Saturday, May 22, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 14 (Vol #4) Dated 22 May 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 14 (Vol #4) Dated 22 May 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 first paragraph on page 86 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.)

101. Chandra was sincere. He was genuinely repentant. PiLLaiyar listened to his plea with his big ears and obligingly pardoned him. He rescinded the curse that whosoever looks at the moon should be subjected to scandal and ridicule! He did not totally do what the gunners in the Artillery do and give a command such as, ‘stop – cancel - last order!’ Once a word issues forth from his mouth, it can never go waste completely. Pride in whatever form is to be abhorred. So, people should forever remember that being proud of your beauty, wealth, knowledge or anything for that matter, will lead to their downfall! So, I declare that on my birthday of sukla chathurthi every month, people are forbidden to see the moon. From thirty days of the month, he reduced it to one day a month and that being a chathurthi, the aim is for people to remember this incident and forsake pride!
102. Having condoned the severity of the punishment, he gave some privileges to Chandra with love. He lifted him and put him on his head.
Like Parameswara, AmbaL and Vigneswara too, have the crescent moon on their head as an ornament. For this PiLLaiyar has a name as Bhalachandran. Some people wrongly mention Balachandra, as in their interpretation that it is applicable to Vinayaka and or the crescent Moon, as Baala means a child or baby. But this is wrong. Bhalachandran is the correct word as Bhaalam is the forehead. This is one of the 16 names of Gajanana, occurring in that sloka, that I quoted earlier, when talking about how he helped his younger brother get married. Siva having the crescent moon on his head is called Phaalachandra. Some people mistakenly use this word also for GaNesha.
103. It is not great for Parameswara to have exhonerated Chandra, as it was only like a punishment meted out by a judge in the court! He misbehaved with his wedded wives, apologised and so lightly dealt with. But, in the case of PiLLaiyar, it was a personal insult and affront. Despite that, PiLLaiyar was prompt enough to excuse Chandra, when he apologised!
104. If someone pays encomiums of praise for another, it is the custom to pull that person’s leg by saying, “What is the meaning of your putting him on your head and dancing?” That is how you carry the God’s idol or statue, when you take him around temple premises during festivals. PiLLaiyar carried Chandra literally on his head and danced. That is how he got the name as, ‘nrutta gaNapathy’ , the dancing PiLLaiyar! When you are looking at the moon, you will never feel like taking your eyes off. So also, one can never be over satiated, looking at the endearing form and qualities of PiLLaiyar! So, for Chandra to find a place on PiLlaiyar’s head is like decorating the beautyful!
105. He gave Chandra another feather in his cap! Normally for each deity, there is one ‘thithi’ (a day in the fortnight) that is important, during the waxing or waning moon. Murugan is revered on Shashti, that is only Shukla Shashti and not during the waning moon fortnight. For Siva, it is the fourteenth day before Amavasya, known as Masa Sivarathri. Rama Navami is always in the waxing ninth and Krishna Ashtami is always in the waning eighth. AmbaaL’s special day is the PourNami of the full moon. Only PiLLaiyar has both waxing and waning fourth days of Krishna and Sukhla Paktcha chathurthi as important days / nights.
106. He was born on Sukhla Chathurthi. We do not use the word ‘born’ for our gods as they are forever. But we use a word, ‘aavibhaavam’ to mean, ‘coming into being’ or manifestation! That is in the sukhla (waxing) chathurthi, when they keep ‘vratam’ every month. There is another chathurthi that is, the krishNa chathurthi, known as ‘Sankata hara chathurthi’, when people should specially organize prayers addressed towards PiLLaiyar, when we should also pray to Chandra with RohiNi, as per directions of PiLLaiyar! Thereby even the special love that Chandra has for RohiNi over the other wives is also excused!
107. KaNNan and Chandran. In Gokulashtami, when we offer special prayers to KrishNa, we are required to offer ‘argyam’ to Chandra also! Later in our story, you will see that this special privilege is in difference to PiLLaiyar only, that Chandran is honoured thus, it seems.
108. Rama and Chandra. There is one more story. Rama was born in the Surya Vamsa, that is the family of the Sun and got the name of ‘Ravi Kula Thilaka’! Seeing this, the Moon was much saddened! He went and complained to Sri Rama, that he has been showing much favouritism and partiality to the Sun Dynasty! So Sri Rama promised that in his next incarnation, he will take birth in the Chandra Vamsa! That is what he did in the KrishNa Avatara. As an immediate sop for Chandra, he added his name to his own and got the name of Ramachandra published in the official gazette, as though!
109. In the waning fourth ‘thithi’ thus, seeing of the moon which was banned has become a worshipful activity as Sankata Hara Chathurthi! In addition, if you happen to see the moon the previous evening, that is the third ‘thithi’ of ‘thrithiyai’, it is considered as so good that, all your other sins are also absolved! In the Panchangam it will be marked as ‘Chandra Darshanam’! (People may not normally be aware of what is ‘Thrithiyai’. But in India almost all are aware of ‘Akshayya Thrithiyai’, when everyone buys Gold, due to the efforts of the business community to sell!) Thus, after PiLLaiyar softened his draconian curses into moderated blessings, Chandra restarted his daily orbit around the earth, to everyone’s satisfaction.
110. Having told KrishNa the story of how Chandra’s behaviour was moderated by Vigneswara, Narada said, “You happened to see the moon on a chathurthi, that too the most important one of Bhadrapada Chathurthi at that! That is why you are finding yourself on the wrong end of the bargains repeatedly. So please do Maha GaNapathi Vratam and worship him!”
111. Instead of thinking of PiLLaiyar to be only his nephew after all, KrishNa did the required pooja on both KrishNa and Sukhla Paktcha Chathurthi, as per customs and traditions, without any let! If you think of keeping the vratam on one and leave the other, then during practice, one may miss one and keep the other and then a time may come when you skip both, as most of the aachara anushtaana-s are nowadays, going by default mostly, by most of the people! So let us say that KrishNa observed both the chathurthi vratam and was blessed to have the darshan of Vigneshwara! He told KrishNa, “Since you have come in human form and living the life of a model ideal to be emulated, my curse seems to have affected you also! Now that you have shown the way out of the bind, your problems will vanish and you will come out shining brilliantly like the moon coming out of the clouds!”, said the nephew to the uncle!
112. KrishNa put up another request. His mind was always on ‘loka kshemam’, that is the welfare of the world at large! Though temporarily his mind was possibly affected by the personal loss of name and fame, like the crystal clear water of a spring is ever so fleetingly turbid due to algae, it sprung back to its original clarity! He said, “Your darshan has cleared the confusion in my mind. It shows your big heart and liberal mindedness. It is not enough, if I am the only one benefitted by this series of incidents. Please be kind enough to say something for the benefit of the public at large!”
113. It suited PiLLaiyar’s intention too. Earlier, in the context of Chandra, people of the world had been debarred from looking at the Moon. As a counter to that, in the context of KrishNa, he wished to grant a boon to people in general! “Earlier I had said that, seeing the moon on sukhla chathurthi will entail much inconvenience, which can be got rid of by making amends only after seeing the ‘moonraam pirai’ or the crescent moon on the third evening after new moon, that is the ‘thriteeyai’! That comes only after the passage of a month! Now I declare that whosoever hears the story of Syamantaka MaNi and thereby are reminded of KrishNa and his experience, will get rid of the stigma of seeing the crescent of the moon on the evening of the ‘waxing fourth’ and attain much relief and peacefulness”!
(To be continued.)



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