Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 31 (Vol # 7) Dated 26 Aug 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 31 (Vol # 7) Dated 26 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 215 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   http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated continually)

Vedas & Sãstrãs to be learnt from Guru – AmbãL's Plan
302.            If Shraddha means complete trust and belief in whatever the Vedas say, why should we not read and learn all those Vedas, Sãstrãs and methods and procedures of Sãdhana, on our own?  You should not strive on your own because, that Veda itself says in Chandokya Upanishad, "Become Ãchãryavãn that is, a true disciple under a Guru.  Then only will you be able to understand the message".  Mundakopanishad says, "Seek for and find a Guru and follow him". Rik Samhita gives us the direction that, "You are an Akshetravit who does not know the inner world, whereas Guru is a Kshetravit who knows that, through whom you can also learn". "Only learning through the Ãchãryãs verbal and oral directions are useful and effective" says Satyakãma Jãbãla in Chandokya Upanishad.

303.            Words and the meaning of those words as understood by one's brain is not 'the be all and end all' of Veda's messages.  There are enormous powers inherent in those very letters making up those words.  They are of the form of hidden treasures.  If that power is to be made evident, it will not happen by self-study, alone whatever the number if iteration and efforts at interpretation of their meaning.  Then how are we to understand them?  How will it be revealed?  In answer I will give you a counter question.  What is a religion meant for?  It is there for enabling us to understand and enjoy divinity and God.  If Vedas are the books of religion, how are we to understand and get that divine power ourselves and or to know that it is already within us?  Firstly when those Rishis who are 'Mantra Drashtãh' – 'मन्त्र द्रष्टा:' the Seers, could physically see / visualise the Mantras as though written against the wide expanse of this sky or the sky of their minds 'Mano Ãkãsa', then itself AmbãL had devised a plan.  Not a five-year or ten-year plan, but a plan forever. 

304.            Let all those people in other religions get those fractional advantages and some divine powers by reading and learning on their own.  Even in this Vedic religion, the Veda Mantras, Tantra Saastra Mantras and the vide variety of slokas and stotras that are available and meant for the general public to read and commit to memory for developing Bhakti in their hearts, be read by individual efforts.  In fact if even those things are read with some guidance from some learned elder who is regularly chanting them, it is much better!  But let us not make it compulsory.  But one thing should be made compulsory and that is, the refuge of all the powers, all the beneficence for the individual and the world at large, the Veda Mantras must be learnt through a Guru!  Let us not flippantly play around with them! 

305.            This greatness should not be permitted to be made light of by anybody.  If anyone is to comprehend this greatness, he has to first realise his own negligible and utter smallness.  So AmbãL decided and planned on this juicy drama.  I think the biggest thing that a man has got is his mind or Manas.  That he has to sacrifice and cause oneself to become absolutely humble before he can understand of comprehend the usefulness of Vedas.  The instrument for learning and knowing is this Buddhi or Mind.  The word Veda also means 'to know'.  So before he can know the Vedas he has to cause his mind to become an absolute zero, a nullity.  This purpose and message of the Vedas have to be made unreachable by the mind.  His sense of pride and conceit has to become nil and give him 'PaNivu' and 'Adakkam' – 'பணிவு' and 'அடக்கம்', as the basic Q.Rs. for him to proceed ahead.  That is how it occurs to me.  AmbãL has the ability to make the impossible possible and resolve the unsolvable.  This capability is known as 'aghatita katinã pateeyasi' – 'अघटित कठिन पटीयसि' in Sanskrit.  Thus it was her plan that the highest of creation the Man should realise his own infinitesimal smallness before he can have some idea of what is infinity, the divinity of God as given in the Vedas!

306.            The plan is that when the Seers or 'मन्त्र द्रष्टा:' who absorbed the Mantras which are God's form, that is 'Easwara Swaroopa' – 'ईस्वर स्वरूप', in a way as Akshara that is imperishable form of sounds represented by those letters; while absorbing the Mantras should also imbue and fill within themselves, the root of all that power, the peace of Shãntam, which in turn can only be conveyed to those who become their disciple, when they receive the same as Upadesa from generation to generation of Guru – Sishya lineage!  This is not the sort of communication between inanimate machines or through words or letters or blue-tooth technology or internet, but live communication of life, of making you realise what you knew and were ignorant of that knowledge!  When the Guru tells as it enters the ears, the message is also reaching the life in you, reaching the heart of the matter!  The idea, principle and the peace are conveyed in one bleep like the Laser beam between one life to another and the plan ensures for it to remain an unbroken chain of continuous communication from a Guru to a Sishya and so on!  That is how AmbãL has intended that the meaning of existence should be passed on powerfully from old to the new in unbreakable stream as a 'Chaitanya Maya' – 'चैतन्यमय' of sentient legacy.

307.            So, the best thing to do on this one occasion is to pack up our brains and throw it in the gutter or keep it in cold storage.  With that we should sincerely believe that we have to receive Upadesa from a Guru with absolute devotion and faith as laid down by the authority of Vedas that we have to surrender to the Ãchãrya, if we have to truly be saved from this endless cycle of repeated births and deaths.  Come to think of it, even if we take all the other religions of the world and look at their main principles, can you learn anything on our own?  Let alone the religious principles, even mending a shoe or fixing a leaking pipe or repairing the choked carburettors, despite the do it yourself books of that genre, isn't it true that, when an experienced person tells us 'how to' don't we all benefit immensely?  When his life force coupled with his experience comes through are we not learning instantly?  Then why are we so ungracious in being in this very important matter?  May be you can fix a leaking faucet on your own or mend a torn mosquito net.  But, AmbãL has so ordained that in this important area of learning the Vedas and their message, 'self-study' is just not going to be successful.  We just do not know the why of it but do know that it is so!

308.            Whatever her plan or otherwise, we have to come to the clear conclusion that for our redemption there is nothing worth its while to be achieved by our own efforts.  With Adakkam we should simply recognise the fact that to receive the Vedas through the mouth of a Guru with complete trust is the only way.  When I say Vedas, they are inclusive of the Mantras given in Mantra Sãstrãs, only indirectly indicated in the Vedas, which should also be learnt through a Guru only and not played around with.  I do not know as to whether they are occurring in Vedas or not.  Among branches of the Vedas, many have become forgotten nowadays.  May be these Mantras were part of those branches.  Anyhow in our religion the Mantras, Tantras and Tatvams will be useful and meaningful only if they are learnt through a Guru, is a dictum not to be messed with.  In this, I must make a mention of 'Yoga Sãstrãs' too including Patanjali Muni's Ashtãnga Yoga as so many Yoga Schools that have come into being.  I hear that in Yoga becoming popular, in the west much experimentation is going on, about which I am somewhat apprehensive.  These Yoga things should be learnt and practised only through a qualified Guru while strictly being under his supervision and constant attention.  Otherwise the results can be quite dangerous and harmful!  (KTSV Adds: - True to PeriyavãL's apprehensions, I hear that in the US of A, doing Yoga with a pet dog known as 'Doga', is becoming popular!)

General Simple Worship and PãrãyaNam
309.            To receive Upadesa and Mantra through the oral Upadesa from a Guru is not necessary for all persons in all walks of life.  This is evidently meant for some aspirants who have cleansed their minds, buddhi and chittam to quite an extent and with absolute dispassion have already progressed far afield, towards the important goal of Ãtma Anubhuti and Self-Realization and those students learning the Vedas in the formal manner of Adhyayanam.  Normally all people should be devoted to God and grab every opportunity to do some small prayers every day and or visit temples.  If the human life has to be meaningful and fruitful, we should think of God who has given us the gift of life, as often as possible and conduct this life as per his grace.  But if we were to think of God on our own, what do we know about him or her?  How can we think of God when we do not know anything about God?  Here, there is much help available as Slokas and Stotras written by great Saints who were also poets who have left us the legacy as prayer songs, Bhajans, Keertans, Slokas, Stotras, available and set to music in almost all the regional languages in India.  Those poems are ever ready to come running to us, give us a hand and lift us up from the doldrums.

310.            Those songs and poems having been written by those who have personally experienced God's Grace, capable of instantly soaking us in deep devotion, bringing tears of love of God to our eyes.  It is the great bountiful luck of this country, that there have been many great and true poet-cum-devotees, scattered all over this sub-continent coming up like a continuous stream.  That too, this Tamil Nadu is much fortuitous in having had all the Nãyanmãrs and Ãzhvãrs and many more before them and afterwards who have just poured out their hearts in devotion in thousands of songs in easy Tamil on all and every names of Gods in all glory!  These are poems that people can learn on their own by reading and committing them to heart.  They need not be learnt only by 'word of mouth' of a Guru.  If an experienced good soul, were to give you those poems, all the more better, but not compulsory.  Whatever the sloka or poem, it is better to start with one on PiLLaiyar.  As it is most such stotras start with invocation of the blessings of GaNesha and Saraswathi mostly. 
311.            It is also suggested that one may preferably think of whomsoever we consider as our Guru and say one of the generally applicable slokas on Guru.  We all know that God is almighty and omnipotent.  There is nothing special about standing in all humility in front of God.  We do inculcate Vinaya, Adakkam and PaNivu by doing so.   But to do so to stand in front of such a person who had come on this world like us and has risen to the highest divinity or in memory of him, does instil the sense of humility and to do so is something special really.  The very fact that a simple man could rise like that is a very encouraging example before us in our minds, with the idea that, what he has done in his life, we could also aspire for.  Though there is no compulsion that such slokas have to be sung only after some Guru teaches us, but it is good to think of such while chanting a sloka on Guru, which are plentifully available.  We all know of one such sloka which shows us how the Guru represents all the Gods: -
"gurur brhma gurur vishnu: gurur devo maheswara: |
"गुरुर ब्रह्मा गुरुर विष्णु: गुरुर देवो महेस्वर: |
guru sakshãt parabehma: tasmai sri gurave nama: ||"
गुरु साक्षात परब्रह्म: तस्मै श्री गुरवे नाम: ||"
(To be continued.)




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