KURAL # 111 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Feb 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 844 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
01. This Sloka conveys respects and
regards to an unbroken chain of Gurus, coming down from time immemorial till
samãrambam Sankarãchãrya madhyamãm |
समारंबं संकराचार्य मध्यमां |
Ãchãrya paryantãm vande Guru paramparãm ||"
आचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरु परम्परां ||" This is a
sloka uttered by all the followers of Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL. Even
if not done till date, it is to be done twice at least from this day
onwards. Anyhow Guru Parampara will
carry on continuously. This sloka is
addressed to all those Gurus including the one who is presently your Guru,
including anyone who teaches you anything, any Do's and Don’ts, and those who
are yet to become your Guru. There is no word in the
sloka to mean 'till date' but only 'asmat Ãchãrya' meaning 'our Ãchãrya', which
should be understood as 'present living teacher of ours'.
is a phrase 'Adi-madhya-antam', which is like saying in Tamil, 'முதல்-நடுவு-முடிவு' like in English beginning, middle and end. But Guru Parampara
does not have an end and hence we should understand it as, from the beginning,
presently and in future in every generation.
Who is that Ãdi Guru? The Sloka
calls him 'Sadasiva'. It is followers of
this tradition who chant this sloka and are required to chant it, and so we can
make out that he is the Central figure.
That central figure is the Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL, being thought of
as 'The ÃchãryãL', who is an Avatara of the original fount, source and root
known variously as Siva, Easwara and Sadasiva.
for all of us who are followers of our ÃchãryãL, known as 'Smãrthãs' or
'Adwaitins; we have heard DakshiNa Murthy as the original Ãdi Guru. The one sitting under the banyan tree facing
south in 'Veera Asana' holding the Chinmudra, sans speech, movement and actions;
out of extreme kindness for the people of the world to explain the Parama
Tattva by speech, visiting every nook and corner of India not once but thrice,
putting down 72 different so called theistic religions and atheistic sects in
the garb of religions, debating and defeating them; establishing Matams to
spread his teachings; re-stabilise the Hindu Sanãtana Dharma; to do all this,
took Avatara as Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat
PãdãL; as we have heard within 32 years of his life as a human being.
in this sloka the name of DakshiNa Murthy has not been mentioned. Taking the name of Sadasiva, it only says,
'Starting from Sadasiva'. Because, when
we say Dakshinamurthy, we mean the same as Siva in another form. In our religion every God, every Devata has
at least a thousand names, which are all so many different forms of the
same. Rama, Krishna, Hayagriva are all
Maha Vishnu's 'roopa bhedangaL' – 'ரூப பேதங்கள்' only. Similarly
DakshiNa Murthy, Nataraja, Bikshadanar, Bhairava are all different forms of the
we say MahãvishNu, we do not say Mahasiva.
Maha is an adjective not added to the name of Siva. There is Maha Sivarathri as an adjective for
the phrase Sivarathri. The 14th night in
the waning fortnight of the moon is known as Chathurdasi, which is considered
as Sivarathri once every month. Amongst
12 such monthly Sivarathri, the one occurring in the month of Mãsi, happens to
be at the end of the winter season and just before the start of summer season
in India, is known as the Maha Sivarathri.
From that we are not to construe that Siva does not deserve the
adjective 'Maha' or some such thing! In
fact out of the eight most important names of his 'mahat' – 'महत्' is the last and important
without any relative assessment of value between them!
you do formal Archana for Siva, after you are done with Sahasra Nãma of a
thousand names of Siva, Trisati of 301 names, and Ashtotra-sata of 108 names,
finally before closing shop, eight most important names of Siva are mentioned
and obeisance expressed as given hereinafter.
Please note that the eighth name in that is about his 'greatness' as the
last but not least criteria!
'bhavãya devãya nama:' – 'भवाय
'sarvãya devãya nama:' – 'सर्वाय
'easãnãya devãya nama:' – 'ईशानाय
'pasupataye devãya nama:' – 'पशुपतये
'rudrãya devãya nama:' – 'रुद्राय
'ugrãyadevãya nama:' – 'उग्राय
'bhimãya devãya nama:' – 'भीमाय
'mahate devãya nama:' – 'महते
Sanskrit grammar the nouns are varied depending on whether it is singular, dual
and plural; and by prefixes such as with, to, from, for and by. In doing so the above are the fourth variations.
Having done the Archana, that is lightly placing the flowers on the idol in
that order, we go ahead with offering Dhoopa / lighted incense sticks, Deepa /
waving lighted lamps and Neivedyam / of offering choice eatables which is later
distributed as Prasãdam amongst the devotees. So, his name 'Mahãdeva' is the
most famous and important.
7. In making
use of the above Ashta Nama-s, there is one speciality and quirk. When doing a Laghu pooja for AmbãL for that
also these eight names can be used, by saying; 'bhavasya devasya patnyai nama:,
sarvasya devasya patnyai nama:' and so on.
The last one alone changes slightly differently that is instead of
'mahate devaya nama:' it will be 'mahato devasya patnyai nama:'. Similarly this short version of eight named
Archana can be used for PiLLaiyar as well as SubrahmaNya, starting with
'bavasya devasya putrãya nama:' ending with 'mahato devasya putrãya nama:' or
'mahato devasya soonave nama:'. For
'putrãya' one could use the word 'soonave' – 'सूनवे'
Sanskrit word 'सूनु:' means 'Son'.
8. If the
above is a speciality, what did I mean by the word 'quirk' in the first
sentence of the above paragraph? There
are VaLLi and Devasena as the wives of SubrahmaNya. There are Siddhi and Buddhi as the wives of
PiLLaiyar. There is also Vallabha as his
wife. If you feel like doing pooja for
them also and are not able to find a suitable Sahasranãma or Ashtothram say,
then what can we do? It is here that
these 'Ashta Uttama Nama-s' can come in handy.
We can be happy using them by starting with, 'bavasya devasya putrasya
patnyai nama:' adding all those eight names similarly, finally ending with,
'mahato devasya putrasya patnyai nama:'!
9. So all
said and done, Siva comes to the finishing point as Mahalingam, Mahadeva and
Maheshwara (as all e-mails of Deivathin Kural are ending with
'Sambhomahadeva')! But like Vishnu and Maha
Vishnu, there isn't Siva addressed as Mahasiva.
Why is it so? As the foremost
amongst all Devatas, he is Mahadeva. As
a great sign of value as a Lingam he is Maha Lingam. Of all the signs of all the Devatas of so
many Murthys or forms, the most supreme is this Mahalingam. How is that?
I called it Murthy or form. But
is this Siva Lingam a form with eyes, nose, ears, mouth, face, hands, legs and
a body? It is not a form like that. In fact it is not a Roopa but only 'Aroopa' –
'अरूप'. Still it is not empty
space either. Like the cosmos it is an
oblong, ellipsoidal and concentric parabola as representing all creation. Knowledgeable people say that is a combination
of GuNa and NirguNa, that is, with and without characteristics. Similarly it is Sakala meaning with all
parts, digits and limbs, while it is also Nishkala, which is the opposite of
Sakala that is, devoid of parts, digits and limbs! In Tamil they call it 'aruvuruvam' – 'அருஉருவம்'. Thus
at one and the same time it or that is with and without form, inclusive of
Adwaitam and Dwaitam and all other possibilities of ideas, notions, principles
and concepts also. So it is the greatest
sign of manifestation and potential!
Thus as a sign or pointer or indicator it is the Maha Lingam! He is also called
Maheshwara. The word Easwara means the
ruler and owner, as he owns the entire universe and rules over it all. As he does a great Maha job, he is called the
10. The five jobs that God does are known
as 'pancha krityam' – 'पञ्च कृत्यं' in Sanskrit and 'aintozhil' – 'ஐந்தொழில்' in Tamil. Out of those
five jobs, three are known to most of us as Srushti, Stiti and Samhãra. The fourth is the veiling of the truth from
our eyes and comprehension thereby making the first three jobs necessary; is
known as 'Tirodãnam' – 'तिरोदानम्', that is, the screening of
reality. Hiding the Brhma Swaroopa, that
is, our reality of Ãtma Swaroopa is hidden, creating the separate identity of
individuality in each one of us, enabling the non-absolute entities of time and
Srushti – Stiti – and Laya, making it possible for the Great Maha Mãyã to play
out its part is this Tirodãnam. As the
Executive officers for Srushti, Stiti and Laya are the Brhma, Vishnu and Rudra,
the officer for Tirodãna is Easwara as per Saiva and Sãkta Ãgamãs. As all the worlds are tied up with Maha Mãyã
and ruled over by Easwara, he is titled as Maha + Easwara = Maheshwara.
to Siva, Brhma and Vishnu have two of the five jobs of the Pancha Kritya. Balance three jobs are with Siva's
Ãvirbhãvam-s namely Samhãra with Rudra and Tirodãnam is that of Easwara. There is one more major job not mentioned so
far and that is the highest and most important.
That is Anugraha. While saying in
Tamil these five jobs are called, 'akkal' – 'ஆக்கல்', 'kãttal' – 'காத்தல்', 'azhittal' – 'அழித்தல்', 'maraithal' – 'மறைத்தல்' and 'aruLal' – 'அருளல்'. This last one AruLal is what is known as
Anugraha in Sanskrit.
types of Anugraha are there. One is at
the ground level when the Jiva is totally tied up with the worldly affairs with
his own wants and needs to enable him or her to run their lives, is one type of
Anugraha. We all have a body with the
five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. The sixth is the mind or intelligence
enabling us to enjoy or experience. This
combination and interaction of body, senses, world and the act of experiencing are known and referred
respectively as 'tanu', 'karaNam', 'bhuvanam' and 'bhogam'. What is this?
To sanction these four is nothing great!
Is this all the great Anugraha, so greatly spoken about as the fifth
important job of God? All this is
nothing but further augmenting our deeply remaining mired in the so called Maya
Prapancham, isn't it?
else can be done? Somehow there is this
world and we are born in it as so many individuals, with our past 'Karma'
effects as our credit and debit balances of PuNya and Pãpa, as effects of
merits and demerits based on our past actions.
The only way it can be done away with is by going through them, bearing
and enduring the sufferings and off-set the negative balances through good
deeds without looking forward to benefits through 'nishkãmya karma' – 'निष्काम्य
कर्म', while keeping one's mind away
from further attachments and involvement through Sãdhana. So we need divine anugraha even for living a
very normal life within the Maya Prapancham, let alone raising above all
this. We do not know as to when it all
started and where and when will it all come to an end. But in the meanwhile we do need God's
blessings to be able to suitably make use of these four – 'तनु,
करणं, भुवनम् व भोगं' as
God's Anugraha, for cancelling our past Karma and get above the pulls of
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