Durga Shuktam – வேத வழிபாடு – துர்கை – Durgashtami Special

Couple of years ago, I was keen to learn Vedic Chants. At 66, it was not the right age to start definitely; but “desires” do not respect age and I started learning to chant a few Shuktams thanks to my good friend Sri.Viswanatha Raju. Durga Shuktam was one of them. That efforts got stalled due to my travel abroad and getting stuck there due to the pandemic. However my efforts to understand the essence of these Vedic chants continue and hopefully I will make some progress.

There is an argument that goes on inside me that there should be no attempt to translate these Vedic Chants into any other language as it is impossible to get the exact equivalent and the consciousness behind the original words and syllables. There is also a counter that we must go ahead and do even at the risk of breaking tradition and purity of thoughts for the benefit of the “Vedic illiterates and ignorant persons” like me.

So here I am, with my maiden attempt at Durga Shuktam. Please feel free to criticise and offer your perspective on this experiment of mine.

Caution : The chanting is my maiden attempt. The chanting may not be as per the QR (quality requirement). Pl take it as a toddler’s walk and bear with me.

Chanting & Meaning in Tamil – Video Link

Link to the file with Tamil Meaning

Sanskrit Verses with English Transliterations

जातवेदसे सुनवाम सोममरातीयतो निदहाति वेदः ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा नावेव सिन्धुं दुरितात्यग्निः ॥१॥
Jaatavedase Sunavaama Somam-Araatiiyato Nidahaati Vedah |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Naave[a-I]va Sindhum Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||1||

तामग्निवर्णां तपसा ज्वलन्तीं वैरोचनीं कर्मफलेषु जुष्टाम् ।
दुर्गां देवीँशरणमहं प्रपद्ये सुतरसि तरसे नमः ॥२॥
Taam-Agni-Varnnaam Tapasaa Jvalantiim Vairocaniim Karma-Phalessu Jussttaam |
Durgaam Devii[ngu]m-Sharannam-Aham Prapadye Su-Tarasi Tarase Namah ||2||

अग्ने त्वं पारया नव्यो अस्मान् स्वस्तिभिरति दुर्गाणि विश्वा ।
पूश्च पृथ्वी बहुला न उर्वी भवा तोकाय तनयाय शंयोः ॥३॥
Agne Tvam Paarayaa Navyo Asmaan SvastibhirAti Durgaanni Vishvaa |
Puush-Ca Prthvii Bahulaa Na Urvii Bhavaa Tokaaya Tanayaaya Shamyoh ||3||

विश्वानि नो दुर्गहा जातवेदः सिन्धुं न नावा दुरितातिपर्षि ।
अग्ने अत्रिवन्मनसा गृणानोऽस्माकं बोध्यविता तनूनाम् ॥४॥
Vishvaani No Durga-Haa Jaatavedah Sindhum Na Naavaa Durita-Ati-Parssi |
Agne Atrivan-Manasaa Grnnaano-[A]smaakam Bodhy[i]-Avitaa Tanuunaam ||4||

पृतनाजितँसहमानमुग्रमग्निँ हुवेम परमात्सधस्थात् ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा क्षामद्देवो अति दुरितात्यग्निः ॥५॥
Prtanaa-[A]jita[ngu]m-Sahamaanam-Ugram-Agni Huvema Paramaat-Sadhasthaat |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Kssaamad-Devo Ati Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||5||

प्रत्नोषि कमीड्यो अध्वरेषु सनाच्च होता नव्यश्च सत्सि ।
स्वां चाग्ने तनुवं पिप्रयस्वास्मभ्यं च सौभगमायजस्व ॥६॥
Pratnossi Kam-Iiddyo Adhvaressu Sanaac-Ca Hotaa Navyash-Ca Satsi |
Svaam Ca-Agne Tanuvam Piprayasva-Asmabhyam Ca Saubhagam-Aayajasva ||6||

गोभिर्जुष्टमयुजो निषिक्तं तवेन्द्र विष्णोरनुसंचरेम ।
नाकस्य पृष्ठमभि संवसानो वैष्णवीं लोक इह मादयन्ताम् ॥७॥
Gobhir-Jussttam-Ayujo Nissiktam Tave[a-I]ndra Vissnnor-Anusamcarema |
Naakasya Prssttham-Abhi Samvasaano Vaissnnaviim Loka Iha Maadayantaam ||7||

ॐ कात्यायनाय विद्महे कन्याकुमारि धीमहि
तन्नो दुर्गिः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Kaatyaayanaaya Vidmahe Kanyaakumaari Dhiimahi
Tan-No Durgih Pracodayaat ||

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Meaning in English

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
1.1: To that Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born) we press out the Soma (i.e. Invoke Her ardently); (We invoke that Jataveda) Who consumes by Her Fire of Knowledge (Veda) all the Adversities (within and without) (And frees us from the bondage of the world),
1.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this Ocean of the World which is full of Great Difficulties and beset with great Perils; like a Boat (carrying one over a very rough Sea),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
2.1: To Her, Who is of the colour of Fire (Agni Varna) and blazing with Tapas (Tapasa Jwalantim); Who was born of that Fire (of Tapas) (Vairochinim), and Who is worshipped through Fruits of Actions (Karma Phalas) (offered to Her Fire as oblations),
2.2: To that Durga, to that Devi, I take Refuge (Sharanam Aham) by falling at Her Feet (Prapadye); (O Mother Durga, I Prostrate before You) Please ferry me mercifully (over this Ocean of the World full of great Difficulties and Perils),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
3.1: O Agni (Fire of Durga), You Who are eulogized (for carrying one across this Samsara); Please ferry us (too), by carrying us (i.e. our Souls) over Your Auspicious Nature, and make us cross this World full of Great Difficulties (Samsara), …
3.2: … (and also spread Your Auspicious Nature over the) Land and Earth, (so that the Earth) becomes abundantly Fertile and Green (and we feel Your presence in external Nature); And fill us, (We who are) Your Children with Your Bliss (so that we feel Your presence internally),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
4.1: O Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born), You remove (grave) difficulties in all the Worlds; Please carry us like a Boat in this very difficult Ocean of the World (Samsara),
4.2: O Agni (Fire of Durga), our Minds are invoking You (ardently) like sage Atri (who continuously chants the mantras), and our beings are (now) filled with Your Consciousness (by continuously invoking You),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
5.1: (She is) the (Great) Fire Who is Invincible in Battle, and charges ahead in a Terrible manner conquering (the Enemies); We invoke Her together from the Highest Assembly (i.e. ardently invoke Her together with the greatest reverence),
5.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this World full of Great Difficulties, by (charging ahead and) Burning to ashes the very difficult Enemies (within us) with Her Divine Fire,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
6.1: You are lauded for spreading Bliss in the Sacrifice since ancient times (The Bliss resulting from killing the inner Enemies); You act as a Hota (Invoker of Bliss) by abiding as a New Maiden (Who is eternally young and free of decay) (in the Sacrificial Altar within the Hearts of the Devotees),
6.2: Your own Conscious Form, O Agni (Fire of Durga) is a source of Happiness (Bliss) for us, and a source of Welfare for our Sacrifice,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
7.1: With Senses (i.e. Mind and Heart) Pleased (by Your Blissful Presence) and becoming Unattached (to the external world), we are Infused with Your (Devotion), O the Highest One; May we Follow (i.e. Immerse ourselves in) Your All-Pervading (Blissful Consciousness) …
7.2: … within the Spiritual Sky (Chidakasha), and dwell here in this Vaishnavi Loka (World of Your All-Pervading Consciousness), being Intoxicated (by Your Blissful Nature),

Durga Gayatri:
1: Om, (Let our mind contemplate) on Devi Katyayani to know Her (Conscious Form); (And then) Meditate on that Kanyakumari deeply (Who is the Universal Mother),
2: May that (Fire of) Durga awaken (our Consciousness).

Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace (at the the three levels – Adidaivika, Adibhautika and Adhyatmika).

Meaning Courtesy:

https://greenmesg.org

Dakshinamurthy Slokam – 7 – Part 1 – RE Cognition – An Introduction

Wow – I know it – I have seen it

In this verse Adi Śankarācārya is restating the ātma svarupam. We have been told that ātma is not deha, prana, indriyani, buddhi and śūnyam. If ātma is not anyone of them, then what exactly is ātma? That is beautifully described here; Svātmānam. Svātma means my own self; my own essential nature; or the real self. What is this real self?

If it is concluded, on the strength of recognition or pratyabhijná of self-identity, that Ātman is a persistent entity, what is this pratyabhijná? And what its purpose? In Vedanta, Pratyabhijná is also not enumerated among the right sources of knowledge called pramánas along with pratyaksha, etc. Then how can it be a source of knowledge (pramâna)?

The answers to these questions are enlightened in this seventh stanza of the Sloka/Hymn.

The Concept of Re cognition of an object/thing:

Recognition which is essentially a re- cognition (Pratyabhijnána) consists in re-cognising an object/thing—in the form ‘this is the same as that’—which, having once before presented itself to consciousness, again becomes an object of consciousness at present. Semantics in English can give different names for this – recollection, episodic memory, self awareness, Autonoetic consciousness etc. The basic fact is the transaction between consciousness and an object. Let us see an example – a black colored box with golden handle.

  1. First let us see cognition. In the case of external objects, whenever we experience an object, let us say a box, we invent/use an expression to refer to that experience – a box. Let us say that as a kid I have seen a black colored box with a golden handle.
  2. Now after several years later as an adult I see an identical black box with a golden handle, then what do I say “Wow; it is exactly the same or like the same that I saw/experienced several years earlier as a kid”. All the accidental circumstances of place, time and form are left out of account when I recall and say “wow…”.

In this recollection (Recollection here means consciousness of something as having been experienced before), “I” remain the same; there has been no change to that “I”. In other words, in this recollection, Ātman remains the same through all the varying states of wake, dream and deep sleep (jagrat, svapna, and suṣupti), unchanging though the body changes in infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, and old age of an individual. This Black colored box with golden handle is recognized as that Black colored box with golden handle in all the above states. Present both before and after, both at the time of experience and at the time of recollection, Ātman recollects the thing which has persisted in Himself in the form of a samskára or latent impression. So, in the whole process of initial cognition, re-cognition and recall, the Ātman remains the same irrespective of the states of the individual.

The Concept of Re cognition of an Ātman:

Similarly, the pratyabhijnána of Ātman consists in His becoming conscious that He is omniscient, etc., after casting aside the notion that He is of limited knowledge and so on, a notion engendered by His association with Mâyâ. That is to say, the recognition of Ātman’s self-identity consists in the intuitive realisation of His essential nature as the infinite Consciousness and infinite Bliss, after eliminating all limitations of Maya and its effects ascribed to Him by the ignorant.

And how do I refer to that experience? As said earlier, every experience is identified through an “wow” expression. What is that expression for ātma? This ever-experienced ātma, is referred to me by me as Aham – Aham iti. It is ever experienced in the form of I-am; I-am; I-am; “I-am’ experience is there continuously. Throughout the waking state, “I-am” continues; the ātma is experienced as I am, during the dream state; even during the sleep state, “I am” continues. You do not verbalise during sleep; but that experience is verbalised after waking; “I am” experience is present in sleep, but it is verbalised, vocalised only in the waking state; verbalisation is later, but the experience is there; even during sleep. Therefore I-am, I-am, I-am, this continuously experienced I am is ātma.

This “I am” or “aham” is present silently without verbalisation. That is why silence is golden and has no price tage attached to it. That is why we don’t understand it also.

“இதற்கு சொல் என்றும், பொருள் என்றும், மொழி என்றும் இல்லை. அதனாலேதான் இந்த சொல்லாத சொல்லுக்கு விலை ஏதுமில்லை” என்றான் கவிஞன்.

When and where do I have this experience of “I am” or aham ? The answer to this question is provided by Adi Śankarācārya in this Sloka. Let us see the meaning of the Sloka in the blog scheduled on 24th October 2021.

Narayaneeyam – Daskam 2 – Sloka 2

Preamble:

When I was trying to understand this Sloka, I was reminded of the introduction that Dr S. Radhakrishnan provided to his commentary on Bhagwad Gita.

“dvaitam mohAya bodhAt prAk. prApte bodhe manIshayA pUjArtham kalpitam dvaitam advaitAdapi sundaram”

“Before the rise of knowledge, duality is misleading but when our understanding is enlightened, we perceive that duality is more beautiful than even non-duality and is conceived so that there might be worship”.

Narayana Bhattathri, an enlightened soul “looked at the Eternal one not so much as the God of philosophical speculation but as the God of Grace such as the heart and the soul need and seek; a God who inspires personal trust, love, reverence and loyal self-surrender”. No wonder he comes out with this poetic description of the Lord’s beauty. Let us enjoy his description.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hlnmdt915pmpq9l/Verse%202.2.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

केयूराङ्गदकङ्कणोत्तममहारत्नाङ्गुलीयाङ्कित

श्रीमद्बाहुचतुष्कसङ्गतगदाशङ्खारिपङ्केरुहाम्

काञ्चित् काञ्चनकाञ्चिलाञ्च्छितलसत्पीताम्बरालम्बिनीम्

आलम्बे विमलाम्बुजद्युतिपदां मूर्तिं तवार्तिच्छिदम् ॥२॥

English Transliteration

keyuuraangada kankaNOttama mahaaratnaanguliiyaankitashriimadbaahu

chatuShka sangata gadaa shankhaari pankeruhaam |

kaa~nchit kaa~nchana kaa~nchilaanChita lasatpiitaambaraalambiniim

aalambe vimalaambujadyutipadaaM muurtiM tavaartichChidam

Transliteration in Tamil

கேயூராங்க₃த₃கங்கணோத்தமமஹாரத்நாங்கு₃லீயாங்கித-

ஶ்ரீமத்₃பா₃ஹுசதுஷ்கஸங்க₃தக₃தா₃ஶங்கா₂ரிபங்கேருஹாம் |

காஞ்சித் காஞ்சநகாஞ்சிலாஞ்ச்சி₂தலஸத்பீதாம்ப₃ராலம்பி₃நீ-

மாலம்பே₃ விமலாம்பு₃ஜத்₃யுதிபதா₃ம் மூர்திம் தவார்திச்சி₂த₃ம் || 2||

Meaning in Tamil

கடயம் கங்கணம், விரலதனில் அரிய ரத்தின மோதிரம்

கதாயுதம், சங்கு சக்கரம், தாமரை ஏந்தும் நான்திருக்கரம்

ஒளிமிகு மஞ்சள் பட்டாடை பொன் மேகலை அலங்காரம்

எழில்மிகு தூய கமலஉடல் தாங்குமிரு மென்மலர் பாதம்

அடியார் அல்லல் அறுத்தாட்கொளும் வரையறு இயலா உன்

வடிவம்தனை தஞ்சமென சரணடைந்தேன் குருவாயூரப்பனே 2.2

Meaning in English

I take refuge in Your form with ornaments such as) Keyur (epaulets) Angada (armlets) Kankana (bracelets)and finger rings, studded with gems adorning the sacred four arms, holding the mace, the conch, the discus and the lotus, wearing a yellow resplendent silk cloth, fastened by a golden waist band with pure lotuses like lustrous feet. Oh Lord I take refuge in Your indescribable form that removes the woes of the devotees.

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

• केयूराङ्गद- – keyur + angada – shoulder guard, armlet – தோளணி, கடயம்

• कङ्कणोत्तम- bracelet – காப்பு, கங்கணம்

• केयूराङ्गद-कङ्कणोत्तम-महारत्न-आङ्गुलीय-अङ्कित- = (ornaments such as) Keyur (epaulets) Angada (armlets) Kankana (bracelets)and finger rings, studded with gems

• महारत्नाङ्गुलीयाङ्कित-(महारत्न-आङ्गुलीय-अङ्कित) – precious jewel அரிய ரத்தினம், finger ring, மோதிரம், studded/marked பொருந்திய

• श्रीमद्- wealthy, வளமிகு

• बाहु- forearm – முன்கை

• चतुष्क- set of 4

• सङ्गत— integrated/united –

• गदा- mace – தண்டாயதம்

• शङ्खारि- (शङ्ख-अरि) – conch, discuss – சங்கு, சக்கரம்

• पङ्केरुहां – lotus – தாமரை

• श्रीमद्बाहु-चतुष्कसङ्गत-गदा-शङ्ख-अरि-पङ्केरुहाम् = adorning the sacred four arms, holding the mace, the conch, the discus and the lotus

• काञ्चन- golden – பொன் – தங்கம்

• काञ्चि- girdle – மேகலை

• लाञ्च्छित- decorated – அலங்கரி, ஒப்பனை

• लसत्- glitter/shining – ஒளிமிகு

• पीताम्बरालम्बिनीं – (पीताम्बर-आलम्बिनीम्) – yellow clothes, wearing – மஞ்சள் நிற ஆடை அணி

• काञ्चन-काञ्चि-लाञ्च्छित-लसत्-पीताम्बर-आलम्बिनीम्- = wearing a yellow resplendent silk cloth, fastened by a golden waist band

• विमलाम्बुज- (विमल-अम्बुज) pure lotus, தூய தாமரை

• द्युति- lustrous, splendour, ஒளிமிகு,

• पदाम् – feet – பாதங்கள்

• आर्तिच्छिदं – आर्ति. छिदम् – grief, cut, which removes the woes (of devotees) – அல்லல், அறு

• काञ्चित् – indescribable – வரையறுக்க இயலா

• तव – Your – உன்

• मूर्तिम् – Form – வடிவம்

• (अहम्) – I – யான்

• आलम्बे – take refuge – சரண் அடைந்தேன்

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 6 – Part 2 – The Empty Secret – வெறுமையின் வறுமை

Solar Eclipse

“In deep sleep there is an experience of absence and not an absence of experience”.

Swami Sarvapriyananda

This is exactly what our introductory blog to Sloka 6 talked about. Many and in particular the Sunyavadis mistake this as emptiness, says Adi Sankara in this Sloka. Let us get into the Sloka.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cd07dpxfmujtoft/Sloka%206%20-%20Raahugrasta%20Divaakare.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse:

राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात्
सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् ।
प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायते
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥६॥

Meaning in Tamil

ஆதவ மதி ஒளிமறை இராகு கோளொப்ப

ஆத்மனை மறைத்திடும் மாயை என அறிந்து

ஆழ் உறக்கமதில் ஐயிரண்டு பொறி அடக்கி

முழுமை நிறை தூய ஆத்மனை அடைந்து, பின்

விழித்தெழும் வேளைதனில் தன் உணர்வால்

மீள்எழும் நான் அந்த ஆத்மனே என அறியும்

ஆதி அந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம்

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

Just Like the Sun and the Moon are Eclipsed by Rahu, the Pure Consciousness is Eclipsed by Maya (for a spiritually ignorant person).  A Spiritually Elevated Soul can enter that state of Unborn Deep Sleep (i.e., Pure Consciousness) by Withdrawing His Sense Organs to such an extent that Only the Real Essence remains. That state (Pure Consciousness) is experienced during Spiritual Awakening whereby one clearly Perceives that “Before I was Sleeping” (by being eclipsed by Maya). Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka:

राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात् Raahu-Grasta-Divaakare[a-I]ndu-Sadrsho Maayaa-Sama-[A]acchaadanaat


In the first line “divākarendu sadṛśo māyā samācchādanāt”, Adi Śankarācārya quotes the celestial phenomenon of solar & lunar eclipse as an example. He explains that just like the Sun & Moon are eclipsed by Rahu, Pure Consciousness is eclipsed by Maya

“Rahu” in mythological language is a dark snake which swallows the sun/moon; In astrological language, rāhu is only the shadow; that is why it is called chāyāḥ grahaḥ. Therefore, that shadow is eclipsing. We must understand that the eclipsed sun/moon is not non-existent; it is only not-prominent, dominant, pronounced during the eclipse.  However, for the ignorant it appears as though the Sun/Moon is not there during the eclipse.  

Similarly, when the transactions are not there; existence is not prominent. Non prominent existence is not non-existence. Non-transactable existence is non-prominent existence; it is as though nonexistent, but it is not non-existence.And therefore the general existence, in sleep, is as though eclipsed; because of:

  1. maya’s āvanara śakti (veiling power);
  2. resolution of the organs;
  3. end of transactions.

All these three are important; and therefore it is eclipsed as it were. And therefore, Shankaracharya compares this general sattaḥ to the eclipsed Sun and moon.

करणोपसंहरणतो karaṇopa saṃharaṇataḥ; and consequently, because of withdrawal of the kāraṇam. upasaṃharaṇam means withdrawal; kāraṇam means the eleven organs. With the withdrawal of sense and action organs (upasaṃharaṇam of Kāraṇam – karaṇopa saṃharaṇataḥ – करणोपसंहरणत),

सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो य्योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् । San-Maatrah Karanno[a-U]pasangharannato Yo(a-A]bhuut-Sussuptah Pumaan |

अभुत्  the individual Self (abhut – अभुत् – this jīvātma)

सुषुप्ता was in deep sleep (suṣuptāḥ – सुषुप्ता) meaning that without any transactions, in the form of

सन्मात्रा attributeless-unqualified, pure existence (sanmātrahaḥ – सन्मात्रा). This is the essence of the second line.

प्रागस्वाप्समिति प्रबोधसमये यः प्रत्यभिज्ञायते Praag-Asvaapsam-Iti Prabodha-Samaye Yah Pratyabhijnyaayate


Now let us go to the third line. What is the proof for the presence of pure existence in suṣupti? You say it is not available for transaction. That means it is not available for proving also; because proving itself is a form of transaction. So how do you know the pure existence as my true nature?  For this,  we say three प्रमाणस् pramāṇas are there to prove it;

  1. one is Shruti pramāṇas;
  2. another is yukti pramāṇas,
  3. and the third is anubhava pramāṇas.

Of these three pramāṇas, Adi Śankarācāryacharya gives in the third line, the powerful anubhava pramāṇam.

Let us see the Shruti,pramāṇa:

When a person goes to sleep, he is not becoming non-existent; but he is withholding himself into his pure nature called existent; sadā; sat, means existence. He merges into his pure nature of existence. स्वम् अवपतो भवशत svam apito bhavati; The sat which is his svarūpam into that he merges. So the Upanishad does not say he merges into asat. Therefore, Shruti, pramāṇam proves this.

The next one is yukti pramāṇam. Logic; in fact, we need not go to traditional logic; we can go to modern logic; modern science itself; by the law of conservation of energy and matter; nothing can be totally destroyed. An existent thing can never become non-existent. An existent thing can never become non-existent; destruction is what? You are not converting an existent thing into a non-existent thing. When pot is destroyed, what happens? Pot exists in a different form; it becomes what; clay. So, pot never becomes non-existent; then it becomes what; it is existent in a different form. So, there is no destruction, in the form of becoming non-existent. That being so, an existent thing cannot be converted into non-existence and vice versa also. And out of non-existence, an existent thing cannot come out. Out of nothing what comes? Nothing comes;

न सतो ववध्र्ते भावाः, न भावो ववध्र्ते सतः

na sato vidhyate bhāvāḥ, na bhāvo vidhyate sataḥ;

कथम् असतः सत्र् एथः

katham asataḥ satya ethaḥ

Existent-I cannot become non-existent in सुषुशप्त suṣupti and out of the non-existent I, again an existent-I cannot come; and therefore, in sleep I am existent; but not in the form of a qualified-I; I am existing in a different form. When pot is destroyed that potness attribute goes away. Similarly, when I resolve, my individuality goes away, the individuality_less-I. Like the potness_less clay. The attributeless-I am existent. I did not know then. You will not know. Because if you want to know, you have to become a knower. The moment you become the knower, you are no more in sushupthi. It becomes jagrat or swapna. Therefore, what is the second logic; the second pramanam, logic is; an existent thing can never become non-existent;

Then what is the third: अनुभव प्रमाणम् anubhava pramāṇam. And what is the anubhavam pramāṇam. Adi Śankarācārya calls it प्रत्र्शभज्ञा pratyabhijñā; pratyabhijñā means recognition. After waking up, this person says: I slept well; I slept well.  What does it mean? I was very much existent there; as a sleeper. If ‘I’ am not there; the subject (see it as grammatical). If subject is not there; how can you use the verb, ’slept’?. Slept is a verb, whatever be the meaning. So, if you have to use the verb slept, it refers to the locus of the sleep, of the subject of sleep, which is I. And that-I, who slept before, that-I, that-I, am awake now. This is called recognition. and recognition means appreciating the continuity of I, in the sleeping state, as well as the waking state.

Let us take the word recognition itself. Recognition means re-cognition. When I say I recognise you – What do you understand? I have seen you somewhere; I know that you are so and so; and now I am recognising you; That means a continuity of your existence in the past and in the present is indicated. The verb of recognition indicates, the existence of the recognised-object in the past. In the past it existed as what? A cognised-object, and when you see again; it exists as the recognised-object, it existed in the past, as cognised-one, now as a recognised-one, which means continuity. of recognised-object. When I wake up, I am recognising myself. How? I who was sleeper in the past, am the I, which is the waker-in-the-present. ‘I slept well’ means I am recognising myself, which means I appreciate the fact, that I who was a sleeper in the past, am the waker-in-the-present.

Thus, Adi Śankarācārya argues self-recognition is the proof for self-continuity. And self-continuity proves that I existed in sleep also. And that proves in sleep, I am existent; it is not nothingness. Self-recognition proves self-continuity. Self-continuity proves that I am very much in the sleep also. That means sleep is not the state of nothingness.

And therefore, Adi Śankarācārya says प्रभोदसमर्े prabhodasamaye; at the time of waking; प्रत्र्शभज्ञार्ते pratyabhijñāyate; the self is recognised as the what? Self is recognised in what form? प्रागस्वाप्सम् prāgasvāpsam; I slept well before. When does he say? In the waking state; that means how I who am awake; now slept well before, (this is within quote “prāgasvāpsam”, iti pratyabhijñāyate. Self is recognised; therefore, self is continuous; Therefore, jāgrat avastāyām I am, svapna I am; suṣupti I am; I am the existence in all the three states. There is only minor difference. In jāgrat and svapnā, I am the attributed-localised-existence, in suṣupti I am attributeless-unlocalised-existence. And that is why in jagrat avastha, you can refer to your location; once you go to sleep, you do not know the location; and therefore that existence is recognised after waking up. Therefore, through प्रत्र्शभज्ञा प्रमाणम् pratyabhijñā pramāṇam also it is proved that sleep is not a state of nothingness and therefore mādhyamika buddhism is wrong.

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Sloka 1 – எழில் வடிவமும் இறை அன்பும்

Preamble

Non-duality that is the central core of Advaita philosophy identifies the Supreme Self (that transcends everything) with the innermost Self (that is immanent in every being). If God or the Supreme Reality does not have a separate status other than our Selves, then who is to worship whom? Hence the concept of Bhakti, or Devotion, seems to contradict the Oneness inherent in Advaita. This apparent conflict is easily resolved by Sriman Narayaneeyam. Bhattattiri’s conception of Bhakti emphasizes the nirguNa aspect of the Ultimate in no uncertain terms, even while he expatiates on the worship of the visible form.

That the Ultimate is non-dual there is no question. But to be able to realise it as a fact of experience one has to go through the processes of Bhakti of God with form and content, with name and description, with qualities and adjuncts. Such a God is known by the technical name of saguNa brahman, in contrast to the nirguNa brahman which is the formless and nameless Absolute.

Bhattathri clearly brings out through his spiritual experience that The Absolute Being is not manifest to the senses or the intellect and is difficult to grasp or attain to. But when it is manifest as Guruvayur Krishna it is like the wavy surface of the Ocean of Blissful spirit, definite, clear and easy to grasp. Therefore one resorts to the worship of the Krishna form that is lovable and most captivating by its sweet beauty and other blessed attributes. Slokas in Dasakam 2 depict that beauty. Let us study them.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wwseyrmva9uujk9/Verse%202.1.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

सूर्यस्पर्धिकिरीटमूर्ध्वतिलकप्रोद्भासिफालान्तरं

कारुण्याकुलनेत्रमार्द्रहसितोल्लासं सुनासापुटम्

गण्डोद्यन्मकराभकुण्डलयुगं कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्कौस्तुभं

त्वद्रूपं वनमाल्यहारपटलश्रीवत्सदीप्रं भजे ॥२.१॥

सूर्य-स्पर्धि-किरीटम् ऊर्ध्वतिलक-प्रोद्भासि-फालान्तरम्

कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम् आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् सुनासापुटम्

गण्डोद्यन्-मकर-आभ-कुण्डल-युगम् कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्-कौस्तुभम्

त्वत्-रूपम् वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् भजे

Transliteration in English

suuryaspardhikiriiTamuurdhvatilaka prOdbhaasiphaalaantaraM

kaaruNyaakulanetramaardra hasitOllaasaM sunaasaapuTam |

gaNDOdyanmakaraabha kuNDalayugaM kaNThOjvalatkaustubhaM

tvadruupaM vanamaalyahaarapaTala shriivatsadiipraM bhaje ||1

Transliteration in Tamil

ஸூர்யஸ்பர்தி₄கிரீடமூர்த்₄வதிலகப்ரோத்₃பா₄ஸிபா₂லாந்தரம்

காருண்யாகுலநேத்ரமார்த்₃ரஹஸிதோல்லாஸம் ஸுநாஸாபுடம்|

க₃ண்டோ₃த்₃யந்மகராப₄குண்ட₃லயுக₃ம் கண்டோ₂ஜ்வலத்கௌஸ்துப₄ம்

த்வத்₃ரூபம் வநமால்யஹாரபடலஶ்ரீவத்ஸதீ₃ப்ரம் ப₄ஜே|| 1||

Meaning in Tamil

பரிதி இணை ஒளிர்மிகு மணிமகுடம்

நுதலதனில் ஒளிகூட்டும் சந்தன நேர் திலகம்

கருணை பொழி இருவிழியுடன் எழில்வடிவு நாசி

இருசெவியணி மகரகுண்டல எதிரொளிக்கும் கண்ணம்

கௌஸ்துப மாலை அணி நீள் கண்டம்

துளசி மாலைதரி ஒளிமிகு ஶ்ரீவத்ஸம் பதி மார்பகம்

புன்முறுவல் பூத்த திருமுகமுடை உன் இவ் வடிவம்

போற்றிப் பணிந்திடுவேனே யான் அனுதினம் 2.1

Meaning in English

I meditate upon this form of You, adorned with a crown which rivals the sun in its brilliance, whose forehead is made more resplendent by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste), whose eyes are brimming with mercy, with a shapely nose, with shining cheeks reflecting the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants, with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck, and bosom resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa.

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

• सूर्य-स्पर्धि-किरीटम्- with a crown which rivals the Sun (in brilliance)

• ऊर्ध्वतिलक-प्रोद्भासि-फालान्तरम् by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste) whose forehead is made more resplendent,

• कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम्- whose eyes are brimming with mercy

• आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् (whose face) is lit up with a benevolent smile புன்முறுவல் பூத்த திருமுகம்

• सुनासापुटम् with a shapely nose

• गण्डोद्यन्-मकर-आभ-कुण्डल-युगम् with cheeks shining due to the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants –

• कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्-कौस्तुभम् with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck

• त्वत्-रूपम् Thy form

• वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् (and Thy bosom) resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa

• भजे I meditate upon

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 6 – Part 1 – Introduction – The Empty Secret – வெறுமையின் வறுமை – Negating the Sunyavadis

Nagarjuna

In the fifth verse, Śankarācārya enumerated various systems of philosophy, in which there are varieties of confusion regarding the real nature of “I”; and in this sixth verse, Śankarācārya wants to refute the main system, known as mādhyamika bauddisam; or śūnyavādaḥ; which is one of the main pūrvapakṣis of vedāntaḥ. And Śankarācārya does not refute the other systems, because this shoonya vadi has already refuted others and therefore he becomes the main challenger; and therefore Śankarācārya refutes the śūnyavādaḥ in the 6th verse.

The śūnyavādi points out that the essential nature of me; or the I, is nothingness or emptiness. Not only the individual, even the essential nature of the world is nothingness or emptiness. And in support of this conclusion, he takes our sleep experience as the pramāṇam or truth. In sleep we do not experience anything; there is no objective world. In sleep we do not experience the subject also; so neither ‘seen’ is there; nor is there the ‘seer’; neither the ‘heard’ nor the ‘hearer’. Therefore the subject as well as the object, both of them are not there; and therefore śūnyam is the tatvam is their conclusion.

Now Śankarācārya shows in this verse; that in deep sleep state, it is not śūnyam or emptiness. In deep sleep state, there is pure existence; but it is an unqualified existence; which is not available for any transaction. Only qualified existence is available for transaction; unqualified existence is not available for transaction. And therefore we make a mistake that it is emptiness; because we have a general misconception, whatever is not available for transaction is non-existent. This is one of the intellectual confusions. We think the space is nothingness; because space is not available for transaction. But the truth is that, space is not emptiness or nothingness, it is a positive entity. But generally we mistake space as emptiness, because it is not avialable for seeing, touching or any other local view. The same mistake is extended to the pure existence also; because it is not available for vyavahara. And therefore, in sleep, non-transactional existence is available which is my nature. This is the essence of this verse.

To highlight the mistake or the illusion that Sunyavadis have about “existence or otherwise” Adi Sankara brings out an incident that happened during the “Samudra Manthan” (churning of the ocean) as told in the Puranas.

The story of Rahu & Ketu and Maya

According to Puranas, the birth of Rahu and Ketu dates back to the earliest of times.‘Samudra Manthan’ is regarded as one of the most important events in the history of Hindu civilization. The Solar and Lunar eclipse is also associated with ‘Samudra Manthan’. When the ocean was churned by the Asuras and Devas, ‘Amrit’ was produced. This Amrit was stolen by Asuras and to obtain the Amrit, Lord Vishnu took incarnation in the form of a beautiful damsel ‘Mohini’ and tried to please and distract the demons. On receiving the Amrit, Mohini came to Devas to distribute it to them. ‘Svarbhanu’, one of the asuras changed his appearance to a deva to obtain some portion of the Amrit. However, Surya (Sun) and the Chandra (Moon) realized that Svarbhanu was an Asura and not one of the devas. Knowing this, Lord Vishnu severed Svarbhanu’s head with his discus, the Sudarshan Charka. However, even though his head and body became separated, they still remained immortal as the separate entity because before his head was served, he managed to drink a drop of the nectar from the Amrit. The Head is known as Rahu and the headless body is the Ketu. Since then Rahu and Ketu constantly chase the Sun and the Moon for revenge as they are the cause of separating the head and body of the Asura Rahu. It is a popular belief that when they succeed in catching Sun and Moon they swallow them causing Solar or Lunar eclipse but they can’t hold them for long and Sun and Moon emerge again intact as they also had nectar and are immortal.

Let us study the Sloka 6 in detail , in the next blog which will appear on 30th September

Narayaneeyam – Dasakam 2 – Introduction

Pencil Sketch at the site – Belur Halebidu by my daughter some 25 years ago

The greatness of The Supreme Reality – The Brahma Tatwa, which is dense concentrated Bliss, which is of the nature of the Pure Consciousness, which is without parallel or comparison, and is totally free of time and space limitations, and is always free of Maya is brought out in Daskam 1. That Brahma Tatwa which is not easy to grasp in the beginning, but the realisation of which, is the highest purusharth (i.e. liberation), that very Reality shines right in front in concrete form in the Guruvaayur temple as Lord Krishna.

Through this first Daskam, the transcendent and immanent (Nirguna and Saguna) nature of the Brahman is brought out. Here is a recap of Dasakam 1.

The reality of the Brahman is not a question to be solved by dialectic which the vast majority of the human race will be unable to understand. Dialectic in itself and without reference to personal experience cannot give us conviction. Only spiritual experiences can provide us with proof.

Narayana Bhattathri has brought out his spiritual experience at the Guruvayur Temple for the benefit of ordinary humans like us. Let us try and understand through the Slokas.

In Dasakam 2, the sweetness of the form and the devotion to that form have been brought out clearly.

Each blog will cover the Sloka, transliterations in English and Tamil, the meaning of the Sanskrit words and the meaning of the Sloka in English and Tamil.

The first Sloka of Dasakam 2 will be on next Friday, 24th September.

An important message here: Except for the translation in Tamil which is an expression of my limited and little understanding of the Sloka, everything else is what is available in the public domain.

விநாயக சதுர்த்தி – Ganesh Chathurthi – Ganesha Pancharathnam

Here is wishing all our friends, a very happy Ganesh Chathurthi.

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम्

प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये

வெண்ணிற ஆடையும் நீக்கமற நிறைவும்

முழுமதியொளி வடிவும் கரங்கள் நான்கும்

அருள்மிகு முகமும் நிறை ஆண்டவனை

அனைத்திடர் களைய அடி பணிவோம்

Ganesha Pancharathnam

Here is my humble offering to Lord Ganesh

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 5 – Who am I ? காயமே இது பொய்யடா !

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vmhfkxgvwkvta8t/Sloka%205%20-%20Deham%20Praanamapi.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Verse

द्देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुः
स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः ।
मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणे
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥५॥

Meaning in Tamil

ஊண் சுவாச பொறிபுலன் சலன புத்தி இவையே

‘நான்’ என முனைவுடன் மடமை கொண்டு வாதிப்பர்,

உணர்வுக்கடிமை மாதரென, முதிரா அறிவுடை பாலனென,

இகபுர இருகண்ணிலா குருடரென, மடமை நிறை மூடரென!

லீலையென மாயை புரி அம்மடமைதனை அழி

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

Those who consider the Body or Prana (Vital Force) or Sense Organs or the Changing Mind or the Void (Total non-existence) as the “I”, are Like the emotionally sensitive women or Naive Innocent Girl Child, or Blind, or a Dull-Headed. They are deluded but they vehemently assert their points. The Inner Guru destroys this great delusion created by the play of the power of Maya. Salutations to Him, the personification of Our Inner Guru who awakens this Knowledge through His profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka:

देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुःDeham Praannam-Api-Indriyaanny-Api Calaam Buddhim Ca Shuunyam Viduh – The various types of false identifications of Ātman that we discussed above viz., deham, pranam, indriyani, calam buddhim and shunyam

स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति Strii-Baala-Andha-Jaddo(a-U)pamaastv[u-]Aham-Iti – Now let us come to the comparison that Adi Śankarā makes while describing these misconceived people. स्रीबालान्धजडोपमा (strī bāla andha jaḍo pamā). These words should be taken as symbolic of four types of defective intellect, which alone can commit these mistakes:

  1. Stri – an intellect which is suppressed by emotions, which is a hostage of emotions, Emotional thralldom; very typical of womanfolk.
  2. Bāla;- is undeveloped intellect, because a bāla, a child is not capable of thinking; it is not trained; therefore bāla represents undeveloped or untrained intellect. Training through tarka, logical reasoning, he has not gone through;
  3. Andhah – represents unaided intellect; literally the word andhā means blind, and what do you mean by the word blindness here; not using the śāstra pramāṇam, makes a person partially blind. If we have to know the spiritual truth; we require two eyes – external & internal. śāstra cakṣuḥ; buddhi cakṣuḥ, These two should combine for knowledge to take place; If one of them is not there, this person becomes what? partially blind; If both are not there, i.e., no buddhi and no śāstram, totally blind;
  4. The fourth one is jadaḥ; jadaḥa means a retarded intellect, an unintelligent intellect.

भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः Bhraantaa Bhrsham Vaadinah. – All these people with the misconceptions have one thing in common; “braandhaaha”- delusion is the only common feature. And not only they are confused and they have got wrong conclusion, the tragic part of this conclusion is they are not available for correction. Therefore Śankarācārya says that these people are not available for reconsideration. This is what the Upanisahads also have said:

avidyāyām andare vartamānā, svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyamānāḥ.

They are steeped in ignorance, and also because of their arrogance and adamancy, “svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyante”; they think we are omniscient. Therefore Śankarācārya says that even Bhagavan’s compassion becomes useless, in front of them. They always say “I am always right, the other person is always wrong”, These people are called “bhṛśaṃ vādinaḥ”. Śankarācārya says never waste your time, talking to them; talking to such people, is misplaced compassion. bhṛśaṃ means intensely; not ordinarily argumentators, intensely vādinaḥ;

मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणे – Maayaa-Shakti-Vilaasa-Kalpita-Mahaa-Vyaamoha-Samhaarinne.
Then Śankarācārya looks at himself; Oh my God, somehow I am not in that group of confusion; I have got an intellect, which is free from all these four-fold defects, I have got an intelligent intellect, intelligent enough to understand Brahman, and also I have got shraddha in vedānta śāstram m, and therefore I have rescued myself and if I could get out of this confusion, it is only because of the external aid I got; and what is that external aid, śāstram pramāṇam. And therefore I am indebted to śāstram; And if śāstram could be meaningful to me, I am indebted to another person; it is purely because of guru; In fact, śāstram is made a pramāṇam by guru alone; And therefore Śankarācārya says I am indebted to śāstram and more indebted to the guru, and that guru who destroyed all my confusions. That confusion-destroyer-guru, I offer my prostrations and therefore Guru. Adi Śankarācārya now defines a Guru and has a new title for Guru; what is the title given to guru? māyāśakti vilāsakalpita mahāvyāmoha saṃhāri; to that guru, who is none other than dakṣiṇāmūrti, my namaskaram. That is said in the third line. Now let us see the meaning of this long Sanskrit Word.

saṃhāriṇi – (my guru) is a destroyer; destroyer of what?
vyāmoha – (destroys) confusion, Delusion with regard to one self; self-delusion is called vyāmoha; how did this confusion come? he says;
kalpitam  - created by/caused by - caused by whom?
vilāsa - ; vilāsa has two meanings, one meaning is the sport or play; so vilāsaha means play; Play of what? maya shakthi, the power of māya; play or operation or sport of māya shakthi.

So thus, what will be final translation; the guru who is the destroyer of the great delusion caused by the play of the power of māya.

And therefore, Hey Guro, who is the destroyer of ignorance and consequent delusion permanently, I offer my namaskaram to you.

திருக்குறள், நிலையாமை அதிகாரத்தில் இக்கருத்தினையே இவ்வாறு பிரதிபலிக்கிறது.

நில்லாத வற்றை நிலையின என்றுணரும்
புல்லறி வாண்மை கடை.

நெருநல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்
பெருமை உடைத்துஇவ் வுலகு.

குடம்பை தனித்துஒழியப் புள்பறந் தற்றே
உடம்பொடு உயிரிடை நட்பு.

‘அழிகின்ற ஓர் உடம்பு ஆகும் செவிகள்,

கழிகின்ற காலவ் விரதங்கள் தானம், மொழிகின்ற வாக்கு முடிகின்ற நாடி, ஒழிகின்ற ஊனுக்கு உறுதுணை இல்லையே’

என்ற திருமந்திரம் ‘கண்டதே காட்சி, கொண்டதே கோலம்’ எனும் மடமைமிகு கருத்தினை அழிக்க உதவும்.

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 5 – Part 1 – Introduction

Preamble

In Vedanta one of the word which is used quite often is “saṃsāraḥ”.There is also a wonderful Question and Answer in Sanskrit.

Q: सम्सारे किम् सारं ?

A: सदा अनुचिन्थनेमेव सारं

Q: What is the essence of worldly life ?

A: The very fact that you always keep thinking about it is the essence.

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi used to say in his lectures that the word “samsara” has different connotations. Birth-death is samsara; Sukha dukha is samsara ; Household choir is samsara; Wife is called samasaram in Tamil Nadu; “Becoming” is samsara; Subject-object division is samsara ; Doership enjoyership is samasara; The division of “I” and “not I” is samsara; Atma anatma divide is samsara. All these imply a demarcation line between the two. Where does this line run? Not outside . It runs upto and including where “I” sees to feel “I am”.

Therefore when it comes to identification of the Atma (Self) there are many misconceptions (“adyāsahaḥ”) that people have. Adi Śankarācārya identifies the many misconceptions, when it comes to identification of the Atma (Self). These errors in perception are:

1. error of a non-thinking person; the layman like us making erroneous conclusion. This is understandable and correctable

2. error of the so-called thinker, who makes thoughtful errors and comes to wrong conclusion. This kind of people are difficult to correct.

The wrong conclusions that thinker following different philosophies make are as under:

1. Ātma identified with physical body (deha ātmā vādaḥ): The first category of people, misunderstand or conclude that the body (deham) is Ātma. They do not accept anything surviving after the death of the body. For them death is the total destruction of the individual, they do not believe in a mind which can survive; because for them, mind is nothing but functioning brain and emotions are neurological disturbances etc. Thirumoolar, one of the sixty-three Nayanmars and one of the 18 Siddhars, in his main work the Thirumandhiram cautions against this conlusion and states that one can’t avoid rebirth if one adopts this policy as this will result in “attachment” from which one cannot come out.

மலமென் றுடம்பை மதியாத ஊமர்

தலமென்று வேறு தரித்தமை கண்டீர்

நலமென் றிதனையே நாடி யிருக்கின்

பலமுள்ள காயத்தில் பற்றுமிவ் வண்டத்தே.

“இந்த உடல் மலத்தால் ஆனது!” என்று எண்ணி அதை ஒதுக்கிவிட வேண்டும். அவ்வாறு செய்யாமல் அதையே நல்ல தலம் என்று எண்ணி இன்பத்துடன் உடலைத் தரித்துக் கொண்டால், மேலும் உடலில் விளையும் நன்மைகளையே நாடிக்கொண்டு இருந்தால், அந்தப் பற்றின் காரணமாக மீண்டும் மீண்டும் ஒருவனுக்குப் பிறவிகள் தொடர்ந்து கொண்டே இருக்கும்.

Half a century ago, my father a common man like most of us and was the Head Master of a Government run High School gave me this advice when I entered the “Teens”. He used to say in Tamil “கண்டதே காட்சி, கொண்டதே கோலம் என்று இருக்காதே”. At that time I didn’t understand the real meaning. But being with him and watching his “simple living-noble thinking” lifestyle taught me lessons which were definitely not part of the curriculum in my Masters and MBA courses subsequently. I can now visualise and get as to what was he hinting at.

A Tamil scholar and poet Keeran (புலவர் கீரன்) in a discourse on “Thiruvasagam” brings out two interesting observations and ask us to ponder the these two facts which will reinforce my dad’s statement.

  • Among all the living beings, only humans have the capacity to introspect and look at SELF. மனித இனம் ஒன்றே மன சாட்சியை நோக்க முடியும். விலங்கினங்களால் முடியாது.
  • After death, bodies of animals are more valuable than the human body. இறந்தபின் விலங்கினங்களின் உடலுக்கு மதிப்பு அதிகம்;மனித உடலுக்கு அல்ல;

2. Ātma identified with Prana: Then comes another group of people who say that anatomy is not individual, but the physiology is the individual; physiology, the functions of the body; so, for them, prana is I, the ātmā; I breathe, I am alive, I feel hungry, I feel thirsty: on the strength of these and other notions of the sort, some conclude that Prâna is Ātman. Finding that the dead body which is to all appearance quite of the same nature as the living is yet not self-conscious and does not breathe or perform other functions of a living being, they hold that Ātman must be the Prana, the vital principle, whose presence in the body makes it alive and whose departure reduces it to a corpse.

3. Ātma identified with Sense Organs: The third category of people believe that “indrīẏāṇi” – sense organs are the ātmā; I hear, I see, I smell, I cause motion: from an experience of this sort, some rise higher and look upon the indriyas, the sense-organs, as Ātman. As self-consciousness arises only when the sense-organs are active, Ātman must be identical with the sense-organs. There is no evidence of the existence of Prana distinct from the senses; for no motion is observed during sleep when the senses are quiescent: and breathing, &c., visible during sleep are a mere illusion. As the sense-organs do not perceive objects simultaneously, i.e., as the scope of each sense-organ is restricted to one kind of objects and as there are several sense-organs occupying the body, each of them is an Ātman by itself.

4. Ātman identified with Intellect (buddhim): And then the next one” calāṃ buddhiṃ” – calāṃ buddhiṃ means buddhi means consciousness in this context, vijnānam; they say consciousness is ātmā; but calāṃ buddhiṃ, that consciousness is subject to fluctuations; fluctuating, fleeting, flow of consciousness like the water fall, you see the water, but the second-second, the next second, the water fall you see, is not the same waterfall, it has been replaced by another and another. So, you have a seeming continuous water fall, but there is no continuous water fall and continuous existence is only a changing entity. Similarly, that flowing consciousness is the ātmā, is the philosophy of ẏogācāra Buddhist; On the strength of the notion “I understand,” others regard Buddhi (Intellect) as the Ātman.

5. Ātma identified with Emptiness (śūnyam): Another sect argues that if consciousness is subject to arrival and departure: between the two consciousnesses, what should be there? There should be emptiness alone and therefore śūnyam, blankness, emptiness is the ultimate truth in which emptiness the consciousness comes and goes. Because arriving and departing consciousness cannot be permanent; What is the only permanent thing; vacuum; shoonyam; they are called śūnya vāda buddhisam; previous one is ẏogācāra; last one is śūnyam

Adi Śankarācārya discounts all the above false identification of the Ātman in this sloka. We will see the Sloka in the next blog in the coming week.