[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-58)
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Tue Aug 29 09:09:28 CDT 2006
For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see
SECTION 45: THE NAADIS OF THE HEART: JNANI'S LIFE RESTS,
OTHER'S LIVES LEAVE
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-119.htm
Isn't it strange? From that very heart things take place - even those which
are not related to Love! That is Ishvara's mysterious mAyA shakti! All this
because, the heart is the locale for the ego. The nADis that control and
monitor the jIva's personal matters of life start from there and proceed to
the other organs giving them the life-force, as we have seen earlier.
Several semi-flesh nAdis go forth from this heart in all directions. Among
them are those which end in one of the nine Gates. (*nava-dvAra*). For all
those who have to take another birth - in other words, for ninety-five
percent. of all the people, life leaves through one of these gates.
Besides these nine there is a gate of the size of an atom at the top of the
head. For all people life enters into the foetus through that gate. But
at the time of death of all those who have to have another birth, life
leaves not by that gate but by one of the other nine gates. For those who do
not have to be born again, other than the jnAni, life leaves only by the
gate at the head. That is what is called "kapAla-mokShaM".
I said "other than jnAni". So what is the case of the jnAni? Other than
the jnAni, who are those that are not destined for a rebirth?
The prANa of the jnAni does not go anywhere outside at the time of the fall
of the body. There is no mokSha which he has yet to get. And in the same
way, there is no mokSha which has to be obtained at some time after death,
for him. Whenever he got his jnAna, that is, the Realisation of Brahman,
then itself, his antaHkaraNaM (the mind of the jIva) has been extinguished
and he has been released from mAyA; so he becomes a mukta, a Jivan-mukta
then and there. Thus he has been 'released' even when being in the body and
the prANa does not have to go anywhere after the fall of the body, for
He has been thinking of the Atman, as his life, the supreme life. Without
even recognizing it as bhakti, but with a great attitude of bhakti, he has
been doing his sAdhanA for the purpose of dissolving the ego. By this
process, it dissolves and dissolves and reaches such an emaciated slender
state, that it enters the small gate of the heart which is the locale of the
Atman, converges into the Atman, unifies with it and itself gets
extinguished. And immediately he becomes a mukta.
However, his life (PrANa) has not left him. He is living and he is also a
mukta; that is why he is called a Jivan-mukta. Then in due time one day his
body dies. Why should he live after reaching the mukta state, and when does
his life part with him - these are questions into which we don't need to
enter at present. Mostly the opinion is that he lives in order that his
*prArabdha* may exhaust itself. When it thus exhausts itself, then life
also leaves. Let us be content with that (explanation). Thus even after
Brahman-realisation he has his life (prANa). What happens to that prANa at
the time of his death? Just as the ahmkAra (since the mind and intellect
has gone into the ahamkAra - so we can as well say it is antaHkaraNaM now)
has already gone into the heart-gate and merged into the Atman-locale, so
also now when death takes place the prANa also merges in the same way in
that Atman-locale. In other words, when the jnAni's body dies, his prANa
does not go outside anywhere through any nADi. In the Upanishad and the
Brahma-sUtra it is so declared clearly. (Br. U. III-2-11; IV-4-6) (Br. S.
IV-2- 12 to 16).
In general parlance also, it is never said that the JnAni's life is gone; it
is usually said that it has ceased, settled or disappeared.
Other than the jnAni who are those that have made themselves not to be
reborn in this world? They are generally called 'upAsakas'. There are
several categories among them. They all have something in common. They all
know that this world or this body is not the end of it all. That there
exists a basic Truth is a confirmed belief of all of them. They all have the
thought of the necessity to release themselves from this world and the
bondage. The common opinion stops here. Beyond this there are lots of
separate opinions. And the observances also differ accordingly.
One of those opinions holds the basic Truth as nirguNa, just like the
advaitin. However he thinks (contrary to advaita) that the Truth basis
differs from Jiva to Jiva. The advaitin holds that even though it is
nirguNa, it is sat-cid-Ananda-ghana.But he (the other opinion) thinks it is
a blank, but still not void (like the Buddha). He performs yoga by
controlling the mind and for ultimate union with that blank Existence. We
call him yogi. He also thinks that the individual jIva-bhAva - ego - has to
be destroyed. However, he has not known correctly about the one absolute
True status . About the control of mind also, he commits the same error. "I
am not the mind. I am Brahman. Why should I be tossed about by something
which is not Me. Let me constantly recall the Shruti statement that 'I am
Brahman' and put an end to this" - this is the thought of the seeker on the
jnAna path, but the Yogi does not do it. In order to overcome the difficulty
in the direct control of mind, he gives much importance to breath control,
and only with its help he controls the mind.
[Note by the Collator Ra. Ganapathy:
The mind and the breath have both the same
root-source; and so this is possible]
By such a process, even though his goal Truth is a blank kaivalya,
strangely, the breath shakti goes to prANa-shakti, its source, that prANa
shakti goes back to the mahA-prANa-shakti, which is the root-source of all
living beings, and by the might of that shakti, he obtains several
miraculous powers. And he gets the added responsibility of not missing his
goal by being attracted by them.
Another opinion holds that the Basic Truth is only saguNa. He thinks: 'We
should reach that goal; but we should not merge in it. Because if we merge
into it then there will be no possibility of enjoying, by experience, its
multifold qualities. Either in one of them or in all of them one should
experience it and it is in this experience there is the Bliss for the
JivAtman. So without being one with it, I should be outside and be
permanently enjoying that. And that is mokSha'. Only by placing our Love on
something we can experience and enjoy how it is and what it does. So he
considers Love as the basis of all that experience and he practises loving
it. We call him a Devotee (Bhakta). Not only does he think that one should
not become one with the paramAtmA which is saguNa. He goes even further:
"Such a union with the paramAtman is not possible. The Lord has not provided
for such a union" - this is his contention.
Another proponent, however, is not able to do the sAdhanA by breath and
mind control; or he is not interested in that direction. Nor is he able to
do bhakti by pouring out his mind. But he is also one of those to be listed
in the 'upAsaka' category of those who wish to be released from this samsAra
and the world of sensual pleasures. He does believe in the existence of God
but he is not able to hold on to Him either by bhakti through a feeling for
Him, or by jnAna through his intellect, or by any saguNa or nirguNa
conception . So, on the path for Release, he keeps on doing his svadharma
duties and obligations without being attached to the fruits thereof.
Whatever the Vedas have prescribed as samskAras for purification of the
Jiva, he performs. We should also include in this category those, in the
modern world, who do service, without the thought of any gain for oneself.
But whether it is a religious karma or social service, whatever he is doing,
he should be one who longs for a retreat from samsAra (Release from
Bondage ). Not only should he not be thinking of one's own benefit, he
should not be thinking of the results, to others, of his actions or service
by the work or service he is doing. In other words, there must be no
stubbornness that the result must happen. On the other hand, the conviction
should be: "There is a God above. Whatever happens to anybody will happen
only by His Will, according to norms of dharma and justice. I have no right
to demand that things should happen only a certain way. I should keep on
doing whatever appeals to me to be just and good . And leave the results to
that dispenser of fruits (*phala-dAtA*).
This is the path of Karma yoga and the one who follows it is a karma yogi.
>From what I have said so far, it is clear that except for the seeker on the
JnAna path, the other three major ones, namely, a Yogi, a Bhakta and a Karmi
(the one who adopts karma yoga) - all three of them - are 'upAsakas'. In the
same category we may include all those who follow different schools of
philosophy which do not object to the Vedas and which do not subscribe to
the idea that 'there is no Ultimate Truth, there is only a void'.
All the above get release from samsAra after their death. They are not
reborn. However, the soul that goes out from their body does not
immediately get absorbed or unifed with the ParamAtmA. Because, none of
these had the goal of non-dual one-ness and an identification with the
absolute. They did not think of it nor did they understand it and do what
was required for that. Even when one asks for it, the Lord does not give it
out so easily; so why would He give it unasked?
(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.
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