Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 51 of (Vol 2) of 24 Nov 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 51 of (Vol 2) of 24 Nov 2007.

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 50 of (Vol 2) of 20 Nov 2007. This is the fourth e-mail, under the Heading, 'Vedamum Tamizh Nadum'. 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!)

41. Appar also has sung in praise of Omambuliyur, as a place full of plenty of 'Homams'. 'Eri moonru, muththee', are the three fires in each Brahmins home of Garhapthyam, Ahvaneeyam and Dakshinagni, are the three agni kundams that he is required to maintain. Appar knew about these things so intimately. He says, "...Odi miga andanargal eri moonru ombum / uyar pugazh aar tharum omambuliyur..." . Then again he says, "...onriya seer iru pirappar muththee ombum / uyar pugazh naan marai omambuliyur...".

42. In Divya Prabandam too in many places, just to describe the general atmosphere of the city or town where the Perumal has taken Niwas, they would have said as to how, the fragrant smoke arising out of innumerable Homa Kundams, would have covered the whole sky. Here too without any aversion or difference of caste or creed, the Non-brahmins were Azhvars and they would have sung encomiums of praise of Vedic activities. Thiru Mangai Azhvar was very much a non-brahmin. He while talking about Perumal, says, "...saandogan, pouzhiyan, ainthazhal ombu thaithreeyan, saamavedi...". Thus he addresses God with the names of the branches of the Vedas, such as Chandokya, Pouzhiya, Thaithreeya and Saamavedi. If Appar talked about 'Muththee' the three fires, Thiru Mangai Aazhvar goes more deeper in to details, which many Brahmins themselves may not be aware. In addition to those three fires, two more 'fires' are maintained known as, 'Sabyam and Aavasathyam'. These five fires are known as 'Panchaagni', he calls, 'ainthazhal ombuvathu'. Like Omaambuliyur is spoken highly of in Thevaram, in Divya Prabandam, Thirunaangur and Thirunaraiyur are spoken with great admiration repeatedly, for the fact that they are places where, Brahmins who abide with the Vedic traditions are living.

43. "Unmai migu maraiyodu narkalaigal nirai poraigal, udavuk kodai enru ivarrin ozhivilla periya vanmai migu maraiyavargal maliveidu naangoor" / / / "naaththozhil marai vallaargal nayandu aram payanda vankai theeththozhil payilu naangoor" / / / "solaar surudimurai odich somu cheyyum thozhilinor nallar maraiyor palar vaazhum naraiyoor" / / / "veda naangu aindu velvi angam aaru isai ezhu nadaiaavalla andanar vaazh naraiyoor". In the above, Tamil is quite easily understandable. 'maraiyavargal' and 'andanar'; mean Brahmins. 'Somu' is Somayaagam. 'Veda naangu' are four Vedas. 'Aindu Velvi', are the five fires as well as the five fold Brhma Yagnam. 'Angam Aaru' are the six parts of the Vedas. 'Isai Ezhu' are the Saptha Swaras of Music! (In the Western Music, what is the Octave, is Saptha Swaras, in Indian Music because, in the arrangement of ' sa ri ga ma pa da ni sa ', the Eighth note anyhow is a repetition of the first note, in the higher Octave!)

44. In Tamil there is the book of Grammar, Tholkappiyam, about which we have seen already, in the earlier e-mails. It was written by one of the twelve Sishyas of Agasthya Rishi, whose name was, 'Thirunadoomaagni'. Panam Baaranar has written a special commentary on that book, in which are the lines, "...arangarai naavin naanmarai murtriya adankottu aasan...". For this, Nachchinaarkku Iniyaar, while writing the commentary, says as follows. "Here, the word, 'Naan Marai', does not mean, Rik-Yajus-Saama-Atharvana Vedas. What was a ocean of Vedas was regrouped in to four parts by Vyaasa, for the sake of the people of Kali Yuga, with shorter life, much disease and lesser understanding and comprehension. Tholkappiyam dates to that period. So, here Naan Marai refers to the Older division of Vedas being, Thaithreeyam, Poudikam, Thalavakaram and Saamam." In the Divya Prabandam, 'saandokam' is Saama Vedam, 'pouzhiya' is the above quoted, 'poudikam', Thus, Thalavakaaram, Thaithreeyam and Pouzhiyam are respectively the names of the branches of Saama, Krishna Yajur and Rik Vedas.

45. Amongst the Keralite Namboodri Brahmins, everybody does Veda Adhyayanam. Even those involved in other professions would be those who would have systematically learnt the Vedas in their childhood. The earlier Chief Minister and Communist Leader E.M.S. Namboodri Paad was also one who had done Veda Adhyayanam. Till very recently, Brhmacharis would wear a Loincloth known as Koupeenam; the threads of Upaveetham with a small bit-piece of deer-skin attached; hold a dandam in their hands and do the Samitha daanam without fail! (Now-a-days, they are also changing. These very strict adherents, when they default, they change drastically into unrecognizable monstrosities!) Amongst Namboodris, Rik Vedis are more. In one of their palm-leaf copies of Rik-Veda, it was titled, 'Pouzhiyam'. From this only it was gathered that 'Pouzhiiyam' is the earlier name of Rik-Veda. It is the same, 'Poudikam' mentioned by Nachchinaarkku Iniyaar, while commenting on Tholkappiyam.

46. Adi Sankara Baghawat Paadal took birth in that 'Namboodri' brahmin family, in Kaladi. That Namboodri's are still maintaining a close affinity to Vedic traditions is true indeed. After all, when Parameswara Himself had to come down to the Earth in human form, when many odd movements in the name of religions were rampant and He had the task of re-establishing the Vedic Order, it is a Namboodri family, He selected to be born in! In His time Malayalm as a language had not evolved. It was Tamil the prevalent Languageof those days there. Sundara Murthy Swamigal's close friend, Seramaan Perumaal Naayanaar, composed that, 'Thiru Kailaaya Gnaana Ulaa' in the Tamil language only. At that time he was ruling over his Kingdom from Thiruvanjaikkalam. Kula Sekara Aazhvar, who has composed the 'Perumal Thirumozhi' in Nalaayira Divya Prabandam in Tamil was also a king ruling over his kingdom from Thiruvanandapuram. Much before this, when Lord Parameswara Himself had to take birth, some 2000 year before, the whole of Kerala was Tamil speaking only. In the whole of India, it was here in South India, (Kerala as a name and Malayalam as the language much later), where Vedas were much prevalent. The very fact that it was here that Parameswara took birth is indicative of the very ancient affinity of Tamil Nadu and Vedic way of life.

47. Today, that there is more Veda Adhyayanam in Kerala is due to its being a part of Tamil Nadu earlier. In recent times I have noticed that, in Andhra Pradesh similarly, there is more Veda Adhyayanam. The reason for this is that, during the time of Chola Empire's influence towards North was more, there were much social interactions between Cholas and Andhras. Plenty of Vedavits were enabled to move into many of the Andhra cities. It is just sheer bad luck that in the recent 100 years or so, that the so called 'paguthu arivu iyakkam' and anti-brahminism has become more rampant in Tamil Nadu itself! But before that, the inner Tamil land has exported many Experts of Veda, to Kerala, Andhra and Karnataka States. The 'Dravids' of Karnataka and 'Dravidalu' of Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins who migrated to those places from Tamil Nadu only. (KTSV adds:- At least in Hyderabad, I have noticed that, in the period say about hundred years back; the very Bakthi movement in Tamil Nadu was under tremendous pressure from the so called 'paguthu arivu iyakkam'. Many devotees, not necessarily Brahmins, felt suffocated, within the Tamil Land and moved out in to neighbouring areas, which later became Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra. In these neighbouring lands they felt more free to pursue their calls, as they wished. In Hyderabad, the Hanuman Temple of Trimulghery and Murugan Temple of Venkatapuram, are the creations of Saintly devotees who came from Tamil Nadu, under these circumstances.)

48. In Tamil Nadu, from time immemorial, there have been the Shanmada, that is the six-religions of, Saivam, Vaishnavam, Saktham, Souram, Ganapathyam and Koumaaram. In addition to these, Saiva Siddhantam, Saankyam, Yogam, Nyayam, Vaiseshikam; Mantra and Tantra, have also been there; all based on Veda only. There have been some following of local deities too, like the Grama Devata and Pattina Devatas; who somehow would be related to Siva or Vishnu or Shakthi. The so called modern research in to our religion starting with the foreigners, especially Britishers; have cooked up the canard of Aryan invasion of India with all sorts of frills added to it. A true analysis of Sanskrit and Tamil literature will conclusively disprove these deliberately misleading stories. They say that the Saastras should not be accepted with blind belief. But the reality has been well hidden behind the 'smoke screen' created by such vested interest that, people have come to accept their fiction as truth, without any investigation. It is a sad fact that, these fictitious stories are being blindly believed!

49. Yes, Vedas have many things which are to be followed purely based on trust and faith. They are not to be analysed with our limited capabilities. But there are portions which are to be analysed and investigated with differentiation and common sense. In addition, if we study the early literature of our own mother tongue, we will know that these stories about Aryan and Dravidian Races are completely baseless and that there has been no seperate Aryan and Tamil or Dravidian religion! That in South India, so much of hate and distrust in Sastras have come into being, is a sad state of affairs. We should pray to Parameswara that this doubt and distrust should go and for the sake of all the worlds and for all life forms, the traditional Vaidik way of life should again thrive and flourish, here in South India!

50. Already, many Veda Patasalas have disappeared without a trace. We should not let others go uncared for. There is no other bigger duty than this for us. All our brains, power, energy, influence and money; should be mustered and directed towards efforts that, wherever the Vaidik branches are still surviving, may be given first aid, revived, refurbished and rejuvinated. The countless branches of Vedas have now come to what can be counted with our fingers. At least these should be guarded against becoming endangered species and extinct for the next generation!

Branches of Veda

51. Vedas are 'anantham' that is, endless. Vedantam means the end of Vedas. 'Sruthi Siras' or 'Veda Mudi' also means the end of Vedas. What is this 'end of Vedas' of endless Vedas? In the matter of Principles of Vedas as the essence of what they have to say, is the end of all ends; that is, the realization that the life principle 'Atma' is the same One Reality in all. That is the end point of all Vedas. Whosoever is born as a Brahmin, is to learn, chant and practice whichever branch of the Vedas; first the Samhitai, then Brahmanam, then Aranyakam and finally the 'Vedantam' that is the Upanishad. The end point of all that is once again 'Self Realization' of Atma! Then, why did this countless Vedas divide in to so many branches?

52. Jeevan has to cleanse himself and has to learn all that he has to get the 'Atma Satchatkaram', that is, see or cognise oneself as the 'power being' and not only the gross being. Through the initial period of 'Adhyayana' of learning, chanting and practicing the Mantras; through conduct of Anushtanas including Yagnas; then the 'tatva artha vicharana' of analysis; then trying to understand the 'Parama Artha Tatva'; then after due conviction of understanding and cognition has taken roots, mull over it through meditation and 'nidityasana'. When these three steps of, initial learning and practice, followed by Karma Anushtana, leads you to deep cogitation; you have recieved what you need. It is not necessary to learn all the parts of all the Vedas. Neither is it required, nor is it possible. I have already narrated the story of 'Baradwaja Rishi', who devoted three successive lives for the learning of the Vedas! All his learning could amount to three fistfulls compared to mountains of Vedas yet to be touched. So, that much as a 'dosage' as required to cleanse, buildup his absorption capabilities and enable the individual towards self realization; is what has been apportioned in each branch of the Vedas, that is known as the 'Shakha'.

53. Each 'Shakha' of the Veda, contains what is required by a Brahmin, from the time of his birth, till his death, the Karma Anushtana as required to be done, by his parents initially, by himself secondly, and by his off-spring subsequently. To learn one of these 'Shakha' by way of Adhyayanam, that is learn all its Samhita Mantras by heart; keeping those Mantras in view, to conduct the various Karma Anushtanas including Yagnas; then to bridge the gap between the outer activities and the inner heart and mind, through the discussions in the Aranyakam; then to mull over, ruminate, meditate the deep truths of the Upanishads, whatever is needed to guide you through all this without faltering; is what has been included in each Shakha of the Vedas.

54. To the matured one word is enough. If the individual over many life times has evolved enough, may be in this life, all He or She may need may only be a nudge. But others may need a whole life time or even a few more! Generally, for a Jeevan to be purified to perfection, many actions, upasana, puja, japam, tapam, dhyanam; may be needed. As much as a normal human requires, is what is given in each Shakha; the required 'dosage' of Mantras, directions for Karmas and Philosophical discussions.

(Then what about those who are not Brahmins? We will talk about that and other things, in the next e-mail. It may be noticed that, we have finished with, 'Tamizh Nadum Vedamum'.)




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