DEIVATHIN KURAL # 94 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 Dec 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 94 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 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 last para on page No 570 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)
421. Guru is the one who directly gives us the Upadesa. The Guru’s Guru is Parama Guru. Parama Guru’s Guru is Parameshti Guru. Parameshti Guru’s Guru is Paraapara Guru. All the Gurus prior to Paraapara Guru are together known as Poorvaachaaryaas. Our AachaaryaaL’s Guru is Govinda Bhagawat Paadar. Parama Guru is Gowda Paadar. Parameshti Guru is Sukha AachaaryaaL. Paraapara Guru is Vyaasa AachaaryaaL. Before that, Paraasara, Sakti and Vasishta are the masters in that order. Further back are Brhma and Maha Vishnu.
422. Vasishta is one of the ten mind born sons (maanasa putra) of Brhma. For countless number of Suktas of the Vedas he is the Rishi. He is also one amongst the seven saints famous as Sapta Rishis! (The direction pointing galaxy of stars on the northern sky, the Cassiopeia is also known as the Sapta Rishis.) Another of the greatness about him is the fact that his wife Arundati is given the pride of place as the most faithful, true and honest, to her husband! (There is a special phrase for this in Sanskrit as ‘Pati Vrata’ (woman of virtue) and in Tamil as ‘Karpukku Arasi’, (meaning the Queen of Faithfulness!) More than anything else, when his Parama Guru Maha Vishnu was born as Sri Ramachandra Murthy as an Avatara, Vasishta became the Guru with Sri Ramachandra Murthy as the disciple. So Vasishta had the rare honour of giving Upadesa to his own Parama Guru in the form of Sri Rama Chandra Murthy! That book known as ‘Gnaana Vaasishtam’, is even bigger than the Vaalmeeki Ramayana and contains enormous number of stories and sub-stories mainly bringing out that Brhmam is the only truth and all that is seen as the world are only appearances and unreal! It is a book much appreciated by the philosophers who are especially interested in the Adwaita of oneness of the Jeeva and Brhma! In Tamil too there is a tradition that strongly believes in the Adwaita Siddhaantam. This book is known in Tamil as ‘Vaasittam’!
423. Vasishta had 100 sons out of whom only one by name Sakti, who is the next in line of Guru Parampara. About him there are many stories in the PuraNas, with slightly differing versions. You might have heard about Sadasiva BrhmendraaL, who was a ‘Jeevan Mukta Mahaan’. Such a title is never given to anybody but automatically evolves for people who have attained to absolute Gnaana while still alive in this physical mortal coil. He has authored a book by the name of ‘Jagat Guru Ratna Mala Sthavam’ about the tradition of Brhma Vidya, starting from Swami DakshiNa Murthy and Maha Vishnu, down to his Guru who was the 57th Peetaadhipati of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam. The Grantham contains some 87 Slokas. For that Grantha, Aatma Bodendra Saraswathi SwamigaL has written a commentary by the name of ‘Sushama’. In Guru Ratna Mala Sthavam, about Sakti Maharshi it is mentioned that just by the power of his proximity he could remove all the sins of a King whose name was ‘Bahu Mitra Saha’ and that he had great Mantra and Yantra powers as well as true and total dispassion. It is enough for us to see the ‘Vyaakhyaana’ that is the story with explanation given in this Sushama, to know the greatness of the power of this Shakti in the lineage of Gurus!
424. As per that Vyaakhyaana, Bahu Mitra Saha was one of the kings in the Surya Kula. Vasishta was his Kula Guru, as he is the Guru for all the kings of that dynasty. A Raakshasa who did not have the power to directly oppose him was trying to get him subjected to the curse of the Kula Guru by some devious means. With that aim he had enrolled himself as the cook in the King’s household wearing a disguise. One day the King Mitra Saha was to conduct Pithru Sraddham in which Vasishta was included as the participating Brahmin. The cook surreptitiously included human flesh as part of the food being served. One look was enough for Vasishta to know the subterfuge! In God’s Leela, though Guru Vasishta could know that the food served is not normal food but human flesh, he was blind to the fact the king was not responsible for the trick! He at once cursed the King to become a cannibal. Being innocent of any mischief, the King was about to react vehemently. He was about to pick up the water sanctified with mantras and sprinkle it on his Guru with a counter-curse! His minister interfered at the right time before it was too late and saved him from everlasting damnation as a disciple who curses his own Guru can have no hope for redemption! The King controls himself and stops. But, he had to dispose of the sanctified ‘mantra Jala’ in his hands. He sprinkles them on his own legs and they are badly charred. In recognition of his this brave act, he got a name as ‘Kalmasha Paadan’! Anyhow Vasishta’s curse had to have its effect. So the king became a cannibal.
425. From here there are many versions of the story. Since the book ‘Sushama’ is basically about the Guru Parampara, we can take that as the deciding authority. Having become a cannibal, he pounces on the 100 children of Vasishta to gobble them up. Amongst them is this Shakti, whose very presence causes the curse with all its baneful influence to disappear. The King bows his head down and begs this illustrious son of Vasishta to bless him with some kind words of advice! Shakti embellishes the king with Upadesa on Brhma Vidya, releasing him from all sins and releases him into Moksha. That is how Shakti is included as part of the lineage of Guru Parampara.
426. His son is Parasara who had grasped the Veda mantras while still in his mother’s womb and started chanting them! He gave the world two great assets. One is ‘Vishnu Purana’ and the other is sage Veda Vyaasa! For Veda Vyaasa he was the father and Satyavati the mother and for ‘Vishnu PuraNa’ he was both the father and mother! Vishnu PuraNa is like the source scripture for Srimad Bhagawatam. Though Vishnu PuraNa looks basically steeped in devotion, like adding sugar to milk, it is also a treasure chest for Adwaita Vedaanta. Scattered throughout Vishnu PuraNa there are a number of examples available of golden nuggets of Adwaita Gnaana, useable as quotable quotes. Parasara’s job was not over with showing the way for Gnaana through Bhakti through the writing of Vishnu PuraNa; but he also wrote the ‘Parasara Smruti’, a Dharma Saastra containing various Karma Anushtaanaas, social customs, individual and collective moral codes and conduct of functions and rituals!
427. Next to parasara is Veda Vyaasa aka Vyaasa AachaaryaaL. If someone were to ask as to which is the Magnum Opus of our AachaaryaaL which firmly and irrevocably establishes the Adwaita Religion, those in the know of it will quickly answer it to be the ‘Sutra Bhashyam’! That Bhashyam has been written by our AachaaryaaL on Vyaasa AachaaryaaL’s ‘Brhma Sutram’ as a word to word clarification and enlargement! From this one fact itself we can understand the very important position of Vyaasa AachaaryaaL in the Guru Parampara. It has in itself all the important crunch issues spread all over the hundred and odd Upanishads, collected, collated, serialised, and put into terse and brief statements known as Sutras; as the basic reference book on Adwaita Vedanta! In addition to this great service to humanity, he has organised the Vedas into four parts as Rik, Yajur, Saama and Atharva Vedas! In addition to all this, he has also written 18 PuraNas. Then, 18 other Upa – PuraNas are also recorded by others as told by Vyaasa only. Thus through ethical living and devotion, he has paved the way for the attainment of Adwaita Gnaana, as service for the whole of humanity! (KTSV adds: Even today one can build up a case for the grant of 18 Nobel Prizes for Vyaasa AachaaryaaL, may be posthumously! But if you do that, he may surprise all of us by presenting himself in person at the function, not for the sake of the award, but in recognition of our sense of gratitude!)
428. If I start talking about Vyaasa AachaaryaaL’s greatness, instead of our AachaaryaaL’s story of Sankara Vijayam, it may become ‘Vyaasa Mahaatmyam’! Already you people may be thinking, “having started as AachaaryaaL’s Charitram’, instead of coming to his birth as an Avatara, we are covering all sorts of so many other things!” But, they are not so many other things. All of them put together are very much part of the Sankara Vijayam! Having come as an Avatara, whatever he did in those 32 years of his life time – only is not the story of his life. He came as a representative specimen of the Indian culture, tradition and humaneness itself. To look at his life only as the achievements by one individual in his life time; though they are by themselves mighty and enormous indeed; is still only the micro view! It will be like viewing the Himalayan Ranges through a crack in the wall or looking at the Pacific Ocean through the eyes of a worm! Anyhow, I do agree that I must cut down on the preamble! So instead of further enlarging on Vyaasa AachaaryaaL, let me go on to Sukha, Gowda Paada and Govinda Bhagawat PaadaaL.
(To be continued.)
Labels: posted by Lt Col KTSV Sarma