Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 150 (Vol # 5) Dated 28 Mar 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 150 (Vol # 5) Dated 28 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 935 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 updated constantly)

978. In Samkshepa Sankara Vijayam aka Madhaveeyam the sloka mentioning use of Vyasachaleeyam is as under:-
“vyasachala – pramukha – poorvika – pandita – kshma –
brut – samprudochcha – dhara – kaavya – taros – sureete: I
vidvan – madhuvrata – sugoru – rasaani – sarvaaNi –
aataatum – artha – kusumaan aham akshamo – asmi II
yadnaatu dalpa – tishaNaa shruNina gruheetum
sakyam tadatra sarasam sakalam gruheetva I
kaanchin maheswara – guru – smruti – binna – moha:
samkshepa – sankara – jaya – srajam – aatanomi II (KTSV Adds – I have already given you the meaning of the above sloka in the last para numbered 977. Please note that in the absence of the Sanskrit script in the Tamil book from which I am translating in to English, my transliteration must be suffering from some incorrect spelling of the Sanskrit words. You may check back with some Sanskrit scholar if available and get them corrected if need be.)

979. Giving the same simile, Govinda Natha in his Sankara Vijayam has praised Vyasa Achala in these words:-
“adyunna tasyaa kaavyatror – vyasa achala – bhuvo – akilam I
Artha prasoonaath – yadaatum asamartho – aham adbhutam II”, which means that, ‘On the high grounds of the lands of Vyasa Achala, as a very tall tree stands the Life History of our AachaaryaaL. I am incapable of fetching the wonderful meanings of his writings, which are like flowers on that tree!’ Coming back to Madhaveeyam, having praised Vyasa Achala, and then having expressed his humility in the august presence of the listeners / readers in some ten or fifteen slokas at the beginning, the Author again reiterates his admiration for Vyasa Achala. He says, “dhanyo Vyasachala kaviras – tat – krutignyaascha dhanyaa:” which means that, ‘blessed is this foremost amongst poets and blessed are those that read his writings!’

980. Aananda Gireeyam. Amongst the books on our AachaaryaaL’s Life History, available in full, the oldest seems to be Aananda Gireeyam. It is confirmed that it has the approval of genuineness from many a source. I told you how the first edition of Madhaveeyam published from Bombay had, two Vyaakhyaana-s (aka elucidations and comments), by two different experts namely, Achyutaraya Modak and Dhanapathy Soori respectively. Both of them have confirmed that, all that is contained in Bruhat Sankara Vijayam and Praacheena Sankara Vijayam; are to be found in Aananda Gireeyam. Even a few things not mentioned in Madhaveeyam are mentioned in Aananda Gireeyam. For example, Achyutaraya Modak in his ‘Adwaita Rajya Lakshmi’, while describing the end days of our AachaaryaaL, having covered the entire life of our AachaaryaaL as given in the 16th Chapter, 9th Amsam of Siva Rahasyam in total, till AachaaryaaL’s Siddhi in Kanchi, says that all these details are mentioned in Aananda Giri’s Bruhat Sankara Vijayam also, as an additional authority for his writings. From his writings we gather that Aananda Giri was also known as ‘Aananda Gnaana’.

981. Dhanapathy Soori in his book ‘Dindima Vyaakhyaana’, while giving his commentary on the 15th Chapter of Madhaveeyam, describes clearly as to which all exponents of other Siddhaantams that our AachaaryaaL argued with; what were the points of contentions and how did the discussion proceed; in some 800 slokas! At the end he closes the discussion with the statement, “atra pracheena anurodena vyaakhyeyam”, meaning that ‘this elucidation and commentary is based strictly on what is given in the ancient basic scriptures’. A close look at his statement and the mother book will reveal that he has intimately followed Aananda Gireeyam, without any doubt. The details of where all our AachaaryaaL went in his Digvijayam, which all cities/towns he visited, in which order, whom all he met and how long he stayed in those places; are all 90% as given in Aananda Gireeyam. Not only that, the order in which AachaaryaaL and his opponent argued, including the very words used, seem to be exact copies of what is given in Aananda Gireeyam.

982. Some time back I had told you that a book was written with the name ‘Guru Vamsa Kavyam’ on the direction of one of the Sringeri SwamigaL, didn’t I? That was written by Kaasi Lakshmana SaastrigaL, who has also written its Vyaakhyaana. In the basic book that he has written, while talking about AachaaryaaL’s Kulam (family tree), he has said that these have been already described by – ‘ aachaaryaaNaam kulam upadarshitam kaveendrai:’. For the explanation in his Vyaakhyaana, he has said, “Aananda Giri yateendraabhi:” – ‘meaning Anandagiri and such Yateendraas’, though mentioning only one by name.

983. One of the famous Indologist was H.H.Wilson. He is the one who identified ‘Sandra Kottus’. He has also accepted the prominent place of authority for ‘Aananda Gireeyam’. Generally I had already told you as to what was the Englishman’s attitude on these matters. So I am not quoting his name for any certificate of authority that, we should accept our own books only after it has been certified by foreigners! Many of them do not give much credence to our methods and beliefs. There was one Burnell, who has prepared an Index for the Sanskrit palm leaf manuscripts found in the Tanjore Palace. He has criticised the Ananda Gireeyam for things not mentioned there at all! For example, he has said that Aananda Gireeyam contains a lot of bluffs that AachaaryaaL established many Matams on the coramandel coast, when no such organizations had been established. In fact there is no such statement in Aananda Gireeyam at all! That is, Burnell is criticizing the book for a nonexistent statement, like punishing someone for a crime he never committed!

984. Wilson having seen the descriptions of many a miracle in our AachaaryaaL’s life, has also said in his disbelief, that it is full of fictitiously concocted stories. But still I am quoting his approval not as an authority but, that even a dis-believer like him having a contrary opinion on many of the issues that is reported in the book, considers Aananda Gireeyam to be authoritative, despite his differences of views. As per their beliefs our AachaaryaaL is supposed to have lived in the period between 788 and 820 A.D., isn’t it? Wilson’s comments are dated in the early part of the 19th Century. Having studied it, he says that there is enough internal evidence in the book that it was written almost contemporaneously with AachaaryaaL’s life time, ‘some one thousand years back’. He further says that it is a very safe guide to know about the state and methods of Hinduism of that period. There is a huge Sanskrit – English Dictionary by one Monier Williams, written after much research and analysis. He has opined that amongst the three books on the Life History of Aadi Sankara that he has seen, Aananda Gireeyam is very true in recording and reporting the factual details of the life of Aadi Sankara AachaaryaaL.

985. Since Aananda Gireeyam and Vyasachaleeyam have much relevance and authority, these two should be taken as true and wherever in other books there is additional information without contrariness, that is also added; that would about complete a study of our AachaaryaaL’s life history. Then what happens when there are deviations between them? With that, more importantly, what do you do when you find differences between two editions of the same book? There are many branches of the lineage of the disciples of our AachaaryaaL. We find that some of these books have their intense attachment and loyalty to some sub-sub-branch of such lineage. Generally Siva Rahasyam and Markandeya Samhita are of a balanced view point. They have no special affinity to his biography or philosophy and treat him as one amongst many divine beings, whose lives they are describing. These Itihaasa – PuraNas are predated to all the Sankara Vijayam books. Amongst the poets who have written on the life history of our AachaaryaaL, namely Sankara Abhyudhayam, Patanjali Vijayam and Sankara Aachaarya Sambu; we find that they were not partial to anybody and have reported without any bias. They were well established as great poets, before they endeavoured to write about our AachaaryaaL’s life. So, while writing about him, they gave relevance to beliefs and stories passed on from generation to generation verbally and already existing biographies of our AachaaryaaL. I am sure that, much study of the subject matter must have gone in before they attempted to versify the life history of our AachaaryaaL.

986. So, when we have to decide between the books or within a book as to which version is to be considered as acceptable, whatever tallies with Itihaasa – PuraNas; and what is given by general poets prior to that particular Sankara Vijayam; and if the poets are of a later date, the material that they have taken from this version of Sankara Vijayam that is being studied – such material can be taken as true! With all that, when not being able to come to a definite conclusion, we should opt for such belief as existing in the whole country or in a substantial part of it, that has been going on from time immemorial, heard and conveyed by word of mouth; instead of being discarded out of hand as cock and bull stories, should be given their due relevance! When there is similarity between writings of two different regions far apart in space, further confirmed by general belief of the populace; that can be accepted as true.

987. It looks as though AachaaryaaL himself is having some fun by displaying so much variety about his life! Between the basic texts such as Siva Rahasyam and Markandeya Samhita themselves for example, there are disparities and differences! Both contain the information that AachaaryaaL obtained ‘Pancha Linga-s’ (five idols of Siva Ling) from Parameswara. In Siva Rahasyam, it is said the Siva came out of Kaasi Viswanatha Lingam and gave our AachaaryaaL, the five idols of Siva Linga-s. Whereas In Markandeya Samhita it is mentioned that our AachaaryaaL went all the way to Kailasa and obtained the five idols as well as the ‘Soundarya Lahari’ Stotra. Actually this matches with the general belief amongst the populace. Then there is mention as to where all he installed those five Linga-s.

(To be continued.)




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