DEIVATHIN KURAL # 139 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 Mar 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 139 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 Mar 2012
(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 second para on page No 868 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)
887. It is this mentality of acceptance and accommodation that we see in this secluded corner of India of Kerala where the Vedic tradition was flourishing, where in the Guru Kulam, they taught the Science of Supervision as well as Kapila Muni’s (referred in the sloka as ‘kaapile taantre’, that is aka) Saankhyam! Instead of discarding and ignoring anything as objectionable, the approach adopted in Hinduism was one of much open mindedness and liberal attitude of tolerance, even towards opposing views! This is a very salubrious quality of our traditional education!
888. Then the subject was Patanjali’s Yoga Saastram, which our Aachaaryaal simply gulped like drinking water – ‘peetam paatanjaala amba:’ – swallowed in one gulp! So easily he absorbed it all! The next subject was, ‘paatta kattaartha tatvam’, that is, Kumarila Bhatta’s creation known as ‘Paata Saastram’ i.e., Poorva Meemaamsai. That subject was also crossed over as you jump a rivulet that happens on the way – or like Anjaneya jumped across the ocean from mainland India to Sri Lanka – so thoroughly learnt and known – ‘paramapi viditam’!
889. The world of intelligentsia, is wonder stuck looking at our AachaaryaaL’s Bhashyams, as to how anyone can be so well qualified in so many diverse subjects? He has given quotations from such a vast array of books, authors and subjects; that one cannot help being aghast at the enormity of it all, let alone the quality of comments! There is no exaggeration here at all! Whichever the religion they may belong to, later on whether they agree with or not, our AachaaryaaL’s books are being studied by the world of philosophers deeply interested in the subtle nuances of esoteric ideas! Even today the world over, the first one to be looked up and seen in depth by philosophers are what our AachaaryaaL has to say on that issue. Even those who are born to Christianity or Buddhism, or have converted to those religions thinking them to be the repository of practical ideas of Non-cruelty (Ahimsa), Love and Compassion towards all living things as well as non-living with an absolute sense of equality; even when they come across or introduced to our AachaaryaaL’s ideas are, happily dancing with his books on their heads! So, there can be no exaggeration in talking about his vast knowledge and sharp intellect!
890. Thus AachaaryaaL had mastered Aanveekshiki, Sankhyam, Yogam and Meemaamsai – not just these four, ‘these and similar Saastraas all’ is the meaning of it. Though he learnt them all, they were not his favourites. Not that he had intrinsically approved of those ideas and concepts. If he knows all possible avenues of knowledge, starting original concepts, intermediate ideas and enduring doctrines; then only the world will even consider let alone accept his words on anything as final! Otherwise, he will be seen to be just drumming up his own point of view and thrusting it on others! That is why and how he learnt them all merely out of need to be able to quote in support or against an argument and not because he had any interest in learning them for any other purpose or because of any attachment or loyalty!
891. Then where was his interest area? In answer – ‘yattai: soukyam tadasyaantara bhavat adwaita amala vidya sukhe asmin’! What is absolutely spotlessly clean, without any fault, blemish or error is the eternal bliss of oneness of Adwaita! The dirt is in the form of all desires, needs, wants and craving. Till the mind is there, there will be some real or imaginary deficiencies felt and wish for its fulfilment! If nothing else, there will be a desire to regain oneness with God. Whatever the highest level of devotion or Bhakti, there has to be an object of devotion and another entity to be devoted to that object, aspiring to reach it, attain it or morph in to it! Till the realization that the devotee and the devoted are not two separate entities and that they are one and the same, there will be a mind with all its prevarications! When there is no mind, no more desires, nagging doubts and or erosions, no dirt and no deficiencies. That unalloyed total satisfaction is only in Adwaita Sukha. That is why, Thiru Moolar said as though echoing the feeling of, ‘amala adwaita vidya sukhe’; “Easnodaayinum aasai arumingaL”; meaning, ‘cut out the desires even if it is with God’!
892. In Meemaamsai, there is the desire to strictly follow the Karma Anushtaanaas, which is done because, there is the desire to get so many benefits in the worldly life after which there is the desire to go to Heavens and get so many benefits there! Thus in all noble ventures, principles and even thoughts, there is the dirt of some desire that sticks to you. Even in ruminating on noble thoughts, in understanding esoteric principles, in comprehending complex and subtle view points; there is the pleasure of intellectual understanding and comprehension! Otherwise, why do you think so many brilliant Saints / Saadhus / Rishis and Munis went through the mill or wringer as though, in arriving at so many varied confirmed view points of Siddhaantams! But the interesting point is that all those varied view points are all included in Adwaitam! All the pleasures of life are included in Adwaita Aanandam! Whatever is seen as so many is all but, one and the same Brhmam! There is nothing other than that.
893. Our AachaaryaaL was having in himself all the happiness and pleasures that could come from whatever source already included in the Adwaita Ananda in his very being. For the sake of being able to argue with all opposing viewpoints though, he was learning and studying others line of logic and philosophies, his favourite was still Adwaita Vidya only. As a child doing Guru Kula Vasam, our AachaaryaaL’s heart was filled with – ‘yattai: soukyam tadasyaantara bhavat adwaita amala vidya sukhe asmin’! The second part of the sloka says that, ‘koopeyo artha: sa teerte supayasi vidate hanta na antar bhavet kim?’
894. In the Bhagawat Gita in Chapter II, the 46th Sloka, for long was never clearly understood! In it, Sri Krishna is advising Arjuna the value of Gnaana Yoga. During that, he is saying, “that the Aatma is the only eternal entity devoid of all corruption, change and erosion! Be firmly fixed in that, lest you get deeply mired in all the endless varieties of Karma, thus being wasted away!” Here when he says Veda, he separates it from the path of Gnaana and points only to that portion of Vedas which enjoin on you the onus of having to fulfil an endless list of ‘to-be-done-s’! “That portion of the Vedas known as ‘Karma Kaandam’, which divides itself in to innumerable branches of various shades of Satva, Rajas and Tamas, will lead you on to eternal subservience to the Action / Karma! You be firm, untouched by Karma as the Aatma.” That Sloka (Gita II – 46), is a puzzle in an enigma enveloped by a mystery!
895. Let me quote the Sloka:
“yaavaan artha udapaane sarvata: sampludodake I
taavaan sarveshu vedeshu braahmaNasya vijaanata: II” Literal translation of the words would be something like this: ‘The way one can get all the benefits of a small water spring in a vast spread of water of immense proportions; for a brahmin who knows, will benefit from all the Vedas! That is the puzzle! (KTSV adds: Swami Sivananda translates the sloka in the following words. “To the Brahmana who has known the Self, the Vedas are of no use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.” Swami Sivananda goes on to comment, “Only for a sage who has realised the Self, the Vedas are of no use, because he is in possession of the infinite knowledge of the Self. This does not mean however, that Vedas are useless. They are useful for the neophytes or the aspirants who have just started on the spiritual path. All the transient pleasures derivable from the proper performances of all actions enjoined in the Vedas are comprehended in the infinite bliss of Self-knowledge.”
896. Using words like ‘yaavaan – taavaan’ as though giving us examples to enable our understanding, all one can understand is that Sri Krishna has taken much pains to make the point clear and has managed to further befuddle the issue! OK, we understand that the benefits that will accrue from a small well can be obtained from a river, yes! But, as this is for a knowledgeable Brahmin, so are all the Vedas! There is the confusion again! Then only after seeing the sloka in Sankara Vijayam, where the same example is coming out sans the confusion, by this the earlier enigma also becomes clear! Here it is said that, ‘though AachaaryaaL did study various Saastraas, having identified that all those small bits and pieces of pleasure, are all already available in Adwaita Aananda, remained merged in that.’ Having said that, the sloka finishes with, “koope yo artha: sa teerte supayasi vidate hanta na antar – bhavet kim?” giving the same analogy as in the Bhagawat Gita, in the form of a question!
897. ‘Koopam’ means a well. ‘Whatever is the usefulness of a well’ is said in Sanskrit as, ‘koope yo artha saha’. Whatever the benefits one can get from a well, ‘will it not be obtained from a vast flow of clean water’, asks the sloka finishing with a question. ‘Vidata’ means ‘wide spread’ and ‘supayas’ means clean potable water. The benefits from a well, can they not be obtained from the wide spread flow of a river that contains clean potable water? Here the word, ‘hanta’ is something like saying, ‘Don’t you know even this, Oh Ho!’ with some slight disgust and some condescension!
(To be continued.)
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