Friday, July 24, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 3) Dated 24 July 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 3) Dated 24 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 last para on page 495 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.)

140. These variations in the rules such as Yatra/Aapat Dharma, are so created to accommodate the likely contingencies of such occasions of travel and physical danger. Saastraa-s themselves relax the rules for such requirements as we may not be able follow stricter rules meant for normal occasions! While at home in ones own place, we are required to strictly abide with all the rules and regulations meant for normal times. Whereas in out stations, it is enough if you do some and leave some. These days when people are spending a lot of time commuting between residence and the place of work, I am afraid of revealing these lenient rules, as that could encourage them to let many of the aachaaraa-s go by default and I would have to bear the blame for having shown the way!

141. Saastraa-s cater for some interruptions in the daily schedule as would happen when you go out of station for visiting friends or relatives to attend important events such as marriages or death or a visit to places of religious significance. It does not cater for daily commuting for five to six hours, as is done in some places. (Like people living in Chengalpet commute to Chennai daily, I have also seen such commuting by road or train now-a-days between Chennai and Vizhuppuram or between Washington and New York!) Saastraa-s do not cater for such commuting. But I suppose on such occasions they should try and do all their Aachaaraa-s mentally in an abstract manner. That should be an excellent method of training oneself for meditation!
142. If you cannot do full fasting, you may partake milk and fruits. If food is cooked, it is to be eaten the same day. Such a restriction is not applicable to items deep fried in oil. If you have to drink water from sources not considered as acceptable 'soucham' wise, you may sprinkle a few drops of buttermilk over it and do 'dosha pariharam'! Such relief measures are given in the Saastraa-s themselves. Those who are sick due to ill health, can let many aachaaraa-s go by default. There is a proverb saying, "nalum kizhamaiyum nalindorku illai", there by meaning that sick people are excused from having to strictly follow the aachaaraa-s!

143. Similarly, in times of dangerous situations many of the aachaaraa-s are done away with. Still the guiding factor is that you may let go the aachaaraa-s only when it is inescapable. For example, there is a story in Chandokya Upanishad. Once in Kuru Desa there was drought conditions. There was one Rishi by the name of Chakrayana Ushastha, who was roaming about in search of food, with his wife. They reached a village where there were keepers of elephants. There was one gentle man eating a type of grain 'kulmasham', possibly what is fed to horses and elephants. Ushastha begged him to spare some of the grains. That man was graceful enough to spare some. The Rishi ate that. That keeper of elephants then offered the Rishi some water.

144. This the Rishi refused to take on the grounds of its being 'uchchishtam'. This word means, 'the balance portion of what is being partaken by someone else'! The keeper of elephants found this refusal rather funny. "How could you accept the grains, which was evidently 'uchchishtam' and immediately after that refuse to take the offered water?", he asked. The Rishi's reply was this. "When I took the grains from you, I was dying of starvation. Now that I have saved myself from certain death, the water that you are offering is not necessary for keeping the body and soul together. Of course it will be a great pleasure to drink that water. But that would be a luxury that I cannot afford without giving in to the whims and fancies of the senses. That would be against the dictates of my aachaara!"
145. We talk of 'Dharma Artha Kaama Moksha' as the four fold aims of mortal existence. Though all the possible aims of life are included there, Moksha or liberation from dependence in righteous manner of Dharma takes the top priority. To save oneself from certain death due to hunger, is Dharma. But, draw a line there and no more, is the idea!

146. While men are required to take a cold water bath every day morning, that too at ‘pancha pancha ushat kaale’, i.e., at four AM, women need to take a head-bath only on special occasions. On other days they could sprinkle some water laced with turmeric, say the Saastraa-s. It is said that a pregnant woman need not undertake any fasting. The idea is to take care of her during conception and carrying the baby. Similarly in 'balya avasta and Brhmacharya aashrama', young boys are not to undertake any fasting. That is the age of maximum growth and we do not want them to be denied essential nourishment. There is control on the quality but not on quantity. He is not to eat junk food and such items as would instigate sensual awareness! The food that is wholesome and body friendly, he could have as much as he wishes.

147. Thus the strict rules have been custom made to suit individual requirements, without ever losing sight of the main guiding principles. Depending on our belief and trust, minor deviations are overlooked by God Himself in His Infinite Love and Compassion. It is for us not to take undue advantage of His this extreme Love and Compassion! The moment we are in a better situation, it is for us to abide with the Aachaaraa-s implicitly. For the main or Pradhana Aachaaraa, there are substitute or in-lieu ones known as Gowna. We cannot and should not permanently replace the main by the in-lieu method! For example while taking a bath, you are to take a full dip, submerging the whole body. If you are unwell, you may not wet your hair and bathe up to your neck only. If you are running a temperature, you may just sprinkle water over you. (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



Post a Comment

<< Home