Monday, January 30, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 120 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 Jan 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 120 (Vol # 5) Dated 30 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 the middle of page No 743 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)
682. There is a speciality in the Trichchur Kovil that the Mahalinga is given an Abhishekam of (being showered with) pure cow’s ghee. This showering with ghee has been going on for thousands of years that you do not see the statue of Lingam at all, but can see only a huge rock of ghee. Even in the peak season in summer and despite ghee/oil lamps burning all around, the ghee smeared over the statue does not melt. May be the God whose abode in Himalayan Mountains of Kailaasa is eternally surrounded by snowy glaziers, may have wished to stay inside frozen rocks of cow’s ghee, it seems. Instead of hills of snow, here it is hills of ghee! Another surprising thing is that, though the ghee is like a small hillock entirely covering the Shivling, you cannot see a single ant or fly!
683. Aayurveda is a line of medicine widely practiced in Kerala in which for many diseases ‘Puratana Grutam’ (ancient ghee) is one of the important ingredients in their preparations. Since in that temple even thousands of years old ghee is available, the practicing doctors of Aayurveda go to that temple and get this item by turn. It is this temple town that the couple of Sivaguru and AryaambaaL went to and stayed for a time, daily visiting the temple a number of times and otherwise spending their time in ‘Bhajanam’! This word ‘Bhajanam’, like Bhakti and Bhajan are from the root word ‘Bhaj’ to mean devotional activities including, physical and mental cleanliness, avoidance of all types of indulgence and sensual gratifications; spending all of one’s time in a mix of the following activities such as, Japa (silent repetition of a mantra or name while moving the beads of a rosary), Bhajan, Keertan, and Meditation. This they do for a period of one or two ‘Mandalams’, (each of it being for 42 days), depending on the vow of abstinence undertaken. Whatever is one’s wish, the reply will come forth during your dream or some indication will be there in some other subtle way. This they did praying to God for the boon of begetting a son!
684. On one of those nights Sivaguru had a dream in which God was there before him. He told him that he will grant him his wish, but he had a question. He said, “Do you want 100 children who will live long enough but will not be very bright or do you prefer one whose life time of existence will be short but will be very intelligent and knowledgeable?” If the choice was between 100 with long life and one of short duration, there would have been no problem in opting. But when you had an option to select 100 not so very bright children and one brilliant child with shorter life span it was slightly difficult. Like a good husband, Sivaguru said, “I will consult my wife and tell you”! When they woke each other up simultaneously, both husband and wife realised that they had, had a similar dream to talk about. She also said that she had told God that she would be able to give a reply after consulting her husband! From this you can make out the mutual love and respect between husband and wife in this particular case and between men and women in general those days!
685. They were both humbled by the fact that God had appeared in their dreams and asked their preference. They both could also discern that instead leaving it to God, by praying for a child, they had already transgressed certain levels of decency. Then they thought that it is not for them to literally ‘decide the issue’. So they decided to leave the decision in God’s hands and tell him so together. “Swami should not ask us to decide and test us like this! Whatever is God’s decision, we shall abide by that”, saying so they both prostrated in front of the Swami. Once there is a Divya Sankalpa (Divine Decision), how can there be anything happening against it? So, there was no question of there being a condition or choice. But, I suppose that God played a little drama here to demonstrate to the world, as to how intimate and close this pair of husband and wife were, and how hearts steeped in devotion responds. God was pleased with their response and told them, “OK, I will be born as your son but will live only for eight years” and vanished before they could say anything any further!
686. On one plate of the balance if you place 100 children and on the other plate one, physically the weight is more on one side. But if you give more weightage to brain power, then that one boy’s omniscience is as good as infinity and others’ equal to a zero! So, I suppose Swami countered it with less number of years and fixed it at eight. The couple were thrilled about getting a child and left the matter of age in God’s hands. They completed the Bhajanam and returned to Kaladi. When the period of Bhajanam is completed, it is the custom to do Swami Samaradhana with pooja and Homa. After feeding the conducting Brahmins the balance food is partaken as Prasaada. While eating that AryaambaaL felt fulfilled with the promise of God and thus our AachaaryaaL’s Avatara happened to start taking form in her womb.
687. The most sacred and auspices of all time, the Sankara Avatara happened in Nandana year in Visaka Suddha Panchami that is in the month of Visaka aka Vaikasi Star as per Indian Calendar in Abhijit Muhurtham. This Abhijit Muhurtham is the mid day when the Sun is at the zenith, considered to be capable of granting victory in all the ventures undertaken at that time. Then, the Suddha Panchami is the fifth day after New Moon as the crescent moon is growing towards becoming full. The Star of the day was Arudra aka Thiruvadirai. Some people have a different opinion, that the Star of the day was Punarvasu, the birth star of Sri Ramachandra Murthy. Normally it is noticed that every year on Visaka Suddha Panchami the Star of the day is either Arudra or Punarvasu.
688. There is no other day in the year as sacred as the Sri Sankara Jayanthi! When I say that, you may be seized of doubts as to, if I am praising that day so much because of the fact that, for the past so many days the subject under discussion is Sankara Vijayam! Or, since we all belong to our AachaaryaaL’s Sampradaaya / tradition and that we must think highly of our own AachaaryaaL and so, PeriyavaaL is praising it sky high! Staying in his Matam, all the time taking his name, he is calling himself also by that name as, Jagat Guru Sankara AachaaryaaL. So it may sound like any other propaganda gimmick by modern marketing standards.
689. I am not praising Sankara Jayanthi for such reasons and there is no personal imaginary exaggeration involved in it. In truth it is the holiest of the holies, most sacred of them all! There are many sacred days in the year. Shivaratri, Gokulashtami, Sri Rama Navami, Nrusimha Jayanthi, Saraswathi Pooja, Vijaya Dasami, Vinayaka Chathurthi, Skanda Shashti, UttarayaNa / DakshiNayaNa PuNya Kaalam, and so many more. Amongst them all, I say Sankara Jayanthi is the most important one. How is that?
690. Just now I mentioned a number of such holy days, didn’t I? They are all being celebrated from time immemorial, for many Yugas. This one has happened to come about only relatively recently, just about two thousand five hundred years back. Then how is that, this is the most important? OK. How did this day come about? Sankara Vijayam happened to come about, to re-establish the pride of place to Vedas and PuraNas when they were being ignored or going by default. If this had not happened, then what would have happened?
691. Religions which do not recognise the existence of God, such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sankhyam and Meemaamsai would have virtually spread in the length and breadth of this country. Then there would have been no more celebration of Sri Rama Navami and Shivaratri and such festivals. Their importance would have been washed away in the flood of Avedic onslaught! Such a situation was almost a certainty, when this Avatara of Sankara happened to come about. So this one divine, holy day revived and rejuvenated all other such days in our calendar that till day we are celebrating all other Jayanthi-s too! So I am re-iterating that Sri Sankara Jayanthi is the most important in our whole year, year after year! Then I told you about the importance of the sound of ‘Jaya’ specially connected with “Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara” resounding in the whole world. With that we should add the unique importance of this particular day also!
(To be continued.)



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