Friday, May 06, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #186 (Vol #4) Dated 06 May 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL #186 (Vol #4) Dated 06 May 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 1,042 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)
248. Why did our AachaaryaaL say, “iti Shatpadi madeeye vadana saroje sadaa vasatu”, meaning, ‘let this Shatpadi of six slokas reside forever in the lotus of my mouth’? If we take ‘padi’ to mean words instead of ‘slokas’, it will still be appropriate as here our AachaaryaaL has made yet another word – play, that is to say, ‘let these six words stay forever in the lotus of my mouth’! How is that statement appropriate? They are the six words making up the first line of the seventh stanza, that is, ‘naraayaNa’, ‘karuNaamaya’, ‘saraNam’ ‘karavaaNi’, ‘taavakow’ and ‘charanow’, meaning thereby that, “You the very incarnation of compassion NaraayaNa, I am surrendering unto your feet. Let these six words reside forever in my lotus like mouth”!
249. Either the six slokas of the Shatpadi or the six words that constitute the first line of the seventh sloka, if continuously repeated will sanction all the blessings of God. Our prayers herein included that, “Haughtiness may vanish; oscillations of our minds may be annulled; our love for all living beings may be enlarged, expanded and enhanced; we may be fetched across the ocean of life; and finally, God Himself will become the ‘maththu’ to churn the ocean of life and give us the quintessence of the Nectar of Eternity”! These are the six prayers our AachaaryaaL put forth, is it not so? All this will become fructified by iteration of the six slokas of the Shatpadi or the first line of the seventh sloka; says the seventh sloka indirectly, thereby becoming the Phalasruti!
250. ‘Vandu’ Puzzle is Getting Solved. How and why did our AachaaryaaL uncharacteristically say, ‘my lotus like mouth’ or words to that effect? It would have been enough had he said, ‘vadane’ or ‘mukhe’; why did he say ‘vadana saroje’? It is alright if you use such qualifying adjectives for God’s face or eyes or hands or feet; as ‘mukhaaravinde’ or ‘karakamale’ or ‘nayana kamale’ or ‘paadapadme’! But to be talking about one’s own mouth as a devotee, to say ‘vadana saroje’ seems slightly out of place! Why should he do so?
251. Our AachaaryaaL who was humble enough that, having written a beautiful poem, will not claim any greatness as to the benefits of chanting that sloka and so was diffident enough not to call it a ‘phala sruti’ in those words; could claim his own mouth to be a lotus like thing! Is it not completely unlike him? Then why did he do so? I told you at the time of starting talking about this sloka that ‘shatpadi’ could mean a beetle bug with six legs and or a slokam with six stanzas. Now let me clarify that connection of the slokam with the beetle.
252. AachaaryaaL was about to say in the seventh sloka that, ‘these six stanzas and the six words of the first line of the seventh sloka may remain forever in my heart, mind and mouth’; just then it occurred to him that the word Shatpadi also stands for the six legged beetle. He had used that word to mean a ‘vandu or beetle’ in his earlier poems of ‘SubrahmaNya Bhujangam’ and ‘Soundarya Lahari’.
253. While composing the ‘SubrahmaNya Bhujangam’ on Murugan at Thiruchendoor, he says, “He! Skanda! As the beetle ‘vandu’ in plentiful numbers hover and play around the lotus flower repeatedly enjoying a drink of its nectar, my mind that is agitated by ups and downs of this mortal existence may eternally enjoy in your ‘paada padmam’ (lotus feet)”. To quote: “mana: shatpado may bhava klesa tapta: sadaa modataam skanda te paada padme”.
254. The ‘vandu’ has many names such as, ‘brungam, bramaram, madubakam’ in Sanskrit, (as it could be called beetle or bug or bee in English). Then when being compared with the mind why was it called the ‘Shatpadi’? This became clear in ‘Soundarya Lahari’. These insects have six legs of three pairs. Human mind is made up of the five senses as the inputting devices and the sixth one as the analysing, recording, discerning and controlling computer also capable of animation, imagination, projecting and flash back! This mind, he compared with the six legged ‘vandu’! He says, “Let this restless mind of mine remain imbedded in your lotus feet, Amma! I quote: “nimajjan majjeeva: kaaraNa charaNa: shad charaNataam”. Padam and CharaNam are both synonyms for feet, as we know already. Though it is mentioned as the sixth after the five senses, it is the controlling multi faceted capability. So the mind itself is alluded as the six legged insect. That is why he referred to it in SubrahmaNya Bhujangam as the ‘mana: shatpado’. So here when he was about to say that the ‘six stanza / six word shatpadi’ may ever remain in my mouth, he thought of the natural abode of the bees as the lotus. If thus the Shatpadi had to remain in his mouth all of the time, it was better to refer to the mouth as a lotus, as that is where the bees will be found to be constantly hovering about! So he happened to stumble on the word, ‘vadana saroje’ as though.
255. Anyhow we can take note of the fact that, as a devotee is all the time thinking of God’s ‘paadaaravindam, mukha kamalam and kara padmam’ the devotee’s mind and mouth also become soft and fragrant like the lotus flower. So it is not too much of an objectionable self praise as he is only saying the bee of the six slokas/words ‘shatpadi’ may remain forever in the lotus flower that happens to be his mouth, which is but natural for the bees to be hovering about! So, I hope that the puzzle of the Title as ‘Vandu Stotram’ in DEIVATHIN KURAL #162 (Vol #4) Dated 17 Mar 2011 is solved and understood!
256. While talking about ‘vadana sarojam and mukha kamalam’ I am reminded of the writings of AachaaryaaL’s direct disciple Padma PadaaL and later Appayya Deekshidar. I had told you earlier as to how, from the AachaaryaaL’s face that is like the ‘Maanasa Saras’ lake and in it, the face of AachaaryaaL is like lotus flower from which the Bhashyam is oozing out like the sweet nectar, which is being avidly partaken by a crowd of disciples like the bees hovering around a lotus. Appayya Deekshidar is saying that as the River Ganges poured out from VishNu’s lotus feet, the Bhashyam sprung from “bhagavat paada sriman mukhaambuja”. The word ‘vadana sarojam’ in the Shatpadi and the ‘mukhambuja’ of Appayya Deekshidar are synonyms. We have already seen in Shatpadi’s second sloka as to how the River Deva Ganga is flowing out of Sri Pathi’s Paadaaravindam. If there AachaaryaaL is talking about the fact that Sri Pathi’s feet are capable of removing our fear of life and death; here Appayya Deekshidar is saying that AachaaryaaL’s Bhashyam itself is ‘Jana HaraNi’, meaning the ‘erasure of the cycle of birth and death’!
257. If AachaaryaaL is saying that our minds should settle down in the lotus-feet of SubrhmaNya and AmbaaL, we have seen as to how the stone carvings in Cambodia talk about all the learned Pundits hovering around the Paada Kamalam of our AachaaryaaL! Thus the ‘Lotus – Vandu’ connection is very pronounced with our AachaaryaaL, is it not so? I will give you one more connection. I had earlier mentioned the deep devotion that our AachaaryaaL had for his Guru Govinda Bhagawat PaadaaL, is it not so? Accordingly here in this Matam we have a ritual in which at the appropriate time in the proceedings of the daily pooja, we announce the presence of our Past Preceptors, in which we say that our AachaaryaaL was like a ‘shatpadi’ bee hovering around the Padaabjam of his Guru, “Jaya Govinda Bhagawat Paada paadaabja shatpada”. So this connection of ‘Guru – Sishya – Parampara’ has been going on as ‘Guru’s face / feet / hands – Lotus Flower – Disciple – bee / Vandu’. Anyhow while talking about these things I enjoy thinking about such a preceptor – disciple – tradition that has been going on for so many decades and centuries with love and thank God for having given me the opportunity to talk about these things!
258. AachaaryaaL’s prayer that this Shatpadi Stotram may be in my mouth always, is meant as a prayer for us all. All our mouths should become like lotus flowers in which this ‘Vandu Stotram’ should be hovering about all the time. If and when that happens, all our five senses and the sixth sense of the mind will be constantly dwelling in thoughts of divinity like bees in the lotus feet of God. At the beginning when he said, “damaya mana: samaya vishaya mruga thrishNaam........ taaraya samsaara saagarata:’, he prayed that the mind and senses should become calm and composed to quitetitude. Thus we should be able to break through the cycle of repeated birth and death and taken across to the shores of this ocean of life. Then finally having attracted our attention and focus through the beauty and grace of his word selections and continuity of the ideas; he has talked about the subsidence of our entire beings in the lotus feet of God! Our AachaaryaaL himself is the lotus feet of God and his face, mouth, eyes, hands and feet are all soft and beautiful and fragrant like the lotus flowers pouring forth the nectar of love and grace! Let his words dwell in our minds forever! The whole of the Shatpadi is here:-
“avinayamapanaya vishNo damaya mana: samaya vishaya mriga thrushNaam I
bhoota dayaam vistaaraya taaraya samsaara saagarata: II 1 II
divya dhunee makarande parimala paribhogha satchidaanande I
sripati padaaravinde bhava bhaya khedachchide vande II 2 II
satyapi bhedaapagame Naatha tavaaham na maamakeenastvam I
saamudro hi taranga: kvachana samudro na taaranga: II 3 II
udhrutanaga nagabhidanuja danuja kulaamitra mitra shashi drushte I
drushte bhavati prabhavathi na bhavati kim bhavatiraskaara: II 4II
matsyaadibhir avataarai: avataaravataa avataa sadaa vasudhaam I
parameshvara paripaalyo bhavataa bhava taapa bheetoham II 5 II
daamodara guNa mandira sundara vadanaaravinda govinda I
bhavajaladhi mathanamandara paramam daram apanaya tvam me II 6 II
NaaraayaNa karuNaamaya saraNam karavaaNi taavakow charaNow I
Iti Shatpadi madeeye vadana saroje sadaa vasatu II 7 II
Sarvatra Govinda Naama Sankeertanam, “Govindaa! Govindaa!”



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