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WHICH IS THE WAY?

Sri Chandramoulisvaraya Namah:
VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA (Regd.)
Kumbhakonam
Publication No. 47

In this Bharatadesa, where every day is extolled as a good day, there is none who is unaware of the limitless difficulties faced by people due to floods, earthquake, many types of diseases and communal hatred. It is certain that in this world there will be no effect without cause. Only some of those causes can be found out clearly by us. Though the remaining causes are beyond the ken of our limited intellect, we generally know that there must be some causes for those effects.

It is very clear that there must be some cause for the untold severe suffering our people face nowadays. Simply because the cause is beyond our limited intellect, it would not be in conformity with wisdom to say that there is no use learning of it or putting in effort in this useless matter. This is because only if we come to know of the cause, we can work to avert this type of calamities or find remedies therefor. It is essential to find out and remedy the cause as this type of calamities will recur if we do not do so. If we guess generally that there must be some cause, it is of no use, as unless the cause is correctly identified, to find a remedy for it is impossible. In a case where we cannot find out the cause which is beyond our intellect, Sastras have taught us the way. We have to see if a great soul, of keener intellect than us and possessing the power of penance, has revealed the true cause in the interest of welfare of the world.

On such examination, we find that in Charaka Samhita, in Vimana Sthana, in the third chapter called ‘Janapadodvamsaniyam’, Maharishi Agnivesa asks Bhagavan Aatreya:
“Bhagavan kutho moolam-esham vayvadinam vaigunyam-utpadyathe|
Yenopapanna janapadam-udvamsayanthi||”
“Swami! Elements like earth, water, fire and air undergo changes from their normal conditions sometimes and cause misery to countries and the creatures there; what is the cause?” Maharishi Aathreya replied: “The cause of misery of creatures due to air etc. is their accumulated evil karma. The cause of both these (evil karma and misery) is ignorance. If the head of a nation, city or village transgresses the path of dharma and treats the people in adharmic manner, the people of that country, city or village follow him and nurture adharma further. That adharma will conceal dharma. When dharma is hidden, Devas will abandon all creatures. Then seasons like Vasantha (spring) undergo change. It does not rain properly. Even if it rains, it rains in a harmful manner. Wind does not blow properly. Earth gets spoiled. Water dries up. Foodgrains become abnormal. Then the country is destroyed owing to contact with bad air and faulty food.”

Modern physical science masters, practitioners of English medicine and health experts just say that water, air and earth have become polluted; but who has measured all this? When these natural elements were all right, what was the essence in them? Where has that essence gone now? Who is responsible for this degeneration? The modern experts do not appear to have reached any conclusions on these matters. When aacharam (conduct as per Sastras) deteriorates, dharma goes down, adharma comes up and Devas feel aggrieved, they create disasters like shower of soil, of rocks, of blood, of fire, fall of meteor etc. and indicate to people in advance the miseries that would follow. Acharya Varahamihira makes this clear in his book, ‘Brihatsamhita’. When such disasters occur, the right course of action to attain wellbeing is to please Devas again by doing good deeds. Good deeds like showing compassion to creatures, danam, balis (sacrifices to Devatas), worship of Devas, study of and acting on Dharmasastras, reading the accounts of great Maharishis and holy souls, association with noble elders etc. are the way to obtain the grace of Sarvesvara. That is why Acharya Charaka says that the cause why cruel diseases and disasters occur is adharma alone and teaches the following slokas by way of efficient cure to get rid of these miseries completely.
“Speaking truth, compassion to creatures, zeal in giving danam, offering of bali, worship of Devatas, good conduct, control of mind, saving Atma, seeking good of nation, adoption of brahmacharya, knowledge of and acting on Dharmasastras, resorting to auspicious deeds, conquering sense organs, reading and listening to the accounts of great men, associating always with virtuous and dharmic people, respected by great men- good deeds such as these are the means of saving oneself.”
From the above, it may be said with certainty that the cause of deterioration of intellect, life span, brilliance, strength, courage, health etc. of modern day humans is lapse of dharma and adoption of adharma, resulting in Devas losing interest in us. To remove this deficiency, great Maharishis like Manu and Yagnavalkya have laid down clearly dharmas to be adopted by all people, from children to elders, from poor to rich, as per capacity. In accord with the ancient saying, ‘Vinasakale viparitabuddhih’ (In times of destruction, evil intellect arises), we are ungrateful to the Maharishis who have laid down the rules for our good; we have left Sanatana dharma completely, got deluded in modern civilisation and condemned great men; we have allowed the tree of adharma to grow vigorously by resorting to widow remarriage, marriage of girls post-puberty, abolition of untouchability, group eating of all castes, consumption of rajasic and tamasic food (food that will promote passion and inertia) at any place with no regard to rules, not caring for and criticising Sruti and Smritis, dvijas not doing study of Vedas and not performing yagas, inter caste marriages etc. Thinking that this type of action is alone conducive to our good, propagating that dharma, which is essential for common well being, is an obstacle to public good and driving away the noble dharma, we have adopted adharma after establishing that adharma alone is the means to our comfort. Oh, what a pity!

As we have thus lost faith in Iswara and Vedas and Sastras, we have adopted adharma without fear. As per the ancient saying, ‘Atyutkataih punyapapaih ihaiva phalam-asnute’, (By performing very powerful punyas and papas- merits and sins, one will reap their fruits in this world itself), we face the wrath of the elements in the form of floods, drought, cholera, plague, famine, murder, robbery, dangerous diseases etc. This has been explained clearly (like gooseberry on one’s palm) by great men like Acharya Charaka and Varahamihira.

Oh great people who have vowed to work for good of the world! Is it proper to get deluded, thinking that adharma is dharma and put into action and make others act accordingly and invite the wrath of the elements in the form of famine etc. again and again? At least from now onwards, let us clearly understand our Sanatana dharma and adopt ourselves and make others adopt dharmas of varnas and asramas as laid down by the compassionate and great Maharishis who have done so only for good of the world, with devotion in our hearts towards them. Let us all try to attain wellbeing that way. If we do so, there is no doubt that Sri Sarveswara and the other Devas will become very pleased, protect us in this world from such dangers approaching us and be ready to bestow on us wellbeing in the upper worlds also.

“Sreyan svadharmo vigunah paradharmat svanushthitat|
Svadharme nidhanam sreyah paradharmo bhayavahah||” (Gita 3:35)
“Sahajam karma Kounteya sadoshamapi na tyajet|” (Gita 18:48)
“Sve sve karmany-abhiratah samsidhdhim labhate narah|” (Gita 18:45)
Gitacharya Sri Bhagavan also says in the above verses that if everyone performs dharma assigned to him to the best of his ability, even if it is faulty and not proper, it will still bring him good; if we follow dharmas prescribed for other varnas and asramas, even though done strictly as per rules, that will only bring us fear and misery. Hence it is essential that all people have faith in Sastras and dharma and act accordingly.

It is abundantly clear that instead of doing so, if we continue to act in opposition to dharmas prescribed in Sastras as happening now, we will meet complete destruction. But nobody loves to invite misery. If we find out and adopt that which is specified in Sastras for us to be in comfort without undergoing misery and that which was followed by our forefathers, leading to their enjoying happiness without suffering diseases etc., we will enjoy wellbeing only then. Just as a passenger wishing to travel to Madurai cannot reach there by boarding the train bound for Chennai, one who wishes for wellbeing cannot attain it by doing acts opposed to those specified in Sastras; only by doing acts in accordance with Sastras can he attain happiness. When adequate ways for the wellbeing of all creatures have been specified in Sastras and when we are aware that our forefathers lived long and healthy lives by following those dharmas, we suffer by abandoning them and behaving like one suffering from acute illness trying different medicines frequently and finding them of no use. Without any knowledge of the cause of the suffering of our people and, even if they know, by not having faith in the cause, they explore various options like widow remarriage, marriage of girls post puberty, allowing untouchables in temples, making law such that any man can marry any woman like animals do, completely in defiance of dharmas of varnas and asramas, equal distribution of wealth, conducting schools in temples etc. and suffer. Unless all of us have full faith in our Sastras and act according to their directions, no other law or attempt can bring about wellbeing.

VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA

Translated by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai

 

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