Author Topic: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami  (Read 15002 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 10:29:13 AM »
Dear Ravi,

Yes. Love is god. Anbe Sivam says Tirumoolar, But this love should be for love's without even a tinge of ego.
One can feed some people. anna dhanam is considered the best dhanam. But if one wants to feed hundreds by
a way of big mela, then the ego starts playing its tricks. First there is a big board: Anna dhanam by so and so.

Once one Mudaliar wanted to light 1 lac earthern lamps on Mahadeepam day in Tiruvannamalai. Seshadri Swamigal
laughed at him and said: Why 1 lac earthern lamps? To show your ahankaram? Mudaliar however pursued his work.
On that evening there were heavy winds in tiru and not a lamp could be lighted and even if lighted, they did not remain
for long. Seshadri Swami came and told him: Stop this nonsense. Bring cartloads of pumpkin and unripe plantains and cook
food and serve all. That is real love and paropakaram.

Arunachala Siva.   

Ravi.N

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Re: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2012, 12:06:41 PM »
What is the Aim of ‘Anbu’ by Aatma Saadhaka?-kAnchi mahAswAmi
 
I said that an aspirant for Adwaita Gnaana, instead of desiring for things and experiences, should try and inculcate pure Love that is unconditional, which I called அன்பு, a Tamil word for simple and pure Love.  Now for this love there has to be an object isn’t it?  To whom does the Aatma Saadhaka give his love and himself like that?  If you ask as to, if such an aspirant for Aatma Gnaana can have அன்பு for other people of the society, caste or country, or if he can give himself to them; my answer is, “Not at this stage of his own development”!  Because, if he does that, there is a potent risk of his getting involved once again in the very binding ties, that he has been trying to extricate himself from!  We do not need any other example to prove this point than that of Jada Bharatha!  (Jada Bharatha, you may know that after fully realizing the Self, in the last few days of his existence in the mortal coil happened to be a witness of a tiger mauling a pregnant deer in the throes of delivery.  The deer died after delivering the baby.  Jada Bharatha took pity on the doe / fawn and brought it up.  His attachment was so much that he had to take another life as a deer!)
 
In earlier stages it is good to offer one’s utmost in activities such as service for the society, for the community, for the nation and humanity.  All those activities are part of what is Karma Yoga.  But now, when we are moving in Gnaana Yoga, when the whole world is to be set aside as part of imaginary Maya, if we get involved in love for that world of Maya and in service activities, isn’t it a contradiction in terms? It may happen that after Aatma Saakshaatkaara, a man of Siddhi who is fully Self Realized, may do service for the humanity by the promptings of the Easwara, who is like a Chief Executive Officer for the world of Maya.  Our Aadi Sankara AachaaryaaL himself was such a man only, isn’t it?  Because at that stage such a person is immune to the Maya’s prevarications and delusions as he has become unshakably established firmly in the Aatma.  Also, because such a Gnaani is completely rid of the promptings of the Ego and is functioning only as a tool of Easwara, he may then do so and not in the period when he is still endeavouring to realize as a Saadhak.  As it is, the number of people who launch themselves in the Gnaana Marga thus will form only a small fraction of the whole.  So it is alright if they do not get involved in such social service activities.   Come to think of it, it is the general public which should take care of the creature comforts of such aspirants in the Gnaana Marga as they should feel, “We are anyhow stuck in the mire of this worldly life.  When at least some people so start out on a venture of Self Realization, it is our duty to take care of them, so that they are not burdened”! 

So, there is no chance for this aspirant on the Gnaana Marga to have love for individuals or the public in general. When I say this, it does not mean that he should have hatred for them either.  He can have neither love or passion nor repulsion for anybody.  Ahimsa is his main quality.  At the time of taking Sannyaasa he has to take a vow that none of the other life forms may be afraid of him and that he will not cause hurt to any other life form.  So, he would have no hatred for anybody, though at the same time he should not try and demonstrate his universal love.
 
But, in that stage when there is likely to be an abundant out- pouring of love in his heart, he has to direct it to some object and in the process also hand over his individuality and separateness.  Then only his ego can be thin enough to enter the narrow point or dot of the Dahara Aakaasa in his heart.  Who can that object be?  It has to be the Aatma itself.  With the abundant outpouring of love he has to offer his self, separateness and ego in total surrenderNot only to be absorbed but to be erased and annihilated.  With such an attitude the aspirant Saadhak has to love the objectWhatever test it may have for self-revelation for the Saadhak, his attitude should be one of, “Only if there is an ‘I or me’ left here, there can be a test of strength and sincerity of purpose.  When this self or separate being is completely annulled unto you, who can be tested?”  With such true and complete love the Aatma should be invited to take over.  It is here and now that love becomes devotion.



Ravi.N

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Re: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2012, 12:23:05 PM »
What is the Aim of ‘Anbu’ by Aatma Saadhaka?-kAnchi mahAswAmi continued...

The love for the superlative best is Bhakti – Devotion.  Love for equals is friendship or Natpu – ‘நட்பு’.  The love for elders is respect.  The love for people lower than oneself is ‘AruL’ – ‘அருள்’.  The love towards children is ‘Vaatsalyam’ – ‘வாத்சல்யம்’.  The love you have for the downtrodden is ‘KaruNai’ – ‘கருணை’.   So, the love one could have with obedient respect towards the Mother, Father, Guru and God is all Bhakti / Devotion – that is ‘பக்தி’.  Out of all that love, the highest is the one for God / Guru, who could completely dissolve our separate idea of a ‘Naan’ – ‘நான்’.  So, for the Saadhak in the path of Gnaana, since he has to absorb, comprehend and understand the Aatma till there is no separate individual in balance, his love and devotion has to be for the NirguNa Brhmam in his God / Guru, sans any sense of differentiation / भेद.   

Bhakti for SaguNa/NirguNa Brhmam.  Now we say that the Aatma tests our sincerity, then reveals itself, or totally absorbs the endeavouring Saadhak.  If all that is true, is this the NirguNa or SaguNa Brhmam?  If it is the SaguNa Brhmam doing all these things listed heretofore, then that is not our aim, isn’t it?  Such questions may arise.  Here is where we have to bring in our Shraddha, which our AachaaryaaL who guides us with care, has kept as our bodyguard!  Do not ask questions about SaguNa and NirguNa.  The Upanishads which have all along been talking about NirguNa Brhmam as the Object of Aim while dealing with Gnaana Marga Saadhana, has said so here, ‘that by your love it enjoins you with the NirguNa Brhmam’!  Take its words on face value and progress with faith and belief!  This is what we have to tell ourselves and carry on. 
The most important point to understand here is that, what we are discussing is about how to deal with our own inner self /Antah KaraNam and not any exotic entity. As long as that NirguNa Brhmam temporarily behaves as the SaguNa Brhmam in sanctioning the Anugraha and absorbs you in its NirguNa aspect, what objection can you have for that?  Whatever it is or may be; we as an aspiring Saadhak should proceed with Shraddha /faith/ belief, period!  If you give even a little margin as SaguNa Brhmam, then mind will go on to experiencing its endless salubrious qualities and playfulness and land you back like a ton of bricks plonk in the middle of duality once again!  However much that may be alluring, do not forget that your aim is Adwaitam!
 
Yes we cannot completely forget the SaguNa Brhmam as Easwara.  When we think of something good, how can we forget Easwara as the repository of all good qualities?  How can this Adwaita Saadhak totally forget him who is the end destination of all religions other than the Adwaita Siddhaanta?  Whenever such a thought of Easwara, in whichever form occurs, simultaneously one should be thinking, “Oh God!  It is by your grace that my mind has gone in Adwaitam.  Whatever in the process I am doing is again by your blessings only.  All this is happening so that you may absorb this child to become one with your NirguNa Swaroopa only.  So now if I restart SaguNa Upaasana, it seems to be contrary to your own sanction and grace.  So please enable me to proceed in the path of Gnaana Marga!”
 
A sense of gratitude – ‘Nanri’ – ‘நன்றி or कृतज्ञ्यता’ is important.  A sense of gratitude that it is God’s will that has directed us in this super-highway of Adwaitam, may arise often causing us to thank God, still maintaining that state of Bhakti for some period, we have to come back to our path.  Still all that we did in Bhakti for Chitta Aikaagrata earlier is not a patch on our attitude towards God now!  All that Bhakti that we did earlier was like many routine rituals lacking in content.  Now in the path of Gnaana, this Bhakti in flashes that floods us with a sense of gratitude, though infinitesimal in duration is mighty in intensity and genuineness.  Since the aim is the NirguNa Brhmam, from this sense of devotion too, the mind has to be turned back to that NirguNa Brhmam only.  Still, if at times you feel that it is better to be devoted to a SaguNa Murthy, for that there is the Guru, isn’t it?  Pour your heart and devotion to him and completely hand yourself over to him.  He will lift you up unto the NirguNa Brhmam to be able to evince your love for it.

What is அன்பு?  To simply go and catch and absorb, isn’t it? Not with the intention of owning it, but to become its property is the aim.  This separate ‘I, me and mine’, it is that Ahankaara / Ego, that has to go.   With that intention, the glue like attachment and adherence we have is the அன்பு(anbu) that is, Bhakti.  By saying that அன்பு means deep attachment, I do not wish to give you the impression that deep attachment to chess or cricket or being a bibliophile and such infatuations are also அன்பு that is, Bhakti.  Because they are all meant for individual satisfactions, and lead to further fattening up the sense of ego!  So instead of feeding the ego, to offer the ego as the feed is அன்பு that is, Bhakti. So this ‘Swayam Varam’ is peculiar wherein the bride-groom gobbles up the bride, that is our ego, the separateness, the Ahankaar!

continued...

Ravi.N

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Guru and God
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 04:59:29 PM »
Excerpts from The Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi:

GURU

God and Guru

Other Assets & That Endowed by the Guru.


The ancestral house one day or the other will become dilapidated, requiring maintenance, painting, white washing repair and reconstruction. Even agricultural property will require investment in terms of tilling, irrigation, seeds, manure and labour, to be able to give any returns. Some lands even after much application of all inputs become unproductive with time. Then you have failure of the rains, not opening of the sluice gates of the reservoir in time, insects, floods and untimely rains, raising cost of inputs and so on; there are problems galore! Above all there is the ‘sealing’ or ‘capping’ limitations as imposed by law. Even if your parents have left money in cash, there is the problem of daily devaluation of the currency. Then there is the burden of existing taxes and the fear of new taxes being levied; similar to theft and fear of being robbed!

Thus, whatever the ancestral property, there is scope for its being lost and its value undermined. Having got some such endowments the legatee becomes greedy and in trying to retain the hold on the property, is ready to go to any lengths such as; harming others, breaking the law, bribing officials, showing cooked up accounts, creating ‘benami’ owners and so on, just to obviate the ceiling laws on ownership of properties. If the value of what he got was as much as a thimbleful, (PeriyavaaL shows his hand by joining the thumb and index finger to indicate that small quantity), the demerits of Paapa he accumulates and negative qualities that he ends up imbibing are as big as the whole world (now PeriyavaaL is showing a widening expanse with both his hands, with a smile on his face)! Even if by some chance the ancestral property is continuing to grow, (due to some merits of PuNya gathered in one’s past life), without illegal and immoral means; we have to keep in mind that “kaadarrtra oosiyum vaaraadu kaaN kadai vazhikke”, meaning that, ‘even a broken needle cannot be taken with us in our end journey’! (That is a quotation from Saint Pattinaththaar’s life!) Let it be palatial mansions, vast landed properties, crores of rupees accumulated in banks (or even in secret accounts in foreign banks) and an equally massive vote bank; none of it, not an iota of it will be useful to us eventually! So, ancestral property and our own accumulations too are not forever.

The permanent asset, the one that can never be lost, that which does not require periodic maintenance, that cannot be taxed and not stolen, for which we do not have to go astray to protect and save, that cannot be endowed by parents and cannot be searched for and earned by ourselves also; that eternal asset can be given to us only by Guru! This is not the asset that would not come with us when we depart from this world, it is such an asset that it will ensure that we do not come back to be born again! It will reconnect us eternally with the only reality of Paramaatma! Guru sanctions that Gnaana, of eternal asset for which we do not have to work anymore for retaining or increasing or protecting. That is Guru’s Upadesa which will successively grow to totally erase our very mistaken identity and give us permanent bliss. All other assets are temporary. Guru’s Upadesa gives us what is known as ‘Nitya + Ananda = Nityaananda’, that is eternal happiness.

Devotion to God and Guru. For the Guru who grants us with ‘Nityaananda’, what is the devotion should we be displaying? We should be as devoted to him as we are towards God, as it is said in the scriptures: “yasya deve parabhaktir – yataa deve tataa gurow”. As we are devoted to God, ‘yataa deve’- ‘tataa gurow’ – should we be also devoted to Guru – then only can we optimise the Upadesa by the Guru as seen in Svetaswaropanishad and Guru Gita. The sloka runs like this:- “yasya deve paraabhaktir – yataa deve tataa gurow tasyaite katitaahyartaa: prakaasante mahaatmana:”

The disciple who has the same devotion to the Guru as he would have for God, is being praised here as ‘mahaatmana:’. For him the words as told by the Guru will shine with inner meaning – ‘tasyaite katitaa: artha: prkaasante’. When it says that the inner meanings will shine, it is not to be construed as being intellectually understood only but, as the essence of the words spoken by the Guru reach the inner being, the Anubhava shines apparently in his heart. (For a few minutes PeriyavaaL closes his eyes in deep absorption and then continues his talk.)

continued....

Ravi.N

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Guru and God-Kanchi Mahaswami
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 05:05:31 PM »
Excerpts from The Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi: GURU continued....

Further mulling over it, what can be the import of saying that ‘the secret meanings will shine brightly’? Whatever is hidden or terse or indirect or complicated, will become crystal clear. We can take it like that. When it is said that with God’s and Guru’s Grace, all ‘iha and para’ (this worlds’ and spiritual world’s) benefits can accrue, our brains will also become sharpened and focussed that what was hazy will also become apparent. On deeper thinking we will also know that what I am talking about is not a matter for the brains and intelligence. This inner core of the meaning is not meant for the brains and intelligence anyhow! Because whatever is giving satisfaction to the brains will quickly take us back to the ‘Ahankaara’ which we want to shun and set aside. ‘Adhyaatma Upadesa’ is meant to do away with ‘Ahankaara’, is it not so? The purpose therefore is ‘Aatma Anubhuthi’ or otherwise known as ‘Swaanubhuthi’. There is a foundation or a basis on which the brains rest known as ‘Aatma Chaitanyam’, the inner power of life in us. The differentiation between ‘Jeeva Chaitanyam and Brhma Chaitanyam’ goes, annulled, erased, finished and all that remains is clarity! All dualities and the ducats are over. Seer, seeing and the scenery becomes one. That is the stage of the ‘saaswatha sathyam’ – of the eternal truth. That is the ‘Moksham’ referred by the Adwaitins. This ‘Swanubhuthi’ is also known as ‘Aparoksha Anubhuthi’. Actually our AachaaryaaL has written a grantha by that name!

There are two words ‘Paroksham’ and ‘Aparoksham’. Paroksham is what is not known or seen by us and is hidden from our view and perception, remaining as a secret. Aparoksham is opposite of that, what is clearly seen and understood. What is heard and read is Paroksham, theoretical. To know it in experience is Aparoksham, practical. Till it comes to be experienced, we can never be aware of its purpose or usefulness – that is Ananda, pure happiness! We read about Kutraalam Aruvi, the waterfalls and see photographs or hear about it from others who have been there. From the photographs and description do we get the slightest experience of the waterfalls? If we go there and stand for few minutes under the waterfalls, that will let us know what it is to experience it! This is only about an experience of the senses. What we are talking about today is about the experience beyond all bodily, physical and mental experiences! We are talking about how we will get the ‘Aatma Anubhava’ which is known as ‘Anubhuthi’. Even Guru’s Upadesa, even when it is heard and understood by our minds and brains it is not enough; till Anubhava has become Anubhuthi; then it is Aparoksham!

There is a bit of a funny thing here. Till Guru’s Upadesa is heard and goes to our brains, there doesn’t seem to be anything very exotic or secretive about it. It seems to be well understood by our minds and brains. Still it is to be considered as Paroksha Gnaanam only. But when it becomes an experience of the inner core of our being, of the Aatma, the very life of ours then and only then, it becomes the Revealed Aparoksha Anubhuthi. The funny thing I talked about is here. Guru’s Upadesa, when correctly heard by our ears, fully received by our brains and clearly understood by our minds; it has an adjective of being ‘a hidden and invisible secret’ – Paroksha title! When it has gone beyond the physical body, brain and intellect; it gets the opposite title of being Aparoksha which means, visibly openly shining and known! How can this be correct?

We know that milk is tasty as it is. Jaggery is also nice and sweet. If both these two things are well heated together continuously while being stirred, we may also know that the resultant sweet meat must taste quite nice. That is known to our brains alright and till we do it, the taste of it is not experienced, till the taste buds come into physical contact with the item. Till the ‘Thirattippaal’ as it is called in Tamil, is eaten and gone inside the system, we do not know the pleasant sensation and satisfaction! When the item disappears from our view and vanishes inside our body, then only we realise its utility!

That is, in the matter of ‘in and out’ there seems to be two aspects. When a thing is physically in front of our eyes, its usefulness is not apparent and so is a secret. In the language of Vedanta it is only ‘Paroksham’. When the item loses its form in the process of being absorbed, its effectiveness shines and becomes ‘Aparoksham’! Even when a thing is seen in its gross form if it’s effective usefulness is not known, it is as good as not being there. Is it not so? If we agree that the inner usefulness is more important than its outer form; that stage when its usefulness is not clear will be the ‘Paroksham’ state and when its usefulness becomes apparent that will be ‘Aparoksham’. Please understand that I am not just playing with words! When the advice is understood intellectually it is still ‘Paroksham’ only. When the words of advice are gone, the brain and our understanding is gone and our separate individuality is also gone; then in that stage the essence of the Guru’s words are imbibed, crystal clearly absorbed, known, understood and experienced! That is ‘Aparoksha Anubhuthi’

continued....

Ravi.N

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Re: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 05:12:12 PM »
Excerpts from The Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi: GURU continued....

What is absorbed by the brains is something else and what is experienced by the life in us is something else. Human eyes see things in day light. But the owl is capable of seeing at night. Nowadays they say some night vision devices are being made. Even those make use of the electromagnetic radiations close to the visible spectrum such as infra-red and ultra-violet radiations. The human brain knows reasoning and deductive logic. But the inner being in us is more on intuitive perception call it heart of the matter or whatever!

This heart however does not open out so easily. Somehow the trend is for us to give more importance to the brains and intellect than the dictates of the heart and intuition. So anything before they are accepted as true or even remotely possible or feasible, it has to become intellectually acceptable. It is a human fallacy that even the spiritual matters of religion are first subjected to an assessment by the brains as the whether they are OK or not OK! So only after the clearance has been given by the brains acting as the gate keeper, we come to accept the fact that matters spiritual are beyond the ken of the brains!

Then we come to the conclusion that there are matters beyond the human brains and so instead of going by reasoning and logic, we start applying our heart to the issue under consideration. For example despite hearing about there being an Aatma or the inner soul and that it is ‘sat + chit + aanandam’ that is ‘being – awareness – bliss’, as said by many Rishis and saints of the past, as given in many books on Vedaanta; we remain unaware and ignorant, not knowing the ‘sat’, or ‘chit’ or ‘aananda’! We remain like a stupid fool but sad enough additionally! After all the rigorous mental gymnastics, tiredly we do come to accept that instead of going by the brains, we should open our hearts a little more in this issue! This is the main tragedy of human behaviour because of his over dependence on the brains and his thinking ability. The problem is more pronounced in people who are more intelligent and learned. The simple common man is not so much troubled as the so called intelligentsia! Blind belief of the proletariat is that much better off than the one trusting his brains.

Sruti – Yukti – Anubhava. Our AachaaryaaL who made much use of his brains in debates and whose works are capable of evoking the admiration and awesome respect of the brilliant brains till date, still has clearly directed us not to use our brains for analysing what is given in the ‘Sruti’ that is the Vedas! The stuff that coruscated in to the comprehension of Rishis by divine will is what the Vedas are and they are anyhow beyond human capabilities of analysis! So accept implicitly what is given in the Vedas, says our AachaaryaaL. But to the extent possible he did establish his Adwaita Siddhanta with deep qualitative analysis, raising all possible counter questions and objections and giving answers to all of them! All the Vaidic AachaaryaaLs of all Sampradayas (traditions) such as Madhva and Ramanuja AachaaryaLs of Dwaitam and Visishtaadwaitam have also accepted the Sruti as ‘Sabda PramaaNam’ (sound evidence) without questioning them and interpreted them from their point of view intellectually.

For each Siddhaantam that is Principled View Point, it has to be in consonance with three things namely, Sruti (Vedas), Yukti (Intellectual Analysis) and Anubhava (Practical Experience). What is given in the Vedas should be accepted as it is firstly. Then without going contrary to its statements, analysing them while enlarging and elaborating is what is Yukti. Finally these two things ‘Sruti’ and ‘Yukti’ should lead us to ‘Anubhava’ the practical experience in our hearts.

The AachaaryaaL themselves might have had the inner ‘SphuraNa’ or flash of comprehension. They may talk about this brilliance in support of their principled view point. Not only those great Mahatmas, even we the common folks do get such intuitions at times. Not all of them can be explained by Yukti. There are occasions such as the Love of the Mother for the child or the out of this world sort of experience while listening to a beautiful piece of music on the VeeNa. Making use of such parallels and examples, the AachaaryaaL may try and make us comprehend his view point, bringing a consonance between Sruti – Yukti and Anubhava.

For a man with devotion to God and equal devotion to Guru; the meaning of the principles will brilliantly shine. That shining gleam, glimmer and flash that the disciple gets is what is called the ‘Swanubhuthi’ or ‘Aparoksha Anubhuthi’! This is what is called ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Illumination’ and or ‘Revelation’ in other religions too! So it is an experience of Enlightenment and not simply a brain wave. Anubhava is the root. The Upadesa by the Guru instead of remaining at the physical, sensual and cerebral level, for it to mature in to an experience of the inner being; devotion to God and equal devotion to Guru are the Qualitative Requirement or QR as an acronym. The ground for that is not cerebral but the heart. The flash of brilliance is not something that happens newly but a revelation of what already exists in all of us. Only that we were blind to it till it is revealed!

By sharpening our brains, by Yukti even if we grasp or comprehend, that flash should lead to the experience of the inner light. The devotion is needed so that the experience is not usurped by our pride as though we have achieved something great not attained by others! For our haughtiness to stand aside with humility, devotion to God and Guru are essential, says the sloka.

concluded.

Ravi.N

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Shraddha-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 09:10:05 AM »
Friends,
'Ego' is so subtle that unless one is blessed with a Guru and guided by him,it is easy to be complacent and loose the way without even being aware of it!
Here is a series of posts that I thought will be of help;these are excerpts from the Talks of kanchi Mahaswami:

Shraddhaa (Faith / Dedication)
In the sextad starting with ‘shama’ the next one is ‘shraddhA’ (Faith/Dedication). When one is involved in something by the sheer conviction – not by any direct ‘proof’ -- that what the shAstras or the righteous ones say must be right, that is known as ‘shraddhA’. Compared to men, women stand higher in ‘shraddhA’ – so long as they do not involve themselves in academic research. In fact, I think, even after their modern involvement in studies, they are still one step higher in shraddhA. Maybe in the days to come this will be different.
Shraddhaa leads to Belief (AstikyaM) as I already mentioned. Among those who have become non-believers, women are probably just one-fourth of the number of men. Even the wives of leaders of parties of non- believers, have faith in temples, austerities and worship. I think the ‘shraddhA’ word is rightly feminine!Right in the beginning when I talked about ‘shraddhA’ I told you this topic will recur again at the end of the SAdhanA. We have now come to that second level ‘shraddhA’, the higher grade one.

At this stage the seeker has taken several steps towards his spiritual maturity. To inquire and convince oneself what is eternal and what is ephemeral; to develop a dispassion towards the ephemeral; to quell the thoughtful mind by self control and convert it into an emptiness; to cultivate patience and tolerance – in all this he has made sufficient progress. So at this stage what is this shraddhA for? That is something to be there right at the beginning, when he was putting the foundation for all his SAdhanA. In the beginning when he was nowhere near any familiarity with spiritual conduct and regimen, there was a meaning in prescribing a shraddhA for him by saying, “This path does not allow intellectual proofs and verifications; many things have to be taken on faith from the shAstras and the words of the Guru”. Now that he has taken significant steps towards spiritual progress, why bring the shraddhA back again? It is because, by the very fact of his progress gained upto now, there is danger of his losing the very faith that has brought him so far!
In the beginning he was likely to have had some modesty and naivety and a consequent shraddhA because at that zero stage one is rather scared about the strict requirements of discrimination, dispassion and sense-control and one wonders whether all these are achievable. At that time it was easy to believe that perhaps in the spiritual field there might be many things which cannot be understood or argued out by the rational mind and one must trust the words of the scriptures and the wise. But now after one has made some progress on the spiritual SAdhanA path, one is likely to think that the mind is now clear and hereafter it will understand all that has yet to be achieved on the path of Self Realisation. This is a kind of ego – an unrecognizable ego that creeps in. Things do happen even upto the stage of Self-Realisation, that cannot be understood by the smartest intellect . Even a JnAni who has achieved that Self-Realisation will not be able to explain them by his intellect. One has to continue with the same regimen without questioning them until the Self-Realisation sprouts up like the rise of the Sun. When those things happen, one has to take them as they are, without analysing them by the intellect. One may have to be content with the thought: “The SAdhanA that has brought me so far will certainly take me further by the same Grace of the Lord that brought me up to now; I shall not subject it to any intellectual questioning.” Even after one has obtained Enlightenment, the things may still be inaccessible to the intellect. Even our Acharya – there cannot be a better Acharya than he – does not try to tell that secret of achievement to us in the language of the intellect. “I cannot describe it. Simply keep on proceeding with Faith” – this is his message and accordingly he keeps this shraddhA at this advanced stage of SAdhanA.

continued....

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Shraddha-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2012, 09:23:44 AM »
Shraddhaa, excerpt from The Talk of kanchi Mahaswami continued...

Had the Acharya told us all the secrets, there would not have been a necessity for Ramanujacharya to establish a VishishhTAdvaita. Somewhere in the philosophy of advaita Ramanuja asked an intellectual question and not finding a reply to that, he thought he had a suitable reply to it and that became his vishishhTAdvaita. OK, but did that reveal all the hidden secrets? No. That is why a Madhwacharya had to establish his dvaita. But even then intellectual questions remain unanswered. That is why still there are many advaitins and many vishishhTAdvaitins. And we are arguing and arguing. Though these arguments are going on at the intellectual level, those who came thereafter, without worrying about testing everything on the touchstone of the intellect, simply follow their own Acharyas with shraddhA on the plea “I am born in this particular Smarta or Vaishnava tradition; let me follow with faith what my Acharyas in my tradition have taught us” – and they have reached great spiritual heights accordingly.

A smarta (belonging to the advaita tradition) may say that nothing would equal the experience of identity of JIva and Brahman, whatever these followers of other traditions may claim about their spiritual achievements. Let him say so. But they are certainly greater than many of these smartas who don’t practise any SAdhanA with shraddhA. Maybe they have not reached the peak experience of realisation of nirguna brahman, of which the smartas speak. But isn’t it the same brahman that appears as the Ishvara or saguna brahman? Those achievers of the other-tradition-followers do somehow establish a rapport with that Ishvara. And they do obtain a certain godly nature, blessing of Divine Grace and a heart of compassion. Even on the spiritual side, rather than simply bragging about belonging to the glorious advaita tradition without knowing anything worthwhile about the Atman, except one’s body and the goings-on of the mind, those experiencers of other traditions who are convinced that their soul has been born only to worship and propitiate the Divine are certainly greater. One who thinks that his pure mind which is full to the brim with that kind of bhakti is the Atman is superior to some one who has had no experience of anything connected with the Realisation of the Atman. Once the mind becomes that pure, automatically in course of time there is the chance of that very mind eradicating itself leading to Self-Realisation. But let that be in the future. Right now, those followers of other traditions have, as I
said, because of their shraddhA, obtained a divine contact and a divine grace and benefits. That is the very reason there are great souls in all our traditions, known the world over.

continued.....

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Shraddha-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2012, 10:01:00 PM »
Shraddhaa, excerpt from The Talk of kanchi Mahaswami continued...

It is the play of Mother Goddess – Bikshaa of Illumination – that, at a certain stage, one rises on the strength of his shraddhA alone, without any effort on the part of the intellect. That is when shraddhA becomes most significant. Even those who have taken several steps on the SAdhanA path should simply continue in the path of shraddhA and ask no questions; questions will not get any answers palatable to the intellect, nor will it be able to elicit any answers from the Guru understandable by the intellect. It is for this reason that shraddhA has been placed as one of the parts of the SAdhanA regimen.
This kind of shraddhA, that is the opposite of “I shall find it myself; I will be able to intellectually understand it”, has to be there not only in the beginning but till the end. “The shAstras say so; our guru says so. Let me go on doing what they say – whatever may happen in between. It will automatically take me to the Goal” – this attitude is shraddhA. It is not just one of the components of SAdhanA ; it is the peak component. The Acharya says in his introduction to the second chapter BrihadAranyaka Bhashya *shraddhA ca brahma-vijnAne paramaM SAdhanAM*. The Lord also emphatically says (B.G.IV-39) *shraddhAvan labhate jnAnaM* ((only) he who has shraddhA gets the enlightening wisdom).
A special status is attached always to the mantras of the Upanishads called *mahA-vAkyas* that declare the identity of jIva and brahman. Even among those mahAvAkyas, one of them gets a further unique status, because it is the one which is directly imparted to a shishhhya (disciple). It is the one in Samaveda, where it is given to a celibate youngster who is not a renunciate. The Absolute ParamAtmA who is denoted by ‘That’ is what You, the jIvAtmA, are – This is the message there. The father Uddalaka Aruni is the one who doles out the teaching; and the receiver of the teaching is the son, Svetaketu. The father keeps on reeling mantra after mantra and ends up with the emphatic refrain: “That is what You are”(Tat tvam asi). As he goes along, right in the middle, he says, “Go and bring a banyan fruit, my child”.
“Here it is”, says the son and produces the fruit.
“Break it” says the father.
[Note by R. Ganapathi, the author of the Tamil rendering:
‘Here the Mahaswami gives the conversation in a dramatic fashion feigning two voices, one of the guru and one of the disciple.]
“Done, my Lord”
“What do you see within the broken fruit?”
“Seeds, and seeds, like small small particles”
“Well, my child, break that seed also”
“Done”
“What do you see inside, now?”
“Nothing, my Lord”
The nothing that you are referring to has an invisible subtle thing in it. “It is from that subtlety the entire banyan tree springs out” says the sage Aruni, and it is at that point, he addresses the child with affectionate warmth : “Saumya (Smart one), Believe me. Have faith in what I say. *shraddhasva*” *shraddhasva* means ‘Have shraddhA’.
This is the mahAvAkya that is at the lofty peak of Vedanta that is taught as the great first step to SanyAsis at the time of their taking sannyAsa. And when this upadesha is being given first to that supremely qualified celibate youngster, the Rishi finds it necessary to say *shraddhasva*. This just means that one has to have shraddhA as his only armour even at the last moment when the stark reality of Realisation of Brahman takes place.

continued....

Ravi.N

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Re: Brahma Vishnu and Shiva-Kanchi Mahaswami
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2013, 07:45:28 AM »
Friends,
Elsewhere Jyothi had asked about Brahma Vishnu and Shiva in the Puranas.I am posting the genesis of these Gods as expounded by Kanchi Mahaswami in his 'Deivathin Kural'
Namaskar.

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Re: Karma and jnAna-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2013, 07:53:18 AM »
Brahma Vishnu Shiva

The colourless sunlight when refracted, scatters in to the component six colours. It is as though to say, 'if you seperate us, we will rather go our seperate ways!'. It is rather funny. If they all join, the colours become colourless. From that colourlessness, even if you seperate one, others come out too.

Brahmam is like the colourless sunlight. Brahmam has no work, no activity. But all the basis and power for all action and for all the dynamism, is potentially in Brahmam. The first job of the actionless Brahmam is to become aware of itself. This is like the first movement in the static Brahmam, like the refraction of light. In this refraction, the first colour to seperate is red. Early mornings, before you see the sunlight, the eastern sky becomes tinged with red. We call it, 'arunodayam'. 'Aruna' means red. When thus the undifferentiated  Brahmam comes in to action, Ambal(Divine Mother) comes into being. Actionless Brahmam becomes dynamic. Kameswari appears. Brahmam had the desire for self awareness. That desire's form is Kameswari. She is the source root for world's Creation (or Appearance), Sustenance (or Maintenance) and Re-absorbtion (or Samharam). In truth all these three main jobs are from Maya only. By the power of Maya, Brahmam is hidden and in its place appears this universe. This screening of Brhmam and revealing of universe, is called the fourth job known as 'Thirodanam' or 'Thirobhavam'. Other than these four major jobs of, Creation, Maintenance, Re-absorbtion and Thirodanam, there is a fifth job of 'Anugraham' or Grace of Compassion. This last one is to retrieve the devotees from Maya, unto Herself is Anugraham. Because she does these Five Main Jobs, she is called, 'pancha krutya parayana', in Lalitha Sahasranamam."

This power of Brahmam is effulgent as Kameswari, on a celestial seat 'Manjam', whose four legs or four chains by which the Manjam is hung; are the Creator Brahma, Administrator Vishnu, Destroyer Rudra and Maya's Ruler Easwara. The Parabrhmam Kameswara is seated and on His Left is Kameswari. Kameswara is Parabrhmam and Kameswari is His Power. They are a pair ,inseperable.

Once the Red Kameswara and Kameswari, seperate from the Brhmam, other colours of the spectrum have to rush to be revealed, is it not so? By this logic, the red-yellow Brhma and Lakshmi appeared. The Blue Mahavishnu and Parvathi, came in to being. The fair coloured Rudra and Saraswathi were revealed. Amongst these three pairs that appeared from Brhma Shakthi, each is a brother-sister combination. That is, Brhma and Lakshmi; Vishnu and Parvathi; Rudra and Saraswathi; are three pairs of siblings. Brhma and Lakshmi are golden coloured and have Lotus seat. Brhma started His job of creating variety of life forms. Lakshmi started Her action of multiplying wealth and wherewithal, for the use of the so created life forms. The blue-black cloud coloured Vishnu and Parvathi are similar siblings. Their's is to address the administration with Maya. Look at the Durga's sanctum sanctorum on the Northern aisle of the Siva temples 'praharam'. You will notice that she stands alone, sporting the 'Shankam' (conch) and 'Chakram' (wheel), as done by Vishnu. That is why She is called, 'Narayani, Syama Krishna Sahodari,' etc. Siva and Saraswathi, likewise are siblings. In Siva temples, on the Southern aisle, exactly opposite to Durga, will be located Dakshinamoorhy. He will be sporting in His hands, a book and japa mala, as Saraswathi does. They are both representing the supreme state of resignation and dispassion. They are both white!

continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Brahma Vishnu Shiva-KAnchi mahAswami
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2013, 06:47:14 PM »
Brahma Vishnu Shiva continued....

There is logic in the evolution of three different pairs. Each male has to wed a female. If there were only two pairs, it would mean, 'give a girl in marriage and take a boy from the same family', which is not much preferred. When there are three pairs of brother and sister, a more round interchange of Traits that is Gunas and complexions, is possible. Brahma married Siva's sister Saraswathi (Golden and White). Vishnu married Brahma's sister Lakshmi (Blueblack and Golden) and Siva took Vishnu's sister Parvathi as wife (White and Blueblack). Blue and Black are indicative of Tamo guna. White is Satva and Golden is Rajo guna. Thus there is greater mixing in, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Parvathi being the consorts of Vishnu, Brhma and Siva respectively.

It is one entity or power, call it what you want, that is seen or appear as all this. Calling it Parasakthi, She does / becomes all this.

Still, we relate Her to Maya and allude the role of screening or 'Thirodana', as Her main role. Mooka Kavi in Pancha Sathi, while describing crimson-red Kamakshi, refers to Her as being blueblack too. Kamakshi's job is to remove Maya and grant Her Grace as 'Anugraha'. The white Siva, having the blueblack 'Kali', as His consort, does the job of 'Samhara'. 'Kali' means black. But why does the poet, at times refers to Kamakshi as black? Why does he say that Kamakshi also does Samhara or destruction?

We all do work. Then we become tired and sleep. Sleep is a 'Tamas' job. It is all darkness. All black and no light. Still, it is in this sleep
that living things find some peace! For the day's efforts and resultant tiredness, some sleep is interposed, to give some temporary relief. So in Tamas, there seems to be much Anugraha
.

Samhara is big sleep. As there is no sadness in sleep and we find peacefulness and quiet, after death too, till we take a life form again. Jeeva during this, is in a peaceful state of suspended animation. To relieve us from the ties of Karma involvement temporarily, we are being given some interrugnum, between death and next life. Only those who have realized the Self or Atma and completely got rid of the 'Ahankara' or Ego, can permanently escape the paradox of Karma. But temporary relief is available to all, in short spans in sleep and longer spans in the gap between death and next birth. So Samhara or destruction is also with extreme care, consideration and compassion!

Continued....

Ravi.N

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Re: The nAdis of the Heart
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2013, 09:34:38 AM »
The NaaDis of the heart: JnAni’s life rests, Other’s lives leave

Isn’t it strange? From that very heart things take place – even those which are not related to Love! That is Ishvara’s mysterious MAyA shakti! All this because, the heart is the locale for the ego. The nADis that control and monitor the jIva’s personal matters of life start from there and proceed to the other organs giving them the life-force, as we have seen earlier.
Several sooshma(subtle) nAdis go forth from this heart in all directions. Among them are those which end in one of the nine Gates. (*nava-dvAra*). For all those who have to take another birth – in other words, for ninety-five percent  of all the people, life leaves through one of these gates. Besides these nine there is a gate of the size of an atom at the top of the head. For all people life enters into the foetus through that gate. But at the time of death of all those who have to have another birth, life leaves not by that gate but by one of the other nine gates. For those who do not have to be born again, other than the JnAni, life leaves only by the gate at the head. That is what is called “kapAla-mokShaM”.
I said “other than JnAni”. So what is the case of the JnAni? Other than the JnAni, who are those that are not destined for a rebirth?
The prANa of the JnAni does not go anywhere outside at the time of the fall of the body. There is no mokSha which he has yet to get. And in the same way, there is no mokSha which has to be obtained at some time after death, for him. Whenever he got his jnAna, that is, the Realisation of Brahman, then itself, his antaHkaraNaM (the mind of the jIva) has been extinguished and he has been released from MAyA; so he becomes a mukta, a JIvan-mukta then and there. Thus he has been ‘released’ even when being in the body and the prANa does not have to go anywhere after the fall of the body, for mokSha.
He has been thinking of the Atman, as his life, the supreme life. Without even recognizing it as bhakti, but with a great attitude of bhakti, he has been doing his SAdhanA for the purpose of dissolving the ego. By this process, it dissolves and dissolves and reaches such an emaciated slender state, that it enters the small gate of the heart which is the locale of the Atman, converges into the Atman, unifies with it and itself gets extinguished. And immediately he becomes a mukta.
However, his life (PrANa) has not left him. He is living and he is also a mukta; that is why he is called a JIvan-mukta. Then in due time one day his body dies. Why should he live after reaching the mukta state, and when does his life part with him – these are questions into which we don’t need to enter at present. Mostly the opinion is that he lives in order that his *prArabdha* may exhaust itself. When it thus exhausts itself, then life also leaves. Let us be content with that (explanation). Thus even after Brahman-realisation he has his life (prANa). What happens to that prANa at the time of his death? Just as the ahmkAra (since the
mind and intellect has gone into the ahamkAra – so we can as well say it is antaHkaraNaM now) has already gone into the heart-gate and merged into the Atman-locale, so also now when death takes place the prANa also merges in the same way in that Atman-locale. In other words, when the JnAni’s body dies, his prANa does not go outside anywhere through any nADi. In the Upanishad and the Brahma-sUtra it is so declared clearly. (Br. U. III-2-11; IV-4-6) (Br. S. IV-2- 12 to 16).
In general parlance also, it is never said that the JnAni’s life is gone; it is usually said that it has ceased, settled or disappeared.

continued....

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Re: The nAdis of the Heart
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2013, 09:40:20 AM »
The NaaDis of the heart: JnAni’s life rests, Other’s lives leave continued...

Other than the JnAni who are those that have made themselves not to be reborn in this world? They are generally called ‘upAsakas’. There are several categories among them. They all have something in common. They all know that this world or this body is not the end of it all. That there exists a basic Truth is a confirmed belief of all of them. They all have the thought of the necessity to release themselves from this world and the bondage. The common opinion stops here. Beyond this there are lots of separate opinions. And the observances also differ accordingly.
One of those opinions holds the basic Truth as nirguNa, just like the advaitin. However he thinks (contrary to advaita) that the Truth basis differs from JIva to JIva. The advaitin holds that even though it is nirguNa, it is sat-cid-Ananda-ghana.But he (the other opinion) thinks it is a blank, but still not void (like the Buddha). He performs yoga by controlling the mind and for ultimate union with that blank Existence. We call him yogi. He also thinks that the individual jIva-bhAva – ego – has to be destroyed. However, he has not known correctly about the one absolute True status . About the control of mind also, he commits the same error. “I am not the mind. I am Brahman. Why should I be tossed about by something which is not Me. Let me constantly recall the Shruti statement that ‘I am Brahman’ and put an end to this” – this is the thought of the seeker on the jnAna path, but the Yogi does not do it. In order to overcome the difficulty in the direct control of mind, he gives much importance to breath control, and only with its help he controls the mind.
[Note by the Collator Ra. Ganapathy:The mind and the breath have both the same root-source; and so this is possible]
By such a process, even though his goal Truth is a blank kaivalya, strangely, the breath shakti goes to prANa-shakti, its source, that prANa shakti goes back to the mahA-prANa-shakti, which is the root-source of all living beings, and by the might of that shakti, he obtains several miraculous powers. And he gets the added responsibility of not missing his goal by being attracted by them.

continued...

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Re: The nAdis of the Heart
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2013, 09:43:43 AM »
The NaaDis of the heart: JnAni’s life rests, Other’s lives leave continued...

Another opinion holds that the Basic Truth is only saguNa. He thinks: ‘We should reach that goal; but we should not merge in it. Because if we merge into it then there will be no possibility of enjoying, by experience, its multifold qualities. Either in one of them or in all of them one should experience it and it is in this experience there is the Bliss for the JivAtman. So without being one with it, I should be outside and be permanently enjoying that. And that is mokSha’. Only by placing our Love on something we can experience and enjoy how it is and what it does. So he considers Love as the basis of all that experience and he practises loving it. We call him a Devotee (Bhakta). Not only does he think that one should not become one with the paramAtmA which is saguNa. He goes even further: “Such a union with the paramAtman is not possible. The Lord has not provided for such a union” – this is his contention.
Another proponent, however, is not able to do the SAdhanA by breath and mind control; or he is not interested in that direction. Nor is he able to do bhakti by pouring out his mind. But he is also one of those to be listed in the ‘upAsaka’ category of those who wish to be released from this samsAra and the world of sensual pleasures. He does believe in the existence of God but he is not able to hold on to Him either by bhakti through a feeling for Him, or by jnAna through his intellect, or by any saguNa or nirguNa conception . So, on the path for Release, he keeps on doing his svadharma duties and obligations without being attached to the fruits thereof. Whatever the Vedas have prescribed as samskAras for purification of the JIva, he performs. We should also include in this category those, in the modern world, who do service, without the thought of any gain for oneself. But whether it is a religious karma or social service, whatever he is doing, he should be one who longs for a retreat from samsAra (Release from Bondage ). Not only should he not be thinking of one’s own benefit, he should not be thinking of the results, to others, of his actions or service by the work or service he is doing. In other words, there must be no stubbornness that the result must happen. On the other hand, the conviction should be: “There is a God above. Whatever happens to anybody will happen only by His Will, according to norms of dharma and justice. I have no right to demand that things should happen only a certain way. I should keep on doing whatever appeals to me to be just and good . And leave the results to that dispenser of fruits (*phala-dAtA*).
This is the path of Karma yoga and the one who follows it is a karma yogi.


continued...