Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 40 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Sept 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 40 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Sept 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL 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 page No 349 of Volume 7 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 continually)

392.        When the Government is legally sanctioning its citizens a right to embrace any religion of their choice, along with that, it should also be paying attention to the aspect of its responsibility in ensuring that such freedom is properly exercised without hindrance.  We had to make a mention of this and explain in detail as the Head of Kanchi Kãmakoti Peetam, as one of the important such organization of Hinduism, so that this aspect may not be left ignored. So, this is not to be taken as though we are objecting to the Act of Government of India in granting equal rights and support to all religions.  I am only concerned that such a support may be given in an equitable manner, possible loop-holes plugged and the fairness in its implementation may be carefully vouchsafed, which I explained in detail.  Otherwise this Act of Religious Freedom can prove to be an exercise in futility while disturbing a hornet's nest!

India's Life-Line is Religion and Spirituality
393.        People like Vivekananda who have many elevating and energizing ideas approved even by revolutionaries and foreign luminaries, like Madame Anne Besant, have insisted that the very life of India is based on its devotional spirituality centered on its religion.  As pointed out by such observers, however much this nation may progress in other fields, if it forgets its devotional-spirituality(known as 'ãnmigam' – 'ஆன்மீகம்'), all that progress will only be like decorating a cadaver!  This Hindu Religion known as Sanãtana Dharma meaning 'ancient and eternal virtuousness' has been effectively countering over involvement and indulging of its people in worldly matters that desires do not become passions and extremities are avoided in the attitudes and behaviour of its masses, like a control valve letting off steam!  The sense of spirituality and devotion  to divinity is inculcated in its people as daily and periodic symbolic actions centered on God.  Thus every individual in this religion is automatically made to understand that his birth in this world and all his thoughts and actions have to be essentially related to Righteousness, Devotion and Self-Realization. 

394.        Thus this worldliness of Iham has to be aimed at progress for Param, for which rules have been evolved as check points for the correct attitude, good behavior and clarity of aim centered on divinity!  As these ways and methods have been followed for ages, all the refined greats of the world have come to accept that, this land has given birth to Mahatmas aplenty, who have produced a steady stream of religious books and scriptures on the truth of reality – 'tatva-sãstra' – 'तत्व शास्त्र', including on Astrology, Physics, Chemistry, Dance, Sculpture, Construction including Vastu, Maths, Medicine, Surgery and Treatment, Economics, Yoga of all types, Language and Grammar,  Philology, Archery, Art of driving and maneuvering Chariots,  Magic and what not!  All those great masters were also far advanced in the Sãstrã of knowledge of Ãtma the Self and were true devotees of Humanity, Nature and God! 

395.        Thus this country has always been a counter balance between worldliness and spirituality for all countries of the world.  This land, this soil of Bharath has produced a whole stream of such greats from time immemorial till date.  Even today what we see is that, however much may be the industrial advancement of other countries, whatever may be the modern amenities, having experienced all the pleasures of such modern life, not finding the wholesomeness, feeling a sense of missing something, people keep coming to this land to find what they have been missing, a completeness of the inner being – 'poorNatvam' – 'पूर्णत्वं', only here.  Thus our country that has been considering it to be its duty to be the forerunner for spirituality for the whole world leading and showing the way, as it gains Independence, has slowly and steadily opted for the stupidity of blindly following rest of the world in crass materialism, ignoring its appointed role in spirituality, seems to have divorced from its past completely with the onset of Independence from the British!

The Deterioration of Religiousness: Past Millennium
396.        We came under the foreign yoke about a thousand years back.  Those who came then were foreigners from within Asia.  Within them also we repeatedly became the target of aggression, destruction and ransacking for quite some time.  Then we virtually came under their rule in the North slowly but steadily spreading down South, that in a country that was a torch-bearer for the whole world, truly and sincerely observing the customs and traditions as required by its religion; people were not able to observe those customs and traditions fearing reprisals and punishments in their own land, due to the domination by foreigners of other religions from within Asia (meaning Muslims of all denominations).  This started hurting the very innards of this nation's culture that was like the life-line for its uniqueness and rightful pride.  As time went on many of the foreigner's dress, language and habits started reflecting in the local people's way of life especially in North India.  Instead of totally copying the Muslims, there were some who were still retaining their uniqueness as the Indian Hindu in some pockets of the North and mostly deep down South.  The main reason for this was that the Hindus did not consider the foreigners as superior in culture and civilization!  After 7 Centuries had passed like this, ever since the westerners started capturing power, the condition of Indian's religiously based spiritualism reached an alarming situation.  (Sikhism had sprung up in the interregnum mainly to protect Hinduism and make them fight the tyranny of the Muslims!) 

Westerners Indirect Astuteness & Two Revolutions
397.        Clever that they were, mostly westerners managed their strategy of capturing power over India with the strategy of   subterfuge and tactics of divide and rule, playing one against the other!  Moreover they pushed our central life force of religiousness to the background and got us caught in their materialistic worldliness that we ended up converting our ways of life to become copy cats that, to be subservient to them became something to be proud of.  This was done so cleverly that the victim started believing that he has been saved.  They successfully duped us in making us believe that their culture and sophistication was much superior to our civilization!  Two revolutions helped the British rulers in this cause. 

398.        Timed with their capturing power over India was the occurrence of modern scientific discoveries, which were considered the world over as being amazing and astonishing!  This trend created the steam power and generated electricity that could move huge machines with which in a short time many things could be produced in huge quantities, replacing cottage and handy -craft industries to the background as a thing of the past.  Industrial Revolution with modern assembly-line technologies made the old ways obsolete in no time.  Countries with small population with an attitude of interest in comforts and conveniences could benefit from such discoveries.  This further enhanced the frenzy with which colonies were captured all over the world, so as to amass raw materials with which to produce finished goods, major portion of which could be sold back to the people of those very colonies.  Thus the industrial revolution benefited these nations immensely.  But for countries which believed in philosophies like, 'simple living and high thinking', and 'build small and live big'; thereby reducing worldly requirements to the minimum giving more importance to inner spiritual growth of the man; especially for India, this Revolution did maximum harm.  Especially we the Indians were bewitched by their ways and means and were enamored of their educational system which was only a tool of the Europeans' political, commercial and administrative interest of making available a continuous stream of subservient and disciplined cheap labor and clerical staff!  In the bargain we suffered a black-out of knowledge about our own great culture and thought of them as role-models and ended up completely accepting their culture as superior to ours!  We liked being addressed as 'Dorai' in the south and 'Brown Sahib' in the north!

399.        Hand to hand with the Industrial Revolution was the French Revolution of individual human rights.  It was alright where people were totally subjugated and shattered by autocratic and despotic rules.  To import of that in to India was too much of a culture shock for the benign Hindu society only to be exploited by vested interests.  Even within France the high ideal of freeing the human from extremes of tyranny was lost sight of by uncontrolled way the movement developed that, noble principles such as justice, discipline, and humaneness were the casualties.  Freedom led to chaotic situations within France and also started spreading all over the world.  In its wake, societies which were disciplined traditionally from generation to generation over thousands of years with durable ideas such as, respect for elders, morality, humaneness, self-control, reducing worldly desires so as to be able to control one's own mind and reach for higher ideals of human endeavor and such; became the sacrificial goats in the altar of so called freedom!  India got its Independence when such world trends were most rampant!

The Big Question before All of Us
400.        What are we going to do now?  Are we going to get back to our culture of politeness with devotional spirituality, humility in worldly life and stand apart with verve and panache as the only such nation in the world in matters of the heart and inner-being, where 'matter doesn't matter' but only spirit does?  Or are we going to wholeheartedly forget our culture of devotional spiritualism and give up whatever residual balances of it are left in us in the altar of Mammon and continue to be slaves of the west as one of the poor backward countries of the world?  This is the biggest question facing us today that bewilders and perplexes me personally!        Is India that is Bharath going to be truly an Independent nation or on the basis of – 'swatantra' – 'स्वतन्त्र', is it going to find its path or way of life uniquely on its own?  Or despite obtaining independence from the Britishers, because of the spirit of the west that has entered our beings, are we going to continue to be an abject slave of the western world?

Atmosphere of Distrust: Due to Non-Acceptance of Gandhi's Ideas in Letter and Spirit
401.        The ambient atmosphere does not generate confidence at all.  The one who led us in the Independence Struggle and came to be known as Mahatma, was deeply attached to our unique culture of devotional spiritualism also spoke about it to all as often as possible, emphasized its importance and remained true to it personally.  Still, among his followers, except for a few who seem to be true to this aspect, rest of the whole lot seem to have different opinions.  For the past few generations itself, foreign ways of life seem to have taken deep roots in Indian ethos!  Most of the general public too seems to be interested in the growth and proliferation of random western ways! 
402.        It is human nature to evince a sort of active interest in opposition it seems.  So in the matter of opposing the Britishers the people of the whole nation joined ranks and actively and enthusiastically followed Mahatma Gandhi, in that attitude of participating in opposition.  Without understanding the true meaning of freedom and independence, the majority seem to have been under the impression that freedom will mean automatic lifting of controls!  So, many seem to have followed Gandhi more with the expectation that after independence they may be able to do and live as they please!   In the bargain not much importance seemed to have been given to his views that our ways have to be in line with our unique culture coming down over ages.  It is doubtful if due attention will be given to what needs to be done.  That is, the leaders of Independent India should correctly understand Secularism to mean benign and equal care in all religions and thereby enable the people to cut down on their over reliance on crass materialism and lack of religiousness!
(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva 

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