DEIVATHIN KURAL # 88 (Vol # 5) Dated 26 Nov 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 88 (Vol # 5) Dated 26 Nov 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 530 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
366. A portion of the Rudra Prasnam is called the Namakam. These are various names by which Rudra, the Parameswara is addressed and obeisance by Saashtaanga Namaskaara is done to him for each one of those names of Rudra. That means physical prostrations are offered to convey one’s subservience. (Saashtaanga Namaskaara means that we lie flat on our stomach with our hands joining extended straight on top of the head with the palms touching each other, face flat on the ground turned right and left, and legs stretched straight down together touching with the sole of the feet showing up.) Instead of the common nouns and proper nouns of English Grammer, here we use Names which are SaadaaraN (common Names) and AsaadaaraN (specific Names). They can be identified by two things. When He is said to be any of the things or people doing things, they will be in plural. When He is addressed by his specific special names, they will be in the singular! After a number of SaadaaraN names, there will be one AsaadaaraN with a ‘cha’ between each name. That ‘cha’ is as good as ‘and’ or acronym ‘aka’!
367. When describing Parameswara as many of the things occurring in the world, as common generic names they will generally be in the plural such as, ‘Namaskarams to those sitting, sleeping, standing, running and; when mentioning his own AsaadaaraN names they will be in the singular as ‘Namaskarams to Bhava, Rudra, Pasupati, Neelakanta and Sitikanta and so on. The name Neelakanta refers to Siva gulping the Aalahaala poison. When the milky ocean was churned by the Devas and Asuras one of the earliest outcomes was this poison. Everyone was taken aback at the cataclysmic effect of that this poison could have on the whole universe! Parameswara kindly consented to save others by swallowing it. But it was realised that its downward movement in to the stomach of Siva could have the same deleterious effect on the ‘Charaachara’ aka Universe from which, it was intended to be saved! So Parvathy aka Sivaa or AmbaaL with all concern massaged the throat of Siva to block the poison there forever. The Aalahaala Poison remained there at the throat of Siva and he got the name ‘Neela Kanta’ or ‘Blue Throated’! That same Neela Kanta became ‘Sitikanta’ by the fact that the ashes aka Vibhuti that is smeared on his throat all the time, that he came to be also known as the ‘White Throated’!
368. Then Namaskarams to Kapardi and Vyuptakesa in singular and then to the Sahasraksha who has thousands of eyes. Then obeisance is conveyed to Satadhanva who has hundreds of weapons. Then Namaskarams are to Girisa. Girisa and Gireesa, both are the names of Parameswara as the one who stays on the hill and the Easwara of hills respectively. What is the meaning of Kapardi? He is the one with long hairs on his head aka Jatadaari. Vyuptakesa is one who has shaved off all his hair. That is to say ‘similar and dissimilar’ are all the same Siva. Then are Jyeshta and Kanishta, the eldest as well as the youngest like the Senior and Junior; Poorvaja and Aparaja meaning the earliest born and the later born; each of them being the names for the same Siva!
369. There is something special about the name Kapardi meaning the one with long hair or Jatadaari that is, ‘wearing braided or knotted hair. But not everybody with knotted hair is called Kapardi, only Siva. Maha Vishnu, Brhma, Indra and other Devas have different hair styles much decorated by ornaments and crowns made of gold embellished with a variety of gems inlaid. Siva is the only one who has piled them up on top of his head like a pyramid! We celebrate that Jada only with, ‘paniththa sadaiyum, pavazham pol meniyum’. On that bundle of hair on his head is the River Ganges, the Crescent Moon, the Cobra, the Skull and flowers such as Oomaththam and Konrai! It is that Jatamudi in lieu of a crown that has been given a special name as ‘Kapardam’. So, it is clear that ‘Kapardi’ is a specific name for Siva – one of the AsaadaaraN Naamaas!
370. The name that occurs next, ‘Vyuptakesa’ also must be a specific that is, uncommon or AsaadaaraN name of Siva only. The Namakam which says that he is all the carpenters, pot makers, fishers, thieves and dacoits; also lists the specific names as the one and only Siva could have as being beyond all the common names! Vyuptakesa is one of those uncommon specific names. Namakam does not say prostrations to all those who have Jatamudi but to that specific Kapardi. Similarly Vyuptakesa is indicative of Siva only (and not all those who have shaved off their hair,) addressing him in the singular! The one who is addressed as Kapardi is the same as the one addressed as Vyuptakesa, another uncommon specific name of Siva. Here is a specific point to note!
371. When talking about generic names of people such as carpenters and shoe makers in plural, (short of saying that he is the indwelling reality in all of them as the Parameswara the Antaryaami,) when it comes to his many specific names the second person singular has been used such as, ‘Bhava, Rudra, Sarva, Pasupathi, Neelakanta, Sitikanta, Kapardi, Vyuptakesa, Sahasraksha, Satadhanva’ and so on. In that serial, when Kapardi the hirsute, is immediately followed by Vyuptakesa the shaved off baldy form of Siva, it makes you wonder as to when was Siva in that sort of a get up ever? Whether depicted as Nataraja or DakshiNa Murthy or Kaamaari or Tripuraari; they are all may be not bearded but with the Jada on his head only with braided or knotty hair! Nataraja is seen with ‘viriththa senchadai’, while DakshiNa Murthy is depicted with quietly peaceful ‘thaazh sadai’ and in Bhairava it is spouting flames of fire! There is no occasion of Parameswara depicted as clean shaven not only in the face but also in the head. When such is the case, for the Vedas to be talking about a Vyuptakesa as an individual name for Siva, it has to be clear that Vedas are predicting the future Sankara Avatara only, says the one writing the Bhashya for the Vedas, Sri Abhinava Sankara!
372. Sri Abhinava Sankara did not stop at that. He knew that there could be objections, if that happens to be the only occasion where Siva has been described as clean shaven of face and head! So he started looking for some supportive evidence elsewhere in the Itihaasa PuraNas. Itihaasaas and PuraNas are considered as explanations supportive of the Vedic statements. There is a tradition for this. “Itihaasa puraanaabhyaam vedam samupabruhmayet I Pibet alpasrutaat Vedo maam ayam pratarishyati II”. Meaning of the first line quoted above is like this. The student who has studied not only the Vedas but also the Itihaasaas and PuraNas is known as ‘Bahu Srutan’. The person who has learnt only the Vedas and is not so well read about all the Itihaasaas and PuraNas and tries to interpret the Vedas with his limited learning is called the ‘Alpa Srutan’. It seems that Vedas are afraid of such a person that, he is likely to pull the Vedas in every which direction as he pleases! That clearly brings out that, when it comes to the research in to the Vedas looking for subtle deeper meanings, you have to take the Itihaasaas and PuraNas also into consideration. So this gentleman who wrote the Bhashya for Sri Rudram did some research in to the aspect of depiction of Siva as Vyuptakesa. He found the supportive logic in ‘Vayu Purana’.
373. There in ‘Vayu PuraNa’ he located the sentence, “chaturbhi: saha sishyaistu sankaro avatarishyati”, meaning that, ‘with four disciples Sankara is to come down as an Avatara’! This was good enough to prove his contention that Sri Rudram while talking about Vyuptakesa is predicting the advent of Sankara Avatara only. He found another supportive logic in ‘Siva Rahasyam’ too. Now he had no doubt or hesitation and so wrote clearly that Vyuptakesa in Sri Rudram is talking about Sankara Avatara, in his Bhashya. For the statement that Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL is Avatara of Siva, we have seen the PramaaNam in Sruti itself that is Sri Rudram, then in Vishnu Dharmottaram which is addendum for VishNu Purana and now confirmed in Vayu PuraNa. Let us also see what secrets the Siva Rahasyam has to offer!
374. The divine stories that have even more authority of truthfulness than PuraNas are the Itihaasaas such as RamayaNa and Maha Bharatha. Siva Rahasyam is one such Itihaasa on stories related to Siva. It has some 50,000 slokas in it. One of the famous Dharma Saastra known as NirNaya Sindhu declares this Siva Rahasyam as a book of genuine authority. SubrahmaNya Swami gave this to Jaikeeshavya Muni, who in turn told this to Suta Maha Pouranik, through whom it was conveyed to the assemblage of saints at NaimisaraNya. Even Lord SubrahmaNya did not claim it to be his own creation. He also says that much before him Siva himself told this to AmbaaL and that he is only repeating it.
375. RamayaNa is in seven Cantos and Maha Bharatham is in 18 Parvaas while the Siva Rahasyam is divided into 12 Amsaas. It is totally devoted to describing various episodes and events related to Siva. In the 9th Amsa, the stories of devotees of Siva are described. It contains the stories of the 63 Nayanmaars, who are famous as devotees of Siva. There is a place Kanjanur some 10 miles from Mayavaram in South India. In that place there was one Hara Dutta Sivachaariyaar. He was born a VaishNava. The suffix Sivachaariyaar was added later in his life. There were many miracles in his life. He became an ardent devotee of Siva. His life is depicted in Siva Rahasyam not as an event of the past but as a prediction of the future. One of the stories described there is the life history of our AachaaryaaL Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL as though being foreseen by some divine vision!
(To be continued.)
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