Saturday, February 21, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 57 (Vol # 3) Dated 21 Feb 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 57 (Vol # 3) Dated 21 Feb 2009
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from page 249 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/ she' too, mostly.)
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at constantly updated.)
417. Let me add one more to the list of activities under Paropakaaram. To keep ones own body and mind clean is a great help for the rest of the world and so should be included in the list. By bad habits when someone becomes diseased, how can he do Paropakaaram? Not only that, his disease could spread to others. So, you become a source of illness for others. That is 'para + apakaaram' instead of 'para + upakaaram'!
418. Some 40 to 50 years back, there were not so many people suffering from diseases, as obtaining these days. The reason for this is lack of morality and prevalence of more wide-spread bad habits. (KTSV adds:- Periyaval must have said this some 60 years earlier. Now the situation is worse. Such statistics of the past may not be available to make a true comparison. But what is clear all over the world is the fact that, the cost of 'medical care' takes away a major chunk in individual, corporate and governmental budgets!)
419. The reason for the existing state of affairs is not far to seek. There is a general dilution of morality in the whole world. There is a quote which goes as, "...sastraaya cha sukhaaya cha...", meaning that, 'to abide with the Saastra-s is convenient too!' Being disciplined in mind, speech and action, one obviates many infectious diseases. In the name of fashion we are letting all matters of personal hygiene go by default!
420. Not that only physical diseases are infectious. Even thoughts do affect other's thought processes. The way our brain functions have been identified to be electronic impulses. So, it is true that thought power can influence and affect others. By keeping our own mind and body clean, we are contributing to other's well being. If not, at least we will not be affecting them negatively!
421. Instead of sitting down with the purpose of cleansing ones own mind that is 'chitta shuddhi', if you get involved in doing some or all the activities of Paropakaaram that I have been talking about, 'chitta shuddhi' will just occur as a by-product. For Paropakaaram to be effective in cleansing one's own mind, it is necessary to completely rid oneself of the sense of 'Ahankaaram', that we are doing something great! It is equally important that we should not expect any returns for our such actions in social service, such as money or name or fame! It is cleansing of our own hearts and mind that is, the biggest return.
422. Each at their own level of income and capabilities, should do what they can for Paropakaaram, in whatever way they can. When any part of the body is affected or injured, the eyes shed tears, don't they? Similarly, when anyone is suffering in any part of the globe, our hearts should melt in sympathy. To help others in need is our duty. There is nothing to be proud about in this. Nor is this done out of compulsion. Once you are clear in your mind that the whole world is God only in manifested form, to remove others worries will become our second nature. Even when we persevere in doing so, it will not be much of a burden for us. However much we may sacrifice, it will be done with pleasure sans limit. The smile seen the face of the person helped, will more than compensate for all our efforts.
423. Daily before going to sleep, we should make a self assessment as to whether we have helped anyone that day or not! It is said in Tevaram that, every day spent without talking about God is a day wasted. Similarly, everyday spent without Paropakaaram is to be considered as a day wasted. That day should be treated as a day of mourning. That day we are as good as not being alive.
424. However small or poor we may be, there will be some small way that we can be of use to others. May be singly or in groups, we must do what we can. To dig a well in a village where there is no water source; to repair the walls of a temple which is in disrepair; to re-start the Pooja in a temple that is going by default; to install a stone for the cattle to conveniently rub their bodies against; to tell others the beauty of some Sloka or Pasuram; to sing some Bhajans enabling others to think of God; to sweep and clean up say a community hall; there are many ways in which one could quietly contribute. To do so without much publicity is more important! You do not have to launch your self in social service, leaving your family uncared for. Taking care of your family and doing social service, both are duty only.
425. In the western world, they institutionalize social service. Here in our system to do social service singly and in groups, is part of the way of life like religion. Like the cells in the human body help each other without any special promptings, we in India do this as part of the social milieu. The one advantage in our way of doing it is that, there is effective curb on 'pride that I have done so and so act'. The pleasure is in doing it without anyone knowing about it! There is a proverb in Tamil that says, "while giving, the left hand should not know what the right hand has given!"
426. Once you institutionalize social service, it leads to office bearers, their election, competition, publicity, heart-burn and so on! That is why I have been insisting that we must avoid making too elaborate set-ups for this. May be the weekly Bhajan committee or an informal get together, should bring such activities under their purview. Do not make big plans. Do not collect more than what is required. I am warning like this for the main reason that, the vicious cycle of more money, more publicity, more corruption will come in to being, inexhorably! Cleansing of our own minds, that is ‘chitta shuddhi’, as the main aim, will be lost sight of, in the bargain!
(To be continued.)



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