KURAL # 79 (Vol # 7) Dated 15 Dec 2013
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 middle of page No 601 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
God Who Is Common For All
we noticed has a name as Kãman to mean that he instils or instigates passion on
the people of the world. But this
SubrahmaNya who is crores and crores of times more beautiful is the common for
all sorts, kinds and castes of people as the next line of the song says
'bhusurãdi samastajana poojitãbja charaNãya' – 'भूसुरादि
समस्तजन पूजिताब्ज चरणाय'. To him our Namaskãra-s
are due, who
has such lotus feet that are adored and worshipped by all sorts of people
starting from the Brahmins.
means Brahmins and others. Bhusura are
Brahmins. The word 'Sura' means Devas
and 'Asura' means non-Devas aka Rãkshasa or Ogres. As the Brahmins conduct
various Yagas inviting the divine Devas, Brahmins are considered as divine
counterparts of Devas on earth and hence the name Bhusura. It means 'Angels on Earth', as they do so
many things for the well-being of Devas as well as all the people on the Earth! But those who are Brahmins only by birth and
do not do the duties to which they are born are called 'Brhma Bandu' more on
sarcasm as a relative of Brahmins. The
idea meant is that, this man is unworthy of being called a Brahmin as he does
not do the duties he is required to do but, all his relatives happen to be
36. Thus SubrahmaNya Swami is
the God of Brahmins, as we have already seen that the phrase 'महीदेव देवं' means the God of Brahmins. But does it mean that he is only a Brahmin
God? No he is God of all people starting
from Brahmins, inclusive of all people of every caste and creed. If one of his wives is Devyanai the daughter
of Indra, the other wife is VaLLi the daughter of a tribal from hills covered
by forests. So he is the Swami for all
people. One calls him Brahmana Swami
because in his name itself this word Brahman is there and someone else call him
a Dravidian God as he is married to a tribal in South India. Yet another says that he is typically a Tamizh
Deivam who takes care of even those who curse him in Tamil. But the fact is that he is everybody's God
without any fights, quarrels or disputes.
Dikshidar belongs to this party of oneness and unity. In the name of God we should all be coming
together and not be getting divided, as all people – समस्तजन
– get together in our love for him as also in his Grace.
37. The phrase 'poojita abja charaNãya' –
means the one with adorable and venerable feet which are like the lotus, to him
our Namaskãra-s. The word 'ab' means water and 'ja' means born
and so 'abja' means 'born in water' or 'water borne'. Other synonyms for the lotus are 'jalaja',
'ambuja', 'sarasija' and 'saroja'. So
also is 'vanaja' a name for lotus. The
word 'Vana' means forest. So one may
wonder as to how can there be a lotus just like that in a forest. One of the meanings of Vana is also
water. Neer and Vãri are also other
words for water. Thus Vanaja, Neeraja
and Varija are all synonyms for the lotus.
There is yet another word for water in Sanskrit and that is 'kam' and so
we have 'Kamala, Kamjam, Kanjam' – 'कमल,
कमला, कंजं, कञ्जं',
are all further synonyms for the lotus and the lady with lotus like eyes is
called '' – 'कन्जलोचने
कन्चदलायदाक्षी'. The feet at which all people do pooja and
offer flowers is so soft, tender, cool and colourful like the lotus. As the lotus is oozing with honey, his feet
are pouring out the Grace of Kindness and 'kãruNyãmirtam'
38. The next line says, 'vãsuki
Takshakãdi sarpa Swaroopa dharaNãya'
तक्षकादि सर्प स्वरूप धरणाय',
'to him who is in the form of snakes named Vãsuki,
Takshaka and others. Sarpam is the PrãNa
Shakti in all living beings which is said to be coiled and lying like a snake
in Moolãdhãrã. In our normal state it is
like that only in a state of dormancy.
When you do Sãdhana it emerges in all its virility, brilliancy and
vigour, integrating with the Maha Shakti Swaroopa of Paramãtma. It is said to be KuNdalini Shakti as AmbãL's
form. That is why Parama Siva is
depicted wearing the snake entwining all over his neck, biceps and hips. SubrahmaNya as Siva Kumara is of the form of
39. When we take the name of SubrahmaNya
Swami, it is the Vél aka the Spear that comes to our mind. All Gods are depicted holding or wearing
various weapons and so does SubrahmaNya Swami.
But the way he is equated with
the Vél, no other 'Ayudham' is thought of as identical with the holder of the
weapon. That Vél is called as Shakti or
Shakti Vél. As he is the personification
of power as 'Shakti Swaroopa', he is the KuNdalini, the Snake. If we see a snake in our dreams they say that
we should do some obeisance action of salutation to SubrahmaNya Swami. The Shashti pooja is normally Nagaraja Pooja
as a tradition. Especially for erasing
'putra dosha' of not having any off-spring it is recommended that we should be
doing Shashti Vratam as a Nagaraja Pooja.
When the Devas wanted a powerful Senãpathy as their leader in battle,
Siva granted them his son as the very embodiment of power. So also when people wish to have a son they
keep fast on the sixth day after New Moon and Full Moon known as the Shashti
and such boys born after such vow of abstinence are named also as 'Shashtivrata'
to remember this fact throughout one's life.
As part of such pooja milk is offered to the ant-hills, the residence of
40. In Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra
Pradesh, SubrahmaNya Swami is not revered with an idol in human form. In the Kshetra named SubrahmaNya on the west
coast of Karnataka also there is an idol in the form of a snake only. In Andhra he is referred as 'Subbarayudu' in
the form of a snake. I started looking for any evidence as to
whether our ÃchãryãL has referred to SubrahmaNya Swami as a snake, studying the
SubrahmaNya Bhujangam. The moment I
looked at the title, I burst out laughing, since the very title is Bhujangam
which means a snake. Snakes do not have
legs. Mara Vattai and Kambli Poochi aka
centipedes have innumerable number of legs.
Since they move by an action of side-winding and swivelling on either
side, they are called crawlers, their scientific name being Myriapoda. Our ÃchãryãL has sung Bhujangam-s on GaNesha,
Siva and Bhavani too. But when we think
of Bhujangam what comes to our mind is only SubrahmaNya Bhujangam. Though he has sung many Ashtotras, Shatkam
and Stotram on all and various Gods, on SubrahmaNya he has put whatever he
wished to state in that one Stotra of 33 slokas. This is proof enough that he has depicted him
as Naga SubrahmaNya Swami.
of Opposites in Our Gods
41. Thinking of SubrahmaNya Swami is in
the form of a snake Muthuswami Dikshidar takes the names of prominent and
well-known names of the snakes such as Vãsuki and Takshaka and says,
'Namskãrams to him who had taken those forms'.
There is a custom to do Shashti Pooja to portraits of seven prominent
Snakes. Vãsuki is the King of all snakes
in the world of snakes known as Naga Loka.
At the time of churning the milky ocean with the Manthara Mountain it
was Vãsuki that was used as the rope, wound around the mountain and being
pulled on either side by Devas and Asuras.
When you use a snake as a rope, pulling it this way and that, naturally
it will spit out poison, isn't it? It
did and Siva promptly swallowed the 'Alahãla Poison' to save everybody from
annihilation. Then like butter from the
milk being churned, Amrita comes out.
What is normally considered as opposites come together in such noble
ventures, is the purport.
42. If you look at the portrait of
SubrahmaNya, you will see this integration of opposites. What is his Vãhanam or carrier? It is the Peacock, which is the mortal enemy
of the Snake. That Peacock will be
standing on a snake held tightly by the claws of its legs. The rider on top of the Peacock is this
SubrahmaNya Swami who is a Sarpa Swaroopa of the form of a Snake! In Tamil Thiruppugazh too is the song,
describing this intermingling of opposites, 'nãga banda mayoorã' – 'நாக பந்த மயூரா'. The phrase, 'simha soppanam' – 'ஸிம்ஹ சொப்பனம்', means the dream of the elephant in which it imagines
itself being attacked by a lion. In fact
a sleeping elephant if it dreams of a lion, it is a night-mare that it will
wake up with a shock. Amongst many forms
of Ganapathy, one is Heramba Ganapathy in which this GaNesha the Elephant is
seated on a Lion as its Vãhanam
43. Just as the snake and the peacock are
enemies, so also snake and Garuda the Eagle are also sworn enemies. But in the case of Maha Vishnu, Ãdi Sesha the
snake is the bed and Garuda is the Vãhanam.
If the peacock and eagle will eat up the snake, the snake will swallow
the moon. That is how Rãgu the snake is
depicted to be swallowing the moon on the nights of lunar eclipse in our Hindu
mythology, isn't it? But in the case of
Siva the two prominent decorative pieces on his 'Jadamudi' are the snake and
the moon! When you look at the portrait
of Parvathy and Parameswara as a couple, where Siva is seated on a Rishabha
Vãhanam the bull, she is riding a Simha the Lion! Will a lion ever spare a bull like that? The 'tãtparyam' – 'तात्पर्यं',
that is the purport is that in the presence of divinity enmity has no chance of
survival. I was explaining the line in
the song which says – 'vãsuki Takshakãdi sarpa swaroopa dharaNãya' – 'वासुकी
तक्षकादि सर्प स्वरूप धरणाय'.
Let us proceed further.
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