[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-45)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 25 17:19:18 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.996-1000, 1015   of Deivathin Kural, 6th
volume, 4th imprn.)

The story that Shiva survives even the kAla-kUTa poison,
that stays in his throat is the glory of the ear-ornament
of ambaa – this is the content of Shloka 28. In other words
Shivaa (meaning, ambaa) is the medicine for Shiva. This
thought goes back to the Vedas. In the Rudram chapter of
Krishna Yajur veda, the 2nd mantram of the 10th anuvAkam
says: Oh Rudra!, You have a form which includes the most
auspicious form of parAshakti, which is a cure for the
entire universe and which is in total unison with your
form, let that bless us to live a full life.  In other
words, it says there are two bodies for the Lord; when it
shows up as Rudra it is frightening (“ghora”). When it
shows up as  Shiva it is  “auspicious”, because He has also
this other body which is the one in unison with Shivaa

[Note by VK: The Paramacharya does not usually 
quote vedic passages in public during his speeches, 
though he may give the purport of such passages. 
This is the mantram that he is referring to:
yA te rudra shivaa tanuuH shivaa vishvAha bheshhajI /
shivaa rudrasya bheshhajI tayaa no mRDa jIvase //]

In the world of duality, there is good as well as bad. Both
come from the same Absolute Reality that is God. It is not
as if one comes from God and the other comes from Satan. 
This is not acceptable to our scriptures. The same Almighty
is the Rudra of destruction and is also the most
compassionate, most peaceful Shiva. 

When we talk of the ‘ghora’ form, the word ‘ghora’ includes
all that is bad like ‘anger’, ‘sorrow’ etc., though the
direct meaning of ‘ghora’ is ‘frightful’. The opposite form
called ‘aghora-mUrti’ includes all that is good. When we
look at worldly life, we have the feeling it is ‘bad’ that
is predominant.  That is why our elders call this ‘samsAra’
a ‘ghora-samsAra’.  But it is not totally ‘ghoram’ nor does
it end as ‘ghoram’. Now and then some peace, some happiness
is mixed up with it.  This is like a medicine which is
graced to us by the Lord. Probably it is divine will that
this worldly life has to be a mixed life of good and bad.
Maybe ‘bad’ is intended to be more in abundance, so that we
would all want to get away from this and reach our Real
Nature of Atman. I said ‘Maybe’ because how can anybody
know what was the ‘divine intention’?

Just as there are medicines for diseases, for this ‘ghora’
events of life, there is a medicine of ‘shivam’! But even
that does not cure the illness totally. We get hungry and
we eat to satisfy the hunger. But hunger is not for ever
satisfied! Again we get hungry and again we have to eat! So
also the ‘ghora’ part of life  comes again and again and
the shivam part gives us the medicine every time. That
medicine is called ‘SHIVAA’  -- say the vedas. They say:
“Oh Lord! Do you know what converts your Rudra-body into
the ‘shiva-body’? It is the ‘extended shiva’, namely
‘SHIVAA’. Therefore ‘SHIVAA’ is also the universal cure for
everything!”  This is the declaration of the mantram from
Rudram referred to above. 

The matter does not end there. She is not just
“vishva-bheshhajI” . The Shruti continues: “She is also
‘Rudrasya bheshhajI’, the medicine that will bring down the
‘roudra’ (=frightening) nature of Rudra and transform it
into a ‘karuNa’ (= compassionate) nature”.  

Indeed we think that Shivaa is just the consort of Shiva
and that is why She has been called Shivaa.  But the above
words of the vedas go to the extent of saying that only
when the medicine of ‘Shivaa’ is applied to Rudra, Rudra
becomes ‘Shiva’ ! It is further confirmed by the fact that
the auspicious form of Rudra is not referred to  by the
masculine term ‘Shiva tanuu’ (the Shiva body) but it is
declared to be the feminine word  ‘Shivaa tanuu’.  Thus the
body is the one coming from the Mother concept. So the
attitude is that of the mother, and the physical form is
the father’s. It is the Shivaa bheshhajI that converts
Rudra into Shiva.

The incident of Shiva drinking the poison that came out
from the Ocean of Milk, and retaining it in his throat, 
for the purpose of saving those of the world outside,
namely all the divines and those in his Cosmic stomach,
namely the entire universe,  is graphically pictured in a
Sivanandalahari shloka (#32), wherein the poet-author (The
Acharya) wonders “Was it a ‘siddha-gulika’ that you put
into your mouth?”.  Siddha-gulika refers to a medicine from
the Siddha-vaidya-shAstra. It is interesting to note that
this links well with the ‘bheshhajI’’-word (bheshhaja –
medicine; bheshhajI – Doctor) that is being used here in
the veda-mantra. 

This idea that the Lord has within Himself another body
which is wholly that of Shivaa and the usual idea that the
Lord has an ardha-nArishvara (half-male, half-female) form
are together combined in another shloka (#23) where ambaal
is branded as one who has appropriated for Herself the
entire body of Her husband! :

tvayA hRtvA vAmaM vapur-aparitRptena manasA 
sharIrArdhaM shambhor-aparaM api shangke hRtam abhUt /
yad-etat-tvad-rUpaM sakalam aruNAbhaM trinayanaM 
kuchAbhyAm AnamraM kuTila-shashi-chUDAla-makuTaM //23//

yad-etad : The fact that 
tvad-rUpaM : this form of Yours
sakalam aruNAbhaM : is fully red
trinayanam : (and) having three eyes
kuchAbhyAm Anamram : (and) is bent because of the breasts
kuTila-shashi-chUDAla-makuTaM : incomplete-moon-hair
dress-crown , meaning, (and) having a crown of hairdo with
the half moon in it,
shangke : makes me doubt (that)
vAmaM vapuH hRtvA : having taken the left side of the body
aparitRptena manasA : but not being satisfied (with it),
aparaM sharIrArdhaM : another half of the body
shambhoH : of Shiva
api  : also 
hRtaM abhUt : has been appropriated 
tvayA : by You.

(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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