DEIVATHIN KURAL # 180 (Vol #
6) Dated 01 June 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 1248 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
1018. After the description of the neck the hands of AmbãL are glorified
in two slokas No 70 and 71. Normally the
hands are compared with the lotus, isn't it?
Accordingly one sloka relates to Brhma who is 'Lotus born' – 'Padma
Sambhava' and in the next his mother Padmavati.
When Swami punishes protection is given by the mother – AmbãL. Brhma had five heads like Parameswara and got
too much of head weight. As a punishment
Swami removed one of them, just like plucking a flower or fruit from a plant. His other four heads were saved by the act of
his running to AmbãL and praying to her.
She saved him by covering his four heads with her four hands! Earlier in the fourth sloka having said that
she gives 'Abhayam' without showing any Abhaya Hastam, here it is proved that she
gives protection by all the four hands!
Brhma himself is 'sarasija bhava' – 'सरसिज भव' – meaning lotus born. AmbãL's
hands are also like lotus only. From the
shoulders down to the wrist the hand is like the lotus stem and the end portion
of hand itself is like the lotus flower.
So Brhma prays to AmbãL so that each of his heads may be saved by each
of her Hastam, says our ÃchãryãL the poet!
1019. Then it occurred to him that he had not done full justice to
the hands of AmbãL in the comparison. So
he made amends for the error in the very next sloka by relating the lotus
flower to Lakshmi Devi! I am analysing
his thought process. "In AmbãL's
hands the finger tips and nails especially are so deeply red without any
cosmetics that the lotus petals are nowhere near in redness. In fact their colour is whitish, close to
pink. How can the lotus match this hue
of deep red? Anyhow I have made this
statement by the power of expression given by AmbãL only and it cannot be far
wrong! So, let me gallop this horse of
imagination a little further." He is
conversing with AmbãL herself, "Ume!
Katham katayãma: kataya!" –" उमे! कथं कथयाम:, कथय!"; – meaning "Uma! You tell
me as to how, am I going to describe this?" Thus in the 71 sloka the poet
has expressed his 'agony and ecstasy'; 'agony' of not finding a suitable
comparison and the 'ecstasy' part is more of a 'make-do' or rather a compromise
of being able to make amends!
1020. What is the compromise?
Lakshmi is said to live in the lotus, isn't it? May be due to her feet, which are also said
to be 'lotus like', the lotus is getting some extra red-hue. Not only that. Her feet are smeared with red arrack and she
may be just touching the lotus petals playfully with her feet. So the red hue of the lotus petals may be
further enhanced. May be then the
redness of the flower could match the redness of the hands of AmbãL, just fractionally! That is the compromise solution for
justification. Even then instead of
saying that the lotus has equalled the hands of AmbãL in redness, the poet
says, 'Somehow, let them get some equality' – 'kayãchidva Sãmyam bhajatu kalaya'
– 'कयाचिद्वा साम्यं भजतु कलया'! The idea is that, since Lakshmi's name has
been taken, AmbãL's hands will grant all wealth to the listener or reader of
these slokas, as additional benefits.
in the 'Kesãdi Pãda VarNana', the poet has described the chin in the sloka
No 72 and then comes down to the breasts in the next sloka No 73. In it the poet says that her milk is not just
equal to Amrita the divine nectar but much more than that, for which he also provides
the logic. The Devas who have partaken
Amrita are ever in the middle-age and do not attain to old age. But
Ganapathy and SubrahmaNya do not even attain to middle-age but ever remain
young – 'kumãrou adhyãpi' – 'कुमारौ अध्यापि', as
Thiru Murugãrruppadai says, 'என்றும் இளையாய்'. What does it mean? Without giving in to sensuality and
salaciousness, they remain epitomes of Gnãna as small children are 'avidita
vadhu sanga rasikou kumãrou' – 'अविदित वधू सङ्गरसिकौ
कुमरौ' – without knowing anything about copulation with women. Bhagawat PadãL our Acharyal is saying that
'in our minds – 'na: manasi' – 'न: मनसि',
there is not the slightest craving for sexual gratification', including himself
with those two children of AmbãL, as he took Sannyãsa directly from infancy! (He has every right to include himself for
one more reason, of having had partaken that milk. We will come to that shortly.)
who move from childhood to adulthood without ever touching old age, are forever
given to bodily cravings only! So
evidently, better than the Amrita from the Ocean of Milk (Ksheera Sãgara),
the milk of Gnãna from AmbãL is far better, isn't it? In South India Ganapathy is believed to be a
'nitya Brhmachari' while SubrahmaNya is with VaLLi and Devasena. In the North India is SubrahmaNya who is a
Brhmachari while it is GaNesha who is with Siddhi and Buddhi or Vallabha. Our ÃchãryãL who was essentially a Brhmachari
celibate has co-opted South Indian GaNesha and North Indian SubrahmaNya aka
Karthikeya and composed this sloka showing that the milk of AmbãL is the giver
1023. In a
subsequent sloka (No 75), the poet is saying that the divine milk of AmbãL
causes the one who has taken that milk to not only become a Gnãni but, also gives
him the ability to versify his knowledge and awareness in to poetry so as to share it with all the people
of the world. He says, "Mother! Your breast milk that imparts Gnãna,
love, kindness and beauty, that is all coming from your heart like an ocean –
'hrudayata: paya: pãrãvãra: parivahati' – 'ह्रुदयत: पय: पारावार: परिवहति'. It is like the essence of the gifts of the
Goddess of all Learning, Knowledge and Arts, Saraswathi – 'sãraswatham iva' – 'सारस्वतम् इव'. That Gnãna
you fed to the baby of the Tamil lands – 'drãvida sisu' – 'द्रविड शिशु' – 'தமிழ்க்
குழந்தை'," he says. So, what happened? He has not only bypassed the bodily urges, he
has also become such a poet who wins over the heart of well- known and famous
poets – 'kaveenãm proudãnãm
ajani kamaneeya: kavayitã – 'कवीनां प्रौढानाम अजनि कमनीय: कवयिता'!
1024. This phrase 'प्रौढ कवि' means a
poet with a sound literary ability, not immature and not too old. When a girl moves from childhood and steps
into adulthood, as they say in English, 'comes of age', she is called 'प्रौढा' pronounced
as 'proudhã'. When the enzymes of
adulthood are flowing in the blood some effect will be noticeable as boosting
of ego and a bit of head-weight or being proud!
The effect will be seen in one's writing also. Cleverness and mental gymnastics will be more
and the ability to attract the heart will be less. But this poet who said the milk of divine
kindness of AmbãL is flowing like an ocean of milk – 'पय: पारावार: परिवहति'; added to the many other
springs and floods of kindness, beauty, and beneficence that have been
described in this Soundarya Lahari; has affirmed that this 'Dravidian child'
which has drunk that milk, is capable of writing poetry that will touch the
hearts of all its readers including the expert litterateurs with distinction.
1025. Normally people in the south are all aware of the story in
which there is this baby who was virtually a toddler aged only three, not yet
capable of talking except possibly for lisping as only small children can do! The toddler had followed his father when he was
proceeding to the temple pond to have a dip in the water. The baby had followed him but suddenly found
the father missing and cried due to hunger and fear. AmbãL came down from the heavens and breast
fed the baby. When the father came out
of the water he was surprised to find milk on the child's lips and chin. When he asked the baby as to who had given
him milk, the child who had not spoken even a few words, burst out in an
impromptu song of his creation, pointing out at the sky. His name is known to most of us as Thiru Gnãna
Sambandar who is one of the famous foursome out of the 63 Nãyanmãrs who have sung
the Thevãram songs. So the moment we
say, Dravida Sisu or 'தமிழ்க் குழந்தை', it is construed to be
referring to Thiru Gnãna Sambandar.
1026. But I had told you as to how this epithet Dravida Sisu or 'தமிழ்க்
குழந்தை' could also mean our ÃchãryãL as a similar but different drama
had occurred in his life too! (Please
refer to paragraphs 819 and 820 of Deivathin Kural # 132 (Vol # 5) Dated 23 Feb
2012 for details.) Here anyhow he is
writing in all humility, without claiming, "I am the one who had drunk the
divine milk of Gnãna" accompanied to beating of his own chest, but as
though he is referring to a third person.
Malayalam evolved as a language only a thousand years back or so. Before that Tamil was the language there and
Kerala was also Dravidian Desam only. So
there are sufficient grounds for our ÃchãryãL to be known as Dravida Sisu,
about which we can all be rightfully proud!
(Please note that I am not saying that the epithet 'Dravida Sisu' is
only applicable to one of them, Thiru Gnãna Sambandar or our ÃchãryãL exclusively,
but to either with reference to the context.)
1027. We all know that our ÃchãryãL is an epitome of humbleness. Such a humble person, even when he is talking
about as though referring to a third party, should not be saying that he has
become a 'kamaneeya kavi' much sought after by well-established maestros, since
it can mean some self-praise indirectly, isn't it? But when you think about it deeply, you will
note that there is no indirect self-praise involved. Here what is being praised is the greatness
of AmbãL's milk of divine kindness that imparts Gnãna, health, wealth and
poetical excellence! When talking about
that, it is natural and appropriate that an example is quoted about the boost
given to those who have been lucky and ordained to get the benefit of that
milk! He who had earlier prayed to AmbãL saying, "Amma, here I am in this
forgotten corner of I do not know where, please let your glance fall on me also",
it is very much on the cards for him to say that AmbãL's divine milk had lifted
him from the doldrums to the pinnacle of Everest of literary eminence!
1028. There are many stories and anecdotes about 'Dravida Sisu' by
many researchers who have not found the end of it despite much investigation
and analysis. We need not bother about
it and it does not make any difference as to who it is. We do not even need the poetical
abilities. All we need is a thirst for
the grace of AmbãL to impart that Gnãna, for which we may continue praying with
pleasure and hope!
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