Friday, October 21, 2005

Daamyata Datta Dayathvam Janathaa:

All beings are the Children of the Prajaapathi, the Creator. The living beings can be categorized into three groups – the Devas, the Manushyaas and the Asuras. The first group, the Devas are the Celestials who are the denizens of Paradise where they enjoy all sorts of pleasures. The second group, the Manushyaas are the Human Beings who live in this Earth. The third group, the Asuras are the demons who are extremely cruel. All three groups of beings studied at the feet of Prajaapathi. After their studies under him all the three groups of children approached Prajaapathi, one group at a time, and asked him for a final teaching.

When Devas approached Him and said ‘Please teach us Father’, He said to them the single syllable ‘Da’. Then He asked ‘Did you understand?’ They said ‘Yes. We have understood what you said. It is ‘Daamyata – Control Yourselves’’. He said ‘Yes. You have understood it’.

When Manushyaas approached Him and said ‘Please teach us Father’, He said to them the single syllable ‘Da’. Then He asked, ‘Did you understand?’ They said ‘Yes. We have understood what you said. It is ‘Datta – Be charitable’’. He said ‘Yes. You have understood it’.

When Asuras approached Him and said ‘Please teach us Father’, He said to them the single syllable ‘Da’. Then He asked, ‘Did you understand?’ They said ‘Yes. We have understood what you said. It is ‘Dayathvam – Be Merciful’’. He said ‘Yes. You have understood it’.

Then there was loud thunder with the sound ‘Da Da Da’ which reflected in the minds of Devas, Manushyaas and Asuras as ‘Daamyata, Datta, Dayathvam’ respectively.

Will we remember this Sermon whenever the thunder goes ‘Da Da Da’?

This story occurs in the Brihad Aaranyaka Upanishad. I can go ahead and explain how all these three advises are required for the Human Beings. But would want to give an opportunity to the readers to interpret this story and give their opinions. So, please write your interpretation of this story and why Periyavaa has used this phrase in the song he wrote for the UNO - Maithreem Bhajatha


Siva said...

இந்த மூனும் இருந்தா மனுசன் மனுசனா இருக்கலாம்னு சொல்ல வறீங்களா?. "Be charitable’’ "Be Merciful’’ இந்த ரெண்டுக்கும் எனக்கு வித்யாசம் தெரியலை. :-(

குமரன் (Kumaran) said...

Dear Siva,

For the benefit of the readers of this blog, who may not know Tamil, I am giving your question in English, before venturing to answer.

Question: What is the difference between 'Be Charitable' and 'Be Merciful'? I do not understand.

Answer: 'Be Charitable' is the advise given to Human beings - they are neither like the Devas who have all the material pleasures for them to enjoy or the Asuras who are evil.

For Devas who have every opportunity to enjoy the material pleasures, the advise given was 'Restrain yourself' as indulging continuously in the material pleasures will make them slaves of their senses and they will loose the benefit of having these material pleasures. Note that the advise is 'Restrain yourself' and not 'get away totally from the material pleasures'. Moderate enjoyment of material pleasures is allowed.

For Asuras, who take every opportunity to hurt others and enjoy in others pain, the advise given is 'Be Merciful - Be Kind'. Be forgiving and helping by not being cruel.

As Human beings do not have all the Material pleasures available for Devas, they are always running after earning money and saving it for future - which is good. But overdoing it leads to greed when they save all their hard-earned money without helping themselves or others. They are not as evil as Asuras but the accumulated wealth may degrade their quality and can make them insensitive to the sufferings of their fellow human beings. Hence the advise given to them is 'Be Charitable'. Share your earnings with the less privileged fellow human beings.

Hope this answers your question.

Krishnamurthi said...

I think there can be two further interpretations given to "Maitrim Bhajata," and that the exclusion of these would make our understanding of the benediction by Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Swamikal narrower.

For these interpretations to hold true, we need to take into account that the benediction was written for MS Subbulakshmi's concert at the United Nations. Hence we can infer that Swamikal did not directly mean the Deva-s, Asura-s, and Manushya-s of the Purana-s and Upanishad-s.

The first interpretation of these terms is that these classes of people are present in each society, as Plato writes in "The Republic; there are those who tend to lust after material pleasures exclusively, those who are caught up in the world of purely intellectual concerns and those of a 'passionate' disposition, who are highly charged and ready to battle at the slightest provocation in each and every society. While each are necessary, if each do not moderate themselves, social harmony is lost. Ergo, the first need to restrain themselves to be equanimous to material gain and loss. The second need to be empathetic to others' concerns and be charitable, leaving their purely intellectual world to become compassionate and give to others both their intellectual fruits in a spirit of charity. The third class of people need to be kind, to be less belligerent and show mercy to those weaker than them physically and emotionally. For when this is done, society as a whole becomes harmonious, and virtue and happiness abound.

The second interpretation to "Maitreem Bhajata" is that these very characteristics described above can be found in each person. Each of us has a capacity for rational thinking (our Buddhi or intellect), a capacity for anger and all the other emotions (Manas or mind) and the capacity for material enjoyment (our five senses, come together in the body). Consequently, we each need to restrain our runaway lusts, emotions, and thoughts to maintain internal harmony and happiness. The upkeep of internal harmony and happiness in the individual human being leads to the generation of friendliness (Maitri) among all humans in the world, which is the general tone of the benediction by Swamikal.