Lakshmi-Nrsimha-pancharatnam - 3
Anand V. Hudli
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 30 16:35:16 CDT 1999
|| shrI-laxmI-narasiMhAya namaH ||
gandharasAviha kimu vidyete viphalaM bhrAmyasi bhR^ishavirase .asmin.h|
chetobhR^iN^ga bhramasi vR^ithA bhavamarubhUmau virasAyAM
bhaja bhaja laxmInarasiMhAnaghapadasarasijamakarandam.h || 3 ||
Due to similarity in form, you mistake (mistook) the flower of
the cotton tree for a lotus (having the attributes of lotus).
Do you have any sense of smell and taste? You roam about in this
extremely dry place without success. O mind-bee! You roam about without
purpose in the joyless desert of worldly matters. Worship (taste) the
pure nectar of the lotus feet of Lakshmi-Narasimha!
Illusion or superimposition goes by several names such as adhyAropa,
adhyAsa, bhrama, etc.
Shankara, in his introduction to the commentary on the Brahma
sutras, gives a definition of superimposition:
adhyAso nAma atasmintadbuddhiH,
superimposition is the cognition of something as something else.
Superimposition may be of two types. 1) An object is mistaken for
something else as a rope is mistaken for a snake. 2) An attribute of
something else is mistakenly cognized in an object. For example, a
colorless crystal placed in the proximity of a red flower appears as
if the crystal itself is red.
The common superimposition is that the dualistic world is superimposed
on Brahman. The body is superimposed on the Self. Also, attributes that
are not found in the Self are superimposed on It. As Shankara says, for
example, a person thinks, "sthUlo .ahaM", (I am fat), "kR^isho .ahaM"
(I am lean), "gauro .ahaM" ( I am fair complexioned), etc. Thus,
attributes of the body are mistaken as being present in the Self.
The question can now be raised: Why does everyone commit the mistake of
superimposing something else on the Self? How does one get rid of this
Answers Shankara in his introduction to the sUtra bhAShya:
naisargiko mithyApratyayarUpaH kartR^itvabhoktR^itvapravartako
adhyAsaH sarvalokapratyaxaH| asya anarthahetoH prahANAya Atmaikatva-
vidyApratipattaye sarve vedAntA Arabhyante |
adhyAsa (superimposition), which is natural (to everyone), is a false
notion that impels one to do things and enjoy or experience the results
of actions. This adhyAsa is experienced by the whole world. In order to
remove this cause of evil, and to realize the One Self, all (study in)
vedAnta (upanishhads) is begun.
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