DEIVATHIN KURAL # 49 (Vol # 5) Dated 09 Sept 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 49 (Vol # 5) Dated 09 Sept 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 301 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)
26. At the very beginning of creation, God must have thought of having as much of variety as possible in types, sizes, shapes, colours, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes. That individual Jeeva should also have some freedom of choice, but not so much freedom that the whole system could go awry! So, he made known through the Vedas, the two paths of Pravrutti and Nivrutti. In olden times and the past Yugas, people took up whatever the path and attained to Sreyas, that is, name and fame through that path itself. Some went by the path of Renouncement and Inversion while, many adopted the path of deep Involvement and Extroversion.
27. Even those who went by the Pravrutti Marga, did not play on their independence too much, but kept it within limits as required by the Dharma Saastraas. Generally people were all God fearing and wished to please God Almighty. So their desires did not take deep roots beyond limits of decency. So, despite catering for sensual gratification by their actions, after some period, invariably the attachments to the need for gratification gave way to the greater need for self realization and Gnaana. Even when they were aware of not being matured enough to adopt the Nivrutti Marga, they were sensible enough to upgrade themselves to at least to opt for ‘Karma Phala Thyaga’. That means after some limited indulgence they were capable of applying self corrections to give up the ‘fruits of their labour’ for the simple mode of doing their duties for duty sake. That is where the Karma Marga became Karma Yoga. By that process, having obtained Chitta Suddhi, they were rid of the pestering urge for more. Clarity of mind led to clarity of thoughts, speech and actions! Then the automatic next step was to take up Sanyaasa and enter the Nivrutti Marga of Gnaana Yoga! This is how it happened till this Kali Yuga.
28. In the Dharma Saastraas, even in general order of life, by the fact that after having lived a wholesome life of Baalyam (childhood), there is the Ashrama of Brhmacharyam (youthful age of learning and celibacy), Gruhastam (life of a house-holder of being married and siring children), Vanaprastam (retired life severing the attachments one by one) followed by Sanyaasa (life of total detachment and renouncement); it is clear that almost all the people moved from Pravrutti Marga to Nivrutti Marga eventually. This was the way almost all people brought their lives to a culmination from being extroverts to introversion. So the order used to be that, up to sometime in your life, you were an active member of the society, participating in all involvement. Then you were still part of an active life, but were doing Nishkaamya Karma becoming disinterested in Karma Phala. Then, they went beyond that also taking up Sanyaasa. KaLidaasa in Raghu Vamsa Maha Kavya, while talking about the kings of Surya Vamsa says that though they were much attached to the worldly affairs, towards the end of their lives, they used to drop their mortal coils as Yogis (Ref – Raghuvamsam 1st Chapter 8th Sloka).
29. Even in those days, there could have been some who could not convert the Karma Marga into Karma Yoga. But they were respectful towards Karma Yogis and Gnaana Yogis, supportive of them. Their attitude used to be that, though they were not able to completely give up their attachments, they were aware that the rightful way for eternal values was to move away from involvement towards detachment. They did not try to establish that their Karma Marga (sans Yoga) was the best! Actually if someone had not taken Sanyaasa, the social custom used to be that, just prior to breathing one’s last, one will be administered the Sanyaasa Deeksha in one’s death bed!
30. Then with the passage of time, people’s desires started increasing in geometrical progression. Desiring for the fruits of labour, the tendency to work only for the returns became a way of life. With that, obtaining Chitta Suddhi was discarded by the wayside and the urge to move on to Nivrutti Marga dwindled. Those who did Karma like that, started making a philosophy out of such involvement saying, ‘That is how we should be doing things. This is the way of achieving man’s ennoblement. To give up persevering and take up Sanyaasa is reneging one’s responsibilities in life, an idle man’s excuse’. Setting aside God and self-realization and such things, they started claiming that the Karma as given in the Vedas give fruits of such labour on their own. There is neither a God as a Phala Dhaata, nor is there a heaven without work. We will do as per the dictates of Vedas and attain to the heavens. How can Moksha be obtained, if you do not work for it and simply do Gnaana Vichaara? Ours is to do and die. By that if we were to get the heavens, let it come when it does. This became their ‘Siddhaantam’!
31. Nivrutti, Gnaana and Aatma Saatchaatkaara are all talked about in the end portion of the Vedas, the Upanishads. Collectively they are known as Gnaana Kaandam. This was completely set aside and only the Karma Kaandam was accepted. Such a Siddhaantam was known as ‘Poorva Meemaamsai and Karma Meemaamsai’. Meemaamsai means ‘analysis of good things’. The later part of the Vedas, the Gnaana Kaandam gave raise to Uttara Meemaamsai, also known as the end of the Vedas is popularly called Vedaantam (an Indian synonym for Philosophy), as these Upanishads occur at the end of each Shaaka or branch of the Vedas. Let this be set aside temporarily.
32. From the early beginnings the Upadesa-s (words of advice) of the two lines of Karma Kaandam and Gnaana Kaandam on the Pravrutti and Nivrutti Marga-s have been given by great saints over the years for the consumption by the general public. They are considered as having been deputed by God himself for the enormous committed service they have been rendering for the common man. As the Nivrutti Marga is the end and final resort for Moksha, God Himself is the Guru as DakshiNa Murthy. That is the Parama Siva Roopa. Vishnu also has come in the form of Hamsa Avataara, Dattaatreya and Hayagriva and has counselled the followers on the Nivrutti marga, though these Avataras have not been so well known. These Gurus like Dakshinamurthy and Hayagriva did not go about everywhere eulogising and pontificating on their theories. The disciples have gone to them after a search and got their words of advice. DakshiNa Murthy used to sanction Gnaana through silence, instead of speaking! Even today when we approach Deities with various prayers, they do not come in front of us and grant our wishes, but do so in a subtle manner, isn’t it? Like that, there have been and are many who pray to DakshiNa Murthy and Hayagriva and get their Anugraha, even now. Even a common man knows that once there is a Sivaalayam, there will be a Sannidaanam for DakshiNa Murthy and he will sit down for a few minutes with his eyes closed, (even though he may not know as to what to ask for or what is Gnaana), but pray all the same! Hayagriva may not be known that much. Dattaatreya and the brothers Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatana (the four spiritual sons of Brhma, all Vishu’s Avataras) also used to roam about advising the Nivrutti Marga to many, though they did not make it their profession as such.
33. It was the Nivrutti Marga which was the difficult one, for which there has been a stream of great Saints. For Pravrutti Marga Dharma, God did not have to specifically do anything other than make available the Vedas through the Rishis, because it was the natural tendency of people. The Karma Kaanda of the Vedas was sufficient to take care of the Pravrutti Marga Dharma to be taught by the Guru who took care of the moral tenets during Vidhya Abhyaasa period as per the Vedas and Saastraas. For the people who did not learn the Vedas during the Adhyayanam, there were PouraNiks who instilled the basic tenets of morality in the common man through their periodic talks on Itihaasa and PuraNas.
34. Still, the secret that when you do the Karma Anushtaanaas in a dispassionate way without any demands or requests as Nishkaamya, it becomes Karma Yoga, capable of granting Chitta Suddhi; was first told by God Himself to Vivasvan that is the Surya Bhagawan. Surya in turn gave this to (Pravrutti marga Dharma) to Vaivaswata Manu, as to how Nishkaamya Karma paves the way for Chitta Suddhi and turns the Saadhak towards the Nivrutti Marga. Vaivaswata means Vivasvan’s son. Vaivaswata Manu advised the first king of the Sun Dynasty, Ikshvaku. Like this, Pravrutti Dharmam was passed on from father to son for long as Karma Yoga. Here please refer to the first three slokas of the Fourth Chapter of Bhagawat Gita. The third Chapter of Bhagawat Gita is about Karma Yoga. At the commencement of the Fourth Chapter Sri krishna says, “I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan; he told it to Manu; Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvaku. This, handed down thus in regular succession, the royal sages knew. This Yoga by long lapse of time has been lost here, O Parantapa. That same ancient Yoga has been today taught to thee by Me, for thou art My devotee and My friend; it is the supreme secret.”
(To be continued.)
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