The Year 2021 is coming to an end shortly. The threat of Covid-19 and its variants continues and as we find ways and means to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic, we should continue our vigil and care.
On a personal note, God has been extremely kind. With His Grace and blessings from elders, I could continue my journey of learning. Whatever I could assimilate, I could bring them out through my blogs and books and they have been well received.
From a modest beginning in 2019, prabhusponder.com now has over 250 followers, 18000 visitors from around the world (over 35 countries) and 36000 views. This only reinforces that I need to learn more and share more.
So, here is a big THANK YOU and a sincere prayer for the New Year 2022.
O all pervading Lord! Devotion to Thee is easily attainable just by submerging oneself in the nectarine flood of Thy stories. This can be done without much effort and it instantly leads to pure Knowledge – Bliss. O Lord of Guruvaayur! May I soon experience that state of melting of the heart in intense love for Thy lotus feet.
Meaning of the Sanskrit Words
त्वद्भक्तिः तु = त्वत्-भक्तिः तु = devotion to Thee, indeed
कथारसामृतझरीनिर्मज्जनेन = कथायाः + रसः + अमृतम् + झरी = कथारस-अमृतझरी = in the flow of nectar showering from Thy stories
निमज्जनम् = by submerging in its bliss =
स्वयम् सिद्ध्यन्ती = is self attainable, directly
विमलप्रबोधपदवीम् = विमल-प्रबोध-पदवीम् = the state of pure knowledge and enlightenment
अक्लेशतः = (नक्लेशः = अक्लेशः) = without any effort
तन्वती = bestows (because it gives)
सद्यः सिद्धिकरी = instant achievement
जयति = (and) is superior (to the other two paths)
अयि विभो = O Thou Universal Lord!
सा एव अस्तु मे = may I have that (Bhakti)
त्वत्पदप्रेमप्रौढिरसार्द्रता = त्वत्-पद-प्रेम-प्रौढि-रस-आर्द्रता = the state of melting of the heart from the bliss of intense love for Thy feet
There are six important Slokas (Slokas 9-14) of Isavasya Upanishad that clearly bring out the limitations of following the paths of Karma, Upasana and Gnana in isolation, in our spiritual journey. A seamless integrated approach is what is recommended for ordinary mortals like us in our journey. I get a feeling that Bhattathri echoes this philosophy in Sloka 9. Let us study this Sloka.
O Lord! Some people follow the path of Karma Yoga,and perform the various disciplines for long and attain mental purity. This only entitles them to become fit for the practice of Gyaana or Bhakti yoga. Some others strive hard pondering over the attributeless Supreme Brahman, based on logic and reason. They, without melting their hearts in love for Thee, take a long time to reach their goal of perfection.
Meaning of the Sanskrit Words
अत्यायासकराणि = अति-आयास-कराणि = great + effort + to be done = demanding great effort –
कर्मपटलानि = कर्मणाम् पटलम् कर्मपटलम् = Karma + portion/piece/section/chapter = the disciplines of Karma (yoga) = கர்மயோக
आचर्य = to be approached = by performing = புரிந்து
निर्यन्मलाः = निर्यन्तः + मलाः = set free + impurity = become purified (in mind) = மலமகற்றி
बोधे = awakening/knowledge = (required) for following the path of Gyaana (yoga) = ஞானோதயம்
भक्तिपथे अथवा अपि = भक्ते: + पथम् + अथवा + अपि = devotee + path + rather/and + also = and also for the path of Bhakti (yoga) = பக்தி மாரக்கமதிலும்
उचितताम् आयान्ति = उचितताम् + आयान्ति = fitness + gain = (one) gains fitness – தகுதி பெற்று
किम् तावता = किं + तावता = why + to that extent = what is the use (after spending so much effort) = இத்துனை முயற்சியின் பலன் என்ன
क्लिष्ट्वा तर्कपथे = क्लिष्ट्वा तर्कपथे = क्लिष्ट्वा + (तर्कस्य पथम् ) तर्कपथम् = distress/strain + logical reasoning + path = of straining in the path of logical reasoning (Gyaana yoga) = மிகை முயல் தருக்க விளை ஞான யோகம்
परम् तव वपुः ब्रह्माख्यम् = परं + तव + वपु: + ब्रह्म + आख्यम्- = Supreme + You + body + Brahman + name/known = (because) Thy unmanifested aspect known as Supreme Brahman = பிரமனெனும் பரம் பொருள்
अन्ये पुनः = others, however மற்றோர் எனினும்
चित्तार्द्रत्वम् ऋते = चित्त + आर्द्रत्वम् + ऋते = mind/heart + wet/moist/ + without = without melting of the heart (in love) – உளம் உருகி
विचिन्त्य = pondering over (trying to fathom)= தீர எண்ணி
என்ற திருஞானசம்பந்தரின் திருப்பதிகம் என் நினைவிற்கு வருகிறது.
Meaning of the Sanskrit Words
निष्कामम् – desire less, without self desire
नियतस्वधर्मचरणम् – नियतः + स्वधर्मः (स्वस्य ध) + चरणम् = assigned/laid down + one’s own duty + practice/follow = performance of one’s duties
यत् कर्मयोगाभिधम् = यत् + कर्मयोगः + इति + अभिधम् = that + karma yoga + which is + named = that which is called Karma yoga – கர்மயோகம்
तत् दूरेत्यफलम् = तत् + दूरात्एत्यम् + फलं = that + distant + fruitful = that becomes fruitful only in a distant future
यत् औपनिषदज्ञानोपलभ्यम् पुनः = यत् + औपनिषदः + उपलभ्यम् + ज्ञानं + पुनः = (Note – औपनिषदोपलभ्यं च तत् ज्ञानं च = औपनिषदज्ञानोपलभ्यम्) = that which + the fruit of the Upanishad which is Brahman + knowledge + again = (again) that which consists in attaining knowledge of Brahman as described in the Upanishads
तत् तु अव्यक्ततया = तत् + तु + न व्यक्तता = अव्यक्त = that + indeed + not evolved = तत्-तु-अव्यक्ततया = that indeed being abstract
सुदुर्गमतरम् चित्तस्य = सुदुर्गमतरम् + चित्तस्य = very difficult to cross + for the mind = is very difficult for the mind to pursue
तस्मात् विभो = hence, O All pervading Lord
त्वत्प्रेमात्मकभक्तिः एव = त्वत्प्रेम (त्वयि प्रेम ) + आत्मा + भक्तिः + एव = Love for you + soul + devotion + only = the Bhakti yoga which consists only in love for Thee
Since the Divine Essence in all is made clear in this hymn, hence by listening to it, contemplating on its meaning, meditating on it, and glorifying it, one becomes endowed with the greatness of the knowledge of the Divine Essence ( present in all ); perhaps the Divine Essence by Itself will awaken within him after that again, the eightfold manifestations of Divine powers (Siddhis) unimpeded.
Understanding the Sloka:
Extracted from Swami Paramarthananda’s lectures
iti idam sarvātvamiti spūṭikritam. – In this manner, in nine verses, the sarvātva bhāva which is the essence of all the Upanishads has been taught by me. Adi Śankarācārya says in this manner, in 9 verses, I have taught or condensed the essence of all the upanishads; the essence of prastāna trayam I have given and What is the essence? sarvātmatvam. And what do you mean by sarvātmatvam, sarvam ātma eva. Everything in the creation is ātma alone; other than ātma there is nothing. The so-called anātma is also mithya, which has the content of ātma alone; Just as the so-called ornaments also are not separate substances, they are also nothing but gold with different names. Similarly, the so-called anātma prapancha also is also ātma only, with a different name; Names are different, but the substance is only ātma. And this is called sarvātmatvam, sarvam ātma iti bhavaha, sarvātmatvam. If you want to put in our own language, जीवात्म परमात्म ऐक्र्म् jīvātma paramātma aikyam,; we can also say brahma satya jagat mityā, jīvo brahmaiva na parāḥ. This vedantic essence has been taught by me; Śankarā says:
Where did I teach it? अमुक्षष्मन् स्तवे amuṣmin stave, in this sthoram called dakṣiṇāmūrti Sthothram; here he did not use the word ashtake; because two more added, therefore no more Ashtakam, instead of using the word ashtakam, he uses the word sthavam; Sthavam is the same as sthoram; sthoram means a hymn or praise of the Lord.
In this dakṣiṇāmūrti sthoram, that has been taught and therefore, study of dakṣiṇāmūrti sthoram is equal to the study of the प्रस्तान त्रर्म् prastāna trayam; because the content of dakṣiṇāmūrti sthothram is the same as the content of the prastāna trayam; means upanishads, geetha and brahma sutram. In all the upanishads, Geetha and brahma sutra, whatever has been taught; that is given in capsule form
“Thena”, therefore since dakṣiṇāmūrti sthoram is equal to प्रस्तान त्रर्म् prastāna trayam; अस्र् श्रवणा asya śravaṇā, a person, a seeker of moksha, should do the śravaṇam of this work. (Systematic and consistent study of this work for a length of time under the guidance of a competent teacher). So śrava ṇat; and not only śravaṇam, tat artha mananāt, one should also do the mananam, to find out whether there are any doubts in accepting this teaching. And what is this teaching? There is nothing other than me; the ātma; सवात्य मत्वम sarvātmatvam that means, I alone am in the form of everything; I am all.
And then dhyānāt; and later this has to be assimilated, so that it becomes my second nature; So śravaṇa manana nididhyāsana sādanāni. And then सङ्कीतयनात् saṅkīrtanāt. The word saṅkīrtanāt is given two meanings; for those people who are not fit for śravaṇa manana nididhyāsanam; because they do not have साधना चतुष्टर् संपवत्त sādhanā catuṣṭaya saṃpatti and therefore everything goes above their head, for those unprepared people; the word संकीतयनम saṃkīrtanam means by mere पारार्णम् pārāyaṇam itself they will gradually grow. They need not know the meaning. Let them daily chant this dakṣiṇāmūrti sthothram; that itself will give them sadhana catuṣṭaya saṃpatti; later opportunity for śravaṇam, manana nididhyāsanam. This sthotra will make you climb all those steps. Therefore even pārāyaṇam is a form of sādhana.
On the other hand, if a person is a qualified person and therefore, he has gone through śravaṇa manana nididhyāsanam; for those people, what is the next sādhana? If you call it sādhana, saṃkīrtanam, means after I assimilate this wisdom, I communicate this to others. Communication or sharing is another form of nididhyāsanam. It is a very beautiful form of nididhyāsanam.
And thus by following all these sādhanas, he will get the result; What is the result; सवात्य मत्वमहाववभूशत स्र्ात ् sarvātmatvamahāvibhūti syāt, he will attain the greatest glory, called sarvātmatvam, sarvātmatvam means the wisdom that I am everything. There is no second thing to frighten me; to harass; to torture me; to hurt me, to limit me, to isolate me, there is no second thing at all; this wisdom and this non-dual status is called sarvātmatvam, which is mahāvibhūti, which is the greatest glory called kaivalyam; Non-dual state.
And not only that. Look at the fourth line, aṣṭadāpariṇadam aiśvaryam ca; aṣṭadāpariṇadam aiśvaryam means aṣṭamūrti dakṣiṇāmūrti aikyam. aṣṭadāpariṇadam means eight-fold; ऐश्वर्मय् aiśvaryam is ईश्वरत्वम् īśvaratvam, which means the dakṣiṇāmūrti भावः bhāvaḥ. So, I will attain this status of ashta Moorthy dakṣiṇāmūrti . That means vishvaroopa dakṣiṇāmūrti aikyam;
This equanity is called svamitvam. And this mokṣaḥ is also svastāha, it has come from outside, it is only discovery of the very nature. svastāha means natural freedom; he claims. This is called jīvanmukti which will lead to videhamukti; which is the फलम् phalam.