Advaita Bhakti thro. Contemplative Practice of Narayaniyam (ABCPN - 6)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at YAHOO.COM
Sun Dec 1 21:26:16 CST 2002

This entire series is a reposting of postings done on the advaitin list

Note: Please read the Introduction (ABCPN – 0) if you have not already
read it.

Sloka No. 16 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 98 - 8):

yad-bhItyodeti sUryo dahati ca dahano vAti vAyus-tathAnye
yad-bhItAH padmajAdyAH puna-rucita-balIn-Aharante’nu kAlaM /
yen-aiv-AropitAH prang nija-padam-api te cyAvitArash-ca pashcAt
tasmai vishvaM niyantre vayam-api bhavate kR^iShNa kurmaH praNAmaM  //

Tr. Fearing whom the sun rises, fire burns and wind blows; for fear of
whom Brahma and other deities perform their cosmic functions as obligatory
punctual offerings; by whom all these deities are installed in their
places at the beginning and removed afterwards – to Thee Oh Lord, who thus
regulates the whole universe, my salutations.

Comment. This is a actually an echo of Taittiriyopanishad II -8 –
1. ‘bhIShA’smAd-vAtaH pavate; bhIShodeti sUryaH ; bhIShA’smAd-agnish-
cendrashca; mR^ityur-dhAvati pancama iti’ , meaning, Out of His fear the
Wind blows; out of fear the Sun rises; out of His fear runs fire, as also
Indra, and Death, the fifth.  The ultimate cause of fear must itself be
indestructible, since a contrary supposition will lead to an infinite
regress. And such an eternal agent is The Absolute. This sloka is also an
epitome of a whole bunch of slokas (3 – 29 – 40 to 44) in the Bhagavatam
in the chapters on Kapila’s philosophical teachings to his mother.

Sloka No. 17 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 98 - 9):

trailokyaM bhAvayantaM triguNamayam-idaM tryakSharasy-aika-vAcyaM
trIshAnAm-aikya-rUpaM tribhir-api nigamair-gIyamAna-svarUpaM /
tisrovasthA-vidantaM triyuga-jani-juShaM trikram-AkrAnta-vishvaM
traikAlye bheda-hInaM tribhir-aham-anishaM yoga-bhedair-bhaje tvAM //

Tr. You manifest the three worlds through the three guNas. You are the One
who is implied by the three letters of the praNava. You are the one Being
who manifests as the three Deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. It is your
Nature that is sung and glorified in the three Vedas. You are the Pure
Consciousness that witnesses the three states of waking, dream and sleep.
You incarnate yourself in the three yugas of treta, dvapara and kali. You
measured the whole universe with your three strides. You are changeless in
the three parts of Time, namely, past, present and future. I worship You
always with the three forms of yoga – karma, bhakti and jnana.

Comment. The list of attributes (see sloka 15) of the Lord is continued
here with poetic excellence. One cannot but recall an analogous poetic
flourish from the Tamil poet Kamban in his Ramayana, ( yuddha-kANDa,
iraNiyan-vadaip-paDalaM, verse 25), put in the mouth of Prahlad, the
greatest devotee of all times: (in Tamil)
mUnru avan guNangaL cheigai mUnru avan uruvam mUnru
mUnru kaN chuDar kol jothi mUnru avan ulagam mUnru
tonralum iDaiyum Irum toDangiya poruLkaTku ellAm
sAnru avan-iduve veda muDivu idu sadam enrAn .

Meaning, His qualities are three (satva, rajas and tamas); His actions are
three (Creation, Protection and Dissolution); His forms are three (Brahma,
Vishnu and Siva); He has three eyes (Sun, Moon and Fire) ; His worlds are
three (Earth, the nether-world and Heaven). All that have a beginning, a
middle and an end constitute a monumental proof of His existence, This is
also the bottom line of all the Vedas.

Sloka No. 18 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 91 - 3):
bhItir-nAma dvitIyAd-bhavati nanu manH kalpitaM ca dvitIyaM
tenaikyA-bhyAsa-shIlo hR^idayam-iha yathAshakti buddhyA nirundhyAM /
mAyAviddhe tu tasmin punarapi na tathA bhAti mAyAdhi-nAthaM
tat-tvAM bhaktyA mahatyA satatam-anubhajan-nIsha bhItiM vijahyAM //

Tr. Fear arises from the consciousness of a second (thing) different from
oneself. This consciousness of (such) a second is indeed an imaginary
super-imposition of the mind. Therefore I am trying my best through
discrimination to discipline the mind in the consciousness of oneness. But
when this power of discrimination is overpowered by Thy mAyA, no amount of
effort is of any avail in getting established in Unitary Consciousness.
Therefore Oh Lord, I am trying to overcome the fear of samsAra by constant
and devoted worship of Thee, the Master of mAyA.

Comment. This is one of the key slokas that trumpet the highest advaita
concept, among the 36 of this selection. The sentence ‘manaH-kalpitam
dvitIyaM’ (The consciousness of a second object is an imaginary
superimposition of the mind) constitutes   the ‘brahma-sUtra’ of advaita.
Bhattatiri clearly makes the point that the unity of the jIva with the
supreme Spirit is the ultimate goal. But he hastens to add that the same
is not reachable by any one directly but only through the love and service
of Him and His Grace.  It is only by God’s Grace that non-dual
consciousness is obtained. The devotee merges in His Being by His grace,
The ‘I’ disappears in Him and ‘He’ is left. The becoming merges in the
Being. It is not vice versa. This is what one might call Realistic
advaita, to be subtly contrasted with ‘kevala-advaita’.

 (To be continued)
praNAms to all seekers of spirituality

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