Monday, February 04, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 124 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 Feb 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 124 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 Feb 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 page No 849 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)

415.  Pãrvati as Parvata Raja Kumari getting married with Easwara after 'Manmata Dahanam' is a later story.  Prior to that all the Devas together exhorted and requested Manmata to distract this Tapasvi Easwara as DakshiNa Murthy, deeply engrossed in Ãtma Nishta, and create a mood of amorousness in Easwara.  The very task given to him created a sense of pride in Manmata that he could stir, agitate and disturb even the mind of Easwara from his deep meditation!  His name 'Manmata' or 'मन्मथ' itself means the one who 'churns the mind'.  He felt mighty thrilled that he is the one to disturb, stir, agitate and churn the mind of Easwara himself, who was sitting like an immoveable rock!  Then what happened?  Easwara just opened his eyes and Manmata was scorched, burnt and erased out of existence!  It was later that AmbãL gave him a fresh lease of life.  But by then his 'aham bhãvam' that is, the sense of pride and conceit had been wiped out.  Then he did win over Easwara.  But that victory is more that of AmbãL Kãmãkshi known as a PurãNa with the name of 'Kãmãkshi Vilãsam'.  That story of the PurãNa clearly brings out that it is all the power of Kãmãkshi and it is also said therein that Manmata with great humility learnt this lesson.  So now he did not go to the Swami Siva with the idea that he is going to vanquish Siva but, it is the power of the Mother which will have the necessary effect and achieved his task!  That is, when he was scorched in the fire of Siva's eyes, his 'aham bhavam' had also been burnt to ashes.  With that, his supercilious attitude about his own physical beauty had also been obliterated.  When AmbãL gave him back his life, she did not give him his body but, made him formless as 'Ananga'!

416.  There is an adage in Tamil which says that, 'for a man of abilities even a straw is a weapon' – 'வல்லவனுக்கு புல்லும் ஆயுதம்'.  This 'darba' used in religious ceremonies is also a grass only.  As that grass is clean and pure, it is called the 'தூய + புல் = தூப்புல்'. In Kanchipuram there is place where there is plenty of 'darba grass' available, that the place itself has the name of 'Tooppul'. Vedanta Desika, one of the most important Ãchãryãs of the VaishNava tradition belonging to the 13th Century, was born in Tooppul in Kanchipuram.  To destroy Kãkãsura, Sri Rama used a blade of darba grass only as a weapon.  Not being able to withstand that missile Kãkãsura surrendered to Sri Rama and he gave him Abhaya and exoneration.  Though Sri Rama is well qualified in many fields, here is an indication of his expertise in Mantra Vidya and proved the adage that – 'வல்லவனுக்கு புல்லும் ஆயுதம்'. By the very power of AmbãL, for Manmata even flowers were acceptably good weapons!

417.  For Manmata who had been reduced to ashes, it is that glance of AmbãL that restored his life back.  Her husband had reduced Manmata by a look of fire (agni netra – अग्नि नेत्र) and she restored him back to life by look of nectar (amrita netra – अमृत नेत्र)The very name of Kãmãkshi means 'the one who recreated Kãma by her sight'.
சிவனைக் காமன் வேன்றதைச் சொல்லாதது
Not Mentioning that Kãman Won Over Siva

418.  This sloka fairly reveals to quite an extent that it is all about Kãmeswari that is LalithãmbãL, who gave power and position to Kãma.  Still it does not make it very clear openly.  Generally it says that despite such flimsy equipments in his repertoire, he is able to win all over the world – "जगदिदं अनंगो विजयते"; but does make no mention of the fact that he did win over Siva.  To enable him to do so was Kãmeswari's main Leela and that is not mentioned at all.  At the time of Kãma Dahanam, that is when he lost to Easwara in his efforts to make Siva amorous, he lost his life and was burnt to ashes; at that time AmbãL had taken an Avatara as Pãrvati, which is indicated by the name, 'Himagiri Sute'.  Then Swami developed a liking for Pãrvati and married her; but that is not being mentioned as a victory of sorts of Kãma's.  That AmbãL's pure love and perseverance and her Tapasya under the Single Mango tree (Ekãmra tree) in Kanchipuram and her praying to Siva as a Peahen in Mylapore; have been adopted in various folklore and classics such as KãLidãsã's Kumara Sambhava.  In the previous sloka also, it is mentioned that Manmata entraps even great saints, but does not say that he defeated Easwara. 

419.  In one these slokas of course it is mentioned that Maha Vishnu took the Mohini Avatara and win over the affection of Siva.  In fact that Maha Vishnu is his father and this Kãma is his 'Mãnaseeka Putran', that is a 'mind born child' and so has a name as 'Manasija'.  When Maha Vishnu took Krishna Avatara, this son of his was born as Pradyumna, again as his son.  So it seems as though, the father as Mohini Avatara could directly get Siva enamoured of him in the form of a female and the son Manmata could similarly affect the Rishis and Munis and not Easwara.  In the latter half of Soundarya Lahari, it is mentioned that Manmata directly by himself could win over Easwara.  There are two ear studs of AmbãL.  They are being reflected by the mirror like cheeks of hers.  So these four form the wheels of the chariot of her beautiful face, on which Manmata is riding to fight it out with Easwara as given in the 59th sloka of Soundarya Lahari.  The gaze of AmbãL when she looks at Easwara so full of love is equivalent to shooting of his arrows by Manmata, as described in the 52nd and 58th slokas. 

420.  In addition to starting out on the chariot, shooting arrows at Easwara; finally after vanquishing Parameswara, he is shouting victory, it looks as though in the 86th sloka.  There the description is that of Easwara playfully calling his wife lovingly by some other girl's name and then as though he has suddenly realised his blunder brings his face near her feet.  Ambal in an equal mood for flirtation lightly kicks his face with her feet like dabbing with a cotton puff and the small bells in her golden anklet make the sound of 'gili gili', which is the 'Jaya Gosham' by Manmata on getting his revenge after waiting long for the same!  So in the earlier part of the Soundarya Lahari, the fact of victory of Manmata over Easwara has not been mentioned.  Probably it was retained for the latter part of Soundarya Lahari where the literary nuances of the poet are more abundantly explicit!   What I intended to say was that so far, till the sixth sloka, without explicitly saying so, the poet had so far left it to our imagination and now he is clearly saying that these slokas are addressed to Kãmeswari leaving no chance for any doubt.

சிவ சக்திகளாக இன்றி சிவசக்தி ஒன்றாகவே
Instead of Separately as Siva and Shakti, as One Sivasakti

421.  When depicting in drawings or sculptures, showing both Kãmeswara and Kãmeswari, as though she is seated on his left lap would be correct.  But in sculpture and drawing we never come across such presentation.  If we try to visualise it in our imagination, it seems that AmbãL has lost her importance and more than half the space is occupied by Kãmeswara.  If in Kanchipuram only AmbãL is seated as Kãmãkshi, there is some other logic of it.  But if you seat Kãmeswara as the central figure, it just cannot be helped that AmbãL will have to have a secondary role.  That is why including in Raja Ravi Varma's painting of Rãjarãjeswari, only AmbãL is depicted.  For a change I wonder as to why not some artist try and depict both of them in one painting or sculpture, without edging out each other, both of them having similar looking four weapons?  Even as I describe, I see the problem in doing so!  That will be a challenge for the artists abilities I feel!

422.  While taking the name of one, we cannot help remembering the other, between Kãmeswara and Kãmeswari.  Showing one in the picture taking the name of just Kãmeswari being not appropriate I suppose, we refer to her as Kãmãkshi, Rãjarãjeswari, LalithãmbãL, or Tripurasundari or Vadivudai Amman I suppose!   If we carefully look into the Mantra Sãstrã, Rãjarãjeswari with bow, arrows, tying rope and the goad, (Dhanur, BhaNa, Pãsa and Ankusa धनुर-भाण-पाश-अन्कुश), then in four more hands, we have two hands holding a book, and Akshamala; with two hands showing the Varada and Abhaya Hasta mudras!  Then you have a VeeNa resting on one shoulder with one of the hands already described, around it.  Lalitha Tripura Sundari will be having both her legs folded while Rãjarãjeswari will be having her right leg folded and her left leg hanging; as per tradition.  When she is depicted as Kãmeswari, she will be having only धनुर-भाण-पाश-अन्कुश in four hands sitting on his folded left lap will be having her right lap folded and left leg hanging. 

423.  If you look at it as the Dhyãna Sloka, both Lalitha Tripura Sundari and Rãjarãjeswari, instead of being part of or seated on the left side, have been depicted as by themselves only.  When we sit down for Dhyãna or doing Japa for long periods of time, focussing and concentrating our minds at the Atidevata for the Mantra, having two figures is likely to be against Aikãgrata being aimed at, isn't it?  To show AmbãL only as a single figure, ÃchãryãL has cleverly given the logic in the 23rd sloka, that having not been satisfied with appropriating the left half of Parama Siva, she seems to have stolen the right side of his also and so retaining the red colour of the early morning Sun which is her normal complexion, she is sporting the definite signs of Easwara, such as the third eye between the eye brows and the crescent moon on her hair. 

424.  In one of the Upãsana Marga of AmbãL (known as Uttara Kowla) the logic of this is given that, "Easwara has neither form or figure nor work.  They are what AmbãL has given him.  So there is no form or figure of his for us to do Pooja or Dhyãna.  Even if we do pooja there is no chance that he will respond with any Anugraha!  So we do not have to do Pooja to Easwara at all and it is enough to do all that with AmbãL as our goal and aim and Upãsana Murthy for Dhyãna, Pooja and all our devotional activities.  Keeping such varied opinions in mind, the poet author has described only AmbãL instead of being with Kãmeswara. 

425.  Yes, at the start of Soundarya Lahari it was started only as addressing two, the Murthy-s of Siva and Shakti, but with the aim of concentrating on her attributes, qualities and power.  So as the Universal Father and Mother of all existence, the couple were both mentioned.  To start with it was necessary that due importance was given to her being devoted to her husband, and so the pride of place was given to him.  Then a few slokas were given preparatory to her being venerated as the soul power of our attention, coming to the sixth sloka.

(To be continued.)




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