[Advaita-l] Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism - 2

Anbu sivam2 anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 2 09:16:39 CDT 2009


*Hari **OM*

I really don’t know how to begin this musing. In story telling we always
begin by saying “Once upon a time”, but this happened when there was no
time! Yes, it was when Shiva was all alone delighting in His own glory of
Kaivalyam (loneliness). He is the absolute, the one without a second. Should
we say He was bored when he said “Dwitheeya Aathmam Bhavathi” (let me have a
second self)? We do not know what prompted Him to say for there was no cause
and effect then. But then could there be another for He is the absolute, the
one without a second? If there is another then He can no more be absolute as
he would be a ‘relative’ to the other. That would indeed be a fall from the
glory that He never has to share with another. But then His wish is his own
command! And it has to happen! And it did happen with the birth of the mind!
We always say ‘my mind’ as if it is an object but no one has ever succeeded
in pointing it out to the other. This mind is surely then the subject – the
opposite of object – and indeed the other self! Shiva is, shall we say, no
more bored because there is now someone who is always talking to him. That
is why we are now listening to this talk of the mind called thoughts all the

Shiva LOVES His mind and she (did I say she? yes it was She!) makes him
proud. He was never proud before. This was the beginning of the sort of rule
that everyone listens to his wife and so is a proud ‘grihastha’. It does not
matter that this listening would be contrary to wisdom because surely you
would listen. Sita said to Rama that she wanted a golden deer that she had
seen. Rama told her that there is no such thing as a golden deer in this
Prakrthi. That was his wisdom and conviction and so he told her. However he
who was convinced that there is no such thing as a golden deer, himself set
out in search of the golden deer! Such is the power of the consort! All of
these happen because she makes him proud. Therefore she is called
‘Ahopurushika’. There is this implied story in this name Ahopurushika
described by Adi Shankara in Soundarya Lahari. The story was that Ambaal was
tossing Shiva into the three worlds of Waking, Dream and Deep Sleep. Vexed
by this, one day Shiva used his powerful intellect, turning it into a
thrisul and pierced the three worlds. Ambal asked him “Shiva, who destroyed
the three worlds?” Shiva beat his chest said “I”! As soon as he said “I”,
the ahamkara revived the three worlds and lauched Shiva back into it!

Yes, the mind was dragging Shiva that he couldn’t concentrate on his own
Self. That is why we are forgetful of our true Self, driven around by this
mind. So Shiva decided to tie Ambal to Himself just as one would tether a
cow to a post. “Maangalyam thanthuna nena mama jeevana hethuna”. By this
thread I give you please be the cause (more aptly purpose) of my life! Even
today we celebrate and re-enact this event whenever there is a marriage
between a boy and a girl. This mind, Ambaal is the true loving consort of
Shiva. She is a real Pathivratha, for she never leaves her husband.

One day she shook Shiva from within as it would happen when we shake in
horripilation. Or was it the shaking like the one who does so by the
drinking of a pleasant intoxicant? Whatever it was, she caused Shiva to see
three images of himself. What a illusion she has caused him! Therefore she
is a great Maayini and she is the cause of all causes! Indeed there is no
cause beyond her.

To these three images that issued forth of Shiva, the great Maayini said, “I
name you Brahma, Vishnu and Rudhra. I want you to create and I shall remain
the Shakthi behind you.” Brahma was the first one to come out and said “I
will create first”. So saying he said to himself, “Let me create everything
so there will be nothing left to create. I will put the other two fellows
out of business of creation.” He then meditated on what could be that which
will be all creation. Suddenly he said “Aha!” “Everything needs space to
exist. I shall be the all embracing space.” So saying he let out a great
utterance (Vyahrithi) “Bhuhu” and BECAME SPACE. All that are in the space
are in the domain of knowledge. So the space indeed is Sathwa Guna.

It was the turn of Vishnu next. He said to himself “What! This fellow Brahma
has created everything. What is there left for me to create? He was a little
upset but soon he got himself composed. “Alright” he said, “if I know who
this Brahma is, then probably I’ll have a way out.” He then meditated on
Brahma. Suddenly he realized that Brahma is static. There is no place else
apart from Brahma so Brahma is motionless. He also understood that Brahma
has only inside and no outside. He said “I have to create something that has
no inside but outside and not static but dynamic in nature.” Then he uttered
the vyahrithi “BHUVAHA’ and BECAME TIME. Time occupies no space! Time is
motion. Anything that goes in time is lost. When someone is dead we say
“kaalamaayittaar”. If space is existence then time is its antithesis.
However time as motion causes things to live. You live through the motion of
breath, called inhalation and exhalation. You live through the opposing
heart function called systole and diastole. You live because of assimilation
and dissimilation and so on. Indeed the entire universe functions by the
struggle of the opposites (dwandhwam = the motion of the opposites against
each other). Thanks to Vishnu the motion or shall we say the motive power
this world is protected.

Those that are in motion are difficult to apprehend. You see a young man and
some 30 years later you see him but not recognize him. Anything that is
subject to Rajas is uncertain. Time is indeed Rajo Guna.

Then it was the turn of Rudra to create. He was indeed baffled at the task
before him. He said “I have to do exactly what Vishnu did. I will meditate
on them both. Perhaps then I will have a way out.” And so he meditated on
both. He found out that both space and time are objects. An object is the
one that can be pointed out. Having come to this conclusion he let out the
great utterance “SWAHA” and BECAME AHANKARA OR “I”. “I” is the subject as
opposed to Space and Time that are objects. Then Rudra went to sleep and the
entire world of objects melted into nothing in the darkness of ignorance in
his sleep. He is indeed the destroyer! As he woke up again the world of
objects got projected into being. He thus revives the creation and
sustentation. Thus Ahankara became the cause (and effect) of the world.
Ahankara is avidya (ignorance), Ahankara is the causality. Ahankara is thus
the Thamo Guna.

(When Mahaperiava said "Ahankaarathai vidu", was he not suggesting to us a
way to escape from this samsaara?)

“Ecellent Creation!” exclaimed Maaya. “This creation cannot be sustained if
even one of you is absent. You will always be together in this enterprise.”
So saying she put them together into a single body. So they became one body
with three heads (Trimurthy) or could we say that the creation is like a
stool with three legs? Surely you could find everything in sets of three in
this creation.

Anyone who knows the creation as God Himself and not as a creation apart
from Him indeed becomes immortal.
Sri Gurubyo Namaha


The first Musing highlighted the fact that the thrigunas are the materials
of the world by a process of deduction. The second Musing brings to the fore
the concept of Maya as the cause.

The following sloka from Dhakshinamurthi Sthothram of Sri Adi Sankara was
the inspiration behind this musing.

Bhijasyaantharivaankuro jagadhidham praangnirvikalpam punaha
Maayaa kalpitha desa kaala kalanaa vaichithriya chithreekrutham|

Mayaaviiva vijrumbayatyapi mahaayogeeva yaha swechayaa
Thasmai Sri Gurumoorthaye namaidam Sri Dhakshinaamurthaye||

Hari OM,

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