DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 5) Dated 04 Jan 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 5) Dated 04 Jan 2012
(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 662 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)
554. When there is a need to demonstrate to the world, a Gnaani who is completely independent and who has broken through all Rules, Regulations and Taboos, such a person becomes known to the masses as Ativarnaashrami. When the message to be conveyed to the masses is about the need for absolute discipline and the need to emphasise implicit obedience to the Saastraas, God himself causes a Brhma Gnaani to demonstrate as to how well he could abide by the rules and regulations of the Saastraas.
555. Though there have been such people as Suka and Dattatreya as Gurus in the Brhma Vidya Parampara, in this Kali Yuga when all control and discipline are noticeable by their absence; from such highly free Ativarnaashrami-s, people will only pick up the apparent freedom and lack of discipline rather than the inner truth of incorruptibility! That is how Gowda paada onwards our Guru Parampara is one of apparent and demonstrable discipline and absolute self control, strictly following the rules of Sannyaasa Dharma. When I explain one point, nine others come to my mind. As they are all treasures, let us carry on viewing them all one by one.
556. Do you know as to where does our AachaaryaaL give the epithet Paramahamsa Parivrajaka to Atyaashrami-s? In Chandokya Upanishad Prajapathi gives Upadesa to Indra after testing him repeatedly. With reference to Prajapathi’s Upadesa to Indira our AachaaryaaL in his Bhashyam has made this point. He says, “Those who have overcome all apical gnawing by desires; disinterested in everything else other than Aatma Gnaana to which they have devoted themselves completely; fully involved only in the science of Vedaanta (that is Philosophy); as followers of what Prajapathi calls the four-fold tradition of Sannyaasa; highly respectable ‘Paramahamsa Parivrajaka Atyaashramees’; are the only ones who could learn, understand, discern and comprehend this Aatma Vidya!” He goes on to say, “Even in the present day world (that is, ‘our AachaaryaaL’s present day world, 2,500 years back’), only such people give this Aatma Vidya to their disciples. Short of those qualities none else will be able to do so!”
557. It is clear from the Bhashyam that in our AachaaryaaL’s time too, there were such Mahatmas who were capable of imparting the same Aatma Vidya as taught by Prajapathi to Indira, that comes in four sub-parts (called as PrakaraNas ) in the Upanishad. Therefore it is safe to assume that before his arrival on the scene, Veda Dharmam was not totally extinct but was flickering here and there! Though there were many at that time who were defrauding as though they have Aatma Anubhava and those others who in the name of Gnaana were talking about all sorts of things against the Vedas and Saastraas like Buddhists; there were some genuine Gurus of pure Vedic traditions. Amongst them there were some Atyaashramees as well as those who were Gurus by normal process of taking Sannyaasa Deeksha from such a Guru themselves. Our AachaaryaaL, who had a main aim of re-establishing the Vedic traditions, instead of going to Atyaashramees approached Govinda Bhagawat Paada who was a Guru exactly as per the traditions of the Saastraas. Similarly his Guru Gowda Paada was also one who had taken Sannyaasa as prescribed in the Saastraas. Suka is not a Sanyaasi at all in the traditional sense. Actually he had started out of his father’s Ashram even before being given Upaveetam, as I have told you before.
558. Sannyaasa Naama – Sankara Naama Mahima. When you take Sannyaasa the ‘Poorva Aashrama’ name goes and a new name is given. From the first DakshiNa Murthy up to Suka as none of them were technically a Sanyaasi as per traditions, there was no change of names till then. For Gowda Paada neither his Sannyaasa, nor the previous Ashrama Names are known. From the place of his origin, he is known only as Gowda. For Govinda Bhagawat Paada, the Poorva Ashrama Naama is Chandra Sarma. (He is said to have been constantly chanting ‘Jaya Govinda Jaya’ with intense feelings and otherwise keep mum that, he used to be referred as ‘Jaya Govinda Muni’ it seems, as noted in page 60 of T.S Narayana Sastry’s ‘The Age of Sankara’ of year 1971 edition.) In the case of our AachaaryaaL there is some uniqueness. The name given by his parents was also Sankara. That Naama continued even after Sannyaasa. I presume that his Guru Govinda Bhagawat Paada must have thought on the following lines. “Our Sishya is the Kailasa Sankara himself! For doing the needful salubrious ‘sam’ for the whole world he has come as an Avatara as ‘Loka Sankara’. So let this name continue and let me not change it.” Looking at the date of birth, his father has decided to name him as ‘Sankara’ as suitable to the month, paksha (fortnight prior to Full Moon is Sukla Paksha and after that till New Moon is Krishna Paksha), titi and Janma Nakshatra. Let that Naama continue for him in Sannyaasa too, his Guru must have thought. The same name came to be given for the subsequent Adhipathi-s of his Mata-s too. Today we have many traditions such as RamanujachaaryaaL, MadvachaariyaaL, Chaitanya, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed Nabhi and so on; amongst them is there any tradition anywhere, where the original Guru’s name carries on for all the subsequent disciples or Gurus or Priests? But every Mata Adhipathi of Sankara Matams are all known as SankaracharyaL only.
559. That Naama has some special significance! “How do we deserve to have his name for ourselves? We may not have the worth or merit to compare even with the dust of his feet! Then as nowhere else, how did he permit his name to be applicable to future generations of the heads of his Matams that he created? We have a name given to us, specifically but differently to each one of us, at the time of assuming the Sannyaasa Dharma and Ashrama. Is that not enough? Why has he made us adopt the suffix ‘SankaracharyaL? ‘Because it is all Adwaitam, he has made this a common name for himself and everybody else down the chain’, is also not an appropriate explanation. Adwaitam is a state of oneness of no action, whereas Mata Adhipathi is a functional office. To work towards the continued presence of Dharma and Gnaana in the world, these Matams have been created. The very word ‘sam kara’ means a person who is a do-gooder. So the actionless Adwaitam is not the correct explanation here. He dismissed and discarded 72 ‘Durmatas’ masquerading as religions and re-established the Sanaatana Dharma. Looking at what all he has done in that short period of 32 years, one must say that he lived up to his name! He did so much good that comparatively if his actions were as huge as a mountain, ours are not even as big as a mole hill! Then why did he give his name to all of us, the later day Heads of His Matams? Often I felt criminal that his name was also my official title, as I felt that we do not deserve it!”
560. After mulling over it, I got some clarity. His name itself has some special powers, isn’t it? For this Kali Yuga, don’t the Saastraas say that Naama has all the powers? Sri Kamakoti Peeta’s 59th AachaaryaaL Bhagavannaama Bodendra Saraswathi SwamigaL, who has specially emphasised and dwelled deep in the powers of the Naama in Kali Yuga, has said that ‘for Kali Yuga, it is the Naama SmaraNa the main Saadhana’, isn’t it? He has further emphasised, ‘Noticing that taking various forms as Siva and Vishnu was not effective enough, God is more actively, dynamically, powerfully and wakefully effective and shining in the names themselves!’ – ‘aparyaaptam roopam jagatavana etat – punariti prabhur – jaagarti Sri Hari – Girisa naamaatmakatayaa’! Thus in the name of SankaracharyaL, Sankara’s powers are residing. Though his Avatara Sareeram is no more, in his Sankara Naama he is powerfully present with all the life force! As there is Gayatri Mantra for each Devata, for him it is the chanting of ‘Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara’. So he has gifted his name for the subsequent generations of the Heads of Sankara Mata, through which he has given us all the powers. That is the reason for giving us his name! Then I thought that I need not worry as to whether I am worthy enough to deserve that name or not, as the name will do the needful to give me the merit and make me deserving! Thus I consoled myself somehow.
561. ‘Even after we finish the journey of life, as per the creation’s nature, there will be ups and downs in everything including between right and wrong, religiousness and agnosticism, Dharma and Adharma. So, we cannot be in Avatara stage forever. In the divine play there has to be space for all countervailing forces to act. Avatara can be there only when it is critically essential. On other occasions so as to ensure that it does not become too one sided, subsequent generations of Adwaita Gurus should be kept in organizationally safeguarded Peetams and they should be given the power of our name as Sankara AachaaryaaL’. That must have been his intention that this new system came into being!
562. “Naama dharaNam” means bearing the Name. To do so, where have we the power to bear it? If that is the question, the answer comes promptly, ‘The very name has been given to bear the seriousness of the responsibility and the gravity of office’! It is like the patient asking the Doctor, “When I am so weak, how can I bear the potency of this medicine?” The Doctor replies, “That is why, the medicine has been given!” I wished to emphasise the power of the name of Sankara that our AachaaryaaL himself has indicated indirectly. That is the reason why, our AachaaryaaL’s Guru also did not change his name!
(To be continued.)
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