Thursday, December 31, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 170 (Vol #3) Dated 01 Jan 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 170 (Vol #3) Dated 01 Jan 2010.
(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 second para on page No 780 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

32. Sastra-s are of three types, namely, Muktam, Amuktam and Muktaamuktam. All those words are derived from the root word in Sanskrit ‘much’. Muktam are those that get released from the launcher or launcher’s hands, such as arrows and missiles. In Tamil, words such as ‘viduthal and veedu’ are about the idea of leaving or release from, that is mukti. The pearl gets detached from the mother of pearl. That is why its name is Muthu in Tamil, indicating release from its source! Mukti in Tamil literature is referred to as ‘muththi’. So, the weapons that get released from the thrower’s hand are muktam-s. Even a stone thrown from the hand is a muktam. So are all arrows.

33. Amuktam are weapons such as sword, spear and the mace. Even these may be thrown in the heat of battle. The bow is always Amuktam while the arrow is Muktam. Paasam is a rope with a sliding noose in the front with a slip knot. This is thrown at a running animal at a distance, while holding the other end of the rope. The loop gets around the prey’s neck and the slip knot tightens around the neck as the prey tries to get away. In the wild west of America, they used to call it the ‘lasso’! You can see this ‘paasam’ in the hands of Ambal and Ganesha, in the upper left hand. This paasam is a Mukta-amuktam. Some Chakra-s because of some peculiarity in their shape and the thrower‘s ability, technique or knack, will get released, attack the target by cutting and slicing; and then return to the one wielding the Chakra, which is a Mukta-amuktam! Boomerang is another weapon of this variety.
34. Not withstanding making any thing an Astram by use of mantra-s, there have been some greats who got the Astram from the particular Devata for that Mantra. When they use such weapons, the weapon will come back to the one who has the authority to use it, as though! Or may be they have to chant another mantra for the Astra’s return. To get back the Astram thus is known as ‘upa samhaaram’! You are not supposed to release such ‘Divya Astra-s’ without knowing the mantra for their retrieval!

35., The idea is that disciplined use of weapons required that you should not use a weapon without knowing its capacity for causing destruction! If it causes more than the intended amount of damage, you should be aware of the method of its retrieval. Those were the restrictions on use of such weapons, so as to avoid harm to innocent bystander’s person and property. It is only now in the so called modern world of supposed progress that Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear war heads are being stocked, for which there is no ‘Upa Samhaaram’ !

36. Those days the fighting force was of four types namely, Ratha-Gaja-Thuraka-Padaadi, meaning chariot /elephant / horse borne and foot soldiers respectively. Since such a force had four parts, it was known as ‘chatur-anga-sena’. The same name of ‘Chatur-angam’ has been given to the game of chess. In that game of chess too there are four types of forces with their own set of rules as to how they can move and their own area of reach and range.

37. Amongst them they had rules that they can fight only with forces of equal status. That is, the foot soldier had to fight with the foot soldier of the opposite army. The mounted soldier was not supposed to fight or kill the foot soldier and so on. As they say, the plan is the first casualty in war. It is these rules of discipline that were the first casualty, as the armies proliferated. Like the division of the army in to platoon, company, battalion, brigade and so on, earlier also there were Akshouhinies. Each such unit had 21,870 chariots and equal number of elephants, 65,610 horses (triple of the earlier number), 1,09,350 foot soldiers (five times the 21,870). The 'Maha Vira-s' could fight from chariots with 10,000 such charioteers to be able to get that title as MahaVira! These details are to be found in Maha Bharata.

38. In the battle field, the armies were formed in so many formations known as 'vyuham', such as Garuda vyuham or Padma vyuham. They would look like a Lotus(padma) or Vulture(garuda) from outside. As you go inside it will be more complicated. There is an adage that, 'anything is easier to get in than get out of!' I think that the adage must have been coined from the fact that, Abhimanyu the son of Arjuna, knew as to how to enter the Padma vyuham. He did not know the method of getting out! He died fighting.

39. Other than the four constituents of the Army, there was the Navy and Naval tactics and strategies. Only the Air Force is a modern entity unknown in earlier times. But there were some Asura-s who were capable of making use of the third dimension and some divinely endowed who could counter their offensive! The Thripurasura-s did make use of the third dimension to fight their battles.

40. Forts. To protect the town and the State from foreign invasion, construction of forts and moats around it involving massive efforts were necessitated. The greater the likelihood of invasion and investment, such defensive construction had to be evolved. Rana-s of Rajasthan constructed these forts in Chittore and other places. Sivaji had got many such forts made in Maharashtra. 'Arann' is the fort and 'Agazhi' is the moat. Chera, Chola and Pandya kings did construct forts in the south, for their fight against each other. South especially what was Madras or Chennaipattinam and south of it, were not so much affected by foreign invasion as rest of India was.

41. That there is one whole Adhikaram on Arann in Thirukkural is indicative of the importance of such an arrangement. It provided security to the citizens of the state while proving to be a protective guard against invading and marauding forces. That is why we cherish and revere great people of renown as Arann protecting Dharma and Truth. Fort in Sanskrit is ‘Durgam', meaning 'not easily entered'. Ambal is called 'Durga'. In the north, all towns with their names ending in Durg indicate that there were forts. Similarly the names of the towns ending with 'gad and or gada', like Kanhangad, were all based on forts. In Tamil Nadu, they were called Kottai such as Pudukkottai, Senkkottai, Palayamkkottai, Senjikkottai and so on. These are all tourist attractions of the modern day.

42. There were many secret underground passages, storage spaces, living areas especially for women so that they may not fall in the hands of the enemy, magazines for weapons and such things in the fort. It was a battle of wits as to who will last longer, the defence by the forces in the fort or the investing forces laying the siege! Like the vyuham in battle formations, there was much cleverness and ingenuity in the construction of a fort. It could be made as per Saastraa-s and scientific engineering skills. In addition to human engineering skills, mantra-s could be made use of to invoke the blessings of divine powers. Sri Chakram, Shad Kona and Sudarsan Chakra are all for getting the divine powers in their shapes and sizes in construction. The Kanchipuram city itself was reformed in the shape of Sri Chakram on the advice of Adi Sankara.

43. Many such subtle points about civil engineering of construction of the forts have been let go by default, in the present day world. We seem to take pride only in keeping them as ruins and relics of the past!

(To be continued.)



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol #3) Dated 30 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol #3) Dated 30 Dec 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 second para on page No 775 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

21. One Astra can be countered by another. For example ‘Nagastram’ can be rendered null and void by using ‘Garudastram’, as garuda is the enemy of snakes! This requires correct and quick identification of the missile coming at you and knowledge of the mantra to counter it with. ‘Agneyastram’ can be countered by ‘Varunastram’. There is no proper counter for ‘Brhmastram’. So, it is used very sparingly and held back as a deterrent.

22. That the power of mantra is far superior to the power of the weapons is beautifully brought out by the poet Kalidasa in his ‘Raghuvamsa’ through what Dilipan the King of the Suryakula says while addressing his Kula Guru Vasishta. The Guru questions him about the state of affairs of his kingdom and the King replies thus. “Sire! When you are the Kula Guru blessing us all the time, how can anything go wrong? My sastra-s may hit some targets some time, whereas your mantra-s are hitting and annulling forever all the negative forces wherever they may be, making my arrows and weapons, simply superfluous! The cause of the kingdom’s wellbeing is not the power of my weapons but, the basis of all my powers, Your Brhma Tejas!”

23. In the Astra, both sastra and mantra are combined. The power of Kshatriya-s and mantra-s found by Brhma Rishi-s, when thought of as being effective combinedly, I am reminded of an event of the past. A king and a brahmin ruled over a state from the self same throne! The king’s name was Achyutappa Naik. He was the second in the line of Naiks who ruled over Tanjavoor. His father was Sevappa Naik, the first of the lineage of Naiks. Govinda Deekshidar was the name of that great brahmin. When Sevappa died and Achyutappa ascended the throne. He ruled exactly as per directions of the brahmin whom he considered as his Chief Minister. Not only that, he called him ‘Kula Kootasta Purohita’, that is, the Intimate Family’s Preceptor and ‘Ardhasanar’ meaning ‘the one with the right to half the throne’! The throne was made a double seater and the respected brahmin was seated in the same throne with the king simultaneously!

24. Seeing this a poet sang the following lines:- “ trinaamaadyanta naamaanou maheekchit deekchitaa ubou I sastre saastre cha kushalou aahaveshu haveshu cha II ” It means the following:- “Before starting any karya we do ( Aachamanam, that is, ) partake three spoonful of water uttering God’s names, Achyutaaya nama:, Anantaaya nama:, Govindaaya nama: and that is ‘namatrayam’! Amongst the two who are together occupying the throne, one is of the first name of God in Aachamanam, that is, ‘maheekchit’ Achyutappa Naik and the second is the last of the names of Aachamanam, that is, ’deekchit’ Govinda Deekshidar. In them the first is great in the art of fighting ‘aahave’. The second one is great in doing yagna anushtaana that is, ‘have’.

25. The power of weapons instead of being a crude physical capability, depicting only hate and anger, should be combined with moral strictures and discipline. When divine power and awareness become the basis on which the King’s authority is dependent, it becomes capable of protecting the good and removing the evil. These are matters given in greater detail in Artha Saastra, while talking about a King, his preceptor and council of Ministers.

26. Sastram becomes Astram mainly with the bow and arrows, I said. When there are many weapons of varying sizes, shapes and capabilities, I was telling you as to how the part of Veda-s on the subject of warfare, got the name of Dhanur Veda. All the Gods have their own Dhanush with their own names. The bow that Parama Siva wields is known as ‘Pinaakam’, from which he gets a name as ‘Pinaakapaani’. In Tripura Samhaaram, he bent the Meru mountain as a bow!

27. Mahavishnu has a name ‘saarngapaani’. Many people have this name. But in a mistaken belief that it has some connection with ‘Sri Rangam or Seerangam’ they spell their name as, ‘Saarangapaani’ which is incorrect. ‘Saarngapaani’ is what is correct. The bow in the hands of Mahavishnu is ‘Saarngam’! Normally he has ‘sanka-chakra-ghadhaa-padma and saarngam’. There is a Pancha Aayudha Stotram on Vishnu talking of the five weapons that he carries. The last sloka in Vishnu Sahasranaama also talks of these five weapons. In Thiruppaavai by Aandaal, praying for continuous rains like the continuous flow of arrows from the Saarngam it says, “...thaazhaade saarngam udaitta saramazhai pol...”.

28. All the Deva-s wished to test Siva and Mahavishnu in their individual power and skill in archery. They also playfully agreed to demonstrate their powers. In the fight, Siva’s bow was slightly damaged. It is that Dhanush which became an ancestral property in the royal family of Videha. That bow was finally with Janaka, by breaking which Sri Rama got the hand of Sita in marriage. That is ‘Dhanurbhang’. There is a place in Bihar called Dharbhanga, which seems a derivative of the word for breaking of the bow. Mithila of Ramayana period was in that area.

29. Then as they were returning to Ayodhya, on the way they were accosted by Parasurama who as a Brahmin warrior had killed many Kshatriyas. He thrust the bow he was holding in his hands and said, “It is nothing great that you broke an already damaged bow in Mithila. Come on! Let us see your prowess with this bow of Maha Vishnu, called Narayana Dhanush! Sri Rama could do so with much ease, as it was his own bow. He and Parasurama were both Avatara of Maha Vishnu, after all! He could not only load an arrow on it but could grasp all of Parasurama’s powers as it’s Lakshya or aim.

30. When you think of Sri Rama, it is the ‘Kodhanda Paani’, as holding a Dhanush that readily comes to our minds. Though he did not hold a bow in Krishna Avatara, he caused his friend Arjuna to be famous as an expert in archery! Arjuna’s bow was called the ‘Gandeevam’. (Gandeepam is a misnomer for it.) Parameswari as Raja Rajeswari had a ‘Ikshu Dhanush’ that is of sugar cane. So does the Lord of Love Manmatha have a bow of sugar cane and arrow of flowers.

31. Dhanush has so much special value. Above all else, all these Devatas are but one Parabrhmam only! To attain that or get some inkling of understanding of that One Brhmam, it is archery that has been taken as an example by the Guru the Preceptor, telling the disciple in the Upanishad! (Mundakopanishad 2.2.3.) He says, “Sowmya! Taking hold of the bow, the great weapon familiar in the Upanishads, one should fix on it an arrow sharpened with meditation. Drawing the string, O good-looking one, hit that very target that is the Imperishable Akshara, with the mind absorbed in Its thought. Om that is the Pranavah is the bow; the soul is the arrow; Brhmam is its target. It is to be hit with the unerring aim of becoming One with It, just like an arrow.

(To be continued.)



Friday, December 25, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 168 (Vol #3) Dated 26 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 168 (Vol #3) Dated 26 Dec 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 No 771 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

11. In addition to mastering his portion of the branch of the Veda-s for which he considered himself to be a student for life (Adhyayanam), to learn everybody else's trades, crafts, intricacies and embellishments was the job of the Brahmin who was Achaarya (Adhyaapanam) for all other castes and professions. They are required to learn all arts, sciences and crafts, become experts and teach it to those respective tradesmen or craftsmen. To people of other castes they are to teach all the tricks of their trade in all its nuances.

12. But, they are not to trade or fight or use their knowledge and make a living out of it. When it comes to their own earning a livelihood, they are required to do 'yaachagam' , that is, beg! To protect the Veda-s, they are to learn, practice and teach the Veda-s in its pristine form. That is his 'swadharmam'! Parasurama and Dhrona are some rarities who wielded arms to fight real battles, for which we notice that they have been soundly criticized and ridiculed by their opponents!

13. In Germany all the people of the country were trained for war, which was to a large extent the reason for two world wars! Our country's ethos are not like that. Neither were we so gone on Ahimsa that we were a nation of cowards and losers! One fourth of the population was meant to do administration, policing and soldiering as the Kshatriya caste! They were to learn and practice Dhanur Veda as the profession to which born! Dhanur Veda talks of effective use of force against external aggression!
14. As per the Dhanur Veda, a king is supposed to be ever prepared for war. Now-a-days we often hear people in power saying that, whether it is China or Pakistan, if anybody tries to be nurturing any thoughts of aggression, we are ready with military preparedness. One is to be so prepared in reality. Other is to say so, to bolster civilian morale and deter the enemy from aggression. All this comes under diplomacy. Two things. We should not be saying that we are well prepared militarily, when we have been preparing and stocking our Army, Navy and Air Force extensively, as we will be branded as war mongers. We should not be claiming so when we are under prepared also lest, the enemy is motivated to go on the offensive! All these posing and manipulations come under another Upaveda by the name 'Artha Saastra'!

15. As per Dhanur Veda a King is required to be always prepared for war. He has to be so prepared, so as to deter other Kings from entering his territory and create chaos. It is the duty of the King to ensure this preparedness by employing Kshatriya soldiers.

16. Why the Word Dhanur? The main subject of Dhanur Veda is Weapons and their usage. Then why should not this Upaveda be called Weapons Veda or Ayudha Veda? Out of the weapons used, it is the Dhanush the bow, which enabled you to hurt an enemy from a distance. If you use a spear or a sword, once it goes off your hands, it does not come back. This matter of use of the bow is different. Arrows are light weight missiles. Carriage of arrows in the back pack is no problem, because of its being light weight. You can be at a distance and still be accurate. One after the other, you can continuously dispatch a whole series of missiles, depending only on your dexterity and mastery. The bow remains with you!

17. Weapons are of two variety called, Astram and Sastram. The power of the weapon and the users mastery are the main inputs in Sastram. You can say that they are the same two inputs in all weapons, after all. So are they all only Sastram? Yes in to-days world the power of the weapon and the combatant's artistry are the only two things applied in weaponry. There was a time when Mantra was the third element applied. That weapon would be called Astram! There have been great Maharishi-s who could use a blade of grass with mantra power as Astram against a whole army of soldiers and vanquished them!

18. But generally the very Sastra-s were used with mantra shakti, making them into Astra-s. Among all these weapons Dhanush was the main launching pad. Brahma’s power could be put in an astram known as Brhmastram. So there were, Vishnu's power invoked in Narayanstram and Siva's power invoked in Pasupatastram. Then there were other Astra-s with the power of other deities namely, Varunastram (of Varuna), Aagneyastram (of Agni), Garudastram (with the power of Garuda the white necked eagle, the carrier of Vishnu) and Nagastram (with the power of Snakes)! They were all arrows despatched by using those mantras, launched from a bow that is a Dhanush!

19. Now we know as to what wide spread destruction can be caused by an Atomic explosion. It is learnt that when these Astra-s were used they could do worse damage. Before these atomic explosions came to be known as a reality, the descriptions in the Purana-s were a matter for sniggering derisive comments. "Humph! One chap is said to have thrown a missile. Immediately there was supposed to have been a smoke and cloud cover from the ground to all the heavens! All the lakes, ponds and rivers were dried up and birds fell down dead it seems! Even the yet to be born foetus in the womb fell out dead, it seems! Hum! All cock and bull stories".

20. The power of a small yield atom bomb, the damage due to radiation, the fire effect and blast effect, should make us sit up and realize that may be there was some truth in what is said in the Purana-s! More than the power derived out of breaking an atom, there can be much greater power behind the Mantra-s, because before all creation there was the sound! First there was the prime ordial sound!
( To be continued.)



Thursday, December 24, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 167 (Vol #3) Dated 24 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 167 (Vol #3) Dated 24 Dec 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 No 768 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)


1. Ayur Vedam came into being for providing physical well being and fitness. Dhanur Vedam came into being so that the physical prowess so obtained is put to disciplined use for morally correct purposes of safety, protection and defence of ones society against internal aberrations and external threats. An English adage goes, ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair in war and love!’. But, our effort has always been to maintain our style of fairness even in war like situations. That is the reason for bringing the art of fighting within the purview of Saastraa-s that a portion of Veda-s was devoted for this purpose!

2. Though the ideal has always been 'ahimsa' and universal love, at all times, there has been some nation or the other going to war with neighbouring countries, nurturing expansionist ambitions. So, to be prepared to defend oneself against external aggression has been an unavoidable necessity, throughout human history. To bring the art of conduct of war within the ambit of some amount of control and discipline, to teach the warriors the principles of strategy and tactics, methods of effective use of weapons, and to streamline the ways of making those weapons, you needed a proper studious and scientific approach. That is to say, ‘ fighting a war is such a serious business that it should not be left only to the whims and fancies of the soldiers!’ For this reason Dhanur Vedam came into being.

3. Veda-s contain many descriptions of Deva - Asura conflicts. Indira fought and won over Vruddira Asura on a moral point of Dharma. To defeat Adharma and re-establish Dharma, every Deity has had to sort out some asura or the other in some battle, from which that Deity got name and fame, as described in the Veda-s and Purana-s. Tripura samhaaram, Jalandarasura vadam (vadam and samhaaram are Sanskrit words for killing or destruction), Hiranyaktcha / Madhu-Kaitaba / Tarakasura / Padmasura / Mahishasura / Chandamunda / Bandasura / Ravana / Kamsa / Narakasura / Kaurava respectively, have been killed in various wars for which we praise Easwara / Maha Vishnu / Ganesha / Subrahmanya / Ambal / Rama / Krishna / Pandavas respectively. So, they got the prefix or suffix as Purari / Tripurari / Murari / Mahishasura Mardhini and so on!

4. 'Ari' means enemy. Kamari, Kalari, Kajari are all names of Easwara. He defeated Kama, Kala and Kajasura to get those names. Ganesha killed Gaja Mukha Asura. That means his opponent also had the elephant like face like Ganesha himself! The Rishis in Taruka Vana, got too much of pride that, they were too well read and too powerful that they obtained through their austerities. They created a Kajasura to fight Parameswara. He was roundly defeated by Parameswara, and got the name Kajari. Krishna killed an Asura called Mura. So Krishna is addressed as Murari.

5. Mardhanam is to pummel, grate and mince the opponent in to peaceful and pieceful submission! By dancing on Kalinga's head Krishna did both nartana and mardhana. Then He told him "OK! Now you can go! Behave yourself in future, lest you get another dose of this treatment!" So, Krishna is called Kalinga - Mardhana. He is called Madhava or Madhusoodana, since He sorted out a Rakshasa by name Madhu. He has another name Kesava because He had killed another Asura who was known as Kesi.

6. In all mythologies of the world, the whole narrative is around a major event of war, like in Iliad. "Fight for the sake of Dharma" was the main thrust of the message by Krishna to Arjuna in Maha Bharata. Those seven hundred sloka-s rendered in the battle field of Kurukshetra, known as Bhagawat Gita is the foremost Book of Philosophy in the whole world to-day! Historically famous heroes have all been great warrior kings such as, Alexander the Great, Chandra Gupta Mourya, Raja Raja Chola, Caesar, Napoleon and Asoka. In literature too, great warriors have been eulogised widely. In Indian literature, to so praise great fighters who have also been morally upright as well as great administrators, a special classic literary mode has been evolved, known as 'Barani'!

7. Dhanda Neeti. In this world of functionality, for the sake of justice, it becomes necessary to enforce rule of law supported by punitive power to be applied for offences of omission and commission. So you need an arm of the government to take care of the enactment of laws and ensure their application, including legislators, lawyers, advocates, police, judiciary, jails and wardens. For protection against aggression from outsiders you need the Army. So, the Dhandam that is, the 'stick', is to be applied for maintaining internal law and order and against external aggression.

8. This idea of discipline inculcated internally and enforced externally can be viewed from yet another angle. If you carefully look into it, discipline is more true when it is applied from within as self discipline and is rather poor when it has to be ensured from without ! In the Indian context, the three castes entitled to wear the yagna-upaveetam are given a small green branch of a tree with some green leaves, at the time of his initiation to Gayatri mantra. This is a symbolic representation of the 'stick' for self discipline. The aim is to win over the six internal enemies of 'shad ripu' of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, aascharya, namely desire, anger, greed, delusion, passion and wondrous amusement respectively. This is the duty of every individual, if his aim is to ennoble himself instead of being another animal!

9. Then it is the job of the King to keep the internal enemies of the state namely, thieves, robbers, culprits, murderers, corrupt bureaucracy and external foes of the state, under observation and control. So, at that level too there are internal and external enemies. Here too symbolically he holds a 'dhandam' a stick, that is the 'sengol', meaning the fine rule of law. The royal mace or sceptor or baton also are part of any regalia meant for this purpose only! He has to maintain law and order by punishing the offenders and prevent others from offence by fear of punishment. In our system, for control of the inner and outer enemies of the state, Kshatriya is required to learn the art of war, for which there is Dhanur Vedam!

10. Because there is war and conflicts in the world of transactions, our fore fathers did not require that all the strata of society should learn and practice all the war like activities. They did not require that all should give much importance to physical prowess! Only the Kshatriya caste were to pay attention to this training and expertise. Adhyapakam that is, teaching is one of the six jobs of Brahmins who are called the 'shad karma nirata:'. Teaching the Veda-s including Dhanurveda, is their job. To that extent the Brahmin is also required to keep himself physically fit and agile. He is also required to be master of this Veda too, like Drona Acharya and Krupa Acharya, that is if he has selected this to be the area of his specialization! That also means that not all Brahmins were required to be experts in this!

(To be continued.)



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol #3) Dated 22 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol #3) Dated 22 Dec 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 No 765 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

85. After 1947, while we might have started with much nationalistic fervour, as the time went on, our freedom has not been made full use of in re-establishing our real national culture and strong points of our old value systems. We have been spending all our time and resources on aping, mimicking and copying the west in all walks of life, in the name of modernization and progress! Then by bringing in the concept of secularism, we have only put our own Hindu culture under shackles! So, as far as Ayur Veda is concerned, whatever Panagal Raja did to start with before 1947, has not been made full use of. Recently however, there are some indications of revival.

86. The only way that Ayur Veda can be revived is by making it more popular and widely practiced. There are three reasons as to why this system can be adopted as the main-stay in our country. First thing is that in Ayur Veda, what is forbidden in our aachaaraa-s is also taboo in this generally. Second is the ambient weather conditions existing in our country to which Ayur Veda is better adapted. Third is the fact that it is affordable cost wise. One more reason is that it's medicines can be very pleasant tasting to the mouth. Many of the herbs have pleasing aroma. Even some items like castor oil a purgative and 'nilavembu' that is rather bitter, do not stink like most of the allopathic medicines do!

87. Is it not very sad that, when surgery as a methodology has gone to rest of the world ( who did not know a thing about it ) from this country, we have been reduced to the condition of wondering, "Is there surgery in Ayur Veda?"! If we end up losing what is our hereditary privilege, we will have nothing to be proud of anymore! Instead we make a big show of exhibiting our Tribal Dances to foreign dignitaries and feel rather smug that we have done our duty in safe guarding our national culture!

88. Ayur Veda has all the characteristics and defining qualities of how a medical science should be; such as analytical knowledge of human beings, animal and plant bodies; study of diseases including symptoms, indications and reasons why they happen, methods of prevention, their treatment and follow up including all aspects of diagnosis and prognosis; study of the plants, methods of getting the raw materials from those plants, methods of preparing the various oils, ointments, khashayams, kwadams, tablets and powders! It is a national heritage to be protected, preserved and made proper use of. To let that wealth of knowledge go by default will be a monumental irresponsibility! We should spare no effort to revive and rejuvenate Ayur Veda to its fullest functional effulgence. Let us bear in mind the fact that Ayur Veda is closer and friendly-friendly to our religion and culture.

89. "Noyarra vaazhve kuraivarra selvam", is a Tamil adage meaning, 'to be healthy is the endless wealth'. Another one says, "suvarai vaiththu thaan chithiram", meaning, 'for a drawing or painting you need a wall or an easel'! They both emphasize the importance of healthy living. As Oliver Goldsmith the English writer poet, has regretted, village life with its unpolluted atmosphere, simplicity and healthy habits have been lost forever to city life full of stresses and strain with all verities of pollution, causing diseases to multiply to unmanageable proportions! It is a sad fact that villages to-day are only small scale townships, though retaining some of the old world charm! For the ills of human misbehaviour, we have to pray to God to intervene. To deserve that God’s intervention we have to take a vow ourselves to become more and more Nature Friendly in all our endeavour, attitudes and behaviour. There is no other alternative. In so doing, going back to Ayur Veda is one of the steps.

90. At the end of any pooja or Yaaga, the Pundit will be telling about the 'phala sruti', that is the good effects of our having done the pooja or whatever. Invariably there will be a phrase, "...rogaarthie muchyate rogaath...", meaning, 'let the people who are suffering from ill health be relieved of their diseases'. To protect, sustain and nourish our religion, it is clear that we should try and maintain good health. In doing so, let us make use of Ayur Veda which is close to the ideals and methods of our religion and culture. I pray to God to bless you all to benefit from this lecture on Ayur Veda!



Sunday, December 20, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol #3) Dated 19 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol #3) Dated 19 Dec 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 No 759 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

73. In the process for physical rejuvenation much of Chemistry as a science is involved. Preparation of the chemicals, can be done while located in a cattle fair or while located under a Nellikkai tree (Aamalaka: Sanskrit name or Emblic Myrobalan botanical name). You can see the parallel between Dharma Saastra-s and Vaidya Saastraa here. The dust of the cow’s hoofs are considered as sacred in one and found suitable in the ambient environments for preparing the concoctions in the other. Similarly sitting under a Nellikkai tree is considered as very suitable for meditation and deep concentration as well as for preparing the Ayur Vedic medicines. What is good for spiritual efforts is also good for the body’s treatment. All told, Kayakalpa methods cause positive improvement in the skin, muscle, blood and nerves.

74. Other Sciences in Ayur Veda. We have seen as to how Chemistry as an applied science, is in use in the preparations of Ayur Vedic medicines. In addition you may be surprised to note that some seven or eight other disciplines of science are also part of the Ayur Veda. You have to intimately know about various plants from which we are to get the herbs. So Botany is involved. Individual medicines, their dosages, proportions in which they are to be mixed and the periodicity of administration will all differ, depending on intensity of the diseases and the physical condition of the patient. So, the Vaidya better be aware of the Physiology of human body, in all its intricacies.

75. At least in the past, the same Vaidya had to take care of human beings as well as domestic animals. So, he had to know quite a bit of Zoology too. Our ancestors had the power to see through all such extremely subtle areas of knowledge to arrive at cogent scientific deductions of facts, truths and concepts. Their compassion did not stop at human beings and animals. For the likely diseases of plants they evolved what is known as, ‘Vrukshayur Veda’ meant for plants and trees. When it came to mixing the ingredients in correct proportions for making the medicines, they had to have perfect knowledge of Mathematics and Physics.

76. Sir. P.C.Ray is a scientist who has studied the Veda-s and Saastraa-s and arrived at the conclusion that all modern sciences including Physics originated and systematically studied to a fairly advanced stages in ancient India some two thousand years back! His findings have been accepted grudgingly with awe by many modern scientists that, what has been discovered within the past two to three centuries, seem to have been known already to Indian thinkers of the past.

77. What is much appreciated by foreigners is that our ancient scholars have not only worked out the correct medicines but also the most appropriate diet restrictions for all diseases. The word for diet is ‘patyam’, that is the path or way to go! It is not only enough to take the prescribed medicines, but also avoid certain foods and take certain other foods in some specific proportions! The common rule of ‘patyam’ is that all people should have ‘upavaasam’ once in a fortnight. Once in a while everybody should skip a meal. Vaidya Saastram considers that in each ‘paksham’ that is, during the waxing or waning of the moon, it is good to have total fasting for a day, That is the Ekadasi Vratam. This is another area where the Dharma and Vaidya Saastraa-s go hand in hand!

78. Why should we follow this Ayur Veda method? We as people of this country, should be following this method which is our own! That is one reason. Secondly, abiding with Ayur Veda, we will automatically be observing the Do’s and Don’ts of our Aachaaraa-s. There is one more reason. By strictly abiding with this method, we will be living a life very close to nature. That is, if we believe in a God as a creator and sustainer of this whole universe then, living our life close to nature we will not be transgressing the laws of nature. In countries all over the globe, in each area the terrain and climate differs, based on which their source of food and habits differ. In each of those areas, nature has made available suitable antidotes in the form of herbs, for the sort of diseases likely in those areas. Accordingly also in each of those areas, an appropriate medical system has evolved locally.

79. Our country is one of balanced climatic conditions, with a suitable mix of all types. This place is meant to be peopled by the Saattvic guna oriented lots. Accordingly for them the required herbs and other materials are locally available here as arranged by nature. This land is the ‘Karma Bhumi’. For the ‘Karma Anushtaanaa-s’, the spinal cord is the rules of Dharma Saastraa-s. The people living here are required to carry out their duties of protection of their self and properties, relief from diseases and sustenances; without transgressing Dharma Saastraa-s. That is why our ancestors could divine the details of Ayur Veda by God’s Grace! God’s Grace is evident in the form of Mother Nature, in each area of the Globe. Man has to realize this simple fact that he is part of the Nature and not it’s Master.

80. Not only in the Science of Medicine, in the area of ‘Shilpam’, that is the way we construct our houses, living areas and buildings; there is a method that is suitable to that local area based on its ambient local conditions and availability of raw materials. You simply cannot copy what is done in Alaska or Japan or Timbuktu, here in Chennai. Similarly, if you take Agriculture, it has to suit the local land and culture! Otherwise, it leads to ‘ativrusht‘i , that is floods and ‘anaavrushti‘ , that is water scarcity! Knowledgeable people are all the time drumming in to our ears, ‘not to disturb nature!’ (KTSV adds:- If you simply try to copy from elsewhere, it leads to chaos, as is being done by the so called Globalization now-a-days!)

81. I am not saying all this. In ‘Charaka Samhita’ the book of authority in Ayur Veda, this matter has been said in no uncertain terms:- “yasmin dese hi yo jaata: tasmy tajjoushadam hitam”. In each area of the world, many people come in to existence. So also the local herbs come into being. This does not happen blindly or hap-hazardly! This is ordered, disciplined evolution in that area. Wherever a man is born, his required medicine is to be made from the materials as available in that area. Such a material out of which Ayur Vedic medicines can be made, has a name in Tamil as ‘charakku’. May be that this word has evolved from the name of the Rishi Charaka. Later possibly this word came to mean all ‘materials’ or goods.

82. Let Ayur Vedam Get Longevity! Now the pathetic condition obtaining is such that, because of my promptings and just to oblige me, if you all decide to change over to Ayur Veda medicines, all of you may not be able to find suitable doctors. For a long number of years, the fact that to do studies in medicine, you had to have knowledge of English as the basic requirement. Some 50 years back there was some hope of a change. Then in the Chennai State a party by the name of Justice Katchi came into being. On the one hand they were not supporting the Independence movement of the Congress party! On the other hand they claimed that Brahmin’s domination was too much in all walks of life, including all trade, industry, social and political spheres. Amongst them also there were some who were capable of unbiased opinions. One of them was Panagal Raja. The present Panagal Park, Thyagaraja Nagar in Chennai is named after him. Even Thyagaraja Nagar, that is what is known as T.Nagar to-day, is named after Pitty Thyagaraja Chetty of Justice party only!

83. For some time, Panagal Raja became a minister under the Britishers. Whatever his other beliefs and views; he felt that as a local, he should be taking some measures for reviving ancient Indian culture. He was well qualified in Sanskrit. So he wanted to revive the Saastraa-s (Not Dharma Saastraa-s) concerning arts, crafts and sciences. He was of the opinion that Indian Ayur Veda is the best for Indians, being more body friendly for us and that other types medicines cause avoidable harms. Since at that time India Ayur Veda was gasping in its last breath, he started an Ayur Vedic Vidyashala. Had he stayed on for some more time, I am sure that he would have done his bit for Indian Jyotisham, Ganitam and Physics.

84. Whatever you may think of my national patriotic spirit, it is those who claim to be highly motivated by Nationalism, Patriotism and Swadeshiyam, who have done next to nil to revive our arts, sciences and crafts! The whole effort since our independence has been in copying western language, dress, out-look, manners, habits and culture, to the utter neglect of true Indian ethos and spirit! At least through the Justice party people, Ayur Veda got some first aid and revival, that since then at the speed of a snail or tortoise, it has made some progress. To-day, uit so happens that, those who do certain number of years of study in the normal stream of medicine and then do some specialization in Indian Medicine, could be given a G.C.I.M., (General Certificate of Indian Medicine) as a degree! (This was in the year 1958.)

(To be continued.)



Thursday, December 17, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 164 (Vol #3) Dated 17 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 164 (Vol #3) Dated 17 Dec 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 No 754 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

63. We as Indians were the pioneers in many fields of human endeavour. Our track records say that we were masters of excellence in all those fields. It is just pathetic to note that both Charaka Samita and Susrutha Samhita have gone in to oblivion and are now making a recovery. Between the two, Susrutha Samhita has not yet made a full recovery into practice!

64. Let me tell you as to what is pathetic about this. You may be knowing about the set of books known as Encyclopedia Britannica, which gives us information about every art, science and other disciplines in detail, about their history of evolution and development. Every 30 years their editions are updated to add newly obtained knowledge. What is given there is that, surgery was born in India. From India the knowledge of Surgery got exported to Greece via Arabia, then to Italy from where it spread all over Europe.

65. In Susrutha Samhita, there is talk of all sorts of surgical instruments. People researching in to etchings on palmyra leaves relating to descriptions in Rik Veda, to Purana-s, to literature on Epics, have opined that surprisingly subtle details of methods in surgery were known to our ancestors. A brave queen, named Visbala the wife of Kelan in Rik Veda, lost her leg in battle and she was given an iron prosthetic leg in lieu, by Aswini brothers, who were physicians of the Gods. In Valmiki Ramayana, there is mention of Indira losing his male organ for having misbehaved with Ahalya. A goat's male organ was transplanted, as reported. Syavana and king Yayati got their old age replaced by youth as described in Maha Bharata. These are all not just mythical information but supported by research scholars of the present day who have presented papers in our 'Vidvat Sabha-s'. Because, in the Vaidya Saastraa-s we find very clear expositions on 'artificial limb surgery, transplantation of body parts, rejuvenation and skin grafting'!

66. The important critical stages in surgery are, saving the body part from becoming septic, sedation for ensuring that the patient does not suffer from extreme trauma due to high levels of pain, avoidance of blood loss and temporary stoppage of the functioning of some body parts and their restart cum revival after the surgery is over! There is clear evidence that in all these four areas, expertise was already existing even in very olden times!

67. Kulasekara Aazhwaar has expressed an idea in his song to God which means, 'as the patient is not antogonized even when the doctor cuts his body and cauterises, whatever you may do to me, my love for you will not be any less'. In Tamil it says, "... vaalaal aruttu(ch) chudinum...".

68. I can think of two reasons why, despite all the far advanced expertise of the past, surgery has become almost forgotten in Ayur Veda. One is that surgery anyhow is a risky business as the after effects are diverse, unpredictably so. So, surgery was not widely practiced but, restricted to a select few. Then the Vaidyar-s were rather strict in observing the rules and regulations of cleanliness, diet and behaviour. So they were capable correctly identifying and locating the uncommon herbs and plants from which ever corner of Podigai or Vindya or Himalaya or whichever range of hills. They knew as to which particular herb was to be used and the method of its application for whatever the disease or fever or boil or abscess. Hence surgery was resorted to only when unavoidable! (KTSV adds:- It is known that unscrupulous doctors all over the world, despite their professional Hippocratic Oaths are quite hypocritical about it. I am not only punning on the words but am on the spot about it! In the 1950’s and 60’s every other child was operated for tonsils. Later it was the poor small appendix at the end of the large intestine which was conveniently removed, as the villain of the piece! About a year back the world was agog when Oprah Winfry revealed that 90% of mastectomy operations for cancer were unnecessary. As every Nation of the world is in a quandry as to what should be done about the likely medical bill, which is increasing by leaps and bounds every year, one is reminded of what Mahatma Gandhi said. He said that, “there is enough in this world to cater for the needs of everyone, but there is not enough to cater for even one man’s greed!” Especially the greed of doctors’ and Multi National Medical Companies of the world!)

69. When the whole army was lying unconscious, Hanuman brought the hill feature containing the herb Sanjivini. The moment the troops smelt the herb, they could wake up with renewed vigour. That was the effect of a whiff of that herb. So the power of the herbs were such that there was not that much of a need to cut, dig and grope around inside the body! This was another reason why the intricacies of surgery might have gone out of practice and so forgotten! Other than partaking the medicine and surgery, there are other methods of taking care of the patient described in Ayur Veda.

70. ‘Lepam’ is another method. Application of ointment, plaster and covering the affected portion of the body with a wet dressing of clay known as poultice, are all part of the lepam method, quite prevalent in Kerala. ’Vamanam’ is to make the patient vomit, when you want to clear the person’s stomach of unwanted toxins. ’Virechanam’ is to cause the evacuation of the stomach by way of loose motions. ‘Swetanam’ is to cause the person to sweat out the toxins in the body. ‘Snehanam’ is to instil the oil bound medication through the pores of the skin by massage. This is also much in use in Kerala till date. ‘Nasyam’ is to cause sneezing for the body to be rid of the unwanted elements. Then there are two types of enema known as ‘Niruham‘ and ‘Anuvasanam’.

71. In addition to treatment of the visible diseases, there were methods to correctly identify and diagnose when something went wrong with the intestines, brain, bones, nerves, blood and blood vessels, blood pressure, diabetes, eye sight and so on. Ayur Vedam concerned itself not only with medicines made out of herbs (known as ‘oushady’ ) but also minerals (gandakam), stones (pashaanam), metals (uloham). These put together were called ‘rasa vargam’.

72. We hear about ‘kaya kalpam’ as a method of rejuvenating this physical body. Though Aswattama, Bali, Vyasa, Krupa, Parasurama, Hanuman and Vibhishana are supposed to be seven immortals called, ‘chiranjeevi-s’, practically speaking, for us they are all ethereal and not real! But in olden times it is understood that there were people who having done ‘Kayakalpam’ maintained their body without diseases for fairly long periods of life, like three to five centuries or even thousands of years! This they did for greater practice of Ashtanga Yoga of, Yama, Niyama, Pratyahara, Pranayama, Asana, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi! They could not have done ‘Kayakalpa’ for the purpose of sensual gratifications! They would have realized the futility of trying to obtain immortality for the physical body and that as an Atma, they are already immortal! Those who did rejuvenation of the body through ‘Kayakalpa’ for the sake of proplonged sensual gratification, would anyhow have worn out literally!

(To be continued.)



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Dec 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 No 749 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

52. Ayur Veda is complimentary and not at variance to rest of the Veda doctrines. The Saastraa-s aim mainly at balancing the three predominant character qualities of human beings namely, Sattva, Rajasa and Tamasa guna-s. These guna-s should be made to neutralize each other and bring the mind to a via media. What is said in ‘Sankhya Darsanam’ is completely agreeable to the Vedic dharma too. (Darsanam can be taken as Atma Saastra.) Sri Krishna Paramatma has spoken about these three guna-s in many places in the Bhagawat Gita. Sankhya and Yoga Saastra-s are very similar in their views on these three guna-s. Similar to this balancing between the three guna-s, is the balancing between Kapha, Vaada and Pitta, root materials in the human body as per Vaidya saastra.

53. For all the things that goes wrong in ‘Prakruti, Maya and Avidya’, that is ‘the ignorant and illusive nature‘, that is seen as the world of so many life forms, these three guna-s are responsible! Vedaantam says that if these three guna-s are balanced, the whole universe could and will abide into total peacefulness! Exactly similarly, Ayur Vedam says that for all that goes wrong in the human body, the imbalance in this trio of Kapha-Vaada-Pitta, is responsible. If they are balanced out, the body will be healthy and harmonious, says Ayur Veda. For all that goes wrong in nature of individuals, societies, nations and the world, the cause is to be found in these three guna-s. Similarly for all the thousands of diseases big and small, it is these three dhatu-s the cause as found by Ayur Veda.

54. You know what is Kapha? Cold, cough, flu, pneumonia are all caused by Kapha. It is mainly concerned with the chest cavity and face. In the form of blood its effect is spread throughout the body. Vaada or Vaayu is the air. Muscular pain, muscle pulls, sprains, pain in the bones, flatulence and such are caused by this, leading to rheumatism, arthritis and such. The moment air is mentioned you may think of breathing. But this Vaada is concerned with the whole body. Pitta is not just one but, about all the digestive juices that is excreted, starting from the mouth to the stomach and big and small intestines. Further the digested food spreads throughout the body by way of blood circulation. A trained Vaidyar can feel the Naadi (the pulse), in any part of the body and can identify as to which of the three, Kapha, Vaada or Pitta that has the problem.

55. A modern day Doctor may require a variety of scans, blood / urine / stool tests and x-rays, before making up his mind about what is wrong with the patient. For a Vaidyar however, the physical look of the patient, their complaint and feeling the Naadi will do most sufficiently for arriving at the correct diagnosis! This is true despite the fact that problem may be concerning the heart or brain, eyes, ears, nose, mouth or any other part of the body! By feeling the Naadi and by identifying as to which Dhaatu of the three Kapha, Vaada or Pitta, the Vaidyar can identify and locate the problem area.

56. Our Vaidya Saastra has spread all over the world. These things were never kept as a secret from any one. In India there has always been absolute transparency in spreading of knowledge, as long as the aspirant after knowledge displayed sincerity of purpose. In Greece these three Dhaatu-s became four Humour-s. With the three Guna-s and three Dhatu-s, they added four of the five Biota’s namely, the principles of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The Space or Akaasam was too subtle to be included. These four Humours decide the character qualities of a man, they clearly said. These four humours as identified by them are, Phlegm, Choler, Melancholy and Blood. William Shakespeare had a clear understanding of these concepts, as he often alludes to them in his dramas.

57. As blood circulates by air pressure of the breath, that can be taken as Vaada. Relating it to Guna-s, when there is more Phlegm (Kapha), as the patient will be somewhat dull and dispassionate, this could be equated with Sattva. When Choler increases, the person would be easily irritated, annoyed and angered, that could be taken as Rajas. When Melancholy is high, he will be a cry baby, thoughtful and quiet, which can be taken as Tamasa. When Blood as a Grecian humour is high, one is likely to be easily agitated, also sort of Rajas. Though not exactly the same, they had their own logic for their four Humours, which was a mix of these concepts of Sattva, Rajas, Tamas of Guna-s and Kapha, Vaada and Pitta of Dhatu-s. But you can make out that there is borrowing of ideas from our faith, belief and logic.

58. I was saying that in the matter of three Guna-s and Three Dhatu-s, our old vaidya saastram of Ayur Veda is in concert with Vedic saastraa-s. Similarly Pancha Kavyam that is acceptable in our religious rituals, is also an important item in Ayur Veda treatment. As explained earlier, you may note that Pancha Kavyam is a concoction of say a spoon each of, cow’s milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine. This is prescribed in many rituals of expiation, when you do ‘parihaara or praayaschitta’, for past sins of omission or commission. The same concoction is also prescribed in the end period of treatment, to be partaken to prevent any fresh infection.

59. What is called as Paapam and Punyam (acts of sin and meritorious deeds), is mentioned as ‘hitam and ahitam’ in Ayur Veda, that is harmful and beneficial to the body. So what is ‘anaachaaram’ is forbidden as ahitam in the Ayur Veda texts. So, I entreat you all that, those who are true followers of our religion, may resort to allopathic medicines only when it is unavoidable and stick to Ayur Vedic medicines only, for all practical purposes. Please do not go in for cod liver oil, liver extract and such things, which are absolutely both ‘anaachaaram and ahitam‘ !
60. Surgery. Now-a-days it has become unavoidable that, when surgery is necessitated, we have to resort to only allopathic treatment! Even those who are very strict in observing their aachaaraa-s, out of necessity have to resort to operations such as cataract, appendicitis and open heart surgery. We can do nothing about it now. But I am of the view that, due to our carelessness and inattentiveness, this line of treatment has been forgotten and lost sight of!

61. The mistake lies in the mind set which believes that surgery is not there in our Ayur Veda discipline. In fact surgery has always been a part of Ayur Veda from the very beginning of this discipline. There were two stalwarts of this Veda. One was Charaka and the other Susrutha. It is their Samhita-s which are the original authorities and reference books. Charaka Rishi is none other than Patanjali Muni famous for Yoga Aasanaa-s. The writings by Agniveshya Rishi were developed upon by Charaka. There is one scripture authored by Vaakpata, known as ‘Ashtanga Hrudayam’ which is also an authority in Ayur Veda. In Tamil language too, we find many traditional authoritative books on this subject.

62, Charaka talks of giving medicines for diseases, and Susrutha has described the surgical methods. We call the doctor involved in general practice of medicine as Physician and the one with expertise in conducting operations on the body of the patient as Surgeon. In the degree awarded for a doctor passing out from a medical college these days, (M.B.,B.S.), both these are included, that is, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Had we saved and protected our Ayur Veda from going defunct, we would have had Vaidya-s who could have been experts as Physicians and Surgeons.

(To be continued.)



Sunday, December 13, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 162 (Vol #3) Dated 13 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 162 (Vol #3) Dated 13 Dec 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 No 745 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

42. Of the 100 sloka-s of Soundarya Lahari, each of them are known to have the curative power against many a disease and mis-fortune. While composing the ‘Narayaneeyam’, Narayana Bhattadri had a humanly incurable disease of the stomach. As he composed his songs he was sitting in the outer periphery of the sanctum sanctorum, directly leaning to the side and looking in to the Idol of ‘chinna krishna’. Krishna was giving his approval of each song by nodding his head. At the end of his ‘magnum opus’ Narayana Bhattadri had no stomach pain and he was fully cured of whatever was the disease. So chanting of Narayaneeyam is also used as a curative.

43. From the collection of songs sung by Arunagiri Nathar, collectively known as Thiruppugazh, there is a song starting with the words, ‘irumalu roga muyalagan vaada...’, which is used as a panacea for all types of illnesses. Sambanda Murthy Swamigal cured Koon Pandyan, the King of Madurai of his fever and bent back, by singing ‘Thiru neer padigam’. This song is also used as a cure all, by being sung a number of times. While these sloka-s or songs are repeated a number of times, an effort is made to instil the power of such chanting in water or vibhuti, honey or milk, by either the sick person or someone else on their behalf and a drop of that water or honey or milk is partaken or the vibhuti applied to the fore head. Gayatri known as the top most of all mantra-s, is also used this way.

44. Vibhuti has some special power in this respect. In the colloquial it is called the ‘thunnooru’, though the Tamil word for that is, ‘Thiru Neeru’. We notice that the village folks receive this with reverence and apply it on their body and put some of it in their mouth too! Adi Sankara Bhagawat Paadaal has sung the ‘Subhrahmanya Bhujangam’ in which the 25 th sloka talks of the vibhuti obtained at the Subrahmanya temple at Thiruchendur, having the power to cure all types of diseases! ‘That vibhuti has the power to cure by being seen for a fraction of a second,’ he says. There is no need to swallow it or apply it on the fore head, “vilokya kshanaat”, fits, fever, all types of incurable diseases, insanity, leprosy and mischief by supra normal spirits, will all vanish. It is said that the Moolavar Statue in Palani temple is made of a hardened material of extracts of herbs. So the Abhisheka Teertam has all the power of a curative. Similarly, the oil that has been anointed on the Guruvayurappan known as Guruvayoor Thailam, Thiruchoor Nei that is Ghee that has been applied on the Sivalingam at Thiruchoor, and many more such divine prasadam-s from many other temples, are said to have such powers.

45. You make a prayer to Venkata Ramana Swamy Balaji at Thirupati that, ‘you will come walking up the foot path route’ or ‘do anga pradakshinam in the temple praharam’ or ‘present a mangalyam’ or ‘conduct the marriage ceremony of Balaji with Padmawaty Ammawaru’; presto any and every long standing problem or disease disappears! Parameswara the Siva too, cures us of not only the disease named ‘this worldly life’, but also any and every other disease too! He is known as ‘Vaidya Natha Swamy’ in Vaitheeswaran Koil, as the Doctor of all Doctors! As a tradition, the devotee is required to dissolve some salt or jaggery in the temple pond, for solving of whatever the problem!

46. You take a clutch each of Bilva (belladonna) leaves lovingly offered to Siva, Tulasi (holy basil) leaves offered to Vishnu and the bitter Neem leaves (Veppilai in Tamil) that is the favourite of Ambal and eat it every day, to be impervious to all sorts of diseases and infections! Even the wind blowing through a Neem tree is said to be capable of cleansing the blood in the human body and removes infections of the uterus and the womb. Similarly Arasa Maram is also known to have curative qualities. It has been an age old custom in India to plant a Neem Tree and Arasa Tree close to each other and conduct a symbolic marriage of the two. Those who have no children, even after years of being married, should perambulate around the tree-couple, to get in the family way, is the advice of a Naattu Vaidyar in a book that I have read!

47. The waving of lit agar bathie (incense sticks) and burning of camphor in Pooja-s and use of cow’s dung to spread and smear the floors in mud houses; are all done not only as a ritual but with an additional purpose of disinfecting the surroundings as a preventive against diseases. More than all this, with unshakeable trust in God and destiny that come what may, whatever happens, however the way it happens, is taken as the best for oneself, it becomes a positive input into the system! Then your resilience becomes so powerful that you do not go under but, overcome any and every disease! In this the mantra-s (not mentioned in Ayur Veda), the mani, oushadi from herbs, neem, arasa maram, cow dung are all included.

Ayur Veda and Religious Practices.

48. Ayur Veda considered as a medical science is not so much part of Hindu Religion. However, as compared to Allopathy and Unani disciplines, it is not far away from gnostic ideas either! The dictum that ‘an agnostic is not to be treated by this method’, itself is a proof of what I am saying. All treatment in this method is to be done only after invoking God’s blessing. Especially we take the name of Dhanvantri, (the Avatara of Maha Vishnu who brought out the Amirta Kalasam from the ocean of milk,) before studying and practicing this discipline.

49. More over, amongst the Upaveda-s, Ayur Vedam is generally free of any contradiction or deviation from what is given in Saastraa-s. If you take the Allopathy and Unaani, amongst the medicines and methods, there are many details totally unacceptable to our aachaaraa-s and saastraa-s. Normally in Ayur Vedic preparations you will rarely find any forbidden item being made use of, except for possibly garlic being used in some preparations, that too only rarely. Even when they do so, it has to be immediately followed up by some rituals of expiation such as, ‘prayaschittam and punyaha vaachanam’ and so on. Those who are sticking to gnostic views, better refrain from shifting to the Allopathic treatment as far as possible.

50. Ayurveda takes time to become effective, while other methods are fast acting, they say. But the fact remains that Ayurveda though may be slow acting, it is effective enough to go to the root of the problem and remove the cause for the disease. People who are qualified in both, clearly say that Allopathy does not go so far in to the diagnosis and its alleviation effect is rather temporary. Then there are more after effects and side effects, which are not there in Ayurveda. Initially it may activate some dormant problems, which would be cured as the treatment continues.

51. This Ayurveda as a Vaidya Saastra, has to be in tune with the Veda Saastraa-s. As I said quite clearly earlier, yes, it is important to protect and save this human body for obvious reasons. But protection of this physical body is not to be at the cost of letting go of the rules and restrictions of the Sruti, Smruti and Dharma Saastraa-s. To do so is agnostic and so forbidden

(To be continued.)



Friday, December 11, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol #3) Dated 11 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol #3) Dated 11 Dec 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 No 740 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

31. To recap what I have said so far on this is that, both from the humane and religious point of view, it is essential to save and maintain this body as an instrument of social service and as a means of achieving Dharma respectively. That is what Mahakavi Kali Dasa has said in this sloka:- "...sareeram aadhyam kalu dharma saadanam?..." in Kumara Sambhavam 5.33. You have to have a surface on which a picture can be drawn. For conduct of a Homa, as it is important to have the materials such as dharba grass, faggots, cow's ghee and so on, it is equally important to have a person in a physical body intending to conduct the Homa! How can anything be done without the Karta being present there? We agree that God is the Karta always and every where. But for a worldly function, God’s rep has to be there. When our whole life is an oblation of oneself, there has to be a person in a body to do it and benefit from such an act of oblation!

32. People say that it is the rice kernel that is important, not the husk. Atma is the rice kernel, the body is only the outer cover, the husk. All that is correct. But, that does not mean however that the husk is to be ignored or discarded. We collect and store the husk for sustaining the fire in the Homa Kundam, once it has been lighted. If we make the rice in to Havis for offering in the fire, the husk is needed also to keep that fire going. So that husk is not wasted but, preserved. Similarly this human body is the vehicle in our journey to self realization. So, it has to be cherished and preserved!

33. To sum up what I have said so far, till we get the sort of maturity of total dispassion about this body of ours, or till such time that uncaring for the body, our minds are deeply merged in devotion, we are bounden by duty to take care of this body in perfect physical condition, without any aches, ailments and diseases.

34. There is one Saastram by the name of Meemaamsa. In it there are two divisions called, Poorva Meemaamsa and Uttara Meemaamsa. The first one tells us the method of progressing spiritually through the path of Karma Anushtaanaa and the latter is about the Gnaana Maarga. For both the need to take care of one's body remains equally applicable. The path of Karma means that much work is involved, as known to us already. The path of Gnaana also involves reading and imbibing many scriptures and their assimilation through pondering that is, Atma Vichaara, for which once again the physical fitness is essential! In the path of Raja Yoga, while doing various Asana-s and Pranayama, the body becomes agile and fit. In Hatha Yoga, those who practice it attain to unbelievable levels of physical capabilities. The problem remains that there is a likelihood of getting stuck at high efficiency stages of body consciousness! We will still have ‘deha atma buddhi’, that too with a superiority complex!

35. For good health, three methods are mentioned namely, Mani, Mantra and Medicine(Oushadam). Each of the nine gems are suitable to the nine Graha-s of the Sun and it's planets. Each one of them will cure a set of diseases, as affected by Sun, Moon and the seven planets. That is, the diseases are caused by lack of their favour and are cured by their being pleased. Though each disease is caused by our own negative Karma, it takes the form of their being displeased. As a counter, when that particular gem is worn as a ring or chain on this human body and or the water used for their Abhishekam is partaken, there is miraculous amelioration. Like the nine gems, nine different metals such as Gold, Silver, Copper, Mercury, Iron and so on could also be used in the treatment. (Then in the modern world there are many healing methods being talked about, which is actually a mix of borrowed ideas from many such disciplines from the East.)

36. Mantra Japa is another method. 'Jwara' in Sanskrit is the word for fever. 'Kampa' is the word for shivering. There are some sloka-s known to be addressed towards specific forms of God as, 'Jwara Hareswara' and 'Kampa Hareswara', for this purpose. Then there are 'Surya Namaskara', 'Kandar Anubuthi', Kandar Shashti Kavacham' and 'Indrakchi Japam'; which are all mantra-s capable of curing diseases. There are also those who by chanting any mantra for over 1.8 million times get the 'mantra siddhi'. They become capable of curing any diseases by a look or touch.

37. 'Oushadam' is the generic name for all medicines from herbs occurring naturally in nature. A whole lot of these herbs have been studied, analysed, their healing properties identified and the method of preparing the Oushadam from them have been perfected in Ayur Veda. With these medicines, some times extracts from some of these gems and metals reduced to ashes, commonly known as 'bhasmam' are also used, (for example using gold, ruby or pearl). But the main ingredients are herbs!

38. Siddha Vaidyam is another healing discipline of Indian origin. It makes use of a wide variety of derivatives from gem stones and metals. They are known to be more potent and hence have to be used in very minute dosages, with much greater care as the side effects can be more serious. Agasthya, Theraiya are some of the Siddha Purusha-s who have written notes for these medicines in coded languages not normally known. Because of their high potency, their secrecy!

39. As the Mani and Metals are somehow connected to both Siddha Vaidyam and Ayur Veda, we could profitably connect the Mantra part also to the process of Ayur Vedic treatment. Vaidyar is the synonym for Doctor. Vaidyar-s from well established traditions make use of a whole range of Mantra-s with their Ayur Vedic medicines. They keep chanting the mantra-s, while preparing the extracts from mani / metal / mooligai (that is herbs); and while mixing different combinations of these for specific patients as dosages.
40. For example the mantra-s so used are:- Trayambaka Mantra; Naama Traya of Achyuta, Anantha, Govinda; the mantra meant for Dhanvantri, Aswini Deva-s, Surya the Sun; Aditya Hrudayam that Agasthya adviced to Sri Rama Chandra before he went to war with Ravana; and so on! ( Add also what has been already given in para 36 above.)

41. For poisonous snake bites or the sting of a scorpion, more than any powder or concoction, it is the Mantra which is important. In our Adi Sankara Aachaaryaal’s ‘Soundarya Lahari’, there is one Sloka starting with the words, ‘grantheem angebya:’, the 20th sloka, Ambaal is described as oozing with nectarine Amirta, from all her body parts, as a Chandra Kaanta stone does, when the rays of the moon falls on it! If you chant this sloka with that scenario in your mind, you attain that sort of power to cure anybody of poison by just a look! (KTSV adds:- In Mudgaon, Goa, India, there is a Temple on a hillock of some 1000 feet height, for Easwara. The Siva Lingam there, is made of Chandra Kanta stone. The walls of the temple there are so constructed that, on a moon lit night, throughout the night, the moon rays will fall on the Siva Lingam. What is normally like any other stone or black rock, starts oozing a liquid when the moon light falls on it! I have seen it. There is no end to the wonders of this world!)

(To be continued.)



Wednesday, December 09, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol #3) Dated 09 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol #3) Dated 09 Dec 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 No 735 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

21. Instead of focussing all our efforts in visiting holy places, yaaga, japa, dhyana, pooja, bhajan and such activities. we are not keeping good health, falling sick all the time, causing others to worry about us and spend their time and resources in taking care of us! contrary to contributing to others welfare, we are a liability on others. If the body is not healthy enough, how to visit the ‘chaar dhaam’, the four major religious destinations located in the four corners of this vast country of many sacred rivers and temple towns, that is India? When we are physically unwell or handicapped, how can we do pooja or japa or concentrate our minds on godly divine thoughts? Our fever and throat pain, eye trouble, tooth ache and such things will never let us get away from, ‘deha aatma buddhi’!

22. Thus for remembering God, we need to keep this body well nurtured and rid of diseases. For that purpose, we need to make use of preventive medicines and cure ourselves when we are ill. For this reason, we need to follow all the restrictions on diet and abide with the rules of health and hygiene. For all this there has to be separate set of rules, regulations, procedures, medicines and their application, which is all contained in what is known as Ayur Veda.

23. It is not enough to reduce the discomfort of the diseases, but we have live a wholesome innings of life. Ayur Veda shows us the way for this. The body is essential to be able to do all the things that have to be done, to off set the existing back log of demerits we have accumulated over many life times, I said. Before this present body dies, we have to do away with three types of scum, namely ‘Aanava malam’ borne out of pride, ‘Karmika malam’ out of wrong actions and ‘Maya malam’ out of mistaken notions and identity, as propounded by the teachers of Saiva Siddhanta. If you wonder as to why not do all that in our next birth, great thinkers have already thought of such a possibility and answered that, “ippiravi tappinaal eppiravi vaaykkumo“, meaning ‘we do not know as to what would we be born as in our next life!’ Evidently, in your next life if you are born as anything other than a human being, you have every chance of further increasing your ‘Karma Sanchita’ bag of tricks! (KTSV adds:- I have read elsewhere that even the whole pantheon of Gods will have to be born as a human being before their cycle of life and births comes to an end. Though in Ramana Ashram there is a Samadhi each for a cow, a dog, a deer and a peacock. Each one of them died at Ramana’s hands receiving his blessing touch. Did they attain to Kaivalya directly or did they have to go through another life time as a human being? Who can say?)

24. To continue with Periyaval’s discourse. So we can never be certain about what our next life has in store for us. Even if we are born as a human being, we never can know as to whether the set of circumstances would be suitable for spiritual progress, in terms of, the right bent of mind, power, energy, occasion and opportunity. So in this life itself, once such a idea has come into our minds, we must make immediate sustained efforts to get the ‘chitta shuddhi’ and through that ‘jeevan mukti’! Gita 5.23 says, “shaknoteehaiva ya: sodum praak shareera vimokshanaat I kaama krododbhavam vegam sa yukta: sa sukhee nara: II”.

25. He who is able while still here (in this world) to withstand, before the liberation from this body, the impulse born out of this desire and anger, --he is a yogi, he is a happy man. Desire and anger are powerful enemies of peace. It is very difficult to annihilate them. You will have to make very strong efforts to destroy these enemies. While still here when you can He says, ‘saknoti iha eva’ . Before dropping this body, ‘praak sareera vimokshanaat’ , when you are capable of controlling your these tendencies, do it -- is the message! The person who does it, he is the Yogi, he is the winner of real happiness!

26. For the removal of Kaama and Krodha, desire and anger, i.e., for your attaining ‘chitta shuddhi’, are all the religious rituals, nitya karma anushtaanaa-s, yaagaa-s, yagna-s, pooja-s, japa, dhyana, aavaahana and so on. Before this body drops, using this very body as a tool, by doing all these Karma-s, if we come to the stage of ‘na punya, na paapa, na kaama, na krodha, na moha, na aascharya’, then without any more balance -- yet to be experienced karma phala, this life form which has been all this time under the mistake belief of a separate identity -- remerges in the Para brhmam irrevocably!

27. No more births. No more life forms to be assumed. Short of this, if we die, we do not know if we are going to be born as a cow or a goat! So, till desire and anger is overcome, till all the dirt from our minds are wiped clean, we have to make an effort to retain the body and retain it in as good a condition as humanly possible! It is alright if we are to die despite our such efforts. That is beyond our control. We should not be found lacking in our efforts, while that is in our control to do so!

28. Some people may still ask, “when death is not in our control, what is the use of our trying to extend our life with physical fitness, as far as possible?”. For them my answer is this. Come to think of it, why only death, everything is very much under God’s will only! There is virtually nothing under our control. Marriage, education, profession, achievements, losses, gains, name, fame, ridicule, disdain and every thing is in His control only. We do understand that we have no independence or self will of our own at all. But we somehow are under the illusion that we have some independence to exercise our self will as though! In one way, it is true also that after all the effect of Karma is our own making. While we have no control over many things, we have one choice under all circumstances. That is, we can always opt to do such things as to reduce our load of back log of sins. For that we can opt to do as many acts of help and service to others, while still alive in this life. For this purpose, we may try and keep ourselves and this body, in as good a physical condition as possible. For this, we are duty bound to keep ourselves in perfect physical trim! For this reason many Great Rishis have made life time contribution of what is collectively known as Ayur Veda.

29. It is clearly stated in the Ayur Vedam that ‘treatment is not to be given to a Non-believer’! It may sound as a very cruel direction. But such an injunction itself is out of real compassion for the agnostic. Only when we are suffering from a disease, we may be ready to think on the following lines. "If it is true that there is a God, let him save me from this agony. I will later live the life of a believer if I am cured of this disease." We do read about how when Koon Pandyan became an agnostic, Appar cured him of his deformity in the spinal cord as well as his fever, by praying to Siva and applying the sacred ashes, on the Pandya King's body! We have also read about many who returned to the fold of believers, after their disease was cured by the power of the divine. This is not only a historical fact. Many people even to day are making a turn about after praying to Vekatachalapathy Balaji or Guruvayur Appan or Sabarimalai Ayyappan. We do come across many who turn devotees of God on the benevolent interceding on their behalf, by some or the other Mahatma even today.

30. This one man coming back to the fold of believers in God, may motivate many in the right direction. May be even if it is too late to save him, he may be born as a believer in his next life. Also by chance the agnostic is too strong in his agnosticism, then by not being treated, he will be given an opportunity to reduce his load of Paapa, by suffering through the illness! On the other hand, to treat him despite his being a non-believer will be tantamount to perpetuating his sins of non-belief and cause many others to go astray! So the direction that an agnostic may not be treated by Ayur Veda, is with kindness and compassion to him and others only!

(To be Continued.)



Tuesday, December 08, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol #3) Dated 07 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol #3) Dated 07 Dec 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 No 730 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

12. Each Upaveda is from one of the four Veda-s, that is the root. In the case of Ayur Veda, it is the Rik Veda. Since the derivative gets sustenance from the original root Veda, it has another name, ‘Poushtikam’! Similarly, Dhanur Vedam is derived from Yajur, Gandarva is from Sama and Artha Saastra from Atharva Veda. In Dhanur Veda, while the missiles such as Varuna or Aagneya or Brhma Asthra-s are launched, the respective Mantra-s of Varuna or Agni or Brhma are to be chanted. Here it is the mantra shakti which gives the power to the missile and not the material of which the missile is made of. You could use a sword or a spike or a darbha grass as a missile! It does not matter as to what material the missile is made of! These mantra-s are to be found in Atharva Veda. To that extent, the Dhanur Veda is based on both Yajur and Atharva Veda-s.

13. There is a word in Sanskrit 'vasthu' which is a generic word for, 'thing, matter, material or item'. The same word slightly modified as, 'vaastu' has meanings such as, 'site, premises, building, cellar' and so on. Vaastu saastram is an applied science for sculpture and civil engineering. 'This Saastra and allied subjects, should also be considered as a Upa Veda', was the opinion of one Sri.Shukla, who gave a presentation in Ilayathangudi Sadas, when I was camping there some time back.

14. He pointed out that very renowned scholars such as Brigu Maharishi had evolved this saastra and that no other Upaveda has such well known Maharishi as authors. Veda-s are not attributed to any one author anyhow! This Saastra covers the details of construction of a city, temple, palace, individual houses and so on. When initially a plot of land is purchased or a house or any building is to be constructed, it is the Vaastu Purusha, who is invoked in the form of a person with his head, hands, legs and so on are worked out. If the various parts of the building do not follow the requirements as given in that Saastra, then it leads to avoidable problems affecting the occupants lives. Now a days, we do not do anything as per Vaastu Saastraa-s, but go by rules as given in books on town-planning and in the bargain, experiencing all the possible abnormalities described in Vaastu Saastra! Very recently however, people have started consulting Vaastu experts.

15. There are two slight deviations here. One is that, Susrudar an important contributor to Ayur Veda, considers it to be part of Atharva Veda and not Rik Veda. There is one Stapatya Saastra Veda, which talks of the various tools, instruments and their usage, for construction of basement, flooring, walls, roofs, arches and so on, thus covering partly civil and mechanical engineering aspects. Anyhow, the art of sculpture and construction, come under Vaastu Saastra. But in the general opinion, it is the Artha Saastra of economics and trade, that is considered as a Upaveda!
16. Ayur Vedam is a Saastram which tells us the method of caring for the human body and advices for its longevity. The main cause for early demise are diseases. So, Ayur Veda covers all the health, hygiene, medicines, their preparations, methods of application, preventive and curative aspects, for sustained human life. Why should we do it? Why should we take care of the body so much? Anyhow, one day or the other it is going to dissipate and die. We are all mortals. How does it matter when we die? Great Gnaani-s tell us not to fear death. Till it is there, one is constantly subjected to the pulls and pressures of the senses! The great Saints have never bothered about elongating their lives, is it not so? Such may be your questions.
17. Let it be. It is alright for you to ask an intelligent question such as, 'when we cannot avoid death, what is the use of taking so much care of this human body?'. What happens in practical life? Is it the great Mahatma's attitude of dispassion and our own intelligence or intuition that comes into play? No. What comes into play is generally what is our deep rooted 'deha atma buddhi'! The lightest discomfort takes priority over all other things. A small speck in the banyan or under wear can irritate and divert our attention. The pleasure of winning a lakh of rupees in a lottery may be seen as a matter of no consequence, if we are suffering from a cold or loose motion! There may be a man suffering from leprosy, with a stinking body lying on the road, crying his hearts out as to when will he be relieved of this agony of existence! Let him become aware of a truck hurtling towards him and he realizes that he is about to be run over! Now see his reaction. In a jiffy, he would have jumped out of his push cart and rolled away from the path of the on rushing truck, in trying to save himself! The idea that we are this body is so much ingrained in our subconcience that we have no other identity of ourselves! All said and done, this human body is very precious! Even a ninety-nine year old man would still like to postpone his death by taking his medicines regularly and extend his life a little more!
18. This is one aspect. Another is our attitude towards the physical being of our wife or husband or our own children. We wish that they should live long. Even if we were to die, we feel that they should live long enough. Anyhow we pray to God that they should not pass away when we are still alive! If they fall ill, we are ready to take care of them at what ever cost money wise and what ever our own physical discomforts! You must have read about how, Babar prayed to Allah to give part of his life span to his son Humayun. Thus to take care of one's own self and kith and kin has been the innate nature in all human beings and animals. Whether it is a huge elephant or a tiny worm, we are ready to go to any length of effort, in trying to protect our this body!

19. Instead of breaking this natural tendency of ours, we should go along with our nature, while simultaneously try and slowly bring it around towards divine consciousness, is the method of our ancestors. Like when your vehicle that you are driving is swerving, you do not try to violently turn it in the opposite direction but go in to the error and gradually bring it around, do we not? Our ancestors method is to go with the trend to grow, learn our Veda-s, dharma, duties as a bachelor, get married, beget children and lead the life of a responsible house holder and citizen; while doing all this as per our ordained duties as given in the Saastraa-s, so as to mature ourselves into a divine person. This is their way, for which we should be live our full quota of life as a healthy human being for which they have given us the Ayur Veda!
20. Not only this. Though this seems to be the apparent aim, there is an inner aim. We are born as human beings only because of the fact that we have done a lot of sinful acts and so are going through life without ever knowing as to what is best for us! At least now, we have to start expiating for our sins and cancel/counter the over due negative accounts. For this we have to do a whole lot of meritorious acts to compensate for. That can be done only when we live long enough to do acts of 'Paropakaaram'! We have to do much 'sram daan', that is, donate physical efforts. To cancel out the back log of negative karma, we have to strive hard doing Yaaga-s, Nava Avarana Pooja, climb the Thirupati Mountain by the foot path, go to paada yaatra to Sabarimala or Badrinath or Vaishno Devi temple, do 108 or 1008 Gayatri Mantra-s and so on! To do such things we need to continue to live and have the body in ship-shape!
(To be continued.)


Saturday, December 05, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 158 (Vol #3) Dated 05 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 158 (Vol #3) Dated 05 Dec 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 No 725 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://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)


(Please also refer to ‘Vidyasthanam, Mudivurai, or Summing Up’ in the Deivathin Kural (Vol 2) dated sometime in 2008, in which each one of the 14 Anga Upaanga-s of the Veda-s are described.)

1. There is a word used 'Saangopaangam', to mean, to do things wholesomely. The word derives from the Sanskrit 'sa + anga + upa + anga', that is to mean, 'with parts and sub-parts'! This is derived from the fact that learning the Vedas with all its branches and sub-branches, makes it wholesome learning. The religion of the Veda-s if considered as a Veda purusha, it includes Rik, Yajus, Sama and Atharvana Veda-s giving it the main shape. Then each Veda has Samhita-s, Brahmana-s and Aranyaka-s as its various systems such as blood circulation, nervous, auditory, digestive and such systems. Then there are six parts (sa + anga), of the Veda-s known as Sikshai, Vyakaranam, Chandas, Niruktam, Jyotisham and Kalpam. Then there are sub-parts (upa + anga) namely, Mimamasa, Nyayam, Purana and Dharma Saastra-s. The form of Mother Veda is complete with those Upanga-s, to make it 'saangopaangam'.

2. Four Veda-s plus six Anga-s plus four Upaanga-s, makes it 14 different entities, known as 'Chatur Dasa Vidya-s'. Further four more are added as Upa Veda-s, namely Aayur Veda, Dhanur Veda, Gandarva Veda and Artha Saastra, making it 'Ashta Dasa Vidya Sthana-s'! These are not just sub-parts (Upaanga-s) but also by themselves as good as the Veda-s and so are called, Upa Veda-s. As these four are not strictly religious treatises but verging more on practical life, instead of being added to the Dharma Sthana-s, they are considered only as Vidya Sthana-s. They do not have the sort of authority that Dharma Saastraa-s have. However, the point is quite pertinent that they are not deviations from the Dharmic way of life.

3. They tell us as to how we are to lead a hassle free life, in the society, city and country in which we find ourselves, quite effectively. Though they do not have the sort of authority that Dharma Saastraa-s have, within their own subject area they do have unquestionable authority. So instead of being a part or sub-part of the Veda-s, they have the exalted name of being 'Supplementary Veda-s' as 'Upa Veda-s'!

4. Keeping Dharma as the basic under current, if we use these four Upa Veda-s in practical life, they will guide us in converting our ordinary life into an ideal one. With the highest human values as gained by these Upa Veda-s, our life in this world will pave the way for the life beyond and take us to the ever lasting peace, by the royal path. You may be aware of these four Upaveda-s some what. Ayur Vedam is covering all the practical and theoretical aspects of medical science. Dhanur Vedam is on archery and the art of warfare. Gandarva Vedam is inclusive of music, dance and drama and other fine arts, while Artha Saastram is all about economics, politics and statesmanship.

5. In each one of these four avenues, we are more aware of how we can harm ourselves and hurt others. Through the science of medicine, we know as to how to misuse this body and keep looking for treatment for the ills of our own creation, while never raising above 'deha atma buddhi'! In warfare, from Dharma Yuddham, we have used all knowledge of ours for creating nuclear arsenal of mass destruction and policies of detente that, we keep all the nations on tenterhooks forever, in mutual hate, distrust and fear! Music and dance has taken man to such lower levels of crassness, exhibitionism, meanness and debauchery that even animals are likely to look down on us! In economics, business and politics are subjects I do not have to tell you as to what levels of depravity we have reached!

6. Instead of running away from what ever can become a stumbling block in our spiritual progress, tackle them head on, is the message. Cleanse your self, your surroundings and the society so that, all those who come into contact with you may also benefit. As the launderer or sweeper cleans the clothes, buildings and materials, however dirty they may be, by using detergents and acids; clean them and make them shine. If the glass covering the picture is coated by dust, wipe the glass clean without breaking it! Human body, its maintenance and care; warfare and statesmanship; economics, trade and business; and entertainment can all be dealt with from a state of moral uprightness! Protect the honest, well behaved ones and punish the wrong doers! That is the purpose of these Upa Veda-s!

7. People from other religions accuse the Hindu-s that, talking of Adwaitam and the ephemerality of this worldly life as Maya, we run away from the practical life evading and avoiding the reality. Nothing can be farther from the truth. More than any other religion of this world, it is this Sanatana Dharma, which others call the Hindu Religion, that analyses each and every aspect of our life in greater details and depth, logically deducing the best method of tackling the whole gamut of possible combination of situations! It teaches us the way of getting out of such confrontation safely, humanely and most importantly successfully. We venerate Rama and Krishna for the reason that they did not run away from the need to face life's situations. People of other religions too know fully well the reasons why we love and highly regard Rama and Krishna.

8. They all know that, when Arjuna was ready to run away from his human and royal responsibilities, Sri Krishna told him to pick up his bow Gandipam and fight! Still they make fun of us and we keep listening to them! For Dharmam to be protected, Krishna adviced Arjuna to practice Dhanur Veda, with moral restraint. Thus all Veda-s are to be made use of practically for protecting and maintaining our way of life.

9. In other religions there is something given in their scriptures related to the concept of God. All other aspects of life have been left totally uncovered, open to interpretation by the priests and Ulemas, as suited to their whims and fancies, on the pretext of being religious authorities! Those religions have not mentioned anything about day to day management of individual, social and religious affairs of various aspects of life such as governance, medicine, internal / external policies, economics and so on. Since there was no religious basis for those important human social areas, much has gone wrong. Some things were kept as sacrosanct related to the inner religious being. All those who were thinking or assuming themselves to be belonging to that religion, thought that they were the purview of the religious leaders or pastors or fathers and so on. When it came to other matters, they were kept outside the purview of the religious authorities. This is the cause for there being a tussle between socio-economic-political governing bodies and religious authorities in countries other than India.

10. In our country there has never been such confrontation between social and religious governing bodies. The reason for it are mainly two. One, between the ruler and the ruled, the connecting link was the moral uprightness of Dharma. Second, the parts and sub-parts of our religion have divinified all aspects of practical life, in it's endeavour to take the individual man closer and closer to God, by all his thoughts, speech and actions!

11. The difference of opinion between religion and the common man in our country, is a thing of recent origin, that has been introduced by vested interests, after influx of such ideas from the west. Though not relevant to the Indian context, these have been imported into the Indian milieu and made to stick. This has become more pronounced after 1947, with every political leader drawing much mileage out of the concept of separating Religion and Governance, in the name of 'secularism'.

(To be continued.)