Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 60 of (Vol 2) of 14 Dec 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 60 of (Vol 2) of 14 Dec 2007.

(Note 1. 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! Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1950's and early 60's.

(Continued from Deivathin Kural # 59 (of Vol 2) of 12 Dec 2007.)


27. Rudrakshamala is a string of beads. The beads are called, 'Rudraksha', meaning the eyes of Rudra. The beads are the nuts of a tree occuring quite widely in South East Asia and elsewhere too. Most of them are almost round, of five or six uniform segments from the center on either sides. When you look at it from the side on, it can look like an eye with a darling in the center. Indian ethos is capable of looking at anything in nature as an expression of divinity. So, it is but natural that this bead got the name of 'the Eyes of Rudra' that is, 'Rudra Aksham'. In Tamil, it has a name, 'Thiruk-kanmani'. That is all right. What is the meaning, when you just say, 'akshamalai or spatika akshamalai'? Here the meaning of Aksham is not 'eye'. Here the meaning is, the letters of the alphabet 'a to ksha'. That is like saying 'from the start to the finish' or 'A to Z' of anything, the whole gamut. In Sanskrit, it is said as, 'a-kaaraadi ksha-kaaraantam'. The total number of letters thus are 50. So a string of beads (known as Rosary), containing 50 beads, is called an 'Akshamalai'. The 51st is a bigger bead. While counting the Mantras, you keep moving the beads from one end to the other, till you come to the big one known as the Meru. You do not cross the Meru. (The North pole is supposed to be the Meru, which is never crossed by the Sun. He goes back from the tropic of Capricorn, to the tropic of cancer; and back again.) After reaching the Meru, you reverse the Mala and count again. One such movement forward and backward, completes 100 times the Mantra would have been chanted!

The Importance of Correct Pronounciation.

28. Arjuna asks, Sri Krishna in Bhagawath Gita, as to how he should meditate on Him? In answer, Krishna clearly defines as to, how to recognise His presence,( in 24 slokas, in Chapter 10,) which makes interesting reading. It is a veritable mine of beautiful descriptions of anything and everything great in some way. Once you read that chapter, you are hooked on to God, forever. Whenever, you hear some wonderful achievement by anybody in any walk of life, you will automatically think of God! In one of those Slokas, He says that, "...amongst all Yagnas, I am Japa, the silent repetition...". The way you do this is to put it on the 'auto mode'. That is, you keep chanting the Mantra, that it becomes your nature to do so; why only 'second nature'? In your dreams you are chanting. You forget the world for some period. Then back from your reverie, you are aware of the world, and the first thought is that you are aware that, you had been chanting the Mantra! That is known as, '...ajaapa japa...'!

29. In doing the Japa, it is important that the Mantra should be chanted with the correct pronounciation! When you go wrong in the chanting, not only that there will be no benefit but, there could be negative effects too. There is a story in the Veda itself about the need for the correct pronounciation. In Thaitreeya Samhitai, (--II.4.12.), Twashta for some reason wanted to take revenge on Indra, the Head of all Devatas. He prayed for a son, who should grow capable of 'killing Indra'. The Mantra was, "...indra chathrur vardhasva...", in which, '...indra...' was to be chanted flat. In '...chathrur...' the 'thru' portion was to be raised as 'udhattam', and so, was the 'rdha' portion in '...vardhasva...'. That would have meant that by the power of Mantra, Twashta's son would have grown powerful enough to have been able to destroy Indra! But due to some poor understanding of the requirement, the chanting was such that, the 'dra' in Indra was raised, 'chathrur', became flat and the 'rdha' in 'vardhasva', came down as 'anudhattam'. The net result was that, his son grew up to be killed by Indra! There is a cautionary sloka on this, as to the effect of wrong chanting of Mantras.

Some Small Differences.

30. For many thousands of years, 'aa sethu himachalam', that is, from Rameswaram to the Himalayas, in every nook and corner of India, without any inter communications, without ever meeting or talking to each other, or even knowing as to who is following which branch of the Vedas, without printed books or note-books, though only learnt by word of mouth, from Guru to Sishya parampara; they have been absolutely perfectly maintaining 'Akshara Suddham and Swara Suddham', close to 99.99 percent! Some of you may have an immediate question as to, what happened to that Point Zero Zero One (.001), deviation? When you have made an issue of the fact that, we just cannot have any deviation in the letters, words and their sounds; will this .001 deviation lead to corruption in meaning and effect?

31. Yes, if the patient changes the medicines on his own, there can be deleterious effects on the outcome. But, you will agree that the Doctor does have the freedom to make some changes, in individual cases. Similarly, there could be changes, in some letters in the Mantras, between the various branches of the Vedas, if such differences were having the approval of the responsible Rishis, who could foresee the future generational and regional requirements. These likely deviations have been well considered in the 'Prathisaakhyam' of that particular branch of the Vedas and rules laid down for the same. The variations anyhow are not totally unconnected and 'out of the blue' type! They can only be very closely related similar sounding letters, without any major change in the meaning.

Veda's Sounds and Regional Language's Uniqueness.

32. I have done some philological studies into the particular branches of the Vedas that is prevalent, in the various regions of India, in relation to the Regional Languages and their mutual and reciprocal effect on each other, which I want to share with you. The lessons I have learnt through such studies are two fold. One is that, from time immemorial, the one unifying influence in the culture of what is India, is its Vedic way of life in practice and principle. The second point is that, the uniqueness of each region and it's language once again is related to it's Vedic sounds!

33. The sounds, 'da, ra, la, lla and zha' are very close to each other. (Please note that the letter indicated here as 'lla' is not a double 'l' but a single thicker 'la'. The single 'la' is produced by touching the upper palate very close to the teeth, with the tip of the tongue. The thicker 'lla' is produced by a slight inward curving of the tip of the tongue. Try it and get it confirmed from someone who knows Tamil. This 'lla' occurs more during the course of this talk. So, remember.) If you tell a child to say, 'Raman or Rail', it is likely to say, 'daman and dayil. Some time back, there was a Hindi movie, a Raj Kapoor starrer 'Anaadi', which became famous in Russia too. The advertisement used to read, 'Anaari'. This is because the two sounds are very close. Similarly, many people would pronounce the word, 'Siva Rathri', as 'sivalathri'! So can 'ra' replace 'la', in colloquial. Which also means that, these two letters can and are replaced by 'da' too, as it happens in the case of individual names. (For example the name, Federal could very well be, Feredal or Feledar or Fererer or Felered or Feledor!) You will also agree that, the sounds 'la', and it's double 'lla' as well as 'zha' are close to each other. The Sanskrit words, 'Nalini and Seethalam', becomes, 'Nallini and Seethallam' in Tamil. The unique letter of the Tamil Language, 'zha' is mis pronounced as 'lla', in 'vaalaippallam', that too by the people of Madurai, the place where the 'Tamizh Sangam', the Tamil Literary Authority used to be located!

34. Generally what is letter 'lla' in Rik Veda, is found to be the 'da' in Yajur Veda and in the Talavakara Saama Veda, is the 'zha', as I have already explained. Now let us relate this to that part of the region of India, where a particular branch of the Veda is more in usage and see the effect on the regional language. Especially, since there has been this cooked-up story that Vedas belong to the Aryans and Dravidians are non-Vedik; let us relate to the three regions where the three Dravidian Languages, Tamizh, Telugu and Kannada are widely prevalent! Then also relate it to Kerala of Malayalam.

35. In Tamil 'zha' is special; in Telugu, it is the 'da or du'(Ramudu, Krishnudu); and in Kannada, it is 'lla'. There is a Sanskrit word, 'pravaalam' for Coral. In Tamil, it is called, 'pavazham'. In Telugu, the same 'pravaalam' of Sanskrit, becomes, 'pagadaalu' and in Kannada it becomes, 'havalla'. 'pravaalam' --> 'pavazham' of Tamil -->'pagadaalu' of Telugu -->'havalla' of Kannada. I am drawing your attention to the changes that have occured to the undelined portions of, 'la --> zha --> da --> lla'.

36. Similarly, 'pugazh' is a Tamil word, meaning fame. This word has nothing to do with Sanskrit. In Telugu, it becomes 'pogadu' and in Kannada 'hogallu'. The point is crystal clear. What is 'zha' in Tamil becomes 'da' in Telugu and 'lla' in Kannada. When I looked deep into it, as to why should, 'zha' for Tamil and 'da' for Telugu and 'lla' for Kannada; have any special significance, I came to the conclusion that it is due to the influence of a particular branch of the Vedas being practiced in that region! This whole thing has nothing to do with, Arya Dravida divide on the basis of Race theory at all!

37. In areas of Maharashtra, including Karnataka, the Veda that is well entrenched is the Rik Veda. From Nasik to Kanya Kumari, along the West coast, the predominant Rik Veda has it's influence, not only in the Aryan Marathi language, but also on the Dravidian Kannada language as the special sound of 'lla'. From Vizag to Madras, along the Eastern coast, if you take the coastal area and the hinterland, that is the Andhra Pradesh, 98 % of people are Yajur Vedis and 2 % Rik Vedis. There are almost 'nil' Saama Vedis, here. So, in Adhyayanam, the 'lla' of the Rik Veda becomes the 'da' of the Yajur Veda! So in the regional language of Telugu, there is a special 'da' effect!

38. Now come to Tamil Nadu. Here too, in recent times, the population of Yajur Vedis has increased. Now it is almost 80 % Yajur Vedis, about 15 % Saama and 5 % Rik Vedis. But in olden times, there was a preponderance of Saama Veda in the Tamil Land. All the 1000 branches of Saama Veda were thriving here. In Thevaaram (in Tamil), while describing 'Siva Perumaan', it says, "...aayiram saakai udaiyaan...", meaning the God having a thousand branches, of the Saama Veda, evidently!

(To be continued. The inexorable logic of Periyaval continues! That Aryans brought the Vedas in to India is a 'canard'. We will continue from where we left off, in the next e-mail.)




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