[Advaita-l] मदालसायाः आलोलिका (स्वापिका) (The Lullaby of Queen Madalasa)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 11:33:37 CST 2016

On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 4:58 PM, Venkata sriram P via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Bhaskarji,
> The same doubt was expressed by her husband.
> King Kuvalayaswa asks his queen that when I have named
> my 3 sons so beautifully that have meaningful names why you have
> chosen a queer and meaningless one for my 4th one.  The queen madAlasa
> laughs and quotes extempore as :
> kalpanEyaM mahArAja krutA samvyAyahArikI
> tvatkrutAnAM tathA nAmnAM shruNu bhUpa nirarthakaM
> The name is for the sake of vyavahAra only which has been coined by
> we mortals. Realistically speaking, the Omnipresent Self, is beyond
> names and forms.
> So, my dear husband Kuvalaswa ! don't be under the false impression
> that the names you have chosen for your 3 kids are meaningful.
> See ! you have chosen such a beautiful names so that they may
> become famous in vyavahAra jagat but they have become sanyAsis !
> yadi samvyavahArArthaM asannAma prakalpyatE
> nAmni kasmAt alarkhyE nairarthyaM bhavatO mataM ?
> When the vyavahAra is an illusory by nature, one can add any number
> of beautiful names to this gross body which is a combination of 5 elements.
> So, your thought that my naming of 4th son as "alarka" is absurd is
> meaningless.
> For vyavahAra, which is by itself mithyA, any same would suffice.

I am reminded of a verse that is popular with Advaitin. It would be
interesting to note a verse from the mahopanishat 4.54 / Laghu Yoga
vAsiShTha utpatti prakaraNam 1.12:

ऋतमात्मा परं ब्रह्म सत्यमित्यादिका बुधैः ।
कल्पिता व्यवहारार्थं यस्य संज्ञा महात्मनः ॥4.54॥

[In order to facilitate parlance, the wise employ words such as Rtam, AtmA,
Param, Brahma, Satyam, etc., to designate that Supreme Self.]

Even the word 'Advaitam' is not the absolute name.  Words are used only as
long as the Truth is not recognized by the aspirant, just to help one turn
his attention to it.  Once he is able to identify it as his very Self words
would have served their utility.  He no longer needs words to 'get there'
for he is already That.

So, the Upanishad itself teaches that the names for That Advaitic Truth are
mere temporary facilities, to facilitate the aspirant to come out of
avidyā. That is the reason the Upanishad itself says: yato vācho
nivartante....Any name/word is inevitably, inextricably, tied to
relativity.  To transcend relativity is the aim of the Upanishads.  Hence
alone it says: prapanchopashamam, shāntam...again words!! Inevitable.
Shankara cites a vedic passage in the BSB 3.2.17:

बाष्कलिना च बाध्वः पृष्टः सन् अवचनेनैव ब्रह्म प्रोवाचेति श्रूयते — ‘स
होवाचाधीहि भो इति स तूष्णीं बभूव तं ह द्वितीये तृतीये वा वचन उवाच ब्रूमः
खलु त्वं तु न विजानासि । उपशान्तोऽयमात्मा’ इति । तथा स्मृतिष्वपि
परप्रतिषेधेनैवोपदिश्यते — ‘ज्ञेयं यत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते
। अनादिमत्परं ब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते’ (भ. गी. १३-१२)

It is in the bhāṣya for the above cited BG verse that Shankara gives the
long explanation as to why, how, Brahman is beyond the ken of words: As per
the Vyakarana Shastra, words can be used only in that instance where
action, attribute, species (and sambandha) are involved. Brahman is free
from all these and hence alone no word can directly be used to denote
'Brahman' (which is also a word!!).


> regs,
> sriram
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