Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 124 (of Vol 2) Dated 23 June 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 124 (of Vol 2) Dated 23 June 2008

(To-day’s e-mail is a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 123 dated 21 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 894, of volume 2, of the Tamil original. )

85. Other caste people have not become so down trodden as Brahmins. At least in their castes so much of dowry expectation is not there. Also their women have not gone after English and college education that they are under no body’s control. The Brahmin who has remained true to his calling has become extremely poor. The Trust has been created to especially cater for the women of this stratum of the society.

86. For this Kannikaadaana Trust and Veda Rakshana Nidhi, I am of the opinion that, the contribution should only be from well to do Brahmins. The mistake is his for which, others should not be paying the penalty! The very big blunder committed by Brahmin is that, he left Veda Adhyayanam. Though being law abiding citizens, the next bigger offence was not to have got his women married and delayed it much beyond the minimum age limit approved by the Law of the Land! So the penalty for correcting this wrong should be paid for by the Brahmin community itself. Other part of the society should not be troubled for this. To do so would be tantamount to adding insult to injury. After all he is now doing everybody else’s job and earning enough. He is spending substantial amount of money in unnecessary entertainments in socializing in cosmopolitan clubs. So it is the Brahmin who has to pay for these two funds. Kannikaadaana Trust caters for the expenditure on Thiru Mangalyam(the gold medallion on a yellow thread on which the bride-groom places three knots, worn by the bride, indicative of her being married), Koorai Pudavai(the ceremonial Sari worn by the Bride) and Muhoorta Veshti (worn by the Bride-groom).

87. While I am happy about the effectiveness of ‘Veda Rakshana Nidhi’, I am afraid the ‘Kannikaadaana Trust’ has not been very useful so far, ‘like giving anti-acid tablets to someone who has swallowed a crow-bar!’ (Actually the Tamil proverb is more powerful in conveying the meaning. I quote, “Gadappaarayai muzhunginavanukku sukku kashayam kuduththaappole!”) We have not been able to make any impression in the situation so far. The parents of the girls are not mentally motivated to fight the flood of Adharma. Instead of thinking of getting the girl married, they are looking forward to her getting employed and becoming a source of income! So, they are not in search of a suitable match but, are looking for a suitable recommendation for employment!

88. So our Trust is running the risk of not being trusted! Maximum in a year we are able to help out some 50 families, whereas 5,000 are employed and ten times that are looking for employment every year. It looks more and more that the Trust only serves the purpose of satisfying my Ego that I am not a complete failure! I am talking so frankly only hoping to nudge and cajole the parents to look for doing their duty of getting their daughters married as close to the age limit as set by the Law

89. The Real Reformation. I wish that the Law which set the minimum age limit, also had declared the upper ceiling before which the marriage should be conducted! For the girls remaining unmarried at age 25, 30 and so on, there is no meaning in blaming the Law. It is our carelessness and selfish convenience. There is no excuse of a ‘Sarda Act’ for not doing the Yagnopaveetam ceremony for boys, till their date of getting married. It only shows as to how careless we are about the injunctions of the Sastra-s.

90. With this general apathy is the fact that, marriage and yagnopaveetam are being conducted after much financial preparation, with much unnecessary ‘fan-fare’! More than any other reason is the fact that we have pushed the simple act of marriage out on a limb, depending on our crass love for one-up-man-ship! This has put up this expenditure on marriages beyond even life-time savings. (KTSV adds: - While serving in the Eastern sector of India, I have noticed a much sensible attitude, amongst the hill tribes of NEFA, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram etc., of varied ethnic, language and religious backgrounds! Amongst them all, in each village, there is a community hall sort of a place, where all young boys and girls meet in the evenings. Pairing by natural choice takes place. They do not indulge in sex, but only make up their minds, if they are going to be partners for life! Once the decision is made, the whole village rejoices. All the people of the village join hands in constructing a new house of Bamboos and provide it with all the basic amenities including rations for some period. Then the marriage takes place in which the entire village participates. My observation is already three decades old. I do not know as to what are the conditions now! The so called economic progress and increase in population has its inbuilt capacity for creating problems, I suppose!)

91. In Veda Sastra-s there is no mention of money matters at all. This is a self inflicted injury. In the eight types of marriages that I have described in the earlier talks (given in the preceding e-mails), no-where is it that you give the girl and money. There are cases in which the girl is virtually purchased in the ‘Aasura Vivaham’. ‘Give the girl and Money’, is the sort of a condition never thought of by who-so-ever wrote the Sastra-s. ‘Kanya Sulkam’ as a price for the girl is somewhat accepted by the Sastra-s but, not giving ‘Dowry’ to the family of the boys! So the real reformation is to drop the ‘dowry system’ by the way side.

92. Instead of doing that, to have brought a lower age limit for marriages, has totally turned the system topsy-turvy! When the parents of the girls were finding it well neigh impossible to accumulate enough for the Dowry and allied expenses for a marriage of pomp and show, the Sarda Act came as a boon, enabling them to educate her, send her for employment and use her as a source of income!

Girls Getting Employed.

93. What started in a very innocuous way of educating the girl, because she was just there doing nothing very important and not getting married either, coupled with ‘women’s liberation movement’ all over the world, led to a situation in which people started thinking as to why not get her educated and employed? Initially it started reluctantly letting her earn something to be saved for her own marriage. Whatever fear, reluctance, hesitation, shame and embarrassment was there to start with, as time went by, all that just evaporated into thin air. We have read in Purana-s that a great rich and well to do, saintly, emperor like Janaka himself was very sensitive and afraid about having young unmarried daughters. All that is gone now! What was considered as intolerable stigma to one’s reputation, has now become an indicator of advancement and progress! Our sense of Dharma has become so weak that we are proud of having our daughters, too old for marriage but, holding high offices! Then their parents come to me and ask for my blessings for their promotion and I quietly ignore my hurt and shake my head as though giving my blessings, as asked for! What a shame that I have to get a good name as a very pleasant person and that too a Mataadhipati called Sankarachariyar!

(To be continued.)


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