Saturday, November 16, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 65 (Vol # 7) Dated 16 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 65 (Vol # 7) Dated 16 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 510 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)

சிவபாதசேகரன் – Sivapãdasekaran    
1.             The One who has God's Feet on his Crown.  That is the meaning of the heading / title which refers to a great King of the Sozha Dynasty, whom we remember and celebrate his memory as a great Emperor, King of Kings.  But he thinks of himself as a humble worker under yet another King of Kings and prefers his feet to be pressing down on his head rather than wearing of a crown of jewels and precious stones!  It is him we think of proudly as Raja Raja Sozha who, thought of himself as one of the votaries of the Emperor of the whole Universe Parameswara.  More than any worldly credits and fame, he used to think of being an underling of Siva as the greatest honour and so used to think of bearing God's feet on his head all of the time.  Hence he valued his being one of the devotees and disciples of Siva that he cherished God's feet on his head all of the time and liked to be called as 'Sivapãdasekaran'.

2.            At the top of one's head there is supposed to be the 'sahasrãra kamalam' – 'सहस्रार कमलं', the lotus with thousand petals.  The Kundalinee Shakti said to be in the Moola Ãdhãra the base of the basic bottom in a person, is guided steadily higher and higher to the top of one's head by doing appropriate 'Yoga Sãdhana'.  Then the Sãdhak sees the Easwara's feet as Guru's lotus-feet there.  Instead of the honey it is the nectar flowing from there.   That removes all fever and agitations from the whole system, for one to get rid of the 'Jiva Bhãva' and feel one with the Parama Ãtma.  That is the reason why all great saints and Rishis are praying to God to touch their head with his feet.  This is what our ÃchãryãL is praying to AmbãL, when he says in Soundarya Lahari 'sirasi dayayã dehi charaNou' – 'शिरसि दयया देहि चरणौ'.   Having obtained that supreme state of plenitude Appar SwamigaL says – 'pugazhch sevadi enmel vaithãi neeye' – 'புகழ்ச்சேவடி என்மேல் வைத்தாய் நீயே', meaning that 'you kept your famously praised feet on me'!  Sivapãdasekaran wished to have those feet on top of his crowned head.

3.            He Raja Raja Sozha was the one to do the wonderful service of great benefaction, that is to locate the Thevãram songs written by Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, which were getting eaten away by white-ant cells, dust and clean them, re-edit and rewrite them and make them known to the world of devotees.  Otherwise they would all have been lost for ever.  That is why he has got a Title as 'Thiru Murai Kanda Sozhan'!  He had absolute devotion to Nataraja of Chidambaram.  Nataraja in Sanskrit means 'the King of Dance form' which was beautifully translated into Tamil by Appar as 'ãdavallãn' – 'ஆடவல்லான்' that was much appreciated by Raja Raja Sozhan. 

Value, Greatness and Credit Goes to God Only
4.            As he saved the Temple of words known as Thevãram from ruin, he also constructed a temple of stones of such massive proportions that world looks at with awe till date, in Tanjore aka Tanjavoor as a gesture of gratitude for his victories in battle.  He had won over Sri Lanka known as 'Eazham', the Eastern Chalukhyas between Krishna and Godavari Rivers and right up to Orissa / Kalinga and in the west up to Laccadives in the sea had been captured by him.  So, he was rightfully an Emperor of the South.  His name as given by his parents was 'AruNmozhi Varman' – 'அருண் மொழி வர்மன்'True to that name, he did find and save the Thevãram songs from extinction!  His poet cum Minister Sekkizhãr was also named by his parents very similarly as 'AruNmozhitdevar' – 'அருண்மொழித்தேவர்' and true to that name he wrote about the life-history of all those 63 devotees of Siva known as Nãyanmãrs, his book being known as 'Periya PurãNam' as you may be aware.

5.            Whether we become a King or Emperor, we people would have had some added head-weight and pride.  Look at what happens nowadays!  People arrange for massive public celebrations and get-togethers for their own publicity such as Wearing of Crowns or being granted with a Body-Armour and such silly functions!  But he, after becoming the King of Kings attributed all his achievements to God's Grace and did his all to show God as great. With God as the mightiest entity and with AmbãL as Great, he constructed a temple in which the only permissible and appropriate adjective is 'Big and Massive'.  The name of the temple itself is 'Brihad Easwaram', Swami's name is Brihad Easwara, (with the Sanskrit word 'Brihad' meaning Big) and AmbãL's name being Brihad Ambikai or Brihannayagi, famous world over as big Temple of Tanjore, Great Pagoda of Tanjore with the place name becoming 'Rajarajeswaram' the living place of God of Gods!

6.            Everything is big and massive there.  Even the Nandi the Bull is big known famously in other countries of the world too as 'the Big Bull of Tanjore'!  In the inner and outer Prãhãram every statue of Koshta Devata is eight to ten feet tall. Not only in size but in architectural beauty and finesse, they are all great.  On top of the presiding deity of Maha-Lingam / Maha-Deva he constructed an edifice of 200 feet high, calling it the DakshiNa Meru to mean that this temple is as important as the one in the North as the Residency of Siva. 

DakshiNa Meru Vidangar; Adavallãn
7.            Normally Siva is considered as formless.  As God if he is without any form, how to show him representatively or symbolically?  So his form with AmbãL becomes 'Samba' or Sa + Uma = Soma + Skanda = Somaskanda Murthy. He is known as 'Thyagaraja' in seven 'Vidanaga' Kshetrãs including Thiruvãrur.  'Vidanga' meaning 'not made by sculpting by use of chisel beating on the stone'.   Purely mental creations of Viswa Karma are further older in vintage whereas these are not entirely without chisel on stone as they were made only around 1000 A.D.  So, though there were seven such places of Siva as Sapta Vidangar, the moment the name Vidangar is mentioned one will think of Thyagaraja of Thiruvãrur.  For the Sozha Kings in classic times it is Thiruvãrur that was the capital.  Manu Needhi Sozha sacrificed his son under the wheels of his chariot, as a punishment for his rash and negligent driving of his chariot over the calf of the grieved cow; in Thiruvãrur only.  So, to remember his ancestors and family deity, he named Somaskanda as 'DakshiNa Meru Vidangar'.

8.            Amongst all the Siva temples, two Rajas are important – one is Nata Raja and another Thyaga Raja.  The Sozha king who had two Rajas in his name had intense devotion and special adoration for these two Rajas.  So, in the Rajarajeswaram that he constructed, having so much adoration for these divine kings, he made the two temples in the name of Somaskanda as DakshiNa Meru Vidangar and Nataraja he named as 'Ãdavallãn', the name that he loved most and that has come from the sweet tongue of – Thiru Nãvukku Aarasu' – 'திரு நாவுக்கு அரசு', bringing in yet    another 'Raja for speech' in to contention!

The Greatness of Raja-Raja Sozha & the Most Important One Amongst them
9.            People who have known him have come to adore him for many of his endearing qualities, daring escapades, administrative abilities, devotion to divinity and his large heart for plenitude!  They praise him for the way he has catered for expenses on Decoration, ornaments for the idols, for Daily conduct of Pooja-s, and as to how abundantly he has catered for the pay and allowances in the years to come for all the workers in the Temple and as to how he has recorded it for ever as to the source from which it has to come, and recorded it on stone!  Though he was a staunch devotee of Siva, they praise him for having catered for the VaishNava temples as well as Buddha Viharas, equally well!  In administration, he displayed exceptional acumen by dividing his state in humanly manageable circles and decentralized the control and execution in such a way that he could introduce elements of democracy within the framework of a monarchy.  When finding it difficult to decide between equally plausible alternatives, he suggested a method known as 'Kuda Olai thervu' as per which the alternatives were written on a piece of paper each and put in a pot from which a child from the crowd was requested to pick up one, which was accepted by all opposing parties as a via media solution!  He got the lands measured, gave names to roads and numbers to houses as part of his civic management ideas.

10.          So, he is appreciated for his religious sentiments, appreciation of arts and crafts, philanthropy, organizational ability, planning for the future, putting it all on record and more than anything else for constructing the Brihad Easwara Ãlayam in Tanjore.  But I think his naming the Nataraja as 'Adavallãn' and Thyagaraja as 'DakshiNa Meru Vidangar', as his greatest contribution, as an inviolable proof indicating that he considered Sanskrit and Tamil important as his two eyes and had equal regards for both the languages.  Though those two languages are like the Mother and Father for our uniquely wonderful ancient Indian culture which continues to be alive and kicking; have now seem to have been thrown on either side of an unbridgeable chasm or divide.  So now, when I hear the news that they are planning to raise a statue for Raja-Raja Sozha; that on his birthday of Aippasi Sadaya Nakshattiram, they are to have a big celebration in the Brihad Easwara Temple; at once I feel a re-awakening of hope and belief; that they will also come to know that he was equally well disposed towards both these languages and traditions and that we can deserve to celebrate his greatness only when we try and get rid of the sense of difference between these two equally important sides to the same coin of what is Indian Culture!  We wish and pray for the removal of the alienation between our own two endowments and hegemonies!

(To be continued.)




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