Monday, April 22, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol # 6) Dated 22 Apr 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 160 (Vol # 6) Dated 22 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 1098 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)

796.            Though here the light of more than one Sun is being talked about, the value is only to the Moon  which receives all that light and reflects the same, that the poet enables us to have a darsan of the Mother of all, as the Chandra MouLeeswari!  The five Lingas given by Easwara to our ÃchãryãL also had the same name as Chandra MouLeeswara.  It was during that time that he got the manuscript of Soundarya Lahari, from which to make up what was snatched by Nandikeswara; our ÃchãryãL had the onerous task of completing / writing from the 41st to the 100th sloka, as I told you earlier.   As Chandra MouLeeswara is Easwara's Swaroopa, this stotra Soundarya Lahari is also AmbãL's Swaroopa only, as I told you.  So, it is in absolute order and in the rightness of things that in the first sloka, said to be written by our ÃchãryãL, she is being described as the Chandra MouLeeswari!
இருட்டைப் போக்கடிக்கும் கருப்பு!
Blackness That Will Drive Away The Darkness!
797.            Having started the description of AmbãL's crown as a flow of brilliant light, as he progressed in the same sloka, as though wearing dark sun/cooling glasses, talked about snow covered mountains, the cool pleasant moon and ended in the rain-bow of the rainy season!  Immediately he follows it up with a description of jet-black hair of AmbãL's! 
          धुनोतु ध्वान्तं न: तुलित दलितेन्दीवरवनं
          Dhonotu dhvãntam nastulita dalitendeevaravanam
     घन्स्निघ्ध श्लक्ष्णं चिकुरनिकुरुम्बं तव शिवे |
          Ghana snighdha slakshNam chikuranikurumbam tava shive
     यदीयं सौरभ्यं सहजं उपलब्धुं सुमनसो
          Yadeeyam sourabhyam sahajamupalabdhum sumanaso
     वसन्त्यस्मिन्ये वलमथनवाटी विटपिनाम् ||   
          Vasantyasminye valamatanavaatee vitapinaam ||

798.            Addressing her as 'Sive', his request is that the darkness may be washed away!  "Just now, the crown on her head has been so brightly described, and then what darkness is he talking about?  This is not the outer darkness but the inner darkness.  What makes a fool of everybody in the world it is that darkness of ignorance!  It is the same darkness talked about at the start in third sloka, 'अविध्यानां अन्तस्तिमिरं'.  In 'धुनोतु ध्वान्तं न:' the last word 'न:' means 'ours'.  That is, ÃchãryãL is praying on behalf of all of us that our 'darkness of ignorance' may be lifted.  He was omniscient, enlightened and a brilliant leading light, not only in his time, but for generations yet to be born!  The darkness of ignorance could come nowhere near him!  But for our sake, he joins the prayer that all our ignorance may go!  The next sloka also he starts with, 'तनोतु क्षेमं न:' saying that 'all of us may be blessed and conferred with comfort'!

799.  How should the darkness of ignorance be removed as per him, by a brilliant light is it?  No!  That is the fun here as it is mentioned in the second line – ' तव चिकुरनिकुरुम्बं' – 'the dense growth of hair on her head' – such agglomeration of dark hair on AmbãL's head should get rid of our ignorance!  Hair itself is black and it can only create more darkness, isn't it?  If she is an old woman with white hair, you can think of its enlightening the situation.  But here such a thought is out of place as divine beings never have greying of hair, as they are known to be 'ajara / nirjara and amara'!  How can the empress of all divine beings be getting old and grey hair?

800.            She does not even have the physical body of a middle aged woman!  Despite being the Mother of the whole Universe, she is not even nubile as yet!  Thãyum Ãnavar says in 'Malai VaLar Kãdali', – "அகிலாண்ட கோடி ஈன்ற அன்னையே! பின்னையும் கன்னி என மறை பேசும் ஆனந்த ரூப மயிலே!"  Take the first four words up to the first interjection, which means, 'Mother!  Who has begotten all the crores of terrestrial oval forms!  Then it says, "Still the Vedas declare you to be a young girl who is not yet come of age!"  When she is, 'unmesha nimisha utpanna vipanna bhuvana ãvali:' – 'उन्मेष निमिष उत्पन्न विपन्न भुवन आवलि:' capable of creating a whole series of worlds with the flicker of her eye-brows, she is still only a 'கன்னி', as certified by the Vedas themselves! There is a Gayatri Mantra for each Devata in the Vedas.  In the Durga Parameswari Gayatri she is called 'Kanya Kumari' – as not yet come of age!  So her hair must be black only!

801.            Without giving a chance for their being any doubt, our ÃchãryãL has described it also thus 'तुलित दलितेन्दीवरवनं', which in prose order would become 'dalita – indivara – vana - tulitam', that would mean, 'a forest of black flowers of 'karu neidal' that have bloomed only that morning'!  Her thick growth of hair is so luxuriantly black – 'घन्स्निघ्ध श्लक्ष्णं'.  Here 'ghanam' is thick like the clouds pregnant with plenty of water.  We call Sri Krishna as 'Ghana Shyam', don't we?  'Snigdam' means hair that is wet and shining with oil that will adhere, close in meaning to 'sneha' and 'snehitan' that is, getting attached and very friendly.  Here the hair of AmbãL is not too sticky but nicely combed and coiffured, because the next adjective used here is 'slakshNam' which is without any complications or crossing or muddling-up of lines, that is just smooth and nice!  Having used hard and strong words for description of the crown in the previous sloka, here the poet is excelling with a flow of soft, nice and smooth words of clarity and candour. 

802.               Our ÃchãryãL is not only the foremost advocate of Adwaita Siddhãnta, but also capable of out shining a collection of poets of renown!  Does the hair of AmbãL have only the softness and blackness of the 'Karu Neidal' flower?  It has another special quality, that is, mentioned in the third line as 'सहज सौरभ्यं'' – that is a natural fragrance!  Reportedly without placing any flowers on her hair, there is a natural fragrance.  In our South India, there is a famous story as to how this natural fragrance in the hair of AmbãL became a major point of contention between ardent devotees of divinity and those who believed in truth, integrity and correctness of statements even in literature! 


803.                           The Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam relates an incident involving Nakkeerar's confrontation with Lord Siva Once the Pandiyan king had a doubt as to whether the scent from a woman's hair was natural or artificial. He announced a prize of 1000 gold coins for anyone to resolve his doubt. A poor poet named Tharumi prayed to Lord Siva to enable him get the award. The Lord gave a poem to the poet and asked him to take it to the King. When this poem was read in the court, Poet Nakkeerar found fault with it and stopped the Pandiyan king from giving the prize. Tharumi's grief grew and he again appealed to the Lord. He said he was not worried for not receiving the prize but he could not bear anyone finding fault with the Lord's poems. Thereupon, Lord Shiva himself came to the court and challenged Nakkeerar. But Nakkeerar was not moved. Though Lord Shiva asked him if the hair of Ganapoongodai, the consort of Lord Kalathinathar, whom Nakkeerar worshipped, did not have a natural scent, the undaunted Nakkeerar asserted that it was so. Shiva opened the eye in his forehead (Netrikkan) which emitted fire and looked at Nakkeerar to show the poet who he was. Even then, Nakkeerar persisted in his statement. As he could not bear the scorching heat emanating from the divine eye he jumped into the water of the Golden Lotus Tank. After much suffering from disease, Nakkeerar got his health back after he sang the Thiru Muruga Arruppadai in celebration of Lord SubrahmaNya's six Padai Veedu.

804.            ÃchãryãL has undoubtedly and clearly stated that her hair has a natural fragrance, by calling it ''सहज सौरभ्यं''!  In the 'Triyambaka' Mantra the word 'Suganda' has been used for Siva himself!  In the temple on Malaikkottai, which has connection to the Soundarya Lahari in that, the first 41 slokas known as Ãnanda Lahari are etched on the temple walls, AmbãL is known as 'Suganda KundlãmbãL ' and the word 'KundaLam' means hair only.  Even today, if we are having a pooja for AmbãL and we find that the function has been conducted very well and the participants have experienced the divine presence, we often hear people mentioning that they could feel the smell of 'Thazham Poo' (known as 'Fragrant Screw Pine' with a botanical name of 'Pandanus'), which is directly construed as confirmation of the divine presence of AmbãL!

805.            In this naturally fragrant hair she is also wearing the flowers from the garden of Indra known as, 'वलमथनवाटी विटपिनाम्' –meaning, 'flowers from the trees in the garden of' 'Valamathana'.  Indra is said to have destroyed 'Valasura' and so he is 'Vala Mathana' and his garden is 'Vala Mathana Vatee'.  The word 'sumanas' from the third line should be added here, meaning a high class or type of flower.  People with a good mind or 'sumanas' will do good to others without being asked to do so!  Similarly this 'Sumanas' flower will spread the fragrance without being prompted or without any expectations of returns and without assessing as to the worth of the recipients of the fragrance.  The 'sumanas' flowers from the trees in the garden of Devendra include, as we have listed earlier, Mandara, Pãrijãta and such.

806.            When AmbãL's hair has natural fragrance, why should she bother to wear flowers in her hair?  If not for fragrance, does she like the flowers organised as a string or strand?  Or is it something like some people wearing glasses even when their eyesight is perfect, for show, is it?  'No.  Not that.  It is the flowers who wish to be there, I think, so that they may also get some of that natural fragrance, rubbed off on them', feels the poet!  The flowers of the heavens from Indra's garden wish to – "yadeeyam sourabhyam sahajam upalabdum" = 'to attain to the natural fragrance of the hair of AmbãL'; 'upalabdum' = to get such natural fragrance by proximity; 'labdum' = to reach; 'vasanti asmin manye' = they have migrated to AmbãL's hair I feel says the poet!  The flowers of heavens which can easily take on the earthly ones such as Jasmine, Rose and Manoranjitam in being fragrant, desirous of getting some of the natural fragrance of AmbãL's hair, have decided to permanently find an abode in her hair.  Let such a black hair of AmbãL remove the darkness of our hearts, says the poet.  Remaining dark, they are capable of eradicating the blackness of our minds and hearts.  So for all people of 'sumanas' her dark hair is the right place for meditation.  In Krishna KarNamritam, it says, "neelobhi: neerandara tama: pradipa:" meaning that though Krishna is black, he is the light that will remove the darkness of ignorance!

807.            Instead of asking questions as to how the black hair can remove the darkness of ignorance, as described by the ÃchãryãL, if we think of the thickly grown forest of 'Karu Neidal' flowers, cool to the touch, shining and smooth, adorned by the heavenly flowers adding to the beauty        and getting some of the divine and natural fragrance by association themselves; and imagine the Suganda KundalãmbãL's Kesa; we will find all our doubts clarified and ignorance erased!  In the style of description known as, 'Kesãdi Pãdam', even the description of the 'Kireetam' is description of the head and hair only and not part of the body.  In many stations AmbãL has names related to her hair as 'KundaLa Nãyaki' – (திருக்குழல் நாயகி), Bramara KundaLãmbãL – (வண்டார் குழலியம்மை), Neela Kundalãmbikai – (கருந்தாள் குழலி), Pushpa KundalãmbãL – (பூங்குழலம்மை), Anjana KundalãmbãL – (மைவார் குழலி), and so on; all names famously evolving from the adoration for her hair and 'केश भारं' – 'Kesa Bhãram' – 'the weight of her hair' in both Sanskrit and Tamil!  In Lalitha Sahasranãma there is, 'चम्पक अशोक पुन्नाग सोउगन्धिक लसत कचा', in which the flowers, Champaka, Ashoka, Punnãga and Sougandhika are mentioned as the flowers in her hair.  Then there is mention of 'नील चिकुरा'which means dark blue hair.  Then in Trisati, there is 'elã sughandhi chikurayai ' – 'एला सुघन्धि चिकुरायै'!  Let us all think of her 'केश भारं' and get rid of our 'क्लेश भारं', that is the weight of confusion in our minds!

(To be continued.)




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