[Advaita-l] vedastuti part 7
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Oct 10 00:53:38 CDT 2008
Now that navaratri/vijayadashami is over I have time once again to resume
the vedastuti series.
Before I continue with new shlokas, let me add one footnote from verse 21
which I forgot.
"...Instead they prefer to leave their homes and live as swans amongst the
lotuses of Your feet."
 This metaphor deliberately evokes the two highest grades of sannyAsi
according to the shAstras, haMsa and paramahaMsa. According to the
jIvanamuktiviveka of swAmi vidyAraNya, these are the types of sannyasa
practised by the one who does not seek brAhman but as already realized it
in this life i.e. the jIvanamukta.
tvadanupathaM kulAyamidamAtmsuhR^itpriyavachcharati tathonmukhe tvayi hite priya AtmAni cha |
na bata ramantyaho asadupAsanayAtmahano yadanushayA bhramantyurubhaye kusharIrabhR^itaH || 22 ||
"Bhagavan, this body created by You and is most useful in serving You. But
through false identification with self, friends, and lovers, it has
become seperated from You. Even though You love them, care for them
and only wish for their welfare, people do not attend to you. Dazzled
by the unreal, they plummet from death to death in fear."
 i.e. ahaMkAra (ego.)
 The essence of bhakti is that one should always have ones mind on
Bhagavan. The highest bhaktas are pure in their single-minded devotion
but even the worldly man can dedicate his daily activities to Bhagavan.
 saMsAra the cycle of births and deaths, is propelled by the notion
that ones limited ego is the true self. Actions are motivated by the fear
that the self will become extinct but ironically this is what causes them
to experience death over and over again.
nibhR^itamarunmanokshadaDhayogayujo hR^idi yanmunaya upAsate tadarayo.api yayuH smaraNAt |
striya uragendrabhogabhujadaMDaviShaktadhiyo vayamapi te samAH samadashoM.ghrisarojasudhAH || 23 ||
"That which the sages in control of breath, mind, and senses meditate upon
in the heart, is also attained by the hate-obsessed enemies. The
women who are lovesick in adoration of Your python-like arms will also
attain your lotuslike feet and we too will reach the same goal."
 In verse 18 was described the daharavidyA, the Vedic meditation on
brahman located in the space in the heart.
 This is strange isn't it? How can hatred of bhagavan be equal to love
of Him? rAvaNa, kaMsa and hiranyakashipu are examples of people so
consumed in hatred of bhagavAn they couldn't stop thinking about Him. So
in a roundabout way they were meditating on Him albeit negatively.
So is this carte blanche to become an atheist if it ends up having the
same results as being a bhakta? Well if you cannot stop thinking about
God, then "atheist" is just an empty label isn't it?
 This is a reference to the gopIs whose love for bhagavAn is of an
erotic sort. Again it may be puzzling especially with all the talk of
sannyAsa and vairAgya we have heard. But we should not confuse this love
with the sentiments of average libertines. The love of the gopIs was
all-consuming and totally directed at bhagavAn, paying no heed to the
gratification of their own senses. Thus it had a spiritual effect that
run of the mill lust does not.
The message this verse gives is that all the emotions can lead to bhagavAn
if they are directed away from ones own self and single-mindedly focused
on Him alone.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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