Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 110 (of Vol 2) Dt 23 May 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 110 (of Vol 2) Dt 23 May 2008

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 109 (of Vol 2) of 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. To day we are proceeding ahead of Page 824 of the Tamil original. )

23. Parameswara Avatara, Adi Sankara Bhagawat Padal, who took birth in this world to re-establish the Sanaatana Dharma, was one of the rare exceptions to the normal method in that he, took Sanyasa Ashrama directly from Brhmacharya. Not only that he did so, but he gave sanyasa to three of his main sishyas (other than Sureshwara), directly from Brhmacharya. They were Padmapaada, Hastaamalaka and Thodaka. In all the Sankara Matams too, the Peetaadipati is required to take Sanyasa directly from Brhmacharya. So you can make out that Grhasthashrama is not an inescapable necessity.

24. But not all the people of the world can get the maturity required for such transition. The Naishtika Brhmacharies and those who by-pass Grhasthashrama and go directly to Sanyasa, miss out on Marriage, seven each of Bhaga / Havir / Soma Yagnas and Dahana Kriya too. So these are rare, abnormal and exceptional cases only. Since Dahanam as a Kriya is prescribed, some people argue that Sanyasa is not a must for all. If everyone has to go through the four Ashramas of Brhmacharyam, Gruhastam, Vanaprastam and Sanyasam, then of course, Dahanam as a Kriya cannot be a must Samskara meant for all. So if we say that only the matured should take up Sanyasa and not all, we are not far wrong.

25. There is also no logic to think that normally Dahanam is meant only for such people who die at too young an age, before they live long enough for other Ashramas. Dahanam is meant for all. (It is also the cleanest method of disposal of a dead body. But, we are not discussing that aspect now, but only the universality of Samskara!) So we can take it that Sastram approves the fact that even at a ripe old age, one may not take up Sanyasa as an Ashrama.

26. Those who have come to realize the need to give up all attachments as a matter of progressive evolution, with no regrets, hates, unfulfilled desires, accounts to be cleared etc., they should leave their worldly and household responsibilities, retreat to the forest with only one’s wife and continue with Vaidik Kriyas of Nitya Karma Anushtanas and Yagnas. Wife is not meant for sensory satisfactions but to assist oneself in the execution of the Kriyas as Saha-Dharmini i.e., partner in Karma. That is Vana Prastam, meaning retreat to the forest. Then this evolves into the stage of giving up all Karmas too. Even Vaidik Kriyas are given up when all the attention is totally fixed on the need to understand the Quintessential Truth of Existance as the only area of interest. Then and only then, you give up your wife too, along with all Karma Anushtana.

27. Having left all and taken Sanyasa from the direct instructions of the Guru, ones entire attention is focused on meditating on the final truth till, it becomes an experienced fact of being, knowing and realization. A realization that God is the only truth and that, our being depends on that truth and the entire relative world’s being is dependent on that truth! This realization is Moksha or Nirvana. As per ‘praarabda karma’ that is, ‘already obtained fruits of Karma’, the body may continue to live for as long as the account requires it to do so. That is of no relevance to the ‘Gnani’ that is, the ‘self realized soul’. From the world’s point of view, the Gnani while still living in the body, is ‘Jeevan Mukta’. Once the body is dropped, he becomes ‘Videha Mukta’ that is, ‘body-less-released. He becomes one with the ‘paramatma tatva’, that is God, without any separateness whatsoever! The Brhmachari who directly takes Sanyasa without going through the Gruhasta and Vanaprasta Ashramas and the one who goes through the successive Ashramas; both reach the same end point, of becoming one with God! That is the final come-uppance for all.

28. What happens to the one who systematically does all the Samskaras and imbibes the Eight Gunas (of Daya that is, Universal Love; Kshanti that is, Tolerance; Anasooyai that is, being devoid of Jealousy; Soucham that is, Cleanliness of body, heart and mind; Anaayasam that is, seriously taking life in a lighter vein; Mangalam that is, being a source of happiness and pleasure for whosoever comes in to contact; Akarpanyam that is, being liberal, accommodating and hospitable; Aspruha that is, unattached, loving towards all but, partial towards none!)? What happens to him after death? He is the one who lives longest. The Kriya Dahanam is meant for him. Sri Sankara does not say that, this man reaches the final destination of getting dissolved in the Parama Atma Tatva, since he never got the feeling that he should leave everything and catch hold of God! He never got that urge! That is why he did not take up Sanyasa. So, he does not get to Adwaita Mukti. But he did believe in the dictates of the Sastras and did all the Karmas sincerely, got his own mind cleaned to purity and in the process did much for the benefit of others in the world. So, he does reach a very exalted stage of Hiranyagarba or Brhma Loka. This stage is no less. This should also be called Mukti only. To be in God and know that you are in that state of not lacking or wanting or needing anything is also great! When in Maha Pralaya, God ceases to govern or rule the lokas and for a period totally centralizes the whole of creation in Himself, this Jiva also stops being an entity.

29. Now a question does arise. “So what is so great about this man, who has been an obedient and honest soul? As we understand, in Maha Pralaya, after all, all the life forms are anyhow going to be withdrawn and dissolved in the primordial principle. Every Tom, Dick and Harry, whether he was a well behaved individual who did all the 40 Samskaras or was an irresponsible idiot or renegade rascal, the end is the same! So why bother?” Yes, at the time of Maha Pralaya, all, irrespective of what and how they have been, dissolve in the Parama Atma Tatva, inclusive of every insect, worm, germ and even sub-sub-atomic particles. Then after an eon of time when the creation starts again, those renegades and rascals will be born again and again till they do all the Samskaras and launder themselves to cleanliness! There is no escaping that, till they come to feel, as Adi Sankara said, “punarapi jananam punarapi maranam I punarapi janani jatare sayanam I iha samsare bahu dustare I krupaya pare paahi murare II”. I hope you get the point!

30. I started talking about Brhmacharyam and ended up talking about the end point itself! I started answering the questions as to whether one can remain a Brhmachary throughout ones life and whether one can by-pass Gruhasta Ashrama. That has taken me far away from the subject under discussion! I spoke about Upanayanam and Guru Kula Vaasam. For a Brahmin boy, including the period of stay in the Mother’s womb, he should be given Yagnopaveetam by the time he is eight years old. That actually works out to, seven years and two months. Kshatriyas could be given their ‘Poonool’ that is Yagnopaveetam, by 12 years of age. Krishna who was born in Yadu Kula, was given poonool at his 12th year of age only. Vysyas could be given poonool by 16 years of age. To keep children beyond the upper limit of 16 years of age, without initiating them in to the process of Yagnopaveetam, Guru Kula Vaasa and Veda parayana; is sinful.

(To be continued)



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