Saturday, September 08, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 51 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 Sept 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 51 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 Sept 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 349 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)

184. As the desires have left, this state itself has been equated to Sannyaasa by our AachaaryaaL in the Bhashyam for Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad, as he calls the Uparatan rid of all EshanNa as a Sanyaasi! In the Sextet of Saadhana there are three more qualities still pending. We have seen only, ‘Sama’, ‘Dama’ and Uparati’. Still to be discussed are ‘Titiksha’, ‘Shraddha’ and ‘Samadaanam’. Having seen them all and then when the aspirant Saadhak shows keen interest in Mumukshutvam, then only can he graduate to be called the Sanyaasi isn’t it? How could our AachaaryaaL call this aspirant a Sanyaasi already? Answer lies in the fact that these steps towards the final achievement of Sannyaasa have no relative priority of importance between them. Any one of those qualities may be strong enough to take him to total liberation from all dependencies in one go! I have told you this before and I will tell you again.
185. These qualities are not as though, one takes off where the previous one finished. When one matures in Vairaagyam, then itself the Qualitative Requirements (Q.R_s. in short) are complete. It is said about this aspect of dispassion that, ‘as he gives-up he also reaches or arrives’! If one of the aspects of Saadhana is perfect, the other aspects also have to come up and match. So even when ‘Uparati’ is confirmed, as Sanyaasi is well into ‘nyaasa’ that is, the act of giving up; he is good and arrived! In the qualities yet to be described, namely Titiksha, Shraddha and Samadaanam; there is no concept of ‘giving –up’. So when all dependencies on outer things have been forsaken, ‘baahya avalambanam’ given up, san-nyaasam is complete!
186. So, our AachaaryaaL who has spoken about Saadhana Chatushtyam in the very beginning of Viveka ChudamaNi, talks about Vivekam, Vairaagyam and Uparati, later again much later around Slokas 175 to 177. If you wonder as to why he is repeating like this, what is required to be done in the early stages of Saadhana at the farther reaches of the process, the answer will strike you on deeper meditation on the very process! It will be clear that these qualities have a mutually enhancing and ennobling role to play on each other. As he says in Sloka 376, “A man of extreme dispassion alone experiences Samadhi; a man of Samadhi alone has steady realization; a man who has realised Truth alone is free from Bondage and the free personality alone has the experience of eternal Bliss” – नित्यसुखानुभूतिः is experienced!
187. There is inter connections too between the various stages of Saadhana and this our AachaaryaaL talks about much later in Viveka ChidamaNi, Sloka 420! He says, “वैराग्यस्य फलं बोधो बोधस्योपरतिः फलं | स्वानन्दानुभवच्छान्तिरेषैवोपरतेः फलं ||”. The fruit of dispassion is Knowledge and that of Knowledge is withdrawal from sense pleasures, in other words Uparati. The fruit of the withdrawal from sensual pleasures / Uparati is the experience of the Blissful Self and Peace is the result of this experience.
188. If the mind comes to a stand-still in Uparati, with the withdrawal from sensual pleasures and gratification, will it be a dry end to the Saadhana effort? No, never! The aspect of Easwara Anugraha is always operational. Though temporarily it may look that the Saadhak is under nobody’s care, even a single child who has set aside all his desires and aspirations with the singular aim of realising ‘only Brhmam is Satyam and everything else is Untruth’, cannot be permitted to be disappointed! The process may take its time in getting all his past demerits cancelled out. There will be no shortcuts to Truth; but the state of Uparati will be proved to be worth the effort. The Saadhak will be enabled to go on to a lively state of Samadhana. There are two more stages as Titiksha and Shraddha, between Uparati and Samadhana.


189. Next to Uparati is Titiksha, meaning tolerance, forbearance and endurance, that is mentioned as ‘பொறை உடைமை’ in ThiruvaLLuvar’s ThirukkuraL. Once again I should emphasise that when I say, next does not mean lower or higher in importance or priority. There are many things that we have to do to get Aatma Gnaana. We have to get Viveka, Vairaagyam, bring the senses and mind under strict control, the mind has to be detached from all involvement like a piece of dead wood. When saying all this, never for a moment are we to think that any of these points are to be given attention and then forgotten. The qualitative requirements are simultaneously applicable and not one after the other. Even in practice when one aspect is being given special attention to all other aspects too, do come in. Starting from Viveka, Vairaagyam, Sama and Dama as you go on with your practice, suddenly there is an elevation to the highest, Aatma Saakshaatkaara happening that simultaneously all the conditions are beautifully met with; mind is simply washed off; nothing more to be done!
190. It is also not correct for me to say that at the end of all Saadhana all desires and trace Vaasanaas are erased and Aatma Saakshaatkaara happens. This doing away with desires and dawning of awareness is simultaneous and not one after the other. The Gita is very clear on this (Chapter II. Sloka 59): – “विषया विनिर्वर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिन: | रसवर्जं रसःअप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ||”. That means, “The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man leaving the longing behind; but his longing also turns away on seeing the Supreme! Does this not sound like saying, “When the boy recovers from madness, his marriage will take place”, immediately followed by another statement that, “If and when his marriage takes place, his madness will go”? What is meant here is like this, “When the Saadhak stops feeding the senses and starts starving them, by such practice the Vaasanaas will leave; while the latent traces will leave forever, as and when the Saadhak encounters the Param!” This also means that till the face to face Darshan with the Param takes place, you have to virtually starve the senses of their feeds and keep at it with the practices!
191. All told, as we keep studying and practicing many subjects, till the last exams, with some balance papers to be cleared pending, we write and pass in all of them and also get the overall pass marks in all of them and clear the last of the hurdles in the university examinations; in Aatma Saadhana too, we have to keep persevering. At the initial stages for clarity of understanding, the notes are learnt singly in music as ‘sa, ri, ga, ma,pa, da, ni’, till one is clear about Raaga, laya, Sthaana, rhythm, volume, pitch and sound. Once you have progressed up to Raaga alaapana, the upper and lower notes of the octaves do come in, in many orders, isn’t it?
192. “Once the mind has given up all dependencies and attachments as ‘Uparati’, then ‘Titiksha’ has to be practiced with patience”. If you think so, then naturally the question will arise as to how can it be? Mind is already like a piece of wood. What is there to tolerate now? If you tell a sleeping man to be patient, it immediately strikes us as to how foolish can one get? Instead of using the phrase, ‘after this then’ we should be saying, ‘with that and also’, the meaning will become clearer. If the subject of Uparati is correctly understood and absorbed, we will not be so affected by the normal ups and downs, successes and failures, sadness and happiness. Then when abnormal and subnormal things will not affect us much and tolerance would have become a part and parcel of our way already. That example of tackling all the subjects simultaneously bit by bit will come in handy and so is not to be lost sight of.
193. So, the advice of our AachaaryaaL is ‘Titikshasva’ , given by Rishis before him in the Upanishad and Sri Krishna’s advice to Arjuna at the early stages of the Gita (In Chapter II, Sloka 14 itself),
“Titikshasva Bhaaratha” is thus so apt. We use a phrase for the weather ‘seethoshNam’. It is a combination of ‘seetha and ushNam’ meaning cold and heat. This is a pair of extremities like ‘sukha and du:kha’, ‘up and downs’ and ‘good and bad’. In Gita he talks about many such pairs or ‘dwandvas’ and advices Arjuna to be beyond such pairs of opposites. Be Samam in such opposites is to be balanced. He adds many such opposites such as, ‘siddhi – asiddhi’; maana –apamaanayo; subha – asubha; puNya – paapa; priyam – apriyam; ishtam –anishtam; laabha – alaabha ; throughout the Gita. Everywhere the advice is to look at them with equanimity.
194. It is alright to tolerate bad things. How about tolerating good things? We should guard against getting overly attached to the good things of life! There is a cool breeze. The body feels it as nice. Then preferences, options, likes and dislikes and a whole lot of them creep in. Money, gain, advantage, preference, partiality and such things have a knack of begetting more and more of it. Once you progress some in the Saadhana, appreciation from others can have a very deleterious effect on your progress. Let there be poverty. Let there be people who are critical of your actions. Why bother? We are learning to treat all with equanimity. In a stage where we are training ourselves to be above all preferences; it does not mean that we are inviting only the negatives. It only means that we could not care less, whether the service is good or bad or whatever!
195. Say we are living like that, uncaring for good or bad luck. We are training our minds not to give too much attention to us and our environment. But say, due to our past good Karma, good things may happen. Money may be pouring in. Loving friends and relatives may gravitate towards us. Nobody is asking you to run away from such wind-fall. But we have to agree that the good things also have equal potential for corrupting our minds! So the quality of Titiksha is required in dealing with good things of life too! Do we understand this point clearly?
196. In both Viveka ChudamaNi (Sloka 24) and Aparoksha Anubhuti (Sloka 7), our AachaaryaaL has defined Titiksha in exactly the same words as, “सर्व दुःखानां सहनं”, to mean tolerance of whatever is seen as discomforts and or problems. This should not be taken to mean that, Titiksha is tolerating only what is apparently seen as difficulties or problems. Sukham is only in Adwaita Gnaanam. Whatever we think of as Sukham is not really Sukham, as it happens only in Adwaita Gnaanam. As all the experiences of the duality and multiplicity are different to Adwaitam, they are all Duhkham only. At least the things seen as discomfort or sorrow will lead to certain amount of dispassion. But, what is seen as comforts will get us bogged down further. So, all the happiness of this world, are to be seen as unhappiness only. That means that, what is seen as unhappiness is anyhow to be tolerated and what is seen as happiness has to be at least ignored as, ‘let it be’!

(To be continued.)




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