DEIVATHIN KURAL # 100 (Vol # 7) Dated 29 Jan 2014
(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 754 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
38. SarasavãNi did not claim that she is the
better-half. That is only, a way of
saying in English. She only told Sankara
that she is the other half or 'alter-ego' of the husband and that Sankara will have
to compete with her also. She was the
personification of Saraswathi Devi, the Goddess of all knowledge and learning
that she had every reason to believe that she would win. By agreeing to do so and easily winning over
her, Sankara only proved his 'sarvagnyatvam and sãrvaboumam' – 'सर्वज्ञ्यत्वं व सार्वभौमम्', that is omniscience and omnipotence!
Well that is another side to the story.
competition being one between a part of the Sanãtana Dharma and the totality of
it, as represented by Mandana Mishra and Sankara respectively, it was her job
to adjudicate. But her responsibility
did not end there. As the adjudicator, she had to announce and execute the
judgement that it came about that, she had to sacrifice her husband! Because the agreement was that if Mandana
Mishra wins, Sankara was to leave Sanyãsa and become a house-holder as a
Gruhasta and if alternately Sankara wins, Mandana Mishra was to leave all his
Karma Anushtãna and become a Sanyãsi.
That was the challenge! What can
never be accepted and done by a devoted wife ever, such a sacrifice was taken
in her stride and done in a most poignant and subtle way by her!
40. She did
not tell the ÃchãryãL, "You have won, please give my husband Sanyãsa"
or some such thing! Had she done that,
it would not have been in her style and standard and we would not have come to
notice her level of maturity! All
arguments and counter-arguments and debates were over. It was time for food. The food for the Sanyãsi is called the, 'Bhikshã
Vandana' – 'भिक्षा वन्दन' and the food for the Gruhasta is called
the 'Vaishva Devam' – 'वैश्व देवं'.
What SarasavãNi did was to call not only the Sanyãsi Sankara for Bhikshã
Vandana but prayed to both of them, by saying, "May both of you kindly
grace the occasion by receiving Bhikshã Vandana"! As an 'Amsam' of Saraswathi she spoke with
such subtlety and élan!
HoysãLa Princess and RamanujacharyaL
41. In the
story of Sri RamanujacharyaL also there is a narration of an incident in which
a King who converted to another system and belief, was brought back to his
Mother Religion with a woman as the pivot.
The King who ruled over the HoysãLa State in Karnataka had similarly
converted to Jainism. His daughter, the
Princess had been possessed by a ghost.
RamanujacharyaL it was who chased away the ghost and brought her back to
normalcy, while simultaneously also bringing the King back to the Vedic
religion of VaishNavam! He was renamed
by RamanujacharyaL as 'Vishnu Vardanan' who got the famous Belur Chenna Kesava
PerumãL Kovil constructed.
MãNikka Vãsagar and Princess of Sri Lanka
Vãsagar also has cured a Princess of her affliction and thus re-established our
religion on an occasion. Here it was not
Jainism but Buddhism the target. The
King involved here is not of India but the neighbouring Sri Lanka aka SingaLam
where, Buddhism has been the main religion for quite some ages past. This King in Sri Lanka had a daughter who was
dumb from birth. To enhance the name and
fame of our religion there had to be woman dumb from birth. Couldn't it have been a boy? But, it was a girl. To make her talk, her father went to many
Saints. When there is a problem not easy
to tackle, people run to anybody with the hope of finding a solution. That is how this King visited India, having
heard about the reputation of MãNikka Vãsagar.
They came to Chidambaram. That
became the occasion for a huge debate between Vedic Religion and Buddhism. Both sides agreed that whosoever causes the
dumb girl to talk, that Religion would be declared the winner.
Vãsagar who had staked his whole life as an offering to God, as a ripe old
fruit of Grace that he was, prayed to God and asked him a question, "Oh
God! Will you not please cure this girl
of her limitations and enable her to speak, as an indication of your boundless
kindness to be known to the whole world?"
Then he started asking a number of questions about Easwara. That dumb girl opened her mouth to speak for
the first time in her life and promptly answered all his questions. There is a work of his known as 'Thiruchchãzhal'
containing two lines of questions by MaNikka Vãsagar followed by two lines of
the reply by the girl, as part of his Magnum Opus known as Thiru Vãsagam. Listening to this whole conversation and
surprised by the miracle of cogent replies of the Girl, relieved of her
dumbness, Buddhists accepted their defeat!
Buddha's Step Mother and Buddha
44. As we
have touched upon Buddhism, converse to what I have been talking about so long,
I am reminded of an incident in the life of Buddha. I have been telling you about those occasions
when women walking the right path, like Thilakavathiyar, and Mangayarkku Arasi
have been responsible for the protection, wellbeing and revival of our Vedic
Religion. Conversely it is also true
that women going astray will cause great harm to the wellbeing of the
society! Buddha had created an
organization known as 'Sangam' to mean a gathering or association, in which
hordes of men were made Bhikshu or Bikku meaning renounced, celibate and
abnegating practitioners of the religion solely paying all their attention to
realization of that religion's ideals.
one day his step-mother who was also his mother's younger sister, by name
Mahãprajãvathi came to him and requested that she should also be given
'pravrajyai' that is Sanyãsa by the Buddhist custom and made into a
BhikshuNI. For this his reply was,
"My dear Mother, this sort of a life of renouncement and celibacy and
undergoing and withstanding the difficulties and tribulations of such a life
stoically, will not be suitable to women in general and especially to women of
the royal upbringing like you. Then when
there are so many men here, if women also join in as BhikshuNis, the life in
the Sangam will become as common as the market place! That would lead to many avoidable pitfalls
and abnormal situations and incidents!
So please give up this idea of yours".
46. She was adamant. Gautama Buddha could not deny her for long,
as she was in the position of his Mother!
So she was made in to a BhishuNi and enrolled as a member of the
organization of the Sangam. But it seems
that Gautama Buddha told her one thing, "Amma, you have changed the system
that I had deeply deliberated and decided.
Now the effect of this is that it is going to cut the period of
existence of this religion in to half of what it would have been
otherwise!" True to his statement
many things went bad in the whole system in the Sangam that they became the
laughing stock for the rest of the communities of the country fetching a bad
name for the religion. You should see or
read Matta Vilasa Prahasanam, a drama written by none else than the King of Pallava
Sãmrãjya, Mahendra Varma Pallava, to know as to how low the very system of
Sanyãsa Ãshrama had gone down to amongst the Buddhists!
47. If at
the intellectual level our ÃchãryãL by the path of Vedanta, Kumarila Bhattar by
the path of Karma / Meemãmsa and UdayaNãchãryar by the path of Nyãya / Tarka
Sãstrãs; were responsible for countering Buddhist Religion's principles, concepts,
beliefs and methods; the credit for Buddhism to be virtually being thrown out
of this country goes to this adamant attitude of one lady that in the general
society the respect for the religion had dwindled down to the boots. So we notice that women have the power to
make and break, build as well as destroy and ennoble as well as demean! But mostly womenfolk have been a constructive
rather than a destructive force. It is
rarely that they became the cause for degradation and ignominy. I just mentioned the stories of some of the
women who have been responsible for renaissance and rebuilding of the Vedic
Other Great Women as Bulwarks of our
are many more women who have done much for the Indian Nation and the Vedic
Religion. If Shivãji defeated the
Muslims and Turks and created a Hindu Sãmrãjya, the one who bowed the seed for
that is his Mother Jijãbãi who with milk fed him with love for his Nation and Religion. Later amongst many who aroused the common man
against the Britishers, Jãnsi Rani Laxmi Bãi and such were more motivated by their
love towards their religion than even patriotism and went to war against the
Britishers so that their religion may not be destroyed forever!
The thing to be done by Ladies of Today
this nation has repeatedly been recovered and retrieved from foreign domination
by the efforts of womenfolk repeatedly in the past and thereby the Sanãtana
Dharmam has been rejuvenated. Anyhow always they have had more faith in their
religion. When the husband started going
to office, attending shifts, going on tours and such, it is the womenfolk who
have been keeping the flame burning in terms of religious faith and
observances. If like the earlier women
of the ancient past, if the women of today also attend to playing their role in
protecting and securing our religious faith, beliefs and observances, we do not
have to worry about this voracious hunger of other religionists for converting
the Hindu community into their fold at all.
What is to be done for ensuring this?
This is the question I am going to answer herein after.
Sanskrit and Tamil, there are many excellent small and big works which tell us
about the ways, means and purpose of life with literary merit. It is a double endowment of people in Tamil
Nadu that, with Sanskrit which is an all India Language, Tamil has a hoary literary
tradition of numerous books on devotion, humaneness, fair play, morality and
justice. In fact if one learns these two
languages, one becomes a more knowledgeable citizen of the world! But it is our sad luck that, it is the
current tendency that the moment, we see a SeyyuL in the verse form, we tend to
drop it like a ton of bricks! But if we
get these poems printed with meaning and explanations, making the old Tamil
new, and verse into prose, Sanskrit with Tamil trans-literation, as small books
and send by post with some Prasãdam, I am sure more and more people, especially
women will read them, I believe. Already
I do see Abhirami Andãdi, Soundarya Lahari, Venkateswara Suprabhãtam, Vinãyagar
Agaval, Shanmuga Kavacham and such poems are being learnt quite avidly. Instead of only Bhakti, Dharmam, religious
practices, some matters of Sãstrãs and rituals and some matters of personal and
religious cleanliness are added, printed and made available plentifully, I am
sure there will be a sizeable readership.
51. If some
small number of women get together in their respective colonies and living
areas, form an association and inform this Matam, I consider it my duty to keep
them supplied with a continuous stream of such books. I wish that a whole lot of such Satsangs
should come into being all over the country in which, mutually the religion
protects the women and women protect the religion. For them our Matam will come forward and make
available plenty of 'Swayam-Bhodini' – 'Self-learning' books that could be of
immense value. Once they go through
seven or eight such books in Sanskrit and Old Tamil with translations,
transliteration, explanatory notes and commentary, then they would develop an
avid interest on their own, to start studying doing research and analysis. Then the literary merits of the study
materials will sustain their interest creating the 'abhiruchi' – 'अभिरुचि' for
52. All ladies – all womenfolk referred as
'thãik kulam' – 'தாய்க் குலம்' – should all become so many 'SarasavãNi', is my ardent wish. The basis for greatness of a Nation is not its
Armed Forces or advancement of science, cleverness of its political leadership
or industrial and economic power; but the divinity apparent in that country
because of the women who maintain morality and Dharma; is that basis, life force
and everything. If they become like
that, there will never be a deficiency or downfall for the Nation. Women are said to be AmbãL Swaroopa. AmbãL should grant such an Anugraha!
(Next subject is Deiva Vishayam or Divine Matters.)
Labels: posted by Lt Col KTSV Sarma