Friday, September 12, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 39 of (Vol 2) of 24 Oct 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 39 of (Vol 2) of 24 Oct 2007.

(Continued from DK # 38 of 23 Oct 2007.)

199. To bring every 'Sadhak' to that level of Gnana at the end, is the purpose of all the preparatory Karma Upasana. To reach complete oneness without any differentiation whatsoever, the path has 'Varna Ashrama Dharma' of a hundred thousand variations! The destination being all inclusive whiteness, the way has all the colour combinations of the authoritative 'pecking order'! To stop only at Karma, with all its differentiations; is a blunder. When the 'Poorva Meemamsakars' give over-emphasis to observations of Karma, and say that the Upanishad portion on Gnanam is meaningless; it is them the 'Karmadars' that Krishna goes after, though it looks as though, He is rediculing the Veda itself! In truth, He censures the, "... veda vaada rataa: ..."; that is the pseudo Vedik experts of the initial portions (of the Vedas), who are not aspiring and are making no efforts for the Gnaanam of 'self realization'!

200. Initially Karma is required. That is, we should do all our duties as ordained by the Vedas, knowing fully well that so doing is the first step in the ladder towards the perfect state of 'Atma Anubuthi' of actionlessness! Similarly initially, we need to pray to the Devatas as a devotee, knowing that to be the starting point; so as to reach a state of understanding that the Devata the Object of worship and the Subject Devotee doing the worship; are one and the same thing! For the worldly affairs to function without overlap and interference; we should be doing our duties with as much compartmentalization and decentalization, as required for the effectiveness. But attitudinally, there should be no inferiority or superiority complexes. The tyre pressure in the landing gear is as important as million other parts in the aircraft!

201. So also every individual of the society is equally important to the society. This awareness, humility and humbleness, should be the under current, while being involved very actively. Veda Adhyayanam and Veda Karma Anushtanam are all required to reach the undivided state of oneness in which, even Veda is not required! Flower has to be their for a fruit to come into being. However beautiful the flower may be, it has to whither away, for the fruit to come into being! To say that, "I will obviate the need to be a flower and directly go to being a fruit", is illogic! Now-a-days, those who claim that they will by-pass the Vaidika Anushtanam and go directly to Vedantam, are that type of people, 'who want to become a fruit, without being a flower!' This is not practical. Simultaneously, it is also stupid not to aspire for becoming a fruit and say, that they will enjoy becoming the flower repeatedly! In everything you need a sense of proportion!

202. As said in Gita, in Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad too, (IV.3.22), it says that, "for the one who has realized the 'Atma Swaroopa', for him the Veda is no more Veda; Devatas are no more Deities; Brahmins are no more Brahmins; Chandalan is no more Chandalan." You know the reason why. When we say, 'Sruthi', it refers to the Vedas, inclusive of Samhitai, Brahmanam and Aaranyakam. Gita is not 'Sruthi'. It is said to be a part of 'Smruthi'. (I will talk about 'Smruthis' in detail when I talk about 'Dharma Sastra' as part of the the 14 Vidyas!) Gita, that is a Smruthi says, "If Veda Karma and Upasana, does not take you to Gnana, then it is a waste". The three authorities (Pramanas) are, 'Sruthi, Smruthi and Puranas'. Out of them, in Puranas too, in many places, 'stopping with Karma Anushtana and not proceeding towards Gnana Anubhava has been roundly castigated'. For example, when the Rishis assembled in the Tharuka Vana, making 'much ado' about conduct of Yagnas, ignoring the need for attainment of Gnana and realization; are taken to task and their pride destroyed by Parameswara Himself is highlighted in many of the Puranas. Similarly in Bhagawatham, there is an occassion, where the innocent Rishi Patnis(wives), easily identify that it is Mahavishnu who is born as Krishna; whereas, their husbands doing the Yagna are unaware of this fact.

203. But, when it comes to the Authority of the 'Pramanas', first is Sruthi, then Smruthi and then only Puranas. In the above para, I spoke about how, 'remaining in the preparatory peripherals and not going to the crux of the issue ie., 'Atma Anubuthi or Gnanam', has been roundly criticised in the Puranas. You are likely to observe, "OK. that is alright. After all, what you call the Smruthi, is all Vedantam; and it is but natural that, not endevouring to Gnana, is likely to be criticised in Smruthi / Upanishad / Vedantam including Brhma Sutra and Bhagawat Gita, which is all part of Gnana Kandam only! Is there any place or occassion where, such a point is made in Karma Kandam itself?" Your question will be quite warranted and I was just about to discuss this very point!

204. That is, I was going to talk about how, in Karma Kandam itself, thinking of Karma as an end in itself has been condemned. Before that let me touch upon Bhagawat Gita once. In one place, He tells Arjuna that it is good to conduct many Yagnas mentioned in the Vedas, knowing correctly the purpose of each one of them. Having said so, He confirms that all such Karma Anushtana, ends in Gnanam;- "sarvam karmakilam partha gnanena parisampyate", '(B.G. IV 32-33.)meaning that, 'all actions(of Vedas Karma Kandam) in their entirety O Partha!, end in Gnana'. This idea is emphasised in Karma Kandam itself! In Thaithreeya Katakam, (first Prasna, last Anuvagam, 4th sentence). It says, "The person who does the Karma Anushtana, without ever making any effort to know Easwara, (or not progressing towards an understanding of Atma Gnana), he is one putting wood in fire and creating smoke only. He is an idiot! He will never know his Atma Swaroopa." When you light a fire, you should use it for the purpose of cooking food. When you do yagna, the 'self' should be cooked. (To Cook in Sanskrit is 'pakvam'. In Tamil, this word, 'pakkuvam' has come to mean, 'well cooked for the right duration and with the right ingredients'.)

205. The fire of the Yagna is meant for 'cooking oneself' into the state of Awareness of Atma Gnana. 'Otherwise, what is the use of doing all this', says Vedam itself; that too the Karma kandam portion of Vedam itself! Net result is only creation of more smoke! If you do not graduate to the idea of sacrificing the very 'Karma Pala' of the Yagna in the fire of the Yagna itself, you have learnt a sweet 'nil'. In the fire of Brhma, Atma is to be given as the 'Ahuti or Havis'. In the fire of 'Samyam' that is the control of sensory prevarication; sensory expectations should be offered as the 'Ahuti'. Of the five Pranas of 'prana. apana, vyana, udaana, samana'; each should be offered as the 'Ahuti' in the next fire. That is the ultimate level of total self sacrifice of 'Pranahuti', becoming the 'Poornahuti'. If a person does not understand this and goes on and on with more and more materialistic and action filled Yagnas; such a person has no brains, says the Veda. Where does his 'Buddhi' go? It will go like the smoke created by him, blackening whatever it touches.

206. If you sacrifice each and every one of your actions, as an offering to God; not only Yagna Karya, but its fruits too; not only that, but all your actions, thoughts, your very breath; as an offering to God; including whatever comes to you from the world, including Name and Fame and Wealth; then Karma instead of binding you will relieve you of Ties and Knots. That is 'Nish Kamya Karma' done for the pleasure and satisfaction of God; that will automatically usher you into the state beyond the ordinary mundane 'quid pro quo'.

207. Yagnam as a word points out this only. It is translated as 'Sacrifice' in English. Yaagam means, 'Thyagam'. When you offer anything to any God and place it in the Yaaga Kundam, the last Mantra is, "na mama". That means, 'not mine, enadillai, mera nahin, mana ledu', in English, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu, respectively. You cannot take back something put in the fire. You can cancel any other action of yours. You have to put your, "ahankaram and mamakaram, me, my, mine, I and ego", in the fire, so that it just goes. Ego goes! This is the high end of Yaaga and Yagnas; not material benefits and attaining of heavens! Are you not a fool, if such cheap thrills like 'Ayur, Arogya, Aiswarya and Swarga Prapti' are the aims?

208. There is no contradiction between Karma Kandam and Gnana Kandam. In many places in Karma Kandam itself, its limitations have been mentioned and Gnana Kandam has been praised. There are some such Suktas of high ennobling thought content as Nasadeeya Suktham, Purusha Suktham and Thryambaka Mantram, which occur in the Samhita portion itself, and not in Upanishads. As against this, there are some counterpoints of important Karmas being mentioned in the Upanishads, such as Nasiketa Agni. Even some of the often repeated Mantras, used in Karma Anushtana, are taken from Thaitreeya Upanishad. If the Karma Kandam and Gnana Kandam were contradictory to each other, such mutual accommodation would not have been there. The idea was and has always been, to progress from Karma to Gnana Kanda.

209. If you do Karma as an offering to God, that itself is the key for the opening of the gates of Gnana, says the Bhagawat Gita. The basis for this statement is in the first of the ten Upanishads, Easawasya. Even if you do Veda Krma for hundreds of years, it will not bind you, as long as you do this, with the clarity that all your actions are only your humble offerings in Gods Sannidhi. So, it is wrong to think that all Upanishad is anti Karma! Karma, as I said earlier is also not the end in itself. For the welfare of the family, clan, society and so on, even if you do 'Devata Upasana', that is also not the 'be all and end all'. You have to come to this understanding that, " me, no world, no devata, no nobody else; but, sarvam brhma mayam jagat..." When you come to this understanding vedam will also disappear says the Veda!

210. What is Vedam? It is the Law of God. That law has to be obeyed by all people, who are the citizens of the world. But, a Gnani has physically, mentally, morally, essentially and intrinsically; has reached a stage of non-differentiation with the eternal truth. He does not have to repeatedly refer to the Law as laid by God! For him Vedam is no more the Vedam. The irony is that, for us too, the Vedam is not sacrosanct! But, the further irony is that, we do not even know the meaning of what is Gnanam or how it smells even!

211. If we never get to know that Karma Kandam is a vehicle for carrying us to the 'Para Vidya of Upanishads', then Vedam (of Karma Kandam), becomes something like History and Geography only, another, 'Apara Vidya'. Like Pure Science and Applied Science, Veda will become Applied Veda for all practical purposes! A person who uses Vedas for such temporary advantages, is like an animal, says the Upanishad. When the Gnani identifies hisself with the source of all creations, then he has become one with all devatas too. Even before he became a Gnani, even when he was a devotee of a Devata, the under current in his mind was always that, that Devata is non-different from the Atma in him and everybody else. Actually, a Gnani will never think that he is any different from others and so he will never have the pride that he is a Gnani! So, nobody is an 'Agnani' in his eyes, because he follows the advice, "...drushtim gnana mayam krutva pasyata brhma mayam jagat...". The converse is also true, that is, no one is a Gnani in the eyes of an 'Agnani'.

212. There is another aspect of this issue. "The one who prays to Gods or a Devata, thinking the devata or deity to be completely different from himself, is like an animal for the Devatas", says Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. The word for 'animal' in Sanskrit is 'pasu'. Pasu is also a cow. He is not just an animal, but a very useful animal like a milch cow. It has an indepth meaning. He is like an animal, not only because, though being a human with a thinking brain, he is not using his sixth sense; there is some more logic. Let me tell you the inner meaning of it.

213. Why do we take care of the cow? So that it may give us the milk. For that reason we look after it, feed it with grass, oil cakes, cotton seeds and so on. Similarly, we give 'Ahuti' in Homam, to the Devatas and in turn they take care of us with rains, favourable weather and various other benefits. Though these Devas are superior to Human beings, they are also not reciepients of total Gnana. Their happiness is also limited. They cannot get even a fraction of the 'Brhmanandam / atmanandam' that a human being attains to when he becomes a Gnani! Actually, if you remain an 'Agnani', you become the favourite of the Devatas! "Devatanam priya: brashtavya:". We will analyse the comparative merits and demerits of being a 'sacred cow' of the Devatas, in the next e-mail!

(To be continued.)




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