Friday, June 22, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 12 (Vol # 6) Dated 22 June 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 12 (Vol # 6) Dated 22 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 76 of Volume 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)

89. Ministers are required to be good in education and organisational abilities as well as be humane and worldly wise. Though they are required to be well behaved morally with decency and decorum observant of the codes of conduct as per the scriptures, there was no need for them to be good and knowledgeable in Mantra Saastra at all but only in confidential counselling! Only the Raja Guru had to be knowledgeable in Mantra Saastra. Addressing his Raja Guru Vasishta, his disciple Dilipa, the King of Raghu Vamsa as quoted by Kaalidaasa the great poet says, “All the threats from Devas and human beings that could happen to me are being sorted out by your powers. I am only dealing with the enemy physically seen whereas you are disposing of even the unseen enemies. Because of your blessings, anybody coming in front of me as my opponent is made powerless and ineffective that my application of weapons is only so as to get me the name of being a victor!” This is what Dilipa is supposed to have said to Vasishta, as quoted by Kaalidaasa. Vasishta was not only the Raja Guru but also a Maharishi. In the name of research, somebody has confused his self and others as though such a statement can be made applicable to all ministers and further complicated the situation by saying that it is a devious plan of Brahmins to dominate unfairly!

90. If a Mantri is meant for secret consultations, so also is a secretary meant to keep the secrets! (KTSV adds – It is an irony that only in these modern times what is known as State Secrets are being misused by the people in power in the governments who are supposed to maintain the secrecy, exploited by business interests, exposed by the media in the name of investigative journalism and the general public still kept in the dark despite the Right to Information Acts of the world!) Secretary protects the secrets of the boss from the eyes of the public; whereas the Mantri protects the governmental secrets even from the king himself so as to save him from unnecessary worries and from being over burdened! But he will keep track of things and control of the situation, while informing the king only on need to know basis, never with the intention to do anything for personal advantages or benefits! But to be in picture is the job of the minister. So, now the minsters of the Pallava king informed him that, “This Paranjyoti is a great devotee of Siva. He keeps doing all service for the devotees of Siva. Which enemy force can ever stand in front of him?” Instead of saying that his archery or fencing was standing by him in good stead, they said that it was his Siva Bhakti that was the reason for his victory! Point to note is that being devoted to God is not only necessary for other worldly attainments of reaching the heavens or Gnaana of Self Realization, but also for this-worldly achievements of Iham, like victories in battles!
91. The moment the ministers said this, the king virtually shivered. “Oh! My God! Did I make use of a devotee of Siva like a simple soldier commanding forces on the field of battle? Please pardon my impudence Sir! I am sorry. Please forgive me!” Saying so, he did Namaskaara to Paranjyoti. From this, one can make out the high culture of the kings of those days and as to how respectable they were towards devotees of God! I am not saying anything on my own, but only reiterating what is given in Periya PuraaNam. At once, Paranjyoti stopped the king from going down on his knees and lifted him and instead did Namaskaara to the king and said, “It is incorrect for you as the King to feel like that. We as Brahmins have taken up soldiering as our job quite rightly as a family tradition. Being a devotee of Siva does not come in the way of my soldiering! I am quite happy with what I am doing. So Sir, by employing me in the Army, you have done no untoward thing at all, my dear King!”

92. Our Saastraas do not approve of anyone jumping into Sanyaasa or totally one sided Bhakti Marga either; before the person is sufficiently matured and ripe mentally, spiritually and attitudinally. Like uncooked or half boiled dishes tend to give indigestion, the immature mind will tend to make you go astray in Sanyaasa Aashrama bringing a bad name for the very order of Sainthood! That is, in our system, till you are ripe enough, you are to continue in Gruhasta or move into Vanaprastam. Buddhism which permitted anybody to become a Bikku became the butt of every joke, as time passed, because of this reason only. Pallava King Mahendra Verma has made full use of humorous situations arising out of people becoming a Bikku without developing the necessary mental poise and maturity, in his drama ‘Matta Vilasa Prahasanam’. We should carry out a self analysis as to the level of our own maturity of mind, control over senses and tendencies. Then only, we should totally devote our lives to religious activities or take up Sanyaasa. Otherwise, if we try to over reach, we may fall short and break our limbs and make a fool of ourselves as well as be a smudge on the very name of the Aashrama!

93. Paranjyoti was already quite matured. He could even fight a battle without getting too involved, with the mind fixed on God treating the action of fighting as part of the devotional procedure, as Sri Krishna says in Bhagawat Gita VIII – 7, “maam anusmara: yudhya cha”. So as to obviate guilt feelings in his King, he said, “I will continue to be the commander of your forces, the elephant based cavalry”. Despite that, the King foreclosed any such options. He said, “No! You need not continue in the Army anymore. You may occupy yourself completely in devotional activities, all the time thinking of Siva and taking care of devotees of Siva. All your service may be dedicated for such purposes.” Saying so, he gave Paranjyoti enormous material wealth for taking care of all the needs of his personal and family life as well as the needs in service to devotees of Siva. This is a new type of story. If this Gajapathi, as the commander of Elephant based Cavalry brought and presented all the gold, gems and wealth to the King, the King in turn presents him with all that wealth and more!

94. With all that he came back to Thiruchengattaankudi and there was also a total change in his life. With devotion to Siva kept inside, outwardly he was a human battery of rams, attacking, cutting, maiming and killing the opponents. Now he became a man of peace inwardly as well as outwardly, having brought Vaataapi GaNapathy and installed him in the Sivan Koil in Ganapatheeswaram, another name for Thiruchengattaankudi. He got married also only after return from the army, to a woman of suitable disposition. The days were spent in totally devotional activities and in taking care of other devotees of Siva who came as guests from elsewhere. Paranjyoti renamed himself as Siruthondar to mean that he was a small one amongst all such devotees! The name by which he became famous as a great commander of the forces of the Pallava Kingdom was forgotten. But the name as the smallest of the small, devotee of the devotees became well established. From the fact that the world accepted this name as Siruthondar, reveals that they gave more value and importance to divine devotion in service to God than worldly ventures in service to the state and king!

95. His story in Periya PuraaNam occurs as ‘Siruthonda Naayanaar PuraaNam’ only. Sundara Murthy Naayanaar in his ‘Thiru Thonda Thogai says, “sengaattang kudimeya siruthondarkku adiyen”. There is nothing special in his saying that he is subservient to Siruthondar, since he has said so about every one of the 63 Nayanmaars similarly. But there is some additional value in Gnaana Sambandar also singing in praise of Siruthondar. I had earlier quoted as to how Gnaana Sambandar had visited when Siruthondar was in Thiruchengaattankudi and how the latter had picked up Sambandar and hugged him to his chest. In his first song on Siva, he says, ‘the one with the ear studs, seated on a bull, wearing the pure white moon on his head, having smeared his self with the clear white powder of Vibhuti ashes from the cremation grounds; is the thief who has stolen my heart’! Here he has said the same thing about Siruthondar that he is smeared in the white ashes powder ‘podi poosi’ and that Siva is residing in that particular township to bless and take care of Siruthondar only! (‘podi nugarum siruthondarkku aruL seyyum poruttaagak kadinagaraai veertrirundaan ganapatheech charathaane’ – Sambandar Tevaram, the tenth line of the Padigam that starts with ‘narai konda’.) Then he has sung another ‘padigam’ (a ten lined poem), in which he has praised Siruthondar in each line with some delightful adjective or the other; ending with ‘chengaattankudi meya’ including mention of his son’s name ‘SeeraaLan’! (This Padigam starts with the words, ‘paingottu malarp punnai’, amongst the Tevaram songs by Thiru Gnaana Sambandar.)

96. A Curry Dish Made of His Son’s Meat! – The Inner Meaning! Siruthondar got married only after retirement from service. He did not retire, neither was he dismissed. He was asked to leave with honour and respect by the King himself! So till then he was interested only in Siva Bhakti and soldierly pursuits. Only after coming back to his village, he got married, begot a son named as SeeraaLan, born when Siruthondar himself was slightly older in age! It was that boy, the only darling son who was cut, cooked and served as food for the visiting Atiti, Lord Siva Himself in the guise of a Bhairava Yogi! Even to hear the story some may be squirming in their seats as it is very cruel and disgusting. But there are many related factors that beg our understanding!

97. Siruthondar won over Vaataapi. That town itself takes the name of an ogre Vaataapi. In that story the elder brother Ilvalan cooks the younger brother Vaataapi and serves the meat curry dish! There it is the brother’s meat and here it is the son’s meat! There the power to digest was given to Agasthya by GaNapathy and the same Vaataapi GaNapathy is here in Siruthondar’s city also, giving it the name as GaNapatheeswaram! Siruthondar as Paranjyoti caused a river of blood to flow in Vaataapi, while that GaNapathi has caused the blood of the ogre to flow like a river giving the name to the village of Paranjyoti to be named Thiruchengattaankudi, himself becoming red to be called as Kapila! For the Swami who came as the Bhairava Murthy there is a Sannidy in that get-up in GaNapatheeswaram, known as ‘Uttara Pathy Easwara’. That is the name given by the Bhairava Murthy as the guest of Siruthondar. In North India, the Emperor of that time Harsha Vardhana also had a name or title of ‘Uttara Pathy Easwara’! (Connections continue!)

(To be continued.)




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