Monday, February 10, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (Vol # 7) Dated 10 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (Vol # 7) Dated 10 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 787 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)

34.           If at home within a family, if the father is too considerate and innocent, it is the son who has to be smart, aware of the ways of the world and demonstrate some strictness in their dealings with the world.  Thus here too in Sri Sailam, it is the elder son of the divine family who woke up to the demands of the situation.  The extreme difficulties in reaching Sri Sailam meant that the benefits that the devotees stand to get would also be that much more effective, isn't it?  But being an 'Ãsutoshi' even in other temple towns, a little bit of pleading with some cajoling will mean that they will get away with anything! It is this 'Ãsutoshi' who keeps on distributing largesse as something 'extra', 'free' and 'bonus' to his devotees.   

35.          Kãsi is like the capital among such stations and it was the rule that those who die in Kãsi will directly go to Mukti of Self-Realization without any more continuation of the cycle of birth and death.  But subsequently many other Siva Kshetrãs were accepted as equal to Kãsi or even more!  Like it is said about 'Kumbakonam' that it is as good or even better, 'Kumbakonam, kãsikku veesam adhikam' – 'கும்பகோணம், காசிக்கு வீசம் அதிகம்'!  PiLLaiyar decided that there shall be no more dilution of standards and returns.  He went to his father and said, "The benefits that would accrue to a devotee by a visit to Sri Sailam should not be given to anyone else.  I will keep an account of whosoever really visits here.  Only they should be given that something extra / bonus and not everybody else! You have a very kind heart and so anybody can get away claiming that they have been to Sri Sailam.  (As a son he couldn't tell his father that he is easily duped!)  I will sit there in the outer periphery of the township and note down their place of origin, name and the date on which they visited Sri Sailam.  I will then show the list to you and then accordingly you may distribute the benefits."  Swami accepted this suggestion with a 'tadãstu' – 'तदास्तु'!

36.          In the outer limits of the township, there is this Ganapathy known as 'Sãkshi Ganapathy', as a statue of immense proportions with one leg folded comfortably and one hanging down from the seat.  The upper two hands are holding 'pãsam' – 'पाशं' that is, lasso and 'ankusam' – 'अङ्कुशं' that is, the goad, like the Ganapathy statues everywhere.  It is in the lower two hands that there is difference as seen nowhere else, in which he is holding palm-leaf manuscript in one hand and the sharp pointed nail known as 'ezhuththu ãNi' – 'எழுத்து ஆணி' with which to write on the palm-leaf.  These two are meant for him to take down the name of the visitor, identifications, place of origin as to from where he or she had come and the date.  We have to report to him on arrival and at the time of departure.  The first one to be worshipped is also the last one to be taken leave of, with all our details.  He will record it in his parade state and then report to his father on our behalf with extreme kindness and compassion, guaranteeing Easwara Prasada aplenty!  As per tradition, the witness is supposed to hold his Yagnyopaveetam in one hand and give witness.  Here on the body of the statue you could note clear markings of his PooNool in three distinct lines.  PiLLaiyar's stomach showing his contented and satisfied mien will be tied by an 'udhara-banda' rope of a long chord which in reality is a snake!

37.          He is not a witness for any dispute or misunderstanding between two contending parties.  He is there only on a self-appointed role, to take care of the visitors to Sri Sailam, so that they may get their due in terms of Anugraha from Easwara.  Of course, true devotees do not bother about any comparisons with other devotees relating to the quantum of efforts and the benefits accruing.  Still this job has been undertaken by Sãkshi Ganapathy to ensure that the divine benefits match the human efforts involved, entirely on his own initiative, recording all the statistics with paper and pencil, like a true accountant taking his self-appointed role rather seriously!

38.          There is another accountant who keeps all actions, events, intentions, attitudes and behaviour of all people in the world, a mini Devata known as Chitra Gupta, the shorty, in the court of Yama Dharma Raja.  The one big God as Para Brhmam or Parameswarã is the 'Sarva Sãkshi' as the one Witness and Judge rolled into one.  Then there are a number of Devatas as the Heads of Departments for various areas such as, the Governors of the three main jobs of Creation, Sustenance and Samhãra; the Education under Saraswathi, Finance under Kubera and Lakshmi, Indra for rains, Vãyu for Air and so on.  Amongst all this, it is Chitra Gupta as the accountant in Yama's Durbar who is depicted holding the palm-leaf manuscript with the writing tool.  Rarely do we come across a statue of Chitra Gupta anywhere.  But in Kanchipuram, there is a statue of his in the southern main street known as 'Raja Veedhi', located centrally between Vaikunda PerumãL Kovil and Kailãsanãthar Kovil, as though to prove the point that one gets sent to either of Kailasam or Vaikundam or gets deleted depending on his accounts and reports.  He is depicted with his wife is known as 'KarNãmbãL', in the Utsava posture as though ready to go on a parade of celebration.  Accountants in Tamil are known as 'KarNam or KaNakka Pillai' – 'கர்ணம் அல்லது கணக்கப்பிள்ளை' and it is in the rightness of things that his wife in known a 'KarNãmbãL'!

'Sãkshi Gopal'
39.          Having started with Ganapathy in the Telugu land, I came to the KaNakka PiLLai Chitra Gupta in Kanchipuram.  Now let us see the story of one Swami who started from the Mathura in the North, came right down to Kanchipuram and then went and settled in Orissa permanently, known as Sãkshi Gopal.  He is Sri Krishna Paramãtma, with a name as Sãkshi Gopal, equally applicable to him as well as his permanent place of residence in Orissa.  Where Brihad Easwara is located, we call that place 'Brihadeeaswaram' and similarly the place of 'Kapali' is 'Kapãleeswaram', as we say in Tamil.  In the north, in the names they will cut the end syllable short.  'Rama:' in Sanskrit becomes 'Ramar' in Tamil and simply 'Ram' in the North Indian languages. Thus the name of the deity and the place gets the same name such as, Brihadeaswar, Vaidyanath, Ramnath, Somnath, Triambakeshwar.  Thus the name of the deity and place of his residence are both known as Sãkshi Gopal.  What is the witness he gave to whom and on which occasion is what I am going tell you now. 

40.          There was an old Brahmin gentleman from Kanchipuram who started out to go on Kãsi Yãtra, with a young Brhmachari boy, who was also a Brahmin but of a lower social standing, accompanying him.  On the way the old man fell ill.  The youngster took good care of the old man by cleaning up, nursing and feeding him day in and day out, without ever squirming or fretting.  Later when the old man recovered slightly, this boy carried him on his shoulders.  Thus they continued on their Yãtra to Kãsi and later to Matura on the banks of the Jamuna River.  There are no temples of that period still existing today.  They have all been destroyed by people of such religions who do not like Idol Worship as well as hate those who do idol worship!  So we cannot say as to which temple they went to!  They were both devotees of Sri Krishna and anyhow ended in some temple of Sri Krishna, their Ishta Devata. 

41.          Having had darsan of their Ishta Devata to their hearts' content, the old man felt highly beholden to the young Brhmachari boy.  He was a very rich man.  He had a lot of assets and a daughter of nubile young age.  Out of an extreme sense of gratitude that he did so much to save him from illness, nursed him back to health and even physically carried him over many a mile and made possible bathing in the holy rivers of Ganga and Jamuna and have darsan of his Ishta Murthy Devata; he told the youngster, "On return to Kanchipuram I will get my only daughter married to you and transfer all my moveable and immoveable properties to You".  The youngster in all humility said, "Sir!  I did whatever I could out of sheer humaneness and as required by the situation.  Please do not kindle unnecessary expectations in my mind and then do not befool me and become a cause for my disappointment."  His, this statement further reinforced the old man's resolve.  He said, "I will never dupe you.  In the very presence of Sri Gopala, my Ishta Devata as the Sãkshi here, I vouch-safe that I shall make you my son-in-law by getting my daughter married to you."

42.          The Brhmachari boy was thrilled.  Both came back to Kanchipuram.  After reaching back when the old man saw his beautiful daughter, his vast estates of landed property and other assets and related them to this boys' financial and otherwise status in the society; his decision and resolve made in Mathura started back-tracking.  With the passage of time he was avoiding meeting this boy.  So this boy took courage to broach the subject one day.  But the old man changed his tone completely saying, "What are you talking about?  Are you saying that I should give my daughter, in marriage, to you?  I hope that you are in your senses!  Anybody hearing this will only laugh."  The Brhmachari was concerned lest the old man may incur the displeasure and wrath of the Ishta Devata in whose presence the promise had been made.  As an orphan and poor man, his words may not be believed by others of the society also.  So he directly put up his complaint to the King in Kanchipuram. 

43.           As the old man had said, 'Anybody hearing your claim will only laugh', the King did burst out laughing. He knew of the elder's status and reputation and social standing.  There was no match in any of the factors that would normally be considered for a marriage to be arranged.  So he called for the old man so that he could come out with his version.  The old man was clever enough to insist only about the unbridgeable differences in their social standing.  He did say that he highly appreciated the young man, who was of much help during their trip to Kãsi, but now seems to be over reaching.  That was the time when people respected the differences between castes and even sub-castes.  So the king ruled that in the absence of suitable witness, he has to set aside the case!

44.          The Brhmachari boy was debating in his own mind.  'Who says that there is no witness?  The very Ishta Devata of both of us is there as a witness.  But I was keeping this matter unmentioned since I do not know if we should call for such exalted divine beings as Ishta Devata to be called for as a witness in mundane matters of a court of law!  But so as to save this old man from further sins, I cannot but take the help of Sri Gopala.'  He requested the King, "Sir, please do not close the case on the grounds of non-availability of witnesses.  Sri Gopala of Mathura is the witness.  Though as a poor orphan I may not have much of a reputation and standing here, for us cow-herds and cattle-herds, the Mathura Nãtha is very close to us as Gopala and he will care enough for me to come as a witness", he stated with total confidence.  "That is alright.  You please go and bring him.  If Sri Krishna Bhagawan himself is to visit our court of law, there can be no greater blessings of God for us", said the King!

(To be continued.)




Post a Comment

<< Home