Thursday, June 25, 2015

One is Lucky if one's mind is fed up of worldly objects; Sannyaasa Yogam (good fortune to be a renunciant)

In a Facebook post the following quote (and an accompanying photo) of Siddarameshwar Maharaj, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddharameshwar, (I do not know of him) was provided: "Consider yourself lucky if your mind becomes fed up with worldly objects. The 'Goddess of Sensuality' is very fond of human sacrifice, and she likes it fried alive!"

I made the following comments (slightly edited) on the post:

Terrific! Vairaagya or Vairaagyam (detachment) does not come easy, the wise say. Some knowledgeable people even say that, many times, Vairaagyam in a person is due to previous birth activities/efforts. BTW, did you know of the term, 'sannyaasa yogam', used by Indian astrologers? Roughly translated it means the 'good fortune to be a renunciant'. I know of one case where a loving female relative took the traditional Hindu, South Indian style, horoscope of a male relative of hers, who was not yet married, to a South Indian astrologer asking about his marriage prospects. The astrologer studied the horoscope and said, something to the effect: Marriage for this man? There must be some mistake. As he has 'sannyaasa yogam'. .... True to the astrologer's prediction the man stayed unmarried (he is in his 50's now and still unmarried).
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In the traditional Indian context, the biggest thing in life, when it comes to attachment to the world, is marriage. Many times, the Hindu male marries for family reasons - to take care of elders, even for very prosaic stuff like food being cooked at home, and the home being taken care of. In course of time, usually, children arrive, and the male is well and truly into 'grihasthaashrama' (family householder mode of life), and is expected to follow grihasthaashrama dharma (code of conduct for the householder as laid down in Hindu scripture and as interpreted by Hindu religious heads/community heads; though this is in quite an informal setting as Hinduism is not that strongly organized a religion as say Islam or Christianity). I think that it is a pretty good system. BTW I expect it to be somewhat similar for other religion males in traditional India - like Muslims and Christians, but there would be some variance. I am not writing about the females part as I prefer to leave it to Hindu females to write about it.

Fascinatingly, in traditional Hindu marriages there is a kind of warning issued to the male, prior to him getting married, as part of the marriage ritual itself. In South Indian Tamil Iyer marriage rituals (which I have seen many times as I come from that group) the man, prior to the marriage getting solemnised, acts as if he is going on a pilgrimage trip to Kaashi (Varanasi)! From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iyer_wedding#Kashi_Yatra : "The groom is dressed in the traditional “Panchakatcham” veshti. He also holds an umbrella, a fan, a walking stick, and a towel containing dhal and rice tied to his shoulder. He then sets off on a mock pilgrimage to pursue further religious studies, and renounce worldly pursuits. As he steps out of the wedding hall, the bride's father intervenes and advocates for the superiority of married life to an ascetic life. He also promises to give his daughter as companion to face the challenges of life. The groom accepts and returns to the mandapam to get married. The umbrella is to remain with the groom, to remind him in the future of this advice."

[Additional point not in my FB post comment: I always viewed the Kaashi Yatra ritual in these Iyer weddings as a clear sign that the elders and the wise in the community, have great respect for those who choose to pursue religious efforts/religious studies further and renounce worldly pursuits, and that those who took to that life were not only to be respected and revered, but were also lucky to have escaped 'samsaara saagaraa' (the difficult sea/ocean of worldly life). But it was also understood that very, very few would actually be able to do it (i.e. most would get married). Now as a 50+ years old guy, I feel that it is truly wonderful that through this Kashi Yatra Iyer wedding ritual, the elders of that community have beautifully and subtly conveyed to youngsters, a comparison between renunciant life and married life.]
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[In response to a comment referring to Swami (Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) saying "you have two legs, (after) marriage, 4 legs, (after) children, 6,8 10,12, legs. then you become a centipede."]
That was the typical and frequent quote of Swami. I will never ever forget it. So simply put and yet so powerful in terms of conveying the meaning - 2 feet, 4 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet .... :-). One must also mention that Swami would not oppose people who either strongly desired to get married or were willing to do so, for family reasons. I mean, he was not against marriage. He just put out the pros & cons of it clearly, and then left it to the individuals' choice (and perhaps destiny). And for those who were married (or wanted to get married), here is a May 2010 short discourse of his, having simple but superb advise to the husband/husband-to-be and wife/wife-to-be, http://www.saibabaofindia.com/SRI-SATHYA-SAI-BABA-DISCOURSE-18-may-2010.htm.

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