KURAL # 72 (Vol # 7) Dated 01 Dec 2013
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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated
Is No Locking System for Knowledge
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
continues, as it is taking shape only now!)
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