DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol #3) Dated 30 Dec 2009.
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol #3) Dated 30 Dec 2009.
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the second para on page No 775 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)
21. One Astra can be countered by another. For example ‘Nagastram’ can be rendered null and void by using ‘Garudastram’, as garuda is the enemy of snakes! This requires correct and quick identification of the missile coming at you and knowledge of the mantra to counter it with. ‘Agneyastram’ can be countered by ‘Varunastram’. There is no proper counter for ‘Brhmastram’. So, it is used very sparingly and held back as a deterrent.
22. That the power of mantra is far superior to the power of the weapons is beautifully brought out by the poet Kalidasa in his ‘Raghuvamsa’ through what Dilipan the King of the Suryakula says while addressing his Kula Guru Vasishta. The Guru questions him about the state of affairs of his kingdom and the King replies thus. “Sire! When you are the Kula Guru blessing us all the time, how can anything go wrong? My sastra-s may hit some targets some time, whereas your mantra-s are hitting and annulling forever all the negative forces wherever they may be, making my arrows and weapons, simply superfluous! The cause of the kingdom’s wellbeing is not the power of my weapons but, the basis of all my powers, Your Brhma Tejas!”
23. In the Astra, both sastra and mantra are combined. The power of Kshatriya-s and mantra-s found by Brhma Rishi-s, when thought of as being effective combinedly, I am reminded of an event of the past. A king and a brahmin ruled over a state from the self same throne! The king’s name was Achyutappa Naik. He was the second in the line of Naiks who ruled over Tanjavoor. His father was Sevappa Naik, the first of the lineage of Naiks. Govinda Deekshidar was the name of that great brahmin. When Sevappa died and Achyutappa ascended the throne. He ruled exactly as per directions of the brahmin whom he considered as his Chief Minister. Not only that, he called him ‘Kula Kootasta Purohita’, that is, the Intimate Family’s Preceptor and ‘Ardhasanar’ meaning ‘the one with the right to half the throne’! The throne was made a double seater and the respected brahmin was seated in the same throne with the king simultaneously!
24. Seeing this a poet sang the following lines:- “ trinaamaadyanta naamaanou maheekchit deekchitaa ubou I sastre saastre cha kushalou aahaveshu haveshu cha II ” It means the following:- “Before starting any karya we do ( Aachamanam, that is, ) partake three spoonful of water uttering God’s names, Achyutaaya nama:, Anantaaya nama:, Govindaaya nama: and that is ‘namatrayam’! Amongst the two who are together occupying the throne, one is of the first name of God in Aachamanam, that is, ‘maheekchit’ Achyutappa Naik and the second is the last of the names of Aachamanam, that is, ’deekchit’ Govinda Deekshidar. In them the first is great in the art of fighting ‘aahave’. The second one is great in doing yagna anushtaana that is, ‘have’.
25. The power of weapons instead of being a crude physical capability, depicting only hate and anger, should be combined with moral strictures and discipline. When divine power and awareness become the basis on which the King’s authority is dependent, it becomes capable of protecting the good and removing the evil. These are matters given in greater detail in Artha Saastra, while talking about a King, his preceptor and council of Ministers.
26. Sastram becomes Astram mainly with the bow and arrows, I said. When there are many weapons of varying sizes, shapes and capabilities, I was telling you as to how the part of Veda-s on the subject of warfare, got the name of Dhanur Veda. All the Gods have their own Dhanush with their own names. The bow that Parama Siva wields is known as ‘Pinaakam’, from which he gets a name as ‘Pinaakapaani’. In Tripura Samhaaram, he bent the Meru mountain as a bow!
27. Mahavishnu has a name ‘saarngapaani’. Many people have this name. But in a mistaken belief that it has some connection with ‘Sri Rangam or Seerangam’ they spell their name as, ‘Saarangapaani’ which is incorrect. ‘Saarngapaani’ is what is correct. The bow in the hands of Mahavishnu is ‘Saarngam’! Normally he has ‘sanka-chakra-ghadhaa-padma and saarngam’. There is a Pancha Aayudha Stotram on Vishnu talking of the five weapons that he carries. The last sloka in Vishnu Sahasranaama also talks of these five weapons. In Thiruppaavai by Aandaal, praying for continuous rains like the continuous flow of arrows from the Saarngam it says, “...thaazhaade saarngam udaitta saramazhai pol...”.
28. All the Deva-s wished to test Siva and Mahavishnu in their individual power and skill in archery. They also playfully agreed to demonstrate their powers. In the fight, Siva’s bow was slightly damaged. It is that Dhanush which became an ancestral property in the royal family of Videha. That bow was finally with Janaka, by breaking which Sri Rama got the hand of Sita in marriage. That is ‘Dhanurbhang’. There is a place in Bihar called Dharbhanga, which seems a derivative of the word for breaking of the bow. Mithila of Ramayana period was in that area.
29. Then as they were returning to Ayodhya, on the way they were accosted by Parasurama who as a Brahmin warrior had killed many Kshatriyas. He thrust the bow he was holding in his hands and said, “It is nothing great that you broke an already damaged bow in Mithila. Come on! Let us see your prowess with this bow of Maha Vishnu, called Narayana Dhanush! Sri Rama could do so with much ease, as it was his own bow. He and Parasurama were both Avatara of Maha Vishnu, after all! He could not only load an arrow on it but could grasp all of Parasurama’s powers as it’s Lakshya or aim.
30. When you think of Sri Rama, it is the ‘Kodhanda Paani’, as holding a Dhanush that readily comes to our minds. Though he did not hold a bow in Krishna Avatara, he caused his friend Arjuna to be famous as an expert in archery! Arjuna’s bow was called the ‘Gandeevam’. (Gandeepam is a misnomer for it.) Parameswari as Raja Rajeswari had a ‘Ikshu Dhanush’ that is of sugar cane. So does the Lord of Love Manmatha have a bow of sugar cane and arrow of flowers.
31. Dhanush has so much special value. Above all else, all these Devatas are but one Parabrhmam only! To attain that or get some inkling of understanding of that One Brhmam, it is archery that has been taken as an example by the Guru the Preceptor, telling the disciple in the Upanishad! (Mundakopanishad 2.2.3.) He says, “Sowmya! Taking hold of the bow, the great weapon familiar in the Upanishads, one should fix on it an arrow sharpened with meditation. Drawing the string, O good-looking one, hit that very target that is the Imperishable Akshara, with the mind absorbed in Its thought. Om that is the Pranavah is the bow; the soul is the arrow; Brhmam is its target. It is to be hit with the unerring aim of becoming One with It, just like an arrow.
(To be continued.)
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