Sunday, August 25, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 30 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Aug 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 30 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 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 208 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)

292.            Commenting on the two Upanishads' remarks about the so called Self Styled Intellectuals who claim their own selves to be Dheera-s and Pundits as 'janganyamãNã:' meaning those who go every which way and 'tantramyamãna' meaning those who use all sorts of tricks, our ÃchãryãL says, "Such people other than going astray themselves are the cause of affecting young people's minds too", ticking them off and partly regretting the state of affairs!  Not arriving at any conclusion or end, like the bulls tied to a grinder-stone or water-pump of yore; they keep going round and round or up and down, repeatedly ad nauseam, with no end in sight!  Sankara has commented on their, this pathetic condition of perplexity and giddiness as 'vibhramanti' – 'विभ्रमन्ति'.     

293.            The one to guide you directly on to the path towards the destination is the real Guru.  These fake Pundits without coming to the aim keep roaming about in some imaginary world of their own.  Such self-styled renegades of the past who kept fabricating flimsy facades and suffered are their fictitious ideals to be quoted as being equally independent models!  This has been described by the Upanishads as the 'blind leading the blind' to their dooms, reflected exactly like a photo-copy in the Bible!  To follow these No-Guru-characters a whole series of such rebels will come in to being who will create the tradition of No-Tradition!  All this talk came about because, for self-realization it is not enough if one were to understand and absorb the meaning of what the Maha-Vãkyãs convey, all by oneself using all the abilities that one can muster and command!  Such people who think themselves to be highly knowledgeable are declared to be 'panditam manyamãnã: moodã:' – 'पण्डितं मन्यमाना: मूढा:' by both the Upanishads, meaning that they are 'Idiots'!  Our ÃchãryãL has said the same thing (in the third declension or Vibhakti that the word undergoes) in his Bhashyam as 'pandita mãnibhi: moodai' – 'पण्डित मानिभि: मूढै:' meaning in other words though claiming themselves to be great scholars, they are simply-self-styled idiots!

294.            Then our ÃchãryãL talks about some of the pseudo philosophers of those times who like the 'vãi vedãntigaL' – 'வாய் வேதாந்திகள்' of the present day world, used to say, "What is the need for a Guru?  If we analyse the Maha Vãkyãs of the Upanishads with a clean heart and mind, understanding and comprehension should be automatically accruing".  He asks the question on behalf of such people, 'anta:karaNa samsuddhena swayam gnãnam prakãsate | veda vaakyai: ata: kim?' – 'अन्त: करण संशुद्धेन स्वयम् ज्ञानं प्रकाशते |  वेद वाक्यै: अत: किं?'!  Then he answers this question with, 'iti na sãmpradam' – 'इति न सांप्रदं'.  That reply 'इति न सांप्रदं' means that, "Making such a statement is not very appropriate!"  It means that it is rather daft!

295.            It is not very sensible or reasonable to say that we can understand the Maha Vãkyãs on our own, because, for us the Vedas are the way, evidence, logic and authority.  Vedas say through the Upanishad that 'Ãchãryavãn that is, the one who has a Guru only, gets to know the truth' and saying this, our ÃchãryãL quotes the relevant portions of the Vedas in evidence.  Those people will still insist, "Why do we need the Vedas?  Our own mind and conscience are the authority."  I do not know as to how to make them convinced by speaking any logic at their own level of 'paguthtu arivu' – 'பகுத்து அறிவு' of which they tend to be much proud of. Come to think of it what I am talking is also 'பகுத்து அறிவு' only of 'discerning through differentiation'!  Anyhow, for our ÃchãryãL Vedas as a whole is the primary authority.  For him it is as important as one's breath.  With extreme love and respect he says in one place in his Bhashyams as explanatory notes on the Vedas, represented as the Mother Veda Mãtã, 'mãtru pitru sahasrebhyobhi: hitaishiNã Veda:' – 'मातृ पिथ्रु सहस्रेभ्योभि: हितैषिणा वेद:', meaning that 'She, Veda Mãtã does more good than a thousand Fathers and Mothers'!  He always insisted and emphasised on the value of 'Upadesa through a Guru'.  

Veda PramãNa, Other Religions
296.            If you ask as to why should we accept the Vedas as the authority and why not one's own mind and conscience, the only answer that I can give is that, only in this religion of Sanatana Dharma made up of those who believed in the Vedas as the authority, have there been so many great Mahatmas as a continuous line like a chain, from times immemorial of thousands of years till date!  Even when one or two other religions sprouted in this country and seemed to be great or even if you accept that they were really great, our ÃchãryãL Ãdi Sankara clearly proved that their doctrine was fallacious and caused them to leave the shores of India or reduced them to a pathetic minority, isn't it?  As time went on, those religions too have drawn much from this religion based on the Vedas and made a mix of their own points of principles and are far different from what was originally as avowed by their founders. 

297.            Though their founders claimed, "One's own brain, buddhi or mind is the authority.  There is no need for a Guru or any outside agency to lord over you and give you advices or Upadesa", those who followed them have made a Guru out of them and have written books of unquestionable and unassailable authority.  Whatever the religion, like a constitution for the government of a country, in each religion there are such scriptures commanding absolute authority!  Those religions exist as unique only based on such authoritative scriptures to which every member of such religions humbly submit and accept.  Then there have been quotable quotes from those followers who command the same respect as Gurus of those religions, isn't it?  That has enabled many of their followers to have some unique high experience raising them to the level of leaders in their own religions, which is the cause of continued sustenance and growth of those religions.

298.            Still it can be proved with statistics that there have been whole array of greats in this Sanãtana Dharma as nowhere else of Rishis, Munis, Gnãnis, Yogis, Raja Yoga / Mantra Yoga Siddha Purushas and enormous hordes of simple, disciplined multitudes of devotees, who have had the highest of experience through the simple path of Bhakti!  Then there have been an enormous profusion of books of infinite numbers, detailing subtle methods for each and every individual which continue to be produced, while still strictly abiding with the dictates of the Sãstrãs.  To top it all, it is this religion more than any other which has clearly delineated a plethora of step by step methods to be followed by every ardent aspirant, detailing a path for his particular progress, custom-made so to say known as 'Sãdhana Marga', without hurting any other soul, still based on the Sãstrãs while remaining true to the Vedas!  All this has been based on the foundation of accepting Vedas as the authority!  What more logic or analysis do we need?  Let us also whole heartedly accept the Vedas as PramãNa and follow it simply submissively.  That is what occurs to my mind as the best way.

Shraddha towards the Vedas and Guru
299.            Somewhere along the way, I mentioned one thing important.  If we hand over this mind of ours to some authority with trust, faith and discipline, that very act can give us the highest experience.  For all those elaborate words there is one simple word known as 'Shraddha'.  To have Shraddha in Vedas, Sãstrãs that are based on the Vedas and the Guru who quotes fluently from them; that one act or attitude from the aspirant is enough and nothing more is required.  Yes, we know everything in world by our Buddhi, which is one word inclusive of brains, intelligence, memory and ability to process and analyse.  But it is that Buddhi that stands as a block in our understanding of the inner world!  That is how AmbãL has meant it to be.  Though we are being tested like that, the solution is simple.  That Buddhi has to be given the sane advice, "You are alright for all practical purposes as far as dealing with this world is concerned.  When it comes to the inner world and understanding of the reality of our inner being, you have neither the authority nor any responsibility or role to play!  That inner world's details are as per what God has given in the Vedas and Sãstrãs as revealed to Rishis the Seers!  You are permitted to read, absorb and understand the Sãstrãs to the extent you can and that is all!"  To tell us this, the system, nature, or God, call it whatever, has ordained for such great Mahatmas, Ãchãryãs and Maha Purushas to come among our midst in our lives as a Guru!

SaraNãgati – Surrender
300.            To lay our Buddhi prostrate is SaraNãgati.  To make it clear to our own minds symbolically only the act of doing 'Sãshtãnga Namaskãra' – 'साष्टाङ्ग नमस्कार' has been evolvedEight parts of the body in the case of males and five parts of the body in the case of females are to touch the ground.  In that, the most important part to be brought down from its high-altitude and attitude is the head!  The Sãstrãs lay down the rules to which we have to lay ourselves down!  You have heard of the Tamil word 'keezh padidal' – 'கீழ் படிதல்', that is what it is. For that inner submissiveness to Vedas and to God as the main message of the Vedas, the outer indication is this act of Namaskãra.  When you do Namaskãra to others, you are indicating your submissiveness – 'keezh padidal' – 'கீழ் படிதல்' not to any man on earth but to the God in him!

301.            Here there is no work for the brain, ego and Ahankãra.  Instead there is trust, faith and belief known as Shraddha.  When there is a heat wave, we know it and so do we know when there is cold breeze blowing.  With such certainty and clarity we should know that in the unseen world of inner dynamics of Ãtma Loka, what Vedas say is the Truth, not meant for anyone's individual unfair advantage but one's own individual spiritual progress.  This certainty is Shraddha.  If we take that Shraddha as the capital input, it will take us to the state of implicit obedience known as SaraNãgati of complete கீழ் படிதல், where there is no work for our Buddhi and no place for any more questions!  (KTSV adds: - Vibhishana surrendered to Rama before the battle between Sri Rama and RavaNa was enjoined.  There, it is worthwhile to read other's reaction and Ãnjaneya response.  Within the Sanãtana Dharma the Vaishnavites give much importance to this idea of Surrender known by the term 'Prapatti'.   Amongst other religions, a lot of importance to this principle of surrender is given in Islam.)

(To be continued.)




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