Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 Feb 2013


DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 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 889 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)

ஸ்ரீ சக்ரம்: அதன் சிறப்புகள்
Sri Chakram: Its Special Qualities

482.  In the next sloka (Sloka No 11), the Sri Chakram is described.  It is also referred to as Sri Yantra.  When we hear 'Sri Vidya' pooja, we ask 'Is he doing pooja to Sri Chakram?'  The reply is always a 'Yes', if he is a Sri Vidya Upasaka.  All deities have a special Yantra.  But normally at the time of construction of the temple the Yantra etched on a plate of gold / silver / copper and is buried deeply under the earth, over which the edifice of the temple comes up.  In some temples it may be seen displayed.  But this is not done in houses.  Mostly in houses, Banam a type of stone for Siva, Saligramam, a stone or fossil picked up from the river Gandak in Nepal for Vishnu and Swarna-Rekha- Shila, a stone with gold lines in it for AmbãL are used; for 'Panchayatana Pooja' worshipping the five Gods namely GaNesha, Siva, AmbãL, Vishnu, Surya and SubrahmaNya.  SubrahmaNya when separately prayed to may be represented by a miniature 'Vel' that is a spear.  That is, generally either a miniature idol of that God or a naturally occurring stone as a substitute is used in houses.  Swarna-Rekha-Shila being a very rare item, mostly all Sri Vidya Upãsakas use the Sri Chakra with or without an idol of AmbãL.  

483.  Any and every deity will be having a 'mantra' and 'yantra' specifically meant for them.  Mantra for a particular deity means a set of sounds.  Like eyes, ears, nose, hands and legs, this set of sounds is also a form of that deity.  So, for every deity we have a physical form that is the Sthula Roopa that is depicted in idols and statues; a form of sounds that is Mantra Roopa; and then a Yantra Roopa that is a geometric representation made up of lines, arcs, triangles, squires and rounds.  It is the normal custom to inscribe the Mantra Aksharãs also in the Yantra.  They are specific for each deity and are powerful in making the presence of the deity felt in the temples or wherever they are used for Japa or Pooja.  As we do 64 Upachãra-s to the God / Deity, it is done to these combined forms of Yantra with Mantra also.  Because this combined form of Yantra with Mantra is truly representative of that particular deity, that deity's place of residence with all their relatives and followers.

484.  AmbãL's different personifications are there such as Meenãkshi, Durga, Bhuvaneswari and so on.  Those who do pooja to them, instead of having the Yantra of that form, are known to do pooja to Sri Chakra only.  Not only at homes but also in temples, this is so.  For example in the Giri-pradakshinam in ThiruvaNNamalai there is one famous Durga temple.  There also instead of the Yantra of Durga, it is Sri Chakra kept there to which the pooja is done.  Similarly in the SaradambãL temple in Sringeri also it is the Sri Chakra, to which pooja is done!  Thus more than any other Yantra of any other deity and out of many other Yantras of AmbãL also; it is Sri Chakra that has a special value of its own.  Lines, circles, squires, the angles formed by those lines are all to be found in a circular form arranged concentrically around a centre point dot; are to be found in a Yantra.  Such a design has the ability to focus those deities' power.  Such is the divine design!  They are so designed to have the ability to annul the evil forces and concentrate the divine powers very effectively. 

485.  Sri Chakra is so formed that there are nine concentric triangles which are so organised that they cut each other, forming 43 triangles.  Taking the centre dot also as a triangle, the total is said to be 44 also.  These 44 triangles are so formed as six ÃvaraNa-s which means that they are like screens around the centre.  Assuming that you are in the centre and close to you if there are six people standing around you, they will be screening you all around.  That is an ÃvaraNa and that is how the six triangles and their overlap are organised around the centre.  The centre being a point is also called a triangle as well as an ÃvaraNa.  In fact around the centre these 43 triangles are formed to make five ÃvaraNa-s! Including the centre as an ÃvaraNa, they make six  ÃvaraNa-s.  Around this six there are three more concentric circular lines, the third circle being a triple line.  Between the inner two circles, the first one has six lotus petals at the 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12° clock directions from the centre and the second circles has 16 lotus petals equally spaced around.  Further outside there is a squire of three lines, whose centre is once again the same.  Thus there are nine concentric peripheries of triangles, circles and squires of ÃvaraNa leading to the word – NavãvaraNa or NavãvaraNam.

486.  Some of you might have heard this word NavãvaraNam!  Nowadays Deekshidar's NavãvaraNa Keertans have become rather famous, being broadcast on All India Radio often.  They are songs descriptive of these nine ÃvaraNa-s or enclosures in the Sri Chakram.  Formed as a Rãga Mãlikã in nine Rãgãs, they give a short resume of each ÃvaraNa as to who is there, what is the meaning and purport, the Mantra Akshara, Atidevata; the Mudra to be used and the special Neivedyam to be offered and the special benefits accruing to the devotee; that are given in more details in the Sãstrãs.  But one word of caution has to be given here.  One has to be very careful about the size, proportions, ratios and angles.  Even a small error in drawing can lead to great stigma and disgrace.  Even when the design of the Sri Chakram is perfect, while sitting down for pooja, if you place the Sri Chakram with its centre triangle's apex towards the earth's westerly direction, instead of east, the effect of the pooja can be contrary to what is intended!

487.  Another aspect requiring attention is that more than the pooja with an idol, with a Yantra, we need to be more painstakingly punctilious about the Do's and Don'ts of the Ãchãrãs, cleanliness and procedure about the strictures as given in the Sãstrãs!  Nowadays partially due to ignorance and partially due to conceit, many have taken up to doing Sri Vidya pooja, may be just for claiming that in our house also such a pooja is being done!  That will inevitably result in an increased level of loss of peace and avoidable aberrations.  It is not enough only to desire but, one has to be perfect and meticulous in following the procedures as given in the Sãstrãs and as demonstrated by the Guru who initiates us in the process; in personal cleanliness, in the intonations of the mantras and not take liberties with them.  Instead of just vying for the benefits if one were to be careless about the taboos, one may end up reaping some negative results!

488.  Yantra is not only the residence of a deity and but a true and virtual representation of the deity.  That too, AmbãL is practically said to be in the form of the Yantra Sri Chakra, and hence more than her physical being the Yantra gets the pride of place in her Pooja.  So, we have to add the Sri Chakra as her place along with the other two places, namely the Mani Dweepa or island in the Amrita Sãgara and the Pinnacle of the Meru.  In saying so, I am committing two errors.  One is that Sri Chakram is not only her place of residence but herself!  Second error is that in the island in Amrita Sãgara and the top of Meru also, her place will be in the form of Sri Chakra only with the Nine ÃvaraNa-s and ChintãmaNi Gruham in the centre.  That which is the size of our palms in our houses this Sri Chakram, will be huge and mighty big with the nine surrounding areas in which reside the various deities of the Parivãra and at the centre spot will be the ChintãmaNi Gruham in the centre of which will be the Pancha Brhmãsan on which she will be seated. 

489.  So, instead of the two dimensional plate the Sri Chakram will be a three dimensional edifice with forts, ramparts, moats and the palace located in the centre in the Meru / the ocean of Amrita.   The flat Sri Chakra at ground level is known as Bhoo Prastãram.  The former will be having conical spires reaching to the skies.  Then three dimensional Sri Chakram are also as models and they are known as 'Meru Prastãram'.  If all the ÃvaraNa are three dimensional it is called the 'PoorNa Meru'.  If partially flat and partially built up, it is called the 'Ardha Meru'.  In Kãmakoshtam in Kanchipuram it is Bhoo Prastãram, in our Matam it is PoorNa Meru, in Mãnkãdu temple it is Ardha Meru and in Thiru Vidai Maruthur Mookambika temple Sannidy it is PoorNa Meru.

தனிப் பெயரில்லாத யந்திரம், தந்திரம் தலைநகரம்
A Yantra, Tantra and Capital without a Separate Name

490.  The devotees of AmbãL proudly claim a speciality.  Unlike for other Gods and Goddesses, only AmbãL's Capital, her Yantra and Tantra has this holy and venerable adjective 'Sri' added as a prefix to the Chakram.  For all other Gods and Goddesses either name of that particular God or some other prefix is added as, 'Siva Chakram', 'Medha DakshiNa Murthy Yantram', 'Sudarshana Yantram', 'Lakshmi-Kubera Yantram', 'Shad-Akshara-Chakram' and so on.  It is as though the message is that, 'Chakram means this 'Sri Chakram' and so there is no need to give it a separate name'!  Here 'Sri' is only a venerable adjective and is not indicative of Sri Devi, Lakshmi.

491.  Similarly, as though it is meant that the only path worth its while to be considered as an Upãsana Marga is Sri Vidya here too, other than the 'Sri' no more adjective is added.  For the Upãsana for other Gods, either the Swami's name or the Rishi who was the first one to have initiated that particular Upãsana Marga (known as 'Pravartaka') would have been added.  Within Sri Vidya Mantra there are variations with some differences.  So, it is not possible to call them by one generic name as 'Sri Vidya Mantra'.  Here the prefix is added using the first letter of the Mantra or the Rishi who was the Pravartaka, such as, Kãdi Vidya, Hãdi Vidya, Lopãmudrã Vidya, Doorvãsa Vidya; all of them generally being called the Sri Vidya as the Lalitha Tantram!

492.  In addition to Yantra and Tantra, her residing Capital also has no separate name, but is called the 'Sri Puram' or 'Sri Nagar'.  (Just as an observation, it is occurring to me that the Capital Of the Jammu & Kashmir State, which the Muslims and Pakistanis are claiming to be theirs, is also 'Sri Nagar'!)  Puram or Nagar is a common name for all cities or townships.  You take this generic name and it stands for the Capital of AmbãL who is Queen Empress of all the worlds and towns and cities.  As she is the Nitya Sri, who gives the ultimate wealth of all times as the Ãtma Ãnanda, her first name in Lalitha Sahasranãma is Sri Mãtã, (श्री माता) the Supreme Mother and the second name is Sri Maha Ragnyee  (श्री महा राज्ञी), the Reigning Queen!  Similarly all things connected with her are Sri Vidya, Sri Chakram, Sri Puram and Sri Nagar!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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