Appendix (Part 9)

This article is part 134 of 138 in the series Jīvana-dharma-yoga

The great Bhartṛhari says thus:

maheśvare vā jagatām adhīśvare janārdane vā jagad-antarātmani ।
ṇa vastubheda-pratipattir-asti me tathā’pi bhaktis-taruṇendu-śekhare ॥

-vairāgya-śataka, 84

I do not see any difference between Maheśvara who is the Īśvara of the universe, or Janārdana who is the  ātmā of the universe; but still, my devotion is towards Śiva (the form that has the crescent moon as its crest-jewel).

In his Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, Līlāśukayogi says thus :

śaivā vayaṃ na khalu tatra vicāraṇīyaṃ
pañcākṣarī-japa-parā nitarāṃ tathā’pi ।
cheto madīyam atasī-kusumāvabhāsaṃ
smerānanaṃ smarati gopa-vadhū-kiśoram ॥

-kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 2.24

We are śaivas, there is no doubt about it ; we perform the japa of the pañcākṣarī incessantly. Even then, my mind meditates upon the young son of the gopi, whose form is as beautiful as an atasī[1] flower.

It is the same in the matter of Dvaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita and Advaita also. The same man is dvaitin for some time, viśiṣṭādvaitin during some other time, and advaitin for some time — depending on his mood. Since all the three matas find approval in the Vedas, an upāsaka can choose any of them according to his liking.

The sound ‘namaḥ’ is Dvaita, silence is Advaita. A man might want both.

A siddhānta (established tenet) is of two kinds: of logic and of experience. Logic is an action restricted to the intellect, while experience is the work of the entire jīva. Those who value the attainment of experience over consistency in logic accept the place of internal proclivity.

From the point of view of a seeker after the experience of reality, the quarrelsome debates between the three matas are meaningless. These quarrels have been going on for the past seven or eight hundred years. A large part of philosophical literature during this long time is just polemic in nature. Even though one’s own mata is praised and others’ mata is reproached so much and for so long, no mata has accepted defeat ; no mata has won. A large portion of this literature is akin to milling the fine flour of logic. One sings what another has already sung. While the voice quality and pronunciation are different; the topic is still the same. Our people fall for such prolix pomp and become intolerant towards one another. This is not the way to sustain the principles expounded in the Vedas and the Vedanta. Freedom of choice is the only way to encourage philosophical exploration.

Mahāmahopādhyāya Abhayaṅkara Vāsudeva Śāstri, who was well-versed in many śāstras, has written a few lines in the preface of the work “sarva-darśana-saṃgraha”, which is famously authored by Sāyaṇa-Mādhava. These lines are to be reflected upon, carefully:

kiṃ ca yathā cakṣuṣmatām api madhye kaścid-dūra-sthitam artham ālocayituṃ prabhaviti, kaścid-āsannam-eva, kaścit-tv-āsanna-taram-eva । tarkeṇāpi kaścit sūkṣmam-arthaṃ saṃbhāvayati, kaścit-sūkṣma-taraṃ, kaścit-sūkṣmatamam-api । śrutāv-api kasyacin-matir-vācyārtham-ālocya tatraiva paryava-tiṣṭhate । kasyacid-vyaṅgye’rthe । kasyacit-tu nigūḍha-vyaṅgye’pi || tathā ca tattvānusandhāna-sādhanībhūtaṃ pramāṇam-ekam-evāṅgīkurvatām-api madhye pratipattir-vaicitryāt-tādṛśa-pramāṇasādhye tattvānveṣaṇe vaiṣamyam-aśakya-nivāram ॥ ataśca pramāṇa-bhedena bhinnānām-api darśanānāṃ madhye pratyekaṃ punar-anviṣyamāṇa-tattva-bhedena bhedo durnivāraḥ ॥ tathā ca śrauteṣu tārkikeṣu ca darśanakāreṣu tattat-dṛṣṭa-prati-bhedena punaḥ pratyekam-aneka-vidhatvāt darśanāny-api nānā-vidhāni samabhūvan ॥

Just as even among those who have eyes, one can see objects from afar, one can only see near objects, and another can only see very near, using logic one can grasp subtle concepts, others can grasp subtler and subtler concepts. Even in the Śruti, one person’s intellect might rest in understanding the direct meaning. Another’s might grasp the implied meaning, and yet another’s might try to grasp the hidden, implied meaning. Thus, even if the pramāṇas accepted are the same, it is difficult to completely do away with diverse understandings. Therefore, when the pramāṇas are different it is even more difficult to get rid of distinction between different darśanas. Therefore, due to the difference in points of view among the Śrautas, tārkikas and the darśana-kāras, there are various kinds of darśanas as well.

An ancient, wise person said this:

ahaṃ dehabuddhyā tavaivāsmi dāsaḥ
ahaṃ jīvabuddhyā tavaiveka-deśaḥ ।
tvamevāsmyahaṃ tvātma-buddhyā tathā’pi
prasīdānvahaṃ deva-buddhyā namaste ॥

From the point of view of my body, I am your servant. From the vantage of my jīva, I am but one part of you. I am you, from the point of view of my ātmā. Still, be pleased. Salutations to you from the point of view of your divinity.

Another said this:

dehabuddhyā tu dāso’haṃ jīva-buddhyā tvad-aṃśakaḥ ।
ātma-buddhyā tvam-evāhaṃ iti me niścitā matiḥ ॥

-sītārāmāñjaneyasaṃvāda[2]

From the point of view of my body, I am your servant. From the point of my jīva, I am a part of you. I am you, from the point of view of my ātmā. This is my firm belief.

In the same man, there can be all three feelings.

yatraikāgratā tatrāviśeṣāt ॥

-B.S 4.1.11

The above sūtra applies here also. Concentration is important; Śraddhā  is important; contemplation is important; therefore facility of choice is also important. If Dvaita seems easier, let us follow that ; If Viśiṣṭādvaita seems easy, let us follow that ; if Advaita seems necessary, let us follow that. All three are the paths to reality. Each one’s way is according to the strength of their legs and the sights they want to see.

The below statement from the Gītā is the greatest instruction :

yat-sāṃkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṃ tad-yogair-api gamyate ।
ekaṃ sāṃkhyaṃ ca yogaṃ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ॥

-BG 5.5

The great scholar, Śāstraratnakara Polaham Śrirāma Śāstri, who was a professor of Vedanta at the Mylapore Saṃskṛta College in Madras,  has authored a work called ‘Caturmata-sāmarasyam’. Some verses from the conversation that this author had with that scholar over mail are relevant here.

The mata of the Śiva-bhikṣu[3]:

lokalīlānidānaṃ yat sarvatrātmeti budhdhyate ।
saccidānaṃda-cihnaṃ tat sarva-sakhyaṃ tanotu naḥ ॥
yad-rahasyaṃ jagan-mūlam-anviṣyanti janāḥ param ।
sva-svociteṣu mārgeṣu bhajāmas-taṃ vibhuṃ dhruvam ॥
yadvastv-anirdiṣṭa-vapuś-cirān-mata-śatādhva-gaiḥ ।
jighṛkṣitaṃ bahūpāyair-numas-taṃ viśva-cetanaṃ ॥
tad-dāsatvaṃ tad-aṅgatvaṃ tat-tvaṃ ceti tribhir-nayaiḥ ।
Bhaktir-yasmin bhinna-rucyā tad-brahma sam-upāsmahe ॥

May the cause of the play of the universe, understood as ātmā that is all-pervading, one whose marks are sat, cit, and ānanda, bestow upon us friendliness towards all.
We pray to the great and mysterious entity that is at the basis of the entire universe, which is sought by people in ways that are right for them.
We worship that universal consciousness, whose form has not been defined till now by any followers of hundreds of matas though attempting to grasp it through myriad methods.
We pay homage to that, in whom people with different tastes adopt three different methods of worship — namely servitude, being part of it and dissolution within it.

From the answer of Śri Rāmaśāstri :

matāni tu pṛthag-bālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ ।
ekam-apy-āsthitas-samyak sarveṣāṃ vindate phalam ॥
yad-ekena-āpyate sthānaṃ tad-anyena-api gamyate ।
ekam-eva mataṃ sarvaṃ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ॥

Only the ignorant say that the matas are different, not the wise. Even if one mata is followed properly, the result is the same as following all three.
The same object obtained by following one path is obtained by following the other path too. He sees, who sees that everything is only one single mata.

The above opinions are summarized in the below verses:

Dvaitamo mataṃ viśiṣṭā-
Dvaitamo ādvaitamo adenādoḍadeṃ ।
bhūta-vrāta-doḻ-ārg-anu-
-bhūtamo para-vastuv-avane kṛta-paramārthaṃ ॥ ॥1॥

Advaita, Dvaita or Viśiṣṭādvaita,
How does it matter, one’s mata?
Among seekers, one who has experienced paravastu
Gains the highest truth, he does.

ninn-anucaran-āṃ nīṃ prabhu
ninnaṃgaṃ ninna bhogad-upakaraṇaṃ nāṃ ।
ninniṃd-itaraṃ nāna-
-ltennuva mūreṇike daivabhaktiyoḻ ucitaṃ ॥ ॥2॥

I am your follower, you are the master.
I am your limb, an instrument for your delights.
I am not separate from you ever,
These three are right in the devotional path.

Jaladhige pani tere nīre  ।
Nalevā pani dūtanaṃte, tere toḻ-gaivol ॥
aḻeyalk-āgadoḍal nīr
nele-mane mūrarkaṃ iṃtu kaḍal oṃdalte ॥3॥

What is a drop? The ocean’s wandering envoy.
What is a wave? Its arm and other limbs.
What is water? The ocean itself, immeasurable.
The shelter to all three, is the ocean itself.

tāṃ berenuvudu kūpaṃ ।
saṃbaṃdhaṃ tanage kaḍaloḻ eṃbudu nadi meṇ ॥
aṃbudhi tān-eṃbudu kaḍa-
laṃbara vṛṣṭiyine jīvanaṃ mūvargaṃ   ॥4॥

The well thinks that it is different from the ocean,
The river says it is related to it.
The ocean accepts these waters within itself, and
rain from the sky gives life (water) to all three.

Sarvo’ham eṃdu lokava ।
nirvahipaṃgettaluṃ vasaṃtārāmaṃ ॥
nirvairāṃ nirmohāṃ ।
nirvāṇa-padasthan-ātan-usirdeḍe puṇyaṃ ॥5॥

For one who carries out his daily tasks
with the feeling of sarvo’ham (I am all), any place is the garden of spring!
Such a person who is without bitterness, without delusion,
Is established in nirvāṇa.
Puṇya is where he breathes.

To be continued...

The present series is a modern English translation of DVG’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award-winning work, Bhagavad-gītā-tātparya or Jīvana-dharma-yoga. The translators wish to express their thanks to Śatāvadhāni R Ganesh for his valuable feedback and to Hari Ravikumar for his astute edits.

Footnotes

[1]Linum usitatissimum bears beautiful, dark blue flowers. Since Kṛṣṇa’s form is also blue-hued, it is often compared to these flowers.

[2]Likely source of this famous verse.

[3]A name DVG gave for himself

Author(s)

About:

Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.

Translator(s)

About:

Engineer. Lapsed blogger. Abiding interest in Sanskrit, religion, and philosophy. A wannabe jack-of-all.

About:

Mother of two. Engineer. Worshiper of Indian music, poetry, and art.

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Vanitakavitotsavah

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Vaiphalyaphalam

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Nipunapraghunakam

इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।

Bharavatarastavah

अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...

Bharatilochana

ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...

Vagarthavismayasvadah

“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...