Thursday 31 March 2022

Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai verse 2

This is the second in a series of articles that I hope to write on Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai, Bhagavan willing, the completed ones being listed here.

Thursday 24 March 2022

Upadēśa Sāraḥ: Sanskrit text, transliteration and translation (with the original Tamil text)

उपदेश सारः (Upadēśa Sāraḥ), ‘The Essence of Spiritual Teachings’, is Bhagavan’s Sanskrit translation or adaptation of one of the poetic texts that he originally wrote in Tamil, namely உபதேச வுந்தியார் (Upadēśa-v-Undiyār). Like all his original writings, both these versions of this poem are extremely deep and rich in meaning and implication, so in order to understand them clearly and correctly we need to do careful śravaṇa (hearing, reading or studying attentively), manana (considering and thinking deeply about what is meant and implied) and nididhyāsana (deep contemplation on that towards which all these teachings are ultimately pointing, namely our own real nature, which is sat-cit, our fundamental awareness of our own existence, ‘I am’).

Thursday 10 March 2022

Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai: pāyiram, kāppu and verse 1

‘அருளும் வேணுமே. அன்பு பூணுமே. இன்பு தோணுமே’ (aruḷum vēṇumē. aṉbu pūṇumē. iṉbu tōṇumē), ‘Grace also is certainly necessary. Be adorned with love. Happiness will certainly appear’, sings Bhagavan in his concluding statements of the final verse of Āṉma-Viddai, and as he often said, ‘Bhakti is the mother of jñāna’, thereby implying that all-consuming and heart-melting love (bhakti) is the sole means by which we can know and be what we actually are. This truth is implicit in all his teachings, but in no other text does he express it as clearly, emphatically and heart-meltingly as he does in Śrī Aruṇācala Akṣaramaṇamālai.