mokshakaaraNasaamagr.hyaaM bhaktireva gariiyasii .
svasvaruupaanusandhaanaM bhaktirityabhidhiiyate ..
Among the set of means to bring about moksha, bhakti is the greatest. Continuous contemplation of one's essential nature is said to be bhakti.
svAtmatattvAnusandhAnam bhaktirityapre jaguh:
Others say that the continuous comtemplationof the truth of one's atman is bhakti.
By svassvarUpAnusandhAna contemplation of one's essential nature, nidhidhyAsana is meant. (profound repeated meditation). That alone can serve as the immediate means of direct realisation. The continuous contemplation of sruti texts and the upadesa of t he guru, (That is Atman, Thou art That) is the indespensable cause of realisation. This contemplation (anusandhAna) is of the form of the exclusion of contrary ideas and is marked by the continuous flow of accordant ideas. Sama etc. are the cause of jnana mediated by vicAra and nididhyAsana. But nididhyAsana is the immediate cause for it. Among the group of means for nidhidhyAsana, bhakti is the greatest, because it is direct and internal means. the sAmagrI (collection of means) refered to here is of those beginning with viveka and ending with nidhidhyAsana.
svAtmanah means one's own jIvAtman. the truth about its nature means the ParamAtman indicated by the word 'That'. Its anusandhAna means though really there is difference (between the jIvA and the ParamAtman for the novice), contemplation of the That as o neself in the manner of ahamgrahopAsana(*) or meditation on the jiva as non-different from the ParamAtman. Others say, that is bhakti. Sri BhagavatpAda implies by the words apare jaguh - others say', that this is not mukhyabhakti, as it is preceded by a s ense of difference and is a delusion.
(*) ahamgrahopAsana is explained as a form of upAsana different from others in that, while in the others forms of upAsana, an idol of image or a thing like a blade of grass is invoked on it and then worshipped as That, this ahagrahopAsana is one in which the worshipper himself is equated with a deity as in SivO'ham or So'ham.
upasiided.hguruM praaGYyaM yasmaad.hbandhavimokshaNam.h ..
Let a person who is endowed with the aforesaid qualitification and who wants to realise the truth about the Atman humbly approach the guru who has acheived Atmanjn~ana, and from whom alone can accrue release from bondage.
Only one who is endowed with the qulifications mentioned in the previous verses, and one in whom tivra mumukshutva propels the student, should approach the Guru. And the Guru is Himself prAjn~A. prajn~A is here translated as peerless knowledge. Later on in the VivekachUdAmani itself, (verse 428), BhagavatpAda discussed prAjn~a as: "the modification of the antahkarana which is of the form of apprehension of the oneness of Brahman and Atman after analyzing them, and which is of the nature of the pure cit is said to be prajn~A." One who has this prajn~A is a prAjn~A. pRaJN~AM means brahmanistham, one who is fully establisehd in Brahman.
shrotriyo.avR^ijino.akaamahato yo brahmavittamaH .
brahmaNyuparataH shaanto nirindhana ivaanalaH .
ahetukadayaasindhurbandhuraanamataaM sataam.h ..
The Guru is well versed in the Vedas; he is sinless; he is not smitten by desire; he is a knower of Brahman; he is super-eminent; withdrawing himself into Brahman, he is ever at peace; he is like a smouldering fire unfed by fuel. The Guru is the ocean of compassion that asks for no reason. He is a friend to the pure who makes obeisance to him.
Shri Chandrasekhara BhArati has explained in excellent language about each of the above mentioned qualities. I would like to specifically mention one here. The Guru`s compassion is unmotivated by anything else than the urge to destroy the affliction of another. To show that the Guru`s compassion is not of the kind where the compassion is borne out of a need to erase a sense of pain felt on seeing another in distress, Sri Sankara uses the word " ahetuka " - that for which there is no reason. Meaning, pain cannot touch one who has realised the Brahman. So the Guru`s compassion has to quite obviously be only to help every one cross the ocean of SamsAra.
In his commentary, Shri. Chandrasekhara bharati dicsusses this verse in two contexts, one quite straight forwardly and another in reference to or in relation with another quality. let me quote him:
brahmaNyuparataH: One whose mind has found its rest in Brahman. Hence, one is at peace like a fire without fuel. A fire not fed by fuel is without flame. It is " sAnta ", contained in itself. So, one who is withdrawn into Brahman is not attached to any external activity and is established in the nirguNa Brahman. Hence he is spoken of as "sAntah" that is, as one who is not affected by kAma etc.
HH says `not affected by kAma etc.`. When explaining the previous words : "aVrjinaH" (meaning sinless) and "akAmahataH" (meaning one who is not subjected to kAma, the promptings of desire for external objects) in the verse, HH says the "brahmavittama", the eminent knower of Brahman has direct realisation and enjoyment of the bliss of self realisation. In accordance with the Gita sloka:
viSayA vinivartante nirAhArasya dehinaH ||
rasavarjam, raso'pyasya param drsHtvA nivarttate ||
Sense objects withdraw from an abstinent person. But the taste for them may remain. Even this is annulled when the Supreme Brahman is realised.
So a person who has no worldly desire and he is said to be akAmahataH: that is one who is not hataH (=struck) by kAma. And also, HH equates, kAma to inducement of sin.
I think that HH here says each one of the qualities is summed up and is also superceded by the statement that he (the Guru) is like: a fire unfed by fuel. and that (quote) "by their cumulative existence, they remind one (the disciple) of his nature and are to be considered as his essential qualities (svarUpa -lakshana). " (unquote)