Sunday, June 30, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 03 (Vol # 7) Dated 29 June 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 03 (Vol # 7) Dated 29 June 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL 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 14 of Volume 7 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 continually)

20.           Maha Vishnu has more than a thousand names vide Vishnu Sahasranãma and Purusha Suktam which says that God has thousands of heads, eyes and feet – 'sahasra seershã purusha: sahasrãksha sahara paat, sa bhoomim visvato vruthva atyadishtat dwashãngulam' – 'सहस्र शीर्षा पुरुष: सहस्राक्ष सहस्र पात स भूमिं विश्वतोव्रुत्वा अत्यदिष्टत द्वशान्गुलम्'.  Purusha Suktam further says that he is omnipresent in that, he is in every part of the space from the earth to all Universe as well as present in ten inches!    You can take it as an enormously huge being like some of the animated and digitalised characters that roam about the screens of cinema / TV / laptops and so many of the electronic gadgets or  as the in-dweller in all human beings and living things.  Till that idol was being venerated as the family deity by the Ikshvaku Royal Dynasty, it must have been referred as Maha Vishnu or Sesha Sayee.  How did the name Ranga Sayee come about? 
21.          The word 'Ranga' in Sanskrit and so in Tamil also, could mean colour as well as an amphitheatre or stage or platform.  You might have heard of the word 'Arangam' – 'அரங்கம்' meaning a stage and the hall in which people are assembled.  The one running the World Drama has to do so in a theatre isn't it?  When he does so as Parameswara, the place where he does it as a dance-presentation is in Chidambaram.  His Arangam or Sabha is known as 'Chit Sabha'.  As it is a golden arena, it is also known as the 'Kanaka Sabha'.  All the organizations and associations, that run music / dance / drama events on stage in the city, call themselves as 'Sabha' only, isn't it?  Here Chit Sabha and Sri Rangam match each other as the respective arenas of Siva and Vishnu.

22.          Making use of the words as they are generally understood I said 'music / dance / drama' events.  In Bharatha's reference book of 'Nãtya Sãstrã' this word 'Nãtyam' includes all these three mediums of music, dance and drama.  The Sanskrit 'nata' – 'नट' is the root word for, Natanam, Nãtyam, and the Tamil word 'nadappadu' – 'நடப்பது' indicating walking or any movement or event.  For the dancing father when there is a Temple, Arangam, Stage, Kanaka Sabha and Kovil – 'all in one'; PiLLaiyar's uncle, this creator of this drama of a dream like world in his dreams, there had to be an arena or stage.  Hence he named this island as 'Rangam'. The CEO of this world, (that is his dream, of which he is the master creator and administrator) as the King of the Arena, was titled by PiLLaiyar as the – Ranga Raja.  Since he is in the reclining position, doing all this in his 'Yoga Nidra', he came to be known as Sri Ranga Sayee!
PiLLaiyar's Leela and its Aptness
23.          I do not know what the Sthala PurãNam says, as I do not remember clearly.  May be the idol was already known as Ranga and possibly the Vimana of the statue was known as Sri Rangam.  I do remember however that, it is a VaishNava Sthala PurãNa, and that there was no mention of Vinãyaka there.   The Sozha King at the time of Sri Rama was Dharma Varma, as till date the outer periphery of that temple is known as 'Dharma Varman Surtru'.  This Sozha King did tapasya for a long period to get the family deity of Ikshvaku Vamsam, visit his kingdom,  So, when the idol was brought here, once put down on the ground it got established permanently, as per the Sthala PurãNam.  But what is more widely known is the prank played by PiLLaiyar, and as the story goes on, it only confirms the Saiva – VaishNava balance and Samarasam.

24.          How did the story progress?  PiLLaiyar ran and ran to the top of the hillock in Trichy.  Vibhishana chased him.  Finally PiLLaiyar condescended enough to be captured by Vibhishana who had his satisfaction by giving Kuttu on his head and as evidence of that the 'Uchchi PiLLaiyar' has three marks or dents in his pate.  Normally PiLLaiyar is to be seen in easily accessible places like where roads meet or the village squire under a huge tree like Arasa / Aala Maram, on the banks of river / lake / wells where people are likely to assemble or come to collect water.  It is very rare for him to be seen on hill tops unlike his younger brother SubrahmaNya who prefers hill tops!  This further confirms PiLLaiyar's running away and being cornered there that he had to condescend to come in to the clutches of Vibhishana and get the three 'Kuttu' on his head.  In this itself there is also the 'Tatva Artha' of connecting the Moola Ãdhãra and Sahasrãra, which I shall not elaborate now. 

25.          In this connection between Sri Ranganatha and Vigneshwara, there is one more link.  You remember that the very person who toppled Agasthya's Kamandalu and let the River Cauvery flow is PiLLaiyar, in the form of a crow as I told you.  Like Vibhishana in this story, Agasthya also ran after him with folded fists.  The crow became a Brhmachari boy like in this story.  There even before getting the Kuttu on the head, PiLLaiyar displayed his real Roopa.  "Oh God!" said Agasthya, "What a mistake I was going to commit.  For this I should punish myself in redemption", and did 'Dobir karaNam and gave himself three Kuttu-s.  This act became a tradition to be followed by all devotees of Ganapathy.  These two stories while complementing each other further connect up Maha Vishnu.

26.          This place where toppling of Agasthya's Kamandalu occurred was under a goose berry tree in the Sahayadri Mountains and that is the starting point of the Cauvery River.  That goose berry tree was Sãkshãt Maha Vishnu himself!  One Amsam of Vishnu's Mahã Mãyã became a woman as Lopãmudra, who became Agasthya's wife and who was in his Kamandalu as Teertam, water in the Kamandalu.  It is this Lopãmudra who became Cauvery River!  Then Vishnu Bhagawan told her, "Like the Ganges, you have had the 'pãda sparsanam' – 'touch of my feet' now.  Later you will have 'sarvãnga sparsanam' when you flow as the River Cauvery you will be able hug me with both your arms as Ubaya Cauvery", He said.  To give such a boon that day, it was PiLLaiyar who had initiated the process with a 'PiLLaiyar Suzhi' to let her flow through the roots of that Goose Berry Tree, that enabled the establishment of Sri Ranga Sayee's temple to come up in this island between the two arms of Cauvery.  So it is in the fitness of things, that in the language of poets it is fit to be called, 'sãla poruttam' isn't it?

The Earlier Anecdote of PiLLaiyar's Meeting with RavaNa

27.          I will tell you one more thing to further balance between Saivam and Vaishnavam, the story about the elder brother of Vibhishana and PiLLaiyar.  If Vibhishana got the Ranganatha Vigraha from Sri Rama, on an earlier occasion his elder brother RavaNa also got the 'Ãtma Lingam' from Siva himself in Kailãsa.  That was the time when RavaNa was roaming about on top of the earth showing off his mighty prowess to the whole world.  He had gone to the Himalayas and wanted to shake up the Kailãsa Mountain with his bare hands.  Siva knew as to what was happening.  He nudged the mountain with his right toe and RavaNa was stuck like a wedge.  He was a great Siva Bhakta.  Slowly he started singing the ancient rhymes of 'Sãma Gãna'.  Then slowly he extricated himself and started playing on the VeeNa, for the hearing pleasure of Siva.  Having punished him for the mischief of trying to move the mountain, in appreciation of his singing and playing on the VeeNa, Siva presented him with an idol of Siva Lingam known as 'Ãtma Lingam' after warning him that till ceremoniously installed where required, the idol was not to be placed on the ground.

28.          Situation is very similar to the Vibhishana's story.  PiLLaiyar was noticing the events and was looking for a suitable opportunity and place to come in!  This place was Gokarna, an island like Dwaraka of the west coast of the mainland, a little south of Goa.  When RavaNa was thinking of morning ablutions, PiLLaiyar came in front of him as a young Brhmachari and obediently accepted with a similar promise that if required, he would call for RavaNa three times.  Without any need for further elaboration, RavaNa also fell for the ruse and the Ãtma Lingam was established permanently at Gokarna.  The three dents on the head is very clearly seen as whosoever was the sculptor had done it so realistically without giving too much importance to the normal identification marks in a statue of PiLLaiyar, (such as his prominent head, the noticeable trunk, huge tummy and the ivory tusks,) but the three dents on the top of the head with the hands hanging as though resigned to his fate, that the onlooker virtually sympathises with the poor boy!  Despite his well-known power and prowess, RavaNa could not move the Ãtma Lingam.  As even the 'balam' or power of RavaNa had been annulled, the Siva Lingam there is famous as 'Mahã Baleshwar'!  PiLLaiyar was equality personified in dealing with both elder and younger brothers and equally so in safe-guarding Ãtma Lingam and Ranganatha idols; at par between Saivam and VaishNavam!  Having prevented the elder brother from taking away the Siva Ling, would he let the younger brother take away the Ranga Sayee idol?  The earlier incident proves the veracity of our story of Sri Ranga!
The Uniqueness of Bharat Desh – that is India
29.          OK Swami!  So, it all means that PiLLaiyar did not wish to let the divine statues go out of this country of India, You say.  What does it mean?  Is it reasonable and should PiLLaiyar be partial to one country like this?  I answer such questions with a counter question.  When you water the plants, where do you put the water, on the leaves or flowers or the roots?  Sprinkling of water on the leaves and the body of the plant may be required at times, on a hot summer evening to make it feel cool.  But normally if you water the base, from the root the water reaches every part of the plant, as required isn't it?  If you think of the world as a plant, Bharat Desh is the root.  If you think of the world as a living entity, India is the heart for all divine and spiritual matters.  So, if we do the religious activities here, the salubrious and salutary effect will reach every part of the globe. 

30.          In the way that God has created this world, some places have excellent climate all through the year, some are moderate and some are extremes.  Some are snow bound and some are full of green forests.  Some get rains, some are seasonal and some are dry mostly.  So there is trade and commerce in almost all materials produced by man and naturally occurring materials.  In such a set-up, India is meant to be the power-house, the spiritual power-house.  Like the heart supplies and receives blood from all parts of the body, India is the Heart of the world for all divine and spiritual matters.  If you take the world and even Universe as the Viswa-Virãt Roopa of God, this Bharat Desh – this India is the producer, supplier of the divine force to the rest of the world.  Like the doctor may apply a medicine or bandage or a tourniquet to any part of the body, if and when required, religious processes may go on, on any part of the world, some times.  But here it must go on for the sake of every body-part, all the time!  Religious discourses, Pooja-s, Dhyãna, PãrãyaNa, conduct of festivals, celebrations, Yagas and such things must go on forever, for the world to continue to benefit as our message has always been, "lokã: samasthã: sukhino bhavantu – sarve janã: sukhino bhavantu" – "लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु – सर्वे जना:सुखिनो भवन्तु" meaning, 'Let all the worlds be comfortable and happy – let all the people be comfortable and happy'!
(To be continued.)




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