Friday, June 17, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 09 (Vol # 5) Dated 17 Jun 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 09 (Vol # 5) Dated 17 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 second para on page No 53 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 updated constantly)
84. Tatachaariyar responded first, using it as an opportunity to have a dig at devotees of Siva! He said, “vishNo: sudhoham vidinaa samoham dhanyas tatoham sura sevitoham I tataapi bhooteshu sudoham eteir bhooteir vrutas chintayateeha saasta II”. That means, “If you ask me as to what is troubling the mind of Saasta, the answer is this. I am the son of Vishnu. So I am as important and great, equal to Brhma, respected by all the Devatas! But still, I also happen to be the son of the leader of all ghosts the Bhootesha”. Bhootesha is Siva.” The phrase ‘tataapi’ (that is underlined in the text) means ‘but still’. The second line of the sloka starts with that, ‘tataapi’! Despite being the son of Maha Vishnu and respected by all Devatas, I also happen to be the son of this leader of ogres, ghosts and other horrendous ephemerals! When there are very pleasing and loveable names of Siva as, Sankara, Easwara, Sambo, Pasupathi, Nataraja and so on, the very selection of the name ‘Bhootesha’ is derogatory.
85. If there can be a leader who could control those horrendous ephemerals it is an honour indeed showing the power of command of Easwara and the son of such a person can really be proud of it! Parameswara ensures that, the power of these unsavoury elements are not given a free reign of play but, kept under a tight leash and made use of for the welfare of the society. So he is Bhootesha. It is worthwhile noting that Parameswara is also Mahadeva as the head of all Devatas! Out of his three sons, one son is made responsible for the Army of all Devatas. That is SubrahmaNya the Deva Senapathy. All others other than the Devatas have been divided into two parts and Siva made his other two sons responsible for them. So PiLLaiyar is ‘Bhoota GaNaadi sevitam’ GaNapathi. Saasta Ayyappa has a name as Bhootanaatha as the Gayatri Mantra in his name is, “bhoota naathaaya vidmahe bhava nandanaaya deemahi tanno saastaa prachodayaat”.
86. To control and command the Bhoota forces is a matter of pride for Saasta. The fact that these mischievous trouble creators are kept disciplined under a commander like Saasta, outside the villages as the security guards for the living area of human beings, is a great social service done by Saasta. Since Tatachariyaar was not aware of the good works of the forces under Siva and his administration, thinking this to be a matter to be ashamed of, he conveniently made it look as though it is a disgrace for Saasta and thus completed his sloka: “Though I am proud to be the son of Maha Vishnu, equivalent in name and fame to that of Brhma the creator, respected by all the Devatas; as the son of the leader of the Bhoota GaNaas – ‘eteir bhooteir vruta:’ – as surrounded by these Bhootas, –‘chintyateeha saasta’ – Saasta is feeling bad with shame and worry!” – finished Tatachariyaar!
87. But Tatachariyaar’s poem did not cause the Saasta’s statue to take off its index finger from the nose! As we have analysed, Saasta as the commander of the Bhoota forces cannot possibly be ashamed of his position and status. The sloka by Tatachariyaar, though was having literary merit, was not evidently factually very correct. So there was no reaction on the statue of Saasta. The King now looked at Appayya Deekshidar and he gave out his version as to why the statue of Saasta was seemingly thoughtful. He also answered as though it was the thought process by Saasta.
88. Appayya Deekshidar said these words as though spoken by Saasta, “ambeti gowreem aham aahvayaami patnya pitru – maatara eva sarva: I katam nu lakshmeem iti chintayantam saastaaram eede sakalaarta siddhyai II” As per Deekshidar’s poem, Saasta is thinking, “I call (aahvayaami) Gowri as (amba + iti = ambeti) Mother, as she is Siva’s wife. All my Father’s wives are my mother-s as Maha Vishnu in Mohini Avatara is also my mother only.” That is how Vigneswara considered Ganga as a mother. “Having Easwara as the father and Maha Vishnu as mother, I do not have to be confused about my relation to Gowri as all my father’s wives are my mother only - ‘pitru – maatara eva sarva:’. So Parasakti Gowri is also my mother – ‘ambeti gowreem aham aahvayaami’. But the question that remains to be answered is, “What is my relation to Vishnu’s wife Lakshmi?” ‘katam nu Lakshmeem?” We also cannot give a suitable answer to this question!
89. Who is Lakshmi? She is the wife of Maha Vishnu. It is Maha Vishnu in the Avatara as Mohini, the mother of Saasta. Now, what is your relationship with your Mother’s wife? One of the names of Saasta is Harihara Putra. So now, what is the relationship between Saasta and Lakshmi? This is the puzzle. We have heard of many relationships such as, uncle, auntie, brother, sister, step-father, step-mother and so on. Especially in Tamil, we have special names for more intricate relationships such as, chitti, chittappa, periappa, periyamma, athai, athimber, shaddagar, chakkalathi and so on, without parallels in other languages! Only Saasta has this peculiar relation of having a mother’s wife! “katam nu Lakshmeem?” This ‘nu’ is the question mark. I pray to this Saastaa who is deep in thought as to what is this relationship of his with his mother’s wife is to be taken as, “iti chintayantam saastaaram sakalaartha siddhyai eede”! “Let him clarify this situation, as he is capable of granting all blessings”, saying so, Deekshidar finished his sloka.
90. We were discussing PiLLaiyar and suddenly how have we deviated to this Ayyappa episode? There in the sloka about PiLLaiyar, it finished with the statement that he is capable of ‘sarvaarth pratipaadana chathura:’ and here too Ayyappa is described as capable of granting all ‘sakalaartha siddhim’! So they are both well connected. So also, the authors of both the slokas are related as great-grandfather and great-grand son! Deekshidar in his sloka has not ridiculed or looked down on any one. He has exhibited his superior intelligence, word power and also deep devotion to all the Gods! When we do not know as to why Saastaa is in a state of quandary, with due humility he says with clarity that Saastaa will solve the puzzle also! By so saying Deekshidar is also indicating his humbleness that without God’s blessings, by brain power alone we cannot solve this puzzle or any puzzle!
91. More than all this, you will agree with me that what Deekshidar has pointed out as the puzzle about which Saastaa is thoughtful, seems to be the correct interpretation. So in truth it is this question that could have seized the attention of Saastaa as seen by the Sthapathi when he sculptured the statue. So when Deekshidar correctly identified the problem, the hand of the statue removed the index finger from the nose and resumed the same form as seen anywhere in any temple! When one stone statue moved and removed the index finger from its nose, I am sure all the bystanders at the scene must have put their index fingers on their respective noses!
92. When we talked about PiLLaiyar that he has a special name as having two mothers, ‘dwai mathura’, it came to my mind that Shanmuga has six mothers and that led to a discussion about Ayyappa’s quandary. It is good that thinking of the eldest son of Parvathy – Parameswara as a couple, we could think of all the three sons of theirs.
(To be continued.)



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