Thursday, May 30, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 179 (Vol # 6) Dated 30 May 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 179 (Vol # 6) Dated 30 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 1241 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)

1007.      I had been differentiating between Siva and Shakti using the spectrum of colours.  I was saying that Siva is as colourless as Sphatika or all inclusive white complexioned, while Shakti is red.  I was telling you as to how he is the inactive entity while she is all dynamic.  It is absolutely surprising to note as to how like Siva and Shakti, this white and red colour differentiation is occurring in so many ways in all walks of life and also gives us a feeling of having a darsan of the divine couple in them all!  Pointedly the male aspects are white and the female aspects are all red, you may please note.  Let me explain.

1008.      Male semen known as 'Shukhla' in Sanskrit itself is white, while the women's ovum that is 'SoNita' is red!  Man applies Vibhuti, the powdered ashes on his fore-head that is white and the Kumkum that woman wears is red.  The Nãmam that VaishNavas wear is white on either side for PerumaL and the centre line that is red is indicative of Thãyãr that is the Mother.   If these are the religious symbols, in dress, he wears the Veshti or Dhoti which is white and she wears the saree that is normally red.   That red is known as 'Kusumba' the saffron colour.  AmbãL is also said to be wearing red saree only as it is given in Lalitha Sahasranãma, 'arunãruna kousumbha vastra bhasvat kateetatee' – 'अरुणारुण कौसुम्भ वस्त्र भास्वत् कटीतटी'.  One of the most important systems in the human body for conveyance of oxygen and nourishment to every cell in the body, which is also responsible for removal of unwanted elements from the cells; is the blood circulation system!  The human blood seems red but, is made of both white and red corpuscles!  Like I said that in AmbãL's redness Siva's whiteness is unseen and he also becomes the red Kãmeswara, the white corpuscle is not seen and only the red is visible in the blood.

1009.      Even when we make the decorative 'Rangoli' – 'रङ्गोली' or 'கோலம்', we do it with white rice powder made into a thin paste, while the outer border and inner designs are done in red clay known as 'Kãvi'.  Outer wall of our temples are all painted with white and red stripes to indicate this divine combination of colours, whatever be the deity, Siva or Vishnu, Ganapathy or Hanuman!   Whether it is Abhishekam with white milk or red Kumkuma or Archana with flowers such as the white Jasmine and red AraLi, the white red combination goes on!  Even in food, it is white curd bath and almost red 'Sãmbãr Sãdam and finally the famous white Iddly with red chilli powder as the add-on!  White is Siva like placid Satva GuNa while red is active indicating the Shakti – Rajo GuNa.  Peace or surrender is indicated by the white flag, while red flag means danger, revolt and revolution, generally.  But on occasions the roles may be reversed, for example in the blood the red corpuscles are service oriented carriers of both supply and vacation, while the white corpuscles do the job of policing, detection and fighting with infectious germs! When the battle field is full of blood-shed it is the red-cross which saves lives by timely first-aid and care of the injured!

1010.      In the spectrum of colours red is very close to the white while the blue is the farthest.  That is why, for the peacefulness of Sivam, the exact opposite is the blue-Vishnu, Vishnu-Durga or the black-KãLi are all said to be totally Maya.  The red Kãmeswari touching the whiteness of Shãntam at one end goes on till the other end of Maya.  That is why at the height of philosophical apex known as 'Pãduka Mantra', the flame that is the cause of gross and subtle enlargement of Jiva-Jagat, as the 'rakta-shukla prabha misram' – is a mix of red and white as the outer dynamism and inner peace.  The Siva and Shakti combination is apparently seen in the Adam's apple in the men and the three lines in the neck of women.

1011.      In the sloka, by 'gale rekhã: tisro' – 'गले रेखा: तिस्रो', ÃchãryãL is pointing out those three lines only.  As she is an expert in 'gati, gamaka and gitam', they are represented by those three lines in the neck, as we are made to understand.  Later openly he says that, these three lines in her neck are the border lines between the Shadja, Gãndhãra and Madhyama Grãmãs that occur in music as he confirms later – 'tryãNãm grãmãNãm stiti-niyama-seemãna iva te gale rekhãs-tisro virãjante' – 'त्रयाणां ग्रामाणां सतीति-नियम-सीमान इव ते गले रेखास-तिस्रो विराजन्ते'.

1012.      Earlier in sloka No 25, he talked about, 'trayãNãm devãnãm triguNa janitãnãm' – the trinity of three Murthy-s born of the three GuNas.  Here also indirectly he is indicating the three GuNas in the second line of the sloka.  In this line what is apparent, is an easily understood example and not a subtle point of music.  He is talking about the marriage of Parvathy and Parameswara – 'विवाह व्यानद्ध प्रगुणसंख्या प्रतिभुव:' – 'vivaha vyãnaddha praguNa guNa sankhyã pratibhuva:'. At the time of the marriage Easwara tied the three knots – 'vivaha vyãnaddha'.  What type of thread was that 'MangaLa Sutra?  It was 'guNa sankhya' – as many as there are 'GuNas' and out of them 'praguNa' – the highest.  What does that mean?  It means it was three in numbers as there are three GuNas namely Satva, Rajas and Tamas.  The 'MangaLa Sutra' was also made of three threads twisted in to one.  So here these three lines in the neck, were as a 'pratibhuva:' a reminder and guarantee, as well as representing the three GuNas and the tying of the knot.

1013.      In the marriage, 'PaNigrahaNam', meaning the receiving of the bride's hands in the groom's is most important and sacred.  More than handing over, it is the act of receiving or taking over, the vouchsafing that from here onwards the groom will take responsibility to take care and protect her, as the father of the girl has been doing so long.  This 'PanigrahaNam' is common amongst all castes and communities all over the land.  Tying the knot is only for the society to know and be aware and is not there at all in some communities.  Anyhow here since ÃchãryãL has made a point of this custom, its importance is emphasised.  In PaNigrahaNam there is no apparent visible indicator for others to see and know.  We shake the hands of many in normal walk of life and leave it at that!  But the 'Thali', the MangaLa Sutram is required to be worn all the time by the bride.  It is considered as highly sacred and ladies would open their eyes with it in their vision and touch it to their eyes in the morning when they get up from a night's sleep.  Just because the thread becomes jaded, in that pretext I notice that some women are taking to wearing a gold chain with the 'Thali and gundu' as a pendant.  To do so is not very right.  If you apply turmeric powder every day, it will not become dirty.  ÃchãryãL has said 'GuNa' meaning a thread.  In Lalitha Sahasranãma there is statement that she is wearing the 'Mangalya Sutra' tied by Kãmeswara – 'kãmesha baddha mãngalya shutra shobita kandaharã' – 'कामेश बद्ध माङ्गल्य सूत्र शोबित कन्धरा'.

1014.      AmbãL has been wearing just a small piece of palm-leaf rolled and inserted in the hole in the lower end of the ear as an ornament for the ear and a MangaLa Sutra made of a thread, as simple adornments on her.  These are to be worn by all married women, as can be worn even by a poor woman and as demonstrated by AmbãL!  Otherwise ornaments such as a crown with all sorts of gems and gold belt are not compulsory!  Thus with the three lines in the neck; three musical terms Gati, Gamaka and Geetham; three GuNas; Mangalya Sutram made of three threads rolled in to one; the three musical Grãmãs; the sloka is a collection of a quintet of trios!  It is the duty of the society to avoid any mixing of the various existing traditions that are in the field of music.  Thus, so that the arrangement of the three Grãmãs are not mixed and made in to a goulash / 'kichdi';  in AmbãL's neck, which is the very source of all music, they are there as clearly defined as border lines, as told by our ÃchãryãL in this sloka.  He clearly makes a statement that in the practice of Music aka 'Nãdopãsana', 'freedom of imagination and expression within rules of discipline' is the catch-phrase!

1015.      When devotion is the sense and music is the medium, such a Nãdopãsana can show you the way to realization of God.  When you are completely one with the Sruti and Laya, the inner self is rid of all stumbling blocks of ego, pride, hate, jealousy and anger.  This can lead you to the very idea of oneness with all – of Adwaita – as exemplified by Thyagaraja Swami when he sang – 'entharo mahanubhãvulu', meaning, 'many are the greats of the supreme experience!'  There can be many like that even now!  He who sang like that, Thyagaraja Swami was himself one!  Like him were Shyãmã Sãstry and Muthuswami Dikshidar known as 'Sangita Trimoorthi'!  As I said that this sloka is a collection of 'trios', I have added one more here as the sixth, to make it a sextet of trios! 

1016.       Though the GuNas aka character-qualities of people in the world are three only, they are in various proportions in which they occur, that an infinite number of attitudes and behaviour are seen to exist.  All the millions of words in the dictionary are made of only 51 Aksharãs.  In English it is even less, made of only 26 letters of the alphabet!  Similarly with only seven Swaras with variations in four of them, you could have by permutation and combination any number of Ragas.  That is what has been said in the sloka as – 'nãnã vidha madhura raga ãkara bhuvãm' – 'नानाविध मधुर राग आकार भुवां'; meaning that 'it is like a mine of sweet ragas giving birth to a many varieties of them'!  'Raga ãkaram' means a mine of ragas.  As you keep digging as you can unearth a whole lot of gems in a mine, as you make subtle changes in the swara combinations you can have virtually infinite number of Ragas.  As we get gems in the ocean, it is known as a mine of gems – 'Ratnãkaram'.  Names like KaruNakara or Dayakara meaning a kind hearted person are derived like this only as they are supposed to be a mine of kindness and compassion.

1017.      When you combine the Swaras in various ways they should be pleasing for the ears and mind.  It should not become an exercise in contortions, but sweetness, smoothness and pleasantness have to remain the guide line.  That is why the poet has said, 'madhura raga'.  Like AmbãL, our ÃchãryãL who is an expert in 'Gati, Gamaka and Geeta eka nipuNa', as he was known as the all-knowing 'sarvagna', was well aware of the methods and traditions theoretically as well as in practice and so could define 'jana ranjakam' or 'people's acceptance' as the important characteristic.  All the Ragas are within the three border lines in AmbãL's throat.  In Easwara's throat the poison has become Amrita and in AmbãL's throat it is 'Sangita Amrita'.  The Adam's apple (laryngeal prominence) in all men and the three lines in the throat of all women may remind us of Siva and AmbãL ever and in the bargain all human beings and all life forms may remind us of the omnipresence of God everywhere always, as the true meaning of Adwaita Bhava!

(To be continued.)




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