Tuesday, February 04, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 101 (Vol # 7) Dated 04 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 101 (Vol # 7) Dated 04 Feb 2014

(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 765 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)

Deiva Sãkshi – Divine Witness
Vedãntattil 'Sãkshi' – வேதாந்தத்தில் 'ஸாக்ஷி'
1.           Even in our day-to-day conversations, we call for God to be our witness, to prove our veracity and credibility, isn't it?  In fact there is a concept and it is a fact that God is the witness to all events small and big at all times, all over the world at the micro as well as the macro level, as the indwelling spirit in all sentient living beings as well as the reality behind all insentient things too!  When the Vedãnta Sãstrãs talk about the Ãtma, there is no work at all.  Still, even there it will be mentioned that it is 'simply and purely being the witness of all' – 'सर्वधी: साक्षिभूतं'.  Even there, it is not the same as used in this transactional world of one witnessing the other in space and time!   As there is nothing other than itself, for the Ãtma, there is no such action of witnessing something else!

2.            Then why is he being called the 'Sãkshi' or witness?  The answer to that question is that, 'Witness in any event is not a participant.  He does not take part in any transaction.  But the event occurs in his presence.  So without participating and without getting involved, he keeps observing the happening before him.  As there is no place, where the Ãtma is not present, he is the eternal witness to all events everywhere.  Everything happens in his presence and he does not participate in any of those events.  These two points justly qualify him as the eternal witness of all that ever happens!  There is a big difference in calling a man as a witness and to refer to Ãtma as a witness.

3.            One is that, Ãtma does not observe the event as a human being does.  The Ãtma is devoid of any actions.  But observing or witnessing is also an action, isn't it?  Even that is not the duty or the job of the Ãtma.  There are two characteristics of a witness.  He is a spectator, who is a non-participant. In these two characteristics only the second quality of non-participation is applicable to Ãtma.  It is not even a spectator!  That is a major difference!  The second aspect is that the witness in all other cases is not essential for the event to take place!  Event just happens and the spectator just happens to be there.  But this Ãtma is the basis of all events anywhere and everywhere at all times!  For the world to be and for any event to take place, Ãtma is the one Ãdhãra, basis, and power! Without that as the basis of Time and Space there can be not any this at all!  Without any of these, there can be no work or action of these entities also, isn't it?

4.            It is all rather surprising!  Ãtma has no work; but without it, there can be no action whatsoever!  Like a witness, it is a non-participant.  But at the same time, no man as a witness is the basic power behind all actions!  Despite these differences, because of the fact that Ãtma and the Witness are the non-participating entities, it is called as the 'Sãkshin'.  If you look at it deeply, in fact it is not even a witness really.  In a state of being an Ãtma, it is in fact the eternal state of reality.  But Mãyã has got us all deluded in to a state of ignorance of that reality.  So, for that Mãyã to be erased and for the reality to be seen or realized, we are under compulsion to do something known as Sãdhana, and by God's Grace that Sãdhana fructifies in to a state of Samãdhi, which is almost like Ãtma only!  In that state of Samãdhi, there is no world, living things or non-living materials, no work, no time and no space and none of these concepts as there can be no conception in that state!  When there is no world and no concept of space and time in that state of Samãdhi; it is a stupid statement to say that 'Ãtma is the witness to all the events'! When there is no action, how can it be said that it is the basis or Adhãra for all actions?  If a palace is shown in magic, do we need a foundation as a basis for that palace?

5.            So if we correctly understand and interpret the Adwaita Sãstrãs, we will know that the real Ãtma has not been called as the witness.  That real Ãtma, by some 'hook or crook' or some power of delusion, given a name as Mãyã or whatever, has been called as a 'Jiva', when seen as the individual man, isn't it? At the same time it is also claimed that the Ãtma never undergoes or even knows of any change!  Then how can it ever be called the Jiva?  Even if it does not change, in practicality this seeming changed name with its own character attributes, at least seems to have come into being isn't it?  So the changeless Ãtma does not become a Jiva ever, but seems to be.  So when introducing and explaining the knowledge about the Ãtma to the individual man, who is so deeply mired in Mãyã, gradually, step by step while talking to the individual man; at one stage almost at the penultimate stage, "Though it seems as if there is a world of the solar system and many other stars and worlds, of a variety of changes, dynamic actions, individual life forms of seeming appearances, your Ãtma is not concerned with any of it like an uninvolved witness.  For all the seeming appearances, it is the basis."  Then at a further level without a higher or lower, before or after stage or state, it is confirmed that there is no witnessing either.  Work just goes on or seeming to go on, by the presence of the Ãtma, like the canvas as the screen for the oil painting, has no role to play in the drawing or in its description except being the basis.  Further, beyond that also as the Reality is picture painted as it is, at the end of it, "Even this picture painting is only an effort to describe the indescribable.  There is no work, no basis, Ãdhãra, or basic power, or Ãtma Shakti.  The beginning and end of it all is the Ãtma Shanti, Shãnta Samãdhi is the end finale."

6.            Having started on the point of 'Sãkshi', I pulled you along the path of Vedãnta to some distance telling you all, some amount of 'metaphysics', in telling you a story.  You may or may not be interested in metaphysics, I wonder!  But still, what we think of as real, truly and very truly real also at times becomes only stories, isn't it?  When people wonder if there was a Sri Rama at all and as to whether if Sri Krishna was true or a historical character or a fictional creation of somebody's imagination, when all our Purãnãs are considered as non-historical myth, the Vedãnta of metaphysics is the only refuge.  That is the legacy of our ÃchãryãL, given to us as his endowments, the eternal Sri, is that only worthwhile asset, a number of works known as Vedãnta PrakaraNams.  I am happy to have arrived at this point even without intending to do so.  So, let me tell you the story as I originally intended.  So, let me come back from Vedãnta to the prosaic, from metaphysics to the mundane world of transactions! 

'Vyavahãraththil Sãkshi' – 'வியவஹாரத்தில் சாக்ஷி'
7.            In a world of give and take, in the state where it is seen that there is a world full of living beings, the one who plans, moves, rules over and runs all this is Easwara.  As the saying goes, 'avananri oraNuvum asaiyãdu' – 'அவனன்றி ஓரணுவும் அசையாது' meaning that 'without him not a single iota will move'!  Having maintained that he is the eternal witness, as we affirmed that he is not the witness; we have to say something different to the above saying that, 'without him not a blade of grass will move'.  Not something totally opposite, but add an amendment.  If we say that everything is his and his actions, it could mean that even thievery, forgery, arson, murder false-witness and immorality can and will be excused under one universal blanket sanction as 'Iraivan Seyal' – 'இறைவன் செயல்'!  So that we may not sanction such actions as acceptable, we have to add an amendment to that statement.   

8.            Though he is the source of all, from germs and insects to elephants and whales, he is not directly doing all their actions.  Every iota of existence has a mind of its own and the capacity to judge the right and wrong.  Everybody has a mind, feelings, desires, love, hate and so on and so on, as an entity or unit, is itself responsible for their thoughts and actions.  Though everything and everybody is himself in so many garbs, by his magical powers everyone has an ego of separate individuality.  Though we are all deluded thus from the reality and think of the part we play as our reality; he has also kept the door open for our eventual realization of our oneness.  Though everything is his creation, though the whole wide-spectrum of good and bad are part of it; he has also given the mind to each unit of existence to pare, differentiate, evaluate and identify what is to be avoided and what is to be adopted!

9.            In festivals in India, they would erect some smooth wooden poles known as 'Malkhamb'.  The poles would have been given a very smooth finish by polishing with sand paper and fine drills and then smeared with a thick coating of greasy oil.  Young athletes will try and climb such poles to reach the top and grab a prize made to hang at the top.  Life is like that.  Strong will-power enables progress upwards while, flimsy desires makes us slip and fall to our doom.  It is alright to go up or down in fun, but when it comes to the eventual quest of finding out the purpose of our existence, however much the slipperiness of Mãyã, one has to keep a part of oneself apart, as the uninvolved spectator, at least after many a trial of life-times; to stop slipping and raise oneself above all the pit-falls and fissiparous tendencies; to realise our oneness with that wholesome Easwara as the 'KalyãNa GuNa Nilaya' of that!  Then further beyond, by the same mind given by him to be able to comprehend and be one in Brhmam sans separation and alienation; he has made available all the Sãstrãs.  With that aim, God has also come amidst us as so many Avataras too and then been with us as so many Mahatmas, Ãchãryãs demonstrating as to how to be and how not to be, thereby showing us the path of Karma, Bhakti and Gnãna! 

10.          Still, till his Anugraha reaches the Jiva inexorably fetching him to the ultimate state of total action-less Shãntam, or without desires and dislikes till he comes to function purely as an instrument of God, there is a show as though they are doing things on their own, to make them feel as though they are responsible for their thoughts and actions; that the results will be good if your actions are good and results will be bad if their actions and intentions are bad; accordingly he is conducting the drama on the stage that is the transactional world!  In a crude way this is the Karma Theory accepted across the divides of languages, religions and geography, all over the world, as one of the basic principles of our religion, with the individual man the Jiva as the Karta, the Doer!  Unless the Man is held responsible for his actions, there can be no morality, no rules of justice and jurisprudence.  So, if we say that everything is 'Iraivan Seyal' meaning that it is all God's doing as the only Karta, it will be licence for individual irresponsibility!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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