Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 Sept 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 55 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 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 381 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 updated constantly)

230. Such intolerably dire situations of self-doubt coupled with self-pity happens, somewhere along the lines of progress in Saadhana because, the benefactor God is also our examiner! So that we may not loosen our grip on Saadhana, that after तितिक्षा, श्रद्धा (the higher level one of it) has been kept. This श्रद्धा has been defined by our AachaaryaaL as, “शास्त्रस्य गुरुवाक्यस्य सत्यबुध्यावधारणा | सा श्रद्धा कथिता सत्भिर्यया वस्तूपलभ्यते ||”, as given in Viveka ChudamaNi, Sloka 25. It means that, “That by which one understands the exact import of the scriptures as well as the pregnant words of advice of the preceptor is called as Shraddha by the wise, by which alone does reality become manifestly clear!” He did not say, ‘because I am saying so’! With noticeable humility he says, ‘what is said by great saints already, is what I am quoting now’!
231. Setting aside the work of brains and intelligence, what is accepted out of trust and faith is what is normally thought to be the meaning of this word श्रद्धा isn’t it? Here, our AachaaryaaL is giving it a totally new interpretation saying, “To get it clearly fixed in your mind that what is given in the Saastraas and the words of the Guru are irrevocably and unquestionably true.” This phrase ‘बुध्यावधारणा’ does not mean that he is asking you to ascertain if all that is said in the Saastraas and by the Guru are correct or not! Instead, you are telling your mind, “Listen, we cannot have all knowledge. We do not have the power and data base to assess the veracity of each and every statement by our Guru and the Saastraas. About other-worldly matters and about Aatman, what is normally not apparent to all of us are known to some by God’s Grace, which they have recorded in the Saastraas. Guru as a knowledgeable person of the Saastraas (शास्त्रज्ञ) gives them to us. We should take them as truth without further analysis with our limited knowledge!” Such a firm conviction in our minds is ‘बुध्यावधारणा’ and not be doing the checking ourselves. That is as good as being able to tell our minds to shut up and keep quiet!
232. This is not a blind belief but rather an intelligent decision not to use our brains! Starting from ‘नित्या अनित्य वस्तु विवेक’, we have not shut our minds at all! Actually to be able to do so, one needs to apply one’s brain quite smartly! He has to keep very alert and his brains sharpened to a fine degree. When his Guru says something not within his grasp and comprehension, he should be alert enough not to use his brains here! Instead of making a show one’s brains, not to show off is more difficult! That is the required level of his विनय भाव, instead of being the trust of an idiot; it should be the humility in him, to accept Guru’s word without a counter! The word AvadharaNa has two meanings – one is ‘deep conviction’ and the other is ‘to limit’. Here, the meaning is to put both these ideas together. The mind should decide that it is beyond its abilities to understand and comprehend and so have complete faith that the words of the Saastraas and Guru are the truth.
233. The idea that it is by Shraddha that truth can be grasped is conveyed by the phrase, ‘यया वस्तु उपलभ्यते’. The word यया means ‘by whom’ and the word ‘वस्तु’ means that material and ‘उपलभ्यते’ means obtained or reached. So, put together, ‘by whom the essential stuff can be reached’, ‘she is Shraddha’ – ‘सा श्रद्धा’. We use a word ‘வாஸ்தவம்’ to mean that it is true or ‘நிஜம்’, though both these words are slightly different in meaning. The first word ’vaastavam’ means to be in one’s natural state. Say a man is wearing a disguise. That state is not real. When the disguise is removed, he gets back to his real state, isn’t it? So at that stage ‘எல்லாம் வெறும் வேஷம்’ goes and ‘நிஜம்’ comes through. But that is also not real but the person’s natural state or ‘வாஸ்தவம்’! Anyhow that was only meant to be an ‘aside’. Let us get back to our discussion.
234. I spoke about ‘vaastavam’, which we take as the truth. That is all right. That word evolves from ‘vastu’ or the thing. The nature of the ‘vastu’ is ‘vaastavam’. The word ‘vastu’ means materials or things, I said. Still the real meaning of ‘vastu’ is ‘that one thing that is real’! All the other things of life are only seemingly real, only appearances. The one real thing in all of them is the ‘vastu’ and its natural state is ‘vaastavam’! In the sloka that we are looking at, it is said that, ‘यया वस्तु उपलभ्यते’ – meaning ‘by whom the real thing is obtained’ that is by Shraddha. Though we are calling all the apparent things of life as the things, all of them will be seen to be only imaginary and so unreal things of Maya. When we get the real awareness of Gnaanam, then all these imaginary creations of Maya will all vanish. The true ‘sat’ alone will remain, that is the real, the true stuff of eternity. To reach that or to realize that, Shraddha is essential by which alone the finality is reached.
235. Here having defined that the mind when it realizes its limitations, develops trust and absolute faith in the words of Saastraas and Guru; while giving the definition in Aparoksha Anubhuti, instead of giving any scope for any discussion of the minds work as intelligent or idiotic cerebral exercise; simply goes by the generally understood lines as, “निगमाचार्य वाक्येषु भक्ति: श्रद्देति विश्रुता”. Vedas and Saastraas together are known as निगम. The devotion to the words of the Vedas and AachaaryaaL is known as Shraddha. The word Bhakti here means ‘trust with love’. Normally these two words Bhakti and Shraddha are mostly used together as भक्ति-श्रद्धा, in which love is added to Bhakti and trust is added to Shraddha. These two qualities nourish and inculcate each other as loving trust and trustful devotion. This love involves the heart rather than the mind. Thus loving respect and trust in the words of the Vedas, Saastraas and Guru is Shraddha. Now we can go on to the next step in ‘समाधि षट्क संपत्ति’ that is ‘Samaadaanam’.

236. This समादानम् comes after श्रद्धा in समाधि षट्क संपत्ति and so is the sixth step. These two words समादानम् and समाधि have almost similar meanings. Starting from ‘sama’ and such other qualities, the six of them end in Samaadhi. Still this Samaadhi is the destination, the ideal state in which the Saadhak having lost all his transient identifications is completely merged in the end stage. So it cannot be part of the endeavour or the path or way of Saadhana. It is the end of the path of Saadhana. So, our AachaaryaaL has neither talked about it in the second stage of Gnaana Marga – that is Saadhana Chatushtyam nor in the third stage – that is, the things to be done after taking Sannyaasa such as practicing of (श्रवण, मनन व निधिद्यासनं) SrvaNam, Mananam and Nidhidyaasanam. Samaadhi is in fact the end stage of stoppage of all efforts towards Aatma Anubhava. So, at that stage neither is there any effort required nor will anyone be foolish enough to be trying anything anymore! So Samaadhi is not mentioned anywhere as a step in Saadhana. Still, as there are two grades in Bhakti and Shraddha, the lower grade Samaadhi can be said to be the sixth step of Saadhana and so as to clearly differentiate from the end stage has been given a slightly different name as ‘Samaadaanam’!
237. I told you earlier that in Bruhad AaraNyaka Upanishad, Yaagnya Valkyamaharishi has listed five things as steps in Saadhana and as to how, our AachaaryaaL added Shraddha as the sixth one in Saadhana, didn’t I? Yaagnya Valkya has described such an attained Saadhak as ‘saantan’, ‘daantan’ and ‘uparatan’ and so on. Our AachaaryaaL has defined those adjectives as ‘sama’, ‘dama’ and ‘uparati’ as the ideal qualities of a Saadhak. Finally Yaagnya Valkya has said that the Saadhak becomes the ‘Samaahitan’. It is that quality by which the Saadhak becomes ‘Samahitan’, that has been defined as the ‘Samaadaanam’. ‘Sama’ + ‘aahita’ = ‘samaahita’; and similarly, ‘sama’ + ‘aadaana’ = ‘samaadaana’. Both are in fact synonyms only. The meaning is to ‘fetch someone to a place and establish him firmly there’.
238. You might have heard of ‘Aahitaagni’ and some people claim that they belong to the tradition of ‘Aahitaagni Vamsam’ with some rightful pride. To take the fire to the ‘agni kundam’ without failing, regularly in time is ‘aahitaagni’. The Brhmachaari is supposed to do ‘Samitaadaanam’ twice every day that is to take the ‘Samit’ the twigs to the fire, twice a day. To fetch a thing to its destination is ‘aadaanam’. The one who practices ‘samaadaanam’ is ‘Samahitan’ and what is it that he takes and establishes? ‘Samam’ we know means ‘equality’ without ups or downs. To be completely full and wholesome is ‘Samam’. So, while doing ‘Samaadaanam’, he takes his mind completely unto one place, sans deviations and prevarications. That is to bring one’s mind to complete focus, firmly establishing it in absolute stability. By doing this he gets uniform balance. By ‘Samaadaanam’ he gets ‘Shanti’.
239. To take the mind to that absolute oneness is that action of ‘Samaadaanam’. Now, what is that oneness? That is ‘suddhe brhmaNi’ in pure unadulterated Brhmam! To lockup this mind of ours in pure and complete Brhmam and firmly establish it there is Samaadaanam! In Viveka ChudamaNi Sloka 26, our AachaaryaaL says, “सम्यक स्थापनं बुद्धे: शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि सर्वथा | तत् समादानमित्युक्तं न तु चित्तस्य लालनम् ||”, meaning thereby, “Samaadhaana (tranquillity) is that condition when the mind is constantly engaged in the total contemplation of the supreme Reality; and it is not gained through any amount of intellectual oscillations.”
240. Look at the first sentence of the Sloka. ‘Samyak’ means, fully and correctly, while ‘sarvata’ at the end of the first line means forever and permanently; to establish the mind in pure Brhmam is said to be Samaadaanam, which can never ever be attained by any amount of mental gymnastics! The unadulterated Brhmam is without Maya. The very principle that is said to be the basis of all existence is Brhmam and the same as the basis for the individual is said to be Aatman. That is pure and unadulterated शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि. Even with a slight tinge of Maya, it is not pure anymore. Thus even Easwara is with Maya. For the pure Brhmam there are no responsibilities or management requirements. That Brhmam has nothing to do with any functioning or transactions. That is the basis of all worlds, while having nothing to do with creation or the running of it. In the semi darkness of the evening, if a piece of rope looks like a snake, for the creation of the snake the rope is the basis; but, it has nothing to do with the creation of the snake! Similarly the ‘शुद्ध ब्रह्मं’ has no role to play with the creation or sustenance of the world, despite being the basis. Thus the pure Brhmam without any tinge of Maya is what is being referred here.

(To be continued.)




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