DEIVATHIN KURAL # 37 (Vol # 6) Dated 11 Aug 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 37 (Vol # 6) Dated 11 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 254 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
44. Having started from Karma and Bhakti, we have to go on to Gnaana. Like a mirror that is covered with dust and also moving, our mind is dirty and ever oscillating. So, nothing of the awareness of our inner reality is getting reflected in it. By relentlessly doing our Karma, it has to be wiped clean. Then by Bhakti, it has to be steadied and oscillations stopped, to become static. Then only matters of Gnaana will start getting reflected. Then, we will also become capable of reflecting on matters about the Aatman. (PeriyavaaL laughs on his double use of the word ‘reflect’.)
45. Qualitative Requirements for Aatma Saadhana. One thing should be clearly remembered. Our AachaaryaaL has ruled that the aspirant should undertake the Aatma Saadhana Krama only after ensuring that his mind has been thoroughly cleansed and its shaking has been put an end to, by way of Karma and Bhakti Yoga practices and gained a certain amount of expertise, as only then he can expect to successfully utilise Saadhana Chatushtyam. He says in Aparoksha Anubhuti Sloka 3, “swa varNaashrama dharmeNa tapasaa haritoshaNaat | saadhanam prabhavet pumsaam vairaagyaadi Chatushtyam ||”
46. As per Saastraas to abide with the practice of Dharma as required to be done by his VarNa and Aashrama is what is meant by ‘swa varNa aashrama dharmeNa’, and that is his Karma Yoga. The phrase ‘haritoshaNaat’ means Easwara preeti – to the satisfaction of God. Before starting any work or project we have a method of expressing our intention in what is known as ‘Sankalpa’, all of them finished with the concluding statement, ’Easwara preetyartam’, to mean’ that we are doing that, for the satisfaction of Easwara. Whether we do a separate pooja for God or whatever, offering it to God makes the Karma into Karma Yoga. That itself is Bhakti Yoga too. ‘Sopaana Panchakam’ is one of the last of the many writings by our AachaaryaaL. In it he says, ‘by meticulously conducting your Karma, make it your Pooja to God!’ But, as it is very difficult to render all your actions with so much detachment that your Karma becomes Karma Yoga, he also told us to do Easwara Aaraadhana additionally with loving devotion to God. Thus, cleansing of our minds is by our Karma and achievement of Chitta Aikaagrata is by our Upaasana. It is this Easwara Aaraadhana / Upaasana, getting mentioned here as ‘haritoshaNam’. When we say ‘Hari’, it does not mean only Vishnu. It is the custom to say ‘Hari Om’; where Hari is indicative of all divine beings as ‘saguNa Brhmam’. ‘ToshaNam’ means to please and satisfy. If we approach God with love and devotion, he is pleased that this child is coming around on the right lines. So, Hari toshaNam means Bhakti Yoga.
47. With swa dharma (doing of one’s own duties) and Hari toshaNam, he has also mentioned ‘tapasaa’ (meaning, by austere observance of Do’s and Don’ts). This need not be taken as a third ingredient. If our actions of doing Karma of swa dharma and Hari toshaNam are done with austerity uncaring for our personal comforts, only for such people, “Saadhana Chatushtyam prabhavet”; meaning that, ‘the fourfold efforts will fruition’. It is like a pre-condition for the next level of progress, like only a person who has done and passed the school level can even enter the college. First get your mind cleansed and learn to train the mind to remain fixed on the aim without wavering. Having passed that level, come to my educational institution and I shall give you admission. Then only you can enter the portals of ‘Aatma Vichaara Marga’ and deeply cogitate. What is only an idea or a concept becomes an Anubhava as a personal experience, further later after you have finished the degree level and Ph.D., level and become a doctor yourself! That is, after you have taken Sannyaasa, says our AachaaryaaL.
48. By saying this, it does not mean however that, until one gets 100% success in both getting his mind cleansed and single point concentration, he is not to even think of Aatma Vichaara Marga at all. Neither is one to take it that those two requirements are the ‘be all and end all’ of all efforts; and that after that, whatever the Guru says will straight away, be absorbed and that you are through to Aatma Saakshaatkaara, like a shot! If that was the case, there would have been no need for our AachaaryaaL to take all that pain to carefully serialise The Saadhana Krama at all! In fact the Saadhana Krama starts only after that! So, if we are to correctly understand our AachaaryaaL, after making some fair amount of progress in those two qualitative requirements, if we read the relevant study materials and enter the Saadhana Marga we can make reasonable progress in this venture. Otherwise it will end in some peripheral knowledge and boosting of one’s ego! AachaaryaaL had personally seen and noticed as to how the Buddhist’s method of opening the gates for all, ended in a fiasco of sorts. So he had laid certain minimum qualifications as a filter as there could be no progress without that.
49. Take any subject, there will always be people who have some opinion on it, whether they are qualified enough in the subject or not. For example on the very subject that we are discussing, there are people who have some varying views. One of them is on the following lines, something like this. “Everybody is entitled to do Adwaita Saadhana. There is no need for any ‘yogyada amsam’ that is, qualitative requirements. After all, what is he going to learn? He is going to learn about his self, isn’t it? For me to know my own self, what are the qualifications required? A sincere wish to know is all that is required. In that sincerity, if we come to the conclusion that I am not the mind, that is all. Anybody can get Saakshaatkaaram. Self-realization is everybody’s birth-right. There should be no standards set as pre-qualifications for that!”
50. Some people with such an opinion may be truly those who have realized their Self and are already a Gnaani. There may be some such realized souls amongst their followers too, who have attained to Gnaana directly from childhood /Gruhastam /soldiering / business; some one or two such people could have very seriously taken up Aatma Vichaara and got the required clarity. From amongst those who talk and hear about such very rare cases, the percentage of chances for someone to emerge as a Gnaani, are as low as0.01% or even less! By reading a lot on matters of philosophy; with much intelligence, having mulled deeply over Gnaana and Aatman; if one is able to organise ones ideas and concepts and give beautiful lectures, present papers, submit thesis; one cannot help being much impressed with their power of reasoning and presentation, we are most likely to think that they must be really attained souls. But, amongst those who talk, write and publish such books also the real ‘seers’ must be ‘one in a thousand’! But, if they were ‘seers’, generally it is said that they would not be ‘speakers’!
51. (KTSV Adds: PeriyavaaL is making use of a famous adage in Tamil, which goes, “kandavar vindilar and vindavar kandilar”, which while rhyming nicely, has an arguably explosive statement. Especially, on this subject of inner spiritual awakening, it is said that, ‘the seers wouldn’t have spoken and the speakers wouldn’t have seen’! If we have to take the adage seriously, then none of the scriptures and Saastraas could ever have been written and all the saints would have been silent like DakshiNa Murthy Swami! Let us continue with PeriyavaaL’s narrative.) For the benefit of the world at large, by God’s promptings only, some like our AachaaryaaL, a small percentage among the ’seers’, have also been ‘speakers’ and ‘writers’ on this subject of Aatma Vidya!
52. What I came to say was that, instead of going through the well-established royal path of much ‘karma anushtaanam, bhakti-upaasana, then take Sannyaasa, do a lot cogitations on these matters of Aadhyaatma Vidya through which come to the realization of the self; there have been some who have trail blazed, finding their own path! But everybody cannot follow such paths! Those who seemingly attained to Gnaana by their own methods, are some special creations, who possibly would have completed all their ‘to be done list’ already in their previous lives! In this life such people would have obtained Easwara’s anugraha also in double quick time and they would have become ‘siddha purushas’! When such people go to the AachaaryaaL-s, it is likely that their level of maturity would have been recognized and so given suitable short cuts by their Guru. Such people are not part of the ‘normal run’ of things! But as ‘Jagat Guru’, what our AachaaryaaL wrote are meant for all people of the world, in which you have to go through the process step by step by way of Karma / Bhakti and Gnaana Yoga with filters of qualitative requirements (yogyada amsam) clearly defined.
53. Accordingly, only the person who has attained to a fair amount of cleansing of the mind and concentration, could follow Adwaita Saastraas starting from ‘nitya – anitya Viveka Vichaara:’ accepting the essentials and discarding the disposables; till he gets the ‘mumukshutaa’ of very serious conviction that he shall get the release. For such a person as the normal aspirant, our AachaaryaaL laid out the step by step process of ‘Saadhana Chatushtyam’. Then, the order of progress (Saadhana Krama) does not finish there. This is also like the B.A. / M.A. only. Further higher is Ph.D., - the wish for total release or Nirvana fetching the aspirant to Aatma Saakshaatkaara and then putting a full stop!
54. The highest level of achievement is for the renouncing sanyaasi only. To remove the dirt and put a stop to the vacillations of the mind by Karma and Bhakti Yoga is the first stage. Then Saadhana Chatushtyam is the second stage. By this the cleansing process and steadying of the mind would have been achieved to a very large extent. In such a state, the aspirant Saadhak will feel that the only aim worth its while is release from all this. That is the time he takes Sannyaasa and goes on to the third stage – that is, Ph.D., of total release. Our AachaaryaaL is of the opinion that only here at this stage the aspirant who has taken up Sannyaasa is the one fit enough to do the Saadhana towards Aatma Saakshaatkaara.! Having transcended all other physical responsibilities, social commitments and the mental ties, all the time in deep thoughts of the Self, the Aatma, he is worthy of the highest of all happiness of Brhma Anubhava aka Aatma Saakshaatkaara! This is our AachaaryaaL’s confirmed point of view as culled from all the Upanishads.
(To be continued.)
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