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KAnchi ParamAchArya satsangham

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Selections from the Tamil book 'deyvaththin kural' vol.5 pages 1-100

Not only humans, but devas too do namaskAram to gaNapati before they commence any task. This is indicated by the following shloka, which is read at the panchAnga paThanam--reading the PanchAngam, on the Hindu New Year Day.

वागीशाद्यास् सुमनसस् सर्वार्थानाम् उपक्रमे ।
यम् नत्वा कृतकृत्यास्युः तम् नमामि गजाननम् ॥

vAgIshAdyAs sumanasas sarvArthAnAm upakrame |
yam natvA kRutakRutyAsyuH tam namAmi gajAnanam ||

Just as from brahmA who is the vAgIsha, all the good-minded devas, while commencing a task, to accomplish it successfully, prostrate to gajAnana, I too prostrate to him.

In this shloka:

• The word gajAnanam, as everyone knows, indicates gaNesha. The word sumanasas indicates the devas, and the word vAgIsha indicates brahmA.

• Although vAgIsha is applied to the devaguru bRhaspati too, who is also known as brahmaNaspati, because of the custom to say 'brahmAdi devas', it applies to brahmA here.


The famous gaNapati stuti in the Vedas occurs in Rig Veda 2.23.01.

गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे कविं कवीना-मुपमश्रवस्तमम् ।
ज्येष्ठराजं ब्रह्मणां ब्रह्मणस्पत आ नः शृण्वन्नूतिभिः सीद सादनम् ॥२.०२३.०१॥

gaNAnAM tvA gaNapatiM havAmahe (1) kaviM kavInAm (2) upamashravastamam (3) |
jyeShTharAjaM brahmaNAM (4) brahmaNaspata (5) A naH shRuNvann (6) UtibhiH sIda sAdanam (7) ||2.023.01||

We invoke you gaNapati,
leader of the host (of mantras) (1),
a superb seer among seers (2),
He causes the hearing of the supreme inspiration (3).
He is the supreme King of the (potent) word (mantra) (4),
and the master of the soul (5);
may He hear us (6);
may He be seated on the seat within his protections (7).
--Tr. R.L.Kashyap, SAKSI


• The word vAgIshar--nAvukku arasu--King of the Word, was given to the Shaivite sage appar in asharIrIn--incorporeal voice, by shiva, when the sage returned to Hinduism and sang his first devAra song.

• bRhaspati is the devaguru. He has another name 'kIshpati', which also means 'vAgIsha'. He is referred to as the brahmaNaspati in the Vedas. Researches say that the purANa-kAla vighneshvara is only the veda-kAla brahmaNaspati.

• Since brahmA reminds us of the kAla-tattvam--principle of time, in his role as the sRShTi-karta--Creator, the gaNapati he prostrates to is also prostrated by us when the New Year starts; and as brahmA is sarasvatI-kAnta--consort of goddess sarasvatI, the custom arose to prostrate to gaNapati, before commencing pArAyaNa--reading, of any book.

‣ This is the reason that the 'vAgIshAdyAs sumanasas' shloka is chanted as the mangaLa shlokam before starting the pArAyaNam of 'vAlmIki rAmAyaNam'. Only thereafter is the shloka 'dhorbhir yukta' relating to sarasvatI is chanted.

‣ If it is an itihAsa-kAvya, in its beginning, it is only appropriate to do-stotra--adore, of the one who is the vAkdevI and the vidyA-devatA. But why adore piLLaiyAr/gaNesha even before her?

‣ Two reasons: What if we encounter some vigna--hurdle, even to do stotra of her? So we need to first do stotra of vigneshvara who removes any vignas.

Secondly, and more importantly, vignam might arise even for the devatA we do stotram to, to give anugraha--divine favour, to us. We see in the purANas about sAkShAt pArvatI-parameshvara, mahAviShNu and his avatAras, subrahmaNya svAmi--even for them vignas have arisen rendering them unable to complete the tasks they began. At such times, even those deivas--gods, prayed for and obtained the sahAyam--companionship, of vigneshvara, and only by his grace had obtained nivAraNa--remedy, for their vignas. This is the reason even the devas pray to vigneshvara to start with.


• 'sumanas' has the direct meaning 'a good mind', which is the distinction of deva-shakti as against the duShTa manas visheSham--distinction of a corrupt mind, of the asura-shakti.

'sumanas also means puShpam--flower. It is only in the flower does the nectar well up, which in turn is sweet, whatever the nature of the fruit that crops out of the flower. A fragrant flower is pleasing to the eye, soft to touch, fragrant to the nose, and its nectar tastes sweet. Added to these is the hrIm-kAram--humming, of the bees that haunts the flower and adds to our sense of hearing.

There are many shlokas that combine these four meanings of sumanas--good mind, beauty, devas, flower and work it out into a zleSha--pun. In the 'mahiShAsura-mardini' stotra made popular by shrI anantarAma dIkShitar the word 'sumanas' is piled up four times to give a beautiful line of verse:

ayi sumanas sumanas sumanas sumanas sumanohare kAntiyute

In the beautiful flowers done in archanA by the good-minded devas you shine in fascinating splendour!

• One who is worshipped by the good-minded devas should himself be good-minded, right?

A good example to show gaNesha's good-mindedness is the installation of his image opposite his mother akhilANDeshvarI in the TiruvAnaikkA temple, Trichy, Tamilnadu. This was done by Adi ShankarAchArya, who softened ambAL's ugram--fierce, by controlling it in her tATangakas--ear rings, and adorning her with them. As her son is always present before her, ambAL became a shAnta-svarUpiNi--embodiment of peace!

mannArguDi periyavAL's piLLaiyAr shloka

In his book 'nyAyendu shekaram', mannArguDi periyavAL, a great saMskRta scholar and teacher, has composed the following shloka on vigneshvara as the mangala shloka of the text:

abhyanyAmaram ArirAtayiShadAm yat pAda pangkeruha-
dvantvArAdhanam antarAyahataye kAryam tvavashyam viduH |
tathetAriti nItividdu bhajate devam yam ekam param
sarvArtha pratipAdanaika chaturo dvaimAturo &vyAt sa naH ||

The meaning of the shloka is that even those who wish to do puja to some other deity than vigneshvara, have known that they should first necessarily worship vigneshvara's two lotus feet, in order that any vignam that might arise in their puja is removed. If one who does the puja has knowledge of the 'tat-hetu nyAyam', without thinking of worshipping any other deity, finishes it with vigneshvara who is the eka para vastu--one Reality. May that vigneshvara, who in this way is capable of doing pUrti--completion, of sakala kArya--all tasks, do-rakShaNa-of--protect, us.

wiki article on mannArguDi periyavAL:
Mannargudi Raju Sastri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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tAlI--sacred pendant in married women's mangala sUtra

In saMskRtam, nyAya is the technique of explaining with kAraNa-kArya--cause and effect, 'this is how it is'. The nyAya darshana shAstra has obtained its name because of this technique that prevails in there.

• There are many nyAya vachanas--logical sayings, that have come to us from the ancestors. One such saying is the 'kAkatAlIya-nyAyaH' which says that a palm fruit fell down just as a crow sat on its branch. This has an equivalent proverb in Tamil too: "kAkkai uTkAra panampazham vizhu~ndadu".

• The name tAli, which is the sacred pendant--padakam, made of gold and added to the mangala sUtra--holy thread of a Hindu woman when she is married, came from the saMskRta word 'tAli' for the plam tree and leaf.

• In the olden days when our ancestors gave us a life of simplicity, a woman's tATangkaH--ear-ring, and the mangala padakam--sacred pendant on her neck--her important chinna--symbols, of saumangalya--auspiciousness, were both made of tAli, that is, the plam leaf. This is the reason for the custom of calling even a diamond stud 'vaira Olai'--diamond leaf.

• Goddess AmbikA herself is spoken of as "tAlI palAsha tATangkAm (verse 6)"--wearing only a cut palm leaf for her tAli and a rolled one for her tATangka, in the 'shyAmala navaratna mAlA'.

01. 'shyAmala navaratnamAlA' and other saMskRta documents can be downloaded here:
Sanskrit Documents List

02. 'kAkatAlIya nyAya'
What is the interpretation of this proverb?

Did the palm fruit fall down to the ground just as a crow sat on its branch, thus indicating a good chance for the man under the tree?

Or did the palm fruit fall on the crow's head and kill it (this is the general interpretation) in an event of accident?

For other such nyAyas, check:
Sanskrit Bharati Students' blog: May 2007

For a book on saMskRta proverbs check:
'nyAyAvaliH' at

A problem about ayyappan's mother!
When I am talking of vigneshvara's mAtAs--mothers, and murugan's mAtAs, something of-vEDikkai--funny, comes to mind. Like these two persons, there is one who is a third kumAra--son, for parameshvara. He is only the ayyappa svAmi who is growing popular day by day now. He is the one who manifested out of Ishvara as pitA--father, and mahAviShNu who came in the form of mohinI as mAtA--mother. The fun is only about the his maternal relationship. Although I refer to it as fun, it was a prashna--problem, that was giving him great vichAram--doubt/anxiety/concern.

As to what the story is:

A mahAn--sage, named appayya dIkShitar lived in the sixteenth century. He was that periyavar whom I referred as the kula-kUTastha--greatest man in the lineage, of mannArguDi periyavAL. Although he was an advaitin, he fostered shiva upAsana--shiva worship, with great distinction. Since during his time, viShNu upAsana was on an aggressive propaganda, insulting shiva ArAdhana and opposing those who did it, as a counter measure, he was to do-sthApanam-of--establish, shivotkarSham--superiority of shiva, and do prasAram--propaganda about it.

It was only the influence tAtAchArya, his samakAlatya--contemporary, had with the last rAjAs of the vijayanagara rAya vaMsham, and using which he was doing tIvra--fierce, vaiShNava prasAram, and coversion to the vaiShNava sect, that prompted dIkShitar to establish shaivam with visheSham--distinction. Apart from this, he did not have even a lavalesham--iota of viShNu dvesham--hatred, unlike his opponents who had intense shiva dvesham.

According to what I mentioned as 'ratna trayam' a little while ago, along with Ishvara and ambAL, dIkShitar himself has done-sthApana-of--established, viShNu too as shAkShAt parabrahma svarUpa--form of Brahman,--as one who is among the supermost trinity above all the other devatas,--giving shruti, yukti pramANa--evidences from shruti and by logic.

Once the rAjA went to a temple taking both dIkShitar and tAtAchArya with him. That rAjA could be either rAmarAya of vijayanagaram, or velUr chinna bomma nAyakkar, or tanjAvUr vIra narasiMha bhUpAla. Who was the rAjA is not important to the story. What is important is that the rAjA took with him at the same time, two men who were in the chief sthAnam--position, of shaivam and vaiShNavam, both being good vidvat shreShTa--experts in knowledge.

In the temple was the bimbam--image, of ayyappa shAstA. It was a somewhat different bimbam. The vigraham--image, was sculpted in the bhAvana--pose, of shAstA keeping a finger on his nose and thinking something he was in deep vichAra--anxiety/doubt about.

"Why is this image in this way, as a new model?" asked the rAjA.

The people of the temple told him, "This is a vigraha done bahu kAlam--a long time, back. It was said that the sthapati--sculptor, who made this vigraha had a darshan of ayyappa shAstA being thus in some dIrgha chintana--deep contempletion, about some vishayam--doubt. He, the sthapati, did not mention as to what that vishayam was. He only sculpted this mUrti in the bhAvana--pose, he had darshan about, and went away saying, 'At a later time, a periyavar--sage, capable of sarvajnat--omniscience, will visit this temple. He will make public the rahasya--secret, of what shAstA's vichAram--doubt and contemplation, was about. Thereupon the vigraha will take his finger off his nose and become as it is in all the temples.' Later, many periyavas came here and gave whatever many kAraNas--reasons, for shAstA's tIvra yojana--deep contemplation. But then since none of them was the real reason, shAstA remains without taking his finger off his nose."

Forthwith, the rAjA looked at tAtAchArya. Understanding its inner meaning, tAtAchArya uttered a shloka, imagining a kAraNa--reason.

विष्णोः सुतोहं विधिना समोहं धन्यस् ततोहं सुर सेवितोहम् ।
तथापि भूतेश सुतोहम् एतैर् भूतैर्व्त चिन्तयतीह शास्ता ॥

viShNoH sutohaM vidhinA samohaM dhanyas tatohaM sura sevitoham |
tathApi bhUtesha sutoham etair bhUtairvRta chintayatIha shAstA ||

"What the vichAram of shAstA is only this", tAtAchArya has composed his shloka as if it is uttered by shAstA himself. What is shAstA supposed to say?

"I am viShNu's son, so I am equal to brahmA. Thereby I am dhanya--happy/fortunate; and I am worshipped by all the devas. Nevertheless..."

For what occurs in the shloka as 'tathApi', the meaning is 'nevertheless'. After speaking about all his eminence, if shAstA utters a 'neverthess', you understand that he is going to speak about the kAraNam--reason, for his vichAram--doubt and contemplation? And you would come to know from exactly what follows, that for tAtAchArya, there is no abhiprAyam--(favourable)opinion/sense, about the shiva sambandha vishayas--shiva-related topics!

What does shAstA say further after uttering that tathApi--nevertheless?

"Nevertheless I am shiva's son too--tathApi bhUtesha sutoham. shiva has countless names. When there are so many good names such as shiva, Ishvara, shambhu, pashupati, sAmba, naTarAjA, dakShiNAmUrti--the name given in the shloka is 'bhUtesha'. Referring to Ishvara as the chief of bhUta gaNa--group of spirits/demons, the shloka vAkya--verse, goes on to say as if ayyappa svAmi grieves about it: "I am also the son of such a one--chief of bhUta-gaNa!"

If someone remains as the chief, controlling the bhUtas, it is only an honour for him, displaying his high prabhutva-shakti--lordship, adhikAra-shakti--power of dominion. parameshvara is one who does loka-rakShaNa--protection of the world by controlling the bhUtas so that they don't do-hiMsa--cause harm, to the sat--good and wise; he does not loosen them to do what they please. The epithet bhUtesha only shows that he captures all the evil shaktis and rules over them so they do not attack us.

One who is bhUtesha, that very parameshvara has the name mahAdeva. He is also the chief of the devas. Of his three sons, he did-niyamana of--appointed, one--subrahmaNya svAmi--as the adhipati--lord, of the deva-sena--army of devas. Dividing the army of the bhUtas into two, he kept gaNapati as the adhipati of one bhUta gaNa--group. We do-stotra-of--adore, him as 'bhUta gaNAdi sevitam'. To the other gaNa--group, of bhUtas, he did niyamanam of ayyappa shAstA as the adhipati. In the malayAla desham--Kerala, they call ayyappa, 'bhUtanAtha'.

It is only a matter of honour for shAstA to keep in control, the army of bhUtas which won't submit that easily. Keeping the control with him, of the kShudra devatas--mean and low spirits, so they do not enter the village and cause utpAdam--harm, shAstA who remains as the kAval deivam--security deity, at the border of a grAmam--village, does only lokopakAram--service to the world, that one can be proud of.

But then since tAtAchArya had no abhiprAyam about shiva sambandha vishayas, he composed and completed his shlokam with this as the reason for shAstA keeping his finger on his nose: "Although as reasons for my grandeur, I am viShNu-putra--son of viShNu, equal to brahmA, and one adored by deva-samUham--deva community, since I also happen to be the suta--son, of the chief of bhUtas, I remain as one who is always surrounded by the bhUtas."

The meaning of 'etair bhUtairvRta' in the shlokam is 'by these bhUtas I am surrounded'. That his position has come to this state is the reason that shAstA keeps his finger on the nose and contemplates with anxiety: chintayatIha shAstA, thus tAtAchArya completed his shloka.

But then the shAstA bimbam, did not take his finger off the nose, listening to that shloka. This was because, as we understood it by Alochana--reflection, remaining as the kAval deivam surrounded by the bhUtas and protecting a village could only be the kAraNam--reason, for shAstA's grandeur and not for his vichAra yojana.


to continue in the next post--sd
When the shAstA vigraham did not take his finger off for the kAraNam--reason, uttered by tAtAchArya, the rAjA looked at appayya dIkShitar, who understood the reason in a sphura--flash. He immediately expressed in shloka rUpam. After the manner of tAtAchArya, he too began his verse as shAstA's vachana--words:

अम्बेदि गौरीम् अहम् आह्वयामि पत्न्य पितुर् माता एव सर्वः ।
कतम् नु लक्ष्मीम् इति चिन्तयन्तम् शास्ताराम् ईडे सकलार्थ सिद्ध्यै ॥

ambedi gaurIm aham AhvayAmi patnya pitur mAtA eva sarvaH |
katam nu lakShmIm iti chintayantam shAstArAm IDe sakalArtha siddhyai ||

What does dIkShitar say about what shAstA spoke, keeping his finger on his nose in vichAram?

"I call gowrI, who is shiva-patnI--shiva's wife, ammA--mother. ambedi--ambA iti--as ammA--mother; AhvayAmi--I call. Although in vAstavam--reality, it was the mohini rUpam that viShNu wore, is my mother who gave birth to me, since whatever patnIs--wives, does a father have are deemed to be in the mAtru sthAnam--position of a mother, I take parAshaktI who is the patnI of my father Ishvara as my mother." Only in this way did vigneshvara considered Goddess gangA as his mother, right?

"For me who has Ishvara as father and mahAviShNu as mother, there is no avashyam--necessity, to get confused about what relationship parAshaktI has for me. 'patnya pitur mAtA eva sarvaH'--pitA's patnIs are all only mothers. Therefore I maintain the relationship of a mother with parAshaktI (and call her mother): ambedi gaurIm aham AhvayAmi.

"But then there is another thing of which I cannot understand the relationship which makes me confused in contemplation."

What is that? About whom he cannot decide the relationship?

"lakShmIm--for lakshmI only. How shall I call her? katam nu lakShmIm?"

Only this is shAstA's vichAram--doubt/worry. What he contemplates with a finger on his nose, 'How can I find an answer to this?' is because he could not understand, with what relationship he is to call lakShmI.

It is also not intelligible to us. Why?

Who is lakShmI? mahAviShNu's patnI--wife. Who is mahAviShNu? What is he to shAstA? Only mother--sAkShAt mahAviShNu only in the rUpam--form, of mohinI gave birth to him through parameshvara. Which is why he has the name harihara-putra? sari--right, in that case what should lakShmI be to him?

She must be ammA's patnI--mother's wife.

What I said as of-vEDikkai--funny, is only this! We have heard about only appA's patnI--father's wife, chiththappA's patnI--father's younger brother's wife, mAmA's patnI--maternal uncle's wife, aNNA's patnI--elder brother's wife. We call them using such relationships as ammA--mother, chiththi--aunt, mAmi--aunt, manni--Tamil name for elder brother's wife. Has anyone heard of a relationship of a person as ammA's patnI--mother's wife? Only for this shAstA, as a vichitram--something strange/wonder/surprise, nowhere to be found in the world, is lakShmI there as ammA's patnI! Mentioning what relationship would he call her?

'katam nu lakShmIm?'--with what relationship to call lakShmI? If the 'nu' is there, it is a sign for a doubt.

'iti chintayantam shAstArAm'--that ayyappa shAstA who is thus in vichAram--doubt, IDe--I adore and worship.

'sakalArtha siddhyai shAstArAm IDe' is how we should make out the meaning, transposing the phrases. "To have all the puruShArthas--aims of life, siddha--accomplished, to me, I adore and worship shAstA", saying thus, diKShitar finished his shloka.

When I look at how I have dragged ayyappA abundantly in the piLLaiyAr samAchAram--presentation about gaNesha, I find that as if to do-samAdAnam--resolve, of both, this one and the other are both closely in-sambandham--related.

• In the piLLaiyAr shlokam, if he is mentioned as 'sarvArtha pratipAdanaika chatura'--dexterous in causing to attain all dharmic aims of life, here shAstA is mentioned as one who gives 'sakalArtha siddhi'--accomplishment of all aims of life, and thereby both (these gods) are tied together in a knot!

• The man who composed the piLLaiyAr shlokas is one who came in the vaMsha--lineage, of the man who composed the shAstA shloka!

In dIkShitar's shloka

• there is no abhiprAyam as to deiva-bhedam--differentiation between deities, as to this one is superior and that one is inferior. He has mentioned both ambAL and lakShmI in the same manner.

• Further, in dIkShitar's shloka, in addition to displaying buddhi--intelligence, he has also displayed bhakti--devotion, and said, "I adore shAstA for sakalArtha siddhi."

• When the artha--meaning, of why the deity is keeping his finger on his nose is not known, to say that he prays to the god to have the knowledge of sakala-artha--all things and meanings, also reminds that unless his kRupA--compassion/grace, is there, we cannot find just with our buddhi-chAturyam--dexterity of intellect, the rahasyam--secret/esoteric meaning, about him.

• Above all these things, the very kAraNam--reason, that diKShitar has indicated is a puzzle whose answer cannot be found by any medhAvin--learned man! However much one contemplates as to what relationship is ammA's patnI, can the answer be obtained?

In vastavam--reality, too, since this answerless question arose for shAstA himself, he gave darshan in the pose of doing yojana--contemplation in vichAram--doubt, to the sthapati--sculptor, and the sthapati has made the vigraham--image, in that same pose.

Therefore, now that dIkShitar found out and brought out that real reason, the bimbam--image, took its finger off its nose, and kept its hand just like the shAstA murtis in all the Alayas--temples, do!

If a vigraham, listening to a shlokam, took its finger off its nose, then all the people assembled there would have kept their fingers on noses, wondering, 'can there be another miracle like this one!'

As I set out to mention how piLLaiyAr is 'dvaimAtura'--has two mothers, the thought of how his one sahodara--brother (subrahmaNya), is ShaNmAtura--has six mothers (the six kRittikA devIs) came up, and thereby brought me to speak about how the other sahodara shAstA has a relationship as mAtA's patnI--mother's wife!

When thinking about the eldest putra--son, of parameshvara, it is visheSham--of distinction, to have happened to do smaraNa--bring to mind, of all the three sons.

The sukhas--pleasures, obtained from every other possession is only tatkAla--temporary. Only the jnAnam--knowledge, given in anugraham--divine favour, by the guru, gives the shAshvata sukham--eternal bliss, called nityAnandam.

deiva bhakti and guru bhakti

It is mentioned that we must have as much devotion towards the guru as we have towards Ishvara.

यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ ।
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः ॥२३॥

yasya deve parA bhaktiH yathA deve tathA gurau |
tasyaite kathitA hyarthAH prakAshante mahAtmanaH ||23||
--shvetAshvatara upaniShad, 6.23

How the shlokam goes to mention it is that,

• only for the shiShya--disciple, who is a mahAtman--great soul, because he has the same amount of bhakti towards his guru as he has towards Ishvara, will the inner meaning of the vishaya--subjects, he is given-upadesha-of--taught, be explicit in full.

• Since the shiShya who has guru bhakti equal to his Ishvara bhakti has been eulogized as a 'mahAtman', this very bhakti bhAvam--devotional mental frame, giving him AtmajnAnam--knowledge of the Self, raises him to the state of a mahAtman.

• Starting with yasya--for whom, it is mentioned in the shloka that "for whom there is uttama bhakti--excellent devotion, towards Ishvara and in addition the same amount of bhakti towards his guru, for that mahAtman, all the tattvArthas will be prakAshante--known by illumination."

anubhava jnAnam

For prakAshante--known by illumination, we should not take the artha--meaning, 'the inner meanings will be intelligible to the brain' and stop there. Guru himself will teach the rahasyArthas--hidden meanings, so they are intelligible to the brain. It is not that this brain-work should be done through bhakti.

• Then as to what the meaning is, that anubhavam--experience, which is the sAram--essence, of the upadesham--teaching, will be prakAsha--shining, in the shiShya's hRdayam--heart.

• (continues after being silent for sometime) If we think about it deeply, what could be the tAtparyam--aim/purport, of saying that the 'rahasyArthas will be well prakAshanta'?

• Is it the tAtparyam that the vishayas--things, mentioned esoterically, or briefly, or in vyanggaya--as inner meaning, and taught in complex concepts or style will be clear explicitly (to the brain)? We can have it that way.

When with Ishvara-kRpa--God's grace, guru-kRpa, all the iha-para--this and other world's, welfare can be obtained, our brain too can get whetted as in a grindstone, and can understand in spaShTam--clear perception, the esoteric and complex thing mentioned above. But if we do-Alochana-of--contemplete on it, it would be known that there is no prayojanam--use, to thus stop it with the accomplishment of the brain.

• What for is the adhyAtma upadesham--teaching about the Self? For the tRpti--satisfaction, of the brain? Not at all! The brain's tRpti is one that gets in ahaMkAram--ego, isn't it? Whereas the adhyAtma upadesham is for the ahaMkAram to get destroyed, right?

• Therefore, even if we have something as to be known clearly in prakAsham in the brain, even this should be one that helps us to reach our Self, must be the tAtparyam.

• In other words, whatever Atmanubhava--experiences of the Self, that are the upadesha lakShyam--aim of the teaching, they should come directly to the shiShya--disciple, in anubhavam--experience, as pratyakSham--distinctly seen, without their ending up at the brain level understanding.

'svAnubhUti' is thus something that one experiences himself directly. Isn't there a jIva-chaitanyam--life consciousness, that is Adhara--support/base, even for the brain? What is referred to the jIva's Self is only that. Only when the vishayam--thing, becomes the experience of that Self, svAnubhUti arises.

• After that, the bheda--break/distinction, as to jIva-chaitanyam--consciousness of the individual soul, and brahma-chaitanyam--consciousness of Brahman, the Self, goes away,

and along with that the bheda of the object and the person who experiences it goes,

and the state of becoming shAshvata satyam--eternal existence, is attained. This is the mokSham that the advaitins refer to.

svAnubhUti is also known as aparokShAnubhUti. In that same name has AchAryAL written a grantha--book.

There are two things as parokSham, aparokSham. parokSham is that which is rahasya--secret, without being visible to us; aparokSham is its opposite, that which is well visible to us.

• Knowledge by anubhavam--experience, is aparokSham. It means something kept in rahasyam--stealth, until the Ananda--bliss, that is its prayojana--use, is attained in anubhavam--experience.

We read page after page about the Courtallam falls. We listen for hours to the narrations of those who had gone there. Does by all these the anubhava Anandam--experiential happiness, arise even a little bit in us? Only when we go there ourselves, and stand beneath it, not for hours but for just four or five minutes, does the Anandam of having known it in reality arise in us?

• There is no prayojanam--use, to look at or read the samAchAra--reports, about AtmA--Self, in tons of books; or memorize them and quote them. Even if the guru does the upadesham, and it goes via the ears into the brain, there is no prayojanam. Until then it is only parokSham. It should talk to us as an anubhavam in AtmA. Only then it will be aprokSham.

• There is something funny here. When the guru upadesham gets into the level of our brain, it does not seem to be of any rahasyam. The vishayam is known very well to the brain. Even then, since it is not the experience of the Self, it should only be classified as parokSha jnAnam.

• Only when it reaches the Self and becomes an experience, it is given the name aparokSha anubhUti. Only here is the fun that seems like a contradiction!

‣ When the guru vAkyam is known explicitly and reaches the brain the title of parokSham which means something kept as rahasyam--hidden, sticks to it!

‣ Only when inside the Self which is parama-rahasyam--supreme secret, it gets soaked and frozen, and the words and brain that seem explicit disappear, it gets the title of aparokSham, that is, one that shines explicitly!

• As to how could this be correct,

We know that milk is a vastu--substance, that is tasty. We also know that jaggery is also a vastu that this tasty. Thus we know that if that milk and the jaggery are together boiled in such a way that their combined sAram--essence, comes up congregating, that thiraTTuppAl--congregated milk (kova), should be of-bahu-ruchi--much tastier. That is, it is known to the brain. Although it thus becomes certain to the brain, does the ruchi-anubhavam--experience of taste, of eating that thiraTTuppAl, is obtained?

• What should be done to get that happiness that is the phala--result, of that thiraTTuppAl? We should only eat it! Only when the thiraTTuppAl that is explicitly seen in pushed through the palate, does the right and real experience about it arises.

Here, only when the explicit vastu--substance, disappears and becomes a rahasya inside, does its use, the aim for which it is made, becomes pUrta--completed? Once it gets inside, although its rUpam--form, disappears, its payan/prayojanam--use, comes out?

• In other words, we come to know that there are two things--in and out. When something is explicit in rUpam--form, its prayojanam--use, is not prakAshanta--shining. That it is not prakAshanta only means it is hidden as a rahasyam. That is, according to the vedAnta paribhAshA--terminology, it remains as parokSham. When it gets inside and its rUpam disappears, its prayojanam--use, which is its sAram--essence, comes out prakAshanta--shining, and it becomes aparokSham.

• Thus, if a vastu--object, is explicit in sthUlam--gross, and the prayojanam--use, which is its sAram--essence, obtainable from it is not obtained, although the object is existent it is like non-existent. If it is not visible in sthUlam but its prayojanam is very well explicit, only then it has the meaning/substance.

• If we accept that more than the external vEsham--appearance, the internal sAram--essence, of a vastu--object, is mukhyam--importan,--no one can deny this--it will be established that only the state where that sAram--essence, is not explicit is parokSham in nijam--reality, and only when the sAram becomes explicit and gives the prayojanam, it is aparokSham.

With that it will become that the upadesha that stops at the brain level, since the happiness of its sAra anubhavam is not obtained, it is only parokSham; and that after the upadesha is gone, the brain is gone and in the self-obliterating samAdhi state the upadesha sAram becoming explicit and freezing with the Self, it is aparokSham.

And that aparokSham, parokSham are not interchanged for the sake of fun, only the vAstavam--reality of it, is spoken of, will also be known.

guru-shiShya relationship
(Paraphrased in translation from the Tamizh compilation of
KAnchi ParamAchArya's teachings, published under the title
deyvaththin kural vol.7, pp79-81)

guru, AchArya, deshika, upAdhyAya, adhyakShaka, purohita--thus to him who gives us knowledge, we attribute several names. Since ancient times, one thing that our tradition has emphasized is that he (the guru) should be one who gives nallaRivu--(Tam)knowledge that never grows old or gets obsolete, instead of just (worldly) knowledge.

• That is, while fostering knowledge, guru is one who gives it a rUpam--form, in order that it goes in the ways of dharma and does good instead of getting used for doing bad.

• guru, and in addition AchArya, adhyakShaka, upAdhyAya, prohita, deshika all these names we use in the same meaning. But individual definitions--lakShaNa are also there, distinguishing one term from the other.

• Although basically, the kAryam--occupation/action, of all these people is to make the shiShya--disciple go in good ways, the definitions are given based on the different methods (they adopt) in doing it.

• It can be mentioned in another way: Based on every kind of kAryam--aspect of that same single man who regulates (his disciples) into dharma, a different name and a definition for it are given for each (aspect).

• That for 'guru' the meaning given as 'one who removes darkness' is known in-sAdhAraNam--generally, to all who are to some extent vidvAns--knowledgeable.

The definition is in a shloka-rUpam--verse form:

गु-कारस्-ध्वान्तकारः स्यात् रु-कारस्-तन्निवर्तकः ।
अन्धकार-निरोदित्वात् गुरुरित्युच्यते पुधैः ॥

gu-kAras-dhvAntakAraH syAt ru-kAras-tannivartakaH |
andhakAra-niroditvAt gururityuchyate pudhaiH ||

[Note: This shlokam in exact terms is not traceable (any help is welcome). However, a similar shlokam is found in the gurugItA of the skanda purANam, which runs as below:

गुकाअश्चान्धकारस्तु रुकारस्तन्निरोधकृत् ।
अन्धकारविनाशित्वाद् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥ ३३ ॥

gukARashchAndhakArastu rukArastannirodhakRut |
andhakAravinAshitvAd gururityabhidhIyate || 33 ||]

gu stands for andhakAram--darkness. ru is do-nivarta-of--remove it. "Because he does nivarta of andhakAram, one who does it called guru by the buddhimata--learned" is the meaning.

andhakAram is only the darkness of ajnAnam--nescience. andhakAra nivarta is to do-anubhavam--experience, of the brahmam who is jnAna-jyotis--light of knowledge.

• If this brahma vidyA--education towards experience of brahman, is mentioned at the high level, when that meaning is applied to education that everyone receives ordinarily, in many areas, science, arts and so on, to those who stand in the darkness of ignorance, one who gives the light of knowledge in that field is guru, is the meaning.

There is another definition--known only to some people in-apUrvam--extraordinarily.

गकारकः सिद्धितः प्रोक्तो रेफः पापस्य हारकः ।
उकारो विष्णुरव्यक्तस्-त्रिदयात्मा गुरुः स्मृतः ॥

gakArakaH siddhitaH prokto rephaH pApasya hArakaH |
ukAro viShNuravyaktas-tridayAtmA guruH smRutaH ||

• In the word guru, first the ga and u combine to form gu; then ra and u combine to form ru. Thus, dividing the word into four shabdas--sounds, ga,u,ra,u, for ga is this tAtparyam--meaning, for ra this, and for u this, as such, the explanation is given in the shlokam.

• Whatever the meaning of the three ka,ra,u, one who becomes its rUpam--personification, is guru, is how it is ended: tridayAtmA guruH smRutaH--'the guru word is thought of as the union of the three'.

(to continue...)
ga: one that gives siddhi

ga is one that gives siddhi. siddhi is to accomplish a lakShyam--mark/aim/purpose in-sthiram--firmly. Whatever vidyA--field of education, is learnt, siddhi is to catch its lakShyam and keep it firm so that it does not slip out at any time.

• For akSharas--letters/syllables, many are the shaktis--powers that are antargatam--included in. Based on that only have risen the akShara-kOrvais--series of syllables, called mantras.

• When it is so, the shlokam says that for the very shabda ga is the power of granting siddhi: gakArakaH siddhitaH proktaH.

• Because it is said so, it does not mean that although the guru does not teach his siShya--disciple in order, or the siShya does not learn it in order, the former will get siddhi in teaching and the latter in learning.

• There should always be puruSha yatthanam--human intent and effort, which is yathAvidhi--suited to the purpose. Whatever we need to do should be done with good efforts in the right order. Even when it is done so, on many occasions pratibandhas--obstacles arise and failure happens, isn't that so?

• To make it not happen so, there must be deivAnukUalm--divine favour. Of the many upAyas--approaches, which causes that deivAnukUlam, shabda-shakti--power of sound, is one. The ga-kAram--ga sound, does exactly that--gakArakaH siddhitaH proktaH--The 'ga' sound is said to give siddhi.

• For the ga-kAram, there is much utkarSham--eminence. To make it happen that there is no punar-janmam--rebirth, that is to attain mokSham--liberation, it is enough to do-smaraNam--remember and chant, the four names. What are those four (names)?

गीता गङ्गा च गायत्री गोविन्देति हृति स्थिते ।
[चतुर्-कगार-संयुक्ते पुनर्-जन्म न विद्यते ॥]

gItA ga~ggA cha gAyatrI govindeti hRuti sthite |
[chatur-kagAra-saMyukte punar-janma na vidyate ||]

Only those four names--gItA, gangA, gAyatrI, govinda that start with the ga-kAram.

• There is a custom among the North Indians to utter these four names when one gets up in the morning.

• Here, the jIvita-siddhi--accomplishment of living, which is birthlessness, and is the very use of this birth, is said to begin in the four gas.

• In the guru-lakShaNa shlokam that I mentioned, it is mentioned in general, ga-kAram siddhipradam--'ga' grants the accomplishment, (which is given as) gakArakaH siddhitaH proktaH.
ra: one that removes pApam

rephaH pApasya hArakaH: The akShara shabdam ra is one that removes pApam--sins.

ga shows that one who is a guru gives siddhi to the shiShya. ra shows that he removes the disciple's sins.

• Like kindling agni--fire and doing-bhasmIkaraNam--reducing to ashes, he burns to ashes this man's sins. ram is the agni bIjam--seed/germ/origin of the term agni.

• Of the word guru, formed by a ga-kAram, a repham and two u-kAras, explanation has been given to ga and ra. ka is one that gives siddhi; ra is pApa haraNam--one that as agni does bhasmam of pApam.

• Five akSharas called bIjAkSharas are mentioned as holding the shakti of each of the pancha-bhUtas--five elements! It would be generally known that bIjam is seed.

• Just as a tiny bIjam holds within itself a mahA-vRukSham--great tree, so do the akSharas known as bIjAkSharas hold (inside them) the deivIka shaktis--divine powers.

• Accordingly, there is one each for the pancha mahAbhUtas--five cosmic elements.
lam for the pRuthvI--absolute earth.
vam for 'appu'--Apas--absolute water.
ram for 'tEyu'--tejas--light, also known as tEyu is nothing but agni--absolute fire.
yam for vAyu--absolute air.
ham for AkAsha--absolute sky/ether.

repham--the letter ra, is agni-tattvam--principle of fire. Like agni doing bhasmam of a vastu--thing/article, repham would burn the pApas.

• The rAma nAmam--name of shrI RAma, that we celebrate as tAraka mantram--mantra that liberates, starts only in that repham.
I am sorry I missed reading these articles earlier. Excellent compilations of the gems from the gems of Paramacharyal. Pl. continue the good work, as you always do with rare insight and depth of knowledge.
ra: one that removes pApam

rephaH pApasya hArakaH: The akShara shabdam ra is one that removes pApam--sins.

ga shows that one who is a guru gives siddhi to the shiShya. ra shows that he removes the disciple's sins.

• Like kindling agni--fire and doing-bhasmIkaraNam--reducing to ashes, he burns to ashes this man's sins. ram is the agni bIjam--seed/germ/origin of the term agni.

• Of the word guru, formed by a ga-kAram, a repham and two u-kAras, explanation has been given to ga and ra. ka is one that gives siddhi; ra is pApa haraNam--one that as agni does bhasmam of pApam.

• Five akSharas called bIjAkSharas are mentioned as holding the shakti of each of the pancha-bhUtas--five elements! It would be generally known that bIjam is seed.

• Just as a tiny bIjam holds within itself a mahA-vRukSham--great tree, so do the akSharas known as bIjAkSharas hold (inside them) the deivIka shaktis--divine powers.

• Accordingly, there is one each for the pancha mahAbhUtas--five cosmic elements.
lam for the pRuthvI--absolute earth.
vam for 'appu'--Apas--absolute water.
ram for 'tEyu'--tejas--light, also known as tEyu is nothing but agni--absolute fire.
yam for vAyu--absolute air.
ham for AkAsha--absolute sky/ether.

repham--the letter ra, is agni-tattvam--principle of fire. Like agni doing bhasmam of a vastu--thing/article, repham would burn the pApas.

• The rAma nAmam--name of shrI RAma, that we celebrate as tAraka mantram--mantra that liberates, starts only in that repham.

An excellent effort. In fact your work facilitates to read everything at one thread
instead of referring to books. Wish you all best. Kindly keep us posted with many
more information of this nature.

namaste shrI Nannilam Balasubramanian and Dr.S.Ramanathan, as well as other members who are following this thread.

As I was occupied with my Tamizh compilations and composition which I posted in the Literature forum here, I am sorry I neglected my work here. Since those efforts continue to grow, I think I should post something here much more frequently, if not daily. Here is the next instalment to my post #9:

u: the form of TirumAl (ViShNu)

[Among the sounds in the word guru,] u is the one that remains (to be explained). Since the u is attached to the first letter gu as well as the last letter ru, it should have some visheSham--distinction. What is the meaning, explanation given for it?

ukAro viShNuravyaktaH
The u-kAram--letter 'u' is ViShNu('s) svarUpam--form.

praNavam (the sound/letter AUM) is trimUrti-svarUpam--form of the Trinity. It is made up of the three letters a, u, m. a + u = O; and then the m--makAram.

• These three letters, in that order, denote BrahmA, ViShNu and Rudra. That is, a is BrahmA; u is ViShNu, which is our subject; and m is Rudra.

• In elongating m, (we get) two more sUkShma shabdas--subtle sounds. They are not at all referred to by the name shabdam--sound; two other names are there (for them). Those are, [in order,] those that denote the mAyA shaktis--creative powers spoken of as Maheshvara, MAyA; and the parama satyam--ultimate reality called SadAshivam in whom even those shaktis shrink in. Let it be so... The ukAram that doubles as gu, ru is ViShNu svarUpam--form.

ukAro viShNuravyaktaH -- 'viShNu avyaktaH'
The ukAram--letter 'u' is the form of ViShNu that remains avyaktam--unmanifest.

What is avyaktam--unmanifest?

vyaktam is one that remains manifest explicitly. (So) avyaktam is unmanifest.

• Issuing out of Brahmam (Brahman), that which remains as its manifestation, the prapancham--Universe is vyaktam.

• Wherefrom did this vyaktam come, that AdhAra satyam--basic/supportive/sustaining truth, which is known as Brahman, is not seen explicitly. Only from it did the nAnA prapancham--varied Universe issue out.

• In addition, inside the prapancham, and inside every padArtham--object/category/principle, that Brahman itself stays filling it all.

• Saying it as 'staying inside' only means that it is not seen outside? That is, it is not vyaktam is the meaning (right)? That which is not vyaktam is avyaktam, and that is only Brahman.

In-anusaraNam-of--following, the sAMkhya shAstram--the SAMkhya philosophy, when doing-artham--explaining the meaning, of BrahmavidyA, instead of mentioning avyaktam as Brahmam, it would mention it only as the mUlach charakku--(Tam)root entity for the prapancham--Universe, the mUla mAyA--root creative power that remains unmanifest. But then to do-artham so much technically wouldn't suit here.

(Therefore,) vyaktam is the lokam--world that is seen; avyaktam is the unseen paramAtmA--supreme soul, is the general meaning. One that suits here.

(to continue)
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Explanation of the words viShNu, vAsudeva

Wtih the same breadth that said ukAram viShNuH, it is also said that such viShNu is avyaktam, that is, sAkShAT parabrahmam--visible Supreme Brahman: ukAro viShNuravyaktaH.

• It is shown here that ViShNu is the parabrahmam who envelopes all those I spoke about as Rudra, and then Maheshvara-SadAshiva. BrahmA who came first as akaram is also enveloped within Him. It is known to everyone that BrahmA is His son, isn't it?

• The tradition of referring to both ViShNu and Parameshvara (Shiva) of the trimUrtis--Trinity as parabrahma svarUpam--form of Brahman, has been in vogue since ancient times. The reason why they are so in tradition is only that aneka mahAns--several great sages, in their svanta anubhavam--own experience, found it to be such in-sAkShAt--clearly; and what they discovered they spoke to the world as mantras, stotras--hymns and upadesha vachanam--words of teaching.

• The direct meaning of viShNu--the root meaning obtained by separating their dhAtus--word elements-- is 'one who is of the nature of sarva vyApakam--all pervading.

• For the term viShNu, (Shankara) AchAryAL has given the bhAShyum--explanation, 'one who is of vyApana shIlam--pervading as his nature, that is, the parabrahmam known as paramAtman, vAsudevan, whose nature is to pervade everywhere.' [katOpaniShad bhAShyam 1.3.9.]

• As to why he specifically said vAsudevan is that, that name too speaks about sarva-vyApakam--all pervading.

• In his (vishNu) sahasranAma (bhAShyam), when doing-bhAShyam--giving explanation, for the name vAsudeva, AchAryAL has clarified it. [In the three places this name occurs in the SahasranAmam, where it occurs as the 332nd name.--RA.Ga.]

• For the term vAsu, giving the artham--meaning as vasati, vAsayati, AchchAdAyati sarvam, he has clarified it. vasati is SvAmi (ViShNu) dwelling in sakala vastus--all things. Since he also remains as one in whom sakala vastus dwell, that is, have their state, he is vAsayati. Mentioned this way, it only amounts to sarva vyApakam, right?

Note: Shankara bhAShyam for viShNu sahasranAmam shlokam 332: vAsudevaH
vasati vAsayati AchchAdayati sarvam iti vAsuH; dyotate iti devaH |
vAsuScAsau devaSceti vAsudevaH ||

"He dwells in, and covers everything and so he is vAsu; being effulgent, he is deva. He is thus both vAsu and deva, i.e., vAsudeva."
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• Even then that parabrahmam which is vyApakam--pervading remains as one that is avyakta, not seen or known by us. Only that he mentions as sarvam AchchAyadayati. AchchAdayati means 'to cover and hide'. To cover and hide the principle of Reality with MAyA, and to let it remain hidden, is only avyaktam, right?

• Our AchAryAL is such a vinayashIla--person of modest nature, that he would not say anything that does not occur in the Vedic tradition, in-svantam--on his own. To show that something should not be one that he said on his own but is the opinion of sat sampradAyam--existing tradition, he would quote the pUrva shAstras--ancient texts, at all places (in his commentary). Following that, he has given quotes here from the MahAbhArata and ViShNu PurANam.

• When we say sarva vyApakam, "what is known to us, that is, explicitly seen by us--one that is vyaktam--is only that sarvam",

the vastu--entity that pervades that sarvam--everything remains as avyakta which is not seen by us, stands tagged to it.'

• We will know it when we think about it. Only when a vastu--thing, is a specific one, it will be seen explicitly. When it is not such, but one that pervades everything, then only that everthing--sarvam will be vyaktam--seeen, and the one that pervades everythting will be avyaktam--hidden unseen.

• When a tumbler
full of water is pervaded by suger dissolved in it, that sugar only remains avyaktam--unseen, right?

• That avyakta entity which is a maRaiporuL--(Tam)hidden thing,--it is maRai poruL in two ways! Hidden as well as the inner meaning of the maRai--(Tam)Vedas! only such hidden entity--is ViShNu. That ViShNu's akShara svarUpam--alphabetical/syllabic form, is u: ukAro viShNuravyaktaH.

• With the ga that gives siddhi--spiritual accomplishments, and the ra that removes sins and cleanses, with these two (alphabets), the u that is both avyakta viShNu and in itself viShNu--pervading and avyaktam--unseen, combining, the word guru has arisen--thus goes the shlokam--verse.

• For viShNu when we take the meaning as sarva vyApakam--pervading everything, it becomes, "this nAnA prapancham--varied Universe, is there as sarvam--everything, and within that Universe he has pervaded as antaryAmin--soul." (The philosophy of) vishiShTAdvaitam is arrived at here.

• But then when it is said that ViShNu is avyaktam--hidden unseen, it would only become NirguNa Brahman (Brahman without attributes). That is advaita upadesham--teaching of Advaita.

• Since it is only for us who are (always) in dvaita anubhavam--experience of duality, the dvaita tattvam also arrives here!

*** *** ***
Benefits the disciple derives from his guru's nature

In addition to saying that guru is one who gives us the lakShya-siddhi--accomplishment of the aim, removes our pApas--sins and does-parishuddhi-of us--purifies us,

• the shloka--verse has defined that he is one who is sarva vyApaka--all-pervading, and the nirguNa avyaktam--attributeless unmanifestation, where (the varied attributes of) sakalam--everything in the world, is struck off.

• "Alright, saying that we need siddhi and he [one who is guru] gives it is right; unless the pApas are removed, siddhi will not be obtained, so he is one who removes it is also right; these two are of-prayojanam--useful to us.

• But then saying that he is sarva-vyApaka, and above that the avyakta vastu--unmanifest entity, in what way is it of any use to us?"

The very saying that he is such is the use to us! How is that?

• As to how it is, just like a wasp keeps stinging at its (new born) worm and changes it into its form, guru stays as one to elevate the shiShyas to his own state.

• Therefore, if some lakShaNam--characteristics, is said about him that he is such and such, it would mean that he does-anugraha-of--favours, the great prayojanam--benefit that we too receive those lakShaNas (from him).

• Since just mentioning his svarUpa lakShaNam--personal characteristics, results in that (lakShaNam) becoming siddha--gained, by us, the great use to us also figures in it. The shlokam began with siddhi pradam (gakArakaH siddhitaH prokto), right? This is the siddhi (it refers to).

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advaitam and anugraha bhAvam

The avyakta siddhi where one remains advitIyam--without a second, and the brahma vidyA of that state will be attained by the shiShya by guru's anugraham--favour.

If that be so, why mention the state of ViShNu, which is sarva vyApanam--all-pervading?

• This is where karuNa--compassion, and prema--love, arrive at. If a mahAn--great man, who has attained the advitIya sthiti--state of oneness, where the sarvam--world, gets struck off, instead of remaining in samAdhi on his own, gives-upadesham--teaches, wearing the appearance of a guru, it only means that he has descended to the sarvam--world.

• As to why he descended, it is due to the prema, karuNa! In the compassion that the world too should attain the bliss that he has attained, does he descend (to the world) and teaches.

• As to whether he really descends, it cannot be said so. There is no such thing as descending from that state, to a man who has accomplished mano nAsham--destruction of the mind, in-pUrNam--completely, and attained brahmAnubhavam--bliss of Brahman.

• Still, the why or how would not be known; until now, no one has explained it. We see it in plenty (however) that those who have reached the state where the sarvam got struck off, remaining in that state, without getting it upset, looking at the sarvam--world, having parama karuNa--supreme compassion, and thinking to regulate it, doing upadesham, taking on the garb of a guru.

• Including (Our Adi Shankara) AchAryAL and SukAchAryAL, several brahma niShThas--those dwelling in Brahman, have been in that way. As to why and how, it would not be known! ambAL kAryam--work of Goddess Mother (Shakti)!

• In addition to giving the shiShya who is sat--the Being, advaita siddhi, stinging at the worm in him to make it a wasp, one who is sadguru also regulates the majority of the people into dharma in their worldly life.

• Let me reiterate. Just because the guru is in-loka sambandham--connected to the world, it would not be that he has originally got the dvaita dRShTi--view/notion of duality. Only with the dRShTi of identifying the one that is advaitam within the dvaita prapancham--universe of duality, too, that the guru seems to have descended into kAryalokam--world of action. He has not descended in reality; it is only the state that he appears as such to us.

• This is only the appearance that we see. In his inner experience there is no such thing as ascension or descension.

• Instead of looking at the dvaitam--duality, [called prapancham--universe] as originally dvaitam [that has separated as different from Brahmam], identifying in-anubhava pUrvam--experientially, the advaita brahmam in that (duality) as permeating it--pervading it--that is, only Brahmam filling up everything as ViShNu, that he takes on the garb of guru and teaches.

• There is a great Anandam--bliss, in that compassion. The bliss that is a mix of dvaita Anadam and the advaita Anandam, without being able to pinpoint it as such! The bliss that arose on the very foundation of Advaita. In other words, an Anandam which is varNAtItam--beyond color, without the uchcha lakShyam--supreme goal, slipping away from it!

• This (bliss) too is favoured by him to the shiShyas. In making the shiShya too become a guru and do upadesham in lokopakARam--public advantage, it becomes thus: advaita shAntam--peace of Advaita, within, and anugraha kRtyam--performing favour, which appears outwardly to the world as dvaitam--duality.

Only in that way, does MahAViShNu perform his loka paripAlanam--fostering the world. This [what guru does here] is shiShyaloka paripAlanam!

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Mantras :

चण्डद्युतिद्युतिमुपासितषट्प्रकाराम् |
लीलागुहां भगवतीं त्रिपुरां नमामि ||

There have been many queries on mantras, ajapA etc. There are various ways to explain the workings of a mantra: using mImAmsA, using the sphoTa theory, the spanda approach of the Agamas etc. We would rather rely on yoga-shAstra, the one we are more familiar with.
A human being is composed of five layers: the sthUla sharIra (the gross physical body), li~Nga sharIra (the etheric body), sUkShma sharIra (the astral body), kAma sharIra (the mental body) and kAraNa sharIra (the causal body). parAshakti pervades and illuminates all these bodies through different aspects of prANa assimilated through different mechanisms e.g. breathing for the sthUla sharIra. The energetic link between the lower and higher bodies is the breath or prANa and the path to transcendence lies in its neutralization. Every technique of upAsanA is in one way or the other aimed at modifying the breath current or prANa so as to refine it and intensify awareness of the subtle and inner breath currents connected with the higher bodies. The simplest way to accomplish the same is through the might of unmoving attention directed towards an external or internal object, breath itself being an important option. The acts of silencing the mind and the breath are interconnected and mantra is an important way to accomplish both. The generally chaotic mind is regulated through powerful waves of energy generated by the mantra and the focused attention of the sAdhaka on the mantra or iShTa acts as a means to sublimate the breath and the mind.

A quick parallel one would now think of would be the Buddhist practice of Shamata, practiced commonly through techniques such as Zazen, Anapanasati etc. Buddhist votaries such as Shinzen Young go on to describe the superiority of mindfulness methods over mantras with the assumption that mantras completely fit the definition of Buddhist samata, its practice and goal. That however is not completely true. Mantra practice accomplishes not only the shamata aspect (i.e. the cessation of thoughts resulting in trance or absorptive states on account of mindfulness or attention to breath or another object) but more. While the shamata-vipassana categories of meditation focus on the now, mantra has the capability to transform the now and hence everything else. The prevailing conditions before and after the perfecting of a mantra are not the same and that is the key difference between mantra-based and simple mindfulness practices. With shamata/vipassana kind of practices, you observe things as they are, but with an activated mantra, things are as you want to be or how they should be. The transformative effect of the mantra should not be underestimated.

The generally chaotic mind has its own pattern of radiation and energetic imagery, and that keeps changing infinitely. Similarly, mantra, which has an energetic mind of its own, also has a specific energetic pattern associated with it. This pattern is generally traceable to a deity or a seer associated with the mantra. As the mantra is repeated over and over in the mind, more importantly with utmost mindfulness, the ripples of energy produced in the mind by the mantra slowly begin to transform the energetic make of the subtle bodies, molding them to resemble the energetic make of the mantra, and eventually of the deity represented by the mantra. While the tamo guNa of parAshakti acts chiefly on the sthUla sharIra, rajas or activity characterizes the astral and mental bodies, making them active and restless. By using focused attention and the energy generated by the mantra together, one is able to effectively neutralize the chaos of these bodies, integrate them and gain access to the causal realms. The state of unmanI is the goal of both mantra and prANAyAma if one analyzes both carefully.
For those that would like to approach deities or devatAs neutrally, these can be viewed as archetypes of energy existing at the higher causal realm. Mantras, when received through a lineage master via dIkShA, establishes a link to this archetype and recitation further strengthens this link, eventually allowing the sAdhaka to use the archetype as a vehicle to ascend to higher realms of formlessness. The same is true w.r.t nAmasmaraNa as reciting the names of great avatAras such as rAma, krShNa or nrSimha allows access to those archetypes.
The kind of mantra one picks for recitation is also of significance. For example, the bIja mantras, mahAvidyA-s etc. have an embedded energy structure in them that link them to the archetype without the need for a specific intent. Let’s say a person receives the mantra of jagadambA kAlI from sadguru and recites it regularly as taught. Firstly, the act of dIkShA establishes the link to the archetype (which is kAlI) here and the practice of mantra intensifies this link. Even if there is no specific intent on the part of the sAdhaka to imagine kAlI, meditate on her specific form and request to connect with her, all that happens automatically due to the inherent energy field embedded within the mantra. When the intensity of the mantra is heightened to a suitable level, the archetype or deity begins to reveal herself to the sAdhaka in all her glory. Intention or contemplation, if used along, amplifies the practice. bIja mantras are prelingual sounds which transcend the boundaries of fixed sound, concept or meaning. On account of this, their nature cannot be completely comprehended and conveyed through words or thoughts that are limited by a fixed scope. bIja represents purity of the divine thought expressed as nAda that pre-dates language as we know today. Lord parashurAma hence qualifies the power of bIja mantras as simply achintya or unimaginable.

In the case of nAma smaraNa, the phonetics of the mantra may not have direct connection with the associated divine archetype, but the intention and mental association on the part of the sAdhaka does the trick. When the name of a certain archetype like an avatAra or a siddha is invoked, the essence or energy of the corresponding archetype is awakened in the sAdhaka, serving as a catalyst to allow the deity to come forth in its higher spiritual significance. When both the embedded phonetic of the bIja mantra and the intent to connect to the divine archetype (as in the case of nAma-mantra) are combined, the results are phenomenal.
Every deity is roughly an energetic pattern within the Universal Mind of parAshakti and it is that Supreme Source one is trying to connect to through these archetypes. In the case of impersonal and passive techniques such as AnApAna or zazen, this entire piece of ascension through the archetypical energy-vehicle is absent. Though the TheravAdins fail to note that, the practitioners of vajrayAna and mantrayAna borrow this knowledge from their Brahmin counterparts and attach great importance to mantra and deity practices. Those with an appropriate level of clairvoyance can psychically see the effect of a mantra when recited – the etheric form of the associated archetype, the color and intensity of the energy radiated etc. It is also easy to note that though different archetypes or deities are all impressions within the one Universal Mind of the paramAtman, they have very specific structures in the domain of names and forms and hence grant different fruits at different speeds. samskAra/vAsanA determines the affinity of an upAsaka to a particular archetype and the degree of success in connecting to it. The mind of the sAdhaka (through the transformation of the underlying subtle bodies) is replaced by the luminescence of the deity or archetype as a result of dedicated upAsanA and one gradually accesses the Universal Mind through the archetype.
However, for the deity or devatA to manifest within the mind or subtle bodies, relying merely on the phonetics of the mantra is quite insufficient except when the mantra embeds in itself a massive energy imprint or is imparted fully energized by the Master. An example would be the ucChiShTa gaNesha mantra which requires no samkalpa, dhyAna, nyAsa etc. for siddhi and can be perfected merely through the power of phonetics when the mantra is received through authentic dIkShA. In most other cases however, focused attention on the mantra and thus on the deity are required without which the phonetics alone do not generate sufficient energy to manifest the archetype within the subtle bodies. Various techniques such as nyAsa, maNDala dhyAna, akShamAlA etc. serve the purpose of attaining focused and sustained attention on the mantra and hence regulate the breath and energy bodies. The ultimate siddhi of the mantra is when the lower mind of the upAsaka and the higher mind of the archetype of the deity (which serves as a vehicle for ascension or transcendence) are both dissolved into the Universal Mind of the paramAtman like a wave that arose and subsided, realizing the state of abheda with the One. At the brim of savikalpa samAdhi, the state of the lower-causal consciousness is reached and the archetypal deity, which is now identified as one’s own Higher-self, dissolves into the Supreme One, with the current state of subtle audible-luminosity of the mantra transforming into grand silence and self-luminescence. The self, which moved through a series of identifications starting with the body, thoughts, mind, subconscious mind, higher self/deity etc. is eventually revealed to itself as The Supreme and the final perfection is attained. Some may choose to describe a further stage where the Supreme or God-Self is also dissolved into formlessness or its own essence or ground (bhUmi) resulting in no deity, no meditator, no meditation, no mantra, or an awareness of the absence of any of these! This is described as pUrNa brahma, mahA-shUnya, the great radiance etc.

At some level, mantra does not differ much from the process of tattva-vichAra or self-enquiry. It is frequently pointed out by vedAntins and the likes that one would need to indulge in exclusive tattva vichAra after reaching a certain level through the mantra. This, however, is neither true nor representative of the true intent of the seers of mantra yoga. The mantra begins by acting on the coarse thoughts, regulating them and facilitating the sAdhaka to look beyond them. Due to the radiance of the mantra and the effect of focused attention, the increased vibratory state of the sAdhaka enables him to look behind the thoughts, at the screen or canvas of the mind on which the various thoughts appear and disappear. The awareness, riding the energetic vehicle of the radiance of the mantra, progresses to the subconscious and further towards the mind itself, noting its movements and activities as a witness. Thus, one progresses from being unaware to being aware of the thoughts, followed by a stage of identifying the self with the thoughts and eventually identifying oneself with the mind. The first spark of mantra-siddhi is kindled at this stage and the transformative effects of the mantra on the sUkShma, linga and kAma sharIras become evident. With further kindling of the mantra chaitanya, limited identification with the lower mind is lost and a sense of identification with the deity’s Higher Mind becomes established, eventually leading to the dissolution of mind-concept. With each progressive step, the activity of the mantra also begins to sublimate and refine, at some point resulting in a state where nothing but the awareness remains. When all that remains is undifferentiated awareness, one is awakened to the truth that all that is – is the Universal Mind. This can be described as the highest level of shaktyaNDa. There is yet another step to ascend to achieve complete non-differentiation and that involves the sUtrAtman. That being a pathless path and requiring no paraphernalia of the physical, mental or energetic worlds, there is not much one can write about it here. Once you get there, you know what needs to be done. It is this stage that the great avadhUtas refer to when speaking of no path, no activity and no doing. Till that point, there is doing, there is a path and there is activity – gross and refined, internal and external.
A few words on dIkSha is necessary here. The act of planting the seed is what dIkShA is all about and the birth of the baby or the first sprout from the seed is the initial sign of mantra siddhi. Without dIkShA, no amount of tilling, watering or fertilizers help as the seed capable of germination is missing to start with. As evident, the entire process of mantrayAna or the vehicle of mantra follows a systematic step-by-step process i.e. is krama-baddha. Based on the needs of the upAsaka, multiple mantras may be used to facilitate the ascension of the consciousness through the different levels or energy bodies, as in the case of krama path involving specific mantras at specific stages. For example, when the consciousness enters the ‘dark night of the soul’, the samayeshvarI named kAlarAtrikA is invoked to transform darkness into luminescence by first identifying the self with the darkness and using the deity-archetype to achieve the required transformation. Some mantras are relevant at certain planes whereas others are multi-dimensional; they reveal a new aspect of reality at every plane and can lead the sAdhaka from the beginning to the end. The four mantras that can be quoted as belonging to this category are kAlikA, ShoDashI, praNava and prAsAda (specifically parA-prAsAda and prAsAda-parA) or the shAmbhavAmnAya manus to be specific. When the sAdhaka goes through the difficult stage of kR^ipAshUnyAvasthA where one’s Karma are burnt by a state of complete absence of the iShTa’s grace, one is able to surge forward to higher energetic realms propelled by guNa, shIla and the bala of earlier upAsanA (i.e. virtue and merit of practice).
वन्दे गुरुं शङ्करम् ||

Source : Google
namaste shrI Balasubramanian.

As you are very well aware of, this thread is a compilation of only KAnchi ParamAchArya's upadeshas. So, we can only post our personal experiences, thoughts on what MahAperiyavA has taught.

I am at a loss to understand as to why you should post in this thread some long copy-paste material from another Website, when you could have very well opened a separate thread for such material. So, please open a SEPARATE THREAD and ask Praveen to move your posts 17 to 21 to that thread forthwith. Also please desist from doing this. I hope you understand it.

namaste shrI Balasubramanian.

As you are very well aware of, this thread is a compilation of only KAnchi ParamAchArya's upadeshas. So, we can only post our personal experiences, thoughts on what MahAperiyavA has taught.

I am at a loss to understand as to why you should post in this thread some long copy-paste material from another Website, when you could have very well opened a separate thread for such material. So, please open a SEPARATE THREAD and ask Praveen to move your posts 17 to 21 to that thread forthwith. Also please desist from doing this. I hope you understand it.


Since it has some value, I posted it. As you suggest, I shall post the
threads pertaining to Mahaperiyaval's Upadesam henceforth.

TirumAl (ViShNu) as guru

'nArAyaNam, padmabhuvam'--beginning thus (with these names only), since we [smArtas who follow shrI shankara bhagavadpAda] mention the guru paramparA--uninterrupted tradition of gurus, for the brahma vidyA sampradAyam--tradition of Brahma VidyA, mentioning here that first guru ViShNu is very apt.
[nArAyaNam=viShNu; padmabhuvam=BrahmA, son who was born on a lotus]

• In the (viShNu) sahasranAmam, names are given to him as guru and gurutama. The meaning of gurutama is 'of all the gurus the most excellent--shreShThama uttama guru'.

• When doing bhAShyam here [for the term guru], (Shankara) AchAryAL mentions that ViShNu becomes guru as he does-upadesham-of--teaches, sarva vidyA--all kinds of knowledge; and in addition as has mentioned that another meaning that he is guru because he is the one who makes all the souls born.

• From this we can understand that it is customary to mention the pitA--father, who gives birth, as guru. For those well versed in the saMskRta literature, it is a well known viShayam--thing that the guru title is there for the father.

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pitA = guru

mAtA-pitA-guru-deyvam is a general vachanam--saying well known to everyone. In this both mAtA--mother and pitA--father do the work of placing (their children) in the path of dharma.

• When one is a little child, the mother would teach in parama hitam--in a completely wholesome manner, something that is good.

• Thereafter, until in the eight year (of age) when the child is entrusted to one who is there as guru, for doing gurukula-vAsam--being a resident pupil, the father, showing some strictness more than the mother, would teach several good things as 'to be so and so... to do such and such[/b]. Therefore the guru name as arisen only for him.

• The term 'guru', if it is not separated into its akSharas--syllables, means only 'an elderly/great man'. One who is the most elderly at home--head of the family--isn't he the father? Therefore he is guru.

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