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Author: Srimaan Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu

Dear RAmAnuja DAsas and Asthikas,

In this posting we shall continue by taking up the 8th and 9th Mantras.
Sage BodhAyana maharishi was the first person who presented an excellent and voluminous
commentary for the Vedanta Sutras or Brahma Sutras of Sage VyAsa. He showed seven causes for
the upAsana the meditation to be successful. He had taken the various references from the
S'ruthis and confirmed that these causes are the essentials for achieving a meditation which
has the format of the unshakable and continuous visual perception of the meditated during the
meditation. Bhagavad RAmAnuja had taken the same and elaborated them in Sribhashyam. The text
of BodhAyana on this is as follows.

thallabdhih viveka-vimoka-abhyAsa-kriyA-kalyANa-anavasAda-anuddharshebhyah sambhavAnnirvachanAchcha.
Now let us go through these seven essentials for the successful meditation.
1. Vivekam
What is vivekam? Cleaning the mind by partaking the food that is not polluted by either its
association with Asraya-dosha, or by the instrument nimiththa dosha or by the race the
jAthi-dosha, is called as vivekam. jAthyAsraya nimiththA dushTAth annAth kAyasuddhih vivekah
is the definition given for cleansing the mind. It should be noted that In this context the
word kAya in the phrase kAyasuddhih denotes the mind or anthahkaraNa. Sri Varavara Muni
popularly known as Sri MaNavALa MAmuni had said in his commentary for the 2nd chapter of
AchArya HRidayam book as follows kAyasuddhih engiRa viDaththil kAyasabdaththAl
anthahkaraNaththai chchollugiRathu the word kAya in the phrase kAyasuddhi is denoting the
cleanliness of the anthahkaraNa or the mind. The Sruthi VAkya AhArasuddhau saththvasuddhih
demands that one should partake only such a food which is not polluted. By virtue of belonging
to the race or type the polluted or detrimental foods for a clean mind are the foods like
ganja, garlic, meat etc. which belong to a particular type. The pollution due to the
association is for the foods which are cultivated, and or stored and sold by a person who does
not have a clean and pious behaviour. The instrumental pollution of nimiththa dushTa is such
foods which are contaminated with hair, worms, partly eaten foods etc... By taking food which
is not contaminated or polluted by the above three types of pollution, will give rise to the
multitude of increase of saththva-guNa and decrease of the Rajas the egoistic and haughty
behaviour and thamo-gunA the stubbornness, ignorance etc. This helps the mind to be clean and
suitable to receive the right type of wisdom.

2. Vimokam.
This is defined as follows vimokah kAmAnabhishvangah. From the etymological
derivation kAmyatha ithi kAmah, the kAma means the pleasurable experience desired by the
human. An addiction for enjoying a particular mundane object, without which the person feels
that he cannot live, is called as abhishvangam. Absence of such a strong desire to experience
that object is called anabhishvangam. The substance of this definition is that absence of
addiction is called vimokam. This strong desire, to enjoy a particular object is called
abhishvangam. Absence of such abhishvangam is called anabhishvangam. A person who is afflicted
with abhishvangam will not be able to concentrate on his UpAsana since his mind will be
wavering due to the abhishvangam or a strong desire to enjoy the mundane objects. The substance
of this is that he should be free from such strong desires to enjoy the mundane objects.
Bhagavad RAmAnuja has explained elaborately the word kAma which occurs in the sentence sangAth
sanjAyathe kAmah of Gita (2-62) His explanation runs as below purusho (a) yAm dasAmApanno
vishayAn abhukthvA sthhAthum na saknothi sa kAmah. kAma or desire is that desire which
brings a person to a state of mind in which he is unable to stand without enjoying a particular
set of (mundane)objects. Sri Sudarsana Bhattar in his SruthaprakAsika defines the word
anabhishvanga as follows - vishayamabhukthvA sthhAthum na saknothi yena sa vikAro
abhishvangah a stage that is obtained by a person, who is unable to live without experiencing
the mundane objects, is called abhishvangam. thadabhAvo anabhishvangah absence of such a
state is called anabhishvanga. Thus, if one understands the meaning of both kAma and
anabhishvanga to be the same, it does not suit the phrase kAmAnabhishvangah of sage BodhAyana.
So in the present context, it will be apt to interpret the meaning of the word kAma (kAmyatha
ithi kAmah) as desire to experience an object.

3. ArambhaNasamseelanam punah punarabhyAsah.
ArambhaNam means refuge. In essence it means
that most auspiciously beautiful form of the Lord is the refuge of all the auspiciousness.
AbhyAsa means frequently repeated reviewing of the most auspicious and beautiful form of the
Lord in ones mind as said in the phrase sadA thadbhAvabhAvithah. Thus in other times also if
one is remembering the exquisite most auspiciously beautiful form of the Lord with affection,
that visualisation in the mind gives a unique concentration of the mind during which except the
most beautifully auspicious form of Him, no other extraneous forms or objects will occupy the
4. kriyA
It is defined as follows pancha mahAyajnAdyanu-shThAnam sakthithah kriyA. It
means that one should perform according to ones own capability, the five great ritualistic
yajnas is called kriyA. These five yajnas are 1. Deva yajna worship of ones deity. 2.
Brahma-yajna. Continuous study of the Vedas. 3. pithR yajna offering sacred pleasing waters
to please the pithR class of spirituals.

5. kalyANa.
The qualities mentioned as sathya Arjava, dayA, dAna, ahimsA and anabhidyA are
called the kalyANas the auspicious qualities. A speech which is good for all the living
beings is called as sathya the truth. Arjavam is having behaviour devoid of cunningness and
having the mind, body and word following the same object in unison. DayA is such tenderness in
the mind in which one is unable to bear the others miseries. Not causing injury to the others
by mind body and words is called as ahimsa. Not desiring to acquire others property is called
as anabhidya. All these qualities are required to be present in a person who is a meditator.

6. anavasAda
Mental despondency in adverse circumstances caused by unfavourable place,
time etc. is called anavasAda. Always being with enthusiasm and not getting bogged down with
such a mental despondency is essential for a meditator to have a successful meditation.

7. anuddharsha.
Being extremely happy is not suitable for a meditator to have a
successful meditation. Thus by following these seven types of practices one who meditates will be able to have a clean
and pious state of mind which is most suitable for serious meditation. A person who has such a
clean and pious mind only can visualise the paramAthman. This is the substance of the word
manomaya.The word prANa in the phrase prANa sareera-neTha indicates the JIva or the soul. nethA means
one who makes one to attain a body. Here, it is such a person who makes the JIva to have the
body. it is He only who makes each JIva to attain a body suitable to the deeds of that JIva.
It is said in the bhagavad Gita, anne prathishThathah, aham vaisvAnaro bhUthvA prANinaam
dehamAsrithah. prANApAnasamAyukthah pachAmyannam chathurvidham. The essence of these
statements is as follows The food that is eaten by all the living beings is transformed into
various parts of the body like blood, muscle, bones, mind (brain cells) etc by the Lord in the
form of a fire called jaTharAgni the fire which is in the stomach. Since the body gets all
the transformations due to the food which is taken, the word annam used here denotes the body
or sareera. hRidayam sannidhAya&thadvijnAnena etc. the wise, who know about the Brahman the
brahmaveththas, can have visual perception of the paramAthman, through their meditation by
concentration their mind on Him with single minded devotion and affection towards Him. This
practice is called as bhakthiyoga, dhyAna, upAsana etc. These words are all synonyms.
Brahmans form is stated to be the form of eternal bliss by thaiththireeya-Upanishad. It says
raso vai sah He is the essence of the eternal bliss. Further since it is devoid of any
transformations like the birth, old age, death etc., it is denoted by the word amRitha.

To continue

In the next posting, we shall continue with the detailed explanation of the sAdhana sapthakam.



Srinivasa RAmAnuja DAsan