Sunday, February 16, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 7) Dated 16 Feb 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 107 (Vol # 7) Dated 16 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 the middle of page No 814 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)

Ganga Snãnam and Cauvery Snãnam
1.          Maha PeriyavãL had visited Sri KãLahasti in 1966 sometime close to DeepãvaLi.  As usual after the Pooja, there was the Satsang, that is, talk by PeriyavãL.  One gentleman asked Maha PeriyavãL to please explain as to what is the connection between Ganga Snãnam and DeepãvaLi.  (As per age old tradition, all over India on the morning of DeepãvaLi, people wherever they are take a bath in whatever water in their house from the well or pond, to which they add small or big vessel full of the water from the River Ganges, which they might have brought home during their visit to the Ganges River at Prayag or some such place.)  PeriyavãL smilingly answered with a counter question, "Why, Do you think that there can be no connection between DeepãvaLi festivities and the Ganges River?  DeepãvaLi is a festival that has come about to celebrate Sri Krishna killing Naraka Asura, whereas Ganga is related to Siva Perumãn.  It is Yamuna which is related to Krishna.  He grew up on its banks and many of the incidents of his life are related to that River as we sing his praise saying, 'yamunã teera vihãri' – 'यमुना तीर विहारी'.  So evidently you are wondering as to why bathing in the waters of Ganga, known as 'Ganga Snãnam' has been given so much importance, is that so?"

2.          May be that is how, that gentleman looked at it.  Anyhow, he kept quiet.  PeriyavãL continued, "Let that be aside.  Are you aware that the causal man for the very celebration of DeepãvaLi did have Cauvery Snãnam that day?"  Thus PeriyavãL provided a new insight and a rare tit-bit of information in the form of a question.  "No.  I am not aware of this.  It is PeriyavãL who should kindly explain this for our enlightenment" said that gentleman.  PeriyavãL posed this question to all those people assembled there, individually one by one, without let.  One gentleman who looked like a Pundit said, "In Srimat Bhagawatam where 'Naraka Asura Vadam' is described, there is no mention of DeepãvaLi or Ganges or Cauvery."  From his tone it was clear that so, none of these things can be accepted at all.

3.          "Though unmentioned in the Bhagawatam, such information is available in other PurãNãs.  What is not mentioned in Ramayana, Bharatha and Bhagawatam as matters left unsaid by Vãlmeeki, Vyãsa and Suka Brhmam; nuggets of such information are available aplenty, stashed as treasures in various other PurãNãs, Upa-PurãNãs and Sthala PurãNãs.  The trend and flow of the stories, special characteristics of some of the important personages, lessons learnt and morals of the stories; such information from these secondary sources play the important complimentary role of filling in the gaps in the main text of the source document, thereby making them wholesome.  Such additional information should also be accepted".  Having said so PeriyavãL put up a question to that Pundit, as though he did not know or as though clarifying a doubt, "Immediately after Bhagawan had vanquished Naraka Asura, he is said to have been prayed to by Bhudevi as given in Bhagawatam, isn't it?"

4.          That Pundit replied, "Yes it is said so over there.  Indira's ceremonial umbrella and Indira's mother Atiti's ear studs were brought be Bhudevi and surrendered them to Bhagawan.  There is a Stotram that she is said to have uttered then.  But this is a general Stotra and not as asking for DeepãvaLi to be celebrated in the memory of her son Naraka Asura.  Of course she requested Bhagawan that he should take care of Baghadutta the son of Naraka Asura and her grandson."  PeriyavãL said, "Very similarly as it happened when Vãli was killed, his son was left under the guardianship of Sri Rama / Sugrieva.  That is alright but haven't you also heard of another version as 'pãta bhedam' – 'पाट भेदं', that Naraka Asura himself requested that his death may be celebrated all over the world as a special Pandikai?"  That gentleman agreed. 

5.          PeriyavãL continued, "For me somehow, the fact of the mother requesting her own son's death to be celebrated seems more noteworthy.  When dying by the hands of God himself, at the moment of his becoming inalienably one with God, it is quite normal for one to have the right sense and making such a request that people may be enabled to learn from his mistakes, is very much on the cards.  But it is extremely rare and more touching for a Mother to make such a request, without any heart burn or regret even at the extreme loss of her own son!  As the saying goes, 'Bhudevi is an ideal for tolerance', is proved here.  It is this mother's readiness for Thyaga that, throughout this country more than any other festival, this DeepãvaLi Pandikai has more relevance, importance and popularity."  Some of the assembled devotees including the first one who asked this question again expressed their keenness to know as to how Sri Krishna had his Cauvery Snãnam.    

6.          "Yes, if I talk about the connexion between the DeepãvaLi festival and Cauvery Snãnam, will not that man who asked first as to what is its connexion to Ganga Snãnam think that Swami does not know the answer to my query?  So I will tell you in detail about both Ganga Snãnam as well as Cauvery Snãnam", said PeriyavãL in all his mischievousness.  Then pointing out the one who looked like a Pundit he said, "Even if this man here says that he will accept only what is given in Bhagawatam, I am going to tell you all this with many other stories and quotes as a total mix only. Cauvery Mahãtmiyam (meaning details of its greatness), are given in Skãndam, Ãgneya PurãNam and Brhma Vaivarta PurãNam.  It is in Brhma Vaivarta PurãNam, while detailing the greatness of Tulã Snãnam in Cauvery this DeepãvaLi story is there.  The same Vyãsa ÃchãryãL who gave Bhagawatam as Upadesa to Suka is also the author of all these PurãNãs."  Saying so, PeriyavãL sat up more straight to continue with his narration.  One lady further requested, "Even this story of the Naraka Asura Vadam, I wish to hear from PeriyavãL".  "Yes, yes I will tell you as much as I remember", said the omniscient PeriyavãL like the ocean flowing during the high tide or like the flow of the river down the mountain slopes.  That flow of Ganga and Cauvery is what we are giving you here! 

Naraka Asura and his Place of Origin
7.            In our country the most mountainous region full of rivers especially the tributaries of Brahmaputra, where a number of tribals live is this State of Assam.  In fact Assam with the other states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya used to be collectively known as 'Kãmaroopa' in earlier prehistoric times.  In it is located the one place which records the highest rainfall known as 'Chirapunji'.  If Parãshakti is known as 'Kãmãkshi', there in Assam also she is known as 'Kãmãkhya'.  'Ãkhya' means the name.  Sridhara AyyãvãL has written a Stuti about the value of Siva Nama known as 'Ãkhya Shashti'.  So Kãmãkhya means the one with the name as Kãmã.  As her place of residence the whole of Assam is known as 'Kãmaroopa'.  One additional hackle in its cap is that when Maha Vishnu took Avatara as Varãha, He sorted out HiraNyãksha and recovered the earth from being immersed in the primordial waters of Pralaya by lifting the earth by the two tusks.  The place where his teeth pierced in lifting the earth is the area of Kãmaroopa.  May be because the area is semi mountainous alternating with deep ravines of the rivers, it was suitable to be lifted by the boar with its snout and tusks, without slipping and falling!  (Think of balancing a globe on the front portion of the face of the Varãha!)

8.            This contact of Varãha Murthy with Bhudevi resulted in the birth of a son.  We can never understand God's Leela.  God Himself kills one Asura, followed by his contact with the Earth aka Bhudevi, the Mother who bears us all on her lap, results in the coming into being of another Asura of immense power and prowess!  Instead of God being the root cause of only good things and Satan being the source of everything bad, the one source of both good and bad is this one source as per our belief as given in our Sãstrãs.  So it is that, Bhagawan and Bhudevi begot the son Naraka Asura.

9.            He undertook extremely arduous Tapasya addressing Brhma and by his blessings became too mightily powerful, subjecting all the worlds to Hellish torture.  Naraka means Hell.  As the son of the Earth aka Bhoomi he was also known as Bouman.  The planet Angãraka aka Sevvãi / Tuesday / Mars is also known as Bhoomi Kumara.  As per astronomy also, Mars is said to be likely to be very similar to earth and expected to be having some life forms.  In Greco Roman mythology, that reddish planet is considered as the God of War.  With emphasis on the redness, the second day of the week after Monday is Sevvãi – 'செவ்வாய்' in Tamil, which means 'Red Mouth'.  So also the reddish Deva Senãpathy Muruga, born of the spark of life from his third eye, is thought of with and as Angãraka.

10.          But this Bouman is dark as though he will gobble up all light around like the black holes of the universe.  He went to Deva Loka and beat up all the Devatas, left, right and centre!  He snatched the ceremonial Umbrella of Indira, the king of all Devatas.  You may wonder as to what is so important about an umbrella.  Like the Standard the Flag, this Chatra is the white symbol of Royalty under whose protection the country or State is said to thrive.  The King is the Chatrapathy, as Shivãji used to be called.  When you snatch this umbrella it means that you have removed the protection it is indicative of!  Then he snatched the ear pendants known as Kundalam from ears of Indira's mother Atiti. Then in the State of Kãma Roopa he established his capital as 'Prãg Jyotish Puram'.  Prãg means the front or East and Jyotish Puram means a place of brilliant light!  This state of Kãma Roopa is located far to the East of India alright.  For a very long time, Indira did not complain to God!  If he was some other Asura, he could have possibly gone and complained.  But when he is the very son of the one to whom you have to put up the complaint, you have to be more circumspective isn't it?

Complaint to Sri Krishna
11.          Then Bhagawan did Krishna Avatara.  Living with sheep rearing folks of Braj Bhoomi, he lived as one of them Gopi-s and Gopika-s that he came to be known as Gopala himself!  While living and playing around with them, he also demonstrated 'n' number of miracles, as though they were all part and parcel of day to day life!  Pootana who tried to poison the baby Krishna by breast feeding and he just sucked the life out of her!  Starting from Pootana he killed many Rãkshasãs and Asuras without making a big issue of those achievements! This Indira himself in trying to show off his authority, tried to cause continuous rain as though he will inundate the whole Braj Bhoomi aka Gokulam.  Then, when Sri Krishna simply lifted the Govardhana Giri by the little finger of one hand as a protective umbrella for all to be saved from the rain, Indira had to simply surrender and accept his defeat to this boy Gopala.

12.          On another occasion Brhma, wondering as to why his father Vishnu should be so much under the influence of Mãyã, during his sojourn on earth as Gopala, wasting his time as one of the cowherds, tried to remove the delusion of Mãyã of his father Vishnu.  For this Brhma had to create his own delusion of spiriting away all the Gopi-s and Gopika-s along with the herds of Cows and other Cattle!  In a split second, Bala Krishna created – literally creating a duplicate for each one spirited away by Brhma!  For a whole year everywhere all fathers and mothers in Gokulam lived with duplicate children and cattle.  There in the hiding place Brhma had a tough time managing all the lot of people and animals he had spirited away!  He knew about creation but nothing about Paripãlanam and Management.  He could not get rid of them all by Samhãra either!
(To be continued.)




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