Monday, November 17, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 17 (of Vol 3) Dated 18 Nov 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 17 (of Vol 3) Dated 18 Nov 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyavaal 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 75, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original.)
(Note:- These e-mails are available at constantly up-dated.)
1. "Aswamedam as everyone's right." Can we all do 'Aswamedam' these days? You will wonder as to how can this be? Is the Swami in the right senses? What are we talking about? Doing Aswamedam that too these days, by all of us, as a birth right? Even in olden times, to our knowledge only one or two Emperors could dare to undertake such onerous tasks for themselves.
2. Having become a King of a State after due coronation, if he had the necessary power of a four fold army such as Infantry, Horsed Cavalry, Chariots and Elephants in sufficient numbers, to be able to challenge all other Kings of Near and far away States; then and only then he could endevour on such ventures. He let his Horse roam at free will in all directions known as, 'Digvijayam'. The might of the Army used to accompany the Horse. Anyone who had the temerity to challenge the free movement of the Horse had to fight it out or accept defeat and pay respects as asked for by the marauding forces.
3. The King was then crowned as the Chakravarty and is said to have conquered all those countries. This was a more decent way of extending one’s suzerainty over others without actually going to war, I suppose, in those days when war was part of the normal way of life! Then that Emperor sealed his venture with the conduct of an Aswamedam Yaagam. How can any one do this to-day? It sounds ridiculous even to myself, that I am saying that it is everyone’s birth right! Let us temporarily set aside the question whether we can or cannot and tackle the question as to why should we do Aswamedam at all? What for?
4. Is it because that it is a matter of prestige? Is it because that conduct of Aswameda Yaagam will enhance our power and position in the eyes of the world? Or is it for getting the Indra Loka in after life? If these were the gains, I will be the first person to say, ‘No’ to such a venture! Power, position, prestige and the comforts of Deva Loka; are all ways of feeding our ego and pride only. They are insurmountable hurdles in the way of attaining to ‘Atma Gnaana’. Then why should we be doing Aswa Medha Yagna?
5. In Lalita Trisati, there is a name of Ambal given as, “hayamedha samarchitaa”! Trisati is a list of 300 names by which Ambal or any other deity is praised, used in what is known as Archanaa, in which for each name in the Trisati, you offer a flower or leaf to God. ‘Rudra Trisati’ is taken out of the Veda-s themselves. Lalita Trisati, though not occurring in the Veda, is held in equal high esteem.
6. Agastya Rishi got Lalita Sahasranaama from Hayagriva, God in a form of horse head and human torso, an avatara of Vishnu. But he was not happy enough. Then he got Lalita Trisati, from the same Hayagriva with which he was quite satisfied. Adi Sankara has written a Bhashyam for this Trisati. Both Lalita Sahasranaama and Trisati are not only words of description of Goddess Lalita but each word has the value of a mantra by itself. So they have to be chanted only after due physical and mental preparatory cleansing and exclusive devotion!
7. In this Trisati as advised to Agastya by Hayagriva, there is a mantra, “hayamedha samarchitaa”. Hayamedha and Aswamedha mean the same. Hayam means horse. ‘Samarchitaa’ means well honored with obeisance. ‘Hayamedha samarchitaa’ means that Ambal is well revered by conduct of Aswamedha Yaaga.
8. That is by getting an Aswamedha conducted, the person doing it gets the benefit of paying special obeisance to Ambal. Through other devotional activities, one looks for getting a progeny or wealth or positions of power and so on. Conduct of a Yaaga like Aswamedha, on the other hand involves much detailed preparation and one-pointed concentration, which results in ‘cleansing of the minds of its unwanted cobwebs’. Once Ambal is pleased, there is no end to the range and quality of her blessings. Position, status, power, fame and name; She will grant us everything! More than all this, She will endow us with 'Atma Gnaana'.
9. There can be nothing more required, once we have attained to 'Atma Gnaana'. This is the answer to the question that I initially asked you 'as to why we should do Aswa Medam?' But, even for chanting Lalita Sahasranaama and Trisati, there are many 'Niyama-s' of Do's and Don't's. For conduct of a Yaaga of the scale of Aswamedha, there is likely to be too many rules and regulations with innumerable If's and Buts'! It is just impossible these days. So should we give up the idea of doing an 'Aswa Medha' at all? No. Saastraa-s themselves come out with an alternative equivalent, easily possible to be done by all of us!
10. Describing progressively step by step actions of compassion and kindness, finally the Saastraa-s say that such actions of 'Paropakaaram and Jeeva Kaarunyam' are equivalent to conduct of Aswa Medha! On deeper analysis, I do note that these two words, 'Paropakaaram and Jeeva Kaarunyam' are both slightly misleading! If you are kind to somebody or help others, you do assign yourself a slightly superior status as the giver and a little lesser position for the receiver of the act of kindness! This very thought is self defeating.
11. The moment we start thinking that we are being kind to somebody, we are only feeding our egoistic tendency! The effect we are interested is to inculcate humility, ‘adakkam’. Instead, we run the risk of giving a boost to our head-weight and that will result in a vicious cycle taking us down. Instead of the words such as kindness and compassion, let us use the word ‘Love’. Love does not see gradations of superiority and inferiority. It knows only oneness.
12. However, in reality we find it very difficult to consider others as our own. Many things come in the way. Our mind invariably assesses others and classifies them as ours and not-ours, based on looks, dress, physical and other relationship, language, caste, place of origin, and so on and so on! All the problems of narrow minded favoritism, nepotism, regionalism and religious intolerance arise from this only! To uniformly Love all without any conditions and differentiation is possible, when you think of Love as a natural out-pouring of Grace. Thiru Valluvar says, ‘arul ennum anbin kuzhavi’. Arul can be translated as grace. He calls it the ‘child of love’.
13. Now we love some people because they are our kith and kin. Then we include people of our village or city. Keep expanding this process to include humanity as a whole. Then go on to include all life forms within the ambit of your Love. Jesus Christ says, ‘do unto others as you would like to be done unto you’. This is more easily possible when you perceive the immanent divine principle in everyone’s existence!
(To be continued.)



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