Sunday, September 23, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 57 (Vol # 6) Dated 23 Sept 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 57 (Vol # 6) Dated 23 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 399 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)

252.  When our AachaaryaaL says “Establish your mind firmly in the Suddha Brhmam”, what is the meaning?  Actually we will never know as to how to do that.  I take it to mean that, ‘whatever is said about NirguNa Brhmam in Vedaanta Saastraas and what the Guru advices us about it, we have to fix those in our minds with one pointed concentration.’  To completely merge the mind in Brhmam happens at the end of the third stage of Saadhana and that is Sammadhi.  This is Samaadhaanam.  Here ‘ब्रह्मणि’, in Brhmam, in the concepts about Brhmam, whatever the Guru imparts to us about it and in whatever the Saastraas say about it, the mind has to be firmly set in therm!  All our thinking moments, all our wakeful time, all our efforts should be only spent in Brhma Vidya, ideas, concepts and principles about Brhma Vidya, mulling over them and cogitating about them.  In practicing Shraddha, as a continuation of registering with faith, the words of the Saastraas and Guru in our Buddhi; as a logical conclusion of such efforts, instead of raising counter questions and ideas, we should be becoming totally conversant and knowledgeable.  Guru may say a few things not mentioned in the Saastraas, out of his own Anubhava.  We should be giving special attention to those nuggets of personal observations!
253.  Brhma Anubhavam or Brhma Gnaanam as an individual, personal experience happens later.  Now you are absorbing and inculcating all the possible knowledge about it like a blotting paper.  For this knowledge itself you have to collect your normally scattered brains, having made it one pointed and deeply established in that knowledge – “सम्यक आस्तापनं” and that is the Buddhi’s or mind’s Samaadhaanam.  As of now, he is not yet matured enough to sit in Dhyanam where his mind can be dissolved in the subject being meditated upon.  As yet the mind will be functional not dissolved or defunct.  So, it must still be sorting and selecting the options suitable for Aatma Vidya / Aatma Gnaana and nothing else!  By the time you are finally ready to take plunge in to Sannyaasa, only the formality of receiving the ‘Maha Vaakhya Upadesa’ should be pending.  All other knowledge has to be absorbed now!  It should be learnt through the spoken words of the Guru.  He is still the Vidya Guru.  The Sannyaasa Aashrama Guru comes later.  As of now this Vidya Guru need not be a Sanyaasi, but may happen to be one.   Basically he should be well read, knowledgeable in Brhma Vidya and of a high meritorious character and morality.  Later you may or may not change the Guru for ‘Maha Vaakhya Upadesa’ of taking Sannyaasa. 
254.  Who is Eligible to Get Instructed about the Upanishads?  There is a view that to be eligible to get instructed on Upanishads, you have to be a Sanyaasi already!  When it comes to study of Vedaantam, that is study of the Upanishads, the Guru and the disciples should all be Sanyaasi.  Brhmachari-s and Gruhastas may read other books of religion and philosophy.  Such an opinion does exist.  But when a Brhmachari learns the whole of a Branch of the Vedas known as ‘Shaka’, he does learn the Upanishad of the Branch of the Vedas alright.  In Mantras and procedures explained in the Upanishads, many are meant to be for the Gruhastas (that is the Householders).  May be the Upanishads can be committed to memory, without learning about the meaning.  It is also possible that some outline meaning is told to the student to facilitate his memorising the same. So to go deeply into the meaning analysing the word to word meanings and the meaning of phrases & sentences of the Upanishad, only the renouncing Sanyaasi-s are entitled to do, as per the opinion of some. 
255.  However for ages past, in many families deep study of the Upanishads has been an honoured and highly cherished tradition. So everything of the Vedas is studied threadbare, leaving only the ‘Maha Vaakhya Upadesa’ to be given at the time of taking up Sannyaasa Aashrama. At the time of Adhyayanam of the Upanishad-s the Maha Vaakhya Mantras would also be learnt. But to do Japa as anusandaanam, only a sanyaasi is entitled.  That is, the Upadesa Guru has to be a Sanyaasi, when the disciple is joining Sannyaasa Aashrama!   Otherwise from time immemorial it has been the custom and tradition that, anybody who was entitled to do Adhyayanam could learn any part of the Vedas as well as the Upanishads through a Guru.  In further olden times the original ‘mantra drashtaa-s’ (मन्त्र द्रष्टा) or Seers, who saw, read and recorded them for posterity were not all of them Sanyaasi-s.  But I am not saying that as part of the argument because, there is something as ‘Yuga Dharma’.  With every Yuga there is a deterioration of moral standards, that we should not be quoting the past and say that we can do similarly in the present times.  Yes, nowhere in the Upanishads is it stated that only Sanyaasi-s can read and learn them.  Still, in the present times, when talking about rights, everybody is ready to form a political party at the drop of a hat and claim that any Tom Dick or Harry has every right to study any or every part of the Vedas we have to draw a line somewhere!
256.  While doing पारायणं of the Upanishad-s that is, reading the scriptures systematically, (by various क्रमेण), there is a शान्ति पाठं that is chanted.  In the पूर्व शान्ति पाठं that is chanted at the beginning, which says, “Whosoever created Brhma the creator and gave the Vedas to him, that God is the one to give our Buddhi the brightness of Gnaana; to him I surrender as a Mumukshu as being keen on liberation of my Self.”  The advanced Saadhak whose sole aim is liberation of the Self is known as Mumukshu.  One of the Upanishad-s has a name as स्वेतास्वतरोपनिषद (Svetasvataropanishad).  Though not included in the famous ten Upanishad-s for which our AachaaryaaL has written the Bhashyam; he has quoted extensively from that Upanishad in his writings.  In the final chapter of that Upanishad that स्वेताश्वर ऋषि had given that Upanishad to disciples who were अत्याश्रमि-s.  That means that, the disciples were all Sanyaasi-s!  Based on such it is being claimed that the common man is not supposed to be studying the Upanishads.  But our AachaaryaaL has left many things as applicable to मन्द अधिकारी-s.  Evidently the मन्द अधिकारी is not a मुमुक्षु but a normal Gruhasta or Brhmachari.  All said and done, instead of saying that only after learning some rudimentary things about Gnaanam one should be reading the Upanishad-s; it is better to read the Upanishad-s that some tinge of Gnaanam will rub off on us and in the bargain we may wish to know more of it.  That is how the respectable people of our society have traditionally believed. 
257.  Firmness in Samaadhaanam.  समाधानं is to install one’s mind completely in the Brhmam and related matters.  “सम्यक आस्तापनं बुद्धे: शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि सर्वथा | तत्समाधानमित्युक्तं न तु चित्तस्य लालनम् ||”  This Sloka No.26 of Viveka ChudamaNi has been quoted already by me and translated to you earlier.  Our AachaaryaaL, who has spoken about ‘Buddhi’ in the first line of the Sloka, has spoken of the Chittam in the second line when he says, ‘न तु चित्तस्य लालनम्’.  Between the Mind, Buddhi and Ahamkaar; the point of origin of thoughts is this Chittam.  So, with reference to the context, it could be the Mind or Buddhi.  So Samaadhaanam is to firmly and cleanly establish the mind in the Brhmam and not being too liberal with one’s mind as our AachaaryaaL says ‘न तु चित्तस्य लालनम्’.  When we want a child to be obedient to our instructions we try to cajole the child with gifts such as some toffee or chocolate, isn’t it?  That is the ‘लालनम्’ part.  That is alright for an aspiring Saadhak in the initial stages to be encouraged to keep moving in the right direction.  Instead of being too strict seriously concentrating on ‘NirguNa Brhmam’, in the early stages the Saadhak is allowed to have any number ‘SaguNa Brhmam’ for Upaasana with some amount of distractions as part of the procedures. 
258.  But in this advanced stage of Samaadhaanam no more ‘लालनम्’ and or distractions permitted.  Putting a stop to all cajolement like a carrot hung before the horse, we have to turn the aspirant’s mind completely towards the ultimate aim of बुद्धे: शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि स्थापनं.  Instead of that if we keep on giving toffees, it can only lead to diabetics!  Having been liberal in the beginning, seen substantial amount of progress in the middle stages, now when we are getting fit enough for complete sacrifice of all indulgences and distractions. The Saadhak’s mind has to be fully tuned on to only matters of Brhma Tattva.  This is not only the job of outsiders such as the Guru but the aspiring Saadhak himself, to be very strict with himself.  He has to tell himself, what our AachaaryaaL has given as suggested advice, “My Dear Sir!  Please firmly establish your mind solely in pure Brhma Vidya alone.   Now is not the time to be lenient with yourself anymore.  Do not be doing ‘लालनम्’ anymore.  Some where you have to become strict, is it not so?  This is the time for such strictness with our own selves.  So please start solely giving attention to the one Aatman, the one and only NirguNa Brhmam which be the sole refuge of our minds!”
259.  The Six of Paramaatma and the Six of Jivaatma!  Sama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Shraddha and Samaadhaanam are the six assets of the Jivaatma who thinks of himself as an individual to progress on the Adhyaatmic path.  For the Brahmin who is normally known as ‘Shat Karma Nirata:’, there are six important duties of learning and teaching the Vedas, its chanting and word meanings; to conduct Yagas oneself and getting it done for others; to give and receive alms.  As I said before, instead of waiting one day to start the process, throughout  life one has to carry on practicing  and incorporating  these six qualities of Sama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Shraddha and Samaadhaana, to be able to get qualified for Aatma Vidya one day!  If these are the ‘समाधि षट्क संपत्ति’, the six assets of man; the God is also having six assets or ‘भग’ to deserve being called the ‘भगवान’!  They are [I] Aisvaryam that is Easwaratvam to be able to command and control; [II] Dharmam, the continuous thread of ORDER from the micro world of atom and sub-atomic particles to the macro world of milky-way and such other galaxies – that is, Dharmam; [III] Yashas that is, his fame.  We sing his praise in all music and in all religions in temples, churches and masjids; [IV] Sri that is all wealth.  The whole of this universe is his all the gold, gems and all the Real Estates are his, that he is such a great Sriman, all that wealth not amounting even an infinitesimal fraction of his Brhma-Anandam, the thrill of his blissfulness; [V] then is his Vairaagyam of total couldn’t-care-less-ness; [VI] then finally is his transcendence of all these assets, being the very destination as the Moksham Himself!  Thus, for Paramaatma there are these six Bhaga assets.  For Jivaatma there are six Sampathi assets, starting from Sama.  After this the last part of Saadhana Chatushtyam is Mumukshutvam / मुमुक्षुत्वं about which we shall discuss in detail in subsequent e-mails!




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