[Advaita-l] Iswara Darshanam - 4

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 4 08:00:51 CST 2013

                                                                                            Iswara Darshanam – 4

We discussed that Arujana summarized in his first sloka of Ch. 11 the Krishna’s teaching of the first six chapters that deals with tvam padartham. In the 2nd sloka he summarizes the tat padartham discussed in the chapters from 7 to 10. 

In the second sloka, he calls the Lord as kamalapatrAksh, the lotus-leaf-eyed one. Lotus plays a prominent role in Vedanta teaching. Lotus is a plant that grows in a mud yet beautifies its surroundings. Lotus leaves spread out on the dirty waters, yet unaffected by the water. Lakshmi is seen standing on the lotus flower. Here, Arjuna addresses Krishna as lotus-leaf eyed one – indicative of the eye that has clear vision of the truth in spite of the muddy surroundings and unaffected by the surroundings. In this sloka, Arjuna says he understood the teaching that explains that the Lord is the cause for whole universe of things and beings. Arjuna says - bhUtAnAm – that includes panca bhUtas and also indicates all the beings in all the lokas or worlds, thus covers the entire sentient and insentient things and beings, hi – indeed , bhavApyaya – bhava means creation or utpatti and apyaya means desolation – thus the whole creation and desolation of the
 world of beings and things, tattvataH –  from you. By implication, we have to include sustenance also.  Thus Arjuna says I have understood that you are the source from which all beings are born and are the locus for desolation. Here Lord is both nimitta kAraNam and upAdAna kAraNam – both the intelligent and the material cause. Krishna indicated earlier that he is the source for everything – gatir bhartA prabhu sAkshI ..  Thus, indicating the Upanishadic statement – yatovA imAni bhUtAni jAyante., where, Brahman is being defined as that from which the whole universe arises, sustains and goes back into. That is the essential truth. Arjuna says in the sloka that he also understood that this creation-sustenance-and dissolution cycle does not affect the Lord since it is creation-less creation or transformation-less transformation. Hence Arjuna describes based on his understanding that Lord is avyayam and mAhAtmyam – essentially summarizing the 10th
 chapter of Geeta as everything is His vibhUti and He indestructible and yet providing the basis for the glorious creation that continuously changes. Arjuna says, you have provided me an exhaustible description of the whole teachings – vistarashaH. I have listened to the teaching carefully. The whole lower prakRiti arises from you, sustained by you and go back into you while your absolute nature is beyond the time and space, yet providing the support for the whole creation. Arjuna says to Krishna, I understand clearly that -te- both, the origination and destruction of the universe, are from you, tvattaH. Hence Arjuna understood that sRishTi-sthithi- laya kaaraH, Brahman is none other than Krishna, himself.  This is how Brahma sUtras define Brahman in the second sutra – janmAdyasya yataH . Arjuna also summarizing the 10th chapter says that I have also understood the whole creation is nothing but your vibhUti only – mAhAtmyam. Even though the whole
 creation-sustenance-annihilation is a continuous process and it is just the expressions of your glory (mAhAtmaym api), you remain unaffected, and therefore you are avyayam, unchanging or indestructible one. Hence the creation is only transformation-less transformation (vivarta) like gold becoming ornaments. 

Thus, in the first two slokas, Arjuna summarized what He understood as the essence of the teaching of Bhagavat Geeta up to the point, and in way essence of Vedanta since Geeta is sarvopanishad saara or the milk extracted from the Upanishadic cows by the cowherd, Krishna, for distribution to all seekers of spiritual knowledge. sarvOpanishadO gAvO dogdhA gOpAlanandanaH.. 

Since Lord is the material cause for the creation, the creation cannot be different from the Lord. Hence vision of the universe is the vision of Iswara only. Even though we all see and transact with the world, day in and day out, throughout our lives, and thus have viswa ruupa darshanam (The hubble telescope is providing the vastness of this incredible universe or vibhUti of the Lord), we are not able to see the Lord in and through these varieties of names and forms. While transacting in the world, some even deny the existence of God, without understanding what is God, and therefore trying to find out where is God or who is God, in terms of spatial location.  If God exists in space, then He is limited by the space itself, and therefore He ceases to be a God? We use the word He, only to indicate unknowability not exclusivity.  God cannot exist either inside the space or outside the space. For one thing there cannot be anything outside the space since that
 outside space has to be created for it to exist. There cannot be anything inside the space since anything inside the space gets limited by the space. Hence vision of God in and through the space –time and the world using the very space-time and the world requires a vision that transcends all these names and forms. World is continuously changing and hence it is called jagat – jAyatE gacchatE iti – that which changes continuously.  Low of conservation demands that if things are changing then there must be something changeless which is independent in the changing things, with reference from which we can say that things are changing. In Einstein terminology, there must be an independent observer who is independent of the changes to recognize that world is changing. Hence our vision of the world differs from the vision of the truth underlying the universe.  As he summarized in the two slokas, Arjuna understood intellectually the absolute truth
 underlying the world of names and forms. However to really see imperceptible Iswara, in and through the names and forms, we need a frame of mind, where there is not only intellectual maturity but emotional maturity as well. Swami Chinmayanandaji calls it as two wings of the bird to take an inner flight. In essence, we should have purified mind or chiita suddhi to see the truth as truth. Purification involves cleansing of our goggles of raaga-dveShas or likes and dislikes or in essence ahankaara and mamakaara goggles. For that Iswara kRipa or grace of God is an essential factor, normally manifests via karma yoga and upasana yoga. In AvadhUta Geeta, DattAtreya says IswarAnugrahAt eve pumsAm advaita vAsana – only by the grace of God one acquires the advaitic vision. Purification requires extended sadhana or spiritual discipline, since wrong notions and habits born out these wrong impressions acquired during millions of lives in the past are difficult to
 erase from the mind. 

Arjuna even though he understands that vishwa ruupam is the same as Iswara ruupam, he is not able to see Iswara in and through names and forms. Hence he requests Krishna that he wants to have vision of the Lord in and through His manifestations. Hai! Purushottama! tava aham te aiswaryam rUpam draShTum ichchhAmi – I am desirous of seeing your aiswarya rUpam. Bhagavan is endowed with aiswaryam or Iswaratvam – Lordship over the entire creation, since He is both material and intelligent cause for the creation. Aiswaryam also includes that Bhagavan is endowed with, in addition to over Lord-ship (aiswaryam), a) Jnaanam, all knowledge, b) Power, c) balam or strength, d) courage, vEryam, e) tajas (brilliance). All these embodiment of mahAlakshmi, whom the Lord carries all the time. Having a desire to see the Lord is one thing but qualified to see is different. Hence Arjuna says, please show me your aiswarya ruupam, if you think I am qualified to see it. 

Q. Why do we require a separate qualification to see this Iswara swarUpam? 

Ans. Qualification is required not for seeing but for having an attitude or bhAvana. This requires knowledge (jnaanam) + grace (anugraha). Swami Paramarthanandaji gives a simple example. Suppose I see a beautiful Natarja vigraham or idol there. Appreciating the artistic beauty of it and taking a picture with a camera is one aspect. Having a reverential attitude towards the idol where a bhAvana or feeling that it is a symbolic representation of the Lord of the universe is another. One takes a camera to take a picture, the other takes a flower and offers by folding his hands in reverential attitude is another. In Hinduism, we have almost every animal that we can think of is used by Gods as a vehicle, starting from mouse, thus developing a reverential attitude for all living beings, sarva bhUta hitE ratAH, compassion for all beings is an essential part in the spiritual evolution, says Krishna. A rational intellect commented that Hindus are very
 superstitious and they worship anything that crawls, besides stones and trees. It is not a superstition, but is wisdom, since they recognize everything in the creation is nothing but Lord himself in various names and forms. We are not idol worshipers but worship the ideal behind the idol, just as when we salute a piece of cloth with some design as a flag representing the nation and sing a national anthem saluting that flag. We are not saluting a piece of cloth with some design but saluting a nation that stands for values, culture, and tradition with history. It is the attitude that makes a difference. 

To be continued.

Hari Om!

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