Thursday, April 28, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #183 (Vol #4) Dated 28 Apr 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #183 (Vol #4) Dated 28 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 page number 1,023 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)
216. “Kuraive illaada” means that it is wholesome, complete without having any need for anything else to fill it up or compliment it. That is the eternal ‘poorNam brhma sanaatanam’ and ‘poorNa avataaram’; the epithets often used for KrishNa Avataara! Amongst the many special qualities for the Naama Govinda, is that it is the favourite of our AachaaryaaL as can be gleaned by the ‘Bhaja Govindam’ song. Unlike the ‘Sivaananda Lahari’, ‘Soundarya Lahari’ or the ‘Shatpadi’, this song ‘Bhaja Govindam’ is not one addressed to any God. It talks about how a common man should get along in life with dispassion; what should be his priorities; the noble principles worth living for; what self imposed control and discipline that he should adopt; and finally as to how he could arrive at the zenith of seeing his target of devotion in his own heart! The song does not differentiate between various sects and sub-sects of Hinduism or any religion. In such a script, instead of saying ‘so pray to your God’ it says ‘Bhaja Govindam’, clearly indicating his love for that God with that Naama of Govinda! Do not you agree with what I say?
217. Bhagawat Gita has a reputation as the best set of advices by a mentor to his ward. As the Sri KrishNa was the mentor to Arjuna, he has the right to be considered as a “Jagat Guru”, the preceptor to all the people of the world as, Arjuna in reality represents all the aspirants of the world in the spiritual path. We chant the sloka, “KrishNam vande jagatgurum”. Next the title ‘Jagat Guru’ devolved on our AachaaryaaL, who despite being the ‘Jagat Guru’ retaining himself in the role of a disciple, found happiness in praising his Guru! Yes, his Guru’s name was Govinda Bhagawat PaadaaL. So our AachaaryaaL had a special niche in his heart for the sound of ‘Govinda’, which reminded us all of KrishNa Paramaatma and he could lovingly think of his own Guru! The internal evidence for this statement of mine is in the first line of “Viveka ChudaamaNi”, which says, “govindam paramaanandam satgurum praNathosmyaham”!
218. There is one more special point of value for that name ‘Govinda’. Earlier I told you about 12 most important names of Maha Vishnu, did I not? In those 12 names ‘Govinda’ comes as the fourth. Then three names of Vishnu have been selected specially for doing ‘Aachamanam’. That is before starting any of the religious rituals, one has to take three sips of water ceremoniously without smudging and dirtying one’s hands and the spoon (uddriNi) with saliva. As this very ‘Aachamanam’ is a cleansing process, we cannot be sloppy about it, but be serious and attentive. At that time we chant three names of Maha Vishnu, “Achyuta, Ananta and Govinda”. Actually we are supposed to be prostrating before our beloved God while saying, “Achyutaaya Namaha, Anantaaya Namaha, and Govindaaya Namaha”. Then chanting the 12 names, “Kesava, NaaraayaNa, Maadhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madusudana, Trivikrama, Vaamana, Sridhara, Hrishikesa, Padmanaabha and Daamodara; touch our own cheeks (first right and then left) with the tip of our right thumb; eyes with the tip of the right hand index finger; nostrils with the tip of the right hand middle finger; shoulders with the tip of the right hand ring finger; heart and head with all the five fingers of the right hand! Govinda is the common Naama between these selections of three and 12 names!
219. Our AachaaryaaL is feeling thrilled by repeating that ‘one in three and one in 12 names’ three times as ‘’Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam, Govindam Bhaja mooda mathe”, meaning, “listen my stupid mind, keep chanting Govinda’s naama repeatedly”. If something is to be affirmed as true legally, it is to be iterated thrice they say. Not only our AachaaryaaL has done so three times, AandaaL in Thiruppavai has also done the same thing in the 27, 28 and 29th songs, the 30th being only the Phala Sruti, talking about the gains to be attained by chanting the 30 slokas! In 27th she says, “koodaarai vellum seerk Govinda”; in the 28th she says, “kurai onrum illaada Govinda”; and in the 29th she says, “irtraip parai koLvaan anru kaaN Govinda”!
220. God is the Churning Block for the Ocean of Life! Calling on God’s name as Govinda having such special attributes, AachaaryaaL is saying, “bhava jhaladi mathana mandara”. Let us look at the meaning a little closely. ‘Bhavam’ means this worldly existence; ‘Jhaladi’ means an ocean; ‘bhava jhaladi’ means the ocean of worldly life; and ‘mathana’ means to churn. If you say ‘Madana’ that is the name of the God of Love, the Cupid, who creates intoxication through lust and erotica and that is not what is meant here. Here God himself is the Mandara Mountain used for churning the very life of existence!
221. Relate it to the churning of the Milky Ocean, when Devas and Asuras used the Mandara Mountain as the churning block and the Snake Vasuki as the entwining rope. Like that we are all stuck in the ocean of birth and death in which AachaaryaaL wishes that God should come as the Mandara Mountain itself. At the time of churning of the Milky Ocean, Maha Vishnu came as the basis on which the Mandara Mountain was resting. That is Koorma Avatara. Then he lifted the Govardana Giri in KrishNa Avatara. Thus he had been the ‘udruta naga’ twice. Here he wants God Himself to be the churning block also. What does it mean?
222. When the Milky Ocean was churned initially the Aalahaala Poison was the output and then only ‘Amrutam’ the nectar could come out. Similarly if our lives are churned, only after all the bad elements are thrown out as the muck, can the good coalesce and emerge from the lot. Pooja, prayers, visiting religious places, reading the scriptures, doing the rosary while chanting the mantras or God’s names, meditation and such efforts to bring one’s mind under control to focus; service to god through service to rest of the humanity; are all God’s blessings in this life. The good things of life come to the fore only after the bad intentions and flimsy aspirations are got rid of. You just cannot have the best of life straight away. There will be problems, desires, anger, lust, greed, hate, covetousness, will all be there. We have to learn to set aside such tendencies as avoidable pitfalls and then only reach to the Mukti or Moktcha of pure righteousness! So that we may not get disheartened by the bad things of life and so that we learn to avoid such things and drive through the obstacles of life, to encourage and give us hope; our AachaaryaaL is saying, “bhava jhaladi mathana mandara”.
223. When we try and get the butter out of the curd, look at how much effort we have to carefully put in to keep churning and give the correct amount of sustained push. Similarly to undo the effect of our past Karma and get rid of our old tendencies, we have put in the required effort. Only after we pass through many tests, the suitable configuration of butter will happen. If we know that all the tests and trials that we are undergoing are so arranged by God for our eventual graduation out of our deep rooted involvement, then all our cribs, crying and loss of hope will all go away. The KrishNa statue that Madva AachaaryaaL has installed in Udupi has the churning ‘Maththu’ in his hands! (The smooth wooden rod with a serrated globule at the end, which is dipped into the curd and the rod is quickly rotated this way and that for churning, is known as Maththu in Tamil.) God Himself comes as the Mandara Mountain and enables us to churn this Ocean of Existence, says Sankara AachaaryaaL.
224. As we enwrap the Maththu with a rope, when god Himself was tied by rope, He became Daamodara. Yashoda was breast feeding the Baby KrishNa while simultaneously she was also using the Maththu to churn the pot of curds. At that moment the milk being heated up in the oven was boiling over. So she stopped breast feeding the baby to take care of the milk that was boiling over! The baby got annoyed and he crawled up to the pot under the churner and took out the butter and fed the monkeys. That resulted in her tying up Baby KrishNa with the rope and thus, He became Daamodara. This sloka Shatpadi having started with the word Daamodara, and now God Himself in being called the Maththu, we see the beauty of a continuous spread of the poet’s imagination moving from one beautiful idea to another, like the branches of a plant.
225. While the Samsaara Saagara is churned, why should the poison come out first? Why should there be problems and tribulations in life? Why should there be evil also in life and why can it not be all ‘goody goody’? That is how it is meant to be in Nature. God has meant it to be like that. The small of the fruit should be bitter. Then the same has to become ‘thuvarpu’ (the nearest word for this taste is ‘bland’ like that of beetel nut). Then along the way it has to become sour. Then finally it has to become sweet with maturity and ripening. Thus we see that even the bitter fruit of the Neem tree, when ripe does become somewhat sweet!
226. So, we do not have to feel bad that we have so many bad habits, negative traits and tendencies. Let us persevere with the clarity that we can also become good! Thinking of God with trust and faith, we can also turn the corner. With devotion to God, if we go about doing our duties, service and spread cheer and kindness; with the passage of time, as a ripened fruit, we can become an embodiment of the quality of sweetness ‘Maduram’. Without devotion to God, and without doing of Karma Anushtaana, service to the humanity, with trust and faith in God; the bitterness will never go away! If we have neither discipline, nor are we ready to sacrifice our small idiosyncrasies for other’s happiness; then we have no right to be cribbing about our fate. Instead if we keep at it and go on doing our bit in our own small way, change will occur for the good and we will become all Maduram at our own time, like Mother Theresa or Sathya Sai Baba!
(To be continued.)



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