Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (of Vol 2) Dt 27 May 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (of Vol 2) Dt 27 May 2008

(This is continued from Deivathin Kural # 111 (of Vol 2) of 25 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 834 of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )

Gruhastam That Respects Nature

38. Though all great thinkers have held the sensory pleasures of this worldly life as ‘Chirrinbam’ or minor satisfactions in comparison with the supreme beatitude of the blessed state of God / Self Realization, Hindu Dharma takes pride in the fact that, this very act of Man - Woman relationship has been raised to the highest level possible, by making it into a Samskara of discipline and morality. This is the contribution of the Hindu Dharma Sastras, to human society as a whole! If you normally tell a human being, “This world is all Maya. You go to a forest and live a life of renunciation as a Sanyasi”, he cannot do it. He has to attain to maturity by going through life, with all its ups and downs. From the small of a fruit to ripeness, he has to undergo the whole range of tastes such as, bitterness, blandness, and sour before attaining to sweetness. There is a proverb which says, ‘what cannot be ripened naturally, can we do so by beating it with a stick?’ Though some chemicals are being used for this purpose, now-a-days, we know that it can never match the natural attainment of maturity and ripeness! The great Rishis of yore were very much aware of these simple facts of life. That is why; the state of married life had been systematized as an Ashrama of Gruhastam, with its own codified set of Dharmas! Not only that, the world affairs have to go on uninterrupted, to enable so many Jeevas to take life to workout their Karmas and the newly born child has to be taken care of, while still in childhood. This cannot happen without the Samskara of a marriage and the institution of a family.

39. In Gruhasta Ashrama he has to continue chanting the Vedas he has learnt by way of Adhyayanam and Adhyapakam in teaching others. He has to do Oupasanam through Agni and continue with Nitya Karma Anushtana, such as Sandhya Vandanam and Brhma Yagnam. Though now-a-days all these things are more noticeable by their not being observed, since the important Gayatri Mantra is still being chanted, I will talk about that.

40. Gayatri means, ‘that which protects the person who sings that mantra’. It is said, “gaayantam traayate yasmaat Gayatri it-yabhideeyate”. Here, ‘singing’ does not mean exactly singing. It means to chant the mantra with reverence and love. The very name of Gayatri has come into being because of the fact that it protects the person chanting it with great care and devotion! Veda while talking about Gayatri says, ‘gayatreem chandasam mata’, there by meaning that it is the Mother of all Vedas. ‘Chandasaam’ means all the ‘chandas’, which is again all the Vedas. The Gayatri mantra contains 24 aksharas in three steps. That is why it is known as ‘tripada gayatri’. Each step of the mantra is the essence of the three Vedas, Rik, Yajus and Saama. So the Gayatri mantra is the ultimate juice of the three Vedas. For Atharva Veda there is another Gayatri Mantra, to get which you have to have a second special Upanayanam! We have permitted chanting of Vedas to go by default. If we give up chanting of Gayatri mantra also, there is no hope for us! So out of all the things that we are required to do as per the Vedas and Sastras, chanting of Gayatri (that is, Gayatri Japam), is the most important. Now relate this to Sri Krishna’s statement in Bhagawat Gita, when He says that, “yagnanam japa yagnosmi (B.G. Ch X. Slokam 25) and again, Gayatri chandasaam aham (B.G. Ch X. Slokam 35)”, meaning that He is Japam amongst all Yagnas and He is Gayatri amongst all Chandas! So, when you do ‘Gayatri Japam’, you are twice encircling God, who other wise can never be circumscribed!

41. Cleanliness. For the mantra sakthi to be powerful and effective, the person doing Gayatri Japam has to be clean of heart, mind and body. Actually this applies to all religious activities. Though there is no restriction as to when you can think of God. Come to think of it, it can be done all of the time! It is said, “deho devaalayah prokto. Jeevo prokto sanaatanah”, meaning that, ‘this human body is said to be a Temple and the life in it is said to be forever God!’ One should not go to the temple dirty. One should not take dirty things there. One should not take meat or cigar or cigarette or wine and liquor, there. Going to any temple or mosque or church with dirty body or mind or intentions is to be avoided. So, when the body itself is a Temple or residence of God, you very well know as to how clean it should be kept. Then if you intend acquiring the power of the Mantra, lack of cleanliness is to be absolutely avoided. A house and Temple are not kept at the same level of cleanliness. You have to have a separate place for washing and ablutions and women during their monthly periods, in the living place of a house. In the flat/apartments system, there is a lot of compromise, in this need for separate areas. Comparatively a Temple can be and should be kept cleaner.

42. In a country you need both houses for people to live and Temples for Gods to reside. So also you need some people to do the worldly requirements of national service(of Army, Navy and Air force), policing, teaching, administration, arts and crafts; and some people to do the jobs such as Adhyayanam, Adhyapakam, Mantra Patanam, conduct of Yagnas and such activities for individual and collective spiritual advancement! These are the Brahmins and they have to maintain a very high level of cleanliness. The whole problem of untouchability arose out of a misunderstanding of this requirement, letting the word ‘pariah’ come into the English dictionary. It was the duty of the Brahmin to ensure and safeguard his own cleanliness for the sake of the community and society, so that he could enhance his felicity with mantra power! So, it was he who had a greater responsibility to ensure his own cleanliness. The point to be noted is that, it was he who had to make amends for any error or fault, while retaining his humility and humbleness. Even a chance touch of the tip of a finger meant that, he had to take another ritual bath and start all over again, what ever he was doing, like chanting or doing Yagna or Pooja.

(To be continued.)



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