Wednesday, October 03, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol # 6) Dated 03 Oct 2012




DEIVATHIN KURAL # 62 (Vol # 6) Dated 03 Oct 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 page No 435 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)

The Four Fold Army of Religiousness
297.  In the olden days, ‘Chaturangam’ was a name for the Army, as it had four types or parts, such as Chariots pulled by horses with armed soldiers on it; Elephant borne Cavalry; Horsed Cavalry and the Infantry or the foot-soldiers; each wing of the army with their own speed and abilities and weaknesses too, mutually complementing and supporting each other.   The game of chess is also known as Chturangam, in which four types players namely, Pawns, Rooks, Horses and Bishops are moved on a chequered board of alternate black and white squires totalling 64.  The western world accepts that they imported this game from India many ages back.  From India, this game is said to have gone to Persia from where it went to Europe.  In the process it went through some changes from the way it was played in India.  The Queen became the major power unlike in India, where she is to remain strictly house bound and the Bishop became a major manipulator or arbiter!  If you look into the history of Europe, you will notice that the Popes and Bishops were the ones on either side to clash with the Kings or abetted or motivated them!  Using the Persian word for the King, the game came to be known as the Chess.  Let that matter be aside.  To fight with the evil tendencies within, to capture the Empire of the Aatma, as the four part army was created this Saadhana Krama of four steps in which Mumukshutvam is the fourth and last stage.
298.  As this Mumukshutvam has been mentioned as something to be achieved, this desire for Mukti that was lightly mentioned in the beginning and was slowly under lined, reinforced, emphasised; came to be the burning issue of importance mind-wise becoming an obsession by the fourth stage of Saadhana Chatushtyam!  Often that was a cause for some noticeable slippages and we used to think, “Who Me and Moksham and Aatma Saakshaatkaaram, who told you?  ‘Come on’ my dear, be practical, how can I ever aspire for such exalted revelation, redemption and realization?”  Neither should we, give-in to such thoughts nor become despondent in any way. 
299.  Instead we should be developing the exact opposite mentality!   “We can also be successful.  If we relentlessly keep that as the aim and not only just aspire, but also follow all the Saadhana steps assiduously, will Guru Prasaadam not take care of our deficiencies?  So let us aspire for freedom and liberation as a regular practice!  Somewhere we were lying as a piece of ignorance, without any animations or aspirations!  Even we have come far by way of Viveka, Vairaagya, Sama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Shraddha and Samaadhaana; developing the qualities of discrimination, control of the mind and body, a sense of trust and faith and a burning desire for liberation, kind courtesy the Guru’s Upadesa, isn’t it?  Now we are his wards!  He will not let us go to waste.  So we can also be liberated.  We can also get to know and be one with the ultimate reality, which we are already a part of!”  With such an attitude, we should be nourishing, inculcating and practicing Mumukshuta!  With this Saadhana Chatushtyam is complete.  But this is also only a middle stage or the second stage.  I hope you people would not have forgotten that, higher than this, there is a third stage.  Let me tell you about it and complete the story as I do not wish to leave you stranded and be accused for an incomplete account, despite occupying so much of your time and attention for so long on the subject of Adwaita Saadhana!

Before the Three Parts of the Third Stage!
300.  Having practiced the Saadhana Chatushtyam, then having obtained Sannyaasa and Maha Vaakhya Upadesa through the spoken words of the Guru, having learnt all the other related things that he teaches, such as Brhma Vidya Saastra traditions, rules, regulations, understandings, practical experiences and absorbed them all; then what you have in your mind is to be down-loaded into the heart and become a practical experience; one has to be ever in dhyaanam.  Those are the three parts of the third stage known as SravaNam, Mananam and Nidhidhyaasanam!  Deep in that state dhyaanam, Brhma Anubhavam just happens, that is the release from the binding ties and the Satya Saakshaatkaaram! 
301.  So amongst the people assembled here who are aware of the order of priority in Saadhana Krama, are likely to expect that next I am going to start talking about SravaNam and (smilingly PeriyavaaL says) I am going to disappoint them!  I am not going to befool them on my own.  Our AachaaryaaL himself has so made a fool of everybody, I wished to copy him.  Having fooled many in many of the subjects that he has not done; I did not want to miss out where he himself has hoodwinked everybody!  Where has he fooled others?  You will know if you follow the order of priority in the Viveka ChudamaNi.  So far in my talk I have mainly followed that book in covering the subject matter for this talk on Adwaita Saadhana.  Because that was definitely a major thesis written by him, as a creation of his own instead of being a commentary on other books of authority.  In it after having spoken about Mumukshutvam, he says that, “When Vairaagyam and Mumukshuta is not strong, it is true that the mind will not be fully subdued and Aatma will not be revealed.  In that state even if the mind were to seem as though it is under control, it is only a mirage.  But you do not have to feel bad about it and lose heart.  If you reinforce your Vairaagyam and become more serious about your Mumukshuta; from manda /madhyama level you can also rise to the uttama level and as a result attain to Siddhi.”  With such consolation he finishes his talk on Saadhana Chatushtyam.  After that if we were to expect him to go on to SravaNam, he dupes us by starting a new topic as ‘Bhakti’!  (Actually here PeriyavaaL it is, who has interpreted the meaning of Sloka No. 29 and 30, with a slight adjustment to convey a more positive note!)
The Place of Bhakti in Gnaana Marga

302.  The Sloka No. 31 of VC is as follows:  - “मोक्षकारण सामग्र्यां भक्तिरेव गरीयसी | स्वस्वरूपानुसन्धानम् भक्तिरित्याभिधीयते ||” That means, “Among the instruments and conditions necessary for liberation Bhakti alone is supreme.  A constant attempt to live up to one’s own Real Nature is called single-pointed devotion.”  Mumukshu as we have seen already is desirous of Moksham.  To do so, he has many instruments in his hands, namely SravaNa, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana.  The Saadhana Chatushtyam that we have been talking about all this time is also such an instrument containing four steps for Moksham only.   Together they are known as ‘Samagree’ (wrongly mentioned as ‘Samagriyai’ in Tamil).  It means ‘upakaraN’ or tools or instruments.  ‘मोक्षकारण सामग्र्यां’ means, all the instruments or implements useful in attaining to Moksham. Amongst them the ‘गरीयसी’ one is the heavy one or what is more effective.  Similarly amongst the ‘Ashta Maha Siddhis’, one of the powers is to become very heavy and that is known as ‘Garima’.  So what is heavy, important and special is ‘Gariyasi’.  In the same sense the VIP in Tamil is called a ‘Ganavaan’ and in English it is the ‘Heavy Weight’!  So the most important instrument or tool for Moksham is Devotion!  The surprising thing about that is that, it is not part of Saadhana Chatushtyam (found to be important before reaching Sannyaasa) and SravaNa, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana, the tools in the hands of the Sanyaasi!  Bhakti is not part of those four plus three, seven steps that our AachaaryaaL only has been talking about all this time!  Still he has given the pride of place to Bhakti, having suddenly introduced it here, saying it to be the important tool for Moksham!
303.  Amongst the two paths of Bhakti and Gnaana, our AachaaryaaL as the Adwaita AachaaryaaL has written this Viveka ChudamaNi mainly to explain the path of Gnaana Marga only.  Still he has given so much importance to Devotion, calling it the main tool for Moksham.  The world knows very well that Devotion is not totally out of place in the Gnaana Marga that our AachaaryaaL has advocated.  Where is its place?  Its place is at the very start, even before the start of Saadhana Chatushtyam.  I had even said that, before admission to the College of Gnaana, so to say, Karma and Bhakti are required as part of the required qualifications.  To progress in Gnaana Marga, we had seen that, cleansing the mind of all dirt and Chitta Aikaagrata or single pointedness of the mind are essential.  For that Nishkaamya Karma and devotional worshipful procedures, were recommended.  So they were part of the ‘Bahiranga Saadhana’. 
304.  Among the Saadhana-s there are two aspects as ‘Bahirangam and Antarangam’, to mean external / indirect and internal / direct; respectively.   When a feast is held, the direct causes are the man conducting it and the causal occasion are the ‘अन्तरङ्गं’.  May be the cooks and servers etc., also be included in that ‘अन्तरङ्गं’ list.  Rest of the people such as the farmer, procurer, shop keeper, salesmen, and the invitees are all ‘बहिरङ्गं’ being the outer causes.  Thus for Moksham the immediate cause is Gnaanam for which the tools are, SravaNa, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana and the Saadhana Chatushtyam also a very close immediate cause, isn’t it?  Much away from them, Karma and Bhakti have been kept only as the not-so-immediate causes, in Adwaita traditions, as would be known to you all!
305.  That being the case, our AachaaryaaL, the very Saint as the one who established the tradition of Adwaita as the foremost practice; finds it necessary to say that Bhakti is the most important as ‘सामग्रीणां गरीयसी’, bringing it into the most ‘अन्तरङ्ग स्थानं’, is nothing short of surprising! How and why and what is the meaning?  As I kept on speaking – from the complaint as to ‘why should the Swami from the Adwaita Matam, not talk about Adwaitam’ – it changed tone to one of, ‘Will he never stop talking about Adwaitam’ – from which some of you may remember what I said about this earlier – that there were two levels as Lower and Higher – in Bhakti and Shraddha!  As a subject in the primary and secondary classes in the schools for cleansing of the mind and Chitta Aikaagrata was the Bhakti as the indirect, outer Saadhana.  Now having graduated from the college with a degree, before joining post-graduate studies for Ph.D., for Doctor of Philosophy, there is a higher grade; ‘अन्तरङ्ग साधन’ Bhakti!  Further above, there is another level of Bhakti as the highest that is by the Gnaani after Adwaita Anubhava, such as that of கந்தர் அனுபூதி’ by அருணகிரிநாதர்.  How can anybody say or know about the why and how of it?  May be even he does not know but the God who causes him to melt in devotional Love, knows about it!  Anyhow that is outside the purview of my lecture / Prasangam!  What comes within my प्रसङ्गं is ‘अन्तरङ्ग साधन’ Bhakti for Moksham.  To understand as to why our AachaaryaaL brought this factor here can only be understood if we know clearly as to what is ‘Bhakti / Devotion’!

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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