Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 109 (of Vol 2) Dt 16 May 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 109 (of Vol 2) Dt 16 May 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 in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. Today we are proceeding ahead of Page 819 of the Tamil original. (This e-mail is a continuation of DEIVATHIN KURAL # 108 (of Vol 2) Dt 14 May 2008)

The Basic Foundation Be Not Wasted.

12. When the child gets sick it is a must that we take the child to a suitable doctor. It is a punishable offence not to do so. It is a much greater offence if you do not give him the Yagnopaveetham in time to enable him to benefit spiritually, immensely, personally and benefit the world automatically by being a broadcasting station for Vedik vibrations. Contrary to this, the trend now is to make this an opportunity for showing off ones wealth and power and or postpone it indefinitely for whatever reasons! For changing this status-quo, we are ready to do whatever we can in this Matam.
13. Now-a-days, we are conducting ‘Mass Upanayanam’, where a number of not-so-well- to-do families could get their children initiated into this. This sort of collective conduct of Upanayanm is being done in many towns and cities by the Matam and other such spiritually minded organisations, where-in children of smartha / vaishnava / madhva and other castes too get Yagnopaveetham without any differentiation. This effort is good and I wish that such efforts should continue to expand progressively.

14. Thinking that these mass Upanayanam events are meant for poor people only, those who are somewhat well to do, do not make use of these opportunities, but still tend to postpone this important duty of theirs! Unnecessarily, the conduct of Upanayanam has been connected to social status and economic capabilities that, people are interfering with the very process of learning of Vedas! The chanting of Gayatri mantra starts and stops with the conduct of Upanayanam. From the very next day, cricket, cinema and partying, goes on. It is the job of the parents to see to it that children are encouraged to do their Sandya Vandanam sincerely. But when they themselves are more interested in attending club, cinema, kitty-parties, race course events and such, I wonder as to how much effect my words are going to have. But still I am saying all this, with the hope that I will be able to make some positive improvement in the situation. I know that it is embarrassing if the children were to ask, “When you are trying to tell me to do Sandya Vandanam and chant Gayatri mantra, why are you not doing so yourself?” In such circumstances, I am still insisting with the fond hope that since you have all come to hear me, you may make some efforts in that direction.

15. To tell you is my duty, whether you abide with my advices or not. I am duty bound to obey the orders to me as the Head of this Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. That is, I am required to tell the parents that, “all the children should be given Yagnopaveetam before their eighth year of age and they should do their Sandya Vandanam without fail every day and they should be taught the Vedas.”

Character Qualities of a Brhmachary.
16. Everyday the Brhmachary should do Sandya Vandanam. He should do Samitaadanam of offering small dry twigs to the fire with the necessary mantras. He should go and beg for his livelihood. This is known as Bikshacharyam. He should have a saltless diet. The Brahmin boy should have ‘palasa dandam’, that is a green branch of jack-fruit tree, with one or two green leaves; Kshatriya boy should have an ‘aswaththa dandam’ of the Pipal tree; and Vaisya boy should have ‘aththi dandam’ of the fig tree. This carrying of a dandam is, so as to retain the Vedas learnt without forgetting. Like you have a ‘lightning conductor’ with an aerial for receiving and earthing the power of lightning, this dandam is meant for the human, to receive and ingrain the power of the Vedas. There is a scientific reason for this. That dandam has the power to create retentivity and increase retrievability in the Brhmachary’s mind. A Brhmachary should cover himself with the skin of the deer. So as not to be accused of endangering the life of wild species of animals, these days we have only a half-inch by quarter-inch piece of the skin of a deer, recovered from an animal dead of natural causes, tied to the Yagnopaveetam! He should not cover his upper body with a cloth. These are rules meant for him to receive the Vedik vibrations in as wide an area of the exposed skin of his body as possible. Like an electrician is required to stand on wood and wear rubber gloves, while handling live wires; this is meant to make the Brhmachary a live-wire himself!

17. Now-a-days we do Upakarma only on one day in Avani Avittam. Then we do not continue with chanting of the Vedas or do the Utsarjanam indicative of the completion of chanting of a portion of the Vedas. We do ‘Kamokarsheath’ japam to make amends for our sin of not chanting the Vedas every day! We are saying that, “I did not knowingly sin. This happened due to ‘Kamam and Kopam’, that is, prevarications and anger. O! Sinfulness, I respect and prostrate before you.” This japam is not required at all if we were doing Veda Adhyayanam and Utsarjanam.

18. During Brhmacharyam, we have to be disciplined and observe the restrictions of Punctuality, Vows of abstinence and Diet restrictions. During Adhyayanam, there could be mistakes due to ‘swara lobam & varna lobam’ meaning, errors in the pitch of the sound and pronunciation, due to lack of attentiveness. In expiation, he should fast on Avani Avittam, having only sesame seeds as food and next day do homam with 1008 samit, chanting Gayatri mantra. This should be done every year. These days, children are doing this only on the first year Avani Avittam after their Yagnopaveetam. Others are doing it only as a mantra japam. Instead everybody should be doing this as a homam. Just japam makes you sleepy. When there is some action also included, then one can avoid drowsiness. At least for that sake, it is better to do it as a homam. The samit, that is the twig, should be from the Palasa / Jack fruit tree or Aswatta / Pipal tree. Failing which, you may do it with Darbai / munja grass.

19. There is no restriction on the quantity of how much the Brhmachary should eat. He must eat his full. But he should make an effort to control his tongue and not be too choosy. Actually he is supposed to eat whatever he gets in Biksha. That is one of the reasons why he is made to go for Biksha. Of course, the main reason is that he should inculcate humbleness. But he should not fall prey to the dictates of taste buds. Thiruvalluvar very clearly says in Thirukkural, “ya kavarayinum na kaakka kavakkaal sokappar soll izhukka ppattu”, to mean, ‘whatever you control or not, control your tongue, because if you do not, you are liable to suffer much ridicule!’ Here the hazards are the taste –buds and the spoken word, necessitating control of both! I said before, there is no restriction on the quantity as to how much the Brhmachary should eat. There is no fasting meant for him. He is in that period of his life when physical growth is the maximum, second only to the first year of his life. At the same time he should not grow to be a brute. Taking physical care of the Guru as a personal responsibility, is meant to teach the Brhmachary the value of respectful subservience. During twelve years as Brhmachary, he has to learn his branch of the Vedas and expertise in some of the selected Vidyas, from amongst the 14, known as Chaturdasa Vidyas. Then after Samavartanam, he is to return to his home and get married.

Naishtika Brhmacharyam: Householders Life.

20. Without doing Samavartanam, there have been students who have decided to sacrifice their entire life at the feet of the Guru and so lived their life as a Brhmachary throughout their life. This is known as ‘Naishtika Brhmacharyam’. Bhishma, Anjaneya etc., are called by this name. But in the Kali Yuga there rarely any Nishtika Brhmacharys!

21. Following the natural tendency, the Brhmachary is expected to do the Samavartanam and then get married and run a house hold. That is the common dharma. To swim against the current is always difficult. Having lived some number of useful years in ‘Gruhasta Ashrama’ / the position of a house holder, one is to relieve himself from such involvement and adopt a secluded life of celibacy and non-involvement, along with one’s wife, in yet another Ashrama known as ‘Vana Prasta’ i.e., ‘towards forest’. (KTSV adds:- This is the ideal Ashrama for retired old people in to-day’s world. You do not have to forsake your wife. Take care of each other, thereby avoid creating a problem for the family and the society; while continuously training yourself and your wife to detatch and disassociate from involvement. ) Then is the ‘Poorna Sannyasa’ as levied. If you go against nature, the hazards are more. Having decided to be a Brhmachary in youth, then if you are waylaid by the pulls and pressures of nature, the harm to yourself and to the society is more! That is why, in Hindu Dharma, Brhmacharyam, Gruhastam, Vanaprastam and Sannyasam have been evolved to correctly balance between the pulls of the inner-spiritual and outer-bodily natures!

22. There is an exception to any rule. Those with a clear mind and heart and accumulated effect of samskaras in their previous lives, could decide to by-pass these ashramas and live the life of a Naishtika Brhmachary. Within the past 300 years there was the example of Samarta Ramadas who motivated Shivaji of the Maratthas, to block the relentless spread and flow of Muslim domination, in South India! He is considered as the incarnation of the Naishtika Brhmachary Anjaneya. Another Naishtika Brhmachary was Adi Sankara Baghawat Padaal. We will talk about him in the next e-mail!

(To be continued.)



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