Monday, March 17, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 121 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 Mar 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 121 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 Mar 2014

(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 922 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)

48.           Like the surprising physical and technical capabilities of the instruments of scientific discoveries in the outer world, Mantras have in the inner world.  Live electrical leads that give a shock can be touched by a stick isn't it?  Similarly to save us from the sensual shock is this simple device of a wooden stick.  Radio waves are captured by the aerial, isn't it?  Lightning rod receives a powerful jolt of electricity from the skies and saves the building while remaining unaffected, isn't it?  That is how this also.  In our case this Dandam is both symbolic and a safety guard.   So we make use of this simple stick for our safety and for the act of Namaskãra of handing over the case to higher ups.   Still, we do not get the psychological 'high' of Vinaya that you get in laying the body flush with the ground, by using this device, it is true!

Completeness of Vinaya in Prostrating Before an Elder
49.          One more thing, which I wished to convey especially. More than doing Namaskãra to God or being venerable to the ancient Masters, it is important to be respectful and do Namaskãra to that person elder to you and walking around in front of your eyes, so as to inculcate Vinaya Bhãva deeply.  Swami, deities and Devatãs are all very powerful.  Even the ancient Masters are considered to be divine beings as we cannot perceive of them in any other way!  In fact they were recognised as great only because they were so apparently divine during their sojourn on earth, doing effortlessly such wonderful things which would have been beyond the ken of a mere mortal being.  In front of such apparently super-human capabilities, there is nothing much to talk of in our recognition of our limitedness and prostrating before them!

50.          Relate this to how we look at those elders that we come across in our own day-today lives?  However much they may be thought of as divine by some others, as compared to some hazy idea of ours about being holy, they seem to be behaving like so many other human beings only.  Though we may call these acts as Leela or play in Mãyã to facilitate human accessibility, the veneration and adoration that we have for deities and past Masters is not easily evoked towards other contemporary human beings.  That is why may be, instead of adoring them for their actions in this life, we allude their being an Avatar of some great saint or divine being of yore.  Let the reality be whatever it is, though we do not see the contemporary elders of the society as super-human or great, when we prostrate in front of them also, it is here and now that our humility is more apparent.
Greater Respect towards Elders in the Immediate Presence
51.               Another difference, different to the just mentioned difference.  From that statement, it may seem that more than the difference shown to the elders in our immediate presence, we should be showing more respect to our elders of the past.  But, think as to what really happens.  Do we have such intense respect to the great Saints of the past or for that matter to the divine Idols in the temples?   Yes we may be having quite a lot of devotion towards them.  But are we standing in absolute subservience in front of them, with hands tied and speechless in reverence and awe?  Though, to do so is not so very important.  Devotion is a thing not easily definable as exactly what it is!  Our approach to that divinity is also not so easily and clearly definable.  How we approach them divine beings or Idols in temples is something not comprehensible by our intellect.  Respect may or may not be a part of it.  In absolute freedom without caring for respect, don't we do the 'nindã stuti' – 'निन्दा स्तुति', meaning 'praise that looks like criticism', isn't it?

52.          Looking at past Masters or saintly beings of yore, we do not seem to take such liberties.  More than for the Gods, our respects for the past Masters seem to come to the forefront.  That is why, towards them we have devotion aka Bhakti in all its glory equally.  In our living presence when elders are in front of our eyes, our respect to them should be the most important response.   We believe that every iota of existence is permeated by God.  Such being the case, our response towards others that we come across in day-to-day life, should be as it would be towards God!  Let us say that we evaluate in terms of divinity, ease of access, veneration and respect to be shown to them and mark them, Gods, past Masters and contemporary elders seen before our eyes.  What we practically see is that, our respects to them are in the inverse proportion, respectively!  Instead of love, freedom and closeness, the difference or respect shown is in top priority.  That is we take liberties with God and Past-Masters while we are too formal with the immediate elders before us!  Not only with religious elders like a Swãmiyars, government leaders, senior bureaucrats, functionaries in the political parties, intellectuals, people well known in arts and the fields of entertainment and business magnets; in whatever fields, 'respect' seems to be the most important required commodity in our approaches to these people.    

53.          The word 'Respect' seems to be the most important in all our relationships in the world.  Do we respect God?  Do we use the word 'Respected' when referring to our ÃchãryãL or Vyãsa Bhagawan or Ramana Maharishi?  We only say adored, in which respect is a part only.  There are many other aspects in adoration.  However much the Devatas may be great, since their greatness is so naturally taken for granted, we do not especially respect them for that.  Even the Past Masters, since they are considered to be divine, we take their greatness as an expected adjective or quality.  Only when we see elders, far advanced in various fields, and already known and famous, we feel a sense of respect towards them.  That too when they are far experienced in the religious field, their knowledge in matters such as Ãtma, Sãstrãs and their comprehension of divinity, our respect is more wholesome.  So more than God and Past Masters however divine they might have been; we feel a natural sense of humility in front of respectable people that we come across practically in day-to-day life. 

Talking about My Bad Luck
54.          To get that sense of respect and feel light has been denied to me from early childhood.  How to become light when the prestige of position is so heavy on my shoulders?  I am doubly unlucky in this business of 'giving respect and feeling light'.  Let me explain the first point of being unlucky.  Sanyãsis are not supposed to do Namaskãr to others who are not Sanyãsis.  That is the first part.  The second part of being unlucky is like this.  Though Sanyãsis are not supposed to do Namaskãra to others, between Sanyãsis they should be expressing their respect for each other.  In this the seniority is decided by the number of 'Vyãsa Pooja' done by them.  Every year the Sanyãsis are required to do this pooja starting from 'Chãtur Mãsya Vratam' on the full moon day of Ashãda PourNami. So if you have become a Sanyãsi at an early age, even when the other is older, if he has taken Sanyãsa later, it is the elder who has to do the Namaskãra, when they meet. 

55.          Still in my case, with my becoming a Sanyãsi at a very young age, there is yet another problem.  I have come across many Sanyãsis who have done more Vyãsa Pooja than me.  But instead of doing Namaskãra to them, the opposite thing has happened because of my title as the Jagat Guru!  Though I had always understood that to mean that the Jagat is my Guru, in the practical world it is law of the Matam that, 'For the Jagat Guru all people of the world are like a Sishya only and to even think of doing Namaskãra to a Sishya is anathema'!  So, even amongst my seniors who were Sanyãsis, I could never pay my obeisance to!  Further very peculiarly there was another ill luck especially for me.  That was the fact that all other Sanyãsis who got the title as Jagat Guru would have done Namaskãra to that Guru who would have bestowed the title on them at least.  You know that even that little token of honour was denied to me, as you would have known.  (It so happened that when PeriyavãL had to be bestowed with that title as Jagat Guru suddenly on the attaining to Maha Samãdhi by the previous Matãdipathy, who would have otherwise received that Namaskãra!  It is surprising to note that in the case of Jagat Guru in Sarada Peetam in Sringeri also, almost around the same time, similar event occurred.)

Make Use of this Opportunity to Do Namaskãra
56.          You all have that good luck and opportunity, which I call 'Namaskãra Bhãgyam', available plentifully.  So I suggest that you should make full use of the same.  Please go to the temples and do Namaskãra to God and in addition, also do Namaskãra to each and every elder who is walking around before you.  It is in this action maximum respectfulness is there and also a chance to inculcate humbleness yourself!

For Inculcating Humility
57.          If your reaction is one of, "Let it be, what is so great about it", my answer is that there is much value in doing Namaskãra.  It is this respect for elders, the source for the quality of true humility called as 'Vinaya' – 'विनय' in Sanskrit and intrinsic inculcation of 'PaNivu' – 'பணிவு' as they say in Tamil.  More than in any other procedures such as Pooja, Ãrãdhanã, Archana, and such other methods, it is in doing Namaskãra that this 'विनय' aka 'பணிவு' blooms and shines.  Namaskãra is described in Tamil as 'adi paNindu vaNanguvadu' – 'அடி பணிந்து வணங்குவது' to mean 'bowing down in worship'.  In front of an elder when you lay down your body in true respectfulness one is able feel happy in giving physical expression to the sense of 'பணிவு'.  This action of Namaskãra is not only symbolic of the state of one's mind but nourishes that attitude further.

58.          For a very long time, for tens of thousands of years our forefathers have been perfecting this technique isn't it?  Their true sense of humbleness has so marinated in to that gesture so much that its effectiveness is almost assured.  For us who have come in the path shown by them, that sense of humility will be felt by us also as endowed by being heir to that rich tradition by heredity.  So the modern social scientists affirm as a common 'race consciousness'. 

Man's Inner – Outer Ascensions and Declensions
59.          All other members of the animal world are known as 'Tiryak Jantu' – 'तिर्यक जन्तु' that grow transversely, while only human beings known as the 'homo-sapiens',  grow up wards from the leg towards body and head, known as 'Oordvamukha Jantu' – 'ऊर्द्वमुख जन्तु'.  It is claimed with pride that because Man is the highest of creations, he is so made.  For example though there are many other forms of exalted and divine beings such as Devas, Yaksha, Kinnara, Gandharva and a few more, sometime or the other they have to be born as human beings before they can attain to the comprehension of Gnãna and be liberated from the cycle of birth and death!  So to be born as a human being is the foremost as well as the penultimate stage in evolution.  But by this, if he is going to start feeling proud, thinking 'no end to himself' he can and does fall back in to the lower than even the animal world!

(To be continued.)




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