Saturday, April 20, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol # 6) Dated 20 Apr 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 159 (Vol # 6) Dated 20 Apr 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti 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 going ahead from the last paragraph in page No 1091 of Volume 6 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
சந்திர-ஸுர்ய மௌளீச்வரி
Chandra-Surya MouLeeswari
785.            Right from the beginning in describing her head and top, our ÃchãryãL as the poet has reached the peak of poetical genius in pouring out a stream of beautiful imaginative ideas.  The imagination and the language has the brilliance of the early morning or evening Sun which looks like a huge golden plate revolving at a tremendous speed plundering our mind and heart simultaneously; coupled with the exquisite beauty and tender affection of the sweetness of the moon in September; put together; as she has both adorning her hair:-
          गतैर्माणिक्यत्वं गगनमणिभि: सान्द्रघटितं
     gatair mãNikyatvam gaganamaNibhi: sãndra ghaTitam
     किरीटं ते हैमं हिमगिरिसुते कीर्तयति य: |
kireeTam te haimam himagirisute keertayati ya: |
     स नीडेयच्छायाच्छुरणशबलं चन्द्रशकलं
          sa needeyachchãyãchuraNa shabalam Chandra shakalam
     धनु: शौनासीरं किमिति न निबध्नाति धिषणाम् ||   
          Dhanu: shounãseeram kimiti na nibhadhnãti dhishaNãm ||

786.            [हिमगिरिसुते = Daughter of the Himalayan mountains;   र्माणिक्यत्वं गतै गगनमणिभि: = the twelve Suns who have attained to gem like strength and lustre; सान्द्रघटितं = closely inlaid; ते हैमं किरीटं = your golden crown; य: कीर्तयति = whosoever describes; : चन्द्रशकलं = he is bound to describe the crescent moon; नीडेयच्छायाच्छुरण = getting the shine of those gems of Suns; शबलं शौनासीरं धनु: = of the kaleidoscopic colour play as in a Rain-Bow known as the Indra Dhanush  इति धिषणाम् किं न निबध्नाति = just cannot avoid thinking of such an idea but will be forced to do so!] 

787.            Flow of oil or honey from a container to another or directly in to the fire of Homam is considered to be the most free flow in all movements that can be thought of.  In poetry such a flow of words very soft to pronounce and easy to understand with pleasant ideas, is known as 'Vaidarbi Reethi' to mean a style evolving from the Vidarba Desa of Central India I suppose!  There is another style, in which both the words and ideas are not easy to understand known as 'Gowdi Reethi', possibly arising from Bengal.  In Soundarya Lahari both these styles have been made use of.  May by calling her Janani, she has been brought very close to one's heart and so that she may not be taken for granted too easily, this very next sloka has been made a little bit complicated in terms of word selection and idea while the flow is more like the river passing through narrow gorges having greater slope adding to the gravitational force!  The Ganges River which hurtled tumbling down from the heavens with great force, became calm and reduced its vehemence after reaching Siva's head with his hair piled up on it, in to a cone, known as 'Jatã-Mudi'!  Similarly here after description of AmbãL's head, from the next sloka onwards, the style is more sedate and peaceful!

788.            I said that the Sun and Moon found a place in AmbãL's hair-style!  That the crescent moon had found a place was known already as she is called 'Chandra-sekhari'.  That she is also Surya-sekhari' is not well known and hence a new information!  That too, not one but 12 Suns she has on her head!  Swami who is famous as 'Chandrasekhara' is also 'Suryasekhara'.  Now-a-days it is a sort of a style to name children as 'Banusekhara' or even more stylishly as Bhanushekhar!  There are many Siva Kshetras, so constructed that the light of the early morning Sun falls directly on the head of the Siva Ling installed in the sanctum-sanctorum, justifying the name as 'Bhanushekhar'!  In Tanjavur district itself there are two places known as 'Talaignairu' – 'தலை ஞாயிறு', meaning 'head – sun'.  One is located west of Vaitheeswaran Koil, known in Tevãram as Karuppariyalur.  The other 'Thalaignairu' is in Thiruthuraippoondi Taluqa, known by that name as the morning sun lights up the head of the Siva Ling, before it does any other job!

789.            When you say 'Nabo MaNi' or 'Gagana MaNi' is the gem like thing in the sky or clouds.  Here the poet says 'gagana maNibhi:' in plural.  Our earth and the planets go around the Sun in this Solar System.  But in 'Viswam' or what is called the Universe there are many galaxies of stars and many suns.  As per our Sãstrãs, there are supposed to be 12 Suns.  As AmbãL is the universal form, all the 12 Suns are closely inlaid/imbedded as gems in her crown – 'sãndra ghatitam' – 'सान्द्रघटितं'!  Thus she is the 'Surya-Sekhari' as per the first line of the sloka.  Having spoken about such a hot and brilliant flash of light that could blind one's vision, in the very next line the poet cools down the proceedings with a 'hima giri sute'.  (KTSV adds:-  In fact in the Himalayas, in the Badri-Nath valley on the west are the high peaks overlooking the valley.  It is a sight to see when the early morning sun lights up the skyline, clearly defining the 'Neel Kant' mountain above all the surroundings with the red-hue of AruNa!)

790.            As AmbãL is already shining with the blood-red-hue of a thousand Sun's 'Aruna-Ãbhã', and also 12 Suns as gems in her crown; the poet cools the proceedings by calling her as Parvathy, the daughter of the King of Himalayas, who is of the emerald green in colour!  Before she took Avatara as Parvathy, she had been born as 'Sati' as the daughter of Daksha Prajãpathi, when she sacrificed her body in the Yagnya Kund itself unable to bear the insult to her husband by her own father.    This is referred in the 96th sloka of Soundarya Lahari when our ÃchãryãL is calling her as the 'Sati', saying 'tava sati sateenãm acharame' – 'तव सति सतीनां अचरमे', meaning the peak or pinnacle of all women of excellent character of faithfulness and fidelity!  Instead of being reduced to ashes, she was born in the next Avatara as the Evergreen Parvathy!  From the hot Agni Kund, she goes to the ice cold mountains and takes birth as the pleasantly green Parvathy.  When Thiru Gnãna Sambandar had the debate with the SamaNa (Jains), the 'palm-leaf' manuscripts of Tevãram came out of the fire as green leaves with no marks of being burnt or any mutilations!  That was a similar incident.   So here after concentrating all the Suns of the universe, ÃchãryãL calls her the 'Daughter of the Himalayas' and the atmosphere cools immediately and then he mentions the 'chandra sakalam' – 'चन्द्रशकलं', turning the knobs of the air-conditioner to 'super-cool'!

791.            There is 'चन्द्रशकलं' in the crown of AmbãL that is made of gold.  'Hemam' is gold and 'haimam' means made of gold.  'Himam' means ice or snow.  Here she is addressed as 'Hima Giri Suta'.  In Kenopanishad, as Brhma Vidya SwaroopiNi when she gives 'Upadesa' to Indra she is 'Haimavathi'.  There our ÃchãryãL has interpreted that word 'Haimavathi' to mean both as Hima Giri Suta and as 'shining with the brilliance as only a snow crystal can do when the sunlight is passing through it!  Here in Soundarya Lahari in the first sloka itself, he has re-established all these connections!    Not only that.  As she gave Upadesa to Indra in the Upanishad, here the connection to Indra has been re-established by 'धनु: शौनासीरं' by mentioning the rain-bow as Indra's Bow!  Himam, hima occurs in quick successions.  'Sabalam' is followed by 'sakalam' and thus the whole sloka is abundantly embellished full of, alliteration, rhymes, comparison and other poetical nuances!

792.            Normally the moon we see is much smaller than the Sun.  Here we see the suns as so many gems in her crown, whereas the crescent moon we see here is as big as a slice of pumpkin, occupying a major portion of the crown's frontal façade!  The Moon is the source of Amrita, dew and snow.  So he is known as 'himakaran'. A few slokas later he is addressing the Moon as 'Raka Himakara:', which is the full moon.  Now it is the third night after a new moon.   So it is bent like a bow.  Its moon light is more like a veil.  The light of the Suns in the form of gems in the nest like crown is नीडेयच्छाया.  When the sunlight falls on water droplets, what will happen?  The sun's rays will be diffracted and you will see the rain-bow on the screen formed by the clouds isn't it?  There is nothing that can match the beauty of that rain-bow.  The light of the Sunlight from the gems falls on the crescent moon in AmbãL's crown and in the scattering effect creates a colourful display of 'छुरणं' and ' शबलं'!

793.            Yes, we know that Moon does not have a light of its own and is only reflecting the sunlight.  That is the lesson from the science subject.  But the lesson from the devotional poetry is something else altogether!  In that poetry, the Sunlight from the gems in AmbãL's crown falls on the self-effulgent crescent moon and creates an effect like a rain-bow of insatiable beauty and illimitable imagination, in the head of our beloved AmbãL!  Instead of thinking of that as a unique imagination of his, our ÃchãryãL is asking the question, "Can anybody looking at this scene ever refrain himself from comparing it with the display of colours of a rainbow?" The 'य: कीर्तयति' in the second line means, 'whosoever describes this scene'.  What he means is that, 'he cannot help asking this question – doesn't it look like the rainbow?'  Even when making an outlandish observation, our ÃchãryãL opts for humility instead of pride and goes on like that throughout Soundarya Lahari, as he says, "शबलं शौनासीरं धनु: इति धिषणाम् किं न निबध्नाति".

794.            The God of Rains is Indra.  His weapon is Vajrãyudham, which when it strikes is heard and seen as Thunder and Lightning.  His bow is the 'Rain Bow', known as Indra Dhanush.  That is what is mentioned here as 'शौनासीरं धनु:'.  As he is a front line soldier and head of the 'Sena' is 'शौनासीरं', a name for Indra as given in the Sanskrit dictionary. From the NirguNa Brhmam, by the influence of Parãsakti, all the varieties of creation have come about can be compared with the refraction of white light into so many colours.  The very first sloka that describes AmbãL's beauty has brought out this idea also.  What we have described here need not be taken as refraction but as reflection.  We are not talking about just one Sun here, but twelve.  Have you observed the distant stars not exactly with white light but twinkling like a diamond in the sky?  At any given moment there could be any colour twinkling from them and that may be reflected by the crescent moon with a mirror like surface.  If it can reflect one sun, it may as well reflect all of them in the given circumstance, without any breaking of the rules of science!  Thus it is possible for the crescent moon to become the Indra Dhanush!

795.            Thus in the very first sloka of Swaroopa VarNana, by displaying the Sun and Moon that give all the energy, nourishment and light during the day and night for all the worlds and life forms; the poet, author and ÃchãryãL has given us all a darsan of AmbãL as Chandra – Surya – MouLeeswari!  Wearing the crown as the Queen Empress of all the three worlds of 'here, there and everywhere' as well as, 'past, present and future'; she is bringing the elements of Time and Space under control.  In all that, the main aim is to remind us all that she is God for all collectively and our beloved mother individually as said in an earlier sloka, of breast feeding the whole world by the Sun and Moon as her breasts – "shashimihiravakshoruhayugam" – "शशिमिहिरवक्षोरुहयुगम्" as given in sloka No 34.
(To be continued.)



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