Friday, October 25, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 56 (Vol # 7) Dated 25 Oct 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 56 (Vol # 7) Dated 25 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 451 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 updated continually)

50.           As Go-SamrakshaNam is one of our essential duties. Instead of brushing it aside as impossible, despite the obstacles we should manage the same, whatever the difficulties and expenditure.  There will not be too many insurmountable problems.  Only because they do not give milk anymore and it is proving to be wasteful expenditure for the owners to feed and take care of them, and the likely income that they could gain by selling it for its flesh and skin, they are tending to send it to the butcher, isn't it?  With some initial capital and effort we can take care of them and save them from being sent to the slaughter houses.  No amount of effort and money can be considered as too much, if we can save them from the agony and ignominy of being slaughtered!

51.          Like the peelings of vegetables, the strained water after cooking rice is also quite good as a feed for these cows.  Earlier on, this particular item known as 'sãdam vadiththa kanji' – 'சாதம் வடித்த கஞ்சி', regularly used to be given to the cattle. Ever since the introduction of the pressure cookers and too finely polished rice for cooking in house-holds, cattle have been denied the privilege of sharing this essence of cooked rice because there is no more 'kanji'!  We can alternately collect water used for washing the rice before cooking or cooked rice left as balance from the previous day and give it to the animals.  That is also acceptable.  In our gardens, if we apportion an area for growing 'agaththi keerai' – 'அகத்தி கீரை', a type of a leafy vegetable that is much liked by the cow; that would be most welcome.  Each one of us in our own way should get involved in this noble task of looking after this animal, thinking that we are literally feeding God himself.  Once we get that attitude, our efforts will not be a burden on us.  That is why there is a Tamil adage 'manam irundãl vazhiyundu' – 'மனம் இருந்தால் வழியுண்டு', meaning that,  if you have the mind you will have the way! In this respect you have to have clear intention.

Protective Farms
52.          Finally what all of us should do whole heartedly together is to establish a number of protective farms for such stray or abandoned animals, where they can get their stomach full and live in healthy hygienic surroundings, especially catering for cows which have stopped yielding milk.  Simultaneously we should officially ban sale of beef anywhere on this land that is India.  The original owners intending to sell it for leather and meat may bargain over its price.  We have to patiently tell them about humaneness and the PuNya they stand to gain in the divine books of justice!  Many such owners may really be poorly off.  We cannot expect much philanthropy from them anyhow.  Just because of the cost we should not let even a single cow be taken to the slaughter houses.  Do not look at the task only in terms of money involved in purchasing such cows, taking care of them in their old age and feed them and arrange for their burial / cremation.  Looking at the importance of the job as a very honourable service, any amount of effort that we have to input is not too much.

Joining as a Family in Taking Care of the Cow
53.          We have to create awareness in the society as to how important it is to take care of the cow without its being taken to the abattoirs.  If we get the society awaken to this idea of this need, then there will be enough money and volunteers collecting to do the needful, I believe given the vast population that we have in our country.  It is enough if some four or five like-minded people get together to tackle this job in each area or locality.  A point here is that the volunteers and the financiers should not be standing apart as different people.  The financier should also be a volunteer ready to contribute with physical labour and the volunteer should also be contributing in terms of money instead of being only a person just employed.  Then only there will be total involvement in the cause.  Then only also they will coalesce as one big family, not with a profit but service motivation. 

54.          My wish is that all of us Hindus should be pooling our resources like this as one family in this task.  Moreover we should put it across to other people belonging to other religions in an acceptable manner that, the whole society joins hands as one family in this noble task.  Our religious beliefs may differ but in preventing cruelty to animals with 'Jiva KãruNyam' – 'जीव कारुण्यं', as a common platform.  Thus people of all religions should be together in executing this plan and stand hand in glove and shoulder to shoulder.  That is my dream and my sincere wish!

Care of the Cows is PuNya & Ignore is a Sin
55.          To take care of the cows is a noble venture that gives all wonderful returns, while saying which I am not able to abstain from saying that to ignore this task is an execrable sin, as there is sufficient and sound basis.  In the life of Raja Dileepa of the Sun Dynasty, there is evidence for both my above statements.  When he went to the Heavens in Deva Loka, he comes back without doing circumambulation of Kãmadenu, the wish fulfilling Cow.  For that mistake he is cursed with not having any progeny.  When there is a curse, there is also some avenue for release from the curse, isn't it?  What is that?  There is Nandini in the residence of his family Guru Vasishta's ParNashãla.  On his Guru's advice he takes care of that Nandini like a shepherd with his wife Sudhakshina, washing, grazing and taking good care of the animal for a period.  By this service his curse is lifted and they get an off-spring who is named 'Ragu' – 'रगु' – 'ரகு'.  What is there in a name, you may say.   But, Ragu becomes so famous that from his name the Sun Dynasty itself comes to be known as 'Ragu Vamsam' – 'रगु वंशं', in which Lord Vishnu himself is born later as Sri Rama, and he gets to be known as Ragurama!   

The Way Cows Were Cared for in Ancient Times
56.          Though it is meaningless to talk about it now, I am not able not to talk about it also!  Before the Britishers took over the reigns of governance of this country, in every village and city there were lands meant for grazing by cattle vide orders of the Governments those days.  The British unaware of the importance of these areas' usage as grazing grounds and or ignoring the need for looking after the cattle took over all those lands as their property.  From that time itself the cattle were badly done to.  Similarly there used to be ponds around the village meant for the cattle to drink water.  They are not to be found to be present anymore.  Government should create such ponds as part minor irrigation works.  What was a number of villages has become the Madras city, in which 'Mandai VeLi' and 'Amainda Karai' were such areas full of ponds, once upon a time, meant especially for cattle to roam about graze and quench their thirst. 

57.          Let me tell you one example of how people used to care for the cattle.  Born as a human being, you were required to observe 32 stipulations or injunctions enjoined on the individual as 'aRangaL' – 'அறங்கள்'.  Doubling that there is another system by which the injunctions were 64!  One of them for example is known as, 'Ãtheendu kurri niruvudal' – 'ஆதீண்டு குற்றி நிறுவுதல்'. What does that mean?  The cow scratches itself using its rear legs only.  Many places of its body cannot be reached by its rear legs.  What can that poor animal do then?  It cannot tell us to do it either as it has no means of expression, being 'Vayilla Jivan' – 'வாயில்லா ஜீவன்'.  So what is done is to install firmly on the ground some stone pillars of irregular edges at suitable places in the open where it will be convenient for the cattle to scratch their bodies as they wish!  It is pathetic that in a country like ours, where we took pains to cater for even such small things as enabling the animal to scratch itself as a Dharma enjoined on the human being in the past, nowadays we are letting them roam about as virtual skeletons, under nourished and uncared for and letting them be killed for beef!  It is a thing to be ashamed of and a sad commentary on our deplorable attitude as individuals and as a nation!

Nation's Asset
58.         While talking about 'Go SamrakshaNam' we have to express our gratitude to some who are organizing and managing 'Go Shãlã' like the Nagaraththar aka Nattukkottai Chettiyars in South India and those who organize 'Pinjra Bhol' in North India, in which they take care of such cattle.  In the olden times to ensure that the cattle are fed well, they used to maintain vast tracts of land for this very purpose as common public properties.  Since almost all places have become cities and metropolitan townships, there is hardly any place left for cattle as grazing grounds in this concrete jungles that towns have become!  At times but very rarely some head of the municipal authorities wakes up to the absence of 'lung space' in the cities and shows some interest in creating gardens and play grounds. This also happens only sporadically in some places.  But the way the world is going, at least in India there is no 'Town Planning' done at all!  Because of the enormous value of 'real estate' there is a lot of under-hand dealings and corruption in land transactions.  At least in the sub-urban areas we should be thinking of creating some grazing grounds for cattle in which ponds should also be dug in suitable sites.

59.          The cow should be declared as a national asset.  Even after it has stopped yielding milk it is an asset only.  Till it is alive, it keeps giving dung isn't it?  That dung is useful as manure in agriculture.  Newly people have found ways of getting Gas out of it, known as 'Gobar Gas'!  This process should be further researched and investigated to make it cost effective.  But 'Go SamrakshaNam' should not be viewed only from the commercial angle.  As said earlier care of the cows instead of remaining at the materialistic and financial stand point should be considered from the Vedic and divine angle.  We should think that to take care of the cow is as good as looking after one's own mother in her old age.  Keeping only the financial returns one is likely to get in mind, treating it like any other commodity, and disposing it off for being butchered after it stops yielding milk, must be stopped henceforth! 

(To be continued.)




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