Sunday, January 13, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 113 (Vol # 6) Dated 13 Jan 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 113 (Vol # 6) Dated 13 Jan 2013

(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 771 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 consonantly)

295.  The noticeable characteristic of India's glorious tradition has been, our people's approach to matters divine was a nice mix of devotion, humility and a positive attitude.  Despite that fact, especially in Sri Vidya Upãsana Paddati the Gurus were particular about imparting this knowledge only to such students as were known for their discipline and maturity and kept it as a secret to guard against uncontrolled proliferation and dilution of standards!  Not only in the aspect as a Sãstrã but also as a piece of literature too, all explanations and inner meanings, were not told to all and sundry!  For the general public they would just skip and proceed suitably jumping over delicate issues, likely to be misunderstood!

296.  Here what is to be underlined and emphasised is that for long our people's basic approach has been quite good.  If our ancestors did a Stotra PãrãyaNam or listened to PurãNa or Ithihãsa or visited a temple; they did so with the clear purpose of cleansing of their body and mind, removal of their inner blemishes and tendencies, nourish their devotion to God and get his blessings and Grace!  In their stage of such firm clarity, even when faced with some variations in the description in a sloka or some story in the Purãnãs or looking at some erotic sculptures; instead of getting carried away, they would presume, "For some reasons our elders have included these scenes also here, but let us not get distracted because of this from our main purpose!  Our aim is to cleanse our own minds, be devoted and become worthy of divine Grace and take these other things lightly, while paying more attention to things which will improve us personally, intrinsically!"

297.  Thus they were having a natural sense of Vinaya in matters of religion.  They were careful not to be over keen and precocious so that they may not be too inquisitive and overly research oriented at the drop of a hat, so to say!  They had such trusting and simple nature which suitably worked to their benefit.  They had the humility to accept that there could be things beyond their understanding and comprehension.  So what was slightly different to the normal was not immediately a matter of concern for investigation that they would straight away get to work with a spade and pick-axe, nor was it an excuse for deviation from the charted path!  Knowing their limitations, their approach was with discipline.  They also read the descriptions or saw paintings or sculptures.  They were capable of skipping over some taking only what was needed for their personal improvement more seriously.  Wherever the divine beings were depicted to be overcome by anger or lust, there reaction would be to think on these lines, "Evidently these were also not what happened in the exact parallel state of our being and so, not necessarily what we have to dwell upon" and skip and go on to more relevant matters, instead of getting into research and analysis! 

298.  For so many thousands of years our people have been observing these traditions of listening to lectures on PurãNãs known as PurãNa SravaNam; Stotra PãrãyaNam, chanting of Thevãram / Divya Prabandam, doing Ãlaya Darsanam; without giving the slightest scope for aberrations of the attitudes or imagination, with the humble recognition of the fact that what is within the grasp of the Seers and Rishis in matters spiritual and the Intelligentsia in matters literary, may not be within the range of understanding and comprehension of the common man!   This they knew that they did not know and did not need to know, as long as they took care of their own aim and tasks in life!  So, matters remained clearly understood over so many thousands of years!

299.  A doctor inspects a patient's body parts.  At that moment his vision is different to the normal man's and his purpose is also different.  So there is nothing wrong in his inspection.  In lab he inspects and analyses even the 'shit' of the patient!  Wearing clean white clothes, following all rules of hygiene, he even tests the 'Sputum' of a man afflicted with Cholera!   Whereas we are told to stay away from a man with infectious disease, the doctor inspects that man's germs under the microscope and writes a report.  We cannot say that we can also do that, can we?  Neither can we say that he should do so or that such dirty investigations should not be there in Medical Science itself! 

300.  From time immemorial, since our people have had this sensible attitude in religious matters, things were under control like the arable lands with its borders and parameters well delineated and our country was acclaimed for its advancement in culture, civilization and humaneness, all over the world.  But, ever since the arrival of the printing press amongst our midst, and we could make any number of copies of any book in any language, the situation has become deplorable that even secret materials have become accessible to anybody and everybody that, misunderstanding and misinterpretations have become the order of the day!   Generally the levels of discipline and self-control have been thrown to the winds that Vinaya as a quality is looked down upon!  Then as free citizens of a free country, people are of the view that they have a right to say or interpret as they please, and comment on any subject, any which way they feel like!  (KTSV Adds:  Further in recent times, the situation is more complicated with people from other religions going out of their way and commenting on the tenets and beliefs of Hinduism, despite having no authority to do so, socially or morally!) 

301.  None of the publishers or editors of such books have practised or studied those Sãstrãs and experienced the truth of what is said in such books.  Their motivation is either business interest or curiosity or writing thesis in comparative religions or pure mischief.  In the absence of maturity and the Bhãva, how can there be any true intrinsic benefit evolving from such studies?  Not only in writing and reading, in giving Upadesa and receiving such Upadesa, the important aspect of Niyama – is sadly missing!  There are two main blatant errors here.   One is an error of omission that, those who are entitled to pursue such studies and practice are going out of their way to earn a living by whatever means.  The second is an error of commission that, those who have no right to do such studies without even the minimum of personal preparations and or discipline, take up the Upãsana for whatever ulterior motive.  I am not able to say as to which is the greater blunder, the worthy staying away from their appointed roles or the unworthy taking up the studies and practice!

302.  In the present day context in the bargain, there is a deluge of misinterpretations galore, as it occurs in their twisted minds, they write and substantiate to their whims and fancies, writing books, presenting research papers, giving lectures and doing publicity with plenty of financial support from vested interests!  As a result, many amongst those who think that they have much love for their religion proffer the advice that this Sanãtana Dharma should come out of its crude back-ground by discarding things like Kãpãlikam, Vãmãchãram and such practices.  They feel that there are some other shameful beliefs and practices by even some who are accepted in the society as 'God Men' and that these should be discarded for cleansing our religion!  If this is on one side, on the other side there are those who, claiming that in our religion we have given much importance to Nature including human nature, leaving many wonderful aspect of our religion, go in for and publicise the cruder aspects lacking any sense of shame!  They make movies with the money clout, in the name of 'realism' making a mockery of the minimum senses of decency.  Then there is another lot who pick up any and every avoidable heinous aspects in the name of religion and get a lot of footage for their agnostic publicity!

303.  The cause of all such aberrations is our mistaken belief in the unbridled democratization of the present day India, that anybody can say anything in the name of freedom of rights!  How to correct this?  Will it be corrected because I am saying so?  It may only lead to the counter claim that, 'This Sankara Ãchãryãr is just shouting with vested interest'!  I am well aware of my limitations in this respect.  But having started talking about this Soundarya Lahari, since the book is a mine of highly esoteric secrets, I have had to warn all of us about the need for precaution in popularizing this.  I would be failing in my duties, if I refrain from doing so. 

304.  Soundarya Lahari which contains such abstruse and secret materials, instead of being studied and practiced only by Sri Vidya Upãsakas, if studied as a book of devotion by anybody with the aim of 'handing over one's minds to Mother AmbãL for some time', there is nothing wrong.   In fact the book of Sãstrãs has been made into a book of devotion, addressing such people only.   It is with the purpose of informing us all about this fact that it is like a womb containing such secrets of the Sãstrãs that it has been made into a collection of devotional poems.  But, it is enough if everyone knows that it contains such secrets of the Sãkta Sãstrãs.  It is not necessary for everyone to know exactly as to what are those secrets, especially for those who are not going deep in to the Anushtãna of those practices.  Such Slokas will do the needful to the one chanting and those hearing them, even if they do not know the inner meanings and implications.  Generally when you are doing the PãrãyaNam with an attitude of devotion, any such stotra will automatically be beneficial.  The one chanting it has the intention that, "लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु" meaning, 'Let all people be happy' with which the benevolent attitude of the original author poet is also effective additionally.  Moreover the divine being as the target of our devotion will also further be beneficial to the audience.  That is the ultimate cause as the power of Anugraha.  The combined effect of it all is that as you reap the benefits of chanting and hear it being chanted, the one doing the PãrãyaNam will be motivated to receive the same through a Guru and then the meaning that remained hidden may also become revealed when learning from a Guru.

305.  So it is not necessary that slokas with deeper secrets be explained in elaboration while generally speaking about it.  What is secret is not only symbolic.  I have not mentioned an important point till now.  I have been saying that the 'Tatva Roopakam' (that is the symbolic representations), as secrets are to be guarded against general consumption, so that they may not be misunderstood by immature minds.  There is one more point.  These Mantras are very powerful.  So the second point is to guard against their misuse in the hands of immature minds, like a pistol in the hands of a baby.  The words of the Mantras, their potency and their 'prayoga' or effective use, will have to be protected against intentional as well as accidental misuse.  In fact symbolic representations of 'Tatva Roopakam' that can be misunderstood in Soundarya Lahari are not many but, Mantra and Yantra matters that can be misused due to the immaturity of the one doing the PãrãyaNam is more.  I should have mentioned this earlier.  It is good that I remembered it and told you about it now.

(To be continued.)




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