[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-43)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 18 23:45:07 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.982 - 987  of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume,
4th imprn.)

The very deed of ambaa in keeping some people on the border
of duality and non-duality is probably for the purpose of
making them see the Cosmic Play of Dissolution. Naturally
such people will not be engulfed in  that play of
Dissolution, because they are themselves privileged
spectators of the play! These are the “I-am-one-with-You”
people (of shloka 30).  Even when it is said in shloka 26
that He (Shiva) is the only one who survives the praLaya,
the “I-am-one-with-You” people who are those in
identification with Shakti are, by the very reason of their
being very privileged spectators of the Pralaya, are not
consumed by the pralaya. They are one with Her. There is no
contradiction between the shlokas.
This concept of ‘being consumed by pralaya’ needs further
clarification. Though we use the word ‘Shiva’ generally, so
long as He is the ‘Kameshvara’ or the attributeless
‘shivam’ He cannot be consumed by pralaya. But when He is
one of the divine triad, as the Rudra in charge of
Dissolution, or the Maheshvara in charge of the ‘tirodhAna’
function, or the ‘SadAshiva’ of the anugraha function, he
will not be there after the pralaya, because there is no
pancha-kRtyam (the five Cosmic Functions) once the pralaya
is over. The Kameshvara who is non-distinct from ambaa, and
the nirguNa-shivam which is the substratum of them both are
the only ones which are there. The eternal truth and
existence of nirguNa-satyaM need not have to be
re-emphasized or re-affirmed.  So when we talk of who
survives the pralaya it is only ambaa and the
Kameshvara-shiva who is One with Her.  This is what is
referred to in Shloka 26 when it says “viharati sati
tvat-patirasau”  (meaning, ‘Your husband alone is in the
play’). Read along with the word “para-brahma-mahishhi”
(Shloka 97), we should have meant only the para-brahman by
the word ‘tvat-patiH’ in #26. But in the case of
para-brahman, there is no question of any action like
‘playing or sporting’ (“viharati”); that is why the
interpretation of ‘Kameshvara-shiva’ (who is non-distinct
from ambaa)  for “tvat-patiH” in Shloka 26.

In the shloka where it talks of the
‘I-am-one-with-You’-people it says even the ‘wealth or
prosperity’ of Shiva Himself is nothing before them. With
great gymnastics of sound effect it says:
“trinayana-samRddhiM triNayataH” (that is, even the majesty
of the three-eyed One is like straw before the wind). Why
was it said like this? Shiva might be Ishvara; but the
‘aishvarya’ (Wealth) that gave Him that name, came from the
parA-shakti. Without Her action, there is no Shiva, no
Wealth of any kind for Him. Even if there was anything in
terms of authority or jurisdiction, He shares it with so
many other divinities to each of whom She has allotted
responsibilities as well as the associated authority and
wealth of Power.   On the other hand, the
‘I-am-one-with-You’ people are one with Her and so they
enjoy all Her aishvarya in fullness. So they are the
greater ones!

I must warn you here. Let us not be carried away by this
poetic devotional exaggeration. There is no separate
identity for either of Ishvara and devi. In fact what is
Hers is His and what is His is Hers. 

A final subtle point. I just talked about the greatness of
the ‘I-am-one-with-You’-people. But notice that they are
not saying ‘You are one with me’; that is where there is
also a modesty revealed. One of the mahA-vakyas is ‘aham
brahma asmi’ that is, ‘I am brahman’. Another is: ‘ayam
Atma brahman’, that is, ‘This Atman, in other words, what
is cognised as jIvAtman, is nothing but brahman’. These two
mahA-vAkyas and the essence of ‘I-am-one-with-You’ of
shloka 30 are  all the same. However, those who look only
at the word-sequence of the mahAvAkyas, are likely to
misunderstand them as  saying : “The person who is in this
jIva-bhava is calling himself brahman’ – instead of
correctly understanding: “It is brahman that is this

But when  the mahAvakya  comes forth from the mouth of the
Guru it creates no such confusion. Because it says: “That
is what you are” and clearly implies ‘That has become you’.
In fact it indicates  “Without you there is nothing to be
called ‘I’”. And thus modesty is automatically oozing out
here.  This is what the conviction ‘I am one with You’ also
disseminates.  Along with it, there is also the grandeur of
the association  with the aishvarya of the Almighty. All
these ideas have gone into the Acharya’s expressive line
‘trinayana-samRddhiM triNayataH’.

The bottom line is this: The jIva which is in identity with
the Mother Goddess and the Lord who is non-distinct from
Her, both are ever there.  

I referred to shloka 26 above. It talks about how when
everything and every one gets dissolved in the pralaya,
only the Lord Shiva along with ambaa are remaining in
sport. It mentions the disappearance of the others one by
one.  The Creator BrahmA reaches his end. Vishnu arrives at
a dead stop. The God of Death  (“kInAsha”) himself dies (“
vinAshaM bajati”). The Divine Treasurer  (“dhanadaH”) also
perishes without any help from all his wealth (“nidhanam
yaati”). Notice the gymnastics in the poetry here, which
describes the gymnastic sport of the divine couple during
the process of Dissolution of the Universe. Even during
such a great pralaya (mahA-samhAra), ambaal’s spouse
(“patiH”) alone survives! Reason: Your tATanka-mahimA. 
This is what is taken up in shloka 28.    

Thus spake the Paramacharya
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.
Also see the webpages on Paramacharya's Soundaryalahari :

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