The order of Acharya

[Based on Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

Sri Adi Shankara Bhagawadh Pada established Peetas all across India. He has given an important order to us, who be in these Peetas. It is that we should always meditate on the Ishwara, and make others do the same. Why Ishwara-Dhyana, it is because He has manifested as us all. That is, for us to find out that our real swaroopa is He himself. If not found so far, just meditate on that one who is called Ishwara who is the embodiment of all auspiciousness. The one who surpasses attributes yet adorning them (Saguna, Nirguna). Since we and He are one and the same, He will make us realize our real swaroopa, which is none other than He himself. When this happens, all the gunas will be gone and we will become Nirguna.

We are sending our children to the school. If they do not behave well, we blame it on the teacher. If you are not behaving well, then it means that I, your guru is not correct. When one has the responsibility of correcting the other, then when this person makes a mistake, it is to be blamed on the person responsible. The papa committed by the people gets to the king. The papa of the wife goes to her husband, says the Shashtras. A guru normally has a few disciples. The papa done by the disciple goes to the guru. If he is a Jagadguru, imagine the amount of papa he may get, the world full of papa.

[We are trying to avoid the word Sin for Papa as the English word sin has an established half-baked theory which does not convey the message properly.]

The only way to get rid of this papa is to do Bhagawadh-Dhyana. Hence the Adi Shankaracharya suggested us to get the people to do dhyana. If they don’t do, then do it yourself on behalf of them, He said. Hence I am trying my best to do Dhyana for you all. So if you can do how much ever dhyana you can, it will reduce my weight.

Why dhyana? To purify the mind, to bear the effect of old papa karma, to not to do any new papa, everyone should do dhyana. If one is determined, they definitely will get time. The time spent in gossip, newspaper (social media!), can be diverted here for one’s benefit. One should consider the first duty is to do dhyana, whether one gets wealthy, poor, healthy, sick, how much ever they could, they should do dhyana.

Not just us, but we should also encourage others to do dhyana. Don’t get frustrated if they aren’t but suggest them with a lot of love and in a way they understand. When explained with love, any mind will listen. I mentioned Shri Adi Shankara’s order to do dhyana and to make others do so. Whether I am making you to do dhyana or not, I am completing part of his orders by doing it myself. I got the bhagya to tell this because of you. Shri Acharya wanted to say this and you are blessed by hearing it. So this is a win win situation.

Please get this clearly in your mind. When this janma gets over, ‘phew, we did get the benefit of taking this birth. We can go without a fear’, such a determination and satisfaction should be felt by everyone. Let the Parameshwara guide us all in that direction and bless us. Right from our childhood we have done so many papa. If we had started doing Ishwara Dhyana from our childhood, a lot of such papa would have disappeared. But we are still accumulating papa. The purpose of taking this birth itself is to do the Ishwara-Dhyana. The papa baggage is ever increasing. Let us stop it. This world is a place of accumulating this papa baggage. Let us stop it and make this world a place where we empty this baggage.

There are quite a few places for this – our own body, mind, Shashtras, Kshetras, Theertha are available only in this world. The papa committed by our words and hands, let us make them disappear by using the same words and hands. When we leave this world, let us not have the papa baggage. Then we can leave lightly and blissfully as that of cotton. We can reach wherever we came from and can remain blissfully ever after.

There is a saying in Kannada about our Acharya: ‘He makes even the Papi a Paramatma’. Those who are called Dhuratma is nothing but the Paramatma says Shri Shankara and to make him reach that state, He has made foot steps for. This starts from Karma Marga, goes via the Bhakthi Marga and ends at Gnana Marga.

Featured image:

~ to be continued…!

Dwaita / Boutha = Advaitha (Advaita series)

[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Puurnnam-Adah Puurnnam-Idam Puurnnaat-Purnnam-Udacyate
Puurnnasya Puurnnam-Aadaaya Puurnnam-Eva-Avashissyate ||
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

This is the Shanti mantra (invocatory verse) of Isha Upanishad (IshaVasya Upanishad) Which is a part of the (Shukla) Yajurveda. It means, Brahmam is complete. The world is complete. From the complete Brahmam came this world. Even though the completeness called world is taken out from the completeness called Brahmam, what remains in the Brahmam is the Brahmam itself, the completeness itself.

The question now is, how can one remain complete if something is taken out of it? What does the above mantra state in reality? The world is not a thing which has come out of Brahmam. It is the Brahmam which has manifested itself as the world. Brahmam itself appears as the world. Brahmam did not ‘create’ the world with something else. Neither it has ‘transformed’ itself as the world. It merely ‘appears’ or ‘manifests’ as the world. Just like the rope appears as snake in the night. It is just two complete thing which when observed as rope, the snake doesn’t appear and vice versa.

Did the weight of the rope change when it appears as snake? No. This is what the above mantra means, the completeness is what remains when the completeness manifests itself or appears itself as the complete world. But why should the rope appear as the snake? It is because of the ignorance or maya. What is Maya? What is not there means Maya. The non-existant Maya makes the same Brahmam appear as many. How can a non-existent thing ‘do’ such a thing? Let us answer this mathematically.

We saw addition and subtraction earlier. It doesn’t increase, neither decreases and remains the same. Let us divide and multiply now. We divide a number with another. When the dividing number becomes smaller and smaller, the remainder increases.
If 16 divides 16 and the remainder is 1.
If 8 divides it, the remainder is 2.
If 4 divides it, the remainder is 4.
If 1 divides it, the remainder is 16.

If the number divides it becomes 0, then the remainder becomes infinite. Whatever is divided by 0 becomes infinite. 1/0 = infinite and 100000 (plus some more 0’s) divided by 0 = infinte. The same infinite. This infiniteness can be associated to the infinite Brahmam. The non-existent, valueless 0 makes the number infinite and can be abbreviated to Maya. The same Brahmam while remaining constant, appears to be on a constant move while in the world. This is similar to multiplying anything with 0, the answer is 0 always.

Brahmam (world) X Maya (0) = 0, the Maya filled world aka 0. Therefore the Advaita says that the Brahmam is bliss absolute, the one without a second.

Dwaita says that the world that appers is also true, sathya.

Buddhism says that the world, Brahmam everything is 0, maya. It stops by saying everything is maya.

So we could either say:

Advaita X Buddhism = Dwaita
Dwaita / Buddhism – Advaita

Featured image: Ramanasrama, from the picture, are you searching where is Boutha? It is not there as everything is maya aka 0 as per Buddhism :).

~ to be continued…!

How to reduce the burden of grief – Advaita series

[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

Grief and its cause

We must ALL try to get the true wisdom of the Almighty. This wisdom is nothing but there is nothing other than the Almighty himself. The one appears as many. When we distract ourselves in to these many, there is disturbance, imbalance and the grief happening because of it. When we stop running behind the many and turn towards knowing the one which has manifested as many, then there is no imbalance and therefore no grief. This will give a permanent bliss. This is called as wisdom or gnana.

It appears as we do get some happiness out of the material world. But it is not permanent. How can we make the bliss from external source be permanent. It will run away. Just like how the sun light shines out of the gap in the branches, the bliss appears from time to time and disappears. The eternal bliss lies in knowing the cause of this world.

There is grief in every human being. It may appear that the rich, those in big social status are free from grief and we struggle to become like one by seeing them. The more higher one rises, the effect after falling down becomes higher too. Hence there is none who is free from grief. Just like how someone thinks that they are the most intelligent and beautiful, they think their grief is the highest in the world. The grief is born with us. We have sown the seed for this grief through our past karma. There is no escaping it.

But there is a way to bear the grief through this karma and be peafeful. There is also ways not to accumulate more karma. That wisdom is a way to do it. If one becomes insane, there is no grief, but there is no bliss either. The Gnani is the only one who is ever awake and without grief. There is no turbulence in his mind. The external struggle doesn’t affect him inside.

When one waves the pot full of water from within the pond, the weight of the pot is not felt but when one takes it out, the weight is felt. They use to transport the huge tree trunks underneath water for this reason. We should submerge these grief in this wisdom. The grief then becomes very light.


The one whom the grief does not touch is a yogi. Sin or the dirt accumulated in the mind is the reason for grief. When the dirt gets cleaned, the mind just turns towards the Lord by itself. The dirt can be cleared off only through rigorous measures and controls. When one does that and wins, the routine and measures in controlling the body itself becomes a yoga to be with the almighty.

When the mind has nothing, it automatically dissolves in to the source where it came from. When it merges with the source, then the mind ceases to exist. It stops running. It is the grief-free state. Just like how the water vapour starts it journey, takes many forms, keeping flowing and mixes with the ocean and ceases to exist on its own, but has become one with the ocean, the ocean, the yogi or the gnani merges their minds to the one source, Eka, and remains in that state. The yogi who has reached the state of Samadhi, even if they come back and appear normally, the experience of that state remains intact.

If somone gets a slightest of thought that they ‘should’ do something or ‘want’ something, they may not have experienced the eternal bliss. The yogi feels only mercy, a limitless one. He thinks that nothing should be harmed because of him. Whatever he does, he does not feel like he is doing it. There is only that mercy which shows in his actions.

Parameshwara destroys everything which appears like a bad thing. He does that only to make those Jiva’s who has loads of karmic ties within them to be within him, He destroys. We are eternally in the cycle of good and bad, birth and death. This punarapi jananam-punarapi maranam cycle should stop. The rituals and spiritual practices are meant only for this noble exercise. When it is done from the childhood, when crores and crores of people are equipped in this sadhana, then one parama-gnani appears from one of them. Such a birth is beneficial to the entire mankind.

Let us see how to get rid of this grief.

There is cause and effect. Whatever we go through now must have a cause in the past. This could be either a papa, or punya and sometimes it is said that the papa and punya of others may have an effect on us too. When the child suffers a disease, they say it is the effect of the parents’ papa effect. They suffer mentally by seeing the suffering of the child. It appears that the bad effect one goes through may be a punya effect of his enemy.

Whatever the reason maybe, the foremost cause of all the universe is that one Para Shakthi. That Ishwara’s will is what created the universe. He relates us to many a things. There is nothing without a reason or connection in this world. What appears to be not connected does have some relation within.

The karma one does has its effect, good or bad. As a sublime effect, the disease or gruhachara (deiva kutram) happens. One can do parikara through horoscope, medicine or mantrika. When our karma is about to be spent off, any of these will have its effect. If one accepts the life as a happening of the Lord’s will, they can remain unaffected, this maturity is the greatest parikara.

To ensure that no new karmic effect getting accumulated no matter how the past was. The only way is to meditate on the Ishwara. The only way out of grief is to surrender to Ishwara. The state of wisdom where there is nothing secondary or external to give a grief, is the ultimate way out. There is no sukha or dukha. What remains is the truth (Sathyam) which is auspicious (Shivam) that is beautiful (Sundaram).

Featured image courtesy: New Earth Heartbeat

~ to be continued…!

He beckons you – Advaita series

[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

The ocean when motionless, water bubbles are formed due to the air only to get broken by the next stream of air. The Paramatma is like the ocean only limitless. We are merely those bubbles who appear and disappear, but where to disappear. When the merciful glance of Acharya falls on us as the air for the bubble, we become one with the Paramatma.

There is no change in the capacity of the ocean. The water takes various forms and flows such as vapour, rain, river, stream and so on. The ocean remains as it is. There is no new set of flood coming to it, neither does it dry. There is shortage of drinking water in the summer but the water is in different form in different places, not a drop has increased or decreased. The rich just like how they change their wealth from savings to share to properties etc., the water changes face.

The Paramatma has appeared in many forms and in spite, hasn’t changed. We feel shortage and abundance, but when the wisdom of ‘everything is one’ comes, there is no change, shortage or abundance. Just as we relate the water to Paramatma, we must stress the importance of rivers here. The ocean water becomes various forms, like streams, well water, pond, river etc., but the river is the one which runs and mixes the ocean. In the northern India, there is a river Son, which means red. This runs in reddish soil. The Krishna river that runs in Andhra runs in dark coloured soil, Ganga is white which is denoted by the colour of the soil it runs.

The red is Rajas, Black is Tamas and White is Satva. Irrespective of the gunas, all these must culminate in to the Paramatma just as these three rivers mixes in to the ocean. Water finds it level they say, when the water falls from the hill, there is great noise and when it runs as rivers, there isn’t much noise and when it has reached the ocean, there is no noise. The river reaches its level only then and therefore becomes very quiet. We become quiet when we know our level, at the ground level. When we over react, people may get attracted or notice, but we will be losing our ground, our peace. The river is accepted by the ocean just as the Paramatma accepts us and we become one with Him.


Buddhism says everything is Maya, in reality there is nothing. Advaitha doesn’t say this. It does say that the Prapanja is Maya but that Maya has another source, which is Brahmam, which remains the ultimate reality. What? This universe is illusion you say? Can’t you see a number of things happening around you? What do you mean Maya then?

Maya does NOT mean that there is Nothingness.

It is not like an oxymoron (really lie, true mystery). Maya refers to this. It appears to be real as long as we think it is. Not like really lie. Think of a mirage. There is water but we cannot drink it. It is like this for the Gnanis, the world does appear just as a mirage does, but they know they cannot quench their thirst with a mirage water.

Do yourself a favour and read Swami Vivekananda on Maya as well.

Just as the rope appears just as a snake and causes all the sensations in our body and mind when we see a real snake is Maya. When the illusion disappears, that it is indeed a rope, all the fearful sensation disappears. So would you say the snake was unreal? Yes and No. A while back, it was a snake, but now it is a rope. Has the rope changed to snake? It is your knowledge that has changed, evolved. What appeared to be a snake is what is Maya. It is just like a dream. As long as you dream without knowing it, everything is real but when you wake up, you know :).

For the Gnani, the Maya is zero. But for the ignorants, they add as many numbers as possible before the zero and magnifies it, thinking its real. With limited light, we see the black letters of the book but when there is abundance of light, the letters won’t be shown at all. This abundance of light is wisdom. When they say that the day of a Gnani is our night means just this.

Bhakthi Yoga or Gnana Yoga – Advaita series

[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

Atma Vichara, Dhyana, Yoga all these will truly make the mind fixed, and blissful. Then why am I not talking about these spiritual practices but about Bhakthi? Even Adi Shankaracharya says the Moksha is being in a state of mind where even a thought doesn’t arise, even that of doing Bhakthi. But I am talking about doing Bhakthi. Shankara himself says that the best method to Moksha is doing Bhakthi, but what he defines by Bhakthi is to realize one’s true self and being in that state is the true bhakthi. This method is only through atma vichara, dhyana or yoga, not in the way I describe Bhakthi.

In spite of Acharya Shankara’s definition of Bhakthi, He has himself set forth certain rules, upasana to a personal God and established the Shan Matha (Ganapathyam, Kaumaram, Shaktham, Vaishnavam, Shaivam and Souram). He went kshetra after kshetra and sang praises on those murthis. Seeing this, it becomes clear that He agrees to our way of devotion as well.

Gnana is very high. Higher so is atma vichara, dhyana, yoga. Bhakthi, Pooja, visiting Kshetra are inferior. More so lower is achara, anushtana, vaitheeka karma are superstitions. The bhakthi is merely emotional and only dhyana, yoga or atma vichara (self inquiry) are the only ones related to Atma (spiritual) – such is the prevailing talks now.

But take this test, take a sthothra or parayana (recitation) that lasts for at least 15 minutes. Sit down and start doing it, better if it is a known one for you or else you will focus in reading an unknown thing afresh, so fixing your mind in it is easier. Pick the one which you know and start reciting. See how your mind wanders while your lips reciting the verses. Easy. Our mind’s nature is to wander. A greatest controller of mind Arjuna himself asks this question to Krishna on how to control the mind that runs like a restless monkey. We need not have to say about ours. We know it is impossible to stop thinking. Our happiness, sorrow, our attachments, desires, they keep lashing us in the mind. Plus we plan our days and weeks in the mind.

But why are we not able to stop our thinking? It is our karma, accumulated over births.

We have done different kind of things birth after birth, accumulated desires after desires. Till we let go of our desires and till the sins we accumulated gets over, we won’t attain Moksha. How do we get rid of the sins is only by doing good deeds, punya. Through His mercy, the lord gives us another chance to do good in the next birth but what we end up doing is to accumulate even more sins in the birth we’ve taken. So the Acharya kept such rituals and procedures for us to reduce our sins and to focus on good and God.

Sins are of two kinds (here Sins refer to Papa done by us, not to be confused with the Abrahamic reference of sin) – one that is done through the bodies and the other through the mind. To get rid of sinful thoughts, one should encourage good thoughts that gives Punya. What is Punya Karma? It is described in the Vedas. To lead the life rightfully, that happens in the governance, business, that which is done with the physical labour and that which is done with the brains. So the Vedas gave us four different methods of doing the Punya Karma which is as per their mental temperaments, the type of work they do. There are prescribed rules and regulations under all four sections. If people comply by these, they accumulate punya karma.

When someone deviates from these rules, they tend to commit sins and accumulate Papa. When someone follows what the Vedas mention, there is no jealousy, greed or any such stains, no grief therefore. Doing such karma will increase punya and destroys the accumulated sins. The mind and body aligned in doing proper deeds when done by thinking of the welfare of the world becomes the habit and this slowly takes off any evil thoughts from the mind.

Deed and Thought has closer relation. When sitting idle, all sorts of thoughts arise. Hence they say that the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Hence it is important to cleanse the mind. In the initial stages, it is only through karma or work that the mind will be cleansed. Hence the Acharya prescribed Veda karma. The first step is to do karma, work and good work that is. Then it is Seva or service, sacrifice, all these with the baseline of love towards everyone. This love, should be diverted to the one which caused everything in this universe. So you start doing good work, love others and do good to others and divert the love towards the Lord. This makes the mind devoid of any negative thoughts and thereby, action. This mind becomes pure and then becomes non-existent where only the atma remains.

These are steps which are prescribed by the Acharya as we see.

Merely talking ‘Advaita’ does not help. We must climb these steps. Start with parayana, bhakthi, visiting kshetra, singing the glory of the lord, start doing good deeds and slowly get the mind aligned to the Paramatma. He does not care whether you think of him with form or formless, for you are working towards your salvation. So we need to have this bhakthi to start with and to experience the advaita, the oneness with God.

~ to be continued…!

Why is God needed? It is for peace – Advaita series

[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

The thiests standpoint is that the world which is functioning in such an organized manner must have been created and sustained by someone called God. There is an effect for every cause and therefore the almighty gives the effect based on our deeds, they claim. So what, why should we worship him? Did he ask us before he created us? Even so, we have a number of difficulties, why should we have devotion towards him?

He can dissolve your difficulties, why not therefore be devoted to him, the thiests ask. If he will solve our miseries only if we pray to him, then he is a mere trader, he is not an ocean of mercy and all. Also, you claim that he gives the effect based on our deeds, then why should we pray to solve our miseries which in fact are the effects he gives us for our deeds? Nilakanta Deekshidhar answers these questions in his ‘Ananda Sakara Sthava’ thus:

‘Amma Meenakshi, I don’t have to tell you anything for you know everything. But if I don’t say my difficulties to you out loud, my heart aches. If I say it out loud to you, the mind eases itself. Hence I mention all my difficulties to you in spite you knowing everything.’

It becomes difficult if one doesn’t say their difficulties out. Science proves us that when the pressing thoughts on difficulty is shared, the mind eases out. We cannot go about saying this to anybody, but whom we consider ourselves, whom we can trust, in the case of thiests, the God himself to whom we can be ourselves. He can either be an ocean of mercy and solve our miseries or be the granter of effects and punish us for our deeds, or gives us the strength to bear the difficulty without altering it, there is peace in saying things out loud to him.

But is this all God for? To create you, sustain you and give you merits and demerits based on your deeds? Are you that important in this vast universe or doesn’t he have nothing better to do The devotion is not for your difficulty to get over! It is neither to thank him who granted you this happy life. Had it been so, some may object that it is the duty of those who planted the sapling to water it. Why thank him?

Devotion is not for all these. The happiness and sorrow, both make the mind wander, dance. The true bliss lies in the mind standing still. All other happiness are transitory. When sleeping, we are motionless, at that time there isn’t any happiness or we are unaware if we are happy or at peace. But the mind should be without any waves. At the same time, we should be completely aware that we are at peace. This state does not have any comparison. Only when there is mind, it thinks that there is a paramatma, and we are jivatma, that very thought originates from the mind. When the mind dissolves, there is nothing that thinks and therefore this thought itself does not arise. We will be motionless and one among in that bi…g fulfilled state which is existence, knowledge and bliss absolute.

When the mind thinks of something continuously, it becomes that itself. As per this scientific fact, the mind’s search towards peace, its thinking of peace and bliss makes it peaceful and blissful itself. To attain peace, one trains the mind to remain at peace, without thoughts but to reach this, one has to think of any one, not many different thoughts. This one thought eventually becomes no thought. The appropriate ideal for this thought is to think of the Lord, God himself.

This is why this Lord in spite of creating, sustaining, governing this entire universe does not get affected by it. He the Ishwara is called as Sthanu aka ripen wood. It is full of life though motionless, and this wood has a creeper who is the Shakthi, who is called Aparna, the one without leaves. The creeper which is full of life but without any emotion is surrounding the ripen wood which appears to be motionless, but full of life as well. When we think of the Lord, both peace and wisdom appears. For us to be with this wisdom and peace, one should meditate and hence He is required.

Even if we go to the Lord to speak out loud about our difficulty or to thank him for the good life, the mind at the end thinks of him and just by this gets away from thinking this good and bad. There will be a state where the mind says ‘Let it happen as per His will’ and offload all the burden on him. Then happens a sense of peace and bliss within the mind. This initial state of mind will eventually lead us to the mindless state where only the bliss and peace will remain.

Featured image:

~ to be continued…!

Where is this bliss? – Advaita series

[Taken from the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

We have countless desires. However, a certainity is that we are going to be separated from them or they will go away from us. Let this separation not happen through death, if we retire our desires well before, we could be blissful as much. The number of desires we have is directly proportional to the number of grief, we tie ourselves with it. The more desires reduce, the grief reduces too. If we let go of every desire within this birth, we may not have to come under the birth-death cycle. We could be one with the Paramatma.

We boast about our sixth sense. But what is so special that we are doing? The dog, cockroach and the fox eat too, they reproduce as well and die. In general, the mankind does not seem to be doing anything other than what these creatures do either. What to boast of sixth sense? If one is using this sense, then he will try to find out that absolute bliss and to remain in it. But is he pursuing it? If we think of it, the bliss, gnana, all these are just the same. When we realize our true self, we would become that bliss itself.

This bliss does not come from external sources, never. It is from within. Even if this is covered with our desires or ignorance, we do experience some bliss when we associate happiness to something external. When that association goes, the bliss fades away. Take an example. A person has some land which gives him abundance of harvest and he feels very happy. The next year, the harvest goes down and down, so he sells off his land to someone else. The harvest increases the following year again. Now does he feel happy as before? No. Instead, he feels jealous of the person who enjoys the harvest. It is this association.

When someone can experience this much of bliss through association, imagine the amount of bliss arising from associating with nothing. The first one is within the “I” feeling out of Maya. The second one is the absolute bliss. The bitter guard when mixed slightly with jaggery will taste sweet at least a bit, then won’t it be totally sweet if one tastes the jaggery itself? From a pot that has holes all over, the light shines depending on how big the hole is. But when the pot itself is broken, all that we see is the light itself. This is breaking of this Maya. But how?

To let go of desires is the only way to break this Maya. As long as the mind is present, the desires will be present. The mind must be subdued. Do not think that without the mind one will be like the lifeless Jata. The same power which shines through various sense organs and the mind will then culminate in to one place and shine forth. We can do so much of good to the world with that combined power. The true example is of the Rishis who has obtained the true Gnana. They could wander across time and know everything. They could hear sounds which we could not from the Ether and gave us the Veda Mantras.

But how do I subdue the mind, let go of desires? It is sufficient if you follow the methods prescribed in the Vedas. One can surely reach that absolute bliss. Let the Parameshwara bless us for obtaining this bliss.

~ to be continued…!

Featured image courtesy: Advaita Spiritual Recharge

Bliss absolute – Advaita series

[Taken from the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

In the Kruta Yuga, a person named Brighu went to his father Varuna and asked:

“How to know that which is absolute, which remains full at all times, that which does not have any shortage?”

Varuna said: “Do Tapasya, you shall know.”

Brighu began his tapasya. He started turning inwards. He saw that the body feels everything. That which experiences is greater than what is experienced itself. He went back to Varuna and said: “This body is the greatest of all, the absolute.”

The father said: “Do some more tapasya.”

Brighu went back like an obidient son of those days and attempted tapasya. He would go back to Varuna and mention what he feels is the absolute and Varuna turned him back every time, for 5 such instances.

The body is the absolute, no. The body dies, it cannot be. The life (Prana) is the absolute. No, the Prana is not in itself. The mind is the absolute. But the mind wanders here and there and it sometimes is happy and sometimes isn’t. How can it be absolute? He went back the fifth time.

“Father, I did tapasya all the time as you said. Nowadays, a tiny bit of bliss pops up at times. What is it?”

“The tiny bit of bliss, that is what you are searching for. You experience it a bit now. But when it becomes complete, it is bliss absolute. It is this bliss which does not get reduced, it remains forever, in every place, body. It surpasses time, body, mind and is the source for all these to experience. This is called the Atma, and the absolute bliss in knowing that Atman and experiencing it, to dwell in the state of bliss.” Varuna said. This is mentioned in an Upanishad.

We experience that bit of absolute ocean of bliss sometimes, rarely too. When seated in a dense tree, the sunlight does not fall down. When the wind blows, the leaves sway and the light rays fall down, temporarily. Then when the wind stops, there is no rays. The rays are present everywhere but just as the leaves, our mind, bad karma and thoughts are the ones which prevent the rays from us to know the rays shining. When we do tapasya and do vichara, the anandha or bliss absolute becomes of us, we merge in to it and we become that.

Krishna said, Kambar said too!

Atma is the source of everything. But when it is said Atma itself surpasses everything, we get confused. How is this possible? Krishna being the playful one, plays with us in the Gita and at the end, clarifies it crystal clear.

I am in everything.
Everything is in me
~ yomam pachyati sarvatra, sarvam cha mayi pachyati

When everything is in him, then they become the source of him is it? Confusing?
Swami or Atma is the source of everything is the right one. Just because he is in everything does not mean that they are there or they are the source for him. He is the one who controls everything, he himself clarifies it.

It is the Ishwara who controls everything as if they are dolls controlled by threads (ishwara, sarva bhuthanam hruth these arjuna thishtathi bramayan sarva bhuthani yanthra roodani maayayaa) ~ he says. Then after this clarification, he plays again.

I have nothing.
I am in nothing
~ na cha math sthani bhuthani, na saaham theshi avasthitha
Here the philosophy of Atma surpassing everything is being said. Arre O Krishna, why this playful confusion? He then says ‘I don’t explain to everyone for that is my Yoga Maya (na aham prakasha: sarvasya:) & (yoga maaya samavrutha:)

Confusing? If we think a little, we may know what he meant. He isn’t saying that I won’t explain it to everyone. In that case if there is a thousand people, he won’t explain it to any of them. But what he says is, “it may be that 999 people may not understand, but for the one who will understand, I will still explain”. He says Sarvasya (everyone), he does not say Kasyapi (no one), or I won’t explain to anyone. So someone does get clarified.

Who are these someone then? A selective caste, Brahmins? NO! Those selective few are the ones who are unaffected by His Yoga Maya. They are called Gnani. Such gnanis explain what he means by ‘Nothing is in me and I am in nothing’.

A person walks in the dark and steps on a garland and screams ‘ah snake!’. The snake and garland is just the same. The moment he knows that it is a garland, he knows that it is not a snake. But what made the snake? The garland itself. Those who do not know the Parabrahma witness the universe and its manifestations to be many (snake) but the source is the Parabrahma itself (garland).

I am in this universe. The universe is in me means the garland contains the snake and the snake contains the garland. Both are non-existent. When he screams ‘ah snake’, the snake swallowed the garland for the source of his vision is the snake. But when he knows that it is just the garland, the garland now swallows the snake. Though we see the universe, what we see is the Ishwara who holds the universe.

The Gnani in his Nirvikalpa Samadhi does not see anything as the universe. When it is said that there is nothing as the universe, it is absurd to say the universe is in him and he is in the universe, but when in ignorance, we see body, mind, life, brain etc., and when in bliss, it surpasses everything. Thus Krishna says ‘there is nothing in me’. Just because an ignorant says that he saw the garland as snake, it can’t be that the garland was in the snake or vice versa. It is just perception.

Kambar in his Kamba Ramayana says in the Sundara Kanda:

அலங்கலில் தோன்றும் பொய்ம்மை
அரவுஎனப் பூதம் ஐந்தும்
விலங்கிய விகாரப் பாட்டின்
வேறு பாடுற்ற வீக்கம்
கலங்குவ தெவரைக் கண்டால்
அவர் என்பர் கைவி லேத்தி
இலங்கையில் பொருதா ரன்றே
மறைகளுக் கிறுதி யாவார்.

அலங்கல் – garland
அரவு – snake

Just like how a snake is seen in the garland, the illusionary universe made out of the five elements is very entizing. How can this illusion disappear? It is by seeing the light which is Sri Rama. What he has said is pure Advaita.

Featured image: Sean Lord

Advaita and Atomic Science – Advaita series

[Taken from the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

The human life has desires, it has grief, fear and so on. To be untouched by them is Moksha. It is only through the Advaita Anubhava one can be devoid of grief, fear, jealous and all the evils and one can experience the Ananda of Moksha right here and right now. There is grief when something is different from us. There is fear or desire towards it. When there is nothing else, all that is seen or felt is just one, where is jealousy or fear. Snakes and lizards cause us fear but how can we get fear when we ourselves become as snakes and lizards?

Moksha is not something one can experience only after the physical body dies or by going somewhere to attain it. When one experiences the ‘oneness’, he can be at moksha right here and right now.

How can everything be one, we do see different things right? Either what we see should be the truth or what the Gnanis experience as Advaita should be the truth. Truth should provide changeless peace and bliss and fulfillment, which are its attributes. The life we see in front of us does not have these attributes. The Gnanis who experiences the advaita ananda are the ones who remain in that bliss, peace and fulfillment. We dream of different things and they appear very real when we are at sleep, what happens to them when we wake up? It is only the dreamer who remains. Similarly, this world is just an illusion. Once this illusion clears and one wakes up, all that is there is the Paramatma alone.

Advaita says that it is the same One which manifests itself in to many. What does science say? It agrees to the above statement. Earlier, the scientists stated that everything in this world comes under 72 elements. The idea was that these 72 elements were different from one another. Now after the discovery about the Atom has widened, they found that these 72 elements which appear to be different is from the same ‘Energy’ or Shakthi. The matter (Elements) and the source (Energy) are not different is what they have established. The great minds such as Einstein or Sir James Jeans have come very close in their statement of what Adi Shankara said about Advaita. When He said the world is an illusion, He stated that the world is not the end. It has its source in something else. It is relative but not absolute.

The only grief part about the discovery of energy and matter being the same is that it was used in the invention of atomic bomb. This is the bad side effect of using science to discover worldly things, with the limitation held at the brain level. This discoveries should go deeper from the brain and external world to the mind and beyond. When the truth that every Jeeva is just the same, the same brain who invented the atomic bomb for the destruction would have done something constructive to the world. The only glad thing is that such measures have been experimented with, constantly.

What is Advaita? It means ‘no two’ literally. Dvaita means there’s two. What does ‘no two’ mean, which two? We are here as Jeeva’s and there’s Swami. This is dvaita. Advaita says, ‘the only reality is Swami alone’, and there is no second thing other than Swami himself. It is the same Swami who has manifested through its Maya Shakthi as many. Just as an actor who can adorn many different characters but yet is the same person. We could say Jivatma and Paramatma but it is just the Paramatma there is, says Advaita. When we experience this, we no longer remain the Jiva with so many limitations but will be one among the Sat-Chit-Ananda, is Paramacharya’s Advaita philosophy.

When there is nothing else, what will control? What will be controlled? To be controlled, there has to be one who controls and one who is controlled. Such a state need not have to be obtained by going to Vaikunta or Kailasha, but can be obtained right here and now. That Brahmam or Paramatma is ever present, everywhere. The same sky is present inside the pot (Gatahasa) and outside (Mahakasa). When the pot breaks, the sky is all that remains.

But to reach the state of ‘I am that’ there is various steps, one cannot be a grand-master in his first session. There is Karma, Upasana etc., such as steps that Shankaracharya has given us. When following these procedures, one should constantly remind themselves that ‘what is seen and observed are just the same’ constantly. Let the experience in reality happen when it will, but the mind has to be reminded about this all the time.

If advaita is not possible, then there must be something different than the Paramatma. If so, where did it come from? What is it made of and who made it? We are with brain (with chaitanya), if we have been brainless or without chaitanya, then there must be something which has created this Jata-Prapanja for it cannot act by itself. In that case, it shows that it is the same Paramatma who has manifested as Jata Prapanja. Then the Jivas, have we come ourselves? We have various swabhava, attributes, appearance etc., which cannot be created as it were. The brain of Jiva did not come from elsewhere, it is created by the Big-brain itself.

Such Jiva get their food, clothing and shelter from this Jata Prapanja (this world in itself). The Jiva has sense organs to perceive heat, taste, smell etc., Such is the relation between the Jiva and World. Is all these created by the Jiva itself? There is some work done by a bigger brain to have these related. If the world and Jiva were created by two different things, then to make this relationship won’t be possible. So the source for both becomes the same Chaitanya. When it has created, it did not do it with an external thing apart from itself. So the only logical conclusion is that the same thing has manifested in to many. It has the power to do so, Maya Shakthi. This is Advaita. Those who has such a knowledge and wisdom, is the realized person, even if he may be a Chandala. This state is called Moksha, which can be attained and experienced right in this same birth, while in the physical body.

Featured image: ASRCE

That is this itself! – Advaita series 1

[This is a new Advaita series, taken from the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]

A carpenter made a wooden elephant for the temple. Another carpenter went along with him to test it, along with his child. The child saw the elephant and was scared, “Appa, do not go near the elephant, it may attack” he screamed. The carpenter said, “this is but a wooden toy, it won’t attack” and he took the child near the elephant.

For the child, the elephant was real. For the carpenter, however real it appeared, he knew that it was a toy.

The elephant was hiding the tree
The elephant got hidden in the tree

The above is a lame translation of what Yogeeshwara so eloquently mentioned both the child and the father’s state of mind in Tamil as below.
மரத்தை மறைத்தது மாமத யானை
மரத்தில் மறைந்தது மாமத யானை

This phrase is in his Thiru Manthiram. Why did he narrate the following story can be clarified if we see the other two lines.

பரத்தை மறைத்தது பார்முதல் பூதம்
பரத்தில் மறைந்தது பார்முதல் பூதம்

Just as the elephant and the wood were one and the same in the above example, the Lord Paramatma is no different from the world itself. The (toy) world is made by the wood called Paramatma. Just as the child did not know the wood in the elephant, we do not know the wood that had become the world. We can feel the five elements which hides us from the almighty, which is behind and beyond everything. But the Gnani’s know the wood behind the world, they seldom get distracted by the toy aka the world.

Why is this being said here? To live happily in this world, we need money, who cares about Paramatma or wood? Let us just assume that everyone becomes rich. Can then everyone be happy and peaceful? Take a look at the developed, rich world, are they all happy and peaceful? The human tendency is to have more than the other. Even if all facilities are given equally, they would want them to be served first.

For this ‘rat race’ to vanish, one should get the Gnana that there is nothing to race against. What we ought to do all the time is ‘Athma Vichara’ – to search for the truth within. If you do not want to buy the misery of this world, then remember that this world is that of Shivamaya. This is the elephant, and this is the wood. One should remember this always. Without this gnana, one should be doomed in darkness associating the world to the elephant and running behind its pleasures.

[From Kanda & Akhanda]

There is just one sun for us. Take a bit of water and sprinkle it in a polished surface and you shall see countless sun in every droplet in the floor. They do not mean individual suns, but a mere reflection. Likewise, it is one Paramatma who has manifested itself in to many. This is stated by Adi Shankaracharya in His Brahma Suthra bashya.

That one source from which everything has manifested, that one is what reflects as many, you and me etc., That One is what is called in the Vedas as Thath (see how the word That matches closely with it!). Thath means, it is far, above everything. Though it appears to be far and above, in reality it is what there is! It is very close. It is you itself. That’s what the Vedas say ‘Thath Twam’ – twam means you.

But the practical problem is, when I say the above in this second, you feel everything is understood. We will be blissful if we remain in this consciousness always, but this disappears the next second itself. Therefore we suffer. How can we stick to this consciousness which is bliss absolute? It is to stick to That which is blissful, conscious and existing all the time. Hold on to That one. Sat – Chit – Ananda, existence, knowledge, bliss absolute. It is the paramatma himself that we should hold on to.

Thiruvalluvar says this beautifully:

பற்றுக பற்றற்றான் பற்றினை அப்பற்றினை
பற்றுக பற்று விடற்கு

Grab hold of that one’s holy feet who is never attached, and never let go – a lame translation again. Bear with us. Once we got hold of Him, there won’t be any rat race, anger or jealousy or fear. This is the fruit that Shankaracharya got us from the tree of Upanishads. This fruit has to be ripened in us, for which we need patience. We cannot ripen it artificially. How do we make this fruit ripen naturally then?

Do dhyana, japa, tapa, pooja etc., Do Athma Vichara. Then we shall know that Thath which seems far away is so very close to us, it is Us ourselves.