Sunday, November 09, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 14 (of Vol 3) Dated 08 Nov 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 14 (of Vol 3) Dated 08 Nov 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 60, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original.)
(Note:- These e-mails are available at constantly up-dated.)
{Correction One. In the previous e-mail, that is Deivathin Kural # 13 (of Vol 3) Dated 31 Oct 2008, in para 4, second line, before word 'talk', for 'Stale Purana-s' read, 'Sthala Purana'. Correction Two. In the last para 13, it sounds as though it was Sanandana, who later came to be known as Padma Paada, who got his life extended by 16 years! It was Acharyal whose life got extended from 16 to 32 years! Please make necessary corrections at the appropriate places. The errors are regretted!}
14. Sanandana was a Brahmin boy from Sozha Naadu of the Tamil Nadu. Before Acharyal was 16 years of age, Sanandana had joined Acharyal as a disciple, when Acharyal had started his work in Kaasi. By that time Acharyal had completed writing the Bhashyams for Bhagawat Gita, Upanishad-s and Brhma Sutra, known together as 'Prasthana Thrayam'. With that he had intended to put a full stop to his life's journey too. It was by that time that, Veda Vyasa had come to him, had extensive arguements with him about his ideas, concepts and writings. In the end, Veda Vyasa revealed his true identity. He exhorted Acharyal that in addition to writing the 'Prasthana Thrayam', he should challenge all exponents of other branches of Hindu Religion as well as other religions and defeat them in debates, so as to re-establish the Sanatana Dharma! Accordingly he extended Achryal's life by another 16 years! Let that be aside. We were getting along with the story of Sanandana, who became Padma Paada.
15. While Acharyal was living in Kasi, one day he happened to be on one side of the river Ganges and Sanandana was on the other side. Sanandana was drying the Guru's clothes. Acharyal had just completed his bath and was standing in his wet clothes. So, he told his disciple Sanandana to fetch the dried cothes. Disciple Sanandana's immediate reaction was to implicitly obey the Guru's orders! He noticed that Acharyal was standing with his clothes dripping wet. Out of sheer concern for his Guru, in all devotion, he just started walking towards the Guru with the dried clothes. There was no rational thinking to wait for a boat. On the spur of the moment, he did not see the deep river with a fast current of water at all! He simply started walking. He just did not give any thought to the possibility of his drowning or the Acharya's dry clothes getting soaked again, if he starts swimming!
16. When such was the intensity of his devotion, God had to give the necessary effect for such sincerity of purpose. The situation called for a miracle to happen and so it did! As Sanandana took each step, there was a big lotus which came up to bear his weight. Sanandana walked totally unaware of the miracle being enacted! Like when people run across burning embers of a char-coal spread on the ground, totally unaware of the burning under foot, during demonstrations of devotion in temple festivities; Sanandana was not conscious of the lotus flowers under foot and his crossing of the river. As others were witness to this spontaneous display of an exceptional ardour and devotion to one's Guru, he was across the river and had submitted to dry clothes to his Guru!
17. Acharyal asked him in jest as to 'how did he cross the river?' Sanandana did not even turn back to look at the river or wonder as to how could he cross the river. 'Guru had given the order and so, His will be done', was his confirmed conviction. He replied, "What is so great about my crossing a river Swami? Just thinking of you, this uncrossable ocean of worldy life becomes a shallow pond!" Then only Acharyal showed him the line of lotusses across the river marking his steps and named him 'Padma Pada'. Adi Sankara on the one hand was an Avatara of Lord Easwara Himself and on the other was called 'Bhagawat Pada'. It was very apt that his own disciple was named 'Padma Pada'!
Ramanuja Sampradaya.
18. Amongst the disciples of Ramanujacharya too there were disciples of extreme devotion to their Guru. Generally the Vaishnavas are famous for what is known as, "Naichya Bhava", that is an attitude of extreme subservience! They will interact with any and everybody with so much of respect as not encountered elsewhere. Instead of 'You' they are likely to address others as 'Your Highness' or 'Your devine self'. They will refer to themselves in conversations as, 'Your servant' or 'Your slave'! All other non-vaishnavites for them are, 'Swami'. If you happen to be a vaishnavite, you become 'Perumal'. That they use very high flown expressions of respect verbally is rather famous. There is a joke on this, not to be taken too seriously! It seems there was a disciple who was wanting to dispose of the Guru and take over the reigns himself. So he had dug a pit for the Guru to be put under the earth alive. When the Guru happened to come there, the disciple was supposed to have told him, "Will Your Exalted Highness kindly get into the pit by Your Noble Self or should this Your slave take the pains of making Your Greatness do it?!"
19. Amongst the Vaishnava tradition, we come across many incidents of evident devotion to the Guru, which touch our hearts. If you really want to witness the conduct of temple festivities, we should visit their temples. You go to a Perumal Koil and see the way they do even the daily Pooja in say, Aandaal Sannidy or Azhvar Sannidy; in Thenkalai temples the Manavala Mamunivar or Pillay Lokacharyar Sannidy or in Vadakalai temple, the Vedanta Desikar Sannidy. The intensity and elaborateness is something to be seen to be believed! Sri Perumpudur, the birth place of Ramanija, Perumal Himself is only secondary. They hold the Acharyar in such a high esteem, calling him repeatedly as 'Udaiyavar', daily pooja and ten-days festivity is all done in such minute details in such a large scale! The dome on top of the Sannidy is in pure gold!
20. In Sri Villiputhur, it is Aandaal who is important. She was a devotee of Perumal as you would know. She is adored as, 'Kodai or Kodai Nayaki'. Like in Madurai Meenakshi Koil, the prime importance is for Meenakshi Amman and not for Sundareswarar. Similarly here, the Ranga Mannar Perumal is pushed to the number two spot. The temple itself is called only 'Aandaal Koil'!
21. Nammaazhvar was born in a place known as, 'Kurugoor'. Since it is the birth place of their Guru, the name of the place itself has been changed to 'Aazhvaar Thirunagari'! The festival conducted in that place too is rather special. The Guru Parampara which came before and after Ramanuja namely, Naadamuni, Aalavandar, Manakkaal Nambi, Thirukkachi Nambi, Kooraththu Aazhvaar, Bhattar and Nanjeeyar; are all similarly adored and celebrated. We do not see similar treatment of the 63 Nayanmaar-s in Siva Temples except Manikka Vaasagar in Thirup-perum-thurai. In that temple on the sea shore, all daily pooja and yearly festival are for the Siva Bhakta Manikka Vaasagar only. However, it is a fact that the Nayanmaar-s in the Siva Temples and the Acharyal-s such as Sri Kanta Acharyar, Meikanda Sivam or Umapati Sivacharyar in Saiva Siddhanta tradition; are not being given the same pride of place as is done in the Vaishnava tradition.
(To be continued.)


Post a Comment

<< Home