DEIVATHIN KURAL # 17 (Vol # 6) Dated 01 July 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 17 (Vol # 6) Dated 01 July 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 111 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)
133. We were passing through that place SeNpaakkam near Vellore, in a procession. At that time ‘Chinna SwamigaL’ (Sri Jayendra Saraswathi SwamigaL) was seated on the elephant. After reaching the environs of that temple, the elephant refused to progress further. It will go round and round in a circle, refusing to respond to all our promptings and urgings! Much time was wasted and the whole convoy was stuck. People were wondering if the animal had the Musth condition and were worried as the young Swami was still seated on top! Then suddenly it came to our minds that we had decided the previous night to offer 108 coconuts in number as ‘Chidaru Thengai’ for the nearby SeNpaakkam PiLLaiyar before starting out the next day, which had been forgotten!
134. What is the meaning of forgetfulness? It only means that we have not taken proper care and were lacking in sincerity of purpose and attention to our responsibilities! We have not forgotten to receive much respect from people in terms of garland and PoorNa Kumbham sending us off on our way and such formalities. But when it comes to our paying respect to PiLLaiyar, we have been careless! We, who have an onus, a responsibility to create and kindle faith and belief in people, have failed in our duties, which is doubly an offence! Had I myself been put to some inconvenience, the lesson may not have reached home! That is why PiLLaiyar has conveyed the message of his disapproval through the elephant carrying the Chinna SwamigaL, as the elephant is PiLLaiyar’s own Swaroopa! Chinna SwamigaL was quite alright, brave and unruffled. The lesson was for me and the administrators of the Matam. At once 108 coconuts were offered as ‘Chidaru Thengai’ in front of PiLLaiyar. The elephant was back under control and resumed his obedient behaviour! This is what I have personally seen and experienced! Later, on another occasion we arranged for proper Pooja, Abhishekam and Aaraadhana for SeNpaakkam PiLLaiyar.
135. By doing ‘Chidaru Thengai’, Abhishekam and such things, we are not creating any new advantage or gain for him. He is ever the very form of happiness and always contented and satisfied. These devotional procedures are only to enable us to demonstrate our love for God. Our doing things to him give us only all the happiness and satisfaction. When our endeavour is successful without any obstacles and hindrances, we get satisfied yes. Actually the value of the trees’ shadow is more experienced in the direct sunlight, isn’t it? The shimmer of the bright silver/gold tinsel work is more pronounced when stitched as a border of black cloth. Similarly when any venture is completed despite a problem then it gives us greater satisfaction. Forget about the completion of the job. More than that, it is important that we attain the pleasure born of devotion! God is so big and all complete without any deficiencies! He does not have any wants or needs. He cannot be bribed to show us some special favour! It is his greatness that he remembers our flimsy prayer, to teach us a lesson that without divine influence we cannot achieve anything. So, he takes pains to instil humility in us. Thus in the form of an obstacle, he is actually doing us a very important favour. This understanding gives us the immense pleasure of devotion and gratitude. The remover of obstacles, at times creates the blocks so as to remove them later with some much needed lessons – that is Vignaraja!
“Om Vinayakaya Namaha.”
136. After Vignaraja is the name Vinayaka, as the slokam goes, ‘Vignaraajo Vinayakaha’. There is a custom to install two PiLLaiyars next to each other in the same Sannidy, either in their own temple or as part of a big complex for Easwara and other Gods. In many of the cities in Tamil Nadu, you may come across ‘Irattai PiLLaiyar Koil Theru’, to mean, ‘the street in which the temple of Double PiLLaiyar is located’. There is no other temple for any of the other Gods like that, having two idols of the same God, co-located! What is the logic of this custom? He is the only deity who does these seemingly opposite kind of activities! I did not say ‘opposite’ but, ‘seemingly opposite’. I will come back to this point later. Anyhow, it seems that he does or causes two different effects. So they have kept one idol each for those two effects that he has. Among those two idols, one is Vignaraja and the other Vinayaka. As they are seated next to each other, their names also occur one after the other in sloka containing the 16 names of PiLLaiyar – ‘Vignaraajo Vinayakaha’.
137. What are those two seemingly opposite activities of Vignaraja and Vinayaka? By now you know the answer, one is to cause obstacles and the other is to remove them. But when calling him as Vigneshwara or Vignaraja, we are not to construe him to be simply a trouble creator! As the king controls the negative elements in a society and punishes the miscreants, he is the controller and remover of all ‘Vignam’! Generally while calling him Vigneshwara and praying to him, this should be the basis of our understanding. But when we see the ‘Irattai PiLLaiyar’, the first one is to be seen as the Master Trouble Creator, taking the direct meaning of the word. (Smilingly PeriyavaaL says, ‘Do we not call an expert thief as the ‘Thiruttu Raja’?) The second one is to be seen as the Master Trouble Shooter! Then he is the Vinayaka! So, as the one causing the problems, as Vignaraja is he a heinous force, a negative power or something evil by itself? No! That is exactly what we should not be saying. That is why I am insisting that, to cause obstacles and to remove them, are not exactly opposite things. These seemingly opposite actions are both blessings, to turn us back on to the right path and guarding us from going astray. Both are ‘Anugraha’ only from the same indulgent power of God! Some die-hards may still insist, “How can it be?”
138. Over many life times, we have done a lot of negative, wrong and sinful actions. Thus our accumulated bag of sin is full and overflowing. So now, with God’s Grace we have some devotion for PiLLaiyar and before starting the work, we are praying to him that the work that we are endeavouring may go on without a hitch. Just because we have prayed now, does not mean that all our past minus account can be overlooked! If that happens like that, anybody can get away with blue murder and go unpunished sans regret and without chastisement! That will mean that there is no justice in the world! Then the tendency will be, “We can do what we want. Make a fool of all the world and Gods too. Whatever the past, now we can just pray to PiLLaiyar and promptly all our past will be cancelled.”
139. To obviate such a state of affairs, he is the Vignaraja. Even then he does not spuriously create problems unfairly in an unjustified manner. As a result of our past actions, as per the calculations of Dharma and Nyaaya, (that is fairness and justice), we may not be entitled to be victorious in our endeavour. So what looks as a creation by him, that is Vignaraja, is in truth our own making only. May be by itself the intensity will be even more, leading to total failure. But, instead of being carried away by the flood, PiLLaiyar puts a block in the path of our Karma Vinai or comeuppance and channelize and moderate the effect. What was in store as a major debacle, is pulled by his trunk, shortened and reduced in size and severity, making it bearable; all by his Grace only. The very fact that now, we are a devotee of God, makes a qualitative difference, depending upon the sincerity and integrity of our devotion and prayer. Anyhow the old accounts have to be cancelled out, isn’t it? Then only the way for relief, repentance and restoration will open. Otherwise we may end up adding to our load! It is good that he brings in the element of a brake in our regression to change for the better! Like the bitter pill, what he does though may seem bad, is good for us eventually!
140. Thus, the one who brings in the Vignam is Vignaraja. Then to reduce its effect, and remove it after we have experienced our quota of it, is Vinayaka. Sometimes the festering wounds are needled and nudged before being cleaned and cured, isn’t it? The needling and nudging is done by Vignaraja, while the curing and nursing back to good health is done by Vinayaka. The ‘Vigna Karta’ and ‘Vigna Harta’, both are the two adjacent names of PiLLaiyar, not only in the Shodasa Naamaas, but also in the Ashtottara Sata Naamaas, with Vignaraja as the former and Vinayaka as the latter.
141. Vinayaka means special. All Gods are ‘Nayak or Nayaki’ only, that is, heroes and heroines only. But Vinayaka is special amongst them also! They, all of them the Gods, would have opposed some Asura or Raakshasa, and removed their tyranny or changed them. So, as the leaders on the right path they are all ‘Nayaka’, but he is the Vinayaka, the Special Leader, who puts the block, mends your behaviour and removes the hindrance. Like the name Vignaraja, he is also known as ‘Vigna Vinayaka’ as it is said in the sloka starting with, “Mooshika vaahana modaka hasta”. He is the special Nayak for all trouble creators too. He is the Vigna Vinayaka and Vigna Vinasaka. The Sanskrit ‘sa’ becomes ‘ya’ in Tamil, like ‘Aakaash’ becomes ‘Aagayam’ in Tamil.
142. There is a tradition by which they are treated as twins too. In the ceremony of ‘PuNyaaha Vachanam’ like the cleansing and purification at the end of any major function; there is a mantra which says, “Let the Vigna – Vinayaka-s be pleased” (‘bhagavantou vigna-vinayakou preeyataam’)!
(To be continued.)
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