[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-Swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-52)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 18 08:20:00 CDT 2006


For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see

Tamil original:  http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-111.htm

[Note by VK:  I found the translation of the dense 
material in this Section (and a few following sections)
very difficult. Either my English is not up to the mark or
my knowledge of the subject-matter is not enough (or
both!). So, reader, please read carefully and let me know
how the translation can be improved. But let me also tell
you. To my knowledge, these portions have not been so
elaborately and so authentically clarified elsewhere in the
literature. I therefore urge even those who have not been
reading through these discourses so far, to read these few

Even though the word ‘inner’ (*antaH*) is there in ‘Inner
Organ’ (*antaH-karaNaM*), in stead of looking inside it is
always turned outside. It is termed ‘inner organ’ because
it is subtle inside and  not concretely visible from
outside like arms, feet, eyes, nose, etc.  Its subject
matter is the dualistic world  and dualistic experiences.
Generally it is so with all jIvas.  It thickens by the dirt
of experience and  stays like the dirty and greasy stain
attaching itself to cooking vessels. This is a matter of
the inner organ.

The heart that I speak of, on the other hand, is again not
the physical organ on the left side of the chest of the
human body. Nor  is it the anAhata-chakra, located in the
dead centre of the chest, in the suShumnA nAdi that is
within the spine.  This heart is indeed the location of the
very Atman.

[Note by R. Ganapthy, the collator of these discourses:
Shri Ramana Maharishi used to say:
“The (spiritual) heart, which is the location of the Atman
 is within the right chest of a jIva”]

Of course it is true that the Atman is permeating
everywhere in such a way that there is no space for ‘space’
and so no ‘location’ to be specified for the Atman. The
words ‘sarvaM’ (all) and ‘vyApakaM’ (permeation)  both need
for their meaning the concept of space, but it is true that
space itself is subsumed by the Atman as to be nowhere.
However, for the mind (antaH-karaNaM) which is always drawn
towards duality,  to be turned to non-duality by the Grace
of God, and  towards meditation of the Atman, it needs some
kind of a prop, at least mentally. For this reason if one
attributes a form or qualities to the Atman and makes it
totally ‘saguNa’ (with attributes) and dualistic, that is
not right. Then how do we create the prop? The Formless one
that is permeating everywhere is something which surpasses
all attempts to imagine it! That is why, even if the Atman
is not attributed with qualities and form, a point has, as 
it were, been specified within the Jiva’s body itself and
the location of the Atman is to be imagined there. Who has
done this specification? No less than the ParA-shakti
Herself! She it is who showpieces all that dualistic mAyA.
And She Herself when She chooses to show compassion  by
bringing some one into advaita has kept that unique ‘point’
as the ‘Atma-sthAnaM’ (location of the Atman), where the
antah-karaNaM (Inner Organ) can converge. The antaH-karaNaM
 which lives on the strength of the individualistic
Jiva-bhAva created by itself, as well as the life-breath
which gives life to the whole body – both merge into that
single point, the single root of everything, The
enlightenment of the self as Self also takes place right at
that point.

It is a ‘point’, very small, like a needle eye. 
*nIvAra-shUkavat*,  that is, as slender as the awn of a
paddy grain; it has been said to be that small. Within the
heart, which is like the bud of a lotus suspended in an
inverted position, there is a subtle space. From there
spreads  throughout the body a hot Fire,  the Life-power;
and in the centre of that Fire there abides a tongue of
Fire, dazzling like the flash of lightning; that is the
PrANa-agni. That ends up at the point as the awn of a paddy
grain. That point is the locale of the Atman (Atma-sthAnaM)
– says the Narayana SuktaM.

[Note by VK: A question of language. What would be most
‘locale’, ‘location’  or ‘habitat’  for *sthAnaM*?]

By the statement about the subtle space-point which is the
locale for the Atman in the heart, it follows that all
around the point there is the heart.  That is also a small
locale. The Upanishads use the two words ‘daharaM’,
‘dahraM’  for this.  Both mean ‘small’. In later times 
this ‘dahraM’ became ‘dabhraM’. The heart and the
Atma-sthAnaM (location for the Atman) within are called
‘daharaM within daharaM’ and ‘dahraM within dahraM’ in the
Upanishads (Ch. U. VII- 1; Taittiriya AranyakaM XII – 16). 
The Absolute Reality of Brahman which is permeating
everywhere ‘is’ in such a small space.

The entire universe is the cosmic expansion of the
VirAT-purushha. The heart of this  Cosmic Purushha is
Chidambaram. The ChitsabhA (the assembly in the temple
there) is the ‘point’.  This is the meaning of the
well-known facts: “It is a subtle gate; there is nothing
but space there. It is a secret. Among the kshetras
corresponding to the five elements, Chidambaram is the
AkAsha (Space)”. Chit-sabhA is also called ‘dabra-sabhA’. 
The direct Tamil equivalent of this is ‘ciRRambalam’
(meaning ‘small ambalam’). The popular opinion that
‘ciRRambalam’ and ‘cidambaram’ are mutations of the same
word is wrong. ‘cit ambaraM’  means JnAna-AkAshaM
(Knowledge-space). The Sanskrit word ‘ambaraM’ has two
meanings – one is ‘Space’, the other is, something
unrelated to the present context, ‘cloth’. But ‘ambaraM’
never means ‘sabhA’ (assembly). But there is a Tamil worl
‘ambalam’ – possibly derived from the Sanskrit word
‘ambaraM’; and that has two meanings: ‘space’ as well as
‘assembly’.  The principle behind the Space-ambalam (in
Tamil) is also the God Nataraja of the Sabha-ambalam,
namely the Assembly of Dance.

That is the case of the Cosmic Purushha.  But in every one
of us, in our hearts, there is a small subtle gate, which
is point-size.

I said the disposition of Jiva goes into that, shrinks and
shrinks and finally merges there. This is what happens when
the Jiva gets Godhood (of Shiva). It is delightfully called
‘Involution’. It is the submerging action, by a convex
caving in, of something which was expressing itself by
expansion.  On the other hand, Shiva who is nothing but Sat
(Existence), that is, the ParamAtmA, when he evolves into
the Jiva with body, senses and antaHkaraNaM, that happens
again in  this same heart by the sprouting of the ego in
the expression ‘I am an individual Jiva’. I told you
earlier I will tell you about ahamkAra (Ego). That is this
matter.  AhamkAra is nothing but the thought of ‘I’ as
distinct from Brahman.  That thought is the starting point
(dramatically termed as ‘pillaiyAr chuzhi’ in the Tamil
world) of the process of evolution of Shiva into a Jiva.

Evolution is called ‘SrshhTi-kramaM’ (the regimen of
creation) and Involution is called ‘Laya-kramaM’ (the
regimen of dissolution). ‘Laya’ is also known as ‘samhAra’.
But I did not use that word lest you may be scared. The
‘samhAra’ word has no connotation of freight. ‘hara’ means
the action of grabbing. ‘sam-hAraM’ means the process of
the Lord taking us over fully (*saM*) into Himself!.

It is the heart that is the locale at the time of creation
for the ego to make the Jiva separate (from Brahman) as an
individual separate from  Brahman; it is the same heart
that is the locale at the time of dissolution (not
‘temporary’ but as a permanent ‘identity’) for the inner
organ to converge inwardly to the Ultimate. Further when it
converges further and stays at the sharp point at the
centre of the heart, that is when  Enlightenment takes

Let it be. Note that both when the JivAtma separates from
the ParamAtmA and when it goes back and becomes one with
the ParamAtmA, the locale is the heart that we spoke of
above. The ordinary example of the door of a house being
both the entrance and the exit is good enough!

In the antaHkaraNaM there are four entities: cittaM, manas
(mind), buddhi (intellect) and ahamkAraM (Ego). Of these
the locale for the mind is the neck. That of the Ego is the
heart. That of the intellect is the face. CittaM is
specifically  referred as memory power. When it is the
memory power its locale is the navel.  But really, the
basics of all the three, namely, mind, intellect and ego is
that which is called thought and this originates from
cittaM. Therefore cittam does not need a separate locale
for itself. When we vacillate between this decision and
that, cittaM is at the neck. When we finally decide, by our
intellect,  to do something in a certain way , cittaM is in
the face. When we establish ourselves as ‘I, the Jiva’,
cittaM is in the heart which is the locale for the Ego.

(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy

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