Monday, July 01, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 04 (Vol # 7) Dated 01 July 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 04 (Vol # 7) Dated 01 July 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 21 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)

Ways of Worship: Procedural &Devotional
31.                     There are two methods of worship.  One is to do so as per laid down procedure following the rules and regulations, maintaining strict observance of cleanliness, dietary, physical and mental restrictions of Do's and Don'ts perfectly.  The other is to go as dictated by one's heart purely out of love instead of following any rules or directions!  The fact of life is that procedures of systems come into being for ease to ensure that all the aspects are covered though there has always been a rebellion against discipline!  This dichotomy between old and new, disciplined and random approaches will always be there.  Not all rebellions are sincere and not all systematic procedures are lacking in sincerity of love.  When you are not very clear as to how you define 'what is God and what you are', your love of God may be real or just a whim!  In fact if you are so sincere and seriously in love with God and your surrender is perfect, then it may be reflected as equal love of all living things and almost perfect tolerance!

32.          In fact even procedural worship is not supposed to be done simply mechanically but lovingly.  The procedural means as per rules, isn't it?  One of the first rules in procedure is that it should be done lovingly!  At the start of the pooja for example, the first step is known as Ãtma Pooja, meaning adoration one's self!  It says that, 'this body is a temple and the life in it known as Jiva is said to be an ancient and eternal being.  So, set aside the darkness of 'has-beens' and do the pooja with the idea that the aim of worship – the God and the worshipper are one and the same'!  I have given you the meaning.  Now let me give you the Mantra – 'deho devãlaya: prokto jivo sanãtana: | tyajet andhakãra nirmãlyam soham bhãvena poojayet ||' – 'देहो देवालय: प्रोक्तो जीवो सनातन: | त्यजेत अन्धकार निर्माल्यं सोहंभावेन पूजयेत ||'!  Just think of it!  If we are the same as him to whom we are directing our prayers to, out of all people, all targets of our love, we should be having the greatest of love for ourselves isn't it?  So the height of selfishness is universal love!  But, it is only for a short period, till we chant that mantra may be we have that feeling that 'I am the same as God – I am that I am', and then the attitude doesn't last long.  That is 'ananya bhakti' aka 'anurãgam'.  But in no time the mood passes and we are back to square one – to our narrow selfishness that is exclusive of everybody else!  To call it as 'Universal Love' is all so much of a scam and bluff!

33.          I do agree that other than the basic agnostic and atheist, (they are not exactly the same as the first one believes that it is impossible to know God and the second is a non-believer), everybody all over the world, do have some love of varying intensity for God and such love has a salutary effect too.  But since their devotion is of light intensity the good effects from it, is also likely to be very weak. When your capital is limited the returns are also likely to be limited only, isn't it? But in the procedure laid out for worship, the words of the mantra, the steps of litany starting from invocation, the required amount of cleanliness and seriousness with which the procedure is to be followed, have their own logic and have a wholesome effect on the person, his mind and the atmosphere, that deep devotion is automatically instilled, by practice and perseverance.  So if there has to be a good effect on the person, participants and the world at large, with the basic attitude of love and faith, for most of us, in the state that we are in, we have to work hard at it.  The way things are, God has given to only a few people of the world, the sort of natural deep devotion, that can be called almost 'Bhakti piththu' – 'or devotional mania'!  Others have to work hard to cultivate this devotion and faith itself, by well established procedures only!

34.          So basically, majority of all of us have to go by the well- established ways and means, to work hard at our limited understanding, faith, belief and devotion.  In these approaches, in the various places on the earth, in various countries, there are different devotional procedures as per different religions.  They are all in some way capable of drawing on God's Grace for the welfare of humanity.  But the slokas, stotras, devotional procedures as per the Vedas and Sãstrãs here in the Indian sub-continent, have been blessed especially with power and effectiveness.  Do not ask me as to why it is so, as I cannot answer that question.  If you ask as to why it is dry in the Sahara desert and why is Switzerland endowed with a wonderful climate, what answer can be given?  But, this Bharat Desh is certainly endowed with the power and effectiveness of the mantras of Vedas, Sãstrãs, stotras and slokas undoubtedly!  The devotional procedures as ordained by them, our past masters must carry on here in this land if the whole of humanity everywhere in the world are to benefit as a result!  That is a fact and we have to accept the same!

35.          This land is known as 'Karma Bhoomi' and here it means the Karma as per Sãstrãs.  In this 'Karma Bhoomi' whether it is Ãtma Lingam or Ranga Raja Vigraha, they must remain here for all countries of the world to benefit including Sri Lanka.  That is why Vigneshwara by his natural tendency for fun and comics orchestrated this drama of ethos, humour, anger, running race, Dobir-KaraNam and Kuttu; in the case of both these two brothers RavaNa and Vibhishana!  Thus the temple of Sri Ranga Sayee, between the two arms of the Cauvery River that he installed as his gift for humanity, became the main Kshetram of worship for all VaishNavas and the central medallion among all temples in the whole of Sozha Nãdu!

Cultural Progress Also by Ganesh's Contribution
36.          I spoke to you about those temples on the Cauvery banks about which either Nãyanmãrs of Ãzhvãrs have sung Thevãram or Divya Prabandam songs.  In addition, other such temples on either bank of the River Cauvery will run into thousands in numbers!  Thus if Tamil Nãdu is being considered as divine – 'deivat tamizh nãdu' – 'தெய்வத் தமிழ் நாடு', it is all due to PiLLaiyar's contribution in the form of Cauvery River mainly, to the extent that Bhagawatam and such PurãNãs have glorified that, for devotion it is the Dravida Desam, the Mother Land!  Closely related to this credit of a divine atmosphere are our advancement in literature, fine-arts, music, dance, drama, paintings and sculpture; for which we should be indebted to PiLLaiyar's Grace and beneficence.

Maximum Temples for GaNesa
37.          In terms of expression of our sense of gratitude or whatever, it is here in Tamil Nãdu that we have more temples for PiLLaiyar than any other.  Other than big temples such as at PiLLaiyar Patti, we have his temples in every street corner, river banks, banks of lakes and wells; T-junctions of roads, other than being at entrance of every other temple for any other main deity too!  The number of his temples big and small put together in Tamil Nãdu will be more than all the other states of India, added up!  I started this talk after stamping him as 'Our PiLLaiyar' isn't it?  Having said that he has given us the most sophisticated culture, I am slightly wary of emphasising this point about 'Ours' and 'Yours'!

Vinãyaka and Tamil Language
38.          In culture language is most important, based on which books of knowledge, books on religion, classics, stories, fiction and everything else is also written.  For the Tamil language PiLLaiyar is very important.  When we want to write, even a list of items to be purchased say, what do we write first?  In Tamil, we place the PiLLaiyar Suzhi first with which we start writing isn't it?  Such a 'MangaLa Ãrambam' symbol (sacred starting point) is not available in any other language including Sanskrit!  This is Tamil language's lucky fortune.  Instead of starting a fight by calling it our right, let us call it our 'Bhãgyam' and do Namaskãra to it.

39.          PiLLaiyar is said to have written the three tiered Tamil of 'Iyal, Isai and Nãdakam', on the Meru Mountain as reported by AruNagiri Nãtha in Thiruppugazh.  At the very start of Thiruppugazh we sing the song starting with 'kaithala nirai kani' –'கைத்தலநிறை கனி' in which he says, rhyming on 'mu', 'muththamizh adaivinai murpadu girithanil
murpada ezhuthiya muthalvone'  
'முத்தமிழ் அடைவினை முற்படு கிரிதனில்
முற்பட எழுதிய முதல்வோனே'! I have asked many learned people as to what is the story alluded to here, but could not get any clarification.  He is said to have assisted Sage Vyãsa in writing the Maha Bhãratham on the Meru Mountain, which is another interesting story.  Here the word 'முற்பட' should mean that he wrote the 'முத்தமிழ்' even before that!

40.          As we learn to read Tamil, the first poems are those by Avvai Pãtti's Upadesãs only isn't it?  The first thing that she has taught us is to catch hold of is PiLLaiyar's feet!  Her teachings we learn by heart as a small baby 'Vãkku undãm'.  Her teachings are not only about simply rhyming, but with reason.  We should first get a good analytical and grasping mind with the ability for attention and retention and correct attitude.  OK you have a good mind, then what?  You have to have the grace of Sri Lakshmi Katãksham coming to you.  With that, she has unerringly said that all this is available to the one who does pooja to the feet of PiLLaiyar: -
வாக்குண்டாம், நல்ல மனமுண்டாம்,மாமலராள்      நோக்குண்டாம் மேனி நுடங்காது பூக்கொண்டு              துப்பார் திருமேனி தும்பிக்கையான் பாதம்                 தப்பாமல் சார்வார் தமக்குHere the words 'மேனி நுடங்காது' is applicable for both the flowers that you pluck with care that they do not get crushed, as well as applicable to the one doing the pooja.  He need not trouble himself too much either or go to any length of bodily discomforts.  Simply pluck a few flowers with adulation and reverence to the great PiLLaiyar in your mind and submit them in his feet!  Presto, your pooja is over!  Catch hold of the feet of PiLLaiyar, you must!  For the least effort, PiLLaiyar gives the max!  He with 'துப்பார் திருமேனி' meaning absolute reddish body, like Appar said about Siva, his Father, 'பவளம் போல் மேனி', has a body red like the coral redness.  So is his Mother as we know already in Soundarya Lahari about her reddish hue.

Power of Speech: A Unique Gift of God for Human Beings
41.          God has created millions of life forms.  Out of all of them only human beings have been blessed with the power of speech!  The Grand Mother of Tamil this Avvai Pãtti has taught the children of Tamil that PiLLaiyar is the one to grant that power!  The collection of poems starting with that word 'வாக்குண்டாம்' has come to be known by that word itself!  Only learned scholars call it as 'Moothurai', meaning 'elder's words'.  Other than this power of speech it is only the human being given the power to analyse and differentiate between 'good and bad'!  All the other living beings go by some animal instinct of the urge for survival, whereas only the human beings have the freedom of choice, to go by one of them, good or bad!  Avvai Pãtti says that the devotees of PiLLaiyar will have the ability to differentiate and have the right mind to go by what is good for one self and others!
(To be continued.)




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