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Soundarya Lahari : Is it Adi Sankara's composition?

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Soundarya Lahari : Is it Adi Sankara's composition?

In Acharya Panoli's opinion, Soundarya Lahari (SL) is not a composition of Adi Sankara, although that is how the popular mind has been made to believe. I give below Shri Panoli's reasons as briefly as possible, because thiswill be a very sensitive issue for many.

The doubt regarding the real authorship of SL has been there for centuries and debates have been going on; but a final decision has yet to come. While many people have expressed doubts on this particular item, we should also note that no one has even raised a word of doubt about the authenticity of Vaakyavritti, Upadesasaahasri, etc., as Sankara's genuine works. This is because there is no doubt about the authenticity of their contents.

In the case of SL, it has become a treasure for the Saakteyas. In addition a legend has also grown around the circumstances in which this was composed, and this myth further reinforces SL as a tantric text. But it is an irrefutable fact that Sakti- worship has not been mentioned by the Acharya anywhere in the bhashyas which contain his prime message. "It is clear to any student of Vedanta that Sakti-worship belongs to Vama-marga which has no place at all in the Advaita Vedanta of which Sri Sankaracharya was the unrivalled exponent." , states shri Panoli.

There is also one tradition which holds that the first 41 verses of SL alone were composed by Sankara. There is marked difference in the poetic beauty and grandeur between these and the rest of the composition; probably that gave rise to this legend.

The first sloka of SL is:

शिवः शक्त्यायुक्तो यदि भवति शक्तः प्रभवितुम् ।
न चॆदॆवम् दॆवॊ न खलु कुशलः स्पन्दितुमपि ॥
अतस्त्वाम् आराध्यां हरि हर विरिञ्चादिभिरपि ।
प्रणन्तुं स्तॊतुं वा कथमकृत पुण्यः प्रभवति ॥

சிவ: சக்த்யாயுக்தோ யதி பவதி சக்த: ப்ரபவிதும்
நசேத் ஏவம் தேவோ ந கலு குசல ஸ்பன்திதும் அபி
அதஸ்த்வாம் ஆராத்யாம் ஹரி ஹர விரிஞ்சாதிபிரபி
ப்ரணந்தும் ஸ்தோதும் வா கதம் அக்ருத புண்ய: ப்ரபவதி

(Lord Siva, if he is united with Sakti (Parvati), becomes able for creation. If not, he is unable even to move. Hence, how shall one who is unrighteous, be able to prostrate before you or to extol you who are worshipped even by Vishnu, Siva and Brahma?)

It is quite clear and well-known that this sloka makes Sakti the supreme and in its absence Siva himself becomes powerless even to move. Advaita does not refer to any such inter-divinity differences or supremacies in any of his bhAshyas or the other prakaraNa granthas which the scholarly community has unanimously accepted as verily his. Similarly Sankara says:

केवलाद् एव ज्ञानाद् मॊक्ष इति अर्थो निश्चितो गीतासु उपनिषत्सु च । (kEvalAd Eva jnAnAd mOksha iti arthO niScitO geetAsu upanishatsu ca)
(That liberation is attained through knowledge alone is a settled fact in the Gita and in all the Upanishads.) --Gita, Adhyaya III, Sambandha bhashya

Again,

मोक्ष कारण सामग्र्याम् भक्तिरेव गरीयसी ।
स्वस्वरूपानुसन्धानम् भक्तिरित्यभिधीयते ॥ Viveka cUDAmaNi - 31

(Among the paths leading to liberation or 'mOksha', bhakti has the supreme place; constant meditation on one's real nature is called devotion.)

Sankara disqualifies Samkhya and Yoga also without any ambiguity as means for attaining liberation. This may be seen from following statements in Brahmasutra Bhashya:

एतेन योगः प्रयुक्तः (Brahma Sutra - II, 1-2-3)
(Because of this, that is to say, because Samkhyasmriti has been denied, Yoga too should be considered as denied.)
एतेन साम्ख्यस्मृतिप्रत्याख्यानेन योगस्मृतिरपि प्रत्याख्याता द्रष्टव्येत्यतिदिशति (Brahma Sutra Sankara Bhashya for the above)

निराकरणम् तु न सांख्यज्ञानेन वेदनिरपेक्षॆण योगमार्गेण वा निःश्रेयसमधिगम्यत इति । (श्वेताश्वतर भाष्य IV-13)
(The denial is to show that neither through the knowledge of Samkhya nor through the path of Yoga, independent of the Vedas, liberation can be attained.)

न मोक्षसाधनानवगमात् । नहि वेदन्तेषु ब्रह्मात्मविज्ञानात् अन्यत्परमपुरुषार्थ साधनत्वेनावगम्यते । (Brihadaranyaka Bhashya)
(It is not proper to say so, for it (Yoga) is not known to be the means of attainment of the life's highest end.)

When Sankara disqualifies even Samkhya and Yoga, two of the eralier "darsanas" as not means for attaining "moksha" and since he never refers to tantra anywhere in his bhashyas, since tantra was always considered as 'vaama maarga' (left-handed path), it is inconceivable that suddenly Sankara would have become a supporter of tantra vidya and a devout devi-bhakta.

Since Advaita does not envisage any duality like Siva and Sakti and bhakti other than in the form stated by sankara, viz., constant meditation on one's real nature, it is difficult to envisage SL as Sankara's work at all.

The second verse of SL is :

तनीयांसम् पांसुम् तव चरण पङ्केरुहभवम् ।
विरिंचि: संचिन्वन् विरचयति लोकानविकलम् ॥
वहत्येनं शौरिः कथमपि सहस्रेण शिरसाम् ।
हरः संक्षुद्यैनम् भजति भसितॊद्धूलन विधिम् ॥

தனீயாம்ஸம் பாம்ஸும் தவ சரண பங்கேருஹ பவம்
விரிஞ்சி: சம்சின்வன் விரசயதி லோகான் அவிகலம்
வஹத்யேனம் சௌரி: கதமபி சஹஸ்ரேண சிரஸாம்
ஹர: ஸம்க்ஷுத்யைனம் பஜதி பஸிதோத்தூலன விதிம்

(Brahma creates this universe free of defects with a particle of dust from your feet. Vishnu bears it somehow with his thousand heads and Siva pulverizes it and smears his body with it as the holy ash.)

This is very similar to purANic story-telling. Sankara has never resorted to quoting purAnic stories in any of his bhashyas. This is also a marked departure from the Acarya's style of the acknowledged principles of philosophy. Cosmology forms an integral part of any complete system of philosophy. Sankara also gives in his commentary on praSnopanishad 1-4 as under:

मिथुनं द्वन्द्वं उत्पादितवान् । रयिं च सोमं अन्नं प्राणं च अग्निमत्तारं एतावग्नीषोमावत्त्रन्नभूतौ मे मन बहुधानेकधानेकधा प्रजाः करिष्यत इत्येवं संचिन्त्याण्डोत्पत्तिक्रमेण सूर्यचन्द्रमसावकल्पयत् ॥

(He produced a pair, rayi - the food or sOma, and prANa, the fire or eater (the sun). Beginning from the aNDa (primordial egg) he created the sun and the moon, in that order, thinking that these two, the fire and the moon, would create many offsprings for me in diverse ways.)

This is in accordance with the vedic statement, सूर्या चन्द्रमसौ धाता यथापूर्वम् अकल्पयत् - RV,10-190-3 [(The Lord) created the sun and the moon as before.]
Also, Sankara repeatedly states in his various bhashyas that all that agrees with the vedas should be accepted and all that does not agree (vEdabAhya - outside the vedas) should be rejected. If one looks at the above verse of SL it will be readily seen that it is not in accordance with the vedic pronouncements. Hence there is every reason to believe that Sankara would not have written such a verse.

Verse 5 of SL is another example:

हरिस्त्वां आराध्य प्रणतजन सौभाग्यजननीं ।
पुरा नारी भूत्वा पुररिपुमपि क्षोभं अनयत् ॥
स्मरॊऽपि त्वां नत्वा रतिनयनलेह्येन वपुषा ।
मुनीनां अप्यन्तः प्रभवति हि मोहाय महताम् ॥

ஹரிஸ்த்வாம் ஆராத்ய ப்ரணதஜன சௌபாக்ய ஜனனீம்
புரா நாரீ பூத்வா புரரிபும் அபி க்ஷோபம் அனயத்
ஸ்மரோऽ பி த்வாம் நத்வா ரதிநயன லேஹ்யேன வபுஷா
முனீனாம் அப்யந்த: ப்ரபவதி ஹி மோஹாய மஹதாம்

(Once long ago, vishNu, by worshipping you who are the dispenser of prosperity to the prostrating devotees, and becoming a woman, created passion even in Siva, the destroyer of Tripura. Even kAmadEva became visible to the eyes of rati and capable of creating passion even in sages, only after worshipping you.)

Sankara has not given even a single instance of citing any hero from the purANas or itihAsas in the whole of his prasthAnatraya bhAshya. Moreover his path was one of jnAna and not of bhakti. The above verse which dwells with the creation of lust or passion even in the minds of Siva and rishis, is a topic only an ordinary mind will use to extol the greatness of his or her ishTadEvata with an acceptance of duality; it is impossible for a great jnAni and sanyasi of the calibre of Sankara to write such mundane verse.

Verses 9 & 14 of SL refer to the cakras of the tantric system. It has already been clarified that Sankara does not approve even the yogadarsana as a means of attaining mOksha. It is therefore well-nighimpossible that he would approve of anything but constant meditation as the means. Praising the antric system, that too in the background of the duality implied in finding the Goddess as the ultimate godhead, would mean that Sankara recommended both Advaita and Dvaita in his lifetime. Will an Acarya of his calibre do that?

Verse 13 of SL is still worse; it talks of beautiful women getting passionate towards even a pretty old man, and rushing to him with their clothes slipping off, etc., if only such an old man gets the "glance" of the goddess upon him! Will Sankara embark on writing down such patently erotic poems to make his advaita reach the people, though there is nothing of philosophy is present in it?

Verse 81 of SL goes one step ahead of even Kalidasa in describing the goddess' physical beauty in plainly erotic terms.

Oh, pArvati ! Perhaps himavAn , the king of mountains gave the solidity and expanse of bottom, as nuptial fee to you. Therefore your behinds are so broad and dense that
it hides the entire world and leads the world to lightness.

In aparOkshAnubjUti -19, Sankara says:

आत्मा ज्ञानमयः पुण्यो देहो मांसमयो ऽ शुचिः
तयोरैक्यम् प्रपश्यन्ति किम् अज्ञानम् अतः परम् ॥

ஆத்மா ஞானமய: புண்யோ தேஹோ மாம்ஸமயோऽசுசி:
தயோரைக்யம்ப்ரபச்யந்தி கிமஞானம் அத: பரம் ||

(The atma is all knowledge, all holy; the body is all flesh and impure. What can surpass the ignorance of those who hold that these are one and the same (identical)?

It is for right-thinking people to ponder over the question whether Sankara would express such an opinion and also feel that describing the goddess in the aforesaid details is also right.

The final verse of SL is in the form of expressing the composer's humility, though it looks belaboured, according to Shri Panoli. Sankara never resorts to this "proclamation of vinaya or humility" in any of his bhashyas.

Vagbhatananda guru (disciple of Sree Narayana Guru) said:

" The thinkers who can be relied upon believe that it was not Adi Sankara who composed the Saundaryalahari which begins with शिवः शक्त्यायुक्तो एत्च्., but it was some other Sri Sankara who belonged to that order of Acharyas." -(Adhyatmayuddha of Vagbhatananda Guru)

Shri Panoli concludes thus:

"Strictly speaking, the philosophical insight, the creative genius and the sanctity and purity which are the pre-eminent characteristics of the Acharya's authentic works are absent in Saundaryalahari. Evidently this is composed by someone else and foisted on the Acharya, for its author knew full well that anything that bears the sacred name of the Acharya would pass muster.

--With grateful acknowledgements to Late Shri Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli
 
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Dear Sangom Uncle

I think its correct only. Because the style after 41th verse differs from the 1--41. So only the soundaryalahari itself has been divided into "Soundarya lahari and anandha lahari".


VERSION 1:
Shiva in praise of shakthi composed 100 verses of soundaryalahari and shri sankara when went to Kailash asked for the god to spread these mahamantras to world and god gave him the works. But Nandhi when came to know about this, got dissatisfied with act of swami and forcibly picked the granthas from the hand of shri acharya and 41 verses only came into acharya's hand and with the help and grace of shiva he completed the left-overs.

VERSION 2:
Its is just a slight modification of Version 1. In this legend, nandhi picked the whole granthas itself. But acharya when walking down from the kailash, was already reading the verses and he read up to 41th verse. Because of his extensive memorable capacity, after reading one time itself he was able to repeat the 41 verses and later he completes with his own version of upto 100.


VERSION 3
After giving "Gnanapaal" (Milk of knowledge) the dravidasisu sang these 100 verses in praise of devi. Shiva wants to hear that once again. But due to natural shyness, devi parvathi did not told that to him. Since shiva compelled her, she just wrote the verses in the ice-bergs of mount kailash. Acharya who was in the deep meditation saw this and just remembered those verses. But alas what devi did was after writing 100th verse, she rubbed them in the reverse order and acharya was able to capture only up to 41th verse. Later he filled them.

Whether the verses are by shri sankaracharya or by some other, let it be. But the meanings and the extensive upamanas and upameyas that was handled in the soundarya lahari, when reading after knowing the actual meanings, really gives pleasure to the reader. It also has hidden mahamantras in it and because of that only each and every sloka has its own power when chanted according to its procedure.

Sangom uncle am also trying to translate the soundaryalahari into tamil slokas (with same 4 lines) without reducing the meanings. I have completed just ten only. With all your blessings will finish it soon I think.

Pranams
 

KRN

Active member
Very good topic for discussion. If well directed, it could help improve our awareness of these great poetic works.

While speaking neither for or against the contention that the SL was composed by Adi Sankara (without having convincing evidence either way), I would like to jot down a few thoughts that came to mind while reading the above article.

1. The first argument is that nowhere in the Bhashyas does the Acharya mention Sakti worship. From this, Sri Panoli derives that ‘Sakti worship has no place at all in the Advaita Vedanta of Sri Shankaracharya’.

However in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya the Acharya mentions the rival philosophies existing at the time (Different Bauddha streams, Jaina, Sankhya, Charvaka etc) and systematically refutes them one after the other. If Sakteya philosophy was not part of Advaita, shouldn’t Acharya have included it in the list and refute it as well?

Hence the possible reasons for this are

1) Sakti worship might have been prevalent in his time, but it might not have gained sufficient philosophic identity to attract the attention of the Acharya.

2) Acharya also refutes certain Saiva, Vaishnava sects of his time like the Bhairava worshippers and the Pancharatras, but not all their sects - as he does with the Buddhists whom all he most definitely classifies as Veda-Baahya. As we know, there are several Saiva and Vaishnava sects who have come to acquire independent philosophical content (ex: Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Kashmir Saivism, Various Vaishnava sampradayas etc). Several devotional works dedicated to Vishnu, Siva, Subrahmanya etc are ascribed to the Acharya. Hence it is possible that the Acharya considered the worship of Siva, Visnu, Sakti, Subrahmanya etc as various forms of Saguna worship and while not directly opposing them, since the Brahma Sutra and Upanishads deal with worship of Nirguna Brahman, as a matter of academic practice, did not choose to quote from Sakti, Siva, Visnu – Puranas.

Hence, from the above argument of Sri Panoli, we cannot clearly come to the conclusion that Sakti Worship is against the tenets of Acharya’s advaita. From our available knowledge, the Acharya might very well have been a supporter of Sakteya (and yet followed a general policy of not referring to various forms of Saguna Brahman worship in his Bhashyas) or he might also have been indifferent to these forms of Saguna worship of his time (in which case, other devotional works ascribed to him, like the Visnu Sahasranama Bhashya might be questioned in the same way too)

And by the way,

The Acharya actually quotes from the Visnu Purana and Manu Smriti in some of his Bhashyas (I can't presently recollect whether it’s in Brahma Sutra Bhashya or in the Upanishad Bhashyas)
 
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KRN

Active member
Second argument of Sri Panoli is that no one has even raised a word of doubt about the authenticity of Vaakyavritti, Upadesasaahasri etc because there is no doubt about the authenticity of their contents. It will be better if Sri Panoli also cites the basis by which certain works are clearly declared authentic. I *suppose* it could be because some of these works follow the Acharya'a Brahma Sutra Bhashya in style, content, usage of ideas, absence of certain ideas which Sri Panoli believes to be non-Advaitic etc. If certain works display clear similarity on these aspects with the Brahma sutra and Upanishad bhashyas, we can come to a reasonable conclusion that the same author might have a hand in both.

But this is really a gray area as many established theories as to what constitutes the Advaita of Shankara Acharya have been challenged in the course of time, and with the advent of new discoveries. Especially Western savants who, although admittedly contributed a lot to the preservation and revelation of Indian culture, had their own limitations in analysing the information available with them and some of them had hidden or not-so-hidden Christian orientation too. Since some of our Indian scholars still rely on the findings of the Western savants of the late 19th and 20th centuries, we have to be extra careful in not coming to hasty conclusions. Especially since Sri Panoli mentions words like 'someone', 'no one' etc.

It will be better if he mentions the specific yardstick by which he categorizes certain works as definitely authored by Sri Shankaracharya and questions certain others.
 
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KRN

Active member
Sri Panoli now moves on and quotes a few verses from the SL which he refers to as 'purANic story-telling'. He also says that Sankara has never resorted to quoting purAnic stories in any of his bhashyas."

But Puranas have their genesis in the Vedas and Upanishads. All Upanishads start with Santhi paatha where Gods are worshipped for benefits(in this case, for better learning).

Kena Upanishad, considered one of the pre-eminent Upanishads and of which a Bhashya was written by Sankaraacharya, has the story of the war between Devas and Asuras. The Gods become arrogant thinking that the victory was achieved by their own power and did not recognize the Brahman who appeared before them in the form of a Yaksha. Finally Indra was assisted by the Goddess "Uma Haimavathi" to realise that the Yaksha is none other than the Supreme Brahman.

The Chandogya Upanishad talks about various Gods to worship, like worship of the Sun. It has the story of Ushasthi Chakrayana who had to eat bad beans before arriving at the venue of a grand sacrifice. C.U. talks about King Janasruti who had attained a certain spiritual level and was able to listen to the talk of birds. It mentions Sanatkumara and Narada as having a conversation.

Katha Upanishad talks about the God Yama who becomes the Guru of a boy Nachiketas.

If Sankaracharya's Advaita was against the idea of various Gods or about 'purANic story-telling', he would have chosen not to comment on these prominent Upanishadic passages. He would have even refuted the stories as un-Advaitic. But on the contrary, Acharya in my opinion has done a very good job in commenting on these stories, retaining the story content as such, accepting the Gods as such. I would suggest Sri Panoli to re-read the Sankara Bhashya of those passages once again, especially the one in Kena Upanishad on the Goddess.
 
Dear KRN
Let me express my sincere appreciation of your reply to the thread.IMO this is the manner in which one should express his ideas, comments or opinions about a topic.You have expressed your arguments in a cohesive and lucid style without throwing any personal remarks on Panoli.Many of the postings in this forum express remarks on other members often bordering on insinuation, mockery etc.Let your reply be a model for others.
Best wishes
 

KRN

Active member
Going through the rest of the comments of Sri Panoli, it appears that he does not only believe that the SL was not written by Sankaraacharya, but he also seems to have scant respect for the author of the SL. He compares the 'ordinary mind of the author' with 'nothing of philosophy' with the 'great jnAni and sanyasi of the calibre of Sankara'. Elsewhere he has stated that the SL has become a treasure for the Saakteyas. So by reading between the lines I feel that the aim of Sri Panoli must have been to establish the superiority of "his understanding of Sankaraacharya's Advaita" over the Saakteyas.

Be that it may, I feel that the conclusions of Sri Panoli in these lines tend to veer towards the illogical and unreasonable. It's of course admitted that Sri Sankaraacharya was a great Jnaani and Sannyasi par excellence. But that need not necessarily mean that he should only write philosophy the whole of his life. For a man who spent much of his time and effort in debunking rival philosophies like Buddhists etc, can Sri Panoli show me one line in the Bhashyas where Sri Shankaracharya has criticised the Puranic stories? He must have been well acquainted with stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata at least. Let us not forget that he was a great follower of the Vedic tradition. And having tried a little bit to understand his mind by studying his Bhashyas, I personally believe that he would have relished the idea of interspersing philosophy with stories.
 
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KRN

Active member
Sri Panoli quotes from verse 19 of the aparOkshAnubUti and verse 31 of Vivekachudamini. From this, I presume that Sri Panoli clearly believes these two works to have been written by Sri Shankaracharya.

After quoting verse 31 of Vivekachudamini, Sri Panoli states that "Sankara disqualifies Samkhya and Yoga also without any ambiguity as means for attaining liberation".

And again, while discussing verse 5 of the SL, Sri Panoli states as below "Verses 9 & 14 of SL refer to the cakras of the tantric system. It has already been clarified that Sankara does not approve even the yogadarsana as a means of attaining mOksha. It is therefore well-nigh impossible that he would approve of anything but constant meditation as the means."

Now, let us look at verses 118-126 and 144 of aparOkshAnubUti. (I'm referring to, Aparokshanubhuti - Translated by Swami Vimuktananda Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta)

118. The restraint of all modifications of the mind by regarding all mental states like the Chitta as Brahman alone, is called Pranayama.

119-120. The negation of the phenomenal world is known as Rechaka (breathing out), the thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is called Puraka (breathing in), and the steadiness of that thought thereafter is called Kumbhaka (restraining the breath). This is the real course of Pranayama for the enlightened, whereas the ignorant only torture the nose.

121. The absorption of the mind in the Supreme Consciousness by realizing Atman in all objects is known as Pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind) which should be practiced by the seekers after liberation.

122. The steadiness of the mind through realization of Brahman wherever the mind goes, is known as the supreme Dharana (concentration).

123. Remaining independent of everything as a result of the unassailable thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is well known by the word Dhyana (meditation), and is productive of supreme bliss.

124. The complete forgetfulness of all thought by first making it changeless and then identifying it with Brahman is called Samadhi known also as knowledge.

125. The aspirant should carefully practice this (meditation) that reveals his natural bliss until, being under his full control, it arises spontaneously, in an instant when called into action.

126. Then he, the best among Yogis having attained to perfection, becomes free from all practices. The real nature of such a man never becomes an object of the mind or speech.

144. For those whose mind is completely purified this (Raja-Yoga) alone is productive of perfection. Purity of the mind, again, is speedily accessible to those who are devoted to the teacher and the Deity.


These verses explain the various steps of Yoga in Patanjali's Yogasastra, namely - Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

If, as Sri Panoli states, Sri Shankaracharya does not approve of the Yoga darshana as a means of attaining moksha, then a question must naturally be asked as to why he spent the time/effort in describing the various Yoga practices in his work aparOkshAnubUti.

Either Aparokshanubhuti is not an authentic work of Sri Sankaracharya, or, an argument could be raised that, like SL, the great man chose to write works explaining other modes of worship also.
 
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KRN

Active member
Dear saarangam,

Thanks for the encouraging message. Sri Panoli is obviously a great scholar but it seems to me that there are some contradictions in his article. I merely pointed out those.

Best wishes,
KRN
 

Brahmanyan

Active member
Post a reply to the thread: Soundarya Lahari : Is it Adi Sankara's composition?

Dear Sri Sangom,

Thanks for starting this wonderful thread. I enjoy every word of posts by learned members like your good self, Sri KRN, Sri Saarangam and Sri Durgadasan.

Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore
 
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sangom

sangom

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Sri Panoli quotes from verse 19 of the aparOkshAnubUti and verse 31 of Vivekachudamini. From this, I presume that Sri Panoli clearly believes these two works to have been written by Sri Shankaracharya.

After quoting verse 31 of Vivekachudamini, Sri Panoli states that "Sankara disqualifies Samkhya and Yoga also without any ambiguity as means for attaining liberation".

And again, while discussing verse 5 of the SL, Sri Panoli states as below "Verses 9 & 14 of SL refer to the cakras of the tantric system. It has already been clarified that Sankara does not approve even the yogadarsana as a means of attaining mOksha. It is therefore well-nigh impossible that he would approve of anything but constant meditation as the means."

Now, let us look at verses 118-126 and 144 of aparOkshAnubUti. (I'm referring to, Aparokshanubhuti - Translated by Swami Vimuktananda Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta)

118. The restraint of all modifications of the mind by regarding all mental states like the Chitta as Brahman alone, is called Pranayama.

119-120. The negation of the phenomenal world is known as Rechaka (breathing out), the thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is called Puraka (breathing in), and the steadiness of that thought thereafter is called Kumbhaka (restraining the breath). This is the real course of Pranayama for the enlightened, whereas the ignorant only torture the nose.

121. The absorption of the mind in the Supreme Consciousness by realizing Atman in all objects is known as Pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind) which should be practiced by the seekers after liberation.

122. The steadiness of the mind through realization of Brahman wherever the mind goes, is known as the supreme Dharana (concentration).

123. Remaining independent of everything as a result of the unassailable thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is well known by the word Dhyana (meditation), and is productive of supreme bliss.

124. The complete forgetfulness of all thought by first making it changeless and then identifying it with Brahman is called Samadhi known also as knowledge.

125. The aspirant should carefully practice this (meditation) that reveals his natural bliss until, being under his full control, it arises spontaneously, in an instant when called into action.

126. Then he, the best among Yogis having attained to perfection, becomes free from all practices. The real nature of such a man never becomes an object of the mind or speech.

144. For those whose mind is completely purified this (Raja-Yoga) alone is productive of perfection. Purity of the mind, again, is speedily accessible to those who are devoted to the teacher and the Deity.


These verses explain the various steps of Yoga in Patanjali's Yogasastra, namely - Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

If, as Sri Panoli states, Sri Shankaracharya does not approve of the Yoga darshana as a means of attaining moksha, then a question must naturally be asked as to why he spent the time/effort in describing the various Yoga practices in his work aparOkshAnubUti.

Either Aparokshanubhuti is not an authentic work of Sri Sankaracharya, or, an argument could be raised that, like SL, the great man chose to write works explaining other modes of worship also.
Dear Shri KRN, Durgadasan, Brahmanyan, Saarangam,

I am myself only a mere learner of philosophy. But when I read Shri Panoli's book I thought it could be shared with others for the benefit of all.

While thanking you again for your very valuable comments, may I say that Shri Panoli is no more. So whatever we may have to do, has to be done by looking into Panoli's works only.

As regards aparOkshAnubhUti, I reproduce below, extracts from the section from Shri Panoli's book, with grateful acknowledgements:


"Any man who wants to tread on the correct path of religion shall be benefitted by the study of Aparoksanubhuti. Undoubtedly the verses of this great book reveal the genius and mastermind of the sagely Acharya.

This book consists of 144 verses. For the purpose of discussion it has become necessary to divide it into two parts the reason for which will be made clear later. Thus, verses 1 to 101 may be treated as coming under the first part and those from 102 to 144 under the second.

The first part is like sweet honey. Very valuable instructions which seem to stand on a par with Vedic injunctions have been clothed in glittering expressions and presented in an imitable style.
...
Now, as regards the first part (verses 1 to 101 as pointed out at the beginning), it is masterly exposition in fine poetry portraying an ideal procedure for all seekers to think, meditate and unfold themselves in the vast realm of spirituality.

But such is not the case with the second part (from verses 102 to 144). In verses 102 and 103 are mentioned (1) yama, (2) niyama, (3) tyaga, (4) mauna, (5) desa, (6) kala, (7) asana, (8) moolabandha, (9) desasamyam, (10) driksthiti, (11) pranasamyamanam, (12) pratyahara, (13) dharana, (14) atmadhyana, (15) samadhi. In the whole of the Sankara-bhashya there is not a mention anywhere about the combination of these 15 things. A thing that is not mentioned anywhere atleast incidentally in the Sankara-bhashya will not normally be shown as an essential in the Prakarana-grandha written by the Acharya. Then how does it occur?

In the Yoga Darsana of Patanjali there is the following sutra (in Sadhanapada):

29. यमनियमासनप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणा
ध्यानसमाधोऽष्टावङ्गानि

Yama, Niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi - these are the eight parts of Yoga. (In other words this is called Ashtanga-Yoga). Again, desa, kala etc. have also been mentioned in the Yoga Darsana (in the Sadhanapada itself) in a sutra which follows:

31. जातिदॆशकालसमयानवच्छिन्नाः
सार्वभौमा महाव्रतम् ।
It is now evident that the content of verse 102 is an extract from the Yoga-Darsana. What harm is there if a sutra from the Yoga-Darsana is brought in here? It violates certain principles with which the Acharya would never compromise under any condition. And that uncompromising situation will be clearly pointed out after discussing a few more verses which follow verses 102 and 103 in which Ashtanga-Yoga is mentioned.

In the instance shown below Hathapradipika has been brought in:

104. सर्वॆ ब्रह्मेति विज्ञानादिंद्रियग्रामसंयम: ।
यमोऽयमिति सम्प्रक्तॊऽभ्यसनीयो मुहुर्मुहुः ॥

(The restraint over the aggregate of senses arising from the conviction that everything is Brahman, is yama which should be constantly practised.)
Yama is given over-emphasis here by stating that it should be practised constantly.
...
Similarly, in verse 105 too undue emphasis is given to niyama ...

In verse 118 pranayama has been explained and while rechaka and puraka find an explanation in verse 119 kumbhaka and pratyahara find their places in verses 121 and 122 respectively.

In the end there arises a verse which calls for our particular attention, for one will be led astray if one does not diligently apply one's wit. Here follows the verse:

143. एभिरङ्गैः समायुक्तो राजयोग उदाहृतः ।
किंचित्पक्वकषायाणां हठयोगेन संयुतः ॥
(This with the part mentioned above constitutes the Rajayoga mixed with Hatha-yoga for those who are ripe with the cessation of worldly longings)

ACHARYA DISAPPROVED YOGA

Now let us have an intelligent survey of the subject matter dealt with in verses 102, 104, 105, 118 to 122 and 143. Evidently they find their relation to the Ashtanga-Yoga taught by Patanjali and also to Hatha-Yoga. The great Acharya never advocated Ashtanga-Yoga or Hatha-Yoga. On the other hand he even disapproved it. (Please refer to chapter-3). Here is the evidence:

In the Brahmasutra we come across the following sutra:
एतेन योगः प्रत्युक्तः (II, 1-2-3)

(Because of this, that is to say, because the Samkhyasmriti has been denied, Yoga too should be considered as denied)
On the above there follows the commentary of Sri sankara:

एतेन सांख्यस्म्य्तिप्रत्याख्यानेन योगस्मृतिरपि प्रत्याख्याता द्रष्टव्येत्यतिदिशति
(Because the Samkhya-smriti has been denied, the Yoga-smriti too should be seen as denied)

Further, the statement made by the Acharya in the Sutra-bhashya referring to mantra 13 of the fourth chapter of the Svetasvatara Upanishad also goes against Yoga-Darsana. The passage is cited below:

निराकरणम् तु न सांख्यज्ञानेन वेदनिरपेक्षेण योगमार्गेण वा निः श्रेयसमधिगम्यत इति ।

(The denial is to show that neither through the knowledge of Samkhya nor through the path of Yoga, independent of the vedas, liberation is attained)

There is yet another instance showing how the Acharya relentlessly opposes Yoga system. In the bhashya on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad a purvapaksha (opponent's view) can be seen in such words as:
निरोधस्तर्ह्यर्थान्तरमिति चेत् ।
(In that case the restraint (of the mental activity) is another means of liberation)

The idea which the opponent wants to present is that inasmuch as the restraint of the mental activity is a means different from the knowledge arising out of the Vedic passage and inasmuch as it is known to have been practised (for attaining liberation) as prescribed by another system (viz. Yoga), this should be enjoined.

the above prima facie argument is reuted by the Acharya in the following words:

न मोक्षसाधनत्वेनानवगमात् । नहि वेदान्तेषु ब्रह्मात्मविज्ञानाद् अन्यत्परमपुरुषार्थ साधनत्वेनावगम्यते ।
(It is not proper to say so, for it (Yoga) is not known to be the means of attainment of the life's highest end)

What does the refutation of the Yoga system in the Sutra-bhashya and the Brihadaranyaka-bhashya by the Acharya show? It shows that the Acharya would never compose a verse to extol the Yoga system.

Verses 1 to 101 of the text under discussion are perfectly in agreement with the system of Vedanta. But verses from 102 go astray and fall in line with the Yoga system. Such being the case, those verses which go astray, as pointed out above, are nothing but interpolations and the content of those verses cannot be accepted as representing Acharya's views.

For scores of centuries Yoga is being practised in the land od Bharata in several forms, for there is liberty here for anybody to choose the path he likes. But the great Acharya through an intellectual conviction, coupled with his own supreme awareness of the Reality, advocated only the path of knowledge based on the principles of the Advaita Vedanta. No one ever denies the wonderful effects which the Yoga practices yield. But it is only when the question of attainment of liberation arises that Yoga is found to be an inadequate means by the Acharya. When the system of Vedanta advanced by giant strides and captured the imagination of all intelligent seekers of the country, Yoga system could not keep pace with it. The inevitable result was that it slowly began to lose ground. Hence what we find in verses 102 etc. in Aparokshanubhuti is a vain attempt of the Yoga-Acharyas to make the readers believe that Sri Sankaracharya was in favour of Yoga. But those who are coversant with the philosophy of the Acharya - of course, their number may be exceptionally few - cannot be hoodwinked. Under these circumstances all those verses which speak of "Yoga" should definitely be treated as not Acharya's.

In regard to Vivekachudamani also Shri Panoli says that there are interpolations. I will try to summarise the observations in the next post since typing is little difficult for me.
 

KRN

Active member
Sri Sangom,

I went through the arguments by Sri Panoli. For all I know, he might be right, and the yoga-related verses in the Aparokshanubhuti might be interpolations. Although if we go through the debates over the centuries, interpolation in philosophic works was never a topic of discussion. (unlike in the case of Puranas, Tantras etc)

However I feel that these arguments do not conclusively prove it either way. Even the Bhagavad Gita contains Yoga-related verses (at the end of Chapter 5 and most of Chapter 6). Verse 5.27, I might say is all about Yoga-sadhana but minus technical words yama, niyama, pranayama etc. Sri Shankara does not make any comment there that Yoga sadhana is not conducive to liberation. What he highlights, though is that Yoga is one of the disciplines indirectly leading to realization. The only direct means being Jnana. This is consistent with the tenor of Shankaracharya's bhashyam on bhakti too.

Essentially Shankaracharya accepts that Sankhya, Yoga and Bhakti as among the Vedic paths enunciated by the Divine Lord, for different types of people.
 
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KRN

Active member
When the system of Vedanta advanced by giant strides and captured the imagination of all intelligent seekers of the country, Yoga system could not keep pace with it. The inevitable result was that it slowly began to lose ground. Hence what we find in verses 102 etc. in Aparokshanubhuti is a vain attempt of the Yoga-Acharyas to make the readers believe that Sri Sankaracharya was in favour of Yoga. But those who are coversant with the philosophy of the Acharya - of course, their number may be exceptionally few - cannot be hoodwinked. Under these circumstances all those verses which speak of "Yoga" should definitely be treated as not Acharya's.
It looks like a conspiracy theory :) But if interpolation occurred, I'd guess it'd be an inside job. Without the connivance of the Shankara Mathas, who were the custodians of the Sankaracharya works for centuries, how would interpolation and successful superimposition of an interpolated work over the original be possible? It's beyond me why Sri Panoli chose to absolve the Advaita Acharyas of the 'crime' and targets only the Yoga Acharyas.

There's an argument that the Purana writers chose to integrate the Buddhists into mainstream Hinduism by including Buddha in the list of the Dashavataras. Note that even here, the Hindu Purana writers, and not the Buddhists are charged with 'interpolation'.

Identifying disconnected verses i.e potential candidates for interpolation should be a good intellectual exercise, and the Western savants try these things a lot. But I don't think it will give good results in the Indian context.

It actually reminds me of a Western savant who came up with a theory that Bhagavad Gita must have been written by Sri Shankaracharya himself. He mentioned 2 reasons why it should be so (1) The setting of the Gita shows it's a later addition to the MBH text, as such prolonged discussion between Krishna and Arjuna could never take place in a battleground 2) If a late addition, then how late? We don't have any pre-Sankara Bhashyas available and the earliest available reference to the Gita independent of the MBH is in the Sankara Bhashya. So ditto, Shankaracharya must have written it and foisted it on Sri Krishna to gain further prestige for his work.

This theory has been actually doing the rounds in Indology discussion list for several months.
 
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sangom

sangom

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Actually were all Shankara's writings only on monistic system of thought or were there also writings about the puranic stories which had several Gods and was not entirely about monistic system

Shri Arun Shanker,

I am not a scholar on anything. But from whatever I have read, and more specifically, with ref. to Panoli's views, it is that Sankara enunciated/propounded advaita and his comments on the brahma sutra set out hos darsana. If one takes this as correct, and also accepts that Sankara would not have compromised just for getting followers/ following for his advaita, it is difficult to accept many things now attributed to Sankara, Soundarya Lahari being one of such suspect kritis.

As you will observe from the other thread entitled "Advaita - its fallacies", Sankara's direct disciples themselves seem to have had divergent views on crucial aspects, and, since the time Ramanuja challenged advaita, there has been a continual debate between advaitins and visishtadvaitins regarding the untenabilities in advaita.

The common people, including brahmins swear by advaita but follow mainly what would be approved by the dvaita philosophy (even then worship of gods other than Narayana and his avatars may be not approved). So, in a way there is hardly any advaita or advaitin today except in books.

If we accept Sankara's integrity as unquestioned, it is unlikely that he would have written anything which supported bhakti or the several gods, etc.
 
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sangom

sangom

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It looks like a conspiracy theory :) But if interpolation occurred, I'd guess it'd be an inside job. Without the connivance of the Shankara Mathas, who were the custodians of the Sankaracharya works for centuries, how would interpolation and successful superimposition of an interpolated work over the original be possible? It's beyond me why Sri Panoli chose to absolve the Advaita Acharyas of the 'crime' and targets only the Yoga Acharyas.

There's an argument that the Purana writers chose to integrate the Buddhists into mainstream Hinduism by including Buddha in the list of the Dashavataras. Note that even here, the Hindu Purana writers, and not the Buddhists are charged with 'interpolation'.

Identifying disconnected verses i.e potential candidates for interpolation should be a good intellectual exercise, and the Western savants try these things a lot. But I don't think it will give good results in the Indian context.

It actually reminds me of a Western savant who came up with a theory that Bhagavad Gita must have been written by Sri Shankaracharya himself. He mentioned 2 reasons why it should be so (1) The setting of the Gita shows it's a later addition to the MBH text, as such prolonged discussion between Krishna and Arjuna could never take place in a battleground 2) If a late addition, then how late? We don't have any pre-Sankara Bhashyas available and the earliest available reference to the Gita independent of the MBH is in the Sankara Bhashya. So ditto, Shankaracharya must have written it and foisted it on Sri Krishna to gain further prestige for his work.

This theory has been actually doing the rounds in Indology discussion list for several months.

Shri KRN,

First, conspiracy against what / whom? For what purpose?

I feel one should not view any finding about spurious authorship and/or interpolation as conspiracy unless the proposition itself is found to be on weak and unsustainable grounds. When knowledgeable people agree that something might be spurious or interpolation one can either convince by directly reading the work, if he has the necessary knowledge or accept the findings of the scholars. After all why should they brand some portions as interpolations, just for the fun of it?

I agree that in the Indian context it may not be good. But we should also not forget that because of such "good intellectual exercise" of one Raja Rammohun Roy that the horrendous practice of "Sati" could be abolished (may not be fully, even now, because there are some people still around who stoutly refuse to accept the interpolation).

I have heard that there have been interpolations in BG but not that Sankara authored it. Personally I firmly believe that if Sankara had written the Gita in its entirety, it would have been an excellent, cogent and much less flabby composition in more beautiful Sanskrit.

Will you please give the links to a few indology sites where the Sankara authorship is being discussed?
 

N.R.Ranganathan

Active member
Dear learned friends,

If one studies Viveka Choodamani meticulously, one can observe that he has placed
Bakthi in the middle , and he has very clearly stated that swasorupa anusanthanam is
bakthi. This one sloka is heavily loaded with meaning. In common parlance we can say
that meditation on the Self is Bakthi. As Rajaji has put it in his introductory lecture to
M.S.Subbalakshmi' rendering of Bhaja Govindam, knowledge enriched by bakthi leads to
wisdom.

It is quite true that sri Adi Sankara composed the remaining 59 slokas, making it to 100.
But, an inscription of the first 41 slokas only in grantham is found in the sanctum
santorum of Sukunthakunthalambal temple situated in Rock fort, Trichy.
 
.... In common parlance we can say
that meditation on the Self is Bakthi. As Rajaji has put it in his introductory lecture to
M.S.Subbalakshmi' rendering of Bhaja Govindam, knowledge enriched by bakthi leads to
wisdom.
Dear Shri N.R.Ranganathan, please forgive me as this may sound impertinent, but I don't mean any disrespect to you or to Rajaji.

You state the above as though it is self-evident. Pardon me once again, but, to me, these sound like meaningless platitudes. Whatever these conclusions ares based on, equally valid bases exist to conclude that knowledge enriched by the so called bakthi leads to delusion, and that meditation on the Self is a mark of narcissism.

I know these comments are very pointed and for that I apologize, I don't mean any disrespect. I welcome any rebuttal showing me why I am wrong.

Cheers!
 
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sangom

sangom

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Dear learned friends,

If one studies Viveka Choodamani meticulously, one can observe that he has placed
Bakthi in the middle , and he has very clearly stated that swasorupa anusanthanam is
bakthi. This one sloka is heavily loaded with meaning. In common parlance we can say
that meditation on the Self is Bakthi. As Rajaji has put it in his introductory lecture to
M.S.Subbalakshmi' rendering of Bhaja Govindam, knowledge enriched by bakthi leads to
wisdom.

It is quite true that sri Adi Sankara composed the remaining 59 slokas, making it to 100.
But, an inscription of the first 41 slokas only in grantham is found in the sanctum
santorum of Sukunthakunthalambal temple situated in Rock fort, Trichy.

Shri Ranganathan,

If Sankara had composed all the one hundred verses (of SL) why is it that only 49 are found in the said temple. And what is the basis to state that "It is quite true that sri Adi Sankara composed the remaining 59 slokas, making it to 100."? Do you have any evidence in support of this, or is it just your belief?

As regards the point raised by Shri Nara, meditation on one's self is not considered as "bhakti" even by Sankara, I find. The word commonly used to denote this is 'nididhyāsana', I think. Secondly verse 31 of viveka cūḍāmaṇi, in which the word 'svasvarūpa anusandhānam' figures, seems to go against the common idea of bhakti. The verse in question is:

mokṣakāraṇasāmagryām bhaktireva garīyasī |
svasvarūpānusaṃdhānam bhaktirityabhidhīyate || --viveka cūḍāmaṇi-31

It is important to note that what is said here is that "svasvarūpānusaṃdhānam" is called bhakti. This does not mean that this verse approves the popular brand of bhakti. Further, the word "anusaṃdhānam" means meditation, and is quite different from the concept of bhakti.
 
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sangom

sangom

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Shri Ranganathan,

Some more information about vivekacūḍāmaṇi (based on scholarly opinions) is as follows:

There are two commentaries on the vivekacūḍāmaṇi; one by a little known writer by name harināthabhaṭṭa and the other by Shri candraśekhara bhārati, śaṃkarācārya of śṛṅgeri from 1912 to 1954. Apart from these, no other sanskrit commentaries by any well-known advaita commentators have been written on vivekacūḍāmaṇi, from after the time of śaṃkara till the present. It is possible, therefore, that vivekacūḍāmaṇi was not considered as a work of śaṃkara by the advaitins of earlier times and that it came into being very late.

There is therefore a strong possibility that the authorship of vivekacūḍāmaṇi itself belongs to the śṛṅgeri maṭham.

śaṃkara's original advaita distanced itself as far as possible, from yoga and sāṃkhya. Only in the later (advaita) vedāntic texts like the vedāntasāra of sadānanda (15th.c A.D.), samādhi is added to śravaṇa, manana, and nididhyāsana as a means of achieving brahmajnāna. The same change is there in pancadaśī of vidyāraṇya also.
 
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siganeswarie

Guest
Introduction
For the benefit of those who do not know about the Mahaswamigal here is a
brief biographical note:
Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (1894 - 1994), also once
known as the Mahaswamigal, was the sage of Kanchi in Tamilnadu, India, who was
so simple, humble, profound, enlightened, compassionate, scholarly and full of Grace
that he naturally and effortlessly touched the hearts of men and women, prince and
pauper, around the world. Ascending to the Headship of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt at
the age of thirteen as the 68th pontiff in the line of succession from Adi Shankara, he
ministered to the needs of the afflicted and the distressed and spread the message of
compassion and of a return to the most treasured ancient values. After a mission like
this full of action for almost half a century which included a 30-year walking pilgrimage
of the entire subcontinent of India, he laid down his headship and devoted his time, for
the next forty years, to severe penance for universal welfare. Not one of those thousands
who had his darshan every day missed to feel the soul-stirring presence of ’the Living
God’ in their veins.
A small note on the limited objective of this digest.
The name ‘Digest’ itself is too much of a claim by this writer, who has just
studied the discourses in Tamil (on Soundaryalahari – a 100-shloka piece, in
Sanskrit) of the Mahaswamigal, in ‘Deivathin Kural’ – meaning, ‘The Voice of God’ – in
Tamil, in the sixth volume of the seven-volume series of that name, recorded by and,
rewritten in, the inimitable style of, Ra. Ganapathi. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,
Mumbai, has published an English translation of this. Without reading that I have
attempted here in this digest to test myself whether I had understood at least a part
of the Mahaswamigal’s thoughts. The best way of testing oneself is to try to
communicate to others. There are a number of readers interested in the subject. Some
of them know Tamil and probably would have read Ra Ganapathi’s book in the
original. Some others may have read the English version. The purpose of this digest is
TO BRING THE ADVAITA PART (and the relevant questions that arise usually in the
discussions that are very common in the discussions on advaita) TO THE FOCUS
AND ACQUAINT OURSELVES WITH THE MAHASWAMIGAL’S VIEWS, WONDERFUL
ELABORATIONS AND COMMENTS ON THE SUBJECT. As a consequence of this
objective, I have not covered all the shlokas even out of the 42, the only ones which
the Mahaswamigal himself has covered in full (he has covered another 37 in part,
another 10 just in passing, and has not touched at all the remaining 11, which are
shloka Nos.19, 32, 68, 72, 76 to 81, 85). Even within the exposition of a particular
shloka, large portions have been omitted by me. In spite of all this the ‘Digest’ –
contrary to the meaning of the word - is rather long. It is broken into 81 Sections.
Each section happened to be a post on the web in some leading groups who had an
interest in advaita as well as in Mother Goddess. Note that the original extends to
744 pages (pp.577 to 1321 of the sixth volume, 4th impression). The attempt has been
made, therefore, to be as brief as possible. But, wherever it is found that the
Mahaswamigal’s already lucidly forceful and simple explanations cannot be ‘digest
 
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siganeswarie

Guest
Part I - Ananda Lahari (The waves of happiness)* 1
Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi;
Atas tvam aradhyam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhir api
Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhavati

Lord Shiva, only becomes able.
To do creation in this world along with Shakthi
Without her, Even an inch he cannot move,
And so how can, one who does not do good deeds,
Or one who does not sing your praise,
Become adequate to worship you
Oh , goddess mine, Who is worshipped by the trinity.
2
(Attracting all the world)&
Taniyamsam pamsum tava carana-pankeruha-bhavam
Virincih sanchinvan virachayati lokan avikalam;
Vahaty evam Shaurih katham api sahasrena shirasaam
Harah samksudy’ainam bhajati bhajati bhasito’ddhalama-vidhim
.
Lord Brahma ,the creator of yore,
Selects a dust from your feet,
And creates he this world,
The great Adisesha* with his thousand heads,
Some how carries a dust of your feet,
With effort great,
And the great Lord Rudra,
Takes it and powders it nice,
And uses it as the holy ash.
 
S

siganeswarie

Guest
Avidyanam antas-timira-mihira-dweeppa-nagari
Jadanam chaitanya-stabaka-makaranda-sruti jhari
Daridranam cinta-mani-gunanika janma-jaladhau
Nimadhanam damshtra mura-ripu-varahasya bhavati.
The dust under your feet, Oh Goddess great,
Is like the city of the rising sun,
That removes all darkness , unfortunate,
From the mind of the poor ignorant one,
Is like the honey that flows ,
From the flower bunch of vital action,
To the slow witted one,
Is like the heap of wish giving gems,
To the poorest of men,
And is like the teeth of Lord Vishnu
In the form of Varaha,
Who brought to surface,
The mother earth,
To those drowned in this sea of birth.
4
(Removal of all fears, Curing of diseases)
Tvad anyah paanibhyam abhaya-varado daivataganah
Tvam eka n’aivasi prakatita-var’abhityabhinaya;
Bhayat tratum datum phalam api cha vancha samadhikam
Saranye lokanam tava hi charanaveva nipunav..

Oh, She who is refuge to all this world,
All gods except you mother,
Give refuge and grants wishes,
Only by their hand.
But only you mother
Never show the world in detail,
The boons and refuge that you can give,
For even your holy feet will suffice,
To remove fear for ever,
And grant boons much more than asked.
5
(Mutual attraction between male and female)
Haris tvam aradhya pranata-jana-saubhagya-jananim
Pura nari bhutva Pura-ripum api ksobham anayat;
Smaro’pi tvam natva rati-nayana-lehyena vapusha
Muninam apyantah prabhavati hi mohaya mahatam.

You who grant all the good things,
To those who bow at your feet,
Was worshipped by the Lord Vishnu,
Who took the pretty lovable feminine form,
And could move the mind of he who burnt the cities,
And make him fall in love with him.
And the God of love , Manmatha,
Took the form which is like nectar,
Drunk by the eyes by Rathi his wife,
After venerating you,
Was able to create passion ,
Even in the mind of Sages the great.
6
(Getting sons as progeny)
Dhanun paushpam maurvi madhu-kara-mayi pancha visikha
Vasantaha samanto Malaya-marud ayodhana-rathah;
Tatha’py ekah sarvam Himagiri-suthe kam api kripaam
Apangat te labdhva jagadidam Anango vijayate

Oh ,daughter of the mountain of ice,
With a bow made of flowers,
Bow string made of honey bees,
Five arrows made of only tender flowers,
With spring as his minister,
And riding on the chariot of breeze from Malaya mountains
The god of love who does not have a body,
Gets the sideways glance of your holy eyes,
And is able to win all the world alone.
7
(Seeing the Goddess in person, Winning over enemies)
Kvanat-kanchi-dama kari-kalabha-kumbha-stana-nata
Pariksheena madhye parinata-sarachandra-vadana;
Dhanur banan pasam srinim api dadhana karatalaii
Purastad astam noh Pura-mathitur aho-purushika.

With a golden belt,
Adorned by tiny tingling bells,
Slightly bent by breasts like the two frontal globes
Of an elephant fine,
With a thin pretty form,
And with a face like the autumn moon,
Holding in her hands,
A bow of sugar cane , arrows made of flowers,
And the noose and goad,
She who has the wonderful form,
Of the ego of the God who burnt the three cities,
Should please come and appear before us.
8
(Avoiding of birth and death)
Sudha-sindhor madhye sura-vitapi-vati parivrte
Mani-dweepe nipo’pavana-vathi chintamani-grhe;
Shivaakare manche Parama-Shiva-paryanka-nilayam
Bhajanti tvam dhanyah katichana chid-ananda-laharim.

In the middle of the sea of nectar,
In the isle of precious gems,
Which is surrounded by wish giving Kalpaga trees,
In the garden Kadamba trees,
In the house of the gem of thought,
On the all holy seat of the lap of the great God Shiva,
Sits she who is like a tide
In the sea of happiness of ultimate truth,
And is worshipped by only by few select holy men.
9
(For return of people who have gone on journey, For getting eight types of wealth)
Mahim muladhare kamapi manipure huthavaham
Sthitham svadhistane hridi marutamakasam upari;
Mano’pi bhruu-madhye sakalamapi bhittva kula-patham
Sahasrare padme saha rahasi patyaa viharase.

Oh Goddess mine,
You live in seclusion with your consort,
In the lotus with thousand petals,
Reached after breaking through the micro ways,
Of the power of earth in Mooladhara,
Of the power of water of Mani poora,
Of the power of fire of Swadhishtana,
Of the fire of air in the heart,
And of the power of ether in between the eyelids*
 
Hello,

Can the contributors to this thread point out to me other incidences where a renowned person is thrusted with authorship of unrelated articles, as in this case. If such incidences exist, please give me details of two or three cases, whether in Indian context or in foreign context.

Regards,

narayan
 
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