Sunday, August 05, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 34 (Vol # 6) Dated 05 Aug 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 34 (Vol # 6) Dated 05 Aug 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 the middle of page No 234 of Volume 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)
12. To stop means to end. If the running river has become stagnant, it means that it is dead. Similarly the mind that is ever running, if and when it stops, it has become devoid of thoughts. It is possible to focus the mind completely on one subject, though difficult, can be done. Before reaching the stage of ‘mindlessness’, you have to stop it by rivetting it on one point of interest. If a dangerous and ferocious animal is to be shot and killed, you cannot do it till it is running about, isn’t it? So they tie a goat under a tree as bait. The tiger comes near and the hunter now has a relatively stationary target to shoot at. Similarly, the mind is focussed on one subject through Pooja, Japa, Keertana and meditation as a prelude to its destruction. Then when Aatma Saatshaatkaaram takes place, the mind is finally erased. But the process is very difficult still, because of ‘existing traces of smells of the past of not necessarily good tendencies’; as it says in Maha Sankalpa, “anaadhya vidya vaasanayaa pravartamaane”. From the times unknown to us as to when it started, this screen cloth of our mind has been accumulating a very thick coating of dirt sticking to it!
13. Still, if we persevere without giving up, in this life or the next, or whenever it has to happen, this great ideal, this great totality of happiness is likely to happen with Easwara Anugraha; when we will know that contrary to all our previous beliefs and experiences, we are nothing else but one with the very Reality of Existence forever! Just now I said that such realization can happen with Easwara Anugraha. Naturally the question arises as to who is that Easwara? Though the Jagat containing all the worlds and Jivas of living beings in it, are all a show put up by Maya, within that we cannot help taking note of one important factor. Instead of being a chaotic cacophony of myriad meanderings; the most striking factor is the existence of order and logic from the macro to the micro level uniformly permeating the whole of existence! In it, though the human mind which is relatively a minor component, displays elements of raving madness at times; rest of the constituent elements of nature and existence from the milky way to galaxies to star systems; to the sun and its planets, to the atom and its sub atomic components; the plant and animal world; are all uniformly depicting a tremendous sense of order and discipline!
14. On the one hand, while unbridled human mind is capable of extremes of madness, corruption and selfish greed; on the other hand, there have been great Mahatmas too, who have shown the way to keep the human mind on a tight leash. To control this mind, they have very clearly delineated so many methods of discipline in the name of Dharma. This word Dharma is a Sanskrit word that can be interpreted to mean, one’s duty, permitted limits of behaviour, virtuous conduct, judiciousness, morality and guiding principle. There is that Dharma as the ruling force of all cause and effect in zillions of interconnected checks and balances evident in all existence! That is why, despite passage of many eons and Yugas, life still has order instead of going haywire. When we look at all this and take note of the universe containing all the parts and each part also containing the whole from a practical and scientific point of view; and from a spiritual or holistic point of view of oneness of Jiva and Brhmam like the tree producing the seeds and the seed potentially containing the future tree; we have to come to a conclusion that there is a mighty big brain, intelligence, power and ability, that is successfully managing and running all this. That is called the Easwara!
15. Brhmam with Maya runs and manages the whole of existence. When I say with Maya, there is no shaking of hands or any other type of joining, because, Brhmam is a principle that stands apart, never having to join with anything else. And this Maya is a unique power of Brhmam that covers and hides what is and displays something that is not. So the whole show put up is as though by Brhmam with Maya as the power and tool. Thus it creates controls, organizes and runs the show of the world as Easwara. So, if we have to be rid of Maya and know the inner reality of Atman in us to be the same as the Brhmam, we have to have the permission of Easwara, by which the mind has to stop somehow for Brhma Saakshaatkaaram to happen.
16. In this world of Maya the ‘karma phala dhaata’ (that is, the one who gives the returns for all our actions) is Easwara. In this, for ‘this’ action ‘that’ will be the return, is not a simple one to one transaction. In this drama of this world, the actors are too many, transactions are innumerable with the elements of past, present and future thrown in; it is beyond anyone’s imagination to think of any one person to be capable of receiving all the varying parameters and inputs; process the data, come to the right decision and then ensure that the effect of the action reaches the correct address of the destination! So, the infallible system of Karma is in place, through which one is repeatedly born with some inborn advantages and deficiencies of means, position, power and abilities to start with. Then whether you progress or fall back depends purely on the individual effort. This is exactly where destiny and free will meet and operate.
17. Only when Karma ends that one can become ‘Kruta Kritya:’; that is one whose actions are over and done with. Then only he can know himself to be one with the ‘actionless Brhmam’! It is the mind which instigates us to do Karma. So, if and when the mind stops, then only the actions will end. But the mind does not stop all by itself as a pistol cannot shoot itself. So, all that this mind can do is to concentrate all its thoughts aspiring for its annulment and in thinking of the state of its oneness with Brhmam. To constantly think of the non-differentiated oneness of Jiva and Brhmam is what is known as ‘Nididyaasana’. This has to be done with all the vigour at one’s command. This is the gist of what is known as ‘Adwaita Saadhana’. This is also an action only, like to walk is an action of the legs, to eat is the action by the mouth and thus to think is an action of the mind!
18. All the actions are being carefully scrutinised qualitatively and quantitatively responded to by Easwara, as I told you isn’t it? He does take note of this action of ‘Nididyaasana’ of ours. Once that action of ours qualitatively and quantitatively has cancelled out all our back Karma balances by Easwara’s judgement, our separate mind is annulled by His Anugraha! This is what is said as ‘Brhma Saakshaatkaaram’ by Easwara Anugraha. This is not exactly like balancing of accounts by an auditor or accountant. Then it will not be very correctly considered as ‘Anugraha’ by Easwara. It has all the elements of love, compassion, forbearance and forgiving with some bonus for the element of utter sincerity. Then only this can be Easwara Anugraha!
19. As I am talking to you, another meaning for the word ‘Anugraha’ occurs to me. The prefix ‘anu’ means ‘following or in response to or continuing’. Then the word ‘graha’ means to catch hold of. Put together, the word ‘Anugraha’ would mean; that as we are trying to pursue, chase and catch the ‘NirguNa Brhma Swarupa’, he is also ever chasing and following us to finally one day catch hold of us! Instead of remaining steady on the pursuit, this mind of ours will vary and run in some other direction. But he will come chasing us to enable us to catch Him and that is Easwara Anugraha’! Here this word ‘Him’ means both SaguNa Easwara with Maya as well as NirguNa Brhmam. Like us Easwara is also with Maya. But unlike ourselves who are fully under the influence and grip of Maya, he has Maya under his control. Though doing all sorts of work with Maya, he remains above all the attachments and involvement. So though we may be approaching Him as ‘Maya sahita (with) Easwara’, He as ‘Maya rahita (without Maya) Brhmam’ will make us get totally absorbed in Him! {KTSV Adds: Here I am reminded of a poem by Francis Thompson titled as ‘The Hound of Heaven’, for the similarity of idea of ‘God chasing Man’. Let us continue with what PeriyavaaL has to say further!}
20. If there is such a running race between God and Man, between Easwara and Jiva, let us see as to how this happens. When the Jiva is trying to catch Easwara, if as yet the individual has much negative balance account to be made up, it may not be in the rightness of things for him to be given Gnaana and so, Easwara may remain elusive. So, this man says, “This idea of God and all that is too nebulous and fictitious. It is better that I pay attention to those things that I can understand and what is possible here and now in this world!” Then he goes about his affairs, though may be remaining on the right side of Dharma and morality. Now Easwara comes around and reveals his kindness in flashes but not making too lenient of himself! It is done in flashes in the most subtle way. So often one is motivated once again to get interested in matters ‘Aadhyaatmic’, in the pursuit of God and understanding of oneself and the meaning and purpose of life and existence!
21. Then once again when the man feels that he has understood it all, God is again elusive! This one catches and loses grip and that one after being elusive, comes back again tempting ever so subtly. This goes on, till one day when the accounts are finally balanced and cancelled out, with God’s Grace, that is Easwara Anugraha happens may be in this life or the next and the Man who thought of himself as an individual, finally merges in ‘Adwaita Anubhuthi’ of Aatma Saakshaatkaara. As the Karma Phala Dhaata, as he is doing the job of a Judge, God has every right to be very strict in his accounting. But with supreme kindness, he may also condone. So he is neither too strict nor too lenient and hence can be considered to be ‘Justice tempered by mercy’. That would be the right way of putting it. Here the matter does not end with only doing justice of punishing for past sins, as to how much should be the punishment and its reduction subsequently. But at the end of all Karma and ‘mano naasaa’, the destruction of the mind; there is the biggest prize of ‘Aatma Saakshaatkaara’ in the pipeline. So there is a limit to how much liberties can be taken with him!
(To be continued.)



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