Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 39 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 Aug 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 39 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 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 266 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)

67. Up to a certain extent doing of ‘Sat Karma’, ‘Swa Dharma’, our duties and responsibilities are necessary to clean the stains and residual smells (Vaasana) from our minds as well as cancel out the negative balances in our Karma accounts. Then later, these actions are also to be washed off as this can become a habit and tie us up in knots once again. For example, to wash the utensils we use soap (or tamarind {acidic} and any ruff material such as fine sand or tufts of coir) to remove dirt sticking on. Then the materials that we used for cleaning is also to be washed off, isn’t it? Then only the utensil will become bright and shining. Similarly only when all Karma is ended the inner being, that is, the antahkaraNam is cleansed bright and shining. That is, taking up Sannyaasa. After becoming a Sanyaasi, all outer works and inner activities has to end. Without any of the disturbances caused by activities, we have to dissolve in the peace of blissfulness and be the Brhmam. That is the state of changeless eternal peace. If such a state can be available to us also, who are forever jumping around like a piece of ‘pakori’ (a type of eatable) put in hot oil for deep frying, Isn’t it our duty to make maximum efforts to gain it? Otherwise, however learned we may be, whatever our status and position or however rich we may be; we will prove ourselves to be very foolish!

68. Why should we tell what is meant for a Sanyaasi, to every Tom, Dick and Harry? However much I may call you foolish or mad, you may be tempted to ask a question. “What is the meaning of calling us as foolish, without understanding the practical aspects of life? Is it being very smart if someone talks without a grasp of practicalities? Yes, it is good to hear about eternal peace. But, if we have to take Sannyaasa for whatever we have to do or not do, it does not seem practical at all! We are not mentally and practically ready for such a stage and neither do we have the maturity and ripeness for it. Just to get ‘Shanti’ if we leave the job, relations and the family; I am afraid that we will be spreading more ‘Ashanti’ rather! With the pull and pressures of the present day life, if we take up Sannyaasa, will we be able live with the discipline required for that position? Failing to live up to the expectation of that status, would prove to be a greater offence, isn’t it? Unless we befool ourselves, we do not think that we can take up Sannyaasa and live up to the requirements of that title. Can we live up to the demands of such a state? This man telling us about it does not seem to be such a fool either, to be expecting us all to take up Sannyaasa and be doing eternal Aatma Vichaara! (With a smile on his face and tongue-in-the-cheek- humour, PeriyavaaL continues.) He cannot be foolish to that extent! Then why is he loading us with such trivia for so long, at the cost of all his jobs and ours, giving us all, this speech of harangue and exhortation, instead of telling all this, to those who have the intension to do so with the necessary maturity of mind!”

For Two Different Types of People, two Different Paths

69. Such a question is quite natural and reasonable. However much one is given Gnaana Upadesam and or organise the conduct of ‘Adwaita’ meetings and conferences, books on the subject of Adwaitam published at cheap rates or free of cost, one may attract a sizeable crowd in the concurrent publicity of such arrangements. There may be much demand for the books too. But there will hardly be anybody to seriously take up Sannyaasa in practice. Bhagawan Sri Krishna himself said in Bhagawat Gita that, “Only one in a thousand will undertake to effort seriously and among them only one in a thousand will persevere and attain siddhi!” (Refer to Gita Chapter VII, Sloka 3.)” That is the way this drama of Maya runs. Those who excel do so, on the strength of ‘poorva samskaaraas’, which is a rarity anyhow! Others are so involved in pulls of the mind and the compulsions of life that they cannot even think of getting out of it all!

70. So Bhagawan Sri Krishna has so delineated people as of two types, as those entitled to Karma on the one side and those enabled to Vichaara on the other, with a clear boundary between them as though and accordingly given his Gita Upadesa to them. Not only that he has done so, he has also said that, from the very old times such has been the clear mandate, as given in the Saastraas – ‘puraa proktaa’. This prefix ‘puraa’ is the same as the one in ‘PuraaNam’ and ‘prokta’ means ‘has been well said’. Since God Himself gave his orders through the Vedas, he says ‘puraa proktaa mayaa’. Refer to Bhagawat Gita Chapter 3, Sloka 3 – “lokesmin dvividaa nishtaa puraa proktaa mayaanagha | gnaana yogena saankhyaanaam karma yogena yoginaam ||”, meaning, ‘In this world there is a twofold path, as I said before, the path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of the action of the Yogins’.

71. Amongst the two, ‘gnaana yoga’ aka ‘adwaita saadhana’ is the topic under discussion by us. That is only for some one or two of the selected few people of high Samskaara. They are referred to as the Saankhya by Bhagawan or the author Veda Vyaasa. This word Saankhya is interpreted in many ways. One of those interpretations occurs to me to be more appealing. ‘Sankhya’ means counting of numbers, isn’t it? So some easily countable number of people may be taken as ‘Saankhyas’ , for whom or for them only is the Gnaana Yoga of Adwaita Saadhana and for all others is the path of Karma Yoga.

72. Karma path is pravrutti maarga and Gnaana path is nivrutti maarga. Manu, who has given us the most important Dharma Saastraas, has said in (Manu Dharma Saastram XII. Sloka 88), “pravruttam cha nivruttam cha dvividam karma vaidikam”, meaning for two different types of people with varying levels of maturity of the mind and samskaara, there are two different paths. The same thing is also mentioned in Brhma Sutram (III.4.11.), as, ”vibhaga: satavat” meaning, that they are equally divided as 50/50, between Karma and Gnaana Marga-s aka paths. This statement comes some three fourth of the way in to that book. But in the beginning at the very start, the first Sutram itself says, “ataato brhma jigyaasa”, meaning – “OK, now after this, let us look at knowledge about Brhmam”. The question automatically arises as to how at the very start of a book, there can be the phrase ‘ataato’, meaning, ’after this’? Our AachaaryaaL has clarified in his Bhashyam that, after one has progressed in the Karma Marga sufficiently, then before entering the second stage of Gnaana Marga, after having done all the Saadhana-s of the second stage (which we are yet to go through in our this discussion), having taken up Sannyaasa, and having obtained Maha Vaakhya Upadesa from the Guru; when we are about to wholly devote ourselves completely to the matters concerning the Aatma / Brhmam, it the Brhma Sutra says, ‘now let us talk about Brhma jigyaasa’!

73. Among the people who are assembled here, leaving may be one or two exceptions, rest are all fit enough for Karma Yoga only, that is who cannot leave doing Karma. “OK, keep at it without a let. But, instead of being interested in its returns, do it sans desires, for the reason that they are required to be done because that is ‘Swa Dharma and duty. Leave the returns to the Phala Dhaata, Easwara. Thereby Karma becomes Karma Yoga!” Having done ‘nish kaamya Karma’, one becomes cleansed of the mind and fit enough for Gnaana Yoga. In the Bhashyam that our AachaaryaaL has done for Bhagawat Gita, He has clarified this point beyond any doubt. Though in recent times, Tilak, Gandhi and such others have opined that the main message of Bhagawat Gita is the Karma Yoga as the route of direct Saadhana; ‘that it is not so’ is the main message of our AachaaryaaL. Though we are not concerned about that subject now, since I happened to touch that subject, let me clear that point a little bit.

74. In Bhagawat Gita’s last chapter (Sloka 46 of Chapter 18), it is said, “yata: pravruttir bhutaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam | swa karmaNaa tam abhyarchya siddhim vindatimaanava: ||”, meaning, “He from whom all the beings have evolved and by Whom all this is pervaded – worshipping Him with his own duties, man attains perfection”. Here, misunderstanding the word, ‘siddhim’ as Moksha Siddhi, people say that Karma by itself is sufficient for attainment of Self Realization aka Aatma Siddhi aka Adwaita Anubhava! But our AachaaryaaL has clarified that the Siddhi mentioned here can only be indicating the attainment of essential qualifications for entering Gnaana Yoga, at the end of Karma Yoga. ‘Having so far sacrificed the Karma Phala (returns of actions) in Karma Yoga, the Saadhak becomes fit enough to give up all duties, rituals and work and takes up Sannyaasa to constantly ruminate about Aatma Vichaara,’ says our AachaaryaaL.

75. If you read his arguments given in various other places in Bhagawat Gita and correlate, you will see the logic of this statement of mine. In various other places, the Karma Yoga has been eulogized profusely, that has been termed as ‘artha vaadam’ by our AachaaryaaL. The term ‘artha vaadam’ means much praise, meant to encourage people on the path of Karma Yoga. Say, a child is refusing to read his primary reader and the old people in the house tell him, “Only if you study now, you can one day become the King, isn’t it?” Though we all know that the child is not going to become the King if he reads the primary reader, it so mentioned to encourage and motivate the child, isn’t it? That is known as ‘artha vaadam’, meaning, ‘to exaggerate with good intentions’. Still, only while talking about a Gnaani, Bhagawan has said, “Gnaani tvaatmeive me matam” (in Chapter VII. Sloka -18.), meaning that ‘a Gnaani is virtually myself’, and again (in Chapter IV. Sloka – 10.), he says, “Gnaani mat bhaavam aagataa:” meaning that ‘a Gnaani is ‘attained to My Being’! With clear delineation, as I said earlier, for Saankhyas it is Gnaana Yoga and for Yogis it is Karma Yoga.

(To be continued.)




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