Study of Vedas

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 11 18:43:58 CDT 2002

--- Vaidya Sundaram <Vaidya_sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> namaskaram.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ravisankar S. Mayavaram" miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
> > vaidya
> >
> > Probably you can express (what you intend to convey) in the above
> by
> > better words. Using your same analogy, if karma is like the soap
> then
> > upasana is like water. Just karma alone will lead one to blinding
> > darkness and the upasana alone will lead to even greater darkness.
> The
> > ignorant should use them both to overcome death and attain
> amRtattva.
> Thanks for these words Ravi.
> I was once listening to a discourse on the Bhagavatam when Sri
> Anantarama
> Dikshidhar said: to remove karma (the actual effect of past actions)
> one
> needs karma; but the remove the vasanas that will cause one to do it
> again,
> one needs upasana. So you are absolutely right; one with out the
> other is
> fairly slow, but together, they are greater than the sum of the
> parts.
> However, please correct me if I am wrong here, I think both of them
> will
> still lead one to only a state of chitta suddhi. Not jnana. One will
> still
> need to be dedicated to the pursuit of the jnana that will actually
> cut the
> veils of ignorance ... right?

Dear Vaidya:

The essence of the above words I wrote is not mine -- but it is from
iishavaasya upanishad "avidyaya mRtyum tiirtvaa vidyayaa
amRtamashnute". That particular sequence of verses stress the
importance of simultaneous practice of karma and upaasana (probably
bhakti and meditation on deities would be a better phrase).

Yes, they do not lead one to ultimate liberation. And probably
amRtattva may mean leading to brahma loka. Ideally it prepares one for
undertaking jnAna marga.

iishvaasya upanishad is a very brief text, but in my opinion, it is
extremely difficult understand. I have read shankara bhaashya (which I
like) and the one by raghavendra ( probably many months
ago. Our tradition, states verse 1 and 3-8 are applicable to a
sannyAsin who has the necessary qualifications to attain j~nAna. Rest
is for ignorant masses like me, who has NO choice but do karma. It also
presents a balanced approach between betweem karma and bhakti.

I should admit that I only cursorily understand the text, which is
almost same as not understanding it.

The same idea that *practise* of karma kaaNDa of veda-s with the right
attitude prepares one for undertaking study of upanishads and leads to
jnaana --  is something I recently read in "Introduction to Upanishads"
by Swami VidyaraNya (which comes with book on taittiriya upanishad
translation by Alladi mahaadeva shaastri). One thing I observed while
reading that introduction is -- many of the points in there has been
discussed in some context or other in advaita-L. Such a repeated
exposure to these ideas, enabled me to understand that text (to some

On a side note -- the inability to do one's svadharma and duty
enjoined, makes the jiiva to speak lofty ideals. Which is best
exemplified by arjuNa. In the end, however, he realizes it and
surrenders to God in the verse kaarpaNya doshho ... maam tvaam
prapannam. He indicates that he is overcome by kaarpaNyam and he
utterly confused about his dharma. Only after this surrender, bhagavaan
starts to speak and instruct. It was his fortune, he had bhagavaan to
ask. Think of it, if he had posted those questions to advaita-l (in
fact more than advaita-l to other lists similar to it) :-)). bhagavaan
teaches him gita and finally makes him do his duty.

The best approach for those who are confused, is learn to do paripuurNa
sharanaagati bhagavan and ask him to teach. There is a verse in
shivaanandalaharii " tvat paadambujam archyaami paramam tvaam
chintayaami anvaham tvaam iisham sharaNam vrajaami vachasaa tvam eva
yaache vibho vixaam me disha saaxushiim sakaruNaam divyaiH chiram
prartitaam sambho loka guro saukhyopadesham kuru" -- this I think as my
plea to Lord to teach me the right thing to do. I believe it will work.
For a while I prayed to Lord with this verse, to overcome a confusion.
He came to me in form for kAnchi paramacharya in a dream and solved my
problem.  Later, in another dream he came in form a teacher and did a
elabortate fire ceremony, and told me that he will teach me veda-s. I
am not planning to let go of that verse. Even within the framework of
advaita-vedanta, I see no superior way than sharaNagati. sharaNagti to
bhagavan will lead one to the right teacher (who is not different from
him) and paripuurNa sharaNagati to one's aacharya will lead one to
jnAna. Advaita stresses the latter (that is sharaNagati to one's
aacharya) and assumes the former as something which people should know
by default. And this sharaNagati is best exemplified by following the
commands one's teacher.

ambaaL daasan


sharaNAgata raxakI nivEyani sadA ninnu nammiti mInAxI

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