Thursday, July 02, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 103 (Vol # 3) Dated 01 July 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 103 (Vol # 3) Dated 01 July 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 on page 468 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.)

70. Saastraa-s give us eternal comfort as well as this worldly pleasures to the extent as not becoming a hurdle in the path of spiritual progress. Many of the aachaara-s are meant so that, we may lead a life free of diseases with mutual co-operation while avoiding social conflicts. They are not unilateral and partial to one portion of the society as some people allege, but much liberal and humane!

71. Partiality in Aachaaraa-s: Thirukkural’s Ruling. There are more rules, regulations and aachaaraa-s meant for the brahmin caste. This is with the purpose as commensurate with the role that caste was meant to play. Without understanding this some people think that there is partiality. If the people who originated the Saastraa-s were partial, they would have given less restrictions and more license and not increased arduous aachaaraa-s!

72. Thiruvalluvar is the foremost authority on Dharma in the Tamil world, uniformly acceptable to the so called reformists (who wish to reform the Hindu religion which is like claiming to clean up an ocean!) and differentiators (who call themselves as 'paguthu arivaalargal' as though to learn by separating and sorting is their specialization!). Thiruvalluvar being acceptable to all and sundry irrespective of caste, creed, sect and religion; opines that there are different aachaaraa-s for each 'kula or jaati'. Brahmin's 'Brahmanyam' is special to him because of his caste.
73. 'Ozhukkam' in Tamil is the word for Aachaaram; which includes the inner attitude and outer behaviour as well as external signs as per customs and traditions. 'Ozhukkam Udaimai' is one Adhikaaram of ten Kural-s of two lines each, the 14th Paayiram. In it he talks initially as generally applicable to all sorts of people. In the first one he says that 'Ozhukkam Udaimai' that is discipline ennobles man and it is to be protected and treasured more than one's life itself! I quote:- "ozhukkam vizhuppam taralaan ozhukkam uyirinum ombappadum". In the third Kural he says that disciplined man is of the higher caste and undisciplined is the lower caste. I quote:- "ozhukkam udaimai kudimai - izhukkam izhinda pirappu aaividum". Here it almost sounds like the modern day claim that all people are equal!

74. The next Kural clarifies. I quote again:- "marappinum othuk kolalaagum paarpaan pirapp-ozhukkam kunrak kedum". Here 'paarppaan' is the brahmin. Literally the word means the 'seer', the English word of the same meaning. He sees the Truth by his qualitatively superior vision, unclouded by over indulgence. Here the word, 'oththu' means the Veda that is chanted. Let me give you the meaning of the Kural now. It means that, 'It does not matter if a Brahmin forgets his Veda-s. He can always relearn. But if he goes astray from his discipline of observing his Aachaaraa, his being born as a Brahmin is a waste!'

75. The neo modern Aachaaryaa-s say that there is no need for the Aachaaraa-s. It is enough if you learn the Veda-s and Upanishad-s, and listen to the lectures on them. Such people who do that are Brahmins alright, they say. Thiruvalluvar on the other hand says, "It is alright even if a Brahmin forgets his Veda-s. He can always relearn. If he becomes unmindful of his duties of Aacharaa-s, his being born as a Brahmin is a sheer waste!" Here Thiruvalluvar is virtually echoing the opinion of Saastraa-s which says, "aachaara heenam na punanthi vedaa:", meaning, 'the one who has gone astray from the path of customs and traditions of the aachaaraa-s cannot benefit anymore by any amount of chanting the Veda-s'. Saastraa-s give an example to make us understand better. It says that, "However much one may have studied the Veda-s, he cannot benefit from such studies if he has let the aachaara-s go by default. Like a bird will leave the erstwhile abode, the egg without even a second glance once its wings have grown, all his Vedic knowledge will forsake him if he is 'aachaara heenan'!" This is what Thiruvalluvar has said in brief.

76. Having made a general comment that a person's raise and ennoblement is by his 'Ozhukkam' that is the right attitude and behaviour, he specifically relates a Brahmin's Ozhukkam i.e., observance of the aachaaraa-s with knowledge of the Veda-s. From this we can see that he is not one of those modern day advocates of Vedanta-sans-aachaara-s! 'For the Brahmin Aachaaraa-s are very special and that is how it should be,' holds Thiruvalluvar.

77. "pirappozhukkam kunrakk kedum", can be interpreted in yet another way. That is, if the Brahmin fails in observance of his aachaara-s specially meant for him as a brahmin, the whole world will suffer the ill effects! Elsewhere, (the last Kural in the 56th Adhikaaram on Kodunkonmai,) he says that amongst the things that will go wrong when the king is governing irresponsibly like a tyrant, 'aru thozhilor nool marappar'. What he means here is that, the Brahmins, (the 'aru thozhilor' = six jobs such as Adhyayanam, Adhyapakam, conduct of Yaaga and Yagna-s and so on), will forget the Veda-s. That clearly proves that Thiruvalluvar had the conviction that under a tyrannical rule, Brahmins will forget their basic professions and thus will be cause for over all set backs in the whole society. So here too he means that any set back by Brahmins not doing their appointed roles can and will result in overall dissipation and waste!

(To be continued.)




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