[Advaita-l] vedastuti part 6

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Sep 26 00:12:24 CDT 2008

A doubt may have arisen from the last verse.  If brahman is infinite, how 
can it be associated with parts of the body?  According to shrIdharAchArya 
this verse explains:

svakR^itavichitrayoniShu vishanniva hetutayA taratamatashchakAstyanalavatsvakR^itAnukR^itiH |
atha vitathAsvamUShvavitathaM tava dhAma samam virajadhiyo.abhavipaNyava 
ekarasam || 19 ||

"Entering into the various wombs created by You, You take on their limited 
forms and various desires to imitate your creation[1] but Your inifinite and 
unchanging nature is understood by the pure-minded ones who concentrate on 
nothing except You alone.[2]"

[1] When the jIvas have the intention (saMkalpa)  "I will create this", "I 
will destroy that", they are only imitating bhagavAns creation and destruction.

[2] They have renounced karma which is the result of saMkalpa.  As a 
result they understand that brahman is more than just the body.

svakR^itapureShvamIShvabahirantarasaMvaraNaM tava puruShaM vadantyakhilashaktidhR^itoM.ashakR^itam |
iti nR^igatiM vivichya kavayo nigamAvapanam bhavata upAsaMte.aghrimabhavaM bhuvi vishvasitAH || 2o ||

"The self within[1] the self-made bodies[2] is the manifestation of you 
and is the wielder of all powers[3], so declare the Vedas.  Having known 
this, the wise learned in the Vedas worship in the world[4] Your feet which 
are the source of liberation[5] and worthy of the dedication of all 

[1] It is the Atman which is to be known as brahman not the outer five 
koshas of the body.

[2] The precise state of a body i.e. whether it is male/female, rich/poor,
young/old etc. is the result of the karma that the jIva itself has caused 
in previous lives.  In that way the jIvas are self-made even though that 
"creation" is only a reflection of brahmans' creation.

[3] Earlier it was said that brahman possesses all powers.  This shows 
that Atman = brahman.

[4] karma is only appropriate in the worlds which were created by karma.

[5] It should be noted that shaMkarAchArya frequently refers to moksha as 
viShNoH paraM padam

[6] This is a reference to karmayoga.  karma leads to GYAna when all 
results are renounced and all actions are dedicated to the Lord.

duravagamAtmatattvanimamAya tavAttatanoshcharitamahAmR^itAbdhiparivartaparishramaNAH |
na parilaShanti kechidapavargamapIshvara te charaNasarojahaMsakulasa~ngavisR^iShTagR^ihAH || 21 ||

"Having with great difficulty attained GYAna through swimming the ocean of 
stories of the deeds of Your forms taken to provide instruction in the 
nature of the self[1], there are a few who do not even wish for liberation. 
Why then would they desire such things as the position of indra?[2] Instead 
they prefer to leave their homes and live as swans amongst the lotuses of 
Your feet.

[1] bhakti leads to GYAna because the purport of all the stories in works 
like the bhAgavatapurANa is understanding the nature of the self 

[2] By desiring artha, kAma, and dharma, the jIva can attain the exalted 
state of the devarAja indra. Later if he is wise, he may realize how even 
that state is limited and futile and desire moksha.  But as he travels 
along that path he realizes even that best of all desires is a bond 
that must be renounced. Paradoxically not desiring liberation will 
guarantee he will be liberated.  shrIdharAcharya thinks bhakti is the best 
way of achieving that dispassion and quotes the nR^isiMhapUrvatApinI UpaniShad
and also interestingly a quote from shaMkarAchArya to this end:

muktA apilIlayA vigrahaM kR^itvA bhajanti
"the liberated also take bodies in the lila to praise bhagavan"

That shaMkarAchAryA is quoted approvingly should establish beyond a shadow 
of a doubt that shrIdharAcharya was an advaitin.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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