Sunday, February 10, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 126 (Vol # 6) Dated 10 Feb 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 126 (Vol # 6) Dated 10 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 page No 863 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)

436.  The Ankusa, the Sanskrit word for goad is used to make the elephant obey the handler's promptings.  The Pãsam is also related to control of the elephant only.  If other animals are tied with a rope, the elephant is tied by a chain made of iron known as Pãsam.  Kãma and Krodha being as huge and mammoth as the elephant, the instruments used for controlling the elephant, are symbolically representing the need for controlling the human mind also!  This human mind can be as good or as bad as an elephant.  Our ÃchãryãL has equated our hearts and minds to an elephant in mast, and he prays to Siva to forcibly tie it up by using strong chains of devotion and made to stand still, in slokas 96 and 97 in Sivãnanda Lahari.  He says – "हृदय मदेभं" – 'मद + इबं = मदेभं ', meaning our hearts and mind are like an elephant in mast!

437.  That was one explanation for AmbãL carrying Pãsam and Ankusam.  But, in fact these are also only part of her Leelã, as important aspects of the effect of her Mãyã.  Another way of looking at it is that, AmbãL ties us all by the rope in her hands with so much love and attachments for her that we are rid of all other ties automatically so that we become more devoted to her.  Here it may be appropriate to remember Thiru VaLLuvar's KuraL that says, "பற்றுக பற்றற்றான் பற்றினை அப்பற்றைப் பற்றுக பற்று விடற்கு." That means, 'Seek the company of saints free from bondage that gives us the strength to renounce worldly desires'.  That could also be interpreted to mean, 'Become attached to God as the most unattached entity, so as to be able to give up all your other attachments!'  Then her Ankusam is to indicate that she gets angry with our anger and controls our waywardness!

438.  After mentioning these two things of Pãsam and Ankusam, Lalitha Sahasranãmam talks about Dhanush and BhãNa.  Normally in such descriptions, the order is, 'Dhanur, BhãNa, Pãsa and Ankusa' and not as given in Lalitha Sahasranãma.  However what is given in the Lalitha Sahasranãma seems to be more appropriate as this Dhanush and BhãNa are thought to be more important in the armoury of Manmata, isn't it?  If we say the same for AmbãL also, the relative importance will not be correctly identified.  Since AmbãL is the cause of Manmata's revival, continuation of the proliferation of the species as well as the attachments to worldly life, it is alright for her to be having these two equipments.  Still we should never be losing sight of the fact that AmbãL is also the 'banda mochani', who can relieve us from our attachments too!  Even this bow and arrow, when they changed hands from Manmata to hers, are indicative of release from involvement and not further attachments.  (I will come to this changed meaning of bow and arrow a little later.)  But if we mention these two things first, it will look as though she is a copy of what Manmata has and uses them for the same purpose!  That is why in AmbãL's forms as Lalitha, Bhuvaneswari, Kãmeswari, Kãmãkshi and such; Pãsa and Ankusa are mentioned first and the Sugar Cane Bow and Arrows of Flowers are mentioned later.

439.  Out of all sorts of desires and wants the sexual passion being the most powerful one causing us to slip badly and get mired deeply, this Sugar-Cane-Bow and Flower-Arrow have been specially kept to indicate one's involvement in them.  Whereas Pãsam is indicative of all sorts of desires and involvement, the counter force anger has been indicated by Ankusa.  So mentioning these two as being held in the hands of AmbãL, seems to be a better way of introduction of her role.  When one is disappointed in achieving what one desired for, it turns in to anger and so unfulfilled Kãmam turns into Krodham!  You can turn around the corner when you interpret Pãsa and Ankusa differently, to mean 'all the attachments with AmbãL and getting angry with anger, then the Pãsa-Ankusa become the tools for Banda-Mochanam, correcting the downward trend into climbing up in top-gear and opening the gates of Heaven!

440.  After having said 'rãga swaroopa pãsãdhyã and krodhãkãra – ankusha ujwala' – 'राग स्वरूप पाशाढ़या क्रोधा कारन्कुशोज्वला' indicative of desire and attachments by Pãsa and anger by the goad; in Lalitha Sahasranãma it says, 'mano roopekshu pancha tanmãtra sãyakã'; 'मनो रूपेक्षु कोदण्डा पञ्च तनमात्र सायका', meaning that she has a bow of sugar cane representing the mind and the five bodily sensors which experience and enjoy the pleasures of sight with colours, pleasing sounds, fragrant smells, variety of tastes and the sense of touch – the Pancha Tanmãtra here should be understood to be the five bodily sensors – as represented by the five arrows of flowers.  When in the hands of Manmata these weapons of Bow and Arrows get us and our minds extroverted, in the hands of AmbãL they cause us to become introverted, turning our minds and senses towards the inner reality. 

441.  The same two items of sugar cane bow and the five arrows of flowers, in the hands of Manmata proclaim to the world that he is the Officer on Duty of AmbãL, the Empress of the Universe, for urging the world into bodily cravings.  They are there in her hands too.  But, not only that; as I pointed out as to how the Pãsa indicates involvement and Ankusa indicates release from involvement; in the hands of Manmata this bow of sugar cane and five arrows of flowers that urges and gets us involved in bodily pleasures, the same tools in the hands of AmbãL, have quite the opposite effect of releasing us from involvement!  The sugar cane bow and the arrows of flowers, urges and eggs us on towards Moksham that we then desire to hear more of Slokas, Stotras, Bhajans and Keertans eulogizing her greatness; that we wish to touch her feet; to view her Darsan; taste the CharaNa Amrita from her feet; wallow in the fragrance of the flowers used for her pooja, that is the Nirmãlyam!  Thus the mind and all the senses are given an order to, "About Turn and Quick March" from their usual tendencies towards worldly involvement!  In the hands of Manmata the same bow and five arrows were responsible in our ever increasing involvement in worldly affairs, while in the hands of AmbãL the same weapons turn us back from Pravrutti in to Nivrutti Marga!  Same weapons have an opposite effect when they change hands!  The thief threatens us showing the knife in his hands.  If the knife changes hands from the thief and comes into ours, the thief has to take to heels, isn't it?

442.  Till they were in the hands of Manmata, as the cane juice and the nectar of the flowers, they were pouring on us as the essence of love, desire and passion, trapping the entire world in a state if inebriation.  But the same weapons in the hands of AmbãL are flooding us in her compassion invoking the sense of devotion towards her in us.  In this mixing of her compassion and our devotion we will be experiencing the divine bliss forgetting ourselves completely.  To lose ourselves in delusion is Mãyã and to forget ourselves from this bodily identity is Gnãnam, the best amongst all things good!  When we note thus that what is detestably bad, in the hands of AmbãL becomes exceptionally great; all the decorations that we do to our body better be done to AmbãL and that would be most effectively and usefully utilised.  If we decorate ourselves it gives pride that is Ahankãra and if we decorate AmbãL it erases our Ahankãra and pride making us fit to receive her Anugraha!

443.  In short, the Sugar Cane Bow and the Flower Arrows in the hands of AmbãL, sanction Indriya Nigraha and Mano Nigraha respectively.  Once this happens, that is Gnãnam and Moksham and nothing more is required.  These five Indriyas cleansed by the five arrows of flowers and the manas cleansed by the sugar cane bow, together are known as the six KaraNam-s.  As the bee/beetle is said to have six legs, so also this individual Jiva has KaraNam-s which are six in numbers.  Our ÃchãryãL says at the end of Soundarya Lahari in Sloka 90, "As the six legged bee virtually gets itself submerged in the flower, this individual devotee who is also having six KaraNam-s instead of six legs, should submerge himself in the lotus feet of AmbãL" – "निमज्जन्मज्जीव: करुण चरण: शट्चरताम यातु".

444.  Point to note here is that, it is not said that the devotee's mind and Indriyas are to be controlled by the bow and arrows of hers but that, they should subside in her feet.  Earlier he said, "You do not have to give Abhaya by your hand, your feet do that job by themselves".  In 'kvaNat kanchi dhãma' sloka, instead of Vara and Abhaya, he has described the bow and arrows held in those hands.  Later as a reply to the question as to, 'Will not her feet give the Vara and Abhaya', he has said that this mind and sensory organs of six KaraNam-s like the bee with six feet, may go and submerge in her lotus feet.  What is remaining in balance are the effect of Pãsa and Ankusa in the other two hands become subdued and will also be annulled when we surrender in her feet!

445.  If you ask as to what is the need for four hands, then the answer is that, when you see such a form of AmbãL, how beautiful it looks!  That is why she is very beautiful as well as the Empress.  Bow and arrows are held in the two fore hands.  That is how kings and queens are picturized.  Sri Rama and Arjuna are depicted like that only.  That is the weapon to attack the opponents who are far away.  The art and science of archery is called Dhanur Vedam, isn't it?  So, this Super Maha Rani is armed with the bow and arrows.  She is the queen of the empire of Gnãna, capable of granting Moksha.  So as to inform us of the fact that only on getting rid of Rãga (our desires) and Dvesha (our hatreds) will we become qualified to that Moksha Sãmrãjya; she is armed with Pãsa and Ankusa also in the other two hands.

446.  To depict that she will on her own pull towards herself this mind and Indriyas of ours, (which we should be surrendering on our own by ourselves), she is having the Bow and Arrows in her hands. As we lift the child in our hands preventing it from falling on our feet when it is doing Namaskãra, she is causing us to do what we should be doing!  The bow and arrows by which AmbãL, diverted the Gnãnamaya Easwara into Kãma thereby causing him to become the Leela and Anugraha Murthy while becoming Siva Kãma Sundari herself; by the same bow and arrows in her grips (in this sloka which is like a Dhyãna Sloka), as described by our ÃchãryãL, we are being reminded of her real role.  Then at the end of Soundarya Lahari, he has clarified that what this bow and arrows do, her feet themselves do quite efficiently.  The purport is that, if we look into the power of each tool, equipment and weapon; all that power comes from her only.  It is all AmbãL's Anugraha only, whose other name is Shakti meaning Power!  We as incapable weaklings need all sorts of weapons and equipments.  But with AmbãL, all powers are hers only.  All tools, weapons and equipments, in whatever form are only doing her biddings.  She does not need them.  It is enough if there is her Sankalpa or just an inkling of a wish, the job will be done.  Still for the pleasure of Leela she acts as though she is using those tools, equipments and weapons!

(To be continued.)




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