Discourses by Kanchi Mahaperiyava
Among all the devi and ambal stotras, “mooga panchachathi” is considered supreme. This stotra has its roots in Kancheepuram. This hymn contains 500 shlokas. Each one of these shlokas invariably contains the words ‘Kanch’ or ‘Kamakodi’ or ‘Kamakshi’ or ‘Ekamra’ or ‘Thundeeram’.
All these 500 shlokas are in Sanskrit. Each one is better than the other – comparable to an ocean that contains only nectar. Those who have had the opportunity to read it and research on it will surely know its merits.
There are certain things in this world that we are never afraid to look at. The more we see them, the more we have an urge to see them again. Children may be scared of elephants. But they do enjoy watching elephants – be it noon, morning or evening. Children never get tired of watching elephants.
We are tempted to watch the sea and moon again and again. We never tire of looking at them again and again. Despite the advent of lamps around us, the light shed by moon is incomparable. When you think about the moon, you are instantly reminded of its illuminance and its cooling effect.
In a likewise manner, the “moogapanchachathi” is a book that one can never get tired of. If you start reading it, you will feel like reading it again and again. These shlokas resulted due to the grace of ambal and that is the reason they give such happiness to the reader.
All the three trimurtis represent one form of ‘sakthi’ or protection. Ambal represents the fourth sakthi.
Shiva and Saraswathi are brother-sister duo. They are whitish in complexion. Vishnu and Sakthi are dark in complexion [Vishnu Durga is another form of Mother Parvathi]. Brahma and his sister Mahalakshmi are golden in complexion.
Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the protector and Shiva is the destroyer. In Saundarya Lahiri, Acharya says that ambal is the main force behind these three cycles of creation, protection and destruction.
Depending on what type of meditation we do, we derive benefits. All the colors that we discussed above [white, dark, green, golden yellow] etc are the colours that are contained in the red colour which is the colour of parasakthi. As parasakthi merges with ayan, she becomes devoid of any colours as the white colour subsumes the red colour.
Ravanan was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. We know that there are different versions of Ramayan – Tulasi Ramayan, Valmiki Ramayan, Ananda Ramayanam, Durvasa Ramayan etc. In one of these Ramayanams, the following anecdote is mentioned.
Rama has a green complexion like ambal. Ambal/ Eswari dressed up as Ram. Lord Shiva dressed up as Sita, the consort of Ram. In the earlier days, young children were cross dressed and married and a procession would be taken. The boy would be bedecked as a bride and the girl would be dressed up as the bridegroom.
Parasakthi symbolized Vishnu. Ravana, a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva, wanted to install Lord Shiva in Asoka Vanam and pray to him. His attempts failed because Mother Parvati hugged her husband when Ravana tried to shake Mount Kailas. Daunted by his failed attempts, Ravana started thinking, “If I need moksha, then I need the grace of both Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. Can I do something blasphemous to achieve my goal?” so his thoughts ran.
His devotion to Lord Shiva had reached levels of lunacy. He realized that Shiva and Parvathi had disguised themselves as Sita and Ram respectively.
In Valmiki Ramayan, there is an anecdote. Lord Ram dissuades his consort Sita from accompanying him to the forest for 14 years. Sita asks him, “Who are you? Are you a woman disguised as a man?”
Anjaneya is none other than Bhagwan Nandi in disguise. So, when Ravana’s initial attempts to take Lord Shiva to Lanka failed, he resorted to a devious method for achieving his goal.
Today people are running short of time. A bit of lethargy also creeps in due to modern day stress. One cannot blame them. There are professional commitments. The kitchen fire has to burn!
When we always think of the Lotus feet of ambal, her grace will bless not only us but also our future generations. Vamsa-vriddhi will happen. People will get better job opportunities. To achieve this, you have to do parayana, then japa and then meditation.
When you are meditating pray, “Devi Parasakthi, please bless me so that during my last days in this world, I only think of you and meditate about you, O, mother”. Every day pray to Mother Parvathi and surrender at her Lotus feet.
Devi & Guru are embodiment of one and the same thing. The sun gives us light but sun’s heat makes us perspire and feel thirsty. However, Ambal gives us light that gives us abundant positive energy. It reduces our cravings. Her light is like the light from the moon – that gives us a cooling effect and calms our nerves.
The rays of moonlight destroy our cravings and give us an inner peace that is so difficult to describe. Indians like anything that is cold. We often say, “My stomach is now cool. I am happy”. As Westerns live in cool climates, they become enticed to warmth.
Ambal or Devi is the one who gives us happiness. Her presence is like receiving coolness from the moon. This is what most of the holy books say.
Let us pray to her, let us meditate on her, let us seek her grace and attain boundless happiness, glory and prosperity.