Sunday, November 23, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 19 (of Vol 3) Dated 22 Nov 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 19 (of Vol 3) Dated 22 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 84, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein the word 'man' includes 'woman' too. I note that this subject of 'paropakaaram / social service' is already generating much discussion. I suggest that you reserve your doubts as they will get answered I am sure! The subject is being analyzed for another 200 pages and will possibly be covered in the next 50 e-mails! Do make your notes for eventual clarification. May be that the answer will occur to yourself eventually!)
(Note:- These e-mails are available at constantly up-dated.)
24. I made a statement that Man is the most troubled of all the life forms of this universe. You visit the hospitals, jails, orphanages, widow homes, beggars homes and so on. Then you will know as to what all unimaginable difficulties that man is capable of putting himself to. But these are such problems that do not need Mahatma-s to play a part, but could be resolved by people like us. Visit to such places will bring to our minds as to in how many forms God has come and is waiting for help from common folks like us!
25. If you ask me as to what are we supposed to do, my answer in one word is that, wherever there is unhappiness, we should forcibly interpose ourselves there and try and do what ever we can to relieve the unhappiness, by money or by speech or by physical help. That is our 'kadan', 'kadamai', and duty!
26. This is what is called 'Dharmam' (or 'Aram' in Tamil). As I said earlier, by doing this, we cannot guarantee salvation or removal of unhappiness. We are not responsible for that either. By trying to help, our mind gets cleansed alright. Even Thiruvalluvar while defining 'Dharmam' says, "manaththukkan maasilan aadal anaithu aran", meaning, 'your own mind becoming cleansed is all the 'dharma' put together'!
26. If you ask me as to what is 'anaithu aran' that is 'sarva dharmam' ?, the answer is, 'manaththukkan maasilan aadal'. That is, to get our own minds spotlessly clean, is all the rules of morality put together! Traditional Vaidik philosophy too insists that through "Karma Anushtaana" each person is required to attain to 'chitta shuddhi'. This is what is said by the Thirukkural too. If somebody starts off to do social service, without this humble aim of cleansing one's self, it will be futile effort and end only in self propaganda!
27. 'I, me and mine' are the three entities which should be kept under strict control not only in speaking and writing, but also in the way we feel! With devotion to God, all social service should be done with the clarity of mind and heart that, we are not the doers, but only the instrument through which His is being done. Then only there will be the correct effect. Without that inner clarity, it will all be a show, further accentuating the so called social worker's ego. An action that is to be done with the purpose of getting rid one's own ego, if carried out without 'Adakkam', humility, devotion to God and Love for all; will have the opposite effect of further boosting one's head weight! It will be tantamount to go for a bath and end up smearing oneself in filth and grime!
28. To say that, 'to cleanse oneself is all the dharma!' seems too selfish. However this is not the worldly selfishness, that we are normally dealing with! This is the 'good' selfishness. The bad selfishness can be defined as, "the efforts taken to satisfy our sensual pleasures, while causing hurt to others!" Whereas in this, we may have to serve others even if we have to suffer deprivations and incur losses physical and or financial. This will facilitate salvaging our self from sensual pleasures and take us to the everlasting thrill of self-realization!
29. It is not enough to do 'Upakaaram' to others only. Having given us this body and life, God has also given us a mind, an entity never under our control. Like a monkey, it is independent, unreliable, unpredictable and plays equally in good and bad ventures, with random selection! Do we not have to help ourselves in controlling this mind of ours?
30. Our life is called 'Jivaatma' while God is called, 'Parama Atma'. Do we not have to help our this Jivaatma to control this mind so that, our powers of speech, thinking and action are all used for the purpose of taking this Jivaatma nearer to Paramaatma? Is it not our most important duty to train ourselves to give up the crass narrow minded selfishness of sensual pleasures, in preference of this greater self interest?
31. To achieve this, the best method is service involved in helping others! It is very interesting to note that Paopakaaram is effective only when we have no axes of our own to grind! That will happen only when our minds are clean! To get our minds cleansed, we need to do Paropakaaram! Does it not sound like 'putting the cart before the horse and or putting the horse behind the cart'! There seems to be an apparent contradiction here!
32. But no! There is no contradiction. To start with, we may not yet have an excellent cleansed mind. Karma Anushtaanam and Paropakaaram over time will get us 'chitta shuddhi'. That 'cleansing of mind' will go on to make our Paropakaaram more and more effective! Initially, the mind will hanker after the absent sensual pleasures in Social Service. Repeatedly one is likely to think, "What am I wasting my time and energy here? I could profitably do something else and enjoy!" It is at those times, one has to be aware of the mind playing it's monkey tricks! That is the time to strictly hold the reigns tight! If this real concern not to go astray is there, over time things will work out alright!
33. This very concern for the need to control and cleanse one's own mind, and the effectiveness of our social service are mutually complimentary! Paropakaaram cleanses our mind. The action of social service with a clean mind becomes more and more effective. Thus this, 'quid pro co' arrangement mutually enables growth and goes from strength to strength!
34. All said and done, to correct this outer world is not our business and we are not capable of it either! There are as many minds as there are people in this world, pulling in so many different directions. So let us not think that the world is going to change because of our 'Seva'! But as we carry on without having our own axes to grind, it will make a dent! The question is, 'Where will this make a dent?' 'In your own heart and mind', is the answer! That is why Thiruvalluvar says, "Do not search for proof of whether your service has been effective or not, in the outer world. Just check as to whether you have been, 'manthukkan maasilan aanaayaa?' meaning, whether you have become cleansed in your own mind? This, no one can hide from you. If the answer to your self is 'Yes' that means that Your service is effective!" That is how beautiful he has made that Thirukkural! (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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