DEIVATHIN KURAL # 101 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Dec 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 101 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Dec 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 page No 623 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)
494. Do you know as to why the Gowda who became a Brhma Raakshasa selected the Narmada River bank as his future residence? It was due to the fact of its being located at an important traffic bottle neck! Not in terms of what we know of traffic these days. In the days of yore, people were either on foot or on carts driven by oxen or some such animals. All such traffic between Gowda Desa in the North and Dravida Desa in the South was through that particular River Crossing! So, he could have plenty of choice of Brahmins who have done Adhyayanam as his potential food, while simultaneously increase the possibilities of finding someone who could correctly answer his question and thus provide eventual salvation from the curse.
495. There having seated himself on a tree, he would call up a suitable traveller and ask him answers to his question as advised by his Guru. The question is as to what happens to ‘pach’ dhatu when it is added to nishta pratyaya. For long nobody could answer his question. He will kill them and make them ‘mince meat’ for his dinner or whatever! We see a lot of such words in English, which have similar pronunciation with different spelling and words with similar spelling and different pronunciation, for example, ‘but, cut and put’; and ‘rough, tough and puff’’; and so on. Not only children, even elders can make mistakes unless they were well grounded in grammer and usage.
496. Since there was a need for the Brhma Raakshasa to select a well qualified student to be taught the whole of the Maha Bhashya, he would so ask the question that the not so well qualified persons would get confused. The questions and answer session would go something like this. “What is the nishta roopa of ‘bhuj’? The answer would come forth, ‘bhuktam’. OK. What is nishta roopa of ‘synch’? Answer ‘siktam’. OK. What is the nishta roopa of ‘pach’? Answer would come automatically ‘paktam’!” The Brhma Raakshasa will laugh and say, “Oh Ho! You said ‘paktam’, and you are wrong! The answer should have been ‘pakvam’. So I will make you into ‘pakvam’!” Finished, the poor wayfarer becomes one more dinner! Many years went by like this.
497. Then one day a young man with apparent aura of brilliance arrived there. He was from Kashmir. Even at that northern end of the country, the information had reached him that some 2000 miles down south, in Chidambaram Patanjali was teaching the Maha Bhashyam. He was going down south for that reason only. Looking at him the Gowda Brhma Raakshasa was very happy that he was about to get a first rate meals! As usual, he came in front of the wayfarer in the guise of a Brahmin and started asking questions. Having asked the ‘nishta pratyaya’ for many root verbs, he came on to the word ‘pach’. This boy instead of making a mistake correctly answered ‘pakvam’!
498. The Gowda Brhma Raakshasa did not feel bad that he is going to miss his lunch, but felt immensely pleased that he had found a suitably worthy student to receive the Maha Bhashyam and also that, finally the period of his curse was at an end! He asked him, “Who and wherefrom are you and where are you proceeding to?” He replied, “My name is Chandra Gupta Sharma. I came to know that in Chidambaram, Patanjali is conducting Maha Bhashya classes. I am going there to learn the same.” Brhma Raakshasa replied, “All that is past history. That Maha Bhashyam is here with me which you can learn from me. You do not have to go there. For years I have been waiting for a suitable person worthy of learning that wealth of knowledge. What Patanjali gave me, I shall give you now and later you can share it with as many as you wish. Sit down and I shall teach you!”
499. There is a proverb in Tamil which says, “kumbidappona deivam kurukke vandadu” to mean that “The god whom I went to pray to, came in my way!” Chandra Sarma was thrilled at the opportunity of getting this unexpected bonanza! But it is not easy to have a Brhma Raakshasa as a Guru! The Raakshasa Guru laid many difficult conditions. He had to behave abnormally cruelly, which is quite normal for a Raakshasa, isn’t it? He declared, “I will teach you sitting in this fig tree only. I will start just now. I will finish it only as when I please. You have to sit here in the branch of this tree only and either memorise or take down notes. Uncaring for day or night, I will just carry on dictating. You cannot get down from the tree. You cannot go to sleep and you are not to eat!” Anyhow Chandra Sarma had no choice but to accept whatever the conditions! He was keen on learning the Maha Bhashyam and nobody else in the world was capable of teaching it! What cannot be avoided has to be endured, isn’t it? So he consented to all the conditions laid by the Brhma Raakshasa.
500. This unique and uncommon Guru – Sishya avant-garde teaching session started off. The Guru was going at super-fast speed. To write down, the disciple had no paper, pencil, ink or pen! He was not to get down from the tree! Chandra Sarma scratched his thigh. The pen was a twig from the tree and the fig leaves formed the paper and the ink was the blood oozing out from his thighs! This strange session carried on for nine days continuously! As the Guru continued to dictate, the Sishya carried on writing on fig leaves. That was the level of sacrifice and devotion to teaching and learning that the Guru and Sishya duo could evince! Chandra Sarma packed all the leaves in order. That is what is available today as Maha Bhashyam. By Chandra Sarma’s perseverance and hard work, his Guru’s Raakshasa roopa was erased. Having completed this monumental task, Chandra Sarma’s mind now turned towards Gnaanam, Vairaagyam and such.
501. Having handed over all his knowledge of the Maha Bhashyam, Gowda Paada searched for a Guru who is a Jeevan Mukta who could teach him Aatma Gnaana. He learnt that Suka AachaaryaaL was in Badrikashram those days. From the banks of the Narmada River he found his way to Badrikashram in the Himalayas and surrendered to Suka, who gave him Sannyaasa and Gnaana Upadesa. The one who did the Upadesa was a Brhma Gnaani from birth as we have seen earlier. He then remained in Badrikashram totally merged in Brhma Gnaana and came to be known as Gowda Paada AachaaryaaL, finding a place in the ‘Brhma Vidya Guru Parampara’! (Later Chandra Sarma took Sanyaasa Upadesa also from the same Guru – Gowda Paada AachaaryaaL.)
502. In Aachaarya Parampara the line of divine characters of PuraNas finishes with Suka. From there starts the Guru Parampara of human beings like you and me, called the ‘Maanava Sampradaaya’! In that lineage, Gowda Paada AachaaryaaL’s name is the first. The first book ever written totally on Adwaita philosophy is said to be ‘Maandookhya Upanishad Kaarikai’, as confirmed by the modern day philosophers, was written by Gowda Paada. Going deep in to the truth of the principle of what is Aatma, it discards many ideas and concepts finally arriving at Shantam – Sivam – Adwaitam – Tureeyam beyond wakefulness, sleep and dream, the ever present reality of all existence as the Self or Aatma; is this Maandookhya Upanishad! Kaarikai means the ‘precise statement of the doctrine’. It is in elaboration of what is given in the Upanishad!
503. You might have heard of the name, ‘Yapparungalakkaarikai’ in Tamil. ‘Yaapparungalam’ is a work on the rules governing the making of poems. The Kaarikai for that is work further elaborating those rules on form and metres. Dwaitam is a creation of Maya. Giving no chance for any doubt or confusion created by duality of Maya, this Upanishad is pure Adwaitam. Its first part is ‘Aagama PrakaraNa’. Thus it is also known as ‘Aagama Saastram’. Normally ‘Aagama Saastram’ is the book on devotional procedures. In Adwaita Vedaanta, it is Gowda Paada Kaarikai that is the Aagama Saastram. This Gowda Paada though he completely set aside the Maya, has also written ‘Subhakodayam’ which is a book on devotional procedures for AmbaaL, who at one and the same time is Maya SwaroopiNi and Brhma Vidya SwaroopiNi!
504. Gnaana and Bhakti. Having been deeply involved in devotion to God and devotional procedures of Karma Anushtaana; once the Saadhak enters the Nivrutti Marga, till he attains to Aatma Gnaana, the world with all its give and take transactions is to be just set aside as simply part of illusion of Maya and Leela! Then there is no scope for devotion – as there is no chance for thinking of oneself as this man or person and God or the Deity as He or She or That! After Gnaana has been understood, realized or comprehended, nobody can push you back into the delusion of Maya. (Short of it, the threat is very much there.) So, after Realization, one could dare to get involved in the worldly affairs without any fear! Then you will be seeing all the happenings of life as the Maya Leela of Easwara. The Gnaani enjoys the Easwara Swaroopa also as the NirguNa Swaroopa only. With that he can have the freedom to enjoy the SaguNa Leela of God and be devoted to God too. Then it becomes a matter of personal preference! With that automatically it is but natural for him to feel ‘KaruNa’ of empathy for the downtrodden lot of the people of the world. To motivate them and to be a model to be emulated, he can and does participate in devotional procedures; for their sake, not with the idea of one’s own superiority but with the idea of enabling others to share one’s own bliss!
(To be continued.)
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