Monday, January 27, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 7) Dated 27 Jan 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 99 (Vol # 7) Dated 27 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 747 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)

26.          The act of arson did not affect Thiru Gnãna Sambandar in any way and he realized that it was a divine decision to revive the use of Vibhuti and Rudraksha in Madurai.  The intention was punish the king who punishes his citizens for being devoted to Siva and Saivam!  So, he thought that the fire ignited by the Jains may go and affect the Pãndya Raja himself!  His words are 'amaNar koLuvum sudar paiyave senru pãndiyarkãgave' – 'அமணர் கொளுவுஞ்சுடர் பையவே சென்று பாண்டியற்காகவே'.  In Tamil this Jainism is called 'SamaNa' religion and the Jains are called both as SamaNa and AmaNa. The second word AmaNa alludes to the fact that they barely cover their bodies with clothes. His words meant that the fire lit by the Jains may go and attack the King of Pãndyas.  This divine boy did not wish that the King of Pãndyas should be attacked violently, hence the use of the phrase 'பையவே சென்று', meaning 'may quietly go and'!  The fire got in to the King of Pãndya's body and he felt that his whole body was on fire.  Evidently he was running a fever and felt the burning sensation all over his body and it was called, 'veppu noi' – 'வெப்பு நோய்' in Tamil, 'Disease of Heat'.

27.          Appar was made to suffer in 'Soolai Noi' and repentance by which he was reclaimed by Easwara.  Then he went and fell in the feet of his sister Thilakavathiyar and received the Vibhuti!  Here for the sake of the King of Pãndyas, his wife Mangayarkku Arasi went with the Minister Kulachiraiyar and fell in the feet of this baby boy Thiru Gnãna Sambandar and beseeched him to save and spare her husband's life.  She had earlier invited him to the Pãndya Kingdom so that the King's deserting the Saivam and Sanãtana Dharmam may be corrected.   Sambandar realized as to what was the divine Sankalpa!  He told them that, after curing the King of his affliction, he will go on to beat the Jains, who decry the conduct of Vedic procedures, by debates and in as many tests of strength and relevance as they could think of! That is the divine decision he said, 'veda veLviyai nindanai seiduzhal…amaNarai vãdil venru azhikkat thiruvuLame' – 'வேத வேள்வியை நிந்தனை செய்துழல்... அமணரை வாதில் வென்றழிக்கத் திருவுளமே'!  Having got the sanction from Sundareswara directly in his Sannidãnam, Sundarar came over to the Pãndyan King's Palace itself!

28.          There were a whole lot of Jains hovering about the King with peacock feathers in their hands, chanting all sorts of mantras and trying their tricks to cure the King of his disease.  Mangayarkku Arasi was concerned that they may not hurt this small boy, entering amidst them nonchalantly!  That moment, she forgot all the miraculous exploits of his that she had heard about and was only reacting like a mother would do about her child!  'This child is getting in singly amongst an overwhelming number of opponents not by itself, but on our request, isn't it?  I hope I am not guilty of sending this child to certain death!'  That moment her only feeling was, 'Let whatever happen to Saivam or Jainism and let whatever happen to my husband's health.  Oh God!  Please save this child', was the only prayer on her lips. 
29.          Thiru Gnãna Sambandar could visualise her plight.  He called for her and sang a poem consoling her.  Normally in Nãlãyira Divya Prabandam and Thevãram, we do not come across direct evidence of, the various incidents of that happened during critical moments of their life.  Whereas in this case there is such direct evidence of the fact, about the visit of Sambandar to Madurai on the invitation of Mangayarkku Arasi and Kulachiraiyar, and his assurance to her when she was mortally afraid of his safety, in Thevãram songs itself.  His view was, "Let them be great magicians.  But for people who do not have the God's sanction, however much strong they may be, to the believers of Easwara, they are all immaterial and inconsequential!  On my way here in Aãnai Malai, what happened to all their nefarious efforts?  Will I ever succumb to their heinous tricks?  Am I saying this by the pride of my ego?  I am saying this by the power of Easwara who is all the time standing beside me!  He brought me here.  When he is the inner power as 'Antaryãmi', what is there for me to feel afraid or proud?"  With such ideas Sambandar sang this padigam.

30.          Now let us analyse the poem line by line.  'mãniner vizhi mãdarãi vazhudikku mãperun devi kéL' – 'மானிநேர்விழி மாதராய் வழுதிக்கு மாபெருந் தேவிகேள்!'  He is saying, "You who is the like an Empress among women and the wife of this Pãndya King known as Vazhudi, listen."  In the next sentence of the poem he says, 'pãnalvãyoru bãlan eengivan enru nee pariveididél' – 'பானல்வாயொரு பாலனீங்கிவன் என்றுநீ பரிவெய்திடேல்'.  'பால் நல் வாய்' in being combined becomes 'பானல்வாய்'.  The whole line means, 'Please do not be afraid, as to how I am going to be saved from these big and mighty opponents, while I am still a small baby-boy not yet weaned from drinking mother's milk!'

31.          If you ever think that in Periya PurãNam, it is the fertile imagination of the writer that claims that Thiru Gnãna Sambandar did so many great things when he was only a small baby boy not yet weaned, you are mistaken.  The truth is emphasised when here, he himself is claiming that 'he is yet on a diet of milk only'!  He is not only saying that it is 'pãl vãi' – 'பால் வாய்', but also saying, 'pãl nal vãi' – 'பால் நல் வாய்', adding that adjective 'nal' – 'நல்' to it, meaning the adjective 'good'!  Isn't it a bit of a pride there, may be your doubt.  Why did he add this 'nal' to describe his own mouth?  He was not a man of pride.  He said so because, it was not any milk but mother's milk, that mouth had been fed with.  That too, not any mother's but AmbãL herself had breast-fed him satisfying his hunger and also filling him with divine Gnãna.    

32.          Then he says, 'As I was on the way coming here, in the place where I was halting for the night in Aãnai Malai and other places these trouble creators could not do much, despite their trying, because of the fact that Vãlarãyan was standing guard for me!'  This 'Vãlarãyan' means Haran of Ãlavãi that is another name for Madurai. His words of the next line are, 'Aãnai Malai ãdiya idangaLirpala allalser eenargatkeLi yenalen thiru vãlavãyaran nirkave' – 'ஆனைமலை யாதியாய இடங்களிற்பல அல்லல்சேர் ஈனர்கட்கெளி யேனலேன் திரு வாலவாயரன் நிற்கவே'.  Aran or Haran is one of the names for Siva that Sambandar loves most!  When He is with me, nobody can in even touch me let alone hurt or demean me!  After he had assuaged her apprehensions like this, there was a real test or trial of strength or whatever you may want to call it, between the Jains and Sambandar to decide as to which is the real and superior religion, based on who could cure the Kings 'veppu Noi'!    

33.          The motivator and instigator for this competition of sorts is that of Mangayarkku Arasi.  The one who a few minutes back felt, 'Let Saivam and Jainism go wherever and whatever happens to her husband's health, as long as this child is saved from any harm', now suddenly was aware of tremendous amount of trust and faith in this child's abilities and power.  So she believed that by the power of Sambandar, the name of Saivam and her husband's health will be redeemed and recovered and so was keen on both in one stroke, as they say, 'two mangoes in one stone', used as a missile!  As the Pãndyan Queen, she set the rules for the competition.  "Let them both try.  Whosoever cures the King of the illness, that side will be considered as the winner", she declared.  The affected person being the King, he at once accepted to the rules of the competition. 

34.          Considering his body in two parts as the Right and Left side, it was agreed that the Jains and Sambandar will try their cures on that side of the body.  Chanting their Mantras the Jains started caressing the left side of the body lightly touching the body with their Peacock feathers.  With each stroke, the king felt that the burning sensation was increasing.  Unable to tolerate further, he looked at Thiru Gnãna Sambandar.  That is the time Sambandar sang the Padigam that starts with the words, 'mandiram ãvadu neeru' – 'மந்திரம் ஆவது நீறு' extolling the power and potency of the Vibhuti of Sundareswara Swami, the Presiding Deity in Madurai, and applied the Vibhuti on the right side of the body.  As the Vibhuti was applied, the heat subsided and on the King's request, the same was applied on the left side of the body also and thus the King's 'Veppu Noi' was got rid of completely. 

35.          Thilkavathiyar gave Vibhuti to her brother to get rid of the Soolai Noi.  Here Mangayarkku Arasi got the Vibhuti applied to her husband all over the body by Sambandar to get rid of the Veppu Noi.  In both the cases, it was the Vibhuti that cured the disease and saved the Vedic Religion.  Even after this burning body was cooled as the placid waters of the river, the Jains did not accept their defeat!  They insisted on two more tests.  They were the 'anal vãdam' & 'punal vãdam' – 'அனல் வாதம்' & 'புனல் வாதம்'.  (This word is not to be mistaken as the English word 'Anal', which means excessively orderly.  In Tamil this word is pronounced with the first letter 'A' shortly and not elongated.)  In the first test of 'Anal Vãdam', both representatives of Saivam and Jainism were to write the important points of contentions of their respective religions, on Palmyra Leaf and place it in fire, whichever manuscript remains without being burnt, that side is declared the winner.  In Punal Vãdam, similarly both sides were to place their respective manuscript in the flowing river.  The manuscript that swims against the current, instead of getting washed away, will be declared the winner.  In both of them, needless to say, Thiru Gnãna Sambandar was the winner.  What does it mean?  It means that Saivam that is the Vedic Religion was the winner.  The Pãndyan King and the Kingdom came back to the way of Sanãtana Dharma, once again!

ÃryãmbãL – SarasavãNi & Ãdi Sankara
36.          In Tamil Nãdu for the outside religions to give way to Vedic Religion and for it revive and flourish, God has made use of two women as the tools, while letting them stand behind the scenes as the driving force, for the effectiveness of Appar and Sambandar to become known to the world.  If you take the whole of the Indian subcontinent, if Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL could defeat 72 different religions and sects from within and outside the country, single handed and was victorious in re-establishing the Vedic Religion, it is his mother ÃryãmbãL who gave him permission to assume Sanyãsa, when he was only a child of eight years of age!

37.          There is one more gem of a woman who has contributed immensely for the spread of this religion, within Sankara Vijayam, in which she had to sacrifice her husband for the sake of the religion.  I am talking about SarasavãNi the wife of Mandana Mishra.   This was not a fight between the Vedic Religion and a Non-Vedic one!  It was between the total Vedic Religion inclusive of the three prongs of Karma, Bhakti and Gnãna Marga-s and the one sided 'Karma Only' of Mandana Mishra.  Like they say, 'Yours is not to question why but to do and die'; this Mandana Mishra advocated, "Simply do your Karma and Kaput!  There is no need for either devotion of Bhakti or intelligent analysis of Tattva Vichãra!"  He was defeated by Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL.  For this debate the arbitration was done by the wife of Mandana Mishra, SarasavãNi by name.  Then she said that as wife is the better-half of the husband, Sankara should compete with her also in debate. Sankara agreed and defeated her too.  She was an embodiment of Saraswathi Devi herself! 

(To be continued.)




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