You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1998

language and spiritualism

From: Chandrasekaran. V (vcs_at_wipro.com)
Date: Fri Jan 02 1998 - 06:06:51 PST

Dear Bhagavadhotamas,
   I have a few thoughts about the recent discussions about 
'comparison between sanskrit and tamil' which I would like to 
share with the members. I request Bhagavadhotamas to pardon me 
if I am wrong or diverting anywhere.

o The Lord stands transcending all barriers and discriminations
with His immeasurable mercy for whoever sheds his mortal bondages 
and realises whole-heartedly that his inner Atman is nothing but 
the manifestation of the ParamAthman, the Lord Himself and merges 
in union with the Supreme Purusha. The Lord doesn't care what method 
his devotee is employing in realising Him.

o If we realise the Lord's divine nature and then come to analyse 
our mundane activities, we can only feel guilty at the way we are 
attaching significance to them. These mundane activities include 
all our customs, traditions, language etc.,

o There is no language that can express a Bhakta's feeling when he 
is in union with His Lord. At this point any language will fail 
pitifully to express the transcending feelings that emanate from 
the innermost heart of the realised Bhakta.

o A language is only a "upakaranam" to attain the Lord's feet. It 
would be a waste of time and intellect to attach even a wee bit of 
importance to these 'instruments' in our journey toward the Supreme 
Lord.

o Did not the epitome of Spiritual wisdom, Lord Dhakshinamurthi 
himself remain blissfully silent and still pass his Supreme knowledge 
to his divine disciples viz., sanaka, sanandhana, sanathsujAtha? This 
more than assures us that language is only redundant to realise the 
Para Brahmam. [ But for us mortals, the divinely merciful sages had to 
put the knowledge in words in order to be better propagated and 
understood ].

o Language is basically a worldly knowledge and is not to be counted 
as anything spiritual though it is used for conveying our feelings 
partially. When the Supremely pure Azhwars praise the glories of the
Lord, it is only for the Lord and not for making tamil flourish as a
better medium. And Saint Thyagaraja, if he had composed thousands of 
songs in praise of His Lord, it is only for the Lord and not to show 
his fluency in his mother tongue. So when a Bhakta is using this instrument 
namely language to praise His Lord, it is only to try to reach the Lord's 
Heart through some mortal means, but, which never counts for him.

o  There is an interesting anecdote from Sri Adi Sankharacharya's 
sojourn in kAsi.

   - He finds a very old man on the banks of Ganges where the 
     man is reading very vigorously something as though he were 
     doing that for some serious cause. The old man, Sankhara 
     discovers, is reading "Pannini's Sanskrit Grammar". Sankhara 
     couldn't resist his pity for this old man who is wasting his 
     precious life in learning something which is not going to lead 
     him to his ultimate goal. He composes his philosophical "Bhaja 
     Govindham" at that instant to record a lesson for the worldly 
     souls who are attaching undue importance to the mundane knowledge 
     and advises, 

        "O ignorant mind! Chant the name of the Lord...
         That alone can save you from this samsAra sAghara... 
         All the remaining worldly talks and knowledge will 
         never show any light during your journey towards the 
         Supreme goal"



   adiyArkku adiyEn,

   -chandrasekaran.