Saturday, October 17, 2015

MA Divyaprabhandam exercise

"Oh Lord. I had wasted my life in going after the short time pleasures offered by the materialistic world, but now I have realised the knowledge of great mantra of "Om Namo Narayanaya", through the grace showered by the Lord for uplifting my soul"
The above is the translation of the words (Vadinen Vadi) I accidentally read at 2-45 am on October 18, 2015. It very nearly applied to me as well. So what was I doing so early in the morning?
Yesterday I had slept early and today got up at 2-45 am. It is true that you would not get sleep when there is some important work to be completed. I suddenly remembered that next weekend was the contact programme for the MA Divyaprabhandam course at Chennai and it was also the day on which I need to submit my first assignment.  Immediately, I set out to write the answer to the first question by referring the study material in English provided by the Sastra University. But behold, I could complete the answer to the first question in only 85 words, whereas the requirement was to complete in 300 words. So where do I go for the 215 more words?

 Then I remembered that the study material in Tamil language was much more detailed and all I need to do was translate the commentaries in English.  By the grace of Lord, I made a mistake of opening the Tirumoli-I PDF instead of Tiruvaimoli-I PDF (the only difference being the addition of three letters V, A, & I).

The words I was reading in the book captivated me to read the entire first page (be aware that the Tamil language used about 5,000 years ago is very difficult to understand for persons who have studied in languages other than Tamil). Only when I started to read the second page I realised that the book I needed to refer was not this (however, the crux of all the books are one and the same as Krishna says in Gita that the Supreme Lord can be realized through any number of ways). That is how I came to read the lines of Vadinen Vadi at 2-45 am in the morning.

Before I close this blog and return to my assignment, let me provide you with the very first question in the assignment and the answer I had written (in italics):
Paper-I - Part-A- Explain with reference to context

Question 1: Udan Misai Uyir Ena Karandu Engum Parandulan

This extract is taken from Nammalvar's Tiruvaimozhi's first centum (mudal pathu), first Tiruvaimohi, 7th song.  The meaning of the words are:
Udan Misai = inside the human body
Uyir ena = the soul
Kantu engum parantulan = pervades and remains invisible in and out of all creation

The translation of the sentence is the key to the Visishtadvaita Philosophy which states that the Lord is apart from the non-sentient things and sentient being and enters them all as "Antaryamin" (internal controller) like unto the soul inside the body.

Today, October 18, 2015 also happens to be the day of Tula Sankramana. Every month (after 30 days), sun is said to move from one zodiac sign to another and Sankramana is the day of the sun arriving at a new zodiac sign. Tula is the Sanskrit word for the zodiac sign Libra. This day also happens to be starting day of a month in Tamil/South Indian calendars. There are four specific months very auspicious in a year- Mesha (Aries), Karkataka (Cancer), Tula (Libra), and Makara (Capricorn)- which are the starts for the four quarters of the year.
 Tula (Libra) is the only month which is considered to be most auspicious to take a head-bath in any river (especially River Cauvery). This is the day, it is believed that river Kaveri was born and on this day every year, pilgrims witness the flowing of river at the birth place of the river in Bhagamandala (Madikeri District, Karnataka). The other three remaining months are special in their own ways- Makara (Capricorin) is the day of Uttarayana Punya Kala (the day sun starts its summer solstice), Karkataka (Cancer) is the day of Dakshinayana (winter solstice) and Mesha (Aries) is the new year day (the day sun completes 365 days and starts his 1st day). I need to perform tarpanam (oblations) to my forefathers on each of these four occasions along with all the days in which there is a new moon (Amavasya) as well as eclipse days (the funny thing about eclipse days is that I need to take head-bath during the climax of the eclipse and perform the rituals while the eclipse exists. Also, after the eclipse ends, I need to confirm that eclipse has passed by looking at the sun/moon and then take another head-bath to purify myself. The most funniest thing is during solar eclipse I need to perform oblations during day time while on lunar eclipse day, I must get up in the night at whatever time the climax happens be it 11 pm or 1 am or 3 am).

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