Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 68 (Vol # 3) Dated 17 Mar 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 second para of page 298 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://advaitham. blogspot. com constantly updated.)
8. When such arguments are thrown at us, we ourselves start wondering if our religion is rather crude and uncivilized? Other religions have a God and have a simple procedure of approach to that God. Why do we not have such a mature attitude like that? Starting from a crude 'Kaatteri' i.e., ' deity of a lake-side in a forest', to village deities to, impartite, indivisible, undefinable, indescribable, omniscient, omnipotent, Para Brhmam, we have mix of all sorts of Gods, Devata-s and deities!
9. The all knowing learneds in our own religion say, “There is no such problem in our religion. We have evolved from crude origins may be. But the mature position is one in which, meditation on the supreme power of the Paramatma with absolute devotion without any expectation of 'Quid Pro Quo', is the essence of our religion! But since this religion is all inclusive without any exclusivity, a lot of weeds have survived and also thrived, virtually over growing the main crop of cultivation! Mainly the vested interest of priest-hood has turned our religion in to such a state of affairs!” This phrase 'vested interest of priest-hood', is a respectable way of saying that Brahmins are exploiting all other caste-s!
10. I am not going to agree with the above statement and say, ”Yes our religion is high philosophy in which, 330 million deities, the 'Pithru' related functions and ceremonies are all un-wanted, non-essentials to be weeded out!” I agree that instead of concentrating on the one God through devotion and meditation, we have a variety of ways of pleasing the souls of Pithru-s and an abubdance of methods of pleasing a whole pantheon of secondary and tertiary Gods! But, instead of saying that as a criticism, I am going to say, “Yes, that is our way! This religion is like that. Appease the Katteri-s and Karuppanna Swami-s through Bali! Do Nava graha shanti. Conduct Maha Ganapati Homam, Mruyunjaya Homam and any other homam as suggested by the Pundits! Do Pancha Maha Yagnam every day if you are a Brahmin. Do Divasam and Srardham in all sincerity and elaborateness, exactly as demanded of you by the Saastra-s. Instead of being tight fisted, be liberal when paying the Priest for his services!”
11. What ever they are saying as criticism, I am not going to dispute and deny apologetically! With pride, I am going to insist with rightful pride that, it is our way and with all logic too. Yes, it is high philosophy to think of God only as one universal power. Yes, all our prayers should be directed towards Him only. Yes, it is good to direct our efforts of service towards humanity as a whole! Having agreed to all that, in the same breath I am going to insist that whatever is done in this Hindu religion is still directed towards the same noble intentions and ideals! How is that? That is the million dollar question!
12. The under current in whatever is done by way of religion in Hinduism is addressed at that one God only. The process simultaneously achieves the high ideals of individual cleansing of minds and universal humaneness! Your reaction can be another, “Howzzat? You are talking in riddles!” My answer hear is, “Yes! Many Hindus do all this with no understanding but only faith and belief. That is also the reason why many Hindus, who have neither the understanding nor faith, are giving up being a Hindu! Or, in other words, they are non-practicing Hindu-s who have neither the belief nor the understanding as to why we are doing this or not doing this!”
13. All that exists, is that One Unique Entity only, call it what you want, as Parmatma or whatever! All the living forms of humans, animals, birds, fishes, insects, germs are all manifestations of that one power in being says Hinduism! Why only animate living things, but seemingly inanimate non living matter and non-matter too, is also that one power in being only holds Hinduism! But this is easily said than done and understood!
14. If other religinists insist on one God, if some others talk of Nirvana or Kaivalya, ask them if they have a personal experience of that one God? Ask them as to if any one amongst them have realized? A person who is capable of answering in the affirmative can only be one in ten million!
15. But, here in India, where all the religious practices are seemingly not concerned about God or the Soul, there have been a long line Realized Souls going on from pre-historic times till date and it goes on! For every one known Realized Being, there are many hidden from the public eye! This is the Land of Saints and Sages! I am not saying this. Rest of the world says so! We run to the West and other countries for material and modern technological benefits while; they are all coming enmass to our shores for 'Atma Abhivritti'! This is a fact of life! Why? What is the reason for this?
(To be continued)


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