Sunday, November 10, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol # 7) Dated 10 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 63 (Vol # 7) Dated 10 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 the page No 497 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)

12.          When Sri Harsha was a small baby, his father was an erudite scholar of renown in a King's Court.  Once there was a visitor poet from a neighbouring state.  Both were involved in a debate on some abstruse topic in which, Sri Harsha's father evidently lost.  He came back home crest fallen feeling utterly ashamed and died in his grief.  His mother took a vow that her son would grow up to be such a famously acclaimed pundit to be able to wipe off the social stigma suffered by his father.  Her husband had taught her a mantra known as 'ChintãmaNi', chanting of which formally in the prescribed manner would enable attaining of, Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswathi Devi's Grace that, the person chanting it will become a highly acclaimed Pundit.  So she taught her toddler this Mantra ChintãmaNi, asking him to go on chanting it at all times.  A mantra when chanted relentlessly at all times that the chanting goes on even in your sleep, it is known as, 'Ajãpa Japa'!  So, this baby Sri Harsha was chanting it even while playing with dolls, say. 

13.          But his mother Mãmalla Devi was all the time looking forward to the day when Sri Harsha would attain to Mantra Siddhi, that is, when the fact of his attainment will be apparent.  Then one day she got a bright idea.  Only a mother prepared to sacrifice her all can even think of such an idea.  What is that idea? Mantras are chanted very intensely in certain ways.  For example some chant sitting in Cow-shed as it is said to be very effective.  Some are chanted sitting in the cremation ground, without any fear of ghosts and such things, absolutely concentrating on the utterance of the Mantra correctly syllable by syllable, without a let.  Then it is said that chanting sitting on a dead body is highly effective!  This small boy Sri Harsha was often noticed that he was keeping on chanting the Mantra sitting on his mother's lap.  In relation to this, she got this extreme idea.  As she was lying in the bed the boy was playing on her body.  Making use of her own saree as a rope, this mother strangled herself.  "Somehow, let our son attain to extra-ordinary and incomparable scholarliness, even if I have to commit suicide in the process", was her only goal.  The child thinking her to be asleep kept moving about on her body while still chanting the ChintãmaNi Mantra and obtained the complete Anugraha of the Goddess of Learning and Knowledge, Saraswathi Devi, as wished for by his mother!  Though it looks rather cruel and crude, in this story the most important point is the sacrifice by the Mother!

14.          That for the sake of ennoblement and glorification of her child a mother can and does any sacrifice, is brought out by one more example.  In Tamil Nadu, you might have heard of a king of the Dynasty of Sozhas by the name of Kochchengat Sozhan.  'Ko' means the King in Tamil and 'sengat Sozhan' means the one with the red eyes.  The reason for his getting red-eyed was his mother only.  As she was lying in bed with indications of labour-pains, she just over-heard the family astrologer saying that just 'one Muhurtam later there would be most auspicious Lagna, in which if the child is born, he would prove to be a great Emperor'.  (Here, a Muhurtam is approximately 48 minutes and Lagna means a period of two hours during which one of the Star Galaxies (known as Rãsi in Tamil) is on the ascendant.  So in a day there will be 12 Rãsis referred as Star/Sun Signs.)

15.          The queen decided that whatever be the suffering she had to undergo, she will ensure that the baby is born only after another 48 minutes.  So, she ordered herself to be hung upside-down by her legs tied together, virtually tolerating unbearable pain, in such ordeal, she ensured that the delivery of the baby in to this world is postponed by the required amount of time!  Normally under labour pains any mother will look forward to being relieved of the agony as early as possible.  The child was finally born in the desired Lagna, but had an accumulation of blood in the face that his eyes were reddish, that he was called, 'kochchengaN' – 'கோச்செங்கண்', meaning the Red-eyed King. When you added the name of the dynasty, the name became 'Kochchengat Sozhan' – 'கோச்செங்கட்சோழன்'.  As predicted by the Jyotish that is the Astrologer, he was to be a famous King of the Sozha Dynasty when he grew up. 
Adwaitam in Swayamvaram
16.          Sri Harsha was endowed with immense potentialities to be a great poet by ChintãmaNi Mantra and his Mother's exceptional sacrifice.  In the literary classic piece of his writing Naishadam, he has mentioned all details about the ChintãmaNi Mantra, its wordings, method of pronunciation,  meaning, the rules about the level of austerity to be maintained and the Do's and Don’ts.  At various places as part of the narrative, he has also mentioned as to how he obtained a phenomenal power of expression by the Mantra.  After the conduct of NaLa and Damayanti's marriage, he has said that Devi Saraswathi herself blessed them with the ChintãmaNi Mantra, in his book Naishadam.  We have not reached that stage as yet.  You remember that we left her there standing in the Swayamvaram Hall, with the garland in her hand, wondering as to who is the real NaLa amongst the five look-alikes before her, isn't it?

17.          It is here that Sri Harsha is making use of a rare and meaningful example.  Those who follow Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL and his philosophy of Adwaitam would find it very interesting.  The poet says that Damayanti was befuddled unable to decide as to who is the real NaLa amongst five of them look-alikes; as followers of religion are unable to decide between five different approaches as to which is the real and true Adwaitam.  There are five religions of equal validity.  They are Sãnkhyam, Pãtanjalam, Pãncharãtram, Pãsupadam and Vedas.  Sãnkhyam talks about many abstruse principles without ever talking about God as such per se!  Pãtanjalam is about various paths to the oneness with the ultimate known as Raja Yoga and Ashtãnga Yoga, for physical and mental well-being and total control of the mind and body for eventual union, 'with what?' remaining an unanswered question!  The religion of Pãncharãtram claims that only Vishnu is the God to be devoted to and aspired for union!  Pãsupadam similarly claims that Siva is the only God to be devoted to and aspired for union!  Each one of these, make a religion out of a portion of what the Vedas say.  The quintessence of Vedas is that 'There is nothing other than the Brhmam including the Jiva Ãtma, which is also Brhmam only'.  With this opinion Sri Harsha calls it the 'Adwaita Tatvam', instead of the 'Religion of Veda'.  (KTSV adds: - I have not quoted the sloka in Sanskrit as the original could not be located by me except the transliterated version in Tamil.)

18.          For people deeply involved in worldly affairs, as all religions aim to divert the man's attention from this worldly involvement and bodily identification, at one glance all religions will look similar only – as all the five seated in Swayamvaram looked like NaLa to Damayanti.  But out of all of them only one is the true NaLa, isn't it?  Similarly only 'Adwaita Tatvam' is the true religion says Sri Harsha.  Instead of saying that it is true or Satyam, he says that it is 'Satya Taram'.  In saying so, there is much sense.

19.          'Taram' means 'Super' or superior.  So, 'Satya Taram' means a 'real classic truth'.  The 'Satya Taram' is the eternal truth as against, what is transient and apparently seeming, which is the lowest form of truth.  Then what is not truth, is 'Asatyam' such as a bluff.  What can never be the truth are such as the child of a barren woman and the horns of a rabbit!  These are 'Atyanta Asat' – 'अत्यन्त असत्' which can never be.   When a piece of tin shines in the sunlight  looking at which, we think of it as a silver coin; or looking at a rope made of hay or threads of sisal, we think of a snake in the diminishing light of the evening.  In fact they are not a silver coin or snake respectively.  But till the truth of it are known the happiness derived from the silver coin and or the fear of seeing a snake; are both real.  Though the silver coin is not there, as a basis of it there is a piece of tin.  Similarly there is an 'adhara satyam' – 'आधार सत्यं' of basis of truth the rope for the snake.  So, they are not 'atyanta asat'.  At the same time they are not totally unreal also.  So temporarily they could instigate a reaction in you.  Once you are aware of the truth, these reactions of feelings in you disappear.  But, for the barren woman's child and the rabbit's horn there is no basis at all. 

20.          Come to think of it, all we see are only appearances and none of them are true.  They are called as Maya, Mithya (from which the English word Myth has evolved), Pratibhasika Satyam (meaning reflected truth) and the lower grades of truth.  Even the dreams that we see in our sleep are reflected truth only.  Even the dream may look real till it lasts, but ends being true when you wake up.  The basis for the dream is the dreamer.  So, all these seeming truths are known as 'vyavaharika satyam' – 'व्यवहारिक सत्यं', meaning transactional truths.  World is all the time changing.  We are continuously changing.  There is no 'Satya Taram' in transactions.  Looking at it from the stage of Gnãna, or in other words, from the point of view of reality, even this 'व्यवहारिक सत्यं' that is, all the transactional truths of everything of this worldly life, will be known to be only reflected truths, such as dream, tin-coin and rope-snake.  Paramãtma is the only truth.  That is the basis for all the appearances.  Like the rope seen as the snake, it is that one truth seen as all the variety.  If we erase all the appearances by Gnãna, the basis for all, the Brhmam aka Paramãtma alone will stand as the only truth.  Though we are under compulsion to treat the world of transactions as true; above that also, as the 'Ãdhãra Satyam' aka 'Satya Taram', it is the Truth beyond compare, the One without a second is the reality of Adwaitam only.  Other religions and avowed points of view, though will stand as the truth to some extent, the one reality of eternal truth as 'Satya Taram' is only Adwaitam.  Other celestial Devas though were looking like the real NaLa, NaLa himself is the only Truth beyond compare!  Even the temporary truth of the world is forever deluding us all by seeming to be true as, in Damayanti's Swayamvaram the assembled Devas were disguised as NaLa.

(To be continued.)




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