Sunday, December 16, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 Dec 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 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 673 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)

Prayer – in the Very Form of AmbãL
அம்பிகையின் வடிவேயான துதி

149.  AmbãL's GuNa and Roopa are not different things.  This Stotra Soundarya Lahari is also not something else.  As her infinite salubrious character qualities assumed the form of hers from head to foot, these hundred poems describing the beauty of all her body parts is another form of hers.   At the end of such a book of Slokas / Stotras normally it is the custom to add a 'Phala Sruti' which would spell out the gains accruing as a result of chanting those slokas.  But the author of Soundarya Lahari instead of listing the benefits of chanting it, in extreme humility tells AmbãL, "As you are the very universe of words, ideas and expressions, I have had the temerity of taking some of your words to describe you and return them to you as an offering, like waving a light in front of the Sun in Ãrati or offering the water oozing from the Chandra Kãnta stone to the Moon or picking water from the ocean and doing, water-offering ceremony of TarpaNam to the very ocean! 

150.  In fact it is the 99thsloka that is more like a 'Phala Sruti', though not exactly like one.  We will come to that later when we reach the 99th sloka.  Here, what I was intending to say was that, instead of saying that such and such would be the fruit of chanting Soundarya Lahari, he is talking about the benefits that a devotee of AmbãL stands to gain.  Why did he put it like that?  We can think of two reasons for that.  One is that, as our ÃchãryãL is devoid of the slightest pride, he did not want to claim that his composition has such and such power or that he did not wish to even call it his composition, as it is only AmbãL's Soundarya Lahari.   The second reason is that, it is AmbãL's Swaroopa in the form of words.  The Stotra itself is AmbãL's form and so reading it is as good as worshipping her.  This is being conveyed indirectly, may be.  It is the beauty of AmbãL's form, taking an Avatara as our ÃchãryãL's spoken / written expression as Soundarya Lahari.  Somewhere along the way I told you about the 'RasãLu Mango marinated in divine nectar', didn't I?  That is about this only.   AmbãL is the RasãLu mango full of the essence of the power to confer benefits.  To sing about that, the power that she gave our ÃchãryãL, is the nectar from the heavens known as 'Devãmrutam'.  In our ÃchãryãL's power of expression that is, the divine nectar, AmbãL's beauty the RasãLu mango is soaked and coming to us seasoned fully!

'ஆனந்த லஹரி' என்ற தலைப்பு; அத்வைதமும் சாக்தமும்
The Title 'Ãnanda Lahari'; Adwaitam and Sãktam

151.  The first part of Soundarya Lahari, the first 41 slokas are about her powers mainly and is known as 'Ãnanda Lahari' and the second part of 42nd sloka onwards till the 100th one, which talk about her beauty is the true 'Soundarya Lahari'!  The first sloka itself raises her powers to exalted heights, 'that without her Siva is incapable of any movement'!  So, instead of that part being called the 'Ãnanda Lahari', why not call it 'Shakti Lahari'?  This happiness or bliss is generated from the source and tool for knowledge, called the 'Chit'.  This 'knowing – chit' is Brhmam-knowing-itself!  This is synonymous with Gnãnam.  What is this knowing one's self?  To know one's self is to know one's inner being that is absolutely static without the slightest wavering or shake with total peace.  It is the state of being sans any work or qualities aka NirguNatvam.  With that, it is also the basis for all the dynamic action, coming in to being and all qualities and variations, as noted by Sãktam!  To be the basis for the world of all dynamic actions and variegated qualities, can only happen by a power of creating, managing, directing, controlling, executing and supervising; isn't it?  Sãktam reiterates that the peaceful Brhmam itself has this power.

152.  In that stream or style – as 'Soundarya Lahari' has been so sanctioned by ÃchãryãL as a Sãkta stotra, from that view point – the Chit of Brhmam while knowing one's self, this Gnãnam is not only the knowing of its inner true being of Adwaita Shãntam.  In addition it would have been aware of its potential power for the coming into being of the whole world of duality and multiplicity!  In doing so, it would have become aware of its being the 'Totality of Power'!  In the Gnãna Anubhava of Brhmam, it is this aspect of awareness of omnipotence that is given the most importance by the Religion known as Sãktam that is, the Religion of devotees of Shakti.  It talks about that Shakti as the very form of Chit.

153.  One person cannot have two 'அறிவு' as the power to know. So Sãktam says that, the power of Brhmam to know its inner static and peaceful Nishkriya, Nishkãma and NirguNa Roopa is also the same Chit Shakti.  When we say that the Sat-Chit is blissful, the base eternal principle of Sat is Siva or Sivam and his / its Chit – 'அறிவு' is AmbãL, maintains Sãktam.  Since it is unimaginable for a Sat to be without its true basis of a Chit, Sat-Chit aka Siva-Shakti are ever one and not two different things, inalienably the same; without one the other is not!

154.  So now, in Sat-Chit-Ãnandam, what is the Ãnandam?  What is that Ãnandam in 'Ãnanda Lahari' is our question isn't it?  It is the bliss felt by the Brhmam in knowing itself to be complete with Chit in its state of Nishkriya, NirguNa and Shãntam.  Sri Vidya too, as a separate approach contributes to it without any objection.  But, as I told you about the matter of Chit, here too, giving importance to the effectiveness of Shakti, Sãktam says, 'this knowledge of Brhmam gets the experience of completeness in both the states of total inactivity as well as in the dynamic functioning of the manifested state too'.  So Sat-Chit-Ãnandam is equally the same in the dormant as well as the dynamic manifested state of the functional universe also as 'शक्ति विलास आनन्दं'.

155.  Then again another point comes to mind.  As there are concepts as 'सिवानन्दं – Sivãnandam ' & 'शान्तानन्दं – Shantãnandam', there is no principle of 'शक्त्यानन्दं - Shaktyãnandam', in vogue.  Since the word Siva is indicative of the peaceful Sat, Sivãnandam and Shantãnandam are but one and the same as also 'ब्रह्मानन्दं' – Brhmãnandam, which once again means the 'bliss of Brhmam' which is also 'शान्तं' only! Similarly when we say Ãtmãnandam –'आत्मानन्दं'also, similarly we are not relating to any work or quality or power, and mean a state of being bliss.  If your question is, 'Why is it that there is no phrase as Shaktyãnandam?', my answer is that Power cannot be known just by being but by its dynamic actions and effect.  We as Jiva Ãtma-s, when we go into the work mode, we are not able to know our peacefulness, which is the inner state of our Ãtma.  Our peacefulness is lost and being pulled in every which direction, we are ever in a state of agitation and feel, "Will this state never end?  Can we never feel the inner peace of ourselves?"  That is why ÃchãryãL when he postulated the Adwaita Siddhãntam considered the 'world of work' as a mirage and set it aside and recommended us to stand firm as the peaceful Ãtma.  Then only this man Jiva can be the Brhmam itself as the Nishkriya, NirguNa and Shãnta Brhmam and not the causal power of all work!  This state of Jiva standing one with Brhmam in peacefulness is talked about by Sri Vidya and some of the Sãkta Tantras also.  Such a Moksham for the Jivãtma as an end in itself is said to be in complete peace sans any Shakti and so there is no concept of Shaktyãnandam, ever mentioned anywhere, but only Sivãnandam and Shãntãnandam.  However, in Sãktam when the word 'Chidãnandam' is talked about, what they mean is Shaktyãnandam only!

156.  The bliss of Brhmam remaining as omniscience as 'Chinmaya' is Chidãnandam that is also Gnãnãnandam too.  In Sãktam when this Chidãnandam is talked about, as per that Sãstrã, as AmbãL her -self is the Chid-swaroopiNi, by the power of her Grace (शक्ति विलासं) is engaged in the Leela of creation, sustenance and assimilation of the whole Universe.  She is blissfully engaged in doing so and hence Shaktyãnandam is especially postulated!  Without mentioning this connection with Shakti, Adwaita Sãstrãs say that the world of duality is created by the Maya that is indefinable as to why and how it does all that.  So in it, only Sivãnandam and Shãntãnandam are the two concepts mentioned.  But in Sãktam where it is said that AmbãL conducts all the universal transactions for the pleasure of her Leela, She who is the 'in' and 'out' of everything is the universe, she is also the Nishkriya, NirguNa inner Gnãnam and the totality of all actions and power of the outer world; as the very Swaroopa or form of happiness and bliss, she is the 'Chidãnanda RoopiNi'!  

157.  As per Adwaitam, the Parabrhma Tatvam cannot have outer awareness as it is illimitably without an outer!  So there cannot be an awareness of the outer.  To relate it to duality and relativity is an insult and anathema to the very concept of Adwaitam!  Sãktam is not like that.  So as to increase the pleasure and partake of the Leela, the in-looking Brhmam starts looking out, manifests, moves, and becomes by the power of Shakti and this is what is celebrated by the very first sloka of Soundarya Lahari! 

158.  Jivãtma, however much he may try to find happiness by his power and actions, however much he may endeavour, there is never going to be total satisfaction, completeness without many ifs and buts!  So peace will remain a utopia for him.  But through the religion of Sãktam, he can always enjoy appreciating AmbãL's Shakti Vilãsam.  What was set aside as the indescribable and indefinable in Adwaitam as Maya – the Dwaita Prapancham – the world of duality: can now be part of the entertainment as AmbãL's Leela through Sãktam!  So, this Jivãtma who cannot expect to become one with the Brhmam as the omnipotent and omniscient himself can only hope to merge in the Shãnta Brhmam.  Still here in Sãktam, he can share the Grace of AmbãL as at least a witness to her Chidãnanda Shakti Vilãsam, as demonstrated by the religion of Sãktam. 

159.  Like our ÃchãryãL, those who had attained to Adwaita Anubhuti, have worked towards betterment of humanity as well as remaining devoted, from this sort of a stage of existence only.  But, since the aim of such past masters of Adwaitam was to make the aspiring Sãdhak to proceed strictly towards a target of absolute peaceful oneness, did not expand on the aspect of Shakti worship. Sãktam and other devotional traditions are meant for those who cannot proceed on the path of Gnãna / Adwaitam. It is in Bhakti Marga that the pleasure of experiencing the Bhagawat Leela can be known.  In some places it may even be mentioned to be superior to the Adwaita Ãnandam too!

160.  All Leela arises from Shakti.  Leela is happiness in planning, in execution and completion.  That is why that part of the composition which describes Shakti aka power of AmbãL is named as Ãnanda Lahari.  I have told you that Shakti and Chit are identical, isn't it?  In conformity with that idea in one of the Ãnanda Lahari slokas, (the 8th), this very idea has been mentioned that, 'some rare, highly lucky people are the ones who recognize you as the flow of Chidãnanda and worship you' – "भजन्ति त्वां धन्या: कतिचन चिदानन्द लहरीम्".

(To be continued.)




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