DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 7) Dated 23 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 last paragraph on page No 444
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)
40. The Special Value of the Cow's Presence. Giving its all for enabling us to conduct the
Yagnyas, the Cow has the power to
cause the Mantras to be effective by its very presence or Sãnnidyam! That is why to
do Japa in the cow-shed known as 'Goshtam' – 'गोष्टं' that is the barn, is said to be a Crore
times more powerful than chanting it elsewhere.
(A Crore is a unit of numbers that
is, ten times a Million!)
All Devatas are Included in the Cow
41. Because, in the Cow all 330 Million
Devatas are included. All the sacred
'Teertãs' of all the divine water sources
are already there in the cow. In all our
temples a number of Sannidy of Devatas are there. Besides the temple either there are rivers or
ponds or a well whose waters are said to be very sacred. But the Go the Cow is a temple in itself where
all the Devatas are present with those 'Teertãs' also.
The Cow itself is a mobile temple for all deities of the Hindu Pantheon.
is this 'All God's Pantheon'? It is not
easy to understand with our limited knowledge and comprehension. It is confusing instigating some fear and not
devotion! So, particularly Go Mãtã is
said to be Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of Wealth and all Aishwarya. In the Sanskrit dictionary, while listing a
number of names of Lakshmi, it says 'Loka Mãtã' and 'Loka Janani'. Go the Cow is that 'Loka Mãtã' itself. On the one hand 'Go Mãtã' is said to be
Lakshmi Devi and on the other hand, the Cow is said to be the living abode of
Lakshmi. There are five places which are
considered as the abode of Lakshmi Devi.
One is the parting of hair at the centre top of the head of faithful
married ladies known as 'Seamantham', second is the inner part of the Lotus
flower, third is head of the Elephant, fourth is reverse side of the Bilva (or
Aeglemarmeles) leaf and the fifth is the back side of the Cow.
the cow we have seen many apparent opposites and contradictions coalesce
smoothly, isn't it? Similarly instead of
the front and face it is the rear end of the cow which is the sacred place of
residence for Lakshmi Devi. The Cow's face
is cleaned, yellow turmeric powder is smeared and then the red ochre Kumkum is
applied as a dot in the centre of the face between the two eyes and the nose /
mouth and on the horns too. All this is
done only as part of the decorations, including a garland or two in her neck
with some tinkling bells! When it comes
to doing the ceremonial Pooja/Archana, of reverentially taking its names and
offering different flowers for each name or Nama; it is done to the back side
of the Cow having the humps on either side with the tail in between. There is nothing execrable about the cow,
nothing mean or way down low. In Matams
like this one, daily morning the first Puja done is for the Cow and then only
other rituals carry on, from which you can understand the venerable high
pedestal at which the stature of the Cow is viewed. Though the Elephant is much bigger than the
cow, first it is 'Go Puja' and then only 'Gaja Puja'!
வாயுறை' – 'A Handful of Grass for the Cow'
consider the cow as the God and doing Puja is secondary as it can only be done
by some. But there is a duty to be done
by every one of us. Every one of us
should be giving the cow at least a handful of grass every day. That is known as 'Go Grasam' – 'गो ग्रासं' in the Sãstrãs. From this
'गो ग्रासं' only in English this word 'Grass' has evolved. Thiru Moolar in Thiru Mandiram has clearly
defined the daily duties of all of us, in these words. In saying that each one of us should be
giving at least one leaf for the God, that is one Bilva leaf for Easwara and one handful of cooked food at least for the beggar. In between these two requirements he has
inserted a line saying that we should be offering at least a handful of grass
to the cow and then finishes the four lines beautifully saying that, the best
we can do for each other is to offer 'good sweet words'! Here are the four lines: -
yãvarkumãm iraivarkkoru pachchilai,
yãvarkumãm pasuvukkoru vãyurai,
yãvarkumãm uNNumpodoru kaippidi,
yãvarkumãm prarkku innuraitãne.
the period that the cow gives milk and later when it has stopped giving milk,
if we do not feed the cow properly, it is an unpardonable crime and a great slur
on our name. In this respect we are all
erring by not taking enough care. Though
in our religion the cow is given a very high venerable status, a physical
comparison of our cattle and those of other countries will reveal how we are
being quite careless in this respect.
Though they do not consider the cow as venerable as a deity and eat the
beef, in practical terms they do take much better care of the animals, feeding
it well. We feed the cow the minimum
that our cows look puny in comparison.
We cannot get away from our responsibility by saying that they are
fattening the cow for slaughter!
Whatever the reason, till it is alive are they not feeding it well? Instead of feeding well and taking good care
of them, often agitating that we should enact laws to stop their slaughter has
no meaning. Those who support their
slaughter are likely to turn around and say, instead of keeping them in such
pathetic conditions, it is better that they should be killed and relieved of
the agony of such existence! Then we
will also be standing as 'Vãyillã Jivan' – like the cows, unable to give any
Duties of the
Government and the People
is not to be misconstrued that I am against enactment forbidding cow slaughter
or that it should be delayed till people start taking good care of the cows
even after they have stopped giving milk.
The preventive act should be made into a law as early as possible from
the Government side. Instead of stopping
at that, it is the responsibility of the people to feed the animals well and
keep them in good shape and good health as long as they live in healthy
hygienic surroundings. Though there are
some organizations agitating for a preventive act debarring cow slaughter,
nobody is talking about or doing enough to take good care of such cows which
have become overage for giving milk.
There is justice in asking for complete cow slaughter and I wished to
emphasise that it is our honourable and holy duty to take good care of the
animals till their end days.
happen to belong to a religion which considers the Cow to be holy doing 'Go
Puja' and at the same time sending it for slaughter for its skin/leather and
meat or keeping them underfed and roaming about in the concrete jungles of our
cities uncared for! Unless we take good
care of those animals till their natural death, we cannot even call ourselves as
Hindus at all and that is the hard fact.
There is an Easy Way
of Keeping them Well-fed
to take good care of them, all of us do not have to work hard and make much
sacrifice. The task is such that any
amount of sacrifice is well worth it in fact.
If some or many come forward to do this it will be very good. But instead of going to much trouble, if we
take care of one simple aspect, the problem will be solved to a large extent as
many stomachs of the cows will be filled.
Especially today since most of the villages have become cities and there
are not many grazing grounds available and in big cities there is just no
possibility of grazing at all! But we
are all consuming huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. If all the peelings of vegetables and such
discards, if collected systematically and made available to these animals in a
decent and hygienic way, on the one hand a sizeable part of the disposal of
waste materials in civic management will be taken care of and the uncared for
cows' stomachs can be filled. This can
be collected from hotels, hostels and individual houses too by some volunteers. Nowadays most of the colonies are either
multi storied or gated communities.
Civic sense and awareness and co-ordination will be essential. We need volunteers to organise and execute such
a plan in each area.
do not think that this is a hare brained scheme. We are crores of people in this country. Compared to our numbers the population of
cattle and especially cows will only be a fraction. In that too, we need not
worry about well-established Dairy farms and rich people's estates. If done with sincerity and application,
there will be much material collected if we include hostels and hotels. We
have to take care of only such animals in whose case the small-time owners are
not able to do so for financial reasons.
In their case however we may have to make some monetary compensation to
them after which the ownership will have to be transferred to such
organizations or individuals coming forward to do this as a purely social and
noble responsibility. If done with
diligence and application one can see the good effect of such while becoming
worthy of Gopala Krishna's blessings too.
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