Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 65 of (Vol 2) of 27 Dec 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 65 of (Vol 2) of 27 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 # 64 (Vol 2) of 24 Dec 2007.)

26. I happened to come across a book by the name of 'Sahitya Ratnakaram', written by one Yagnya Narayana Deekshidar, who was a great devotee of Siva. The book is about 450 years old, written at the time when Naickers were ruling over Tanjore. There is a devotional slokam in that work, which also talks about Vyakaranam. The poet says, "...aadou paanini nadato akshara samaamna yopate senasya: shabdaanaam anusaasanaanyakalaya: saastrena suthratmanaa I Baashyam tasya cha paada hamsa karavai: proudaasayam tam kurum sabdaartha prathipaththi hetum anisam chandraa vatamsam baje II..." (Saahitya Ratnakaram, XI - 124.)

27. The word, 'Akshara samaamnayam' is referring to the vyakaranam, where there is a collection of letters. Easwara's breath is Vedam. The breath of air by the movement of his hands, is the Akshara Veda of his Maheswara Suthram, that is the 'shabda anusaasanam', meaning the Rules governing the creation of sounds. 'Paanini naadata:, has two meanings; one is that 'you made sounds with your hands' and the second meaning with a 'pun' on the word 'panini', 'for Panini you made the sounds'. By the sounds made by Easwara with his hands, Panini made the Vyakaranam! The slokam goes on to say that, by a movement of your hands, you created the Vyakaranam and by a movement of your legs, you created the comprehensive notes or Bhashyam, for that Vyakaranam! You see, that Patanjali is the Avatara of Adi Sesha, who is an anklet for the God. So, the poet says, ' move your hands, the grammer of sounds are created and by the move of your legs you indicate their meanings too...'. Thus, the poet says that, the sounds and their meanings too are the creation of God only! Because of the reason that Parameswara is the essential cause for the coming into being of Vyakaranam, in His Temples, the Vyakarana Dhana Mandapas are to be found.

Books on Grammer.

28. In the last word of the poem, he calls God, 'Chandraavatamsan'. That means, someone who has the Moon as an adornment in the head. 'Chandrasekharan' and 'Indusekharan' mean the same. Amongst the books on grammer in Sanskrit, two books have this 'Indusekharam' prefix, surprisingly! One is, 'Sabdendusekharam' and the other, 'Paribhashendusekharam'. As there are about 30 books on Seeksha Saastra, there are many books on Vyakaranam too. Amongst them, Panini's Suthram, Patanjali's Bhashyam and Vararuchi's Vaartikam, are the top three. I am of the view that, Vararuchi and Kathyayanar are one and the same. Some say that they are two different people. One of the 'Nine Gems' in Vikramaditya's court, was Vararuchi. He has authored books on Sanskrit Grammer. There is difference of opinion as to whether he is the same as Kathyaayana, who has written the Vaarthikam on Grammer or not.

29. Barthruhari's 'Vaakya Paadeeyam', is also one of the important books on grammer. In Sanskrit, there are supposed to be nine books famous as, 'Nava Vyakaranam'. Anjaneya Swami was known to have learnt all of them from the Sun Himself. Later Sri Rama Himself praises Anjaneya as the 'Nava Vyakarana Vetta'! One of them is the 'Aindiram', said to have been written by Indra. It is claimed that, the Tamil book on grammer, 'Thol Kappiyam' is based on this 'Aindiram'.

Vyakaranam and Tholkappiyam.

30. As the Tamil word for grammer 'Ilakkanam', has derived from the Sanskrit word 'Lakshanam' (actually meaning, 'Definition'), many words of Tamil grammer have also directly evolved out of Grammatical Terms of Vyakaranam. We have two words, 'Paguthi' and 'Viguthi'. In a word like, 'Ramanukku' (meaning to Rama), the part of the word 'Raman' is the Paguthi and the 'kku' part of the word is Viguthi. These two words have come from, 'Prakruthi' and 'Vikruthi'. Even if you object on the grounds that, Paguthi is very much a Tamil word and that, it has evolved out of the Tamil word, 'Paguththu' meaning 'to differentiate'; your objection cannot sustain when it comes to the word, 'Viguthi'. There is no word in Tamil as 'Viguththal'. So it is 'Vikruthi' from which 'Viguthi' evolved. In Sanskrit, this Vikruthi is also known as Pratyayam. For one word of 'Prakruthi', it is these pre/suffixes of Pratyayam, which give different meanings of, to, from, in, out, with, by and so on. Iam not saying this to give some merits to Sanskrit and some de-merits to Tamil or some such reason. If one is ours and the other is some body else's, then this comparison could mean to denigrate one and praise the other. But when both are equally ours, it is an impartial factual statement.

31. Sanskrit is a common asset of the whole mankind. It is also the Language of the Gods. The Devatas are called 'Geervanar' and as their language, Sanskrit is also called 'Kairvani'. Kambar, who is considered as the Emperor of Poesy, calls the Sanskrit language 'Deva Bhasha' (Deva Padai). Dhandi in 'Kavyadarsam' says, "...samskrutham naama deivee vaak...". For all of us, Devas are common. Their language is common for all of us.

32. 'Avyaktam' is a Sanskrit word meaning, 'un-expressed, un-exhibited, poorly-expressed'. Sanskrit is a language with no 'Avyaktam'. They are all, 'Vyaktam'. English language has 'avyaktam' aplenty! Take one English word for example. Take the word, 'word' itself. From the spelling can you arrive at the pronunciation? Look at the number of questions that arise! Why 'w', why not 'v'? Is the letter 'o', to be said as, 'o or a'? Is the 'r' to be said or not? Though English is the language of communication all over the world to-day, still it does not make it, devoid of the inherent faults that I am pointing out. The point made is that, Sanskrit is spoken the way it is written and it is written exactly as it is spoken!

33. The next point is that, there is no word in Sanskrit, without a 'root' word, called the 'Dhatu'. Like a tree or plant, every word in Sanskrit, arises out of the meaningful root. So, each word can be stripped down to its root word, letter by letter and can be reconstructed, sensibly, meaningfully. It is not some sound making some meaning arbitrarily by tradition and usage; but, a systematic cleansing and refinement, done from the letters (Aksharas) to words (Padams) to Parts of Speech to sentences. This job of scientific refinement (ie., Sanskritisation), has been done by Seeksha Saastram to some extent and by Vyakaranam, to a large extent. That very language, does much to ennoble human beings. From make-believe, it brings you to a level of honesty, to mean what you say; beyond the capabilities of any other language! As a language of the divine beings, it enables us to become more worthy of recieving the celestial's blessings. Then by highly beneficial sound vibrations, it strengthens the nervous system of the physical being too!

Religion and Linguistic Research.

34. Seeksha, which I spoke about earlier, Vyakaranam, now being discussed; and the next two subjects of Vedangas, that is, Chandas and Niruktam; are all about study of languages only. Having said that I am going to talk to you about the basic Saastras of our religion; I am going on about linguistic research, grammer, philology, prosody and such things. This may sound very odd to you all. You may wonder that as a Swamiji, I should be talking to you about, God, religious books, devotional procedures, Bakthi, Gnana, Principles and Dharma! Vedas do contain a lot of material about these things. Actually, when I go on to Kalpam, Meemamsai, Nyayam, Puranam and Dharma Saastram; we will have plenty of things to talk about purely religious and Adhyaatmic matters. But these aspects of language are unavoidably religious in content too.

35. The reason for this is that, in our religion, everything is connected to our idea of God. So we just cannot set aside a few things as religious and others as non-religious. Matters concerning bodily-well-being are 'Ayur Veda' and fighting a war are, 'Dhanur Veda'. Even economics and government have to be as per Dharma and Saastra of Artha Saastra! So, anything and everything connected to individual-self-improvement has to be part of the Vidyas. All the things that are required for the individuals ennoblement and refinement, so as to enable him to progress, have got to be included. In these, since the highest and subtlest expression of God's form is as a Sound; Vyakaranam and Seeksha have come into being. Vyakaranam deals with God as an expression of Sound. Closely related to this is the 'Naada Brhma Upaasana' of approaching the Ultimate through Music! Then again it has to be closely related to the language. So these things are not only informative, but also highly useful for self refinement and cleansing.

36. The very fact that the central Bhashyam of Vyakaranam by Patanjali, has been given the prefix of, 'Maha' is indicative of the high importance given to Grammer in our scheme of things. There are, Bhashyam for Vedas, Brhma Sutras, Bhaghawat Gita and Upanishad. Amongst them all, it is only the one for Vyakaranam, that has the respectable title of 'Maha Bhashyam'! There is a saying that for a scholor, studying the Maha Bhashyam can give the pleasure of Emperorship:- "...mahabhashyam vaa pataneeyam /// maharaajyam vaa shaasaneeyam...". (Now, relate this to the earlier quoted slokam about, how the correct interpretation as to why a short vowel gets extended by half a matra, can give you the pleasure of obtaining a Son!)

37. Like the Vengi Saasanam that I mentioned earlier, another proof of how the erstwhile rulers, regarded the spread of Vyakarana Saastra with, became clear recently. What used to be known as the Central Provinces and became Madhya Pradesh, there used to be an Independent Protectorate, by the name of 'Dhaar'. This used to be the Bhoja Raja's capital 'Dhaara'. Bhoja Raja, was famous for patronising Arts, Crafts and Fine-arts. There was a Mosque wherein, inside a walled cave like enclosure, some Sanskrit writings could be discerned. For a long period of more than 15 years, this remained un-investigated. Some years after Independence in 1945, this grotto was investigated with the permission of the Muslim authorities in the Mosque.

38. There was a huge wheel like structure. In it were written, many Sanskrit Slokas. All of them were concerning Vyaakaranam. All the important Sanskrit Grammer had been written in poetical form and had been etched on that round wheel like structure. What was the Temple of Saraswathi Devi, the Goddess of Learning during Bhoja Raja's time, had been converted in to a Mosque. All that you need to know about Vyakaranam, could be learnt from learning about those slokas. Because the Sanskrit Grammer, known as Vyakaranam was so venerable, it had been installed in the Temple of the Goddess of Speech! It is her blessings that this came to light after so many years. The Epigraphy department of the Government, has got these things printed and distributed and translated them into English too. This is clear evidence of the fact, Saastras like Vyaakaranam were not dicarded out of hand; but were nurtured, venerated, reverred and protected by governments of yore!




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