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The Purity of Spiritual Rituals

Tuesday February 1 2005 00:00 IST

By Karmayogi

Waste is unpardonable. To utilize the higher for a lower purpose is a crime against humanity, just as releasing atomic energy for the destruction of the population. The sensation is asuric, the perpetrators are asuras. At all times, it is possible to commit such acts with initial impunity, not with lasting security. The feud between Drona and his boyhood friend Drupada is well known. Drona was a Brahmin, a poor Brahmin who was unable to get enough milk for his son. Drupada was a king. Socially, they were poles apart. Drona's request for a cow from Drupada was not only refused, but was done so with biting sarcasm, a bitter ridicule. Drona, being an Acharya, must have been above being hurt. He was not. He was human. The hurt lodged itself deeply inside.

An Acharya's strength of knowledge when pure and non-mercenary would attract the food his family needs. His failure there revealed the impurity of his knowledge. There was capacity to wield astras, not the purity to attract wealth or affluence. Drona wreaked vengeance on Drupada by having him brought as a prisoner, but acted magnanimously to return half the kingdom captured. It is a rule in war that no magnanimity is permissible. It is a chink in one's armour. Drupada sought spiritual help to beget a son to kill Drona. Yaga is a pure method but it is neutral. It is not to be used to serve the purposes of human perversions such as vengeance. A sage agreed. Yaga was done. Dhrishtadhyuma and Draupadi were born out of the fire in yagakundam. It was a crime that could only beget another crime even if it was successful. Drupada's vows to kill Drona were fulfilled by Dhrishtadhyuma who cut off Drona's head while he sat in meditation on the battlefield. But Ashwattama similarly killed his father's assailant while he was sleeping.

There is one more issue. How did Draupadi come to be disrobed in the court, as she was nowhere in the picture is a question that needs an answer. Yaga is sacred. It is a sacrilege to utilise it as an instrument of personal vengeance. So, the product of that yaga personifies vengeance, the smouldering hurt. Therefore, she psychologically qualifies to be dishonoured publicly, almost with no pretext. The spiritual ritual is pure and sacred. It was dishonoured when employed to serve the cause of personal jealousy. The wonder is yaga lent itself to be disreputably engaged for a dishonourable purpose, as it is neutral. Yaga does not refuse. It does not have a personality to refuse to be smeared. Truth is sacred. Trust is noble. Office is powerful. To employ Truth for false purposes, to betray trust, to misuse office is, to say the least, a crime. That will bounce back and will have side 'benefits' too without fail.
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