Sunday, November 24, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 69 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Nov 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 69 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 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 537 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)

The Service Rendered by Sri U.V.Swaminatha Iyer
12.           Tamil Patti was an original composer singer who taught morals to her students through her music, which were simple in construct and deep and grand in concept!  The Tamil Thatha was basically a student of Tamil who researched ancient Tamil literature and brought out nuggets of gold and treasures of gems!  What was available in bits and pieces were made wholesome by his research.  There are occasions wherein the original source had become completely forgotten and he gets some evidence of its having been there, by some quotations somewhere and he goes on a 'wild goose chase' literally and ends up with a real find of the original, like it happens in some books on mystery!

13.          There are many books of classic value in Tamil which have been searched for and found in its manuscript form etched on palm leaf.  The speciality in his publications has been cogent comparisons between copies so etched on palm leaves, giving out any differences between copies with special comments for what he has discerned and understood while also giving, 'viLangã merkoL agarãthi' – 'விளங்கா மேற்கோள் அகராதி', meaning a compendium of Not Clearly Understood Quotations!  They will have all the details for further research and study on the subject!  There are many works in Tamil which have been revived by him thus.  But unlike Tamil Patti, the Language was not a carrier for his advices on morality.  He contributed all his resources such as, heart, mind and time for the sake of Tamil!  So he has also researched and revived books like Jivaka ChintamaNi in which there is so much propaganda for the Jainism totally contrary to Vedic religion.

13.          In fact his, this service has been quite useful in making the high quality of Tamil literature evident and known to the world.  So I was making it a habit of reading his research works and would take every opportunity to call him, encourage him causing him to come closer to the Matam.  If he has done much research and analysis in Tamil, I have also done a bit in this line.  Often during his visits I used to open out on one or two of my pet projects in Tamil research and used to make him happy by doing so.  In fact over a period of time, he was extremely happy that the head of a Matam which was thought to be out and out only interested in Sanskrit, was also showing his competence and abilities in Tamil.  With growth of this idea, his trust and devotion to our ÃchãryãL also grew immensely that over a period of time he started sending his monetary contributions for Vyãsa Pooja in the Matam regularly and develop much interest in the functions of the Matam related to our religion and social work. 

Tanjai VãNan Kovai – 'தஞ்சை வாணன் கோவை'
14.     Once I demonstrated to him as to how in this Matam, we have been having a long standing and on-going interactions with Tamil Scholars.  This fact when it also helped him in the area of research in which he was involved in at that time, he virtually started dancing around happily.  So I am sure that you would like to know as to what it is.  You might have heard of something known as Tanjai VãNan Kovai, that is, one of the 96 varieties of a verse known as Prabandam.  The Sringãra Rasam as sensual and decorative Rasa, as from a Nayika towards Easwara, is known as 'Kovai'.  The work so written by MaNikka Vãsagar is Thirukkovaiyar, in which, the first 'Thiru' is a respectful prefix and so is the 'yar' a qualitative suffix at the end.  'Kovai' is the name of the book.  So, Tanjai VãNan Kovai is a poem of love about a gentleman by the name of VãNan. 

15.          There is a story about him.  Once when Tamil poets visited him, he was not in town, but his wife the Queen was there.  She had also interest in literature.  Not wishing to return the poets empty handed, she expressed her desire to listen to the poets about their compositions – in their language 'thiruchevi sãrtruvadu' – 'திருச்செவி சாற்றுவது', meaning 'to lend her ears' and they did so accordingly.  Even this wife of 'VãNan' could be called a 'Tamil Patti' as, though she was not far advanced in age, as she was ready to hear their 'Pattu' or songs, she could be called a 'Patti'!  She wished to honour the poets as he used to do or even better.  For each song she gave them a plate with Betel leaves, areca nuts, plantain fruits and a coco-nut each known as 'Tãmboola Maryãdã'.  The difference was that each coco-nut was made of gold!  The poets were thrilled at this bonanza!  But as they were about to take leave, Tanjai VãNan happened to return.

16.          His reaction was one of anger it seems.  He told her in apparent annoyance, "What is this?  Is there no sense in displaying our respects to the poets?"  He told the poets, "Please return all your gifts and then please wait for some time here itself.  I shall come back after correctly deciding as to what should be the suitable gift."  Rani was shocked and poets were highly disappointed.  Tanjai VãNan had gone inside the palace and the poets waiting in the reception hall were in absolute agony that a well-known philanthropist and benefactor had turned out to be a crude character like this!

17.          VãNan came back with his Rani after some time.  He did honour all the poets with a similar 'Tãmboola Maryãdã' with the difference that each golden Coco-nut had its three eyes represented by three invaluable gems imbedded.  If the Rani replaced the bare coconuts with the golden ones, this donor patron had added three gems to each golden coconut fruits!  If she as the Rani is to be considered as a Tamil Patti, He as the 'dãtã' – 'दाता' meaning donor philanthropist, is to be considered as a Tamil Thatha by his own rights as a 'दाता', as he so plentifully donated to the Tamil poets, he has by his own rights has earned the name as a 'Tamil Thatha'!  About this Tanjai VãNan Sri U.V,Swaminatha Iyer had done  some research and identified that he did not rule from the Tanjore of the Sozha Desa and that his place was in Pãndya Nadu, a place known as 'Tanjakkoor'.  In the Railway line connecting Madura with Manamadurai there is a station known as 'Thiruppachatti'.  One mile south of the station is the place Tanjakkoor.  When I told Sri U.V.Swaminatha Iyer that this Matam can also provide evidence that Tanjakkoor in Pãndya Nadu is the real place of this donor-philanthropist VãNan, our Tamil Thatha Sri U.V.Swaminatha Iyer was thrilled beyond belief! 

18.          The 63rd ÃchãryãL of this Matam known as the IV Maha Devendra Saraswathi had ascended the Peetam in this Matam in the year 1783 A.D.  Within a few months the Raja of Siva Ganga Vijaya Raghunatha Periya Udaiyar had donated a village to the Matam.  That donation is evidenced by the legal documents of that time and the name of the village so donated was known as 'Pulavar Cheri'.  Evidently this Village must have been known as 'Pulavar Cheri' meaning a village of learned poets or a place often celebrated as a meeting place for poets of that period.  So my guess was that this must have been the place where poets were honoured so famously, and the adjoining Tanjakkoor must have been the place of Tanjai VãNan.  So, because that place was the one where poets were all the time frequenting hovering around, like the bees do on the flowers, must have got the name as Pulavar Cheri.  Hearing this Iyer was as thrilled as though he hand located a period relic of Palm Leaf Manuscript!  Similar to this finding in which mostly what was thought of a the Sozha Desa Tanjore, was finally identified as a Pãndya Desa Village, similarly there was a small bit of my 'research' in connection with the identification of yet another place too.  That was about what is 'Thiru Chitra Kootam'?
Location of Thiru Chitra Kootam
19.          Chidambaram is one of the 'Pãdal Pertra Sthalangal', meaning one of those places mentioned in Thevãram where Nãyanmãrs have sung in praise of Siva's escapades.  It has also been classified as one of the 108 Divya Kshetrãs of Vaishnavãs, as Thillai Nagar Thiru Chitra Kootam.  In the place which is famous for Parameswara carrying out his dynamic dance as Nataraja, just adjoining the Sannidy, there is the great Mãyãvi Maha Vishnu, in deep sleep as Govinda Raja.  It is claimed by the Vaishnavãs as the very place in which Thiru Mangai Ãzhvãr and Kulasekhara PerumaL have done Mangalã Sãsanam.  But Sri U.V.Swaminatha Iyer was of the opinion that this is not the same Chidambaram.  His point was that, if the place name is 'Chitra Kootam' the Murthy in that place should be Sri Rama Chandra Murthy and not Govinda Raja.  So there is a mismatch of the names in his opinion. If your question is as to, how can it be that Maha Vishnu in deep sleep on the Sesha Naga is called Govinda Raja, that question does not withstand much analysis.  Because Krishna is considered as a PoorNa Avatara, we do identify Maha Vishnu wherever he may be located, with Govinda and or Gopala as per custom and tradition.  Thirupati Srinivasa PerumaL is hailed as Govinda only, isn't it?

20.          There was another point in U.V.Swaminatha Iyer, Tamil Thatha's attention.  Kulasekhara while singing about Chitra Koota, in that Pasuram 'PerumaL Thiru Mozhi' has completely covered all the incidents as in Ramayana.  So he was wondering if there was any other place in which the Presiding Deity is Sri Rama, which also was known as Thillai.  A counter question can be asked.  Kulasekhara used to have Sri Rama as Ishta Devata.  Once when he was the ruling over a place known as Thiru VanjikkaLam, there was Ramayana Upanyasam being conducted.  In it when it was mentioned that at Janasthana, Sri Rama set out to fight with 14,000 Rãkshasa-s as a single individual, he totally forgot that he was only hearing about what had happened long time back, got up saying, "What My Swami to go into war as single individual only?  No!  I will just now collect all my forces and go in support of him!"  For him, everything was Rama.  In Thiru KaNNapuram also, he has sung a lullaby for baby Sri Rama.  So it is but natural that for him, even Govinda Raja could have been none else, but Sri Rama.  So what is there to do much research in trying to prove whether Thillai Thiru Chitra Kootam was the same as Chidambaram or not?

21.          In this, I have no axes to grind Sir!  I was only explaining the views of U.V.Swaminatha Iyer on the subject being discussed.  As per his opinion, instead of his poems about Thiru KaNNapuram, in which he has only generally referred to Sri Rama, while singing about Thiru Chitra Kootam, he has specifically mentioned the presence of Hanuman and so period! 
"தில்லை நகர் திருச்சிற்ற கூடந்தன்னுள்
Thillai nagar thiruchitra kootantannuL
திறல்விளங்கு மாருதியோடு அமர்ந்தான் தன்னை
Thiral viLangu mãrudiyodu amarndãn thannai", meaning that in Thiru Chitra Kootam Sri Rama was seated in all his regalia, (evidently with Sita and Lakshmana) 
Now the question has to be answered if there is any such indication of Sri Rama seated with Sita, Lakshmana and Maruti in the Govinda Raja PerumaL Sannidy in Chidambaram, or are we talking about some other 'Thillai Nagar Chitra Kootam'?

(To be continued.)




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