[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-31)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 9 22:42:40 CDT 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.915-920 of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume, 4th

The power of speech is endowed by parA-shakti only to the
human species. As a special gift from Her it must be really
important for us. If we have any good sense in us we would
use it only for noble purposes. The shakti of speech that
She has given us should be used only to reach Her again. 
	The greatness of the power of speech lies in this. Its
greatness lies in using it, not just to get great
experiences for oneself  but for further transmitting them 
to others also. This can be done only by the faculty of
speech. It is for such sharing that the parA-shakti has
given us, Her children, this unique faculty. What greater
benefit could there be in life for the power of speech?

	When a Guru teaches a certain path of sAdhanA, he appends
to it a number of strict injunctions to be  followed. On
the other hand a poet perhaps is able to give a similar
thing in the form of pleasing enjoyable music. It is the
Grace of ambaal that  has made such a thing possible by
endowing us all with the faculty of speech. That is why we
praise vAk-Shakti.  It is LalitAmbika who graces us thus
and this shloka says She does it in the form of vAg-devi,
that is Sarasvati. Just once if we bow down to Her, good
souls get the excellence of the faculty from Her. 

Note however that ‘satAm’ is the word used. Not everybody
but only those noble souls who can be classified as ‘sAdhu’
would be endowed.  The excellence of speech is compared to
the excellence of sweetness of three kinds: honey, milk and
grapes. They can be easily swallowed and  digested.  On the
spiritual side, the speech faculty would help them receive
messages full of sense and assimilate them in their
innermost hearts; and all this by just one prostration.
Instead of saying in prosaic words that ‘they will be
endowed with such faculties’ the poet in the Acharya says:
Why would not they be endowed with such faculties?’

	Just a word about the play with the sound of the word
‘natvA’. It is used two times. One time to mean ‘natvA’,
that is, (having) prostrated; and another time to mean ‘na
tvA’ meaning, ‘not – You’. Here it is two words ‘na’ and
‘tvA’ .  The word ‘na’ goes with ‘sannidadhe’ (endowed,
graced) so that it gives the meaning: (Why would they) be
not endowed. The ‘You’ goes with the earlier word ‘natvA’
thus meaning prostrated to You.
	kavIndrANAM cetaH kamala-vana-bAlAtapa-ruciM
	bhajante ye santaH katicid-aruNAm-eva bhavatIM /
	gabhIrAbhir-vAgbhir-vidadhati satAM ranjanam-amI // 16 //

	ye katicit santaH : Those few righteous persons who
	bhajante : worship 
aruNAm eva bhavatIM: You who are nothing but aruNA , that
is, the colour of crimson personified
 	bAlAtapa-ruchiM: (and) who are the rising Sun to 
kavIndrANAM cetaH kamala-vana: the forest of lotuses (in
the form of ) the minds of great poets,
amI : they
ranjanaM vidadhati: give rapturing excitement
satAM ; to the noble souls 
gabhIrAbhir-vAgbhiH:  by majestic and profound words
taruNa-tara-sRGgAra-laharI : that is a flood of love which
is youthfully fresh
virinchi-preyasyAH : from the beloved of Brahma, i.e., from

In the previous shloka the talk was about the all-white
vAgdevI. The same Sarasvati is now talked about in her
dynamic (rajo-guNa) form. Just before sunrise, it is all
crimson in the east and we call it the rising of aruNa. The
word aruNa means ‘crimson-red’. The charioteer of the Sun
is of that colour; so he is called aruNa. Here aruNA is the
personification of the crimson colour and this is 
Sarasvati in Her rajo-guNa form. When She is meditated in
this form She gives the speech-excellence, where love is
dominant. Love belongs to rajo-guNa. It is therefore
usually symbolised as crimson. So it is quite fitting that
aruNA-devi graces one with Love. 

But mark it. It is not the usual natural romantic love of
the worldly kind. It is the esoteric Love of the
partnership of Kameshvara and Kameshvari.  Those who can
comprehend it in that light are the righteous ones
(santaH). In the  previous shloka, one is said to obtain
poetic excellence by worshipping the all-white pure
Sarasvati. The poetry that springs out of this grace would
also be white, sAtvic and would have the consequence  of
giving wisdom and dispassion.  Such a  wisdom and
dispassion can be experienced as an expression of Love.
That occurs only to the noble souls (satAM) . It is to
their satisfaction that the devotees of Sarasvati sing. It
is these noble souls who were said (in the previous shloka)
to obtain the sweetness of speech, equal in sweetness to
madhu (honey), kshIra (milk) and drAkshA (grapes). And in
this shloka the same noble souls are being joyfully
entertained by the worshippers of Sarasvati, the Crimson
(aruNA): ‘vidadhati satAm ranjanam amI’.  Those who were
‘poets’ in the previous shloka, have now become
‘connoisiurs’ ! 

The poets of the previous shloka were those noble persons
who obtain the proficiency for poetry from ambAL. Among
those noble persons those who reach the nAyikA-bhava
(attitude of the beloved) towards the Almighty are only a
few (‘katicit’); these are the ones who can sing of Her
Love in the proper manner. 
 The ecstasy they enjoy and give in singing is called
‘ranjanaM’. There is a pun on this word here. It is made up
of two words ‘ram’ and ‘janam’. The consonant ‘ra’ itself
denotes ‘red’. It stands for two kinds of fires. One is the
ordinary one; and the other is the fire of love (kAmAgni).
‘ram’ + ‘janam’ means that which causes red. It means ‘to
cause love that is red’. The redness here indicates
ripeness. When a fruit is ripe it is deep red. The
‘reddening’ of the mind is to make it fully mature and ripe
for receiving the Fullness that is God. The noble persons
who are now singing by the Grace of ambaal in the form of
arunA (red Sarasvati), are mature enough to produce the
esoteric ‘redness’ of ‘ram’. So the poetry comes out of
them in a wave of Love (ShRngAra-lahari). They are actually
deep and profound words (gabhIrAbhir-vAgbhIh). On the
surface they appear to be love and romance. But deep within
it, there are  gems of philosophy there. 

Goddess Kameshvari has herself the name ‘aruNA’. Recall Her
dhyAna-shloka: ‘aruNAM karuNA-tarangitAkshhIM’. Here our
Acharya is actually invoking the eight armed Goddess: with
bow, arrow, noose and spear  (that go with Kameshvari) in
four of the hands and with varam, abhayam, aksha-mAlA and
book (that go with Sarasvati) in the other four hands. This
is the aruNa-Sarasvati with eight hands, talked about by
our elders.

(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.

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