[Advaita-l] Kanchi Mahaswamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa - (KDAS-78)
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Fri Oct 6 18:05:36 CDT 2006
For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see
SECTION 65: TO BE RID OF TWO WRONG CONCEPTIONS.
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-138.htm
However much the mind and intellect might have matured, until the
Brahman Realisation happens, mAyA does not spare you. Maybe it is not
right to throw the blame on mAyA. Realisation is the apex of all
sAdhanA. It cannot be achieved unless all karma is extinguished. What
can be done if, inspite of all the sAdhanA done, the earlier karma is
several times heavier? Maybe for their extinction, right now, not by the
work of mAyA, but by the Grace of Ishvara, there arise undesirable
thoughts that shake up the sAdhaka. I am not referring to thoughts of
kAma, krodha, etc. They have all been extinguished much earlier. There
are two other undesirable thoughts or conceptions. One is called
*asambhAvanA* and the other is called *viparIta-bhAvanA*.
[Note by Ra. Ganapathy:
As far as this collator knows, these two words
'asambhAvanA' and 'viparIta-bhAvanA'
occur in the very first 'taranga' of 'VichAra-sAgaraM' in Sanskrit,
which itself is a translation from a work of the 19th century in Hindi
In advaita works, 'asambhAvana' is known as 'samshayaM'
And 'viparIta-bhAvanA' as 'viparyayaM'.]
"SadhanA has been done for so long. The so-called goal is impossible.
After all I am finite. How can this finite little being become the
Infinite Universal Brahman?" This is 'asambhAvanA'. In fact it is the
question which casts a doubt on whether the advaita experience is a
possibility at all. When this doubt crystallises and matures, instead of
being a doubt it turns out into a reply to the question and says to
itself: "No. It is not possible. It is only Duality that is possible.
And that is the truth. Jiva is different and Brahman is different" -
this is 'viparIta-bhAvanA'. 'After such long effort, I am still only a
separate Jiva, so I have to remain only as a separate Jiva. This is the
duality in which I have to be always' - it is this trend of thought that
creates the 'viparIta-bhAvanA'.
Of these two, to eradicate the 'asambhAvanA' one needs to do mananaM.
And to get rid of 'viparIta-bhAvanA' one needs 'nidhidhyAsana'.
'asambhAvanA' might have covered one entirely like moss. But if one is
constantly chewing in the mind the Vedanta statements and analysing them
by the matured mind, repeating the powerful mantras in the form of the
mahAvAkyas, even if the real Brahman experience does not occur, the
possibility of its occurrence will get crystallised in the mind.
Maybe the possibility becomes acceptable, but unless it has actually
occurred, thus leading to resolution of all doubts once for all, how
will this acceptance be sufficient? The present everyday experience is
a direct experience of duality. We are having a direct observational
experience of Brahman as something different from us. If advaita is the
truth that also should become a direct such experience. In other words,
without a Brahman-realisation, how can the viparIta-bhAvanA disappear?
That direct experience will occur only if the nidhidhyAsanA continues as
a single dhyAna to the exclusion of everything else. There is no other
way. That the (familiar-to-the-Tamil-world) 'panchAmRtaM' is composed
of honey, milk and ghee, etc. and can therefore be expected to be
nothing but sweet, is mananaM. However, there could be a doubt. 'Is it
truly a sweet dish? Maybe the sweet things together by some combination
make it bitter. Who knows?' When such a doubt arises, the only way to
get out of the doubt is to taste it; how can there be a resolution of
the fact otherwise?
If one goes through the nidhidhyAsanaM with perfect dedication to the
prospect that the Ultimate Reality, the existence of which was
conclusively confirmed by reasoning in the course of the process of
mananaM, must show itself up in one's experience, it will certainly show
its taste off and on. Of course the taste, the taster and the
taste-Giver would have become all one! Even though that state
disappears, one gets the confirmation that there is certainly an advaita
experience. How can the viparIta-bhAvanA rise up thereafter?
The very fact that in this third stage these negative bhAvanAs pop up is
in a sense a God-sent blessing in disguise! It is because of that the
sAdhaka continues in full earnest his manana-nidhidhyAsana efforts in
order, one, to get the intellectual conviction at the level of his
antaHkaraNa that advaita is the Truth and two, to get one's own shades
of experience at the level of the inner Self! Otherwise he may be a
little easy-going and miss it entirely! Even if it is not missed it may
certainly get postponed. Only when a counter-thought occurs one gets the
motivation for a full-fledged no-mercy onslaught to check it either way.
It is in that sense the two dispositions of asambhAvanA and
viparIta-bhAvanA help as 'incentives'!
SECTION 66: GREATNESS OF MANANA & NIDHIDHYASANA
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-139.htm
The mananaM that keeps analysing the conceptual matter off and on leads
on to the nidhidhyAsana which shows the same thing as an experience.
Thereafter there is no analysis or churning. There is only that single
thought, dhyAna. The Acharya has a favourite way of saying this.
*samAna-pratyaya-pravAha-karaNaM*. He uses this expression in many
places. (Sutra-Bhashya IV-1.7.8; Gita Bhashya XII - 3). Just as the flow
of a flood of water converges in one direction so also the converging of
thought in one direction is what dhyAna means. 'Just as oil flows down
in a straight wire-like appearance - taila-dhArAvat' is also another
expression of his.
'Muni' is a Sanskrit word for a great person who is a perfect jnAni and
spiritually very powerful. He is actually the best among Rishis. Only
he who is an adept in the process of 'mananaM' is called a 'muni'. In
Sutra Bhashya III - 4 - 47, this is how the Acharya speaks of the
derivation of the word 'muni': *mananAn munir-iti (ca)
vyutpatti-sambhavAt*. He also says there that the word 'muni' has a
special significance in jnAna-- *jnAna-atishaya-arthatvAt*. Thus the
process of 'mananaM' is not just repetition for memorisation, nor it is,
as we think of it usually, a logical reasoning at the intellectual level
to import spiritual matters just into the brain. It is far higher than
that. It is something that dwells on matters clarified by the touch of
Remember our Acharya is one who gave the noblest status to the hearing
(shravaNa) of the teaching from the guru. If the same Acharya says
"Let it be understood that mananaM is a hundred times greater than
shravaNaM". *shataguNaM vidyAn-mananaM*, then at how really a high
level should shravaNaM be counted?
And he doesn't stop there. If mananaM is a hundred times greater than
shravaNaM, he says nidhidhyAsanaM is a hundred-thousand times greater
than mananaM: *mananAdapi nidhidhyAsaM lakshha-guNaM*.
MananaM is not just dead information; it is knowledge full of life. But
even that knowledge becomes tiny little in the face of experience. You
may know everything about sugar, you might have bales and bales of high
class sugar, but they are not equivalent to that experience one gets
from the taste of a little pinch of that sugar. That is why he says
nidhidhyAsaM is one hundred thousand times greater than mananaM.
NidhidhyAsaM is also not a one-shot affair by which one gets established
into a permanent Brahman-experience. It is only with a self-effort that
one does what is called nidhidhyAsaM. And he gets flashes of that
Brahman-experience. The moment we say this we know there is duality in
this. The Brahman-experience, instead of glittering, twinkling and
disappearing like a lightning flash, if that lightning of brahmAnubhava
'electrocutes' him in a sense, killing his Jiva-bhAva, and makes him the
nectarine brahman itself, that will be the end of it all; that is the
siddhi position. The sAdhanA stops there, the sAdhaka himself becoming
the sAdhya (the goal) sthAna (locus).
Just as hands and feet do works, so also nidhidhyAsa is work done
mentally. However glorified it is, there is the duality of action and of
doer; so how can it be considered as the Final Truth that stands alone
Even so, so long as one continues as a Jiva, the one noblest thing that
he can do not to be that Jiva is to keep thinking only of Brahman; as
such one has to steadfastly hold on to the nidhidhyAsa-action.
(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.
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