DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (Vol # 6) Dated 28 June 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (Vol # 6) Dated 28 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 97 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
“Om Lambodaraaya Namaha”
116. The next name is ‘Lambodara’, meaning someone with the hanging stomach; ‘lambam’ means hanging and ‘udaram’ means stomach, which when put together would mean a man with a pot-belly. Vinaayagar Agaval says ‘pezhai vayirum’, which is similar to ‘pot bellied’. He himself is the stuff of totality, to indicate which he is with a pot belly. The whole of all the spheres of the stars and galaxies are in his stomach. So his stomach is also in the form of a sphere or egg shaped. In his hands he is holding the ‘modakam with poorNam’, an eatable in which you have sweet filler inside an edible wrapper, the whole thing steam boiled – a favourite dish of PiLLaiyar. Modakam means happiness or that which gives happiness. Vigneshwara himself is such a modakam only. Love is a sweet sensation isn’t it? It is ever referred as ‘maduram’ in Sanskrit literature. He is the imparter of such a sweet sensation of love to all by giving happiness and a sense of well being that he is a Modak himself! ‘Maa’ is a word for male elephant and ‘maa or maavu’ is the word for the batter made of rice or wheat powder. In Modakam there is maavu in which the filler is the sweet ‘poorNam’. This poorNam means completeness and also is the name for a sweet mix, made of jaggery and grated coconut nicely made in to a paste like consistency, used as filler in the cup made of maavu! As there is a cup made of rice maavu in which there is sweet poorNam; he is the Maa or male elephant within which the Brhmam of poorNam is the filler. Thus he is also in the shape of the Modak, so also his stomach in the same shape as Lambodaram. That is the symbolism of wholesomeness.
117. When we see some hale and hearty person who is round and roly-poly automatically we are pleased and feel satisfied. That too, if a child happens to be like that, very cuddly like a teddy bear doll, don’t we feel thrilled? Just relate that to meeting a bony and skinny person, who can never impart such sense of happiness. A slightly fat person will generally be found to be not very scheming and viciously cunning but, happily jovial. So, the Sumuka GaNapathy is happy himself and wishes us to be happy also. Out of pity for us all, seeing us being roasted alive by the enormous problems of life, the Sumuka Vinayaka wishes to instantly make us happy by his very wholesomeness and roly-poly appearance of pot-bellied personality of Lambodara. In that also, it is more pleasing for the children. They feel thrilled by the looks of Vinayaka with the ‘thoppai’ that Purandara Daasa in his children’s primary class poem says, ‘lambodara lakumikaraa’, the one who causes much prosperity and well being!
“Om Vikataaya Namaha”
118. Next name is ‘Vikata’, that will at once remind everyone of the weekly magazine in Tamil, full of humour, fun, levity, jokes and wittiness. The very name ‘Vikatakavi’ in Tamil is a palindrome and stands for a poet of the humorous genre. To befool others by intelligent talk is called ‘akatavikatam’. There are people who practice the connected arts including a few items of pun, mimicry, magic, ventriloquism, puppetry and buffoonery; making a profession of such activities. But, if you look into the Sanskrit dictionary, you will be surprised to see the meaning of the word ‘vikata’ is more like fear, revulsion and horror! Practically we have all come to understand that, to make fun of situations and people causing you to laugh is the job of the joker or the comic, who normally comes as the side-kick of the hero. But as per the dictionary meaning of the word is ‘prati-nayaka’ or the villain with horrible mien and cruel characteristics!
119. Some researchers say that, ‘In the times of yore, Vinayaka was a Devata of the cruel mien only. It was only later that he became pleasant and amiable. But we do not need those researches and or researchers, who will prove with authority and evidence, like for example that the God was originally the Devil and vice versa and that with passage of time they interchanged their roles! For us to come to the right path and to make our life meaningful and to control our vacillating minds, what is required is someone who would give us happiness, contentment and devotion, isn’t it? Just one look at the cheerful broad face of Vinayaka, his elephant head and thumbikkai (that is the proboscis giving us nambikkai), pot-bellied thoppai and the modakam in his hands, at once instils in us a sense of awe, admiration and devotion and not horror or fear. We do not need a research report on what is our own direct experience. So, these experts and researchers can go wherever and do whatever they want, even if they were to think of us as stupid idiots! In usage ‘to do vikatam’ has to come to mean ‘to be funny and make people laugh happily’; and we will follow that meaning only. Vigneshwara is Vikatam and is the beautifully happy and joking personage that he is, as known to us all. We are not going to accept any research finding contrary to this, that he is a horrendous or ungainly clumsy being. To accept that will be real stupidity on our part!
120. Vigneshwara is a very humorous being. When his parents are having a tiff, he will do some mischief and cause them to laugh and re-unite. He will become a crow, distract Agasthya and enable us to get the waters of Cauvery River! He will go as a young Brhmachari boy and befuddle VibhishaNa to install Sri Ranganatha on the island in the River Cauvery. Similarly he cleverly bamboozles his elder brother to place the Kailasa Lingam permanently on the sea shore at GokarNa on the west coast of India. They are all his playful practical jokes. But these jokes have a greater ulterior purpose. Though one Agasthya, VibhishaNa and RaavaNa are made fools of, the inner purpose is that the River Cauvery, Sri Ranga Natha and Kailasa Lingam, instead of becoming a property of an individual should become a common asset of the world at large. That is noble intention, executed simply as a play as only a Vikata can do!
121. In Thirukkadaiyur he has a name as a thief as ‘KaLLa VaaraNa PiLLaiyar’. He had snatched the Amirta Kalasam from the errant Devas causing it to vanish and then once they realised their mistake and repented for the same by doing pooja to PiLLaiyar, he exonerated them and returned the Kalasam to them. He has done many such things in many places that there are incidents galore to talk about, through which he has gained many funny titles and epithets! South of Thiruvaroor there is a place known as ‘Thirukkaaraayil’ one of the seven Kshetras where seven different dancing poses of Siva are deified known as Sapta Vidanga Kshetras. A trader brought ‘Jaadikkaai’ (nutmeg) a type of costly variety of herb to that city for sales. At the toll gate he wished to avoid the heavy taxation the nutmeg would have invited. So he loaded his vehicle with bags of another herb known as ‘Kadukkaai’ with much lower level of taxation, in the front and rear from where his loaded vehicle would be checked for samples. Thus he could fool the checking staff at the toll gate and reach his destination with much less taxes. But you cannot escape the divine power of Vigneshwara which is the police, judiciary and executive arms of the government rolled in to one. He caused all the consignment to become Kadukkaai. Next day when the trader opened the bags, he was taken aback to see all his bags containing only the unwanted Kadukkaai! Then good sense prevailed over him that he prayed to PiLLaiyar whose temple was nearby, that he will pay the taxes in addition to whatever fines that may be due for his lapse. PiLLaiyar was kind enough to be condescending to convert all his consignment in to Jaadikkaai once again and in the bargain the PiLLaiyar came to be known as ‘Kadukkaai PiLLaiyar’!
122. The tangentially opposite of Kadukkaai in taste and preference is Karumbu which is the Tamil name for sugar-cane. Not one but having a thousand sugar-canes in his very name is one PiLLaiyar known as, ‘Karumbaayiram PiLLaiyar’ in KumbakoNam. His temple is located north west of Kumbeswara Swami Temple. His story as to how he got such a name is what I am going to relate to you now. His earlier name was Varaaha PiLLaiyar, as during the Varaaha Avatara of Vishnu, before going to fight with HiraNyaatcha to recover Bhumadevi, Vishnu is said to have prayed to this PiLLaiyar. It so happened that one day, a trader carrying sugar canes in his bullock cart halted for the night enroute in front of the temple.
123. Vigneshwara’s abode is in an ocean of sugar-cane juice. That place is known as Aananda Bhuvanam, like Kailasam for Siva and Vaikundam for VishNu. Mahavishnu’s abode is like an island in the ocean of milk known as ‘Ksheera Saagara’ and AmbaaL is in the ‘MaNidweepa in Amirta Saagara’. Similarly around PiLLaiyar’s abode of Aananda Bhuvanam, there is the ocean of sugar-cane juice. So, it is clear that he is sweet as indicated by the Modakam in his hands as well as the ocean in which his abode is located! Similarly I told you that the ‘mada jalam’ on his forehead and cheeks is also very sweet like the sugar-cane juice, being invaded by the flies and bees all of the time. This gentleman who normally resides in an isle surrounded by sugar-cane juice, for fun sake dressed as a young Brhmachari boy and asked for a piece of sugar-cane from that trader. The trader refused despite the recommendation of the onlookers who said, “How can you be so hard hearted when you have a whole truck full of sugar-cane and that poor child is asking in all its innocence? Why don’t you be kind enough to give at least a small piece?” The trader had a funny excuse. He claimed that his sugar-cane was not very sweet but rather salty and only when the juice is heated and made in to molasses, it becomes sweet! The on-lookers walked away from the spot, with some dis-belief, while PiLLaiyar had an all knowing smile on his face!
124. You can imagine what could have happened! Next day it seems all the sugar-canes in his truck were found to be unacceptably salty by the inspecting staff at the entrance to the Sugar Factory! The trader realised that the boy who had approached him was Lord GaNesha himself! He felt very bad for having refused the PiLLaiyar who had approached him in the guise of a small boy! He prayed to PiLLaiyar for pardon and all his sugar-cane regained their sweetness and acceptability at the factory gates! When the story became famous, PiLLaiyar’s name also changed from ‘Varaaha PiLLaiyar’ to Karumbaayiram PiLLaiyar’! There are many such stories of fun in which he will teach us lessons till the end of our lives, as seen from the story of Avvaiyar. When her friends had gone ahead to Kailasa and she was too old to walk all the way, PiLLaiyar just picked her up by his thumbikkai and in play extended it all the way to the heavens and beyond to Kailasam and simply dropped her there like any load carrying elephant would drop its load at the destination! (In Tamil, PeriyavaaL said, ‘avaLai appadiye thookki doppunu pottaar’ with enactment and laughter!)
(To be continued.)
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