Monday, October 07, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 48 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 Oct 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 48 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 Oct 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 398 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)

'Exuberance and Control'
(This is for Teenage Children.)
1.             Youth is a period in one's life when flow of physical and mental feelings, tend to go out of hand breaking all borders and restrictions. In the present day world wherein all people are overly under the influence of politics, cinema, Television, news-papers, sports which has been further accentuated by the cell-phone and other gadgets of information-technology; it is doubly difficult for young people finishing schools or studying in colleges who are just about leaving teen ages and entering the adulthood to, keep control over their attitudes and behaviour.  Still, keeping their own future in mind they have to keep control of themselves.  In that control the nation's present and future peaceful progress will be dependent.  If the youth lose control over themselves, there will be chaos in the households, society and the nation as a whole.
2.            To channelize and control this very natural tendency of a flood of sensations and feelings, our elders of the past had suggested that from very young childhood, from the time of 'aksharãbhyãsam' – 'अक्षराभ्यासं' that is, from the time of starting to learn to write, children should develop the habit of being devoted to God and the Guru.  They thus enabled the children to inculcate the quality of 'Vinaya' that is, self-control from the very beginning. 

'பக்தி அவசியம்' – 'Devotion is Essential'
3.            Though today the education by 'Guru Kula Vãsam' is out of fashion and children go to government and private schools, even now, to enable students to control their innate tendencies, there is no other remedy than devotion to divinity and the teacher, while inculcating the quality of Vinaya.  Devotion to God and respect to parents at home and willingness to obey the instructions of the teacher in school, are the essentials today.  With devotion chanting slokas for some 15 to 30 minutes, often going to temples, listening to 'harikatha' – 'हरिकथा' or reading some of the stories as found in devotional literature and such practices will do much good.  Even here, I have very carefully tried to control myself in saying 'some 15 or 30 minutes'.  I have so reduced the time element because, their studies are certainly very important and the distractions demanding the children's time, are many, nowadays!  Looking from that angle of demands on their time, an average student cannot afford to spend too much time on devotional activities and start lagging behind in studies.  If you are quick on the up-take in absorbing the study materials, this lessening of time for devotion to divinity may not be applicable.  Still, one should not forget that as a student, studies take the priority. 

4.            Basically all students if they have the deep devotion and a firm conviction that it is the divine power that can take them on the right path and develop that faith, it is enough.  How much time they spend on devotional activities is only a secondary matter.  That will depend on how good are they in studies and absorption.  Those who are smart and good on the uptake will possibly find more time for devotional activities without hurting their studies.  It is interesting to note that some students who are automatically well endowed in studies are also more devotionally oriented.  While saying that they may not become too involved in devotional matters, I have also to insist that the true maturity of mind happens when the devotion to divinity is strong.  When there is a certain amount of religiousness, with that what naturally comes is an inclination for righteousness aka Dharma.  Without that innate discipline, human life is a sheer waste!

'Nanneri VaLara' – 'நன்னெறி வளர' – 'For the Inculcation of Discipline'
5.            I am bringing up this factor for a particular reason.  It is just sad that all education has become simply employment oriented.  (KTSV adds: Having opted for a convoluted idea of 'Secularism' we have avoided any mention even of God, divinity, religiousness and along with that have foregone any mention of righteousness and morality!  In trying to accommodate other religions, we have come to make no mention of any of our religion, its beliefs, faith and morals that we are depriving our children of getting to know anything of the glorious past of this nation except what is approved by the descendants of the erstwhile marauders and occupiers of this nation, further vitiated by those within who have their own axes to grind!  Now let us continue with what PeriyavãL has to say.)  In the bargain, we have given no place in the curriculum, the need and methods of making students aware of subjects such as, Dharma, justice, morality righteousness and discipline.  Had these subjects been part of the syllabi, the students would not have had to spend some extra time and resources for these subjects and without them anyhow all education is good for nothing!

6.            So, during the time when the colleges are closed such as during Dussehra, Christmas and summer holidays, the students have to make an effort to learn about these things.  As their learning about their religion is important, to enable them to do so, it is necessary that we should organise some societies or associations where such religious education can be imparted to young students, in all localities of the town.  This is an important task before all of us today, so as to ensure that our youth flower into responsible adulthood in the immediate future.  All the young students in late teenage and early twenties must make full use of such arrangements. 

'Say a Firm No to Politics!'
7.            I listed politics, cinema, news-papers and sports as potent distractions for youth of today.  Amongst them Politics is to be avoided at all costs.  You may counter saying that the main ingredient in running of the country is politics, which one should very much be aware of isn't it?  By all means keep yourself informed, as you are required to know current-affairs as part of general knowledge.  But taking active part in politics is taboo as of now. To be able to participate even in politics with a sharp wit, intelligence and incisive mind; till you are a student, keep off politics.   Now to participate in politics while still immature will result in self destruction and cause confusion.  As it is, already honest and knowledgeable people are becoming a rarity with selfishness and narrow mindedness being the main harvest, in the field of politics! 

8.            Was there ever a time when politics was an honest man's profession?  John F Kennedy had written a book named 'Profiles in Courage' about those politicians who stood like a rock amidst chaos and ridicule because they had the courage of conviction on points of principle.  But they were anyhow exceptions to the rule that politics is a muddle most of the time.  If somebody has to take up the job in his life, he should do so after having become fairly knowledgeable and well experienced with the ways of the world.  But as a student, who is yet to complete his education, his sole duty is to learn and become fit for further studies or employment.  His involvement prematurely in politics will prove to be harmful for himself personally as well as to the society and the nation.

9.            While still a student, the education that you are receiving and more than that the methods you adopt for self-control, discipline and morality, such as devotion to divinity and Sat-sang, in building up your character-qualities are the inputs that will eventually make you into excellent citizens of the country.  So you have to become physically and mentally strong, capable of standing for the correctness and righteousness of equitable humane character qualities.  Only such people can bear the onus of managing and running the nation.  So to undertake such responsibilities before you have clarified your own mind about right and wrong, and before you are physically ready for such tasks, would not be very prudent.  To run the nation you need, your physical fitness, mental agility, clarity of thoughts and concepts, ability to put across your points and views and the moral power to force acceptance where required; and God's blessings!  So, you have to come to the clear understanding that to enter politics now as a student, is good neither for yourself nor for the state. 

10.          In this, the brain power required for management of resources at one's command, has to come as a result of your education at the college level.  Then when you get employed and work for various projects, you have to work hard to add other qualities such as name and fame, gain other's trust, become courageous, gain mastery over one's own mind and body, be free of corruption, be able to express one's point of view and motivate others, learn about time and resources management, develop leadership qualities, running your own house successively leading to management of small units to increasingly bigger and bigger tasks.  One who has not learnt as to how to run his own house, or any such individual small units, how will he suddenly become capable of running a whole nation?

11.          So, at first you have to lay the foundations for firmly establishing yourself as a good human being, able house-holder and a capable and knowledgeable member of the team and citizen of the country.  Then after marriage practically experience the responsibilities as a wage earner and a good house-holder.  Then you can think of bigger responsibilities and your chance for public office comes later!  So, instead of getting into politics like jumping into a swimming pool, first you have to build up your own capabilities and qualitative requirements!  The narrow minded politicians thinking of the vote bank only, will try to pull the students into the muck of the political cauldron.  It is the responsibility of educationists, leaders of the society and elders at home, to warn the students to guard against this hazard. 

12.          This task has to be taken in all seriousness and put across to the student community in an acceptably interesting way.  Teachers have to take this as an important task of theirs especially because, what is forbidden has some special attraction at that youthful age.  Elder statesmen also should make it a point to warn the students against their being roped into politics prematurely, in as many forums as possible!

(To be continued.)




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