The Greatness of Ve(i)liyanadu-kṣetra
A couple of verses in the śloka-vṛtta introduce this composition –
क्षेत्रे विलियनाड्वाख्ये केरलेषु व्यवस्थिते।
जातश्श्रीशङ्कराचार्यः निजमातृगृहे सुखम्॥
इति जानपदीं श्रद्धां समादृत्य चिरन्तनीम्।
तद्गेहं गाहमानेन मयाकारि कविक्रिया॥
In Kerala there is a place called Veliyanadu (approximately 50 Kms from Ernakulam) I have mentioned it as Viliyanadu for the purpose of meter throughout this composition, taking recourse to poetic license. Śrī Śaṅkarācārya comfortably took birth there, where the house of his mother (Āryāmbā) is situated – this is an ancient local belief. I respect this belief and on visiting the house I indulged in the act of poetry.
भवति विलियनाडु-क्षेत्र-संस्थं रजो यत्
उपचित-बहु-सत्त्वं तत्तमो-नाशकं च
नचिरमुपनयेन्मां चिन्मयं स्वस्वरूपम्॥१॥
The particle of dust (Rajas) of the sacred Viliyanadu, because of the great privilege of having the first touch of the jewel of a son of Śrī Śivaguru (Śaṅkarācārya) has accumulated a lot of Sattva. Hence it removes Tamas. Let such Rajas, without delay, take me closer to my pure consciousness (cinmaya) nature.
a) The word Rajas has two meanings:
1) one among the three Guṇas that causes pain, restlessness etc.
2) Rajas also means a particle of dust. Both the meanings are used in the above verse.
b) The word C(h)inmaya is used here also to the indicate the fact that now in this birth place of Śaṅkarācārya, inspired by the great spiritual teacher Swami Chinmayananada, Chinmaya International Foundation is functioning for the preservation and propagation of sanātana dharma.
भवति विलियनाडु-क्षेत्र-संस्थं पयो यत्प
परम-हित-विधात्रा गाङ्ग-तोयेन तुल्यम्॥२॥
The water of the sacred Viliyanadu, being made pure by the first touch of the human incarnation of Lord Śiva (Śaṅkarācārya), is equal to the water of river Gaṅgā in destroying stock pile of pāpa accumulated over many births and also in bestowing highest well-being (mokṣa).
विवहति खलु कृत्स्नंमातरिश्वा रपः सः
मम वपुषि विशन्यः शङ्कर-श्वास-शेषः॥३॥
The wind of the sacred Viliyanadu, has the great privilege of drinking the initial fragrance of the one who wrote various commentaries (Śaṅkarācārya). Such wind, which is the remnant of the breath of Śri Śaṅkara, having entered my body carries away in entirety, all diseases.
भवतु भव-विनाशः शाङ्करालोक-लेशात्॥४॥
The light in the sacred Viliyanadu region is indeed blessed which has attained great purity on coming into contact with the light emanating from the eyes of the preceptor of all the ascetics (Śaṅkarācārya) From that light (of Viliyanadu), which contains a small portion of radiance from Śri Śaṅkara, let the darkness (ignorance) in my heart be destroyed. Let the light of knowledge glow brighter and the worldly life come to an end (leading to spiritual realization).
भवति विलियनाडु-क्षेत्र-संस्थं वियद्यत्
निरवधि-विमलत्त्वं प्राप्तमद्यापि वीध्रम्॥५॥
The ākāśa of the sacred Viliyanadu has attained unlimited purity and remains pure to this day for having given space for the emergence of physical frame of the Draviḍa-śiśu (Śaṅkarācārya) and also because of the fact that it (ākāśa) served as the substratum for the sounds of (initial) cries and laughter of the child. (śabdaguṇakamākāśam – nyāyaśāstra holds the view that ākāśa is the substratum of sound).
Note: Draviḍa-śiśu is the term found in the 75th verse of saundaryalaharī ascribed to Śaṅkarācārya, where, according to some scholars, he refers to himself as a child of this Draviḍadeśa (..दयावत्या दत्तं द्रविडशिशुरास्वाद्य तव यत्, कवीनां प्रौढानामजनि कमनीयः कवयिता)
पञ्चकं शाङ्करं चेदं पञ्च-भूतात्मकं शुभम् ।
प्रपञ्चोपशमं भूयात् पाठक-स्वान्त-शोधनात्॥
This set of five verses related to Śaṅkarācārya has been composed based on the five elements. By cleansing the mind of the readers, let this lead to the cessation of the worldly experience (absorb all diversity).
Composed by: Dr. Jayaraman Mahadevan, Chennai
Details of Publication: Unnamya Dṛṣṭam, A collection of Sanskrit poems with English Translation, Jayaraman Mahadevan, Published by Vyoma Linguistic Labs Foundation, Bengaluru, 2020.
(This set of verses is on page 17 of the publication)