Sunday, December 7, 2008

Paduka sahasra intro (Sri Kesava Iyengar)

Constitutional Process Ethical Love and Sacrifice

The “foot” of God is not merely the constating principle but is the guiding factor of the universe. The universe moves in response to and in unison with its will. That response is love and that unison is sacrifice. Purity is implicit in sacrifice and that purity is the purity of selflessness. We are pure only when we submit and surrender ourselves to the “foot” of God. The soul corroded by cravings and grabbings, and poisoned by greed and hate, has first to be sterilised. It must first shake itself off from the septic rags in which it has wrapped itself up and to which it has been infatuosly clinging for aeons of ages. That shaking off will become possible only when it awakens to its prestine purity the purity of selfless sentience and servience. When it awakens to it, it forthwith “falls” at the foot of God, its only refuge. It is in that ‘fall’, in that supplication, when it dedicates itself absolutely and for ever to the service of that “foot” that it becomes pure,. Submission and service is the fundamental law of that constitution. It is intolerant of any aggression or depredation. Pugnacity and predacity are repugnant to the constitution of the universe. The process of that constitution is ethical and all ethics is the etics of sacrifice. Sacrifice is voluntary and cheerful. What is not voluntarily and cheerfully rendered unto the “foot” of God is not sacrifice. What is rendered for or in the hope of reward for the self is neither rendering nor sacrifice. Sacrifice is neeither suffered nor rewarded. It is as incapable of the one as intolerant of the other. If suffered it is not sacrifice, but merely the pangs of selfishness; if rewarded it ceases to be sacrifice. The good do not suffer in sacrifice in the sense in which the word ‘suffer’ is usually understood.They effect sacrifice in all their strength and experience it in all their cheer. Sacrifice is the achievement of heavenly heroes and it is achieved in love and love alone. If the mother ‘suffers’ in child birth it is a joyful expeience to her ‘suffered’ in all the strength of her love. The momentary physical pain adds to the life-long joy of motherhood. That joy begins in that pain. The cry of the new-born babe, though it is a cry, is the very cry of life and joy. If there is no cry there is no life in it. If it does not cry the mother does and hers is the cry of grief. The apparent sufferings of saintly souls are the “sufferings” of cheer in all the strength of their love and faith and are therefore cheerful to them. If they are grieved they are not saints. All grief is the grief of selfishness and all joy is the joy of selflessness. Saints and sinners both react to what befall them. While the reactions of the former are the reactions of knowledge and of faith and fortitude, those of the latter are the reactions of ignorance and of grief and despair. The latter suffer more from their own reactions to the ‘afflictions’ than from the afflictions themselves. Their reactions are their worst afflictions. Prahlada is the standing example of sacrifice. Far from suffering from the untold ills inflicted on him by those who in their ignorance and hate regarded him as their enemy he regarded them in his knowledge and love as his compeers in God’s creation, and therefore in all his love for them prayed to God to restore them to life and sense. That prayer was heard and granted. He “enjoyed” those inflictions and that was the ‘joy’ of his fellowship with them in God’s creation. That is the saint’s reaction. Sacrifice is inspired and it is the worship of God that inspires it. It is not a suffering but an achievement and a triumph. The more the struggle the more the triumph, for it is a struggle in faith and fortitude. The value of the achievement is measured by the intensity of the struggle. No struggle no value. What is got for nothing is worth nothing.

…..To continue