Thursday, May 31, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 01 (Vol # 6) Dated 31 May 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 01 (Vol # 6) Dated 31 May 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 going ahead from page No 01 of Vol 6 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)


Padinaarum Pertru Peru Vaazhvu Vaazhga!

1. How to get rid of all obstacles and road blocks in one’s life? When you start your education, at the time of one’s marriage, when starting out on a journey, at the time of war; why keep on adding one by one, we can simply say that in all our endeavours, somebody has no obstacles or hurdles in his way at all: “vidyaarambe vivaahe cha praveshe nirgame tataa / sangraame sarva kaaryeshu vignas tasyaa na jaayate //”. At the time of education is ‘vidyaarambe’ – that is the start of Brhmacharya Aashrama. During that period there will be no blocks or hurdles, neither mental nor physical. Then ‘vivaahe cha’, that is (in Gruhasta Aashrama) during one’s married life, there will be no hindrances. As the percentage of people who take up ‘vana prastam and sannyaasam’ is dwindling these days, we can take it that the whole life span is covered by the blessing being given; to him there are no obstacles or hindrances whatsoever!

2. What is a life time? What happens in that period? They are all so many movements. What is there today is not there tomorrow. By mind, speech, body, brains and money; we keep doing so many things and keep on changing our dress, look, environment, status, position, approach and attitude – that is what is life! All the time we are leaving something and entering something. Entering something is ‘praveshe’ and leaving something is ‘nirgame’. The whole of life is a series of movements in which what is clearly visible are the movements done by the body. So, since we are all of the time either leaving or entering something, I defined life as a ‘movement’. There is another definition more in use nowadays known as ‘Life Struggle’ and ‘Survival of the Fittest’ as theorised by Darwin and Herbert Spencer respectively, as per which all life forms are constantly continuing to struggle against all odds for survival.

3. On deep cogitation it will be found that, this idea of ‘movement’ and ‘struggle’ are connected and inter-related. When one is on the move and others are static, there will be no obstacles. But when every life form is on the move endlessly, there will have to be or may be something or the other, coming in the way of something else. If that is the condition amongst life forms that are mobile, think of the so called static things which are seemingly inanimate and insentient. Even there, we are told that inside the atom the electrons are constantly in orbit around the nucleus, like planets revolving around the Sun! Even at that level possibilities of crashing into each other exists and so the struggle for life is there in the micro to the macro level in the cosmos! Further if you go to the basics, you notice that whether it is a Jivan (a life form) or Jada (lifeless), any movement is a struggle and when it is at peace, there is no struggle. So, it is clear that movement, struggle and war are synonyms and to become inactive, inert and peaceful are their antonyms in this context! That is why I suppose the most non reactive elements in the atomic table are known as the inert elements!

4. Though the whole of life is a struggle, individual competition with each other is what is noticeable prominently in the class room, sports arena and the battle field. That is called the fight or war or ‘sangrame’. There will be one who is the winner without any obstacles coming his way in war too! To further enlarge the scope of the meaning, in life’s many exits / entries that is, transportations, wars, competitions, examinations, endeavours, enterprises, transactions, and tests; he will be successful! To further extend the meaning, we can say that, he will reach the state of no struggle, devoid of movement and competition, while being successful enroute in attaining to the state of wholesomeness of Samaadhi! As the phrase ‘vidyaarambe’ indicated Brhmacharyam and ‘vivaaha’ pointed out Gruhasta Aashrama; we can take it that by being so endowed that he has no obstacles whatsoever, in his entire life cycle, in which Vanaprastha and Sanyaasa Aashrama are also indicated and included.

5. Instead of saying that he will be successful in this, or in that, in so and so Aashrama, all that has been tersely put in to a few words by saying ‘sarva kaaryeshu vignastasya na jaayate’ – meaning, ‘tasya’ – for him; ‘sarva kaaryeshu’ – in all his works; ‘vigna:’ – obstacle; ‘na jaayate’ – happens not. By nature, we absorb an idea only when a number of examples are given in support of an argument. That is why it has been said here that, ‘sarva kaaryeshu vignastasya na jaayate’ – after describing a number of occasions when there will be no obstacles to a person in whatever he ventures! The question arises as to ‘whom are we talking about all this time’? The answer to this question is in the very first line –‘shodasa etaani naamaani ya: patet sruNuyaadapi’. That means, – ‘etaani’ – meaning the above said; ‘shodasa naamaani’ – sixteen names; ‘ya:’ – the one; ‘patet api sruNuyaat’ – reads or hears being read. Whosoever reads these 16 names or hears someone reading them – for that man there is no obstacle in his way, in whatever he attempts or does! This reading – listening has become a commonly familiar phrase in usage. In earlier times very learned and knowledgeable people who had specialized in reading the Saastraas, PuraNas and also had some musical knowledge, used to conduct what is known as Pravachanam, virtually play acting the scenes in evening times (after everybody have had their evening supper), in the temple premises, through whom the common man was exposed to the very subtle points of the religion and dharma. They used to be known by their professional title of ‘Pouraniks’! But here, there isn’t any big story of the PuraNas, only just 16 names. If you hear them being listed by someone or if you knew them by heart, such a person will have no problems in education, married life, all transactions, entries and exits, in war or business of give and take; will just have no problems whatsoever!

6. What are those 16 names? Of which Swami? Are they all of one Swami or many? We can guess from the very fact that such a person will have no ‘vignam’ to mean problems or obstacles; that we are talking about ‘Vigneswara’, isn’t it? Vigneswara has a list of thousand names (Sahasra Naama) and another list with 108 names (Ashtaottara Sata Naama). Then so that we may do ‘Archana’ with 21 different varieties of leaves and flowers, there are other lists of 21 names for doing Archana with ‘Arugam Pul’ ( a type of grass) that is offered to Vigneshwara in tufts of twos; and so on. Here for smooth sailing in all our endeavours there are just 16 names only.

7. The number 16 is by itself a great number. It is said that, ‘shodasa kalaa poorNam’ meaning that ‘sixteen parts makes a whole’. Like starting from New Moon to a Full Moon there are 16 variations through which the moon attains to wholesomeness on reaching the 16th. When we do Pooja in detail, it is said to have 16 different Upacharas or gestures of respect such as washing the feet, then the hands and so on! The Mother Goddess is thought of as seven (‘sapta maatruka’) and then as sixteen also (‘shodasa maatruka’). In the mantras meant for AmbaaL Raja Rajeswari, the ‘Shodasatchari’ is tops. So AmbaaL has a name as ‘Shodasee’! For the Mother the mantra with 16 letters and for the Son 16 names or Naamaas!

8. There is a saying in Tamil, which is used by elders while blessing newlyweds, which goes something like, “Padinaarum petru peru vaazhvu vaazhga”. That statement means that the newlyweds may have all 16 blessings and live a wholesome life! In the Vedas (Rik Veda 10.85.45) the blessing for a married woman is more meaningful and sensible which says, “Oh my God! Let this woman have as many children as may be even ten and then let her treat her husband also as the eleventh!” But these days are the ‘Era of Family Planning’ and I am afraid that for my above statement, I may be put behind bars! But the Tamil proverb does not really indicate that the newlyweds should have 16 children! These 16 things are such attainments or gifts that one may get in life for leading a wholesome and purposeful and meaningful life. There is a phrase as ‘perum peru peruvadu’. The ‘peru’ is what is received or obtained more as a gift than earned. That is why the period of pregnancy in a woman is called a ‘pertrukkaalam’ that is, ‘the period of gift’ that you get as a gift from God! From that idea in the background, amongst what you receive from God there are things that you get naturally, automatically and deservingly including what we have persevered for! On deeper analysis what is seemingly without any effort on our part, luckily obtained at the time of birth is also; in fact is what we have worked for in our past life. Here is the basic difference in approach towards the idea of what is lucky and what is unlucky and what is deservedly so!

(We will see more of this above issue in the next e-mail.)




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