Saturday, December 21, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 82 (Vol # 7) Dated 21 Dec 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 82 (Vol # 7) Dated 21 Dec 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 the second paragraph in page No 622 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)

Dheera: Again Gayatri
68.           "Dheerãya".  This word normally conveys the sense of fearlessness and indomitable courage.  Those meanings are all right.  But the word also conveys a meaning of sharp intellect.  Again the allusion is to Gayatri Mantra.  The root word 'dhee:' – 'धी:' occurs there in Gayatri Mantra, when it is said that the effulgence of the Paramãtma should kindle and inflame our intelligence, it is this word 'dhee:' – 'धी:' that comes in to play. The very root meaning of 'Gayatri' is, 'that which by being sung, protects the singer'.  To chant the Vedas with right intonations, emphasis, ups and downs is music by itself of a high elevating experience.   The Sãma Veda has a synonym as 'Sãma Gãnam'.  In that sense Gayatri is said to protect the singer of Gayatri.  Instead of the Swaras of the Vedas, using the 'Sapta Swaras' of music, Muthuswami Dikshidar has so composed this song, using the very words of the Gayatri Mantra so that, all people including the uninitiated will be able to sing that Gayatri as a song if not as a Mantra!

69.          Among the Sapta Swaras, the basic note / Ãdhãra Swara is known as Shadjamam, that is notated as 'Sa'.  It sounds like the call of the Peacock, they say.  The moment you think of this Peacock – 'mayur' – 'मयूर' or 'mayil' – 'மயில்'; what comes before our minds is this SubrahmaNya Swami; as AruNagiri Nãtha says, 'maragada mayoora perumãL kãN' – 'மரகத மயூர பெருமாள் காண்'! If he is the Presiding Deity for the basic Ãdhãra Sruti, there has to be musical definition as Sangita Gayatri for him isn't it?  So, by his Grace having created a Muthuswami Dikshidar, and coming as a Guru for him, placing sugar candy in his mouth, made him compose and sing so sweetly a unique song, all for himself, this song 'Sri SubrahmaNyãya' it seems.

Worshipped by Brhma and Guru for Easwara
70.         Next is the phrase 'nata vidhãtré' – 'नत विधात्रे', meaning 'worshipped by Brhma'.  That word 'nuta' in 'Veera nuta' and this 'nata' are meaning the same, a synonym for 'worshipful'.  You know the story about Brahma becoming his devotee.  This child asked Brhma, the meaning of 'PraNava Mantra'.  Without knowing the correct meaning or interpretation, in reply Brahma just waffled something.  So what this child did was to put Brhma behind bars and took over the job of Creator-in-Chief himself.  In some Kshetrãs we can observe SubrahmaNya depicted with Brahma's Kamandalu and Japa Malai.  That is how he is picturized in Kanchipuram Kumara Kottam.  That is to depict the occasion when he had taken over the job of Brahma. 

71.          Then one day Parameswara spoke to his son, recommending Brahma's case to be reviewed.  He acted as though he did not know the whole story and asked, "If Brahma did not give the correct reply, why don't you give the correct answer that is, if you know it".  Young 'Bãla SubrahmaNya' answered quite majestically, "I will not answer you, if you ask like this, like a master addressing a student.  If you ask in the tone of a student wishing to get a doubt cleared from a master, then I shall tell you and not otherwise"!  Even a great warrior would feel proud losing to his son, as they say.  Accordingly Paramasiva became a Sishya to his own son and took Upadesa for the meaning of PraNava Mantra.  We all should learn a lesson from this as to how, for the sake of learning and earning knowledge, no amount of humbleness is too much.  The greatness of SubrahmaNya was then widely known.  Brahma from within the jail conveyed his heart felt regrets and apologies that he may please be excused.  Kumara Swami released him and restored the job of Creation to him.  That is how he became 'nata vidhãtru'.  We already have seen as to how he was the son-in law of 'Deva Raja' Indra and so he is also, 'deva raja jãmãtré' – 'देव राज जामात्रे'.

The Ruler cum Enjoyer of All Worlds
72.            The last line of the poem says, 'bhoorãdi bhuvana bhoktré Bhoga moksha pradãtré' – 'भूरादि भुवन भोक्त्रे भोग मोक्ष प्रधात्रे'.  Let us take the first half of the line and look into its meaning.  The word 'Bhu' means the world and 'Bhurãdi' means the Earth and other such worlds.  Whatever the modern science says about the milky-way, solar system, planets and as related to the galaxies of stars, clusters, quasars and black holes; are all sufficiently hazy in clarity and accuracy.  As per our beliefs, the worlds from this Earth onwards are uncountable.  Amongst them all from the earth onwards, there are supposed to be seven 'Lokas' above the earth and seven below.  Further they are classified and brought within the ambit of three worlds namely, 'bhoor, bhuvas, suvar lokas' – 'भू: + भुव: + सुव: = भूर्भुव:स्सुव:' like a sandwich with an upper, middle and lower set of worlds rising with Bhuvas in the middle and Earth as the lowest. 

73.          As per Vedic tradition, these three as 'vyahrudies' are said with the PraNava Mantra as, 'om bhoor bhuva: suva:' – 'ॐ भूर् भुव: सुव:' at the very start of any Japa or Karma or Dhyãna so that the undertaken endeavour is fruitful and successful.  Again the Gayatri Mantra has to be made a mention of, as these 'vyahrudies' are added at the start of Gayatri Mantra too.  Earlier also Dikshidar had brought in this 'Bhu' while saying 'Bhusurãdi'.  Then while talking about 'vãsavãdi sakala deva', indirectly he referred to their place of residence the 'suvar loka'.  Now at the end of the Keertana, by saying 'Bhoorãdi bhuvanam', he is pointing out to all those worlds, starting from this earth.  All that happens in all the worlds are for the enjoyment of that one Para Shakti's Leela Anubhava isn't it?  So, the ruler of all those worlds and the enjoyer of it all as 'Bhokta' is that SubrahmaNya Swami only, he says.  Add a Namaskãra addressing him and the word 'Bhokta' changes to 'Bhoktré'.
He Who Sanctions Benefits of This and the Other World
74.          So, at the end, our Namaskãrãs are due to Lord SubrahmaNya when Dikshidar says 'bhoga mokshap pradhãtré' – 'भोग मोक्ष प्रधात्रे'.  In fact he is the ruler and enjoyer of all the pleasures of all the worlds, in which as though we are also experiencing many enjoyments such as wealth, lineage, continuity, position, status, comforts, pleasures and fame; he causes the world drama as Shakespeare's famous line which says, 'All the world is a stage'! In that 'world-drama' he is the giver, provider, director and organiser – 'dhãtã' – 'धाता'.  Pradhãtã with an adjective 'pra' added as he is the provider and conductor par excellence.  So when we address our obeisance to him, the word becomes 'pradhãtré'.

75.          The drama has to go on being conducted to its normal course. It is also in the rightness of things for us to be given all those pleasures and largesse.  But if we remain playing the role as a character in the drama, without making an effort to realise our reality, it would be very stupid of us indeed.  In a drama on stage, don't we get back to our reality when the make-up is removed and our disguise is taken off?  Similarly when the mind that causes all the assumptions of make-ups and disguise is annulled, we are truly one with our reality of our Ãtma, isn't it?  That is the state of Sadãnanda of everlasting happiness.  This also he gives as 'Guruguha', as 'Tatva Upadesa Karta', as 'Agnãna Dwãnta Savita' and as 'Moksha Pradhãta'.  All Devatas have their appointed roles.  If you go to Dhana Lakshmi and Santãna Lakshmi, they will give you wealth and lineage respectively.  They can't give you Moksham.  Similarly, if you go to DakshiNa Murthy he can't give you 'Bhoga Vastu', only Gnãnam and Moksham are his portfolios.  Sri SubrahmaNya Swami can give you all the wealth and pleasures of this worldly life as well as, the other worldly attainment of Moksham as he is the Bhoga Moksha Pradhãta.  There is nothing more to ask for and nothing more to say!  The Kruti by Muthuswami Dikshidar gets completed here.

*   *   *   *   *
Conclusion: Advices to Artists of Music
76.          Having given a wonderful meaningful explanation cum commentary on the poem by Muthuswami Dikshidar, PeriyavãL spoke to Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Aiyangãr, the following words.  "I am very happy about your singing and the fact that as having been part of a very good musical tradition, you are maintaining the standards of that tradition.  Similarly I wish you all the best to continue your good work and hand over your art and expertise to capable hands of the next generation.  A Brahmin who has learnt Vedas has to transfer his knowledge to at least one boy of the next generation as a compulsory duty to continue the 'Parampara'.  That is equally applicable to knowledge of all arts and Sãstrãs.  It is our duty to ensure that, the Vidya we have learnt instead of dying with us should reach many others. 

77.          Sangita Vidwãns have yet another responsibility.  They should learn the meaning of the Sãhityam, that is, the words of the song whether it is in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Sanskrit.  It is not correct to say only Tamil will do.  There have been many great poets cum composers of music, well aware of the intricacies of music and word meanings; and most importantly deeply devoted with intimate Anubhava, who have virtually inundated this South India with hundreds or even thousands of wonderful Krutis.  To say no to them is our loss.  Let them sing a lot in Tamil also.  But do not ignore other languages.  If you do not understand the meaning of words, all that is required is to take efforts in that direction.  When we are interested, don't we try and learn so called western pop songs and bodily contortions of so called dances?  For clean music with really ennobling, elevating and meaningfulness, can we not make an effort.  If Sangita Vidwãns are dedicated to their profession, language will not be a barrier.  You, who are standing today as the Number One in the world of Music, do whatever you can on these lines.  Let God be with you in your endeavours."  Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Aiyangãr was virtually moved to tears.  Hesitantly he spoke with a noticeable tremor in his voice, "In my life time, I have never been so honoured as this day" while taking his leave.  Next second Periyavã went back to his 'mounam' of being silent!
*   *   *   *   *
The Complete Song
Sri SubrahmaNyãya namasthe namasthe
Manasija koti koti lãvaNyãya  dheena saraNyãya
Bhusurãdi samasta jana poojitãbja saraNãya
Vãsuki takshakãdi Sarpa Swaroopa dharaNãya
Vasavãdi sakala deva vanditãya vareNyãya
Dãsa janãbhishta prada dakshatarãgra gaNyãya
Tãraka simhamukha soorapadmãsura samhartré
Tãpatraya haraNa nipuNa Tatvopadesa kartré
Veeranuta guruguhãya Agnãna Dwãnta Savitré
VijayavaLLi bhartre saktyãyudha dartré 
Dheerãya nata vidhãtre devaraja jãmãtré
Bhurãdi bhuvana Bhoga moksha pradãtré
Sri SubrahmaNyãya Namsté!

(To be continued with another topic.)




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