Thursday, May 16, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 172 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 172 (Vol # 6) Dated 16 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 1190 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)

926.                Sloka No 57:  –
दृशा द्राघीयस्या दरदलितनीलोत्पलरुचा
drushã drãgheeyasyã daradalita leelotpalat ruchã
दवीयांसं दीनं स्नपय कृपया मामपि शिवे |
daveeyãmsam deena snapaya krupayã mãmapi shive |
अनेनायं धन्यो भवति न च ते हानिरियता
anenãyãm dhanyo bhavati na cha te hãniriyatã
वने वा हर्म्ये वा समकरनिपातो हिमकर: ||
vane vã harmye vã samakaranipãto himakara: ||

927.                Meaning of the Sloka. The word दृशा means by looking or by her sight.  The poet is talking about the eye sight of AmbãL. द्राघीयस्या means by being far reaching in the comparative degree.  By being farther than anything with which it can be compared with, her Katãksham should be taken as the farthest reaching, from her long eyes!  As against short and narrow eyes, long eyes are considered as a mark of beauty.  A mother would like to always keep her children within her eye sight.  Whether the baby is in 'Dhooli' or bed, playing in the garden or in another room, she will often come around and keep having a look.  For AmbãL all the living beings, whether it is a plant or bird or animal, great artist or manager, king or a beggar, they are all equally important to her!  That is, her 'dhrushti' reaches the far corners of existence! 

928.                Where is that limit?  Scientists say that this is not the only solar system.  There may be as many solar systems as there are stars.  With the aids for observation existing today, we can roughly calculate that there may be some 300 sextillion stars in the known universe.  Constellations are not a permanent grouping of stars.  There may be many constellations not yet observed.  As a rough estimate the scientists say that there are some 200 billion galaxies and the known universe is some 156 billion light years across.  If this unlimited universe is within her eye sight that means that her sight is also unlimited.  However huge the universe may be, her eye sight reaches there also – 'द्राघीयस्या'!  If her eye sight is so encompassing, it means that it does not evaluate or assess worth but, encompasses equally!  OK, if that is the range, reach and impartiality of her vision, what is the quality of that?

929.                It is, in his words, 'दरदलितनीलोत्पलरुचा'.  What does it mean?  We take this word 'ruchi' to mean 'taste' as discerned by the tongue.  Though this meaning is there in Sanskrit also, it has a special connotation to indicate the 'light' as discerned by the eyes.  In an earlier sloka (No 48), we have seen the use of this word in that meaning, where he has used almost a similar phrase as, 'दरदलित + हेम + अम्बुज + रुचि: = दरदलितहेमांबुजरुचि:' to mean that her eyes were having the golden hue of the lotus. So, here instead of 'हेमांबुज', we have 'नीलोत्पल'.  The golden red hue is of the middle eye and this 'नीलोत्पल' applies to both the right and left eyes of dark blue colour.  With two letters of 'L' and no other harsh spelling, the word 'Nilotpal' itself is soft and sweet like her name Lalitha.  As the jeweller chooses and selects the size, shape and their relative setting of each and every gem in the ornament, the poet that is, the 'Sahitya Karta' looks in to and weighs each and every word for their intrinsic and relative sound, meaning and meaning as conveyed by the sound!

930.                In Thiruvãroor, AmbãL in the 'Moolasthãnam' that is, the 'sanctum-sanctorum' is named 'NilotpalãmbaL' or 'KamalãmbãL'. You may already know that 'Kamala' means lotus.  Neela + Utpal = Nilotpal, meaning that it is arising from the blue waters and it is also Neela in colour, that is known as 'Karunkuvalai' in Tamil or the dark blue lotus.  In red lotus flower if there is a bright shine in the Nilotpal it is a soft brightness.  Though both are lotus flowers only, the difference between these two flowers is like that between the, the Sun and the Moon.  AmbãL's two eyes soaked in kindness are pleasant and cool like the Nilotpal with, just a drop or two of water shining like pearls, on its surface but not sticking to it.  (KTSV adds: - There is an inherent problem in translating from Tamil to English.  Tamil is mainly the language of South India of temperate climate and English as the Language mainly of England is of cold climate.  So, what is pleasantly cool and nice in Tamil is warm and nice in English.)

931.                AmbãL's eyes are ever patrolling the whole of the universe in cool care like the Nilotpal soaked in water.  The shape of her eyes is, like that of that flower Nilotpal, the same blue hue of the pupil.  Here PeriyavãL is punning on 'neeLam' and 'neelam' meaning 'long' and 'blue' respectively.  They are both, the eyes and the flower equally cool and similarly twittering.  The flowers move with the wind and movement of the water while her eyes are moving everywhere because of her concern and care.  The brightness of her eyes is not glaring like that of 'hemãmbujam', but the 'ruchã' or shine is a pleasant blue.  The poet is praying to the right and left eyes only and not to the 'lalãta netra' of red hemãmbujam.  We know of its power and effect, isn't it?  Though she has the third eye, there is no account of when she has ever opened them!

932.                Instead of saying just Nilotpal, he has given adjectives as 'dara-dalita'.  To be ever so slightly open is this 'dara-dalita'.  The word 'dalita' means a light opening, which is not yet a full bloom.  The red lotus blooms to the rays of the Sun.  This Nilotpal opens on the touch of the rays of the moon.  The moment the 'chandra rasmi' that is, moon-light touches the Nilotpal flower it gives an impetus that the flower responds with an almost inaudible 'tup'!  If the word 'dalita' is an adjective, it has been given another adjective, 'dara' to mean 'just'.  So, 'dara-dalita' as I said means 'just ever so slightly open'!  The shape of the Nilotpal when fully blossomed will not be like that of an eye. Only when it is still a bud, it can look like the eye.  But that will look like the closed eye.  To be compared with the eyes of AmbãL the Nilotpal has to be a bud, which is slightly open, because the poet has reiterated the fact that AmbãL's eyes are never closed because of her constant concern and care of all the life forms of the universe!

933.                So, does it mean that her eyes are fully open?  No, not that either as that will not be very correct.  Fully open eyes will mean glaring and that is not care and concern, but anger or surprise!  In graceful kindness the eyes will be slightly closed and slightly open, just a little bit.  When AmbãL is directing her love and grace on us all, they will be like these buds of Nilotpal, ever so slightly open – that is described by the poet as 'dara dalita nilotpala rucha'.  It is in this state that the flower has subtle and greater beauty.  It is as though the flower is saying, "There is something inside; that I will not show you and also not reveal to you.  By showing you a glimpse, I will make you to be desirous of knowing what is there further!"  It is such a stage in which the flower is an interesting puzzle.  Don't the poets and suspense writers similarly, create avid interest in the minds of the readers, revealing some and hiding the rest?

934.                If you look at the Nilotpal flowers, nearer the base the petals will be seen to become white and a little green further lower.  Even in the red lotus that is, 'செந்தாமரை', if you look at the petals, you may notice that a little lower than the half it becomes slightly white and further below there is no red colour at all.  So, like the silk cloth, shimmering as though polished with oil, the flower Nilotpal looks fully blue only when it is slightly bloomed.  If it is fully blossomed, then the white colour will be rather apparent.  The pupils of AmbãL's eyes are fully blue with no white.  So when it is slightly open others can see the pupil only and not the white of the eye.  This makes it more apt that the adjective 'dalita' has been further qualified with 'dara', to mean that the eyes are so slightly open.  The last word of that phrase 'rucha' means 'by its shine'.  Thus the first line 'दृशा द्राघीयस्या दरदलितनीलोत्पलरुचा', means, 'by the far reaching vision of yours which shines like the slightly open blue lotus flowers'.  When we say ('deerga drushti' or 'deerga darsan') of far reaching vision of AmbãL,   we are including the past and future, as well as here, there and everywhere; in time and space!

935.                The next line of the sloka is, 'दवीयांसं दीनं स्नपय कृपया मामपि शिवे |'.  Having rhymed with four words starting with the letter 'da', in the first line, the poet continues with two more words – 'दवीयांसं and दीनं', starting with the same letter.   Then these two words 'द्राघीयस्या' and 'दवीयांसं' are similar sounding.  These are all rhymes of sound.  A thousand times more superior than all the rhymes are the matching of the meanings of those words – the reason aspect of the phrase, 'rhyme and reason'.  He calls AmbãL as 'शिवे' – 'மஹா மங்கள ரூபிணியே!' – addressing her as the 'Mother, the very personification of benevolence!'  The first word in the line – 'दवीयांसं' – like the – 'द्राघीयस्या ' in the first line is also a word of the comparative degree.  As we said that more than the reach of the universe AmbãL's vision is reaching farther – 'द्राघीयस्या', the poet is saying that her Katãksham is farther away by this word – 'दवीयांसं'!  From whom is her Katãksham farther away?  It is farther away from this 'दीनं', this poor man, suffering, pitiable and useless low down character.  This one word 'deena' has all these meanings. 

936.                Even this low down character 'deena', he says, bathe him – 'snapaya'.  Clean up this chap, 'krupayã' he prays.  In what should he be bathed?  Should he be bathed in the river, in the pond, in hot water or sheer cold water?   No, none of these things!  By your sight, 'drusã' – "My Dear Mother, you have to bathe him by your Kataksha Amrita!  It is not enough if some drop of it fall on him, but you have to bathe him in a flood of it!"   If you read the first line again, there doesn't seem to be any need for such pleading.  Without any evaluation of worth, her vision goes on extending to cover all living beings, isn't it?  Then why should he be pleading like this 'snapaya krupayã'?  Because, the poet says, that this 'deena' is not like any of the living beings, seemingly.  Evidently or possibly he has been banished even beyond!  If he is banished from this epitome of kindness – AmbãL, he must be really a 'gone case'!  Who is he?  It is now that, the very crunch point of the whole of the 100 poems of Soundarya Lahari comes and our ÃchãryãL's humility comes up – 'मामपि'!  That phrase 'मामपि' is a combination of 'mãm + api' meaning, 'even me'!  "That 'deena' is nobody else other than me, who may also please be included", he prays!

(To be continued.)




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