[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-Swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-54)
profvk at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 22 08:09:22 CDT 2006
For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see
[Note To Shri Parasukhanandanadha: Thanks for your
write-up on HridayaM in
First, please note that whatever I write in this series is
only a translation of Kanchi Mahaswamigals discourses.
Nothing is original from me! Secondly, the Swamigals
presentation is not contradicting what you say about
Hridayam. And thirdly I would request you to read from
KDAS-50 to KDAS-60 carefully and you will find that your
doubts have been answered. Finally your concluding
statement about Jiva not merging in Shiva, needs to be
commented on. I shall take that up in a separate post.]
SECTION 40: NIRGUNA BHAKTI & SAGUNA BHAKTI
[Note by VK: saguNa bhakti means Devotion to God with
nirguNa bhakti means Devotion to attributeless
Just now I talked about the Atman that tests, the Atman
that reveals itself, the Atman that does the action of
taking over the surrendering self. Do all these mean that
the Atman is not nirguNa but only a saguNa that does
actions? If it is saguNa then that is not our objective.
How can that be so? such questions may arise. This is
where one has got to bring in shraddhA (Faith)! Our
Acharya, who takes great care to show us the way, has
already created this bodyguard of shraddhA for our
protection! Dont ask questions about saguNa and nirguNa.
The very Upanishads which have talked elaborately about the
nirguNa Atman has spoken at this point only thus. Take that
in full faith and give yourself up to the Atman with Love.
Thereafter you will be taken only to the nirguNa Absolute,
so say all the Upanishads. So proceed just on faith this
is what you have to repeatedly remind yourself and
If you want you may believe that the nirguNa brahman, in
order to shower its grace on you, works for just that
moment like saguNa, and then after sending you inside the
core of your heart, within there it remains nirguNa and
takes you over. Instead of resorting to such wishful
thinking, the best thing would be to go forward with
shraddhA and shraddhA alone!
Memory does go back to the Ishvara (saguNa brahman). As
long as there is a mental action, thinking of anything good
does bring back the memory of Ishvara, who is the aggregate
of all that is good. Except for advaita, all the other
schools of thought earmark him as the destination. How can
an advaita-sAdhaka not think about Him? But when that
thought does occur, start thinking: Oh Lord, it is because
of your Mercy my mind has ventured into advaita. And by
Your Grace I am moving on this path little by little. I
know you are doing all this, in your great compassion, to
take me over finally into your advaitic oneness. So if I
now worship you as a saguNa deity, I will be going against
your own sankalpa. Please help me go forward on this same
path This is a kind of expression of gratitude for the
path so far trodden and a prayer for the path that is
remaining, so that the mind still stays on the nirguNa
Gratitude, that is very important. The Bhakti that arises
out of this gratitude gratitude to Him who has directed
us into this most remarkable advaita -- raises its head
now and then. Of course we may have to maintain it for a
very short time and quickly resume our journey. However,
this Bhakti of short duration is so intense that all that
bhakti that we did long ago for the one-pointedness of the
mind pales into insignificance. When we were carrying on
that Bhakti almost incessantly, it was like a routine, and
sometime lifeless. But now on our jnAna path, a certain
bhakti shoots forth as if from an underground spring, along
with a sense of gratitude, and even though it is only for a
moment, it is full of life.
But since our objective is nirguNa, even from this, the
mind has to be turned off.
However, if there is the thought that it might still be
better if there is a saguNa-mUrti for directing our Love,
especially at the beginning of this advanced stage of
sAdhanA, then certainly there is the Guru. Pour all your
Love and Bhakti on him. He will lift you up and make you
direct your Love towards the nirguNa. Has not our Acharya
said: *prasAdena guroH seyaM pravRttA sUyate phalaM* (See
KDAS-46: Sec. 29) By the Grace of the Guru, the effort
will become pravRtta and will give the desired result.
After all what is Love? Is it not what goes and attaches to
you wholly? But here the thing to which we get attached is
not for being possessed by us. Instead it should possess
us; that is the anguish with which we get attached. What
should go is the so-called individual self or ego. To
whatever we attach deeply for that very purpose, that is
Love, that is Bhakti.
But just because love or Bhakti is but a deep attachment to
something, it does not mean such an involvement in chess
or cricket or being a bibliophile is Love or Bhakti.
Because such attachment is all for fattening the individual
I. In other words it feeds the svayaM (the outer self).
On the other hand feeding the svayam (to the Self) that
is, the svayam is to be fed to the Self -- is Love or
Bhakti. This is the grand svayamvaraM wherein the bride
is fed to the bridegroom!
(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.
Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
Latest addition to my website is the 4-page article on Krishnavatara, the Miraculous. Go to
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list