Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Tue Jun 30 18:32:35 CDT 1998

 samyagvichaarataH siddhaa rajjutattvaavadhaaraNaa .

 By proper reasoning, the conviction about the reality of the rope is
gained. This puts an end to the great fear and misery caused by the
serpent which arose by delusion.

 It is well known that a man filled with fear due to his thinking that the
rope which he asw in the tilight was a serpent, gets rid of the fear and
the tremblimg when he understands the truth about the object by proper
examination by the light of the lamp. The serpent that arose in the rope
due to delusion, the grief (and fear) caused by such mis apprehension,
both these are destroyed by proper examination. That is called
rajjutattvAvadrtih, the conviction of the truth about the rope. In the
same way samyagvicAra is applied to the destruction of the grief of
repeated birth and death which is samsAra, produced by delusion. Such
samyagvicAra has for its effect the conviction about the truth of the
Atman which is the nature of the direct realisation of Brahman. Thus the
analogy of rope-serpent-delusion is fulfilled in every respect.

                      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.

>From  Tue Jun 30 18:38:07 1998
Message-Id: <TUE.30.JUN.1998.183807.0500.>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 18:38:07 -0500
Reply-To: shashi at TAMU.EDU
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Shashidhar Rajamani <rajamani at EE.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Maanasa-yaatraa to the 12 Jyotirlinga's - Vaidyanath
Comments: To: ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SOL.3.96.980630163506.3402A-100000 at> from
        "Ravi Mayavaram" at Jun 30, 98 04:48:28 pm
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A few months back, I ran into a web-site Jyotirlingam

which mentions the following as one of the dvAdasha jyotirlingANi :


Sri Vaidyanath dham - Bihar, Joshidi rail station about
fifty miles from Patna.

This lingam is said to have been established by
the Lanka King Ravana himself. It is said that
Shiva agreed to go to Lanka on condition that
Ravana does not set the lingam down on ground.
However the gods conspired to stop him by asking
Varuna to go inside Ravan's bladder. Ravan
had to stop and releive himself by setting the
lingam on the ground. The local river is the proof of
that. However when Ravan tried to pick up the lingam,
it would not budge. As he pushed hard, he
managed to bend the lignam which is visible to this day.
There is also a mineral spring or Kunda
nearby. The place is also considered one of the seven dhams.

<end quote>

Shashidhar Rajamani
503 Cherry Street, #129
College Station
TX 77840
Phone (Home) : 409-260-0355
Phone (Off ) : 409-862-3654
email : shashi at

>From  Tue Jun 30 21:23:02 1998
Message-Id: <TUE.30.JUN.1998.212302.0400.>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 21:23:02 -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: pUja
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

> I happened to meet the priest of San Antonio temple and asked him few
> question about pUjA and nityakarma anuShTAnam.  During the discussion he
> emphasized one vital point, which I thought I will share with you all.
> "In pUjA quality is more important than quantity. It is not how much we do
> matters, but how we do it is very important. Do it with full attention and
> try to understand the meaning of the mantras (specifically he was
> referring to nAmams of shrI lalitA)."

The precis of the above seems to be "Substance is more important than
form". The statement "Doing it with full attention and understanding the
mantra-s" seems to undermine the procedural details (though he may not
have intended that) One should be very careful with such statements so
that people don't misunderstand the idea. IMO, both "form" and
"substance" are equally important, if anything "form" is more important.

For eg, take the pa.chAyatana pUjA. In the shiva pa.nchAyatana pUjA
(where shiva is the ishhTa devata), the five are supposed to be kept in
the order

gaNesha            ambikA


sUrya              vishhNu


      [shiva facing the east]


1. Is someone blindly following the rules without understanding the
mantra-s, and without proper concentration doing the pUjA better?


2. Is someone not following the above rule, but fully understanding the
mantra-s and with complete concentration doing the pUjA better?

[ NOTE: The above rule is just that: a rule. There is no questiopn of
"understanding" anything here. There are no "reasons" for the rule.]

Answer: smR^iti assures that #1 is better. It in fact assures us that
someone not following the above rule scrupulously will get exactly the
opposite effect, it declares that he'll experience great disaster (I'm
not exagerating).

Thus, in this case, "form" is more important than "substance". There are
many other rules as to the performance of the above pUjA. IMO, one just
needs to blindly follow it with faith. No need to understand any
mantra-s. It's good to understand the mantra-s of course, but it is
subsidiary to following procedural details with complete faith. Even
blindly following it leads to the same result, perhaps it will take a
while longer. I think one more janma would'nt matter in the grand scheme
of things :-).

Again, I am not saying that the pUjAri you quote intended to undermine
the procedural details (you could include this in "quality"), but his
statements could be easily misconstrued to mean that. In fact I have
heard many people say such things,as if only "concentration" and
"understanding" is of supreme importance, quoting examples like kaNNappa
nAyanAr!! One should have some idea of who to compare himself to!!!! I
wanted to ask one of these guys, "Will you pluck out your eye for
shiva?" :-). The next thing you know these guys will be throwing stones
at shiva li.ngam-s like sAkkiya nAyanAr :-) :-).

> PS: I was always impressed with the care with which the priests of San
> Antonio temple do aShTottara archana and other mantras. Every name get its
> attention. In many other temples, I have seen the priest going through the
> names at lightining speed. I am not here accusing that they don't give
> attention.  As listener I could not match their speed. It is possible for
> well trained minds to give attention and at the same time do the nAmAvali
> fast.

In an ideal world of course all priests would be perfect. I know you are
not criticizing them, but here is my $0.02 on this. The priests are just
doing what the majority of the people want. Once a priest came to our
house for doing yajur upakarma. He was a substitute for our usual
priest, since he was taken ill. The poor guy was from some village and
patiently did every homam we are supposed to and also explained
meanings. My relatives were complaining later, "Why the heck did the guy
take so long? Does he think everyone in the city has nothing else to do
like in a village?" Unfortunately, that is the pathetic state we have
sunk to. We have only ourselves to blame.

Another thing which really irritates me is people complaining about
priests asking for 5 or 10 Rupees more. IMO, if he asks for 10Rs he
should be given 100Rs. He is doing a great favor, isn't he? I consider
myself a non-viloent guy, if anything could provoke me to violence it's
probably people complaining non-stop about the "avariciousness" of

IMO, we should never complain about priests (I am not saying you are),
we don't have the right to.

>From ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU Wed Jul  1 08:31:45 1998
Message-Id: <WED.1.JUL.1998.083145.PDT.ADVAITAL at TAMU.EDU>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 08:31:45 PDT
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Anand Hudli <anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26
Comments: To: ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU
Content-Type: text/plain

Vaidya N. Sundaram wrote:

>On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:
>>  Atma-jnAna is thus extremely great. Anything that is so great is not
>>  achieved by everyone. If everyone were to achieve Atma-jnAna (from
>>  the vyAvahArika view), then it would be commonplace. Krishna affirms
>>  in this verse that Atma-jnAna is not easy to achieve. Among many
>>  thousands of people, a rare person has the eligibility to attain
>>  this jnAna. Again, among many such people who are eligible, only one
>>  rare person actually succeeds in attaining It as the fruit of
>>  shravaNa, manana, and nididhyAsana.
>>  This rules out the possibility that the attainment of jnAna is a
>>  mind game, wherein one can merely "think" that he/she is liberated
>>  and presto!, he/she actually becomes liberated.
> I am not so very sure that the possibility is ruled out. In the Yoga
>Vasishtha, the holy Sage devotes a lot of time in explaining to Sri
>the power of the mind and power of thought. There is one chapter in
>particular I wish to point out, Chapter 6 (The Power of Thought). In
>this, Sage Vasishtha says:

 You are quite right. Conquering the mind is essential. But this
 cannot be done (in general) immediately. One way is to purify the
 mind of all the dirty things by karma/bhakti. A purified mind is
 relatively easy to control. The other way is to relentlessly
 reinforce the notion of the illusoriness of the world as the
 Yoga vAsishhTha prescribes. Thereby the mind becomes subdued.

 In either case, there is some sAdhana required. I was only trying
 to point out that it is not possible to avoid sAdhana and reach
 jnAna by simply _assuming_ that bondage or liberation is just in
 the mind and therefore, merely thinking oneself as being liberated
 will actually guarantee liberation. From the pAramArthika view,
 there may be no liberation or bondage, but for a seeker this is not
 relevant. The seeker has to undergo some sAdhana to subdue the mind.
 This may be by bhakti , karma or the relentless inquiry suggested
 by Yoga vAsishhTha.


>Ch.8 v 35-36:
> In the ocean of worldly existence, there is no refuge other than the
>conquest of the mind. As long as the mind is not conquered by the firm
>practice of the One Truth (or reality), so long do the night ghosts of
>imagination dance in the heart.
> It becomes quite clear from the Yoga Vasishtha, that although truth is
>not one imagination away, truth is to be obtained by constant
>contemplation of it with the mind. And all of the mind is
>and in the end, the action/thought/mind complex is itself to be given
> At this point it is easy to ask, where from Knowledge is obtained, can
>the mind give it by itself?, and how so?
> Ch.7 v.64:
> By the practice of the (above) three steps and by the power of the
>cessation of desires, when the mind becomes pure, the abiding in Ture
>Self is declared to be "entering into Being".
>(the three steps refered to are discussed in some previous verses to be
>1) Association with holy poeple
>2) Practice of dispassion and inclination towards virtuous behaviour
>3) Non attachment to objects of senses )

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