Friday, April 18, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Apr 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Apr 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 the page No 1041 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)

Gnãni Hanuman and His Guru
(We readers of these e-mails titled Deivathin Kural are at the last lap of three e-mails about Hanumar or Hanuman, God in the form of a monkey, who is also a devotee of Sri Rama.  With that we will be coming to the end of seven volumes of Deivathin Kural, translated from Tamil in to English, containing PeriyavãL's talks in the last millennium.  After this, I will re-editing the whole lot of 1271 posts and make it available both as an e-Book as well as a printed version.)
1.            There is a sloka on Hanuman: –
अतुलित बल धामं स्वर्ण शैलापदेहं
atulita bala dhãmam swarNa shailãpadeham
तनुजवन कृशानुं ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं |
tanujavana krushãnum gnãninãm agragaNyam |
सकलगुण निधानं वानाराणामधीसं
sakalaguNa nidhãnam vanarãNãmadheesam
रघुपतिवरधूतं वातजातं नमामि ||
Raghupati varadhootam vãtajãtam namãmi ||

2.            Tulasidas was a great devotee of Sri Rama, who had written Ramayana with the title as 'Rama Charita Mãnas', which is very popular all over North India.  More than Kamba Ramayanam in the south, there in the north, they venerate this book and do PãrãyaNam quite regularly as a book of God!  It was written only some 400 years back, gaining fame as a classic literary piece, bringing much name and renown to the Hindi / Hindusthani language, which was relatively of a recent vintage.  Still, looking from the point of view of grammar, it was not written in the style and diction of high erudition but rather in the colloquial with some slokas in Sanskrit!  May be that is the reason in a way for its popularity, whereas Kamba Ramayanam written in chaste Tamil, is a bit difficult to understand for the common man.  Though Tulasidas's Rama Charita Mãnas does have its literary embellishments, appealing very much to highly erudite scholars, it is the Bhakti Rasa of Tulasi Das which has been the cause of its universal acceptance and popularity.

3.            That was the period of Muslim Rule over most of India and destruction and desecration of Hindu Temples was a daily event.  Conversion of others in to Islam being one of their avowed principles, it was widely going on in India those days.  Still if the masses were resisting such compulsions and sticking on to their Mother Religion, the sense of devotion fed by 'Rama Charita Mãnas' was very much one of the reasons.  The character of Rama Bhakta Hanuman who would not bend his head before injustice, his physical prowess, unshakeable celibacy and bachelorhood, fearlessness and courage, his escapades against all odds, his adventurous spirit and his most sensible advices on many occasions to others; made a deep impression on the collective ethos of a whole nation!

4.            Tulasidas himself wrote a poem known as Hanuman Chalisa of 40 couplets; which became so famous that it was on everybody's lips irrespective of age or caste amongst Hindus.  Easily committed to memory, the poem worked wonders that even a normally docile person would feel guarded and protected that he will feel energetic as though he has become a champion athlete.  The poem became so popular that it proved to be an effective fence against forcible conversion into Islam!  It is not that as though Hanuman was a creation of the fertile imagination of Tulasidas.  If you read the history of Tulasidas, you will note as to how closely his own life was influenced by Hanuman and how he had closely interacted with Hanuman and a recipient of Hanuman's immense grace!  Tulasidas is said to be an 'Amsa' of Hanuman, both the Stars on the Ascendant on their respective birth-days being the same, namely Moolam.  It was virtually as though Hanuman was the 'friend, guide and philosopher' for Tulasidas.  (Now please do not kick up a ruckus as to how Tulasidas a character of some five centuries vintage could have physically interacted with Hanuman who is said to have existed more than 5,000 years back!  Hanuman is said to be one of the 'Chiranjeevi-s' who live forever.  There are supposed to be seven of them namely, Aswattãma, Bali, Vyãsa, Krupa, Parasurama, Hanuman and Vibhishana.)   

5.            It is a MangaLa Sloka written by Tulasidas that occurs in the early part of Sundara KãNdam in his Rama Charita Mãnasa that I had quoted at the beginning of this talk.  I am repeating it here with two changes in the words, 'hema for swarna' in the first line and 'priya bhaktam' for 'vara dhootam' in the last line without changing the meaning too drastically: –    
अतुलित बल धामं हेम शैलापदेहं
atulita bala dhãmam  hema shailãpadeham
दनुजवन कृशानुं ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं |
danujavana krushãnum gnãninãm agragaNyam |
सकलगुण निधानं वानाराणामधीसं
sakalaguNa nidhãnam vanarãNãmadheesam
रघुपतिप्रियभक्तं वातजातं नमामि ||
Raghupati priyabhaktam vãtajãtam namãmi ||

6.            The poem ends with the words 'vãta jãtam namãmi' meaning that I pay obeisance to the son of Vãyu or 'Vãyu Putra' that is Namskãrams to Hanuman, Son of the Wind God, Vãyu that is Vãta in Sanskrit, not Vãda which means 'to argue'!  Hanuman is also called 'Vãtãtmajan'.  He is being described here about which, I am going into details.  Most importantly Hanuman is the foremost among Self Realized Souls 'Gnãninãm agragaNyam' – 'ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं'Amongst all self-realized Gnãnis this Vãtãtmaja is in the Top of the List!  Normally his noticeable character qualities are, his phenomenal physical strength, fearless courage, initiative and endeavour, efficiency and unmatched intellect, erudition especially his knowledge of grammar, immaculate celibacy; and using all this power for the welfare of the common lot, in the most Righteous manner, as an offering of love for the Divine!  In addition to all this, was his deep devotion for Sri Rama that he was a devotee of all devotees of Sri Rama!  Then he was super-efficient capable of perfectly focussing all his energies most effectively on the task in hand!  Thus we know him as the No. 1 in Karma Yoga as well as Bhakti Yoga!  What we were not so aware was that he was also Number 1 or Numero Uno in Gnãna Yoga too!  (In a lighter vein, Hanuman was a super-hero much before any of these Batman, Superman, Spiderman and their ilk, were even thought of!)

7.            We know that he is an intellectual of a very high calibre to be called 'buddhimatãm varishtam' – 'बुद्धिमतां वृष्टं'.  Still we know also that intellectual acumen is something else than Gnãnam, isn't it?  Nowadays in the world there are many experts and authorities in various fields in all walks of life.  Can we call them all Gnãni-s?  Only a person who has come to realise that he is one with Ãtma aka Brhmam, while still in the present form as a Jiva Ãtma, can be called an Ãtma / Brhma Gnãni.  Even that experience cum knowledge happens only after much self-analysis with the help of many Tatva Sãstrãs in this life or the previous one, undoubtedly.  Here also the Buddhi has to be an important tool, but solely directed towards and focussed only on this one particular line, ignoring all the distractions by our senses and Maya.  But those whom we know as intelligentsia are mostly those who may be the authorities in subjects as in an encyclopaedia which are only cerebral exercises.  They will not have been motivated by the burning desire to get to know the unity of Paramãtma and Jivãtma and thus their knowledge cannot be termed as Gnãnam.  Such a person though may be well read and experienced, stands far away from the one whom we call a Gnãni! 

8.            Here this Ãnjaneya, who is 'buddhimatãm varishtam' – 'बुद्धिमतां वृष्टं', is different from all other intellectual giants.  He is the one to have seen the other shore of 'Samsãra Sãgara' and have understood and comprehended the very quintessence of what is Vedãntam and the foremost amongst such as 'Gnãninãm AgragaNya' – 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्य', as said by Tulasidas who had known Hanuman personally face to face!  Tulasidas must know fully well what he is saying about Hanuman, as he has also conveyed other adorable character qualities of Ãnjaneya.  What are those other great character qualities of Hanuman?

9.            When he starts the MangaLa Sloka with the words, 'atulita bala dhãmam' – 'अतुलित बल धामं', it means 'the residency of incomparable physical prowess'.   Then he says that Hanuman is 'swarna or hema shylãpa deham' – 'स्वर्ण or हेम शैलाप देहं', it means that Hanuman has a body like the golden or snow covered mountains, so strong and so huge.  Both the words Swarna and Hema as adjectives are equally applicable.  In the Himalayas on a clear day in morning and evening, it is a glorious sight to see the snow covered peaks of the mountains with a golden red tinge of AruNa of the rising or setting Sun.  His, this golden hue of 'Swarna VarNam' is due to his Brhmacharya Tejas of absolute celibacy.  Here one is reminded of the words of MaNikka Vãsagar, when he says, 'ooninai urukki uLLoLi perukki' – 'ஊனினை உருக்கி உள்ளொளி பெருக்கி', meaning 'enhancing one's inner brilliance by melting one's very being'!  In the case of Hanuman that inner brilliance is enlightening the entire environs!  Without melting his being, he was mighty like the mountains of Meru or Himalayas, because he also had to achieve physical accomplishments of incomparable magnitude, as a Karma Yogi.  One of those achievements was that he destroyed a whole lot of Rãkshasãs like a forest fire, 'danuja vana krusãnum' – ' दनुजवन कृशानुं'.  Only after talking about his intelligence and efficiency in his being worldly wise, suddenly Tulasidas jumps to the other world of Self-Awareness and describes him as 'Gnãninãm AgragaNyam'.

10.          Then he describes his mental balance and acumen by saying, 'sakala guNa nidhãnam' – 'सकल गुण निधानं'.  For all good qualities he is like a depository or reservoir, is the meaning.  Then he talks about him who had well deserved the Name as 'Rama Dãsa', could keep all the clans of the not-easily-controllable monkeys as the Lord of them all, as 'vãnarãNãm adheesam' – 'वानराणां अधीसं'!  By this what is figuratively meant is that Tulasidas is hinting at the not-so-easily controllable and flitting and fleeting senseless senses and the mind – which are often compared with the monkeys of the Jivãtma; were kept under strict control as Hanuman was known as 'jitendriya brhmachari' – 'जितेन्द्रिय ब्रह्मचारी'! 

11.          In the end he talks about the first thing that comes to our minds the moment the name of Hanuman is mentioned that he was the messenger cum spy of Sri Rama, as 'Raghupathy Varadhootam' – 'वरधूतं'.  As I said earlier instead of 'Varadhootam', there is a 'Pãta Bhedham' as 'priya bhaktam' – 'प्रिय भक्तं', the one who was very devoted to Sri Rama or the one who had earned his love, actually the epithet is apt both ways.  Having described all this, where he had to reveal the person's name, Tulasidas says 'Vãta Jãtam tam namãmi' – 'वात जातं तं नमामि', expressing his Namaskãra to Hanuman, the son of Vãyu, before ending the poem

12.          In all this we are most concerned about 'Gnãninãm agragaNyam' – 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं'.  It informs us that amongst all Brhma Gnãnis he is to be given the most important place, as conveyed by Tulasidas who had personally known and moved with Hanuman!  So while talking about his character qualities, he has kept this 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं' as the most important gem in the middle of the pendent in a necklace of invaluable gems!  Depository of incomparable power, powerful body like a mountain, heroic capability like a forest fire in destroying a whole lot of Rãkshasãs; are the three things said initially and then; being a reservoir of excellent Satva GuNas, the Lord of the uncontrollable Army of Monkeys and bodily senses and the mind and being the most trusted and loved messenger-spy of Sri Rama; are the three qualities mentioned later.  In the centre is this epithet 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं', as I said, as the central gem of 'Atulita' value!

13.          The moment we say that Ãnjaneya is a Brhma Gnãni, those who are well aware of Vedic traditions will at once raise a question as to, 'Who was his Guru?'  You cannot do this on your own.  Hearing the Upadesa of a Guru who can teach and impart Brhma Vidya has to have been there.  This knowledge has to be obtained or has to happen with so many contributory qualities of intrinsic individual effort, with the final push from the Anugraha of such a Brhma Gnãni.  The Sishya has to put in a lot of efforts, has to do Sãdhana of SravaNa of listening to Guru's Upadesa attentively, Manana of deeply thinking about it, Nidhidyãsana of reiterating and mulling over the lessons learnt, Dhyãna of deep meditation and then finally merge in the ultimate Reality, that will happen when it may!  So the question remains as to who was the Guru of Hanuman?

(To be continued.)



At 12:12 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Nice Post Admin.Jai Hanuman.Read hanuman chalisa daily twice for Success in your life.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger Anandji Varadarajan said...

Thank you Anvidh on my father's behalf.

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