Thursday, January 03, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 108 (Vol # 6) Dated 03 Jan 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 108 (Vol # 6) Dated 03 Jan 2013

(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 page No 735 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 consonantly)

245.  Parãsakti is said to be the 'Parãhanta SwaroopiNi' of Parama Siva who is Parabrhmam!  AmbãL has been referred as 'Ãho Purushika' in the last line of the 7th sloka in Soundarya Lahari, which means something like the 'Alter Ego'.  To lightly tap one's own chest with the right hand and claim 'It's me!' is 'Ãho Purushika', as good as saying, "You better know that she is my Wife"!  We mortals with limited ability should not be feeling such pride.  But for Siva to claim so and feel a bit of pride about himself and his partner, is quite on the cards isn't it?  Surprisingly what Siva is feeling as self-pride happens to be another being that is Shakti!  That he is aware of himself is the effect of Shakti as we have already seen, isn't it?  So his feeling this pride is also her effect only, for one who was not even aware of his self!  It is as though Siva is saying, "Well!  For so long, I was not even aware of myself.  It is she who has caused me to realise this Self-Knowledge and she is my 'Ãho Purushika' about whom I am mighty proud!"  Many who have written Bhashyam for Soundarya Lahari, have opined that here, Parabrhma Siva is claiming AmbãL as his Parãhanta form. 

246.  The Siva who was in the unadulterated Kevala Gnãna Swaroopa, suddenly becoming aware of his omniscience is the first shiver – 'அசைவு' in Sivam.  There is no outer action.  No movement of hands or legs or any body part.  The first movement is in the awareness.  In the absolute state of immobility and thoughtlessness there is just a light suggestion of a thought as, 'I'.  AmbãL did not physically move him from the outside.  She moved as a thought as 'I', as being the Self!  That vibration from within is this 'spandam' and 'spandanam' – 'स्पन्दं & स्पन्दनं'.  Our ÃchãryãL has precisely selected the word 'spandam' to indicate the vibration or pulsation from within, not caused by any external agency but from within! 

247.  The basis of creation is vibration.  The Parabrhma vibrations became the sounds of the Veda Mantras further metamorphosing as the gross matter of the universe.  Luckily the modern science has come very close to the idea of the central nucleus vibrating ending in the 'Big Bang theory' of origin.  Thus when the basic stuff of the universe vibrates by itself from deep inside (leading to the 'Big Bang') is Spandanam.  But talking about Siva and Shakti, not exactly in the Adwaitic vein but as a Stotram in the Sãkta tradition; here we should not be saying that Sivam shivered by itself but, be saying that AmbãL only moved him ever so little.  While saying so, within what is seemingly dualistic he brings in the monistic idea by using the word 'spandan', which is basically a 'shiver from deep within'!
(Please relate this to Deivathin Kural of (Vol # 2) on Vedas under the Heading, 'ஒலியும் படைப்பும்' meaning 'Sound and Creation'.) 

248.  Even when following the Sãkta traditions, it becomes well neigh impossible to think of Siva and Shakti as two different entities!   Siva and Shakti are like the lamp and its light or the flower and its fragrance or honey and its sweetness or the milk and its whiteness or the word and its meaning; inalienably the same!  So, even when we credit her for his movement, we cannot separate them.  This inseparable oneness between Siva and Shakti should be deep in our hearts forever.  (Once again PeriyavãL says that this indivisible, inalienable and inseparable oneness between Siva and Shakti should be deep in our hearts as the basic factor or under current.)  When the basic principle is made into literature poetically, for the sake of literary niceties and nuances, when the devotee claims the liberty to praise one and seemingly put down the other for the pleasure of it; even when such freedom is taken, when praising one because that will get deeply imbedded in our minds that Siva is superior to Shakti or Shakti is greater than Siva; 'the idea that they are virtually one' must remain in our minds and heart marinating deep inside!  It is with that most important underlining that our ÃchãryãL, at the very start of the Soundarya Lahari, even while saying that it is Shakti who moved Siva giving importance to her, instead of using so many other words, as they are likely to sound as though she moved him as some force from outside; so as to clearly show that she is within him; made use of the word 'spandam' which indicates the inner movement!

249.  I have referred to 'Kashmira Saivam' in passing.  (I hope firstly you understand Saivam to mean 'a sect of devotees of Siva'!)  In it, this inner shiver – 'அசைவு' – 'asaivu' – and the word 'spandam' are very important.  Since this aspect of Saivam – that is, Saiva Siddhãntam originated in Kashmir, it got the name as 'Kashmira Saivam'.  But the originators of that point of view did not give that name.  They gave the name as 'Trika Saivam' (crudely translated as the 'Three Pronged Saivam') because they talked about the principles of 'Pasu – Pati – Pãsam'.  (All of the living things are Pasu – the word means animal and we know that man is also an animal basically.  Siva is the Pati, the Master.  The connecting link between Siva and all of us animals is Pãsam – the binding rope like relationship.  That in short is a rather crude explanation of what is 'Pasu – Pati – Pãsam'.)  Another name for their line of Saivam is 'Pratyabhignã Sãstram' – 'प्रत्यभिज्ञा शास्त्रं' – which literally means – to understand truly – that Sivam is the indwelling spirit in all living beings, things and all existence.  Another name for that line of Saivam is 'Spanda Sãstram'.

250.  That Sãstram says that the whole universe is a reflection of union of Sivam and Shakti.  Reflection in Sanskrit is 'Ãbhãsam'.  Somehow this word 'Ãbhãsam' or 'ஆபாசம்' in Tamil has come to mean something crudely vulgar.  In fact there is no such implication or connotation at all in the Sanskrit word.  The root word 'bhãs' in Sanskrit means light or effulgence, like the Sun is known as 'Bhãskara'.  So, basically the word 'Ãbhãsam' means reflected light.  As per Kashmira Saivam, all the variegated worlds of the universe are reflections of the oneness of Siva & Shakti.  So, that would mean that there is one basic root material and its light gets reflected outside it, isn't it? That would give the idea that the universe is outside the principle of what is Para Brhmam.  That would not be very correct.  If Brhmam is just Sivam then there is no connection or link to the universe.  Then the universe can be said to be outside it but, Kevala (= just) Sivam will not produce light and so there is no chance of it being reflected!  As per Kashmira Saivam the ultimate principle instead of being 'Kevala Sivam' is a 'Siva-Shakti' form or Swaroopa in which the generation and reflection of light is due to her.  But the universe is not outside of her.  She is both inside and outside, the source as well as reflection of the light – the principle that permeates as well as encompasses the existence.  In that one singular idea of Siva-Shakti, in its inner vibration or 'spandam' – 'स्पन्दं' all the dual worlds are like the lamp seen inside the mirror, says Kashmira Saivam.  That is to say, this word 'Spandam' shows or demonstrates as to how, outside of Brhmam there is no universe as different from Brhmam and no principle of Shakti other than Sivam.  For this idea of Sivam that is Brhmam, the Shakti is inherent and so is the universe which is seemingly a creation but an 'Ãbhãsam' within the mirror of Siva-Shakti. Thus the word 'Spandam' is a movement within that is not caused by prompting from without.

251.  Amongst all the Saiva Darsan-s (view-points), what comes closest to our ÃchãryãL's Adwaitam is this Kashmira Saivam also known as 'Spanda Sãstram', which also finally talks about Adwaita Moksham.  But unlike our ÃchãryãL's views about the world being an imaginary projection by Maya as Mithya; the world is given equal importance as a reflection of the reality of Brhmam.  Adding many more details to the two concepts of Maya and world governance by Easwara, this Kashmira Saivam calls it the Shakti Tatvam.  It keeps the Siva-Shakti at the foremost top position.  Then it talks about 36 Tatvam-s aka Important Principles.  In them the first is Siva as the Sat and the second is Shakti as the Chit, immediately adding that the first two principles are irrevocably integral to each other and their combined Sat + Chit is revealed as Ãnandam and that as the expression of that Ãnandam is the emergence of the universe!

திறந்த மனத்துடன் செய்த துதி
Prayer Done with Open Mind

252.  For those who may not be able to proceed on the path of Adwaita / Gnãna Marga, in the path of Bhakti /Sãktam, while writing the Soundarya Lahari, in the last but one Sloka (99th) our ÃchãryãL has quoted the Pasu – Pati – Pãsam concept (that occurs in Kashmira and other such Saiva traditions) saying that a devotee of AmbãL will be rid of all binding ties and enjoy the supreme bliss of – Parã Ãnanda Rasa – 'क्षपित पशु पाश व्यतिकर: परानन्दाभिख्यं रसयति'Since Soundarya Lahari is basically addressed to AmbãL, so that her devotees may be able to develop the 'Ananya' Bhakti for her, her abilities have to be depicted to be much superior to all other deities.  ('Ananya' Bhakti means exclusively devoted, uncaring for any other.)  Then as a beautiful piece of poetical art it should be done respecting literary traditions; it should be embellished from the point of view of Sri Vidya Tantra tradition; though one may not emphasise the aspect of Adwaitam, since Adwaitam and Sri Vidya Tantra are not contrary to each other, occasionally the areas of accord between them should be highlighted; all this should be done without treading on anybody's sensibilities in terms of literary liberties, social ethos and attitude towards women in general, especially guarding against creation of any lascivious thoughts in immature readers; were the parameters our ÃchãryãL set for himself while writing this Soundarya Lahari. Instead of saying that our ÃchãryãL decided so, it would be more appropriate that AmbãL so decided for him to go about writing the poems with those restrictions.

253.  Though the points that I have listed above must have been some sort of self-imposed discipline our ÃchãryãL could have set for himself, he may not have been too strict about them either.  Based on his personal Adwaita Anubhuti, his natural devotion for AmbãL,  Sri Vidya Tantra knowledge and his penchant for poetical expression; he must have given a free reign without any bias, keeping the mind and heart open to have a free flow of sentiments, feelings and Bhakti Bhãva, since after all, the work itself is titled a Lahari – a flow, isn't it?  Of course a flow cannot fly or go up the slope.  If stuck between rocks it may have to restrict its own spread.  But for some such basic and natural restrictions, the aim was to give it a free flow as allowed by imagination and power of expression.  In that flow he managed to include even some of the avowed and well established doctrines of later periods; such as Saiva Siddhãntam, Kashmira Saivam, Visishtãdwaitam and Dwaitam wherever appropriate!

(To be continued.)




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