Tuesday 28 April 2009

Chintamani,Kamakshi's residence!


"Sumeru madhya shrungasthaa Sreemannagaranaayika
Chintamanigruhaantha:sthaa Panchabrahmaasanasthithaa!"
In Sri.Bhaaskararaya's commentary on Lalitha Sahasranamam , the term "Chintamani" is described as thus:-Chintamani is that jewel which yields all the objects desired;of this the city is built.This house is described in detail in the Brahmaanda Purana,"In that house of Chintamani all is Chintamani."This house having an extent of a thousand yojanas is above the world system.The Rudrayaamala says,"In that Chintamani house of a thousand yojanas in extent."The house which is on Meru is smaller in size.The Lalithaasthavaratna (v.105) says,"May that house,built of Chintamani stone which is on the northern side of Sringaaravana (on Meru),whither all the devas go to worship,remove all my mental trouble(chinta)."In the commentary on Gowdapaada-sutra(no.7)the Chintamani house is explained as the place of origin of all those mantras which bestow all desired objects(chinthitha),and its construction is elaborately described.
Chintamani is specially mentioned in the 3rd,8th and the 33rd slokas of Soundarya Lahari.
3rd sloka:"Avidyaanaamanthasthimiramihiradweepanagari
jadhaanaam chaithanyasthabakamakarandasruthijhari
Daridraanaam Chintaamanigunanikaa janmajaladhau
Nimagnaanaam dhamshtraa muraripuvaraahasyabhavathi."
Literal Meaning:-The dust of Thy lotus feet is the Island City,wherefrom takes place the luminous sun-rise of spiritual illumination driving away the over-casting darkness of ignorance in the hearts of the devotees.It forms the cluster of flower buds from which gushes forth the nectar of intelligence,enlivening the dull-witted.It is a veritable necklace of wish-yielding gems for the poverty-stricken.And for those immersed in the ocean of worldly affairs,it becomes their uplifter like the tusk of Vishnu,which raised the earthfrom submergence in pralayaa waters when He incarnated as the Cosmic Boar.
Maha Periyava has explained about Chintamani in His commentary on Soundarya Lahari,"Chintamani which has an aspect of the divine,grants all one's wishes.Europeans speak of the philosopher's stone but it is different and is more like our "sparsha-vedi";when it comes into contact with an object,brass,lead or iron,it will convert it into gold[or silver].All it can do is to transmute a metal into gold.Chintamani is different:it fulfills our desires,creates whatever we desire!
Kamadhenu,Kalpakavruksha,Chintamani-these three are wish-fulfilling.Chintamani is like stone,earth,belonging to the category of insentient objects.The dust on the feet of Amba is Chintamani that grants all the wealth desired by the poor.In the 33rd sloka of Soundarya Lahari,there is a reference to men who are extremely fortunate telling the beads made of Chintamani gems.There rosaries are like the ones in which rudraakshaas and crystals are strung together and they keep muttering the mantras that invoke Amba("Bhajanthi Tvaam Chintamani-gunanibaddhaakshavalayaah.")There is a mention of Kamadhenu also in this stanza-
"Smaram yonim Lakshmeem thrithayamidamaadau thava manoh
Nidhaayaike nithye niravadhimahaabhogarasikah
Bhajanthi thvaam Chintamani gunanibaddhaakshavalayah
Shivaagnau juhvanthah surabhighruthadhaaraahuthi shathaih."
Literal meaning:-Some connoiseurs of the highest enjoyment,adding before the beginning of Thy mantra(verse)the Bija-syllables of Kaamaraaja(kleem),Bhuvaneswari(hreem),and Sree(shreem)and adorned with a necklace of Chintamani,worship Thee with oblations consisting of countless streams of Kamadhenu's ghee in the purified fire of Shiva(i.e.Shakthi established as the thrikona in the anaahatha-chakra).
The great men who perform the sacrificial rite chanting the mantras invoking Amba do not use ordinary ghee,but the ghee obtained from the milk of Kamadhenu."Surabhighrutha"is ghee obtained from the milk of Kamadhenu,Surabhi being another name of Kamadhenu.
A single Chintamani is enough to grant all one's wishes.Since what Amba gives is many times more than what we ask for,the rosary is said to have been made of many Chintamanis strung together."
Maha Periyava has further given a splendid description of Amba's residence built of not red bricks,but of the precious Chintamani jewels!"Her capital is called Srinagara or Sripura.It is encircled by 25 fortresses and praakaaraas.The fortressess are built of metals ranging from iron to gold and of the nine gems(navarathnas).Then,proceeding further in degrees of subtlety,there are fortresses of the mind,of intelligence,of ego.Lastly there are strongholds built each of the radiance of the sun,moon and the lustre of Manmatha.Between the fortresses there are forests,parks of divine trees and streams and canals.When going past all these in the twenty-fifth aavarana-same as praakaaraa-is the Mahaapadmavana,a canal full of lotuses.It is like a moat and in it is Amba's palace built of Chintamani."The palace of Amba is situated in the park of nipa trees and it glitters having been built entirely of Chintamanis.Maha Periyava says,"if all our thoughts were made into gems,if we were to think of Amba alone and each thought of ours were a gem[a gem of a thought]and if we built a temple to her with these gems,it would also be a Chintamani house.And She would reside in it-that is reside in our thoughts!
The view of Sri Raja Rajeswari seated on the panchabrahmaasana (seat of the throne and its four legs),as an embodiment of shringaaraa,the Goddess gives darshan in Her inner apartment,all by herself.
The above depiction of Chintamani explains the reason why the saint composer,Sri Syama Sasthri had composed the majestic Devi Brova in the raga Chintamani.Through this composition he has broadly hinted that Amba resides in this raga,particularly in the krithi,Devi Brova.
The -"sa ri pa ma pa dha ni sa
sa pa dha pa ma ga ri sa"scale of Chintamani is enough to fire one's imagination and one can effortlessly visualise the twists and turns of the royal praakaaraas and avaranaas to reach the inner apartment where She resides! Sri Syama Sasthri leads us towards the Truth in his spectacular composition of the three syllables, KA-MA-KSHI , in the adhara sadjyama (revealing the Truth that She is the adharam-support) in the third charanam of the krithi.
The pallavi reveals its strength to reach to the Goddess at lightning speed:-
"Devi brova samayamide,athi vegame vachchi"(vegame is fast,athi vegame means extremely fast).
Even the rarely sung or heard 2nd charanam of the krithi:-"Repu maapani chepithe ne vinanu(I will not listen to you if you keep postponing to tomorrow or some other day),"ika thaalanu nenu"(I will not tolerate anymore),"Ee proddu daya seyyave,krupa choodave"(please grant me your vision today itself,please show mercy on me!).These two verses are further hints that She would oblige ,hence the Krithi has been composed in Chintamani.She literally resides in this raga and krithi!Chintamani is the residence of Kamakshi!