Saturday, April 16, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #177 (Vol #4) Dated 16 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #177 (Vol #4) Dated 16 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 994 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)
157. In the second half of the sloka, by repeating the sound of the word “bhavathi” four times in four different directions, he has completed the meaning of the sloka. The astuteness that AacharyaaL has shown in word play in this sloka is simply breathtaking, in that even professional writers of poetry would have to take a back seat with a sense of awe! Let us look at the various shades of meaning that this word ‘bhavathi’ is taking in this sloka.
158. When he says, ‘drushte bhavathi’, the word ‘bhavathi’ here means, ‘with you or in you’. We use the word ‘bhavaan’ when we say ‘Your Highness or Your Excellency!’ If we are addressing a Lady, this word ‘bhavathi’ could be used to mean, ‘Madam’, as while saying, ‘bhavathi bikshaam dehi!’ When the word ‘bhavathi’ is used as a verb, the meaning is ‘happens’, that is the root word ‘bhavath’ of ‘male gender’ in the VII Declination becomes ‘bhavathi’. Here it would mean, ‘with you or in you’! So, ‘drushte bhavathi’ would mean, ‘if we have your darshan or that ‘if we happen to have a glimpse of your being’. Remember that we are talking about getting the ‘darshan’ of the God, the Master of the whole Universe; ‘if we happen to just be there in his sight or we happen to get a side long glance from Him or He happens in our vision’, can we have any more aspirations or wants or needs? So, then what happens?
159. He says, “na bhavathi kim bhava thiraskaara:” If we happen to read the last two words as, ‘bhavathi raskaara:’ that would be wrong. Someone asked his helper to go and buy from the shop, three things namely, Sukku (dry ginger), MoLagu (Black Pepper) and Thippily (another spice). The helper went to the shop and asked for, ‘Sukkumo, Laguthi and Ippily’ with the shop keeper confused at the meaning! That story is to explain as to what all can go wrong when you wrongly break the words and reconnect! This is similar to ‘anekadam tam’ becoming ‘aneka dantam’! The correct way to read the words is to say, ‘bhava thiraskaara:’ meaning, ‘to ignore or annul this samsaara’.
160. Earlier in the line when it says, ‘na bhavathi kim’, the word ‘bhavathi’ is a verb and the meaning of the phrase is, ‘does it not happen’? What ‘does it not happen’? The erasure of this life, that is. “Once having got your Darshan, does not this life become meaningless and so gets erased?” Instead of simply saying that “Vision of God leads to annulment of this life of illusion”, he is indirectly stating the same thing by asking God, “When we get a Vision of yours, will not this life of make belief become null and void?” That gives more emphasis to his statement.
161. At this moment it is worth its while to note what Bhagawat Gita (2.59) says in a similar vein. The text goes on to say, “vishaya vini vartante niraahaarasya dehina: I rasavarjam rasa: api asya param drushtvaa nivartate II” As he practices abstinence, his longing for things sensual, slowly dwindle; while one Vision of the Supreme completely causes the Saadhak to make a ‘Right About Turn’, completely away from all such temptations! As Krishna uses the words in Bhagawat Gita as, “param drushtvaa”, AachaaryaaL is saying “drushte bhavathi”. Anyhow, “whether that one Bhagawat Darshan (that is the Vision of God), takes us to Adwaita Aatma Satchaatkaara or simply a Dwaita Anubhava, it does not matter. Whatever it is, we are not going to get back in this rut of the cycle of birth being deluded by Maya  and again death followed by  birth”, is it not so? That is what AachaaryaaL is asking when he says, “na bhavathi kim bhava thiraskaara:?”
162. The Fifth Sloka of Shatpadi in which Vishnu is called – Easwara! Easwara and Hara are normally names reserved for Siva, like an unspoken agreement between scriptures and scholars. The next sloka of Shatpadi goes like this:-
“matsyaadibhi: avatarai: avataaravata avataa sadaa vasudaam I parameswara paripaalyo bhavataa bhavataapa bheetoham II” Here too twice he uses the word ‘bhavata’. First time the word is to be taken as ‘bhavata’ as being said by the devotee addressing God to mean, ‘By Your Highness’. The second time the word separates out as, ‘bhava taapa bheeta: aham’ meaning, ‘me who is much scared by, my own demands on myself!’. As I am much besotted by the demands that I set on myself, I am worthy of being rescued and protected by you, the Supreme Commander – Parameswara!
163. Generally we make use of the words Easwara and Parameswara to be indicative of Siva. AachaaryaaL however has the Adwaita attitude of non-differentiation in everything! For him God is one, Siva and Vishnu are one and the same. Even when addressing the various aspects of God as Krishna, AmbaaL, Govinda, Ganesha or Hanuman; he is still visualizing the same One God essentially! One of his grantha is called ‘(Prasna – Uttara) Prasnottara Ratna Maalika’ and is in the form of question and answers. One of the questions is “Who is God?” The answer is, “He is known as Sankara and Narayana, the one Aatma, Maheswara” (‘mahesa: sankara narayanatma eka:’). He never differentiated between Hari and Hara. It is all one and the same God for him. So, here in the Shatpadi, he is calling Maha Vishnu by the name of Parameswara and is telling Him that he is to be protected and ruled over by Him! OK! This is the later line, which you have well explained. But in the earlier line there is something repeatedly mentioned as, “vataa, vataa”. Will you please explain that?
164. Avataras. Maha Vishnu is said to have taken 10 Avataras as the Matsya (Fish), Koorma (Tortoise), Varaaha (Boar) and so on, for the sake of ‘loka rakshanam’. That is mentioned in short as, ‘matsyaadibhir avataarai:’ that is, ‘matsya + aadibhi: + avataarai:’. What is this ‘loka rakshanam’? Does it mean a big universal government with supreme court, police department and armed forces? To protect the Vedas and to let and enable everyone do their ‘Swa Dharma’ without being interfered with; is Loka Rakshanam.
165. To ensure that the atmosphere is resounding with Veda Mantras and all the spiritual powers of the Devatas are well cared for; which in turn would ensure systematic functioning of the natural forces, in consonance with the requirements of various life forms; is ‘Loka Samrakshanam’. Whenever things happened to disturb this balance; The Chief Executive of the Universe has had to recreate himself amidst us, as and when required. That is the promise made in those many words by Sri Krishna in the Bhagawat Gita, that he will reposition Himself whenever required; often quoted as, “yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glaanir bhavathi bhaaratha abhyuththaanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam srujaamyaham”!
166. Somukhasura, Hayagreeva and such Asuras, collected all the Vedas and hid them in forests on the ocean floor. Maha Vishnu took the form of a fish known as ‘Meena Avatara’ which is eulogised by Jayadeva in his Ashtapadi, ‘pralaya payodhi jale’ in the Avatara as the Matsya. From his exalted stage He comes down to this worldly existence and that is known as, ‘Avatara’, meaning ‘down-coming’. ‘Taara’ means high and ‘avataaram’ means down from the heights. To catch hold of our hands and take us up, He has to come down. So in the sloka the phrase ‘ava – taara – vataa’ means, ‘the one who has come down from the heights’. This is followed by another ‘avataa’, in which the word ‘ava’ means ‘to protect’. For example ‘maamava’ in the songs like, ‘Maam avatu Sri Saraswathi’ or ‘’Maamava pattaabhiraama’; the phrase ‘maamava’, separate in to ‘maam + ava’ = save me or protect me!
167. So, the first line of the fifth sloka thus reads, “matsyaabhir avataarai: avataravataa avataa sadaa vasudhaam’. By various avataaraas starting from the Fish; (‘sadaa’ means ever;) the one who has been coming down to protect. Protect what? To protect ‘vasudhaam’ that is the Earth, which is a depository of all sorts of wealth and natural resources and life forms. It is called ‘Vasundharaa’ also. AachaaryaaL is talking about God having to take physical control of the situation when there is a crisis when the world becomes too disorderly!
(To be continued.)



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