[Advaita-l] Meaning of an important verse

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 30 00:39:07 CDT 2015

Dear friends,
I wish to put before you the  following verse in Garuda Purana telling us what Ishvara-chintana is :
स्तुतिस्मरणपुजादिवाङ्मनःकायकर्मभिः ।अनिश्चलाहरौ भक्तिरेतदीश्वरचिन्तनम् ॥ 
The use of the word अनिश्चला seems to suggest use of unusual or higher semantics. The Sanskrit scholars of this group  is aware  that निश्चला भक्ति means steady or unwavering devotion and अनिश्चला भक्ति should then mean wavering devotion, but that does not properly fit in this verse. Some scholars have suggested that it should be सुनिश्चला in place of अनिश्चला. My feeling that finding fault with a text of pre-Paninian Vedic Sanskrit is not proper. Looking at the other meanings of the word "निश्चला" I find that it means "the Earth", as shown below:


(H3) निश्--चल [p= 542,3] [L=107415] mf(आ)n. motionless , immovable , fixed , steady , invariable , unchangeable  MBh.   Ka1v.   &c  (H3B) निश्--चला [L=107416] f. the earth  L.  (H3B) निश्--चला [L=107417] f. Desmodiuni Gangeticum  L. 

This could then imply that the Purana text used अनिश्चला भक्ति to mean unearthly devotion, i.e. to mean devotion not for earthly or material gain or progress but for spiritual progress. With this semantics the verse can be translated into English as follows:
"Vocal, mental and bodily activitiesincluding praise of the Lord Hari, remembering / chanting the LordHari's names and performing the rituals of worship as well asspiritual devotion to (or faith in) Lord Hari is called theIshwara-chintana or contemplation on the Lord".
I shall look forward to what the learned members have to say  on this.
Sunil KB

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