Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 80 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 Dec 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 80 (Vol # 7) Dated 17 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 607 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 updated continually)

Muruga & Ãdi Sesha 
44.           Some people are of the view that Vãsuki the King of Snakes is the same as Ãdi Sesha the bed of Maha Vishnu, while some others say that they are two different entities or beings.  Whatever that is, there is a connection between Ãdi Sesha and SubrahmaNya.  The seven hills of Thirupati are known as Seshasailam, Seshagiri or Seshãchalam.  They are all of the form of Ãdi Sesha only.  'Sarpa swaroopa dharaNa' SubrahmaNya has taken the shape and form of hills like that.   Thiruchengode is essentially the place where God is depicted as right side male and left female known as, 'ardhanãreeswara' – 'अर्धनरीस्वर'.  However over there, SubrahmaNya is still important since the divinity of Siva with Uma and Skanda is known as 'Somãskanda' – 'स + उमा + स्कन्द = सोमास्कन्द' meaning 'He with Uma and Skanda'.  There too, the hill is known as   Naga Giri or Nagãchalam with the same meaning as Seshagiri or Seshãchalam.  In Kanchipuram in the inner Prãhãram of Kãmãkshi temple as you enter, you may notice SubrahmaNya Swami in the form of a snake with the name written as Ãdi Sesha!  As Muthuswami Dikshidar has listed Vãsuki, Takshaka et al, Takshaka is also very famous.  When Janamejaya conducted a Yagnya for the purpose of getting rid of the Snakes for ever, it was Takshaka who took revenge and ensured the survival and revival of snakes as a species on earth!

Devadeva Worshipped by All Devas
45.          Having started 'Bhusurãdi' at the basic earth level, the composer poet now sings about the real Devas of Deva Loka.  Similarly in the music also what was started at the bass level goes easily to the higher reaches of the octaves too.  The verse says, 'vãsavãdi sakala deva vanditãya varenyãya' – 'वासवादि सकल देव वन्दिताय वरेण्याय', meaning that SubrahmaNya is respected and worshipped by all the Devas starting from Vãsavã and so is the best amongst them all.  Amongst Devas there are some class of being known as 'Ashta Vasus'.  The one born in the Raghu Vamsa or dynasty is called Rãghava and the one born in the Brugu Vamsa is Bhãrgava.  But Indra as the king of all Devas including the 'Ashta Vasus' gets the title of Vãsavã. 

46.          When Indra as the king is himself so respectful to SubrahmaNya, others have to follow suit, isn't it, as the saying goes, 'yatã rajã tatã prajã' – 'यता राजा तता प्रजा', meaning that the 'followers do as the leader does'.  That is what is meant by the line of the poem 'वासवादि सकल देव वन्दिताय', that he is respected by all the Devas starting from Indra downwards.  When Soorapadma had beaten and chased away all the Devatas and captured Indra's throne, they had all prayed to Easwara for an able commander.  SubrahmaNya had come into being to meet this prayer by the Devatas.  So, it is but natural for all Devatas to be beholden to SubrahmaNya.  Not only were they beholden to him and worshipped him, but also the King of the Devatas Indra had given his daughter Devyanai aka Devasena as his betrothed wife.  So SubrahmaNya became the Pathy of the Deva Sena, that is, their Army Commander and also Devasena's Pathy or husband.   That is what is said later in the poem as 'devasena jãmãtre' – 'देवसेना जामात्रे' that is, obeisance-s to the son-in-law of the Devas. 

Son-in-law of Maha Vishnu in Two Ways
47.          I remember one more thing.  We call Devasena as the daughter of Indra, the King of all Devatas and consider VaLLi to be the daughter of Nambiraja the Tribal King of people who live in the hills.  Both in fact were born as daughters of Maha Vishnu only.  Then for some reasons they both grew up as the daughters of Indra and Nambiraja.  Who is Maha Vishnu?  He is the brother of AmbãL isn't it?  So SubrahmaNya has married both his maternal uncle's daughters thereby justifying his name as the son-in-law of the Devatas.  That is why AruNagiri Nãtha has repeatedly referred to SubrahmaNya as many times as 'murugoné' – 'முருகோனே' as 'marugoné' – 'மருகோனே' also.  PiLLaiyar is also the son-in-law of Vishnu but it is SubrahmaNya who is specially referred with the epithet 'Mãlmarugoné'.

Oneness of Saivam and Vaishnavam
48.          I spoke about how in the presence of divinity all differences disappear and only acceptance of equality prevails.  Here too there are examples for that idea.  Manmata is Vishnu's son who was burnt to ashes by Easwara.  To Easwara's sons Vishnu has given his daughters in marriage making both Easwara's sons, his son-in-laws.  If we keep analysing on this line, even Saivam and Vaishnavam, seen to be somewhat dissimilar, will be branches of the same system. So, there is nothing surprising for the song 'Sri SubrahmaNyãya' to be the master-piece of a VaishNavite music artist, but rather on the cards.  After all, he is the son-in-law of Vishnu and hence it is all in the rightness of decency and decorum for one to be rather fond of the son-in-law of the sect. 

49.          If we go one more step further higher, AmbãL is the sister of Maha Vishnu, isn't it?  Who is the one to hand over Meenãkshi to Sundareswara?  Like we say 'It is all in black and white', nowadays, the scene is depicted for eternity in sculptures, for the whole world to see, isn't it?  First Dikshidar said that all people aka 'samasta jana' are worshipping Sri SubrahmaNya.  Then he says that all Devas are devoted to him.  There are classes amongst the divine angels too.  There as 'Vasus', Adityãs', 'Rudras', 'Gandarvas', Yakshas', 'Kinnaras' and 'Vidhyadharas'.  All the classifications of Devas are venerated by the human beings of some class or sects or the other.  All the sects and classes of Devatas are devoted to Sri SubrahmaNya, as the poet says – 'sakala deva vanditãya vareNyãya' – 'सकल देव वन्दिताय वरेण्याय'.

The Top Most
50.          This word 'VareNya' means the highest, best and top-most.  This word occurs in Gayatri Mantra too.  There is nothing greater than the effulgence of the Parama Ãtma Tatvam that is the best.  The word which conveys the meaning that Parama Ãtma Tatvam is the best in the Gayatri Mantra, has been used here by Muthuswami Dikshidar to also rhyme with the 'antya prãsam' that he had used earlier such as, 'subrahmaNyãya', 'lãvaNyãya', and 'saraNyãya'; is now rhymed with the top-mantra word from the Gayatri mantra, like an inlay of the most precious gem in a top notch ornament as 'VareNyãya' meaning Namaskãrãs to that adorable and venerable best.

Literary Beauty and Embellishments
51.          There is not only 'antya prãsam', but also there is rhyme at the start of the sentences; Sri su(pra) – Bhusu(rãdi) – vasa(vãdi) – dãsa(jana). The shape and form of the poetry is also made to be beautiful like the meaning is.  This is the special capability of great artists known as 'rachana visesham', meaning the refinement they are capable of, in how they sculpt the words and meaning in an order that is pleasing in composition to be calm and composed.  As they say in Tamil, the poem is said to be full of 'சொல் அமைதி' and 'பொருள் அமைதி', by which we get to know the signature of the poet's special ability.

Foremost in Anugraha
52.          Having given the superlative degree of appreciation to the poet in saying 'vareNyãya', in the very next line has added a whole series of superlatives to ability and efficiency of Sri SubrahmaNya, in granting the prayers of the devotees.  He says, 'dãsa jana abhishta prada' – 'दास जना अभीष्ट प्रद', meaning 'the fulfiller of devoted followers wishes'.  To refer to 'the one who fulfils the wishes of his followers', it would have been enough if he had said, 'दास जना अभीष्ट' 'प्रदाय'.  Talking about SubrahmaNya Swami's efficiency to grant the devotees' wishes, Dikshidar did not want to leave it by simply saying that he is very good at it.  But to that 'prada' he adds 'daksha' and 'tara' and further 'agra gaNyãya'.  Earlier while naming the names of the Snakes we said, 'Vãsuki, Takshakãdi', while here the word is 'Daksha' meaning super-efficient. 

53.          Not only that, but further above that, he has added the word 'tara' that is 'dakshatara', meaning amongst all those who are efficient in granting the wishes of their devotees, he is better, 'dakshatara' – 'दक्षतर', in the comparative degree.  In comparison, he is better than others. Thus amongst all those Murthys who sanction every wish of their devotees, he is very good comparatively.  Then Dikshidar must have thought as to what happens if other devotees of other Gods come to fight as to 'How can you say that?'  So to be able to say something like, 'He is first amongst equals'; he put in that he is 'counted as foremost amongst those who are very good in granting their devotees wishes', he added after 'daksha tara' another phrase as 'agra gaNyãya' – 'अग्र गण्याय', to mean 'counted ahead of others' and placed a full stop there.  So the whole line reads beautifully as, 'dãsa jana abheeshtaprada dakshatara agra gaNyãya' – 'दास जनाभीष्ट धक्षतर अग्र गण्याय'.

Heroism that Annihilated Great Rãkshasa-s
54.          The next line reads, 'tãraka simhamukha soorapadmãsura samhartré' – 'तारक सिंहमुख सूरपद्मासुर संहर्त्रे'.  To him Namaskãra, we have to add, to the one who killed 'Tãraka, Simhamukha and Soorapadmãsura'.   As the words in the Pallavi and Anupallavi ended in 'akãra' – 'आकार', as 'SubrahmaNya, lãvaNya, saraNya and agragaNya; for him when you added 'to him Namaskãra', the fourth declension of the verbs as per Sanskrit grammar made those words end in '***yãya'.  Now in the charaNam part of the poem the words are ending in the shorter version of 'ru' (instead of 'akãra' in rukãra'), in which with the change brought by the fourth declension, they will become 'ré' to be pronounced as 'ray' in English.  So the end words are, 'samhartré', 'kartré', 'savitré', 'dartré', 'jamãrtré and 'pradãtré', in the charaNam.

55.          Tãraka, Simhamukha and Soorapadma are three brothers.  Tãraka had the face of an Elephant.  Simhamukha as the name indicates had a Lion's face and Soorapadma simply had a horrendous face of an ogre.  In South India it is Soorapadma, who is thought of as the King of these Rãkshasãs and the main opponent of SubrahmaNya Swami.  But in North India it is 'Tãrakãsura' who is considered as the leader of the three brothers.  In 'Kumãra Sambhava' also Kãlidãsa has said that Kumãra Swami's birth was for the destruction of Tãraka Asura.  Our ÃchãryãL in Bhujangam has mentioned all the three names, 'tvayã sooranãmã hata:stãraka: simha vaktrascha daitya:' – 'त्वया शूरनामा' हतस्तारक: सिम्हवक्त्रस्च दैत्य:'.   Here the 'simhavaktra' is the same as 'simhamukha'.  So, Dikshidar has made use of all the three names as in Skanda Maha PurãNam.  SubrahmaNya Swami in his very young age itself fought and annihilated three cruel Rãkshasãs who were very powerful enemies.

56.          Crores and crores of 'mansija lãvanyam' has been described, as the foremost amongst 'deena sharNya' and 'abheeshta Varada' has been mentioned; and now he has been talked about as to how at a very young age he has fought and defeated three powerful enemies.  Thus he has been extolled and eulogised as the foremost in Beauty, AruL aka Grace and Power.

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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