Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Jan 15 18:15:22 CST 1999

uktasaadhanasaMpannastattvajiGYaasuraatmanaH .
upasiided.hguruM praaGYyaM yasmaad.hbandhavimokshaNam.h ..

Let a person who is endowed with the aforesaid qualitification and who
wants to realise the truth about the Atman humbly approach the guru who
has acheived Atmanjn~ana, and from whom alone can accrue release from

Only one who is endowed with the qulifications mentioned in the previous
verses, and one in whom tivra mumukshutva propels the student, should
approach the Guru. And the Guru is Himself prAjn~A. prajn~A is here
translated as peerless knowledge. Later on in the VivekachUdAmani itself,
(verse 428), BhagavatpAda discussed prAjn~a as: "the modification of the
antahkarana which is of the form of apprehension of the oneness of Brahman
and Atman after analyzing them, and which is of the nature of the pure cit
is said to be prajn~A."
 One who has this prajn~A is a prAjn~A. pRaJN~AM means brahmanistham, one
who is fully establisehd in Brahman.

shrotriyo.avR^ijino.akaamahato yo brahmavittamaH .
brahmaNyuparataH shaanto nirindhana ivaanalaH .
ahetukadayaasindhurbandhuraanamataaM sataam.h .. 33..

 The Guru is well versed in the Vedas; he is sinless; he is not smitten by
desire; he is a knower of Brahman; he is super-eminent; withdrawing
himself into Brahman, he is ever at peace; he is like a smouldering fire
unfed by fuel. The Guru is the ocean of compassion that asks for no
reason. He is a friend to the pure who makes obeisance to him.

Shri Chandrasekhara BhArati has explained in excellent language about each
of the above mentioned qualities. I would like to specifically mention one
here. The Guru`s compassion is unmotivated by anything else than the urge
to destroy the affliction of another. To show that the Guru`s compassion
is not of the kind where the compassion is borne out of a need to erase a
sense of pain felt on seeing another in distress, Sri Sankara uses the
 " ahetuka " - that for which there is no reason. Meaning, pain cannot
touch one who has realised the Brahman. So the Guru`s compassion has to
quite obviously be only to help every one cross the ocean of SamsAra.

In his commentary, Shri. Chandrasekhara bharati dicsusses this verse
in two contexts, one quite straight forwardly and another in reference
to or in relation with another quality. let me quote him:

Begin quote:
 brahmaNyuparataH: One whose mind has found its rest in Brahman. Hence,
one is at peace like a fire without fuel. A fire not fed by fuel is
without flame. It is " sAnta ", contained in itself. So, one who is
withdrawn into Brahman is not attached to any external activity and is
established in the nirguNa Brahman. Hence he is spoken of as "sAntah"
that is, as one who is not affected by kAma etc.
end quote:

HH says `not affected by kAma etc.`.  When explaining the previous words :
"aVrjinaH" (meaning sinless) and "akAmahataH" (meaning one who is not
subjected to kAma, the promptings of desire for external objects) in the
verse, HH says the "brahmavittama", the eminent knower of Brahman has
direct realisation and enjoyment of the bliss of self realisation. In
accordance with the Gita sloka:
viSayA vinivartante nirAhArasya dehinaH ||
rasavarjam, raso'pyasya param drsHtvA nivarttate ||
Sense objects withdraw from an abstinent person. But the taste for them
may remain. Even this is annulled when the Supreme Brahman is realised.

So a person who has no worldly desire and he is said to be akAmahataH:
that is one who is not hataH (=struck) by kAma. And also, HH equates, kAma
to inducement of sin.

 I think that HH here says each one of the qualities is summed up and is
also superceded by the statement that he (the Guru) is like: a fire unfed
by fuel. and that (quote) "by their cumulative existence, they remind one
(the disciple) of his nature and are to be considered as his essential
qualities (svarUpa -lakshana). "  (unquote)


(commentary from HH Shri Chandrasekhara BhArati MahAswAmigal's commentary
of BhagavatpAdA's VivekachUdAmani.)

                        Vaidya N. Sundaram

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This gross body is produced by one's karma in past life, out of the
elements which have  themselves  transformed, and is the instrument
of the  jiva's  experience.  That is its waking  state in  which it
experiences gross objects.  -- Adi Shankara in VivekacUdAmani.

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"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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