[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari(DPDS-15)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 2 07:57:33 CDT 2003

Recall that  the entire contents of the Digest are from the
Paramacharya’s ideas and words, except for my English rendering.
Wherever he uses specific English words himself, I have drawn
the attention of the reader to that fact. FOR NEW READERS of
this series, it may be worthwhile to go back to  the
Introduction  about the objective of this Digest and the Note on
the Organization (both at advaitin Message No.18425; ambaa-L
message no.5273; advaita-L message No.14046; Sadhana_shakti
message no.334).Note also that when the Paramacharya uses the
word 'Our Acharya' or 'The Acharya' he refers to Adi
V. Krishnamurthy

A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari -  15
(Digest of pp.774-793 of Deivathin Kural Vol.6, 4th imprn)

The printing press came as a revolution. And it became the order
of the day for anybody to write on anything, publish it and put
it in the hands of anybody. One of the earliest effects was that
profound ideas got mundane interpretations in the hands of the
uninitiated. As independent human beings each one felt that
whatever strikes his mind is right and each one made his own
interpretations. Neither the authors of books had the strength
of practice behind them; nor the readers had any intention to
try and experience  what they read. Several readers were just
curious and nothing more.  Or they were interested in a
so-called ‘academic research’ mostly for purposes of
self-glorification and recognition in the material world. How
can any spiritual benefit arise from these? 

Thus arose two major setbacks in the culture. The first one is
that those who were traditionally equipped to do the upAsanAs
and were also fit to do them, preferred the glamour of modern
days to break off from their traditions. And the second one is
that all and sundry took to these difficult upAsanAs without
proper guru or training. It is not clear, I must confess, which
is the major disaster.

I know that I may be criticised and commented that I have a
‘vested interest’ in saying all this. But having started to talk
on Soundaryalahari publicly, I cannot but give you this warning.
Let me conclude by saying that there is nothing wrong in
approaching shAstras like Soundaryalahari as an aid to get
Mother Goddess’s Grace and thereby to go upward in the spiritual
ladder. It is enough you know that it is great. Just with that
approach if you recite it, ambaal will give you the necessary
mental strength and maturity to reach higher levels of
spirituality. Automatically the ultimate object of realisation
would also be obtained by Her anugraha.

The mantras and their esoteric meanings have to be safeguarded 
like  nuclear secrets. If you really want to get them, approach
the proper guru and if he thinks you have the requisite
qualifications he will tell you. In this connection I will tell
you an important matter. I am touching it, so that you may not
‘touch’ it ! The name Kundalini and all the associated cakras
are being talked about by every one now, especially ever since
Sir John Woodroffe wrote about ‘The Serpent Power’. I am not
finding fault with him. I only thank him for bringing to light
the fact that our ancients had great things to tell the world in
spite of modern advances in science.  My only warning to you is
that without a proper initiation no mantra or japam will help
anybody. It is like having costly electrical and electronic
equipment in your house without a  power connection. The same
thing with these mantras and kundalinI yoga. Without the guru
power they will not work.

 That is not the only thing. There is more in it. The power that
comes through these electrical words of the mantras, can also
give you a shock because you may not be properly insulated. Only
when it comes from the guru, it gets properly secreted within
bounds; if it exceeds the bounds, that is if the insulation is
not there, it will only burn you ! My own suggestion to
book-writers is that when they publish such things, let there be
a popular edition which avoids the profound matters of mantra
secret. And let there be a limited circulation book which does
get into those secrets, but such ‘classified’ books must be made
available only with the authorization of the proper guru. I
think, from my platform,  it is my duty to say this.
Finally what is wanted is a rapport with the author. A devotee,
a poet and a vidhushaka (the Royal Fool or Clown in the King’s
Court) – these three have a great licence to do or write what
they want. Of these our Acharya was both a devotee and a poet.
So there is a bhakti-bhAva in everything he writes and there is
also a poetic licence exhibited in pieces like the
Soundaryalahari. In classical literature, there is always a
respectable status for this freedom which a poetic or devotional
piece enjoys. Of the many such licences we can refer here to
nindA stuti (where you actually criticise the deity you are
supposed to praise), praise one of the divine couple to the
extent of bringing down the other of the pair and so on. If we
look at these with a humility and an open mind for poetic
exaggeration, we may also enjoy them. Now come to the first

Shiva is the husband and ambaal is the wife. It is only by Her
power that even He moves – this is the content of the first
sloka. One might ask: Just to boost up the glory of Mother
Goddess does one have to descend to such a level as to bring God
Himself to the level of saying that He is simply a nonentity? 
The esoteric principle here is that the immutable Brahman
expresses itself only by the unfolding of the cit-shakti. The
poetic principle involved here is that the beloved, being the
fair sex, is always to be given the credit and so ‘He moves only
when She moves Him’ is also acceptable. Thus on both counts, the
presentation is enjoyable.
(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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