DEIVATHIN KURAL # 138 (Vol # 5) Dated 06 Mar 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 138 (Vol # 5) Dated 06 Mar 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 864 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)
877. Still, when there was a general down trend in the attitude of people towards Dharma and humaneness, the innate compassion of Avatara Purushas like our Aadi Sankara AachaaryaaL and Thiru Gnaana Sambandar, did not let them completely hide their divinity. AachaaryaaL was in a tearing hurry as though to revolutionize and rejuvenate the whole of the Indian Sub-continent within his life time of 32 years! Sambandar was in a similar hurry to revitalise the whole of South India in just 16 years! That is the reason why, instead of remaining like other average children, they exhibited such mental vigour and acumen to complete their ‘Vidya Abhyaasam’ in their childhood itself.
878. Instead of progressing gradually like a normal human being or in leaps and bounds like some of the brilliant children, Sambandar did it in a jiffy, after being breast fed by AmbaaL the Mother of the Universe, becoming a Gnaani and a Pundit of Wisdom! In the case of our AachaaryaaL too there is a parallel story about how he was nourished by AmbaaL, which I have told you earlier. Anyhow he seemed to be almost a normal child with genius like abilities. That is, without revealing his total identity with divinity, he enabled his parents to love and cuddle him, instead of standing at a distance with reverence!
879. Having virtually dissolved and swallowed (in Tamil as they say ‘karaithu kudithaan), the ins and outs of Sanskrit and Tamil, within five years of age, he went for Guru Kula Vaasa immediately after his Upanayanam and by eight had completed all Adhyayanam of Vedas and Saastraas and reached the other shore of Learning. Upanayanam at five, mastering of all Saastraas by eight and also got Sannyaasa at once and by the time he was 12 years of age, he had also written the Bhashya for Prasthaana Traya of Brhma Sutra, Bhagawat Gita and 10 important Upanishads. Thus AachaaryaaL had done everything in a remarkably quick time! (By saying in Tamil that, “AachaaryaaL has done everything Aacharyamaaga”, PeriyavaaL has punned on the word AachaaryaL [Preceptor] and Aacharyam [surprise!])
880. He could have completed the Vidya Abhyaasam even earlier. But without being given the ‘PooNool’ you are not eligible to learn the Vedas and Saastraas. Even ‘Kaamya Upanayanam’ cannot be done before one attains to five years of age. So, with all these restrictions, AachaaryaaL who intended to do everything only by the ways and methods approved by the Saastraas, within five years of age learnt everything about the Tamil and Sanskrit languages, literature and grammer! (Please note that in his time, Malayalam was yet to evolve.) Even before being given the PooNool, AachaaryaaL had the credit to have learnt the languages with everything about their grammer, poetry and dramas of literary merit. Thus he postponed learning of Saastraas to beyond the age of five! When I say that he was the only one who had such power, ability and affinity for learning at a very early age, my mind is nagging me that there was yet another person of such super human capabilities. Let me tell you about him. Instead of someone else talking about him, he has described himself as to how he was ‘well versed’ in poetical expression, before he was given Upanayanam! (Note the double entendre in the previous line!)
881. His name was Raja ChudaamaNi Deekshidar, who lived in Tamil Nadu some 400 to 450 years back. He was Appayya Deekshidar’s wife’s brother, that is, brother-in-law. Even before his Upanayanam, not only had he read all the Tamil classic literature, but had also authored quite a few! In one of his dramas named ‘Kamali Nee Kalahamsam’, he says that before one of the wives of Brhma namely Gayatri could reach him, his other wife namely Saraswathi had come to him! That is a fine way of putting across that ‘before being given the PooNool, (through Upanayanam and thereby an opportunity to chant the Gayatri mantra), he had attained to literary abilities by the blessings of Saraswathi, the Goddess of Learning and fine-arts! Both Gayatri and Saraswathi are said to be the wives of Brhma the Creator!’
882. Getting the Upanayanam done at the most appropriate time in their lives, our AachaaryaaL and Thiru Gnaana Sambandar, were more dynamically active only after Upanayanam, as though to emphasize the value of chanting of Gayatri Mantra. It was meant to be a lesson for all of us. Both our AachaaryaaL and Thiru Gnaana Sambandar, in their life times have countered and annihilated other religions and strongly re-established the Hindu Sanaatana Dharma as the main mission of their Avatara! What are we doing today against the onslaught of other religions in to this PuNya Bhoomi of India? We organize meetings, conduct conferences, advertise in the News Papers and on occasions get in to fisticuffs! Better than all this, most importantly, if only we individually abided with our own Nitya Karma Anushtaanaas, ensured that our children are given the Upanayanam at the right age of eight and somehow make them chant a thousand Gayatri mantra, by encouraging, cajoling and motivating; in the Mantra Shakti so generated all the conversions will just vanish. Instead of our having to encourage and motivate, our children will automatically start chanting the Gayatri Mantra with love!
883. Instead of making use of an abundant wealth that is our heritage and rightful endowment; we are wasting and squandering it, devaluing ourselves in the process. This is my regret, grouse and lament! This is nothing but a self inflicted injury! To read and hear about Sankara Vijayam that is, our AachaaryaaL’s history means that we should be turning a corner, making a ‘U turn’ and be on the royal path of recovery!
All knowledge of the Saastraas and Adwaitam that Contains it All
884. In three years he completed all Vidya Abhyaasam, covering all the Vedas, its parts and sub-parts. (That is said in Sanskrit as, ‘sa – anga – upa anga = saangopaanga’.) There are four Vedas, each one having many branches known as Shaakaas. The Veda Angaas are Siksha (which covers the pronunciation and intonations in chanting with the ups and downs, shortening and lengthening and their counts), then you have the Chandas (which covers all forms of poetical meters), VyaakaraNam (Grammer), Niruktam (study of word formation and meaning including lexicography and phonetics), Jyotisham (Astrological predictions) and Kalpam (Procedures for Functions). Upa Angaas are four namely, Meemaamsai, Nyaaya Saastram, Dharma Saastram and PuraaNam. So, four Vedas + six Angaas + four upa Angaas = 14 are included in that ‘Saangopaanga’ Vidya. Upa Vedas are Ayur Veda (Classical herbal medicines preparation, administration, treatment including diagnosis, prognosis combined with dieting), Dhanur Veda (Archery), Gandarva Veda (including everything about Music, Dance and Drama) and Artha Saastram (including Economics and Politics), thus totalling four. This added to the earlier 14, are known as ‘Vidya Sthanas’ totalling 18.
885. There is a sloka about how he quickly learnt all the Vedas and Saastraas. I Quote, “Aanveekshikyaikshi tantre parichitir atulaa kaapile kaapilepe peetam paadaanjalaamba: paramapi viditam bhaatta kattaarta tattvam I yattai: soukhyam tadasyaantara bhavat amalaadwaita vidyaa sukesmin koope yorta: sa teerte supayasi vidate hanta naantar bhavet kim? II” Do not be flummoxed by that, as I am going to give you word to word meaning of the above sloka as we go along. ‘Aanveekshiki’ means the science of Supervision in Administration – individual personal administration is ‘Aatma Vidya’ and at a social level it is Governance. He had learnt it by one look at the Saastra – ‘aikshi’ that is with one perusal – what they say about having a photographic memory! Then Kapila’s Saastra of Sankhyam – in that, he got incomparable expertise – ‘parichiti: atula lepe’. In his Bhashyams next to Meemaamsai, AachaaryaaL has castigated this Sankhyam only very strongly! You have to know the subject well to be able to correctly identify as to what all is wrong in it. More over all the things will not be wrong or unacceptable in other’s philosophies. You have to have a balanced view in these things, accepting what is good and be critical of only the faulty or wrong ideas and concepts.
886. Thus there could be acceptable points in Meemaamsai and Sankhyam too. Our ancestors’ ways have always been one of ‘kaLavum kartru mara’, to mean that even stealing should be learnt first and then forgotten. (KTSV Adds: That sentence has a lot of sense packed into it. ‘First peripherally it means that even stealing is first to be learnt and then forgotten! The word ‘KaLavum’ meaning ‘even stealing’ indicates that there are so many subjects that one can learn in life, that as you carry on learning things, you may never come to this subject of stealing! Then even stealing is an art form that if you have to do it, better do it to the best of your ability and élan, whether you are intending to be a thief or work as a crime branch detective in the Police! Then finally having learnt it ‘forget it’ is the correct advice so that you may not be embarrassed ever!)
(To be continued.)
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