Bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God)
gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Jan 6 10:53:03 CST 1998
This has reference to Shri Vaidya Sundaram's postings (on the thread
Re: Spiritual progress) and Shri egodust's postings (on the thread Re:
Vedanta of vedanta).
On Mon, 5 Jan 1998, Vaidya N. Sundaram wrote:
> All Advaitins at least have to accept Sri AdiShankara as one the Greatest
> Advaitin. Even Sri Shankara`s Viveka ChUdAmani in verses 494-5 speaks of
> both a non-dual Brahman as well as being God Supreme. this is the sishyas
> experience as experienced by him by the grace of the Holy Shankara.
> I am non-dual Brahman whixh is without anything like it,
> the beginningless truth, beyond all imagined disticntions of 'thou', 'I',
> 'this' and 'that', of nature of uniform prmanent bliss and the supreme
> I am Narayana; I am the slayer of naraka; I am the slayer of
> TripurAsura; i am the supreme Purusa the Lord; I am the infinite
> Intelligence; I am the witness of all; I am not subject to a higher ruler;
> I am without sense of 'I' or of 'mine'.
> The very fact that both are stated in succesion is sufficeint to accept
> the existence of an Ultimate God in relation to our present position of
> The Purusha sooktam contains verses that say that prostration to the
> All Powerful Purusha will enable attainment of Liberation.
> Even sage Vyasa, after all he had accomplished, split the vedas into
> four and all, was still not contended and did not feel total liberation.
> He was able to attain that Total peace only after writing the Srimad
> Bhagavatam. The efficacy of the Srimad Bhagavatam cannot be calculated.
> There should be no doubt that there is a Supreme God who will enable the
> devotee to attain Moksha.
In a subsequent posting, Shri Sundaram re-emphasized this point.
I whole-heartedly agree with this. It is indeed God's grace that makes
us what we are. I am glad to note that the human contribution in attaining
moksha has been put at a minimum and is correctly not even mentioned at
Now, let us take it a step further. By God's grace, we mean Saguna
Brahman's (personal God's) grace. It is so, because Nirguna Brahman
is beyond the characteristics of grace. Further, we are Nirguna Brahman
and Nirguna Brahman's grace to the individual soul is an oxymoron.
Also, Saguna Brahman, although controller of mAya, is also a product
of mAya. Thus, when we say that there is a supreme God (Saguna Brahman)
who will enable the devotee to attain moksha, we are still in mAya.
Can we define the parameter bhagavad kr^pa, the grace of God ? Whatever
that is, obviously, it is the same for and toward all embodied souls.
What that means then is, there is no individual moksha. It is only
ignorance which makes us think that there is a moksha for each
individual and that "God's grace" is different for each individual
(depending on karma). The following quote from T.M.P. Mahadevan's
book "Time and the timeless" is quite apt: "Moksha is not freedom
for the individual, but freedom from individuality". What that means
is: if an embodied soul has his/her avidya removed [by whatever
mechanism, saguna Brahman's grace or ? ? ?], the recognition of
identity of all necessarily follows.
... aham bhAvodayAbhAvo bodhasya paramAvadhih ...
Shri Shankara in Viveka ChuDAmaNi (verse 424)
The end of the rise of the sense of "I" of the ego is the culmination
>From Tue Jan 6 14:34:34 1998
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 14:34:34 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at tidalwave.net
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Subject: Re: Essence of Advaita
Comments: To: Advaita List <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Miguel Angel Carrasco <nisargadata at MX3.REDESTB.ES> writes
Namaskar and Happy New Year!
I really like your thought process and your identification of the
missing link. The origin of the life is still a great mystery. Human
intelligence has failed to resolve other questions: Did the tree precede
seed or seed precedes the tree? What is the origin of all living
creatures? What is the origin of the world? When did this world begin?
When will this world end? The agitated human mind with no answers
created a name to the causeless cause. The name was Brahman. Brahman
is the Question and the Answer and that is the TRUTH!
The name Brahman or God is an intellectual supposition. In mathematical
enquiries, we assume that the unknown answer is X. Then the
mathematical laws help us to get the real answer to the unknown X.
Similarly religions define their own rules to get an answer to the
unknown entity, God. The mathematical laws help us to comprehend the
unknown X. The rules of a specific Religion benefit the segment of the
world population who have great faith in that religion. The mathematical
laws are universal and those postulates undergo changes with an increase
in knowledge and intellectual capacity. The religious rules that appeal
to one segment of the population become contradictory to the other
segment with a different faith.
The mystery of the unknown varies according to the level of accumulated
knowledge. The human intellect couldn't conceive infinity and it
attempts to describe the unknown Brahman using an unclear terminology.
We all agree about the existence of the TRUTH though it is still
The Vedanta that is described in the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and
Bhagavad Gita provides materials to help us to think and reach God. It
attempts to bridge the link between us and God. Nevertheless, we will
acquire skills, metabolize and apply the unwritten philosophy of Vedanta
in our daily life. We have to prepare our-self for Realization of the
SELF by purifying our mind. A purified mind takes to meditation and in
silence meditation, we can realize the SELF. Last Sunday, during our
study group class, we listened to a taped discourse of Swami
Chinmayananda on an introduction to the sixth chapter of Gita on
Meditation. He narrated the following beautiful example to illustrate
the necessity for mind purification. The passengers and the plane have
to undertake some preliminary preparations before taking off and flying
on the sky. The passengers have to fasten the seat belt and sit
straight. The plane undergoes a thorough mechanical check up, and the
pilot takes the plane to a specified runway and follows the technical
instructions provided by the airport tower. The pilot starts the plane
initially with a slow speed, accelerates its speed steadily and
eventually leaves the ground and reaches the desired altitude. The
pilot and the passengers can fly at the desired level provided all the
environmental conditions are favorable.
The preparation for reaching the supreme Reality is much more complex
than taking a flight in an airplane. However, this does not imply that
no preparation is necessary. The knowledge of Vedanta can serve as a
pointer to the Supreme Reality. We also have to recognize that we can't
realize the supreme reality through words, feelings and thoughts. All
such finite efforts can never achieve the Infinity. Therefore, we have
to experience the Reality subjectively to cross the boundaries of the
The Hindu scriptures believe that TRUTH is always independent of
religion, dogma and belief. Two feasible approaches are available to
search for the TRUTH: The first is the path of no faith or the notion
"Truth is a Pathless Land " proposed by J. Krishnamurty. This approach
asks the seeker to refrain from accepting any religion, dogma, or
belief. In the second approach the seeker first accepts his (her) faith
on a specific religion or dogma and continues the search for the TRUTH.
Hinduism and Advaita follow the second approach where faith and
intuition play an important role in the search for the TRUTH. The
seekers of TRUTH use the religious path as a vehicle for their journey.
The seeker is the driver and controller of the vehicle and makes
appropriate changes to make the journey comfortable. When the seeker
reaches the destination, the vehicle is irrelevant. The religion, dogma
and faith become irrelevant and only the TRUTH will be relevant.
Logically, the statement of pathless is paradoxical because it shows
that pathless is the PATH.
Another important point to know is that Sankara's Advaita is not a
simple statement but it is a rigorous religious path. The statement,
"Tat Twam ASI," and "Brahmasmi" are the end points. Nevertheless, one
has to undertake a journey to understand them. The institutions
established by Adi Sankara have strict religious codes of ethics and the
heads of these institutions follow a disciplined life. The webs site
at: http://www.kamakoti.org/ can give further insights.
Finally, let me admit that I did not answer your specific questions
because I have no specific answers. You have raised valid questions
with the right frame of mind for a seeker. Yet the journey that you are
undertaking does not permit outside interference in your peaceful
environment. The journey is a long journey and destination is unknown.
However, the Destination does EXIST and THAT IS THE TRUTH!
Wish you all the best!
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