Wednesday, May 08, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 168 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 168 (Vol # 6) Dated 08 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 page No 1159 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)

நேத்ரமும் க்ஷேத்ரமும்
Eyes & Religiously Important Stations

882.                Appar SwamigaL has authored a poetical work known as 'Kshettirak Kovai' in which the names of many religiously important station's names have been combined.  Similarly our ÃchãryãL also has composed a poem containing names of famous places of religiously historical relevance also having double-word-decoration known as 'Iru-sol-alankaram'; as one of the slokas of Soundarya Lahari (sloka No 49).  (Iru-sol-alankaram is a Tamil word which is a literary gimmick similar to punning, with similar sounding words with different meanings or joined words which could change their meaning if they are joined slightly differently!  You can notice this sloka has many place names which have meaning conveying the message of the song.  Let us go to the sloka, without further ado!)
विशाला कल्याणि स्फुटरुचिर अयोध्या कुवलयै:
vishãlã kalyaaNi sphuta ruchirayodhyã kuvalayai:
कृपाधाराधारा किमपि मधुराऽऽभोगवतिका |
Krupãrãdhãrãdhãrã kimapi madhurã bhogavatikã |
अवन्ती धृष्टिस्ते  बहुनगरविस्तारविजया
avantee dhrishtiste bahunagaravistãra vijayã
ध्रुवं तत्तन्नामव्यवहरणयोग्या विजयते ||
dhruvam tattannaamavyavaharaNayogyã vijayate ||

883.                Now let us look at the meaning.  The sloka says, "ते धृष्टि: = Your vision or sight is; विशाला = broad and; कल्याणि = beneficial for all; स्फुटरुचि: = in apparent brilliance and beauty; कुवलयै: = by the KuvaLai flowers; अयोध्या = unbeatable; कृपाधारा आधारा = (and is) the basis of the flow of Grace; किमपि मधुरा = sweet beyond compare; आभोगवतिका = extremely enjoyable; अवन्ती = protective; बहुनगर विस्तार विजया = your name, fame and victory spread in all those townships; तत् तत् नाम व्यवहरण योग्या = is deserving of the names of all those cities विजयते = and is as such victorious; ध्रुवं = for certain!  In this 'Ayodhya', Bhoja Rajan's capital cities 'Dhara', 'Madura', 'Avanti' (also known as 'Ujjaini'), are all names of cities.  'Visãla' is also a place name only.  Badrinath used to be known by that name. People used to hail the God's name shouting, "Jai Badri Vishãl Lãl ki Jai", which also became the war cry of the Garhwali Regiment in the Indian Army!  In Ramayana Viswãmitra after crossing the Ganges with Sri Rama and Lakshmana, on the way to Mithila is said to have gone through a place known as 'Visãlã'.  KalyaNi is also a place name.  There is a place as 'KalyaN' north of Bombay.  In the state of Karnataka, in Bidar district, there is a 'KalyaNi'.  In the times of our ÃchãryãL that area was known as 'KundaLa Desam' which had 'KalyaNi' as its capital.  Later on when the Vãtãpi ChãLukya dynasty revived after a down fall, this place KalyaNi became their capital and the very dynasty got their name as 'KalyaNi ChaLukya Dynasty'!

884.      Bhogavathy is the name of another city.  A place in Gujarat known as Kambat was also known as 'Bhogavathy' it seems.  What the Britishers called a 'Cambay' was this Kambat only.  In that general area, the Arabian Sea is known as the Gulf of Cambay.  When a big sea erodes in to the land and makes it a huge source of water it was called either a Bay if it was wide enough and Gulf if it was a narrow and a long stretch.  That is how between India and Burma it is the Bay of Bengal and between India and Ceylon it is known as the Gulf of Mannar.  Though there is a Bay in Gulf of Cambay also, it is only a gulf.  The parallel words in Tamil for Bay and Gulf respectively are as follows.  What is wide is called a 'விரிகுடா' and what is a small curve of erosion is called a 'வளைகுடா'.  As the ocean has eroded into the land, in Tamil the word for erosion is 'குடைதல்' and so the word 'குடா' is common for both bay and gulf.  This Gulf of Cambay was a famous port city known as 'Kambat', also known as Bhogavathy it seems.

885.                By Vijaya it is neither meant to be the place Hampi in the Bellary district in Karnataka nor is it in the Telugu land of Vijayanagar in SrikakuLam district.  Before knowing these differences, Hampi was known as Vijaya Nagar where the Empire of that name (Vijaya Nagara Samrajyam) was based and the place in the Telugu land was spelt as Viziyanagar!  Whatever it was, Hampi was famous as the capital of Vijaya Nagara SamrAjyam, as named by one of their first Kings by the name of Bukka Rayan, in honour of his Guru VidyãraNya SwamigaL and named it as Vidya Nagaram, which became Vijaya Nagaram in the middle of the 14th century.  Even the Andhra one by that name was not pre-dated to our ÃchãryãL's time.  So this place Vijaya, may be referring to Kurukshetra, the place Sri Krishna gave Upadesa of Bhagawat Gita to Arjuna.  One of the names of Arjuna was very much this 'Vijayan'.  As it is, it is a famous quotation that, 'wherever Sri Krishna and Arjuna are there, there is Victory'!

886.                Thus the eight names of places listed are not just some run of the mill spots on the map but, famous places of major concentration of populations!  Now, the connection with AmbãL is that, her look embraces and encompasses the whole world covering all the cities and all the people there.  The kings of the world use weapons and force to win over the worlds while she does it with Love and Compassion, expanding her area of influence.  It is that 'expanding areas of influence' that the poet calls as 'बहुनगरविस्तारविजया'!  Though her sight encompasses many more, these eight places have some special significance.  What is that?  It is that, the meaning of these place names, have some relevance to AmbãL's vision that is 'dhrushti' in Sanskrit and that is where, is the 'Iru-sol-alankaram', that I mentioned at the start of the explanation for this sloka.  Relating the meanings of these eight names of the famous cities, to the eye-sight of AmbãL her vision as Vishala / KalyaNi / Ayodhya and so on, have been clearly explained by those who have written the Bhashyams for Soundarya Lahari.  For example, here is the definition as given by Lakshmi Dhara:  Vishala Drushti – A dhrushti that shows inner blooming.  KalyaNi – Is indicative of wonder.  Ayodhya – is to smile with the darlings of the eyes.  'Dhara' – is the sight of tired and sleepy eyes.  Madura – is to look with the slight straining of the eyes.  Bhogawathy – is a friendly inviting look.  Avanti – is an innocent look and Vijaya – is a side long glance!  I am going to cover only the general meaning.

887.                AmbãL's vision is wide open encompassing the whole of existence and so it is 'Vishala'.  Her very look causes general wellbeing to all and so it is 'KalyaNI'.  You just cannot fight with her at all and so her vision is 'Ayodhya' – unbeatable in war.  The Ishvaku Dynasty had named their capital Ayodhya, and had made it so well fortified that nobody dared to go and fight for it!  So that capital had known no war!  Then is the comparison of the eye sight with the flower 'KuvaLai'.  The flowers can be compared with the eyes/ eye sight in many ways.  You can say that it is as good or even better or unbeatable by that flower.  Here the poet simply says that these eyes are capable of beating those flowers hands down – 'ayodhya kuvalayai:'!  As AmbãL's eye-sight is the basis for showering others with Grace, by saying 'krupa – dhãra – ãdhãra' he has punned on dhãra (shower or flow) and ãdhãra (basis) as well as made double use of the name of that city Dhãra!  AmbãL is the very embodiment of 'Mãdhuryam' or sweetness and so you can imagine as how her looks must be!  That is related to the city of Madura.  In the north the city of that name is Mathura and so we can take it that the reference by our ÃchãryãL is to the South Indian City of Madurai as the capital city of the PãNdya Kingdom, where there is the 'Nitya Sannidyam' of Meenakshi AmbãL.  (With childlike innocence and pride, PeriyavãL says 'nammoda' Madurai, touching the centre of his chest meaning, 'our Madurai', while talking about this point!) 

888.                Bhogavathy they say is a place in Prayag.  But since here our ÃchãryãL is talking about only some big and prominent cities, it is not possible for it to be a suburb of another small city!  The capital of the nether worlds of 'PataLa' and the river there are also named as 'Bhogavathy'.  The River Ganges flows in the Heavens, Earth and Hell, known respectively as Mandakini, Bhagirathi and Bhogavathy.  But in this sloka since the talk is about capital cities, it cannot be this river but, must be the Kambat port in the Gulf of Cambay mentioned in paragraph 884 above.  OK, how does that name fit in with the sight of AmbãL?  That word 'Bhogawathy' means 'worthy of enjoyment'!  If one glance of AmbãL were to fall on us, can there be a greater pleasure?  She is the Bhogavathy as the one imparting the pleasure of existence to Easwara!

889.                'Avanti' means 'that which protects.  In the Carnatic classical songs we hear the phrase 'mãmava'.  It is, mãm + ava = mãmava, meaning 'protect me', a prayer made to the divine being.  So, 'ava' means 'protect', 'avanam' means 'protection' and 'avanambikkai' means 'distrust' and 'avanti' is that which protects.  Vikramaditya's kingdom and capital both had this name Avanti.  Later, so as to avoid confusion, it seems the Kingdom was called Avanti and the capital was known as Ujjaini.  Ayodhya, Mathura (if you take the northern one as included), and Avanti; are three of the 'Sapta Moksha Puri', a listing based on certain other criteria!  I have already told you about 'Vijaya'.  As AmbãL's sight that is, 'Dhrushti', visits cities after cities it is, 'बहुनगरविस्तारविजया'.  Though her vision encompasses all the cities of the world and all the worlds of the Universe, these eight places have such names as comprising the qualities of her vision. This the poet has said the other way around, that her vision has those qualities as in the names of those cities – 'तत् तत् नाम व्यवहरण योग्या विजयते', meaning 'whichever cities came under her vision in that 'dig-vijayam' visit, have those endearing qualities of her vision, in their names!

890.                'Nayanam' means to usher, guide and lead the way.  The leader is called as 'Nayakan' is from the root 'naya' and so is 'Neta', supposed to lead and show the way.  We revere Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, don't we? This word Neta is related to the word Netra, the same way Nayakan is related to Nayanam.  So AmbãL's sight, vision and her very eyes can guide us all to greater and greater glories and ever noble paths.  Abhirami Andãdi has very forcibly said – "விழிக்கே துணையுண்டு"!  With her eyes as the friend, guide and philosopher, we have been taken on a tour of all important Kshetrãs all over the sub-continent by our ÃchãryãL, wherein he has related the special qualities of AmbãL's Netras with the names and meanings of important Kshetrãs, so beautifully with poetical brilliance and élan!

(To be continued.)




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