Saturday, February 08, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 103 (Vol # 7) Dated 08 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 103 (Vol # 7) Dated 08 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 780 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)

23.           Hanuman also knew that Sri Rama was none else than Maha Vishnu himself!  So does that great Bhagawan require the Agni Bhagawan as a witness for his actions, can be a genuine doubt?  We have to say in answer to that question that presently Sri Rama is an Avatara of God as a human being, to demonstrate as to how to live strictly abiding with the rules and regulations of the Sãstrãs, so as to encourage others to follow an ideal!  So, Agni Sãkshi being an accepted method of keeping people strictly observing the rules of the Sãstrãs, Sri Rama would feel happy that Hanuman has correctly understood the purpose of Sri Rama's incarnation and not feel offended.

24.          That great 'Maha Vira' Hanuman broke some dried branches of a nearby tree and created fire by rubbing them together and established that fire between Sri Rama and Sugrieva.  Like a husband and wife they went around the fire from left to right in a clock-wise / Pradakshinam way.  Sugrieva told Sri Rama, "Sri Rama!  We have become friends.  Henceforth all our pleasures and problems are to be shared", and that was agreed to by Sri Rama.  At this point in Vãlmeeki Ramayana, at the end of the 5th Sarga of Kishkindha KãNdam, there is a sloka expressing a beautiful idea.  The sloka is as given below:-
Sita kapeendra kshaNdãcharãNãm
Rajeevahemajwalanopamãni |
  सीता कपीन्द्र क्षणदाचराणां राजीवहेमज्वलनोपमानि |
    Sugrieva Rama praNayaprasange
                   Vãmãni netrãNi samam sphuranti ||
सुग्रीवरामप्रणयप्रसङ्गे वामानि नेत्राणि समं स्फुरन्ति || 

25.          The meaning of      the sloka is that, "As Sri Rama and Sugrieva thus sealed their friendship, three persons not on the scene, noticed that their left eyes were twitching."  In the case of women the twitching of the left eye is indicative of good days ahead, whereas in the case of males it is considered as a bad omen.  Who were the three persons whose left eyes were twitching?  First was that of Sita whose eyes were like the blue lotus.  So far her eyes were wet with a copious flow of tears.  Now with the sealing of friendship between Sri Rama and Sugrieva, her left eye was twitching, indicative of good times ahead!  Out of the other two persons, it was Vãli with eyes of golden hue of red and yellow, (known as 'pingãksham')that was twitching, indicative of his impending death and left eyes of all Rãkshasãs whose eyes look like burning embers noted the twitch, as their days are numbered!  Thus the son of Surya Vamsa Sri Rama and Surya Putra Sugrieva became friends with Agni as the Sãkshi, mutually helping each other in attaining comfort of convenience in the days to come. 

Easwara as the Witness
26.          I was not intending to talk about metaphysics but meant to tell you only a story.  On its own metaphysics pulled me towards itself.  So I told you about the 'Sugrieva Sakhyam' story.  But, even this was not the story I intended to relate.  There are many stories of 'Sthala PurãNãs', that is about events of the past specific to that particular place or station in which, God has come as the witness to clear doubts and confusion, when there is nobody else who could do that.  In such situations when someone subjected to injustice, with no other way to prove his or her innocence will pray to God as though challenging God to prove their veracity, will say "This God in this temple town is the only witness" and God will promptly present himself in some form and establish the truth of the statement of the truly honest person, to everybody's satisfaction.  I intended to tell you some of those stories.   Instead with a change of direction, I ended up telling you about how the fire God Agni had to be witness to God's friendship pact with Sugrieva.  Though an interesting anecdote, it is still something other than what I intended to say, isn't it?  At least now, so that I again do not go off the beaten track, so that I may not have any more obstacles in my narration, let me tell you a story about how Vigneshwara had to do the job of a witness and is famous as 'Sãkshi Ganapathy'.  Let me try to start with his story!

Sãkshi Ganapathy
27.          Sãkshi Ganapathy is in Sri Sailam.  In that great station where Easwara is known as Mallkarjuna Swami with his consort Brahmarãmbika, is present as the 'Jyotirlingam'; some three miles outside the city, is the place of Sãkshi Ganapathy located on the road side.  Nowadays cars and buses go right up to the entrance of the temple from Hyderabad in the North as well as from Kurnool in the South.  Till early part of this century, the approach to Sri Sailam from any direction was through very difficult and rough tracks amidst forests, like the approaches to Sabari Mala from Teni in Tamil Nadu, or to Triambakeshwar from Nasik in Maharashtra, or to Badrinath from Jyotirmath in the Uttara Khand or Mount Kailãs from Nepal by jeep and walk through the Himalayas, or Thirupati from the plains of Andhra Pradesh and the VaishNo Devi temple in the hills above Katra in Jammu. 

28.          These treks through difficult terrain were highly motivating in terms of adventure as well as inculcating a deep sense of awe and devotion.  Sundara Murthy SwamigaL in Thevãram has said about Sri Sailam, 'sollalura ariya Sivan seeparpada maliye' – 'சொல்லலுற அரியசிவன் சீபர்பத மலையே', meaning 'an abode of Siva not easily approachable'.  This word 'parpada' means 'parvat' or a mountain.  There are 12 important Kshetrãs for Siva temples known as 'Jyotir Linga Kshetrãs, amongst which Sri Sailam is also one.  Whatever the difficulties in the approach march, people will still come for a darsan of the Deity in such holy places, uncaring for their own physical discomforts that, many of these places of worship have been located in such inaccessible places and have to be covered only on foot, known as Yãtra or Jatra. 

29.          Like they say that the food eaten will be more nourishing only if you are hungry enough, only when you persevere physically uncaring for the hardships endured will the darsan at the end will be that much more satisfying.  Though it is heartening to note that most of these places have been made more easily approachable by roads or rope-ways with winches in mountains and even helicopters like in VaishNo Devi, it is sad to note that people are treating such trips more like picnics or pleasure trips without any ardent devotion or self-discipline!  That too when we hear about the sort of things that happen in tourist lodges in such temple towns, I wonder if the Venkatramana Swami who used to stand tall some 8 or ten feet, has gone to sleep in to the prone position!  

30.          We have started discussing this subject that God is not sleeping at all, but is the witness of all happenings, isn't it?  We have also seen as to how as the witness, he will also punish us as the judge.  But since he plays the game of 'wait and see'; as the saying goes, 'arasan anru ketpãn Deivam ninru ketkum' – 'அரசன் அன்று கேட்பான் தெய்வம் நின்று கேட்கும்'; we in our hurry ask questions such as, 'Has God gone to sleep and doesn't he have eyes?'  From the days past, despite enormous difficulties, people have been going to Sri Sailam.  The three who have sung Thevãram have all visited and sung songs on Sri Sailam.  The temple towns on which there have been Thevãram songs sung are known as, 'pãdal pertra sthalangaL' – 'பாடல் பெற்ற ஸ்தலங்கள்', as I have told you before.  In that North Indian cities are five only.  In those five only two of them are such, as visited by all three of the Trinity of Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar.  Those two are Kailãsa the very residing place of Siva known as 'Nodiththãn Malai' – 'நொடித்தான் மலை', probably because it is so difficult to climb because of its vastness and high altitude; and the other is this 'Thirup Peruppadam' – 'திருப் பெருப்பதம்' aka Sri Sailam.

32.          Our ÃchãryãL in his travels by walk across the country has gone to Sri Sailam also despite the difficulties involved.  In a way indicating that it is his favourite place, he has described Sri Sailam in the central piece of 'Sivãnanda Lahari', in the 50th sloka, when he says, 'seve sri giri mallikaarjuna mahãlingam sivãlingitam' – 'सेवे श्री गिरि मल्लिकार्जुन महालिङ्गं सिवालिङ्गितं'.  Sri Giri is this Sri Sailam only.  That Mallikarjuna Mahãlingam, the presiding deity in Sri Sailam is being embraced by Sivã which is another name for Pãrvathy.  Because of its inaccessibility, ÃchãryãL when selecting a very secluded place for meditation, says in 'Yoga Tãrãvali' – Sloka No 28, "When will I ever be in an  absolute state Samãdhi without any iota of consciousness of the outer world in one of those caves in those mountains of Sri Sailam, with creepers spreading all over my body, with birds' nests hanging from my ears", from which you can visualise as to how wild that place must have been and how difficult reaching there must have been!  I Quote the full sloka for which I have given you the meaning above:-
siddhim tathãvidha manovilayãm samãdhou   
सिद्धिं तथाविधमनोविलयां समाधौ
sri sailashrungakuhareshu kadopalapsye  |
स्रिशैलश्रुङ्गकुहरेषु कदोपलप्स्ये |
gãtram yadã mama latã: pariveshtyanti
गात्रं यदा मम लता: परिवेष्टयन्ति
karNe yadã virachayanti khagãscha needhãn  ||
कर्णे यदा विरचयन्ति खगास्च नीडान्  ||

33.          Because of its inaccessibility more than any other place, in Sri Sailam Siva takes some extra care of his devotees, possibly.  But Siva that is Parameswarã is popularly known as 'Ãsutoshi', meaning too easy to please and so even if your devotion is not truly genuine, just by play acting as though you are full of Bhakti, you can get any boon.  That is how for ages many unworthy Rãkshasãs have exploited the easiness and approachability of Siva!  When the Milky Ocean was churned and Irãvada and Kalpaka Vruksham came out, Indra just walked away with them.  When Kãmadenu came it was taken away by Brhma Rishis.  Then Koustubam and Maha Lakshmi went to Maha Vishnu.  When Amirta was the output,   all the Devatas shared it.  But when before all this, there was this terrifying 'Alahãla Visham', there were no takers.  They told Parameswarã, "My dear Sir!  You are a great philanthropist, doing good for others all of the time.  So, you please keep this poison with you only!  Do not let it out!"  That is how all these Devatas went to that 'Ãsutoshi' and saluted him and in all his sincerity he swallowed it all, their praise and the poison!  There is a point to be taken note of here.  Only in the beginning there was this output of poison and they all rushed to the 'Ãsutoshi'.  Later when there was a stream of attractive items, nobody thought of Siva at all!  Still, he does not bother about name and fame, but remains an 'Ãsutoshi'!
(To be continued.)



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