DEIVATHIN KURAL # 121
(Vol # 7) Dated 17 Mar 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 922 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
the surprising physical and technical capabilities of the instruments of
scientific discoveries in the outer world, Mantras have in the inner
world. Live electrical leads that give a
shock can be touched by a stick isn't it?
Similarly to save us from the sensual shock is this simple device of a
wooden stick. Radio waves are captured
by the aerial, isn't it? Lightning rod
receives a powerful jolt of electricity from the skies and saves the building
while remaining unaffected, isn't it?
That is how this also. In our
case this Dandam is both symbolic and a safety guard. So we make use of this simple stick for our
safety and for the act of Namaskãra of handing over the case to higher
ups. Still, we do not get the psychological 'high'
of Vinaya that you get in laying the body flush with the ground, by using this
device, it is true!
Completeness of Vinaya in Prostrating Before an Elder
49. One more thing, which I wished to convey
especially. More than doing Namaskãra to God or being venerable to the ancient
Masters, it is important to be respectful and do Namaskãra to that person elder
to you and walking around in front of your eyes, so as to inculcate Vinaya
Bhãva deeply. Swami, deities and Devatãs
are all very powerful. Even the ancient
Masters are considered to be divine beings as we cannot perceive of them in any
other way! In fact they were recognised
as great only because they were so apparently divine during their sojourn on
earth, doing effortlessly such wonderful things which would have been beyond
the ken of a mere mortal being. In front
of such apparently super-human capabilities, there is nothing much to talk of
in our recognition of our limitedness and prostrating before them!
50. Relate this to how we look at those
elders that we come across in our own day-today lives? However much they may be thought of as divine
by some others, as compared to some hazy idea of ours about being holy, they seem
to be behaving like so many other human beings only. Though we may call these acts as Leela or
play in Mãyã to facilitate human accessibility, the veneration and adoration
that we have for deities and past Masters is not easily evoked towards other contemporary
human beings. That is why may be,
instead of adoring them for their actions in this life, we allude their being
an Avatar of some great saint or divine being of yore. Let the reality be whatever it is, though we
do not see the contemporary elders of the society as super-human or great, when
we prostrate in front of them also, it is here and now that our humility is
Greater Respect towards Elders in the Immediate Presence
Another difference, different
to the just mentioned difference. From
that statement, it may seem that more than the difference shown to the elders
in our immediate presence, we should be showing more respect to our elders of
the past. But, think as to what really
happens. Do we have such intense respect
to the great Saints of the past or for that matter to the divine Idols in the
temples? Yes we may be having quite a
lot of devotion towards them. But are we
standing in absolute subservience in front of them, with hands tied and
speechless in reverence and awe? Though,
to do so is not so very important.
Devotion is a thing not easily definable as exactly what it is! Our approach to that divinity is also not so
easily and clearly definable. How we
approach them divine beings or Idols in temples is something not comprehensible
by our intellect. Respect may or may not
be a part of it. In absolute freedom without
caring for respect, don't we do the 'nindã stuti' – 'निन्दा
स्तुति', meaning 'praise that looks like
criticism', isn't it?
at past Masters or saintly beings of yore, we do not seem to take such
liberties. More than for the Gods, our
respects for the past Masters seem to come to the forefront. That is why, towards them we have devotion
aka Bhakti in all its glory equally. In
our living presence when elders are in front of our eyes, our respect to them should
be the most important response. We believe that every iota of existence is
permeated by God. Such being the case,
our response towards others that we come across in day-to-day life, should be
as it would be towards God! Let us say
that we evaluate in terms of divinity, ease of access, veneration and respect
to be shown to them and mark them, Gods, past Masters and contemporary elders
seen before our eyes. What we
practically see is that, our respects to them are in the inverse proportion,
respectively! Instead of love, freedom
and closeness, the difference or respect shown is in top priority. That is we take liberties with God and
Past-Masters while we are too formal with the immediate elders before us! Not only with religious elders like a Swãmiyars,
government leaders, senior bureaucrats, functionaries in the political parties,
intellectuals, people well known in arts and the fields of entertainment and
business magnets; in whatever fields, 'respect' seems to be the most important
required commodity in our approaches to these people.
word 'Respect' seems to be the most important in all our relationships in the
world. Do we respect God? Do we use the word 'Respected' when referring
to our ÃchãryãL or Vyãsa Bhagawan or Ramana Maharishi? We only say adored, in which respect is a part
only. There are many other aspects in
adoration. However much the Devatas may
be great, since their greatness is so naturally taken for granted, we do not
especially respect them for that. Even
the Past Masters, since they are considered to be divine, we take their
greatness as an expected adjective or quality.
Only when we see elders, far advanced in various fields, and already
known and famous, we feel a sense of respect towards them. That too when they are far experienced in the
religious field, their knowledge in matters such as Ãtma, Sãstrãs and their
comprehension of divinity, our respect is more wholesome. So more than God and Past Masters however
divine they might have been; we feel a natural sense of humility in front of
respectable people that we come across practically in day-to-day life.
Talking about My Bad Luck
54. To get
that sense of respect and feel light has been denied to me from early
childhood. How to become light when the
prestige of position is so heavy on my shoulders? I am doubly unlucky in this business of
'giving respect and feeling light'. Let
me explain the first point of being unlucky.
Sanyãsis are not supposed to do Namaskãr to others who are not
Sanyãsis. That is the first part. The second part of being unlucky is like
this. Though Sanyãsis are not supposed
to do Namaskãra to others, between Sanyãsis they should be expressing their
respect for each other. In this the
seniority is decided by the number of 'Vyãsa Pooja' done by them. Every year the Sanyãsis are required to do
this pooja starting from 'Chãtur Mãsya Vratam' on the full moon day of Ashãda
PourNami. So if you have become a Sanyãsi at an early age, even when the other
is older, if he has taken Sanyãsa later, it is the elder who has to do the Namaskãra,
when they meet.
in my case, with my becoming a Sanyãsi at a very young age, there is yet
another problem. I have come across many
Sanyãsis who have done more Vyãsa Pooja than me. But instead of doing Namaskãra to them, the
opposite thing has happened because of my title as the Jagat Guru! Though I had always understood that to mean
that the Jagat is my Guru, in the practical world it is law of the Matam that,
'For the Jagat Guru all people of the world are like a Sishya only and to even
think of doing Namaskãra to a Sishya is anathema'! So, even amongst my seniors who were
Sanyãsis, I could never pay my obeisance to!
Further very peculiarly there was another ill luck especially for me. That was the fact that all other Sanyãsis who
got the title as Jagat Guru would have done Namaskãra to that Guru who would
have bestowed the title on them at least.
You know that even that little token of honour was denied to me, as you
would have known. (It so happened that
when PeriyavãL had to be bestowed with that title as Jagat Guru suddenly on the
attaining to Maha Samãdhi by the previous Matãdipathy, who would have otherwise
received that Namaskãra! It is
surprising to note that in the case of Jagat Guru in Sarada Peetam in Sringeri also,
almost around the same time, similar event occurred.)
Make Use of this Opportunity
to Do Namaskãra
all have that good luck and opportunity, which I call 'Namaskãra Bhãgyam', available
plentifully. So I suggest that you
should make full use of the same. Please
go to the temples and do Namaskãra to God and in addition, also do Namaskãra to
each and every elder who is walking around before you. It is in this action maximum respectfulness
is there and also a chance to inculcate humbleness yourself!
57. If your
reaction is one of, "Let it be, what is so great about it", my answer
is that there is much value in doing Namaskãra.
It is this respect for elders, the source for the quality of true
humility called as 'Vinaya' – 'विनय' in Sanskrit and intrinsic
inculcation of 'PaNivu' – 'பணிவு' as they say in Tamil.
More than in any other procedures such as Pooja, Ãrãdhanã, Archana, and such
other methods, it is in doing Namaskãra that this 'विनय' aka 'பணிவு' blooms and shines. Namaskãra is described in Tamil as
'adi paNindu vaNanguvadu' – 'அடி பணிந்து வணங்குவது' to mean 'bowing down in
worship'. In front of an elder when you
lay down your body in true respectfulness one is able feel happy in giving
physical expression to the sense of 'பணிவு'. This action of Namaskãra is not only symbolic
of the state of one's mind but nourishes that attitude further.
58. For a
very long time, for tens of thousands of years our forefathers have been
perfecting this technique isn't it?
Their true sense of humbleness has so marinated in to that gesture so
much that its effectiveness is almost assured.
For us who have come in the path shown by them, that sense of humility
will be felt by us also as endowed by being heir to that rich tradition by
heredity. So the modern social
scientists affirm as a common 'race consciousness'.
Man's Inner – Outer Ascensions
other members of the animal world are known as 'Tiryak Jantu' – 'तिर्यक
जन्तु' that grow
only human beings known as the 'homo-sapiens', grow up wards from the leg towards body and
head, known as 'Oordvamukha Jantu' – 'ऊर्द्वमुख जन्तु'. It is claimed with pride that because Man is
the highest of creations, he is so made.
For example though there are many other forms of exalted and divine
beings such as Devas, Yaksha, Kinnara, Gandharva and a few more, sometime or
the other they have to be born as human beings before they can attain to the
comprehension of Gnãna and be liberated from the cycle of
birth and death! So to be born as a human being is the foremost
as well as the penultimate stage in evolution.
But by this, if he is going to start feeling proud, thinking 'no end to
himself' he can and does fall back in to the lower than even the animal world!
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