Saturday, August 15, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 116 (Vol # 3) Dated 15 August 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 116 (Vol # 3) Dated 15 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 page 513 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.)

{Note:- While talking on the subject of various intricacies of Do's and Don'ts of Aachaara, mentioned in this and the previous two or three e-mails, Periyaval was referring to a book repeatedly. The details of the Title and author's name of the book were not known on a later date when all this was compiled.}

187. Once the 'Sankalpa' for a marriage has been taken by the bridegroom and he has worn the 'Kangana', even the death of his own parents is not considered as a 'theettu' and will not be a hurdle in his resolve of getting married. Evidently this is so that, the bride may not be stranded for life! Periyaval again quotes from the book he was perusing. It says that coconut water kept in a bell metal utensil becomes liquor. May be some chemical reaction takes place. But, that may not be the reason necessarily!

188. Now a days, there are many synthetic materials of plastic and other alloys of metals replacing naturally occurring materials. That does not give us license to replace what is given in the saastraa-s for use in our aachaaraa-s. Substitution can only be as given in the saastraa-s. What is seemingly similar in look cannot have the same chemical or physical properties. For example, in cooking for Sraaddham, we are not to use certain vegetables such as beans, cabbage, cauliflower and so on. Though they are both hot to the taste, chillies are taboo while black pepper is permitted.

189. During the time of 'theettu', though none of the vows of abstinences known as 'vratam or upavasam' can be effective, if Ekadasi occurs during such theettu, the fasting is still to be done! The next day is Dwadasi. The Upavasam of Ekadasi is broken on the next day of Dwadasi and that is called 'Paaranai'. On that day, whatever period of time Dwadasi lasts, one eighth of that period is known as 'Harivaasaram' within which the Upavaasam is to be completed. For this sake there is special permission to complete Madyaanhikam and Vaisvadewam earlier than normal on Dwadasi. But if on that day if Divasam, that is, the annual day of Sraaddham of a 'pithru' occurs, sorry, you have to wait till the after noon i.e., 1.12 to 3.36 PM when the divasam will be done and 'Paaranai' is only after that! But if the Divasam happens to come on Ekadasi, then after the 'Pithru Karyam', you have to eat what ever was cooked as 'Pithru Sesham' as their blessings! That is, you have to break the fast!

190. In the 'Paaranai' on Dwadasi you have to include 'Aathik Keerai' (a type of green leaves of a tree, normally fed to the horses). In that cooking, instead of Tamarind, Lemon should be used. 'Sunddai Kai' is another item to be included in Dwadasi Paaranai. This is a small bitter berry, green in colour, the fruit of a creeper plant. It is stated in the book that Dieticians confirm that these things are good for digestion after a fasting!

191. Brahmins should always avoid Onion and Garlic, while others should not use them on days of fasting. This restriction is for the sake of protecting the correct pronunciation, articulation, intonation, modulation in pitch (of one lower, par and two levels of higher stress) and sanctity of the chanting of the Mantra-s. For this sake, here there is some extra taboos on the Brahmins. It is given here in this book that these items irritate and instigate sexual thoughts and energies. Dootuvalai is the Tamil name of a plant whose leaves when consumed, have the power enabling control over the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste; especially over their tendency to search for gratification!

192. When you are sick, medicines containing the essence of onion, garlic and such forbidden items could be consumed, as allowed by the saastraa-s. But once you are rid of the illness, you are to make amends as advised by those very saastraa-s. When there is some one in the door front, hungry and begging for food, if you ignore him and eat food, that is as good as eating flesh and that water is same as liquor, says the book. There are more instructions in detail about how a woman should conduct herself during her monthly periods.

193. As the effects of 'theettu and madi' are not visible to the human eye, people call them superstitions. But people like me are practically observing the increased occurrence of epidemics and ever new mutations of disease causing germs; natural calamities such as drought, floods, earth quakes and tsunamis; fire accidents; failure of monsoons and such aberrations in nature as melting of the ice-caps in the polar regions and so on; all due to our lackadaisical attitude about 'theettu and madi' requirements. If we still do not see the cause and effect relationship between this failure to observe the rules of 'theettu and madi' and the increased occurrence of natural and not so very natural calamities, in my view this seems to be the biggest superstition!

194. There are also some occasions mentioned here which touch us sentimentally. If we accidentally touch others with our leg or step over a book or pencil or paper, we ourselves feel slightly guilty about it. If we are seated when an elderly person comes near or when we are lying down with our legs extended towards him or her, we feel slightly squeamish about it. When we are about to start on a venture, if we see an elderly lady come along neatly dressed with evident indications of her having lived a long and happy married life, with marks of turmeric and Kumkum on her face, we take it as a good omen.

(To be continued.)




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