Thursday, December 06, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 94 (Vol # 6) Dated 06 Dec 2012




DEIVATHIN KURAL # 94 (Vol # 6) Dated 06 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 638 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)

94.    'Sivãnanda' means - the experiencing of 'Siva' or 'Sivam', respectively meaning pleasure of being with Siva or being Siva himself; and 'Sivãnanda Lahari' means the flow of such a thrilling experience!  Just think of the various playful Leela-s of Siva known as Thiru ViLaiyãdalgaL; 'Kãma dahanam' that is, scorching the cupid for disturbing his meditation; 'Kumãra Sambhavam' that is, birth of Karthikeya; 'Kãla Samhãram' that is, destruction of 'Kãla'; 'Tripura Samhãram' that is, destruction of Tripura (meaning allegorically here, there and everywhere, as well as past, present and future or in other words the overcoming of the two non-absolute entities of space and time; 'Parvathy KalyaNam' that is, marriage of Siva and Parvathy; Kailasa darsanam; Nataraja ThãNdavam; conquering the ego of Brhma and Vishnu by standing between them as a brilliant ball of fire whose head or tail could not be located by neither of them; coming in the guise of a hunter; are only some of his escapades that come to our minds.  So, to think of Siva is to mull over his salubrious character qualities filling us with awe, admiration, adoration and devotion, along with a sense of gratitude for his most beneficent power of Anugraha!

95.    When the same Siva is experienced as a subtle being inwardly, it is the 'Sivam'.  As said in the MãNdookya Upanishad, beyond wakefulness, dream, sleep stages (जाग्रत, स्वप्ना व सुषुप्ति), to know him as the one Ãtma in which all the Universes abide in the most peaceful state of Tureeya in Adwaitam, Siva becomes the awareness as Sivam!  So, as the set of 100 poems merges us in the awareness of both Siva (with all the pleasure of his Leela) and Sivam (as Ãtma Ãnandam); it is aptly named as 'Sivãnanda Lahari'.

96.    Now let us see as to when and at which occasion our ÃchãryãL is using this phrase in the text of that composition.  First in the very first poem, he does Namaskãra (that is prostrations) to both Parvathy and Parameswara describing their togetherness, correctly as per tradition.  Though the quintessence of Adwaita, he is ever thought of as 'Siva with AmbãL' (स + अम्ब = साम्ब; सांबसिव or संभोमहा देव, meaning Siva with AmbãL).  So our ÃchãryãL first made a mention of this primordial first couple and talks about his doing prostration in expressing his love and regards to them.  Then in the very next sloka he has used the phrase 'Sivãnanda Lahari' – as it finishes with, "शिवानन्द लहरि".

97.    What is the message of the 'Sivãnanda Lahari'?  In this composition our ÃchãryãL describes in detail, 'the source or the originating point wherefrom the tide of devotional love one feels towards Siva springs forth like a river, what all it does enroute in the way and where it does end'.  He says that this Siva Ãnanda Lahari starts off like a river of bliss whose tributaries are the various stories of Siva's escapades, on the way this river washes off the dust of all the sins of devotees of Siva.  Making itself conveniently available for irrigating and nourishing their good tendencies, it satisfies the thirst of their needs while obviating the very cause of their thirst!  The senses which are all the time looking out are this rivers' branches, the mind of the devotee is the delta as well as this rivers' final point of culmination.

98.    Normally mostly all the rivers end in the ocean.  But some rivulets and rivers do end in inland lakes.  The water of a river after reaching the ocean is not useful for drinking or irrigation, whereas the water from the lake is available and useful.  The flood of Sivãnanda that ÃchãryãL got in the form of his composition of poems is useful for the whole world forever, isn't it?  If he says so openly, it will sound like boasting.  So he states the fact indirectly that, in the Chittam of his mind the Sivãnanda Lahari has come to stay.  'The Sivãnanda Lahari has come to stay in my Chittam that is the lake' is the meaning of the second line of the second sloka.  An interesting point to note here is that, normally the senses are forever going out involving the person in the affairs of the world of Maya.  Whereas now, this river originating in the bliss of Siva Leela flows in to the mind of the devotee, absolving him of all his past sins and obviating his sinful tendencies if any on the way and stays there in his Chittam as Siva Ãnandam!

99.    The phrase 'Soundarya Lahari' has been used in the third sloka of description of AmbãL's 'Kesãdi Pãda VarNanam', (that is 3rd of the 59 slokas of his compositions), that is the 44th sloka of Soundarya Lahari.  Though normally Sri Chakram is said to be containing 43 triangles, the centre point Bindu is also said to be the 44th triangle only.  In Soundarya Lahari itself in the 11th sloka, it is mentioned that there are 44 triangles – "चतुश चत्वारिम्सत वसुदल कलास्र", making up the Sri Chakram.  This Sri Chakram is not only AmbãL's residence but, it is also her form as a Yantra that is, a symbolic representation of her form.  Though our ÃchãryãL putting a close to this Mantra and Yantra business with the 41st sloka has gone on to AmbãL's Swaroopa description, he demonstrates his attachment to the Sãatrãs by mentioning this, in Soundarya Lahari in the 44th sloka, which is a number representing her Yantra Roopa, it seems. 

100.  In Sivãnanda Lahari, that phrase 'Sivãnanda Lahari' is mentioned in the very second sloka I said, clearly indicating that the flow of bliss is from Siva!  Here however in Soundarya Lahari, there is no reference to AmbãL that is from her or of her or related to her; in any way.  It only means a flow of beauty!  While writing other slokas such as 'Ambãshtakam',  'Ambã Pancharatnam', 'Devi Bhujangam', 'Devi Chtushshashty Upachãra Pooja Stotram', he has not hesitated to give their titles using AmbãL's name.  But somehow here he has refrained from giving the title as 'AmbãL or Devi Soundarya Lahari', making us wonder as to why?  The reason for that is because the very word AmbãL defines the meaning of the word 'beauty'!  When there is a sweet dish like say 'Panagam', there is no need to further qualify that statement that it is made of sugar, isn't it?

101.  If it is a juice of lemon or orange or apple we have add that as an adjective and call it as the juice made of so and so fruit.  Sugar anyhow will be added to all of them and so you do not have to say, for example 'lime juice with sugar'!  In fact only if we do not add sugar we have to qualify saying 'sugar free', may be for the sake of diabetic patients!  Similarly, if we are talking about the beauty of other beings we may have to mention their names.  But when AmbãL is the very personification of beauty, we do not have to say 'AmbãL's Soundarya'.  'Sadam' in Tamil means cooked rice.  You do not have to say 'Rice Sadam'!  Similarly, what beautifies all the beauty of the world that is AmbãL, as the root and source of grace, charm, loveliness, elegance, allure, and attraction; does not have to be specially qualified or mentioned that it is her beauty! 

"அனைத்து மக்களையும் கவரும் தலைப்பு" "A Heading that Attracts All"

102.  Another idea occurs to me.  If you mention AmbãL's name amongst people of our religion only devotees of AmbãL, will get attracted that it is a religious book of ours.  But other devotees of Hanuman or Krishna and people of other divisions of religions and agnostics may not be attracted at all.  But if you say simply, beauty or a flood of beauty or name it 'Soundarya Lahari' then other religionists, and even agnostics may be attracted isn't it?  'Beauty' is a thing that can attract any and everybody.  Kashmir's natural beauty attracts people from all over the world.  Rich Indians go as tourists to Switzerland.  Not only the beauty of nature is attractive, but the architectural and sculptural beauty of many of our ancient structures and monuments also, captivate the minds of visitors to India.  More than the inner beauty of qualities such as decency, sacrifice, care and consideration for others feelings and compassion, the outer show is, what is more alluring.   Even two opposite sides on other issues, become equally attracted by the outer beauty!

103.  Without considering any of the differences based on religions, sub-divisions of religions; gnostic and agnostics; he our ÃchãryãL must have thought of giving it a title based on 'beauty' as the main attraction, so that any and everybody will start reading it.  Then having started they will see the description of a woman's beauty with literary élan and get fully absorbed.  Like the effect of sugar quoted medicinal tablets, the inner spiritual development will automatically take place that, even those who came in for the beauty will get completely captured and the initial fascination will get changed into devotion.  Those who started reading out of curiosity will start doing PãrãyaNam with adoration and dedication.  So, it is better to hide her name that instead of a small circle of devotees of Shakti, others may also get fully roped in!  May be that was the reason for naming the composition like this!

104.  The very word 'Soundaryam'('सोउन्दर्यं' that is 'சௌந்தர்யம்') is about AmbãL only!  If you say 'Sundari' it is she only, call her as 'Tripura Sundari' or 'Maha Tripura Sundari', the root word is 'Sundari' only and that means 'beautiful'!  Whether you say 'Paramasiva' or Sambasiva' or 'Sadasiva'; the root word is Siva isn't it?  Similarly, 'Soundaryam' is the quality of Sundari and amongst many different names of AmbãL this 'Soundarya Lahari' is about this Sundari – Maha Tripura Sundari only and she is, the presiding deity of Sri Vidya Mantra and Sri Chakra!  There are many different names and forms of AmbãL as Parvathy, Durga, KãLi, Bala, Tara, Chinnamasta, Matangi, Bhairavi, Lalitha and Bhuvaneswari, isn't it? Some of them are nice and pleasant while others can be very ferocious and grim and some have both these opposite qualities. Thus 'Dasa Maha Vidya' talks of ten such names.  In it the Sri Vidya Sãstrã of Maha Tripura Sundari is mentioned as 'Sundari Vidya'.  Amongst all Murthy's of AmbãL the most pleasant and most beautiful is she, called the Sundari.   Ramakrishna Paramahamsa too has said, "I have had the darsan of many divine Devatas, amongst whom the most beautiful is Tripura Sundari" as reported in the books about him.

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva





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