Tuesday, October 05, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 82 (Vol #4) Dated 05 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 82 (Vol #4) Dated 05 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 first para on page number 449 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
87. Office Work and Work in a General Assembly. Why go anywhere? Take the government employees. They retire at 55, 58 or maximum at 60 compulsorily. For all employees of governments there is a lower and upper age limit. Daily they go to the office, look at the files from top to bottom, write inter office notes, memos, replies, orders or type them, supervise, visit sub-units or offices on tour, make plans, drawings and so on. Comparatively the job in a Sabha of a city or Oor or town is mostly talking, discussing and arguing the various methods of tackling the problems of the public. Moreover, they do not meet every day of the year or even month! So, they could be older in age than what is required for work in an office. Even then, there is logic in fixing a higher age limit as after 70, the old age problems do become debilitating and affecting ones efficiency and judgement.
88. Elders Advisory Council. If there are some who are past masters in their own field of expertise, we could form some Elders Advisory and Consultancy Council. They do not even have to meet in one place and discuss. They may not even be physically capable of attending big meetings and get-togethers. May be that they can be asked to give their views on various subjects as and when they feel the need to express the same or they can be interviewed on various issues by a commission or delegation. Such people may be there in any party or they may be not aligned with any political party at all. Without any prejudice they can be like a brain trust available to be tapped on occasions. Temporarily, as a new government is formed, it may be preferable to pick up people well versed and knowledgeable in economics, law and international trade, irrespective of their party affiliations. Later once elections on the name of political parties are conducted, I do not know if they will still go beyond party loyalties and pick up these past masters and maestros! Having started talking about age limit, I seem to be rambling beyond limits!
89. So As Not to Over Draw on One’s Own Popularity! The upper age limit as per the Uttara Merur Saasanam has one more aspect of high value! May be that in the initial stages one may become very popular for some reasons of inherent natural attraction or some inspiring powers of persuasion or noble act of sacrifice! But such people tend to over draw on their influence and make their domination a permanent feature, becoming a pain on the side for the society. Initially some followers of such leaders become their fans. Later these very fans become unavoidable accompaniments of the has-been-leader and end up as parasites on the society! Even when the leader goes astray, they would not know as to what has gone wrong and praise him to high heavens. The leaders too forget their initial motivation and start depending on these ‘Yes Men’, thereby creating a coterie and start depending on mutual support! So, they do all undemocratic things and even illegal activities to sustain themselves in power. When reasonable criticism is levelled against such leaders it is viewed as intolerable threats to their power, to be erased or eradicated than seen as sensible feed backs! This mutual scratching of the backs between the leader and fans goes on to unmanageable levels till democracy becomes a travesty of sorts. To obviate such things the Uttara Merur Saasanam has two antidotes! One is that the election is done every year for a period of one year and once elected the same person cannot stand for elections for another three years!
90. Amongst the many responsibilities of the Sabha, each member would have been given separate supervisory duties in different committees. This responsibility in the committee will be in addition to the duty of participating in the general discussions, more like individual roles that people will have to play. Nobody can stick to any of these roles for more than a year. So the tendency to send down roots and firmly establish oneself in those jobs can never happen. So also the tendency to become over popular and dominate others will be curtailed automatically! To ensure that the leadership does not become a permanent matter is the fact that nobody can be a member beyond 70 years of age! So, in a span of 35 years between 35 and 70, anyone could have become a member only 12 times, each for a period of one year! The old has to pass and the new has to be brought in. So the younger generation has to be enabled to grow while, we should be benefitting from the experienced maturity of the old. But at the same time, we should neither let the old over dominate nor let the younger assume leadership while not yet ready!
91. The age limit was the third qualification for the members of the Sabha. The fourth requirement was about education. The Sabha member to be selected should be well read. Those days the most important education was knowledge of the Saastraas. Everything is a Saastram only. Dance is Bharatha Saastram and science is Vignaana Saastram. In the olden days all Saastram was about Atma, the inner Self or God. Then within that, rules and regulations about good behaviour, morality and discipline are the Dharma and Needhi Saastram of righteousness etc. Then are the subjects of Classic Literature, Geography, History, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. In the 64 Arts of “chathush shashti kalaa mayee”, (a name given to Srimat Lalita in Lalita Sahasra Nama), is a phrase including all such knowable arts and sciences! But the most important one in all of them is the one talking of Aachaara Anushtaanaas of Vedic Dharma Saastra. The one knowing that is called the SaastrigaL, and not others. But today it is just sad and bad that this knowledge is considered as a hurdle in people’s progress! But a thousand years back, it was this knowledge that was considered as the axle or main root of the whole edifice of knowledge in India! The person knowledgeable in the principles of the Saastraas was the one fit to be elected as a member of the Sabha.
92. The aspirant has to be well read in Vedic studies; as per the words of the Saasanam “vedattilum saastrattilum nipuNar ennappattu iruppaar”. When you look at this requirement, it may sound as though only Brahmins could be so qualified! Does it mean that the whole Oor or village management was in the hands of Brahmins only? Is this not against the principles of a system that is supposed to give equal chances to all classes of communities? Do not have any doubt on that score whatsoever. It is clear in the Saasanam that the 30 wards of the village were to put up one representative each in the Sabha. Those days all communities did not live mixed up! In each street or SreNi of line of houses each particular community lived. The first line of houses known as ‘agra haaram’ was that of the Brahmins. The weavers, smiths, carpenters, farmers and so on lived in their own portions of the village. Thus there were 30 wards or Kutumbs. There could not have been 30 ‘agra haarams’ of Brahmin dwellings alone! May be that they constituted three or four Kutumbs and so could have had three or four of their reps! Not more than that. Others must have been from other castes and communities.
93. In the condition about landed properties, there is a relaxation given for a Brahmin that if he was well read in one Veda and one of the Bhashyams, as I explained earlier, that he may have half of the quantum of property as required of others; we can draw the conclusion that all the members of the Sabha could not have been Brahmins! ‘Veda Saastra NipuNar’ is a phrase that could not have been used for Brahmins only! Brahmins were all anyhow supposed to do Veda Adhyayanam. So, it has to be people having general knowledge of the Vedas and Saastraas with expertise in the principles, as exemplified by Appar, Sekkizhaar, Nammazhvaar and such!
(To be continued.)



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