Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 174 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 May 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 174 (Vol # 5) Dated 15 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 page No 1082 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)


MOTHER’S DEMISE

1186. Thus when our AachaaryaaL was doing great service for the whole world, as everybody’s child and also Guru, the occasion presented itself for him to live up to the promise he had given his Mother, that he will take care of her in her last few days on earth! That lady was approaching her last and knowing that, AachaaryaaL was arriving in Kaladi. He pacified his mother and told her Stotras of Adwaitam. It is believed that the end memory while still in the body becomes true after death. So that she may get Adwaita Mukti, AachaaryaaL chanted Atma Bodha: / Tatva Bodha: / Viveka ChudaamaNi and such slokas. They were not within her reach or understanding. So he changed to devotional Stotras for Siva. To take her to Kailasa the Pramata GaNas came. She was afraid of looking at them. So he changed to Devotional Stotras for Vishnu. He started chanting the Krishna Ashtakam starting with the words, “Sriyaaslishto VishNu:”, to mean ‘VishNu embraced by Sri’. The pleasant looking Vishnu Sevaks came to fetch her and she was peacefully pleased with them. So she went to Vaikundam with them and AachaaryaaL could thus fulfil his promise to his mother.

1187. As per the promise given, he wished to cremate her body. Between relatives and Brahmin Purohits, there was much confusion as to what is permitted and what is not permitted as per the Saastraas, in the case of an only son who happens to be a Sanyaasi also! So, for any and every alternative there were many objections! So they did all sorts of things that people agitating for National Independence do these days, such as ‘Non-Cooperation Movement’ and ‘Bahishkaaram’! (Please note that this above statement of PeriyavaaL was made in the year 1939, which is eight years before India obtained her Independence from the British Rule.) Finally it all boiled down to, AachaaryaaL ‘cutting and carrying the body singly himself to the backyard, for it to be consigned to flames’! As an act of penance since then in that part of the world, it has become a custom amongst Namboodri Brahmins that, after the death of their kith and kin, symbolically they cut some part of the body and then consign it to flames in the backyard of their own houses. They say one more thing in those places. At the end, it seems that relatives from either side of his parents just came to convey their condolences and stood on either side of the body that is, near the head or the legs. So, till day they are called ‘Thalay AarruppaLLi’ and ‘KaappaLli’!

1188. After a few days stay in Kaaladi after having enacted the part of a household youngster, AachaaryaaL ventured out in to the world once again, covering the whole of India from Rameswaram to the Himalayas. There are many records of his having visited them or those other places, in various parts of the country. There may be many such recordings in individual houses and or temples, which might have vanished over time or hidden to our view. We have already talked about his visit to the 12 Temple Towns known as Dwaadasa Linga Kshetrams in addition to his visit to Kaasi, Sri Sailam, Thiruchendur, Kollur Mookaambikai, Guruvayoor, Thiruvortriyur, the Kaamaakhya Temple in Assam, Kumbakonam and Chidambaram. In Thiruvananta Puram (aka Trivandrum these days) Ananta Padmanabha Swami Temple, he pacified the Veera VaishNavas and got them to agree to the Adwaitic point of view.

1189. In the areas under the erstwhile Mysore State, there is a famous VishNu Kshetram. There the Vaishnava Bhatta-s, were not ready to permit our AachaaryaaL inside as he was so evidently a Siva devotee. He told them to go inside and have a Darshan of the deity once again and then fight with him. When they did so, they noticed that the right side of the very idol to which they had been doing Pooja all these years had turned in to a Siva Lingam, while the left side had remained as before. This opened their eyes to the oneness of all Gods and they all came back to apologise and take AachaaryaaL with all due respect inside. From that day the city came to be called as ‘Harihar’ combining the names of VishNu as Hari and Siva as Hara! Then he went to Madurai to the Meenaakshi – Sundareshwarar temple, where he offered the ‘Pancha Ratna Stotram’ to AmbaaL. In that city full of learned masters, he impressed everybody favourably, that all of them accepted Adwaitam as the end philosophy of all understanding of religion and divinity.

1190. Then he visited TrichiraappaLLi Thayumaanavar temple. Actually there is a recording on stone (known as Saasanam) there, about his visit. Inside the Suganda KunthalaambaaL sanctum sanctorum walls the first 41 Slokas of Soundarya Lahari, known as ‘Aananda Lahari’, have been inscribed on stone on AachaaryaaL’s behest. Then he went to Jambukeshwaram (aka Thiruvaanaikka), where he first pacified the ‘Ugra Roopa’ of Akhilaandeswari, by installing the counter mantra in the ‘Thatangams’ (aka Ear Rings) for her to remain a ‘Shanti Swaroopa’ from then onwards. It is said that, then he completed the balance 59 slokas to complete the Soundarya Lahari, reportedly. I will tell you the Soundarya Lahari story later as part of his Kailasa Yatra. Instead of telling you chronologically, I am mixing it up, for which I am to be blamed, I beg your pardon!

1191. Then at Sri Rangam, he pacified the Sri VaishNavaas who came forward to fight with him and had a darshan of the Ranganatha Swami, the presiding deity there. So that there will be a continuous flow of devotees to the temple, he installed the ‘Jana Aakarshana Yantra’ in that place of Sri Rangam temple, which is located in an island surrounded by the River Cauveri. Then the matter of his visit to Thiru Vidai Maruthur aka Madhya Arjunam, has already been described as reported in Aananda Gireeyam. In the land area of Chola Desa, there are many temples for Siva. Amongst them all, the central one is that of Maha Lingam, the biggest and greatest by name also! One should not get away with the impression that only Vaishnavas objected to his principle of Adwaitam. Though he was equally reverential to all Gods, it was his sense of treating all Gods at par, that was being objected to by hard core followers of any and every God or Deity such as Saivites and Sakthaas. So there was a ground swell against him in Madhya Arjunam too.

1192. “What is this? Letting me the Avatara, face all objections the ‘Moola Purusha’ Parama Siva is getting all good name”, he thought! Whether he thought so or not, I am thinking so. So, he prayed to the God to do whatever to reveal the truth to assemblage. Instantly there was an incorporeal announcement in the skies, “Satyam Adwaitam”! Not only was this ‘Asareeri’ made, from behind the Siva Lingam, there was this right hand which was held up as though vouchsafing the aerial proclamation. All objections to AachaaryaaL’s Vedaantam vanished into thin air and all the people there accepted the Adwaita Philosophy whole heartedly!

1193. That AachaaryaaL also visited Maayavaram is evidenced by the Sivaananda Lahari. There is one sloka in Sivaananda Lahari that Easwara himself danced as a Peacock (Mayooram), from which the name of the place has evolved. In that slokam AmbaaL has been referred as ‘Mayoori’ a Peahen. (Siva is called the ‘Neela Kanta’ or the ‘Blue Throated’ as he had contained the ‘Aalahaala Poison’ in his throat. So also is the Peacock having a blue throat! That is the link!) That place is called ‘Gowri Maayooram’ which over time has become Maayavaram! The Tamil name is Thiru Mayilaaduthurai. In Mylapore, Madras also AmbaaL has done pooja to Easwara as a Mayil. AachaaryaaL who went to Thiruvortriyur must have also gone to Mylapore! Possibly, the ‘Sivaananda Lahari’ sloka was written in Sri Sailam. There in the huge main doors of the temple, our AachaaryaaL’s likeness has been inscribed. As desired in Yoga Taravali, next to Sri Sailam, there is Hatakeshwara where there is this water fall and banyan tree, a very peaceful and sequestered place, suitable as a place of retreat! There our AachaaryaaL stayed for some time in Aatma Nishta, as though riveted to the ground there!

1194. AachaaryaaL, who called KaNNappar the foremost among all devotees, like a crown is the last ornament to be worn on top of everything else, – ‘baktaavatamsaayate’ – (in ‘Sivaananda Lahari’, Sloka No 63), must have visited that place KaLahasti too, isn’t it, since it is the place where AmbaaL is GnaanaambaaL! Then he visited Thirupathi, where he installed the ‘Dhana Aakarshana Yantra’, so that devotees may bring and pour all money and wealth there. Panduranga Ashtakam and Jagannaatha Ashtakam are proof of his having visited the Pandaripuram in Maharashtra and Puri in Orissa. In Puri of course he established one of the important Matams of his on the East Coast. We had noted earlier that the other Matam on the West Coast was in Dwaraka. His Achyuta Ashtakam and Govinda Ashtakam and many other devotional invocations of Vishnu must have been done in places such as, Dwaraka, Mathura and Brindavan, when he visited those places, not as a dignitary but, as a devotee! Similarly he may have sung the Rama Bhujangam in Ayodhya.

1195. Many of the devotional Siva Stotras could have been written in Kaasi. Anyhow the ‘AnnapoorNaa Stotram’ was written there only as the AmbaaL there is known by that name. Then about the place and sacred waters (known as ‘Teerta’), he has written the poems such as ‘Kaasi Panchakam’, ‘Ganga Ashtakam’, ‘Yamuna Ashtakam’ and ‘Mani KarNaka Ashtakam’. He has also sung a ‘Narmada Ashtakam’ on the Narmada River, on the banks of which he took the Sanyaasa Aashrama. Then he went to Kashmir and won over all the learned pundits of that place. He is said to have ascended the Sarada Peetam over there. There he is said to have appreciated a very learned young lady and gave her a head gear known as ‘Tarangam’, which is worn with pride till date as an ornament in the head, by the women of Kashmir. In Sri Nagar there is a hillock named ‘Sankara Aachaarya Giri’, as a mark of remembrance with respect for this youthful saint from South India at the Northern Top corner of the country!

1196. Our AachaaryaaL’s visit to Badrinath aka Badarikashrama was an important event. He established the Jyotir Matam there. The sacred idol of Badri Narayana was said to have been in the Alakananda River and Swami indicated to our AachaaryaaL in his dream the exact location, for him to have recovered the same and installed there. There is a Tapta Kund (hot water spring) over there, which is an eternal Gift of God for the devotees to wash and bathe before entering the temple! More than all this, there was another incident that happened there, as would have been ardently desired by our AachaaryaaL! Though the whole world was falling in his feet, venerating him as the Jagat Guru, He also wished to fall in the feet of his Guru, deeply inwardly! To fulfil that wish, AachaaryaaL’s Guru Govinda Bhagawat Paada and Parama Guru Gowda Paada, gave him Darshan. They were both very happy to see our AachaaryaaL who was very successfully completing his Avatara Kaarya. He kept chanting the ‘Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam’ and was doing Namaskaara in their feet for each foot of the poem! The man who had evolved from DakshiNa Murthy himself was thus doing a sincere devotional drama (and not dramatic devotion)!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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