Saturday, June 15, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 187 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 June 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 187 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 June 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 last paragraph on page No 1295 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)
(Note: - In the last issue of Deivathin Kural # 186 (Vol # 6) Dated 13 June 2013, the sloka quoted in the last paragraph No 1094, is the 61st in Chapter 18 from Bhagawat Gita)

அனைத்தும் பலன் அருளும் அன்னை வழிபாடு
Obeisance to AmbãL that Grants All Benefits

1095.      At the end of such slokas / stotras traditionally there is a portion devoted for what is known as 'Phala Sruti' that lists out the advantages of chanting those slokas.  ÃchãryãL is an epitome of humility.  So at the end he wishes to convey that this is not some achievement of his own but, it is the Grace of AmbãL that has caused him to write and that is how he has sung the 100th sloka. In the one prior to that, in the 99th sloka he has written a sort of a 'Phala Sruti' though not exactly one.  Though it is AmbãL making him write, he knew that the world will call him the author or poet.  So to talk about the gains of chanting those slokas would sound as though he is beating his own trumpet.  That was the sort of prudent and circumspect attitude of his.  The very set of slokas known as Soundarya Lahari were composed and written with the intention of inducing people to get going with AmbãL's Upãsana.  So instead of talking about what one stands to gain by chanting these slokas, he has talked about the values of AmbãL's Upãsana.  He tells AmbãL, "The devotee who does your Upãsana – 'tvat bhajanavãn' – 'त्वत भजनवान '; gains the following benefits", in sloka No 99. 

1096.      If you look a little closely, to read through Soundarya Lahari itself is to think of AmbãL, to delve deeply in her greatness and merge oneself in the idea, value and the very being of what is AmbãL.  I wonder if any other method like pooja, japa or dhyãna or whatever can be as useful.  To be in exclusive cogitation, meditation and contemplation of and about AmbãL is her Upãsana, what else?  One more idea occurs to me.  The first part of the 41 slokas of Soundarya Lahari, are her Mantra and Tantra form.  The second part of 59 slokas, are all descriptions of her beauty.  Thus the very Soundarya Lahari Stotram is AmbãL's Swaroopa.  Reading, absorbing, understanding, comprehending, analysing word to word meaning and chanting of these 100 slokas is AmbãL's Upãsana and meditation.  So the one doing its PãrãyaNam is her 'Bhajanavãn', isn't it?

1097.      OK now, if someone were to ask me as to what are the gains or advantages of being a devotee of AmbãL, I have to reply by asking a counter question as to, what is that we do not get in her Upãsana.  She is the one who sanctions both, this worldly benefits as well as inner/spiritual well-being and growth.  What is there in these worldly benefits, where everything is fleetingly transient in which, what seems like 'on top of the world' one moment is 'down in the dumps' the next? Let Gnãnis and great Mahatmas keep saying that and let it also be the end point for us also.  But, do we have the maturity for such conviction just now?  Or by just saying, "Choo Mantra KãLi, Abracadabra!", and just presto, we become suddenly all aware and attain maturity?  Slowly but surely and gradually let us progress believing and trusting in her, instead of getting mired in more and more involvement in the affairs of this world!  We are now like a tiny small of the mango that will make us spit it out if we just take a bite of it with disgust.  But it becomes bland, then sour and then becomes a big, reddish yellow, sweet and invitingly fragrant fruit. Isn't it? Let us grow with nature like that and become ripe enough to disconnect from the tree automatically.  After all, it is AmbãL who has got us involved in this-worldly drama and will she let us through easily?

1098.      It is at this stage that we can be encouraged by the statement that, she is the one who gives all this-worldly as well as inner and intrinsic betterment and that is how our ÃchãryãL is propping us up.  If he stops at saying that she is the 'Moksha Pradãyini' only, nobody will care to take up her Upãsana!  All of the worldly benefits can be covered under four heads.  'அறிவு' – 'arivu' that is knowledge, 'ஐஸ்வர்யம்' – 'aisvaryam' that is wealth, 'அழகு' – 'azhagu' that is beauty, both physical and inherent and 'ஆயுள்' – 'ãyuL' that is long life.  Amongst them all are required for progress in life while the first one 'அறிவு' that is knowledge is required for being worldly-wise as well as for inner comprehension of existence!

1099.      Knowledge is by education.  So it is related to 'vidya dãyini' – 'विद्या दायिनि' Saraswathi, who is the Goddess of Learning.  Here AmbãL gives all these benefits and more.  Saraswathi is not the foremost. What we are doing is AmbãL Upãsana, isn't it?  So she provides what is given by Saraswathi also.  To what extent does she give us 'Arivu'?  She does so plentifully that Brhma, Saraswathi's husband is jealous, it seems.  Why bring in Brhma in this comparison?  If that is your question, please tell me as to who should be totally influenced by the effectiveness of Saraswathi's abilities?  Her husband Brhma, isn't it?  He is said to be chanting the four Vedas by each of his four mouths.  Can somebody be more knowledgeable?  But AmbãL sanctions greater 'Vidwat' to her devotee than even Brhma, resulting in Brhma feeling jealous that this man seems to have had more knowledge than me!

1100.      Next is about money, wealth, assets and properties!  Left to ourselves we would have asked for this as the first choice.  What we love is 'aisvaryam' and then may be knowledge, so that we can turn it into money!  If just now God were to come in front of us saying that he will grant us whatever we ask for, most of us will be asking for wealth only.  Because more of wealth will make us want more!  Like one of the quotes from Mahatma Gandhi is, "There is enough in this world for everybody's needs but, there isn't enough for even one man's greed!"   Though we feel that we need 'Arivu, Aisvaryam, and Azhagu', somehow our preference is always for Aisvaryam, the wealth.  One funny thing in this!  We have a feeling that we are always, even now know what we are talking.  I am alright.  I am a sensible knowledgeable human being, is the conviction we always have in our minds.   In trying to show the world that we know everything, we often make a fool of ourselves.  Neither do we try to become more knowledgeable nor do we aspire for it much.  All our aspirations and efforts are directed for becoming more beautiful and wealthier!  As we are not trying hard to become better informed, when it comes to wealth and beauty we try really hard!  By this we often become the target of ridicule. 

1101.      Though that is how we behave in the matter of knowledge and beauty, that is, we believe that we are knowledgeable enough and beautiful enough; we never have a feeling of enough as far as money and wealth is concerned!  We may be very rich but do not feel satisfied in the matter of wealth!  One may be a millionaire or billionaire, but still want more!  This is one area where man is never satisfied!  We are afraid of the Income Tax Department or the dreaded I.R.S. in USA and others who may ask for donation or some help!  So we disguise ourselves as a pauper or a beggar!  So finally, Aisvaryam is our first preference!

1102.      But ÃchãryãL is placing Arivu first and then only mentioning other items of the agenda!  Because, however much he is ready to accommodate our tendencies, he is not ready to push this subject of Knowledge down in the order of preference.  Moreover, he who is forever interested in our up-lift and ennoblement of the common man felt that, instead of asking for Arivu, if we are given wealth first, will it not be misused by people?  So, it is my responsibility to recommend that they should be asking for Arivu, the sense to have for the right attitude towards life in general and the correct preferences.  First if we are given the right sense and then wealth we will make proper use of our wealth for the good of people and further progress ourselves also intrinsically.  With this intention only he is talking about the bounty and bonanza from Saraswathi. the Goddess of Learning and Knowledge first and then comes to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. 

1103.      In Taitreeya Upanishad Arivu is called as 'Medha' which is prayed for (I.4.1) and then after that (tato – तथो) the prayer is for Sri, the Wealth.  While writing the Bhashyam for that, our AcharyaL has explained, 'amedaso hi sri: anarthãya eva iti' – 'अमेदसो हि श्री: अनर्थाय एव इति', meaning 'if an idiot is endowed with wealth he is likely to create more problems than otherwise'!  In Bhaja Govindam stotra also our ÃchãryãL has emphasised with endearing rhyme and reason, asking us to remember once every day that ('Artham' that is) wealth can only mostly create more ('un-Artham' that is) problems than it can solve – 'artham unartham bhãvaya niutyam' – 'अर्थं अनर्थं भावय नित्यं'!

1104.      If the Saraswathi's endowment is complete with Brhma, Lakshmi's largesse is total with Maha Vishnu.  That is how he is sporting the royal dress of golden ornaments of crown, rings, necklaces and wearing yellow silk holding court like the Emperor of the Universe that he is!  This devotee of AmbãL it seems by her bounty beats that Maha Vishnu also hands down!  Looking at him PerumaL Maha Vishnu feels, "What is this, this man seems to be better endowed with Lakshmi Katãksham than ourselves!  How is that?"  Lakshmi and Saraswathi are said to be standing on either side of AmbãL as maids waving the ceremonial fan 'Chãmara', as Lalitha Sahasranãma says, 'sachãmara rama vãNi savya dakshina sevita' – 'सचामर रमा वाणी सव्य दक्षिण सेविता'.  So it is but natural that her devotees get the grace of Lakshmi and Saraswathi aplenty. 

1105.      A little before this when saying, "You are yourself, Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathy, they are being considered as the respective counterparts of the power of the Karta for Srushti and Stiti.  As the Mahishi of Parabrhmam, they are all part and parcel of the one source of all powers.   So, as she is the 'Tureeya', Lakshmi and Saraswathi on their own are considering her as the source of all their powers too.   Hence ÃchãryãL is telling us that by being the devotee of that one source, one stands to get all those powers too as from whichever Devata for whichever greatness, AmbãL is the root cause for all their powers too.  Then for whom else is she the owner proprietor?  For Kãman aka Manmata too she is the basic source of power.  Her name itself is Kãmeswari, Kãmãkshi, Kãmakoti and such isn't it?   She has revived and reinstated him in his appointment, didn't she?  So he is also one of her devotees and considers it an honour to make AmbãL's devotees get such beauty and attractiveness for people to refer to them as having 'Manmata Akãram'!  In the sloka in which AmbãL's Soundaryam is the main subject, ÃchãryãL says that her devotee gets divine beauty.  Lakshmi and Saraswathi are female deities.  So the poet says that the devotee of AmbãL gets so wealthy and so illustriously learned and knowledgeable that their husbands are getting jealous looking at AmbãL's devotee.  As Manmata is a male deity, the poet says that AmbãL's devotee becomes so fetchingly beautiful that Rathi the wife of Manmata is wondering looking at AmbãL's devotee, if he is her husband, really!

(To be continued.)




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