vidyaranya swami

Naresh P. Cuntoor cuntoor at GLUE.UMD.EDU
Thu Nov 29 07:18:19 CST 2001

As I recall, the pillars that Sri Vaidya refers to are still there... Its
in the temple to the right side, after the main (Sharadamba) temple
but before the river, while walking from say, the administrator's office
towards Narasimha vana.
There are also a couple of interesting sculptures there. Within the pillar
is a cavity that contains a stone.. The puzzling thing is the diameter or
the stone is greater than the diameter of the cavity opening.. So how did
the stone get in there?


On Thu, 29 Nov 2001, Vaidya Sundaram wrote:

> Namaskaram.
>  In a discourse about Sri Shankara's life (a set of 7 audio cassettes titled Sri Shankara Charitam available in Giri Traders in Madras), Sri Anantarama Dikshidhar mentioned that Vidyaranya swami built 12 pillars in Sringeri such that the first day (or week?) of every month accoring to the panchangam, the sun shines on the pillar and not on any other day.
>  My question to the list members is whether this is still available today and does anyone know about it? I have been to Sringeri a few times but never knew of this.
> Any information on this would be appreciated.
>  Apart from that, Sri Anantarama Dikshidhar also mentioned that Vidyaranya Swami used to do Gayathri japam (1000+ ??) every day and after the end of 12 years of such constant tapas, Gayathri Devi Herself appeared to Vidyaranya Swami and gave Him several boons, and one of them was that He would be able to write the bhashya of all the vedic mantras etc.
> bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
> Vaidya.

>From  Thu Nov 29 11:06:46 2001
Message-Id: <THU.29.NOV.2001.110646.0700.>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 11:06:46 -0700
Reply-To: besprasad at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Prasad Balasubramanian <besprasad at LYCOS.COM>
Organization: Lycos Mail  (
Subject: Re: Freewill
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

      Thank you for the explanation.  I have a few more questions.

      Lets consider the same example of burying a treasure in the past life and trying to dig up in this life. What if the person who is digging up now , had buried it by exercising his free will in the wrong direction ?  Say, he had acquired the treasure by improper means and wanted to bury it. In that case, why should his digging up in this Jenma forever and for whatever depth, should lead him to the treasure ? If he gets it, then, is it not something that shouldnt happen has happened ? I'm not clear under what conditions this person's, who had buried it with bad intentions, getting the treasure in this jenma or any future jenma will be considered acceptable.

shree guruByo namaH

On Thu, 29 Nov 2001 14:53:58
 Vaidya Sundaram wrote:
> Let me try and give your my understanding ...
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Prasad Balasubramanian" <besprasad at LYCOS.COM>
>> IF A HUMAN BEING IS NOT DESTINED to get a fruit (at  present),because of
>> exercising his free will in the other/wrong direction in the past(fate),
>how can and why should repeated attempts
>> of exercising the free will in the right direction at present with much
>more vigor  bear him the fruit ?
>I think you are missing the point ... let me give you an analogy to see if
>it will clarify. Consider the act you commited in the past as burying a
>treasure under the ground. It was quite deep, but since it is in the past
>and we cannot remember the past lives, we do not know how deep. In the
>present time, we are trying to dig the treasure up by exercising our free
>will. We dig 10 feet and still cannot find it. We are finding the digging to
>be very difficult work and so we begin to think
>(a) there is no treasure to be found
>(b) we are destined to not get the treasure.
> HH is saying both (a) and (b) are wrong. We buried the treasure quite deep
>to begin with. We exercised free will in the past in the direction of
>burying it out of sight. We must now, in the present, exercise at least as
>much "effort" or free will now as we did in the past, to make the treasure
>visible again. The treasure is there. And it is certainly within reach. The
>repeated attempts refers to not giving up after the first attempt of digging
>just 10 feet. If we have not found it in 10 feet, it only means that we
>exerted effort in the past to make it deeper than 10 feet.
>Also, if in the present life you did not get it, then bear in mind that the
>10 feet you have dug in this life will still be there. In your next life you
>don't start from scratch. That is what our shastras say. You will start in
>your next life from where you left off ... whether you choose to dig further
>in the gorund for the treasure ("positive" action) or to cover it up again
>("negative" action) is a choice you make.
>> Will it not contradict the karma theory - that if one did something wrong
>in the past ,
>> one has to face the reaction of it now ? If his past actions were in such
>a way that he
>> should not  get the fruit at present, then the number of attempts and how
>vigorous each
>> attempt is, shouldnt matter at all.
>This does not contradict "karma theory" if you can call it that. This is the
>point that HH is making - there is no "destiny" that prevents you from
>getting to what you want. There is NO invisible noose around a person's neck
>**other than what the person has put on himself**. If you pulled really hard
>(in the past), it begins to suffocate you now. The suffereing and
>breathlessness you feel now is because of that.
>> If his exercising the freewill at present with repeated attempts bears the
>fruit, then,
>> can the possible failures in the first few attempts be considered as
>> (that he might not even be aware of ) for that past karma ? So that
>further attempts will
>> be considered for bearing him the fruit ?
> It is an interesting point you bring up. In a discourse, Sri Anantarama
>Dikshidhar says that the shastras instruct us to do prayaschittam as soon as
>we are aware of any mistake we have made. If not, the amount of
>prayaschittam needed later will be sort of "more" than what we would do if
>it were now. As an analogy in this respect, he says money borrowed from a
>bank, even though small, will have associated interests that have to be
>paid - pay it soon and the amount we finally pay is small. Pay it over a
>long period of time, and the interest payments will just keep growing more
>and more. So also with good deeds done. The reason why even truely virtuous
>people are born in this world and keeping enjoying good things is because
>they did good deeds in the past, sort of a small investment which with time
>grows into a huge return. It is like the banker who will seek out the
>children of a dead man to give them the money deposited by the father. So
>also here ... But Sri Anantharama Dikshidhar cautions that one must not out
>of fear for rewards stop doing good things. There is a tendency in the
>spritual aspirant to start thinking that when the "karmic bank balance" is
>nullified, he will be "set free". That zero balance state cannot be acheived
>by stopping the doing of good deeds now in the hope that when the bad debt
>is wiped out we will be free. Man can never stop acting, and if he stops
>action of a good kind, the only things he will do is to do actions of the
>bad kind, and that will only make things worse. The solution is to do
>actions, as best as we can, for the benefit of all, but train the mind to
>think of it as action done as a service. For example, if  you the
>representative of the bank, and you go to the house of a man and give him a
>lot of money,  you (the bank representative) must know that the money you
>are giving is never yours, but the man's always - it was never yours to
>give. So also with us. All this world and the riches and treasures in it
>belongs to God always. We must act with this sense (or frame) of mind. This
>will absolve us of any karmic effects of givng the man any money.
> To come back to your original question of is the "extra" effort
>"prayaschittam" - may be it is! Or may be it is just interest payed on a
>delayed prayaschittam!! Let us not get caught up in semantics here. As HH
>has said (in a separate article) - we are all in a burning house with the
>fire all aorund us and consuming us. Let us try to get out of it and not
>question where the fire started from or how much effort to make to put the
>fire out. The fire cannot be put out. Surrender to Him, who will get you out
>of it. Our only recourse to get out of this is our Guru.
>bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free address at

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list