Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (Vol # 7) Dated 23 July 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (Vol # 7) Dated 23 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 101 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)

Mother Also as Guru
139.        Guru's main job is to put the disciple on the right path, isn't it?  In doing so the Mother, Father and the Preceptor that is Guru, have all got equally important roles to play.  This also has been pointed out by our ÃchãryãL.  Only just a little earlier we have seen as to how our ÃchãryãL had said that the Mother is the main cause of the good character qualities in a child. By the fact that the child is born of her blood, her genes and grows drinking her milk produced from her body, listening to her words and responses to situations day in and day out, since the learning process commences from the very inception, the importance of the Mother's Role cannot be over stated!  Then she teaches the child many small stories of morals and through them the Do's and Don’ts of life, in passing.  By constant exposure to her attitude in general and behaviour with reference to the context, the child learns in a very subtle manner.  Thus there is the proverb also which says, 'thãyaip pola piLLai, noolaip pola selai' – 'தாயைப் போல பிள்ளை, நூலைப் போல சேலை ', meaning that, 'The cloth is as the thread is and the child is as the Mother'!

140.        Observing and taking note of all this very sympathetically with understanding, our ÃchãryãL while commenting on a point in Katopanishad, quotes the instance of the last chapter in Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad also and says that as per the systems and order of the Vedas, like Guru, the Father and Mother too are the 'pramãNa kãraNam' – 'प्रमाण कारणं', meaning the primary causes in shaping the character of the child and hence have an equally important role to play.  Guru is anyhow the Guru.  We saw as to how the Father was also the Guru.  Now it is clearly brought out that the Mother too has role of a Guru.  Like the last chapter in Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad completely devoted to listing the names of Saints and the respective Mother's names, there are two occasions in Chãndokya Upanishad too, where along with the name of the famous person's name, his Mother's name has been given! 

Reference to Sri Krishna
141.        One of them is the Sri Krishna Paramãtma himself!  This is the earliest reference to Sri Krishna which proves beyond doubt that he was not only a famous character of literary value and folk-lore only but also God in human form as a historical hero, say learned authorities!  The reference is in the Chãndokya Upanishad wherein there is description of 'Purusha Yagnya', which is done by those who feel that they should live for 116 years in this mortal body.  It is a point to note that he lived for more than 120 years.  He took this Upadesa from a Rishi by the name of Gora Ãngiras.  After taking the Upadesa it is said that he became devoid of 'thirsts'!  ÃchãryãL in his Bhashyam has said that after taking this Upadesa all his aspirations for any further knowledge also was sated.  Aspirations, desire, passions and thirsts are all almost synonyms such as 'ThrishNã' – 'तृष्णा' and 'Ãsai' – 'ஆசை', in Sanskrit and Tamil respectively.  This is an unquenchable thirst which grows more pronounced with every feeding like the fire.  Note that this word 'ThrishNã' in Sanskrit and 'Thirst' in English are very similar sounding while also being synonymous!  Gautama Buddha would refer to it as 'Thrishna' only while in 'Pãli' which is a vernacular of Sanskrit, it will be mentioned as 'tanha'.

142.        We should not jump to the conclusion that Krishna who is supposed to be a 'PoorNa Avatara' was so brazenly keen on such flimsy desire like wishing to live long in this world of Iham!  In this Vidya, the first three portions of those 116 years are crossed only by this Jiva of individual unit of existence, by repeatedly sacrificing his five PrãNãs to divine beings as various Rudra-s and Ãdityã-s.  We do not know as to what are the meta-physical secrets hidden in such procedures!  But Sri Krishna, who was famous in the Art of stealing especially butter, must have come to know all of them secrets certainly!  Let that matter be aside.

143.        We were on the subject of the son's identity by the mother's name.  Here while taking Krishna's name it is referred as 'Krishnãya Devaki putra' only.  Generally he is famous as the son of Vasudeva.  Even in the '116 years of life' Yãga, it is the divine beings known as 'Vasus' who are important as the basis of such longevity!   Still, vide his penchant for magical abilities he has caused himself to be known by the mother's name of Devaki rather than the father's name of Vasudeva!   In the Bhagawatam there is no description of physical consummation of the pregnancy by which his Krishna Avatara is said to have taken place (like the 'Immaculate conception' when Jesus Christ was born',) but, the seed of Krishna's conception is said to have moved from the mind of Vasudeva to the mind of Devaki!  But when it comes to the development in the womb of Devaki the further progress of the child coming into being is like any other period of pregnancy.  So there is natural justice to give Devaki the position as the Mother of Krishna, more than assigning the position of a Father to Vasudeva!

Satyakãma Jãbãla
144.        The other name so mentioned in the Upanishad is that of 'Satyakãma'.  His name means 'one who is desirous of truth.  He was the son of a lady whose name was Jãbãla.  There is no mention of the father of Satyakãma or what happened to him in the narrative of the Upanishad!  Satyakãma looking at other children of his age going to attend Guru Kulam wished to join them as a student, (though he was slightly older than them, I presume).  He expressed his wish to his mother and since the Guru would ask for his Kulam and Gothram asked his mother about it as to what it is. She told him, "My dear son!  You know that I am living my life as a house-hold helper.  In my youth you were born.  I never asked your father as to which Gothram he belongs to and so I do not even know our Gothram and your father is no more.  Since my name is Jãbãla, you add my name to yours and tell them the truth."  The boy went to Rishi Gautama's Ashram and approached the Guru and said, 'satyakãma jãbãloham asmi bho:' – 'सत्यकाम जाबालोहं अस्मि भो:' and did Namaskãr to the Guru, instead of the normal expanded version of 'Abhivãdaye', that is used as self-introduction while displaying one's respect to elders, by doing Namaskãr.   The Guru appreciated his truthfulness and realised that this boy must be from a highly well placed back-ground, though evidently not well off materially presently! He decided to take the boy under his tutelage, conducted the boy's Upanayanam and gave him Brhmopadesa and continued to teach and train the boy, as the story goes.  I came to tell you about the fact that there are occasions in our Upanishads wherein the person's identity is by way of the mother's name too.  Within that, we also see as to how truth always excels instead of being too stuck on false prestige.  One should also take note of how well the Rishi has correctly given more importance to the yet to be student's sincerity and truthfulness, instead of being too finicky on formalities.  This brings to mind the ThirukkuraL 'ellã viLakkum viLakkalla, sãnrorkku poyyaa viLakke viLakku' – 'எல்லா விளக்கும் விளக்கல்ல சான்றோர்க்கு பொய்யா விளக்கே விளக்கு', meaning 'All lights are not lights, for sensible and refined people truthfulness is the only light!'   

Guru Much Higher Than Mata and Pita
145.        All said and done finally the Guru is to be considered much higher than one's mother and father.  Though we do regard the four of them Mata, Pita, Guru and Deivam with equal reverence and consider our mother and father highly, consider them as Guru or even God incarnate; the titles are inter-changeable.  Mother cannot replace father and vice-versa.  But Guru and God can be and are considered as the other three.  (KTSV adds: – In this light the 'single parent drama' of the present day world is rather a non-sense!)  These tying attachments (known and referred as 'Pãsam' or the rope) to one's parents and their attachments to their child of course, are very strong.  Displaying that attachment they often end up giving too much freedom while bringing up the children.  With that they manage to instil some discipline and teach something alright.  But, that is only secondary and informal.  With that their teaching and putting the child on the right path is over.  Even if the child does not necessarily start walking on the right path, they turn a blind eye to it, as it is one's own offspring!  But the Guru's job it is to mainly ensure the right attitude and behaviour, though he may have abundant love for the disciple.  Everything else is only secondary for him.  That is why, our ÃchãryãL has said in Bala Bodha Sangraha, which is like a Primary in Adwaitam, (like the one by Avvaiyar Pãtti in Tamil 'அரிச்சுவடி',) that 'between mother, father and Guru, it is Guru and only him who teaches what is good for the student, truly good and only good, when he says 'appa amma charaNamillai guru dãn' – 'அப்பா, அம்மா சரணமில்லை; குருதான்', meaning 'Father and Mother are not the refuge but only the Guru'.

Growth of the Brain and Heart
146.        The heart mentioned in the above paragraph heading does not mean the physical heart that is pumping blood all over the body.  Instead the heart of the matter that is the body, it is the heart of the being!  Since in the present day, all education as covered by the word Vidya has come to mean all the subjects that are taught in schools and colleges such as Arts, Sciences and Crafts, then on the play-grounds and shop-floors, the stages and studios that; all teachers, tutors, coaches, mentors and instructors have come to be called as Guru!  They teach not necessarily the 'right-way' but the right-way as well as all sorts of tricks!  So, how can we give them the pride of place as the only refuge?  If you take the one subject of the game of Cricket there are separate coaches for the bowling, batting, fielding and may be even betting!

147.        Not only today, even in the olden times, there have been subjects such as 'Nãstikam' (which has in itself both atheism and agnosticism), which has been recognised as a Vidya for which there is a Sãstrã named 'Sãrvãkam' with Bruhaspati as the Guru.  Gambling is very much a recognised and artful science.  Thieving for example is an art form known as 'Chouryam' with a Main Master by the name of 'Moola Deva'.  As he was the son of a lady by the name of 'KaraNi', he was also known as 'KaraNisutha'.   Vidya and Sãstrã are the same.  As they are all enhancing one's knowledge base they are all subjects for study.  Having learnt the art, whether you use it to earn your income by stealing or by doing policing to catch the thief or steal in the garb of a policeman; is left to your choice!  So what ever be the line of learning or education, in it, whosoever is the teacher or the master, he becomes the Guru.

(To be continued.)




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