Sunday, July 04, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 36 (Vol #4) Dated 05 July 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 36 (Vol #4) Dated 05 July 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 214 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.)

256. To continue with the story of our last e-mail, Drupada could never pardon DroNa for the fact that, due to DroNa he was defeated by Arjuna and arrested. He organised a Yagnya for the specific purpose of getting DroNa killed. From that Yagnya a son was born to him named Drushtadhyumna. From the same Yagnya Agni he was blessed with a daughter named Droupadi. Years later Droupadi’s ‘Swayamvara’ was held. Swayamvara is a marriage in which the girl selects her would be husband on her own fancy or through a competition! In this Swayamvara the aspirants had to shoot at a target that was hanging overhead and moving round and round, by looking at its image seen in water down below! Arjuna being an expert archer is successful in his effort, while all other aspirants fail. Drupada happily hands over his daughter in marriage to Arjuna, despite the fact that, it was the same man who had imprisoned him in the past, at the behest of DroNa! Even at that time, he had only high regards for Arjuna’s ability, courage and prowess. So he was happy to have him as a son-in-law! His anger was mainly directed towards DroNa only!
257. Later in the final battle of the Maha Bharatha War, Arjuna had to fight against the same Guru in Archery, Drona! When Guru Drona’s capabilities were too good for even Arjuna to match, Sri Krishna devised a diversion. Drona’s son’s name was Ashwattaama. At that time an Elephant named Aswattaama died in battle. Sri Krishna told Dharma Putra to make an announcement about the death of that mighty animal. When he did so, Sri Krishna blew on his conch Panchajanya so that the end part of the announcement was not heard! The announcement was, “Aswattaama: hata: kunjara:”. In this, the last word ‘Kunjara:’, meaning ‘the animal elephant’ was not heard by DroNa, who thought that it was his son who had died!
258. DroNa dropped his bow and arrows and just sat down, giving up all interest in battle! At that weak moment, Drushtadhyumna who had come into being for the specific purpose of killing DroNa, came on the scene and killed DroNa who was not even fighting. All the combatants in the vicinity were shocked to numbness at this atrocity. I suppose the saying “Fair is foul and foul is fair in love and war”, is a statement of people who had no idea of what is Dharma! We will not get into the lively debate that normally accrues, when ever this scene happens to be discussed in any forum! Vali’s death in Ramayana has the same potential value for debate! But we will shift to another story of how two class-mates from the same Guru Kula got along when they met after a gap of a number of years! That story runs more pleasantly smoothly.
259. Krishna’s friend Kuchela too, approaches the former when Kuchela was in the grip of absolute poverty. Unlike DroNa’s friend Drupada, Krishna receives him with love and respect, gives him the ‘shodasa upachaara’ of water to wash his feet and hands, water to drink, arranges for his bath, towel to dry, scents and unguents for smearing over the body, dresses and ornaments to wear, suitable seating and so on! Then he did ‘paada pooja’, seated him in his own royal chair and fed him with the choicest delicacies, while his wife waved the fan from the side! Kuchela is virtually smothered by all this mollycoddling and pampering that, he is never able to talk about the purpose of his visit, of asking for financial help! By the time he returns home, he is surprised to find his house converted into a palace steeped in opulence and royal splendour! His wife and dozen children similarly were soaking in luxurious grandeur!
260. When this story of Krishna and Kuchela is so full of love and kindness, at the other end of the spectrum is the story of DroNa and Drupada so full of hate and deceit! How can we reconcile the contrast between these two stories? Both are about a couple of a Brahmin and a Kshatriya classmates in Guru Kula, meeting each other, after the passage of a number of years. In both the cases the Brahmin is approaching the rich Kshatriya for pecuniary help. There ends the similarity between the two stories. We cannot simply attribute the differences between the two stories only to the different attitudes of Krishna and Drupada! In my view, the difference lies more in the two Brahmins. On the one hand is Kuchela who lived purely as per the Dharma as required of a pure and true Brahmin! On the other hand was DroNa, also a very respectable Brahmin of renown! As a Brahmin, he could have learnt archery, to be able to teach others as an Aachaarya. But, it was unwarranted for him to wield a weapon to be used in anger.
261. With Drupada, instead of himself fighting, it is true that he instructed Arjuna to do so. But, the fact remains that, just because Drupada was being rather silly and narrow minded, DroNa took it up as a personal insult and decided to teach him a lesson. That was totally uncharacteristic of a Brahmin! Going back in time further, having learnt whatever from his father in archery, there was no need for him to get further coaching from Parasurama! Thus his story has been one of personal miseries and irritation to others. Then towards the end, the fact that he had to fight on behalf of Dhuryodana, who was totally on the side of Adharma, must have been quite galling! More than the sharp arrows of Arjuna, the words of Bhimasena who was taunting him, must have been more hurting! He ridiculed him for not living by the standards as required of him as a Brahmin! He has had to suffer all that in silence!
262. When a Brahmin lives by the standards as required of him, he keeps gaining in respect and is venerated. When he slips in that, he suffers endless insults from all angles. This is the lesson to be learnt from the stories of DroNa and Kuchela!
263. Brahmins When Buddhism Was Ascendant. The advent of Buddhism must have adversely affected the very fabric of Sanaatana Dharma! However much I may think that this DroNa and Kuchela story was not related to our topic of discussion, somehow it seems that there is relevance! Buddha’s main quest was to find the reasons for human suffering. His question was as to why should man undergo ageing, disease and death? He must have questioned many of the Pundits of his time. Then he himself did a lot of Tapasya and came to certain conclusions.
264. Let me put his conclusions in simple words. “All the suffering and sadness in this world are due to our desires. The reason for the desire or want is that we feel ourselves to be incomplete or insufficient and so want something or the other from the world, to make us complete or wholesome. The problem is that, we and the world are part of Maya. Maya is the thing that hides the reality and shows us something that is really not there! If we get rid of Maya, the delusion is over and we are free. That is Nirvana!” This was his realization, in my own words, say!
265. Now here is the hitch! What he found and realized is the same thing said in the Veda-s and Upanishad-s and the Gita! But his end point of Nirvana is a Zero. Thatis a ‘soonyata’ or ‘nothingness’! Actually the end point as per our understanding of it all is, not ‘soonyata’ but ‘poornata’, totality, completeness or wholesomeness! However there was no Brahmin worth his salt or grain to put it across to Buddha, in clear terms. Had there been one there would have been possibly no need for yet another religion!
(To be continued.)



At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home