Sunday, June 19, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 10 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Jun 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 10 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 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 page No 59 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)
93. Let Vigneswara Take Care. The sloka on Vigneswara that touches the ‘tat hetu nyaaya’ in the mangala sloka of ‘Nyaayendu Sekhara’ finishes with the words “sarvaartha prati paadanaika chaturo dwai mature avyaat sa na:”, meaning that Vigneswara with two mothers may take care of us! In the first three lines of the sloka without clearly indicating as to the God being prayed to, it says that, out of the devotees of whichever the God to whom they wish to pray to, those devotees who know the ‘tat hetu nyaayam’ (that is the law of cause and effect), stop at that one who evidently has the power to grant all the wishes of all the devotees as well as remove the hurdles in the path of all the Gods too! Only in the fourth line it reveals that it is this god who has dual mothers, and ‘yat paada pangeruha’ – at whose lotus feet we prostrate; ‘devam yam ekam param’ – as one who is the supreme God; ‘sa: na: avyaat’ – let him take care; it finishes with clarity that it is Vigneshwara being referred to! (KTSV adds: Once again the readers may claim that the sloka could equally apply to Sri Krishna and a whole lot of other Gods! But since it is the Mangala Sloka at the start of a book, we can presume it to be addressing the Vigneshwara that is PiLLaiyar!) The whole sloka is as under:-
“abhyanya amaram aariraada ishataam yat paada pangeruha
dvandvaaraadana mantaraaya hataye kaaryam tvavashyam vidu: I
tat hetoriti neetivid bhajante devam yam ekam param
sarvaartha prati paadana eka chaturo dwaimaaturo avyaat sa na: II”
94. There is a story. One chap went to the Nawaab’s palace for begging for some alms. He was told by the servants of the Nawaab that he had gone to do Namaaz. The beggar said, “Oh ho! Is that the matter? While I have come to ask for what I wanted from the Nawab, he has gone to ask Allah to ask for what he wanted! Is that so? Instead of asking this Nawab who seems to be a beggar like ourselves, why not go directly to Allah and ask for what I want?” Having said so, the beggar walked away from the scene, it seems! Exactly similarly when all the Devatas seem to be dependent on Vigneswara for their successful completion of their endeavours, instead of praying to all and sundry Gods why not approach that one God for our prayers also?
95. Having taken PiLLaiyar as the subject, having fully concentrated in his greatness, though we may talk of him like this, our attitude will generally be such that we will pray to a particular God meant for a particular benefit. There is nothing wrong in doing so. With that if we have a special preference to a particular God as our Ishta Devata that is also natural. Similarly there could be a Kula Devata as the family deity. We should be worshipping them too. But still whatever the Devata, we cannot help doing ‘sukhlaam bharatharam’ and knock on our heads thinking of PiLLaiyar. Whatever the God in front of whom we may go for whatever purpose, even for that deity to become ‘kruta krutya’, that is to be all capable free of obstacles, we have to pray to PiLLaiyar.
96. Gentlemanliness Even in Objections. Mannarkudi PeriyavaaL, when he wrote a book to establish the principle of Adwaitam as true unassailably beyond any reason or logic that can be said against it; with finis inserted the ‘tat hetu nyaayam’ in the very first poem of a Mangala Sloka; which seemingly indicates that our intellectual analysis and acrobatics should remain within the purview and ambit of devotion to God!
97. By this devotional attitude of his, despite being highly erudite, intelligent and knowledgeable, he had no ahankaara or pride. In what I have already said about this fact, we have to add one more aspect very specifically. When people write countering an existing book or are debating on an issue, it is natural to go all out in showing the opponent in a bad light, using all the resources in their armoury. Thus some writers become fond of criticism more than doing anything constructive. Thus it has become almost impossible to maintain decency and decorum in this line. But Mannarkudi PeriyavaaL did not avoid debates and confrontations, while still maintaining the most humane and gentlemanly approach about it. To establish Adwaitam inviolably was his life time ambition that he went out of his way to participate in as many Vidvat Sadas as possible and wrote books. Nyaayendu Sekharam was one such book of his. Like Appayya Deekshidar, devotion to Siva and the principle of Adwaitam were the two pillars of his faith and belief. He has also written a book known as ‘Durjanokti Niraasam’ on devotion to Siva!
98. One of his contemporary was Thiru Visai Nallur Rama Subba SaastrigaL, who was also a Maha Mahopaadhyaaya. Though born as a Smartha (followers of Smruti), he was against Sanyasam and Siva Bhakti! He wrote totally ridiculing devotion to Siva. This was much complained about as it was hurting the sensibilities of many devotees of Siva. So Mannarkudi PeriyavaaL intellectually countered every argument put forward by Rama Subba SaastrigaL and won his argument purely based on the power of his analysis and never did he lose sight of decency. He never wrote a word of hatred and was much appreciated for fairness even in criticism!
99. I spoke about the Mangala Slokam in Nyayendu Sekharam. Related to Indu Sekharam, I am reminded of another sloka that describes another play of PiLLaiyar in fun. As we have seen much of Tatvam and Tarkam, let me talk about that play also. “Indu Sekharam’ means the head where the crescent moon has a place. Everybody knows that Siva is that Indu Sekhara. The baby (Gnaana Sambanda Perumaan) that had drunk the milk of Gnaana, breast fed by AmbaaL herself sung about this moon in the very first song of his as, “thoo veN madi soodi”. This poem is about how the PiLLaiyar as a baby played with the crescent moon in the hair of Siva. A play all children love that also gives happiness to the whole world as it caused the parents of the whole universe, Siva and Parvathy to come together. Nothing can be more pleasing to any child than that which causes their parents to unite! The sloka is about how the baby PiLLaiyar caused his parents to come together!
100. There are some traditions in literature. The Nayakan and Nayaki (in Tamil the Thalaivan and Thalaivi) or in other words the Hero and Heroine; are happy together, nobody finds it interesting, in literature as well as in life! There is to be some separation and then when they are rejoined, there is much cause for celebration. There are varieties in this separation also. If a Ravana comes and takes away the heroine, that is one type. Another one is when the hero falls in love with another woman, like it happened with Kovalan and Madhavi to KaNNagi’s sorrow! For both hero and heroine to be missing each other due to the agonies of separation is known as, ‘vipralambam’. For some imagined anger, some humour, some sorrow with an undercurrent of deep love is ‘Srungaram’.
101. Play acting as though they are having a tiff is ‘pranaya kalaham’. In Tamil this is known as, ‘oodal’. When the separation is due to some flimsy reason, both will be keen on rejoining. But some false sense of prestige may come in between. Both of them then, would be looking for an opportunity to reconcile. If the poet is smart enough he will create such an occasion and bring the hero and heroine together, to add zest to the proceedings. When there was an occasion when Parameswara and AmbaaL were temporarily separated in ‘oodal’. This baby PiLLaiyar happened to play with the crescent moon on his Daddy’s (Chandra Mowli’s) locks that caused the happy reunion of his parents forgetting their anger! I have to tell you about the book where this scene is described.
(To be continued.)



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