92. hrIMgarbhA

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Fri Jul 10 17:41:13 CDT 1998

92. hrIMgarbhA

hrIM is contained in HER. By hrIM, trimUrti-s, brahma, viShNu and rudra
are meant. They are in HER and they are inseparable from HER.

According the bhagavad.h  gItA 14-3,

mama yonirmahad.h brahma tasmingarbha.n dadhaamyaham.h |
saMbhavaH sarvabhuutaanaa.n tato bhavati bhaarata || 14 - 3|

The mUlaprakR^iti (mahad.h brahma) is contained in the Lord and He
deposits the seed (his intelligence) in it, which becomes the cause of the
creation of all beings.

Hence, the name means that everything is contained in HER.

AUM hrIMgarbhAyai namaH

>From  Sat Jul 11 19:16:50 1998
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Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 19:16:50 -0400
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From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: Maya
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Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

>    I would be very grateful if knowledgeable list members would post
> an article about the different kinds of Maya and what they mean.

There are no "different kinds" of mAyA. There is only one mAyA, which is
postulated to explain the apparent multiplicity. vixepa and AvaraNa
(multiplicity and veiling) are the two "effects" of mAyA.

Chapter 8 of the mAnasollAsa has a good explanation. PrakashAnandas
vedAnta siddhAnta muktAvalI is also very useful. The standard treatment
is from vimuktAtmans ishhTa siddhi which I have not read. But, IMO, the
chapter 8 of mAnasollAsa is sufficient.


>From  Sat Jul 11 20:15:16 1998
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Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 20:15:16 -0400
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From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: pUja
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sadananda wrote:

> I did not want to get into this topic, since I know nothing about the vedic
> rituals nor I care to know about them since my mind is not tuned to that
> type.

For someone not interested in rituals you certainly have lots of
opinions about them.

> Rituals are meant for purification of the mind.  If that is not the main
> objective and  it is for securing or  obtaining some tangible grosser
> result such as putra kaameshTi for example (where kaama rather than
> nishkaama is the governing factor) then the ritual has to be performed as
> per the rules and regulations laid down by the manuals i.e. scriptures,
> since for these scriptures are the only pramana.  The result is the proof

Performance of the rituals _correctly_ without any _expectation_ leads
to chitta shuddhi. Doing whatever one pleases, claiming "no
expectations" is not allowed. The gItA is perfectly clear on this.

> of the pudding.  It is like the lifting of the weights as a daily ritual -
> has to be done following the rules - other wise one can get hurt and badly
> too.

So to carry your analogy further, if lifting of weights is for gaining
muscle, then rules have to be followed. But, if lifting of weights is
without any expectation, one can do whatever one pleases? The latter
will also get one hurt badly. Probably the peeple standing nearby also.

> But when nishkaama is the basis of the ritual then we are dealing with the
> mind.

According to Sri shankara purification of the mind falls under karma.
Reading the naishhkarmya siddhi would make this clear. So your arguments
do not apply.

> Most of the puja is recommended for nishkaama - for example the chanting of
> vishuNusahasranaam - it is done with the statement - shree mahaa vishnu
> priityartham .... aham idam karishye -- It is done not to fulfill some
> desires of mine but for pleasure of the Lord.  Since Lord is always in a
> happy state, he does not need our prayers to keep him happy.  - (if he does
> then he is in real trouble!). He is puurnam, full and complete  Then the
> outcome is my own mental growth, in trying to eliminate the impurities -
> mamakaara and ahankaara - In that case mantra hiina, kriyaa hiina etc. etc.
> all are excused since the goal is only the mental purity. There is no

Instead of saying vishhNu why not say bitsnu and instead of hari, why
not change it to bury then? One need not buy even the stotra book, we
can sing Led Zepellin songs found on the internet instead. I am aware of
the Spice girls comment which got Jaldhar into trouble, my intention in
this example is to show that reasonings given by Sadananda can lead to
some absurd conclusions, if we carry the same reasoning a bit further.
My intention is not to be sarcastic.

> question of burning the fingers here since the result is subtler, provided
> one does best within the means but with full devotion . Kartik example and
> discussion pertains to this realm.  As the story goes in her devotion
> Vidura's wife forgot what she was doing and ended up feeding Krishna with
> banana skin and throwing the pulp away.  Krishna enjoyed more since what he
> was enjoying was the devotion not the banana.
>         patram pushpam palam toyam yo me bhktyaa payacchati|
>         tadaham bhaktupakritam ashnaami priyataatmanaH|
> He is ready to settle for any thing you give, as long as it is given with
> devotion! There is nothing one can really give him since everything is his
> only.  What is given is only my notion that it is mine.

This is all specious reasonings.

On a couple of occassions, when I was invited for dinner, I found the
dinner perfectly foul. But, I gulped down the stuff and praised the
persons for their cooking upon which I was forced to eat more by the
hosts, which I had to. I am sure many others would have had a similar
expereince sometime. It is perfectly a human emotion to be polite to
ones' hosts. When human beings themselves do such, why would not Lord
Krishna, the definition of mercy?

Now that I have stated my experience about eating some foul dinners and
praising the hosts, and suppose you decide to invite me for dinner. Does
the fact that I gulped down foul food on certain occassions give you the
license to cook foul food and serve it to me? I hope not!!

In fact the story makes it clear that we should not do whatever we
please. It says _INSPITE_ of the transgressions Lord Krishna made an
exception because she was an _exceptional_ bhaktin. It is not license
for all and sundry to imitate her. It was not her intention to
transgress rules, BTW. The story is arthavAda for praising bhakti to
Lord Krishna, not license for doing karma in haphazard manner.

> Hence the ritual and the purpose has to be understood correctly.  There was

Certainly. But understanding the ritual leads to correct performance of
it and not otherwise.

> Krishna says in the 9th Ch.
>         yat karoshi yadashnaasi yajjuhoshi dadaasi yat|
>         yat tapasyasi kounteya, tat kurushva madarpaNam||
> Whatever you do whatever you eat whatever you give and whatever austerities
> you perform offer that to Me.

He also says that smR^iti and shruti are his direct commands.

> In the final analysis what is offered is the ego and purification of the
> mind follows.
> If the ritual is intended for purification of the mind then do the best
> within the means and with the right frame of mind since mind is more
> important than anything else - bhaktyaa.  Everything else is secondary.

Not so. As I said, Chitta shuddhi itself is a result of _correct_
performance of karmas _without_ expectation, not doing whatever one
pleases "without expectation".

> But in the final analysis even these rituals have limited relevance. Hence

"limited relevance"?!! For anyone who has not attained chitta shuddhi it
is of great relevance.

> my bias. I want to end with Sankara's shlakas from vivekachuuDaamaNi:

Excellent verses. Unfortunately, they have ABSOLUTELY no relevance to
this situation. The original question of Ravi was about how to perform
pUjA, not how to renounce it. This is like saying to a person who is
hungry, "Tibetan monks do not eat by practice of certain yogic
disciplines, so it is more convenient to learn this technique and
renounce eating. Since this can be done, we can also eat arsenic laced

>         paThantu shaastraaNi yajantu devataan,
>         kurvantu karmaaNi bhajantu devataaH,|
>         aatmaikya bhodhena vinaa vimuktiH
>         nasidhyati brahma sataatarepi||
> and further he says:
>         na yogena na saakhyena karmaNaa no na vidyayaa
>         brahmaatmaika bodhena mokshaH sidhyati naanyathaa||
> I think Vaidya Sundaram has provided the meaning for these slokas for those
> who are interested. One can perform as many rituals as one wants, but in
> the final analysis there is no liberation without getting established in
> the advaitic teaching.

> K. Sadananda
> Code 6323
> Naval Research Laboratory

The above verses are supposed to result in the reader renouncing the
world. Sri Shankara makes it quite clear that he wants his disciples to
embrace phycical sannyAsa also. Why? Otherwise it will lead to the
situation where someone will make remarks as given below

1. Renounce karma-s, especially when it takes effort to learn the
methodologies. Or do them in whatever manner one pleases.
2. Use shankara's quotes about renunciation of karmas to denounce people
doing karmas, but when renunciation of family, job etc is called for,
those statements will be conveniently ignored. Or they will be
"mentally" renounced.

Height of absurdity.

Many here seem to have minterpreted why "mental renunciation" is
emphasized more in certain texts like Yoga Vashistha or by Sri Ramana.


>From  Sat Jul 11 22:26:53 1998
Message-Id: <SAT.11.JUL.1998.222653.0400.>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 22:26:53 -0400
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: pUjaa
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Sankaran Jayanarayanan wrote:

> >3. Prayaschitta is only to account for the small errors which may have
> >occured _AFTER_ making a genuine effort to learn.
> Yes. This only means that praayashchitta ought to apply in the case I
> mentioned above, since all possible effort was made, but consider the
> situation when the person performing the puujaa finds that his father is
> in critical condition in the hospital and needs his (the son's)
> attention. I should think that the puujaa *will* have to be
> discontinued. Performing the puujaa knowing that this would indirectly
> be the cause of a death is far worse, IMO.

Surely, you did not think I'd disagree with you here. I did not suggest
any "fundamentalistic" interpretation of the rules. Actually, shAstra
itself says that at times of physical harm, e.g., death, some rules can
be brooken. We should of course not use this and transgress rules as and
when we wish, shAstra assumes some common sense in this matter.

> Thanks for the above quote.

I found this after I had posted my reply. Here's one more.

[From tattvAloka, Aug 1992, special issue on the birth centenary of Sri
Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswami, pp.98-99]

Significance of Mantra:

One day a disciple raised the question whether it was not necessary to
know the meaning, the import and the full significance of a mantra
before taking it up for japa. His Holiness said:

"Generally whenever the sastra prescibes some activity it will also
mention the benefit that can be obtained as a result of that activity.
Before any person engages himself in any activity he must know to what
it will lead him. If he has an accurate conception of the benefit to be
obtained and also an accurate conception of the means to obtain it, his
activity will certainly be efficient and the resultant benefit also

But if a man engages himself in a prescribed activity without these
conceptions, even then the activity will not be wasted for the relation
ship between an activity and its resultant benefit being in the nature
of cause and effect does not depend upon the knowledge of the actor. All
the same, the knowledge does make a great difference in the accruing
benefit. The Upanishad points out in a passage that the activity done
with understanding, faith and knowledge of its secrets is more potent.
This necessarily implies that what is done without these is also potent,
though not to the same degree."


1. Both with and without understanding, _correct_ performance of japa is
assumed in the above.

2. Chitta shuddhi is also a result (as defined above), since Atman is
beyond pure and impure. We cannot say purity is the "original" state.
Atman is beyond any action, nishhkAmya or otherwise. We cannot argue
that chitta shuddhi is losing impurity and hence rules can be
transgressed because of this. Then we can also argue that gaining wealth
by performing some homam is losing poverty and hence the rules can be

So the key is doing the pUjA _properly_, _even_ at the expense of not
knowing the meanings.

More by H.H:

"The sruti and smriti are commands of Myself, says the Lord. Can you
conceive of a devotion to the Lord side by side with a disobedience to
His commands?" (page 149, Dialogs with the Guru)

"The Lord tells us quite unambiguously `Man attains perfection by
performing the karma enjoined for him'" (page 147)

"In fact, you will find that karma alone can be bhakti." (page 147)


>From  Sun Jul 12 11:41:56 1998
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Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:41:56 -0400
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: pUja
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Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

> Thanks for your beautiful post. In fact after reading your earlier post
> again, I understood that chitta shuddhi is through getting rid of ego,
> not by gaining something from outside. You made it very clear using the
> "taking bath" example.

Both chitta shuddhi and lack of it are within the realm of mAyA. In fact
even the attainment of knowledge is within the realm of mAyA. See
mAnasollAsa VIII.11. So chitta shuddhi is not some "original state". The
difference between chitta shuddhi and lack of it is that the former
prepares one for knowledge and the latter takes one away from it.

chitta shuddhi is attained by the performance of nishhkAmya karma. Hence
it is the result of an action. The performanace of nishhkAmya karma also
follows the rules of the mImA.nsA strictly.

The "taking bath" example is defective. If we want to get rid of the
impurity, do we not make sure that the water is clean? Would you jump
into a koovum (for non-Madras people a koovum is a vile, stinking body
of water found in many parts of Madras) instead? Thus we need to follow
the "niyama" of making sure that the water is clean.

chitta shuddhi is NOT getting rid of the ego. chitta shuddhi, by its
very name presumes the existence of chitta which is WITHIN the realm of
mAyA, which in turn implies the existence of the ego. chitta shuddhi is
NOT the same as Atman. In fact Atman shines, as is, AFTER the
disappearance of chitta, be it shuddha or ashuddha. A reading of the
preleminary qualifications (in the aparoxAnubhUti) will show that chitta
shuddhi is _one_ of the many prerequisites for knowledge. This knowledge
alone destroys avidyA, which also includes the illusion of a shuddha

The Atma bodha gives the example that knowledge also disappears just
like a kataka nut purifies water and it also settles down along with the
mud, leaving behind pure water. I have stated the tiger example of
SarvaGYAtma muni before. Many others can be found in mAnasollAsa VIII.

Again, the attainment of chitta shuddhi is NOT the same destroying the
ego. In fact such a claim is self-contradictory. The destruction of the
ego is accomplished by knowledge ONLY and NOT by ANY action, be it kAmya
or nishhkAmya. I hope I have made this clear.


>From  Sun Jul 12 13:35:15 1998
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Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 13:35:15 -0400
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: pUja
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Vaidya N. Sundaram wrote:

>  All this tells me that, all three are important (mantram, kriya, and
> bhakti), but just because one or more is lacking, do not neglect it. In
> fact, worship by a specific puja is considered as waking up the sleeping
> tiger. Once you accept the responsibility to do the puja, say for example,
> the panchayatana puja, forsaking it even for a day is neglecting it. It is
> more important to keep the discipline up than give it up because of
> concerns of not being able to do it right. If every body started thinking
> that they will do it once they know it WELL, then there will be no
> yajnyams at all!!

I beg to disagree. The smR^iti is explicit that wrong performance of
pa.chAyatana is exteremely dangerous. BTW, this is from a Kanchi Matha
publication. At least that must mean something to you :-).

It is not difficult to learn these rules. But it requires some effort.
Is it that big a deal to go to some Shankara matha when visiting India?
Sorry, I don't think so. IMO it is sheer laziness. As I said
prAyaschittam is fine after one makes a serious effort to learn.

My mothers athimber did Sri chakra pUjA. Towards his end, he had some
serious physical and mental problems which was attributed to wrong
performance of the pUjA. His daughter realized that there was none in
the family who were interested enough in properly learning the rules.
She donated it to the Sringeri Mutt. My fathers father was not the first
son of the family and did not inherit the panchayatana set from his
father. My fathers cousin who inherited it felt towards the end that
many of his misfortunes were due to incorrect performance of the
panchayatana puja and gave it off to my father (I know a couple of other
cases where the people were suffering some misfortunes and were also
doing panchayatana pUjA wrongly) IMO, it makes more sense to donate the
set to someone and stick to performance of sandhyAvandanam and gAyatrI,
if one absolutely cannot make the effort to learn. Claiming
prAyaschittam is not going to help any, when no proper effort has been
made in the first place. You can verify this with any of the pandits
from the Kanchi Mutt when you get the chance.


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