By Periyava
Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj
உள்ளும் புறமும் : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)
InwardAndOutward: Deivathin Kural (Part One)
ஆசாரம்1 ācāram, n. < ā-cāra. 1. Conducting oneself according to the dictates of the Šāstras;
All must do one’s own individual appropriate (religious) observance. I have been parroting that you must observe Sāstraic injunctions: wear sacred ash, Vaishnava marks, and Rudrākṣa bead rosary. Some think where the need is for these observances. It is important that we remain virtuous. Purity relates to the mind. You think that all exoteric religious observances are external props.
Exoteric worship including observances, clothes, wearable symbols… cause internal cleansing and goodness. External acts and internal state are interrelated. An example. A lotto player hears he unexpectedly won Rs. 500,000. He is immensely happy. That is a mental attitude. Because of this mental state, the body experienced excitement. His breathing stops and he falls in a faint. A specific mental state precipitates a particular change in breathing. Yoga Sastra describes the practice of a particular type of breathing (breathing exercise) induces a particular mental state. External appearance (physiognomy) reflects the internal state. Anger makes the eyes red. The lips quiver. Grief precipitates shedding of tears. Happiness brings on a toothy smile. The Mahans have shown us that Āsanas (Standing and sitting postures) demonstrate the connection between the body, the mind and the soul (the body and the inner feeling and the specific spiritual wellbeing of the soul) and the salubrious effect on the three.
Some may ask whether a soldier minus his uniform is less brave. Soldiers all over the world wear their military uniforms. Some say the uniform inculcates bravery in the soldier.
The external symbols and Samskaras bring inward peace. If they are taken as a disguise, so will they be. If you have sincerity, dedication and belief in wearing them, they will certainly bring inward peace and fulfilment. The outward helps the inward.
It is not important that I took upon myself to practice the Samskaras, uphold Āśramas, and wear Vibhuti and Rudrākṣa rosary on me. I am the head of the Mutt. If I wear all these external symbols, you will come seeking me. You will give money for the upkeep of the Mutt. Therefore, these external props are essential to give meaning to my activities. Your situation is different. You make a living in a different way. Better than me, your observations of Samskaras and wearing of the symbols help you in the purification of the soul. You deserve and must receive that purification.
Let us wear the symbols that remind us of the supreme Satyam (Truth). Let us not deviate from the virtuous path. Let us do good deeds to bolster our chosen good path. Let them be the beauty in our life. Let us get mental purity. We have clarity of purpose and purity in our soul. Let us meditate on the Supreme God, experience its reality and immerse ourselves in Bliss.