Advaita Bhakti thro. Contemplative Practice of Narayaniyam (ABCPN - 11)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at YAHOO.COM
Mon Dec 9 09:31:16 CST 2002

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

ABCPN - 11
Note: Please read the Introduction
(ABCPN – 0) if you have not already read it)

Sloka No. 31 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 94 - 7):
shabda-brahmaNy-ap-Iha prayatita-manasas-tvAM na jAnanti kecit
kaShTaM vandhya-shramAste cirataram-iha gAM bibhrate niShprasUtiM /
yasyAM vishvAbhirAmAH sakala-malaharA divya-lIlAvatArAH
saccit-sAndraM ca rUpaM tava na nigaditaM tA na vAcaM bhriyAsaM //

Tr. There are some with mind wholly absorbed in Sabda-brahman (or study
and exposition of the Vedas and other scriptures). But they have no
knowledge of Thee (in spite of all their learning). Alas! Their efforts
are therefore sterile, and they are like owners of cows that never calve.
May I not therefore indulge in the study, exposition or composition of
works alien to the description of Thy blissful form and Thy sportive
Incarnations, which are universally inspiring and destructive of all
mental impurities.

Comment. There is a beautiful sloka  in Sivananda-lahari (Sloka 6) of
Sankara, which carries the same thought, however, in the Master’s
inimitable style.
ghaTo vA mR^it piNDo’pyaNurapi dhUmo’gnir-acalaH
paTo vA tantur-vA pariharati kiM ghora-shamanaM /
vR^ithA kaNTakShobhaM vahasi tarasA tarka-vacasA
padAmbhojaM shambhor-bhaja parama-soukhyaM vraja sudhIH //
meaning, Whether it is the lump of clay (that is the truth) or the mud-pot,
or the atomic fragment of it, whether it is the smoke beyond the mountain
(that is the reality) or the fire, whether it is the cloth (that is the
ultimate) or the threads (of cotton), how does it remove (man’s)
suffering? You are wasting your throat on such questions of logic, Oh! Man
of intellect! Worship the lotus feet of Lord Shambhu and attain the
highest bliss!

Sloka No. 32 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 94 - 8):
yo yAvAn yAdR^isho vA tvamiti kimapi naiv-AvagacchAmi bhUman-
nevam-cAnanya-bhAvas-tvad-anu-bhajanam-ev-Adriye caidya-vairin /
tval-lingAnAM tvad-anghri-priya-jana-sadasAM darshana-sparshanAdir-
bhUyAn-me tvat-prapUjA-nati-nuti-guNa-karm-AnukIrty-Adaro’pi //
Tr.: Oh All-pervading Being! Oh Destroyer of Sishupala! I am not able to
comprehend Thy greatness or Thy nature even in the least. But despite my
imperfect understanding of Thee, I shall continue to serve Thee
wholeheartedly, depending on Thee as my sole support. May I be always
blessed with opportunities of seeing Holy Images and contacting
congregations of Thy devotees, and be endowed with devotion to the
worship, salutation and praise of Thee as also the recital of the deeds
and excellences of Thy Divine Self.

Comment. The greatness ( yAvAn  - who, what?) of the Lord is shown by the
Lord Himself by opening out His cosmic form through a divine vision to
Arjuna in the 11th chapter of the Gita. The nature (yAdRsho  -  how, of
what nature?) of the Lord is described by Himself in the tenth chapter of
the Gita.  Both chapters are difficult to understand, says Bhattatiri.
There are two categories of people in the world: firstly, those who grant
the supernatural status (10th and 11th chapters of the Gita) of Krishna
and therefore all his miraculous deeds, but find it difficult to follow
his spiritual teachings in the rest of the chapters of the Gita because of
its philosophical nuances; secondly, those who seem to be comfortable in
studying and learning the philosophy embedded in the Gita, but find it
difficult to swallow his divine mischief-like miraculous doings. To both
these types of people Bhattatiri addresses this sloka. He says whether you
understand Him or not, whether you can imbibe His philosophy or not,
worship Him with all the sincerity you can command. Go through any one of
(if possible,  all of)  the nine forms (described in the Bhagavatam 7-5-23
by Prahlad) in which bhakti might be expressed:
• Listening to recitals of the names and glories of God (shravaNa)
as did King Parikshit;
• Oneself reciting the names of God (nAma-sankIrtana) as did Narada,
Chaitanya, Mira and Thyagaraja;
• Recalling Him and His excellences (smaraNa) as did the sage Suka;
• Waiting on Him (pAda-sevana), as did Lakshmana;
• Worshipping Him (archana), as did King Ambarisha;
• Prostrating before  Him  (vandana), as did Akrura and Uddhava;
• Serving Him (dAsya), as did Hanuman and Garuda;
• Befriending Him (sakhya), as did Arjuna and Sugriva; and
• Dedicating oneself to Him (Atma-nivedana) as did King Bali and
Kannappa Nayanar.

Sloka No. 33 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 98 - 10):
satyaM shuddhaM vibuddhaM jayati tava vapur-nitya-muktaM nirIhaM
nirdvandvaM nirvikAraM nikhila-guNa-gaNa-vyanjan-AdhAra-bhUtaM /
nirmUlaM nirmalM tan-niravadhi-mahim-ollAsi nirlInam-antar-
nissangAnAM munInAM nirupama-paramAnanda-sAndra-prakAshaM //

Tr. There shines Thy Being – eternal, immaculate, ever awake, ever free,
desireless, transcending the pairs of dualities, changeless, conserving
and manifesting all values, causeless, free from the taint of ignorance,
inconceivably great, latent in noble hearts free from attachments, dense
with the luminosity (of Consciousness) and inimitable supreme bliss.

Comment.  Now we are starting to wind up our selection of 36 slokas. So
here comes an exhaustive-looking listing of the ‘attributes’ of the
attributeless Brahman, as conceived in the Upanishads. A fitting  sloka
for meditation purposes. Transcendence (T), Immanence (I)  and Perfection
(P) - - the T, I and P, constituting the TIP of the Iceberg, that is God –
are all three in this sloka. One may refer to the following web page on
this topic of ‘TIP of the Iceberg,  that is God’:

(To be continued and concluded in the next post)
praNAms to all seekers of spirituality

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list