DEIVATHIN KURAL # 40 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 Aug 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 40 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 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 273 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)
76. Sri Krishna Bhagawan calls those entitled to do Karma Yoga as, ‘Yogi’. Normally this word ‘Yogi’ has a connotation in our minds of some sadhu with flowing robes, beard and matted locks, sitting on a rock in a cave, somewhere on a mountain, controlling his breath; whereas in Sri Krishna’s view, he was a person not mature enough for Gnaana and so being directed to follow the path of Karma Yoga! Why did he have this view? For this also some novel interpretation occurs to me. ‘Yogam’ means to join. For joining there has to be at least two entities or ends. More than two there could be any number of entities for the act or event of joining – for Yoga to happen. When there is only one item, there is no scope for joining there. It remains as it is only, as there is no other item to join it. From this point of view, Yogi is basically a Dwaitin. That is, one who keeps on being embroiled in the world of Maya of Dwaitam, of duality as he can never stand apart all by himself! Anyhow, that is what occurred to me in a lighter vein and so those who know better, are requested to not take any offence please!
77. Like us, most of the people of the world are all so involved in Karma that, maximum that we can do is to do our Karma without being too attached to the returns. Even that takes great effort on our part, since all that we do is expecting the returns. Such being the case, to do work without thinking of Karma Phal – that is the fruit of Karma is in itself well neigh impossible. Then to go further ahead, one step higher, now to jump on top of the high raise pinnacle; if you tell us to completely give up all activities, simply merging our minds in meditation; what is the use and how can it be done? Bhagawan Himself has, as though telling the Karma Sanghis, (people who are too involved in doing something or the other), “Just keep doing your duties uncaring for the returns, thereby making your Karma into Karma Yoga! Let Chitta Shuddhi happen when it has to happen. Then it is enough if you go on to the path of Gnaana”, has divided the whole process into two clearly defined paths as Karma Marga and Gnaana Marga, isn’t it? For the one moving in one path, already finding it difficult to progress; what is the purpose of talking about some exotic path? (Smilingly he says further.) In short, what is the use of this talk about Gnaana Marga to all of us? Let me answer that question.
78. The Reason for Telling Everyone. What we have to do is to try and give up the desire for the returns from our work. That itself is so difficult to achieve. Instead of looking for the returns, to do ‘swadharma’ now, so as to be able to cancel out past sins, thereby attaining to Chitta Shuddhi, seems well neigh impossible. Even this, let alone doing ‘Nididhyaasana’ in the Gnaana Marga; to slowly reduce our attachments to the returns out of our pious actions itself, we have to be motivated by much logic and principles as to why we should do it, and practice so many methods. Then we notice that these things, that we are being asked to do, are the same steps as given in Adwaita Saadhana of Gnaana Yoga, it seems! We are being asked to do SravaNa, (listening to PuraNas and great salubrious qualities ofGod), Manana (mulling and cogitating on what things we have heard in SravaNa) and Nididhyaasana (deep meditation); which are the same steps to be taken after adopting Sannyaasa also, isn’t it? Why are those things seen to be necessary for Karma Yoga practices too? We may not have to go so much in depth, but still the same steps are required. If you look at the text book oh History for a fifth class student and the one in M.A. (Indian History), the list of contents may be the same. But, the earlier one is likely to have peripheral information and the latter will have in-depth information in much detail. Like that, the subject matter taught to the M.A. and Ph.D. students in Gnaana Marga have to be taught to the children of the school of Karma Marga also.
79. To go to Switzerland, to see the beautiful sceneries and slide in the snow covered slopes may be beyond our reach for most of us. But when we see them in coloured photographs, we do get some of that thrill, don’t we? While seeing them, it does create the desire and resolve that one day we shall do that, isn’t it? Or at least motivates us towards achieving that. Whether we go to Switzerland or not, that is not very important as, going there is not likely to give us everlasting happiness! Some of us who have served in the Army or GREF are likely to feel that we have equally beautiful sights, sceneries and snow covered slopes in our Himalayas too! Whether we go to Switzerland or not and whether we visit our Himalayas or not; we should all endeavour to visit our inner world of Aatma Loka positively, which can give us everlasting happiness. Let that happen whenever, we have to go there. But, that is the purpose of being born; the greatest purpose of ensuring that we take no more births! So, to know that there is such an Aatma Loka and that there is a way to it, to create an interest in it; it is necessary to tell you something about it like showing you some of the photographs!
80. There is one more reason for it. Though the majority of people may not be fit enough for the Adwaita Saadhana straight away, it does not mean that all will be in the same first step of the ladder. All gradations of people with varying levels of Chitta Shuddhi, AntahkaraNa Shuddhi, power of discernment (Viveka) and dispassion (Vairaagya) will be there as aspiring Saadhaks. In some just a word may light up a spark and for some you may have to use the iron hammer and the anvil! Some may be motivated to proceed on that path after some refinement of behaviour and attitudes, while some may be just curious to know as to what it is. Some may start the process with the idea of, ‘why not try it?’ Anyhow, it would mean that many have been encouraged to turn to the right direction. In the case of Mantra Saadhana or some of the Yogic methods, there has to be much secrecy as even a slight deviation may cause some harm. There is no such hazard in the case of Gnaana Yoga Saadhana. So, it comes about that it can be told to all and sundry. One point should be emphasised here. For a person who is taking up Gnaana Yoga as the only Saadhana, for him only adoption of Sannyaasa Aashrama has been prescribed by our AachaaryaaL. For the other general public, he wanted that others should generally be aware of the aim and the process.
81. Our AachaaryaaL has given us a small book of Upadesa known as ‘Baala Bodha Sangraham’. The name itself indicates that it is meant for children. Even when the child is just about 8 years of age, it would have been given Yagnyopaveetam isn’t it? While the child is studying in Guru Kula, even till the boy is about 11 or 12, he can be considered as a ‘Baala’ meaning, a child isn’t it? The book has been written as though, a child is asking the questions and the Guru is answering, through which he is advising us all. The advice is pure Adwaitam. All the important points of Adwaita Saadhana are included there in a concise manner. From this itself we can gather that our AachaaryaaL did not want to keep as though the Adwaita Saadhana steps were meant to be kept a secret but rather, he wished to expose our minds to matters Adwaitam as early as possible instead of waiting for much maturity and refinement. Evidently he did not wish anyone to be ignorant of that most truthful principle, without knowing something about it, at least in the barest outline. Let the reader take it up as his way whenever. Everyone should know at least that such an aim and method of reaching it does exist! That is, everyone should know the step by step method of approach. The moment our AachaaryaaL’s name is mentioned, we think of Adwaitam, isn’t it? But his greatness is that he did not make it compulsory for all. Just because he had precisely, beautifully and strongly established it Adwaitam, as the ultimate point of view of all philosophies; did not mean that he prescribed it as the panacea for all! Fully understanding human nature, with abundant kindness while prescribing Karma and Bhakti for most, he kept Adwaitam as the path only for a few with the necessary maturity, discrimination and dispassion!
82. The Matter of Bhakti Yoga. I must mention an important fact. Our AachaaryaaL and Sri Krishna Paramaatma before him, made only two divisions between people entitled to go by the path of Karma and the path of Gnaana. They did not talk much about the path of Bhakti, why? The reason lies in the fact that, whichever path one may adopt, for both, devotion is necessary as part of that process and so it has not been considered as a Marga in isolation. If the transient in the path of Karma has to be devoted to the idea of God at one level, the aspirant in the path of Gnaana also has to be full of devotion at another level. I had told you earlier as to how there is the lower level and higher level in Shraddha isn’t it? Now you make it a combined phrase as Bhakti-Shraddha with two levels as higher and lower. In type-writing and short-hand training there are lower and higher levels, isn’t it? Similarly here too, there is. At the lower level, for the person in the path of Karma, there has to be the belief that there is God, aka Easwara watching all our actions, who gives the fruit of our actions as well as punish us when we go astray. For that reason we have to be devoted. Then to progress from there and to bring in single mindedness for the mind that is running in every direction, you need devotion. Still it is in the lower level only. Then we have to develop the idea that all our actions are surrendered to God only – ‘phala thyaaga’ – for this reason we have to have Bhakti. Then the aspirant Saadhak develops the higher level of devotion to do Gnaana Yoga, that to experience the Aatma – that Brhmam – which is the Easwara in SaguNa Upaasana – is the same as NirguNa Brhmam, that has to give the taste of Adwaita Vaasana as ‘the be all and end all’, that has to erase all our separateness and absorb us as itself, without a forwarding address! With that aim, one has to be devoted to the idea of God as the indwelling reality in all of us and the only real truth! Then further beyond – those who have reached the stage of not being aware of any and every levels of higher and lower, beyond all gradations – such people of Adwaita Anubhuti too – will be devoted to the idea of God – for no rhyme or reason – says Suka AachaaryaaL in Srimad Bhagawatam (1.7.10.)! So since Bhakti is there at all stages, it has not been mentioned separately! So, let this matter be aside.
(To be continued.)
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