Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 11 (Vol # 7) Dated 15 July 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 11 (Vol # 7) Dated 15 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 72 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)

100.        We come across words in Tamil such as 'Rudra' and 'Rudraksha', which are written as 'Urudra' and 'Urudraksha'.  The often used Tamil word 'Uruvam' – 'உருவம்' is in fact a modification of the Sanskrit word 'Roopam' only.  Amongst the Tamil 'Vallina' letters – 'ka, cha, ta & da, tha, pa, ra' that is, 'க, ச, ட, த, ப, ற'; there will be no words starting with and.  In fact the '' is inclusive of the sounds of 'ta' and 'da', that is, depending on the reference to the context of the word in which it occurs, it may be pronounced as 'ta' or 'da'.  If there are any words starting with the sound of 'ta' or 'da' they must be borrowed from other languages only such as 'Taxi' and 'Dalda'!  Similarly amongst the 'Mellina' letters such as, 'nga, gnya, Na, na, ma, na' – 'ங, ஞ, ண, ந, ம, ன,' there will be no words starting with 'ங, ண, and '.

101.        Between the letters '' and '' which are very similar sounding, why should there be two letters in the Tamil alphabet, is a question to which many people do not know the answer!  In fact they are two different sounds only.  When we say the letter '', the tip of the tongue is to touch the point where the upper palate is in contact with the base of the upper front teeth from the inside!  Whereas when we say the letter '', the tip of the tongue has to bend ever so slightly inwards and touch the upper palate without touching the teeth!  When you say 'avan' – 'அவன்', wherever the tip of the tongue is touching is the point which should be touched, whenever any word with '' is mentioned.  This is purely a sound owned and written in Tamil language only though the sound is there in other languages too, like in 'pen, men, when and so on'!  This similar sounding '' is a dental in which the tongue is touching the teeth, whereas '' does not.  Of course the most important difference is that words can commence with '' like in 'நமசிவாய' and the letter '' and its variations will always occur inside words or ending only, like in 'manidan' – 'மனிதன்'.  The letter '' on the other hand is a cerebral in which the tongue is bent and curved inward while touching the upper palate.

102.        The Sanskrit letter '' can be said to be a sound between the Tamil '' and ''.  In the English word Christ the letter 'r' is more like the 'Vallina' '' of Tamil.  I have heard an opinion that in the word 'Krishna' too the 'r' should be a 'Vallina' '' only.  Though in many words of English this letter 'r' is not pronounced at all and almost ignored as in 'girl', 'world' and 'third' for example, where they say that the 'r' is silent.  But in words like 'Christ' and 'price' or 'prize' the 'r' is not silent and is more like the Tamil '' only and so is it in Sanskrit.  That is, instead this Akshara 'Repam' is under emphasised at the start of a word and over emphasised when it occurs inside words, like in 'राम' and 'कारणं', respectively.  In the bargain I have seen some people write their names in Tamil as 'நாறாயணன்' and 'நடறாஜன்', quite surprisingly instead of 'நாராயணன்' and 'நடராஜன்' for example!  May be that is the reason for not saying 'Rakãram' and saying 'Repa:' – 'रेप:', so as not to add 'Kãram' to a letter which is already quite rough and tough, I suppose!

'र' Burns Off Sins
103.        In the word Guru the letter 'G' shows that Guru gives the disciple 'Siddhi' and the letter 'R' removes his sins. Like lighting up a fire, he reduces the sins of the disciple to ashes as the letter 'R' is the Agni Bhija, the seed Akshara of fire!  In the one word of Guru which is a combination one 'Ga' and one 'Ra' with two 'U-s', the 'Ga-Kãram' imparts knowledge – 'siddhi prada' and the 'Ra-Kãram' burns off sins that is, 'pãpa haraNam'.  So, we have explained the 'Ga' and 'Ra'.  Now what remains is to explain the meaning of the Akshara 'U'!  There are five letters that have in them, the power of the five elements – 'pancha bhootha-s', known as 'Bheeja Akshara-s'.  For the Earth aka Prithvi it is 'lum' – 'लं'.  For the sky or space aka Ãkãsa, it is 'hum' – 'हं'.  For the Air or Vãyu it is 'yum' – 'यं'.  For Fire or 'Agni' it is 'rum' – 'रं' and for the principle of Water or Appu it is 'vum' – 'वं' and for the all-inclusive principle of totality, it is 'sum' – 'सं'!  (Please also note that the word 'sum' in English means total!)  These are the Bhija-Akshara-s or the Seed-Letters.  Like the seed of a tree potentially has to power to create a whole tree, these Bhija Akshara-s contain the potential power of those elements in them!  Thus the letter 'R' aka Repam, being a Bhija-Akshara has in it the power to burn and scorch the sins to ashes.  The name of Sri Rama known as the Tãraka Mantram has this Bhija-Akshara as its first letter!

The letter 'U' or '' is the Form of Vishnu
104.        Among the sounds that make up the word 'Guru' what is not yet explained is this Akshara 'U'.  Since it is with both the letters 'G' and 'R', it has to have some special meaning and what is it?  The sloka says, 'U-kãro vishNu: avyakta:' – 'उकारो विष्णुरव्यक्त:' – meaning that it is the of the form of VishNu, but unrevealed.   PraNava that is Omkãra is formed by the combination of 'a + u + m' – that is 'अ + उ + म = ॐ', indicating the three primordial forms of Para Brhmam as Brhma + Vishnu + Rudra.  In that 'mmm' ending, there are three more principles as Maheshwara, 'Mãyã' the principle that veils and its subsidence in 'Sadãsiva'.  Let it be.  We are not presently concerned with all that.  We are only concerned with 'U' being the principle of Vishnu connected to both 'G' and 'R' in Guru.  This double 'U' is Vishnu Swaroopa, mentioned twice as the 'Avyakta' – 'अव्यक्त' Vishnu Roopa. What is this 'Avyakta' Roopa?

Meaning of 'Vyaktam' and 'Avyaktam'
105.        The word 'Vyakta' means what is revealed or manifested or expressed and 'Avyakta' means hidden or unrevealed.  What is revealed has come from the source that is, the basic truth Brhmam.  From within, it has come out as the whole Universe and is not only contained in it but also is the stuff by which all the exhibited world is made of.  As the immanent reality in all of them, it is not revealed and so not 'Vyaktam'.  What is not 'Vyaktam' is 'Avyaktam'.  The Sãnkhya philosophy while talking about the Brhma Vidya Sãstrã will say that the source or Moolam is the Maha Mãyã.  We need not go into such technicalities here.  All that we have to understand here is the fact that this apparent world that is 'Vyaktam' is in fact the unrevealed or not apparent Paramãtma.  That is the meaning appropriate here. 

VishNu – Vasudeva: The Meaning of Words
106.        In the same breath that having said that the 'U-Kãram' is Vishnu, it has also been said that it is 'Avyaktam' – 'U-karo Vishnuravyakta:' – pointing that this VishNu is inclusive of Brhma, Rudra, Maheshwara and Mãyã; that I talked about, the Brhmam that contains all is said to be VishNu here.  Amongst the Tri-Murthys Brhma, VishNu and Maheshwara, this functional differentiation of the one primordial reality is only meant to enable us to understand and comprehend the principle and not to think of them as individual entities.  It has been said so by tradition over the years and practically so comprehended by many a Gnãnis of the past yore in their experience.  They have said so, in their Mantras, Slokas and Upadesa given to their disciples.  The root meaning of this word 'VishNu' is that he is Omnipresent.  Our ÃchãryãL while explaining the meaning of this word has said that this omnipresence is the quality of Brhmam / Paramãtma called Vasudeva.  Especially the last mentioned Vasudeva is said to have this attribute as explained by our ÃchãryãL in his Bhashyam for Vishnu Sahasranãma.  He says, 'vasati, vãsayati and ãchãdayati sarvam' – in which, 'vasati' means in-dwells; 'vãsayati' means that he permits all of them to live in his self; and 'ãchãdayati' means hides them.  That means 'sarva vyãpakam' and covering the fact means covering by Mãyã.  Such covering by Mãyã of being omnipresent and immanent indwelling is 'avyaktam', isn't it?

107.        Our ÃchãryãL who was so full of 'vinaya' the quality of humility that, he never said anything already not there in the Vedas and Sãstrãs but, has elucidated what is there in our traditional belief structure; quotes from Maha Bhãratham and Vishnu PurãNam at this juncture.  All that is seen and apparent is 'Vyaktam'.  That they are all permeated by divinity is unseen as 'Avyaktam'.  A glass full of water is 'Vyaktam' and the sugar in it is 'Avyaktam', till you taste it or experience it.  This thing that is immanent is 'Marai PoruL' in two ways, one due to its being hidden from our eyes and the second meaning of 'Marai' is the Vedas.  It is the thing pointed out by the Vedas and that is VishNu, which is denoted by the Akshara 'U', the big 'U'.  It is interesting to note that in Mathematics too this big 'U', indicates the Universe, where it says that 'every part contains the whole and the whole is contained in the parts'!  Such a 'Marai PoruL' is the Vishnu and Marai aka Vedas' inner stuff is also Vishnu.  Vishnu's Akshara Swaroopa is 'U' – 'उकार:' and 'उकार: + अव्यक्त: = उकारोव्यक्त:'!  Thus this word Guru has come into being with '' as the letter indicative of 'Siddhi Kãraka:' (pro-attainment) and '' as the letter indicative of cleansing by fire 'Shuddhi Kãraka:' with '' as the 'व्यक्त' and 'अव्यक्त' VishNu; says the sloka.  When you take Guru as Teacher and you as student, Sishya or Disciple, there is duality – Dwaitam; in Vishnu being there as hidden but immanent, there is Visishtãdwaitam and with VishNu as Avyaktam as the NirguNa Brhmam there is Adwaitam!

By Guru's Nature - Benefits the Disciple Stands to Gain
108.        So it all amounts to the following facts.  One is that Guru enables the disciple to attain ever higher levels of knowledge as he is 'Siddhi pradãyaka:' (pro-achievement) and secondly he removes the student's sins, blemishes, deficiencies and problem areas.  He is all pervading and he is NirguNa Avyaktam.  What is the use of these two qualities?  Answer to that question is that, knowing about his being so, is highly beneficial!  Like a wasp by repeated stinging makes the worm become a wasp, the Guru raises the student to his level and thus the student realises his true greatness.  To know is to learn and to know the Guru is to become him.  That is the 'Siddhi pradãyaka:' that the sloka started with and that is the final achievement.

Adwaitam and Anugraha Bhava
109.        To be one without a second is the status that the Guru imparts the student, while being in that state himself.  That is the pinnacle of achievement that one is in that state!  Then why talk about the Omniscience and Omnipresence of VishNu?  It is here that for a person in that state automatically overflows with such kindness that there can be no other word to describe his universal beneficence than Grace!  Does it mean that the Guru comes down to our level from being at his level where nothing else matters?  Why should he do it?  Does he want name and fame?  What is there for him?  Yes he comes down from his level to ours and ever so kindly advises us.  But we cannot say that he comes down also!  For a person who has completely destroyed his mind – 'mano nigraha:, mano nãsa:' – 'मनो निग्र:, मनो नाश:', can you and me and our being pulled out of the rut make any difference or be of any importance to him?
(We will see the answers to these questions in the next issue of Deivathin Kural.)




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