Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 8 of 8


But now let me not take you into that ‘high philosophy’. Whatever it be, the only objective of the right advaita-sAdhaka is the Realisation of the Atman. It is for that purpose, he keeps meditating, at the final stages of his SAdhanA, on the mahA-vAkyas. And he experiences the non-different status of JIva and Brahman, declared by the mahAvAkyas.

By that very experience he knows that the bondage is gone. And that is why the Acharya says *sva-svarUpAva-bodhena moktuM*.

‘Avabodha’ means waking up to a perception. ‘Waking up’ does not mean that ‘sleep’ is gone and then ‘waking’ happens. One wakes up instantaneously. And by that itself one knows that ‘sleep’ is gone. The same way here.

We can even say more. *sva-svarUpa-avabodhAya* , that is, only for the awakening to One’s Nature. (awakening to Spritual Wisdom). When one is in the state of ‘mumukshhu’ he desires release from bondage.

When he goes beyond and attains enlightenment, he awakens to Wisdom (*sva-svarUpa-avabodhena*) and by that very awakening he knows he has been released from bondage.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 7 of 8


It is so significant that even now we can cite that as the best example of a ‘mumukShutA’ :
*ihAsane shushhyatu me sharIraM
tvag-asti mAmsAni layaM prayAntu /
aprApya bodhaM bahu-kalpa-durlabhaM
naivAsanAt kAyam-idaM chalishyati //

meaning, “Let this body dry out on this very seat; let skin, bone and flesh die. Without getting Enlightenment, even if it takes as long as a kalpa, this body shall not move from this seat” !

This is the rock-like resolve that he made before he sat under the Tree. Whatever it be, our Rishis of the Upanishads did leave everything only to discover the Ultimate Truth.

To those sAdhakas whose only goal is to discover the Ultimate Truth, the Realisation of that Light of Truth becomes the only object of attainment.
From that attainment itself they will be able to infer that the darkness of MAyA is gone.

If we look at the way such Atma-JnAnis have described their experiences, we learn that they kept on pursuing their enquiry about the Atman and suddenly the Atman did shine. That is how they say it.

They never say that some such thing as the bondage of MAyA disappeared and then there was Realisation of the Atman. Because, just as Gaudapadacharya has said (in his Mandukya-kArikA), there is nothing in reality like bondage of MAyA, nor something which shows up as release of bondage.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 6 of 8


Truth for the sake of Truth, that was their clarion call.

Theirs was not an aimless adventure of a distressed and crying mind that looks for ways to be rid of any existing despair in the hope of accepting whatever that comes.

Their spiritual march was not a disgusting prompt by the torture of the mind flow; nor did they proceed as if they were running away to a distance which may hold or open up what they know not, but which they will accept, so long as they are assured of relief from the misery of the mind flow.

On the other hand, they all started with a determination to discover that ineffable Light of the Atman that was shadowed by an unreal MAyA. Not only did they march to inquire and discover, but they urged the whole humanity to march with them on the same call!

I said they did not start with a distressed and crying mind. One who started with a distressed mind was the Buddha.

But even about him, the followers of that religion speak of him only as one who went out seeking a positive state of Enlightenment and he got that Wisdom (bodha) underneath the Bodhi Tree. And that gave him the name The Buddha.

Before he sat for meditation under that tree it appears he himself said something which has become a significant shloka in ‘Lalita-vistAra’ (A life history of the Buddha).


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 5 of 8


In other words, they declared: “Whatever is the Ultimate Truth, that has to be found by an intense inquiry.

Let it be good or bad, let it be happiness or misery. The flood of Time brings events after events and the whole universe is in motion.

For all this movement there must be a base of action. And that must be something firmer than all of them.

So also in the case of the JIva that pertains to us, who are waxing and waning, something grants us a life, a consciousness and a power; what is the permanent substratum of this? Let us discover it.

With this trumpeting call the Upanishad Rishis marched on with infectious enthusiasm, confidence and courage and proceeded bravely like ‘dhIras’ towards that discovery.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 4 of 8


Between the two, namely, Release from bondage, and Realisation of the Atman, -- between these two, there is nothing that is before or after. Both are simultaneous.

In total darkness we light a match. And there is light. Darkness is gone.

Does light come first and then after some time does the darkness disappear? Are they not both simultaneous?

But note one thing. It is not that darkness goes and light comes at the same time! Light comes and at the same time darkness is gone!

This is where Vedanta is great. Its goal is to find the Light of the Self.

Keeping this as the central focus, it starts from nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka (discrimination between permanence and impermanence) and ascends gradually from one step to another.

Their objective was not the removal of misery (as was that of the Buddha), nor was it the stoppage of mind-flow that causes all misery (as was that of Patanjali); the Rishis of the Upanishads, the author of the Brahma-sUtra and the Acharya all emphasized the Realisation of Brahman as ‘the Goal’.

They prompted us to search for the Truth and go after it. Theirs was a “satya-anveshhaNaM”.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 3 of 8


Our Acharya’s subject and object in the source book, Brahma Sutra, is ‘brahma-jijnAsA’. So the anguish-cum-desire for release from all bondages is only for the Realisation of the non-difference between JivAtma and ParamAtmA – that is ‘brahma-sAkShAtkAra’ (Realisation of Brahman) -- and it is this desire that is ‘mumukShutA’.

This is clear from the shloka of Viveka Chudamani that we were discussing.

*sva-svarUpa-avabodhena* means ‘by the awareness arising from the Enlightenment as the Atman’.

It is through that awareness that one should desire to get rid of the bondage of Ignorance. But mark it!

This does not mean: “First there happens Realisation of Brahman (this is the *avabodhaM*) and then follows the release from bondage. This contradicts what has so far been said.

In other words, the so-called ‘positive’ event of Brahman-Realisation finally leads only to the ‘negatively-stated’ Release (mokshha) from bondage”. No, this is not how it should be understood.

No one who has studied Vedanta in depth or who has understood the teachings and works of the Acharya, would arrive at such a conclusion.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 2 of 8


The desire to be rid of this bondage is *moktuM icchA* (desire to be released). The anguish for the release is *mumukShutA*.

Such is the negative definition of ‘MokSha’. But what the final goal is, is also mentioned right in the middle of the shloka in a positive way: *sva-svarUpAvabodhena*.

‘avabodhaM’ means waking up. The waking up is the awakening to wisdom from the darkness of ignorance.

Wisdom about what?

About ‘sva-svarUpa’, that is, about Atman, one’s own natural true state. Instead of saying ‘ awakening to wisdom about Atman’ we better say ‘awakening to the Atman’.

The Atman itself is the wisdom, knowledge. This awakening is called also ‘Awareness’.

The self-consciousness brought about by this awakening is not different from the Atman. They are both the same.

MAyA is Ignorance; Brahman is JnAna, Knowledge. That Knowledge is the ‘sva-svarUpa-avabodhaM’.

To be relieved of all bondages is not an end in itself. A person who thinks of it as an end-in-itself, because the bondages were the cause of one’s suffering and so their end is all that is needed, is not considered as a ‘mumukShu’ by the Acharya.

He does not leave the matter like that, as Patanjali did with his yoga theory that the stoppage of all mind-flow (citta-vRtti-nirodha) is all there is to it.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mumukshhu - Part 1 of 8

Mumukshhu: Definition by the Acharya

One has to come out of this MAyA and become Brahman; this should be the only thought of the mind.

One who is thus totally involved in this manner is said to be a ‘mumukShu’. The Acharya in shloka #27(or 28) of Vivekachudamani gives this definition:

ahaMkArAdi dehAntAn bandhAn-ajnAna-kalpitAn /
sva-svarUpA-vabodhena moktum-icchA mumukShutA //

Here he talks about both the MAyA that has to be discarded and the Realisation of the Natural state, that one experiences after the release from the MAyA.

Ignorance itself is MAyA.

It is because of MAyA that Ego is imagined as an ‘I’ distinct from the Supreme Self. This ego is the source of all the hierarchy of errors.

The hierarchy starts in the form of that ego as a subtle thought and ends up with an individualised ego in every physical (sthUla) JIva. What thinks of the body as oneself is the action of MAyA.

The JIva has been bound by imagined bondages right from the subtle ahamkAra down to the concrete physical body. This is what is said in the first line of the verse above.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 10 of 10


Note that both when the JivAtma separates from the ParamAtmA and when it goes back and becomes one with the ParamAtmA, the locale is the heart that we spoke of above.

The ordinary example of the door of a house being both the entrance and the exit is good enough!

In the antaHkaraNaM there are four entities: cittaM, manas (mind), buddhi (intellect) and ahamkAraM (Ego).

Of these the locale for the mind is the neck. That of the Ego is the heart. That of the intellect is the face. CittaM is specifically referred as memory power.

When it is the memory power its locale is the navel. But really, the basics of all the three, namely, mind, intellect and ego is that which is called thought and this originates from cittaM. Therefore cittam does not need a separate locale for itself.

When we vacillate between this decision and that, cittaM is at the neck. When we finally decide, by our intellect, to do something in a certain way , cittaM is in the face.

When we establish ourselves as ‘I, the JIva’, cittaM is in the heart which is the locale for the Ego.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 9 of 10


The ‘samhAra’ word has no connotation of freight. ‘hara’ means the action of grabbing.

‘sam-hAraM’ means the process of the Lord taking us over fully (*saM*) into Himself!.

It is the heart that is the locale at the time of creation for the ego to make the JIva separate (from Brahman) as an individual separate from Brahman; it is the same heart that is the locale at the time of dissolution (not ‘temporary’ but as a permanent ‘identity’) for the inner organ to converge inwardly to the Ultimate.

Further when it converges further and stays at the sharp point at the centre of the heart, that is when Enlightenment takes place. Let it be.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 8 of 10


I told you earlier I will tell you about ahamkAra (Ego). That is this matter.

AhamkAra is nothing but the thought of ‘I’ as distinct from Brahman.

That thought is the starting point (dramatically termed as ‘pillaiyAr chuzhi’ in the Tamil world) of the process of evolution of Shiva into a JIva.

Evolution is called ‘SrshhTi-kramaM’ (the regimen of creation) and Involution is called ‘Laya-kramaM’ (the regimen of dissolution).

‘Laya’ is also known as ‘samhAra’. But I did not use that word lest you may be scared.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 7 of 10


The principle behind the Space-ambalam (in Tamil) is also the God Nataraja of the Sabha-ambalam, namely the Assembly of Dance.

That is the case of the Cosmic Purushha. But in every one of us, in our hearts, there is a small subtle gate, which is point-size.

I said the disposition of JIva goes into that, shrinks and shrinks and finally merges there.

This is what happens when the JIva gets Godhood (of Shiva). It is delightfully called ‘Involution’.

It is the submerging action, by a convex caving in, of something which was expressing itself by expansion.

On the other hand, Shiva who is nothing but Sat (Existence), that is, the ParamAtmA, when he evolves into the JIva with body, senses and antaHkaraNaM, that happens again in this same heart by the sprouting of the ego in the expression ‘I am an individual JIva’.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 6 of 10


The ChitsabhA (the assembly in the temple there) is the ‘point’. This is the meaning of the well-known facts: “It is a subtle gate; there is nothing but space there. It is a secret.

Among the kshetras corresponding to the five elements, Chidambaram is the AkAsha (Space)”. Chit-sabhA is also called ‘dabra- sabhA’.

The direct Tamil equivalent of this is ‘ciRRambalam’ (meaning ‘small ambalam’). The popular opinion that ‘ciRRambalam’ and ‘cidambaram’ are mutations of the same word is wrong.

‘cit ambaraM’ means JnAna-AkAshaM (Knowledge-space).

The Sanskrit word ‘ambaraM’ has two meanings – one is ‘Space’, the other is, something unrelated to the present context, ‘cloth’. But ‘ambaraM’ never means ‘sabhA’ (assembly).

But there is a Tamil word ‘ambalam’ – possibly derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ambaraM’; and that has two meanings: ‘space’ as well as ‘assembly’.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 5 of 10


By the statement about the subtle space-point which is the locale for the Atman in the heart, it follows that all around the point there is the heart. That is also a small locale.

The Upanishads use the two words ‘daharaM’, ‘dahraM’ for this. Both mean ‘small’.

In later times this ‘dahraM’ became ‘dabhraM’.

The heart and the Atma-sthAnaM (location for the Atman) within are called ‘daharaM within daharaM’ and ‘dahraM within dahraM’ in the Upanishads (Ch. U. VII- 1; Taittiriya AranyakaM XII – 16).

The Absolute Reality of Brahman which is permeating everywhere ‘is’ in such a small space.

The entire universe is the cosmic expansion of the VirAT-purushha.

The heart of this Cosmic Purushha is Chidambaram.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 4 of 10


The antaH-karaNaM which lives on the strength of the individualistic JIva-bhAva created by itself, as well as the life-breath which gives life to the whole body – both merge into that single point, the single root of everything.

The enlightenment of the self as Self also takes place right at that point. It is a ‘point’, very small, like a needle eye. *nIvAra-shUkavat*, that is, as slender as the awn of a paddy grain; it has been said to be that small.

Within the heart, which is like the bud of a lotus suspended in an inverted position, there is a subtle space. From there spreads throughout the body a hot Fire, the Life-power; and in the centre of that Fire there abides a tongue of Fire, dazzling like the flash of lightning; that is the PrANa-agni.

That ends up at the point as the awn of a paddy grain. That point is the locale of the Atman (Atma-sthAnaM) – says the Narayana SuktaM.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 3 of 10


For this reason if one attributes a form or qualities to the Atman and makes it totally ‘saguNa’ (with attributes) and dualistic, that is not right. Then how do we create the prop?

The Formless one that is permeating everywhere is something which surpasses all attempts to imagine it!

That is why, even if the Atman is not attributed with qualities and form, a point has, as it were, been specified within the JIva’s body itself and the location of the Atman is to be imagined there.

Who has done this specification? No less than the ParA-shakti Herself!

She it is who showpieces all that dualistic MAyA. And She Herself when She chooses to show compassion by bringing some one into advaita has kept that unique ‘point’ as the ‘Atma-sthAnaM’ (location of the Atman), where the antah-karaNaM (Inner Organ) can converge.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 2 of 10


This heart is indeed the location of the very Atman.

Note by R. Ganapthy, the collator of these discourses: Shri Ramana Maharishi used to say: “The (spiritual) heart, which is the location of the Atman is within the right chest of a jIva”

Of course it is true that the Atman is permeating everywhere in such a way that there is no space for ‘space’ and so no ‘location’ to be specified for the Atman.

The words ‘sarvaM’ (all) and ‘vyApakaM’ (permeation) both need for their meaning the concept of space, but it is true that space itself is subsumed by the Atman as to be nowhere.

However, for the mind (antaH-karaNaM) which is always drawn towards duality, to be turned to non-duality by the Grace of God, and towards meditation of the Atman, it needs some kind of a prop, at least mentally.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inner Organ and Heart - Part 1 of 10

Even though the word ‘inner’ (*antaH*) is there in ‘Inner Organ’ (*antaH-karaNaM*), instead of looking inside it is always turned outside. It is termed ‘inner organ’ because it is subtle inside and not concretely visible from outside like arms, feet, eyes, nose, etc.

Its subject matter is the dualistic world and dualistic experiences. Generally it is so with all jIvas.

It thickens by the dirt of experience and stays like the dirty and greasy stain attaching itself to cooking vessels. This is a matter of the inner organ.

The heart that I speak of, on the other hand, is again not the physical organ on the left side of the chest of the human body.

Nor is it the anAhata-chakra, located in the dead centre of the chest, in the suShumnA nAdi that is within the spine.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is Love? - Part 2 of 2


The attachment to the other being that we develop for this very purpose is what is called Desire. This is wrongly thought to be Love.

Love is what arises when our internal organ (*antaH-karaNaM*) is at its noblest height.

Then it is that the mind and intellect are drawn into the Ego, and the antaHkaraNaM changes its location to the heart and works from there.

At this point, the collator of this material, Shri R. Ganapathy has this note: “As far as I know, this thought and the consequent thoughts that follow this seem to be new. Except on this occasion, even the Mahaswamigal is not known to have spoken about these. Regarding this, when he was asked to add further details, he said: ‘Whatever was said that day, that is all’ and thus put an end to any further discussion”

Mother Goddess is Love personified.

So in Her creation, even the most cruel beings have been blessed to show Love some time.

And for those who have refined their mind by SAdhanA there arises the possibility of the sprouting of Love all the time.

And that is when the heart becomes the permanent location of the antaHkaraNaM.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What is Love? - Part 1 of 2

What is Love?

The same Supreme Self has become all the souls. When thus there is a multiplicity of lives, the mAyic drama of mutual distinctions takes place.

And at the same time, in the opposite direction, there is a welcome supreme force dispensed by the Grace of the Almighty, that helps to unify all the distinct elements; this is what is called Love.

Usually human tendency is to gain something from the other person. The opposite cure for this is Love, that produces a sense of fulfilment by giving oneself to others. This is the difference between Desire and Love.

When we like something it means that we obtain a satisfaction/happiness for ourselves from it. But when we love something or some one it means we give satisfaction/happiness to that something or some one.

Desire implies receiving; Love indicates giving.

Our happiness happens only when the other being has some treasure of either form (rUpa) or of quality (guNa), or, even, of money; only when the other being has one of these or something similar that we may acquire, we get the happiness that we expect.


Monday, July 11, 2011

What is Bhakti? - Part 3 of 3


Because, at their stage, it is not true that love sprouts only towards a form with attributes and glorious deeds.

On the other hand it is a stage where love needs no object of love; it sprouts by itself.

If that sprouting is not followed in reality, even in that refined state, all that SAdhanA will be swallowed by a burst of ego.

He will certainly get his MokSha because of all the SAdhanA he has done; but that will happen perhaps after crores of years when the total universe goes through the Grand Dissolution.

What is this Ego that I am speaking of here? What is this Grand Dissolution?

I shall revert to these topics later.

But right now we should know what this Love is that I am talking about.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What is Bhakti? - Part 2 of 3


Love is Bhakti.

Among all expressions of Love, it is the highest Love shown towards the Lord that is termed as Bhakti.

It is easy to express Bhakti which is nothing but Love towards a Divinity with form, that has attributes pleasing to the mind.

Whereas, to show Love towards a formless attributeless ParamAtmA that is incomprehensible even by the mind, is certainly difficult.

Maybe it is difficult for us at our level. Let it be.

Left to us, let us be content with a divinity with form, a PujA and a pilgrimage to pilgrim centres.

But to those sAdhakAs who are refined by their progress in SAdhanA-chatushTayaM (SAdhanA-set of four), it is easy to place their Love on something which has neither form nor attributes.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

What is Bhakti? - Part 1 of 3

A well-known general opinion about Bhakti is that it is to think of the ParamAtmA as a ‘devatA murti’ (form of a divine) with name and attributes and to lovingly worship that form.

It is difficult to keep that love at the mental level only; so we have added to it certain actions like PujA (Ritual worship), darshan (of the deity) in the temples, and recitation of devotional hymns.

There is nothing wrong here.

But at the higher grade level of bhakti, one need not have to think of the Almighty as a Divinity with a form: one should get into the habit of showing love to the Almighty even when the latter is formless.

When the deity of devotion has a form with eyes, nose, ears and hands – four hands, eight hands -- with decorative dress materials visible to the eyes, when we get to know their attributes, glories, infinite compassion and grace through the various puranas and hymns, it is easy to direct and focus our love on such a divine form.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Bhakti and its place in jnAna mArga- Part 3 of 3


In the same way it is well known that, in advaita tradition, jnAna is the internal SAdhanA-component for mokSha, and for that jnAna to arise, the internal components are shravaNa, manana and nididhyAsana, and, though not to that extent internal, but still to be included as ‘internal’, the four of ‘SAdhanA-chatushTayaM’. Outside of these are the ‘external’ components, namely karma and bhakti.

When such is the case, the prime-most proponent Acharya of advaita declares the external component Bhakti as a very important accessory (*sAmagryAM gharIyasI*) and makes it get the status of an ‘internal’ component. How is that? Why so?

You might have expected a Swami of advaita mutt to talk only of advaita; but it appears I have been talking too long elaborately and in this process of my extensive talk, only some of you might remember what I told you long ago: namely, the matter about the two ‘grades’ – ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ – in both shraddhA and bhakti.

The Bhakti that was spoken of as a component for attaining one-pointedness of mind, is the ‘lower grade’ bhakti -- a subject at the high school level. In that context it is an ‘external’ component of advaita-SAdhanA. Now we have come to the level of a post-graduate Ph.D. level; at this point, the bhakti that is spoken of as *sAmagryAM gharIyasI* (the heaviest component) belongs to the ‘higher grade’. Mark it; there is ‘the highest’ also. That bhakti is what is done by a JnAni who has attained Enlightenment.

Why he does it, for what purpose and in what manner – these are questions for which answers are known only to him! Maybe even he does not know. Only the Almighty who makes him melt in that Love knows. That matter is outside of our expositions.

What comes within our exposition is the bhakti which is an ‘internal’ component-SAdhanA for mokSha and which is spoken of *sAmagryAM gharIyasI*.

In order to know why the Acharya brings it in this fashion, we have to first understand what Bhakti is.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bhakti and its place in jnAna mArga- Part 2 of 3


Whereas jnAna and bhakti are known to be two distinct paths to mokSha, it is he who wrote the Viveka-chUDAmaNi for us and chalked out the SAdhanA regimen, which is supposed to take us along the jnAna path. But in that very path, he gives so much importance to bhakti! He says the prime instrument of help for mokSha is bhakti!

In the jnAna mArga, that he presents and publicly preaches for the world, it is not as if there is no place for bhakti. But that place is at the very beginning, at the baseline. In other words it comes even before one starts the four-component-SAdhanA. Even before one gets admitted to his college of JnAna, karma and bhakti are subjects that should have been finished!

The eligibility for proceeding on the jnAna path is a mind which is pure and potentially capable of one-pointedness. Only then can entry be made in this path. In order to get that very eligibility, he prescribed desireless action for purifying the mind and also worship with devotion for disciplining oneself to become one-pointed. In sum, Bhakti is something that is an external component of (advaita) SAdhanA, far removed from the core regimen.

Among components there are what are called external (*bahiranga*) and internal (*antaranga*) components. The internal ones help directly in achieving the objective. External ones stay far away and help indirectly. For example, take a large dinner arrangement. The direct causes are the host and the occasion for which it is held.

The farmer who produced the groceries used in the dinner, the officer who procured them, the shopkeepers who sold them, the cook who prepared the food, the one who supplied the vessels and crockery -- are they not all of them a cause? Among these, perhaps the cook and the servers may be included in the list of ‘internal’ components; but all the others are only ‘external’.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bhakti and its place in jnAna mArga- Part 1 of 3

Viveka-ChudaMAnI (#31 / 32)

mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAM bhaktireva gharIyasI /

svasvarUpA-nusandhAnaM bhaktir-ity-abhidhIyate //

mumukShu is one who longs for mokSha. To help in the obtaining of that mokSha there are many procedures, many instruments of help. The processes of ‘shravaNa, manana and nididhyAsana’ (hearing, thinking and contemplation) are of such kind.

All the components of SAdhanA-chatushTayaM (the set of four disciplines of the SAdhanA) that we have been talking about all along are only such instruments of help. Collectively they are all called ‘sAmagrI’.

It is not ‘sAma-kriyA’ as is wrongly spoken of in the Tamil world; it has no connection with ‘kriyA’. When several things form necessary accessories to a certain object to be attained, they are together called ‘sAmagrI’. We use the same word in the sense of ‘instrument for help’ (upakaraNa).

Here the word used is *mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAM*. This therefore means ‘among the instruments of help for the obtaining of mokSha’. *gharIyasI* means ‘that which has weight’. Among the eight siddhis the process of becoming heavy like a rock is called ‘gharimA’.

‘gharIyasI’ means ‘heavy’ and ‘heavy’ implies importance and connotes ‘the best’. This is the meaning carried into the word ‘ghanavAn’ (a prominent figure). So here the Acharya says: ‘the best among such instruments of help that lead to mokSha’. And what does he indicate as ‘the best’?

This is where he brings in ‘Bhakti’!

It is the Acharya who delineated for us the SAdhanA-chatushTayaM, followed by shravaNa, manana and nididhyAsana. That completes the path – is the general understanding. But here he suddenly brings in something which is not there and says that is the most important instrument of help!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Samaadhaana - Part 15 of 15


And this has to be done always. This is the ‘samAdhAna’ of the intellect. Now the Sadhaka has not yet matured to sit in dhyana and have his intellect dissolved in the Atman.

At this stage the intellect keeps on doing its functions. Use that intellect only in those functions which help you rise in spirituality. And what could be those functions except to know well the ShAstras about the Atman?

Except for the formal initiation (upadesha) into the mahAvakyas (which has to be done only at the time of taking Sannyasa), everything else has to be learnt now by proper study.

They have to be learnt at the feet of a guru. This is the VidyA-guru.

The one who later gives him the sannyAsa and initiation into the mahAvAkyas is the Ashrama-guru. It goes without saying that the latter has to be a SannyAsi himself.

Probably he might have been the Vidya Guru earlier. Or probably he might be a scholarly practitioner of the Vaidic Karmas.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Samaadhaana - Part 14 of 15


To allow buddhi or intellect to be drowned in the ocean of Brahman comes at the end of the third stage: samAdhi. Here it is ‘samAdhAnaM’. ‘BrahmaNi’ does not mean ‘in Brahman’ here but ‘in matters pertaining to Brahman’ – what the ShAstras and the Guru say about it. This is the right way to understand it.

The purport is that we should direct the intellect to dwell always on the philosophical implications of Brahma VidyA. In the exercise of shraddhA, we made the intellect to confirm (avadhAraNa) the faith in what the ShAstras and the Guru say.

In continuation of the same , as a logical conclusion, the Shastra of the Atman has now to be learnt, by the intellect itself, without any doubts raised by the intellect.

The Guru might add something of his own, which may not be in the ShAstras. That also has to be absorbed in the same way. Realisation or Experience of Brahman (*brahmAnubhava*) comes much later. That is the true Enlightenment.

Right now whatever has to be learnt through the intellect has to be absorbed as ‘buddhi-jnAnaM’. The total force of the intellect has to focus on this now. This is the *samyak AsthApanaM* (Right fixation).


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Samaadhaana - Part 13 of 15


A continued prayer like this will one day flash the truth. It will nullify the intellect, manas and speech and produce a Self-realisation as the Atman itself. This is ‘Atma-varaNaM’.

The reciprocal process by the Atman, is beautifully described in the Upanishads and called *vi-varaNaM*. The word means ‘revelation of what is inside or hidden’.

In sum, the sAdhaka has to do only this. He should understand that intellectual smartness will not work with Brahman. What will work is only a constant prayer, after having discarded everything else, to Atman itself, to be the chosen goal.

The word ‘varaNaM’ which is the process here, includes in it the concept of ‘prayer’ also; that is how the Acharya has constructed his Bhashya for those mantras of the Kathopanishad.

The same Acharya here says: “Establish the buddhi (intellect) in shuddha Brahman”. What is meant by this? I think it is only this: The intellect should dwell, not on shuddha brahman, but in a one-pointed way on what has been said by the Guru and the Shastras about Brahman.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Samaadhaana - Part 12 of 15


So neither by intelligence nor by Vedic scholarship can the Atman be obtained. If that is the conclusion of those two Upanishads then by what shall one obtain the Atman? You have to ‘choose’ it. This process is called ‘varaNaM’.

What does one mean by ‘varaNaM’? What is ‘varaNaM’?. ‘vara’ means ‘best’. When a bridegroom is chosen for an eligible daughter; the bridegroom is called ‘varaH’ in Sanskrit and ‘varan’ in Tamil. Also another meaning is one who has been chosen from among several.

This choice is inbuilt into the word ‘svayamvara’ where a bride (usually a princess) chooses her match from an assembly of several princes who consider themselves eligible bachelors for the princess. She chooses whomsoever she likes best.

The act of choosing is ‘varaNaM’.

We look for a proper guru, finally choose one and seek him as our guru – this is ‘guru-varaNaM’. Accordingly there is ‘sishhya-varaNaM’ also. In a similar manner we have to choose ‘Atman’, by discarding everything else.

We have to keep praying “Please reveal yourself, O Atman. You are nothing but my self; but I am not able to recognize it. All this mind, speech, and intelligence (medhA) which think of myself as ‘I’, cannot recognize you. Therefore please reveal yourself by yourself”.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Samaadhaana - Part 11 of 15


After having become an ‘Atma-sAdhaka’ (seeker of spirituality) he does not need any more outside knowledge. The only knowledge that he needs is Self- Knowledge. His intellect should not any more digress into other matters.

The only subject to which it should now be anchored is the pure Brahman.

The Gita (V -28) says *yatendriya-mano-buddhiH* that is, not only the senses and the manas, but the intellect also should be controlled.

Intellect has to be stationed in brahman, without tossing itself into several objects. This fixing of intellect in brahman has been called *brahmaNi buddheH sthApanaM* by the Acharya.

But the Upanishads on the other hand say that we cannot reach brahman by our intellectual power. In two Upanishads, namely, Kathopanishad (II – 23) and Mundakopanishad (III-2.3) it says emphatically * na medhayA* (not by intelligence).

Neither by mind, nor by speech, nor by intellect can the Atman be obtained – is well-known. Then why did the Acharya say so?

It means he is not talking about the final Realisation stage of ‘samAdhi’; he is only talking of the lower stage, *samAdhAnaM* and thus let us remember he has distinguished both.