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  1. #1
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    observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    I happened to bump into a few things as of late and thought to share a few of them with you...

    • I read a bumper sticker that said, If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    • I read, I have no use for books for my spiritual development, it is of no value, just words.
    • A conversation with a friend brought out the notion of being reborn... the conversation was coming back again and again and the joke ( as I said it) was really on us...


    Let me offer these one at a time , in separate posts so to avoid too much co-mingling of ideas.

    If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    This in and of itself can be considered the ‘flagship’ of ignorance. When one does not know, then it is quite easy to come to a conclusion that I am what I do. I therefore am or could be a manager, a baker, a mom, dad, student, citizen, good person, bad person, etc. etc. or a myriad of things, professions and relations.

    Yet what are we told? Let’s look to one line of the aṣṭāvakra¹ gītā, 1st chapter 8th verse:
    अहं कर्तेत्यहंमानमहाकृष्णाहिदंशितः ।
    नाहं कर्तेति विश्वासामृतं पीत्वा सुखी भव ॥१-८

    ahaṁ kartetyahaṁmānamahākṛṣṇāhidaṁśitaḥ |
    nāhaṁ karteti viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava ||1-8

    1st line

    • ahaṁ or ‘I’ ; some consider this the proxy for ahaṃkaraṇa ; yet ahaṁ in its ~purest~ state is pure ‘I’ or SELF
    • kartetyāhaṁ - pertaining to ‘I’ am the doer ( I added the ‘ā’ )
    • mānamahā– opinion, idea, conception + maha – strong
    • kṛṣṇa-ahi-daṁśitaḥ - bitten (daṁśitaḥ) + black (kṛṣṇa) + snake (ahi)

    2nd line

    • nāhaṁ - I am not
    • karteti - karta+iti¹ = karteti or 'thus separation' ; also ( I believe also it implies kartṛ + ti or (he) the one who makes or does or acts or effects , a doer)
    • viśvāsāmṛtaṁ pītvā sukhī bhava
      • viśvā – to pervade
      • sāmṛtaṁ – to remember
      • pītvā – drink ( or having drunk)
      • sukhī – one who loves pleasure ; yet I think this should have been sukhaḥ meaning virtuous , happy, prosperous, gentle, ease
      • bhava – production; well-being; bringing into existence


    This says in general that you have been bitten by a black snake ( code for karta used in the verse and =
    separation, distinction or diversity) and you have the strong opinion (mānamahā) that you are the doer (kartṛ); come back to, or consume (pītvā) the remembrance (sāmṛtaṁ) that you are not the doer. Some write , 'drink the antidote of faith' for this sāmṛtaṁ or remembrance to return.

    The deal is, we are 'outfacing' beings. Everything from the intellect outwards is looking out... we can even consider our thoughts and feelings outward... that is, they can be inspected . This is what we 'expect' - to 'inspect'. We look for things, actions, feelings, places beyond the core level of Being (code for Self, or simple-and-pure awareness).
    Then someone says that which is 'you' is not caught up in this doing of running here and there, even to find out who you are! This 'you' is residing even behind thought, behind the intellect. It is not conspicuous. It is quite innocent and silent. It allows us to do all the running around yet it never needs to move (nor can it)
    one millimeter, ever.

    So, in that same bumper sticker mentioned above i.e. If I am not what I do, then who am I ? we can find the beginnings to the answer by asking who am I ?
    For some this approach is worthy of their time and effort; for others , not so much.

    I wrote above,
    When one does not know
    ,
    I'd like to return to this again for bullet point 3 offered above, as there are various states and conditions of knowing.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    terms

    • who is the muni aṣṭāvakra-ji?
      • Aṣṭāvakra is that person (son of kahoḍa) who is ‘marked’ with 8 bent or twisted forms ( deformities) those were his feet, hands, knees, chest and neck were bent. Even when you look at his name in devanāgarī saṃskṛtā अष्टावक्र you can count 8 twists. Oh, and the deformities? His his feet, hands, knees, chest and neck were bent ( 2+2+2+1+1); He was son of kahoḍa and the great teacher of king janaka.

    • iti - note this term also is used to indicate a quote; In this use it would suggest "the doer" if viewed as karteti . yet in the sentence it is nāhaṁ karteti which is 'I am not the doer' ; See post 2 below for another example of this application of 'iti'.






    Last edited by yajvan; 26 October 2016 at 11:18 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    One might ask, who then is ‘doing’ (kartṛ), all this doing I see all around me... who is the agent of action ?
    We get our clue from the bhāgavadgītā – 3rd chapter, 27th verse:

    प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः।
    अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते॥२७

    prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ|
    ahaṅkāravimūḍhātmā kartāhamiti manyate||27

    this says, actions in every case are performed by the guṇa-s ( guṇaiḥ or traiguṇya, 3 guṇa-s) of nature ( or prakṛti);
    he whose mind is diluted by the sense of ‘I’ holds “I am the doer”
    (kartāhamiti¹).

    In this verse the mind ‘as diluted’ is = to post 1 above, and the term kṛṣṇa-ahi-daṁśitaḥ - bitten (daṁśitaḥ) + black (kṛṣṇa) + snake (ahi).

    It seems to me when one looks at the world and all the moving things that are non-stop, it is not too hard to comprehend that all actions (all the laws of physics) are in play all the time; One just initiates an action and all the innumerable laws of nature take over. LIke opening a flood gate of a dam. No one has to coax the water to flow outward. The 'laws' are there and are effortless. No one has to tell the photons in a particle accelerator that once it hits other particles to break up in all the sub-particles. The 'laws' are there.


    But what is one to do? The bhāgavadgītā ( some prefer this written as śrīmad bhāgavadgītā) , chapter 2, 45th śloka excerpt:
    nistraiguṇo = nis + trai + guṇo or be without + 3 + guna-s.




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    terms


    • kartāhamiti – I just wanted to point out ‘iti’ once again ; in this use it is informing the reader that it is the end of a quote, and therefore kartāhamiti = karta + āham + iti “I am the doer” .


    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: observations



    Namaste Yajvan

    If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    .
    .
    .
    This says in general that you have been bitten by a black snake ( code for karta used in the verse and = separation, distinction or diversity) and you have the strong opinion (mānamahā) that you are the doer (kartṛ); come back to, or consume (pītvā) the remembrance (sāmṛtaṁ) that you are not the doer. Some write , 'drink the antidote of faith' for this sāmṛtaṁ or remembrance to return.
    Information shared in this thread has tried (or at least nudging to) to deviate from the theory of Karma in a simplistic form that says 'as you sow, so you reap'

    Any specific reason to use this emaciated, bow legged artifact? Any form art is an art, just curious to know if the selection was to offer some special insight?...

    Thanks
    Anirudh...

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Information shared in this thread has tried (or at least nudging to) to deviate from the theory of Karma in a simplistic form that says 'as you sow, so you reap'
    Though you have asked Yajvan ji to reply, I would also like to share my thoughts her. It is a high level of philosophy, Yajvan ji is talking about. Actually, Laws of karma can only work on Karta i.e. the doer. If there is no doer there can't be doership and when there is no doership, --- on whom will the Laws Of Karma apply ? Actually, all the actions in this universe are performed by the Prakriti, i.e. the nature. Lord Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita 3.27 :

    "In fact all the Karma are performed by the Gunas of the Nature in all respects. However, the being under the delusion of Ahamkaar (holding on to the false assumption of being the doer due to its attachment with "i") assumes (and believes) that he is the doer."
    Bhagwad Gita 5.10 says :
    "One who acts by dedicating all activities to Brahman giving up attachment (to being the doer or association with "i") is not afflicted by sins just as lotus leaf in water. "
    Actually, the arising of "i"ness is part of Prakriti (Nature) which tries to take credit for all the actions. This "i"ness or the Ahamkaar (The Prakriti s of eight parts : 5 mahabhUtas, Mann Buddhi and Ahamakaar) is one of the eight parts of Prakriti due to the effect of ChidAbhAsa effect onto Prakriti in association with AtmAn or God's reflection into inert Prakriti. All our bondage and sufferings are due to our false identification with Prakriti. When we break this nexus, the "i" dissolves into AtmAn or God (in Bhakti terms). There is no separate "i" left, so there is no ownership of Karma left and therefore no Laws of Karma can apply.

    Any specific reason to use this emaciated, bow legged artifact? Any form art is an art, just curious to know if the selection was to offer some special insight?

    That picture is depiction of the great Rishi AshtAvakra who was the son of Rishi Kahoda. He was self-realised even he was in his mother's womb. However, his being more knowledgeable than his own father became the reason for his being cursed by his father. While in mother's womb he heard his father reciting a verse wrongly and he tried to correct that. Rishi Kahoda felt insulted in front of his disciples due to such intervention by this unborn child and he cursed the child to have his eight limbs crooked. Due to this curse, this great Rishi was born with severe deformities in his limbs.

    http://www.indolink.com/kidz/ashtavkr.html

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Devotee,

    Thank you Devotee for the explanation, I have one question regarding the information you shared about Rishi AshtAvakra. I ll send you a PM as my doubt is irrelevant to this thread.

    When we break this nexus, the "i" dissolves into AtmAn or God (in Bhakti terms). There is no separate "i" left, so there is no ownership of Karma left and therefore no Laws of Karma can apply.
    In the past probably have raised this question in a different way, so please don't take this as an offense.

    Also I don't want to digress this thread, but, think for a moment, in the present world we live, with each and every individual trying to (finish or) compete with the other, is this idea of separating 'I'ness really possible?

    Say for eg, When India wins a gold medal, we all are exited. The desire to win comes from I, me, mine, my family, my country and so on. After every Olympics, don't we blame the governance as we have failed to secure one gold medal in the last so many number of years. I am not advocating ego, but, when there is no ownership of what we do, how do we differentiate between good and evil or positive and negative outcome. I surrender to Sriman Naaraayan, but, do I not go about executing my duty in a way favorable to me? I work hard to live happily, in the due course, knowingly or unknowingly, grab other person's lively hood. Aren't we upset when we aren't able to close a deal, and our opponent bag that order for which we worked very hard?

    Let me take an another example. If I mistakenly got into poisonous snake's living area, and when the snake is ready bite me, my natural instinct will be either to kill the snake or escape from the bite although I have disturbed the snake in first place. What I wish to say here is, someone's honey is another man's poison. Kindly tell me, in such a situation what should the person with no "I" do? Allow me to add bit more complication to the above scenario to suit my case. Assume in the above scenario, I am better equipped to kill the snake in comparison to the my ability to escape from the situation. Now What should I do if I have to operate without "I"ness?

    Please don't think that I am writing all this to win over the argument or to deflect the course of this thread.

    Thanks again

    Pranaam
    Anirudh...

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Also I don't want to digress this thread, but, think for a moment, in the present world we live, with each and every individual trying to (finish or) compete with the other, is this idea of separating 'I'ness really possible?

    Say for eg, When India wins a gold medal, we all are exited. The desire to win comes from I, me, mine, my family, my country and so on. After every Olympics, don't we blame the governance as we have failed to secure one gold medal in the last so many number of years. I am not advocating ego, but, when there is no ownership of what we do, how do we differentiate between good and evil or positive and negative outcome. I surrender to Sriman Naaraayan, but, do I not go about executing my duty in a way favorable to me? I work hard to live happily, in the due course, knowingly or unknowingly, grab other person's lively hood. Aren't we upset when we aren't able to close a deal, and our opponent bag that order for which we worked very hard?

    Let me take an another example. If I mistakenly got into poisonous snake's living area, and when the snake is ready bite me, my natural instinct will be either to kill the snake or escape from the bite although I have disturbed the snake in first place. What I wish to say here is, someone's honey is another man's poison. Kindly tell me, in such a situation what should the person with no "I" do? Allow me to add bit more complication to the above scenario to suit my case. Assume in the above scenario, I am better equipped to kill the snake in comparison to the my ability to escape from the situation. Now What should I do if I have to operate without "I"ness?
    You are right. It is difficult. It is difficult to the point of appearing to be an impossibility. But why is it so ? It is because of our attachment with the world / worldly affairs. It is because we think that "This body is ours. This country is ours. We have our responsibility to take care of our bodies, our family, our society, our country etc.". Now, these thoughts are not bad or wrong. In fact, these actions are our duty and we must do it. But any sense of duty exists only till my attachment with the world exists.
    At the spiritual level where we are, we must do our duty to save our body and kill the snake, cheer for the victory of our country etc. But King Janaka and Rishi AshTAvakra are at much higher level of spirituality. Even if they act, their actions don't bear any Karma because of their firm conviction that they are not the doer. Being on the path of Advaita, some of our practices give us a glimpse of dissolving of "i" and it is such a nice feeling, so liberating, so much free from all fears and anxiety.

    So, the reality is what it is. It doesn't change because of whether we are capable of attaining the state or not. In fact, there is nothing that we cannot achieve or attain because we all are essentially Brahman.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    I am happy with the conversations of Anirudh and devotee... Devotee has done a fine job of explaining doer ship (kartṛtva¹)
    . In ignorance doership takes the assumed authorship of 'me' and 'i'. When fully awake, this doership is that of the Supreme. Then the question must be, if doership is , in the final analysis, done by the Intelligence of Being, it must have been done before one became realized, no ? Some call this the will of the Lord ( all the laws of nature); hence it was Him all along.


    All this knowledge is within our
    śāstra-s & āgama-s and was pointed out in the
    bhāgavadgītā. It is offered so one can begin the process of figuring it all out. I hope the conversations continue.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1.
    kartṛtva - the state of being the performer or author of anything
    Last edited by yajvan; 27 October 2016 at 03:14 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: observations

    Namaste Yajvan and Devotee,

    I wish and request not to take offense. That being said, let me carry on from where ever I left.

    I am updating this post to keep the continuity intact. I had to ask myself why non duality as a concept doesn't ring a bell in me, required some time to reflect. We all accept, every one has the right to live their life that suit them as long as one person's action doesn't hinder other person. So non duality shouldn't bother anyone if they follow the dual or any other route.

    Few question I wish to raise, (and/or have been raising in the past):

    Is non dual real and can be practiced? Scholars will have many scriptural evidences supporting non duality. But in a daily life of a commoner, does it make any sense? You and I are a combination of basic elements, we aren't born without any reason behind. I gave few examples in my previous thread(s), and they shouldn't be seen in isolation. There should be an end to end approach. We have many scriptures revolving around many entities. If all are one, or to be precise our lifetimes motto should be to see oneness in all, why we need so many in first place? In this conversation it might sound irrelevant to question whether we can quest the thirst without ingesting water? If that's not possible, how a person can live without the sense of responsibility. And what is in its core?

    If 1+1=2, then mathematically it should be the same every where. And if it is not, the mathematical postulates behind addition is a flaw. Is in it?

    I have questioned many, whether information available in our Epic are real? I got different answers. We are selective, in fact very selective.

    In Science, we prove few concepts directly, and few others indirectly, in other words, few are proved by the existence of it and few others by proving the non existence of it. So when we talk about so many Gods and also about non duality, are we trying to prove the non existence of these Gods to prove the non duality. While I am writing this, I am reminded of a discussion on the number of lines in Srimad Bhagavat Gita. In that discussion as well as in its continuation, I was told how Sri B.G is preceded as succeeded, ie linking new nodes to the edges.

    I don't want to divulge whether those are conceptually correct or wrong at the moment, but wish to know, from the non dual point of view, why it is not addressing the reality. Why we need some thing to be seen as unreal to prove the non duality.

    Please let us not discuss points in isolation, they are all interlinked. Just like we need heart to pump blood, lungs to breath and let blood flow, brain to control,mouth to source the energy, and so on so forth, let us see non duality not from isolated events.

    Wish to continue, and let's hope to take it to a logical conclusion.

    Thanks for your time for having read my post and Thanks in advance if you wish to reply.




    I hope the conversations continue.
    Namaste Yajvan and Devotee,

    The conversation will definitely continue as I wish to see this in a broader spectrum with many players (although it is debatable to perceive as one or many) involved in it. As this thread is posted in generic sub forum it is easy to analyze the subject with an open mindset dealing real issues. If you can recollect, will find, many of my threads had questioned the possibility of non duality. While it began just as a doubt in the beginning, with the passing time, I am not able to relate anything with non duality. One may observe, my feelings are true because there is no scope of relations in a non duality.

    I ll add more thoughts to this post before tomorrow EOD.
    Last edited by Anirudh; 29 October 2016 at 11:31 PM.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté & hello,

    ( from post 1 above)

    • I read a bumper sticker that said, If I am not what I do, then who am I ?
    • I read, I have no use for books for my spiritual development, it is of no value, just words.
    • A conversation with a friend brought out the notion of being reborn... the conversation was coming back again and again and the joke ( as I said it) was really on us...


    I thought to begin the next idea from the list above regarding books & one's development. We need to consider for whom using books may be beneficial and relevant. So, let me start here:

    The candidate
    Enter the person , the individual , with differentiated awareness (bhinnavedyatā¹) that wishes to know about spiritual things, about the expansion of awareness. For humans, we can , in general, place them into 3 groups:

    • the brute (nṛpaśu¹) – he/she has no interest in spiritual pursuits as their attention is elsewhere.
    • the seeker (anveṣaka¹) the one with doubts, or the sādaka who is in pursuit
    • muni or tṛptá – one that is satisfied; absorbed in their own Being which is none other than the Supreme

    When it comes to being the śiṣya (student) of vijñānagrahaṇa ( grasping knowledge of higher subject matter) it is the seeker or anveṣaka that benefits most.
    The muni has no need for additional knowledge of any kind for he/she has arrived at the final station. And the brute? There is no interest or compunction for this type of knowledge.

    The Map Of the Territory
    Where do books/information assist the student(śiṣya)? They offer a map of the territory one is in. Just as a map shows you the way, it does not take you there, but provides direction. The logic is simple: if you do not know where you are going, then any road will take you there !

    Another thing that I think about is this... in our present day-and-age werarely have the opportunity to associate with the wise, with the fully developed beings that know
    or the jñāni , so books ( by them) is another was of associating with them. This is called satsaṅga or the associating with good company. This leads to satsaṅga with one’s own Self (the highest good within one’s immediate reach). Is direct contact with the jñāni preferred? No doubt this is ideal; yet when this is not possible, a Plan B seems like a reasonable approach.

    ... more to follow.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    terms

    • bhinnavedyatā= bhinna+vedyatā bhinna = distinct , differentfrom or other, ~differentiated~ + vedyatā = restrained or held ( yata)knowledge (veda) differentiated awareness or knowledge
    • vijñānagrahaṇa= vijñāna+graha+ṇa : vijñāna = the act of distinguishing or discerning ,understanding right judgement + graha = seizing, grabbing hold of + ṇa = nirvṛti= nir-vāṇa = liberation orSelf-realization(~mokṣa~)
    • nṛpaśu= man-beast or brute; some call paśujana ( worldly, differentiatedconsciousness)
    • anveṣaka – searching inquiring



    Last edited by yajvan; 28 October 2016 at 07:01 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: observations

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté & hello,

    I’d like to offer two śloka-s that give us some insight on study & knowledge.

    This first śloka clearly suggests that study falls within the yama-s and niyama-s called out by śeṣa-patañjali in his Yogadarśana, 2nd pāda ( chapter) on practice, and the 32nd sūtra. It says the following:
    śaucasantoṣatapaḥsvādhyāyeśvarapraṇidhānāni niyamāḥ||32

    cleanliness (śauca), contentment (santoṣa), practice (tapas), study & recitation of sacred scriptures (svādhyāya), devotion to the Supreme (praṇidhānāni īśvara) are the niyama-s (niyamāḥ) or observances ||32

    Now this svādhyāya = study and recitation. Note that adhyāya ( within svādhyāya) = lesson, lecture, reading; it also means proper time for reading or lesson. And, we know ‘sva’ = one’s own Self. So, within one word we are courting lessons and lectures, reading and study of SELF i.e. higher knowledge.

    To the unaided student, many may think , well first I need this cleanliness, then contentment, then tapas and finally I will apply and start svādhyāya. This would be in incorrect view. It is more like a tree growing. As a tree matures all parts are growing. Some are seen or are more apparent, yet the tree grows as a whole. Like that, one practices the niyama-s all in concert with one another. The root of this tree is found in the yama-s Which was called out in the 29th and 30th sūtra-s; I did not mention not here and ask the reader to consider this themselves.

    The next śloka is from the śrīmad bhāgavadgītā , chapter 12, 12th śloka. Kṛṣṇaḥ says the following:
    śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaṃ viśiṣyate |
    dhyānāt karmaphalatyāgas tyāgāc chāntir anantaram || 12.12

    There are several views on this matter. I look to rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi and abhinavagupta-ji for their most insightful views first.

    rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi comments on the following:
    śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaṃ
    dhyānāt karmaphalatyāgas


    He says¹ ,
    "Knowledge without practice is superior to practice without knowledge. Practice with knowledge is superior to knowledge without practice. Karmaphalatyāgaḥ niṣkama (some spell niskama) karma as of a jñāni , or action without desire, is superior to knowledge with practice." He continues and says,
    "Here jñāna stands for knowledge without practice; abhyāsa stands for practice without knowledge; dhyāna stands for practice with knowledge."

    What rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi¹ offers is quite profound as you would think. On the surface it looks pretty straight forward yet to click down into the ‘cream’ of what he says also takes another master, abhinavaguptaji and his offer of the bhāgavadgītā termed the bhāgavadgītārthasaṁgraha. I will offer what he says in the next post.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    terms


    • this is from ‘Talks with rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi’ 6th of January, 1936
    • rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi - some address him as rāmaṇo bhagavānṛṣiḥ or even īśaputrasākaḥ
      • īśaputrasākaḥ = son of the Lord; in this case son of śiva or kartikaya. Who says this? Śrī gaṇapati muni in reverence of his master, rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi.

    Last edited by yajvan; 05 November 2016 at 08:14 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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