[Advaita-l] NOTES ON THE EIGHTH MUSING
anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 05:35:03 CDT 2009
NOTES ON THE EIGHTH MUSING
Mind alone defines anything. However it cannot define something it cannot
What is it that it cannot fully reach?
The world of objects, the world of names and forms.
Why is it that the mind cannot fully reach its object viz. the world?
Because the world is beginningless and endless.
How are things defined?
An understanding, a grasp takes place from a certain beginning and has to
have an end to complete the grasp. So the beginning and end of is
arbitrarily set by the mind. Thus, however much the mind tries, there is
always something left uncovered as the world (which is synonymous with
Mahavishnu - You can substitute the name Shiva if you wish!) is endless as
is also beginningless at both ends. Yet, to the extent it has grasped, the
mind always defines the object, for such is its nature.
But the scientists and their advocates claim that Science has conquered
This study, this understanding, this grasp is then delivered in a spiel
described as a systematic understanding and such an understanding in spite
of its logical and latent imperfection is termed SCIENCE. No person of
wisdom would ever overlook this.
Thus this ungraspable world is grasped and portrayed as inviolable and
perfect. Such is the nature of science. It can present itself logical but
this logic wanes with the passage of time. Such is its destiny. People get
caught up in the force of logic and begin to believe in the eternity of
their grasp! Such is the nature one's hope to endure. We of Sanaathana
Dharma are fully aware of this pitfall and term these understanding as
Maya. In Maya a thing is seen as real but on investigation it proves to be
unreal. For example you see water in the mirage or silver in the shell.
When you investigate there is neither water nor siver. Yet the
investigation per se does not put an end to the mirage or silver in the
shell and you will continue to see them from a distance. The difference is
those who believe in the existence of water and silver are deluded and those
who know it to be not true are wise. Also in Maya the Reality of Aathman is
sought to be denied,however by the same logic and by one's experience the
Reality can be realized. These are just two examples. A study of the
saasthras make one to be wise. Those who decry the saasthra are bound to
become victims of delusion.
What does the saasthra do?
So in this world of Maya we work our way out to redeem ourselves while
conceding to the delusion caused by it. So the pursuits of Dharma, Artha
and Kaama are well within the world of Maya while that of Moksha is the
escape from it.
Where does Dharma come into the picture?
This is the context in which Dharma is to be understood. There is no Dharma
if there is no world. There is no Dharma if there be no jeeva. There is no
Dharma possible if a jeeva can conquer it. So Dharma has to be subjecting
the jeeva but not to be overcome by jeeva. Such Dharma is Easwara.
That is why Dharma is equally undefineable yet Real for without it the world
of Jagat, Jeeva and Easwara in some equilibrium comes to an end. Yet the
mind constantly tries to grasp this Dharma and sometimes even attempts to
overcome it. To the extent it tries to grasp in order to get along such
attempts are positive and fruitful. This is the Dharma that our ancients
have described as one of the objectives of human mind. But to the extent a
grasp is attempted of Dharma to overcome it, that act is considered asuric
and Easwara incarnates in its many manifestations chief among them are the
Dasaavathaaras, and He puts an end to the culprit.
What is Sruthi and what is Smrithi?
Sruthi is our Veda that describes the nature of the eternities seen in the
world of Maya and of the eternity beyond the reach of Maya. That is why
Sruthis are not subject to alteration. Without this Sruthi man will be
deluded in the world of Maya taking it as eternally real. Sruthi as the
word implies is that which has been heard. Vedas are collection of hymns
from Manthra dhrishtaas who heard them from Brahma. This is handed down by
word of mouth and absorbed through the sound of hearing.
Smrithi on the other hand is the grasp as I called it, of wise minds who
wrote these down as law books. These as already described are not eternal
as the grasp of the mind is incomplete. They have, however some force
during its validity and as the force dissipates it is discarded. Smrithis
take guidance from the Sruthi on the nature of varying intellect of men and
differing use of the intellect by them and set out to organize society for
peaceful and fruitful pursuit of happiness. Manu Dharma and other Dharma
Saasthras should be seen in such light. They were useful in toto in their
time. In passage of time those aspects of the law that are spent force are
discarded and replaced while others that continue to have force are
Thus Smrithi as the word implies is that which is remembered. The law is
remembered for we have to obey it for not obeying it would bring us pain.
People who attack Hinduism come from eclectic background. Manu smrithi is
neither in vogue nor being sought to be resurrected. However anti-Hindus
attack it (like beating a dead snake!) by singling out Brahmins. Varna and
Dharma are eternal, Manu Smrithi is not.
Sri GurubyO Namaha
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list