Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 78 of (Vol 2) of 01 Feb 2008.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 78 of (Vol 2) of 01 Feb 2008.

(Note 1. We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be! I offer my sincere apologies for the likely errors, as the one doing the translation. ---KTSV Sarma. Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1930's to early 60's.

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 77 of (Vol 2) of 29 Jan 2008.)

47. 'Karane Abhyudayam', is OK because, I will get the benefit for having done a good job of doing the Sandya Vandanam. But 'Akarane pratyavaayam' is not right, because I should have the freedom to not do something, if I do not want to do it. I asked if there was any example for this injustice? You said, 'Yes'. What is it? We give something to the begger. When people come and ask for donation, we give Rs 100/- or 200/-. Some times we do not feel like giving. Then we say no. Yes, one should help out, when we can. There is a proverb which says that, Danam and Dharmam is only after you have taken care of yourself! But, if we have taken a loan from somebody, and if we do not return that to him, then we cannot say, that we do not want the 'Punyam of giving that money to you'! He will say, "Brother! I did not come for Punyam. I came to claim what I had given You, as loan." He may take us to court and get his money back with interest, and may even get us punished, additionally. This is the, 'akarane pratyavayam' type. In Tamil, the Nitya Karma Anushtanas are collectively called, 'Kalaik-Kadan and Malaik-Kadan'. They seem to be more appropriate names. You may ask, 'It is not enough to give an example of someone taking a loan and having to return it. How is it pertinent here?'.

48. In Veda, in Taithreeya Samhitai, (VI.3), it says that, a Brahmin at the time of birth is already born with three types of out-standing debits. They are, 'Rishi / Deva / Pithru Runams'. Rishi can be paid back by chanting the Vedas. Deva Runam is paid off through, Yagas, Pujas and daily Sandya Vandanams. Pithrus can only be paid back through Srardham on the Thithi of their death and Tharpanam on occassions like the New Moon or whenever you visit important places like Theertha Sthans. We do not know that we owe. Vedas tell us about things we do not know. If you believe, you will feel happy for having abided with the injunctions as required of you. If you do not believe in the Vedas injunctions, you may go about as though the whole world owes you!

49. There are two brothers. One is working as a lawyer. He gets an appointment to go to the court and take over as a magistrate. He cannot refuse to go to court saying, 'that is no my job, let my brother do it'. 'You had applied for that job as a magistrate and you have to go and do that job', he will be told. Like that, by certain good actions, you have earned certain merits to be born as a Brahmin. As per that, you are required to do certain duties. Vedantin will say that, 'God is the Witness for everyone's actions', ie., "...sarvadhee saktchi butham...". Meemamsaka will say, you got the result of your actions automatically. Anyhow by whatever logic, you are born as a Brahmin, by your past actions and so, should do your duties, as required of you! If you do not do so, there will be problems.

50. So, in whatever way, you have got the life, commensurate with the resultant effect of your past actions, whether you are born as a Brahmin in South India or an Emperor Penguin in the Arctic, you have to behave as a Brahmin or an Emperor Penguin, is supposed to behave. A brahmin has to learn the Vedas by Adhyayana, learn its word meanings and do the Nitya/Nimiththa/Kamya Karmanushtanas, where possible tell others suitable good suggestions and advices, when they are grieved; and learn and teach arts and crafts, to other traders. Similarly everyone in the society, have to play their part. The 'Vaniyan / Teli' should get the oil seeds crushed and provide edible oils to the consumer. The cobbler should get the shoes mended and or make new ones. The brahmin shoud refrain from eating odds and sorts of things, keep himself bodily and mentally clean; spend all his time in devotional activities and influence the society to do likewise. In olden times, the Kings used to give 'Manyam' (that is some source of income), for such important artisans in the society. Because, if they do not do their jobs, others will also suffer. Amongst them, the Brahmins job was not easily possible to be replicated by others. So once, he stopped doing his job properly, the whole system collapsed.

51. So, Nitya Karmas are of the type that, by doing them you are paying off your debts, and by not doing, you are creating problems, like running the risk of 'fore-closures' on your loan! But if you pay back in proper instalments, in time, your credit rating goes up, does it not? Exactly similarly, when you do the Nitya Karma Anushtana, on the one hand you are avoiding sin; and on the other, you are ennobling yourself, in your own eyes and in others'! (KTSV adds:- Though Periyaval has not spoken about them, I have noticed many more advantages of doing the daily rituals like Sandyavandanam! First is discipline. Second, is the management of time. Then if you make an effort to read and learn the meaning of the Sandyavandana Mantras, you will find that, some of the most wonderful mantras have been collected and put together, as a beautiful garland. Then the aspect of Physical Exercise. During the Sandya Vandanam, if you just do one Sashtanga Namaskar every time you say 'Nama :', you can do 24 Prostrations; which would mean 72 in a day! You can do it the way, 'Surya Namaskar' is done. Then there is Pranayama, a beautiful breath control exercise, which can keep you physically fit and mentally alert, throughout your life! Then again, you have the Gayathri mantra, which could be further embellished with Anga and Kara Nyasas. Chanting of Gayathri Mantra can be done, as a period of intense meditation! Actually it is said, that once you are initiated into Gayathri Mantra, you do not need any other Mantra! Then remember, that Bhagwan Sri Krishna says in Bhagawath Gita, "...yagnanam japosmi...". Just before sitting down for 'Gayathri Mantra', you are to say, "...asavadityo brhma, brhma eva aham asmi...", to mean, 'all these Suns are Brhmam only and so am I'. Through sincere Sandya Vandanam, you can attain to 'Adwaita Anubuthi'. Set aside all your inhibitions. Will do Sandyavandanam!)

52. We are supposed to do, Sandya Vandanam, Oupasanam / Agni Hotram, every day! Most of us do not even know what are all these activities. (It is a daily activity done on the Garhapatyam fire, in which oblations are offered to Gods, both in the morning and evening, taking approx 30 minutes, each time.) As given in the Vedas, a Brahmin should do these, Nitya Karma Anushtanas (including, Sandya Vanadanams three times; Brhma Yagnam once; and Oupasanam twice), till he is alive. So the Meemamsakars insist too. But once you take Sannyasa, all Karmas are given up. So, Meemamsakars consider taking Sannyasa, a big crime. To take Sannyasa is as good as converting to Christian or Muslim religion. Even Upanishad says that a man should live for 100 years, doing his Karmas(Easavasypanishad, 2nd Mantra). Thaithreeya Brahmanam says that to put off the Agni-hotra fire, is tantamount to committing murder. So, to leave doing Nitya Karmas were considered to be a detestable crime. A Sannyasi was considered as a 'Karma-Brashtan', to be avoided at all costs. To see or interact with a Sannyasi was a sin by itself! That was the opinion of people like Mandana Mishra.

53. If you ask them as to how they could hold this view, when it is the same Vedam based on which they swear their loyalties to the very Siddhanta of Meemamsakai, also approves of Sannyasa in the Gnana kanda; their reply will be on the following lines. "Yes, it is true that in the Upanishads, subjects such as, Brhmam, Gnanam, Moksham and Sannyasam, have all been mentioned. What is Vedam. It is sound, that is the word. What was it created for? To tell us things that we do not know. For whatever is discernible by the five senses and the mind, we do not need the 'Sabda Pramanam' of Vedas. Vedas have not been created to tell us something useless. For all words, there are two types of usefulness. One type is to motivate us towards some action(pravrutty) and the other is to stop us from involving in some action(nivrutty)."

54. Their argument continues. "What ever is said in simply a descriptive way, is of no consequence. What is the use of saying that a crow is black? For that we do not need the Vedas! One chap says that a crow flies. That statement is of no consequence. If some one says that there will be a lecture in this hall, at six in the evening to-day, it may serve the purpose of informing people to be able to attend that lecture, by whosoever. But, if someone says that there will be a meeting in Timbuktoo, to-day; what purpose does that serve? This information is of no use to anybody anywhere else, far away!" Their logic seems quite apt so far. Now carefully note the further argument.

55. "Vedas have two parts. One portion is pure gossip like statements. That is the Gnana Kandam. The portion where Vedas talk about purposeful actions is the Karma Kandam. Whatever is said in the Vedas should have (either Pravrutty or Nivrutty) purpose of involving us in some useful action or preventing us from some useless action, respectively. Karma Kandam tells you the Do's and Don'ts. Gnana Kandam is only a story book. It is of no consequence, unless related to Karma Kandam!"

56. Say there is an advertisement about, 'Dhatu Pushti Lehiyam', of a tough looking man wrestling with a Tiger. What is the purpose? Every man who is a weakling or feels that he is one such, should buy that 'Lehiyam'! It does not mean that all of them can fight with a Tiger! That is known as 'Artha Vadam'. A doctor gets certificates from prominent persons, validating his effectiveness in curing some disease. In such 'Artha Vadam' cases, some amount of Truth is always mixed with some Untruth, to be able to sell. To say known facts is 'Anuvadam'. To say as to what all materials are added in a particular medicine, (like they print Drug Facts, on the cover of the container), is 'Bhutharthavadam'. To tell as to how, someone met with an accident, while driving a veicle under the effect of alcohol, the purpose is to encourage abstinence. You may add some untruth to the story, then 'Arthavadam' becomes 'Gunarthavadam'. Anyhow, all these stories are so that, you may abide with some Do's and Don'ts.

57. Veda talks of the conduct of a Yagna. There it says, give Gold as Dakshinai, not silver. Thaithreeya Samhitai, specifically forbids Silver being given as donation in Yagnas. To explain the point, there is a long story. The story has no other relevance than forbidding a particular course of action. To say that this is how it should be done, is Vidhi. To forbid some action, is Nishiddam. But these arthavadams have no other relevance than, the messages of Do's and Don'ts. This is the logic based on which, Meemamsakai negates the entire Gnana Kandam. How this is done and how Adi Sankara counters that, we will see in the next e-mail, which will also complete our consideration of Meemamsakai; the Karma Margam.

(To be continued.)




Post a Comment

<< Home