Saturday, October 24, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 142 (Vol #3) Dated 25 Oct 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 142 (Vol #3) Dated 25 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 last para on page 636 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.)

165. I have always been saying that Brhmachari-s (that is, young, as yet unmarried celibate boys while still in the learning stage of the Adhyayanam,) should do ‘Bikshacharyam’, (that is, beg for alms as a drill every day and live on what ever is obtained as alms). This may sound contrary to my views on ’Swayam paakam’. Throughout the period of some 12 years, that is normally taken to reach some accepted standards of learning and grasping any Veda Shakha, I cannot expect the student to earn his keep by begging! If someone does it I am happy, but it will be a very rare individual. Generally in to-days circumstances, I wish that all students of Veda-s should practice at the least one year of ‘Biksha Charyam’ with Guru Kula Vasam. Rest of the years, he should do Swayam Paakam.

166. Brahmin who is a householder and is in the profession as an Adhyapak, while taking dakshina, should be given rice, pulses and vegetables, in the raw condition and not as cooked food. Only Sannyasi-s and Brhmachari-s have the right to receive cooked food. It is stated that, “...yati cha brhmachari cha pakva anna swadeenow ubow...”. But, this not however mean that, like a Yati/Sanyasi, the brhmachari also is required to beg for food. The reasons why the brhmachari is to beg for food are totally different from the reasons why a sanyasi does so.

167. Yati is to spend all his time in contemplation of the self. He is not have any material as property. He cannot be owning a house with a kitchen! So he was required to beg for food with no commitment what so ever. He is not to become obliged to anyone either. More over he is not to remain in the same place for more than a day. If he took food from one locality one day, next day he is to go elsewhere. If particularly one or two people make it their duty to take care of a sanyasi, then it is likely that he will have to become beholden to them. Having broken all relationships, this arrangement will be as good as creating some fresh relationships! So, the whole society has the responsibility to take care of this carefree sanyasi. That is why he is not to have any thing to do with fire, neither for any Havan or Homa nor Hearth! The moment he takes sanyasa, his Agni Karya-s such as, Oupasanam, Agnihotram, etc., are stopped. He is not to cook his food either. That is the reason for his being entitled to get cooked food which he is required to get through Biksha!

168. The reason for the brhmachari having to get his food through Biksha, is different. Humbleness that is, Vinayam is the essential quality for Vidya that is, education. He is not to be proud. So he has to go to houses one by one and say, “Bhavati bikshaam dehi!”. So that the Guru-s wife may not be over burdened, he may get cooked food also. But in olden times house holders knowing their responsibility towards such, would give the choicest portions of their cooked food and not some left overs! The brhmachari is not forbidden to do Agni Karya, since he is required to do ‘samita danam’ twice a day.

169. Though he may not be able to do begging for all the number of years of Brhmacharya, at the least he should do so for one year, in my opinion. After that they could preferably take up Swayam Paakam, that is self cooking. Since the costs are becoming unmanageable and running of Veda Patashala-s are becoming extremely difficult, the students may be encouraged to do their own cooking. In the bargain, we may be able to achieve some saving in the over all costs by cutting down on Over Heads and varieties in the menu.

170. The Condition in North India. Normally we carry an impression that in North India, people are less orthodox and less particular about following all the do’s and don’ts of aachaaraa-s. But in many areas, they are even more orthodox than us. I am told that after independence, there is a general loosening of standards there too. But till very recently they are really models to be emulated in many areas. They do not make use of tamarind, salt, red chilly and asafoetida, as much as we do here. These are all gate ways for Rajasa guna only. In this I must make a special mention of Bengal, where as I said before, for some compulsions, they are all ‘fish eating brahmins’!

171. When we had gone there, they had made arrangements for our stay there. We had gone as a big party there. They had made provisions for the food for some 400 to 500 people to eat every day! But there was no tamarind! For us, how can we make food without tamarind? Without tamarind, no rasam or kuzhambu could be made. Without kuzhambu/sambar and rasam, our eating is next to nil! There was plenty of Aatta (wheat powder) and dhaal (variety of pulses). When we asked for tamarind, from some distance away, they brought some fresh tamarind pieces! That would have been as good as ‘dissolving perungayam in sea water’! “What can we do with this drop in the ocean? We need much more”, we said. They made fun of us asking, “What is your staple food? Rice or tamarind?”

172. Like Bengal, there are many people from all caste-s of strict vegetarianism in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Sourashtra and Kutch. In a place like Dehradoon, brahmin coolie will lift a foreigner, tied to the cane seat on his back, up the mountain path. Having reached his load of a human to his destination, he will have a bath and then cook his own food and eat it. Darwan, house maid and such, may work like a dog in their master’s house. But they will not eat any left overs from the master’s house! They will go home and cook their own food. That is Aachaaram with a capital ‘A’ for you!

173. Here in the name of reformation, what is happening is against all norms! Amongst equal caste-s having branded them as higher and lower, they pose an unnecessary question as to why the so called higher caste man cannot eat in the lower caste man’s house! This is totally unwarranted! In the name of reform, we are racking muck. There in the North, even the really lower level worker in a rich man’s household does not eat in the house in which he is working the whole day. Thus Swayam Paakam has nothing to do with caste, but for self control and discipline! In the North, the Samabandhi-s, (that is, those families between which there has been exchange of bride and bride-groom), even they, eat together only at the time of marriage or on anniversaries!

174. If everyone tries his level best to advance and progress, not only materially but individually spiritually, then he should try and maintain his distance and purity. In such behaviour lies the welfare and benefit of all.
(To be Continued.)




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