[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-34)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 20 08:19:19 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.929-935  of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume, 4th

I was saying that there are many  shlokas where we cannot
in any way infer what results will accrue from a
mantra-japam of the shloka. Shloka 35, for instance,  says
that ambaal lives in the six chakras as the five elements
and the mind. It is said that this shloka has the effect of
curing tuberculosis. Obviously there seems to be no
connection. Like this there are several shlokas where the
meaning and the results said to accrue from it are totally
disconnected.  It all means that the vibrations of the
sounds created,the words themselves, not their meanings,
have that effect. We may make a doll in the shape of a red
chili, with sugar as the material base; the outer will look
like a hot chili, whereas the whole material is sweet.  In
the same way the meanings of the words may be something,
but the power of the words as a mantra may be something

Also, the same shloka may give different, almost
contradictory, results for different persons. Shloka no.84
(ShrutInAM mUrdhAno) has been said to give the power of
leaving one’s own body and getting into the body of
another.  But the same shloka has also been earmarked as a
sAdhaNA for moksha!. One has to remember, in such cases, it
is the attitude of the devotee in question that comes into
play.  The attitude of the upAsakA (the practitioner of the
sAdhanA) has a value. Depending on the needs and desires of
the upAsaka, the results will vary. Honey can induce sleep
in some one who is habitually  a non-sleeper; and the same
honey, in the case of a lazy and constant dozer, may
produce wakefulness and alertness.  Thus the same shloka
might give different results depending on the mental
make-up of the user. Shloka 63 (“smita-jyotsnA-jAlaM”) is a
sAdhanA shloka for the merging of jIva in brahman; but if
one does not want this high noble effect, it will give the
other effect of attracting people to oneself! Again, Shloka
73 which talks about the breast feeding of ambaal’s milk
and the consequent effects on Ganesha and Subrahmanya can
lead to two different results: if the goal is jnAna, the
mantra-japam of this shloka with that as goal, will lead
step by step from the blessedness of celibacy all the way
up to the obtaining of brahma-jnAna; on the other hand if
the same shloka is used as a mantra by a lactating mother
who is lacking the necessary breast-milk, she will have her
problem solved.

Here is a lemon. It has several uses. It can be used in a
garland of lemons for the Goddess. It can be used to give a
lemonish touch to an edible combination of vegetables. It
can be used as dirt remover while cleaning vessels. It can
be used for a medicinal purpose. It may also be used in
occult practices. In the same way, the effect of a word or
word-vibrations can vary over a wide spectrum. That is why,
the ideal way is to have the attitude: “I don’t want this
or that. Whatever you think as good for me, Oh Mother, give
me that. Even if you don’t want to give anything, let me do
the recitation for just the love of it”.

Whether you want it or not, there are effects of such
recitation. For instance, the shloka #44 beginning with
“tanotu kshhemaM nas-tava vadana soundaryalahari”  gives a
general cure for all ailments and sicknesses. Specific
cures for specific diseases of the body have also been
noted for several shlokas. Each of these only trumpets the
power of shabda ( sound ). There is a shloka for the cure
of diseases of the eye and the ear. “Your eyes have an
extent up to the ears” says the shloka (#52) “gate
karNApyarNam ... ime netre”. Just by thinking that ambaal’s
eyes extend up to the ears, the power of sound is so much
that the diseases of both the eyes and ears are cured! Here
it appears there is some kind of correlation between the
effects of sound and the meanings of the words which make
the sound.  In another shloka (#58), though both these
(eyes and ears) are mentioned, the effect is said to be
‘cure of all diseases’.  What is the logic behind this? You
cannot answer the question. We have only to say “Sound
value is such”!
We started all this account from Shloka #20 which contains
the mantra for two kinds of ailment – one, a poisonous bite
and two, fever.Let us go to that shloka now.

AmbaaL is thought of as having a form that shoots forth
amRita-rasa (nectar essence) through the rays emanating
from every part of Her body. Hers is that kind of form
which is crystal-like in colour that reflects  moonlight
with a cool and delightful shine; it is a colourless
colour. And nectar springs forth from every spot of that
form. The very thought of this divine feat gives us a
cooling effect. One who meditates on this himself gets the
qualities of nectar. What is the opposite of nectar?
Poison. That is why no poison, no snake can touch him!.

Poison is the opposite of nectar. The opposite of snakes is
Garuda. Actually there are two opposites of a snake. One is
Garuda; the other is a peacock. Lord Vishnu has Garuda as
his vehicle and Lord Subrahmanya has peacock as his
vehicle.  But the same Vishnu is also reclining on the
snake. And Subramanya is Himself called Nagaraja (the King
of snakes). All this looks self-contradictory.

The snake has two facets. When it sleeps as the kundalini
shakti in a person it only promotes lust. Even the little
prANic energy in them is lost in that lust. Therefore the
snake in that situation is said to be  poisonous and evil.
It is this poison that Garuda and the peacock destroy. When
the poison is eradicated, the same snake of the kundalini,
when it rises to the sahsrAra cakra, it pours forth nectar!
Now it is a ‘good’ snake  - not the corresponding Tamil
word, which means a deadly snake!  The fact that  energy is
lost because of lust is accepted by all. But the same
energy becomes immortal energy (nectar-flow) by yoga is not
generally accepted by people; and that too, by the people,
who have never done the experiment! 
(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.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list