Sunday, December 01, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 72 (Vol # 7) Dated 01 Dec 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 72 (Vol # 7) Dated 01 Dec 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 555 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)

There Is No Locking System for Knowledge
1.             The name of Sita's father is not Janaka as a unique one identifying a particular person.  It is a common family name for all those who ruled over the Kingdom of Videha, with Mithila as the capital, in a branch of the Surya Dynasty started by Nimi.  His first name was 'Seeradwaja' and so he should be called, 'Seeradwaja Janaka'.  The word 'Seera' means the Plough and 'Seeradwaja' means the one who has a flag in which the Plough is depicted. To suit this particular name appropriately, Sita was found as a baby in the very path of cleavage created by a plough on earth by Janaka.  The very meaning of the word 'Sita' is the serration created by the sharp edge of the plough.

2.            Amongst the many Janaka-s of the royal family of the rulers of Mithila, there were 'Kesidwaja Janaka' and 'Kãndikya Janaka' who were cousins as the sons of two brothers.  Their grand-father's name was Dharmadwaja Janaka.  He had Amitatdwaja and Krutatdwaja as his two sons.  Amitatdwaja's son was Kãndikya and Krutadwaja's son was Kesitdwaja.  Keeping Dharma as the aim in life, someone who holds aloft the Flag of Morality is this 'Dharmadwaja'.  But the name has a humorous connotation as 'Ãshãdabhuti' meaning a hypocrite, as instead of quietly carrying out the dictates of Dharma, he is evidently making a big show of his morality!  But the Dharmadwaja I am referring to is not a pseudo moralist.  Anyhow, let this matter be aside. 

3.            Normally the custom is to assign the whole Kingdom to the first son as an endowment for the legal heir.  But still at times the younger son is granted an independent share.  When the younger brother as a great warrior relentlessly goes to war and keeps adding ever new territories, the father as the king may assign a portion to the younger one, provinces with independent command instead of being a protectorate under the elder son.  With no ambition or aspiration, Sri Rama was someone who thought that rule by his younger brother was better than being ruled over by himself!  When it came to division of property between his two sons, Sri Rama divided the Kosala Kingdom in to two equal halves and assigned them to Lava and Kusa his two sons.  Not only that, territories other than the Kosala Kingdom, he ensured are shared between the sons of Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna equally. 

4.            The fathers of both Kesitdwaja and Kãndikya were brothers who were ruling over two adjoining states.  So, after them their two sons got those two states as their rightful entitlements.  In the old times the Kings used to consider it their Kshatriya Dharma to fight and keep expanding their suzerainty over others endlessly. Then they will conduct their governance as per Dharma Sãstrãs' dictates.  With that they will also be extending all their support for conducting Yagas and Yagnyas.  Though they used to be so deeply involved in the path of Karma, they would also be aware of philosophy and Vedanta.  Once the son attains to adulthood, they would conduct his coronation and retire to the forest for a life of celibacy and renunciation eventually merging with Parama Ãtma.  Even in the thick of it all, they would be not overly concerned but unattached like the droplets of water on the lotus leaf and cogitate on matters of deep Vedanta Vichãra.  Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad contains description of such a Janaka in much detail. 

5.            Between Kesitdwaja and Kãndikya, it was the former who was fairly advanced in philosophical matters.  Nowadays there are many who having read some philosophy in the books, will keep mouthing some inanities such as, 'Ãtma is untouchable and beyond the ken of rituals and Karma' and with that or for that reason not be doing any of the Karma Anushtãnãs under the delusion that they have reached such a stage.  In the olden times, they never were like that, bereft of Karma Anushtãnãs, however much their absorption of the principles of philosophy.  Only rarely some, one in a million will be experiencing the bliss of Easwara suddenly, however much one might have read Vedanta.  For the Vedanta to become an experienced Anubhava, all the past sins and tendencies have to be completely wiped out by diligent and relentless practice of Swadharma as per Vedas and Sãstrãs going hand in hand with worship of God.  When these trace tendencies known as 'Vãsanãs', the dirt and cobwebs have been wiped clean and the mind has learnt to remain steady devoid of vacillations, then only they will even be entering practicing of Ãtma Gnãna!  

6.            Thus in the end they will make the bookish knowledge, their personal experience.  That is, as per the order in which they occur in the Vedas, as Karma KãNdam initially and then Gnãna KãNdam, they will successively move from practical to theoretical and action to understanding and comprehension.  In that manner, Kesitdwaja though very knowledgeable in the science of Ãtma Vidya, till it becomes 'Swãnubhuti' that is direct personal experience, was conducting the Karma of Governance exactly as per his Swadharma and was also conducting or getting them conducted, many Yagas and Yagnyas as required of him.

Adwaita Gnãnis and this Functional World
7.            It will be very interesting to observe as to how the Janaka of Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad, Sita's father Janaka and such people who were continuing to remain involved in management, administration and governance even after their attaining to absolute Swãnubhuti!  The world is imaginary and so is the body and so is the mind, as they are all part of the befuddling Maya.  Those Adwaita Gnãnis who are well aware of this fact, are the ones who have achieved much more in the practical world of duality than the Dwaitins who think of all this as part of reality than Maya!   Ãdi Sankara as the one example is good enough to prove this point.  Though he was an in and out Adwaitin, within 24 years of life from eight to 32, from the bridge to Sri Lanka in the South to Himalayas in the North, visiting every nook and corner of this vast Indian sub-continent, criss-crossing here and there not leaving any place uncovered, and participated in how many debates, lecture-demonstrations, how many places that he has had to install Yantras, write poems of devotion and PrakaraNa Granthãs elucidating very arcane and elusive principles of philosophy, reconstructing and refurbishing temples and establishing Matams at Sringeri, Kanchipuram, Dwaraka, Jyotishmat, and Puri Jagannatha!  It is mind boggling to even think of the scale, scope, quantum and intensity of his work in such a short span of his life!

8.            It is one of the Ãchãryãs in one of his Matams known as VidyãraNya whose views and leadership qualities that enabled the raise of Vijayanagara Sãmrãjya.  Later if Shivãji could establish a Hindu empire, it was all the power, hard work, motivation and guidance of another Adwaita Sanyãsi named Samarth Rãmadãsa.  Here in Tanjavur the cause of establishment of the Naick Dynasty was one quintessential Adwaitin, who was also the Prime Minister for the first three kings of that Dynasty, known as one Appayya Dikshidar.  All said and done the observation of the erstwhile British political pundits that the 'Maya Doctrine' of Adwaitam was essentially responsible for lackadaisical involvement of the Hindus that led to the country's surrender to Muslims and later to the British, will be seen to be ignorant and ill informed, if you look at the history impartially and know the truth to be the exact opposite.

9.            Now to the question as to how the Adwaitins managed so effectively in the transactional world of Maya, the answer is another puzzle that, it is that Adwaita Gnãnam which gives the power for all the effectiveness of the Adwaitin.  'The world, body and mind are all unreal and part of Maya is the fact.  But it has the appearance of being practically in the transactional world.'  So when you accept this opinion of Adwaitam, it leads to the corollary that this appearance has to be organized by actions acceptable in an orderly manner by Dharma and then proceed to Gnãna.  At the same time because they are only appearances, one is not to consider it to be a licence for indiscipline and disorder.  Then only instead of completely identifying oneself with Maya, one can stand apart and thereby avoid delusion.  Otherwise, one tends to consider the appearances to be the 'be all and end all' and be subjected to dejection and loss of clarity.  That is, one is at a loss for clarity and further positive constructive actions.  It is the mind that is the basis for the body, like the easel for the picture, as psychology says.  Over involvement causes loss of will power and with that loss of moral strength.  As a result the bodily strength, courage of convictions, keenness and effectiveness are all adversely affected. 

10.          The Adwaitin does not suffer like this.  Even when he is working keenly, instead of getting confused, he is able to mentally stand apart and so is able to avoid the confusion in the mind.  With relatively stronger will power, he is able to apply his mind and body at the task in hand.  So he is able to plan well and work effectively.  Not only the attained soul through Adwaita Anubhava, even the one who has had a lot of practice to control his mind and resources, his deep sense of Adwaitic principles helps him considerably to stand apart, enables him to function with sufficient maturity with greater clarity and effectiveness.  That is how, in the world of action Kesitdwaja was able to shine better than Kãndikya and progress practically.

11.          Kãndikya did not go towards philosophy so much.  He was totally a pilgrim on the path of Karma Marga.  As Kesitdwaja was an expert in the Brhma Vidya path similarly, Kãndikya was an expert and authority in Sãstrãs theoretically and in practice concerning Karma KãNdam.  Thus out of these two Janaka-s, they were experts in their respective fields.  Simultaneously like all Kings of that genre, they were practical too. As I described for so long, more than the Karma Marga expert Kãndikya, it was the Gnãna Sãstrã expert Kesitdwaja, who was more noticeable in progressing practically.

12.          In those times of by gone days, to master all the other kingdoms around and becoming the Emperor was considered the rightful ambition and duty of anyone who thought of himself to be a King.  As per that, Kãndikya made preparations for going to war with his cousin Kesitdwaja.  Though a Brhma Gnãni we have noted that Kesitdwaja was quietly efficient in his administration and governance of his country, which includes preparedness for war!  So he defended well withstanding the offensive and at a suitable time went over to the offensive himself.  Finally as we noted, the efficiency of Kesitdwaja paid ample dividends and he won the war.  Kãndikya with his family and a bare coterie of ministers and some Purohits, retired deep into the forests.  There also he continued to practice his Karma Anushtãnãs.  Here Kesitdwaja without any fear of enemies also organized many Yagas.   

(Story continues, as it is taking shape only now!)




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