DEIVATHIN KURAL # 11 (Vol # 7)
Dated 15 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 72 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)
100. We come across words in Tamil such as 'Rudra' and
'Rudraksha', which are written as 'Urudra' and 'Urudraksha'. The often used Tamil word 'Uruvam' – 'உருவம்' is
in fact a modification of the Sanskrit word 'Roopam' only. Amongst the Tamil 'Vallina' letters – 'ka,
cha, ta & da, tha, pa, ra' that is, 'க, ச, ட, த, ப,
ற'; there will be no words starting with ட and ற.
In fact the 'ட' is inclusive of the sounds of 'ta' and 'da', that is,
depending on the reference to the context of the word in which it occurs, it
may be pronounced as 'ta' or 'da'. If
there are any words starting with the sound of 'ta' or 'da' they must be
borrowed from other languages only such as 'Taxi' and 'Dalda'! Similarly amongst the 'Mellina' letters such
as, 'nga, gnya, Na, na, ma, na' – 'ங, ஞ,
ண, ந, ம, ன,' there will be no words starting with
'ங, ண, and ன'.
the letters 'ந' and 'ன' which are very similar sounding,
why should there be two letters in the Tamil alphabet, is a question to which
many people do not know the answer! In
fact they are two different sounds only.
When we say the letter 'ந', the tip of the tongue is to touch the
point where the upper palate is in contact with the base of the upper front teeth
from the inside! Whereas when we say the
letter 'ன', the tip of
the tongue has to bend ever so slightly inwards and touch the upper palate without
touching the teeth! When you say
'avan' – 'அவன்', wherever the
tip of the tongue is touching is the point which should be touched, whenever
any word with 'ன' is
mentioned. This is purely a sound owned
and written in Tamil language only though the sound is there in other
languages too, like in 'pen, men, when and so on'! This similar sounding 'ந' is a dental in which the tongue is
touching the teeth, whereas 'ன' does not.
Of course the most important difference is that words can commence with
'ந' like in 'நமசிவாய' and the letter 'ன' and its variations will always
occur inside words or ending only, like in 'manidan' – 'மனிதன்'.
The letter 'ண' on the other hand is a cerebral in which the tongue is
bent and curved inward while touching the upper palate.
Sanskrit letter 'र' can be said to be a sound between the Tamil 'ர' and 'ற'.
In the English word Christ the letter 'r' is more like the 'Vallina' 'ற' of Tamil. I have heard an opinion that in the word
'Krishna' too the 'r' should be a 'Vallina' 'ற' only. Though in many words of English this letter
'r' is not pronounced at all and almost ignored as in 'girl', 'world' and
'third' for example, where they say that the 'r' is silent. But in words like 'Christ' and 'price' or
'prize' the 'r' is not silent and is more like the Tamil 'ற' only and so is it in Sanskrit. That is, instead this Akshara 'Repam' is
under emphasised at the start of a word and over emphasised when it occurs
inside words, like in 'राम' and 'कारणं', respectively. In the bargain I have seen some people write
their names in Tamil as 'நாறாயணன்' and
'நடறாஜன்', quite surprisingly instead of 'நாராயணன்' and 'நடராஜன்' for example! May be that is the reason for not saying 'Rakãram' and saying 'Repa:' –
'रेप:', so as not to add 'Kãram' to a letter which is
already quite rough and tough, I suppose!
103. In the word Guru the letter 'G' shows
that Guru gives the disciple 'Siddhi' and the letter 'R' removes his sins. Like
lighting up a fire, he reduces the sins of the disciple to ashes as the letter
'R' is the Agni Bhija, the seed Akshara of fire! In the one word of Guru which is a
combination one 'Ga' and one 'Ra' with two 'U-s', the 'Ga-Kãram' imparts knowledge – 'siddhi
prada' and the 'Ra-Kãram' burns off sins that is, 'pãpa haraNam'. So, we have explained the 'Ga' and 'Ra'. Now what remains is to explain the meaning of
the Akshara 'U'! There are five letters
that have in them, the power of the five elements – 'pancha bhootha-s', known as
'Bheeja Akshara-s'. For the Earth aka
Prithvi it is 'lum' – 'लं'.
For the sky or space aka Ãkãsa, it is 'hum' – 'हं'. For the Air or Vãyu it is 'yum' – 'यं'. For Fire or 'Agni' it is 'rum' – 'रं' and for the
principle of Water or Appu it is 'vum' – 'वं' and for the
all-inclusive principle of totality, it is 'sum' – 'सं'! (Please also note that the word 'sum' in
English means total!) These are the Bhija-Akshara-s or
the Seed-Letters. Like the seed of a
tree potentially has to power to create a whole tree, these Bhija Akshara-s
contain the potential power of those elements in them! Thus the letter 'R' aka Repam, being a
Bhija-Akshara has in it the power to burn and scorch the sins to ashes. The name of Sri Rama known as the Tãraka Mantram has this Bhija-Akshara
as its first letter!
The letter 'U' or 'उ' is the Form of Vishnu
the sounds that make up the word 'Guru' what is not yet explained is this
Akshara 'U'. Since it is with both the
letters 'G' and 'R', it has to have some special meaning and what is it? The sloka says, 'U-kãro vishNu: avyakta:' – 'उकारो विष्णुरव्यक्त:' – meaning that it is the
of the form of VishNu, but unrevealed.
PraNava that is Omkãra is formed by the combination of 'a + u + m' – that is 'अ + उ + म = ॐ', indicating the three primordial forms of Para
Brhmam as Brhma + Vishnu + Rudra. In
that 'mmm' ending, there are three more principles as Maheshwara, 'Mãyã' the principle that veils
and its subsidence in 'Sadãsiva'. Let it be. We are not presently concerned with all
that. We are only concerned with 'U'
being the principle of Vishnu connected to both 'G' and 'R' in
Guru. This double 'U' is Vishnu Swaroopa,
mentioned twice as the 'Avyakta' – 'अव्यक्त' Vishnu
Roopa. What is this 'Avyakta' Roopa?
Meaning of 'Vyaktam' and
105. The word 'Vyakta' means what is revealed
or manifested or expressed and 'Avyakta' means hidden or unrevealed. What is revealed has come from the source
that is, the basic truth Brhmam. From
within, it has come out as the whole Universe and is not only contained in it
but also is the stuff by which all the exhibited world is made of. As the immanent reality in all of them, it is
not revealed and so not 'Vyaktam'. What
is not 'Vyaktam' is 'Avyaktam'. The Sãnkhya philosophy while talking about
the Brhma Vidya Sãstrã will say that the source or Moolam is the Maha Mãyã. We need not go into such technicalities
here. All that we have to understand
here is the fact that this apparent world that is 'Vyaktam' is in fact the unrevealed
or not apparent Paramãtma. That is the
meaning appropriate here.
VishNu – Vasudeva: The
Meaning of Words
106. In the same breath that having said that
the 'U-Kãram' is Vishnu,
it has also been said that it is 'Avyaktam' – 'U-karo Vishnuravyakta:' –
pointing that this VishNu is inclusive of Brhma, Rudra, Maheshwara and Mãyã;
that I talked about, the Brhmam that contains all is said to be VishNu here. Amongst the Tri-Murthys Brhma, VishNu and
Maheshwara, this functional differentiation of the one primordial reality is
only meant to enable us to understand and comprehend the principle and not to
think of them as individual entities. It
has been said so by tradition over the years and practically so comprehended by
many a Gnãnis of the past yore in their experience. They have said so, in their Mantras, Slokas
and Upadesa given to their disciples.
The root meaning of this word 'VishNu' is that he is Omnipresent. Our ÃchãryãL while explaining the meaning of
this word has said that this omnipresence is the quality of Brhmam / Paramãtma
called Vasudeva. Especially the last
mentioned Vasudeva is said to have this attribute as explained by our ÃchãryãL
in his Bhashyam for Vishnu Sahasranãma.
He says, 'vasati, vãsayati and ãchãdayati sarvam' – in which, 'vasati'
means in-dwells; 'vãsayati' means that he permits all of them to live in his
self; and 'ãchãdayati' means hides them.
That means 'sarva vyãpakam' and covering the fact means covering by
Mãyã. Such covering by Mãyã of being
omnipresent and immanent indwelling is 'avyaktam', isn't it?
ÃchãryãL who was so full of 'vinaya' the quality of humility that, he never
said anything already not there in the Vedas and Sãstrãs but, has elucidated what
is there in our traditional belief structure; quotes from Maha Bhãratham and
Vishnu PurãNam at this juncture. All
that is seen and apparent is 'Vyaktam'.
That they are all permeated by divinity is unseen as 'Avyaktam'. A glass full of water is 'Vyaktam' and the
sugar in it is 'Avyaktam', till you taste it or experience it. This thing that is immanent is 'Marai PoruL'
in two ways, one due to its being hidden from our eyes and the second meaning
of 'Marai' is the Vedas. It is the thing
pointed out by the Vedas and that is VishNu, which is denoted by the Akshara
'U', the big 'U'. It is interesting to
note that in Mathematics too this big 'U', indicates the Universe, where it
says that 'every part contains the whole and the whole is contained in the parts'! Such a 'Marai PoruL' is the Vishnu and Marai
aka Vedas' inner stuff is also Vishnu.
Vishnu's Akshara Swaroopa is 'U' – 'उकार:' and 'उकार: + अव्यक्त: = उकारोव्यक्त:'! Thus this word Guru has
come into being with 'ग' as the letter indicative
of 'Siddhi Kãraka:' (pro-attainment) and 'र' as the letter indicative of cleansing by fire
with 'उ' as the 'व्यक्त' and 'अव्यक्त' VishNu; says the sloka. When you take Guru as Teacher and you as
student, Sishya or Disciple, there is duality – Dwaitam; in Vishnu being there
as hidden but immanent, there is Visishtãdwaitam and with VishNu as Avyaktam as
the NirguNa Brhmam there is Adwaitam!
By Guru's Nature -
Benefits the Disciple Stands to Gain
108. So it all amounts to the following
facts. One is that Guru enables the
disciple to attain ever higher levels of knowledge as he is 'Siddhi pradãyaka:' (pro-achievement) and
secondly he removes the student's sins, blemishes, deficiencies and problem
areas. He is all pervading and he is
NirguNa Avyaktam. What is the use of
these two qualities? Answer to that
question is that, knowing about his being so, is highly beneficial! Like a wasp by repeated stinging makes the
worm become a wasp, the Guru raises the student to his level and thus the
student realises his true greatness. To
know is to learn and to know the Guru is to become him. That is the 'Siddhi pradãyaka:' that the
sloka started with and that is the final achievement.
Adwaitam and Anugraha Bhava
109. To be
one without a second is the status that the Guru imparts the student, while
being in that state himself. That is the
pinnacle of achievement that one is in that state! Then why talk about the Omniscience and
Omnipresence of VishNu? It is here that
for a person in that state automatically overflows with such kindness that
there can be no other word to describe his universal beneficence than
Grace! Does it mean that the Guru comes
down to our level from being at his level where nothing else matters? Why should he do it? Does he want name and fame? What is there for him? Yes he comes down from his level to ours and
ever so kindly advises us. But we cannot
say that he comes down also! For a
person who has completely destroyed his mind – 'mano nigraha:, mano nãsa:' – 'मनो निग्र:, मनो नाश:', can you and me and our being pulled out of the rut
make any difference or be of any importance to him?
(We will see the answers to these questions in the next
issue of Deivathin Kural.)
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