[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-Swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-55)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 24 23:04:20 CDT 2006


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

Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-115.htm

Another point to be noted is this. What we are attached to or involved in
is something that has life. In the name of this involvement our little self
establishes a relationship. But afterwards, this relationship, as well as
itself  are all gone and it becomes that. This is Love. Life!  That is
important. Life unites thus with life. That is Love.  Can you imagine chess
or  cricket having life?

But we know monumental examples where the practitioners of music, dance,
literature give up all their lives to such arts as if they are divines with
life.  And when they dwell at the peak of excellence in their performance,
we say "they performed as if in trance, forgetting their self". It only
means, for that moment they gave themselves up to those arts.  And the
'life' within the art makes them reach a peak of excellence.

In Science also the same self-effacing 'intuition' produces the discoveries
attributed to Einstein and others. One may say that such scientists did not
consider their Science as a living devatA. But all living  beings have a
super-Being as their common source. That central source is the root source
of all the arts and sciences and of all knowledge and action. When the
scientists devote themselves heart and soul to their science in a dedicated
fashion, it is that common Universal Source of Knowledge that sparks them
with that intuition about new truths and discoveries. Even in chess and
cricket also this might happen. But in all these, the beauty of the
relationship  of one soul giving its all to another living soul is absent.
That 'mAdhurya-rasa', the taste of sweetness,  is what is missing!

Starting from nitya-anitya-vastu-vivekaM (discrimination between the real
and the unreal), the sAdhanA that goes through vairAgya (dispassion), shama
(sense control) and dama (mind control) and uparati (cessation), has been a
dry affair keeping everything as well as oneself dry like an inert object.
There has been no trace of a relationship with ticking life. If one goes
that way one will only end up in the emptiness advocated by BauddhaM.  But
Vedanta's Brahman is not emptiness.  It is a fullness, full of the
quintessence of bliss. The Taittiriyopanishad has revelled that Jiva in its
Fullness becomes Bliss itself (II - 7). It is the cit (Knowledge) that has
become Life. It is the essence of cit and Ananda, Fullness of cidAnanda.
The whole concept of Bhakti is to conceive of it as a living fullness,
relate ourselves to it and develop the thought that we should dissolve in
that fullness. That is how through Bhakti one cools and waters the dry
sAdhanA regimen.

When we kept it dry, that was also justifiable. There are methods of cure
where the medicine is administered only after one is made to starve. Even
among crops, sometimes they are allowed to dry up and then only proper
watering is done to cool them and make them grow better. It is the same
situation here. We usually are in such a state where, in the mind, intellect
and ahamkAra,  thoughts, feelings and determinations arise as food for them.
It is necessary first to dry them all up.  By that very drying up the
sprouting of love takes place by which that very ahamkAra becomes ready to
be offered as food to something else.  That is when it can be converted into
Bhakti towards the Universal Source of all Life.  

Bhakti towards Brahman, that is, the Atman, bhakti  sometimes towards the
saguNa Ishvara, bhakti towards the Guru, all these are a must. One more
bhakti is a must. You remember, after all the four-component sAdhanA, one is
now ready for the SannyAsa and to receive the mahA-vAkya teaching. We are
going to learn deeply all the shAstras and Upanishads.  These mantras as
well as the philosophy imbedded in them are equally living things,  -- not
just pieces of information to be learnt from writing.  They are living
divine things. Just as the icons of  the temples which have been ritually
invoked by PrANa-pratishhTA, the mantras etc. are deities in the form of the
akshharas (letters). We have to set up a relationship  with them,  a sort of
love  that  takes us to that state where we ourselves melt into nothingness.
These principles of philosophy that the Guru teaches us and which are to be
absorbed by manana and dhyAna, are wrongly considered to be dry philosophy.
They should be practised with great bhakti as if they were equivalent to the
icons with life. All along we have been doing sAdhanA in a dry mechanical
way; but hereafter we have to do the shravaNa, manana etc. with great
devotion that breathes a cold air.

The next step being sannyAsa, one may think that this is the 'dry' stage in
the sAdhanA. On the other hand, the wet and cool weather is going to start
only now.  It is dry only from the outside.  The outside world thinks it is
a 'dry' world which discards the 'outside'. But in reality that is the world
that is full of the coolness of nectar of love.  Outside there is only bark
and shell, but inside there is the sweetness of coconut-water.  That is the
nectar of love which has to be milked from the Thing that is inside
everything. This is the stage of SannyAsa that the Acharya has shown to us
with great compassion.

Tamil Original : http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-116.htm

There are two things to be avoided by a sAdhaka.  He should not turn out to
be dry and lifeless. Secondly he should not fall a prey to conceit or pride.
The ego as part of his inner organ (antaH-karaNa) has to go finally. But
that is a big task that will be achieved almost at the end. Right now we are
talking about the commonly understood 'egotism' ('aham-bhAvaM, in Tamil).
Usually the technical shAstra literature does not make a distinction between
ahamkAraM and this 'aham-bhAvaM'. I am making the distinction for   clarity.
Egoism is the name given to the ego's thought of 'I' and egotism is the name
given to the conceit and vanity of a swelled head. The head swells because
of the thought: "I have advanced far above the base-level and
intermediate-level  sAdhakas, far above the ordinary karma-bhakti path and
am now advancing on the jnAna path" and this thought is the end of it all!
The Acharya has kept Bhakti in order to promote the modesty and humility
that is most needed now. The 'I' itself has to melt in Love to become a
zero; when that is so, what to speak of any 'weight' of the head! Bhakti
will make him really light-headed. JnAna path has been recommended only for
the top-level aspirants. In order for him not to lose his balance by that
very qualification of topness, and for his sAdhanA not to be broken by the
weight of such extraneous thoughts, the submissive attitude of bhakti
becomes necessary. However  much  we may woo Brahman with love, unless
brahman itself does the 'revealing' (known as 'vivaraNaM'), there is no
scope for salvation. It is with this thought that one has to submit humbly
before the ideal goal. To obtain this submissive attitude it is only Bhakti
that will help. Not only in  the case of that phenomenon at the apex level.
The submissive bhakti should extend to the belief: "Whatever I have achieved
so far in sAdhanA is all the Grace of God! What I did was effort only. The
very thought of making that effort and the continuance of that effort were
all again the gift of God!" Only by this the renunciation of egotism
(conceit and pride), a property most important  of all the properties to be
renounced, at the time of taking SannyAsa, can materialise. 

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

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list