[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Mar 25 05:43:26 CDT 2010


( I noticed a little while ago that this post of mine appeared on the List
truncated.  Hence I am re-posting it in its complete form)

Here is a verse, acknowledged by Ramana devotees as a composition of
Bhagavan Himself:


Hridaya Kuhara Madhye Kevalam BrahmaMaatram
Hyahamahamiti Saakshaat Aatma Rupen Bhaati

Hridi Visha Manasa Svam Chinvataa Majjataa Vaa
Pavanachalana Rodhat AatmanishTho Bhava tvam

//Brahman is glowing lustrously in the middle of the cave
of the Heart in the shape of the Self, always proclaiming
‘I am, I am’. Become an Atmanishta, a Self-realised person,
either by making the mind absorbed in the search of the
Self or by making the mind drown itself through control
of the breath.//

Here is a translation of the verse by Sri B.V.Narasimhaswami:


Within the cavity of the heart, pure Brahman, as “I, I”
shines with immediacy as the Self (i.e., as the soul or
inner core of our personality). Therefore either by
seeking the Self, or diving in it, or by means of pranayama
(breath control) let thy mind enter the heart. Take
thy firm stand as Atman (i.e., be firm in Self-realization).

>From the above we understand that according to Bhagavan the word 'hRdayam'
is not referring to the Atman.
One is reminded of the Taittiriya Upanishad mantra: यो वेद निहितं गुहायां
परमे व्योमन्.. [He who realizes the One available in the great space of the
cave of the intellect...] Shankara comments: तस्यां (बुद्धिगुहायां) निहितं
ब्रह्म तद्वृत्त्या विविक्ततया उपलभ्यते इति । न हि अन्यथा
विशिष्टदेशकालसंबन्धोऽस्ति ब्रह्मणः, सर्वगतत्वात् निर्विशेषाच्च ।
//Within the cavity that is the intellect, which is within the space defined
by the heart, is lodged, placed, Brahman; in other words, Brahman is
perceived clearly thru the function of that intellect; for apart from this
perception, Brahman can have no connection, (in the sense of being lodged
in), with any particular time or space, Brahman being all-pervasive and
beyond all distinctions. //

Thus, according to Shankara,'hRdaya',  'heart' is 'intellect' alone.
Atman/Brahman is not heart.

In the Chandogya Upanishad 8.3.3 we have a mantra that arrives at the
derivation of the word 'dRdayam'  -
स वा एष आत्मा ह्दि तस्यैतदेव निरुक्तं ह्द्ययं इति । तस्मात् हृदयम् ...
The translation of the bhashya for the above mantra is:

// He indeed, that Self, is in the heart, in the lotus of the heart, and is
referred to by the word space.  Of that heart this alone is the derivation
-  Since this Self exists in the heart, therefore the heart is called
hRdayam.  From the well-known derivation fo the word hRdaya, it is to be
understood that the Self exists in one's own heart.  This is the implied
meaning.  //

Thus, the Upanishad itself gives the meaning of the word 'hRdayam'.  Atman
is not hRdayam; Atman is the one that resides in the hRdayam.  In fact heart
is called 'hRdayam' only because Atman, 'this Atman', resides.  ह्दि अयं
वसति इति.   இதயத்தில் (உள்ளத்தில்) ’இந்த’ ஆத்மா இருப்பதால் இதற்குப் பெயர்
’இதயம்’.  Even in Tamil when we say 'idhayam', it is only the Sanskrit word,
for which the derivation the Upanishad itself has given.

To conclude, according to Bhagavan Ramana too, as per the verse he has
composed himself, the word 'hRdaya', in both the usages, one in the samAsa
as well as the one in the locative case, is heart/mind/intellect alone and
not the Atman.  If he has used the word hRdayam to mean the Atman in any
other compositions, it is to be investigated and the contextually

Another very important feature of that verse is:  Ramana is prescribing the
role of the mind, 'manasaa', in the sadhana for realizing the Atman: 'Hridi
Visha Manasa'. He is thereby teaching the inevitability of the
instrumentality of the mind in Atma saadhana.

Om Tat Sat

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 6:20 AM, Anbu sivam2 <anbesivam2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Sri Vidyasankar,
> Bhagavan Ramana to whom I owe my learning does not consider hrdhayam to be
> the mind.  I did quote Him from His  Upadesa Saaram.  I also have as much
> learnt under a Guru (and not just through books) on Sankara's advaita and
> do
> not for a moment think that the two have any difference among themselves.
> Actually one of Bhagavan's first works was his treatise of Sankara's
> DhakshiNaamoorthy SthOthram.  One may  claim that Bhagavan Ramana is
> different from Sankara and then disown Him for not falling in line with
> certain concepts that someone understands as being not in line with
> Sankara.  If you are one of them it is your choice.

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