Friday, May 9, 2008

Shankara Jayanti

Greetings to all on the occasion of Shankara Jayanti.


Adi Shankara is Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva wears a snake around his neck.
The answer to the perplexing question of what constitutes Advaita
lies in seeing Lord Shiva with the snake around his neck.

No man can see the Truth of Advaita. Only Lord Shiva Sees It. The
eyes of mortal beings open and close in the Third Eye of Shiva that
is always Open. That Eye alone sees Advaita.

Adi Shankara's words are a double-edged sword. It is both this way
and that way. Seeing any one way is not seeing what Shankara Sees.

To see the Truth of Advaita, the sword of discrimination has to
pierce the Twilight-Junction where the Day meets Night to reveal the
Splendorous Sun that never rises and sets. In the Sunlight all things
are Seen and nothing is lost.

Adi Shankara speaks in riddles. A riddle presents a contradiction.
The comfort of having an established Advaita philosophy does not
exist. It can only be as Adi Shankara has given it to us - both this
way and that way. By its very nature, the articulation of Advaita is
a riddle.

The comfort of having established philosophies that are either this
Way or that Way is found in Visistadvaita and Dvaita among many other
Ways. It is not the Way of Advaita that has no Way that may be spoken
about. Those who cross swords with Advaita cross swords with the
illusions of their own making.

The glint of the Sword flashes in the brilliance of the Sun and it
blinds the eye. The path lies however on the razor's edge of the
Sword flashing in the Sun. It is the Sword of discrimination that
cuts across all riddles to unriddle all that has been riddled. There
is nothing lost in it except the knots of the riddles.

And there is a great riddle in Shankara Himself:

Shankara shows the Truth. Shankara hides the Truth. Shankara both
shows and hides the Truth. One aspect of Shankara is Rudra. The
Shakti of Rudra is called Raudri. Raudri is the power that prevents
one from seeing the Truth.

Sri Madhvacharya said that Sri Shankaracharya is Rudra who had come
to confuse people. Sri Madhvacharya does not speak an untruth. It is
true that Shankara prevents one from seeing the Truth. It is also
true that Shankara is the supreme revelation of Truth. It is the very
nature of Shankara to wear a snake round His neck. It is the very
Nature of Lord Shiva. It is the very Nature of Truth that It is such.
It is the Nature of Advaita, the Vision of Lord Shiva.

Brahman created all these beings. After creating them, Brahman
entered them. The words of Advaita are the words of Brahman directed
by Brahman to Brahman when Brahman is ready to exit what Brahman has
entered. He exits in the same manner as He enters. The man that He
once entered and is now exiting is left behind in the ashes of the
funeral pyre. It is all the Leela of His Eternal Existence.

To that Lord Shiva, who came in the form of a sanyasin as the Jagat-
Guru, Adi Shankara, I pray that I may be able to offer my head so
that the man who can never see the Truth may be burnt to ashes. Only
Lord Shiva is always Seeing.

[This is reproduced here with the kind permission of Shri Chittaranjan-ji, from the advaitin E-list.
Shri Chittaranjan is a wonderfully gifted and erudite Vedantic scholar, currently residing in Mumbai.]


Anonymous said...

Shankara Jayanti !

Here is another wonderful post from OUR GROUP SADHANA SHAKTI by none other than my beloved friend and mentor Chittaranjan Naik!

Sruti Smrti PurAnAm Alayam karunAlayam
Namami BhagavadpAda Sankaram lokasankaram

Today (9 May 2008) is Shankara Jayanti.

On this auspicious day, it is appropriate to be reminded of one of
the many greatnesses of Sri Shankara Bhagavadapadacharya - his great
sycretism. He not only reinstated, once again, the timeless darshana
of Advaita, but he also established the Vedic agamas and the various
Vedic philosophies on the firm ground of Vedartha. While it is true
that he refuted all contrary philosophies that existed in his time,
including Vaidika philosophies such as Nyaya-Vaisesika, Sankhya,
Yoga, and Purva Mimamsa, as representing the highest Truth of the
Vedas, he also reinforced them as having their proper place in the
scheme of Vedic structure. In other words, he demolished the view
that the rivers are the Ocean, but at the same time he did not deny
the proper place of the various rivers that flow into the vast Ocean
of Vedic Knowledge.

Adi Shankara gave us a darshana that was smartha in nature, not
elevating any one aspect of Brahman to the exclusive position of the
Supreme, but acknowledging that the Supreme has many faces as
revealed in the smritis, the subsidiary arm of the Vedas. This
aspect of Shankara Bhagavadpada is for me one of his unique
greatnessess, especially when its value is seen in the context of a
cultural mileau wherein there is unending strife with each sect or
sampradaya tending to uphold one name of God as being above another.
The darshana of Advaita does not have a problem with this as it
subscribes to the view that Brahman is large enough to accomodate
each one of them, such being the content of the various smritis
themselves. Hence it is smartha, upholding the various visions of

The tradition of Advaita considers Adi Shankara as an avatara of
Lord Shiva. In the middle of Rudram, which is in the middle of Yajur
Veda, there occures the word 'Shiva'. And Shiva is described therein
as the One with the matted locks and the One with the shaven head.
The tradition of Advaita considers the shaven headed One as Adi

I shall end this post with the Nirvana Shatakam, the shloka composed
by the great Shankara Bhagavadpada:

Mano budhya ahankara chithaa ninaham,
Na cha srothra jihwe na cha graana nethrer,
Na cha vyoma bhoomir na thejo na vayu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 1

Na cha praana samgno na vai pancha vaayur,
Na vaa saptha dhathur na va pancha kosa,
Na vak pani padam na chopa stha payu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 2

Na me dwesha raghou na me lobha mohou,
Madho naiva me naiva matsarya bhava,
Na dharmo na cha artha na kamo na moksha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 3

Na punyam na paapam na soukhyam na dukham,
Na manthro na theertham na veda na yagna,
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhoktha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 4

Na mruthyur na sankha na me jathi bhedha,
Pitha naiva me naiva matha na janma,
Na bhandhur na mithram gurur naiva sishya,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 5

Aham nirvi kalpi nirakara roopi,
Vibhuthwascha sarvathra sarvendriyanaam,
Na cha sangatham naiva mukthir na meya
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham. 6


Anonymous said...

Shiva Panchakshari Slokam and its meaning by Adi Shankara Bhagvadsapada

Nagendra Haaraaya Thrilochanaaya
Bhasmaanga Raagaaya Maheshvaraaya
Nityaaya Suddhaaya Digambaraaya
Tasmai Nakaaraaya Namah Shivaaya

I offer my humble salutations to Lord Maheshvara - who has a garland of serpents around the neck; who has three eyes; whose body is covered with ash (vibhuti); who is eternal; who is pure; who has the entire sky as His garb and who is embodied as the first letter Na.

Mandakini salila chandana charchitaya
Nandishvara pramathanatha Maheshvaraya
Mandarapushpa bahupushhpa supujitaya
Tasmai Makaraya Namah Shivaya .. 2

I bow to Shiva, who has been worshipped with water from the Ganga (Mandakini) and anointed with sandalwood paste, the lord of Nandi, the lord of the host of goblins and ghosts, the great lord, who is worshiped with Mandara and many other kinds of flowers, and who is represented by the syllable ``ma. ''

Stotra 3:
Shivaaya Gauri Vadana Aravinda
Sooryaaya Dakshaadhvara Naashakaaya
Sree Neelakantaaya Vrisha Dhvajaaya
Tasmai Shikaaraaya Namah Shivaaya

I offer my salutations to Lord Shiva, who is the resplendent sun for mother Gauri's lotus face, who is the destroyer of Daksha's sacrificial ritual, who is the blue necked Lord (due to Halahal, the poison, which he consumed to save deities), whose banner bears the emblem of a bull and who is embodied as the letter Shi.

Vasishhtha kumbhodbhava gautamarya
Munindra devarchita shekharaya .
Chandrarkavaishvanara lochanaya
Tasmai Vakaraya Namah Shivaya .. 4

Vasishhtha, Agastya, Gautama, and other venerable sages, and Indra and other gods have worshipped the head of (Shiva's linga). I bow to that Shiva whose three eyes are the moon, sun and fire, and who is represented by the syllable ``va. ''

Yakshasvarupaya Jatadharaya
Pinakahastaya Sanatanaya
Divyaya Devaya Digambaraya
Tasmai Yakaraya Namah Shivaya .. 5

salutations to Shiva, who bears the form of a Yaksha, who has matted hair on his head, who bears the Pinaka bow in his hand, the primeval lord, the brilliant god, who is digambara (naked), and who is represented by the syllable ``ya. ''


Panchaksharamidam Punyam Yah Pathechchhivasannidhau.
Shivalokamavapnoti Shivena Saha Modate.

Anyone who recites this sacred five-syllable mantra, (Namah Shivaya) near the Shiva (linga), attains the abode of Shiva and rejoices there with Shiva.


listen to the recitation of this divine panchakshri mantra in the melodious voice of smt.m.s. subbalaxmi and you will be in total spiritual ecstasy.