[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-72)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 27 07:57:18 CDT 2006


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

SECTION 56: SANNYAASA (continued)
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-129.htm

After shravaNa, come manana and nididhyAsana. Just as it says: "Only after
becoming a sannyAsi the shravaNa process takes place" so also there is also
an authority for saying Only a SannyAsi has the right to do manana and
nididhyAsana: *mananAdau sannyAsinAM adhikAraH*.

In Brahma-sUtras, the sannyAsis are referred to (III-4-17) as *Urdhvaretas*.
This means those who don't waste their energy in low activities of the
senses, but take it Brahmasutras and also upward into noble paths. Reading
through those portions of the the Achary'a Bhashyas on them, it is clear
that they (the SannyAsis)  are the ones   who are qualified for the third
stage in advaita-sAdhanA. A jnAni has to be a sannyAsi; should be.

Brahmasutra has another name for it: 'Bhikshu-sutra'. Bhikshu means
sannyAsi. One who lives, not on one's home-food, but on BhikshA (formal
ritualistic begging) is called a bhikshu.  The book that is totally
dedicated to enquiry into Brahman being called 'bhikshu-sUtra' shows that
it is the sannyAsi  who has the right for this v idyA.

When a matter occurs in the Gita, then there is no higher certificate
needed! If we question whether the matter of sannyAsi having the only right
for shravaNa etc. has occurred in the teachings of the Lord, the answer is
yes! "All karmas finally end up in jnAna" (IV - 33, 34), says the Lord and
continues "The seers of Truth will teach you the jnAna. One should bow to
them, be in servitude to them, and learn by questioning and further
questioning". Ending up of karmas means thereafter it is only sannyAsa.
Does it not then mean that "Only such a sannyAsi has the eligibility to
receive the teaching of jnAna"?

Truth is the absolute ultimate, no, it is tapas (austerity) that is
ultimate. No again, it is dama (control of mind); it is only shama (control
of the mind)  -- and so on goes the Narayanavalli, detailing the greatness
of one after the other (Mahanarayana Upanishad. Anuvaka 78). But finally, it
says: "It is none of these that is ultimate. SannyAsa is the Ultimate
Principle. The Creator Brahma Himself has said so".

When one reaches the higher rungs of the ladder of sAdhanA to know the
Atman, it is possible only by the SannyAsi who has left  karma  behind. Atma
is inaccessible by karma. It has to be enquired into, meditated on, further
meditated on, and then in due course even that meditative action has to stop
- only in that stage one can know the Atman. 'To do karma and also to do
dhyAna simultaneously' is incompatible. So long as one is in karma stage,
associated with that there will be several relationships. *sangAt sanjAyate
kAmaH .krodhaH . *  as the Lord has said (B.G. II - 62), a single such
association will set up a chain relationship of kAmaM, krodhaM, etc. and
finally end up in *buddhi-nAshAt praNashyati* (intelligence is destroyed and
the individual is lost). That is why the Acharya says in Vivekachudamani
(147/149) "karma-koTibhiH na shakyaH" - even if a crore of karma is done,
the bondage will not cease. *viveka-vijnAna-mahAsinA vinA dhAtuH prasAdena
sitena manjunA* --  It can be cut asunder only by the grand sword of
sAdhanA starting from nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka (discrimination between the
unreal and the real) up to the vijnAna stage when one gets the wisdom of
experience, by the Grace of God.

If one has to dedicate one's life to cut this bondage, one has to get away
from family, relationships, profession and even all religious obligations.

But one thing should not be forgotten. It is not as if any one can just
throw away religious obligations of karma and become a sannyAsi. The Acharya
has never said so. He has ruled that such a right is there only for those
whose minds have been purified.  How to purify the mind? The emphatic
direction of the Acharya is to discharge all the karmic obligations
systematically and without default. The same Acharya who said that even a
crore of karma cannot give you release from bondage, in his great
compassionate anguish at the dim prospect of this being misused by immature
people who may throw away the karmic obligations as well as  their svadharma
and thus destroy themselves, has, right in the next shloka,  cleared this

*shruti-pramANaika-mateH svadharma-
nishhTA tayaivAtma-vishuddhir-asya /
vishuddha-buddheH paramAtma-vedanaM
tenaiva-samsAra-samUla-nAshaH //*

The latter half of the shloka says:
'tenaiva samsAra-samUla-nAshaH' : through that alone the samsAra bondage is
cut along with its roots.
Through what?
'paramAtma-vedanaM' : the sparking of the jnAnaM about the paramAtmA.
'Vishuddha-buddheH' : to the one who has had his mind purified.

How does that purification of mind happen? He gives it in the first half.

Svadharma-nishhTA  :  (he who is) fully and firmly established ( nishhTA) in
one's own dharma.
Tayaiva Atma vishuddhiH : By that alone the mind gets purified

Well, how does one know what that svadharma is?
The answer is already there in the very bveginning of the shloka:

Shruti-pramANaika-mateH: The nishhThA of svadharma comes from the unique
faith and comviction that the religious sanction comes from only the vedas.

What the Vedas say is the authority. With that faith one goes about doing
his svadharma as the be-all and end-all. That is svadharmaika-nishhThA. The
svadharma that the Vedas talk about is the division into the varNas and the
allocation of duties to each. There is also prescribed what a Brahmachari
should do, what a householder should do, what women should do and so on . So
the nishThA that comes from the authority of the Vedas means the nishTA in
the discharge of all karmic obligation.  Thus one should do one's karma
completely. That is what gives purification of mind. And then follows
Atma-jnAna as well as the end of all bondage.

When one does karmas according to the prescriptions of the Vedas, first it
drains all the dirt from the body by those sheer karmas. Not only that.
Simultaneously the dirt of the mind is also rinsed and wrung out. Afterwards
one stops doing his karma but now goes into the karma of the mind by doing
dhyAna. And still later even that dhyAna stops and he reaches the stage of

So the sequence is first dharma nishThA, then karma-nishThA and finally
jnAna-nishThA. Nothing should be missed here. One should not move forward
without having done the earlier one. Nor should one have anything to do with
the earlier one once he has moved forward. When a cloth is washed, we do mix
a lot of water and wring the cloth for the dirt to go. But once the dirt is
gone  no more wringing is necessary.  If we keep wringing the cloth after
that it will only damage the cloth. What is necessary now is to dry it up in
air. This is the going to the jnAna path! The air and sunlight evaporates
the water in the cloth. But  jnAna evaporates the cloth itself. It is not
just a total end of the cloth. The Jiva cloth is there no more, but now it
has become a golden sheet of Brahman. The nishThA in the Atman that the Jiva
was engaged in is not any more the action of the Jiva, the Jiva is not there
any more, the Existent Thing (*sad-vastu*)  that was in an experiential form
in the culmination of the nishThA - that alone remains. It is the Peace
Ultimate, it is the parAyaNaM talked about as the peak state. *nishThA
shAntiH parAyaNaM .* says the Vishnu sahasranAmaM.


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

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