Wednesday, April 06, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #172 (Vol #4) Dated 06 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #172 (Vol #4) Dated 06 Apr 2011

(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. Today we are proceeding from the last para on page number 965 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
109. AachaaryaaL did not stop his prayers at personal attainment of Gnaana. Though on the one hand, he said that the whole world is a lie and a creation of Maya, on the other hand, he had infinite kindness for all living forms. When he said that this world is a lie, he did not say that it is a total impossibility like the child of an infertile woman or hare’s horns! Till we are dreaming it is almost like the real thing. But it is seen to be a lie after we wake up from the dream. He calls such partial truths as Maya, Mithya and Prathibhasika Satyam (or reflected truth)! We are thinking the world to be all real and are partially fooled by self created delusion and partially being buffeted by its ups and down staggering like drunken characters!
110. Out of infinite kindness for the common masses, he took upon himself as a challenge as though to wake us up from this dream world to the reality. With that task in mind, from a very young age untiringly he went around this country three times on foot without cribbing and complaining. Since he was firmly rooted in reality, he could have remained happily ensconsed in that supreme state of Parama Gnaana. But instead of doing so, without sparing himself, he wrote all those Bhashyams and Stotras big and small; won over many scholars of other views in debates in any and every city, town and village; repaired and renovated many famous temples, somewhere doing Murthy Prathishta and elsewhere doing Mantra Yantra Prathishta. He did all this out of pure love for the suffering humanity. That is why, while praying to Maha Vishnu in this Shatpadi Stotra he not only told us as to how to approach God with the request to, “avinaya apanaya, dhamaya mana: samaya mruga thrishNaam” and without stopping there also said, “bhoota dayaam vistaaraya”! ‘God, let my love for others include in its sweep the whole lot of life forms!’ Here ‘bhoota’ means all living beings.
111. In personal refinement and ennoblement he wishes to be of help for all. However much we may get Gnaana, it is not enough as a selfish, personal achievement. We have to go on doing the good things for all the life forms. His very name was ‘Sankara’, which has the root meaning of ‘sam = good, kara = doer’; a do-gooder or Good Samaritan! Like the ‘suklaam bharataram’ sloka for Pillaiyar, for Sri Rama it will be ‘apadaama apahartaaram’, for Saraswathi it is ‘yaa kuntentu’ and for Vishnu it is ‘saanta kaaram bhujaga sayanam’ and for AmbaaL it is ‘sarva mangala maangalye’, normally known to everybody. Like that, the famous sloka for Adi Sankara it is, “Sruti Smruti puraaNaanaam Aalayam karuNaalayam I namaami bhagawat paada sankaram loka sankaram”
112. This sloka says that Adi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL is the repository of ‘Sruti (Vedas), Smruti (Saastraas) and PuraaNaas (historical records of Gods and Demons, 18 of them mainly) as also the ‘KaruNaalayam’ the Temple of benevolent compassion and he is Sankara the do-gooder for the entire universe! AachaaryaaL was an ocean of Gnaana as well as Love. That is why even when teaching us as to ‘how to pray’, instead of stopping at self gain and improvement, he is telling us to pray for the expanding of one’s love to encompass all living, animate things and beings!
113. Here as he is praying for expansiveness of kind heartedness to Vishnu. In ‘Siva Aparaadha KshamaapaNa Stotram’, while praying to Siva, he says, “praaNinaam nirdayatvam maaboot evam mama pasupate janma janmaantareshu!” In that sloka starting with the words ‘pourohityam’, instead of asking for so many good qualities, he is listing all the negative qualities not to be added to him, not only in this life time but in, future yet to be born lives too! It is there that he says, “My Dear Good Shepherd! Let me not be devoid of love towards animals in this as well as lives yet to be!” Here with the CEO of the worlds, Maha Vishnu he is praying positively for ‘bhoota dayaam vistaaraya’! OK! What else should we pray for?
114. Take Us Across. AachaaryaaL finishes his first sloka with the words, “taaraya samsaara saagarata:” meaning, ‘take us across the ocean of samsaara and put us on that shore. ‘Taarakam’ is to fetch you, like in a boat rowing and landing you on the shore. Rama’s name is also ‘Taaraka Naama’, as addressed by Thyagaraja SwamigaL ardently. Think of yourself stranded in mid ocean, not knowing how to swim. Even if you know how to swim, you would be only able keep yourself afloat for some time. If someone comes with a boat and pulls you aboard and takes you across to the shore, how thankful you would be. That is power of Taaraka Mantram.
115. He prayed for removal of ‘avinaya’, mind to become humble, senses to be rid of their thirst for ‘mruga thrishNa’, compassion for all living things, as seen so far. Finally the shore to be reached from this ocean of ‘samsaara’ means that we are to be extricated from the cycle of births and deaths. It is clear that as of now we are stranded in the mid ocean of ‘samsaara saagara’! The only person who can save us from this is Bhagawan Himself! So we should be praying to Him, ‘taaraya samsaara saagarata:”. If we are saved from this crisis, it is good enough. Now, I am not going to talk to you about Adwaita Mukti and the subtle points of differences between that and Dwaita Mukti and Visishtadwaita Mukti. Whichever Siddhaantam you may belong to, let us pray as Sankara AachaaryaaL did before us, praying to Maha Vishnu to take us across. He is the Phala Daata, the giver of fruits of our actions and prayers. So let Him do whatever, ours is only to pray to Him!
116. As he requested Lord Vishnu here to, “taaraya samsaara saagarata:”, he pleads with Krishna in Bhaja Govindam, “iha samsaare bahu dustaare krupayaa paare paahi Muraare”! Look at the words used, ‘taare’ is to cross, ‘dustaare’ is difficult to cross’ and ‘bahu dustaare’ means that it is extremely difficult to cross. That is, however much we may try on our own, it is well nigh impossible. But, God willing nothing is not possible. So he says, “With your compassion take me across the waters of Samsaara Saagara”!
117. Our AachaaryaaL who is standing at the peak of the Meru Mountain as though in brains, gnaana and word power with noticeable humility uses words such as, ‘krupayaa and dayayaa’, (meaning by your kindness and compassion) knowing clearly that, on our own we can achieve nothing and that everything happens with God’s Grace! He uses these very words in his other works too. For example in Soundarya Lahari while telling AmbaaL to include him also to be drenched by the cascade of her benign and merciful glance without evaluating his worth, saying, “snapaya krupayaa maam api Sive!” In another place, he tells AmbaaL to kindly place her feet on his head too, “sirasi dayayaa dehi charaNou”!
118. In the Shatpadi Stotra though he has not used these words, the whole song is in the ambient atmosphere of God’s extreme compassion and benevolence. If we have to pray to Him to grant us ‘bhoota Dayaa’, He has to be the repository of such qualities, is it not so?
119. In the next sloka AachaaryaaL describes ‘Bhagawat Paadam’, that is God’s feet.
“divyatunee makarande
parimala paribhoga sachchidaanande!
Sripathi paadaaravinde
Bhava bhaya netachchide vande!”
Words of the sloka are so sweet with such beautiful rhyme that one would wish to keep murmuring them. In the sloka describing God’s lotus like feet, the words are also soft and nice like petals of a flower dripping with honey as though; ‘makarande’, ‘aanande’, ‘aravinde’ and ‘vande’! In Tamil this is known as ‘edukai’.
120. In Tevaaram and Divya Prabandam too, like this only the first word’s first letter in the four lines will be similarly of one or two ‘maatraas’ and the second letter in each first word of the four lines will be the same. Let me quote just one or two examples.
“kaadalaagi kasindu kaNNeer malgi
oduvaar tamai nannerikku uippadu
vedam naanginum meipporuL aavadu
naadan naamam namachchivaayave”.
In this, the first word each line is starting with the letters, ‘kaa, o, ve, naa’ all of two maatraas and the second letter in each of them is a ’da’! This Tevaaram is by Thiru Gnaana Sambandar. Let us look at one by Appar SwamigaL.
“sortrunai vediyan sodi vaanavan
portrunai thirundadi porundak kaithozha
kartrunai poottiyor kadalinuL paaichinum
nartunai aavadu namachchivaayave”.
In this, the first letter in each line is of one maatra and then the second as well as the third letter in each line is the same!
(To be continued.)



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