DEIVATHIN KURAL # 09 (Vol # 7)
Dated 11 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 58 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)
MaNikka Vãsagar and
80. So far we have seen Vinãyaka and his interactions with the
trio who have sung the Thevãram songs and as to how it has been mentioned in
their songs and how evidence is available in folk-lore of there being a 'ஓலமிட்ட
விநாயகர்', 'மாற்று உரைத்த பிள்ளையார்', 'கூப்பிடு பிள்ளையார்', and 'செவி சாய்த்த விநாயகர்' in various temple towns, as proof
of the various active roles played by PiLLaiyar in these incidents. In his writings MaNikka Vãsagar has not made
a mention of PiLLaiyar anywhere. But
they have had some intimate interactions.
Let me tell you about one story which may not be known to most of
you. In the olden times the best route
from Pãndya Kingdom to the Sozha Desam was through this place known as Ãvudaiyãr
Kovil aka Thirupperundurai. There was a
place for transients to stay for the night, known as Chathiram in that town. Besides that was a PiLLaiyar statue installed
in the open space without a roof over his head.
Normally such PiLLaiyar in the open air without a roof overhead are known
as a PiLLaiyar who preferred the sunlight and so had a name as, 'veyil uganda piLLaiyar'
உகந்த பிள்ளையார்'! Here the PiLLaiyar had gone a step ahead and
is said to have suffered the Sunlight for the sake of travellers on behalf of
them – vicarious suffering and so was known as 'veyyil kãththa piLLaiyar' – 'வெய்யில்
81. You may
be aware of the fact that Vãdavurãr as MãNikka Vãsagar was originally known, as
the minister of the Pãndya Nãdu had gone to the Sozha Nãdu with funds for the
purchase of horses. On the way he stayed
in this Chathiram for a night. This
'Open Air Theatre PiLLaiyar' came in his dream.
To demonstrate the theory of Adwaitam, he occurred in the dream as
Brhma, Vishnu and Rudra, repeatedly morphing in to the other and told him,
"You will construct a temple here in this very place for the Para Brhmam. Do
not ask me as to how to construct a temple for the Brhmam which is without form and without
any defining characteristics known as 'NirguNa'! I know that it is difficult to display a form
for the formless. But it is essential to
make people understand and comprehend the idea.
is 'aroopam' that is, formless. Other
than Siva Lingam all the other statues of Gods are three-dimensional! But Siva Lingam is neither form nor without
form, a sort of an oblong sphere known as 'arooparoopa' – 'अरूपरूपं'! The
base for the Siva Lingam is 'Ãvudaiyãr' – 'ஆவுடையார்', indicative of Brhma, Vishnu and
Rudra as the trio and above all that, (not exactly 'above' but beyond) the
trio, is Sivam. This is a symbolic
representation only. But people overly
impressed by the 3 D picture as seen by the eyes and perceived by the mind
think of it also as a form only! It is
normal for common people to have such common ideas! But in such a big country like ours, there has
to be at least one temple for the formless primordial Param, isn't it? A temple to encompass the idea of form and
formless, GuNa and NirguNa, from here and now to infinity and eternity! So, having installed the 'Ãvudaiyãr', leave
it without installing the Siva Lingam on top of it. The empty space does not mean that it is
nullity but the inclusive principle of all existence! To enable people to
understand, that God is a principle of all parts of existence, name the God
here as the 'Ãtma Nãtha Swami'. Do not
construct the temple straight away because I have told you. My Father will appear before you under the
'Kurundai' tree as the Guru and advice you to make you understand, comprehend
and experience that the indwelling Ãtma in all living beings is none-else but
the same Para Brhmam! After that you do
the construction of the temple!"
PiLLaiyar vanished after that.
83. Thus from the statement of an elephant (the PiLLaiyar),
money meant for purchase of horses was made use of for the construction of
Ãvudaiyãr temple, that is the temple for Rishabha the bull! This word Ãvudaiyãr means the owner of all
cattle. The 'Udaiyar' means the owner as
given in the stone carvings in temples where it is mentioned in Tamil as
'Nageschchuram Udaiyar' – 'நாகேச்சுரம் உடையார்' and 'Raja Rajechchuram
Udaiyar' – 'ராஜ
ரஜெச்சுரம் உடையார்'. It means that the Bull is the Pasupati for
all cows and Siva is the Pasupati for all animals and human beings too, as
after all human beings are also animals only!
So, all of us put together are only animals and so are included in the
word 'Pasu' and God as the Master for all of us is the 'Pasu Pati'! Thus the temple became 'Ãvudaiyãr Kovil' – 'ஆவுடையார்
கோயில்'. If it is to
be literally translated, we should be calling it the 'Bull Temple'! Not only the temple, but the temple town of
'Thirupperundurai' also came to be known by the name of the temple as
'Ãvudaiyãr Kovil' with the passage of time!
AmbãL is also formless here as 'Yogãmbikai'! As both AmbãL and Swami have been left
without a statue here, what MãNikka Vãsagar did was to install three PiLLaiyar
statues at the entrance of the temple, to emphasise the fact that he appeared
in three different forms as Brhma, Vishnu and Rudra as well as the Para Brhmam
in the form of PiLLaiyar, I suppose! In
the temples of many places, we do find two PiLLaiyar statues one in the outer
entrance and one in the inner Prãhãram.
Only here in the Ãvudaiyãr Kovil we are faced with a row of three
PiLLaiyar statues abreast at the very entrance!
The One Who Made these
Thiru Murai Available for Posterity
84. The poems of Thevãram and such religiously valuable poetry
are collectively known as Thiru Murai.
The credit and honour for making these poems available for posterity
goes to PiLLaiyar only! The Saiva
religious texts reveal that Rajaraja Sozha was known as Abhaya Kula Sekharan
and that in his time there were only a few who knew the poems of Thiru Murai. The king was so deeply involved in reading,
singing and soaking his mind and heart in such devotional poems. He who used to cherish being knows as 'Siva Pãda
Sekharan' was aware that there were many more such poems, but did not know as
to where and how to look for them! He
got a happy message one day that, near Chidambaram was a place known 'Thiru
Nãraiyur' where there was a gentleman named as 'Nambi Ãndãr Nambi', who was
said to be on 'speaking terms' with PiLLaiyar.
He was from the caste of GurukkaL, who normally do the pooja in
Temples. When he was a small boy once, his father had
to go away to a nearby town for a few days.
So instead of the father the son went to the temple to do the pooja
ritual. At the end of the pooja when he
had to offer the Neivedyam, the child expected the God to eat up what was
offered as Neivedyam! When he did not,
he thought that possibly there was something lacking in his performance of the
rituals. He felt so dejected and broken
hearted that he was trying to break his head by banging against the granite
walls of the temple! PiLLaiyar took pity
on the child and materialised in front of the child to partake of the
Neivedyam! PiLLaiyar ate up all that was
offered. Once that was over, the boy
started crying that now he is late for the school! PiLLaiyar became the teacher and had to
conduct the classes for Nambi Ãndãr Nambi!
Once you do that one day, you have to do it for ever isn't it? Thus the boy and PiLLaiyar were on a one to
one wicket of direct communication!
85. So King Rajaraja Sozha was told to contact this Nambi Ãndãr
Nambi. The king rushed to Thiru Nãraiyur
with plenty of eats for PiLLaiyar.
Sorry, I forgot to tell you that this PiLLaiyar was known as
'PollãppiLLaiyar' not to mean anything in the sense of being very mischievous,
but only meaning that he was not sculpted from stone but a natural
materialization! Mr N A Nambi offered
all the eats to PiLLaiyar as brought by the king and he was kind enough to
extend his hand of a trunk known as 'thumbikkai' – 'தும்பிக்கை' and
gracefully did justice to the gastronomic delights! The king was extremely delighted. He placed his request before them that he is
interested in getting to know all the Thevãram songs. Further he expressed a desire to know the
history of all the Nãyanmãrs whose names only are listed in 'Thiru Thondat
Thogai' – 'திரு தோண்டத்தொகை' as written by Sundarar.
As a blessing for the Tamil speaking world and the world of devotees,
PiLLaiyar gave the answer to those questions.
86. He said
that in Chidambaram, in the Nataraja's Sannidy of Kanaka Sabha on the western
wing there is a locked room containing the written copies of the threesome
poets of Thevãram with their official seals. You
can go there and get those originals.
Then he told the complete history of all the 63 Nãyanmãrs
– which is mentioned as – 'nambikku tumbi sonnãr' – 'நம்பிக்கு
தும்பி சொன்னார்', meaning that PiLLaiyar told Nambi Ãndãr Nambi! Tumbi means the elephant and its hand
is Tumbikkai. It is this narration as
told by PiLLaiyar that formed the basis of 'Thiruththondar Thiruvandãdi'. This work and Sundarar's
Thiruththondaththogai are the two books which formed the basis of Sekkizhãr's
writing of Periya PurãNam on a later date.
87. The King Rajaraja Sozha had quickly gone on to Chidambaram. There the management as you know was in the
hands of the 'Three Thousand' Brahmins known as 'Chidambaram Moovayiravar'
Dikshidar-s! They said that we have no
authority to open the sealed archives unless the same three people come over
here and make such a demand! The King of
Sozha was in a quandary, but only for a short period. He was not only a brave soldier and a great
administrator, but was also a man of wits!
It naturally stuck him that the temple statues are not only just statues
but living beings in whom 'PrãNa Pratishta' has been done to instil the life in
them! When divine beings come amongst
our midst as human beings like us, it is called Avatara, isn't it? Similarly the statues representing them in
temples are not just statues but 'Archa Avataras'!
88. After much consultations and consideration of alternatives,
it was decided to bring out the 63 Nãyanmãrs in a procession and bring the
leading three to the entrance of Kanaka Sabha.
So the Sozha king arranged for the formal bringing out of the three Nãyanmãrs
and brought them to the entrance of Kanaka Sabha. Then the Sozha King told the Moovayiravar
that, "The original authors have come here themselves, asking for their
seals to be broken and their writing to be brought out into the open, so,
please oblige!" It was the King's
sincerity and devotion that won the day for him. The temple authorities were moved by his true
devotion, humility and lack of haughtiness!
They were all one with him in his efforts to get back the divine
literary assets of Thevãram for the masses!
But when the palm-leaf manuscript copies were brought out, they were all
shocked to find that a major portion had been eaten by white ants! Out of the hundred thousand plus some poems;
less than 800 were recovered! It took
some days for the salvaging action to take place.
89. There was a whole atmosphere of tragedy and sadness when
they all heard the 'A-Sareeri' voice from the heavens! The impersonal message was this: -
"Please do not take it as a personal tragedy or a collective loss! In the days to come, the life will be so fast
that these 800 poems will be more than sufficient. Instead of catching a rat after digging a
whole hill, as the saying goes, what you have recovered is as big as an elephant. The Kali Yuga as it goes on will become so
fast paced that people will never have enough time for serious matters, because
all their time will be spent in various ways of passing time! Gossip, sports, cinema, Tele Vision, politics
and newspapers and their advertisement that, they will hardly have time for
things like Thevãram. So, these 796
Padigam-s of Thevãram that have been recovered will do most sufficiently, for
those who will be keen to learn them!" That was a short impersonal
announcement to which I added some, said PeriyavãL, with a smile on his face!
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