Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 30 (Vol #4) Dated 23 June 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 30 (Vol #4) Dated 23 June 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. Today we are proceeding from page 181 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly.)

186. This Satya Kama was a student under one Haridruma Gowtama Rishi in the past. The Rishi gave Satya Kama Upanayanam (Poonool) and Brhmopadesam of Gayatri mantra. He gave him 400 underfed cattle and told him to ‘take care of them’! Satya Kama decided that he will look after the cattle so well that they will become well fed, healthy animals numbering a thousand! Then only he thought he will seek Upadesa from the Guru.
187. It took many years for him to achieve his intended task. Having made their numbers swell to a thousand, that Brhmachari Satya Kama was herding the cattle back towards his Guru Kula. On the way one of the Bulls (called ‘Rishabh’ in Sanskrit), gave him Upadesa. Next day Agni gave him Upadesa. In the next two days a Hamsa (a swan) and a bird called ‘Madgu’ which normally lives in water, gave him advice of Upadesa! As now Upakosala was effulgent with the brilliance of knowledge, Satya Kama was then shining too! Exactly similarly, as he asked Upakosala, Haridruma Gowtama asked him as to who gave him Upadesa? Like the Upakosala’s tactful reply, he had told his Guru, “Yes I have been given Upadesa, but not by any human beings!” Not stopping there, he had said that his wish was to get Upadesa from his revered Guru Haridruma Gowtama only!
188. Here he expresses the view that, only what one learns from an Aachaarya will be fruitful and effective. Since it may not be appropriate for him to make such statements as a disciple in his Guru’s presence, he very adroitly tactfully said, “What I have heard from your highness often is that, only that Upadesa is effective that one receives through the words spoken by one’s Guru! So, I would wish to be blessed by your highness!” Thus in every word and letter, the Upanishads picture before our mind’s eyes, as to what was and should be the relationship between the Preceptor and the Disciple, in all its subtle nuances!
189. Let us come back from the story in which Satya Kama was a Sishya, to the one in which he is the Guru! From his personal experience he was aware that Upakosala had received Upadesa from the Agni Devatas. So, since now there was no need to tolerate the Guru’s indifference any further, he had wanted to test a little further as to what is the change in the Sishya’s attitude! Since here too Upakosala had come out with flying colours, the Guru was fully satisfied! He asked as to what the Agnis had adviced. Then he completed the Upadesa and made up for years of indifference with added blessings!
190. Coaching Step by Step after Testing Encourages Students Independent Capacity to think! Instead of the Guru rattling something on his own just so as to complete his portion of the syllabus as it happens now-a-days, he tested the student from all angles, refining him in the process and then having made him an exceptionally perfect individual, he made him into a man of knowledge! There is no danger greater than an intelligent crook lacking moral compunctions! Each student was assessed for his inherent merit, suitability for polish and improvement. This formed the basis for working out his coaching methods and study material, after due deliberation. Thus they have gone on developing the individual with greater and finer Vidyas.
191. Brugu got his teaching from his own father VaruNa. (Please refer to Taitreeyopanishad – Brugu Valli.) You will notice that he starts from the gross level and successively goes on to subtler and subtler levels of understanding and takes the student along while doing so! Let me explain this more clearly, for your understanding!
192. He started with the first basic statement that food is God. “annam Brhma iti vyajaananaat...” meaning, that ‘food is known and to be known as Brhmam, with food we jivas (individual live forms) live, with food we grow, for food and with food we do all our work of earning, sustenance and procreation, without food we die’. Then he tells his son to go and do Tapasya of deep cogitation and come back! Brugu after prolonged deliberation comes back with the idea, “Yes! Food is all that, agreed. But, there has to be something more!” Then his father progressively raises the ante to “prana (breath), manas (mind), vignaana (science), gnaana (awareness) and aananda (bliss)”! Every time the student goes and thinks and meditates deeply on the above points and comes back to the Guru!
193. The first set of logical analysis applied for food can be applied for each one of the above. Let us take the last one. All our actions in our lives are directed towards attaining happiness. Whether it is physical or mental or pecuniary or sensual or political; it is all for the pleasure of it that we do in our lives. Is it not so? Then once you realize that your basic reality is ‘Aananda Swaroopa’ you would also say with me that, “to be happy is our birth right and to be unhappy is a stupid choice!”
194. I have given you a glimpse of how the Guru caused the Sishya to mature progressively and taught him the education as suitable at that point of his growth! How can any institution match this? There is another interesting point here. Montessori system of education insists that, ‘all that is taught should not be thrust down the children’s throat! The Students should be enabled to learn by their own thinking! The job of the teacher is only to guide and channelize.’
195. The method used here is the same. When the Guru makes the Sishya responsible for all the preparatory work for his daily rituals, the student learnt many things in a practical way. Whether it is carpentry or masonry or weaving, the child gained practical knowledge by ‘on the job training’. Similarly here too, the Sishya learnt from the Guru all the tricks of the trade! The system also enabled the student to use his brains and thinking faculty to gain knowledge. As Father and Guru, Varuna teaches his son and sishya Brugu, using this method of progressive learning by oneself! Thus he encourages his disciple to learn that the final true reality of one’s own existence is the ‘Aananda Swaroopa’!
196. Further in many stories of Upanishadic genre, we hear, “Guru gave the Upadesa. He asked the student to deeply meditate on what he had said for a year and then get back to the Guru and tell him as to what he had come to realize!” There is another Upanishadic story in the 8th Chapter of Chandogya Upanishad. Prajapati is the Guru. Virochana is the student from among the Asuras (Rakshasas). The King of Devas, Indra is another student. Virochana is not able to proceed beyond the truth of his being the body! At the least, he is enabled to learn the process of analysing the truth. The story proves as to how caste was no criteria in a student being admitted to the Guru Kula. To obtain the capacity to analyse the truth, this Asura Virochana had to observe Brhmacharya for 32 years!
197. Indra proceeds beyond the bodily identification. But he has to observe celibacy for another 32 years! This shows that even when you are a King of the celestial Devas, you still have to obey the directions of the Preceptor! Finally he graduates to the ‘Atma Tatva’ only after 101 years of abstinence and Tapasya!
198. When education is imparted with no consideration of individual worth to receive knowledge, it becomes the cause for ever new discoveries and innovations harmful to the individual and the society! This is the reason for more and more Doctors, Engineers and other professionals, tending to use their brains and expertise for socially harmful and illegal activities! One of the main reasons for the ills of the system is that, at the organizational level, the students are collectively viewed as a source of income rather than being given close individual attention!
(To be continued.)



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