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Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam
Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay
Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya
Poorna mayvaa Vasishyatay
Om Santihi Santihi Santihi

This is Santi Vaakya. There are ten such Santi Vaakya-s. They are called ‘Dasa Vidha Santi-s. The major Upanishad-s are ten in number. Each of those ten Upanishad-s has a Santi Vaakya. Among them, the Santi Vaakya assigned to the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad is this ‘Poorna Madaha’. The Upanishad begins with this Santi sloka itself. Again, it concludes with this Santi sloka. This is the principle. This Santi Vaakya that is assigned to the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad is as great as this Upanishad is among the ten Upanishad-s. Upanishad has been bequethed to us, so as to enable us to attain total Brahmic experience. So also does this Santi sloka render to us such a Brahmic experience. We can call it an ‘experience’, only when one attains a state of totality and fullness. Such an experience is already being rendered to us by the ‘Mahaa Vaakya’ that is in the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad. It can be said that, of the four Mahaa Vaakya-s, it is the most outstanding. That Mahaa Vaakya is: ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’. Actually, this is but a part of the Mahaa Vaakya. The complete Mahaa Vaakya runs as follows:

‘Brahmavaa Idamagraaseet
Sa Aatmaana Mayvaayet
Aham Brahmaasmeeti
Tadidam Sarvamabhavati’

Similarly, the Mahaa Vaakya ‘Tattwamasi’ of the Chhaandoagya Upanishad, is also a part of the whole. The complete Mahaa Vaakya there, is as follows:

‘Sa ya ayshoe Animaa
Aitamya Midagum
Sarvam Tut Satyam
Sa Aatmaa Tattwamasi’

The Mahaa Vaakya in its entirity, in the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad, in its four lines, tells us of four steps or stages. The first is ‘Brahmavaa’. The second is ‘Idamagraaseet’. The third one is ‘Sa Aatmaana Mayvaayet Aham Brahmaasmeeti’. The fourth is ‘Tadidamsarva mabhavat’. The deep intent of the Upanishadic Rishi-s was to convey that the Brahmic experience is to be attained via these four stages. The four stages are the four steps of a ladder. We have to ascend step by step. Then alone we will be entitled to the total experience. This Upanishad’s purpose is to lead us to such a total experience. Brihadaaranyaka is like a vast ocean. The other Upanishad-s are like the major rivers. All those rivers and rivulets have to finally merge into the ocean. Hence Brihadaaranyaka is an Upanishad that delivers to us both Gnyaana (wisdom) and experince. This Santi Vaakya is commensurate with the pre-eminent status of such an Upanishad, and is as outstanding and paramount as the Upanishad itself. The quintessence of the Upanishad is seen distilled into this Santi Vaakya. It looks as though the great Sages have extracted the essence (as it were) of the ten major Upanishad-s, the Brahma Sootra-s, and the Bhagavad Geeta (the trio commonly referred to as ‘Prasthaana Traya’) and condensed it into this great Santi Paatha, which even seems to outweigh the entire Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad, and had been bequeathed to posterity. Hence if we can fully grasp the meaning of this Santi Vaakya, and assimilate it by going through the progressive stages of ‘sravana’ (listening to discourses), ‘manana’ (reflection), and ‘dhyaana’ (meditation), and bringing it into the field of our experience, then, the trio of ‘siddhaanta’ (theory), ‘saadhana’ (practice and perseverance), and ‘Siddhi’ (Realization and Fulfilment), would be available to us. There is no doubt whatsoever in this, and can be stated without the slightest hesitation. Keeping this in mind, Sri Sankara Bhagavatpaada, had not elaborately commented on any other Santi Vaakya, as he did on this. As he came across those other Santi Vaakya-s, he had casually commented on them, and passed on to the text of the Upanishad. He is not general in the habit of elaborating on Santi Vaakya-s. At most, in those ten Santi Vaakya-s, depending on the context, he had briefly explained the meaning of just two or three of them. One such among them is ‘Sahanaa Vavatu’, for which he concisely rendered the meaning. He had however not dwelt on it at length. The second one was ‘Sannoe Mitrasyam Varunaha’. This also had same treatment. The third Santi Vaakya was ‘Aham Vrikshasya Rayrivaa’. This also received a brief commentary. But in the case of this ‘Poorna Madaha’ Santi Vaakya, he became highly enthusiastic, and exhaustively elaborated on it in nine or ten pages. Because, he was of firm conviction that, for the ‘saadhaka’, (the student on the spiritual path) it is enough if he fully comprehended the full meaning and import of this, and that in it lay the path to Salvation. This is evidenced in his very commentary. Any, Upanishad has to conclude with a Santi Vaakya.

The entire Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad has taught us only ‘Brahma Vidya’, knowledge about Brahman, and concluded with Santi Vaakya. What is implied is that this Santi Vaakya has to be properly and fully understood. Then alone, the essence of the Upanishad would have been imbibed. If this be left off, there is no ‘Santi’ (peace). Apart from that, the convention is, it should begin with Santi Vaakya and also end with it. This is one view. The second thing is, if the subject has to become amenable to our experience, there is one condition. It needs ‘Upaasana’, ceremonial worship. At the mention of the word Upaasana, one need not go jitters or misunderstand it. This is not ‘karmangoapaasana’ (formal ritualistic worship), nor ‘Devoapaasana’ (adoration of a personal God). This is worship of Brahman with ‘guna-s’ (attributes). After that it is of pure consciousness alone. After worship with form, is formless worship. If the Advaita concept were to be suddenly thrust upon, like the torrential descent of Ganges river, the student is liable to get suffocated. It would be impossible to digest and assimilate it, unless one be like a Prahlaada (the ardent child devotee) or the great Sage Suka, or some such with a sharp intellect and ultra quick receptive faculty. That would not happen unless one’s birth is rewarded with the fruits of good deeds done earlier. As the Sager says, unless one be blessed with Divine Grace, one’s mind would not be filled with Advaitic fragrance. That is why, in ninety nine percent of cases, though one pines for comprehending that concept, the intellectual capabilities are not adequate. After all, such capabilities concern one’s mind. Hence, it is the mind that has to be trained and sharpened. Such a training alone is the sole object of Advaitic Upaasana. We are not concerned with or interested in other forms of Upaasana (worship and ritual). What we need is ‘Saguna Brahmoapaasana’ (adoration of Brahman with attributes), i.e., comprehending the Brahmic Principle coupled with attributes. This implies trying to get a glimpse of Brahman through the media of attributes and equipments. After all, is not mind also an equipment, a medium? When it is said that it is mind alone that has to grasp Brahman, then itself, mind has become a medium. No doubt, mind is not Aatman; but it is the means to comprehend Aatman. ‘Asatoamma Sadgamaya’: It is via Asut (un-truth) that one has to reach Sut (Truth). Similarly, ‘Tamasoamaa Jyoatirgamaya’: Tamas is there to take one to Jyoati, i.e., from darkness unto Light. Mind is, in general, a problem. But if well cultivated and sharpened, it can lead one to Light (Enlightenment). That mending and sharpening process alone is Upaasana. Here, one has to be very cautious. At the mention of Upaasana, one should not begin worship of some Deity or Idol. Those who are in the training process of Advaita, should not run towards that. They must reflect on whatever and whenever anything is being told, and get to its inner meaning and import. Upaasana-s, useful from an Advaitic point of view alone, will be explained.

After dwelling at length on the Santi Vaakya of ‘Poorna Madaha’, then are given such Upaasana-s that help us towards Brahma Gnyaana (knowledge of Brahman). About ten of them have been dealth with. But two or three of them would be enough for us. They are very pertinent and useful aids in the search for truth. They are: 1. Omkaara Upaasana 2. Aakaasa Upaasana 3. Damaadi Gunatraya Upaasana. These three would suffice. In practicing these Upaasana-s, they should not be done mere mechanically. One has to practice only after understanding the full inner meaning. Also, they are not to be just orally chanted, but meditated upon mentally. Hence Aakaasa (the sky) is to be seen by the mind’s eye. The deeper meaning of omkaara has to be understood. Then, the three virtues of ‘Damaadi Gunatraya’ viz ‘Dama, Daana and Daya’ have to be practiced. Then alone the mind gets purified, and sufficiently sharpened. It acquires the capability to comprehend and assimilate anything. Hence this section of the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad is called ‘khilakaanada’. Earlier, in Maitreyi Brahmana, the word ‘khilya’ was mentioned. ‘khila’ means ‘piece’, apart from its other meaings like ‘remnant’, ‘extra’ (over and above the normal). It looks as though something ‘extra’ is being asked for, from the Upanishad. This ‘khilaa kaanda’ of the Upanishad, commences with this ‘Santi Vaakya’ of ‘Poorna Madaha’. But before dealing with this ‘Santi Vaakya’, Sri Bhagavad Paada renders an elaborate explanation. Later he explains in detail the three Upaasana processes mentioned earlier. Then, he briefly deals with a few more, and proceeds. echanically. One has to practice only after understanding the full inner meaning. Also, they are not to be just orally chanted, but meditated upon mentally. Hence Aakaasa (the sky) is to be seen by the mind’s eye. The deeper meaning of omkaara has to be understood. Then, the three virtues of ‘Damaadi Gunatraya’ viz ‘Dama, Daana and Daya’ have to be practiced. Then alone the mind gets purified, and sufficiently sharpened. It acquires the capability to comprehend and assimilate anything. Hence this section of the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad is called ‘khilakaanada’. Earlier, in Maitreyi Brahmana, the word ‘khilya’ was mentioned. ‘khila’ means ‘piece’, apart from its other meaings like ‘remnant’, ‘extra’ (over and above the normal). It looks as though something ‘extra’ is being asked for, from the Upanishad. This ‘khilaa kaanda’ of the Upanishad, commences with this ‘Santi Vaakya’ of ‘Poorna Madaha’. But before dealing with this ‘Santi Vaakya’, Sri Bhagavad Paada renders an elaborate explanation. Later he explains in detail the three Upaasana processes mentioned earlier. Then, he briefly deals with a few more, and proceeds.

Pronounciation Key, (for Sanskrit words)

a, u run, sun e red, fed ou about,grout
aa, a far, long ee green,feel p pump,rope
ai pain, train i give, fit ph phala,phena
ay lane, fame l lean,love r run,rose
b boy,bump m mother,meet u put,good
bh bhaya,laabha n name, gone y my,dine
d daana, dasa (ending) goat, toe y yonder,yak
dh dhana, dheera oo root,poor v,w van,want

NB: The letter ‘s’ to indicate plural, at the end of Sanskrit words, preceded by a hyphen (–) to avoid confusion, as being part of the word

1.Poorna Madaha:

Word-to-Word Meaning

Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam
Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay
Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya
Poorna Mayvaava Sishyatay”

This sloka has four lines. First, the word-to-word meaning has to be told: ‘Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam’: ‘Adaha’ means ‘that’ ‘Idam’ means ‘this’. What is being referred to as ‘That’ is ‘Poornam’. You are not perceiving that ‘That’. Without ever seeing, you are pointing your finger at ‘That’ which is far far away. Still you are asserting that ‘That’ is ‘Poornam’. Now, let that alone, you are also told that what you are so clearly able to see before you, this ‘This’ is also ‘Poornam’. Thus, both ‘That’ as well as ‘This’, are ‘Poornam’. This is the word-to-word meaning of the first line.

Next, the second line, ‘Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay’. When both ‘That’ and ‘This’ are ‘Poornam’, one may ask what the relationship is between both. The answer is: ‘This’ Poornam has ‘Udachyatay’ i.e., emerged from ‘That’ Poornam. This is the meaning of the second line. In the above two lines, what actually occurred has been indicated. Next, what has to be done or to happen, is dealth with in the third line.

‘Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya’: The ‘Poornatva’ that is contained in that ‘Poornam’, be picked up, i.e., brought into the purview of your thought. Then, what would happen, is revealed in the fourth line.

‘Poorna mevaava sishyatay’: They would remain as Poornam.

These are the word-to-word meanings of the four lines. Thus what has been conveyed to us is: ‘That’ is Poornam, ‘This’ also is Poornam. ‘This’ Poornam has emerged from ‘That’ Poornam. Bring to your mind the Poornatwa of that Poornam. You would be left remaing as Poornam.

Now, hear from me my queries regarding the above delineation of meaning:

It is said ‘That’ is Poornam, i.e., full and total and that ‘This’ also is Poornam. Is it meaningful? Does it make sense? If ‘That’ and ‘This’ be both Poornam, are they two entities? Can there be two Poornam-s? It is like mentioning of ‘two skies’. Can there be? Can there be two formless entities? There can be two if they be with form, but not if formless. Not only that, even in ‘Saakaara’ (entities with form), there can be two if they be ‘apoornam’ (not total and full), but not if they are ‘Poornam’ (totally full and all-pervasive). How can there be a void in Poornam? If there be any, how can if be called ‘full’? Hence, there cannot exist two ‘full’ entities. Then, where is the question of ‘That’ and ‘This’ both being ‘Poornam’? This needs to be answered.

Now the second line. ‘Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay’ ‘Poornam’ (fullness) has come out of ‘Poornam’. If something were to come out of Fullness, would there not be a void in it, and how can it still be ‘Full’? Hence if ‘This’ has come out of ‘That’, then, ‘That’ can no more be ‘Poornam’. Both ‘This’ and ‘That’ are to be ‘apoornam’ (non-full). ‘Poornam’ coming out of ‘Poornam’ is like putting your hand into the sky and culling out a lump of it! Is there any meaning in pulling out a ‘piece’ of sky from the all pervasive sky? Hence, the second line also looks fallacious.

Now, the third query. ‘Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya’: This means, thrusting your hand into Poornam and taking out Poornam. Now, if anything be taken away from Poornam, would there not be a void in it? How can it any longer be Poornam? Hence there is no meaning in taking out Poornam from Poornam.

Next the fourth (last) line:

‘Poorna Mayvaava Sishyatay’: ‘you, now remain to be Poornam’. This implies that you were not Poornam earlier, but have now become after something was done. In that case, if not Poornam earlier, how was it said in the first line of the sloka that ‘That is Poornam, This is Poornam’? Hence, this also is contradictory.

Thus the entire Santi Vaakya, all the four lines, are inconsistent and irrational. Hence the above interpretation would not do. However, the queires have to be answered. They shall be answered.


Before dealing with Sankara Bhagavad Paada’s commentary, I wish to give my explanation, and later would be his commentary. One thing to be noted. Do you know, when these queries would arise? If you believe that what was said is true! No question at all if you were to treat it as false. You may however protest, how the Upanishad Santi Vaakya can be false. If you look at it with this layman’s vision, then, it is false. But if you were to see through the eyes of Maharshi-s (great sages), then, it is all true. What is that special vision of those sages? The vision of the sages, is ‘Vastu drishti’ (vision of the Truth, the Substratum, the Reality), whereas that of the layman, is ‘Aabhaasa drishti’ (vision of the appearance, the superimposed, the illusory). You mistake the illusion to be Reality. The sages look as ‘aabhaasa’ with the vision of Reality, and convert it, and merge it into the Reality. Hence for them, Reality in any case is Reality, and, even the ‘aabhaasa’ (illusory appearance) also none other than Reality. They do not have a differential look. Why we see the difference is, we have forgotten, turned a blind eye to, the Reality. We are under the delusion that the ‘aabhaasa’ that we see, is the Reality. Hence, however much one explains to us, we have doubts and misunderstandings, and go on asking. We are never satisfied. In any case, now let us come to the explanation proper.

‘Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam’: Presently, we are observing before us this ‘Idam’, and are imagining something called ‘That’. When we say ‘Idam’, we think of this world, this body, and the Jeeva, the individual confined to this body. We see that this Jeeva is having deliberations and interactions with the world. In this process we despair of the experiences of joy and sorrow. All this we label it as ‘Samsaara’. In this is steeped our mind. Being in this state of mind, we are chanting the Santi Vaakya. Without coming out of our mental set up, we are trying to understand the Santi Vaakya. Seated here, you are stretching your hand to get a hold of ‘That’, the Reality. To grasp that far away entity, our hand must be extended that long. It is here that our mind comes into the picture. Our mind is now thinking of ‘This’ and ‘That’. What is near at hand, and right before us, we view it as ‘world’. Some far away entity we are imagining and naming it as ‘Paramaatma’. When our mind is entertaining these two thoughts, we are seeing ‘This’ which is ‘apoornam’ (non-full, not total). Also, ‘That’ which is ‘Poornam’ is coming to our thought. This is the ‘aabhaasa drishti’ (illusory vision). When we thus view, we try to grasp ‘That’, assuming it as ‘Poornam’, and, consider all that is before us and within our grasp, as ‘apoornam’ (non-full). Hence to those obsessed with this vision, what the Maharshi (great sage) is revealing is: ‘It is not merely ‘That’ which you are clamouring to grasp, is ‘Poornam’ but know that, even that which you are actually observing right before you, is also ‘Poornam’. It is not merely ‘Adaha’ (That) alone that is Poornam, but ‘Idam’ (This) also. It is not the inference of the Maharshi (great Sage) that there are two Poornam-s. The intention is to impress that both refer to the same one Poornam. The reference to ‘Adaha’ and ‘Idam’ is only for your understanding, and not that there are this one and that. Presently in our mind we have the concept of ‘That’ and ‘This’. We have to erase that concept, and keep the concept of one Poornam alone. It is to tell us that we have to merge both ‘This’ and ‘That’ into one single whole. There is nothing else except Poornam. This is the answer and explanation.

Hearing all this, one may be tempted to ask: ‘Are you trying to play around with words, or, is it really true? If as you said, both ‘This’ and ‘That’ are the same one Poornam, then, why is it that ‘This’ the Samasaara, which we are daily experiencing, does not seem to be a Poornam? Why is it that we have an impression and a feeling that ‘That’ alone is Poornam?

To this, the reply of the Maharshi is:

‘The reason why we are asserting that ‘This’ is also Poornam, is ‘Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay’. ‘This’ is nothing but a derivative of that very ‘That’ which you accept as Poornam. ‘This’ has emerged, as it were, from ‘That’ alone. Why we had to tell that ‘This’ is from ‘That’ alone, is because you are viewing as though there is no relationship whatsoever between those two. When you look at a gold ornament, it is like asking whether the ornament has come out of gold! That is why it is being told that ‘This’ has emerged from that ‘Poornam’. Hence ‘This’ also is Poornam. The gold ornament that is made from gold, can it be anything else but gold? Similarly ‘This’, the world that has emerged i.e., come out of Poornam, has also to be Poornam alone. This concept has to sink deep into our minds.

‘Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya’: There is nothing but ‘Poornatva’ (Fullness) in ‘Poornam’ (Full and Infinite). When it is said that both ‘That’ and ‘This’ are both one and the same ‘Poornam’, what is expected of you is, that you should view all as Poornam. Hence, bring to your mind the ‘Poornatva’ (Fullness) that is pervading the ‘Poornam’. This implies that Brahmaakaara Vritti (the thought of Brahman) should be well established and consolidated in your mind. Nowhere should you even imagine a trace of ‘apoornam’ (non-fullness). You should never entertain such a thought, nor see it anywhere. By ‘apoornam’ is meant ‘visesha’ (particular). Hence, whatever ‘particular’ you come across, you clasp the ‘saamaanya’ universality in that ‘visesha’ (particular), which means, you practice perceiving Poornatwa (fullness) in every ‘apoornam’. That is the way of spiritual practice. Establishing such an approach and attitude in your mind, when you, thus oriented, view this world from the micro to the macro, from your tiny self to the yonder mammoth galaxies, then, when they reveal themselves as merely, ‘Paramatma Swaroopa’ (Divine Nature), when you comprehend them all as mere manifestation of the Supreme Divine Consciousness, then,


you are no more a ‘Jeevaatma’ (individual soul). You are not of the nature or characteristic of ‘aparipoorna’ (non-full entity, partial and incompleted). You are ‘Paripoorna’ (Full, Total and Infinite). You have to conceive this with a vision of totality and fullness. That would be feasible only when you believe that all has emerged from ‘Poornam’, and, when it is thoroughly established in you that ‘That’ and ‘This’ both are Poornam. Some further clarification of the four lines of the sloka is desirable. To state that both ‘That’ and ‘This’ are Poornam, is theoretical. If you were to ask the why of it, then, in order to consolidate that theory, the next line ‘Poornaat Poorna Mudachyatay’, is the cause. The first one is resolution, and the second the reason.

When the theory has been reinforced with reason, then, being one on the spiritual path, you have to put in the needed effort, which is:

‘Poornasya Poorna maadaaya’:

‘Saadhana’ or persevering and progressing on the spiritual path, consists of many kinds of practices and phases. Whenever, wherever and whatever you are observing, or is cognizable to the five sense-organs, or experienced by the mind, whatever ‘name and form’ is identified, considering all these as nothing but ‘Sut’ and ‘Chit’, (existence and appearance), and transforming all into ‘Saamaanya’ (universal nature), converting all that appears as heterogenous into the homogenous and recognizing that all those are but ‘Swaroopa’ (core Existence, the Substratum, intrinsic Nature of the Supreme Consciousness), — all the above constitute the process of ‘Saadhana’.

Recognizing that the All-pervasive formless Consciousness alone pervades all forms, pervading to such extent that all the forms are but illusory appearance (aabhaasa) of the one Formless (Niraakaara) i.e., that Niraakara alone is manifesting as so many forms (saakaara), thus reconciling and amalgamating everything into the Supreme Consciousness – all this constitutes the process of ‘Saadhana’.

The above is the essence of the implication of ‘Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya’.

Thus, whereas in the first two lines, there were ‘Siddhaanta’ and Haytu (theory or proposition, and cause or reason), the third line concerns itself with ‘Saadhana’ (persevering and progressing on the spiritual path). If ‘Saadhana’ indicated activity and input of effort, then, it should culminate in fruit of action, or fulfillment, which in the present context is ‘Siddhi’, the end-result. This is indicated in the fourth (last) line of the Santi Vaakya.

‘Poorna meva avasishyatay’:

‘you remain as Poornam alone’.

‘Tadaykoe avasishthaha Sivaha Kayvaloaham’.

‘I remain alone, the one, the Auspicious’.

This is the end-result, the supreme culmination of the entire spiritual process.

This is what I have personally reflected upon the Santi Vaakya ‘Poorna madaha Poorna midam’ and wished to convey to you.


Now we will approach the Parama Guru Sri Bhagawad Paada. The characteristic exhaustive way that he deals with the topic, and the depth to which he delves into, is amazing. As you listen to his masterly and marvelous commentary, you would realize it yourself.

‘Poorna Madaha Ityaadi Khilaa Kaandam Praarabhyatay’

Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad had not ended. There remains the ‘khilaa Kaanda’ which is its supplementary. This commences with ‘Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam’ sloka.

‘Adhyaaya Chatushtayena Ya Deva Saakshaat Aparoakshaat Brahma’:

In what all that has been rendered thus far, the topic has been ‘Brahma Tattwa’ (Brahma Principle). That has been elaborated in as many different ways as needed. That too, you should not merely think that we are telling, and you are just listening. As is the Brahman, so our intellect should grasp It as It is. How It is, is: ‘Saakshaat’: Directely visibly manifest (How encouraging and hope-giving! We always feel and imagine It to be somewhere far far away. Nay, here is the word of hope, the confidence-booster, that It is directly manifest!)

Which means, it is verily visible to you. But you would say you are not able to perceive It, and that something is coming in the way, obstructing Its visibility. You are unable to directly perceive It. Reason? ‘Aparoakshaat’. You are imagining It to be away out of sight, and invisible. Thinking that some obstruction is coming in the way. But in reality, there is no obstruction. It is present anywhere and everywhere. The Brahmic Principle is direct and manifest. It is not yonder far away and invisible. It is evident and obvious, if only you perceive. If It is unseen, the fault is not that of Brahman. The incapability of not experiencing It, is verily that of the Jeeva (individual). For example, this book is directly in front of your sight. But you cannot view if your eyes have cataract or are defective. The fault is not that of the book, but of the perceiver only. Then what is the solution, the way out? The vision is to be corrected. The cataract has to be operated and removed. Similarly, our minds have to be cleansed and purified. Whatever unnecessary and futile thoughts arise, they must be flushed out. Just as there is an optical surgeon to operate cataract and restore normal vision to one’s eyes, so also here, in place of the eye-doctor, there is the Guru (Preceptor) to uncover the many layers over our minds, that eclipse its pristine nature. The Guru does not plant in you a new vision. Your vision is your property, your very own. What Guru does is, to clear out the obstructions to its vision. That is all he does, through his Upadesa (Instruction, teaching). Brahmaanubhava (Experience of the Brahman) is not something to be passed on and handed over by one to another. That experience has to germinate and sprout in one’s own mind itself. None can effect transmission of power to anyone. Even when Lord Sri Krishna revealed His Cosmic Form (Viswa Roopa) to Arjuna, it was of no use. That is why the Supreme Reality and your vision, both have to operate together to achieve the desired result. That is the Union of individual soul and Brahman (Jeeva Brahmaikya). That Brahmam is ‘Saakshaat’, ‘Aparoakshaat’ (direct and immediate), and ‘Aatma’ (implying, your own self, your own intrinsic nature). Not merely your own self, but in your family members, your belongings and properties, in all and everything, it is ‘That’ alone that exists.

‘Sarvaantaraha’, the In-dweller in all elements, in all things and beings.

‘Saamaanya, Sarva vyaapaka, Nirupaadhika’: Universalized generality, All-pervasive, devoid of attributes and limitations.

There is nothing that obstructs It. Neither your body, nor external physical barriers cause any obstruction.

It is evident here, there and everywhere.

‘Asanaayaadi Ateetaha’: It is beyond thirst and hunger. They only concern the body. If one has no thought of life, there would be no hunger and thirst. If there were to be no medium of mind, there would be no experiences of joys and sorrows. The main instruments or functioneries are life and mind. That is designated as the ‘subtle-body’. Life alone is susceptible to hunger and thirst. It is a characteristic of the animate. Those rocks and boulders, hills and mountains do not have any such pangs. They just stand majestically. (Hence, to put it in lighter vein, if one has to do ‘Saadhana’ (persevere on the spiritual path), one ought to look at rocks and boulders, rivers and mountains, and not birds and animals! When we behold and stand before a mighty majestic mountain like Himalayas, the feeling that we get, does not come when we perceive humans. Perhaps that is why Yogi s and mendicants retire to caves and forests, and keep company with inanimate Nature. Incidentally, there perhaps is some latent purpose and inner meaning in the chief characters in Ramayana and Maha Bharata, spending years of their lives in forests (vanavaasa). Some spiritual significance perhaps. In the Chhandogya Upanishad, is stated: ‘Dhyaayanteeva’ Parvatah Dhyaayanteeva Prithvi’: ‘Look at those mountains, how they are meditating!’ This is called ‘nature mysticism’. Perhaps that is why Ramana Maharshi never left the Arunaachala Hill in his entire life time. It is believed that the great devotee Annamaacharya never left the Tirumala Hill. That is the environmental influence. The great happiness that is associated with it, nowhere else can it be found.)

‘Neti Neteeti Vyapadesyaha’: Whenever and whatever thoughts emanate from the mind, ‘Neti Neti’ (Not this, not this) so saying, and, realizing that all and everything is nothing but ‘Brahma Swaroopa’, and, merging it into yourself, and proceeding…. That alone is progressing on the spiritual path.

‘Nirdhaaritaha’: This has been learnt from the Upanishad, stated and asserted by it.

‘yadvignyaanam’ Only when we acquire that wisdom, then, ‘Kevalam’, that alone is ‘Amritatwa Saadhanam’ that which blesses you with ‘Amritatwa’ (Immortality). It is ‘Aatma Gnyaana’ (Knowledge of the Self) and nothing else.

Now, what the Khila Kaanda next postulates is that, if you are not yet prepared for, or, capable of, implementing the above ordained process, then some more training is incumbent on you. It lies in getting at the Truth, though not directly but via some ‘Upaadhi-s’ (media or contrivances), though ‘That’ is beyond all Upaadhi-s.

‘Adhunaa Ta syaiva Aatmanaha Soapaadhi Kasyaaha’: Now, for some time, that same Aatma, we have to visualize It through the media of Upaadhi-s (attributes and qualities).

‘Sabdaardhaadi Vyavahaara Vishaya Aapannasya’: As Sabda (sound), artha (meaning), the teller, that which is being told, measure or unit, and, state or destination, abhidaana and abhideya (connotation and its meaning), AUM (the components of OM), Viswa Tyjasa Praagnya (the individual soul in the wakeful, dream and deep sleep states) …’ in this way the Pure Consciousness be brought down to these various levels. Though It is All-Pervading Soul-Consiciousness, it be lowered down so that you can comprehend and grasp It. Subsequently you can rise up step by step. But it should be remembered that Its descent it not to just come down and stagnate at that level itself. ‘Vyavahaara Vishaya Aapannasya’: Sounds, meanings etc, have come into the orbit of practical deliberation. ‘Purastaat Anuktaani Upaasanaani’: In order to purify and sharpen your mind for better concentration, some observances and techniques, are going to be proposed. Those are not the ritualistic worships and observances indicated earlier. They are different. ‘Karmabhi raviruddhaani’. These are not antagonistic to ‘Karma-s’ (ritualistic practices). One need not be perturbed that these are of entirely different nature, not conducive to the cherished objective.

‘Prakrishthaabhyudaya Saadhanaani Krama Mukti Bhaaginicha’:

It enables you to achieve super progress on your path of enlightenment. Besides, it endows you with ‘Krama Mukti’ (Deliverance step-by-step gradually) instead of ‘Sadyoe Mukti’ (Deliverance all at once). By step-by-step and gradual is meant, achieving the objective through purification of the mind, and single-pointed concentration. ‘Taani Vaktavyaani’: In order to instruct you incorporating such a process also, ‘Parassandarbha’: Now this Khilaa-Kaanda of the Upanishad is commencing. ‘Sarvoapaasana Seshatwena’: Of all the Upaasana-s, the most important Upaasana ‘Omkaaraha’, ‘Damam, Daanam, Dayaan Ityetaanicha’, and the third ‘Aakaasa’ (sky), ‘Vidhichchitaani’, all these the Upanishad is ordaining as supplementary or complementary. If such training practices are undergone, then the ‘Tattwa’ (concept, principle) can easily be comprehended.

In this manner, Sri Bhagavad Paada has written the ‘Avataarika’ (preface).

Now, his commentary on the Santi Paatha ‘Poorna Madaha’: ‘Poorna Madaha’:

Even for the word ‘Poornam’ he is giving an elaborate meaning. We normally take ‘Poornam’ to mean ‘full’, ‘one without any void’ etc. His interpretation for the word is: ‘Na Kritaschit Vyaavrittam’. For example, this body is not Poornam. Why? Suppose I get up and keep going. Suppose some obstacle comes across. I have to push it aside it I want to proceed. Now, as long as I get obstacles in my path, I am said to be not Poornam. Even if I remove that obstruction and go, I may encounter another obstruction, and so on. As long as obstacles come in way and stop progress, anyone or anything is not Poornam. Because ‘Vyaavrittam’ is occurring i.e., strike against an obstacle and return. It is said here ‘Na Kritaschit Vyaavrittam’ i.e., that which does not turn back from any obstacle. That is said to be ‘Poornam’. Any material whatsoever, as it approaches another body, it tends to return or reverse. When you travel in a car or train, the ground keeps extending as it were, as you keep on going. But the moment you reach the ocean, the water says ‘stop!’. The ground reached its boundary. Next, the water in the ocean keeps extending till it reaches another medium. Thus each proceeds till it reaches another species, a heterogeneous one (vijaateeya). That is, any ‘Sajaateeya’ (homogeneous) stops as it encounters or reaches a ‘Vijaateeya’. Such stopping of Sajaateeya at Vijaateeya, is ‘Apoornatva’. To be qualified to be called ‘Poornam’, it should not have, or come across, any Vijaateeya. There should not be any qualities, properties or characteristics contrary to those of its own. That is what is implied in ‘Na kritaschit Vyaavrittam’. You should not be repelled from anything whatsoever. You should be able to proceed on and on without obstruction. Nothing hetergeneous. Then it is ‘Vyaapi’, pervasive. It can permeate through everything. That is the interpretation of the word ‘Poornam’ by Bhagawad Paada. Now in a moment, the technique of Saadhana (persevering on the spiritual path) would strike to us. Now imagine that your effort is all-expanding, becoming all-pervasive to comprehend Paramaatman. As long as you keep thinking, you cannot be Poornam. Because, once you being thinking, a thousand mundane thoughts would sprout, distract and whip in your mind. On the other hand, if the thought is to extend continuously without break, you should not perceive anything heterogeneous to your Gnyaana (Awareness, Consciousness). But something or other would pop up, cutting across the continuity. Then, what to do? To try to sit quiet without semblance of a thought. Then alone, your streamline flow of Gnyaana continues uninterruptedly. That is the implication of ‘Vyaapi’, extending all around, becoming all-pervasive. That is real ‘Dhyaana’ (meditation). That is why the Upaasana of bringing sky to the mind, has been enunciated. Hence for proper understanding of the enunciation, there has to be the needed mental calibre. Such a mental state is brought about by this Khila Kaanda.

‘Adaha’: This word indicates something far away, imperceptible, not directly cognizable. What that is, is Brahma Tatwa (Brahmic Principle). It is said here that ‘That’ is Poornam. ‘Aakaasavat Vyaapi’: It is all-pervasive and all-filling like space. If your mind is needed to conceive of such a concept, the example of sky is usually taken. That Para Brahman is ‘Aakaasavat Vyaapi’. Now, when it is said that ‘That’ is like sky, why not take ‘sky’ itself as Brahman? You may say so. But the objection is, ‘That’ is ‘Nirantara’. It has no inner content. There should not be anything within. But within the sky are present varieties of things, from the micro to the macro, from infinitesimally 18px microbes to the mammoth galaxies. In the womb of the sky are sun, moon, planets, stars and other bodies. Hence sky cannot be called as ‘Nirantara’. There are many heterogeneous elements within It. The emptiness which is its natural characteristic, is being violated. Apart from this, another qualifying requirement is ‘Nirupaadhikancha’. It should be beyond limitations, qualities and attributes. But Aakaasa has these limitations. Being contained in a pot, it is called ‘ghataakaasa’ (space in the pot), being in a room, it is termed ‘mathaakaasa’ etc. Hence sky is not ‘nirupaadhika’, and hence cannot deserve to be termed ‘Brahman’.

‘Tadeva Idam Soapaadhikam Naama Roopam Vyavahaaraa Pannam Poornam’: The ‘Idam’ (This) which you are considering as ‘apoorna’ (non-full, not Poornam) is also verily ‘That’, that Poornam Itself. How did ‘That’ Poornam become ‘This’? The question is, earlier, the sky itself, as it contains and includes many bodies like planets etc, has been disqualified from being Brahmam, then, how can ‘This’, with all its paraphernelia, be eligible to qualify as Poornam? The answer is: ‘That’ which is empty, can be Poornam. ‘This’ with full of contents can also be Poornam. Then, the terms ‘That’ and ‘This’ disappear. Both are Poornam. ‘Tadeva Idam’ means ‘That’ alone is ‘This’. What is the meaning of ‘This’? ‘Soapaadhikam’ i.e., along with Upaadhi s (characteristics and attributes), ‘Naama Roopastham’: though wearing the garb of Naama (name, idea, mind) and roopa (form, thing, matter), ‘Vyavahaaraapannam’: though reduced to the level of Transaction, consequent of innumerable deliberations, ‘This’ also is that Poornam. Just as ‘That’ which is totally devoid of any thing, is Poornam, so also ‘This’ which has all kinds of things, is also Poornam. Hence, combining that which has nothing, and, that which has all things, Sankara is projecting that as Poornam. When asked how ‘This’ is Poornam, his answer is ‘Swarna Roopena’. The real intrinsic nature of ‘this’, is Paramaatma alone. You normally view wife, children and friends as they are. You experience joys and sorrows. These names and forms, these joys and sorrows, all these pairs of opposites, are nothing but ‘Sut and Chit’. ‘Paramaatmanaa Vyaapi’: these have all extended as embodiments of that One Paramaatman. In that form they are all Poornam.

‘Na Upaadhi Parichchhinnena Viseshaatmanaa’: You may complain that all these – wife, children, family members and friends – are all differently and individually, appearing vividly to you. But no. That Poornam alone, is appearing to you as though split into those Upadhi-s, and as particular forms. It is ‘Saamaanya’ (Universality) alone that is merely appearing as those particular forms. It is the Indivisible alone that is showing up as those ‘divisibles’, fragments. For this fragmentation, the cause is Upaadhi. This Upaadhi also is not anything basically different and independent, but Its own mask, Its own illusory creation. That ‘That’ (Brahman) Itself, has out of Itself projected an Upaadhi, entered into it, and appearing to one and all, as merely confined to that Upaadhi, that limited form and existence. This is similar to the situation wherein the Ocean itself, on its own, created an Upaadhi in the form of a wave, filled itself totally in it, and acting as the Upaadhi. It is appearing merely as the wave to the onlookers. That appearance is ‘aabhaasa’ (delusory display). That ‘aabhaasa’ is nothing else except the ‘substance’ (the one reality, the substratum of all existence). In that case, now, which is Poornam, and which is not? Both, the ocean as well as the wave, are Poornam. By virtue of water, it is always Poornam. The wave also, as a form of the same water, is Poornam. But as appearance of the mere wave-form, it is an Upaadhi, and is ‘apoornam’.

Another illustrative example is that of ‘mirage’. It is an appearance far away on a hot day, of water welling up and flowing over the land surface. But in reality there is no water, but hot air shimmering and merely appearing as water. The hot air is the reality and is Poornam. That hot air which is Poornam, merely appears as water, and becomes ‘apoornam’ as long as it so appears as water, but as hot air is Poornam. Not only that, even while appearing as water, it is still Poornam if conceived as hot air, but ‘apoornam’ if viewed exclusively as water. Similarly, Paramaatma (the Supreme Soul, the Pure consciousness) being Poornam as ‘Sut and Chit’ and, at the same time having evolved out of Itself ‘particularizations’ (Visesha-s) of Sut and Chit, in the forms of thoughts and things, and experiences of joy and sorrow etc, as also beings and materials as family and relatives, wealth and possessions, and having entered all these beings and materials, and all other particularizations (as water does into all wave-forms) and, with total identification, manifesting Itself as verily all the above… this is creating the illusion of being ‘apoorna” (non-fullness). But though you are conceiving with a pre-determined concept of ‘apoornatva’, still, just as there is certainly nothing but water in the waves, and, certainly nothing but shimmering sunshine and warm air in what is appearing as water in a mirage, so also, with similar certainty, it is the ‘Sut and Chit’ alone that have put on the garb of, and appearing as, body, mind, life-breath, family and relatives, wealth and possessions, beings and things etc. (If an excellent reconciliation and harmonization such as this, has been conceived by the great sages of ancient India, if great luminaries like Sri Sankara Bhagavad Paada reminded us of the same, and handed over those priceless treasures of scriptural wisdom, with commentaries and elaborations, on which we now in this twenty first century, have taken up, and are reflecting upon, … it is so evident how very fortunate we are! This great priceless immortal wisdom, no other country, race or community, anywhere anytime in this world, has ever known, seen or heard, let alone bringing into the field of experience. If one has to strive on that spiritual path and aspire for such a fulfilling experience of self-realization, we can imagine how serious and strenuous the effort should be. Even the slightest neglect will thwart and scuttle the entire process and effort.)


Reverting to the topic, it has been stated that it is the ‘Saamaanya’ alone that has out of Itself evolved Upaadhi-s (particulars and attributes), and merely appearing to the world that It is, in their form, ‘apoorna’. This is a mere misconception, a delusion. It is in reality a Poornam. As ‘aabhaasa’ (fallacious illusory appearance) it is ‘apoornam’. Where there is ‘aabhaasa’, there itself is the ‘Substance, Reality’. Where there is Reality, there is ‘aabhaasa’ also along side. Hence no fear. Where there is water, there is also the wave. Where there is wave, there itself is water. Where there is the gold necklace, there itself is gold. Associated with gold is the necklace. You can direct your vision upon anything you choose. You have the opportunity. If merely wish to see the necklace, you would see necklace alone. If you reflect upon and visualize the gold in the necklace, then you would see gold. However, if your vision is merely on the necklace, then, you cannot perceive gold. But, if after seeing the gold, even if you see the necklace, it does not matter. You would, in any case, be seeing the gold, and also the ornament, realizing it as after all gold in form of ‘aabhaasa’. This is akin to the situation of a ‘Jeevan-Mukta’ (a Realized Living Soul), who having experienced the All-pervasiveness of ‘Sut and Chit’ (Existence and Appearance of the Universal Pure Consciousness), and identifying himself with them, and with that vision perceiving ‘sud visesha-s’ (particularized existences i.e., things), and, ‘Chid visesha-s’ (particularized consciousness i.e. ideas and thoughts), keeps on performing the delicate balancing act, without leaving hold of either. As he looks at the world with that cosmic vision, he is doubly at advantage. On the other hand, for one who is not a Jeevan Mukta, he or she is doubly at loss. For, he holds on to ‘aabhaasa’ which is however futile, and, had not yet comprehended ‘That’ (the Reality) which is thus out of reach. Hence for one who mistakenly takes in ‘aabhaasa’ as Reality, he is at double disadvantage. For one who had realized the Truth, and with that enlightened perception, looks at ‘aabhaasa’, and gets at the Truth, and, converts ‘aabhaasa’ into Truth, for such an one, ‘aabhaasa’ also appears as Truth. Thus, doubly advantageous.

‘Tadidam viseshaapannam kaaryaatmakam Brahma’. Now, do you know what has put on the garb of this visesha roopa’ (particularized form)? That Brahman Itself. All that is appearing as Visesha, is th ‘Tadidam viseshaapannam kaaryaatmakam Brahma’. Now, do you know what has put on the garb of this visesha roopa’ (particularized form)? That Brahman Itself. All that is appearing as Visesha, is that Saamaanya Itself. ‘Kaaryaatmakam’: ‘That’ is the ‘Kaarana’ (cause), and ‘This’ is the ‘Kaarya’ (effect).

‘Brahma Poornaat Kaaranaatmanaha Udachyatay’:

This ‘Kaarya Brahman’ has ‘udachyatay’ from the ‘Kaarana Brahmam’. For this verb three interpretations have been given: ‘udachyatay’, ‘udrichyatay’, and, ‘udgachchhati’. ‘Udachyatay’ means, it has swelled up from It. ‘Udrichyatay’ means, it has fallen out from It ‘Udgachchhati’ means, hovering around. Whatever has come out appears to be hovering all around. ‘yadyati kaaryaatmanaha udrichyatay’. Though as an effect and a product, the gold ornament has come out, though this ornament is made from the basic ‘cause’ the gold, even then, the gold has not lost sight of its own ‘Swaroopa’, its basic inherent nature. Similarly, though this world has emerged from Brahma Tattwa which is Poornam, it should be clear that every speck and atom in this world, is filled with that Poorna Brahma Swaroopa. ‘Anoe raneeyaan Mahatoe maheeyaan’. From the infinitesimally tiny atom to the mammoth galaxies, whatever we perceive, is Brahmam. It is seated in every form. Your vision would be rendered thoroughly pure. You would not perceive any differentialism. You are not losing hold of the concept of Paramaatma. It has emerged as Poornam. It has not come out as ‘apoorna’. It has emerged as Poornam, just as the ornament emerged as gold, from gold.

Till now, Sri. Bhagavat Paada has elaborated on the first two lines. Now coming to the third line.(Kaarya roo ‘Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya’: This Poornam, which is Brahmam in the ‘Kaarya roopam’ (‘effect’ form), is with you as ‘This’. But ‘That’ is not with you. Now you are thinking of going from ‘here’ to ‘there’, i.e., from ‘Samsaara’ (worldly imbroglio) to ‘Saayujya’ (salvation). As ‘This’ also is Poornam, there is no fear. ‘Poornasya kaaryaatmanaa Brahmanaha’: The Poornatva which is the Brahma Swaroopa that is manifest in the ‘effect’ form (Kaarya roopena), that ‘Poornatva’ ‘aadaaya’ i.e., grasp It, get hold of It. This implies that you must mentally absorb It, which in practical terms means that in whatever you are observing, inanimate or animate, from rocks and boulders, hills and mountains, trees and forests to living beings, insects to humans … in all these, be perceiving Poornatva in all of them without exception. ‘Poorna maadaaya, griheetvaa’. Get hold of It. But how?

‘Aatma Swaroopa Eka Rasatva Maapadya Vidyayaa’:

‘Aapadya’: you ‘become’. Make It your own, your very self. What should you become? ‘Aatma Swaroopa Ayka Rasatwam’. The Awareness that ‘I am all That’. This should be the singular concept and vision. The Awareness of mere ‘Existence’, All pervasive and generalized, but not particularized. Then, there would not be any differential flavour. This implies that nothing pops up as ‘particular’. If your mind were to reflect and conceive of only a cosmic generality (Saamaanya) in all the fragmented particulars (Visesha-s) and their attributes, then, ‘Tadbhaava Bhaavita’, it becomes That itself. How does it happen? Have we to work it out with input of effort? Nay, mere ‘Vidyayaa’. By the vision of ‘Gnyaana’, a mere conscious awareness that cosmic generality (saamaanya) is none other than thyself. The generality latent in you is awakened, surges up, and merges with the Cosmic Generality. Then would exist only a Single All-pervading, All-inclusive ‘Saamaanya’ all around. All particulars just dissolve into that Universal Solvent. All the names and forms, and the myriad ‘particulars’, born out of (a product of) sheer ignorance, be totally erased, exterminated (Tiraskritya). Earlier, Saamaanya was submerged and all these popped up. Now the reverse should happen, and Saamaanya rises up everywhere. Visesha s submerge, and Saamaanya emerges out. Now, there are two things to be noted in connection with this submergence and emergence. Firstly it should bear a form, be something, and be visible to your sight. Then only you would notice the rise and fall. Secondly it should be finite i.e., fragmented. It should not be ‘Poornam’ in which case it is formless, and no question of rise or fall. Then, apart from the requisites of form and finitude, a third qualification is needed. That is mobility, vibration. Else there would be no movement at all. Hence all the above three are inevitable to notice any rise and fall, or, emergence and submergence. These three can be witnessed in the wave of an ocean. When the wave, which has a form and finitude, is rising up, or falling, its very rise and fall constitute its form. The form and finitude do not belong to the entire ocean. They are not spread in the entire ocean. Nor even the acts of rise and fall. They are just limited to the wave only. Now, the query is, what is true and what is false? Which is the ‘substance’ and which is ‘appearance’ (aabhaasa)? The ‘substance’ or ‘substratum’ is the water of the Ocean. The form, the finiteness and activity are all related only to the wave. Now if the wave were to ask the ocean why all this is happening, the ocean may retort that it is the wave alone that took into its head to rise and fall, and hence should bear the blame. Now, let us ask ourselves, if there be no connection between the wave and ocean, why the wave has arisen from that water alone? Looks, both are involved. The entire existence and activity of the wave, is just dependant on the water of the ocean. Water itself is its base. Water alone is enacting the drama thru the medium of the wave, making it a scapegoat. What we are doing is, we are enamoured of the drama, with our thoughts absorbed only on the action, the external appearance, and not the actor, the truth behind the whole appearance. We are in a lamentable situation wherein we cannot manage to see them both together. If only we can do so, we would see that the entire show is not that of the wave but of the ocean itself! That rise and fall that is observed, is of water alone. The travel of the wave is also an activity in the water. The interesting thing is that, if only we could perceive the two together simultaneously, we would be seeing the water that is stagnant, as well as the water on the move. By seeing both, we are under no illusion. The Swaroopa (Real Nature) is water, and the ‘aabhaasa’ (illusory appearance) is the wave. When there is the understanding and reconciliation that the ‘aabhaasa’ is of the ‘Swaroopa’ alone, then, the ‘aabhaasa’ cannot pull us aside or mislead us. For, even if it distracts us, even then if we can view with the right vision of Reality, we can quickly regain balance, and pull it back.e middle when it pops up, it still depends on, and owes its very existence to the Reality (water in case of the wave). Thus ‘aabhaasa’ is ever deceptive. Unlike it, the Reality, is ever there, when you see it or even when you do not. Even when you do not see it, it is still there as ‘Sut’, ‘Asti’. When you view it, it is ‘Bhaati’ (manifest).’Astitva’ (Existence) never runs the risk; it is ever there.

You would distinctly glaringly perceive the wave when you have no thought of water. On the other hand, when you learn to see water therein, it is ever there. Not only that, you would realize that the wave too is nothing but that same water, its mere play. But if your vision be just on the wave-form, it would was submerged and all these popped up. Now the reverse should happen, and Saamaanya rises up everywhere. Visesha s submerge, and Saamaanya emerges out. Now, there are two things to be noted in connection with this submergence and emergence. Firstly it should bear a form, be something, and be visible to your sight. Then only you would notice the rise and fall. Secondly it should be finite i.e., fragmented. It should not be ‘Poornam’ in which case it is formless, and no question of rise or fall. Then, apart from the requisites of form and finitude, a third qualification is needed. That is mobility, vibration. Else there would be no movement at all. Hence all the above three are inevitable to notice any rise and fall, or, emergence and submergence. These three can be witnessed in the wave of an ocean. When the wave, which has a form and finitude, is rising up, or falling, its very rise and fall constitute its form. The form and finitude do not belong to the entire ocean. They are not spread in the entire ocean. Nor even the acts of rise and fall. They are just limited to the wave only. Now, the query is, what is true and what is false? Which is the ‘substance’ and which is ‘appearance’ (aabhaasa)? The ‘substance’ or ‘substratum’ is the water of the Ocean. The form, the finiteness and activity are all related only to the wave. Now if the wave were to ask the ocean why all this is happening, the ocean may retort that it is the wave alone that took into its head to rise and fall, and hence should bear the blame. Now, let us ask ourselves, if there be no connection between the wave and ocean, why the wave has arisen from that water alone? Looks, both are involved. The entire existence and activity of the wave, is just dependant on the water of the ocean. Water itself is its base. Water alone is enacting the drama thru the medium of the wave, making it a scapegoat. What we are doing is, we are enamoured of the drama, with our thoughts absorbed only on the action, the external appearance, and not the actor, the truth behind the whole appearance. We are in a lamentable situation wherein we cannot manage to see them both together. If only we can do so, we would see that the entire show is not that of the wave but of the ocean itself! That rise and fall that is observed, is of water alone. The travel of the wave is also an activity in the water. The interesting thing is that, if only we could perceive the two together simultaneously, we would be seeing the water that is stagnant, as well as the water on the move. By seeing both, we are under no illusion. The Swaroopa (Real Nature) is water, and the ‘aabhaasa’ (illusory appearance) is the wave. When there is the understanding and reconciliation that the ‘aabhaasa’ is of the ‘Swaroopa’ alone, then, the ‘aabhaasa’ cannot pull us aside or mislead us. For, even if it distracts us, even then if we can view with the right vision of Reality, we can quickly regain balance, and pull it back.

Now, considering that this illustrative example of ocean and wave, is taxing our brains to get a proper perspective, Sri Bhagavat Paada offers another illustrative example, that of the blueness in the sky. That color in the sky is totally non-existent. It is all just empty space. The color is not that of the sky. It is an illusion. Your vision is not able to pierce that illusion and see the clear sky. Again, the same sky, appearing now as blue, turns red at sunset. The blueness disappears. Thus, sky by itself has no hue. They are mere optical illusions. Wisdom lies in viewing the hueless clear sky, which is always there and hence true. The colors are ‘aabhaasa’ that come and go, appear and disappear. Just as ocean water is ever there, but the waves come and go, a mere ‘aabhaasa’, a temporary affair. It is not there at the beginning, or at the end. Even in the middle when it pops up, it still depends on, and owes its very existence to the Reality (water in case of the wave). Thus ‘aabhaasa’ is ever deceptive. Unlike it, the Reality, is ever there, when you see it or even when you do not. Even when you do not see it, it is still there as ‘Sut’, ‘Asti’. When you view it, it is ‘Bhaati’ (manifest).’Astitva’ (Existence) never runs the risk; it is ever there.

You would distinctly glaringly perceive the wave when you have no thought of water. On the other hand, when you learn to see water therein, it is ever there. Not only that, you would realize that the wave too is nothing but that same water, its mere play. But if your vision be just on the wave-form, it would not last long. It keeps on going and coming, a transient phenomena. What is its use? Hence, if you want to really ameliorate yourself, pass beyond these vagaries of life and death. You should realize that, all that you are now holding on to, this passing parade of fleeting things that come and go, are all mere ‘visesha-s’ (particulars with qualities and attributes), mere ‘aabhaasa-s’ (illusory appearances). But, is it not true that, to be true to yourself, you are presently holding on to, and clinging to only such things and beings that come and go? Can you honestly confess that, in the ‘Avasthaa Traya’, the three states of wakefulness, dream and deep-sleep (‘jaagrat, swapna and sushupti’), you are holding on to that which neither comes and goes, and remains ever steadfast? If you are able to comprehend and hold on to such an one, that is enlightened knowledge. That is wisdom. Then only would you realize that your present state is one of ignorance, in which you go on clinging to one thing after another, as they go on slipping from you or seem beyond your grasp. You are not content with disappointment, and live on hope. You again clamour, but some unseen Divine Agency snatches off from your hands as it were. It seems to silently warn you of your thoughlessness and ignorance, to pull you out of which, the snatching away was purposefully done, in your own interest, so that wisdom may dawn on you. That is the concern and anxiety shown by the ‘Paraasakti’ (Supreme Power). It is a silent message and counsel that you give up running after the things that come and go, and, contemplate on That which witnesses all those comings and goings. One should reflect on the import of that message. These comings and goings, appearances and disappearances, are but Its ‘aabhaasa’ (illusory show). That of which this is ‘aabhaasa’, is the Tattwa (Principle). Comprehend the sky whose illusory appearance is its blue color. Comprehend That which is projecting this ‘Srishti, Sthiti and Laya’ (Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution). Comprehend That which is putting on the garb of ‘naama, roopa and kriya’ (name, form and functrion). Know that ‘That’ Itself is not ‘naama, roopa and kriya’ or ‘Srishti, Sthiti and Laya’. ‘That’ is just manifesting them. Conjurer himself is not what he is conjuring. Magician himself is not the magic. What you have to grasp are not the upsurges and submergences, but that which is causing them. Not the rises and falls, but that which appears to be doing so. Both are verily there. Now apply this to your life. Not the thoughts but ‘That’ which is thinking. That is ‘Gnyaana’. Not its activity. Hence, going beyong the mind. Get hold of not the tongue and word, but that which is goading them. The energy which is behind. Not the torso and the limbs, but that which so appears. Not the physical body. Not wife, and children, family and relatives but That which is just putting on those forms, the illusory appearances. This is the implication of ‘Neti, Neti’ (not this, not this). In this enunciation, it is not that there are two entities, each independent of the other. It is only one thing, in which there is the ‘substance’ (vastu) part, and, ‘aabhaasa’ part. Like the two sides of a coin. If you were to grasp the ‘Vastu’ part, then, you comprehend not only the ‘Vastu’ but also ‘aabhaasa’ which is a mere ‘appearance’ of ‘Vastu’. The unified vision is ‘Advaita’. However, if you were to look at ‘aabhaasa’ alone without an inkling of ‘Vastu’, then, ‘Vastu’ would get submerged below ‘aabhaasa’, and eclipsed by it. That is referred to as ‘Tiraskarana’ (Vastu submerging below aabhaasa). However, Vastu fully pervades the aabhaasa. But as there is no thought of Vastu, you would be perceiving only ‘aabhaasa’, which slowly in course of time, wears off (like polish) and disappears. The thing is this. The aabhaasa has emerged out of Vastu. It has Vastu embedded in it. It anxiously waits to see it you have any Vastu– oriented vision. It seems to silently say to you, “Why don’t you reflect and know that it is the Vastu (Substance, Reality) that has entirely pervaded me, in and out? Why do you go on clinging to me exclusively? The more you get established in me (the aabhaasa), the farther you recede from Truth and Reality. The farther you get away from me, the nearer you get to Reality and Wisdom, into which I finally merge. The choice is yours”. The world seems to be thus saying to us silently.

Now listen to what Sri Bhagavat Paada says: ‘Yadyapi Kaaryaatmanaa Udrichyatay’. Be not deceived though that ‘Poornam’ Itself puts on the garb of this ‘aabhaasa’ and appears in the form of this world. ‘yut Swaroopam Poornatwam’. Whatever Poornatwa exists in the Swaroopa of ‘That’, the same Poornatwa permeates totally the ‘aabhaasa’ even now. It has not vanished. That is the Paramaatma Principle. Actually That alone exists, not ‘This’. This aabhaasa has not left ‘It’. Know that even when ‘this’ is so glaringly visible, it is able to do so only because of ‘That’Now listen to what Sri Bhagavat Paada says: ‘Yadyapi Kaaryaatmanaa Udrichyatay’. Be not deceived though that ‘Poornam’ Itself puts on the garb of this ‘aabhaasa’ and appears in the form of this world. ‘yut Swaroopam Poornatwam’. Whatever Poornatwa exists in the Swaroopa of ‘That’, the same Poornatwa permeates totally the ‘aabhaasa’ even now. It has not vanished. That is the Paramaatma Principle. Actually That alone exists, not ‘This’. This aabhaasa has not left ‘It’. Know that even when ‘this’ is so glaringly visible, it is able to do so only because of ‘That’, from the strength and support from ‘That’ alone.

‘Poornameva Udrichyatay’:

That is the reason why it is being said that which has come out, is also Poornam. It may outwardly give an impression of, and appear, being apoornam. But on closer scrutiny and reflection, this also is Poornam.

‘Poornasya Kaaryaatmanoe Brahmanaha’:
Hence oh Seeker! As ‘this’ is also Poornam, though you may feel the deficiency of Poornatwa in ‘this’, or consider It concealed, or receded to background, it is your bounden duty to push aside that veil, see clearly the luster of that Poornatwa, and grasp It i.e., comprehend It vividly in your mind. It is right there for you to perceive.

‘Paramaatma Bhaavam Tannajahaati, Poornamevaa Poornasya Poornamaadaaya’:

The Poornatwa in It, ‘aadaaya’, ‘griheetwaa’, fetch and fix it well in your mind, and, let that lone thought of Infinite Form (Formlessness) fill your mind fully. Let there be no place in your mind for any ‘apoornaakaara Vritti’ (thought of non-fullness, imperfection, finitude, limitation, deficiency). Thoughts of wife, children, relatives, friends etc., are all ‘apoornaakaara vritti-s’. All wealth and material possession, as also experiences of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain etc., are ‘apoorna vritti-s’. What you think or speak, they are also ‘apoorna vritti-s’. All physical bodily activities are ‘apoorna vritti-s’. Whatever you observe and are within your comprehension, are ‘apoorna’. This idea, that thing, this name, that form… all are ‘apoorna’. But on closer scrutiny and deeper reflection, in reality, all these names and forms, all that have been listed above, are ‘Poornam’! The thing that happened is, these names and forms concealed their Poorna Swaroopa, and are just showing up ‘apoornatwa’. Their entire substance, entire content however is ‘Poornam’, but outwardly appearing as ‘apoornam’.

‘Aadaaya Griheetwaa’:
The way you should take it to your mind, is: ‘Aatma Swaroopa Eka Rasatwa Maapadya’. The armour that is evidently visible outside, and the substance inside, both together are but ‘Asti and Bhaati’ (Existence and Appearance) which are Poornam indeed. Though risen up as a wave-form, even then, it is but water. The swiging up is that of water alone. Such should be the unified vision. If you were to view wave as of one kind, and water as of another kind, then, it is differential vision. Instead, if you conceive wave also as water (and water in any case being water) if you visualize water alone in your mind, then it is designated as ‘Eka Rasa’. This is the ‘drishtaanta’ (illustrative practical example). Now, this has to be applied to the subject appearing as ‘apoornam’.under study, to the topic being dealt with.s. Then, the visesha gets nullified. Sublimate your vision. The sublimation there in the example resulted in a water-oriented vision. Here it is a Sut (existence) – oriented vision and a Chit (consciouness) – oriented vision. With the aid of that vision, extract the ‘Existence – cum - Appearance’ from the body, and experience it. Then it becomes ‘Eka Rasa’. That, you ‘aapadya’ (acquire). But, that acquiring is not to keep It distinct and distant from you. You ‘become’ That. Realize and feel that you yourself are that ‘Asti-Bhaati’ (Universal Existence and manifestation). With sublime knowledge the visesha has been transformed. That knowledge is the realization that ‘Sut and Chit’ alone exist, and none else. That is ‘Tadaakaara Vritti’, the thought of that formless form. ‘Sudaakara’, Chidaakara Vritti’, the thought of the Cosmic Existence-Consicousness permeation. Then,

‘Avidyaakritam Bhoota Maatroapaadhi Samsargajam Anyatwaava Bhaasam Tiraskritya’: Then, the Sudvisesha (particularized existence) of the physical entity of wife, would be transformed into ‘Sudroopa’ (form of mere Existence). The ‘thought’ of wife would be sublimated to ‘chid roopa’ (the form of universal consciouness). Thus here, the ‘idea’ changes into ‘Universal Consciouness’, and, the ‘thing’ changes into ‘Universal Existence’. Thereby, the entity with ‘form’, dissolves into formlessness (Niraakaara). The finitude, the limitation, gets transformed to infinitude, ‘Paripoornam’ (Total Fullness). The restricted becomes expansive. Apart from this, the boundary between ‘within the body’ and ‘outside the body’ gets dismantled. No more boundary at all. The two tanks, into which the waters were divided by the bund between them, now became one. Similarly this ‘chidrasa’ (the Essence of Consciouness), and that ‘Sudrasa’ (the Essence of Existence) have combined resulting in ‘Ekarasa’ (Single Essence). This is the implication of ‘Eka Rasatwam Aapadya Vidyayaa’. With the enlightened knowledge, with that sublime vision, holding on to the thought of Existence-cum-Consciousness principle, that differentiating concept born out of sheer ignorance, ‘Tiraskritya’, cover it up, submerge it, by the non-differentiating concept. Till now the ‘Real You’ has been eclipsed by it; now through the realization experienced, the reverse should happen.

If the external ‘Sudvisesha-s’ (particularized existences) sink down, then, the concept of endless space swells up. If the internal thoughts ‘Chidvisesha-s’ (particularized consciousness) sink down, then, the ocean of wisdom, the enlightened knowledge (Gnyaana) swells up. The consciousness (the Chit) within and the firmament without (the ‘Ambaram’), merge to become ‘Chidambaram’. This is the message of Chidambara Rahasya (secret). This experience, one has to make It one’s (Aparoaksha). Then, ‘Poornamevaa’, the ‘Anubhava’ (Experience) that all is ‘Poornam’, would certainly be acquired. The perception inside would be ‘Gnyaana’ (wisdom, enlightenment), and the outside would be Its extension, pervasiveness. That alone we are naming It as firmament (sky). If the enlightenment expands, it pervades the entire external universe. If all the sprouting thoughts within sink down, the entire world within sould be filled with, would be occupied by enlightenment. As the things and particulars outside go on dissolving, then, the enlightenment permeates the entire external universe. Then alone one would understand and comprehend that It alone is within and without. The mere lone thought ‘I am’ gets established as Consciousness. That mere Awareness remains. That essence of Consciousness alone is the Real Nature (swabhaava). The rest is all artificial, unnatural. In the concept of that ‘mere, alone’, there is no impurity, no adulteration. That alone is ‘Brahmam’. ‘Avasishyatay’ (Remains). This is the explanation rendered by Bhagavat Paada for the line ‘Poornameva avasishyatay’.

After writing the above commentary and giving the explanation, Sri Bhagavat Paada further reflects and asks himself whether he has rendered adequate explanation for the entire Santi Vaakya. Then he opines that the explanation offered covers not merely the Santi Vaakya, but the entire Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad itself. Because, the Upanishad at the beginning ‘yaduktam’, what it told was:

‘Brahmavaa Idamagraa seet
Tadaatmaana mayvaayet
Aham Brahmaasmeeti
Tatsarva mabhavat’

Bhagavat Paada desires that this sloka be split into three or four parts. The reason is, the meaning of this sloka, is the same as that of the Santi Vaakya! Both convey the same import.

‘Brahmavaa Idam Agraaseet’:

Brahmam (Supreme Bring) alone was there once upon a time. This implies that one should not think that before the creation of the world, there was nothing. ‘Once upon a time’ was mentioned just in order to stress that, whether creation took place or not, that Brahmam was ever there. Then, this world was created. One might say that Brahmam might not be the one associated with this creation. To clarify that doubt, it is said that ‘Brahmavaa Idam Agraaseet’, meaning that, this entire world, this creation, was at first, in its ‘Swaroopa sthiti’ (inherent state, intrinsic Nature). Later, though all this creation took place, all this emerged from ‘That’ (Brahmam) alone. This also is That’s Swaroopa (Intrinsic Nature), manifestation of that alone. Subsequently, ‘Tadaatmaana mayvaayet’: After emerging out, ‘This’ began thinking. There is no need for ‘That’ to think. For example, the material mud (out of which the pot is made) need not think ‘oh, I am mud’. It is the pot that has to think and reflect ‘Am I mud or not? ‘Similarly, Brahmam has no need to strive, to perform ‘sadhana’. He need not go on repeating to Himself ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’, ‘I am Brahmam, I am Brahmam’. That, which has ‘distanced’ itself from Brahmam, has to think. But, by so thinking newly, does ‘this’ become ‘That’? There could be such a scope and feasibility only if ‘this’ was earlier ‘That’ alone, is it not? Yes, only because you were originally Brahmam, that you can, by reflection and enlightenment, become ‘That’. If not, however much you think and strive, you can never ‘become’ That. For example, the possibility for the gold-chain to become gold is there, only if earlier it was gold. Similarly, only if this entire world is but ‘Asti Bhaati’, then alone is there the possibility for it to become ‘That’ on its striving to so become. However, the thing that actually happened is, that ‘Asti Bhaati’ Itself transformed into the ‘Visesha-roopa’ i.e., particularized forms. Hence, we have to visualize these visesha-roopa-s as the ‘Saamanya- Roopa’ i.e., generalized all-pervasive entity. Then, this world itself is Brahmam. ‘Tadaatmaana mayvaayet’: Thus the world understood it itself as ‘Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahmam). When the world thus realized, then, ‘Tadidam Sarva mabhavat’: The ‘Poornaanubhavam’ (the Total Experience) that all ‘This’ is ‘That’ alone, is gained. This is the ‘Mahaa Vaakya’ stated by the Brihadaaranyaka in the beginning. Now what the Bhagavat Paada states is, that the meaing for the Santi Vaakya at the end of the Upanishad, be taken as same as that for the Mahaa Vaakya. That itself seems to be peeping through this as well.

The reason why it is so stated is:

‘Brahmavaa Idamagraseet’. The meaning of that line is itself this. ‘Tatra Brahma Ityasyaarthaa Poorna Madaha’: ‘Poorna Madaha’, meaning ‘That’ is PariPoornam (Totally Full) refers to ‘Brahma’ that is there as ‘That’. ‘That’ is ever PariPoornam. Because It is so, It became ‘Brahmam’. That same import is conveyed by the line ‘Poorna Madaha’. Again, in saying ‘Idam Poornam’, the implication is: ‘Brahmavaa Idam Agraaseet’. Just as in Its entirety It was Brahmam earlier, so also ‘This’ too is Poornam. We have to correspond the meanings thus: In saying ‘Idam Agraseet’ it is equivalent to ‘Idam Poornam’, and, in saying ‘Brahma’ it means ‘Adaha Poornam’. The echo of ‘Brahma’ is ‘Poorna Madaha’, and, the echo of ‘Idam Agraaseet’ is ‘Poornam Idam’. Thus both are tallying. Whatever is being perceived ‘here’, this itself is ‘there’. Whatever you are thinking it is ‘there’, the same is ‘here’ too. So saying, the Upanishad has united both of them. That is tantamount to saying ‘Do not view differently as ‘This’ and ‘That’. It is just asserting that both ‘This’ and ‘That’ are Poornam. Lest there be a lingering doubt that when it is said that, before ‘creation, sustenance and dissolution’ there was Brahmam, then, subsequent to that, It might be there or not, it is to assert that whether creation took place or not, there was only one entity and That alone appeared as creation. This means that Brahmam Itself manifested as Creation. It Itself put on the garb and is thus appearing. All this show is of That alone, nothing else but the ‘make-up’ of Paramaatma! This means that all these visesha-s of ‘name, form and activity’ are those of Paramaatma Itself. Hence, whenever, wherever, whatever is being thought of, Paramaatma alone is indulging in. While talking, it is Paramaatma alone that is doing it. Whatever activity is there, it is of Paramaatma alone. Thus, everything is being merged into Aatma. Hereby, without any effort, imperceptibly, ‘Saadhana’ is progressing. Hence, do not ascribe it to yourself. Better, ‘you’ do not enter. Whatever you are thinking, do not presume ‘I am thinking’. If you so think, then, ‘Jeevaatma’ concept sprouts up. Consider that Aatma alone is thinking. That Aatma is all pervasive. That Itself is ‘Asti, Bhaati’. It is that ‘Asti, Bhaati’ alone that is thinking, talking and acting. Stick to that concept stubbornly. One who is persevering on the spiritual path (a ‘Saadhaka) has to have a bit of such stubbornness. Otherwise one cannot progress. Even in worldly affairs and deliberations, don’t we see such determination and steadfastness in pursuing one’s objective? Thus in any realm of activity we have to have that sense of determination and dedication, in whatever we take up. Such a determination (almost bordering on stubbornness) is evident in ardent devotees and aspirants. If in these mundane affairs, and material pursuits itself, one has to exercise strong will and unwavering determination, then, in the spiritual field, wherein one is striving to transform everything into the Divine Principle, the Superior Self (Paramaatman), just think over, what unswerving determination, and unbending stubbornness one should have! If such a powerful and strong will is exercised, with single-pointed dedication and unswerving faith, then, in the wink of an eye, Salvation can be attained. Because, it need not come from somewhere or to be newly achieved! It is right there, separated by a thin veil. Push aside the water-thin veil, and lo! it is already there! You are a Realised Soul. Hence, it is nothing else. That Poornam (the experience of that Fullness) Itself is Brahmam. ‘Ta Deva Idam Poornam’. Here also ‘That’ alone is being perceived. ‘Karyastham’. In this realm of ‘effects’, of activities, it is ‘That’ alone which has come over and established Itself. Nothing else has entered. After the ‘Grihapravesam’ (House warming Ceremony) it is the ‘Yajamaana’ (House-owner) alone that comes in and occupies it. Is it not? Similarly, this physical entity (body) is a dwelling. The Paramaatma has fabricated this, and as the owner, came and settled down in it. Still, you talk of ‘Jeevaatma’? Hence, you must get rid of the notion of Jeevaatma. That all-pervasive Divine Consciousness alone has come and settled down. Hence one must view this also as all-pervasive and omnipresent. In saying that ‘That’ has come down and settled in ‘This’, the latent meaning is, that ‘This’ is nothing but ‘That’. Then the vision gets expanded. You become All-pervasive. Otherwise, viewing ‘That’ just here alone, is Jeevaatma-oriented vision. That unreal, false, sham self is called ‘Mithyaatma’ (False-Self). That is termed as ‘Dehaatmaabhimaanam’ (undue attachment to and concern for the body), taking the body itself to be ‘Aatma (self). The reason why it was said that ‘That’ bodyless (non-physical) entity has entered and settled down in the body is, to make one ponder upon and reflect over the fact that ‘That’ which is inside is of mammoth dimension, and All pervasive. Thus states the Kathopanishad.

During an ‘Upadesa’ (discourse) many lines are spoken, many words are uttered. The essential aim and purpose is that you should grasp the inner meaning and import of those words, and then, discard the words and hold on to the meaning and essence. But it so happens that we usually cling on to the spoken words, without reflecting on their meaning and intent. That is the influence of, and the spell cast by ‘Maayaa Sakti’, the Deity of Delusion, the Mother Deity. Her spell totally envelops you. It chokes your thinking. ‘Kaaryastham Naama Roopa Upaadhi Samyuktam’: Wearing this garb of the attributes of name and form, having come here and acting, putting on all this show, is none else than that ‘Brahma Swaroopa’ which is Poornam. It has come here and hiding behind Its veil. ‘Tiraskarana’ implies ‘Veil’. That veil is basically nothing but ‘ignorance’, ‘nescience’, by which ‘This’ has emerged. This is what is meant by ‘Poornaat Poorna Mudachyateh’. ‘Tasmaa Deva Paramaartha Swaroopaat Anyadiva’: Having emerged from that ‘Paramaartha Swaroopa’, and posing as something different, ‘Pratyavabhaasa maanou’, appearing so to one and all. Now, what you have to do is, ‘Viditvaa’, to recognize and understand that, that which is behind the veil, is that ‘Poornam’ Itself, putting on the apparel of ‘apoorna’ (non-fullness, limitedness, finitude), and is nothing else but the omnipresent Universal Consciouness Itself. That indeed is ‘Saadhana’ (persevering on the spiritual path towards Deliverance). This itself is called ‘Pratya bhignya’, remembering what is forgotten. This is right meditation. What to be remembered is, telling oneself: ‘I am that Brahmam Itself that is Poornam. The ‘I’ that am here, is ‘Poornam’. When though that even here I am Poornam, implies there is no Jeeva. Even there It is ‘Poornam’, indicates that there is no ‘Jagat’ (world). That far away entity is also ‘Poornam’, denotes there is no Eeswara. Viewing ‘here’ with that vision of Poornam (Totality, Fullness, Infinitude), viewing ‘there’ with that same vision, viewing ‘that yonder’ too with that vision, if that vision of ‘Poornatwa’ permeates everywhere, then, the above three being ‘apoorna’, they totally merge with that ‘Poornam’. If you view fragmentedly, piecemeal, that is not Poornam. If you were to think thus: ‘I am the Jeeva in this body, it is I that am seeing and doing’ then, you are ritualist, worshipper. Then the whole world appears to you as a godown of articles and materials for worship. ‘He’ appears as a Deity, and you become a worshipper. All things become accessories for worship. ‘He’ becomes object of your worship. All three are ‘apoorna-s’. Unless such an ‘apoorna’ vision operates, there is no worship, there is no ritual. No practice of Yoga. If only a vision of ‘Poornam’ were to be there, then, ‘Aatma Swaroopa’ alone holds the sway, governs everything. You would be beholding It. That is precisely the Advaitic meditation. For that, there is no difference whether one closes or opens the eyes. One need not close the eyes looking at the wave. The vision would be such that the wave is seen as nothing but water. ‘Ahamadaha Poornam Brahmaasmi’. That Brahmam that is Poornam, which I am thinking as existing yonder somewhere, That I am here and now. Thus you should reflect.

‘Poorna Maadaaya’: That Poornam alone I am conceiving and grasping. ‘Tiraskritvaa Poorna Swaroopataam Avidyaa kritaam’: That visualization of ‘apoornam’ I should discard and eradicate. Such a visualization is just out of my misconception, not that it really exists. If it were to really exist, then, it would not disappear even if I wish. It is like the snake-appearance of the rope. If I were to see it as it really is, i.e., as rope, then, would not that illusion of snake disappear? Similarly, as the world of ‘names and forms, the world of ideas and things’ is in the place of the illusory snake, if I were to see the Omnipresent, All pervasive ‘Asti and Bhaati’ (Universal Existence and Appearance) as clearly as I see the rope, then, those ‘Visesha-s’ (particularizations of name and form), being in the place of snake, would certainly vanish. We have to ever be viewing with a universal ‘generalized’ outlook (Saamaanya Drishti). If only such an outlook and orientation surfaces, if such a vision were to entirely fill our mind, then, everything and all beings, reduce to mere images, lose their bubbling liveliness, become bereft of realism. Their ‘life’ has been snatched away by ‘Asti-Bhaati’, which have sucked in their life-energy as it were. All of them – humans, animals, and birds, all living beings – become mere pantomimes. This is the first stage. The next one is when, as the ‘Asti-Bhaati’ permeate all over, all those images appear to be just floating around, as do scattered clouds in the sky. When you thus observe all the ‘names and forms’ drifting like clouds in the firmament of your Consciouness, then, that ‘chidaakaasa’ (all-pervasive sky of Consciousness) gains upperhand, and all those visesha-s begin loosing significance and slowly seem melting away. Even then, one may query that they are still perceptible. The answer is: Let them be. No problem. Just be thinking that the all-pervasive formless sky of consciouness (chidaakaasa) alone is appearing as those scattered clouds in the sky, as those pantomime figures, what all you comprehend … wife and children, family and friends, wealth and possessions, things animate and inanimate, may, even the thoughts in the mind, those experiences of joy and sorrow, heat and cold, all the ‘pairs of opposites’, … all these in the ‘chidaakaasa’, which while immobile, reposes in Its ‘Swaroopa Sthiti’ (Intrinsic State, but the same appears as crystalized here and there, merely seen as crinkled folds and pleats hither and thither, and all these transformations and appearances happening within Itself by Itself! While transforming within Itself, It is in Its inherent state, while in the manifesting state, It sees Itself in the illusory form (aabhaasa). Then, there need be no fear whatsoever, because the cause and basis of all fear is that there is another entity, something other than the Self. Hence think that you yourself in another form, appearing to yourself. Of course, thus viewing, thus considering all that you observe … wife and children, wealth and possession, thoughts and experiences, all these …. is not indeed an easy task. But, if only you can do so, if only such a comprehension gets embedded in your mind, you would indeed get fully transformed. Such a transformed mind alone gets nearer to the Aatman (True Self). It is a ‘thought’ which is not a thought (in usual sense). That is referred to as ‘Akhandaakaara Vritti’ (the thought of undivided form). That is in close proximity to the True Self. It is almost the True Self. Till Destiny ceases to operate (till physical demise) it would thus continue on. Subsequently it merges with the True Self. That is designated as ‘Videha Mukti’ (Total Salvation bereft of body equipment). Then, this body cannot do anything to It. The Aatman remains imperturbable and steadfast. It is immortal. Nevertheless It witnesses the mortal body which was once moving about, like the drifting cloud in the sky, but now turned into a lifeless corpse, which is being carried off. It sees that too, as also being burnt to ash. While It is changeless, Its vision is firm and steady. It witnesses the umpteen changes that the body undergoes through. Such is that lofty and subline experience. That is the vision which one, sooner or later, in some birth or other, has to acquire. This itself is ‘saadhana’ (spiritual pursuit). This is what is to be practiced and persevered. This alone would lead to Deliverance, no other way. One should not be wayward and fickle-minded. One should cultivate a steadfast and resolute mind. If one’s mind were to get disappointed and frustrated, and were to lose hope, then one would tend to become an atheist or a worldly-minded person. That is futile. Just as you live on hope in the worldly life, more so, doubly hopeful should you be in your spiritual endeavour. Otherwise only gloom to be faced. There is no other solution to this problem. Hence, aspire for that sublime experience. Not yonder and indirect, but direct and subjective. It is stated: ‘Sakshaat aparoakshaat Brahma”. Brahmam should be directly and intuitively experienced. This should infuse strength and courage in you. Just revel in the thought that all that you are observing is indeed Brahmam. You and I are Brahmam alone. ‘Poorna Madaha Poorna Midam’. This single statement is enough to take us to the pinnacle of spiritual experience. As long as the light of this wisdom is shining, so long we experience immortality. The moment the light is off, we are in the grip of death. The deluding agency, what it does is, if it cannot cast spell on us, due to the brightly shining lamp, then, it sends darkness. Mother Deity symbolizes Darkness, whereas the Supreme (paternal) Being is embodiment of light. The Messenger of Darkness closely watches whether this lamp is an enduring one, or a mere transient phenomena. If it believes that it is an eternal lamp, then, it salutes to It, and with folded hands, sits beside. ‘Siva Kaameswaran Kastha’: Like a devoted consort, it sits beside. On the other hand, if it senses that the light is waning, then it consumes us, taking us into its fold. The majority of us have kept the waning lamp with us. That signifies our ‘Visesha Gnyaana’, i.e., particularized, fragmented knowledge, its related thoughts and ideas, and propensities. They are the waning lamp. The Mother Deity imparts a sample of that in our deep sleep state. In the wakeful state, it just acts as though it is not a waning lamp. Half of it wanes in the dream-state. It is totally put out in the deep-sleep state. The Mother Deity keeps on observing you. ‘you see, know that this is how you will become in your final moments of life. At least now, wake up, get enlightened and hold on to thy Paternal Deity, the Supreme Being!’, so it seems some Divine Voice from behind keeps on telling you. Unless your vision turns inwards towards your Real Inner Self, seeking the eternally shining lamp, you would not have a glimpse of that eternal light. This ‘saadhana’ is not the ritual of lighting an oil-lamp besides an idol, and checking frequently the oil in the lamp. The real lamp is not outside, but within you. You must see to it, if you can, that ‘that’ lamp is not put out. That is the real Temple. ‘Dehoe Devaalaya Proaktoe Jeevoe Devassanaatanaha’: The body is indeed the Temple, and, the Jeeva is verily the Supreme Being since times immemorial. Washing off the impurity of ignorance, worship with an awareness of ‘Soaham’ (That I am). That is precisely what ‘Omkaara’ indicates, Hence, ‘Apoorna Swaroopataam Avidyaa Kritaam, Naama Roopa Upaadhi Sumsurgajaa, Aytayaa Brahma Vidyayaa’: Having lighted the eternal lamp of ‘Brahma Vidya’ (Awareness of Brahman), ‘Poornameva kaywalam Awasishyatay’: you will remain as Poornam alone. You are not ‘apoornam’. The lamp would never be put out. That was what was indicated at the commencement. Is it not that the sum and substance, the very essence of the Upanishad, is ‘Brahma Swaroopa’, the intrinsic Nature of Brahman?

‘Sa yayshaa’. That Brahma Swaroopa alone ‘Anayna Mantrayna Anugnyatay’. This ‘Santi Vaakya’ is again reiterating. It is nothing new. It is only casting in a different mold, and conveying to us. It you were to ask why this telling again, the answer is that it is not that easy for you and me to grasp. Hence, intending to impart some needed training, and before commencing it, it has once again reminded. This should not be construed as. ‘punarukti doasha’, the fault of redundant reiteration. Nevertheless, in Vedanta, even if there were to be repetition, one should not fret and fume! This aspect was mentioned by Sri Bhagavat Paada himself in his commentary on Bhavavad Geeta, that in the spiritual field, there is no fault of reiteration. In Vedanta, the more you stress, the more effective it is. It needs to be stopped only after the experience of Self-Realisation. Till then it has to continue. He even mentioned somewhere that even after experiencing Self-Realization, one need not totally stop it. Because there would still be the objective world being observed. There would still be many to whom training has to be imparted. It is not enough if one attains that exalted experience, and remains content and silent. That is why, ‘Swaadhyaaya Pravachanaabhyaam Na Pramaditavyam’. You must ever be not only learning yourself, but also discoursing to others. ‘Tadabhi smaranaardham’. To avoid the risk of forgetting, this is the only way. Thus is stated in the commentary on the Taittareeya Upanishad.

4. Some Basic Queries and Responses

By now Sri Bhagawat Paada’s commentary on the Santi Vaakya of ‘Poorna Madaha’, is complete. This has been shown as linked to the Mahaa Vaakya at the commencement of the Upanishad. Yet one should not think that all is over. In his view, there are many more things to be told. Many a query would arise. Even when we sit quiet, these would be pinching and bothering our minds. Those fundamental questions are:

This entire world that is being observed, who is observing and through which medium? You are observing everything through your body-equipment, which is verily a mini-world in itself. Outside is the macro-world. Then, you imagine some heavenly abodes such as Vaikuntha and Kailaasa. That is yet another world. You say that the agency seated here in the body, is ‘Jeeva’, and all that is externally observed, is ‘Jagat’. Also that somewhere yonder far far away, there is an ‘Eeswara’. However, though you may, or may not, believe in that far away Eeswara, is it not true that you at least believe yourself to be a ‘Jeeva’? When asked ‘Who is living?’, you would say ‘I’. Is it not? This feeling of ‘I’ are you experiencing or not? Certainly you are, in utter reality. Then, how can you brush it off as an ‘illusion’? Looking at this glaringly visible world, how can you brand it as an ‘aabhaasa (illusion)’? Regarding ‘Eeswara’, even if someone says it to be an illusion, it does not matter much. It does not inconvenience any one. No problem. Leave Him alone. But this ‘Jeeva’ and ‘Jagat’ are so solidly real. Both are well within your daily experience. How can they be ‘Poornam’? What is the meaning of ‘Poornam’? There should be no remnant. ‘Poorna Meva Avasishyatay’. Poornam alone should remain. Nothing left. But merely saying so would not do. Just because you declare it so, can the world become an ‘illusion’? Can your body turn into an ‘illusion’? Reciting and repeating to yourself that all this is an illusion, and sitting in meditation with eyes closed, would it all disappear as an illusion?

These are all valid and pertinent queries. These are gigantic doubts. However much you listen to Advaita Philosophy and keep nodding your head, it would not suffice. The words in the book cannot serve as a lullaby and put you to sleep! It is not in the book, but in your mind that the thought should find place and be well-established. Actually you must feel that all this is ‘false’. It would not become false just because you say so. You must think so only if it actually be false. Did it anytime declare itself to be false? Did anything in this universe ever confess that it is so?

The above are the big queries that many in the world would ask. These are what a Rationalist would ask. Actually these are not so many queries, but essentially one. The responsibility of answering this, does not rest upon a Rationalist, Atheist or the common man. In short all those who look upon the world as ‘real’. It does not rest upon even the Dwaitic Philosopher, who accepts both God and world as utterly real. Not even on the Visishtaadvaitist, who accepts both the Saamaanya (Generality) as well as Visesha-s (attributes, particulars, properties and qualities) as real; the attributes and particulars, being encompassed in the word ‘Visishta’, and, the ‘Saamaanya’, in the word ‘Advaita’. That is why Sri Ramanujachari does not strike off Jeeva and Jagat as illusory. Of course, Sri Madhvaachari does not at all, and believes everything to be real. It can be said that, ninety nine percent belong to this category. Only one, lonely one, is left, the Advaitist who, like an undaunted hero, stands before all, like a colossus, and shouts at the top of his voice ‘All that is appearing, is an ‘aabhaasa’ (illusion) and is false. All these, ‘by themselves’, are not real. What is ‘really Real’ is ‘Pure Consciousness’ (Suddha Chaitanya) only. With that as the Substratum, depending solely on That, all these are existing and appearing. Even this statement is not strictly correct. It is not even that all these are appearing based on that. The truth is that ‘That’ alone is appearing as all these. It is not that one is appearing, and another existing. What is existing, ‘That’ alone is appearing. This seemingly paradoxical, incredible theory is that of the Advaitist. Contradicting ninety nine percent, he is, with almost reckless courage, reiterating this statement. It is here that even saadhaka-s like ourselves, begin feeling skeptical whether this lone Advaitist can face and win over those ninety nine opponents, or would be in for a pitiable defeat. We seem to keep our fingers crossed, and eagerly await the outcome. Both the sides seem to be vehemently sticking to their guns without relenting even a bit. The crucial moment is on the verge of coming. That would decide, once for all, what the Truth is.

If we were to view ‘This’ with a vision that it is Paramaatma, then it is ‘Poornam’. If we view ‘This’ with a world-oriented vision, then, it is ‘apoornam’. Know that apoornam is but an apparel, an outer garb of Poornam. There is no real entity called apoornam. It is essentially Poornam Itself. Unfortunately none seem to view with such a vision so oriented. We live entirely engrossed in worldly thoughts. We keep deliberations with apoorna-s alone, and not with Poornam. Ever gyrating amidst animate and inamimate entities that are apoorna, and, with the mind ever reveling in and filled with apoorna-related thoughts, where is the scope for Poornam? There is no trace of Poornam either within the mind, or without in the external world. Now at this juncture, a doubt may flash whether we are merely indulging in flights of imagination. We may suddenly be gripped with such a fear. But now Sri Bhagavat Paada, in a big way, is going to endeavour to nullify such a consternation, and prevent us from drifting into the opposition camp. Members of that camp would try their utmost to lure you to cross over to their side. But Sri Bhagavat Paada forewarns us not to be meek and yield. He tells us who is calling:

‘Atraitay Varnayanti’. Some have come over here and have begun talking as under:

‘Poornaat Kaaranaat Poornam Kaaryam Udrichyatay’. Commenting on this statement, they are saying that, when it is stated that ‘This’ has emerged out of ‘That’, we are interpreting that ‘That’ is the ‘Vastu’ (Substance, Reality) and that ‘This’ is ‘aabhaasa’ (false, illusion). They protest, we should not say so. They argue: “ ‘That’ is real, ‘This’ also is real. It should be properly understood. That which has come out of Poornam, has to be Poornam. When Poornam is a Reality there, how can It not be here? Hence, world also is Real. In the form of ‘cause’ (kaarana roopa) ‘That’ is Real. In the form of ‘Effect’ (kaarya roopa) ‘This’ is Real. For example, if mud be Real as ‘Kaarana roopa’, then, the pot has also to be Real ‘Kaarya roopa’. The pot has practical utility; we are using it. How can it be branded as un-Real? ‘Yaduktam Udriktam kaaryam’. Has this (pot) not come from that (mud) ? ‘Vartamaana Kaalepi’, now as you are looking, ‘Poornamevaa Paramartha Vastu Bhootam Dvaita Roopena’. ‘This’ is Real in the form of Dvaita, whereas ‘That’ is Real in Advaita form. ‘This’ is Real as ‘diversity’, whereas ‘That’ is Real as one (unity). Both these (that unity as well as this diversity) are True and Real. ‘This’ cannot be dubbed as ‘aabhaasa’. Having originaaly come from Poornam ‘This’ has qualified to be called Real. In the present ‘sthiti’ (existential state) also this is being seen as Real. Later on in the ‘pralaya kaala’ (at time of dissolution) also, ‘Poornasya Kaaryasya Poornataa Maadaaya Aatma Nidhitvaa’. Whatever Poornatva is there in this ‘Kaarya’ (effect), let That become one with you. ‘Poorna Mevaavasishyatay’. You shall remain as Poornam of kaarana roopa (the form of cause). This implies that when you have come out, you are Poornam in the ‘Effect-form’. In the un emerged state (before coming out), you are Poornam in the ‘cause-form’. You were Poornam then, and, you are Poornam now. ‘That’ also was Real, and, ‘This’ also is Real. If you reconcile to the fact that both are Real, you would have peace of mind. ‘Evam Utpatti Sthiti Pralayeshu Trishwapi Kaaleshu’. If you were to think in this way, in all the three states of time (creation, sustenance and dissolution) ‘kaarya kaarnana yoaha Poornataiva’. Both kaarya and kaarana (effect and cause) are Poornam, are True. Both are Real. It being so, we would not accept the Advaitic doctrine that one is Real, and the other an Illusion. ‘Saachaa Aykaiva Poornataa’. Nevertheless, one thing we accept. There is no difference in the Poornatwa concept. Poornatwa is one. That Itself ‘kaarya kaaranayoar Baydhay Navyaparishyatay’, that one Poornam Itself, you called It kaarana (cause) at one place, and, Kaarya (effect) at another place’.

(NB: This reasoning is so very close to the Advaitic doctrine. It appears to be so convincing. It is so subtle. We have to be extremely cautious. In case of the Vignyaana mode of reasoning in the Buddhist Doctrine too, it sounds like Advaitic philosophy. Similarly in the present context too.)

‘Aykaiva Poornataa’. We are not talking of two Poornatwa s, but only one. That one alone is seen as ‘That’ there, and ‘This’ here. ‘Ayvancha Dvaitaadvaitaatmakam Aykam Brahma’. This is the principle in the Visishtaadvaita doctrine. Why should not the one and only one Brahma Swaroopa exist in the Advaitic form, as well as in the Dvaitic form? Especially when the ‘Maayaa Sakti’ (primordial Nature, the Illusory Power) is entirely within Its control? Now, to support our argument, we will cite an illustrative example.

‘Samudraha Jala Phena Taranga Budbudaadi Aatma Kaiva’: Is it not the Ocean alone that is seen in the forms of water, waves, froth, bubbles etc? ‘Yadhaacha Jalam Satyam’: Just as Ocean is True in form of Water, similarly in the forms of waves, froth and bubbles ‘Aavirbhaava Tiroabhaava’, rising up and sinking down, is it not that very ocean? The Ocean itself sprung up as a wave, remained for a while, then sunk and merged with itself. It is the ocean alone that is static and stable. It is again Ocean alone that has become dynamic and unstable. Why don’t you agree that in both the states, it is the Ocean alone that exists? Is it not that the same water at one time is seen as ice, and at another time as mere water? As mere water, it is just one, Advaitam. In saying this is water, that is ice, it is Dvaitam. Advaita alone became Dvaita. Again, the Dvaita becomes Advaita. As simple as that!’. (These arguments of the opponent lull us into the thought, an illusory thought, that perhaps this alone is Advaita!)

‘You accept the Ocean as such, but in same breath, say ‘Neti, Neti’ (not this, not this) in case of waves and bubbles? It is just the characteristic of the Ocean. It does not lie quiet. ‘Paramaartha Satya Ayva’. They are also True and Real as much as the Ocean. Similarly, in the world, one’s wife and children, wealth and possessions, …. experiences of joy and sorrow, … all these are True and Real. At most, that Supreme Deity is the Swaroopa, and these are Its ‘Vibhooti’ (outward manifestations). In Bhagawad Geeta, did not Lord Krishna state ‘I am Himalayas, I am the Ocean’? Are they not words of the Supreme Advaitist? And why do you disagree when we say so? ‘Jala Tarangaadi Sthaaneeyam’. There is Dvaita in place of the water of the waves. ‘Samudra Jala Sthaaneeyaat Param Brahma’. There is the Advaitic Para Brahma Swaroopa in the place of the water of the Ocean. This implies that they (waves and bubbles) are also Poornam and Brahmam, as much as that (the Ocean) is Poornam and Brahmam. From this it is evident that the world also is Brahmam. Moreover, there is a Mahaa Vaakya: ‘Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma’. Hence let us view everything as Brahma Swaroopa. Dvaita also is True and Real. If we so think, there are many advantages. Firstly, we need not discard ‘Karma Kaanda’ (ritualistic process). As a householder we can perform all rites and rituals, religious ceremonies and sacrifices. We can go on pilgrimages and visits to holy places. Say not that Gnyaana is the only objective, and all rituals be shunned. Ritualistic process also is Brahmam. It being so, why do you go on propagating that, all Dvaitam is like a mirage, and due to ignorance, you seem to mistake it for water. Your Doctrine is that Advaita alone is true, what really exist are ‘Sut and Chit’ alone, the Substance or Substratum alone is True and Real, and, all that is superimposed on It is an illusion and hence false, and has to be totally discarded. Hence you abhor all ritualistic activities. You say it has no place. Unnecessarily you are fanning ‘raaga and dwesha’ (attachments and aversions). As you dote upon Advaita, you are prone to detest everything else. Is it not? At the same time chanting that all is Poornam, all is Brahman.”

These are the vociferous arguments of the opponents of Advaita. They point out the misconception of the Advaitists that the world of Dvaita is not Brahman, and hence futile. They further proceed in their line of reasoning as follows:

“Upanishad is after all one part of the Veda. It is the concluding part. Is that alone your standard? When asked why, you say that because it deals with ‘Paramaartha Satya’ (the Truth of Brahman). You say that Karma Kaanda (ritualistic portion) speaks of Un-Truth and hence not a standard. Is not what you dub as Un-truth, also Brahman? Then, how does it become Un-Truth? Then how can you claim that Upanishad alone is revealing Truth? Karma Kaanda also is speaking of Truth. It is not mud alone, but the pot also is mud. Don’t you agree? Then, why do you disclaim the pot? When the entire world is Paramaatma (Supreme Self), then why need you stop all worldly activities? If asked why, you dare say Veda uttered falsehood. ‘Paramaarthadvaita Vastu Pratipaadikam’, so saying you recommend Advaita. You dub us as ritualists and as ‘apramaanam’ (non-standard). ‘Asadvaita Vishayatwaat’. You allege that it is telling falsehood. Hence better you accept our view point. All are Paramaardha Swaroopa. Hence no animosity. To eliminate any such animosity, ‘Srityaa Aytaduktam Kaarya Kaaranayoah Satyatvam Samugravat’. What the Veda is telling is, that we should not brush aside anything as falsehood, and not indulge in false propagation. That being so, how can you brand the world as false and unreal? Is not Truth all-pervasive? Hence it permeates the entire world also. Hence accept what we say. There would be scope for ritualism too. That is why, Karma Kaanda (ritualistic process) finds a place in Veda, in order to inculcate the need for a Truth-orinented vision. ‘Satyatwam Samudravat Poorna Madaha Ityaadinaa’.”

Till now Sri Bhagavat Paada elaborated in great detail how the arguments of the opponents (to Advaita) could be. Now follows his response in his characteristic profound and sublime style:

“Tadasat! What you are telling, does not stand. In two respects you are putting wrong steps. Only two aspects. They are Vastu and Kriya i.e., Substance (Substratum) and Activity. Anywhere, if you are seeing diversity and multiplicity, they are not seen in the Substratum. They are seen only in the properties and qualities of the Substratum. They are seen in Its attributes. Substratum is the Jala (water) in the Ocean. There is no diversity in it. There is only Advaita in it, may be called ‘Jalaadvaita’. By Advaita is meant being in a one and only one form, whatever it be. That is called ‘Substance’ (Vastu). That is Truth. There is no differentiation in That. Differences crop up in Its attributes and qualities (guna-s). That could be activity or anything. One thing to note. As water, the Ocean is Advaita. Then, the remaining? Waves and whirlpools, froth and bubbles? All these are the attributes (guna-s) of the Substance that is Ocean. The Substance turns dynamic from Its natural static state. All these are the consequences of that movement. Hence Dvaita comes in the activity, but not in Substance, the Substratum. As Substance It is just one alone. One more thing. I have sight, you have sight. Is sight, as such, one two or three? Sight is just sight. It is abstract. As we see, depending on what we are seeing, the sight merges with that object, and appears as that object. Thus, as sight it is Advaita. While seeing particular things, as sight gets particularized, then it is Visishtaadvaita. The changing scenes make it appear like Dvaita. This is inbuilt in creation itself.

Another illustration. As an individual you are one. But how about your activities, the works you perform? From sunrise till bedtime, the works your body performs, are in hundreds, nay thousands. Similarly, the thoughts in your mind, run into thousands. The words spoken by your tongue, also in thousands. Again, when you sleep and lie still, all these merge with the Substance. During activity, the same Substance manifests innumerable characteristics and attributes. While idle, all these get merged into the Source. The Substratum remains ever as such. Even while fully engrossed in innumerable works, the Substance just remains as Substance. While engaged in activities, It assumes those forms. But while unmoved in body and mind, It revels in Its own Swaroopa, in Itself. Alright, if you want to count those activities and movements also as True, they are coming and going. To be qualified for being called ‘True’, they must be everlasting, eternal. But they wax and wane. At one moment they emerge, and at another submerge. What remains ever and eternal, is the Substance alone, the Substratum. While not engaged in works, It exists. While steeped in works also, It exists as their basis, as their Substratum, as their foundation. Even when they disappear It remains as Itself. At all times, past present and future, It continues to exist uninterruptedly. On the other hand, Its related ‘Visesha-s’ appear only at particular times. Hence it is not valid for them to be called ‘Substance’. If we were to call them Substance, then, the question would arise where they disappeared midway. Actually, whence they came firstly? They were not earlier; only Substance was there. For illustration, consider a pot. Was it not that before formation of pot, mud only was there? Mud is the substance. Then, one fine moment pot got formed. If you ask the pot whence it came, it has to point its finger towards mud. It was not earlier there in the mud. If the pot breaks and gets pulverized, it gets mixed up with mud. Then, where is the pot? It was not there at first. Again at the end it disappeared. It is seen only in between. In contrast, the mud was there at all the three times, at the beginning, at the end, and in between. Pot was there only for sometime. However, if the pot were to ask, If I am not the substance, how are you seeing me? If you are seeing me, does it not mean I am existing? To that, the response of the Advaitist is: “You are a mere appearance, not substance. However, if your logic is centred round your ‘appearance’, then, the mud would very well say that it itself is appearing in the form of the pot. What is appearing is the mud alone in the garb of the pot.” This is the interpretation of Advaita. Now, if you were to look at the pot, without a thought of, and remembering the mud, then you would be under the misapprehension that Dvaitam is true. But, if you keep seeing the pot without losing the thought of mud, then would you realize and reconcile that it is the substance alone that has put on the dress of apperance of the pot. This is the Advaitic approach. As ‘aabhaasa’ it is Dvaita. But in ‘reality’ it is Advaita. This is the manner in which the reconciliation was effected, by Sri Goudapaada down to Bhagawat Paada, and much later, even Vidyaaranya. The ‘Guru-sishya Parampara’ (the preceptor Disciple lineage) has been reiterating this concept all through. It is not easy to understand Advaita. Sounds mystical, with many subtle undercurrents of thought. But with persevering effort, it is possible to comprehend it.

'Visishta Vishayaa Apavaada Vikalpayoah Asambhavaat'.In two respects you cannot call it Substance (Vastu). There are two tests for this. We have to verify whether it stands these tests. The first one is 'Visishta Vishayaa Apavaadam'. The second, 'Vikalpam'. In his characteristic Vedanta usage, these two are referred to as 'Apavaada Vikalpa-s'. If you apply these two critical tests, then, it being eligible or not to be qualified to be called 'Substance', would become clear. 'Naheeyam Sweevakshitaa Kalpanaa'. Your weaving of the arguments is not proper. What you are saying is not valid. 'Tasmaat', because, 'Yadhaa Kriyaa Vishayeh Utsarga Praaptasya Ayka Daysay Apavaada Kriyateh, Yadhaa Himsum Sarva Bhootaani Anyaprati- -------'. This means: In Veda there is a dictum that one should not cause pain to any animal, to any living being in general. Follow strictly, as a religious observance, the principle of Non violence. Such a generalized instruction is called 'Utsarga'. That is, at the beginning, we are asked to do a particular thing, or, not to do a particular thing. We must implement it cent-per cent, without exception. After formulating such an Utsarga, they said 'Maa Himsyat Sarva Bhootaani', one should not inflict pain on any bhoota (living being). But, at atleast one place, it is said the Rule need not be followed. That is in case of yagnya-s (sacrificial Rites). In Aswamedha Yaaga, pain can be inflicted on the horse. In Jyotishtoama Yaaga, the goat can be sacrificed. That is termed as 'apavaada'. For the general Rule it is an implementable exception. 'Yadhaa Kriyaa Vishayay', it happens when some works have to be accomplished. Inflicting or not inflicting violence, can be deemed as works. Then, 'Ayka Day say Apavaada Kriyatay'. At one place however, the Utsarga is being violated. 'Teerdhay Visishta Vishayay Jyoatishtoamaadou Anugnyaayatay'. They have agreed to inflict violence on cattle, in case of Jyoatishtoama Yaaga. This is an observation, an example cited. Sri Bhgawat Paada is now applying this in the present context, to the topic under discussion. 'Nacha Tadhaa Vastu Vishayay'. Such a violation or deviation is valid in case of 'Kriya', activity, but not in 'Vastu" (Substance). The above violations are 'Ayka Daysay' in one particular situation. Cattle, Sacrificial Rites, Instuctors and Listeners ---- these are not pervading the whole world. They are limited to time and place. Hence there is scope for diversity. But in case of ‘Vastu” (Substance), there is no such scope. The Omnipresent Pure consciousness is Brahmam. It is such a generalized Universal Principle that it has no constraints of time, place or materials differentially. It is all-pervasive and all inclusive Brahmam. The one and only one, Adwaitam. There is no scope in it for Dwaita, diversity and multiplicity. You are arguing with half knowledge. You say there can be unity, there can be diversity; Adwaita, as well as Dwaita both can co-exist. When Brahmam remains Omnipresent, Eternal and Formless, then, you say that Brahmam also exists as the world of forms? Where would you place that ‘form-full’ world? At the same time? Can you refute Brahmam? Can Dwaitam displace the Omnipresent Brahmam, pushing It aside? Then in that case, if Adwaitam were to be there, and Dwaitam here, how can it be Adwaitam? The very meaning of Adwaitam is one without a second. There is no place in it for duality or multiplicity. Two cannot exist, but one alone.

‘Brahmanaha Advaitatvaa Deva Ayka Daysaa Anupapattay’: When Brahmam remains undivided, then there is no question of division in it. There is no particularization of place. Such a thing could be when there are different things. There could be onething beside another. Similarly do you wish to say that you would thrust your hand into Brahmam, pull out a piece of it, call it world, and then show that this is the world and that Brahmam? Where there is Brahmam, there is no world; Where there is world, there is no Brahmam. This you have to accept. Adwaita does not give scope for another entity to exist alongside. Adwaita implies only One, in which there could be no other ‘particular’. This is one aspect of the reply.

Now the second aspect. ‘Vikalpaanupapattaystu’. There is a ‘Yaaga’ (Sacrificial Rite) called ‘Ati Raatram’. There is a certain vessel called ‘Shoadasi’ that is used during that Ritual. For that earthen pot there have to be sixteen folds in its rim (shoadasi means sixteen). Such a vessel alone has to be used during that Yaaga. Once it so happen that the potter inadvertently fashioned only fourteen folds for the pot instead of the customary sixteen. When the person performing the Yaaga needed the Shoadasi, it was brought. He saw the vessel and noted the error. But as it was the prime time for the Ritual, and having no alternative, he had to reconcile, and use the available Shoadasi’. This is called ‘Vikalpa’. Any one of the two can be used, whichever available. There is scope for choice. ‘Grahana agrahanayoe’. Can be considered, or, not be considered. This is termed ‘Purushaadheenatva’. That freedom to choose, is available because it depends on the individual. Any vessel could be used to suit his discretion. No rigidity. ‘Vikalpoe Bhavati’. In such situations, we agree. But here, it is not such an activity. It is the Inherent Nature of the Substance (Vastu). ‘Dwaitam vaasyat, Advaitam vayti vikalpaha sumbhavat’. You cannot say that this can be as Dwaitam, and also can be Advaitam, as it could be either sixteen or even fourteen frills for the Shoadasi vessel. Once it is Substance, it is unchanging, beyond transformation. Otherwise, it would be a violation of the very principle of its intrinsic Nature. ‘Apurusha Tantratwaat Aatma Vastunaha’.That substance called Aatma would not be as you imagined. Your imagining is a ‘Kriya’ an activity, whereas ‘That’ is Substance.That Paramaatman is as He is. He is not one that you created. He is Self-Existent. Others have to view such an Entity as it is, and it would not change to conform to one’s wishes. Like the mighty imperturbable Himalaya which just is as it is. All self-existent things are like that. Their nature does not change. If it changes, it is not ‘nature’ at all. It is not Substance at all. We are not talking of the worldly substance, a material. We must remember, we are talking of the Omnipresent, All-pervasive, Formless, Attributeless, Indivisible, Homogenous Pure Consciousness. ‘Apurusha Tantratwaat’. That is not dependant on the human element. Aatma is such a Substance. You want to pull out a portion of that, and call it Dwaita. ‘Tiroadhaatyaa Dwaita Adwaita yoahoe Aykasya’. Again you accept that as the One and only One. In that case, do not talk of two, the Dwaita and Adwaita. When you talk of the wave, the froth and the bubble, is it one ocean or many oceans? You cannot say ocean is one, but the waves and bubbles are different. That total substance, is it only one, or two or three---? It they are two or three oceans, say then, two or three Substances. Or else, if you insist that the ocean is one, then, accept that the rest are mere ‘aabhaasa’ (appearances). Otherwise it will be mutually contradictory. Unity cannot tolerate multiplicity and diversity. That is why do not indulge in meaningless fabrications.

‘Srutim Nyaaya Viroadhaatya’. What you are stating contradicts not only Sastra (Science), but also ‘Nyaaya’ or ‘Tarka’ (Logic). Now listen. Actually what did Upanishad say regarding Aatma, Brahma? ‘Saindhava Ghanavat Pragnyaanaika Rasa Ghanam’. Like a lump of salt, or salt - saturated ocean water, is the ‘Ayka Rasa’, the homogenous essence of ‘Aatma Pragnyaana’, the consciousness that is Self. It is implied that it alone pervades everywhere and solidified eternally. There is nothing else within it, for you to put your hand and pull out. From the ocean water, which is fully saturated with nothing but salt, can you take out even an iota of anything which is sweet, sour or bitter? You just cannot. Even if you dive to the ocean bottom, there is nothing but salt-water. Just as the ocean water is saltish all over, so also is the Aatma Swaroopa full of Pragnyaana (Supreme Consciousness, Awareness). One cannot delve into it and pull out an entity called world. It is all Subjective Essence, and nothing of objective nature. Nothing which you can observe. Apart from that, that Aatma is ‘Pragnyaana Ayka Rasam, Ghanam, Nirantaram, Poorva Apara Baahya Abhyantara Baydha Varjitam’. There is no question of within and without, in front or behind, above or below etc. It is totally full without even an iota of void. There is no heterogenous quality to perceive or show. Everything is contained in it. There is nothing else except itself. It is ‘Ajam’. Not born at a particular time (and absent earlier). It is eternal. Besides this, the Sastra says ‘Nayti Nayti Asthoola Anuva Hrasvaya Jara Abhaya Mamrutam’. It is indicating that whatever comes to your mind, that should be merged into it. To reiterate that there is no trace of heterogeneity in it, It is indicating through the dictum of ‘Nayti Nayti’.

‘Asthoolam’: You are having a mistaken notion that it is huge and corpulent. The truth is, It is both sthoola,and if you look at it as an atom, it is that atom too. ‘Ahraswam’, ‘Ajaram’, ‘Abhayam’, ‘Amritam’. Whatever aspects and characteristics we see different from It, It is all those. Whatever we perceive existing here, is nothing but That alone. Which means Dwaita is Adwaita. In such a case can there be any place for ‘Samsaya Viparyaya Aasanka’ (skepticism and agnosticism)? When you, me, all and everything, in and out, --- all is Adwaita, when Paramaatma himself is loudly proclaiming that the Trio of Jeeva, Jagat, Eeswara (Individual, Universe and God) have been absorbed into, and assimilated in Himself, and that He alone is omnipresent, still you talk of ‘this’ and ‘that’, and are pestered with doubt? If you still insist that those two do exist independently, then, you must throw overboard, all the above proclamations of Veda-s. Then can you rest content that all is Dwaita with no Adwaita whatsoever. Then you would be sinking and rising in this ocean of ‘Samsaara’ (mundane existence, ever-continuous), go through the cycles of birth and death, as do germs and insects, animals and beasts, and be ever stuck within the vicious circle”.

In this manner Sri. Bhagavat Paada, in great detail, and in a lucid manner, explained how the arguments of the Dvaitists, contradict the Sastra (vedic philosophy) itself. Now he begins exposing the hollowness of their arguments from the view point of Logic.

“Wherever it be, under any situation, if anything has to be eternal, there are conditions to be fulfilled. You are also aware of them, but are hypocratically concealing them. ‘Nitya’ means eternally existing in same form, without transformation. ‘Saavaya vasyaa’. If a certain thing has ‘avayava’ (component parts), then it can never be eternal and permanent. That which is constituted, cannot be everlasting. It changes and changes, until it totally perishes. ‘Saavaya vasyaa Anaykaatma Kasya’. When it is composed of components, it would be appearing in various forms. ‘Kriyaa vakaha’ It would be ever changing. How can that be true? When as you are struggling hard with this world of names and forms, pounding and pulverising it, you find it slowly disappearing and becoming invisible, and, what witnesses the entity becoming invisible, it so happens that that entity gradually merges into that witnessing agency. That is the ‘Vastu’, the Substratum. And, that which was till then seen is not Vastu, but its ‘aabhasa’, appearance. The aabhaasa is ever clearly visible. ‘Nitya twamcha Aatmanaha Smrityaadi Darsanaa Danugeeyatay’. But in case of Aatma, It is Eternal. There are no divisions in it. That is why one should never ask how to get a glimpse of ‘Aatma Swaroopa’. As it is devoid of form, there are no components in it. Apart from that, it is ever Eternal. Because, who is there to witness the ever-changing phenomena? Are we not bringing to our mind all the changes that took place in the past? That is what is implied by ‘Smrityaadi Darsanaat’. Whatever you are recollecting, they are not there, but the one who is recollecting i.e., yourself, is there. Again, to perceive all the present changes, you will be there. Where the change and movement are occurring is, not in the viewing sight, but in the objects being observed. Then you are contemplating on the future happenings, and drafting plans. But all those are to be constituted, they are assemblages, whereas you are a whole. You are the embodiment of Gnyaana (Awareness, Consciousness). That is Gneya (objective, to be observed and known). Gneya is with form; Gnyaana is unity. Gneya is impermanent; Gnyaana is eternal. That is how you have to perceive. That is what you have to reason out, reflect upon, and grasp. On the other hand, you restrict your vision towards ‘this’ alone, and do not look beyond. Why do you end up here itself? ‘Tadviroadhasya Praapnoati Anityatvay’. If you say ‘Aatma” is not eternal, it is not valid. It has to be witnessing that which is not eternal. Everything is a thought. As a witness to the thought, It has to be ever there, and, if It Itself is transient (not eternal), then it is tantamount to one transient being a witness to another transient, which is impossible and cannot be’’.

Till now the second part is over. Now Sri Bhagawat Paada is commencing the third part. See how stealthily he is proceeding.

“Not only that, ‘Bhavat Kalpanaa Anardhakyamcha’. Whatever you have postulated is also not valid. You stated that both Advaita and Dvaita can exist, and that both are true, both are eternal, both are ‘Brahma Swaroopa’. You assert that Brahmam is in ‘that’, as will as in ‘this’. ‘Sphutamayvachaa Asmin Pakshay Karma Kaanda Anardhakam’. That ‘Karma Kaanda’ (ritual process) which you are so anxious to sustain, will be upheld only in the theory postulated by us, and not at all as per yours. In our postulation it is upheld as ‘Vyaavahaarika Satya’, practical reality. Have we not agreed that until there is ignorance, one can perform rituals? As long as there is no knowledge of Self, because the world would be staring at you, you can perform Sacrificial Rites, prayers and meditations. You can go on piligrimages. We have provided opportunity for all such observances. But this is valid only in the field of ignorance. However, this is not a serious problem, as it is ignorance that mostly prevails. For those in our fold, for one with a vision of Brahma Swaroopa, such an one perceives Unity alone. For those who did not have such a vision, diversity alone dominates. This perception of multiplicity and diversity, is born out of ignorance. Perception of Unity is a sign of knowledge and wisdom. Greater the knowledge, greater is the perception of Unity and Oneness. Such reconciliation and opportunity are in built in our doctrine. Do you have that? You cannot support Ritualistic process. If you say that both ‘that’ and ‘this’ are Real, and both are Brahmam, then, Ritualistic process cannot stand. Because, ‘Akritaa bhyaaya Maakrita Vipra Naasa Prasanna’. What is virtue, and, what is sin? If you practice virtue, your reward is paradise. If you are sinful you are plunged into hell. But you said that virtue is Brahmam, and, sin also is Brahmam. You said that both Advaita and Dvaita are Brahmam. So, as per you, virtue, sin, heaven, hell .. everything is Brahmam, and all Dvaita is Brahmam. So, anyone can go anywhere. Even if one goes to hell, it is Brahma Swaroopa. One more thing. Suppose one is disabled by birth. Are you not pitying and exclaiming what sin had the baby earlier commited? If something befalls due to something which has not been commited, it is called ‘Akritaa Bhyaanam’. If that which has been commited, clears away, it is called ‘Krita vipra Naasanam’. Now in present context, a situation consequent of something that has not been commited (the handicap disability) has befallen the infant, i.e., ‘Akritaa Bhyaanam’. You ascribe it to misdeeds of the previous life. Again, suppose one is presently leading a righteous life, doing only good deeds. Yet he undergoes untold miseries. In contrast, there is another doing horrible deeds. Yet he leads a happy luxurious life. Then when does he atone for his sins? Hence you say rebirth. In one case there must have been a previous birth. In the other case, there must be a next birth. Now, you say all is Brahmam. All the earlier lives are of Paramaatma. All those virtues and sins (punya paapa) are Paramaatma. As all is Paramaatma, these ‘punya and paapa’ are ascribed to Paramaatma, as you do not believe in Jeevaatma. As per you, there is no Jeevaatma, no Jagat. Everything is Paramaatma Swaroopa. Now when you put a stamp that all this diversity is Paramaatma, then, you must not talk of system, nor of Dharma Sastra, nor exclaim at anything. Whatever is happening, is Paramaatma”.