sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed May 6 06:40:39 CDT 1998

Ravi Mayavaram wrote:

>On Tue, 5 May 1998, sadananda wrote:
>>It is interesting to note that Shankara does not mention about the caste,
>>creed or nationality in the list.  In fact his very first sloka in the
>>meditation verses in VivekachuuDaamaNi emphasizes this:
>>        jaati niiti kula gotra duuragam
>>        naama ruupa guNa dosha vargitam|
>>        deshakaala vishayaativartayat
>>        brahma tatvamiti bhaavayaatmani||
>>One needs to contemplate on the nature of the Brahman that which is far
>>beyond the qualifications related to ones birth - jaati, niiti, kulam,
>>gotram, name, form or qualities or defects, beyond the place of birth or
>>time etc.
>The book I have does not have this meditation verse. Is the meditation
>verse part of vivekachUDAmaNi?  The book I have is by aNNa (shrI
>venkataraman)  published by Ramakrishna Mutt, with word by word
>translation from Sanksrit to Tamil.

>Take the first five verses, often people mention only  the verse 3. In
>verses 2,4, and 5 shrI shankara empasizes of the birth as man
>(pUMstvam, pauruSham) and what about the word "viprataa" is the
>second verse?  Should we condition our reading, based on the century
>we are in? I saw some english translations of vivekachUDAmaNi, they
>simply keep quiet on these issues and empasize only on verse 3!
>with respects,

Referring back to the text I have,  the meditation slokas are from verse
254 to 263 ( the number may differ from book to book) and the above sloka
is the very first in this group - sloka no. 254 - except for my typo - the
last line should read as: brahmatatwamasi bhaavayaatmani - extension of tat
twam asi - The last line is repeated in each of the 10 slokas.

Regarding the versus 2 and 3: At that time and society environment there is
no doubt that it was definitely a blessing for a Jigyasu-s to be born with
the required educational opportunities particularly when they were limited
or restricted to a chosen few. In a way, it was the merit of previous lives
to have born in a environment conducive for such a study.  In that sense
Shankara was on the mark.

May be Shankara would have written differently if is he is here now after
examining the new reservation systems for education.  -That is an academic
question and I have no intention of discussing the issues beyond the point.

The point is birth is product of the past actions, and in Vedanta there are
no accidents but only incidents and the right environment is provided for
ones growth.  The environment is only the product of the past and there is
purushaartha in the present, and future prarabda is the past modified by
the present action.

I like to know  etymological origin for the word Viprata - one can extract
more deeper meaning beyond its direct meaning.

I enjoyed reading John Grimes exhaustive explanation of the
VivekachuuDamaNi verse.  If it does not infringe the copy rights, I wonder
if he can (atleast selectively) discuss the versus with his commentary for
the group.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

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