Friday, January 11, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (Vol # 6) Dated 11 Jan 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (Vol # 6) Dated 11 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 the middle of page No 763 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)

285.  What I am thinking of and about to tell you may sound slightly out of the ordinary.  Since such a thought has occurred, I am anyhow going to share it with you all.  Everything happens including the 'Gnãna Sãdhana' in the matters of Maya only, except for the last crowning act of 'Ãtma Anubhuti' aka 'Ãtma Sãkshãtkãrã'.  Even the Adwaita Sãdhana is only part and parcel of the efforts to get rid of Maya through matters of Maya.  I am not the author of this idea but only repeating an existent thought.  'Guru's Upadesa also occurs in duality of Dwaitam only!  Still through that you could attain to the state of Adwaitam!  If you ask me how, I shall give you an example.  The lion roars in someone's dream.  Hearing that, a person in all haste and panic is shaken up into the state of 'wakefulness'!  The cause was only the lion in a dream.  But that dream-lion causes the dreamer to be launched into utter wakefulness, isn't it?  Similarly in this dream world of duality, the words of the Guru is said to launch the disciple Sishya from the deep sleep of Sushupti into the wakefulness of Jãgrat Avastã!'  So, since the very act of Sãdhana takes place in Dwaitam only, even if the initial aim in our Sãdhana is contrary to the aim of Adwaitam, if they come naturally in the flow of our thoughts we may not stamp them out.  As long as it is part of our devotional activity, even other methods, their rituals and Sãstrãs will give whatever benefits and powers and we may accept them without any reservations.  So the way the slokas/stotras evolve, let us put it in words, for their intrinsic value.  It is with this thought process that our ÃchãryãL authored and sanctioned this poem Soundarya Lahari.  That is why we notice that gems of thoughts of orthodox Vedic as well as Tantric, Adwaita-Dwaita-Visishtãdwaitam, Saivam and Sãktam are all seen to be scattered here and there raising their voices.

"அத்வைத சாஸ்திரத்திலும் சக்தி, லீலை முதலியன"
'The Concepts of Shakti and Leela in Adwaitam too'

286.  Here I should not fail to talk about one important point.  Because in Adwaitam all matters of creation is set aside as Maya, it does not mean that there is no mention of Shakti at all in Adwaitam.  So that for an aspirant on the path of Gnãna may not get deviated in to matters of Shakti and its Prabhãva, it has not been given much importance; it would not be very correct to say that there is no mention of the role of Shakti at all in Adwaitam.  In Chandokya Upanishad (III.14.3) it is mentioned while Paramãtma is described, that it is having 'all Karma, Kãma, gandam, and rasam'.  I quote "मनोमय: He, who is permeating the mind प्राणशरीर: who has PraNa for his body, भारूप: whose nature is consciousness, सत्य संकल्प: whose resolve is true and infallible, आकाशात्मा whose form is like the sky or Ãkãsa, सर्वकर्मा whose creation is all that exists, सर्वकाम: his are all the desires, सर्वगन्द: who possess all the agreeable fragrances, सर्वरस: who possesses all the agreeable tastes", I unquote!  That one thing became many because it wished so – 'अकामयत ' – as I told you earlier, quoting from Taitreeya Upanishad.

287.  "Not finding happiness in being all alone, the Paramãtma wished to have a partner; by that wish became a pair of a wife and a husband", says Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad (I.4.3), coming very close to Kãmeswara – Kãmeswari Tatvam!  With those two as Father and Mother all the varieties of existence came into being, the Upanishad goes on to say.  The fact that Paramãtma possesses all sorts of powers, as stated in the Upanishads, is also confirmed by the Brhma Sutra, when it says, "सर्वोपेता च तत् दर्शनात्", meaning that it is possessed of all powers as, revealed by the Upanishads.  In such places our ÃchãryãL does not avoid or by-pass, because he has propounded the theory of Maya and defined it as inexplicable or 'anirvachaneeyam' – that is, 'अनिर्वचनीयं'.  In explaining this point he has clearly stated that the Parãdevata is Omnipotent when he says, 'सर्वशक्ति-युक्ता परा देवता'.  As he had declared it as 'अनिर्वचनीयं', he did not have to worry about questions such as, 'How can it be so?' after comparison with anything of the world.  Only with serious and deep understanding of the Vedas can the Brhmam be even slightly comprehended, and not by logic and debate based on 'this-worldly knowledge' – he has emphatically stated!

288.  Instead of being in the state of Samãdhi in which one is the very Brhmam, this subject or topic of creation comes in a stage of talking or thinking about Brhmam only.  What is purely NirguNa Brhmam as Suddha Gnãnam, when related to Avidya and Maya with imaginary matters of creation, gets this 'Sarva Shakti Yoga' or the power of Omnipotence!   When he says, 'शिव शक्त्या युक्त:', is same as saying that the Brhmam is getting 'Sarva Shakti Yoga'! Immediately following this, it is given in the Brhma Sutra that, 'For Brhmam all this mighty job of creation, sustenance and what not, is only child's play – "लोकवत तु लीला कैवल्यं".  There while finishing his explanation for this sentence, our ÃchãryãL says that, "Sruti talks about matters of Creation not as being part of the whole true NirguNa Brhma Tatvam; but only as that of the imaginary and ignorant view point of the practical world of duality!"  Still at the level of accepting them as 'व्यवहार सत्यं' or practical truth, our ÃchãryãL is very appreciative of the Leela of Easwara.  He says, "For us people with limited abilities, the creation of the universe with its variegated matters and life forms may look like a mighty-great achievement.  But for Easwara it is only play, as he has unlimited powers and abilities!"

289.  That the Adwiteeya Brhmam (undifferentiated oneness of Brhmam), by the inner 'spandam', causes the duality of existence to come about, is evidenced by what is mentioned in the Upanishads.  In Katopanishad it is said that, 'The entire universe comes into being in the Power of Life known as PrãNa and moves'.  For this word movement, it is said in Katopanishad 'ejati' meaning 'kampanam' that is to vibrate instead of being shaken by another party, as given in the Brhma Sutram as 'कम्पनात्'.  For this, while giving the explanation our ÃchãryãL says 'What causes the vibration is not the breath of air but the Brhmam itself!'  Like this, many more evidences may be available if we search for them about, how at one level Adwaitam accepts the Maya and its creation of the imaginary world of duality as 'व्यवहार सत्यं' or transactional reality, quite in support of Saiva and Sãkta doctrines.

ஸ்தோத்திரத்தை நாம் அணுகவேண்டிய முறை
How Should We Approach the Stotram – Soundarya Lahari

290.  That our ÃchãryãL with an open heart has included many differing doctrines as they naturally occurred in his mind is not to be taken wrongly as an intended mixture.  We should also have an open heart like him and give our minds to the flow of the poetry, with humility be devoted to AmbãL and our ÃchãryãL and pray to them, that we may suitably benefit by a study of the poem.  If we do so we will also be merged in the authors Bhãva and feel the divine bliss of it.  Though there may be different doctrines with much of divergent attitudes, we should be endeavouring to get to the purpose of the poems, is one thing.  Another thing is the caution that we should guard against possible misinterpretation of allegorical descriptions.  Actually the word 'allegory' itself may not be the right one here.  The matters of Sãstrãs and Purãnãs are not fictions of imagination by individual authors.  Like Mantra Drashtãs these have been written by Seers who could see the past events just like the television of the present day world.  Instead of imagining and visualising they have been shown the truth the way it is, by divine intention.  They are shapes and forms of 'Tatvam' or the deep truths.  (Before we proceed any further, we need to understand this word 'Tatvam'!)

291.  This word Tatvam is written as 'तत्वं' in Sanskrit and it is a combination of two words as, 'tat' + 'tvam = tatvam' that is 'तत् + त्वं = you + (are) that = तत्वं'!  On the one hand we are using this word 'Tatvam' as a synonym for deep inner principles or doctrines of esoteric meaning, while on the other hand, the most important issue before us is an understanding of ourselves as to what we are!  More than anything else, those Mantra Drashtãs, Seers, Mahãtmãs or Rishis, had come to a clear understanding of this most important Tatvam about their own appointed role in the warp and weft of the whole tapestry of our existence!  Hence these stories and principles behind them can take us to the very purpose of our own existence.  Even today if we sincerely and seriously melt our hearts in these Japa, Dhyãna and PãrãyaNam, we could also see those forms, without any crass feelings, to take us to our basics of our inner reality of pure bliss. 

292.  Some of these 'Tatva Roopakam' or symbolic / allegoric representations may not exactly coincide with the way we function in our social milieu.  We should then not jump to a conclusion straight away that, what is represented is basically wrong.  We should look at the 'Tatva Artam', the meaning of the message conveyed and will find that it is quite correct.  Similarly some of the literary traditions may not be at par with the present day trends in the world.  Like that, there is an acceptable tradition for Plays, Drama, the art of Sculpture or Painting and Dance, instead of being verbatim copies of the world as we know.  (Well, in our present day world, these self-imposed restrictions are more noticeable by their absence than in application, in these art forms including TV and News Media!  That is beside the point to what PeriyavãL is talking about.)  The artist or poet should further be applying his own self-control in trying to maintain the traditions for excellence.  We as readers and aspirants in the path of Bhakti/Gnãna should have an understanding and a sense of acceptance.

293.  To understand and enjoy the meaning and message of Soundarya Lahari, first we should note and observe without reservations the different Siddhãnta doctrines as they occur, accepting their relevance at that point. When some matters are contrary to our present day standards, we should first have an understanding that what we call 'the present day standards' is in fact no standard but, rather a nebulous commodity and so, refrain from jumping into conclusions.  With such an outlook if we take Soundarya Lahari as a superlative form of literary expression and an excellent devotional means of Sãktam, read, enjoy and immensely benefit by such study of it!

294.  I am saying all this because there are some areas in Soundarya Lahari which can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.  We should approach it with humbleness and deep devotion and then only will we be obtaining the very high benefits out of it.  Siva in the position of Brhmam, his Ichcha form of Kãmeswari and he as Kãmeswara; their combined effort of Creation of Universe, have been depicted in very decorative language of Sri Vidya Sãstram.  We should be having a clean heart looking for the 'Tatva Artha' mainly while doing PãrãyaNam / deep study of the text.  For ages past, many aspirants have made great use of this excellent poetry, for controlling their own crass whims, fancies and baser instincts, while benefitting personally and spiritually immensely!  Mooka says repeatedly in 'Pancha Sati', "Amma!  You instilled the Kãmam in Siva himself who had burnt Kãma (aka Manmatha or Eros the God of Love) out of existence!  Still you are removing the Kãma and such crass tendencies from your devotees and give them Gnãna!

(To be continued.)




Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home