DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140 (Vol # 5) Dated 10 Mar 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140 (Vol # 5) Dated 10 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 874 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)
898. ‘Do you have to be told that the benefits that would accrue from a well may also be available from a great River? OMG! Do you not know even this?’ The first part of the sloka instigates this above reaction. Our AachaaryaaL who as a manifested form as though of the experience of universal oneness of Adwaita Anubhava, though had understood, comprehended and absorbed various other principled stand points of Siddhaanta; would not have had any Self satisfaction out of them. Those thrills and happiness would not have mattered to him at all! Common My Dear, do you have to be told this? Hanta! Because, is he not totally merged in the greatest happiness and satisfaction of Adwaita Aananda, in which all small and sundry thrills and pleasures just vanish? In front of the Adwaita Aanandam that AachaaryaaL has got, all other pleasures of the world are like small wells only in front of a Maha Nadi i.e., a huge River!
899. May be in some undeveloped desert like terrain where there is no arrangement for irrigation, like in Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu or in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan or the Saharan Desert in Africa, a well may be a big thing. Will there be any farmer stupid enough to dig a well in the Cauvery River Delta? After all, “koope yo arthaha sa teerte supayasi vidadate..”, is it not so? The phrase ‘supayasi teerte’ has been put there with a lot of appropriateness! I hope you remember what we read in our childhood as advised by Avvaiyar, “kadal peridu maNNeerum aagaadu; adan aruge sirtrural uNNeerum aagividum!” That means ‘the sea may be big, but what is the use of its salt water, it cannot be even used for the plants! Just a small spring on its shores may provide potable water! Here, so as to obviate the question about how the sea water is salty, the phrase ‘supayasi’ has already been mentioned to qualify the water as very much potable! Only in the well water you may have to be careful about any unwanted inputs, and not in a free flow of pure water flowing down from the higher reaches above human capacity for corruption! That is the sort of pure and clean flow of Adwaita Vidya. Other Saastraas are only small puddles and wells in comparison.
900. The above is the message Bhagawan Sri Krishna has given in the 2nd Chapter of Bhagawat Gita, quoted earlier. All Vedas talking about all the duties and actions to be done, rituals to be performed, Yaagas and Yagnaas to be conducted are all like small and big springs, wells and ponds, which give various benefits of ‘udapaanam’ some satisfaction for a limited thirst – ‘sirtrural’. “If you go to them for those short term benefits”, he is telling Arjuna, “You will be stigmatised by being pulled in every which direction by the dirt of desires and pulls of the three GuNas of Satva, Rajas and Tamas, without any clarity of thought. Beyond all desires, transcendent of all GuNas get hitched to the huge flow on oneness of all; it is not a ‘sirtrural’, it is the huge universal flow! When you have the option for the ultimate why go for the penultimate and lower down? The understanding, attainment and comprehension of ‘Aatma Siddhi’ is by far the best beyond any comparison than all these minor benefits by any of our actions by the Karma Kaandam! I am not talking about the one who has foolishly set aside the Gnaana Marga, in favour of the Karma Marga, but the one who knows, ‘brahmaNasya vijaanata:’, such a brahmin lets go of his attachments to the benefits from those small springs and opts for the universal flow of Adwaita Aananda Anubhava, though he gets all the benefits of all other Karmas!” That clarity about the Bhagawat Gita sloka came from this sloka of Sankara Vijayam! May be the one who wrote the sloka in Sankara Vijayam had that sloka of Gita in his mind.
901. The essence of the message is like this. Adwaitam is like the flow of a Maha Nadi, an eternal flow of all the goodness of wells, rivulets and water sources including ponds and lakes. So, all the purposes of gains or advantages that could accrue from any other water source are already included in this River. AachaaryaaL was deeply merged and soaked in Adwaita Vidya. His reading of the other avenues of knowledge was meant for some of the purposes of his Avatara. Thus he mastered other disciplines too. Whatever he read, he learnt and absorbed the subject so thoroughly, as Agasthya Muni is supposed to have drunk the whole ocean as only ‘Aachamanam’, like in just wetting his throat! AachaaryaaL learnt all that he was taught in double quick time, as a model student as an epitome to be copied by generations of students to come. He did all that he was required to do of Brhmacharya Dharma; i.e., doing Nitya Karma Anushtaana, physical service to the Guru for example pressing the aching limbs of the old man; and taking care of personal creature comforts like pouring water when he washes his legs, bringing water when he is thirsty and such things; going to each house in the village by turn asking for alms.
Spirituality in Daily Chores and Causing Golden Rains.
902. One day morning that was a Dwadasi Titi I believe, our AachaaryaaL as a small boy, while still a Brhmachary under coaching went to a nearby house and asked for alms saying, “Bhavati Bhikshaam Dehi!’ That cottage belonged to a very poor Brahmins family. May be this young divine child Brhmachary had gone there to open the flood gates of Divine Grace for them I suppose! In the Malayala Desam everybody was fairly well off, (as I told you earlier that within the household most of the items of food for sustenance would be available). Still there is something known as the account of previous Karmas! If that account is in debit, even if you are sitting under the Kalpaga Vruksham (i.e., the tree of largesse); you could be in utter poverty! Or in other words you could be a beggar at the entrance to the World Bank!
903. By ‘janma antara karma’ this Brahmin was very poorly off! Though there was a wide area around the cottage, somehow it was not very productive. The man who lived there himself used to go for ‘Uncha Vruddhi’, meaning ‘going for begging for alms’! Actually other than saying once, “Bhavati Bikshaam Dehi”, meaning ‘Kindly please give me some alms’, he is supposed to sing Bhajans or Keertans in praise of the Lord God. Normally if anyone comes like that asking for alms, people will never say no and cause him to go back empty handed – that is normally! But if your debit balance of Karma was too powerful, you never know and you may have to go back flat broke! Somehow that Brahmin couple were just holding on to life in utter penury!
904. The day our AachaaryaaL went to that house for Uncha Vruddhi, the householder was away and only his wife was there. There was nothing available in the house for giving. Just one look at our AachaaryaaL she was moved immensely. She felt that if she could give him some alms, she will be benefitted in the bargain! But she had not a single grain of rice! Normally, it is the people in need who have a bigger heart for giving and sharing, than those in plenty! She felt bad as to how to tell this divine baby to go away! She searched and searched every nook and corner of her house, for something to be given to this young Baby Sun standing at her door steps, in all his effulgence!
905. In one of the small alcoves in the wall, she found a small goose berry fruit in a slightly damaged condition. Her husband was a very meek gentleman. If he were to pick a fruit on the road side or even in some public place, he was concerned that someone may come to pick up a fight with him as to why he picked that small piece of a fruit. Then as per custom, on Dwadasi day you are required to add the goose berry to your menu/diet that day. So probably, he had got that from somewhere and safely kept it so that, even if he were to have no menu or diet that day, at least he will munch on that small bit of a fruit I suppose! She could not control a whimper that just burst out when she thought, “Is this what I have to give this boy as alms?” ‘But once the boy had uttered, “Bhavathi Bikshaam Dehi”, how can I let him go without anything’, she thought. So she came out with that goose berry in her hands. Then again she felt so ashamed at her own inability to give this brilliant baby anything worthwhile and again went inside the hut. Thus she was oscillating between inside and outside of the house! Then she thought, “Whether slightly smudged or bad, I can only give what I have! Anyhow, what else can I do?” With tears running down her cheeks, she dropped it in the outstretched palms of our AachaaryaaL!
906. However poor the thing given as donation, AachaaryaaL could see how generous that Lady’s Heart was! His heart melted for that Lady’s utter poverty. He prayed to Maha Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth, known as ‘Kanaka Dhaara Sthavam’, (the meaning of that phrase will be made clear a little later). This is the first such prayer song amongst many to be composed by him in later days! He prayed to the Goddess of Wealth to remove that Brahmin Lady’s poverty. There was a body-less voice (asareeri), “That couple had sinned in their past life. The poverty is their punishment. Till their account is balanced by pious actions on their part, they cannot be entitled to any wealth or relief.” AachaaryaaL replied, “Let their past sins be whatever. She has given me the only small bit of what could be considered as eatable in her house! How noble and compassionate is her heart! When a hungry man parts with the only bit in his hands for other’s sake, is it not powerful enough to cancel past sins? Is not a sincere prayer capable of offsetting the negative balances of Karma? Mother Maha Lakshmi, you are an ocean of love and mercy, aren’t you? So, instead of being too correct judiciously, be kind compassionately!
(To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.
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