Monday, July 20, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 110 (Vol # 3) Dated 20 July 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 110 (Vol # 3) Dated 20 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 second para on page 491 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.)

132. Having accused the Saastraa-s of Sanatana Dharma as being very partial in favour of people of some caste, some evolved much stricter rules and regulations. However over a period of time they have had to eat humble pie and make changes to their draconian rules to suit some according to the dictates of changed conditions and circumstances. Or their followers are compelled to make allowances of their own or give up on the original rules. I am talking about the followers of Buddha and Gandhi, for example. After all I am told that Gandhi was an avatara of Buddha!

133. Even amongst birds, there is a 'pecking order'. Amongst animals, for example dogs, there is clear demarcation of seniority-juniority. Initially when they meet, there may be baring of canine teeth with a lot of barking. Later one party gives in accepting the other's right to Lordship as though and exhibit their sub-servience by going down with the fore legs held straight with the tail shaking vigorously. Even in a so-called classless society like in communist countries, there have always been some, more equal than others! Otherwise, there will be no different forms, colours and variety!

134. So in a world of variety and multiplicity, there have to be gradations! So, it is in the rightness of things that for different Varna and Aashrama, different Aacharaa-s have been evolved! Even these have been further relaxed for special occasions such as, Yatra Dharma, to be observed during travel and Aapat Dharma, to be observed during situations such as some natural calamity or physical threat and so on! It is with the idea that we are not to play around with the Aachaara-s that I mentioned the name of Buddha and Gandhi. I am not trying to find fault with them or some thing. Despite being extremely clean themselves personally, with the best of intensions for the welfare of the whole humanity, when they went against the Sanatana Dharma, they could not achieve their aims. They themselves could not demonstrate their ideas in practice. I did not criticize Buddha or Gandhi as individuals. If I do so, that will lead to discussion on my personal views and actions. That is not the purpose.

135. We were mainly considering as to how in the Hindu Sanatana Dharma Saastraa-s, there is a gradation of duties based on Varna and Ashrama. When it comes to discussion on the difference in their duties and we try to make some changes in those duties, the desired effect is not there practically. There by, my intention was only to say as to how, despite their indisputable stature, integrity and the best of intensions, despite their level of wisdom, lack of selfishness and universal compassion for the whole world; the fact that Buddha's and Gandhi's principles did not fruition; underlines the greatness of Sanatana Dharma, which is not to be played around with.

136. In smaller communities like Parsi-s and Jains, I find that uniform Rules and Regulations are more strictly being adhered to. More than Buddhism, in Jainism the adherence to Ahimsa is stricter! May be even that is only till they remain relatively 'smaller' as a community! Amongst Muslims there seems to be more co-hesiveness, but that seems to be more a matter of the fear instilled by the Moulvis! But despite the enormous numbers of people, if Hinduism has been able to maintain a very high standard of quality conceptually and in practice, it is due to the fact that the Ideal has been compulsory for some, with relatively liberal set of rules for people down the line. This set up has been the reason that, more down the line have been motivated to achieve the ideal on their own volition!
137. Similar to the variations as for Varna, Ashrama, Aapat and Yatra Dharma, there are also some variations according to regions accommodating the needs and compulsions of seasonal and regional weather conditions. Evidently some of the practices will have to vary due to the remarkable differences of climatic and terrain conditions of say, a place in the Deserts of Rajasthan and the Hills of the Himalayas! The Sanatana Dharma have also accommodated the cumulative effect of waves of cultures from other countries which have reached our shores over the years or even centuries. These are known as, 'deshaachaaram'. Thus though one and the same Saastraa basically, there are such variations accommodated.

138. Men have the same 'pancha katcham' all over this vast country, with very slight variation. But in the way the sari is worn, there are wider variations between, Iyer and Iyengar, Kannada and Maharashtra, and so on. In the north, they do not have katcham. In Kerala too there is katchamless Mundu! What is thus the tradition over longer periods of time in a state, has the approval of the saastraa-s anyhow.

139. Then we have the 'Kula Aachaaraa-s'. Between families there are variations in the aachaaraa-s. In a marriage get together, these variations will come to light clearly as normally two different families are getting together on such occasions. Nandi, vratam, kanyaa daanam, Panigrahanam, mangalya dharanam, sapta padi, pravesha homam, oupaasanam, and such will all be alike only. Because these are not daily rituals, there are less likelihood for differences to evolve. The differences may be based on the 'Sutra' to which the family belong. In Divasam for example what is included and excluded in the menu, could vary according to the 'kula aachaara'! It is to avoid the problems in observance of too strict rituals, that these allowances as per yatra / aapat / desa / kula, have been approved in the saastraa-s themselves.
(To be continued.)



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