Monday, April 18, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #178 (Vol #4) Dated 18 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #178 (Vol #4) Dated 18 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 page number 1,000 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)
168. People keep on doing intolerably wrong things adding to woes of Bhuma Devi (as the Earth is known as), which she will bear with up to a certain level after which she has no other recourse than to register a complaint with God. Once she complains in the form of a cow, immediately God will come down to this earth as the Good Shepherd, the Gopala or Pasupathi, says the Bhagawatham. “Thus you are ever taking care of the world and its life forms. As I am roasted by the fearful tribulations of this life, I am entitled to be saved by you”, is the meaning of this slokam.
169. Pointing out the fact of God’s extreme compassion with which he repeatedly comes down to the earth, to save and protect the lives from unrighteous ways; AachaaryaaL is reiterating the words in his poem with slight variations, “avataaravataa – avataa – bhavataa –bhava – taapa” and so on! “Repeatedly as Vishnu is taking Avataara, only your God Maha Vishnu has to go through life in the Mother’s womb, whereas our Siva does come down as himself and goes, whenever required!”, say the followers of Saivites derisively at the Vaishnavites. They retaliate in turn saying that, “Only our PerumaaL has infinite kindness that despite all the troubles He comes down to be with us, as one amongst us and guide us. Your Siva is not so kind!” That being the way people look at each other’s Siddhaanta, our AachaaryaaL has addressed PerumaaL Himself as Parameswara, describing all the Avataras bringing in oneness, parity, equality and balance in devotion!
170. “The best amongst all humans is ‘Purushottama’, who is Hari also having the titles as Maheswara, Easwara and Triyambaka and nobody else”, says the great Sanskrit poet KaLi Daasa. I quote Raghu Vamsam (3,49), “harir yatha eka: purushottama smruta: maheswara: trayambaka: eva naapara:”. The Sanskrit Dictionary known as ‘Amara Kosa:’ gives the title of Easwara to the one ruler of all, Siva by saying, “Easwara: sarva easaana:”. But our AachaaryaaL who does not recognise any difference between God in one form and in any other form; calls ‘Maha Vishnu’ as ‘Parameswara’ only and requests Him to save and protect him!
171. Now let us go on to the next sloka, the 6th that should complete this Shatpadi. It goes like this:-
“dhamodara guNa mandira
sundara vadanaaravinda govinda I
bhava jaladhi mathana mandara
paramam daram apanaya tvam me II”
The sound ‘nda’ has been made to occur repeatedly. Though the words mandira, sundara, aravinda, govinda and mandara have all found their place in the first three lines; in the fourth line, the word ‘paramandaram’ is actually ‘paramam + daram’. To the physical beauty of the poem, It adds intellectual relish like the sloka on PiLLaiyar; ‘anekadam – tam bhaktaanaam eka dantam upaasmahe’!
172. In the first two lines he is calling God as, “Dhamodara, Govinda”, two of His well known names. Then “guNa mandira, sundara and vadana aravinda” are also addressing the same God. There are twelve names of Vishnu, which are important. Parameswara that is Siva has eight special names such as, Bhava, Sarva, Easaana, Pasupathi, Ugra, Rudra, Bheema and Mahadeva. Like that Vishnu has 12 special names. Even when we do ‘Archana’ with Ashtotra Sata Naama (108) or Trisati (300) or Sahasra Naama (1,000); at the end, these Eight / Twelve names should be uttered for Siva / Vishnu respectively to wholesomely complete the Archana. On occasions when you do not have the time to chant all the 108 / 300 / 1,000 names, chanting of these special list of 8 / 12 names will do most sufficiently, for Siva / Vishnu Pooja!
173. For Maha Vishnu pooja these twelve names are rather important. The Vaishnavas wear on their forehead the sign that is called the ‘Naamam’. How was this name arrived at? Actually Vaishnavas, Saivites, Smarthas and Madhvas; all of them wear either Naamam of two vertical white lines on either side with a central red line; or three horizontal parallel lines of the Vibhuti (cow dung turned in to white ashes with certain herbals added to impart fragrance) or a single stroke upwards with a brown yellowish clay known as Gopi Chandan. When a person is seen with such marks on his body, we say that, “he has come with the twelve Naamaas”. The idea is to wear the mud / ashes in chanting the names of God, remembering that he has measured the whole universe and is the supporting power for its even functioning. So you chanted those eight or twelve names and applied those signs; thus the very process came to be called ‘naamam poduvathu’. In later days, this very act came to be derisively construed as a show of being very religious while in fact an indication of hypocrisy.
174. Let anybody say or construe anything. Even today religiously minded people are saying, “Keshava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madhusudana, Trivikrama, Vamana, Sridhara, Hrushikesa, Padmanaabha and Dhamodara” and applying God’s Naamas on their body. Surprisingly these Avatara names do not have Sri Rama and Sri Krishna amongst them, though they are all names of Maha Vishnu only. Kesava is the one who destroyed an Asura named Kesi; the one who protected the cattle is Govinda.
175. Dhamodara is the one with his hips tied with ropes. Dama is rope and udara is the stomach. Krishna used to steal the butter stored in pots and hung from the roof to make it inaccessible to children and insects. But Krishna would make his friends bend down, climb on their backs and shoulders to reach for the pots hanging in mid air. Yasoda said, “OK. I will see to it that you are not able to do such mischief anymore!” She tried to tie his hips with a rope. Krishna as we know is a practical joker and magician. His was a small tummy. Yasoda may use any number of ropes and join them up to tie up this small baby’s hip in vain. She was getting flustered. Seeing her plight, then Krishna allowed Himself to be tied. That is where, he got the name Dhamodara.
176. The other end of the rope she tied on to the solid stone mortar fixed on the ground, on which they used to beat the rice to remove the husk or pound the wheat to powder it. The 12 Aazhvaars who were renowned as great devotees of Vishnu have all referred about this event in their eulogies of Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. They have all pointed out as to how God who can never be tied in knots can easily be won over by Bhakti, saying with tears in their eyes, “You who is omnipresent beyond the ends of the universe, so easily permitted yourself to be tied that the soft underbelly of your baby form was so roughly rubbed and chaffed by the crude rope!” The lord as Dhamodara, crawled out with the mortar in his wake and passed through the two closely grown trees (which were Nalakubara and Manigriva, the sons of Kubera, the Lord of Wealth, standing there due to Sage Narada’s curse for their haughty behaviour) and got them uprooted (and released to their original form)!
177. AandaaL says, “Thaayai kudal viLakkam seida Dhamodaranai”, meaning that God as Dhamodara, clarified for the whole world that his biological Mother has conceived and delivered the very Lord of the Universe as her baby, while His adopted Mother could tie Him up with ropes, normally an impossible act made easy out of her motherly love! From another angle, ‘Dhama + Udara’ means that, ‘He is the end destination containing all in His folds within’!
(To be continued.)



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