Monday, December 10, 2007


Nammalwar says that Thirumaliruncholai gets water from the clouds. In Thirukkurunthandakam, Thirumangai Alwar tells that the forest here is so dense that if the Sun rays have to penetrate, they have to take the permission of the hill. Today's [11th December, 2007] lecture is from the domain of Sri Kattazhagar temple, near Srivilliputhur. It was earlier mentioned that this place is also called Senbaga Thoppu [garden of senbaga trees]. When we see the hill behind, we remember the incident of Sri Krishna hoisting the Govardana hill to protect the people from the fury of Indra. This should induce the feeling that He protects us and we are not doing anything, but the Lord uses us as tools to do His action. If that so, we may wonder, why all these miseries for us? But we have to expend the beginningless papa/punya acquired in infinite births. These papa/ punya reduce the power of knowledge [Gyana] of atman. With such reduced or diminished knowledge, atman resides in a body and assumes that it is the body in which it is resident and expend its papa/ punya. If good karma is done, punya is acquired and bad actions result in papa acquisition. This account is maintained and with a body happiness for punya and miseries for papa are experienced. Therefore, atman is natural and body is artificial or alien to the atman. In Vaikuntam, this atman will get a superior body - not made of this five elements[space,air, fire, water and earth] and the associated disadvantages like disease, hunger, thirst, sleep, etc. With that superior body, there is no more return to the birth-death cycles. This is called Moksham, which can be attained either by atman sakshatkaram or Paramatman sakshatkaram. In Six Chapters atman sakshatkaram is discussed. From the Seventh Chapter, Bhakti approach for Paramatman sakshatkaram will be discussed. It is like climbing two steps or climbing two hills. In the 17th sloka we saw what steps were needed for atman darshan, viz : Determination, midful of atman sakshatkaram, ceaseless efforts and unwavering objective. Now, after attaining atman sakshatkaram what type of experience we will get? This is explained in the 18th sloka:

brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].

Sama darshan [identical view] is the result of atman sakshatkaram. That is seeing all as equal,because atman is same in all. Differences arise because of the body, and sans body, atman is same in all. Gyani views all as equal. It is not simple as it appears. To reach this level one has to struggle hard. Brahmane = one who has perceived Brahman or Paramatman. Here we have to make two categories, vidya vinaya sampanne brahmane and kevala brahmane. Vidya = well learned and cultured, vinaya = humility as a result of such learning, sampanne = filled or containing, brahmane. Kevala = without all these learning and with no culture, but having the sacred thread on the chest to show one as brahmin. Between these two no difference should be seen. Gavi = cow, hasti = elephant, between these two also no difference should be observed. Suni = dog, sva-pake = one who eats cooked dog meat, between these two also one should not see difference. Panditha = learned persons, sama darsana = will have identical view [on all the three pairs mentioned]. Here, Sri Krishna calls the one who has got atman sakshatkaram as Panditha, who will see no difference between educated and uneducated, cow and elephant and an animal and a person who eats that animal. Physically all are different. But to observe all are same [ with respect to atman ] is the characteristic of atman sakshatkaram. Person who sees the pure, knowledge-full and bliss-full atman in all bodies, is panditha. These three pairs of examples show a pattern. First is education wise difference. Second is difference by size or by appearance. Third is a creature and another who uses it as an utility. So one who discards difference due to knowledge, appearance, utility, place and time, and sees the atman as same in all, is called a panditha who has reached atman sakshatkaram stage. This will be reached depending on our efforts and so it can occur in youth or old age. Sage Sukha, observed plants and animals as equal to him. When the village chief reports that the paddy cultivated in the village as equal it means the same variety has been harvested, though the quantities may vary with every farmer in the village. So differences by species, caste, culture, country or sex are body based and every atman is identical in each of the body. Body is to expend the accumulated papa/punya, and by presuming that to be atman, makes one to indulge in karmas that result in continuing in the birth-death cycle and undergo more and more rebirths. How can we ignore the differences that are perceptible? Yes, we can not deny the physical differences, but we have to see from a higher platform. Just as there are so many provinces in our country, which are different in language, culture and habits, but still we see all as one representing India, as single country. Similarly, here also atman should not think the differing physical and other differences as representing atman. If we do not do that, then we will contiue to do what we are and we can not escape birth cycle and the miseries of samsaram. But to come out of this cycle, we have to consider all are having the same atman and so all are equal. This attitude will derive peace and tranquility all over. So we have to strive for atman sakshatkaram. Yuha gyanam is understanding all are having identical atman and so all are equal. This is the attitude of panditha. With such persons there will not be disputes arising out of religion or caste or creed.

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