[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-38)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 29 07:04:02 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. 958-963 of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume, 4th

The next sloka  is of great interest. Even in the portion
of Anandalahari, which is supposed to be mainly the
esoteric content of the ShAkta scriptures, there are slokas
which reflect the pure bhakti sentiment coupled with
excelling poetry. One such sloka is No.22. In this sloka
one is lifted from the dvaita-bhakti to an advaita-like
stage where there is a symbiosis of bhakti, shakti and

bhavAni tvam dAse mayi vitara dRShhTiM sakaruNAM
iti stotuM vAnchan kathayati bhavAni tvam-iti yaH /
tadaiva tvaM tasmai dishasi nija-sAyujya-padavIM 
mukunda-brahmendra-sphuTa-makuTa-nIrAjita-padAM //22 //

“bhavANi” – Oh Mother bhavAni.  Bhava is the name of Shiva.
The Shakti of Bhava is BhavAni. 
tvam vitara : Please (you) cast
dRShhTim  : (your) glance
sakruNAM : (which is) coupled with Grace and Compassion
mayi : on me
dAse : (who is your) servant.
Vanchan : Wishing
Iti stotuM : to praise thus,
yah: whoever
kathayati :says
bhavAni tvaM iti : “bhavAni tvaM” ,
tadaiva (= tadA + eva) : then and there, (that is, even
before  you complete the remaining words “dAse mayi vitara
dRShhTim sa karuNAM”)
tvaM : You
dishasi : grant, give
tasmai : to him
nija-sAyujya-padavIM : your own sAyujya status.
(We shall come to the fourth line of the stanza later)

The marvel here is, that the devotee has not yet said the
full prayer of his, namely: Oh Bhavani, You please cast on
me, your servant, your glance of compassion and grace. He
has just said: “Oh Bhavani, You” !  That itself is
sufficient for the Goddess to pour Her maximum Grace of Her
own sAyujya status on the devotee.  This is the implication
of the words ‘tadA-eva’ in the beginning of the third line
of the stanza. The very moment one says ‘bhavAni tvaM’, he
is granted the Grace. How is this? And what is this sAyujya
status that is being granted?
(The sAyujya concept was described
 in the first paragraph of DPDS – 29  - VK)
The sAyujya status is that which becomes one with the
Object of Adoration. But what is being said here is not the
oneness with the nirguNa-brahman. Why am I saying this? Now
go to the fourth line of the sloka.
Mukunda:  vishnu
Brahma : creator brahma
Indra : Indra, the King of the divines
sphuTa-makuTa : the shining crown
nIrAjita-padAM : the feet which have been offered the
ceremonial waving (nIrAjana) of lights before them.

And thus, the last line means, in conjunction with the
third line, “Then and there, You give him your sAyujya
status, (which earns them) Your feet that have been given
the ‘nIrAjana’ (waving of lights) by the Gods Vishnu,
Brahma and Indra who, by falling at Your feet, have had
their shining crowns touch your feet and thus have offered
worship to it”.

It is the sAyujya status (the identity in form and essence)
 that privileges the devotee to enjoy the worship of even
the Gods, through their ‘nIrAjana’ to the Divine Feet, with
which there is identity now. 

If one reaches advaita-sAyujya (identity) with the
Ultimate, things will not be like this; for there is no
‘form’ there and there are no feet to be worshipped! And
then there will be no gods in name and form.  The advaita
sAyujyam is the oneness with the Ultimate Nirguna-brahman
where there is no more universe. So what is said in this
sloka is not the sAyujya of advaita.

It is the supreme brahman which manifests itself as the
First Cause in terms of parA-shakti. She is the Queen of
this Universe and She adminsiters this whole universe by
Her own agents such as Brahma and Indra. It is those divine
agents  who fall at Her feet in obeisance. It is in that
state that the individual soul (jIvAtma) becomes one with
the parAshakti in its sAyujya status. It is that sAyujya
that is spoken of here. 

The interesting fact is that even the advaita shAstras do
speak of this state. Of course the goal of the advaita
scriptures is not this. The peaceful nirguNa state without
any mention of shakti or of any ‘action’ is the goal of
advaita. But the ‘Ishvara’ that advaita talks of does ‘get
into action’! It is He (taking the place of ‘parAshakti’ of
the shAkta schools) who does all the leelA with the
devotee. That is why, even though the Ultimate is something
in which there should be no talk of ‘the rise of desire’ or
the ‘occurrence of determination (sankalpa)’, the
Upanishads do speak like ‘Whatever objects He desires, they
appear by His very desire’. (‘yam kAmam kAmayate saH asya
sankalpAd-eva samut-tishhTanti’  --Chandogya U. VIII -2).
This means just that He has the quality of ‘aishvarya’,
namely,  the godliness of being parAshakti. 

Even if the person goes via the path of jnAna and looks
forward to the advaitic union in nirguNa brahman, the
parAshakti catches hold of him, as it were, on the way and
makes him play along with Her in saguNa-sAyujyam (identity
with Ishvara, the aspect of brahman with form) in the world
of action! But the play does not end there. He soars even
higher spiritually. He is now in identity with the
parAshakti, the Director of the entire universe and all its
play. It is in that state he enjoys the bliss of union with
the saguNa Ultimate.  It is a state where there is the apex
of Devotion and also the sense of advaita-jnAna – a
perfectly peaceful and blissful state.  

(To be continued)
Thuis 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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