By Periyava

Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj



மனிதனும் மிருகமும் : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)

Man and Beast: Deivathin Kural (Part One) 24

The animals grow in a transverse (horizontal) fashion and so are called Tiryak.  Opposed to it is the man growing vertically towards the sky and on that account, he should have a loftier outlook than the animals. When his outlook is high, he can enjoy wellness more than the beasts. In a practical sense, we experience greater sorrow. The animals do not have as much sexual passion, worries, sorrows, disrespect… as the man has. More than anything else, they do not suffer the stain of sin in them. (Animals are immune from the fruits of sin.) By doing sinful deeds, we experience sorrows from the sins.

tiryaksrotas tiryak-srotas, as, n. 'the horizontal stream of life', the animal creation; (ās), m. 'hurrying the stream of life horizontal', i. e. the animal world; an animal, a beast or bird; [cf. arvāk-srotas, avāk-srotas, ūrdhva-srotas.]

We make think God did not give us the tools he gave to the animals. When someone hits us, we have no built-in weapon to strike him back. God gave the horns (to the bull) to strike back. He gave the nails to the tiger. We don’t have the horns or the nails. For protection from cold, God gave the sheep a heavy woolen blanket. (We have a thin skin.) He left man to his own devices. We cannot resist if someone attacks us. Though the horse does not have the horns, God gave it fleet feet. We do not have even that.

Though it is so, He gave man intelligence in good measure.

To protect himself from the cold, man robs the blanket from other animals. Man weaves a blanket from its hair. (Man wears animal skin for protection from frigid weather.) If he has to go fast he uses the horse. God gave him the ability to use the animals for his use. Though he has no natural weapons in his body, he designs various weapons by his intellect. Endowed with this intelligence, man rules the inert world and other beings.

Some animals do not take to the cold weather or the hot weather. Man lives in all climes.  God knew man will manipulate the environment. Man uses his intelligence, establishes favorable microenvironment and lives.

Though endowed with higher intelligence, he suffers.  He is afflicted with sorrows.  His karma-mandated birth accounts for all these sorrows and hardships. What are we to do to prevent this birth? We must have done something wrong (in the past or present life).  Since so many whippings have been decreed by god, we receive them on our body. Once whipped ten times and the body was gone, another body comes in its place. The new body receives the leftover or unrendered whippings.  Sin by sexual indiscretions earns another birth. Anger’s cause is desire and sexual passion. First, we should eliminate sexual passion and desire.  By developing increasing attachment, remaining without action is impossible. Once attachment is shed, we can remain sinless.

What causes desire? Thought of existence of something other than us induces desire for it.

In truth, Siva the embodiment of tranquility exists as all. (All is Siva and Siva is all.)

When a bull sees itself in the mirror, it assumes there is another bull and charges towards it.  Man see his reflection. Does he think there is someone other than him? Knowing that the two are one, he remains tranquil.  In like manner, all that we see are one. If you think of a second one in existence, there is a rise of desire, which induces anger, which makes us do sins. Because of it, there is rebirth. If we acquire the wisdom that all are one, and since there is no second object, there is no desire, anger, sin, action, rebirth, and sorrow.

How are we to acquire this wisdom? The birthing mother nourishes our body with milk. Ambal is the only one to offer milk of wisdom (ஞானப்பால்) for the nourishment of our intellect.  She is deified wisdom. If we surrender unto her feet and become one with her, Jñāṉam will descend on us. Then man becomes God.

The priority is to prevent man from becoming an animal and make him a man. Then, we should elevate him to become God. With this aim only, many religions came into existence. Though there are many differences in doctrines and principles, we should not let man associate with men of sexual passion and anger. Make him a virtuous being, endowed with love, modesty, tranquility, and liberal giving, which all religions say in one voice.