Monday, October 20, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 8 (of Vol 3) Dated 21 Oct 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 8 (of Vol 3) Dated 21 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 last para of page number 33, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 7 (Vol 3) Dated 19 Oct 2008. )
(Note:- All these Deivathin Kural e-mails are available in ‘’, which is being updated every time this e-mail is sent. )
The story of Kabir and Ramanand Swami, as heard from Asa Ram Babu.
28. Brahmins are very fond of mischief. Some of them cannot just let an opportunity for sensationalism go unattended. The Pandits of Varanasi were no less. Kabir in his two liners known as 'Dohe', used to tick off Hindus and Muslims with equal relish. He could never be faulted for his ideas and concepts, which were pungent and hurting but indisputable! So they were always looking for opportunities to put him down. They caught on to the idea that Kabir had no Guru. So they called him 'Niguda'. Niguda means one without a Guru. This epithet was considered worse than being called an idiot or fool, those days.
29. So wherever and whenever they could, they used to pull Kabir's legs with a derogatory reference to his being a 'Niguda'. But he used to quietly claim that they were not correct as, he was Swami Ramanand's Sishya. Some of these mischief mongers had to take it up with Ramanand Saheb as to how Kabir is claiming him to be his Guru, as after all he would never take a Muslim as his 'Chela'! Ramanand Sahib rightfully insisted that Kabir was not his student. The matter came to a head, when there was a big get together on some pretext, attended by both Ramanand Swami and Kabir.
30. Somehow the purpose of the gathering went into the background. Whether Kabir was a Sishya of Ramanand Swami or not became the main agenda. In the hearing of all present, Kabir was again questioned as to who was his Guru. As usual he claimed to be a Sishya of Ramanand Sahib. Ramanand Swami was questioned whether Kabir a Muslim, was his Sishya. He rightfully answered in the negative. Now Kabir had to substantiate his claim. Now Kabir related the story as to how he had waited, lying prostrate on the steps to Ganga, early in the morning and caused Ramanand Saheb to step on his body and utter the words, 'Ram Ram!' in alarm, which Kabir took as 'Sparsa Deeksha' and 'Mantropadesa'!
31. Thus Kabir told everyone that, knowingly or unknowingly Ramanand Sahib was his Guru. The audience was shocked into silence. But, this led to a slow murmuring of disapproval which picked up momentum to a din! Voices arose that Kabir had duped Ramanand Sahib and became his Sishya for which Kabir should be punished. After a lot of confabulations, it was decided that Kabir should be punished and that Ramanand Sahib himself should be the one to dish out the punishment. So the whole audience waited with bated breath. There was Ramanand Swami standing with a cane thrust in to his unwilling hands and there was Kabir willingly subservient to receive the thrashings!
32. Ramanand Sahib the great Saint that he was, firmly rooted in the principles of 'Ahimsa', incapable of hurting even a worm, raised the cane high in the air, virtually caressed Kabir's body with the cane to the accompaniment of a loud, "Ram, Ram, Ram"! Now Kabir told the assemblage, "Whether I was a Niguda till now or not, I am not a Niguda anymore! You are all witness to Ramanand Sahib's 'Sparsa Deeksha' with the cane and 'Mantra Upadesa' which you have all heard! Now there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that Ramanand Sahib is my Guru!" That is the addition to Periyaval's narration, as heard from Asa Ram Babu, which I promised in the last e-mail! Now to continue with our translation from the last para of page 33 of the Tamil Original Volume 3.
33. The moral of the story is that, there has to be a Guru for spiritual progress, which is the only progress from 'darkness unto light'! All other worldly progressions are in reality, only regressions! The 'Mantropadesa' thus is the living link between Guru and Sishya. This Mantropadesa in Tamil is known as, 'Vaarthai or Thiruvaarthai or in poems, Oru Vaarthai!', 'The Word'! No other words are needed to complete the Mantropadesa.
34. Taayumaanavar is the name of a poet-saint of Trichy. As the story goes, there was this pregnant woman, on the one side of Kaveri. The river is known as 'Akhanda Kaveri' around Trichy (short for Thiru Chiraappally), for it spreads like a vast ocean there. As the night approached, the pregnant woman's mother who had gone across the river had not come back. Labour pain started. The girl was sincerely praying to Siva the Resident Deity of that place. Luckily, the mother arrived and assisted the girl in delivering the new arrival in to this world. With exhaustion they all slept. In the morning the real mother arrived with the news that due to the river being in spate, she could not cross the river and come this side! Then it remained a mystery as to who came in the night and assisted in delivering the new born? Who could it be but, God Himself in that form! So He is known as, 'the one who became Mother too', that is, 'Taayumaanavar'!
35. This poet of the name, 'Taayumaanavar', got this mantra from his Guru, 'summaa iru', meaning, 'keep quiet'! That was all the Mantra he got! He says, 'moorti talam teertam todanginaarku, ore vaartai sola sarguruvum vaaikkum paraaparame', (that word ore is to be pronounced as it is, in English, hence not italicized), meaning, 'for those who start in a humble way with visiting God's statues in the temples; or visit to Punya Kshetraa-s; or sacred rivers / water sources; a word is enough as mantropadesa from a Satguru'!
36. So, Guru is the one who gives Mantropadesam. This inner greatness of the Guru gets revealed to the world only when thus related to a Sishya, through Mantropadesa. Once that is done, Guru’s job is over. He does not have to keep on persevering with explanations of the subtle meaning and implications of the mantra and or the practice to be done by the recipient of the mantra! This long term training is the responsibility of the Acharya. Guru may just walk away from the situation totally unconcerned, having blurted out the mantra! Pronto! The link is established for ever, never to be broken. With inexorable logic, the power of Anugraha through the Mantra or the power of Mantra through the Anugraha, starts working.
37. If the Guru is far advanced or the Sishya is far matured, even this ‘word of mouth’ Mantropadesa may not be needed. Some how the link has to be established. May be a ‘touch’ will do the trick. May be a look is enough. May be just a kind thought ‘let this child be blessed’, will do most sufficiently!
(To be continued.)


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