Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 137 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Apr 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 137 (Vol # 7) Dated 22 Apr 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 1057 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   http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated continually)

27.           You know that there was a great Shepherd by the name of Sri Krishna Konãr isn't it?  (Konãr in Tamil is like a caste name for Shepherds.)  He collected all the Upanishads and made them into a cow.  He milked that cow by his own hands and gave it to all of us as 'Gita Upadesam'.  These two words join in Sanskrit as one word 'Gitopadesam' – 'गीत + उपदेशं = गितोपदेशम्'.  By the special effect due to his handling, that essence of all the Upanishads, instead of being just milk became the elixir Amrita that imparts immortality on the person who consumes it.  Instead of remaining in the mortal coil, the consumer of that milk becomes one with the very principle of eternity God!  Anyone with a right mental attitude can partake of that milk. As a representative of all such consumers of that milk is Arjuna, who heard it directly in the battle field of Kurukshetra.  There is a sloka with this above meaning: –   
सर्वोपनिषदो गावो, दोग्दा गोपालनन्दन: |
sarvopanishado gãvo, dogdã gopãlanandana: |
पार्तो वत्स:, सुधीर भोक्ता, दुग्दं गीतामृतं महत् ||
pãrto vatsa:, sudheer bhoktã, dugdam geetamrutam mahat ||

28.          Arjuna was an inseparable friend of Sri Krishna.  When Sri Krishna assumed the role of Gnãna Ãchãrya, Arjuna became his main student.  But Sri Rama got his personal servant as his Sishya.  Later this Sishya got a place in the Standard Flag of Arjuna, heard the whole of Gita and caused Arjuna to be victorious to deserve his name as Vijaya.  That is victory in the outer-worldly battle.  Brhma Vidya Upadesam makes one eternally successful in the inner battle of the mind and heart in reality.  The Upadesa of such potency meant for all the people of the world, as Sri Krishna imparted with Arjuna as the target audience and Dakshinamurthy Swami did so for the Foursome of Sanaka and three others; Sri Rama kept Hanuman in front and through him imparted the Upadesa to all, especially the Rishis and Munis who had come to listen in.

29.          Like Dakshinamurthy Sri Rama also shows the Chin Mudra.  Like him Sri Rama also sits erect with one leg hanging and one leg folded known as Virãsana, depicting the bravery of Gnãnam.  In the ancient drawings done exactly as per traditions, like in Tanjavur Paintings, that is how it is depicted.  While chanting Japa of Sri Rama Mantra, there is Dhyãna Sloka that is chanted as part of the prelude: – 
कालाम्बोदर कान्ति कान्तं अनिशं वीरासनाध्यासिनं
kãlãmbodara kãnti kãntam anisam veerãsanãdhyãsinam
मुद्रां ज्ञानमयीं दधानाम् अपरं हस्तांबुजं जानुनी |
mudrãm gnãnamayeem dadhãnãm aparam hastãmbujam jãnunee |  Meaning of the sloka is, 'Swami of the colour of Shyamal which is like the cumulonimbus cloud, is sitting in Virãsana with one hand holding the 'Chinmaya' Mudra and the other hand simply resting on his knee.  Point to note is that Sri Rama is depicted exactly the way Dakshinamurthy Swami is ever shown. 

30.          There is another sloka which is part of the MangaLa slokas chanted before doing PãrãyaNa of Ramayana in a formal manner.  There also it is mentioned that Sri Rama is sitting in Virãsana.  Chinmudra is not mentioned there but, what is described very clearly is the Tatva Upadesam being given to Anjanã Putra Hanuman primarily seated in front of Sri Rama with his right hand covering his mouth with reverence, with all the Rishis seated behind Hanuman, also facing Sri Rama.  The scene that I described about Hanuman receiving Upadesa from Sri Rama with all the Rishis and Munis listening in, is based on this sloka, which should be known to everybody: –   
वैदेहीसहितं सुरद्रुमतले हैमे महामण्डपे
vaidehi sahitam suradrumatale haime maha mandape
मध्ये पुष्पकमासने मणिमये वीरासने संस्थितं |
madhye pushpakamãsane maNimaye veerãsane  samsthitam |
अग्रे वाचयति प्रभञ्जनसुते तत्त्वं मुनिभ्य: परं
agre vãchayati prabhanjana sute tattvam munibhya: param
व्याख्यान्तं भरताधिभि: परिवृतं रामं भजे श्यामलं ||
vyãkhyãntam bharatãdhibhi: parivrutam rãmam bhaje shyãmalam ||

31.          Though Sri Rama sat in the Virãsana posture and gave Upadesa on Vedãntam like Dakshinamurthy Swami, like him Sri Rama is not a lonely entity.  Simultaneously he was a King and a Rishi, known as Raja Rishi doing both Karma and Gnãna Yoga he was with his wife seated in a golden hall on a seat inlaid with gems.  That is what is said, starting with 'Vaidehi sahitam' – 'वैदेही सहितं'.  Sita was born in the Videha Rajyam and so was known as 'Vaidehee'.  This name for Sita is most appropriate in the context instead of Jãnaki and Maithili, in the sloka in which Sri Rama is being described as Gnãna ÃchãryãL.  Vaidehee means a person who has given up the physical body, in addition to being from the State of Videha!  That means that she has given up the body consciousness and is of Ãtma Swaroopa.   That is for the Tattva or principle that Sri Rama is advocating, she is the very personification of such a state.  Or in other words the principle that she is personifying is what he is advocating.

32.          Sita is seated next to Sri Rama.  Around him are the other three brothers Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrugna, says the fourth line of the sloka as, 'bharatãdhibhi: parivrutam' – 'भरताधिभि: परिवृतं'.  Those brothers also are such that they thought of the other as their own very life.  Still Sri Rama did not give his Upadesa to any one of them as the Sishya.  The one to receive Gnãna Upadesa should be Ãnjaneya he thought and did so and that is what is mentioned in the Sloka as, 'agre vãchayati prabhanjana sute tattvam' – 'अग्रे वाचयति प्रभञ्जनसुते तत्त्वं'.  'Prabhanjana sute' – 'प्रभञ्जनसुते', refers to Ãnjaneya.  Like Tulasidas called Hanuman as the son of Vãyu Bhagawan by the term 'Vãtajãta', this 'Prabhanjana Suta' is another name for Hanuman, with the same meaning.  He is seated immediately in front of Sri Rama with implicit humility in front of his master ready to listen and absorb the Upadesa and that is what is mentioned as 'agre vãchayati'.  But we are not to think that all the Upadesa are meant only for Ãnjaneya.  It is meant for all the assembled Rishis as indicated by, 'तत्-त्वं मुनिभ्य: परं व्याख्यान्तं', meaning what is Para Vidya of Parama Tattva was being elaborated upon by Sri Rama for the sake of all the assembled saints and sages through his teachings to Hanuman.  Dakshinamurthy is said to be seated alone and imparting knowledge by his silence, whereas here Sri Rama is seated with his wife and brothers and is giving verbal Upadesa for all of them to hear.   

33.          A rare nugget of information is that, not only Sri Rama but, Sita also is supposed to have given Upadesa to Hanuman as revealed by a great Adwaita Grantha known as 'Sitãrãma Ãnjaneyam' – 'सीताराम आञ्जनेयं', in the Telugu Language and there is a speciality in that.  There are rarely any original works on such esoteric subjects as Adwaitam in the languages other than Sanskrit.   Mostly they are translations from original Sanskrit texts.  So as an exception to the rule, to find an original book on such subjects in regional languages is very rare indeed!  Such a book in Telugu is Sitãrãma Ãnjaneyam' also known as 'Sitãrãma Ãnjaneya Samvãdamu'.    In that Vaidehi completely devoid of bodily consciousness gives Upadesa to Hanuman.  First she gives him the Tãraka Mantra.  It is just too good to be a recipient of Tãraka Mantra from one who is the very life of Sri Rama, isn't it?  After that Sri Rama gives Upadesa to Ãnjaneya on Sãnkhya Yoga and Amanaska Yoga, in much detail in that book. 

34.          Sita and Sri Rama were like the capitalist bosses and Hanuman was the worker from the proletariat community.  However much they may give him all their wealth, they could not have given it all since, Ãnjaneya being highly matured was neither in need nor would he bother about any wealth or assets, being very happy and satisfied in being able to be of service and in being devoted.  It is only that pair of husband and wife Sita – Rama who were not satisfied in their giving to Ãnjaneya.  So evidently they decided to give that wealth of wisdom to Ãnjaneya, which can never be depleted however much you may give away!  So they intended to give to Hanuman all their assets of Gnãna and thus gave him Upadesa.  Who are they?  Are they only representatives of the capitalist bosses / property owners?  No!  They are the very Mother and Father of the world who shower the people of the world all their Love and Grace as their children.  So evidently treating Ãnjaneya as their first baby, they became his Guru also.  So thus Ãnjaneya was so uniquely lucky to have Sita and Sri Rama as, 'Mother, Father, Guru and Deivam aka God rolled in to that one couple' – 'माता पिता गुरु व दैवं' – 'மாதா, பிதா, குரு, தெய்வம்'!

35.          More than any other book in the world, what is said in the Upanishads – known as 'Sruti Siras' – 'श्रुति सिरस्', meaning the head of all metaphysical teachings of the Vedas, whatever is said in it has such unique and special value.  That way there are 108 Upanishads and amongst them all is this 'Muktikopanishad' – 'मुक्तिकोपनिशद', that is the one containing what Sri Rama advised to Hanuman.  It can be interpreted to mean 'A Upanishad that imparts Mukti' or 'A Pearl amongst all Upanishads'.  So it means that at the end of the Vedas, Sri Rama comes as the Guru with Hanuman as the Sishya.  If the name itself is one capable of imparting Mukti, it occurs at the end or head of all Upanishads, which are known as the Head of all Vedas!  That is how Sri Ramachandra Murthy is instructing and Ãnjaneya hears and receives it.  

36.          At the beginning of the Upanishad it is described as to how all the Rishis and Munis of the world have collected to listen to Sri Ramachandra Murthy preaching with Hanuman at the receiving end as the honoured Sishya.  It is said that Sanaka, Sanãtana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumãra; the four Rishis who received Upadesa from Dakshinamurthy were also there amongst the assembled lot.  Ãnjaneya kept asking questions one after the other, like milking the cow till the last drop, as the Upanishad proceeds.  He says, "Rama!  You, who are a personification of Satchitãnandam, is like an icon for me.  I am desirous of Mukti that is, release from the never ending cycle of birth and death and I am desirous of knowing the very form of 'Tattva'.  Please sanction my Mukti by telling me about that".

37.          In the first chapter of that Upanishad, as requested by Ãnjaneya, Sri Rama lists the names of all 108 Upanishads.  It has details of which Upanishad belongs to which branch of the Vedas.  It has information about what is the Shanti Mantra to be uttered with each Upanishad in order of its study of Adhyayanam.  Before this there are details how the Vedas are divided and as to which Veda has which branches.  For all the 108 Upanishads, it is like a ready reckoner!  For all of us this Upanishad is like a boon and blessing at the behest of Sri Ãnjaneya.

38.          We refer to Sri Rama as the 'Maryãdã Purushottam' – 'मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तं', as he is best among Ideals to be emulated.  In fact that epithet is equally applicable to our Hanuman / Ãnjaneya too.  Whatever greatness he had – physical power, mental acumen, strength of devotion, efficiency in work, fearlessness, service orientation, control of the senses, general knowledge par excellence and the quality of Vinaya – for all of those excellent character qualities of his, we should think of him as our Guru and follow his path.  As Tulasidas called him 'Sakala GuNa Nidhãnam', more than all this, his Gnãnam was the highest, like the end point of all his greatness.  In that, by getting Upadesa from his Master he has taught us all a lesson that, though till we are involved in these worldly activities however righteously we may be living with Dharma as the guiding principle, finally to reach the shore we have to aspire for Gnãnam as the Sri to be attained.  Such an aspiration should be in us already, is the lesson.

39.          Thus while he is like a Guru for us in so many ways, the most important lesson taught by him is that, we should know ourselves to be Sishyas throughout life and keep learning our lessons; by being a good student himself till the end!  Smilingly our PeriyavãL says, "He is a Guru for us all who teaches us as to how to be a good Sishyas!"  Guru Ãnjaneya in the garb of a Sishya and Ramachandra Murthy as his Guru – if we have their SmaraNam in our minds, it is enough – that by proceeding on the righteous path we will also attain to wellness.

(With that, these translations of Deivathin Kural going on since June 2006, comes to an end.)



Sunday, April 20, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 136 (Vol # 7) Dated 20 Apr 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 136 (Vol # 7) Dated 20 Apr 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 last paragraph on page No 1048 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   http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated continually)

14.          You might have heard the story that in his very young age as a baby that he was given Upadesa by the Sun aka Surya.  He saw the rising sun and thought it to be a red fruit.  So he just pounced towards the Sun in Surya Mandalam to catch it.  Out of his infinite kindness Surya stopped him at a distance before being burnt and ionized in to gaseous state!  Then for a few years he kept travelling in space facing the Sun all the time and learnt everything that Sun could think of as suitable to be taught to this adventurous boy.  Those were not teachings on Gnãna but, all sorts of Sãstrãs that can be absorbed by brains and intellect.  Especially all the Sãstrãs of VyakarNam aka Grammar were covered.  This happened in his childhood that he came to be known as 'buddhimatãm varishtam' – 'बुद्धिमतां वरिष्टं', meaning the best amongst intelligentsia!  But that is still cerebral expertise only and cannot be called Gnãna.  Then how did he become 'gnãninãm agragaNyam' – 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं' that is, foremost amongst Gnãnis?  Who made him so?  Who was his Guru for Brhma Vidya?  Only Ãtma Sãstram is Para-Vidya.  All other education is known as Apara-Vidya, Para meaning supreme and Apara meaning other than Supreme.  As the Sun God was the Guru for Hanuman for all Apara-Vidya, who was the Guru for him in Para-Vidya?  When did that happen?

15.          Ãnjaneya got his Gnãna Upadesam when the story of Ramayanam had run its full course almost, after Sri Rama's Pattãbhishekam.  That is many years after he got the Upadesam from the Sun as his Guru.  By then he had done all that he did in service of Sri Rama.  He jumped across the land and ocean to Sri Lanka, successfully located Sita and handed over Sri Rama's ring and the message, destroyed the Asoka Vana, set fire to the city of Sri Lanka, and then starting from construction of the Setu aka Bridge across the sea, to fighting in the battle did many wonderful brave acts.  He had physically destroyed many soldiers of the Rãkshasa Sena in his first visit to the island kingdom and then in battle royal he literally had a field day, every day!  When his own army including Rama and Lakshmana were all rendered unconscious by some magical missile of RavaNa's son Indrajit, he flew to India and brought the Sanjivini (the whole mountain itself as he couldn't identify the particular herb), to revive them back to life.  Thus all his famous exploits had been completed.  RavaNa had been killed, and they had all returned to Ayodhya after which many years of Rama Rajyam had been completed. 

16.          Ãnjaneya had completely surrendered his self in the service of Sri Rama.  It is then that he got Gnãna Upadesam.  Naturally a question arises as to how, having surrendered his all to Sri Rama, how could he have gone in search of some Guru?  He didn't leave Sri Rama in search of a Guru but, got Upadesa from Sri Rama directly.  Normally we are aware of their relationship as the Lord and the Servant and as Swami and Bhakta.  Now we are seeing them from a different angle as Guru and Sishya!  Sri Rama is not just any other human being, but the True Being of Sat-Chit-Anandam and Ãnjaneya on the other hand is perfection personified!  Just to think of both of them together as Guru and Sishya is highly meritorious!

17.          On the one hand is the fact that Swami, who was known as Raja Raman conducting himself as the Emperor so exemplarily with Dharma as the governing principle that till day we adoringly call it Rama Rajyam, on the other hand is the truth that he was also the King of Gnãna Rajyam, imparting Upadesa on Gnãna to others.  His father-in-law Janaka was also famous as a Raja Rishi.  So the son-in-law was also like the father-in-law only, on the one side a great King and administrator, and on the other side an all knowing Gnãna Sreshta Rishi; elaborating on Vedanta!

18.          He not only gave Upadesa to Hanuman but, that day he also imparted Upadesa to all the Rishis of the world.  Those Rishis were aware that he was an Avatara of NãrãyaNã.  They also knew that his very Avatara happened to come about for the destruction of RavaNa and other Rãkshasãs like him.  That job known as 'Dushta Nigraham' – 'दुष्ट निग्रहं' was over and he was ruling as the king.  Then he was conducting himself and his governance in a most judicious and fair manner for the common man to emulate as the ideal and that is known as 'Sishta Paripãlanam' – 'शिष्ट परिपालनम्'.  That was also a job of the Avatara, the second in order.  With that they added a third job of the Avatara and that is what we are discussing now.

19.          For anything like a book or project or programme, there is a Preamble or Introduction and then there is the body of the project and then there is a conclusion, isn't it?  In our Vedic tradition we have 'Poorvãngam' – 'पूर्वाङ्गं' and 'Uttarãngam' – 'उत्तराङ्गं'.  The Uttarãngam may also include the conclusion.  In Vedic Sampradãya, first we have to run our lives sensibly keeping our individual and social Dharma in view and while doing so, after attaining some maturity, endeavour for eventual understanding and comprehension of Brhmam and Gnãna beyond all relative knowledge.  In that process there are six levels for which there are six Sãstrãs known as 'Shat-Darsanam' – 'षट्-दर्शनं'; in which the first one in the first Darsanam is 'Dharma Jignãsã' – 'धर्म जिज्ञासा'.  That is the desire to know as to what is Dharma or the right thing to do on various occasions.  Thus Poorva-Meemãmsa is the preamble.  Then is the desire to know as to what is Brhmam and that is Uttara Meemãmsa.  Poorva Meemãmsa came to be known as just Meemãmsa and Uttara Meemãmsa came to be known as Vedãntam, in which the first one is Karma or action oriented and the second basically one of self-analysis and meditation. 

20.          After the destruction of the Rãkshasãs, Sri Rama's first Avatara Kãryam of 'Dushta Nigraham' was over.  Then after Pattãbhishekam for a number of years of functioning as the King, his second Avatara Kãryam of 'Sishta Paripãlanam' was also over.  Those days the kings were having the authority of judiciary, administration, defence and maintenance of law and order all rolled in to one in their hands.  So now, all the Rishis of the world collected at Ayodhya to enable him to complete the last of the purpose of coming in to being as an Avatara.  Please note that those Rishis of yore were subtly equipped to see through any secret, whatever may be the number of veils hiding the truth.  They were aware of the fact that Sri Rama was a Parama Gnãni intrinsically and only play acted as a normal human being.  Some time he was anger personified and on occasions he was crying like a most distraught person, asking every stone, tree or a bend in the river as to where is Sita!  They knew that all that was play acting as Rama Leela!  Inwardly as SaguNa Roopa he was Maha Vishnu and further as NirguNa Roopa he was the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent Lord God in human form!  So though they were all already Brhma Gnãnis, they were keen on Upadesa from the very source of our existence, that can only add to their credit and make them all Jivan Mukta while still alive as human beings!  So they made a collective request to bless them all with his Upadesa.

21.          Sri Rama was also keen to do so because, as the proverb says, 'nãn pertra inbam peruga ivvaiyagam' – 'நான் பேற்ற இன்பம் பெறுக இவ்வையகம்', meaning that 'the pleasures that I received, let me share with the whole world', is the intention.  Rama is the very form of Brhma Vidya; ever thriving naturally in the Brhma Ãnanda of Satchitãnandam.  He did not have to learn it from anybody.  But still, when he has come on this earth in human form, he has to do all that as a model to be emulated by others isn't it?  So he enacted the scene in which he also learned the Brhma Vidya from a Guru.  In the very young age, he learnt all Vidyas from Vasishta in his Guru Kulam, including Dhanur Veda that is Archery.   At that time itself he had also learnt the basics of Brhma Vidya that is Vedãntam.  Still his thirst for Brhma Vidya was not satisfied.  Then just before proceeding with Lakshmana to enable Vishwãmitra to conduct his Yagas without being interfered by Asuras and eventual arrival at Videha and marriage to Sita; he was given Brhma Vidya Upadesa by Vasishta.

22.          The Upadesa by Vasishta at that time is available even today as a book, like an authority on the subject, known as Gnãna Vãsishtam, or Yoga Vãsishtam that is also available in Tamil simply as 'Vãsittam' or 'Gnãna Vãsittam' – 'ஞான வாசிட்டம்'!  Instead of calling it a book of Yoga, it is more correct to call it a book of Gnãna.  All the paths of Sãdhana are also said to be Yoga mãrga in the sense it leads to the oneness of Jivãtma with Paramãtma in the end.  Still the word Yoga is more applicable to Patanjali's Ashtãnga Yoga – the Eight Part Yoga.  But this Gnãna Vãsishtam is more closely applicable to Adwaita Gnãna Sãdhana only.

23.          There is a generally accepted social injunction that a Vidya that a person learns, instead of vanishing with him should be taught to at least four other persons.  Besides that, the one who has so learnt something new would also like to teach it to some worthy students so that, the idea continues even after his death.  Sri Rama also had this urge, as one of his Avatãra Kãryam was to open the gates of Gnãna Mãrga and keep it open, for future aspirants.  Sri Rama was keeping that urge under control till Rama – RavaNa Yuddham was done with and he was happily managing his royal duties.  But slowly but steadily this urge was looking for opportunities to out itself.  As the most opportune moment arrived, the Rishis were also at his door-steps!

24.          Still Sri Rama was too full of the quality of Vinaya, that he felt diffident of playing the role of Instructor being a Kshatriya that too younger in age to all those Brahmin Ãchãryãs much older to him and well qualified and experienced!  As per their wish he should be talking about Brhma Vidya so as to strengthen and harden their knowledge of Brhma NirvãNa.  At the same time, he felt that he should not be directly giving them Upadesa.  Then he suddenly remembered Ãnjaneya.  'He is one who has completely mastered his senses and mind.  He lives a life without any iota of selfishness for the sake of others.  Without a life of his own, he has completely dedicated his everything in my service and as result even if he never knows anything about Gnãnam will attain to the 'Gnãna Lakshya' of Moksham alright.  But why not make him aware of Gnãnam, Gnãna Marga and Upadesa for Gnãna?  Of course those without much power of Buddhi need not waste their time and effort in trying to understand the Gnãna Marga.  For them surrender alone would do, as he has done already.  But he happens to be a great specimen of intelligentsia.  It is best that I should have him as the main Sishya and let others overhear the dialog.  There cannot be a better deserved 'Sat-Sishya' than him also.  In the bargain let other saints and sages also benefit.  So I shall give Brhma Vidya Upadesa to Hanuman', decided Sri Rama.

25.          If in the childhood of Ãnjaneya it was Surya Bhagawan who instructed him on Apara Vidya, in the older age as Acharya for Para Vidya it was Surya Kula Tilakam Sri Rama as his Acharya.  It is that Rama again in his Moola Roopa as Maha Vishnu, who had given Upadesa on Para Vidya.  This fact has been clarified by Sri Krishna in Gita in the chapter named Gnãna Vibhãga Yoga (4.1) when he says, 
इमम विवश्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययं |
imam vivashvate yogam proktavãnahamavyayam |
विवश्वान मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेsब्रवीत ||
viashvãn manave prãha manurikshvãkave abraveet ||  The Blessed Lord said, 'I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvãn, he told it to Manu and Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvãku.  Vivasvãn means the Sun.  Then the teaching goes to Manu, the first of all human beings and from him the Upadesa passed on to Ikshvãku the reputed ancestor of the Solar Dynasty aka Surya Kula!'

26.          It means that, Ãnjaneya got Para Vidya Upadesa from the Moola Guru of his earlier Guru, Surya from whom he obtained the Upadesa on Apara Vidya (of being worldly wise) which made him 'Bhuddhimatãm Varishtam' and the second one from Sri Rama (his Guru's Guru) made him 'Gnãninãm AgragaNyam'!  If there is a cow it gives milk to many.  But to motivate the cow to gush forth with milk there has to be calf near it.  Similar is the milk of human kindness, the Upadesa from a Guru.  When there is a worthy Sishya, there will be outpouring of Upadesa and everybody else can also benefit!

(To be continued.)


Friday, April 18, 2014

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Apr 2014

 DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (Vol # 7) Dated 18 Apr 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 page No 1041 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   http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated continually)

Gnãni Hanuman and His Guru
(We readers of these e-mails titled Deivathin Kural are at the last lap of three e-mails about Hanumar or Hanuman, God in the form of a monkey, who is also a devotee of Sri Rama.  With that we will be coming to the end of seven volumes of Deivathin Kural, translated from Tamil in to English, containing PeriyavãL's talks in the last millennium.  After this, I will re-editing the whole lot of 1271 posts and make it available both as an e-Book as well as a printed version.)
1.            There is a sloka on Hanuman: –
अतुलित बल धामं स्वर्ण शैलापदेहं
atulita bala dhãmam swarNa shailãpadeham
तनुजवन कृशानुं ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं |
tanujavana krushãnum gnãninãm agragaNyam |
सकलगुण निधानं वानाराणामधीसं
sakalaguNa nidhãnam vanarãNãmadheesam
रघुपतिवरधूतं वातजातं नमामि ||
Raghupati varadhootam vãtajãtam namãmi ||

2.            Tulasidas was a great devotee of Sri Rama, who had written Ramayana with the title as 'Rama Charita Mãnas', which is very popular all over North India.  More than Kamba Ramayanam in the south, there in the north, they venerate this book and do PãrãyaNam quite regularly as a book of God!  It was written only some 400 years back, gaining fame as a classic literary piece, bringing much name and renown to the Hindi / Hindusthani language, which was relatively of a recent vintage.  Still, looking from the point of view of grammar, it was not written in the style and diction of high erudition but rather in the colloquial with some slokas in Sanskrit!  May be that is the reason in a way for its popularity, whereas Kamba Ramayanam written in chaste Tamil, is a bit difficult to understand for the common man.  Though Tulasidas's Rama Charita Mãnas does have its literary embellishments, appealing very much to highly erudite scholars, it is the Bhakti Rasa of Tulasi Das which has been the cause of its universal acceptance and popularity.

3.            That was the period of Muslim Rule over most of India and destruction and desecration of Hindu Temples was a daily event.  Conversion of others in to Islam being one of their avowed principles, it was widely going on in India those days.  Still if the masses were resisting such compulsions and sticking on to their Mother Religion, the sense of devotion fed by 'Rama Charita Mãnas' was very much one of the reasons.  The character of Rama Bhakta Hanuman who would not bend his head before injustice, his physical prowess, unshakeable celibacy and bachelorhood, fearlessness and courage, his escapades against all odds, his adventurous spirit and his most sensible advices on many occasions to others; made a deep impression on the collective ethos of a whole nation!

4.            Tulasidas himself wrote a poem known as Hanuman Chalisa of 40 couplets; which became so famous that it was on everybody's lips irrespective of age or caste amongst Hindus.  Easily committed to memory, the poem worked wonders that even a normally docile person would feel guarded and protected that he will feel energetic as though he has become a champion athlete.  The poem became so popular that it proved to be an effective fence against forcible conversion into Islam!  It is not that as though Hanuman was a creation of the fertile imagination of Tulasidas.  If you read the history of Tulasidas, you will note as to how closely his own life was influenced by Hanuman and how he had closely interacted with Hanuman and a recipient of Hanuman's immense grace!  Tulasidas is said to be an 'Amsa' of Hanuman, both the Stars on the Ascendant on their respective birth-days being the same, namely Moolam.  It was virtually as though Hanuman was the 'friend, guide and philosopher' for Tulasidas.  (Now please do not kick up a ruckus as to how Tulasidas a character of some five centuries vintage could have physically interacted with Hanuman who is said to have existed more than 5,000 years back!  Hanuman is said to be one of the 'Chiranjeevi-s' who live forever.  There are supposed to be seven of them namely, Aswattãma, Bali, Vyãsa, Krupa, Parasurama, Hanuman and Vibhishana.)   

5.            It is a MangaLa Sloka written by Tulasidas that occurs in the early part of Sundara KãNdam in his Rama Charita Mãnasa that I had quoted at the beginning of this talk.  I am repeating it here with two changes in the words, 'hema for swarna' in the first line and 'priya bhaktam' for 'vara dhootam' in the last line without changing the meaning too drastically: –    
अतुलित बल धामं हेम शैलापदेहं
atulita bala dhãmam  hema shailãpadeham
दनुजवन कृशानुं ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं |
danujavana krushãnum gnãninãm agragaNyam |
सकलगुण निधानं वानाराणामधीसं
sakalaguNa nidhãnam vanarãNãmadheesam
रघुपतिप्रियभक्तं वातजातं नमामि ||
Raghupati priyabhaktam vãtajãtam namãmi ||

6.            The poem ends with the words 'vãta jãtam namãmi' meaning that I pay obeisance to the son of Vãyu or 'Vãyu Putra' that is Namskãrams to Hanuman, Son of the Wind God, Vãyu that is Vãta in Sanskrit, not Vãda which means 'to argue'!  Hanuman is also called 'Vãtãtmajan'.  He is being described here about which, I am going into details.  Most importantly Hanuman is the foremost among Self Realized Souls 'Gnãninãm agragaNyam' – 'ज्ञानिनामग्रगण्यं'Amongst all self-realized Gnãnis this Vãtãtmaja is in the Top of the List!  Normally his noticeable character qualities are, his phenomenal physical strength, fearless courage, initiative and endeavour, efficiency and unmatched intellect, erudition especially his knowledge of grammar, immaculate celibacy; and using all this power for the welfare of the common lot, in the most Righteous manner, as an offering of love for the Divine!  In addition to all this, was his deep devotion for Sri Rama that he was a devotee of all devotees of Sri Rama!  Then he was super-efficient capable of perfectly focussing all his energies most effectively on the task in hand!  Thus we know him as the No. 1 in Karma Yoga as well as Bhakti Yoga!  What we were not so aware was that he was also Number 1 or Numero Uno in Gnãna Yoga too!  (In a lighter vein, Hanuman was a super-hero much before any of these Batman, Superman, Spiderman and their ilk, were even thought of!)

7.            We know that he is an intellectual of a very high calibre to be called 'buddhimatãm varishtam' – 'बुद्धिमतां वृष्टं'.  Still we know also that intellectual acumen is something else than Gnãnam, isn't it?  Nowadays in the world there are many experts and authorities in various fields in all walks of life.  Can we call them all Gnãni-s?  Only a person who has come to realise that he is one with Ãtma aka Brhmam, while still in the present form as a Jiva Ãtma, can be called an Ãtma / Brhma Gnãni.  Even that experience cum knowledge happens only after much self-analysis with the help of many Tatva Sãstrãs in this life or the previous one, undoubtedly.  Here also the Buddhi has to be an important tool, but solely directed towards and focussed only on this one particular line, ignoring all the distractions by our senses and Maya.  But those whom we know as intelligentsia are mostly those who may be the authorities in subjects as in an encyclopaedia which are only cerebral exercises.  They will not have been motivated by the burning desire to get to know the unity of Paramãtma and Jivãtma and thus their knowledge cannot be termed as Gnãnam.  Such a person though may be well read and experienced, stands far away from the one whom we call a Gnãni! 

8.            Here this Ãnjaneya, who is 'buddhimatãm varishtam' – 'बुद्धिमतां वृष्टं', is different from all other intellectual giants.  He is the one to have seen the other shore of 'Samsãra Sãgara' and have understood and comprehended the very quintessence of what is Vedãntam and the foremost amongst such as 'Gnãninãm AgragaNya' – 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्य', as said by Tulasidas who had known Hanuman personally face to face!  Tulasidas must know fully well what he is saying about Hanuman, as he has also conveyed other adorable character qualities of Ãnjaneya.  What are those other great character qualities of Hanuman?

9.            When he starts the MangaLa Sloka with the words, 'atulita bala dhãmam' – 'अतुलित बल धामं', it means 'the residency of incomparable physical prowess'.   Then he says that Hanuman is 'swarna or hema shylãpa deham' – 'स्वर्ण or हेम शैलाप देहं', it means that Hanuman has a body like the golden or snow covered mountains, so strong and so huge.  Both the words Swarna and Hema as adjectives are equally applicable.  In the Himalayas on a clear day in morning and evening, it is a glorious sight to see the snow covered peaks of the mountains with a golden red tinge of AruNa of the rising or setting Sun.  His, this golden hue of 'Swarna VarNam' is due to his Brhmacharya Tejas of absolute celibacy.  Here one is reminded of the words of MaNikka Vãsagar, when he says, 'ooninai urukki uLLoLi perukki' – 'ஊனினை உருக்கி உள்ளொளி பெருக்கி', meaning 'enhancing one's inner brilliance by melting one's very being'!  In the case of Hanuman that inner brilliance is enlightening the entire environs!  Without melting his being, he was mighty like the mountains of Meru or Himalayas, because he also had to achieve physical accomplishments of incomparable magnitude, as a Karma Yogi.  One of those achievements was that he destroyed a whole lot of Rãkshasãs like a forest fire, 'danuja vana krusãnum' – ' दनुजवन कृशानुं'.  Only after talking about his intelligence and efficiency in his being worldly wise, suddenly Tulasidas jumps to the other world of Self-Awareness and describes him as 'Gnãninãm AgragaNyam'.

10.          Then he describes his mental balance and acumen by saying, 'sakala guNa nidhãnam' – 'सकल गुण निधानं'.  For all good qualities he is like a depository or reservoir, is the meaning.  Then he talks about him who had well deserved the Name as 'Rama Dãsa', could keep all the clans of the not-easily-controllable monkeys as the Lord of them all, as 'vãnarãNãm adheesam' – 'वानराणां अधीसं'!  By this what is figuratively meant is that Tulasidas is hinting at the not-so-easily controllable and flitting and fleeting senseless senses and the mind – which are often compared with the monkeys of the Jivãtma; were kept under strict control as Hanuman was known as 'jitendriya brhmachari' – 'जितेन्द्रिय ब्रह्मचारी'! 

11.          In the end he talks about the first thing that comes to our minds the moment the name of Hanuman is mentioned that he was the messenger cum spy of Sri Rama, as 'Raghupathy Varadhootam' – 'वरधूतं'.  As I said earlier instead of 'Varadhootam', there is a 'Pãta Bhedham' as 'priya bhaktam' – 'प्रिय भक्तं', the one who was very devoted to Sri Rama or the one who had earned his love, actually the epithet is apt both ways.  Having described all this, where he had to reveal the person's name, Tulasidas says 'Vãta Jãtam tam namãmi' – 'वात जातं तं नमामि', expressing his Namaskãra to Hanuman, the son of Vãyu, before ending the poem

12.          In all this we are most concerned about 'Gnãninãm agragaNyam' – 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं'.  It informs us that amongst all Brhma Gnãnis he is to be given the most important place, as conveyed by Tulasidas who had personally known and moved with Hanuman!  So while talking about his character qualities, he has kept this 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं' as the most important gem in the middle of the pendent in a necklace of invaluable gems!  Depository of incomparable power, powerful body like a mountain, heroic capability like a forest fire in destroying a whole lot of Rãkshasãs; are the three things said initially and then; being a reservoir of excellent Satva GuNas, the Lord of the uncontrollable Army of Monkeys and bodily senses and the mind and being the most trusted and loved messenger-spy of Sri Rama; are the three qualities mentioned later.  In the centre is this epithet 'ज्ञानिनां अग्रगण्यं', as I said, as the central gem of 'Atulita' value!

13.          The moment we say that Ãnjaneya is a Brhma Gnãni, those who are well aware of Vedic traditions will at once raise a question as to, 'Who was his Guru?'  You cannot do this on your own.  Hearing the Upadesa of a Guru who can teach and impart Brhma Vidya has to have been there.  This knowledge has to be obtained or has to happen with so many contributory qualities of intrinsic individual effort, with the final push from the Anugraha of such a Brhma Gnãni.  The Sishya has to put in a lot of efforts, has to do Sãdhana of SravaNa of listening to Guru's Upadesa attentively, Manana of deeply thinking about it, Nidhidyãsana of reiterating and mulling over the lessons learnt, Dhyãna of deep meditation and then finally merge in the ultimate Reality, that will happen when it may!  So the question remains as to who was the Guru of Hanuman?

(To be continued.)