Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 117 (Vol #3) Dated 17 August 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 117 (Vol #3) Dated 17 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 the 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 518 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.)

195. Simultaneously, women who are widows have been debarred from many of the normal activities by the aachaaraa-s as though to remind them constantly that they are out of the normal run of things, sadly! However they should not take offence. They should understand that, the purpose and aim of the exercise is to enable them to get rid of all worldly attachments and sensual diversions. This is so that, they could give their attention to God, devotion and understanding of existence! This is to enable them to live a life of celibacy and devotional prayers, as the Catholic nuns do in Christendom. They should not take it as though they are being punished unfairly!

196. The point to understand is that, aachaaraa-s are not meant to vilify, incarcerate or ridicule any particular individual. For example it is widely believed that, when a lone brahmin appears when we are about to embark on any intended activity, it is considered as a bad omen! For all we know, that single brahmin may be a well learned Veda-vit worthy of our respect! These things are not within the ambit of reason and logic.

197. The aachaaraa-s are so evolved that when you do them, all the faculties are deeply involved. Mind in deliberating on God, mouth in uttering God's names or the concerned Mantra-s, ears in hearing those chantings, eyes in the vision of God and the hands, legs and body involved in the concerned action! There is no meaning in such actions without thinking and singing in praise of God's ennobling qualities! What ever man does are done by all the animals and life forms too. Starting from a germ, all of them are born, breath, eat, grow, procreate and die. If man also does these actions only, what is the qualitative difference of being born as a human being? That difference is in his thinking faculty. Normally one tends to misuse the thinking faculty, in jealousy, hate and scheming the downfall of others. Whereas the correct use of that thinking faculty should be to 'think of God!' That is why, aachaaraa-s provide n-number of opportunities to connect all our thoughts, speech and action to the supreme benevolent power that is God.

198. That is the reason why, the saastraa-s require that we offer our food to God, before partaking it. That we should be chanting God's name while having our bath. The fish is all the time in water! But, it is not considered as clean as your being 'madi' after a bath while chanting God's Names! If you bathe chanting the necessary mantraa-s or saying, 'Govinda! Govinda!' or any other Ishta Devata's Name, it is not only your body that is cleansed but your heart and soul too, that get cleansed. Thus I repeat, Aachaaraa-s are meant to focus all our capabilities and faculties, addressed towards God!

199. Since I spoke about the fish that it is not 'madi', I am reminded of a peculiar fact. What seemingly looks down right dirty seem to be most acceptable for devotional activities. All honey is collection of the 'echchil' of thousands of honey bees! That too, we are mis-appropriating and commandeering in one go, their hard earned collection in very small bits! Similar is the case of Silk, the 'echchil' of the silk worm whose mass murder leads to the creation of the silk cloth and it is considered as 'madi' all of the time! When the calf wets the udders of the cow with its saliva, the milk flows in to our cans! What we consider as the sacred waters of the rivers and ponds of 'Punya Kshetra-s', are the abodes of the dirty fish. These are all most suitable for devotional purposes!
200. Thus the Saastraa-s contain in them certain exemptions and relaxations. We are not to take liberties with them and keep adding more and more relaxations. Ours is to follow as closely as humanly possible, the rules and regulations of the Saastraa-s.

201. Main Saastraa-s and Contrary Traditions. (In the translation of Volume 2, in the chapter about Brhma Charyam, there is talk on 'the Rules of Saastraa-s and Traditions'. This may be referred in the context of what is said herein after.) Despite the existence of the Saastraa-s, there are some family and clannish traditions, some of which are being practiced in addition. These are mostly, slightly different and some are even contrary to the Saastraa-s. Somehow these have also come in to existence and being widely observed.

202. These mutually contradicting Aachaaraa-s, based on Family and Regional loyalties, have been going on for long. We can only construe that there must have been some inner divine promptings as the reason for their coming into being. I said that we must follow even these and try to abide with them as far as possible. But that still does not mean however that we should be blindly be doing so either! Now-a-days the inner conscience is being given much weightage. There are some who are advocating the idea that, in the name of 'Kula and Desha Aachaaram', where we are moving far away from the old Vaidika systems, it is better to apply the correction, back towards the original methods. I think that there is much sense in doing so. Let me explain.

203. If there are no common ancestors for three generations between families, only then, there could be inter marriages, between those families. In the North, they go even further. They say that in the list of Gothra-s, seven Gothra-s on either side are to be avoided. As per biological sciences too consanguineous marriages are to be avoided. But in South India, we have gone in more and more for closer inter marriages within families.
(We will continue on this point in more detail in the next e-mail.)



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