DEIVATHIN KURAL # 03 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 June 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 03 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 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 the middle of page No 16 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
“Om Sumukaaya Namaha”
18. Vigneswara is a Sumuka. He is a personification of happiness with a smiling face. Aanandam is wholesomeness, completeness, totality and contentedness! Sadasiva BrhmendraaL has sung two songs, one starting with ‘Aananda poorNa bodhoham’ and the other, ‘Satatam aananda poorNa bodhoham, satchitaananda poorNa bodoham’. When you are happy, a smile comes on your face, you feel like singing and feel like dancing also. There is a swing in your steps, a lilt in your voice and a bloom on your face! When somebody is sad, if you tell him to dance, will he do so? Since PiLLaiyar is the very form of happiness, he is seen as the dancing star in many pillars and outer walls of temples as the first among the leading artists as though! As the Nardana Vinaayakaa he is happily lifting a leg and a huge tummy also and dancing. If the face is an index of the happy mind, so also is the ‘thoppai’ or abdomen with the pot belly, an index of the mind! ‘To laugh as though the stomach will burst’, is the catch phrase isn’t it? We will come to the ‘thoppai’ later when we come to ‘Lambodara’ as part of the 16 names. Now we are at the face, to start with, isn’t it? So, it is in the rightness of things, that we are faced with the face, to start with. In that sense also, the Naama ‘Sumuka’ is very appropriate.
19. Having a Good Mouth. Muka in Sanskrit has another meaning as the ‘mouth’ in addition to the ‘face’. In Sanskrit, there does not seem to be a separate name for the mouth. Surprisingly in Tamil, the situation is exactly the opposite. That is, though there is a name for the mouth as ‘Vaai’, in Tamil, there is no name for the ‘face’! In Tamil there is a slang word for the face known as ‘moonji’ which is a derivative from the Sanskrit word ‘Muka’ only. This word ‘moonji’ is not to be found in the Tamil dictionary. So in the olden days the students studying in Tamil ‘Paatasaalai’ used to be called the ‘faceless’ by the students of Sanskrit ‘Gatika’ and in turn the Tamil students used to make fun of the other saying, that they were without mouths! Of course it was all in good humoured banter.
20. I was trying to make the point that Muka, Face and Mouth are close in meaning, to be considered as synonyms almost. So ‘Sumukam’ is a good face and also a ‘good mouth’! Now what is a good mouth? The mouth that utters good things, expresses valuable ideas, concepts and principles; is a good mouth. In that meaning also PiLLaiyar is Sumuka. He is a highly qualified and knowledgeable Maha Vidwaan. What the Vedas call ‘Brahaspathi or BrahmaNaspathi’ are all references to him only. In many of his forms, one is Vidya GaNapathi. On the Ganesha Chathurthi day when we mention the various forms of GaNapathi and offer different flowers in Archana to each, to Vidya GaNapathi, we are supposed to offer the ‘RasaaLa’ flower. The most juicy mango fruit is also called by the same name of ‘RasaaLa or RasaaLu’! It is the same fruit that was brought to Kailasa by Narada for which there was a race between GaNapathi and Kumara as to who will go around the worlds three times, faster than the other; in which GaNesha with the rat as his official carrier (Vaahana) defeated his younger brother who had the swift Peacock as his Vaahana! GaNapathi claimed the prize after simply walking around his parents and doing Namaskar! It is that fruit of Gnaana, the RasaaLu Mango famous for its abundant juiciness. This Sumuka GaNapathi has Vidvat / Vidya and the Gnaana that is obtained by the sensible application of one’s knowledge!
21. The Special Value of the Mouth of the Elephant. There is a special and unique greatness in the elephant’s mouth. We human beings and all the others of the animal kingdom have lips in the mouth that are openly visible from end to end. Only the eyes have eye lids. Rest of the parts on the face are openly bare without a covering. If the lips cover the mouth like the eye lids do, there is a further difference. The eye lids have no role to play in the job of the eyes; whereas, though the lips do cover the mouth, tongue and teeth, they have an active role to play in the mouths job of speaking, eating, biting and tasting! In the matter of speech if some of the letters are guttural, some are dental and some purely labial! Then lips as part of the mouth is ever visible to the onlooker!
22. Only the elephant has his mouth fully covered by the trunk that is like another hand capable of touching, plucking, smelling and catching hold of things including very heavy materials. While it is considered as a proboscis, in Tamil it is called as a hand itself with a special name as ‘Thumbikkai’! ‘Thumbi’ is a synonym for the elephant and ‘kai’ means a hand; so put together, ‘thumbikkai’ means the hand of an Elephant! Unlike the hand of other animals, the Thumbikkai of the Elephant does the very important job of keeping the mouth covered naturally! When the disciple stands in front of the Guru, he keeps his mouth covered by the hand, to prevent the particles of saliva from reaching the body of the Guru in front, as an act of subservience and show of respect! In the case of the elephant it is naturally endowed with such a display of respect and humbleness! Even when it picks up food and puts it in its mouth, it does so with an apparent show of respect as though, unlike other animals, which seem to grab and gobble! Only when the elephant is lifting its trunk and screaming or bellowing, we can see its mouth. There is much inner meaning for PiLLaiyar to be so demonstrably humble. However much may be your knowledge base, there is no sense in being a chatter box. The true identification of a learned scholar is to keep the speech to an essential minimum. To demonstrate the same he is in the form of an elephant. He shows that the end of all Gnaanam is Maunam. Vigneswara is a true Sumuka! If Vidya is Vinayam, Vigneswara is Vinaya sampanna!
“Om Ekadantaaya Namaha”
23. The next Naama is ‘Eka Danta’ – meaning the one with the single tusk like the Unicorn! Normally the male species of the elephants have two tusks that they are known as ‘Tuskers’! The females of the species do not have the tusks. But this gentleman has only one, and how? Earlier he also had two tusks. He got one of them on the right side broken by his own volition. In the statues you can see that broken tusk being held by the lower right hand. Why did he have to break it? By the way of PuraNas there are two stories about this. At the time of Vyasa’s narration of the Epic Maha Bharatham, he was requested to act as the scribe. In a hurry he had to get ready for the task. The rocks of Himalayas were the tablets on which he had to write. He had to find a suitable pen to write with and it was the right tusk that came in handy, instead of running hither and thither. There is a saying in Tamil which conveys the meaning that an elephant is very valuable dead or alive, since when it is alive it is useful in terms of being a carrier, fork-lift, lumber jack and when it is dead, the tusk and bones are useful as ivory! Here, he has made his bone available while still alive in the body, thereby demonstrating his extreme sense of sacrifice! There is another story as to how, when all other weapons were ineffective against ‘Gaja Muka Asura’, he broke of one of his tusks and used it as a weapon and killed him. This is a further demonstration of the principle of sacrifice, when you are ready to put even your bones as stakes, for the sake of the needs of the society and the world at large! There is a KuraL by Thiru VaLLuvar which says that ‘even one’s bones belong to others’ and not to oneself. As an example for that, Sage Dadeechi’s offering of his back bone for being used as a weapon, when Indra had to fight with Vruddhasura, is quoted! All the bones in the elephant’s body are ivory only. So, PiLLaiyar also has similar sense of sacrifice that he would willingly offer even his bones for the sake of the society’s needs!
24. He is a She also! (KTSV adds: For more than six years these e-mails of Deivathin Kural have been going on, carrying the messages of PeriyavaaL. The first para in each of them, [as given within parenthesis above para 18 in this one also,] have been saying that, “The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly.” Here PiLLaiyar is also a She!) In Tamil, ‘KaLiru’ is the male Elephant and ‘Pidhi’ is the female version. PiLLaiyar is simultaneously a KaLiru and a Pidhi! That is, the ‘Easwara Tatvam’ or the Principle of what is God is not qualified by a gender of male or female! To depict this very idea, in Hinduism there is ‘Ardha Nareeswara’ as one form of God with the right side being Easwara and left side being AmbaaL. What the parents demonstrate, the off spring also does with a slight change in the sides. Here the right side is feminine elephant without a tusk and the left side is the one with the tusk!
25. First he is a Sumuka, with a beautiful face as well as a mouth. Then he is ‘Ekadanta’ with a mouth in which a tusk is missing. A child means that one tooth has to be missing, isn’t it? Then only its laugh will be so fetchingly alluring! The first child of the Parents of the whole Existence is thus seen to be smiling so captivatingly with one of its tooth missing!
(To be continued.)
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