Thursday, May 02, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 165 (Vol # 6) Dated 02 May 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 1135 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)
புருவ வில், விழி நாண்: சிக்கல் நிறைந்த ஸ்லோகம்
Eye Brows the Bow & Eyes the String - A Very Complicated Sloka

849.                The next sloka No 47 is more complicated than the previous one.  I will try to see if I can make you understand the convoluted logic of it, which I shall consider as my Pooja to AmbãL.  It makes you think of her repeatedly since it is so difficult to comprehend the meaning.  If it was an easy stotra, we will understand and go away to some other endeavour quickly.  It is not easy to simply stop and dwell on thinking of AmbãL for a long time.  So, if you accommodate some puzzles, bring in some literary nuances, some clever mode of presentation, some not so easily understood words with some indirect allusions; you have made it difficult for people to understand on which they have to spend more time to decipher meaning and message that, though they are not thinking of her all of the time, still you are forcing them to repeatedly keep coming back to her thereby spend more time in thinking about her!  With that aim in view I think our ÃchãryãL has composed these slokas thus, for our sake!  In trying to solve the entanglements and snags, we are enabled to keep bringing our minds back to AmbãL, which in turn makes it possible for us to be able to solve many of the complications which are part and parcel of this life!  Let me tell you the sloka without any further preamble.

850.      भ्रुवौ भुग्ने किन्चिद्भुवन भय भन्गव्यसनिनि
       bhruvow bhugne kinchid bhuvana bhaya bhangavyasanini
       त्वदीये नेत्राभ्यां मधुकर रुचिभ्यां धृतगुणम |
             tvadhéyenetrãbhym madhukara ruchibhyãm dhrutaguNam |
       धनुर्मन्ये सव्येतर करगृहीतं रतिपते:
             dhanurmanye savyetara kara gruheetam ratipate:
       प्रकोष्टे मुष्ट च स्थगयति निगूढान्तरमुमे ||   
             prakoshte mushtou cha sthagayati nigoodhãntaramume ||

851.      Let us look at the meaning of the sloka.  The word 'भ्रुवौ' in Sanskrit means the two eye-brows in English and 'puruvam' in Tamil.  The English 'brow' is derived out of the similar sounding 'brew' in Sanskrit.  As there are two of them as a pair, it is 'bruvow'.  How are they?  They are slightly strained.  Is the contortion due to anger?  No.  It is more due to deep thinking than anger.  In anger the ends of the eye-brow rise up losing its natural arc and almost become a disjointed straight line!  But now, AmbãL's eye-brows are more bent than the natural arc, 'bending it like a bow', that is how it is!  She is showing 'Abhaya Hastam' for relief from fear, while simultaneously feeling concerned about her children's tendency to be afraid!

852.                "I look at AmbãL.  Her eye brows are strained.  She seems to be deep in thought.  The general facial expression confirms this.  What does the profile of her face say?  It says that she is worried – 'vyasani'.  That means sorrow or deep thought of being very concerned.  Having called her, 'Ãnanda Lahari' and 'Chidãnanda Lahari', now if you say that 'She is worried and in deep concern that her eye brows are strained', what is the meaning of all this, Swami?"  "Yes!  She is 'Ãnanda Lahari' only in and out!  But she is the universal mother isn't it?  Aren't all the people stuck in the fear of samsara and struggling vigorously in trying to extricate themselves like the proverbial fish on the hook!  This is despite the fact that she has shown them so many ways and methods of liberating themselves from the clutches of fear and worry!  Her main concern is in removing this fear – that she is a worried person – 'bhuvana bhaya bhanga vyasani'. 

853.                Often after deep cogitation, She will come out with ever new methods of getting over the fears of the world, if need be by inducting new Ãchãryãs or even new religions!  For that only she is straining her eye brows 'bending them like the bow'!  As said in one of the earlier slokas ( the 24th), 'kshaNa chalitayo: bhroo: latikayo:' – 'क्षण चलितयो: भ्रूलतिकयो:', though she can multi-task the 'pancha krutya murthys' on a variety of jobs as the omnipotent supreme commander and is also all blissful; is still the deeply concerned Mother!   For her, all the static and mobile life forms are all her children only, isn't it?  In respect of those children she frets as much as any mother does, so that they may not be affected by any fear or troubles and tribulations! Out of extreme concern she is worried and thinking of ways out for them, bending her brows like a bow – 'bhruvow bhugne kinchitbhuvana bhaya bhanga vyasanini' – 'भ्रुवौ भुग्ने किन्चिद्भुवन भय भङ्ग व्यसनिनि'!

854.                If the Tamil proverb said that the mind can be read on the face – 'அகத்தின் அழகு முகத்திலே', it can be further improved upon by saying, 'Your mind can be read in the eye-brows'! Our ÃchãryãL has carefully made an observation of AmbãL's eye-brows and written this poem.  AmbãL is wondering how, when all the time she is trying to ensure that her children are not affected by the fear factor, they are ceased of the same peril!  Is she straining her brows in an effort to tick off the people responsible for the same, because the brows may be strained even when you are annoyed and are angry at someone!  It can also happen when you have just obviated the problem, just about – as 'bhuvana bhaya bhanga vyasanini'!

855.                Will AmbãL who has made 'abhaya raksha' her duty, prevent people from getting afraid or remove the fear after it occurs?   A mother's way would be more proactive than reactive, isn't it?  But then this epithet as 'bhuvana bhaya bhanga vyasanini', would not apply at all!  No, No!  It would not be very correct to stop fear by prevention!  Because in that case there would be no occasion for us to be melting in a feeling of gratefulness as we would not know anything about, what never affected us!  Only after having been affected by fear and then when she saves us from  that, there is all the fun in running to her and catching hold of her, like a child running to its mother, making a grab for her and then in hiding behind the mother's skirt in glee!  Thus in these slokas, in the words and meanings, whatever I am saying as being beautiful, are not beautiful at all.  There is much more that I am not able to explain, where the real beauty really lies!  Maybe that will be clear to those who are greater connoisseurs of literature and devotees of AmbãL!  If the eye-brows are going to be strained in anger or sorrow, we cannot be standing around and appreciating it.  But that is what our ÃchãryãL is doing here with immense pleasure!

856.                What is this?  One look at it is causing us to forget about everything else and is forcing us to keep looking at those eye-brows only!  This just cannot be a line of hair only!  It has to be something really big!  That, ÃchãryãL finds out and is describing in the next three lines, as he says at the start of the third line – 'dhanur manye' – 'धनुर मन्ये', meaning, 'I think these eye-brows are actually a bow!'  A bow is bent in an arc, actually in a double arc connected in the middle with a straight line area, where the archer holds it with one hand and so not exactly a straight line area, but more like a grip.  So AmbãL's both the eye-brows put together make it into one bow and the strain in the center of the eye-brows, is more like the place where it is gripped from where the tension is collected before the arrow is launched on its trajectory.  So the eye-brows put together makes up a bow – 'धनुर मन्ये'.  But there is a problem.  These two arcs are not really joining in the centre.  The Brows that make up the arcs are hairy.  The centre portion is not.  In fact there should be no hair.  If the eye-brows are connected it is considered as a bad sign and not a 'Sãmudrika LakshaNam' as it is said in Tamil, 'கூடிய புருவம் குடியை கெடுக்கும்'.  But in the poet's imagination, this gap between arcs / eye-brows is creating problems!  It looks more like a bow that has been cut in half!

 857.               This gap between the reality and imagination is not only in the wooden portion of the bow between the two arcs, but also at the two ends where there has to be the string or chord which connects the two ends.  If the two eyes or the two darlings are what make the binding chord, there is a gap where there is the nose.  There is a gap or brake.  Having created an unbridgeable gap, let us see how the poet bridges these gaps between the arcs, connecting chord and the poet's imagination and reality!  Having created such a problem, then to solve it is the poetical genius of our ÃchãryãL!  He could have got away saying that they are two bows.  Now having mentioned that they are making one bow when put together, he has created more problems.  Now to say that the gap is not a gap, he has further resorted to a fresh imagination!  Now he says that it is the bow of the husband of Rati, that is Manmata – "rati pate: dhanu:" – "रति पते: धनु: मन्ये", saying that, "I think, that it is the bow of the husband of Rati, Mr Manmata"! 

858.                What is the proof of your statement?  Will you show us some?  "Yes, I can – 'त्वदीये नेत्राभ्यां मधुकर रुचिभ्यां धृत गुणं' – That is the proof."  "If you give us reply like this in pure Sanskrit, we are not able to understand.  You see in our country, we have created languages in each part of our land that we have 22 official languages and many more dialects.  In them also, we are not very conversant!  We have done one thing unilaterally.  That is to give the Sanskrit Language an unofficial burial!  So please tell us in Tamil!  (KTSV adds: - Since this is a translation in English, let me continue to tell you in English!)  त्वदीये = your; मधुकर रुचिभ्यां = what looks shiningly like honey bees; नेत्राभ्यां = by the two eyes; धृत गुणं = (this bow) has the chord (connecting the two ends).  Instead of connecting the two the left and right eyes, they have been mentioned separately only.  The black darlings of the eyes are shining and flitting about.  (The third eye is red and that is not being talked about here.  It is being talked about in the next sloka. If I say that much, automatically it will create the interest in you and sustain the same, till it is the turn of that sloka to be explained!)

859.                The powerful eyesight from these two beetle like eyes flitting about, deeply concerned about the welfare of all the birds, animals, plants and living forms of the world are keenly observing, flitting about so fast in succession, those two bees create the impression of a series of bees, so the motion picture in stills will look like a number of bees forming a continuous string!  That looks like the chord of the bow.  Such a bow is that of the husband of Rati that is Manmata, the God of Love. We have talked about 'mourvee madhukara mayee' in sloka No 6 itself.  So it is known as the 'Bow of Manmata'.  That also explains as to why and how, ÃchãryãL was for a period standing completely engrossed.  It is the bow of the God of Love made of Sugar Cane.  From the eyes of the Mother of the Universe her glance is like flow of sugar-cane-juice!  That is what has arrested the mind and attention of our ÃchãryãL!
(To be continued)



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