Friday, December 09, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 92 (Vol # 5) Dated 04 Dec 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 92 (Vol # 5) Dated 04 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 555 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)
405. Aadi Sankara, the Siva of Kailaasa has the ‘bhogi parivaara sampada’ and the Avatara Sankara is ‘Abhogi parivaara sampada’. What else are the similarities / dissimilarities? The Avatara Sankara, who has collection of disciples as his assets, has discarded all worldly wealth as immaterial and unwanted – ‘nirasta bhooti’. In this too he is contrary to Kailaasa Sankara, who plentifully smears himself with ‘bhooti’ that is ‘Vibhooti’ the sacred ashes lovingly. In the matter of ‘Ashta Maa Siddhi’ (of Anima, Garima and so on, which are also known as Vibhuties) too, he is so full of them! As it is said in the very first Thevaaram song, ‘kaadudaia sudalai podi poosi’, he is very fond of the ashes applying them all over his body! These Ashta Maa Siddhies are the eight great Aishwarya-s. The very word Aishwarya means ‘that which belongs to Easwara’! When AachaaryaaL completes his eulogies of DakshiNa Murthy Swami, as a result of such devotion, the devotee will be entitled to these Ashta Maa Siddhies and above all that, will deserve the highest Vibhuti of them all, ‘sarvaatma bhaava’ of being able to see the same Aatma in all. He says, “sidyet – tat punar – ashtadaa pariNatam cha aishwaryam avyaahatam”. So to sum up, Kailaasa Sankara is inalienably too close to both types of Vibhuti-s, whereas Avatara Sankara sets aside all the wealth of the world, though he is also smeared with the ashes.
406. One of the defining characteristic of a Sanyaasi is not having any attachment to materials, goods, property and wealth. The other one is ‘Suddha Brhmacharyam’ that is, pure celibacy! Our AachaaryaaL was like that only. No woman could approach him. But, how was Kailaasa Sankara in this respect? He has accommodated AmbaaL in his very being, giving her half his body as ‘Ardha Nareeswara’ that is ‘Uma ardha Vigraha’. Avatara Sankara is unlike that, as for him all women of the world are the same as the Mother! If someone is going to be expecting the left side of his body to be woman – ‘umaardha vigraham’ – they will be surprised. He has the name of Sankara and is called the Sankara Avatara; so it is but natural for us to expect him to be ‘uma +ardha + vigraham = umardhavigraham; but he will be seen to be ‘anumaardha vigraham’. As we have seen before that adding ‘a’ as a prefix to any word turns into an antonym, adding ‘an’ (pronounced as ‘un’,) has the same effect, as might have been noticed in the English language too! So, instead of being the ‘uma ardha vigraha’, he will be ‘anumaardha vigraha’!
407. As per Sanskrit grammer, so as to arrive at antonyms, for words starting with consonants, we have to add a prefix of ‘a’ and for words starting with a vowel, we have to add a prefix of ‘an’, like for example, \“artham – anartham; antham – anantham; Umaardham – anumaardham”. Thus ‘anugram’ is the opposite of ‘ugram’. So our AachaaryaaL is the ‘anugra’ as well as ‘anugraha murthy’! Without the slightest tinge of fierceness he is the very temple of kindness and compassion. So he is referred to as ‘karuNaalayam’. Kailaasa Sankara is ‘Ugra’ as well as ‘Rudra’ and ‘Bheema’ as three of the select names of Siva, which are all evocative of extreme fierceness. So, Siva is Ugra and this Sankara is non-fierce ‘anugra’ – as another point of dissimilarity. The sloka goes on “anugram – unmridita kaala laanchanam”. Now what is that ‘unmrudita kaala laanchanam’? ‘Kaala Laanchanam’ means black sign or identification and ‘unmrudita’ means that is has been crushed and destroyed. Why should it be mentioned like this and what is it that black smudge like sign that has been crushed and obliterated? This is being mentioned just to depict the differences between the two Sankaras. This ‘kaala laanchanam’ is only one more thing to differentiate between Kailaasa Sankara and Avatara Sankara. The special identification mark in Kailaasa Sankara is the Blue Black smudge on the throat due to the ‘Aalahaala’ Poison, downwards progress of which was arrested, giving him the name of Neelakandan. His Avatara Sankara has done away with all those things that could ever be a black mark on his body or character! We can stretch the comparison a little more. When Kailaasa Natha Parameswara kicked Kaala, the element of Time, he is said to have got a smudge on his leg. Our AachaaryaaL has got rid of that smudge completely. As Krishna danced on the snake’s hood of KaLiya, our AachaaryaaL has done ‘unmardanam’ on the Kaala laanchanam and obliterated it! Thus whatever smudges were there in the ‘suddha spatika sankaasam of Kailaasa Sankara, Avatara Sankara had got rid of them also by virtually stepping over it and crushing it out of contention!
408. The last difference is: ‘vinaa Vinaayakaam’. That means that he is without Vinaayakaa or sans Vinaayakaa! Why should AachaaryaaL be described like this? Just to differentiate between Kailaasa Sankara, whatever was listed earlier are all right. He is ‘bhogi Parivara’, and this man is ‘abhogi parivara; he is ‘umaardha vigraha’ and this AachaaryaaL is ‘anumaardha vigraha’; so far whatever has been said are correct. Now this ‘vinaa Vinaayakaam’ seems to indicate that the poet has got carried away in his own exuberance! Even in Sakti Panchaakshari Dhyaana, the whole family of ‘Siva, Parvathy are to be revered with GaNesha and Skanda’! So, why should we make a big issue of leaving aside GaNesha? In real fact, in re-establishing the six religions as the ‘Shan Mada Sthaapaka’ our AachaaryaaL has given the rightful place of importance to GaaNaapatyam as the first and foremost! If you just sing his GaNesha Pancha Ratnam, PiLLaiyar seems to be coming dancing to the tune, as Nardana GaNapathi! When such is the case, this ‘vinaa Vinaayakaam’ seems to be added just so as to over stretch the argument!
409. Here while using the word ‘Vinaayakaa’, Padma Paada has played on the double meaning of the word. Like ‘bhogi and bhooti’ before that would give a different meanings when related to Kailasa Sankara and Avatara Sankara, here too this word ‘Vinaayakaa’ has two different interpretations. When considered in connection with Kalilasa Naatha, Vinaayakaaa means simply Pillaiyaar. In relation to our Aachaaryaal it would mean ‘Buddha’! Many people may not be aware that Buddha has a name of Vinaayakaa. In the ‘Amara Kosa Nikandu’, The Jain scholar who wrote it has listed Buddha and Tatagata and included Vinaayakaa there. Here Vinaayakaa has the meaning as not having any other leader over him. In Mr Apte’s Sanskrit – English dictionary this word Vinaayakaa has been translated as, ‘A Buddhist deified teacher’! Kailaasa Sankara is the one who always keeps his son close at hand and adores him. Kaaladi Sankara on the other hand vanquished the religions of Buddha – Jaina (whose leaders were called Vinaayakaa).
410. So this Apoorva Sankara is totally different to Kailasa Sankara, sans decoration by a collection of snakes, sans Vibhuti or wealth or assets; no giving of half the body to AmbaaL; no Ugra Bhaava or no awe inspiring attitude invoking fear; no black smudge of Neela Kandam; and vinaa Vinayaka! While mentioning the differences, the idea is to underline their oneness! He is the same Sankara, the Parama Siva. The comparison is not with any other Swami. Thus out of the four gems of Our AachaaryaaL’s disciples, three have confirmed that he is the Easwara Avatara, namely Thotaka, Sureshwara and Padma Paada. Let us set aside what others have said, including his contemporaries and his disciples. Has our AachaaryaaL himself even confirmed that he is an Easwara Avatara?
411. Our AachaaryaaL was the very form of humility personified. Though he has written many big and small poems, slokas, Stotras and Bhashyaas, with devotion and or esoteric understanding of deep philosophical points of views; he has not talked much about himself! So, there are different opinions about every aspect of his life on earth! Like somebody has said about William Shakespeare, ‘that all his dramas were not written by him but by somebody else with that name’! Even about the fact as to whether he was a Jeevan Mukta who had attained to Brhma Gnaana, he has left it to our imagination, at the end of his Brhma Sutra Bhashya! In his explanations to Brhma Sutra Bhashyam (IV – 1 – 15), a question is raised as to whether it is possible for anyone to continue to live in the body after Gnaana is obtained, having said that this question cannot be answered by discussion and debates, he says that one who knows it in his hearts for certain may not be able to tell it to anybody else as in his vision there are no others. Having clearly established that Gnaana Siddhi is Mukti and that the one who continues to live in the body after that is the Jeevan Muktan; then when he says that it is not possible to prove to others; it is clear that he is talking about his very example! So we can never expect him to say that he is the Easwara Avatara! But, there was something that he could convey to us indirectly!
(We will see that in the next e-mail!)



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