DEIVATHIN KURAL # 53 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 Sept 2012
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 53 (Vol # 6) Dated 15 Sept 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 from the middle of page No 368 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)
209. Let us presume that all your Saadhana is done with and you are just about to be enlightened. Till that point is reached, there are many things that may happen and keep happening, which may be totally strange and incomprehensible to one’s mind as anyhow the mind has become completely quiescent! Say you have crossed the threshold and have become a Gnaani. When it happens, the Aatma Saakshaatkaaram will be something like a brilliant sunrise through the hovering monsoon clouds. Those things are a secret known only to Parasakti – The Tripura Rahasyam! When it does happen, instead trying to make head and tails out of it, we should be humbly accepting whatever is happening. Our attitude should be one of, “Having progressed so far with the help of whatever the power may be, that will not suddenly forsake us now. It is bound to take us to the destination. Its ways are evidently beyond our capacity to understand. Now let us not try and make a muddle of it by using our brains but, have the humility to trust!” With that attitude we will pass this final test with Shraddha and that will be विमोचनम्, release or deliverance! Even after विमोचनम् there will be things beyond our powers of comprehension and written and spoken expressions! They just cannot be put into words as infinity of space and time just cannot be confined to mere words! The one man beyond all this, above whom there could not have been a greater AachaaryaaL; even he, the Aadi Sankara Bhagawat PaadaaL, did not come forward to put it into words, but only said, “There is nothing for me to say further. Simply go ahead with absolute Shraddha”, and left it at that!
210. Had he revealed all the secrets of such an experience, then there would not have been any need for Ramanuja AachaaryaaL to establish something known as Visishtaadwaitam at all! At some point along the way, Ramanuja AachaaryaaL could have made some cerebral enquiry, may be that, he got some response to his queries; or may be that some questions remained unanswered to which he made an intelligent interpretation giving rise to the concept of a ‘special type of Adwaitam that came to be known as Visishta + Adwaitam = Visishtaadwaitam’ giving rise to a new cult of beliefs and credo. OK, that is all right. But did that reveal all the secrets to one and all? That is why there had to be another AachaaryaaL by the name of MadvaachaariyaaL, who had to propound yet another sect with Dwaita Siddhaantam! Now did that answer all questions? That also did not satisfactorily address all the intelligent questions that could be raised and now we have Adwaitins, Visishtadwaitins and Dwaitins; all thriving among our midst!
211. If we can have one set of believers of Oneness as Adwaitins; another set as Special Oneness as Visishtadwaitins; and another set of Twoness as Dwaitins; then it stands to reason that we could have ‘n’ number of sects and creeds like the ‘Eleventh Day Adventists’ or ‘Followers of the Church of the 114th Street’ and so on and so forth! Though on the one hand we are too involved in debates and discussions of one over the other, there are some followers of those different orientations, who instead of checking for themselves based on their intellectual acumen and abilities, go flatly out based on their being a part of whichever denomination they were born to, and accept whatever their respective Gurus happen to say with absolute Shraddha and have obtained to the highest level of ‘Aatma Anubhava’ through their own system! It all boils down to the simple fact that, there need be no discussion and debate as to whose method of approach is the best!
212. Thus whatever the Anubhava through other traditions, even if anyone is to claim that their own method is the best, it is true that better than the majority who are not practicing their Saadhana, those who have sincerely practised their own method of approach, have attained to some very high level of understanding and comprehension indeed! Let us say that here is a Smarta (a Saadhak as a follower of Adwaita philosophy), who happens to claim that the highest pinnacle of ‘NirguNa Brhmam’ will not be within the grasp of understanding of those other than of the Smarta tradition. When the same NirguNa Brhmam also happens to be SaguNa Brhmam that is, Easwara, how could his claim be true? So, followers of other path have also experienced their oneness of such intensity of closeness with Muruga or Krishna or Rama and thus have experienced their oneness with their own God let us say. So, they have experienced the Divine Love, God’s Blessings and have conveyed /transmitted their experiences to others; like Tukaram, Nimbalkar, Nimai, Surdas, Mira Bai, Khalil Gibran, Kabir Das, Sai Baba and so many such others!
213. In the matter of Aatma and Adwaitam too, just for the heck of it claiming that oneself to be the follower of Adwaita Sampradaya, if someone were to remain ignorant of anything about the ways and means of the approach to Adwaita Anubhava, remaining only at the base level of being conscious of the physical bodies’ and mind’s needs and vacillations; followers of other traditions may be far superior who are of a clear mind and firm conviction that, “It is not for them to go about claiming equality with God but to be devoted and to have an attitude of a servant of God that may at the best mature into one of friendliness!” Better than a man with no idea of what he is and what is God and the Aatma and doing nothing about by way of Saadhana except claiming that he belongs to the sect of Adwaita Siddhaanta Parampara; is that other man whose mind is full of devotion to divinity, isn’t it? Then by divine Anugraha, that mind of the man may dissipate and vanish for him to get the true Aatma Anubhava! That may happen later and let it happen whenever. Now, is it not necessary to be true to one’s traditions and do something about being a true follower? To make some effort in being a Saadhak, to keep in touch with others who have already progressed on the path and keep the doors open for one’s own redemption and ennoblement; all that is more important than simply claiming greatness of one’s own sect or creed. That is how there have been many great Saints of yore who have come up by way of other traditions too, praised and adored all over the world!
214. At one point in time leaving the support of the mind and intellect, if you go purely by the strength of the faith/belief/Shraddha, that itself can lead one to the supreme state of awareness – that is how the ground rules of divine play seem to work out. Till one is clinging to one’s mind, logic and analysis; the divine grace does not seem to come in to play at all! I only wish to underline the importance of this factor of Shraddha. Even a Saadhak who has made some worthwhile progress too were to think, “I am to proceed the same way without giving any opportunity for my mind to come into play and not ask any questions, to be able to reach the goal”, then only he will be able to reach the destination! Asking questions, we may or may not get suitable answers as can be understood by the mind of ours. The Guru also may not answer us or his replies may not be within our comprehension. So it is best to continue with Shraddha alone. That is the reason for Saadhana with Shraddha to be kept as an essential factor here.
215. Not only in the beginning but also till the end, “It is not as though we can understand on our own or recognise it to be the end condition even when reached. Let us simply continue to go by what the Saastraas say or as per the Guru’s instructions. It is not for us to question and take stock of the situation. It is for the process to take us to the end and it will.” It is that sort of a trust that is required. Thus Shraddha is not just one of the factors of Saadhana but, the most important one. At one place in his Bhashyam for Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad, our AachaaryaaL has said, “श्रद्धा च ब्र्ह्मविज्ञाने परमं साधनं”, meaning what I have told you just now. Bhagawan Sri Krishna too has emphatically confirmed (in Gita Sloka 39 of Chapter IV), that it is the ‘one with Shraddha only who reaches Gnaanam’ – “श्रद्दावान् लभते ज्ञानं”.
216. Amongst the mantras in the Upanishads, the few which talk about the oneness of God and the individual Soul – “जीव ब्रह्म ऐक्यम्” have some special value. Within them also there is one which is meant directly for a disciple, where the idea of ‘you are that’, (known as ‘तत्वं’ in Sanskrit and as ‘தத்துவம்’ in Tamil), is being given to him. The teacher is the Father Uddaalaka AaruNi. The recipient of the Upadesa is Svetaketu. The father tells him a number of things ending with, ‘That is You’ – ‘तत् त्वं’; asks him to bring a fruit of the banyan tree which is as small as a berry fruit. The conversation is something on the following lines: -
The son extends the fruit saying, “Here it is Sir!”
The father says, “Break it into two parts.”
Son: “It is open Sir!”
Dad: “What do you see there?”
Son: “I see small seeds the size of a grain of mustard.”
Dad: “Open that seed also”.
Son: “I have done that also, Sir!”
Dad: “Now what do you see?”
Son: “Nothing Sir!”
Dad: “From the fact that you are saying that there is nothing seen, and since from that seed a whole new big Banyan tree comes into being, you can make out that there is potential life there in a subtle form, from which not only a banyan tree, but the whole world can come into being!” Calling his disciple by the name of Sowmya, to mean a pleasant being, the Father says further, “Believe in what I have to say श्रद्दस्व. That same potential is in you also. Believe in the fact that, “You are that तत् त्वं असि, श्रद्दस्व”.
217. Later, those Maha Vaakyaas which are venerated by saints and sages of every generation, before giving them as Upadesa, have to tell the would be student / practitioner of Sannyaasa, have all got to give this very advice saying, “श्रद्दस्व”. Till in practice one finally gets the Brhma – Aatma – Aikya Oneness as a personal experience, one has to go by mere acceptance that, what the Guru says must be correct and so is indisputable! Not only a question of believing what is being said but, also one has to have the firm faith that through the words of the Guru, one would certainly get the way opened for Self Realization! Guru despite being the Gnaani has many human roles to play, similar to Easwara coming amongst our midst as so many Avataras. So all those role playing by the Guru will be meant for guiding someone or the other in the right path. But in the mean while the disciple could get the doubt about the Guru, if he is really a Gnaani or not! One may feel that, “If he were a Gnaani, why is he behaving like normal human, with some weaknesses, anger and such idiosyncrasies? Can this man really be the one to show me the way?”
218. Such doubts are enough to take huge mammoth forms to make one feel, disappointed and disgruntled! This ‘samsayam’ / ‘संशयं’ can destroy ones faith becoming an insurmountable obstacle in the very progress on the path of Saadhana and final arrival at Gnaana! That is why Bhagawan Sri Krishna says (in Gita, Chapter IV, Sloka 40,) “अज्ञ: अस्रद्धधानस्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति | नायं लोकोस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: ||”! He was ignorant and that is why he came to this Guru for Gnaana. So he is as yet an Agnaani. So the Sloka means that, “The ignorant, the faithless, the doubting self goes to destruction; there is neither this world nor the other, nor happiness for the doubting kinds.”
(To be continued.)
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