Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol #4) Dated 10 Nov 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol #4) Dated 10 Nov 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 middle of page number 551 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)
58. To clean the praahaaram, you have to lift water from the well, bucket by bucket and collect it in huge vessels. You may get hold of brooms made up of long spines of coconut leaves to make a number of bundles of what is known as ‘thudappam’. Once you may use the broom for dry sweeping of the dirt and then do it again while somebody carries and throws the buckets of water. Places where the dirt is deeply imbedded on the surface, you may have to do rubbing and polishing. Wherever the water gets stagnant or not flowing out due to some blockages, they have to be removed or unplugged. Thus the work involves many small and big tasks! At times the twigs used for poking and clearing the holes of drainage may themselves get stuck! These jobs of an intricate nature may block one’s mind from any thoughts! Till you get a free flow of unruffled tranquil mind set, instead of sitting for Dhyana, it is better to get involved in community service with such ‘Sat Karma’! To some extent such actions make our minds turn more towards positive, socially responsible spiritualism. More than that, it guards us against socially irresponsible behaviour!
59. I do not mean to say however that we are to avoid Dhyanam at the initial stages of our spiritual development! If we were meant to endlessly involve ourselves only in work, then we need not have been given a life as a human being with a brain capable of thinking, reasoning and analysis! We could have been just an inanimate machine! If some time in the future we were to get maturity in meditation, we have to start somewhere along the line, is it not so? If maturity is to be obtained one day in the future, we have to start with an immature mind only, now! A puny looking unhealthy man may become hale and hearty if he does exercises and Yoga Aasanas now. Initially he may find it difficult. That is no reason for not starting. He has to start doing exercises at the least for five minutes a day and slowly increase the duration to 10, 20 to 30 minutes! We have seen both puny people putting on weight and fat people losing weight and becoming fit, like this! Similarly the conviction that I am not just this body but the living force in it and an effort towards this realization of the Atma has to start now! That is why I am talking to you all! Every one of us does know within ourselves that we are all part and parcel of that divinity, we call Atma or God! With the cleansing of our mind through Satkarma, the idea will slowly fruition when all thoughts and doubts will vanish and only the clarity of Gnaana Anubhava, that is experiencing awareness alone will remain!
60. Karma Yoga and Detachment. The name of Yoga has been given to the simple act of Karma for the reason that, the attitude of doing ones duty without any selfishness helps in cleansing one’s mind thoroughly for the attainment of Chitta Suddhi! All our actions done without any control over the vacillations and predilections of the mind accumulate to take revenge on us as though! When faced with bad luck or some embarrassment we bang on our heads saying, “Karmam! Karmam!”; as though ‘Karmam’ is some living ogre! On the one hand, it is Karma that enables us to dissolve ourselves in the reality of our source, Atma. There are many who give lectures and write books about ‘The Path of Karma’, mainly concerning duty consciousness. The word ‘Karma’ seems to evoke a vision of a person of the feminine gender! Then as one of the three royal high ways towards Moksha, ‘Karma, Bhakti and Gnaana Marga-s’, this Path of Action, shines beckoningly in everybody’s spiritual horizon! This Karma Marga is not doing things as dictated by the whims and fancies of the mind. It is doing ones duties and playing one’s appointed role in life and society, unconcerned about the result, returns, gains, advantages, name or fame, or ulterior motives! It is preparedness to sacrifice one’s all to stand up to one’s courage of convictions! It is dying at the post! It is not uninterested action but, disinterested sublimation of one’s being, that in other words is called, ‘Nish-kaamya Karma’!
61. Even here there is an element of ‘selfishness’! Upanishad as an organ of Vedaanta calls it ‘Atma Kaamam’, that is, the desire to gain one’s reality of the Atma. (Ref. Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad 4.3.21.) Immediately the Upanishad also clarifies that is actually, ‘Akaamam’ as an opposite of ‘Kaamam’! As a parallel to this, Thiru VaLLuvar says in ThirukkuraL, “aasai arumin aasai arumin; eeasnodu aayinum aasai arumin”, meaning, ‘cut your desires, cut your desires; even with God, cut your desires!’ Coming back to the Upanishad, it clarifies that, ‘this desire to gain Atma is not a desire. It is wrong for the mind to look for the silly satisfactions and cheap gains! Because all the gains that this mind is capable are of the minor inconsequential varieties! But when it desires for the Atma, there is no gainsaying the fact that it is asking for the highest gain at one’s own extinction, like the sublimation of the camphor! There is nothing wrong here at all! Like Atlas unchained, it is only with this that we will leave our attachments and turn the corner towards the Truth! In this lack of selfishness is the highest gain! “yam labdvaa cha param laabham manyate na adhikatam tataha”, meaning, ‘gaining which nothing else can ever be considered as a higher gain’! (Bhagawat Gita 6.22.) That is the gain of Atma! In fact it is ever already obtained. But we are ignorant of it! So, this removal of ignorance should not be considered as crass selfishness!
62. Instead of simply doing something for gratifying the mind, all the procedures of the Saastras ensure that the mind is cleansed and taken back to its source! So, to do as per the Saastraas is the Karma Marga. Instead of cribbing against the compelling and crippling effect of the Law of Karma, to ameliorate the binding discomfiture is the Karma Yoga! That is, every man doing his part of the duty without any slippage!
63. We saw as to how Karma affects our minds both positively and negatively. In what is known as the Karma Bhandam or the inter connecting ties through our action, are included the residual impressions of past lives, flows and lingering aroma of past experiences, called ‘Vaasanaas’; all mixed. These repeated births take place so as to enable us to go through this pending mixed bag of experiences. These are not only what we do with our Karma Indriyas of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, genitals, hands and legs, but also our mental attitudes. They again create further impressions of desires, greed, aversions and hate! These get stored and again become the driving force of the future in this life and the next! This is what we call the ‘poorva vaasana or janmaantara vaasana’! Like asafoetida, onion and garlic; their pungency do not go away easily! Even after the death of this body, they get clinging to the subtle body and express themselves when opportunities come in to being in the future gross body! Then you act as though under compulsion, despite your wishes against such actions! What is attractive to the sensory organs is what is thus known as ‘Vishaya Vaasana’. This mind is repeatedly running after these sensory pleasures and directs the physical towards obtaining more and more of such experiences. Thus the load of Karma keeps increasing. When the same Karma is done without looking for such sense gratification, then this load reduces. If you consider it as a set compulsions to which we are tied up, then these ties are seen to be loosening, as we go on in true Karma Yoga. Then as we progress, our minds do not look for name or fame or even ‘Lok KalyaaN’, that is, benefit to the world! It just happens!
(To be continued.)



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