Author Topic: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities  (Read 6456 times)

Subramanian.R

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Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« on: November 03, 2009, 12:03:29 PM »
Tripura or Three Cities are the ones which Siva burnt, with
his smile.  There were three demons called Tarakaksha, Kamalksha,
and Vidhyunmali.  They were flying with their cities, on the sky,
and descended to many places and killed the residents at will.
The three cities were made up of gold, silver and iron.  These cities
will converge in the sky once in 3000 years.  The demons can be
killed only at such a time, with a single arrow.  The gods were
as usual suffering and they came to Siva.  They made the earth
as the chariot, sun and moon as wheels, four vedas as four horses, Brahma as a charioteer, Adisesha as arc of the bow, Mount
Meru as the bow, and Vishnu as the arrow.  The chariot got stuck.
Siva was about to descend from the chariot.  Narayana came
as bull, to raise the wheels that were stuck up. Siva ascended
the bull, and smiled at the Tripura, and the three cities got
burnt with death of three demons.

This is also described by Sri Sankara, in Sri Sivananda Lahari,
Verse 4.

O Siva, you are beyond the three Vedas, but pleasant to my
Heart, you are the destroyer of three cities, you are having
three eyes, large matted locks, serpent garlands and a deer
on your hand.  You are the best among the gods, and you
are the refuge of Jivas.  Please come and stay in my Heart,
with Mother when I meditate.

This Tripura or three cities, are metaphorically only three
bodies, viz., gross body, subtle body and causal body.  Or,
it can also metaphorically mean the three impurities, viz.,
anava, (ego), kanma (karma) and maya.

Saint Tirumular says in Verse 343 of Tiru Mandiram:

Only the fools would say that Siva, destroyed the three cities.
He is the god of red matted locks,
What is three cities, they are the three impurities,
Who can do this destruction?  What will happen to them,
 only they have to tell, how can I tell?

Muppuram avadhu mummala karyam... he says in Tamil Verse.

Munagla Venkatramaiah has elaborted this metaphorical insights
into his work Triupura Rahasya.  (Sri Ramanasrmam).  There
is also recently a Tamil work published by Sri Ramanasramam,
in 2006.  This Tripura Rahasyam, in a translation in Tamil from
the original Sanskrit work, by Sri V. R. Subramania Iyer, the
gentleman who has also written the book Ellam Onre, All is
One.  All is One has been prescribed for Annamalai Swami
for Bhagavan Ramana for reading daily.  I think He has copied
it in His own hand writing for Annamalai Swami.

Arunachala Siva.

arcsekar

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 01:35:45 PM »
Lord Parameswara is glorified for three important  and superlative feats a)Tripura samharam b) Destruction of Daksha Yagnam c) Swallowing the deadly poison that emerged on churning for Nectar.  Many principles or concepts are enunciated out of such mythological events which are highly valuable .But to discard them as cock and bull story or fiction is not proper. Doubts are expressed whether Ramayana actually took place or just a moral story to teach not to covet another man's wife.Fortunately,there are still some historical vestiges to prove the existence of places connected with Ramayana. Not so for such happenings outside the orbit of earth-heaven or  or some lokas.We have to believe the  words of great saints who in all their hymns and verses repeatedly recall the glory of God  by referring to the events described in various Puranas. As long as we believe in names and forms, let us respect the matters narrated in Purana to enrich our devotion.May be after reaching the level of Tirumoolar,we will pierce the facade and hold on to the principles/philosophies behind the Puranas.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 02:41:35 PM »
Dear arcsekar,

Yes.  As Tirumular said "only they can tell, how can I tell?"
That is, only when a person has conquered the three impurities
can tell what it is like, and not we.  As you have correctly said,
so long as we believe in names and forms, these puranic stories
have to be belived in full faith.  Once when the three impurities
are transcended, then we can understand the metaphoric insights
of these puranic stories.

For example there is a story in Sri Arunachala Puranam.  Siva
came to the local king, as a Bairva Sannyasi and told him:
"I want a woman tonight, for my bed, since I have sex only
once in 6 months."   The king searched for the local harlots
and everyone was busy that night, already prebooked!  The
king had to give his wife!  The wife also agreed.  The Bairava
Sannyasi went into the royal bedroom.  The king's wife came
to embrace him and suddenly the old Sannyasi became a
child of 3 months in her hands.  The royal couple had no
issues and thus they were granted this boon, through a sport
of Siva.  Even today Arunachaleswara does yearly ceremonies
for the royal couple, since they were his mother and father.

On first hearing this story in Tiruvannnamalai, my wife
shouted:  "O this Siva is the worst scoundrel of the first
water!"  Next morning, one gentleman in Asramam explained:
"This is to test the ego of the king.  When asking the king
to give a harlot or ultimately his own wife, Siva was only
asking for his ego and his wife's self respect.  When given, Siva became their son and took care of the ceremonies after their death, as a dutiful son.

Krishna asking the gopikas to come out of Yamuna river naked
and  take back their clothes, is also the same.

Bhagavan Ramana says in Sri Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai,
Verse 77:

Accepting those who approach you with attachment, destroy
their individuality and then shine free from wrong attachment
and identity with individuals, Oh Arunachala!

              (Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Arunachala Siva.

     

arcsekar

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 03:23:59 PM »
As you know, one of the greatest works of Bhagavan containing the quint esscence of Vedanta is Upadesa Undhiyar-Tamil version/Upadesa Saram -in Sanskrit.Here, Lord Siva preaches an illuminating sermon to the disillusioned Risihis of Daraukavana,. Preamble to this episode narrates how Siva went nude and enticed the wives of Rishis and set them at naught .Such acts of Siva,many can not stomach.Yet it was necessary to punish and teach the arrogant Rishis a lesson .At the end,what we got is a great upadesa,very powerful messages, which Bhagavan has adapted and composed well in Upadesa Saram /Upadesa Undhiyar.

ramanaduli

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 04:01:48 PM »
There are other stories also where Shiva destroyed Andhagasura. Shiva created 64 bairavas to kill him. Now only 8 bairavas there in few temples.
But in all shiva temple they have at least one kalabaira. In the same way Shiva destroyed the pride of Rishis who were living in tharukavanam near Thillai.
In all stories Shiva only destroys the ego and give enlightenment to all.

Can you tell me what is the symbol for having Man (deer) and Mazhu where shiva is having. He did the Gaja samharam. The temple is in vazhuvur near tanjore. Here we can have veerateswar.All the Leelas happened only in Thamilnadu. That is why in temple they say Thennadudaiya Shivane porri Ennatavarkum erriva porri


Ramanaduli

Subramanian.R

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 04:51:45 PM »
Dear arcsekar,

Yes. There are such stories.  These are there in all religions.
In the Bible there are certain stories and passages which may
cause some revulsion.  Irving Wallace's "The Word", a great
novel of 1980s speak about it.  The Tarukavanam story is in
Chidambara Mahatmyam, Kunchitangristavam and Skandam.
The first two are by Umapathi Sivam of Chidambaram, who
was learned in Sanskrit and Tamil.  The story goes like this:

Seeing naked Siva and Mohini (Narayana) the wives of rishis
and rishis themselves got infatuated.  The wives ran to Siva,
without even bothering their sarees falling and blouses tearing off,
due to swelling breasts.... Rishis shouted at Siva.  Siva said:
What is it that bothers you?  Is it my penis?  He plucked the
penis and threw it to the sky!  Siva says that karmas have given
only this much knowledge for you.  Karmas show that your ego
and self respect are not yet killed. Now listen to my words of
upadesa.  Only Jnana vichara can liberate you....

Then comes the famous Upadesa Saram, of Bhagavan Ramana.

The original story appears in Skandam, Siva Rahasya Kandam.
The other two are of post 15th century works.

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 04:59:44 PM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

The Tarukavanam story, has been given by me, in my post
to arcsekar.  The tarukavanam story tells about the elephant
sent by Rishis to kill Siva.  Siva tore the elephant's skin
and wore it as upper cloth.  Then the tiger's skin is worn
by Siva as his waist cloth.  Even Uma was afraid of these
ferocious killing says Tirunavukkarasar in his Tevaram.  This
Gajasamharam is depicted in the temple that you had mentioned.

The deer in Nataraja's hand depicts the ever changing nature
of mind.  The fire denotes the agni of Jnana that can kill
the ego.  Man Kaatti man irkum thanmayaiyane... says
Tevaram.  By showing the deer, Siva attracts the minds of
Jivas. It is like showing a deer in the jungle and enticing
other deers as done by hunters.

There are 8 bhairavas.  Ashta bhairava, they are called.
I do not know the details.  The ashta virasthana sthalams,
8 places of great valour (of Siva) are 8 Siva temples where
Siva did such valourous acts.  I shall give you the details
in a separate post.

Arunachala Siva.

ramanaduli

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 06:32:33 PM »
 What is the meaning of mazhu? There are so many types of Shiva. Each one has got one purana. Maily He comes to save His devotee and held
different types of weapons for different type of situation. Long time ago you gave sapta vidangar's details.

In the same way if you can write the stories of 63 nayanmars it would be a great feast for us.


Ramanaduli

Subramanian.R

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Re: Tripura Rahasya - Tale of three cities
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2009, 11:35:20 AM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

Mazhu in Tamil means the Pick-axe.  While Fire is seen in all
Nataraja and Siva images, the deer, the pick axe and the hand-
drum (Udukkai in Tamil) vary in various images.

As regards Sapta Vidanga Sthalams, I have already written
in some old posts.  These are 7 places of different types
of dances of Siva.  As regards Ashta Veerasthanam, the 8
places of ferocious killings, I shall write soon.

As regards Nayanmars, I have already written in about 60 to
70 serial posts about 6 months back.  These have been re-
located under Translations and Commentaries section.  Kindly
see.

Arunachala Siva.