Saturday, December 08, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 95 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 Dec 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 95 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 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 second paragraph in page No 645 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)

"நாமங்கள் குறைவாக வரும் நூல்"A Book Using Least Number of Names

105.  Surprisingly and strikingly, I have to make one observation.  Not mentioning the name as 'Tripura Sundari' or even 'Sundari' in the title as noted continues to be not mentioned throughout the text of the composition in any the 100 poems!  Within the names of our deities, if there is a name with reference to a particular context, to such a specific name also there are variations.  Like for example while one of the names of Siva with reference to Chidambaram, is Nataraja.  This name Nataraja has variations such as, Sabapathy, Chidambara Nathan, Chit Sabesan, Thãndava Rãyan and so many more.  Similarly the variations of Tripura Sundari are, LalithãmbãL, Rãjarãjeswari, Kãmãkshi, Kãmeswari and others.  None of these names occur anywhere throughout 'Soundarya Lahari'!

106.  Next if you take 'Sivãnanda Lahari', out of the names specifically meant for Parameswara such as, Siva, Paramasiva, Sadasiva, Sambu, Sankara, Pasupathi, Mahadeva, Gireesha, Sãmba, and such others at least one will occur in each sloka.  Even if one sloka does not contain any name, as though to compensate, there will be some two or three names being mentioned in the next sloka.   Maximum occurring name is Sambu.  In many of the slokas, he has called for addressing or beseeching or drawing the attention of God saying, "'Sambo', Sambo'!"  Then there is much usage of Siva and Pasupathi.  To some extent there is use of such common names of Gods such as Swami, Vibhu and Prabhu.  

107.  But totally differently to this, in 'Soundarya Lahari' there is no mention of the name of the one important Deity for Sri Vidya.  Some of the other names of AmbãL such as Girisuta, Himagirisuta, Sivã, Bhavani, Uma, Sati, Chandi, and Pãrvati, occur in one or two places each.  (Please note that as Siva is his name, Sivã is the name of his consort.)  Or names that could apply to any deity of the feminine gender such as Janani, Mãtã, Ambã and Devi occur rarely.  So, most of the slokas have neither special nor common names of AmbãL.  Maybe AmbãL herself did not want too much of attention to the colouring of the names as they may take away the literary merits, it seems.  So, it was the intention of AmbãL it seems that our ÃchãryãL should solely focus on the literary refinements of the composition and rely on the subtle allure. 

108.  The very first sloka of Soundarya Lahari commences with 'Siva Shaktya yukto', and there the very important and meaningful name of AmbãL – as Shakti has been mentioned.  Like Saivam and Vaishnavam, there is a religion as Sãktam of worshippers of Sivã (the consort of Siva) or Shakti as the primordial God!  As Shakti means 'power' or 'energy' the emphasis is to the Omnipotence of God in this religion!  So for AmbãL that name Shakti is the most essential name.  That comes in the very first sloka of Soundarya Lahari.  Then in the balance 99 slokas, this name is not there.  Yes, in the 32nd sloka the word 'Shakti' is mentioned, but there the reference is to the literal meaning of the word as power.

109.  A woman has three important stages in her life with three different relationships such as, first as a daughter as the child of some parents; second as the wife of a husband; third as a mother of her children.  In Soundarya Lahari, though her names occur sparingly, these three relationships have not been left out.  In Stotra about and for AmbãL, her being mentioned as the Universal Mother and Siva's Wife is inevitable and so there is nothing special about it.  But only in Soundarya Lahari, more than being described as the Universal Mother and the Wife of Siva, there are more references to her as the daughter of the Parvatha Raja (that is, the King of Hills)!  These names are, Parvatha Raja Putri, Giri Suda, HimaGiri Suda, Saila Tanaya, DharaNidhara Kanya, and Parvathy; all of which convey the meaning that she is the daughter of the king of the hills or the daughter of the hill itself.  Then there are names to indicate that she is the pride of people of the hills such as, 'Tuhinagiri Vamsa Dvajapati' (meaning that she is the flag of hill tribal folk) and 'Nagapathi Patãkã' (meaning the flag of the King of Hills). Possibly, our ÃchãryãL was much impressed by the miracle of the Mother of Universe being born as a baby of some mother and hence used these names in which she is the daughter, that is, Suda, Tanaya, Kanya and Putri!

110.  Amongst the many methods of assuming a relationship with God, one is to imagine oneself to be a child and God as the parent, a mother or father.  This assumed approach is known as 'Apatya Bhãvam'.  Thiru Gnaana Sambandar has sung like this as he was anyhow a child- poet-devotee!  The other end of the spectrum is the one in which God is considered as a child and we think of ourselves as the parents.  This assumed approach is known as 'Vãtsalya Bhãvam'.   Peryãzhvãr in Tamil and Surdas in Hindi have sung many with that 'Vãtsalya Bhãvam'.  Tripura Sundari is not a child-God!  When Devas conducted a Yãga for a specific purpose, she came into being in the 'Chit-Agni/Gnãna Agni' as a fully grown adult.  (Such coming into being is known as 'Ãvirbhãvam'.)  So the description in the Soundarya Lahari is mostly of a grown adult as the wife of Siva and as the Universal Mother of all. But so as not to give up the idea of 'Vãtsalya Bhãvam' I suppose, wherever possible he has referred to her as the Daughter of the Hill / Snow Peaked Mountain / King of the Mountains. 

111.  In the very first of sloka (that is the 42nd that is the first of the 59 which is said to be composed by our ÃchãryãL), while starting the description of her beauty, he addresses her as 'Himagiri Sute' (हिमगिरि सुते – meaning 'the daughter of the snow covered hill'), as a child.  Then in the very next, he has said, "chikura nikurumbam tava sive"('चिकुर निकुरुंबं तव शिवे') – as the Consort of Siva.  Then in the last of 59th of his or the 100th of the entire composition, he says "This composition about Thou by Thine words and Thine speech is offered to Thee – तवदीयाबिर वाक्बिस तव जननी वाचाम स्तुतिरियम".   So, it is interesting to note that within those 59 slokas, he has started addressing her as a baby, then the wife of Siva, ending in addressing her as the Universal Mother.   While calling her as the mother, though he has used the words such as 'Ambã' and Mãtã' occasionally, mostly it is 'Janani'.  That word 'Janani – जननि ஜனனி' seems to be most appropriate since she is the 'genesis' of all creation and all living forms are her children only, isn't it?

112.  In the first part of 'Soundarya Lahari' known as 'Ãnanda Lahari', the last line of the last poem has included both AmbãL and Easwara, as 'Janaka-Janani', instead of Father and Mother or 'माता  पिता'Here also this 'Janaka-Janani' is more fitting than 'माता-पिता', meaning wise.  These two words   'माता and पिता' are from different root words and hence the meanings differ.  'माता' that is pronounced as Mãtã means the 'one who exercises self-control' and 'पिता' pronounced as Pitã is the commanding and administering person.  Janaka and Janani originating from the same root-word 'Jan' are more appropriate, as they are the root cause of all existence!

113.  In this Stotra, I was telling you that the names of AmbãL have been used quite sparingly.  This fact is also indicative of the due difference and respect that one has to show towards such divine names.  One should not be dealing with such words without respect like a child throws a handful of say, sea shells!  As though showing a precious gem for a short while and safe guarding it, the value of these divine words have to be recognized.  May be that it is one of the message conveyed by our ÃchãryãL in using AmbãL's names quite sparingly.  Like a devoted wife will hesitate directly mentioning her husband's name and an obedient student will be vary of taking his Guru's name!

114.  But if you say that 'This is only our Mother!  We can take liberties with her', my answer is, 'Yes you can do so, but within reasonable limits!'  This Mother is not only the very source of all love, but the omnipotent power of all creation as well as controlling power as Raja Rajeswari!  In Lalitha Sahasranãma too, the first word 'Sri Mãtã' is followed by 'Sri Mahãrãgni' (श्री महाराज्ञि the Supreme Ruler) and 'Srimat Simhãsaneswari' (श्रीमत सिम्हासनेस्वरि seated on the Seat of the Lion!).  Each word conveying the fact that She is the source of all power!  The names have been sparingly used in Soundarya Lahari to demonstrate the awe and respect only where necessary, like saying 'Her Majesty'!

About Ãnanda Lahari – 'ஆனந்த லஹரி' பற்றி

115.  Let us look more closely at the first part of 41 slokas, collectively known as 'Ãnanda Lahari'.  (There is one other composition known as 'Sivãnanda Lahari' with a 'Siva' added in front of Ãnanda Lahari.  There is also another composition with this name Ãnanda Lahari.)  But, in this part of Soundarya Lahari also there is no mention of AmbãL's name.  The reason could be what we have already seen in the above paragraph.  That is, as we said that the very word 'soundaryam' or beauty means her, so also she is the very meaning of the word 'Ãnandam' and hence there is no need to mention her name separately!  As she is the root source for all the beauties of the world, she is the root source or the mother source, of all happiness too! Taitreeya and Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishads keep on listing one after the other different types of bliss, with increasing order of intensity of happiness.  We also can list, Leelãnandam, Premãnandam, Ãtmãnandam, Cricketãnandam and so on, which all come under 'indriya ãnandam' as the pleasure derived from the bodily sensors.  In the Sadakam about Easwara there was a need to indicate as to who it was pointing to, and so the word 'Siva' was added. 

116.  But, if you just say 'Ãnandam', it is AmbãL's only.  What is AmbãL?  Parameswara is the 'Sat' – that is Being, presence, or existence.  From his 'Chit' or intellect, awareness, or knowledge, is the happiness and hence She is the Chit Shakti.  That Sat, that is just simply being, gets to know itself and thereby experiences bliss and that power is She.  All the small and big happiness we ever get to enjoy is by the Chit's reflected light.  The end of all such feelings and sensations of happiness is for us to melt in that Chit and know ourselves to be one – the Adwaita Ãnandam!  AmbãL is ever established in that state.  It is mentioned in Lalitha Sahasranãma that, 'all the bliss of Brhma and others (meaning including Vishnu and Maheshwara), is only a fraction of the bliss of AmbãL' – "स्वत्मानन्दलवीभूब्र्ह्माध्यानन्दसंतति:"!  So AmbãL is Soundaryam as well as Ãnandam!  Hence there is no need to mention her name in first part of Soundarya Lahari, that is, the Ãnanda Lahari also!

(To be continued.)




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