[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-Swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-57)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 28 07:26:48 CDT 2006


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

Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/d-san118.htm

As one progresses in the bhakti, Love and the submissive attitude consequent
to that,  the SadhanA that has been done so far make the mind and intellect
light and they are drawn by the ego to be sucked into the recesses of the
heart. Everybody knows that in that bhakti, the true bhakti wherein the
individual soul delivers itself to the paramAtmA  -- this is Atma-nivedanaM
- there is no role or work for the intellect. Not only that. Even the mind
has no work there. Mind is nothing but an aggregate of volitions and
indecisions (samkalpa-vikalpa). These two have no role in true bhakti. True
bhakti is the state where we rest in  the thought "It is Thy Will". The
feeling of bhakti is not one among the many feelings that arise in, and are
experienced by,  the mind. VatsalyaM (affection), madhuraM (pleasantry) and
dAsyaM (servanthood) are often talked about as the indicator-qualities of
bhakti. But there is a mountain of difference between these and the
affection that a mother gives a child,  the love that  spouses exchange with
each other, and the submissiveness that a dedicated servant shows to his
boss.  Is there not a ton of difference between the affection shown by a
woman to a neighbour's child and the tenderness that she showers on her own
child? Far more than that is the bhakti that a great devotee shows to his
god of devotion! The same degree of difference will there be when love or
servanthood are exhibited as bhakti to the Lord! These feelings arise
somehow through somebody and are of a unique class by themselves, far more
purified, far more powerful, than ordinary feelings of the mind.

Thus, true bhakti is not the work of the mind. It arises from the ego itself
that lies deep within as a steadily rooted feeling of 'I' without any of the
perturbations of the mind.  Further it arises not to nurture that ego, but
to lighten it and dissolve it in the unique self that is also its  own root
source by going into the locale of the Atman. For desiring to dissolve there
must be some one to desire. Without its being there, how can there be a
desire to  dissolve? And that singleton is the ego. It is not the ego that
does  the    bhakti, but the ego exists for doing the bhakti!

What should not be forgotten here is this. This bhakti that arises in this
quest for the goal of advaita is not like the ordinary bhakti which has the
goal of  varied experiences of 'rasa'. Because for that experience of the
'rasa' one has to hold on to the individual jIva. So do  those philosophers
say who consider bhakti as an end-in-itself  and that itself as mokSha.  But
here, the basic  maxim that in order to be doing bhakti eternally, the
egoistic individuality has to be there eternally, is invalidated. Indeed
the objective here is to dissolve the ego by Love. How can it remain
continuously dissolving?  After a certain period of dissolution, the ego has
to be totally extinguished, so that there is nothing more to dissolve. If
Bhakti is intended to be a coating to be applied over and over, then one can
be doing that continuously. When actually it is not a coating, but an acid
in which the ego dissoves, then how can it be an eternal process?  Bhakti
plays the role of acid for the ego. The ego thus gives itself up to bhakti;
thereby in the heart which is the locale for the ego, the ego thins out and
thins out until there is no more ego but only bhakti pervades there. And the
heart then becomes the locale for bhakti.   

As one matures in that bhakti, along with the change in Ashrama (i.e. having
taken SannyAsa) and along with that bhakti  -- that is, dissolving the ego
in the goal through Love - one continues the  shravaNa, manana and
nidhidhyAsana. Bhakti now sprouts fast and full in  the heart and the
feeling of ego is eradicated. But before it is totally eradicated, the
locale which is like the physical heart is filled up by the subtle atoms of

Wherever the Upanishads speak of the heart as the locale for the ego,
(Ch.U.VIII - 6 - 1, BrihadAranyaka U. IV-2-3) the Acharya speaks only of a
'lump of flesh' .  Even then it should  not be taken to mean it is a
full-fledged physical organ.  That is why the words "like the physical
heart" were used above.  It is the organ which pumps blood that is totally
physical. This heart however is in between the physical and the subtle. The
chakras that yogis speak of, and many of the nADis are totally subtle. They
do not fall  in any X-Ray. This heart also is not to be captured by X-Ray.
Still it is not that subtle. It is this heart which somehow controls in an
integrated manner, by its life-feed, the blood circulation done by the
physical heart, the passage of breath conducted by the physical lungs, the
functions of the nerves prompted by the physical brain and the functions
that take place in the digestive organs and the associated passages. It does
this control through the nADis that start from it. Without the feeling of
'I' in the Jiva, what can happen in a body? That is why this 'power' has
been given to the heart which is the locale for the ego. Probably because of
the importance for the JIva of all the physical functions of the body and
the necessity of the Jiva to monitor them, this heart is also kept

Even though it is semi-physical, once the continued practice goes on with
the thought that ego is to be dissolved, in due time it becomes subtle and
becomes almost just space. The Atma-sthAnaM (the locale for the Atman)
however  is more subtle; it is kAraNa-AkAshaM (causal space) - it is the
centre point of the heart. This subtler thing cannot be approached by
anything physical or semi-physical. Only by lightening the ego, making it
subtle, it can enter the subtler space. This lightening of the ego
(*ahamkAra-kArshyaM*)  is what is done by Bhakti.

When Bhakti ripens, it is only  Love that shines through the whole heart
more prominently than the flesh and the nADis. That is why it goes by the
name of the heart. When somebody has no love or kindness we say they are
heartless. Sometimes we combine the two and say loving heart, or kind heart.
The Inner Organ (antaH-karaNa) has four organs in it. But note that never
are they identified with their physical locations in the body. The location
of mind is the neck, but we never call those who have a good mind as one
with a  neck!   Or, for that matter, someone with a good intellect as one
with a face!. The reason is, among these fleshy physical organs, the organs
of the antaH-karaNaM sit like a person in a chair; the chair is never
identified with the person in that seat!

The heart also, when it is semi-physical, is the chair for the ego, as I
told you earlier. But we do not call some one with a lot of ego as one with
a heart. It is in the subtle form of the heart that love, unlike anything
else,  penetrates deep into the core, and that is why  we identify love with
the heart.  Further when we refer to Bhagavan as *hRdaya-vAsI* we are not
saying that it is He who sits in the semi-physical heart donning the robe of
Jiva with an ego. We are actually saying that it is He who shines forth from
inside having melted the physical into the subtle by Love at its peak of
excellence.  Maybe we are not understanding it in all this detail but at
least we understand that He manifests himself in Bhakti that is full of

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

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