Sunday, December 15, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 79 (Vol # 7) Dated 15 Dec 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 79 (Vol # 7) Dated 15 Dec 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 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 updated continually)

The God Who Is Common For All
34.           Manmata 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.

35.          'Bhusurãdi' 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 Brahmins!

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.

Lotus Feet
37.          The phrase 'poojita abja charaNãya' – 'पूजित अब्ज चरणाय' 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 and 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' – 'कारुण्यामृतं'.

38.          The next line says, 'vãsuki Takshakãdi sarpa Swaroopa dharaNãya' – 'वासुकी 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 Shakti.

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' – 'षष्टिव्रत' to remember this fact throughout one's life.  As part of such pooja milk is offered to the ant-hills, the residence of the snakes.

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.

Integration 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 / carrier! 

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.

(To be continued.)




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