Saturday, May 19, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 May 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol # 5) Dated 19 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 last para on page No 1095 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)

1205. As the power of Chandra Mouliswara Lingam, the pooja is done for Tripura Sundari, in the form of Sri Chakra, because like him, she is also much related to the full moon. If he has the full moon on his head, she lives in the centre of the full moon – ‘chandra mandala madhyagaa’, as given in the Lalitha Sahasranaama. Her favourite and special ‘titi’ is PoorNima. (Like Vinayaka Chaturti (4th), Vasanta Panchami (5th), Skandar Sashti (6th), Ratha Saptami (7th), Gokula Ashtami (8th), Sri Rama Navami (9th) and Vijaya Dasami (10th); AmbaaL’s ‘titi’ is the PoorNima only.) At the end of one’s effort to attain or comprehend the divinity of God, as a full moon she will be showering the eternal nectar of her grace on the peak of our heads!

1206. This divine couple of Chandra MouLi and Tripurasundari are so beautifully and pleasantly showering the cool nectar of moon light on the whole universe, wiping away the world’s sorrow, pain and affliction. She is also having the crescent moon on her head as an ornament – as it is mentioned in Lalitha Sahasranaama – ‘Chaaru Chandra Kalaa Dharaaa’. These three naamaas – ‘Maha Tripura Sundari, Chandra Mandala Madhyagaa and Chaaru Chandra Kalaa Dharaa’ occur also quite close to each other in Lalitha Sahasranaama!

1207. That the ‘Soundarya Lahari’ Stotram has been written by our AachaaryaaL is famously well known. If now you say that it was presented by AmbaaL to him in Kailasa, is there not some confusion? Is it that he only made that sloka known to others? In answer to such questions, there is a traditional story, not to be found in any of the Sankara Vijayam books, quite acceptably well known otherwise! Swami gave our AachaaryaaL, the five Siva Lingams instructing him to do daily Archana with Bilva leaves. AmbaaL gave him the book containing the Stotram for it to be publicised in the world. Our AachaaryaaL returned after thanking them both and doing Namaskaara.

1208. At the exit gates of Kailasa, there was this Nandikeswara, who did not like anything being taken out without his permission! On occasions he would do things that would occur to him on the spur of the moment! So without a second thought as to who it was and as to whether he was the authorised owner of the copies or not, or a visitor who had been presented with a gift, he grabbed the manuscript from the hands of our AachaaryaaL. All the pages of the palm leaf manuscript did not go to his hands. The first part of the 41 slokas remained in our AachaaryaaL’s hands. He made a quick exit from Kailasa holding that part of the slokas tightly! He felt bad for the loss. But there was an incorporeal announcement from AmbaaL, “It is all part of my play only! You may now complete the balance part of the 59 slokas. I wished to hear the sloka by your power of expression. It should be shining at par with the property of Kailasa! So all this was made to happen.” (Please do not get away with the impression that close circuit television and public address system are only modern gadgets and not possible with divine personages!) AachaaryaaL agreed to write the 59 poems most willingly. He completed the 59 Slokas and said, “Mother! It is all your voice and your expression only. This very Stotra of 100 slokas is made for, about and by you only, he said – “tvadeeyaabir – vaakbis – tava janani vaachaam stutiriyam”. Thus he offered it to her as an ArpaNam with extreme devotion and humility! There is such a story prevalent!

1209. In the 59 slokas written by our AachaaryaaL, there is a clear description of AmbaaL’s form, from head to foot in waves of beauty. In the third sloka, (that is the 44th) there is the phrase ‘Soundarya Lahari’ occurring. So though the whole poem of 100 stanzas is known as ‘Soundarya Lahari’, it is the latter part of 59 slokas that is, rightly called by that title. In the first part of 41 Slokas known as ‘Aananda Lahari’, in the 8th sloka there is the phrase ‘Chidaananda Lahareem’, from which the title for that portion could have evolved. This collective work that AachaaryaaL got at Kailasa, instead of being referred to as ‘Soundarya Lahari’, in ‘Markandeya Samhita’ and ‘Aananda Gireeyam’ is being mentioned as the ‘Soundarya Saaram’ and ‘Ambika Stava Saaram’ respectively. This fact seems to add some validity to the story about Nandikeswara grabbing part of the palm leaf manuscripts from the hands of our AachaaryaaL!

1210. The first part containing the 41 slokas is the Mantra Saastra Saaram about Sundari. Actually I am very happy about Nandikeswara making a grab for the book of slokas. I wish to thank him for that. It is only due to his that action that we have the opportunity to read the second part by which we are made aware of the enchanting description of the beauty of AmbaaL’s form and greatness and AachaaryaaL’s power of verbal expression beyond which there is no devotion or literature to compare! As ordered by Swami, our AachaaryaaL got the four Siva Lingams installed in Sringeri, Kedaarnaath, Neelakanta, and Kanchi. Towards the end of his sojourn on earth, he sent the Moksha Lingam to be installed in Chidambaram through Sureshwara as mentioned in ‘Aananda Gireeyam’.

1211. The Value of Kanchipuram. After completing his ‘Dig Vijayam’ our AachaaryaaL came to Kanchipuram. The oldest Tamil literary works are collectively known as ‘Sanga Ilakkiyam’. Within that also there is an earlier and later periods between which a great part of South India extending to the equator was gobbled up by the ocean. From the earlier Sanga period, one of the works was known as ‘PerumbaaNaartruppadai’, which talks about the greatness of Kanchipuram. That ancient city was not only great and famous as a capital and centre of civilization, but was also well known for its being an important place for advanced learning, like Kaasi on the banks of the River Ganges in the North. It was the administrative capital of ‘Thondai Naadu’ which is eulogized as the place full of people of excellent character – ‘saandror udaithu’! It was the place where there was a Sanskrit University Gatika Sthaanam. Appar SwamigaL says, ‘kalviyaik karai ilaada kaanchi maa nagar’. From ‘Manimekalai’ we gather that it was a place where people of many religions of different hues and shades assembled. Later on there were Buddhists, Jains and Kapalikaas as revealed by Mahendra Pallava’s drama ‘Matta Vilaasa Prahasanam’. They say that history repeats itself and the wheel of time comes back to its original position after a full circle! So, in our AachaaryaaL’s time also there must have been other religious institutions there. Even now often one stumbles upon Buddhist sculptural finds there. Within Kanchipuram, the place Thiru Paruthi Kunram was famous as ‘Jina Kanchi’ a religious place of importance for the Jains.

1212. As a place of religious importance for the Hindu Religion, it is the Kshetra for ‘Ratna Traya’ the ‘Three Gems of the Hindu Religion’, Easwara, AmbaaL and PerumaaL. There are innumerable numbers of temples for all sorts of Gods there! Amongst temples for Siva of the five basic elements, (of water, fire, sky, air and earth) the Kachchi Ekamra temple is the equivalent of ‘Prithvi Kshetra’ or the Earth Station! There is also the ‘Kaama Kottam’ as the main one for many of the AmbaaL Sannidy-s there, as the ‘Moola Shakti Peetam’. Vaishnavites similarly consider the place Kanchipuram, where there is Varadaraja Swami temple, as Vishnu Kanchi and as ‘Aththiyur’, as one of the most important ‘Divya Kshetras’, the other places being Thiruppati and Sri Rangam. Vishnu Kanchi is now being called the ‘Chinna Kanchi’, whereas the place within Kanchipuram where there are Ekaambra Temple and Kaama Kottam are located is known as the ‘Periya Kanchi’.

1213. Kanchipuram is famous, not only for the location of ‘Ratna Traya’, but also for the six deities of the ‘Shan Madam’, Kanchipuram is very important! If there is no city or town or village or even a small hamlet without Pillaiyar temple in Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram has its quota of Vinayaka temples. One area within Kanchipuram is known as Pillaiyar PaaLayam. Then within Kamaakshi Aalayam, there are six or seven Sannidy / statue for Pillaiyar. As Kanchipuram is Prithvi Kshetra, GaNapathi himself is representing the Prithvi Tatva (the earth principle) only. Then for SubrahmaNya, there is Kumarakkottam, as a separate temple for him here. Kachiappa Sivaachaariyaar wrote and for the first time presented it to the intelligentsia of his time, known as ‘Arangu Etram’, here only. Another speciality about Kumarakkottam is the fact that, as Kumara is seated between his parents Siva and Uma in ‘Somaaskanda Moortam’, here the place Kumarakkottam is physically located between Kachchi Ekambam (Siva Temple) and Kaamakkottam (AmbaaL Temple)! It is also an important place for the Sun God Surya, as in the Surya Sannidy of Kachabeswara Temple the hundred slokas of ‘Mayura Sadakam’ are etched on stone.

1214. Thus Kanchipuram is an important Kshetra for all the six religions of Saivam, Saaktam, VaiNavam, GaaNaapatyam, Koumaaram and Souram! May be that our AachaaryaaL came and stayed here because the place had that importance, value and allure. It could also be true that the value of the place gained immensely because of his stay there! Amongst the seven ‘Moksha Puri-s’, the fact that Kanchipuram is the only one in the South, is one of the most important reasons for its high value. Thus it well deserves its special sobriquet as ‘Nagareshu Kaanchi’ because of its importance in terms of religion, learning, trade and administration!

(To be continued.)




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