Wednesday, September 04, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 113 (Vol # 5) Dated 16 Jan 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 proceeding from page No 703 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
615. It is the followers of Meemaamsai and Nyaaya that helped our AachaaryaaL maximum indirectly, by effectively countering Buddhism. The followers of Meemaamsai criticised the Buddhists’ for their stand against Karma Anushtaana and the followers of Nyaaya countered the Buddhists for their Nir-Easwara Vaadam respectively. At the same time they were the recipients of maximum criticism from our AachaaryaaL! Let me explain. Nyaayam talks about not one Aatma but, many Aatma-s and thus was contrary to the idea of Adwaita Anubhava; so, it had to be disputed. Still this was not so vehemently objected to. AachaaryaaL vehemently opposed only the Meemaamsakaas’ religion. Next target of criticism was Sankhyam.
616. Sankhyam talks of Purusha and Prakruti exactly almost as Vedantam talks of Brhmam and Maya. Though some of its principles are acceptable to Vedantam, many are contrary. Sankhyam is a philosophy that does not reach the common masses and remains at cerebral level of some intellectuals only. To that extent our AachaaryaaL took pains to analyse and spell out how exactly it differs with Adwaitam and how it is objectionable. But Meemaamsai being concerned with what is to be done by everybody every day, it affects the common man and the society directly. So, it was the most important area of interest of the Avatara. Up to a certain stage, Karma Anushtaana has to be there. Without that the individual and the society can never be brought under any order at all. After a certain stage, it has to go or be dropped. Then only the Jeeva who is considering that he is this body and a separate individual can get rid of those ideas and remerge in the truest truth of all, as one with all existence. Therefore there is a need to carefully analyse as to how long should one continue doing these Karmas strictly and sincerely and come to a decision as to when to stop it. One has to go deep into one’s own motives, aims and attitudes to assess and come to grip with oneself without even a trace of ego before completely distancing oneself from observance of Karma Anushtaana.
617. Doing Karma should not become an end in itself. It should also not be done so as to obtain super human powers of Siddhies! For example as you carry on speaking the truth, what you say becomes a truth. People also start believing so. Here comes the chance to go astray that uncaring for truth, you start insisting that what you say is the truth! Karma should be done with the clarity that it is meant for achieving the clarity of one’s own mind, heart and speech, totally unconcerned with the fruits of such endeavour in Iham and Param (here now and in after-life later). Then one has to move on to Aatma Vichara of the ultimate reality.
618. Ultimate reality is transcendental. It is not perceived by the senses or comprehended by the mind. It is a matter of indubitable experience for the inmost consciousness of man. It is directly and immediately experienced without the instrumentality of the senses and mind, and does not depend for its proof upon any external authority. The perception of the external world is neither direct nor immediate, but is dependent upon the senses and the mind and is always coloured by them. On the other hand the experience of Reality is both immediate and direct, and becomes possible only when the senses and mind, through the practice of rigorous spiritual discipline, have been made absolutely calm. It is the consciousness in man that experiences the Universal consciousness, the two being, in reality, identical. As I told you earlier, after years of practice of Karma Anushtaana, through pranayama and meditation during the chanting of Gayatri Mantra, one starts experiencing flashes of this Anubhava. That is the time you cross the threshold unmistakably, setting aside all Karmas and start solely concentrating on DhaaraNa, Dhyaana and Samaadhi; the last three steps of Ashtaanga Yoga!
619. But there are infinite possibilities of self deception. To protect the aspirant from error and delusion the seers of Vedaanta lay down three criteria of Truth. These are scriptural authority (Sruti), reasoning (yukti) and personal (unbiased even in one’s own favour) experience (anubhava). Any one of these, singly, may enable the man to realize in flashes, but when all three point in the same direction to the same conclusion, you will know yourself! The meaning of the scriptures, which contain the recorded experiences of knowers of Truth of the past, must be explained by a competent teacher. In order to free reasoning from the pitfalls of rationalization, rigorous mental disciplines are prescribed so that the aspirant may be grounded in detachment not only from the external world but also from his own pet ideas and exclusive loyalties. The aspirant must be able to view his own thinking objectively and submit it to a searching analysis, by himself. Ultimate values must be judged by the standard of eternity and not of time. Lastly, the conclusions of the scriptures, reaffirmed by reasoning, must be experienced by the aspirant himself. Ultimate Truth, the basis of the Universe, is self evident, non-contradictory, and free from fear and friction. The seer perceives Truth everywhere and in everything, and thus becomes completely free from fear, sorrow, and expectations, which characterise the life of falsehood in the relative world. {Note: As they were very appropriate to our discussion, the last two paragraphs above, have been quoted mostly from the pages 17 and 18, of Introduction to the book on Self-Knowledge [Aatma Bhodha: by our AachaaryaaL], authored by Swami Nikhilananda, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai -4. Now let us continue with our translation of what PeriyavaaL says further.}
620. So, one has to judiciously apply one’s mind and intellect in deciding as to how long to proceed with Karma Anushtaana not simply as Karma Marga only, but as Karma Yoga, in deciding which may be one could consult one’s Guru or finally one’s own inner conscience. Our AachaaryaaL pointed out the fallacies in the reasoning of the principles of Meemaamsakaas. For the common man Karma Anushtaana is what is within their scope. For Saadhaks aspiring for Adwaita Anubhava, Karma Anushtaana is only the primary class, so to say. So, though our AachaaryaaL encouraged doing and building up on Srouta (as per Sruti) and Smaarta (as per Smruti) Karma Anushtaanaas; as the philosophy of Meemaamsakaas was having a vice like grip on Karma Anushtaana ‘as the be all and end all’ of the whole thing, he had to dispute their views rather vehemently. As in our AachaaryaaL’s point of view, for progress towards Aatma Gnaana and Adwaita Anubhava, Karma was only the very initial stage.
621. If you are injured in your leg and not able to walk, you have to get the necessary medical care, medicines, apply some ointments and some bandages and then only you may be able to walk at least with a limp. That is how for many life times we are all walking wounded, injured by our own actions of ignorance and delusion, unable to progress on any of the paths towards Moksha! In such a situation, Karma Anushtaana acts as the bandage for our wounds. But, once you are healed and able to walk, what is purpose of the bandage? Now if you say, the bandage should remain forever and that you should walk only limping, what is the logic? It can only lead to further problems, isn’t it? Similarly the over attachment of the Meemaamsakaas to Karma Anushtaanaas was becoming an obstacle in progress towards liberation.
622. Once Narada brought one fruit to Kailasa and created a competition between Ganesha and Kumara Swami, you remember? At that time having lost it, Kumara Swami got angry, throwing away all his clothes and ornaments and ran away in anger wearing only a loin cloth, isn’t it? The father and mother then had to come down searching for him and after finally locating him in Palani, they had to beg him to return to Kailasa. Now when the same Kumara Swami, as Kumarila Bhatta was saying that Karma is everything and that there is no need for a Sannyaasa, the father could convincingly teach him a lesson or two about the necessity for discarding attachment to the peripherals such as clothes and ornaments and the need for taking Sannyaasa. On another occasion, Kumara Swami jailed Brhma and in continuation gave Upadesa to his Father, who had to bend his head in subservience. Now this time the father had sent the same Brhma as Mandana Misra as a support for Kumarila Bhatta. Finally in the last stages of his life as Kumarila Bhatta, he was given Gnaana Upadesa by his father, this time in the Roopa of our AachaaryaaL!
623. No book of authority in Meemaamsa is available as having been written by Mandana Misra. There is a book known as, ‘Meemaamsa AnukramaaNika’ said to have been written by one Mandana Misra. He is also said to have written a book on Adwaitam known as ‘Brhma Siddhi’. But it is different in many details to our AachaaryaaL’s points of views. So, pundits believe that they are two different people with the same name! However, after Mandana Misra became our AachaaryaaL’s disciple, (as Sureshwara) the books written by him are available today. It can be safely assumed that before his becoming a Sishya of our AachaaryaaL, no books have been written by Mandana Misra on Meemaamsa.
(To be continued.)


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