Thursday, July 18, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 12 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 July 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 12 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 July 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL 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 page No 79 of Volume 7 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 continually)

110.        Having reached a state of total understanding and comprehension of existence, why should one come down to the level of this mundane day to day life of endless transactions of 'you, me and they', good and bad, likes and dislikes; is the question.  Even people riveted on 'Brhma Nishta' like Suka ÃchãryãL and many others have done it, remaining rooted in their equanimity and absolute balance in the garb of a Guru, in extreme kindness for the humanity.  All that we can say is that it is all God's Grace and AmbãL's Anugraha and nothing else!  The Guru not only enables the good disciples to reach his level but also guides many of the masses on the right path, I suppose, to ensure that there is a continuous line of such people coming up.

111.        Let me tell you again that just because the Guru gets involved in the betterment of humanity on righteous lines does not mean that he has deviated from his moorings.  It does not mean that from his level of perfection in Adwaitam he has come down to the level of duality, but only seems so.  Only in our vision it appears so without any change in his inner self.  There is no up or down in his inner experience.  He does not look at the world as separate but imbued by Brhmam throughout and cherishes his role of 'a friend, guide and philosopher' to others who are only play acting as though they are unaware of the truth.  To see and know that Brhmam is all encompassing and immanent in all that is seen as VishNu and experience this awareness, there is a deep rooted pleasure.  It is a happiness of a mix of Adwaitam and Dwaitam.  It is the bliss well founded in Adwaita Anubhava beyond words and description.  That is without any deviation from the goal, an inexplicable bliss.  He grants this also to his disciples.  Inside is the unperturbed peace and on the outside there is what looks like an act of Anugraha in duality.  What VishNu does is 'Loka Paripãlanam' that is, 'world governance' and what the Guru does is 'Sishya Paripãlanam' that is, 'governance of the disciple'!

VishNu as Guru
112.        Smãrthãs who follow Sri Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL take the Sri Vidya lineage and mention the line of Gurus in chronological order in which the name of the first Guru is VishNu, which is absolutely correct.  Then in Vishnu Sahasranãma it is said, 'gurur gurutamo dhãma: satya satyaparãkrama:' – 'गुरुर गुरुतमो धाम: सत्य सत्यपराक्रम:' – meaning that 'he is the foremost Guru who is the goal himself, truly righteous and very powerful'!   While giving the Bhashyam for this word Guru, our ÃchãryãL says that as he teaches all Vidyas, he is 'Gurutama:' and as he is the progenitor for all lives, he is the foremost Guru, 'the Gurutama'.  From this you can understand that Guru is the giver of life and those who know the Sanskrit literature will be aware that one's father has this Guru title. 

Father is Guru
113.        There is a famous saying 'Mãtã Pitã Guru Deivam' – 'माता पिता गुरु दैवं', in almost all Indian languages, as all of them do the important job of a Guru, of putting the child on the right path.  When the child is small the Mother ever so kindly teaches the child to some extent.  Then the Father does the teaching a little more strictly than the Mother up to about 7 or 8 years of age till he hands over to a Guru after Upanayanam.  So, the father who has this role to play is also referred as a Guru.  In fact instead of looking for meaning of every letter of the word, Guru per se means the elder or the big man.  As the head of the family also, he is the Guru. 

Guru is Father
114.  If father is Guru, the reverse is also true.  In Dharma Sãstrãs five people have been said to be fit enough to be considered as the Father.  The sloka says, 'janeeta cha upaneeta cha yascha vidyãm prayachchati | annadhãtã  bhayatrãtã panchaite pitra: smruta:' – 'जनीता च उपनीता च यश्च विध्यां प्रयच्छति |  अन्नधाता भयत्राता पंञ्चैते पितर: स्मृता: ||'  The bio-logical father is the first.  Then the one who gives the Brhma Upadesa, while giving the child the PooNool is also a father.  If two sons are given the PooNool on the same day, if the real father gives Brhma Upadesa to one and father's elder or younger brother does it for the other child.  Whosoever he is, he is also a father.  In earlier times, as per Sãstrãs if the father has not attained to Siddhi by regular chanting of the Gayatri mantra himself, he used to get the 'Brhma Upadesam' for the son done by some such person who has attained to Brhma Gnãna by chanting the Gayatri mantra.  So, the one imparting the Brhma Upadesa to the child is at the status of father for the child.  Thus there are two persons in that position so far.  Next is the one from whom the child learns any part of Vidya that is, in arts or crafts too – 'yasya vidyaam prayachchati' – simply the person from whom we learn anything.  That amounts to three of them so far.  Next is the 'Anna Dhãtã' – the one who provides us the food.  Anybody who gives us food is also at the position of a Father.  May be your boss or any organization to which you belong or even the cook in the Mess or canteen!  That is the fourth.  The fifth one is 'Bhaya trãtã' – the one who removes your fear!  The Guru instils the knowledge in the student that makes the student courageous and fearless.  These five are in the same position of a father.  So, the Guru is the father in certain respects and the father is the Guru by the same logic.  There can be one doubt arising here.  Father is the sire who gives life to the son.  But the Guru is the cause of removal of our involvement in this worldly life as it is said – 'guru charaNãmbhuja nirbhara bhakta: samsãrad chirad bhãva mukta:' – 'गुरु चरणांभुज निर्भर भक्त: संसाराद् चिराद भव मुक्त:' in Bhaja GovindamSo then, 'how can they be considered as equal', can be the doubt or question.   The answer lies in the fact that if father begets the son in to this relative world, the Guru begets you in to the world of spirituality!  (Now relate this analysis in the previous four paragraphs, to the questions we contended at the end of the last issue of Deivathin Kural and see as to why and how the Guru comes down to the level of the disciple to put him wise.)

115.        In the way of Vedic practices the Brahmins were known as 'dvi-janmabhoo: or iru-pirappãLar' – 'द्विजन्मभू: or இரு-பிறப்பாளர் ', meaning the 'twice-born'. In fact first you were born in a house-hold as a child of your parents and then with Upanayanam you went to live with your Guru in his house-hold and the Guru was virtually your father.  Similarly the bird is supposed to be twice-born, first as the egg and then re-born when the shell of the egg is broken.  Similar to the mother bird sitting over the eggs for hatching, the Guru hatches the disciple by his Anugraha and enables him to get the wings to fly to total awareness of his own reality, by breaking through his shell of pride and prejudice. 

116.        This principle is inherent even in the student being called the pupil in the English language without their being aware of it.  Butter-fly and similar life forms can also be considered to be twice-born as they are first born as crawlers and then metamorphose into flyers.  In fact they could be thought of as four times born!   First it is born in to this world from the mother's body as the eggs, then the second stage happens when it is born as a worm, then it becomes a pupa with a self-created cocoon.  That is the time it is known as the pupa.  (Don't we see human beings often lost to the world in their own cocoons?)  Then is the breaking out of the cocoon when the inner being manifests as a flyer.  It is here that Guru has a role to play at least in the life-change from pupa to wasp or butter-fly and pupil to a well-rounded personality!

117.        At times I wonder if the English people once upon a time were also having our Vedic traditions and then there could have been a gap when the traditions were forgotten and the Guru – Sishya tradition did not continue possibly.  Are we not doing the same in copying the west for all things nowadays and forgetting our own traditions?  There are too many words between Sanskrit and English which seem to have evolved from similar origins and are almost synonymous.  Well it is a different area of interest altogether but worth looking into.  But the point I am making is this.  Butter-fly and similar life forms can also be considered to be twice-born as they are first born as crawlers and then metamorphose into flyers.  In fact they could be thought of as four times born!  Possibly we are tying up the second and fourth stage into two, from the student being a crawler to a flyer with the sky as the limit!

117.        What mother and father give us is the first Janma when the body is the most important asset, and we think that this body is what we are!  Then at the time of Upanayanam is the second birth when our eyes are opened to certain other perspectives.  Then we learn some and progress some, which is the crawler stage.  Then we go into our own cocoon of self-created compulsions.  Then we are aided by the Guru to break out of the darkness of ignorance into total freedom of Ãtma Gnãna
118.        The Guru who does the 'Brhma Upadesam' at the time of Upanayanam is not the Guru who gives you the Brhma Gnãnam. Some people may attain to that stage of Brhma Gnãna with one mention of the Gayatri Mantra and some may so reach even without that.  But as we know, exceptions only prove the rule!  He points out the way for mental clarity through spiritual, ritual and socially responsible Karma and mental equilibrium and integrity through devotion.  When the person so directed stands firmly on his principles and way, he matures through Karma and clears all his accounts in terms of paying off his indebtedness to Divine beings, Rishis and Ancestors.  This maturing may take less or more time depending on the individual's past Samskãra.  Somewhere along the way Brhma Gnãna just happens, without any predictability about it!  When all the accounts are cleared, scores settled, the student is ripe enough and the Chitta Aikãgrata is perfect, at this stage another Guru comes on the way for the final leap.  He will give Sannyãsa and Upadesa to this student of life.  By the power of that Upadesa, by his power to give Anugraha the disciple launches himself for the final leap (or lap around the stadium), when he ensures a severance of the cycle of life and death and becomes one with the Para Brhmam, the final return to the source!

(To be continued.)




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