DEIVATHIN KURAL # 97 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 Dec 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 97 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 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 the last para on page No 592 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)
449. If you visit the Chidambaram Nataraja temple, you will know for sure as to how closely Siva and Vishnu are related! All over the country normally in a city or township, if there is a Siva temple, there may not be a Vishnu temple and vice versa. Even in places where both the temples are located, they will be sufficiently far apart to enable independent conduct of devotional procedures without mutual interference. Here in Chidambaram the shrines of both Siva and Vishnu are co located in two adjoining edifices. Siva here is known as Nataraja and Vishnu is known as Govinda Raja. Govinda Raja is lying on his bed of Aadisesha. Thrilled in visiting both the shrines in one go Appayya Deekshidar was intensely moved to sing the song ‘MaaramaNam UmaaramaNam’. ‘Maaramanum’ means Lakshmi’s consort Vishnu and ‘Umaaramanam’ means Uma’s consort Siva. So, both are related. What is the relation? A very close relation indeed, connected by heart! Nataraja is dancing in the lotus heart of Maha Vishnu. (After all, they are two different forms of the same ultimate principle!)
450. People who carry out research about such things say that in the Thyaagaraja temple in Thiruvaroor, there are many signs and symbols related to Vishnu. Moreover, the name ‘Raja’ is more in use for Vishnu as Rangaraja, Varadaraja, Govindaraja and so on. So, they claim that it must have been a Vishnu temple originally and then with Saiva devotee’s predominance, it was changed to a Siva temple! Similarly the opposite is claimed in the Naachchiyaar PerumaaL koil. It is said that it used to be a Sivan koil and with the VaishNava’s domination, it was converted into a PerumaaL koil! All these researches are ill informed, motivated and so not correct. There is a proverb in Tamil for such researches which says that, ‘he dug a whole mountain and caught a rat’! These people carrying out researches have a tendency not to be fully aware of the religious principles behind these things and are also not fully aware of the respective Sthala PuraaNaas! In fact these temples are as they were meant to be from when originally constructed. We are not now immediately concerned about the Naachchiyaar koil.
451. If you take the temple at Thiruvaarur, the koil itself has been constructed to represent a physical form of Vishnu. In that form, where his heart should have been, that is in the Hrudaya Sthaanam, the Murthy of Thyagaraja has been installed. Like Nataraja, Thyagaraja is also a dance form only. But except for his face, rest of the figure has been covered and hidden. There is a difference between the dance of Nataraja and Thyagaraja. Nataraja by himself has lifted his left leg and doing the Ananda Natanam of the cosmic dance, whereas Thyagaraja does not dance on his own. He is in the heart of Vishnu isn’t it? So, with the expansion and contraction of his chest with his breath, he moves and that becomes a dance.
452. Siva’s dance in the lotus of Vishnu’s heart is specifically mentioned in ‘Narayanopanishad’ in the Vedas itself! First Narayana is the ‘Viraat Swaroopa’ that is the universal cosmic form! All the heads and all the eyes of the universe are his only. Having described him in all his glory in the macro cosmic form, coming to the microcosm of his physical representative figure, it says that his heart is like the inverted lotus bud, in its upper part his Paramaatma Swaroopa is said to be in the ‘Daharaakaasa’. Outside is the vastness of ‘Perambalam’ and inside is the ‘Chitrambalam’, the space of the heart. That is the same as ‘Gnaana Aakaasa’ or ‘Chit +Ambaram = Chidambaram’! That is the Aakaasa Kshetra, the Chit Sabha, the dancing form of Nataraja Siva. Thus they are all interconnected subtle principles of the very Aatma!
453. Ajapaa Hamsa Natanam. What is generally described as the Thaandavam of Siva, there are many varieties and interpretations. In Chidambaram is the Aananda Thaandavam. In Thiruvaalankaadu is the Oordva Thaandavam (or the dance of Armageddon). Other than this in the Sozha Naadu itself, in seven different temple towns Thyagaraja is doing seven different dances. They are called ‘Sapta Vidanga Kshetraas’. Amongst them the more famous and important one is Thiruvaarur. His dance is known as Ajapaa or Hamsa Natanam.
454. What is not Japa is Ajapaa. All other mantras we chant with devotion and intensive concentration, using our brains and intellect. By the vibrations of the Mantras there is a response in the millions of nerves in the body. That causes power, clarity and abilities, never known before to ourselves! For a full effect, the Mantras have to be intoned coordinated with deep inhalation (poorakam), holding of breath with the air inside (inner kumbakam), exhalation (rechakam) and holding for a period of time with the lungs fully vacated (outer kumbakam). This is one method. Another method is to sit silently without any intended control of breath. In this method we are to keep the mind absolutely calm and watch one’s own breath in an uninvolved manner. As we do this (actually not doing anything but only observing), we will notice that the duration of inhalation, exhalation and holding of the breath slowly increases. Initially if we just calm our minds as far as possible, slowly but surely we will start experiencing a novel and unique peacefulness. Even the little bit of strain that we experience in Pranayama, will not be there. Thus the act of observing the breath and thoughts will fetch us to the common source, which is also the source of our very existence! There is no chanting of the Mantra in this, isn’t it? So it is called ‘Ajapaa’!
455. Out of courtesy this is also called a Japa. That is the ‘Hamsa’ mantra japa. When the breath is inhaled or exhaled ‘the vibration will be similar to the sound waves of ‘hum and sss’, so forming the ‘hamsa’ which in Sanskrit is similar to ‘aham sa:’ which means, ‘I am he’ or that is, this Jeeva Aatma that is me is the same as that Parama Aatma! If you stop at, ‘I am he’, that would be as good as reducing the illimitable vastness in to a limited entity, isn’t it? Also this can lead to pride and prejudice! So, it is correct to say, “That primordial omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Paramaatma is the same as this limited entity of Jeevaatma”. That would mean a long story once again. So, ‘ham saha and a soham’, becomes ‘h a m s a s o h a m’, meaning ‘this and that is one and the same’! Like the other mantras, even if you keep chanting this ‘hamsasoham’, the sound vibrations will automatically fetch you to supreme peacefulness of real and natural oneness! At some stage in the progress to the indivisible oneness, the chanting of the Japa will cease on its own and become ‘ajaapa japa’! In ‘soham’ ‘sa’ and ‘ha’ will erode, vanish and cease leaving only the ‘ohm’ sound of the PraNava Mantra. That will take you to the beyond of ‘Tureeya’, merging the separate identity of the Jeevaatma irrevocably and inalienably in oneness!
456. Now relate this to Maha Vishnu in Yoga Nidra. The Kundalini in every one of us is coiled snake like in basic Mulaadhaara of the power body. That is symbolically represented as the Adisesha bed on which Maha Vishnu is resting. He is doing the Ajapaa Saadhana by which he is one with the Parameswara. At that moment according to the movement of his breath and the vibrations so caused Parameswara is moving in Ajapaa or Hamsa dance. If this is shown sculpturally as though Siva is dancing on the chest of Maha Vishnu, it can be misunderstood and taken to represent an eternal enmity between Siva and Vishnu; who actually are eternal friends! As the dance of Nataraja on Muyalaga and KaaLi’s dance on Parameswara’s chest are misunderstood; there could be one more cause for confusion in people’s minds. That is why in Thiruvaroor, Thyagaraja’s face only is seen and everything else is covered.
457. Adisesha’s Avatara. One day Vishnu lying on the bed of Adisesha was in dhyana and enjoying the Siva Thaandavam in his heart. Looking at the happy face of Siva dancing on the lotus of his heart, he also felt immense thrill. Adisesha could not bear that weight. He asked Vishnu, “What is the matter? Suddenly you have become so heavy that I am not able to bear your weight. What is the reason?” Vishnu replied, “Parameswara danced in my heart. That is the reason for the added weight.” When the weight increases due to happiness it is Adwaitam. Because Easwara appeared in his heart, the increase in weight is said to be due to the addition of Vishnu’s and Easwara’s weight; it is understood as Dwaitam! What was apparently Adwaitam in Thiruvaroor, to avoid being misunderstood, more than three fourth of the depiction had to be hidden, isn’t it? So, the common man has to be taken to the principle of Adwaitam through Dwaitam only. Thinking on such lines Vishnu thought of doing this known to the world through Adisesha. That is why, knowing the likely response from Adisesha, Vishnu said like this. As expected, Adisesha asked, “If so, I wish to see Easwara’s dance. May I be permitted to do so?”
458. Maha Vishnu was waiting for just this and he immediately sent him to Nataraja who was openly dancing in Chidambaram and thus by the deep devotion of Patanjali enhanced the fame of the place, so that more people will be motivated to see Nataraja’s dance and have their eyes full and through that attain to Mukti! If you are born in Thiruvaroor, you are entitled to Mukti – ‘Thirvarooril pirandaal mukti!’ To be born wherever is not within our control. In Chidambaram by witnessing the dance of Siva you are entitled to Mukti – ‘darsanaath abhra sadasi’! You may be born anywhere, but if you visit Chidambaram and watch the dance of Siva, by that action of Dwaitam, you get Mukti of Adwaitam! Through Patanjali the name and fame of Chidambaram was to be enhanced sky high for the benefit of the humanity at large! So, Maha Vishnu told Patanjali, “OK, you wish to see the Siva Thaandavam, is it? OK go to South India. There in the Thillai Vanam of Chidambaram, Siva is happily dancing as Nataraja. There you can have his darshan to your heart’s content.”
459. For his and people’s benefit, he gave him another task. “There, by making use of the sounds of the ‘Damaruka’ (the twin drum small enough to hold with the thumb and index finger, that Siva is holding and twisting and turning it to make sounds to go with the dance), PaNini has written the VyaakaraNa Sutram, not easily understood or comprehended by the general public. They contain the rules of grammer for the divine language of Sanskrit. You study the VyaakaraNa Sutram by PaNini and write the Bhashyam to it for the ease of understanding by average students of the divine language.”
(To be continued.)
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