Wednesday, September 24, 2014

010 Had we followed Philosophical Sankara's precepts, Hinduism would have had a different way of life.


010 మనం వేదాంత శంకరుల బోధనలను పాటించి ఉంటే, హిందూయిజం జీవన శైలి నేటి జీవన శైలికి భిన్నంగా ఉండేది.
०१० हम वेदांत शंकर के बोधनाओं को हम पालन किया था तो, हिंदू जीवन शैली आज से भिन्न रहता था।

Topics for discussion, చర్చనీయాంశాలు, चर्चांंश: 010, Monism, Devotion, Hindu Lifestyle, Two Adi Sankaracharyas

This particular blog post is a trilingual post. English, Telugu and Hindi languages. Telugu is my mother tongue spoken by > 100 million people across the globe. Hindi is India's national language. Gist in all the three languages is similar. ఈ పర్టిక్యులర్ బ్లాగ్ పోస్టు మూడు భాషలలో ఉంది. తెలుగు నా మాతృభాష. హిందీ భారత జాతీయ భాష. మూడింటిలోనూ సారం ఒకే మాదిరిగా ఉంచేలా ప్రయత్నించాను. यह पर्टिक्युलर ब्लाग पोस्ट तीन भाषाओं मॆं है। तॆलुगु मेरा मातृ भाषा। हिन्दी भारत का जातीय भाषा। तीनों भाषाओं में संग्रह समरूप रखने का कोशिश किया हुँ।

Indications exist to believe that there were two Adi Sankaracharyas (two first Sankaracharyas). Alternatively, the first and the third in the ladder of succession might have been erroneously taken as one and only Adi Sankaracharya. Reason: The philosophical Sankara took his monistic theory to its zenith, almost nearing atheism. The devotional Sankara may be the No. 2 or 3 Guru in the succession genealogy. No. 2 Guru Sureswar(acharya) was a karma-margi, originally a believer of sacrifices and rituals, whom Adi Sankara was reputed to have conquered and got converted into ascetism and monkhood. Then Sureswaracharya, had he really changed as per his Guru's precept, might have followed a parth of advaita gnAna (monistic philosophy). Fundamentally monistic philosophy and devotionalism consisting of idol worship and praising glories of God are not compatible. Hence, had Sureswara in its true spirit followed the monistic philosophy, it may be inconceivable to believe that he would have written various Sanskrit Stotrams attributed to Adi Shankara in praise of numerous Gods and Goddesses. It may also not be appropriate to believe that he might have encouraged idol worship by establishing pIThas (platforms on which Gods and Goddesses are worshipped). It implies that both Adi Shankaracharya (No. 1) and Sureswaracharya (No.2) might not have been founders of idol worship at Sringeri (Karnataka South, India). We may get similar ideas for Puri, Dwaraka and Badri for Padmapada, Hastamalaka and tOTakAcArya.

Thus, our subject matter is not the 'idol-worshipping Sankaracharyas' of the later periods or the Stotra-writer SAradA-pITham founder (Adi?)Sankaracharya. Our subject matter is 'philosophical Sankaracharya, or the true Adi Sankaracharya.'.

Though a guess-work, what would have been a true Hindu lifestyle had we adhered only to to monistic philsophy and did not drift into Idol worship?



May be centuries of the- "10th Century to 18th Century Turkish, Persian, Arab, Mongolian, Mughal, Muslim aggressions, invasions and plunderings" might have led to sprouting in India, of Movements of devotion (bhakti mArgams and udyamams). This might have drifted Indian lifestyle towards greater stress on prayer, worship, protection-seeking and desire-fulfilment, temples, car-festivals, gold and diamond jewellery for Gods and Goddesses,---- away from the endeavour-oriented path of contemplation, meditation, self-realisation, a non-participative approach of becoming a witness to the events of the world, seeing oneself in all the living beings- identifying oneself with the nature, except for the skin which separates a person from the outside world.








This departure from the monism, and excess reliance on prayers and worship (whether with idols or without idols) has carried the Hindu lifestyle to the same level of other religions which rely on prayers. As I have no right to say that prayer method followed by Hinduism or any other religion is inferior to the awareness-gnAna method, I do not wish deliberate on the devotion path in this post.

In true monism, there may not be a place for prayers, because every person is indistinguishable from the Creation or Nature (Using word God-goddess may be incompatible). For this reason only, Adi Shankara might have been sometimes criticised as being an atheist.

Monism does not need crutches or expedients like spiritualism, as spiritualism may try to under-rate materials of this world. There is nothing metaphysical in monism. Everything is earthly in its realistic sense, or cosmic and universal in a wider sense. Human itself becomes cosmic and universal.

Monism is different from Hindu monks who wear special dresses (imagine Swami Vivekananda with his bombastic headgear), decorate themselves with white chalk or sandalwood or vermillon or ash marks of various brands and hues of their beliefs, carry sticks, tridents, spikes etc to mark their authority, so on -so forth. They all have nothing to do with true awareness (gnAna).

It has become a fashion (even passion?) to say that common people can understand only path of devotion (prayers etc) and cannot contemplate on subtle things. This is nothing but insulting common humans. Common humans (to start with Hindus in India) may not be aware of their true capabilities, engulfed and entangled they are in cobwebs created by temple preachers and swamijis (there is nothing like genuine swamijis and fake swamijis). There can't be a true Swamiji, because the concept of a Swamiji itself is defective.

Telugu language and Hindi language gists, I shall try to translate and present in a few days.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

009 Adi SankarAcArya's role in the history of Nepal

26th April 2012 i.e. today is being celebrated as the birth anniversary of Adi SankarAcArya.

At the moment of writing this blog-post, Mr. paripUrNAnanda sarasvati, a self-appointed pIThAdhipati, along with Mr. tridanDi SrImannArAyaNa Jeeyar, and Mr. SuguNEndra teerdha are addressing the audience at the NTR Stadium, kAkinADa.

The Hindu daily news paper reported Mr. paripUrNAnanda's aim in arranging the meet: Quote

He recalled how Adi Sankara had in the 7th Century started the resurrection of a ‘Sanatana Dharma' that was in danger of being throttled under the grip of atheists, adding that supporting this movement were Madhwacharyas and Ramanujacharyas.

The need for the different disciplines practising ‘Sanatana Dharma' to come together in an attempt to have a single focus, one single ‘mantra', one book and one way of going about it is important.




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We can anticipate what Mr. paripOOrNAnanda is going to say on the dias.

I am sure, that he will not say anything about the devastating, cruel role played by Adi SankarAcArya (or his followers with or without his consent, in driving out Buddhism from Nepal.

We expect Adi Shankaracharya, as a monk, to be soft and enlightened.  In spreading his relgion, we do not expect him to be blood-thirsty like the turkish Islamic invaders of the Middle Ages.

Friday, March 30, 2012

008 Replies to comments of Mr. pUjAri Ankur

Pujari Ankur said...

Oh Man whoz u , u said ur Householder and a Hindu. Hmmm ur quite interesting. You want the Wisdon which our Ancestors had but u dont want the Main thing where the Wisdom directs. Shri Ramakrishna used to say that the Vedas , Scriptures and Vedanta are but the Means to realize God and attributed the Importance to Realization and Scriptures just as a means. He gave a nice eg.
A man was asked to bring certain things from home and a letter containing the list was given to him. but he lost it and searched for it like anything. even ppl joined him and they found it. he then checked for the Contents and once he knew them he threw it off. The Scriptures are like that letter they can atmost guide u for Self Realization.

But Here the Fun is U WANT THE LETTER BUT DONT WANNA BUY THOSE THINGS ONLY.
In Particular u seem to hate the Great Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. But what ? Trurt is Truth
Advaita Satyam !
What a Fun ! AT times u appear rational at times completely Irrational.
May God Reveal himself to u.

REPLY:
I am unable to recollect, having severely criticised advaita philosophy anywhere.
True advaita philosophy i.e. integration of one-self with the nature outside his-her body i.e. ignoring the skin which separates a person from the outside world, opens the gate way to rationalism and atheism. It is like a base camp for climbing the Mount Everest i.e. atheism, Marxism, Humanism.

Your rAmakrishNa parama hamsa was an expert in telling stories. But he knew where his bread was buttered, creamed, honeyed, and iced. He knew, how to consume a goat's meat on an ashTami day in the name of a custom-y day. He knew, how to ensure his rich devotees pay huge rents for large houses in Calcutta, and hire for the horse carriages, he and his entourage travelled in. He went on wearing shoes and fabulous clothes, while his disciples wove stories around him, that he was sweeping the floors of Kali temple, with his hair! Now which wisdom of your ancients directs you to believe that kALi wanted goat's meat only on the ashTami (8th day of lunar waxing)?


Which wisdom directed the mayasabha priests to consume pork (See sabha parvam of VyAsa mahAbhArata)? Which wisdom directed Sage VasishTha to consume beef (proof: See Uttara RAma caritra of bhavabhUti)?

Which wisdom directed Great King AmbarIsha to buy sunassepa as substitute for sacrificial animal? Why Didn't Vasishtha and VisvAmitra discourage him from attempting a human sacrifice?


Which wisdom directed the Great Satya Harischandra to buy a youth and present him to Yama in lieu of his own (Harischandra's) son?

Which wisdom made Dasaratha to smell the burnt horse fat in the asvamEtha fire and believe that all his sins were cleansed?

Which wisdom made Queen Kausalya to stab the sacrificial horse three times, simply because the brahma, adharva, udghAta and ritvik asked her to stab the horse?








You found fun in my raising issues. But, you do not find fun in your Ramakrishna Paramahamsa lifting the goat's meat to his forehead on the ashTami day and believing that Mother kAli accepted it.

Most of his followers, including Swami Vivekananda too knew where their breads were buttered, creamed, honeyed, and iced - with the exception of innocent devotees/disciples like balrAm bOse.

You are a student of C.A. (Chartered Accountant). By this time, you might have completed your course and started your practice. You have to certify the Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets of Limited Companies as true and correct. Indian non-manufacturing business houses are like 'baby ghosts' whereas the foreign business houses are like 'piSAcAs' and I am afraid that we shall not be able to protect the interests of our country, if we believe things blindly. We have to make an in-depth study of whatever we touch. We must be able to read between the lines.

Example: You have a belief that all priests and sages were fine persons. Now, let us see the 'maya sabha' (assembly hall) scene in VyAsa mahA bhArata, sabhA parva.

If you will go deeply into the description of the 'maya sabha' and rAjasUya arrangements, it can be observed that YudhishThira maintained 88,000 BrAhmins (better say priests) and gave them 32 women each. Total comes to something like 26,40,000 (You are a chartered Accountant, you know more counting and calculations than me). YudhiShThira fed his guests with pork -bacon - ham (varAha mAmsam)! Guests included rishis and munis. What contemplations, meditations, dhyAnams, japams and samAdhis they can make after consuming pork (varAha mAmsam)? Of course, those pigs may not be street pigs or sIma pigs (foreign hybrid breed). They may only be wild forest pigs. If guests consumed pork, how can the hosts remain behind? We have to presume that YudhishThira and his relatives ALSO, consumed pork. Well, I shall not find fault with them for consuming pork or beef or something else, which was a custom of those days and it was their personal or royal affair.

What I wish to point out is, simply because something was ancient, we need not take it as 100% perfect and pure. There were imperfections, as was natural.

After the arrival of Buddha, SankarAcArya, rAmAnujAcArya, madhwAcArya, et al., there were reforms. But not enough. Proof: existence of untouchability till 1947. Existence of child marriages and sati.

How long should we repeat stotras (hymns and odes) indulging in idol worship 24 hours a day, washing idols with precious milk and curd, performing kalyANOtsavams (weddings of God), disputing the dates of kalyANOtsavams etc. Your Gr.8 souls (pl. see your comment at my philosophers-Vivekananda blog) have not crossed the stage of goat-sacrifices, fireworks and durga pendals. They could not proceed beyond chicken, Shad fish and turtles.

About self-realisation: It is not difficult to understand the meaning of self-realisation and getting it on theoretical plane. The true test for a self-realised person exists for him in his practice. You can see that test, which Adi Sankara had undergone, when he was going to the Ganga river. A tanner appeared before him on his path. Shankara said 'move aside'. The tanner asked him: "Who should move? the body or the soul?". SankarAcArya realised his mistakes.

A SwAmiji may give 'anugraha bhAshaNam' to devotees that they should bear all hardships patiently, till their sancita karmas (accumulated past sinful actions) are exhausted. But when he himself is arrested on a charge of murder, he disbelieves that it was his sancita karma which placed him in jail. He would engage top High Court and Supreme Court Advocates paying millions of Rupees as fee for repeatedly pestering every court with pleas of bail. He expresses doubts that trials may not take place impartially. He becomes restless in police and judicial custody. In reality, he should be extremely happy that his sancita karmAs are getting exhausted, and that when the puNya-pApa balance becomes nil, he will get 'mOksha'. He refuses to think that for a true SwAmIji with a title of "teacher for the world", the inside of a jail and the outside of a jail should be same. So, fun is ubiquitous in our preachings and in our behaviours.

I do not wish to dive still deeper into this matter, as it may hurt your sentiments.

I welcome your questions.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sankara and rAmAnuja


Compare and contrast SankarAchArya and rAmAnujAchArya.
Adi (The First) Sankara's stress was not much on devotion. It entered the Sankara monastery traditions gradually. Adi Sankara's stress was on meditation. The theme was the Supreme Non-dualist soul which pervaded both livings and non-livings i.e. the entire cosmos. This is the 'Sat-chit-Ananda Brahmam' (the eternal dynamic supreme soul). It has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with the soul and Nature. The meditation should aim at removing the ignorance about this ephemeral world. The followers of Sankara adopted three horizontal lines on the forehead as their token sign.

Ramanuja's philosophy was devotion-oriented. It has its origin from the North European (Latvian-Lithuanian-Old Prussian-Danish-Norwegian-Swedish) Indo-European Aryan methods of 'yaj' (worship) from which the word 'yagna (sacrifice)' was born. VishN and lakmE mAta were the Goddesses of the Indo European Nordic culture.

rAmAnuja's tradition supported dualism and incarnationalism (A word apparently coined by me incarnation +al + ism). Gita serves as the best example of yoking in dualism.

The followers of rAmAnuja adopted vertical three lines on the forehead as their token sign.





Who are smArtAs?


Question: Who are smArtAs?

smArtAs are those who follow the 'smritIs'.
Smriti means what is memorised. These memories are 'recalled and remembered' precepts which have been taught by preceptors and sages.

The followers of Sankara have a tradition of calling themselves 'smArtas'. This is in spite of adding the tenents of Buddhism, contents of epics like rAmayana and mahAbhArata, to the memorised precepts of Upanishads, brAhmaNas (exchange of conversations between teacher and disciples. Here we cannot apply the meaning of a caste or class) and AraNyakas (Conversations in Forests).

The smArtas did a balancing exercise among the exgtremely deviating six worship groups of the day : 1. Siva 2. Vishnu 3. Sakti 4. Sun God 5. ShaNmukha (KumAra or kArtikEya or Murguga or subrahmaNya) 6. ganEsha (vinAyaka or vighnEsa or gaNapati).

The smArtas ceased performing the violent / animal sacrifices of the Vedic Period. They started using the same Vedic chants in a non-violent manner offering flowers and fruits, vegetarian puddings, savouries to the Gods.

smArta system strengthened the polytheism prevalent in Hindu sects, by harmonising them.

How Buddhism could have influenced Adi SankarAcharya?


Question: How Buddhism could have influenced Adi sankarAchArya?

Answer: Adi sankarAchArya's preceptor was gOvinda bhagavatpAda. gOvinda bhagavatpAda's preceptor was gauDapAdAchArya.

gauDapAdAchArya was the author of the Sanskrit work 'mAnDUkyakArika'. It is a commentary on the 'mAnDUkyOpanishad'. gOvinda bhagavatpAda saluted Buddha in this work and incorporated several tenets of Buddhism.

Adi sankara was born in 786 A.D. It was the period when Buddhism was at its zenith with support coming from Emperor Harsha and the visit of Huen Tsang. Sankara seems to be the first monk who adopted 'shaven head' as a part of the dress code. Insistence on continuous movement of monks, four months interregnum during the rainy season, gradual shift to idol-worship were also Buddhist influences.

Ritualists of the period called Sankaracharya a prachchanna Buddha (Buddha in disguise).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Monistic interpretation of Gita appears to be not reasonable

One of the principal works of Adi Sankaracharya is : Gita bhAshyam (Commentary on one of the important principal scriptures of Hinduism: Bhagavad Gita).

Critics say that Sankaracharya interpreted Gita from a monistic or non-dualstic view.


th> Question: What is monism or non-dualism?


Answer: One question which haunts those who admit that there is a soul, apart from body, and that the sould is a resident of the body, -- is whether the soul in the body (called jivAtma or life soul) is the same as Supreme God (paramAtma or God Soul). Or whether both are different.
Adi (First) Sankaracharya supported Non-dualism (Advaita or only one).

Question : Why do you find fault with the monistic interpretation of Gita?
Answer: It is not exactly finding fault with Adi SankarAchArya. I am too small to show a fault-finding finger towards him. I appeal to you is to just hear this small argument.


Bhagavad Gita is a Vaishnavaite text. (VaishNavaite = Those who worship God VishNu).

Proof: Mahabharata was a VaishNavaiTe text. It portrays Krishna as an incarnation of Lord VishNu. There are very few references to Lord Shiva (Shankara) in Mahabharata.

The chapter headings of Bhagavad Gita have a suffix : 'Yoga'. This suffix means 'Yoking or Union'. Yoking with whom? Yoking of the human soul with the Supreme Soul. Krishna urged Arjuna to yoke himself to the Supreme Soul.

Non-dualistic philosophy has a totally different angle. The human soul within the body and the Supreme Soul outside the body are not different. An ignorant person thinks that they are different. The soul in the body is actually Supreme Soul. There is nothing like a separate human soul. The human skin separates the human body from Nature. The Supreme Soul in the body should recognise that it is the same eternal (sat) dynamic (cit) Supreme Soul which purveys outside.

It is not clear why Adi Sankaracharya attempted a monistic interpretative commentary of Bhagavad Gita. Allowing Bhagavad Gita to have its dualistic approach would have been more apt. Adi Shankaracharya should have propounded his own Adi Shankara Gita.

Question: How can Supreme Soul No. 1/6 billion (one part of the 6 billion humans living on this earth) recognise the remaining part of Supreme Soul? I shall give you an example: Take bread with 6 slices. I may be present in one of the slices. How am I going to identify myself with the .99 billion particles of flour in my slice, and the remaining 5 billion particles of flour in the remaining slices?

Answer: This blogger's guesswork answer: It is a beautiful question. A body will have a sense of 'I' or consciousness as long as it has faculties suggestive of life i.e. locomotion, response to external stimuli, nutrition, excretion, respiration etc.). as living body will thus be conscious. It is the living human body which should and which has the capacity to recognise its micro-oneness with the macro-outside. It is like a drop of water recognising that it is a part of ocean.

One important obstacle in this direction is : the world. Shankaracharya called this 'jagat'. One which is born and which dies. One which comes and which goes. This world causes us ignorance and makes us to think that we are different from things outside. Once this hymen of ignorance is ruptured supreme bliss of orgasm will arise.

But this supreme bliss will be only momentary, if we fail to bring into our daily life, our personal and social behaviors, the sense of unity with Nature and other humans. This is not a practical proposition in a Capitalist World.

Example: We see somebody suffering. The Knowledge of Supreme Bliss (GnAna in Sanskrit ) says that he and we are one and the same and that we should help him. The Knowledge of Supreme Bliss (GnAna) is not wrong.

We help him once or twice or sometimes or many times. But, we cannot always help him, though he is we and we are him. If we continue, we cannot survive in this world of 'money'. I am not writing this out of selfishness. I am writing this out of common sense.

All the religions in this world (exception: Advaita non-dualistic philosophy) are based on dualism. They may say thousands of things in books. The essence of prayers in all relgions is dualism. When we pray
"All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, and we will never forget who is our true provider. We thank you as you bless this food and bless this time together. Amen"

we are presuming that our earth is different from earth and that we receivers of food are different from the sender of foods.

The prayer business is easy to practice both to the preaching temples, churches and mosques. Getting rid of ignorance and understanding that "we inside and we outside are same" needs hard work both for the preacher and the learner. Both cannot practise it any way.

The preachers of Advaita (Non-dualisam), including the monasteries of Badari, Kanchi, Dwaraka, Puri, Sringeri and their heads who claim to be the Teachers of the World (Jagadgurus) practise dualism.

Proof : You approach the Administrative Officer of any of these monasteries and seek their permission for sitting at the feet of the current Shankaracharya of the monastery and worship his feet. You may be asked to pay some Rs. 10,000/-.

What should have been a better reply?

"You are the Supreme Soul. The Head of our Monastery is also the Supreme Soul. I am also the Supreme Soul. One Supreme Soul need not fall at the feet of another Supreme Soul. Realise this and implement in your life. You will get Supreme Bliss."

Swamy Vivekananda of the 1893 World Congress of Religion fame, and who had credit of taking the message of non-dualist philosophy (advaita vEdAnta) to the Western World, also did not practice non-dualism. Proof: Vivekananda boasted in a letter addressed to a German girl, that they in Calcutta sacrificed a goat and burst fireworks during Durga Puja Celebrations. A non-dualist can never sacrifice a goat to appease a Goddess.

To a non-dualist, there can never be entities such as Rama, Krishna, Sankara, Alla, Yehova, so on and so forth.

Summary: The one who prays is the shooter. He is also the target. This is the essence of meditation. This will give us ATHEISM. The contemporary critics of Adi Shankaracharya condemned him as an atheist. Some people consider Buddha also, as an atheist.

Sadly enough, the Buddhists pray now Buddha. That means they are practising dualism.

Sadly enough, all the monasteries (Badari etc.) I have referred above, are today practising idol worship and prayers. If they get true awareness, they will throw away their idols. Meditation is also needed only for a limited time say ten minutes just to prevent being swept away by the 'tsunamis' of the worldly desires. The essence of Advaita is practice and not meditation. Meditation is a small tool, not the goal in itself.

.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

#003, SEEK TRUTH AND PEACE! WIFE, CHILDREN AND WEALTH WILL NOT COME TO YOUR RESCUE!

Sankaracharya’s philosophy is versatile. It encompasses many spheres. I have been searching some works of his which by and large have a secular content. This is one such stootram.
Stotram = Composition, usually poetic, in praise of God(dess).

Sankara while passing through a street in Varanasi (Kasi) found an old person laboring hard with sentences of Sanskrit grammar called “dukrun` karan`ams”. Sankara was astonished to see the ignorance of the old man. According to Sankara, when death is nearing, a person has to concentrate on “deliverance (from the pangs of births and deaths called ‘mooksha’”. Popularly called Bhaja Govinda Stotram, Sankaracharya appealed to the oldman to worship “Govinda (Lord Vishn`u or Krishna. Govinda literally means he who looks after cows i.e. Krishna)”. Sankara addressed the old person as a fool and reminded him when death neared, the rules of grammar would not protect. This is the essence of the first verse. This is repeated at the end of each verse for musical melody and rhythm.

The other verses though addressed to the old person are in fact a sort of an appeal to innerself. The appeal can be used by anybody who wants to free himself from delusion. The verses are by and large secular. They deal with travails of people caught in the worldly madeness of wealth, women and luxuries. This type of people can be seen all over the world, in any religion. Hence I call these verses secular. Here and there, we can see a masculine tint. Shankara’s idea was not to belittle woman. It was only to bring “loathing” in an individual for sexual pleasures. If a woman reads these verses, she can mentally modify them as “man” wherever the word “woman” appears.

I suggest that the first verse, advising people to worship God using the name “Govinda” may not be relished by people of other faiths. They can use words like “Jehova” or “Alla” or “Jesus” in the place of Govinda. There may be some loss of poetic syllabilic rhythm, yet it is a good workable arrangement.

I have another suggestion: We can modify the first verse as under:



Bhaja ree Satyam bhajaree S`aantam
Bhaja Satyam S`aantam, Muud`hamatee .
sampraaptee sannihitee kaalee
nahi nahi rakshanti Sati sute dhanee.. 1


Truth and Peace are substituted for Govinda. The revised translation of the verse will be as under:

Hail the Truth, Hail the Peace!
Hail Truth, Peace!
Oh fool! When the time of death approaches you, wife, son and wealth will not protect you.

Analogously, verse No. 34 can also be modified to mean Truth and Peace.

While suggesting modifications, no disrespect to the Great Teacher/Poet is intended.


(bhajagoovindam bhajagoovindam
goovindam bhajamuud`hamatee .
sampraaptee sannihitee kaalee
nahi nahi rakshati d`ukrign`karan`ee .. 1


muud`ha jahiihi dhanaagamatris`hn`aam
kuru sadbuddhim manasi vitris`hn`aam.
yallabhasee nijakarmoopaattam
vittam teena vinoodaya chittam. 2

Oh fool! Leave your thirst for money. Make your virtuous mind greedless. With whatever money you get in proportion to your past actions, make your mind entertained and joyful.

This writer’s comment: Belief in “fate”, is a little flaw. Hindus believe in actions and their results carried forward from previous births. We, as universal scientific citizens, can take a modified meaning of past actions as “Past actions in this birth”. It means nearly “Reap as you sow”.


naariistanabhara naabhiidees`am
dris`ht`vaa maagaamoohaavees`am.
eetanmaamsaavasaadi vikaaram
manasi vichintaya vaaram vaaram. 3

Do not get tempted by seeing a woman's heavy breasts and the navel. It is only a malformation of flesh and fat. Again and again, think aout this.


naliniidala gata jalam atitaralam
tadvajjiivitam atis`aya chapalam .
viddhi vyaadhy abhimaana grastam
lookam s`ookahatam cha samastam 4

KNOW (Viddhi!): The whole world is bitten by disease, false pride and misery. A water drop on a lotus leaf lasts no time. Same way, life is fickle.


yaavad vittoo paarjana saktaha
staavan nija parivaaroo raktaha
pas`chaa(t) ajjiivati jarjara deehee
vaartaam koo -api na prichchhati geehee. 5

As long as a person is capable of earning money, his family will be interested in him. The moment his body becomes frail and dies, nobody in the house will inquire about him or talk to him.


yaavatpavanoo nivasati deehee
taavat prichchhati kus`alam geehee
gatavati vaayau deehaapaayee
bhaaryaa bibhyati tasmin kaayee 6

As long as "air" resides in the body (as long as there is life in the body), everybody will inquire about a person's well being in the house. The moment the life leaves the body, the wife loathes that dead body.


baalastaavat kriid`a aasaktaha
tarun`astaavat tarun`iisaktaha .
vriddhastaavach chintaasaktaha
paree brahman`i koo.api na saktaha 7

This is a master piece. When a child, a person is engrossed and interested in playing. In youth, heshe will be interested in the lover. In oldage, heshe will be engrossed in worldly worries. Nobody will be interested in the Supreme Spirit. (Here we can change: Paree satyaan`i koo api na saktaha. Nobody will be interested to explore truth).


kaatee kaantaa kastee putraha
samsaaroo ayam atiiva vichitraha .
kasya tvam kaha kuta aayaataha
tattvam chintaya tadiha bhraataha 8

The poet addresses the old person: "Oh brother! Think about your true nature and philosophy. Who is woman (your wife)? Who are sons? This mundane world itself is very funny. To whom do you belong? Wherefrom have you come?


satsan`gatvee nissangatvam
nissan`gatvee nirmoohatvam.h .
nirmoohatvee nis`chalatattvam
nis`calatattvee jiivanmuktiha 9

The poet declares that a person can become delivered, while being still alive in this body through friendship with virtuous persons. BY companionship of good persons, a person gets detached to the worldly pleasures. From detachment a person gets from temptation. For immunity to temptation, a person becomes unperturbable (by worldly comforts and sorrows). In a non-chalant balanced mind, a person gets delivered from the cycle of births and deaths. (Secularly thinking: A person who does not believe in rebirths can treat deliverance as freedom from ignorance caused by attachment to "I and My" material possessions).


vayasigatee kaha kaamavikaaraha
s`us`hkee niiree kaha kaasaaraha
ks`iin`eevittee kaha parivaaraha
Gnaatee tattvee kaha samsaaraha 10

When a person loses his youth, where will be his lustful thoughts? When a tank dries up, where will the frogs be? (They disappear). When a person loses wealth where will the relatives be? (They will disappear). When a person understands the true nature and philosophy of the mundane world where will it be? (Hence a person must constantly apply his mind, to the ephemeral nature of the earthly possessions).


maa kuru dhana jana yauvana garvam
harati nimees`haatkaalaha sarvam.h .
maayaamayamidamakhilam hitvaa
brahmapadam tvam pravis`a viditvaa 11

The poet says: "Do not be proud of your wealth, people, and youth. All of them are momentary. Knowing all this as illusion, enter the position of supreme bliss."


dina yaaminyau saayam praataha
s`is`iravasantau punaraayaataha .
kaalaha kriid`ati gachchhati aayuhu
tadapi na mun`catyaas`aavaayuha 12

The poet is worried that the winds of "Desire and Greed" within him do not get pacified. He says: "Day, night, evening, morning, winter, and spring come and go. The Time plays. The life goes. Yet, the desires do not get satiated."


dvaadas`aman`jarikaabhiras`ees`haha
kathitoo vaiyaakaran`asyais`haha.
upadees`oo bhuudvidyaanipun`aiha
s`riimachchhankarabhagavachchharan`ariha 13

It is said that the above twelve verses are from Sankaracharya. The following, remaining verses are attributed to his disciples. Diction and style, there is not much variance. Either the entire set may be the work of Adi S`ankaracharya (the first S`ankaracharya)or the entire set may be the combined work of his disciples. The names of the disciples who might have composed the hymns are given in the paranthesis.


kaatee kaantaa dhana gatachintaa
vaatula kim tava naasti niyantaa.
trijagati sajjanasam gatir aikaa
bhavati bhava arn`ava taran`ee naukaa 14

The poet addresses: "Oh crazy, mad person (vaatula)! Won't you have any controller to regulate you (niyantaa)? Why are you thinking about women and wealth? Won't you realise that in these three worlds (trijagati), there is only one ship which can help you cross the tumultuous ocean of this mundane worldly life and that ship is the companionship of virtuous persons?" (Padmapada)


jat`iloo mun`d`ii lun`chhitakees`aha
kaas`haaya ambara bahukritavees`haha .
pas`yann api ca na pas`yati muud`haha
udaranimittam bahukritavees`haha 15

The poet describes the ways of the ochre-robed world of monks: "Shaven heads. Matted hair-locks. Ochre-robes. Many dresses and appearances. All for the sake of filling the belle. The fools do not see the truth, though they can see." (Tot`akacharya).


an`gam galitam palitam mun`d`am
das`ana vihiinam jatam tun`d`am.
vriddhoo yaati grihiitvaa dan`d`am
tad api na mun`catyi aas`aa pin`d`am 16

The poet describes the abominable evils of old age: "Organs become lame and weak. Hair grays and falls out. Mouth becomes teethless. Old and moves only with the stick used as crutch (dand`am). Yet, the old person refuses to swallow the morsel ('pindam') of greed." (Hastamalaka).


agree vahnihi pris`ht`hee bhaanuhu
raatrau chubuka samarpita jaanuhu .
karatala bhiks`as tarutala vaasaha
tad api na mun`cati aas`aa paas`aha 17

Here, the poet compares greed to a lasso of rope. He wonders that humans refuse to be freed adn relieved of the lasso of greed. Here the poet describes: "the human warming himself before a bonfire, while the Sun is behind him (a winter effort to save onself from cold). During nights, he folds his jaanu (knees) to touch his cubuka (chin) and keeps himself warm. He begs using palms (karatala) as vessel to collect the alms (bhiksha). He lives (vaasaha) under trees (tarutala)." (Subodha).

This writer's comment: Under these conditions a person should get real detachment with a desire to live. But the desire persists.


kurutee gan`gaa saagara gamanam
vrata paripaalanam athavaa daanam
Gnaana vihinaha sarva mateena
muktim na bhajati janmas`ateena 18

The poet emphasizes the futility of religious vows and pious acts without true knowledge. "People bathe in Ganga river and the Ocean (saagara). They perform ritual worships and vows (vrata). They offer charity. Persons devoid of true knowledge (gnaana vihiinaha) cannot attain deliverance (muktim) even after a hundred births (janma s`ateena)." (Surees`vara).


sura mandira taru muula nivaasaha
s`ayyaa bhuutala majinam vaasaha .
sarva parigraha bhooga tyaagaha
kasya sukham na karooti viraagaha 19

The poet assures that a person of renunciation is not denied of happiness. He identifies the characters of a person of renunciation (tyaagi) and questions: "A person sleeping in a temple, under a tree, on the ground, wearing deer-skin, giving up all attachments and luxuries -- Why detachment does not make him comfortable with contentment?" (Nityananda)


yoogaratoo vaa bhoogaratoovaa
sangaratoo vaa sangaviihinaha
yasya brahman`i ramatee chittam
nandati nandati nandati eeva. 20

A person, whose mind rests in the supreme spirit, will always be happy, happy, happy. It is immaterial whether he is engaged in asceticism (yoogaratoo) or luxurious enjoyment (bhoogaratoo), whether he is attached to his family and possessions (sangaratoo) or not (sanga vihiinaha). (Anandagiri).



bhagavad giitaa kinchid adhiitaa
gangaa jalalava kan`ikaa piitaa
sakridapi yeena muraari samarchaa
kriyatee tasya yameena na charchaa 21

The poet says that a person need not worry about the God of Death (Yama), if : he reads a little Bhagavad Gita, sips a drop of water from the river Ganga, and worships once the God Vishnu (Muraari).

This writer's comment: This verse refers to Hindu God Murari. To make it more secular, we can use the word "bhagavat" which means the generic term "God".


Punarapi jananam punarapi maran`am
punarapi jananii jat`haree s`ayanam
iha samsaaree bahu dustaaree
Kripayaa paaree paahi Muraaree .. 22

The poet expresses his disenchantment with the cycle of births and deaths. He says: "Again (Punar) and again being born (jananam), again and again being dead (maran`am), and lying down in the womb (jat`haree) of the mother (janani), the ocean of this mundane world (iha samsaaree) is difficult to cross over (bahu dustaaree). He prays the Lord to help him cross and protect him.

This writer's comment: "Muraaree" here is the name of Lord Vishnu. People of other religions, if difficult to adjust with the name, can use the generic name "Bhagavan (God!)". The last line becomes: Kripayaa paaree paahi Bhagavan. (Nityanaatha)


rathyaa charpat`a virachita kanthaha
pun`ya apun`ya vivarjita panthaha
yoogii yooganiyoojita chittoo
ramatee baaloonmattavad iva .. 23

A monk does not find scarcity of rags as long as they are found thrown on the path of chariots. (Even today this holds good: A monk can pick rags on the Main road where limousines ply. We find lunatics doing it and wearing the rags.).
A person who has true self-realisation, loses distinctions between virtues (pun`ya) and sins (apun`ya). A person whose intellect and mind are yoked to ascetism and renunciation, enjoys his state of mind like a child. (Nityanaatha).

This writer's comment: I rank this verse as No. 1 in the entire set. This verse does not dwell on God. It centres around renunciation.


kas tvam koo aham kuta aayaataha
kaa mee jananii koo mee taataha
iti paribhaavaya sarvam asaaram
vis`vam tyaktvaa svapna vichaaram .. 24

This is also a master-piece in terms of renunciation. The poet questions: " 'Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have we come? Who is my mother? Who is my father? ' " Like this a person enquires within himself and considers the whole world insipid and relinquishes it treating it as a dream.



tvayi mayi ca anyatra eekoo vis`hn`uhu
vyartham kupyasi mayya sahishn`uhu
bhava samachittaha sarvatra tvam
vaan`chhasyachiraad yadi vis`hn`utvam .. 25

This writer's suggestion: To make this verse acceptable to persons of all religions, we can make the following substitution: "Bhagavan" in the place of "Vishn`uhu". In a literary sense Vishn`u need not be a Hindu God. Vishn`u means a force/power which is spread throughout the expansive Universe. It can even apply for Jehova and Allah who are not confined. They are also different names for the same Universal force/power. The word "Vishn`utvam" may be modified to "Bhagavantam".

Translation: In you (tvayi), me (mayi) and others (anyatra), the same one (eeko) Vishnu resides. You are unnecessarily and fruitlessly (vyartham)getting impatient (asahishn`uhu) and angry. If you want to turn yourselves into God (Vishn`utvam), become a person of equanimous and steady mind (sama cittaha) at all places. (Meedhatithira)

Rhyme beauty: First two lines have rhyme: Vishn`uhu and Sahishn`uhu. Last two lines have rhyme: Sarvatratvam and Vishn`utvam.


s`atrau mitree putree bandhau
maa kuru yatnam vigrahasandhau
sarvasminn api pas`ya aatmaanam
sarvatroo utsrija bheeda agnaanam .. 26

Here the key word is "Differentiating tendency" of friends (mitree), putree (sons), relatives (bandhau) and enemies (s`atrau). The poet is asking the grammarian not to (maa) try (kuru yatnam) to battle (vigraha) or friendship/truce (sandhau). The poet asks: Look (pasya) at everybody (sarvasmin) as yourself (aatmaanam). Everywhere (sarvatra) shed (utsruja) ignorance (agnaanam) of differentiation such as mine and not mine (bheeda). (Meedha tithira).

This writer's observation: There is nothing religious here. See the beautiful rhymes bandhau, sandhau; Aatmaanam and agnaanam (First and second lines rhyme. Third and fourth lines rhyme.)


kaamam kroodham loobham mooham
tyaktvaa atmaanam bhaavaya kooham (koo+aham)
aatma gnaana vihiinaa muud`haaha
tee pachyantee naraka niguud`haaha .. 27

This verse is somewhat threatening. First two lines: The poet asks: Shed desire and lust (kaamam), anger (kroodham), covetousness (loobham) and temptation such as I and my (mooham). Feel and explore within yourselves "Who (koo) am I (aham) ?".

Now, the threat: The poet says: The fool who is devoid of self realisation (aatma gnaana vihiina muud`haaha) will be cooked in a remote-secret (niguud`haa) hell-fire (naraka). (Bhaarativamsa).

This writer's comment: Compare this to the curse of condemnation on Satan in the Paradise Lost by John Milton. It will be appreciated that religions have Universality of thought.


geeyam giitaa naama sahasram
dhyeeyam s`riipati ruupam ajasram
neeyam sajjana san`gee cittam
deeyam diina janaaya ca vittam. .. 28

Here you can see the initial rhyme in the first word of each line.
Line 1: Geeyam = To be sung. To sing Bhagavad Gita a thousand times.
Line 2: Dhyeeyam = To be meditated. To meditate on the form of God Sripati without tiredom.
Line 3: Neeyam = To be relished. To relish in mind (cittam) the friendship (sangee) of virtuous persons (sajjana).
Line 4: Deeyam = To be given. To give money (vittam) to destitute (diina) janaaya (persons).
See also the line-ending rhymes: Lines 1 and 2 sahasram (thousand) and ajasram (tirelessly) rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 cittam (intellect) and vittam (money) rhyme.

(Said to have been composed by Sumatiira).

This writer's comment: See how the poetic rhyming traditions between English and Sanskrit tally.


sukhataha kriyatee raamaa bhoogaha
pas`chaad anta s`ariiree roogaha
yadyapi (yadi+api) lookee maran`am s`aran`am
tadapi na mun`chati paapa aacaran`am .. 29

Here the poet discusses the adament behavior of lustful people.
Rhyme of first two lines: Bhoogaha: luxuries. Roogaha = Diseases. People enjoy luxuries and pleasures gleefully, but their bodies end up with diseases.

Rhyme of third and fourth lines: Maran`am = death; Aacaran`am = practice.
Even when death becomes the only recourse/refuge the people do not stop sinning (paapa aacaran`am).




Artham anartham bhaavaya nityam
naasti tataha sukhalees`aha satyam
putraad api dhana bhaajaam bhiitihi
sarvatra ees`haa vihiaa riitihi .. 30

Let us see the line ending rhymes of first two lines: Nityam = always, daily; Satyam = true. Always consider within yourselves that wealth (artham) is the cause of hardships (anartham). It is true that there is no happiness at all in wealth (tataha=in that).

Now the last two line ending rhymes: Bhiitihi = fear; Riitihi = custom, way, manner.
A rich person will be afraid of his own son. This is the way of the world and wealth everywhere.


Praan`aayaamam pratyaahaaram
nityaanitya viveeka vicaaram
jaapyasameeta samaadhi vidhaanam
kurv avadhaanam mahad avadhaanam .. 31

Let us see the line ending rhymes of first two lines: Pratyaaharam = Imperturbability. Withholding senses from objects of senses and stimulii. Vicaaram = consideration, contemplation and examination.
The poet wants the truth seeker to control his breath (Praan`aayaamam) and cultivate steady unperturbable mind. The seeker should contemplate on and develop abilities to distinguish between what is really "eternal" (nitya) and "ephemeral" (anitya).

Now, the last two line rhymes: Vidhaanam = method; Avadhaanam = With utmost attention and concentration.
The poet says: Following the path of meditation (jaapya) and absorbed state of mind, do (kuru) concentrate your mind great concentration and attention (avadhaanam).



Guru caran`a ambuja nirbhara bhakataha
samsaaraad aciraad bhava muktaha
seendriya (sa + indriya = seendriya) maanasa niyamaadeevam
draks`yasi nija hridayastham deevam. .. 32

Bhaktaha and Muktaha are the end rhymes of the first two lines. Bhaktaha mean devotees. Muktaha are liberated persons. Guru carana ambujas are the lotus feet of the teacher. The devotees who rely on the lotus feet of his teacher will be liberated soon (aciraat) from the pangs of this mundane world (samsaaraat).

Niyamaadeevam and Hridayastham deevam are the rhymes of the last two lines. Niyamaadeevam = Controlled, regulated. The poet appeals: By controlling and regulating the mind (maanasa) and sensual organs (indriya), see (drakshyasi) the God within your own (nija) heart (hridayastham deevam).


muud`haha kas`chana vaiyaakaran`oo
d`ukrun` karan`a adhyayana dhuriin`aha
s`riimachchhamkara bhagavachchhishyai
boodhita aasichchhoodhita karan`aha .. 33

Srimachchankara = Srimat + S`ankara.
Bhagavachchishyai = Bhagavat + s`ishyai.
Aasichchhoodhita = Aasis + soodhita.

First two line rhymes: Vaiyaakaran`oo = Grammarian; Dhuriin`aha = Expert and skilled in. The foolish (muud`ha) grammarian who is skilled in reading rules of grammar (d`ukrun` karan`a) freed himself by listening to the teachings of the disciples of S`ankaraacaarya.


bhaja goovindam bhaja goovindam
goovindam bhaja muud`hamatee .
naamasmaran`aad anyam upaayam
nahi pas`yaamoo bhavataran`ee .. 34

This verse says that there is no substitute (anyam upaayam) for chanting the name (Naamasmaran`aad) and praising the glories of God (God's name used here is Goovinda which means a benefactor of cows). It calls the grammarian a fool (muud`hamatee).
Bhavataran`ee: Bhavam is the ocean of this mundane world and its associated miseries. Taran`am is crossing the ocean.
Pasyaamoo = Pasyaamaha = We cannot see (any other useful method i.e. upaayam).

This writer's comment: The verse can be omitted by persons following other religions. Alternatively, a modification can be tried, such as First two lines: Bhajare Daivam bhaja ree Daivam
Daivam bhaja muud`hamatee

or

Bhajaree Bhagavan Bhaja ree Bhagavan
Bhagavan bhaja muud`hamatee!

Atheists can also omit this verse.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

#002, BE ALERT! BE ALERT!

Sankaracharya used the set of following verses to keep people awake from delusion and ignorance.


Maata naasti, pitaa naasti
naasti bandhu sahoodaraha
artham gruham naasti
tasmaat jaagruta jaagruta!

There is no mother. There is no father. There are no relatives and siblings There is no wealth. There is no home. Be alert! Be alert!


Janmaa duhkham, jaraa duhkham
jaaya duhkha punah punaha
samsaara saagaram duhkham
tasmaat jaagruta jaagruta!

Birth is misery. Old age is misery. Spouse is misery again and again. The ocean of domestic life is misery Hence Be alert! Be alert!


Kaama kroodhascha loobhascha
deehee tisht`hamti
taskaraaha gnaana ratna apahaara arthaaya
tasmaat jaagruta jaagruta!

Desire and Lust, Anger, and Covetousness are like thieves. They sit in the body like thieves awaiting for an opportunity to steal the gems of knowledge and awareness. Hence Be alert! Be alert!


Aas`aaya badhyatee lookaha
karman`aa bahu chimtayaha
Ayuh kshan`am jaanati
Tasmaat jaagruta jaagruta!

Greed binds people to action and concerns. Remaining years of life pass away every moment. Hence Be alert! Be alert!


Sampadaha Svapna samkaasaha
Yauvanam kusumoopamam
Vidyut camcalam Aayushyam
Tasmaat Jaagruta Jaagruta!

Riches are like dreams. Youth is like a flower (withers in a day). Longevity is like a lightning (vanishes in a moment). Hence: Be alert! Be alert!


Kshan`am vittam Kshan`am cittam
Kshanam Jiivitameeva ca
Yamasya karun`aa naasti
Tasmaat Jaagruta Jaagruta!

Money is momentary. Mind is fickle. Life is ehemeral. The God of Death has no compassion. Hence Be alert! Be alert!


Anityaani S`ariiraani
Vibhavaanaiva S`aasvataha
Nityam Sannihiti mrutyuhu
Tasmaat Jaagruta Jaagruta!

Bodies are transient. Riches are not permanent. Death follows closely always. Hence Be alert! Be alert!

These verses are really secular. Have nothing to do with any religion. Not prayers. Just awaken the mind to the realities of this mundane world.

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#001, Life, literature, philosophy and criticism of SANKARACHARYA (ADI SHANKARACHARYA) pronuncaition: Aadi S`ankaraacaarya

WHAT I PROMISE
Objectivity and absence of bias. I do not intend this to be a propaganda for any monastery or religion. I do not intend to collect any donations or establish my cult. I have no cult. I am not a preacher. I am just a householder. I am an atheist. I am born as a Hindu. Hinduism in its present form of theory or practice needs thorough reformation and restructuring. A part of that quest is this study.

INTRODUCTION
His followers call him "JAGADGURU (The preceptor for the World) ADI (First) SANKARACHARYA. S`ankara is regarded as the reincarnation of the God S`iva S`ankara in Sanskrit means one who bestows benevolence. Acharya means preceptor, teacher of higher learning. (Nowadays the term is being used in Indian Universities to mean "Professor".

Shri Sankaracharya lived in the 8th Century. He was said to have lived barely 32 years. In the limited life span of just 32 years, he was said to have toured the entire India on foot, defeated many scholars in arguments and started four monasteries on the four peripheries of India:

North: Badari (now in Uttaranchal State).
East: Puri (now in Orissa State.
South: Sringeri (now in Karnataka State).
West: Dwaraka (now in Gujarat State).

Shri Shankaracharya was also said to have visited the Kanchi monastery and shrine in Tamil Nadu which were existing at the time of his visit.

The Heads of all the five monasteries now call themselves Sankaracharyas and Jagadgurus.

Sankaracharya's works can be classified into four categories:
1. Commentaries
Eg. Prasthanatraya (Commentaries for Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutras, and Upanishads).
2. Philosophical Literature
Eg. Viveeka Cud`aman`i.
3. Stootra Literature (Devotional Prayer Literature).
Eg. Kanakadhaara Stavam, Saundarya Lahari, Sivananda Lahari, Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamba Stotram.

Sankarachaya was one of the perfect models of renunciation. Hence I am trying to cover these verses first.