an eminent exponent of Upanyasam genre.Listening to the lectures is an unforgettable experience. What is most notable about Sri.Sundarkumar is that he he symbolises humbleness and humility. is not a publicity monger, does not give cassettes or CDs-nor are his lectures available on You Tube or any other video sharing website. The only way to listen to him is to attend his lectures personally. Believe me-it is an experience to cherish. Replete with contemporaneous examples and subtle humour without sacrificing the main message-this is his unique style.
I thought I will share with the members the gist of some of the gems I heard from him:
Not much of his personal life is public Knowledge,but from what I Have heard, he is a post graduate in Sanskrit. He worked in Canara Bank for sometime, before taking voluntary retirement and devoting himself exclusively to spiritual activities and Upanyasams. His knowledge of different spheres of life is amazing.He quotes extensively from various sources like Kambaramayana, valmiki, Tulsidas, Thiruvalluvaretc. Even though he resigned from Bank long back, he quotes even modern developments in Banking like non-performing assets,core competence etc..
1)5 persons to be worshipped:
2)different living beings meet their end thrugh different senses. For eg
Fish gets trapped because of its attraction for meat=tasteDeer falls a prey because of its liking for folk tunes—hearing.It is said that it goes after rustic tunes and gets trappedElephant falls into the trap(pit) because of its sexual instincts(Touch)Vittil poochi-dies due to its attraction to light(sight)Bee meets its end due toits weakness for the sweet smell of honey(smell)Man is the only animal who gets his end through all the senses
3)To illustrate tha t we should not use harsh words against others, he narrated the following story:
Once, there was an argument between the tongue and the tooth
Tongue;I want to do you a favour in return for all the help you are doing me
Tooth:I am doing my duty and you are doing yours. What is there to thank for?
Tongue: Whenever something is put into the mouth, even if it is a hard object like seedai, you bite, break it into pieces and send it to me only for tasting. In other words, you do all the hard work, but I enjoy the benefits.
Tooth:ok,if you insist on doing me a favour, you may stop talking harsh words to others
Cheek:I wanted to do you a favour.If I do not talk harshly to others, how does it help you?s
Tooth: When you talk harshly to others, they do not say they will break your tongue,but they only say I will break your teeth and sometimes, they do it also. Why should I suffer for your misdeeds?
4)six things to be avided by everyone:
a)sleeping beyond physiological necessity
d)Anger (krodham which disturbs judgment)
e)lack of effort to do things
f)procrastination in taking decisions
5)6 traits not to be forsaken by kings
c)Anavasyam(meaning absence of laziness)
d)Anasuya(meaning absence of envy)
6)six persons to be avoided:
a)Guru without teaching capacity
b)Purohit without adhyayanam of Manthras
c)king who does not protect his subjects
e)shepherd who does not want to leave town(he is supposed to take the goats to forest for eating grass)
f)Barber who wants to stay in the forest(when his business is in the town)
7)7 things to be avoided by kings
a)Sthreesambogam(excessive sexual desires)
c)Hunting for its own sake
e)Using harsh words unnecessarily
f)Giving punishment disproportionate to the crime
g)misappropriation of public funds
8)eight qualities which popularise the king:
b)Pulanadakkam(controlling the senses)
d)nalla kulathil pirappu
f)Alavodu pesudhal(without banter)
h)Seinanri Maravamai(not forgetting favours done)
9)Everybody would like to share your pleasures and luxuries, but no one will share your difficulties. You know that Saint Valmiki was once a robber and a sinner.He was once asked "Why do you sin?" He replied " For my wife and children".He was told to check with them whether they will share the results of his sins. They flatly refused saying,"It is your responsibility to take care of us. We never told you to take care of us through sinning.It is entirely your choice and your burden".
10)You should learn to live with the dispassion arising out of distance. What is unbearable grief now becomes trivial and fades into insignificance after 20/30/years. So,when you get depressed by some event today, try to distance yourself in time and look at it with dispassion. You will feel lighthearted.
11)He is never tired of talking about the wealth of knowledge of Kanchi Mahaperiava(His Holiness Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi).Once a great English scholar who was so proud of his ability to think in English came to have Darshan of Periava. At the same time, a poor lady also came for His darshan. She was once very rich, but now steeped in poverty.Periava asked the gentleman 'you are thinking English. This lady who has been once very rich, but now poor has been coming to have Darshan of me for the last 50 years with the same humility and devotion. What do you call this attitude?" The English scholar was not able to respond. Periava asked"will the word 'equipoise' be correct?'. The professor was stunned at erudition of Periaval.
12)A mother was earning her livelihood by tailoring . Once inadvertently, the needle pireced her hand. At that time, her son came jubilantly and said," I have won a Gold Medal in my college".At once all the pain was gone. When we concentrate on great things, trivial pains are forgotten.
13)Who is a true friend to whom?
14)The journey of our life goes as follows:
Jeevan-man who goes in the chariot)
All the horses should travel in the same direction and with the same speed.This is taken care of by Therotti with the help of Kadivalam
This shows the importance of brain-mind coordination.
15)A noble person should avoid the following:
d)Rajathwishtam(going against the king)
16)Qualities of a noble soul:
Anasuyai(absence of jealousy)
Suddhi(cleanliness-Pushti-inner and susthi-outer)
Anaayaasam(doing things with pleasure without treating them as burden)
17)What ignoble souls do not have:
Aathmagnanam(knowledge of self)
Dhidhiksha(tolerance of difficulties)
Dharmanithyatha(decisiveness about Dharma)
Vasiva(protecting a secret)
18)This is an episode about Sankaracharya of Sringeri.One day, after His Nithyapooja, He was distributing prasadams.One lady in the queue came to Him and cried 'I have lost my gold chain'. He asked her to step aside. After a few minutes, the third lady on the queue came to receive prasadam.He simply told her 'Give it back."Even then she asked'What?".He replied "Whatever you took".She was simply stunned and gave the chain back.
Desire will destroy Bravery(Dhairyam)
Jealousy will destroy Dharma
Krodham will destroy wealth(aiswaryam)
Helping ignoble fellows will destroy Seelam(nallozhukkam)
Pride will destroy everything
20)Difference between Unmai,Vaaimai and Mei
Unmai:Truth in mind
Vaaimai:truth in words
Mei:Truth in sariram(body)
21)Whom to appreciate when
Pathni-after she loses her youth
Servant after he completes the work well
Sons-never(to prevent ego)
Relatives –after they leave after a visit
Sanyasi-after he attains Gnanam
Soldier(after he wins the war)
22)We generally call Sani Bagavan as Saneeswaran. We should call him SANAISCHARAN.This is because He limps while walking. This limping was caused by Yama chasing Him and disfiguring him.
23)Yama and Sanaischaran were the sons of Ravi(Sooryan).Hence it is not desirable to name anyone as Ravikumar
24)Nowadays, it has become a practice for people to order outside food for any function The contractor brings cooked food and serves .This is not permitted for Subakaaryams. On such occasions, food should be cooked only in the kitchen in the house. Only at the time of a death in the house, such outside cooking is permitted.
25)Uththamar,Madhyamar and Adhamar:
Adhamar:like waterdrop falling on fire:it evaporates
Madhyamar:Drop of water on the petal of lotus-looks like pearl, but not one
Uththamar:like Muthuchippt-becomes a pearl
26)Difference between loneliness and solitude:
Loneliness:has an unhappy connotationno one to talk to
Solitude:Has a happy association One can pursue his activities undisturbed-no one to disturb
27)Danger generally comes from one's own kith and kin:
A Baby elephant once told his grandfather elephant there is danger. We should run for our lives. The grandfather asked what the matter was.The Baby elephant said people are coming with weapons, fire and iron chains.Grandfather said,no worry.are there any other elephants coming? The Baby said 'no'.The Grandfather said that danger generally comes from only our own kith and kin.
28)According to Vedas,human beings have a lifespan of 100 years,but very rarely do people live upto that age.Why?
Excessive sexual desires
29)8 Qualities of a messenger (Dhoothan)
gift of the gab
not susceptible to temptations
30) no one should have any commercial dealings with:
King who does not enforce law
Servants of the King
Brothers/sons of the King
Widow with a small child
One who has lost his wealth due to loss in business
31) Rules for having snanam in Punyanadhis:
Do not put your leg first.Pray and do aachamanam before entering the river
Men should have a dip with Panchakacham and women with Madisar
Do Sankalpam treating sacred ash as theertham
Do not apply soap
After scrubbing with bare hands, have a dip again
Do Devarishi Tharpanam
32) General rules for snanam:
No snanam before 3AM or after 6PM
No snanam after Pithrukarma
Brahmachari should do one snanam,Grihasthas,2 snanams and Sanyasis 3 snanams
33)Qualities of those who do snanam in the right way:
33) Qualities of those who eat Sathvic food moderately(twice a day)
34) Shiva and Shakti are part and parcel of each other. Siva's colour is white and Shakti's colour is red.That is why we use this combination ..everywhere
Eg: Dhoti is pure white and the border is generally red
Vibhuti is white and Kumkumam is red
Abishekam ,milk is white and honey is brownish red.
Lily is white and sembarathai flower is red.
Rice+Sambar-white and red
Thayirsadham+pickle-white and red
35)When all odds are against you and when you have reached rockbottom,do not despair.You cannot go further down. You can only go up. I have written the above based on what I heard during the Upanyasam and what I understood from them. There may be mistakes especially in SANSKRIT WORDS and shortcomings due to communication gap and my own ignorance. Kindly excuse these aberrations and correct me wherever required.
36) There are two two types of griefs:
a)one which can be redressed by doing Pariharam
b)one which has to be endured
37) 5 persons who cannot be pardoned
a)Disciple who forgets the Guru
b)Persons who forget their parents after marriage
c)Persons who forget the boat after crossing the river
d)Patients who forget the doctor
e)persons who forget those who helped them