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interesting upanishad statement

From: Krishna Kalale (krishna_at_nynexst.com)
Date: Thu Oct 26 1995 - 10:38:56 PDT

I was listening to DR. N.S Anantha rangachar's tapes on Sribhasya.  I found
a particular statement very interesting:

ATma are drashtavyo shrotavyao mantavyo nidhidhyaasitavyaha :

means :  ATman has to be seen, heard, contemplated and meditated upon :

here ATman is paramatman (supreme God).  logically the first step is to
hear about God.  I will just post some basics of this rather than posting
a hot debate about advaita, dvaita or vishistadvaita view of this.

shrotavyaha : one has to hear about GOd.  but how will one get the real interest
to hear about God.  Sri Ramanuja says in sribhasya :  a person who has 
shraddha will try to go and seek a guru and enquire regarding bramhan so as
to hear about bramhan.  note it was not written in the upanishad that God can
be known through studying. God is known through   acharya.

what is shraddha?  :  SRi R states shraddha is tvara  or urgency.  If one has
the urgency to hear about Bramhan he/she will try to find an acharya.  what is
this urgency ?  : people usually are waylaid in life.  many other interests 
such as career, money, fame , entertainment, gossip! etc. take priority over
abstract stuff. even for reading most people prefer story books, romances etc.
over scriptures.  Even Sri Shankaracharya says in his bhasya : 
"yadi anyontara deshaatana trit na bhavati" - ie. if one does not get interested
in exploring other material pursuits, then that person becomes ready to know
bramhan.  even when one is interested to hear of subjects one may be more
attracted to hear about other issues even though vague - such as 
"food habits in south china" !! or some weird subject like that - instead of
choosing a lecture on God.

question:  it is so hard to get shraddha (interest) in bramhan. How does one
get interest in bramhan.  

ans:  One who has nishta : (steadiness of purpose) one can have shraddha (interest)
what is nishta?  nishta means that a person is not interested in any other thing
even when repeatedly induced by friends, or environment or cicumstances like
poverty or experiences in life.

How does one get interest in bramhan?

no body gets interested in bramhan so easily. when one finds by experience
that other pursuits one has taken always has lead to sadness of some sort, then
that person realizes that only bramhan is happiness and all else is misery.

the truth that material pursuits have  drawbacks : ie. being
mixed with sadness, cause for future sadness, not complete, etc. is not 
easily realizable.  One should realize this with very little experimentation
and trust in Sriptures and words of gurus. One cannot say that " I will 
lead a full life and find out everything by experience" this will defeat the
purpose and is too time consuming.

why do you say that it is not natural to have interest in moksha or release?
(this is not in sanathkumara conversation)
it seems that there were two friends - a prince and a minister's son. they once
went served a sage and by sage's vision understood that they had to spend
10 lives each and then they could get salvation.  then the prince told
the minister's son "please help me get salvation, since you know by (sage's)
vision that I will be a pig in the next birth, after my death,
 look for me as soon as I am
reborn and kill me immediately.  then I will be born as a tiger please hunt me
down later and so on and on and on. then after 10 lives I will get salvation.
please make that happen quickly so that I will attain salvation soon.

prince died after a few years, and minister's son searched for the prince as
advised and guided by the sage.  prince was born as a pig and by the time
minister's son could find the pig, the pig was found rolling in dirt and debris
with so many other piglets and other pigs.  Minister's son went near that 
particular pig (recognising by sages' help) and drew out his sharp sword 
and tried to kill the pig.  that pig started talking " oh, minister's son,
I am enjoying so happily with this wonderful body of mine with my family members
and this wonderful gutter which is like my palace!!  why are you so cruel
to come to this resolve of killling me ??.

minister's son answers :  you are actually the prince reborn. you told me
in your previous life that you needed salvation. so I want to help you get it.

pig  said:  please dont kill me.  I enjoy being a pig .. now come to think of
it I dont need salvation.  in my previous birth probably I was not sane enough
to understand the beauty of this body and pleasures of this world around me!!!


See the gimmicks played by the contact with matter. this material attachment is
very powerful. it can delude even a serious aspirant for salvation.!!

TEACHING :

No one seeks bramhan naturally.  sadness in material life and incompleteness
could draw one to higher pursuits. of them search for God is the highest purpose.
bramhan is the highest "sukha" or pleasure one can attain. all else is 
saatishaya : has limits.  for example if one becomes a billionaire, a neighbor
could sport and still make him feel that "you are just a billionaire, I have
ten times as much as you have!".  ie. there is no limits for acquisitions and
there is always a feeling of dearth for material acquisitions.
no wonder : yama in kathopanishad states : "na vittheena tarpaneeyo manushyaha"
"human beings cannot be satiated by any amount of wealth".

teaching:  Bhuma vai tat sukham.  Know that Bhuma : plentitude (unequalled)
is that happiness.  since bramhan is happiness, naturally one should find
happiness in bramhan.  or rather one can find happiness only in bramhan.
craving for happiness is natural. so do find bramhan and attain bliss.

this is the teaching (abridged) of Sanathkumara to Sage Narada.

Krishna