Monday, November 04, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 60 (Vol # 7) Dated 04 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 60 (Vol # 7) Dated 04 Nov 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 481 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 updated continually)

22.           As we know that the white contains all colours, in eatables is there something which contains all tastes?  Like the Shãntam which I said contains all feelings and sensations within and like the Sunlight containing all colours, is there any one item that is palatable containing all tastes?  Though we make a mixture of savouries as snacks, there is only one item that is like Shãntam and that is the butter.  It is also white, smooth and nice.  In its taste it is all Sãtvic, that is Satva in quality like Shãntam.  Butter does not instigate the feelings and sensation.  If we eat a little too much of it, it will satiate and make you a bit sleepy I suppose.  Because it is Sãtvic, Sri Krishna Bhagawan is 'navaneeta chora:' – 'नवनीत चोर:' the butter-thief as a young boy.  We cannot say that it is sweet but very much likeable somehow causing us to lick our fingers or spoon that was used for scooping the butter.  We can call it 'madhura rasa' – 'मधुर रस'.

23.          Another interesting thing about this butter is that, if you light up a lamp with ghee that is aka clarified butter, that flame is white like the Sunlight.  The colour of the flame changes when you use different oil, such as Gingelly or Gram oil.  Only Cow's Ghee burns with a pure white flame, putting our minds at peace at once.  There no tinge of redness there, which is an indication of its purity.  That is in the presence of divinity in a temple.  So that, all those assembled there may experience absolute peace, it is the custom to light up with pure cow's ghee in the temples!  Thyagaraja Swami, one of the Trinity of South Indian Carnatic Classical Music, had composed a famous song, starting with the statement, "shaantamu lekha soukyamu ledu", meaning 'without peace there can be no prosperity and comfort'!  However much we may be buffeted by feelings and sensations, finally if we wish for permanent well-being we have to come to the agitation free state of Shãntam!  All the Arts which are human creations must enable this attainment / realization.  In the Dramas, though there may be a play of a variety of sensations, if the drama is really worth its while, then at the end of it one should be feeling a perfect sense of satisfaction, peace, contentment and Ãnandam.  

Religious Leaders & Dramas
24.          There are hardly any dramas which have the Rasam Shãntam as the main thrust.  When other feelings and sensations dominate, Shãntam could be the main, complimentary and connecting vein in some famous dramas.  But rarely one Krishnamisra has written a drama keeping Shãntam as the main emphasis.  In these days of twisted and convoluted depictions in dramas (cinemas in its place having replaced dramas), when you do not even know whether you like it dislike it as an audience, and are rather bemused and confused as to what was being conveyed, this one by Krishnamisra will be a bit of a welcome change for the better.

25.          Krishnamisra was a contemporary of Jayadeva who sang the Gita Govindam, some 900 years back in India.  He was a pure and perfect Adwaitin.  He did not write the drama to put down anybody else's differing point of view or publicise his own either. He only wanted to share his own esoteric and ennobling experience with others out of sheer love.  He wrote about the culmination of Gnãna as a path to Self-Realization, without touching the 'for and against' arguments, in an allegorical format!  So, different view-points of Tatva are the various characters in the drama.  Vivekan as the aspiring Sãdhak is the king as the hero, his name Vivekan meaning a 'discerning person'.  His enemy is known as Mahamohan and his name means a person who is 'highly deluded'!  This Vivekan has Vishnu Bhakti – Devotion, Shraddha – Sincerity, KaruNa – Kindness, Dharmam – Righteousness and Vairãgyam – Dispassion as his ministers or supporting cast.  His opponent has the exact opposites such as Agnãna – Ignorance, Pãpam – Sinfulness, Asathyam – Untruth and such negative qualities as his cohorts.  The story is about how Vivekan defeats Mahamohan in the ensuing confrontation.  Name of the drama is 'Prabhodha Channdrodayam' – 'प्रभोध चन्द्रोदयं'.  This word Prabhodha means Gnãna only.

26.          Gnãna is like the Sun, I have been saying all this time.  But Krishnamisra likens Gnãna with the cool rays of the Moon as there is no heat whatsoever in its light.  As the ocean ebbs with the Moonrise, the moment Gnãna emerges and encompasses the whole world in a shower of its cool light, the inner Ãnanda Sãgara sparkles forth effervescing, that the title given by Krishnamisra seems most appropriate that, the very commencement of the drama take us up to high pinnacles of elation.  He starts the drama with the Dhyana sloka of DakshiNa Murthy, "antar naadi niyamita mrut lankita brhma randram".  Normally dramas will start with a bang, full of speeches and action.  Here the very dhyãna sloka is about the description of the silent, action-less, all by himself, DakshiNa Murthy!   The author has described as to how Dakshina Murthy is "The one who has taken his PrãNa through the Sushumna Nãdi to the top of the head, experiencing the oneness of Jiva and Paramãtma; though not apparent has Shanti as his counterpart, he is the one who has fully merged in the Ãnanda of their inalienable oneness, of the form of the effulgence of Ãtma Jyoti as an indication of which has the third eye of Agni"!  Though thus he has described the Jyoti and Agni, coolly he has titled his drama as 'Chandrodayam' that is, 'Moonrise'!  Another interesting point is to be taken note of here.  Though He is describing Parameswara as the Guru Swaroopa, one of the important characters in the drama is that of Vishnu Bhakti.  He shows that it is the devotion for Vishnu that eventually takes you to Gnãna!  Without any acrimony and Saiva – VaishNava antipathy, with an open heart, he has described his own experience in attaining to Gnãna!  So, that was a pure exposition of the principle of Adwaitam.

27.          Later after a few decades there was Vedanta Desikar also known as 'Nigamanta Maha Desikan' and 'Sarvatantra Swatantrar' for whom the VaishNavas have a Sannidy in each of the Vishnu temples.  He was a great man, highly erudite scholar of much value.   This book 'Prabhodha Chandrodayam' – 'प्रभोध चन्द्रोदयं' was contrary to his Visishtãdwaita Philosophy.  So countering this drama, he also wrote another drama in the same technique.  This also had philosophical principles as the characters of the drama.  Krishnamisra had created a character by the name of Damba, depicting self-praise.  Desikar took this Damba in his drama also as an allegorical take off with satire.  In the drama somebody asks this character Damba, "Where are you from, which town or city?"  Damba answers, "My place is Chinna Kanchipuram.  I live in the Agrahara there", and further tells about himself.  The audience of those days would have understood the satire, that the reference is to one Tatachariyar who lived there those days and it was well known that Desikar and Tatachariyar were not on speaking terms.  It is that Tatachariyar being described as a boastful braggart.  From this we can make out that all the tricks of 'one-up-man-ship' of the present day were well known then also.

28.          Desikar's drama was named 'Sankalpa Suryodayam' – 'संकल्प सूर्योदयं' meaning 'Intentional Sunrise'!  The moment the Sunrise is there, Moon will disappear isn't it?  So, he named his drama like this so that, with its advent the popularity of 'Chandrodayam' will vanish from contention.  Krishnamisra did not intend to fight with anybody.  So he had coolly named his drama as 'Chandrodayam'.  So with naming of his drama by Desika, the war of words had started.  Then there was the arrival on the scene of Madvãcharyãr who was against both Adwaitam and Visishtãdwaitam philosophies.   So, he wrote countering both Chandrodayam and Suryodayam, by a book of his own.  As per Indian myth both the Sun and Moon are supposed to be swallowed by Rãhu during their respective eclipses.  So, he named his drama as 'Ubaya Grãsa Rãhudayam' – 'उभय ग्रास राहूदयं'.  This word 'Ubaya' in Sanskrit means 'both' and 'grãsa' means grabbing or over-shadowing and 'Rãhudayam' evidently means the rise of Rãhu.  Rãhu is the shadow and darkness.  First there is the cool ambient light of the Moon, and then there is the bright Sunlight and finally the shadow of the eclipse!  When objection per se is the aim, this is the result.

29.          Let it be aside.  If to depict their high-flown principles if religious leaders too made use of the drama as a medium, we can make out as to what was the high level of acceptability the art had in people's minds.  Not only that, very great exponents of Tatva too, while putting forth as evidence of their point of view, while quoting from the Vedas and Sãstrãs also made use of what is said in famous dramas like 'Sakuntalam', saying 'this is also proof of our contention'.  To prove that one's conscience also has a certain amount of validity, both Kumarila Bhattar and Desikar have quoted Kãlidãsa.

(To be continued.)




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