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Thread: Is there help for the sādhu ?

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    Is there help for the sādhu ?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~

    Namaste

    Many ponder this question: is there help for the sādhu along the way or is s/he completely on their own?

    Let me offer a POV for your consideration. Your thoughts and ideas are always welcomed.

    svāmī Lakṣman-jū says the following:
    this whole universe has come into existence just to carry you to God Consciousness. It is not meant to push you down. This universe is meant for your upliftment.'

    Now where else is a similar view offered? In the ṛg ( some write ṛk or rig) veda we find the following sūkta: g veda 1.10.2 , the ṛṣi is Madhuchandāḥ Vaisvāmitraḥ, the meter (chandas) is anuṣhṭup¹, the deva is Indra

    yat sānoḥ sānum ārudhad bhūri aspaṣhṭa kartvam |
    tat indro artham chetati yūthena vṛṣṇi ejati ||

    When the worshipper climbs from peak to peak
    He realizes the progress that yet is to be achieved
    Then Indra awakens in him the purpose (of the journey or ascent)
    and manifests with his troop to aid ( of the adhvanīya, or yajvan the worshipper in the journey)

    That is Indra (The Divine) manifests within the sādhu and awakens in him/her the nature of the final destination. This journey is sometimes called adhvara अध्वर(sacrifice). Yet it is composed of adhva which means traveling or road going + ra which is speed, acquiring or possessing. The notion then is movement (ra) and travel (adhva) or the journey. And this becomes adhvan अध्वन् the journey, and the person on the path is called the adhvanīya अध्वनीन, a traveler.

    Hence the adhvanīya begins and goes from peak-to-peak ( experience to experience) and comes to know there is still much to do. We can look at the adhvanīya's condition a few ways:
    1. The goal and means, both are clear
    2. The goal is clear; the means is unclear
    3. The goal is unclear; the means is clear
    4. Neither goal nor means are clear

    The adhvanīya IMO resides within the first 3 conditions above. That is, the adhvanīya could have only a fuzzy feeling of the goal (point 3) yet have the inspiration to begin the journey. Or he/or she can also comprehend the goal (point 2) , yet not have a clear means to get there. The most auspicious position to be in is point 1 , where the goal and the means are clear, now action is needed to move forward. And the most troublesome is point 4, in my opinion there is not even a search or path (adhva) being considered, let alone a adhvan (journey).

    It is my POV that many that frequent HDF are adhvanīya-s and perhaps fit within the 3 points mentioned above. The discussions on HDF may help bring that clarity to the traveler (adhvanīya).

    But what is needed to continue the path? Faith. Now in the West this notion of faith is a bit ~mushy~. That is, many times people put 'blind' in front of faith i.e. blind faith. This is regrettable as this faith is too is a upāya ( a means) for progress. Why so? This faith brings one from steps 2 or 3 in the list, to step 1. It allows the person to get to a stage where the Divine can assist.

    As suggested
    in the ṛg veda sūktā just mentioned above, the adhvanīya aspires to pursue the spiritual goal then Indra (with his troops) will assist and intervene. So, some action must be done by the sādhu. Hence this faith or śrāddha श्राद्ध (shraadda) - the belief, or as my teacher called it one-pointedness, is a boon for the adhvanīya.

    In the Chāndogya Upaniṣad (3.14.1) it says sa kratukurvīta i.e. he should make the resolve. This is part of the same śloka stating everything here is verily Brahman (sarvam khalviaṁ brahma).

    Ādi Śaṅkarā offers more clarity on this one word 'kratu'. He says kratu is a firm will, with a fixed idea and sense of certainty that this is so, not otherwise. To that end, I see śrāddha beyond blind faith but as adhyavasāna, that of perseverance, determined effort or the one-pointedness mentioned by my teacher.
    And as it is offered in the Upaniṣad śloka to advise and direct the traveler (adhvanīya) to make the resolve to realize this truth , that of sarvam khalviaṁ brahma. That there will be help along the way , by guidance, guru¹, Divine help (Indra and Sanatkumāra), perhaps even a spark by HDF.

    My teacher would say the universe will be there to support you, just as svāmī Lakṣman-jū said ' this whole universe has come into existence just to carry you to God Consciousness '.

    The journey (adhvan) starts with the first step (pada) to make the resolve (sa kratuṁ kurvīta).

    pranams

    words and references
    • Note that the ṛṣi (rishi) , meter and devatā are mentioned whenever possible (when known) - this is tradition and is done out of respect.
    • sa -'I (or thou) that very person' hence we apply as 'he'
    • kratu क्रतु- plan , design , intention , resolution , determination , purpose
    • kur कुर् - to make a sound
    • vīta वीत - determination, intent; also the driving of an elephant; desired
    • adhyavasāna अध्यवसान - perseverance, determination, focused energy
    • pada पद - a step, pace, stride, footstep
    • What does the guru bring? See HDF post http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3377
    Last edited by yajvan; 22 December 2008 at 09:43 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: Is there help for the sādhu ?

    hari o
    ~~~~~

    Namaste

    The journey (adhvan) starts with the first step (pada) to make the resolve (sa kratuṁ kurvīta).
    So one may ask, what could perhaps be a meaningful first step? We could use a invocation¹ that is frequently used from the Garuḍa Purāṇa (2.47.52)

    apavitra pavitrau vā
    sarvāvastām gataupi vā |
    ya smarat pundarīkākśam
    sa bhāhyābhyantara suci ||

    Some write it like this:

    apavitrah pavitro va
    sarvastham gato'pi va |
    yah smaret pundarikaksam
    sa bahyabhyantarah sucih ||

    What does this say? I have offered to the best of my understanding the sanskrit (some like to write saṁskṛt) equivalents for your consideration below - as it will help us with a better apperception to its translation.

    This sūkta says ( in brief)
    Whether pure or impure, whether all places are permeated by purity or impurity, whoever opens himself to the Lotus Eyed One gains inner and outer purity.

    In a nut shell, the one that opens him/her self - moves to, puts oneself in contact with, remembers, experiences or 'sees' (sūci) the Lotus-eyed One (puṇḍarīka) , then this person will gain inner and outter purity i.e. bhā or luster, light, will manifest within this person. This 'person' from the last post can be considered the adhvanīya अध्वनीन, a traveler, the person on the path.

    This Lotus-eyed One (puṇḍarīka) is Viṣṇu or Śiva. Puṇḍarīka पुण्डरीक is a lotus-flower, esp. a white lotus expressive of beauty; and we know 'eyed' is akṣa अक्ष. So Pundarīkākśa the white-lotus (puṇḍarīka) + eyed (akṣa अक्ष) is the as puṇḍa पुण्ड the mark or a sign of Viṣṇu or Śiva.
    This is considered saṁketa - a hint, a indication, a symbol. But of what? Pundarīkākśa and its 'mark' is pure awareness, of unboundedness, of būmān - the fullness of the Absolute, the SELF. It is by opening oneself to the fullness of pure awareness that one gains inner and outter purity. This is anugraha (grace, favor) that is offered (su - to grant or bestow) by Pundarīkākśa, allowing this to manifest in one's daily life.

    So a simple question I think I would ask regarding this sūkta - it starts off by saying apavitra - impure and pavitra पवित्र. What is impure and pure imply? We can look at this in the next post.

    pranams

    The sūkta by its words
    • apavitra अपवित्र - impure note that apa अप when used as a prefix to nouns and verbs , expresses 'away' , 'off' , 'back'
    • pavitra पवित्र - a means of purification , filter ; a means of purifying or clearing the mind ; rain or rubbing
    • वा - 'or', 'on the one side' , 'on the other'
    • sarva सर्व whole , entire , all , every
    • vastu वस्तु - the seat or place of; any really existing or abiding substance or essence; vasta वस्त - a house
    • gata गत - come to, arrived at; known, understood ; gone to any state or condition , fallen into ; relating to , referring to , connected with
    • pi पि - move, to go
    • yaḥ यः or ya य - mover, goer
    • sma स्म - 'ever' , 'always' (as in remembering) ; smara स्मर memory , remembrance , recollection ; loving recollection; smaret is = smara स्मर memory , remembrance , recollection ; loving recollection
    • puṇḍa पुण्ड - a mark, sign; puṇḍarīka पुण्डरीक - a lotus-flower, esp. a white lotus expressive of beauty;
    • akṣa - the eye; also a seed as in rudrākṣa
    • Hence puṇḍarīka पुण्डरीक + akṣa अक्ष = (beautiful, lotus-flowered, lotus-eyed; now the necxt word suggests 'sa' a noun for viṣṇu or śiva it is He that is puṇḍarīka, the beautiful, lotus-eye Lord of spendor (bhā)
    • sa with, togetther with, along with - as it connect to sa bhāya; also a noun for viṣṇu or śiva
    • bhā भा - to manifest; light , brightness , splendour ; to appear as , seem , look like , pass for ; be, exist;
    • ba ब often meaning va व- auspicious; ocean, water; strong, powerful; wind, air
    • tara तर - concuring, surpassing, ; a raft ( for crossing)
    • ya य - mover, goer and/or yad यद् 'so that', 'as in so much' ; masculine - puruṣa
    • su is rooted sū सू - grant, bestow
    • sūci सूचि or sūcī सूची - sight , seeing (dṛṣṭi) ; su is rooted sū सू - grant, bestow and applies here to what is granted.
    additional words
    • āvāhana आवाहन - invocation , invitation , inviting, calling; āvāhanaṁ आवाहनं is āvāhana आवाहन - invocation , invitation , inviting, calling.
    • Garuḍa गरुड - 'devourer'; vehicle of viṣṇu that is a winged bird, chief of the feathered race , enemy of the serpent-race
      Purāṇa पुराण -a class of sacred works compiled by the kavi vyāsa; the word Purāṇa itself means belonging to ancient or olden times; There are 18 major purāṇa-s.
    • saṁketa संकेत - hint , allusion , preconcerted sign or signal or gesture
    Last edited by yajvan; 23 December 2008 at 06:04 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Is there help for the sādhu ?

    hari o
    ~~~~~

    Namasté


    So a simple question I think I would ask regarding this sūkta - it starts off by saying apavitra - impure and pavitra पवित्र. What is impure and pure imply? We can look at this in the next post.

    What is this pure and impure? Is it a matter of soap and water for pure, and that with dirt must be impure?
    When we talk of pure (pavitra) it is the notion of the purity of Being, of Pure Existence. The further one moves away from Being, then that is considered impure. But how so? More of Being is co-mingled with matter and essence (sāra) is covered or hidden.

    So when the śloka offered, apavitra pavitrau vā, sarvāvastām gataupi vā- whether pure or impure, whether all places are permeated by purity or impurity, it is suggesting the full range of existence and beings that may reside in those levels.
    It is also suggesting, no matter what level one is at, it will not matter as long as one opens themselves to the expanded vision ( experience) of Pure unbounded awareness i.e. Pundarīkākśa ; then that person can traverse , cross over i.e. tara, and gain inner and outer purity. Why so? because he/she becomes established in the essence ((sāra) of Purity, pure awareness.

    Now this wisdom is applicable for a certain point of view i.e. a reality one may live. On another level, a person that is a fully realized being does not see any impurity what so ever. This is offered in the Kālikākrama Śāstra per svāmī Lakṣman-jū's translation, it says the following:
    This whole universe is absolutely pure, without any support ( i.e. totally independent , a quality of śiva) and one with the knowledge of consciousness itself. If that consciousness of SELF is revealed and perceived then at that very moment, he ( the aspirant, sādhu, etc) is without doubt liberated in this very life.

    My words in parenthesis where offered in hopes of offering some additional clarity. This suggests and points to the experience that all of creation is an expression of Being, of Pure Consciousness - so where then can be this blemish of impurity? Being (sattā, some may call sattva) permeates the whole of creation and it is pure, the raw material for its existence, where then can there be 'impure' ?
    Hence knowledge and experience is different for different states of consciousness… That brings us back to the 1st post of this string and the śloka from the rig veda : When the worshipper climbs from peak to peak He realizes the progress that yet is to be achieved. As one advances ( peak to peak) the experience changes, the purity changes and one's vision changes and unfolds more of the truth of the path (adhvan).

    'when the infinite vibrates, the worlds appear to emerge' - ṛṣi vaśiṣṭha

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 29 December 2008 at 06:40 PM. Reason: improved sentence structure
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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