Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 50 of (Vol 2) of 20 Nov 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 50 of (Vol 2) of 20 Nov 2007.

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 49 of (Vol 2) of 18 Nov 2007. This is the third e-mail, under the Heading, 'Vedamum Tamizh Nadum'. The credit for quoting the Tholkappiyam song, given in the last e-mail, its word by word meaning and commentary given to Periyaval, goes to Professor of Tamil Sri. N.R. Murugavel Avargal.)

( We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or
Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be!)

28. I was saying that, if we ignore the Veda Mantras, it is not a loss for the Vedas. When we drink water, we do not ask a question, if it is from our well or the next door neighbour's well! Life saving medicines are not thrown overboard because they are from foreign countries. You do not ask, if the Sun is from Tamil Nadu or not. The Moon does not belong to any caste or religion. The point I am making is that, the so called 'Paguththu Arivalar Iyakkam' is blind enough to ignore real value, because they think (or are made not to think on the right lines), that what is not Tamil is second rate! Since time immemorial, till as recently as the last century. such was not the case. More than anything else, you will see that Tamil was not anti-Vedas!

29. Pura-naanooru is an accepted classic of very old times. In it, there is mention of, "... a God with long matted hair, endlessly chanting the six-angas of the Vedas...". I Quote, "...nanraainda neel nimir sadai mudu mudalvan / vaai pogaathu onru purinda eer irandin / aaru unarnda oru mudunool...", (Puram-166). There is another interesting episode. This is mentioned in one of the songs in Pura-naanooru, (Puram-367). The three Kings in Tamil Nadu of the Chera, Chozha and Pandiya Kingdoms, were always at each other's throat, for something or the other! It seems that there was one occassion when they were very civil, amenable and courteous, towards each other! That Chozha Raja's name itself was closely connected to conduct of Yagnas, 'Rajasooyam Vetta Perunar Killivalavan'. Avvaiyar Patti always wanted that these Kings should be friendly with each other. Seeing them in such accommodative mood, Avvaiyar was thrilled! It seems that she said that, "Oh! That is nice! You three are so pleasantly together like the three fires of, Garhapatyam, Ahavaneeyam and Dakshinaagni are together in a Brahmin's house!" I Quote the song now:- "onru purindu adangiya iru pirappalar / muththeep puraiyak kaandaga irunda / kortra ven kudaik kodi thther vendir",

30. Even after the Sanga Kaala, all the Kings of Chera, Chozha, Paandiya and Pallava States, uniformly looked after the Brahmins and their requirements. Mostly they were allotted lands without taxes. Many Katikas and Patasalaas were established and they were given arable lands as donation, so that the proceeds from such lands could sustain the running of such organizations. Thus all these Kings were gracious and benign towards nurturing Vedas and related activities. Further evidence is from, the Saiva's and Vaishnava's, Thevaram and Nalayira Divya Prabandam, respectively. As much as these literatures sang in praise of Siva and Vishnu respectively, they have talked about Vedas and related activities! As Thevaaram and Divya Prabandam, are poems soaked in the Bakthi rasa, one would expect the Karma Marga activities to take a secondary or even tertiary role of importance. But surprisingly, more than devotional activities, the Yagna Karmas have been given the pride of place, in these.

31. Earlier, I had told you that, the language of the Vedas is not Sanskrit. Similarly, I am going to share with you, another interesting fact. That is the subject of belief and lack of belief in God. (Let us first sort out some of the likely misconceptions about the words in English, in this subject. If we take two words Agnostic and Atheist and understand them clearly, then we can proceed with the translation of what Periyaval says. If you take the words, believer / non-believer; doubter; free-thinker; skeptic and so on; we can go on and on into an endless loop! Let us draw a line somewhere. Agnostic is the one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. An Atheist is the one who disbelieves or denies the existance of God! Now let us go back to what Periyaval has to say.) Many of us think that, 'Naastigam' means Atheism, don't we? No. You may continue not to believe in God and still be an 'Aastiga'. So what is 'Aastigam'? To believe in Veda, is 'Aastigam'. It does not matter, if you do not believe in God. If you believe in the Veda Mantras and their powers and do your Nitya Karma Anushtanas and Yagna Karmas, good enough. You are an 'Aastiga'.

32. Say, you have understood Vedas only partially and your analysis goes on the following lines. "Vedas do not talk of God. It talks of many Devatas. They are also another life form like human beings. But by catering for their needs, I can benefit." With this understanding, if you follow the dictates of the Veda and do the karmas accordingly, no problem. You are accepted as an 'Aastiga'. Even if you do not do these actions as an offering to God, it is all right. Karma Meemamsagars were like that. They were also accepted as 'Aastigas'. Let their understanding of Veda be wrong. Still, as long as they believe in Vedas as the 'Dharma Pramanam', or the 'rightful thing to do', they are to be considered as 'Aastigas' only. At the same time, a very hard core Devotee of Vishnu or Siva, doing daily Pooja; if He or She, seems to be against the Vedas; without any further investigation, they can be declared, 'Naastiga'. That is how it is given in some of the old literature.
'To object to or not believe in the Vedic way of life' is 'Naastigam'. This was the philosophy of Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Murthy.

33. Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Murthy, was a Siva Baktha. One of the leading lights of the 63 Naayanmars. As Kumarswamy Amsam, the younger son of the, 'Parvathi-Parameswara's, He had the authority of a Yuvaraja, that in His poems, He could say, "...aanai namade!...", to mean, 'it is my order!', that those who chant the 'Kolaru Padigam' will not be touched by the henious effects of the Planets! So, in Tamil Nadu, His words are like the Law of the Land. In a very young age, He has visited many of the Siva Kshetras and done miracles. Mylapore in Chennai has been witness to His miracles. In Patteswaram, He recieved the Pearl Palanquin presented by Parameswara Himself. From then He used to visit various Kshetras being carried on the Palanquin, with a retinue of 500 singers who were devotees of Siva! Wherever He went was a continuous celebration and sing song.

34. Those days, Jainism and Buddhism were on the ascendency. They used to preach that Vedas were wrong. To follow Vedas, as per those two religions was, a waste of time. Here the Jains influenced the King of Pandyas in Madurai and converted him to Jainism. But his wife Mangaiyarkku Arasi and minister Kulachirai, remained Siva Bakthas. They felt bad about the fact that, their king had opted for a very crude version of a religion! They heard about Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Murthy and his power and influence. They invited him to Madurai, with the idea of recovering the King's affiliations back to Saivism. They were worried about what the Samana's would do to Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Murthy and the King. The moment He arrived in Madurai, they, the Samanas invited him for a debate!

35. If you have God's Grace, nothing else matters. Governments can change, the Earth can move! Nothing to worry or fear. God's will be done. Let alone arrows and missiles, even Guns and Howitzers, will come and fall on your feet with reverence. The country and religion suffer a setback when there is dilution of devotion. If there is one man amongst you, who is the the recipient of God's Grace, everything else is irrelevant. Thiru Gnaana Sambanda Murthy was unafraid and ready for the debate. Before going for the Debate, he went to the Temple of Lord Sundareswara and sang a 'Padigam' of ten songs. In them he prayed that he should win over the Jains, so as to hold the flag of the God's fame high. In each of the songs, at the end, the last two lines were, "...gnyala nin pugazhe miga vendum then / aalavaayil uraiyum em aadiye". (For the details of how the 'Punal Vaadam' / Debate based on the flow of the Vaigai River, was conducted, read Deivathin Kural serial No.130 of 05 Jan and No.136 of 14 Jan 2007.)

36. What was his line of arguement? Did he say that, because, Jains do not come to Siva Temples; they do not apply the 'Thiru Neeru', that is the while ashes, on their foreheads; they do not wear the 'Rudraksham'; they make fun of Sivas devotees; so, for these reasons, they should be defeated. No. Then what did he say? His first line is, "veda velviyai nindanai seidu uzhal....", meaning, 'going about decrying Vedas and Velvis...'. For that reason he says that he should defeat them in Debate! 'Samanas' are Jains. Followers of Mahaveera are known as Jains. Actually the word is 'sramana', to mean those who go to extremes of self torture. 'Sra' a joint letter of half 's' + half 'r', becomes 'sra' in Sanskrit and that in Tamil becomes, 'samana' or 'amana'. That is how the star / month of 'sraavan', becomes 'aavani' in Tamil. Similarly, 'samar' is battle, which becomes 'amaram' in Tamil. Battle field is, 'samar kalam' and that becomes, 'amarkalam'. They will wear white dress or roam about naked. So they are called, 'swetaambar' or 'digambar'. So, in Tamil, anyone not wearing a cloth is called, 'ammana kattai'. So, the Jain are Samanas. 'Therar' are the 'Theravadi' Buddhists.

37. In the first song, first line itself, Sambandar is grouping together these, 'amanas and theras' saying that they are anti-Vedas and Yagnas. He is not even talking about their not having devotion towards Siva! In the same Padigam, of ten songs, in another song, he even goes to the extent of calling them 'great sinners' who do not follow the Vedas, in as many words; "...marai vazhakkam illada maha paavigal...". 'Ozhukkam' is Achaaram and 'vazhakkam' is Anushtaanam. So, 'marai vazhakkam' means vaidika anushtanam. Not having that practice is, 'maha paapam'. Then he goes on to say, "...pari thalaik kaiyar paay uduppaargalai / muriya vaadu seyya...". He calls them as, 'pari thalaik kaiyar'. This means, 'those who are pulling their hair out of their heads'. Do you know why?

38. Vidyaranya Swamigal has written Bhashyam for the Vedas. He was a master of many arts and crafts. He is the power which established the Vijaya Nagara Empire. He has written a book by the name, 'Sarva Darsana Sangraha'. 'Darsana' means religion. It also means 'seeing'. Seeing things as they truely are, is religion. He has talked about all the religions of that time. In that while talking about Jains, he says that, they do, what is known as, 'kesa ullunjanam'. 'Ullunjanam' is to pull out hair. Their belief is that, for all the sins of the past they have to make amends, by pulling their hair out, one by one. When you suffer, when you experience self inflicted pain, the weight of your misdeeds is cancelled out. To pull out the hair from one's head is very painful. So, they will do that to lessen the 'load of sins'. They do not wear clothes. They will wear the matting of grass / hay. That is why, he is calling them, "...pari thalaikkaiyar, paay udukkaiyar...". But they are adding to their sins by staying out of the 'Veda observance' and being disparaging of Yaagas and such activities.

39. Out of the ten songs, in the first seven or eight, he stops short of criticising them for lack of Devotion to
Siva. He takes them to task for their anti-Veda and anti-brahminism. Then towards the end he talks about their lacking in Siva Bakthi. It seems that they would avoid the very air that might have brushed against the bodies of Siva Devotees, "...neerru meniyaar aayinar melurra / karruk kollavum nillaa amanarai...". Only in the end, is their not being a devotee of Siva, under criticism! "...anru muppuram serra azhaga! nin / thunru porkazhal penaa arugarai...". Thus he has given greater priority to Vedic Anushtaana and Yagna Karmas. The last word 'arugarai', in the above quoted line, includes Jains and Buddhists. 'Arhat' is top 'Muni' in the line of Buddhaas. The main God in Jainism too is called, 'Arhat'. This word in Tamil, 'arugar' is a common one for both these religionists.

40. In both Thevaaram and Divya Prabandam, wherever there is a mention of Brahmins, there is much praise that they are well versed in Yagna Karma Anushtaana. For example, "...karru aangu eri ombi kaliyai vaaraame / serraar vaazh thillai...", to mean, "...Thillai (that is Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu), is such a place where Brahmins, having learnt the Vedas, are conducting Yaagas as per that and thus, are chasing away the approach of the Kali...". In the Padigam on Omaambuliyur, he talks much about the conduct of 'Homams', in very well prepared Yaaga Saalas of perfect dimensions. If anyone says that Sambandar is a Brahmin and so it is but natural for him to praise Brahmin like activities, I would ask you to read what Appar, a non-brahmin has to say. "Vedeeya Veda Gita; ...vedangal naangum kondu vinnavar paravi eththa;....vedatthaan enbar, velvi ullaan enbar;...veda naayakan...Vediyar naayakan...". These are all quotations from Appar's writing. He says that God Himself is doing Veda Adhyaayanam; "...vedam odi vandu ilpugundar... vedangal velvi payandar polum...".

(We will continue with Vedamum Tamizh Naadum, and talk about, what Appar has to say, in the next e-mail.)




Post a Comment

<< Home