DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 Sept 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 54 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 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 374 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)
219. Having called him ‘ashraddhadaana’, a man lacking in faith, Sri Krishna also qualifies him to be a ‘samsayaatma’, as one full of doubts, lacking in confidence. Such a person who is lacking faith and is full of doubts will continue to be stuck in the whirlpool of worldly life, he says elsewhere, “अश्रद्धधाना: पुरुषा धर्मस्यास्य परन्तप | अप्राप्य मां निवर्तन्ते मृत्युसंसारवर्त्मिनि ||”, meaning, “Those who have no faith in this Dharma (of knowledge of the Self), O Parantapa (Arjuna), return to the ways of the world of death failing to attain Me!” What Sri Krishna said with noticeable anger that these faithless characters will dissipate themselves by getting stuck in the never ending cycle of birth and death; is said in a pleasanter manner in Tamil as, “நம்பினோர் கெடுவதில்லை நான் மறை தீர்ப்பு,” meaning that “It is the judgement of the four Vedas that the ‘faithful shall not suffer’.” Then the question does not arise as to what happens to those without faith. Why talk about it? What we have to absorb is that we should imbibe the quality of trust and faith.
220. But Sri Krishna’s statement is a sort of a fair warning to people who are more prone to doubt. His is not a false threat. If you do not have faith, what he says will happen. We should never give any scope for Self-doubt and doubting the Guru’s words. ‘We have finally come to a Guru. Let him be outwardly whatever he may seem to be. It is God’s look out as to how through this Guru we shall get the deliverance. Our job is to simply be faithful and have implicit obedience in our thoughts, speech and action. With such firm conviction, we should surrender to the Guru. More than the Vidya Guru (who teaches in schools, colleges and other such educational institutions), we should have 100% faith with the Deeksha Guru who installs us in Sannyaasa Aashrama. Of course, before surrendering to a Guru one may check and counter check his credentials, but once accepted, even if he happens to be bogus, through him God as the ‘antar yaami’ (the indwelling spirit) in all of us; will ensure that this disciple learns the right lessons. Your sincerity will ensure that you still learn the right lessons, whatever the Guru may be, even if he were only a fake! Your surrender in good faith shall not go waste, even if the Guru does not attain to Gnaana. (In this respect, you may refer to Deivathin Kural # 10 (of Vol 2) of 05 March 2008.)
221. Directly what we know to be true, we have a firm belief that it is true. Instead, in what the Saastraas say as quoted by the Guru, if we do not have faith, then that is lack of Shraddha. By the very fact that it is not within our ambit of knowledge and not within the grasp of our limited Buddhi, means that it is superior to what is within our grasp, and so higher and true. This is such knowledge as revealed by God himself to Rishis of yore as ‘Revelations’ to those Seers or Mantra Drashtaas; who in turn have conveyed them to us as endowments. This unshakeable belief is Shraddha. There is a Saastram in the Vedas known as ‘Niruktam’ (meaning ‘Unsaid’), which is one of the six parts of the Vedas. The saint who has written it is Yaaskar. While explaining the word meaning of ‘Shraddha’, he says, that it is a combination of two root words namely, ‘shrad’ and ‘da’. The first root word ‘shrad’ is indicative of truth and the second root word ‘da’ is indicative of the action of fixing. So, the word ‘Shraddha’ means is to fix the mind in truth, that is, to believe firmly.
222. Such a Shraddha has to be deep rooted in our minds in the unseen principle of life. Unfounded and peripheral vision cannot even think of such things. Correct thinking is only possible when you have attentive concentration of Shraddha, says Chandokya Upanishad (VII.19.1.). It is given in Mundakopanishad that, Brhma Vidya should be imparted to only those who have Shraddha. While listing the qualitative requirements of those entitled to receive that knowledge, it is said that they should be active in doing their respective duties (kriyavant), knowledgeable in the sound of the Vedas (srotriya), and keenly interested in getting established in Brhmam with Shraddha. In Prashna Upanishad too, it is given that those who have launched themselves in search of the Aatman deserve to be successful depending upon their level of penance, celibacy and Shraddha.
223. In Bhagawat Gita having explained the divine qualities and ogre like qualities in one chapter (Sloka 23 and 24 of Chapter XVI), at the end point it is said that, “He who, having cast aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains not perfection, nor happiness nor the supreme goal. So, let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what is to be done and what ought not to be done.” Having said that at the end of Chapter XVI, in answer to the very first sloka of the next chapter Sri Krishna says, “Without any reference to the Saastraas, as an inborn quality one could have Shraddha.” From this one can make out that Shraddha as a quality could be in the very nature of some people. Our AachaaryaaL goes on emphasizing the value of unshakeable Shraddha in the Saastraas and in Guru’s words, in various places in his writings. The song ‘Baja Govindam’ for example, ends with, “गुरु चरणांभुज निर्भर भक्त: संसारात चिराद्भव मुक्त:” – meaning, ‘the disciple who has firm trust in the lotus feet of his Guru is eternally saved from the tribulations of this worldly existence’!
224. In the order of Saadhana, this Shraddha has been included as part of ‘समाधि षट्क संपत्’, with ‘sama, dama, uparati, titksha and samaadaana’ this shraddha has been added as the fifth one before samaadhaana, without changing the order as given in Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad, finishing with samaadaanam. One of the meanings of ‘समादानम्’ is to solve and remove doubts in establishing the truth. If one Guru as representative of a religion or view point puts up an argument, the other side will argue against it. That is known as ‘poorva paksham’ (पूर्व पक्षं). Then the representative from the original side will give suitable reply to all those objections and give समादानम्, thereby establishing his view point known as सिद्धान्तं. While listening to the arguments of पूर्व पक्षं followers of the side being criticised may start having doubts as to whether their own side’s view point is right or wrong! This lingering doubt is an indicator of loss of Shraddha. This loss of faith or अश्रद्धा is got rid of by the समादानम् given by the Guru.
225. While talking about Shraddha as a part of Saadhana itself, at once as an inherent aspect of it, one cannot help thinking about lack of it also. Having said something, if one were to follow with an immediate warning not to doubt it, even those who had not originally doubted it will also start wondering! That is, श्रद्धा has an unavoidable opposite as अश्रद्धा inbuilt as though! To fight this lack of faith is by itself inculcating of श्रद्धा, so to say. Once you have won over this battle it is समादानम्. When there is some scope for fighting lack of faith, Shraddha is required and then it is only समादानम् naturally! To put it in other words before समादानम् comes श्रद्धा. That is why, श्रद्धा that is basically needed from the beginning, has been kept as a part of Saadhana before Sannyaasa Deeksha also as a part and parcel of ‘समाधि षट्क संपत्’ after, sama, dama, uparati, and titksha as the fifth step in Saadhana.
226. In the very process of progressing in Saadhana, it seems to go by the proverb –”ஜாண் ஏறினால் முழம் சறுக்குகிறது”, which means, ‘if you climb a few inches, you slip down by a few yards!’ Still you carry on relentlessly till you progress more and fall back less. It is thus very difficult to say exactly as to what the first step is and what the second or third step is, in Saadhana. When the strength of practice or will power or God’s Grace becomes more effective, one may leap-frog from the first or second to the last also at times! So, as I have been saying the steps of Saadhana could be side by side or continuous or continual too. Still, our AachaaryaaL has systematically serialised the steps in which Shraddha comes before the final Samaadaanam.
227. There is a clear definition of Samaadaanam that our AachaaryaaL has given. I will talk about that later. First let us see as to how, he has defined Shraddha. As we have seen as to how it has to precede Samaadaanam, let us also see as to how it has to follow Titiksha. As we have already analysed as to what is ‘नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेकं’, we have known as to what is ‘Anityam’. But we may still not know the ‘nitya vastu’ as well as we know the ‘anitya vastu’! What is ‘Nityam’? It is the Self or Aatma, isn’t it? Unless it is experienced our knowledge about it is likely to be hazy only. But experiencing the Aatma is the very end of Saadhana isn’t it? On investigation and analysis, from what we have heard from our Guru and reading the Saastraas and Upanishads, what we gather is that, the inner Self must be Aatma and that is characterised by the qualifications of ‘Being’ + ‘Knowing’ + ‘Blissfulness’ as, ‘सत् – चित् – आनन्दं’. This is what we have come to know at our mind level with some certainty. As the ‘Anitya Vastu-s’ are all known by experience to be transient and temporary, we cannot have the clarity, understanding and certainty about the Aatman! So, better than knowing about the destination, we will know about what is to be ignored and discarded. So we get Vairaagyam in avoiding the Anitya Vastu-s. By this very Vairaagyam we learn control of mind and senses to some extent imbibing the controls of ‘sama’ and ‘dama’. As the pull of these temporal matters lessen, Uparati evolves, without Aatma Anubhava. There is lessening of the pulls and pressures of over involvement, not much affected by sadness and sorrows as we develop Titiksha of ‘couldn’t carelessness’. So the progress is thus one sided in अनात्मा निराकरणं and not in आत्म अनुभव!
228. Here I must make a mention of another thing too. From the beginning a slight indication of what आत्म आनन्दम् could be, will also be there, like even when the sun is shining you get the feel of the approaching rain in terms of a pleasant breeze! God will ensure that, to keep you interested. Then as you progress, some intermittent rains with some amount of sun shine interspersed with some breeze will be there. If before Aatma Anubhava, all the accumulated demerits of many generations of life are to be cancelled out, it cannot be any different. For long we have been deeply mired in matters mundane as MaaNikka Vaachagar says, புல்லாகிப் பூடாய் புழுவாய் மரமாகிப் பல்விருகமாகிப் பறவையாய்ப் பாம்பாகி கல்லாய் மானிடராய்ப் பேயாய் கணங்களாய் வல்லசுரராகி முனிவராய் தேவராய்ச் செல்ல நின்ற தாவர சங்கமத்துள் எல்லாப் பிறப்பும் பிறந்து இளைத்தேன் எம்பெருமான் – meaning “Oh God! I have been a blade of grass, weeds, worms, trees, plants, been as many animals, birds, snakes, stones, human beings, ghosts, ogres, demons, as saints and divine beings – having gone through all sorts of life forms; and am tired of them all, fed up and disgusted!”
229. Our own record may be nothing less. We have either forgotten them all or do not see beyond the nose! Having forgotten all that we may be quick to take offence if we do not noticeably progress in Saadhana! Then as though self-righteously we may feel, “What is the use? I have been at it for so long! There does not seem to be any result worthy of the effort. When the hunger is eating the innards, like showing a grain of cooked rice, some light is seen in flashes. What is the use?” Though we may thinking that we have mastered all tolerance and forbearance; we may actually be nursing intolerable amount of disgust and disappointment, ready to go back to the worldly ways at the drop of a hat! Having swallowed a whole crow-bar, drinking the ginger beer may be too much to bear! At such a point in our Saadhana, the higher level of Shraddha has been kept as the target to be achieved!
(To be continued.)
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