Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (of Vol 3) Dated 11 Nov 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 15 (of Vol 3) Dated 11 Nov 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyavaal of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the last para of page number 64, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original.)
(Note:- These e-mails are available at http://advaitham.blogspot.com constantly up-dated.)
22. Nayanmar-s statues are installed in the Prahara-s of the Siva temples. But there is no special pooja or deification except the yearly festival of 'Arupattumoovar', meaning the 63's. Amongst them also, it is only Manikka Vaasagar who is venerated and deified in Thirup-perum-thurai as is done for the Azhvars. The Saiva Siddhanta Acharyal-s namely, Sri Kanta Acharyar, Mei Kanda Sivam and Umapati Sivacharyar etc., are not much fussed about either, though they have done vast amount of work in terms of codification and pioneering conceptualization.
23. When it comes to Adwaita Acharyal-s, the devotional procedures about them is almost next to nil! For Adi Sankara, there are some statues installed in some rare temples around Kaanjipuram, in Maankadu and Thiru Vortriyur. I have seen a marble statue of Adi Sankara in the room on the North-West corner of the Prahara, in the Badrinath temple, that too more as a decorative piece. If we are to assess the level of influence by taking note of the number of statues in the temples, we will have to conclude that Adwaitam has no relevance as a concept in the Hindu religion! The reason is that the Adwaitins are neither Saivites nor Vaishnavites but those who accept all perspectives to a certain extent as 'Smaartaa-s', that is, adherents of the Smruti-s.
24. I was describing as to how amongst the followers of Ramanujacharyar the devotion exhibited towards the Acharya-s is rather exceptional. Amongst his direct disciples, the devotion they had for their Guru is extreme. Koorathu Aazhvaar was ready to even give his life, for his Guru. In Tamil while mentioning names of people, if you add an 'r' instead of an 'n', at the end of the name, it is more respectful. For example to say, 'Ramar, Krishnar', is more respectful than saying, 'Raman, Krishnan' and so on! This is the normal method. But in some rare cases the opposite method is true. For example, 'Vedanta Desikar' held at the highest level of respect, is simply 'Desikan' only. Similarly, Koorathu Aazhvaar is only 'Koorathu Azhvan'. Even without mentioning the place name, if you say, 'Aazhvaan', you are referring to Koorathu Aazhvaar only!
25. Those days the Sozha (also known as Chola) King was an ardent devotee of Siva. Ramanuja advocated exclusive devotion to Vishnu only. So the King assembled a Vidvat Sadas, an assembly of very learned exponents of Saastra-s, so as to analyze the basis of Ramanujacharya's point of view. At that time Gangai Konda Sozhapuram was the capital of the Kingdom. The Sadas was to be held there. The King sent his emissaries to fetch Ramanujacharyar from Sri Rangam.
26. Looking at the Kings representatives, Koorathu Aazhvaar was much worried. He thought on the following lines. "The King is a confirmed devotee of Siva. Our Guru is of the opinion that only Vishnu is worthy of being prayed to and does not approve of Siva Aaraadanaa. You never know as to where this King is taking our Guru. There is a distinct possibility that our Guru may even be killed! After all he is a King. No body can even question him. Under this situation, it is best that I play act as though I am Ramanujacharyar myself. Whatever fate is awaiting him may come to me."
27. He took his Acharya's permission for this ruse. He arranged for his Guru to wear white clothes instead of his normal ochre and go away to a place known as Melkottai Thiru Narayanapuram in Karnataka. There till date they celebrate his visit. Koorathu Aazhvaar wearing ochre dress went to the capital of the Sozha Kingdom, Gangai Konda Sozhapuram. The Vidvat Sadas was held as planned. As expected, he lost the argument. But he was not punished to be killed but caused to become blind. He gladly accepted what would have befallen to his Guru. Ramanujacharyar came back to Tamil Nadu only after that King was dead and gone!
28. Later, Ramanujacharyar while living in Sri Rangam, continued to have a special attraction to Varadaraja Swami of Kanchipuram. He told Koorathu Aazhvaar to pray to God Varadaraja for getting his eye sight back. Koorathu Aazhvaar, was not interested in getting his eye sight back. He believed that all the five sense organs should be strictly controlled, if he were to make any progress spiritually. He was happy that as a punishment from the King, he had to be deprived of his eye sight. Still, he prayed to God for getting his eye sight back, just so as to obey his Guru's wishes. So, his prayer was, " Oh God! Please restore my eye sight, not so as to let me see all the worldly sceneries, but so as to enable me to see your's and Guru's divine forms only!" So was his wish granted and eye sight restored, it seems!
29. Before Ramanujacharyar, there was Aalavandaar. His death was delayed because of pending effects of ‘praarabda’ had to be worked out. ‘Death’ in their flowery language was ‘thiru nattai alangarithal’, meaning ‘to decorate the sacred land’. It was one of his disciples who took his Guru’s balance ‘karma’ and enabled his Guru ‘to decorate the sacred land’. The disciple got a very painful ulcerous abscess!
30. There is another humorous story of the disciple’s devotion to the Guru. One of Ramanujacharyar’s disciples was heating milk inside the house. On the street was a procession carrying ‘Perumal’ in a decorated palanquin, accompanied by lights and other paraphernalia. The Guru kept shouting for the disciple to come out and witness the divine procession in vain. Finally, the disciple came out only after the procession had passed on to the next street. Guru took the disciple to task for not having obeyed his orders. The disciple’s reply was this, “It is alright for you to be keen about your Perumal’s visit! For that why should I cut short my service of heating up the milk for my Perumal?”
31. For the sake of the Guru, the disciple could happily bear any pain or tribulation because of the love and devotion for the Guru! Parasurama hated all Kshatriya-s. Karna in Maha Bharata enrolled as a student under Parasurama, for learning archery, claiming himself to be a Brahmin boy! One day, the Guru was sleeping resting his head on the disciple’s lap. There was a beetle which was trying to make a hole in his lap by biting into it. Karna did not move or flinch, so as not to disturb his Guru, despite the tremendous pain! The open bleeding wound was a clear give away of his not being a Brahmin. His deception caused the Guru to curse him that, when most needed, he will forget the mantras, as it happened in the Kurukshetra battle later on!
(To be continued.)


Post a Comment

<< Home