Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 100 (Vol # 6) Dated 18 Dec 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 100 (Vol # 6) Dated 18 Dec 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 the page No 680 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)

161.  Soundarya Lahari – the flow of beauty – instead of being available only for those who are having her darsan face to face, by ÃchãryãL's description, is available to all and sundry who happen to read or hear his composition.  But her 'Shakti Lahari' of Chidãnanda is experienced only by some rare lucky individuals, as mentioned earlier "कतिचन धन्या:".  Let 'Chidãnandam' remain abstruse and beyond our comprehension, her beauty of form as described in Soundarya Lahari does give us all the bliss and Moksham too, isn't it?  That Soundarya Roopa darsan itself is capable of giving us the supreme happiness up to Moksham, isn't it?  So let us be satisfied within our ability to comprehend and understand what our ÃchãryãL has written!

162.  There is much to be talked about the similarities and variations between Adwaitam and Sri Vidya Sãstrã.   The oneness is in total identity in the end of Sãdhana.  That the Jiva becomes one with the Brhmam at the end of his efforts is equally maintained to be true both by Adwaita Sãstrã known as Brhma Vidya and Sãkta Sãstrã known as Sri Vidya.  Though they are identical in the end stages, while talking about creation, they have some differences.   Brhma Vidya talks about 'Vivarta Vãdam' and Sri Vidya talks about 'Ãbhãsa Vãdam'.  This word 'Vivarta' means apparent or illusory.  In the dim light of the evening, a rope seems to be a snake.  There are not two different things there.  The truth of the rope seems like the lie of a snake!  Thus the true Brhmam seems like the false creation – world of Jiva and Jagat.  This is the view of Adwaitam.  'Ãbhãsa' of Sri Vidya of Sãktam talks about the reflected image.  The Sun's rays getting reflected in water for example is 'Ãbhãsa'.  Thus the indivisible Chit Shakti gets reflected within limitation and is seen to be the variegated world of multiplicity!  This is the opinion of Sãkta philosophy.  Without the Sun there can be no reflected light and so, that is seen as this.  So, inwardly their point of view is also Adwaitam only.  But on the outside, the Sun is different and the reflected light is different.  To that extent there is a truth in the reflection also, isn't it?  That is known as the 'pratibhasika satyam' or 'reflected truth'!  To some limited extent, there is an element of truthfulness to Jiva and Jagat, as per Sãktam.     Like Adwaitam they do not call it a 'mithya' that is the Sanskrit word meaning a myth!

163.  Without accommodating questions as to why and how was this illusion and delusion of Maya created, Adwaitam just sets aside the whole of creation as unreal.  While Sãktam holds the view that Chit Shakti itself, for purposes of play or Leela dances around creating so many varieties of reflections like in a kaleidoscope!  So, as per Sãktam, it is possible to make use of the things of the world as discerned by our sensory tools of the body and move over to the real, eternal and truth of Brhmam.  That unity and integration is what we are concerned with.  Whatever Sãdhana that we can do is also for that only.  The questions about the genesis such as, how did we come into being, how was the world created and such are irrelevant and not worthy of investigation and analysis.  There is no gain by its being 'Vivartha' and so also there is no loss if it is 'Ãbhãsa'.  So there, we need not give too much importance to their differences on this score between Adwaitam and Sãktam.  Since they are amicable on what the Sãdhak has yet to do and the end stage to be reached, we will take that only.  Let those who are courageous set aside all things as myth and Maya and proceed on the Gnãna Marga.  We are children who play with the dolls.  We will play with Amma also.  She will give what is to be given at the right time and absorb us unto her Self for us to become one with her!

164.  I told you some basic things about the points of commonality and differences between Sãktam and Adwaitam.  This much is good enough.  If we go too much in to the differences it will lead to avoidable mental gymnastics and verbal wrestling with each other on intricate and abstruse principles and viewpoints hypothetically understood or misinterpreted!   Now, we are mainly concerned with how to invest our minds on the beautiful form of our Mother with love and devotion.  That is why we have taken up 'Soundarya Lahari' as the subject.  In it I have touched upon viewpoints of Siddhãntam only to the extent that they were unavoidable!

165.  In short, what is needed to be known is like this – that which is mentioned in Adwaitam as the basis of all existence but without any form or action; is what is said to be 'Sivam' in Sãktam.  "Though Nishkriya, Nirãkãra and NirguNa, Brhmam is 'chinmaya' and 'gnãnamaya' as permeated fully by such awareness and knowledge", says Adwaita Vedãnta.  In Sãkta Siddhãntam, in place of Chit, Shakti is mentioned. Shakti is not only 'gnãnamaya' she is also the very form of all Power and so is named as Shakti!  Adwaita Brhmam is peaceful truth abiding within itself.  In Sãktam the peaceful Sivam contains within itself the universal power and energy for all the worlds' creation, maintenance and reabsorption, exhibiting omniscience as well all omnipotence, as so many Dwaita Leelas!  In Adwaitam as indicated by its very name, there can be nothing other than itself.  If there is anything seen as the other, it is all only appearances of Maya.  Brhmam is in no way related to Maya.  It is an unexplained puzzle, an enigma as to how Maya comes about or how it functions.  We need not get into this discussion as being unnecessary.  Saying that our requirement is for the Maya to be overcome and attain to Brhma Sãkshãtkãrã only, Adwaitam delineates the Gnãna Marga.  Sãktam on the other hand says that Sivam with Shakti, for the sake of the pleasure of Leela the drama of duality is played. Here also there is a minor role of Maya, which we need not get into now.  (This is explained in detail at a later stage in this narrative itself.)

166.  Brhmam itself is seen as Jiva by Maya.  By following Gnãna Marga if we get rid of the Maya, Jiva will be seen and known as the same Brhmam, says Adwaita Sãstrã.  Basically Jiva and Siva are one and they become one in Moksham also, says Sãktam, specifically so accepted in Sri Vidya Tantram.  The religions of Dwaitam, Visishtãdwaitam, Saiva Siddhãntam, Sri Kantasaivam and Kashmira Saivam, in that order start from a position diametrically opposite to Adwaitam and then come nearer and nearer, with Kashmira Saivam coming the closest to Adwaitam.  Closer than that to Adwaitam is this Sri Vidya Tantram, in which the oneness of Jiva and Brhmam is asserted. 

167.  The difference between the Adwaitam and Sri Vidya Tantram is basically about the genesis of creation and not about Moksham.  In Adwaitam the duality of the apparent worldly existence is simply inconsequential and immaterial to be set aside as irrelevantly imaginary!  In Sri Vidya and Sãkta view-points it is said to be the creation of Brhma Shakti aka Parãsakti.  "All these dualities are the inner play of that one Parãsakti only.  You also cultivate the habit of looking at it as her play.  After getting used to this idea, you will see that you are also a creation of her by her, by the same power who by her power of Maya, has caused you to think of yourself to be different, unique and a separate entity or individual.  She who imposes Maya on all of us can also lift the veil.  So, by the Sãdhanãs as per Sri Vidya Sãstrãs, merge in the basic power beyond Maya in the basic peacefulness in which that Shakti also abides finally".

168.  Since there is such a closeness of view-points between Adwaitam and Sãktam, especially Sri Vidya Tantram, it seems that our ÃchãryãL thought that, those who are not able to proceed in pure Adwaitam being buffeted by duality from all directions; may be able to progress via the Sri Vidya path, starting with considering the created world as the Leela of Shakti and eventually reach the oneness of Adwaitam!  That is why, though he has written poems of devotion on Siva and Vishnu, he has not made any mention of VaishNava principles or Siva Ãgamãs.   Those poems are simply with general feelings of devotion and literary finesse.  If we search them hard we may be able to pick up some elements of Saiva, or VaishNava Sãstrãs, that is all!  But in Soundarya Lahari, a big chunk of it, that too the first part of 41 slokas, are all about Sãkta Sãstrã only.  Even if we take it as not done by our ÃchãryãL, taking his composition of the second part, the message seems to be, "Either Adwaitam or next Sri Vidya", isn't it?  In certain other stotras on AmbãL also, the aspects of Sri Vidya Tantra are well covered. 

169.  In this Kanchi Kãmakoti Matam as well in all of our ÃchãryãL's Matams, when the pooja is done for AmbãL and Easwara, it is done by the Vedic paddati only, instead of Saiva Tantra methods, though for AmbãL basically the procedure is Vedic while some Sri Vidya Tantra paddati is also followed.  (PeriyavãL smiles while making this statement.)  It seems as though Sri Vidya is the uniting influence between Adwaitam and Dwaitam.  'Adwaita Sivam and the causal power of the duality of the whole universe Shakti are but, one and the same', says Sri Vidya.  As Lalitha Sahasranãma finishes with the name 'Lalithãmbika', just the previous name is 'Shiva-shaktaikya-roopiNi' (शिव शक्तैक्य रूपिणी), meaning that she is the form of the oneness of Siva and Shakti!  It is interesting to note that here in Soundarya Lahari, it starts with, 'Siva: Shaktya Yukta:', as though where Lalitha Sahasranãma finishes, Soundarya Lahari starts!  Somehow as though prompted by someone, the first words of the stotra has arrived.  So without anymore preamble and introduction let me start explaining the meaning of the poems, sloka by sloka from here onwards:-
"शिव शक्त्या युक्तो यदि भवति शक्त: प्रभवितुं
न चेदेवं देवो न कलु कुशल: स्पन्दितुमपि |
अथ्स्त्वां अराध्यां हरिहर विरिन्चादिभिरापि
     प्रणन्तुं स्तोतुं वा कथ-मकृतपुण्य: प्रभवति ||"  The transliteration is like this:-
"Siva Shaktya yukto yadi bhavati shakta: prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na kalu kushala: spanditumapi |
Athastvaam aaraadhyaam hari hara virinchaadibhirapi
PraNantum stotum vaa katham-akrutapuNya: prabhavathi ||"
The sloka means that, "United with Shakti, Siva is endowed with the power to create the universe.  Otherwise, he is incapable even of movement.  Therefore, who except those endowed with great merits acquired in the past can be fortunate enough to salute or praise Thee, Mother Divine, who art the adored of even Hari, Hara and Virinchi?"

(To be continued.)




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