Sunday, September 14, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 93 of (Vol 2) of 09 Mar 2008.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 93 of (Vol 2) of 09 Mar 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 # 92 of (Vol 2) of 07 Mar 2008. I am at page 725 of the volume 2. Periyaval is talking about this in 1962.)

86. In Kanchipuram Ekambara Nathar Aalayam, is the Prithvi Lingam that Ambal Herself made of earth. While She was doing the Puja, there was a flood. Ambal embraced the Lingam and God Parameswara materialised; says the Sthala Puranam and Thevaram songs by Sundara Murthy Swamigal:-
"elavaar kuzhalaal umai nangai enrum eththi vazhi padapperra...
arramil pugazhaal umai nangai aadarittu vazhi padapperra...
& so on & so on.....
vazhipadach chenru ninravaa kandu vellam kaatti verittidavanji veruvi odiththazhuva
velippatta kallakkambanai engal piraanai......"

87. Near Sri Rangam is Jambukeswaram, also known as Thiru Aanaikkaval. There Jambu Maharishi went into Samaadhi and became a Jaumbu tree, (known as Rose Apple or Black Berry in English and Naval in Hindi). Under that tree a Siva Lingam got established. As there was no roof over the Siva Lingam, a Spider spun a web overhead. An Elephant who was also a devotee of the Siva, brought water by its trunk and poured it over the Siva Lingam, as Abhishekam / shower! The Spider's web was broken by this action of the Elephant. The Spider got furious. So he got into the head of the Elephant, through the trunk, making his life painfully miserable. The elephant got his head bashed against the rocks and trees, killing itself and the spider. It is this spider, who was later born as Kochengat Chozha, who constructed the Temple. This story is described in the Sthala Puranam. There is also reference of this in Thevaram by Appar and Smbandar. The Sanctum Sanctorum of this Temple is so located that, the Kaveri river passes through as a spring from inside. This fact is so mentioned in all the ten songs of the Pathigam as, "...sezhu neer thiralai senraadinene...".

88. In Thirukkazhukkunram, every day two eagles come flying, land on a rock on which the priest would be waiting with their share of the offerings to the Lord as Prasadam of the day, exactly at 12.00 hours. They partake the prasadam offered and fly off in the sky! This ritual of 20 minutes or so, has been going on from time immemorial. The question asked by non believers is, "How can you say that this has been going on for centuries? Is it recorded in History?" Since the time of Thevaram, this place is known as, 'Thiru + kazhuk + kunram'. Kazhugu in Tamil means a type of Bald Eagle, with a white neck, (supposed to be the official Vahanam / carrier of Bhagawan Vishnu). Do we need any further proof?

89. In Thiruvidaimarudur, bathing on Thaippoosam (on the day of the star Poosam in the month of Thai), in the Kaveri River is special. Why is it special to bathe here on 'Thaippoosam day'? We will come to that reason shortly. Bathing on Thaippoosam day as a special occassion is mentioned in the Sthala Puranam, as well as been sung by Sambandar and Appar in Thevaram, 1,300 years back! "...poosam pugunthadip polindazhagaaya, easan uraikinra idai marudu eedo..." - by Sambandar; "...varundiya maathavaththor vaanor enor vandeendip porundiya thaipposamaadi ulagam poliveida..." - by Sambandar; "easan emperumaan idaimaridinil poosa naam puguthum punalaadave..." - by Appar. Sri Rangam. Jambukeswaram, Kanchipuram, Thirukkazhukkunram and Thiruvidaimarudur; are all big and famous Kshetras. So, it is but natural that, those places get mentioned in the old Tamil songs of Thevaram and Divya Prabhandam! But even some very small Kshetras are quoted in the Thevaram and Divya Prabhandam; collectively known as 'Thamizh Marai' or Tamil Vedas!

90. In many such small stations, as per the belief and Sthala Puranas, great souls such as Rishis or Deities, come there to pay obeisance to the Presiding Deity, in the form of a bee. Even now in those temples you will find a Bee Hive in the Sanctum Sanctorum. Nannilam is one such place, where the area where the temple is located is known as 'Madu Vanam', meaning a 'copse of honey combs'. Near Thiruthuraippoondi, there is village Chittambur. Here too in the temple 'Garbbagruha', there is a Honey Comb. Siddhas are supposed to come to the God as honey bees! Here everyday the Honey Comb too is venerated with 'Shodopachara Pooja' without hurting the bees! In Thevaram songs this place is referred as 'Chirremam'. Amongst the Vaishnava Divya Kshetras, there is a Thirukkanna Mangai, where in the temple, there is a honey comb! These two places get mentioned in Thevaram and Divya Prabhandam respectively:- "...tenaar vandu pann seyyum thiru aarum chirremaththan..." - by Sambandar; "...kali vandaraiyum pozhil kanna mangaiyut kandu kondene..." -by Thirumangai Aazhvar. I am sure that, these quotations in Sthala Puranas, being repeated in Thevaram and Divya Prabandham respectively, are sufficient proof of their antiquity and authenticity!

91. Connectivity Between Puranas. An event mentioned in one Purana, gets quoted in another Purana or Sthala Purana. thus many of the Puranas are inter-connected. Sometimes the whole story is revealed only when you read them all. There are many such connections, between Sthala Puranas, which is another proof of their authenticity. Many unfinished stories of the 18 maha Puranas and further Upa-Puranas; get completed only with complimentary information from the Sthala Puranas. It seems that the couple of Parvathy and Parameswar, played a game of 'chokkattan' in which the coins are moved by rolling the dice. It seems that they both claimed a 'win'. Sometimes they play-act as though they are serious! So there was a difference of opinion. May be the lesson was to be taught to the whole world that, when you play with money, these games take an ugly turn! The Lord Parameswara was annoyed at losing all his possessions! He cursed the Ambal to go and be born on earth as a 'Pasu' that is, an animal, as a cow! He is 'Pasupati', the 'Pati' who takes care and control of all 'Pasus', the animals! If the Jeeva is roaming about with pride and 'ahankaara', the Pati may not grant 'anugraha'. Mahashakti Ambal, immediately realised her mistake and became a subservient cow, and was roaming in God forsaken place! (There is no place, which is 'God forsaken' as per the Hindu belief! Anyhow that is a secondary issue in this story!)

92. Lalitha Sahasranamam calls Her, "...Gomata...", mother of cow or 'cow the mother'! Maha Vishnu as Her brother, also came down to the Mother Earth, with Her. 'It is all right, if He the brother-in-law Easwara as Pasupati has forsaken Her, let me take care of Her'. With that idea Maha Vishnu came down with His sister. May be that this experience of being a shepherd once, caused Him to become 'Gopala the Shepherd' again in Krishna Avatara, at the end of the Dwapara Yuga. (KTSV adds:- May be repeat it again as Jesus Christ in Kali Yuga! This name for God is beautiful, is it not? Pasupati for Siva, Gopala for Krishna and Shepherd for Jesus Christ; all mean the same thing!) If we look into the meaning of these words itself, all sense of 'otherness' between Saivam and Vaishnavam will vanish says Periyaval!

93. The place where the brother came as Shepherd and the Sister as the Cow, was 'Thiru Azhundur', which became, 'Therazhundur', also the birth place of Kambar, the Author of Ramayana in Tamil. There is a high ground known as 'Kambar Medu' there till date! There is a Perumal Temple, where Thirumangai Aazhvar has done Magalaasasanam. In that Temple in the Sanctum Sanctorum, Perumal is standing as a Gopala with a Cow. As He is a friend of the Cow, He is called a 'Go + saka = Gosakan'. Therazhundur is also referred as Gosaka Kshetram. In Tamil, that Gosaka gets translated as 'Aamaruviappan'. In that place, there is Siva Temple. Siva has the name of 'Veda Pureeswarar'. One end of the town is the Perumal temple and the Siva temple is at the other end. That is the old time 'Town Planning' as per Sastras. Now in that town, for the Perumal, there is the Divya Prabhandam song by Thiru Mangai Aazhvar, as I said earlier, and also Gnana Sambandar's Thevaram for Veda Pureeswarar. That is, Therazhundur is one of the rare Kshetras, which is special both for Saivas and Vaishnavas, as having a 'Mangala Sasanam and Thevaram' sung in praise of the Deities there!

94. Since Maha Vishnu took Ambal for grazing, the place where the grazing grounds were located is known as 'Pillur'. Grass in Tamil is 'pul' which in that area is pronounced as, 'pil'. Then there is 'Mekri Mangalam'. 'Mekri' could be an aberration of the word, 'madu meiththal', which means 'to graze the cattle'. Another village is 'Aan Aangur'. 'Aan or Aanirai' also mean cattle in Tamil. The Cow will graze the grass. The Konaar or Shepherd would accompany the Cow. Vishnu always prays to Siva. So He did 'Prathishta' or Installed, the Veda Pureeswarar, in the same city. (Veda Pureeswarar Temple and the Aamaruviappan Temple are both under the same management, in that place! A Siva and Vishnu Temple being under the same management, is rare indeed!) For Vedam and Veda Samrakshanai, 'Go' or Cow is essential, as it gives the necessary, Milk, Ghee and 'dried-cow-dung-cakes', which is used in Yagnas. Then of course, you need the brahmins for Veda Adhyayanam and Adhyapakam. That is why at the end of such functions, it is said, "...go-brahmanebyo subham asthu nityam...", meaning, 'let the cattle and brahmins be well cared for everyday'. In that place till recently, many scholors highly qualified in Veda have emerged, substantiating the Veda Pureeswarar's name. These 'Veda Sastra' Vyutpannars / Virpannars, have been repeatedly praised by Gnana Sambandar in Thevaram repeatedly as, "...azhundai maraiyor...", ('azhundai' here means Therazhundur).

95. It is once again, the Perumal here in this Therazhundur, whom Alvar refers very appreciatively as, "...chandogaa! pouzhiyaa! thaithreeyaa! saama vediyane! nedumaale!...". One day while grazing, the Cow's hoofs hit against a stone, which turned out to be a Siva Lingam. The Cow got scared that she has again done something to earn the ignominy of 'Siva aparaadam' and so ran from there. That place is known as, 'Thirukkulambiyam'. Any name in Tamil will get prefixed with a 'Thiru'. You have to correctly recognise what comes after the 'thiru'. 'Kulambu', in Tamil is the word for the hoof. Looking at all this Maha Vishnu was much pained. What was a simple play in jest, for the sake of a show for the general public had gone far off. He sincerely wished to get the seperated couple together again! So He prayed to Maheswara for an early compromise. Parameswara adviced Mahavishnu that, "he should take His Sister to the Kaveri and give Her a dip. She would regain her original 'Swaroopa' shortly after which, I will reclaim Her hands in marriage, on a suitable occassion."

96. Accordingly Gosaka took the Cow to the Kaveri for a dip in the river. The Cow came out as a beautiful girl. Where the Cow came out as a Girl, is Thiruvaavaduthurai = Thiru + aa(cow) + adu(approach) + thurai(river bank). This is the place of Thirumoolar, where he wrote Thirumandiram of 3000 verses! (In one of the earlier e-mails I have given the story about Thirumoolar, as to how a great scholor, capable of entering other bodies known as, 'koodu vittu koodu paaidal(in Tamil) or para kaaya pravesam(in Sanskrit)', got in to the dead body of a shepherd, for the sake of the grieving cattle!). So, as per the words of Siva, the Cow got back the the Swaroopa of Ambal. Nearby was a place known as, Thiruthuruthi. There was a Rishi in that village, who had been desiring to get Ambal Herself as his daughter. Siva wanted that his desire too should be fulfilled simultaneously. Ambal became that Rishi's daughter and grew up to marriageable age.

97. Thiruthuruthi in Tanjore district is one of 44 Kshetras where, the three Nayanmars of Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, have all composed and sung songs as part of the Thevaram. Here too, the name of the God in the Siva Temple is, 'Vedeswarar'. That Saint as the father of Ambal and Vishnu, went to recieve Siva. That place is known as, 'Edir Kol Paadi'(meaning, to go forward and recieve). As part of the Marriage ceremony, the place where the couple sow some fast growing seeds, known as 'Paaligai Theliththal', is a village by the name of, 'Kuru Mulaip Paali'. The place where the marriage was held, is known as 'Thiru mananjeri'. Maha Vishnu was thrilled getting His sister married to Siva.

98. In the story that I told you now are lessons that;- Firstly, Pride should be avoided; Secondly, Gambling is forbidden; Thirdly, Brotherly love should be there for the sister, extended as material, physical and moral help especially when she is in trouble and so on. So, Sthala Puranas should not be discarded out of hand. But that is not the only purpose of my telling you all this! The main purpose is that, in one story, in bits and pieces, seven to eight Sthala Puranas are inter-connected! One starts where the other left off. The story gets the total shape only when you connect them up. Therazhundur, Pillur, Aanangur, Thirukkulambiyam, Thiruvaavaduthurai, Edirkolpaadi, Velvikkudi, Kurumulaippali, and finally Thirumananjeri. The proof of the story, is in the names of the places themselves. Ask anybody who knows Tamil!

99. So plan to take a dip in Kaveri on Thaippoosam day, next time when you can. Happy Marriage Anniversary for Siva and Parvathy!

(Puranam about Puranam goes on!)



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