Friday, February 12, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 188 (Vol #3) Dated 12 Feb 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 188 (Vol #3) Dated 12 Feb 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 page No 854 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.)

19. ‘Artha Saastram’ and other such ‘Upaveda-s’ have also evolved from the basis of Veda Dharma only. But we cannot say that they will be completely following the dictates of Dharma Saastraa-s. They are meant to specialize in a specific area of medicine or economy or entertainment. So they run the risk of over specialization in some field; as is the problem with the Allopathy discipline of medicine these days! One doctor for the ear, one for the eye, another for kidney, one for the heart and another for the lungs and so on! As you do specialization in one field, you tend to give treatment for a specific problem that leads to some other new problem elsewhere. Similarly, when you give total attention to ‘Artha Saastra’ for the development of the economy; or to ‘Gaandarva Veda’ for the progress in dance or drama; the overall purpose of the Veda-s for which these are the sub-parts as ‘Upa Veda’, is lost sight of! Not only that, we end up going against the main direction of the Veda-s too!

20. That is why those kings of yore considered following the Manu Dharma Saastraa-s more important than simply following the ‘Artha Saastra’ per se. This is despite the fact that, ‘Artha Saastra’ too was based on Veda Dharma Saastraa-s only and came into being in a contributory and complimentary role only! Not only in the Dharma Saastraa-s, in the Veda Upaanga-s of Purana and Ithihasa-s too, there is much about the principles of governance. Here too, instead of the temporary ‘artha’ of economic concepts, more importance has been given to the permanent value systems of dharma only!
21. The whole of Maha Bharatam as endowed to the future by Vyasa Maharishi, is meant to establish irrevocably the pride of place to Dharma in our very attitude towards life. Special mention must be made of two chapters, namely Bhishma Pitamaha Shanti Parva and Aanusaasanika Parva, which are both full of advices on how a government should be run in various contingencies without the slightest deviation from moral rectitude!. Sri Rama was famous as the very embodiment of correctness in all his thoughts, words and actions. When the modes of. ‘...kaayena, vaachaa, manasa, indriya, bhuddhya, aatmanaa, va prakruter swabhaavaat...’ are all in perfect unison, nothing can ever go wrong! When Bharata comes up to Chitrakoota in trying to persuade Sri Rama to come back to Ayodhya, Sri Rama gently refuses to turn back. Then He goes on to ask Bharatha a number of questions, which clearly bring out as to how Bharatha should acquit himself in the 14 years of Rama’s absence in the forest. It is a clear exposition of how an Ideal Governance should be!

22. Thus we should take all the things that have been said in the books on Dharma and Purana-s and Ithihasa-s in to consideration, before we even peruse what is given in Artha Saastra about Governance! Now we are all under a wrong impression that what Chanakya has written as the only thing to be referred, when we talk of Artha Saastra! That is only one of the books on Artha Saastra. It has a name as ’Chanakya Neethi or Chanakya Tantram‘! Like this, there is a book by Sukhracharya known as ‘Sukhra Neethi’.

23. In these books on ‘Artha Saastra‘, we cannot expect much about truth, honesty, integrity and such concepts. There will be more on diplomacy and expediency. In the books on Dharma, diplomacy and expediency will be lightly touched upon, only under purely unavoidable circumstances. Let this be clearly understood. While the books on Dharma may talk as to how on occasions, some of the truth may not be revealed, the books on Artha Saastra may tell you to flatly deny the truth and the untruth may be presented as the truth! Because of this possibility of untruth presented as truth, unlike the other three Upaveda-s of Ayur / Gaandarva / Dhanur Veda, the suffix of ‘Veda’ is not there for Artha Saastra! ‘Saastra’ means only the Rules and Regulations.

24. When anything said in the Upaveda-s differs with what is given in the Dharma Saastraa-s, we are to set aside the Upaveda-s and do as per directions of the Dharma Saastraa-s. If for example, the Ayur Veda doctor says, quoting something from his palm leafs that, this brahmin who is his patient, should partake a Lehyam made of garlic on the Pithru day of Sraaddham, that patient is to set aside that doctor’s advice, and do as per the Dharma Saastraa-s, even if it were to mean certain death!

25. If a king were to stabilize his reign by some immoral activity as adviced by the man of Artha Saastra, the king should ignore such advice! Despite such apparent gains or advantages such as, health, victory in battle or what is apparently pleasing for the eyes and ears, or attainment of power: despite the fact that, the effect of dharmic and adharmic actions may be not so very apparent; we should never let go of permanent gains of atma gnaana for the sake of temporary gains! The Upaveda-s may give us many methods of satisfying the senses and protection. But we are eventually answerable to our own inner conscience, which will never spare us for our aberrant behaviour in the dharmic path!

26. More than the drushta (seen) advantages of the Upaveda-s, the adrushta (unseen) advantages of actions as per Dharma Saastraa-s, is evident in the sayings of the common man. When the unseen effects become apparently seen, we tend to say, that the man has been, “struck by luck”! So the Upaveda-s that give the seen advantages are secondary only to the Dharma Saastraa-s, whose effects are not so evident! Amongst the ‘dharma, artha, kaama, moktcha’, mostly the ‘artha’ part generally give only the temporary advantages of ‘kaama’. It is the ‘dharma’ which is the means of ‘moktcha’. So the ‘artha’ i.e., the means should also be made use of in a way abiding with dharma!
27. By my saying this, as some people tend to think, do not get away with the idea that, Chanakya Tantram is meant to ignore people’s welfare and is totally against all norms of truth and probity! Even in countries where there is monarchy, it is said that such a rule cares for majority opinion and welfare of the common man! Still, we see coups and imposition of military rule, which claim that they have come to re-establish the common man’s power! Then that government is replaced by yet another coup!

28. Such a government that installs itself in power invariably claims that, the previous government was utterly corrupt, ignoring the common man’s aspirations and welfare! They claim that inefficiency and corruption had overtaken the national life and that they are going to re-establish the rule of law! But then, all their life time they only spend all their resources and energies, in sustaining themselves in power and in trying to prove their legal acceptability, by hook or crook!

29. Such anarchy or such concentration of power or such levels of inefficiency was never thought of or permitted by the Artha Saastraa-s. The trouble is not in the Saastra, but in the hypocrisy of the lack of integrity between intention, speech and action! As per Artha Saastra, some secrets were permitted and some of the truths were not shown in clear, so as to prevent enemies and aliens from exploiting the same. This being a practical necessity, one could not be too rigid in matters of state, allowing some compromise and margin of deviation! But there was no sanction for hypocrisy, adharma or anarchy!

30. When you have the freedom to keep enacting new laws and or change the existing constitution at will, there is scope for autocracy and anarchy. In olden times all over the world there was only monarchy. Even then they did not have the authority to do as they please or enact new laws. It is only those who are unaware of all the facts, who criticise the monarchical system. The point to note is that, all the basic rules, regulations and guiding principles were already there in Dharma and Artha Saastraa-s. (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.



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