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Scriptures of Mercy (Anukampadasakam) Class –IV

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Else is He that Sage of crowning fame who uttered once again
That holy script already known and writ in Hara’s name?
Or He devoted to the Value of the Lord Supreme
Who here departed bodily ere life for him was stilled?

The author of the Kural, that monumental Tamil masterpiece dating from the beginning of the Christian era, or earlier, and based on the background of pre-historic Siva, who is known as Hara, is referred here.
The Hara cult was widely prevalent in ancient times, and it is even likely that its influence was wafted across the seas and deserts to far of shores and lands outside India, as we have to tried to depict in previous chapters. It had its own Scriptures, some of which are extant to the present day, but much of it has been over covered by the debris of time.
Tiruvalluvar, the author of the Kural, is held in high esteem in the Tamil country and Kural itself with its ethical and philosophical implications of deep significance is understood by Tamil scholars who can still read meanings in to its 1330 verses correctly and with great richness of insight. The work being conceived correctly Word-wisdom is a monument of remarkable importance in the Tamil world, and no child is unfamiliar with at least a few of its proverbial apothegmatic sayings. The Guru Narayana revives here this classic and its author who is so often forgotten and overlaid by later expressions of spirituality on the Indian soil. The perennial nature of the word-wisdom as formulated in the systematically and critical constructed chapters of the Kural draws out the just homage from a Guru of a later age, who gives it an honored place in these verses extolling representations of the Word-wisdom throughout the world.

The idea of the dialectical revaluation of the word-wisdom is suggested in the second line at the end of the first: “once again”. Wisdom lives on ever and again revalued and restated by great sages and the person of such a sage capable of revaluating Word-wisdom critically and methodically attains a supreme status as the counterpart of such wisdom when objectively and correctly considered.

In the last two lines the reference is to the common belief held in the Tamil speaking South India that certain saints like Nandanar and other more recent devotees were able to pass from this state here of life to one beyond the threshold of life by a new adjustment of their life tendencies in relation to ultimate and transcendental values. The Guru here seems to give some verisimilitude at least to the theory implied in such a belief, though not in realistic terms of actuality.

Dealing bounty here on earth and taking human form
Is He the Kama-Dhenu cow of all-providing God?
Or perhaps the wonder-tree of heaven supreme,
The Deva-Taru which to each its gifts bestows?
After alluding to various forms in which the counterparts make the Absolute Presence real to us in its various manifestations in different contexts, we come here to more matter of fact expressions of the emergent value of Good in human affairs. The pragmatic “Good” consists of distributing benefits in a concrete sense. The Kama-Dhenu is the fabulous cow of plenty. It is a mythical symbol of certain values of general good or prosperity. It stands for the common weal as when social reformers speak of the greatest good of the greatest number in collective or individual terms. The man who wants to do good becomes elevated to the status of holiness by his very intention. He aims at an ideal which, equated with himself, yields with numinous factor which is a supreme value. The heavenly cow is like a generous man on earth. Aspects meet to revel the same value, though in apparently different forms. This central value is kindness or Mercy. A tree or an animal can have, hierophantically, the same status of in the Absolute as hypostatically conceived angels or spirits. Good is always the centrally emergent factor and Mercy is the same Good stated in realistic language. A Good man can be equated to a tree, and, vice versa, a cow of plenty can be equated to generous man. Whatever the terms used in the understanding of value it has the same worth as a “Guiding Star” in contemplative life.


High Scripture’s meaning, antique, rare,
Or meaning as Guru taught,
And what mildly a sage conveys,
And wisdom’s branches of every stage,
Together they all belong,
As one in essence, in substance the same.

This concluding verse sums up the position in conformity with convention, as the first verse also did in a certain way, in explaining the general subject- matter without entering into it too deeply.

The mystical doctrines contained in the body of the composition apply directly to
a spiritual life without any special religious or academic colouration. In fact it is above
such distinctions and considerations. Vedanta, particularly Advaita Vedanta, is no substitute religions or Scripture, but is a synthetic approach to all scripture. The verses above should not be taken to be a new religion or any religion based on Mercy as a creed or doctrine. Mercy is a transcending human value running through all expressions of spirituality, whether pre-Vedic, Vedic, post-Vedic or non- Vedic. The Agamas are all various later ramifications and elaborations of the primary attitude of Mercy implied in the highest Scriptures. The Guru generally one who teaches in critically systematic and Philosophical terms instead of through myth or fable. The Muni is the silent recluse who does not talk much, but by practicing self-control in seclusion conveys his message of Mercy and who examined closely in the light of the discussion above, is not different from the Guru.

In this verse the Guru wants to ensure that there is no mistake made in this matter. The Vedas the Upanishads and the later wisdom literature based on them, whether they take the form of philosophy or asceticism, express the same human value which has been chosen as the central subject-matter of this composition.

Medicine for quick digestion

While taking rest in Alwaye Advaita Asramam Sree Narayana Guru in a jovial mood asked a swami of his same age:
“What is the medicine for quick digestion”?
Swami suggested numerous medicines known to him.
But Guru smiled and replied “seeing someone whom you owe money to”.

-From the book Sree Narayana Guru Vaikhary.
-Compiled and edited by Dr. T. Bhaskaran.

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