Friday, October 19, 2012

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 70 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 Oct 2012




DEIVATHIN KURAL # 70 (Vol # 6) Dated 19 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 482 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)

370.  When HiraNya Garba finishes his life time and merges with all the creation, it is known as ‘Aadhyantika Pralaya’, a word I used sometime back saying that I will tell you about the same later in detail.  Most of the Jiva-s have a huge back-log of accounts to be settled in terms of Karma-Vinai and do not take any efforts to get them cancelled by way of Karma, Bhakti, Yoga or Gnaana and hence repeatedly undergo the cycle of repeated births, as our AachaaryaaL says in ‘Baja Govindam’ song,पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं पुनरपि जननी जटरे शयनं इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे कृपया पारे पाहि मुरारे”.  So, most of us have to repeatedly go through the same process for millions of life times.  Only the aspirant, who goes by the path of Gnaana, becomes one with the Brhmam during this life time itself.  All others known as ‘Upasaka-s’, though are saved from the cycle of birth and death; go to the Brhma Loka and finally in Aadhyantika Pralaya (Armageddon) get finally dissolved along with Brhma in Brhmam!
371.  How would the stay in Brhma Loka be?  For the one who reaches there, there will not be any inner enemies such as desire and anger; so also there will not be any outer enemies such as diseases, disabilities and villains; and be happily clean.  This will be so, for all the different types of Upasaka-s.  Over and above that, it will be slightly different to different type of Upasaka-s.  Those who have arrived by the path of Karma will be having all their wishes fulfilled as long as they are not harmful.  Those who have progressed by the path of Bhakti will find that place to be of their Ishta Devata.  That is, instead of being Brhma Loka, it will be seen to be Vaikundam or Kailasam or whatever, which those devotees claim to be the supreme above all and the same Brhma will be seen as that particular God of their liking!
372.  From this view point, Brhma is not the Ishta Devata for anyone!  Then if your question is as to why it should be called the Brhma Loka, I can say that it is so for the same reason!  I am saying so because, for the one who is sincerely doing all the Vedic Aachaaraas without any interest in their fruits of returns, simply interested in Moksha; for him this attainment to HiraNya Garba Loka is what has been mentioned, in the Aatma Saastraas of the Upanishads.  In the Dharma Saastraas such as Manusmruti also it is mentioned as attainment of Brhma Loka only.  In these books of authority, there is no mention of Vaikundam or Kailasam.  So, by the fact that the individual soul is returning from manifestation to the root, a place has been described as the transit area, sort of.  This is so that followers of different deities may not fight amongst themselves, I suppose!
373.  Being a little more liberal, we could include some more lots as Upasaka-s.  Though in the olden times it was the Vedas which were spread all over the world, with passage of time in many places Vedas were forgotten and Vedic methods and procedures went out of practice.  Then in each place wherever, some great leaders came into being, establishing and practicing their own religion, concepts, and philosophies, with devotion towards a God of their own ideas, moralities, meditational procedures and followers.  Thus something that would have started as a likeable way of life, emulated by many, would have become a religion.  We can accept all the followers of those religions also as ‘Upasaka-s’ and that they will go to their own Brhma Loka with its own special qualitative distinctive features.  Further if we look at it with a higher sense of liberalism, whatever the status of those Non-Vedic religions; the Veda itself says that after the aspirant has reached certain levels, Veda is not a binding factor!  (Refer to Brihad Aaranyaka Upanishad IV.3.22.) 
374.  Some of those religious leaders might have gone above such levels too, for whom Veda was not a criterion anymore!  We are not discussing about their relative values or otherwise.  But unlike the non-Vedic religions that came into being in other different countries, where they could not have had any knowledge of the Vedas; I am talking about the non-Vedic religions that came in to being in our own country like Saarvaakam, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.  (In that also Sikhism is not totally contrary to Vedic religion in terms of principles.)  If they had a book of their own which they considered as equivalent to the Vedas and had similar respect and faith in their founders and Gurus of their religions and had similar love and devotion; their attaining to Brhma Loka like Utopia  does not seem to be totally out of place, isn’t it?  Such people may also get to the Brhma Loka.  It may seem to be the Soonyata or whatever they consider as their goal.  (With a smile on his face and twinkle in his eyes, PeriyavaaL says further.)  Whether Easwara gives them Brhma Loka Praapti or not, let me give them that and get a name of being broad-minded enough!  If you ask the austere and stringent exponents of the Vedic religion, they are likely to say, “If people of non-Vedic religions follow their moral codes and religion strictly, in their next life they may be born in the Vedic religion and following one of those royal paths of Karma, Bhakti or Gnaana may become entitled to land up in the Brhma Loka”.  Regarding Moksha, let me tell you a few more things as part of the clarifications.
375.  We are not to think that, in the Bhakti Marga, for all people who go till the end, in the world of their Ishta Devata, they all get only Dwaita Moksham.  That was the end destination only for those who go by the dualistic route.  But when naturally there is effervescent universal love springing forth in your heart, that cannot be limited by anything or anybody.   Such devotees may be Aazhvaars of Visishtaadwaitam or Naayanmaars of Saivam or followers of Saiva Siddhaantam, uncaring for the avowed principles of their own sect, at higher levels, they will not be too particular about how they are faring but, let go in the free flow of their devotion.  For many such ardent aspirants, retaining their individuality and simply being just devoted may not be satisfaction enough!  They may get to the point of wishing to totally merge in their ideals.  There are many such devotees who have expressed their ardent desire for oneness with their Ishta Devata in their songs.  So, though they may have initially gone by the route of duality, they might have ended in Adwaita Anubhava.  There is the clear example of Saint AruNagiri Naatha who from being a devotee of Kumara has poured his heartfelt Anubhava in Kandar Anubhuti, when he says, “யான் ஆகிய என்னை விழுங்கி வெறும் தானாய் நிலை நின்றது தற்பரமே”, meaning that, “Having swallowed this ‘me’, that Param stood all by itself!”   Then again he says towards the end, “தன்னந் தனி நின்றது தான் அறிய இன்னம் ஒருவற்கு இசைவிப்பதுவோ”, meaning that, “Having stood totally alone, do I have to tell this to another being?”  That is to say, “Who is the other, to whom I can say this?”  Thus even what started as devotion in duality can take the devotee to the pinnacle of what is ‘Para Bhakti’, instead of remaining at the level of duality, may merge in NirguNa Brhmam and endow on the devotee the Mukti of Adwaita Anubhava that is Aatma Saakshaatkaara!
376.  Even when a devotee does not do any of the Adwaita yoga Saadhana methodically, but simply keeps praying to God to grant him the Adwaita Moksham; even then Bhagawan could grant him the Brhma NirvaaNa / Adwaita Mukti as Easwara Prasaadam!  In fact the aspirant on the Gnaana Marga runs a bigger risk as he is thinking that he is doing something to deserve without knowing that it is Easwara Anugraha.  Whereas the devotee in the Bhakti Marga knows it to be God’s blessing.   Some elders in Adwaita tradition are of the view that God will cause to divert the devotee from Bhakti Marga into the Gnaana Marga at a suitable moment of his progress.
377.  Similarly, amongst many of the Yoga methods, the Saadhak is supposed to catch the Aadhaara Shakti at Moola Aadhaara Chakra, at the lower tip of the spinal cord.  Then he is to proceed along the Sushumna Naadi, via Swadishtaana, MaNi Pooraka, Anaahata, Vishuddhi and Agnaa Chakra to the Sahasra Dhala Padma; at the top of the head!  (This catching of the Shakti and proceeding along the Sushumna Naadi happens by visualising and focussing the mind and attention on it and cannot be done otherwise physically.)  Finally through that Shakti the idea is to merge in Siva without any duality.  So, for those aspirants also instead of Brhma Loka, it is Adwaita Mukti that seems to be the prescription!
378.  Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, DhaaraNa, Dhyaana and Samadhi; are said to be the Ashtaanga Yoga.  These are the eight steps in the route of Yogis; which is also claimed to take the Saadhak to NirguNa Tattva aka Brhma NirvaaNa.  But what is said in Gita is not supportive of this claim.  (Refer to Gita Chapter V, Slokas 24 and 26.)  We need not go beyond Sri Krishna’s decisive ruling in such things.  He calls the Gnaani-s as Sankhyas and Sanyaasi-s, as is known to Vidwaan-s of all the traditions.  They in the path of Adwaita Sampradaya (traditional) Gnaana Marga, are the ones who may become ‘Brhma Bhootas’ (aka Jivan Muktan) while still living and attain to Brhma NirvaaNam when the mortal coil is dropped.  This he has said in the Gita Chapter V, Sloka No 24 and in the Sloka No 26, that the “Gnaani attains to Brhma NirvaaNam in both this world of ‘Iham’ and later in ‘Param’, I Quote, “…अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम”||.
379.  Then the question remains as to what happens to those in the Ashtaanga Yoga Marga?  The Yogi who practices Ashtaanga Yoga perfectly, with breath control also controls the mind and with that additionally has intense devotion; (instead of just some amount of devotion as given in the Yoga Saastraas for some mental focus only), if he continuously and relentlessly “मां अनुस्मरन्” and “सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यश:“; then he reaches the supreme goal “याति परां गतिं“.  Still it is not Adwaita Moksham.  Even when the Yogi drops his mortal coil in ‘Omkaara PraNava Dhyaana’, that is while meditating on the sound of ‘Ohm’, (which is called the ‘Sabda Brhmam’ in the Vedas), during the UttaraayaNa Gati (when the Sun is moving in the northern Solstice), his Uyir goes to the Brhma Loka, as he says in the Eighth Chapter of the Gita called ‘Akshara Brhma Yoga’.  In Chandokya Upanishad (VII.6.5.) too the Jiva that gives up his life is said to reach the SaguNa Brhma Loka.  Our AachaaryaaL in his Bhashyam, while elaborating the answers to the Fifth Question in the Prasna Upanishad says that, the Upasaka meditating on Omkaara reaches the world of HiraNya Garba, which is once again Brhma Loka.

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva

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