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Other dieties, and Krmikaantha

Date: Thu Feb 16 1995 - 10:45:31 PST

Greetings =)

Two takes on the following question, both prompted by PD's comments,
so to him goes the credit for insiting me *griN!*

">One question to ParthaSarathi Dileepan and others who may want to contribute.
>I wanted a sort of grep on the whole of naalayiram to find the various ways
>alwars have wrote about Other dieties.

 "   One diety that comes to mind right away is manmadhan.
    In the very first paasram of naacchiyaar thiru mozhi
    Sri ANdaaL prays to not just kaaman, but his brother
    saaman as well.  Of course, what she is praying for
    is to do antharanga kaingaryam for thiru vEngadavan.

I believe this is the "thaiyyoru thingaLum" paasuram, where Kaaman is
referred to as " thEsudai thiraludai kAmadEvA" etc..

I have a question as to whether kAma may be considered a separate diety,
in concordance with myth and tradition. We may all have heard of how
kAma was reborn as pradyumna, son of Sri Krishna, after he was burnt up
by Shiva.

Now, this is where my memory strikes a block ( take your shots people *grin!*)
but i seem to remember that Narayana, Vaasudeva, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha
makeup the four angas of the vyooha at the base, or first tier of the
vishaaka yoopa - the pillar of the universe.  And these four are
considered aspects of Sriman Narayana himself =)

Be that as it may.. the most elegant take on other dieties might be
nammaazhvaar's in the mutharpattu of the thiruvAymozhi, in the stanza
beginninig " avaravar thamathamathu arivari vagai vagai "

Again, I'm not going to risk quoting the whole verse wrong, but it seems
to me that reads as " each person attains the god they deserve by the
power of their intellect" - a rough n' ready tranlsation.

Another rather unorthodox source I would draw upon for this viewpoint is
Sallakaali Tallapaaka Annamacharya, in his Balaji Pancharatna Krthis.

"yenta maatramu yevvaru talacina anta maatrame neevu" 

- You are that much, and whatever your devotees want you to be. In this
case, Annamacharya lists that to Shaivas, He is Shiva, to shaaktas,
Shakti, and to kaapalikas, Adi Bhairava etc etc etc.. 

Not only by denomination, but also by intellect.. " alpa buddhulaku alpam"
"ghana buddhulaku ghanudavu" - to the mean-spirited, you seem mean, and
to those of deep thought, you are deep.

Of course, Annamacharya ends his krthi with calling Sri Venkatesha 
"paratattva" =)

Which leads us to a question of my own.. =)

"[3] One of the five angaas of the total surrender (prapatthi)
mentioned in [2] above is "mahaa visvaasam" (absolute
faith).  Worshiping other deities will  be inconsistent with
this "angam" of total surrender.

Agreed. How then do we reconcile this with the praise of Vedic dieties
such as Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Prajaapati,Agni, and Aryaman in day-to-day
rituals.. eg. in Sandhya Vandanam ? 
"imam me varuNA shruteehava madhyacha mrdaya:" etc ?
or "mitrasya sarshaNeedrta shravo devasya saanasim" ? in the upasthaana
mantras of sandhya vandanam ?

Next, this one :

"[2] Naalooraan, a Saivaite, persuaded mudhalaam
kulOtthungan, the reigning chola king,  to punish the
followers of sri raamaanuja.  The eyes of peria nambi
(raamaanuja's guru) and kooratthaazvaan were gouged out
by this King.  Periya nambi died because of this.

[3] This kulOtthungan is said to have removed the idol of
gOvindharaaja perumaaL from the sanctum of
thiricchitthirakoodam, (Chithambaram) and threw it into
the sea.  Vaishnava texts call him kirumi kaNda chOzhan.
(Some say these two crimes were committed by two
different chOzhaa kings.)

We need to take this story with a pinch of salt =) This may have been
the result of a not-so-punny misunderstanding.

The version of the story I read was that kulOthunga saw the arca roopa of
Narayana in Chidambaram and said " Why is this one on land, his place is
in the waters ?" - probably a pun on the name "Narayana" - he who dwells/
moves on waters, and a reference to the Vaikuntha Darshana as Narayana
who rests on the Ocean of Milk, paarkatal.

I must say I can see rumor distorting this to a point where it reached
the SriVaishnava Nambi-s of the time, that the chozha planned to fling
the murti into the sea =)

Be that as it may, it sparked off conflict, and this may have flared beyond
control. Most stories are agreed on the fact that Nalooraar persuaded 
Kulothunga to make all declare Shiva to bethe parabramham.

Some versions have Koorathhazhvaan going to him disguised as Udayavar,
and some have Kooresha going up to him by himself. 

What then transpires is, the rash Kooresha challenges all that he can
provet that there are things greater than Shiva. The court takes him up,
whereupon he declares that Drona is greater than Shiva.

The way he proves it is by taking the meaning of these two words as 
mmeasures, units of volume.. ( drona - meaning vessel ).

Incensed at his lack of reverence, kulothunga is said to have punished him
by having his eyes put out.

There is a latter part to this story as how he got his eyes back. I will try 
get it soon =)

BTW : the chozha in question is called krmi-kaantha - he who attracts,
or is loved by germs. This was in reference to him having developed
some ghastly infection in later life and dying a didactically painful