Advaita Bhakti through Contemplative Practice of Narayaniyam (ABCPN - 0)

Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [IT] sundararaman.v.subrahmanian at CITIGROUP.COM
Tue Nov 19 16:32:12 CST 2002

Dear Professor,

I am a former student of yours from BITS Pilani.  I am currently working for
a Wall Street firm in NY city and live in NJ.  I am indeed very happy to
read your postings in Advaita-L of which I am a member too.  I still
remember the days when we used to come to your house for "aavaani avittam"
and change the "poonal".  I have also attend a couple of your classes in the
Institute.  Please accept my pranaams.

I have a request.  Can I forward your postings to some of my friends who are
not part of the list, but are interested in such reading.  I will ofcourse
send it with the right attribution to you and leave your signature as such.
Please let me know.  Please decline if you would like to preserve the

S. V. Subrahmanian.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: V. Krishnamurthy [mailto:profvk at YAHOO.COM]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 8:23 AM
> Subject: Re: Advaita Bhakti through Contemplative Practice of
> Narayaniyam (ABCPN - 0)
> ABCPN - 1
> (Note: Please read the Introduction  (ABCPN - 0)
>  if you have not already read it)
> Sloka No. 1 (Ref. nArAyaNIyaM : 100 - 10)
> yogIndrANAM tvad-angeSh-vadhika-su-madhuraM mukti-bhAjAM nivAso
> bhaktAnAm kAma-varSha-dyu-taru-kisalayaM nAtha te pAda-mUlaM /
> nityaM citta-sthitaM me pavana-pura-pate kR^iShNa-kAruNya-sindho
> hR^itvA nissheSha-tApAn pradishatu paramAnanda-sandoha-lakshmIM //
> Tr. Oh Lord! To the great yogins, Thy feet are the most
> beloved of all Thy
> limbs. They form the abode for the emancipated ones. For the
> devotees they
> are like the celestial tree which yields them all their
> wants. Oh Lord of
> Guruvayoor! Oh Krishna! Oh Ocean of Mercy! May those feet of
> Thine ever
> rest in my heart, destroy all my sufferings and bestow on me
> the treasure
> of Supreme Bliss!
> Comment. The first ten of this series of 36 slokas constitute
> a variety of
> different prayers to the Absolute Lord Krishna. These prayers
> are intended
> to help us embark on the divine path to Realisation.  This first one
> offers prostrations to the lotus feet of the Lord. Quite
> fittingly we are
> asking for the Lord's Grace to descend on us by figuratively
> asking for
> the Lord's feet to rest in our heart. Here the heart is the spiritual
> heart. The spark of the Absolute is already there, whether we
> recognise it
> or not. whether we want to admit it or not.  By requesting
> God to have his
> feet rest in our heart we are only praying that His
> omnipresence there may
> be 'felt' by us.
> Sloka No.2. (Ref. nAryaNIyaM: 92 - 9)
> gangA gItA ca gAyatry-api ca tulasikA gopikA-candanaM tat
> sAlagrAmAbhi-pUjA para-puruSha tathaikAdashI-nAma-varNAH /
> etAny-aShTApy-ayatnAny-api kali-samaye tvat-prasAda-prasiddhyA
> kShipram-mukti-pradAnIty-abhidadhur-R^iShayas-teShu
> mAM sajjayethAH //
> Tr.:  Oh Supreme Lord! there are just eight items, namely,
> Ganga, Gita,
> Gayatri, Tulasi leaves, sandal paste, the worship of
> sAlagrAmaM, (the fast
> on the day of) Ekadasi, and Divine names. These eight,
> declare the sages,
> are the easy and quick means of salvation, in this age of
> kali-yuga, as
> they secure Thy abounding grace. May I be intensely devoted
> to them all!
> Comment:  This asks for karma-yoga with the stamp of bhakti.
> There is a
> folk-lore sloka which says:
> gangA gItA ca gAyatrI govindeti catuShTayaM /
> catur-gakAra-samyukte punar-janma na vidyate //
> Meaning, 'when the four that begin with the consonant 'ga'
> are integrally
> present, the four being gangA (the river Ganges), gItA, gAyatrI and
> govinda (standing for God's name) - then there is no rebirth'.
> Bhattatiri  adds to these four, another four.
> In the orthodox traditions initiated by Adi Sankara, five
> main divinities
> are worshipped through a sophisticated ritual called pancAyatana-pUjA,
> meaning, worship at five altars. Here the divinities are
> worshipped not in
> their human-like forms but in certain symbols in the form of
> stones, which
> are nothing but certain rock formations available in
> specified locations
> in India. The Sun-God, sUrya, is taken as inherent in certain crystals
> normally found in Vallam in Tamilnadu. The Mother Goddess, shakti, is
> represented by the svarNamukhi stone found in the bed of the
> river of that
> name in the Andhra region of South India. VishNu is worshipped in the
> sAlagrAma (mentioned in Bhattatiri's verse) stone that can be had in
> plenty on the bed of the river Ghantaki in the Himalayas.
> Ganesa is the
> red shonabhadra stone found on the bed of the river Sone
> flowing into the
> Ganges. Finally shiva is the bANa-linga found in the
> Omkarakunda of the
> river Narmada, near the island of Mandhata. The pancAyatana
> pUja tradition
> may be taken as an intermediate stage between the worship of
> Godhead with
> form and the worship of the formless, because the symbols of
> worship as
> rock formations have certainly a form but they are also
> formless in that
> they have no parts like face, eyes, body, hands and feet. It
> is as though
> the devotee trains himself to take the mind from the formful to the
> formless while at the same time allowing full scope for one's
> devotional
> feelings. Also note that in the Vaishnava tradition, the
> emphasis is on
> the sAlagrAma to such an extent that the other four of the pancAyatana
> tradition are mostly omitted.
> Sloka No.3: (Ref. nAryaNIyaM: 94 - 10)
> aikyaM te dAna-homa-vrata-niyama-tapas-sAnkhya-yogair-durApaM
> tvat-sangenaiva gopyaH kila sukR^iti-tamAH prApurAnanda-sAndraM /
> bhakteSh-vanyeShu bhUas-svapi bahumanuShe bhaktim-eva tv am-AsAM
> tan-me tvad-bhaktim-eva dR^iDaya hara gadAn kR^iShNa vAtAlayesha //
> Tr.: That state of supremely blissful union with Thee, which
> is difficult
> to obtain through (disciplines like) charity, (ritual) sacrifices,
> observance of vows, self-control, austerities, knowledge
> (sAnkhya), and
> yoga, was attained by the blessed gopikas (cowherdesses) of Brindavan,
> through just personal attachment to Thee as their own
> beloved. Numerous
> are Thy other devotees, but it is this loving personal devotion of the
> gopikas that has received Thy highest appreciation. Therefore
> Oh Krishna,
> Oh Lord of Guruvayoor, May Thou strengthen devotion in me and
> destroy my
> ailments.
> Comment. This underscores the importance of personal
> involvement with the
> Lord in intimate terms, from the heart of hearts. All the
> formalities of
> our religious observances pale into insignificance before
> such a personal
> relationship with God. So whatever we may do, we must strive
> to see that
> this innate feeling of love for the Lord is the undercurrent.
> This is the
> only thing He asks from us. More than intellectual
> understanding of the
> various nuances of scriptures and philosophy, what He expects
> from us is
> this self-negating love for Him and all that stands for Him,
> namely, the
> universe.  One may recall here Gita Ch.IX - 34:
> manmanA bhava madbhakto madyAjI mAM namaskuru /
> mAmevaiShyasi yuktvaivaM AtmAnaM mat-parAyaNaH //
> meaning, Saturate your mind with me; be devoted to me; work
> for me; bow
> down to me; having thus united your whole self with me,
> taking me as the
> supreme goal, you shall come unto me. This self-negating love has been
> defined by Narada in his bhakti-sutra, as follows.
> guNa-rahitaM kAmanA-rahitaM pratikShaaNa-vardhamAnaM
> avicchinnaM sUkShma-
> taram anubhavarUpaM.
> Meaning, (This pure love is) without attributes, without the poison of
> desire, every moment increasing, unbroken, subtlest, and of
> the nature of
> sheer immediate experience.
> (To be continued)
> praNAms to all seekers of spirituality
> profvk

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