Sunday, April 11, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 210 (Vol #3) Dated 11 April 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 210 (Vol #3) Dated 11 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 page 987 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 constantly updated.)

18. When Thiru Moolar says that the one who does not take the name of Siva is a ‘thee vinai aaLan’ means that, he has done a lot of wrong things. He is a sinner. When you say ‘Siva Siva!’ it means that your sins are annulled, cancelled, erased. You will take His name only when you have already been so cleansed! Knowingly or unknowingly, we have been responsible for many blunders of commission and omission! The whole world is a system in which the rules of science as well as some rules as yet unknown to science, apply. It is our past actions which are a block in our progress. Chanting the Siva Nama is the pass word, for the removal of all those hurdles.
19. There are many people from other religions who say, “There is no method for annulling the past sins, in your religion. Come to us. We have perfected these methods. We will sprinkle some water over you and pronto, you will be sanctified, rid of all your past sins!” They call us as though, there is no method to get rid of our sins in our religion! Whether our sins were committed knowingly or not, once you repent them and think of mending your ways, you have already turned the corner. Then, by the time you are knowingly chanting God’s names, you have progressed far on the path of recovery. Not knowing anything about our religion, there are many who are converting to other religions. Cash incentives play a major role in this!
20. In actual fact all the ‘karma anushtaana-s’ required to be done are all meant to wean us away from our tendency to sin. Before any action, we take a ‘sankalpa’ – a sort of declaration of intentions! In it we say, “mamopatta samasta durita ksahyatwara” to start with. In this ‘durita’ = ‘paapam’. The incomplete sentence means, ‘by the process of reducing all the demerits collected by me till now’. (It goes on to say, ‘parameswara preetyartam’ = for the sake of pleasing Parameswara, ‘sandya vandanam’ or whatever, ‘karishye’ = I shall do! Thus all the actions done as Karma Anushtaana, are so as to reduce the load of ‘paapa’ = demerits.)
21. Bhakti marga, the path of devotion is for reducing this load only. When Bhakti matures, ‘prapatti’ = ‘saraNaagati’ or surrender takes place. At the end of Bhagawat Gita, Sri Krishna exhorts Arjuna to ‘surrender leaving all other means’. I quote:-
“sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam saraNam vraja I mokshayishyaami sarva paapebhyo maa sucha: II He says, ‘leaving all your rules and regulations aside, surrender unto Me. I will release you from all your sins, don’t worry!’ It is a promise by God in the form of Sri Krishna. We do not have to go to anybody else for this!
22. Dharma, Bhakti, Gnaana et al, is all meant for reducing the sins and recovering. ‘dharmeNa paapam apanudati’ says Narayana Upanishad {79.7}. In that Upanishad, repeatedly the concept of undoing the ‘paapa’ is mentioned. In Gita too, Sri Krishna says that, ‘even if you were the worst sinner, by the boat of Gnaana, you will cross the ocean of sins!’ { 4.36 }.
23. More than all these methods of, karma anushtaana, dharma anushtaana, prapatti, gnaana and so on, to get rid of the load of de-merits accumulated over many a life-times; the easiest method has been suggested now, by Ambal Herself in Bhagawatam, that is to simply chant the name of Siva! So, whosoever calls us to their religion with the promise of washing off our sins, we can clearly tell them, “We have so easy a method of erasing our sins, which is not available with any other religion. So first of all you go and absolve yourself of this sin of trying to convert us to your religion and then come and talk to us!”
24. Siva Nama in Veda-s. If we have a valuable diamond, where will we keep it? In the front room or in the out-house in the garden? With all security, we will keep it in a safe box of steel, at the centre of the house. Will we not? Same way the most precious Siva Nama has been kept at the safest place in the Veda-s. There are four Vedas. Half of that is two. So, Siva Nama has its place in the Second, that is, Yajur Veda. Not including the fourth Atharva, the other three Veda-s are called the Thrayee. The centre of that is again the Second Veda the Yajur. Like you have Science and Applied Science, the fourth Atharva is more of Applied Veda-s. Sometimes, there is a fivefold division of the Veda-s, Rik, Sukhla Yajus, Krishna Yajus, Sama and Atharva. Again the Krishna Yajus is the centre piece! It is there, in the centre of Krishna Yajus, in the fourth canto. In the centre of that fourth canto is the fifth Prasna. Again in the centre of that fifth Prasna is Sri Rudra Sukta. In the centre of that Sri Rudra Prasna, is the Panchakshara, whose centre is adorned by the two syllabled SI VA!
25. In Tamil the body is called ‘mei’. That word also means ‘truth’! God the Paramatma is called ‘mei-p poruL’ (in Tamil) = the true thing = ‘sad vastu’ (in Sanskrit). What is called ‘sad vastu’ in Vedanta, is referred as ‘mei-p-porul’ by Thiruvalluvar too. If you take the human body as ‘mei’, then the true thing in it as the Life of all living things is God or the Name of Siva. That is what Gnana Sambandar says, “veda naankinum meipporuLaavadu naadan naamam namahsivaayave”, meaning the “Real thing in all of the four Veda-s is the name of our Lord Siva only!”
26. As the precious stone in the house is kept well protected, the life of the body of the Veda-s is the Name of God and it is preciously guarded! Appayya Dikshidar says the same thing in Brhma Tarka Stava “yaj jeeva ratnam akilaagama laalaneeyam”! (Sloka No.27.)
27. One of Avvai Paatti’s works is known as ‘Nal Vazhi’ or the Good Path. Without any reference to name, caste, creed or religion; it lists all the moral guiding principles applicable to all the human beings. In such a really secular book, it says, “sivaya nama enru sindittu irupporkku abaayam oru naaLum ilai”. It means that, ‘for those who deliberate on prostrating to Siva, there is never any danger’! So the Siva Nama is meant for all type of people including the one who has been expelled from his caste. In Sri Rudram Parameswara is described as being amongst so many things, including for example, as the dog and the one who eats dog; it is clear that the Name of Siva is everybody’s property!
28. VaishNava Praising Siva Naama. As the greatness of the Name of Siva has been mentioned in the middle of Bhagawatam, a highly respected Aazhvaar has also extolled the greatness of Siva. Though the story tellers of Purana-s known as Pouraniks, talk about this, as though berating Siva, to me it sounds differently. One of Ramanujacharya’s disciples was Koorathu Aazhvaar. His name was actually, Sri Vatsaangar. In Tamil it was known as ‘Thiru MaRu Marban’. Since he was from a place known as Kooram near Kanchipuram, he got the name Koorathu Aazhvaar.
29. Till the time of Ramanujacharya, almost all people were followers of both Siva and Vishnu. If there is a village or hamlet, on the West was the Vishnu Temple and on the North East was the Temple for Siva. Mostly in the morning people will go to the Vishnu temple and in the evening to the Siva temple. Even those who were purely Saivites or Vashnavites, never stooped down to decrying the other based on their beliefs, because while adoring their Ishta Devata, they did not believe in ridiculing other Devata-s! After the advent of Ramanujacharyar, things changed. He preached that Vishnu is the only God and that his followers should not go to the Siva Temples!
30. The Sozha (also known as Chola) King of that time called for a meeting of the Vidvat Sabha, for consultation and clarification. They decided to call for Ramanujacharyar from Sri Rangam. The King at that time was in Gangai Konda Sozhapuram, ten miles north of Kumbakonam. He sent his messengers to fetch Ramanujacharyar. At that time Koorathu Aazhvaar was with him. He told his Guru, “Swami, This King is a hardened devotee of Siva. We cannot believe that he will be fair in his dealings. You are preaching that real devotees of Vishnu should not go to temples of Siva at all. Having called you on the pretext of discussion, we never know as to what he will do! It is better that you put on whites like me and make yourself scarce. I will wear your ochre robes and go as Ramanujacharyar! Let us see what happens!”
31. Overnight, Ramanujacharyar went to Thiru Narayana Puram, which is 28 miles away. In the next few days, he went away to another place of the same name in Mysore! Koorathu Aazhvaar landed in Gangai Konda Sozha Puram.
32. The learned people there had discussed and come to this opinion. “It is alright to praise any God as equal or as good as Siva. But to bring in the idea of comparison and say one is too good and the other is lower
or bad is not acceptable. If he still insists upon his point of view then, let him prove it by quoting the Saastraa-s. So, they wrote one sentence on the palm leaf saying, “sivaat parataram naasti”, meaning that there is nothing superior to Siva. If it is agreed, it should be signed. If you disagree, then you have to argue it out quoting evidence from the Saastraa-s. Koorathu Aazhvaar was shown the palm leaf. He did not sign it. He wrote, “asti dronam atha: param”, meaning, ‘Yes. There is Dronam above and so param!”
(In the next e-mail, we will see the meaning of what Koorathu Aazhvaar wrote and continue from there.)



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