Monday, February 24, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 Feb 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 111 (Vol # 7) Dated 24 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 page No 844 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)

Ãdi Guru
01.          This Sloka conveys respects and regards to an unbroken chain of Gurus, coming down from time immemorial till date:-
"Sadasiva samãrambam Sankarãchãrya madhyamãm |
"सदाशिव समारंबं संकराचार्य मध्यमां |
asmat Ãchãrya paryantãm vande Guru paramparãm ||"
अस्मत आचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरु परम्परां ||"  This is a sloka uttered by all the followers of Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL.  Even if not done till date, it is to be done twice at least from this day onwards.  Anyhow Guru Parampara will carry on continuously.  This sloka is addressed to all those Gurus including the one who is presently your Guru, including anyone who teaches you anything, any Do's and Don’ts, and those who are yet to become your Guru.  There is no word in the sloka to mean 'till date' but only 'asmat Ãchãrya' meaning 'our Ãchãrya', which should be understood as 'present living teacher of ours'. 

2.            There is a phrase 'Adi-madhya-antam', which is like saying in Tamil, 'முதல்-நடுவு-முடிவு' like in English beginning, middle and end.  But Guru Parampara does not have an end and hence we should understand it as, from the beginning, presently and in future in every generation.  Who is that Ãdi Guru?  The Sloka calls him 'Sadasiva'.  It is followers of this tradition who chant this sloka and are required to chant it, and so we can make out that he is the Central figure.  That central figure is the Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL, being thought of as 'The ÃchãryãL', who is an Avatara of the original fount, source and root known variously as Siva, Easwara and Sadasiva. 

3.            Normally for all of us who are followers of our ÃchãryãL, known as 'Smãrthãs' or 'Adwaitins; we have heard DakshiNa Murthy as the original Ãdi Guru.  The one sitting under the banyan tree facing south in 'Veera Asana' holding the Chinmudra, sans speech, movement and actions; out of extreme kindness for the people of the world to explain the Parama Tattva by speech, visiting every nook and corner of India not once but thrice, putting down 72 different so called theistic religions and atheistic sects in the garb of religions, debating and defeating them; establishing Matams to spread his teachings; re-stabilise the Hindu Sanãtana Dharma; to do all this, took  Avatara as Ãdi Sankara Bhagawat PãdãL; as we have heard within 32 years of his life as a human being. 

4.            Here in this sloka the name of DakshiNa Murthy has not been mentioned.  Taking the name of Sadasiva, it only says, 'Starting from Sadasiva'.  Because, when we say Dakshinamurthy, we mean the same as Siva in another form.  In our religion every God, every Devata has at least a thousand names, which are all so many different forms of the same.  Rama, Krishna, Hayagriva are all Maha Vishnu's 'roopa bhedangaL' – 'ரூப பேதங்கள்' only.  Similarly DakshiNa Murthy, Nataraja, Bikshadanar, Bhairava are all different forms of the same Siva. 

Ashta Nãma; Mahãdeva  
5.            Like we say MahãvishNu, we do not say Mahasiva.  Maha is an adjective not added to the name of Siva.  There is Maha Sivarathri as an adjective for the phrase Sivarathri.  The 14th night in the waning fortnight of the moon is known as Chathurdasi, which is considered as Sivarathri once every month.  Amongst 12 such monthly Sivarathri, the one occurring in the month of Mãsi, happens to be at the end of the winter season and just before the start of summer season in India, is known as the Maha Sivarathri.  From that we are not to construe that Siva does not deserve the adjective 'Maha' or some such thing!  In fact out of the eight most important names of his 'mahat' – 'महत्' is the last and important without any relative assessment of value between them!  

6.            When you do formal Archana for Siva, after you are done with Sahasra Nãma of a thousand names of Siva, Trisati of 301 names, and Ashtotra-sata of 108 names, finally before closing shop, eight most important names of Siva are mentioned and obeisance expressed as given hereinafter.  Please note that the eighth name in that is about his 'greatness' as the last but not least criteria!
'bhavãya devãya nama:' – 'भवाय देवाय नम:' |
'sarvãya devãya nama:' – 'सर्वाय देवाय नम:' |
'easãnãya devãya nama:' – 'ईशानाय देवाय नम:' |
'pasupataye devãya nama:' – 'पशुपतये देवाय नम:' |
'rudrãya devãya nama:' – 'रुद्राय देवाय नम:' |
'ugrãyadevãya nama:' – 'उग्राय देवाय नम:' |
'bhimãya devãya nama:' – 'भीमाय देवाय नम:' |
'mahate devãya nama:' – 'महते देवाय नम:' || In Sanskrit grammar the nouns are varied depending on whether it is singular, dual and plural; and by prefixes such as with, to, from, for and by.  In doing so the above are the fourth variations. Having done the Archana, that is lightly placing the flowers on the idol in that order, we go ahead with offering Dhoopa / lighted incense sticks, Deepa / waving lighted lamps and Neivedyam / of offering choice eatables which is later distributed as Prasãdam amongst the devotees. So, his name 'Mahãdeva' is the most famous and important.

7.            In making use of the above Ashta Nama-s, there is one speciality and quirk.  When doing a Laghu pooja for AmbãL for that also these eight names can be used, by saying; 'bhavasya devasya patnyai nama:, sarvasya devasya patnyai nama:' and so on.  The last one alone changes slightly differently that is instead of 'mahate devaya nama:' it will be 'mahato devasya patnyai nama:'.  Similarly this short version of eight named Archana can be used for PiLLaiyar as well as SubrahmaNya, starting with 'bavasya devasya putrãya nama:' ending with 'mahato devasya putrãya nama:' or 'mahato devasya soonave nama:'.  For 'putrãya' one could use the word 'soonave' – 'सूनवे' as the Sanskrit word 'सूनु:' means 'Son'.

8.            If the above is a speciality, what did I mean by the word 'quirk' in the first sentence of the above paragraph?  There are VaLLi and Devasena as the wives of SubrahmaNya.  There are Siddhi and Buddhi as the wives of PiLLaiyar.  There is also Vallabha as his wife.  If you feel like doing pooja for them also and are not able to find a suitable Sahasranãma or Ashtothram say, then what can we do?  It is here that these 'Ashta Uttama Nama-s' can come in handy.  We can be happy using them by starting with, 'bavasya devasya putrasya patnyai nama:' adding all those eight names similarly, finally ending with, 'mahato devasya putrasya patnyai nama:'!

Mahalingam; Maheshwara
9.            So all said and done, Siva comes to the finishing point as Mahalingam, Mahadeva and Maheshwara (as all e-mails of Deivathin Kural are ending with 'Sambhomahadeva')!  But like Vishnu and Maha Vishnu, there isn't Siva addressed as Mahasiva.  Why is it so?  As the foremost amongst all Devatas, he is Mahadeva.  As a great sign of value as a Lingam he is Maha Lingam.    Of all the signs of all the Devatas of so many Murthys or forms, the most supreme is this Mahalingam.  How is that?  I called it Murthy or form.  But is this Siva Lingam a form with eyes, nose, ears, mouth, face, hands, legs and a body?  It is not a form like that.  In fact it is not a Roopa but only 'Aroopa' – 'अरूप'.  Still it is not empty space either.  Like the cosmos it is an oblong, ellipsoidal and concentric parabola as representing all creation.  Knowledgeable people say that is a combination of GuNa and NirguNa, that is, with and without characteristics.  Similarly it is Sakala meaning with all parts, digits and limbs, while it is also Nishkala, which is the opposite of Sakala that is, devoid of parts, digits and limbs!  In Tamil they call it 'aruvuruvam' – 'அருஉருவம்'.  Thus at one and the same time it or that is with and without form, inclusive of Adwaitam and Dwaitam and all other possibilities of ideas, notions, principles and concepts also.  So it is the greatest sign of manifestation and potential!  Thus as a sign or pointer or indicator it is the Maha Lingam!  He is also called Maheshwara.  The word Easwara means the ruler and owner, as he owns the entire universe and rules over it all.  As he does a great Maha job, he is called the Maheshwara!

The Five Jobs
10.          The five jobs that God does are known as 'pancha krityam' – 'पञ्च कृत्यं' in Sanskrit and 'aintozhil' – 'ஐந்தொழில்' in Tamil.  Out of those five jobs, three are known to most of us as Srushti, Stiti and Samhãra.  The fourth is the veiling of the truth from our eyes and comprehension thereby making the first three jobs necessary; is known as 'Tirodãnam' – 'तिरोदानम्', that is, the screening of reality.  Hiding the Brhma Swaroopa, that is, our reality of Ãtma Swaroopa is hidden, creating the separate identity of individuality in each one of us, enabling the non-absolute entities of time and space making Srushti – Stiti – and Laya, making it possible for the Great Maha Mãyã to play out its part is this Tirodãnam.  As the Executive officers for Srushti, Stiti and Laya are the Brhma, Vishnu and Rudra, the officer for Tirodãna is Easwara as per Saiva and Sãkta Ãgamãs.  As all the worlds are tied up with Maha Mãyã and ruled over by Easwara, he is titled as Maha + Easwara = Maheshwara.   

11.          Unrelated to Siva, Brhma and Vishnu have two of the five jobs of the Pancha Kritya.  Balance three jobs are with Siva's Ãvirbhãvam-s namely Samhãra with Rudra and Tirodãnam is that of Easwara.   There is one more major job not mentioned so far and that is the highest and most important.  That is Anugraha.  While saying in Tamil these five jobs are called, 'akkal' – 'ஆக்கல்', 'kãttal' – 'காத்தல்', 'azhittal' – 'அழித்தல்', 'maraithal' – 'மறைத்தல்' and 'aruLal' – 'அருளல்'.  This last one AruLal is what is known as Anugraha in Sanskrit.  

12.          Two types of Anugraha are there.  One is at the ground level when the Jiva is totally tied up with the worldly affairs with his own wants and needs to enable him or her to run their lives, is one type of Anugraha.  We all have a body with the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.  The sixth is the mind or intelligence enabling us to enjoy or experience.  This combination and interaction of body, senses, world and the act of  experiencing are known and referred respectively as 'tanu', 'karaNam', 'bhuvanam' and 'bhogam'.  What is this?  To sanction these four is nothing great!  Is this all the great Anugraha, so greatly spoken about as the fifth important job of God?  All this is nothing but further augmenting our deeply remaining mired in the so called Maya Prapancham, isn't it?

13.          What else can be done?  Somehow there is this world and we are born in it as so many individuals, with our past 'Karma' effects as our credit and debit balances of PuNya and Pãpa, as effects of merits and demerits based on our past actions.  The only way it can be done away with is by going through them, bearing and enduring the sufferings and off-set the negative balances through good deeds without looking forward to benefits through 'nishkãmya karma' – 'निष्काम्य कर्म', while keeping one's mind away from further attachments and involvement through Sãdhana.  So we need divine anugraha even for living a very normal life within the Maya Prapancham, let alone raising above all this.  We do not know as to when it all started and where and when will it all come to an end.  But in the meanwhile we do need God's blessings to be able to suitably make use of these four – 'तनु, करणं, भुवनम् व भोगं' as God's Anugraha, for cancelling our past Karma and get above the pulls of Maya. 
(To be continued.)



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