DEIVATHIN KURAL # 173 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 May 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 173 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 May 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 going ahead from the middle of page No 1076 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)
1176. Not only religious leaders and poets, even biggest and most renowned amongst the modern scientists such as Einstein and or Sir James Jeans, talk in the language of Adwaitam only! That the basic elements of which this physical world is made of are all different is a story of the past! As per modern scientific understanding, everything in this existence is one and the same power, appearing to be different. The statement that in this physical universe there is nothing absolute by itself, but only have relative reality; is a form of our AachaaryaaL’s principle of Prathibhasika Satyam only! Thus our AachaaryaaL has endowed us with the essence of all religions, as well as the essence of all sciences, which are otherwise considered as anti-religion! Having visited every place in this land of Bharath Desh, he blessed all to be full of peace, love and happiness, by showering his philosophy of Adwaitam. The very name of AachaaryaaL as Sankara means the bestower of peace, love and happiness combined together. It is not only a matter of us individuals becoming one with God but, since everybody else is also the same divinity, to become one with all, or at least have that clarity in one’s mind that all living things and lifeless matter are expressions of the same truth! That is unity, oneness and integrity as established by our AachaaryaaL!
1177. The very purpose of his Avatara is for us all to be one in that peace of mutual love. So often, when we get down to do some research about the place and date of his birth, where all he visited what all he did and then get into disputes about these things; I wonder if we are being too objectionably contrary to his message and mission? Instead of being respectful to his memory, we are being rather disrespectful in the bargain! The only way we can claim him to be ‘our’ AachaaryaaL is, by being mutually loving and kind to each other, between us!
SRI SANKARA MATAMS
1178. AachaaryaaL intended that the spiritual social cohesion and Vedaanta based religion should last eternally in the world. With that purpose he established a number of Matams and detailed his disciples as their Heads. These Matams were not meant to propagate Adwaita Vedaantam only. There cannot be many capable of understanding and comprehending Adwaitam straight from the word go! To turn all the people towards that direction, we have to enable the whole society to do relentless practicing of Karma Anushtaanaas; devotion and trust in Vedas and Saastraas have to be built up; arrangements made for removal of doubts and misunderstandings; conflicts resolved. By this process still, only a fraction of people will be able to reach up to Adwaita Anubhava. But the process must go on! To make this possible, he created these Matams as Centres of Dharmic activities.
1179. Sringeri, Dwaraka, Puri, Badri and Kanchi are the five main Matams. Then he is known to have established many other Centres and he must have. In such a huge and vast area of what is India, at a time when there were not many roads or rail; or communication facilities such as postal and telegraph; would it have been enough to just have five Matams, some two thousand miles apart? North of Vindya Hills, Badrinaath is difficult to approach even today. Then, Dwaraka and Puri are in the Western and Eastern edges, while Kanchi and Sringeri are located deep in the South. So these five places could not have been enough to do justice to the task in hand at all! So it is safe to presume that he must have established many more Matams. We do not know as to how many of them were virtually erased from the surface of the earth, when Muslim marauders ran over most of India destroying many of the temples and religious institutions! Kaasi Viswanatha Temple has had to be reconstructed, we do not know how many times! In a nation that takes pride as containing the birth places of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna; are there any single temples of the past left standing in Ayodhya and Mathura respectively? There was a time in India when people were afraid of displaying that they belonged to this Hindu Religion and Veda Mantras had to be chanted in hushed tones! Though the Indian ethos is such, that later much later, we could still have the sort of atmosphere for a Kabir Das and or a Sai Baba to come into being. But, let that not make us turn a blind eye to the inhuman and monumental pogroms of destruction inflicted on the Hindus of this country by the Muslim hoards as they poured into India! It is a travesty of justice and twisting and turning of the knife in the wound, that in the modern day India, we are made to look the criminal for the one wanton act of destruction of the so called Baabri Masjid! It was a crude display of madness of a mob, the stupidity of which has drawn the curtain on all the evil of the past and ended up converting the criminal in to the victim and vice versa!
1180. So, the point I am making is that, there must have been and there were many Sankara Matams all over the country, which became the target number one for destruction. Like the five main Matams, in Kaasi itself there were five Matams and in Trichur, there were five. Kaasi was like the intellectual capital of India, where AachaaryaaL stayed for a number of years, wrote the Prasthaana Thrayee and gave Upadesa to his disciples. Trichur was the place of his birth as an Avatara. In the ‘Guru Vamsa Kaavyam’ written on the directions as well as the supervision of one of the Mataadipathy of Sringeri, it is mentioned that like the four arms of VishNu Bhagawaan, four Matams were meant for four of his disciples and one for our AachaaryaaL where he stayed for some time – “varaaNaseem yogi varodigamya bhujairiva Sri Harir esha sishyai: I sahaatmanaa pancha matrameeshaam pragalpya tistou kadichit dinaani II” (3rd Sarga, 23rd Sloka).
1181. Even in the last century there was an AchaaryaaL with the title of ‘Indra’, as revealed in a stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1941 (that is, 1884 A.D.), which says that in one of the river crossings known as Sivalaya Ghaat, was located a Brahmendra Matam, where there was a Viswanatha Swami, a Sishya of Chandra Sekhara Swami of the Sankaracharya tradition. The inscription is as follows:- “Jagatguro: Sankarasya paaramparya krama aagata: sishya: sanmaarga nishNaata: Chandra Sekhara naamaka:, tasyaa sishyo Viswanatha Yateendro yoginaam vara:. Look at the phrase, ‘sankarasy paaramparya krama aagata:’ – that clearly indicates that the one being referred is one of the Mataadipathy of the Sankara Aachaarya tradition!
1182. There is a Sumeru Matam also known as Paaduka Matam in Kaasi. Some time back there was an appeal for contributions for its repair and maintenance, signed by many Swamiji-s, Sanskrit scholars (known as Maha Mahopaadhyaayas), and political big-wigs. In that appeal it was mentioned that the Sumeru Matam had been established by our AachaaryaaL during his stay in Kaasi. In the Himalayas itself, other than Jyotir Matam, in Gangotri, there was a Sankara Matam in existence as reported by the 11th Volume of ‘Light of the East’ published in July 1894. You may be aware of the great service rendered by the Gita Press in Gorakhpur, who have been printing and publishing many of our religious pamphlets and manuscripts at a very low cost, without resorting to advertisements and other sales gimmicks! In one of the special editions of their KalyaN magazine known as, ‘Tirtanga Edition’, in the preamble they have made a mention of the Sumeru and Gangotri Matams.
1183. ‘Cochin State Manual’ talks about the five Sankara Matams said to have been located in Trichur. There were one in each cardinal direction with one in the centre, with names such as, ‘Tekke Matam’ (which was evidently the Southern one), ‘Vadakke Matam’ and Naduve Matam. Now, only the Tekke and Naduve ones have survived. In the Tekke Matam there have been 80 Heads of the Matam at various times. The Vadakke Matam has now become a Veda Paatashaala or School for the Vedas. In Puri Jagannaath itself, other than the main Govardana Matam, there are three Adwaita Matams by the names of Sankara Ananda Matam, Siva Tirta Matam and Gopala Tirta Matam.
1184. It may be known to some that VidyaraNya Swami, during his tenure at Sringeri as the Mataadipathy, had newly created as well as repaired and refurbished the existing ones in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, that he earned a sobriquet as ‘Nava Matee Naatha’. In fact it is not only nine but 15 places in Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra that he had revived and renovated the Matams, giving the names of the Matams and their place names. All this is given in the ‘Tirtanga Edition’ of the KalyaN Magazine that spoke to you about a few minutes back. (These are, Koodali, Sivaganga, AavaNi, ViroopaaKsha, Pushpagiri, Sangeshwara-Karaveera, Ramachandrapura, Hariharapura, Pandikadi, Edaneeru, Kodandarama, Swarnavalli, Nelamaavu, Yoga Narasimha Swami and Balagunduru Matams!) Some of these are said to have been established by our AachaaryaaL’s direct disciples. Similarly some of the Trichur Matams are also said to have been initiated by Padma Paada and Sureshwara.
1185. There will be no end if we go on investigating as to who established what, where and when! Instead of being any use to the self or anybody, it will go on endlessly like the genesis of the universe itself! As it can never be proved that any of them were not started by our AachaaryaaL; and as the requirement to cover this vast country needed many such Matams in many places all over the country; accepting that all of them must have been started by him only, let us pay our obeisance to all of them as Guru Peetams and progress further with our discussion.
(To be continued.)
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