Happy New Year 2022

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.

GOD BLESS

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Sloka 9

Pencil Sketch by my niece

Preamble

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.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/67ztrum4updugn9/Verse%202.9.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

अत्यायासकराणि कर्मपटलान्याचर्य निर्यन्मला

बोधे भक्तिपथेऽथवाऽप्युचिततामायान्ति किं तावता

क्लिष्ट्वा तर्कपथे परं तव वपुर्ब्रह्माख्यमन्ये पुन

श्चित्तार्द्रत्वमृते विचिन्त्य बहुभिस्सिद्ध्यन्ति जन्मान्तरैः॥९॥

English Transliteration

atyaayaasakaraaNi karmapaTalaanyaacharya niryanmalaaH

bOdhe bhaktipathe(a)thavaa(a)pyuchitataamaayaanti kiM taavataa |

kliShTvaa tarkapathe paraM tava vapurbrahmaakhyamanye punashchittaardratvamR^

ite vichintya bahubhissiddhyanti janmaantaraiH ||

Tamil Transliteration

அத்யாயாஸகராணி கர்மபடலாந்யாசர்ய நிர்யந்மலா

போ₃தே₄ ப₄க்திபதே₂(அ)த₂வா(அ)ப்யுசிததாமாயாந்தி கிம் தாவதா |

க்லிஷ்ட்வா தர்கபதே₂ பரம் தவ வபுர்ப்₃ரஹ்மாக்₂யமந்யே புந-

ஶ்சித்தார்த்₃ரத்வம்ருதே விசிந்த்ய ப₃ஹுபி₄ஸ்ஸித்₃த்₄யந்தி ஜந்மாந்தரை: || 9||

Meaning in Tamil

முழுமுயல்வும் மிகு சிரமமும் ஏற்று கர்மயோகம்தனைப் புரிந்து

மும்மலமகற்றி ஞான பக்தி யோகம் புரிய தகுதி பெறுவர் சிலர்.

இத்துனை முயன்றினும் அவர்தம் பெற்றிடும் பயன்தான் என்ன !

உளஅழுத்தமிகு தருக்கம் பல புரிந்து பிரமமெனும் பரம்பொருளை

உணர உழையும் பலர்; எனினும் உளமுருகி உனைப்பாடா அவர்

பல பிறவி எடுத்து அல்லல் எனும் மாசு அறுத்தடைவர் உனையே !

2.9

Meaning in English

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

बहुभिः = (take) a lot of (time) – வெகு நேரம்

सिद्ध्यन्ति = मनसः आर्द्रता = accomplishing = attain அடைவர்

जन्मान्तरैः = जन्मन: + अन्तर: = life + another = अनेकजन्मभिः = after many lives – பல பிறவி எடுத்த பின்

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Sloka 8

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8z35twv6eldlvvd/Verse%202.8.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

निष्कामं नियतस्वधर्मचरणं यत् कर्मयोगाभिधं

तद्दूरेत्यफलं यदौपनिषदज्ञानोपलभ्यं पुनः ।

तत्त्वव्यक्ततया सुदुर्गमतरं चित्तस्य तस्माद्विभो

त्वत्प्रेमात्मकभक्तिरेव सततं स्वादीयसी श्रेयसी ॥८॥

English Transliteration

niShkaamaM niyatasvadharmacharaNaM yat karmayOgaabhidhaM

tadduuretyaphalaM yadaupaniShadaj~naanOpalabhyaM punaH |

tattvavyaktatayaa sudurgamataraM chittasya tasmaadvibhO

tvatpremaatmakabhaktireva satataM svaadiiyasii shreyasii 8

Tamil Transliteration

நிஷ்காமம் நியதஸ்வத₄ர்மசரணம் யத் கர்மயோகா₃பி₄த₄ம்

தத்₃தூ₃ரேத்யப₂லம் யதௌ₃பநிஷத₃ஜ்ஞாநோபலப்₄யம் புந: |

தத்த்வவ்யக்ததயா ஸுது₃ர்க₃மதரம் சித்தஸ்ய தஸ்மாத்₃விபோ₄

த்வத்ப்ரேமாத்மகப₄க்திரேவ ஸததம் ஸ்வாதீ₃யஸீ ஶ்ரேயஸீ || 8||

Meaning in Tamil

பற்றிலா புரி வரைபணியெனும் கர்மயோகம்

பலனளிக்க காலம் வெகு கடந்திடும்

உபநிடதச்சாறெனும் பரம்பொருள் கண்டறியும் ஞானயோகம்

முதிர்வடையா மூலபாடமதனால், முனைய மனம் கானும் கடினம்

காதலாகி உளமுருகி உனைத் துதிக்கும் பக்தியோகம்

அளவிலா இனிமையுடன் என்றும் பேரின்பம் உலகோனே 2.8

Meaning in English

While Karma yoga consisting of all actions without desire for results,

Would yield results only after a very long time and while Jnana Yoga,

ஸWhich is available in the concepts enunciated in the Upanishads,

Is extremely difficult to follow, due to its being not in the grip of various sensory organs,

Oh Lord, the devotion to you based on love to you is very sweet and satisfying. 2.8

காதலாகிக் கசிந்து கண்ணீர் மல்கி
ஓதுவார் தமை நன்நெறிக்கு உய்ப்பது
வேதம் நான்கினும் மெய்ப்பொருளாவது
நாதன் நாமம் நமச்சிவாயவே.

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

सततम् = is always

स्वादीयसी = अतिमधुरा = the sweetest

श्रेयसी = most beneficial

Dakshinamuthy Stothram – Sloka 10 – The Gains – தோத்திர பலன்

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vc32217p3kznqt0/Sloka%2010%20-%20Sarvaatmatvam%20Iti%20Sphutti.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Sloka

सर्वात्मत्वमिति स्फुटीकृतमिदं यस्मादमुष्मिन् स्तवे
तेनास्य श्रवणात्तदर्थमननाद्ध्यानाच्च संकीर्तनात् ।
सर्वात्मत्वमहाविभूतिसहितं स्यादीश्वरत्वं स्वतः
सिद्ध्येत्तत्पुनरष्टधा परिणतं चैश्वर्यमव्याहतम् ॥१०॥

Meaning in Tamil

அருட் பெரும் ஜோதியாம் பரம்பொருளே ஆன்மா எனும் அறிவு பூட்டும்

கருவூலமாம் சங்கரனின் இத்தோத்திரம்தனை செவிமடுத்து சிந்தித்து

தியானித்து புகழ்பாடினால் இறையருளின் இருநான்கு வடிவதனின்

நிலையறிந்து மோனஆசானின் அருளுடனே நாலிரு சித்தி பெற்று

பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல் தாண்டி ஈடேறி வீடுபேறு பெற்றிடலாம்

Meaning in English:

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.

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Sloka 6 – A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Lord Krishna’s beauty is beyond the imagination, infact all beauty arises from him only. As his name Krishna means ‘all attractive’ – means his beauty enchants everyone. In front of the beauty of Krishna everything fades and pales . Even the beauty we find in the world is only a spark of the transcendental captivating beauty of Lord Krishna , then how beautiful He, the source of all beauty will be . No wonder, the devotees who visit Guruvayur and see Him are in a state of Bliss and experience horripilation, says Bhattathri in this Sloka.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dcekyjy56erscfx/Verse%202.6.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

एवम्भूतमनोज्ञतानवसुधानिष्यन्दसन्दोहनं
त्वद्रूपं परचिद्रसायनमयं चेतोहरं शृण्वताम्
सद्यः प्रेरयते मतिं मदयते रोमाञ्चयत्यङ्गकं
व्यासिञ्चत्यपि शीतबाष्पविसरैरानन्दमूर्च्छोद्भवैः ॥६॥

English Transliteration

evaM bhuuta manOj~nataa navasudhaa niShyanda sandOhanaM

tvadruupaM parachidrasaayanamayaM chetOharaM shR^iNvataam |

sadyaH perarayate matiM madayate rOmaa~nchayatyangakaM

vyaasi~nchatyapi shiitabaaShpa visarairaanandamuurChOdbhavaiH ||6

Tamil Transliteration

ஏவம் பூ₄தமநோஜ்ஞதாநவஸுதா₄நிஷ்யந்த₃ஸந்தோ₃ஹநம்

த்வத்₃ரூபம் பரசித்₃ரஸாயநமயம் சேதோஹரம் ஶ்ருண்வதாம் |

ஸத்₃ய: ப்ரேரயதே மதிம் மத₃யதே ரோமாஞ்சயத்யங்க₃கம்

வ்யாஸிஞ்சத்யபி ஶீதவாஷ்பவிஸரைராநந்த₃மூர்சோ₂த்₃ப₄வை: || 6||

Meaning in Tamil

அமுது சொரியும் அழகுமிகு பேரின்பப்

பரம்பொருளாம் உன்னெழில் வடிவம்

அடியார்தம் மனம் கவர்ந்து மகிழ்வித்து,

ஆனந்தப் பரவசமுடன் மயிர்கூச்செரிய,

விழிதனிலே நீர்மல்கிப் பெருவெள்ளமென

அவர்தம் அங்கமெல்லாம் நனைத்தனையே,

அச்சுதனே ஆண்டவனே குருவாயூரப்பா 2.6

Meaning in English

O Lord! Thy captivating form which continuously showers pure nectar, which is itself the Supreme Bliss-Consciousness holds the minds of those who hear Thy glories. Their minds are immediately stimulated and filled with joy. They experience horripilation all over their body and are bathed in the cool tears produced from ecstasy of joy.

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

एवम्भूतमनोज्ञतानवसुधानिष्यन्दसन्दोहनम् = एवं + भूत + मनोज्ञता + नव + सुधा + निष्यन्द + सन्दोहनम् =That (Your)+form + beauty(loveliness) + fresh (pure) + nectar + streaming (constantly flowing) + bestowing

त्वद्रूपम् = त्वत् + रूपं = Your form

परचिद्रसायनमयम् = पर + चित् + रसायनमयं = supreme + consciousness + mixture (combination)

चेतोहरम् = captivating the heart

शृण्वताम् = of those who (devotedly) hear (the recitals of accounts of Thy deeds)

सद्य: प्रेरयते = instantly/immediately + raise/stimulate/excite

मतिम् मदयते =  mind + delights/rejoice/enjoy heavenly bliss = fills the mind with joy (अत्यन्तं तोषयति)

रोमाञ्चयति = thrills/goosebumps

अङ्गकम् = limbs/body = देहम्

व्यासिञ्चत्यपि = व्यासिञ्चति + अपि = bathes also (their bodies)

शीतबाष्पविसरैः = शीत + बाष् + विसरै: = cold + tears + copious quantity = with the flood of cool tears

आनन्दमूर्च्छोद्भवैः = आनन्द + मूर्च्छा + उद्भवै: = joy + excited/increased+ produced = produced from ecstasy of joy

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 9 – Introduction – The concept of Viswa Rupa.

Preamble- The journey so far:

For all of us, Life is nothing but the time spent between the maternity ward and crematorium on the “surface of a tiny rock-ball, rotating around a spherical fire in a tiny galaxy in an ever expanding galaxies ” loosely called as Earth, world, visvam, jagat etc. Tamil poet Kannadasan called the life as the time between between the drop of a water (semen) and the spark of fire lit. ஒரு துளி நீரில் ஜனனம் ஒரு துளி நெருப்பில் மரணம். இதனிடையில் தான் நம் வாழ்க்கையெனும் பயணம்.

In this “real” (or unreal?) world, all of us (none excluded) have one single goal – mitigating our pains and enhancing our pleasures. துன்பத்தைப் போக்கி இன்பத்தை அடைவதே நம் வாழ்வின் குறிக்கோள். Towards this we all carry out nonstop transactions within ourselves, with the world and of course with the “God” – the Unknown.

From a Vedantic perspective, life can be also stated as the journey. When we say “journey” we are not talking about a point to point or time to time journey. We are talking about a journey which is beyond the domain of time and space; beyond our sense and action organs. We are talking about a journey from avidya to vidya; from ignorance to enlightenment; a journey to understand the intricate relationships between the puzzling trio of Ishvara, Jiva and Jagat. Understanding this relationship called Isvara Jnana by the Seeker is the ultimate goal.

The first eight Slokas of Dakshinamurthy Stothram (some call it as Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam) provided us with the essence of this Vedantic perspective. It presented to us, the Vidya viz., knowledge of Atman, which is Pure Awareness, Changeless and unborn Ultimate Reality. We tried to understand that Vidya, the “atma jnanam” (Know Thyself) is an individual’s experiential learning about “atma isvara aikyam” under the able guidance of a Guru. All wisdom is born of spirit of self-enquiry. It dispels the non-understanding and the undivided intelligence shines in its own light. The wisdom has to arrive directly on the individual, no transmitted knowledge can be sufficient for the real enlightenment. Self is self-luminous. When consciousness becomes aware of itself, there manifests the Intelligence itself. That awareness is Vidya. Adi Sankara with the help of examples highlighted the purpose of our life.

The concept of Viswa Rupa:

Our culture is deep rooted in the spiritual ethos of each individual working towards his own ultimate liberation as a fundamental goal of life. This is the unique gift of Vedic philosophy to the world of spirituality. Ordinary mortals like us find it impossible to acquire this Vidya in our cycles of life (birth and death).

Our Vedic Rishis realised our plight and the fact that Brahman as creator or Supreme Consciousness is too abstract to follow and understand. Since everything in nature is God’s creation, so they simply connected the people with Brahman through an icon of personal choice of Ishta Deva as long as it remains only a symbolic representation of the Ultimate Reality; making it possible for all diversities to represent that single transcendental Reality.

This connection/attachment to the Ishta Deva turned into devotion and worship. A farmer may worship the plough, a fisherman his boat, people whatever god and goddesses they propitiate for their aspect of life related to them. God is there and so the happiness of life can be attained by His grace. The medium is not important, our spirit of surrender to Him and dedicated work for a noble cause is the way out to realise Him in the blissful heart.

Next, from the single idol of God (eka rupa), the rishis had to find ways to migrate us to the state of understanding Brahman, i.e., from an Idol to a formless, omnipresent eternal Ultimate Reality. This means that the focus of our actions should shift from “Eka Rupa” to “arupa”; from “saguna” to “nirguna”. For this purpose, the Rishis introduced an intermediate level, an “aneka rupa” called “Visva Rupa” as we progressed towards our goal. Based on the spiritual progress made, the Seeker is introduced to a form which encapsulates all that is perceivable in this universe and beyond.

The challenge next is how do you list out all that is perceivable. Vedic Philosophy found an answer for this question by identifying the principles (“tattva”) by which one could perceive. Different philosophies within our culture identified different number of “tattva”. For example, the Saivites identified 36 “tattvas”. (https://www.saivism.net/articles/tattvas.asp). இதனையே திருமூலரின் திருமந்திரத்திலும் காணலாம்.

முப்பதும் ஆறும் படிமுத்தி ஏணியாய்
ஒப்பிலா ஆனந்தத்து உள்ளொளி புக்கு
செப்ப அரிய சிவம்கண்டு, தான் தெளிந்து
அப்பரிசாக அமர்ந்திருந்தாரே.

திருமந்திரம்

முப்பத்தாறு தத்துவங்களையே முக்தியை அடைவிக்கும் சிறந்த ஏணியின் பல படிகளாக அமைத்துக் கொண்டு, ஒப்பில்லாத சிவானந்தத்தைத் தரும் ஒளியில் புகுந்து, சொல்வதற்கு அரிய சிவபெருமானைத் தரிசித்தவர்கள் அந்த சிவத் தன்மையை அடைந்து சிவமாகத் திகழ்வார்கள்.

The Rishis then presented the Visva Rupa of Brahman as a seamless integration of principles or tattvas on the “eka rupa” bringing out the “aneka rupa” of Brahman. If one studies the description of the Visva Rupa of Vishnu, Siva and Devi, one can understand that essentially they all are descriptions of the same tattvas, thus reinforcing the Advaita nature of the Brahman.

Adi Sankaracarya in Sloka 9 picks up representative samples from these tattvas and integrates it with Lord Siva, the Dakshinamurthy and presents to us for our understanding.

We will study this in our next blog.

Dakshinamurthy Stothram Sloka 8 – காயப் பறவையின் ஒப்பனை கலந்த உறவுகள் – Illusionary Transactions of the Self

Preamble

We saw in the introductory blog earlier that this “jivatma” which was “relation less” and who is otherwise a witness “Saakshi” becomes related due to the influence of Maya, becomes an actor and the misery starts with transactions and continues till we know our true self through “atma gnanam”. Adi Sankara outlines a few relationships in this Sloka.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mnp6fmu9ps0gip3/Sloka%208%20-%20Vishwam%20Pashyati%20Kaarya.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Sloka

विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः
शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।
स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥८॥

Meaning in Tamil

மாயையவள் வசப்பட்டு உழலும்,

காயமுறை சீவன், கனவிலும் நனவிலும்

காரிய காரண தன்மை கொண்டு,

உடையான் உடமை எனவும்

ஆசான் சீடன் எனவும்,

அருமை தந்தை மகன் எனவும்,

பேதம் பல ஈண்டு

பாடிடுமே பல உறவு கொண்டு.

மோடம் போட்ட அப்பேதம் நீக்கி,

காயமுறை பற்றிலா அச்சீவனே

மாசிலா முழுநிறை இறையென உரை,

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அந்த அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

The differentiations that we see in the world as Cause and Effect, as possessor-possession, relations as the disciple & teacher, and also as father & son etc., are all differentiations within the one Ātman. In Dream or Waking state, He, the One Puruṣaḥ  is always present, and (as if) Maya wanders over Him and gives rise to all these Differentiations. Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka

The Role of Maya

Let us look at the third line first: य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः eṣa: puruṣaḥ māyā paribhrāmitaḥ;

1. It means – This ordinary person in the world; even though he may be worldly-educated; who is spiritually and scripturally-illiterate; he is māyā paribhrāmitaḥ; { माया māyā means avidya परिभ्रम Paribhrama = Moving To and Fro, Wander/drift}. மாயையவள் வசப்பட்டு உழலும்

2. This means that he is confused because of avidya and therefore instead of taking original sākṣi svarūpam as himself; he mistakes the incidental-ahaṃkāra as himself drifts into the attached-self called ahaṃkāra I; I am going to certainly become a relative individual, related to the external world; asaṃga sākṣi (the unattached witness), becomes ससंगजीवः sasaṃga jīvaḥ (attached soul); relationless pure sākṣi-I, have now drifted and fallen down to a relative samsāri-I;

3. This means that every relation is causing one form of samsāra or the other. There is no relationship which is free from problems; In fact, if there is a relationship free from problems then the end of the relationship will cause problems; If there is a relationship so beautiful and wonderful and enjoyable, even that wonderful relationship becomes a problem when the relationship has to end because of time/kala, because of prarabdhaḥ, because of any reason. Therefore, a problem free relationship is an oxymoron; it does not exist. And therefore, the sākṣi-I, who is ever free, now has fallen down to ahaṃkāra-I, with varieties of problems.

Relationship

A few empirical relationships are enumerated in the sloka i.e., कार्यकारण संबन्धः kāryakāraṇa saṃbandhaḥ; cause and effect relationship. I-as-jīvātma, the ahaṃkāra-I, am a product of my own past karma; my prarabdhaḥ karma has given me this personality; this physical, this emotional, this social personality. Therefore, I am never a free person; I am tossed up and down; by my own karma; thus I am a कार्मय kāryam; my karma becomes the kāranam for my situation.

Let us see a few of the cause & effect relationships.

  • 1. स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः svasvāmisambandhataḥ; स्वस्वामि (Svasvaami = Possessor and Possession & सम्बन्ध (Sambandha = Relation). That means as ahaṃkāra, I am related to several possession, as owner-owned sambandhataḥ; and ownership means, there is a yogakṣema samsāra. yogakṣema samsāra means acquisition-maintenance samsāra is there like. உடையவன் – உடமை உறவுகள்.
  • 2-3. शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः Shissya-[A]acaarya-Tayaa Tatha-Eva Pitr-Putraady[i]-Aātmanaa Bhedatah |
  • शिष्याचार्यतया śiṣyacāryatayā; means guru-śiṣya sambandhataḥ. ஆசான் – சீடன் உறவுகள்.
  • पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना pitṛ putrādyātmanā; means father son adhi etc. தந்தை – மகன் உறவுகள் (சொந்தம் எப்போதும் தொடர் கதைதான், முடிவே இல்லாதது)

So, the māyā paribhrāmitaḥ puruṣaḥ drifted and fallen down from a relationless pure sākṣi-I, to relative samsāri-I in either of the स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा Svapne Jaagrati Vaa avastha, whether it is waking state or dream state, gets into the inevitable saṃsāraḥ.

Of course we get some interval and relief in सुषुशि अवस्त suṣupti avasta, wherein we do not worry about the family members and society and other problems, and unfortunately we cannot sleep for long. The sleep is only for a few hours and older we grow, lesser the sleep also. Therefore even sleep is not a permanent solution; even death is not a permanent solution, because punarjanma brings in punaha sambandhataḥ and samsāra; And therefore this jeevathama, puruṣaḥ ha; who is really a sākṣi; that purushā, māyā paribhrāmitaḥ; as is confused because of māya.

Relationships & The Birds on a Tree – A Vedic Perspective

Talking about the relationships of the unattached witness and the attached soul, the famous two birds in one tree Sloka from the Upanishads provides the classic conceptual framework for this Sloka in Dakshinamurthy Stothram.

The Shruti, says: By Mâyâ, Siva became two birds always associated together; the One, clinging to the one unborn (Prakriti), became many as it were (vide Mundaka- Up. 3-1; Yâjniki-Upanishad 12–5).

The Mundakopanishad Sloka 3.1.1:

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते ।

तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति ॥ १ ॥

dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṃ vṛkṣaṃ pariṣasvajāte |

tayoranyaḥ pippalaṃ svādvattyanaśnannanyo abhicākaśīti || 1 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words – “Suparnau – two of good motion or two birds; (the “word Suparna” being used to denote birds generally); Sayujau – inseparable, constant, companions; Sakhayau – bearing the same name or having the same cause of manifestation. Being thus, they are perched on the same tree (‘same,’ because the place where they could be perceived is identical). ‘Tree’ here means ‘body;’ because of the similitude in their liability to be cut or destroyed. Parishasvajate – embraced; just as birds go to the same tree for tasting the fruits.

Two birds bound to each other in close friendship are perched on a tree. While one of the birds is busy consuming the fruits of the tree with great relish, the other seems to be in a state of detached equanimity just looking at its compatriot. The tree in this example represents the body. The bird busying itself with the material pleasures accorded by the tree is the ‘Jivātma’ (individual soul), that has an inextricable identification with the body and mind. Such an identification makes the Jivātma both the ‘karta’ (doer) and the ‘Bhokta’ (enjoyer). The observing bird on the other hand, represents the ‘Paramātma’ (the Supreme Self). The Supreme Self remains uninfluenced and untainted by any material pleasures and possessions and remains a still tranquil witness.

Adi Śankarācārya in his commentary to this sloka says – This tree as is well known has its root high up (i.e., in Brahman) and its branches (prana, etc..) downwards; it is transitory and has its source in Avyakta (maya). It is named Kshetra and in it hang the fruits of the karma of all living things. It is here that the Ātman, conditioned in the subtle body to which ignorance, desire, karma and their unmanifested tendencies cling, and Isvara are perched like birds. Of these two so perched, one, i.e., kshetrajna occupying the subtle body eats, i.e., tastes from ignorance the fruits of karma marked as happiness and misery, palatable in many and diversified modes; the other, i.e., tbe lord, eternal, pure, intelligent and free in his nature, omniscient and conditioned by maya does not eat; for, He is the director of both the eater and the thing eaten, by the fact of His mere existence as the eternal witness (of all); not tasting, he merely looks on; for, his mere witnessing is direction, as in the case of a king.”

The Way Forward

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi in his lecture says that in all but one relationship listed by Adi Sankara , the “bedha”- the difference between the Atma and the Maya influenced Jeeva continues to exist eternally irrespective of the transactions. The guru-shishya relationship even though is a cause and effect relationship is the only one which ensures that the influence of Maya is nullified and the true nature of Jeeva is revealed through the guru’s teachings. In that state, even the guru-shishya relationship withers away and so too the other relationships.

And that is perhaps why Adi Śankarācārya says, even this confused jeeva is really none other than that dakṣiṇāmūrti only and therefore he says Tasmai Shri Gurumoorthaye; To that Gurumoorthy, dakṣiṇāmūrti , my namaskaraha.

அன்பு சிவமிரண் டென்ப ரறிவிலார்

அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிகிலார்

அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிந்தபின்

அன்பே சிவமா யமர்ந்திருந் தாரே

என்ற திருமந்திரப் பண் இக்கருத்தினைப் பிரதிபலிக்கிறது.

This, in essence is the eighth Sloka.

Long distance shoot using iPhone from the balcony of my house.

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Slokam 4

Happy Deepavali.

We attribute success, wealth and prosperity to the presence of Goddess Lakshmi in our homes. She represents riches that every individual wishes to attain in his/her materialistic life. She is the epitome of opulence and her existence helps us achieve glorious heights. However, it isn’t easy to retain her. It is often said that Goddess Lakshmi does not stay in a family beyond three generations (max). Bhattathri quotes this characteristics of Goddess Lakshmi as a pun in this and the next Sloka to drive home the point that as a consort Goddess Lakshmi is more focussed on Lord Vishnu whose avatar is Lord Krishna of Guruvayur.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6slnrbyr1yqh84/Verse%202.4.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

तत्तादृङ्मधुरात्मकं तव वपुः सम्प्राप्य सम्पन्मयी

सा देवी परमोत्सुका चिरतरं नास्ते स्वभक्तेष्वपि

तेनास्या बत कष्टमच्युत विभो त्वद्रूपमानोज्ञक

प्रेमस्थैर्यमयादचापलबलाच्चापल्यवार्तोदभूत् ॥४॥

English Transliteration

tattaadR^i~N madhuraatmakaM tava vapuH sampraapya sampanmayii

saa devii paramOtsukaa chirataraM naaste svabhakteShvapi |

tenaasyaa bata kaShTamachyuta vibhO tvadruupamaanOj~nakapremasthairyamayaadachaapala

balaat chaapalya vaartOdabhuut.

Tamil Transliteration

தத்தாத்₃ருங்மது₄ராத்மகம் தவ வபு: ஸம்ப்ராப்ய ஸம்பந்மயீ

ஸா தே₃வீ பரமோத்ஸுகா சிரதரம் நாஸ்தே ஸ்வப₄க்தேஷ்வபி |

தேநாஸ்யா ப₃த கஷ்டமச்யுத விபோ₄ த்வத்₃ரூபமாநோஜ்ஞக –

ப்ரேமஸ்தை₂ர்யமயாத₃சாபலப₃லாச்சாபல்யவார்தோத₃பூ₄த் || 4||

Meaning in Tamil

ஈடிலா எழில்மிகு உன்னுடன் இணைந்து ,

அளவிலாப்பற்று உன்மீது அடைந்ததனால் திருமகள்,

இச்சை களைந்தனளே அடியார் இல்லம்தனில் நிலைத்திட !

அழிவிலா உன் வடிவினில், நிலையான, திடமான

ஆழ் பற்றுடை அச்செயலால், நிலையற்றோள் எனும் பெயர்

அடைந்தனளே அடியாரிடம் அன்னையவள்

அவமன்றோ அப்பெயர் அவளுக்கு

அடுக்கிடுமோ இது திருமகள்கொழுநனே ! 2.4

Meaning in English

After getting and reaching your wonderful and greatly joyous form, that goddess who controls wealth, has become more attached to you. And because of this even after reaching the homes of her great devotees, She does not prefer to stay there. Oh Lord, Oh changeless one, due to the deep, strong and stable love towards your very pretty form, She has got a very bad name as the unstable one. Is it not uncharitable? 2.4

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

तत्तादृङ्मधुरात्मकम् – तत्-तादृक्-मधुर-आत्मकम् = (of) that such incomparable beauty
तव वपुः – Your form /figure
सम्प्राप्य – having arrived (married)
सम्पन्मयी – endowed with (prosperity and auspiciousness)
सा देवी – that Devi (Lakshmi)
परमोत्सुका – परम-उत्सुका = (who) became very much attached (to Thee)
चिरतरम् – for a very long time
न आस्ते – doesn’t dwell/stay
स्वभक्तेषु अपि – स्व भक्तेषु अपि – her own, devotees, even (even with her own devotees)
तेन अस्याः – so/because,
बत कष्टम् – alas, difficult
अच्युत – imperishable
विभो – Lord
त्वद्रूपमानोज्ञकप्रेमस्थैर्यमयात् = त्वत्-रूप-मानोज्ञक-प्रेम-स्थैर्यमयात् = Your, form, beauty, love, unwavering/ stable = because of the unwavering love for the enchanting beauty of Your form
अचापलबलात् = अचापल-बलात् = firm/unwavering, power
because of the power of (her) firm (love for Thee)
चापल्यवार्ता = चापल्य-वार्ता = as fickle (goddess), News/the reputation
उदभूत् – has risen

Dakshinamurthy Stothram – Sloka 8 – ஒப்பனை கலந்த உறவுகள் – Illusionary Transactions

ஒப்பனை கலந்த உறவுப் பரிமாற்றங்கள் – Illusionary Relational Transactions – An illustration

Preamble:

In the 7th verse, Śankarācārya pointed out that aham or “I am” alone is inherent in and through all the states of experience and therefore that I am or sat chit ātma alone must be taken as the real I. And since all the other states are subject to arrival and departure, he should be taken as my real nature; I am Satcidātma. And relevant to every particular state, I take the attribute to myself; like the youthful-I, youth-I; old-I, waker-I, etc.; even those attributes should not be taken as an integral part of I; because even the attributes are subject to arrival and departure, which means the attributeless-I alone is the ātma and this attributeless-I alone is called Sakshi. On the other hand, if I take the incidental attributes also as my intrinsic nature, then I mistake myself as an attributed-I, which is called ahaṃkāra. So, because of ignorance when I add attributes to myself it is called ahaṃkāra; through wisdom when I see the attribute as distinct from me, then I am called Sakshi. So, the difference between ahaṃkāra and साक्षि sākṣi is caused by ignorance and wisdom; in ignorance attributes are added; I am ahaṃkāra. In wisdom attributes are not added; I am sākṣi. This was the content of the teaching of the 7th verse

Maya – ஒப்பனை – An overview

Now in the 8th verse; Adi Śankarācārya says unfortunately most people are in a state of ignorance; and therefore they do not own up the sākṣi-I, and therefore they remain the empirical ahaṃkāra-I.

Two questions arises immediately –

  • 1. “How come? Why are most of us ignorant?”.
  • 2. The moment I become empirical ahaṃkāra, what happens?

For this we should try and understand the concept of Maya (Illusion). The subject of “Maya” is Vedantic Student’s delight. So much literature is available on the subject. However for our study, we will take the verses given in Sureshwaracharya’s Mānasollāsa (text and translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastry first in 1899).

The excerpts reproduced here are from Mānasollāsa.

Puranas say that Rahu and Ketu** are, respectively, the head and the trunk of one Rakshasa’s body severed into two; so that, when one speaks of the head of Rahu, we cannot suppose that the head exists distinct from Rahu. The two are, in fact, one. Similarly when Paramesvara is spoken of as the cause of the universe, we should not understand that the universe is distinct from Paramesvara. There is only one existence, namely, Paramesvara. That Isvara amuses Himself assuming, of His own accord, the forms of worshipper and the worshipped, of teacher and disciple, of master and servant, and so on. He who is a son with reference to his father is himself the father with reference to his son; one alone, indeed, is imagined in various ways according to mere words. Therefore, on investigating supreme truth, we find that the Light alone exists. False (mithyâ) indeed is all notion of difference in Ātman, caused as it is by Mâyâ. All our mundane experience is a display of Mâyâ. Like unto suṣupti, Mâyâ is nullified by knowledge of Ātman. The name ‘mâya’ is given to an appearance which cannot be accounted for. It is not non-existent, because it appears; neither is it existent, because it is nullified. It is not distinct from the Light, as the dark shadow is distinct from the sun. Neither is it identical with the Light because it is insentient. Nor can it be both distinct from and identical with the Light, because it is a contradiction in terms. Or, Maya may be compared to the shadow which conceals the sun from the view of those who are blind by day. Here the sun’s light itself appears to be a shadow; and the shadow, therefore, has no distinct existence from the light. It is not said to be made up of parts, because no parts caused it. Neither is it devoid of parts, since in the effects it is made up of parts. This harlot of a Mâyâ, appearing only so long as not scrutinised, does deceive the Ātman by her false affectations of coquetry.

Mānasollāsa Chapter 8 Slokas 5-16

(** – Ref: Introduction to Sloka 6 for the story about Rahu & Ketu from the Puranas).

கண்ணன், மம மாயா என்றும் தைவீ மாயா என்றும் இந்த மாயையைப் பற்றிக் குறிப்பிடுகிறான். மம என்றால் என்னுடைய என்றும் தைவீ என்றால் தெய்வீகமான என்றும் பொருள்படும்.

ஏஷா என்றும் மாயைக்கு ஒரு அடைமொழி கொடுக்கிறான். அதாவது புலன்களால் உணரக் கூடியது. கண்களால் காணவும், செவிகளால் கேட்கவும், சருமத்தால் உணரவும், மனதால் புரிந்துகொள்ளக் கூடியதுமான மாயை. ஆக, மாயையின் வடிவில் உனக்கு எந்நேரமும் நான் காட்சியளித்துக் கொண்டுதான் இருக்கிறேன் என்று கண்ணன் நமக்கு உறுதி கூறுவதாக இதைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும்.என்னை வெளிப்படுத்திக்கொள்ளாத பிரம்மமாக இருக்கையில், நானே மாயையாக இருக்கிறேன் என்றும் கண்ணன் கீதையில் தெளிவாகவே குறிப்பிடுகிறான். அவனே மாயையாய் நம்மை மருள வைக்கிறான்.

இருள்நீங்கி இன்பம் பயக்கும் மருள்நீங்கி

மாசுஅறு காட்சி யவர்க்கு

என்று திருக்குறளில், மெய் உணர்தல் அதிகாரத்தில், திருவள்ளுவர் கூறியது என் நினைவிற்கு வருகிறது.

So the answer to the first question is clear. We are ignorant thanks to Maya. Now the second question.

Relations and Transactions – உறவுகளும் பரிமாற்றங்களும்

The moment I become empirical ahaṃkāra, I cannot avoid relationships with the relevant world. So the “relationless” Atma becomes “related” or “relationed”. It is a never ending story of relationships.

நானாக நானில்லை, ஏனெனில்

மாயையவள் தரும் ஒப்பனையிட்டு

நானெனும் உள்ளொளி மறைந்து

நானெனும் உறவுகள் மலர்ந்தன – பின்

நானெனும் பொய்யை நானே

நடத்தினேன் உறவுகளுடனே !

அந்த உறவுகள் ஒரு தொடர் கதை; அந்த ஒப்பனை கலந்த உறவுகள் எத்துனை எத்துனை ! இவ்வுறவெனும் உலகத்தில் வரவொன்றும் இல்லாததால் வறுமையின் வாரிசாகி வாசலோடு துரத்தபடுகிறோம். ஒப்பனையைக் கலைத்து உள்ளிருக்கும் மெய்ப்பொருளை உணர்ந்தால் நிலையான வீடுபேறு. இதுவே இப்பண்ணின் சாரம்.

இப் பண்ணில் எடுத்துக் காட்டாக ஓரிரு உறவுகளை ஆதி சங்கரர் விவரிக்கிறார். அவைதனை அடுத்த பதிவில் காண்போம்.

What all relationships? Plenty.

A few examples are discussed in the Sloka which we will see subsequently. What essentially happens is that this “jivatma” which was “relation less” and who is otherwise a witness “Saakshi” becomes related and the misery starts with transactions and continues till we know our true self through “atma gnanam”.

With this understanding let us get into the Sloka in the next blog.