[Advaita-l] A Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS - 04)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 7 07:59:27 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
A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari -  4

(The Paramacharya continues to speak the words, as if,  of the
“Thus I am the One who gives this new Bhakti in the state of
jnAna.  And I  will be the One who will give you that jnAna to
you, my devotee,  when the time is ripe. Don’t you worry. You
have come to Me as your Mother. I will take care of you. The 
bondage in which I threw you shall be removed from you by
Myself. You need not have to keep on crying for ‘Release’. Once
you know I am the only One there is, hold on to that
steadfastly;  there is no question of  ‘Release’ thereafter.
‘Release’ from what?
“Let  jnAnis think that they will get the Ultimate Peace only
when the duality-awareness goes away from them and let them go
their own way of Enquiry of the Self. When you feel you don’t
have the interest or the stamina to go that way, don’t feel bad
or incomplete. Come through the path of Love. See the
multiplicities. But instead of seeing them as different and
separate, try not to forget that the basis of all of them is the
single Me. Love Me from your heart and view everything through
Love. Encompass everything in Love. I shall raise you to the
Ultimate Enlightenment by My Love and Grace”. 
Thus arises the godly experience that is blessed by the Mother
Goddess. By Mother Goddess I also mean the Lord-God, the
paramAtmA, and also the individual favourite deity of each of
us. It is the same  supreme Power that engulfs you into the
mAyA, that graces you as saguNa-brahman and also takes you to
that blissful state of jnAna.

Finally let me also say this. By the very fact that the jnAni
writes a book on jnAna, it must follow that he should also write
on Bhakti. For, writing a book means communicating with others.
So that means he has accepted the presence of a world of duality
in which he has to communicate and educate. The jnAni as he is,
must have already ‘descended’ to this world of duality and  
decided to raise the commonfolk to his level. He who knows that
the source of all this duality is that Infinite Compassionate
God–principle, would ipso facto have no compunctions for making
a hymn of praise for that Ultimate in Its saguNa form. And he
also knows that it is that very same Power that prods him on to
make this hymn.  So where is the contradiction here?

 But if you contend that he is writing jnAna works for the
benefit of the world – ‘loka-sangrahArtham’ without any
‘kartRtva-buddhi’  -- the awareness of doership – then with the
same non-awareness of doership he can write both jnAna works and
bhakti works. What and where is the difference?  The
World-welfare (loka-kalyANam) is the purpose. It is the Lord who
is effecting the welfare through the hands and mouths of these
chosen jnAnis.  And the most efficient way for the jnAni, the
Lord knows, to reach the masses,  is to propagate hymns of
praise of the divine, pilgrimage to holy centers, installation
of mystic yantras, and all the way down to ritual worship. 

There are three superlative hymns of praise on  Mother Goddess
in the form of Lalita. Chronologically they are: ‘AryA-dvishati’
 (also called ‘lalitA-stava-ratnam’) a 200-sloka piece by Sage
Durvasa; ‘Soundarya-lahari’ which is actually made up of two
parts – ‘Ananda-lahari’ , a 41-sloka piece brought from Kailas
by Adi Sankara and ‘Soundarya-lahari’  the 59-sloka piece
composed by Adi Sankara himself, the two pieces together going
by the popular name of Soundarya lahari by Adi Sankara; and
‘Panca-shati’  (a 500-sloka piece) by the poet Muka. 

Durvasa’s  Arya-dvishati gives us a spiritual experience of the
presence of the Almighty-Goddess in the very words of
AryA-dvishati. In this he describes the complicated structure of
the Sri-chakra . The Goddess’s Grace descends on those who read
and recite such  hymns of praise composed by great devotees who
have already merited the descent of Her Grace on them. Durvasa,
Adi Sankara and Muka are three such. Such Grace exhibits itself
first in the eloquence of these hymns. And the result is, the
devotee who revels in the recitation and repetition of these
hymns, himself gets that eloquence and flow of language and of

 The Goddess gave such an eloquence to Muka. ‘MUka’ means
‘dumb’. We do not know what name he had before. But from the
moment he composed the five hundred slokas in Her praise, we
have known him as the poet MUka !. Both the AryA-dvishati and
the MUka-pancashati bring to our vision the majestic splendour
of the form of Mother Goddess  like an expert painter’s masterly
painting. The third one, the Soundarya-lahari is the crowning
glory of all three and of all  hymns of praise of the Mother
(To be continued).
PraNAms to all advaitins and Devotees of Mother Goddess.

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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