Monday, September 19, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Sept 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 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 page No 327 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 updated constantly)
69. Greatest Danger of Kali Yuga: Stupefying Disguise. You know what is the biggest danger of this Kali Yuga? It is the seeming innocence with which we are duped in to acceptance of the really dangerous stuff or practice! If you know what is really dangerous, we can guard against it or if we are courageous, we can fight against it and keep it under control. But when danger happens to be seen as a welcome diversion, we fall easy prey to it. In the earlier Yugas, when the Asuras appeared and their cruelty became apparent, people tried and avoided them. But then when the Asuras went out of their way and interfered in the daily life, people aware of not being able to directly face the calamity, went to God and prayed for his benign intervention. God also responded with taking Avataras to correct the situation. Like a thorn removed, with the removal of the Asura from the scene, the situations reverted back to normalcy immediately. The Devas and humans could resume their normal life instantly. In Krishna Avatara too, the villains who could cause harm in the path of Dharma could be easily identified and sorted out such as Sisupala, Kamsa, Jarasanda, Duryodana and such.
70. Thus in the preceding Yugas, a set of mischievous characters would make life miserable for others for some time and Bhagawan had to come as an Avatara and get rid of them and life will go on as before. There were many great saints those days who would guide the common folk on the right lines. There was no necessity for God himself to advice or be a model for emulation. Of course had the Avataras did not come about, the nefarious elements would have virtually done away with both the Pravrutti and Nivrutti Margas! Thus the Avataras saved and protected the Veda Dharma. But the point to note is that those days, the bad elements did not wear a disguise as though they were good and bring the common folk under their control. The odious and detestable elements were not attractive or beguiling. The bad was clearly identified as bad and so the common man was clear about what to follow and what to avoid.
71. In Kali Yuga, there is no clarity as to who is bad and who is not. The good, bad and ugly are all part of human beings only these days. It is all in the human mind itself. Instead of being evil forces from outside, now the best friend and the worst enemy are both here within oneself, as Bhagawan says in Gita, chapter VI, Sloka 6, “uddharet aatmanaa aatmaanam na aatmaanam avasaadayet I aatma eva hi aatmanor bandhu: aatma eva ripuraatmana: II” meaning, ‘One should raise oneself by one’s Self alone; let not one lower oneself; for the Self alone is the friend of oneself and the Self alone is the enemy of oneself.’
72. The Founders of New Religions. Many came along to exploit the situation. They also did not seem to be cruel characters. They seem to be caring for the general populace and one could not question their sincerity and veracity. Some of them were well read, qualified in the Saastraas and capable of intellectually arguing and establishing their view point quite ably. There were some good points in their ideas and concepts. But, whatever they said and maintained were against what the Veda Dharma advocated for the ‘Aatma Abhivruddhi’ that is, the intrinsic inner progress of individuals. Though superficially their paths seem to be good, on an in depth analysis, were found to be not helpful in matters of neither Iham nor Param!
73. Still, we should not be talking ill of those who propounded these theories. We should not doubt their sincerity either. Some amongst them at a personal level may have been highly experienced. But by thrusting their ideas on others, they have caused them to leave what was the royal path of Veda Dharma, most convenient for the attainment of aims of both Iham and Param; and forced them to adopt narrow and difficult lanes and dark unlit paths through inaccessible areas. It is said that people of those days were lying scattered in deep primary forests – ‘agnaantar –gahana – patitaan’. Many such people came on the scene and caused people to desert the Veda Dharma. They either founded new religions or revived some old concepts afresh of what had become decayed or gone out of fashion. Whosoever they were, they were contrary to Veda Dharma, which had come about for the welfare of the whole humanity as founded by Rishis on God’s own promptings!
74. Amongst those founders and exponents of these new religions, there were two types. One type was of those who did not object to Veda Dharma completely. In their view point, there was no clear cut division of Pravrutti and Nivrutti Margas later converging on the latter at the end, as it happens in the Veda Dharma. They simply took any one aspect of one these two paths, elaborated it and ended there as the ‘be all and end all’! The second type was of those which overtly contradicted the Veda Dharma concepts and methods wholesale! These religions were Buddhism, Jainism and Saarvaakam. The first two have been named after the founders. Sarvakam can be called ‘Brhaspadam’ after the name of the founder ‘Brhaspathi’.
75. A Short Comparative Study of these Religions. You may feel bad now that I am being critical of the Buddhism and Jainism. Because you might have read only encomiums of praise about Buddha and Mahavira in our text books. It is doubtful if any of the Hindu religious leaders would have been spoken of so highly of, in any of the school text books. Nowadays while giving much importance to the principle of Ahimsa (not being cruel to animals) and Equality (for all people without any consideration of VarNa and or Aashrama), the acceptability of these principles is more due to the fact that they are considered as essential in Buddhism and Jainism! Yes, in the conduct of some of the Yagnas, there is cruelty to animals. (KTSV Adds: That cruelty caused to animals in conduct of Yagnas, is next to nil in comparison to the way animals and birds are slaughtered continuously in huge numbers just to satisfy human hunger in slaughter houses and abattoirs. I have seen one video in which four persons walk along two conveyor belts containing fowls. They just pick up each bird by their hands holding the neck of the bird between their index finger and middle finger. Just a flick of their hands sends the beheaded body of the bird hurtling to the sides. There are others waiting to quickly grab the birds and remove all the feathers. It is an unintended irony of the language I suppose, that the denuded carcasses of the birds are called, ‘dressed chicken’!)
76. That people have been classified based on birth in Hinduism is another platform on which it is criticised. But people are blind to the fact that despite accepting the initial classification on birth, it is also clearly believed and practiced that, how you are held and respected in the society is based on your apparent behaviour and inner attitude. Considering the fact that different castes do differ physically, attitudinally and intellectually; the work load of the society has been distributed between people of different castes broadly. The main concept was and remains enabling people to progress from the point in which they found themselves in at the starting point of their respective lives. This is not division in to castes, but systematic social order. (KTSV adds further: Coming to the point of equality. While talking about this equality, man is behaving like a hypocrite. While all the time comparing and grading everything and every event on the basis of shapes, sizes, colour, age, likes, preferences, choices, desirability and what not, it is facilely claimed that all are equal. The Hindu Dharma accepts that there is already some justice, not easily discerned, in the conditions in which one is born. To borrow a parlance from the card game of Bridge, we accept whatever the cards we are dealt and try to maximise their effective use. What happens in the name of equality in India today is that one is discriminated against for being born in a so called ‘forward community’ despite the real merits of one’s achievements in academics, sports and or on the job performances! If casteism was such a straight jacket stumbling block being as made out to be, there could not have been some 50 non-brahmins amongst the Nayanmaars out of a total of 63! As the readers may well be aware, Nayanmaars are highly respected devotees of Siva whose idols are kept in inner Praahaara of the Siva Temples and honoured and revered as equivalent to the God Siva Himself! Similarly amongst 12 Aazhwaars (highly venerated devotees of Maha Vishnu who have contributed to songs in Nalayira Divya Prabandam), at least five of them are known to be non-brahmins.)
77. So, the point to be emphasised is that, casteism was not all that evil as it has been made out to be, by foreigners for grinding their own axes and by the so called reformers of the Indian Socio – Political movements, who had their own axes to grind! This is not to say, that there were never any who did not over exploit their position in the pecking order. But exceptions always prove that the majority were unlike them! Like the VarNa division, the separation of an individual’s life in to Ashramas of Brhmacharyam, Gruhastam, Vanaprastam and Sanyasam was also a highly scientific arrangement, for successive progress of the individual from Pravrutti Marga in to Nivrutti Marga, with gradual attainment of maturity!
(To be continued.)



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