Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 120 (of Vol 2) Dated 15 June 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 120 (of Vol 2) Dated 15 June 2008

(To-day’s e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 119 dated 13 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 number 874, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )

43. To continue with the argument against the contention of Right Honourable Srinivasa Sastri’s party; we have to say that, as the mantras uttered in the marriage ceremony refer to likely events of the future, it is not to be used to decide the likely age of the bride and bridegroom! The point is that all the eight types of marriages are meant for different contexts. Out of the eight types, only in one of them the bride is likely to be pre-puberty. In fact, there is one mantra said at the end of the ceremony of marriage in brahmam, where she is not yet attained to puberty!

44. Between the period when the girl has started wearing clothes and not yet attained to puberty, I said that she is under the influence of a Gandarva. His name is Viswavasu. The bridegroom addresses this Viswavasu while uttering this mantra, I am referring to. He says, “I bow to thee, Viswavasu! Please leave this girl and go to any other girl not yet come of age! Since I have become this girl’s husband, leave her in my care!” (Rik X 85.21-22.) This is part of the ritual called the ‘Gandarva Pooja’. This is clearly indicative of the fact that the girl is not yet come under the influence of Agni! That means that she is not attained to puberty!

45. “OK! That is all right. What is your answer to the portion of the Manu Smruthi quoted by the reformists? In that it is said that, ‘three years after puberty, having waited for any approach from prospective grooms, if nothing fructifies, the girl is free to go and select her own choice!’ What is your response to that?”

46. My response is as follows! The girl should be given away in marriage before she comes of age. The general rule as per Dharma Sastras is that, “pradaanam praak rito:” When that rule has gone by default, her Father or Brother have the responsibility to search for a suitable husband. If they are also irresponsible or if by chance the girl is without a guardian to take care of her, she has to patiently wait till someone amongst the relatives or acquaintances to come forward to do the needful. The three years are meant for that response from the society, failing which, she is at liberty to make her own search! The whole system is so delicately sensible and balanced

47. Without reference to the context, and without looking at the whole arrangement comprehensively, if you look at the Saastras and mantras in bits and pieces, you are likely to jump to irrelevant conclusions! That is what has happened with the ‘so called reformists’. Recent history of Muslim invaders might have influenced some people to opt for ‘Balya Vivaham’, possibly. But that is not a universal response of the society either. Chandokya Upanishad quotes the case of a Rishi Chakrayana Ushasthi, who married a young girl not yet attained to puberty (Chandokya I.10.1).

48. Still, in earlier days, even though people did not know as to how to counter the people like the modern Reformists; at least had a general tendency to say, “It is better to go by tradition and precedence set by elders of yore! Let us not do the mistake of doing something totally new and novel in these matters.” That is why, despite the fact that Right Honorable Srinivasa Sastri, brought up this reform in the Council twice, it could never be passed. Then only one Sri. Sarada brought up an amendment. (People still think that Sarada is the name of some lady!) That also received only 50% for and 50% against! At that time, the British rulers then, felt that since they are not giving the ‘Swaraj’ or self-rule that Congress was demanding, at least to their satisfaction, they should abet and enable them to intrude in matters of Hindu Dharma. So they made the nominated members vote for the intruding act and the bill was thus passed as a sop!

49. Now the situation has changed much. Traditions have gone by default. When the British Government passed the Sarada Act, there have been learned Vedic scholars who have surrendered the ‘Maha Mahopaadyaaya’ title given to them earlier, in protest against the passing of the heinous Sarada Act. Panchanana Tarka Ratna Bhattacharya of Bengal and Lakshmana Sastri Dravid, from Thiru Visa Nallur, settled in Kasi those days, are two such Vedic scholars who sacrificed their name and fame and monetary benefits that go with the title, because they felt so strongly about the government’s interference in matters purely religious! In independent India , to interfere in every aspect of Hindu religion is considered as the Secular Right of the politicians! There is not a single religious issue or point on which the Hindus will come together, that they are worse off than all the minorities, individually and collectively!

50. Braahma Vivaham is applicable and available to people of all castes and creeds. But, for people other than Brahmins, there are other types of marriages also available. That is ‘Ritumati’ Vivaham is also done. As long as the bodily comforts and pleasures are being given more importance, other methods of marriage could be adopted. For spiritual advancement of the couple, brahmam is more preferable.

51. There could be many aims in the conduct of Vivaham as a Samskaram. The most important one amongst them is the aim for ‘mental clarity’ or ‘chitta suddhi’ of the girl. As we hand over the small boy in the hands of the Guru after Upanayanam, we hand over the girl in the hands of the husband, with total trust and reliance!

52. Our Karma, fate and everything is caused by the vacillations of the mind. Being subservient to this mind, in our efforts to satisfy it’s every whim and fancy, are all the sins committed! So as to work-out the effects all those sins, we have to repeatedly go through the cycle of birth and death! Stop the mind, leading to no Karma, no Janma, resulting in Moksham! But to stop the mind is extremely difficult. You can achieve the Ashta Mahaa Siddhis, of Anima(to besmaller than the smallest atom), Laghima(to be lighter than the lightest), Mahima or Garima(to be heavier than the heaviest), Eeshitvam(To lord over everybody), Vashitvam(irrepressible attractiveness), Praapti(to attain or have everything), Praakamyam(to read other’s mind and omniscience) and Kaamavasaayita(to get or get to, whatever desired). All this can be achieved! But to control one’s mind and to keep quiet, is not possible! There is a song by Thayumanavar to this effect, which says, “…sindaiyai adakki sum iruthal aridu!”

53. Now if you hand over the girl to a responsible husband, who knows and has been told that he is her sole in charge for all practical purposes and she surrenders her all to him, what else do you want or need? All the Sins of the world are due to selfishness. Here she transfers all the responsibility from her parents to her husband! She has no ownership or responsibility or selfishness or doership! So, she has no Paapa, no Punya, no load of good and bad effects of Karma! We are told to surrender to God, with the idea, ‘en seyalaal aavadu onrum illai’, meaning, ‘Oh God! No action of mine is of any relevance whatsoever!’ Or in Hindi, ‘teraa hai tujko arpan kya laage mera?’ One in a million are able to do that sort of surrender to God! But in the case of women the process has been enabled.

54. This is what has been done in our religion. The husband has been shown to her as the God in her life. Many woman have been able to easily enabled to attain to the destination. To think of Husband as her ‘Ishta Devata’, is a facility not available to any women elsewhere in the world. ‘Kanavane kan kanda deivam’, ‘Kallaanaalum Kanavan, Pullaanaalum Purushan’, are not mere words. ‘Pativratyam’, ‘Sowmaangalyam’, ‘Sumangalitvam’ are concepts not easily translatable, because the concept is uniquely Indian!

(To be continued.)


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