SrimatE Raamaanujaaya Namaha // SrimatE Nigamaanta Mahaa Desikaaya Namaha // SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya/ SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya// KAvEri VardhathAm kAlE, kAlE varshathu vAsava: / SrI RanganAthO jayathu Sri Ranga Sri cha VardhathAm// =========================================================== SRI RANGA SRI VOL.03 / ISSUE # 39 dated 1st September 2002 SPECIAL SRI JAYANTHI ISSUE # Part 2 =========================================================== EDITORIAL: Dear Bhagavatas: IN THIS ISSUE: 1.RAMAMRUTHAM AND KRISHNAMRUTHAM ? PART 2(Extracted from my speech delivered on the occasion of ?Dolai? to ?Navaneetha Krishnan? held at the home of Sri Deepak Raghavan on 7th October 2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------This is the 2nd Special Sri Jayanthi Issue. Hope you enjoyed the first one released on 30th August 2002. We will conclude this series with one more posting.
We would welcome your valuable feedback AFTER going through all the three parts. This series is presented only by way of providing some food for thought, so that we may reflect on the points.Because we do not wish to convert the Journal into a discussion forum, your comments may be sent as a personal mail to ?Ramanbil@xxxx? and NOT to ?Srirangasri@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. The Regular features could not be accommodated in this Issue. Dasoham Anbil Ramaswamy ===================================================================(19). We saw (in 18 above), that KrishNa offered to stand in the place of the Dharmas abandoned by the Jivas. How and why? If Rama is the personification of Dharma (RaamO vigrahavaan Dharma:), KrishNa was Himself the primordial and eternal Dharma - (KrishNam Dharmam Sanaathanam)
(20). Sri Rama declared himself to be just a human being (Aatmaanam Maanusham manyE). He also claimed that he never indulges in equivocal double-talk (RamO na dvirapi bhaashatE). Did he actually live up to his declaration and his claim?
Ask Koorathaazhwaan. In his ?Athi maanusha sthavam?, Koorathaazhwaan catalogues the super-human feats of Rama that disproved his declaration and proved his Paratvam. As Koortahaazhwaan puts it, his deeds speak more eloquently than his words! (e.g.)
- The breaking of Siva dhanus that was so heavy that neither mortals nor celestials could even lift- all for winning a wager and winning the hand of Sri Sita!
- The annihilation of Kara and Dhooshana and their huge horde of Rakshasas, single handedly that won him the much-prized embrace of Sri Sita!(Bharthaaram Satruhanthaaram parishaswajE)
- The shooting of a single arrow piercing a hole through seven giant Saala trees in one stroke- just to win the confidence of Sugriva and to prove his own potential capacity to kill Vaali!
- The coronation of VibheeshaNa on this side of the ocean much ahead of the commencement of the war against Ravana, when the logistics of war and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the opponents had not been gauged! Who can do this except the Paramaatma who is the only ?Satya Sankalpan??. Lanka was virtually granted to VibheeshaNa even before a proper strategy could be thought of in the unlikely event of Ravana himself surrendering eventually!
- The incident in which he redirected his arrow (drawn against the Ocean king residing down South) against his enemies hiding in the far off shores in the Northwest region!
- The incident in which he allowed the disarmed and helpless Ravana to go home, take rest and come again the next day to continue the fight instead of seizing the opportunity to do away with him instantly! (Inru pOi naaLai vaa). Who else is capable of such generous gesture except Paramaatma, who knew what he was doing and what was in store the next day?
But, what did KrishNa do?Unlike Rama, he did not claim to be an ordinary human being. On the contrary, on every conceivable occasion, he revealed his Paratvam. However, by virtue of his ?Maaya? which none could get over (yasya maayaa durathyayaa), he concealed his ?Paratvam? and highlighted his ?Soulabhyam? so much that people mistook him as no more than just one of them.
And, this was precisely his plaintive complaint! ?Thribhir guNa mayair bhaavair yEbhih sarvam idam jagat mOhitam na abhijaanaathi maam yEbhya: Param avyayam? To mention a couple of examples ?- The KaaLinga narthanam, in which he quelled the venomous serpent by dancing on its hoods.
- The provision of an endless stream of sarees to Draupadi when she was about to be disrobed in the public assembly.
(21). KulasEkara Azhwar, who was one of the greatest Ramabhaktas wrote a moving decad (dasakam) in which he assumes the role of Devaki and laments how in spite of her being the biological mother, she could not have the pleasure of bringing up KrishNa and concludes with a pathetic outcry? what was my loss has become YasOda?s gain? (thollai inbathin irudi Deiva nangai yasOdai kaNDalE?- Such is the charm of Sri KrishNa that attracts even such a staunch Rama Bhakta!
(22). He devotes his other work ? Mukunda maalai? entirely to extol KrishNa calling him variously as ?Parama Oushadam? etc. So did Periyaazhwar who visualized in great detail the various stages of childhood development of KrishNa. Similarly, ?Gopikaa geetham? and ?KrishNa karNaamrutham? and many others too numerous to be detailed, sing the praise of the exploits of Sri KrishNa in glorious terms.
(23). Nammaazhwar, the Prapanna jana kooDasthar of Sri VaishNava Sampradaayam and who is considered the Chief among Azhwars and Chief among Acharyas - who wrote four works considered as the essence of the four Vedas was known as the personification of ?Thirst for KrishNa Consciousness? ? ?KrishNa thrishNaa tattvam iva uditam). He is reported to have slipped into a coma for 6 months when he reflected on the incident in which he allowed himself to be tied to the mortar (ural) by YasOda, muttering ?How come! How come!? (ethiram!, ethiram!). KrishNa was everything for him- the food he ate, the water he drank and the pan he chewed (uNNum sOrum, parugu neerum, thinnum vetrilaiyum ellaam KaNNan).
(24). TiruppaaN Azhwar who started singing on Sri Ranganatha of Srirangam saw Ranganatha as KrishNa himself referring to his consuming butter (veNNai uNDa vaayan). (Even today, it is said that in the innermost sanctum sanctorum of Ranganatha, our olfactory faculties could sense the smell of butter!). The Azhwar follows this by saying ?en uLLm kavarndaanai? suggesting that in reality, the Lord stole (kavarndaanai) not so much the butter but his very heart (uLLam) and vows that having seen this nectar of Ranga- KaNNan, his eyes would refuse to see anything else (enn amudinai kaNDa kaNgaL matru onrinaik kaaNaavE)
(25). There are instances galore of Bhaktas who enjoyed KrishNa and KrishNa alone.
- Parrekshit Mahaaraaja: A curse was on him that he would die within just 7 days. One can imagine the reflux reaction of one whose days are so numbered. But, what did he do? He made straight to a qualified Acharya, the one and only one ?Sukha Brahmam? whose only thought was ?Para Brahmam?. He listened to Sukha expounding Bhaagavatam containing the stories of the leelas of Lord KrishNa at one go - sans sleep, sans food, sans rest, because he did not feel any discomfort when his concentration was on listening to the stories of KrishNa.
- Sukha Maharishi: We called Sukha a qualified Acharya. This is because he was drawn towards the qualities of KrishNa Paramaatma all the time. ?KrishNa guNaakrishTa:?. Once when Sukha was walking on the banks of a river where some damsels were taking bath in the nude, they did not mind his presence. But, a little later, when his father came behind searching for Sukha, they hurried to cover themselves up. Why? Because, despite his classifying the Vedas, writing his monumental work of Mahaabhaarata and the 18 PuraNas, Vyaasa was still aware of his surroundings, while Sukha was totally oblivious to them - his exclusive concentration being on KrishNa Paramaatma.
- Bheeshma Pithaamaha: He never felt the pain while lying on sharp edges on the bed of arrows (Sarasayanam) because his mind was riveted on KrishNa who himself sat patiently by his side to listen to his words of wisdom including
?Sri VishNu Sahasranaamam?.- RukmiNi PiraaTTi: We saw how she opened her love letter to KrishNa with the words ?Bhuvan Sundara? ( Mr. Universe, in the modern parlance). She was enchanted by KrishNa?s beauty completely. In the Thulabaaram? competition (weighing on scales) Satyabama, who tried to weigh KrishNa with pots of gold and precious stones, could not succeed. But, when RukmiNi placed a Tulasi leaf, the pans of the scale evened out, because her devotion to KrishNa was as deep as it was weighty.
- Adhi Sankara Bhagavad Paada: The great Sage was struck by the form, the mercy and the munificence of KrishNa. He says: ?Kandarpa kOTi subagam, DayaarNavam, Vaanchita phala pradam? meaning ?KrishNa?s beauty exceed a crore of cupids put together; He is an ocean of compassion: he grants unstintingly whatever is wanted by his devotees?
- Leelaa Sukhar: He was a great Siva Bhakta always chanting ?Siva Panchaaksharam?. He, however, had a weakness for a call girl. He ran to her immediately after performing a Sraddha ceremony. The girl admonished him for his unseemly act and asked him to turn to KrishNa. That proved the turning point in his life. And, he composed a moving poem ?KrishNa karma amrutham? He says: ?Saivam aham smitha aananam smarathi gOPa vadhoo kishOram? meaning ? Though my mouth is chanting Siva Panchaaksharam. How it that my mind always runs after the enticing face of Lord KrishNa, who is the darling of the Gopis?? and says that KrishNa is having a hearty laugh at his dichotomy!
- Madhusoodana Saraswati: A staunch Advaitin who wrote ?Advaita Siddhi? says that he knows none greater than the Paratattvam that is KrishNa? (KrishNaath para Tattvam na jaanaami). He proceeds to say, ?Let those who want to see other things, see whatever they want. For me, however, the radiant blue-hued flame on the banks of Yamuna is the only thing I would see and would ever like to see?- ?Pasyanthi Pasyanthu tE?. Did not Azhwar refer to the blue hue of KrishNa as ?KaNNan ennum Karum deivam??
- Andal. Meera and Radha: The love lorn stories of Andal (the bridal mystic) in the South, Meera Bai and Radha in the North are classic examples of Bhaktais steeped in ?KrishNaanubhavam? too well known to be detailed here. We cannot, however, resist the temptation to quote Andal. In ?Sitram SirukaalE? Paasuram, she asks for only one boon from KrishNa ?yetraikkum yEzhyEzh piravikkum unthannOdu UtrOme avOm UnakkE naam aaT seivOm, matrai nam kaamangaL maatru? meaning ?Let us be dedicated to you forever, serve you forever, however many lives we may be destined to take. Please do not allow any distractions from this single goal?
- Mahaakavi Bharatiyaar: In our own days, we see that Poet Bharathiyaar figured out various relationships with KrishNa ? friend (thOzhan), mother (Thaai), father (thanthai), King (arasan), disciple (SeeDan), preceptor (guru), child (kuzhandai), playboy (VilaiyaaTTup pillai), lover (kaadhalan), ladylove (Kaadhali), Master (AaNDaan), family deity (kula deivam) etc. More than anything else, he conceived of a relationship that may seem outrageous and which even the Azhwars did not dare to visualize: He pictured KaNNan as his servant (sEvagan) in which he depicts the Lord as a truant servant coming up with all sorts of excuses for his lapses (none convincing, though!). That is how, KrishNa is everything to everyone! Any parallels?
(26) We mentioned earlier that the Avataras of Rama and KrishNa are considered ?PoorNa Avataras? (Complete ones). But, in a sense, KrishNa Avataram seems to be ?more complete? than that of Rama Avatara. Does ?more complete? sound like an oxymoron? To solve this conundrum, we have to look at the dynamics of the birth of both. Valmiki takes great pains to describe how the sweet porridge (Paayasam) obtained from Putra kaamEshTi yaagam was distributed among his three wives.
?Kousalyaa narapathi: paayasa ARDHAM dadou Tadaa ARDHAATH ARDHAM dadou chaapi Sumitraaya naraadipa:// Kaikeiyai cha AVACHISHTA ARDHAM dadou putrasya kaaraNaath// Anuchinthya Sumitraayai punarEva maheepathi: Yevam thaasaam dadou Raajaa bhaaryaaNaam payasam prithak // Meaning:Dasaratha gave ½ quantity to Kousalya, ¼th to Sumitra, 1/8th to KaikEyi. He gave the balance, after great deliberation, again to Sumitra?. Accordingly, it is said that ½ part of VishNu (amsam) was born as Rama; ¼ th part as LakshmaNa, and 1/8th part each as Bharatha and Satrugna (Vide Pages 236-237 of ?Ramapiranai KarpOm? by H.H. Srimad Andavan of Poundarikapuram Swami Ashramam, Srirangam) If we consider this allocation, one is tempted to conclude that after all, Rama was not as ?PoorNa Avatara? as that of KrishNa- who was born complete and undivided!
(27). Let us consider the churning of the milky ocean. People go brouhaha at Lord Siva consuming the deadly poison that first emanated from the ocean. But, did he really gulp it down? No. The poison got stuck up in his throat darkening it earning him the name of ?NeelakaNTan?- the ?blue throated?.
On the other hand, baby KrishNa drank not only the deadly poison smeared on the nipples of Bhootanai(who came to kill KrishNa under the pretext of breastfeeding him) but also her very life itself so completely that the demoness fell down dead to the consternation of everyone around. Such was KuTTi KaNNan?s feat.
Any comparable incident elsewhere?(28) Of the three Mahaamantras of AshTaakshara, Dvaya and Charama SlOka, which are said to represent Param, Vyooham and Vibhavam respectively, the Dhyaana SlOkam of CharamaslOka clearly says that the magical secret of Lord KrishNa?s ?maaya? cannot be overcome except by surrendering to him. (yath PrapaTTim vinaa Yasya maayaa durathyayaa) and concludes declaring, ?I surrender unto him who is the ?Saarathi? (charioteer) of Paartha (Dhananjaya). That is why KrishNa is known as ?Partha Saarathi? It is said that only after earning this sobriquet that the Lord attained satiety in his Avataram.
Any parallels elsewhere?(29) Let us take the ?Sudarsana Mantram?. After uttering the esoteric phonemes, it proceeds with the words ?KrishNaaya, Govindaaya, Gopee Jana vallabjaaya, Paraaya, Paramapurushaaya, ParamaatmanE? etc.
Why is Krishna cited and not Rama?One plausible explanation is that it was KrishNa who was born wielding Sudarsana Chakram while Rama was born like any other human baby. Is it because of this that we hear about KrishNa being called ?KrishNa Paramaatma? and none seems to call Rama as ?Rama Paramaatma??
(30). Do you know which is the most favorite name of the Lord for the Lord Himself? It is not Nrisimha, not Vaamana, not Rama and not even KrishNa itself. It is ?Govinda?
- We commence any religious rite with the words ?Govinda, Govinda, Govinda? - When we do Achamanam (sipping water), the names we recite are:?Achyuta, Anantha, Govinda?. This ?Govinda? is again repeated as we proceed further with ?Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, and GOVINDA? again. Even Trivikrama and Vaamana come later on. But, why the names of Varaaha, Nrisimha or Rama do not figure in the list is anybody?s guess!
- When we conclude any religious rite, we dedicate everything to KrishNa only saying ?Sarvam Sri KrishNaarpaNam astu?
Why not ? RamaarpaNam?? is a moot question for Scholars to ponder over.In the absence of a rational explanation, one can resort to the ultimate argument that ?Sastras have laid down the rules of sequence in this manner. We can do nothing about it!?
(31). Let us examine the Avataara Rahasyam: Why should the Lord take any Aavtarams at all? Everybody will come up pat, with the oft-quoted verse from Bhagavad Gita: ?ParitraaNaaya Saadhoonaam, Vinaasaaya cha Dushkritaam, Dharma Samsthaapanaarthaaya Sambavaami yugE yugE? Meaning?To save the virtuous, to destroy the wicked and to establish Dharma on earth, I recreate myself in every yuga?
The question arises: ?Can He not accomplish the triple objectives by remaining in his permanent abode of SriVaikunTam, especially when He can do all this by His mere Sankalpam?
The answer is that he can. But, He comes down to earth to mix with common folk like us and give comfort and reassurance to his devotees that He is always with them not only spiritually but also physically.
KrishNa Avataram had one more objective beyond these. What is it?He wanted to be a preacher, a teacher ? a world teacher at that. KrishNaashTakam says: ?KrishNam vandE Jagad Gurum?
It is Sri KrishNa who is ?Jagad Guru? ? not all and sundry those strut about petulantly calling themselves ?Jagadguru?, ?Jagadaachaarya?, ?Paramaguru?,?Paramaachaarya"even as ?Bhagavaan? and what not.
By the by, why is Rama not called ?Jagad Guru? even though he taught more by practice than by precept?. This is for scholars to ponder over!
------------------------------------------------------------------------ (To Continue) ======================================================================== _________________________________________________________________Join the world?s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail. http://www.hotmail.com
To subscribe to the list