By Periyava
Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj

சித்த சுத்திக்குச் சில சின்ன விஷயங்கள் : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)
Mental Purity and Small Matters: Deivathin Kural
Siddha Suddhi = Mental Purity
Many small things are useful for mental purity. Our ancestors over many generations practiced these Dharmas as principles. Their lives were full of happiness and satisfaction. It is imperative we emulate them. There are no new paths or pursuits. These Dharmas help us attain happiness and fulfilment.
In matters of soul, society and family, our forefathers showed wonderful paths. In those days, relationship and friendship were safeguarded and enshrined. A wedding or last rite: Many people joined, contributed money and successfully brought it to a conclusion. That is the height of virtue.
The photo credit:theHindu.com 

As it happens now, there was no demonstration or pretentiousness. In those days, helping the poor was genuine and ingrained in people’s nature and attitude. The invitees to the wedding chipped in Rs. 5, 10 or whatever they could afford, so the financial burden for parents was minimal.
Small contributions cause no strain (crowdfunding in the olden days) to the contributors. For the recipient, it is a hefty sum. Crowdfunding was what our ancestors practiced in those days to help a poor man to conduct a wedding or last rite. In those days, there was not much of a difference between the rich and the poor. The rich helped the poor relatives. This comes under Dharma. Helping the distressed helps to purify the mind of the donor more than it does for the recipient.
Today, all have changed. Kinship of the olden days is missing in the today’s rich. Helping the poor relatives is on the decline. There were true food donations in the olden days. Now the rich entertain the rich at parties. In the country now, there is so much of expenditure of money on such feasts. It neither serves Dharma nor purifies the mind. Parties and feasts are held to cheat the invitees, which both know. The host does not hold the party and the feast for the guests because he loves them. The ulterior motive of the feast was transactional and business cultivation. The guest knowing this eats happily and leaves. Who is cheating whom? The guest eats the food and cheats the host. Parties and feasts are cheating games and do not contribute to purify the mind.
When food or material help is given to the poor, both sides enjoy happiness and love. Where there is a party, there is no true love but a plethora of hate. When the penniless see the rich and the famous hold parties, there is a mother lode of hatred and enmity. I am saying this because there should be no difference between the poor and the rich.
No one should think, ‘Only the rich can offer monetary help and earn Puṇṇiyam (merit). What about us?’ Doing Kaiṅkaryam (physical work) for others earns Puṇṇiyam. It helps advance Siddha Śuddhi (mind purification). Those who are not well-off can help others with physical work.
Everyone- nobody must know-can walk along a narrow path and remove shards of glass and thorns (people walk on bare feet). It helps purify the mind. Everyone can do these small Dharmas. The poor and the rich join hands to dig a pond in a village. That is Dharma.
Īśvara Anugraham (God’s help) is sought after by all. How would it come? One should engage repeatedly in doing helpful and charitable work and practicing universal compassion to all living creatures, which will help us see image of God in the mirror of pure mind. We can’t see our image on the surface of turbid water. Once our mind is turbid, we can’t see the image of God. Doing philanthropic work (whatever is its size or worth) and when the mind becomes pure, clear and reflective, we can grasp the God’s image and receive his anugraham (Divine favor).