author:..... Dr. R.Krishnamurthy SastrigaL, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004
compiler:... T.S. Kothandarama Sarma
book:....... MahA PeriyavAL - Darisana AnubhavangaL vol. 1, pages 177-196
publisher:.. Vanathi Padhippaham (Aug 2006 Edition)
Translating this essay was a tough task for me who is not much exposed to the Sanskrit sentences and phrases of the Shastras discussed here. Although I can understand and translate their meaning, there is bound to be errors in my transliteration of the Sanskrit verses and phrases. I shall be grateful if members would point out and correct them then and there. What does the phrase 'tRtIya vipakti abheda' mean?
Since this is a long thread published under a single chapter title in the book I shall post it in instalments so members can read it easily.
Sri PeriyavAL would give many apUrva, sUkSma (rare and subtle) elucidations of verses from all the Shastras at the end of the Sabhas of Vidvans (pundits) from many disciplines that he conducts. We cannot find these elucidations in any Bhashyas or other Granthas. I have got the great bhAgyam of compiling those rare elucidations that he told in Sabhas and to me privately and present a write-up of them.
"Smaller than the smallest atom is the Atman. Most expansive is He, greater than the great. Because He is the innermost existence in every thing, He is seated in the hearts of all beings." -- Swami Krishnananda's commentary]
This mantra occurs in our Narayaneeya Upanishad. PeriyavAL gives a wonderful elucidation for this mantra.
idam (place): near Kanchi (a spot on the way to Orirukkai).
samayam (time): the day of the Vyasa Puja.
sandarbham (occasion): Evening around four o' clock after the Vyasa Puja was held in a leisurely way. The beginning stage of the vAkyArtha sabhA (word by word discussion forum) of the Pandits.
"Now, till this time I was the vyAsa pUjAkarta, you people its witnesses. The multitudinous gurus, deities are all a single Paramatma only; there is no bhedam (distinction) at all. Being two is just a mere appearance. Only the ParamPoruL is the Satyam that appears as the multiple forms. It is explained in this mantra: 'One who is smaller than the atom and (at the same time) greater than the greatest (which is the universe) is the Atma that remains in the hRudaya guhA (heart's cave)' is the mantrArtham (meaning of the mantra).
"If this meaning is to suit (this verse) completely, there should be only One Thing. If there be a Second, in comparison, This can only be either bigger or smaller (than the Other). It cannot be both. If a man says, 'This is the eldest of my elder sons and the youngest of my younger sons', then it is certain that he has only one son.
"But then initially this philosophy of Advaita will not be intelligible. Only after we do all the puja, punaskArya (winding up the puja) as bhagavatArpaNam (dedicated to God) and then do the shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana (study, reflection, meditation), this will be understood. It is that philosophy of Advaita that Vyasa has deduced in the Brahma Sutra. These people who are pandits in that Sutra Bhashyam are now going to give you the vAkyArtha. Everyone should listen to it and attain the state of Advaita."
This vAkyam is in the beginning of the Ananda Valli of our Taittiriya Upanishad.
The day of completion in Kanchi MaTham, of the visheSa satas (special assembly) of the Advaita Sabha. On the morning of that day PeriyavAL gave a rare elucidation to this vAkyam.
"--in this (sentence) there are four padams (words): brahma, vid, Apnoti, param. For these four words, a Rik (mantra) in four pAdAs (a quarter of a four-versed stanza) gives the explanation.
"It is customary in the Veda to do the vyAkhyAnam (explanation) of the mantras, in the BrahmaNa. But here, for the brAhmaNa vAkyam brahmavidApnoti, the vyAkhyAnam is given in the mantra which is Rik rUpa. Mostly in the Upanishads, mantras occur here and there to either confirm or explain what is said in the BrahmaNa. It occurs in those places as tatheSap yuktA--this Rik says the same thing given above.
"For the term brahma, the vyAkhyAnam is in the first pAdam as satyam jnAnam anantam brahma. SatChitAnanda Brahmam is the meaning. anantam means infinite; also has the name bhUma. Only bhUmA (fullness) is the sukham (bliss), not the alpam (trifle). So anantam is sukham, Anandam. Sat Chit Anandam.
"The Vid is one who has realized this Brahmam. How to realize it? By becoming the Atma that shines in the Akasha and realizing it in his lofty hRudaya guhA (cave of the heart). What is it that he gets thereby? He gets in one kSaNam (moment) all the sukha bhoga (enjoyment of bliss) completely (since they are all inherent in his svAtmAnandam). He gets nothing new. The para prApti (attainment of Param) lies in understanding the Advaita bhAva (state) of brahmaNA vipachitA, that is, remaining as the realized Brahmam, as pUrNAnandA (complete bliss)."
[It can be compared here that Lalita Sahastranamam says that it is only the svAtmAnanda lavam (a drop of the complete bliss), including the Ananda experienced by the Four-faced (Brahma).]
"The meaning in the third case (vetRumai) as 'going and reaching Brahmam' should not be taken here; since the other vAkyAs say 'he becomes Brahmam here and now', 'amrita iha bhavati', here it mentions this tRtIya vipakti abheda."