[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-66)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 19 09:26:07 CDT 2006


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


That was the first half of the shloka. In the second half he gives the
definition of Bhakti:

*sva-svarUpAnu-sandhAnaM bhakti-rity-abhidhIyate*

Bhakti is said to be the unbroken union with one's own natural Self - the
Atman. *bhaktiH iti abhidhIyate* means 'it has been named bhakti'.

Do 'anusandhAnaM' of one's own natural state, says he.  What is
'anusandhAnaM'? *sandhAnaM* means a unification or joining  with something.
A meeting'! If that union stays continuously, it is 'anusandhAnaM'.

Does unification with the Atman mean that Atman is one thing, and the
JivAtman that fuses with it is another? No. No union or joining with the
Atman is possible.  Even this kind of little or minute  duality is not
permitted there. The merging, the fusing, the union -- all these are out of
place here. What happens is, having 'swallowed' .

[Note by VK: Would 'absorbed' or 'dissolved'  or 'consumed'
be a better word here for the Tamil word *muzhungi-viTTu* 
that the MahAswamigal uses?]
. the Jiva that pines to unite, pines with love and anguish - in other
words, having swallowed the antaH-karaNa (inner organ), It stands alone. So
it is not a question of 'anusandhAnaM' of the Atman which is the Real
Nature. It has to be immersed in the  constant memory of the Atman and the
filling up of the chittam with that - this is what we should understand by
'anusandhAnaM'.  In the case of the intellect also this is what we did. It
was said that the intellect should be established and rested in
shuddha-brahman; but intellect cannot approach anywhere near shuddha-brahman
and so we understood it to mean  that the intellect should dwell on matters
or teachings or the Shastras pertaining to Brahman. In the same way here
also, to say that one should do 'anusandhAnaM' on the Nature of the Atman,
is only to mean that the 'anusandhAnaM' (being in continuous union with the
Atman) is of the thoughts about the Atman.

This anusandhanaM begins well before sannyAsa.  But it is further
strengthened and deepened after sannyAsa and in due course the sAdhaka gives
himself up totally, and the Atman alone shines thereafter.

Continuous fusion or merging is certainly the Bhakti out of Love.

One thing should be said about the para-brahman consuming the Jiva-bhAva snd
Atman alone remaining.  It is not that the consumption is done in one go. It
consumes but then it also  regurgitates. Again it swallows; again it
regurgitates. The state of being in samAdhi, and then coming down from
samAdhi - these are both the swallowed and regurgitated states. Everytime
the Jiva-bhAva is consumed and later spit out it comes more emasculated and
dissolved. But it still is. And those are the times when the anusandhAnaM
with bhakti has to continue with the hope of further dissolution.

When he talked about *mumukShutA*  (in shloka 27) he mentioned *sva-svarUpa
avabodhaM*. Now when he is talking about bhakti, he says *sva-svarUpa
anusandhAnaM*. 'avabodhaM' means an awakening.  MumukShutA was said to be to
desire that one should get Release for the sake of the awakening to the
Atman. In the beginning of the shloka (27) itself his reference is to the
'ahamkAra' that I have been talking about all along.  The subtle ahamkAra is
the 'alphA' of the Jiva.

[Note by VK:  The Mahaswamigaql says ahamkAra is the 
'pillaiyAr chuzhi' of the Jiva. I 
have translated it as 'the alpha of the Jiva'.
I hope it is acceptable]

Starting from that  and ending with the physical body, everything is a
bondage, which is an imagination because of mAya; it is from this bondage we
have to get Release.  Just a Release is not enough; "That Release is to be
obtained for the purpose of awakening to the Real Nature of one's Self (for
*sva-svarUpa avabodha*). If one pines in anguish 'for this awakening'
(*avabodhAya*),  then one gets that awakening and by that itself
(*avabodhena*) one may get his Release - that is how we understood it. In
fact in shloka 27:

*ahaMkArAdi dehAntAn bandhAn-ajnAna-kalpitAN /
sva-svarUpAva-bodhena moktum icchA mumukShutA *//

the word *avabodhena* is to be in the context of the end stage, whereas what
begins with *avabodhAya* (for the awakening) ends with the awakening.

Thus mumukShutA is the desire for relief from the bondage of the ego; after
the mumukShutA he places bhakti in the logical sequence. This bhakti
emasculates the power of the  ego. Among the mind and intellect and the ego
(which together make up the antaHkaraNa), the mind is tamed by shama, dama,
etc., the intellect by shraddhA and samAdhAna, and then the ego is
controlled by mumukShutA and tamed (reduced) by bhakti - so goes the logical

Actually When the Atman-awakening takes place - the Atman is certainly awake
all the time; but since we don't know it, we name the time when we know it
as the time of Atman-awakening - at that time, the individual sAdhaka
vanishes!. But it is not true to say we vanish. "Even the self-luminous
Atman appears to sleep for us who are overcome by mAyA; Let us wake up" - if
and when this thought is there, then we are there. A vague sense of the
Atman-awakening, it is only an imagined perception, that cannot be described
as this or that - such a thought also persists. In fact it is beyond all
description.  But a thought persists about the Atman-Brahman,  as a
something which is Infinite, something that is perfect and  pure, something
that is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. In fact the conception  of either the
Infiniteness or the sat or the cit may not be precise or well-defined;
however there will be  an idea of them all. Until the antaHkaraNaM totally
vanishes, some thought or other will continue; and certainly the opinion or
bhAvanA about the Atman will also continue to exist. When such an
Atman-awakening is imagined, one should not think of it as just an
abstraction, but conceive it as a living principle. And then lay down this
little soul to That; having got to this state, thereafter the continuance of
that  same bhAva is bhakti. This is the *anusandhAnaM* after the
*avabodhaM*. It is like waking up after sleep; after the awakening, next
comes the setting up of a relationship! Even the relating should go and give
place to the relationship which keeps the goal of an identification!

Do not have any notion (of the Atman) this way or that way. Whatever it is
in reality let it show, let it take over.  Keep only a watch. Don't give
attributes to it like sat, cit or infinite. Leave it 'As is'. Yes, it is
difficult to leave it like that and be quiet. But it is not impossible at
this advanced stage. When one keeps on conceiving it in terms of this or
that attribute, involuntarily one may come to the stage of thinking: "Why
all this build-up? Let us see it as it is". When one sees it without any
preconceived notion, there is the danger of it appearing as dry and void
nothing.  So even though you may not have any other conception (of the
Atman) you should not leave off the basic truth that the Atman is not a
void, it has life. The word 'life' reminds us that since we are also living,
at the base we are also life and so there is an automatic relationship. And
relationship means there is scope for love. We must make it true love.  It
should not be a wrong love that expects something for this little soul from
that universal soul. Instead 'this' should go and unite with 'that' and
'that' should consume 'this'. This anguish  should become  a true love.

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

Latest on my website is an article on Kanchi Mahaswamigal. Go to 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list