[Advaita-l] Best Approximation For Brahman

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Feb 4 00:36:53 CST 2012

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> In Advaita we believe it is difficult to meditate on Nirguna Brahman
> without attributes but it is easier to meditate on Saguna Brahman with
> attributes. Some think the Saguna Brahman is Vishnu some think it is
> Siva some think it is Ganesha some think it is Sakti. But the best
> approximation is Surya our Sun God. Why? All Dvijas have to meditate
> on Savitru Deva the Sun God every day in Sandhyavandana with the Most
> Sacred Mantra of all Mantras, the Gayatri. This Gayatri Mantra is
> about Surya only.
> Vedas are saying Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti. There is only One
> Sat. This is Brahman. But wise people are calling it by different
> names. But what is this Sat Mantra of the Vedas? It is a Surya Mantra
> only. It is used for Surya Upasana.  The Mantra is telling us wise
> people are calling the Sat by different names but that Sat is Surya.
> None other than Surya is Sat.
> When we do Upasana of Surya it is the best approximation for Brahmopasana.
> Surya is also visible to us. If someone asks show me where is Vishnu
> where is Siva where is Ganesha what will you show? But we can show
> Surya and say He is our Brahman. We can convince anyone without Sun we
> cannot be living on Earth. The Sun is supporting us all the time. He
> is also giving us Solar Energy. This is more environmentally friendly
> than using petrol and making the disgusting Islamic countries rich.
> Sun Light is like Nirguna Brahman. Sun light shows us all objects and
> colours and shapes. But that Sun Light has no shape and colour. It is
> simply brightness. Pure Light. 100% Sat.

Here is a dialogue between HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati SwaminaH of
Sringeri and an interested devotee on the topic of 'Sandhya Worship.'  It
is worth reading the entire, lengthy dialogue as it brings to the fore a
deep meaning contained in the sandhyopAsana.


Some excerpts:

// I never mentioned that it was the solar body or the deva as an
alternative. *To one who cannot conceive of an enlivening soul, the upasya
is the physical mass; to one, however, who declines to accept inert matter
as an object of worship, I said the upasya was Surya devata. The upasya is
ever one, but its exact nature varies with the competence of the
worshipping aspirant. The upasya gets further refined when even the concept
of a devata does not satisfy the enquiring devotee. We say then that it is
Hiranyagarbha. When even such a concept seems meagre or unsatisfactory, we
tell the devotee that he is really worshipping the Supreme Lord himself
When he begins to feel that even the Lord-ness is a limitation of His
essential nature, we tell him that it is the infinite Brahman itself that
is really worshipped.* Where is the difficulty?

Does Your Holiness then mean that it is not possible to definitely say what
the object of worship in the sandhya is except with reference to the mental
equipment or intellectual advancement of the worshipper?

*How can there be an object of worship if we ignore the worshipper? The
nature of the worshipped necessarily depends upon the nature of the

//I now understand how in the simple worship of the Sun all possible stages
in spiritual perception have been provided for

It is not only this, for you will find if you consider the matter still
further, that all the three ways known as karma, bhakti and Gyana have been
given places in the daily worship, but that is a different matter. Simple
as the sandhya worship seems to be, it is sufficient to help us on to the
highest stages. It is as useful to the highest aspirant as it is to the
beginner. It is a folly, therefore, to belittle its value or to neglect it
in practice.//

Now, we can see that HH uses the term: //*we tell the devotee //that he is
really worshipping the Supreme Lord himself. When he begins to feel that
even the Lord-ness is a limitation of His essential nature, //we tell
him ** //that
it is the infinite Brahman itself that is really worshipped.*

> --

That is the crucial part of the instruction.  There has to be a guide who
can properly lead the upAsaka/aspirant step by step.  This guidance
involves, depending upon the maturity and capacity of the aspirant, the
revealing of the Vedanta at each stage, in appropriate doses.  And that
revelation will invariably be about Brahman and what is not Brahman; the
one to be 'given up' as 'not That, not That'. The 'limitation' at each
stage is what is called 'upAdhi' and the 'Infinite' comes ONLY with the
upAdhi being discarded as 'Avidyaka';' adhyasta'.  One can see the
'adhyAropa-apavAda' nyAya in the entire course of the dialogue.


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