Monday, June 17, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 188 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 June 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 188 (Vol # 6) Dated 17 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 middle of page No 1302 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)

1106.      Wholesome knowledge, plenty of wealth and captivating beauty have been granted, what else is required.  One chap went to an astrologer and showed him his horoscope.  The astrologer studied the same and after some deliberation told him, "Everything is very good but only one thing is pending.  The time is fast coming up for your son to do obsequies for his father"!  That one last thing takes away everything else, isn't it?  What is the use if that sort of a thing happens to the devotee of AmbãL?  It does not happen like that ÃchãryãL says!  He gets longevity too, along with good health also being given automatically!  Otherwise what is the use of longevity without good health?  As the Tamil proverb says, "noyarra vãzhve kuraivu arra selvam" – "நோயற்ற வாழ்வே குறைவற்ற செல்வம்"!  So, the devotee of AmbãL gets that also!

1107.      What else do we want?  Only after this the poet, our ÃchãryãL talks about the most important benefit.  When we live long enough with knowledge, wealth and beauty; that knowledge will make us question ourselves one day or the other, as to what have we achieved with all those assets?  We have gone in for only temporary pleasures and not permanent comfort.  Enough of all this!  Let us find the way for eternal happiness, a status unrelated to anything transient.  The same Upãsana that we have done all along will suffice but there has to be an attitudinal shift in ourselves.  We have so far been praying to AmbãL for transient, worldly benefits only.  Let our Upãsana from now onwards be for the permanent benefits of intrinsic and internal maturity and AmbãL will grant that.  One may be endowed with Arivu, Aisvaryam and ÃyuL with Ãrogyam (four 'A's) even as a result one's own past deeds over life-times and one may go on without a thought of Ãtma-chintan and go on with only the fringe benefits of existence!  We see that happening in the case of many on earth.  But there comes a time, to those who have got all these four 'A's, when they are satiated with them and think about the reality of existence and maturity dawns on them.  Then the devotee of AmbãL gets –
चिरं जीवन्नेव क्षपित-पसु-पाश-व्यतिकर:
chiram jeevanneva kshapita-pasu-pãsha-vyatikara:
परानन्दाभिख्यं रसयति रसं त्वत-भजनवान् ||
Paraanandãbhikhyam rasayati Rasam tvat-bhajanavãn || - that means, "Your devotee who is doing your Upãsana with longevity with all attachments to things and people, starts dropping those attachments, and thrives in the highest thrill of Brhmãnandam of oneness!"

1108.      What is this phrase 'pasu-pãsa' in the two lines quoted above really mean?  For a person without control on one's own mind, the animalistic tendencies to go by every which way the Indriyas and nature manipulates oneself, is what is being a 'pasu'.  Then he is tied to 'janma', the compulsion to repeated births by the rope of Karma.  This tying rope is the attachment – Pãsa.   It is desire – aka 'Ashã' with inescapable rope Pãsa, which in Tamil is said to be – 'ஆசாபாசம்', which makes him go round and round in the 'samsara chakra' – the cycle of repeated births and deaths!  The knife of Gnãna cuts this rope of attachment, relieving this animal from being tied-up (and thereby get bogged down in the whirl-pool of the ocean of attachment), grants this individual 'வீடு' – home – sanctuary and everlasting freedom!  Then he is no more the 'Pasu the animal, but Pasupati' that is Siva!  What the sloka calls the 'Para Anandam' is the Brhmãnandam as he becomes the one with the only reality as the Adwaita Rasam!  That is eternal bliss forever, the Adwaita Moksha Anandam.  It is not said that he drinks that Rasam or enjoys it – 'Rasam pibhati' – or 'aswãdayati' –but turning a noun into verb, the poet says 'rasayati', meaning the enjoyer becomes inalienably one with the object and act of enjoyment! 

1109.      If we say that he becomes, does it mean that he becomes so on his own?  No, she causes him to become one with herself as a result of his devotion.  Then one who pushed him in to duality from Adwaitam in to evolution, pulls him back unto oneness in involution as a prerogative of hers!  She does that to the one who adores her as the only resort.  Still here too, this ÃchãryãL of Adwaitam is using the two terms 'Pasu and Pãsam' which were much enlarged in Saiva Siddhãntam in later days, in his equanimity towards other's points of views. He who had placed Shakti far above Siva in his poems all along by expanding on Sãkta line of philosophy in this Soundarya Lahari, true to depicting her as a woman much subservient to her husband, has made use of two typical terms of value in Saiva Siddhãntam.

1110.      One thing occurs to me as to why should he limit that unlimited power of Parãshakti as a woman, as being obedient to her husband.  One reason I told you earlier was the need to make it according to the way it should ideally happen in the world.  Another idea that occurs to me is that, as I have been repeatedly emphasizing the fact that ÃchãryãL is the very personification of 'Vinaya' – that is modesty and humbleness it is natural that he would wish to portray her also in a similar mould.  Another way of looking at it is that, she is the one who has caused him to sing her praise.  She would have been satisfied only by a depiction of her as the very demure, modest and subservient wife of her husband, in the rightness of the ideal.  So, she would have induced ÃchãryãL to depict her as a model of Vinaya thus!

"கற்பூர ஆரத்தி"
Burning Camphor as 'Ãrati'
1111.      We have come to the end of a most auspicious stotra – the Soundarya Lahari.  A flowing river has to end in the ocean and then only it can be considered as wholesomely beneficial, isn't it?  This flow of the sound of words must finish in the 'Shabda Brhmam'.  That is what the poet has done.  The Bible says, 'In the beginning there was the word and word was with God and the word was God'!  So this flow of words, of Soundarya Lahari, The Flow of Beauty, about the Ultimate must end in God.  The ocean is called 'Jala Nidhi', in which 'Jala' means water and 'Nidhi' means a fund or repository.  'Salila' also means water and hence 'Salila Nidhi' means an ocean.   ÃchãryãL has finished his 100th sloka of the flow of beautiful words, by offering obeisance to the ocean – 'Salila Nidhi' by its own water / its own words that is, the words of God, as a 'Sadakam' meaning a 'collection of hundred poems'!

1112.      The 100th sloka of Soundarya Lahari is as follows: -
pradipa jwãlãbhir divasakara neerãjana vidhi:
सुधासूतेस्चन्द्रोपलजललवैरर्घ्य रचना |
sudhãsoothe: chandropala jalalavai: arghya rachana |
स्वकीयैरम्भोभि: सलिलनिधि सौहित्यकरणं
svakeeyai: ambhibhi: salilanidhi souhitya karaNam
त्वदीयाभिर्वाग्भिस्तव जननि वाचां स्तुतिरियम् ||
Tvadeeybhi: vãkbhistava janni vãchãm Stuti: iyam ||

1113.      The word to word meaning of the above sloka is as follows: -
वाचां जननि = Mother who is the spring of all speech!  Like showing light to दिवसकर = the Sun who creates the day, नीराजन-विधि: = waving lighted camphor; सुधासूते: = for the one who produces Amrita, the Chandra, चन्द्रोपलजललवै; = by the drops of water that oozes from the Chandra Kanta stone (when the moon light falls on it) अर्घ्य रचना = offering Arghyam; for सलिलनिधि = the repository of water, the Ocean, स्वकीयैरम्भोभि: = by its own waters, सौहित्यकरणं offering hospitality; त्वदीयाभिर्वाग्भिस्तव = by your own words, I am doing स्तुतिरियम् = these prayers to you!

1114.      After all, our ÃchãryãL was famous as a past master in doing things uniquely different to other poets isn't it?  What would he have done differently in the writing of Phala Sruti, it would be worth pondering.  If others were more slavish than slaves in devotion, he is an Avatara of AmbãL and her target of devotion Siva, together!  When others would list a whole lot of gains at the end of their creations, it is worth its while to think of how he could have better bettered them all, when looking at the last sloka!  He has mastered them all in his extreme humility, reducing himself to a perfect zero, as we have seen already!

1115.      "I just wrote some poems and for that, what Phala and what Sruti am I going to list out?  I have already explained as to what benefits she showers on her devotees, haven't I?  That is enough and let me stop there.  Everywhere in the world whosoever does whatsoever, whether it is great or otherwise, as the basic underlining of it all is the fact that, it is all by her power!  In the play of her variety, what is lower or lesser is to show off the other in comparison as higher or greater.  This is all her doing, including this set of 100 slokas.  She is the source, the spring, the point of origin!  She is the mother of all animate and inanimate things of the world!  So are words her children.  So this Soundarya Lahari is like a garland of her words, her child.  So I am going to surrender this at her feet."  That must have been his thought process towards the end!  As he had already said, let my normal speaking be prayers to you in your praise, let my walking be circumambulation around you and all that I do with my hands be showing mudras, whatever I eat may be offering of Neivedyam to you and my lying down to sleep be tantamount to doing Namaskãra to you and thus had surrendered his self at her feet in the 'Japo jalpa:' sloka (No 27).  He is now offering his slokas as a token of love and respect simply and humbly!

1116.      He would not have even that much pride to think of offering his poems as Ãtma SamarpaNam!  He must have thought of such an act as an expression of temerity only!  But luckily there were three such acts which had become traditions, in this world as precedents, which were though well intended were not very sensible.  One such act is, lighting up a bit of camphor on a plate and waving it front of the Sun – known as the 'divasakara'.  The Sun is known as 'Diwakar' or 'Divasakara' as he makes the world bright with his light.  He makes the night in to day known as 'Divas' in Sanskrit.   ÃchãryãL must have attended and participated in many a 'Sankranti' festival in celebration of the Sun's return from the South (the Southern Solstice – start of UttarãyaNam).  People will draw a representative figure of the Sun on the ground and do Pooja there at the end of which they show 'Karpoora Ãrati' to it as well as the Sun overhead!  Inside a dark sanctum sanctorum of a temple say, an Ãrati by camphor will light up the idol, it is alright.  But to do so in the open day-light seems childish isn't it?  Not only that we cannot light-up the Sun but also in the Sunlight the light of the camphor will look pathetically inefficient, isn't it!  Similarly, in front of the very power of words, that is AmbãL, to show off one's own power of expression, instead of enlightening will feel ashamed by itself if it can!  But looking at devotees showing the light of the burning camphor to the brilliant Sun, he takes heart that to do so is alright!  When the scorching Sun is accepting it, the cool hearted AmbãL will take it sportively, he feels and surrenders his poems to her.

(To be continued.)



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