Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 97 (Vol # 6) Dated 12 Dec 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 97 (Vol # 6) Dated 12 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 page No 659 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)

What is Beauty – 'அழகு என்றால் என்ன?'

129.  "If something is beautiful it does give some temporary satisfaction it is true.  But to say that it is enough to once observe the flow of beauty of AmbãL and that is sufficient to fully merge by which one can attain to Adwaita Moksha Ãnandam, may not be very true!  That sounds a bit of an exaggeration, isn't it?  We look at the lotus flower or the full moon and feel happy.  But that does not mean, one would attain to the supreme bliss of Moksham straight away!"  My answer to that doubt is to ask you to look at the fact that, the poets who have intelligently and prudently applied their minds, hearts and soul to the puzzle of what is human existence; do seem to have experienced the Brhma Ãnandam, when they are describing nature, whatever the continent or race or language to which they may belong!

130.  What is enjoyment of literary beauty? It is the happiness arising from appreciating beauty of expression and the intrinsic beauty of the message.  This bliss itself though not permanent, at least temporarily assumes proportions of Brhmãnandam, say great litterateurs such as, Abhinava Gupta and Jagannatha Pundit.  There is a branch of Saivam known as Kashmiri Saivam, which comes very close to Adwaitam, based on which Abhinava Gupta a Kashmiri Pundit has made the above statement.  Later on I will tell you a few more details about Kashmiri Saivam.  Jagannatha Pundit's statement that, appreciation of literary merits takes you to the level of experiencing of Brhmãnandam is based on the principle of Adwaitam itself.

131.  What is literature?  Depiction of the special qualities of nature per se and picturing of human nature, presented beautifully in words is literature, isn't it?  We are seeing these two things daily and are ourselves located plumb within, as part of nature!  Still we do not observe or experience much of happiness as being part of the scenery!  But the same thing when seen in novels and dramas, through the words of a good poet and or actor, we feel the thrill, why?  We appreciate them because the writer or director and actor of the play present those very daily happenings in a beautiful manner.  So, it is the beauty of form and style of presentation that makes all the difference, isn't it? So those litterateurs have opined and shown that the experiencing of literature is all about experiencing beauty and that such experience can take us right up to Moksha.

132.  In the western countries also there have been such poets of nature who were able to see the divinity in the play of nature.  Rabindranath Tagore has written on the basis of his personal experiencing of beauty.  When we define that totality as Sat – Chit – Ãnandam, it means that truth, awareness and bliss are synchronous, as believed by Brhma Samajis whom Tagore respected.  They used to say this 'सत – चित – आनन्दं' slightly differently as 'सत्यं – शिवं – सुन्दरं'.  Here 'Sivam' means what is good and 'Sundaram' means beauty as known to all.  That is, beauty is part and parcel of the principle of Para Brhmam.  Thus to experience beauty correctly and completely is to experience the Brhma – Gnãna – Ãnandam!  That word 'correctly' in the previous sentence is not understood by most.

133.  Mostly we do not know as to how to give our minds totally and exclusively and unconditionally, to that appreciation of beauty.  All of us may not be matured enough to see Easwara in beauty.  We do appreciate beauty but are not able to make it as an approach to release from our crass worldliness, not all of us!  What does look beautiful to us?  Whatever gives us satisfaction and happiness, we call that as beautiful and that makes us wish for more of it.  Here there is one important qualifying clause.  The bliss we feel instead of being a quirk and twist of our minds should be clean and peaceful without any aberrations.  Then only the cause of it can be construed as beautiful.  Any trace of cruelty, crudity and savagery in the mind of the viewer / experiencer will rule out that cause from being beautiful, though it may give a mistaken sense of happiness!  So the attitude of the experiencer, the Bhãvam is important. 

134.  Another aspect of it is that, what looks beautiful should not be causing fear, sorrow or anger in us.  Say we look at a wide vista of a valley fully covered as though by a green carpet; or we see a waterfall pouring down with tremendous force. That will give us happiness only when we stand at a distance as a panoramic view.  But if we are standing teetering on the edge of a cliff or the edge of the waterfall, then fear will be the main reaction in us!  When we look at a snake with designs on its body as though an expert artist has drawn those lines and colouration, shining and moving with evident flexibility, are we able to appreciate its beauty?  We will rather run away in panic, isn't it?  Say, if there is a tiger or panther, are we able to appreciate the texture and designs on its skin with no end to its beauty?  If it is outside the cage, it will only cause our lower abdomen to churn in panic!  A saint who has reached the highest stage of fearlessness may be the one to sing, "ஆடு பாம்பே, விளையாடு பாம்பே", (meaning, 'dance my dear snake!'), as in fact a Siddha could do!  A great poet like William Blake can write poetry appreciating the ferocious beauty of a tiger, but we cannot do it.  We can appreciate beauty only when there is no fear or threat to our person, the sense that we are this body, being so deep rooted in our minds! A blooming lotus flower, a full Moon and such things of colour, softness, coolness, form and fragrance are the things we appreciate.  Let the jasmine flower be fragrant and inviting, if there is a snake in that creeper plant, will we be enjoying the beauty and fragrance?  We will just runaway!

135.  Further, if we take the human beings, we are able to recognise the sense of beauty where there is love.  If your boss is dominating and victimising, even though he is very handsome, we will be blind to it.  Love, kindness and care makes relationships flourish.  We may appreciate beauty in a human being or a bird or animal even in the absence of love as long as there is no fear or animosity or a sense of being exploited.  The element of love in such situations enhances our appreciation of beauty.  When love increases, the importance of the beauty of the form diminishes.  Those who are an embodiment of love, whatever be their form, you feel like repeatedly looking at them.  Look at the way the baby attaches itself to the mother, however ugly she may be.  The child will refuse to go to anybody else, however beautiful that person may be but will only seek its own mother.  The reason for that is the fact that, the child identifies the mother to be a source of unconditional love!  The sage Ashtavakra was having eight deformities in his body!  But his knowledge, awareness and Gnãna, made the learned scholars of his time, seek him out for his darsan.  Further, there have been many Gnaanis, Siddhas and Mahatmas who were not much to look at or even repelling.  But people surround them for their darsan, like the flies hovering over a piece of sweet sugar candy.  Why?  By our definition, "Beauty causes you to want to repeatedly see", only such people we should say, are beautiful!  As the adage says, "அகத்தின் அழகு முகத்தில் தெரியும்", the love in their hearts, their kindness and grace paints them with a beauty beyond all their oddities of form!

136.  To sum up, the beauty of a living being increases when they are also kindly and loving.  When the factor of love dominates, beauty is secondary and at the farther reaches of love, the beauty of form is immaterial and love becomes synonymous with beauty leading to the oft used adage, "Love is beautiful"!  As we get happiness in looking at something, we keep looking at it repeatedly.  Amongst things that can give happiness the best is love, not to be matched by anything else.  So, the love that gives happiness itself becomes beautiful and causes us to repeatedly seek it.

AmbãL: the Totality of Beauty& Love
"அம்பாள்: அழகு அன்புகளின் முழுமை"

137.  What and who is AmbãL? She is the form of beauty and the form of love!  Love as a beautiful form is AmbãL.  That is, embodiment or personification of love and beauty is AmbãL, if you take those two words as adjectives!  Whatever the sweet dish the sweetness is that sugar, whether it is from honey or fruit or a cooked or baked dish, isn't it?  Like that, wherever we see beauty in whatever form or thing or situation or meaning; she is the mother stuff of all that is beautiful.  She being the ultimate power, she is also the totality (PoorNatvam – पूर्णत्वं) of beauty and all that we see as beautiful in this world are infinitesimal fractions of that beauty!  So also she is the totality of all 'love / प्रेम / அருள்'! It is her loving heart that has taken the form of a flood of beauty. 

138.  Love is a formless principle.  What we see in this world as full of love is often seen to be lacking in beauty in form.  What is lacking in the quality of love is also seen to be sometimes very beautiful.  Still the quality of love somehow adds an element of beauty beyond bodily infirmities and crudity.  That is, the formless love gets somehow reflected in the form.  But in AmbãL, there is no lacking of love or beauty in the formless state as well as in form!  In her the fullness of love has taken form as the completeness of beauty!    
Because the people of the world as her children are not able to understand or comprehend her in any way, the Parabrhma Shakti as the Mother Supreme has taken the form as AmbãL, in all her love for them. So, her form itself is one of love.  Only when that form is supremely attractive, even the most unread and uninitiated will leave the other lures of life and turn towards her, isn't it?  So, out of her extreme compassion for the people of the world, she has taken a charming and beautiful form.  Her body is the expression of the beauty of her compassion.  Unlike the human beings in whom the inner state and outer form do not necessarily match, in the case of AmbãL, the Atidevata Tripurasundari Lalitha, her form, inner beauty, compassion, love and 'लावण्यं' / 'LãvaNyam' match completely!   Her name is 'Tripurasundari' as she is the most beautiful in all the three worlds of here, there and everywhere as well as past, present and future!  Let it be!

139.  That beauty and love is one, is indicated by many of the words.  'Su' / 'सु' as a prefix, has two meanings as good and beautiful.  For example 'SuguNa' means someone with a very good looks and character.  What is good or best?  We say, 'அன்பே சிவம்', meaning 'Love itself is Siva'.  Sivam and Subham are one and the same! (I am tempted to type, ' Sivam and Subham is one and the same!'.  But the computer is insisting on correctness of grammar as it has been programmed!)  What is the best amongst all good things?  It is love, isn't it?  From Subham is derived the word 'Shobha' which means 'beauty', meaning the beauty is the outcome of love!  Out of all 'शुभ' events marriage is considered to be the most auspicious.  We write in the marriage invitation cards, 'சுப முஹூர்த்தப் பத்திரிகை', don't we?  Out of the many meanings of the word 'KalyãNam', one is good that is love and another is beauty.  That is how the phrase, Satyam–Sivam–Sundaram / 'सत्यंशिवंसुन्दरं' / 'சத்யம்சிவம்சுந்தரம்'came in to being.  Siva is also known as Sundareswara meaning, the Lord of Beauty!

(To be continued.)




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