Sunday, October 05, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (of Vol 2) Dated 06 Oct 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (of Vol 2) Dated 06 Oct 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyavaal of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from page number 1,035 till 1040, i.e., the end of Vol 2, of the Tamil original. So, this e-mail is the last of Deivathin Kural of Vol 2 and we will be starting with Vol 3 after this.)
(Note:- All these Deivathin Kural e-mails are available in ‘’, which is being updated every time this e-mail is sent. )
Start of the Beginning & End of the Finish
(This talk was given in Rameswaram in the Sri Sankara Mandapam, constructed by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, in 1963.)
1. In this mandapam, in the center there is a pillar on top of which is the statue of Adi Sankara. At the back is a hall in which Saraswathi Devi has been installed, making it a ‘Saraswathi Mahal’. If you think of a question as to how we can position Saraswathi behind the back of Sankara Acharya, there is an interesting point there. Adi Sankara, when he won over Mandana Mishra, an avatara of Brhma, he immediately also defeated Mandana Mishra’s wife, Sarasa Vani, an avatara of Saraswathi Devi! Mandana Mishra at once became one of the important protégés of Adi Sankara, called Sureshwaracharya.
2. Sarasa Vani after being defeated in the debate, regained her celestial form and was leaving for Brhma Loka. But Acharyal wanted to install Saraswathi Devi in a suitable place on earth, so as to bless the mortals with the brilliance of Her proximity. So, Adi Sankara used the ‘Vana Durga’ mantra to make it impossible for Her to leave the environs of the Earth! He requested Her, “Mother, I am about to go about the whole country. I wish that you would come with me. Whichever place appeals to your fancy, I will establish the Sarada Peetam and install You there. From there You could bless the whole world!”
3. Goddess Saraswathi agreed to abide by his wish. She said, “OK. I will do as you wish. I will follow you. But, you are not to look back. If you do, I will get established on that spot.” For Her all the spots in the world have the same value or attraction. So, playfully She countered with a condition which had to be agreed upon. Acharyal started walking. Goddess Sarawathi’s golden anklets were tinkling with every step of Hers. Acharyal could hear it. There was no need for him to look back. Adi Sankara Acharyal, who was omniscient as an Avatara of the Siva, was only play acting as a mortal human being.
4. As Acharyal was going around various parts of India, on the Tungabadra river bank, he noticed that a snake was holding its expanded hood as a sunshade for a pregnant frog, that was in the throes of delivery. For a snake, a frog is a like a cherished snack; it will be gobbled up without a thought! But, “a place which could kindle such love and affection in the snake for a frog that too, was the most appropriate site for a Saraswathi Temple”, thought Acharyal! He noticed that the tinkling sounds of the anklets had also stopped. He looked back wondering as to what happened to the Saraswathi Devi. She got permanently established on the spot. Anyhow, Acharyal had to remain content that his very thought a few seconds back, got frutioned! The reason for the stopping of the tinkling of Her anklets was due to the partially wet sands of the river bank!
5. As She had promised that ‘She will follow him behind his back’, here too, in Rameswara Sankara Mandapam, Her statue is installed behind Acharyal‘s back! If you write a book too, first there is invocation of Guru, then Ganapati and only then is Saraswathy’s invocation. So similarly here too, it is in the rightness of protocol, that Saraswathy, the Goddess of Learning and Wisdom, is situated after Guru the Acharyal. Now if you ask me, “OK! All that is accepted. But at the end of everything, when ‘Mangala Aaratie’ is sung, we take the name of Anjaneya Swami. Now how can it be in the rightness of things that, Anjaneya Swami is standing here at the very entrance?”, I have the answer.
6. Anjaneya was already located here before anybody else! His statue was not sculptured for this occasion like other’s here. He is the original occupant of this place. Acharyal has come to Anjaneya’s place and not the other way around. There is some appropriateness of logic in Acharyal coming to Anjaneya’s place.
7. Sri Rudram when chanted in the ‘Krama Pada’ method, the word ‘Sankara’ occurs 13 times. According to our Saastra-s 13 is not an unlucky number. It is very auspicious. The word ‘Sankara’ which means ‘ doer of all good’, occurring 13 times, is further proof of its benign power. Anjaneya is ‘Rudra Amsam’. He keeps chanting the 13 lettered mantra of, “sri rama jaya rama jaya jaya rama”. In north India, this mantra is specially referred to as, ‘tera akshar’, meaning the thirteen syllabled! It is this ‘thriyo-dasa-akshari’ mantra which is the one constantly chanted by Hanumar when He was born as ‘Samarta Ramadasa’, who guided Sivaji to establish a Hindu Kingdom, by the power of the mantra japa! So, it is in the rightness of things that, the Rudra avatara Sankara, whose name occurs 13 times in Sri Rudra Ghana Paata, has come to Rudra Amsa Anjaneya, who forever is chanting the 13 syllabled mantra!
8. So as not to push that Anjaneya to the background, rest of the temple has been constructed behind Him! How is He? He is holding one hand held up with the fingers spread out. This is not only the ‘abhaya hasta’, but also a signal to stop. There is a trijunction of two seas and an ocean in front. He is holding his hand aloft, as though telling the waters of the ocean to stop on its tracks and not come forward any further. Accordingly the King of the Oceans has abided by Anjaneya’s orders for tens of thousands of years. Thus Anjaneya’s standing guard in front is the best for all of us.
9. Now I will give you the logic as to why, Anjaneya who normally comes at the end of all ceremories and functions, has come forward to stand in front on this one occasion. Similar to Acharyal’s obeying Saraswati Devi’s order that she will come behind him, Acharyal himself has requested Anjaneya to stand guard in front always. He did so in ‘Hanumat Pancharatnam’, a beautiful poem of five stanzas written by Acharyal. The one prayed to is Anjaneya, a ‘Rudra Amsam’. The one composing the poem is an avatara of the very Siva! Both were embodiment of humility, modesty, reticence and ‘adakkam’. Acharyal with extreme humbleness is praying to Anjaneya, ‘purato mama paatu hanumato moortihi’. That means as under:-‘mama-my; purato-in front; hanumato-Anjaneya swami’s; moortihi-form; (may) paatu-shine!’ Acharyal himself had requested that Anjaneya’s form should be effulgent in his immediate front. That is the logic of Hanuman being there in front of Sri Sankara Mandapam, in Rameswaram!
10. Start and End are one. Origin and Culmination are one. We all end back in our source. The Param that we all search for finally is found to be the very first thought of one’s ‘self, me, my, I, hamm, aham, naan, nenu’, in whichever language! So, naturally then, the last Hanuman is the first here, as the ‘role-model’ for Adwaitam. He stoops low in front of Sri Ramachandra Swami, with a ‘daasoham’ stance of ‘I am your slave’ and conquers the highest pinnacle of oneness with the supreme! So He is the start of the beginning and end of the finish!
11. The Ocean is bounden by the raised hands of Anjaneya, like a pet. We are the specks in the ocean of life. Our mind is endlessly oscillating, twisting and turning, like the waves of the ocean. Anjaneya is one who has won over his heart and senses. He is the foremost amongst such people who have won over their hearts and senses! He is said to be, “jitendriyam buddhimataam varishtam”. If we think of Him and meditate on Him standing with His hand raised, He will not only give us fearlessness but bring this ocean of life under control, remove the agitations of our minds and give us peace.


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