Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 64 (Vol # 7) Dated 12 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 64 (Vol # 7) Dated 12 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 last paragraph on page No 503 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)

21.           We should not get annoyed with Sri Harsha thinking that he has called all points of view other than Adwaitam as false.  Had he said only Adwaitam is pure truth, then it would have meant that other Siddhãntam-s are false.  But he had used only the superlative degree of comparisons saying that it is 'Satya Taram' meaning the Truest!  Other philosophies and religions are true at their own level.  True Adwaitins do not decry any religion or point of view.  A great Adwaita ÃchãryãL Gowda Pãda says in MãNdookya Kãrika – (3.17), "Other religions fight amongst themselves.  We have no difference of opinion with any of them."  The religions in which God stands alone while all people of the world are his devotees; is also acceptable in the early stages of Adwaita Gnãna.  The aspiring Sãdhak progressing in whatever path, will eventually arrive at this understanding of oneness of all existence that Adwaitam stands for only, is the certainty of Adwaitins.  When all religions do this noble task of herding and guiding the people towards the goal, they cannot be considered as false or anathema.  Sri Harsha has put all these ideas succinctly by saying 'Satya-Taram' about Adwaitam.

Saraswathi's Cleverness
22.            Vide Sri Harsha's story, his favourite Goddess Saraswathi was herself the usher guiding Damayanti, introducing the suitors one by one during her Swayamvaram.  Coming across this look-alike five she was in a bit of a quandary.  However clever the Devas, they could not dupe Saraswathi who was a celestial being herself.  Still she did not have the heart to let them down either, as that would have been below par.  At the same time she had to tell the truth also.  So she spoke in way that rest of the audience in the hall may not catch on but, Damayanti would still understand, talking about them one by one, using such adjectives punning on them, that doing so got a special name 'pancha NaLeeyam' – 'पञ्च नळीयं'.  It is difficult to explain as the beauty of the word-play will lose its charm in translation and not required also.  Suffice it to say that the Alankãra of word-play got a special name coined as given above. 

23.          As the four look-alikes other than the real one, were celestial beings, there feet did not rest on earth and their eyes did not blink; seeing which Damayanti could recognise the real NaLa and placed the garland on the right man's shoulders; as you would all know.  As you would all know that story well, I did not come forward to tell that story, as I do not know how good I am in doing that.  May be a qualified PouraNik can do a better job of it.  I was interested only in talking about how Sri Harsha has brought out the beauty of Adwaitam with reference to the context of the NaLa – Damayanti Swayamvaram!

Method of Putting Across Morals
24.          Like a Lord gives orders to his minions, Vedas generate orders for the people of the world like 'satyam vada va dharmam chara' – 'सत्यं वद व धर्मं चर', meaning 'Speak only the truth and behave morally righteously'!  So, the Vedas are known as 'Prabhu Samhita' – 'प्रभु संहिता'.  The same message will be given by PurãNãs in a friendly way in the form of stories and that is known as 'suhrut Samhita' – 'सुहृत् संहिता'.  Though only stories, the Rishis who have compiled those compendiums were quite particular in clearly underlining the bringing out of the 'moral of the stories', as a good friend would do, telling us the right and wrong in an acceptable manner.  But the poet will say the same thing in a much sweeter way as though dipping the words in honey.  Like the sugar coated pills given by the doctor, the tongue will know only the sweet taste, while the medicine will do the needful in the system.  Similarly the poet will make us enjoy the sweetness of poetical embellishments, so that without even thinking about it we will be imbibing the moral principles.   That is why classic literature is known as 'Kãnta Samhita' – 'कान्ता संहिता', meaning the sweet advices by ones darling wife!

25.          `The greater the poet mixes even difficult to follow principles of morality in the nine rasa-s of 'Nava Rasa' so fluently with felicity that it becomes acceptable popularly to all.  People in this field as writers, authors and journalists, should make it their Dharma that, while aiming for popularity, at least as a side effect their writing should also contribute towards social cohesion and well-being.  The writer should aim at ennobling the reader in addition to entertainment. 

Deity Prayed to in Kanchi Matam: Occurring in NaLa's Story
26.          I will tell you another interesting side light to this story.  Other than talking about Adwaita Tatvam, Sri Harsha has also spoken about Chandra Mowleeswara, the Presiding Deity of Kanchi Kãmakoti Matam in his Naishadam.  As there were many kings from kingdoms, it seems that one aspiring royal representative had evidently gone from Kanchipuram also. Saraswathi Devi is telling Damayanti about that King who had come from Kanchipuram in these words.  "Here is the Ruler from Kanchipuram.  He has dug a huge lake in his place as big as an ocean.  It is filled with crystal clear water.  Poets are stunned to silence by the beauty of that lake.  Sometime on a moon-lit night one looks at the lake and wonders if the moon is a piece of the lake thrown up in the air!  By being bathed by the waters of the lake the 'Sphatika Lingam' Yogeshwara just vanishes."

27.          Pure crystal is colourless like water.  So a piece of crystal in water will not be seen. The 'Sphatika Lingam' when bathed in or given Abhishekam in pure water will vanish from one's vision.  The crystal Siva Lingam in Kanchipuram is the one in the Sankara Matam in Kanchipuram. Ãdi Sankara brought five Sphatika Lingam statues from Kailãsa and installed Vara Lingam in Neelakanta in Nepal, Mukti Lingam in Badrinath, Moksha Lingam in Chidambaram, Bhoga Lingam in Sringeri, and Yoga Lingam in Kanchipuram.   It is this Yoga Lingam that is venerated every day in the Kãmakoti Peetam in our Matam with all 64 Pooja Upachãra-s.  The water for the Abhishekam comes from that lake, for the digging of which the King of Kanchipuram is said to be praised by Saraswathi Devi herself in Naishadam.  It is in that sloka the last word is 'Yogeshwara' referring to the Crystal Idol of Siva Lingam.

28.          There is an element of confusion between 'Yogeshwara' and 'Yageshwara'.  You might have heard of a Tamil proverb 'ezhudinavan ettai keduththãn' – 'எழுதினவன் ஏட்டைக் கெடுத்தான்'That would translate in to, 'The writer spoiled the paper'!  What does it mean?  Nowadays we have so many varieties of photo-copiers.  In the olden days copies were made by someone reading the original and writing it which was a laborious process.  Evidently the copier would be doing so for some wages and not necessarily knowledgeable enough to understand fully what he was writing.  So there was always a possibility of errors creeping in.  In Sanskrit if you miss the stroke on top, Yoga can become Yãga!  But however much one may search, there is no indication of any presence of a Yageshwara Lingam in Kanchipuram ever!  

29.          There was a gentleman by the name of Mallinatha Suri who had written explanatory notes for many Sanskrit classic original master pieces in literature.  In his explanatory notes for Naishadam, he has taken the word as Yogeshwara only and says that it was famously known so in Kanchipuram.  The present day expert on the issue Maha Mahopadhyaya Gopinath Kaviraj also has accepted the word 'Yogeshwara'.  So without doubt we can make out that the reference is to the Crystal / Sphatika Lingam to which daily Puja is done quite elaborately here in this Matam and the Swami is known by the name of Chandra Mouleeswara, is the one whom Sri Harsha has referred in his Naishadam. 

30.          With staunch belief in the Adwaita Tattva, Sri Harsha seems to have had much devotion for Chandra Mouleeswara Lingam that was venerated by Ãdi Sankara and every ÃchãryãL traditionally down the line.  It is believed that he lived some 800 years before now.  By the fact that he has encomiums of praise for those who have dug water sources such as wells, ponds and lakes; we can make out that he must have been from desert like areas of Rajasthan or Gujarat.  It is in those areas we come across copper plates on which kings and rulers of yore have recorded the digging of wells and ponds as 'Vaapi Prashasti' for posterity. 

31.          Many hundreds of years back some poet, somewhere in North India, has known about digging of water sources in Kanchipuram and also had known the particular name of the presiding Deity here in Kanchipuram as Yogeshwara and made use of an opportunity in his literary work to lovingly mention it in his master piece; is a fact very pleasing to take note of! So the Swami deified, revered and worshipped here is equally one's own for everyone anywhere in the world.  In each household we have one idol to which we do Pooja.  Making the whole world as a household, our ÃchãryãL has installed five Sphatika Lingas in the places herein mentioned.  For universal well-being this pooja to Chandra Mouleeswara must go on forever famously!
(To be continued with a change in topic.)

Sambhomahadeva

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