Monday, September 23, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Sept 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 42 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Sept 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 364 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)

413.        It is very interesting to note as to how this Dharma Chakra could find a place in the Nation's Flag that too the center spot!  The persons entrusted with the task of designing the nations new flag were basically looking for a symbolic figure totally unconnected to God or Religion.  Finally they decided on Dharma Chakra, which is a design in the historically well-known pillar in Sãranãth near Ranchi, called the Ashoka Pillar.  Ashoka as an Emperor declared himself to be 'devãnãm priya' – 'देवानां प्रिय:', meaning 'the loved one of the celestials' and was much loved by the people of this country also and hence to have that symbol in the National Flag is a matter of pride and honour for all of us! Still ignoring God paying attention only to morality and justice as a principle of Dharma, is a bit of a come-down while being impractical too! 

414.        In his administration and management of this world, as the one to enact Laws as Dharma and ensure its prevalence and observance, as the benefactor for those who follow those rules and as the one who will ensure punishment of those errant defaulters and as the sort of C.E.O. of the whole world and universe and as the one who gives and takes away our lives, is how Hinduism depicts God.  When the masses have this idea in their minds, it is natural for them to have mix of devotion and fear of such a God.  This naturally evokes a sense of discipline in their minds.  Forgetting this practical truth when that religion of Buddhism that Ashoka followed and preached, it was not much useful practically.  The leaders of that religion too in fairly a short time, looking at the chaotic functioning of their 'Sangam' learnt their lessons fast enough.  So they conceived of the very founder of that religion, Buddha as God and raised temples and statues of Buddha bigger than any other Gods of the Hindus, while evolving Scriptures and procedures for his worship, exactly as it is for their Gods in Hinduism!  Then they virtually adopted all the pantheon of Gods, as it is in the Hindu religion, as part and parcel of their procedure for worship.   This is how, though the present political leaders with an attitude of reforming zeal in free India thought of Ashoka as non-religious!  Still he claimed himself to be, as I quoted earlier, 'देवानां प्रिय:' meaning that he is the 'beloved of Gods'. 

415.        Without paying any attention to these facts, taking only the fact that the founder of that religion is supposed to have said that basic power or driving force is 'damma chakka pavrtan' (which is a corruption in 'Pãli' language of the Sanskrit original 'dharma chakra pravartan' – 'धर्म चक्र प्रवर्तन', meaning 'to move the wheel of morality'), to be a declaration of agnosticism!  Thus it was by chance and with God's Grace the Wheel of Morality has come to adorn the central spot in our National Flag! In fact the real meaning of that phrase is 'to cause the wheel of morality move well', meaning to 'spread the tenets of that religion in all directions'!  Whatever it is, we can consider this as an indirect assurance that the free government of India will work hard for the spread and maintenance of fairness, righteousness and morals in the country and towards such a hope, we can be happy that it has come to stay as the central figure in our National Flag!

Vedic Statement as National Ideal
416.        There is one more thing to be happy about.  As a statement of the ideal of this country, there is an Upanishadic statement that has been selected as a national ideal.  It is 'satyameva jayate' – 'सत्यमेव जयते', meaning that truth will prevail.  This is the declaration by the basic scripture of Sanãtana Dharma, informing the people of the world that come what may, the eventual victor will be the Truth!  Here too suitable to the modernists who did not wish to touch anything Hindu with even a barge pole, this statement could never be thought of as having anything to do with Hinduism as a statement of human optimism!  Whatever it is, we appreciate the fact that this Upanishadic Statement has become the official declaration of the ideal by the free government of India!  Thus the Dharma Chakra, multi-sided-lion and this 'सत्यमेव जयते', became the Official Seal of our free Government of India.

Is it Dharma Chakram or the Wheel of Industry?
417.        There are people who wonder if the purpose of selecting this Dharma Chakra is something else!  The national character of India is basically and traditionally is about 'simple living' only.  The main leader of our Independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi was of the conviction that, this country of massive population should opt for handy-crafts and cottage industry which are mostly done with small equipments and tools with more input of human labour.  Symbolically he opted for the Charka, the hand driven   equipment for making threads from  raw cotton cobs, which are further used in making cloth with hand-looms.  That is why he got the Charka in the center of the Congress Flag.  But totally contrary to his views, enamoured of western life of luxury and huge machines as required for such a life; one wonders if the new crops of leaders of India have gone-in for the Dharma Chakram the wheel, indicative of opting for industrial revolution!

Dharma Chakram as Shown by Gita
418.        Whatever the truth of it, though we have forgotten God, with kindness and grace, God has manipulated the Dharma Chakra in to our flag, so that whatever be the present scenario, one day we may learn from our mistakes and give up this over-reliance on heavy industries and going by our traditional ways, opt for labour intensive technologies as a counter approach and be an anti-dote for the ills troubling the whole world!  So this Dharma Chakra is God's assurance making people like me hopeful that the future holds such a possibility.  The particular reason for my hopefulness is that, the same idea of 'dharma chakra pravartan' – 'धर्म चक्र प्रवर्तन', some five thousand years before Buddha thought of it, Bhagawan Sri Krishna has mentioned this in the 16th sloka of the 3rd Chapter, as to how the orderly system he has set up for human beings works, 'evam pravartitam chakram' – 'एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं', meaning this wheel thus keeps rolling.  If your question is as how does it work he explains that also.  Dharmam that is righteous living is the axle with the outer cycle being the manifestation of cause and effect.  Starting with the human as a series of six parts, it ends in divinity.  What is that series in six parts?

The Path of the Cycle: Sacrifice Its Essence
419.        Bhagawan Sri Krishna starts with 'Lives are formed from food'.  What is this food and why does it have so much of importance, let us see.  The eternal Veda Dharmam says that to give, sacrifice and renounce for others without being selfish is Thyaga, (the word त्याग in Sanskrit has all these meanings that also includes the idea of Yãga in it).  All your cherished valuable materials instead of keeping in store for oneself are offered in oblation in fire.  Fire is not just some thing or event in our understanding but, one of the five basic elements known as 'pancha bhoota:' – 'पञ्च भूत:' the others being space, air, water and earth.  What we offer in sacrifice, through the Fire-God reaches God's officers or agents and through them returns back to all living beings of the universe.  You may be far advanced technologically or industrially.  But you are equally affected when there is a Tsunami or flood or earth-quake or drought!  The idea is to give back to nature what belongs to nature.  When you give like that without feeling miserly about it, you get it back also with interest from nature!  So the Vedic rituals by Thyaga and Yãga ensure noble life of comfort for all humanity and other living beings.  Please note that these two acts of Yãga and Thyaga are both known by the one word in English, as Sacrifice!  Since you can do these acts only if you are living, keeping the purpose of feeding and catering for others as the main task, we should learn to make do with what is required for our survival essentially, as divine grace and live our life like that without greed.  This is the basic rule of Veda – as the first and foremost among all Upanishad-s, namely Esãvãsya Upanishad asserts in the very first sentence, that, "The whole Universe wherever and however small or big, is permeated and under the rule and control of Easwara.  So enjoy by giving and sharing, do not covet; since after all whose is all this wealth?" In that, giving food to others gets the pride of place, as it is like the first link in the chain of cause and effect that we are yet to discuss, that Sri Krishna starts off with the statement (in Bhagawat Gita 3.14) that life forms are born from food – 'annãd bhavanti bhootãni' – 'अन्नाद भवन्ति भूतानि'!

(To be continued)




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