By Periyava

Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj




ஸ்வாமி என்றால் என்ன? : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)

Swami: What does it mean? : Deivathin Kural (First Part)


We surmise, upon seeing a house, that a builder must exist. We come to know of the engineer of the building. The same is true of a car. It came into a form to serve a useful purpose. The home and the car did not spontaneously take shape. An intelligent being must have created it, we assume. This goes with all objects. There must be a plan and a creator or maker of all objects.

If that is so, there must exist of a Builder of the universe, with the later (universe) bound to multimodal disciplines and universal laws. He made it possible for life to exist on earth, in addition to Nature made of objects with multiple utilities. These are created with a motive. There must exist a great power to manage and maintain these objects.

We know who put together the cottage we occupy now.  Who made the plantain tree? We cannot see with our eyes the maker of the tree. But someone made it. In a plantain tree, we see layers of leaf stalks in perfect order. The maker has arranged them beautifully. We cannot show or identify the creator of the mountain, the stars, the moon… They came into existence long ago. We may ask how to identify and show the maker. This rose flower came into existence after the plantain tree. Day before yesterday, it was a bud. Now it is a beautiful blossom. There are hundreds of petals with minute veins and fragrance. It flowered right before our eyes. Yet, we do not see the maker of the flower.

We think we are the intellectuals. Consider this. An animal that goes around Chennai returns wonder-struck and not knowing anything it has seen.  Likewise, we live in this universe, not knowing its origin…  The one who is more intelligent than man kept him like this (with ignorance).

Rose flowers blossom under its own Dharma. So are the fixed mountains, the roving stars… under their own Dharmas. It is apparent one Engineer made all these. It is apparent there is one order under Kāraṇa-Kārya principle (Principle of cause and effect) that bind the whole universe, the maker of which is one Supreme Intellect.

The self-enamored, the self-assured and the self-described intellect, which is man, must know the Greatest Intellect of all times, because not only He is the First and the Foremost Intellect of all times but also a good Being. The Greatest Intellect having planned and created all these, exercises his power to protect all with compassion. He does us good, if we offer worship, knowing all these were his bounty and realizing that our intellect is a grant from him.

Only He is Svāmi.

Our intellectual endowment, though meager by comparison, is evidence of his existence. The footprints help us identify the thief.  The footprints of Svāmi, who stole our heart, mind, and soul, are the tracks seen all over the world. Our comprehending intelligence is evidence of his footprint. There must be a proven base or repository for our intellectual endowment which is proof (of his immanence) and his footprint.

We are the evidentiary proof of extant Svāmi. Can we ever draw the person-specific dermatoglyphics (ரேகைகள்) on the palms?  We see a great city layout because of the intelligence of man: roads, rails, highways, buildings, monuments… More surprising and complicated is the wonderous layout (anatomy) of God-created leaf: petiole, midrib, lateral veins, sublateral veins, terminal veins, borders…   The objects in this world are the evidence of that Great Thief’s dermatoglyphics (Palm lines). (We see his palm prints and fingerprints in all objects of the universe.) As the thief remains in hiding, The Great Thief -Svāmi-is also in hiding. Vedas say repeatedly that the Thief of all thieves hides in the cave (the cave of the heart).

http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/part1kurall02.htm  (Tamil Text)

What is the meaning of Svāmi?

Svam means possession or property. Svantham (சொந்தம்) is what we own. That is our property. Temple property is called in Kerala ‘Dēvastham.’ The Owner of the property is Svāmi. Uḍaiyār is the Tamil word for Svāmi. The carvings on the rock walls of the temples have Uḍaiyār meaning Gods: Tiru-c-ciṛṛampalam-uḍaiyār, Tiru-venkatam-uḍaiyār, Tiru-nākēcchura-uḍaiyār, Kapālīṣvara-uḍaiyār…

Guru and God one for Vaiṣṇavas and they say Srī Rāmānujar is Uḍaiyavar.

Svāmi is the owner of property, I said. What property? We and the entire Universe are His property. All that you see, feel, breath, touch, imagine, deduce…are the property of That One (second to none).  Thāyumāṉavar quotes God, “All are mine.”  People say this is his property and this is my property. In truth, all the properties we claim as ours are His. If he is not extant, this universe does not exist. Neither do we. The properties we claim as our own do not exist.

We think we created anew the house we live in and the car we drive. Scientists invent and make new machines. All the raw materials are the creation of Svāmi. We modified and tinker with what Svāmi already made. We created nothing new. Creation of an element and an atom is an impossible task for the scientists. Could a scientist manufacturing bombs and machines…make a small leaf with a beautiful complexity?

The One who makes all, owns all. That is why He is Uḍaiyavar (Svāmi) and called such. Don’t we do whatever we wish with our property? Likewise, if we, the property of Uḍaiyavar let Him do whatever with us according to His wish, we carry no burden and remain in joyousness.

We, in an egoistic fit, say ‘I, Me, Mine,’ and wander aimlessly. If you realize He owns this, that, and everything else, we will not ramble sporting the I-ego or I-ness. If we do not entertain personal desire and aversion as our right and realize it, there is no weary wandering for us. Perfect tranquillity!  Svāmi, as a word, declares that we do not own ourselves, He has, by His Will, the right to dispose us any way He can, and we are His property. This realization is Bakthi’s supreme aim, also called Saraṇāgathi.

The Call of the Divine

Love and Grace

We see the head of the family tries to bring peace and quiet in the family if there are any problems in the family. The same is true of the leaders of the country, trying to quell any uprising, find solutions to political problems… When world Dharma is in jeopardy resulting in major upheaval, who will resolve it?

Only God can do it. God becomes man and Nāyaṉmārs and resolves the hardship.

Nāyaṉmārs play the role of Guru and show the path of wisdom in resolving doubts and difficulties of their own families, country and the world and shine as the remover of hardships.

The elders, when we approach them, morph our difficulties into happiness. The mind gets joy. If you stand in front of the sanctum, peace is obtained. We receive salubrious feelings as obtained from a cool fragrant breeze from a flower garden. In life, we get courage, energy, and self-confidence.  The truth is they feel these positive sentiments daily. Only people with full faith and Bakthi, feel happiness, fellowship, and energy.

The elders love all people. They are disciplined, involute into their souls and melt with compassion. By these they remove the miseries and unhappiness of the people of the world. They worship God for the weal and welfare of the world.

Their austerity, great grace, service, and their immense virtue make this world prosperous and we bear witness to it.

The elders have deep and extensive knowledge in many arts and human endeavors. They are not only the walking deities but also walking universities.  Because of them, the nation advances, the world prospers, the languages flourish and their knowledge seeds future generations.

They have delivered lectures often citing quotations from Sastras, Puranas, and Vedas for the advancement of human life and purification.  Those rising voices, instead of being blown off with the wind, stood steady, became the divine voice, got memorialized on the printed page and became a great treatise now.  Sorṇamūrthy’s thoughts became the concepts.

There is a plethora of grace in the loving words of Ācārya Swāmigaḷ.  All cannot delve into Puranas, Itihāsas, Vedas, Dharma sastras… The elders read all these treatises and handed us the Nectarian essence of these books.

We can hear and read about the Hindu religion’s greatness, our cultural uniqueness, God’s multiple forms (polytheism), Vedic principles, explication of life sciences, multidisciplinary Sastras, and the Tattvic principles, all in a lucid language of the laity.

They are a treasure house of great grace and knowledge.  The laity, upon reading them, can become Pandits.  The scholar can become a professor. Man can become divine. Tiru R. Gaṇapathy beneficiary of love, grace, and blessings of Periyava, the author of this series of Deivathin Kural greatly benefited from audiotapes, Kalki publications, teachings of Hindu religious leaders, and lectures by elders of other religions,