[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-62)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 11 12:49:50 CDT 2006


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

Tamil Original : http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-122.htm

Another matter. This is about the nADi that goes to the head.  Just as there
is an incorrect opinion about uttarAyaNa-death so is the case with this.
Even those scholars who do know rightly about the UttarAyaNa death that it
only means passage through the various seats of the devatAs associated with
UttarAyaNa, even elder knowledgeable people, who have written commentaries
and glosses on the Bhashyas of Acharya in order to explain them better, --
even they, do not hold the right opinion about the nADi that goes to the
head.  They all think that it is the sushhumnA nADi spoken of in the

But this is not that sushhumnA.

That sushhumnA of Yoga-shAstra starts from the mUlAdhAra at the base of the
spine and goes straight up to the head. The nADi that we saw and which is
spoken of in the Upanishads and Brahma-sUtra, starts from the heart. The
process of the ascent of prANa-shakti on the sushhumnA that starts from the
mUlAdhAra, is a matter that pertains to the yogis who perform sAdhanA for
that purpose. They hold on to the *lokAdhAra-shakti* and through that
become one with shivaM in the head. That is a particular yoga matter.  Our
Vedanta which is based on Upanishads does not touch upon those things.

[Note by R. Ganapathy: This is based on the prominent ten Upanishads 
covered by the Acharya Bhashya]

It will not go in a roundabout way dealing with breath, shakti, etc. Vedanta
shows the way only to experience the goal by a proper intellectual enquiry,
keeping a straight aim on the target, namely the Real 'I' which is what
subsists after the discarding of the little 'I'. The nADis that, according
to the Upanishads, starts from the heart, are related to the process of life
as well as end of life, for the entire humanity. Among them the most
important one is the one that goes to the head. Nowhere in the Upanishads or
Brahma-sUtra is it called the sushhumnA. They only say *mUrdha-nADi*, that
is the nAdi which is in the head or which ends  in the head. In the Gita
also (VIII - 12) *mUrdhny-AdAyAtmanaH prANaM* where the reference is to the
leaving of the body by bringing the PrANa to the head, both in the text and
in the bhAshya, there is no mention of sushhumnA. As the Acharya was going
on writing the BhAshyas for Upanishad after Upanishad, only in the early
bhAshyas, namely, Kathopanishad, Prashnopanishad,and Taittiriyopanishad,
has he mentioned sushhumnA. Also in Taittiriya, he has referred to the heart
(hRdayaM)  as  even the physical heart all of us know.  Let me explain why.

When the person who treads the path of jnAna, at the apex of his sAdhanA,
resorts to bhakti for the extinction of his ego, the mind and intellect come
into the semi-physical heart, the seat of the ego; the heart is filled up by
love in its subtle form and the ego thins out and then goes and shrinks into
the central gate  -- all this process takes place (involuntarily) without
his knowledge! The Atman is attributeless, so the mind has no hold on it or
has only a vague hold. So as the Guru has told him he holds on to what
appears as the  root or source of breath and thought and he concentrates at
that 'point'. That is all. The Guru might have told him and he would have
learnt that it is the center of the heart. Still in actuality, his cittam
(antaHkaraNaM) will not be drawn into it permanently in its entirety then
and there. To a certain extent he has located something like that and his
cittam stations itself there for the moment. All the vAsanAs have to be
exhausted, ego has to be totally extinguished; only thereafter, it stands
there for good. Here 'stands' has two connotations: one is, 'stops, halts';
the other is 'endures, abides, belongs'. So here what happens is, the
process begins with the first meaning and ends with the second.  The whole
process which thus  takes place in relation to the heart and the nADis is
not in his knowledge. His attention is not there. His only attention, and
all his thought,  is - and should be --  in the Atma-sphuraNaM (Sparking of
the Atman) at the seat or locale  that he has caught hold of almost as a
bhAvanA (attitude).  His concentration is all on the goal of Realisation. If
he thinks of anything as a 'path' now, it will be a distraction. Attention
to the path will stray you from the goal; and then the path will also
disappear! And you will be left back with the straying mind; back to square

Suppose somebody tells us that Ambal (Mother Goddess) has manifested
somewhere in your vicinity. What would we do immediately? Mentally we get a
kind of locale for Her and we rush on the road to find it in reality. And as
we rush, do we pay attention to the track that we pass through - whether it
is a country road or a macadamised road and so forth?

Therefore, if we accost an enlightened jnAni and ask him about the heart,
the nADis and the Gate that Vedanta talks about, he may not tell us
anything! He does not know about what is happening to himself; wherefrom
would he know about the other persons, devotee or layman? How do you expect
somebody  who does not know how he came here to know what kind of shops or
buildings were there on his way?

But then how did the enlightened Rishis  mention these things in the
Upanishads?   After they got their enlightenment, after again  they got the
siddhi that never slips at all,

[Note by VK: I do not understand the two 'events' here
mentioned by 'after' appearing twice!
Some one who can understand Tamil 
should go to the original and help me.]

the paramAtmA Himself, in token of His appreciation,  makes the mysteries of
His creation and other secrets known to them and also tells them about all
the processes related to upAsakas as well as laymen. Revelling in the
sweetness of those leelAs and miracles, they have made it known to others

But after all the information reached others, they have also done some
blurring.  Doesn't the touch of mAyA come everywhere? That might be the
reason! If we go to some jnAni to resolve the perplexity, he is not
knowledgeable! Or perhaps, he knows only to that little extent that the
Almighty has opened out for him! Probably he (the jnAni) does not himself
want to know anything more! Nor does the seeker , who just received the
information just because the jnAni condescended to tell him something,
develop any further interest in it, to seek more knowledge! In this state of
affairs, the vague knowledge itself becomes and remains the complete

It is in that manner, when everybody was thinking that the mUrdha nADi that
goes to the head was itself the sushhumnA of the yoga-shAstra, it was at
that time that our Acharya manifested on Earth! ...

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

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