Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 33 (Vol #4) Dated 29 June 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 33 (Vol #4) Dated 29 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 the third para on page 198 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly.)
225. What happens when the general public is unaware of the basic rules of the Saastraa-s? You end up glorifying even very ordinary attainments of Swamijis! An engineer should know engineering. A doctor should know the basics of diagnosis and prognosis and what medicines to be given for which illness and in what quantity! A Guru as the head of a Matam or Peetam should be aware of Saastraa-s. If he does not know, that means that there is some gross mistake. If he does know something of what should be his ‘bread and butter’, there is no cause for celebration!
226. With some knowledge of the Saastraa-s, I am also aware of some information about science, philology, archaeology and history. In my talk I do include some of these bits and pieces of information. You see, many experts in various subjects visit me to talk about their problems or simply out of respect. On those occasions, I also gather some information about interesting things that they are doing, which I do mention during my talks, like a ‘jack of all trades’! But that does not mean that you are to preclude as my having omniscience with powers of reading other’s minds, encyclopaedic knowledge and things like that!
227. Only when the disciples and followers are orderly, disciplined and aware of the Saastraa-s, can the Guru be under constraints to keep expanding his horizons of knowledge and not otherwise! My main point is that only when the devotees and disciples are close knit as a family as in a Guru Kulam, where there is not only a meeting of the minds, but also a meeting of the hearts, can they mutually enable and contribute in refining, sharpening and ennobling each other’s knowledge, behaviour and attitudes!
228. Establishment: for Necessary Evils - AcharyaL’s Service. More than being a head of an organization like Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam with a Title as ‘Jagat Guru’, (I am saying this myself,) ‘there is more necessity and need for an individual to be faultlessly clean’. Sri Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL established these institutions of Sankara Matam-s so as to bring all the followers of Sanatana Dharma within certain order and ensure its sustained longevity. I am praising him for this. At the same time I also say that, ‘There is more necessity and need for an individual to be faultlessly clean on his or her own than be dependent upon the support of an establishment to be so!’
229. My praise of Aadi Sankara for creating these Matam-s is justified and so also is my other statement about the common man as a follower of the religion, should maintain a high level of personal and moral cleanliness! Because, if there are some disciples of an Ashrama of a high level of discipline, what happens to the society at large? Till the population was limited and everybody was observing the rules and regulations, it was all OK. But, as the population started expanding, with the increase in quantity, the quality did come down, even affecting those who had to be like role models!
230. Exploiting this, other religions such as Buddhism and Jainism virtually caused cracks and fissures in the whole facade of the society! They identified that their own strength and power to make inroads into our society, depended in their being well organized! So they showed this in action. They spread by first converting the Kings and regional chieftains to their fold! At such times, instead of getting scattered as a bag of goose berries would on being opened suddenly, if people of our religion were to remain sticking to each other as would a bag of peeled tamarind, we had to make some special efforts! That is why they were brought under the control of regional organizations, namely the Matam-s in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, Jyotishmat in Uttara Khand, Sringeri in Karnataka, Dwaraka in Gujarat and Puri in Orissa, by the efforts of Aadi Sankara! However much you may praise Aadi Sankara for the fact that these Matam-s are functioning surprisingly effectively till date, it can only be like stating the obvious! Still what Sankara managed to achieve was something like a necessary evil only!
231. Establishment of these Matam-s was, like doing a small wrong thing to avoid a bigger calamity! Once you have the backing of an organization, whether it is a school or Matam, the head of such a setup, unless he is ever cautious, runs the risk of losing the right direction, though that is his job really! Power, whether it is man power or money power, has the inherent capacity to corrupt! These are all disincentives for the inner Atma Shakti! That is the reason that the Acharya-s used to conduct Gurukulam with the minimum of inputs in the most frugal manner. It is only after the advent of Buddhism and Jainism that bigger organizations came into being where, many Aachaaryaa-s teaching a variety of subjects also came into being. Nalanda and Daksha Shila Universities came into being only after that!
232. Daksha Shila was a kingdom in the State of Punjab, of the Five Rivers. Much before Buddha, it was famous. That area was known as Gaandhaara Desha. Gaandhaari, the wife of Pandava-s was a Princess of that country. Pandava-s great grandson Janamejaya did the Sarpa (snake) Yaagnya here only. For the first time Maha Bharatha as an Epic was presented in an august gathering in this place only. It was a city established by Bharatha’s son Daksha, giving his name to it. From its inception some 5,000 years back, it has been a place of importance to the Vedic culture!
233. In the Fifth Century A.D., when Fahiyan visited India, he has commented that the place was full of Buddha Vihara-s. Later the place was raided by the Hun-s who destroyed most of the place. 200 years later when Huang Tsang visited there, he came across only ruins! When it was a huge centre of education, in the 5th Century A.D., still it was not set up as a University. It was more in the form of a collection of many smaller institutions, co located, without a central federal arrangement! There were 16 different disciplines being taught. The famous Chanakya who wrote Artha Saastra was a student here!
234. Nalanda was more like a University of to-day. Here the ruins are indicative of huge lecture halls and hostels. This is located in the present day Bihar, earlier known as Magada Desh. The word Vihara became Bihar. Patna is originally Paatali Putra. Nearby is the place Raja Gruham (Raj Gir), closely related to the life of Buddha. One of the main policy makers of Buddhism known as Nagarjuna, selected this Nalanda as the place for a ‘Sarva Kala Shala’ or University. During the time of Narsimha Baladitya in the 5th Century A.D., this university was in its fullest bloom!
235. With the Buddhist literature, many of the Vedic literatures such as, GhaNitha (Mathematics), Tarka (art of debating and logic), Sangeetha, Vaidya Saastra (Medicine) and so on were taught. There were at a time students numbering 10,000 residents. Even now we can be proud of the fact that, there were students from many of the Asian countries as well as from the European countries, studying here! Compared to Daksha Shila, since Nalanda was meant to produce Buddhist Monks called Bikku-s, technical subjects such as Engineering was not given much importance. But, Jyotisham was one of the subjects and hence, there was an Observatory using telescopes. The library in Nalanda was a huge nine storey edifice!
236. There were then a series of foreign invasions by Gajni, followed by Ghori Mohammad and then the turks of the Slave dynasty in the 13th Century, which proved to be the death knell of this great institution. Thus, Nalanda lasted for approximately 800 years!
(To be continued.)



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