Saturday, June 02, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 02 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 June 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 02 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 June 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 10 of Vol 6 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)

9. When elders bless the newlyweds that they may be gifted with sixteen different endowments, (by saying ‘padinaarum pertru peru vaazhvu vaazhga’) it includes all that we have earned by our good and bad actions in our past lives and what God sanctions or gifts in his compassion. May be it is what we deserve anyhow and he may have added some ‘bonus’ out of his kindness, as we are always looking forward to! But the trouble is that we are blind to the good things we have been granted and are very aware of what has been granted to others! We say that so and so is ‘so lucky’! In Tamil there is a word for being lucky, known as ‘Adrushtam’, which in fact is taken from Sanskrit and used slightly differently. The root word ‘drushti’ means sight and ‘drushtam’ means what is seen. So, ‘Adrushtam’ means what is not seen! Somebody who is too lucky, undeservedly in our view is considered as ‘adrushta-k- kaaran’ that is as good as saying ‘lucky chap’! But, you can rest assured that all ‘adrushtam’ are the returns of one’s past good and decent behaviour only!

10. Before commencing any of the devotional procedures we should declare our intention in doing whatever we are about to commence known as ‘sankalpa’. It goes something like this, “I am doing this pooja (or whatever), for myself and my family consisting of so and so, with such and such names and the stars under whose sign they were born; for their Kshemam – Dhairyam – Veeryam – Vijayam – Aayus – Aarogyam and Aiswaryam and their continued increase. (These things are welfare, assurance, potency, victory, longevity, health and wealth respectively) Sankalpa does not end there. It continues after listing these seven demands, adding four other aims as ‘dharma, artha, kaama and moksha’ – for getting righteousness, means, fulfilling desires and finally getting beyond the clutch of all wants! Now the total of aims or purposes including the four ‘purusha arthas’ becomes eleven. Then may be two more things are added namely, ‘ishta kaamyaartha siddhyartam’ meaning ‘for the satisfaction of deeply nurtured desires’! The total is now 12. Then it is said that, ‘for the sake of ‘samastha mangala avaaptyartam and samastha durita kshayaNaartam’, meaning ‘for all happy endings and removal of all negative influences’, totalling 14. Then, we say that we are doing whatever we are doing for getting sons and grandsons, making the total 15. Finally for the satisfaction of so and so God, who is being propitiated, adored and venerated; is added making a grand total of 16! Those who feel that there is too much of worldly demands than spiritual aspirations would add two more things, namely ‘Gnaana and Vairaagyam’ (saying, ‘gnaana vairaagya siddhyartham’ meaning, ‘so as to obtain the understanding and clarity with dispassion’).

11. As we bless the newlyweds with ‘padinaarum pertru peru vaazhvu vaazhga’; the things explained above are all mostly covered in them. There is a ‘Thanippaadal’ in Tamil about the 16 blessings as follows:- “Thuthi (name and fame), VaaNi (power of speech), Veeru (courage), Visayam (victory), Santhaanam (off springs), ThuNivu (determination), Dhanam (wealth), Mathi (brains and intelligence), Dhaaniyam (food grains), Sowbhagyam (good luck), Bhogam (enjoyment), Arivu (logic, reasoning and knowledge), Azhagu (beauty), Pudidaadu perumai (rightful confidence[I hope I am correct in the translation here]), Aram (righteousness and morality), Kulam (good family background and upbringing), Noyagal pooNvayadu (wholesome longevity without diseases); padinaaru perum taruvaaye Maduraip-paraaparane (please grant me all these 16 things, Oh God in Madura)”. So gifts or blessings are 16 in number and this Son of the Divine Couple – called PiLLaiyar has 16 names, by which he is known.

12. Shodasa Naama Slokas. There are 16 names by which Sri Vigneshwara is prayed to. They are, ‘Sumukha, Ekadanta, Kapila, GajakarNaka, Lombodara, Vikata, Vignaraja, Vinayaka, Dhoomaketu, GaNaadyaksha, Paalachandra, Gajaanana, Vakratunda, SoorpakarNa, Heramba and Skandapoorvaja; together known as Shodasa Naamaas. To be remembered easily these names have been given in two slokas.
“sumukaachaikadantascha kapilo gajakarNaka: /
lambodarascha vikato vignarajo vinaayaka: //
doomaketur gaNaadyaksha: paalachandro gajaanana: /
vakratuNda: soorpakarNo heramba: skandapoorvaja: //”
Then only the slokam I mentioned earlier, the three lined slokam instead of the two lined normal ones!
“shodasa etaani naamaani ya: pateth sruNuyaadapi /
Vidyaarambe vivaahe cha pravese nirgame tataa //
sangraame sarva kaaryeshu vignastasya na jaayate //

13. Vigneswara has taken many forms amongst which there is one known as ‘Shodasa GaNapathi’ as a group of sixteen. I checked if those names matches with these sixteen names listed here. But I came to know that they were based on a different classification. Like here the third name is ‘Kapila’ meaning red like the betel nut. But in those shodasa forms the third one is the Heramba GaNapathi of the colour of the Moon in the autumn. We are concerned only with the 16 Naamaas listed in the Sloka given in the para 12 above. Let us consider them one by one.

14. Sumuka. The first name amongst the sixteen is Sumuka meaning ‘pleasant faced’. We say that all the people in the society should live with a pleasant attitude towards each other with unity and mutual love. Sumukam means a happy faced person. There is a saying that the face is an index of the mind. So the face that reveals the pleasantness of the mind and heart is Sumukam. Vigneswara has such a pleasant face full of effervescent love for all. In the well known sloka, ‘Suklaambaradaram’ there is the phrase ‘prasanna vadanam’ isn’t it? That is the same as this Sumukam. In love and a loving attitude, there is an inner blooming which automatically gets reflected in the face, that is ‘sumukam’ as well as ‘prasanna vadanam’. That prefix ‘su’ in ‘sumukam’ is indicative of the pleasantness or ‘prasannata’. Vigneswara in any form is always Sumuka only. He is happy inside, thrilled and bubbling with affable congeniality and convivial cheerfulness! To look at him is to feel the amiability ourselves. Not only that he is so full of such feelings, the elephant faced God may never tire or bore you and you can go on looking at his face endlessly! There is some such attraction in his face, which is big, broad, serious and pleasing, making you wonder at the indescribable, enticing allure! Such is the elephant like face of Vigneswara that it specially fits in with that first name as ‘Sumuka’!

15. Human Faced GaNapathi Becomes Elephant Faced. GaNapathi in any form is pleasant to look at, as I had said earlier. But it is rare to see him in human form except with the famous face of an elephant! Even if you come across such a statue with a human face (Nara Muka GaNapathi) in some temple, we may not recognise him to be GaNapathi unless it is written in bold letters there or told by someone who knows. In Chidambaram South Charriot Street there is a ‘Nara Muka GaNapathi’ temple. In TrichiraappaLLi in the Malai-k-Kottai Temple (Rock Fort Temple) mainly meant for Siva, also there is such a human faced GaNapathi. ‘Yaanai’ in Tamil means an elephant. It is interesting to note that while singing a ‘Padigam’ on Siva here, Sambandar has composed a song in which though referring to Siva Perumaan, each word of the song finishes with a ‘yaanai’ to mean someone with those special qualities – ‘nanrudai yaanai, umai oru bhaagam udai yaanai, thiruvudai yaanai, chiraappaLLi kunrudai yaanai’ koora ennuLLam kuLirumme . It is a great and very intelligent play with the words to refer to a ‘yaanai’ and thereby to PiLLaiyar/GaNapathi while actually describing Siva Perumaan!

16. The original form of PiLLaiyar was a human like form only. As the story goes, AmbaaL decided to detail someone on guard duty outside the entrance to her Antahpuram that is, private quarters. From her own divine body she wiped and collected all the fragrant unguents applied on her body of ManjaL (turmeric), Kumkum, Javvadu and such things and rolled it all in to a figurine with eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands and legs like any human being or a Divine Deva. That boy, from her own body, like her own son, (who was to get the name of PiLLaiyar like saying ‘Sonny Boy’ in English), she kept him as the guard (the Guard created by the Goddess AmbaaL), and went inside her Antahpuram. AmbaaL is all sanctity or ‘Sarva MangaLa’. From her very sacred body, she had wiped and collected these powders of ManjaL and unguents and created this boy; that till date as we start any pooja, first thing we do is to make a small cone of ManjaL and symbolically call him and consider him to be the PiLLaiyar and first do pooja to him! The very word ManjaL has evolved from auspiciousness of MangaLam.

17. Parameswara came there to AmbaaL’s Antahpuram. His first reaction was one of annoyance seeing the new face of a male there in Antahpuram meant only for woman folk! More over that boy had the temerity to stop and question Parameswara the very Lord of the Universe! He took out his sword and cut off this boy’s head. Though his action seemed to be done in haste there was the purpose of divine drama in it. Let me explain. The drama had to have a purpose of benefitting the world. There was a Gaja Muka Asura a Raakshasa who had come with the boon that he can be sorted out only by a similar looking being! Then according to the boon such a person should not be an off spring of a male-female encounter! He was proving to be a great pain in the side for the whole world those days. That was one reason. Then at the time of our story, at the entrance to Kailasa, there was an elephant lying with his head towards North, which is considered as inauspicious! Easwara combined these two requirements of creating a suitable counterpart for Gaja Muka Asura and punishing that intransigent elephant at the gates of Kailasa. Then, like every husband, he had to receive a mouthful from his wife, for having cut the head of the boy created by AmbaaL! Now he quickly surgically removed the head of the elephant at the gates of Kailasa and fitted it on the trunk of this boy, (thereby doing the first transplant of a head – a feat yet to be achieved by human beings!) and assuaged his wife by enlivening the boy to be called PiLLaiyar who could sort out Gaja Muka Asura! (In the same vein, please do not worry if the body of the elephant at the gates was properly disposed of, as the Head of that body {the most important part of it} had anyhow become PiLLaiyar!) So all concerned as well as those unconcerned had become very happy after this episode!

(To be continued.)




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