DEIVATHIN KURAL # 52 (Vol # 7) Dated 16 Oct 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 the middle of page No 425 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)
11. Satva – Rajas – Tamas Explained. Let us understand these three qualities found
in all human beings and animals too. Satva
– 'सत्व' is the quality of a person without
any confusion of the mind, peaceful, calm and quiet while being full of love
towards all others, at all times without any agitation or tearing hurry. At the same time such a person is not lazy or
sleepy, fully aware of his surroundings and taking full care of his duties and
responsibilities. Rajas – 'रजस्' is the quality in a person bubbling with desire and anger,
seemingly full of energy over-flowing and 'ready to burst at the drop of a
hat', so to say! Tamas – 'तमस्' is the quality of laziness, uninterested in doing anything
other than going back to sleep. Being
tardy, procrastination is their pet attitude though desire and anger will be
simmering inside. The first quality of
Satva is pure and clean, the other two of Rajas and Tamas both are dirty and
repulsive. Though at times, it may seem
as though Rajas being dynamic, is more acceptable. But as desire and anger are the two main
motivators of Rajas, one ends up doing many things which was never sincerely
and truly intended!
food from animals, birds and fish as the source, such as flesh, blood and body
parts, normally cause Rajasic and Tamasic tendencies in the consumer. Cow's milk is from animal source only, like
the blood of the animal. Such a thing to
be used as food seems to be against vegetarianism and likely to cause harm to a
person interested in developing his Satva GuNa qualities. But our Sãstrãs have not only allowed or permitted
but prescribed Cow's Milk as the diet for the recluse, renouncing Sanyãsi who
is to remain totally Sãtvic till he is fully rid of the mind and
qualities! If such an item as milk that
is, normally equivalent to flesh and blood from any other animal, can be
rendered so pure and precious by the cow, think of its divineness!
are two aspects or requirements of a Sanyãsi's food. First that it should be enabling the growth
of the quality of Satva in him. Secondly
it should have been obtained causing no harm whatsoever to any living being as,
he is to live by the guideline of 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:' – 'अहिंसा परमो धर्म:' – both these two requirements are
met with by the cow's milk! Through its
milk the cow instils the quality of Satva.
In taking its milk, there is no cruelty caused to the cow and there is
no denial of milk for the calf either.
In fact the cowherd is required to leave enough in its udders as
required for the calf, which he gets to know by practice. That is why amongst all mammals conveniently,
it is the cow which has the capability to produce more milk. In fact if the calf drinks all the milk at
any one time, it will start vomiting!
What is the inference drawn? Though the cow secretes milk as part of the
post-delivery lactation for its calf, it is God's intention that it should be
nourishing the human beings also, isn't it?
So, Go the Cow has been given an exalted position, to be able to display
the Love of the Mother for all people in addition to her own off-spring, as not
given to any other mammal.
the Cow is really God in that form, though seemingly a 'Vayilla Jivan' of the
animal world, she is a true proponent of Universal Love. So, the 'Go Mãtã' is in fact, 'Sri Mãtã' in
that form. When she is the 'wish
fulfilling Cow', she is the 'Kãmadenu'.
All mammals feed their off-spring with milk. She as Kãmadenu is a progeny of the
'pãrkadal' – 'பாற்கடல்', the Ocean of Milk!
It is Sri Mãtã herself who came as Kãmadenu, the Go Mãtã. That is what the Mooka Kavi tells Kãmãkshi in
Panchasatee, saying, 'You be and are our Kãmadenu' – 'kãmadughã bhava kamala kãmakale Kãmakoti kãmãkshi' – 'कामदुघा भव कमला कामकले कामकोटि कामाक्षी', in the 49th
sloka of Ãryã Sadakam of Panchasatee.
'Cow's Dung is
Also Ultra Clean and Sacred'
are seemingly opposites, come together in the Cow quite naturally. Its blood like milk expressed from its body,
instead of spoiling the mind cleanses it while being nourishing for our bodies. One more meeting of opposites is the fact
that its dung known as 'Gomayam or SãNam' – 'गोमयं or சாணம்' is also a holistic purifier, disinfectant
and sanctifier rolled into one! It
cleanses the heart, mind, body and the atmosphere. Normally the excreta of all animals are
dirty, smelly and a source of all sorts of infections and considered to be
profane. But this dung of the cow is an
exception. It does not stink bad but has
a healthy and a divine smell.
than cleanliness and infection, the feces of other animals being unholy causing
desecration, the cows dung the Gomayam, when mixed with water and sprinkled in
the area is said to sanctify the place.
When food is served, what you eat once touched by the saliva of the
person eating it is supposed to be 'echchil' – 'எச்சில்' in Tamil or 'uchchishtam' – 'उच्छिष्टं' in
Sanskrit. I am afraid that
there is no exact translation though the nearest in meaning is the word
'spittle'. Conceptually with 'echchil',
there is no spitting necessarily involved.
If you have eaten in a plate, the plate and spoon are 'echchil'
including the space of the table you have made use of. That plate and spoon and the space on the
table or ground where you have eaten, is cleaned with water to which some Gomayam
is added. Similarly as part of cleaning
up, in the morning all the floors in the house are wiped clean with such a
water and Gomayam.
17. So also outside the house at the
entrance, the area is swept and then this mix of water and Gomayam is sprinkled,
on which they used to make Rangoli, that is draw designs with rice powder
coloured differently, which was a welcome sign for visitors. Not only human visitors, it was also an
invitation for 'Arogya Lakshmi' and 'Sowmangalya Lakshmi' that is, Goddess
Lakshmi as the benefactor who gives us health and overall beneficence. In the name of fashion and modernisation, all
such habits have gone by default and are being virtually forgotten!
18. There are many evidences to this
belief that the Cow's dung is considered as a disinfectant as well as a
purifier-sanctifier. I will give one
example. There are people of the order
of Sanyãsa belonging to a particular sect, who very strictly abide with the
restriction that they are not to have anything to do with fire of any sort, for
cooking or warming their own selves in cold climate. But among them also there are some who make
use of flat cakes made of cow dung and dried in the sun to light up a fire. They believe that food cooked in it is
acceptable because of the extreme sanctity of anything from the cow! However, within India that too locally in the
South, there has been an impression in the minds of the people that, these
die-hard followers of Sãstrãs are the only ones who believe in the so called
cleansing and sanctifying powers of this dung of the cow due to their blind
beliefs! But recently I hear that
scientists in atheistic Russia have experimented and certified the disinfectant
and anti-pollutant properties of the smoke when dried cakes made of cow-dung
Bhopal Tragedy & an Interesting Side-Light
surprisingly I noticed a news item printed in big capital letters in all the
newspapers, when the Bhopal Gas-Leak
tragedy took place in which thousands of people and all animals died or were afflicted
with all sorts of unheard of diseases; there was one household in the thick of
it all which escaped totally unaffected!
It was a place where people were assembled but were covered by the
vapours and smoke emanating from 'Agnihotra' rituals. (I hope you understand
that in households where they do follow the 'Agnihotra' ritual, there are three
sets of Homa Kund which are maintained continuously burning with such materials
as is offered in oblations in fire, to appease and satisfy the Gods.) The people who were assembled in that place survived
and were saved from the ill effects of Gas-Leak Tragedy in Bhopal!
20. But it would not be correct to give
all the credit to only Gomayam. Yes it is
an effective anti-dote to poisonous fumes, but the importance should be given
to the divine ritual done with proper Mantras known as Agnihotra as a Vedic
Karma. Evidently in this situation the
potency of the Gomayam as a counter to poison, has been reinforced by the power
of the Mantras chanted and the fact that instead of just Japa, the oblations
were being done in fire, further added and corroborated to, by the use of various
other materials exactly as given in the Sãstrãs; put together must have had the
salubrious effect on the assembled, that while all over Bhopal people were
dying in thousands by the leakage of the poisonous gas; people assembled in
this particular household were saved!
Anyhow, Gomayam has had an important role to play evidently and
undeniably! Evidently Gomayam adds and corroborates
the purification powers of the Mantras.
Please note that it is not the custom to add any cleansing agents or
detergents in the Yagnya!
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