Saturday, April 11, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 76 (Vol # 3) Dated 10 April 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 76 (Vol # 3) Dated 10 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 329 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. The title 'Aachaaram' means to strictly observe the Traditional Methods. The second title, 'Vajram Paaynda Vruksham' means a tree trunk which has been ingrained with extreme solidity of the hardness of 'Vajram' the thunderbolt, which is said to be the weapon of Indra the king of all Devata-s! As the belief goes, when a tree is struck by lightning and the tree is not burnt off, it is said to have been hardened to a high degree! Adhering to the time tested methods of our forefathers is Aachaara. If we base our lives on such strong foundations, our life too would be strong and long lasting with abiding value systems!
2. Our ancestors strictly abided with the dictates of our saastraa-s always and every time! It is that strict adherence from time immemorial due to which this country has been famous for Gnanam, Arts, Crafts and Fine-arts such as Dance, Music and Literature. The science of medicine, surgery, astrology, mathematics, deductive logic and analysis, have all benefited immensely by contributions of Indian scholars. Painting, sculpture and architecture are our special areas of expertise. To care for the visitor or tourist was not business in India, it was Dharma! In the fields of Ayur Veda and Yoga Asana the whole world is being won over now-a-days! More than any other field, in the field of spirituality, people from other religions from all other countries have always flocked to these shores and are continuing to do so! What can be the reason for this? It is the momentum of the traditions of the past that is continuing to influence the rest of the world.
3. In recent times, say in the past two to three centuries, many reformists of a variety of degree of sincerity and some with vested interest, have all suggested a whole array of reforms. If you take them all on face value and remove those things as weeds in the field, there will be no crop left behind for harvest. You will end up in having a barren field! So, it is prudent for us to simply follow implicitly, the directions pointed by those Rishi-s of yore, who were far more intelligent, aware, knowledgeable, beneficent and capable of extreme perseverance! Whatever those Rishi-s have told us in the Dharma Saastraa-s should be followed completely with no let! For this purpose, we should pray to God to give us mental strength and perseverance!
4. We should pay attention to another fact. Though so many reformists have had their say for more than some four or five centuries, how many Rishi-s have evolved by such movements. You can call anybody Mahatma, Avatara or messenger of God! But in reality how many of them have had the power to quaff the spiritual thirst of the aspirants? Can such things ever replace the traditional Guru-Sishya Parampara, in effectiveness? For the sake of these modern reformists, can we afford to cut the tree of tradition? A tradition which has proved to be an eternal source of a whole series of a galaxy of Mahatma-s? I am not asking this question.
5. Some ten or twelve western foreigners have been approaching me on this. They are all well read about the subject and have done much 'Atma Sadhanai' themselves under suitable Guru-s. Their question was on the following lines. "If those in the position of an Adhyapak i.e., a Guru, lead their personal life of total purity of attitude and behaviour, then their teaching and sparsa / nayana / mantra upadesa deekshaa-s are more effective. This in turn cleanses the disciple too, without which you can never hope to experience 'Atma Anubhava'! However much you may bring in reforms, without the blessings of the preceptor, the Guru, no one can come anywhere near Self Realization! Is this not so?"
6. Yes there are differences between the Atma Anubhava that the pioneers of various sects and religion have gone through. Hence the differences in the priorities and procedures of the followers of various religions! Whosoever, belonging to any religion, if only follows the ways and procedures of his own religion to which born; he can rest assured that he will also attain to the pinnacle of Self Realization through that religion. So we in this Hindu religion are never interested in converting anybody to our way of thinking! But, the point here is that it was the westerners who were defending the traditional value systems of our religion and it is the Indians who want to dismantle the traditions and methods of this religion in the name of REFORM! Yes these reformists can and do become famous and moneyed. But they cannot contribute even a single individual of the caliber of the Rishi-s of yore! (Subrahmanya Bharati was an exceptional reformer! But his handicap was that he was born a Brahmin like U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, the Tamil Thathaa! At least in Tamil Nadu it is better not to talk about them! But undoubtedly Bharati is exhilarating reading for his National fervor, songs of devotion and his deep understanding of the subtle nuances of this religion. Especially you may give a try to his poems on Thaiyumanavar! I do not have to certify the greatness of the Tamil Thathaa! If nothing else, his research in collecting and collating many scriptures of Tamil literature especially Kamba Ramayanam is enough to give him a Bharat Ratna if not a Noble Prize, even now!) Anyhow, the whole argument was that of the foreigners!
7. I have no axes to grind. If you ask a judge as to which side does he belongs to, what answer can he possibly give? He is there only to give an impartial view after referring to the laws of the land relevant to the case in hand! My job is to relate the case to the ‘Eternal Law’ of Sanatana Dharma and give my opinion! I must try my level best to abide with the stipulations of the Sanatana Dharma and tell you to do the same! Your listening to my directions depend on the level of sincerity that I have myself! When I have the power of absolute abidance with the dictates of Dharma, means that I would also have the power to influence you accordingly.
8. These traditions not only differ between the religions. Within each religion too, the sub and sub-sub branches have entirely differing rituals and procedures! In Buddhism, there are Hinayanam, Mahayanam and Zen. In Christianity, Roman Catholic and Protestant and Greek are the major sub-divisions. Then there are a whole lot of divisions such as, The Amish, Baptist Churches, Chaldean Churches, Christadelphians, Church of England, Coptic Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Church, Exclusive Brethren, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentacostalism, Quakers, Salvation Army and Seventh Day Adventists. The list is not complete by any strtch of imagination! In Islam, There are three major divisions called Shias, Sunnis and Ahmedias and some more! They will become one when it comes to interaction with other religions. Within themselves they have all the differences that you can think of!
9. In Hinduism too there are differences galore between the six major divisions of Saktam, Saivam, Vainavam, Souram, Koumaram and Ganapatyam. It was Adi Sankara who brought them together as a family. Within a few years of course, with the advent of Ramanujacharya followed by Madhvacharya, Visishtadwaitam and Dwaitam got fresh life once again, to a large extent off setting the unification process that Adi Sankara had set in motion! (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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