DEIVATHIN KURAL # 50 (Vol # 5) Dated 11 Sept 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 50 (Vol # 5) Dated 11 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 page No 307 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)
35. Now a short foray and sojourn into Surya Siddhanta. (I have already referred to it in Deivathin Kural # 101 (Vol # 4) dated 15 Nov 2010, # 153 (Of Vol 2) dated 17 Sept 2008, # 85 of (Vol 2) dated 17 Feb 2008 and Deivathin Kural Series – 121 dated 13 Jan 2007.) We are considering a time scale much beyond anything ever thought of normally by the modern world! Here I am only translating what is given in the Post Script on page No 306 of Deivathin Kural Volume 4, Tamil Version, with reference to the word ‘Vaivasvata Manu’ occurring in the previous paragraph.
36. Brhma when he is functioning awake in his day time, it covers a period of a Thousand Chahtur Yugas, that is, 432, 000, 000 multiplied by 1,000 of human years! The created world functions during that period. When that is over, Brhma’s night time starts and goes on for an equal amount of time. During that period all the created manifestations are reabsorbed back into the source. When Brhma’s next day commences the creation and manifestation happens again. In that period of one daytime of Brhma of a thousand Chatur Yugas, 14 Manus successively come into being and rule over the worlds. The period of one Manu is called Manvantaram that lasts for 308, 448,000 human years. At the end of tenure of each Manu there is a Manvantara Pralaya (Armageddon), a smaller cycle of Samhaara followed by Srushti and Sthithi. Then the next Manu comes into being and starts the next cycle of creation, sustenance and absorption, as the first man of that Manvantaram. Presently we are in the Sweta Varaha Kalpa of the seventh Manu’s Vaivasvata Manvantara.
BHAKTI – THAT IS DEVOTION
37. Talking about Pravrutti as the tendency to do work with emphasis on extroversion and Nivrutti as giving up all actions with emphasis on introversion; I have elaborated on Karma Yoga and Gnaana Yoga only. In the process, Bhakti Yoga has remained untouched, which has in itself a lot of activities of individual Pooja to collective celebrations and festivals; as well as inactivity of Dhyana, Samaadhi and such in which one is totally lost to the world in complete absorption in divinity. Finally in devotion, when the difference between the subject (doing the prayers or meditation) and object (being prayed to) becomes erased, devotion leads inevitably to Gnaana!
38. The majority of people amongst the general public will be such that they are not interested or do not have the time to give their minds to such esoteric subjects as, Yoga, Vedaanta and Meemaamsai. For them Bhakti, that is being devoted to God is likely to be in a very light vein, either naturally evolving or more as copying what the public does. Here we are not taking into consideration the unbelieving atheists and the adherents of Karma Meemaamsai, who avoided any discussion about God. Generally mostly people are likely to think some time or the other, within themselves that, ‘for this world and universe with enormously huge inter connections and inter-dependencies with so much order and discipline; cannot be happening naturally accidentally, but with reason, intelligence and purpose. There has to be a causal power driving all this towards which, accepting our limitations of size, power and ability, we have to be beholden to’! That is the sort of devotion that we have all felt sometime or the other in our lives.
39. Even if people are too involved in their work as Karma Sanghis, they may not agree with the concept of the Karma Meemaamsai that, ‘there is no need for a God to be there as Phala Dhaata, the giver of fruits of our labour!’ As omniscient and omnipotent, they will pray to God for every one of their wishes whether it is about money or studies or health or power and promotion, while continuing their efforts. They will believe that their efforts will be fruitful only with His Grace and Sanction! Even if someone were to tell them that this is not devotion at all but looks more like a business transaction, from their side they think of it as Bhakti only. Even those who are made fun of, for their going to different Gods for different aspects of their prayers, in some corner of their minds, know that it is all one and the same God seen as different forms and are devoted to that one supreme power only.
40. Since our demands and wishes will be according to our own nature and preferences, to pray to different deities, when we customise the procedures for Upaasana as per our whims, a lot of unwanted things become tradition. As Karma Yoga became worthless in the hands of the followers of Poorva Meemaamsai, Bhakti Yoga too gets devalued, when you go to different Gods for different returns. You end up undermining the devotion as though manipulating Gods to satisfy your whims and fancies! In Gita Sri Krishna has spoken about this aspect too. To be devoted to different deities for various temporary gains as against being devoted to the one God for the eternal realization; have all been discussed in the Seventh Chapter called ‘Gnaana Vignaana Yoga’. Then before finishing in the 17th Chapter on ‘Shraddha Thraya Vibhaga Yoga’, Sri Krishna says, ‘people with Satva GuNa pray to deities with a pleasant temperament whereas those with violent tendencies of Rajo GuNa, are attracted towards Yaksha – Rakshasa type of deities and those predominantly deluded characters of sloth, approach ethereal powers of ghosts and ogres. In the bargain the devotional procedures get flagrantly violent and cruel like sacrificing living beings including humans! What I mean to point out is that, devotion covers a broad spectrum with many gradations from the highest zenith of the Nivrutti Marga with the devotee completely sublimating, undergoing a metamorphosis in to the object of his devotion without a trace; to crass levels of chopping off the head of an unwilling victim in the name of a sacrifice!
41. Pravrutti and Nivrutti are exact opposites and there cannot be a third side to it. That is why having talked about the tendency towards Karma and Gnaana; Bhakti that starts naturally in all people’s minds from the lowest level of Karma that takes us to the highest levels of Gnaana, was left unmentioned. Even the Gnaani who has practically experienced the truth of ephemerality of the whole world as a projection by Maya; knowing the existence of God as the Easwara of the Maya, virtually melts in his devotion to that God. At every event or happening, at every turn of one’s life, looking at nature in all its things of glory as well as ugly gory, the devotee is seeing God’s Maya and Leela. Then setting aside Gnaana, they continue to dwell in the glories of God as a friend, as a partner and even as a child. Remaining in the Pravrutti Marga only, deeply soaked in devotion they leave it to God to take them to the Nivrutti, if ever and whenever!
42. Karma Yogis to shift to becoming Gnaana Yogis, with Chitta Suddhi need to have Chitta Ekaagrata also. This concentration of focussing of one’s of mind is better achieved through thinking of God – ‘Easwara Chintana’ and nothing else. So they involve themselves in the Bhakti marga. With that, as God is the Phala Dhaata, they offer all the effects of their actions back to Him, without any interest in the effects. Even people like us who are all the time involved in actions, break coconuts, do ‘anga pradakshinam’ (that is to do circum ambulation of the prahara of the temple lying on the ground and rolling with the hands held high in a posture of Namaskaara) and many other things, in the name of devotion.
43. Whatever it is, all that we do and do not do; has to be part of Pravrutti or Nivrutti. That is why I left it at that. So it is said that the basis for Pravrutti Marga Dharma is the Karma Kaandam of the Vedas and as the basis for Nivrutti Marga Dharmam is the Gnaana Kaandam of the Vedas that is the Upanishads. Some people talk of an Upaasana Kandam in the Vedas themselves, taking out those portions where some deity or the other has been eulogised in the Vedas themselves. But the various devotional procedures and Sahasra Naamaas are more abundantly available in the 18 main PuraaNaas, 18 UpapuraaNaas, Bhagavatham and Maha Bharatham. Bhagawat Gita talks of the three Yogas of Karma, Bhakti and Gnaana. Actually there is a method of classification by which, the first six chapters of the Gita are known as Karma Shatkam, the next six as Bhakti Shatkam and the last six as the Gnaana Shatkam.
(To be continued.)
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