his mouth wide open. Instead of crossing him if you happen to reach 99, you will slide back to square one!
4. Instead, if you have accumulated a lot of PuNya, you will be enabled to be born in such circumstances that there will be further progress, from where you left off in your previous life, as promised in the Bhagawat Gita. (Refer to Sloka No. 39 to 45 in Chapter No. 6. B.G. Arjuna asks Sri Krishna, “He who is unable to control himself though he has the faith, and whose mind wanders away from Yoga, what end awaits him, having failed to attain perfection in Yoga, O Krishna? Fallen from both, does he not perish like a rent cloud devoid of any support, O mighty armed Krishna, deluded on the path of Brhman?” Sri Krishna replies, “O Arjuna, neither in this world, nor in the next world is there destruction for him; none verily, for the one who does good, ever come to grief. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having dwelt there for everlasting years, he who fell from Yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and wealthy. Or he is born in a family of even the wise Yogis; verily a birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this world. There he comes in touch with the knowledge acquired in his former body and strives more than before for perfection, O Arjuna! By that very former practice he is borne on in spite of himself. Even he who merely wishes to know Yoga goes beyond the Brahmic world. But the Yogi who strives assiduously, purified of sins and perfected gradually through many births, reaches the highest goal! )
5. The pleasures of this worldly life are, in addition to being not permanent are also not wholesomely satisfying. Every pleasure of this life is also with concurrent problems galore! To reach the state of not having any more needs ever, with the feeling of completeness is total bliss. Whether in this world or in heaven, whatever the bliss and thrills one may have can never give us the eternal sense of completeness. Many varieties of fear, sadness, desires, anger, hate and jealousy will always be there with pulls and pressures. So, the fight continues. Moreover, these pleasures of life cannot satisfy what we are deep inside. Whatever is pleasureful for the eyes, ears, taste buds, and tactile nerve ends, the mind and intellect; will still not make a dent on the inner being. Even while going through these pleasures we will feel a sense of incompleteness which will make us wonder, “What is this? Instead of getting real satisfaction for the core of our being, peripherally we are running helter-skelter after these thrills like a mad chap!”
6. The complete inner fulfilment is available only from the Nivrutty Marga. Leaving all endeavours and social interactions when you become a total recluse, accepting the Sanyaasa Aashrama, forever doing meditation and Dhyana, such a person is most likely to feel and experience, what is known as the Samaadhi and Aatma Saatchaatkaara. That stage once reached or obtained becomes permanent. When we talk about a blissful experience of listening to soulful music or having a serene Dharshan of the God in the temple we say, ‘brhma anandama irundadu’! That is only a word used without knowing its full impact. But that ‘brhma aanandam’ is known only to one who has attained to the Siddhi in the Nivrutti marga. That is not the one entity Brhmam being enjoyed by another entity, this man. The man who has attained that Anubhava in the Nivrutti marga, becomes that Brhmam itself of being happiness. There in that state, there is no fear, no sorrow and no pulls of desire and anger! All trying and tendencies are annulled. Once that aim is reached, there is no slipping from it.
7. That is why, it is said, “thillai veLiyile kalandu vittaal avar thirumbiyum varuvaaro?” It means, ‘once having merged in the open spaces of the Thillai VeLi, will they ever come back?’ Exactly in the same vein, ‘Brhma Sutram’ finishes its last statement by repeating it, “anaavrutti sabdaat anaavrutti sabdaat”. The author of ‘Brhma Sutram’ is Badarayana also known as Veda Vyasa. He confirms that it is not simply his statement, but the conclusion of the Vedas that the Yogi who has experienced the Brhmam does not return, does not return. Similarly, the last chapter of Chandogya Upanishad too says twice that, having attained to Brhma Loka the Saadhak does not come back, “na cha punar aavartate, na cha punar aavartate”! That is to say, the ‘Perinbam’ – the highest bliss, is only by the path of Nivrutti Marga. All that one can experience by the Pravrutti Marga are only transitory pleasures.
8. Still in this drama of worldly life, if someone gets interested in this line of Sanyaasi-s and Saints or God Men, the general reaction of people is to say, “OK, OK, become a Sanyaasi, go to the forest, catch hold of your nose, spend all the time in Aatma, God and such things and get lost!” Many people rather get interested in finding a way of earning a livelihood and discourage anyone having a slightly different attitude. If you are having a tendency towards getting to know Brhmam, Aatma and such, you become subjected to much ridicule! So, though there may not be a single person who has not asked himself as to, what this life is and where we are heading to; hardly anybody launches himself into this endeavour! Whereas, VivekachudamaNi mentions this urge ‘Mumukchutvam’, the keen desire to know what is Brhmam, Aatma and how to get out of this cycle of repeated births and deaths; as the first quality required for progress! What I have been calling the Nivrutti Marga is the same as the path of Gnaana. Have we got the ‘gate pass’ to launch ourselves in that path? That ‘gate pass’ is Mumukchutvam.
(To be continued.)
Sambhomahadeva.

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