Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 116 (of Vol 2) Dt 06 June 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 116 (of Vol 2) Dt 06 June 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 from Page 854, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )


1. We say that there are four purposes of existence known as, ‘Purushartha’ namely, Dharma(i.e., what is morally right), Artha(i.e., including money, means and materials of all types), Kaama(i.e., whatever is desired or wished for) and Moksha(i.e., to get over all such wants / purposes / desires / needs). In this, the first is Dharma, which should never be lost sight of. It means that whatever your end or destination, it should never be obtained by unfair means. You are yourself the witness, police, judge and the prison warden too. Earning money or name and fame or enjoying the fruits of Kaama, Dharma has to remain the guiding factor. Even when he takes up Sanyasa Ashrama, he raises above Dharma and not a man of Adharma. That is why even the life of renunciation is called, ‘Sanyasa Dharma’.

2. In my earlier talks, I had spoken about, how the Vedas are divided into two parts as, Poorva Meemamsai (that is, Karma Kaandam) and Uttara Meemamsai (that is, Gnaana Kandam). In that, even the elementary Poorva Meemamsai, starts with, “ataato dharma jignaasaaa”, meaning, ‘now starts the enquiry into Dharma’. Whereas, Uttara Meemamsai Sutra (that is, Brhma Sutra), starts with, “ataato brhma jignaasa”, meaning, ‘now starts the enquiry into Brhma’. When you start enquiry into what is Brhmam and have thus attained to the super levels of spiritual analysis, it means that, you have already become so deeply established in Dharma that, you are not thinking about it anymore! Dharmam is for survival and progress in this world of relativity. Without Dharma, there is no chance of graduating up to ‘Uttara Meemamsai’. In entering into discussion of Adwaita Gnaana, the world and worldly life is not under consideration at all! But, it does not mean that you are anti-dharma. It only means that you have gone far ahead.

3. Sri Krishna says in Bhagawat Gita, “…sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam saranam vraja…” (‘meaning, leaving all dharmas take refuge in me’)! Does it mean that He is advising Arjuna to give up Dharma and come to Him? It only means that He is telling Arjuna to rise above the confines of scholarly dilettantism and reach the crux of the issue! That is why, such mahatmas and sanyasis, what ever they say or do will all be naturally correct as per dharma. Up to a certain stage you stick to the dictates of Dharma and then Dharma sticks to you as your second nature!

4. In the ‘chatur vida purushaartha’, of Dharma, Artha, Kaama Moksha, all earnings of ‘Artha’ should be as per Dharma. All desires and wants and needs; should also be as per Dharma. That is what is mentioned by Kalidasa in ‘Raghu Vamsam’, while praising Dileepa he says, ‘all his endevours were strictly as per the dictates of Dharma!’ To earn and live a life of enjoyment is Gruhastashrama and the first step of that Ashrama is Vivaham. For Brhmachari and Sanyasi, earning money or materials and enjoyment of the fruits of one’s desire; are both denied or taboo. The bridge between these two ashramas is the Gruhasta Ashrama.

5. To live, you do need money and materials. You have to earn them. Many lives have to be born, to work out their Karma. The newly born babies have to be taken care of till they are able to take care of themselves. People can become Sanyasi and renounce their worldly involvement. But their requirements of food have to be catered for by the house-holder only! So the Gruhasta Ashrama is an important link in the set up. They have to live the life of model house-holders and take care of the Brhmacharys and Sanyasis, while living a life of eminence and exemplary behaviour. They are held in high esteem by the Sastras, as the back bone of the society.

6. In Brhmacharyam, you learn the Vedas, good behaviour, arts and crafts, and then go on to live the life of a respectable citizen of the society as a house-holder. That life starts with Vivaham, which is one of the 40 samskaras. That is, Vivaham is also a Sat Karma in cleansing and directing the Jiva on the right path. So, like Upanayanam is the first step in Brhmacharyam, Vivaham is the first step in Gruhastam! To control ones sexual tendencies towards one person and remain faithful and loyal to that one person, is a requisite for both the genders!

7. Dharma is to be adhered to, not only with bodily pleasures of Kaama, but, such pleasures of Kaama itself has to be within the parameters of discipline. Dharma means, control within limits, while avoiding the extremes, remaining within the requirements of Soucham of cleanliness for various Karma Anushtana. This will successively bring the necessary maturing of minds, to be able to take up Sanyasa, one day. Control over Kaama during Gruhasta Ashrama, is aided by the very strict disciplines of the earlier Brhmacharya Ashrama. It saves him and her from being carried away in animal like behaviour.

8. I must make a point here that, when I say, animal like behaviour; what some human beings indulge in, even animals do not. Animals indulge in sex only in certain seasons. Not so, the human! That underlines the importance of Brhmacharya Ashrama, as a prelude. That is why, I said earlier that, before Kaama can enter ones mind, Gayatri should already be there well entrenched!

9. First control is, remaining faithful to one partner. While Puranas and serious literature makes much of the greatness of ‘Pati Vrata Naari’, Sri Rama is eulogized for ‘Eka Patni Vrata’. (It is interesting to note that modern science is insisting that the only way of controlling the spread of dreaded diseases like the AIDS is to remain faithful in marriage!) The second is that, in Hindu dharma, there is no provision for Divorce! ‘Acceptance’ is the inviolable principle, once Vivaham has taken place! Here it is quite appropriate to consider the life of Thiru Neelakanta Naayanaar. As the story goes, between a young wedded couple, there is an occasion when the wife suspects the husband of being unfaithful. She declares, “… ennai thotteeragil…”, meaning, “if you touch me”. From that day, they live as husband and wife, without physical contact. Years pass by and in their old age. God decides to make their life of celibacy known to the world. On a trumped up charge of dishonesty, God causes them to hold each other’s hands and take a dip in the pond, to prove their innocence. They both walk out of the pond as a young couple once again, by God’s grace, to the astonishment of the onlookers!

10. Further, as per the Sastras, sex is forbidden for four days, from the day she has her period. Then it is permitted for exactly 12 days. Then you have to wait till four days after her next period. Then again, within those permitted 12 days too, sex is forbidden on some Titis like New Moon and some Stars. Such discipline were contributing towards making each other physically and mentally more strong and made each more desirable for the other too.

11. Though all religions have tried to control human tendencies, by making marriage into a very respectable institution; it is only the Hindu religion, which has refined the process of individual ennoblement of both the parties concerned and fitted it neatly into the huge edifice of Dharma, Artha, Kaama, Moksha. (KTSV adds:- Avvaiyar the great Tamil poet defines the institution of marriage as, “kaadalar iruvar karuththu orumiththu aadaravu pattade inbam” meaning, ‘two lovers of one mind complementing each other’s life is happiness’.

(To be continued.)


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