Friday, February 28, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 113 (Vol # 7) Dated 28 Feb 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 113 (Vol # 7) Dated 28 Feb 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 861 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)

Sankara in Rik Veda
24.          I will tell you something about which all of us as followers of Ãdi Sankara can be really proud.  There is one word in Sanskrit which is pronounced like the English words 'sum' or 'some' – 'सं' but having meanings of good, pleasant, beneficial and 'MangaLa karam' or 'Lakshmi karam', as though it is a synonym for Sivam – 'शिवं'!  Our ÃchãryãL as a great benefactor for all the people of the world has a name 'Sankara' – 'शंकर', as though to mean 'the do-gooder' that his natural name that is 'iyar peyar' – 'இயற் பெயர்', also became the 'kãraNap peyar' – 'காரணப் பெயர்' or causal name! In the first Suktam of the Rik Veda that I quoted in the previous paragraph, the Sixth Mantra says, "Let him do good for us all, all people, all men and women, for the whole society, for all cattle and other animals and living beings too, let him do good and give comfort."  So, it is given in the root mantra of Rik Veda that let him be the 'सं' + 'कर', to mean 'good' + 'doer'.

24.          In Tamil the Vedas are known traditionally as 'marai' – 'மறை', which also means 'hidden'!  That is, Vedas do not directly describe the truth, but indirectly point out, 'what it is not'!  So, the Tamil name as 'marai' which means 'hidden' is very appropriate.  That is the way adopted throughout the Vedas.  Had it been saying 'for our sake – let him be a do-gooder', it would have been, 'na +sam +kara' – 'न: + सं + कर = न: संकर'.  Instead it is saying 'सं + न: + कर', changing the order indirectly, with 'सं' and 'कर' on either side of 'न:'!  Somehow 'संकर or शंकर' is revealed.  In the very first Suktam that the Veda Mãtã is submitting to Parameswarã, somehow reveals him to be the same as 'शंकर' our ÃchãryãL.   When Veda Mãtã said earlier that he is omniscient as 'Prachetas', that is also applicable to our ÃchãryãL as the winner of the title as 'Omniscient' when he ascended the 'Sarvgnatva Peetam' – 'सर्वज्ञत्व पीठं' in Kashmir.  Then when he is described as 'Donor par excellence', that is also equally applicable to our ÃchãryãL, as he is described as 'karuNãlayam' – 'கருணாலயம்', as in the sloka:-
"sruti smruti purãNãnãm Ãlayam karuNãlayam |
"श्रुति स्मृति पुराणानां आलयं करुणालयं |
namãmi bhagawat pãda sankaram lokasankaram ||
नमामि भगवत् पाद शङ्करं लोक शङ्करं ||  That sloka means – 'Amongst all heard and remembered Vedas the most treasured repository, as a temple of kindness is this Do-Gooder of the world known as Sankara, to whom I respectfully pay my obeisances'!  The third characteristic of identification as given in the Vedas as 'Maha Balishter', is very much applicable to our ÃchãryãL too, as he must have been physically very well endowed indeed, to have been able to what all he did within 32 years of his life on earth.  It is just super-human for him to have done so much of successfully participating in debates with opposing contenders of other religions winning over them all, writing so many Granthãs of worshipful Slokas and PrakaraNams gloriously motivating, while going around this vast sub-continent three times by walking covering some nine to ten thousand miles on foot!

Good and Bad in One
25.          Our religion has the most sacred belief that, all the good and bad aspects of life are in that one idea of what is Paramãtma.  In fact there is nothing good or bad by itself, as the difference is in the perspective only.  The essential truth of what we call as God or Paramãtma is indescribable, indecipherable, illimitable and formless.  That one thing by Mãyã is seen as so many sentient and insentient, animate and inanimate, animals, birds, plants and materials that are good and or bad, as seen or assumed.  We do not subscribe in our religion, to the idea of a Swami or God for doing only good things and a Satan or some other such entity for everything bad.  What do I mean that we do not subscribe to such an idea?  I mean that those fore fathers of ours, who had experienced the truth and known and seen the very truth of existence, have not seen an Easwara Shakti or Godly power, for all things good only and a non-Godly power for all things bad as practically experienced by them.  Totally immobile, immutable, imperishable and at peace is the true thing known as Brhmam or Paramãtma.  When it plays with the power of Mãyã, remaining itself as it is, without any changes or mutation, is seen relatively as good and or bad; is what they have come to know and told us.  They have also told us the ways and means of rising above and going beyond these differentiations of good and bad and go on to the Parabrhmam and merge in it or merge there.  As the very idea of that Parabrhmam is not simply an idea or concept, as governed by the limitations of time and space which are not absolute; when you understand or comprehend clearly, you reach as well as merge in it, because comprehension also brings the clarity of knowledge of oneness!  So, qualities of fierceness and greatness, forcefulness and persuasion and sharpness and softness are not irreconcilably opposites, but quite easily possible in one and the same person simultaneously!  So Rudra can be and is at one and the same time the Sivam too, like the ferocious soldier fighting tooth and nail for survival in the battle field can be and is a soft hearted individual with his friends, relatives, wife and children at home!

The Aryan-Dravidian Race Theory is Sheer Racism
26.          Those from a religious back-ground of seeing God as an embodiment of everything good and noble and Satan as the epitome of everything evil, looking at Rudra as per the Vedas, misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Since Divide and Rule has always been a convenient ploy of theirs to be resorted to whenever and wherever; here was a suitable opportunity to bring in the Aryan God and a Dravidian God!  It was sheer racism, but it suited their purpose!

27.            The all capable 'Sarva Saktan' is that one Easwara.  If he was not omnipotent, he could not have deserved the name as Easwara.  When you say 'sarva' – 'सर्व' meaning 'all', it has to include all that is good and bad, isn't it?  In the famous Rudra Suktam-s, that is how he has been described in detail.  Only as a good power is this Easwara and there is no evil power opposing him as an enemy as Satan or as a second power in being.  Not that these idiotic Hindus just to appease that devil of a Satan gave him also an exalted status as a Devata and installed him in the temples of theirs to be venerated!  There are no two deities, only one Rudra – Siva is there.  There are not two different races in India.  But being a vast sub-continent with varying geographical and other parameters, people have evolved varyingly.  It is all one people of one Vedic community and one Indian culture!

28.          O K, it is alright as I accept that I am a bit of an archaic old man too conservatively oriented.  So it may look as though I am talking against the scientific findings of great scholars!  But there was Swami Vivekananda and there was Aurobindo.  They were not like me.  They were much knowledgeable in terms of historical research and modern views, reforms and supporters of revolutionary ideas and have roundly criticised religious conservatism!   Those two people also have not only, not accepted but also rubbished this whole idea of 'Two – Races Theory' of India being a country of Dravidians and that Aryans came over as aggressors from elsewhere in Asia / Europe!  As some amongst you may have aptitude for research and have a scientific outlook and are likely to discard my views I took the names of Vivekananda and Aurobindo, in support of my argument.

Ever Fierce is also Ever Pleasant
29.          As I am saying that this country does not have people of two different Races and so also the Presiding Deities of Kedãrnath and Amarnath in the North to this Ramnath or Rameswaram at the Southern tip of India are no different Gods but, one and the same only.  Neither have two different Races have intermixed nor are different Gods of different ethnic origins have been coalesced on to one.  There are two places in the Yajur Veda Rudram (First Anuvãga 3rd Mantra and 10th Anuvãga 2nd Mantra), where Rudra with the fierce aspect is addressed with the words 'te sivã tanoo:' – 'ते शिवा तनू:', meaning 'the very pleasant aspect of you as Siva'.  It is clear here that the Rudra himself has the pleasant form also.  Does it mean that at times he is pleasant and on other occasions he is very fierce?  In fact he who is ever the 'Ugra' – 'उग्र' is also ever the 'शिवा', beyond our knowledge, understanding and comprehension.  From that being 'शिवा ' is the name as 'Sadasiva' – 'सदाशिव', as the word 'sada' means 'ever'.

30.          I compared it with a soldier who is fierce in the battle-field and pleasant at home.  But for Swami, the world or universe itself is at once the battle-field as well as his home!  On the one hand God is the creator, as well as the Samhãra Karta and also the Paripãlana Karta.  If in one part of the earth there is an earth quake, elsewhere there is a good rain or a pleasant breeze.  Two countries are at war and elsewhere neighbouring nations are friendly with each other.  We are seven billion plus people on earth.  God is the indwelling reality in all of us as 'antarãtma / antaryãmi' – 'अन्तरात्मा / अन्तर्यामी' causing us to do whatever.  Many amongst us thinking of the wellbeing of all of us behave ourselves and many amongst us due to some real or assumed grievances of our own, are proving to be terrorists as a human-bomb or car-bomb, causing the destruction of many!  If both these things are happening at the same time, doesn't it mean that the 'antaryãmi', the indwelling reality in us is both fierce and pleasant at one and the same time, isn't it?

31.          As I said earlier, when he is in his true state, he is neither good nor bad as these are part of the apparent state only, when he is reflected as so many of us.  The true basic stuff as Easwara is the source for all relative aspects of good and bad.  When it is manifested as so many of us, some are good and some are bad.  In all that, it is the pleasant aspect of what is forever 'Sadãsiva' that is prayed to and worshipped.

(To be continued.)



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (Vol # 7) Dated 26 Feb 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 112 (Vol # 7) Dated 26 Feb 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 852 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.          Instead of this Anugraha at the bottom line of worldly involvement, there is an Anugraha at the highest level of human evolution to rise above the material, sensual and mental indulgences and prevarications.  That is the sanctioning of Moksham after enabling the individual to get across the ocean of Samsara and become one with the One!  There can be no greater benevolence than retrieve us from the irrecoverable quicksand of involvement and raise us to the ambrosia of eternal oneness with divinity!  It is here that God's kindness and love becomes supreme in our understanding of the real meaning of Anugraha!  In the five jobs of Pancha Kritya, it is this fifth action of God's Anugraha reaches the peak of performance, like a musician reaching the spike of next higher level of the octave; this Saiva Murthy is known as 'Sadasiva'.

This 'Sada' Prefix is only for Siva
15.          I started my talk about that 'Sadasiva' as the sloka commences with 'sadasiva samãrambãm' – 'सदाशिव समारम्बं', talking about the Guru Parampara.  In doing so I started telling you as to how you need not feel bad about the prefix 'Mahã' not being applicable to Siva, like in Mahã Vishnu, because the prefix 'Sada' is also something special.  The prefix 'Sada' having a quality of uniqueness, that is not available to the prefix 'Mahã'. This adjective 'Mahã' is applicable to many others in addition to Vishnu.  The consort of Mahã Vishnu, so lovingly called as the 'Thãyãr' meaning the 'Mother' by the Vaishnavites, is called Mahã Lakshmi.  Durga Devi or Chandikai AmbãL also has a Mahã Lakshmi Roopa known as Mahã-Lakshmi-Durga who killed the Mahishasura.  Then we have Mahã KãLi and Mahã Saraswathi.  Then there is Mahã Ganapathy and Mahã Sãsta, colloquially referred to as 'mãsãttãn'.  SubrahmaNya Swami also has a name as 'Mahã Sena'.  Though there is no Mahã Siva, we do have Mahãdeva and Mahãlingam as I told you.   But 'Sada' as a prefix is uniquely applicable only to Siva as 'Sadasiva'.  Is it applicable to any other Deity?  Do we have 'Sadaraman' or 'Sadavishnu'?

16.          The name of 'Rama' joins up with a whole lot of other names, adjectives, prefixes and suffixes, such as GaNapathyraman, Rama SubrahmaNya, Sivaraman, Vedaraman, Kewalram, Anandram, Santaram.  There is also one Ramalakshmi and 'ayaram' and 'gayaram' of people who are ever changing their loyalties in politics!  Despite all that, there is no 'Sadaraman'!  This 'Sada' is not added as either a prefix or suffix with any of the male or female deities except Siva as Sadasiva.   Just to keep saying 'Siva, Siva', as a single name without a prefix or suffix, seems to be somewhat odd to me.  Normally that name is never chanted like that.  In Tamil they add Perumãn and say, 'Siva Perumãn' and in Sanskrit he is referred to as Easwara and Parameswarã and rarely as just Siva!  That is how I refer to him also.  But today somehow, I wish to keep saying his name as 'Sadasiva' and am repeatedly taking the double syllabled pair of names. 

Research on Arya – Dravida Divide
17.          A peculiar observation is that, Maha Vishnu is not referred to by his Sanskrit name of Vishnu but by the Tamil epithet as 'PerumãL' which only means 'Big Man' or the acronym for a Very Important Person as 'V. I. P'.  So, this 'PerumãL' is phrase coined in the Tamil Language by Vishnavites.  The so called 'researchers' of western origin known as 'Indologists', come out with their research finding that Siva is a Dravidian God and Vishnu is an Aryan God!  But the so called Dravidian God is known by the more apparent Sanskrit name of Easwara and the Aryan God is known by the typical Tamil name as 'PerumãL'.  Even the uneducated common man referring to the respective temples of Vishnu and Sivan as 'preuma kovilu' and 'Easwaran Kovilu'!  More than all this, there is one more matter clearly bringing out as to how these researchers are in the habit of putting 2 and 2 together and arriving at something other than 4 invariably!

18.          Aryans are said to be fair coloured, love the red colour as worshippers of the Fire God Agni, whereas the Dravidians are supposed to be black complexioned, and fond of the black colour and the dark blueness of the ocean that surrounds them from the East, South and the West.  As per this justification the Dravidian God should be Black or at the most Blue coloured and the Arya Swami should be fair / red coloured.  But the facts in reality are the exact opposites.  Rama, Krishna and all Vishnu Avataras are all dark blue coloured and the Dravidian God Siva it is who is fair and white all the time applying the white ashes all over his body.  Siva is very fair complexioned, more gone on the reddish hue, as the Thevãram poets repeatedly say, 'pavaLam pol meni, sivanenum naamam tanakkeyudaiya semmeni yemmãn' – 'பவளம் போல் மேனி, சிவனென்னும் நாமம் தனக்கேயுடைய செம்மேனி எம்மான்' as we see repeatedly described in Thevãram songs.  The 'PavaLam' here means the Coral which is deep red in colour.  That same Dravidian Swami is described as the very manifestation of Fire as for example, 'sentazhal uruvar polum' – 'செந்தழல் உருவர்போலும்'.  But this God of the Aryans is dark like the waters of the ocean where he has taken refuge and is dark like the rain bearing clouds that or the form of the primordial being just before apocalypse, 'oozhi mudalvan uruvam pol mei karuththu' – 'ஊழி முதல்வன் உருவம்போல் மெய் கருத்து', as ÃNdãL sings.  He who did 'Krishna Avatara', his name 'Krishna' means the 'Black Man' only.  He is the 'Karuppu ANNa Swami' – 'கருப்பண்ண சாமி', meaning the 'dark elder brother', in the earlier Avatara, as he was the elder of four brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna.  In Krishna Avatara he himself was the younger brother, to Balarama who was the incarnation of Lakshmana as the elder brother.  Both Lakshmana and Balarama were very fair complexioned as the Avatara of Sesha the thousand headed snake.  Both Rama and Krishna were dark, bluish black coloured.  Making much about their 'so-called' research, what was till then a close knit group of people in the whole of the Indian sub-continent, the Britishers, in their search for ways and means of finding suitable causes for their policy of 'Divide and Rule', managed to deeply instil doubts and cleavages as the 'Aryan and Dravidian Divide'!

19.          About the name of 'Siva' also we find such research with their special 'axes to grind'.  It is rather pathetic that many of the common folk of this country have taken such motivated research as the authority.  The finding of that research is that the name 'Siva' has evolved from the common name for red colour as 'Sivappu' – 'சிவப்பு'.  But starting from very old books in Tamil, the word 'Siva' has always been used as a Proper Noun and never as a Common Noun.  Starting from Rig Veda, which these researchers themselves accept as the 'First Ever' book by any human being, the word 'Sivam' has come to mean, 'Sowkyam, Shãntam and Mangalam' – 'सौख्यं, शान्तं व मङ्गलं', meaning 'pleasureful, peaceful and salubrious'!  In MãNdookya Upanishad we see that the word 'Sivam' means the inexplicable and indescribable state of peacefulness of Adwaita Satyam in which we cannot talk about its quality or characteristics whatsoever!

20.          In the famous Sanskrit Dictionary known as Amara Kosam, the meaning for the word, 'Sivam' – 'शिवं' is given as fabulous, pleasing, awesome, super, stupendous and self-satisfying!  When we think about it deeply, you will note for all those very pleasant superlative words, the under current is the 'unconditional Love', not as a trade-off or quid-pro-quo but simply natural love without any expectation of even recognition, let alone any returns or interest, that gives holistic sacredness to relationships.  That 'Anbu' – 'அன்பு', is what is capable of imparting a wholesome goodness.  That is why the famous aphorism is 'anbe sivam' – 'அன்பே சிவம்'.  This is a statement by a great man of intrinsic experience who exactly knew what he was talking, namely 'Thiru Moolar' – 'திரு மூலர்'!  Nowhere in Tamil is it said that, to be kind and loving, is to be Sivam or to give love and happiness is the same as giving Sivam.  That is, whatever that word is related to like the ideas of Origin or Ãdi, and the feelings of santosham, sowkyam and Mangalam as in the /Sanskrit Language from the Vedas, is not to be found in the Tamil books of yore.  Still the 'so called Researchers' of Indian origins, and the Theory of Aryans invading Dravidian India, claim that the Siva of Dravidians have been borrowed by the Aryans!

21.          I have to tell you something more about it.  They say that originally there was a fierce and cruel Devata known as Rudra, who was accepted and prayed to in the Veda Mantras by the Aryans.  Then they came to know of Siva as the very embodiment of classic benevolence with plenitude of pleasant qualities and over time made both these two opposites in to one, is the judgement of the Researchers!  We do not know as to why and how they should have made the fierce and the pleasant Gods in to one!  OK all that be alright, let it be.  What is the proof, very clearly available in the words of the Vedas?  In 'Rudram' it is said, "Our prayers and Namaskãrãs to your anger", to start with.  Later it is said, "You have a pleasant side or aspect to you, isn't it?  Please bless us in that form.  Please set aside your fierceness and all your weapons.  Please use them against despicable characters or Rãkshasãs and dangerous predatory animals."  Such statements have been misinterpreted as though there were two different Swamis of which, one was fierce and wild while the other was pleasant and civil; one prayed to by Aryans and the other by Dravidians and that both have been combined to make a Syncretic deity, as per the findings of the 'so called Researchers, known as Indologists!'

22.            The 'Rudram' I quoted now comes in Yajur Vedam in which for the same God two aspects of fierceness and pleasantness have been attributed to.  This has been interpreted by the Indologists to mean that at the time if Rig Veda, the Aryans were worshipping a fierce and cruel God, which we have all taken as the 'Veda Vãkku' without questioning.  We do not do any research and analysis of our own ancient scripts, while accepting their words and their interpretation, implicitly!  We do not have real trust, faith in the words of our own Veda nor the gumption to try and do our own research of what is said in our Vedas.  When they say that at the time of Rig Veda only the 'Ugra Rudra', that is, the fierce variety of Rudra was known, is entirely wrong.  In Rig Veda, there are, five Suktam-s or portions about Rudra, known as 'Pancha-Rudram'.  Without much effort we can understand them and disprove the Indologists' deductions.  It is enough if we look at the meaning of the first Suktam.  Its fist Rik is enough to prove this point.  (Refer to the First Mandalam, Suktam No 43 of Rik Veda.)

23.          At the very beginning Rudra is said to be in-dweller of our hearts. So the form of Rudra also is like that of Sivam as it says, 'hrute' – 'हृते'.  The very first mantra also calls him as 'prachetas', meaning 'one having the highest of knowledge'.  Then after saying that he is the in-dweller of our hearts and having the highest knowledge, it says that he is 'meedushtama' meaning a superlative benefactor and philanthropist!  Then it talks about his being very strong and powerful. When you say some one is very strong it does not mean that he is a crude fighter!  How can we ever say or accept anybody saying the Rudra is cruel and fierce. Thus throughout that Suktam, Rudra is described as doing many Anugraha-s, curing diseases as the 'Vaidya Nãtha' and protector of conduct of Yagas and Yagnyas and never as being 'CRUEL'!   

(To be continued.)



Monday, February 24, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Feb 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Feb 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 844 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)

Ãdi Guru
01.          This Sloka conveys respects and regards to an unbroken chain of Gurus, coming down from time immemorial till date:-
"Sadasiva samãrambam Sankarãchãrya madhyamãm |
"सदाशिव समारंबं संकराचार्य मध्यमां |
asmat Ãchãrya paryantãm vande Guru paramparãm ||"
अस्मत आचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरु परम्परां ||"  This is a sloka uttered by all the followers of Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL.  Even if not done till date, it is to be done twice at least from this day onwards.  Anyhow Guru Parampara will carry on continuously.  This sloka is addressed to all those Gurus including the one who is presently your Guru, including anyone who teaches you anything, any Do's and Don’ts, and those who are yet to become your Guru.  There is no word in the sloka to mean 'till date' but only 'asmat Ãchãrya' meaning 'our Ãchãrya', which should be understood as 'present living teacher of ours'. 

2.            There is a phrase 'Adi-madhya-antam', which is like saying in Tamil, 'முதல்-நடுவு-முடிவு' like in English beginning, middle and end.  But Guru Parampara does not have an end and hence we should understand it as, from the beginning, presently and in future in every generation.  Who is that Ãdi Guru?  The Sloka calls him 'Sadasiva'.  It is followers of this tradition who chant this sloka and are required to chant it, and so we can make out that he is the Central figure.  That central figure is the Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL, being thought of as 'The ÃchãryãL', who is an Avatara of the original fount, source and root known variously as Siva, Easwara and Sadasiva. 

3.            Normally for all of us who are followers of our ÃchãryãL, known as 'Smãrthãs' or 'Adwaitins; we have heard DakshiNa Murthy as the original Ãdi Guru.  The one sitting under the banyan tree facing south in 'Veera Asana' holding the Chinmudra, sans speech, movement and actions; out of extreme kindness for the people of the world to explain the Parama Tattva by speech, visiting every nook and corner of India not once but thrice, putting down 72 different so called theistic religions and atheistic sects in the garb of religions, debating and defeating them; establishing Matams to spread his teachings; re-stabilise the Hindu Sanãtana Dharma; to do all this, took  Avatara as Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL; as we have heard within 32 years of his life as a human being. 

4.            Here in this sloka the name of DakshiNa Murthy has not been mentioned.  Taking the name of Sadasiva, it only says, 'Starting from Sadasiva'.  Because, when we say Dakshinamurthy, we mean the same as Siva in another form.  In our religion every God, every Devata has at least a thousand names, which are all so many different forms of the same.  Rama, Krishna, Hayagriva are all Maha Vishnu's 'roopa bhedangaL' – 'ரூப பேதங்கள்' only.  Similarly DakshiNa Murthy, Nataraja, Bikshadanar, Bhairava are all different forms of the same Siva. 

Ashta Nãma; Mahãdeva  
5.            Like we say MahãvishNu, we do not say Mahasiva.  Maha is an adjective not added to the name of Siva.  There is Maha Sivarathri as an adjective for the phrase Sivarathri.  The 14th night in the waning fortnight of the moon is known as Chathurdasi, which is considered as Sivarathri once every month.  Amongst 12 such monthly Sivarathri, the one occurring in the month of Mãsi, happens to be at the end of the winter season and just before the start of summer season in India, is known as the Maha Sivarathri.  From that we are not to construe that Siva does not deserve the adjective 'Maha' or some such thing!  In fact out of the eight most important names of his 'mahat' – 'महत्' is the last and important without any relative assessment of value between them!  

6.            When you do formal Archana for Siva, after you are done with Sahasra Nãma of a thousand names of Siva, Trisati of 301 names, and Ashtotra-sata of 108 names, finally before closing shop, eight most important names of Siva are mentioned and obeisance expressed as given hereinafter.  Please note that the eighth name in that is about his 'greatness' as the last but not least criteria!
'bhavãya devãya nama:' – 'भवाय देवाय नम:' |
'sarvãya devãya nama:' – 'सर्वाय देवाय नम:' |
'easãnãya devãya nama:' – 'ईशानाय देवाय नम:' |
'pasupataye devãya nama:' – 'पशुपतये देवाय नम:' |
'rudrãya devãya nama:' – 'रुद्राय देवाय नम:' |
'ugrãyadevãya nama:' – 'उग्राय देवाय नम:' |
'bhimãya devãya nama:' – 'भीमाय देवाय नम:' |
'mahate devãya nama:' – 'महते देवाय नम:' || In Sanskrit grammar the nouns are varied depending on whether it is singular, dual and plural; and by prefixes such as with, to, from, for and by.  In doing so the above are the fourth variations. Having done the Archana, that is lightly placing the flowers on the idol in that order, we go ahead with offering Dhoopa / lighted incense sticks, Deepa / waving lighted lamps and Neivedyam / of offering choice eatables which is later distributed as Prasãdam amongst the devotees. So, his name 'Mahãdeva' is the most famous and important.

7.            In making use of the above Ashta Nama-s, there is one speciality and quirk.  When doing a Laghu pooja for AmbãL for that also these eight names can be used, by saying; 'bhavasya devasya patnyai nama:, sarvasya devasya patnyai nama:' and so on.  The last one alone changes slightly differently that is instead of 'mahate devaya nama:' it will be 'mahato devasya patnyai nama:'.  Similarly this short version of eight named Archana can be used for PiLLaiyar as well as SubrahmaNya, starting with 'bavasya devasya putrãya nama:' ending with 'mahato devasya putrãya nama:' or 'mahato devasya soonave nama:'.  For 'putrãya' one could use the word 'soonave' – 'सूनवे' as the Sanskrit word 'सूनु:' means 'Son'.

8.            If the above is a speciality, what did I mean by the word 'quirk' in the first sentence of the above paragraph?  There are VaLLi and Devasena as the wives of SubrahmaNya.  There are Siddhi and Buddhi as the wives of PiLLaiyar.  There is also Vallabha as his wife.  If you feel like doing pooja for them also and are not able to find a suitable Sahasranãma or Ashtothram say, then what can we do?  It is here that these 'Ashta Uttama Nama-s' can come in handy.  We can be happy using them by starting with, 'bavasya devasya putrasya patnyai nama:' adding all those eight names similarly, finally ending with, 'mahato devasya putrasya patnyai nama:'!

Mahalingam; Maheshwara
9.            So all said and done, Siva comes to the finishing point as Mahalingam, Mahadeva and Maheshwara (as all e-mails of Deivathin Kural are ending with 'Sambhomahadeva')!  But like Vishnu and Maha Vishnu, there isn't Siva addressed as Mahasiva.  Why is it so?  As the foremost amongst all Devatas, he is Mahadeva.  As a great sign of value as a Lingam he is Maha Lingam.    Of all the signs of all the Devatas of so many Murthys or forms, the most supreme is this Mahalingam.  How is that?  I called it Murthy or form.  But is this Siva Lingam a form with eyes, nose, ears, mouth, face, hands, legs and a body?  It is not a form like that.  In fact it is not a Roopa but only 'Aroopa' – 'अरूप'.  Still it is not empty space either.  Like the cosmos it is an oblong, ellipsoidal and concentric parabola as representing all creation.  Knowledgeable people say that is a combination of GuNa and NirguNa, that is, with and without characteristics.  Similarly it is Sakala meaning with all parts, digits and limbs, while it is also Nishkala, which is the opposite of Sakala that is, devoid of parts, digits and limbs!  In Tamil they call it 'aruvuruvam' – 'அருஉருவம்'.  Thus at one and the same time it or that is with and without form, inclusive of Adwaitam and Dwaitam and all other possibilities of ideas, notions, principles and concepts also.  So it is the greatest sign of manifestation and potential!  Thus as a sign or pointer or indicator it is the Maha Lingam!  He is also called Maheshwara.  The word Easwara means the ruler and owner, as he owns the entire universe and rules over it all.  As he does a great Maha job, he is called the Maheshwara!

The Five Jobs
10.          The five jobs that God does are known as 'pancha krityam' – 'पञ्च कृत्यं' in Sanskrit and 'aintozhil' – 'ஐந்தொழில்' in Tamil.  Out of those five jobs, three are known to most of us as Srushti, Stiti and Samhãra.  The fourth is the veiling of the truth from our eyes and comprehension thereby making the first three jobs necessary; is known as 'Tirodãnam' – 'तिरोदानम्', that is, the screening of reality.  Hiding the Brhma Swaroopa, that is, our reality of Ãtma Swaroopa is hidden, creating the separate identity of individuality in each one of us, enabling the non-absolute entities of time and space making Srushti – Stiti – and Laya, making it possible for the Great Maha Mãyã to play out its part is this Tirodãnam.  As the Executive officers for Srushti, Stiti and Laya are the Brhma, Vishnu and Rudra, the officer for Tirodãna is Easwara as per Saiva and Sãkta Ãgamãs.  As all the worlds are tied up with Maha Mãyã and ruled over by Easwara, he is titled as Maha + Easwara = Maheshwara.   

11.          Unrelated to Siva, Brhma and Vishnu have two of the five jobs of the Pancha Kritya.  Balance three jobs are with Siva's Ãvirbhãvam-s namely Samhãra with Rudra and Tirodãnam is that of Easwara.   There is one more major job not mentioned so far and that is the highest and most important.  That is Anugraha.  While saying in Tamil these five jobs are called, 'akkal' – 'ஆக்கல்', 'kãttal' – 'காத்தல்', 'azhittal' – 'அழித்தல்', 'maraithal' – 'மறைத்தல்' and 'aruLal' – 'அருளல்'.  This last one AruLal is what is known as Anugraha in Sanskrit.  

12.          Two types of Anugraha are there.  One is at the ground level when the Jiva is totally tied up with the worldly affairs with his own wants and needs to enable him or her to run their lives, is one type of Anugraha.  We all have a body with the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.  The sixth is the mind or intelligence enabling us to enjoy or experience.  This combination and interaction of body, senses, world and the act of  experiencing are known and referred respectively as 'tanu', 'karaNam', 'bhuvanam' and 'bhogam'.  What is this?  To sanction these four is nothing great!  Is this all the great Anugraha, so greatly spoken about as the fifth important job of God?  All this is nothing but further augmenting our deeply remaining mired in the so called Maya Prapancham, isn't it?

13.          What else can be done?  Somehow there is this world and we are born in it as so many individuals, with our past 'Karma' effects as our credit and debit balances of PuNya and Pãpa, as effects of merits and demerits based on our past actions.  The only way it can be done away with is by going through them, bearing and enduring the sufferings and off-set the negative balances through good deeds without looking forward to benefits through 'nishkãmya karma' – 'निष्काम्य कर्म', while keeping one's mind away from further attachments and involvement through Sãdhana.  So we need divine anugraha even for living a very normal life within the Maya Prapancham, let alone raising above all this.  We do not know as to when it all started and where and when will it all come to an end.  But in the meanwhile we do need God's blessings to be able to suitably make use of these four – 'तनु, करणं, भुवनम् व भोगं' as God's Anugraha, for cancelling our past Karma and get above the pulls of Maya. 
(To be continued.)