Saturday, May 08, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 7 (Vol #4) Dated 08 May 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 7 (Vol #4) Dated 08 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 page 40 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.


1. Story of Syamantaka. You may have heard of the story of Symantaka MaNi Upaakhyaanam in Bhagawatam. ‘Aakhyaanam’ means a story. ‘Upaakhyaanam’ means a side story or an addenda. When the major epic is narrated by the PuraNa or Itihaasa, upaakhyaanam is a story that is branched out of the main. In some of these upaakhyaanam, like the Nalopaakhyaanam, there may not be any of the characters of the main story. The purpose may be to highlight a concept or a principle. Some of them may be forming an inalienable part of the main story, that would still stand apart!
2. Syamantaka MaNi Upaakhyaanam is thus a part and parcel of Bhagawata. The main story revolves around the divine precious stone known as Symantaka MaNi, it's ownership, the scam about the stone involving Sri KrishNa and the tribulations he underwent in retrieving his name and reputation, is what the story is all about. This story, which is an off-shoot in Bhagawatham, is also narrated in Vishnu PuraaNaa and Skaandam with some variations. The worship of PiLLaiyar by KrishNa is as told to Sanat Kumara by Nandikeswara in Skaandam, is what I am going to talk about. While doing so, I will touch upon the various versions also and make 'an avial or kitchdi or goulash' !
3. Once when after marrying RukmiNi, Bhagwan Sri KrishNa was living in Dwaraka, there were two brothers of the Yadava community, by name Satrajit and Prasena. The elder Satrajit had a lot of devotion to the Sun that is Surya Bhagawan. Though nowadays, some people do Surya Namaskara and chant the Aditya Hrudayam sloka and stop with that. The daily ritual of doing 'Trikala' Sandya Vandanam and the Gayatri Mantra Japam in it, is all directed towards the Sun only. However, there was a past when 'Sun Worship' per say, was a seperate religion known as 'Souram'!
4. In our religion there are six divisions with six different deities called, the Shanmadham. PiLLaiyar, SubrahmaNya, AmbaaL, Easwara and Mahavishnu, make up the five who are now rather popularly worshipped. In addition, the sixth sub-division of our religion was the Souram, in which Surya or the Sun was worshipped as the primordial God Incarnate! The 'Konark' temple is for Surya Bhagawan. 'Arka' is one of the names of the Sun God. So, 'koNa + arka = koNark' is, the Sun's portion!
5. That word 'Arka' has triggered another line of thought, in connection with PiLLaiyar. This is the advantage of explaining things to others word by word! Whether it is of any usefulness or of interest to the audience or not, the speaker benefits in terms of, ever new connections between events, concepts and anecdotes, that occur to him suddenly! Having already shared with you all, as to how PiLLaiyar is connected with AmbaaL, Easwara, Maha Vishnu and SubrahmaNya, the other four deities of the Shanmadham, my mind was wondering as to how to connect PiLLaiyar with Surya the Sun! Inadvertantly, as the talk went on about Konark and Arka as one of the names of Sun, this word 'Arka' suddenly gave me the connection between PiLLaiyar and Surya the Sun! I thank God for this revelation!
6. Arka the name of Sun is also closely related to worship of PiLLaiyar. To do 'archanai' (offering a flower or leaf each at the lotus feet of the Lord, while chanting Gods name), with the 'ashtotra' (108 Names) or 'sahasra naama' (1008 Names) for PiLLaiyar, the most suitable flower is 'erukkam poo', an evolute out of 'Arka'! That we know is a name for Sun God. Then, in Suryanar Koil (Sun Temple) near KumbakoNam, the 'Sthala Vruksham' is Erukkan! Other than those flowers that bloom at night, out of the other flowers that open out when the sun's rays fall on them, it is the Erukkan that has the presence of Sun so apparently that, for every flower that you offer, you can imagine yourself making a personal submission to God! Now I hope you are clear in your minds as to how, amongst the Shanmadham, the other five that is, AmbaaL, Easwara, Mahavishnu, SubrahmaNya and Surya, agree and consent to the premier place of merit to PiLLaiyar! Let it be so! We were talking about Syamantaka MaNi.
7. Satrajit was highly devoted to Surya the Sun. On the sea shore, he did a tapasya of intense austerities and self abnegation. Surya the Sun God was pleased to give him 'darshan' and asked him to express his wish. He was wearing an effulgent and brilliant gem called the 'Syamantakam' om his chest. Satrajit knew about that stone, that it is capable of enriching him immensely, not only by it's own value but by ennobling in terms of prestige and status! So he promptly asked the Sun to grant him the Syamantaka gem! These Gods have the habit of giving whatever asked for, without a second thought! Surya Bhagawan did exactly that.
8. He told him, "This stone is like another form of mine. Wherever it is present, there will be no disease or sorrow. In the house where it is present there will be eight 'bhaaram' ( we do not know how much is the weight of that 'bhaaram'), of gold. But there is one condition. The one wearing it should be very careful about cleanliness, physical and otherwise. The slightest deviation towards turpitude, can cause much harm". With those words, the Sun gave him the Syamantaka MaNi and vanished from the scene!
9. Satrajit returned to Dwaraka wearing that stone. It was so powerful that no one could see the wearer of the stone, but only a brilliant white light! Everyone thought that probably Surya Bhagawan has arrived in Dwaraka to meet Sri KrishNa Bhagawan! Only in very close quarters, people could recognize Satrajit and get to know as to how he could come to own that gem as a 'prasadam' from the Sun God! KrishNa as one capable of appreciating the aesthetic beauty of the gem praised it much. Satrajit got the impression that Sri KrishNa wanted to own that gem!
10. However much KrishNa may be prone to do mischief in fun, like stealing the butter and the affection of the Gopika girls, leading the life of a householder with 16 thousand wives and such things, he was a totally detatched man of no flimsy needs or desires. As the knower of the Self, he was a Parama Gnaani. After he destroyed Kamsa, he had every right to assume the emporership himself! All the citizen so much in love with him would have whole heartedly approved of such an action! He was however not interested in becoming the king.
11. He installed Kamsa's father Ugrasena as the King. Ugrasena was his maternal grandfather. Not a direct one but, KrishNa's mother's father's younger brother and a very old man at that! After the death of Kamsa KrishNa moved away to Dwaraka and established a small kingdom there. But, even here, he did not declare himself to be an independent soverign ruler but, placed his elder Balarama to be the King and remained sub-servient to him! Though he is considered as a 'PoorNa Avatara' and not a part incarnation of the ultimate reality, he displayed extreme humility and dispassion.
12. Bhagawatam talks about the time when Mahalakshmi came into being with the churning of the ocean of milk (ksheera saagara). Then all the Deva-s were avidly looking forward to being favoured by Mahalakshmi with a smile or a glance. Vishnu was just by himself with total dispassion standing on the sidelines! Mahalakshmi was attracted by this very apparent unconcern of Vishnu. She thought that to win his heart would be worth the while and so, garlanded him. As he was very kind hearted without passion, he immediately embraced her with all love!
13. I was talking about how KrishNa was devoid of passions and desires. But all the wealth came to him unasked for! Maha Vishnu's Conch (Sangu), Chakra, Garuda and the Koustuba Mala; all came to him unasked for. "kasturi tilakam lalaata palake vakshastale koustubam" we sing. They all just came to him. How can such a man be craving for this 'Syamantaka MaNi'? He is said to have made a statement that, 'if he so desires, Satrajit may give that Syamantaka MaNi'. Even this he could have only meant that 'Satrajit may give it to Ugrasena Maharaj' and not to himself.
14. Even here it is not out of any currying of favour with the king, but with the intention that, instead of the individual Satrajit, if it accrues to the king, all the benefits would accrue to the country that he rules! With that intention of the nations welbeing, KrishNa indirectly hinted. As per Artha Saastra, if an individual were to come to own possessions richer and wealthier than the king, it could give him a false notion of being superior to the king and that could pave the way for subversive tendencies! Hence such wealth should accrue automatically to the crown. That is the reason why, even the modern day acts of law have made such newly discovered treasures, national properties! As the saying goes, "raja ratna haari", the higher the value of items, they will naturally accrue to the King. With that idea Sri KrishNa made a suggestive indication.
15. Satrajit's reaction was in a different direction. His analysis of the situation was as follows. "What is Raja and what is anybody else? After all the king is also KrishNa's making only! After all that king is his maternal grand father! In the name of the King, this KrishNa is trying to take away the Syamanthaka MaNi!" Not only did he suspect KrishNa of malicious intentions but was also afraid of him.
16. How attachment and desire for wealth can play tricks with your own mind and imagination is the moral of the story of the Syamantaka MaNi Upaakhyaanam!
(To be continued.)



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