Friday, January 15, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Jan 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 176 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Jan 2010.
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the middle of page No 806 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

42. Point to note here is that, Krishna is not simply claiming all the good and attractive items of the toy shop( that is the world), as “Mine” as a child does. He is telling that, wherever and in whichever there is ‘srimat’, there is prosperity and splendour. It is beautiful, peaceful, pleasant, providing pure pleasure to the mind, heart and body. So, instead of claiming greatness simply by saying that he is there in all well known great and mighty, He is saying that it is His presence, His Vibhuti ‘Srimat’, that makes them known as great and beautiful! It is this sense of aesthetic beauty that is the subject matter of Gaandarva Veda!

43. Dance for the pleasure of the eyes, music for the ears, ‘nava rasa-s’ for the mind, all seemingly food for the physical senses; are all evolutes of Sama Veda and hence their greatness. Moreover please note that, in the Vibhuti Yoga quoted herein ( refer earlier para 36 ), Bhagawan also confirms that He is ‘Sama Veda among the Veda-s’! More than other ‘Upa Veda-s’ being part of the Veda-s, it is this proximity of Gaandarva Veda as having derived from Sama Veda, that makes it special.

44. It is the 'Swaraa-s' in Sama Veda the source from which the 'sapta swara-s' of music must have evolved. Anyone who has ever heard the Saama Gaanam, will vouch safe this observation. In Lalita Sahasranama, The Mother Goddess is called "saama gaana priyaa". In the Ashtotram for Siva too there is mention of, "saama priyaaya nama:". As though to confirm that it is the musical aspect of the Sama Veda that is being referred, the very next name is given as, "swara mayaaya nama:"! We also observed that Sri Krishna an Avatara of Maha Vishnu, says that among the Veda-s He is the Sama Veda. Putting all this together, we can simply derive that in this Hindu religion and culture, our concept of God is one of aesthetically beautiful music, in addition to His being Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient!

45. So we can deduce that the arts covered in Gaandarva Veda are all basically divinely oriented. Out of all the Upaveda-s, it is this Gaandarva Veda that is seemingly capable of pulling man in an endless downward spiral. But it can also lift him to the esoteric heights of experiencing oneness with God. If still one could go astray, the mistake lies not in the Veda, but in our understanding of it. There is fire. We can cook food in it. We can light up and do a 'Havan' with it, paying our obeisance to the Devata-s. We can light up the camphor and wave it in front of the Murthy of God, evoking gratitude towards all the elements of Nature. But, if we are careless, there can be a major accident! You cannot blame the element of fire for it.

46. When the various feelings of human emotions are depicted on stage through dance and drama to the accompaniment of music with dharma, it makes deeper impressions on human minds. Ramayana, Maha Bharata, Purana-s, life histories of great heroes of the past, can influence a whole society to move in the right direction. In the name of 'social theme' it is wrong to misuse this powerful medium! Mahatma Gandhi says in his autobiography as to how, 'Sravana Pithru Bhakti Natakam' that he saw in his childhood, got etched in his mind for life! To respect one's parents and to think of our ancestors with a sense of gratitude, is what is most lacking in the youth of the modern world.

47. For long this social responsibility of inculcating noble qualities in people's minds was being done by the 'Pouranik-s', who in themselves combined all the capabilities of music, dance and drama. This was considered as the most suitable method of ensuring discipline of the people at large. Kings of yore considered it a part of their duty to honour such Pouranik-s, musicians, dancers and artists, individually and collectively as a troupe. They were provided with titles, funds, other amenities and creature comforts on permanent basis, so that they could devote all their energies in developing their art. There are many recordings of such actions on their part etched in stone carvings in various temples all over India. Music heard by the ear has more power than speeches and written messages. This when combined with the visual art of dance and drama, they have a multiplying effect.

47. In Krishna Karnaamritam, there is a slokam that goes like this. "kasturi tilakam lalaata palake vakshastale koustubam naasaagre nava mouktikam karatale veNum kare kankaNam I sarvaange harichandanam cha kalayan kante cha muktaavaLim gopastree-pariveshtitho vijayate gopaala chudaamaNi: II" Its meaning is as follows. Young Krishna is described. He is wearing a Kasturi mark in the centre spot between the eye brows. On the chest is the Koustuba MaNi, in the tip of the nose is pearl miniature pendant called 'bullaakku', 'in the palm of his hand there is the flute, in the wrist there is the kaNkaN bracelet, in the neck there are pearl necklaces. His whole body is smeared with sandal paste. He is surrounded by Gopika damsels and he is the brilliantly shining jewel of them all in the centre!

48. This when sung with musical accompaniment, heard by the ears, mentally pictured, while simultaneously being enacted by a number of girls dressed as Gopika-s, with a captivatingly beautiful cherub play acting the Bala Krishna's role, with all the ornaments described, with Raaga, Taala, Layaa and Abhinaya; the audience can be transported to the seventh heavens!

49. Let me tell you about the 'bullaakku' that is worn on the tip of the nose. Among all female deities, the most beautiful is Lalita. Among the male deities it is Sri Ramachandra Murthy. When the entire 'soundaryam' of the male and female form are combined in one form, it is Sri Krishna. There is a sloka certifying this fact that Sri Krishna had in him all the beauty of the male and female form together. That is why He is described to be wearing the 'bullaakku', which is normally worn by woman folk only. This is a very small pendant with a small pearl the size of a grain, hanging from a stud screwed to the nose.

50. Other than the items of decoration mentioned in the slokam quoted above, Krishna would be sporting a peacock feather at a jaunty angle in his braided hair, two ear studs known as 'makara kundalam' flittering with the slightest movements of his body, a yellow silk cloth with red designs of jigina glittering in his hips, 'thandai and golusu' worn on his ankles; with last but not least would be an all knowing smile of mischief! With all that think of Yasoda's 'vaatsalyam' (the Mother's love) or Radha's 'prema' (the lover's love). Such a scene when depicted with dance and music, we will forget this world and become one of the Gopika-s. Simultaneously it will be a nectarine feast for the eyes, ears, mind and heart!

51. Whether good or bad, Gaandarva Veda has the power to make a deep impression on the mind and heart. It is we who have to be sensible enough to filter the inputs for our own betterment and ennoblement! We can make a painting or statue to tickle and titillate our senses. Or we can opt to imbue reverence and devotion in ourselves. There are various slokas by Adi Sankara of deep concepts of Vedanta. There are Azhvar's paasuram-s, Nayanmaar's Tevaaram songs, Taayum Aanavar's songs, Aruna Girinaatar's Thiruppugazh and so on and so on. There is an ocean of devotional songs available, waiting to be taken advantage of, in all the languages of India. Just reading them can touch our hearts. But if you can understand the meaning and sing them or hear them being sung, even a stone like heart would melt!

(To be continued.)




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