Thursday, April 19, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Apr 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 999 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly) The Story of Kumarila Bhatta – Karma & Gnaana 1074. Our AachaaryaaL expressed his sense of gratitude and devotion in a number of ways of Namaskaaram, Stotram and encomiums of sincere praise to Parameswara, on that eventful day, when Kaasi Viswanatha gave him Darshan initially as a Pulaiya Panchaman hunter and later in all his effulgent glory and grace as himself and vanished after blessing our AachaaryaaL. Vyasa AachaaryaaL had instructed him to go on Digvijayam of the whole of India, isn’t it? According to his wish, our AachaaryaaL started from Kaasi. First he went to the place where Kumarila Bhatta was stationed. The Nivrutti Marga Pravartaga went to meet his exact opposite, the Pravrutti Marga Pravartaga, Kumarila Bhatta. That place is Prayag, the place where Ganga and Yamuna Rivers meet, joined by the Saraswathi said to come up to that point from under the earth from the Himalayas. Prayag is also known as Allahabad and referred as Rudrapuram in Aananda Gireeyam. Whatever the name of that place, the background history of Kumarila, their meeting and details of what happened are all uniformly the same in all the versions of Sankara Vijayam. 1075. Our AachaaryaaL’s going to Kumarila Bhatta was due to his leading position as a foremost advocate of Meemaamsai and that if he was made to accept the Adwaita Siddhaantam, it would greatly make his own Avatara Kaarya, that much easier. He virtually rushed there because Kumarila Bhatta had undertaken a Prayaschittam (an act of expiation) and was in the last few days of his existence, keeping his body and soul together! AachaaryaaL wished to meet him before his death and so was in a great hurry. {The readers may refer to the first Volume of Deivathin Kural under the Heading ‘Muruga’s North Indian Avatara’ and in the Second Volume, under the Heading ‘Meemaamsai – Karma Marga’, for details about Kumarila Bhatta’s history, his views on Meemaamsai and our AachaaryaaL’s objection to them based on Adwaita Siddhaantam.} 1076. What is Prayaschittam? You may remember that Kumarila Bhatta is an Avatara of Subrahmanya Swami about whom I had spoken some time back. At the time of his birth there was much domination by the Buddhists. Though believing in the very high ideals of ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ which went more by default than being practiced, their views were, what is known as ‘Nir-Easwara Vaadam’ or No-God Concept. In the bargain they were against VarNa Aashrama Dharma arrangement and practicing of Veda Adhyayanam, Yaagas, and many of the other rituals. By converting many to their fold, they were causing a major upheaval in the Hindu Sanaatana Dharma. Kumarila Bhatta’s Avatara was necessitated to counter this very situation. Whatever I have told you now are the damages caused in Karma Marga mainly. As a corollary it was also having quite a deleterious effect on Bhakti Marga too. When they did not believe in the existence of God at all, whom to be devoted to? According to their teachings, the end is a complete vacuous state of NirvaNa or Sunyata. So, this also resulted in drastically affecting the Gnaana Marga too. So Kumara Swami as Kumarila Bhatta had the onerous task of first re-establishing the basic Vedic Karma Marga. Even an Avatara has to behave as a human being only, isn’t it? He cannot just rely on miracles only to achieve his aims. So first he had to learn everything about the Buddhist Religion, its concepts and principles in depth, before taking cudgels against it. 1077. The correct method is to first study and learn the principled view points of the other party, their reasoning, approach and why they say what they say, before we consider whether to object or ignore. Nowadays the trend is different. If anybody makes a statement as to what the Saastraas say and if it happens to be contrary to their liking, they start criticising immediately! This is a bad and incorrect method. We should be going into a proper analysis as to why the rules of the Saastraas were so created, why it says what it says, what is its usefulness, did the people who followed those principles benefitted or not and would it be useful in the present day set up or not; these are the questions to be asked and answers found. Adamantly they claim, “Your Saastraas are pure nonsense and outdated. There is nothing to be analysed. Our viewpoint is the best!” 1078. Kumarila Bhatta was made of better material. He was of the view that first I should get to know the other side comprehensively and then only criticise them. But Buddhists will not teach their Saastraas to a Brahmin who maintains his Vedic Aachaaraas. At this juncture, he had to give up practicing his Vedic rituals and at least play act, if he were to be accepted by the Buddhists and taught all their ideas and concepts. So he disguised himself to be a Buddhist and joined one of their Viharas, which is like a learning institution. It was a seven tiered building in a vast isolated and thinly populated area. On rare occasions when he could find time he was continuing with some of the Nitya Karma Anushtaanaas on the secret. He learnt everything about the teachings, methods, and ways and means of the Buddhist Religion. When they used to argue criticising the Vedic practices, he used to cry within himself that, he had to listen to what was anathema for his ears! He would try and control himself but, tears would well up in his eyes. He was even doubted for the possibility of being a hard core Brahmin. They would ask him as to why he is crying. On those occasions his answer would be, “I was only appreciating as to how nicely the criticism has been framed!” How long can you hide these things, especially if you are basically a sincere person? They learnt the truth by keeping him under observation for some time surreptitiously. 1079. “This man is a renegade! What to do with him? He should be thrown out of the Vihara all right. If he was a dullard student who knows very little, we could have just chased him away! But this man has learnt everything and so after being thrown out, he will start propaganda against us! So he should be chased out of this world itself!” That was the decision by them, who claim that they believe in ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ (meaning that non cruelty is the supreme principle)! On the sly, they took him to the seventh floor and pushed him off! He fell from that height while challenging existence saying, “I could not care less about my death. But, if Vedas are the divine truths, I will continue to live unhurt despite this fall!” Vyaasa Achaleeya Sankara Vijayam, Chapter V Sloka 29 says, “patan patan souta – dalaanyaroruham yadi PramaaNam srutayor bhavantu I jeeveyam asmin patitas – samasthale majjeevanena srutimaanataa gati: II” 1080. True to his confidence in the Vedas, he was not killed. No bones were fractured! But for one injury, he got away without a scratch! In fact, in one of the eyes a small stone had scratched him! It seems that he was annoyed with this minor abrasion too, as to how for the power of the Vedas being absolute, he could be even scratched? At that moment there was an incorporeal announcement in the skies, “You only doubted the Vedas, when you added an ‘if’ to your statement that you will be saved unhurt despite the fall from the seventh floor. This minor abrasion is for that residual doubt in your minds!” Then Kumarila Bhatta returned to his residence. He analysed and disputed the principles and concepts of the Buddhist Religion squarely and roundly from all angles. His name and fame grew many folds. Meemaamsai which staunchly advocates the Karma Marga was re-established in the country. Again Vedic Aachaara Anushtaanaas multiplied and spread widely. He had become very old and thought of dropping his mortal coil, as his Avatara Karya was over. So he thought, “My job here is over. Let my Father come down as an Avatara and do whatever to play his part. But, before I die, even in this act of death, I should further add to people’s faith in the ways of the Saastraas”! 1081. He felt that he should be expiating for his sins by way of an act of ‘Prayaschittam’. What was his sin? Anybody who teaches us something, even if it is only one word or one letter, he is to be treated as a Guru and respected. To be insubordinate to a Guru is called ‘Guru Droha’ and is one of the greatest sins (Maha Paapam-s), as per our Saastraas! “The Buddha Bikkus had taught their whole religion to me”, he thought. “But I had disguised myself as one of their lot and duped them. Then I have given them enormous amount of pains by countering their teachings. So, thus I have proved to be a ‘Guru Drohi’ and have to be punished for this. I have to do Prayaschittam as given in the Saastraas. 1082. He had not done anything for some personal gains but, for revealing the truth for the world. As the disciple has the duty to be sincerely devoted to his Guru, the person in the position of a Guru has a responsibility to take good care of the disciple. But they in the status of a Guru only tried to kill him! So the questions do arise as to whether there were exonerating circumstances and if the classic rules apply in this case. Here the point is as to how he looked at it as Kumarila Bhatta. Great people will consider other’s mistakes as minor and their own errors and misdemeanours as major mistakes and unpardonable! So he thought it necessary to punish himself for his act of Guru Droham, even though it was not real. 1083. He searched in all the books. It was given there that the Prayaschittam for Guru Droham is to accept death in the most difficult manner. ‘OK, it is all right. Let me go through the process of dying in the most excruciating manner, by confining this body to a fire that will slowly cause death’ he decided. If we were there, we would have confined the book to flames! But he felt happy and thanked his stars that he had identified an ideal method of seeking retribution for his sins! He got hold of a huge quantity of rice husk, sat in the centre and arranged to set fire to the husk from down below. The rice husk burns slowly inch by inch without flaring into flames. It is said in the books that he did, ‘dushagni pravesha’! Since our AachaaryaaL had heard about this ‘dushagni pravesha’, he wished to reach there before Kumarila Bhatta would be burnt to death! He had to try and make him accept the ‘Gnaana Marga’ before the end! If the Prayaschittam was over, there would be no Kumarila Bhatta to even talk to! At great speed our AachaaryaaL arrived there. For the Kumarila Bhatta who was being burnt alive, the very Darshan of our AachaaryaaL was a heaven sent shower of welcomingly pleasant and cool serenity. Over that, he started pouring his Gnaana Amrita Varsha! (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva


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