[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-24)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Sep 22 23:09:04 CDT 2003

On Mon, 22 Sep 2003, V. Krishnamurthy wrote:

> Having described Her four arms and what She held in them, having
> portrayed Her general physical features including the autumnal full moon
> of the divine face, the sloka 7 ends with the svarUpa-lakshaNa (Inherent
> Definition) of ambaal. This is the core of the core. She is the
> personification of the "I" ness of the Absolute Brahman. I have talked
> about it earlier.  In other words She is the cit-shakti Itself. She is
> jnAna in form.  She is jnAna-ambaaL.

This reminds me of a discussion I had some time ago with a person who was
interested in Vedantic ideas but came from an atheistic background.  He
asked if the goal of Advaita Vedanta is oneness, then why do Hindus have
so many different Gods and Goddesses?  Surely a Vedantin should abandon
all these as unnecessary obfuscations of the One?

I replied that the Vedas emphasize that Brahman is purna -- "full" There
is no thing no where which is not "One" so why restrict the search
arbitrarily?  To discount all the wonderful variety of phenomena in the
world in search of an invisible "One" is truly to miss the forest for the
trees.  The sadhak should not stop seeing but retrain his vision to see
the connections between all names and forms. So too with Gods.  Each
swarupa demonstrate one or more facets of the nature of Brahman.  By
repeated meditation (upasana) on these forms the wise man gains the true
picture of the nature of Brahman.  It's like the number 1.  In English it
has one shape, in Devanagari another, in Tamil or Chinese or Arabic even
more.  You cannot just use the 1 symbol from one language into another but
the concept of '1'ness is the same everywhere.  So in the 1 concept there
is diversity at a low level and unity at a higher one.  So too in the One

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list