[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari(DPDS-52)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 9 19:18:02 CST 2004

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.1056 - 1060   of Deivathin Kural, 6th volume,
4th imprn.)

I was saying how the Acharya is helping us to keep Her
sarva-vyApakatvaM (Her pervasion of everything) always in
our memory. Memory is in the mind.  And he has begun this
shloka (#35) with the words “manas-tvaM”  (You are my
mind). All our problems arise in the mind and so mind is
the source, origin of all our troubles. But if we start
thinking that, that Mind itself is ambaaL, then we have
nowhere else to go! We have got it! Mind has now to be
turned to what is within. It is not necessary to ‘kill’ it
root and branch. Even if it turns outside and looks at the
world, we now know that all the five elemental fundamentals
are nothing but ambaaL. “vyoma tvaM” -  Space is You; “
marud-asi” – Air is You.  ... “tvayi pariNatAyaM na hi
paraM” – There is nothing that is not a transformation of
Yourself.  Thus we see everything as ambaaL.   And the mind
which sees and enjoys these sights is also the same Mother.

If one trains oneself to this way of viewing everything as
The Mother, in due course, we will obtain the same
Knowledge-Bliss experience even in this play of Creation.
Our little little pleasures – sensual or otherwise -  and
our fragments of knowledge all merge in that supreme Bliss
and Knowledge. And we become the cid-Ananda svarUpa itself.
We become one with the Shiva-yuvati, the Reservoir of
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss itself. What else is there beyond

In  the museum of the former Baroda state, there is a
manuscript which has a picture for every shloka of
Soundaryalahari. One copy of it is in Philadelphia Art
Museum. I have already told you of this in another
connection. A Professor from the University of Pennsylvania
sent three pages from that collection to our Professor in
the University of Madras and asked for clarification. In it
there is a remarkable picture even for this shloka (#35),
which obviously would not seem to admit any pictorial

To wind up let me give you the gist of the two shlokas #s
34 and 35. It is ambaaL who is the body of Ishvara. Body
here includes both the gross and the subtle. The gross body
is mentioned in the “sharIram tvam” shloka. The subtle body
is referred to in “manas-tvam” shloka. This mind could be
our own mind or the supreme Mind called Mahat, which is the
origin for all the five elemental fundamentals. It is from
that Mahat all the five elements originated, until they
finally became this universe. That is why “There is nothing
other than You”. Though You are called the body of the soul
called ‘shambhu’, You are the one who is indistinguishable
between soul and body; You yourself have expanded as this

There is a little echo here of the siddhAnta of Shri
Ramanuja, in the concept of the body and soul, applied to
the universe (Shakti) and the Ultimate (Shambhu).  
However, finally the shloka winds up with the words
‘cidAnandAkAraM’, thus ending up with advaita. The ambaaL
is the Knowledge source (cin-mUlaM); She is also the Bliss
source (Ananda-mUlaM). But these two cannot be separated
from the Existence source (san-mUlaM). None of the three
can be kept in isolation; just as in a sweet dish we cannot
separate the form, the taste and the smell. So the cit and
Ananda cannot be separated form their base, the sat. To
manifest to the world this Knowledge and this Bliss , the
One Reality appears as two and takes the posture of
“shiva-yuvati”.  This is only a bhAva, an attitudinal

After the “manas-tvaM” shloka, there follow five shlokas
(#s 36 to 40) which depict how the divine couple take their
seats in the kunDalini chakras representing AkAsha, Air,
Fire, Water and Earth (mentioned in the order of evolution
from the subtle to the gross). In each chakra they have a
distinct name, different function, and unique
characteristics. But the one characteristic that is common
to all of them is the Supreme Compassion. In #36, they
shine  (in the AjnA chakra) with the effulgence of millions
of Suns and Moons and lift up the devotee to a status
higher than the Sun, the Moon and  the Fire. In the next, 
(in the vishuddhi chakra) they radiate, from their pure
crystalline source, the infinite coolness like some supreme
moonlight thus eradicating the obstacle of an inner
darkness.  Just as the mystical bird ‘cakora’ consumes
moonlight, the devotees enjoy that mystic coolness. 
In #38, residing in the anAhata chakra the couple is now in
the form of a hamsa couple.  The ‘hamsa’ word should
indicate the ‘parama-hamsa’ characteristic of a sannyAsi, 
a jnAni of advaitic enlightenment.  It is that seat from
which the praNava mantra “OM” generates by itself.  It is
the praNava that is the source of all words. It is the
dialogue of this divine hamsa-couple that is the source of
all eighteen vidyAs.  And they swim in the mAnasa lake
(that which pertains to the mind) drinking the honey of
brahmAnanda (Bliss of brahman) oozzing out from the lotus
of Knowledge. The traditional ‘hamsa’ has the unique
characteristic of being able to separate water from milk.
In the same way this unique divine hamsa couple separates
the bad things that we do,  takes only the good things and
blesses us with their Grace. 

The couple has been depicted as doling the same thing
together in the three chakras above. But when we come to
the svAdhishhTAna chakra (shloka  #39), the superior
compassion of the Mother dominates. This chakra corresponds
to the Fire element.  This is where the Lord opens his
Third Fire Eye and completes his Dissolution function.
While the flames of the angry Rudra destroy the universe,
with Her “dayArdrA dRshTih” (the look that is wet with
Compassion), through the gracious and cooling effect of
that glance She comforts the whole universe. We may wonder
here: “Can the Father be ever equivalent to the Mother?”.
As if to answer our question the poet uses  the word
“samayA” here to refer to the Mother Goddess – confirming
thus the principle that, though the two might appear to be
different for the outside world, in essence they are one
and the same.    

But the Svami Himself  (shloka #40) in the
MaNipUraka-chakra is the dark blue rain cloud that pours
cool showers on the universe – thus quelling the Fire that
He Himself raised and thus  preparing for a further
creation.  And it is then that ambaal brilliantly lights up
by Her lightning. 

And thus we come to the last (#41) of the part called

tavAdhare mUle saha samayayA lAsya-parayA 
navAtmAnaM manye nava-rasa-mahAtANDava-naTaM /
ubhAbhyAm-etAbhyAM udaya-vidhim-uddishya dayayA
sanAthAbhyAM jajne janaka-jananImat jagad-idaM // 41 //

manye : I meditate
mUle AdhAre : in the mUlAdhara chakra
tava :  of Yours
navAtmAnaM : the form of Shiva called Ananda-bhairava, with
his nine facets
nava-rasa-mahA-tANDava-naTaM : [nine-rasas- grand style
–tANDava-dance] that is, who dances in a grand style the
tANDava dance (peculiar to the masculine world),
incorporating the nine rasas,
samayayA saha : along with samayA, another equivalent form
of You
lAsya-parayA :  (who is) involved in the dance ‘lAsya’,
peculiar to the feminine world.
idam jagat : This universe
jajne : becomes 
janaka jananImat : endowed with Father and Mother
etAbhyAM ubhAbhyAM  : by this couple,
sanAthAbhyAM : who mutually resonate with each other 
uddishya :  aiming at 
udaya vidhiM : the regeneration rule
dayayA : with compassion.

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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