Friday, August 23, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 29 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Aug 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 29 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Aug 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 201 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)

Guru Who Raises the Disciple to His Own Level
280.            The reflection in the mirror is only an apparent image and not the original in flesh and blood.  In the case of Guru – Sishya relationship, the Guru raises the Sishya to his own level and not remaining with that, enables the disciple to attain total equality and identity, not just be a copy or replica.  So also the Sishya will go on to raise his disciple to oneness with him sans differences except possibly in appearance in the eyes of the world!  Our ÃchãryãL using this example we have seen of the 'Sphatika MaNi' and its reflection, along with 'Sparsha MaNi' and any base metal, explains the situation that Guru's action is like that of the 'Sparsha MaNi.  The 'Sparsha MaNi' is the same as the 'Philosopher's Stone' said to be capable of transmuting any base metal, like the metal element Lead (Pb) in to Gold (Au) or Silver (Ag).  (KTSV adds: - Now let me not quote you the sloka, which once again is available to me only as a transliterated version of Sanskrit in Tamil.  Hence there could be some mistakes in spelling and pronunciation already.  This is likely to become further mutilated when the Tamil transliterated version is again transliterated into English!  So I am only giving you the meaning, while quoting some of the decipherable words from the sloka!)

281.            "I started saying that our ÃchãryãL compares the action of the Guru", says PeriyavãL, and then amends his statement that since our ÃchãryãL is saying, "Even if we search in all the three worlds, there can be no example that can be compared to what a Guru can do!"  The three worlds are the Earth, Heaven and Hell or here, there and everywhere or past, present and future or whatever!  Because basically what the Guru can do is just beyond compare!  The mirror just reflects and shows an image which is just a reflection that is immaterial.  What the Philosopher's stone or Sparsha MaNi can do is only convert a base metal into a nobler or costlier metal.  Actually this is used as a 'drushtãntam' – 'दृष्टान्तं' (another word for compare and contrast) about what a Guru does.  If by a touch of the touch-stone any metal like the iron or lead can become Gold, the Guru removes the ignorance from the disciples mind the 'andam tama:' – 'अन्धं तम:', this disciple who so enveloped by the deep darkness of ignorance is converted into gold of 24 carat purity! But he says that the example is not at all correct as it is no patch on the reality of what a Guru can do to the disciple! 

282.            It is true that the touch-stone gives the quality of gold to iron.  Iron is known as 'asma sãram' meaning the essence of tree.  If modern science says that natural gas, crude oil and coal are formed by plants interned under the earth, here the Sanskrit sloka is calling iron is also a similarly formed material as the 'tree-essence'!  So a touch of the 'Sparsha MaNi' changes even iron into gold – 'asma sãram swarNatãm nayati' – 'अस्मसारं स्वर्णताम् नयति'.  But, here is a huge difference; the touch-stone does not make iron into another touch-stone – 'na sparstvam tathã' – 'न स्पर्शत्वं तथा'! But a Satguru does something else.  What does he do?  'Satguru sweeyam sishye sweeyam sãmyam vidatte ' – 'सत्गुरु स्वीयम् शिष्ये स्वीयम् साम्यम् विदत्ते', meaning that instead of converting him, inverts you to let you find yourself or in other words, makes you another Guru!  Look at how our ÃchãryãL expresses it!  The phrase, 'sweeyam sishye' means instead of his, 'his-own disciple' as we say 'one's own'.  To that his-own disciple he gives 'sweeyam sãmyam vidatte' sameness, equality, oneness or homogeneousness. 

284.            The Guru transforms his disciple to his own level, being and identity.  Like MaNikka Vãsagar says, 'sivamãkki enaiãNda' – 'சிவமாக்கி எனையாண்ட', meaning that 'Siva made me him and ruled over me'!  This happens only in some cases as a change.  There is no limit to the power of blessing by the Guru.  Generally if the Guru happens to be full of all the qualities of his position and status and the Sishya is also meeting all the qualitative requirements as a disciple, he tries his level best and the Guru prods him to his optimum, thereby the Guru instils in him his own Anubhava and comprehension enabling him to attain to that exalted state of Siddhi!

Sishya's Worth and Guru's Kindness
285.            'Even if an unworthy character were to give all this earth surrounded by oceans as DakshiNa he is not to be given 'Vidya dãnam' because Vidya is greater than this earth', we have seen already as a statement by the Chandokya Upanishad.  After explaining 'Madhu Vidya' the Upanishad says that, "This may be taught to one's own eldest son or other worthy disciple".  This above statement has been made there as the ending.  For 'worthy', the word used in the Upanishad is 'praNaya' – 'प्रणय', meaning qualified, lovable and very well behaved as explained by our ÃchãryãL as the eldest son or such a worthy student.  He has also used a word 'yogya' – 'योग्य', meaning deserving to be taught.  Such a deserving person as a disciple or eldest son also becomes 'priyãrha' – 'प्रियार्ह', meaning loveable.  Deserving is the quality from the side of the disciple and loving kindness is from the Guru's and both these qualities have to meet for the student's Lakshya Siddhi. 

286.            So all put together it comes about that there is no occasion of the student arriving at the destination on his own steam.  In a book known as 'Tatvopadesa' – 'तत्वोपदेश', a PrakaraNa Grantha of his, our ÃchãryãL has clearly and emphatically stated this that 'sri guro: karuNam vinã' – 'श्री गुरो: करुणां विना', however much vast your readings and knowledge may be, 'You cannot know Ãtma'!  (I hope that you know that a PrakaraNa Grantha is an original work and not a commentary on an already existing work like the Bhashyams on Gita and Upanishads.)  In that book Tatvopadesa our ÃchãryãL is raising questions and answering them successively with suitable PramãNa.  What is Brhmam?  What is Jiva?  How is it that the Upanishads are saying that they both are one and the same? 

287.            Having raised such questions and answering them, he goes on to say, "Though it is true that it is reiterated that Ãtma is within all of us as our very life and being, we still tend to think of Ãtma as something in some Brhma Loka and ourselves to be a separate individual with a body and so are different.  Though intellectually we do understand that the Upanishad's statement must be correct, do we know it?  Many are under the impression that to discern the truth of the Upanishadic statements all you need are sharpness of wit, intelligence, keenness of mind, receptivity and retention of memory and logical ability etcetera!  That is how many think that they know amongst the intelligentsia.    So, there were people in the times of our ÃchãryãL also, who thought that they understood, as we can gather from his words.  Not only that, but by the fact that they are being referred by the very words of the Upanishads, we can make out that there have always been such 'all knowing' people, who thought that they knew, before him in the times the Upanishads were written!  But unless we go far higher from that cerebral level, we can never really understand this.  To do that, that is to bring the comprehension that intrinsically we are one with Ãtma with in our experience, can just not be done without Guru's blessings – 'श्री गुरो: करुणां विना' – says our ÃchãryãL!  You may do any amount of reading, analysis, discussions and mental gymnastics – 'tatãpi sakte neiva' – 'ततापि सक्तेनैव', you cannot do so except possibly naively thinking that you have been successful!  We cannot be successful in what?  In 'aparokshayitum' – 'अपरोक्षयितुं', that is in having the inner experience of what we are able understand cerebrally that the individual who thinks of himself as this body and the Ãtma aka Parabrhmam are one and the same!       

The Pseudo Gnãnis Exposed by the Upanishads & our ÃchãryãL
288.            But there are many who claim to have read and analysed on their own, arriving at a certainty entirely in their own steam affirming that there is no need for an external Guru while also claiming to be a Guru and a Gnãni!           Mostly they become victims of a type of 'Vidya Garva' which is Ahankãra in disguise.   Only when conceit has been erased to nullity, Ãtma will be experienced by oneself and not otherwise.  But, these people have constructed a concrete wall around their own self as though, inured themselves against any such plausibility!  But being intelligent, they can never accept that they have failed.  So they will claim success, going about wearing ochre clothes, Rudraksha Mala and displaying 'Chinmudra' with their fingers, giving lectures and publishing books.

289.            There have been such fakes at the time of Ãdi Sankara also and before that in 'Upanishadic Kãla' too, as they have been similarly described in Katopanishad and Mundakopanishad.  In those descriptions there is only one word of difference.  In fact, they both say that such people are enveloped by the darkness of ignorance, 'veshtyamãNã:' – 'वेष्ट्यमाणा:' in a cocoon of their own creation.  (As people wear a pant all over the western world, in South India they used to wear a two-yard or four-yard piece of plain white cloth with some border known as Veshti, to hide their modesty!  So PeriyavãL laughs while using the Sanskrit word 'veshtyamãNã:' – 'वेष्ट्यमाणा:' as it so aptly describes the fact of these fake Swamis enwrapped in ignorance hiding their lack of modesty!)  Then they highly appreciate themselves, as they claim to be very courageous as 'dheerãs' – 'धीराः' and highly knowledgeable as erudite scholars i.e., Pundits – 'panditã:' – 'पण्डिता:'

290.            Normally this word 'dheera' – 'धीर' is related in our minds with physical courage as that of a soldier or sports person and it is quite appropriate there.  But in the context of the Upanishads, Brhma Vidya Upãsakãs and Siddha Purushas are called 'dheera' more for their courage of convictions, faith and intuitive intellectual brilliance!  It is almost as good as calling them a Gnãni.  Even in Bhagawat Gita when Sri Krishna is saying that, a Gnãni does not collapse and swoon that the death of the body is the 'be-all and end-all', says 'dheeras tatra na muhyati' – 'धीर: तत्र न मुह्यति'! Here too, these people claim themselves to be very courageous because money starts pouring in with name and fame and they have to contend with a constant fear of exposure to non-acceptance and dis-approval as otherwise there will be a sudden loss of fame and name!  So, in a way they can claim themselves to be revolutionary soldiers as they are the mouth-speakers of ultra-philosophy, as Maha Kavi Bharathiyar said, 'vãi chollil veeraradi' – 'வாய் சொல்லில் வீரரடி'!

291.            Then they claim that they are 'Pandas' and 'Pundits', at least in the aspect of name-sake.  This word is also a claim for being a Gnãni!    Having matched each other word for word in describing the pseudo-Gnãnis of the world, Katopanishad and Mundakopanishad now start coining words of their own in onomatopoeia style to describe such fake Gnãnis, as 'janganyamãNã:' and 'tantramyamãnã:' and it is only here that they differ in describing these bogus pretenders.  The first word 'janganyamãNã:' means 'those who go in every which way' and the second word 'tantramyamãnã:' means those who try all sorts of tricks, like misusing their Siddhis, may be !

(To be continued.)




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