Saturday, May 04, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 166 (Vol # 6) Dated 04 May 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 second paragraph in page No 1143 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)

860.                Yes!  When you say that it is the bow of Manmata with a string made of a series of bees, it is Right spot on!  Only he in the whole world, including all mythological stories, is such an archer whose bow has a string made up of a series of bees!  The way you were totally engrossed in looking at AmbãL's eye-brows was also due to the fact that mercy and grace is so apparent from her eyes flowing like sugar-cane juice that causes the observer to keep looking at her without even batting an eye-lid!  OK that is all Right.  Whom is the Manmata going to fight with and win over?  Who else but Parameswara only, lest he may go and sit down in total seclusion and thus not be available as the Janaka with this Janani for granting all the well-being and blessing!  For that reason only he is keeping his bow and arrows ever ready to be used.  It is the power given by her.  It is her charity that he is able to make use of her own eye-brows and eyes as the tools.  Now, if you ask 'If the puzzle in the sloka has been solved, I can only say, No!' 

861.                I have not yet come to that puzzle or confusion at all!  I have not yet, even tried to attempt to give you a reply as to why the bow is broken in between and still not yet fallen!  That is where the complication lies!  I am yet to talk about it.  ÃchãryãL also has kept it only in the last line, saying – 'prakoshte mushtou cha sthagayati nigudaantaram Ume!' – "प्रकोष्टे मुष्ट च स्थगयति निगूडान्तरं उमे!".  With that we have to add what is given in the third line as 'सव्येतर कर गृहीतं' and that is where the obscure matter lies.  The sloka finishes with 'Ume', which is just addressing AmbãL as 'Uma'.  There is no snag here.  Let us see the balance.  The words 'प्रकोष्टे मुष्ट' means, 'by the wrist and the closed fist', like a boxers closed fist (and not the palm of the hand,) known in Tamil as, 'முட்டி'.  In the olden days there used to be a common term for Brahmins who used to live on alms only, known as 'unchavruddhi'.  Most of them would take a vow, not to take more than one fist-full in any body's house, so that he may not over draw on their hospitality!  Such Brahmins were known as 'முட்டிப் பார்ப்பான்'.  Nowadays the attitude is exactly the opposite, where people try as much as possible, looking for comforts, benefits and weaknesses, to be exploited!  So, such a Brahmin should be called 'முட்டி முட்டிப் பார்ப்பான்'.

862.                To combine the wrist and the fist, he has put it as, 'प्रकोष्टे मुष्ट'.  In the next phrase 'स्थगयति निगूडान्तरं', the second word means 'the middle portion that is not seen', 'स्थगयति' meaning 'is hidden'!  Putting all these words together the fourth line means, 'the wrist and fist of Manmata together are hiding the centre portion of the bow and the string!  An archer will be holding the bow, by gripping the centre portion of the bow with his wrist and fist, because of which the centre portion of the bow and string will not be visible.  So a sudden look will seem as though there is a gap in the bow and the string, still standing erect!  A little closer look will reveal that there is no cleavage or gap but, that the archer's wrist and fist are hiding those portions of the bow and string.  There seemed to be a gap between the eye-brows, where there was no hair and between the eyes the nose was coming in the way, which caused the bow and string to seem as though there was a noticeable gap in continuation!  Only the archer's fist and wrist it is, which came in the line of sight causing the misunderstanding!  Now, it is clear that there was no dis-continuation whatsoever. 

863.                Which hand is so hiding our vision, is it the Right or Left?  We have been told about this in the third line of the sloka when the poet says, 'savya itara kara gruheetam' – "सव्य इतर कर गृहीतं"The word 'savya' means Right and 'savya itara kara' means that it is referring to the other-than-Right, that is the Left.  So, if AmbãL's eye-brows are likened to a bow, they are being gripped by Manmata's Left hand.  Though 'savya' means Right, at times it can be said to be Left also!  In Sanskrit language there some words having a particular meaning as well as the exact opposite meaning!  For example the word 'chaya' – 'छाया', could mean both shadow and shine; the word 'aghoram' – 'अघोरं', could mean fierce and or not fierce; both 'nyasam and sanyasam' – 'न्यासं व संन्यासं' could mean both joining and leaving or giving-up; and 'chiti' – 'चिति', could mean both white and black!  In Lalitha Sahasranãma where it is said that Lakshmi is standing on the Left of AmbãL and Saraswathi is on the Right, it says that 'sa chamara rama vaaNi savya dakshiNa sevita' – 'स चामर रमा वाणी सव्य दक्षिण सेविता'.  Normally 'dakshinam' means Right and so there, the word 'savya' clearly means Left, though normally it means the Right and what is not Right was known as 'apasavyam' – 'अपसव्यं'!   Even as per English, if 'வலது' in Tamil is Right, then the 'இடது' or Left has to be wrong, isn’t it?

864.                Here ÃchãryãL also is referring to the Right only as 'savyam'.  In the next sloka, when he says that the Right eye of AmbãL is the Sun and the Left eye is the Moon, he has used the word 'savyam' for the Right only and so that meaning is equally applicable here also!  "That is alright.  Why bother about Right and Left?  Is it not enough if we consider that AmbãL's eye-brows look as though Manmata is catching hold of the bow formed by her eyes, by some hand?  No.  Not enough!  Like the centre part of the bow, the centre part of the string of the bow is also hidden, isn't it?  For this, we have to be clear as to how the archer is holding the bow and by which hand!  Otherwise, you tell me as to why, our ÃchãryãL who is famous for economy of usage of words, like a family which makes do with the minimum of materials and expenditure, should be using a phrase 'savya itara kara gruhitam' – 'सव्य इतर कर गृहीतं' when he could have simply said 'कर गृहीतं'?  Instead of using the direct word 'vãmam' – 'वामं' for Left, he has used 'सव्य +इतरं = सव्येतरं' with solid reasons!

865.                Any archer for that matter will hold the bow with his Left hand only.  More than holding the bow, shooting the arrow is more important isn't it?  Normally it is the Right hand that is more dextrous and facile.  It is only some who are equally capable with both hands and they are known as 'ambidextrous' or 'savyasãchi' – 'सव्यसाची'!  Manmata is such an ambidextrous person who could hold the bow with his right hand and aim and shoot with the left hand.  The other famous archer like him to be called 'Savyasãchi' was Arjuna.  In Bhagawat Gita itself Sri Krishna tells him, 'nimitta mãtram bhava savyasãchin' – 'निमित्त मात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन'.  By those four words, Sri Krishna conveyed the message, "This bow 'Gãndivam' may be used by you by both hands for you to be called a 'Savyasãchi.  But you be the tool in my hands for me to act as the archer!"  Thunder and Lightning put together are known as the 'இடி' or 'वज्रायुधं' of Indra.  Arjuna is Indra's son.  So as to guard against the fall of the 'bolt from the blue' on one's head or home, ten names of Arjuna are listed as a sloka, as follows:
"अर्जुन: फल्गुन: पार्थ: किरीटी स्वेतवाहन: |
Arjuna:, Phalguna:, Partha:, Kireeti, Swetavãhana:, |
बीबत्सु विजय: कृष्ण: सव्यसाची धनञ्जय: ||"
Beebatsu, Vijaya:, KrishNa:, Savyasãchi and Dhananjaya: ||

866.                It is alright if that is a sloka about Arjuna, how does it matter to us here?  May be he is also another 'Savyasãchi', that is alright again.  Still here Manmata is holding the bow of AmbãL's eye-brow with his left hand.  Now it depends on where we are watching this from as to what is hidden from our view and what is open to our vision!  Now imagine carefully like a picture.  We can only be standing on his Left.  She is always on the left side of Swami.  If her face is vertical, the eye-brows would be horizontal and so would the archer be.  We must be on his left.  Now as we are watching, if he is holding the bow with his right hand, we will be seeing the four fingers pressing in to his palm.  Instead of the outer side of the 'Mushti' we will be seeing the inner side of the grip.  If he is holding the bow lightly, then we may see the bow in some gaps.  That is, it will not be totally hidden from our view.  But if you take the other side of the hand known as the fist, the natural make of the hand from the wrist to first set of knuckles, with the metacarpals is one continuous area.  Then the four of the proximate phalanges bend at slightly more than 90 degrees, closely gripping the bow not permitting any view of the bow being gripped. 

867.                So, if Manmata is gripping the bow with his right hand, for us on his left, the outer side of his fist will not be visible and we will be seeing the inner grip from the side of the palm!  More important than this is the matter of the string being pulled by the archer – his 'prakoshtam' that is the wrist portion said to be hiding the centre of the string of the bow.  Then only ÃchãryãL has talked about the fist – 'mushtou cha' hiding the centre portion of the bow and said, 'that there seems to be a break in the continuity of the string like vision of the eyes, caused by the AmbãL's nose'.  There will be no such hiding of the string for us watching all this from his left!  There will be a factual blunder and the example that like the string being hidden by the archer's wrist, the nose coming in the way of the continuity of the eyes will not gel!  Now, if you make it look as though the archer is holding the bow with his left hand and is pulling the string with his right hand, the pieces of the jigsaw-puzzle neatly fall in to their places!  The bow is gripped by the left hand and so we are seeing only the outer side of the grip and the wrist is hiding the string's centre portion perfectly!

868.                I think I have solved the puzzle satisfactorily.  Or, may be your heads are still reeling!  But I know that you will not readily agree or argue with me, immediately, because you may be afraid that I will once again start clarifying!  So let us go to the next sloka.  (After a pause for a few minutes PeriyavãL continues about this sloka itself!)  The essence of the sloka is revival and revitalising of Manmata, who was burnt to ashes by Easwara.  She did that for the drama of Srushti Leela to continue.  Then people are getting corrupted in this worldly involvement.  AmbãL thought about this deeply.  "Though this is something, which I can tackle singly myself, it would be better if we do so as the universal parents isn't it?  Instead it looked likely that he may go and sit down unconcerned as DakshiNa Murthy!"  So she was straining her eye-brows out of concern for the welfare of the world at large!  It was then that Manmata who owed his very existence to her kindness came forward to help her.  "If I make use of your eye-brows as the bow and your side-long glance as the arrow, the moment Swami is showing any tendency towards dispassion, we can make him turn around!  Earlier with the sugar cane bow and flower arrows, I used to think no end to myself.  Now, that I have been sorted out, I am sobered and that much more efficient!  Now if we make use of your eye-brows as the bow and your eye-sight as the arrow, there is no doubt about victory!"

869.                It is straining of her eye-brows, that is keeping all the Pancha-Kritya-Murthys in line carrying out their multi-various jobs – 'kshaNa chalitayo: bhroo: latikayo:' – 'क्षण चलितयो: भ्रूलतिकयो:' as mentioned earlier.  If we also meditate on her kindness and surrender unto her, Manmata will also give us a wide margin and keep off!
(To be continued.)



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