KURAL # 117 (Vol # 7) Dated 09 Mar 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 889 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
'The Privilege that He Couldn't Have'
1. As you people consider me as an elder and pay your
regards and respects to me by doing Namaskãr, I also wish to sincerely pay my
respects to my elders in age, experience and knowledge. But in my case, position / status as – Jagat
Guru, Peeta Adipathy and the title as 'Sankara ÃchãryãL' – have intervened,
that too from the very young age without any qualifications or merit as known
to me – have come in-between, preventing me from expressing my sincere
appreciation and respect to others, who are immediately in my presence
identifiable as seniors and elders with vast erudition, practical experience
and apparent knowledge! Often I used to
feel bad about this life of such pride that does not let me pay my regards
where it is due! From the day I became a
'Sankara Acharya' I had lost the privilege of paying my respects to others, who
are apparently worthy of being respected.
ÃchãryãL's Ruling about Sanyãsis
2. In all
this our ÃchãryãL has done something very good for the Sanyãsis, so that they
may not start bloating with pride that they are being highly respected and
appreciated. That is, even if others sincerely
pay their regards and respect, we are not to think that it is addressed to
us. So that we may remember that,
whosoever expresses his respects by Namaskãra wherever and whenever to
whomsoever, goes only to that one omniscient and omnipotent being, and so that
we may pass it on instead of misappropriating the credits, our ÃchãryãL has
made a simple procedure, which may look too easy but having in depth meaning!
ÃchãryãL and NarãyaNa Nãma
causal power for all worldly transactions, as the governing power or the
C.E.O., sort of Paripãlana Shakti would have been indicated in all his
Bhashyams and PrakaraNa Granthas as 'NarãyaNa'.
There are many reasons for that.
Instead of getting in to a discussion about the relevance or otherwise
of that Nãma, let me tell you one particular bit of information and stop
there. Our country is one that has deeply
analysed the highly subtle, esoteric and abstract principles, ideas and
thoughts, and have established different schools of thought as Vedanta,
Meemãmsa, Sãnkhyam, Nyãya and so on.
Mostly our ÃchãryãL has written his Bhashyam books, with this class of
the reading and discerning public in mind.
still, though this country is famous for discussion on such subjects, greater
than that it is heir to both a good and bad reputation in – having instead of only
dry insentient ideas, but having live forms of so many Devatas representing
those ideas, thousands of them, in fact 330 millions of them to be
precise. So our ÃchãryãL in his
Bhashyams and PrakaraNams, instead of referring to the causal root Paramãtma
only as a principle of philosophy, has made use of a particular Nãma of a Powerful
Divinity, for the sake of the society used to personal relationships, has
mentioned a particular individual name of a God. So, what is the suitable name of a God, here
in our context?
there are many Gods, from the beginning till date, our society can be broadly
divided as Saivites and Vaishnavites. Amongst them he must have evaluated between
two main Nãma-s, that of Siva and Vishnu.
He was himself an Avatara of Siva, he must have wondered if he should
make use of his own name sake Easwara or his close associate Vishnu. They are very dear to each other though they
are seemingly different. So, wherever he
had to point out a Jagat-KãraNa Shakti, as Prapancha Paripãlana Shakti, as
SaguNa Brhmam, the C.E.O., of the Universe, he used the name of
'Narayana'. In between I used the name
of Easwara as the Governing power-in-being, which is generally considered as
Siva, in Vedanta Sãstrãs that name Easwara is used for the SaguNa Brhmam and
not Siva, as also meant by Ramanuja ÃchãryãL and Mãdhvã ÃchãryãL.
you may have a question as to how our ÃchãryãL has composed and written so many
Siva Stotras, the answer is that, those are devotionals songs. He has written many other devotionals on a
number of other Swamis for the sake of those who have those Gods as their Ishta
Devata, so that they could stop and rest their minds in the Ishta Devata. So, how could he have not sung prayers to
Siva? That is the reason for his works
such as, Siva Bujangam, Sivãnanda Lahari, Siva Pãdãdikeshãnta VarNana Stotram,
Siva Keshãdipãdãnta VarNana Stotram, Siva Aparãdha KshamãpaNa Stotram, Siva
Mãnasa Pooja, Sivãshtakam, Siva Panchakshara Stotram, Siva Panchãkshara
Nakshatra Mala Stotram, Veda Sãra Siva Stotram, and so many others!
ÃchãryãL was one who never cared for his own separate identity and lived as Ãtma
Swaroopa. By that fact, he could
identify himself with others views and identities and could raise them from
wherever they were to the highest. Like
water that is colourless becomes black, brown or red depending on the colour of
the earth on which it is flowing; while singing the praise of various Devatas,
he could identify himself with a true devotee of that particular Swami. In that trend, as he identified himself as a
devotee of Siva, instead of being just Siva Avatara, he could sing like a Siva
Bhakta. As a Siva Avatara, he couldn't
have done self-praise but, as a Siva Bhakta he could sing about Siva any
amount, isn't it?
8. In his
Matams he has kept Siva as Chandramouleeswara as the main deity and all other
Devatas as part of the family, isn't it?
If your question is, as to why he has given the Pride of Place sort of,
to one particular deity, in a place where all sorts of people are likely to
congregate, the answer is that this was not a deliberate action on his part at
all. It is Parameswara himself who had
given five Sphatika Lingams to our ÃchãryãL, for them to be installed in five
different places in India, so that regular pooja may be done forever. So, keeping the Siva Lingam as the main
Deity, others had to be part of the family of deities. This also enabled for the divisions of
GãNãpatyam, Saivam, Sãktam, VaiNavam and Souram to come together under one systematic
method of worship known as 'Panchãyatana Pooja' – 'पञ्चायतन
the sake of uniformity.
you can possibly ask another question as, "That is alright. But while writing about Ãtma Sãstrãs, you
said that our ÃchãryãL without any identity of his was just the Ãtma Swaroopa,
didn't you? So he should have remained
like that only isn't it? Why should he
have retained the 'Siva Avatara Identity' and thought as to, 'How I could be
arranging for my own fame and name to be worshipped' and so let me insert the
name 'NãrãyaNa'? How and why should this
sort of 'Crisis of Conscience' be happening for our ÃchãryãL"? I have an
answer to that question also. (PeriyavãL
smiles at his own humour, saying that he has come prepared with both the likely
Question Papers as well as the Answer Sheets duly filled in.)
answer is that Ãtma Swaroopa will not write books. It won't do anything other than being. The moment he sat down to write books on
abstruse aspects of philosophy, the Ãtma Swaroopa is gone and Avatara Swaroopa
is on. To say that correctly, Ãtma
Sãkshãtkãrã Samãdhi state is set aside when he is aware of the fact that he is
an Avatara with a duty to re-establish Dharma in the country, then he sits down
to pen those poems of Bhashyam and Vedãnta PrakaraNams. Then when he started writing poems of
devotion of Siva, he is in the mode of a serious devotee. When he is himself an Avatara of Siva, it is
not in order, style and good manners for an Avatara Siva to be singing
encomiums of praise of the Ãdhãra Siva, isn't it? So, during those occasions, he is purely
identified with a devotee of Siva totally.
11. So all
said and done, when the basic cause of all existence is named as 'NãrãyaNã' in
the Bhashyams, please understand that the main purpose of those books are, the
oneness of 'Jivãtma and Paramãtma'. In
them, for the Siva Avatara to have placed the Vishnu Nãma and for Sri Krishna
and Sri Rama to have done Siva Pooja; is all indicative of 'Hari-Hara-Adwaitam'
that they are one and the same. When
there are thousands of names of Maha Vishnu, what is the speciality about the
NãrãyaNã name? It is the Nãma that occurs
in the very special mantra known as the 'Ashtãkshari' – 'Om Namo NãrãyaNãya' –
'ॐ नमो नारायणाय' |.
in Sanskrit means the path and PrayãNam is the journey. For the human beings known as 'Nara' in
Sanskrit, NãrãyaNa is the path and the destination too. In Bhagawat Gita (10.32) as Sri Krishna he
says, that he is the Science of the Study of the Self meaning that he is the
very approach to know oneself, 'adhyãtma vidya vidyãnãm' – 'अध्यात्म
end of that study course, the result is to attain to him itself and that is
'NãrãyaNa'. That is why when the Guru
Parampara of Brhma Vidya is listed the first name is 'NãrãyaNam Padmabhuvam' –
'नारायणं पद्मभुवं'. So it is in the
rightness of things that the Bhashyam for Brhma Vidya refers to the Nãma of
combining the names of Hari and Hara we have many temples of Sankara-NãrãyaNa
all over South India, the important ones being located in Sankarankoil in
Thirunelveli District, Udupi in Kerala and in Chennai. The presiding deity in Sankarankoil is called
'Sankara-NãrãyaNan'. Though some
die-hard Vaishnavites do not subscribe to the idea of such oneness of
Siva-Vishnu, most others do. There was
one devotee visiting the Matam here, who though being a 'Smãrthã' Brahmin, was
like the followers of Veera-Saiva sect who do not accept other Gods as equal to
Siva. When he did Namaskãra to me, he
did not like the idea of my chanting the name of NãrãyaNa. Normally I do not chant that name too
loud. But he knew that to be the
tradition. So one day he asked me as to
why we should be taking the name of 'NãrãyaNa' despite being Saivites?
going much into the intricacies of the oneness and differences of Saivam and
Vaishnavam, I had to give a quick reply.
I told him, "The Upanishads are common for all followers of
Sanãtana Dharma isn't it? Among them
there is one in the name of Siva Kumara Skanda as 'Skandopanishad'. In that Upanishad it is mentioned that in the
heart of Vishnu, it is Siva who resides – 'vishnoscha hrudayam siva:' – 'विष्णोश्च
हृदयं शिव:' and
so it means that in the name that I take when others do Namaskãra to me, in
that name of NarãyaNa too, the residing deity in his heart is Siva, isn't
it?" He went away happily
14. But I
had been a little over smart with that gentleman because, I had told him only
half the truth. The other half of the
truth as the first line of the statement, of that quotation is that, 'sivasya
hrudayam vishnu:' – 'शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णु:' – that 'Vishnu resides in Siva's
heart'. Because he was a little too seriously
a devotee of Siva, I could get away by quoting only the convenient part of the
couplet. But when you combine both the
statement they make the whole truth.
(PeriyavãL smiles while saying this.)
It so happens that for all the dynamism of any activity, including the
most violent storm, there is a calm center as the heart or Hrudayam. Similarly in all the things that are
seemingly static, the dynamic center is in a violent turmoil.
static calm center is Sivam and the dynamic point is Vishnu!
Labels: posted by Lt Col KTSV Sarma