Friday, October 05, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol # 6) Dated 05 Oct 2012




DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol # 6) Dated 05 Oct 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 page No 442 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)


What is Bhakti?

306.  Bhakti is to think of God as a सगुण साकार देवता मूर्ति’, meaning, with form and characteristics that we can adore and be devoted to.  This is the popular understanding of the word Bhakti.  As simple mental devotion is somewhat difficult, we invoke the God in a form, decorate it and treat the same as a living entity, doing Japa by chanting the names, doing ritual Pooja with 64 different devotional Upachaaraas, celebrating the birth days, visiting the temples and participating in their ceremonial celebrations, spread throughout the year, throughout the country!  Lalitha Sahasranaama Stotram, adoring the AmbaaL as the Goddess Empress has a Mantra addressing her as ‘चतुःषष्टिः उपचार आराध्या’, as being honoured ceremonially in 64 different steps. These are described in Parasurama Kalpa Sutram, by which she is worshipped.  The 64 Upachaaraas are: - 1.  पाध्यं Paadyam – Water for the feet.  2.  AabharaNaavaropaNam – Removal of jewels.  3.  सुगन्द तैलाभ्यङ्गं Sugandha taila abhyangah – Smearing the whole body with scented oil.  4.  मज्जनशाला प्रवेश: Majjana shaala pravesha – Entry into the bathing hall.  5. मज्जन मण्डप मणिपीठ उपवेशनं Majjana mandapa maNipeeta upavesanam – Being seated on the jewelled seat in the bathing platform.  6.  दिव्यस्नानीयोर्दतनं Divya snaaneeyordhatanam – Dusting with scented powder.  7.  उष्णोदकस्नानं UshNodhakasnaanam – Bathing in warm water.  8.  कनककलशाच्युतसकलतीर्थ अभिषेक: Kanaka kalashachyuta sakala teerta abhishekaha – Bathing with water from all sacred sources such as from various rivers and lakes from all over the country, from golden pots.  9.  धौतवस्त्रपरिमार्जनम् Dhouta vastra parimaarjanam – Drying with clean washed clothes.  10.  अरुणधुकूलपरिधानं AruNa dhukoola paridhaanam – Wearing red silk saree.  11.  अरुणधुकूलकुचोत्तरीयं AruNa dhukoola kuchottareeyam – Decorating with red silk jacket.  12.  आलेपमण्डपप्रवेश: Aalepamandapa praveshaha – Entering the anointing hall.  13.  आलेपमण्डपमणिपीठ उपवेशनं Aalepa mandapa maNipeeta upaveshanam – Being seated in the jewelled seat on the platform of the anointing hall.  14.  चन्दन-अगरु-कुङ्कुम-संगु-मृगमद-कर्पूर-कस्तूरी-गोरोचनादि-दिव्य गन्ध सर्वान्गविलेपनं  Chandana-agaru-kumkuma-sangu-mrgamada-karpoora-gorochanaadi divya gandha sarvaanga vilepanam – Smearing over all limbs with a paste made of a mix of, Sandal, Amyris, Kunkuma (reddened ochre), Sangu (an odoriferous bark of a tree), Musk, Camphor, Kasturi (another kind of a musk from a cat), Gorochana (a yellow pigment from the hump of the cow).  15.  केशभारस्य कालागरुधूप: Kesha bhaarasya kaalaagaru dhoopaha – Drying and perfuming the hair-locks with the smoke of black agaru.  16.  मल्लिका मालति जाती चंपकाशोक सतपत्र पूग कुद्मली पुन्नाग कह्लार मुख्यसर्वर्तु कुसुममाला: Mallika, Maalati, Jaati, Champaka, Ashoka, Satapatra, Pooga, Kudmali, Punnaaga, Kahlaara, mukhya sarvartu kusuma maalaaha – Garlanding with flowers of all seasons like jasmine, malati, champaka, ashoka, rose, areca, punnaga, kahlaara and such.  17.  भूषणमण्डपप्रवेशणं BhushaNa mandapa praveshanam –Entering the jewellery hall.  18.  भूषणमण्डप मणिपीठ उपवेशनं BhushaNa  mandapa maNipeeta upaveshanam – Being seated on the jewelled seat in the hall of ornaments.  19.  नवमणिमकुटम NavamaNi makutam – Wearing a crown of nine gems.  20.  चन्द्रशकलं Chandrashakalam – Wearing an ornament on the head resembling the crescent-moon.  21.  सीमन्त सिन्दूरं Seemanta sinduram – Placing red sindur on the top of forehead.  22.  तिलकरत्नं Tilakaratnam.  Placing the centre-dot made of a gem, in the centre of the forehead just above the eye-brows.  23.  कालाञ्जनं Kaalaanjanam – Black collyrium for the eyes.  24.  फालियुगलं Phaali Yugalam – Twin circlets on the nostrils.  25.  मणिकुण्डलयुगलं MaNikuNdala Yugalam – Pair of jewelled ear rings.  26.  नासाभरणं NasabhraNam – Nose-ornament.  27.  अधरयावकं Adharayaavakam – Painting the lips with red-lac.  28.  प्रथम भूषणं Prathama BhushaNam – The primary ornament for women – The Thaali / Maangalya-Sutra.  29.  कनक चिन्ताकं Kanaka-chintaakam – Gold Necklace or Addigai in Tamil.  30.  पदक: Padakaha – Pendant.  31.  महा पदक: Maha Padakaha – Large pendant.  32.  मुक्तावली: Muktaavalihi – Pearl necklace with many strings.  33.  एकावलि: Ekaavalihi – A string of 27 pearls.  34.  चन्नवीरं Channaveeram – An ornament worn cross-wise across the chest from both shoulders, going around the back too.  35.  केयूरयुगल चतुष्ट्यं Keyurayugalachatushtyam – A pair of bangles each on each upper arm.  36.  वलयावलि: Valayaavalihi – Series of bangles.  37.  ऊर्मिकावली:  Oormikaavalihi – Series of rings on the fingers.  38.  कान्चीदाम Kaanchidaama – String of bells in the waist.  39. कटीसूत्रं Kateesutram – Inner girdle around the waist.  40.  सौभाग्य आभरणं SowbhaagyaabharaNam – Auspicious ornament.  41.  पादकटकं Paadakatakam – Bangles for the feet.  42.  रत्ननूपुरं Ratnanoopuram – Jewelled anklets.  43.  पदान्गुलीयकं Paada anguleeyakam – Rings for the toes.  44.  एककरे पाश: Ekakare Paashaha – Noose in one hand.  45.  अन्यकरे अङ्कुश: Anyakare ankushaha – The goad on the other hand.  46.  इतरकरे पुण्द्रेक्षु चाप: Itarakare Pundrekshu chaapaha – Red sugar cane bow in the third hand. 47.  अपरकरे पुष्प बाण: Aparakare pushpa baaNaaha – Flower arrows in the fourth hand.  48.  श्रीमन् माणिक्य पादुके Sriman MaaNikya Paaduke – Pair of auspicious jewelled sandals.  49.  स्वसमानवेषाभि: आवरणदेवताभि: सहमहाचक्र अधिरोहणं Svasamaana veshaabihi aavaraNadevataabhihi saha maha chakra adhirohaNam – Entering the great Sri Chakra with ‘aavaraNa’ deities who are all similarly dressed up.  50.  कामेश्वराङ्क पर्यन्कनिवेषणं Kaameshwaraanka paryanka niveshanam – Sitting in lap of Kaameshwara.  51.  अम्र्तासवचषक: Amrutaasava chashakaha – Cup to hold nectarine liquor.  52.  आचमनीयं Aachamaneeyam – Sipping water.  53.  कर्पूरवीटिका Karpuraveetika – Scented betel.  54.  आनन्द उल्लास विलास हास: Aananda ullaasa vilaasa haasaha – Happy, cheerful, blissful smile.  55.  मङ्गलारार्तिकं Mangalarartikam – Auspicious saffron water to be waved in front.  56.  छत्रं Chatram – Umbrella.  57.  चामरयुगलं Chaamara Yugalam – Pair of whisks made of chamari deer hair.  58.  दर्पणः DarpaNaha – Showing of mirror.  59.  तालवृन्दं Taalavrundam – Palmyra fan.  60.  गन्ध:  Gandaha – Sandal paste smearing.  61.  पुष्पं Pushpam – Flowers offered at her feet.  62.  धूप: Dhoopaha – Incense.  63.  दीप:  Deepaha – Light.  64.  नैवेद्यं Neivedyam – Variety of food-offering.
307.  This is alright and cannot be faulted at all.  But, at a higher level instead of thinking of God with form and characteristics, as our love for the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God matures we have to be able to think of God as Paramaatma, sans qualities and form; and still be able to meditate on that and pass in that test also.  When God is seen and known with a shape and size, human like form, eyes, nose, hands, may be more than two; decorated variously, hear about their salubrious qualities in PuraNas and Stotras; then it is easier to have a sense of  loving adoration for God in that form!  That ‘loving adoration’ is Bhakti.  We have love for each other, for children, animals, relatives, poorer or not well to do people of the world and the beautiful and pleasant experiences of life.  Out of all such love, the highest is the love we have for God that is Bhakti.  In that too, it becomes easier to love God in a nice pleasant form as a repository of excellent and endearing qualities.  But to have that Bhakti for a formless God, not easily comprehended by our minds becomes somewhat difficult.  In the condition that we are in, that seems a little unclear.  It is alright, let it be so. Let us continue with Pooja for a God with form, some daily and periodic rituals and visit to temples and temple towns. 
308.  But amongst the devotees too, some who have advanced in Saadhana Chatushtyam and become refined, a little more cultured, a little more pure persons, may be able to have the love for a God who is more subtle and not gross.  Not as a give and take trade-in transaction wherein we just love to love God!  At that stage of love and devotion, we will not be much concerned with the object of our devotion, or as to its qualities or characteristics, but as a natural expression, unconcerned with the subject – object relationship.  Otherwise all that refinement may get waylaid by our own pride and Ahankaaram that all our efforts may end in postponement of Self-realization far away in the distant future beyond ‘Aadyantika Pralaya’, आद्यन्तिक प्रलय millions of years hence.  I shall talk about this आद्यन्तिक प्रलय and Ahankaaram later.  First let us know as to what is this Love that I am talking about.
309.  What is அன்பு, (pronounced as ‘anbu’) or Love?  One almighty God or Paramaatma only has become all the life forms.  There are many varied life forms, many apparently as animate life forms and many once again as inanimate matter or things, this drama of Maya goes on being enacted, with time and space providing the back drop, stage and tapestry.  This evolution and decentralization has gone on to such an extent, that each one of us including even a child or cats and dogs, think no end of oneself, though we are all like so many drops of the same ocean!  Within this panorama of life, from the opposite direction there is a current, a flow of power towards centralization and oneness, unity and integrity.  That unifying power is அன்பு, भक्ति or Love.  Normally human nature looks for advantage or gain or returns from each and every transaction.  As an antidote for that, to feel fulfilled by giving is அன்பு that is ‘unconditional Love’!  This is the difference between ஆசை & அன்பு, desire and unconditional love.  When we are desirous of something we are looking for deriving satisfaction from it.  Whereas அன்பு is a nobler sense that believes in giving help, protection, encouragement, appreciation and sustenance to others.  So desire means taking, whereas love is giving.  Desire leads to more attachment for the pleasure taken, wrongly misunderstood as love.
310.  (The compiler of the talks of PeriyavaaL in Tamil has inserted a note here saying that, to the extent he knows, what PeriyavaaL has said here seem to be some novel ideas, about ‘Antah KaraNam and Hrudayam’ meaning, ‘Inner Being and Heart’; not mentioned earlier or later anywhere in Deivathin Kural.  When he questioned PeriyavaaL later as to where from these ideas have originated, his reply was that “They were thoughts that came into being that day, period!”)  அன்பு happens when our inner being of ‘antah karaNam’ is in a highly animated stage, when the mind and Buddhi are subdued and it works from the heart instead of the brains.  As AmbaaL is an embodiment of Love, in AmbaaL’s creations that is God’s creations, even the cruellest life form too at some time or the other, displays அன்புThus we see a dog suckling a baby cat or a monkey sired by a tiger, at times!  But for people whose mind and Buddhi are well matured by spiritual Saadhana, their Antah KaraNam works from their heart permanently.

Antah KaraNam & Hrudayam / Heart

311.  Antah KaraNam though known as the Inner Being is ever an extrovert.  Though unlike the eyes, ears and nose that are part of the ‘Sthula Sareera’ स्थूल सरीर or gross body, this Antah KaraNam is part of the subtle ‘Sookshma Sareera’ सूक्ष्म सरीर.  Duality, the world of duality and all its sensual gratifications are its direct concerns.  That is how it is for all living beings.  To search and find food, clothing, abode and the means for living are the main preoccupations for it.  By the dirt of pleasure, enjoyment and gratifications, it is ever fattened and coated with a thick layer of muck like an utensil not cleaned for long.  Hrudayam / Heart that I am talking about is not the physical heart on the left side of the chest, that is pumping blood all of the time.  It is not the ‘Anaahata Chakra’ in the Sushumna Naadi in the centre of the chest either.  But the Hrudayam that I am talking about is not a physical thing, but the abode of the Aatma, our inner being, the life of us!  (Ramana Maharishi used to say that if you have to have a place designated for the Hrudayam in the human body, it is on the right side of the chest ‘three finger breadth’ right of centre as evidenced by the fact that, anybody referring to his self, touches the right side of the chest saying, “I am telling you” or “I will take care of you!”

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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