DEIVATHIN KURAL # 146 (Vol # 5) Dated 20 Mar 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 146 (Vol # 5) Dated 20 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 page No 906 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
944. Even today in Kaladi on the river Alwaye Puzha there is a place known as ‘Mudalai Kadavu’ or ‘Crocodile Ford’, where the child Sankara’s legs were caught by the jaws of the crocodile! Mother AryaambaaL was in absolute mental agony. She had lost her husband and was about to lose her only son too! This was the opportune moment that our AachaaryaaL had been waiting for. He spoke to his mother, while still struggling with the crocodile. “It is impossible to extricate from the crocodile’s grip. This is not a normal death but an accidental death. I will be undergoing a period of existence as an apparition and you will also be denied the benefits that would accrue from my observance of some of the Karma Anushtaanaas. I can think of only one method of recovery from this situation. That is, just now give me permission to take up Sannyaasa. May be the crocodile will let me go. Even if he does not, firstly, there is no ‘apa mrutyu dosham’ and 21 generations of my ancestors will get an exalted status by my taking up Sannyaasa. You are immediately taken care of. Even if the crocodile were to kill me there will be no Spectre like existence in store for a Sanyaasi! I think that is the solution to this faux pas! As per the custom, the Mantra for Sannyaasa is to be chanted and all attachments renounced mentally, while standing neck deep in water. This moment I happen to be standing in water. If this opportunity is lost, there is no escape from the crocodile’s grab! I will be gobbled and you will be left in the lurch! Without your permission, I cannot take up Sannyaasa. So please make up your mind!”
945. Which mother in the world would ever be able tell her eight year old boy to become a renunciate Sanyaasi? ‘Otherwise the croc is certain to take away the boy. Even if he were not to live with me, let him live somewhere as a renunciate or whatever. May be that I will be able to see him sometime! Even if I do not set my eyes on him ever, let him live somewhere with body and soul still together. But, how can I ever tell him to become a recluse renunciate?’ She simply said, “Do whatever you think is the best, my dear Son!” This was the second time that she was faced with a dilemma, ‘to let him take up Sannyaasa or not’? The first time was when he was yet to be born. At that time she had to decide between having 100 children with long life but dullards lacking in intelligence and one brilliant child with limited span of life! At that time also she had not exercised her choice. She had left it to the divine will. ‘Maybe the ‘alpa aayus’ period of ‘short life time’ mentioned then is finishing now. By our saying something it can prove to be a spoke in the wheel. If I leave everything to God, may be the child’s life time may get extended!’ Her thoughts were on those lines. By saying, ‘Do whatever you think is the best’, it is not as though Mother’s permission is not there for taking up Sannyaasa. So, our AachaaryaaL as the boy Sankara took it as his Mother’s Sanction. He did ‘Prysha UchchaaraNam’ and immediately adopted Sannyaasa.
946. You may wonder as to what is this ‘Prysha UchchaaraNam’. It is a declaration of universal love for all living and non-living things, so that no one will ever feel threatened by a Sanyaasi. The world of living should feel happy just looking at him. A householder Gruhasta may have to make use of others as labour / employees for various reasons. So he may have to often use harsh words of ticking off or even have to give some punishments at times. People may have to fear his very presence and avoid or bypass him. He may harvest the crop in the field or cut the vegetables in the garden. So the plants may become afraid of him thinking, “Here is the up-rooting menace!” Or they may think, “This man will pinch me repeatedly to take away my fruits and vegetables!” Sanyaasi is not supposed to do any of these things. He can eat only if someone gives him ‘Bikshai’ (that is to say ‘feeds him’). On his own he is not to pluck even a leaf! Even in a forest with no human habitation, he may make use of the fallen leaves, fruits and flowers. The ‘PoorNa Ahimsa’ that is, ‘total negation of cruelty’, advocated by Jainism and Buddhism, in practice can only be possible for this man, as laid in our Dharma Saastraas! It just cannot be made applicable to all people as a universal law at all!
947. In taking up Sannyaasa there are two or three methods. There is one method known as Krama Sannyaasa. He has to do a number of Homa, Japa and Sraddha like closing shop in all these activities addressed towards Devatas and ones ancestors and then formally take Sannyaasa from one’s Guru. He will tell you one of the Maha Vaakyaas and you are required to deliberate with all your heart and soul on that statement such as, ’You are that’, or ‘the whole world is verily the Brhmam’ or ‘knowledge is Brhmam’, till Self-Realization is yours. Then, another method of taking Sannyaasa is known as ‘Aatura Sannyaasa’. That is, when someone is sick and expecting death any moment, he may feel dispassionate about any further involvement in life, and may wish to adopt Sannyaasa. This method is known as ‘Aatura’ Sannyaasa, as in such a state you cannot be expected to do all the preparatory rituals. So the method has been shortened to make it convenient for someone unwell physically. On rare occasions, Sannyaasa can also be taken in a flash and that is known as, ‘Ati + aatura + Sannyaasa = Atyatura Sannyaasa’ that is also called ‘Aabat Sannyaasa’, when death is imminent. That is what our AachaaryaaL did, while still struggling in deep waters, in the grip of the crocodile. At once the crocodile left his legs. There was a Gandarva seen in the sky. It was the crocodile who had become the Gandarva.
948. Amongst the Deva Jaatis, there are supposed to be various types such as, Yaksha, Gandarva, Kinnara, Kimpurusha, Siddha and 13 more types! They are endowed with greater memory, intelligence and capabilities than the human beings. They know many things that human beings cannot know. Like for example we see, hear and smell within certain range of frequencies of colour and vibrations of sound. We know that there are more colours and frequencies on either side of what the human beings are capable of recognising. The radio waves that we cannot hear can be received in some manmade instruments, isn’t it? Similarly it may be possible for some living things to be capable of receiving and recognising frequencies and wavelengths beyond human abilities. You cannot simply say no, just because we do not know about such beings! Already within the animal world, we know that there are insects which can jump or carry much more than what human beings are capable of in relation to their own body weight or height; bats which can hear shriller sounds; some animals which can run faster; some animals which can identify and recognise traces of smells much better than human beings and so on! When we are ready to accept the findings of the modern day sciences every day, when it comes to our Saastraas, we are blindly declaring them to be blindly superstitious!
949. So it was the crocodile who became the Gandarva. That story is also given. Gandarvas are happy-go-lucky people. They are all the time enjoying themselves in dancing, singing and celebrating. So was this Gandarva. He narrated his story, (laughingly PeriyavaaL says) his own auto-biography to our AachaaryaaL. I used to drink and make merry with our women folk. One day I was a bit of a hindrance to ‘Doorvaasa’ Maharishi. He was totally against such behaviour. He was like an eternal ember in strictness of behaviour as well as very quick to anger! Since I was lying like a crocodile, uncaring for his arrival, he got irritated and cursed me to become a crocodile! I fell on his feet and apologised for my errant behaviour. He is ‘Parama Siva Amsam’ isn’t it? Like Parama Siva, he is not only quick to anger but also easy to be pleased – ‘aasutoshi’! The moment I requested, he was pleased. He said, “Anyhow, I cannot withdraw my curse, as once it is given, it remains so! You become a crocodile. But one day you will get the opportunity to catch hold of the feet of Parameswara. From then you will be relieved of your curse.”
950. PuraNas contain many such stories. One character commits a mistake by being absentminded under the influence of alcohol or by being preoccupied in some other pursuit, ends up in being disrespectful towards some great personage; gets cursed; begs for redemption; and so on. In all this, the lessons brought home are a few things. Normal human behaviour is that, individuals on their own think no end to themselves and so behave contemptuously towards others. When confronted with adversity, immediately they cool down and beg for mercy! If you are kindly or well behaved, they will be supercilious and if you are haughty and short tempered, they will be submissive. That is how, people behave normally. Such stories show the defining characteristic of Tapasya and Tapasvi! Tapasya gives enormous powers. So when a Tapasvi says, ‘You become a stone’, their words become true at once. But, what is the characteristic of a Tapasvi? He harnesses his power and makes use of it in a positive way. When people blunder in their presence, they may curse or punish the offender. But then, they are easily appeased and they lovingly give a suitable relief from their curse, contributing in a righteously acceptable cause. It is interesting to note the play of these opposing pulls in those stories!
951. So, the Gandarva rightfully fretted, “Oh! To catch hold of Parama Siva’s feet is easily said than done! After becoming a crocodile, I will be lying in some shallow waters of some lake or pond and Siva is normally sitting on the Kailasa Mountain! How and when will there be any ‘Shaapa Vimochanam’ that is, redemption from your curse?” In reply, that Tapasvi Doorvaasa Maharishi said, “Do not worry about that. God’s feet will come searching for you. Neither my Shhapa (curse) nor its Vimochanam (redemption) will fail to fructify. Your very birth as a crocodile will be at the time of Easwara Avatara. It will solve a faux pas situation and enable him to launch out in to the worldly life as a ‘Tureeya Aashrami’. Thus you will be lucky enough act as a tool so as to contribute towards enabling the achievement of the mission of the Avatara.” The Gandarva told the AachaaryaaL, “true to his words, I have today caught hold of your divine feet, as a result of which for me from today, the life as a crocodile is over and for you, life as family man is over!” So saying the Gandarva after prostrating at the feet of our AachaaryaaL proceeded on his way. If he could benefit by catching our AachaaryaaL’s feet despite being a crocodile, the message for all of us is that we could all be benefitted uniformly by catching hold of our AachaaryaaL’s feet! May be that is the reason for name of that village being called the ‘Kaaladi’, in which ‘kaal’ means feet and ‘adi’ also means the lower part of the feet, to enable us to remain focussed in his feet!
(To be continued.)
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