Friday, May 10, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol # 6) Dated 10 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 169 (Vol # 6) Dated 10 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 page No 1166 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)
கவிதை விரும்பும் கண்கள்
The Eyes that Love Poetry
891.                AmbãL's eyes have been directly related to poetry while writing the next sloka No 50: -
कवीनां संदर्भस्तबकमकरन्दैकरसिकं
kaveenaam sandarbha stabaka makarandaikarasikam
कटाक्षव्याक्षेप भ्रमर कलभौ कर्णयुगलम् |
kataaksha vyaakshepa bhramara kalabou karNayugalam |
अमुन्चन्तौ दृष्ट्वा तव नवरसास्वादतरलौ
amunchantou drushtvã tava navarasãswãda taralou
असूयासंसर्गादलिकनयनं किन्चिदरुणं ||
asooyã samsargãdalika nayanam kinchidaruNam ||
892.                Now, let us look at the meaning of the sloka!   तव  = your कर्णयुगलम् = two ears which are keen on  the  कवीनां = poets'; संदर्भ स्तबक = literary bouquets'; मकरन्दैकरसिकं = singular fragrance;   कटाक्ष व्याक्षेप भ्रमर कलभौ = the two baby beetles (of the right and left eyes) which in the pretext of  glancing at them (are repeatedly going and); अमुन्चन्तौ = grasping those ears; नव रस आस्वाद तरलौ = being interested in fact in the whole range of nine different dramatic ethos; दृष्ट्वा = looking at them;  अलिक नयनं  = the third eye; असूया संसर्गात् = being affected by jealousy; किन्चिद अरुणं = has a bit of a reddish tinge!  "What is this 'Asooyai' – anger and jealousy that Swami is talking about in the august presence of AmbãL?  Who is jealous of whom?"  "That?  Within her eyes the third one is jealous of the other two.  'Alikam' is the fore head and 'Alika Nayanam' is the third eye located there.  That is what is jealous with the other two eyes and so is, 'kinchit' – a little, 'aruNam' – reddish.

893.                Wondering as to why that eye is red, normally poets would conclude that for AmbãL who has the Sun, Moon and Agni as her eyes, the third eye being the 'Agni Netram', it has to be reddish.  But such a conclusion is not so very correct.  If this eye representing the 'Agni' has to be red, then the other two eyes also have to have some special sign of Sun and the Moon, isn't it?  The right eye has to be hot and bright, while the left one should be cool and subdued, in that case!  But they are very similarly showering benign nectar of her grace equally on the whole world!  So, the excuse that because it is of the 'Fire' it has to be reddish, is not very acceptable!  Whatever the ordinary poets might have proffered as the reason for this, our ÃchãryãL is giving some other logic.  What is that?

894.                "To start with all the three eyes were of the same colour as the black 'KuvaLai' flowers.  Now only the eye in the 'Lalãtam' is red, because of jealousy and anger!  When you are jealous the face gets reddened, isn't it?  That is what has happened to the third eye.  Not just some feeling of 'asooyai' in passing, but intense feelings of jealousy and so it is red!"  "If you just say so, is that the end of it?  The eye at the 'Lalãtam' is supposed to be the 'Gnaana Chakshus' or the Eye of Wisdom and Awareness.  If such an eye was to feel jealousy and disgust and if you make such a statement; you have to prove your point with supporting logic and evidence and then only such an averment can be accepted!"  "Is that all?  It can easily be proved that the third eye felt jealousy towards the other two eyes, since that is how our ÃchãryãL has written this sloka."

895.                When great litterateurs compose and sing in praise of AmbãL she listens to them attentively.  Since she is an avid enthusiast of literary nuances, it seems as though the ears have taken a life of their own imbibing these paeans of praise.  The phrase 'kaveenãm sandarbha:' means the suitable circumstance in which many of the conditions are fittingly appropriate as the word means a combination of 'weaving, collecting and uniting'.  So, as related to poetry the characters, events, varied pathos, imagination, words, phrases, rhyme and rhythm come around so fittingly, that it can also be termed as 'sandarbha'.  Such well-coordinated poems are put together to make a bouquet of flowers by poets it seems, known as 'stabakam'. If it is a bouquet of flowers there has to be 'makarandam' and honey from it isn't it?  From such a bouquet of flowers of such poetical-collection has to be the nine different ethos, pathos, feelings and emotions known as 'nava-rasa' of nine different feelings in Sanskrit.  For this man Mr Ear, this is the only food for sustenance 'मकरन्दैकरसिकं', paraphrased as 'मकरन्द+एक + रसिकं', which Mr Ear loves most as the only preferred diet! 

896.                On an earlier occasion the poet has made use of the same phrase 'मकरन्दैकरसिकं' in sloka No 38, when he was describing the Siva – Shakti 'dampati' as a swan-couple, were said to enjoy the honey that springs from the lotus of Gnãna known as 'samvid', when he said 'samun meelat samvid kamala makarandaika rasikam' – 'समुन मीलत संविद कमल मकरन्दैकरसिकं'.  Here talking about the fact that they drink the honey of poetical brilliance of literary maestros, he has called AmbãL's ears as 'कर्ण युगळं'.  So the question arises as to what is the importance of these ears when we are mainly talking about the eyes?  There are valid reasons for this special importance for the ears.

897.                What type of eyes are these right and left eyes of AmbãL's?  They are defined as 'காதளவோடியவை' or said to be 'running up to the ears' and in Sanskrit they are 'कर्णान्त विश्रान्त नेत्रं'That is, these two eyes of AmbãL are such that they seem to run and touch the ears on either side and take a break there!  If you over reach and just happen to touch a cup full of honey, what is likely to happen?  Most likely it will topple and you will end up licking them up, a job that once started will never be finished, isn't it?  So the eyes are totally engrossed in drinking that nectar, enjoying the literary nuances, refusing to move away from the ears with such loyal adherence, is what is described as 'amunchantou'!  What the eyes have done is to send the pupils to the very corners and note that one of the meanings of pupil is an adherent!  They are black beetle babies – 'भ्रमरं'In Sri Sailam the name of AmbãL is 'bramarãmbika' – 'भ्रमराम्बिका', because, the Daddy there is as the Jasmine flower known as 'Mallika Arjuna Swami'!  She wishes to keep going round and round hovering about the 'मल्लिकार्जुनस्वामि' so that she can keep drinking the honey, that is, the nectarine honey of 'Siva Ãnanda'!  In the second line here the poet uses the phrase, 'भ्रमर कलभौ', meaning a pair of 'baby beetles'.  (Between the honey-bees and the beetles, there is no difference in their avidity for drinking the honey from the flowers.  While the bees store the honey the others do not!)  The poet calls them small baby beetles because only in such young age one can keep on eating or drinking to the level of over doing it.  Since the eyes of AmbãL and especially the darlings are so keen in drinking the poetical honey, the poet calls them 'baby beetles'!

898.                AmbãL does one trick here.  She has a responsibility to balance out the extremities of human desires and sins.  In-between her duty periods only, she has to find time for listening to music and literary classics.  So she does some sleight, so that it will be a side-long glance of benefit for the worlds as, 'Katãksha Amrita' while simultaneously she will be listening-in to 'kavita rasa' cleverly hiding the second fact.  That is what is meant, when the poet says, 'कटाक्ष व्याक्षेप' – in which, the first part is 'Katãksha', which means 'side-long-glance' and in Tamil it is 'கடைக்கண் பார்வை', which you may sometime see the birds using.  In fact there is greater value in doing anything a little indirectly and instead of being blatant about it.  Of course, I am not talking about doing things stealthily!  There is a proverb which says that 'your left hand should not know what your right hand has given', so as not to embarrass the receiver's sensibilities!  So also the devotee prays for her 'Katãksha' only.

899.                AmbãL says, "That is very good", as that will enable me to simultaneously take care of my devotees also as well as enjoy the literary embellishments and nuances!  Here this word 'vyãjam' has been so used to mean that 'she is tending to enjoy the finer points of poets' literary nuances, tasting the wine of literary 'rasa', in the pretext of giving 'Katãksha' to the devotees.  This is the liberty taken by the poet here, that is, our ÃchãryãL!  But in fact the truth is the other way around!  We should consider this more as her refined capacity for appreciating literature that in the pretext of enjoying literature, she grants immense benefits to her devotees! In fact one of the names of hers as per Lalitha Sahasranãma is that she is 'avyãja karuNã murthy' – 'अव्याज करुणा मूर्ति' – meaning that she is the epitome of compassion who does sanction her largesse without making it a quid pro quo!  OK, all this is alright, what is the matter about the 'Asooyai' of the third eye?

900.                Only the right and left eye are elongated and run up to the ears and in the pretext of 'Katãksha' are able to enjoy the 'Kãvya Rasa' of the poets.  This eye of Lalãtam on the other hand is fixed static and can only look up vertically along the Seamantham!  No chance of its coming anywhere near the ears.  Though so many poets may be singing in praise of Easwara flooding the ears, we can have no share of them at all!  While these two other eyes are virtually inebriated all the time, we cannot touch even a drop of it!  That is its complaint and so it is jealous and annoyed and hence the reddish hue of the eye.  No Agni Netra or shetra!  It is just pure and simple jealousy!

901.                That so many poets may be singing praise of Easwara just happened to come out of my mouth.  There is no basis in this sloka for making such a statement.  Later in sloka No 66 there is a mention of Saraswathi playing on the VeeNa about the various exploits of Pasupathi – 'vivdham apadãnam pasupate:' – 'विविधं अपदानं पशुपते:'.  That sloka deserves to be spoken of in more detail in its turn then.  Now itself, I may as well talk a little about the other sloka No 60, that is not describing how AmbãL is appreciating Saraswathi's playing on the VeeNa but, about how Saraswathi is appreciating the spoken words of AmbãL!

902.                That sloka (No 60) starts with two 'Lahari' words, as "saraswathya: sukti: amritalahari kousalahari:" – "सरस्वत्या: सूक्ति: अमृत लहरी कौसलहरी:"!  Already we have seen Ãnanda Lahari, Soundarya Lahari, Chidãnanda Lahari and Sringãra Lahari and now two more seem to be joining here!  Amongst these only 'Amrita Lahari' is genuine Lahari while the other is only a word play to make it look like a Lahari!  That phrase is not 'cousa' + 'lahari' but 'cousala' + 'hari'.  Let us look at word to word meaning of the sloka.  It starts with - सरस्वत्या: but this word ' सरस्वत्या:' is not the subject of the sentence.  In re-paraphrasing this ' सरस्वत्या:' is followed by 'kundalagana:' in the third line, meaning the 'ear-studs' with its pendant 'lolãk', which is shaking and approving AmbãL's speech.  It is AmbãL's speech which is so sweet that it is defeating even the flow of Amrita by superior cleverness – 'कौसलहरी: - defeated by kushalata'.

(To be continued.)



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