Thursday, February 06, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 102 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 102 (Vol # 7) Dated 06 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 second paragraph in page No 772 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)

11.           So, in the present state in which we are all living in this world and somehow conducting our life within our capabilities, though it is Easwara the God and the source of all that power and abilities, though it is true that 'without God not a blade of grass is going to move'; individually we have to be responsible for our speech and actions and so, we have to accept the fact that we are the 'Doers' aka 'Karta'!  Having let us do, what he does is just keep watching!  He is 'sarva vyãpi' – 'सर्व व्यापि', meaning omnipresent, isn't it?   From his own mouth are the words that, 'With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, He exists in the worlds enveloping all', as given in Bhagawat Gita, the 13th sloka in the 13th Chapter:-
"sarvata: pãNi pãdam tatsarvatokshi shiromukham |
"सर्वत: पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोsक्षिशिरोमुखं | 
sarvata: shrutimalloke Sarvam ãvrutya tishtati ||"
सर्वत:श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्टति ||"

12.          We are mainly concerned with that 'sarvadokshi', meaning that he has his eyes everywhere!  Since he has his eyes everywhere, all our actions are under his observation.  So, he is the universal witness.  In Lalitha Sahasranãma one of the names of AmbãL is 'vishwa sãkshinee' – 'विश्व साक्षिणी' and in Lalitha Trisati, it is 'karmãdi sãkshiNee' – 'कर्मादि साक्षिणी'. So it means that, nobody can do anything without being observed by that Paramãtma or Parãshakti.  We just cannot behave as though we 'couldn't care less as to whether he observes or not' because, he is not just an uninvolved observer but, an observer, witness, recorder and judge rolled in to one!  So he awards punishment or grants rewards for our action, with absolute logic.  In fact, he is all of us too, from yet another angle, mostly the culprits, that is the guilty characters!  But we have set aside the metaphysics as beyond our reach and comprehension, isn't it?  So let us restrict ourselves here saying that he is only playing two roles, as that of the Witness and the Judge. 

13.          When the Witness and the Judge are one, there can be no question of a false witness.  This judge cannot be duped and nobody can evade this court, as most of the crimes do not even go to court, when the system is man-managed!  It is that awareness as the inner conscience in each one of us, that is saving us from total anarchy and chaos, from time immemorial!  As once in a while it comes to our mind that 'Sarva Sãkshi' is observing us constantly, that is keeping us on a leash as though.  Whether we have so much trust in our own saying or not, to make others believe us, this swearing on God's being the witness, gives some weightage to our truthfulness and veracity.  Often we hear people using phrases such as, 'With Swami as a Sãkshi' or 'AmbãL as my witness, I am telling you the truth'! 

14.          On some occasions, when two sides make an important agreement or contract, as the fact of God being the witness is not seen by us, we mutually sign the contract in the environs of a temple or by keeping an idol or icon and invoking the presence of God with a prayer at the start, hopefully so that there will be a fear of living up to the promise sans any transgressions.  In our Vedic religion, God is represented mainly by the fire as 'Agni Sãkshi' – 'अग्नि साक्षि'.  Marriage is an agreement or contract between a man and a woman for this life-long commitment to be husband and wife.  That is done with Agni as the Sãkshi, as per our custom in our religion. 

Sri Rama with Agni as the Witness
15.          Though it is our custom and tradition to call for Agni as the Witness for Marriage, there is one rare occasion when fire has been called forth as the witness when a bond of friendship was officially sanctified and sealed!  Though many till day call for Sri Rama as the witness for their truthfulness, in this occasion Sri Rama acting as another human being, had this Fire aka Agni as the witness to seal this friendship.  You might have heard about this as 'Sugrieva Sakhyam' in Ramayana.  After Sita was taken away by RavaNa, Sri Rama and Lakshmana keep going south in search of her and reach near Kishkinta, where Hanuman meets them.   If Rama had lost his right to rule and his wife, Hanuman's boss Sugrieva was in a similar plight and was hiding in 'Rishyamuka' mountains.   So, it was reasonable to expect that there will be mutual sympathy between them and Hanuman thought, that it would be prudent to make them friends, as they can help out each other.         Both the problems of Sugrieva were the creations of his elder brother Vãli.  So, Mahãvir Sri Ram could help Sugrieva in sorting out Vãli.

16.          When I said Mahãvir Sri Rama, I was reminded of the fact that now-a-days when you say Mahãvir it is invariably thought to be referring to the person who established Jainism as a religion.  But in the ages gone by, Sri Ram had that as an epithet.  Bhavabhuti has written Ramayana as 'Mahãvira Charitam' as a drama.  Actually for some reason he could not complete writing it after this incident of Sri Rama meeting Hanuman, Sugrieva and the killing of Vãli by Sri Rama.  The incomplete work was later made complete independently by two different writers in the North and South of India.  Mahãvir is also a title by which Sri Hanuman is referred to.  We call him as Hanumar in Tamil Nadu and in Andhra he is Anjaneyalu, in Karnataka, he is Hanumantaiyya, Maruti in Maharashtra and in the Hindi speaking belt of North India, he is always referred to as 'Mahãvir' only!

17.          I was talking about Sri Rama being referred to as Mahãvir.  The idea was to make use of his prowess to get rid of Vãli, thereby solve all problems of Sugrieva.  In turn Sugrieva could send his army of monkeys, all over the world and search for Sita, as well help Sri Rama in fighting the army of Rãkshasãs.  Thus an 'out-line' plan is made by Hanuman with Sri Rama and Lakshmana.  To ratify the same and make it into a plan of action, Hanuman carries Sri Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders, to go and meet Sugrieva to Rishyamuka Parbat. 

18.          There could be a question here.  Rama and Lakshmana knew that it was RavaNa who had carried away Sita, as narrated by Jatayu the Eagle who had fought with RavaNa and was about to breath his last as he had been mortally wounded.  So also Hanuman and Sugrieva were well aware of this as they had seen RavaNa carrying Sita in his Pushpaka Vimana.  Sita had also seen them and had torn a portion of her saree and tied her jewels and dropped them, so that they may be able to give the tell-tale evidence to Sri Rama and Lakshmana later, in case by chance they happened to pass through that way!  So it can be guessed that RavaNa must have taken her to Sri Lanka and kept her as a prisoner there.    What is to be done is muster sufficient strength of fighters and go to Sri Lanka and recover Sita by force if need be.  So, searching for her all over the world is all quite unnecessary!

19.          Answer to that is the fact that whatever the Rãkshasãs do is full of duplicity and double dealings as it is their second nature.  Mãreesan came as a golden coloured deer winning the heart of Sita that she wished that Sri Rama would catch that animal for her.  Later when Rama had gone chasing the deer, finally when he died by Sri Rama's arrow, he died calling for Sita and Lakshmana, typically mimicking Sri Rama's voice as though, it is Sri Rama who is hurt, so as to pry away Lakshmana from guarding Sita.  Then RavaNa enters the scene dressed as though he is a mendicant Sanyãsi!  As per Kamba Ramayanam, even SurpaNaka having fallen in love with Sri Rama, comes in their presence as a bewitching beauty and not as the ogre that she is!  You just cannot expect these Rãkshasãs to be fair in their dealings at all!  So, despite the fact that RavaNa's capital was Lanka, he had access to many other places and could have hidden Sita anywhere and there was a need to search everywhere.

19.          One more point.  RavaNa could have already hidden her in his stomach!  Do you understand as to what I am alluding to?  These Rãkshasãs are fond of eating the human flesh.  For the word 'Cannibals', the Sanskrit word is 'pishidãsana' – 'पिशिदासन'.  So when intimidating Sita to accept him as a Lover saying, "I cannot wait for ever!  You have to make up your mind within this fortnight."  Here instead of saying, 'If you do not come around within that time frame, I will kill you', he would have said, 'If you do not agree to my proposal, I will kill and eat you up'!  So in searching for Sita, the Vãnara Sainyam (that is, the Monkey Army) had to ascertain as to whether she is alive or not, as to whether RavaNa has hidden her or eased her out of existence forever!  

20.          We were at that point in the story when Hanuman had taken Sri Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sugrieva.  As a continuation of that, Rama and Sugrieva make a formal contract of friendship.  One of the formal acts in marriages is known as 'pãNi grahaNam' – 'पाणिग्रहणं', meaning receiving both the hands of the bride in the hands of the bride-groom symbolically representing the fact that from hence-forth the bride-groom takes over the complete responsibility of looking after the girl for a life time, from the girl's father.  Here as a sealing of the agreement of friendship, Sugrieva extends his hand towards Sri Rama, saying 'gruhyatãm pãNinã pãNim' – 'गृह्यतां पाणिना पाणिं'; exactly echoing what was said by Janaka while handing over Sita in the Bãla KãNdam, 'pãNim gruhNeeshva pãNinã' – 'पाणिं गृह्णीष्व पाणिना'!

21.          Some PouraNiks will have a dig at this western custom of 'Hand Shake' as that of the monkey's!  In our culture, except for the marrying couple, there is no custom of shaking each other's hands.   When overwhelmed in love and adoration, friends may hug each other, known as 'ãlinganam' – 'आलिङ्गनं'.  Elders may lightly smell the top of the head of youngsters, more as a gesture.  So, there is no custom or tradition of 'hand shake' in India.  But it is evidently a 'monkey custom' and so Sugrieva extended his hand in friendship.  That which is not done in our customs and traditions, these westerners trying to teach us manners and culture, have imposed on us, there by proving the 'Evolution Theory' that man has evolved from the monkeys, as enunciated by some PouraNiks, and not me! 

22.          Sri Rama who was ever willing to come down to the level of whosoever he was dealing with, on absolutely equal footing, picked up Sugrieva's hands in his, promptly.    Hanuman was a monkey only in appearance.  There was no intricacy or nuance of manners and attitudes unknown to him!  He instinctively knows that Sri Rama is an epitome of humaneness and a true follower of Sãstrãs.  He knew that if an agreement is to be ensured without a chance of failure, it is best done with Agni as the Sãkshi!  So, it is he who arranged for the act of friendship between Sri Rama and Sugrieva to be sealed in the presence of fire as Agni Sãkshi.

(To be continued.)




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