[Advaita-l] Kanchi Mahaswamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa - (KDAS-79)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 7 20:26:48 CDT 2006


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

Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-140.htm

The action of constantly thinking about brahman ends up in the state
where one has become the action-less brahman. 

There is what is called a *bhramara-kITa-nyAyaM*.  Bhramara is the wasp.
KITa means a worm. The worm is said to be constantly thinking of
becoming a wasp. That constant thinking, it appears, causes its own
transformation of its form and the growth of wings and finally it
becomes a wasp and flies away from the nest. So it is said! The
nidhidhyAsaM of the worm makes it the wasp - this is
bhramara-kITa-nyAya. In the same manner the Jiva in the constant thought
of Brahman, thinks of 'this' Jiva becoming 'that' Brahman, thinks that
even now 'this' is only 'that' and such a nidhidhyAsana all the time
ends up with the Jiva becoming Brahman - so says the Acharya in Viveka
chudamani 358-359/359-360.

This has been said by the Acharya in order that the jnAna-pathfinder
does not get side-tracked into the direction of saguNa-brahman. In other
words he has wound up the context of Vivekachudamani by saying that by
the sheer power of this constant thought one automatically becomes
Brahma-svarUpa. In actual fact this becoming happens only by the Grace
of God! It is by His Grace that the JivAtma becomes the ParamAtmA! The
Acharya certainly knows this; and knows this quite well. To win over the
karma-mimamsaka-upholders this is the final BrahmAstra that the Acharya
used: "No action by itself gives the result; the results are given by
Ishvara". When that was the case, he would have never subscribed to the
idea that the very mental action of nidhidhyAsana would automatically
produce the great result of Brahma-nirvANaM.

MayA's function of hiding things is called 'tirodhAnaM'. Right now the
real Brahman that we are is *tirohitaM*, that is, hidden from us. The
hidden thing comes out by the dhyAna of ParamAtmA - so says BrahmasUtra,
but immediately, lest we may think it is an automatic consequence, it
adds, clearing up any confusion, "This hiding as well as the bondage
(caused by the hiding) are both by Ishvara.  When we do nidhidhyAsanaM,
the removal of the hiding, the manifestation of the Truth and the grant
of mokshha, all are again the work of  Ishvara". (III - 2-5). When the
Acharya writes the BhashyaM on this, he says, more explicitly, "This
manifestation will not happen automatically or naturally for all and
sundry. Only to that rare person who makes effort to do intense
nidhidhyAsana it happens by God's Grace". *na svabhAvata eva sarveshhAM
jantUnAM* -- 'Revelation' does not happen naturally for everybody.
*Ishvara-prasAdAt samsiddhasya kasyacit eva Avirbhavati* -- 'By God's
Grace It reveals only to that rare person who has the highest

[Note by Ra. Ganapathy: 
See the Mahaswamigal's related discourses in Tamil  under the Sections  
'The jnAna gift of the Lord as per Adi Shankara' in
and 'The bondage of Karma is by the Lord; 
the attainment of jnAna is also His Grace' in  
http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/part4kural367.htm ]

In advaita shAstras it is customary to depict God's Grace as Guru's
Grace itself. 

[ See again http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/part4kural365.htm
under the heading: 'The duality in the form of Guru does not intervene']

But the Acharya in the apex of his prakaraNa-granthas, namely, the
Vivekachudamani (476/477)  has given a higher place to Ishvara's Grace
over and above Guru's Grace.  A person asked me this question. The
reference is to the statements: "The Gurus stay on the banks of the
ocean of samsAra and being on the bank they teach you how to swim across
the ocean of samsAra. It is the disciple who, on his own, has to get the
prajnA of True Knowledge, and keeping it as the boat he should cross the
ocean; and this prajnA is granted only by God".

Maybe the Acharya thought: "In the coming ages, there may not be many
gurus of knowledge who have attained enlightenment.  Even then, as far
as the disciples are concerned, even through them (such gurus) the Lord
Himself will grant the release" and so depicted the gurus as those who
have not crossed; but  however he added, the disciples will cross (the
ocean) by God's Grace. 

Another reason may also be mentioned. If a disciple gets the true
attitude of surrender, by which he totally surrenders to the Guru and
leaves it to him to 'do whatever he likes', then that Grace of the guru
itself is the boat as well as the favourable wind, and it ferries  him
to the other  shore.  But that kind of total surrender is not possible
by every one. Even if he does not do the total surrender, he may default
by being a little indifferent in his sAdhanA, thinking that "After all
he is our guru.  He is the one who blessed  me  with the teaching .  So
his own Grace will surely lead us on to the goal of the upadesha. How
can this fail to happen?"  Coupled with the absence of total surrender
if this kind of default persists wherein even the sAdhanA is not
perfect, and if there is the indifferent attitude in the hope that the
Guru will take care, -- such a possibility should be prevented.
Addressing such defaulters, in other words, to emphasize the fact that
one should not lax on the self-effort on the alibi of Guru's Grace, the
Acharya must have said "Guru shows the way from the bank; it is you who
have to set sail in the boat and cross the ocean".

Though  the Acharya  said "You have to do it yourself" he  must have
also thought this might end up in boosting up one's ego in the thought
"Thus after all it is our own effort that has all the power". So he also
says that even though it is you who do it, that is also Ishvara's Grace.
It is He who prompts you and keeps you company.

If we carefully note what the Lord says in the Gita we would know  the
Acharya has said the same thing. When He winds up the Gita, the Lord
says: "Surrender to me and rest. I will take care of you!"   A little
before that he also says "Do a total surrender to the Lord in every
possible way. By His Grace you will attain the highest goal of Peace".
And He Himself says in another place *uddhared-AtmanAtmAnaM* 'one has to
lift oneself by oneself' and thus talks of self-effort as great. Unless
one does the total surrender, it is self-effort that wins - this is the
sum and substance.  In all this also there is God's Grace in hiding!

To be Continued and CONCLUDED.
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.


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