Monday, October 03, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 5) Dated 03 Oct 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 61 (Vol # 5) Dated 03 Oct 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 364 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)
127. In the matter of Siddhantam (or end philosophies), Buddha left it unstructured as though to leave it for the followers to find by their own experience, having laid out only the ground rules and some guide lines. Over the years this freedom of interpretation, gave rise to much deviation and creation of different schools of thought. Maha Yana and Heena Yana are generally known, though nowadays Maha Yana and Theravada are considered as the two schools. Thus were created a variety of traditions such as, Vaibaasikam and Soudraandikam under Heena Yana; while Yogaachaaram and Maadyamikam became the paths under Maha Yana. Though known as one religion, Maha Yana and Heena Yana were poles apart in their approach. Under each of these approaches, after deep meditation, though many great saints came in to being, it led to more dissention and disputes only.
128. In Buddhism when it comes to the matter of ‘Anubhava’, that is the individual’s personal experiencing of the truth, as I said a little earlier, it said something and left some to be imagined or experienced by the Saadhak by himself. What is described in the Upanishads as Maya was taken up for consideration as ephemeral unreality; without taking up the base reality on which all the scenes are seen to be projected! This will become clear when you consider Maya as the picture on the screen. The picture may keep changing, but the screen remains constant, isn’t it? So, instead of saying that the real truth in the background, which is the eternal, clean, all knowing, blissfully aware being; to be the aim to be achieved or realized, Buddhism ended up recommending release from the continual, baseless flow of Maya and enter the ‘Soonyata’ or Nothingness and held that to be ‘NirvaaNam’ or Moksham! When you do Dhyaana on the absence of anything which is true and eternal, how can it ever be ‘Brhmaanandam’, that is the blissfulness beyond compare!
129. There is no world, no Jeevan, no Easwara and no Aatma or Brhma either. Whatever happens is only a delusion of appearances. Since these temporary events seem to be happening as though in series, it looks as though there is continuity and a flow of life! Having understood this, to blow of all these conceptions as we would the flame of a lamp, is ‘NivaaNam’ or Moksham, fetching us to ‘Soonyata’ or Nothingness! That is how the Buddhism ends. When this imaginary Jeevan who thinks of himself to be an individual, separate with an identity of his own, rejoins the totality of existence; the unreal world and individual vanish. That is, the ‘Soonyata’ vanishes and what remains for ever is the ‘satyam, gnaanam, anantam brhma’ as per Vedantam. So, Soonyata cannot be the end destination but the fact of this life on earth of ephemeral existence; realizing it to be what it is, one is rid of that and return to the source of our being of eternal bliss. The world that is seen to be so real, (till one is short of that ‘Aikyam’ or ‘rejoining with the source of our being and becomes unreal immediately after that’); is the creation by Easwara with his Maya Sakti or power only says, Vedanta. Running of the World and Nature is not a chaotic chance happening but, a well planned and orderly endeavour by that one supreme primordial power. Buddhism on the other hand while not accepting the Easwara and the Reflected Truth of the world and its existence; while saying that the world is flickeringly coming in to being and vanishing instantaneously; conveniently accepts the law of Karma and Re-birth!
130. Jainism similarly does not accept the truth of a Brhmam and its becoming the Easwara with Maya, executing and managing the affairs of the world. It leaves these things in a nebulous state of uncertainty of ‘may be – may not be’ known as ‘Syaad Vaadam’! This particular logic of ‘may be – may not be’ goes on in seven different branches known as ‘Sapta Bhangi’. If you listen to the whole argument, it will be seen to be the ultimate puzzle you may or may not have heard! It goes like this :- “1. syaad asti = possibly it is; 2. syaad naasti = possibly it is not; 3. asti naasti = maybe it is, maybe it is not; 4. syaad avyaktavya = may be not clearly described; 5. Syaad asti cha avyaktavya = may be it is, but not clearly described; 6. Syaad naasti cha avyaktavya = may be it is not but not clearly described; 7. Syaad asti cha naasti cha avyaktavya = may be it is as well as it is not and not clearly described. If you keep talking like this, can we ever arrive at any conclusion on any subject?
131. Though it is said in Jainism that Aatma is of the form of Gnaana and Chaitanya (dynamic awareness); Jainism holds the view that the Aatma is quantified by size of that particular animal, as said in no other religion! That would mean the Aatma in an ant will be the size of an ant and that of an elephant will be as big. Karma-s becoming Parama ANoos enter the Aatma and restrict or bind the Aatma to that extent. If that tie is removed, Aatma gets released and flies off to the limits of the skies, if there is any such limit! To erase or unravel the ties and prevent the Karma – Parama ANoos from entering in to the Aatma, you have to observe the very harsh Do’s and Don’ts of Vratas (vows of abstinence) as laid down in the rules. Ahimsa and Philanthropy are much emphasised in this religion but generally there is much antipathy towards this worldly life. Though these are high and noble qualities, they prove to be too idealistic for the majority of people! Since the majority of people in the world are middle roaders, neither too much of restrictions nor liberality will do for them! The way the family life has been given a rightfully noble pride of place as ‘Gruhastam’ to encourage the majority of people to conduct themselves upholding the values of morality and practical usefulness to the family, society and the country and in the bargain to humanity as a whole, as it obtains in Hinduism; has to be seen in this light! Otherwise, on the one hand they will not get the pleasure of living and on the other guilt consciousness will be emphasised, leading to lack of maturity, shamefacedness and hypocrisy in a big way! Thus both in Buddhism and Jainism, there is this problem of lack of gradual growth into maturity!
132. The Idea of God! The funny thing is that the Poorva Meemaamsai which has completely adopted the Vaidic Karma Anushtaanaas (VKA as an acronym for short) has not bothered to even take the name of God and so have the Buddhism and Jainism, which were totally against the VKA! There is something more peculiar. Let this Vaidic Karma be set aside. There is a Karma Theory, isn’t it? ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and these have an effect on people and the environment. Nobody can run away from these effects. For every one of your good and bad actions there is going to be a result. This has to be experienced and cannot be cancelled. It is said that because of this only, even when you die and give up this body, the effects of your Karmas follow you, in your next life as whatever! In that life once again there will be Karma and its effects stick to you. The effects of good actions you will have to experience as pleasant sensations or name and fame or material and opportune bonanzas. Similarly the effects of bad actions will have to be undergone as sufferings, aches, deprivations and illnesses or ridicule and insults! Thus the cycle of life goes on and on.’ That is in lay man’s language is the Karma Theory.
133. The Christian and Muslim religions do not talk about having to be born afresh so as to undergo the fruits of one’s past Karmas. Though such a concept is not there in these religions in their present form, I am told that in the Hebrew (which is the predecessor of these two religions), these religious beliefs were very much present. Anyhow this is not relevant to the topic of our discussion presently as we consider what our AachaaryaaL had to counter and contend with. At that time Christianity and Islam had not reached these shores or mainland. But I happened to talk about the Karma Theory because, the three religions directly opposed by our AachaaryaaL, namely Meemaamsai, Buddhism and Jainism, have all accepted the Karma Theory. Though they have all accepted Karma Theory, they have not accepted or cognised the presence of Easwara as a ‘phala daataa’ the fruit giver for our actions. That is very peculiar.
134. Karma is an insentient item. It cannot do all the intricate planning required to exactly measure out the effect of Karma affecting many when it happens and the future fruits to follow that particular individual as so many good and bad effects in the days to come, so precisely and perfectly systematically! This has to be a sentient power in being with no ulterior motive and without any axes to grind of its own. The only person or entity that fits that bill is God, isn’t it? But surprisingly, on the one hand Meemaamsai which accepts all VKA in total has refused any cognition of the presence of Easwara and said it is an automatic reaction, like the modern day scientists of physics! On the other side the totally Avaidic religions of Buddhism and Jainism; without ever talking about how Karma functions while never recognising the presence of Easwara at all; still had the temerity or is it gumption to say that, the Karma effect could follow you in your next life too! Their point of view seems to be more like a building without foundations or a tree without roots!
(To be continued.)



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