Sunday, June 09, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 184 (Vol # 6) Dated 09 June 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 184 (Vol # 6) Dated 09 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 the middle of page No 1274 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)

1061.      ÃchãryãL's concern was twofold.  He wished that serious devotees capable of applying themselves for sustained and disciplined efforts should take up the Yantra Ãrãdhanã!  But simultaneously we have to take note of the fact that adopting Yantra Ãrãdhanã was like walking on 'razor's edge' really!  So, one can easily visualize that, there are two types of errors possible.  One is for someone incapable of sustained disciplined efforts taking up Yantra Ãrãdhanã due to some fanciful idea and then suffering unpredictable negative effects personally that would also have some deleterious effect on the society!  Then there is   the likelihood of looking at the divine relationship between AmbãL and Siva in a crude and gross manner as it happens on stages such as dramas, cinemas and television serials, which as I said earlier will prove to be something like going for a ceremonial bath and ending with smearing oneself with muck!  Though in olden times of our ÃchãryãL, people must have approached these issues with greater care and caution, He must have felt it necessary and his duty to obviate the wrong approaches even in the future!

1062.      Compared to those days of the past, systems are failing and nowadays the general attitude is one of 'Anything Goes'.  But mostly even now, those who go in for simply chanting the slokas and doing PãrãyaNam for the sake of understanding the slokas, comprehending the meaning, getting them by-heart or like children practicing for participating in competitions; are quite serious and sincere enough!  Mark the word 'mostly' when I started the above sentence, because there are also those who read these slokas without devotion, out of curiosity, for research, as studying a piece of classic literature and those who are interested mainly in finding faults with the Hindu or Indian approaches and systems!  So, it is necessary to point out that right from the time of composition of these slokas, ÃchãryãL has warned against a flippant and disrespectful approach to chanting of these slokas!

1063.      If there was a time when people were careful not to cater to the base instincts in human beings since 'Man is also an animal only' in some ways, now-a-days there are more people who write for that purpose only and blatantly do so, justifying their actions!  If it is a sin to go astray from the morally right path; it is a greater sin to cause people to go astray from the morally rightful path tending towards injustice!  This point is not understood by many. But the poet of Soundarya Lahari, our ÃchãryãL correctly recognizing his responsibilities as the author, is talking about the correct attitude one should have while reading 'Soundarya Lahari'!  Total control of the mind and 'Indriya Nigraha' that is, 'restraining of the senses' may not be possible for many.  If we say that 100% of 'mano and Indriya Nigraha', as a precondition, there may not be one in millions!  So we should have it that those who are trying to control their minds and senses, at least during PãrãyaNam and Pooja or at least intend to exercise such self- control, should be enabled to do read, study, do PãrãyaNam and also go on to take up Sri Vidya procedures of Sri Chakra Upãsana!

 1064.     Having gone on describing AmbãL happily all along, to suddenly insert a 'Warning' in bold letters would have proved to be the sort of a sudden jerk, in an otherwise royal procession!  So the poet has taken the pains to cloth such warning also in an acceptably indirect manner!  So, instead of telling the readers to have self-discipline and control during Upãsana / Pooja / PãrãyaNa, the poet is telling AmbãL as to what happens to those who are calling on her without control over their minds / senses, in the 95th sloka!  Swami has destroyed the three places of 'Tripura' and AmbãL is in his 'Antahpura' and is known as 'Tripura Sundari'!  ÃchãryãL starts addressing her, 'purãrãte: antahpuram asi' – 'पुराराते: अन्त: पुरमसि', meaning, 'instead of looking at you as the Queen Consort of Siva the Tripurari, who had put to ashes all the three worlds of Tripura; if people were to look at you as made of mortal constituents of flesh and blood, it would be a big mistake!  To pray at your feet is not easy for people with a fickle mind and unbridled senses! 

1065.      You are to be approached or thought of only with strict control over one's mind and senses, because – 'tvat charaNayo: saparya maryãda tarala karaNãnãm asulabhã' – 'त्वत चरणयो: सपर्या मर्यादा तरल-करणानाम असुलभा', it is 'not easy' for the unrestrained!  So, he says that Devas like Indra who lack in self-control and sense-control are held up far away at the entrance to her abode, many crores of Yojanas away from the centre.  One Yojana is about eight or nine miles.  In Nava ÃvaraNa Chakra there are nine such concentric circles with their separate entrances.  So the inner area is virtually crores of miles away from the first entrance, where people with uncontrolled minds are held up, where the Guards are the 'Ashta Maha Siddhis'!  If AmbãL is happily with her husband in the centre of Nava ÃvaraNa Yantra in the 'Sarva Ãnanda Maya Chakra', it is evident that people without any control on their minds and senses are not likely to be anywhere near but outside of the outer compound!

1066.      There is not just one compound but, three square compounds.  At the outermost entrance are the eight 'Anima' etcetera Siddhis as Devatas as gate keepers.  Thus there are many soldiers and their commanders who are located in all the nine successive inner compounds / ÃvaraNãs and gates!  AmbãL is the Mahãrãgni, the one and only Supreme Commander of the forces!  So by her orders these successive level commanders will sanction to the devotees.  So the Nava-ÃvaraNa-Pooja in a way, is the symbolic representation of what really happens in life as to the progress made by people by self-discipline, control of the senses and the right attitude and approach to God personally and other people of the world socially!  So the Nava-ÃvaraNa-Pooja will be addressed to each one of the important members of that family as a devotional drama!  But the seriousness and intensity of the approach will not be permitted to become easy-going, as the devotees strictly follow the rituals, actions, offerings and Upachãra with the corresponding mantra at various stages as per strict procedures!

1067.      If you host a party for the President, instead of stopping only with the President, you do arrange for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers do get invited.  Then some VIPs and some other dignitaries may also be invited.  Then arrangements are also made for taking care of the Personal Assistant (P.A. to the President), the car driver, right down the front door darwãn, isn’t it?  They may also do some good thing for us in various ways or we may not be directly involved with them at all!  But when it comes to hospitality we extend our attention and care to them all, don't we?  Similarly all the Devatas get their due, during the Nava ÃvaraNa Pooja.  So starting from the President, as you come down the order, when it comes to the darwãn, the level must be the lowest and if you have to go to him for a help, I am sure that you will agree that what you get from them is also likely to be way down low!

1068.      Now, what you get at the outer most level gate-keepers?  The darwãn-s at the outer most gate in the Sri-Chakra are the 'Ashta Maha Siddhi' the fantastic abilities of Anima, Garima, Mahima, Lagima, Prãpti, Prãkãmya, Ishitva, and Vashitva; meaning, becoming as small as the atom, infinitely heavy,  infinitely huge, almost weightless, ease of access anywhere, knowing other's minds, overall lordship and irresistible attractiveness; respectively!  Adding two more to this list, there are said to be ten Devatas at this outermost gate of outermost compound!   Who are the people waiting here for permission to move in?  They are the, 'shata makha mukhã: amarã:' – 'शत मख मुखा: अमरा:' celestials who have done hundreds of Yagas like Indra!   What is this?  Isn't Indra much higher in standing? He went with Maha Vishnu and SubrahmaNya for AmbãL's Uchchishta Tãmboolam isn't it?  Why should he be fraternising with the gate keepers here?  Isn't it much below his dignity and standing?

1069.      Point to understand is that in the way things are, there have been many heads of Devatas holding the position of Indra, which is only an appointment for a period.  In a period that is known as a 'Kalpa Kãlam' – for human being it lasts for a thousand 'Chathur Yugas', that is 432,800,000 years, which is one day of Brhma and during which there are said to be 14 Manu-s whose tenure is known as Manvantaram.  During such period there is also a change in the post of Indra as the head of all Devas.   Someone who has conducted 100 Ashwa Medha Yaga, as one of the qualifications becomes Indra.  So there have been and will be many Indrãs.  Amongst them, the account of one getting Upadesa from AmbãL is described in Kenopanishad and he must have one of the rare cases, with an attitude very unlike an Indra.  The one going to AmbãL with Vishnu and SubrahmaNya may be another rare case unlike, how one would expect Indra to behave.  Here may be yet another Indra who is gallivanting with the gate-keepers of Nava ÃvaraNa / Sri Chakra!  As the poet says, 'तरल करणानाम असुलभा' – that she is unattainable and unreachable for people with uncontrolled and undisciplined minds!

1070.      Heavens are the world of pleasure and enjoyment.  As the Devas are ever young and never age, their minds are ever concerned with sensual pleasures and never under control.  So they have to remain outside the outer perimeter of the fort of Nava ÃvaraNa only!  We use a phrase as 'Indra Jãlam'!  What does it mean?  He is the leading fellow amongst magicians, but he is quite an Idiot or more of a joker!  Despite being the head of all the Devas, having not attained to Indriya Nigraha – of being able to exercise control over his own senses, he does not deserve to present himself in front of AmbãL and so he has to remain outside the limits!  President will be normally dressed like anybody else.  It will be the Darwãn who will be dressed in much cap, belt, badge, sash and such colourful get-up!  Here the security guards at the gate are such, capable of all sorts of magic!  But what is the use of such Ashta Maha Siddhis which are only the seeming changes in appearances without any effect on reality!

1071.      In fact, if one is to be lost in awe and wonder, one is likely to miss out on what is to be absorbed and discarded, comprehended and understood!  So if you are a devotee of these powers, as anyone can easily be; they will teach you some of their tricks and keep you chained in eternal thraldom!  These Mantras and Tantras are such that they can be done without any need for mental or physical deprivations or purity.  Indra and other Devatas pray to these and get 'siddhim atulãm' – 'सिद्धिं अतुलां' – invaluable and incomparable attainments.  But all that Siddhi are of no use whatsoever in reaching AmbãL's Sannidy as he says 'tava dhvaropãnta sthitibhi: aNimãdhyadhibhi: neetã:' – 'तव ध्वारोपान्त स्थितिभि: अणिमाध्याभि: नीता:'!  The indirect message is, "These great awesome attainments are made possible by those Anima etcetera guards, standing at the outer gates itself!"  Without losing his style of understatement and nicety, our ÃchãryãL manages to give one more warning that we are not to get stuck with these magic tricks of Siddhis! Our ÃchãryãL is telling us to guard against falling prey to such temptations as offered by the guard-duty soldiers and going astray from our avowed aim of 'Ãtma Gnãna!'

(To be continued.)


Sambhomahadeva

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