Thursday, July 07, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 19 (Vol # 5) Dated 07 July 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 19 (Vol # 5) Dated 07 July 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 last para on page No 117 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)
51. There are some arguments with reason in support of being devoted to Guru as God. Firstly Easwara is not visible to our eyes. Through descriptions by those who know and scriptures we are able to imagine God. Even that we know is not necessarily very true as we know that Vedas go by the logic of ‘neti iti’, that is by a process of ruling out what is not God. The clear reason for this is that, God being beyond the reach of the mind and words, it is futile to try to define the indefinable! Then in PuraNas we have descriptions of Avataras of God in human form as Rama, KrishNa and so on. But with a Guru, we are able to mix freely, interact and converse, get our doubts clarified and get rid of our ignorance. He enables us to cancel out our accumulation of negative karma of the past and prevents us from going astray.
52. Whatever we pray for and get from God, we can get greater benefits through the Guru. If you are going to ask me as to how this is possible, my answer is this. If we are praying to God, what is the power of our prayers? Do we know what to ask for from God? Do we know as to how to make a sincere prayer from the bottom of our hearts? Then we end up praying for some selfish worldly benefits only! It is not that God will not listen to our prayers. With our weak power to pray, when we are pleading for some selfish benefit, look at the millions and zillions of others who also must be praying and simultaneously competing for attention! But when we are going through the Guru and leave it to him to do whatever, he feels kind enough that he should pray on our behalf. Unlike us he is closer to God and his power of prayers is much more effective. Guru is not grinding any axes of his own. Without any selfish motive he strives hard for removal of our blemishes and so his prayers to God have to be more powerful. When our prayers may be 25% or even less effective, Guru’s prayers on our behalf are likely to get 100% response from God!
53. We are seeing this even in normal life. If we have to go and stand in front of the Governor or a Minister, he may look at us with askance wondering if at all he should do anything, will he not? But if we go through someone in the good books of the minister, who happens to know our case, we are likely to be more than successful in getting a favourable decision, is it not so? The Governor or Minister may even pass the necessary orders even without looking at us! We do not have to go to God at all. Instead, the approach through the Guru can be much more effective and sufficient.
54. On our own we cannot get our accumulated balance of demerits in terms of Karma, cancelled easily. Whereas the Guru by the power granted to him by God, can assist us in getting most of the outstanding balances cancelled out. While teaching us the methods of not adding any more negative points, Guru by the power of his ‘Tapasya’ (penance and asceticism), may even take over a major portion of our negative balances in Karma and thereby reduce our load. His power to help is directly proportional to his readiness to suffer on behalf of others. He does all that due to his innate kindness without any pride that he is doing a lot for others. In fact he does not have to suffer himself to help others, since he is so close to God he does not have to recommend our case to God either. In fact he has that much liberty with Him that if he raises his voice and emphasises, God will have to favourably respond as though. (To stress the point PeriyavaaL play acts as though he is telling God, “Bless this child suitably OK, did you hear me”, raising his voice dramatically towards the end of his question! Then he says that God’s response will be “Yes, yes as per your wishes, Sir!” )
55. ‘Yatoktakaari’ – The PerumaaL Who did as Told! Here in this town of Kanchipuram itself, there is a temple for VishNu known by the name of ‘Ytoktakaari’! That means ‘the one who did as told’, as the name of the presiding deity! To tell you as to how the words have been combined, ‘yataa + ukta + kaari’ means the ‘one who does as told’! Whose orders did the God abide by? It is the Guru’s order. What did he say? The Guru told the God, “Whenever my disciple is leaving the town you have to follow him and come back as and when he returns” and God obeyed as ordered! By doing so he got the name as, ‘Yatoktakaari’! Who was the Guru and who was the disciple? Why did the Guru give such an order to God? Let us listen to the story a bit!
56. One of the VishNu Bhaktas was known by the name of Thirumazhisai AaLwaar, from the name of the place Mazhisai, near Poondamalli where he was born. Those days it was an unspoken understanding that the great people’s names were never mentioned directly but by their place name or their office or by another name with an adjective. For example ‘Periya Aazhwaar’ is the ‘big Aazhwaar’, that is devotee of VishNu and ‘Namma Aazhwar’ meaning ‘our own relation who is an Aazhwaar’! Thus the causal name was more used than the name given by parents at the time of ‘NamakaraN’ (a Hindu ritual like Christening), which may be forgotten and hidden after the passage of some time! The name of Thirumazhisai Aazhwaar was reportedly Bhaktisaarar. May be even this was a causal name possibly because he was such an ardent devotee of God VishNu! Mazhisai is an aberration of the word ‘Mahee Saaram’ meaning the ‘essence of the Earth’. So, Bhaktisaarar was born and brought up in the place Maheesaram.
57. Then he had shifted to Kanchipuram and was living there. There in the VishNu PerumaaL Koil (temple) he was spending his time singing Paasurams which are poems in praise of God, giving Upadesa to disciples and often going in to Samaadhi. Generally we have to consider one fact. That is, among the Aazhwaars, the first three namely, Poigaiaazhwaar, Peiaazhwaar and Boothathaazhwaar; while being highly devoted to VishNu, had an acceptance of Saivam, singing praises of Siva also. It is Thirumazhisai Aazhwaar who started the view that VaiNavam is far superior to Saivam, giving rise to Veera VaiNavam as an extremist sect!
58. We should not find faults with elders. Though other Deities of this religion itself have been shown in a poorer light by him, we see in his works such as Thirchchanda Viruttam, and Naanmugan Thiru Andaadi, purest of devotion to VishNu and the highest stages of the path of Yoga being described! The ‘Ananya Bhakti’ that I have been talking about for so long, has been expertly highlighted in them. Possibly with a view to inculcate the idea of Ananya Bhakti in the devotees of VishNu, he might have shown the other deities in comparatively poorer light, in my opinion. Let that be aside. Living in the temple itself, he was spending all his time in singing the poems in praise of Vishnu (known as Paasurams) in front of God’s Sannidy and giving Upadesa to his disciples. If you think that it is the Varadaraja PerumaaL Koil, you are wrong!
59. The ‘Divya Desas’ in Kanchipuram. The moment someone says PerumaaL Koil in Kanchipuram, our mind goes to Varadaraja PerumaaL Koil only. Still in fact, within the city limits of that place, there is not less than 14 temples of VishNu, much adored and celebrated by the Aazhvaars as Divya Desas. If in Saivam, in all of the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, there are only14 important temple towns known as ‘Paadal Petra SthalangaL’ known by a special title of ‘Paandip-Pathinaangu’; in VaiNavam in the capital of Tondai Mandalam, that is Kanchipuram itself there are 14 such Temples! In recent days, amongst these 14 temples Vaikunda PerumaaL Koil is becoming rather famous amongst the intelligentsia for sculptural and historical reasons. Let me talk about that a little.
60. (KTSV adds:- We will see further about Vaikundam and Kailasam as well as about how God has got the name of ‘Yatoktakari’ by obeying the Guru’s orders, in later issues of Deivathin Kural. For the present let me give you the list 14 PerumaaL Koils known as Divya Desas in Kanchipuram and the list of the 14 stations in the southern districts known as Paandip-pathinaangu.
First the Divya Desas. They are: 1. Thirukkachi known as Athiyur in which there is Varadaraja Perumal Temple. 2. Attapuyakaram. 3. ThiruthaNka or Tooppul. 4. VeLukkai or VeLukkudi. 5. Paatakam. 6. Thiruneeragam. 7. NilaathingaL Thundam. 8. Ooragam. 9. Thiruvehkka. 10. Thirukkaaragam. 11. Thirukkaar Vaanam. 12. ThirukkaLvanoor. 13. ThiruppavaLa VaNNam. 14. Parameswara ViNNagaram.
Next the Paandip-Padinaangu. They are: 1. Madurai. 2. Thruppunavaayil. 3. Kurtraalam. 4. Thiru Aappanoor. 5. Thiruvedagam. 6. Thirunelveli. 7. Rameswaram. 8. ThiruvaadaNai. 9. Thirupparamkunram. 10. Thiruchchuzhiyal. 11. Thirupputhur. 12. Thirukkaanapper also known as KaaLaiyaar Koil. 13. Thirukkodunkunram or Piraan Malai. 14. ThirupoovaNam.)
(To be continued.)



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