Thursday, February 26, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 58 (Vol # 3) Dated 27 Feb 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 58 (Vol # 3) Dated 27 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 the middle of page 254 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.)
427. As I was telling you, any need for seeking publicity will only result in hankering after self aggrandizement! We will start looking for our own photo in the news papers. We will start aspiring for being given the opportunity to give the welcome speech or vote of thanks or garland the guest of honour; so that we will be thought to be an important person. This will inevitably lead to aspirations and expectations. When the expectations are not realized, that will lead to disappointments and hatred!
428. Instead of 'Chitta Shuddhi', the exact opposite will be the result! The idea of social service giving us humility will be lost sight of! Instead we will be nurturing and feeding the 'Ahankaara' to unmanageable levels. The ideal is for us to do and not be seen! That is why it is said, "...dharme ksharati keertanaat...". The reference to the context is that, as a person's sins become cancelled when he expresses genuine regrets for the sinful thoughts and acts; his 'punyam' too dwindles when he claims that he has done so and so act of 'Dharma'! This is said in Sanskrit in a delicate way as "...dharma dwajan...", meaning, 'the flag-bearer of dharma'. Though it sounds like a title of honour and merit, it actually is a dig at the person who is rather a 'show off'.
429. I was going to talk to you about 'institutionalization' of social service! If in the western countries they are having 'orphanages and old-people homes', as per saastra-s there is a place in each house-hold for orphans and visitors, (called 'atithi' with respect,) here in our country! In the western countries, in their houses, there will be a guard dog, preventing any orphan or guest from entering! To take care of visitors is in our blood, as part of the customs and traditions ingrained in us. In an institution, this may happen mechanically. I am not just criticizing what happens in other countries. In every country I am sure that, there are great thinkers, do-gooders and philanthropists. So also are there selfish narrow minded people everywhere. But I am making it clear that, "...atithi devo bhava...", as a principle is imbedded in our very being, breath and conscience! As per Vaastu Saastra, our houses had a 'thinnai' or 'bhaitak', where any visitor coming late at night could sleep. He was not even expected to take anyone's permission to stay there. That place was meant for him. The house holder before going to sleep, would keep some food and water to be utilized by such unwary travelers. such arrangements are gone now in the modern architecture of houses especially in the flat / apartment systems.
430. Copying the western family systems, individual family’s have become self-centric in our country too. Accordingly social service has become institutionalized and the governments have had to take on the responsibilities of taking care of Orphanages and Old-Age-Homes and giving pensions to such people has become a necessity. Compared to the earlier arrangement where every house holder shared the responsibility of taking care of the orphans, destitutes and travelers on the principle of “...vasudeiva kutumbakam...”, meaning that 'the whole world is one family', the present arrangement lacks in love and compassion!
431. In short Veda Dharmam holds that; all our powers are only a minutesimal fraction of divine powers. So all our powers should be offered as a compliment of those divine powers only. All our actions should be offered to God. So, let all our thinking with our minds be meditation; let whatever we say with our mouth/tongue be His names and His praise; let all our actions be devotional offerings; and let all our duties become a pooja in His celebration! Whatever are one's duties as per 'Swadharma', amongst the common duties, the most important is this Paropakaaram.
432. So, as we take God's names with our tongue, we should be telling some good nice words to others. As we do Dhyanam with our minds, we should have some thoughts for the welfare of the whole world. As we do pooja, circum ambulation of the temple and do namaskarams to God, with our physical body, we should also do some 'Kainkaryam' such as, sweeping the premises of the temple or community hall or repair dilapidated temple structures. Similarly we should contribute some flowers or fruits for common purposes. That is, we should divinize our daily life without failing in our duties towards God, our families and the society!
433. We are not to believe anymore that Paropakaaram has not been mentioned in our religion. Even in childhood, the children are taught, 'Subhashitam' and 'Needhi Saastram', in which there is much mentioned about social service. One of them goes like this, "...paropakaaraartam idam sariram...", which means that, 'this human body is meant for other's service'! Another one says, "...paropakaaraaya sadaam vibhutaya:...", which means that, 'all our materials and powers and possessions are meant for paropakaaram only'! This idea is conveyed by three different examples. One is that the trees bear fruits for the eating pleasure of birds, animals and humans, (paropakaaraartam phalanti vrukchaa:). The second example is that the rivers carry water for use by others, (paropakaaraartam vahanti nadya:). The third example is that all the milk that cows produce is not meant only for its calf only, (paropakaaraartam duhkanti gaava:).
434. Now let me put this across a little more subtly and effectively. Trees do not eat their own fruits. River does not drink its own water. The clouds do not eat up the agricultural yields raised by its rains. So also good peoples' abilities, materials and wealth are meant for the common welfare only! "paropakaaraaya sadaam vibhutaya:..."
435. When the child is still going to schools, the advice is given, "Think of your self as a permanent divine entity and carry on earning your education, money and materials." In the same breath, it is also said, "When it comes to doing Dharma, instead of postponing, do it at once as though, the Yama the God of Death is sitting on your head and pulling your hair!" It is said that, "...ajaraamaravat pragnya: vidyaam artam cha saadayet I gruheeta iva keseshu mrutyunaa dharmam aacharet II..." . (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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