Saturday, April 04, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 73 (Vol # 3) Dated 04 April 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 73 (Vol # 3) Dated 04 April 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 316 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.)
1. Thrift is an essential personal quality, which enables us to live within means and be able to help others. If we start making non-essential luxuries and material benefits in to necessities, we will only end up copying the so called western developed nations and never be satisfied. Then we can not do real Daanam and Dharmam, because they will only be so many heads under which we will be trying to fit in 'Tax Deductibles' in the accounts books.
2. We need a motor cycle to be able to move. Then we need a car. Then we need a bigger car, air conditioned with power windows, power steering, and all other modern facilities. We need a roof over our heads. A house could cost you from a lac or two to a few crores of rupees, as you up the ante from cement to mosaic to tiles to marbles; and white washing with lime to oil based distemper; airy and breezy to air conditioned; and so on! The more conveniences we go for, we run the risk of the greatest inconvenience of never knowing what is satisfaction! Not only that. However much one may earn, it will never be enough! That is why all rich people are in debt. They call it in a respectable way as over draft and or deficit financing! If one is already indebted, how can he ever think of doing Dharmam?
3. The pathetic condition existing is that, on the one hand, the person who is carefully thrifty, is too miserly who neither enjoys nor lets others enjoy. The spend thrift on the other hand is running after more and more comforts that. he is in debt and so can never extend a hand in help! (Periyaval could not have been talking about the economic melt down that we are facing presently. But his analysis is very close to the truth! The Western countries, especially the US of A, are a classic example of the entire population, individuals, corporate world, industries, and the Government; being in debt!) If only everyone follows the lofty ideal of controlling expenditure, so as to be able to save, so that he may be able to help others of the society! That is Punyam, that is peace and that is social service to humanity at large! Unless one is carefully controlling one's own spending, he can never save to be able to help others. Modern scientists are stressing the importance of conserving the earth's resources as against over exploitation, as the earth's resouces are not unlimited!
4. The Dharma Kshetra being mentioned in the first sloka of Bhagawat Gita, is this human body! For an agricultural land to be productive, it needs fertility of the earth, suitable manure, weather and irrigation or rains. What is the similar input in to the human system? Good food, working body parts, functional sense organs, brains and intelligence! In this body that is the cultivatable land the crop to be sown and grown is Dharma. Thus the body becomes the 'Dharma Kshetra'. When one is fit enough physically to be able to do hard work and has a logically thinking buddhi i.e., brain, is the right time for cultivation, that is the sowing or planting season. To let the weeds grow uncontrolled is similar to incurring unbridled expenditure. To look at the weeds and feel very happy is similar to being thrilled with our preoccupation with material luxuries and facilities. As we carefully remove the weeds, we should cut down our unnecessary expenditures.
5. To be in debt is equally bad for individuals, organizations and nations! Thrift is not for oneself, but to save for others sake. Similarly, we should avoid taking loans so as to be able to help others. Otherwise, we work hard to pay back a loan or take another loan to pay back an old one and so on, becoming a habitual loan taker. Thus we create a sense of 'abhaava' i.e., scarcity in our selves. When such is the case, how can we ever be in a position to help others? Adi Sankara Acharyal in 'Prasnottara Ratna Malika' a book in the form of questions and answers, asks the question, "How do we become unclean? 'kimiha aasoucham bhavet?" " Suchi is clean. Asuchi is inclean. Aasoucham is unclean condition (11 days after a death in the family or a child birth, known as 'theettu',) unsuitable for divine activities. Here the disciple is asking the question and the Guru answers, "To be indebted is being unclean!" To say it in the Sanskrit, 'runam nrunam'. runam means debt. nrunaam means for human beings. The biggest unclean state for human beings is to be indebted, says the Acharyal! Why did he say so?
6. What do we do at the time of 'theettu'? At these times we do not do anything of importance. Of course now-a-days people do not bother about such traditional restrictions, calling them all as superstitions and participate in all sorts of activities, including visit to temples! In the bargain we are seeing a lot of aberrations such as new and new diseases of exotic origins, accidents during religious festivals and natural calamities which are rather unnatural! Let me explain the meaning of what Acharyal has written, based on our practices in vogue till as late as some 50 years back. Those are the customs and traditions which were prevalent five decades back as well as two thousand years back, at the time of our Acharyal.
7. When a person is in 'theettu', others would not come near him. For that period he becomes an 'untouchable'! If you happen to touch him or her, you have to take a bath to cleanse yourself. The same thing happens when some one is in debt. People avoid him as they are afraid of the fact that he may 'touch' you for another loan! He also hides and evades, afraid of being caught by the one who has given the loan! So as not to be identified, he would go about hiding his face from being noticeable to the public, covering his face by some means or the other. Thus he becomes an untouchable of his own volition!
8. One man's bad habit of taking loans troubles every body else too. Kambar's classic phrase, "kadan pattaar nenjam pol kalanginaan lankai vendan", to mean, 'the King of Lanka felt demeaned like a man in debt!' The occassion was when Ravana had been virtually defeated and disarmed with his entire army killed or scattered. It was already evening time. Rama told him to go back home and come back to fight another day! He had been given a reprieve like a begger being given alms, by his enemy who after all was a mere human being!
9. The man in debt is afraid of the man who has given the loan and tries to avoid meeting him in person. He lies, aviods and evades. If he can not earn enough money to return the loan, he may be tempted to steal or rob or adopt some other unfair means! The one who has given the loan is also in great quandry only! He is the greater sufferer in the modern times. That is why one of the most often used curse word in Tamil is 'Kadan kaaraa!' This word can be applicable to the one who has taken a loan as well as the one who has given a loan!
(To be continued)



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