[Advaita-l] Who is this Angustha Parimana Purusha?

shyam subramanian shyam_md at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 3 18:54:04 CDT 2016

The following is an excerpt from Advaita Sadhana where His Holiness Kanchi MahaPeriyavar presents the esoteric knowledge of the inner heart in great detail 

Hari OM

Shri Gurubhyo Namah


38: Inner Organ and Heart

Even though the word ‘inner’ (*antaH*) is there in ‘Inner Organ’ (*antaH- karaNaM*), in stead of looking inside it is always turned outside. It is termed ‘inner organ’ because it is subtle inside and not concretely visible from outside like arms, feet, eyes, nose, etc. Its subject matter is the dualistic world and dualistic experiences. Generally it is so with all jIvas. It thickens by the dirt of experience and stays like the dirty and greasy stain attaching itself to cooking vessels. This is a matter of the inner organ.

The heart that I speak of, on the other hand, is again not the physical organ on the left side of the chest of the human body. Nor is it the anAhata-chakra, located in the dead centre of the chest, in the suShumnA nAdi that is within the spine. This heart is indeed the location of the very Atman.

Of course it is true that the Atman is permeating everywhere in such a way that there is no space for ‘space’ and so no ‘location’ to be specified for the Atman. The words ‘sarvaM’ (all) and ‘vyApakaM’ (permeation) both need for their meaning the concept of space, but it is true that space itself is subsumed by the Atman as to be nowhere. However, for the mind (antaH-karaNaM) which is always drawn towards duality, to be turned to non-duality by the Grace of God, and towards meditation of the Atman, it needs some kind of a prop, at least mentally. For this reason if one attributes a form or qualities to the Atman and makes it totally ‘saguNa’ (with attributes) and dualistic, that is not right. Then how do we create the prop? The Formless one that is permeating everywhere is something which surpasses all attempts to imagine it! That is why, even if the Atman is not attributed with qualities and form, a point has, as it were, been specified within the JIva’s body itself and the location of the Atman is to be imagined there. Who has done this specification? No less than the ParA-shakti Herself! She it is who showpieces all that dualistic MAyA. And She Herself when She chooses to show compassion by bringing some one into advaita has kept that unique ‘point’ as the ‘Atma-sthAnaM’ (location of the Atman), where the antah-karaNaM (Inner Organ) can converge. The antaH-karaNaM which lives on the strength of the individualistic JIva-bhAva created by itself, as well as the life-breath which gives life to the whole body – both merge into that single point, the single root of everything, The enlightenment of the self as Self also takes place right at that point.

It is a ‘point’, very small, like a needle eye. *nIvAra-shUkavat*, that is, as slender as the awn of a paddy grain; it has been said to be that small. Within the heart, which is like the bud of a lotus suspended in an inverted position, there is a subtle space. From there spreads throughout the body a hot Fire, the Life-power; and in the centre of that Fire there abides a tongue of Fire, dazzling like the flash of lightning; that is the PrANa-agni. That ends up at the point as the awn of a paddy grain. That point is the locale of the Atman (Atma-sthAnaM) – says the Narayana SuktaM.

[Note by VK: A question of language. What would be most appropriate? ‘locale’, ‘location’ or ‘habitat’ for *sthAnaM*?]

By the statement about the subtle space-point which is the locale for the Atman in the heart, it follows that all around the point there is the heart. That is also a small locale. The Upanishads use the two words ‘daharaM’, ‘dahraM’ for this. Both mean ‘small’. In later times this ‘dahraM’ became ‘dabhraM’. The heart and the Atma-sthAnaM (location for the Atman) within are called ‘daharaM within daharaM’ and ‘dahraM within dahraM’ in the Upanishads (Ch. U. VII- 1; Taittiriya AranyakaM XII – 16). The Absolute Reality of Brahman which is permeating everywhere ‘is’ in such a small space.

The entire universe is the cosmic expansion of the VirAT-purushha. The heart of this Cosmic Purushha is Chidambaram. The ChitsabhA (the assembly in the temple there) is the ‘point’. This is the meaning of the well-known facts: “It is a subtle gate; there is nothing but space there. It is a secret. Among the kshetras corresponding to the five elements, Chidambaram is the AkAsha (Space)”. Chit-sabhA is also called ‘dabra- sabhA’. The direct Tamil equivalent of this is ‘ciRRambalam’ (meaning ‘small ambalam’). The popular opinion that ‘ciRRambalam’ and 

‘cidambaram’ are mutations of the same word is wrong. ‘cit ambaraM’ means JnAna-AkAshaM (Knowledge-space). The Sanskrit word ‘ambaraM’ has two meanings – one is ‘Space’, the other is, something unrelated to the present context, ‘cloth’. But ‘ambaraM’ never means ‘sabhA’ (assembly). But there is a Tamil worl ‘ambalam’ – possibly derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ambaraM’; and that has two meanings: ‘space’ as well as ‘assembly’. The principle behind the Space-ambalam (in Tamil) is also the God Nataraja of the Sabha-ambalam, namely the Assembly of Dance.

That is the case of the Cosmic Purushha. But in every one of us, in our hearts, there is a small subtle gate, which is point-size.

I said the disposition of JIva goes into that, shrinks and shrinks and finally merges there. This is what happens when the JIva gets Godhood (of Shiva). It is delightfully called ‘Involution’. It is the submerging action, by a convex caving in, of something which was expressing itself by expansion. On the other hand, Shiva who is nothing but Sat (Existence), that is, the ParamAtmA, when he evolves into the JIva with body, senses and antaHkaraNaM, that happens again in this same heart by the sprouting of the ego in the expression ‘I am an individual JIva’. I told you earlier I will tell you about ahamkAra (Ego). That is this matter. AhamkAra is nothing but the thought of ‘I’ as distinct from Brahman. That thought is the starting point (dramatically termed as ‘pillaiyAr chuzhi’ in the Tamil world) of the process of evolution of Shiva into a JIva.

Evolution is called ‘SrshhTi-kramaM’ (the regimen of creation) and Involution is called ‘Laya-kramaM’ (the regimen of dissolution). ‘Laya’ is also known as ‘samhAra’. But I did not use that word lest you may be scared. The ‘samhAra’ word has no connotation of freight. ‘hara’ means the action of grabbing. ‘sam-hAraM’ means the process of the Lord taking us over fully (*saM*) into Himself!.

It is the heart that is the locale at the time of creation for the ego to make the JIva separate (from Brahman) as an individual separate from Brahman; it is the same heart that is the locale at the time of dissolution (not ‘temporary’ but as a permanent ‘identity’) for the inner organ to converge inwardly to the Ultimate. Further when it converges further and stays at the sharp point at the centre of the heart, that is when Enlightenment takes place. 

> On Apr 3, 2016, at 2:27 PM, Shashwata Shastri via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Pujyapad Sridhar Ji,
> It was not my intention 

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