Sunday, November 04, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 78 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 Nov 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 78 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 Nov 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 last paragraph on page No 529 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)

441.  Vedas have 1,180 branches.  For each of those branches there is an Upanishad with a Maha Vaakhya in each of them, totalling 1,180.  From out of them, only four sentences have been selected at the rate of one per Veda as representatives.  There are authoritative books which explain at length the Do’s and Don’ts of Sannyaasa Dharma, such as, ‘Visvesvara Smruti’, ‘NirNaya Sindhu’ a compendium and many others of that genre.  From them all one can gather that as per the traditions, first ‘Ohm’ is to be given followed by one of the four Maha Vaakhyaas as selected by the Guru and then the Maha Vaakhya as specific to that particular branch to which this man taking Sannyaasa originally belonged to, in his ‘poorva aashrama’.  (Poorva Aashrama means the earlier Aashrama such as Brhmacharyam and Gruhastam.)  So a Saadhak being initiated in to Sannyaasa may have more than one Maha Vaakhya given to him.
442.  To listen to such Maha Vaakhya Upadesa is called ‘SravaNam’ or ‘श्रवणं’ in Sanskrit and ‘கேட்டல்’ in Tamil.  Conveying the same meaning of listening to the Maha Vaakhya from the Guru, Thiru Moolar too said, (in Thiru Mandiram-139) “தெளிவு குருவின் திரு வார்தைகேட்டல்”.  Thaayum Aanavar has also mentioned that having heard the Guru’s words, “கேட்டலுடன் சிந்தித்தல் மெய் தெளிதல்”, which evidently refer to the three steps of Sravana – Manana – NididhyaasanaThiru Moolar too has said that after திரு வார்தைகேட்டல், “தெளிவு குருஉரு சிந்தித்தல்தானே.  Hereகுருஉரு means Japa of the words / mantra as given by the Guru that is ‘Mananam’, because in the very first line he has already commented that, to see the shape/form of the Guru itself has a purifying influence on the disciple by saying, “தெளிவு குருவின் திருமேனி காண்டல்”So, there was no need to repeat that idea once again in the fourth line of the stanza.  Evidently ‘குருஉரு’ in the fourth line would mean to repeatedly chant and mull over it.  Thus to listen, chant and meditate are the three steps strongly recommended.  There is an adage which says, ‘संन्यस्य श्रवणं कुर्यात्’, as if to say that, ‘you should hear the Maha Vaakhyaas only after taking up Sannyaasa.
443.  Without having to go anywhere, to be released in to freedom of NirguNa Brhmam sans qualities and dependencies and adjuncts, here and now, as you are and where you are; is the aim of the SravaNam!  Even to die in ‘Surya Gati’ and to go to Brhma Loka and reach the SaguNa Brhmam is only secondary to this SravaNam from a Guru after taking up Sannyaasa. Even that death in ‘Surya Gati’ occurs only to a person who is calm, peaceful, matured, scholarly, who has given up his home and hearth, living in forests, spending long hours in Tapas, eating what is provided by others as alms says Mundakopanishad (1.2.11.).  The next level is that of Sanyaasi as described in the very next mantra, who has to take the Upadesa in NirguNa Brhma Tattva, isn’t it? 
444.  It says that this man, having investigated the world and its ways, comes to the conclusion that, “All in it are bounden by Karma.  The Aatma which is our Aim is never bound by Karma of doing, making, undoing and becoming and so on!”  So, he decides to leave all Karma, thereby becoming ready to be a Sanyaasi.  Since that has to be done in the presence of a Guru with his sanction, he sets out searching for a Guru.  The Upanishad uses the word गुरुं एव, to mean that however much qualified and knowledgeable he may be in Saastraas, he has to go through a Guru only.  Later in the Upanishad it says that, “It is not as though Aatma is unattainable only by people who are weak, unaware or are deluded, but it is also unattainable by those not in the monastic order(III.2.4.).   The word used in the Upanishad for a man not in monastic order is ‘alingaat’, as explained by our AachaaryaaL in his Bhashyam.
445.  In ‘Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad’ (IV.4.22) also, “The one who wishes for the world of Aatma leaves the Iham as a Sanyaasi.  Because from the time immemorial those great Vidwaan-s who have practiced the Aatma Vidya, have traditionally been throwing off all desires and attachments for family and children, household and other properties, and even desire for the heavens but launched themselves as reclusive wandering mendicants, that is like a qualification for being a Sanyaasi!  In anything there will always be some difference of opinion and then the difference will be solved or explained away.  In this Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad itself, earlier it says that, आत्मानं विदित्वा, meaning that having come to know about Aatma we lose all our attraction s for family, property and even desire for the heavens, and run away as ‘Aandi Pandaaram’ a common name for such wandering monks!  This seems to be contrary to what we said a few minutes earlier!  On further analysis we gather that there can be no set rules for the behaviour of an ‘Aandi Pandaaram’.  So, having come to know intuitionally or intellectually, (may be not yet intrinsically in Anubhava), he has come to know and has adopted the Sannyaasa role and now, there can be no set rules for him!
446.  In Para 252, In Devathin Kural # 57 of 23 Sept 2012, it has been explained as to how, to establish this Buddhi of ours in Brhmam is Samaadhaanam.   I am reproducing it here for reference in relation to what we are talking now.  “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 them!  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!”
447.  When you receive me amongst your midst, you offer ‘PoorNa Kumbham’, don’t you?  At that time the mantra you chant is starting with “Na KarmaNa Na Prajaya Na Danena cha’ Tyaagena ekena amritatvam aanasu:” That means, ‘Not by actions or by number of off-springs and or wealth, does one come by eternity’!  Then there is a mantra which is starting with ‘vedaana vignaana sunischta arta:’.  This mantra occurs in Kaivalya Upanishad (4), Mundaka Upanishad (III.ii.5) and Maha Naaraya Nopanishad (XII.3.4-7).    The Mantra is like this: -
वेदान्तविग्नान सुनिश्चित अर्था: संयासयोगाद यतय: शुद्धसत्त्वा: |
ते ब्रह्म लोकेषु परान्तकाले परामृता: परिमुच्यन्ति सर्वे ||  The meaning: - “Those to whom the entity presented by the Vedantic knowledge has become fully ascertained, who are assiduous and have become pure in mind through the Yoga of monasticism – all of them, at the supreme moment of final departure, become identified with the supreme Immortality in the worlds that are Brhman, and they become freed on every side. 
448.  Those in Sannyaasa Aashrama and those who have gone beyond the confines of that too, for whom the Saastra is their own self; are known as Atyaashrami-s.  It is given in Swetashwatara Upanishad that all that is written there is meant for such Atyaashrami-s.    Our AachaaryaaL has often quoted Kaivalya Upanishad. , which by itself has only 24 mantras.  Here we are giving the meaning of Mantras 5 to 9 only.  “Seated comfortably in a secluded place, purified, with head, neck and body erect, in the final stages of life, restraining their senses, bowing with devotion to one’s Guru, they meditate.  They meditate on the immortal source of all dwelling in one’s own heart – untainted, and pure, silent and blissful, transcendent and formless, infinite, sacred and peaceful.  Thus meditating on Siva, Lord Shiva, accompanied by Parvati, with three eyes and blue throat, peaceful, a sage reaches the source of all, the witness of all, beyond darkness.”  That is the sort of thing he does.
449.  After SravaNam, there is ‘Mananam and Nidhidhyaasanam’ isn’t it?  As there is a rule that SravaNam is to be after becoming a Sanyaasi, there is also a restriction that Mananam and the act of Nidhidhyaasanam are the prerogatives of a Sanyaasi only.  There is a clear ruling that, “…मननादौ सन्यासिनां अधिकार:In Brhma Sutram the Sanyaasi-s have been referred as ‘ऊर्ध्व रेतस’, which means that instead of wasting their power in sensual and sexual transactions, they have used all the powers under their command including the physical in higher reaches of form; from the mundane to the spiritual, mortal to immortality, and prosaic to the exceptional and supreme!  Brhma Sutra is also known as ‘भिक्षु सूत्रं’! This word Bhikshu and Sanyaasi are synonyms.  He lives on other’s kindness and dole, but he is the one entitled to read books of such value and standing!
450.  Once a thing comes in Bhagawat Gita, then its position of authority is unquestionable!  When I searched the Gita specifically, if only the Sanyaasi is entitled to SravaNa /Manana /Nidhidhyaasana, I got this reply.  All karma finishes in Gnaana at the end.   Those who are Seers of such principles as ‘तत्त्व दर्शिन:’ will only do Upadesa of Gnaana.  We should be respectful and obedient to them and learn from them as good listeners, says our AachaaryaaL.  When all karma finishes, what is yet to be done is taking up Sannyaasa.  Such a Sanyaasi is the one fit enough to be given the Gnaana Upadesam, isn’t it?  On the question of what is the ‘पर तत्त्वं’ there can be any number of answers such as, Satyam or Tapas or Sama or Dama and so on with, ‘n’ number of people arguing for and against!  Having listed many replies and having evaluated them all Narayanopanishad finally says that none of these things are ‘Para Tattva’ and that only ‘Sannyaasa is Para Tattva’!  Maha Narayanopanishad finishes by saying that Brhma says so Himself with authority!

(To be continued.)




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