Monday, March 12, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 141 (Vol # 5) Dated 12 Mar 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 141 (Vol # 5) Dated 12 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 middle of page No 880 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)

907. “My dear Mother, Amma Maha Lakshmi, let their sinful past be one of accumulation of enormous debit like the worst hot summer of the desert. Still there could be a cloud burst that would cool it with a down pour of incessant rains, is it not so? In the land of Kerala, in the worst heat of Vaikasi month there is the ‘Edavappathi’ rain caused by the South West Monsoon, which lasts for months after that! Your kindness and compassion is so powerful! To remove their summer of bad past, it may kindly be offset by the side long glance of your kindness with a material shower of Grace on them please.” He prayed thus for the sake of the poor Brahmin lady, as evidenced internally in the ‘Kankaa Dhaara Sthava’ Sloka.

908. He says,
“Dadhyaad dayanupavano draviNa ambhu dhaaraam
asmin akinchana vihanga sishou vishaNNe I
Dush Karma garmam apaneeya chiraaya dooram
NarayaNa – praNayinee nayana ambhuvaaha:”
As she is the Mother who has unlimited Love for Naraayana the PerumaaL, he is calling her as ‘NaaraayaNa PraNayanee’ in the fourth line. In the very first line of the ninth sloka of Kanaka Dhaara Sthava he says, ‘Dadhyaat’, meaning, ‘Let it be given’ by the torrential rain of your Grace, ‘health, wealth and material well being’! The side long glance of your Grace that is the ‘cumulus nimbi’ with ‘dayaanupavano’ breeze of your Grace. Lakshmi Kataaksham means just one look of her eyes (shining bright after application of black collyrium), which is equated to the rain bearing black clouds and the result is pouring of abundant affluence.

909. That cloud is far away somewhere, but does not matter. Do not the monsoon winds blow the clouds over Andaman and Nicobar islands or somewhere in the Indian Ocean and bring rains over South India? Mother’s Grace is so powerful. Let the breeze of her Graceful Glance bring well being to these poor people. It is alright to give solace where it is due. But, is not Her Grace powerful enough to off-set even bad luck and awful trends? Do the monsoon rains start assessing if that part of the parched land deserves or not? The glance of yours is the cloud with Grace. It gives, ‘dadhyaat’, ‘ambu dhaara’ showering of rains of material well being! Material means matter, thing, physical and palpable well being. Finally of all materials the most valued material is Gold, even today in the whole world. So here the ‘ambu dhaara’ is a rain of gold nuggets, ‘Kanaka Dhaara’ as the sloka is named. For whom is this rain of Gold? Not for the child Sankara, who is praying since he is from a rich family. As a Brhmachari in Guru Kulam he is not to have any money or valuable things at all. Then for whom is all the wealth that he is praying for? He clarifies this point when he says, “asmin akinchana vihanga sishou vishaNNe” meaning, ‘for this poor small fledgling baby chick of a bird’; that is ‘vishaNNe’, that is dried up like a leaf in the fall season; ‘asmin’ pointing at the Brahmin lady that is nearby; who has virtually nothing ‘akinchana’. ‘Vihangam’ is a bird and ‘vihanga sishu’ is a small chick of a fledgling of a bird! So it is clear that he is referring to the poor lady alright. But why is he calling her a fledgling chick?

910. Even in his young age, he has the heart of a poet, which caused him to say that. When we look at the whole body of our AachaaryaaL’s writings, call it corpus or oeuvre, one will be astounded not only at the enormity of his knowledge base, but also how beautifully he has made use of the words and used all the figures of speech most appropriately, how well he has handled them and made use of play of words so originally as well as traditionally! Though he was the NirguNa Brhmam, beyond words, thoughts and concepts; he has flooded his writings with uniquely original nuggets of thoughts, as a Poet with a capital P. For all that, this is his first song as a child in which he has used this simile of a bird baby – vihanga sishu!

911. In our poetic tradition the name of two birds known as ‘Chakora’ or ‘Sadaka’ are often mentioned, which are not seen any more in the world. One is Chakora which drinks only the rays of the moon and nothing else! This Chakora is mentioned while describing the beam of a smile on the face of AmbaaL. The face of AmbaaL is traditionally described as ‘madi vadanam’, to mean the ‘that is like the face of the full moon’. From her face the light grin is pouring out, that is drunk by the Chakora bird. It is very sweet, extremely so. In drinking it, its beak was rendered inert by over satiation of sweetness. So the bird was looking for a slight change in taste and wished for a mouthful of slightly sour porridge (aka kanji). At that moment in the sky there was the moon shining with all its bright effulgence. The Chakora tasted that and for the birds beak over satiated by the sweetness of AmbaaL’s facial beauty, the moon light was the exact counter taste as required, of slightly sour ‘puLi kanji’ and the bird was relieved from the inertness of the beak! From then onwards the Chakora got into the habit of drinking the moon light, it seems as per the poets imagination.

912. In truth the moon light contains the nectar of Amirtam. Even that nectar can be made to taste like a sour tasting Kanji, that the moon light is referred as the ‘Kanjika Diya’ or the ‘Light of Kanji’. (In Kerala all people drink the porridge of cereal known as Kanji, popularly as famous as the Iddly or Dosa of South India.) This description is there in the 63rd Sloka of Soundarya Lahiri, sung by our AachaaryaaL many years later. Here in the Kanaka Dhaara Sthava, when he is talking about ‘Vihanga Sishu’, he is referring to the bird Sadaka and not Chakora.

913. The peculiar thing about the Sadaka bird is that, it has a hole in the throat. Whatever it may eat by the beak will come out of the hole in the throat! Like we make use of our hands by bending it while feeding ourselves, the bird cannot bend its beak and put the food inside the hole in its throat. So the only input can be what falls directly through its beak, into the gullet, like the rain drops, when it looks up with its beak open! When there is no rain that bird has to remain hungry. That is why it is said, ‘like the Sadaka bird patiently waiting for the rains to come’, in poetical parlance. So when he thought of praying to Maha Lakshmi to shower a rain of largesse, AachaaryaaL’s poetic heart immediately thought of the Sadaka bird pining for the rain and equated the poor Brahmin lady’s condition with that bird’s state. To eat with your mouth is like reaping the benefits of past Karma. What you eat, may not reach your stomach if there is a hole in the throat, which is like the negative effect of bad Karma! When AmbaaL showers her grace uncaring for the Karma, like rain drops reaching the Sadaka birds stomach directly, AmbaaL’s Grace will also reach where it has to reach!

914. Instead of saying just a bird he said a ‘kunju’, which means a small fledgling baby of a bird, more like a chick. Only a baby can never withstand hunger. It will cry when hungry. Elders and grownups will not do that. If a child is crying, anybody will feel pity for it. Maha Lakshmi is known by her name as the ‘Thaayaar’ the Mother. All over South India in all the temples, if Siva’s Consort is referred to as AmbaaL, PerumaaL or Vishnu’s Consort, Maha Lakshmi is lovingly addressed as Thaayaar only as the Mother Incarnate. Knowing very well that her Mother’s heart will melt that this baby, that too the ‘vihanga sishu’ is thirsting for Her Grace; AachaaryaaL put in those words in referring to the Brahmin Lady!

915. Though a baby himself, he is very nicely putting across her case. The Paapa – PuNya effect is common between a husband and wife couple. Since the unmanifested voice of ‘Asareeri’ had said that they are not likely to be relieved from the combined effect of their past Karma, AachaaryaaL is defending the case on their behalf. He says, ‘dush karma – garmam chiraaya dooram apaneeya nayana ambhuvaaha: draviNaambhudaaraam dadhyaat’. The phrase ‘dush karma garmam’ means ‘the summer of bad karma effects’. The hot summer is ‘garmam’. He is saying, “So, you are saying that it is their own past that is roasting them in such poverty. Is there no relief for that? If it is the nature of sin to roast the sinner alive, what happens to the nature of your kindness? We know that its nature is a cool remedial salve like the rain bearing clouds of the rainy season. If you say that it is very far away, to fetch it here is the breeze of your compassion and grace. Can anything be more powerful? Like the rain in summer, pour your kindly AruL on this Sadaka fledgling. Sadaka bird is thirsting only for sustenance. But, this couple in utter penury are craving for food, clothing and shelter. Even their so called hut is a standing evidence of their pitiable state. By your cool grace remove their ‘janma antara paapam’ – ‘apaneeya’. They have suffered enough and so, ‘chiraaya’ – forever ‘dooram apaneeya’ – throw off their difficult times forever far away and ‘draviNa ambu dhaaraam dadyaat’ – pour the rain of material prosperity! In one go, he has prayed for ‘paapa – karma – and daaridriya nivrutti’ – removal of sins, past Karmas and poverty!

(To be continued.)




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