Monday, February 15, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 189 (Vol #3) Dated 16 Feb 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 189 (Vol #3) Dated 16 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 859 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. Only when you can change the law of the land to suit your whims and fancies, it can lead to despotism and tyranny. The old time Indian monarchies were not like that. They could not have changed the dharma saastraa-s at their will. Historians not aware of this fact are the only ones who could be critical of those monarchies. All the basic laws of the land were already in writing in the dharma and artha saastraa-s. These laws were catering for the social interactions of day to day life as well as the permanent and eternal value systems.

32. The whole society was aware of this. Especially the Kings of yore were clearly cognizant of their duties and responsibilities, which were taught to them in depth during their schooling in Gurukula. The Kshatriya Princes from the Royal families normally did Gurukula coaching along with some Brahmin and Vaishya children. Thus they were aware of their own as well as each other's duties and responsibilities. Dharma was the main under current during such education. They were aware that the eternal value systems of honesty, truthfulness, mutual respect, love of nature with all life forms; were endowments from the great Rishi-s in which the slightest fraction of selfishness was not to be mixed.

33. As a child the future king would have been convinced that, the welfare of the people was most sacrosanct. His ministers were also well knowledgeable of their responsibility to maintain and preserve the teachings of the eternal value systems of Dharma and Artha Saastraa-s. Very rarely any amendments were found necessary. Even those were some modifications only in areas in which the King had some discretion to apply his mind. Kalidasa when describing the rule by Dilipan, says (in Raghu Vamsa 1.17) " the wheels of the chariot that would not deviate even the slightest from the intended path, the King adhered to the 'Manu Dharma'!...". This was equally true of anyone who ever became king in India of the past!

34. In to-day's world, in the name of secularism, there is no chance of considering the eternal value systems. When the government's aim is short term gains in the ever changing patterns of existence, the laws, acts and rules keep changing all of the time. The dharmic laws that are thousands of years old cannot even be mentioned, let alone acted upon! The 'artha' or the purpose then becomes short term gains over eternal values!

35. Purohita, Kula guru, Mantri, Amatya and Sasiva, were some of the (appointment names) consultants available to the Kings in their deliberations. They also took the advice of the representative leaders of each caste, creed and clans in coming to his decisions. They never resorted to autocracy or partiality to any one side! Actually the King was more in a supervisory role. Overall administration, war and military affairs were centralized. To dig wells ponds, canals and construction of roads; to arrange for the long term welfare of experts on Vedas, arts and crafts and such civil matters were the main areas of interest for the King. For all other matters, local representatives were always taken into consideration.

36. The temporary Rulers were always required to keep the customs, traditions and existing laws of the land; under considerations! To pass draconian laws were never the method. It is rather funny to note that, in the name of democracy, everyday the rules and regulations are changed and the governing Constitution is amended 'n' number of times, while old system of rule by eternal values is disparagingly termed as autocracy!

37. The accusation is out of ignorance, that too with a vested interest! "There was the law of 'primogeniture', as per which the son (that too the first son) took over from father, in which there was no value for abilities and aptitudes. Mainly it was something in which the common man had no role to play or had no say in the matter." This is the main thrust of the accusation. Actually in adopting the Indian Constitution as it is now that, other than the age, the politicians, that is the Members of Parliament and Members of Lok Sabha and Members of Local Councils; that have no criteria of ability or qualifications!

38. Rajendra Prasad our first Indian President, who was heading the assembly which enacted the Indian Constitution, was vehemently against this lack of criteria of ability and qualifications. He said, "We have many criteria's for Lawyers and Judges. Then it is completely wrong that the those who are going to enact these laws, the M.L.A.s and M.P.s, have no criterias for being elected!" The constituent assembly did not approve of this! (KTSV adds:- This has led to all the unwanted and avoidable dramas we see enacted on the political stage, to the nation's peril! Parochialism, regionalism, nepotism, total lack of permanent values, buying of votes with utter disregard for any norms or decency, booth capturing, manipulating with the voter's list, shameless shenanigans in the name of loyalty to some, caste related confabulations and scheming, the list is endless. All this has happened because some have learnt the trick as to how to make use of the loop-holes in the system to their perennial advantage! It is high time that we plugged these loop-holes in our system, such as basic educational qualifications and retirement age!)

39. In the olden times, the would be kings had to earn a lot of merit based qualifications. They had to learn all the Saastraa-s in Gurukula. They did learn about horse riding and archery, which essentially meant that their physical fitness was a criteria. They had to have high standards of character qualities and morality. Before attempting to defeat outside enemies he had to overcome the six internal enemies of Kaama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada or Ahankara (vanity, egoism and drunkenness) and Aascharya (incredulity)!

40. When a king was lacking in character qualities and went astray like 'Asamanjan', and too autocratic such as 'Venan'; the people's assembly was powerful enough to dethrone them! Primogeniture as a principle did not mean that worthless characters could be thrust upon. Sri Rama was highly qualified and eminently suitable to take over from Dasaratha. Despite that, we see in Ramayan the Dasaratha assembled all his advisers and consulted with them about his proposal for Rama's Coronation! The point to note is that the king had to go by some procedure of consulting all his advisers.

41. Surapadma, Mahishasura, Ravana, Dhuryodana et al had to have some confabulations with their ministers and advisers, as we learn from the Puraanaas and Itihaasaa-s. Rama had his army of monkeys. When Vibhishana (Ravana's younger brother) came to surrender, Rama did consult all his advisers, before Vibhishana could be permitted amongst them. This is clear evidence that unilateral decisions were not the in-thing, even in those days!

(To be continued.)




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