Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Jun 19 17:42:22 CDT 1998

(contineued discussion of verse 2 (from my) previous post with Subject

 The karma MImAmsakas hold that dharma by itself is the final means for
the attainment of eternal bliss and that there is nothing else that is
required. Sri Bhagavat pAda indicates his dissent from this view by using
the word mArga in the expression 'vaidikadharmamArgaprapatA'. This use of
the word mArga shows that dharma cannot by itself, directly or
immediately, give the bliss of moksha. It is to the same effect that sage
bAdarAyana speaks when he says: dvAvimAvatha pantAnau yatra vedAh
pratisthitAh:| pravrttilakSano dharma nivrttisca prakIrtitah:||
 "Two are the paths laid down in the Vedas. Dharma is said to be of two
kinds, of of the nature of pravrtti (dharma towrds or worldly activity) or
of nivrtti (dharma away from or withdrawal from the world)."
 (A lot more is quoted by His Holiness in this context. Some from Sri
Sankara's GitAbhAsya, some from Sri Sankara's sopAnapa~nchaka and the
mahabharata. All these quotes, in one form or another support this same
main idea that Dharma and other good vitures alone make a Brahman
QUALIFIED for a rigourous study of the Upanishads. It is not sufficient by

 Next in the order of things difficult to obtain as stated by Sri
BhagavatpAda in this sloka is vidvatvam. This relates to both kinds of
Dharma (quoted above). In relation to pravritti dharma, it refers to the
performance of vedic rites with the understanding of the meaning of the
mantras uttered to the aacompaniment of the rites. Sri BhagavatpAda has
stated several times (elsewhere): It is common knowledge that when a
dealer in diamonds and fisherman, each comes by a precious stone, by his
knowledge of the nature of the object, the former makes a huge profit
which is not the case with the latter.
 In respect of nivrttidharmas, vidvatvam means this: It has been said:
"samnyasya sravanam kuryAt" which means that one should hear about
(receive instruction in and obtain knowledge of) Vedantic texts after
taking samnyAsa. So vidvatvam here means mediated knowledge (of Brahman)
obtained by listening to the upadesa on vedAntic texts. This is known as
parokSajn~ana as distinguished from immediate knowledge of brahman
synonymous with its realistation which is called aparokSajn~ana.
 The next requisite for final liberation is Atma-anAtma vivecanam. This
will be explained at length in the course of this work. It means mananam
or deep reflection on the distinction of the Atman and the non-Atman.
This reflection results in the firm conviction of the truth of the srutis
supported by proper reasoning. By constantly meditating on the import of
the sruti, one gets rid of all doubts respecting the means to knowledge
and the goal of knowledge and one avoids wrong understanding of the
 Then comes svanubhavah. By this is meant direct realisation of brahman
preceded by nididhyAsana (constant meditation on the upadesa of the Guru).
This understanding is called nididhyAsana. Hence it is called svanubhavah
(su- anubhava), proper and perfect anubhava. By this also is converyed the
four fold steps for spiritual wisdom, namely: subecchA (the longing for
release preceded by vairAgya or detachment), vicArana (listening to and
reflection on the upadesa of the guru which takes the form of ascertaining
the meaning of the words of the sruti in accord with the criteria for
determining their import: tAtparya lingasaha karana vAkyArthanirdhanam
sravanam), tanumAnasA (having a light mind unaffected by sense objects),
and satvapatti (being mentally established in the Supreme reality or the
 That these must be further accompanied by non attachment (asasaktih), the
state of absence of awareness of things internal or external
(padArthAbhAvanA), and remaining steadfast on one's natural self (turyagA)
is indicated by the last term in the series which is brahmAtmanA
samsthitih, being firmly established in Brahman, which means liberation.
By this is also implied that the states of sAmpIya (being in close
proximity to the Supreme), sAlokya (being in the same world), sArUpya
(being of the same form) and sAyujya (unitive experience) are not of the
nature of liberation in its proper true sense. As they all pertain to the
saguna Brahman, these four are to be considered as mithyA or unreal. The
Ultimate Brahman is free from the limitations of place, time and objects
and such freedom from limitation cannot be predicated of the saguna
Brahman. "BrahmAtmanA samsthitih:" means being free from connection with
all imagined limitations and remaining in one's true state of fulness as
ever pure, intelligent, free and non-different from one's inner self.
This is called kaivalyam. this is being alone, free from every taint or
upAdhi. This is liberation. This cannot be secured except by merit (punya)
acquired by good deeds done in hundreds of crores of lives.

                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 Kandavar Vindilar      : Those who have seen (Brahman) have not spoken
  Vindavar Kandilar     :   those who speak (about It) have not seen (It)
    satyakAma, satyasaMkalpa, Apatsakha, kAkutsa, shrIman nArAyaNa
        puruShottaMa, shrI ranganAtha, mama nAtha, namostute.

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