DEIVATHIN KURAL # 24 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 July 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 24 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 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 160 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)
204. PiLLaiyar has come into being (आविर्भाव) in many ways. In one of them, as I had told you earlier without any male contact, AmbaaL wiped her own body of all turmeric powder and other fragrant unguents and formed PiLLaiyar. In PuraNas, there are accounts of his coming into being in various other ways too. Swami and AmbaaL were together in the चित्रशाला (room where painting is done or where art works are displayed) in Kailasa and happened to view a decoratively and colorfully written प्रणवाक्षर (PraNava Aktchar Ohm) simultaneously. Then their vision coalesced from which the Vigneshwara रूप Roopa or form emerged. This is one version. In another version, AmbaaL had taken the form of a female elephant when Siva also was in the form of a male elephant! The baby elephant so born is GaNapathy. This has been referred by Thiru Gnaana Sambandar, in a Tevaram sung at Valivalam near Thiruvaroor. I quote the Tevaram song as follows, “பிடியதன் உரு உமை கொளமிகு கரியது | வடிகொடு தனதடி வழிபடும் அவரிடர் | கடிகண பதிவர அருளினன்.”
205. The word ‘பிடி’ (Pidi) means female elephant, while ‘களிறு’ (KaLiru) means the male elephant. When the couple of Siva and Sakti were in the form of a male and female elephants, Appar SwamigaL had practically seen them as the divine couple and sung this other Tevaram song, “காதல் மடப்பிடியோடும் களிறு வருவன கண்டேன் | கண்டேன் அவர் திருப்பாதம், கண்டறியாதன கண்டேன்”. When AmbaaL went to war against Bandasura, he had launched a ‘Vigna Yantra’ (विग्न यन्त्र) as an obstacle in her progress. Then she looked at Siva in the form of Kameshwara similarly dressed like her with ‘Dhanur – BaaNa – Paasa and Ankusa’ (Bow, arrows, lasso and the goad) at askance! At once GaNapathy came into being. That is another version. Thus, in all these stories/versions we note that, Vigneshwara had come in to being by male – female relationship. So, as per the precondition by Soorapadma, he could not have been killed by GaNapathy.
206. Vigneshwara was not in any way less powerful to Siva and not incapable of sorting out Soorapadma. But his Avatara as the son of AmbaaL meant that he could not have been the nemesis for that particular Asura Soorapadma because of the boon given by Siva earlier. So, the Devas had to pray for another son of Siva without getting any female contact! Hence, Kumara Swami was created from the six sparks from his third eye. To say the same thing in other words, Vigneshwara had to stand by for Kumara Swami to come into being. So as to save his father’s promise to the Asuras, PiLLaiyar had to stand aside without venturing to sort out the Asuras. That is the main reason for the younger one to become the commander of the divine forces. Despite being omnipotent, he let such a proverb to come into being as ‘மூத்தது மோழை இளையது காளை’, meaning that, ‘elder is inept while the younger is like a bull’! Only thus, the younger lad could have the opportunity to successfully defeat the demoniacal forces of the Asuras getting much name and fame. The followers and devotees of Kumara Swami shout hail for him saying, “வெற்றி வேல், வீர வேல்”, meaning ‘Victorious Spear, Courageous Spear’! The ‘வேல்’ pronounced as ‘Vale’, is the Spear famous as the weapon of Kumara Swami.
207. PiLLaiyar had the power to assume many forms by his own ability. If he wished he could have recreated himself into another Avatara without any connection or reference to AmbaaL, taken over command of the divine forces of Devas and literally vanquished the forces of the Asuras. Since he refrained from doing so, we could have God in another form as SubrahmaNya, the Kumara Swami! Thus, though he had no direct role to play in ‘Kumara Sambhavam’, he had a strong negative role of contribution!
PiLLaiyar’s Role in Younger Brother’s Marriage
208. Next important event is the younger brother’s marriage. As ‘VaLLi KalyaNam’, it is much talked about and celebrated in marriages, in ‘उपन्यासं’ that is, in narration of religious stories in temples; in cinemas, and in dramas on stages etc. This story is normally known to all and sundry as to how PiLLaiyar came in the form of an elephant in musth, chasing VaLLi who was a nubile belle from the tribe of hunters in forests towards SubrahmaNya standing there ready to save this damsel in distress. Here PiLLaiyar demonstrated that he as the elder brother is not good for nothing ‘மோழை’ (pronounced as ‘mozhai’), but as the elephant in musth was even far superior to the younger brother ‘காளை’ (pronounced as ‘kaaLai’), the young bull! Prior to this, the younger brother was in a quandary as to, how to win the heart of the girl. It is then, that he prayed to his elder brother to help, who promptly responded in the form of an elephant in musth, threatening the girl.
209. The Tamil poet devotee of Kumara Swami, AruNagirinaathar in his collection of poems known as Thiruppugazh (all addressed to Kumara Swami aka Murugan), in the very first poem of prayer addressed to PiLLaiyar, starting with the words ‘கைத்தலம் நிறைகனி’; completes the song with the narration of the above mentioned incident thus.
அத்துயரதுகொடு சுப்பிர மணிபடும்
அப்புன மதனிடை இபமாகி
அக்குற மகளுடன் அச்சிறு முருகனை
அக்கண மணமருள் பெருமாளே! While saying this, the poet is calling Kumara Swami as ‘சிறு முருகன்’, meaning ‘that small boy!’ In fact that Murugan when he was even smaller, it was that he fought and destroyed the Soorapadma Asura, to deserve all the accolades of praise. Sri Krishna in Bhagawat Gita, while describing his own divine glories in the tenth chapter of the Gita, such as that he is Saama Veda amongst Vedas; Jasmine amongst flowers; the letter alpha amongst alphabets; Sankara amongst Rudras and so on; he also mentions that amongst the soldiers he is Skanda! To quote his own words, सेनानीनां अहं स्कन्द: ! It is such a person, who later when he was a strapping youth, was not able to win over a simple lass of the hunters that he is referred by AruNagiri as ‘that small boy’ ‘சிறு முருகன்’ while, PiLLaiyar is being referred to as ‘பெருமாளே’, to mean ‘that big man’! Otherwise, we note that throughout Thiruppugazh this word ‘பெருமாளே’ is meant for Murugan only, though in the first poem, he is ‘that small boy’ and PiLLaiyar is ‘that big man’! So, we observe that in SubrahmaNya Swami’s marriage, Vigneshwara had a direct and active key role to play.
210. There may not be many, not knowing the story of ‘பழம் + நீ = பழனி’, the place ‘Pazhani’ where Murugan went and stood on a hillock, having thrown away all his ornaments and accoutrements, more out of disgust from a sense of being outwitted by his elder brother! In the story of Skanda, we saw that scene of marriage. There is Sannyaasa also in the life of Skanda, but that was before marriage, unlike the way it happens normally. First there is renunciation; then as a mighty powerful soldier, defeat of the enemies; then making use of the elder’s blessings, there is marriage; a unique and novel order in the life of Murugan! He was holding a ‘dandam’, that is a pole or stick to be known as ‘DandayudhapaaNi’. In fact that was not a weapon or ‘aayudham’, only a ‘dandam’ like in the hands of the shepherd, more like a twig that we renunciates are holding! Dandayudham is a weapon in the hands of a soldier for bashing up the enemies. In fact one of the commanders of Lalithamba’s army was known as ‘Dandini’. Before fighting with weapons like that, DandapaaNi’ stood on top of Pazhani with ‘dandam’, the twig in his hands, to indicate the need to control one’s own mind, in the war with oneself. So, the ‘Dandam’ is a symbolic reminder only.
211. Unlike anybody else in the array of Gods in the Hindu pantheon, DandapaaNi Swami is standing there as a young lad, little bigger than a baby, with his head shaved off, shorn of all hair, wearing only a small piece of cloth as ‘kovaNam’ (கோவணம்), holding a small stick! Is there any parallel anywhere else, in any other religion? If such a person of unmatched beauty and power, with incomparable status of eminence in all respects, is made to stand like that as a penurious destitute in silent supplication, melting our hearts and minds, within six days after his birth; who is the cause of it all? That is also our PiLLaiyar only, the elder brother! As he had walked around his parents in his slow gait three times and snatched away the fruit ‘pazham’, defeating the younger brother who was travelling at tremendous speed on his ‘Mayura Vaahana’ of peacock around the world and was thoroughly disappointed on return to note that the elder brother had beaten him hands down!
212. Then the parents went to Pazhani to console and cajole the youngster. After all these are only part of the show and another scene in the ongoing drama of life, isn’t it? The credit goes to PiLLaiyar for having taught a lesson for all people of the world forever that, every child has to look at the parents as the ‘be all and end all’, and as God in human form! So, with the arrival of his parents to assuage his hurt feelings, this Kumara Swami in a loincloth, got ready with all his embellishments and weapons as the commander of all the divine forces. Still, so that his short duration stay at ‘Pazhani’ as a renunciate beggar form may continue to spread the vibrations of control of the wandering mind and sensual tendencies, by being focused on spiritual awareness and peacefulness; he charged the idol at that temple, in all kindness for the future generations!
213. In Subrahmanya’s birth to be commander of the divine forces of Devas; in his betrothal to VaLLi, thereby becoming a husband – wife couple as another set of divine parents for us all; and then in his eternal presence as the very symbol of ज्ञान वैराग्यं, that is, spiritual awareness and dispassion at Pazhani; there is close and active contributions from Vigneshwara. So, to publicize this fact of closeness between the brothers, there is this special name as part of the Shodasa Naamaas as ‘Skanda Poorvaja / स्कन्द पूर्वज’, to mean ‘The Elder Brother of Skanda’. Poorvaja means born earlier, but this name comes at the end of these sixteen names! Thus the start and end are connected in an everlasting circle of continuity and completeness!
(To be completed.)
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