Saturday, June 11, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 06 (Vol # 5) Dated 11 Jun 2011po

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 06 (Vol # 5) Dated 11 Jun 2011

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 first para on page No 37 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
54. Included at the end of the last e-mail, was a list of 64 ways in which Sri Lalitha Parameswari is given Rajopachara and Devopachara-s ceremonially, mentioned as “chtushshatyupachaaraadhya” in Lalitha Sahasranama. This is explained in detail in Parasurama Kalpa Sutra. Variety is path to Unity in Hinduism. In another mantra She is said to be capable of creating a series of worlds in split seconds, “Unmesha nimishotpanna vipanna bhuvanaavali:”. She is “sahasra seersha vadana sahasraakshi sahasra paath”, having thousands of heads, face hands and legs! In God’s play, there are also occasions where instead of praying to the entire Pantheon of Gods, some people have their Ishta Devata, owing their allegiance to one particular Rama or KrishNa or PiLLaiyar or Muruga or Hanuman. They are very clear in their minds that they are never going to approach any other God come what may! Their one pointed devotion gives them the total focus and as a result they are happy with their Ishta Devata and seemingly get all their wishes fulfilled through Him or Her! But, even such ardent devotees of one God of Siva or AmbaaL, claiming that they could never think of any other God; are not able to set aside this PiLLaiyar. Without an initial prayer to GaNesha they are not able to do the worship of their Ishta Devata! So, even if we were to ignore all other Gods, we are not able to give up PiLLaiyar.
55. Such ‘only my Ishta Devata and none else’ type of devotees are rare. Normally the majority have the attitude that they think, “We do not know which God does what and when! Why give up on anyone and miss out on the likely benefits and more importantly why should we be on the wrong books of anybody?” If you go to a big temple we notice that there are so many big and small sanctums or niche for many divine beings. In a Siva temple there will be separate Sannidy or enclosures for AmbaaL, PiLLaiyar, SubrahmaNya, Durga, Dakshinamurthy and Nandi will be found directly in front facing Siva, while all the 63 Nayanmaars may be found lined up around the inner Praharam. In the PerumaaL (that is the Vishnu) temple the Sannidy may be different with a place each for the Thaayar, Garuda, Aanjaneya, Aazhvaars and AandaaL. If we believe in both the sects, satisfy ourselves with visiting both the temples and also visit any other smaller temples for Chitragupta or Ayyanaar on the way. But the one common factor in all these temples is that there will be an important Sannidy for Ganesha as GaNapathy or Vinaayaka; while in the PerumaaL temple he will be sitting as the Thumbikkai Aazhvaar known as Vishvaksena with a wide Naamam on his forehead, accepting our ‘dhobir karaNam’ sit ups and prostrations quite happily!
56. I am asking you to think about as to what happens if instead of considering Vigneswara as ‘ekam param devam’, we think of Him as one given the job of ‘removal of obstacles’ amongst many Gods with their own allotted jobs, what happens to the ‘tat hetu nyaayam’? That is his special attribute that, despite being in-charge for one department of the spectrum of many responsibilities, He is also capable of sanctioning any of our needs or wishes! How is that?
57. What is his allotted job? It is removal of obstacles i.e., ‘Vigna Nivaaranam’. Without prayers to Him, worship to no other Gods can happen without difficulties. Moreover, when there are problems in the very process of sanctioning ‘anugraha’ by other Gods, those can be resolved only by this Vigneswara. Easwara sets out for Tripura Samhara and promptly is faced with difficulties. The axle of His chariot is broken! So, he realises his mistake of not praying to Vigneswara first, though they have a Father – Son relationship! So Easwara starts praying to His son PiLLaiyar and then goes on his intended endeavour! There are many stories of Vigneswara coming to the help of Gods in various difficulties. That is why this one is special to be prayed to in any form of worship of any of the Gods.
58. For health we pray to the Sun, for education we go to Saraswathy, for money and wealth Lakshmi and so on to a different Deity for every type of benefit to be obtained. None of them depend on each other for anything. The Sun does not need the assistance or permission of Lakshmi or Saraswathy. They are all capable of independent functioning. Yes, they also do not need each other’s sanction. If for some reason if they are not able to grant the devotee’s prayer in their respective area of responsibility, they have to seek the help of this Vigneswara invariably! Whatever the deity, they cannot keep quiet when it comes to obstacles in their respective portfolio management.
59. Instead of worldly benefits if the request from the devotee is for ‘Atma Gnaana’ that is, Self Realization as asked for from Easwara or AmbaaL or Maha Vishnu; even in their case for obviating problems, they have to be dependent on Ganesha. So even if we do not consider him as ‘sarva phala dhaata’ and are doing our worship to Easwara or AmbaaL or Maha Vishnu; still the initial pooja is for Ganesha only! It is here that the devotee who knows, ‘tat hetu nyaayam’ deliberates in greater detail. “OK! Let Ganesh instead of giving all the boons and blessings, let Him be a power capable of removing obstacles only! Still whatever the deity, they have to seek his help just to be able to do their jobs. So, all those Gods to be able to do our job, the ‘hetu’ is this Ganesha only. So, he evidently has a clear hold on them all and the ‘OK’ power and ‘Veto power’ seems to be only in His hands! His recommendation is inalienably necessary! Otherwise when that deity endeavours to satisfy us there could be problems. The concluding derivation is that it is enough to pray to this one God and the needful will be done!”
60. The devotee who knows this logic of ‘tat hetu nyaayam’, thinking on these lines, is likely to come to the conclusion that there is no meaning for approaching any other God; when all that can be asked for from any other God, can be obtained by being devoted to Ganesha; it is likely to cut out the need to pray to any other Gods. ‘What have we got to gain by praying to any other God or Gods, as ‘tat hetoreva tat hetutve madye kim tena?’ So he gets whatever through Vigneswara. ‘Tat hetoriti neetivid bajate devam yam ekam param’! That phrase ‘neetivid’ means the one who knows this logic. Such a person places all his trust on Vigneswara only and gets his needful done through Him and stops at that! All this analysis in contained in that one sentence of that sloka that I have explained for so long!
61. Because I told you all this for so long, do not for a moment come to the conclusion that I am recommending all prayers to all Gods should be stopped forthwith and that you should restrict yourself only to praying to Ganesha. I have been explaining the sloka by Mannaarkudi PeriyavaaL, which he had given as the Mangala Sloka for his book Nyayendu Sekharam as a counter to Anatarayar’s Nyaaya Bhaskaram. As I told you, as the Nyaaya Bhaskaram was anti-Adwaitam, Mannarkudi PeriyavaaL’s book was for re-establishing the Adwaita principles. So, please do not come to the conclusion that I am asking you to pack off all other Gods and become devotees of only GaNapathy by any chance! As I said sometime earlier, variety is the spice of life.
62. God has to conduct this drama of the worldly life with as much variety as you and I cannot even imagine. We also seem to enjoy more with variety in whatever we do. As many people as there are in the world there are likely to be as many ways of doing anything. Depending on one’s attitude, level of understanding and maturity; our preferences for God’s are also likely to vary. Saastraas also traditionally have deemed that we have to pray to Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, Saraswathy for all types of Vidya, Sun for health, for removal malefic influence of the planets we have to do Rahu – Ketu Pooja and so on. That is what is believed by the common man also.
63. On the day of ‘Sani Peyarchi’, when Saturn is said to move, we should be in Thiru NaLLaaru to see the congregation of people. On Magara ViLakku day there may be some 3,00,000 people in that small saddle of the hill feature in Kerala of Ponnambala Medu of 500 yards width and a kilo meter length, with another 3 Lacs coming in and a 3 Lacs crowd on the way out! Look at the crowd at Maha Maham on the Ganges every six years. (Though it is supposed to be held every 12 years, because they have a half Maha Maham also, it happens every six years!) The number of pilgrims walking up the 14 Kilo Meters visiting Vaishno Devi from Katra, every day of the year is all the time increasing! Finally, I must mention the ‘Giri Valam’ that is the circumambulation of some 14 Kilo Meters around the ThiruvaNNamalai hill, attracts anywhere up to 10 Lacs of people on moon lit nights. There are many such religious occasions which attract enormous crowds throughout the year in various places throughout India! I have not listed them all. The reason that they converge on such occasions is that, they are hopeful of getting some glimpse of the end direction and destination!
64. The point I am making is this. Less than one in a million reaches the end of such a journey of Adwaita Saadana and raises above all variety towards Oneness! This is a simple multiplication of at least a thousand by a thousand as suggested by Sri Krishna in Sloka Number 3 of Chapter 7 of Bhagawat Gita! “Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those successful strivers, only one perchance gets to know Me in essence.” Till then Variety is the quintessence of existence. Even for your own Ishta Devata, the tendency is to try out a variety of dresses and decorations! Today in the Temple if we decorate our Utsava Murthy as an Emperor, tomorrow we wish to dress Him up as a Bikshaandi, the begger with a scull bone for a bowl! That is the way of Life!
(To be continued.) Sambhomahadeva.

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