[Advaita-l] vedastuti part 4

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Sep 23 01:54:22 CDT 2008

Although I completed my bhagavata parAyana last monday, an unexpected 
business trip left me unable to continue the posts in a timely manner so I 
am restarting as of today.  If you have written to me and I still haven't 
responded, my apologies and I will try and catch up as soon as I can.

shrutaya uchuH |

"The Shrutis said:"

The following verses are in the hariNI meter instead of the typical shloka.

jaya jaya jahyajAmajita doShagR^ibhItaguNAm tvamasi yadAtmanA samavaruddhasamastabhagaH |
agajagadokasAmakhilashaktyavabodhaka te kvachidajayAtmana cha charato.anucharennigamaH || 14 ||

"Victory, victory, victory[1], to you o Unconquered! You are fit to destroy the 
ignorance of all the jivas moving and still[2] because although You are the 
author of the three gunas, You are beyond them.[3] You are the inner dweller 
and illuminator of all powers[4] thus it is only you who is described by 
the Vedas[5]."

[1] It is repeated three times to signify victory over the the three types 
of obstacles: adhibhautika (internal i.e. related to ones own physical or 
mental condition) adhidaivika (related to external forces such as fate or 
circumstances) and adhyAtmika (spiritual)

[2] Not just the sentient beings but all entities have the nature of 
brahman although the latter cannot become aware of it.

[3] Remember a few weeks ago we had a thread about this?  Here we see that 
Brahman is beyond even the sattva guNa.

[4] All abilities that the jivas posess from the most basic instincts upto 
GYAna itself are due to their being animated by the Atman which is the 
same as Brahman.

[5] Knowledge of Brahman is the ultimate purport of the Vedas.

However a doubt may arise.  If brahman is the utimate purport of the Vedas 
and it is to be known through GYAna, why is it replete with reference to 
beings such as agni, indra etc. and various karmas and upAsanAs which are 
not directly related to GYAna?  According to shrIdharAchArya, the next 
verse explains

bR^ihadupalabdhametadavayantyavasheShatayA yata udayAstamayau vikR^itermR^idivA.avikR^itAt |
ata R^iShayo dadhustvayi manovachanAcharitam kathamayathA bhavanti bhuvi dattapadAni nR^iNAm || 15 ||

"'All this is only the Great[1]' is known by the R^iShis because at the 
pralaya[2] only Brahman remains and He alone creates anew like the potter 
turns clay into various shapes[3].  Thus their thoughts, words, and actions 
are focused only on You. Just as wherever living things put their feet it 
is only upon the ground.[4]"

[1] the Great bR^ihad = brahman.  Or as Shruti puts it: sarvaM khalvidaM 
brahma "all this indeed is brahman" This is understood by the R^iShis.

[2] the end of the world-cycle.  At that time, all matter is withdrawn 
into brahman to be created again in the next cycle.

[3] A potter may make various items but they are all basically clay.  Only 
the names and forms (nAma rUpa) are different.  So too the apparent 
multiplicity we observe is basically brahman.  Only the names and forms 
are different.

[4] some head north, some south, some jump, some slither and some run but 
all are moving along the earth.  While thoughts, words, and deeds may seem 
to be equally varied, the wise know the ground of brahman is the same for 
all of them.

iti tava sUrayastryadhipate.akhilalokamalakshapaNakathAmR^itAbdhimavagAhya tapAMsi jahuH |
kimuta punaH svadhAmavidhutAshayakAlaguNAH paramaM bhajanti ye padamajasrasukhAnubhavam || 16 ||

"Thus knowing Your lordship over the three guNas[1], the wise remove the the 
dirt of the world by bathing in the nectar ocean of your stories releasing 
themselves from all pain[2]. Then what can be said of those who by the power 
of their minds have transcended the guNas of passion and time[3] and reached 
the eternal happiness of your own abode?"

[1] it is pointless to look for salvation in the world composed of three 
guNas.  Rather one should look to their Lord.

[2] saMsAra composed of the three guNas has fleeting pleasures but 
they are mixed with pain.  bhakti composed of such things as remembering 
stories of the deeds of bhagavAn leads to vairAgya (renunciation of 
saMsAra) and GYAna which bring freedom from all pain.

[3] One can be a bhakta but still only understand bhagavAn in a limited 
way with flaws like passion (rAga) "He is mine only" or the false notion 
of passage of time ("these deeds of God took place a long time ago.") When 
this is replaced by the knowledge that He is all things existing in all 
places at all times, the GYAni reaches the ultimate goal.

dataya iva shvasantyasubhR^iyo yadi te.anuvidhA mahadahamAdayo.aNDamasR^ijan yadanugrahataH |
puruShavidho.anvayo.atra charamo.annamayAdiShu yaH sadasataH paraM tvamatha yadeShvavasheShamR^tam || 17 ||

"Those who bellow as they breathe are only alive if they are your bhaktas[1] 
for You are beyond cause and effect and yet are their foundation[2] resulting 
in this universe and its many forms within each of which you dwell as the 
Highest sheathed in several covers.[3]"

[1] This is an interesting metaphor.  We need to breathe in and out in 
order to live.  If one bellows and gulps, one might get some extra oxygen 
but that doesn't mean they will be any more alive than the one who takes 
small breaths. It is bhagavAn who is the life force.  Yet many people 
stupidly keep collecting material things thinking it will make them more "alive" 
without realizing it is bhagavAn who is the one who impells their actions.

[2] Although brahman is beyond cause and effect (kAraNa and kArya) it is 
responsible for this material universe bound by cause and effect and fixed 
natural laws which it makes active by being the indwelling Atman.

[3] This is a reference to the 5 koshas which make up the atma-jiva 
complex.  They are:

annamaya kosha = the physical body made of "food"

prANamaya kosha = the layer of life forces such as breath, digestion etc.

manomaya  kosha = mind i.e. thoughts, feelings, memories etc.

viGYAnamaya kosha = the level of consciousness and self-awareness

Anandamaya kosha = the layer of bliss.  This is the soul that 
transmigrates from incarnation to incarnation.

These are all covers for the Atma.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list