Monday, April 26, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 2 (Vol #4) Dated 26 April 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 2 (Vol #4) Dated 26 April 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. Today we are proceeding from the last paragraph on page 8 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at constantly updated.)
12. In the early part of ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ in a sloka about Veda Vyasa, it starts with his great grandfather Vasishta and goes down to, Vyasa’s son Sukacharya. Had he a son, may be it would have gone down from generation to generation, in that order, may be! Suka was a ‘Nitya Brhmachari’ (lifelong celibate) and so had no son of his own. From him it goes down the channel of disciples!
13. Suka’s disciple was Gowda Paada. Gowda Paada’s sishya (disciple) was Govind Bhagawat Paada, whose sishya was Our Adi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL, the SankaracharyaL! At the start of anything and everything, it is good that we have come to remember the Guru Parampara (lineage). Especially while talking of Vigneshwara, it is good to remember Vyasa; who dictated the whole of Maha Bharatha and our PiLLaiyar wrote it all down on the Meru mountain with one of his tusks. So, I am happy to be able to remember Vyasa at this point in time.
14. I quote that sloka referred in para 12 above. “vyasam vasishta naptaaram shakte –p-poutram akhalmasham I paraasara + aatmajam vande suka taatam taponidhim II” vasishta naptaaram = great grandson of vasishta; sakte-p-poutram = Sakti Maharishi’s grandson; parasara aatmajam = Parasara’s son; suka taatam = Suka’s father; tapo nidhim = rich in austere observances; akhalmasham = faultless; vyaasam = (such a person ) Vyasa, him I; vande = revere.
15. Now let us go back to that introductory ‘pravaram’ of PiLLaiyar, quoted in the last paragraph of the last e-mail. “matamaha maha sailam mahastat apitaamaham I kaaraNam jagataam vande kantaad upari vaaraNam II” In it the first reference is that of the maternal grandfather! Normally in ‘pravaram’ only the paternal forefathers of up to three generations back will be mentioned. Only in Pithru TarpaNam, the maternal forefathers and grandmothers are mentioned! But, here the problem is different. Our PiLLaiyar has a Father and Mother. But his father Easwara is ‘swayambu’, that is, self created and so is the Mother! So there could not have been any grandparents! To be like everybody else, the Mother of all is said to be the daughter of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges! So, ‘matamaha mahasailam’ = maternal grandfather is the big mountain. No ‘pitamaha’ that is, paternal grandfather!
16. In actual fact there is no birth, no father or mother for AmbaL. She is the original cause of creation. She is the source of all. For the sake of ‘Leela’ the play, she has also come as, daughter of Daksha as DaakshayaNi, daughter of Himawan as Parvathy, daughter of Malayadwaja as Meenakshi and daughter of Kaatyaayana as Kaatyaayani!
17. The moment we take the name of Paramasiva, the name that comes to our mind is that of Parvathy, as the daughter of Parvata the mountain. That was later, much later, after she had been Daakshayani, attended Daksha Yagna uninvited, felt ignored and insulted by her own father, sacrificed her life not wanting to continue bearing the name of DaakshayaNi. Then she is born as Parvathy and attains to Siva after much Tapasya of austerities! Melting the heart of Siva, who had burnt cupid the God of Love Manmatha out of existence, caused Siva to become a householder and beget children! With this Parvathy in mind, the sloka says that ‘the maternal grandfather is maha sailam, the mountain!
18. If your objection is about first mentioning the maternal grandfather’s name against all tradition, asking us to talk about the paternal side, the answer comes promptly, ‘mahastat apitaamaham’. This great being is ‘apitaamaham’ = sans paternal grandfather! “You know how great this boy’s background is? I do not have to talk about his parents at all. His mother’s father is the Himawan, the great huge Himalayas! He had do tapasya to get this boy’s mother as his daughter! He has no paternal grandfather, which evidently means that this boy’s father is self created!” That is the message of the first line of the sloka, “maataamaha maha sailam mahastat apitaamaham”.
19. Having said so in the first half of the sloka, in the second half it says, “Do not think that this boy is really the child of a father and mother only! He is also a Brhmaswarupa of immortal existence! He is the causal truth of all existence, because of whom everything else exists”. “kaaraNam jagataam vande” meaning, I bow to that causal reason for all that exists.
20. That causal thing for our sake is of the human form. Above the head it is of the form of an elephant! To make us keep looking at it with love and wonder, it has the face of a baby elephant! That is what the sloka says completing the second line, “kantaad upari varaNam”.
21. Uncle’s Greatness. Having the Himalayas as the maternal grandfather is one feather in his cap. Having no paternal grandfather is another. This PiLLaiyar has some more merits to be mighty proud of! There is another sloka in which our PiLLaiyar’s greatness as accruing due to his being related to his maternal uncle Maha Vishnu has been praised. “sri kaanto maatulo yasya janani sarva mangaLaa I janaka: sankaro deva: tam vande kunjaraananam II” Contrary to normal practice, I was talking about how in the previ-ously quoted sloka, maternal grandfather has been mentioned first. There is some logic in such changed order too. When referring to parents singly, we say, “matru devo bhava, pitru devo bhava, aachaarya devo bhava, atiti devo bhava;” in which mother is mentioned first. Similarly in Tamil too, “annaiyum pitaavum munnari deivam”, mother is mentioned first. Going one step beyond, in this above quoted sloka, even before the parents, maternal uncle gets mentioned first!
22. “sri kaanto maatulo yasya”, means, ‘The one whose mother’s brother is Sri’s Husband, Maha Vishnu’! ‘Matular’ is Mama, Uncle, that is as related to mother. PiLLiyar loves the Matulam Pazham, the pomegranate and is adored by his Mama the Matular. Sri Kaantan means the husband of Lakshmi, the Sri! By taking her name the sloka starts with an auspices beginning, with not only the name of the uncle but that of auntie’s too.
23. Maha Vishnu amongst the trio has the job of governance with Maha Lakshmi as the presiding deity of all wealth. So our PiLLaiyar as their nephew, is shown once again as highly placed and highly connected! A truly ‘a peria Idathu piLlai’! His younger brother Subrahmanya is more closely connected as the son-in-law of the Maha Vishnu family. In most of the Thiruppugazh songs, he is repeatedly addressed as ‘murugone and marugone!’ Sister’s son is known as ‘maruman’ who is also the rightful claimant of the uncle’s daughter.
24. Maha Vishnu is AmbaaL’s sibling. She is called ‘Narayana sahodari’ to mean, sister of Narayana. Though there are stories about her being born as DaakshayaNi, Parvathy and Meenakshi; there is no story or PuraNa of her such birth as the sister of Vishnu! Their birth or coming into being is not to be crudely thought of on the lines of mortal human existence. During Krishna Avatara, there was just a semblance of their being born as a brother and sister! When Krishna Paramatma was born as a baby for Vasudeva & Devaki, simultaneously, AmbaaL was born to Nandagopa & Yasoda. When the whole of the world was in the grip of their Maya, Vasudeva carried the new born Krishna across the Yamuna river to Brindavan, left him beside Yasoda and brought back AmbaaL back to the jail as per orders of Bhagawan. When Kamsa came to kill the new born, he was nonplussed to see a female baby. When he lifted it to smash it on the ground, AmbaaL slipped out of his hands and was air borne. She laughed and told him that his nemesis is elsewhere. Having made this statement, she disappeared in to thin air! So goes the Bhagawata narrative.
(To be continued.)



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