Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 118 (Vol # 6) Dated 23 Jan 2013

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 updated consonantly)

347.  After 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 thousand heads.

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!

350.  The 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 पादाब्ज धूलिका'.  That 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.

பாதத்தில் தொடங்கலாமா?
Is it in Order to Start at the Feet?

351.  The 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.

352.  When 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

353.  The 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 स्रुतिजरी |
दरिद्राणां चिन्तामणि गुणनिका जन्मजलधौ
निमग्नानां दंष्ट्रा मुररिपुवराहस्य भवति ||
The word अविद्यानां – 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 चैतन्यस्तबक 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 ocean!

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 given 'अर्घ्य 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 कामपीटगता |
काचन 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"ChintãmaNi 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!

(To be continued.)




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