Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 90 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 Nov 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 90 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 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 541 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 updated constantly)
386. In the 7th and 8th Parispanda of the 72nd Canto of Markandeya Samhita of Brhmaanda PuraNa, it says that since Easwara was very concerned in the welfare of the world, he came down as an Avatara. In addition to his being concerned, based on the petition from Brhma and other Devatas, he will take this Avatara. The purpose will be to vanquish the Sarvaka and other such agnostic religions. So, he will take an Avatara as the son of Siva Guru, a Brahmin of excellent credentials and his wife, with the name of Sankara, it says:-
“lokaanugraha tatpara: parasiva sampraartito brahmaNaa I
Saarvakkaadi mata prabheda nipuNaam bhuddhim sada taarayan II
Kaaladyaakya purottame siva gurur vidyaadi naathascha ya: I
Tat patnyaam siva taarakaamsa Mudita: sri sankaraakhyaam vahan II”
387. There is one more PuraaNa by the name of Saura – PuraaNa in which Sun is the primordial God. Surya the Sun God has a name as Savitaa from which is derived the word ‘Saavitri’. As Sun is the cause of coming into being of all life forms and their nourishment like a mother, this name ‘Savitaa’ has evolved. Similarly the word ‘prasavam’ which means ‘conception and delivery’ is also a derivative from the root word ‘Savitaa’ only. In the Gayatri Maha Mantra this word ‘Savita’ is mentioned. It is this Savitaa only having been born as Sankara is to explain the meaning and purpose of Vyasa’s Brhma Sutra, thereby establish the basic meaning of the Vedas, says the Saura PuraaNa:- “vyaakurvan vyaasa sutraartam sruterartam yatosivaan I Sruter-nyaayya: sa evaarta: sankara: savitaa na naa II”. The last phrase as underlined, divides itself in to ‘savita na naa’, which would mean that our AachaaryaaL is the very Savita and not anybody else. For example, ‘savitru’ becomes ‘savita’ and ‘pithru’ becomes ‘pitha’ and similarly ‘nru’ or ‘nara’ becomes ‘naa’, meaning ‘not any human being’!
388. There is a special appropriateness in calling our AachaaryaaL as the Surya NarayaNa Murthy. Agnaana is said to be the darkness of ignorance and the giver of Gnaana is the Sun who gets rid of the darkness. So, the brilliant brains are called the ‘Gnaana Bhaskara’. What pleases us in this respect is the two of his direct disciples have compared him with the Sun. Amongst Stotras eulogising our AachaaryaaL the foremost is ‘Thotaka Ashtakam’ written by one of his four direct disciples. In it standing directly in front of AachaaryaaL, with tears of gratitude streaming down from his eyes, Thotaka is saying, “ahimaamansur iva atra vibhasi”, meaning ‘You are shining brilliantly like the Sun’! The moon is said to be ‘himaansu’, meaning that the moon by its cool light is letting the misty flow of frost. The Sun does the opposite of drying up the coldness with its warm rays of brilliance! Our AachaaryaaL is such a Sun.
389. Amongst the four main disciples of our AachaaryaaL, Sureswara Aachaaryaar is another. He has written a ‘Vaartikam’ or explanatory notes for the Bhashyam written by AachaaryaaL for Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad. In that he has said that from the ‘Udaya Giri’ (hill of the rising sun) till the mountain range of the setting sun, the Gnaana Surya of AachaaryaaL having encompassed the entire world with the four disciples of his, who are the beams of light of his name and fame, are chasing away the world’s darkness of nescience! Thus not only in the books of Sankara Vijayam but also in Rik Veda, Sri Rudram, Siva Rahasyam, Markandeya PuraaNam, VishNu Dharmottaram, Vayu / Koorma / Linga / Bhavishyottara and Saura PuraNas, it is asserted that Sri Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL is not just a human being, but the very Avatara of Siva aka DakshiNa Murthy aka Sambhu!
390. The Evidence from the Direct Disciples of His Time. If the PuraNa and Itihaasa Granthas have some added value of credence in comparison with those books that have been written mainly so as to eulogize him, there is also some special value to the words of his disciples who were themselves venerably great, who moved with him closely and observed his concepts, convictions and responses in various situations. Rest of the world can know about anybody for that matter, only as much as a man reveals about himself. Their sincerity and integrity is clearer to the close disciples who cannot be easily duped. Most importantly the answer to the question as to whether they practice what they preach will be succinctly clear only to the immediate disciples. That is why there is a proverb in English that ‘No man is a hero to his valet’!
391. Almost uniformly leaders of the Sanaatana Dharma have never been lacking in sincerity and truthfulness and not given to hypocrisy. Whether the 63 Nayanmaars or the 12 Vaishnava Aazhvaars or the great Rishis and Sages from time immemorial have never entered in to the world of pontificating without Swanubhuthi of inner understanding and comprehension! If there were some hypocrites, they have been found out and never became too famous anyhow! (KTSV adds:- There have been a whole lot of great saints that have graced this part of the world more than any other! Starting anywhere, not bothering about the chronological order, there have been; VaLLalaar, Thaayumaanavar, AruNagiri Naathar, MaaNikka Vaachagar, Pattinaththar, Ram Surat Kumar, Nisarga Datt Maharaj, Srimad Thaandava Raya, Sant Kesav Das, Seshadri Swami, Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa, Vivekaananda, Naama Deva, Thukaram, Rama Dasa, Surdas, Tulasidas, Kabirdas, Sai Baba, Satya Sai Baba, Raghavendra, Ramana Maharshi, Amritananda Mayi Mata, Kavya Kanta Ganapathi, Muruganaar, Sadhu Om, Suddhananda Bharati, Subrahmanya Bharati, GopalaKrishna Bharati, Thirumoolar, ThiruvaLLuvar, Avvaiyar, Meera Bhai, Karaikkaal Ammaiyar, Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, Prabhu Paada, Gnaananda Swami, Santananda Swami, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dayanand Saraswathi and so on and so on, the list will never be complete! In all their cases, they did not set out to correct the world but with the innate love and compassion of ‘Sarve Janaa Sukhino Bhavantu’ and with the idea of ‘let the worlds be happy and let all the people be happy’ and most importantly to share their experience with the world with the intention of ‘Yaam petra peru peruga Ivvaiyagam’, they have gone about spreading Gnaana unreservedly! That is why we love to read the reminiscences of the disciples who have seen and been with them when they were alive!) There is an innate natural urge in people like us who are reading about them to know as to what their close disciples thought of them. Especially as Aadi Sankara’s intimate disciples Sureswara, Padma Paada, Hasta Aamalaka and Thotaka AachaaryaaL-s have themselves been great as having attained to the highest of Gnaana Siddhi. Especially there is a natural urge to know as to whether they thought of their AachaaryaaL as an Avatara of Easwara or not?
392. Amongst those four Sishyas, Hasta Aamalak AachaaryaaL has only one small sloka known as ‘Hastaamalak Stotra’. It is pure Adwaita Vedaanta, which says that there are not different castes and sects or differentiations such as human beings, Devas, this caste and that caste; but everything is the same Aatma Swaroopa! In that sort of description we are sure that he could not have seen his Guru as different from his own Aatma Swaroopa. So, there is no singing of the praise of his Guru and or looking at him as an embodiment of Easwara! But the other three have all looked at their Guru as Easwara Swaroopa and have sung encomiums of praise for him! I am not going to quote all that they have said about their Guru, but only some. I have already told you about Thotakacharya’s Ashtakam and Sureshwara’s description of his Guru as the Gnaana Bhaskara.
393. Thotakacharya in his Ashtaka has finished each line with a ‘bhava sankara desika me charaNam’. Sankara is not a new name created for our AachaaryaaL. It is only one of the well known names for Parama Siva from very olden times. He has said this ‘bhava sankara desika me charaNam’ as though to tell us, “What you see here in front of your eyes as Sankara is the same Siva only”. Siva has eight famous names as, “Bhava, Sarva, Easaana, Pasupati, Rudra, Ugra, Bheema and Mahadeva”. That Bhava is this, my Guru Sankara to whom I surrender, is the meaning of ‘bhava sankara desika me charaNam’. If the word Bhava is taken as a verb, it means, ‘let it be so’. When we bless others younger to us or give Aaseervaadam, we say, ‘Deerga aayushmaan bhava or deerga sumangali bhava’ we are using the verbal form of that word that ‘may you live long or let the lady have a long and happy married life’! But in the fourth sloka of Thotaka Ashtakam, he does not let any doubt about the meaning linger in our minds by saying, ‘You are the self same Siva only’, “bhava eva bhavaan”, ‘as my happiness is full and overflowing’ so to say, “bhava eva bhavaan – iti me nitaraam sama jaayate chetasi koutukitaa” – as I have recognized the fact that you are the none other than ‘Bhava’!
394. Then, after three more slokas later he says, “Guru pungava pungava ketana”. Pungava means the Bull, the Rishabham! Anything awe inspiringly respectable is said to be Rishaba. When describing a mighty man, he is described as ‘Purusharshabha’ a Bull amongst men. Similarly in Tamil the commanding presence of a person is said to be, ‘Eru’ with the ‘E’ pronounced as in ‘Eden’. He is calling his Guru as ‘guru pungava’, so to say that he is a ‘majestic master’! Then he says, ‘pungava ketana’, meaning ‘the one with the Rishabha in his flag’ and that is none other than Parameswara himself!
(To be continued.)



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