Thursday, February 21, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 131 (Vol # 6) Dated 21 Feb 2013


DEIVATHIN KURAL # 131 (Vol # 6) Dated 21 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 middle of page No 897 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)


493.  I was telling you about the sloka in Soundarya Lahari (No 11) that describes the Sri Chakra aka Sri Yantra.  Those nine triangles which cut each other to make 44 triangles of six ÃvaraNãs (that is concentric areas) are situated as so many garlands.   Amongst these nine triangles four are said to be Siva Chakras and five are said to be Shakti Chakras.  The central triangle is also part of the Shakti Chakras.  At the time of doing pooja whether it is Yantra or Idol, it should be facing the direction of East.  In the case of Sri Chakra the centre triangle should be towards East as well as the one doing pooja.  That means, the person doing the pooja should be facing west.

494.  To depict the Aikyam, that is Adwaitic oneness of the Siva and Shakti Tatvams that is principles, they are shown as intersecting or rather intermeshing each other. The 44 triangles so created due to such entwining and inter mingling, as well as the eight lotus petals in the inner circular perimeter and the 16 lotus petals in the outer circular perimeter, the circles and squires of three lines are all being accounted for in the 11th sloka.  These are not to be treated like reading some novel or something to be known in academic interest.  These are to be received from a Guru and to be kept as a secret, not to be flaunted about.  I told you only a little bit as I did not want to leave it totally uncovered!  That does not mean however, that you are to take it lightly. 

உவமிக்கவொண்ணாத உருவழகு; காண்பதற்கொண்ணாத காட்சி!
Incomparable Beauty and Scene Never Seen Before!

495.  Having spoken about the Sri Chakra, as though over taken by a thought suddenly, "This whole work is Soundarya Lahari and I should be talking about AmbãL's innate beauty and not be talking about other subjects", the poet bursts out with "त्वदीयं सोउन्दर्यं" in the very next sloka meaning, "Yours this beauty!"  "I described you in the form of so many angles, triangles, circles and squires with all details, didn't I?  But I am not able to describe your incomparable beauty.  So far, no poet has been able to do justice to this one subject", says the poet.

496.  Brahma is the first poet, as the Bhagawatam says in the very outset, "आदि कवये"!  When Saraswathi, the Goddess of all knowledge is Brahmas' power, who can be a greater poet than Brahma?  That he has written stotras on all deities is noticed when we read the PurãNãs.  Normally when faced with difficulties or problems, all the Devas will go to Brahma and complain.  Then he will take them all to Vishnu or Siva or any one particular deity and request that deity to do the needful to ameliorate the situation.  On such occasions he will do a stotra on that deity.  So has he done a stotra on AmbãL also, for example in Durga Saptasati when the whole lot of Devas were troubled by Madhu-Kaitaba Asuras, he has sung a stotra on AmbãL.  Even he Brahma aka Virinchi is incapable of properly describing her essential beauty. 

497.  Let us look at the sloka (No 12) as it says
"त्वदीयं सोउन्दर्यं तुहिनगिरि-कन्ये तुलयितुं
tvadeeyam soundaryam tuhinagiri-kanye tulayitum
कवीन्द्रा: कल्पन्ते कथमपि विरिञ्चि-प्रभृतय: |"
kaveendrã: kalpante kathamapi Virinchi-prabhrutaya: |  This phrase विरिञ्चि-प्रभृतय: means Brahma et al.  They tried to describe your beauty.  'Tulayitum' means to weigh.  'Tula' means the Balance.  How do we weigh things in the balance?  Directly we are not able to weigh and find out its weight (except in some modern gadgets).  So on one side we place a known measure of weight and against that measure whatever the thing we wish to weigh.  But to weigh AmbãL's beauty, they are not able compare it with any one known object on earth!  That is the simile aka Upamãnam.  When we compare, a face like a moon, eyes like a lotus, and hair like waves of bees, it is as though we have been able to think of comparisons.  But about AmbãL we are not able to even make such comparisons.  Despite thinking of similes, metaphors and symbolism, after much searches and deeply thinking about it, even recognised poets like Virinchi are unable to think of true comparisons – 'कथमपि कल्पन्ते'!  He says, 'somehow they are trying to think of' and stops there, just short of saying, 'that they are not able to'!  It is like saying, "I tried my level best to reach there in time", instead of openly saying that 'I failed'! 

498.  "Having described the form and figure of the Yantra, when I attempted to describe her (Soundarya Roopam) beautiful form, it was found to be beyond the confines of the words – 'varNana ateetam'.  Since direct description was beyond my reach, when I tried to draw comparison and parallels, in doing so even poets from Brahma onwards have failed"!  By such descriptions, he has proved as to how her beauty is beyond comparison and is unparalleled!  Let descriptions be set aside; first is there any poet or devotee, who has himself seen that beauty fully and known about it?  There is none like that!  When nobody has seen her themselves, how to describe her to others?

499.  Why are you saying that nobody has seen her before?  We cannot say that nobody has seen her at all.  Many poets have described the fact of having had her darsan. But instead of giving a complete audience as V.I.Ps do nowadays, she will give a revelation for a fraction of a second like a flash and vanish!  Even for those who had completely surrendered to her, after having had a darsan only a part of the complete scene – such as her eyes or a corner of the eye showering compassion and love, or her mouth with the suggestion of a smile – mandasmitham – 'मन्दस्मितं', of her will remain etched in their memories and not the whole figure from the hair style on top of the head to the feet!

500.  She reveals her entire body beautiful only to one other person that is her husband – Parameswara, with whom she is inseparably one.  So as to involve him in herself and thereby get him absorbed in the Leela of the world, that she assumed this extremely beautiful form of Tripura Sundari.  That body is totally offered in obeisance to only to him in total surrender as a faithful consort.  She may show herself to others in flashes even when giving darsan, not revealing all her beauty.  To her devotees she will be full of love and compassion, but when it comes to her Soundaryam, it is all for her Other Half only!

501.  When I say this, it may mean that later in the second half of the Soundarya Lahari, when ÃchãryãL describes what he has seen and observed a little more in detail, may also be considered as an incomplete description.  A Mother does not have to display all her beauty as she would her love for the child.  All the decoration that she may do to herself is for the pleasure of the husband only and not the baby.  In fact without any need to make herself look beautiful, naturally she has taken a body as she is verily beauty personified!  When such is the case, how can anybody really describe her as she is?  First of all, they do not have a complete understanding of her beauty.  Then when they try to do justice to what they have seen and known, being beyond the powers of words to describe, they find it difficult to say anything.  Then when you think of drawing parallels, or give simile of example, again they find themselves in a 'log-jam' of sorts, as her beauty is simply beyond compare, as there is nothing in the world of which any part of it can be compared with any part of her – she is simply beyond compare!

502.  The poet has put across with very subtle delicacy that AmbãL will reveal all her beauty only to her husband Parameswara.  Let us look at the next two lines of the sloka:-
यदालोकौत्सुक्यात् अमरललना यान्ति मनसा
Yat ãloka outsukyãt amara lalanã yãnti manasã
तपोभिर्दुष्प्रापामपि गिरिश सायुज्य पदवीं ||"
tapobhir dush prãpãmapi girisha sãyujya padaveem ||"  The phrase 'amara lalanã' means celestial damsels.  Names like Rambã, Tilottamã, Urvasi, Menaka and such comes to our minds as we have read about them in PurãNãs / Ithihãsa as great beauties among the celestial damsels.  Even they, having had just a glimpse of the beauty of AmbãL feel, "In front of her beauty, what is ours?  What we have seen after all is very little!  We should be seeing more of her!"  Normally when a musician hears another's music who is popular will feel only "What is great about it?  Let me know that!"  Almost in all walks of life such is the reaction.  Similarly those divine damsels wish to see the AmbãL's beauty in full.  The phrase 'yath aalokhya outsukhyãt' means 'because of a natural desire to see that beauty in full'.  That beauty is the 'tvadeeyam soundaryam' quoted in the first line.

503.  Wishing to see the full beauty of AmbãL, what do the celestial damsels do?  "What is the use of our wishing to do so?  She has sacrificed her entire being including her body to Easwara and so only he can have a wholesome darsan of hers.  So, now if we become one with him, attaining 'Siva Sãyujya Padavi', then we can also enjoy her wholesome beauty in totality!"  That is what they think, as per the meaning conveyed by the sloka.  Some devotees out of their Bhakti for Siva have an uncontrollable thirst for 'Siva Sãyujya Padavi', for which they are ready to go to any lengths of trouble.  There Siva Sãyujyam is an end in itself.  Such a great status these celestial damsels wish to have, not as an end in itself, but as a means of viewing the complete beauty of AmbãL!  Thus even the great 'Siva Sãyujyam' is only a Sãdanam for attaining to the Sãdhyam aka objective, the full darsan of AmbãL's wholesome beauty!

504.  So, OK!  Rambã and Menaka et al are wishing so.  Does it mean that they can get 'Siva Sãyujya Padavi'?  Is it something that can be obtained like 2 Kilos of potato or something from the corner shop?  That is what is mentioned as 'tapobhir dush prãpãmapi', impossible even after much Tapasya!  Normally these celestial damsels are given a job of distracting Rishis who are deeply in penance and austerity, as we have seen in the case of Vishwãmitra!  They cannot be having the 'Indriya Nigraha' to do Tapasya.  So what do they do?  Is there is any limit to imagination?  We can have any amount of aspirations.  What cannot you do by building forts mentally?  Thus those girls Rambã, Tilottamã, Urvasi, and Menaka are, 'yãnti manasã girisha Sãyujya padaveem', becoming Siva, themselves mind wise!

505.  But that state is unattainable, however much you may imagine.  Kenopanishad says, "यन मनसा न मनुते" – 'yan manasa na manute', meaning 'that which cannot be imagined'!  That means that, they are only dreaming and have neither become Siva nor have they seen her complete beauty!  When in the first half of the sloka it is said that, to the extent they know, they are trying to find comparison and parallels, using all their imagination, what does it mean, except that they are unable to do so, isn't it?  So also in the second half of the sloka, when it is said that those celestial damsels are trying to mentally imagine becoming Siva, it only means that they are doing so in vain.  The poet does not wish to say that all the Devas from Virinchi downwards and these celestial damsels have all failed in their aspirations!  This sloka in the Ãnanda Lahari portion virtually lifts the greatness of AmbãL's beauty to the high heavens and beyond!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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