Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #175 (Vol #4) Dated 12 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #175 (Vol #4) Dated 12 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 middle of page number 981 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
138. Our AachaaryaaL was at the peak of Gnaana, totally identified with the Parabrhmam. However till one is in this world interacting with all and sundry; there is only one as the Easwara who is omniscient and omnipotent. All others are of limited abilities and knowledge. While being amongst them it is wrong to claim our unity with God! So, does it mean that the idea of Adwaitam itself is wrong? No, and there is no confusion either. AachaaryaaL makes it succinctly and beautifully clear. Are the ocean and waves, one and the same or not? Seen from outside, peripherally waves and the ocean are different. Seen from within, they are not different but one and the same. In the one ocean, it is the wind and the earth’s rotation which causes the waves more like an occurrence than a thing! Similarly Maya causes the appearance of Jeeva Aatma, many of them. In that stage even after realizing itself to be the ocean and not the transitory wave, it is wrong for the wave to claim that it is the Ocean, is it not so?
139. So, AachaaryaaL says ‘sathyapi bheda apagame’; even after the differences have become void, removed or erased; you are not mine but, I am yours! It is the wave that belongs to the ocean, is it not so? Nowhere does the ocean become the property of the wave! He is addressing the ‘Naatha’ the Ruling Lord, “naatha tavaaham na maamakeena: tvam”; meaning, “I am yours, you are never mine”! Oh, Lord, I am yours, your property and you are the owner. You are not dependent on me or my property. Ocean is full by itself and can be without a single wave, whereas the wave can never be without being part of an ocean or lake! Similarly, without the world and Jeevas, you are there and can be all by yourself as it happens during ‘kalpa anta kaala pralaya’ or Armageddon/ apocalypse!
140. “saamudro hi taranga: kvachana samudro na taaranga:”. That means, ‘tarangam’ is the wave and it belongs to the ocean. The ocean can never be the property of the wave. ‘kvachana’ means never. Even by mistake one cannot think of God as being dependent or subservient to the man, the Jeevaatma! The wonderful principle of Adwaitam is not to be hoisted on this world of interactions and transactions; as that would lead to confusion confounded into chaos! To avoid that possibility he has used this word, ‘kvachana’. Thayum Aanavar said “Ellaam Un (your) Udaimaiye”, meaning, ‘it is all yours only’. Ownership is ‘swam’ and the owner is the ‘swami’. That is why Vaishnavas call their God, ‘Udaiyavar’ the ‘swami’ the owner. In earlier times Kapaleeswara Swamy or Nageswara Swami used to be referred as ‘Kapaaleesuram Udaiyaar’ and ‘Thiru Naagesuram Udaiyaar’, respectively.
141. When it comes to the end experience, AachaaryaaL had roundly criticised both the Saiva and Vaishnava Siddhaantams and held that the Jeeva and Brhma are one and the same. Despite having done that, keeping the practical aspect of life in view, while writing this poem of prayers, so that nobody may ever start getting too high headed and haughty; in all humbleness, as a typical embodiment of ‘vinaya’, he is presenting a model paper as though in devotion. His devotion is no less than any devotee of any religion or Siddhanta even while being simply cajoling with God!
142. We can make out from this as to how our AachaaryaaL was not a die-hard fundamentalist. He was not too sticky with his views and not impractical. Though his principled stand was Adwaitam, when it comes to the practical approach to God by this individual soul through devotion; more than anybody else, our AachaaryaaL is the first one to say, “My Dear, please do not bring in the Adwaitam here, now!” If there is a pleasure in being the God, there is also Aanandam in being a devotee of God! While being devoted, ‘He is Nathan the Lord. He is the owner who owns us all. We are only an iota of dust in His Service!’ We can have the pleasure in being a devotee only when we understand the fact of His Lordship. The quality and intensity of his devotion to God cannot be considered to be anything less in comparison with Madva or Ramanuja AachaaryaaLs. He is telling God, “If you are the huge ocean, I am only a small, negligibly small wave. I have no existence without you. I am all yours”, in absolute humility!
“satyapi bhedaapagame naatha tavaaham na maamkeenastvam I
saamudro hi taranga: kvachana samudro na taaranga: II 3 II”
143. In the Shatpadi Stotra in each stanza there is some special kind of beauty. In this fourth sloka of the Shatpadi the way AachaaryaaL has braided the words in an intricate work of art, as though. Normally there is a method of beautifying the poetry by using the end word of the previous stanza to start the next stanza. This is known as ‘andaadi’, which is derived by joining ‘antha(end) + aadi(start) = andaadi’. Kambar has written ‘Saraswathi Andaadi’ and Sadagopar Andaadi’. Nammazhvaar’s Thiru Vaaimozhi is all in ‘Andaadi’ style only. In Naalaayira Divya Prabhandam, the first three Aazhvars after getting God’s Darshan; have all sung in this style. Nowadays Abhiraami Andaadi is becoming famous and popular.
144. Paramaatma is said to be ‘aadyanta rahitan’ meaning, ‘the one without a start or end. Manikka Vaachagar starts his ‘Thiruvembaavai’ with the words, ‘aadiyum andamum illaa arumperum jyotiyai’, meaning, ‘the effulgence of the rare light without a start or an end’! Poigai Aazhvaar before singing praise of PerumaaL in the first Thiruvandaadi is mentioning the fact of DakshiNa Murthy sitting under the banyan tree and giving Upadesa to the four disciples. “aalamara neezhal aram naalvarkku anru uraitta aalam amar kantattu aran” ends up in the word ‘aran’. So, the next stanza starts off with the same word ‘aran’; “aran – naaraNan naamam aanvidai – puL oordy”
145. There is an advantage in such songs as remembering becomes easier. The last word of each stanza being the first word in the subsequent stanza greatly helps in committing long poems to memory. To write such poems however requires fertile imagination and mastery over the language. But our AachaaryaaL has done something far more difficult in the fourth song in which each word or phrase seems to be naturally taken off from the previous word or phrase!
“uddruta naga nagabhidanuja danuja kulaamitra mitra sashi drushte I
drushte bhavati prabhavati na bhavati kim bhavatiraskaara: II”
146. Upto the second word of the second line, it is in Andaadi style. Let me explain. Starting from the first word, ud – druta – naga – nagabhi danuja ; danuja – kulaa – mitra ; mitra - sashi - drushte I drushte - bhavati; till here it ‘Andaadi’ style. At the end of the first line there is ‘drushte’ and the second line starts with the same word. This is known as ‘mukta(what was left) pada(word) grastam(catch)’. (Mukta pada grastam is when it happens between two lines within the same stanza, while ‘andaadi’ is between two stanzas.) Then the second line is full of alliterations of the word ‘bhavathi’, so beautifully fitting and appropriate! Nowadays all the beauty seems to be only in the outer make-up. So far I have dwelt only on the beauty of the words used. Just go ahead and say the whole fourth sloka to yourself. Even without understanding of the meaning, it will come out like the continuous flow of oil, without a hitch. In this sloka along with the beauty of the words in terms of their rhyming and sounds, the beauty of the meaning of the words is also most pleasing, adding to the overall effect superbly!
(To be continued.)
Sambhomahadeva.

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