Thursday, September 29, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 59 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 Sept 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 59 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 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 354 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)
110. There were many books on the line of thoughts such as Nyaayam and Meemaamsai and there are people till date who study these. But after AachaaryaaL there is none who call themselves as a follower of those as a religion. There are many who follow different types of Yoga, but none of them consider themselves to be different from the Hindu Religion, isn’t it? Out of the 72, if some of them have disappeared without a trace of even their names, it is AachaaryaaL who has driven them out of existence. Some of these religions we are able to identify from books and some because they are in vogue in some foreign lands. Some broken statues and ruins stand as mute evidence of their having been there. Had that one man not come on the scene, those religions would not have been difficult to locate but, it would have been the Hindu Religion which would have become difficult to locate!
111. AachaaryaaL’s Astonishing Achievements. That one man has driven so many religions out of existence! It is just amazing and astounding to think of the fact that, a simple individual renunciate singlehandedly with the power of the Atma Shakti, intelligence, knowledge of the Vedas and Saastraas, and his capacity to debate, alone all by himself, could do all this within a matter of only 32 years of existence! Yes it is true that today all the people of this country are not followers of the Adwaita tradition. After him many others like Ramaanuja AachaaryaaL, Madva AachaaryaaL, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Kanda AachaaryaaL, Meikandaar and such have created their own traditions. But these traditions are also clubbed together within the Hindu Religion only. For a period the Adwaita tradition that he established was the only one whose flag was flying high. The subsequent traditions did not make much dent in what he had firmly established.
112. As he had wiped out the religions of the past, later ones did not. Ramaanuja’s advent did not do away with Adwaitam. After him when Madva came, Adwaitam of Sankara and Visishtadwaitam of Ramaanuja continued as before. There was no sea-change as it happened with Sankara. Only during the time of Sankara, everybody accepted his advocacy and he got the name of ‘Jagat Guru’! That was not simply a title of only veneration, but in fact the true state of affairs! When the word ‘Jagat’ is used, we do not have to think of other countries. It is only this India, the Bharat Desh which is the Karma Bhoomi for Karma Anushtaana, like the heart of the earth. What we call India used to be known as Bharatha Khandam which is said to have 56 states or geographical divisions. Our AachaaryaaL visited all of them, disproving all other religions (niraakaraNam) establishing Adwaita Vedanta and that supreme achievement rightfully entitled the sobriquet ‘Jagat Guru’!
113. AachaaryaaL’s Vaidic Religion is the Only All Inclusive One. Whether they accept the Vedas or not, the religions that were there in his time and those established by people like Ramanuja AachaaryaaL, Madva AachaaryaaL and others in India and the religions that are current all over the world; a detailed study of all of them will prove the fact that, whatever good principles, ideas, concepts and point of views are there in all of them, for all living beings at large; will be found to be already mentioned in the Vedas. Not simply mentioned but, correctly and appropriately fitted in to a groove, to be applicable to specific occasions, with all of them put together forming a homogeneous wholesome picture! Whatever the religion anywhere in the world, if you take the spirit of that religion, the vital essence of it will be found to be based on what is already said in the Vedas. I am not only talking about the principles, but also the procedures or rituals or functions! You may take a custom in practice in a village deep in Africa or South America, which may look and sound completely alien to the Vedic traditions and practices. The essential spirit behind even such a function will be found to be already spoken about in the Vedas. In other words if you can think of a thought which is seen today as an essential religious principle or function anywhere in the world, it has already been thought of and put in to words in the Vedas! Not all the inconsequential peripherals but the essential spirit, in parts not the whole, are to be found in the Vedas. That is, I would not say the whole of those religions are completely based on the Vedic Religion but in parts. Do you get the idea?
114. If you look at the Vedas, there will be some connected to Siva and some connected to Vishnu. In Visishtadwaitam and Dwaitam, all ideas related to Siva would have been left out and taken only what is related to Vishnu. In Sivaadwaitam and Saiva Siddhaantam it will be the exact opposite of Visishtadwaitam and Dwaitam, delinking totally with any mention of Vishnu. All said and done, some portion of what is given in Vedas will be included and some others excluded. They may leave Vishnu or Siva, but they cannot leave out Vedas completely! The Meemaamsaka-s took the Karma Marga and kept aside the Karma Yoga and Gnaana Marga. Buddhists for example have picked up some of the disciplines of the Ashtaanga Yoga ideas such as Yama and Niyama with Nish Prapancha Tatva.
115. {KTSV adds: The Ashtaanga Yoga defining the eight fold discipline a Saadhak is required to follow has in it Yama, Niyama, Aasana, PraaNaayaama, Pratyaahaara, DhaaraNa, Dhyaana and Samaadhi. I am not describing them all here. Let us just take the two adopted by the Buddhists as an inherent part of their approach. Yama in itself includes the idea of Ahimsa (of not being cruel to other animals and not killing), Satyam (being devoted to truth and abstaining from lying or bluffing), Astheyam (not coveting and thieving), Brhmacharyam (celibacy), and Aparigraham (abhorring greed and not owning property). In Niyama there are five disciplines namely, Santosham or Saantam (being happy and contented), Soucham (cleanliness of the body, mind and heart), Swaadhyaayam (study of scriptures with sincerity and deep concentration), Aarjavam (sincerity and honesty), and Atma SamarpaNam (total self-sacrifice by which your selfishness is only concerned with public well being). Thus we can see as to how many principles have been completely adopted into Buddhisnm.} With the above there also traces of other disciplines such as DharaNa and Samaadhi included in their approach with special place for Nish Prapancha Tatva from the religion based on the Vedas.
116. It is only in AachaaryaaL’s Madam or Religion that Vedas have been completely absorbed. To say more correctly, it is not just AachaaryaaL’s Madam but, the original Veda Madam or Religion only, that he re-established inclusive of Karma, Bhakti, Gnaana, Yoga, Dharma of moral discipline, with Prapancham and Nish Prapancham, inclusive of all Gods as Siva, Vishnu and so on, without any thing being left out, acceptable to all Gods and accepting all Gods, as one and only God eventually, encompassing all approaches culminating in Oneness! That is his way!
117. There is still something more to be said about the incomplete religions that he fought against. I told you about the Meemaamsai in which, only the principle of Karma was included as something like, ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ and ‘you reap what you sow’, with no consideration of Easwara as the Phala Daata. They do not consider that a God has created this world. So, there is no SaguNa or NirguNa Brhmam, no prayers, no worship, meditation or Atma Dhyana or Moksham or eternal heaven. They claimed that they were followers of the Vedas and considered any talk of Gnaanam as anathema and it was a sin to even look at the recluse, mendicant Sanyaasis!
118. But amongst the six branches of religions which claimed to be based on the Vedas, only followers of Meemamsai could show sufficient proofs from within the Vedas for their views and practices. Yes, all the Karma Anushtaanaas that they swore on were completely as given in the Vedas only. The Veda Mantras used for those rituals were all correctly translated, interpreted and understood by them. Nyaayam, Vaiseshikam, Sankhyam and Yogam as different disciplines did not object to the primordial nature of the Vedas; but could not show direct authority for their principles and practices in the Vedas to a large extent. Thus the Meemaamsai though an off shoot of the Vedas remained a truncated, incomplete religion. When you went far through the Karma Kaandam and did not go beyond, it was something like remaining at the primary and school level never aspiring to progress to the college and post-graduate levels at all! After 13 years of education, when you got the University Degree, it used to be known as Graduation. Nowadays, when the child finishes Baby Class also, they call it the Graduation and celebrate the same with much pomp and show! But I am sure that nobody thinks of it as the ‘be all and end all’ of education! The Meemaamsai religion was something like that, calling it quits at the primary levels, without recognising the higher levels of Gnaana Kaandam pointed out by the very Vedas!
(To be continued.)
Sambhomahadeva.

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