Thursday, March 14, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 141 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 Mar 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 141 (Vol # 6) Dated 14 Mar 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 964 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 constantly)

599.  The Sãyujyam talked about in the sloka No 22 thus is a mix of Bhakti, Shakti and Gnãnam and not the final stage of indivisible oneness of Adwaitam, when the devotee loses his identity as a separate entity as a Jiva and merges in the objective forever, that is known as Brhma Sãkshãtkãram!  That is all right.  But I had given a subtitle of ஒரு ஸ்லேடை ஸ்லோகம்: 'தாஸஹ'த்திலிருந்து 'ஸஹ'த்திற்கு!  Where is the ஸ்லேடை that is known as pun here?  Very interestingly, that is the beauty of this sloka, instead of talking about which I have been harping upon the difference between Sãyujyam in this sloka and what is understood as given in Adwaita Sãstrãs and their inner meanings!

600.  The moment the devotee says 'Bhavani tvam', the poet says that she literally absorbs him, isn't it?  The word play is on that phrase 'Bhavani tvam'.  The devotee is simply starting to address her, "You, Bhavani!" He has not completed what he intended to say at all and she responds to that phrase immediately!  The devotee has not put the full-stop or exclamation mark there, but I have.  AmbãL understands it differently out of her extreme compassion for the devotee and grants him 'Sãyujyam', how?  He said, "Bhavani, You" and how has she understood that?

601.  'Bhavani' gives two types of meanings.  That word 'Bhavani' could be grammatically a 'proper noun' as the name of a person.  With a different meaning, it could be a verb.  To that word the root verb is 'Bhava'.  Then with a suffix when it extends, again it can have two meanings.  When 'Bhava' is proper noun, it means the name of Siva and with the suffix 'ni', Bhavani is the name of AmbãL as the wife of Siva.  As a verb 'Bhava' means 'to be' as we say while extending blessings to youngsters, 'deerga ãyushmãn bhavaदीर्ग आयुष्मान भव meaning 'may you have a long life', 'deerga sunangali bhavaदीर्ग सुमङ्गली भव meaning 'may you have a long life as a wedded woman and may your husband have a long life (both the meanings are imbedded here!)', 'jaya vijayee bhãvaजय विजयी भव' may you be victorious!' and so on; wherein the meaning of the word 'bhava भव ' is, may you 'be'. 

602.  When you address somebody with regard and respect as Sir or Madam, it is Bhavan and Bhavathi respectively in Sanskrit, the root word for both being 'Bhavath'.  What is lengthened as 'Bhavathee' in the first declension is shortened as 'Bhavathi' in the last declension while addressing someone.  Like when you wish to request a lady for alms, you are to say, 'Bhavathi! Bikshãm dehi! – भवति! भिक्षां देहि!'  Similarly Sir is also elongated as 'Bhavãn in the first declension and shortened as 'Bhavan' in the last declension as, 'He! Bhavan!'  If our ÃchãryãL has punned on the word 'Bhavani' in this sloka under review, his disciple Thotaka ÃchãryãL has done word play on his Guru by saying, 'bhava eva bhavãn भव एव भवान', thereby meaning, 'You are yourself verily the Bhavãn, that is Parameswara'!  Let these matters be aside!

603.  We were discussing the variations in the meaning of the word 'Bhavani', isn't it?  Here ' भव' means 'May you be!' and 'भवानि' means 'May I be!'  So from the first two words from the mouth of the devotee 'भवानि त्वं', if the first word is taken as a verb with the second word 'त्वं' would mean, 'I will become you!' or 'May I become you?'  AmbãL who is large hearted enough to shower her largesse on the devotee, so understands the devotee.  "Oh!  This child seems to wish to become our very being, is it?  His words and wish shall not go in waste and so I shall immediately grant him, "निज सायुज्य पदवीं"!
The devotee on the other hand, though thinks of himself as her child and looks at her as his mother, is still hesitant wondering if he deserves her love, care and concern; in the most subservient attitude claims that he is her servant who is but a slave of hers!  So all that he expects from her is just a glance!  He says so in those many words, "..त्वं दासे मयि वितर धॄष्टिं सकरुणाम्..".  In fact he has not said so yet.  He intends to make such a request – "इति स्तोतुं वाञ्छन", he only manages to say 'भवानि त्वं'.  He must be quite a crude character of the proletariat!  There is no description of his character qualities in the sloka.  The word used to refer to the man is simply, ':' – the one who says 'भवानि त्वं'.  He could be anybody, like the one reading this here.  He may not even be aware of a state as Sãyujyam!  But once he has uttered the words which convey the meaning of 'let me become you', then he has to be granted निज सायुज्य पदवीं, AmbãL feels.    

604.  God is the Master and self is the slave – Dãsa.  To remain separate even in Moksham like that is Dwaitam.  With such an attitude, for someone who claims himself to be only a Dãsa, AmbãL is abundantly sanctioning SaguNa Adwaita Sãyujyam.  Having given that, she will not stop at that without giving NirguNa Adwaitam also later!  Ãnjaneya Swami is one who as an ardent devotee of Rama, kept on saying that I am your servant – 'Dãsoham' and eventually reached the 'Sa: + aham = Soham' stage of becoming one with the object of his adoration!  Even after reaching that stage, he remained a Rama Dãsa!  'Dãsoham' means, 'I am your servant'.  Soham means 'I am he', that 'he' stands for Parama Ãtma.  Anybody coming to her as her servant, AmbãL is making them as herself, says our ÃchãryãL! 

605.  There are many who continuously keep mulling over two of the Maha Vãkyãs such as, 'brhma eva aham asmi' – 'ब्र्ह्मैवाहमस्मि' – meaning that 'I am Brhma' and 'tatvamasiतत्वमसि' – 'You are that'; the first one so declared by oneself and the other as told by the Guru; despite great endeavour do not realise the truth of those statements easily!  When that is the case, AmbãL is granting that to even to those who are not asking for it, it seems!  Thus more than the Maha Vãkyãs, this 'भवानि त्वं' statement of our ÃchãryãL seems to be more effective!  In that 'भवानि त्वं' with the meaning of 'You Bhavani!' and 'I become you' is the pun!  There is also a third pun.  In this phrase 'भवानि त्वं', this word त्वं instead of being a stand-alone 'You', if added as a suffix, it gives yet another meaning of 'the same quality' such as 'कवित्वं', meaning 'poetical ability'.  Like that, भवानित्वं would mean Bhavani-hood, the quality of being her, like her with all qualities in her being evident in that devotee too!

606.  So, all that we have to do is to pray with true devotion and the feeling that we are her slave, for a side long glance from her.  Because he has used a word 'ya:' to mean anyone who says those words, we should not misunderstand that even without devotion we should just utter the phrase, 'Bhavani tvam' and that we will get the Sãyujya Padavi'.  With true devotion, true servitude and sincerity we should seek her blessings.  This devotee did not even say his complete prayer.  He only intended and just started saying it.  He only started saying two words and before that AmbãL granted him, much more than what the completed prayer could have been, is in itself a lovely idea.  This idea was once made use of already as – 'वान्छासमधिकं', meaning more than what was prayed for, in sloka 4; where her feet were capable giving that bounty.  Here it is 'स्तोतुं वाञ्छन' – just wishing to pray, much before he could even place his appeal before her, much more than – 'वान्छासमधिकं', AmbãL sanctioning Sãyujyam is the essence of KaruNa Rasam!  To have brought in such a beauty of an idea in play of words effortlessly is Kavitã Rasam that is, in other words pure poetical genius! 

607.  Looking at all this, one who knows the language and grammar well, without feeling conceited about his superior fluency of command over the language and expression, considers himself as AmbãL's servile slave with utter devotion – that is how our ÃchãryãL was – without ignoring the poor and unread, if he gives his ear to them will find deep inner meanings even in their colloquial normal talks.  Those supreme subtle principles are given to such simpletons of the proletariat as practical experiences to be comprehended and understood without using much of cerebral gymnastics!  This erudite scholar who is also a true devotee will see gems of noble ideas thus even in the common and colloquial!  What is said in KuraL No 423 is relevant here – எப்பொருள் யாரார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள் மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப(து) அறிவு. That means, 'Whatever you hear from whosoever's mouth to get to the true meaning of it is true intelligence – அறிவு'.  This மெய்ப்பொருள் is not only the true meaning but also the 'parama tatvam' the only true principle, to be known!  Finally the 'அறிவு' that ThirukkuraL talks about is not just being worldly wise but knowledge of the only thing worthy of being known – knowledge of God and that your own reality is nothing else but the same – that is the Adwaita Anubhuti!

608.  In the VaishNava religion, though it does not talk about NirguNa Adwaita Tatva and does not accept the same; it does talk about a particular stage in Moksha, where the Jiva is said to attain to all the powers of the SaguNa Brhmam that is Maha Vishnu, in one avowed point of Siddhãntam.  In saying so, out of decency they give an exception that the Jiva gets all powers, qualities and characteristics of Maha Vishnu other than – 'Lakshmi-patitvam' – being the husband of Lakshmi.  Similarly in Siva-Adwaitam / Saiva Siddhãntam too they say that a Jiva becomes as good as Siva in all respects of Easwaratvam –of being almost like Siva except 'Uma-patitvam' that is being the husband of Uma.  We do not have such problems in Adwaitam as the end stage is one in which there is no duality whatsoever.  The Jiva who thought himself, to be a separate individual, indivisibly merges in the NirguNa, Nishkriya, and Nishprapancha state of oneness with no residual separateness. 

609.  Instead of such oneness, since VaishNava tradition and Saiva Siddhãnta tradition believe in their God-heads to be couples like Lakshmi-Narayana and Siva-Shakti, out of decency, they have to make such exceptions.  But the moment you say, 'except for', a whole lot of other doubts creep up.  So, when you think about saying something supporting them, without having to make provisions for exception; this sloka shows the way.  "Do not pray for becoming Siva like or Narayana like; pray for merging in Lakshmi Swaroopa or AmbãL Swaroopa.  That mother will take care without your having to worry about what sort of a Sãyujyam it is as to, whether it is merging with Siva or Vishnu.  That is the indirect message of this sloka.  From being a Jiva to become one with the Mother and then through her to become one with the Father, we first go through Vãtsalya Aikyam.  Then when you have become one with the Mother you go through the highest devotion of Nayika Bhãvam.  That takes you through to Adwaita Anubhava say the experienced elders who have gone through the same route. 

611.  Turning the whole thing around, we have already seen that in the 30th Sloka, since AmbãL reveals her complete beauty only to Parameswara, the celestial damsels are desirous of Siva-Sãyujyam just so that they can enjoy the complete Soundaryam of AmbãL!  Our ÃchãryãL has thus brought in Adwaitam, Dwaitam, word-play with double and triple meanings of words; devotion, Nayika Bhãvam, servitude and slavishness and made a complete mixture of them all in this sloka with élan and dexterity!   

(To be continued.)




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