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Author: Srimaan Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu

Dear RAmAnuja DAsas and Asthikas,

In this posting we shall continue by taking up the 10th Mantra.

Mantra -10

bhidyathe hRidayagrandhih chhidyanthe sarva sams'ayAh|
ksheeyanthe chAsya karmANi thasmin dRishTe parAvare||

Word Meanings

parAvare thasmin = that parabrahman, who is the greatest one,
dRishTe = on being perceived by the meditation,
asya hRidayagrandhih = the states of love, hate etc. which are strongly settled in the meditators mind,
bhidyathe = are destroyed.
sarva samsayAh = all the doubts
chhidyanthe = are cleared
karmANi = All the deeds that were performed by him
ksheeyanthe cha = loose their capabilities to inflict their results.

parAvare thasmin all the powerful entities like the four-faced brahma etc. who are the residents of the great shell the brahmANDa are of lower status than that person, who is called parAvara the Brahman who is of the highest status.

dRishTe is perceived by the power of the meditation undertaken by the meditator. It may please be noted that the word dRishTe does not mean see Him physically. As said by the sruthi vAkya sadA pasyanthi sUrayah, achieving the capability of seeing Him with His extra-ordinarily beautiful and auspicious form is possible in that far off universe called srivaikunTham only. This was stated in the kaThopanishad, so adhvanah pAramApnothi thadvishNoh paramam padam the meditator reaches his goal which is the highest land belonging to that vishNu. That is the ultimate goal or destination. This word drishTe shows only the perception of the meditator during the meditation only. Hence this is not physical visualisation getting the view or visual perception of the Brahman. In the present statement dRishTe bhidyathe chhidyanthe ksheeyanthe, it is made clear that one shall on perceiving Him during his meditation, will be having the results stated in this sentence. Hence it is not that real seeing Him. Hence, this word dRishTe means only that in that meditation where the meditator perceives His form as if it is visual perception, these results of the desires getting destroyed etc do occur.

What is Bhakthi?

Bhagavad RAmAnuja had quoted this Sruthi vAkya in the beginning of Sribhashya and arrived at explaining the word Bhakthi. A synopsis of his explanation is given below

Some of the Sruthi vAkyas such as thamevaikam AthmAnam jAnathha, thamevam vidithvA athimRithyumethi, brahmaveda brahmaiva bhavathi etc. specify the (spiritual) knowledge as a tool for attaining liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Some more like omithyAthmAnam dhyAyathha, AthmAnameva lokam upAseetha, nididhyAsithavyah etc. Some other statements as given next, say that visualisation of Brahman is the tool for release from the bondage of this prakRithi and cycle of births and deaths. These texts are nichAyya tham mRithyumukhAth pramuchyathe (nichAyya = after visualisation), thasmin dRishTe parAvare etc. If these statements and texts are to be understood properly, i.e., without any contradictions, one should co-ordinate these properly by using the sAmAnya visesha nyAya. This nyAya is illustrated below. There is a general rule in the scriptures which says one should perform a sacrifice using an animal. This does not specify which animal should be used. This is called the sAmAnya nyAya the general instructional logic. This statement has been further qualified by another sentence chAgasya vapAyAh medasah. This sentence qualifies as to which material is to be used in the sacrifice. In this vis'esha nyAya, the animal which was mentioned as a pasu in the general statement is identified as a Chaka ­ - a lamb. Thus both the sentences are to be read together to get the full meaning. This is what is known as sAmAnya visesha nyAya. In the same way, the words which denote in general, the knowledge and are being used to denote the prayer jAnathha Veda vidithvA, are to be considered to mean the various forms of prayer such as meditation, prayer etc. The words dhyAyathha and upAseetha are used in different contexts of the meditation etc. They mean same. However there is a subtle difference between the two. The dhyAna is a state in which one has continuity in the mental visualisation of the form of deity on whom he is meditating. There is no break in the visualisation and that stage is called the dhyAna. Such exercise of meditation or dhyAna if done repeatedly continuously is taken as upAsana. This has been specified in the Vedanta sutras of sage vyAsa in the axiom AvRiththih asakRith upadesAth. The meaning of this axiom is that one should do the upAsana by having repeated meditations the dhyAnas. Then how long should one do this? The Sruthi vAkya says nakhalvevam varthayan yAvadAyusham one should do this type of upAsana as long as he lives or till the death.

Another rule has been specified in the Purva meemAmsa in the second chapter at the end. This rule is called sarva sAkhAprathyaya nyAya. This rule specifies that the same type of specific ritual element has been specified in different major rituals in which a number of ritual elements are performed in a series to constitute a major sacrifice like ishTi or a yAga. Even though the elements have been mentioned in a number of major rituals, some of the details might have not been specified in some of these major rituals. However, all the details of the element might not have been mentioned in one but some details in one type of ritual and some more details which were not covered in one ritual might be detailed in another ritual etc. So to have a complete details of a particular element, one should consider all the various rituals in which this particular element has been specified to collect the complete details of the element. And after getting all the complete details of the element only, the performance of those major rituals like ishTi or sacrifice etc. should be undertaken. The Vedanta sutra sarva Vedanta prathyayam chodanAdyaviseshAth is similar to the above mentioned meemAmsA-nyAya. This is to include the rule in all studies in Upanishads. According to this rule, the characteristics and procedures of various types of upAsanas which are not specified comprehensively in one upAsana but in bits and segments in different upAsanas or meditative procedures, should be made comprehensive by adding all of them together and then only one should proceed with the meditation or upAsana. So from the quotes like nichAyya&. and thasmin dRishTe& etc. it becomes clear that this upAsana should be practised so that one can achieve an unbroken visualisation of the paramAtma. In other words, this meditation should turn out to be a form of continuous and unbroken visualisation seeing the form and characteristics of the paramAtma, as clearly as one sees in front of him in physical form. This is not seeing the paramAtma in physical form. Since the meditator is still in the stage of meditation only, it is only virtual vision, but it is as clear in minute details as though he is seeing in front of him in physical form. It is possible to attain such a state through unending and continuous practise. It is the same status of a person, who, enamoured by the unending thoughts of his consort or fiancé, as said in the Sanskrit classics prAsAde sA, pathhi pathhi cha sA, pRishThathassA, purassA she is there in the buildings he sees, she is seen in every route he takes, she is there behind him, she is there in front of him; visualises her in every moment. Is it physically seeing and beholding? No. this is the state of ecstasy one experiences in such a state of meditation always continuously having the paramAtma in his thoughts, words and deeds. In VAlmeeki Ramayana, VAlmeeki describes the mental state of MAreecha, who was tortured by Sri Rama in words spoken by MAreecha like vRikshe vRikshe cha pasyAmi I see Srirama in every tree and nook and corner, wherever my vision goes, I see Rama only there. So here also, such a state of visualisation of paramAtma by the meditator is spoken by the part of the Mantra thasmin dRishTe parAvare.

To continue

In the next posting, we shall continue with the treatise on Bhakthi.


Srinivasa RAmAnuja DAsan