Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 211 (Vol #3) Dated 13 April 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 211 (Vol #3) Dated 13 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 993 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://Advaitham.blogspot.com constantly updated.)
33. It was written in the palm leaf that, ‘there is nothing above Siva’. Koorathu Aazhvaar wrote, ‘Yes. There is dronam above Siva, so, that is param’. “asti dronam ata: param”. Now, what is this ‘dronam’? Before that, let us look at the meaning of the word, ‘Siva’, (which I had given in detail in the para 13 of Deivathin Kural # 209). Siva is not only the name of Parameswara, it has another meaning too.
34. Like you have Litre as a measure of volume, we used to have Aazhaakku, Padi, Marakkal and Padakku. Marakkal was probably a measure made of the trunk of a tree cut in such a manner to hold a volume equal to 16 Padi-s. This Marakkal was also called Siva, in Sanskrit. The measure bigger than Siva was Padakku, known as Dronam in Sanskrit. So, above Siva was Dronam. That is what Koorathu Aazhvaar wrote. In the august company of the King, his office bearers and learned luminaries, this was a rather frivolous reply. Koorathu Aazhvaar was roundly criticized and suitably punished, as the story goes.
35. What I think about this is that, Koorathu Aazhvaar did not give a playful reply. He said something acceptable to the Veda-s and devotees of Siva. When he said, “asti dronam ata: param”, he further made a word play! Dronam has to be understood as the white flower, which is as small as a speck, called ‘Thumbai’ in Tamil. Amongst leaves Bilva is most favoured for offering to Siva, so is ‘Oomathai’, ‘Erukku’ and ‘Thumbai’! (Not being a student of Botony, I will not be able to give you exact translations.)
36. There is no one greater as a devotee of Siva than Appayya Dik-shidar. He has written a work called, ‘Aatmarpana Stuti’, also called ‘Unmatta Panchasat’. In one of the sloka-s “arkka-drona-prabruti kusumai: archanam te videyam prapyam tena smarahara phalam moksha saamraajya Lakshmi: I”, he says. It means, ‘Oh Parameswara! If someone places before you in humble offering Erukku and Dronam that is, Thumbai; that is enough to give him the empire of release!’
37. On Siva when Archana of Thumbai is done, then that small white flower goes and sits on Him! If you place a Thumbai flower on Siva Lingam, some of them fall around. But a few of them remain on top of Siva Lingam. ‘How can you now say that there is nothing on top of Siva? On top of Siva is Thumbai or Dronam!’ That is what Koorathu Aazhvaar said emphatically, that this small bit of a brilliantly pure white flower is sitting on top of the Siva Lingam. Starting with, “asti”, he said, “dronam ata: param”.
38. ‘Taram’ means better as a matter of comparison. So when we say that ‘sivaat para taram naasti’, what we mean is that, in matters of quality and intrinsic value, there is nothing greater than Siva. So, we can say that this bit of a Thumai flower sitting on top of the Siva Lingam is higher than Siva. But how can we say that it is better than Siva? This can also be done!
39. Veda mantra, a sentence of Sri Rudram itself is the supporting authority. At the end of ‘Sri Rudram’ this statement is there. It says, “Here this my hand is also Siva. Why, It is even slightly higher than the very God Siva – ‘bhagawat tara:’, it uses the comparative term only! How can this hand be better than Bhagawan? “Because this hand does Abhimarchanam, it is higher than Siva!”
40. ‘Abhimarchanam’ is to touch, clean, apply oil, sandal wood paste, honey and such things, finally decorating and doing archana with flowers and leaves. All this time this hand is higher, is it not so? It is enough to touch Him. It is enough to fall on Him. It is more than sufficient to fall on His feet. So, our hand becomes ‘bhagawat taram’! So this bit of a Thumbai flower does not have to be on top of Him. Even if it falls around the Siva Lingam, it is ‘sivaat para taram’.
41. Keeping all these ideas in mind, while simultaneously not deviating from the teachings of his own Guru Ramanujacharyar, Koorathu Aazhvaar said, “asti dronam ata: param”, possibly with the idea that if some get the correct meaning it is OK and even if they do not get the message, it is still OK! I will gladly accept any punishment on behalf of my Guru. That was Koorathu Aazhvaar’s logic. We can look at the episode as proof of the fact that, this devotee of Vishnu, spoke highly of Siva’s expansive nature of making even a small flower that comes to Him, greater than Himself.
42. But, how can you be doing Siva’s pooja touching Him all of the time? Will everyone get such opportunity to do so? Even Thumbai flower is not available, in all the months of the year. So this touching, adhering and embracing is to be done by words only. For this there can never be any restrictions. Chant His name, through which He can be down loaded into your heart. Then we can be one with that divinity. For this you need no equipments, procedures and preparations.
43. So we do not have to feel bad that we are sinners. There is a simple method of writing off all our sins in one stroke. We do not have to go far off. We can create the means just here and now. Just two syllables, “SI VA”. As the life in the body, as the Siva Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum, as the centre piece of all Veda-s, that gem of our existence, that jewel of our very being; does not require too elaborate formalities. Do we need all the Pooja Dravyani? No. Do we need a variety of delectable dishes to be prepared to be offered as Neivedyam? No. This tongue of ours which is endlessly twisting and turning on unnecessary ventures, has to be made to chant His Name!
44. Only Man has this birth right! We use or rather misuse this phrase ‘birth right’ for so many good-for-nothing-useless things. This power of speech has been given to Man for this purpose only. If we do not correctly use this capability, He is likely to come to the conclusion that, since this man has not made correct use of this facility, let us role him into a life where he will not have this capability at all! But if you say ‘Siva’, all sins are cancelled and the kingdom of liberation is all yours.
45. Can we see God? Even as a statue you cannot have it with you all of the time. But this name of His, this Siva Nama; is virtually Himself! We can call for it whenever we wish. So, whenever we can, let us say ‘Siva’ and fill the universe with Sivam, Mangalam and Kalyanam!




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