Monday, December 19, 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 Dec 2011

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 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 607 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)
471. For his book on prognosis and diagnosis for the treatment of the diseased body, the title is not accredited to the name of Patanjali but to Charaka, whereas his original book on Yoga and his Bhashyam for Grammer, carry that name of Patanjali. He who had given very valuable Saastraas for ‘Tri – KaraNa’ Suddhi, has also given the Saastra for the treatment of physical diseases including the methods of identifying and treatment of ‘Tri – Dhaatu – Suddhi’ namely, ‘Pittam (bile), Vaadam (various air pressures in the body being either over active or not being sufficiently effective) and Kabam (expectorations from the sinus of phlegm with mucous). To stop wrongful thoughts and thereby attain thoughtlessness through Yoga Sutra; to talk grammatically through the Maha Bhashyam; and to avoid diseases through Charaka Samhitai; thus are three major contributions by Patanjali for Tri – KaraNa Suddhi! (If the body is not functioning properly, if the eyes do not see properly, or the ears do not hear correctly or any of the other body parts do not function properly, all our actions become topsy turvy, isn’t it? So to correct that imbalance is what the Vaidya Saastram is meant for.)
472. PaaNini’s Sutras are also known as ‘Ashtaadhyaayi’, as they have eight chapters. So Patanjali’s Maha Bhashyam also has eight parts and thus is known as ‘Ashtaanga Yogam’. In Vaidya Saastram also there is a book by the name of ‘Ashtaanga Hrudayam’. But that book is not the same as Patanjali’s ‘Charaka Samhita’. It has been done by one ‘Vaakpata’. Patanjali Maharshi has thus taught us the way of obviating all mistakes that are likely by the ‘Tri – KaraNa’. So, the word ‘apaa karot’ means ‘obviated’ all possible mistakes. Such a great contributor for all people’s well being is being referred as, ‘muneenaam pravaram’ to mean the first amongst the best of them! I started telling you the order of excellence of the Aachaarya Parampara. He stands first among them all. ‘For such a Patanjali I am expressing my special regards’ says the Sloka at the end, ‘patanjalim praanjalir aanatosmi’!
473. I will share with you another special feature of these three books. Whatever the Saastra, there are three types of books namely, Sutram, Bhashyam and Vaartikam. Sutram is the basic text containing the rules and parameters of that particular subject covered by that book briefly, precisely and succinctly! Sutram can be very close in style and form to a book of Aphorisms! To enable understanding that, the Bhashyam gives the meaning and explanatory notes. Vaartikam is the further detailed analysis, like expanding, enlarging and going deeper into the subject matter, while remaining faithful to both the Sutram and Bhashyam. Generally the Sutram has greater authority while there could be some examples wherein one or two or all three having equal validity. In Patanjali’s three books, for Yoga it is a book of Sutras, In VyakaraNam (Grammer) it is Bhashyam and in Vaidyam (Medicine) it is Vaartikam!
474. Further special value of Patanjali’s contributions is the fact that in each of the three different subjects, whether it is Sutram or Bhashyam or Vaartikam, his words are the authority of greater validity and acceptance! In Yoga Saastram Patanjala Sutram gets the first place. For that Sutra Vyasa has written a Bhashyam and for that Bhashyam Vaachaspati Mishra and Vignaana Bikshu have written the Vaartikam. Neither the Bhashyam nor the Vaartikam have the popularity as does the Sutram. If you take the subject of grammer, though PaaNini’s Sutra is very logical and complete, not leaving anything to chance, clearly explaining the rules of the Sanskrit Language! Though people are struck dumb at the complexity and enormity of the work, when it comes to understanding it, they have to break their heads. Patanjali’s Bhashyam softens the VyakaraNa Sutra’s hardness and enables the readers to understand the same, and thus has more authority and acceptance. Though there are many Bhashyams for many Sutras on various subjects, it is Patanjali’s Bhashyam which has the special prefix as the ‘Maha’ Bhashyam! Similarly in Vaidya Saastram too, more fame, authority, publicity and acceptance are due to ‘Charakam’ only! Another book of authority in Ayur Veda is what is done by ‘Susruta’, which is mainly concerned with surgical procedures and instruments. Though they are much appreciated by the intelligentsia, practically speaking the Ayurvedic surgical practices have been replaced by Allopathic methods, whereas in the field of prognosis, diagnosis and administration of medicines, Ayurveda still holds its own relevance and popularity in which Patanjali’s Charaka Samhita is the authority.
475. For the art of dancing as there is Bharata Saastram, for Governance and Economics, there is Artha Saastram. Similarly for Grammer it is Maha Bhashyam; for Yoga it is Paatanjala Sutram; and for treatment of diseases it is Charakam; all by Patanjali continue to be relevant till date! In one way all three books are concerned with removal of Malam in their respective fields. Though the Yoga Saastra has pre-eminence as the Saastra for Aatma, for intelligentsia and brains, it is the Maha Bhashyam which has importance as it teaches the Deva Bhasha Sanskrit. Even for understanding Aatma Saastras, knowledge of language and grammer is essential, isn’t it? For Yoga there are some contrary opinions. I would say that Adwaitam itself is slightly against the idea of Yoga! But, Maha Bhashyam is universally acceptable for all.
476. In Chidambaram enrolling a large number of disciples, Patanjali started teaching them Maha Bhashyam. PaaNini wrote the VyakaraNa Sutra by noting the sounds of the Udukkai that Nataraja was holding in his hands and playing on, and the Maha Bhashyam was an elucidation cum commentary on that isn’t it? So, it was very appropriate that the teaching of the Maha Bhashyam was started in that place. There is a devotional but humorous poem (Ref – Yagnya Narayana Deekshidar’s ‘Sahitya Ratnakara – XI. 124.), connecting PaaNini’s Sutram and Patanjali’s Bhashyam with Nataraja’s hands and legs respectively. A synonym for hands in Sanskrit is PaaNi. So PaaNini has written the Sutra for the sounds of the Udukkai in the PaaNi of Nataraja, forming the basic sounds of VyakaraNam. Now what is the connection between Nataraja’s legs and Patanjali’s Bhashyam?
478. Patanjali was not happy enough standing close to Nataraja while he was dancing. He was the anklet around the legs of Nataraja like an ornament made of beads inside a metal casing. To the movements of the legs and sounds of the Udukkai, the anklet will be making sounds in absolute synchrony and harmony! That becomes the Maha Bhashyam for the Sutra on VyakaraNa by PaaNini. So, the Sloka says that the sounds from the hands form the Sutra for which the explanatory notes come from the sounds of the anklet in the legs of Nataraja! In later days too it became the custom to have a special edifice inside the Sivan Koils for the specific purpose of teaching Sanskrit grammer and the place was known as VyakaraNa Mandapam.
479. Just imagine Patanjali conducting lectures on his Bhashyam, in the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam (a building with a thousand pillars). He after all is the Adisesha with a thousand tongues! There is an adage which says, ‘aayiram naa padaitha aadiseshan thaan sollaNum’, meaning, ‘only that Adisesha with a thousand tongues has to say that’, for it to be appropriate! Normally Patanjali Muni was only in the normal human form with one face only. But now to learn from him there were a thousand students. So, he decided to take the form of Adisesha with a thousand heads at the time of teaching the students.
480. Human beings cannot face the real form of Adisesha! His mere sight could burn or even the slightest breath of his was good enough to turn us into ashes! Not only was his seeing us so powerfully ferocious, we human beings cannot afford to look at him without being atomised or ionised or blown to smithereens ourselves! That is how potent he was. So what he decided to do was to put a screen between him and the students in a concentric circular form, one directly in front of each face. To prevent any body playing truant without being observed by the teacher, he gave an order that if anybody leaves without permission, he will be turned in to a Brhma Raakshasa!
481. What is Brhma Raakshasa or Brhmarakshas? It is a life form like a Ghost / Ogre or an evil spirit. Like there are many varieties in all forms of life, such as there are the static, walking, flying and crawling species amongst animals there are types and sorts amongst Raakshasaas too. Actually the very Raakshasa Jaati is one of the Deva Jaati only. Generally as we have heard that in the PuraNas there are stories of fight between them, we think of them as totally different. In truth, in the spectrum of the Devatas if one end is the highly refined deities of the Devas or the Suras, the other end is that of crude Asuras or Raakshasa types. In the Amara Kosa, while listing the Devas, it says, Vidyadara – Apsaraso – Yaksha – Raksho – Gandarva – Kinnaraa’, including the Raakshasaas. They are all ‘deva yonaya:’, then it lists ‘asura – daitya – daiteya – danuja’ and so on.
482. In this Raakshasaas then, there are further sub sects. In that, one is the ghost like Brhma Rakshas. Surprisingly even the ethereal Pisacha is part of the Deva Yonaya: only! The list goes on, ‘pisaacho – guhyaka: - siddho – bhooto amee deva yonaya:’! Having been born as a Brahmin, having done Veda Adhyayanam and been given Upanayanam, then if they go on to do unlawful and illegal acts such as grabbing other’s property or wives and then die in ‘alpa ayus’ (before their allotted period of life as per praarabda), they roam about as Brhma Raakshas, (till completion of Praarabda). ‘Their daily diet is to catch hold of a Brahmin and eat him! It will go to a Brahmin in disguise. Keep asking many questions as though they are highly qualified in all matters of Vedas. Then having tied you up in knots, when you are flabbergasted unable to reply, they will kill and gobble you up’, as they say in our villages!
(To be continued.)



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