DEIVATHIN KURAL # 16 (Vol # 6) Dated 30 June 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 16 (Vol # 6) Dated 30 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 104 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)
125. Poems of Frivolity. Not only that PiLLaiyar played games of fun with others, he has also permitted others to take liberties with him in levity and jocularity. Only Chandra the Moon God really ridiculed PiLLaiyar and became the butt of jokes himself and had to be punished (this has already been described in detail in the initial issues of Deivathin Kural (Vol # 4) of May 2010 and again comes some five e-mails later following this). In the case of all other devotees, some who felt familiar with him have gone slightly off track in their hilarity, but were smilingly tolerated by our friendly PiLLaiyar! KaaLamega Pulavar has written many poems of rhyme and witticism on PiLLaiyar. In one starting with ‘மாட்டுக்கோன் தங்கை’, he has talked about AmbaaL begetting an owl as her child as ‘kottaanaiyum pertraaL’; making us wonder as to how crude he could get and call PiLLaiyar such names! Then we realize that the meaning of the word is ‘kottu + yaanai’ = ‘kottaanai’, that stands for an elephant which has tusks! In another song he has made fun of the fact that PiLLaiyar has a rat as his Vaahanam that is, the official carrier, and that the puny rat has to pull this big elephant! Even Avvaiyar has dealt with PiLLaiyar as you would with a baby elephant and not with a grown up adult saying, “paalum telitenum....
பாலும் தெளிதேனும் பாகும் பருப்பும் இவை
நாலும் கலந்து உனக்கு நான் தருவேன்
கோலம்செய் துங்கக்கரிமுகத்துதூமணியே – நீஎனக்கு
சங்கத்தமிழ் மூன்றும் தா. In this poem Avvaiyar is saying that I will give you milk, honey, melted jaggery caramel and tasty nuts and you give me the three different disciplines of Tamil as Iyal, Isai and Nadakam that is poetry, music and drama. She seems to be hood-winking the child God GaNapathy that she will give him some eats containing four different constituent inputs and in return she is asking for only three things namely the Literature of the Sanga Period in three parts! Our knocking on our heads with our knuckles when we come before him known as ‘kuttik koLvadu’; going on our knees three times while holding and lightly pulling on our ears with our thumbs and index fingers known as ‘dobir karaNam’ (which has become a popular exercise all over the west;), sitting on our haunches and getting up three times; both the above two activities done with our hands held crosswise in front of our face; breaking the husked coconut with a bang on the rock surface on the ground, specially so fixed in front of GaNapathy’s statue in the temples causing young children to run after the pieces of the coconut scattered on the ground, with some children being successful and some getting deceived and disappointed; have all an element of fun and drama included in them!
126. Vikata Chakra Vinayaka. The moment I mentioned the ‘dobir karaNam’ which is mispronounced as ‘thoppukkaraNam’ in Tamil, I am reminded of other Kshetras where he has played some tricks and some practical jokes, some of which I have already told you. Here in Kanchipuram itself he is enshrined as the ‘Vikata Chakra Vinayaka’, where his younger brother SubrahmaNya Swami is the main deity in ‘Kumara Kottam’. What is that ‘Vikata Chakra Vinayaka’? With Maha Vishnu, his father-in-law who normally is the bearer of the ‘Chakra the Wheel’, worn as a weapon on his index finger all the time, also he has played the fool! Once it seems Maha Vishnu visited his son-in-law at Kailasa with a lot of presents on his birth day known as Vinayaka Chathurthi. This baby elephant God threw away all those presents and snatched Maha Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra. How can Maha Vishnu do without his favourite weapon? He tried to catch hold of Vinayaka, who promptly put it in his mouth, as though ready to swallow it. Maha Vishnu simply contrived to do something funny to make this baby elephant burst out laughing. So, he caught hold of his ears by all his four hands and did ‘dobir karaNam’ jumping up and down fast, that PiLLaiyar simply burst out laughing uncontrollably looking at the plight of his father-in-law, that the Chakra fell out of PiLLaiyar’s mouth and Maha Vishnu just grabbed it! That is how this practice of doing ‘dobir karaNam’ in front of PiLLaiyar to please him started! So, as he had done a play with Vishnu’s Chakra, PiLLaiyar came to be known as ‘Vikata Chakra Vinayaka’. (This story has already been covered in Deivathin Kural Part IV, in detail.)
127. In the Kumara Kottam where ‘Vikata Chakra Vinayaka’ is located, the main presiding deity SubrahmaNya, his younger brother is in a form known as Brhma Saasta. He asked Brhma the meaning of the PraNava Mantra for which Brhma could not give a satisfactory reply and so was put in the jail and took over the job of creation himself. At that time Bala SubrahmaNya has the Japa Mala and Kamandalam, which are normally the accoutrements of Brhma. That is how he is dressed in Kumara Kottam as Brhma Saasta. So, between the elder brother and younger brother, they both seem to have taken over two third of the jobs of the Holy Trinity, leaving only the portion meant for Siva untouched! Now we have, GajakarNaka who chases away the hovering bees by waving his ears, Lambodara makes the observer burst out laughing by the very sight of the hanging stomach, and Vikata does many tricks, mimicry, jokes and mischief to cause mirth. Thus for the one with the first name of Sumuka, the next three names are GajakarNaka, Lambodara and Vikata! For the people of the world who are all the time deeply stuck in some problem or quandary or the other, there is no other God better than PiLLaiyar to make you feel happy, as these four names indicate!
“Om Vigna Rajaya Namaha”
128. Next name is ‘Vigna Raja’, that is ‘Vigneshwara’ the King of all obstacles. It may seem status wise that Easwara is far above the King. But if you look at the root word in Sanskrit for both these two words, you will see that both mean the same, ‘to rule’. So, Easwara, Swami, Raja and Nathan are all synonyms. That is the reason why, Nataraja can be called Natesa and Nateswara; Rangaraja could be known as Ranga Natha or Rangesa and Thirunaavukku Arasar can be Vaageesa! So, Vigna Raja and Vigneshwara are one and the same!
129. This name Vignaraja shows the special powers of PiLLaiyar. What is the purpose of his coming into being? Brhma is for Creation; Vishnu for Stiti, that is, administration and maintenance; Rudra for Laya, that is, dissolution and re-absorption; Durga for Victory; Lakshmi for Wealth; Saraswathi for Knowledge; Danvantary for Relief from diseases; are all like various departments in the bureaucracy of universal governance. In that arrangement, what is the office of PiLLaiyar? That is removal of obstacles. We pray to him first before anybody else so as to obviate problems. He is the very God come into being so that we may have a trouble free ‘clean run’ or ‘smooth sailing’ that is, Vigneshwara or Vigna Raja! We should not wrongly understand that he is the King of all problems! One of the important jobs of a King is to keep the enemies under control. Thus he is the Vigna Raja, the King who keeps the Problems at arms’ length! The researchers claim that in the olden times, he used to create problems himself and so was called Vigneshwara and the name continued even after he became a ‘sowmya murthy’, that is, a pleasant personage!
130. Even Problem Creation is for a Noble Purpose. Often in places, he has created problems all right. But, we have to understand the motive. When Siva started out for Tripura Samhara, as he ventured forth without doing prayers to PiLLaiyar, he caused the axle of his chariot to break. That was to demonstrate that even the top man has to show the necessary respect for the others in the hierarchy, however low in the order they may be! The King and the Ministers also have to be Law abiding, first of all, to be able to instil discipline in others. So, the problems are not created as an end in themselves. For the individual, including the King, the Law is supreme. This matter has to be demonstrated at times even to the King, if need be by teaching him a lesson, isn’t it? So, at times Vigneshwara might create some problems, but never leading to total destruction or inertia. However much one may be able and powerful, one should have the humility. So, through that very act of problem creation, he will teach the necessary lesson to the affected person and cause them to remember their error that, “We have got into this trouble because we have ignored the protocol of paying obeisance to the particular power meant to remove obstacles”, and thus make them go back to him! Then he will give them a double boon as though, to be doubly successful in their endeavour! That is Vigna Raja for you!
131. Personal Experience. Let the examples of ages past be aside. Personally there have been at least two experiences. (One was explained in para 55 of Deivathin Kural # 5 (Vol # 4) Dated 02 May 2010, about the truck engaged by the Matam carrying marble slabs for a temple to be constructed at Rameswaram, going from Kanchipuram, having its axle broken at ‘Achirapaakkam’ or ‘Achirupaakkam’ enroute! The interesting thing was the name of the place had two meanings as, ‘that small place’ and ‘the axle place’, to remind us of how Siva’s chariot’s axle was broken as he ventured out for Tripura Samhara! The second incident is explained here.) We were visiting Vellore. There in SeNpaakkam there are powerful PiLLaiyar temples. Not just one or two, but 11 of them. Another interesting thing is that they are not sculpted figures but, self-created ‘Swayambhus’! Normally we know of ‘Ekaadasa Rudras’ and not ‘Ekaadasa Vinayakas’! The way they are located on the ground will indicate the figure of PraNavaakaara Ohm!
132. In the interregnum of sometime past the Swayambhu Vinayakas were gone underground covered by earth. May be to remind us all that he is the God of Prithvi Tatva (that is, the Earth Principle), he has played a game like this, by hiding under the earth! A minister of the Ruler of Maharashtra, named Tukkoji was passing through that area in a horse driven carriage known as ‘Saarat’ at night fall. The wheel stuck against some hard object on the ground and the axle broke. On checking up after getting down from the carriage, they could find some blood marks on the ground. As the repair work could be done only in the morning, they decided to halt there for the night! Tukkoji went to sleep in some temporary arrangement nearby, praying to Vigneshwara. In the dream, he was made aware that there were 11 statues of PiLLaiyar imbedded underground in that location. GaNapathy told him in his dream, “Do not worry. I only caused this minor inconvenience to you. It is better that you excavate this area bringing out the Ekaadasa Vigneshwara statues, construct temples and thereby attain to name and fame yourself! So instead of the initial inconvenience, Tukkoji had multi fold pleasure and satisfaction. Let me come to my experience that I had there!
(To be continued.)
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