Thursday, June 14, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 08 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 June 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 08 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 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 49 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)
57. If it is wrong for speakers and writers of the present day Tamil Nadu to claim that the ‘Moovendars’ (– triad of Sera, Sozha and Pandya kings), had nurtured the Tamil culture as though it was something totally different to Indian National Ethos; it was further farfetched to talk like that about the Pallava Dynasty which came into being much later. Though the Sera, Sozha and Pandya kings were claiming themselves to be belonging to Surya / Chandra Vamsam or Sibi’s descendants, at least their names were typical Tamil names such as, ‘Nedunseralaadhan, Seramaan Perumaan, Karikaal VaLavan, KiLLi VaLavan, Nedumaaran and Nedunchezhiyan! Whereas the Pallava kings had names such as Skanda Sishyan, Kumara Vishnu, Simha Verma, Simha Vishnu, Mahendra, Narasimha, Parameswara, Nandivarma and such are all Sanskrit names! The inscriptions on stone about classical music In Kudumia Malai and many others of their Saasanams are all in the Sanskrit language itself. In all those Saasanams, the Pallavas have referred to themselves as ‘Parama BrhmaNyas’. They have taken care of Sanskrit Schools. If a Brahmin is called a ‘Sarma’, the Kshatriya is referred to as a ‘Verma’. Accordingly, they added the suffix ‘Verma’ to all their names, such as Nrusimha Verma and Nandi Verma! They claimed that they belonged to the Bharadwaja Gothram!
58. It was in their time that Appar, Sambandar, Thirumangai Aazhwaar and such devotees divine Tamil songs came into existence, it is true. But these great poets of devotion were all for Vedic methods only as they themselves have said in so many words, “veda nerithazhaithonga vandavargaLe”! To pull them into this unnecessary and imaginary quarrel of ‘Aryan Vs Dravidian’ is totally mischievous! I am not saying all this, so as to establish as though only the Vedic Traditions are superior or some such nonsense. There was no animosity or pulling in different directions between Tamil Language, Tamilians and devotional paths to God, through Vedic traditions anyhow. Whatever it is, my point is only that this whole nation was one in terms of traditions and ways, and that should be understood and continue to be so without any differences, is my sincere wish and prayer. Let us not have differences and cleavages within the people of this country. Let us not believe in the canard fictitiously created by the Britishers of a Race theory, so as to continue their grip and control over this nation and in the bargain have hate, and disbelief amongst us all. I am not asking you to ignore truth for the sake of unity either. People, who believe in Tamil culture and traditions, need not feel deceived that once their culture and tradition was something wonderful and that has been debased by the influx of Aryans / Vedic Culture and traditions! The culture and traditions of the whole of India was one with shades of differences brought in by variations in lingo, geography and regional climate. So there is no need for Tamilians to feel that they have been made fools of in the interregnum from some outlandish glorious past, which has been lost or that they have to shed something to regain some imaginary past glory! From Kailasa to Rameswaram it s the same Parameswara, whose children we all are. This South India having the most number of temples per square mile area, with the greatest amount of devotional literature in the whole world, as the children of one mother’s womb for eons of time, should continue to live sans quarrels, accepting the truth the way it is! While praying for everybody’s well being saying, ‘Let all the worlds be happy and let all the people wherever they are be contented’, I also wish to add that we may do away with all expressions of animosities, hates and disdain, but opt for mutual appreciation and praise. That is what I pray for to Lord Chandra Mouliswara always and every time!
59. In my above analysis, if I have criticised anybody, I take back all of those criticisms. Whatever I might have spoken against, was also for the sake of unity instead of being divided. Unity need not be achieved by telling a lie or hiding the truth. Truth is essential and so is unity essential. All that I am saying is that we need to unify with truth! When certain things are going totally off track, our point of view may not be heard unless one raises one’s voice. So, one may have to be slightly forceful. But, the basic wish and purpose is that we should all get together as the children of one God, with kindred love. Having started talking about the elder son of ‘Aran’, for us all to be united as ‘Aran KudimakkaL’, it is essential that we have that first son’s blessings. Without our knowing he is always doing this. If you ask me how, though nobody has come forward to call him the ‘Tamil God’, all over Tamil Nadu there are more number of temples for him in every road corner, or turning, or middle of the road, river bank, on the side of ponds and wells, with or without walls and roofs; more than any other State in India! Without giving a chance for thoughts of a race to arise, he is having all of us in an encompassing grip of devotion as ‘Aran KudimakkaL’. As the God of Arivu (one word encompassing the ideas of brains, intelligence and worthwhile knowledge) also, he is keeping us all in an embrace of truth and unity! He may be kind enough to show us the right path in our analysis, enabling us to avoid the pit falls and pot holes of untoward ends!
60. Was Mahendra Pallavan the Product of a Mixed Race? Let me tell you as to how, in the name of research and analysis people end up in quixotic situations! The Pallava King Mahendra Verma had many titles to his name. One of them is ‘SamkeerNa Jaati’. What the researchers did was to come to a conclusion that he belonged to a mixed race and that he was not a pure Kshatriya, as he has claimed a title to that effect, in the inscriptions in Saasanams by his own edicts! Whatever be the views and opinions these days, vide the stone inscriptions, metal plate etchings and writings of the poets of that period of time, it has been repeatedly confirmed that, our old kings strictly adhered to VarNa – Aashrama rules and regulations. When such was the time, being a king of the Pallava Dynasty which claims to belong to Bharadwaja Gothram, could not have made much about his being of a mixed race, even if that was so! Now if you call Nehru a ‘high ranking Brahmin’, imagine how annoyed he would become! (This statement was made when Nehru was alive and he had made a demonstration of not caring for caste identifications!) Similarly, some 13 centuries back, even if Mahendra Verma was from a mixed breed of races, he would not have liked being pointed out let alone claim that as a title!
61. As I said earlier, he had written the ‘Matta Vilaasa Prahasanam’, a humorous drama. At the end is the concluding ‘Bharatha Vaakyam’ which says, “For the welfare of the citizens, let the God of Fire continue to carry the ‘Aahuties’ (oblations) for the Devas. (That is to say, let Yaagas and Yagnas continue to be conducted in my Kingdom during my Rule!) Let the Brahmins continue to practice the Vedas! Let the cows be pouring out their gift of milk for the humanity!” he says. The reason for mentioning Brahmins’ and Cows’ well being in the same breath is that both their well being contributes for the welfare of the whole of humanity, not only in terms of being able to drink milk, but because the ghee from the milk is used in Yagnas for making the ‘Aahuties’, which benefits the whole of humanity! Now let me quote the words of the ‘Bharata Vaakyam’ at the end of the drama written by Mahendra Pallavan – “bhootyai prajaanaam vahatu vidhihutaam aahutim jaatavedaa: / vedaan vipraa bhajantaam Surabhi: duhitaro puridohaa bhavantu /” – for which the meaning has already been given. Such a person so particular about scriptural Vedic procedures, would never have given much importance to being of a mixed race or caste, even if he was one! Then what is the meaning of ‘SamkeerNa Jaati’? This was a stumbling block in my understanding. Then experts in the Art of Music gave me a possible explanation.
62. Mahendra Verma was a well merited expert in Music himself. In Kudumia Malai near Pudukkottai, there is a huge stone inscription bigger than anywhere else in the whole world containing his edicts! Experts from the present day world of Music have interpreted this title based on his expertise in Music. In the types of beats known in Carnatic Music as Taala-s, there is one metre known as ‘SamkeerNa Jaati. He might have been very good in that or the one to have discovered that Taal! May be his title was because of that. That gave me some relief and saved me from the agony that a King with so much of trust in rules and regulations of the Saastraas, could so flagrantly claim to be from a mixed race or Jaati!
63. But, to my continued discomfort, this relief was only short lived. Some other experts in Music, looking deeper into the matter found that, this Taal known as ‘SamkeerNa Jaati’ was part of the currently accepted ones and that it had been formally included in the accepted variations only some 500 years back. So, Mahendra Verma being of a period more than 1,300 years hence, could not have claimed a title based on this Taala at all, they proved with sufficient evidence in support! Now, my problem was back to square one!
64. Mahendra Verma was fond of humour, fun and games. He was witty and capable of laughing at himself! He has adopted titles having a dig at his own self! Accordingly indicating that by nature, he is a multi faceted personality, he has called himself a, ‘Vichitra Chittan’ to mean that he is ‘strangely and variously surprisingly minded’! On the one hand when he calls himself a ‘guNa paran’, which is something like calling oneself ‘high-class’, he also says that he is, ‘ishta – dushta – brashta charitan’. That is as good as saying that he is simultaneously a man who does things by whims and fancies (ishta), sometimes cruelly mischievous (dushta), and also gone astray from the normal (brashta)! How to understand this? The word ‘Ishta’ can be understood to mean that he does things by whims and fancies, which makes him rather attractive. Now, ‘Dushta’ can be interpreted as being, cruel with offenders and enemies. What do you make of the word ‘Brashta’? May be he is sometimes quirky? He is unique alright being a ‘vichtra chittan’ isn’t it? Since other kings make it a habit of exaggerating their own good qualities, he has made fun of himself and fallen prey to the lure of the rhyme, while parodying their habits, may be! Thus he has made a title of something of which you can never be proud of! His drama ‘Matta Vilaasa Prahasanam’ is a parody and farce of some real literary merit! May be to make fun of other kings who have a weakness for self-praise by calling themselves the ‘Dina MaNi’ or ‘Chudaa MaNi’ and ‘Chintaa MaNi’, he is patting himself that he is product of a male and female, may be! So he has called himself a ‘SamkeerNa Jaati’, I tried to tell myself. But I was not fully satisfied with my own explanation! Now what?
(To be continued.)



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