Monday, February 27, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 134 (Vol # 5) Dated 27 Feb 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 134 (Vol # 5) Dated 27 Feb 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 page No 837 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)
834. After our AachaaryaaL had completed his 32 years of life, for the next few hundred years the Vedic religion’s flag was flying high. Still after some time again Buddhism, Jainism and religions like Kaapaalikam and crude ritualistic sects like Vaamaachaaram with overtones of cabalism started raising their heads again. Though in the general public AachaaryaaL’s foundation was strong enough, some resurgence of these deviations from the main path was there. Amongst the royal families too, kings who were interested in intellectual discussions on philosophy started supporting Buddhism and Jainism with some amount of following. Some uncivilised people gave way to the secret practices of ‘rahasya anushtaanaas’ of the Vaamaachaaram involving animal and human sacrifices as well as sexual experiments.
835. Some 1,300 years after our AachaaryaaL, Abhinava Sankara became the 38th Mataadipathy of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam. Like Aadi Sankara, he also went around the whole country by walk and countered all such sects masquerading as religions by talks, debates and giving Upadesa to the masses. From his life history we learn that he ascended the ‘Sarvagna Peetam’ too. He visited other foreign countries, being honoured and revered by people of all those countries wherever he visited. He is said to have won the hearts of Chinese, people of Thailand and Cambodia in the East and Muslims in the West right up to Afghanistan, especially a place known as Balkh. The book ‘Guru Ratna Mala’ says that he was accepted by them all as their own AachaaryaL, as said in Sloka 66, ‘cheena – turushka – bahlikadyais – swapara – aachaaryataya stutam”! He could have been thought of as the same as Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL, in some of Sankara Vijayam books, giving rise to some confusion of mistaken identity between him and the earlier AachaaryaaL, possibly. Some Pundits are of the view that the sloka “nidhinaaga” in fact is about this Sankara.
836. In the ‘Sushama’ of Sankarendra Vilasam, sloka 61, his period of tenure as AachaaryaaL is given in ‘Sanketa Sankhya’. The sloka is, “haayane ata vibhave vrusha mase sukhla paksha Dasami dine madye I sevati dvipa disaanala varshe dishya enamudasoshta visishtaa II”. The second line gives the details of the year. The word ‘sevati’ means ‘nidhi’ that is ‘nava nidhi’, that is number 9; ‘dvipa’ is 8, ‘disa’ is also 8 and ‘anala’ is Agni that is 3. Now you have 9883. You have to turn it around and read it as 3889. Kali Yuga 3889 is the same as 787 – 788 A.D. Now the history books as prompted by the Orientalists also quote this 788 A.D. as the year when Aadi Sankara was born! It is the same year quoted in that ‘nidhi naaga’ slokam too. For long our own people have been thinking this to be the year in which Sankara Avatara took place. Orientalists have developed their theory on the basis of this piece of information about Abhinava Sankara in support of their contention and have taken the help of the ‘Nidhi Naaga’ sloka! Between the two there is total matching in the name of the year, month, fortnight and titi – year Vibhava – Vaikasi month – sukhla paksham – Dasami titi! That means, both the sources are pointing at Abhinava Sankara and not Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL!
837. Aadi Sankara’s birth was in the year Nandana as per certain other sources. Here it is Vibhava. True to our claims the 509 B.C. is Nandana and 788 A.D. is Vibhava as per the calculation. That should settle the dispute, beyond any further confusion. Moreover, mostly the dates of birth of Divine Purushas are not known in terms of the year. We keep track of these days in terms the month and paksha and titi only. Some experts and pundits may scratch their heads and find out these things, like uprooting a hill to catch a rat! But we are not concerned about the year, but only about the month. Paksham and titi; so as to be able to celebrate the Jayanthi – such as Chaitra Maasa Sukhla Paksha Navami for Sri Rama; and SravaNa Maasa Krishna Paksha Ashtami for Sri Krishna. In that also the Titi is important – such as, Rama Navami, Krishna Ashtami, Vinayaka Chathurthi and Skanda Shashti.
838. Regarding our AachaaryaaL, we celebrate all over the country his Jayanthi on the Sukhla Paksha Panchami only. These two slokas instead of Panchami mention Dasami. So it has to be two different persons, as in practice it is the Titi that is more important in celebrating the Jayanthi. So, it is surprising that the so called Orientalists and Indian Historians following suit, should have totally ignored this fact! The Titi must tally! For these above reasons some knowledgeable people on the subject believe that the Orientalists and some of our Historians have mistaken Abhinava Sankara who has visited some of the neighbouring foreign countries to be Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL. It is Abhinava Sankara who is mentioned in the stone carvings of Cambodia whom Indra Varman claims to be the Guru of his Guru Sivasoman.
839. Other than AachaaryaaL’s main four disciples namely Padma Paada, Sureshwara, Thotaka and Hastaamalaka; there are six other disciples namely Pruthveedava, Chitsukha, Chidvilaasa, Gnaanaskanda, VishNugupta, Anantaananda and Utanga as the six disciples who spread the six religions of GaaNaapatyam, Saaktam, Saivam, Vaishnavam, Souram and Koumaaram. Then there have been many other disciples whose names are given at places. But, nowhere is the name Sivasoman mentioned. How can it be that a Guru who had become the preceptor of a King in a foreign land has not been mentioned? Instead of going for research, if we are purely interested only in Guru’s Grace, we should not be differentiating between Aadi Sankara and Abhinava Sankara. After all it is the same Aadi Sankara who has come again as Abhinava Sankara, isn’t it? So, all the name and fame of the second can be construed to be equally applicable to the first. When you look at our AachaaryaaL as an Avatara of Easwara or God, and have absolute devotion, his Avatara can also be held in the same esteem and can be considered as the original in another form. So Sivasoman could have been one of his disciples only. Are we not all his disciples? Like that why can we not consider the Royal Preceptor of the King of Cambodia some 1,200 years back, as a disciple of Sankara AachaaryaaL himself, in the true sense of devotion? Having packed off our devotion, we are now splitting hair in searching for bits and pieces of evidence in the mire of ‘deciding the time period’ isn’t it? That is why we are lost in that forest of differentiation!
840. A Difference of Opinion amidst the Modern Researchers. Within the researchers of history call them Indologists or Orientalists, there are some who opine that 788 A.D. may not be a correct estimation for some reasons. In the Bhashyam for Brhma Sutra in two places, AachaaryaaL has mentioned Pataliputra. Gupta Dynasty after losing their might shifted their capital to Daneshwara and then Kannouj, at the time of Prabhakara Vardan and Harsha Vardan. Harsha’s time is about 600 to 650 A.D. In that time Huan Tswang who had come there has written that Pataliputra was in utter ruins. Then around 750 A.D. that place was further devastated by floods. Many centuries later only it was repaired and reconstructed and is now known as Patna. If you say that our AachaaryaaL’s time is 788 to 820 A.D., during that period, there was no Pataliputra to talk about. Would he have taken the name of a ruin as an example for a thriving city?
841. There is another big reason to what they say. For many hundreds of years, AachaaryaaL is being praised for his achievement of disputing and countering the principles and procedures of Buddhism. Though Kumarila Bhatta a little earlier and Udayana a little later had done the same thing, AachaaryaaL’s contribution in this respect was much more effective. Though he has not put all his criticisms of Buddhism on paper, in debates with Buddhist scholars wherever it was on the ascendant and by reviving and reinvigorating Sanatana Dharma’s methods and procedures in the society and in Temple Towns of India; he had virtually decimated, annulled and erased the Buddhism as a Religion. Just before his time Buddhism was well on the upswing affecting the day to day life of the common man. He has said so in the Bhashyam for Brhma Sutra – “vainaasikai: sarvo loka aakuleekriyate”. Vainaasika is another name for Buddhists only. He is saying that they were virtually turning the whole world upside down. So, it is clear that in his time Buddhism was a major active force in being!
842. So, what the modern researchers are saying is that by 788 A.D., (to be the time of our AachaaryaaL as claimed by the Orientalists,) cannot be very correct, as by that time Buddhism was a pale copy of its earlier mighty form! Huan Tswang who came in the time of Harsha some 150 years later has commented that Buddhism was on the decline in the country of its origin! Harsha tried to rejuvenate it, but it did not make that much of a difference to the society at large. It attracted only some Bikkus and a fraction of the common man. In 8th Century A.D., some substantial portion of North India and Bengal were being ruled by Paala Vamsa kings who were faithful to Buddhism. They believed in it themselves, but it was not to such an extent as ‘affecting all and sundry’ of the society! Actually in Buddhism those days a lot of secret Tantric Upaasana methods had overtaken the normal and not finding ways of taking firm roots the very religion shifted to Tibet!
843. (Smilingly PeriyavaaL continues his talk.) Please do not think that I am talking like that in support of my party as ‘the Sankara Matam SwamigaL’. Please pick up any standard book on Indian History that by 788 A.D., Buddhism was not such a mighty force in being as it was earlier; agitating the entire social spectrum! In Nalanda University and some monasteries of that religion, it was more in the hands of Bikkus and learned scholars, till the influx of Muslim marauders. In 788 A.D., Buddhism was neither making much of a difference to the common man nor countering the views of Buddhist philosophies would have been considered as much of an achievement by the public. For someone of the standing of our AachaaryaaL to have fought with Buddhism in the state it was in, in 788 A.D., would have evoked only that much admiration as would a shadow boxing display or a Don Quixote’s fight with the windmill!
(To be continued.)



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