Sunday, September 14, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 90 of (Vol 2) of 29 Feb 2008.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 90 of (Vol 2) of 29 Feb 2008.

(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! I offer my sincere apologies for the likely errors, as the one doing the translation. ---KTSV Sarma. Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1930's to early 60's.


(Continued from DK # 89 of (Vol 2) of 27 Feb 2008. I am at page 703 of the volume 2. Periyaval is talking about this in 1962.)

52. Think of just some 40 to 50 years back. There was no Television. 'Touring talkies' companies used to pitch up some huge tents, outside the village or town and show these movies / cinema, some times, not always. After a hard days work, the Pravachanam by some Punditji Pouranikar in the Temple was the main attraction. The 'Poosari' ie., the Pujari, used to beat the 'Udukku' and sing and dance the Kooththu of Bharatam in the village 'Droupadi Amman Koil'. The Ramayanam and Maha Bharatam that reached the ears of the young and old thus, was responsible for maintaining a very high sense of discipline and morality, in the whole country, to the wonderment of all foreigners! The Kings used to set aside 'Maanyam' ie., funds for the purpose of ensuring conduct of 'Pravachanam' of Ramayanam and Bharatam, throughout the year. When discipline is ensured at the individual level thus, it saves the common man from falling prey to avoidable temptations and the saves the society much expenditure and inconvenience, on policing, investigations and disposal!

53. If you take each Puranam, there will be many stories within stories, each of them emphasising a particular Dharma. Itihasam on the other hand, would be a continuous main theme around which many other side issues may be covered. For example, the story of Harischandra is mainly concerned about 'Truthfulness'; Sravana's story is about being devoted to one's parents, known as 'Pithru Bhakti'; Nalaayini's story is about chastity and being devoted to one's Spouse; Rantidevan's is about Love and Compassion. Ramayana and Maha Bharata, on the other hand, talks of the life of Sri Rama and the Pancha Pandavas respectively, around which all the Dharmas are covered in detail.

Why have so Many Gods?

54. Since each Puranam is about one particular God, some doubts arise. In the puranas oriented more towards Saivam it is said that, "Siva is the Parama Atma Tatva. He is the supreme God responsible for Creation, Sustenance and Reabsorption. He is the Easwara. All others are subservient to Him. Vishnu is only the head of the Governmental bureaucracy. He is stuck in Maya like all of us. Siva is the Yogi. He is the Gnana Swaroopi. Whenever Vishnu acted out of the pride of 'Ahankara' or Ego, he had to suffer. There are many stories in support of this," and so on. If you read the Puranas oriented towards Vaishnavam, there will be a total reversal of roles. They will talk of, "...roaming about with ghosts and phantom spirits in cremation grounds, wearing animal skins as dress, snakes as ornaments, a string of skull bones as garland, what sort of a God is he, this Siva? Our Vishnu is like an Emperor in comparison!...".

55. Not only about Siva and Vishnu, what ever the God whose eulogies the particular purana is directed at, somehow seemingly end up putting down other Gods. It may be about, Ganapati or Kartikeya or Surya or Sakthi. That particular God will be raised to the Pride of Place, and every other deities will be shown to play a secondary role in that Purana. This may be cause for some misunderstanding. One is likely to be in a quandry as to what is the truth and what is a lie? If Siva has done Puja to Vishnu, it is illogical that Vishnu could have done Puja to Siva. If Ambal is above the Trimurthy's of Brhma, Vishnu, Maheswara; then how can She be the wife of one of them? So it seems all Puranas cannot be true! Is the whole thing a vast tapestry of lies? Though logically all of it cannot be true; the fact is that, all of them are true! It is a matter of time. What is the reciepient of praise and adulation at one point in time, from all other Gods; is the part of the crowd expressing their appreciation to another specific Deity, some other time! How is this? Why should it be so?

56. We all know that God is responsible for the three main jobs of Creation, Maintenance and Annihilation. There are two more jobs known as, Tirodanam and Anugraham; meaning Hiding / Delusion and Anugraha / Revelation. Unless the truth is hidden from our views, that is, in other words, unless we are deluded; we will not be involved passionately and there will be no competitiveness. Then finally when, all efforts gets matured into trying to get to know the truth, what is needed is, Revelation and removal of Delusion! It is all a matter of Time! If we have to understand as to how God could do all that He does, (within our limited capacity to understand or comprehend); He has to be many and varied! Look at the world. What we see is variety. Take just one variety of living things, the human beings. Within them, note what enormous variety is there. At a modest estimate, they are numbering some 650 billion as on date! Look at the variety of ethnic, racial, national, regional, religious and what not divisions, in them! In all that, is there one man like any other? The only oneness in all this is uniqueness! There is not a single particle of sand like any other. There is not a single snow flake crystal like any other. There is not a single hair structure like any other. Now-a-days they are trying to identify people by the picture of not only the finger-prints but the characteristic pattern of blood vessels in the corona of ones eyes! Every iota of existance is unique! Now you want only God to be one! OK. Let him be one. But He has to have a whole army of Gods, working under him! If for no other reason, but atleast so that each man or woman may have his or her own favourite God ('Ishta Devata'), there has to be variety!

57. Everyone in this world have their own idiosyncrasies and individual outlook. They have to have their own 'Ishta Devata' or their own idea of a favourite God, by devotion to whom, the individual hopes to progress, individually, materially and spiritually. So there are many Gods. They are all the same. But they are all unique! Each one has to have unshakeable belief in that 'Ishta Devata', is it not so? This is the Paramatma Swaroopam! There is nothing more than this. Each devotee has to have that confidence in his own God, you see. So He comes in the form that the devotee wants! Makes all other Gods pray to Him or Her. For the sake of that devotee, that God can defeat anybody else, including other Gods!

58. So let us accept that, there may be occassions when, a particular God has done Puja to other deities and in their own turn have been the object of veneration and adoration! They might have lost to or defeated others. In the Puranas mainly concerned with singing the glory of Siva, it may be a compilation of those events which bring out Siva's greatness. So can it be the case with Vishnu or Ambal or Subrahmanya oriented Puranas. The aim is not to put down the other Gods. Your devotion to that one God of yours has to be 'Ananyam' ie., exclusively devoted, and not as one amongst many! This is so that the devotee is raised to a very high exalted state and not so as to put down anybody! This is known as, "...nahi nindita nyaayam...", that is, 'no insult meant to anyone-logic'.

59. For a devotee who has matured to a state of understanding all these as so many forms of one and the same God, there is no need for 'Ananya Bakthi' of exclusivity. Because, you are not thinking of other Gods as others at all. Once you have identified the oneness of all Gods, then you know that all Puranams are about the same God in different forms. The one God, for the sake of people of different mentalities, having made oneself as yet another, has done all this. With this understanding, you can enjoy all the stories of all the Puranas and still be devoted.

60. In Banasura's story, Siva loses to Krishna in a confrontation. In Thiruvannamalai, Vishnu fails to reach Siva's feet. Both are true. In one the Krishna devotees have to be convinced of His supremacy and so Siva will readily lose to him. Vishnu is very much capable losing any battle to Siva, if that will reinforce Siva's devotees' faith and sincerity. Though we may think of them as different entities, fighting and losing or winning, for them it is all 'Leela', play for our sake. There is another reason. That is to be the trail blazers in the 'Bhakti Marga'. Other than being worldly wise, people should be motivated to enter the path of devotion. So in some stories, Vishnu as the devotee, does puja to Siva. In some other Kshetras, Siva does puja to Vishnu.

61. There should be devotion and faithfulness between couples in worldly life. Though it is only recently that women also have become the earning members, traditionally, child bearing and bringing up the family has been the female's role. So it is her faithfulness to the husband that has been rather emphasised in our literature and religion. The fact is that both the parties have to behave, if only to avoid many of the diseases that the whole world is rather concerned about now-a-days. So in the Puranas oriented towards Ambal worship, we find 'Pathivratyam', or faithfulness emphasised. She is a role model for all women folk, that despite being 'Para Sakthi', the Empress of the whoe Universe, she is devoted to her husband, giving him the prominence.

(To be continued.)



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