Sunday, July 12, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 3) Dated 12 July 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 3) Dated 12 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 481 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.)

105. Having earned their wealth by trade with other nations and countries, once well settled, they also preferred the Vegetarian food on their own. Though they were not required to go to a forest and adopt the 'Vana Prasta Ashrama', they preferred vegetarian food which became a family tradition.

106. Similarly amongst the fourth varna too, amongst those who got involved in trade and agriculture, many adopted the vegetarian food on their free will. 'Jaat' community in States such as UP, Punjab and Haryana, mainly involved in agriculture are mostly vegetarians only. Many agricultural communities in Tanjavur district similarly are such hard core vegetarians, stricter than some brahmin communities and observe very severe dietary controls.

107. The reason for some opting for vegetarianism is due to the fact that it is compulsorily so for the Brahmin only out of the four castes. Since he was required to protect the Veda-s by learning, practicing and teaching, it was imperative that he should have clarity of thoughts, speech and action, for the sake of purity of the Veda Mantra-s. He was not supposed to go overseas and earn a livelihood. As per the Saastraa-s he was to remain poor. If he goes to other countries, he was to be thrown out of the caste by being dismissed from Braminhood.

108. Why was he considered as an outcast? If he goes to foreign countries, he may not be able to stick to his aachaaraa-s and pick up the local habits of that country. When he returns as a rich man, the crime is not only that he has done something forbidden, of not remaining poor! The further damage is that he is likely to unwittingly or knowingly act as a catalyst in spreading the cancer of materialism and sinful habits. So it was best to punish him as a prophylactic, so as to cut down the damages to the society.

109. The Brahmin who was meant to be an example for emulation, was likely to be emulated for the wrong reasons. So he had to undergo rigorous expiation rituals before he could be accepted back in to the society. So, the condition obtaining till as late as a century or so back was that, many of the aachaara-s and rules and restrictions which were compulsory for the Brahmin was opted for by the other caste-s of their own volition!

110. Even in the case of the Brahmin there were some liberal measures. For example Brhmacharyam is a period of life when there is maximum physical growth. So, during that period he was not required to go on a fast for any reason. There was no restriction on the quantity that he could consume, but on quality the restriction remained i.e., only vegetarian diet. The rules and restrictions during this period of life for a Brhmachari were mainly concerning his life as a student of the Veda-s and his actions as a member of the Guru's household.

111. The Gruhasta had many rules and the Sannyasi had different set of rules. The Gruhasta had rules concerning taking care of the family and children. He also had responsibilities towards the society, especially the guests. He had the important role of taking care of the Sanyasi-s. This Ashrama of Sanyasi-s without a regular income and or ownership of properties cannot exist without the support of the hose holder the Gruhasta! On occasions he had to protect his family from insects, scorpions, snakes and such or fight major opposition such thieves and thugs! So, ahimsa was not strictly enforced in the case of the Gruhasta-s. He was permitted to kill if necessary. In doing Yaaga, he was well within his means to sacrifice living animals too.

112. The case of Sannyasi was different. He neither had a family of wife and children, nor was he concerned about the welfare of the society or community. He was not to be worried about the world. His job it was to spend all his time and energy in contemplation of the subtle aspects of existence. In his Dhyana and Vichara, the Grace of the Universal power automatically flowed and benefited all and sundry, without his having to will it so! He did not have to get down to do any social service. His highest contribution to the society at large was his own Self Realization. That is the reason for his not having any duties of trade and commerce, policing or soldiering or conduct Yaagaa-s! Total Ahimsa was his only duty. He was not to even pluck a leaf!

113. This division in to four different Varna-s and Ashrama-s with their allotted rules, responsibilities and regulations; was the reason for this Indian Hindu Sanatana Dharma excelling all other systems of any country of any religion any where else in the world! That is why ideas, concepts and principles not imaginable, not conceivable elsewhere in the world, could evolve here with facile felicity. It is here that so many irreconcilables could amicably coexist.

114. It is this idea of 'essential oneness with functional multiplicity', that has been wrongly misquoted and misused by the modern day politicians for their vested interests for their many axes to grind! Thus they have stirred a hornet's nest, creating total confusion and chaos! Starting with the idea of all are equal, they have taken it to, anybody can do any job, which is being presumptuous to say the least! "...nallaar oruvar ularel avar poruttu ellarkum peyyum mazhai...", says a Tamil proverb meaning, 'if there is one good man for his sake there will be rain for all'. In that statement it is inherent that, all cannot be even marginally good, let alone all becoming great! (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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