What a special privilege it was for me when i attended the Talk on Sri Ramana Bhagwan’s ‘Saddarsanam’ as presented by Dr. K. Sadananda at theWashington DC center on the Memorial day weekend.
Sadaji is one of the moderators of the a Yahoo group ‘advaitin’ where he has contributed many valuable posts on the finer nuances of Ultimate Reality‘ by a process of Atma Vichara – a unique contribution of Sri Ramana Bhagwan to Sanatana Dharma.Bhagvadapada’s Advaita philosophy. My only regret was I could not attend the First day of the Talks wherin Sadaji gave a commentary on almost 26 verses of this wonderful scriptural text on forty verses of ‘Reality’ ( aka as Ulladu Narpadu) . But the last 24 verses are equally important as they direct us to the ‘
Sadaji kept the 90 member strong audience ( consisting of all age groups from teens to adults) spellbound with his commentary on the Sanskrit verses with his English commentary. Sadaji never once referred to any notes while reciting the verses . His presentation was flawless and spontaneous and he made it all very interesting by narrating humorous anecdotes, parables and real life experiences. Sadaji adopted a simple and direct approach in unique Ramana style in an easy to understand layman terminology while stating the profound Truth of Non Dual reality (Advaita).
The verses that appealed to me most were the verses on ‘Ego’ – of all the heads the demon Ravana had , his ‘ego head was the last to fall! When that ego head collapsed on the ground , Realization dawned and Ravana was liberated! The sanskrit word for head is ‘masta’ and anything associated with the head is ‘masthisk’ ( the synonym for intellect /mind).
Here is verse 32 :
gavesanat prapaya hrdantaram tat
athaham-anyat sphurati prakrstam
nahamkrtis-tat parameva purnam
Having reached within the heart , by the search , the ‘I’ Notion whose head is broken falls . Then another ‘I’ which is the main one shines forth. It is not the ego but the supreme ‘Fullness’ alone.
The ‘ego’ is the cloud that is covering the ever shining Self , the Sun!
And when one hears this next verse , then you find the ‘key’ that is unlocking your heart ! in Tamil , Heart is refereed to as ‘ullam’ ! The word ‘ul’ has profound meanings in Tamil . Depending on the context ‘ul’ could mean being , thinking , heart and inner space , all associated with indivisible Oneness. Here , it is important to recall the very first verse of Saddarsanam aka as Ulladu Narpadu –
sat-pratyayah kim nu vihaya santam?
hrdy-esa cinta -rahito hrdakhyah
katham smarmas-tam ameyam ekam ?
tasya smrtis-tatra drdhaiva nishta . ( verse 1 )
Can there be thoughts of the existence of objects without the existence principle ? (No) . The existence named as hrt is in the heart itself , free from thought . How can we remember that one immeasurable existence ? Its remembrance is in the form of firm abidance in it .
This is the first verse and that is the True vision of Truth ( Saddarsanam)
” Seeing the Truth is being the Truth”
The Washingtonians are indeed indebted to Sadaji for bringing the best ‘stimulus’ package in these troubled times.We would like to thank Sadaji for bringing the eternal message of ‘Vedanta’ into the hearts of everyone,young and old , rich or poor . That is Sadaji’s gift to our community via the Platform of Chinmaya Mission.
It is rare to see Selfless Teachers like Sadaji spending two full days explaining and commenting on these Forty – all in the interest of ‘loka Sangraham’ ! ( the greater good for the community)!
A verse from Srimad Bhagwat gita comes to mind!
saktah karmany avidvamso
yatha kurvanti bharata
kuryad vidvams tathasaktas
cikirsur loka-sangraham ( 3:25)
As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, similarly the learned may also act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path
I am glad I did attend this camp and i wish all of you were there too ! What a wonderful ‘treat’ this retreat was ! Can you imagine learning the entire Vedanta within 40 verses ? Each verse is a gem and we thank Sadaji for placing this ‘treasure’ within our reach.
For those of you , who would like to read ‘Saddarsanam ‘ , you can order your own copy from Chinmaya mission . The commentary by Swami Tejomayananda is Divine.
May I now end this small tribute to the eternal Truth called ‘sanatana dharma ‘ with this immortal verse from upanishads ?
“OM Poornamadah Poornamidam Poornaad Poornamudachyate; Poornasya Poornamaadaaya Poornamevaavashisyate”.
Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shantihi!