DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 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 364 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
413. It is very
interesting to note as to how this Dharma Chakra could find a place in the
Nation's Flag that too the center spot!
The persons entrusted with the task of designing the nations new flag were
basically looking for a symbolic figure totally unconnected to God or
Religion. Finally they decided on Dharma
Chakra, which is a design in the historically well-known pillar in Sãranãth
near Ranchi, called the Ashoka Pillar.
Ashoka as an Emperor declared himself to be 'devãnãm priya' – 'देवानां प्रिय:', meaning 'the loved one of the celestials' and was much loved by
the people of this country also and hence to have that symbol in the National
Flag is a matter of pride and honour for all of us! Still ignoring God paying attention only to
morality and justice as a principle of Dharma, is a bit of a come-down while
being impractical too!
414. In his
administration and management of this world, as the one to enact Laws as Dharma
and ensure its prevalence and observance, as the benefactor for those who
follow those rules and as the one who will ensure punishment of those errant
defaulters and as the sort of C.E.O. of the whole world and universe and as the
one who gives and takes away our lives, is how Hinduism depicts God. When the masses have this idea in their
minds, it is natural for them to have mix of devotion and fear of such a
God. This naturally evokes a sense of
discipline in their minds. Forgetting
this practical truth when that religion of Buddhism that Ashoka followed and
preached, it was not much useful practically.
The leaders of that religion too in fairly a short time, looking at the
chaotic functioning of their 'Sangam' learnt their lessons fast enough. So they conceived of the very founder of that
religion, Buddha as God and raised temples and statues of Buddha bigger than
any other Gods of the Hindus, while evolving Scriptures and procedures for his
worship, exactly as it is for their Gods in Hinduism! Then they virtually adopted all the pantheon
of Gods, as it is in the Hindu religion, as part and parcel of their procedure
for worship. This is how, though the
present political leaders with an attitude of reforming zeal in free India
thought of Ashoka as non-religious!
Still he claimed himself to be, as I quoted earlier, 'देवानां प्रिय:'
meaning that he is the 'beloved of Gods'.
415. Without paying
any attention to these facts, taking only the fact that the founder of that
religion is supposed to have said that basic power or driving force is 'damma
chakka pavrtan' (which is a corruption in 'Pãli' language of the Sanskrit
original 'dharma chakra pravartan' – 'धर्म चक्र
प्रवर्तन', meaning 'to move
the wheel of morality'), to be a declaration of agnosticism! Thus it was by chance and with God's Grace
the Wheel of Morality has come to adorn the central spot in our National Flag! In fact the real meaning of that phrase is 'to cause the wheel
of morality move well', meaning to 'spread the tenets of that religion in all
directions'! Whatever it is, we can
consider this as an indirect assurance that the free government of India will
work hard for the spread and maintenance of fairness, righteousness and morals
in the country and towards such a hope, we can be happy that it has come to
stay as the central figure in our National Flag!
Vedic Statement as National Ideal
is one more thing to be happy about. As
a statement of the ideal of this country, there is an Upanishadic statement
that has been selected as a national ideal.
It is 'satyameva jayate' – 'सत्यमेव जयते', meaning that
truth will prevail. This is the
declaration by the basic scripture of Sanãtana Dharma, informing the people of the world that come what
may, the eventual victor will be the Truth!
Here too suitable to the modernists who did not wish to touch anything
Hindu with even a barge pole, this statement could never be thought of as having
anything to do with Hinduism as a statement of human optimism! Whatever it is, we appreciate the fact that
this Upanishadic Statement has become the official declaration of the ideal by
the free government of India! Thus the
Dharma Chakra, multi-sided-lion and this 'सत्यमेव जयते', became the Official Seal of our free Government of
Is it Dharma Chakram or the Wheel of
are people who wonder if the purpose of selecting this Dharma Chakra is
something else! The national character
of India is basically and traditionally is about 'simple living' only. The main leader of our Independence movement,
Mahatma Gandhi was of the conviction that, this country of massive population
should opt for handy-crafts and cottage industry which are mostly done with
small equipments and tools with more input of human labour. Symbolically he opted for the Charka, the
hand driven equipment for making
threads from raw cotton cobs, which are
further used in making cloth with hand-looms.
That is why he got the Charka in the center of the Congress Flag. But totally contrary to his views, enamoured
of western life of luxury and huge machines as required for such a life; one
wonders if the new crops of leaders of India have gone-in for the Dharma Chakram
the wheel, indicative of opting for industrial revolution!
Dharma Chakram as Shown by Gita
the truth of it, though we have forgotten God, with kindness and grace, God has
manipulated the Dharma Chakra in to our flag, so that whatever be the present
scenario, one day we may learn from our mistakes and give up this over-reliance
on heavy industries and going by our traditional ways, opt for labour intensive
technologies as a counter approach and be an anti-dote for the ills troubling
the whole world! So this Dharma Chakra
is God's assurance making people like me hopeful that the future holds such a
possibility. The particular reason for
my hopefulness is that, the same idea of 'dharma chakra pravartan' – 'धर्म चक्र प्रवर्तन', some five thousand years before Buddha thought of it,
Bhagawan Sri Krishna has mentioned this in the 16th sloka of the 3rd Chapter,
as to how the orderly system he has set up for human beings works, 'evam
pravartitam chakram' – 'एवं प्रवर्तितं
चक्रं', meaning this wheel
thus keeps rolling.
If your question is as how does it work he explains that
also. Dharmam that is righteous living
is the axle with the outer cycle being the manifestation of cause and
effect. Starting with the human as a
series of six parts, it ends in divinity.
What is that series in six parts?
The Path of the Cycle: Sacrifice Its
Sri Krishna starts with 'Lives are formed from food'. What is this food and why does it have so
much of importance, let us see. The
eternal Veda Dharmam says that to give, sacrifice and renounce for others without
being selfish is Thyaga, (the word त्याग in Sanskrit has
all these meanings that also includes the idea of Yãga in it). All your cherished valuable materials instead
of keeping in store for oneself are offered in oblation in fire. Fire is not just some thing or event in our
understanding but, one of the five basic elements known as 'pancha bhoota:' – 'पञ्च भूत:' the others being space, air, water and earth. What we offer in sacrifice, through the
Fire-God reaches God's officers or agents and through them returns back to all
living beings of the universe. You may
be far advanced technologically or industrially. But you are equally affected when there is a
Tsunami or flood or earth-quake or drought!
The idea is to give back to nature what belongs to nature. When you give like that without feeling
miserly about it, you get it back also with interest from nature! So the Vedic rituals by Thyaga and Yãga
ensure noble life of comfort for all humanity and other living beings. Please note that these two acts of Yãga and
Thyaga are both known by the one word in English, as Sacrifice! Since you can do these acts only if you are
living, keeping the purpose of feeding and catering for others as the main task,
we should learn to make do with what is required for our survival essentially,
as divine grace and live our life like that without greed. This is the basic rule of Veda – as the first
and foremost among all Upanishad-s, namely Esãvãsya Upanishad asserts in the
very first sentence, that, "The whole Universe wherever and however small
or big, is permeated and under the rule and control of Easwara. So enjoy by giving and sharing, do not covet;
since after all whose is all this wealth?" In that, giving food to others
gets the pride of place, as it is like the first link in the chain of cause and
effect that we are yet to discuss, that Sri Krishna starts off with the statement
(in Bhagawat Gita 3.14) that life forms are born from food – 'annãd bhavanti
bhootãni' – 'अन्नाद भवन्ति भूतानि'!
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