DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 Sept 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 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 332 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)
78. Ahimsa or non-cruelty when made into universal Dharma to be adopted by all people of the society, it is likely to remain more utopian and never achieved in practice. So, if you keep it as an ideal for a small portion of the populace, they would strive hard to live up to the expectation. In the bargain others may also be motivated to follow such ideals – that is how the duties had been distributed in the Sanaatana Dharma arrangement. In fact we notice that though in the Buddhist religion, ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ is claimed to be an important injunction, in all those countries where Buddhism is the main religion, even the Bikkus (Buddhist Monks) eat all sorts of animals, birds, reptiles and even insects! In those countries also at the military, governmental and individual levels, all varities of war, dacoity, murder, and slaughter are taking place. Even in India other than Ashoka none else gave up fighting wars on principle. Later when Buddhism was on the ascendant, the rulers of this country were in a quandary as to how to relate this principle to their needs of governance. After Ashoka, instead of there being a central power in the country, there were many smaller regional rulers all over the country. Requirements of national defence and protection against foreign invaders were nobody’s responsibility and there happened to be a power vacuum which was exploited by a variety of foreign invaders to the nation’s peril! The equality thus was achieved in everybody becoming irresponsible and ill disciplined. In trying to follow the one principle of ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ all dharma was lost for everybody.
79. Let me put the same thing in different words. The fact that in the Vaidic Religion, where the Anushtaana of Karmas, duties and rights had been distributed amongst people based on eligibility, suitability and sustainability, had given greatness to the whole society, can be discerned by a few simple irrefutable evidences. Despite subsequent destruction by marauding invasions by crude vandals, ravagers and plunderers; the temples of this country are mute evidences of the greatness of Vedic culture. More than that, it was the Hindu Vaidic culture which could sire and nurture a whole endless series of Mahaans, Saints and Rishis, not all Brahmins but from every one of those so called CASTES AND SUB-CASTES, that India was called the Land of Saints! The process continues till date! It is a fact that only in India the social life was well established, with clear delineation of rights and duties for each castes and sub-castes that the whole nation progressed in all the fields of human endeavour to the highest pinnacles of achievement, because of such delineation! There was mutual respect, co-operation and appreciation between the members of the various castes, that having progressed from within the parameters of that caste, once the threshold of Self – Realization is crossed, with irreversible momentum one could take wings and fly off as though the sky is the limit!
80. Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek civilizations having had their flags flying high at some point in time, having come into being and gone; this Hindu Indian civilization has been the only one, which being older to them all, has continued refusing to die, despite many onslaughts from outside and erosions from within, challenging the rules governing the reasons for their longevity and self destructing diseases! If you carefully analyse in an impartial manner, as to what is it that this civilization had that others did not have, one will clearly see that it is the VarNa – Ashrama set up that made all the difference! It is this system only that contributed to the development of every individual from the physical and mundane levels, nurturing the Aatma Abhivruddhi, creating so many Saints and Mahatmas from this one portion of the whole world. When you have one set of people morally compelled to idealism in attitude and behaviour, it is but natural for many from others to emulate and develop optimally. Once such a zenith is reached, they naturally without even trying to do so, radiate motivation to all the people around, paving the way for more and more such gems to come into being. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Varna – Ashrama Vibhaga acted as the spring board for so many Mahatmas to come into being continuously!
81. Now let us consider the aspect of Himsa (that is cruelty) in Yaaga. If this element of Himsa had been allowed to that particular part of the society that was normally entrusted to live a life of strict self regulation, vegetarianism and many sided abnegation, by the very Vedas, there has to be some genuine logic in permitting the element of cruelty as a special case, isn’t it? Saastraas say that, “The animal sacrificed in Yagna appeases some divine, superhuman powers, causes Loka Kshema and the animal itself attains Satgati (good destinations)”. If we are told to prove this and if we counter with a challenge of our own to disprove it, what will the so called reformers do? When it is true that the Saastraas have come into being for the benefit and welfare of the world and talk about the highest principles of kindness, truth, integrity and individual attainments of a superlative, spiritual experience; could it be possible that they would recommend such oblation of an animal in fire?
82. In the name of Yaaga if Brahmins had slaughtered a whole lot of animals and eaten them, that would have been indefensible. Though on a rare occasion, just for show off some king like Bimbisara might have conducted a Yaaga and got many animals killed. But normally there is no need for any animal to be sacrificed at all in Yaaga whatsoever. Actually in Bhagawatam there is a story about how it is wrong to cruelly kill animals in the pretext of conducting a Yaaga. There was a king by the name of Prachina Barhis. He conducted a Yaaga in which a whole lot of goats were slaughtered. Narada came there to put some sense into that king. He showed him a scene as it happens in the Heavens. In that scene there was a huge collection of goats. Each goat had horns made of iron. Instead of being docile as goats normally are, these animals were ferocious like the lions and tigers. These animals were violent and ready to attack. Prachina Barhis asks, “Oh! Why are these animals behaving so abnormally? They seem to be ready to fight!” Narada replies, “My Dear Sir, they are all waiting for you only! The countless goats that you have sacrificed over the years only are these. Yes, it is true that they got sent to the heavens. But there they are waiting for your arrival just so that, the moment you arrive, they could take revenge on you!” On the rare occasions when an animal is sacrificed in a Yaaga, the occasion is not meant to be treated as a feast. What the Brahmins eat at the end of such a function is only a very small piece, the size of a grain of corn, as Yagna Prasada. This is made much of, just to substantiate their case by the so called reformers of Hinduism! I just wished to elaborate as to how in the name of Ahimsa and Equality, people are making much of the Buddhism and Jainism as though they are far superior to the Sanatana Dharma!
83. My intension is not to criticise those religions at all. No Religion should be criticised just for the heck of it. If thousands of people have followed a religion, for so many years evidently they must have found some peace, fulfilment and satisfaction. Almost all religions advice that we should not be selfish, that we should cut down our desires, be truthful, be kind to others, should not covet other’s wife and or other’s properties, be honest, respect your parents, not lie or bear false witness, not to steal, not be cruel to animals and so on. Though the emphasis may vary, all the religions uniformly have similar Do’s and Don’ts, is it not so? In all the religions there have been and are great Mahatmas who have stood out as an epitome for experience, knowledge, attitude, behaviour and for propounding intricate principles of philosophy, by following the path of their own particular religion. Actually I am myself very keenly interested in studying the writings of the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna.
84. When I say that no Religion is wrong by itself, I have to make two more observations. One is that there are many who without deeply analysing or studying their own religion, without practicing their own religion, are not only ready to fight for it but also look down on other religions! The second point is that, the grounds on which this Sanatana Dharma called the Hinduism is being criticised, are not based on true understanding of its principles and philosophies or due to some misunderstanding or due to vested interest with some ulterior motive! As I showed earlier, it is this religion more than any other that a profusion of great Mahatmas have evolved and continue to be evolving through it!
(To be continued.)
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