[Advaita-l] A Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS - 02)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 3 08:02:44 CDT 2003

Recall:  About the organization of the ‘Digest’: THE ENTIRE
WHEREVER IT OCCURS, IS HIS. The ‘I’ of advaita-vedanta is always
 Additional explanations given by Ra. Ganapathi are so
acknowledged. Parenthetical remarks by him, like ‘with a smile’,
‘after a small pause’  etc. that all refer to the speaker, the
Paramacharya, are repeated, if at all, as they are in the
original, within parentheses.  My own remarks, if any, shall be
properly demarcated. And note that the Paramacharya most often
refers to Adi Sankaracharya as ‘Our Acharya’.
V. Krishnamurthy
Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari -  2

On the other hand what do we observe in our experience? Whether
it is the teaching about jnAna in the Gita, or the Viveka
Chudamani of our Acharya, or the Avadhuta Gita of Sri Dattatreya
or the teaching in the Yoga-vASiShTa, or a song of Tayumanavar –
even when we just read these we feel we are being taken beyond
the curtain created by mAyA to some distant peaceful state of
Calm. Just by reading, in one’s spiritually ripe stage,  such
teachings, there have been people who have renounced the world 
and reached the state of Bliss-in-one-Self !. If these teachings
had not been written from that spiritual apex of Experiential
Excellence, how could such things have ever happened?
Therefore, however much  by your intellectual logic, you argue
whether a jnAni can get bhakti, how  the  jnAni  can do any
preaching  and so such possibilities cannot exist and so on,
these are certainly happening,  by the Will of the Lord which is
beyond the Possible and the Impossible.
It is only the Play of the Lord that the jnAni, who is
non-dualistic internally, appears to do things in the dualistic
world. His mind may have vanished, mAyA might have been
transcended by him; but that does not mean that the outside
world of jIvAtmAs has disintegrated. What do we gather from
this?  There is a Super-Mind which does all this and in some
mysterious way is compering and directing the entire universe.
And it also means that it is the same Supra-Mind that is making
the minds of men revolve in the illusion of mAyA. It is that
Power which is known in advaita scriptures as saguNa-brahman or
Isvara. In the scriptures devoted to shakti or Shiva , whenever
they call the Actionless nirguNa-brahman as ‘Shivam’  they call 
this saguNa-brahman as ‘shakti’, ‘parA-shakti’ or ‘ambAL’. Just
as that nirguNa-brahman exhibits itself and acts as the
saguNa-brahman, so also, it must be presumed, that the
enlightened jnAni also does his external actions and that again,
is the work of the saguNa-brahman! 
What is the path of jnAna? It is the effort through self-enquiry
and meditation for the eradication of the mind and vanquishing
of mAyA.  But the other path is to dedicate oneself and all
one’s thoughts and actions to that very parA-shakti (who
produced this mAyA on us) with an attitude of devotion. It is
like giving the house-key to the thief himself !  However much
the parA-shakti may play with you and toss you and your mind
hither and thither, Her infinite compassion cannot be negated.
Only when we separate and rejoin, we realise the value of that
union. To pray to Her for that reunion and for Her to get us
back to Her in answer to our prayers – this is the great Leela
of Duality wherein She exhibits Her Infinite Compassion ! So
when one prays with Bhakti  for such release She releases Him by
giving Him that Wisdom of Enlightenment. 
It is wrong to think that the goal of Bhakti lies in  the
dualistic attitude of being separate from God. It is by this
wrong assumption that people ask the question: How can a jnAni
exhibit Bhakti? In the very path of Bhakti wherein it appears
there is an embedded duality, the same Bhakti would lead the
practitioner to the stage where he will ask: Oh God ! May I be
one with You ! This is the subtle point which the questioning
people miss. When that stage comes to the devotee, the very
parA-shakti known as kArya-brahman or saguNa-brahman will bless
him with that jnAna that takes him to the non-dual 
kAraNa-brahman  or  nirguNa-brahman.
Not everybody can practise the path of jnAna that brings the
realisation of  the mahA-vAkyas by sravaNa (hearing), manana
(thinking and recalling) and nididhyAsana (contemplating). Only
when the mind vanishes one can realise the Self  as the Absolute
brahman. If that is so, the real question is: How to kill the
truant mind, which refuses to be subdued, much less vanquished ?
The very effort of vanquishing the mind has to be done by the
mind only. How can it kill itself ? The palm can slap another;
but it cannot slap itself. Though we are thus brought to a
dilemma, there is a supreme power which has created all these
minds. So instead of self-effort to kill our minds, we should
leave it to the parA-shakti and surrender to Her. Instead of
falling at the feet of the witness for the prosecution we fall
at the feet of the prosecutor himself !  Then She will help us
quell the mind; She will grace us with the necessary jnAna. 
(To be continued)
PraNAms to all seekers of Truth

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.

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