Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (of Vol 2) Dt 02 May 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (of Vol 2) Dt 02 May 2008

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 103 (of Vol 2) of 30 April 2008. These are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. )

24. This desire in the worldly sensory pleasures, denounced uniformly by all religious leaders, is called ‘Trishna’ or ‘Thirst’. In Prakritam, Buddha called it, ‘Tanha’. The mathematical concept of ‘Universe and Unit’, explains this quite succinctly! Universe contains the whole. All individuals who consider themselves as separate are an entity apart. Universe less that entity is Rest. So the individual always feels the urge or trishna or thrist to join the Rest or be at rest, to regain his/her/its wholeness! This urge of the Jeevatma to rejoin the Paramatma, is mistakenly directed towards other worldly objects which are equally thirsty, equally demanding for attention, affection and love, to the point of being greedy and grasping! So the happiness so obtained is never satisfying. Thus all the religions tell us to imbibe these character qualities, without ever telling us how? Instead of just preaching, this religion gives us a whole bundle of 40 Samskaras for practicals!

25. ‘While all other religions exhort its followers to imbibe universal Love and other character qualities, this Hinduism instead of giving importance to these qualities, endlessly talks of Karma Anushtanam only. It is too ritual-ridden!’ is the view of some ill informed people. Our religion identifies the eight qualities for each individual to imbibe, but also talks of going beyond gunas to the ‘Gunaateetam’! Not only that! People the world over know the value of truthfulness and integrity. There is no religion which does not talk of ethics and morality. Preaching every Father, Pastor or Moulvi or Rabbi does. How to put it into practice is the problem! To cover all the shades of the problems faced in practical life, we have a whole lot of Puranas and Literature from which we can get motivated to emulate. Thus we get motivated as well as encouraged to follow role models! So our religion does not only preach, but enables us to practice. So it is not only the behavior that is tackled, but also attitudes, while simultaneously the Samskaras progressively cleanse ones mind. Thus outside control by others like Father, Teacher and Society; gives way to inside control by the self. So it is ridiculous to complain that our religion is unlike other religions! Starting from Jesus Christ’s universal Love, ends in Buddha’s desirelessness and takes us beyond to ‘Gunaateeta’ to the Absolute devoid of all shades, colors, Gunas and differentiation!

26. It is not enough to only talk about the traits to be acquired. Human nature is to do things. You test yourself. Faced with many of the problems of life, our immediate reaction is to ask ourselves the question as to, ‘what are we required to do now under this situation?’ All our achievements are by doing something or the other. Mahatma Gandhi kept on repeating the values of Truth and Ahimsa. You should have seen him in his ashram! Like the ant or bee, he was all the time doing something or the other! He would never anybody keep quiet in his ashram either. He was a big task master. Everybody was all the time on the go, reading, writing, and spinning the machine for making threads from cotton and so on. If you ran out of anything to do, you could either water the plants or clean the latrines!

27. So, keeping this important human nature in view, our Dharma Sastras had emphasized the need to do these 40 Samskaras, through which Chitta Suddhi(clarity of mind) was to be gained, while imbibing the Eight character qualities. In these Goutama and Aapastamba’s Sutras and Manu’s Smruthi are widely followed. Aapasthamba and Goutama have listed the common Samskaras, as applicable to people of all walks of life. Aapastamba has also separately listed the 40 samskaras and eight gunas. These samskaras enable the Jeeva to reach Brhma Loka directly after separation from the body. By these samskaras, they could reach the proximity of God. God’s sannidanam is very much similar to the proximity of a Parama Gnani! That is the ultimate bliss of total inertia! From nearness and proximity, we could totally dissolve ourselves in the secondless adwaita anubhava! Till then, Saaloka(same world), Saameepya(close proximity), Saayujya(sameness) ending in Kaivalya of Adwaita Anubhava! Goutama Dharma Sutram, first Prasna, eighth Adhyaya, states, “yasyaite chatwarinsat samskaraa: ashta aatma gunaa: sa brhmmana:saayujyam saalokatam jayati”.

28. These forty samskaras have to be done by using the five limbs / tools of the body namely, hands, legs, eyes, nose, skin and the mind. The one observing all these forty eight samskaras / gunas, has a direct visa to Brhma Lokam where you neither have the problems nor the solutions!

29. The Importance of Agni or Fire. ‘Nishekaadi smasaanaantam’, are the forty samskaras, starting from ‘nisheka’ till ‘smasaanam’, that is, from ‘impregnation’ till ‘cremation’; are all done with the Agni or Fire God as the witness, when finally the body itself is given as a ‘Aahuti’ in fire! Throughout one’s life this fire is maintained without being ever extinguished. Brhmachary does ‘samitaa daanam’ every day. After marriage ‘Oupaasanam’ is done daily in fire. Then in ‘Vanaprastam’, there is a ‘Kaksha Agni’. Only in Sannyaasa, there is no fire. But he has the ‘Gnaana Agni’. For a Gnaani, there is no Agni Samskaram. On his dropping the mortal coil, his body is not to be cremated. His body is to be cut into parts and thrown in inaccessible areas of the forest, or given a burial over which flower plants are planted. Either his body is to become food for animals and birds or manure for flower plants. To build a garden over that site calling it a ‘brindavanam’ is a modern custom of honoring the departed soul. As per Sastras the only requirement is that a Bilva or Banyan tree is planted over the burial site.

30. All castes have the Agni Karyam. At the time of marriage ‘Oupaasanam’ is common to all. That fire has to be maintained throughout one’s life. Now a days only Parsis preserve the fire like that. Their religious script is known as ‘Zend Avasta’. This is only a twist of the word, ‘Chanda Avastha’, a part of Vedas. Their Religious Acharya is called Zoratustra, which seems a variation of ‘Sourashtra’ and Arya became Iran , where their religion seems to have evolved and later chased away from! They have elaborate procedure to make amends for the fire which by chance is extinguished. From the start of this century, this custom has dwindled. Introduction of the so called modern education, based on English language and customs is the main reason for this. (KTSV adds:- Some hill tribes in the Himalayas are still maintaining this custom. Their fire in the hearth is never extinguished, for reasons of the need to keep some warmth in the hut. In a place like USA however, any fire in the house is likely to trigger the alarm, causing the immediate arrival of Police and fire fighting personnel!)

31. The human body is anointed by ghee after death and offered as a ‘Dravya’ to the fire. The human body is called , ‘Dahata: iti deha:’, meaning ‘body is that which burns all the time’. So now after it has stopped burning, you apply ‘Ghee’ and offer it as an ‘Aahuti’ as the final offering!

(To be continued.)


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