[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-48)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 14 21:45:45 CST 2003

Recall the Note about the organization of the ‘Digest’, 
from DPDS – 26 or the earlier ones.
V. Krishnamurthy
A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari - 
(Digest of pp.1033 - 1037   of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume,
4th imprn.)

Note the words “sukham-akhilaM-AtmArpaNa-dRshA” in the
third line of shloka 27. 

“sukham” means ‘without strain’, ‘naturally’. The word is
very significant here. Since our mind is not in our
control, it becomes a great strain to make it subscribe to
a moralistic routine. But if we train our mind to think
that everything is the work of ambaaL, the attempt to
become moralistic slips into a natural frame wherein the
goal is attained effortlessly. Because, when we have
surrendered everything to Her, the mind starts doing what
is natural to it, namely, it behaves like a pure mind. And
that is the road to eternal happiness.

The words “AtmArpaNa-dRshA” is the life-line of this
shloka; not only of this shloka, but of all Hindu
scriptures. This is the Atma-nivedanaM, the last of the
nine-fold bhakti methodologies enunciated in the
Bhagavatam. It is also the complete Surrender described in
all Bhakti literature and particularly in the
Bhagavad-Gita. The expression literally means: “By the
attitude which is ready to lay one’s life at Her feet”.
Only when that attitude is present, all talk becomes a
japa, all action becomes a mudrA, and so on for the rest.
Let things become like this through the attitude of
“Atma-samarpaNaM” (laying one’s life at the feet). The word
“bhavatu” in the last line stands for this plea. A person
who can do this surrender, would have his whole life
sanctified as a pUjA to Her Almighty.

An exactly analogous thought almost in the same words has
been given in “Shiva-mAnasa-pUjA” by the Acharya himself.

AtmA tvaM girijA matiH sahacarAH prANAH sharIraM gRhaM 
pUjA te vishhayopa-bhoga-racanA nidrA samAdhi sthitiH /
sancAraH padayoH pradakshhiNa-vidhiH stotrANi sarvA giro
yad-yat karma karomi tat-tad-akhilaM shambho tavA-rAdhanaM

You Lord Shiva are my AtmA; my mind is ambikA, the daughter
of the Mountain; my five prANas are the GaNas that serve
you; my body is your temple; all my involvement in sensual
experience is  your pUjA; my sleep is the samAdhi state; my
wanderings on my feet constitute Your pradakshhiNa;
whatever I talk shall be  your praises; whatever I do O
shambho, all that shall be  a propitiation of You. 

Such a dedication of everything at the feet of the Lord is
what is prescribed by the Lord in the Gita: 

Yat-karoshhi yad-ashnAsi yaj-juhoshhi dadAsi yat /
Yat-tapasyasi kaunteya tat-kurushhva mad-arpaNaM // IX -27

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in
the homa-fire, whatever you give away, whatever intense
concentration  you do – all that should be offered to Me.

“There is nothing that I do”  “Good or bad, Am I the doer?”
– Such expressions of total surrender are everywhere in the
works of Nayanmars, Alvars and also the saints of other
religions. It is this kind of total surrender that gives
the destination of one’s birth, namely, jIvan-mukti.

What is talked of as ‘the cessation of mind’ in the path of
jnAna becomes the ‘total surrender’ in the path of bhakti.
Both are “AtmArpaNaM” only. Both have the same result,
namely, jIvan-mukti – Release (even) while alive!

To sum up, the body does what it does because it is being
made to do so by the jIva within it; so also what all this
jIva does is because it is being made to do so by a Supreme
jIva-Shakti behind it and that is the Mother Goddess. For
that Shakti,  not only this Jiva is the body but all  the
jIvas – nay, in fact the entire Universe is the body. So
whatever happens in the Universe is because of Her. Once
this idea settles deeply in our minds then there will be no
problem of ‘laying our lives at Her feet’

The concept that ambaaL is pervading the whole universe
immanently is elaborated in two shlokas (#34, 35) by the

sharIraM tvaM shambhoH shashi-mihira-vakshhoruha-yugaM
tavAtmAnaM manye bhagavati navAtmAnaM anaghaM /
atah sheshhas-sheshhI-ity-ayam-ubhaya-sAdhAraNatayA
sthitas-sambandho vAM sama-rasa-para-nanda-parayoH //34//

Bhagavati : Oh Goddess,
Manye : I think
tvaM : You
shashi-mihira-vakshhoruha-yugaM: (who) have the Sun and the
Moon as your breasts, 
shambhoH sharIraM : (are) the body of Shiva,
anaghaM : (and) the spotless
navAtmAnaM : (Ananda-bhairava, i.e. Shiva) who has nine
facets (of presentation)
tava AtmAnaM : (as) your AtmA. 
ataH : Therefore
ayam sambandhaH : this relationship
sheshhaH sheshhI iti :  of ‘the accessory’ and ‘the
vAM : between You two
sama-rasa-parAnanda-parayoH : who are ParAnanda and ParA,
the enjoyers of the same Infinite Bliss
sthitaH : is  poised
ubhaya-sAdhAraNatayA : as a mutual common factor.

“You are the body of Lord Shiva, O Goddess” – thus begins
the verse. Earlier it was said that the whole body of  the
Lord has been appropriated by Her. But now  are we talking 
of the ‘crimson-coloured body with a crescent moon and a
third eye’? No. We are talking of this vast cosmos of
million universes which together constitute His
virAt-svarUpa (cosmic form). That cosmic body is ambaaL, 
says the verse. The life-giving force for that entire
cosmos is the Absolute Reality, the para-brahman.

Mark it! What is being said here seems to be contrary to
what was declared in the very first shloka “shivaH shaktyA
yuktah ...”.Without Shakti, Shiva cannot even move – that
was the statement there. So it appeared as if Shiva is an
inert body and ambaaL is the life-giving force. Here it is
being said that She is the body and  ...” !

No contradiction is intended or implied. There are two

To be Continued.
Thus spake the Paramacharya

praNAms to all advaitins and devotees of Mother Goddess



Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.
Also see the webpages on Paramacharya's Soundaryalahari :

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