Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 143 (Vol #3) Dated 27 Oct 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 143 (Vol #3) Dated 27 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 page 642 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.)

175. In the matter of food, there is no question of bringing in the caste considerations at all. For the sake of a mistaken notion of equality, to insist that whosoever be the cook, people of all castes should eat that food, is all quite unnecessary. You start with an idea that there should be no castes, then bring in the matter of caste in totally unconnected areas of cooking of food, then say that, "all are equal", is some thing like, putting the cart before the horse and then bring the horse in front of the cart, by which time the cart is turned to face the other direction, ad infinitum ad nauseum!

176. Let me make this very clear. On the matter of one person to cook and another to eat it, there is a basic difference between what the saastraa-s say and what these reformers say. Having made a wrong nomenclature as higher and lower castes, to say, "You can eat and or You cannot eat", is found to be not acceptable to some. For people who are convinced that there is no 'higher and lower' castes, and that the differentiation if any, is based on their respective roles and duties, they feel sincerely that the differentiations should remain for the sake of avoiding confusion and chaos. They are not prepared to eat anybody's cooking on the mistaken notions of equality. For them it is more important to retain their individual purity and cleanliness, which is mistakenly taken as 'holier than thou attitude', by others.

177. For some it is a problem if you say "yes" to the policy that, "any body can cook, everybody may eat"! For some others, it is a problem if you say "No", to that very policy! This becomes the cause of class struggle! Caste differentiation is for the role one has to play in the society, not for struggle and fight. That too in the matter of food, to bring in all this, is rather painful! The only solution for all this is 'Swayam Paakam'. Then there can be no higher/lower caste question then. 'The question does not arise' as they say! Total self reliance in this matter is the only solution to obviate all possible conflicts and confusion. I will not eat even if it is cooked by a man of my own caste or my own wife or mother. I will do my own cooking. Once 'Swayam Paakam' becomes the universal policy, all these questions of who may cook, who may handle it, who may eat it, in whose company, etc., will all disappear!

178. If you have to share something in a public gathering, then we may restrict it to beverages and fruits. May be you can give rations to others as packets. To do so is also hospitality only. Except for prasadam given in the temples and what is given as Guru Prasadam in the Matams, all other food should be cooked by oneself only. In South, till now the accepted method used to be that, you could take food from people who were cleaner than you in their being and aachaaraa-s. In North even this was not acceptable. Swayam Paakam was the general rule there.

179. Swayam Paakam as a custom also caters for improvement in ones environs and personal habits. That also enables disciplining one self. Instead of lounging lazily and spend time in gossiping, cinema, cards games and so on, the need to cook ones own food will be a binding factor on time. Then we will not look for variety in materials and tastes, salivating with our tongue hanging out! So the tongue is brought under control. Then so that the food may be full of sattva guna, we may be motivated to chant God's names while preparing the food. If you deliberate on the subject deeply, what looks like a minor issue of cooking ones own food has so many advantages. That is why, it is a Dharma Aachaara as given in our Saastraa-s.
180. Males do not have to be aghast as to how they are going to manage that. Once we have come to accept the necessity of doing so, we will learn. Do not the girls learn by the time they are 12 years of age? Sans variety, some rice or chapatti, one vegetable and some curd; pronto our food is ready! What can be prepared in 15 minutes can be learnt in four days practice!

181. We have to eat to live. This is a basic need. So Swayam Paakam can be included in the basic syllabus of education for all boys and girls. I am very clear about this that, the existing so called secular education should be replaced by religious orientation along with all technical and professional education. As food is the main input for physical, mental and spiritual growth, making food should be a part of the basic syllabus.

182. All over the world, there is an effort to make women do all sorts of jobs originally thought to be men's exclusive domain. At the same time there is a lot of heart burn that women have their hands full at home, cooking, feeding, cleaning, mending, washing and ironing; while the men folk behave like the Lions amidst their pride! Swayam Paakam is a solution to this anomaly too!

183. In education, they say that there are three 'R's, which are the basic requirements. First 'R' is reading, second 'R' is writing, the third 'R' is arithmetic. I would put knowledge of cooking as the first basic essential ahead of these three 'R's!

184. Jawaharlal Nehru often makes fun of this Hindu religion as 'Kitchen Religion'. He thinks that he is being very humorous in making that statement. But he may or may not be aware as to how close he is to the truth! Veda-s are the basic authority in our religion. The foremost in the Veda-s are what is called the end of Veda-s, that is, the Upanishad-s known as 'Vedanta'! Amongst them, Chandogya Upanishad has virtually said the same thing!

185. Narada famously known as the authority in the Bhakti Marga, having written the Bhakti Sutra-s, goes to Sanat Kumara seeking to be advised in 'Atma Gnaana'. Towards the end of his teachings, in the penultimate chapter of Chandogya Upanishad - 7.26.2., Sanat Kumara says, "...aahaara suddhou sattva Shuddhi:..". 'Start with clean food, wherein lies the way to cleanest inner qualities of sattva'! Thus once your mind is cleansed to perfect purity, then only the mind will dwell on contemplation of God, leading to removal of all ties and liberation. That is where it all finishes - in kitchen religion! That is basis, foundation and start point.

(To be continued.)




Post a Comment

<< Home