Sunday, March 21, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 201 (Vol #3) Dated 22 Mar 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 201 (Vol #3) Dated 22 Mar 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 last para on page 929 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.)

44. ‘Sunnam Jyasthi’. Sita asked Ravana to remove all the ‘ta’ letters from what he said to change the meaning from one of ridicule to one of encomiums of praise! Kalidasa knocked off one dot to lift the meaning from humdrum to the sublime! Bhavabhuti was a contemporary of Kalidasa, of equal capability and fame. There are many stories of competitiveness between them with either of them getting the bad end of the bargain! This story is about how they played a complimentary role of consultation.

45. Uttara Ramayana was written as “Uttara Rama Charitam” describing the period after Rama’s return from Lanka, as a drama of endearing beauty by Bhavabhuti. He took it to Kalidasa for a reading and approval. While listening to his friend, Kalidasa was enjoying munching on the ‘paan’, as his favourite lady was giving it to him. {To eat the Nagavalli leaves lightly smeared with a film of lime ( CaCO2 i.e., calcium carbonate), while munching on powdered and scented betel nuts, after lunch or dinner is a socially acceptable custom, much prevalent in India, till very recently!}

46. In one of the early scenes, Sri Rama is remembering the happy days he spent with Sita in Dandaka Aranyam. There is a statement which describes as to how they used to be speaking to each other without ever being aware of how the night passed ! It says, "...avidita gata yama ratrirevam vyaramseet...". In Sanskrit, when you write a word ending in 'm', it is a dot over the horizontal line. As Bhavabhuti read this line, Kalidasa mentioned, "sunnam jyasthi". This could mean that there is a little bit extra lime that is being applied on the 'nagavalli' leaf. The girl took it as a command for her to apply a little less of the lime paste!

47. In front of her, as it is slightly bad manners to be advising directly Bhavabhuti, Kalidasa possibly gave an indirect instruction to him! The beauty of it was that, Bhavabhuti was smart enough to take the hint. 'Sunnam' is the dot in the word 'ratrirevam' at the end! So, with the removal of the dot the words became, "...ratrireva vyaramseet...", meaning 'only night finished' and that the conversation continued!

48. As the story goes, Kalidasa was supposed to have said that there was one 'anuswaram' more! 'Anuswaram' is that dot. But to say 'sunnam jyasthi' is more in the line of the sort of understanding that existed between the two poets. [In Devanagari Lipi, the word finishing in 'vam' would actually be just a dot on the letter 'va'! The dot would be a small circle like this:- o . This dot and 'anuswaram' in Sanskrit and the lime applied to the 'naga valli' leaves, can all be referred as 'sunnam' in telugu. This adds to the view that Kalidasa must have been a poet from the part of India where they speak Telugu! If you say 'No!' to this, I will tell you one more thing.

49. In Kalidasa's Megha Sandesa, the Yaksha sends the Megha, that is the cloud as a messenger from a hill by the name of 'Ramagiri', which is said to be the same as Ramtek, a hillock located near Nagpur. However, believe it or not, in Andhra Pradesh too, beyond Nagalapuram there is a Ramagiri!

50. Palindrome. 'vikatakavi', meaning 'a humorous poet'; 'teru varute', meaning 'the chariot is coming'; 'moru porumo?', meaning 'have you had enough butter-milk?' , 'kudaku' a place name in Karnataka, 'malayalam' the language of Kerala; are all well known as palindromes in Tamil. Though when written thus in English, they may look not exactly like single letters, in Sanskrit and most of the Indian languages, they are single letters. (Some palindromes in English are 'damm It I'mmad' and 'was i t a r a t I saw'?)

51. All born as Hindu-s are required to visit Kasi at least once in their life time. While on the way they are required to have a dip in the Triveni Sangamam, then do 'sraddham' in Gaya. All these requirements could be combined in one sentence to form a palindrome. Kasi was known as 'kasika' which by itself is a palindrome. 'gaya pra yaga' was another. As 'ga ya pra ya ga' are all single letters read as 'ga ya pra ya ga', from either side and hence a palindrome.

52. I was told by a Pundit that there was a palindrome of a sloka about the nicety of being able to appreciate literary merits. I am not quoting the whole sloka here. The Sanskrit word for a palindrome is 'gata pratya gatham'. The word 'sakshara' means some one who is well read. Whereas the word 'sarasa' means some one who is well in to literary nuances. The man who is well read but does not have the maturity of mind and does not maintain the discipline of his learning, becomes an ogre! But the man who loves the literary subtleties, retains his finer qualities. Now take these two words, The well read 'sa ksha ra' becomes on return, 'ra ksha sa', an ogre; whereas 'sa ra sa' remains 'sa ra sa'!

53. There was a poet by the name of 'Maahan'. He has also written a sloka of palindromes. It is about Maha Lakshmi embracing Maha Vishnu with love. I am only quoting and not translating! But read it back and the whole sloka is a palindrome! "tam sri ya kanaya na sta rusa saradaya taya yadaya tarasa saru sthan aya naka ya sri tam".

54. Thiru Gnana Sambandar was breast fed by Ambal Parvathy Herself! He wrote all sorts of poems like a perennial water fall. This Sanskrit word for palindrome 'gatapratyagatham' in Tamil is known as 'Malai Martru' based on the exchange of garlands between the bride and bride-groom in a marriage! Thiru Gnana Sambandar has written 11 two lined 'cheyyul-s'. I am quoting one of them. You will feel as lost as a person who has been left in the forest with his eyes and hands tied tightly! I quote:- "ya ma ma nee _ ya ma ma _ ya zhi ka ma _ ka Na ka _ ka Na ka _ ma ka zhi ya _ ma ma ya _ nee ma ma ya". Between the words in Tamil I have given an under score!

55. Let us try and understand this some. "Yes! We are people of very limited capabilities and power. You are Omni potent. 'Yaam aama? nee aam aam. Maayaazhi!'. You are holding the huge Yaazh or Veena, as the Dakshina Murthy playing on the big Veena. 'Kaamaa kaaN naaga!' You are a great handsome being, wearing the Snake as a piece of decoration! 'KaaNaakaamaa' means the one who has the Kaama the God of Love burnt to ashes, that he cannot be seen any more! 'Kaazhiyaa', Hi! the God who has a temple in Seerkaazhi - the place of Sambanda Swami's birth. 'Maa maa yaa', the great God of Maayaa' Maha Vishnu. Here from the mouth of this divine child, the oneness of Siva _ Vishnu emerges!

56. (Appar Swami too while describing Siva in Thiru Thandakam says, "...naraNan kaaN naan mukan kaaN...", meaning, 'see Vishnu the naaraNan, see the four faced Brhma the naan mukan' !) The sloka finishes in "...nee maa maayaa...", to mean, remove the darkness of the illusion of Maya ! Here using only six letters of the alphabet, that is, ‘ya ma nee zhi kaa Naa’, in various combination, the poet has created the verse. To do so is known as 'sabda chitra kavyam', a literary art work with sounds!

57. I will give you one such 'sabda jaala' description of God's exploits, equally applicable to Siva and Vishnu! The text goes like this:- "mitraatri putra netraya trayee chadrava chatrave -gothrari gotra jatraya gothradre te namo nama: II 'mitra atri putra netraya' means, the one with the Sun and Moon as the eyes. Siva and Vishnu, both can be and are described thus. 'trayee ch adrava chatru' means 'the enemy of the Veda-s' enemy', that is Asura's opponent, again equally applicable to both Siva and Vishnu ! 'gothrari gothrajatra' means the protector of the progenies of the enemy of the hills, that is Indra's followers, Deva-s' protector; again this can be applied to Siva and Vishnu !

58. 'gothradre te namo nama:' means repeated prostrations to you the keeper of cattle! Both Siva and Vishnu correctly answer to this definition too ! Siva is known as 'Pasu Pathi', the Head of all animals. He is the Pathi of all people, all life forms are only so many Pasu - animals ! So is also Vishnu the shepherd Gopala. (Is it not equally true of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd !) Repeated prostrations to You Oh God!

(More to come !)




At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose. ........................................

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actions speak louder than words. ........................................


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