Sunday, April 29, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the middle of page No 1032 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1118. What AachaaryaaL thought becomes an idea in the mind of Sureshwara and causes him to write the ‘Naishkarmya Siddhi’ for the other disciples to know the honesty and integrity of Sureshwara. As there was an initial obstacle, ‘Saareeraka Vaartikam’ for the Brhma Sutra Bhashyam was never written. But as desired by our AachaaryaaL and other disciples of his, he wrote the Vaartikam for the Bhashyam for two Upanishads only. One is the Vaartikam for the Bhashyam by our AachaaryaaL, for the Taitreeya Upanishad which is in wide usage in Krishna Yajur Vedam in South India; and the other is the Vaartikam for the Bhashyam for Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad of Sukla Yajur Veda followed by a majority of people in North India. Then he has written his meanings with comments on the DakshiNa Murthy Stotram by our AachaaryaaL known as ‘Maanasa + Ullaasam = Maanasollaasam’.

1119. Sureshwara AachaaryaaL is claimed as having been the Head of the Matams at the Kanchipuram, Sringeri and Dwaraka, as gleaned from their records! If you look deeply in the history of the Kanchipuram, we can make out that while Sureshwara was having the position of the Peetaadipathy, there was a Sarvagnyatmar like a prince in waiting, doing all the administrative jobs. That is Sureshwara was like a supervising authority after whose dehaviyoga, Sarvagnyatmar took over completely. So it is evident that Sureshwara must have been like a Roving Ambassador in all of them Kanchipuram, Sringeri and Dwaraka Matams, while there must have been a younger man in each place as the functional head.

1120. On the one hand Sureshwara had a reputation as an elder, highly learned and a great exponent of Poorva Meemaamsai, taken to Sannyaasa after sacrificing all that name, fame and wealth. On the other hand he might have been looked upon with some reluctant diffidence that he is after all come to Tureeyam after ‘having been a married man’! So some people might have desired that there should be no chance for any doubt to be created in minds of common folk. So, they might have thought of giving him the sort of position as suitable to his special abilities and organizational skills as a plenipotentiary while a younger man who has assumed Sannyaasa directly from Brhmacharya might have been entrusted with the day to day responsibilities of running the Matam.

1121. Even a Sanyaasi, once entrusted with organizational responsibilities as a Guru and Mataadipathy, has certain religious and some organizational secular work load. When the person doing certain duties as per the Saastraas, has no experience whatsoever as a householder, there is a unique gravity and clarity of innocence that is apparent to the public. A Sanyaasi has no Karma – to be done – duties; a Mataadipathy though a Sanyaasi has some such duties; whereas a householder has all of them! Sureshwara in his earlier Ashrama had done all of them without a let! Hence it is most appropriate that in Kanchipuram there is a street with his Poorva Aashrama name as ‘Mandana Mishra Agrahaaram’! It is gathered that some 200 Brahmin families shifted to Kanchipuram from Mahishmati permanently, as they did not wish to sever their allegiance to their beloved leader.

1122. Out of the other disciples of our AachaaryaaL, You heard the story of Padma Paada already. He wrote the Vyaakhyaana or explanatory notes for ‘Saareeraka Bhashyam’. A portion of it he read out to our AachaaryaaL. Then he went on Kshetraadanam to Rameswaram. At that time he took the palm leaf manuscript of his as yet incomplete Vyaakhyaana also for revision. On the way, in his uncle’s house in Jambukeswaram, he left the manuscript with the idea of picking it up on return from Rameswaram. His uncle read the manuscript in his absence. He was a keen adherent of Karma Marga. He felt that these ideas as given in the manuscript will completely annihilate the very Karma Marga! So, instead he wanted to destroy that whole manuscript! ‘Let us see if he writes the whole thing again’, he thought. He had two houses. He vacated the older one. Placed the palm leaf manuscript papers in that old house and set fire to it! Padma Paada returned from Rameswaram and the uncle play acted as though he is much grieved. Padma Paada thought of it as a punishment for having doubted Sureshwara and decided that he should not write it again!

1123. He reported the matter to his / our AachaaryaaL, who reminded him that he had written the explanatory notes for the four Paadams of the first chapter and the first Paadam of the second chapter. “You had read them all to me. I will repeat what you had told me. You can note them down and develop them further.” In a display of phenomenal memory, he repeated all that he had heard long back! As they were the explanatory notes for the first five parts of the ‘Brhma Sutra Bhashyam’, it was known as ‘Pancha Paadika’. We know for certain that he was detailed as the first Peetaadipathy of one of the Matams. But there are three different interpretations as to which one it was! Some say it is the Dwaraka Matam and some believe it to be the Puri Jagannaath Matam and in Markandeya Samhita and Aananda Gireeyam, it is said that he was the first head of Sringeri Sarada Peetam!

1124. Mauna Gnaani Hastaamalaka. Hastaamalaka is another of the important disciples of our AachaaryaaL. When we think of our Guru and pay our respects to him, it is good to do so for his Sishyas too. With love and devotion to God, there are those who excel in being devoted to his devotees, as it is said in Tamil, ‘adiyaarkum adiyen’ as most of the Nayanmaars did! Another way of looking at it is that we should not be making too much of a differentiation between the Guru and his Sishyas! Especially since DakshiNa Murthy Swami had said that, ‘like the four arms of Maha Vishnu, I will be born on earth with four of my main disciples’, they are to be treated as a part and parcel of his being. To differentiate them is not even to be thought of! But since the worldly drama has to be a series of dual transactions, we may get to know about them individually also. To even think of them as separate individuals, there has to be the element of duality.

1125. In his perambulations AachaaryaaL had gone to a place known as Sri Bali on the West Coast. There a Brahmin gentleman had brought his son to be introduced to our AachaaryaaL. The boy was hale and hearty and well nourished. But in terms of intelligence, he seemed to be a zero! No talking, seeing, asking or cognition or awareness! The father told AachaaryaaL, “I do not know as to what is wrong with this boy. You only have to correct him. He is all the time like a piece of wood or Para Brhmam!” In the eyes of our AachaaryaaL, he was pure Brhmam in reality. The surprising thing is that an idiot and a Gnaani are seemingly similar! Both a Gnaani and an Agnaani apparently have no sense of differentiation, comparison, evaluation, and or assessment! Amongst the seemingly dull idiots there are two types. One does not differentiate because he has realised the oneness of all existence and the other because his brain does not function. Amongst them also there are two types. One is a total inactive, inert and peaceful entity. The other makes a hue and cry of anything and everything, kicking, screaming, tearing, shouting and complaining! There is yet another type of Agnaani! He is worldly wise and spiritually a zero! The realized soul can be like any one of these three varieties described above. In ThiruvaNNamalai, Seshaadri Swami was like that sometime calm and sometimes violent, totally unpredictable. On people approaching him with love and ardent devotion, he may throw some stones. But that action itself may prove to be a great blessing for them somehow! For them, no rules or system or traditions, seem to apply.

1126. Coming to the differences between them, the idiot or insane person will either be inert and non-reactive like a piece of wood or overactive like the core of a volcano inwardly. Whereas the Gnaani will be absolutely placid, calm and happily cool inside. The agnostic will react with a hundred fold response for a small imagined insult. He does not need a reason but only an excuse for doing his mischief. On the other hand for a Gnaani, even an insult will be taken as a compliment, inwardly unaffected and unruffled and so seemingly like a dope or agnostic! The father of that boy had brought him to our AachaaryaaL hoping for a miracle cure. AachaaryaaL could make out that the boy was suitable to join his retinue. He asked him, “My Dear Boy! What is your name and where are you from?” The boy who had never spoken for years replied, “When all is one, what is the use of asking such inane questions? When everything is a dream and matter does not matter, what is the need for naming people and places? What name can I give for myself and say wherefrom am I?” In the form of a sloka he said, “I am not a human nor a Deva; not a Yaksha; neither any of the four castes; nor any of the four Ashramas; I am the form of knower of the Self – ‘nija bhodha roopam’.

1127. The father was thrilled with this miraculous transformation in his son! He took him home and the son was again as before! So he brought him back to AachaaryaaL and the boy was again gloriously loquacious! He told our AachaaryaaL, “He is your son and not ours”, and went away leaving the boy in AachaaryaaL’s care! AachaaryaaL included him as one of his disciples and named him ‘Hastaamalaka’. ‘Hasta’ means the palm of our hands. ‘Aamalaka’ means the Goose Berry. When held in the palm of one’s hands, that fruit stands clearly apart and so its whole outer shape is seen clearly while the fruit is almost translucent. It is the only fruit of the vegetable world whose inside and outside are so apparently and clearly visible, generating the pithy phrase ‘hastaamalaka’ in Sanskrit and ‘uLLankai nellikkani’ in Tamil. This disciple has the honour that for the slokas composed by him, our AachaaryaaL has written the Bhashyams! It is believed that he was the first head of the Matam at Puri Jagannath. There is yet another belief that he was the first Swami in Dwaraka Matam!

(To be continued.)



Friday, April 27, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol # 5) Dated 27 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol # 5) Dated 27 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the page No 1026 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1110. It was but natural for SarasavaaNi to feel bad that her husband was about to leave Gruhastam and take up Sannyaasa! As the wife is an inalienable part of the twosome that makes the couple of husband and wife, she interposed a new condition that AachaaryaaL has to defeat her also and then only can be declared the winner. This is as we understand at the human level. At another level, AachaaryaaL had to prove his Omniscience by defeating the Saraswathi Devi herself, the Goddess of Learning! Like Viswamitra had a desire to be called a Brhma Rishi by Vasishta, the Avatara of Saraswathi as SarasavaaNi came to being for the very purpose of declaring our AachaaryaaL as the Sarvagna, the Omniscient! She had a great reputation as a storehouse of all knowledge and was defeated by our AachaaryaaL! There is another version of the story in which she is said to have revealed her being as the Saraswathi Devi and declared our AachaaryaaL’s Omniscience at the time of his ascending the ‘Sarvagna Peetam’, that is the Seat of Omniscience!

1111. How can a wife ever say that her husband has lost in a competition? Here, how the Goddess of Learning managed the situation is rather touching. Instead of directly saying that AachaaryaaL has won or that she has lost; she said indirectly, “OK. The debate is over. Both of you kindly come forward for ‘Biksha’. ‘Biksha’ is the formal word for the food being served for a Sanyasi! For others it is a lunch or supper or dinner. For a beggar it is ‘alms’ and for a Sanyasi, it is the ‘Biksha’! That means indirectly, Mandana Mishra also has to take Sannyaasa from our AachaaryaaL, and then have Biksha, isn’t it? That is how she revealed the end of the debate in a subtle manner!

1112. Any lady who loves her husband is likely to feel bad when the husband is about to give up married life and take up Sannyaasa! That too, her husband was a great match for her intelligence and knowledge. He used to be ever involved in conducting great Yaagas in which she used to participate as the Yagna Patni, playing her part to perfection! It was difficult for her to sacrifice his company. But the interest of truth had to be served and self-interest had to be sacrificed! Though it was the garland of flowers that decided the issue, it was her mind and heart super imposed on those garlands. Otherwise can you find any garland of flowers that lasts for 21 days without wilting anywhere? (Rest assured that there were no plastics yet in use those days!) She also participated in the debate and lost to our AachaaryaaL, so that his worth and value may be known to all. That was the main aim. Though many of the Devas had come down on earth as Avataras at that time, she was well known far and wide as ‘Ubhaya Bharathi’. When a certificate of merit is issued to somebody, the authority issuing the certificate should have a standing and reputation in people’s minds, isn’t it? Her words had that distinction and authority!

1113. Normally, if somebody comes forward to give Sanyaasa to one’s husband the wife will chase him away, isn’t it? Here SarasavaaNi did Namaskar with due respect and offered food for them as ‘Biksha’. SarasavaaNi there by gains a very important place for herself amongst the respectable women of India. Mandana Mishra took Sanyaasa Deeksha from our AachaaryaaL and became one of his disciples. From then onwards he came to be known as ‘Sureshwara’. “What work have I got here when my husband is not with me”, said Saraswathi Devi, so far known as SarasavaaNi and was getting ready to return to Brhma Loka! But, our AachaaryaaL differed with her saying, “Your presence is always required on this earth. So forever you should continue to give people good sense”. So he tied her up with the Vana Durga Mantra! Of course Gods are forever interested and involved in the upliftment of people’s minds and can never ignore the world to its own doom! But, these scenes are like so many acts in the drama on the stage to make the power of mantras known to the world. So also every twist and turn in the drama of an Avatara’s life is to be seen with that background information.

1114. Saraswathi said, “OK. It is all right! But do not install me just here in this place itself. You people keep visiting various places all over India and I shall keep following your footsteps, on one condition that you are not to look back! If and wherever you happen to look back, I shall get established there itself forever. There you may build a temple for my permanent stay on earth as the ‘Sarada Peetam’”. That was another scene in the ongoing drama! AachaaryaaL started out with Sureshwara. Saraswathi Devi followed them, the ‘Jill Jill’ sound of her anklets announcing the fact of her following them. AachaaryaaL continued without looking back.

1115. Speciality of Sringeri! For long they kept traversing till one day they came down South to Sringeri on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. There they came across the spectacle of a snake acting as an umbrella giving shade from the hot sun, for a frog just about to deliver her off springs! Normally for a snake, a frog is like a cherished dish! But may be the special quality of that place, caused their natural enmity and attraction of the food chain; to be forgotten! Our AachaaryaaL thought that, it would be a suitable place for the establishment of Sarada Peetam and construction of a temple for Saraswathi Devi. The ‘Jill Jill’ sound stopped suddenly and AachaaryaaL turned back to see as to why the sound had stopped! What had happened was that, she had also slowed down and her feet were getting imbedded in the sandy terrain of the river bank that, the sound of the anklets had subsided!

1114. Since he looked back, she had stood her ground, literally! Since he looked back, she stood then and there rooted to the ground! Our AachaaryaaL felt happy that his thought and her condition for a temple coincided so precisely! That was the spot where the Sarada Peetam was established and a temple for Saraswathi Devi came into being. As that place was very calm and salubrious, for long our AachaaryaaL stayed there doing Pooja to the Goddess. Having written all his books in first block of 16 years of his life, in the second block of 16 years he went around the whole country from the ‘Setu to Himalayas’, three times! Within that short period, the maximum that he stayed in one place was in Sringeri, as revealed by the Sankara Vijayam books.

1115. Other Matams are established as intended by our AachaaryaaL in strategically important places, religion wise. There are four ends or corners of the sub-continent of India known as ‘Chaar Dhaam’. As the aim was to re-establish the Sanaatana Dharma all over India, these four places had to be such extremities as to cover the country equally geographically. So these places were Badrinaath (including Jyotirmath now known as Joshimath) in the North, Dwaarakanaath in the West, Jagannaath (Puri) in the East and Ramnaath or Rameswaram in the South. He did establish the Matams in all these places except Rameswaram as, the Vidya Devata herself caused the Sarada Peetam to be established in Sringeri. Then Kanchipuram as the middle point of the whole world, as the Naval is for the whole body, was the last place where a Matam was established. Sringeri anyhow is as per the wish of Sarada AmbaaL herself!

1116. Uniqueness and Greatness of Sureshwara. As Mandana Mishra had been a major force in the Meemaamsai religion, the fact of his becoming a disciple of our AachaaryaaL gave a lot of fillip to revival of the Vedic Religion of Sanaatana Dharma. But human nature being what it is, it is reported that our AachaaryaaL’s other disciples themselves looked at him with some suspicion, as reported in the Sankara Vijayam books. He is said to have started writing the Vaartikam (explanatory notes) for the Bhashyam for Brhma Sutram that our AachaaryaaL had written. (Actually Brhma Sutram has a name as ‘Saareeraka Meemaamsa’ and so the Bhashyam written for it by our AachaaryaaL was known also as, ‘Saareeraka Bhashyam’.) At that time the other disciples of AachaaryaaL had some reservations. “Though he has joined our AachaaryaaL as a disciple because he has lost in debate, will he have real and sincere belief in the Adwaita Philosophy? We have taken up Sannyaasa directly bypassing the Gruhasta Aashrama. But he is one who has been in Gruhastam for long. So can we expect him to have absorbed the principles and ideas of Adwaita Vedaanta?” So, the question in their minds was, if the purpose of AachaaryaaL’s concepts will be served by Sureshwara’s writing the Vaartikam? They seem to have expressed their reservations to AachaaryaaL. He is said to have kept his views to himself. The matter also reached Sureshwara’s ears and he refrained from writing that Vaartikam.

1117. One day he came to our AachaaryaaL and said, “For long I have been deliberating on giving you some Guru DakshiNa. You do not even touch money and I have also renounced all possessions. So I was wondering as to what could be a suitable Guru DakshiNa!” Then with hesitation and reluctance he submitted a palm leaf manuscript in his Guru’s feet and did Namaskar. The name of that manuscript was ‘Naishkarmya Siddhi’, in which it had been brought out that, the highest Siddhi is to become ‘Kruta Krutya:’ whose duties have all been done and over. That is Moksham and the end of Vedaanta. This was what our AachaaryaaL would have wanted him to do; for the other disciples to have correctly understood Sureshwara’s level of understanding and comprehension!

(To be continued.)



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 164 (Vol # 5) Dated 25 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 164 (Vol # 5) Dated 25 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the third para on page No 1018 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

Defeating the Husband & Wife Team of
Mandana Mishra and SarasavaaNi.

1101. This exponent of Naishkarmya Gnaana reached the house of proponent of dynamic activities of Karma! Mandana Mishra was not prepared to welcome our AachaaryaaL like, Kumarila Bhatta did. He used to consider the Sanyaasi type of people who have given up their Karma, to be detestable. He was not the gentlemanly sort to be hospitable to his opponents. He used to think of it as a sin to even look at a renunciate. Our AachaaryaaL reached his household as the uninvited guest! He was of the view that it was his duty to elicit and tell the truth even to an enemy, out of his enormously abundant unconditional love for all! On this particular day in Mandana Mishra’s house, there was Sraardham (obsequies for the departed souls of ancestors) scheduled to be conducted. On such a day, Mandana Mishra would have considered meeting a Sanyasi to be doubly sinful!

1102. The very word ‘Sraardham’ means what is done with extreme sincerity and commitment, as offerings to the departed souls of ancestors. That is what Mandana Mishra was doing just then inside the house. So the doors had been securely closed to prevent any unauthorised entry of unclean individuals or animals, not commensurate with the gravity and seriousness of the situation. Whereas our AachaaryaaL was keen on making a dramatic entry and bless the owner of the house! There are two versions as to how he entered the house when the doors were bolted from inside! In Sankara Vijayam books it is mentioned that he entered that household using his yogic powers. There is another story coming down the generations by word of mouth as heard from one’s elders!

1103. In these parts of the country, there used to be a set of people known as ‘Marameri’ or ‘ChaaNar Jaati’. They used to know a special mantra to which the coconut tree responded. They would go near a tall coconut tree and chant that mantra and tap the tree with their hands. The tree would immediately bend down and touch the ground with its top. This man would climb on top and the tree will stand up. The ‘Marameri’ would get his job of plucking the coconuts or unload the pots tied to the neck of the tree for tapping into its juicy sap, which is later used for making liquor or drunk directly for its light intoxicating effect! Then he will make use of the mantra a second time for getting down from the tree most obligingly!

1104. Our AachaaryaaL saw a nice coconut tree outside Mandana Mishra’s house and also happened to notice a ‘Marameri’ passing by. He requested him to teach the mantra to him. He had the humility to be able to ignore position and status when it comes to learning from anybody. That man was obliging enough. Using that mantra, our AachaaryaaL was able to climb that tree and get down in the inner court yard of Mandana Mishra’s house. That was the time when the invitees were being seated for their ceremonial feast. On such an occasion, there would not have been a grand gala get together. Only two or three Brahmins would be the invitees. There were two such Brahmin invitees already there. One was Jaimini Maharishi who had originally authored the basic Saastraas of Meemaamsai religion. The other was the very Vyasa AachaaryaaL who had arrived, respecting the gravity of the occasion and come to honour Mandana Mishra’s arrangements for the Sraardham, in a visible form.

1105. You recall the story as to how when Parikchit Maharaja, in trying to safe guard his life, was erecting an extensive security barrier around his person, this Dakshaka the Serpent King could still find a way in, by hiding in the lemon fruit, didn’t he! It is said that no system is fool-proof for the fool and the very clever! Similarly, our AachaaryaaL could reach Mandana Mishra despite his safety precautions! There in the story of Parikchit Maharaja, Dakshaka was going to inject poison into the person whereas here our AachaaryaaL was going to inject the nectar of Gnaana into the situation! What a time to come face to face with a Sanyaasi, that too when he was coming in uninvited! Mandana Mishra was shocked! He burst out, “Wherefrom is this ‘Mundi’?” Sanyaasis shave off the hair in their heads. A person with a shaved off pate derisively is called by the fact of his bald head as ‘Mundi’! AachaaryaaL answered with a slight twist in the meaning to say that he was ‘shaved off from the neck upwards’ – “Mundi from the neck up”! Sanyaasis are not supposed to shave off below the neck! Similarly AachaaryaaL gave prompt replies to whatever Mandana Mishra asked, repeatedly punning on the words.

1106. In fact followers of the philosophy of Meemaamsai pride themselves that they understand the words and phrases of Vedas most correctly by splitting the words and relating to the roots of the meanings! Here AachaaryaaL could find two different meanings for every word that he spoke, that Mandana Mishra felt insulted and up-staged! His anger knew no bounds! The invitee Brahmins Vyasa and Jaimini pacified Mandana Mishra, as they were well aware of AachaaryaaL’s greatness. It was suggested that the Sanyaasi could be seated in the place meant for Vishnu, as acceptable to the concerned Saastraas meant for Sraardham. As it is, both Jaimini and Vyaasa were very senior and respectable figures. Moreover, the words of the invitees in the function of Sraardham are not to be ignored at all, as one represents all the Devatas and the other represents all the souls of the ancestors! So very reluctantly Mandana Mishra had to accept their ruling. So he did Namaskar to our AachaaryaaL and prayed to him to be seated in the seat of Vishnu, where the food had already been served. (In such functions a set of two plantain leaves are symbolically laid in a prominent spot where the function is being held and food served as though the Maha Vishnu is seated there. Our AachaaryaaL was offered that seat.) While occupying that seat AachaaryaaL responded saying, “I did not come here for ‘Anna Biksha’ (food being given as a dole) but for ‘Vaada Biksha’ (that is being challenged for a debate), as directed by Kumarila Bhatta!” The name of Kumarila Bhatta changed the entire atmosphere! Mandana Mishra became very humble and respectable towards our AachaaryaaL. He requested that they could most willingly enter in to discussions and debate, once the partaking of the food is over and done! The ‘Divasam’ function was over in good humour. Vyasa and Jaimini returned to their abodes. Then our AachaaryaaL and Mandana Mishra started their battle of wits. They selected Mandana Mishra’s wife SarasavaaNi as the Adjudicator.

1107. When even the women of the village had been rendered in to learned scholars of Saastraas and even the pet birds were capable of discussing the intricate nuances of such knowledge by the influence of Mandana Mishra, his own wife must be a very learned person indeed and so acceptable to our AachaaryaaL. This is from the human and humane aspect. Then if you consider the fact of our AachaaryaaL being an Avatara of Siva, he would have known Mandana Mishra to be Brhma himself and SarasavaaNi to be the very Goddess of all Learning, the Saraswathi Devi! Who can ever object to her adjudication? But she had a quandary. Sometime or the other she would have had to declare one of them as the loser! To declare one’s own husband to be a loser is not in order and so also to declare a Sanyaasi to be a loser also, did not seem to be very correct. So, she devised a method of not saying anything by her own mouth. She asked both to wear a flower garland each and declared whichever garland remains without wilting will be the winner. Before starting, they had one condition accepted between them. If AachaaryaaL wins, Mandana Mishra was to give up Gruhastam and all related Karmas and take Sanyaasa. If Mandana Mishra were to win, our AachaaryaaL was to give up Sannyaasa Aashrama and become a married man doing all Karmas as required of him as per the Saastraas! Our AachaaryaaL, who had directly moved on to Sanyaasa bypassing Gruhasta, could never have agreed to sucha condition of becoming a married man! So it is said that he agreed to starve till death known as ‘MaraNaanta Prayaschittam’!

1108. The debate started. Similar to the earlier duel between Vyasa and our AachaaryaaL, this was another battle of wits between two giants of erudition! Tirelessly they went on for 21 days, continuously! Starting with Karma Marga, one has to move on to being devoted to divinity by Bhakti Marga which finally with the maturing and ripening of the minds lead you onto state of ‘Satyam, Gnaanam and Anantam of the Adwaita Anubhava’. By such progress only does an individual Jeeva attains to totality of experience, understanding and comprehension. This is the wholesome message of the Vedas. Sanyaasi is thus a very respectable achiever of wholesome purpose of life, who is not to be ridiculed and disrespected, for having given up Karma; our AachaaryaaL made it clear. There are statements in various places in the Vedas against any effort on anybody’s part to discontinue Karma! But such statements are meant for specific target audience of those too involved in the Pravrutti marga. For example In Taitreeya Brahmana there is a statement that, ‘the one to extinguish the Agni Hotra Fire’ is liable to the Doshaa of ‘Veera Hatti’ (that is, killing of Courageousness)! But that is not for the one who has officially taken up Sannyaasa by the proper method. It is addressed at those who are hap hazard in the performance of their duties and fail to live up to their required standards, while still in the Pravrutti Marga, to prevent them from falling further lower.

1109. But, the man who has changed gears to ascend further unclimbed heights, and progressed on to Nivrutti Marga; has taken up the outer fire within himself as the fire of Gnaana; as he has matured with wisdom like a fruit that has ripened. So he has further caused the fire to be enlivened and not extinguished the same! In the tree of life he has to go on being dynamically active, sucking up the nourishment from the earth down below, absorbing the Sun’s Rays from above and inhaling the oxygen from the atmosphere, petal by petal, with varying colours and fragrances and tastes from bitter to bland to sour to sweetness; becoming bigger and bigger in size till one attains to maturity. Till that happens, if you try to cut it off, there will be crying all around; the not yet ripe fruit will be tearful as though when the connecting stem will be oozing out some excretion while mother tree will be bleeding with the sap as though in sympathy. But a time will come when all the dynamic activity will end, the green colour will turn to red and ochre; bitterness and sourness will become sweet; and now nobody can keep the fruit attached to the tree anymore! No more tears and oozing out from anywhere. Once you are full of compassion, kindness and universal unconditional love – all actins will come to a stand-still. Once you have yourself become a matured fruit of sweetness, you simply have to announce to the whole world by ‘Prysha UchchaaraNam’ – “do not be afraid of me anymore” – before becoming a Sanyaasi! Mandana Mishra realised the truth of our AachaaryaaL’s point of view. He wholeheartedly accepted Gnaana Marga! Since they had accepted SarasavaaNi as the Adjudicator, he waited for her ruling with due respect. She had also left it to the condition of the garland of flowers. Mandana Mishra’s garland, it was that wilted! If the husband is to become a renunciate, how sad the wife would have become?

(To be continued.)



Monday, April 23, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the third para on page No 1011 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1093. Our AachaaryaaL has clarified in his Bhashyams that though Bhagawat Gita has covered extensively the Karma Marga, it does not mean that it has considered it to be the ‘be all and end all’. Similarly, wherever the Upanishads have emphasised the Karma Marga that is not to be thought of as the main aim, says our AachaaryaaL. In Easavaasya Upanishad there is a mantra which says, ‘Let man keep doing his Vedic Karma for all of a hundred years’. By putting in a condition ‘jijeevishet’, that statement is qualified to mean that the man interested in long life of worldly involvement may do so. That is, this advice is for the one who, without changing track to Nivrutti Marga, wishes to continue in Pravrutti Marga. ‘If you wish to live long, instead of doing things to whatever your whims and fancies take you to, do as directed by Saastraas’, he says. Then in the very next sentence he says that someone who does not get to know his inner reality of Aatma and remains without making an effort to know himself, is as good as the one who has committed suicide! Then he has described the definition of the Self in pure Adwaitam. So the Vedas give preference to Karma only as a prelude to knowing of the Self.

1094. Thus AachaaryaaL gave Upadesa to Kumarila Bhatta highlighting the important philosophies of Aatma Gnaana. At the time of the bodily demise of him, who had been solely and deeply involved in the activities of Karma, AachaaryaaL gave advices to reach a state of peacefulness that just cannot even be touched by Karma. Though in his Avatara work all of Kumarila Bhatta’s knowledge was through his Anushtaanaas, he was inwardly aware that the final thing to know is ‘Nishkaamya, Nishkarma Shantam’! So all it needed for AachaaryaaL to do was to just rekindle his inner awareness. AachaaryaaL’s Avatara was for that very purpose of informing this. So, this was the Yoga of minds between the Father and Son, AachaaryaaL as an Avatara of Siva and Kumarila Bhatta as an Avatara of Kumara alias SubrahmaNya Swami. So, as AachaaryaaL with all Love kept up his Upadesa and Kumarila Bhatta realized that it is futile to keep sticking on to the Karma Marga as a destination. Unless we move on to devotion to Easwara and attain Gnaana and know one’s own reality of being, eternal peace will remain a utopia, Kumarila Bhatta came to understand! AacharyaaL’s darshan and Upadesa virtually erased the heat of the fire from the rice husk. Relate this to Appar’s reaction as a devotee of Siva, when dumped in the cauldron of lime kiln, by Jains. As he was ever inwardly cogitating on Easwara as his Father, he said, “eesan enthai iNaiadi nizhalil”, to mean, ‘ever in the cool shades of my father’s feet, I am blissful’. That was the condition of Kumarila Bhatta here, for whom even the ‘Dushagni’ was not unpleasant due to Sankara’s words as after all, he was his very own Father!

1095. With an overwhelming sense of devotion and gratitude he said, “By your Darshan and kind words of advice, I am honoured and ennobled. I accept your views fully. You know well as to what was my point of view. If at all I contradicted Gnaana Marga and upheld the Karma Marga, you know that it was meant to be a platform for countering the Buddhist’s views on these matters. I had to re-establish the Nitya Karma Anushtaana and various other rituals of Pravrutti Marga which they had virtually destroyed and demolished. Finally when I was doing the Prayaschitta, my last act in expiation; you as the Phala Dhaata have come before me to grant me final redemption! To the one who worked against you in his life time and did not remember you in the final moments of his life; even to him also you have come running to grant salvation!”

1096. He continued, “The whole world should learn about this Adwaita Vedantam and be saved. I am not lucky enough to publicise and propagate this principle. I am in the last legs of my existence, about to drop this mortal coil. There is one Meemaamsaka philosopher cum practitioner, more fervent than me, by name Mandana Mishra in the city of Mahishmati.” (There are three different views about the location of this place. May be it is the same as Vidyalayam near Hastinapur. There is an opinion that this Mandana Mishra was Kumarila Bhatta’s disciple and brother-in-law. If that is correct, he should have been here, when his Guru was about to sacrifice his life in Prayaschittam! Anyhow, but for these minor differences, as said earlier about Kumarila Bhatta, the past history about Mandana Mishra, his meeting our AachaaryaaL, and their interactions are very similarly reported in all the versions of Sankara Vijayam books. Kumarila Bhatta continued to talk about Mandana Mishra.)

1097. “As Mandana Mishra is a man of means in his part of the country, he has been able to spread Meemaamsai far and wide. He is a great practitioner of his religion that, he has done all sorts of Yaagas such as Soma Yaaga and many more, all the time involved in such activities only. If you influence him and enable him to progress towards Nivrutti Marga, many will follow suit. It is my sincere wish that you must do this.” AachaaryaaL agreed to do so and continued to be with Kumarila Bhatta till the last few moments of Kumarila Bhatta’s life. As the fire lighted in Hanuman’s tail did not scorch him by Sita’s Anugraha, the slowly devastating fire of Dushagni was not at all felt to be hurting to Kumarila Bhatta and was like an application of salve due to the proximity of our AachaaryaaL. The material body was reduced to ashes. The Avatara of SubrahmaNya Swami who had emerged from Agni, born of the six sparks from Siva’s third eye, merged back into the element of fire. Kumarila Bhatta’s last act of ‘sareera tyaaga’ (sacrificing his body) was also exactly as per rules of the Dharma Saastraas! Our religion has that sort of a foundation installed by such wonderfully great souls in the past. So now, however much things may go wrong seemingly, we can rest assured that Karma Anushtaanaas as per Saastraas will never be erased. The sacrifice of life by Mahatmas never goes waste.

1098. Our AachaaryaaL came to Mahishmati to meet Mandana Mishra. ‘Alas, these Meemaamsakaas are paying attention to the impermanent and fleeting pleasures of materialistic life, ignoring the enduring values of the Moksha Marga! We should draw them out into discussions and debates at least and defeat them’, he felt out of his kindness and compassion. Quarrel and fight born of genuine concern for their welfare, unlike what happens otherwise! Just outside the city, on the river there were women folk bathing and washing their clothes downstream and taking water for drinking upstream. Our AachaaryaaL asked them directions for the house of Mandana Mishra. The man whom AachaaryaaL was searching for , had turned the whole city into a world of education and erudition, learning and practicing Meemaamsai, Nyaayam and Tarkam; not only by learned pundits, but by all and sundry, including the women folk and even household pets and birds!

1099. This information has been brought out very nicely in the Sankara Vijayam books. Those ladies answered our AachaaryaaL who asked for directions, in verse form as slokas. In each one of those slokas any one of the principles of Saastraas will be mentioned and then end that, ‘wherever you find that in the forecourt of the house, parakeets of feminine gender are discussing the various aspects of ‘so and so concept’, know that house to be Mandana Mishra’s residence!’ (Refer to Aananda Gireeyam 56th PrakaraNam.) One of the slokas says, “sukhaanganaa yatra giram vadanti - dware tu needaantara sanniruddhaa: - avehi tam mandana mishra dhaama”. In the olden days women hardly stirred out of the house except for bringing water from the well or river or firewood from the nearby wooded area. Here the women are replying in poetry and what they are saying is to tell our AachaaryaaL that, where in the forecourt of the house, female parakeets will be discussing the subtle nuances of such and such Siddhaantam, know that to be the house of Mandana Mishra!

1100. In Madaveeya Sankara Vijayam (which of course closely follows Aananda Gireeyam), the pet Parakeets are said to be discussing the relative merits of different types of ‘evidences’ (PramaaNam). To decide as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable as evidence is known as PraamaaNya Vaadam. Not only in the courts of law, but also in day to day life one has to be able to differentiate between a reliable information, propaganda, scam, rumour or hearsay. So PraamaaNya Vaadam is something like the Evidence Act of today as part of Criminal Jurisprudence. There are two things as, Swata: and Parata: – PramaaNam. We get to know something. At that moment we also know as to whether we have known correctly or not. Then the confirmation, as to whether it is right or wrong, depending on where it comes from – within or without – is the criteria for swata: or parata:. For example, the sunlight is being reflected by say a tin can causing it to look like silver. Though it looks like a utensil made of silver, we know it to be a tin can. The question is thus, as we know a tin can as tin can or silver utensil as silver utensil; where from does the proof of that knowledge comes; from within or without? Whether the proof is true or false is not the matter! If it is ‘subjective’ knowledge it is ‘swata: pramaaNam’ and if it is ‘objective’ knowledge, it is ‘parata: pramaaNam’. Between ‘Nyaayam’ and ‘Meemaamsai’ also, there are differences of opinion about what is ‘swata:’ (subjective) and what is ‘parata:’ (objective). As per Nyaaya Saastra, both PramaaNa and ApramaaNa knowledge are ‘parata: pramaaNam’ only, whereas Meemaamsakaas are of the view that, ‘even the knowledge (the pramaaNa gnaanam) of external objects, that what we know is correct’ is from our brains only and so is subjective only, wherever it may originate from! The ‘apramaaNa gnaanam’ that we know wrongly comes about outer things and so is ‘parata: PramaaNam’ they say! Such matters it seems were the subjects of discussion between the parakeet pets in Mandana Mishra’s house! With this for identification, our AachaaryaaL searched for and found Mandana Mishra’s residence.

(To be continued.)



Saturday, April 21, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 162 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 162 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the third para on page No 1006 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1084. The essence of our AachaaryaaL’s Upadesa to Kumarila Bhatta is being given herein after. Yes, Karma Anushtaana is the initial and important part of the process of Vedic methods for the individual’s progress. There are many benefits that accrue by that to a Saadhak. But it is not an end in itself. Through Karma Anushtaana the most important achievement is the ripening and cleansing of the Saadhak’s mind known as ‘Chitta Suddhi’. But, contrary to what is believed by the Meemaamsakaas, the process does not end there. Yes, you do benefit in terms of many advantages in the Iha and Para Loka. The penultimate benefit is attainment of Heavens. Please note that even that is not forever, but for a period. Then the cycle starts all over again – ‘punar api jananam punar api maraNam punar api jananee jatare sayanam’, it goes on! To learn about our inner reality and abide as Aatma is the true Moksham. That is the state of real integrity.

1085. The Karma Kaandam of the Vedas directs the Jeevan (the individual in human form) as to what are the jobs that he is required to do, allocating his responsibilities and duties. There is nothing in the subsequent Gnaana Kaandam for us as ‘to do’ instructions. It simply elevates the doer to the level of God, thereby encouraging and motivating him. This is known as ‘Artha Vaadam’ and not considered as the ultimate, says Meemaamsai. By the fact that the Meemaamsakaas approve of Karma – that is the ‘to do’ list – they claim that they approve of Vedas; in actual fact they are only approving the pleasant returns out of it. As there is a list of ‘to do’ things in Karma Kaandam, there is also a list of ‘nisheda kaaryaas’ which are prohibited. Meemaamsakaas who accept the ‘to be done’ list also accept these taboos, as integral to the Karma Kaandam, due to the beneficial values of refraining. So, now how can anyone set aside the Gnaana Kaandam as ‘Artha Vaadam’, when its beneficial value is the highest? Isn’t there a necessity to evaluate the relative merits of Karma Kaandam and Gnaana Kaandam on the basis of their returns? On the one hand by Gnaana one attains to the highest level of happiness of eternal validity while, the returns of Karma are of a very fleeting values! Now you tell me, if it is prudent to simply close one’s eyes to graduating to Gnaana Vs a Vs remaining stuck with Karma for their flimsy benefits! All that we have to do is to keep at it with karma Anushtaana till the very end, while just mentally sign off the returns of Karma – ‘Karma phala thyaaga’! That will give us the entry pass in to the Gnaana Marga – that is, ‘Chitta Suddhi’! Remember the clarion call of ‘Dahara Vidya’ which says, ‘thyaagene ekena amrutatvam aanasu:’ meaning, only by sacrifice is immortality available!

1086. One other point. Meemaamsai says that Karma gives yields on its own, without a need to posit a Phala Dhaata of God. This is not a very reasonable assumption! Whether you look at the management of the whole universe or take in to consideration the evolution, propagation and functioning of animate and inanimate forms of existence from an iota to the galaxies; single celled beings to animals to human beings; looking at the enormity, complexity and connectivity; one cannot but be flabbergasted by the beauty and intricacy of a super brilliant intelligence in action! Then it is also apparently clear that, if you can coolly and calmly think about, the fact of their inter-dependence and effectively functional plethora of mutual checks and balances; you cannot but arrive at the existence of centralised control – call it what you want! One Super-Brain or Divine-Intelligence has to be there which should be Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent; as you will agree, if you are not a die-hard obscurantist! That Omniscient being is what we call God or Swami. As all our actions are only meant for our own clarity of our mind, there can be no aspiration for the returns. ‘My dear Father, whatever I do with my body, limbs, speech and thought; I offer unto you with Love and Regards to do what you will. All that I am asking humbly for, is the clarity of mind and heart that I am only an instrument in your hands, Kaput, Amen, ‘Tadaastu’ meaning, ‘let it be so’, because it is so!

1087. Till he gives that clarity, we should continue relentlessly persevering, doing ‘Karma Phala Thyaaga’. Somewhere along the line, we will know within, that His Grace has never been lacking and that it is only our own egoism and the mistaken identity with the body, that has been the stumbling block, that has been hiding from us the fact that He is not different from our own selves, our own Aatma, the indwelling spirit! This realization is what is known as ‘Self Realization’; not for proclaiming it to the world at large, but for becoming one with Him as the ultimate Yoga! This Love for God as devotion is the biggest missing link that proves to be an unbridgeable deficiency, gap or void in this religion of Meemaamsai. Though in Meemaamsai it is an idea declared as their main philosophy, this problem exists in all people who are doing their, whatever duties apparently as ardent followers of any religion, but actually for selfish gains! How can an individual become an integrated personality? Only when the actions by the body; love and compassion by his mind and heart and the state of utter peace when his mind of being a separate entity has been delinked; have all come together mutually hand in hand! Short of that situation there is neither the peace of mind nor the integration with one’s inner reality.

1088. Whether you like it or not, Karma is always there. Even the laziest is still eating, digesting, sleeping, talking, procreating, grabbing, hoarding and doing many things like any animal on the surface of the earth. Some do their duties for their returns as the Meemaamsakaas do. Others have a hazy idea that there is some God somewhere in the Heavens, Kailasam or Vaikundam or Brahmaloka they call it. They are devoted to that idea of God more out of fear or on the idea as to why they should miss out on any likely benefits! Instead why not adopt this approach suggested here? Anyhow you will be doing so many things. Add also what is prescribed by your religion in the ‘to do’ list and religiously do them. Then slowly develop the mind that all others like you are also, God only in another form – ‘Brhma Swaroopa’; thereby fulfilling your responsibility in the family, clan and society. Finally as you progress, you will learn to overcome the innate selfishness and start doing all your actions as an offering to God, considering yourself only as a tool in his hands! Then you reach a stage of true selfishness when you deservedly start meditating on your true reality – Gnaana Nishta – all actions gone, mind is no more, you start abiding in your inner reality and become one with God! Then and only then, no more Janma, no binding ties, no mind that thinks of oneself differently, all anxieties and aspirations are over.

1089. In Saadhana Panchakam, our AachaaryaaL has clearly defined the path as to how one can progress from the very humble beginnings of Nitya Karma Anushtaanaas to the ultimate destination of Self Realization. Now if you ask, “Did he not say do not have any attachment to idleness that is, told us to keep on working relentlessly”, my answer is that the advice was for the early stages. For generations of life, we have been working for material benefits and sensual pleasures that, we just cannot stop suddenly. If you suddenly now stop it and think that you will quit, you may not be able to do so. Till there is ‘Deha Abhimaanam’ – that you are this mortal shell – you just cannot do so. Even if you do – “na hi dehabruda sakhyam tyaktum karmaaNi aseshata:” – meaning that ‘even if you stop physically, the mind will keep dwelling on living those experiences repeatedly and not be peaceful’. Outside he will be like a renunciate Saadhu and inwardly craving for sensual pleasures – “karma indriyaaNi samyamya ya aaste manasaa smaran I indriyaartaan vimoodaatma mityaachaara: sa uchyate II – such a person is a ‘mitya aachaara:’, that is a hypocrite isn’t it?

1090. Though now in your keenness and enthusiasm you decide to give up all actions, desires and aspirations, your innate nature will forcibly cause you to fall back in your old habits and ways, despite your wish not to do so – “swabaavajena Kounteya, nibadda: swena karmana I kartum nechchasi yan-mohaat karishyasya avaso abhi tat II” That is why, you are being told not to give up your duties and Karmas. What is to be done and what is not to be done of course, are as per the authority of Saastraas – “tasmaat Saastram PramaaNam te kaarya – akaarya vyavastitou”. Then having given up doing actions with desire, offer all your actions as ‘ArpaNam’ – as offerings to God – “tat kurushva mad arpaNam”. When you keep on doing this – continuing with actions while sacrificing all the returns unto God – a stage will come when no sin will stick to you as ‘no water sticks to the lotus leaves even when it is all the time in water’ – “lipyate na sa paapena padma-patram ivaambasaa”.

1091. Thus if everyone does his appointed duties as per his place in the society, without aspiring for self aggrandisements and unfair advantages, considering his position and place as an opportunity to serve the humanity as an instrument of God, as his humble contribution; he would get the required qualification to enter the valued portals of Gnaana Yoga –“swa karmana tam abyarchya siddhim vindati maanava:” – this is still only like an entry pass. Then as he leaves all Karma – all endeavours and enterprise – and goes on deeply meditating about the truth of existence, he gets to ‘siddhim paramaam’ – is obtained or reached – “Naishkarmya siddhim paramam sannyaasena adhigachchati” – to mean ‘that actionless state of supreme indifference is reached only by renouncing all’! This in short is the summary of the advices given by Sri Krishna to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra, which I am giving you now.

1092. So, since human beings lack the maturity to control their minds, bringing all their actions to a standstill and be absolutely happy; he advised going through actions as given in the Saastraas sincerely to get that maturity of the mind and not as an end in itself! So all actions work as a ladder for the Saadhak to ascend and progress and not end and stagnate! Once he has risen himself from the binding ties of this worldly life, the actionless state provides the equality of vision – ‘samam’ – as clearly stated – “aaroorukshor-muner-yogam karma kaaraNam uchyate I yogaaroodasya tasyaiva sama: kaaraNam uchyate II”. All actions get fulfilled after they have subsided in Gnaana – “sarvam karmam akilam gnaane parisamaapyate” and he has no duty or yet to be done work load – “tasyaa kaaryam na vidyate”, putting a full stop to the discussion!

(In the above talk the following slokas from the Bhagawat Gita are quoted in that order as given herein after – B.G. II – 47; XVII – 11; III – 6, XVIII – 60; XVI – 24; IX – 27; V – 10; XVIII – 46; XVIII – 49; VI – 3; IV – 33; III – 17; and XVI – 24. You may refer to them and correlate the purport of our AachaaryaaL’s message to Kumarila Bhatta, who was in his last stages of his mortal life, killing himself by the slow fire of ‘dushagni’!)

(To be continued.)



Thursday, April 19, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 161 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Apr 2012 (These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 No 999 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly) The Story of Kumarila Bhatta – Karma & Gnaana 1074. Our AachaaryaaL expressed his sense of gratitude and devotion in a number of ways of Namaskaaram, Stotram and encomiums of sincere praise to Parameswara, on that eventful day, when Kaasi Viswanatha gave him Darshan initially as a Pulaiya Panchaman hunter and later in all his effulgent glory and grace as himself and vanished after blessing our AachaaryaaL. Vyasa AachaaryaaL had instructed him to go on Digvijayam of the whole of India, isn’t it? According to his wish, our AachaaryaaL started from Kaasi. First he went to the place where Kumarila Bhatta was stationed. The Nivrutti Marga Pravartaga went to meet his exact opposite, the Pravrutti Marga Pravartaga, Kumarila Bhatta. That place is Prayag, the place where Ganga and Yamuna Rivers meet, joined by the Saraswathi said to come up to that point from under the earth from the Himalayas. Prayag is also known as Allahabad and referred as Rudrapuram in Aananda Gireeyam. Whatever the name of that place, the background history of Kumarila, their meeting and details of what happened are all uniformly the same in all the versions of Sankara Vijayam. 1075. Our AachaaryaaL’s going to Kumarila Bhatta was due to his leading position as a foremost advocate of Meemaamsai and that if he was made to accept the Adwaita Siddhaantam, it would greatly make his own Avatara Kaarya, that much easier. He virtually rushed there because Kumarila Bhatta had undertaken a Prayaschittam (an act of expiation) and was in the last few days of his existence, keeping his body and soul together! AachaaryaaL wished to meet him before his death and so was in a great hurry. {The readers may refer to the first Volume of Deivathin Kural under the Heading ‘Muruga’s North Indian Avatara’ and in the Second Volume, under the Heading ‘Meemaamsai – Karma Marga’, for details about Kumarila Bhatta’s history, his views on Meemaamsai and our AachaaryaaL’s objection to them based on Adwaita Siddhaantam.} 1076. What is Prayaschittam? You may remember that Kumarila Bhatta is an Avatara of Subrahmanya Swami about whom I had spoken some time back. At the time of his birth there was much domination by the Buddhists. Though believing in the very high ideals of ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ which went more by default than being practiced, their views were, what is known as ‘Nir-Easwara Vaadam’ or No-God Concept. In the bargain they were against VarNa Aashrama Dharma arrangement and practicing of Veda Adhyayanam, Yaagas, and many of the other rituals. By converting many to their fold, they were causing a major upheaval in the Hindu Sanaatana Dharma. Kumarila Bhatta’s Avatara was necessitated to counter this very situation. Whatever I have told you now are the damages caused in Karma Marga mainly. As a corollary it was also having quite a deleterious effect on Bhakti Marga too. When they did not believe in the existence of God at all, whom to be devoted to? According to their teachings, the end is a complete vacuous state of NirvaNa or Sunyata. So, this also resulted in drastically affecting the Gnaana Marga too. So Kumara Swami as Kumarila Bhatta had the onerous task of first re-establishing the basic Vedic Karma Marga. Even an Avatara has to behave as a human being only, isn’t it? He cannot just rely on miracles only to achieve his aims. So first he had to learn everything about the Buddhist Religion, its concepts and principles in depth, before taking cudgels against it. 1077. The correct method is to first study and learn the principled view points of the other party, their reasoning, approach and why they say what they say, before we consider whether to object or ignore. Nowadays the trend is different. If anybody makes a statement as to what the Saastraas say and if it happens to be contrary to their liking, they start criticising immediately! This is a bad and incorrect method. We should be going into a proper analysis as to why the rules of the Saastraas were so created, why it says what it says, what is its usefulness, did the people who followed those principles benefitted or not and would it be useful in the present day set up or not; these are the questions to be asked and answers found. Adamantly they claim, “Your Saastraas are pure nonsense and outdated. There is nothing to be analysed. Our viewpoint is the best!” 1078. Kumarila Bhatta was made of better material. He was of the view that first I should get to know the other side comprehensively and then only criticise them. But Buddhists will not teach their Saastraas to a Brahmin who maintains his Vedic Aachaaraas. At this juncture, he had to give up practicing his Vedic rituals and at least play act, if he were to be accepted by the Buddhists and taught all their ideas and concepts. So he disguised himself to be a Buddhist and joined one of their Viharas, which is like a learning institution. It was a seven tiered building in a vast isolated and thinly populated area. On rare occasions when he could find time he was continuing with some of the Nitya Karma Anushtaanaas on the secret. He learnt everything about the teachings, methods, and ways and means of the Buddhist Religion. When they used to argue criticising the Vedic practices, he used to cry within himself that, he had to listen to what was anathema for his ears! He would try and control himself but, tears would well up in his eyes. He was even doubted for the possibility of being a hard core Brahmin. They would ask him as to why he is crying. On those occasions his answer would be, “I was only appreciating as to how nicely the criticism has been framed!” How long can you hide these things, especially if you are basically a sincere person? They learnt the truth by keeping him under observation for some time surreptitiously. 1079. “This man is a renegade! What to do with him? He should be thrown out of the Vihara all right. If he was a dullard student who knows very little, we could have just chased him away! But this man has learnt everything and so after being thrown out, he will start propaganda against us! So he should be chased out of this world itself!” That was the decision by them, who claim that they believe in ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:’ (meaning that non cruelty is the supreme principle)! On the sly, they took him to the seventh floor and pushed him off! He fell from that height while challenging existence saying, “I could not care less about my death. But, if Vedas are the divine truths, I will continue to live unhurt despite this fall!” Vyaasa Achaleeya Sankara Vijayam, Chapter V Sloka 29 says, “patan patan souta – dalaanyaroruham yadi PramaaNam srutayor bhavantu I jeeveyam asmin patitas – samasthale majjeevanena srutimaanataa gati: II” 1080. True to his confidence in the Vedas, he was not killed. No bones were fractured! But for one injury, he got away without a scratch! In fact, in one of the eyes a small stone had scratched him! It seems that he was annoyed with this minor abrasion too, as to how for the power of the Vedas being absolute, he could be even scratched? At that moment there was an incorporeal announcement in the skies, “You only doubted the Vedas, when you added an ‘if’ to your statement that you will be saved unhurt despite the fall from the seventh floor. This minor abrasion is for that residual doubt in your minds!” Then Kumarila Bhatta returned to his residence. He analysed and disputed the principles and concepts of the Buddhist Religion squarely and roundly from all angles. His name and fame grew many folds. Meemaamsai which staunchly advocates the Karma Marga was re-established in the country. Again Vedic Aachaara Anushtaanaas multiplied and spread widely. He had become very old and thought of dropping his mortal coil, as his Avatara Karya was over. So he thought, “My job here is over. Let my Father come down as an Avatara and do whatever to play his part. But, before I die, even in this act of death, I should further add to people’s faith in the ways of the Saastraas”! 1081. He felt that he should be expiating for his sins by way of an act of ‘Prayaschittam’. What was his sin? Anybody who teaches us something, even if it is only one word or one letter, he is to be treated as a Guru and respected. To be insubordinate to a Guru is called ‘Guru Droha’ and is one of the greatest sins (Maha Paapam-s), as per our Saastraas! “The Buddha Bikkus had taught their whole religion to me”, he thought. “But I had disguised myself as one of their lot and duped them. Then I have given them enormous amount of pains by countering their teachings. So, thus I have proved to be a ‘Guru Drohi’ and have to be punished for this. I have to do Prayaschittam as given in the Saastraas. 1082. He had not done anything for some personal gains but, for revealing the truth for the world. As the disciple has the duty to be sincerely devoted to his Guru, the person in the position of a Guru has a responsibility to take good care of the disciple. But they in the status of a Guru only tried to kill him! So the questions do arise as to whether there were exonerating circumstances and if the classic rules apply in this case. Here the point is as to how he looked at it as Kumarila Bhatta. Great people will consider other’s mistakes as minor and their own errors and misdemeanours as major mistakes and unpardonable! So he thought it necessary to punish himself for his act of Guru Droham, even though it was not real. 1083. He searched in all the books. It was given there that the Prayaschittam for Guru Droham is to accept death in the most difficult manner. ‘OK, it is all right. Let me go through the process of dying in the most excruciating manner, by confining this body to a fire that will slowly cause death’ he decided. If we were there, we would have confined the book to flames! But he felt happy and thanked his stars that he had identified an ideal method of seeking retribution for his sins! He got hold of a huge quantity of rice husk, sat in the centre and arranged to set fire to the husk from down below. The rice husk burns slowly inch by inch without flaring into flames. It is said in the books that he did, ‘dushagni pravesha’! Since our AachaaryaaL had heard about this ‘dushagni pravesha’, he wished to reach there before Kumarila Bhatta would be burnt to death! He had to try and make him accept the ‘Gnaana Marga’ before the end! If the Prayaschittam was over, there would be no Kumarila Bhatta to even talk to! At great speed our AachaaryaaL arrived there. For the Kumarila Bhatta who was being burnt alive, the very Darshan of our AachaaryaaL was a heaven sent shower of welcomingly pleasant and cool serenity. Over that, he started pouring his Gnaana Amrita Varsha! (To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol # 5) Dated 17 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol # 5) Dated 17 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 No 993 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1065. Let them proffer any logic for Samatvam (equality) in our social life, but to say that it will cause unity, is only so much deceit and fraud! In other countries, wherein there is no VarNa Aashrama Dharma, is there unity and social cohesion? As many varieties of internecine quarrels and fights are there. The fact of lack of cohesion may remain hidden or subdued for whatever reason and explodes when the controlling element weakens. Everybody knows as to how united we have been in this Bharatha Khand for thousands if not millions of years, despite VarNa Aashrama Dharma, or was it due to it? Till it was a Dharma it had been a unifying factor than a cause for fissiparous tendencies. The problems have started only when the fairness of Dharma (social justice) has become Adharma (of immorality and injustice) or when external influences have affected the social fabric and not before.

1066. “That is all right Sir! In the existing social milieu in India, are the castes divided based on the work load? Everybody is actually doing all sorts of jobs, not necessarily what has been their allotted area of work, isn’t it? So, now what do you say about it?” I agree that you are right. Everybody has got into worldly materialistic aims of gains and competitiveness today. That does not mean that they were always like that. Earlier our individual and social life was so organized enabling some (a small minority) to work towards ‘Aatma Sreyas’ (Individual Spiritual Excellence) and in doing so also contribute towards Social Order, Convenience and Ennoblement, while the majority was mainly involved in making their ends meet that, by making materials and services available to others, was still being useful to the society. Thus these two aims were kept in view simultaneously. That was the way it was in VarNa Aashrama Vibhaaga (separation) in which there was no intended sectarianism or parochialism. You simply cannot compare that ancient order with the hotchpotch ‘Kitchdi’ (salmagundi) state of affairs that evolved, first due to evolution of Buddhism and Jainism and then after the influx of the Muslim / Arab invasions into India, followed by Western / Christian influences in to our midst at the social, religious and political levels of Governance in the whole sub-continent!

1067. So, our AachaaryaaL who spoke about equality did not say some hazy and muddled concepts for any personal or clannish gains, in the name of equality. He had come as an Avatara to repair and refurbish the VarNa Aashrama Dharma which had almost broken down as a system! Even if what I am saying here is felt as disappointing or painful or even disliked by some; even if you wish to talk about him at par with Gautama Buddha, Mahavira Jain and or Mahatma Gandhi and feel sad in not being able to do so; I have to tell the truth and cannot abstain from doing so! It is a truth that due to Buddhism, the Sanatana Dharma had taken a nose dive and Indian Ethos and Culture could recover from that only due to our AachaaryaaL’s efforts. Those who have read his writings know for certain and are very much aware that our AachaaryaaL has repeatedly emphasised strict adherence to VarNa-Aashrama system; even if they happen to lecture or write about these things differently, for sales of their books or for popularity in social and political circles or for whatever reasons!

1068. To find out what our AachaaryaaL says and as to the reasons as to why he says them and then follow them is really being devoted to him. If what he says is not to our liking, it is alright to criticise him or even curse him, to the extent we believe sincerely in what we have to say. That is what I feel. If you are not convinced by his logic, you can be truly critical of him. But to twist his statements to your convenience and somehow depict that he is following your concepts, will mean that in addition to disguising your true intentions, you are disguising his, isn’t it? That will be a double betrayal, trespassing and denying his freedom of expression! If we try to prove that we respect him by suitably misrepresenting his views that will be disrespect to him and a crime on our part! He does not need such cheap popularity and mass appeal by some fictitious round about means at all! For him it is enough if some three or four people like me keep standing our grounds, even at the cost of being declared as hard core obscurantists!

1069. The Samatvam as advocated by the so called reformists abetted by vested political interests is not the ‘Abhedha Vaadam’ as put forward by our AachaaryaaL or Sri Krishna or any of the Saastraas, for that matter. They talked about true love in the heart. They talked about true universal, unconditional love for all. Here AachaaryaaL has talked about the state of a true Gnaani, who has detached his mind and thrown it away. For him everything is equal, wherein transactional laws, rules and regulations have no relevance. This is what the Vedas themselves say. At the Gnaani level, age, wealth, education, status, and all such factors of evaluation, comparison and differentiation, have become nullified; therein Vedas are not Vedas, Panchaman is not a Panchaman, Tapasvi is not a Tapasvi; anything can be touched, eaten or done anything with. No rules and nothing is taboo. So says Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad (IV – 3.22). Where is that state of exaltation and where is this humdrum monotony of selfishness and crass crudeness of one-up-man ship of day to day existence in this world of desire for puny advantages? To claim that our AachaaryaaL recommended equality between all castes, in the functional world of transactions short of comprehending Gnaana; is simply Abhachaaram, that is, malevolency in action! I have no words to say further!

1070. In Gita, Sri Krishna says that a Gnaani has an equal vision towards both a learned Brahmin of excellent behaviour and a crude specimen of humanity who eats dog’s meat! That is to say, that he is only in the position of an unbiased witness – observer; from his personal view point and not that he expects them to behave similarly or anything like that at all! When it comes to action, did he not tell Arjuna, “You are a Kshatriya and it is your job to fight as a soldier in war”? AachaaryaaL is an incarnation of the highest principle of Adwaitam. He had established that principle in a wholesome way in the minds of people. But we are stuck in this world of duality inextricably mired. We have a long way to go to reach anywhere near. Till then we have to progress a lot within the duality and multiplicity of existence in this world of many tiered transactions. Knowing full well the pitfalls in the way, he has virtually paved a royal path for carefully guiding us with enough direction pointers installed enroute. Whereas, these days people who have no idea of what is Adwaita Anubhava, just interposing the concept in the everyday world, have made a mockery of noble ideas and ideals! To add insult to the injury, they further put the blame on the head of our AachaaryaaL, as though it is a dubious tribute!

1071. Without knowing head or tails, neither knowing what the Saastraas say on the subject nor knowing the comprehensive viewpoints of a person, these days, if they get to know a little bit that looks like or sounds like some of these revolutionary ideas, just a shade of semblance is made much of; leading to claims that so and so himself has said so; or the Saastraas themselves support our views and so on; and insist that what they say is ‘Veda Vakku’, meaning that it is inalienably right! It is a sad state of affairs that there is too much of a trend to say so these days. It is alright to object to a point sincerely but, to wrongfully claim validity on such grounds is actually an offence!

1072. If that Panchaman was identified as someone objecting on principles of a valid debate, our AachaaryaaL could and would have given him suitable replies and countered in a befitting manner, quoting suitable points of Saastraas. When that Panchaman asked, “Are not both the bodies of a Brahmin and Panchaman made of the same stuff such as skin and hair, flesh and bones etc., and is not the inner reality in both the same?”; he would have replied on the following lines. “Yes, you are very correct but, are you able to understand or comprehend the underlying reality in both? Why is it not apparent to you? It is due to ‘Samskaara Doshaa’. We have come through life in different ways in the past and have accumulated varied levels of inbuilt aberrations in our psych, understanding and comprehension. Our birth in this life happens according to those merits and demerits of our past. We have to endeavour to erase these doshaa / aberrations at least in this life by our actions and attitudes. While doing so, through us much of the varied requirements of the workloads of the society get done. That is why these duties of VarNa Aashrama Dharma have been worked out and apportioned. The Brahmin has to do Adhyayanam, Adhyapakam, Mantra Patanam, conduct poojas, religious functions and Yaagas and Yagnaas and so on. The Kshatriya has to do soldiering, policing and governance. The Vysya has to take care of agriculture, manage animals, produce goods, and do trade and commerce, making materials available to the society. The Sudra has to contribute by making services available. In doing these things, they mainly contribute for the common goals while also taking care of their own self and their families. So they should not be totally mixed. In mutual love and respect they should mix and stop there! Though bodily they are all the same, the subtle vibrations do differ based on the past Samskaara! They must stand apart to be able to pull together for the sake of all. At a level where all these differentiations of body, mind, soul and Samskaara are cancelled out; then what you say can be alright! That is an individual look out and not a collective movement!” That would have been his reply.

1073. But instead of being just another common man, as the Panchaman was evidently an entity much beyond the common ken, our AachaaryaaL, without any argument called him his Guru and prostrated to him with love and respect. We should also be ready to do so! Then only we can claim to be our AachaaryaaL’s disciples. Immediately the untouchable Panchaman vanished and gave a Darshan as Kaasi Viswanatha, the Presiding Deity of Kaasi; another form of Siva, who had come to test our AachaaryaaL as well as reveal his greatness to the world at large! That though our AachaaryaaL was his own Avatara and at his level was much beyond the need for persevering through life for personal refinement and ennoblement; to be an epitome for others to emulate, he strictly lived and demonstrated as to how his followers have to behave. Also since AachaaryaaL without even a tinge of pride will not talk about his own greatness, to reveal the same, Kaasi Viswanatha enacted this drama!

(To be continued.)



Sunday, April 15, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 No 987 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1056. Such is the real Aatma in each one of us as the ‘Subject’, as per grammer the ‘I, me, self and being’! Rest everything, not only the outer world, but also the body, senses, mind and intellect; are all the ‘object’ and not us, the ‘Subject’! The seer, the inner witness is only the Aatma. Rest everything is part of the scenery only. All that has been or is being seen as so many objects, scene and scenery are all part of the projections of the mind. When a person has this clarity of comprehension that the Self or Aatma is inclusive of all the scenery; he may be a Brahmin or belonging to any caste or family, he is my Guru, I feel sincerely – ‘saivaaham’. I am only that eternal witness of all; ‘na cha drushya vastu iti’; not any of the things being seen; when you have this absolutely clear; that is, though there may be enormous data, the intelligence that knows is only one; that firm clarity “dhrudha pragna api yasya asti chet” – whosoever has this unshakeable conviction – let him be ‘chandaaLo astu --- dwijo astu’ – let him be a ChandaaLa or a Brahmin or whatever, I am convinced that he is like a Guru for us all – ‘Guru: + iti = Gururiti eshaa manisha mama’; is my firm belief. (That is the first sloka of Manisha Panchakam. PeriyavaaL tells the audience with a smile on his face that he is not going to chant, paraphrase and translate all the five stanzas of Manisha Panchakam and that he is quickly coming over to the fifth one!)

1057. As the Panchaman had called the state of blissful awareness as an ‘ocean of happiness’ – ‘aanandaava bhodhaambhudhi’, our AachaaryaaL also starts off with two such phrases indicating oceans of peace and comfort – ‘soukhyaambudhi’ and ‘sukhaambhudhi’. The Sloka is like this – “yat – soukhyaambhudhi – lesa – lesata ime sakraadhayo nirvrutaa yach chitte nitaraam prasaanta kalane labdhvaa munir – nirvruta: I yasmin – nitya – sukhaambhudhou galita – dheer – brhmaiva na Brhmavid – ya: kaschit – sa surendra – vandita – pado noonam manisha mama II A disciple is supposed to reiterate and repeat whatever the Guru says, isn’t it? Our AachaaryaaL whom we consider as the Jagat Guru, that is the Guru for the whole world; the moment he came across some unknown character out of the blue, who was talking sense; repeatedly confirmed that he is fit enough to be his own Guru, that is our AachaaryaaL’s own Guru! Similarly, as tha Panchaman claimed, he repeats the point about his being an ocean of bliss also twice.

1058. When we compare a King with a common man, the King would have had greater amount of experience of happiness. That is why it is called ‘Raja Bhogam’ or ‘King’s Pleasure’! More than all the Kings of the world, the King of Divine beings, the King of Heavens – (the word ‘sakraadhayo’ in the first line of the above sloka is indicative of Indra, the King of Heavens and others like him) would have known more of happiness than anybodyelse! Even his that high level of bliss or thrill or happiness is only ‘lesa – lesata’, that is lighter than ‘lace’ I suppose! If the happiness level, vastness and enormity of the Gnaani, is like an ocean, the happiness level of even Indra must be ‘like a drop in the ocean’ only! That is the message conveyed here.

1059. In Lalita Sahasranaama, AmbaaL is called in pure Vedaanta as, ‘tat pada lakshyaartaa’, to mean ‘the aim and meaning of the word ‘that ’’; and then as ‘chid eka rasa roopiNi’ to mean ‘the very form of the one taste of mind or awareness’. All tastes are identified by the taste buds in the tongue. They are only the sensors. The one who tastes all types of tastes, like ‘the Man behind the Gun’ – is the Reality behind the Illusion! She is that! Then it says “swaatmaananda laveebhoota brhmaadyaananda santati:” meaning, ‘in contrast, a small fraction of her self-satisfaction causes the happiness of the whole family of Brhma and others in to a state of insignificance! In the same vein, the Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad says, ‘by an infinitesimal fraction of this happiness, the whole of humanity thrives’!

1060. Indra does not know this happiness as to what it is, but the Gnaani knows. In the second line of the sloka a Gnaani has been called the Muni. When the mind is pacified in to complete nullity, the Muni earns that state of perfect happiness – ‘yach chitte nitaraam prasaanta kalane labdhvaa munir nirvruta:’. Nirvrutti is the satisfaction of the self. Having first talked about the satisfaction of Indra and such divine beings, he is now talking about the happiness level of a Gnaani. Everybody else feels the senses through the sensory instruments of the body and the mind. Leaving the Self, the very Subject , they are catching hold of the Object and thus get only very little satisfaction. Whereas the satisfaction and happiness that the Gnaani experiences, is not of the mind. His body, mind and intelligence are all part of the object only, melted and dissolved – ‘galita dhee’ – in the eternal ocean of peacefulness – ‘yasmin nitya sukhaambhudhou galita dhee’! Till you are enjoying anything through the mind your identification of yourself and others are corrupted. Only when this mind has been either erased or kept under total control; its potential for corruption can be kept at arm’s length and you can know the Brhmam! Such a person is a ‘Brhmavid’. Though we are talking, writing and reading, using words that we can understand; here there are no two different entities as the thing that knows and the thing that is known! Till the process of knowing is by and through the mind, there has to be something that knows and something else that is known. That is Duality – Dwaitam. When the mind itself has (or has been) dissolved, how is the process of cognition done, using which instrument or equipment? After the mind has been dissolved, and Aatma and Brhmam are realized to be one and the same, the trio of knower, knowing and known vanishes. So in fact there is no Gnaani, as a separate person or being. There is nothing more to be known. So he melts in the ocean of happiness, without leaving a trace or a forwarding address, so to say! To call him ‘Brhmavid’ – ‘the knower of Brhmam’ is also wrong – though said so hospitably – this becomes that – ‘yasmin – nitya – sukhaambhudhou galita – dheer – brhma eva na brhmavid’.

1061. AachaaryaaL says, “Such a one who has become one with Brhmam is my Guru, your Guru and not only that, even Indra who knows only an infinitesimal fraction of the intensity and enormity of this one’s bliss; will have to come and fall in his feet as his disciple. That is my decided declaration and conviction – Manisha mama. He adds a ‘noonam’ here to mean again a ‘certain conviction’ – “ya: kaschit – sa surendra – vandita – pado noonam manisha mama” – he reiterates with rock like certitude and surety. What is that conviction? That when it comes to Gnaani-s whatever be their Age, Kulam, Gothram, Lineage or whatever – simply be respectfully obedient and beholden with gratitude’ is that conviction!

1062. The Samatvam / Equality of a Gnaani, is something different to what is equality in the social milieu. Misquoting the above incident and its message, the so called reformists of the society, especially in India are bringing in a totally unacceptable and dangerous interpretation! That is, they say that by this incident our AachaaryaaL has directed us all to remove all caste barriers and VarNa – Aashram Dharma, they say. Those who study the Bhashyams thoroughly know that, it is not a correct interpretation. Even well read scholars, who study the Sanskrit source materials and the Bhashyams, purposefully twist and turn Aadi Sankara AachaaryaaL’s statements to suit their point of view! It is alright for them to put across their point of views, but to put words in the mouth of our AachaaryaaL is totally unjustified and in fact an act of crime! Just to further get acceptability, such people often conduct meetings and seminars to show that they respect our cultural heritage and say that our AachaaryaaL gave respect to people of all castes equally; saying that he stood by their principles of equality; thereby trying to earn praise for themselves by praising him!

1063. In truth, what is the point of equality professed by our old and ancient Gurus, Rishis and Munis? To have a sense of complete equality between all castes, tribes, sects and life forms including the animate and inanimate; static (sthavara) and mobile (jungama); single celled and multi-cellular beings; creeping, slithering, swimming, flying and walking life forms; with one or two or three GuNas; with one to six of the senses of cognition; that universal oneness is the Samatvam that we are talking about! It is a mental equipoise and not action oriented. The idea is not to do away with the VarNa – Aashrama – Niyama that clearly delineates duties and responsibilities in the social infra structure; but to accept the starting point as given by nature – whatever good and bad, advantages and disadvantages – as God given – or self earned; from one’s past life. That is sheer acceptance of life as it is and progressing from there! In the name of reform, the so called social thinkers and Do-gooders have been ‘making a mountain of a mole-hill and flattening the existing high peaks of human excellence – calling it Samatvam!

1064. To do away with VarNa – Aashrama – Dharma is not equality. People of whichever caste are born into those castes with natural justice and logic of nature based the system of Karma. Anybody doing anybody’s work and everybody doing anybody’s work is not Samatvam. The right man in the right job, that is – the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole – that is Samatvam. The natural abilities, talents, culture and food habits match the needs and requirements. By mixing everything on the platform of equality, one will end up making a hotchpotch instead of a suitable blend! There are different varities of water, like rain water, tap water, water from the pond or lake or river and so on. The man with fever needs hot water and the one with ulcer in the stomach may need an antacid tablet with cold water. For a sacred pooja, for the purpose of anointing the divine idol, there may be some clean water kept aside with some unguents separately. Some water might have been kept for cooking food. Even the water in which clothes have been washed might have been kept aside, in which the mop cloth may be got cleaned. The water used for washing the rice or wheat before cooking, might have been kept aside for either the plants in the kitchen garden or for the cow or goat to drink! In the name of Samatvam if you just mix all these waters, you will deserve a kick in the bottom!

(To be continued.)



Friday, April 13, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 158 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 Apr 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 158 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 Apr 2012

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 page No 981 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)

1046. He further asked, “kim gangaambuni bimbite amba ramaNou chaandaala veethee paya: poore vaa antaramasti kaanchana ghatee mrutkumbayor vaa ambare I pratyag vastuni nistaranga sahaja aananda avabodhaambudhou viproyam swa pacho ayam ityapi mahaan koyam vibheda bhrama:? II How is that you are seized by the same illusion that I am a Brahmin (viproyam) and here is a man who eats dog’s meat (swa pacho ayam) – (the same confusion as said in the Bhagawat Gita sloka quoted earlier) – wherefrom have you got this delusion – vibheda bhramaha – of Dwaita Maya. How has this very thing that you have been pointing out in others, has taken hold of you?” This is the last line of the sloka. What does he say in the earlier lines of the sloka?

1047. After our AachaaryaaL’s time, in Adwaitam two different schools of thought known as, ‘VivaraNa Prasthaanam’ and ‘Bhamati Prasthaanam’ came in to being. There was no difference between them in the method of approach in Sadhana (practice) and in the final destination. But in some areas there were some differences. In them one was about how the Paramaatma appears as the Jeevatma. Both the schools of thought agree that the Maya is the cause of the seeming multiplicity of appearances. Within that agreement there are some differences.

1048. Padma Paada has written a further Vyaakhyaana on the first five parts of Bhashyam written by our AachaaryaaL on Brhma Sutra, known as ‘Pancha Paadika’. To that, a gentleman by the name of ‘Prakasa Aatman’ has written, yet another explanatory ‘Pancha Paadika VivaraNa’, closely following the views of Padma Paada’s ‘Pancha Paadika’. That is what is known as ‘VivaraNa Prasthaanam’. Then there is one Vachaspathi Misra who has written a Vyaakhyaana from which this ‘Bhamati Prasthaanam’ has evolved. That man from the fifth caste known as ‘Panchaman’ was actually talking about these two schools of thought in the first two lines of the sloka mentioned above. In this matter, the opinion of the school of VivaraNa Prasthaanam is also known as ‘Pratibimba Vaadam’ (pratibimba means reflection) and the Bhamati Prasthaanam is also known as ‘Avachchinna or Avachcheda Vaadam’.

1049. ‘Pratibimba Vaadam’ Explained. When the sun is shining, if we get our hands wet and shake the hand thereby sprinkling the water, the water is thrown in all directions as many drops. In each of them there is a reflection of the sun seen. The sun is like the Paramaatma and water is like the Avidya or Maya. The variety of Jeevaatma-s are the creations within the Maya, in each one of which it is the same Paramaatma that is shining and giving it life, light and existence!

1050. ‘Avachchinna Vaadam’ Explained. What is delineated by drawing the limits and parameters is ‘Avachchinna’. The space accommodates everything within itself. That is the reason for the adage wherein it is said, ‘avakaasastu Aakaasa’! In the open air if you keep a number of empty pots, inside each one of them, it is the same space or ‘aakaasa’. But it seems as though there is a huge and mighty ‘Maha Aakaasa’ outside and there seems to be a small ‘Gata Aakaasa’ in each one of those pots. Exactly similarly the indivisible Chaitanya is like the Maha Aakaasa, the Avidya aka Maya shows or depicts the individual Jiva-s as though they have clearly defined borders or limits. It is wrong to say that there is a whole sun in each of the reflections. The Chaitanya does not do any such action, it simply seems as though divided. Like the sky or space permeating both inside and outside the pot, are but one and the same. The ‘Akhanda Chaitanya’ remains as it is, but seems to be divided, to each one of them as so many, say those of the ‘Avachchinna Vaada’ school of thought!

1051. Like the sky permeating the pot within and without, they give another example of the water filling the pot. Say there is a pot dipped in the well, fully submerged in water. We are pulling the pot up with a rope. Till it remains submerged, the water in the pot and in the well are one and the same. As the pot that comes out of the surface of the water, depending on the size, shape and material of the pot, it seems different in attributes! So is the seeming differentiation between the one Chaitanya and so many of the seemingly individual Jiva-s. These two examples of air in the pot and water in the pot are both of the Avachchinna Vaadam, while the other Pratibimba Vaadam you know is about the seeming differences between the Sun and its reflections! We are not concerned about the varying arguments and counter arguments between these two schools of thought. We are concerned only to the extent that; both of these schools of thought were mentioned by that Panchaman (who came in front of our AachaaryaaL), on being told not to come near!

1052. The Panchaman touched upon the philosophies of both these two schools of thought. First he talks of Pratibimba Vaadam – “kim ganagaambuni bimbite amba ramanou – chandaaLa vatee paya:” The sun in the sky is the ‘amba ramaNi’ – the diamond in the sky – that is being reflected by the water in the ‘chandaaLa vaatee’ meaning the dirty pond in the slum and – ganga ambuni bimbite – being reflected by the waters of the holy river of Ganga! Is there any difference between those reflections of the sun? Then he talks Avachchinna Vaadam too – “There is the sky in the golden pot in the palace of a royal household (kaanchana ghata antaram... ... ambaram asti) and there is also the sky in the pot of mud (mrut kumbam) in our slum of hutments. Is there any difference in the spaces contained by those golden and mud pots? Whether the body of a Brahmin or of a Panchaman, their bodies are both like pots made of different materials. Is there any difference in the (Aatma Aakaasa) space contained in them? Both the bodies are like two different water drops. But the reflections seen in either is caused by the same Sun, isn’t it?

1053. Hello Mr. Big Pundit! Why are you getting carried away by the outer appearances of droplets of water and the materials by which the pot is made of? What is inside? What is mentioned in the sloka as ‘pratyag vastu’ means the inner material. Isn’t that the self satisfied and self contained ocean of bliss – ‘sahaja aananda avabhodha ambhudhi’ – that is also ‘nistaranga’, that is without any waves! Why are there no waves? In the oceans, above the surface of water there is space and so there can be waves. In ocean of blissful contentment, all the space is contained and so there can be no waves. If you fill up a container totally and seal it, there can be no waves in it. Actually there can be no perfect example or comparison for Aatma. Even the ocean is not a very correct example. In the oceans of the world there is water and salt and living things such as plants and so many varieties of animals. But in this ‘pratyag vastu’ contains Aanandam and Gnaanam. Again they are not contained as two different commodities but, as one and the same thing! The blissful awareness that knows itself to be happiness! Moreover, there is no place, where it is not there! The sea of salt water is not omnipresent like that. It is only up to a level of the surface of the earth. Beyond that there is atmosphere and space. But this ocean of blissful awareness, the ‘pratyag vastu’ is also omnipresent, in and out, here there and everywhere! So, how can you Mr. Iyer preach something and believe in something else? Is that what is given in your Vedaanta class?”

1054. At once, our AachaaryaaL responded, “Are you such a knowledgeable Brhmavid? Whosoever is so knowledgeable and is a Gnaani; such a person is always like a Guru for me. Not knowing your level of Gnaana, I went by the social customs and traditions. Now I understand and do Namaskar to you (prostrate before you in total humility). That is the time he coined the Manisha Panchakam of five stanzas. ‘Manisha’ means decisive opinion or principle. He says clearly that, “The man who is ‘Aatma Gnaani’, from whichever caste, Jaati or Kulam, whether a Brahmin or Panchaman; he is my Guru. That is my Manisha! From Brhma to the smallest form of existence like say the ant; the warp and woof of all existence as the eternal witness is the one Chaitanya only. The one who knows this is my Guru. That is my Manisha – or Ruling. He is my Guru to whom even the Deva Indra, the King of all Divine beings, is subservient. Since each sloka finishes with the phrase ‘manisha mama’ – meaning – ‘so do I decree’ – the five slokas together are known as – Manisha Panchakam!

1055. Let us look at the first sloka of this Manisha Panchakam. “jaagrat swapna sushuptishu sputatara ya samvid ujjrumbate yaa brhmaadi pipeelikaanta tanushuprotaa jagat saakshinee I saivaaham na cha drushyavastwiti dhrudha prgnyaapi yasyaasti chet chaNdaalostu sa tu dvijostu gururityesha manisha mama II” From Brhma to the smallest ant, the one aspect continuity as the warp and woof of all existence is the one eternal witness of all. All life forms have senses and mind. They are all naturally inanimate ‘Jada’ only – that is inclusive of all senses and mind – the sixth sense also included! If these are the warps along the longitude; woof across are the one interconnecting reality of Aatma Chaitanya! The ‘protaa jagat saakshinee’ – the common factor is the witness of all! He is not involved. Senses are involved, the mind is involved. But the witness is only the uninvolved observer! He is neither the accuser nor the defender. Each individual has many countless states, isn’t it so? All of them come within the ambit of three states, namely state of wakefulness (Jaagrat), state of dream (swapna) and the state of deep sleep (sushupti). In all these three states it is the one stuff of Gnaana that is ever present and shining bright – ‘jaagrat swapna sushuptishu sputa dhara yaa samvid ujjrumbate’!

(To be continued.)