Sunday, May 12, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 170 (Vol # 6) Dated 12 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 170 (Vol # 6) Dated 12 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 1174 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)
நயனம்: நவரச நிலயம்
Eyes: The Site for Nava Rasa
903.      After a description of how  the eyes are tasting poetical 'Navarasa' of nine different feelings and sensations, the poet describes as to how the 'Navarasa' virtually dance in the eyes of AmbãL in the next sloka No 51: –
शिवे श्रिङ्गारार्द्रा ततितरजने कुत्सनपरा
shive sringãrãrdrã tatitarajane kutsanapara
सरोषा गङ्गायां गिरिशचरिते विस्मयवती |
saroshã gangãyãm girisha charite vismayavati |
हराहिभ्यो भीता सरसिरुह सौभाग्यजननी
harãhibhyo bheetã sarasiruha sowbhãghyajanani
सखीषु स्मेरा ते मयी जननि धृष्टि: सकरुणा ||
sakheeshu smerã te mayi Janani dhrushti: sakaruNã ||

904.                If face reflects the internal beauty and attitudes, the eyes reveal that clearly reflecting all the inner feelings. The ears cannot display any 'bhãva'.  The lips at times may indicate anger or sorrow by their quivering slightly differently and may indicate its laughter and happiness by some slithering!  The nose can never indicate feelings except showing dislike when a skunk is passing by or make noise when clearing the nose in sorrow!  But, the eyes are the only part of the body that can display the whole array of emotions, whether it be love or passion, anger or bravery, jealousy or disgust, fear or pity, compassion or peacefulness – for all emotions and feelings, the eyes are the most powerful medium of expression!  Though the tear jerking scenarios in dramas and TV serials now-a-days is called 'karuNa rasa', the real feeling of 'karuNa' is to be felt in the eyes of divine beings.  When a painter is keen about conveying the right message, he has to be careful about how he draws the eyes.  The slightest change there will totally change the expression!  Similarly the dancer has to pay the fullest attention to the way he or she expresses the 'Bhãva' by the eyes and practice that.  If that is correct all other 'Abhinaya' will pass muster!

905.                Here, the poet is talking about how all the 'Navarasa' is pouring out from the eyes of the very Parãshakti!  When is it full of the 'Sringãra Rasa'?  Anybody could know the answer to this question very promptly that – 'It is when she is in the company of Parameswara' – because of her well known fidelity of 'Pativratã' dharma – the poet is saying 'शिवे श्रिङ्गारार्द्रा'!   'Ãrdrã' means fully wet or soaked.  AmbãL is totally soaked in her love for Siva.  Him who is colourlessly transparent like the crystal, she soaks him in her red hue of 'AruNa Kãnti', making him the very symbol of love and passion!  Immediate attraction and adherence is the Sringãra Rasa.   The exact opposite is similarly immediate hatred and not anger.  For anger there has to be reasons.  For hate or dislike, which is inexplicable, there do not have to be any reasons!  They say that 'love has no logic' and in Tamil it is said that, 'காதலுக்கு கண்ணில்லை'Similarly, this feeling of dislike can happen without any reason.  For example we come across a millipede in the porch.  It may be quietly going on its own way and just the look of it may make us have horripilation!  This is the exact opposite of 'Sringãra' known as 'Beebhatsa' – 'बीभत्स' in Sanskrit!

906.                Does AmbãL have this feeling of 'Beebhatsa' also, when she is so adorably loving as a Mother, even towards us who have such detestable qualities that we should be just discarded out of hand?  Yes, she who is normally not capable of detesting anything or anybody; simply does not like the idea of any male other than Siva approaching her, except as a child!  When that Siva himself came disguised as somebody else and spoke disparagingly about Siva, the feeling of 'Beebhatsa' felt by AmbãL has been described by Kãlidãsa, in his 'Kumara Sambhava'.  He says, 'tat itara jane kutsana-para:', that she was disgusted with any and everybody other than Siva, and that she will look at them with revulsion or close her eyes.  OK.  When will she feel indignation or animosity?  That is when looking at another woman who is trying to steal the affection of her husband – 'सरोषा गङ्गायां'.  'Rosham' and 'Roudram' are one and the same.  Ganga the River is another woman whom her husband Siva has lifted high above and kept her in the head!  Looking at her AmbãL is feeling a natural revulsion.  Ganga here is a competitor as another wife of Siva.  "For me he has given only half of his body, the left half and her he has given a place in the head!"  'KaLatri' in Sanskrit means wife and 'sa-KaLatri' (சக்களத்திin Tamil) means 'co-wife'; traditionally a potential trouble spot for internecine quarrels!  But they do not get annoyed with the husband, as they are both very devoted to their husband!  But, mutually, they cannot accept each other!  The whole thing is described with AmbãL being considered as a human being with such foibles as would be normal in a human-like situation, not to be taken too literally!

907.                'Adbutam' is another Rasa, that one feels when faced with situations wonderful and awesome! Don't we say, "Wonderful, Vow, Great and Marvellous!" using such interjections indicating surprise?  AmbãL feels this when hearing about the various exploits by her husband 'Gireesha' (meaning the Easwara of Giri the Mountain) or Girisha' (the Man of Mountains or the Hillman).  There is no end to the stories of his plays known as, 'திரு விளையாடல்கள்'.  If we are talking about God, evidently it is about infinity on either side, and so, if we look back towards the past as well as the future, it is still only infinity, isn't it?  So there is no end to the past history and also there may be some more in the future!  His Plays are known as Leela and Neelakanta Dikshidar has written a work known as, 'Siva Leela ÃrNavam'.  This word ÃrNavam means an ocean.  So, 'Siva Leela Arnavam' is a narrative of an endless series of stories of Siva's adventures such as, Tripura Samhãra, Manmata Dahanam, Gajãsura Vadam, Kãla Samhãra, Andakãsura Vadam, Hãlahãla Visha Pãnam, Bikshadanam, Nataraja TãNdavam, Hãlãsya Leela and many more.  In fact there are said to 64 such major incidents around which these adventures are situated from which the Sivãnanda Lahari flows, says the poet of that work, which once again is our ÃchãryãL only!  So she is said to be highly appreciative of Siva's exploits – ' गिरिशचरिते विस्मयवती'.

908.                In the first sloka of this Soundarya Lahari, it started with the statement that it is AmbãL who caused Siva to become so dynamically active from being in a state of total inertness.  If AmbãL experienced wonder at his incessant liveliness, we cannot but wonder at her influence of making such dynamism out of such extreme inertness and passivity!  Then there is the description of the feeling of fear that is 'Bhaya'.  She is the one to give protection and assurance to all of us, not to be afraid!  How can she ever be afraid of anything?  In Mayavaram temple the presiding deity is AmbãL and her name there is AbhayãmbãL!  Then how can she ever be subjected to the feeling of fear?  Like so many other Leelas, here is another.  The snake that entwines itself around the Shiv Ling is AmbãL only.  In every individual's physical being she is said to be in the form of the KuNdalini snake.  Still, despite all that, it seems that she is scared of all those snakes sliding and slithering around his body – 'हराहिभ्यो भीता' – 'hara:' – Easwara's; – 'ahibhyo' – with his snakes; 'bheeta' – she is scared!

909.                Then the poet describes the 'Veera Rasa' that is, bravery!  In the sorting out of great Rakshasa warriors such as Mahishasura and Bhandasura, AmbãL has played stellar roles.  But, I suppose that our ÃchãryãL did not feel like talking about AmbãL's bravery connecting it with the cruelty involved in fighting and killing.  So, he says that her eyes are displaying much bravery in winning over the beauty of the lotus flower.  Even here so as to avoid mentioning any words about fighting and winning, he simply says that she is the 'generator of the beauty of the lotus flower' – 'सरसिरुह सौभाग्यजननी'!  As it is the red colour of the lotus flower is indicative of bravery.  So if she is the 'janani' of that flower and the colour, it means that she is pouring the 'Veera Rasa'!  Instead of 'janani' there is a version to read that word as 'jayini', which would anyhow mean that she is the one who has defeated the Lotus in a say, 'beauty contest'!

910.                Whether the eyes of AmbãL create the beauty of the lotus flowers or defeat them by being more beautiful; there is a speciality here that these are the actions in which the eyes are directly participating, whereas so far all other Rasa Bhava were only either reactions or only depictions!  This was the direct action.  Don't we need some humour or some comedy also?  Our whole life seems to be only a tragedy, so we need all the comedy we can get, isn't it?  The poet talks about that also, when he says 'सखीषु स्मेरा'!  It seems that with her friends there is much humorous talk, cracking of jokes and so there is delectable mischievousness and witticism in the eyes.  So far we have seen Sringãra (attraction), Beebhatsam (revulsion), Roudram (anger), Adbhutam (wonder), Bhayãnagam (fear), Veeram (bravery) and Hãsyam (humour); totalling seven Rasa-s with two yet to come being Shokam (sorrow) and Shãntam (peace or equanimity).  They do not seem to find a place in the sloka anyhow!

911.                AmbãL who is the very embodiment of Ãnanda, though described as displaying or responding to other Rasa-s at least for fun sake, just could not be described as displaying sorrow by our ÃchãryãL.  She has cried her hearts out in Daksha Yagnya where Siva was insulted!  On many occasions, she is depicted as having had to beg Easwara for mercy for her errors.  In sloka No 47 she was described as "भुवन भय भङ्ग व्यसनिनि", where she is said to have felt bad for the sad plight of down-trodden masses; which means that in sympathy, she has shared in the sorrow, isn't it?  In sympathy, she showers her KaruNa Rasa.  With that since his innate nature is also one of extreme compunction, he becomes the representative for all of us, when he says, "ते मयी जननि धृष्टि: सकरुणा"! That means, "Amma, My Mother, your eyes that can display all the Nava Rasa, may please be full of KaruNa in my case!"

912.                On all earlier occasions, he has used 'न:, न:' to mean 'for us' while beseeching AmbãL for his requests, praying on behalf of all of us. Here for the first time he has used 'मयी' to mean 'to me'!  He has not become suddenly too selfish.  He is still praying on behalf of all of us only.  But the difference is that, while in all other places he is praying for all of us, here the prayer is from the side of whosoever reads this sloka ever!  OK, but the sloka has been completed without talking about the 'Shãnta' Rasa at all! So, amongst the Nava Rasa, the ninth one is missing, isn't it?  When we have already discussed and enjoyed these eight different Rasas and then as we merge in utter peace within oneself, doesn't it become the Shãnta Rasa?  Basically that is AmbãL's real state as the sloka addresses her saying 'शिवे', at the very beginning of the sloka!

(To be continued.)




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