Sunday, October 03, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 81 (Vol #4) Dated 03 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 81 (Vol #4) Dated 03 Oct 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 second para on page number 442 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
78. If there are no elders in an assembly, it cannot be called a Sabha! Sabha is said to be feminine gender. That is why it is called ‘saa’ in Sanskrit. What is neuter gender in Tamil could be male or female in Sanskrit. (The word ‘Nadi’ in Tamil, Sanskrit and other Indian languages means a river. In Sanskrit, words are either Masculine or Feminine or neuter gender. A river is feminine. You can make out from the names of rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari and so on. Here too there is a subtle difference. A river flowing towards west is not a feminine Nadi, but a masculine Nadam! In the English language too, many inanimate objects are referred as male or female. For example, a ship is a she. Thus Sabha is feminine. After all in a lighter vein, since what you do in a Sabha is mainly talking, it can be considered quite appropriate that it is feminine!)
79. “na saa sabha yatra na santi vruddha:”, meaning that it is no assembly worth it’s name of a ‘Sabha’ if there are no elders there! Do those elders become worthy of the name, if they are elders only by age? No! “na te vruddha:ye na vadanti dharmam”, meaning, if you make a building of bricks and mortar and fill it up with youngsters and middle age group people, it will still not be a ‘Sabha’ unless there are elders. They still cannot be considered as elders only by indications of gray hair and wrinkles; or because they speak eloquently and know their subject very well! With all the knowledge, does he know what is the Dharmam and has the courage of convictions to speak about it? If the answer is ‘Yes’ for that question, then only such a person can be recognised as a ‘Vruddha’ worthy of being a member in a Sabha!
80. That which is practically able to produce a good and salubrious effect on a situation is what is known as Dharma. For this practicality there has to be a basic foundation of truth. For an order to be appealing to the heart and mind there has to be some basis of discipline there. When a number of lamps are placed in a circle or line let us say, it looks nice if there is some order of symmetry or design. Even random haphazard placing of the lamps can be pleasing only, if there is still some subtle order! Sounds for example can be music only if there is some basis of discipline. Otherwise, it will be a cacophony of noise unbearable for the ears. This is so because, for the outer orders there is an inner principle of orderliness in our heart of hearts. When it goes against that basis, whether it is music or dance or drawing, it simply does not jell! Something does not click!
81. Similarly, great Rishis who had clarity of inner order gave us the outer rules and regulations to be adhered to and observed. That is how the orderliness of Dharma has been evolved, dependent on the inner basis of Satyam, the concomitant truth of existence! Vedas, Upanishads and Saastraas are amplification of this basic truth, to make that inner truth comprehensible and discernible to our senses and intellect. Whatever we do or say with the best of intensions, if that inner truth is set aside or ignored; it will not be giving us the fullness of life; that is, take us back to the fountain head of Godliness! “na sa dharmo yatra na satyam asti”! Where there is no Satyam there will not be Dharmam! (Sabha was in feminine gender. Here Dharmam is in masculine gender.)
82. OK. They were old enough and experienced. They were aware of the inner truth by their knowledge of the Vedas and Saastraas. They had the gift of the gab and so were capable of putting across their point of view. They had the courage of convictions to say what they knew. They knew the Satyam and what they said was Dharmam. Is that all? Do all the above make them worthy of being a member? No! They should be personally living by what they profess! ThiruvaLLuvar said, “Karka kasadu arak karka. Kartrapin nirka adarkkut taga!” As per his directions, we have to not only know about Satyam, its application as Dharmam, be able to say so but also be living models of excellence. Then only our talk will move people’s minds. Otherwise, great talk will vanish with the words of praise! What Bhagwan Sri Krishna calls ‘mityacharam’ in the Gita, is known as hypocrisy. It will neither inspire others nor will it be considered as Satyam. The last line of the sloka says, “na tat satyam yat chalena anuvittam” meaning, ‘statement as related to or by a hypocrite can never be the truth!’
83. To sum up, any assembly is incomplete without elders; those who do not elicit the righteous action are not to be considered as elders; what is not truth can never be righteous; even righteous truth from a hypocrite is only rhetoric! That is the message of the sloka, worth being inscribed as the writing on the wall in all places where people meet to discuss matters of human interest such as, the U.N.O., Parliament, Senate, Assembly and Sabha!
84. An oft repeated phrase says, ‘gnaana sheela vayo vruddha’, meaning that an elder is defined by the three qualities of old age, maturity of wisdom and exemplary behaviour. Such people only have the qualification to be a member in a Sabha, the sloka says. The edict on stone of the Sozha period has also emphasized these three qualities as required in a member of the Sabha. With them, it has also underlined the need for expertise in Vedas, Saastras and action with monetary non-encumbrance and moral cleanliness; thus covering all aspects of what is mentioned in the sloka. I was talking about the third rule about the upper age limit, (not there in the present day political environment), which was originally 60, later raised to 70.
85. There have been Rishis whose inner being was totally in the ‘Param’ that is in the Beyond and outwardly living in this ‘Iham’ that is this world, forever working for the welfare of here and now! They have lived for thousands of years, without ever losing their bodily and mental capabilities keeping senility at arm’s length! Their awareness of spirituality and dispassion had not made them divorced from care and concern for fellow human beings. Rishis like Vasishta have been the family Purohita for many generations. Then the upper age limit was not required. But that is a very old story of past Yugas, eons past! Subsequently in the present Kali Yuga of 3,48,000 years out of which only about 5,000 years have gone by; human life span has come down to less than 100. In it by the time you are around 70 your physical and mental powers are on the decline. From the Uttara Merur Saasanam we can make out that, (dated a thousand years back) it was preferable to retire people from public life by the time they are 70!
86. There are some rare old people as exceptions! Bernard Shaw is there. Churchill defying old age led England against the might of the Axis powers so ably in the Second World War! Mahatma Gandhi despite a frail physical constitution, by the dint of mind power and ‘Rama Nama’, retained a sharpness of wit, mind and health till the very end! We have Grand Old Man Dr.Visweswarayya. Such people can manage anything anywhere, let alone membership in an assembly. But when you make rules, you have to keep the general level of people in view and not make them for exceptions. If you are enrolling persons for the Policeman’s job, you have to decide on height, weight and age. Say a short man, if he is not of sufficient weight cannot be taken, however brave or ferocious he may be! He will have to be told, “I am sorry! You do not meet the criteria!” (PeriyavaaL himself lived up to the ripe old age of a Hundred and One!)
(To be continued.)



Post a Comment

<< Home