Thursday, February 13, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 105 (Vol # 7) Dated 12 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 105 (Vol # 7) Dated 12 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 third paragraph in page No 796 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)

45.           This old man who had studied many Sãstrãs and Purãnãs thought, 'What?  Gopala is going to come to give evidence for this boy, is it?'  But this unread young man, with all confidence and trust, walked over thousands of miles over hills and dales, deserts and forests, to invite Gopala with all freedom and right, reached Mathura and went to the temple and told, "Gopala!  Come and give evidence of what that old man had promised!"  "Most certainly at your service", said the Swami and started walking with him.  Why should that omnipresent God take the trouble of walking behind that devotee of his?  Instead of going to so much trouble of walking over thousands of miles, he could have just materialised in the King's Court in Kanchipuram, with that boy on whose behalf he was going to give witness, isn't it?  It was only to demonstrate as to how, the power of devotion and trust can make a devotee walk over miles looking for support, can also demonstrate as to how much 'God is under the control of his Devotee as 'bakta parãdeena' – 'भक्त परादीन' and is literally liberal as 'deena dayãla' – 'दीन दयाला' for the sake of his devotee!  While that is very much true, simultaneously, God's actions can never be taken for granted or predicted as he is a Mãyãvi who has a whole lot of tricks 'up his sleeves'!

46.          Though he is like a slave of his devotee and too liberal with his devotee said, "I will come behind you alright. But you should not doubt me and look back to check if I am following you or not!  If you do that, I will just stop then and there and become a statue on the spot.  With a similar condition to our ÃchãryãL, SarasavãNi an Avatara of Saraswathi became the Sarada AmbãL at Sringeri, if you remember.  Here the Brhmachari accepted the condition by Gopala and started on his trek back to Kanchipuram, hearing the tinkling sounds being made by the golden bells in the anklets that Gopala was wearing, with every step.   You are likely to think that, 'For some reasons the tinkling sounds may not have been heard and forgetting his promise the Brhmachari might have looked back and so Sãkshi Gopal might have turned in to a statue then and there and thus Sãkshi Gopal happens to be in Orissa'.  But that is not the way it happened, as God is still the unpredictable Mãyãvi!  Without any incident they reached till the out skirts of Kanchipuram town.  Another two miles ahead was the King's court of justice.

47.          Having walked more than 1300 miles responding to the request of that Brhmachari, Gopala Swami did not wish to stand in the witness enclosure in the king's court.  The young man however was brimming with pride that he could cause the very God to accompany him for such a long distance and that he was just about to make this Gopala Swami give evidence on his behalf, in the King's Court!   With respectful love he happened to look back, forgetting the agreement between them not to do so!  Promptly Bhagawan became a statue on the spot!  Brhmachari though shocked for minute, recovered himself quickly.  "People of the town, looking at the sudden appearance of this idol from nowhere will come to know the truth of the matter anyhow.  After all, when God Himself has walked all the way here, let that old man and the King walk at least two miles, in coming forward to welcome and receive such a great VIP amongst their midst.  So they came.  Gopala gave his evidence.  The old man's eyes opened to the greatness of this boy.  Without waiting for the King's ruling, he accepted his fault and immediately arranged for getting his daughter married to this boy.  Everything is well that ends well!

48.          Only one thing is pending.  I hope you remember that I started the story about Sãkshi Gopal located in Orissa.  How did the Gopala Swami walking down from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, having plonked himself in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, relocated himself in Orissa, another 1300 miles NE from Kanchipuram?  After the events of the previous story had been enacted, it became known all over the country as to how Mathura-Gopala had become Kanchi-Gopala!  In Orissa there is this place Puri where the temple for Jagannatha in located that, both the place name and the name of the presiding deity, are referred as 'Puri-Jagannath'.  Puri is a common name for any place with subscripts such as Puram, Palli, Pur or Oor.  Puri also is the word for a popular dish made by frying small round layers of kneaded wheat powder dough in oil.  In Puri Jagannath there was a king by the name of Purushottama.  In fact the presiding deity of that town Puri Jagannath is also called Purushottama.  

49.          It is an accepted custom for Royal families of different states to look for opportunities for inter marriages.  Thus this king had ideas of getting married to the daughter of the King of Thondai Mandalam located in Kanchipuram those days, whose name was Padmavathy.  People interested in devotion and music, will be reminded of two great souls when they hear about Puri Jagannath.  One is Sri Krishna Chaitanya, a great Gnãni cum devotee of Krishna and Sir Edwin Arnold who translated Gita Govindam by Jayadeva Swami, in to English.    Jayadeva Swami used to compose, write and sing his Gita Govindam songs while simultaneously his wife used to dance in consonance with the music and meaning of the words.  In fact her name was also Padmavathy.

50.          One of the reasons for the sudden interest of the northerners in matters of the south was this fact of Sãkshi Gopal at Kanchipuram.  So it came about that, this Puri Raja had agreed to marry Princess Padmavathy for which a likely darsan of Sãkshi Gopal was an added attraction.  But once he had the darsan of Sãkshi Gopal, he got so enamoured of the Swami that he requested his would-be father-in-law that the idol of Sãkshi Gopal may be given to him as part of the dowry!  There is a saying in Tamil which means, 'Did you give your daughter in marriage or your darling' – 'peNNai koduththãyo kaNNai koduththãyo' – 'பெண்ணை கொடுத்தாயோ கண்ணை கொடுத்தாயோ'?  So this King of Kanchipuram gave his darling daughter as well as the statue of KaNNan, in marriage!   

51.          The bride-groom returned to his state with his new acquisition of a wife and Bhagawan Sri Krishna who was already famous as Sãkshi Gopal. As there was already the famous Puri Jagannath in their capital, a new temple was constructed in a place near Mukundpur, which became famous as 'Sãkshi Gopal', a place name as well as the name of the Presiding Deity.  Starting from Uttar Pradesh, having come to Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu in support of a poor orphaned boy and then finally having created a name for himself and his abode as 'Sãkshi Gopal' in Orissa; doesn't he stand as a proof of national unity and integrity than all the politicians of this land?  Whatever the reason for his having to stand as a witness in the story I told you all, now he stands as Sãkshi Gopal as a proof of the fact that it is devotion for God that can re-unite us all in this country.

'Sãkshi Nãyakeshwar / Nãdeshwar'
52.          Siva that is, Easwara also has been a witness on occasions in two different places known as 'Sãkshi Nãyakeshwar' and 'Sãkshi Nãdeshwar', both places located within Tanjavur district.  The first one, Sãkshi Nãyakeshwar is located in a place known as 'AvaLivaNallur'.  You are likely to wonder as to what is this place name all about!  In Tamil the place name seems to mean a combination of 'AvaL + IvaL or Ivan + Nallur', meaning 'that she + this she or this man + Nallur' as 'அவளிவணல்லூர்'.  It is the place where God Himself gave evidence that 'that girl and this girl are one and the same'!

53.          When we go from Needamangalam towards Tanjavur, there is a place known as 'Sãliyamangalam', near which just NE of it, is this place known as 'AvaLivaNallur'.  Amongst the series of places called 'Pãdal Petra SthalangaL', on the southern bank of the Cauvery River, this place is exactly the 100th where both Appar and Sambandar have composed and sung Thevãram songs.  In that place there was a GurukkaL who had two daughters, very similar in appearance.  They are from a Jãti known as Ãdi Saivar or Sivãchãriyãr or Siva Brahmins.  He got both his two daughters married off to two eligible boys of a similar caste.  After the marriage the elder of the two bride-grooms went on Kãsi Yãtra.  Not a feigned ritual as done during marriages, (unreal 'ULauLãkkattai Kãsi Yãtra' – 'உளஉளாக்கட்டை'  Kãsi Yãtra,) but a real voyage of thousands of miles undertaken to the North Indian city of Kãsi.  During those days such a Yãtra would take a number of years to get completed.  This elder bride groom returned from his Yãtra to his father-in-law's house.

54.          By that time much water had flown in the River Cauvery. 
The elder daughter had been afflicted with small pox very seriously, barely avoiding death!  She had marks all over her face and body with loss of eye sight in one eye and hair falling.  She was looking rather ugly with all that, becoming totally unrecognizable.  The boy who had returned from Kãsi Yãtra was wondering if this was the same girl whom he had married!  To complicate the situation the younger girl had also returned from her in-law's place during that time.  By the passage of time she was looking exactly like how her sister used to look!  You can just give full play for your imagination.  The elder sister used to be fairer than the younger one with a thick growth of hair on her head.  Now the younger one had bloomed and looked as attractive as her elder sister used to be.  So this boy who had returned from Kãsi Yãtra was wondering if his in-laws were trying to dupe him.  So, he declared that he will not accept the girl.  However much the villagers said to the contrary, he was thinking that, as his father-in-law had been the GurukkaL for long in that place, he was refusing to accept the villagers' claim in support of the GurukkaL.  He was in fact looking at the younger girl, his sister-in-law and claiming that she must be his wife!

55.          The father-in-law GurukkaL prayed to the very God to whom he had been doing Pooja all these years in extreme agony, to somehow resolve the faux-pas.  They all heard an 'asareeri' – 'அசரீரி', which is a divine announcement from the skies, "Come ye all of you to my Sannidy and I shall sort out the muddle".  So they all went to the Sannidy of Nãyakeshwar Temple.  God physically coming in front of them all pointed out the girl who had been afflicted with small pox and told the boy, that she was the girl to whom he had been married with Agni as the Sãkshi.  As God is the very incarnation of kind-heartedness, He did also something none of them had expected.  He gave a boon to the ugly looking girl who had not only suffered by the horrible disease, but also was further pained by the refusal of her own husband to accept her, "Go to the Temple pond and take a dip.  You will come out as a beautiful girl regaining all your lost looks and health"!  That is what happened.  The elder son–in-law happily accepted his wife.  As the GurukkaL family had been saved from ignominy, the Swami came to be known as 'Sãkshi Nãyakeshwara' from then onwards and the place name became 'AvaLivaNallur' – 'அவளிவணல்லூர்''.  This episode has been depicted on stone, sculptured on the back side of the Sanctum-Sanctorum in that temple.

(To be continued.)




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