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QA: On Lamentations

The topic of death is very sensitive. We often read that Kshatriyas should not lament for death. Why is it said so?

See, dif­fer­ent tattvas are looked at. It is impor­tant to under­stand these prin­ci­ples. If we don’t under­stand, we will not be able to know where to apply what. Basi­cal­ly it is very impor­tant to see where to apply what appro­pri­ate­ly. Now there are the 5 sens­es, pan­cha indriyas. There are jnana indriyas and kar­ma indriyas. Kar­men­driyas are the organs of action, jna­nen­driyas are the organs of per­cep­tion, or data gath­er­ing and then it is giv­en to the man­as for pro­cess­ing, then it is stored in the chit­ta, it is fur­ther processed by bud­dhi for deci­sion mak­ing, so for that ahamkara is also a tatt­va, because for all these process­es, “I do” or the sense of own­er­ship becomes impor­tant. But this fur­ther is gov­erned by the jivat­man. Jiva is like this space with­in the room which is con­di­tioned by the walls and every­thing else. If the walls are tak­en away, what hap­pens to the jiva? Actu­al­ly if you see, space is space, so we can say that noth­ing hap­pens, yet every­thing hap­pens. Both can be said and yet its not mutu­al­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry. In fact noth­ing hap­pens, even the walls are actu­al­ly space, their essence is space. There is noth­ing. Sim­i­lar­ly is the jivat­man, it merges into the para­mat­man or brah­man, and hence sar­vam brah­ma mayam- All this is divine. If you are able to see this, it is jnanam. When can you see this? When the instru­ments become satt­va. Only when the mind becomes sattvic, this becomes translu­cent, that you can see real­i­ty for what it is. If this is not the case, you sim­ply can­not see it. So now there are the kar­men­driyas, the organs of action, and jna­nen­driyas, organs of per­cep­tion. Prop­er and effec­tive uti­liza­tion of the organs of action is very very impor­tant. What guides the organs of action is the bud­dhi and man­as. At that lev­el, how should the sens­es behave? The sens­es should be sthi­ram, sta­ble and firm. When there is appro­pri­ate deci­sion and guid­ance, it should act, and act deci­sive­ly. It should not act way­ward­ly, it should act deci­sive­ly. That is effec­tive and effi­cient action. That is why this body is also trained. We do surya namaskar, asana and pranaya­ma so that the organs of action are deci­sive, in their act, as per the com­mand of the bud­dhi and the jivat­man. If this is not so, you will see that it will be way­ward. It will not be effec­tive and it will not achieve its nec­es­sary goal, and it will not be effi­cient. This applies to every­body. A war­rior, when he is com­mand­ed, he should act deci­sive­ly, that is why so much train­ing goes into it. Train­ing the organs of action, let us say, for exam­ple, shooting…now the olympics took place, and each skill is dis­played. That is like a ksha­triya. Each skill, so much prac­tice goes into being effec­tive and effi­cient. If it is not so, you miss the mark. So the organs of action should be trained that way. The sens­es, which are jna­nen­driyas, how are they trained? The sens­es are trained. What is train­ing? Now we see some­thing, desires arise. When we see some­thing, there is data input and desires arise. That is an untrained behav­iour of the sens­es, because the sens­es don’t have prop­er direc­tion and they are doing their own thing. How are the trained sens­es? If the organs of action should act deci­sive­ly, and effec­tive­ly achieve its goal, how should the sens­es be? What needs to be seen, only should be seen. What is not suit­ed for the pur­pose, should not even come into sight. Each sense should oper­ate at this lev­el. If this is not the case, deci­sive action is not pos­si­ble, because only after the sens­es, do the organs of action come into play. This is what is beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed in Arju­na’s sto­ry. His organs of action are per­fect­ed, and sens­es are also per­fect­ed. The sens­es are so per­fect­ed that there is no way­ward vision or way­ward move­ment of the sens­es. That is why indriya samya­ma is con­sid­ered so very impor­tant. In indriya samya­ma, there is no vishaya dhyana. When there is noth­ing to be done, sens­es will be in abeyance. Vishayan­gala dhyanam irukathu. If there is dhyana in vishaya, if we con­stant­ly engage the sens­es in some objects, there will be no indriya samya­ma. There is no with­draw­al and appli­ca­tion. With­draw­al and con­scious appli­ca­tion is a very impor­tant train­ing to the man­as and the sens­es. If there is no indriya samya­ma, there will not be a con­scious appli­ca­tion. There will be way­ward appli­ca­tion. Way­ward appli­ca­tion is untrained behav­iour. This is the log­ic behind time appli­ca­tion. Where should you apply this? Only if you under­stand the log­ic behind this, you will know how and where to apply what- that is appro­pri­ate behav­iour. If this is not the case, you will apply some­thing, straight-jack­et­ed and apply every­where and feel frus­trat­ed, because ethukku ethun­garthu puriyala. This sense of per­spec­tive becomes very very impor­tant. In fact that is the rea­son why lamen­ta­tion was con­sid­ered.… now for appro­pri­ate stages, it was con­sid­ered impor­tant. For exam­ple, Yud­hishthi­ra and oth­ers are advised by the rishis and Krish­na, and oth­er mahat­mas that, you should have courage. You must not leave your deter­mi­na­tion and apply your jnana. Ksha­triya dhar­ma is to fight an dhar­ma yud­dha. If lives are lost for its sake, then that is not wrong. And actu­al­ly only the body goes, oth­er than that noth­ing hap­pens. The process­es of the bud­dhi should not dim. It should not be coloured by the man­as, So man­as kat­tuku­la vai. Mano nigra­ha. Man­asa kaatukul­la vai. Apply the bud­dhi. Don’t lose your rea­son. Rea­son­ing pow­ers should not be cloud­ed by the emo­tions. If the bud­dhi is cloud­ed by emo­tions then ullathu ulla­pa­di paaka­mudiy­athu. Then the sens­es become way­ward and the organs of action become use­less, because there will be no clear direc­tion. This is what hap­pens to Arju­na in Arju­na Vishad­ha Yoga. Because the man­as clouds the bud­dhi, hence such an expert war­rior, he will start feel­ing, the organs of action will become weak. Pada­padanu nadin­gi, ithu vizhunthu, sens­es will become blurred and he will become way­ward. Krish­na enna­pan­nu­var?. Don’t lose your rea­son. If rea­son is lost, you will not know what is what, per­spec­tive is lost and hence action becomes dis­si­pa­tive. The con­se­quences of such dis­si­pa­tive action will fur­ther entan­gle you in cycles. That leads to kar­ma band­hana, and you will not get muk­ti, that kar­ma will not lib­er­ate you. And hence lamen­ta­tion was con­sid­ered inap­pro­pri­ate for well-born peo­ple. Peo­ple born in good fam­i­lies. Because peo­ple born in good fam­i­lies will not lose their rea­son. If rea­son is lost, you will give way to anger and all oth­er emo­tions and there will be con­flict. Con­stant con­flict in such places. There will not be hap­pi­ness. So it is said that you should not lose your rea­son at any cost.

So we were talking about these women after they lost their husbands.

Yes, about women…kshatriya stri, for exam­ple, Dury­o­d­hana’s wives are described as, even sun­light has not touched their faces. Because they are such high-born princess­es. Such roy­al blood, that every­thing is tak­en care of for them. Their whole pur­pose is to main­tain their sense of dig­ni­ty and bear­ing, such roy­al­ty. And Dury­o­d­hana is a chakr­varthi, after the Pan­davas are exiled, he is the monarch of the entire earth. And such high-born princess­es. And all the elders of the Kuru fam­i­ly pick and choose who comes into the fam­i­ly and for what pur­pose. Rea­son is not lost. There is love, but rea­son is also there. The head and the heart go togeth­er. Some­times, the heart over­rules the head, but that is also in bal­ance. The bal­ance of mind is nev­er lost, because the con­se­quences are laos looked at. If we don’t con­sid­er the con­se­quences, for now we do some­thing, … con­se­quences means that is the role of the bud­dhi.

even lamen­ta­tion is designed in such a way that the bud­dhi is not obstruct­ed in its func­tion­ing, in its pure func­tion­ing. Bhak­ti is not …bud­dhi man­gi pord­hu kedayad­hu. Bud­dhi man­gi pochu­na bhak­ti keday­athu. That is ajnanam. Every­body cel­e­brates Krish­na Jan­mash­ta­mi. Krish­na, even in the midst of the bat­tle­field, he was calm and col­lect­ed, that means the bud­dhi ava­lo ongi irukku. Oth­er­wise how can you be calm and col­lect­ed? You will be mind­less right? You will be blind­ed. That did not hap­pen with Sri Krish­na. So lamen­ta­tion, such great high born princess­es, till then even sun­light would not have touched them, they were parad­ed in the roads with no orna­ments, no jew­els, just a sim­ple white cloth, evn now that is the tra­di­tion, pot­tu koda keday­athu. Why was this? Becase it is under­stood that now your dhar­ma, artha, kama is done. You should no longer pur­sue the trivar­ga. You should look at the fourth one. That is how the rea­son­ing is. You should not vida, you need not. Because that is a lib­er­at­ing con­straint. Even that is a con­straint. What is the con­straint that you adopt so that you lib­er­ate your­self from this? Till now what has held you on? Dhar­ma, artha and kama. Because there is a hus­band, and fam­i­ly, dhrma artha and kama oper­ate. It is not a mok­sha kara­ka. Only a few peo­ple used to adopt, that is why Brah­macharya ashra­ma, gri­hastha ashra­ma, in that dhar­ma, artha and kama are pur­sued, after that in vanaprastha ashra­ma, dhar­ma is cen­tral, but towards mok­sha. In san­nyasa ashra­ma even dhar­ma is giv­en up, only mok­sha. Every­thing is towards muk­ti. That is how for wid­ows, it was a great oppor­tu­ni­ty that was pre­sent­ed to them,till now dhar­ma, artha kamala thaane, you deck up your­selves, you pur­sue these stuff, then it was made clear to you, a plat­form was offered to you to pur­sue mok­sha. Hence these were sim­pli­fied. Nowa­days because peo­ple can­not see this rea­son­ng they assume that it is a social injus­tice. What a tragedy, actu­al­ly? It’s not a social injus­tice, it is a mok­sha kara­ka. But that under­stand­ing is not there. That is why those who wished to remar­ry would be allowed to, because innum antha paku­vam var­ale nu artham. If they had been very faith­ful, that is why chasti­ty was so guard­ed because you’re so devot­ed, that is the qual­i­ty of devo­tion. Women used to be so devot­ed to their hus­bands that once the hus­bands are gone they are free. They get lib­er­at­ed, actu­al­ly, because that is the qual­i­ty of devo­tion. It hap­pened with Ramakr­ish­na Parama­ham­sa. There was a farmer. He under­stood that for the farmer the only lim­it­ing con­straint was his buffalo,so he killed the buf­fa­lo and the farmer got lib­er­at­ed. Because what is your lim­it­ing con­straint? If that is not there, your mind is stilled. There will be no more throw, because all your throw is towards the hus­band, that is what is devo­tion. That is what is cul­ti­vat­ed in bhak­ti. Why do we cel­e­brate Krish­na Jan­mash­ta­mi. Even in Amma’s case, all her throw was towards Krish­na- Krish­na, Krish­na, Krish­na, Krishna,…finally, when that is tak­en, the mind is stilled. Now our throw is dis­si­pat­ed, diverse. So that is the qual­i­ty of devo­tion, that was cul­ti­vat­ed in women from a young age, so that they are chaste, they main­tain their chasti­ty, and do every­thing only for their hus­bands. Hus­band is gone, that’s it, it becomes a path for mok­sha. But only if these qual­i­ties have been cul­ti­vat­ed, not oth­er­wise. Oth­er­wise you are again stuck in dhar­ma, artha and kama. And I am talk­ing of a good soci­ety, not adharmic soci­ety. The pur­suit of kama is con­sid­ered appro­pri­ate, but sub­servient to dhar­ma. So dhar­ma, artha and kama, the trivar­ga was con­sid­ered impor­tant. Yaruku antha stage van­thatho, th soci­ety should offer a plat­form for them to take the next step, hence they would take a step towards mok­sha. This under­stand­ing is key. This was the role of lamen­ta­tion. So that they see, ‘Che! Ava­lo thaana vazh­ka?” It should cre­ate that vairagya, by which they take the step for­ward towards mok­sha. This was the role of lamen­ta­tion. Adichu azharthu,”Poitangale”, because you see, aval­othana vazh­ka? All your devo­tion has been towards that, and hence that becomes a pos­si­bil­i­ty for mok­sha, for you to take the chatur, the fourth step, not the first three, because that has been com­plet­ed. Hence, you see the mean­ing­less­ness of the pur­suit of dhar­ma, artha and kama and you devel­op virak­thi for the world, vairagya, there will be no attach­ment, because kadavu­la nam­bi irun­tha hus­band poy­achu. Then, in that extreme emo­tion, extreme grief, and you are dis­con­so­late, you can­not con­sole your­self, you can­not make peace with­in your­self. You can­not only redi­rect it and can­not be paci­fied. Because any­how he is dead, that is how your bhak­ti was cul­ti­vat­ed towards your hus­band, it simpy cannnot be paci­fied, and hence, when that object of devo­tion sud­den­ly is tak­en away, it is an explo­sive sit­u­a­tion, in that extreme virak­ti, they would aspire for mok­sha, What is there in this world? Fie on this life. Is that all? This body, it would have expe­ri­enced such roy­al com­forts , now the vul­tures are eat­ing away, and tak­ing flesh off their bod­ies. The descrip­tion is such, the wives of Dury­o­d­hana, have to take flesh from dif­fer­ent places to piece togeth­er Dury­o­d­hana’s body. Wild beasts and vul­tures koda san­da pot­tu, var­i­ous parts, the eyes miss­ing from the body, it is a gory sight. Just before that they would have seen him as the most hand­some. Such a con­trast. When you see the right oppo­site of some­thing, there is a shock­ing dent cre­at­ed in that veil of ajnana or maya, there is a split in that, and you see beyond, because you would have assumed that it is per­ma­nent, that sukha and hap­pi­ness. Patha just like that, killed in war, and butchered, not killed, it is not one body. Kathari azham­bothu, it cre­ates extreme virak­ti, extreme vira­ga. That attach­ment gets redi­rect­ed into some­thing supreme. And so peo­ple were direct­ed appro­pri­ate­ly. But still at that time, appro­pri­ate instruc­tion was giv­en to them to direct them towards mok­sha, oth­er­wise that step would not come, it is not auto­mat­ic. They would fall from under­stand­ing. Hence they were giv­en appro­pri­ate instruc­tions, for well-born peo­ple. Hence when Yud­hishthi­ra kadar­ri azham­bothu, rishis would admon­ish them, you have read the shas­tras, you have been trained prop­er­ly, by great rishis, you have excel­lent peo­ple around you, your father Pan­du was such a great king, you belong to such a great lin­eage and now nee bud­dhi­henama act pan­raye, apdinu sol­lu­va. So that they regain that sense of bal­ance. And then apply them­selves to the Truth. Because all these diverse forms are not the Truth, the Truth is One. But yaaruku van­thu, intha instruc­tion, prop­er birth illayo, they are steeped in ajnana and hence they can­not see this fact. If they lament, it is under­stand­able.

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