Friday, May 24, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol # 6) Dated 24 May 2013


DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol # 6) Dated 24 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 1219 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 constantly)

968.        We left the last edition of Deivathin Kural with the question as to who will be getting AmbãL's 'Uchchishtam' that is, 'எச்சில்', while also being 'Utkrushtam' that is, highly valuable and already munched by AmbãL, as Prasada!  It is not some devotee or Rishi or Kavi from the earth aka Bhooloka, who gets it!  It is her own darling child Kumãraswami aka SubrahmaNya Swami, Indra who got Brhma Upadesa from her as given in Kenopanishad and Maha Vishnu who is her alter ego in male form! 

969.        In Bhagawat Gita Sri Krishna Paramãtma says that, – 'senãneenãm aham Skanda:' – 'सेनानीनां अहं स्कन्द:' meaning that ' amongst soldiers he is Skanda aka Kumãraswami'. The name of Skanda's highly efficient special weapon is a Spear, known as the 'Vel' or Shakti or Shakti-Vel; that gets him great victories!  His spear itself is Parãshakti in another form.  Since Skanda went to war against the Asuras as the Commander of the divine forces of Devas, Indra the King of Devas accompanies him in getting this 'Uchchishtam' from AmbãL.  This third in the lot is Maha Vishnu.  To mean that he is ever close to Indra, Maha Vishnu has a name as Upendra.  He has such a name because he was born to Indra's parents Atiti and Kashyap in Vamana Avatara.  So, he is a brother of Indra also.  Putting the names of the three together the poet has mentioned, ('Visãka + Indra + Upendra) Visãkendropendra', as the ones who had the opportunity to partake the Uchchishtam from AmbãL. Kumãraswami has returned home with his comrades in arms after a battle.  Their only aspiration is to just have a little bit of what Mother is eating! Don't children fight to have just a tiny bit of what the Mother is munching!

970.        Prior to the birth of Kumãraswami, on an earlier occasion when the Devas won a battle with the Asuras, they became too proud that is was all their own doing.  At that time Parãshakti caused them all to become too small and challenged them to move a piece of straw.  The Devas tried one by one and finally finding it beyond their abilities, Indra was the first one to give up his haughty attitude, realise his limitations and became humble enough.  At that time AmbãL gave him Brhmopadesa and made him understand that, it is the one undivided power of Brhmam which is the basis for all the incomplete partite pieces of powers and abilities!  This story is the main message of Kenopanishad.  The three Devas Visãka (another name for Kumãraswami), Indra and Upendra, are coming in a hurry this time after the battle with Asuras, to surrender their victories to AmbãL, do prostrations before her and receive the Uchchishta Prasãda from her.
971.        AmbãL will only feed others and not even think of eating herself.  She accepts a variety of eats as Neivedyam only so that her devotees may have all sorts of sweets and savouries as her Prasãda.  In her own house she does not need any food.  As becoming of a Sumangali it is enough if she munches on Tãmboolam.  That is what she will do.  If you keep munching the 'Pãn' (another name for Tãmboolam) your hunger will be sated, (PeriyavãL says with a laugh).  In that household Swami gets enough eatables as Neivedyam, lest he may run away with a begging bowl as a BikshãNdi (meaning itinerant beggar)!  Now when SubrahmaNya Swami, Maha Vishnu and Indra came back from a battle, Swami's lunch was over and a whole lot of eatables were available.  But they didn't even look in that direction!  More than Daddy's left overs, they are avidly looking for only Mummy's Uchchishtam!  For this our ÃchãryãL the poet, is giving an indication of reason, in sign language in a subtle way.

972.        He says – 'chandãmsa tripurahara nirmãlya vimukai:' – 'चण्डांश त्रिपुरहर निर्माल्य विमुखै:' meaning 'being not interested in residuum Prasãda of Easwara, that is normally Chandikeshwara's share.  What does it mean really?  Out of what are the left-overs of the Neivedyam for Easwara, the first right goes to his lieutenant Chandikeshwara.  Having offered to him, still what is left as balance only can be given to others as per tradition.  We as human beings on the earth, when we do the pooja to the family of Easwara, include Chandikeshwara as the fifth after, Swami, AmbãL, GaNapathi and SubrahmaNya.  In the temples of Siva during taking the Utsava Murthys around the temple or town, among the five taken out, he Chandikeshwara is included.  Thus the residuum after offering to him becomes the cherished 'Siva Prasada', which we may accept with love.  But for SubrahmaNya as the son of the Siva & AmbãL; for Indra as the King of Devas and Maha Vishnu who has half of the body of Siva as Sankara-Narayana Murthy, the residual Prasãda of one who has been a human being and then become a Deva, is a bit of an unacceptable proposition!  This is indirectly indicated when the poet says, 'chndãmsa nirmãlys vimukhai:' – 'छन्दांस निर्माल्य विमुखै:' Here 'nirmãlyam' means residuum and 'vimukhai:' literally means 'having turned their faces away' as anyhow, 'not wanted'.

973.        "It is by AmbãL's anugraha we have defeated the Asuras for which we should thank her, do Namaskãra to her and in all gratitude, we must get her Prasãda", the three are very keen about.  "We must go in front of her like beggars and fall in her feet like children.  We should not go like brave soldiers with much of pomposity, they feel."  So they throw away their head-gears.  Normally when going to catch a thief, people start off with a thick cloth tied around their head may be to avoid getting beaten on the head, don't they?  Giving that a higher status in the police and army they have a Toupee or Helmet.  But while going to meet respected elders of the society, you are supposed to go with a bare head.  So, these three have removed their head-dress – 'apahruta sirastrai:' – 'अपहृत शिरस्त्रै:' in which the first word means 'removed' and the second word means 'head-gear'.  That is the state of this Son Muruga and Sishya Indra and this Brother Vishnu, while approaching AmbãL.  (PeriyavãL makes a joke here saying, "If I refer to Vishnu elder brother of AmbãL as 'ANNa' – 'அண்ணா', as it will not be suitable to the occasion, I am simply saying sibling!"

974.        If the custom is to remove the head-gear while paying your respect to elders and seniors, how is that it is said in one of the sloka seen earlier, there is description of a scene in which AmbãL is getting up suddenly to go forward and receive her Swami and her assistants are warning her to be careful not to trip on the crowns of Brhma, Vishnu and Indra, who are supposedly lying prostrate in front of her?  We have to take it that they were doing so, that in their ardour, they had even forgotten the normal custom!  Though here, the poet has said that SubrahmaNya, Indra and Vishnu had removed their head-dress, he has not said that they had removed their 'Kavach' or body-armour, as he says that they are – 'अपहृत शिरस्त्रै: कवचिभि:' meaning that they are still wearing the Kavach!  In fact if not the shirt, they should have removed the body-armour, isn't it?  The only reason that occurs to me is that, 'whether it is a crown or helmet, it is easily removable, while removal of body-armour is something else in which may be, you have to remove many buttons, screws and straps.  So these three in their avidity, just discarded the Toupee or Helmet and rushed forward, evidently.

975.        Like children coming home from school wanting to tell their mother about their having passed in the examination, these three have come to inform this Mother of their victory in battle.  Don't children say, "I don't want anything else, I want what you are eating, give me that!"  With extreme love she shares her 'Uchchishtam' with them!  Tãmboolam by itself is 'Parama Mangalam' and that too directly what she had been munching is even better!  One more thing, that Tãmboolam is called, 'வெற்று + இலை = வெற்றிலை', meaning just a leaf!  But, that is also a leaf indicating 'வெற்றி' or victory in war!  It is in appreciation of their present victory and blessing for future also.  But, all this I am saying.  But ÃchãryãL did not explain all this further.  He just finishes with saying that they were just swallowing the Prasada so given, possibly because that Prasada gives such indescribably huge benefits!

976.        Generally it is said that AmbãL's Uchchishta Tãmboolam gives a tremendous boost to one's poetical mastery and competence.  KãLi Dãsa, KãLamegha Pulavar and Mooka are said to have received the 'Uchchishta Tãmboola Prasada' from Ujjaini KãLi Mãtã, AkhilãNdeswari of Jambukeswara and Kãnchi Kãmãkshi respectively.  ÃchãryãL has written this Ambãshtakam in which he has said that her Tãmboola Uchchishtam gives the poetical speed and stride superior to the gait of a pedigree horse!  His poem itself goes in such style that one reading it cannot help feeling as though he is riding a horse!  But in Soundarya Lahari, he has said that the poetical acumen is given by her 'tava stanyam' – 'तव स्तन्यं', meaning the milk of her breast, in sloka No 75 and the 'tava charaNa nirNejana jalam' – 'तव चरण निर्णेजन जलं', meaning water from washing her feet, in sloka No 98 and not talked about the Tãmboola Uchchishtam like that!

978.        In fact while talking about the 'CharaNa Jalam' (in sloka No 98), he says that the poetical brilliance as given by Saraswathi Devi's Tãmboola Uchchishtam – 'vãNee mukha kamala tãmboolam' – 'वाणी मुख कमल ताम्बूलं', is given by the water from AmbãL's feet; thereby saying that it is superior in comparison.  That water will also be red like the Uchchishtam as it would have been reddened by red paint of Lac or Kumkum on her feet.  He our ÃchãryãL as a student – 'vidyãrthee' – 'विध्यार्थी' meaning the one who is yearning for knowledge asks with extreme docility says, "When will I ever get to drink that CharaNa Teertam, please?"  He calls himself a student, this Teacher for the World, who had seen the far ends of Brhma Vidya and Sri Vidya!  When he says that even born deaf and dumb are made to pour out in poetical excellence and exuberance – 'prakrutyã mookãnapi' – 'प्रकृत्या मूकानपि'; it looks as though he could see through the future that one day such a poet by the name of Mooka (meaning dumb) would be there who, from being a dumb man from birth would cascade with a torrent of wonderful poems after partaking the Uchchishta Tãmboolam from Kãnchi Kãmãkshi!

979.        Going on bended knees our ÃchãryãL is imploring, "When will I ever get a chance to drink your CharaNa Amrita?"  He says – 'kãdã kãle pibheyam?' – 'कदा काले पिभेयं?' just like Thãyum Ãnavar sang pleading and beseeching 'YennãLo, YennãLo?' – 'எந்நாளோ, எந்நாளோ?'!  Thus all said and done, it is not mentioned anywhere in Soundarya Lahari that AmbãL's Tãmboola rasa gives poetical acumen.  If so, the question will arise as to when and where have Muruga, Indra and Maha Vishnu are said to have written poetry?  So let us simply accept it as a welcome for victorious soldiers by AmbãL and as I said a few minutes earlier that, 'it gives untold benefits that are not easily defined by words' and as left unsaid by our ÃchãryãL!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva 

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