Tuesday, July 09, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 08 (Vol # 7) Dated 09 July 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 08 (Vol # 7) Dated 09 July 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL 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 51 of Volume 7 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 continually)

70.           Now, let us look as to how Sambandar has described Ganapathy in Thevãram.  He says that Ganapathy has come in various forms on different occasions.  In one of them AmbãL had taken the form of a female elephant.  At that time Siva had taken the form of a male elephant and sired a son for the specific purpose of removing the problems and obstacles in the path of his devotees.  This fact was mentioned by Thiru Gnãna Sambanda SwamigaL in a Padigam that he sang at a place known as 'Valivalam' (a 'paadal pertra oor' – that is, a Kshetram on which the trio of 'Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar' have composed and sung songs of Thevãram) located near Thiruvãrur.  He says in that Padigam: -
"பிடியதன் உருஉமை கொள மிகு கரியது
'pidiyatan uruumai kolamigu kariyadu
வடிகொடு தனதடி வழிபடும் அவரிடர்
Vadikodu tanadadi vazhipadum avaridar
கடிகணபதி வர அருளினன்மிகு கொடை
kadiganapati vara aruLinan migu kodai
வடிவினர் பயில்வலி வலம் உறை இறையே"
vadivinar payilvali valam urai iraiye'

71.          Sambanda Murthy happened to notice this Siva Perumãn in this place Valivalam as the greatest benefactor 'கொடை வடிவினர்' of all humanity, has created a son to take care of all problems of humanity – 'கடிகணபதி வர அருளினன்'.  In both the poems by Appar and Sambandar the name for PiLLaiyar is given as Ganapathy.  That is the name given in the most important Mantra of his and as it is the religion with him as the foremost primordial God is also known as 'Ganapathyam' only!

72.          Sundarar on the other hand has not praised PiLLaiyar but was quite critical of him.  He was known as 'vanthondar' meaning 'critical servitor', that he was highly critical of Siva Perumãn himself!  So, he has parodied Ganapathy repeatedly.  In one he says that he is predominantly well-known for the big stomach, 'ganapathiyel vayirudhari' – 'கணபதியேல் வயிறு தாரி'.  In another place he says that he keeps eating endlessly knowing nothing other than how to grow a big tummy – 'eNNili uNN peruvayiran Ganapathy, Onrariyaan' – 'எண்ணிலி உண் பெருவயிறன், ஒன்றறியான்'!  Because he said so PiLLaiyar decided, "O K, let me be a great glutton, does not matter.  I will do justice to the vast layout of culinary delights that Avvai Pãtti has offered me first and then get her to Kailãsa before you people reach there, it is a challenge!"  This he did alright but, he has also helped Sundarar on many occasions!

Graceful Blessings for Sundarar
73.           Once Sundarar went to Thiruvaiyaru and was faced with the same problem of having to cross a river in spate as faced by Appar and Sambandar in Anbil.  He virtually cried and wailed saying "aiyarudaiya adigaLe Olam! Olam! – ஐயாறுடைய அடிகளே ஓலம்! ஓலம்!", meaning "Your Greatness whose feet are washed by the waters of the five rivers, here I am standing on the other side of  the river which is in spate and crying my hearts out for help!"  Here also it was PiLLaiyar who identified the problem and the person involved, that he received and relayed the message to his Father Siva Perumãn!  So here he is known as 'olamitta vinayagar' – 'ஓலமிட்ட விநாயகர்'!  Sundarar was known as a 'thozhar' – 'தோழர்', (which means a friend, brother and comrade rolled into one) for Siva Perumãn himself!  Sundarar had a special name as 'tambirãn tozhar' – 'தம்பிரான் தோழர்'! So, when this 'தம்பிரான் தோழர்' wailed and the elder son PiLLaiyar relayed, Siva Perumãn reacted at once to bring down the flood in the river, to enable his devotee to cross the same.

74.          As a friend of God, Sundarar had the freedom and privilege to ask for and get anything!  There was this 'Paravai Nãchiyar' a dancer in the temple who was a great devotee and a lady of sterling character who was also a great philanthropist who would give plentifully to people in need.  Sundarar was in love with her and would often pester Siva Perumãn for gold and grains to be given to Paravai Nãchiyar.  Similarly in a place known as 'Thiru Mudukunram' which was a name for present day Vruddachalam in Thevãram, he got 12,000 gold coins!  Having got it, he was saddled with the problem of having to carry it and protecting it!  So he requested Siva Perumãn to, "Please give it in Thiruvãrur as it is difficult to protect it and physically carry it all the way to Thiruvãrur!"  Siva Perumãn promptly agreed to do so, but wished to play with his friend!  So, he told him, "Agreed.  I shall do so as requested.  But what you have to do is to dump your luggage in MaNi Muththãru that flows here and pick it up from the Easãnya corner (north-east) of the Kamalãlayam, that is the famous pond in the Thiruvãrur temple!"

75.          Sundarar did as advised by Siva.  But as he was about to dump the gold in MaNi Muththãru River, he had a doubt!  Though it was all given by Siva only, like a typical man of doubt Sundarar was wondering about the purity of the gold in hand and what he is likely to get at Thiruvãrur, like the 24 carat and 14 carat gold ornaments in use nowadays!  So he wanted to test the purity!  PiLLaiyar ready to play his part was standing nearby!  He checked and readily certified it to be 'paththarai mãthu thangam' – 'பத்தரை மாத்து தங்கம்'!  The '10 ½ Mãthu Thangam' is another scale of measuring the purity of Gold and that '10 ½ Mãthu' is as good as 24 carat.  (In Vruddachalam temple there is this, 'maartru uraiththa piLLaiyar' – 'மாற்று உரைத்த பிள்ளையார்', that is the PiLLaiyar who checked this purity of gold, standing next to the 63 Nãyanmãrs in the inner Prãhãram of the temple.)  So, Sundarar kept a small piece of the gold for a counter-check later at Thiruvãrur and dumped the package in the MaNi Muththãru River.

76.          Then visiting various temple towns enroute, he reached Thiruvãrur.  There he asked Paravai Nãchiyar to stand on the bank of the temple pond Kamalãlayam and jumped into the pond, specifically checking the NE corner of the pond.  He had suspected Siva for some foul-play isn't it?  So, Siva Perumãn who is after all well-known for his playfulness as 'alagilã viLaiyãttu udaiyãr' – 'அலகிலா விளையாட்டு உடையார்', did play a different trick!  Try as he may, there was no bag to be found!  As he came up to catch his breath repeatedly, this lady made fun of him, "What is this, you drop the gold in some river and search for it in a pond!"  This gave rise to a proverb which goes 'ãthile pottu kuLaththile theduvadu' – 'ஆத்திலே போட்டு குளத்திலே தேடுவது', that being a comment on the stupidity of losing something somewhere and searching for it elsewhere!  Sundarar was feeling very embarrassed!  Whenever he is very high strung with feelings, he had this tendency to burst into poetry!  He did not wish to be tested by Siva Perumãn any further, that too in front of the woman he loved!  Not being able to forget the missing gold, he addressed Siva with a body made of Gold – 'pon seida meniyineer' – 'பொன் செய்த மேனியினீர்'.  The other famous song of his, praising Siva to be having a golden body – 'ponnãr meniyane' – 'பொன்னார் மேனியனே' was composed on a different occasion later!  Having prodded him to burst into a song, Siva Perumãn did not test him further.  Here also it was PiLLaiyar who tested the gold and confirmed its purity!  So there is a 'மாற்று உரைத்த பிள்ளையார்' here also in Thiruvãrur!  What was suspected by Sundarar was also done by Siva that the gold was of 14 carat!  So there was a need to make one more appeal to God to correct the same and that was also done to satisfy this lover of Sundarar's poetry and his singing – Siva Perumãn!

77.          On another occasion Sundara Murthy SwamigaL went to the kingdom of Seramãn and stayed with him.  While he was returning Seramãn gave him a whole lot of valuable gold, gems and ornaments with men to carry the same back to Thiruvãrur via Kongu Nãdu.  Near Thiruppur there was a place by the name of Thiru Murugan Poondi.  Siva Perumãn noticed that this Sundarar who takes so much liberty with him, who comes to every one of his temple towns and sometimes praises and at times sings slightly denigratingly also, is now passing through without even caring to say 'hello'.  This Sundarar, who pesters me so often, today is passing through with all that wealth because he thinks that he has no worries as he is accompanied by soldiers!  Let me teach him a lesson or two!  He sent his GaNas disguised as hunters who divested Sundarar and others accompanying him of all their loads without physically harming anybody!  Sundarar was just at a loss as to what should he do!

78.          PiLLaiyar's kind heartedness came into play at that juncture.  The place name is Thiru Murugan Poondi and it is Muruga who has the reputation that he would take care of the people's welfare of even those who curse him, as long as they do so in Tamil, it seems!  It was PiLLaiyar, his elder brother who took care of Sundarar though he had said that PiLLaiyar overeats and such things.  PiLLaiyar came ahead of his temple some distance and told Sundarar, "It is only my Father who had sent some of the GaNas to intercept and rob you of all your belongings!  I have no part in such looting.  But do not worry or fret.  You come and sing a few songs of yours and he will gladly return your things!  Since he accosted and called Sundarar, he is called 'kooppidu pillaiyar' – 'கூப்பிடு பிள்ளையார்', meaning 'the calling PiLLaiyar', his temple located between Avinasi and Murugan Poondi!  Thanking him profusely Sundarar went to the nearest temple of Siva and refraining from his usual 'ninda stuti' of humour and innuendo, without even talking about his being robbed enroute, simply sang asking Siva as to why should he have taken to living in such a place as being too full of thugs and robbers, in the disguise of being hunters!  He sang a Padigam of ten songs in which each fourth line ended with the question as to why should he have selected to live in such a place' – 'ettukku ingu irundeer embiraane' – 'எத்துக்கு இங்கு இருந்தீர் எம்பிரானே'?  Siva Perumãn also without calling a 'spade a spade'; demonstrated as though the hunters were repentant of their misdeeds and returned all the looted property outside the temple to Sundarar!

79.          That much about the 'மூவர்' (Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar), the trio or threesome who have sung the Thevãram songs and their interactions with PiLLaiyar.  In the subsequent Deivathin Kural issue, we will see MaNikka Vãsagar and his experiences with PiLLaiyar!


Sambhomahadeva

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