Sunday, November 18, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 85 (Vol # 6) Dated 18 Nov 2012




DEIVATHIN KURAL # 85 (Vol # 6) Dated 18 Nov 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 577 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)

SOUNDARYA LAHARI – WAVES OF BEAUTY
Our AachaaryaaL – An Avatara Purusha

1.       Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL, whom we reverently refer to as ‘Our AachaaryaaL’, is truly an Avatara of Parameswara.  The God, who sits silently sans actions as DakshiNa Murthy keeping his Chit / Gnaana Shakti under control deep inside, is the one who came down on earth as an Avatara Purusha.  As much as he was silent as a Mouni, he spoke, defeated opponents in debates, argued his points like a lawyer in the courts of people's minds and wrote poems of slokas and stotras in praise of various deities, authored Bhashyam-s and PrakaraNa Granthams for the sake of future generations of Gurus, Sishyas, devotees and yet to be philosophers!  As much as he was inactive without any 'to do' work sitting under a banyan tree immobile, he walked his way across the length and breadth of this country from Rameswaram in the South to Himalayas in the North and from Dwaraka in the West to Puri in the East and that too three times; in days when there were no Rail or Road networks, in his short life span of three decades and two only!
2.       Brhmam with no work is Siva and active power behind him is the Shakti.  It is the dynamic power of Chit Shakti that moves the whole universe.  If AachaaryaaL did so much in his short life time of 32 years, the Chit Shakti who was dormant inside when he was DakshiNa Murthy, became evident in his Avatara as our AachaaryaaL.  As she the Chit Shakti had manifested – we say that she is 'aavirbhaavita' – 'आविर्भाविता' – 'ஆவிர்ப்பவித்து விட்டாள்'.  Thus our AachaaryaaL should be considered as a joint incarnation of AmbaaL and Easwara.  As we say that 'மாதா பிதா குரு தெய்வம்', to mean Mother, Father and Teacher are to be revered as Gods, here the Mother and Father of the whole of Existence, manifested as our AachaaryaaL our Guru.
3.       As AmbaaL was dormant in the inactive and immobile DakshiNa Murthy, though our AachaaryaaL had a very active and ebullient life full of packed engagements throughout his life, he remained inwardly calm, cool and most peaceful.  He established the unshakeable point of view of Adwaita Siddhaantam that, "Without any Kaarya or Karma to remain as the Self is the Brhmam and so is the true state of the Jiva too" and epitomised the point of view by practically remaining all the time in Brhma-Aatma-Anubhava internally. 
4.       Thus though inwardly being the very Brhmam, as he had taken an Avatara as a human being, he did many things as a human being.  If you are playing a part of a character in the drama on stage, you should not show off your reality but enact that role only.  Even if you are a very rich man, playing the part of a beggar you must wear torn clothes only.  Playing any such part, inwardly of course you would know that you are not the part that you play.  That is why we have such names as, 'maya maanusha', 'leela maanush', and 'kapata naataka vesha', for Sri Krishna.  Sri Rama was an Avatara of Maha Vishnu.  When Ravana duped and spirited Sita away, he felt sorrowful like any human being would have been under similar circumstances.  When in the battle ground Laxmana, his younger brother swooned, Sri Rama literally cried inconsolably.
5.       If you ask as to why should Avataras do like this, their very coming down on earth is to show ideally as to how a human should behave under various conditions.  Their very purpose of being an Avatara is to depict how much a man within his limitations, can raise himself gradually.  Instead of violently going against nature, it is their job to demonstrate how much one can progress.  Avataras play act as human beings with the purpose of motivating and encouraging the common man.  Like that our AachaaryaaL also enacted the part of a common man.  His purpose was to show as to how man could raise himself to such high levels of existence when the world is erased from one's consideration, the mind is annulled and the man stands alone as, all in all, as the Adwaita Brhmam without a second and sans duality.  He came amongst us to show the way for that stage of Adwaita Anubhava.  From a natural stage of accepting human limitations and weaknesses, accepting the world and all animate and inanimate things in it as real; how progressively we could reach a level of comprehension wherein, all this is seen to be unreal and you hit the nail on its head as though, you come to the clarity that all this is the creation of Maya and the reality behind all this is the one and only one!  He has laid out a royal pathway to such understanding and cognizant clarity!
6.       There is a driving force which runs the world.  Not only just our world the earth, but that force drives the whole universe, keeping the millions of galaxies in their allotted slots so to say.  As there is nothing other than the Brhmam, that driving force should also be part and parcel of the Brhmam only.  So those who are not able to concentrate their minds on the incomprehensible NirguNa Brhmam, turn their minds towards this power of the Brhmam, then one is able to get the awareness of the Aatma in one's own Self.  The active SaguNa Brhmam itself also sanctions the Gnaana of the Ultimate.  So our AachaaryaaL kept this Bhakti Marga as a prelude to the Gnaana Marga, nurtured it and expanded it.  For this purpose only, he established or regrouped the already existing Shan Mada – as the Six Religions of Ganapathyam, Saivam, Saaktam, Koumaaram, Vaishnavam and Souram, which were worshipping of Ganapathy, Siva, Shakti, Kumara, Vishnu and the Sun God.  Procedurally he evolved and strengthened the devotional methods for worshipping these Gods. 
7.       He copiously wrote many beautiful devotional poems for each one of these Gods including for various versions of those Gods.  For example if you take Vishnu, he has written, 'Haristuti:, Shatpadi, Sri Vishnu Bhujanga Prayaata Stotram, Sri Vishnu Padaadi Keshaanta Stotram, Bhagawan Maanasa Pooja, Paandurangaashtakam, Jgannaathaashtakam, Srimad Achyutaashtakam, Krishnaashtakam, Achyutaashtakam,  Govindaashtakam, Moha Mudgara: aka Bhaja Govindam, Laxmi Nrusimha Pancha Ratnam, Laxmi Nrusimha Karuna Rasa  Stotram, Sri Rama Bhujanga Prayaata Stotram and Hanumat Pancharatnam.  And that is only the tip of the iceberg of a whole lot of slokas he has written in the Devotional Path of Bhakti Marga.  Then not leaving any nook and corner of this country uncovered, he has visited all the temple towns and sacred rivers and installed various divine Yantras there!  (Yantras are divine designs etched on metal plates and installed in various temples for regular devotional procedures meant for their veneration.)  Then wherever he visited, he also organised the set procedures for daily and periodical conduct of systematic worship as 'Aalaya Pooja Paddati'.

Apex of AachaaryaaL's Devotional Poetry: Soundarya Lahari

8.       Out of the many devotional songs our AachaaryaaL has written Soundarya Lahari is tops.  All those who know about our AachaaryaaL, whatever else they may know about him or not know about him, they would certainly be aware, that he has authored the Soundarya Lahari.  They may not be aware that he wrote the Brhma Sutra Bhashyam or that his Avatara was especially meant for establishing the primacy of Adwaita line of philosophy.  But, they would know that he wrote Soundarya Lahari.  Just a mention of his name and people think of Soundarya Lahari and Baja Govindam songs.  Not only as a contribution for devotional poetry and music, Soundarya Lahari as a literary master piece, clearly brings out our AachaaryaaL's super eloquence and refined poetical abilities. 
9.       Even the poetical metre in which he has composed that piece Soundarya Lahari is very appropriately known as 'SikhariNi', which means the 'Peak'!  It is one of the Metres with 17 Aksharas, the other one being 'Mandaakraanta', in which Kalidasa has written his Master Piece 'Megha Sandesa', full of literary merit.  Mandaakraanta is the metre in which it is made up of 4, 6 and 7 Aksharas, whereas in SikhariNi they are made up of 6 and 11.  Masters in Music and Dance will confirm to the fact that among musical metres, instead of simple single beats or double, a mix of single and double beats can be fast or slow as required, with greater or shorter pauses.  Similarly in poetry also when words are mixed and separated, singular with double enhances the beauty.  Thus the poem Soundarya Lahari is praised for literary form and content as well as a supreme expression of devotional poetry mainly. 

Gnaanam and Bhakti

10.    Nowadays, various schools of thoughts in religions are looked at as different philosophies like water-tight compartments.  So, people raise questions such as, "Would the AachaaryaaL who advocated the Adwaita Gnaana, have done so much to develop the Bhakti Marga?  These are all concocted stories that devotional songs written by many others have been credited against his name.  He could not have visited so many temples either and installed so many Yantras as claimed.  This is all pure fiction!"  But the fact remains that our AachaaryaaL is not the type to look at religion as so many chapters in a book of Philosophy.  His concern was starting from the common man of the proletariat to highly erudite scholars; covering people of all Varnas such as Kshatriyas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Sudras; people of all Ashrams from the Brhmachari to Sanyaasi, Teachers and Gurus including all students and Sishyas.   So he was interested in cajoling, encouraging and motivating each to move forward from wherever he was, bit by bit.  So he was equally interested in making the common man a better human being; in making the Karma Margi to become Karma Yogi; making those fairly advanced to become aspirers and taught the aspirant as to what to aspire for and as to how to reach the highest pinnacles of devotion; and then instead of only aspiring for Dharma, Artha and Kaama, as to how to reach for Moksha.  So, his instructions included those for the common man and the far advanced Saadhak and the Gurus.  If his PrakaraNa Granthas were totally on Adwaita Upadesa, he did quite a bit for people to progress as per their Swadharma in Karma and Bhakti.  So to install temples, install Yantras in existing temples and streamlining their procedures; were all part of a wholesome and holistic approach.  People who talk about multi-tasking should learn a few lessons from his life as to how go about their job, instead of sowing the seeds of discard and spreading canards about him and his work!
11.    Their argument goes on the line that, "Gnaani is one who considers all as one.  Only when there are two separate things as a devotee as Bhakta and his object of devotion as God, can there be Bhakti.  So Bhakti is part of duality and not Adwaitam".  The arguers cannot claim that they have the Adwaita Gnaanam, isn't it?  Neither are they advanced enough in their Bhakti either.  Look at how the real Gnaanis were.  Take Suka Brhmam, Madusudana Saraswathi, Sadasiva BrhmendraaL, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and recently Ramana Maharishi.  They were all far advanced as Gnaanis in absolute Adwaitam, while being simultaneously ardent devotees who have sung many poems of devotion for posterity to read and benefit.  On the other side take the case of MaNikka Vaasagar, Nammaazhvaar, AruNagiri Naatha, Thaayum Aanavar and such; who were melting in devotion while being clearly experienced in Adwaita Anubhuti, as seen in flashes in their poems!

(To be continued)

Sambhomahadeva.

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