[Advaita-l] The significance of metaphorical meditations in various Upanishads

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jun 4 03:39:22 EDT 2019

In the Upadesa Saram, Bhagavan Ramana has said the following, which are
actually what is stated in the Upanishads, etc. as precursor of


3. ईश्वरार्पितं नेच्छया कृतम् ।
चित्तशोधकं मुक्तिसाधकम् ॥ ३॥

*īśvarārpitaṃ necchayā kṛtamcitta-śodhakaṃ mukti-sādhakam*

Disinterested action
Surrendered to the Lord
Purifies the mind and points
The way to *moksha*.

4. कायवाङ्मनः कार्यमुत्तमम् ।
पूजनं जपश्चिन्तनं क्रमात् ॥ ४॥

*kāya-vāṅ-manaḥ kāryam-uttamampūjanaṃ japa-ścintanaṃ kramāt*

This is certain:
Worship, praise and meditation,
Being work of body, speech and mind,
Are steps for orderly ascent.

5. जगत ईशधी युक्तसेवनम् ।
अष्टमूर्तिभृद्देवपूजनम् ॥ ५॥

*jagata īśadhī yukta sevanaṃaśṭa-mūrti bhṛd deva-pūjanam*

Ether, fire, air, water, earth,
Sun, moon and living beings
Worship of these,
Regarded all as forms of His,
Is perfect worship of the Lord.

6. उत्तमस्तवादुच्चमन्दतः ।
चित्तजं जपध्यानमुत्तमम् ॥ ६॥

*uttama-stavād-ucca-mandataḥcittajaṃ japa dhyānam uttamam*

Better than hymns of praise
Is repetition of the Name;
Better low-voiced than loud,
But best of all
Is meditation in the mind.

7. आज्यधारया स्रोतसा समम् ।
सरलचिन्तनं विरलतः परम् ॥ ७॥

*ajya-dhāraya srotasā samamsarala cintanaṃ viralataḥ param*

Better than spells of meditation
Is one continuous current,
Steady as a stream,
Or downward flow of oil.

8. भेदभावनात् सोऽहमित्यसौ ।
भावनाऽभिदा पावनी मता ॥ ८॥

*bheda-bhāvanāt so’hamityasaubhavana’bhidā pāvanī matā*

Better than viewing Him as Other,
Indeed the noblest attitude of all,
Is to hold Him as the 'I' within,
The very 'I'.

warm regards


On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 8:26 PM Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> I'm wondering why so much time is spent in various upanishads -- I'm
> reading Chhandogya right now -- on various metaphorical comparisons of
> Brahman or truth generally to various things.
> For example, Brahman is explained as four quarters repeatedly (e.g. fire,
> sun, moon, lightning), as the person in the sun or the moon, as the one
> seen in the eye, and on and on.
> There is also enormous time spent on the meaning of the various vedas as
> compared to the sun and the fire and the sky, etc.
> How does this relate to the more direct focus on formless Brahman, which is
> also featured in the Upanishads, and which is so much more emphasized by,
> say, a Sankara or certainly a Ramana Maharshi.
> Why is *so much* time and so many words spent on these metaphorical
> breakdowns in the Upanishads, when the essence of it is in the unspeakable,
> the beyond-concepts?
> Best,
> Akilesh
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