DEIVATHIN KURAL # 34 (Vol # 5) Dated 06 Aug 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 34 (Vol # 5) Dated 06 Aug 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 middle of page No 202 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)
31. Why Namaskaara? Let Guru be all the three, that is Brhma, Vishnu and Maheswara put together and also be the Muzhu Mudar KadavuL, the Parabrhma, it is alright. But why do we have to do Namaskaaram to him? Like the western man makes fun of the essential Indian custom of Namaskaaram, half in jest and half in seriousness, PeriyavaaL is saying that we feel like asking, ‘Why Namaskaara?’ As the sloka lists Brhma, Vishnu and Maheswara as equivalent to Guru and then mentions that, Guru is also Parabrhmam; we discussed that Guru is the same as the three responsible for the Srushti, Sthithi and Samhaara and more than that, he is also equivalent to the Muzhu Mudar KadavuL – the Primordial God, Parabrhmam! That is alright, but why should we do Namaskaara?
32. Whatever their problems the Devas used to go and complain to Brhma. Though many of the Asuras would have got their additional powers as a boon from him only, they did not go to him only as the Creator, but as a Divine Power in Being! If you look at what these Asuras and Devas got from him; they were not concerning powers of creation (Brhma’s portfolio), but powers of Sustenance and Destruction, which were the portfolios of Vishnu and Maheswara! (Does it mean that Brhma was interfering with other people’s affairs, as it is being done by the Ministers in Man Mohan Singh’s Government in to day’s India?) That was not the case anyhow!
33. Looking at what is given in the PuraNas, when after years of Tapasya many of the Asuras asked for Siranjeevitvam, that is Eternal Life, as the boon, he has been reasonable enough to tell them, ‘Please do not ask for something beyond my powers! May be to avoid or postpone the eventual death, you should ask for some abnormal combination of conditions, which would be within my powers to grant!’ To that extent he shows that he did not consider himself to be Omnipotent! Some have asked for the next birth with some preconditions and some have asked for a boon to get progeny, may be because they thought that it was what he was meant for. But people have asked for such boons from other Gods too.
34. People have worshipped Vishnu or Siva or Muruga or PiLLaiyar, asked for and obtained many of the worldly powers, wealth, comforts and Gnaana too. So it means that they did not go to them and worship them only as the Paripaalana Karta or Samhaara Karta. We have often come across such stories. ‘There was a King. He had abundance of wealth, health and comforts. But he had a great regret that he did not have a child of his. Or there was so and so Rishi. Though he had all peacefulness of mind and heart, he had one deficiency that he did not have a son, who could pay his debts towards the departed souls of his ancestors (Pithru ruNam). That King or that Rishi prayed towards Vishnu or Siva; Vishnu or Siva became pleased and visited the aspirant and blessed that King or Rishi with ‘Santaana Bhagyam’ (luck of progeny)! In all this we see that Vishnu or Siva seem to be undertaking the role of Brhma! In addition we also notice that, on the request of Devas or Rishis, Mahavishnu has had to undertake Avatara-s one after the other, to destroy HiraNya, RavaNa, Kamsa and so on to do the job of Samhaara! That is in ‘Sishta Paripaalana’, (in taking care of his followers) Vishnu has had to do ‘Dushta Nigraha’ (that is, destroy the villains)!
35. If you look at Siva, for many of his devotees, he has granted long life, health, wealth and so on. If you read the Sthala PuraNas, you will know this. There are many temples constructed by many Kings, is it not so? One King was cured from a serious killer disease. Another got his hunch back corrected. A King lost his kingdom to the enemy and was driven to the forest. He worshipped a Siva Lingam there and Siva got his kingdom back. For this very reason the King got yet another temple constructed in celebration of Siva. These things are aplenty in the Sthala PuraNas.
36. What we gather from the above is that, many have worshipped either of Brhma or Vishnu or Siva, not only as Srushti, Sthithi and Samhaara Karta-s, but as the divine power that could do whatever prayed for! Point that becomes clear by this discussion is that, the Hindu ethos was such that though they had their preference of their Gods as Ishta Devata, they were inwardly quite convinced that all Gods are one and that Ishta Devata had all the power to satisfy and grant whatever the poor mortal could wish for!
37. But the flow of the sloka ‘Gurur-Brhma’ indicates that Brhma – Vishnu – Maheswara should be prayed to as Srushti – Sthithi – Samhaara Karta-s and in their place Guru should be worshipped, prayed to, respected, revered and that we should express our subservience to him through our Namaskaara. It tells us that Guru is Brhma, he is Vishnu and he is Maheswara and so, prostrate to him as an expression of our devotion and subservience. Here is where the point of dispute or fun or counter, comes in.
38. When we accept that God Brhma is for Srushti, what is there to pray or celebrate? There is no need. Only when we want this or that, for our needs or requirements or wants, we will pray to him. With expectation comes in the need for prayers as the very word ‘prayer’ indicates. How can we be happy because Brhma has created us or be beholden to him for that act of his? May be we will feel like fighting with him for what he has done! He can do nothing more as the Creator. So, why should we worship him? Should we do Namaskaaram just show our devotion? So the statement, ‘Guru is our Creator, so do Namaskaaram’ won’t gel! We are all modern day citizen. Only if your argument is logical we will agree. Just for being our Creator, we will not do Namaskaaram to him.
39. Guru is Vishnu – we will come to this Vishnu thing later. “Gurur Devo Maheswaraha – tasmai sri Gurave namaha” – if you say, more than the case of Brhma, this about Maheswara we will never agree. Rudra Murthy will bring his three pronged Soola (Trisoola) and we never know what he will do! He does not know anything other than Samhaara, is it not so? How can we get devoted to someone who is coming to kill us? Even when we are ready to take cudgels with Brhma for having created us, who will be ready to die in the hands of the Samhaara Murthy? When we curse someone, the biggest curse we can think of is, ‘Let this blackguard die’! How can we be beholden to someone who will really do that in action in vanquishing us and thank him for that?
40. Another important point. Siva, Rudra, Maheswara or whatever the name; that he is the Samhaara Karta is the only point. When Siva does the Samhaara, it does not mean that he is giving eternal relief from the cycle of births and deaths. I said so even earlier. When one life time is over, the body is worn out; that is not the be all and end all. Rudra finishes this one life, and not cancel out all our Janma-s and Karma-s! At least, whether we like it or not, if he can compulsorily gives us complete ‘Janma Nivrutti’, only at least then, we can say ‘Thank God! Though I may be in the darkness of Agnaana, you are forcibly annulling all that, Thank You for that once again!’ This case under consideration is not like that also!
41. At the time of Pralaya, he does Samhaara and puts us to a long, really long period of ‘Laya’, like a permanent leave till the next cycle of creation and so on. But in the state of Agnaana that we are in, we have to be afraid of Pralaya big or small and so cannot think of doing Namaskaara to him! If we put our hands on our hearts and speak sincerely, in the state that we are in, none of us like death, is it not so? So for a Murthy who dispenses death, we cannot be much devoted to! So when you say, ‘Gurur devo Maheswara: tasmai sri Gurave Namaha”, that is totally unacceptable, Kaput! (PeriyavaaL laughs saying this.)
42. Now when you say, “Gruru Vishnu:” here now, at a glance, we feel like that we may do Namaskaara with devotion! Vishnu is the ruler, protector, maintainer and saviour; and so that appeals to our mind. So, he is to be revered and adored. If our Guru is the Vishnu, ‘Gurur Vishnu: tasmai sri Gurave namaha”, then it is OK. We have to be beholden to him and should do plenty of Namaskaara-s. That seems alright at a cursory glance!
(To be continued.)
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