DEIVATHIN KURAL # 56 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Sept 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 56 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 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 last para on 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)
85. When I am very clear in saying that no religion should be simply criticised out of hand as good for nothing, the question arises as to how can we hear such downright wrong and fallacious criticisms about this Sanatana Dharma without refuting it? The refutation is not because it is ours and we feel offended as to how dare anyone raise a finger against it? If you compare it impartially with any other religion of the world, as I said a short while earlier, more than any other religion, it is in this religion that there has been an abundant flow of a continuous stream of great Mahatmas, who have attained to the highest level of Gnaana, understanding and comprehension of existence. More than any other religion, for long it has nurtured and saved a highly refined society and culture. Instead of making the same dye cast arrangement for all, it is this religion that accommodates dynamically to suit as much variety as there are people in the world. This accommodation has gone on to such refinement that each man or woman could have their own Ishta Devata!
86. It is only in this Sanatana Dharma that an aspirant or devotee starting from the level of a simple human being can successively rise to being one with the ultimate. In all the religions, the God is some entity outside whereas only here, we can have the realization of (Jeeva – Brhma Aikyam), that is experience the inner indwelling spirit not subject to the confines of space and time, which fact has to be identified and appreciated. When there are such unique features and wholesomeness in it, when people from other religions without even the slightest modicum of understanding of this religion’s traditions and message start criticising it, how can we keep quiet without trying to explain? Actually to understand the noble concepts and principles of this religion is to become an admirer of it. When all other religions consider it their business to convert others to their fold, Hinduism advices them to first learn everything they can about their own religion first. After that only, it suggests inversion, to look into oneself to try and find answers to questions such as, ‘Who and Whence Am I?’
87. In a religion which claims the oneness of ‘Jeeva and Brhma’, that is the oneness of the ‘individual and God’; instead of making an effort to study and try to understand as to why there are so many differences based on ‘VarNa – Ashrama’, if people come to a wrong conclusion that it is a ‘Religion of Differentiation’ and criticise it, do we not have a responsibility to correct them? Buddha is great and so is Mahavira Jain. But even they did not quietly go about expounding their own point of view. They thought it necessary to blame the Vaidic religion for many wrong reasons. When we know that their criticism is fallacious, we have a duty to make an effort to put the record straight isn’t it?
88. Countries in which there is no ancient religion, depending on their level of maturity and culture Buddhism or Christianity or Islam gives some inner fulfilment. Whatever it may be, we have no objection to it. But when there is already an existing religion in this country, which caters for the varied requirement of all type of people and usher them successively to higher planes of understanding and comprehension, what is the need for other religions to come and make inroads here in this country? Are we expected to sit and watch doing nothing against their transgression? Like in a fair or fete, in this world of marketing and salesmanship even religion seems to have become another saleable commodity. It is alright, let it be! There is a need to market this indigent religion also, today. But we cannot be denied our right to object the virulent marketing and missionary tactics employed by these outside religions!
89. We are sitting down to hear the story of our AachaaryaaL. His name and fame is known throughout the world as a great man. Even people who have difference of opinion about what he preached and what he stood for, agree and praise him that he was a dedicated soul who worked hard day and night with missionary zeal, in his short span of 32 years of life. What was the most important thing that he did? He countered all other lopsided religions (which were off-shoots but a spike of this religion only), of his time and re-established the balance of Vaidic Sanatana Dharma, isn’t it? His very Avatara was for that purpose, isn’t it? Then how can we talk about his life time achievements without criticizing those other religions (including those that are offered in lieu)? There is nothing wrong in criticism if it is based on truth and sincerity. If our arguments are based on fictitious points and cooked up evidence, it is not fair. When there are genuine points and justifiable logic, there is nothing wrong in being critical of other religions and have to listen to other people’s similar criticism also about our religion or our practices.
90. In criticisms there can be two types of errors. One is to be critical without showing genuine reasons just for the sake of some vicarious pleasure. The other is to do so, with hatred in our hearts for the sake of false propaganda! When we argue with people with difference of opinion, our criticism should only be directed against the opinions and not against the person. ‘In their point of view, it seems like that. Let us put across our point of view. Let us also listen to their side of the logic. Let us evaluate each against the other.’ That should be the approach from either side. There should be such an attitude of balance, mutual love and respect in the approach and not in our view point. Instead in the name of ‘Sama Rasam’, that is equality, if we are quietly accepting the other’s view point, it will end in the others sitting on our heads and make us duped idiots only! With love in the heart, we should be fighting for what we see as the truth.
91. Objecting to this religion of Sanatana Dharma which has in itself all possible shades of viewpoints or having picked up any one aspect of it and saying that to be the whole thrust of that religion, people with knowledge and discipline in them will spread their own viewpoints as a counter to what the religion stood and stands for. Such a scenario has been described as a mischief by the Kali Purusha in our Saastraas. It is clearly said there that, what is not good, in the garb of being good and attractive will cause people to go against the Vaidic Religion and ignore its practices and make them follow some exotic ideas.
92. We may not say that Buddha and Mahavira nefariously prevented people from following the methods of this religion with some ulterior motivation. As far as they are concerned, we may not say that all their viewpoints were wrong. With complete observance of Ahimsa, Love, discipline and ‘never say die’ attitude, if someone is going to sit in deep meditation and ‘Tapas’, negating the promptings of the senses; for him there is no need for the Vedas and Vaidic Anushtaanaas at all! The very Vedas have said so! “For a Gnaani there is no father or mother; no world, no deities and even the Vedas have no relevance for them”, says the very ‘Veda Siras’ an Upanishad (BruhadaraNyaka IV. 3.22). But in these Upanishads which talk of the highest ideals of ‘tatvamasi’ (You are that) and such, at the end while talking about how such a person reaches the stage of non-return, describes the gradual evolution of the process. It says, “Having lived a life of strict discipline as per the rules of Veda Adhyayana Anushtaana, having lived as a family man, having controlled his sensuality without any let, having observed Ahimsa in all his actions except where permitted by Veda Karma; by long assiduous and continuous perseverance; then only is that pinnacle of status is achieved”.
93. Further please refer to Chandokya Upanishad Chapter VIII.15.1., which says that, what is normal for (a Buddha or Mahavira or) a Gnaani, is not applicable for all and sundry. The common man has to start from the bottom and climb the ladder step by step, stage by stage, while progressively refining oneself. The greatness of this religion lies in this very process of progressive refinement like the way a raw stone is cut and polished, that it becomes a diamond of brilliance and effulgence! Moreover, the greatness of this religion lies in the fact that, starting from the lowest rungs of the existence you are guided with love, care and compassion, from where you find yourself to start with. Especially in Bhagawat Gita Sri Krishna has emphasised this fact that in our religion even a Gnaani has to live a life for the common man to be able to emulate as a guide post. Against this, if the common man is made to follow what is normal for people who are far advanced spiritually, and make that the norm, it will create avoidable confusion and chaos; which needs to be objected to.
(To be continued.)
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