DEIVATHIN KURAL # 118
(Vol # 6) Dated 23 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 second
paragraph on page No 808 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com
the job of Creation, next is the job of 'Paripãlanam', which
means the jobs of management, sustenance, governance and punishment of
offenders; rolled in to one carried out by Vishnu or Ananta Padma Nãbhan. The thousand headed snake on
which he is reclining also has the same name.
He is the one bearing the weight of this onus on his thousand
heads. Vishnu Sahasranãma starts describing him as "सहस्र शीर्षा पुरुष: सहस्राक्ष सहस्र पात् स भूमिं विश्वतोवृत्वा" – meaning that he is the Purusha with thousands of heads, thousands
of eyes and thousands of hands and feet; whether you take it as one
representative form or take it as all the people of the world are representing
Vishnu! He, the world with all the
living and insentient things in it put together are only the 'angri renu' of
AmbãL – the dust of her feet only! Vishnu is called the 'Souri' here. The Swami in Thiru Kannapuram is known as
'Souri Raja PerumãL'.
In the Yadu Vamsa one of the ancestors of Krishna was known as Sura and
Krishna as his grand-son got the Grand-Father's name as per tradition and so is
referred as Souri. His elder brother
also is called by that name. Similarly
Maha Vishnu is also called the Ãdi Seshan who bears the worlds with a
348. That he is bearing the weight of all the
worlds by his heads means that he governs them 'कथमपि', meaning somehow. Somehow he manages this very difficult
job. Using the dust of her feet, Brahma
creates all the worlds. There this word
'कथमपि' is not used. Similarly for Samhãra by Rudra also this word
'कथमपि' is not used. Because if Srushti is not a difficult a job,
Samhãra is also not difficult but done in a jiffy. It is easier to destroy than making
something, isn't it? But Jagat Paripãlanam is a long drawn out
complicated job. So only here the author
has inserted this word 'कथमपि'. The dust of the Elders feet should be borne
on the head, as that is the correct method it is done, displaying one's deep
respect for the same! The AmbãL's 'Pãda Dhuli' that has become the 14
worlds, is borne on the head by Vishnu.
349. If he bears them on his head, Easwara renders
them into ashes and smears the ashes all over his body as 'भस्मोत्धूलनं'. Periya PurãNam
talks about such saints who have smeared the Vibhuti all over the body as 'முழு நீறு பூசிய முனிவர்'. It looks as
though even Easwara can be included amongst his own followers who smear the
Vibhuti on their bodies! The dust of AmbãL's feet became the 14 worlds, isn't it?
Having rendered them into ashes, he wears them as they are as good as
the original 'dust of her feet', from which they evolved!
feet of AmbãL are naturally red and further reddened by
the anointing by the Kumkumam containing many fragrant powdered materials such
as turmeric, a little bit of lime, saffron and kapoor. When the Veda Mata does Namaskãra to AmbãL touching her forehead to the feet of AmbãL, this red dust sticks to the parting of her hair as Kumkumam, says
Lalitha Sahasranãma – 'श्रुति सीमन्त सिन्धूरि कृत
powder in the fire of Pralaya becomes Bhasma Vibhuti. So Swami's prasaadam is Vibhuti and AmbãL's prasaadam is Kumkumam. Here AmbãL's Kumkumam has become Swami's Vibhuti! Having said that the Trimoorthi-s are
worshipping AmbãL in
the first sloka of Soundarya Lahari, in the second sloka their jobs are
mentioned, thereby to say that they are able to play their appointed roles by
the power of her Anugraha.
Is it in Order to Start at the Feet?
first sloka is like one invocating the blessings of the divinity. The second one may be considered as the one
in which the text is commenced, with the greatness of the dust of her feet! It is normally the custom to describe
'Purusha Deivam' (a male God) from the feet to the head. In the case of Goddesses it is the custom to
start the description with the head and end in her feet. In the first 49 slokas of Ãnanda Lahari, the description is not strictly of the figure and form. In the balance 51 slokas of 'Soundarya
Lahari' the correct order of description is being followed starting with the
crown, finally ending in in the description of her feet.
you have not taken up systematic description of the form of whether male or
female Gods, first you catch hold of their feet, surrendering unto them and
that is the right method. She is the
Mother of all Mothers and Guru for all Gurus.
So whether you catch hold of the Mother's or Guru's feet to start with,
is in the rightness of things and quite in order. One more thing is that, as Siva is ever with
Shakti. She is also ever with Siva, as they are both inseparably one as they
are 'Ardha Nãreeswara'.
Like female deities are supposed to be described from head to foot,
there is one 'Kesãdi Pãda VarNana
Stuti' on Siva that our ÃchãryãL has sung, against all norms! Though here in Soundarya Lahari there is no
such continuous description of form or figure, we can take it that the
reference is to the genderless oneness of Siva and AmbãL. In anything the start is said to
be 'அடி' in Tamil, as we say 'அடியிலிருந்து நுனி வரை' to mean 'from the base to the tip'. The next two
slokas also describe the greatness of her feet.
Having talked about the greatness of the dust of her feet, the next is
the description of the greatness of her feet themselves.
இஹ-பர நலன் தரும் இணையடிப் பொடி
The Dust of Her Feet that Gives the Benefits of Iham and Param
third sloka talks about all the Anugraha bestowed on the devotee by the dust of
her feet! Having said that the entire
conduct of the universe and all its transactions are from that dust of her
feet, now the third sloka talks about how it takes care of all the living
beings and also finally releases them from the clutches of ignorance. The text of the third sloka is as follows:-
अविद्यानां अन्तस्तिमिर मिहिर द्वीप नगरि
जडानां चैतन्यस्तबक मकरन्द
दरिद्राणां चिन्तामणि गुणनिका जन्मजलधौ
मुररिपुवराहस्य भवति ||
– means amongst ignorant people,
it is the अन्तस्तिमिर – the inner darkness मिहिर द्वीप नगरि –
that is removed by the brilliant island of Sunrise; amongst the not so very
brilliant people, that is जडानां, it is
मकरन्द स्रुतिजरी – fountain of honeyed flow of
Chit of Parama Gnãnam of Chaitanyam, which is like a bouquet of flowers; amongst दरिद्राणां – the poor people, it is चिन्तामणि गुणनिका – having the quality of granting all ones wishes abundantly; जन्मजलधौ निमग्नानां – for those deeply mired and submerged in the affairs of the
world, it is like, दंष्ट्रा
मुररिपुवराहस्य भवति – it becomes the fore-tooth of
the boar Varãha Avatara of Vishnu, when he lifted the Earth from deep in the
354. Having got the word to word meaning of the
third sloka, let us look at it a little more in detail. Avidya means ignorance. It is a thick darkness, impenetrable as
though. The Ãtma in each one of us is the one
self-effulgent entity. It does not need
another light to enlighten it! But our
ignorance is such that our reality is hidden from our vision! For such people in ignorance, the dust of the
feet of AmbãL
acts as the brilliant Sun when it seemingly comes out of the ocean as though
from an island city of dazzling luminosity!
'For the darkness of ignorance, it is enough to say that the dust of the
feet of AmbãL is
like the light of the Sun and why confuse the issue by bringing in Sun – island
– city and such things?' For those who
think like this, the same words are interpreted slightly differently, 'for तिमिर मिहिर द्वीप नगरि' read as, 'तिमिर मिहिर
उद्दीपन करी' meaning 'removal of darkness of
ignorance by the brilliance of the Sun'!
355. There are two words as 'sa-prapncham', which means the SaguNa
Brhmam much involved the worldly affairs and 'nish-prapancham', which means the
uninvolved NirguNa Brhmam. In the state
of creation, having shown the dust of the feet of AmbãL as
the cause, he depicted her as the SaguNa Brhmam as the imposer of Maya; and now
here, she is shown as the Sunlight that causes the erasure of the darkness of
ignorance, as the NirguNa Brhmam! He,
our ÃchãryãL will often be seized of the thought of Adwaitam. Even in a devotional stotra, he will be
tempted to bring in the essence of Adwaitam that 'despite being in the duality
environs, we must mention the end of all ends – the truth of Adwaita
Satyam'. Then at once he will also
reduce the pitch of that statement slightly.
That is how, having talked about removal of the darkness of ignorance,
he immediately talks about what everybody is keen on, such as intellectual
acumen, health and wealth!
356. Other than a few great Mahãtmãs for all other people of the
world, this Avidya or ignorance is a much liked issue. Even amongst the greats of intelligentsia,
not all of them would be rid of Avidya completely. So, having said that the dust of the feet of
AmbãL removes the ignorance, for the people in the next rung of the
ladder, he is saying that it gives them the highest of knowledge within the
confines of duality! So he says – 'जडानां चैतन्यस्तबक मकरन्द
स्रुतिजरी'. This word जडानां means people who are dull and not so very brilliant, for them,
this 'Pãda DhuLi', is a मकरन्द स्रुतिजरी – a source of a fountain
of the flow of honey from the bouquet of flowers – चैतन्यस्तबक. If for the brilliant a
suggestion is good enough, for the dullards the same has to be given with some
force, isn't it?
357. In Lalitha Sahasranãma too there is mention of 'Chaitanya Kusuma' when it says, 'चैतन्य अर्घ्य समाराध्या चान्तन्य
कुसुमप्रिया'. Kusumam means flower.
AmbãL is called the 'bouquet of
flowers of Gnãna, in KãLahasti. If others are
उपचार' with sacred waters, for her it
is 'Chaitanya Arghyam' and she loves this Flower of Gnãna –
Chaitanyam! She is 'सदो उदिता' ever on the ascendant and 'तरुण आदित्य पाटला', red like the rising Sun.
These phrases 'तरुण
आदित्य पाटला' and ' अन्तस्तिमिर मिहिर
द्वीप नगरि', must have been motivated by
the words of description in Lalitha Sahasranãma only, I feel. If our ÃchãryãL is remembering the words of
Lalitha Sahasranãma, Mooka is imbued with our ÃchãryãL's use of wordsin Soundarya
Lahari! In the very first sloka of his
Mooka Panchasatee, he has said 'Para-Chit-Roopa', saying that 'Chit' has become
verily the form of Grace and kindness as the bouquet of saffron flowers, with
such a soft body in Kanchipuram Kãmakoti Peetam like a creeper of saffron
flowers, when he says,
"कारण परचिद्रूपा कान्चिपुर सीम्नि
विहरति करुणा काश्मिरस्तबक कोमलाङ्ग लता ||"
358. Then the common man is basically interested in brains, health and
wealth only, isn't it? So for them, this
Pãda DhuLi of hers provides brilliance of brains, health and
wealth, as he says, "धरिद्राणाम चिन्तामणि गुणनिका".
is a divine stone that sanctions whatever is wished for. In the western mythology they talk about a
Philosopher's Stone as having such powers.
But they are evidently two different things. In fact the that
Philosopher's Stone is more like the 'Sparsa Vedi' that would on touch convert
copper or tin or bronze in to Gold! This
'Chinta Mani' endows the person with whatever he wishes for! There are three things like that in our
mythology – one is the Cow Kãamadhenu, second is the Kalpaka Vruksham a tree and the third is
this stone ChintamaNi!
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