Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 7) Dated 23 Oct 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 7) Dated 23 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 the last paragraph on page No 444 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)

40.           The Special Value of the Cow's Presence.  Giving its all for enabling us to conduct the Yagnyas,           the Cow has the power to cause the Mantras to be effective by its very presence or Sãnnidyam!  That is why to do Japa in the cow-shed known as 'Goshtam' – 'गोष्टं' that is the barn, is said to be a Crore times more powerful than chanting it elsewhere.   (A Crore is a unit of numbers that is, ten times a Million!)

All Devatas are Included in the Cow
41.          Because, in the Cow all 330 Million Devatas are included.  All the sacred 'Teertãs' of all the divine water sources are already there in the cow.  In all our temples a number of Sannidy of Devatas are there.  Besides the temple either there are rivers or ponds or a well whose waters are said to be very sacred.  But the Go the Cow is a temple in itself where all the Devatas are present with those 'Teertãs' also.  The Cow itself is a mobile temple for all deities of the Hindu Pantheon.

Go Mãtã and Lakshmi
42.          What is this 'All God's Pantheon'?  It is not easy to understand with our limited knowledge and comprehension.  It is confusing instigating some fear and not devotion!  So, particularly Go Mãtã is said to be Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of Wealth and all Aishwarya.  In the Sanskrit dictionary, while listing a number of names of Lakshmi, it says 'Loka Mãtã' and 'Loka Janani'.  Go the Cow is that 'Loka Mãtã' itself.  On the one hand 'Go Mãtã' is said to be Lakshmi Devi and on the other hand, the Cow is said to be the living abode of Lakshmi.  There are five places which are considered as the abode of Lakshmi Devi.  One is the parting of hair at the centre top of the head of faithful married ladies known as 'Seamantham', second is the inner part of the Lotus flower, third is head of the Elephant, fourth is reverse side of the Bilva (or Aeglemarmeles) leaf and the fifth is the back side of the Cow.

43.          In the cow we have seen many apparent opposites and contradictions coalesce smoothly, isn't it?  Similarly instead of the front and face it is the rear end of the cow which is the sacred place of residence for Lakshmi Devi.  The Cow's face is cleaned, yellow turmeric powder is smeared and then the red ochre Kumkum is applied as a dot in the centre of the face between the two eyes and the nose / mouth and on the horns too.  All this is done only as part of the decorations, including a garland or two in her neck with some tinkling bells!   When it comes to doing the ceremonial Pooja/Archana, of reverentially taking its names and offering different flowers for each name or Nama; it is done to the back side of the Cow having the humps on either side with the tail in between.  There is nothing execrable about the cow, nothing mean or way down low.  In Matams like this one, daily morning the first Puja done is for the Cow and then only other rituals carry on, from which you can understand the venerable high pedestal at which the stature of the Cow is viewed.  Though the Elephant is much bigger than the cow, first it is 'Go Puja' and then only 'Gaja Puja'!

'பசுவுக்கொரு வாயுறை' – 'A Handful of Grass for the Cow'
44.          To consider the cow as the God and doing Puja is secondary as it can only be done by some.  But there is a duty to be done by every one of us.  Every one of us should be giving the cow at least a handful of grass every day.  That is known as 'Go Grasam' – 'गो ग्रासं' in the Sãstrãs.  From this 'गो ग्रासं' only in English this word 'Grass' has evolved.  Thiru Moolar in Thiru Mandiram has clearly defined the daily duties of all of us, in these words.  In saying that each one of us should be giving at least one leaf for the God, that is one Bilva leaf for Easwara and one handful of cooked food at least for the beggar.  In between these two requirements he has inserted a line saying that we should be offering at least a handful of grass to the cow and then finishes the four lines beautifully saying that, the best we can do for each other is to offer 'good sweet words'!  Here are the four lines: -
யாவர்க்குமாம் இறைவர்க்கொரு பச்சிலை,
yãvarkumãm iraivarkkoru pachchilai,
யாவர்க்குமாம் பசுவுக்கொரு வாயுறை,
yãvarkumãm pasuvukkoru vãyurai,
யாவர்க்குமாம் உண்ணும்போதொரு கைப்பிடி, 
yãvarkumãm uNNumpodoru kaippidi,
யாவர்க்குமாம் பிறர்க்(கு) இன்னுரைதானே. 
yãvarkumãm prarkku innuraitãne.

Unpardonable Crime
45.          In the period that the cow gives milk and later when it has stopped giving milk, if we do not feed the cow properly, it is an unpardonable crime and a great slur on our name.  In this respect we are all erring by not taking enough care.  Though in our religion the cow is given a very high venerable status, a physical comparison of our cattle and those of other countries will reveal how we are being quite careless in this respect.  Though they do not consider the cow as venerable as a deity and eat the beef, in practical terms they do take much better care of the animals, feeding it well.  We feed the cow the minimum that our cows look puny in comparison.  We cannot get away from our responsibility by saying that they are fattening the cow for slaughter!  Whatever the reason, till it is alive are they not feeding it well?  Instead of feeding well and taking good care of them, often agitating that we should enact laws to stop their slaughter has no meaning.  Those who support their slaughter are likely to turn around and say, instead of keeping them in such pathetic conditions, it is better that they should be killed and relieved of the agony of such existence!  Then we will also be standing as 'Vãyillã Jivan' – like the cows, unable to give any reply!

Duties of the Government and the People
46.          This is not to be misconstrued that I am against enactment forbidding cow slaughter or that it should be delayed till people start taking good care of the cows even after they have stopped giving milk.  The preventive act should be made into a law as early as possible from the Government side.  Instead of stopping at that, it is the responsibility of the people to feed the animals well and keep them in good shape and good health as long as they live in healthy hygienic surroundings.  Though there are some organizations agitating for a preventive act debarring cow slaughter, nobody is talking about or doing enough to take good care of such cows which have become overage for giving milk.  There is justice in asking for complete cow slaughter and I wished to emphasise that it is our honourable and holy duty to take good care of the animals till their end days.

47.          We happen to belong to a religion which considers the Cow to be holy doing 'Go Puja' and at the same time sending it for slaughter for its skin/leather and meat or keeping them underfed and roaming about in the concrete jungles of our cities uncared for!  Unless we take good care of those animals till their natural death, we cannot even call ourselves as Hindus at all and that is the hard fact.

There is an Easy Way of Keeping them Well-fed
48.          Just to take good care of them, all of us do not have to work hard and make much sacrifice.  The task is such that any amount of sacrifice is well worth it in fact.  If some or many come forward to do this it will be very good.  But instead of going to much trouble, if we take care of one simple aspect, the problem will be solved to a large extent as many stomachs of the cows will be filled.  Especially today since most of the villages have become cities and there are not many grazing grounds available and in big cities there is just no possibility of grazing at all!  But we are all consuming huge quantities of fruits and vegetables.  If all the peelings of vegetables and such discards, if collected systematically and made available to these animals in a decent and hygienic way, on the one hand a sizeable part of the disposal of waste materials in civic management will be taken care of and the uncared for cows' stomachs can be filled.  This can be collected from hotels, hostels and individual houses too by some volunteers.  Nowadays most of the colonies are either multi storied or gated communities.  Civic sense and awareness and co-ordination will be essential.  We need volunteers to organise and execute such a plan in each area. 

49.          Please do not think that this is a hare brained scheme.  We are crores of people in this country.  Compared to our numbers the population of cattle and especially cows will only be a fraction. In that too, we need not worry about well-established Dairy farms and rich people's estates.   If done with sincerity and application, there will be much material collected if we include hostels and hotels.   We have to take care of only such animals in whose case the small-time owners are not able to do so for financial reasons.  In their case however we may have to make some monetary compensation to them after which the ownership will have to be transferred to such organizations or individuals coming forward to do this as a purely social and noble responsibility.  If done with diligence and application one can see the good effect of such while becoming worthy of Gopala Krishna's blessings too.

(To be continued.)




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