DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 Feb 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 5) Dated 29 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 second para on page No 844 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)
844. With this reason many of the modern day History scholars are objecting to our AachaaryaaL’s life time as 788 to 820 A.D. As per their logic, when the Gupta Dynasty had started in the 4th Century A.D., itself Hinduism had seen a revival and Buddhism had gone down. For these and other reasons they feel that there is scope for predating the time of our AachaaryaaL from 8th Century A.D., to some five centuries before. However if our AachaaryaaL’s time is some 2,500 years earlier than now, after him and after the Gupta period too, Buddhism has survived in this country in some form or the other, isn’t it? Even after the influx of the Muslim Religion and Christianity too Buddhism has continued to survive, if not thrive in this country. So how can you say that Buddhism was packed off to Tibet in 520 B.C. itself? That is the question!
845. It is true that he packed it off at that time and 72 other religions big and small were routed during his time and he reigned as the Jagat Guru for the whole world. But, in this country it has always been the custom and tradition to uphold the freedom and independence of the individual to choose and select whatever he wishes to follow or adopt or practice; in terms of religion and philosophy. So even after our AachaaryaaL’s time there have been people who devoted their time, brains and intelligence in other lines and thought processes and authored books too. Again those religions had sprouted, taken roots, flowered and frutioned! Many kings have supported those religions and constructed places known as Viharas for them to stay, schools and colleges for them to teach and Monasteries. But it was never that all the people had converted to Buddhism or Jainism en masse. There is an adage, ‘yataa raajaa tataa prajaa’, meaning ‘as the king does so do the citizens’; so a percentage might have copied the royalty and some might have sincerely followed the teaching of those religions. But, all of them put together were still only a small percentage of the people of this country! This is not what I am cooking up at all but vouchsafed by many historians of renown.
846. So, just because there are indications of only such Buddhist monuments, of the period within 2,500 years vintage available in our country does not mean that our AachaaryaaL also has to be fitted in to that time frame only. After he had defeated them in various forums, for some number of years only Hindu Religion was dominant. What we see today are those signs of Buddhism that bloomed again and again at various times. Subsequently after our AachaaryaaL also, many great Mahatmas have come into being and refurbished the Hindu Religion. Even after Sri Krishna had put down Adharma and built up Dharma; there was a time when Aadi Sankara had to come on the scene, isn’t it? So, it happened after our AachaaryaaL too. Finally, to some extent Buddhism was contained within their Viharas and Universities around the 7th Century A.D. The point to note is the fact that, the Orientalists’ view that our AachaaryaaL came about in the 8th Century and had a running feud with Buddhism and won that, just does not fit in with the actual history of this sub-continent! In the 8 / 9th Century A.D., some remnant Buddhism and some other sects in the name of Hinduism were all virtually erased by Abhinava Sankara and spread the Hinduism in the Far East countries too, who is mistaken for the Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL as we had seen earlier.
847. There is yet another opinion amongst some researchers that our AachaaryaaL’s time is neither 788 – 820 A.D., nor 509 – 477 B.C.; but it is 44 to 12 B.C.! This view has been there in Kannada Desam, supported by some people like Sri.T.S.Narayana Sastry and his ilk. They say that the Buddhists and Jains follow a calendar known as Yudhishtira Sakam. This starts 468 years after Kali Yuga. This Yudhishtira is none other than the eldest of Pandavaas. As per our Hindu belief on hearing about the death of Krishna (that is, on his dropping his mortal coil after finishing his Avatara work), Yudhishtira also started his trek to the Heavens. By that time he had ruled over Hastinapura for some 36 years. Kali Yuga started from then. So as per the Hindu calculations Yudhishtira Sahabdam commences 36 years before Kali, that is, in 3138 B.C. But the Jains and Buddhists start the Yudhishtira Sakam 468 years after the commencement of Kali Yuga, as shown uniformly in all their books!
848. Jainism had taken roots in Kannada Desa from the beginning. Chandra Gupta Mourya in his end days became a Jaina Bikku and came to SravaNabelagola. There he did ‘Praayopavesam’ (fasting unto death) and died. So anyhow, the Yudhishtira Sakam as followed by the Jains and Buddhists came into usage, from that time in Kannada Desa. It is quite possible that, what is said as Kali 2,500 as the time of our AachaaryaaL, could have been mistaken for Jains’ Yudhishtira Sakam 2,600; thus leading to some difference of 466 to 477 years, as per T.S. Narayana Sastry.
849. Then there are people who as a compromise say, “Let us not go back to 6th Century B.C. or go forward to 8th Century A.D. and instead, why not have this 1st Century B.C., as the accepted time of our beloved AachaaryaaL?” PeriyavaaL laughs saying this. For this they give one reason. In our Matam the first seven to eight Mataadipathy-s are supposed to have been in office for some 80 to100 years as recorded in ‘PuNya Sloka Manjari’. This seems to be too exaggerated, just to give them more ‘pracheenatvam’ that is, antiquity and oldness! Just for such a reason, what would have been some 30 or 40 years seem to have been boosted. So, in truth without changing the ‘Prabhavaathi’ cycle of name of the year, month, paksha and titi, if we cut some sixty years from each one of those seven or eight who have been Mataadipathy-s, our AachaaryaaL’s Avataram will come to 44 B.C., they say!
850. Answer to the above Opinion. This view is not acceptable. Having become the Mataadipathy in their young age, those who have lived a life of absolute discipline, observing all the Niyama-s of fasting on the specified days and not indulging in over eating on the other days, if some of them had lived to the ripe old age of 120 even, there is nothing to be surprised. So there is no chance of cooking up their tenure of duty at all! If you take for example my own case, am I not sitting in the same seat for 55 years, challenging nature with physical fitness and mental alertness? So there is no need to pick up the scissors and do any cutting of their dates! (PeriyavaaL made this statement in the year 1963. He handed over the title of Mataadipathy a few years later and dropped his mortal coil in 1994 at the ripe old age of 99!)
851. Evidence from the Dwaraka Peetam. Let us forget about this Matam at Kanchipuram and take the one at Dwaraka. In their Guru Parampara too, Aadi Sankara AachaaryaaL’s time is almost the same. There, the initial dates mentioned are as per the Yudhishtira Sahabdam. There is yet another difference. Our Yudhishtira Sakam is not exactly similar to what is followed by Buddhists and Jains. Having started like that, later they have followed the Vikrama Sakam which commenced in 57 B.C. As per their records too our AachaaryaaL’s life time is to be in 5th Century B.C. with some slight difference. But there is an article in a book known as ‘Vimarsa’, in which one of their Peetaadipathy-s in the last century has written approving what we say, i.e., 509 B.C. as the year of Aadi Sankara Avatara!
852. If in our Kanchi Kaamakoti Matam we have had 68 Swami-s so far, they have a list of 79 Heads. Presently, (in the year 1963 A.D.), the Swami is the 79th in the series in their Guru Parampara. They have a record of which Swami had held the title from which year to which year, like in our Matam. Here from the start till the start of the Year 1 (After the Death of Jesus Christ,) when we have had seven Swamis, they have had 11, out of which only two held the office for more than 60 years. So, lopping off of 60 years from some of the old time Swamis of ours is not the correct solution!
853. The Main Evidence – The Oneness of Recorded Opinion. Finally the main evidence that our AachaaryaaL’s time is starting from 509 B.C. is from the three Sankara Matams of Kanchipuram, Dwaraka and Puri. Sir SubrahmaNya Iyer, whose erudition was recognised by the British Government of long time past, has written in the ‘Theosophist’ Magazine that our AachaaryaaL’s Avatara was in 509 B.C., after a perusal of the documents of the Dwaraka Matam. This has had the approval of Madam Annie Besant and members of the Theosophical Society of Adayar, Madras. Dwaraka Matam had also details of a Copper Plate Saasanam, said to have been given to them in recording an ‘Address by the King of Gujarat Sudhanva, an Amsa of Indra’, at the time of visit by Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL. The wording of the Saasanam had been published in a book known as ‘Vimarsa’ in the year 1872. Further, the Sankara Matam of Puri also used to publish a series of books known as ‘Grantha Mala’. The fourth publication in that series was a book known as ‘Yati Dandaiswarya Vidaanam’, in which also Sri Sankara Avatara has been recorded as 509 B.C.! The Matam in Puri, Jagannaath also clearly claim a series of 140 Swamis who have been the Heads of their Matam, starting from 6 – 5th Century B.C.
854. If you have nothing else to do, you could raise a question as to why, the Puri Matam has had 140 Swamis when the Kanchi Matam has had only less than half of it! When in other Matams the very young Bala Brhmachari-s are made the Mataadipathy, in Puri Matam, only middle aged were given the title of the Swami. So the period of their tenure is thus shorter, increasing the number of persons who have been Swamis there. There is no other mysterious reason for the same.
855. In Badrinaath, the Matam established by our AachaaryaaL is known as the Jyotir Matam. They had published a ‘Mata Anusaasanam’ in the year 1946. There also AachaaryaaL’s Avatara is indicated as 509 B.C. This point should be clearly noted that, in each of the Matams established by our AachaaryaaL in South in Kanchipuram, on the Eastern sea shore in Puri Jagannaath, on the Western sea shore in Dwaraka and in the Himalayan North in Badrinaath; each located at a distance of more than a thousand miles away from the other, there is oneness of view that our AachaaryaaL’s Avatara occurred in 509 B.C.! Can you say that the similarity and convergence of views of our Matams are not to be believed and the Orientalists’ research is more trustworthy? It is for each one of you to think about and find an answer.
(To be continued.)
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