Friday, November 20, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 151 (Vol #3) Dated 20 Nov 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 151 (Vol #3) Dated 20 Nov 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 685 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.


1. We are informed of what ever is in the outer world by the five instruments of senses, awareness and cognition known as 'Gnaana indriya-s'. The objects, sceneries, colours and sights are seen by the eyes; sounds, music and noises are heard by the ears; smells, aromas, fragrances and stink are discerned by the nose; roughness, softness, hardness and smoothness etc are noticed by the skin or touch; the six different tastes are recognised by the tongue. Then there are the five 'karma indriya-s' of legs, hands, mouth, anus and penis; for walking/running, giving/crafting, speaking/singing, excretion, urination and procreation; respectively. In this it is only mouth which is an instrument of
cognition (of taste) and action (of speech)!

2. Other Gnaana Indriya-s have a comparatively simpler job of sensing and reporting to the brain. Whereas this mouth while being an instrument of sensing and action, is also involved in experimenting, testing, investigation and analysis. Other parts do not have to strain so much. The mouth does not stop at tasting, but bites, masticates, secrets saliva, swallows; thus participating in eating, munching, gulping, swallowing and digestion. When not eating it is talking or gossiping! I am sure that it was the intention of God to see how well we control this.

3. There is a proverb in Tamil, which goes, "...vayirai katti vaayai katti...", meaning 'controlling ones stomach and mouth'! As this part of the body is responsible for all the material inputs into the body as food of varying tastes of likes and dislikes and also responsible for all the speech; I suppose the intention was to reduce its work load by half, with a strict reign, as is done with the mouth of a horse! Food and speech, both are to be reduced to the absolute minimum.

4. In practice we do the exact opposite. Both the jobs we give more than required to the mouth. Mouth is the most overworked in the human body. Over feeding with an endless series of break fast, lunch, supper, dinner, Tiffin, snacks and beverages are being pushed into the stomach continuously! During all this and at other times we are chattering endlessly!

5. Both have to be curtailed drastically. We have been adviced by our elders on the following lines, as I am telling you now! "Do not eat anything and everything and there by spoil your health. Eat only limited quantities of saatvic aahaara. Once in a while be even without that, by skipping a meal. Similarly, do not speak whatever comes to your mind. Do not speak ill of others. When you speak, let it be measured and deliberate. Let it not be hap hazard and in passing. Avoid gossip and speaking ill of others! Speak on God and good things. Chant the Veda-s and or Sloka-s in praise of God! Sing Bhajan-s. Once in a while shut your mouth and keep quite. Be silent!"

6. Nowadays everywhere there is talk. There are many who have made a profession of being 'speakers'. There are meetings, marriages, get-togethers and so on in which, loud-speakers are fitted, leading to a cacophony of sounds creating noise pollution! Looking at such a state of affairs I feel that, when someone observes 'Mounam' that is silence, in addition to whatever good it does to him, he is doing a service to the society by keeping mum!

7. All these conflicts start with arguments for and against any situation. If you keep silence, at least by one day you postpone the confrontation. That is a social service. There is a proverb in Sanskrit which goes "mounam kalaham naasti", meaning, 'with silence conflict is obviated'. Not only that it avoids confrontation, it is a positive power too. That is why it is said, "mounam sarvaartha saadakham", meaning, 'silence is a means of all gains'!

8. Through control of the mind all the senses can be controlled. This can be achieved only through sincere practice. The eating is to be curtailed. Speech is to be cut down. This urge to express ourselves constantly and continuously is to be controlled, through mounam. Through mounam, slowly but steadily, control of the mind will become easy!

9. Nature of a Muni or Saint is Mounam. The very word Muni or Munivar, is from Mouni, who remains silent. Muni is one who has his mind under control. Though silence is the second nature for a saint, it is also an instrument to control ones own mind, when you are still a Sadhak trying to do so.

10. The Muni who has become a Brhma Gnaani, happens to give up being silent and not being silent also, says Brihad Aaranyaka Upanishad 3.5.1.! How can it be? Initially he read the Veda-s and scriptures in becoming a Pundit. Then he participated in many discussions and arguments, in trying to understand the truth of it all. Once he has come to comprehend the quintessential truth, he gives up his scholarship as well as all arguments. Total silence now becomes his way of life. Then he gives up silence as well as not being silent!

11. That is, he has no more point of view. He has no arguments to be won. There is no personal opinion to be conveyed or emphasized. Even when he does make a point, without any intension on his part, they will be God given truths! But, he will not be thinking that he is making a speech. More than that, even when he is seated in Silent mode, he will not be thinking that he is observing a Mouna Vratam! That is the state the Upanishad is talking about. It is far away from our present state. To approach anywhere near, we should start observing the Mouna Vratam.

12. Like for fasting, for Mounam too the Dharma Saastraa-s have scheduled suitable dates. You might have heard it said, "mounena bhoktavyam", that is, 'do not talk while having your food'! You should not be eating while talking and not talking while eating either. Do one of the jobs meant for the mouth. This automatically would mean a control on vacillations and prevarications of the tongue. If you are going to keep silent while eating, you will not be saying things like, "this is good, more of that, give me some ghee" and so on!

13. Monday, Thursday and Sunday are suitable for Mouna Vratam. May be Sunday is the best as during the week days one is likely to have office work and such requirements. At the least one could start with half a day's silence to begin with. Mahatma Gandhi had an enormous work load. If the father in the house has many responsibilities, the Father of the Nation evidently had many things to do, all of them involving talking to people. Still, he maintained a day's silence, every week without fail. He is really an example to emulate.

14. Mounam with fasting will be ideal. When the mouth is denied of both its passionate activities, you will find that the mind is getting deeply focussed in religious pursuits! Whosoever your Ishta Devata, you can do these two things of silence and fasting with gainful advantage, on days meant for their remembrance, like on Sivaratri or Shashti or Ekaadasi.

(To be continued.)