Mahaperiyava's Exposition on Sri Subramanyaya Namaste-Part 5 Aug 17, 2013 14:47:18 GMT 5.5
Post by Amritha Varshini on Aug 17, 2013 14:47:18 GMT 5.5
“Vasavadi sakala deva vandi taya varenyaya”
Now he talks about the real 'suras', not earthly suras. 'bhUsurAdhi' was in the lower octave and 'vAsavAdhi' in the upper octave. The meaning is 'One who is worshipped by Vasava and other Devas'. Vasava is Indra. Of the Devas, there is one class called Ashtavasus. They are Indra's followers (parivAram), so Vasava is Indra. When he himself worships, all other Devas have to follow suit (yathA rAjA thathA prajA); moreover, when Surapadma drove off the Devas and ascended Indra's throne, Subrahmanya was the one who saved them. So they have much reason to worship Subrahmanya. Not just worshipping - Indra gave off his daughter Devasena in marriage to Subrahmanya. So Deva-senapathi became Devasena-pathi! Dikshitar also points this out later in the kriti (dEvarAja jAmatrE)
Reminds me - Devasena is said to be Indra's daughter, and Valli, the daughter of Nambirajan, tribal king (suramagal, kuramagal) but in fact, both of them are Vishnu's daughters but for some reasons grew up with Indra and Nambirajan. Who is Vishnu? Devi's brother, Subrahmanya's uncle. So Subrahmanya has married his uncle's daughters perfectly in accordance with custom. Arunagirinathar says as many times 'marugOnE' (nephew/son-in-law) as he says 'murugOnE'. Even though Ganesha too is Vishnu's nephew, 'mAl marugOn' - Vishnu's nephew - denotes Subrahmanya only. Another example of unity-in-diversity - Vishnu, whose son Manmadha died in the netragni, has given His daughters in marriage to Subrahmanya - born out of the same netragni. Further, we will see that Saiva-Vaishnava difference also vanishes, and it would not be strange that this kriti is a Vaishnavite's masterpiece. Is it not quite expected, as Subrahmanya is the son-in-law of Vishnu? Would you not love and respect your son-in-law?
One step further - Devi Herself is Vishnu's sister.
First Dikshitar said samasthajana pUjithAya, then sakaladEva vandhithAya. Among Devas too, there are several sects - Vasus, Rudhras, Adithyas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, etc. And finally, 'varENyAya' - means THE BEST. This appears in Gayathri Mantra. To bring out the
superlative nature, Dikshitar has used this word from Gayathri, which is but the essence of the Vedas. And 'varENyAya' continues the 'andhya prAsam' of SubrahmanyAya-lAvaNyAya-charaNyAya, and as it comes at the height of the anupallavi, he has used the word from the essence of the Vedas.The beginnings of each line, too, have 'edhugai prAsam' - 'shrI Su', 'bhUsu', 'vAsa', 'dhAsa'. This is the speciality of great composers – their rachana visesham (not 'rasana' - appreciation). rachanA means lyrical beauty - the unified effect of sound and meaning, each falling into its place at ease. 'Composed', 'composure' itself means peace, ease. (In Tamil, we say quite beautifully, 'sollamaidhi, porulamaidhi'). We can deduce a composer's rasanA from his rachanA.
“Dasa jana abhista prada dhaksha thara agraganyaya”
Having certified His stature with a superlative, Dikshitar mounts more superlatives one after the other to bring out His kindness to devotees. 'dhAsajana apIshta pradha' - one who fulfills his devotees' wishes. Dikshitar could have stopped here, but was not quite satisfied! After ‘pradha’, we have ‘dhaksha’, ‘thara’, ‘agra’ - a stream of superlatives. 'apIshta pradha dhaksha' is one who is very good at fulfilling his devotees' wishes. Stop here? No. 'dhaksha thara' - the best among those who are good at fulfilling their devotees' wishes. 'thara' - better in comparison. (in Tamil we say 'tharamAnadhu'). Yes, there may be many such capable Gods (and their supporters may come fighting) so let us avoid controversy here. After all, God and music and kritis are but for unity and peace. So let Subrahmanya be the #1 among all such Gods, thought Dikshitar. So he says 'agragaNyAya' - another superlative! 'agra' - first place; 'gaNyAya' – held in or esteemed to be in.
“Taraka simha mukha surapadmasura samhartre”
One who vanquished Tharaka, Simhamukha and Soorapadma (add 'namasthE' here). Pallavi and anupallavi had all the words in the fourth person (nAlAm vEttrumai in Tamil). Now charanam has words ending in 'ru' - a weak, half 'u' (kutrialugaram in Tamil). 'Samharthru - upadEsakarthru - savithru' – in 4th person these do not become 'yAya' but take the 'E' sound - 'harthrE - karthrE'. Tharaka, Simhamukha and Soorapadma are brothers. Tharaka is elephant-faced, Simhamukha obviously lion-faced, and Soorapadma has an ugly rAkshasa face. In the South, Soorapadma is the king of Asuras, and the chief villain. We even celebrate Soorasamharam. But in the north, Tharaka takes this place. Kalidasa in his 'Kumarasambhavam' says that Subrahmanya was born for the purpose of vanquishing Tharakasura. And in Subrahmanya Bhujangam, Adisankara mentions all three. Dikshitar follows the 'southern line'. OK; Dikshitar has spoken of His beauty (kOti kOti manasija lAvaNyAya), kindness (dhInacharanyAya, apIshtavarapradhAkshagrahaNyAya) and valour; what next? What signifies Dikshitar's kritis? What is his mudhra? 'Guruguha'. This is Subrahmanya's greatest quality. He is the one who teaches us the path to the Ultimate. He even teaches His father, Shiva ('guruvAi ararkkum upadEsam vaiththa' - Arunagiri) - He is 'thagappan swAmi - swAminAthaswAmi - 'gnAnapandithaswAmi'.
“Tapatraya harana nipuna tatva upadesha kartre”
Jeevatma - human soul - has three kinds of desires - thApathryam. They are Aadhyatmikam, Aadhiboudhikam, Aaadhidhaivikam. And all three lead to suffering; the first to suffering within our soul. The second is brought about by other (human/animal) beings. The last, Aadhi dhaivikam,
literally means God's work, but here stands to mean our fate - vidhi. Subrahmanya teaches us how to win over them - he is an expert - nipunA - at such teaching.
Wisdom and valour - we ignorantly that they are different. But the truly wise man - gnAni - can take any form, but still be a gnAni inside. Krishna tells Arjuna to take his bow and shoot (gAntIpathai edudA ambai thodudA) in the midst of Gita which is essentially a Gnanopadesham. Subrahmanya is a 'gnAnavIra' - the wise warrior, c-in-c of the devasena and worshipped by all
brave and wise men. Hence 'vIranutha'. 'nutha' - one who is worshipped. One more interpretation - He has nine deputies whose names all start with 'vIra' - vIrabAhu, vIrakEsari, vIramahEndra etc. So also He is 'vIranutha'.
After valour, again gnAna! Subrahmanya's abodes are mostly hillocks or caves - guhai ('kurinjikkadavul' in Tamil). Philosophically, He is the Divine Truth residing deep in the cave that is the human heart. And when He comes out and preaches, he is 'guruguhA'. This is also Dikshitar's mudhra, having flown spontaneously out of his heart into his words.
“Agnana dwantha savithre”
'dwAntham' - darkness; Savitha - Sun. Just as Sun drives out the darkness, He drives out the darkness of ignorance. The use of the word 'savithA' for Sun is significant here. Sun - Surya - has several other names - Aadithya, BhUsha, Bhaskara, Bhanu, Marthanda, Dinamani (more to be found in Aadhithya Hrdayam). Of these, the name savithA appears in Gayathri Manthra. Roughly
translating, in Gayathri, we pray that the brilliant wisdom light of the Ultimate, likened to the glow of the Sun, should awaken our inner wisdom and make it glow, too.
Speciality of the name is, Savitha does not talk of the destructive-of-darkness nature of the Sun, but of the creative nature. Savitha - literally one who creates. (prasavam - giving birth - same root here). Sun not only destroys darkness, dirt, insects etc, but also induces rain, growth of vegetation, our good health and even our mental growth. Similarly, Subrahmanya vanquishes darkness (of the mind), but also
fills in this void space with wisdom. The use of the word Savitha has come out beautifully. (ThirumurugAtruppadai starts with a similar simile of dawn)
I think the whole point of this kriti is to show Subrahmanya to be the essence of Gayathri, which is itself the essence of Vedas. The kriti starts with Brahmanyaya; at the high point of the anupallavi we have 'varENyAya' and the high point of charanam has 'savithru'. The kriti touches its peak at this point.
This is fun! the real fun with real gnAni is he can be anything outside; brave, beautiful, kind, anything. He is SUrasamhAramUrthi, the valiant victor at Tiruchendur; a sanyAsi at Palani; a Brahmachari boy at Swamimalai; Devasena's and Valli's husband at Tirupparankundram and Tiruttani. Vijayavalli is none but Valli. (Devasena is Jayanthi). So He has Jaya and Vijaya as His consorts! Valli Kalyanam is a jolly good anecdote. But the philosophy there? He frees the mind, caught between IndriyAs (the tribal folk in the story) and merges it with Himself. Goes also to show how much of a 'dhInacharanyA' He is - He, the Son of Universe's first couple, took on many different roles and what not, just to please the deep, innocent love of a tribal girl.
“Sakthy ayudha dhartre”
- one who wears the powerful spear - ShaktivEl.
We generally take this to mean strength, fearlessness; of course that is correct. But another meaning is sharp intellect. And this 'dhI' sound is found in Gayathri too! Gayathri's use of 'dhI' refers to our intellect, which, pray, be induced by the Ultimate Light (paramAthma thEjas). The root meaning of the word 'gAyathri' is 'that which protects/elevates the one who sings it'. Sing? The recital of Vedas, in up-down fashion, is itself like a song. And Dikshitar probably made this kriti as a kind of musical Gayathri, and hence borrows many words and ideas from Gayathri Mantra. Which is the first and basic swara of the saptaswara? Shadjam.
The cooing of peacock is likened to Shadjam, and peacock reminds us of what? Him! (Arunagiri says 'maragadha mayUra perumAl kAN'). If He is the Lord of Shadjam, the base note, is He not the Lord of music too? And must He not have a Sangeetha Gayathri on him? Which is why, He created Dikshitar, started him off with a sugar candy and got him to sing this kriti!