Tuesday, October 06, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol #3) Dated 06 Oct 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol #3) Dated 06 Oct 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 page 599 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.)

95. Though doctors do prescribe some non-veg dishes for some rare diseases such as T.B., for all other diseases they would advice the patient to either stop completely or go slow on non-veg. It is also said that non-vegetarians do not recover quickly from any ailments either! Dieticians will confirm this point. In our Ayur Veda discipline it is clearly believed that 'Patyam is half the treatment', meaning, that it is the control of diet, which enhances or decreases the curative powers of the medicine.

96. I would draw your attention to another aspect of the issue, to prove the point that veg food does give energy, strength and vigour. You take any powerful carnivore animal, such as Tiger and Lion. You will be surprised to note that they will eat the meat of only herbivore animals and not touch the meat of another carnivore animal! A lion and a tiger may fight each other and kill, but they will not eat, each other's flesh. Now what do you understand from this peculiar fact? It is the grass, grains and fruits that gives all the energy and strength.

97. Though we may talk any amount about preferability, taste, energy and strength producing capabilities of veg food, non-veg has always been there since time immemorial. Scholars say that this is due to the nomadic compulsions of pre-historic man. Agriculture was not yet known. Bows and arrows were the main means of procuring food by hunting animals. Later even when he started settling down in the riverine plains and picked up agriculture, I suppose the habit of hunting the animals for food was not completely given up till he started domesticating many of the animals! Accepting this practical aspect, our forefathers decreed that while permitting most of the society to have non-veg as the food, some were required to be strict vegetarians. The idea was that as they grow older, all are to slowly give up non-veg and totally switch over to Saattvic vegetarian food.

98. We have heard some people saying that in olden times even brahmins were non-vegetarians. Rishi-s were essentially non-vegetarians only and so on! But there are others with evidence that all this is not true. What ever names of items mentioned as non-veg, are the names of certain vegetables, herbs and grains only. 'Kalyan Kalpataru' is a periodical published from Gorakhpur in Eastern U.P. They have done much research of old scriptures and proved that our Saastraa-s have never ever approved use of non-vegetarian items in any of our religious functions. For example, it used to be thought of that, in Aswamedha Yaaga the body parts of a horse were sacrificed in the oblatory fire. In truth the item sacrificed was a herb of that name says the report in Kalyan Kalpataru! The point to understand is that by the time the Saastraa-s came to be evolved, I am sure the Indian Civilization and the Religion of Sanaatana Dharma had progressed and refined enough to cherish the value of Saattvic Aahaara and vegetarianism!

99. Anyhow, even if we take it that in the bygone ages everybody were non-vegetarians, it is of no relevance now! As related to the previous Yuga-s of Dvapara, Treta and Krita/Satya, man has become dimunitive in all his physical and mental capabilities. So, the Saastraa-s have made it clear that in the Kali Yuga, Brahmins as a Varna are to be strict vegetarians and in the Sannyasa Ashrama, one is to maintain strict Ahimsa, not only in food but in our thoughts, speech and actions!

100. In one place in Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad in the Bhashyam that Sankara Bhagawat Paadaal had written on Upanishads, one can gather that there is a vast difference in the capabilities of human beings of this and previous Yuga-s! One of the four statements known as Maha Vaakyaa-s which says, " Aham Brhmaasmi ", meaning "I am Brhma", occurs in it. This is not a statement to be made, addressed towards anyone but, is to be realized intrinsically oneself! There are many Deva-s and Rishi-s who did so realize. For example there was this Vamadeva, who claims that he had been Manu and Surya the Sun. Why only then, even now, to-day this is possible. When such realization dawns on anyone, his greatness cannot be undermined by anybody.

101. While explaining such mantra-s of the Upanishad, Aacharyal goes on to say that, "...even in this Kaliyuga when the intensity of individual power is rather minimized and weakened compared to the previous Yuga-s, Self-Realization is still available and open to those who are ready to so endeavour!" The aim and purpose of his commentary is to assure one and all, that even in this present day of 'alpa veerya or heena veerya', Atma Gnana or Brahma Gnana that is, Self Realization, is very much possible and so, we are not to give up trying!

102. Then I come back to my point that, even if in the previous Yuga-s, whether Brahmins were eating non-veg food or not, we are not to do so now! Just because a healthy man is having a feast, the sick man is not copy him. He better stick to his medicines and diet! I am only saying this for the sake of arguments that even if we assume that in olden times even great Brahma Gnani-s were non-vegetarians, we today have neither the physical digestive capability nor are we strong in mind to overcome the negative effects of Non-vegetarianism! In the past Yuga-s, they used to live for thousands of years. By mind control they could go forward or back in time and space. We can do none of those things. So let us not try to copy their ways!

103. Let me give you an example. There was a forest with a river flowing in it. There was a pond in it. Once there was a forest fire, which was fanned by gale sized winds. The burning embers, and pieces of burning wood were flown hither and thither. They virtually filled up the pond and it was dried up completely. The debris that fell in to the river however, were simply washed away to the ocean. The debris erased the pond. The river erased the debris! Similarly, what was not a good habit, could make no deleterious effect on the super-humans of the past. But if we adopt those habits, the negative effects of will overwhelm us to our disadvantage. It will be best for us to opt for the path of 'Ahimsa' and stick to vegetarian food!

104. If it so happened that our fore fathers were meat eaters, it is not to be taken as the ideal. At the same time if by years of family tradition if some of us are non-vegetarians, we are not to waste our time and energy in trying to convert them! The ultimate stage is that one day the whole of humanity should become vegetarians. Total abstinence cannot be brought about in a trice. But it can be done over a period. Initially we could take a vow of abstinence from meat eating on days of festivals / pithru karyam / own birth days / on one's own birth star days every month and so on.

(To be continued.)




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