Saturday, October 11, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 3 (of Vol 3) Dated 11 Oct 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 3 (of Vol 3) Dated 11 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 the middle of page number 12, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original. )
(Note:- All these Deivathin Kural e-mails are available in ‘’, which is being updated every time this e-mail is sent. )
26. Valambury Yanaiai Valam Varuvom. We will go around the God Pillaiyar of the form of an elephant with His trunk turned to the right. Devotees tap on their forehead with both the fists lightly, when in front of Ganesha and that is known as 'kuttik-kolvadu'. They may catch both their ears with the crossed hand and sit down on the haunches and stand up and do this a number of times, that is known as 'thoppuk-karanam' from the Sanskrit word, 'dobir-karanam'. They may smash a coconut on hard ground, in front of Ganesha, so that pieces of it are spread all around, for children to pick up the peices and that is known as, 'sidaru thengai poduvathu'. Then they may offer 'erukkan' leaves and flowers and 'arugu' grass to the Elephant God in 'archanaa'. To circumambulate His form or statue or temple from around the right, is known as 'valam varudal'. These are all methods by which devotees display their reverence to Pillaiyar!
27. You go around a minimum of three times, or may be 21 or 108 times. Going around 'valam' is to start at the front of the temple or statue, go behind from the left and come to the front from the right. That is known as 'pradakshinam'. Pillaiyar Suzhi is also started from the left, taken up and to the right in a semi circle and then extend to the right as a straight line. I hope you remember the story of how Pillaiyar got the fruit that was brought by Narada.
28. One day in Kailash, Narada brought a rare variety of fruit. Siva and Parvati knew straight away that there will be some problem brewing. Narada himself was asked to decide as to how to give this one fruit to the two children, Pillaiyar and Kartikeya. He told the children that the fruit will be given to whosoever goes around the whole world three times and come back. Pillaiyar was still deliberating by which time, Kartikeya had gone around once on His Mayur the Peacock! Pillaiyar quickly made up his mind that His parents were more than the whole world and so went around them and got the fruit! (That the second son Kartikeya reacted violently at this seeming injustice, is a separate story, which has been covered in one of my earlier talks.) If we go around that Vinayaka, we will be benefited with physical and mental well being. {Periyaval puns on the word 'palam (means fruit) and balam (means strength)' as it is written the same way in Tamil!} Then, going around Vinayaka is as good as going around the whole world!
29. He is Valambury Vinayaka too. There are many differences in the shape, form, figure, dress and postures of Vinayaka in the statues and paintings of old times. (In these days of digitalized electronic capabilities, His figure has lent itself most fluently and resiliently, for a prolific profusion of icons in a variety of modes and media!) Mostly in the statues and paintings of Vinayaka, the trunk will be found to be having a turn towards the Left. They are known as 'Edambury Vinayaka'. In some of them the trunk may be having a turn to the Right. That is the 'Valambury' Vinayagar which is a rarity. For example it is a Valambury Vinayaka in Pillaiyar Patti known as ‘Karpaga Vinayaka‘.
30. Valambury Vinayaka is said to have special powers and as per the scriptures the worship procedures are somewhat complicated too. Whether Valambury or Edambury, this is the Suzhi that Pillaiyar Himself makes with His own body part! Pillaiyar's very figure is the Pranava Onkara. Looking at the face of Pillaiyar, if you draw a line starting from the right edge of the mouth, along the cheeks, the head, down along the left cheek, the tusk and reach the end of the tusk turning towards right side; it will make the figure of ‘Omkaaraa’ as written in Tamil! You will not get that ‘Omkaaraa’ figure if the tusk is turning left.
31. Another Valambury Vinayaka is in a place known as ‘Thiru Valam chuzhi’, in Kumbakonam district. I will share with you a piece of information which clearly brings out the greatness of the deity in that place. In Maharashtra State people are rather fond of praying to Ganesha and Anjaneya. During the British rule, Bal Gangadar Tilak hit upon the idea of collecting bigger and bigger crowds through religious festivals, so as to spread nationalism. It is interesting to note that prior to the advent of Adi Sankara, Hinduism was divided into six seemingly different religions of, Gaanaapatyam, Koumaram, Saktam, Saivam, Vaishnavam and Souram. These were made up by the followers of, Ganapathy, Kartikeya, Sakti, Siva, Vishnu and Surya respectively. Adi Sankara’s contribution it was to bring these six religions together, back into the mainstream of what is Hinduism. In the State of Maharashtra traditionally there were more Ganapatya-s. That is why even now Ganesh Chathurti draws very big crowds in that State. {There was a picture in the news papers recently, of some people counting the collection at a Ganesh Pandal in Mumbai. The total amount it seems came to above Rupees one crore!}
(The first chapter of ‘Pillaiyar Suzhi’ will get completed in the next e-mail.)


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