DEIVATHIN KURAL # 80 (Vol # 5) Dated 10 Nov 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 80 (Vol # 5) Dated 10 Nov 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 480 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)
295. There is a Panchakam of five slokas known as Upadesa / Saadhana Panchakam, which has a list of 40 things ‘to do’ as prioritised by Adi Sankara, our AachaaryaaL. Virtually quoting from that sloka PeriyavaaL is elaborating on the thought process of DakshiNa Murthy, prior to the Avatara of Adi Sankara. “Chant and study the Vedas every day and do all the Karmas described there without let – ‘vedaha nityam adheeyataam – tat uditam karma swa anushteeyataam’. Though starting off like this, steadily make your work an offering to God – ‘tena eashasya videeyataam apachitihi’. From doing it as a work for beneficial returns in Iham and Param, by dropping your love for the gratification of the senses, transform it into karma Yoga – ‘kaamye matis tyajyataam’. By thus progressing, instead of not only just seeking ‘sat sanga’ start dwelling in ‘sat sanga –‘sangaha satsu videeyataam’. From the immature level of devotion being one of putting up one’s demands for fulfilment to God, like children pestering their parents, let the Bhakti become strong that you love God for the sake of loving God –‘bhagawato bhaktir dhrudha adheeyataam ‘.”
296. “In this manner as we go on telling people what to do; we should not be failing to point out the end destination. ‘As you go on progressing, some day somewhere along the way your mind will have fully matured and you would have become truly dispassionate of all that we do in the Pravrutti marga. That is where you make a ‘U’ turn and go inwards, walking away from all the worldly involvement like an ‘Atlas unchained!’ Then you adopt the Nivrutti Marga Guru, do Paada Seva to him get the Upadesa of the Oneness of Jeeva and Brhmam (Jeeva Brhma Aikyam) on which you may deliberate for long periods of time – “sat vidwan upasrutyataam – prati dinam tat paadukaa sevyataam –brhma eka aksharam artyataam – sruti siro vaakyam samaa karNyataam”. Having assumed a notion that you are the same as Brhmam because Guru and Vedas say so, keep meditating till the assumption is found to be true – ‘brhma asmi iti vibhaavyataam’ – and then stand firm on that conviction – ‘brhma aatmanaa stheeyataam’. That is how our Upadesa must finish, after which there is nothing to be done anymore. All activities may be given up forever and one could be rid of the mind in absolute and utter aloneness – ‘ekaante sukham aasyataam ...poorNa aatma samiksheeyataam’.”
297. “It is human nature to be doing something or the other all the time. Not only is it human nature, but the nature of all living things including the static ‘sthaavara’ and the mobile ‘jangama’ life forms. Even the static plant tries to entwine around the nearby structures or other plants, if it is a creeper. Other plants grow towards the sunshine, put out flowers, causing the spread of the species in so many ways. The plants make use of the insects to assist them in cross pollination and cause the animals like monkeys and birds to eat their fruits thereby arrange to spread their seeds transported to far off places! Even the totally immobile structures like mountains are either growing or getting eroded! The very word ‘Jagat’ means in Sanskrit, ‘something that is constantly moving or changing’! So, the human beings at the zenith of the evolutionary cycle are naturally dynamically active beings. They should be trained to progress on the right lines instead of going astray into immoral ventures. So, first they should be motivated to take up good Karma Anushtaanaas, doing prayers, pooja, visit to holy places, being respectful to parents and elders and being useful to the society. Still even in trying to do good things, there will always be some bad fall outs, by intensions and results mixing up. Action can never be all good. Even in social service, if you try and help one community, some other community will be getting the bad end of the bargain! You try and enlarge a road that may necessitate demolishing of somebody’s house. You try and stop ivory inlay in wooden furniture to prevent the motivation for poaching elephants, thousands of families of craftsmen and artisans may have to suffer. If nothing else, doing much social service, one may end up boosting one’s own ego that one is doing much noble work!
298. There is nothing as Pure Unadulterated Good. (Having spoken so far, about the likely thought processes of DakshiNa Murthy Swami prior to the Avatara of Sankara, gives it a pause and continues as his own views, almost from the para above!) When it comes to work in this relative world, which is the best? To reduce one’s Karma load, work done for the society’s welfare, without selfish motivation of personal benefits, is the noblest of works. Though this is given an exalted status as Karma Yoga instead of being simply the Karma Marga, even then there is an element of selfishness. But is there any action by anybody purely for the benefit of others, without being adulterated by selfish advantages or causing some hurt to somebody? (PeriyavaaL throws it open to the audience and waits for an answer for some time. Except for some rustling among the assembled devotees, there is no reply and so he continues.)
299. Bhagawan literally put his hands on the nape of the neck of Arjuna and coerced him to fight a War for the sake of Dharma and Arjuna obeyed, isn’t it? Was there unmixed, unalloyed welfare and prosperity of world? How many elder statesmen and great soldiers like Bhishma and Drona and youths like Abhimanyu, perished in the war? There was a river of blood in which the body parts were floating like fish! The hair shorn in so many ways were looking like moss on the river surface! Reading the description today about the Maha Bharatha war, your blood will freeze and the hair in the nape of your neck will stand on end! Is this the welfare of the people at large? Nobody seemed to have celebrated at the end of the war as only women and children were the remainders! The victorious King Dharma Putra was crying more than anybody else, for having been the cause for all the destruction and for having killed his own elder brother KarNa. Droupadi was beating her own stomach having lost all her children! That is what we see at the culmination of the war strongly recommended by Krishna!
300. Such is the case not only in the war, even when we try to do something very civil to help somebody it ends in harming somebody else. Once at the time when Gandhi was keen on encouraging the cottage industry of Khaddar (the Indian hand woven cloth) as against the products of textile mills, I used to think about one thing. Those days the mill cloths used to be imported from England from the Lancashire and Manchester. There were two aims to be achieved by this mass movement. One was to encourage Indian industry as against foreign goods. The second was to support man-power vis-a-vis machine power! I was an ardent supporter of Ghandi’s principles and the National Liberation Movement for independence. At that time we were touring Rameswaram. I thought it to be a good opportunity to make all the staff of the Matam, give up their love for mill clothes and introduce the habit of wearing Khaddar clothes. Those days the nationalistic minded leaders made a big spectacle of mass scale burning of the mill clothes. This idea did not appeal to my mind as it looked too cruel. Instead, I thought of coolly consigning the clothes to the water as ‘Jala Samaadhi’. Accordingly at Dhanushkodi (a place by that name meaning, ‘end of the rainbow’), we put the clothes in the sea and wore the Khaddar clothes of Veshti and Anga Vastram (two pairs per head as arranged by the Matam) obtained from Madurai.
301. There were a lot of high ideals before us such as, supporting cottage industries; respecting human physical labour; plying the ‘charka’ a simple wooden device using which small pieces of raw cotton can be twisted and turned in to threads, by that very act control the time spent on gossip and bring in a modicum of self discipline; to be happy with what is produced within the country and get over the passion for foreign goods; control and cutting down on the outflow of Indian currency and so on! But the traders of Lancashire and Manchester were crying hoarse that if the boycott of their clothes continued, very soon they will have to put all their clothes on their own head. (PeriyavaaL laughed on the unintended pun. At the time of extreme bereavement, it is a custom in India after a funeral bath to put the not yet dry towel with which you wiped yourself, on your head and walk away! That also gave him another opportunity to crack yet another pun. It is another custom in India for elders to lovingly put their hands on the head of youngsters and bless them, when they do Namaskar (physically prostrating themselves before the elders). Otherwise to put your hand on somebody’s head is objectionable! PeriyavaaL continued his narration with a smile on his face.) So, if they wanted not to put their clothes on their heads, first is it only the poor innocent Indian’s head that was conveniently available for them to put their hands on?
302. ‘It is not in the rightness of things for the white man to over exploit the situation and make unfair profits by this trade. Starting as trade, he fist obtained a foothold in our country. Then slowly using our own manpower and labour, he started expanding his presence by making the locals fight against each other. Introduced his life style and culture in our countries slowly and captured power of governance by hook or crook. Then having expanded his own trade interest to the detriment of local industries, he feathered his own nest. All this is wrong. But come to think of it, what is their local produce? Black coal and white chalk! Using those things only he has to import our cotton as raw material and make it into finished goods as cloth! We cannot totally wrong him for that. But as they desire, to take undue advantage to the detriment of local well being is wrong, undoubtedly. Dacca Muslin is a case in point! Local cottage industries were capable of producing such fine cloths as described in literature, that a saree of six yards could easily pass through a ring worn on the ring finger nicely. Such was their sophistication! With the introduction of Lancashire and Manchester textiles in to India, millions of textile workers died of starvation in the whole continent!’
(To be continued.)
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