Thursday, January 31, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 122 (Vol # 6) Dated 31 Jan 2013


DEIVATHIN KURAL # 122 (Vol # 6) Dated 31 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 834 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 updated consonantly)

393.  To give opportunities for refinement and enable the individual Jiva-s to ennoble them-selves gradually and successively till they are capable of obviating their need to be born again; with extreme kindness AmbãL has created this Department of Kãmam and appointed Kãman as the Head of the Department!  Amongst the four major aims of existence as Dharma, Artha, Kãma and Moksha, this Kãma is also an important aim to be achieved in a morally acceptable manner, earning your passage in life, in a legally and aesthetically correct way to enjoy the pleasures of existence, while providing for your dependents and followers; so as to be finally able to achieve Moksha yourself and motivate others to follow a similar path towards release from the need to be born.  The whole thing is such a clean and balanced approach with suitable checks and balances that every individual can fulfil his or her reasonable ambitions that could be enjoyed with discipline and transcended at the right time in one's life, for eventual raise to Sannyãsa Yoga of the Nivrutti Marga for attainment of Gnãna, simultaneously with overcoming the need to be born anymore!

394.  As there is an exception to the rule in everything in life, so also some, only a very few are required to maintain celibacy from childhood (of Suddha Brhmacharyam – 'शुद्ध ब्रह्मचर्यं'), and go on to Sannyãsa directly, as decreed by AmbãL.  "All this explanation is all right, Swami!  But, why mix Kãmam with Easwara and cause the blemish in him who is a pure form of Gnãna?  As it says,
'ज्ञानिनां अपि चेतांसि देवी भगवति हि सा
'gnãninãm api chetãmsi devi bhagawati he sã
भलात आकृष्य मोहाय महामाया प्रयच्छति ||'
bhalãt ãkrushya mahã mãyã prayachchati ||', why is she forcibly attracting and befuddling even highly evolved souls, forcing them into delusion, back in to the 'pravrutti mãrga'?  Then for doing so, why are we praising her?"

395.  But, the story does not finish after their being forcibly getting involved again in to the worldly ways.  They all did come back to their original ways and did become perfectly irreproachable once again.  If at one time they were made to go astray, through them much benefit accrued to the world at large.  If there was a Hari – Hara Putra had to come into being, there would have been an Asura who would have taken a Vara that only a son born of two males can kill him!  If Vishwãmitra had not fallen in love with Menaka, the story of Dushyant and Sakuntala would not have been there and there would not have been the great 'Magnum Opus' of Kãlidãsa to come into being!  Vyãsa succumbed to the attractions of Krutãsi that the unmatched greatness of Suka ÃchãryãL in absolute Brhmacharyam came to be known to the world!  These episodes remind us that without her help, we are more likely to slip and fall and instead of thinking with conceit that on our own we will be successful, it is prudent to remain seeking her help with a sense of gratitude all the time!

396.  Another important point to register in one's minds is that, the one with the power to create is the only one who has the power and authority to erase it also.   If the government has the power to enact laws, only the government has the power to rescind the same.  Can you and I or any common man do that?  If the power and authority to create the world and instil desire in them is AmbãL's prerogative, to relieve us from the Srushti is also her bandobust or lookout only!   Only she can pull us out of the mire of such involvement also.  As every coin has an obverse and a reverse side to it, which is not immediately seen, when we say that AmbãL gets you involved in amorous activities, at once the reverse is also true that she is the power that can pull us out of it also!  If she makes use of her officer Manmata for befuddling mature and well entrenched Rishis and Munis to get enamoured at times, if she orders Manmata, "Do not show your abilities with these people and run away!", he has to pack up and vanish from the scene.  He is an officer, but a servant of hers.  We cannot on our own get over these predilections.  Her orders are required for him to obey.  So, though the sloka talks about one side of the story, we must understand the fact that AmbãL has to rescind her own orders to him, the God of Love!  If we read AruNa Giri Natha's Thiruppugazh, we may note that in almost all the poems he is requesting his favourite 'Muruga' to help him to overcome the lure of nubile women!

"காமனை வெற்றி வீரனாக்கிய கடாக்ஷ சக்தி"
The powerful Side-long Glance of AmbãL that Made Kãman Victorious
397.  This next sloka that is the sixth has been fully devoted to sing the praise of the victory of the body-less Ananga!  From Adwaitam showing the way to Dwaitam by the urge for Kãma / Ichcha Shakti, to turn us back to Adwaitam as a theme, has the major and centric part in the Leela of AmbãL.  So, Kãman aka Manmata has more importance in this sloka.  That is why she has the divine names as Kãmeswari and Kãmãkshi.  Now the poem: - 
धनु: पौषपं  मोउर्वी मधुकरमयी पञ्च विशिखा:
dhanu: poushpam mourvee madukara mayee pancha vishikha:
वसन्त: सामन्तो मलय मरुदायोधनरथ: |
vasanta: sãmanto malaya-maruda ãyodana ratha: |
तथाप्येक: सर्वं हिमगिरिसुते कामपि कृपां
tathãpyeka: sarvam himagirisute kãmapi krupãm
अपान्गात्ते लब्ध्वा जगदिदमनङ्गो विजयते ||"
apãngãtte labdvã jagadidam anango vijayate ||

398.  Now the word to word meaning follows: - Hima giri sute = Daughter of the Himalayas!  Manmata's – dhanu: poushpam  = bow is made of flowers, mourvee = the cord in the bow is made of, madhukara mayee = bees, pancha vishikhã: =  the five arrows are, sãmanta vasanta: = Manmata's junior commander the spring season and ãyotana ratha: = their chariot is the breeze from mountains in the early summer; tatãpi = despite all this, te apãngãt = from the corner of your eyes, kãmapi krupãm labdvã = having obtained some occasional glance from the corner of your eyes, this ananga: = body-less Manmata, eka: = singly, idam jagat sarvam = in the entire world, vijayate = is victorious!

399.  This body-less Manmata aka Cupid is successful the world over despite the fact that nobody can see him and his weapons, tools and equipment are all so soft and pliant; only due to some power that he gets from occasional glance from the corner of your eyes, is the meaning of the sloka!  What are his weapons or tools?  First 'dhanu: poushpam', that is a bow made of flowers!  He starts out to conquer the whole world to make them subservient slaves to the power of Kãmam like a soldier setting out for battle.  He is standing in his chariot with one hand holding the bow and arrows.  When we look in to the details of what are his weapons, tools and equipment; what is the bow and arrows made of, who is his junior commander and what is his chariot; one can only burst out laughing!  Each is softer and more delicate than the other.  First we noted that his bow is made of flowers that is, 'धनु: पौषपं'. 

400.  He is famously supposed to have 'கரும்பு வில்', meaning a bow made of Sugar Cane.  Though normally bows are supposed to be made of 'இரும்பு' which means iron or steel, his is made of 'கரும்பு'.  Though it rhymes with the strong 'இரும்பு', if you bend it slightly, it will break!  Here the poet is further opting for a bow made of the soft and delicate flowers!  Though the Sugar Cane may not be very useful as a bow, it is strong enough to break a person's head, if you use it as a mallet!  But to now opt for a bow made of flowers, looks as though the poet has taken a little too-much of liberty, isn't it?   For a deity, like the body parts, the weapons are also meant to be part and parcel of their being!  When we do Pooja or Namaskãra or doing Homam, we invoke the divine being with their body parts and weapons saying 'सान्गायै सायुधायै' (sãngãyai, sãyudhãyai).   So, there is a doubt as to why the poet has changed the weapon?

401.  So I wondered if the correct word could have been 'poundram' instead of 'pushpam'.  Normally it is the 'Pundra Ikshoo' that is the bow for Kãman aka Manmata and Kãmãkshi Devi.  In 'Shyamala Dhandakam', it is mentioned, ' पुण्द्रेक्षु पाशाङ्कुश पुष्प भाण हस्ते' ('pundrekshu pãshãnkusha pushpa bhaNa haste').  It is the पुण्द्रेक्षु which is possibly become 'pushpam' I thought and so searched for clarification.  Then I came to realise that my doubt was unwarranted and to start doubting was itself was anathema!  In the Sanskrit dictionary known as 'Amaram', I looked up the names listed for Manmata and I found the name, amongst many others, 'पुष्पधन्वा रतिपतिर मकरद्वज आत्मभू:' – 'pushpadhanvã ratipatir makaradwaja ãtmabhoo:'.   In them the first one is clear that he had a 'bow of flowers'!  In Amaram there is no mention of Sugar Cane bow at all. 

402.  For SubrahmaNya Swami there are two Peacocks as his Vãhan or carriers.  From his childhood he had one Peacock as a carrier.  Later when he defeated Surapadman, he also prayed for and became his conqueror's Vãhan.   In some of his temples we see the head of a peacock on the Lord's left and the feathers fanning out to his right.  This is peacock which is known as 'Sura Mayil', as a name for the Sura who became his Vãhan.  In most of the other places the peacock's head is on the right and the feathers spread out on the left.  This is his original Vãhan, known as the Deivika Mayil or the divine one.  Lord SubrahmaNya is also said to have a third peacock as his Vãhan, when Indira the head of all Devas carried him on his back.  In some temples such a peacock will be seen to be facing the viewers with SubrahmaNya seated on it facing us while the feathers spread in the background.  Like that, may be Manmata is supposed to have two different bows, one made of Sugar Cane and the other of flowers!

403.  His arrows are also made of flowers.  One of his names in Amaram is 'Kusuma + Ishu = Kusumeshu', meaning the one with flower arrows.  In this sloka under discussion, it is mentioned that he has five arrows – ' पञ्च विशिखा:'.  Normally an archer would be having many arrows in his back-pack.  But this Manmata has only five in his bag and all of them are made of flowers.  In Amaram there is another name for Manmata as 'Pancha Saran', as the one with five arrows.  They are namely Aravindam that is lotus, Asoka, Mango, Jasmine and the Nilotpalam or the Blue Lily.  A bow made of flowers with no hardness whatsoever, and then five arrows of flowers each famous for its softness and fragrance!  They can never penetrate anything really!  Rather one will feel like softly touching one's closed eyes with them with all love and reverence!  Then how is one to aim and send the arrow flying, when the cord connecting the two ends of the bow is made of a series of bees?  The bees are supposed to be having six legs.  Are they catching each other's legs to form a string?

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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