Friday, January 25, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 119 (Vol # 6) Dated 25 Jan 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 119 (Vol # 6) Dated 25 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 last paragraph on page No 815 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)

359.  Between the ChintãmaNi, Kalpaka Vruksham and Kamadenu, we have to note that ChintãmaNi is just a stone, part of the insentient, inanimate, (अचेतन) Achetana and (जड) Jada material.  Kalpaka Vruksham is part Jada and part (चेतन) Chetana but (स्तावर) Sthavara – that is static life form that sucks water from the earth, breathes and propagates its species.  But it cannot move from place 'A' to place 'B' and so is stuck in one place!   These are known as Sthavara as against those which are mobile like animals, birds, insects and creepers; clubbed together as Jungama (जङ्गम), which the cow Kamadenu is.  Kamadenu is a completely चेतन and जङ्गम.  In matters of அறிவு especially in divinity it is far superior to even human beings!  Thus in the ability to fulfil one's wishes, there are one representative each from Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms in ChintãmaNi, Kalpaka Vruksham and Kamadenu.  In this, the dust of AmbãL's feet in fulfilling one's wishes is ChintãmaNi – चिन्तामणि गुणनिका!  This last word गुणनिका means a chain or necklace.

360.  Later in this Soundarya Lahari itself, there is description of chains made of beads of ChintãmaNi like the ones made of Rudraksha or Sphatika, which is being used as a rosary by some lucky people who are doing Japa with it – 'भजन्ति त्वां चिन्तामणि गुण निभद्दाक्ष वलया:'(Sloka 33).  Then there is mention of Kamadenu also there.  Those lucky ones while presenting oblations to AmbãL instead of using normal cow's ghee are offering the ghee taken out from the milk from that sacred Cow known as Surabhi which is another name for Kamadenu – 'शिवाग्नौ जुःवन्त: सुरभि घृत धाराहुति शतै:'!   

361.  One ChintãmaNi is good enough to grant all your demands and wishes.  But, since AmbãL's Pãda DhuLi is far more effective, he has related it to be a chain of ChintãmaNi gems!  He has also mentioned about the Kalpaka Vruksham also in another sloka (Sloka 89) which is also about the immeasurable values of her feet only.   There are supposed to be five trees of heaven with similar ability to grant boons such as Kalpaka – they are Mandãra, Pãrijãta, Santãna and Harichandana; as listed by Amara Kosam, the Sanskrit Dictionary – 'पञ्चैते देवतरवो: मन्दार: पारिजातक: |  संतान: कल्पवृक्षस्च पुंसि वा हरिचन्दनं ||'. In this Sloka No 89, referring to all such trees of the Heavens as 'तरूणां दिव्यानां', the poet says, 'Those trees of the Heavens grant what is wished for only to people residing in the heavens whereas your feet are more efficacious in coming to the help of even a poor man on this earth!  The fact that God grants whatever his devotees wish for, is eulogised in one of the Bhajan songs when they call God as 'आस्रितजन मन्दार'! 

362.  Lakshmidhara in his famous commentary on Soundarya Lahari, in explaining the meaning of 'चैतन्य स्तबकं' in this third sloka itself is saying that it is, 'a bunch of flowers from the tree Kalpaka known as Chaitanyam'.  These five trees of Heaven, when people go and stand under them, sanction their wishes by the tendrils of their newly sprouting leaves, which are like the hands of the trees.  But who can get such benefits?  Only those who have already attained to the heavens and have become citizens there can go and stand under those trees.  But here on earth, the poorest can go to any of your temples or by simply praying to you can get the benefit by your Prasada and Anugraha!

363.  The dust of the feet of AmbãL that acts as the Sunrise for the darkness of ignorance; also acts as the honey of Chaitanyam for erasing insentience in inert people and as the ChintãmaNi GuNanika for poverty stricken people who are too deeply mired in the worldly affairs.  What else do they 'the dust of the feet of AmbãL' being useful for?  All that looks important to us are becoming knowledgeable and rich in terms of monetary wherewithal.  But for our ÃchãryãL what is important is the removal of ignorance and getting Nivrutti from the deep involvement in the affairs of the world!  He started this sloka talking about removal of the darkness of Avidya only, at the end of the sloka also finishes with the same note as though, saying 'जन्मजलधौ निमग्नानां दंष्ट्रा मुररिपुवराहस्य भवति'; like putting a guard on both sides.  Only in between is there is a sop for the poor people of the world, when he says, ' दरिद्राणां चिन्तामणि गुणनिका'.

364.  What ThiruvaLLuvar calls the 'பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல்', is this 'जन्म जलधि', the ocean of life, that Appar calls the 'false and untrue'         'பொய்ம் மாயப் பெருங்கடல்'We are not only mired in it but, deeply submerged thousands of fathoms under the sea!  That is the meaning of निमग्नानां.  For such people who are in the bottom of the 'संसार सागर', the dust of the feet of AmbãL becomes 'मुररिपुवराहस्य दंष्ट्रा भवति', the two teeth of the boar which are curving and protruding upwards.  You may be able to see this depicted amongst the statues in some temples, wherein Bhuvaraha Swamy in the form of a huge boar carrying Bhumadevi (the Earth depicted as a Lady in distress) on his two protruding teeth.  Hiranyakshan had stolen the earth and hidden her under the ocean.  Vishnu as Varãha Avatara dived into the ocean and brought her out on his fore-teeth.  Like that, the dust of the feet of AmbãL will save us from drowning in the Samaãra Sãgara, from our tendency of over involvement in the worldly affairs, is the purport!

365.  For Vishnu's Avatara as Varãha, the poet has mentioned 'मुररिपु वराह'.  On an earlier occasion Vishnu had killed a Rãkshasa named 'Mura' and so he is called the enemy of Mura as Mura-ripu or Murari, as 'ripu' and 'ari' in Sanskrit mean 'enemy'.  Mura the Asura was a partner-in-crime with Naraka Asura.   Without mentioning any of the names of Vishnu directly, it is noticed that more of Krishna Avatara names are being used.  In an earlier sloka 'Souri' was used, which is another name for Krishna and here it is Murari, therby indicating the author's special attachment to the Krishna Avatara.

"கையால் கொடுக்காத வர, அபயம்"
Boons and Protection – not given by Hands

366.  In the next sloka too, it is the value of the feet being eulogized.  But instead of openly speaking about it, he is keeping it a secret till the end.  The Sloka is as under:-
"त्व्धन्य: पाणिभ्यां अभयवरदो दैवतगण:
त्वमेका नैवासि प्रकटित वराभीत्यभिनया |
भयात्रातुं दातुं फलमपि च वान्च्छ्चासमधिकं
शरण्ये लोकानां तव हि चरणावेव निपुणौ ||"
[लोकानां शरण्ये = Refuge of all the worlds!   त्व्धन्य: is त्वत + अन्य: = other than you दैवतगण: = other divine beings, पाणिभ्यां = by hands अभयवरदो = give boons and the sign of protection by their hands.  त्वमेका = You are the only one, नैवासि = who is not, प्रकटित वराभीति अभिनया = making a show of giving boons and protection from fear, (न एव असि); because you are; भयात्रातुं = to protect from fear and फलमपि च = fruits of boons also; वान्च्छ्चासमधिकं = more than wished for;  तव =your चरणावेव = feet by themselves are निपुणौ हि = greater experts, aren't they?]

367.  'Other than you all other deities are seated or stand with their right hand in 'Abhaya' (offering protection) and the left hand in 'Varada' (granting wishes and boons) mudra respectively., making a show of what they are doing to the devotee.  Only you are not displaying such 'mudra' of dance postures of the hands', is the meaning of the first part of the sloka.  "What are you saying Swami?  Does it mean that AmbãL will not give protection from fear and give us boons?  In Mayavaram she is called Abhayãmbikã, isn't it?  People name their daughters as Abhayam, don't they, because of her name?  She has a special name as Varapradãyini too, isn't it?"  The poem does not say that she will not protect the devotee from fear and grant them boons.  It only says that she does not make a show of it with her hands!  She does that with her feet as they are experts or specialists in granting boons and giving protection to the devotees, as they are निपुणौ हि.  That is what is meant by the second part of the sloka – 'भयात्रातुं दातुं फलमपि च वान्च्छ्चासमधिकं तव हि चरणावेव निपुणौ.'  What the heavenly trees do in heaven with their hand like tendrils of fresh branches, she does simply with her feet!  'To protect the devotees from fear and whatever is the cause of such fear (भयात्रातुं) and grant them boons aplenty (फलमपि च वान्च्छ्चासमधिकं दातुं), even more than what they could have asked for or even thought of, her feet have greater expertise (नै + पुण्यं becomes निपुणौ as her feet are two in numbers and so they are both 'experts')!   

368.  To do any activity by hand requires expertise, whether it is hand-writing, (a forgotten art nowadays because of computers), or sculpture, carving, drawing, handy-crafts, weaving, and so on.  The root word is 'Kar' meaning the hand, for all 'Kãryam' meaning works.  So, most of the other deities hold their right hand in the posture known as 'Abhaya Mudra' showing the palm with the fingers raised vertically together, while the left hand is held in 'Vara Mudra' once again showing the palm with the fingers together pointing down.  Try to hold your hands for a few minutes in such a posture and you will notice the physical strain on your hands!  Other deities have to show such mudras for 'Vara' and 'Abhaya'.  But for you it is all child's play.  Just with the slightest movement of your eye brows, you get the worlds going.  The poet says so, in Sloka No 24, 'क्षण चलितयो: - ब्रू लतिकयो:' meaning 'by the movement of creeper like eye-brows for a fraction of a second' she gets the 14 worlds going from genesis onwards!  So, she does not have to stand with her hands extended in Abhaya / Vara Mudras at all. 

369.  She simply has to be and things will happen.  How is she?  What is her Swaroopa?   The poet is addressing her as, "लोकानां शरण्ये!"  She is the refuge, anchorage and asylum of the worlds and all the living things in it!  So people do SharaNam – surrender in her CharaNam – feet!  She is just being a natural 'शरणालयं' a temple like abode and her 'चरणौ' do the needful to give protection and grant people's wishes, without your having to ask for it, like a flower offering it's fragrance to the whole world, just naturally!  If you wish for removal of fear pointedly 'Abhayam' is provided.  But, if you ask for this and that, more than you ask for can be given in abundance – 'वान्चासं अधिकं'!   There can be a natural question that may occur here.  "When many boons are being given, 'fearlessness' can also be a boon, isn't it?  Why have one as Abhaya hastam and one as Varada hastam?  We simply ask for the boon of 'Abhayam' and Swami gives that as another Vara.  So, why separate this from other boons?"

370.  Abhayam is not a thing to be given and received.  It is another name for Adwaitam.  Brihad ÃraNyaka Upanishad (I.4.2.) says, 'The fear is always from the second'.  In Adwaitam, when everything is one, there can be no fear.  The moment there is Dwaitam, there can be a whole lot of likes, dislikes, love, hate, greed, jealousy and all sorts of feelings including fear come in!   'Even a very learned man, a Vidwan or Pundit, if he slightly thinks of Brhmam as something else, he will have fear of it', says Taitreeya Upanishad (II.7.)

(To be continued.)




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