[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-42)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 16 22:53:21 CST 2003

Recall the Note about the organization of the ‘Digest’, 
from DPDS – 26 or the earlier ones.
V. Krishnamurthy
A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari - 
(Digest of pp.978 - 981  of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume,
4th imprn.)

I was telling you about the non-mention of Rudra in shloka
#22. And that led me on to shloka #25, which we shall
scrutinise now in order to understand that, in keeping with
the esoteric nature of Anandalahari, the subtlety of the
pati-patni relationship between the murtis of shiva and
ambaa has not been damaged there. For there is not even a 
loophole  therein to bring the identity of Rudra and Shiva.

(Note: Though the Paramacharya does not get into 
Shloka #25 in detail, in order for us to understand 
the key point he makes about it, I give below 
my own word-by-word translation of #25, 
for the benefit of readers. VK)

trayANAM devAnAM triguNa-janitAnAM tava shive
bhavet-pUjA pUjA tava caraNayor-yA viracitA /
tathA hi tvat-pAdodvahana-maNipIThasya nikaTe
sthitA hyete shashvan-mukullita-karottamsa-makuTAH // 25 //

yA pUjA : The worship
viracitA : done
tava caraNayoH : at They Feet
bhavet : becomes, as it were,
pUjA : the worship
trayANAmM devAnAM : of all the three deities (Brahma,
Vishnu and Rudra)
tava triguNa-janitAnAM : who were born of Thy three guNas 
tathA hi: Indeed it is this way.
Ete : These gods
sthitAH shashvat ; are stationed, ever,
maNipIThasya nikaTe : in proximity to the seat of gems 
tvat-padodvahana : that bear Thy feet
mukulita-karottamsa-makuTAH: with their joined palms held
(in salutation to Thee) above their diademed heads

Now we shall go back to 
the Paramacharya’s explanations: VK)

The  three divinities mentioned here are referred to as
“triguNa-janitAnAM”, meaning, ‘those who have their origins
in Thy three guNas, satva, rajas and tamas’.  Rudra is the
only one who has the tamas as the source.  Since he is said
to ‘be born’ (janitAnAM) of tamas, it is tantamount to
saying that he is ‘born’ of Her and therefore He is Her
offspring. And this justifies his falling at Her feet.
Since the topic here is to say that the pUjA of the Divine
Triad (born of Her guNas) is actually embedded (included,
implied)  in the pUjA of Mother Goddess, the deity Rudra,
who is generally equated with Shiva, has to be included
here.  But whenever one wants to develop the theme that
even great  divines worship the devI, (as in shloka 22) one
uses Mukunda, BrahmA and Indra without  mentioning any of
the names Rudra, Shiva or Ishvara which names are
identified with Shiva.  All the divines disappear in the
Grand Dissolution, while the one who doesn’t disappear even
at the time of the Dissolution, is not here at the scene of
the falling at the feet! 

Lest I forget,  let me now itself dwell on  a subtle point
regarding the nIrAjana corresponding to the Grand
Dissolution  (mahA-pralaya) (shloka 30). 
(Again, as before, I give below the shloka #30 
and its meaning, though the Paramacharya 
does not choose to give the word-by-word meaning: VK)

nishhevye nitye tvAm-aham-iti sadA bhAvayati yaH /
kim AshcaryaM tasya trinayana-samRddhiM tRNayatA
mahA-samvartAgnir-viracayati nIrAjana-vidhiM //30// 

nitye : Oh the Eternal One,
nishhevye : Oh the One adored by all,
yah : He who
sadA : always
bhAvayati : thinks of   (meditates on)
tvAM : You
abhitaH :   (You, who are) surrounded  
ghRNibhiH : by rays
svadehodbhUtAbhiH : emanating from one’s own body
aNimAdhyAbhiH : such as aNimA and the like, 
aham iti : as “I”,
kim Ashcaryam : What wonder is there (meaning, No wonder)
tasya : for him
triNayatA : (who) makes into insignificance
trinayana-samRddhiM : the glory of the three eyed (Shiva),
mahA-samvartAgniH : The Great Fire of Dissolution
viracayati : becomes
nirAjana-vidhiM : (only) the rite of waving of Lights.

The content here is this: Those who meditate with a
complete  (advaitic) identification with ambaa, are 
themselves offered  the nirAjana by the Fire of the Grand
Dissolution. But in an earlier shloka, (#26), it is said
that BrahmA, Vishnu and all other divines disappear at the
time of that mahA-pralaya, but Shiva alone remains,
sporting with Her.  The question now arises: How come, in
shloka 30, it talks as if the ‘tvAm-aham’ worshippers (that
is, those who have identified themselves with Mother
Goddess) survive during the Great Dissolution and receive
the nIrAjana of the mahA-pralaya?

Yes, it is alright --, in the following sense. If they had
been different from ambaa, they would have certainly been
destroyed in the Dissolution. But they are in advaitic
oneness with ambaa. They are the ‘tvAm-aham’ upAsakas. They
are the ‘I am one with You’ entitites. In other words they
are one with the devi. Of course this devi is not the
attributeless (nirguNa) one. How can there be a nIrAjana
for the  nirguNa? The first line of Shlok 30  means ‘You
who are surrounded by divine powers like aNimA, which are
all rays emanating from Your own body’. This itself says we
are talking of the saguNa form only here.  The identity or
oneness (sAyujyaM) that is talked about here is the same as
the ‘bhavAni-tvam’ idea of shloka 22. 

But again one may question: ‘Then, why are they talked
about as separate and as if they are separately receiving
the nIrAjana of the Fire of Dissolution?’. Though they may,
in their identity with the Mother, have a feeling that they
are themselves doing the play of Dissolution, along with
that, there will be a symbiotic feeling of appreciation and
bliss at the sight of the divine leelA taking place right
before them. 

Let us note clearly that never can a jIvAtmA attain the
identity of being the doer of Creation, Sustenance and
Dissolution. To be in that kind of complete oneness with
the saguNa-brahman in total advaitic identification is an
impossibility. The peak of experience can only be the
‘feeling’  as if it is itself doing the activities of the
saguNa-brahman. The feeling can be very deep and profound.
But never can it become the original. In order to
compensate for this gap in complete identification, one is
graced by Ishvara with this apex-like experience of being
witness to the divine deeds. In fact, let me venture to
say, that the very purpose of being a saguNa brahman may
well be to grant this experience to that single one in a
To be Continued

Thus spake the Paramacharya

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.
Also see the webpages on Paramacharya's Soundaryalahari :

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