DEIVATHIN KURAL # 23 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 July 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 23 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 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 last para on page No 154 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)
193. GaNesha is not only adored and revered by the five faced Siva, but he is also having five elephant faces/heads with trunks; ten hands with the lion as the vahanam instead of the normal puny little rat to carry. Not only that the elephant is not afraid of the lion, but is commanding and controlling it, sitting on its shoulder /back! By his five faces if PiLLaiyar is reminding us of his father Parameswara, by riding on the lion he is also reminding us of his mother AmbaaL too, as she is the one normally famous as Simha Vaahini (the rider on the Lion), isn’t it? Heramba GaNapathy is like that. PiLLaiyar as Maha GaNapathy also has ten arms, but has neither five faces nor the lion as the Vaahana. Only Heramba as the one of the sixteen forms has these features. In Nagappattinam Neelaayadaakshi temple, there is Heramba GaNapathy made of copper, with the four faces towards North, East, West and South with the fifth one mounted on top of them like a crown. Just a glimpse of those five heads of elephants will give us happiness.
“Om Skanda Poorvajaya Namaha”
194. We have arrived at the last of the sixteen Naamaas. The name ‘Skanda Poorvaja’ is the sixteenth amongst the Shodasa Namaas, meaning the elder brother of SubrahmaNya, elder to Muruga. The word ‘poorvaja’ means ‘earlier born’ or previous. As we say ‘udan pirappu’ in Tamil, it is sibling in English and ‘Sahodara’ in Sanskrit. Sahodara = saha + udara; meaning, born of the same womb or stomach. But by this word we cannot make out as to who was earlier born and who is later. The word ‘poorvaja’ clearly means ‘previously born’, that is ‘ANNa’ (அண்ணா) or elder brother. Similar is the word ‘Thambi’ in Tamil or ‘Anuja’ in Sanskrit, synonyms for younger brother, like ‘Ramanuja’ means the younger brother of Rama, Laxmana. In the Amara Kosa, in the word meanings of SubrahmaNya, one of the names listed is ‘Gajamukanuja’ meaning the younger brother of Gajamukha. Similarly here, the elder brother is getting a name from the name of the younger brother! Such is the close rapport and affinity between the elder and younger brothers, that they derive each other’s names mutually from the other.
195. The Speciality of Being the Elder Brother of Muruga. In the sixteen names that we are discussing, there is no indication that he is the son of Siva or AmbaaL. That is, there is no mention whatsoever of the parent’s names, in these Shodasa Naamaas. There is also no mention of being the husband of so and so either! As there are many varieties of names as a single bachelor, there are also names of his, as the husband of so and so. With Vallabha as the wife, he is known as Vallabha GaNapathy. You also must have heard of him as the husband of Siddhi and Buddhi. There are supposed to be his children born of Siddhi and Buddhi also. But as part of the Shodasa Naamaas, there is no indication of any other relatives such as father, mother, wife and or children; while as the last of the sixteen names, one as the elder brother of Skanda, just one name indicating relationship has come in. How is that?
196. Normally the younger is introduced by mentioning an elder, famously known person’s name and then telling us the relationship between the two. Here for a change, a younger brother’s name has been given from which the elder is sought to be introduced! Why so? The reason lies in the fact that the elder brother has such an important role to play in the younger brother’s life history! The elder has a critical role in the younger brother’s Birth, Marriage and Sannyaasa. Hence the naming of the elder brother, by mentioning the younger brother’s name!
197. The Part Played by the Elder Brother in Junior’s Birth! If we take the birth of SubrahmaNya, his birth is specially known as ‘Kumara Sambhavam’. In Vaalmeeki Ramayana, Sage Viswamitra tells Rama and Laxmana the story of the birth of SubrahmaNya and at the end calls it ‘Kumara Sambhavam’. Taking a clue from Aadi Kavi’s words, Maha Kavi Kali Daasa also gave it the same title of ‘Kumara Sambhavam’ to his magnum opus too! What is so special about that occasion of ‘Sambhavam’, in Kumara’s birth? Others take birth, grow, learn the various avenues of knowledge, attain to certain minimum standards, get employed and then become entitled to name, fame and position. But in this case, the position of leadership of the Devas was waiting to be filled up by his birth. That is, he was detailed as the Army Commander of all the divine forces of Devas, even before he was born as Kumara or Kumara Swami! Having been badly beaten to pulp, trounced by the Asuras and confined to ignominy; the Devas were waiting for his origin, the ‘Sambhavam’ or the advent!
198. That, ‘Somebody equal to Siva only should be able to beat them’, was the boon that Surapadmasura, Tarakasura and others had obtained from Siva Himself! Who could be equal to Siva except himself? Having given the boon, he himself could neither cancel the boon nor could he go and kill them! This was the quandary they had placed the giver of the boon! Then without a fear in the world they were tyrannizing the Devas! After due deliberation, the Devas found the way out. Then as per the statement in the Sruti of the Vedas, “आत्मा वै पुत्र नामासि”, (that is, the ‘Son is the Father of the Man’), it was clear that as born of a man’s power, only the son is the equivalent of the Father. The two are one as per the Saastraas. So, the one who could save them all as the Saviour, ‘was the yet to be son only’, it was clear. The father Siva had to create a son accordingly, for which the Devas were aspiring for, through prayers and Tapas! The father as DakshiNamurthy was also in Tapas. To serve him AmbaaL was also in Tapas. So, all concerned were in an atmosphere of total abnegation, sacrifice, forbearance and abstinence; for the birth or coming into being of the answer to the problem!
199. Having been born as a child, for six days, (and only for six days,) Kumara Swami did play his ‘Baala Leelaas’ of so called childish pranks. In his case everything is six, born with six faces, on the sixth titi of Shashti, while His Mantra has six Aksharaas of ‘ச ர வ ண ப வ’ (saravana bhava of six Tamil letters)! When it came to feeding the baby, there were six ‘கிருத்திகா தேவிகள்’ (Krittikaa Devies) as foster mothers. Then he was born in SaravaNa Poigai, a pond off the Ganges River. Any river in Tamil is also called as ஆறு a synonym for number six! Though he had the child’s name as Kumara, he had only six days in which to play all his childish games and grow up fast! He played countless number of those games to make up for the short duration! Then having taken over the commandership of all the divine forces, he literally sorted out all the Asuras and ensured the security and protection of all the worlds! Instead of waiting to be instructed about his duties or receiving any applications or petitions, to be born with the appointment letter in his pocket (instead of unemployed graduates of these days), to become the Commander in Chief of the Divine Forces is the most special aspect of Kumara Sambhavam! “OK, Sir! All that you have said so far is granted and accepted. But, in all this, what is the ‘part’ played by our PiLLaiyar?” If that is your doubt, my answer follows!
200. If Siva’s son is equal to his father, Vigneshwara was the son of Siva, isn’t it? He was already there when everybody was in Tapas waiting for a son to be born to Siva, isn’t it? After all one of PiLLaiyar’s name is ‘Skanda Poorvaja’, that we are discussing now, isn’t it? Then what is the need for yet another son of Siva? The answer is that PiLLaiyar was very much as good as his father. At the time of Tripura Samhaara, did he not demonstrate that even Siva had to pay him his due regards and then only hope to achieve his mission isn’t it? Then what is the need for yet another child to be born to Siva?
201. (Note: The following matter in this and the next paragraph is given as a post script in page 159 of Deivathin Kural Volume 6.) To reinforce the above argument there is another story that clearly brings out the unquestionable might of PiLLaiyar, in Paranjyoti Muni’s ‘Thiru ViLaiyaadal PuraaNam’, ‘Valai Veesina Padalam’. Once upon a time, Siva was explaining the intricacies of esoteric principles to AmbaaL and she was slightly absent minded! Siva got annoyed and cursed her to be born in the ‘Karaiar’ caste. Both PiLLaiyar and Murugan were angry with their father at his annoyance and so they snatched the books of scriptures in his hands and threw them away! This caused further annoyance to Siva who cursed the Nandi who had permitted the children to come inside, to be born as a shark! Then he further gave a Saapam to Murugan to be born in Vysya family as a dumb child! The only person who was not cursed was the elder son, PiLLaiyar as such act will affect Siva himself in turn, as per that PuraaNam!
202. When this story was narrated to PeriyavaaL, having heard it all quite interestedly, he wished to know the exact words of the PuraaNam, bringing out the inviolability of PiLLaiyar from being cursed by even Siva! This was quoted to him in the next meeting with PeriyavaaL, who was very happy to hear the same. In Tamil it is, “வெருவரு செலவின் வேழ முகத்தனை விதித்த சாபம், பெருவலி தன்னைச் சாரும் பெற்றியால் சாபம் கூறான்”. That means, ‘The curse given to the fearless natured PiLLaiyar instead of affecting him will affect Siva Perumaan himself with added force and so, he did not curse PiLLaiyar!’ PeriyavaaL was happy to note the fact and said that, “Instead of talking about PiLLaiyar’s greatness in one of his own Vinayaka PuraaNam or such scriptures, it is added glory to come across such statements in a book meant to bring out Siva’s greatness!”
203. Then what is the need for another son? Why did the Devas pray for another son to be born to Siva? What was PiLLaiyar’s role in the birth of the second son? The problem was in the boon already obtained by Soorapadma. These Asuras always used to ask for such Boons as to be not easily countered. He had requested that he is not to be killed by anyone who is not equal to Siva and even if he is equal to Siva, he is not to be born of the union of male and female! So the all powerful PiLLaiyar was automatically ruled out! Now, if you again ask me as to ‘How could that be?’ you have to wait for the next issue of Deivathin Kural!
(To be continued.)
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