Monday, November 18, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 66 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 66 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 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 517 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)

11.           Let them celebrate his being a Tamil hero, which is true after all.  He did find and recovered the Thevãram poems from being eroded and saved them extinction.  Not only that, he also ensured that it is chanted every time there is a Pooja conducted in the temples all over Tamil Nadu, for which he detailed 'Oduvãr', making their chanting of Thevãram a part and parcel of the daily devotional procedure.  In the Big Temple of Brihad Easwara, he had detailed 50 such persons to do the chanting.  So there is all the justice to remember him and celebrate his memory as the one to revive, resuscitate and rejuvenate the Tamil culture and traditions. 

12.          But, if we say only this and stop there, it will only be a partial and one-sided statement since he also had equal and immense pride and respect for the Sanskrit Language, Vedic and Ãgama cultural traditions too.  Only if we talk about how, with a great sense of responsibility and devotion he has done yeoman and pioneering service for these aspects, we would have done justice to his contributions to our Indian Hindu Sanãtana Dharma culture and traditions! He organized construction of temples, establishments to ensure regular practices for daily pooja at various times such as morning, mid-noon, evening, ending with laying the Gods to lie on the swing to the accompaniment of singing the lullaby and special and periodical pooja-s of the month and on various occasions throughout the year; were all done exactly as given in the Sãstrãs and as acceptable to traditions.  When it was mentioned that the idol for the main Sanctum known as 'moola sthana vigraham' is the BaNa Lingam that is available in the Narmada River, leaving all his official duties as an emperor, he left for the banks of the Narmada River thousands of miles away in the North, with 64 of his trusted assistants known as, 'arubã nãngu velãn chetty' – 'அருபா நான்கு வேளாண் செட்டி', located this massive monolith of a stone and arranged for it to be transported all the way to Tanjore, is a mind-boggling achievement to even think of, let alone doing it!  Remember those days there were neither Grand Trunk Roads nor Railways!

13.          Looking at many of the 'etchings on stone' known as 'kal-vettugal' – 'கல் வெட்டுகள்', we note that the first one is in Sanskrit, 'etat viswa niroopashreNi mouli' – 'एतत् विश्व निरूपश्रेणि मौलि'.  As it is said in Thevãram, 'ஆரியன் கண்டாய், தமிழன் கண்டாய், வடமொழியும் தென்தமிழும் ஆனான் கண்டாய்', meaning that, 'you have seen the Aryan and the Tamilian; North Indian and South Indian and you have seen him who at once is the essence of both the northern Sanskrit and southern Tamil'; taking it in that very spirit; he ensured that at one and the same time, if on the one side there were many masters in Veda Adhyayanam known as, "Ganapãdigal chanting the Rudram, Chamakam, Namakam and Mantra Pushpam; on the other hand there were many Oduvãrs chanting the divine Thevãram, as ensured by 'Raja Raja Sozha'. 

The White Man's 'Divide and Rule' Scam
14.          Here I must clarify an important issue as to how the Britishers have analysed our inner differences thread-bare to be able to exploit each and every real or imaginary differences to their convenience.  Let me explain. In our old literatures wherever we find Ãryã and Dravida or Tamil being mentioned, there is no indication whatsoever that these are references to different races.  In one vast Community of Indian Citizenry, based on the spoken language there has been a differentiation of identification of people as speaking of five Gowda and five Dravida languages.  Though belonging to one Dravidian stock between Tamils, Telugu and Kannada, there are so many variations in traditions with further branching, isn't it?  Malayalam is an off-shoot of Tamil only.  But still one can note the vast differences between their cultures and traditions.  That is how from this huge basis of Sanãtana Dharma, there has been two main off-shoots one with Tamil as the basis and the other with Sanskrit as the basis.  Though they varied, the roots were the same!  Kings like Raja Raja Sozha gave space for each other's growth without ever forgetting the fact of their common roots. 

15.          Only after the White Man's Rule in India, based on their policy of Divide and Rule, very cleverly they concocted the story as though they were, instead of the fight between the Good and Evil, were all fights between the Aryan and Dravidian Races.  Starting from what the Vedas call the forces of Evil described as Dasyu in the Vedas, Rama's opponent RavaNa who stole away Sita and the fight between SubrahmaNya and Sura Padma; were all fights between Aryan North and Dravidian South!  As though rewriting Indian History, they fabricated literally an imaginary invasion of India from the North by an Aryan Race, slowly but successively throwing the Dravidians further and further South to South India and to Sri Lanka.  This canard they inculcated in to the children's minds from primary school level onwards.  Once a premise is accepted further everything else will look as corollaries, isn't it?  Once this 'Two-Race-Theory' has been accepted without question basically, our own people started believing it to be true!  In the bargain the intelligentsia of the present day who call themselves 'paguththu arivãLargaL' – 'பகுத்து அறிவாளர்கள்', meaning that they are experts in 'Differentiation and Learning', which makes fun of the traditionalists as having superstitiously blind beliefs, are themselves victims of this canard of 'Two-Race-Theory' superstitiously believing themselves to be so much more sensible!

16.          As I said just now quoting the Thevãram "ஆரியன் கண்டாய், தமிழன் கண்டாய், வடமொழியும் தென்தமிழும் ஆனான் கண்டாய்", and in what I am going to further add about 'singing and dancing in Aryan / Sanskrit and Dravidian / Tamil; you will see that we are talking about Indian culture as it evolved based on the two languages of Sanskrit and Tamil and not about Racial differences, but as part of the same Race.  Without ever differentiating and going in their own separate ways, in the unifying sense of integration only Rajaraja named the two forms of the same God, one as 'Adavallãn' in pure Tamil and the other as 'DakshiNa Meru Vidangar' in classic Sanskrit.  By hearing these two names of the same God itself, the origin of two ancient traditions of Tamil and Sanskrit will be understood to be the same and the 'bhedha bhuddhi' – 'भेद भुद्धि', the tendency to differentiate will ease off, he must have intended.  May be that he wished that these two names should come into common usage, he gave these names for measures used for accounting the quantity of grains.  May be also to inculcate the idea that it is God who apportions our gains and grains in our lives!

Nourishment & Growth of Arts as per Sãstrãs
17.          Other than Rajaraja and Sivapãdasekaran, he has many other titles.  As he had defeated Pãndya-s, he has a title as 'Pãndya Kulãsani'.  In that word, 'asani' means Vajrayudham, the name of Indra's weapon.  As it breaks the Pãndya Dynasty or Kula, the wielder of that weapon gets the name of 'Pãndya Kulãsani'.  Sozha kings as they traditionally considered themselves as enemies of Pãndyas, used to call themselves as 'Madurãntakan'.  As he won over the Chera king of Kerala, he has a name as 'Keralãntakan' also.  In the Big Temple of Brihad Easwara in Tanjore, out of the three entrances, the first is known as 'Keralãntakan Thiruvãsal'.  In fact a particular art form which he nourished is still alive only in Kerala.  I will talk about it later.  But, I wished to talk about another title of his as, 'Raja Vidyadharan' for being so supportive of Arts and Crafts as a King.  It could be interpreted also as the King of Vidhyadhara-s, a type of celestials who are known as experts in Fine Arts amongst the Gandharva-s too.    

18.          Like Bhoja Raja, Vikramaditya, Pallava King Mahendra Varma and Krishna Deva Raya of later days, Rajaraja was also a great Patron of Arts.  Not only for their entertainment value did he support them.  He had the greater aim that Fine Arts can refine the individual man to purify himself and attain the fitness for reunion with God.  So, other than for chanting the Vedas in Sanskrit and the Thirumurais in Tamil, for people who could sing devotional songs in those two languages, he detailed two sets of people as 'Aryam Pãduvor & Tamizh Pãduvor' – 'ஆரியம் பாடுவோர் & தமிழ் பாடுவோர்' in Rajarajeswaram, three persons for the first variety and four for the second.

19.          Nataraja having the name as 'Adavallãn' has to be entertained by Dance isn't it?  Rajaraja arranged that also in a big way.  Amongst the 64 Upachãras delineated by the Sãstrãs itself, 'nrutta-gita-vãdyam' are mentioned clearly.  Rajaraja did everything exactly as per the Sãstrãs only, and not simply because he was so keen about the Fine Arts.  Slightly changing this 'nrutta-gita-vãdyam' our Tamil ancestors used to say, 'Kottãttuppãttu'. In which 'Kottu' are the drums like Davil and Mrudang; 'ãttu' meant the dance and 'pattu' was the singing.  This word 'ãttu' in Tamil is generally called the 'Kooththu' – 'கூத்து'. The Tamil name for Nataraja is 'Kooththapirãn' – 'கூத்தபிரான்'.  For 'Kooththu' in the Big Temple he detailed 400 women artists and arranged for their maintenance over generations, in terms of Gold, pay, place for living and fertile arable land for their continued income from agriculture.  There were male artists also detailed as permanent servants in the service of the Temple as 'Nrutta Ãchãryãs.      

Santikkoothu: the Forerunner for KathakaLi
20.          Only experts in all the three disciplines of 'Kottu', 'Ãttu' and 'Pãttu', were detailed as 'Nrutta Ãchãryãs'.  Amongst four such appointees by Rajaraja Sozha, one was known as 'sãkkai or Maraikkãdan' – 'சாக்கை or மறைக்காடன்' and he was from the place known as 'Thiru Maraikkãdu' – or VedãraNyam. One amongst the balance three was from 'Thiru Vorriyur' located in the North of present day Madras or Chennai.  There is a specific reason as to why I am mentioning these place names.  Let me come to that.

21.          In Thiru Vorriyur, there is a Mandapa of the 13th Century vintage.  There is a statue of a dancing male artist.  His dress and make-up is strikingly similar to the 'KathakaLi' artist of Kerala with a similarly and unmistakeably peculiar made-up face holding a sword very similar to the KathakaLi artist.  By referring to many Tamil authoritative and knowledgeable professionals, I have come to the clear conclusion the 'KathakaLi' as an art form originated from Tamil Nadu only.  In the olden times Kerala was very much part of Tamil Nadu known as 'Chera' kingdom.  KathakaLi though originated here has remained and continued to thrive only in Kerala.  Katha means story and KaLi means dance.  So KathakaLi means 'depiction of a story through dance and music' like an Opera means a Dance-Drama set to music. 

(To be continued.)




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