Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bhakti Song 172

துணையாரும் இல்லை

தனித்து உன்னுடன் இருந்திடுவேனே
தாய் உன் மடியினில் தவழ்ந்திடுவேனே
இதயம் நிறைந்து வாழ்த்திடுவேனே
இன்றுபோல் உன்னுடன் வாழ்ந்திடுவேனே

தனிமை என்பது என்னிடம் இல்லை
தமியன் எனக்குப் புகலிடம் இல்லை
என்னுடன் நீயும் கலந்த பின்னாலே
பிரிவென்ற ஒன்று நம்மிடை இல்லை

என்னால் எல்லாம் செய்திட முடியும்
என்னுடன் நீமட்டும் இருந்து விட்டாலே
என்பெலன் கொண்டு வெல்வதும் இல்லை
என்னால் வெற்றி என்பதும் இல்லை

நாம் கொண்ட உறவே உண்மையாகும்
நாம் வாழும் வாழ்க்கை இனிமையாகும்
நாம் கொண்ட நட்பே உறுதியாகும்
நாம் கொண்ட அன்பே இறுதியாகும்

ஆயினும் உன்னிடம் குறையும் உண்டு
அதை நான் கூற உரிமையும் உண்டு
என்குறை நன்கு அறிந்த நீயும்
ஏனோ மறுத்தாய் அதனை நீக்க

காரணம் என்ன நீமட்டும் அறிவாய்
வேறென்ன எண்ணம் நீயே சொல்வாய்
என்நிலை புரியவோ அதனை வைத்தாய்
எதுவரை என்னைப் போராட வைப்பாய்

வேண்டாம் இந்த வேடிக்கை எல்லாம்
வேண்டாத இந்த விளையாட்டு எல்லாம்
போராட வேண்டுமோ உன்னிடம் நானும்
புரிந்து கொண்டால் அதுமட்டும் போதும்

ஆனால் அதுவே உன் சித்தமென்றால்
அடிமை அதற்கும் சம்மதம் சொல்வேன்
ஏனென்றால் நீயே மீட்டிடுவாயே
என்னுடன் போராடி வென்றிடுவாயே

இந்த ரகசியம் நாமட்டும் அறிவேன்
அதை நீ உணர்ந்தாய் என்பதைப் புரிந்தேன்
ஆதலால் எனக்குத் தோல்வியும் இல்லை

உன்னைப் போல் எனக்குத் துணையாரும் இல்லை

16-07-13. காலை, 8.45

Bhakti Song 171

மீண்டும் அருள்வதேனோ

மீண்டும் மீண்டும் அருள்வதேனோ
மீளாத் துயரத்தில் கிடந்த எனக்கு

ஆண்டு கொண்டு அருளினைத் தந்தாய்
வேண்டிக்கொண்டேன் இரக்கத்தைத் தந்தாய்
மாண்டு கிடந்தேன் மீட்பினைத் தந்தாய்
நாடியே என்னைத் தேடியே வந்து–மீண்டும்…

எடுத்தத் தீர்மானம் எத்தனை எண்ணுவேன்
கொடுத்த வாக்கினை எவ்விதம் சொல்வேன்
நடித்த நாடகம் கொஞ்சமோ கூறுவேன்
தடுத்தே வந்து தாங்கியே இங்கு–மீண்டும்…

சிந்தையில் இல்லை நிலையான உறுதி
செயலிலே இல்லை நிறைவான இறுதி
மனதிலே இல்லை கனிவான பக்தி
ஆயினும் நீயே நாடியே வந்து–மீண்டும்…

துன்பம் என்பது இறுதி இல்லை
துக்கம் என்பது நிலைப்பதும் இல்லை
மரணம் என்னை வெல்வதும் இல்லை
இறுதி வரையில் நீயே வந்து–மீண்டும்…

13-07-2013 காலை, 8.40. குருகுலம்

Bhakti Song 170

ஆதாரம் நீ.

மனம் மொழி மெய்யாலே பணிந்திடுவேனே
மன்னனே உன்னடி தொழுதிடுவேனே
செயலாலே உன்மேன்மை அறிந்திடுவேனே
மன உயர்வாலே உன்புகழ் பாடிடுவேனே

அறிவாலே உன்னை நான் அறிந்திடுவேனோ
’அகம்’ அழியாமல் உன்னை அண்டிடுவேனோ
உறவாலே அன்றி உனைத் தொழுவேனோ
உலகமே பழித்தாலும் உனை மறப்பேனோ

கேள்விகள் ஆயிரம் மனதிலும் உண்டே
கேள்விக்கே விடையாக நீ ஆனபின்னும்
பதிலாக எதை நான் புரிந்து கொள்வேனோ
பரமனே உனையன்றி அறிந்து கொள்வேனோ

ஆயினும் சிந்தையில் ஆயிரம் தடுமாற்றம்
அறியாத காரணத்தால் மனதிலே போராட்டம்
ஆனாலும் துணிந்தேதான் உன்னடி வந்தேன்
ஆதாரம் நீ என்று உணர்ந்து கொண்டேன்.

7, 10-7-13, இரவு 11. 15

Bhakti Song 169

அருள் வேண்டும்

இந்த நாளும் உன் அருளே வேண்டும்
எண்ணம் முழுதும் உன் நினைவே வேண்டும்
சொல்லிலே செயலிலே உண்மை வேண்டும்
சொந்தம் உனதென்ற உணர்வு வேண்டும்

பக்தருடன் நல் உறவு வேண்டும்
முக்தி நெறிநிற்கச் சிந்தை வேண்டும்
பக்தி செய்யவே மனமும் வேண்டும்
முக்தி மறையறிய அறிவு வேண்டும்

புதிய பாடல் தினம் பாடவேண்டும்
புனிதன் உன்னைப் போற்ற வேண்டும்
உன்புகழ் மட்டும் உயரவேண்டும்
உன் தொண்டனாக வாழ வேண்டும்

7/7/13. காலை. 8.30. குருகுலம்

On Karma

Apart from God and next to Atman, Karma is the one principle/doctrine which has universal application (both secular and religious worlds).  Considering its relativistic, dynamic, multicentered nature, it is very difficult to give any simple answer to all the complicated questions related to it.  So leaving its doctrinal aspects in religious world and other values in secular world, for me two approach would help us to handle the issue for our need.

Without karma the entire cosmos cannot sustain.  Not a single fraction of a second can go without action (karma).  So no one can escape from its force.  Even to abandon any kind of karma to become an ‘akarmani’ (without karma) we need its very help.  And even if one manage to claim to attain the status of ‘karmaless’, for me itself is another form of karma.

Once we realize this to overcome certain problems related with karma lies in our approach in handling it.  When we work for our survival, then most of the time it become a non-issue or unavoidable.  So whether we like it or not we have to face it.  But when we need to work for others, then all the complications creep and affect our relationship with everyone—God, human and nature.  And the one simple solution that could help to resolve most of the complication is to approach all our karma for others as a ‘seva’.  This will help karma as a joyful event than mere burden.  Otherwise, if we approach all our work for others will become intolerable burden resulting in strained relationship with oneself first, then with others next and finally with God and nature.

The next crucial issue related to karma is about a question ‘why’?  Why that person, in spite doing all kinds of wrong karma still has a happy life whereas, in spite of good works others suffer.  Though this question is a complicated one related with religious doctrines like rebirth and theodicy, yet my solution to this is like this:  Such questions more reflects our attitude towards that person than raising a genuine question seeking a true answer.  Most of the times such questions are asked either to justify our action or out of jealousy or to console ourselves.  Only when we are affected by someway negatively either by our karma or by others, then this ‘why’ question comes.  Otherwise, under the burden of our regular karmas we have no time even to think about it.

 

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, February 21, 2012

 

Burden of History

History is not mere incident but a particular interpretation on that incident.  What we have now as ‘History’ (by the historians of all schools), in spite of all kinds of archeological, monumental, textual, edicts and other such evidences is that particular interpretation.

So when the recent dispute of giving Life time award to Nobel Laterite Naipaul in Mumbai and the subsequent TV debates (both in CNN-IBN and NDTV on November 5 & 6) on the issue turned to a dispute on the question of history as well as secularism, we lay people are left in dark grove not knowing what all these discussion were about.  My point here is not about the dispute centered around the award given to Naipaul and an attack on him by Girish Karnad (who was invited to speak on theater, but used the forum to attack on Naipaul), but the way the issue was carried further in TV debates.

My main concern here is that all kinds of modern interpretation about our past history—dividing them as ‘secular’ versus ‘communal’ (or read ‘nationalism’) with a further category of Marxist view of history is not going to help us simple lay people to have a basic understanding about our past history.

If the understanding of past history is limited due to the availability of textual, archeological and document evidence, in future, any understanding of our past history will become a head ache due to too many information based on the ‘interpretations’ of  ‘secular’ ‘Marxists’ versus ‘Communal’ ‘National’ ideological lines.  All the present debates are carried on minute level by hair splitting analysis on a particular ‘word’.  So without understanding the context of these present day debate and interpretation on the past history will confuse the lay people than contributing them to understand our history.

This does not mean that I am against such hair splitting debates based on words and meanings, but suddenly our modern values are super imposed on our understanding of the past history.  For example, one panelist (his first name is Anil, who organized that event at Mumbai to felicitate Naipaul) pointed out the lack of ‘democracy’ when he was silenced by the critic of Naipaul (Karnad) by not allowing him and others to raise some question on his attack on Naipaul.  He was cent percent correct in his view on ‘democratic’ debate in every kind of dialogue.  But these modern values of democratic debates are going to add too many contexts for one to understand the modern understanding on the past history.  To say in other way, all these kinds of hair splitting analysis based on words and ideologies are going to leave a huge volume of information to the future generation as the ‘historical evidence’ for them to understand about their past.  All our present discussion and debates are the ‘history’ for the future.  If lack of evidences is an impediment for us to understand our past history, too much of information (thanks for all modern facilities which could produce and leave unimaginable huge volume of information) that we now leave will become another kind of impediment for the future generation to understand their immediate past (our present time) and the distant past (our past).

But there is no solution for these kinds of issues. Because whether we like it or not, such debates based on ideological line that too with too much interpretation with a hair splitting analysis in text, electronic, internet etc. media is  inevitably going to leave huge volume of information with which the future (also the present) generation has to learn to live.  Adding fuel to the fire, too many channels with 24 x 7 coverage, keeping TRP interest going to confuse several such crucial issues than providing any clarity.  As their aim is making a ‘NEWS’ on every issue, like politicians making politics on every issue, once a keen issue served their purpose of providing a news for them, they are going to jump to the next hot news of another day.  Any how we lay people never take these kinds of discussions seriously (thanks to the remote to change the channel immediately), all these crucial issues will continue to remain a part of entertainment for us and an issue of news for the TV channels and a historical burden for the future generation.

Db. November 6, 2012. Gurukulam.

Mind again

‘Mind is the collection of all weakness, filth etc. of our thought process.  Instead of strengthening it (as advocated by many through various sadhanas like yoga etc.) try to overcome, try to go beyond it, through the help of breath.  Instead of working through brain as we try to work through mind, we face many problems.  This is my firm conviction’, says Sri Suki Sivam in his morning (December 20, 2009) talk on Sun T. V.

For me this is again one more talk on ‘mind’ which does not even exist.  Brain is the only faculty through which we do all the activities which we mostly assign to the so called ‘mind’.  Breathing is another kind of sadhana either to overcome or to strengthen a faculty which is not there.  So for me just by choosing somekind of trick to deal with our ‘mind’ won’t help much, as our ‘mind’ never ‘minds’ such activities as it is not aware of its own existence.  The following one I wrote last year for the blog which is not yet posted:

What is mind?

During my recent visit to Bangalore, one family, whose members often go to various kinds of yoga, meditation, sadhana almost every weekends, asked the same old question to me: HOW TO CONTROL THE MIND.  Of course this is not the first time they ask that question.  As usual I too gave the same kind of answer to them.  But neither of us became tired of asking the same question and giving the same answer.  In my response I often say to them: we cannot control something which does not exist.

But am I giving a new answer or going against the tradition and collective wisdom of so many saints and gurus who from time immemorial talked about ‘mind’ and all kinds of sadhanas related to it (controlling, disciplining, annihilating, etc. etc.)?  Of course not.  My answer is not new, but only the terms that we use to explain the ambiguous and mysterious faculty called ‘mind’ varies.

For me, though we HAVE to use the word ‘mind’ to communicate to others, yet there exists no entity called ‘mind’—even as a human psyche.  Of course as we talk about ‘sky’ which is actually  not  but something which we see but actually does not exist?  The same is the case with mind.  What we THINK is mind.  Though I am not a specialist or scientist or physician, yet all these functions have their origin only in our brain.  Most of us know this, yet for the sake of communication; we use such terms like ‘mind’ ‘buddhi’ (not brain), ‘manas’ etc.  There is nothing wrong in using such terms to convey our thought.  But problem comes when we begin to act  taking those technical terms as if they point out something that really exists.   Then this leads us to all kinds of confusion related to the question about mind.

For example in Tamil there exist several words like: manam, idayam, nenjam, buddhi.  Technically there is no difference among these terms, but people use these words according to the context of their emotional and intellectual need.  Most of the time for all kinds of emotional feelings the first three words are used and the fourth one for intellectual ideas.  Whereas it is only our brain (the physical one in our head) that functions in its own way to communicate all kinds of feelings and thoughts.  But can we discipline, control, annihilate our brain?  When some damage is done to it we can get help from the physicians.  But when it comes to the so called mind, what can help?  All the sadhanas that we talk about dealing with mind is not at all related with brain.  And doing all sadhanas to train and discipline something that does not exists never could even diagnose the problem.

So, according to my understanding ‘mind’ is nothing but what we ‘think’.  And to control or discipline mind, the best sadhana is to discipline and control our thought pattern.  As social beings, there exists no independent ‘thought’ life for us, apart from relationship.  And the first step in such sadhana (of disciplining mind) is to guide our ‘thinking’ process based on proper relationship.  For this never ‘react’ but ‘respond’ to others views, opinions, sharing, talking etc.  Once we learn the art of ‘responding’ instead of ‘reacting’, then we begin the first step towards disciplining the mind (thought).  When we react, we never think about the consequence and keeping our interest, we say or do something in response to others words and deeds.  Whereas, if we learn the art of responding, then we will take time to discipline our mind (thought) and keeping every other aspect of relationship we will act soberly.

Well, there come several natural questions:  what about the sadhana of controlling the mind by several samnyasi in quest of attaining mukti?  What kind of relationship is involved there?  Next is: as human beings with lots of emotion, all the time we cannot ‘respond’ with sober mind.  We are not machines and emotional expression (reaction) comes more naturally and spontaneously than measured, disciplined (artificial) response in all our dealings with others.  Well, before I think to give response to such legitimate questions, I would like to know what others say about it.

Finally, what actually is the mind?  If you can tell what actually the sky is, then I too can tell what actually the mind is.  The fact is that there exists no blue SKY.  But the reality is that yet there exists a color called sky BLUE.  In the same way, the fact is that there exists no mind, but the reality is that we mind a lot about a MIND.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam,June 30, 2008.

What is the Purpose of Life-I

When Arun and Vishal came to see me today, after some common talk they asked me, ‘what is the purpose of this life’?  ‘The purpose of the life is live it’, was my response.  ‘But we need to understand the purpose of life first and set some goals to achieve it.  Otherwise we won’t have satisfaction in the life and at the end of the life, we may not have the satisfaction that we led a good life’, was their question again.

‘The purpose is already set for you when you born.  Your family and society gave the base from where you have to launch.  Of course we have to plan, but we cannot execute all of them at the same time.  And when we began to execute the plan, it may get changed and shaped by other factors.  So we cannot live the life after some understanding about it.  As we live the life we will began to understand it and as we gain some experience then we have to set the purpose and goals based on our temperament, personality, character, nature, vision, ideology guided by that experience.  Of course our ‘experience’ alone would and should not decide the course of the life.  Here the guidance and advice of our family, community and society comes to our help.  Though there will be peer pressure and expectation of others (parents, family etc.), yet we cannot blame or simply pass the bug for our failures, because we are part of the society.  We are what we are what the society makes us and the society is what it is what we make it collectively.  And there is no point in blaming by pointing the society as if we are not part of it.  When we began to accept our personal responsibility first then alone we can understand the pressure as well as the contribution by the society.  For this we have to stop all kinds of blame game by pointing others for our failures of lack of understanding the life or confusion in setting the purpose in goal. Of course, as part of the society, we are naturally will be succumb to all kinds of pressure around us. But others can influence us both for good and bad only to that extent as we allow them to do it.

Finally, though we should have what we call as ‘job satisfaction’, yet we should not be satisfied in our job or life.  The day one feels satisfied in any area of her life with her achievement, and then the day of her doom begins there.  A person who feels satisfied in any of her achievement becomes stagnant and becomes a dead person.  She is like a dead fish which will be carried away by the current of the water and finally pushed to the river bed to be get rotted.  But a living fish will always swim across the current.  Never be satisfied in any area of your life.  When you feel achieved, then set for a higher goal.  Of course we should be careful in setting higher goal, which should be practical, motivating and achievable one.  Dreaming is good. But with out keeping a clear vision, merely dreaming is like fighting in the air’, was the summary of my response.

When Arun said, ‘I had a good childhood and received good education, got a nice job.  Now I am expected to get married, beget children, earn money, take care of my family, then retire, settle the children and then die.  Is this the purpose of this life?’ I said, ‘yes that is the life.  And no one can escape from this cycle.  But those who understand each stage properly and enjoy that part of life by serving others and also accepting others to serve, then the purpose of life is achieved.  And amidst this routine alone we have to choose our goal.  Even mukti and moksha fall within this routine.’

So the purpose of the life is to live and also to realize that you are living that life receiving help from others and also helping others to live.  In short ‘live and let live’ summarizes the purpose of life.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, November 21, 2009.

 

 

 

Question and Answer

Life never goes without questions being asked.  In fact asking question is the main source for all kinds of literature in the world.  Asking questions is ‘a defining trait of humanity’ says, McEvilley and (satirically) quotes a doggerel of a philosopher once told him (Thomas McEvilley, The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, (2002), First Indian Edition, 2008. Pp. xxxi-xxxii.):

Fish gotta swaim

Bird gotta fly

Man gotta sit and say

Why why why.

But it is not the philosopher who asks question but every human being does the same.  Thanks for this trait that resulted in producing huge amount of literature of all forms.

Sever times we heard that giving answer is very easy but asking good questions is very difficult.  However, this too depends upon various factors like who is asking the question and to whom the question is addressed; what is the circumstance etc.  No scripture or literature exist without questions asked and answers given.  And Mbh. is no exception to this rule.  In fact, more than any other scripture/literature, one can find more questions and answers in Mbh., not because of its size but also because of the way it accommodates all kinds of thoughts in it.  One need not be surprised by reading so many questions asked by various characters and the answers given to them.  Because those questions and answers make Mbh. very interesting one to read—as those questions often reflect our own struggle in life.  And here, if I simply compile all the questions asked and answers given, without sharing any of my reflection on them.  Though Mbh. is filled with so many question and answer portion, here I would limit with some interesting ones.

The first and foremost section of questions and answers is the dialogue between the Yaksha and Yudhishthira.  While wandering in the forest during their exile period, Yudhishthira sends his last brother Sahadeva to find water.  When he reaches a pond, which is protected by a Yaksha, the latter warns him not to drink or take water.  Not listening when Sahadeva drinks the water, he falls and dies.  When Sahadeva didn’t return, then Yudhishthira sends Nakula to see what happened and he also meets the same fate.  Then Arjuna and Bhima were sent and all meet the same fate.  Finally Yudhishthira  himself went in search of them and shocked to found all his four brothers fall dead.  That time Yaksha appears and tells Yudhishthira what happens.  Then he says that if Yudhishthira could give answer to all his questions, he can receive his brothers alive.  When Yudhishthira agrees for this, Yaksha begins to ask the questions.

This is a wonderful section with short questions with precise answers.  It is too difficult for anyone to comment on all those questions and answers and we have to read them just as they are.  Reading too much of our meaning and interpretation will never help us much, as several questions were bound by their context.  But the climax of the event is not the questions asked or answers given but when finally Yaksha says that Yudhishthira can get back only one of his brothers alive and ask him to choose one whom he prefers. Then Yudhishthira asks Yaksha to give back Sahadeva.  Surprised by his choice Yaksha asks, why he chooses Sahadeva instead of Arjuna whom Yudhishthira desperately is in need to win the future war to get back his kingdom, Yudhishthira says that while he is alive as a son to his mother Kunti, he wants to get back at least one son alive for his step mother Maadri. Please by his response Yaksha, who is none but Dharma himself gives back all his brothers to Yudhishthira.  And here is that dialogue between Yaksha and Yudhishthira

YAKSHA –PRASNA.

Yaksha: What makes the sun rise?

Yudhishthira: Brahma makes the sun rise.

Q. Whom has he for companion?

A. His company is kept by the gods.

Q. Who is the cause for the setting of the sun?

A. Dharma causes him to set.

Q. In whom is the sun established?

A. The sun is established in Truth.

Q. What makes one learned?

A. The study of the Srutis make one learned.

Q. How is man to attain what is great?

A. Ascetic austerities help a man to achieve the great.

Q. How is it possible for a man always to have a second companion?

A. Steady intelligence serves man as a helpful companion always.

Q. This intelligence you speak of, how is it to be acquired?

A. Serving the old makes one rich in wisdom.

Q. How are brahmins ranked with divine beings?

A. They are considered divine because they study Vedas.

Q. What is it they practice which makes them pious?

A. Their asceticism makes them behave as they do and so they are pious.

Q. The brahmins are ranked with divine beings. How are they then, different form divine beings?

A. Brahmins are mortal and divine beings are not. It is this liability to die that makes them not quite divine.

Q. What of kshatriyas? Wherein lies their divinity?

A. It lies in arrows and weapons. (p.244)

Q. What is their practice which makes them pious?

A. Kshatriyas, perform sacrifices and that makes them pious.

Q. Liability to death makes Brahmin less divine. What of kshatriyas?

A. In their case it is liability to fear.

Q. Tell me bout sacrifices. What is meant by the Sama in a sacrifice? And Yajus? There is something which is the refuge of sacrifice. What is it? What is essential for sacrifice?

A. Life is the Sama and mind is the Yajus. Rik is the refuge of sacrifice and it is Rik which is essential for sacrifice.

Q. There is found a person who enjoy all the objects of the senses. He is intelligent. The world holds him in esteem and he is quite popular. And yet, though this man breathes, it is said that he does not live. Why?

A. A man, though he breathes, is considered to be not alive if he does not offer anything to the gods, guests, servants and the Pithris.

Q. What is weightier than earth itself?

A. The mother has more weight than the earth.

Q. What is higher than the heavens?

A. The father.

Q. What is fleeter than the wind?

A. mind.

Q. What is more numerous then grass?

A. The thoughts that arise in the mind of man are more numerous.

Q. What is the highest refuge of virtue?

A. Liberality.

Q. Of fame?

A. Gift is the highest refuge of fame.

Q. Of heaven?

A. Truth is the highest refuge of heaven.

Q. of happiness?

A. Good behaviour is the highest refuge of happiness

Q. What is the soul of man?

A. His son.

Q. Who is the fried granted by gods to man?

A. The wife is the friend bestowed on man by the gods.

Q. His chief support?

A. The clouds

Q. His chief refuge?

A. Gift.

Q. The best of all things that are praised: What is it?

A. The most praiseworthy thing is skill. (p.245)

Q. The most valuable of all possessions?

A. Knowledge.

Q. The best of all gains?

A. Health.

Q. The best of all kinds of happiness?

A. Contentment.

Q. What is the highest duty in the world?

A. To abstain form injury is the highest of all duties.

Q. What is it, controlling which will never lead no regret?

A. Mind.

Q. What is that, which, when renounced, makes one great.

A. Pride.

Q. Renouncing what does one become wealthy?

A. Desire.

Q. What is it, when renounced, leads to no regret?

A. Wrath.

Q. Renouncing what does make man happy?

A. Avaruce,

Q. What is THE WAY? By whom is it constituted?

A. Those that are good constitute THE WAY.

Q. What is the sign of asceticism?

A. Staying in one’s own religion is asceticism.

Q. True restrains?

A. The restrains of the mind is true restraint.

Q. What is essential feature of forgiveness?

A. Forgiveness consists in enduring enmity.

Q. What is shame?

A. Shame is withdrawing form all unworthy acts.

Q. What is said to be knowledge?

A. True knowledge is the knowledge of divinity.

Q. What is tranquility?

A. True tranquility is that of the heart.

Q. What is mercy?

A. Mercy means wishing happiness for all.

Q. What is simplicity?

A. Simplicity is equanimity of the heart.

Q. Can you tell me what enemy is invincible?

A. Anger.

Q. What disease is incurable?

A. Covetousness is an incurable disease.

Q. Which man is considered honest?

A. He who desires the good of all creatures is honest. (p.246)

Q. Which man is dishonest?

A. One who is not merciful is dishonest.

Q. What is ignorance?

A. True ignorance is not knowing one’s duties.

Q. And  pride.

A. Pride is a consciousness of one’s being himself an actor or sufferer in life.

Q. What is idleness?

A. Not discharging one’s duties is idleness.

Q. Grief? What is grief?

A. Ignorance is grief.

Q. What is patience?

A. Patience is subjugating the senses.

Q. What is real ablution?

A. a true bath consists in washing the mind clean of all impurities.

Q. What is charity?

A. Charity consists in protecting all creatures.

Q. What is wickedness?

A. Wickedness is speaking ill of others.

Q. By what does one become a brahmin? Is it behaviour? Or birth? Or study? Or learning?

A. Neither birth nor study nor even learning makes a brahmin. It is behaviour that makes a brahmin. If his behaviour is faultless the man is faultless too. Bad conduct dames a man of ever. Study of the Vedas is not enough if a man does not conduct himself properly.

Q. What is the reward for one who always speaks agreeable words?

A. Why, he becomes agreeable to all.

Q. When he acts with judgement?

A. He gets whatever he seeks.

Q. When he has many friends?

A. He lives happily.

Q. If he is devoted to virtue?

Q. If he is devoted to virtue?

A. He obtains a happy state in the next world.

Q. What is the most wonderful thing in this world?

A. Day after day there enter into theTempleofDeath, countless lives. Looking on this spectacle, the rest to them, those who remain, believe themselves to be permanent, immortal. Can anything be more wonderful than this?

Q. What is THE PATH?

A. Arguments lead to no certain conclusions. The Srutis are all different, one form the other. There is not even one rishi whose opinion can be accepted as infallible. The truth about (p.247) religion and duty is hidden in the caves. Therefore, THAT alone is THE PATH along which the Great have trod.

Q. What is the NEWS?

A. The world full of ignorance is like a pan. The sun is fire. The days and nights are the fuel. The months and the seasons constitute the wodden handle. TIME is the COOK = that is cooking all creatures in that pan. That is THE NEWS.

Q. Who is truly a MAN?

A. The report of one’s good actions reach heaven and it is spread over the earth. As long as that report lasts, so long is that person called a MAN.

Q. Which is the man who is considered to possess every kind of wealth?

A. The man to whom the agreeable and the disagreeable, weal and woe, the past and the future, are the same, is considered to possess every kind of wealth.—Kamala Subramanian, Mahabharata, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,Bombay, 1985, VANA PARVA . Vol. 1. pp.244-48.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, March 7, 2012

 

(will continue….)

 

Text torture II

On August 31st in Podigai T.V. one speaker talking about Manimagalai one of the five famous Tamil epics said that Madavi in order to keep her daughter Manimagalai to keep away from the ‘evil work’ (Tiithozhil) encouraged her to become a Buddhist nun refrain from getting married.  And commenting on this the speaker (I forget to note his name, but he is a Professor in college) even said that Sithalai Sattanar, the author of Manimagalai went one step ahead of Ilangovadigal, the author of Silappadhiharam in promoting the rights of women.  But what is interesting is that Madhavi, being a Prostitute, who lured Kovalan away from Kannagi, in order to repent from what she has done, do not want her daughter also to inherit the same profession, encouraged her to give up that ‘evil work’.  Here ‘Thithozhil’ (in Tamil), as the speaker interpreted never could mean marriage.  Otherwise it would imply that the author Sithalai Sattanar was against marriage as an institution.

I never read Manimagalai.  But inferring from the word ‘Thithozhil’ (evil work) and considering the profession of Madhavi, we could easily understand that the author of Manimegalai was only mentioning sex work and not against marriage.  The way, sometime such Tamil speakers take liberty to interpret some ancient Tamil text is very disturbing.  As many people never listen to such discourses on Tamil literature that too on ancient one, they think that they can tell anything they like without minding what the text actually means.

This is proved again by the same speaker when he told the story of Solomon settle the dispute between two mothers claiming for the same child.  He said that the original mother, as she was very poor and could not raise up the baby gave her child to another woman.  But later when she saw that the other woman become very rich, she went and wanted to reclaim her child back.

Well, the Muktiveda (Bible) never tells all the details of the original mother giving her child because of her poverty etc.  I don’t understand from where they get all such added information other than what the original story says.  This shows that such speakers without referring the original just share what they heard from others.  Of course there is nothing wrong adding some scene to make the story and illustration very interesting.  But learned scholars and speakers should refrain from such activities.  Otherwise the credibility of their learning will become a question.

But I want to close this thought by sharing one more thing.  Such ‘text torture’ is a common practice at least in Indian literature world.  As oral tradition is very strong, the importance of text and its context is always at stake in several public discourses and writings.  As the common Indian approach: Truth is important and not the event; principle is important and not the person.  What said is more important than who said it and why it is said is more important than when said, it gives immense freedom for any speaker and writer to say and write anything s/he likes even by text torturing.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, September 4, 2010.