[Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 11:48:24 CST 2011

On Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 6:50 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> In satasloki, Sankara compares the guru with the sandalwood tree saying
> that like the sandal wood tree which makes the nearby trees also fragrant
> with its own good fragrance, the guru also makes those around him free from
> sorrow. As you know, sandal wood tree does not emit any fragrance in its
> natural state but only when it is cut and made in to a paste.  So, how is
> this correct?

Here is something to read:  http://www.gurbani.org/articles/webart70.htm

Maybe there was a widespread belief that such is the case.

> In Swami Vidyaranaya's Sankara Digvijayam introduction, he says "those who
> are proud due to the wealth that is attained by the dancer of unsteady
> mindlakshmi, who appeared in the milk ocean". Lakshmi devi cannot be said
> to be of unsteady mind because when the milk ocean was churned and the
> svayamvara was conducted she naturally chose Vishnu as her husband ignoring
> other forms including Indra and Siva. In her incarnation as Sita, she was
> always fixed on Lord Rama even when Ravana kidnapped her and tortured her
> with rakshashis who were expert in creating illusions in the mind. So how
> is this correct?

Wealth has been compared to waves of an ocean for their unsteady nature.
 लक्ष्मीस्तोयतरङ्गचपला  is an expression in Shankaracharya's
shivAparAdhakShamApaNastotram.  Sri Purandara Dasa, a great composer of
songs on Lord Vitthala primarily, has this song to his credit:


In this song he compares the wealth of those who have turned God-ward with
the others who are devoted to the world and finally concludes:

ನಿಮ್ಮ ಭಾಗ್ಯ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀ-ದೇವಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಭಾಗ್ಯ ನಾರಾಯಣ
ನಮ್ಮ ಪುರಂದರವಿಠಲನ ಅನುದಿನ ಸ್ಮರಿಸುವುದಯ್ಯ ||

He is invited by the King Krishnadevaraya and in the course of their
conversation this song gets expression.

In effect, that which is ephemeral is prakRti (Lakshmi) and mind is perhaps
the most telling example of this phenomenon.



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