[Advaita-l] Discussion on Vairagya

Dr. V. Prasanna Shrinivas vpshri at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 02:07:38 CDT 2007


aashcharyavatpashyati kashchidenam.h
        aashcharyavadvadati tathaiva chaanyaH .
aashcharyavachchainamanyaH shR^iNoti
        shrutvaapyena.n veda na chaiva kashchit.h (Srimad BhagavadgItaa 2.29)

Some look upon this Atma as a wonder, another describes it as
wonderful, and others hear of it as a wonder. Even after hearing
about it no one actually knows it.

Why? Because of our samskaaraas. Our cups are full.

It is worthy to recall an incident that happened in the life of Sri
Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo along with His friends reached Pondicherry
after being acquitted from a criminal case that was wrongly filed
against Him. He could ill-afford a cup of tea in the evening. One day,
when he was sharing a cup of tea (the only luxury) with His friends in
the beach, there appeared kuLLacchaami (a siddha who was a dwarf). He
snatched the cup of tea from Sri Aurobindo, poured it on the sand and
walked his way. Everyone was astounded and angry, for the luxurious
tea was wasted and they would have to wait for another day to have a
sip. But, Sri Aurobindo considered kuLLachaami His guru. Why?

He told that His cup was full figuratively. He had many preconceived
notions about the creations and the creator. These notions proved
obstacles in acquiring the right knowledge. Unless we empty our cups,
acquiring knowledge will be next to impossible. By knowledge meaning,
complete knowledge of knowledge and complete knowledge of ignorance
(nitya-anitya vivechanam).

Yet another thing to be noted from the above incident is that though
several others were there, only Sri Aurobindo could grasp the truth.
Why? That is because of shraddha and tiivra.

It is also worthy to recall the incident in the life of Dhruva. The
fine print was that Sri Narada tried to distract the kid by telling
that he could make Dhruva sit on the lap of his father. But the
steadfast child did not get distracted and wanted to get the darshan
of Sri Hari. Moved by Dhruva's shraddha, the sadguru initiated Dhruva
into the sacred dwaadashaakshari mahamantra and it is because of this
gurupaada sambandham and gurukrupa that Dhruva achieved all the
admirable feats.

Similarly, the stories of Bhakta Vijayam are replete with stories of
how the bhaktas became vairagis by the grace of their guru. Just to
cite one of those many illustrious bhaagavataas, though Namadeva was
speaking and even playing with Panduranga day in and day out, he was
called a half-baked and Panduranga prompts him to surrender at the
feet of a sadguru.

The common thread that runs across is that whether some catastrophy
strikes or not, one has to necessarily get the grace of the guru to
obtain all the pre-requisities and the result thereof.

While catastrophies can kindle vichara, they do not necessarily end in
jnana/vairagya? Why? gItAchArya has the answer.

vishhayaa vinivartante niraahaarasya dehinaH .
rasavarja.n raso.apyasya para.n dR^ishhTvaa nivartate (BG 2.59)

Some vichara kindled by the (pseudo)-discrimiation obtained through
all that we have heard, read or acquied or from "catastrophy" can
probably temporarily make our desires subside. Yet the craving remains
which will manifest with re-doubled vigor at the least expected time
and cause the maxium havoc. According to gItAchArya, the craving also
would have disappeared in the seer of truth. Such a seer of truth is
the AchArya/guru.

The very word AchArya means the one who is well-versed in the
saastraas and lives by it, who has inherited a satsampradaayam and is
always the well-wisher of His disciples.  How?

The sadguru has inherited the satsampradaya (vedic) and hence He is
the reservoir of water that quenches thirst of knowledge as told by
gItAchArya while water everywhere else is unlike the ocean water unfit
to quench thirst.

yaavaanartha udapaane sarvataH samplutodake .
taavaansarveshhu vedeshhu braahmaNasya vijaanataH ..(BG... 2. 46)

The word guru means the one who dispels the darkness.  It is by His
grace that one has to obtain the adhikaara sampath that will lead to
light called immortality.  How can we obtain a guru's grace.
gItAchArya also tells us the upAyam.

tadviddhi praNipaatena pariprashnena sevayaa .
upadekShyanti te GYaanaM GYaaninastattvadarshinaH ..(BG 4.34)

Acquire this transcendental knowledge by surrendering at the feet of
the Sadguru, by
sincere inquiry, and by service to the Sadguru The Sadguru who have
seen the truth will teach you.

 May we realize by grace of sadguru that there is no nonexistence of
the sat (vairaagya in the present context) and no existence of the
asat(the absence of vairagya) . The reality of these two is indeed
certainly seen by the seers of truth as told by gItAchArya in the
following sloka.

naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate sataH .
ubhayorapi dR^ishhTo.antastvanayostattvadarshibhiH (BG 2.16)

The guru is more powerful than a touch stone. The touch stone would
convert anything that it comes into contact into gold. Whereas the
ones that got converted would not have the ability to perpetuate the
conversion. In sharp contrast, the guru makes a guru out of the

May the sadguru grant us refuge, solace and lead us from untruth to
truth, from darkness to light and from mortality to immortality.

Sadguro Sharanam.

On 7/25/07, srikanta at nie.ac.in <srikanta at nie.ac.in> wrote:
> We all start out in life and the world with some assumption and
> conviction.But something happens which skakes our assumption and
> conviction and wakes us up.What else these assumptions,if they are not
> Maya?.It is this awakening which makes us to think deeply about life and
> our dealings with it.Truly,Vairagya is a tool in our hands to meet life
> and the world more convincingly.
>                                                      N.Srikanta.
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Thanks and regards

Dr. V. Prasanna Shrinivas
Mobile: +91-99002 17109
Phone:+91-80-233 69953

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