DEIVATHIN KURAL # 177 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 May 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 177 (Vol # 5) Dated 21 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 second para on page No 1101 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)
AachaaryaaL in Kanchipuram
1215. AachaaryaaL’s arrival in Kanchipuram is mentioned by all the books of his biography. It was from Kanchipuram that he sent his six disciples all over the country and established the six religions known as ‘Shan Madam’, as reported in ‘Aananda Gireeyam’ (in PrakaraNa 67 to 72) and Guru Vamsa Kaavyam (Sarga 3, Sloka 36 and author’s explanatory notes for them). Bruhad Sankara Vijayam before all of them also, confirms the fact of establishment of the six religions. In this respect, the Sushama for the 33rd Sloka of ‘Guru Ratna Maala’ and the 31st Adhyaayam, 15th to 24th may be referred. Then it is reported that our AachaaryaaL ascended the ‘Sarvagna Peetam’ in Kanchipuram as revealed by ‘Sankara Abhyudhayam’, ‘Govinda Naadeeyam’, ‘Chid Vilaaseeyam’, and ‘Guru Ratna Maala’. This is also mentioned by Laxmana Suri, (who is a disciple of Sri Satchidaananda Sivaabhinava Nrusimha Bharathi, one of the AachaaryaaLs of Sringeri Peetam,) in his book ‘Bhagawat Paadaabhyudayam’ at the end of the 6th Sarga. Then we get to know that this matter is also mentioned in ‘Bruhad Sankara Vijayam’ and ‘Praacheena Sankara Vijayam’.
1216. Though it sounds as though that the Sarvagna Peeta Aarohanam was in Kashmir, as per ‘Vyaasaachaleeyam’, looking at the flow of the narrative, it seems that it must be talking about Kanchipuram! To remove this confusion, in Govinda Naadeeyam (in first two slokas of 9th Adhyaayam) there is a clarification that there is such a name as ‘Kashmiram’ for Kanchi Mandalam itself. As per what is given in ‘Siva Rahasyam’, towards the end of AachaaryaaL’s sojourn on this earth, while living in his own Aashrama (‘swakashrame’ – where he himself was the Mataadipathy), he is reported to have won over some great pundits known as ‘Misras’, in all varities of Saastraas easily – ‘vijitya tarasa akshada saastravaadai: misraan’. Closely following the ‘Siva Rahasya’ depiction, ‘Vyasachaleeyam’ too says that he defeated the ‘Misras’ while in Kanchi, (‘mate swaklupte’) and ascended the Throne of Omniscience (‘sarvagna Peetam adhiruhya’). ‘Bruhad Sankara Vijayam’ and the next oldest ‘Praacheena Sankara Vijayam’ and ‘Keraleeya Sankara Vijayam’, all confirm the fact that AachaaryaaL established the Sarada Matam named Kaamakoti Peetam to be headed by Sureshwara after him and in his care left the next in line, Sri Sarvagnaatmar; as further clarified by the ‘Sushama’ 31 – 34. In ‘Markandeya Samhita’ which is like a general Purana, the fact of the establishment of Kanchi Matam and the appointment of Sureshwara as the head of Kaamakoti Peetam are mentioned. ‘Ananda Gireeya Sankara Vijayam’ similarly reinforces the correctness of the above statements and that our AachaaryaaL thought of Kanchipuram Matam as suitable for his stay – ‘nija vaasa yogyam matamapi parikalpya’ – appointed Sureshwara as the Head (ref to Prakaranam 65). Laxmana Suri’s ‘Bhagawat Paada Abhyudhayam’ also confirms the above facts.
1217. After all that, it is a moot question as to how long our AachaaryaaL could have stayed in Kanchipuram. The only point that is clear is the fact that he attained to ‘Brhma NirvaaNam’ in Kanchipuram as mentioned in ‘Siva Rahasyam’, ‘Markandeya Samhita’ and many of the Sankara Vijayam books old and new. It is also true that they are being varyingly mentioned as, Kedaarnaath as per Madhaveeyam; vide Chid Vilaaseeyam and Sankara Dig Vijaya Saaram, the cave of Dutta in Badrinaath; as per Govinda Naadeeyam, Trichur; vide Laxmana Sastry’s ‘Guru Vamsa Kaavyam’, it is the Dutta Kshetra of Maahuri in Maharashtra! ‘Sankara Abhyudhayam’ and ‘Patanjali Charitam’ similarly though not exactly mentioning his Siddhi, says that he spent his end days on the Kampai River bank, praying to Kameshwari. It states further that Sankara AachaaryaaL who worked for the welfare of all the three worlds attained to Brhma Aanandam, which can be construed as, dropped his mortal coil. Amongst the Indian languages, the first encyclopaedia was ‘Viswakosh’ from Bengal in 1892. In it, under the heading ‘Kanchipuram’, it says that it is the place of Bhagawan Sankara AachaaryaaL’s Samadhi.
1218. It is just sad and painful to note that there are so many differences of opinion about the place of his death, when the very purpose of his Avatara was to unify and integrate the minds of the people of India! He neither left an auto-biography nor a will of his own. People who came much later have differences of opinion based on some logic or the other. The basic truth is that we are all his devotees or children only. That we should have love for each other without the least of hatred between ourselves, is the most important thing. If that basic requirement is not going to be met, we may as well stop all this search and research! If we were to be asked as to which is the place of his Siddhi, we may as well answer that, “As some Siddha Purushas are seen to exist in five or six different places simultaneously, our AachaaryaaL left this life on earth, simultaneously from different places’!
1219. One belief is that he attained to Mukti from the Mukti Kshetra of Kanchi. What is this ‘attainment of Mukti’? He is himself the very form of freedom and independence, that is, Mukti in other words. He was ever the Jivan Mukta, without any attachment or binding factors. So one day he dropped the mortal body and disappeared, isn’t it? That Videha Mukti is what I am talking about. That Videha Mukti, he attained here in Kanchipuram in front of AmbaaL Kaamaakshi, as given in some books. Bruhat Sankara Vijayam says, “devyaa: pura: paratare vililye” – ‘just in front of AmbaaL, merged in the supreme principle of existence’!
1220. In Prachina Sankara Vijayam too, similarly it is given, “kaamaakshyaa: savite sa jaatu nivisan-unmukta-loka-spruho I deham svam vyapahaaya dehyasugamam daama prabhete param II”. One day he had gone to Kaamaakshi Amman temple and was standing near AmbaaL – ‘sa jaatu kaamaakshyaa: savite nivisan’. At that moment all his attachment with the world had dropped – ‘unmukta loka spruha:’. Of course he never had any selfish attachment. He was concerned to the extent that he wished to improve the lot of people in the world. The very God, who is known as ‘partru + artraan = partratraan’ (Tamil word meaning unattached), had this sort of attachment or wish or desire, to improve the lot of people of the world! That is why he came down on the earth as an Avatara. Despite being a Sanyaasi who had renounced all, for this desire he roamed continuously his whole life about the whole country, never stopping in any one place! Now he had reached a stage of having done that job also. Somehow the people of India had been brought back to the right path. Now that wish also had been fulfilled and so there was no more wishes to be fulfilled – ‘unmukta loka spruha:’. He dropped the mortal coil of this body just then and there – ‘deham svam vyapahaaya’. He went back to his original abode – ‘dhaama prabhete param’. If you ask as to what is that ‘param’ highest abode, the answer is that, ‘it is to be Brhma Swaroopa as the Parameswara’. ‘KeraLeeya Sankara Vijayam’ too, while saying the same thing further adds, “Thus as the indivisible effulgent (Akhanda jyotis) form of bliss despite attaining to the imperishable abode of eternity, that provider of Moksha to Sadhus Sankara AachaaryaaL, stays on there at Kaamaakshi Amman Temple as an embodiment of Chaitanya as though forever, till day”! I think the reference is to the idol of Sankara AachaaryaaL enshrined at the Kaamaakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram!
1221. When AachaaryaaL came to Kanchipuram there were those who followed the semi Vedic religions of Saankhyam and Meemaamsai, as well as the non Vedic religions of Buddhism and Jainism. Though there were ancient temples, the procedures adopted had gone awry, contrary to Vedic methods. AmbaaL Kaamaakshi was herself with certain negative features of cruel shades of ‘Ugra Kala’! AachaaryaaL entered through the ‘Sarva Teertha Karai’ (All-Water-Bank). Like Kaasi, located in that particular river bank is the Vishveshwara Temple and Mukti Mandapa. He had his bath, did the Praata: Sandhya Vandanam, had God’s darshan at the temple, stayed for sometime in the Mukti Mandapa and went to Vishnu Kanchi. There he stayed for a few days near Varadaraja PerumaaL Aalayam, reorganizing the procedures there. Even today there is a branch of our Matam west of the Varadaraja PerumaaL Temple.
1222. During that time, he requested the Ruler Rajasena, a Chola King to reorganise the general area of Kanchipuram with the Temple of Kaamaakshi in the centre, in the form of a Sri Chakra. In Sri Chakra there are two enclosing circles of lotus petals as it happens to be in its natural state also. This is how Kanchipuram has been described in the Tamil classic of the earlier Sanga period ‘PerumbaaNaartruppadai’; “pallidazh taamarai poguttin kaaNvarat thonndrich chudu maN ongiya nedu nagar varaippin... pazha viral moodoor kachi”.
1223. Though Kanchipuram is important for many deities and their temples, its importance is more due to its being a Devi Kshetra. Sakti Peetams are said to be three, 18, 36, 51, 56, 64, 96, 108 and 6,400 in numbers. Amongst them all, one of the most important is the Kaama Koti Peetam. It is representing AmbaaL’s Naabhi or Naval. Like Naabhi is the central point in the body, so is Kanchi the centre of the whole world. Kanchi is the Oddiyaanam as a protective cover for the Naval like a bracelet around the hip – so say the books such as, ‘Meru Tantram, Kaamaakshi Vilaasam and Kanchi Mahatmiyam’! The centre of power for all representations of AmbaaL as Shakti, like the generator for all light bulbs, is Kanchi Kaamaakshi. To emphasise this point, unlike any other place in India, though there are more than 50 different Siva Temples within the periphery of Kanchipuram, there is no Amman Sannidy in any of them! In Kaama Kottam, AmbaaL Kaamaakshi is all alone. In Sundareswarar Koil in Madurai there is Meenaakshi; in Jambukeshwarar Koil there is Akhilaandeshwari in Thiruvaanaikka; in Kapaaleeswarar Koil there is Kalpagaamba in Mylapore. Unlike any of them, she is all in all without a Sannidy for Easwara in Kanchi. With more show and pomp than Ekambreshwara or Varadaraja within Kanchi, she has high raise Gopurams in all four directions, with a mighty Gopura Vaasal and wide roads for the Chariot around the temple, she is the Raja Rajeswari, the Queen Empress of all Gods!
(To be continued.)
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