DEIVATHIN KURAL # 109 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 Jan 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 109 (Vol # 5) Dated 08 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 675 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)
573. I have heard in Music that some who seems to be not very good in theory and research areas, are good in coaching and shaping up excellent disciples, who prove to be great maestros in later days. This is applicable in all disciplines of arts, science, engineering and crafts. This shows that the intuitive inner comprehension is even superior to the intellectual functioning of the brain. It also shows as to how some people have the natural talent to bring the best out of a student. Teaching and creating good students is an art by itself. One may have brains, knowledge, experience and power of expression. Still they may not be good at coaching others and making the disciple knowledgeable and experienced. Govinda Bhagawat Paada had this ability in addition to his other admirable and endearing qualities. That is why our AachaaryaaL chose him to be his Guru.
574. Of course in this case the Guru would not have had to do much to shape up our AachaaryaaL as he was an Avatara of DakshiNa Murthy himself! There was no need for a Guru to persevere and work hard to make him intelligent or knowledgeable or comprehend the deep, subtle and complex points of what he taught him. To be selected by God himself to be his Guru, he must have been worthy and well deserving of such a position. The world hails our AachaaryaaL as Jagat Guru and he as a Sishya clearly expresses his absolute humility while talking about his Guru in ‘Guvashtakam’. Then amongst the corpus of his writings on subjects related to Gnaana and Bhakti, other than his Bhashyams, the foremost is ‘Viveka ChudamaNi’. At the start of that in ‘Mangala AacharaNa’, the very first sloka is on his Guru. He says, “sarva vedaanta siddhaanta gocharam tam agocharam I govindam paramaanandam satgurum praNathosmyaham II” The second line means, ‘I do Namaskaara to that Satguru Govinda’. There is a variation of ‘satguru’ as ‘matguru’ to mean my own Guru, which sounds even nicer than just ‘satguru’! How is that Guru? He is the embodiment of ‘parama aananda’. All the happiness, thrill, bliss and pleasures of life are only a fraction of that ‘parama aananda’ and his Guru is the very human form of such happiness. OK, what else? He is beyond any description as this or that, being indefinable, ‘agocharam’! Though he is thus not within our grasp of understanding and comprehension, by his grace he is still easily accessible too! By his vast knowledge of all philosophies, principles, concepts and Saastraas and the approaches to them he makes all those things easily discernible to us and so becomes reachable himself! So the first line says, ‘sarva vedaanata siddhaanta gocharam’! Instead of just a word of praise for the human teacher or master, it seems to be addressing the very God!
575. Actually there is no human teacher or Guru. Saastram says that God comes to us in that form. But in practice such a doubt can arise. We may think, “It is alright for us to think of our Guru as representing or equivalent of God. But does he really have that Parama Aatma Anubhava or is he too embroiled in gross worldly matters?” But when a person like our AachaaryaaL describes his Guru with such ardent admiration we need have no doubts! While in Badrikashram Govinda Bhagawat Paada had the Darshan of (opportunity to meet) Vyasa AachaaryaaL. This was a suitable time to tell him that he is to be the Guru for the future Avatara of DakshiNa Murthy as Sankara. As this was a very important occasion of sowing the seeds of Brhma Vidya for all the future permeation of it in the whole world, Suka AachaaryaaL and Gowda Paada were also assembled there.
576. Vyasa entrusted this major task to Govinda Bhagawat Paada. Vyasa advised him in the following words. “To interpret our Brhma Sutra and spread the Adwaita Vedaanta all over the world, Parameswara himself is to take an Avatara. As a Sanyaasi he is going to dispute, counter, criticise and demolish all the evil ‘Dhur Matas’ and re-establish the Vedic Sanatana Dharma. He has to be given Upadesa and Sanyaasa Ashrama as per traditions. This task is entrusted to you. The Avatara is to take place in the southern most corner of India in Kerala Desa. This Avatara Purusha will start out from there northwards in his very childhood. We are sitting here in the Himalayas in the northern reaches of India. It will not be correct to let that Avatara Purusha to come walking all the way as a child. Secondly as the disciple goes searching for the Guru, the Guru is also required to go searching for his Sishya. So let it be that you both cover half the way and meet somewhere in central India. Narmada River bank is already well known to you as the place where you had Maha Bhashya Upadesa from Gowda Paada. So, you better go there and position yourself in a suitable cave doing Aatma Anusandaanam, waiting for your student’s arrival.”
578. Like the world leaders assemble in a ‘Round table conference’ and pass a resolution, Vyasa, Suka, Gowda Paada and Govinda Bhagawat Paada got together and passed this resolution! Govinda Bhagawat Paada reached the banks of the Narmada River. In the environs of the same tree under which he got VyakaraNa Upadesa from Gowda in the previous ashrama, he found a cave, in which he sat down in meditation.
579. Starting from the story when Adisesha suddenly found himself unable to bear the weight of Maha Vishnu, because at that moment Maha Vishnu was visualising the Nataraja dancing in the lotus of his heart; the teaching class held by Patanjali in Chidambaram and the incident in which all the disciples other than Gowda were reduced to ashes; Gowda given all the knowledge of Maha Bhashyam by the Anugraha Shakti of Patanjali; then Gowda waiting in the Narmada River bank for a suitable student to come to him; Chandra Sarma’s arrival and learning the Maha Bhashyam from Gowda, writing them on fig leaves; Chandra Sarma getting married and begetting the illustrious children; his going in search of Gowda Paada to Badrikashram; then as Govinda Bhagawat Paada returning to the same spot awaiting the arrival for his would be disciple; is all given in detail in Patanjali Charitam, (as written by Rama Bhadra Deekshidar). Our AachaaryaaL’s coming into contact with Govinda Bhagawat Paada and becoming his disciple is given in short in that book in the Eighth Sarga, which is part of a Chapter. May be because Sankara’s story anyhow is given in detail in the books on ‘Sankara Vijayam’, possibly in the Patanjali Charitam, our AachaaryaaL’s part has been covered in short and his Guru’s and Parama Guru’s life history has been given in more details.
580. Rama Bhadra Deekshidar himself was an expert in Sanskrit Grammer. So his interest was mainly to write about how the Maha Bhashyam came into being and got publicised. The book itself was named after the author of Maha Bhashyam as Patanjali Charitam, isn’t it? So, in it there was no scope for talking about Sankara’s story in detail. Still he did not wish to leave it uncovered either. So, though in short, he has poured all his devotion in describing our AachaaryaaL’s part in it, (who happened to be his AachaaryaaL too)!
581. This story starts with the crocodile catching young Sankara’s feet – “ardraandare sariti nagra gruheeta paadaha”. That means, ‘sariti’ = in the river; ‘nagra’ = by the crocodile; ‘gruheeta paadaha’ = caught the feet. (As the story goes, he tells his mother to immediately give him permission to take Sanyaasa as that would mean that this life comes to an end and another life starts with taking Sanyaasa! With his mother’s permission, the crocodile leaves him.) Then his going in search of his Guru and getting Upadesa, his visit to Kaasi, writing the Bhashyams on Brhma Sutram, important ten Upanishads and Bhagawat Gita; known technically as ‘Prastaana Trayam’; visiting the whole country known as ‘Digvijayam’; are all mentioned in brief, ending with the last sloka as given herein after!
582. The last sloka in Sanskrit is this. “Govinda desikam upaasya chiraaya bhaktyaa tasmin stite nija mahimni videha muktyaa I Adwaita bhaashyam upakalpya disho vijitya kaanchipure stitim avaapa sa sankaraaryaha II” Sankara Aachaarya has been shortened as ‘Sankaraarya’ to fit in to the poetical metre. The word ‘Aarya’ instead of Aachaarya is also appropriate as ‘Aarya’ means a gentleman, that in Tamil became ‘Iyer’ or ‘Ayyar’. (By the way it is not a caste name but, only means a respectable gentleman!) The respectable gentleman of the name Sankara is ‘Sankaraarya’. For a long period he took great care of Govinda Bhagawat Paada, his Guru – “Govinda desikam upaasya chiraaya bhaktyaa”. Our AachaaryaaL could not have spent many years with his Guru. Having become a Sanyaasi at eight, by 16 years of age he had completed writing the ‘Prastaana Trayam!’ So, he could not have spent many years with his Guru on the Narmada River bank. But he must have more than made up in sincerity and continuous care, within whatever the period, to deserve the word ‘chiraaya’ = for a long time!
583. As a friend, guide and pointer for the whole world, our AachaaryaaL became a disciple under his Guru Govinda Desika and took Upadesa from him. Again as an epitome to be emulated by the whole world, he also took physical care of his Guru. Govinda Bhagawat Paada thought, “Our job in this world is over. The tasks given by Vyasa AacharyaaL and my Guru Gowda paada have been completed. Now it is time for me to give up this body and remerge in Paramaatma.” After getting Brhma Gnaana, even while in the physical body, he was a Jeevan Mukta only. Then when the mortal coil drops off, it is known as ‘Videha Mukti’. To enjoy and experience Brhma Anubhava while still living is Jeevan Mukti. After the life time is over and the body reverts to its Pancha Boothas of Space, Air, Water, Fire and Earth; is Videha Mukti. Thus having completed his mortal life, dropping his body, he attained to Videha Mukti. He re-firmed in his greatness as the Brhma Swaroopa – ‘tasmin stite nija mahimni videha muktyaa”!
(Please note that we have covered only half of the sloka quoted in para 582 above. To be continued.)
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