DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 6) Dated 21 Aug 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 6) Dated 21 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 286 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)
92. As we go on researching and analysing like this, it is clearly confirmed that as Sri Krishna Bhagawan had separated the aspirants in the spiritual path as Sankhyas and Yogis, our AachaaryaaL also differentiated similarly between those entitled to go by the Karma Marga and those for Gnaana Marga; while simultaneously they both were of the view that all should have a basic knowledge about Gnaana and its approaches. Sri Krishna thought of Arjuna as a traveller of the path of Karma only, “कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन” as he told him meaning that, ‘he is entitled to do actions of Karma but never to its fruits’ as often quoted! When Arjuna was ready to give up everything and become a Sanyaasi, Sri Krishna compulsorily pulled him back and compelled him to fight. But, in the Gita given as an Upadesa, instead of only Karma Yoga, there is in depth discussion of Gnaana Yoga, isn’t it? Even the very start is in the very abstract Saankhya Yoga only! All this is justification for my उपन्यासं (lecture) on अद्वैत साधना! (PeriyavaaL says with a smile.)
93. Experts in the field of Music, take each स्वर or note and discuss as to how in each Raaga, a particular note should occur with which notes in the approach and which combination of Swaras should form the take-off न्यासं and landing विन्यासं. At the primary level the same Sapta-swaras of ‘sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni’ are taught.
Without much of nuances of kaarvai and gamakam, it is enough if you correctly catch the Swara-sthaayi – the exact position of the note, while remaining true to the pitch! Then as you go on learning, look at the enormity of the intricacies entered into, seemingly effortlessly! Like that न्यासं and विन्यासं initially, life ends in सन्यासं undertaken at the end of one’s life. Whatever subtle points of practice and intricate aspects of principles that can be analysed and experienced in Sannyaasa; that self-same thing in simple terms forms the essential basis of learning at the early stages also!
Nitya – Anitya Vastu Viveka: (नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक:)
94. Like the first note of ‘sa’ in Music, the first in Saadhana Chatushtyam is ‘Nitya – Anitya Vastu Viveka:’ meaning, the correct discernment between what is eternal and what is transiently temporary! To do one’s duties sincerely with Shraddha and dedicate all that as our offerings to the God Almighty with devotion, by that very action to attain to clarity of thoughts and cleansing of the mind, while also learning to stand steady single-mindedly; is the first stage. That is not the first stage in Gnaana Yoga. This is the first stage of an individual undergoing a metamorphosis in the inner understanding of आध्यात्मिक् spirituality, as part of Karma Yoga only. The next stage is the first one in Gnaana Yoga. The very first thing said in that is नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक: – the ability to discern what is eternal and what is temporary! Now we can all, mistakenly thinking that we have attained the necessary maturity, may delude ourselves in assuming that we can try to understand the ways of Gnaana Yoga! Don’t we do many things out of delusion? Let this be one of the good ones in such series of misconceptions of ours!
95. If one has to enter this path, what is the basic requirement? It is the certainty of knowledge that Aatman is the only unchanging eternal reality and everything else is transitory! Without this knowledge, one has to carry on muddling in the impermanent world of this life, as we have been. So, what is required is the clarity that, all the seeming pleasures, materials, positions, power, name and fame; are all ephemeral and impermanent. To know and be the Aatman is the only way out of this maze of delusion! This basic belief and trust has to be firmed in. Often other things, situations and temptations can pull us and befool us. So, at all occasions when attracted by any of these temptations, we should remain cautious and ask our own self if it is prudent to enter this venture just because of its attractiveness! Even if it is pure and unadulterated, will the pleasure be ephemeral or permanent? Once we enter this, will we be trapped by it forever? Should we enter something that will not contribute towards peacefulness and freedom of the mind? Thus to differentiate and recognize as to what is temporary and what is permanent, is the distant pointer towards the path of Aatman! To do this analysis of question and answer is Viveka, (नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक:) the first step in आत्म साधना.
96. We know very well as to what is temporary and what is permanent normally. In fact all the seen things are temporary only. All that is sensed by the bodily sensors are all based on relative values and so are not absolute and so are all temporary and transient! The real permanent thing though beyond the reach of the mind and speech, is indirectly indicated by the Saastraas and intuitively known by us also! From that we have to get the basic knowledge about the Aatman. By the thoughts about that eternal reality, we have to sort and discard all the temporary aspects that seem to give peace.
97. At the very early stages we do not have to set aside all the things that this world has to offer. Amongst the impermanent things there are many which fetch us to eternity. The Aatma Saastraas, elder’s and Guru’s words of Upadesa about that eternal stuff, the places of sanctity (पुण्य क्षेत्र), PuraaNas, divine slokas and many other such things do assist in guiding us. Yes, they are not by themselves the eternal Aatman! Aatma Saakshaatkaaram (that is the direct oneness with reality) happens only when all these things are struck off. Nothing else is the experiencing of Reality, but to be the Aatman without any action or thoughts! That is the only sole and true Anubhava. Even direct revelation of Swami or even if AmbaaL were to take us on her lap and cradle us; that can take us near but, still not the true Anubhava of Aatman. From that proximity, to things that take us far, far away such as comforts or what we think of as comforts are all in reality, hazards only. So, it is necessary that we select what is good for us from the beginning, by which we should arrange for our journey to what is eternal. As Yama Dharma Raja told Nachiketas, (in Katopanishad II. 10.), we should be able to make use of the temporary to reach the permanent!
98. The true Aatma Saadhak would have escaped from things that are far away from Aatman such as, sensory pleasures (which are really obstacles), the comfort of talking inane nonsensical matters, laziness of inactivity, and the comfort of ownership and self-praise. So, from the beginning we need the ability to differentiate and pick up the correct ‘नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक’. Cinema, gossiping about actors and their personal lives, television serials, often eating snacks and fast/junk food, drinking coffee after every few minutes, reading fiction, arguing about politics in random conversations – there are many such things that are constantly pulling us in every which way! We have to be ever alert and strictly evaluate if these things will be of any use or not, in fetching us to the eternal reality. We have to be careful in assessing if they will be useful or in fact hazards. The mind will always find some justification even for unwanted non-essentials. That is why I am emphasizing the need for strictness and vigil in our evaluation! We better watch out as there are inherent traps, created by our own minds!
99. What I said just now is for ordinary human beings who are the majority. Those with a fair amount of maturity may have already gone beyond the pull of things such as Coffee, cinema and simply watching sports activities; may glibly nurture some minor seemingly acceptable pulls or comforts. They might have already overcome most of the other attractions and pitfalls and even some of the support systems normally useful to others (like going to a temple) may not be needed for them. You have to have the thirst for the only thing worth being aspired for! So, all other things including going to temples, visiting holy stations and even social service may have to be given up, (including the experience of lying in the lap of AmbaaL as I said earlier)! “I have to realize. I have to know my own self the Aatman!” That should be the only ambition aspired for and everything else should be abjured!
100. This ‘नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक:’ is also mentioned in other words as ‘आत्मानात्मा विवेचनं’. Vivechanam is also Viveka only, the ability to assess as what is good and what is bad. Finally when it comes to the crux all these assessments and evaluations come to the fact of identification as to what is Aatman and what is not! All that is not Aatma have no reality but only seeming appearance. Actually there is a custom to start all such works and treatises with a prayer to God. In this work this first song as a ‘Mangalaa CharaNam’ the author conveys his obeisance to his Guru Govinda Bhagawat Paada. Then in the very second Sloka he comes out with the main thrust of the whole work. It is worth repeating here!
101. The Sloka:-
जन्तूनां नरजन्म दुर्लभमत:पुंस्त्वं ततो विप्रात तस्माद्वैदिकधर्ममार्गपरता द्वमस्मात्परम् |
आत्मानात्मविवेचनं स्वनुभवो ब्रह्मात्मना संस्तिति-मुक्तिर्नो शतजन्मकोटिसुकृतै पुण्यैर्विना लभ्यते || The meaning:- “For all living creatures, a human birth is indeed rare; much more difficult it is to attain full manhood; rarer than this is the Saatvic attitude in life. Even after gaining all these rare chances, to have steadfastness on the path of spiritual activity as explained in Vedic literature is yet rarer; much more so to have a correct knowledge of the deep significance of the scriptures. Discrimination between the Real and Unreal, a personal experience of the real Glory and ultimately to get fully established in the living consciousness that the Self in me is the Self in all ---- these come only later on, and culminate in one’s liberation. This kind of perfect liberation cannot be had without earned merits of a hundred crores of lives lived intelligently!” Thus he has given much importance to intrinsic personal experience and liberation.
102. Later also in the Sloka No. 20 itself (in that book of 581 Slokas) he has underlined the trueness of the Aatman and the ephemerality of everything else! The Sloka is:-
ब्रह्म सत्यं जगन्मित्येत्येवंरूपो विनिस्चय: | सोऽयं नित्यानित्यवस्तुविवेक: समुदाहृत: || The meaning is, “A firm conviction of the intellect that Brhmam alone is Real and the phenomenal world is unreal is known as discrimination between the Real and unreal.” Though everything else seems and looks as the Real, they are all unreal! So it has been ‘announced’ – समुदाहृत: that is, so declared. The authority to make announcements like that is only of the Vedas! So it is understood that the statement ‘Brhmam is the only reality’ is from the Vedas, without being mentioned here.
(To be continued.)
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