Sunday, September 14, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 87 of (Vol 2) of 21 Feb 2008.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 87 of (Vol 2) of 21 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 DK # 86 of (Vol 2) of 19 Feb 2008.)

20. Just because one has had English education does not mean that, what is not proveable in the Physics or Chemitry Labs are all fictitious! (KTSV adds:- This is what Mcaulay, the then Governor General of India, aimed at when in 1830's he realised that this country which did not have a single begger or thief, could only be corrupted and brought under control, by imposing an English based education system, which they could control. What ever was not yet done prior to 1947 has been achieved by various vested interests within the country, in the name of secularism subsequently! To set aside all that the Puranas had to offer, on the grounds that they are not scientifically sustainable, is total injustice. To-day, despite being the majority, the Hindu is a minority in practical terms. Because, he is made up of so many disparate elements, who do not see eye to eye with each other, for the simple reason that the unifying influence is non-functional. The way the Hindu religion has been interfered with, on the pretext of secularism is 'no body's business' to say the least!)

21. Even now archeologists do find human skeletons ten to twelve feet long. Some animal fossils of very big dimensions are being unearthed. It only proves that there could have been Rakshasas as big as a coconut tree. There could have been animals with a Lion like body having a proboscis like an Elephant, referred as a 'Yali' in the Puranas. In the arctic regions when they find a skeleton with a 16' leg bone; or an animal skeleton ten times the size of an elephant; or a giant spider; they make a hew and cry! If you combine Archeology, Ocanology and Geology with Mythology; may be we could have better identification of the finds! May be then many of our Puranas will be proved to be truely, accurately Historical!

22. Once upon a time, man could have been 12' tall; now he may be averaging 6'; there is no surity that a few thousand years later, the average height of man will not be 3'. Everything changes with time and place called habitat. That is what the Puranas talk about. The criticism of the Puranas range from the incredulity to flippancy. I have heard statements such as the following. "It seems there were 'Vanaras' who are supposed to be human-monkeys. Then they talk about people with human face and animal bodies. Two, five and ten headed beings. All just lies!" Then there are other those who consider the whole thing allegorical and symbolic.

23. Yes, there could have been some concepts and morals driven home through stories. But that does not give us liberty to doubt everything in the Puranas as only fiction either! Even now we do hear of birth of children with more than two heads or limbs. What is called a 'freak' of nature, may have been more frequent in the past! There were more people with, what we call 'super-human or ab-normal' capabilities, in the past. So may be the super-natural occurences could have happened more often! The point I am making is that, once we accept that things could have been different, we are not the authority to dictate, 'how different'. That is, there are no valid grounds to object to the Puranas for being different to the way things are to-day!

24. What we do not know and what we cannot know, should not all be bracketed as lies! What we discard as unbelievable in Puranas, sometimes happens even to-day. To be able to remember the events of a previous life happens quite often. In the Puranas, there is the story of Kashyapa, who had a wife by the name of 'Kathru'. She had snakes born to her. We declare it as impossible at once. But last year, (that is 1958), a Marvadi girl gave birth to a snake, which fact was promonent in the news papers. I myself was convinced of such a possibility only after this news item. Before I became a Swami of this Matam, I had known of a family in which, the women folk never used the 'Thazham Poo' (fragrant screw pine, known as Kewada in North India) flower. I asked them the reason as to why, after I had become a Swami. Their real life story was like this.

25. "Ten to 15 generations back, in our family, a girl got a snake as a baby. They were ashamed of telling the world about it. So it was kept as a family secret. But the snake was given milk and looked after at home. The snake too behaved like a baby of the family. The mother never went anywhere because, nobody else could look after the baby, neither could the baby be taken out anywhere. When there was an occassion, when the mother had to attend a relative's marriage, she had to stay away for a few days / nights. An old woman was given the responsibility to take care of the baby for the duration. Till recently when joint family system was still in vogue, old men and women from among the relatives will find some household to stay with. There was on such grandma, living with them. She was made responsible to take care of the special baby, when others would be away. The only problem was that she had bad eyesight and was almost blind."

26. "How do you take care of a baby that is a snake? No bathing, no dressing up and such things. You only had to give milk in time. All that she was required to do was to heat the milk and serve it at a temperature tolerable to the touch. The snake used to drink it from the hollow of the stone mortar(In which food articles used to be grinded with a pestle), kept at the rear of the house. The snake came there when it was hungry. Waited for some time and not finding any thing to sate its hunger, coiled itself to sleep inside the hollow of the mortar! This old woman, brought the hot milk and poured it into the hollow of the mortar, without noticing that the baby was asleep inside! The baby died there. There in the place where she was visiting, the Mother had a dream. In the dream, the baby told the Mother, ' Mother, I am dead. You take my body and cremate me in the place where there are a lot of 'Thazham Poo' in the forest. Women in this house may never decorate themselves with that flower please, in the future.' From that day no one in this house use that flower", they said. The story was quite amazing.

27. Much later, after I had become the Swami, the members of that family came to meet me, not mainly to talk about this old incident, but to bring to me a copper plate Sasanam of their forefathers, as they came to know of my interest in such things. That plate was of the period of Achyuta Devaraya, who ruled in Vijayawada
after Krishna Deva Raya. It contained the details of a brahmin donating land to 108 other brahmins.

28. First let me tell you as to why should he do that. A brahmin is required to spend all his time in Veda Adhyayanam, Adhyapanam and Karma Anushtanam; that he is neither supposed to go for any job to earn a living, nor will he have time for it. But his family has to be taken care of. More over, for doing Yagas and Yagnas, he needs money and materials. For that, he is permitted as per the Sastras to take Daanam when offered. So Kings and Regional Leaders have always looked after the needs of brahmins' creature comforts. Daanam is not by Right but only as a previlage. To exploit ones position as a brahmin was forbidden too. So as some people think and as some others propogandise, brahmins never used to take undue advantage of their position in the society. Maintaining a high profile self respect, they used to take only the minimum inescapable necessity. Again the reputation of the person giving the Daanam had to be taken into consideration too, before the Daanam was accepted! It was never the case that the Rulers/Kings were at askance because of the brahmin's greed. The situation was the other way around. They used to often feel bad that they were not getting entitled to Punyam as no one was coming forward to take the Daanam offered by them! In such situations, these rich Rulers/Kings would use a ploy. They would first locate a very poor
brahmin and give him a complete village. Since evidently he cannot manage all that, through him it will be distributed to other brahmins. Now the other reciepients will also not have objections about taking Daanam from another brahmin, there by avoid, 'pratigraha dosham', of recieving from an unworthy donor.

29. If you now ask, as to will this poor brahmin not run the risk of earning de-merit points of 'Paapam', the answer lies in the fact that, he absolves of his demerits by giving away everything as 'Daanam', except for a small portion that he retains for himself. Thagaraja Swamy in Thiruvaiyaru refused to accept from Sarabhoji Maharajah, despite the latters monumental efforts. Thyagaraja sang, "...niti saala sukhama?...", meaning, 'is it the money that gives the satisfaction?' When Natukkottai Chettiyars constructed many Chatrams, where free boarding and lodging was made available to travellors, brahmins were hesitant of staying for the night in those places. Here too, they got over the problem by finding a suitable poor brahmin and declaring the property on his name and installing him as the manager there.

30. In the copper plate that they had brought for my perusal, a brahmin had been granted a village by the name of Mambakkam in North Arcot district and he in turn had donated the lands to 108 other brahmins. The copper plate contained all the names of those 108 brahmins with details of which branch of Veda they belong to and the survey numbers, location and measurements of the area of the land being donated to them. That brahmin who was donating was their forefather. The copper plate was being handed over from generation to generation. The important point to be noted was that, the name of that particular brahmin gentleman of Mambakkam whose name was mentioned in the copper plate was, Nageswaran. Nageswaran as you may be aware, means the Easwara of all Nagas or snakes! In their family, in every alternate generation, there has been a Nageswaran!

31. This was as though in answer to my distrust and incredulity, 'if the information of a human being giving birth to a snake, could be true'. Then my doubt was finally removed when last year ie., 1958, I read in the News Papers about the birth of a snake to a human being! So, it is wrong on my part to tick you off for not having enough belief in the words of the Puranas, when my trust in Vedas and Puranas too hinged on a News Paper report! I did not fully believe in that family secret, till confirmed of the possibility by the News Paper. What to do, that is the tyranny or over dominence of the printed word to-day. Now relate this to the truthfulness of the authors of the Puranas! To have scant courtecy at the very mention of Puranas, is being daft, to say the least! "They had no other job to do. They had their palm leaves and their pointed metal piece to pierce holes in the palm leaf. So, they could write what ever came to their fertile imagination! They contain some clever things, but rest is all just bunkum!", should not be our attitude.

(To be continued.)



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