DEIVATHIN KURAL # 43 (Vol # 6) Dated 23 Aug 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 43 (Vol # 6) Dated 23 Aug 2012
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are going ahead page No 294 of Volume 6 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
103. Known as Veda Siras as well as Vedaantam (as the Head and as the End of Vedas), the Upanishads have many such authoritative declarations. Their coming into being itself is so as to save and fetch the Jivas who are stuck in world of delusion, to the eternal stuff of Paramaatma, isn’t it? Starting from a small boy Nachiketas right up to Indra, the King of all Devas, everyone has to strive hard to escape from the delusion of Maya. Katopanishad (V. 13.) tells the story of how Nachiketas as a young boy refuses all the wealth and name and fame that Yama had to offer, as fleetingly temporary and asks for Tattva Upadesa as the only Nitya worthy to be aspired for. Yama describes Aatman as the only ‘नित्यो अनित्यानां’, amongst all transient things the only permanent thing of value and says that eternal peace is assured for those who recognise this truth and not for others. None of the things such as power, position, money, wealth, name and fame can fetch you that ‘नित्य तत्वं’.
104. In Chandokya Upanishad the King of Devas, Indra and the King of Asuras, Virochana discuss among them as to what is this Aatman. Virochana concludes that the physical body is the Aatman – Asura Vedaantam! While on the other hand Indra analyses जाग्रत, सुषुप्ति, and सपना (that is, wakefulness, deep sleep and dream stages, discarding them all as untruth and recognises Aatman as the only eternal reality of inner awareness! This discarding of all transient ephemerals as unwanted by Indra is also ‘नित्यानित्य विवेचनं’ only.
105. In Taitreeya Upanishad, Brugu investigates the five spheres of Annamaya / PraaNamaya / Manomaya / Vignaanamaya and finally Aanandamaya Kosa. That is, अन्नमय, प्राणमय, मनोमय, विज्ञानमय and आनन्दमय कोश. Each one is initially recognised as the Brhmam and then after due investigation and analysis is discarded. Then finally even the Aanandamaya Kosa is found to be not absolute but, dependent on the Brhmam which is finally identified as the Aatman, the नित्य वस्तु of eternal relevance!
106. The Upanishads use the process of ‘नेति, नेति’ – that is ‘discarding after due analysis as not this/ not this either’. Brhmam is not like this, not like this, it is not caught, it does not catch anything, does not suffer, morph, deteriorate, erode, respond, react, change, transform or is destroyed – says ‘Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad (IV. 2- 4; and IV. 4 -22). Here whatever is not that, those are all the worldly matters which are not really Brhmam but only appear to be. As you keep on eliminating thus the graspable, changeable, destructible, comprehensible and transient; you will be left with the only नित्य वस्तु of eternal relevance, though it cannot be put into words as to what it is! The ‘Neti / Neti’ process adopted by the Vedas as you can see is a tedious process like searching for a needle in a hay stack! But, the problem is that Brhmam the Aatman can never be described as what it is and only as what it is not! There are many such Mantras in Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad which clearly separates what is eternal from what is not!
107. In Bhagawat Gita, Sri Krishna Bhagawan has clarified this in the very beginning, in the Second Chapter, that Aatman is the only नित्य वस्तु. The body is only अनित्यं. As Sri Krishna says in B.G. II – Sloka 14, they are all आगमापायिन: अनित्या: – meaning that, all the inputs into the body system and outputs from the body and its experiences are all only transitory and so not forever! At various places in the Bhagawat Gita, Sri Krishna goes on expanding on this subject. This Aatman is eternal, immeasurable and indestructible – “नित्यस्योक्ता: सरीरिण: अनासिनो अप्रमेयस्य” B.G. II – Sloka 18. Then he says in B.G. IX – Sloka 33, having reached the world of perishables, you worship me if you wish to be saved “अनित्यं असुकं लोकं इमं प्राप्य बजस्वमां”! What is the meaning of saying, ‘you better pray to me’? He is not another person but, the very personification of the omnipresent Aatman – the ‘आत्म स्वरूपम्’. He further clarifies in B.G. X – Sloka 20, – अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशय स्थित: – meaning that he is ‘the Aatman immanent in everybody’s heart and in all the length and breadth of the universe’! So, to pray to him and to worship him means, doing the act of आत्म अनुसंधानम् only. Each and every item in this world of Maya is temporary and so, ‘you better catch hold of the Aatman, which is the only permanent entity’, He says.
108. The Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagawat Gita is known as ‘Kshetra Kshetragna Vibhaga Yoga: – क्षेत्र्क्षेत्रज्ञविभागयोग: - in which the Kshetram is the human body and the knower of the Kshetram is the Kshetragnya – the Aatman. He is the sentient being in the gross body. So, this Chapter 13 is meant to clearly differentiate between the two, the stage and the actor, the residence and the resident in-dweller. The Kshetram is made up of, the five Bhoothas such as Space, Air, Water, Fire and Earth; the five Senses; the things desired by the senses such as Sound, Sight, Taste, Smell and Touch; and then desire, hate, comfort and sadness; thus including all the अनित्य वस्तु. Now the knower of all this is the Kshetragna, the Aatman who is the only नित्या वस्तु. That is the all-pervasive, omnipresent and omniscient, moving, stationary being near and farthest – तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्यास्य भाह्यत:! While going on describing like this, he suddenly says, “The one who knows thus the difference between the Prakruti and Purusha, comes to Moksha without any further births!” When we are perplexed with his use of two new terms as प्रकृति and पुरुष, it is clarified that it is the Kshetra the Prakruti and the Kshetrgna is the Purusha, in Sloka Nos. 13 to 15 and then Sloka No 18, in the B.G. Chapter 13.
109. Thus we understand that ‘Nitya Anitya Viveka Vichaara:’ is given in a different symbolism as Purusha and Prakruti. What is called the Purusha in Sankhya is Aatman / Brhmam in Adwaita Saastram. In that the Prakruti is the principle of Maya. Though not exactly the same, they are almost synonymous. The whole ever changing Universe appears by the effect of Maya and Aatman is the only Truth forever. To correctly identify the two apart that Maya is Anityam and Untruth and Aatman is the Nityam and the only Truth, is the same as differentiating between Prakruti and Purusha as well as Nitya-Anitya Viveka Vichaaram!
110. Once you have become a Gnaani, then you will know that all the Anaatma is unreal and non-existent except in our imagination. That happens later, when you are so deeply soaked in Adwaita Aananda that you will look like a man in supercilious pride and head weight, especially to people who do not understand! Our AachaaryaaL has written ‘Prouda Anubhuti’, about such a Gnaani extolling his own status, as though he is much proud of his state of Anubhuti! (PeriyavaaL laughs saying this, noticing the word ‘proud’ which happens to have the same meaning in English as well as in Sanskrit! Ref to Sloka 13 in Prouda Anubhuti.) There, he says, “All this talk about Aatman and Unaatman is all nonsense! Is there something as Unaatman? If there is something as Unaatman or non-being, how can you discard it as non-existent? If it is not there, then why talk about it?” OK, this is the talk of a man who has known and seen!
111. For the one who is yet to understand and comprehend, the problem is quite different! He is likely to ask, “What is all this talk about Aatman? Who has seen him? What we have is this world full of matter, materials, static objects like the plains and mountains, moving things like the rivers and oceans; all sorts of flora and fauna; many varieties of life forms and all types of people of all nationalities – Period! You call it what you want, I couldn’t care less!” But somewhere along the line, there comes a time in all our lives, when we cannot help being seized of questions such as, “What is Life? What is death? What is real and what is unreal? What is eternal and absolute? Then finally, who am I?” Then when we make a move from darkness unto light; from the unreal to the real; from death unto everlasting life; instead of plodding deeper in to the mire of delusion; one does get the urge to wake up from ignorance. This also cannot be avoided! As one day every wave has to reach the shore, every individual has to contend with his own awakening sometime or the other.
112. While coming to the end of his song of devotion and discrimination known as ‘Baja Govindam’, before saying that ‘the staunch believer in the advice of the Guru, totally dependent on his lotus feet is forever released from the mire of worldly involvement, our AachaaryaaL in the penultimate Sloka has emphasised that we have to do things such as, ‘प्राणायामं प्रत्याहारं नित्यानित्य विवेक विचारं’!
You love the child and motivate him to proceed on the right lines out of kindness and concern, don’t we? Similarly, in his innate compassion our AachaaryaaL with a bit of doubt that we may get lost in the quest, has given a comprehensive list of all the things that can befool us into complacency without our realising that they are unreal, in a PrakaraNam known as “अनात्मा श्री विगर्हणं – Anaatma Sri VigarhaNam”, ‘Censuring all that one can be proud of short of Self Realization!’ In that PrakaraNam of 18 Slokas, the first three lines will finish in ‘तत: किं?’, meaning ‘So what?’
(We will peruse that poem in more detail in the next e-mail of Deivathin Kural. To be continued.)
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