Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sun Jun 21 15:02:14 CDT 1998

ato vimuktyai prayatet vidvaan.h
    sa.nnyastabaahyaarthasukhaspR^ihaH san.h .
santaM mahaantaM samupetya deshikaM

 Therefore let a wise man strive earnestly for liberation giving up all
desire for pleasures coming from external objects. He must humbly
approach a Guru who, by his realsisation, is to be equated with the sat
and possesses superlative virtues and concentrate his mind on the
significance of his teaching.

 By the word vidvAn in the sloka is indicated the wise man who knows to
discriminate between the eternal and the transient. the Gita says: 'ye hi
samsparsajA bhogA duhkhayonya eva te | Adyantavantah kaunteya na tesu
ramae budhah: ||' "the joys that come from sense contact make for sorrow
only. They have a beginning and an end. A wise man does not delight in
them. By this the GitA clearly indicates the meaning of the word vidvAn by
the use of the word budhah.
 The expression 'bAhyArtha' (springing) from an external source) points to
the transience of pleasures springing from the objects of sense.  Things
are in the external world; they come and go; they are not permanent. So
the pleasures arising from them are also impermanent. Hence Sri
BhagavatpAda first detailed the method of striving for liberation by
saying that the wise man of determination and daring should give up such
desire for external pleasures.
 By the use of the word 'san' (after sukhasprha in the first line), Sri
BhagavatpAda shows that in respect of a fool who is engrossed in sense
objects, it is difficult to predicate that he even exists as a man.
 The sruti says: AcAryavAn puruso veda, one attains knowledge by
instruction by a guru; AcAryAddhaiva vidyA viditA sAdhistham prApat:
(Ch.) "knowledge obtained from a teacher has the greatest efficiency". So
the lone residual reality of the Atman which is super sensous cannot be
understood except through a Guru. hence the need as stated before to
approach a mahApurusa, a great realised soul.
 That (or he) which (or who) exists for ever is spoken of as 'san'. That
(or he) is referred to a santam in the expression santam mahAntam. asti
brahmeti cedveda santamenam tato viduh: (Ch.) "If a person knows that
Brahman exists (i.e has realsed the existence of Brahman), he is called
'san'. From the other sruti texts, it becomes clear: " Existence alone
was in the beginning (Ch.) and "What is superlatively big is immortal,
what is otherwise is mortal (Taitt.) and Brahman is of the form of or
nature of Satyam, jn~anam and anantam (Taitt.). The sruti also declares
'brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati: (Prasna), "the knower of Brahman is Brahman
itself, i.e the knower of Brahman (brahmavit) is non different from
brahman".  Thus the teacher of Brahman (desika) is himself non-different
from brahman. Like brahman, the brahmavit is also spoken of as sat.
BhagavatpAda speaks of approaching such a brahmavit. Thereby is indicated
the condition of the mind firmly established in Brahman, completely
withdrawn from whatever is non-Atman and non-sat (asat).

(to be continued)

                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 Kandavar Vindilar      : Those who have seen (Brahman) have not spoken
  Vindavar Kandilar     :   those who speak (about It) have not seen (It)
    satyakAma, satyasaMkalpa, Apatsakha, kAkutsa, shrIman nArAyaNa
        puruShottaMa, shrI ranganAtha, mama nAtha, namostute.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list