Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Hari OM

By the grace of Lord and Guru, we were able to learn the import of Mahavakyas through Swami Vidyaranya’s Panchadashi. To a seeker Mahavakyas are not merely literary compositions conveying the philosophical idea but are words that can dispel the ignorance just by mere utterance.

The ultimate Reality is not something that can be heard at once and then left off, nor can the scriptures be learnt once and then forgotten. They have to be constantly contemplated upon. Hence our Acharyas have stressed on the importance of Sandhana and importance of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidyasana. Constant learning and contemplation are necessary; Acharya Sankara says this in the very second sloka of his Aparoksha Anubhuti, as:

Aparokshaanubhutivai prachyate mokshasidhaye
Sadbhireva prayatnene vikshaneeya muhurmuhur.

( Herein is expounded the means of attaining the Self realization for the acquisition of the final liberation. Only the pure in heart should constantly, with all effort meditate upon the thruth again and again)

The Mahavakyas are a primary source of guidance for a seeker and provide inspiration and strength in times of doubt and instill confidence and courage in our struggle against the illusory, self created bondages of this world and leads us to that ultimate goal. Hence these have to be learnt clearly and contemplated on every moment. It is said that a student with purity in heart, with the proper sadhana, after hearing the Mahavakyas only once from the guru, instantly attains the vision of the reality. Such is the power of constant contemplation and earnest seeking.

An earnest seeker must follow the spiritual disciplines and contemplate on the reality every moment. Hence repetition is by no means an offense nor a redundancy for a seeker. So let us all learn the Mahavakyas again in depth through Laghu vakya Vrtti of Acharya Sankara.
Sri Sankara’s Laghu vakya vrtti is a short exposition of the Mahavakyas as the name says. It consists of 18 slokas and aims at clarifying the meaning and implications of the Mahavakyas. It seems to be an abridged version of his another work ‘Vayka vrtti’; In his Vakya vrtti, the Acharya deals elaborately with the Mahavakyas, ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ and ‘Tat tavm Asi’ while in this work the Mahavakya ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ is explained to us. Any of the Mahavakyas if properly understood and contemplated upon can lead to the removal of the ignorance of the Self illumining nature of the Self. Hence, let us embark on learning the Laghu vakya vrtti by prostrating to Acharya Sankara.

May the ever present, all pervading Lord guide us in this journey.

Hari OM


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