Sivaanandalahari – 8
यथा बुद्धि-श्शुक्तौ रजत-मिति काचाश्मनि मणि-
र्जले पैष्टे क्षीरं भवति मृगतृष्णासु सलिलम् ।
तथा देव-भ्रान्त्या भजति भवदन्यं जडजनो
महादेवेशं त्वां मनसि च न मत्वा पशुपते ॥ ८ ॥
yathA buddhi-SSuk^tau rajata-miti kAchASmani maNi-
rjale paiShTe kShIraM bhavati mRugatRuShNAsu salilam |
tathA deva-bhrAntyA bhajati bhavadanyaM jaDajano
mahAdeveSaM tvAM manasi cha na matvA paSupate || 8 ||
Oh Lord Pasupati, the way our intellect considers shell as silver, glass stones as gem, flour mixed in water as milk, the mirage as water, the same way the foolish people worship other gods instead of worshipping you, the Lord of all Gods.
Those ignorant ones who have not known the Mahima of Saakshaath Parameswara worship anyadevathaas. The root cause of this is agnaanam. Only those who have done sukrtham in the past many janmaas would have the thought to do bhakthi to Parameswara. Others certainly would not. Especially the ordinary folks driven by kaamam would not easily have bhakthi to Parameswara.
Therefore all the praanis should try their utmost to do Easwara bhakthi, otherwise their janmaa would be wasted. The Sruthi says: “ThamEva vidhithvaathimruthyumEthi naanya: panthaa vidyathE ayanaaya.” Only that nirmala aathmagnaanam has the ability to give Moksha Saamraajyam. The saasthra says: “Paramaadhvaitha vignaanam krupayaavaidhadhaathiya:| Sowyamguru: guru: saakshaath Shiva eva na samsaya: ||” The one who is capable of giving upadesa of aathmagnaana is none other than saakshaath gnaana dhaathaa Parameswaran. Therefore Parameswara’s anugraham is very much essential to all the praanis. This is the secret. Without knowing this the mooda jana worship anyadevathaas.
Just as a person takes a seashell as silver as he sees it from a distance, a broken glass piece as a diamond, rice flour mixed in water as milk and mirage as water, those confused devabraanthaas worship anyadevathas thus wasting their janma.
In truth, ‘Sat’ means that which has no destruction in all the three periods of time. And one should understand this ‘Sat’ as Parameswara. In the same way that which cannot be found in space and time is ‘asat’. Two examples for ‘asat’ are ‘the son of a barren woman’ or ‘a hare with two horns’. From this you have to come to the conclusion that ‘asat’ has no beginning and ‘Sat’ has no end. Knowing this secret of ‘Sat’ and ‘asat’ you should understand that those objects that have ‘sat-asat’ vilakshaNam are all creation of braanthi (error, confusion) and they are not truly ‘Sathyam’. That is what our great AacharyaaL means when he says in this sloka of Sivaanandalahari: “sukthou rajathamithi kaachaasmani manirjalE paishtaksheeram bhavathi mrugathrushnaasu salilam” using the four examples of seashell, broken glass piece, rice-flour mixed in water and the mirage.
That is, an avidvaan, seeing a seashell in front of him enjoys its sight as that of silver. Vedaanthis call this as ‘sukthi rajatham’. Sukthi rajatham is not real knowledge (yadhaartha gnaanam) but only a brama or error. Why? Because it is neither ‘Sat” nor ‘asat’. If it is ‘Sat’ it cannot have destruction in all three periods of time. But we do know all objects including the seashell have destruction in time. In this particular case, the moment it is known that it is seashell its ‘silverness’ is destroyed or rather the knowledge that it is silver is destroyed. And if it were ‘asat’ you would never have known be it either as a shell or as silver. (Just as you would never have come to know of a hare with two horns).
In prakrthi, we see sukthi rajatham all around. We cannot call it ‘asat’ for we know it exists and at the same time we cannot call it ‘Sat’ either for it does not last. Since their rajatha gnaanam is seen to end in time we come to the conclusion that all objects are of ‘sat vilakshaNam’. If the rajatha gnaanam is held to be ‘asat’ then it has to remain unknown like a hare with two horns, however we do see the objects therefore they are not ‘asat’ and we have to conclude that this rajatha gnaanam has ‘asat vilakshaNam’. But then we have concluded earlier that this rajatha gnaanam has ‘sat vilakshaNam’! This is truly contradictory!! Since sukthi rajatham is seen to have both ‘sat vilakshanam’ and ‘asat vilakshaNam’ Vedaanthis call it as false, poi, mithya.
What do we understand from this? Clearly ‘Sat’ is not false for it exists for ever. And ‘asat’ is also not false for it never exists. What is false is that which seems to exist but not really, that entity that has ‘sat-asat vilakshaNam”. What is the cause of this? It is the ‘brama’, the error, the confusion. You may say that it is seen to be real in everyday life by our own prathyakshaanubhava, however, we would not accept that they are products of yadhaartha gnaanam. Just as those objects we see in our dream are real during our dream time and yet they disappear without a trace when we wake up, these objects that have ‘sat-asat vilakshaNam’ give us a sense of reality as we enjoy them but have no reality in paaramaarthika dhasaa. Therefore O! ParamporuLe! Your swaroopam is the adhishttanam for everything. It is only due to the root avidya that people due to ‘brama’ imagine thousand different devathaas and worship them. Hey Prabho! Their actions, however in no way bring down your Mahath. In reality your swaroopam, no doubt, remains as Chith, as Sadhaanandham, as Advitheeyam, as Akandam, as Achalam, as Kootastham, as Pragnaanaganam and above all as Shivam. Hey PasupathE! It is true that you pervade all the anyadevathaas that were projected on you just as the rope pervades the snake that was projected on it by brama.
If people say that even though the anyadevathaas were projected on you due to brama yet because your are their adhishtaanam that they have borrowed your existence and are shining with it and therefore worshipping them would tantamount to worshipping you. But O! Parameswara! These people are wrong because those projected deities get destroyed in time and thus they have binnathwam of their existence whereas you are the real SAT that is indestructible. Therefore even though these projected deities borrowed your existence they have never been in you. AachaaryaaL says in his Geetha Bhaashyam, “Dhivishta ivaadhithyE kalpithaani jalachalanaadheeni mayi kapithaani bhoothaani, paramaarthathO, mayi na santhi” and also the Sruthi “asango nahisajjathE”.
The meaning of these is the sun is reflected in the water and there is motion in the water that makes the sun which is in the sky to look like moving. In the same way due to jata bhuddhi people project anyadevathaas as Parameswara. But in Paaramaarthika dhasa “kalpitha kalpithayO: sambandhaayOgaath”, i.e. Parameswara is swadhasiddhan and how can a projected devatha have connection with Him? To clarify further, how can a projected snake on a rope have connection with a rope?
It may be asked as follows: In Geetha Sri Krishna says: “yEpyanya devathaabhaktha yajanthE sraddhayaan vithaa:| thEpi maamEva kounthEya yajanthyavidhipoorvakam|| Even though one does not think of Parameswara in his worship of anyadevathaas, the worship reaches only Parameswara who is the phaladevathaa. When such is the case why not worship anyadevathaas? Why should those people who worship anyadevathas be denounced as mooda janas carried away by brama? To this argument Sri Krishna assuages with the word “avidhipoorvakam” in the above mentioned sloka in Geetha. The saasthra says: “Shiva: Shiva: Shivaschaiva naanyadhastheethi kinchana”. If a person has the dhruda pragnaa that it is Parameswara who is holding andacharaacharam in respective peace and happiness, then that person would neither be a jatan nor a braanthan. He is a parama gnaani. If a person does not have this consciousness and if he worships anyadevathas even with sraddha the benefits to him will be very meager and that too would not be permanent. This great secret is given by Adhi Sankara in his Geetha Bhaashyam: “samaanE api aayaasE maamEva na bhajanthE agnaanaath, thEna thE alpaphala bhaaja: bhavanthi.” One may have a small doubt here. If in reality the aaraadhanas done to anyadevathaas go to Parameswara, how can the superior phalas that could have accrued be denied just because a person is not conscious of the fact that his worship indeed reaches Parameswara? We reply to this with the following example. A person lives in a house that is standing on a ground buried with a treasure. As long as he is ignorant of this treasure he does not have the happiness that he would otherwise have had, had he known that he is sitting on a treasure. Again when he knows that he is sitting on a treasure his happiness will no doubt be immense. In the same way in this prakrthi as long as a man is not aware that all the anyadevathaas are merely Parameswara’s vibhuthi, so long will be the meagerness and impermanence of the phala of his worship of anyadevathaas. But as soon as he realizes that his worship is actually the worship of Parameswara he gains Brahmaanandham (Shivaadhanyath na kinchana).
Thus we have to realize the superiority of the consciousness of the worship by understanding the Mahaavaakya “Pragnaanam Brahma” that teaches the swaroopa lakshaNam of Parameswara. This in turn leads us to the realization of ‘sivoham’ of our oneness with Parameswara in Sivaanandalahari!
(to be continued..)