Sunday, April 24, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #181 (Vol #4) Dated 24 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #181 (Vol #4) Dated 24 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 second para on page number 1,014 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)
196. “Adwaitins should not be a devotee at all. Even if they happen to be a devotee, like our AachaaryaaL they should be considering all Gods to be one and the same God in different form.” That could be the type of opinion we can possibly have, if our opinion is formed by bookish knowledge, as most of us are. But, a person like Madusudana Saraswathi, an Adwaitin of deep rooted conviction, had a special niche in his heart for Sri KrishNa Bhagawan.
197. MadvachaariyaaL installed KrishNa Bhagawan in Udupi. Vyasa Teertha, who came later, emphasized and established Madhva’s views and strongly disputed Sankara AachaaryaaL’s Adwaita Siddhantam. This was well countered word for word by this Madusudana Saraswathi, who wrote copiously re-establishing Adwaita point of view and Anubhava. He himself has however sung so movingly about baby KrishNa waking up from sleep, stretching and yawning. He wrote one ‘Aananda Mandakini Stotram’ soaked in deep devotion, containing more than 100 slokas. He says in one place, “KrishNaat param kimapi tattvam aham na jaane”, tantamount to saying, “What is Adwaita philosophy and what is Dwaita Tattvam? Other than KrishNa, I do not know of any point of view of philosophy!”
198. In a sloka that starts with ‘dhyaanaabhyaasa’, he says, “If Yogis control their minds becoming NirguNa and Nishkriya, seeing some effulgence in the inner heart, let them do so. We do not have to cry that we are not able to so control our minds and not being able to visualise such Jyoti Darshanam of seeing effulgent light! That effulgence is playing around on the banks of River Kalindi (Yamuna) as a streak of brilliant blue dazzling radiance. (He is talking about KrishNa Paramaatma as a toddler baby.) Let us keep looking at Him happily. Let this give our eyes and our whole being all the bliss of existence, forever eternally!”
(For the sake of our readers who may be interested in the sloka under reference, let me give a transliterated version of the Sanskrit sloka:-
“dhyaabyaasa vaseekrutena manasaa yan nirguNam nishkriyam Jyoti: kincha, yogino yati brhmam pashyantibhir yantute I
Asmaakam tu tadeva lochana, chamatkaaraaya bhuyaat chiram kaalindi pulinodare kimapi yan neelam maho daavati II”)
199. Having given up everything else and having got hold of the Paramaatma, having known that everything is permeated through and through by that one only; you do not have to give up or forego anything anymore. It is in that state of total awareness that the Adwaitins eulogise and venerate the SaguNa Brhmam. In truth, there is no giving up at all. No separation. Only, there is the giving up of the wrong sense of being a separate, individual entity. There is no more the Saadhak who is still trying to reach or the devotee still standing apart. This is the state of being the wave in the ocean, to be the wave and the ocean at once simultaneously! That is how AachaaryaaL is saying, “daamodara, guNamandira, sundara, vadanaaravinda”, enjoying the traits and qualities of the Paramaatma.
200. As all the qualities and characteristics have taken permanent residence in Him, He is NirguNa Bhagawan. That is the meaning of the phrase, ‘guNa mandira’. If He were to have some of the qualities and traits then He is not NirguNa but, defined by some of the qualifying traits. A fair one is only fair. If you say some of the qualities of a person, it means that they are the defining characteristics of that person. If in reality a person is devoid of any traits but seen to be of varying shades and tinges on different situations – good, bad and ugly; Dharmam – Adharmam; PuNyam – Paapam; big – small; it means that He is the repository and depository of all the characteristics but is not qualified by any of them; that becomes the real truth, is it not so? He is ‘GuNa Mandiram’.
201. He who is normally ‘aroopa’ (form-free) comes before us in a supremely pleasing and powerfully attractive form, ‘sundara vadana aravinda’ with the beautiful lotus like face; says our AachaaryaaL. When the formless takes shape then the nameless gets names, not one or two, but a whole series of thousands of names of Sahasra Naamas! With ‘roopa’ comes ‘naama’ too. So, AachaaryaaL calls him ‘Govinda’; “sundara vadana aravinda govinda”.
202. Amongst God’s names as applicable to Vishnu, ‘Govinda’ is extremely special, like the name ‘Hara’ amongst names addressed to Siva. When people are assembled let us say for an ‘Upanyasam’ or some such thing, it is human nature for people to start a low hum noise of conversation which will pick up momentum to quite a din within a few minutes. Then how do we turn everybody’s attention towards the topic of lecture? The gentleman in a loud enough voice will say, “Namah Paarvathee Pataye” and the whole lot of them will respond with, “Hara Hara Mahadeva!” Then the Bhajan or Upanyasam will begin. That is the power of ‘Hara Hara’ to pull everybody’s attention towards God and divinity. As a young child Thiru Gnaana Sambandar could call out in his sweet voice, “haran naamam soozhga, vaiyagamum thuyar theergave”, emphasizing the value of the name of Siva as Hara to say, ‘let the name Hara envelop all our existence for the world to be rid of all sadness’!
203. Like this “Namah Paarvathee Pataye” another announcement that turns the listener’s mind at once towards God is, “Sarvatra Govinda Naama Sankeertanam”, meaning, ‘Let there be chanting of God’s name as Govinda, everywhere!’. One person says this and all others respond with a shout of “Govinda, Govinda!” Bhaja Govindam is a song that was composed and sung by our AachaaryaaL even when he was only a child. When millions of people do ‘Giri Valam’ that is, go around the mountain in ThiruvaNNamalai walking on bare feet a distance of 14 km, they will all be shouting “ANNaamalaikku Arohara” all the time for some three to four hours. (Actually when you go on the ‘Giri Valam’ you are supposed to go as slow as a woman in her 8th month of conception and not walk fast as though on a competition!) Similarly when people carry shoulder loads of milk or sandalwood paste (known as Kavadi), to the hill top temples of Lord SubrahmaNya, they will be chanting Muruga’s NaamaavaLi and for every sentence of the NaamaavaLi, accompanying devotees will end with a shout of ‘Harohara’! Similarly, devotees walking up to Sabarimala in the mountainous forests of Kerala will chant “SaraNam Aiyappa!” and those walking from Katra in J&K to VaishNo Devi will be chanting “Jai Mata Di”, throughout the way up for 14 Kms. So also devotees climbing the seven hills of Thirupati in A.P., will all be saying, “Govinda, Govinda!” Yes, we are forbidden to take the name of God in vain but, we are very much required to take His name in reverence and devotion!
204. (Before we proceed further, it is worth its while to go back to the series of e-mails from Deivathin Kural 146 onwards dated 02 Feb 2007; to review what has been said about ‘Siva – Vishnu Abhedam’, under that heading, available in this Blog Space. There is a clear elucidation of what two children spoke adoringly of Siva and Vishnu. One child was Thiru Gnaana Sambandar who spoke about his adoration for Siva and the other was our AachaaryaaL when was yet a small child when he composed the Bhaja Govindam song.)
205. More than the name of Hara, the name Govinda seems to be a little more special. When one person says, “Namah Paarvathee Pataye”, then only others say “Hara Hara Mahadeva!” In the case of the Govinda Naama, the first person also takes ‘Govinda’s Naama when he says that, let there be Govinda Naama Sankeertanam everywhere and people respond with, “Govinda, Govinda!” There is one more point. Ardent Vishnu Bhaktaas may or may not respond with the Hara’s name. But everybody including Siva Bhaktaas will join willingly in chanting the name of ‘Govinda’! That is why, the prefix ‘sarvatra’ is added to mean, ‘everywhere, all the time’. If someone were to ask me as to what is the most precious name of God in the whole of Hindu Sanaatana Dharma, I will say that it is ‘Govinda’!
(To be continued.)



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