DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol # 5) Dated 05 Oct 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol # 5) Dated 05 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 middle of the first para on page No 370 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)
135. I was talking about how Buddhism, claiming NirvaaNa as the state of Sunyata is Moksham, says that all the transactions of the world are part of a flow of Maya, where in many things seem to happen simultaneously, and that it is all a huge bluff! In that bogus ersatz falsity, how is it possible for the Law of Karma to function, so correctly, systematically without any errors whatsoever, without a super intelligent and sentient entity apportioning blames and distributing merits and ensure that the right parties are addressed as the destination and ensure their delivery correctly? We have to guess the presence of such a super human, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient entity and that is Easwara!
136. Here we have to point out one important factor. Our AachaaryaaL also said that all the worldly transactions and interactions are all imaginary appearances and Brhmam is the only truth. Some people consider this as a verbatim copy of Buddhist philosophy! (Here we should thank our stars that at least Buddha is known to be from a Kshatriya family of the Sanatana Dharma background! Otherwise some people could attribute even this concept also as having been imported from some other land or something!) Here we must try and understand an important difference. AachaaryaaL while talking about Maya did not say that it is a head and tailless wonder of a flow of some exotic mix of relentless events as the Buddhists claim. Maya is the power of Easwara with which this apparent world has been created out of itself and also run by it and gives the Karma Phala. To put it in other words, the Brhmam without any ‘to be done actions and any qualities’, that is NirguNa, Nishkriya; as Easwara with Maya becomes SaguNa Brhmam and does all the transactions of the world of creation, maintenance and re-absorption; all out of itself. So, we who think of ourselves as individual entities, still being an iota of that Brhmam, should try and escape out of this Maya and go back from devotion to SaguNa Brhmam to merge in NirguNa Brhmam, dropping all separateness without a forwarding address, so to say! That should be the aim of the one who has correctly understood the idea of what is Adwaitam! For that, the sanction of SaguNa Brhmam (that is Easwara with Maya), is required. For this, before stepping in to Gnaana Marga, the individual aspirant has to go through the Bhakti Marga as a devotee of Easwara!
137. Another difference as related to Buddhism: Maya is not totally a lie. What is completely false is called ‘atyanta asat’ by our AachaaryaaL. Complete Truth is the NirguNa Brhmam. The penultimate Truth just short of it is Pratibasika Satyam. That is, in the practical world of transactions, that which looks apparently true and which is known to be only an appearance in the state of Gnaana. This world of Maya is such a temporary truth and so not ‘atyanta asat’ but ‘mithya’, a temporary truth! (The English word ‘Myth’ may be is derived from this Sanskrit word Mithya! Philologists may be able to find out.)
138. Thus when we grant a temporary state of truth to the world, good and bad can be identified according to which Easwara sanctions merits and demerits of PuNya and Paapa forming the basis for the theory of Karma. So by doing all good for the family, society, country and humanity at large; with Easwara’s sanction this mind of ours is cleansed, enabling one to turn the corner towards the Nivrutti Marga aka Gnaana Marga! What is meant when we say ‘doing good for others’? To be disciplined and morally uncorrupted as per Dharma is doing the right thing for oneself and others. In Buddhism when it is said that, ‘there is a Moksham of Sunyata’ and rest is all an imaginary flow of Maya’ and then when principles such as Ahimsa and Satyam are emphasised; the reaction is likely to be on the lines, ‘How does it matter whether our action is Himsa or Ahimsa, truth or untruth? When everything is a lie, in what way can you talk about the importance of good behaviour and truthfulness?’ In AachaaryaaL’s Siddhantam, this question can be correctly answered. ‘Yes this world is a Maya. But till one has fully comprehended the difference between Satyam (Truth or Reality), Pratibasika Satyam (that is the reflected temporary truth of Mithya) and Asatyam (total unreality), one has to behave within the parameters of Dharma. With an attitude of devotion to Easwara and well disciplined behaviour, proceeding by the Karma Marga while simultaneously progressing in the Bhakti Marga one can raise oneself to Gnaana marga with clarity of mind, heart, speech and action with the blessings of Easwara’! So the greatness of the path laid out for us by AachaaryaaL is that, Karma Anushtanam as per the philosophy of Meemaamsai, the concept of Maya as per Buddhism and Ahimsa of Jainism; are all acceptable at different points of one’s attaining maturity!
139. So, all told I wished to reiterate the point that both Buddhism and Jainism accepting the theories of Maya and Karma, thereby laying out the rules and regulations of Dharma, while not accepting the presence of a God; is like building a huge edifice without any foundation! Whether you discard the worldly life as ‘all a false flow of Maya’ as Buddhism does or call it ‘the theory of uncertainty of Sapta Bungi’ as Jainism claims; in both there is no clarity about the inviolability of the Karma and its effects over the cycle of repeated lives! The only apt explanation comes from the idea of there being an Easwara with the power of Maya and as the Phala Daata of Karma! Generally for the common man a religion without a God is not easily acceptable or adhered to!
140. Buddhism and Jainism as Related to the Common Man’s Attitude. The common man is not so enamoured of high philosophy and subtle theories. He would rather like to believe that there is a great power in being, which could punish him when he goes astray and which will grant him his wishes and prayers, if he behaves well. This is the common man’s religion, whatever the name of that religion! With that, if an older senior citizen capable of attracting their respect comes along and tell them a few god words and indicates a path, they get the feeling, ‘if he says so, it must be true’, they would become his followers and feel happy in that. They will not much bother about what are his religious beliefs and practices. ‘Let it be whatever. What this elderly gentleman says must be correct. Let us be with him and in whatever way possible let us support and help him in his endeavour and in the bargain benefit ourselves also’. That would be the general attitude of the common man. From this angle, let us look at Buddhism and Jainism.
141. The principles of Ahimsa, Satyam, Aparigraham (not accumulating unaccounted property in excess of one’s requirement) and more such noble ideas are there to be found in almost all religions, isn’t it? The very start of Manu Dharma Saastram is from these points only. We do not have to go to Saastraas and scriptures at all for this. Who in the world does not know the values of the right attitudes and socially and morally acceptable behaviour? Still, desires pull us in every which way preventing us from the straight and narrow paths of decency and decorum isn’t it? On those occasions, there will only be one or two in a hundred or even thousand, who will analyse such temptations in relation to the rules and regulations of whichever religion, studying and relating to various concepts and principles! Others would prefer to surrender to a God and tell him ‘Oh God! This is what I want. You please guide me in the right path and make it possible for me to see the light.’
142. In Buddhism and Jainism there is no mention of a God. At the practical level the so called followers of those religions do not have much attachment to the Anushtaanaas as required of them and at the theoretical level, they do not have the ability to go deep in to their philosophies either! How to make those religions popular as applicable to all the people? Those two religions anyhow claimed that they were for all the people at large. When I say they claimed, it does not sound very correct to my own ears. I have no doubt that both Buddha and Jaina meant their religion to be a mass religion, with equal rights for all. Saying that the Hindu religion is being partial based on the VarNa arrangement they meant to give equal rights to all the people as a mass religion. But they missed out on the mass appeal of the natural religion of worshipping the Divine!
143. In the time of Buddha and Jaina, if those religions did spread far and wide, the reason for that is something else. One is their claim that they are doing away with castes and creeds as against the existing Vedic religion which was based on VarNa division of the masses. (Actually this was one of the main reasons for the initial mass following in Sikhism and Ramanuja AachaaryaaL’s Visishtadwaitam on later dates.) Naturally people might have been attracted towards them. At that time the questions such as, what is their avowed principles, can it be understood, can they be followed and put into practice; would not have arisen. Both Buddha and Jaina were from very respectable background, were embodiments of universal love, sacrifice and compassion. They were also so perfect in their behaviour that their personal magnetism attracted the masses.
(To be continued.)
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