Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 47 (Vol #4) Dated 27 July 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 47 (Vol #4) Dated 27 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 last para on page number 263 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)

367. There is another aspect in which, by looking at the present day environment we can visualise as to what would have been the situation in the past. From the time English based education started in India, who or people of which caste have availed those opportunities to the maximum? Is it not so that they are the Brahmins who have had the lion’s share? Till other caste people woke up to this fact and started a mass movement against the Brahmins, they were dominating the Indian bureaucracy from Indian Civil Service right down to the clerical level in the Post Office and Railway Station. Other caste people were nowhere in the picture till decades later.
368. Mostly the non-brahmins did not opt for English based education for a long period of time, because they had their professions, trades and crafts to take care of, which in turn took care of their income! The Brahmin who always trusted his brains more than his brawn, took to the new language of English and the subjects such as Science and Arts, as fish takes to water! Kings were no more and with them was gone their Royal edicts assuring the Brahmins of yearly income on returns from lands allotted to them as part of munificence. The Brahmin was losing on many counts such as trust in God and the courage of his convictions! His sincerity and integrity to face even utter penury for his beliefs was wilting! His sense of sacrifice was dwindling. So when the Englishman showed ‘employment on education’ as the carrot before the horse, the Brahmin was ready to bite! So, Brahmin was the first slave to the Britisher’s English based education system and also the first to forsake his duties as required by Varna Ashrama Dharma! Having first picture painted the existence of an imaginary social evil, of ‘domination by the Brahmins’, the English man introduced the English based education system, on the pretext of trying to destroy that imaginary evil! As the major contributor to the Buddhist and Jain Universities, here too, Brahmin was the major subscriber. Thereby Brahmins did really become the cause for domination of the Indian society. So, came in to being the Justice Party and the Paguththu Arivu movement of the Dravida Kazhagam! Indian society lost all cohesion and unknowingly and unwittingly, better bettered the Britisher’s plan beyond their dreams!
369. The only difference in the scenario between what was obtaining during the advent of Buddhism and now when the Britishers were trying to strengthen their stranglehold in India was that, the majority of people of the hard working ‘blue collar workers’ then, could ill afford to leave their traditional profession! The Brahmin had more options during his transit from purely Vaidic Saastraa-s, to books on philosophy, classical literature, Jyotisham that is Astrology, and such things which were expanding day by day! The other castes did not have such expansion in weaponry or warfare or business environment or factory based large scale manufacturing or industrial training schools and polytechnics. So it was in their interest to continue in the traditional modes. In them also, those who were well to do and or those who did not have a hunger for the knowledge of existence, did not join such educational venues! There were some who had a thirst for inner awakening, from other castes too. Appar for example was from the fourth caste! He joined the ‘SamaNa’ PaLLi of the Jains and attained to high recognition and fame. Later of course he became a Siva devotee of such renown that he is considered as one of the foremost Nayanmars! Still the percentage of non-brahmins who went to those Buddhist and Jain universities were not much. After Brahmins, Kshatriyas, then Vysyas and then the Sudras, in that order frequented these educational institutions.
370. So, the way the Brahmins unwittingly contributed to the cutting of our roots of our religious and cultural heritage after the Macaulay’s scheme of English based education system, in this last century; it happened at the time of Buddhist and Jain schools and universities too. Like now in the past too, it was the Swa-dharma of the Brahmin which was most corrupted. Otherwise how could other religions take roots in this soil? In the name of ‘Ahimsa’, were those religions not basically condemning the Brahmins conduct of Yagna-s? In the book ‘Sankara Vijayam’ we read that the Devas go to God and complain about the poor performance of conduct of Yaagas and Yagnas. So, there were more Brahmins who became Bikkus than people from other castes. So also there were more Brahmins who joined those educational institutions. Not all of them were only interested in a livelihood. There must have been quite a few who were genuinely having the thirst for knowledge.
371. Though slightly jaded, Brahmins after all were still heirs to keenness of mind and high IQ that evolves out of generations practicing Karma Anushtaanaa-s and chanting of Gayatri Mantra and Veda mantras! Tradition inculcates some character qualities deeply etched in the sub-conscious. These impressions get erased only after many generations have passed. (I am really worried that in the coming years the salubrious effects of such eons of chanting the Vedas, may not be lost!) Till such total collapse, like the bicycle that keeps moving due to the force of inertia even after the pedalling has been stopped, our ancestor’s powers may continue to sustain us. History repeats itself they say. I only hope that we have a revival of the old traditions, in the coming years.
372. More over, efforts to spread Buddhism overseas have been going on since the time of Asoka. So this exposed the Indian intelligentsia to people of Greece, Europe and China. This enabled us to get to know about those ancient civilizations, their cultures and scriptures. This became further incentives for the thinking analytical brains of ours. We could tell them a few things which we knew better in Geometry and Susruta’s Surgery and learn more about Astrology. Thus there were our Adhyapakas having foreign students and our students learning under foreign teachers. Once again the participation was from Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vysyas and Sudras in that order.
373. While talking of philosophies, concepts and religious principles like ‘Ahimsa’ in a holier than thou attitude, the Buddhists and Jains were quite capable of such underhand means like arson, physically dropping or rolling people from atop mountains and tall buildings. Despite this, we have to accept also their high achievements in the fields of Education, Intelligence, Science, Reasoning, Dialectics, Philology, Logic, Debating, Classical Literature and Poetry! In this, in the North it was the Buddhists who were predominant and in the South, it was the Jains, locally known as the ‘SamaNas’! Actually the word ‘PaLLi’ in Tamil means the School. This word is derived from the ‘SamaNa PaLLis’, which means the place where their renunciates lived. Many of the cities and towns which have a name ending in ‘PaLLi’ was possibly the place where there was a Jain institution, like ‘Thiru ChirappaLLi’, known as Trichy today.
374. In the lighter vein, you may note that in Tamil, the word ‘PaLLi’ means a place where you sleep, the bed room! Many of the SamaNa renunciates used to live in the caves in the mountains. There in the open air often we see till date, flat stones polished to a very fine level of smoothness, so as to be able to sleep on them! They used to make their heads bald by pulling out their hair literally, one by one, because they used to give much importance to ‘torturing the human body’! Actually the name ‘SamaNa’ is from the word ‘srama’, meaning effort, labour or toil. So I suppose, when it comes to sleeping on bare stones, they possibly had to polish it to such smoothness, if only by hand! Without meaning to hurt anybody’s sentiments, when you make self torture part of the institutionalization, certain aberrations, quirks and idiosyncrasies are likely to occur! We will come back to this point later. With the passage of time, these places were occupied by Muslims and came to be known as ‘PaLLi Vaasal’! Actually their Mosques in Tamil are called ‘PaLLi Vaasal’ only, even today.
(To be continued.)



At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today..................................................................


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