The Essence of Hindu Tradition & Culture
E-book from Kanchi Periva Forum

Volume – 4
Published: August 2012

Towards the
P...
Table of Contents
Introduction .......................................................................................... ...
Shri Kanchi Maha Periva Thiruvadigal Saranam
Introduction
Hari Om!
We are pleased to bring you the Fourth edition of the e...
While many of us were ignorant about the finer aspects of Sanatana Dharma, Periva has
spoken so clearly – like for example...
For those who are not familiar about our website and forum, we welcome you to visit
www.periva.org for a collection of rar...
About the Author
Shri Sundaresan Subramanian
Shri. Sundaresan Subramanian, affectionately called as Subi Anna, is
an inter...
About the Artist
Shri Narayanan Bala
Shri Narayanan Bala is very well known amongst all Periva devotees
for his immaculate...
Please click on the following links to read his interesting experience:
1.
2.
3.
4.

http://www.periva.proboards.com/index...
TOWARDS THE PATH OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Om Shri Gurubhyo Namah
Salutations to the Guru

Bodoanyasadhanabyo hi Sakshaanmokshaikas...
It is indeed surprising that few of us know where to begin when it comes to self enlightenment.
It is the expansion of one...
Once a sincere devotee set out on a pilgrimage to the temple of Jagganath in Puri. He did not
know the way; he went west i...
2.0 Lessons from Education

आत्मज्ञानं समारम्भः तितिक्षा धममतनत्यिा ।
यमर्ामन्नाऩकषमन्न्ि स वै ऩन्डिि उच्यिे ॥
Aatmajnaana...
Some examples will suffice to see that how present day formal education is deficient in
improving the quality of life for ...
Therefore, the role of education is not only to learn
subjects but also enable students to develop healthy
attitudes and c...
When peace decreases, misery and unhappiness increases in human life. When men try to
get rid of their unhappiness, they e...
3.0 Desirable Human Qualities
सत्यम ् वद धमं चर - Mahabharat
Satyam Vada Dharmam Chara. Speak the Truth. Follow the Dharma...
3.4 "Saucha" is derived from "suchi", meaning cleanliness. Purity is to be maintained in all
matters such as bathing, dres...
abased himself to a woeful state, he became "miserly" about himself. Akarpanya is the quality
of a courageous and zestful ...
least if not all. Eventually, you will find that acquiring such qualities makes you a better and
balanced human being.
Per...
4.0 Know Your Real Enemies
कामात ् क्रोधोभि जायते - Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Geetha 2.62
Kaamat Khrodabhi Jaayate

Unfulfill...
believe we make on others in our anger is actually an attack we make on ourselves- and we
are hurt more than those we want...
The Karmayoga taught by the Gita is doing one's work without ahamkara, in a spirit of
dedications to the Lord.
This tradit...
5.0 Guru –The Beacon of Enlightenment
िमसो मा ज्योतिर्ममय - Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28
Tamaso mA jyotirgamaya - Le...
After the Buddha came AdiSankara to whom people were drawn for his incomparable
goodness and greatness. Later appeared Ram...
Let us also presume that they believe that there is nothing wrong in carrying out conversion
either by force or through th...
© 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org

Page 26 of 36
6.0 Success in Life

How does one define success in life? Is it
becoming a multi-millionaire, a top government
official, b...
more comfort than the previous one. This means that the American citizen is compelled to
earn more with the appearance of ...
discomforts are essential for those who yearn for Atmic uplift. They will then learn to realise
that there is comfort in d...
7.0 Law of Behaviour
काममय एवायं ऩरुष इति।
ु
स यर्ाकामो भवति ित्रिभवति।
ु म
यत्रिुभवति ित्कमम करुिे।
म
ु
यत्कमम करुिे िदभभ...
Esvara has endowed man with intelligence, but it is by using this very intelligence that human
beings keep violating their...
alone. If a man believes that he alone is important, that he is all, he will live only for himself.
That is why all religi...
8.0 The Process of Enlightenment
क्षक्षप्रं ववजानाति चिरं शणोति
ृ
ववज्ञाय िार्ं भजिे न कामाि ्।
नासंऩष्टो व्यऩयंक्िे ऩरार्...
creatures. They speak in one voice that he will be rid of his cares if he goes for refuge to the
Great Power that rules al...
9.0 Conclusion
In concluding this ebook, it is relevant to
recall Periva‘s sound advice to all:
―Knowledge is a treasure a...
10.0 Suggested further reading
1. Atma Bodha: Swami Nikhilananda, Ramakrishna Mutt, Chennai
2. Deivathin Kural (Tamil) - c...
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Kanchi Periva Forum - Ebook # 4 - Towards the path of Enlightenment

  1. 1. The Essence of Hindu Tradition & Culture E-book from Kanchi Periva Forum Volume – 4 Published: August 2012 Towards the Path of Enlightenment Author : Subi Anna Illustration : B N Bala © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 1 of 36
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction .......................................................................................... 3 About the Author .................................................................................. 6 About the Artist ..................................................................................... 7 1.0 What is Enlightenment? ................................................................. 9 2.0 Lessons from Education ............................................................... 12 3.0 Desirable Human Qualities .......................................................... 16 4.0 Know Your Real Enemies ............................................................ 20 5.0 Guru –The Beacon of Enlightenment ........................................... 23 6.0 Success in Life ............................................................................. 27 7.0 Law of Behaviour ......................................................................... 30 8.0 The Process of Enlightenment ..................................................... 33 9.0 Conclusion ................................................................................... 35 10.0 Suggested further reading .......................................................... 36 © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 2 of 36
  3. 3. Shri Kanchi Maha Periva Thiruvadigal Saranam Introduction Hari Om! We are pleased to bring you the Fourth edition of the e-book series from the Kanchi Periva Forum. This e-book series is the result of efforts from the members of the Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com. Like minded members of the Forum have come together realizing the need to insist upon the present generation to observe and keep alive the rich traditions of the Hindu Religion, as prescribed in the Vedas and Sastras. This book also has a very special feature – instead of using the photos of Periva, we have chosen to use only paintings of Periva, done so meticulously and with a whole lot of devotion by an ardent devotee – Shri Narayanan Bala of Palakkad (―B N Bala‖). We would like to express our profound thanks and gratitude to Shri Narayanan Bala for consenting to use his masterpiece paintings of Sri Maha Periva throughout this E-book. A brief profile of Shri B N Bala follows in the subsequent section, and it is noteworthy to reflect the fact that he has already completed close to 40 paintings of Periva, and is aiming at completing 108 soon, as his unique way of pooja to the Paramacharya. In the earlier three volumes of e-books, we briefly covered topics related to the importance of rituals, daily rituals and on how we can stay positive with Vedic tradition. Several hundreds of readers have read these books and we have received some very encouraging feedback. One of the readers has thanked the Kanchi Periva Forum for creating a positive change within himself. Another reader has remarked that the articles on rituals were simply outstanding and well delivered with the quotes from Periva picked at the right context to drive home the point. We are thankful to all our readers for their comments and appreciate their continued interest. In publishing these e-books, the editorial group has derived a great deal of inspiration from our Periva‘s discourses on a very broad spectrum of subjects. It is not surprising that Periva continues to be the motivation-guru extraordinaire for millions of his devotees around the world. Apart from the topics related to religion and the Vedas, Periva has spoken on a wide range of subjects that includes our ancient culture, architecture, astronomy, fine arts, languages, rituals and a variety of other matters that we deal in our lives. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 3 of 36
  4. 4. While many of us were ignorant about the finer aspects of Sanatana Dharma, Periva has spoken so clearly – like for example, conducting an upanayana or a marriage in a meaningful manner. He has explained clearly the need for early marriage and strongly condemned the evil of dowry. He has enlightened us on what should be our ideals of marriage. And then, he has held numerous discourses on advaita philosophy, philanthropy, our role in community, how we can be happy and also contribute to the happiness of people around us. Periva set a solid and unparalleled example of leadership in guiding his devotees to the path of wisdom. His heart went out to the poor and the distressed. He worked tirelessly for universal welfare. Through his darshan and discourses, Periva had enlightened millions of people, not only from India but also people from different cultures and many other countries. Many great personalities around the world have paid high tributes to Periva‟s knowledge and wisdom. Surprisingly, many of Periva‟s observations decades ago are most relevant and valid even today. Surely, there is a lot to learn for all of us from Periva‘s discourses and do some serious selfintrospection. Quite aptly, this edition of the e-book is published under the title of ―Towards the Path of Enlightenment.‖ The purpose of this edition is to share some of Periva‘s relevant and enlightening observations with our eager readers so that they can appreciate how well it fits even in today‘s fast-paced and stressful world. We firmly believe that readers will find this edition to be not only interesting but also personally rewarding. You will find many Sanskrit (and even Tamil) words in this E-book. A knowledge of these languages will help to understand these better. While the author has tried to provide the same words in English too, please understand that it is difficult to get the exact pronunciation or meanings. As always, our special thanks goes to Shri Sundaresan Subramanian based out of Chicago, USA for authoring this book. We also acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of Smt Sumathi Agambaranathan from Chennai, one of the moderators of the Kanchi Periva Forum for her assistance in the making of this e-book. We welcome your views and feedback for enlarging the scope of future editions of the e-book and improve the quality of presentations. Feedback about the e-book may be shared with us at kanchiperiva@gmail.com or with the author directly at the email addresses given in the profile that follows. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 4 of 36
  5. 5. For those who are not familiar about our website and forum, we welcome you to visit www.periva.org for a collection of rare videos and complete online library of upanyasams of Sri Maha Periva. Please also register on the forum www.periva.proboards.com to stay updated on devotees‘ experiences and to receive our regular newsletters and free ebook publications. We also invite the attention of our members to our recent publication – two volumes of Photo albums on Periva – containing 2000 rare photos, which is available for view and download from the following link: http://periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=downloadlinks&action=display&thread=2086&page=1 We humbly submit this fourth e-book at the lotus feet of Shri Maha Periva. Administrator - Kanchi Periva Forum kanchiperiva@gmail.com Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara! © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 5 of 36
  6. 6. About the Author Shri Sundaresan Subramanian Shri. Sundaresan Subramanian, affectionately called as Subi Anna, is an international consultant with an array of global experiences in the field of energy and environment. In his long professional career, he has worked for many years in senior management positions with multinational corporations in India and later with U.S. government agencies. His demonstrated success includes building US-Asia energy and environmental partnerships in cooperation with American and Asian government agencies, non-government organizations and the corporate sector. His professional accomplishments are recognized through several awards from both India and the U.S. Deriving great inspiration from Maha Periva, the Sage of Kanchi, Subi Anna developed a deep personal interest in religion and the ancient scriptures. Based on his continuing study and research, Subi Anna is engaged in propagating Maha Periva‘s teachings and unfolding the secrets and wisdom of Sanatana Dharma. His published e-books include: ―Mantras and Management‖ and ―Managing Anger – Lessons from the Ancient.‖ On the academic side, Subi Anna is Graduate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Poona; qualified in Production Engineering, London; in Business Management at St. Xavier‘s Institute, Bombay; and as a LEED Green Associate of the U.S. Green Business Council. He was trained in Japan in corporate management and was conferred with a honorary doctorate degree by the University of Berkley, USA. His honorary activities benefited several communities. He served as a member of the selection panel for Fulbright environmental fellowships, a senior member of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Association of Energy Engineers, USA. He has authored many articles and studies related to energy and environment and served for 3 years as an editor of ―The Urja Watch‖ – a publication of the Indian Association of Energy Management Professionals (IAEMP). He serves as a honorary member of the committee of ―Sri Veda Vyas Gurukul‖ – a Veda PAtashala functioning on the lines of Gurukula system at the Kanchi Mutt in Pune, Maharashtra. Subi Anna is based out of Chicago, USA and can be reached at s.subi@yahoo.com © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 6 of 36
  7. 7. About the Artist Shri Narayanan Bala Shri Narayanan Bala is very well known amongst all Periva devotees for his immaculate paintings on His Holiness, Sri Maha Periva. An ardent devotee of Sri Maha Periva, Shri Narayanan is a born artist. While he did not get a formal coaching from anyone, his ―manaseeka gurus‘ were Shri Maniyam, Shri Gopulu and Shri Silpi. He practiced all their drawings and paintings when in college and later during his employment. Shri Narayanan Bala, now 71 years old has had a successful career at HAL and BPL. He had to however give a long break to his passionate hobby in 1974, due to pressures at work. He resumed painting in 1995 to overcome the loss of his mother. His daughter has been instrumental in encouraging him to pursue his bobby, and presented him with a painting kit to re-start his passion, afresh. It was then Shri Narayanan started reading about Sri Maha Periva from books written by Shri Bharaneetharan, late Shri Ra.Ganapathy and others, and that brought about a transformation in his life. The first painting he did at that time was of Sri Maha Periva. Encouraged by the feedback received and realizing the anugraham of Maha Periva, Shri Narayanan did 10 paintings of His Holiness and submitted them to the Kanchi Mutt in the year 2000. The paintings were widely acknowledged by Shri Bharaneetharan, an eminent author who encouraged and motivated Sri Narayanan to create one painting each of Sri Maha Periva, Sri Seshadhri Swamigal and Sri Ramana Maharishi. These paintings were later put up in Seshadhri Swamigal memorial in Chinna Kancheepuram (behind Sri Varadharaja Swami temple) during Sehadhri Swamigal's Jayanthi celebrations, by the help of Shri Bharaneetharan. Shri Narayanan has so far created over 40 masterpiece paintings and sketches of Sri Maha Periva, all with the blessings of His Holiness. He intends to complete 108 paintings of Maha Periva, and we pray to Periva to bless him, and give him the strength and resilience to realize his dream. Shri Narayanan cherishes his meeting with late Shri Ra Ganapathy just two months before the latter attained Shivaloka prapthi on Maha Shivarathri day this year. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 7 of 36
  8. 8. Please click on the following links to read his interesting experience: 1. 2. 3. 4. http://www.periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=expenglish&action=display&thread=343 http://www.periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=expenglish&action=display&thread=345 http://www.periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=expenglish&action=display&thread=353 http://www.periva.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=expenglish&action=display&thread=361 Shri Narayanan Bala is blessed with two children and three grandchildren. He lives with his wife Smt Kalyani Narayanan and his 94 year old father at Palakkad. He can be reached on beeyen.bala@gmail.com © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 8 of 36
  9. 9. TOWARDS THE PATH OF ENLIGHTENMENT Om Shri Gurubhyo Namah Salutations to the Guru Bodoanyasadhanabyo hi Sakshaanmokshaikasaadhanam Paakasya vahnivagnanam vina moksho na sidhyati As fire is the direct cause of cooking, so Knowledge, and not any other form of discipline, is the direct cause of Liberation; for Liberation cannot be attained without Knowledge. - Verse 2 of Atma Bodha (Self-Knowledge), Adi Shankara 1.0 What is Enlightenment? What does it take to become enlightened? Is enlightenment a topic restricted to spirituality only or does it cover other subjects too? How do we move towards the path of enlightenment? Is it an easy or difficult task? Many such questions may arise in the reader‟s mind. Simply stated, enlightenment is to emerge free from ignorance, prejudice and wrong beliefs. It is the beginning of a journey in one‘s life – like growing up from childhood to a mature adult – and getting to learn many new things. It simply means traveling on a path of learning – relating to matters that concern yourself and also about things that are external to you. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 9 of 36
  10. 10. It is indeed surprising that few of us know where to begin when it comes to self enlightenment. It is the expansion of one‘s spectrum of knowledge that reveals many unknown secrets. Enlightenment is not confined to only spirituality but covers many other domains too. The task of getting enlightened requires focused effort as needed in performing any other task but it also needs a firm commitment. Through performing certain rituals, hearing or reading the discourses of satgurus like Kanchi Periva and then through a series of personal reflections, you get a sensation of exposure to new perceptions. Thus, gradually through a repetitive process, you become more „balanced‟ and „mature‟ in life. If you feel a positive change within yourself, you are then on the path of enlightenment. Learning is a continuous process. You must try and establish a base for a purposeful and well-spent life. Whether you are young or old, male or female, you must still find ways to grow through the process of learning. Enlightenment or self-consciousness comes to people at different ages. To some it comes early and to some in a very advanced age. Adi Shankara became enlightened when he was about seven years old. In a short life span of thirty two years, Adi Shankara, had traveled all over the country, met many opponents from other schools of thought in open debates, effectively refuted their views, and re-established the supremacy of Sanatana Dharma. He won over numerous great scholars and philosophers using his vast knowledge and skills and also wrote great commentaries on many scriptures including the Brahmasutras, and Vishnu Sahasranamam. His famous works include Atma Bodha (Self-Knowledge), Viveka Chudamani (The Crest Jewel of Discrimination), Upadesa Sahsri, Siddhanta Tattva, Bhaja Govindam and several others. Each of his works presents a treasure in learning. Pain and suffering are often caused by ignorance of the Self. Therefore, Self-knowledge is absolutely vital. Everyone is conscious about oneself and is free to make a judgement of self and situations. However, in one's judgement, there lies certain emotional factors such as arrogance, ego, ignorance, self-pity, and self-disapproval. God has endowed a human being with a faculty and freewill to make a choice of what he or she wants. It is up to us to make the best use of God's gifts and choose the path that can make us happy, healthy and contented. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the well-known saint from Bengal, said: ―A man may not know the right path, but if he has bhakti (devotion) and the desire to know God, then he attains Him through the force of sheer bhakti. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 10 of 36
  11. 11. Once a sincere devotee set out on a pilgrimage to the temple of Jagganath in Puri. He did not know the way; he went west instead of south. He no doubt strayed from the right path, but he always eagerly asked people the way, and they gave him the right directions, saying, ‗This is not the path; follow that one.' At last the devotee was able to get to Puri and worship the Deity. So you see, even if you are ignorant, someone will tell you the way if you are earnest.‖ As the Paramahamsa said, we should seek the guidance of people who know the way to steer us to towards the path of enlightenment. Kanchi Periva played a great role in providing us the guidance through various discourses and explanations of what is contained in our ancient wisdom. By continuous listening and/or reading Periva's discourses, one learns and gets the maturity to acknowledge other religions too and tries to lead a harmonious life. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 11 of 36
  12. 12. 2.0 Lessons from Education आत्मज्ञानं समारम्भः तितिक्षा धममतनत्यिा । यमर्ामन्नाऩकषमन्न्ि स वै ऩन्डिि उच्यिे ॥ Aatmajnaanam samaarambha stitikshaa dharmanityataa Yamarthaannaapakarshanti sa vai pandita uchyate That one is wise who does not deviate from the higher goals of life rooted as he is in Selfknowledge, Endeavour, Forbearance and Adherence to Dharma. - Vidura Neethi 1.20 Education is not merely acquiring some academic qualifications and certificates but applying the learning to become responsible, mature citizens and contribute to the wellbeing of the society in which we live. A civilized society does not mean merely having more wealth, luxuries, and economic progress. It includes development of people of superior character and moral strength. Periva points out that in advanced and rich countries like America, there is lot of unhappiness despite lots of material wealth and physical comforts. Despite the spread of formal education, what we witness today are different kinds of depressing situations – human conflicts even among close relatives, steep increase in divorce rates, utter lack of concern for others, selfishness, abuse of power and position at office, misappropriation of public funds, and many other such malaises. Many of present day problems can be traced to the blind pursuit of power and pleasures, following a highly materialistic path in complete disregard of dharmic principles. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 12 of 36
  13. 13. Some examples will suffice to see that how present day formal education is deficient in improving the quality of life for majority of people in the country. Think about it. Why should a nation that was once acclaimed for its wealth and wisdom be now in the midst of a fit of rage over corruption? Despite envious economic growth over the last several years, why should poverty in India be so widespread, while certain sections of society amass wealth? India is estimated to have a third of the world's poor. In 2011, World Bank states, 32.7% of the total Indian people falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day. Take a quick look at: how educated people drive on the streets of crowded cities; the way money power and position power work amongst the most educated classes. Just browse through the newspapers to read the numerous sob stories of common people. Has formal education played an effective role in avoiding or minimizing the impact of such situations? Of course, one can find many reasons for such situations and easily throw the blame all around. Everyone will point to the other man or community, who, according to him, is responsible. Many try to find a scapegoat to download responsibility. For illustration, an incident comes to my mind: A senior executive made a serious and expensive mistake at work. He was sitting with a pensive look on his face when his close friend dropped in, talked to him and tried cheer him up by telling him not to worry. The executive responded, ―Oh! Do you think I am worried about my mistake – forget it, I am just thinking hard on whom and how to fix the blame for it.‖ If things do not happen as one wants and/or confronts problems in life, many people will find the easy way out and throw the blame on any number of things - generation gap, inefficient workers, weak economy, old-fashioned people, politics, bad weather, lack of money etc. but very few look within themselves. How many do a self-introspection and make a difference from the crowd? It is like the good old story of each man pouring water into a large vessel instead of milk that the king ordered to pour. Everyone thought a tumbler of water would make no difference to a huge cauldron of milk and the net result was that there was only water in the cauldron and no milk! If you look at closely why these painful things happen, you‘ll find that the root cause is because of unhealthy attitudes, weak personal character and a certain lack of ethics and morals. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 13 of 36
  14. 14. Therefore, the role of education is not only to learn subjects but also enable students to develop healthy attitudes and contribute to the well-being of society in later years. One of the ways to address this issue to catch the students young and teach them ethical and moralistic standards as found in our Sanatana Dharma. Education is not merely in books; It is something that has to strengthen a students‘ character, integrity and morals. Parents too have a very important role to play in such education. Whether schools do it or not, some committed individuals and organizations can provide such high quality education. Going further, let us read some of Periva‟s wise observations on education: ―By education we realise Truth. There are many truths, History is one truth. Geography is one truth, Mathematics is one truth. The content of truth is the greatest in Mathematics. In others, there is an element of imagination. In Geography, we come across names Asia, Africa, Madras, Calcutta, etc. These names were given by us. By imagination, we have given names "plateau" "valley", etc. By a process of gradual elimination of all that is imaginary, when we arrive at truth, that Truth is found to be God. To think of Him with real devotion is the fruit of education. It is necessary for our young boys and girls to have a proper perception of values. They must have a sense of proportion in the things which they do, an understanding of great books and companies of great men. It is no use collecting books. It is necessary to make students love reading, a really educated man, university man, must be a lover of reading.‖ In 1935, on invitation from Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Periva addressed students of the well-known Benares Hindu University. His talk is very much relevant even today. Excerpts from his speech: ―It is widely accepted knowledge that the more peace that dwells in our hearts, the more happiness there is in life. To achieve the height of peace is the ultimate human experience. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 14 of 36
  15. 15. When peace decreases, misery and unhappiness increases in human life. When men try to get rid of their unhappiness, they end up hurting others and causing unhappiness for them. If this continues, there is chaos in the society and the government officials use law to control this chaos. The less peace there is in the world, the more laws and regulations there are in the country. When people turn away from external material things and turn to internal peace, their sorrows will go away. A good education will help achieve this peace. The goal of our ancient educational system was always to attain mental peace. If the new scientific knowledge and education grows and benefits the spiritual growth also, the country and its people can attain peace in the highest form. On the other hand, if the senses are let to wander, it will create unnecessary thoughts and desires and lead to worldly misery and sorrow."(Source: Pujya Sri Mahaswamy Divya Charitram by Sri Sambamoorthi Shastrigal, Sri Kuppuswamy Iyer, ―Sollin Selvan‖ P.N.Parasuraman) Education should, therefore, have the power to improve attitudes and build character; persuade people to look within and change disgusting activities into proud practices. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 15 of 36
  16. 16. 3.0 Desirable Human Qualities सत्यम ् वद धमं चर - Mahabharat Satyam Vada Dharmam Chara. Speak the Truth. Follow the Dharma Every human being has certain qualities. We need to be aware of those qualities in order to understand fellow-beings and interact with them. The qualities in a human being influence the basic thinking process and actions. Therefore, we need to develop and retain the right qualities in order to attain inner peace. Periva lists eight important desirable qualities in human beings: “The eight ‘Gunas’ or qualities are: Daya, Ksanti, Anasuya, Saucha, Anayasa, Mangala, Akarpanya, Asprha. 3.1 "Daya" implies love for all creatures, such love being the very fulfillment of life. There is indeed no greater happiness than that derived by loving others. Daya is the backbone of all qualities. 3.2 "Ksanti" is patience. One kind of ksanti is patiently suffering disease, poverty, misfortune and so on. The second is forgiveness and it implies loving a person even if he causes us pain and trouble. 3.3 "Anasuya" you know is the name of the sage Atri's wife. She was utterly free from jealousy: that is how she got the name which means non-jealousy. Heart-burning caused by another man's prosperity or status is jealousy. We ought to have love and compassion for all and ought to be patient and forgiving even towards those who do us wrong. We must not envy people their higher status even if they be less deserving of it than we are and, at the same time, must be mature enough to regard their better position as the reward they earned by doing good in their previous life. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 16 of 36
  17. 17. 3.4 "Saucha" is derived from "suchi", meaning cleanliness. Purity is to be maintained in all matters such as bathing, dress, food. There is a saying often quoted even by the unlettered: ‗Cleanliness makes you happy and it even appeases your hunger‘. To see a clean person is to feel ourselves clean. 3.5 “Anaayasa” - The fifth Atmaguna is "anaayasa". It is the opposite of "aayasa" which denotes effort, exertion, etc. Anaayasa means to have a feeling of lightness, to take things easy. Even in Tamil, the word ‗anaayasa‘ is sometimes used to signify how effortlessly a job was done. One must not keep a long face, wear a scowl or keep lamenting one's hardships. If you lose your cool you will be a burden to yourself as well as to others. Anaayasa is a great virtue. In many of our rituals there is much bodily exertion. When we perform a sraddha we have to remain without food until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. There is no end to the physical effort we have to put in to conduct a sacrifice. Here anaayasa means not to feel any mental strain. Obstacles, inevitable to any work or enterprise, must not cause you any mental strain. You must not feel any duty to be a burden and must develop the attitude that everything happens according to the will of the Lord. What do we mean when we remark that the musician we listened to yesterday touched the "tara-sthayi" so effortlessly? Does it mean that he performed a difficult musical exercise with ease? Similarly, we must learn to make light of all the hardships that we encounter in life. 3.6 “Mangala” - What is "mangala", the sixth guna? Well, "mangala" is mangala. There is mangala or an auspicious air about happiness that is characterised by dignity and purity. One must be cheerful all the time and not keep growling at people on the slightest pretext. This itself is extremely helpful, to radiate happiness wherever we go and exude auspiciousness. It is better than making lavish gifts and throwing money about. To do a job with a feeling of lightness is anayasa. To be light ourselves, creating joy wherever we go, is mangala. We must be like a lamp spreading light and should never give cause for people to say, "Oh! He has come to find fault with everything". Wherever we go we must create a sense of happiness. We must live auspiciously and make sure that there is happiness brimming over everywhere. 3.7 "Akarpanya" is the next guna. Miserliness is the quality of krpana or miser. "Akarpanya" is the opposite of miserliness. We must give generously and wholeheartedly. At Kuruksetra Arjuna felt dejected and refused to wage war with his own kin. In doing so, according to the Gita, he was the guilty of "karpanya dosa". It means, contextually, that he © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 17 of 36
  18. 18. abased himself to a woeful state, he became "miserly" about himself. Akarpanya is the quality of a courageous and zestful person who can face problems determinedly. 3.8 "Asprha" is the last of the eight qualities. "Sprha" means desire; a grasping nature. "Asprha" is the opposite, being without desire. Desire is at the root of all trouble, all evil and, all through the ages, it has been the cause if misfortunes. But to eradicate desire from the mind of men seems an almost impossible task. By performing rites again and again and by constantly endeavouring to acquire the Atmic qualities one will eventually become desireless. Says Valluvar in Tamil: Patruga patrratrran patrrinai appatrrai patrruga patrru vidarku. (Author’s note: Roughly translated this verse means: Desire the one (God) who is without desire; in order to renounce desire, desire that desire.) Tirumular goes a step further. He says "It is not enough to be attached to Isvara who is without attachment and be free from other attachments. You must be able to sever yourself from the attachment to Isvara himself". Thirumular‘s verse reads in Tamil: Asai arumingal, asai arumingal Isanodayinum asai arumingal The Buddha calls desire thirst. Intense desire for an object is "trsna". (The Buddha calls it "tanha" in Prakrt). His chief teaching is the conquest of desire. Desirelessness is the last of the eight qualities. The first one, daya, is the life-breath of Christianity. Each religion lays emphasis on a particular quality, though all qualities are included in the teachings of Buddha, Jesus Christ, the Prophet Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Zoroaster, Confucius and the founders of all other religions. Even if these qualities may not have been pointedly mentioned in their teachings, it is certain that none of them would regard people lacking them with approval. “All religions teach people to be loving, to be truthful and to be free from jealousy, desire and greed. But our religion goes further by imposing on us the performance of various samskaras to acquire these qualities in practical life.” (Source: http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part16/chap6) In Manu's listing of dharmas that are applicable to all, ahimsa or nonviolence comes first, followed by satya (truthfulness), asteya (noncovetousness; non-stealing is the direct meaning), saucha (cleanliness) and indriyanigraha (subduing the senses or even obliterating them). If you look closely at people today, you may find that not many are endowed with all the eight desirable qualities. However, with practice, it is possible to cultivate some of them at © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 18 of 36
  19. 19. least if not all. Eventually, you will find that acquiring such qualities makes you a better and balanced human being. Periva was a living example of all these qualities. While being very well-versed in the Hindu religion and its scriptures, Periva had held other religions too in great esteem. On many occasions, Periva had demonstrated his knowledge and respect of other faiths. The author recalls an incident when a non-Hindu person wanted to be converted as a Hindu and asked Periva for his views. Periva told him that Hinduism does not have anything greater than what his own religion offered and asked him to practice his own religion as that too offered a path of enlightenment and ultimate realization of God! Look at the open and magananimous mind of Periva towards other religions! One might ask how to try acquiring such qualities in today‘s highly competitive and rush world. Before attempting to acquire these qualities, you must first know the real enemies who have the potential to strongly oppose your efforts and win over you. The next chapter deals with those enemies. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 19 of 36
  20. 20. 4.0 Know Your Real Enemies कामात ् क्रोधोभि जायते - Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Geetha 2.62 Kaamat Khrodabhi Jaayate Unfulfilled desires causes anger Who are our real enemies who destroy our peace of mind and happiness, no matter how wealthy and physically strong we are? Most people seem to think that some unknown enemies are lurking around us everywhere and they are out to cause troubles to us. However, our ancient wisdom reveals that the real enemies are within us. Who are these enemies? They are just some undesirable human qualities such as Anger, Desire, Ego, Fear, Greed, and Jealousy. Experience and history have shown that these are real enemies within us and they cause considerable damage to our well-being. Human habits—good or bad—are difficult to break. Aristotle said it best: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act...it's a habit." Test yourself to know your habits. Do you get angry often? Do you use unpleasant words while talking? Are you jealous of any of your friends or relatives? Do you feel sad on many occasions? Now, read on to see the wisdom in Periva‟s most precious comments: ―It is customary to speak of ‗kaama’ (desire) and ‗krodha’ (anger) together. Krishna Paramatman says in the Geetha that desire and anger goad a man into sinful action. When we intensely desire an object we try to get it by fair means or foul. It is a deadly enemy, desire: it eggs us on to commit sin. Equally deadly is anger. When we fail to get the object of our desire we turn our anger against the man who, we believe was an obstacle. Unfulfilled desire becomes anger. If we throw a rubber against the wall, it bounces- in other words it returns to us. The ball thrown is desire and it is the same ball that becomes anger as it bounces. The attack we © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 20 of 36
  21. 21. believe we make on others in our anger is actually an attack we make on ourselves- and we are hurt more than those we wanted to hurt. When we are angry our whole body shakes. Anger indeed causes pain both to the body and the mind and we make ourselves ugly when we are angry. You will know the truth of this if you see a photograph taken when you are in foul mood. Hunger is appeased by eating. But is fire assuaged in the same way? You keep feeding it and it keeps devouring everything. Fire is bright but it chars all that it consumes. Or, in other words, it turns everything black. That is why it is called "krsnavartman". Kaama or desire is similar. It flares up like fire. The more it is fed the more it becomes hungry. Indeed kaama blackens our mind. When a desire is gratified there is joy for the moment, but soon it goes in search of more "food" and the process we lose our peace of mind and happiness and become victims of sorrow and anger. Sorrow and anger are two forms of unrequited desire. If we think that those who are a hindrance to the gratification of our desire are inferior to us, we turn our anger against them, and if we think they are superior, all we do is to grieve within ourselves. Anger is packed with more evil power than even desire. Naisadham, the story of Nala, illustrates this truth beautifully. As King Kali makes his appearance, desire and anger (kaama and krodha) accompany him as his two army commanders. The herald sings their praises. ‗There is no place that kaama cannot gain entry to. No, there is a place he cannot enter. It is the fortress in which anger resides. This fortress is the heart of Durvaasas.‘ Durvaasas does not know desire but he is subject to fits of anger. We must be extremely wary of this terrible sinner called anger. A little thought will convince us that we are not in the least qualified to be angry with anybody or to shout at anybody. We are even more guilty than those against whom we turn in our anger. We know this in our heart of hearts. Even if we are guiltless, before we rush to find fault with someone, we must ask ourselves whether we would not have committed the offence we think he is guilty of if we were placed in the same circumstances as he. We must try our best to keep anger always at a distance. When there is neither selfish desire nor hatred, there will be nothing unpleasant about any kind of work. One can then be always happy doing one's allotted work. The reason for desire and hatred is ego-feeling, ahamkara. When there is no ego-sense, considerations of high and low, or inferior or superior, will be found meaningless. We will kept doing our work happily as a matter of duty and thus also contribute to the world's happiness. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 21 of 36
  22. 22. The Karmayoga taught by the Gita is doing one's work without ahamkara, in a spirit of dedications to the Lord. This tradition of desireless action that purifies our inner being has existed in this land from the Vedic period. Sri Krishna Paramatman presents it to us as a boon encased in a handy casket.” - (Source: www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma) How do we win over these real enemies within us? It is not an easy task as they mean controlling hard-to-control and impulsive human emotions. This is precisely why you need guidance from a Guru. If you cannot get one, the least you can do is to read and follow the guidelines so gracefully offered by Periva. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 22 of 36
  23. 23. 5.0 Guru –The Beacon of Enlightenment िमसो मा ज्योतिर्ममय - Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28 Tamaso mA jyotirgamaya - Lead me from Darkness to Light. The Sanskrit word ―Guru‖ is a combination of its root words ―Gu‖ meaning darkness, and ―Ru‖ meaning dispeller. A Guru is a dispeller of darkness. Through his/her acquired knowledge and divine qualities, a Guru is able to transmit higher consciousness to the aspirant. A Guru is endowed with such qualities that can help steer an aspirant towards the path of enlightenment. Periva explains about the causes of decay in a religion and how a Guru‟s personal qualities and leadership can help in enlightening the people: ―The decay of a religion in any country could be attributed to the lack of character of its leaders and of the people constituting the establishment responsible for its growth. When we listen to the story of the Buddha, when we see again and again his images that seem to exude the milk of human kindness, compassion and tranquility spring in our own hearts and we feel respectful towards him. People must have been attracted to him thus during his time. How, in later times, there was a moral decline in the Buddhist monastic establishments will be seen from MattaVilasam written by Mahendra Pallava. This work shows how Buddhism came to be on the decline and demonstrates that the rise or fall of a religion is dependent on the quality and character of its spokesmen. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 23 of 36
  24. 24. After the Buddha came AdiSankara to whom people were drawn for his incomparable goodness and greatness. Later appeared Ramanuja and Madhva who, in their personal lives, stood out as men of lofty character. They too were able to gather round them a large following and extend the sway of their respective systems. Recently came Gandhiji as a man of peace and sacrifice. Millions of people accepted his teachings, which indeed came to constitute religion, "Gandhism". If a system owes its growth to the excellence of the philosophical principles on which it is based, Gandhism ought to be at the peak of its glory today. But what do we see in reality? The Gandhian way of life as practiced now is all too obvious to need any comment. The question here is not about the religions that try to draw people to themselves either through force or the lure of money. It is but natural for ignorant people to become converts to a new religion through rites like baptism after receiving various inducements and "social rewards". It was in this manner, they say, that Christianity extended its influence during times of famine. It is also said that Islam was propagated with the sword, that masses of people were forced to join it by force of arms. Here again there is proof of the fact that that the common people do not adopt a religion for the sake of any principle or out of any interest in its philosophical system. There is one matter to consider. The padres [Christian missionaries] converted mainly people living in the cheris [that is people on the outskirts of a village or town]. Their usual procedure was to tell these poor folk that they were kept suppressed in the religion of their birth and offer them inducements in the form of free education and medical treatment and the promise of a better status. Not all, however, fell to such lures. However much they seemed to be suppressed in the religion of their birth, many of them refused to be converted, ignoring the advantages held out. Why? One reason was their good nature and the second was respect for the great men who have appeared in our religion from time to time. They told themselves: "Let us continue to remain in the religion of our forefathers, the religion that has produced so many great men." We must not censure those who convert people to their faith. They believe that their religion represents the highest truth. That is why they practice conversion by compulsion or by placing various temptations before people belonging to other faiths. Let us take it that they try to bring others into their fold because they believe that that is the only means of a man's salvation. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 24 of 36
  25. 25. Let us also presume that they believe that there is nothing wrong in carrying out conversion either by force or through the offer of inducements because they think that they are doing it for the well-being of the people they seek to convert. If religions that resort neither to force nor to money power have grown, it is solely because of the noble qualities of their teachers. Outwards guise alone is not what constitutes the qualities of the representative or the spokesman of a religion. Whatever the persuasion to which he belongs he must be utterly selfless, bear ill-will towards none, in addition to being morally blameless. He must live an austere life, and must be calm and compassionate by nature. Such a man will be able to help those who come to him by removing their shortcomings and dispelling the evil in them. Producing men of such noble qualities from amongst us is the way to make our religion flourish. It is not necessary to carry on propaganda against other religions. The need is for representatives, for preceptors, capable of providing an example through their very life of the teachings of our religion. It is through such men that, age after age, sanatana dharma has been sustained as a living force. Hereafter too it will be through them that it will continue to remain a living force. If a militant proselytizer appears on the scene, I shall not be able to gather a force to combat him. Nor can I spend crores and crores of rupees like those religious propagandists who build schools and hospitals to entice people into their faith. Even if I were able to do so, conversions carried out in such a manner would be neither true nor enduring. Suppose a group comes up that has more muscle and money power; it will undo my work with its superior force and greater monetary strength. We should not, therefore, depend on such outward forces to promote our religion but instead rely on our Atmic strength to raise ourselves. In this manner our religion will flourish without any need for aggressive propaganda or the offer of inducements. At present many intellectuals abroad talk in glowing terms of Advaita, may be because of its lofty character as a philosophical system. They come to the school of Vedanta after examining it and after being inwardly convinced of its truth. But the common people need the example of a great soul, a great life [not abstract principles]. A man of peace and compassion, a man of wisdom and self-sacrifice, must arise from our midst.‖ After reading this, you will appreciate the role played by the great Guru- Adi Shankara in leading the masses towards enlightenment and helping them to stick to their age-old faith despite strong pressures from oppressive external forces. This great tradition was followed by Periva - a beacon of light to all of us. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 25 of 36
  26. 26. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 26 of 36
  27. 27. 6.0 Success in Life How does one define success in life? Is it becoming a multi-millionaire, a top government official, becoming a powerful politician, winning a nobel prize, acquiring fabulous properties, or enjoying a long and peaceful life with a contented family? Many of us equate success with acquisition of wealth or power. There is a nice saying that reads "Empty pockets teach you million things in life But full pockets spoil you in a million ways." Too much of wealth is worse than too little of it. Extending this further, let‟s take a look at Periva‟s deep observations: ―Today even a multimillionaire is neither contented nor happy. In olden days, even a cobbler led a life without cares. What sort of progress have we achieved today by inflaming evil desires in all hearts and pushing everyone into the slough of discontent? Not satisfied with such "progress" there is talk everywhere that we must go forward rapidly in this manner. Greed and covetousness were unknown during the centuries when varna dharma flourished. People were bound together in small well-knit groups and they discovered that there was happiness in their being together. Besides they had faith in religion, fear of God and devotion, and a feeling of pride in their own family deities and in the modes of worshipping them. In this way they found fullness in their lives without any need to suffer the hunger and disquiet of seeking external objects. All society experienced a sense of well-being. Now people want to live in comfort and to be provided with all sorts of amenities. There is no end to their unseemly desires. In America, it is said, everybody has a bungalow, car, radio, telephone, etc. But are people there contented? No. There is more discontent in that country than in our own. There the incidence of crime is more than anywhere else. It is all right that every American has a car. But today's car is not good enough for them tomorrow. More and more new models keep coming in the market and each new model offers © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 27 of 36
  28. 28. more comfort than the previous one. This means that the American citizen is compelled to earn more with the appearance of each new car. A time may come when aircraft will be used in the U. S. for people to fly from house to house. Similarly, we see such a progression all over the world in the matter of housing. First there was the hovel or the hut; then came the dwelling with the tiled roof; afterwards houses with cement and concrete walls. The flooring also changed over the years. First the floor was wiped with cowdung; then it was plastered and cemented; the mosaic flooring came later; and the search is on for smoother and shinier surfaces. It is the same case with clothing - better and finer fabrics are being made every day. Although we are already living in comfort we are all the time using our ingenuity to discover objects and gadgets that will make our life still easier. However, all the time we are likely to have the feeling of uneasiness with all the comforts we already possess and this means there will be no end to our yearnings. Not knowing any contentment or peace of mind we are compelled to earn more and more. It is like thinking that fire can be extinguished by pouring petrol on it; we keep discovering newer and newer objects but in the progress we keep further inflaming our longing for ease and comfort. This truth was known to our sages, to our forefathers. They taught us that we ought not to seek more than our bare needs. In recent times Gandhiji impressed upon the people the same lesson. In this century, people seek ostentatious living in the name of progress. So long as the hunger for new comforts continue neither the individual nor society will have contentment. There will always be feelings of rivalry, jealousy and heart-burning among people. In the varnasrama dharma, the Brahmin and non-Brahmin are equal economically speaking. In spite of the caste differences, the same simple living is enjoined on all. The ideal of equality can be achieved only if all people live a simple life. In this order every individual experiences contentment and inner happiness and no one has cause of envying others their prosperity. No man, whatever his vocation, should have either too much money or too many comforts. Above all what is important is that for which all these are intended but that which cannot be truly obtained through them: contentment and a sense of fullness within. Only when there is inner satisfaction can one meditate on the Lord. And only in the mind of a man who has such contentment is the Ultimate Truth realised as a reality. When a person has too many comforts he will be incapable of going beyond the stage of sensual pleasures. If he is addicted to enjoyments, without any need for physical exertion, he will do injury to his mind, and his inner being. Hard work and the capacity to suffer © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 28 of 36
  29. 29. discomforts are essential for those who yearn for Atmic uplift. They will then learn to realise that there is comfort in discomfort and in hard work.― (Source: http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part4) Given the hurdles that people face in today‟s world, some of you might think that Periva does not seem to recognize the social pressures that one is subjected to. But if you think deeply, you may realize the truth behind Periva‟s observations. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 29 of 36
  30. 30. 7.0 Law of Behaviour काममय एवायं ऩरुष इति। ु स यर्ाकामो भवति ित्रिभवति। ु म यत्रिुभवति ित्कमम करुिे। म ु यत्कमम करुिे िदभभसंऩद्यिे॥ ु - Brihadaranyakopanishat 4.4.5 Kāmamaya evāyaṃ puruṣa iti | Sa yathākāmo bhavati tatkratur bhavati | Yatkratur bhavati tat karma kurute | Yat karma kurute tad abhisaṃpadyate || You are what your deep, driving desire is As your desire is, so is your will As your will is, so is your deed As your deed is, so is your destiny Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be radiant and happy than most others? What is the secret behind their pleasant disposition? It is something related to certain personal qualities and virtues in them – their beliefs, thoughts and resulting behavior. Periva explains the law of behavior and the inspiration for people: ―There is a law governing the behaviour of everything in this universe. All must submit to it for the world to function properly. Otherwise things will go awry and end up in chaos. It is the will of the Lord that all his creation, all his creatures, should live in happiness. That is why he has ordained a dharma, a law, for each one of them. It is compliance with this dharma that ensures all-round harmony. To be worthy of Esvara's love we must possess certain qualities, certain virtues. If there is a law that applies to trees, there must be one that applies to us also. We shall deserve the Lord's love and compassion only by living in accordance with this law and by working for the well-being of all mankind. What is called dharma is this law, the law governing the conduct of man. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 30 of 36
  31. 31. Esvara has endowed man with intelligence, but it is by using this very intelligence that human beings keep violating their dharma. If it is asked why they do so, all we can say in answer is that it is but the sport of the Lord. Man goes on seeking this and that, believing that they will make him happy, and all the while he keeps violating his dharma. But he will discover sooner or later that it is dharma alone that gives him happiness in the end. There is something that somehow turns people all over the world towards dharma.It is this something that inspires human beings everywhere to go beyond their material needs and do things that appear strange. How? One man reads the Bible, cross in hand; another smears ashes all over his body; and a third man wears the Vaisnava mark. From generation to generation mankind has been practicing such customs even without deriving any perceptible material benefit. What is the reason for this? Man first earned the means for his daily upkeep. But he soon discovered that meeting the needs of the present would not be enough. So he tried to earn more and save for his needs also. The question, however, arose as to what precisely constituted his ‗future‘. As he reflected on it, it became clear that his future on this earth would be endless, that he would not live a thousand years or ten thousand. So he concerned himself with earning enough to see him through his life and at the same time leaving enough for his children. What happened to a man after his death was the question that worried him next. The great men who emerged from time to time in various climes came to believe that the entity called man did not cease to exist even after his body perished. The truth dawned on them that the money and property acquired for the upkeep of a man's body served no purpose after his passing. As a next step they formed a view of what a human being must do in this life to ensure for himself a happy state in afterlife. Religious leaders in different countries taught different ways to achieve this. The cross, the namaz, the sacred ashes, the sacred earth came to be adopted in this manner by people belonging to different religious persuasions. You must look upon the world as belonging to the Lord, and it is your duty to so conduct yourself as to conform yourself to this belief. This constitutes the dharma of humanity. Acts dictated solely by selfish interests will push one into unrighteousness. A man must learn to be less and less selfish in his thoughts and actions; he must always remember the Lord and must ever be conscious that he is the master of all this world. This view is the basis on which all religions have evolved. No religion teaches us to live according to our whims and fancies; no religion asks us to acquire wealth and property for our personal needs © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 31 of 36
  32. 32. alone. If a man believes that he alone is important, that he is all, he will live only for himself. That is why all religions speak of an entity called God and teach man to efface his ego or I feeling. ‗Child, they tell him, ‗you are nothing before that Power, the author of this universe.‘ It is He -- that Power -- who has endowed you with intelligence. Your intelligence, your intellect, must guide you on the path of dharma, righteousness. For this purpose, you must look up to this Power for support. "The great importance attached to bhakti or devotion in all religions is founded on this belief, the need for divine support for virtuous conduct. Ordinarily, it is not easy to develop faith in, or devotion to, God expressed in abstract terms. For the common people devotion must take the form of practical steps. That is how ritual originated. Sandhyavandana, the namaz and other forms of prayer are examples of such ritual. The religious teach people their duties, how they must conduct themselves to God in the very midst of their worldly life.‖ You will appreciate how relevant and appealing Periva‘s observations are when you look at the variety of socio-economic problems prevailing in the country. There is so much in human behavior that needs to change in order to build a better society. Some examples may help in understanding some of these issues: On many social issues like those related to the poor, sick & old, and women (female infanticide, education, marriage, dowry, and treatment), lot of talking goes on but behavior and actions do not seem to be congruent. Look at other common issues that we face everyday like cleanliness and hygiene. It is perfectly normal for people to expect clean bathrooms but do they leave it clean as they expect after use? People expect buildings, public places, elevators, temples and trains to be clean but then why should they chew/spit 'paan' (betel leaves), smoke/drop cigarette butts, and throw trash all over? Road rage and lack of concern for others is common in most urban traffic systems. When it comes to making a positive contribution to the society at large, many people get into a shell, blame the system and talk about how nice advanced countries are. Periva‘s comments may seem unrealistic and puritan in today‘s rat race world. But then, we must realize that it is individuals who make a community, and communities in turn build societies and countries. Periva is absolutely on the dot when he says, ―Acts dictated solely by selfish interests will push one into unrighteousness.‖ Therefore, a great deal of looking inwards and introspection is essential to reform human behavioral patterns. By doing so, we move towards the path of enlightenment. © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 32 of 36
  33. 33. 8.0 The Process of Enlightenment क्षक्षप्रं ववजानाति चिरं शणोति ृ ववज्ञाय िार्ं भजिे न कामाि ्। नासंऩष्टो व्यऩयंक्िे ऩरार्े ु ृ िि ् प्रज्ञानं प्रर्मं ऩन्डििस्य॥ - Vidura‘s advice to Dhritarashtra in Mahabharat Kshipram vijaanathi chiram shronothi Vignaya chaartam bhajate na kaamath Naasamprushto vyapayumkte pararthe Tat pragyanam pratamam panditasya He comprehends quickly and hears patiently He acts wisely, not according to his desire He doesn’t deal with others’ work unless asked to This is the prime feature of a wise person. How to move towards the path of enlightenment? As mentioned before, you have to keep learning more and become wiser and mature in your thoughts, speech and action. In this chapter, the author would like to highlight Periva‘s brief but very impressive summary of the process of enlightenment and his advice. Following are excerpts compiled from different discourses: ―The first step in this process of enlightenment is to make a man truly a man, by ensuring that he does not live on an animal level. The second step is to raise him to the heights of divinity. All religions have this goal. They may represent different systems of thought and philosophy. But their concern ought to be that man is not condemned as he is today to a life of desire and anger. All religions speak in one voice that man must be rendered good and that he must be invested with the qualities of love, humility, serenity and the spirit of sacrifice. A human being has worries that are not shared by other creatures. But it must be noted that all religious systems proclaim that man can not only free himself from his cares, if he makes an effort, but that he can also attain the enlightenment that is not within the reach of other © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 33 of 36
  34. 34. creatures. They speak in one voice that he will be rid of his cares if he goes for refuge to the Great Power that rules all worldly activities. Devotion or bhakti is a feature common to all religious schools- Advaita (non-dualism), Dvaita (dualism), Visistadvaita (qualified non-dualism), Saiva Siddhanta, Christianity, Islam and so on. Bhakti is an inborn characteristic of man; it is indeed an organic part of him. Bhakti is common to all religions whatever the manner of worship they teach. It is not exclusive to our faith in which different deities are reverenced. One big difference between Hinduism and other faiths is that it does not proclaim that it alone shows the path to liberation. The goal of all religions is to lead people to the same Paramatman according to the different attributes of the devotees concerned. So there is no need for people to change over to another faith. Converts demean not only the religion of their birth but also the one to which they convert. Indeed they do demean God. You may think that a man leaves the religion of his birth because he feels there is something wanting in it. One may ask, 'Why does the Svaamigal say then that the convert demeans the new religion that he embraces?‘ I will tell you why. Is it not because they think that God is not the same in all religions that people embrace a new faith? By doing so, they see God in a reduced form, don't they? They presumably believe that the God of the religion of their birth is useless and jump to another faith. But do they believe that the God of their new religion is a universal God? No. If they did there would be no need for any change of faith. Why do people embrace a new faith? Is it not because that the continuance in the religion of their birth would mean a denial of the blessings of the God of the new faith to which they are attracted? This means that they place limitations on their new religion as well as on its God. When they convert to a new religion, apparently out of respect for it, they indeed dishonour it. Beyond the clouds the sun still shines. Even so beyond the darkness there is the brilliant sun coloured deity. Don't lose heart simply because you happen to be in distress or disappointment. You will be never be able to attain fulfillment of your life by mere theoretical study. On the other hand, spiritual regeneration needs the travail of the spirit. You have to pass through so much laceration of the heart, so much pain of the mind. All these things you will have to go through, if you want inwardly to see the Spark Divine, and if you desire to perceive that there is something superior to this world to mammon. Knowledge cannot be dichotomised. All truth must be regarded as one whole. The supreme pursuit of truth is that which makes a human being dignified and civilized. If you are able to do it, then you become a really civilized being". © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 34 of 36
  35. 35. 9.0 Conclusion In concluding this ebook, it is relevant to recall Periva‘s sound advice to all: ―Knowledge is a treasure and it is a gift of the Lord. If you sharpen it with good education and the spirit of inquiry, the Ultimate Reality will be revealed to you in a flash. Man alone is the recipient of the divine blessing called speech. If it is used wisely he will have an abundance of good will. That is why so many sastras relating to speech like Vyakarana, Nirukta, Siksa have been developed. Everyone of you must have at least a basic knowledge of these subjects. Clarity of speech, purity of body and sanctity of spirit all these three things are to be aimed at by education. If our men are to regard themselves as truly educated. they must be aware of the divinity which is the central being in them, failing which they are 'narapasus', human animals who walk about in this world merely feeding themselves procreating and then looking after their own interests." We are indeed blessed to live in this world during the period of Periva‘s spiritual leadership. Many of us have had thrilling experiences in merely listening to him or following his golden words of advice. The least we can do is to offer our humble salutations to him, follow his teachings, and pray to seek his help to steer us towards the path of enlightenment. Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara! © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 35 of 36
  36. 36. 10.0 Suggested further reading 1. Atma Bodha: Swami Nikhilananda, Ramakrishna Mutt, Chennai 2. Deivathin Kural (Tamil) - compiled by Ra. Ganapathy, Vanathi Pathippakam, Chennai 3. Hindu Dharma - english translation of Sri Maha Periva‘s discourses available at: http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/ 4. The Vedas: Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal. Published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai 5. Pujya Sri Mahaswamy Divya Charitram by Shri Sambamoorthi Shastrigal, Shri Kuppuswamy Iyer, ―Sollin Selvan‖ Shri P.N.Parasuraman 6. Sri Acharya Swamigal Upanyasangal (Tamil). Kalaimagal publication, Chennai 7. Kanchi Periva Forum - http://www.periva.proboards.com/index.cgi 8. We Have Met the Enemy – by Daniel Akst, Penguin Press © 2012 Kanchi Periva Forum www.periva.proboards.com www.periva.org Page 36 of 36

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