DEIVATHIN KURAL # 59 (Vol # 7) Dated 02 Nov 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 in page No 474
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)
10. Even in the melancholy of sadness there is some elevating
and ennobling influence. That is why
many of the western dramatists of note have authored great tragedies. But that is more appropriate for their
culture. They are capable of otherwise
being happy with themselves and their life.
So for them a tragedy is something like a change from the normal. In our
life style so much of dancing and make-merry is not there normally. So, when we go to attend a drama for
entertainment, we naturally do not wish to feel heartbreak, hopelessness and
misery by choice. Hence those who
systematised our arts naturally decided that all such depiction must end in a
hopeful note. But however, it does not
mean that they were all inane comedies.
They meant that all different feelings must be depicted on stage and
gave importance to nine different clearly identified feelings or sensations and
named them as 'Nava Rasa', meaning 'Nine different feelings'.
11. Whether it is a novel or drama, there will be some story
with a plot in which there will be many events and descriptions of nature. There may be some decorative use of
comparisons, rhyme, iteration, reason, word play and such things. But none of these things are like the life
line. The basic life for the story is
said to be the 'Rasam' or the essence, the crux. However much a sentence may have beauty,
flounce and flourish, without 'Rasam' it does not get elevated to the level to
be called classic literature. A critic
by the name of Viswanatha in 'Sãhitya DarpaN' has said 'Vãkyam rasãtmakam
kãvyam' – 'वाक्यं रसात्मकं काव्यं' meaning that only when it has the juicy bit
of deep inner essence, speech or saying or a sentence can be called as
12. There are two
different opinions in listing what these different feelings or sensations are,
that can be considered as Rasam. Some
say that there are eight different sensations and some say that they total
nine. They are 'srungãra:' – 'शृङ्गारः' (love and passion), 'hãsyam' – 'हास्यं' (humour), 'roudram' – 'रौद्रं' (anger), 'karuNã' – 'करुणा' (sadness), 'veeram' – 'वीरं'
(courageousness), 'bhayãnakam' – 'भयानकं' (evoking fear), 'beebhatsa' – 'बीभत्सं' (disgust or abomination), 'adbhutam' – 'अद्भुतं' (wonder); are the eight dominant feelings or sensations as per
one set of literary critics. But those
who believe in 'Nava Rasa' claim that along with the above eight we have to add
'Shãntam' – 'शान्तं' (quietude of peacefulness) as the ninth Rasa.
because some did not include Shãntam
as one of the Rasa, does not mean that they thought it to be anything
less. In fact they valued that Shãntam
very highly. Our culture as people of
India is to virtually merge in the totality of peacefulness. All our religious functions and rituals end and get completed
with the chanting of
'Om Shãnti: Shãnti: Shãnti:' – 'ॐ शान्ति:
शान्ति: शान्ति:' saying the mantra
three times. In that state of absolute
peace, there is no body to feel any of the feelings or sensations! All sensations and feelings are based on
there being a separate individual who reacts or responds to stimuli from the
world. All the eight separate sensations
listed are such responses of the mind of the observer or participant to
situations or events or words spoken by others.
But this Shãntam is a state in which all agitations and responses have
subsided, in a cool and calm way when there is no observer with a separate
identity or a mind of his own. So, how
to consider this at par with the other eight Rasa-s? Here this mind is so quiescent as though it
is dead and so Shãntam is neither a feeling nor a sensation.
14. So, how are we
to think of this Shãntam as one of the Rasa-s in which the feelings and the
person feeling the sensations are different entities? Whether it is bravery or passion, anger or
laughter, they are agitations of the mind and temporary passing phases. None of them yield the permanent peace and
happiness of Ãnandam. In fact that final
state of Peace and Shãntam cannot be one of the Rasa-s at all, is the opinion
of the 'Eight Rasa-s only' party. Hãsyam
or humour that is one of the Rasa-s is different from the deep permanent
Ãnandam, the real state of our inner self.
Unattached to anything, without an iota of sadness, it is by itself the
true and real inner being, this peaceful Ãnandam.
15. Like the Sunlight
this Ãnandam is all encompassing. But we
are not aware of it, exactly as we are not aware of the Sunlight under the
shades of a banyan tree though we see the bits of the light when the branches
move with the wind; we feel bits of anger, hate, fear and sorrow. During the play of such feelings also bits of
Ãnandam are felt by us in the gaps. The
basis of those bits of Ãnandam experienced is the fact that the truth of our reality
underlying all those fleeting sensations is the reality of our inner being that
is, Ãnandam. Such is the shade of Maya
under which we are unaware of our reality.
16. There is no
colour in Sunlight. Similarly in the
reality of our inner being in the peace of that Ãnandam, there does not seem to
be any of the other colours of other feelings.
As revealed in the spectroscopy all the colours are contained in the
white light of the Sun. When that light
is diffracted we see all the colours of the spectrum VIBGYOR. Same way as all the colours are contained in
the white light, all the gradations of feelings and sensations are contained in
the peaceful Ãnandam. It is all a matter
of self-control instead of letting them become scattered.
17. When any of
the elements are heated up, they shine with its characteristic colour. So also
do the chemicals. Normal match stick
burns yellow. With different chemicals
they burn with red or green colour.
Petrol and natural gas has a blue coloured flame. Copper sulphate burns with a green
colour. Since all the elements are
contained in the Sun and they are burning together, the Sunlight is a wholesome
white. In addition to all these elements
it has been found out that the Sun contains a whole lot of Helium, that is not
plentifully available on earth, the scientists say. In the Latin language the world Helios is a
name for the Sun. So, our Solar System
having the Sun in its centre is known as 'Helio-centric'. Finally if we search as to from where is this
word Helium derived, we find that it is from the Sanskrit language only. In Sanskrit the Sun is called 'Heli:' – 'हेलि:' and the surprising
thing is that Helium is very light and non-inflammable!
started in Nava-Rasa we have come up to the story about the Sun, for one
important understanding. As all the
colours are already merged in the white light from the Sun which contains all
the basic elements giving out the colours; exactly similarly the Shãntam, which
is devoid of all sensations, is the source for all of them. For all those feelings and sensations and the
persons feeling those sensations are included in it. Everything is that peaceful Ãtma only. It is all and everything while simultaneously
is the stand-alone entity. When
everything else burns, Helium is non-inflammable, it is very light unaffected
by any of the feelings or sensations.
it is all Shãntam, it is the all-permeating ocean of peace. It is that one thing as other Rasa-s gives
some Ãnandam. Even cruelty gives some pleasure to the sadist! Like each element gives out some colour while
burning, in some mental attitude we display some feelings. If we reach or attain to or realize the
source of all feelings and sensations, we become sans all feelings and
sensations and like the Sun become self-brilliant and shining. By the by one of the meanings of the Sanskrit
word 'हेलि:' is dalliance or
Arts Should Facilitate Attaining to Shãntam
told you about the Rasa-s in literature.
Similarly there are six different tastes as recognised by the taste buds
in the tongue also, that is also known as Rasa only. In the performing arts they are eight or nine
of them if you include Shãntam. In the
culinary art there are six of them. But
I am afraid that there are not parallel words for them all in English. Let us list them. One is Sweet or 'Inippu' – 'இனிப்பு' in Tamil like
the taste of sugar or honey. Next is
'Kasappu' – 'கசப்பு' like the taste of bitter-gourd. Then there is 'Tuvarppu' – 'துவர்ப்பு', for which
there doesn't seem to be any synonym except bland, like the taste of betel-nut. Next Rasa is 'PuLippu' – 'புளிப்பு', that is Sour
like the lemon. Fifth Rasa is 'URaippu or Kãram' – 'உறைப்பு or காரம்'. In English it is said to be also either
bitter or hot, which is the taste of hot-pepper. The sixth taste is 'Karippu' – 'கரிப்பு' that is the
taste of common salt that is, Sodium Chloride.
All those words are ending in 'ppu' that we can say that all of them
contain some 'Uppu' or salt thus may be giving rise to the adage in Tamil,
'uppu illãp-paNdam kuppayile' – 'உப்பு
இல்லாப் பண்டம் குப்பையிலே' , meaning that the stuff without salt is good only for the
none of these tastes can be enjoyed by itself whereas, various combinations can
be enjoyed. Nobody can eat a hot pepper
or a lemon by itself, but the two with some salt added in right proportions,
used as flavouring to some cooked vegetable, can make a great dish. Same is the case with all these Rasam-s or
tastes by themselves. Combinations in
the correct proportions make culinary delights.
So also in life, all the Rasam-s of feelings and sensations too are to be
mixed in varied proportions leading to the proverb, 'Variety is the spice of
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