Saturday, January 25, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 98 (Vol # 7) Dated 25 Jan 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 98 (Vol # 7) Dated 25 Jan 2014

(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 740 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)

14.          Dharmasena was afflicted by this Soolai Noi and was suffering with constant stomach pain.  The Jains tried their level best to cure him with their medicines and mantras, in vain.  He was so critically ill that he felt that his death was imminent.  He wished to meet his elder sister.  Since he knew that she would not approve of his conversion to Jainism, he was avoiding meeting her all these days.  But now since he felt that his days were numbered, he wished to meet his sister once again before the inevitable.  So he sent a friend as a messenger. 

15.          More than his love for her, she had more affection for him.  But when she got the message, you know what she did?  More than the love for him, she had greater faith and loyalty to her religion.  'Even when he is fighting for his life, I would not like to see him as a Jain.  I will not step in the environs of that Jain establishment.'  This was her reply to him.  Through Periya PurãNam we get to know the level of devotion and loyalty that the women-folk had for their religion.  (KTSV adds: – I had an opportunity to know this in person.  I was in Bangla Desh – erstwhile East Pakistan, as part of the offensive from Hilly.  Immediately after the war was over, in early Jan 1971, before handing over the assets to Bangla Desh, one day I was driving a British Land Rover jeep, which I had as my vehicle for some time temporarily.  It was one of the captured vehicle in war, not yet handed over to whomsoever authority.   The only problem was that the vehicle's breaks were not functioning.  I used to leave it in gear and switch off and the vehicle would come to a halt with a series of 'Dhak…dhak…dhak'!  Somewhere between Rangpur and Dinajpur I was halted by a civilian.  He spoke in Hindusthani / Urdu.  His main message was that he was very happy to see the Indian forces there, defeating the Pakistani Army.  He said, "Saab!  I am a Hindu because my Mother has told me so.  For generations it has happened that Hindu women are taken away and their menfolk killed.  The women would become kept wives of Muslim men.  So for generations in our bloods we have inputs from both Hindu women and Muslim men.  But our mothers have told us, "One day when you are a master of you own affairs, live the life of a Hindu and not a Muslim"!  But, I have to say also that after independence of Bangladesh, Chakma Buddhists have been hounded out of that country while Hindus have been decimated to nullity and almost wiped out in Bangla Desh!)

16.          When their medicines and mantras were ineffective on Dharma Sena, the Jains of Pataliputra gave him up as a wasteful investment.  The messenger who had gone to meet his sister had come back with the message that she will not even step into such an establishment of the Jains.  The time had come for MaruL Neekkiyar to get rid of the name as Dharma Sena and live up to his original name as the 'Remover of the Darkness of Ignorance'!  Knowing that his sister would not be able to see him wearing the Jain dress of a mattress around the hip and the feathers of the Peacock, he wore a normal dress of a 'Veshti and a towel', like anybody else, went in search of her and fell at her feet saying, "Akka! I surrender unto you to get rid of this horrible disease.  Please save me", he pleaded!

17.          She was already with a bleeding heart for her brother who had gone astray and was suffering now.  She told him that she will give him the holy ashes for relieving him of his pain and more than that his agnostic bent.  Don't we take a suffering child to the village masjid for a cure from the Mullah or Imam, whatever our religion is, hoping for a cure?  This man was after all, a more matured person.  He applied the Thiruneeru all over his body.  The sister considering that the blessing of SoolapaNi Siva, the Wielder of Soola the Trishul aka the three pointed Spear, is the right counter for the termination of Soolai Noi, took him to the nearest temple of Easwara.  For one part pains of the disease, MaruL Neekkiyar had ten times more regret for ignoring his own religion.  When your sense of repentance is complete, Easwara Anugraha is assured, isn't it?  The Grace of Siva flowed that was to prove to be a great boon for the whole of the Tamil speaking world, in terms of so many gems of Thevãram songs from the fertile spout of MaruL Neekkiyar who was to become famous as Appar!  He got the power and inclination to compose and sing songs appealing to God as Easwara, starting with 'koortrãyinanvãru vilakkagileer kodumai pala seidana…' – 'கூர்றாயினன்வாறு விலக்ககிலீர் கொடுமை பல செய்தன'.  From his great discomfort and tribulation, God made available such songs for all our benefit!

18.          The disease disappeared without a trace.  Having appreciated his appeal, the Veerattãneswara the Presiding God of that temple town, named him Vãgeesar, that is Nãvukkarasar, which means 'the King of Speech'.  From that day, like an ocean over flowing in ebb, he started pouring out a whole series of songs, dripping with Gnãna and Devotion!  He was named as Appar when Thiru Gnãna Sambandar called him, 'Appare!'  This happened later.  Before that, the Jains in Thiru Pãdiri Puliyur, having come to know that their Dharmasena had reconverted back to the fold of Hinduism and that he was composing and singing Thevãram songs which could further spread devotion to Easwara; they were afraid that their religion was in peril, went to King Mahendra Varman and put up all sorts of complaints, some true and some from their imagination. 

19.          King Mahendra Varman sent his men to apprehend Thiru Nãvukkarasar SwamigaL.  He got him put in a cauldron of boiling and effervescing calcium oxide known as 'suNNãmbuk kãLavãi' – 'சுண்ணாம்புக் காளவாய்'.  There also as he kept thinking of God's Grace, the cauldron became as though air-conditioned!  He was feeling very comfortable under the protective shadow of his God Easwara, listening to perfect music of the VeeNa and the wholesome shower of the Moon light, pleasant blow of the breeze of Manda Mãrutam, the cool air of the spring season on the banks of a lake with the buzzing music of the bees!  He says so in his song:-
"mãsil veeNaiyum mãlai madiyamum
மாசில் வீணையும் மாலை மதியமும்
veesu tendralum veengiLa venilum
வீசு தென்றலும் வீங்கிள வேனிலும்
moosu vaNdarai poigaiyum pondrade
மூசு வண்டறை பொய்கையும் போன்றதே
eesan endai iNaiyadi neezhale
ஈசன் எந்தை இணையடி நீழலே"

20.          When his punishment did not make any difference to Dharmasena aka Nãvukkarasar, the King was fuming with annoyance.  Then he tried to administer poison to his prisoner and tried to get him trampled by the elephants.  None of these things could affect the equanimity of Nãvukkarasar in any way.  Then it was that Nãvukkarasar was tied to a huge stone pillar and was arranged to be dropped in mid sea!  That is the time, he sang the song starting with the phrase, 'sorruNai vediyan' saying that Easwara's Grace will not forsake him, even if he were to be dropped in the ocean tied to a heavy stone pillar!  The words of the songs are as follows: –  
"sorruNai vediyan sodhi vãnavan
சொற்றுணை வேதியன் சோதி வானவன்
porruNait tirundadi porundak kaitozhak
பொற்றுணைத் திருந்தடி பொருந்தக் கைதொழக் 
kartruNaip poottiyor kadalir paaichinum
கற்றுணை பூட்டியோர் கடலிற் பாய்ச்சினும்
narruNai ãvadu namachchi vãyave.
நற்றுணை ஆவது நமச்சிவாயவே."

21.          As he was thus totally relying on the chanting of the five syllabled 'pancha Akshara mantra' of 'Na ma Si Vã Ya' – 'न म शि वा य' – 'ந ம சி வா ய'; that by the Grace of God, the huge stone pillar started floating on water and brought him to the shore.  Even today there is a village by the name of 'karai eravitta kuppam', meaning the place which 'permitted coming ashore', which is located near this place 'Thiru Pãdiri Puliyur'!  When he saw this miracle, the eyes of King Mahendra Varman also opened and he too returned to the Vedic religion.  With that all over the Pallava Kingdom there was a reawakening and ascendency of the Vedic Religion that automatically meant that Jainism and Buddhism started waning.  If the return of Mahendra Varman was caused by Appar, Appar's return to the fold was that of his elder sister Thilakavathiyar isn't it?  She is the root cause for the great service by Appar for the Sanãtana Dharma, Vedic religion and Saivam!

Mangayarkku Arasi & Thiru Gnãna Sambandar
22.          Then too In the Pãndya Nãdu, the reputation of the Jains was still at the zenith.  Raja Maravarma himself had embraced that religion.  He had issued such decrees as, "Nobody will go to the Siva Temples anymore!  None will wear the ashes of Vibhuti anymore on their person!"  There is a proverb which says, 'yathã rãjã tatã prajã' – 'यथा राजा तथा प्रजा', meaning that 'citizens have to do as the king does' and hence the general public had to behave as per the wishes of the King!  More than anybody else, the one who has to abide with the King's dictate is the minister and for a man, more than anybody else the person who has to obey is the wife, isn't it?  In the case of this Pãndya Raja, without openly defying, his minister Kulachiraiyar and wife Mangayarkku Arasi were against his orders. 

23.          They were both great devotees of Siva Perumãn.  Though unable to openly defy the King's / husband's orders respectively, they were continuing to be devotees of Easwara.  She was quietly applying Vibhuti on herself without making a show of it.  Similarly they were most of the time wearing the Rudraksha Mala on their person inside the clothes.  Still they were both inwardly cursing their fate of not being able to follow the King's/husbands orders and being unable to courageously follow their religious beliefs either.  As the Queen was constantly fretting about this, as a relief and a suitable medicine to the constant worry, she heard about what was welcome information.  "A child by the name of Sambandar was singing devotional songs and doing some miraculous deeds is with Appar in a place known as VedaraNyam aka Thiru Maraikkãdu.  Wherever that child visits that place becomes so sanctified that other religions run away that, that place becomes another Kailãsa!

24.          She called for and consulted with the minister Kulachiraiyar on the quiet.  Somehow if Sambandar is made to visit Madurai, they felt most of their problems will be solved.  That will make it possible to cause the Pãndya King and the citizens to make a turnaround back to Saivam, they felt.  They both sent a messenger to Thiru Gnãna Sambanda Murthy.  He came via a place known as 'Aãnai Malai' – 'ஆனை மலை' or the Elephant Hill.  I am rushing through the story.  Just by looking at him – he did not sing any song or give lectures like me – just looking at him entering the huge main temple of Meenãkshi Sundareswara Kovil in Madurai, people in droves, forgetting about the King's embargo, followed him with so much natural devotion and ardour.    

25.          Seeing all this, the Jains went and complained that some young boy had arrived in Madurai with evident magical powers seeing which they said was a, 'kandu muttu' – 'கண்டு முட்டு' for them, meaning a 'seen stigma' for them.  The King replied that it was a 'kettu muttu' – 'கேட்டு முட்டு', meaning that for him it was a 'heard stigma'!  That night the Jains put fire to the place where Thiru Gnãna Sambandar was staying.  God's intension in bringing him to Madurai was clear in the mind of Thiru Gnãna Sambandar by this incident of arson!

(To be continued.)




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