Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Jan 21 21:03:48 CST 1999

tamaaraadhya guruM bhaktyaa prahvaprashrayasevanaiH .
prasannaM tamanupraapya pR^ichchhejGYaatavyamaatmanaH

 Worshipping that Guru with devotion and approaching him, when he
is pleased, with speech and action betoking humility, he should
beseech him to tell him what he has learnt.

 Bhakti is attachment to those who deserve to be worshipped. It is
a mental quality. Prostration of the body and the joining of palms
are expressive of this bhakti. The prostration (sevana) should be
such that all eight parts of the body touch the ground (sAstAnga
namaskArah). It also includes touching the Guru's feet, and
executing his behests. The Guru is served in these ways. He is
pleased by this straight forward service.
 The sisya should stand in front of the Guru, waiting for an
opportune moment to ask his question. The question should be
pertaining to to the essential character of the the self, as it is
required (prcchet jnAtavyamAtmanah: )

 (kindly refer to the commentary for Verse 8 posted on Jun 23 1998
for an elaboration of the same point. Many references from the
sruti as to how the sisya is to approach the Guru are elaborated

svaaminnamaste natalokabandho
    kaaruNyasindho patitaM bhavaabdhau .
    R^ijvyaatikaaruNyasudhaabhivR^ishhTyaa ..

My master! I bow to you. You are friend to those who make obeisance
to you. You are the ocean of compassion. I have fallen into the sea
of samsAra. Bathe me in the nectar of your straight and
compassionate look and salvage me from death of this ocean.

 BhagavatpAda here explains with tenderness to the sincere aspirant
who does not what to do, how to approach the Guru and how to ask
him the question, exhibiting true devotion.

natalokabandho - annihilator of all afflictions of those who bow to him.

kaaruNyasindho - ocean of compassion

By the expression patitaM bhavaabdhau the sisya submits to the Guru
the nature of the sorrow by which he is afflicted. The meaning is:
me who has sunk into the samsAra samudrA which is filled with the
malefics of birth, old age, disease and death.

(refer to commentary of the verse 9, posted on 23 Jun 1998 for an
explanation of why samsAra is likened to an ocean.)

 The sisya indicates to the Guru that the Guru is a knower of
Brahman; he is hence free from all impurities. His glance which is
full of compassion, is also all purifying. Hence the Guru should
take mercy on him and glance at him.

 rjvyA: what is by nature straight. As a person who has fallen into
deep waters comes up catching hold of a straight rope or a stick,
so too I shall come out of the ocean of samsAra clasping the rope
continuously by my hands.

 sudhA (nectar). The Guru's glance itself (tadeva sudhA) is
considered as nectar as it removes all afflictions. By saying
atikArunyasudhAbhivrstih: the glance by which there is all round
downpour of the nectar of infinite compassion. The nectar or amrtA
here refers to removal from any further necessity of birth and

from Sri Adi Shankara BhagavatpAdA's VivekachUdAmani, with
commentary by HH Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal of Srngeri)

                        Vaidya N. Sundaram

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uddharedaatmanaatmaanaM naatmaanamavasaadayet.h |
aatmaiva hyaatmano bandhuraatmaiva ripuraatmanaH ||

Let a man raise himself by his own efforts. Let him not degrade himself.
Because a person's best friend or his worst enemy is, none other than his
own self. (BG 6.5)

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"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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Subject: Final Revision (Harsha's Poem)
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Harsha: Here is the final revision. Inspired by one of Tukaram's poems

Pray Some More

Pray some more for utter oneness with God

Beauty lies in both the Sun and the Setting

Love profound requires not the condition of two

In this union lovers are lost and in letting

the torrential nectar absorb their essence

become mute in the springing Presence.

Can you say anything about this Silence?

Who remains now to pray for utter oneness with God.

Harsha, 1/19/1999 (inspired by one of Tukaram's poems)

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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