Tuesday 10 July 2007

In the World but not of the World

KADUVELI SIDDHAR WAS famed as a very austere hermit.

He lived on the dry leaves fallen from trees. The king of the country heard of him and offered a reward to one who would prove this man’s worth. A rich dasi agreed to do it. She began to live near the recluse and pretended to attend on him. She gently left pieces of pappadam along with the dry leaves picked by him. When he had eaten them she began to leave other kinds of tasty food along with the dry leaves. Eventually he took good tasty dishes supplied by her. They became intimate and a child was born to them. She reported the matter to the king.

The king wanted to know if she could prove their mutual relationship to the general public. She agreed and suggested a plan of action. Accordingly the king announced a public dancing performance by the dasi and invited the people to it. The crowd gathered and she also appeared, but not before she had given a dose of physic to the child and left it in charge of the saint at home.

As the dance was at its height, the child was crying at home for its mother. The father took the babe in his arms and went to the dancing performance. As she was dancing hilariously he could not approach her with the child. She noticed the man and the babe, and contrived to kick her legs in the dance, so as to unloose one of her anklets just as she approached the place where the saint was. She gently lifted her foot and he tied the anklet. The public shouted and laughed. But he remained unaffected. Yet to prove his worth, he sang a Tamil song meaning:
“For victory, let go my anger!
I release my mind when it rushes away.

If it is true that I sleep day and night quite aware of my Self,
may this stone burst into twain
and become the wide expanse!”

Immediately the stone (idol) burst with a loud noise. The people were astounded.

Thus he proved himself an unswerving jnani. One should not be deceived by the external appearance of a jnani. Verse 181 of Vedanta Chudamani further explains this. Its meaning is as follows:

Although a jivanmukta associated with the body may, owing to his prarabdha, appear to lapse into ignorance or wisdom, yet he is only pure like the ether (akasa) which is always itself clear, whether covered by dense clouds or without being covered by clouds. He always revels in the Self alone, like a loving wife taking pleasure with her husband alone. Though she attends on him with things obtained from others (by way of fortune, as determined by her prarabdha). Though he remains silent like one devoid of learning, his supineness is due to the implicit duality of the vaikhari vak (spoken words) of the Vedas; his silence is the highest expression of the realised non-duality which is after all the true content of the Vedas. Though he instructs his disciples, he does not pose as a teacher in the full conviction that the teacher and disciple are mere conventions born of illusion (maya), and so he continues to utter words like akasvani.

If, on the other hand, he mutters words incoherently like a lunatic, it is because his experience is inexpressible. If his words are many and fluent like those of an orator, they represent the recollection of his experience, since he is the unmoving non- dual One without any desire awaiting fulfilment. Although he may appear grief-stricken like any other man in bereavement, yet he evinces just the right love of and pity for the senses which he earlier controlled before he realised that they were mere instruments and manifestations of the Supreme Being. When he seems keenly interested in the wonders of the world, he is only ridiculing the ignorance born of superimposition. If he appears wrathful he means well to the offenders. All his actions should be taken to be only divine manifestations on the plane of humanity. There should not arise even the least doubt as to his being emancipated while yet alive. He lives only for the good of the world.


Anonymous said...

while reading the story.i read"One should not be deceived by the external appearance of a jnani".please dont speak anything against women.there is so much of injustice being done to the woman and these type of lines are useless they donot provide anything and just build hatred and suspicion.please take care of the text.

Anonymous said...

The term is "jnani" meaning a sage, a liberated sage.

NOT "janani" meaning woman. Pls read the entire post and understand it's context.