[Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 00:23:41 CST 2011

On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Rajaram: My question is based on the tamil translation by Shri N.S.
> Anantha Krishna Sastry and this work has Shrimukham by Sringeri Periyava.
> The author has used the tamil term sanchala subhavamulla (unsteady nature)
> but do not know which word in the original he translates in to this. I
> think he rightly takes abdhi-kanya as a compound that refers lakshmi
> because she appeared when the milk ocean was churned. The full translation
> of the clause is parkadalil thondriya lakshmiyagiya sanjalasubhavamulla
> naattiyapen narthana seivadhinaalundana selvathinaal migavum
> serukkadaindhavargalum. It does not seem to be a literal translation but
> perhaps based on commentaries.

Let me translate the Tamil translation given above:

It is a description of the nature of men who are infatuated/intoxicated by
their wealth.  Now, the wealth itself is described as 'something that is
produced by/a product of the chanchala-svabhAvavatI dancer (female)
(Lakshmi) who originated from the Milk Ocean.  Ultimately it is the men who
are being targeted for criticism.  In the process their wealth (the cause
of their ignoble  character) is being characterized as 'that having been
produced by Lakshmi.'  I shall try to fit all this into the verse:

> नृत्योन्मत्तनराधमाधमकथासंमर्ददुष्कर्दमैः ।

Here, the part of the compound:  अब्धिकन्यानटीनृत्योन्मत्तनराधमाधम...means:

अब्धिकन्या (लक्ष्मी) सा एव नटी. तस्याः नृत्येन उन्मत्ताः ये नराधमाधमाः ....

The woman born / originated from the Ocean. She is a dancer.  Her dance (by
producing wealth) has intoxicated these lowly among the lowly men...

It is an alankAra of some type which aims at bringing out the evil nature
of wealth.  Of course wealth by nature is not evil; the evil effects arise
due to one's wrong attitude to it and improper application of it.  As I had
pointed out earlier in places where vairagyam is intended the doSha
darshana with regard to wealth is resorted to.  One example is:
 is an expression in Shankaracharya's shivAparAdhakShamApaNastotram where
wealth (Lakshmi) is characterized as so fleeting in nature as the fleeting
nature of the waves :  तोयतरङ्गवत् प्रतिक्षणं भङ्गं प्राप्नोति . Just like
the waves appear and quickly disappear wealth too....Surely Shankaracharya
is not doing any Lakshmi-nindA here; He is known to have authored the
'kanakadhArA stotram' , a Lakshmi-stuti.

Another example on wealth-nindA is:

arthAnAmarjane kleshastathaiva parirakShaNe .
nAshe duHkha.n vyaye duHkha.n dhigarthAnkleshakAriNaH ..


Wealth, as many other things, is not evil per se; only in the  hands
of those devoid of discrimination it begets evil.

Because of this, wealth itself is sometimes caricatured as evil.

That Lakshmi is popularly called 'the daughter of the Ocean' is also known
from this song of

Annamacharya (Telugu):   क्षीराब्धिकन्यककु श्रीमहालक्ष्मिकिनि .....नीराजनम्


I think the meaning of the verse, to the extent of what we are looking for,
is clear.


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