Sunday, December 02, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 92 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 Dec 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 92 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 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 last paragraph in page No 624 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 updated constantly)

72.    As I was saying the Suganda KuntalãmbãL Sannidy is full of divine presence.  Suganda means fragrant.  So, that word together with KuntalãmbãL means, 'the Lady with fragrant hair'.    In Tamil she is known as 'Mattuvãr Kuzhali', ('மட்டுவார் குழலி').  Then Sannidy means 'sanctum sanctorum'.  This Sannidy is located in the temple of 'मात्रुभूतेस्वर' read as 'Matrubhuteswara', which becomes 'Thãyum Ãnavar' in Tamil meaning 'the Easwara who became the Mother also', 'தாயுமானவர்'.  How the Easwara there, also came to be called the Mother is another story, which I have told you some time back.  But this 'Suganda KuntalãmbãL aka Mattuvãr Kuzhali' is very much in the feminine form.  This AmbãL's Sannidy is in the shape of Sri Chakra.   Our ÃchãryãL only as he had done installation of Sri Chakra Thatangam at Thiruvãnaikkãval in Jambukeswara Sthãnam nearby, also rebuilt this Sannidy in the Sri Chakra form.  Here in this Sannidy from ages long past, the first 41 slokas of Soundarya Lahari known as Ãnanda Lahari have been inscribed on stone. 
73.    It is said that such an inscription was also done by arrangements of our ÃchãryãL only.  In Soundarya Lahari in the very 43rd sloka, that is the second sloka of our ÃchãryãL's compositions, there is description of AmbãL's hair locks as having the fragrance of the flowers (of Kalpaka Vruksha from Indra's garden), namely Mandara, Parijata, Santana, Kalpaka and Harichandana, while saying "...घनस्निग्ध श्लक्ष्ण चिकुर निकुरम्बं तवे शिवे यदीयं सहजं उपलब्धुं...".  This natural fragrance is the same as what is meant by, 'Suganda KuntalãmbãL aka Mattuvãr Kuzhali'.  So this connection amply proves the relevance of the story that our ÃchãryãL must have written the balance portion of Soundarya Lahari from this temple Sannidy only.
74.    It is also said that in Kailãsa in the abode of Parvathy – Parameswara itself, Soundarya Lahari is inscribed in stone walls and that it was done by PiLLaiyar who wrote the Mahabharata on the Meru Mountain.  There is another version that a Gandharva named Pushpadanta who had written Siva Mahimna Stotram is the one, who inscribed the Soundarya Lahari on the outer walls of Kailãsa.  The abundance of various versions about this stotra is indicative of its value and popularity.  There may be some real and some fiction.  But let me tell you a surprising fact.  This matter goes beyond the borders of India, overseas to America.  In US of A, in Pennsylvania, in the city of Philadelphia, in their Museum of Arts, many manuscripts have been collected from all over the world.  Amongst them there is one about Soundarya Lahari also. 
75.    The speciality about that copy is that, according to the meaning of each sloka there is a picture that has been painted on the side.  Each page contains three slokas with corresponding three drawings /sketches.  There are many there interested in Indian culture and relics of yore.  Their collection of such items is supposed to be astronomically costly.  Out of that they had sent one page for scrutiny by Dr V. Ragavan at Madras University for study and comments.  I had seen that myself when I had visited the Madras University.  In it against each sloka a diagram is given.  In the page I saw against the 35th Sloka which is not description of her physical form but says, "O youthful spouse of Siva! Thou art the Mind, Thou art the Ether, Thou the Air, Thou the Water, and Thou the Earth.  When Thou hast transformed Thyself thus, there is nothing beyond.  Thyself with a view to manifesting Thyself in the form of the Universe, inwardly assumes the form of Consciousness and Bliss."  As against this sloka which does not lend itself for pictorial representation and may not easily be put into any drawing; there is a symbolic representation.  There is a copy of this book in the Baroda Museum.  One copy has somehow reached America.
(Here PeriyavãL has used a Tamil word 'Ettu Suvadi'.  I do not know as to how can there be three slokas per page if it was only a palm-leaf manuscript with a drawing for each!  May be it is some other type of paper like medium.)
76.    Soundarya Lahari has always been quite popular in Tamil Nadu.  Long back one Kaviraja Panditar had translated it into Tamil.  Recently ladies in various parts of the towns all over Tamil Nadu arrange to have a get-together and sing Soundarya Lahari in groups in Raga Maalika style.  More than all other things the most important point as far as this Sankara Matt is concerned is that, the whole of Soundarya Lahari is addressed to Lalitha / Rajarajeswari who is the same as Kãmãkshi in Kãmakottam in the temple in our Matt.  This temple and our ÃchãryãL are much closely connected.  It is here that he established the Sarvagna Peetam and ascended the same.  It is here that he dropped his mortal coil and attained 'videha mukti'!  As nowhere else his, own Sannidy with an idol in human form is here in Kãmãkshi Temple in Kanchipuram.  His Jayanthi (D.O.B.) is celebrated starting from 'Vaisaka Shukla Panchami' for ten days.  Every day the Utsava Murthy is got ready, decorated and seated outside Gayatri Mandapa directly in front of AmbãL's Sannidy and ten slokas of Soundarya Lahari are chanted, as though depicting his offering of Neivedyam to AmbãL.  Then on the tenth day, both ÃchãryãL and AmbãL are brought to Sukra Vaara Mandapa similarly facing each other and the last ten slokas are offered to Ambal and thus the celebrations are brought to a close, as per custom and tradition.  ÃchãryãL then gets Parivattam and Pattãbhishekam.  The whole arrangement looks as though all the honour for ÃchãryãL is meant for his composing the Soundarya Lahari Stotram itself!  This celebration is so attractive because the God is brought before our eyes in the form of Universal Mother!

"அன்னை வழிபாடு" – "Worshipping of Mother"

77.    Avvaiyar, the Tamil poetess says, "அன்னையும் பிதாவும் முன்னறி தெய்வம்", thereby meaning that Mother and Father are the first known Gods.  The Vedas too directs us to look at Mother and Father as our Gods to be worshipped.  In both Avvaiyar's statement and in the Vedas, Mother is mentioned first!  Instead of considering one's own Mother as God, turn it around, when you consider God as the Mother, whom we worship as 'AmbãL'!  When the Paramãtma is so considered as one's own Mother, you get most happy.  Why is it so?  There is none else who loves us more.  We have more freedom, liberty and independence with her.  There is just no fear.  Whatever may be the reasons for fear and shame, get automatically cancelled out in her presence.  Whenever the child is afraid of anything, with a shout of 'Amma', the child runs to the Mother.  Whatever be our age, when we are faced with any irreparable loss or even pain in the neck or back; we invariably seek 'Amma' mentally at least.  Even as we get older, in front of Mother, all our assumed predispositions vanish.
78.    We cannot find the sort of pure, unadulterated and complete Love as Mother's, anywhere else.  Even when the son does not reflect her pure love, uncaring for the lack of response from him, she continues to give her love.  That is the reason why, there is an adage in Tamil which says that, 'the Mother's mind is mad after her child, while the son's mind is hard as the stone' – "பெத்த மனம் பித்து பிள்ளை மனம் கல்லு". In Devi Aparadha KshamapaNa Stotram it is said, 'there could be a wicked son, never a wicked Mother' – "कुपुथ्रो जायते क्वचिदपि कुमाता न भवति". We are born in her body, in her food, life, breath, blood and womb.  Even after our birth we are totally dependent on her for everything, for nourishment, sustenance, growth and protection!  Only in childhood this mutual love between the mother and child is the most intimate.  It is that time when the child is in the ideal sort of state, the child leaves everything under her care without a will of its own.  The ideal state that a devotee is supposed to be in, leaving everything to God as, 'எல்லாம் அவன் செயல்', exactly as the child leaves everything as 'எல்லாம் அவள் செய்வாள்'. As the child grows, the scenery changes, that too how drastically.  They say a two year old child is supposed to be in 'terrible twos'!  From wearing dresses to deciding what to eat, there is an argument about anything and everything!  The sense of 'Ego', I, me, myself and mine along with 'I want' has already grown so gigantically!
79.    This is the reason why we think of Paramãtma as the Mother.   Whatever may be our age, with God as our Mother, we become a baby and imbibe the qualities of perfect reliance, total surrender get rid of our mental aberrations and pre-dispositions and imbibe all the divine nature of the child.  Let it be hunger, may be a need or want, may be a desire to go out or play games or some sort of sickness, whatever it may be; the child just catches hold of the Mother pleading, "Amma, Amma!"  Exactly similarly, if we catch hold of God that the Universal Mother should make us her own child; we have to divine God to be our Mother and ourselves to be a child in her hands.  Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad advices, that we should 'become a baby in the hands of God', (III.5.1.).
80.    To think of God as Universal Mother, does not mean that we are assuming something fictitious and feel happy about it.  In fact In God, as the repository of all salubrious qualities, complete Motherhood is very much present as an epitome of Vãtsalyam and sacrifice as the root cause of such feelings!  So without our imagining this, Paramãtma is very much full of it.  MaNikka Vãsagar when he says, "தாயிற் சிறந்த தயாவான தத்துவனே" (Siva PurãNam line 61), he is alluding to this very character quality of Paramãtma only, that 'she more so than a Mother'!  Elsewhere he says also, "அம்மையே அப்பா, ஒப்பிலா மணியே", ('Piditta Paththu' line 3).  Appar SwamigaL also says, "அப்பன் நீ, அம்மை நீ", (start of 'Thanith Thiruththãndakam').  These poets have evidently enjoyed this motherhood of Paramãtma while saying so.
81.    However much our biological mother may love us, whosoever dies first, the relationship between us dies with it.  In many life-times, through many mothers, God eternally continues this relationship with each one of us.   That is the reason why Appar SwamigaL says (in Thiruvãlavãi Thiruththãndakam line 8), "தொடர்ந்து நின்ற என்ற என் தாயானை".  Instead of being the mother for only the perishable bodily life, the one who protects us and cares for us here in Iham and there in Param with extreme kindness and compassion, it is that one Universal Mother of all, Paramãtma only.  From the small worms and insects to huge whales and elephants, human beings to divine beings; for all the life forms, the eternal Mother of all is that one Paramãtma only.  Catering for each life form, it is that Mother who arranges for their food, entertainment and enjoyment.  The milk starts oozing out even before the child is born.  There is already arrangement for the child's feeding through the chord connecting to the naval of the child.  Is that done by each mother?  It is the arrangement by Nature, which cannot be an inanimate dud at all but a super intelligent animate entity, isn't it?  That we call the Maha Mata, the Mother of all!

(To be continued.)




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