Sunday, August 14, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 38 (Vol # 5) Dated 14 Aug 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 38 (Vol # 5) Dated 14 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 last para on page No 227 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)
71. How to create this relationship between them? This could be done by grouping them as husband and wife. One pair of elder brother and younger sister getting married to another pair of brother and sister would not be very suitable as it is called, ‘peN koduthu peN vaangal’ – which is a Tamil phrase meaning ‘give a girl and take a girl’ on the grounds of something like inbreeding, though not exactly so. To overcome this problem another pair had to be created. When you have only two pairs as 1 – 1, 2 – 2, you cannot avoid ‘peN koduthu peN vaangal’. But if you have three pairs of brother and sister as1 – 1, 2 – 2 and 3 – 3; now you can match them as 1 – 2, 2 – 3 and 3 – 1, thereby avoiding ‘peN koduthu peN vaangal’. With this idea were created Brhma and Lakshmi, both of golden hue and both normally seated on lotus. As Vishnu’s son Brhma is known to be the son of Lakshmi too. So how can it be that Brhma and Lakshmi are related as brother and sister? There is an old story of the Purana-s, which may not be known to many as given in Devi Mahaatmiyam’s end part called ‘Brataniga Rahasyam’, in which Vishnu & AmbaaL, Siva & Saraswathi and Brhma & Lakshmi are said to have come into being as brothers and sisters respectively.
72. Now they could be paired off without any complication, Brhma with Siva’s sister Saraswathi; Vishnu with Brhma’s sister Lakshmi and Siva with Vishnu’s sister AmbaaL. Let this fact of their coming into being for resolving the issue of pairing be set aside; having been created as Devata-s they had to be given some job. Between running of the world of Maya and release from Maya; the latter part of release from Maya that is, attainment of Gnaana cannot be subdivided. So, it is in the business of running of the world of Maya that can be apportioned. Thus creation and management of repeated births as per Karma of individuals, was given to Brhma while Lakshmi was made responsible for financial affairs. As part of the creation of variety of play, Lakshmi was also given the big title of Loka Mata, something like the Empress of the World, with plenty of powers of sanctioning. Within Vishnu’s area of responsibility of running the world, to make it known to all that the job of Creation is also within the ambit of his overall responsibility; Brhma the Creator was created from the lotus of Vishnu’s Naval!
73. Now do you understand as to how, in the arrangement of Tri-Murthy-s (Holy Trinity), with the Siva and Vishnu who have complete power of Brhma Shakti (Omni potency), have accepted the third entity Brhma as an equal? That is why there is much more closeness between Siva and Vishnu. With the powers for creation, Brhma was given the knowledge of all the Vedas and honoured as the foremost Vidya Guru. Then further play or Leela is the fact that Brhma is to be a power in the background, without many temples and or devotees!
74. Brhma who is eulogised as Prajapathy and Hiranyagarba; much praised by Veda-s, Upanishad-s and Purana-s; is to be revered with elaborate procedures of worship. If such arrangements cannot be made, it is better not done haphazardly. He does not lose anything if we do not pray to him. He is well supported by his Father Vishnu, bearing him in his Naval Lotus! In his mouth reside all the four Veda-s which nourish the whole world. So, he does not need the temples anyhow. Looking at the common man’s understanding and attitude too, there is no need for a temple for Brhma. His jobs of Creation and the Law of Karma are serious enough that at least one of the Tri-Murthy’s is not pestered by the people of the world! May be that is another reason for there not being a temple for Brhma!
75. Why are there no temples for Saraswathi? Another example of how when you think of one thing, another clarification occurs to our minds! While talking about Siva –AmbaaL and Maha Vishnu – Maha Lakshmi, as wedded couples and their greatness, it occurred to me as to how I have not thrown much light on Saraswathi the wife of Brhma! Instead of interrupting the flow of talk about Brhma, I decided to take up her case separately.
76. How do we look at Saraswathi? Whether we think of her as a Poorna Brhma Shakti or not, we adore her as the Goddess of Learning, the Fine Arts and all Knowledge! To think of her in absolute white saree holding books, seated on a white lotus playing on the VeeNa, is to feel peaceful and pleasant. Great saints such as Kambar, Ottakkoothar, Kumara Guruparar, Bharathiyar and some others have sung beautiful poems in Tamil on her. Muthuswamy Deekshidar has composed and set to music, many a Keerthanaas on her, which are well known. In Sanskrit Maha Kavi KaLidasa has written wonderful poems of immense beauty and devotion on Saraswathi! Even when we are tiny tots, we sing praises of her with intense devotion. But the point to note is that, there are not many temples of Saraswathi. In the whole of Tamil Nadu there is one at Koothanur in Tanjavur district, the birth place of Ottakkoothar. In Kanchipuram in the temple for Kamakshi Amman, there is one Sannidy for Saraswathi. Even that is not as the wife of Brhma but as a minister of Raja Rajeswari known as RajasyamaLa or Maha Saraswathi. Even in temples where there is a Sannidy for her, it will be in some corner a small enclosure and not in the main sanctum sanctorum! Like Brhma, temple is not important for Saraswathi too but, unlike Brhma she is not ignored as a deity. Like Koothanur in Tamil Nadu, there is a temple for her in Basar on the banks of River Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and one nearer Hyderabad in Vargal. Then in Karnataka on the west coast in KoLLur, there is a temple for Saraswathi known by the name of Mookaambika. In all these places the most important function is to take small children and start their education with a ritual known as ‘Akshara Abhyasam’. From the time we start our education, we develop devotion for her right up to the point short of imbibing Gnaana by her Grace. So, she is a very popular deity. Then why are there not many temples for her too, excepting the three or four places mentioned above?
78. Here is where our national ethos and culture comes into play. ‘Pativratyam’ or ‘Karpu’ is typical of Indian culture much praised and glorified. Both these two words mean true faithfulness of the lady wife to the wedded husband, as exemplified by the stories about Satyavan – Savitri and Kovalan – Kannagi. The pativrata lady will not enjoy anything that is not available to her husband. AmbaaL has the left half of Siva’s body. Lakshmi stays in Vishnu’s Vatchasthala that is the left chest. Similarly Saraswathi resides in Brhma’s tongue. When there is no temple for him, how can she look for a separate residence? That is why when there are not many temples for him, for her too there are hardly any! (What is mentioned in the previous para are only like a drop in the ocean of temples all over India, once again exceptions only proving the rule.)
79. If we invite her to our houses she will come promptly as the Mother, as part of our family especially. But to make a common public invitation without her husband, she will not agree. It is respecting her this quality only we have let her be without a temple for her! Power in our culture is revered as the Shakti, essentially in female form. As they say in English, ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’ as the power behind him, we celebrate the wife as the man’s Shakti. While celebrating Navratri or Dussehra, the last three days are meant for venerating the three Shakti-s Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. For that she will very much be there. But otherwise without her husband for daily poojas and festivals, she would never agree!
80. The matter of Savitri, Gayatri and Narada. Brhma has three wives namely Saraswathi, Savitri and Gayatri. Gayatri Mantra is considered as the foremost of all Mantras and derives its name from the ‘chandas’ or poetical metre called Gayatri. The inner power of that Mantra is Savitri. Despite being intimately the life and metre of that Mantra which is said to be the quintessence of all Veda-s, they both have no temples for them. The only reason is that they have refused what is not available for their husband!
81. While analysing thus, it is also becoming clear as to why Narada has no temple on his name! Vishnu’s devotees are called Bhagawata-s. He is tops amongst them and so is known as ‘Bhagawata Uttama’. The very defining treatise on devotion known as Bhakti Sutra is written by him. When we say that ‘Sankeertanam’ that is, singing praises of God is the only antidote for these days of ‘Kali Yuga’; not to have a temple for Narada who is ever doing ‘Bhagawan Naama Sankeertanam’, that is singing the praise of God to the tune of a Tambura held in his hands, is just not in order! But, when you think of it, you realise that being the ‘Maanasika putra’ or mind born son of Brhma, because there is no temple for his father and three mothers, Narada too will not stay in a temple of his own?
(To be continued.)



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