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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA VEDANTA DARSHANAM June 10

Vedanta Darshanam

Salutations to all.

Yet another month has passed by. But the FIFA or world cup fever is high now. Put in
Barnard Shaw’s words “ten fools play and ten thousands fool watch”. Everyone wants to win
in everything. And this goes against the law of nature or law of earth itself – with victory
comes defeat; with happiness comes sorrow too. Thus trying to always win and be happy a
person becomes sad and sad alone in the long run.

All the while when a person tries to find happiness, he forgets that happiness is inside
himself – this can be compared to the husk deer trying to find out where the good smell is
coming from; not knowing that the smell comes from itself, it runs hither and thither
thereby finally giving up its own very life in the process.

The difference between a wise person and a fool is that the wise person is able to use his
intellect or discriminating faculty whereas a fool only uses his mind and does whatever he
thinks. A wise person analyzes this dual nature of the world and rather than running behind
worldly things tries to find the source of eternal bliss. Rather than running behind the
football in the field if only one were to use all that energy and effort in order to realize one’s
true nature of Brahman then there will be experience of bliss and bliss alone.

But it isn’t easy to get distracted or dispassionate from the world and the pleasures the
world offers – it requires great courage to do so. Only a person with true knowledge about
the illusory sorrowful nature of the world will be able to get away from the pleasures of the
world internally while seeking the eternal bliss inside oneself and realize one’s very nature
of all-pervasive blissful Brahman. Since we have already started on this quest to gain
knowledge through a proper understanding of Vedanta, it us strengthen it through yet
another month’s magazine. May the ultimate reality of Brahman guide us in attaining
moksha or realization in this very birth itself.

AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA


June 23rd

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Anukramaanika

Vedanta Darshanam ..................................................................................................................................... 1


Guru Mahima ................................................................................................................................................ 3
Mukhya Vishayam ......................................................................................................................................... 7
Sankshiptha Vedanta .................................................................................................................................. 14
Gitaamritham .............................................................................................................................................. 18
Upanishad Prachaaram ............................................................................................................................... 22
Raga Varsha................................................................................................................................................. 26
Madhuraamritham...................................................................................................................................... 28
Praadeshikam.............................................................................................................................................. 33
Charitham ................................................................................................................................................... 37
Vedanta Pariksha ........................................................................................................................................ 39
Mata Parichayam ........................................................................................................................................ 42
Anukramaanika Nirdesham ........................................................................................................................ 46

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Guru Mahima

Let us continue with the slokas of Guru Gita where a seeker offers prostrations to the Guru.

Yenedam darshitham tattvam chittachaityaadikam tathaa


Jaagratsvapnasushupthyaadi tasmai sree gurave namah

By whose grace the truth or reality behind Consciousness, thoughts, the various states of
waking, dream, deep sleep etc. are known, my prostrations unto such a Guru.

Guru as an encyclopedia of knowledge


When we talk about knowing things, we often try to find out an encyclopedia of the science
or particular field that we want to know. This is because encyclopedia encompasses
everything about the particular field of knowledge or science – there will not be anything
that will not be covered by the encyclopedia.

The Guru doesn’t really cater under this term of encyclopedia because the Guru’s knowledge
is not complete with respect to the external dual world where new things are getting built or
developed every other day. But the Guru caters to this term because the Guru has
knowledge of that by knowing which everything else becomes known – knowledge of the
substsratum or the essence of the world which makes the Guru know the entire world per
se. We have to use our discretion in understanding this and shouldn’t be foolish to ask
questions like whether the Guru can create a new product like iphone etc. (a spiritual
master has access to spiritual powers and hence definitely can create such products, like
Vishwamitra created a new heaven, but since all these products are already being created
by other companies what use does it do to a sadhaka to go approach a spiritual master and
ask for such petty things which are already available in the world. If we approach Steve
Jobs, wouldn’t it be foolish to ask him as to where should we buy an apartment? Similarly it
would be utterly foolish to go to a spiritual master seeking petty things rather than asking
for that truth which isn’t found anywhere else in the world - ☺unfortunately most of us only
ask for petty things when we approach spiritual masters).

The Guru’s knowledge doesn’t just stop with the essence of the world but about the
philosophy or working of the world. Even as a gold smith who knows gold can talk about the

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working of gold ornaments, their creation, their life-cycle etc. similarly a Guru can speak
about the world’s nature, its creation, its activities, its life-cycle etc.

How would understanding the world help us when currently we already have a grasp about
how the world works thanks to science?
Science and our understanding about the world is only at the gross level. The subtle aspects
of things are still a black-box to not just us but scientists as well. One day scientists
proclaim the world is round and the next day it becomes flat. This controversy is valid now
too when one group of people say that global warming is happening whereas another group
of people say that global cooling is happening – both these groups using the events
happening in the world. This gross-level knowledge extends to our own body as well where
doctors aren’t able to figure out many diseases and not to talk about mental disorders or
mental problems.

Vedanta unlike science doesn’t stop at the gross level but goes beyond the gross level to
the subtle level which can explain a lot more than the gross level because the subtle level
ultimately controls the gross level. There are many philosophies which also speak about the
subtle level but Vedanta goes even beyond the subtle level to the causal level and beyond
that as well to the ultimate essence or reality of Brahman. Unless a seeker is lead to this
ultimate level, there will always be chaos and thereby sorrows.

We will not analyze the subtle level in depth here as it cannot be contained in a small article
but when we try to analyze the world (at whatever level it may be) we come across two
terms – one is drishyam or object and other is drik or subject (seen and seer). The seen or
objects are at the gross level or the subtle level whereas the seer is beyond all levels as the
seer is the very basis of all levels.

Depending on the seer experiencing objects we say that we are at a particular level. The
seer can be considered as someone who has access to all levels yet is beyond all levels (it is
simple to understand that one who has access to all levels must be definitely beyond all
levels – if the person is limited or attached to one level, then access to other levels will not
be there – even if access is there, other levels will not be accessed). When we analyze as to
who the Seer is who has access to the gross, subtle, causal and whatever other levels may
be there, we will come to the conclusion that the seer is “I” or that which pulsates as “I-
exist, I-exist” – pure existence devoid of any association or identification or attachment to

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anything of the world. This pure existence is our very nature but when this pure existence
traverses through a particular level, there is a delusion caused due to improper
understanding of its nature that it is part of the particular level or associated with the
particular level. Thus when this “I” experiences the gross objects of the world, association
with the body is created and the notion that “I am the body” or “I have a body” are created
when then leads to a ton of associations to people and objects of the world which are in
some way related to the body. This notion is wrong because the “I” also experiences a
subtle plane in the dream world where the waking body is completely absent and so are
people/objects of the waking world too. But in the dream world the “I” gets identified with
the dream body and the people or objects of the dream world. This dream world is also
negated in the deep sleep state where we aren’t awake and we aren’t dreaming also but we
are sound asleep. In this deep sleep state both waking body and dream body are not there
but there is a causal body in the form of “I don’t know anything” and “I slept happily” which
shows that it has ignorance and happiness. This deep sleep body itself is negated in both
the waking and dream states. Thus all these three states or levels that “I” go through are
mutually contradicting whereas “I” am present always – in all of them and beyond all of
them – “I” am the very basis of these states. This is the Seer of the nature of pure
existence who is beyond all the states – once a seeker is able to grasp this then all the
sorrows created by these states and in these states will cease to be sorrows as they don’t
taint “I” who is beyond them.

This doesn’t mean that activities will cease to exist – activities will still continue but a seeker
will be able to remain unaffected by the activities and the fruits of those activities thereby
leading a very blissful and content life.

This knowledge about one’s nature being that of the Seer isn’t something that can be easily
grasped from books or tapes. It is something that can be understood only through intuitive
experience. Intuitive experience has to be preceded by intellectual conviction. Conviction
means there is not even an iota of doubt and not even asked when half-asleep. As simple as
this may seem, majority of people in the world cannot just contend with reading books and
imagine to be cleared of doubts – of course imagining can happen but reality will be far
from imaging. Hence the necessity of a Guru to guide us. The Guru is able to bring out even
the subtlest of the doubts in our mind and answer them convincingly not merely through
words but through our own intuitive experience. Moreover books and other sources of
knowledge are a one-way communication where we cannot expect to raise questions that

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come in our mind. But the Guru is a two-way communication where we will not only be able
to get the knowledge that are there in the books but we will be able to raise our doubts and
get them clarified without no time.

☺Of course it again goes without saying that even though many people in the world have a
Sadguru still they may not use the Guru for realization but only for other petty purposes of
the world. Hence irrespective of whether we have a Guru or not, we have to develop strong
urge to know much more than the external gross world so that once this interest is strong in
us, the answers will follow us (either in the form of books etc. or in the form of a Guru).

As long as our mind dwells within the gross level, we will not be able to figure out that there
is a level which is beyond all levels and is the basis of all levels. Unless this level of
Brahman as non-dual reality of Consciousness and our very nature is grasped, eternal bliss
will not be experienced. Until we are able to rejoice in bliss, sorrows will continue over and
over again. Thus suffering in this birth and seeking to get rid of suffering temporarily we will
span through multiple births doing the same things over and over again. As Sankara puts it,
again birth again death and again in the womb of the mother – thus traversing we will not
attain any peace or bliss.

In order to attain peace or bliss we need to develop a strong interest in knowing about
Brahman through Vedanta so that at least in a few births we will be able to realize Brahman
putting an end to miseries and will be able to rejoice in bliss. May the ultimate reality of
Brahman guide us towards the same.

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Mukhya Vishayam

Samaadhi

There are some terms which are so attractive that people go to any extent trying to
understand it and implement it in their lives. One such term is the term of Samaadhi. This
term has a lot of different meanings based on interpretations by different philosophies or
systems and spiritual masters. And as is the case with majority of such special terms, this
term of samaadhi also has been wrongly understood by most of the people in the world.
This article is an effort to set the truth straight about this term of samaadhi by giving a
proper analysis of this term from a Vedantic perspective.

The Sanskrit term of samaadhi means absorption. Absorption obviously requires an object
unto which it is applied. In simple terms, a mind totally fixed on some object is said to be
absorbed in that particular object. Since objects in the world are infinite therefore samaadhi
can be applied on infinite objects. The effect of samaadhi will depend on the object upon
which it is applied even as effect of mental contemplation depends on the object upon which
contemplation is achieved.

Samaadhi – strength of the mind


Samaadhi can be called a state of the mind. The mind as we know is a bundle of thoughts
that constantly fluctuate from one object to another. Such a mind which is focused on many
objects can be considered like water coming out of a reservoir from multiple places – this
means the concentration of water will be less and hence the water will not have any useful
purpose. At the same time if the multiple holes in the reservoir is closed and water is
concentrated to come out from just one tap, the concentration of water will be large. Such
concentrated water can be used for many purposes like drinking, collecting water in a pot
etc. Similarly a concentrated mind can be used for many good purposes – a mind
concentrated on music can be used to create a vocation out of music, earn music, help
people get a bit of soothing or relaxation etc.

We may argue that a concentrated mind is impossible as mind generally hops from one
object to another but this isn’t true. Though concentrated minds are rare, we can find such
concentrated minds in the current world itself – Sachin Tendulkar, Tiger Woods, Stephen

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Hawkins etc. are examples of people having a concentrated mind (mind concentrated on
one or the other object or field or science in the world).

A concentrated mind thus is powerful and can lead to good results or fruits than a mind
which isn’t concentrated. The peak of concentration of the mind happens when the mind is
focused on the object of contemplation alone, nothing else is there in the mind.

When Dronacharya started teaching the pandavas and kauravas, he called upon each of
them and asked them to aim their bow-arrow to the eye of a bird perched on the branch of
a tree. Then he asked each one of them as to what they saw – one replied that he saw the
bird, the branch and the tree. Another replied that he saw the bird, the branch, the tree,
people around it etc. Dronacharya asked all such people to pass by. When Arjuna’s turn
came, Arjuna replied that he saw only the eye of the bird. Then Dronacharya asked Arjuna
to shoot the arrow. Arjuna had a very concentrated mind or a mind which was absorbed on
the goal in hand which was the eye of the bird – he didn’t see anything else. All other things
are distractions when compared with the goal in hand. Distractions take away our energy or
focus on the goal in hand – we may still achieve the goal even with distractions but the time
taken to achieve the goal will be longer and hence efficiency will be lesser. We know very
well that efficiency is a mantra that is used in all workplaces as well as at homes too today.
Hence it is essential to have an absorbed mind in order to attain maximum efficiency
thereby reducing the time taken to achieve the goal.

To summarize, samaadhi is when the mind attains its peak. Samaadhi thus is a strength of
the mind (or “the” strength of the mind). Such strength becomes very essential for a
spiritual sadhaka as spirituality is where one treads a path with lots of unknowns, obstacles
etc. and hence everything that is good will be required to overcome the obstacles.

Samaadhi as Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa


Vikalpa means a modification or a thought in the mind. This categorization of savikalpa and
nirvikalpa can be seen from two different perspectives (which would make samaadhi
categories as 4). One way to look at savikalpa and nirvikalpa is as to the nature of the
object of absorption. If one attains absorption in saguna or saakaara (a form) then we can
say it is savikalpa samaadhi and if one attains absorption in nirguna or formless then we
can say it is nirvikalpa samaadhi. Another more common way of defining these is that
savikalpa is that where a person finds a bit or tinge of difference between himself and the

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form whereas nirvikalpa is where a person finds oneself totally merged unto the form (or
the form alone exists in nirvikalpa). Either way of categorizing, savikalpa is a lower type
whereas nirvikalpa can be considered as higher type and tougher to attain or achieve.

But irrespective of which is higher and lower, both these samaadhis aren’t the ultimate goal.
Samaadhis only help a person to strengthen the mind. A mind strengthened has to be
focused unto the non-dual reality of Brahman as one’s very nature – as long as this focus or
absorption doesn’t happen, the end result of moksha or eternal bliss will not be
experienced. Since the very goal of life is moksha therefore it is essential always to get to
this true samaadhi of being one’s own very Self rather than just imagining a particular form
as different from oneself. Even if a person wants to attain absorption in a form it should be
such that the form pervades the entire world which means it becomes formless (that which
pervades the entire world is beyond space which means it is no longer limited to a form or
bound by space).

Samaadhi on the Self – the goal of life


This sub-topic has to be repeated over and over in the mind by a seeker to ensure that all
other wrong notions don’t creep into the mind. Without focusing on the Self or Brahman,
any type of samaadhi will not help a seeker ultimately. It may lead to attaining a lot of
siddhis or miracles and we may become a guru to many people in the world with followers
flocking around us – we may be indulging in lot of sensual pleasures that is rare to find on
earth (what devas enjoy) – we may be living a very calm, peaceful and blissful life – but all
these are short-lived and when the good fruits attained due to samaadhi get exhausted
(when they are enjoyed) then we will have to go back to being a normal being whose life is
often tossed between happiness and sorrow constantly and going from one birth to another
in this ocean of transmigration.

The scriptures are thus very clear about realization or eternal bliss happening only through
knowledge of one’s nature as the non-dual reality of Brahman which is the substratum or
essence of the illusory names and forms of the world that we currently perceive.

Tameva viditvaa atimrityum eti na anyah panthaa vimukthaye


Only through knowing the Self can a person overcome death or sorrow; there is no other
way to liberation.

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Yadaa charmavad aakaasham vestayishyanthi maanavaah


Tadaa devam avijnaaya dukhasyantho bhavishyathi
When a person is able to fold space like a mat, only then will a person be able to put an end
to sorrow without knowing the Self (this means never will a person be able to put an end to
sorrow without knowing the Self).

As to how a person who does good deeds thereby accruing punya goes to a higher loka,
enjoys and then comes back to earth, the Lord gives these 2 beautiful slokas in Gita.

Traividyaa maam somapaa poothapaapaah


Yajnairistvaa svargathim praarthayanthe
Te punyamaasaadhya surendralokam
Ashnathi divyaan divi deva bhogaan
Those who do activities in the Vedas (getting good fruits) and seeking higher pleasure, they
will accrue punya and thereby go to svargaloka where they will enjoy along with the devas.

Te tam bhukthvaa svargalokam vishaalam


Ksheene punye martyalokam vishanthi
Evam trayee dharmam anuprapannaah
Gataagatam kaamakaamaa labhanthe
Thus, they enjoying the pleasures will fall down back to this human world once they run out
of their punya; thus those who do activities in order to attain pleasures will fulfill their
pleasures by going to a higher plane and coming back again.

When we want to traverse from New York to New Delhi, if we go half way to London and
then get back to New York and repeat this over and over again we would be called a fool or
an idiot. Similarly a person who seeks higher pleasures thinking that they can fulfill his
desires completely is also a fool as he runs here and there over and over again with no
newness at all (the pleasures may be different or appear new but the end result of those
pleasures which is sorrow will always be the same). Dejected from one pleasure to another,
a person thus goes from birth to birth until due to some good deeds the mind gets purified.
And the purified mind is able to attain a bit of strength in the form of meditation or
absorption. Such a strong mind if is able to come in the spiritual path or gains knowledge
will be able to do miracles for the seeker (through progressing towards the goal of eternal
bliss here and now itself).

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Meditation or Contempation
This brings us to meditation or contemplation as a pre-requisite for samaadhi. A mind which
hasn’t attained focus will never be able to attain absorption. This is very simple to
understand – in order to be absorbed in the Fifa world cup (since world cup fever is running
high now☺) one needs to have thought about it quite a lot. Not mere thinking one has to
follow the teams over a period of time in order to understand as to who has the best
chances – just following teams isn’t enough as each competition has a rule of its own hence
following the rules of Fifa is also important. Merely following the rules of Fifa also will not
work as rules also will be changed (though mostly only minor changes) each time the
competition is held. Thus all the effort put into the Fifa world cup is a form of meditation or
contemplation or thinking about it over a period of time. Once a person has thought about it
for a period of time then absorption automatically ensues.

So it is very clear that in order for a saadhaka to becomes absorbed in Brahman as one’s
very nature of Consciousness or Self, contemplation or meditation on this is essential. Thus
meditation or dhyaana on a particular form as standing for Brahman (in order to make the
form pervade the world or attain focus on the world and then make the form pervade the
world) or meditation on one’s very nature being Brahman (through works like nirvaana
shatkam) are essential for a saadhaka. It need not be meditation or dhyaana that alone can
make us attain focus – we can also do contemplation though contemplation is tougher to do
than meditation. Meditation is when we cut ourselves off from the world thereby getting rid
of any possible obstacles for focusing whereas contemplation is when we don’t cut ourselves
from the world but one part of mind is indulging in the world whereas another part is
constantly focusing. Even as an initial driver will struggle with talking and driving at the
same time, initial seekers will find it easier to do meditation than contemplation. Whereas
an experienced driver will have no trouble talking and driving at the same time (even when
the traffic might be in its peak) – similarly an advanced saadhaka will find it very easy to
contemplate. The advantage with contemplation is that people will not complain that we are
overly staying away from the world (the most complaints that parents make about their
children being spiritual is that the children are spending too much time away from them – of
course amidst the busy schedule that the world follows today it is but true that such
complaints will be there). A seeker should use his discretion and intellect to analyze and find
out what is best for him or her (one who has a Guru has the advantage in the Guru
automatically choosing one for the seeker though the seeker may not even realize that the
Guru has chosen and is making him or her do it).

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The more and more a seeker does meditation and contemplation, samaadhi automatically
will happen. The seeker will be able to feel the effects of the object upon which absorption is
practiced. For a spiritual seeker like us we will be able to gain more and more peace once
we do meditation and/or contemplation – happiness will engulf not just our hearts but our
very existence. Even in adverse situations we will find ourselves maintaining a happy smile
externally and blissful mind internally. This is the result of the object of Self or Brahman –
the more and more we progress towards Brahman the more and more we will become
blissful. Such a blissful person will be glowing like a lamp in a dark place – the world today
definitely needs such seekers who become sources of happiness as everywhere we find
sorrow and people immersed in sorrow. When a group of people who all are sad get-
together the sorrow gets intensified or amplified. And when such amplified sorrow passes
from such people to the others they encounter in their day, sorrow spreads very quickly and
an entire town or even a country will be immersed in sorrow.

This is very easy to understood – we get up in the morning and go to buy a coffee. The
person in the coffee shop wears a sad face. Buying the coffee, we start off to work but since
our day has started by looking at the sad face the sorrow automatically passes unto us or
catches up with us. Thus we will also be sad. Once we go to office and find few people
laughing at a place they see us and our sad face – thus they become silent and the laughter
vanishes. Such laughter is essential in the world today (not laughter which is man-made o)r
artificial but real laughter from the hear t – artificially we can laugh if we take drugs as
well). But rewind back a bit – let’s think that the coffee shop guy bears a very smiling face
and smiles whole-heartedly at us while giving us the coffee. That happiness catches up with
us. When we encounter our colleagues laughing we will also join in the laughter – thus a
good environment is created. In such a good environment work will happen very quickly and
easily.

As AMMA always says even one person can create a revolution though it doesn’t matter as
to how large the revolution is or how many people are affected by the revolution. AMMA
gives a story to illustrate this – once in a village there were no street lights and thereby in
the evenings or nights, robbers became more. Robbers starting not just robbing but even
killing people and hence everyone would sit inside their house itself. One day a person who
had a lantern in his house though he should hang the lantern outside his house – he hanged
and found that it was good to see thereby he hung it there itself. Seeing this beautiful light,

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the neighbor too hung a lantern outside his house. Within no time, the entire village was
filled with street lights. And thereby robbers were totally eradicated. Even as the one
person’s activity caused a revolution in the entire village, one smiling person can create an
entire community filled with smiling or happy contended people.

Natural absorption – sahaja samaadhi


Once a seeker is able to slowly maintain a smiling face and a contend mind, then the
absorption unto Brahman as one’s very nature and Brahman as pervading the entire world
becomes very natural. This natural state of being absorbed in one’s Self or Brahman is
termed as sahaja samaadhi and this is the goal of life. Sahaja samaadhi is moksha or
liberation wherein a person is naturally absorbed in the Self – there requires no more
meditation or contemplation – there needs to be no effort put in order to remain as the Self
as it is very natural.

Vedanta strongly says that this sahaja samaadhi is the goal of life – savikalpa or nirvikalpa
or any other type of samaadhi should only lead us to this natural absorption. If they don’t
lead to this natural absorption then we will not get the fruit of eternal bliss but only
temporary results (as we saw earlier).

The definitions of savikalpa or nirvikalpa may be wrong in this article – there are other
types of samaadhi that is also explained in drig drishya viveka and other vedantic works.
But a seeker would really benefit in knowing beyond doubt that the goal of life is sahaja
samaadhi and other samaadhis may or may not be needed in order to attain this sahaja
samaadhi. This sahaja samaadhi only requires constant contemplation of one’s nature as
Brahman which pervades the entire world or meditation of a form and making the form
pervade the entire world – nothing else is required in order to attain eternal bliss. May this
brief article clear all doubts regarding samaadhi and make us strive towards sahaja
samaadhi (which is obviously nothing other than jnaana or knowledge) thereby making us
ever rejoice in bliss in this very birth itself.

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Sankshiptha Vedanta

Khandana Khanda Khaadhyam of Sri Harsha


Very rarely do we come across a majestic work which sets a trend for future works as well
as for philosophies; it becomes a wake-up for many philosophies. Such a majestic work is
the Khandana Khanda Khaadhyam of Sri Harsha.

Before we even begin explaining about this majestic work, there are two types of works that
can be authored. One is the type of work that majority of works cater to which explains the
concepts that the author believes or follows. All of Sankara’s works fall under this category
(except certain portions of his works where he deviates from just explaining Advaita
Vedanta). The second type of work is those which deal only with finding fault with other
philosophies or certain concepts in other philosophies. Some examples of such works are
Nyaayamritham, Maayaavaada Khandanam, Upaadhi Khandanam etc.

Such works which involve just criticizing other philosophies are generally called Khandanam.
These generally don’t explain one’s approved or believed philosophy but just criticizes to all
extant the opponent’s philosophy which is under question (Appayya Dikshitar has authored
few khandanam works against Dvaita Vedanta and Vishista Advaita Vedanta). All of the
khandana authors trace their roots back to Sri Harsha’s work. This work is magnanimous in
its attack, approach and thoroughness.

Sri Harsha’s work attacks the Nyaaya system in its entirely (in all aspects). This work had
so much effect and was so thorough that the Nyaaya system (also known as pracheena
nyaaya) had to undergo change under Gangesha Upadhyaaya and thereby is known as
Navya Nyaaya (many of the recent nyaaya works like Tarka Sangraha, Tarka Bhaasa,
Bhaasha Paricchedha etc. follow the Navya Nyaaya system rather than the old nyaaya
system).

It is obviously impossible to even explain a single portion of this highly logical work let alone
a brief of the work hence the purpose of this article is to let readers know and understand
that such kind of works are there which deal with attacking a particular system from a
highly logical perspective (which thereby requires understanding of not only the system
being attacked but also the system believed by the author as well as logic to a very deep
level). Another purpose of this article is to understand as to how such critical analysis done

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with a proper attitude can lead us to understand a system more thoroughly and beyond
doubts.

The Lord himself proclaims at the end of Gita to Arjuna:

Ithi te jnaanam aakhyaatham guhyaat guhyatharam mayaa


Vimrishya etat asheshena yathaa icchasi tathaa kuru

Thus I have propounded to you knowledge which is very secretive. Analyze this thoroughly
and then whatever you feel as right, do it.

The word the Lord uses here is vimarshanam or critical analysis. Many people often feel that
logic is a hindrance to spiritual path and that one should have faith instead. This is a very
wrong notion. Faith itself is strengthened by logic. If we have to believe that the Lord’s
words in Bhagavad Gita will take us from sorrow to bliss, then we need to analyze it
logically. Faith or belief which isn’t based, not even the least, on logic will definitely lead a
person either in the wrong direction or will get shattered after a period of time (it cannot
stand the test of time). Hence a seeker should never walk away from logic. It is only when
the place of logic isn’t understood properly that one will get deluded into thinking that logic
alone is everything. A seeker with a bit of intellect will be able to understand and keep in
mind that logic like any other means is just a means towards the goal of moksha. Means are
means and thereby have to renounced at a particular time. The car that we drive to work
has to be temporarily renounced when we reach work – we cannot just stick onto the car.
No wise person will stick unto the car which is just a means of transportation between home
and work (or multiple places). Similarly logic is just a means to gain faith unto the goal so
that we will be able to proceed towards the goal irrespective of whatever happens in the
path to us (once faith has been thoroughly tested then no logic is required as such a person
will not be shattered even if the entire world were to be destroyed in front of one’s eyes). A
wise seeker will keep in mind that logic is just a means and not an end. Even as a high-
jumper uses the stick to jump and then lets go of the stick similarly a wise seeker will use
logic in order to assert the goal of Brahman or moksha and then let go of the stick as it has
served its purpose and will not be of any use.

When a person tries to analyze if there is any fault in a particular system, if the system is
without any faults then the conviction will definitely grow. The conviction that will be

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attained after thoroughly analyzing the system critically and still ending up with no faults in
the system will be so strong that it cannot be shattered – not even in dream. It is also
worth keeping in mind that only a system which is fault-less can provide such a statement
as to critically analyze itself (if the system isn’t fault-less then such a statement itself will
lead to its downfall). Therefore it goes without saying that Vedanta (or Advaita Vedanta) is
fault-less in that any person can critically analyze it but all such analysis rather than
affecting the system will only removes doubts from the person’s mind even as a knife
rubbed with a stone will be sharpened rather than affecting the stone.

This now brings us to the attitude behind any logical analysis. Based on the types of
discussion that two people go through, discussions are categorized into vaada, jalpa and
vithanda. Vaada is a normal discussion between two people for the benefit of both the
people gaining some insight in the topic of discussion. Jalpa is when two people are
discussing and the emphasis is towards proving oneself right rather than gaining right
knowledge. Vithanda is where there is no discussion but only attack on the other person’s
views. Vaada is constructive whereas jalpa and vithanda are destructive.

Very rarely can we see vithanda leading in a way to the betterment of many systems (the
rare occasion being this work of Sri Harsha).

The attitude for a seeker behind any logical analysis should be gaining more and more
conviction so that knowledge becomes clear, doubts vanish and the goal of eternal bliss
becomes more in sight (or near to oneself). Such logical analysis is undertaken even by the
scriptures as we find in the Svethakethu Brahmana of Chandogya Upanishad where the
father of Uddhalaka proves to his son Svethakethu that he is none other than Brahman.
With this attitude of gaining more and more conviction a seeker will only benefit from logic
even as a person wanting to build one’s muscles will only benefit from trying to extend his
exercises (which will not break him but will help him grow more – of course here the catch
is to not extend oneself too much). But while undertaking logical analysis a seeker should
always remember to not do too much of logic wherein logic will not at all be there – even as
the state where light is very bright and there is no light might seem to be the same but are
different similarly good logic and no logic might seem very similar but are far different from
one another.

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To sum it, good logic


- Is constructive
- Helps gain more conviction
- Never becomes illogical
- Can be verified by anyone (not just oneself)
- Is always ready to be corrected (this is to do with the person applying logic)
- Uses intellect and not mind (intellect will always think properly whereas mind will get
agitated when it is tried to be corrected).

Now comes the final part of then why did Sri Harsha take up such a task to do a vithandam
or total khandanam of the nyaaya system. The answer is not something that we can
completely grasp unless we understand historically what was happening during the time of
Sri Harsha. Though Sankara’s works established Vedanta as the final way to moksha, there
were naiyyayikas (logicians) who believed otherwise and tried to attack Vedanta to the core.
Hence these naiyyayikas had to be answered for their own benefit so that they will grow
better and will be able to reach the goal of moksha rather than just struggling with logic.
Any logician of today will agree that Sri Harsha was pivotal in strengthening the nyaaya
system to the state that is today (though that still doesn’t necessarily take it to the pinnacle
of moksha). Moreover such works show that Vedanta does have answers to anything and
everything in the world – Vedanta can give explanations for the entire world and at the
same time it can also demolish the entire world to nothing (we know this very well as we
have grasp of Vedanta a bit). Such contrary activities is possible only in that which is the
basis of everything – that which is everything yet different or beyond everything. Brahman
is the entire world as its substratum or essence. But being the substratum or the essence of
the world, Brahman is beyond the entire world as well.

May this mere mention of this majestic work of Sri Harsha help us to use logic in a
constructive way so that it will clarify all our doubts on Vedanta and will lead us towards the
goal of eternal bliss here and in this very birth itself.

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Gitaamritham

8.22
Asamshayam mahaabaaho mano durnigraham chalam
Abhyaasena tu kaunteya vairaagyena cha grihyathe

Word meaning
Mahaabaaho – O Arjuna (one with strong hands)
Asamshayam – without any doubt
Mano durnigraham chalam – tough to control the mind
Tu – but
Abhyaasena cha vairaagyena – through practice and dispassion
Grihyathe – it is possible (to control the mind)
Kaunteya – O Arjuna

Meaning of the sloka: O Arjuna! Without any doubt controlling the mind is very tough
indeed but through practice and dispassion it is possible to control the mind.

Mind – a great mystery


Scientists and great intellectuals all over the world have tried to understand this great
mystery machine of mind. But all of their efforts have been as successful as trying to control
nature and natural phenomenon (means unsuccessful). Thus even as in ancient times the
mind is a source of wonder or awe for majority of people in the world. A proper
understanding or unveiling of this mystery will ensure that the door to eternal bliss is
opened – as long as the mystery remains unveiled it causes sorrow (like any other mystery
does). Thus it is essential to understand this mystery thoroughly. Many mysteries though
are tough to solve, it becomes a piece of cake if we try to follow the footsteps of those who
have unveiled the mystery.

The difference between other mysteries and the mystery of mind is that the mind doesn’t
have any particular characteristics which mean that it depends from individual to individual
and thus harder to solve. But once we have a proper understanding of the mind then we will
be able to unveil the mystery of our mind thereby leading us to accessing eternal bliss.

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Where better to find the way to unveil the mind than from the Lord himself and his
statements in Gita. The first step to unveiling the mystery of mind is to understand the
nature of the mind.

Mind – constantly fluctuating


The mind put in Swami Vivekananda’s words is a drunken monkey. Swami
Amritasvaroopananda goes one step further and says that the mind is like a drunken
monkey on whose head a coconut has fallen. The mind is a bundle of thoughts and the mind
hops from one object to another constantly. Since the mind likes objects and the objects in
the world are infinite therefore the mind has no dearth of constantly moving from one
object to another. Hence Arjuna says that trying to control the mind is like trying to control
air (controlling air is very tough if not impossible).

The funny thing about the constantly changing mind is that the mind doesn’t have any
capability of analysis and hence runs behind worldly objects though what it gets always is
sorrow and sorrow alone. Even though ice creams may cause the body trouble still the mind
will instigate the body to run behind ice cream yet again. Inability to analyze will lead a
person to fall-downs every now and then like a person who is walking in the road without
analyzing as to whether there is a ditch in front – after getting up from one ditch, the
person will fall into another ditch and this chain continues for ever. The mind thus
constantly hopping from one object to another takes us from one birth to another while
continuously leading us to sorrow and suffering.

Only few wise people will be able to use the intellect to analyze and guide the mind in the
right direction.

Intellect – vairagya or dispassion


Intellect is that component of the antah karana which helps in analyzing, asserting and
decision-making. Such an intellect is essential to ensure that the monkey of mind is guided
properly rather than hopping here and there with no restraint whatsoever.

Though many people have a proper working intellect still they aren’t able to control and
guide the mind. This is because the intellect doesn’t have proper knowledge. Proper
knowledge isn’t worldly sciences that we learn in schools, colleges and seminars but proper
knowledge is knowledge about the nature of the world. Nature of the world is encompassed

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in just two words by the Lord in the Gita as “anityam asukham lokam” – the world is
anityam or constantly changing. The objects of the world are constantly changing – never
ever remaining the same. Asukham means sorrowful – since the world is constantly
changing therefore it is sorrowful. That which constantly changes can never give us bliss
(the concept of inertia can be remembered here – we don’t want to change as changes
causes trouble and thereby sorrow). An object of the world which exists now and vanishes
tomorrow cannot give happiness but only sorrow as we may depend on the object now –
when the dependency is shattered tomorrow (the object no longer existing) then we will end
up in sorrow. Thus world and its object/people will only lead us to sorrow at all times. The
only exceptions to objects or people of the world that will give us bliss is the scriptures or
texts based on scriptures and spiritual masters but all of these are based on Brahman and
hence, really speaking, aren’t part of the world.

Keeping in mind this knowledge about the nature of the world (temporary and sorrowful) is
the first step to dispassion or vairagya. The second step is when we try to find out that
which is permanent and blissful – if there is something that constantly changes, there
should definitely be something which is changeless and based on which change happens.
That entity based on which the world changes is the reality of Brahman. Brahman’s nature
is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute. The second step is when a seeker tries to
find out more and more about Brahman thereby gaining more passion and love towards
Brahman.

Thus true dispassion is when a seeker knows the nature of the world as temporary and
sorrowful thereby remaining detached and unaffected to the entire world while having
passion towards Brahman in order to attain the goal of eternal bliss thereby constantly
progressing towards this goal of Brahman.

Abhyaasa – practice and consistency


Though true dispassion may be there, it still requires constant practice in order to control
the mind. This is because the mind gets addicted to running behind worldly pleasures. A
person who has been waking up at 5 am in the morning for 5 years will automatically get up
by 5 even though it isn’t a working day and there is no need to get up early. Addictions are
always tough to overcome – the one mantra to overcome addiction is practice or constantly
trying to overcome the addiction.

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Even as our mouth will automatically start watering when we see our favorite food item of
laddoo though we have diabetes and cannot eat, similarly the mind will automatically start
running behind worldly pleasures thinking that it will give happiness (hopping constantly
from one object to another) and thereby it will require consistency in implementing
dispassion to ensure that the mind can be made to focus on the goal of eternal bliss.

It is worth remembering here that many people have minds which are focused towards one
or the other goal in the world. As seekers our goal isn’t to gain focus on worldly objects but
focus on the ultimate reality of Brahman (dispassion can be interpreted as trying to remain
focused on the goal in hand and trying to avert other distractions from the goal which will
cause us sorrow by making us deviate from the goal). Hence all analysis of this sloka is
based on the goal of moksha rather than a generic analysis of the mind and its control.

Any habit or addiction can be changed if constant effort is put towards removing the
addiction or trying to focus on something else (sort of a diversion). A spiritual seeker by
constantly practicing dispassion automatically accomplishes both (knowing the nature of the
world as sorrowful will remove the addiction and focusing on the blissful goal of Brahman
will create a diversion). Since the habit or addiction has been there for many births hence it
may take a lot of time to get rid of the addiction. Thus it is essential to have consistency
and never to lose hope. Consistency is very easily attained if we keep in mind the goal or
the end result of bliss.

As the Lord says, a seeker who has dispassion and practice will be easily able to not just
control the mind but go beyond the mind, its dualities and sorrows into the state of eternal
bliss where there is rejoicing and rejoicing alone. May the Lord and this brief analysis of the
Lord’s words guide us to control the mind and attain a blissful state here and now itself.

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Upanishad Prachaaram

Thoughts of a Brahma Jnaani

For a change (of course change is inevitable and is essential to not make things boring☺)
we will see an explanation of one sloka of Mundaka Upanishad.

Yam yam lokam manasaa samvibhaathi


Vishuddhasattvah Kaamayathe yaascha kaamaan
Tam tam lokam jaayathe taamscha kaamaan
Tasmaat atmajnam hi archet bhoothikaamah

Whatever worlds and desires a man of very pure mind (purified through realization) thinks,
those worlds and desires will be fulfilled; hence those who want to have their desires
fulfilled should surrender unto such a person.

Desires – fundamental block of worldly life


There would rarely be a person in the world who doesn’t have any desires. Desires are the
very basics of living itself. Some desire for money; others for fame; yet others for partner;
thus though desires are of different types still majority of people are bound by desires.
There is nothing wrong with having desires. A desire-less person is one who doesn’t have
any direction in life at all. Such a person just lives like an animal just eating, drinking,
sleeping and mating. As Sri Ramakrishna used to say desires cannot be removed but we can
make them purer and higher. The more and more purer our desires become, then we will be
moving towards the desire of moksha which is the highest of all desires. Hence a seeker
should if possible directly try to develop the desire of moksha – of course most of us are
already seekers of moksha and have varying degrees of the desire (for some it is strong, for
some it is weak).

A wise person is not one who just has desire but is a person who makes the desire strong so
that the way to fulfill the desire becomes clear in front of the person. Once the way to fulfill
the desire becomes clear, then an implementation of the way will happen which will ensure
that the desire is fulfilled quickly and very soon indeed.

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In order for a seeker to get the desire of moksha fulfilled, the way out is Vedanta or
knowledge propounded in the scriptural portions of the Vedas called Upanishads. Vedanta is
not just a knowledge but a philosophy as well which is systematic in order to ensure that we
slowly progress towards moksha rather than trying to attain it instantly and hurting
ourselves (even as a person trying to run for the first time in life will hurt himself if he runs
10s of miles in the first day itself – slow and gradual progress is essential). Though today
Vedanta is available in various forms and even at the tip of our fingers in the form of
websites, mp3s, web telecasts etc. all these can be considered like learning to drive through
a videotape. Real driving is obviously different from just seeing a videotape. A person learns
to drive only when a driving instructor teaches the person to drive. Similarly though it is
possible for exceptional people to learn Vedanta on their own way majority of us need a
spiritual master in order to not just learn Vedanta but implement Vedanta and achieve the
goal of moksha in this very birth itself.

Desire fulfiller – a jnaani


A jnaani or a spiritual master is one whose mind is very pure. Impurity of the mind is
nothing but duality. Wherever dual thoughts are there, the mind will enter into likes and
dislikes. Likes and dislikes in turn lead to attachment and aversion. Attachment and
aversion in turn lead to happiness and sorrow – the limited happiness is sandwiched by
sorrow and hence it is sorrow alone that a person experiences due to dual notion or
considering duality as real in the mind. A jnaani is one who knows beyond doubt that this
dual world is merely an illusion of names and forms in the non-dual reality of Brahman. The
world that is experienced is an illusion like the dream world and is appearance of names and
forms. Even as various gold ornaments are mere illusion of names and forms in gold,
similarly this world is considered and known by such a jnaani to be mere illusion of names
and forms. Thus being beyond dual thoughts in the mind such a jnaani will be ever blissful.

Since the jnaani’s mind is pure, the mind is very concentrated. A concentrated mind is that
which doesn’t have too many thoughts (many thoughts distract the mind and can be
considered as the mind running in all directions). Since a jnaani doesn’t have any thoughts
but the thought of Brahman therefore the mind is very concentrated. Such a concentrated
mind whenever imagines or thinks anything that automatically gets fulfilled. Thus the
thoughts and desires of a jnaani immediately get fulfilled.

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Thus not just a seeker but even a worldly person who wants his desires fulfilled needs to
seek a jnaani who alone can fulfill the desires definitely.

Surrender to jnaani – way to fulfill desires


Surrendering unto a jnaani is the only way to fulfill our desires. As all mahatmas say a
jnaani is like a mirror – whatever attitude we have with the jnaani that will be reciprocated.
If we show attitude of anger, we will reap the fruit of anger (not the jnaani as the jnaani is
like a mirror who will reflect back the anger). If we have the attitude of surrender then the
way out will be shown to us through the jnaani. Thus only through surrender can we make a
jnaani to fulfill our desires. The jnaani doesn’t need anything from us but we need desires to
be fulfilled from the jnaani – hence surrendering is very essential. Many people think that
surrender is very easy and simple – it isn’t simple at all. Surrendering partially may be very
simple but complete surrender unto a jnaani is very tough and can be cultivated only
through the strong desire for moksha and through constant practice. Complete and total
surrender to a jnaani will make the jnaani show compassion upon us and thereby fulfilling
all our desires irrespective of whether desires are worldly or spiritual.

For spiritual seekers like us we should never use a jnaani to fulfill worldly desires as it would
be like using a computer to just calculate simple numbers. We should use the jnaani only to
fulfill our spiritual desires. Spiritual desires aren’t just the desire for moksha but even
desires to get rid of obstacles in the spiritual path. A seeker generally will face lot of
obstacles. These obstacles are tough to overcome by oneself and hence such spiritual
masters (jnaanis) will very easily remove these obstacles thereby making the seeker
progress quickly and easily towards the goal of moksha.

Even as a mother always take care of her child (even when the mother isn’t within the sight
of the child) similarly a spiritual master always take care of the disciples or those who
surrender unto him.

Jnaani – one with Brahman or Ishwara


A jnaani is a knower of Brahman and hence is one with Brahman. Thus such a jnaani is not
different from Ishwara who controls this entire world. Thereby such a jnaani will be very
easily able to change the future for a seeker who surrenders unto such a jnaani. This means
that a person who surrenders unto such a jnaani will be always protected and ensured the
goal of moksha if it is sought out.

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Even with surrender to a jnaani it is essential to have the desire of moksha as the only thing
seeking from the jnaani. If this desire for moksha is not kept in mind we will fall for worldly
pleasures thereby asking them and getting from the jnaani. Once a person gets deluded into
worldly pleasures then it will take a lot of time to come out of such delusions. A person who
thinks that moksha is to be gained after marriage will definitely not be able to attain
moksha – marriage means partner and taking care of the partner. Then children will be born
– taking care of the children becomes the prime activity. When children grow up, it becomes
grand children who are the people to take care. Then it becomes time to give up the body
but still many desires are there. Thus one gives up this body and takes another body. Thus
the chain continues over and over again – thereby never making a person come out of this
vicious delusion. Thus it is essential to always have the desire of moksha so that when we
meet a spiritual master we will be able to ask moksha and moksha alone thereby attaining
moksha in this very birth itself.

May this brief article as to the greatness of spiritual masters instigate us to always have the
desire of moksha as the primary desire and above all desires so that we will attain it here
and now itself.

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Raga Varsha

Desh
Desh is a very beautiful raga which has its bases set in folk music. But this raga has
becomes so popular in Hindustani that it has been imported into Carnatic system as well
where also it has become very popular. The raga has been popularized to a large extent by
the Vande Mataram song of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee being tuned in this raga. Thus it
goes without saying that many desh-bhakthi or patriotic songs are set in this particular raga
(even tamil patriotic songs are very popular in this raga).

Desh comes under the Khamaj That in Hindustani whereas in Carnatic it falls under the
Harikhamboji melakartha (28th melakartha).

Arohana
SRMPNS
Avarohana
S n D P M G R, S
(N is shuddha nishadha and n is komal nishadha – all other svaras are shuddha svaras)
Pakad
R M P, M P D M G R, R G, N S

Desh falls under the category of ragas whose arohana-avarohana as well as pakad will not
give a full picture of the raga.

The main two svaras of the raga are R and P though the G plays a vital role while traversing
from M to R that this particular traverse can be used as a way to identify the raga.

Classical Songs
Hariye bhakthi – purandaradaasar
Thillana – Lalgudi Jayaraman

Film Songs
Kanave Kalayaathe – kannethire thondrinaal

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Amma songs
Sir mein mayor
http://vedantatattva.org/vedanta/songs/song7.html
Mere hriday
http://vedantatattva.org/vedanta/songs/song86.html

Kaivalya Navaneetam
http://vedantatattva.org/vedantagroup/Kaivalya_Navaneetham/6_desh.mp3

Compositions
Mere dil me
http://vedantatattva.org/vedantagroup/Aparna/Compositions/Songs/lyrics.html#song7
Abhyaasa Vairagya Vivaranam
http://vedantatattva.org/vedantagroup/Aparna/Compositions/Songs/lyrics.html#song55
Paramaatma Advaya Anandah
http://vedantatattva.org/vedantagroup/Aparna/Compositions/Songs/lyrics.html#song75

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Madhuraamritham

NeeMadiChallaga -- MatrubhootamIyer
Raaga: AnandaBhairavi

Pallavi:
Nee madi challaga nannu brochuta kee mamma Shankari Amba ||

Anupallavi:
Somashekharuni raanivaina Sugandhi Kuntalaamba Maayamma ||

Charana:
Talli tandri guru daivamu neevani ellapudu Ni pada pankajamu
Kullamuna ninnu maravaka bhajiyincheda omkaarinee tripurasundari

Nee madi challaga nannu brochuta kee mamma Shankari Amba ||


Somashekharuni raanivaina Sugandhi Kuntalaamba Maayamma ||

Nee madi challaga – your heart at peace


Nannu brochuta keemamma (emi amma?) – Why can’t you rule me?
Shankari Amba – Oh!! Goddess
Somashekaruni – Of Lord Shiva
Raanivaina – as wife
Sugandhi – having nice smell
Kuntalaamba mayamma – My mother kuntalaamba
Meaning: With your heart which is calm and peaceful why can’t you protect me? O!!
Shankari, Amba. O! Wife of lord Shiva, O! My mother who spreads nice smell and is called
kuntalaamba.

Talli tandri guru daivamu neevani ellapudu ni pada pankajamu


Kullamuna ninnu maravaka bhajiyincheda omkaarinee tripurasundari

Talli – mother
Tandri – father
Daivamu – Ishwara

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Neevani – you are


ellapudu – always
ni pada pankajamu – your lotus feet
Kullamuna – in the caste/sect
ninnu – you
Maruvaka – without forgetting
Bhajiyincheda – will worship
omkaarini – one who is the omkara
tripurasundari – who is beautiful and rules the three puras or bodies.

Meaning: You are mother, father, Ishwara and Guru for me. In my sect I shall always
Worship your lotus feet without forgetting you, O! Omkarini O! tripurasundari.

Import
The devotee considers all relations like mother, father, guru and ishwara as the Goddess
alone. For a devotee the lord is everything. He sees lord as everything for him. Thus all
bondages vanish for him. He doesn’t give much importance to any relationship in the world,
except his relationship with the lord.

He says that he will always worship mother without forgetting her. This brings out a
beautiful aspect of how the devotees mind should always be focused on the Lord, never
forgetting for a second. This is called ananya bhajanam, which the devotee brings out so
beautifully. A true devotees mind always dwells in the lord. Not even for a second he can
forget the lord. His mind always pulls towards remembering ishwara whom he/she loves so
much.

Worshipping the lotus feet of the Goddess indicates the total state of surrender of the
devotee who seeks nothing but remembrance of the lord.

He calls out to the mother of universe and questions her as to why she can’t protect him?
With the closeness a child has to its mother. He demands her to come protect him and that
he shall always remember her without forgetting. This shows his longing to seek mother’s
blessing. Thus this song brings out beautifully the mental state of a true devotee who is
seeking the lord alone in this world and wants nothing else.
nIvE gatiyani (varNam) – Sri Shyama Sastri

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Raaga: kalyANi / Tala: tishra maThyam

Pallavi:
nIvE gatiyani nera namminAnu jagadambanIvanAtharakSaki mAyammA

Anupallavi:
rAvE vEgamE manavi vinammA shrIrAjarAjEshvarI dEvI

Charanam:
kAmakOTi pITha nivAsini kalyANi shyAmakRSNa sOdari dEvi nIdu caritamu vinivini
pAdakamalamunu kOritini sadA gatiyani pOgaDi pOgaDi
sharaNamu gOlicEnammA baHNgAru kAmAkSi

nIvE gatiyani nera namminAnu jagadambanIvanAtharakSaki mAyammA

Nive – you
Gatiyani—resort
Nera namminanu – I firmly believed
Jagadamba ni—you jagadamba
Vanatharakshaki(not sure) – you are the protector
Mayamma – my mother
Meaning: You are my only resort O! Jagadamba!! O! Protector of the soul O! My mother.
This is My firm belief.

rAvE vEgamE manavi vinammA shrIrAjarAjEshvarI dEvI

Rave – please come


Vegame – fastly
Manavi – request
Vinamma – please listen
Shri rajarajeswari devi – goddess

Meaning: Please come fastly, please listen to my request O!! rajarajeswari devi!

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kAmakOTi pITha nivAsini kalyANi shyAmakRSNasOdari dEvi


nIdu caritamu vinivini pAdakamalamunu kOritini
sadA gatiyani pOgaDi pOgaDi sharaNamu gOlicEnammA baHNgAru kAmAkSi

Kamakoti pitha nivasini – one who stays at kamakoti peetam


Kalyani shyama Krishna sodari – kalyani, sister of shyama Krishna
Devi nidu charitamu – devi your history
Vinivini – listened again and again
Pada kamalamunu – lotus feet
Koritini – I asked for/seeking
Sadaa gatiyani – always resort/shelter
Pogadi pogadi – praising
Sharanamu – asking for protection
Golichenamma – I worshipped you
Bangaru kamaskhi – golden kamakshi

Meaning
O! Goddess who is residing at kamakoti peetham, who is the sister of shyama Krishna . I
listened to your glory again and again and asked you for shelter at your lotus feet .I know
that your always my resort. I praise you over and over again seeking shelter by worshipping
you O!! My golden goddess Kamakshi.

Import
Devotee prays to the goddess of kamakshi of kamakoti peetham and say that he firmly
believes that goddess alone is his only resort. The firm belief of the devotee that goddess
alone can protect him in the world is seen here. This faith of devotee alone helps him
proceed in the path. He understands that all other activities/actions in the world are useless
and depends totally on goddess and acts with this knowledge.

He pleads Goddess to heed to his request and come soon and protect him. A true devotee
always prays to lord to protect him from the chain of birth and death, to protect him from
all sorrows of the world. He longs to become one with the lord and ever be in that eternal
blissful state. This calling out to the goddess by a devotee also helps to develop intense
longing in him which paves way to reach the goal.

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The devotee listens to the glories of the lord and praises the lord and worships him
surrendering himself/herself to the feet of the lord. When a devotee understands the glories
of the lord, his heart moves with devotion towards the goddess. The compassion and love
and protection of the goddess towards her devotees in the mythological stories attract the
devotee. He revels in the sweetness of the glories of the lord. He is so overwhelmed that he
keeps praising the goddess for such compassion and love universal mother shows towards
her devotees. This also helps him to surrender at the lotus feet of the goddess.

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Praadeshikam

Kaivalya Navaneetam

In the April Magazine, we saw the first stanza of Kaivalya Navaneetam where the author
was offering his prostrations to Iswara who was described as the indweller of everything. In
the second stanza the author offers his prostrations to Iswara again, but he describes
Iswara in this stanza as the cause of the entire world yet not affected by the creation
thereby remaining blissful.

Stanza 2:
Endru alithu azhikum seigaiku edhuvaam aiyanaai maalaai
Aandra Esanumaai thaane anantha moorthiyumaai nirkum
Poondra muthanumaai inbapunari aadhavanaai naalum
Thondirya vimala bodha swaroopathai panikindren

Word Meaning:
Endru – created the world
Alithu – protected the world
Azhikum – and destroys the world
Seigaiku edhuvaam – as doer of these three actions
Thaane – he himself
Aiyanaai maalaai aandra Eshanumaai – became the brahma, Vishnu and Rudra
Anantha moorthiyumaai – (he himself) became uncountable appearances
Poondra muthanumaai nirkum – yet remaining complete and unattached
Inbapunari aadhavanaai – and as ocean of anandam
Naalum thondriya – that which shines on all times
Vimala bodha swaroopathai – that which is of the nature of Pure Consciousness and
Anandam
Panikindren – I offer my prostrations

Meaning:
He himself became Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra to do the action of creation, protection and
destruction; he himself became all the uncountable appearances in the world yet he stood

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unaffected, complete and as ocean of Anandam; who is of the nature of Pure


Consciousness-Bliss, to that Iswara my prostrations.

Brahman is the Ultimate cause:


In the first two lines the author mentions that everything is one Iswara. Scriptures mention
that Iswara created this world out of him and finally merges them back to Iswara. The
author mentions in the last line that the Iswara has the nature of Pure Consciousness and
Bliss which is the same nature as Brahman. The world that we see came from the Iswara
and finally merges onto the Lord. These processes of creation and destruction are not a
linear process, but a cyclic process. The world gets manifested and goes back to Brahman
after every cycle, thus it is clear that world is not something newly created. Scriptures
clearly mentions that before the creation of this world, Brahman alone existed one without
the second. Before the creation of the world, the world exist in Brahman in unmanifested
form. At that time, there was only non-duality just like deep-sleep. When the time came to
manifest this world, Brahmaji was the first person to come out and then he takes over the
role as the creator of everything else. After creation the world, Brahman himself takes the
role of Vishnu to protect the world. And finally during the time of pralayam, Brahman takes
the role of Rudra to merge the world back to Brahman.

For any creation to take place, there has to be an intelligent cause and a material cause.
The well known example of pot and potter can be remembered to understand this point. Pot
is effect created out of the cause of clay by a potter. So clay is the material cause and
potter is the intelligent cause. In this case, the intelligent cause is totally different from the
material cause. But in the case of the world, the intelligent cause and the material cause are
one and the same. Thus, Brahman is the Ultimate cause of the world and creates the world
out of himself. Scriptures itself gives a proper example to illustrate this. Just like spider
creates web out of itself and merges it back to itself, Brahman creates the world out of
himself and merges it back to himself.

Once an effect is created out of the cause, the cause always pervades the effect. Potter use
clay to create many pots. Clay being the cause of the pot pervades all the pots that got
created out of that lump of clay. Thus we can say that the cause of clay pervades all pots.
In fact, realistically speaking before the creation of pots clay alone was there, when the pots
are created clay alone exist and when pots are destroyed clay alone will exist. In the same
way, the world that is seen is nothing but Brahman. Thus, the author here says that

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Brahman himself became Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra to perform the activities of creation,
protection and destruction and also is seen as the world and every objects of the world.

Poondra muthan (complete and unattached):


Creation is also an action like any other action in the world. When a person performs an
action, the action is preceded by a desire in the mind to perform that action. A desire in the
mind means that there is a sense of incompleteness in the mind of the person. Because of
the sense of incompleteness in the mind, one desires for something and performs action to
satisfy that desire so that he can get that sense of completeness. When a person performs
the action through which he gets his desire satisfied, he feels happy and complete for a little
while until next desire crops in the mind. Thus, most human remains bonded and does more
and more actions to fulfill his desire because of the sense of incompleteness. In the same
way, if creation is also an action done by Iswara then there could be a doubt whether
Iswara is also bonded like any other human in the world. But that is not the case.

Though the world comes from the Iswara, he remain unattached to the world. Iswara
creates this world through the inexplicable power of Maya. The world that we see in front
exist only because of Iswara. If Iswara is there, world is there. If Iswara is not there world
is not there. But the other way is not true. If world is not there, Iswara still exist. This
shows that Iswara is not dependent on the world in stead the world is dependent on Iswara.
As mentioned before, all that is seen is only that same Iswara in different names and forms.
If everything is the same, there is nothing different that there cannot be any limitation.
Since there is no limitation, there cannot be any sense of incompleteness. Thus, Iswara is
always complete.

inbapunari aadhavanaai (Ocean of Anandam):


If a person is complete and unattached what else can a person experience other than
anandam. For a moment, let us imagine ourselves to have everything that can ever be
thought about without missing anything, what will we be our experience? We may even get
a little bit of anandam even to imagine such a situation. This imaginary situation for us is
the reality for Iswara. Anything that we can imagine is the manifestation of Iswara. There is
nothing ever in the Universe which is not Iswara and there can never be. What else can
such an Iswara be but unlimited anandam? Beyond doubt yes, Iswara is ocean of Anandam.
That is why many people seek Iswara for any situation. Whether a person wants to get rid

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of problem or some wealth or knowledge or anything in the world for that matter seeks
Iswara for grace because he is complete and only person who can bestow anything.

Naalum thondriya vimala bodha swaroopam (of the nature of Eternal Pure
Consciousness):
After explaining Brahman from the perspective of the world, the author gives the real
nature of Iswara. The real nature of Iswara is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Iswara is
essentially same as Brahman. Brahman ever exists because Brahman is the only really
existing thing. Brahman is also a Consciousness entity which knows its own existence. And
since there is nothing else existing different from Brahman, it is pure as well.

To that Iswara who is the cause of the entire universe yet remaining unattached and blissful
who ever exists, Pure Consciousness the author offers his prostrations.

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Charitham

Sarada Devi
One cannot learn Vedanta without coming across this majestic being of Adi Sankaracharya.
Whether one is learning Advaita Vedanta or any of the other contemporary Vedantic schools
(like Vishista Advaita, Dvaita etc.) one cannot but ignore the presence of Adi Sankaracharya
also known as Sankarabhagavatpada or as some lovingly call him Sankara.

Sarada Devi

Though today we are in a world where gender-bias is supposed to be completely eliminated


still such gender-bias can be found in many places of the world. Thus it is rare indeed to
find a female spiritual master and one such spiritual master is Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Sadguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi tells a story about how we can change our own future.
Once a person went to the king to ask for money. The king instead of giving the person
money threw one of his shoes at the person. The person ran away with the shoe. After a
few years, the king saw that the person had become very rich. When he enquired as to how
he became rich, the person replied that he sold the shoe in auction (putting it as the king’s
shoe) and thereby became rich. Thus like the person we can decide our future based on
what we currently have in our hands. By doing proper actions now, we can change our fate
or destiny (the future) even as salt water can be made less salty by adding more water to
it.

We find this in Sarada Devi’s life. Sarada Devi was married at a very young age to Sri
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. As was the custom in those days, children used to get married
very young and the conception was that marriage is essential in order to keep up one’s
generation. Such wrong notions or concepts have been there in the past and are there in
the present too. It is a pity that though the scriptures very clearly renounce all these
concepts or wrong notions and proclaim at the top of their voice over and over again the
moksha or liberation is the one and only goal of life itself. In order to avoid confusion
regarding definition of liberation, the scriptures again clearly mention that liberation is
realizing our very nature of blissful Brahman as pure Consciousness devoid of the limitations
of body-mind-intellect etc. Our very nature of Brahman is the non-dual reality behind the

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illusory world which seems very real. The ultimate goal of life is to realize that this world is
just an illusory dream like the dream world we experience daily in sleep.

It takes a courageous heart to go against such wrong tradition and pursue the ultimate goal
of life (liberation). And we find the couple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sarada
Devi doing exactly the same. As Swami Paramarthananda puts it humorously, when an
insecure man marries an insecure woman it becomes insecurity square. And when they give
birth to a child, then it becomes insecurity cube. The scriptures speak about how partners
instruct each other and help each other in the spiritual quest towards liberation. But this is
very rarely found today as both the partners have only worldly interests and hence don’t
have any time at all for spirituality. When such parents give birth to a child or children, they
will also be having worldly interests. Thus continues generations of having less interest in
spirituality and more interest in worldly matters.

But in this couple of Sri Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi we find as to how couples are
supposed to be. Sri Ramakrishna instructed Sarada Devi in spirituality and hence she
become like a mother to all of his disciples. Thus they both leading a spiritual life they have
been able to and are able to even today lead a lot of people in the world towards the goal of
liberation.

Many of Sarada Devi’s teachings and quotes are worth pondering over and implementing in
life. Sarada Devi wasn’t one who merely had theoretical knowledge but she also did lot of
intense sadhana during the time of Sri Ramakrishna and after his Samadhi as well.

She was not only able to help herself in the spiritual path but able to guide the disciples of
Sri Ramakrishna after his Samadhi. This is where we find that a truly spiritual person will be
able to change his or her future based on the current actions and thereby will be able to
create a revolution in the entire world by being beacons of light showing the world the way
to moksha.

Many of her words are resonances from the scriptures and hence are purely traditional
thereby will lead a seeker in the right direction towards the goal of moksha very quickly.
May this brief on Sarada Devi instigate every one irrespective of gender to achieve the goal
of moksha and ever rejoice in bliss.

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Vedanta Pariksha

This month all questions are based on concepts from Gita.

1) The chapter that explains the characteristics of a true devotee (bhaktha) of the Lord
a) 15th Chapter
b) 12th Chapter
c) 7th Chapter
d) 5th Chapter
2) The sloka that reads “he who sees nobody other than the gunas as the doer of
activities, he goes beyond the gunas and thereby attains me”.
a) 6.10
b) 2.50
c) 14.19
d) 13.6
3) The one sloka that is added in certain editions or versions of the Bhagavad Gita
thereby bringing the total tally of slokas to 701 (rather than the normally accepted
700) is
a) 13.1
b) 2.9
c) 10.1
d) 18.1
4) Give the sloka numbers of at least 3 slokas which speak about Ishwara as residing in
the hearts of all beings
5) The sloka that reads “I will now tell you that object of knowledge knowing which a
person attains immortality and the object of knowledge being beginning-less
Brahman and which is different from existence and non-existence”
a) 12.12
b) 13.12
c) 5.12
d) 17.12
6) The chapter that speaks about the paths a person can take after death here is
a) 8th Chapter
b) 5th Chapter
c) 14th Chapter

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d) 17th Chapter
7) The chapter that speaks about divine qualities and devilish qualities is
a) 7th Chapter
b) 18th Chapter
c) 16th Chapter
d) 9th Chapter
8) The sloka that says “I am never neither born nor will die; I am unborn, changeless,
eternal, very ancient; when the body dies, I don’t die”
a) 2.20
b) 12.10
c) 15.5
d) 10.10
9) The sloka that reads “not even for a moment a person can remain without doing
actions” is
a) 3.5
b) 4.1
c) 5.2
d) 7.3
10) The chapter whose beginning the Lord mentions how traditionally knowledge he is
imparting to Arjuna has passed down from generation to generation is
a) 3rd Chapter
b) 10th Chapter
c) 4th Chapter
d) 9th Chapter

Watch out the next magazine for answers to this quiz. Email your responses to
admin@vedantatattva.org and find out how good your scores really are.

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Answers to previous quiz

1) C (Chandogya Upanishad)
2) A (Mundaka Upanishad)
3) B (Bhagavad Gita)
4) A (Mandukya Upanishad)
5) B (Mandukya Upanishad)
6) A & B (Bhagavad Gita & Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
7) B (Manu Smrithi)
8) C (Vivekachoodaamani)
9) B & C (Naishkarmya Siddhi & Panchadashi)
10) C (Mukthikopanishad)

Scores
Aparna – 8.5
Rajesh – 8

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Mata Parichayam

Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai


Among the many centers of Sri Ramakrishna Mission, the center that was established in
Chennai was considered as a pilgrimage place just as we know the common pilgrimage
places like Kashi etc. The reason is that this Math in Chennai has been visited by many
great Mahatmas. The presence of a mahatma always purifies and makes the place spiritual
wherever he is. The places like kashi and other pilgrim places still remain pure only because
many mahatmas visit those pilgrim places. In the same way, many great mahatmas had
visited this center and made it a great spiritual place to be. Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi
stayed in this Math for about one month and initiated many devotees. Swami Brahmananda,
who was the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna paramahamsa, stayed in this Math many
times. He laid the foundation stone for the (old) temple in 1916. Swami Shivananda, who
was popularly called as Mahapurush Maharaj, who was a great yogi, stayed in this center for
a long time. Swami Vijnanananda, one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa, had stayed at this center between 1932 and 1933. Swami
Ramakrishnananda, who was also a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, was
the head of this center for a long time. Another fact is that this center is the first Sri
Ramakrishna mission center established in Southern India.

Swami Vivekananda travelled to west in 1893, made his historic participation in the World
and spent about 4 years in West spreading the message of Vedanta. After his successful trip
to the west he came back to Chennai in 1897 where he had unprecedented welcome from
the devotees of Chennai. At that time he stayed at the Ice house (now called Vivekanandar
Illam) for about 9 days. Devotees requested to establish a Sri Ramakrishna Mission Center
in Chennai. He said he would go back and send one of the greatest devotees of the Order to
head this center. He went back to Belur math and asked his brother-disciple Swami
Ramakrishnananda to go down to Chennai and head the center. As per Swamiji’s wish,
Swami Ramakrishnananda came to Chennai in 1897 and started a center.

When Swami Ramakrishnananda came to Chennai he too stayed at Ice House and that
place became the Sri Ramakrishna Mission Center. Swamiji lived there for 10 years and
helped the devotees in all possible ways. He always lived a life of sacrifice and did all the
work with utmost devotion. In November 1907, because of the change in ownership of the
Ice House building, they had to move out of that place. That’s when they moved to a place

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in Mylapore the current place where the Center is located. A devotee by name A. Kondiah
Chettiar, who was a close devotee of the math, gifted a plot to the Math. The adjacent plots
were bought later and present building (not the Universal temple) was built in 1922. Swami
Ramakrishnananda stayed as the head of the Center for nearly 14 years and also started
other centers in other southern part like Bangalore, Mysore and Trivandrum.

After Swami Ramakrishnananda, the Math had unbroken successors of great Swamis who
continued the great of Swami Ramakrishnananda. Currently, Swami Gautamananda is
heading Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai Center. In 1992, Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai
then President Swami Bhuteshanandaji Maharaj started to build a Universal Temple at the
Math. He first laid the foundation stone for this Universal Temple and it took nearly 7 years
to build that huge temple in the Mylapore Math which we can see at the Center now. It is
open to all public, people of all religion, race, caste and creed.

Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai has a very well established publication. They publish lot of
books in various languages and apart from the Vedantic, other spiritual and religious books,
the publication also issues 2 magazines namely Vedanta Kesari and Ramakrishna Vijaya.
There are lots of regular Vedantic classes conducted at the center by swamis of the center
and not only that they also conduct other monthly programs like Personality development
for Youth etc. They not only conduct the vedantic classes, they also do lot of missionary
activities of helping out suffering people, providing best education to many low income
people etc.

Swami Ramakrishnananda
Swami Ramakrishnananda was one of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
His purvashrama name was Shashi bhushan Chakrabarty. He was born on 13th July 1863 in
Ichapur Village in West Bengal. From the childhood, Shashi was a very intelligent person.
He was very good in his studies and stood first in all his subjects. After completing his
schooling in the village school, he went to Calcutta for higher English education. He stayed
with his cousin Sharat (who was called Swami Saradananda later). He easily passed the
Calcutta University Entrance Examination very easily and also earned scholarship for his
studies.

During his stay in Calcutta he, Sharat and some other friends decided to travel to
Dakshineshwar to meet Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. After seeing the Master for the first
time, Shashi got attracted very much and started meeting Master very frequently. He was

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so devoted to the Master that he always loved to serve his Guru. He considered serving the
Guru as the highest form of religious practice one can do. He never did any religious
practice like pujas or visited any pilgrim places, but only served Guru with so much love and
devotion.

On seeing all of his brother-disciples experiencing the ecstasy in their meditation, young
Shashi also wanted to have such experiences. He then prayed to Sri Ramakrishna to grant
him such experiences, but the Master replied back saying that “If you have that experience,
you won’t be able to serve me”. Shashi then replied “Then I don’t need it, I don’t care for
that ecstasy which will take my opportunity to serve you”. He always had the attitude of
servant of God and sacrificed himself until the end in service only.

Swami Vivekananda knowing his great love and devotion for Sri Ramakrishna aptly gave
him the name Swami Ramakrishnananda after Shashi was initiated into Sanyasa. When he
was at the Belur Math, he used to perform Master’s daily worship always and he did them
with too much love and devotion. He used to perform those worship as one serves a human
being. One summer night, he was fanning himself with the palm leaf fan. Suddenly he
thought that even the Master will feel very hot and thus rushed to the cot where the Master
used to sleep and fanned the cot until morning. The Master loves to eat luchis very much.
Swami Ramakrishnananda while sleeping suddenly remembered this, got up from his bed
and immediately started preparing luchis that are crispy and kept it near the cot of the
Master.

When Swami Vivekananda came back from West after successful tour to West he was
requested by some enthusiastic devotees in Chennai to establish a center in Chennai.
Keeping Swami Ramakrishnananda in his mind Swamji said “I shall send you one who is
more orthodox than your most orthodox Brahmins of the South and who is at the same time
incomparable in performing worship, scriptural knowledge, and meditation on God.”

Swami Ramakrishnananda used to give lectures on Vedanta in various places in Chennai.


Those days there were not much modes of transport. He used to visit different places just
by walking. Swami Ramakrishnananda made arrangements for the Holy Mother Sri Sarada
Devi to visit the Chennai Center. As per that, the Holy mother came to the center in
February 1911 and stayed there for almost 1 month. Swami Ramakrishnananda travelled
tirelessly to various parts of southern India to deliver the lectures on Vedanta and also
established centers in different parts of Southern. He extensively gave lectures in Bangalore
and Mysore during 1903 and also established centers in those places.

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA VEDANTA DARSHANAM June 10

He was very well versed in Sanskrit. He wrote Sanskrit hymns on Swami Vivekananda. He
also composed various Sanskrit Mantras for the Brahmacharya vows of Ramakrishna Order.
He also established the Puja Vidhi or the worship methodology in the order which has been
followed by the order until now. Swami Ramakrishnananda did not live a very long life. But
during his time, he lived a life of great sacrifice initially for the service of his Guru and then
to the service of the people considering them as the God. Swami Ramakrishnananda
attained Samadhi at 1.10pm on Monday 21st August 1911.

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA VEDANTA DARSHANAM June 10

Anukramaanika Nirdesham

1. Editorial – a general message


2. Guru Mahima – Guru Gita explained in parts from the beginning
3. Mukhya Vishayam – main topic with a detailed explanation of a Vedantic concept
4. Sankshiptha Vedanta – brief summary of a Vedanta grantha
5. Gitaamritham – one sloka of Gita explained
6. Upanishad Prachaaram – summary of a Upanishad
7. Raga Varsha – analysis of a raga (both Hindustani and carnatic equivalents)
8. Madhuraamritham – one devotional/spiritual classical krithi.
9. Praadeshikam – one sloka of a work from regional languages
10. Charitham – brief life-history of a Mahatma
11. Vedanta Pariksha – Q & A
12. Mata Parichayam – knowing a mutt

1. Comments
2. Suggestions
3. Corrections (word, sloka, content etc.)
4. Would like to see specific content
5. Would like to contribute (through research from websites, don’t need to write up the
content yourself)
Mail admin@vedantatattva.org.

Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested.


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