DEIVATHIN KURAL # 155 (Vol # 5) Dated 07 Apr 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 155 (Vol # 5) Dated 07 Apr 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 962 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)
1021. In each sloka he will keep on reminding us that this SaguNa Murthy in front of us as Rama or Krishna or Govinda, is the self same NirguNa Brhmam, the formless, actionless truth without a start or a finish! In Govinda Ashtakam for example, he has described all the playful activities of this endearing baby of cowherds. In it at the very start of the sloka, he has said that it is the stuff in which all playfulness has come to a standstill as, “satyam, gnaanam, anantam, nityam!” That is to say that in him, ‘truth, knowledge, infinity and eternity find expression!’
1022. We can say that our AachaaryaaL’s Bhashyam to Vishnu Sahasranaama is for the purpose of bringing together the two different paths of Bhakti and Gnaana as well as the two extremes of the concepts of SaguNa and NirguNa – the two irreconcilable opposites! I will quote an example of a sloka known as Lakshmi Nrusimha Pancha Ratnam which you may not be much familiar with, which combines Adwaitam and Bhakti (which is essentially a process of duality between the Devotee and the object of his devotion, and so is simply Dwaitam). (AachaaryaaL has done another sloka on Lakshmi Nrusimha known as the ‘Karaavalamba Stotram’, which is more popular and famous! We are not referring to that Stotra here.)
1023. At the very start of the sloka AachaaryaaL says, “There is a mirror in which you see a reflection of yourself! The forehead in the reflection seems bare and uncared-for! So you think of decorating it by putting a Mark of Sandal or Sindur on the forehead. So what do you do? Do you go and decorate the mirror or the image in the mirror? That will result in dirtying the surface of the mirror! Then what else are you supposed to do? You should decorate the original of the reflection in the mirror that is yourself! Then you know that you are also only a mirror image. Then whom will you decorate? Thus all that is seen as the whole world or universe, are all only like reflections as seen in the mirror, including you, me and each and every one of us! So decorating yourself or anybody else will also be tantamount to decorating another image in the mirror only, another effort in smudging the mirror! So what do you do? Our AachaaryaaL says that this Lakshmi Nrusimha Murthy has come before us as the representative form! Do the pooja to it. Decorate the Vigraha. Do Bhajan. Keep thinking of it and do SmaraNa of it. Do Alankaar and apply Tilak to its forehead.” All the things that I have said above, he says in short, in brief and succinctly in that sloka.
1024. As a description of the other end of the spectrum of the above, is the DakshiNa Murthy Ashtakam; without any dance or drama; simply after narrating the deep and subtle points of the Vedaanta, he finishes each sloka with “Sri Guru Moorthaye Nama: Idam Sri DakshiNa Murthaye!” Combining Bhakti and Gnaana in equal measures, he has gone around the whole country singing the ‘Bhaja Govindam’ song. If you tell good things to people in an acceptably good way, they will immediately adopt that way or means. Thus when our AachaaryaaL started repaving the royal paths of Karma, Bhakti, and Gnaana as the acceptable ways of Vedas and Saastraas, they stopped using the shortcuts and by-passes of other methods and routes of other religions. Initially our AachaaryaaL did not roam about. Staying in Kaasi where all people of all languages and religions used to collect, he continued spreading his message through his disciples in all the directions of the compass. The Religion of Vedaanta was re-established and was thriving once again.
1025. Story of Padma Paada – The Value of the Hunter. One of the main disciples of our AachaaryaaL was Padma Paada who joined our AachaaryaaL, when he was not yet 16 years of age, and was living in Kaasi. Padma Paada’s earlier name was ‘Sanandana’. He was from the Sozha Desam. Let me tell you a story about him. When he was still living in his native village, a great Mahatma gave him a Mantra Upadesa, on Narasimha / Nrusimha Swami. As he kept doing Japa of that Mantra, he had a desire to meet that Nrusimha Murthy! He walked out of his house, went to a lonely forest. Climbed a far off hill and sat in a cave there, doing his Japa! A hunter came there. Looking at the Brahmin that physically hardened rustic simpleton was moved to pity! He asked our Sanandana, “Hi Sami! What have you come here for? We are physically fit and capable of taking care of ourselves in a place like this forest! What will you do here? What for have you come here?” Sanandana thought about giving him a suitable reply. If I talk about Japa and Nrusimha Mantra; it will make no meaningful impression on this man, he thought. So he answered him in the following words! “There is an animal in this forest with a body like a human being below the hips and looks like a Lion above the hips. I came for that Nara (human) + Simha (lion) = Narasimha being!” Now the hunter was in a quandary! For many years he had been a hunter in these parts of the world and he almost knew each and every animal of that forest! So he replied in all his innocence, “My Dear, Iyer Sir! I hope you are telling the truth. I have never seen such an animal in this forest! If you are telling the truth, which you must be, it is below my dignity and prestige that this animal has been eluding me! I am not going to let such a state of affairs to continue. If you are true, tell me and it will be my task to catch hold of him and bring before you. You only have to confirm and I am off”, he said.
1026. Though the people of the forest seem to be rough and tough and we seem to be nice and gentlemanly; in fact their simplicity, hard work, sincerity, bravery and helpful attitude are all alien to us and our skulduggery is not in their bloods! However, he could not control his smile at the idea of Narasimha Murthy becoming a prisoner in the hands of this character. But the hunter was quick to react. “Why are you smiling? Are you having a joke at my expense?” Sanandana had had enough of diversion. He was getting fed up with this invasion of his privacy and told the hunter that, the fact of the existence of Narasimha Swami was anyhow the truth and that the hunter can carry on with his business as it is not an easy task to catch hold of this Nara Simha Murthy! But this was too much of an insult to the ego, for the Hunter! He told Sanandana, “What? By tomorrow evening see if I bring that animal before you or not! If I cannot bring that half a lion / half a man, before you; I do not deserve to live in this forest anymore, claiming myself to be a great hunter! When you have taken the pains to come all the way up to my forest in search of him, it is my duty to assist you. Otherwise what is the use of my being here at all?” Sanandana could not say anything anymore. “What can I do, if you start out that you will achieve the impossible? It is your sweet will and pleasure! Please go ahead!”
1027. The hunter went searching for this half human / half animal Nara Simha Murthy. He did not leave any place unsearched. He was not thinking of food or his tiredness. The whole day was over. Next day also passed. It was the evening of the second day! He did not give up his search, all the time thinking only of the Nara Simha Murthy. “OK. I have not been able to keep up my word given to that Brahmin. It is evening already and I have failed to live up to my promise. I should now give up my life, as the time limit is over” he thought to himself! He cut some creepers and hung it from a tree and was about to hang himself, to commit suicide. Lo! There was Nara Simha Murthy standing in front of him! “He has relentlessly thought of me only, in trying to maintain his promise so sincerely, uncaring for food or rest! I have to give him my Darshan!” Thinking on these lines, Narasimha Swami just stood there happily to let the hunter do whatever he wanted with him! The hunter pounced on him, “You wretched animal, how much of a problem you have proved yourself to be! I have to thank my stars, that I have been able to find you!” He immediately tied him up in knots and dragged the Nara Simha to where that Brahmin was. Nara Simha Swami remained bound in more than the literal way! The hunter asked the Brahmin Sanandana, “Is this what you were looking for? Here. Take him to wherever you wish to take him to. My job is over.” Sanandana was flabbergasted beyond speech! What is this man talking, he was wondering as, he could not see any Nara Simha Swami. Only some pieces of creepers going round and round, hanging in mid air! For a flash it occurred to him if the hunter was just bluffing and just that moment Nara Simha Swami roared like a Lion does, proving his existence beyond any doubt!
1028. Sanandana felt like crying. “Here I am chanting the Nrusimha Mantra day in and day out; and I cannot see this Nara Simha Swami and this country brute of a character hunter, goes in search of him and catches hold of him, ties him up in some creepers and says, ‘Here take him’! What can I say?” There was an Asareeri (bodiless inhuman announcement) in the skies. “The one pointed devotion and concentration of mind that may happen only after millions of years of effort, could happen in this man’s case within a day! Without caring for hunger, sleep and physical exhaustion; this man searched every inch of this forest with utmost sincerity, ready to sacrifice his body and life to keep up his promise. This has never been matched before by any Rishi, worth his name! It is his Satsang (association) by chance, that has ennobled you also that though you cannot see me, you could at least hear me roar and this announcement! By this very incident, you have been blessed and attained to your Mantra Siddhi! At the required time I will come and take care of you”, ended the announcement in the skies!
(To be continued.)
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