Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sloka 15 and Sloka 16


shakyaH sarvanirodhena samaadhiryoginaM priyaH
tadashaktau kshaNa.n ruddhvaa shraddhaalurbrahmataatmanaH .. 15..

Shakyaha chet: should one be able (to effect)
Sarvanirodaha: full suppression (of all modification)
Samaadhihi: perfect concentration (which is)
Priyaha: the desired end
Jnaninam: of all sages (is attained).
Tat aashaktav: in case of inability to do that (all at once) (the attempt to realize)
Aatmanaha: one’s own
Brahmataha: Brahmanhood
Shradhayaa: must be pursued with faith
Rudhvaa: by controlling the modifications
Kshanam: for a moment (even)

If one is able to effect complete suppression of all modifications once for all, then one becomes blessed with the concentration (Samadhi) which is lovingly cherished by all sages. If however, that is not possible, one should pursue with faith the effort to realize his own Brahmanhood by controlling the modifications for a moment even.

If one is able to practice control all mental modifications at once, then it leads to the attainment perfect concentration which is so devotedly cherished by sages. But since this is possible for everyone and if one is not able to control all the modifications at once, then at least one should try till all modifications can be controlled at once. One should try to control them every moment and must contemplate upon the Mahavakyas in which the identity of the Self and Brahman is clearly indicated.
We must note here that Acharya here mentions that such Samaadhi is dear to the Jnaanis. This shows that a wise one would always strive only for the eternal bliss. For a seeker, only those which leads to this realization of the blissful nature of Self has to be sought out. Hence those who would go for objects and senses that seem to give happiness (which of course will be temporary only) would be fools only.

As long as the mind and the senses are active and there are still affections to the mind, it is very easy for the senses to waver and the mind gets affected by all the illusory happenings to the world. Since the control of the senses is something that is acquired, it could also be lost. Hence Acharya here warns that one should be ever watchful and strive with faith to gain the firm control on the mind.


shraddhaalurbrahmataa.n svasya chintayedbuddhivR^ittibhiH
vaakyavR^ittyaa yathaashakti j~naatvaaddhaabhyasyataa.n sadaa .. 16..

Shaddhaluhu: one imbued with faith
Chintayet: should meditate upon
Swasya Brahmataam: his own Brahmanhood
Budhhivrittibhihi: by means of all the faculties of the intellect (brought to locus)
Jnaatva: having comprehend (the truth)
Hi: indeed
Vakya vrutya: in terms of the teaching (I am Brahman)
Abhyasayet:one should practice this
Sadaa: intermittently
Yatha shakthi: to the farthest limit of one’s capacity

Having comprehended the real implication of the teaching ‘I am Brahman’, a person imbued with faith should meditate unremittingly upon his identity with Brahman to the fullest extent of his capacity, by means of all the faculties of the intellect attuned to that idea.

In the last sloka we learnt that if one is not able suppress the modifications completely, then one should try to constantly contemplate on the import in the Mahavakyas and with all faith try to control the modifications every moment. Acharya explains the same in this sloka also.
After understanding the import of the Mahavakyas and scriptures, one should contemplate continuously. It means that just after reading once or understanding the scriptures, their import should not be forgotten, but one should meditate on one’s own identity with Brahman with single mindedness.
Acharya here also mentions that this should happen ‘Yatha shakthi” that is till the limit of one’s capacity. Hence a seeker should always contemplate on the vedantic truth at all times, i.e. in good, bad, happiness and sadness and try to control all affections of the mind to the fullest extent of ones capacity i.e. till sleep approaches or till death. It is the nature of the body to seek attention and it is natural for the mind to wander off in search of sensual pleasures. Hence a seeker must strive every moment to control all affections and should not forget the true nature of Self. Acharya here in this work clearly advises us not to allow desires in the mind even for a single moment and to constantly contemplate on the reality.

Other than any other words in the sloka, the word “Sradhalu” is important. If there is faith, anything & everything can happen as we very well know through personal experiences. The word “Sraddha” is not exactly faith but more than faith. Sraddha is complete surrender to the truth in the scriptures, to the Guru, to the ultimate reality of Brahman.

Lord Krishna clearly says in the 4th chapter of Gita thus:

Sraddhaavaan labhathe jnaanam tat parah samyatendriyah
Jnaanam labdhva paraam shaanthirachirena adhigacchathi

A person endowed with faith attains knowledge after having controlled his sense organs – having attained knowledge; he gets eternal peace within no time.

Ajnascha asraddhadhaanascha samshayaatma vinashyathi

He who is ignorant and devoid of faith & has doubts, he perishes.

Thus SRADDHA is very important as per scriptures. SRADDHA is all important in all religions too. Thus St. Augustine defines faith as “belief in something which you don’t know, so that you can come to know what you believe”. Could there have been a better definition for faith???? I don’t think soJ.
FAITH is essential because if a person has to follow any sadhana, the first thing he requires is faith in the sadhana that it will lead to whatever is his goal. Faith as per Advaita is one of the shamaadi shatka sampatti (which is part of Sadhana Chatustayam).

There can be a doubt that what the scriptures say is all “blind faith” and there can be no proof for the same. This is not correct because scriptures are completely proved by experience and logic. Also, as AMMA says “all faiths are blind only”. We all catch the infy bus in the morning to reach office with the faith that “we will reach office” – isn’t this blind faith because there might be an accident and we may pass away also……..J Thus faith is always blind only – we believe in the faith so that we may come to know the reality behind the faith. Nothing can be started in the world without faith. Faith is inevitable for a seeker.


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