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Continuing his weekly discourse in Praturi house, Mr Bharatha Sharma pointed out that the first 40 slokas of Adi Sankara's work describe Ananadalahari. Sloka 41 actually begins with description of Saundaryalari. Anandalahari is a description on a higher metaphysical plane. The sensory perceptions do not lead one to the goal. Sri Sankara described the Supreme Mother's glory in a way which is possible for the senses to realise in the second part. For a great saadhaka the ascent from the mooladhara to the sahasrara reveals the identiy of Shiva and Shakti. The blessed one realises Her in the manipoora chakra.
The poorva kaula followers reduced the upasana to hateful yoni pooja. No right-thinking devotee will agree that the Supreme Mother can be realised that way. She is seen as a mother in the human shape for the simple reason that it would be easier for the many to understand Her. But it is really a sacrilege to conceive of the Supreme Being in the shape of a human female organ.
In Anandalahari the divine is interpreted as a subtle metaphysical concept. Her grace is needed for anyone to be able to comprehend it. The taandava of Shiva and the laasya of Shakti together are the cosmic dance of the eternal indivisible Supreme Being.
Saadhakas consider the full moon day as the fittest for the contemplation on the Supreme Mother. The idea is that beauty at its highest is in the light of the full moon. White is the radiance in which all shades inhere.
Of karma and jnana margas the latter is far superior, but for the ordinary many karma is the easier one as a way of upaasana.
According to Chandogya Upanishad the rasa of pridhwi is water, the rasa of the water is the medicinal herb, the rasa of the herb is the purusha, the rasa of purusha is vak (articulate noise), that of vak is ruk and that of ruk is saama and that of saama is omkara.
Here is the ascendency from pridhwi to sahasrara kamala wherein the Supreme lies in the shape of a bindu.
Sloka 42 describes that in the crown of the Supreme Mother are the dwadasa adityas, the 12 suns. The saadhaka, who sings of the light of the 12 suns makes his buddhi the rainbow on the crescent moon thereon. Whoever sees the radiance gets wisdom comparable to the many-hued rainbow. Jnaana is the light which the saadhaka is blessed to see.
Sloka 43 describes the prayer of the saadhaka who begsfor the darkness in him to be dispelled by the hair bun of the Supreme Mother which has a natural fragrance. Her hair attracts all the flowers in the nandana vana which cluster there to draw fragrance therefrom.
It can be interpreted that the Mother carried the darkness of our ignorance. The flowers of the kalpataru gather there not so much to adorn Her hair as to shine all the brighter drawing their fragrance from the original source.
The spot of sindhur at the begining of the parting of Her hair gives us kshema.
In these sokas one can hear ecohes of the lalitha sahasra naama and the sandhya upasana mantra. 27th July, 1986
The glory of the Supreme Mother excels the beauty of the lotus for the flower blossoms only once at sunrise. It seems ridiculous to compare the lotus to her face. Her forelocks are black like the youthful bees. Her light giving teeth are comparable to the stamen in the lotus. The bees of Shiva's glance are attracted and held captive by the face of the Supreme Mother.
At Srisailam we have Bhramarambika Devi who is also Sri Jnana Prasoonamba. Shakti is the flower while Shiva is the bee and Shakti is the bee while Shiva is the flower, Shiva and Shakti are interchangeable as Sesha and Seshi.
The Supreme Mother has an eye in the middle of her brow. It is the symbol of agni and also maaya which has the capacity to attract Shiva. The Supreme Mother wraps herself in a kind of maaya. Her teeth are symbolic of vidyaankurs.
In sloka 45 the Bhagavatpada describes the beauty and majesty of Her brow, lalaata. It is like the inverted half of the chandra sakala and with the one in her diadem there is the glory of the full moon. The moon on the eighth day of its cycle showers cool nectar. In the Sahasraara Chakra, the saadhaka sees Her radiating streams of it. The lavanya of the Supreme Mother's teeth is the lavanya of a string of pearls. Each pearl radiates a kind of light into the other through the string and the radiance therefrom has the quality of lahari or undulating waves.
Symbolically, the pearls are aksharas and the string is a mantra or an utterance. The quality is revealed in the description of the Divine Mother in Lalithaaahasranaama also.
Sloka 45 describes the beauty of the Mother's eyebrows. They are like the bow of Manmadha. Manmadha being the one without a body we see only a bow. The Supreme Mother has a compulsive urge of dispelling the fears of the worlds. Her bee-coloured eyes and the side-long glances therein produce thousands of manmadhas.
The bow trope is elaborately explained by Sri Bharatha Sharma. We have the bow ourselves. Our manas is the bow and the five arrows are the five senses. The saadhka who surrenders his senses to Her would be taken into Her by Her grace.
Sloka 47 describes the eyes of the Supreme Mother. While the right creates the day, the left creates the night. In between the tow, there is the golden lotus half-blossomed in sandhya. This is the mahakali swaroopa.
Sri Bharatha Sharma concluding the discourse for the day, said that Sundarakanda illustrates the significance of a full day inclusive of the night. It begins with uttara sandhya and ends with poorva sandhya in which Hanuman sees the Mother. He sees the Supreme Being in full. 30th June, 1986
The Supreme Mother permeates the entire creation with Her beauty and gives it welfare. Maata in the masculine can be construed as the one who measures. The sun is the one who measures the Savitru devata, bringing forth the sustaining life. Sandhya is the creation of the Sun as also the moon. As such the Sun is the sookshma roopa of the Supreme Mother. The day, a unit of time, is a unit of existence and the manifestation of Her power and Her glory.
The eight famous cities like Visala, Kalyani, Ayodhya, Dhara Mathura, Bhogavathi, Avanthi and Vindhya have the eight delectable qualities of Her glance. Sri Bharatha Sarma explained that the Bhagavatpada mentioned Ayodhya as a stage in the progress of the quest. From Mithila to Visala and Ayodhya via Kalyani is a symbolic effulgence of Her glance. The Holy Ramayana must have passed through the seer's mind in a fleeting way while composing the sloka.
In sloka 50, the poet describes the ears of the Mother drinking in the honeyed sweet of the bunches of poetic compositions. The bees of Her eyes spreading up to the ears are captivated by the sweetness. The middle eye is a little red with jealousy. Her eyes and ears have the capacity to absorb and radiate rasas.
Sloka 51 describes the qualities of the Mother's glance further. If it is Her glance that makes the cities get their respective qualities, and names, it is Her glance again that has a variegated emotion towards various objects. Towards Shiva Her glance is adoring, towards his opponents disdainful towards Ganga it is angry, towards the legends of his exploits wondrous towards Her companions it is playfully mischievous, and towards the saadhaka it is merciful.
Education is that which liberates and that which makes the contemplate on Her beauty. Sloka 52 describes the Mother as the flower in the crown of king Himavant's lineage. Her eyelashes look like the feathers on the arrow of Manmadha's bow. They alone are capable of driving away the vairagya of Maha Siva. Thus discoursed Sri Bharata Sarma at Praturi House. 5th August, 1986
The Bhagavatpada addressed the Supreme Mother as the beloved one of Mahadeva. In sloka 53 he describes Her eyes, which have a particular shape of a semi-circle with the embellishment of anjana or kaatuka. The anjana has the capacity to bring forth the subtle hues of white, red and black in Her eyes. A closing of Her eyes would make the deluge or maha pralaya when Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are absorbed by Her. With an opening of Her eyes, She creates them all again in a trice.
Her eyes with the varied hues of white red and black are symbolic of trigunas, satwa, rajas and tamas. The anjana makes the white prominent in the eye. In the corners there is red and the pupil is black. They are powerful not merely in creating and destroying but also owing to the fact that they hold sway over Shiva.
The seer-poet implies that he could realise the glory of Her eyes through an understanding of that netranjana, the black that brings the two other colours into sharp contrast. The beloved of Shiva is the one with such eyes.
In sloka 54 another great quality of Her eyes is sung. They are not only the symbols of trigunas but also symbols of the three great purifying rivers. Though the Supreme Mother is ever preoccupied with Him and Her eyes and Her heart ever absorbed in adoring Him. Her eyes have the quality of sanctifying us with their triple colour. Her eyes and grace are indivisible as She is from Him.
The white river is Sona, the red river is Ganga, and the black the tapana tanaya-Yamuna. The three rivers and the triveni sangamam are created by Her eyes. Just as a dip in the sangamam washes away impurities. Her mere glance sanctifies us.
The act of sanctification is Her will and intention. She is primarily “Pasupathi paradheena hridaye”. He is the lord of Jeevas and Her heart is ever preoccupied with him.
Sloka 55 describes further the power and the glory of Her eyes. By a mere closing of the eyes creation would be destroyed. Great seers like Vyasa sang of the great quality of the Mother. The Supreme Mother is animesha the one would not close the eyelid for thta would mean the deluge.
Sri Bharatha Sarma explained that one would never be able to realise the Supreme Mother as long as one cannot stop imagining Her in a human form. The whole creation has to be identified with the sun and the moon as Her eyes to visualise the Supreme Being. This would be possible only for a devout saadhaka who wins Her grace.
6th August 1986
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