Thursday, August 13, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 115 (Vol # 3) Dated 12 August 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 115 (Vol # 3) Dated 12 August 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 middle of page 509 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.)

178. You can shave only on certain days of the week and fortnight. Oil bath is permitted only on certain days of the week. I can not tell you why it is so. You should not bite the nail. We should not be biting or wetting with saliva, the fruit or eatable or utensil with our mouth directly that we leave bits of saliva on them. In Tamil, it is simply said as, "doing echchil" is forbidden. For these personal hygiene could be the reason.

179. You should not gamble. Drinking liquor is forbidden. In these, the reason is a combination of ethics, personal health, welfare of the family, and social responsibility; put together as rules and regulations of Aachaaraa-s. Except during marriages and travel, eating with one's wife is not to be done. Milk is to be avoided in the afternoon and curd is to be avoided in the night. Doctors agree with these taboos on grounds of health.

180. Cloth made of coir like fiber known as 'naarmadi', silk and wool are always considered as clean for wearing on occasions as Yagna, Meditation and other religious ceremonies. If they have been used on many occasions and covered with dirt and sweat, they can be cleaned by washing with water mixed with some porridge of green gram, on Amavasya or Dwadasi! Here I must tell you about my opinion on Pattu, the Silk from silk worms, which may already be known to you!

181. For each yard of silk cloth, thousands of silk worms have to be boiled alive! Then to say 'ahimsa paramo dharma:' is anathema. In addition the cost of silk is prohibitively beyond the reach of even middle income group. Due to compulsions of tradition and social expectations, people incur these expenses in marriages and become indebted for life. For these reasons I have been reiterating that we should completely do away with this cruel method of manufacturing cloth! There are some method of making silk, known as 'ahimsa pattu'. Though this cloth is not so very soft and shining, it is far more preferable, especially for spiritual purposes.

182. The day's food should not be partaken without offering to the guest. It used to be the custom to go out of the house and check if there is any likely guest coming by any chance, before sitting down for the day's food. There are two varieties of guests. One is an invitee, called 'abyaagadar'. The other is an unexpected guest by chance, known as 'atiti'. They are to be fed first. Here it is humaneness that has become an aachaara! Instead of feeling disgusted that someone should arrive at the nick of time, when you were about to have food, we should be thankful for their arrival, giving us an opportunity to play host to them! The reluctance to share our largesse with others is not only morally incorrect, but also poor form in terms of 'aachaara'.

183. You must wash your hands and feet before going to sleep. The dentist will say that you should brush your teeth also, before going to sleep. This book on aachaaraa also gives account of how many times you should be gargling your mouth, after finishing eating. Such gargling also exercises the digestive glands in the mouth and throat. To drink bed-coffee is 'anaachaaraam' as well as, unhygienic. Instead of using the same dirty 'echchil' tooth-brush, use daily a green twig of 'Aala or Vela maram'! The Tamil proverb says that 'Aalum Velum pallukku urudhi', meaning that the barks of these two trees of Aala Maram (Banyan tree) and Vela Maram (coniferous tree of the sea shore), are good for strength of the teeth. (Point to note is that the tooth brush made out from a tiny twig of such a tree is also bio-degradable!)
184. The book that gives instructions that we should brush our teeth well and gargle well enough to exercise the glands around the mouth, in the face and neck, also says that on Sraddha days when Pithru Karya is to be done, it is enough to do some mouth wash without brushing the teeth! Do not wonder as to whether there has been a blatant error of omission. On other days, after brushing your teeth and vigorous gargling exercising the vocal chords and glands, the digestive juices are likely to be activated causing hunger. On all other days, you are likely to drink milk or some gruel, to satisfy that hunger. But on the days of Sraddha, you are not to eat or drink anything till all Karya is over, by about 2 or 3 PM. So the saastraa-s forbid you from an active brushing of the teeth, so that you may not suffer from acidity and gastritis!

185. When any relative dies, depending on certain norms, the number of days of mourning differs. This period is known as
'theettu'. Similarly on the birth of a child, there is a period of 'soodakam'. There are many rules governing all possible combinations of likely events concerning these things. There is 'theettu[' during the time of eclipse too. There are a lot of rules about these three periods of social isolation. Japa or chanting of mantraa-s during these periods are not allowed except that, in the eclipse of the sun and or moon, Japa is required to be done and it is more effective then!

186. The same Saastraa-s which talk extensively about 'theettu' concerning death, also clarify that, once a bride groom has taken the vow for marriage and has got the 'kangana' tied around his wrist, is not affected by the 'theettu' of even the death of his parents! No-where-else in the world are such stringent social customs nor are they so humane!

(To be continued.)




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