Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mandalasa Upadesha

Title: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 10, 2012, 06:27:25 PM
In Markandeya purana there is this lullaby called Madalasa Upadesha. The story is that Madalasa was an enlightened Queen who gave birth to a child. When the child cried, instead of diverting the child's attention with various objects she chose to introduce him to the Truth. And that truth is sung in the form of a sweet lullaby which is called madalasa upadesha or madalasa putra upadesha.

I have, earlier, written an article on this but discontinued it due to some purpose. Today as I was revisiting this text, I felt a desire to write something about this and this thread is a result. This writing is really my salutations to the wonderful teaching.This is a really sweet song. The mother is said to be "madalasa" which literally means one who has won over alasa or laziness. One may take it to be the Mother Sruthi teaching all of us. We are all children because we cry. Anyone who cries is a child. And we cry for various reasons. when a child cries, its because it feels unhappy about something. Here the mother is not trying to divert the child's attention by showing it a few toys. She directly teaches it the Truth which is really a joy to listen to. As we see the teaching, we will also try and see how the teaching is really an aid for us to "Just Be". This teaching, friends, is exceptional to say the least.

As we study this lets Relax into the Self !
Title: Re: Madalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 10, 2012, 06:29:09 PM
Verse 1:

शुद्धोसि बुद्धोसि निरँजनोऽसि
सँसारमाया परिवर्जितोऽसि
सँसारस्वप्नँ त्यज मोहनिद्राँ
मँदालसोल्लपमुवाच पुत्रम्।

Suddhosi bubbhosi niranjanosi
samsara maya parivarjitosi
samsara svapnam tyaja moha nidra
mandalasollapamuvacha putram

Madalasa says to her crying son:
"You are pure, Enlightened, and spotless.
Leave the illusion of the world
and wake up from this deep slumber of delusion."

In this context, as I already mentioned, we are all children. A child is one who cries. So as long as we cry for the various objects of senses or for the various objects of security -- we remain children. And we need to "Relax" into this teaching. The mother says "You are already Suddha", Pure. Pure means I am there and none else IS. I and I alone AM. Thats what Pure means. When I say "Pure Milk", what does it mean ? There is milk and only milk - no water. So thats Suddha. When The child sees itself as Suddha, it means that there can be no external cause that can trouble it !

And then the child is "Niranjanah", Spotless. We are all spotless. We cannot be improved upon. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. So Just Be. Here, now. Just Remain. Because we know we are spotless and unimproveable. That is to say we are already  Englightened. Nothing new to gain!

Thats what the mother is stating in the very beginning! And when that is said, various questions can arise. The child may ask "Oh Mother, you say i am spotless, but i see myself to be full of limitations and errors", the child would cry. And that means the child needs to be not just told that it is Spotless, but needs to be revealed to the child. This lullaby is for that very purpose alone!

as I said, the mother simply reveals the truth in such simple and straight forward words that we will find ourselves reveling in this truth as we mull over this teaching. I will continue this thread in parallel to the main thread on Bhagavad Gita , Shankara Bhasyam ... the progress will be slow but every step will be a joy ride.
Title: Re: Madalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 10, 2012, 06:31:32 PM
When we function in the world, various incidents and various happenings will make us feel "little". We are physically limited and even intellectually we are limited. So when we compare with someone else, we might find that this person is better than me in certain aspects. This creates phobias and complexes. Vedanta or this teaching is not a psychology lecture. However, it takes the student to a totally different dimention where one is able to see oneself as "Spotless". When I am Spotless and Pure, where is the question of feeling "little".

The idea is to replace the feeling of "littleness" with a feeling of "Fulfilledness" and more importantly to do it in such a way that it cannot be troubled ! So a liberated person is a "Ever Fulfilled Person". A person who is ever Satisfied with Himself as He is [i will use "He" one may replace it with "She". This discussion is far beyond the bodily differences]. Here madalasas is literally taking the child to that state of Total Satisfied Living. That is liberated living. I do not feel "I Lack" anything and therefore I remain happy. One may ask "How can I say I lack nothing? There seems to be always something thats missing in my life! Without a few things I will always remain unfullfilled. How can you say I am ever Fulfilled ?" and this teaching is really an answer to that!

We look at ourselves as Spotless with all the limitations of the body and the mind !

Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 11, 2012, 11:41:25 AM
The mother says, samsara is maya. Maya literally means Ya Ma, that which is not there. But then, if it is not there, then why would anyone discuss about it ? We do not discuss about the horns of a hare [sashasringa] or the child of a barren women [vandhyakumara]. We do not discuss these because they are not there at all. They are not there and more importantly they do not "Appear" to be there also!

However when we see a ghost in a shadow, that ghost is not there and yet it "appears" to be there to the person who is seeing it. Samsara is maya in this sense. And when we say this we should be able to really see how the world is indeed maya. The text itself explains in later posts why samsara is maya. Knowing the world as maya, give it up! This is an interesting statement. This world cannot hold us. We hold onto it with all our might.  The shadow does not come and announce to us that it is a ghost. We have imagined a ghost in that shadow. So what are we supposed to do ? We are supposed to give up this imagination. thats the suggestion.

Tyaja moha nidra, give up the slumber called delusion. Its slumber because we are not alert and we do not have clarity that its our own projection! This samsara is such a projection.

There is a story that a student goes to a guru and says "Sir please help me get rid of this world". The guru hears the request and says "Ok, follow me" and walks into the forest [perhaps he was living in an ashram in the forest :)]. The guru walked rather swiftly and very soon the disciple could not find his guru. Just then the disciple heard a cry from the guru "Help! Please Help!". He ran in the direction of the cry and to his surprise he found his guru holding onto a tree and crying "Help! This tree is not leaving me! Please help!"
The disciple said "Sir how can you say the tree is not leaving you when you are holding onto it and the tree is not holding onto you?"
The guru said "My son, thats what is my question to you. Please tell me , which part of the world is holding onto you ?"

One of the aims of study of a scripture like this is to also see how the world does not hold us in its grip. Its we, with our imagination and ideas, that hold onto the world and then feel caught. I am not able to escape from the clutches of this worldliness , we complain. But those clutches which appear as the mandibles of death are really our own mental projections! We need to recognize this and undo those projections. We need to recognize this and leave our hold onto he tree called world that we are holding onto. And that sets us free, because we are all always free!

The Mother says "Leave your hold", as even Swami Vivekananda says "Let go thy hold, Sanyasin Bold, say OM TAT SAT OM"!
Thats the kind of suggestion. Leave your hold and wake up! Wake up from the slumber of self created imaginations. We will clearly see in the next few verses how its self created. The way in, also explains what the way out is.

We first meditate on the objects of the world and create "Attachment" and then we say we are attached. The first time I hear a name, I have absolutely no "attachment" towards it. For example what kind of attachment would anyone have for sdswwsds ? Nothing! When I heard about a flavor of icecream for the first time, there were no feelings. But when my friends say "Thats a must have", slowly I develop a craving for the item. And then I eat it and slowly the craving develops. So we develop our cravings and attachments my meditating on the objects of the world.

Even as: in courtship what does the man do ? He sends her flowers and writes a small poem on a piece of paper. The girl sees all that and starts "Thinking" about the boy and slowly "Love" is developed. Attachment is formed by constantly harping on something. if I do not "harp" on the objects, they have no power to make me feel attached.

Lets explore these ideas further as we progress with these verses and see where they lead us to.
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 11, 2012, 12:34:14 PM
This is really a lullaby, it first soothes the anguished hearts by saying "You are blemish-less, pure and enlightened".
"But then  ...", even before any objection could be raised, all the suffering is dismissed as "Maya" -- like a shadow imagined to be a ghost.

When I see that the world is maya, like a dream ... it no more haunts me. Its capacity to create worry, tension, trouble etc is gone. So I am naturally relaxed.
All blemishes I imagine upon myself or all the impurities others try to point out in us : they are all really like the ghosts imagined seeing shadows. Nothing more. So we relax -- no where to go! Nothing to do! Here and now, we are free. And we will see how this is so.
This is not to say Sadhanas are not needed. Sadhana itself is to "relax" into the lap of God now! thats sadhana!Sadhanas need not be a troture. Sadhana is to see that nothing can torture me! Its "Relaxing" into Just Being Again and again.

In the next verse, we will see that the mother introduces Self inquiry :).  LOL! As I said, the whole journey is a relaxed joy ride! Sadhana is relaxing into the moment. Self inquiry is relaxing into the "Being" that is I AM. The vocabulary via which the Mother introduces Self inquiry in the next verse is also very interesting.

I will share that tomorrow. This sharing is beautiful and a joy, friends. As even hearing this , reading this or learning this -- they are all like a joy ride. Life is indeed a holliday trip when everything I do , I do it "Just Being" :)

Title: Mandalasa's Self Inquiry
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 12, 2012, 12:07:32 PM
शुद्धोऽसि रे तात तेऽस्ति नाम
हि तत्कल्पनयाधुनैव।
देहँ इदँ तेऽस्ति
त्वँ रोदिषि कस्य हेतो॥

My Child, you are Ever Pure! You do not have a name. A name is only an imaginary superimposition on you.
This body made of five elements is not you nor do you belong to it. This being so, what can be a reason for your crying ?

Gently and coaxingly the mother introduces the child to self inquiry. Its a child so the introduction should be very gentle. She says "Oh Child, You are Pure". When such words are heard one feels little happy. That also introduces us to the power of words. Words create various ideas and emotions in us. We can clearly see this when we observe our own self talk. What kind of vocabulary do we use when we are feeling sad, worried etc ? Please see within. We will clearly recognize that words create various emotions!

The mother says "You do not have a name"! Usually mother introduces the child to a name, here the enlightened mother is first telling the child "You are not a name"! And then she says "A name is only a temporary superimposition: a kalpana, imagination". For transactional purposes we need a name. unfortunately our whole life story becomes a "web" of words ! If we look at our own life story "I am udai, studied so and so subject, this is my qualification, this is my nature...." every thing is a word and this entire web of words is built around the name "udai".
When someone says "udai is unintelligent"... that "Conflicts" with the word web already present in mind !

We will see this very carefully and slowly. With nice examples as we proceed with this discussion.
Title: Re: Mandalasa's Self Inquiry
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 12, 2012, 01:00:19 PM
Words create various emotions and ideas in us. Lets take a few simple situations and see how words have this potential to create lot of emotions:

Case 1:
       There is a dish before me, which I do not like at all. What is the first perception? A nameless dish. And then from the form we see and get its "name" and with the "name" all its related ideas. And then the thought "I hate this dish", "yacc" [incidentally its the name of a compiler generator. but its also a common expression expressing dislike for dishes". And so suppose I do not stop there. I intentionally force myself to "eat" it. what happens ? Please observe the vocabulary within. "This taste is very bad" , "Ah, I cannot bear this".

What if I eat it without allowing "words". I do not name the dish at all ! I do not "name" the sensation that is in my mouth. I do not use any words for my "reaction on the sensation". What happens ?

If I do not know the name of the dish , I cannot ask for it. Does knowing the name necessitate that I have to "use" it and all the related "words" ?

Case 2:
      I have failed in an endeavour. And whats the kind of vocabulary that goes on in the mind ?

Suppose the following train of thoughts happen : I have failed, I have lost all opportunities, I am doomed. What a waste of life. I cannot do anything !

And lets say another train of thoughts: I have failed, but I am not going to let myself down! I will fight ! I will not let these failures make me meek.

Please see the usage of the words and how they affect our mental states!
Its just that the mental states are affected by the words and vocabulary we use.
we both torture ourselves and pamper ourselves with internal vocabulary.
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 12, 2012, 02:43:35 PM
That words create various emotions is very interesting to note. Let us now try to see this more carefully so that we understand why the Mother is trying to introduce is to namelessness.

We can easily understand when we get into the practicals. In this kind of learning we are not divorced from practicality. Let us now take a simple case study and see how things are really working.

Let us say on a holliday, I decide to "Simply Sit". This simply sitting, provided there is someone who gives the food and i already had enough sleep ... if i decide to Just Sit, and do nothing else. Frankly, its a wonderful test for ourselves. What happens if we simply sit. Various reactions can take place. But before that there are various questions:

1. Thoughtlessly, can I move from the place ?
2. If there is a thought "Lets move from here" , does it mean I have to move? Can I ignore that ?
3. Can there be a thought without words ?
4. Without the thought "I am bored" , can I feel bored ?
5. Without the thought "I want to go out", can I feel as if I am missing the fun outside  ?
Title: Mandalasa: You are Already Enlightened
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 12, 2012, 05:03:56 PM
The Answer to all the questions are a big "NO".

Here, in this text, Mandalasa does not say "You need to become enlightened". She says "buddhosi, Shuddosi" -- meaning you are already that!

The crying is "self created". Even when we hear "you are nameless" : thats already a fact. A name is "given" to me. I have a name - I am not the name. And more importantly, the whole universe is really nameless. In my previous article I tried to express that words are a major source of conflict. Thoughts are made up of words and all mental conflicts are really a set of words colliding with another set of words!!

the moment I resolve names, there are no mental conflicts. So I can use names and yet resolve them when not needed: never for a moment getting caught in the trap of this maya created by "words".

All bondage is really self created. All crying, is a self creation. If we stop we are done. Thats why Bhagavan said "Just Be".
We will continue with this discussion.
Title: A Just Be Game For Kids :)
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 13, 2012, 10:41:25 AM
     When we were kids we used to play an interesting game. Someone would shout: "Statue" and we would stand like statues in what ever pose we were. And then after some time the person would shout: "Relax" and we would get a chance to move :).

As I grew up, I started to feel that this game was boring ! and now as I take a re-look : it is perhaps the most interesting game :)! I started playing it again :).

Lets now play this game in the mandalasa / Ramana style :).

Here we tell ourselves statue... which means we let the body "be" where it is. Mandalasa says "you are not of the body and the body is not of you". The body is left where it is. Its made up of what ? Its made up of the pancha-bhutas like earth, water, fire, air, space ! now none of these are cognitive :). In the presence of awareness they "seem" to be cognitive. So the body is left like a "dead" log of wood where it is.

And we remain.

The body is here ... seated or lying or even inclined the way Ramana sits :).

Totally still. We make sure its "Relaxed" so that none of the parts are "very stiff". :).

this game is pure fun. AS mother said: this body is not mine, i am not of the body. Lets "imagine" this is "realized". :) Infact even as we imagine we tend to see it as it is ... clearly. The body lying or sitting there has no demands. If I see a beautiful girl, the eyes do not demand that i sould keep seeing her! If a misquito were to be on my nose, there is just a sensation... who forces me to scratch ?

:) now the body is just there... movement less and i take away the attention from body and remain as "Awareness". The Mother has given a wonderful clue for this as well: You are Nameless ... and so is the world [next verse says this explicitly]. What has happened now ? I do not use any words at the mental level ! And Remain seated as awareness.

And this we can do anytime, anywhere :). This game, as i call it, is just fun. As one plays it one becomes an expert in it. One just is! The body is motionless. Mind is wordless. Awareness just is. I like another way of describing this... The body is like a room. Awareness is like the space within and there is nothing inbetween : no words. So the body , like the room is still and dead. The mind is dead as there are no words. And awareness just IS. One just needs to divert attention away from all words, need not be worried about a few words that may still pop up. But as and when one notices a few words, one simply withdraws attention and remains as awareness. wordless.

And then even during the day to day activities one remains the same nameless Awareness even while there are words and the body is moving :).

I know I have left a lot of things unsaid... and infact One has to "See" for oneself. It cannot be explained further. This game is so simple and yet the most powerful one for meditation. Zen people often observe breath for some time to make sure mind is not getting into words. And they call it zazen. In Hinduism there is what is called Shambhavi maha mudra that resembles this [not the one taught by isha yoga for sure]. And then this is also Being as "I AM" if one can see it that way :)

The mother has shown this to the child. The body is not urs and you do not belong to the body. ITs made of the five elements none of which are cognitive and then you are nameless and a name is simply a superimposition on you! What a simple and straight teaching! and yet with such child-like simplicity.

Harih om!
Title: Mandalasa Upadesha: The Who Cries, Self Inquiry :)
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 15, 2012, 05:53:08 PM
Verse 3:
वै भवान् रोदिति विक्ष्वजन्मा
महीश सूनूम्।
भौताः सकलेन्दियेषु॥

The essence of the universe does not cry in reality. All is a maya of words, oh Prince! Please understand this. The various qualities you seem to have are are just your imaginations, they belong to the elements that make the senses (and have nothing to do with you).

The mother sweetly introduces the child to itself through its own crying. She says "You feel bad and cry, please tell me who is it that is crying ?" When we cry, we clearly see that the whole universe is as if unconcerned! Lets take a look, the trees, the mountains, the sky, the air, the earth, water: none of them have the least concern! So the universe does not cry, nor does it invoke a cry. Suppose two empty boats hit each other - there is no cry! But if there is a person in both the boats, then they shout at each other. It is always the individuality that cries. And here, the mother is showing the child that there is no individuality in her characteristic coaxing way.

Lets take the example of gold. Suppose I have a lump of gold with me. I may be attached to it. It has no feeling that "this person is my owner". thats why if a theif picks it up, it does not have any protest. While I protest, because here there is a "individuality". In gold there is none. The 5 elements that make this body are all like the gold. None of them have any individuality. Please see this. The body is nothing more than these 5 elements. When in the presence of Awareness, it appears as if "alive". When it cannot "Express" the awareness, its no more than a log of wood. Viveka here is to recognize that even when the body is alive, its no more than jada. The body has no "cry" of its own!
And Awareness never cries!
so who is left ? Whence is this cry arising ? when we say "I feel bad and therefore I cry" who is this "I" ? Whence is the sense of "I AM" arising ? The sense organs dont have any sense of "me". they are "dumb". When i am hungry, the stomach sends a simple singal -- nameless signal. The mind interprets it. And then the stomach does not ask for specific food. What ever eatable stuff I dump in, the stomach is ok. Its the mind that demands specific food. isnt it ?
The Body has no demands. If I like chocolates and I see some ... the body does not demand. The awareness within does not demand either. And Neither of these have any worry or problem if chocolates are not available. Neither of them "cry" for anything !

The mother says "This crying is really a imagination", "This crying is a maya of words". Thats what she says! Words create this sense of lacking ! to illustrate this further: Please tell me can anyone feel a sense of insufficiency without using the words "I lack" or equivalent ?  It could be "i miss", "I dislike", "i want" etc ... but without any such usage of words is it possible to feel a "lacking" ?

Please observe this within. A sense of lacking ,without which no one cries, is but a creation of words and their interplay! Lets not, therefore, say that we should not use words. Words are needed for communcation, but not for self torture. Even as a knife is needed for cutting vegetables but not for cutting ourselves.

Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 17, 2012, 02:43:01 PM
भूतनि भूतैः परिदुर्बलानि
समायाति यथेह पुँसः।
तेस्ति वृद्धिर् तेस्ति हानिः॥

The Elements [that make this body] grow with accumulation of more elements or reduce in size if some elements are taken away. This is what is seen in a body's growing in size or becoming lean depending upon the consumption of food, water etc. You do not have growth or decay.

:) If there is a lump of clay, we add more clay and it becomes a larger lump of clay. We take away a little clay and the lump becomes smaller. Thats what the Mother compares the growth and decay of this body to. The food we eat, accumulates with the same kind of matertial in this body. This body is made up of only pancha bhutas , as we have seen. So when more of this is added to the body, the body grows and when the elements resolve into the universe, the body seems to decay.

I, being a witness of all this, have neither a growth nor any decay.

This is the attitude of a jnani towards the body: its a lump of clay. What ever attitude is natural for a jnani is a sadhana for the sadhakas. A sadhaka looks at the body as a lump of clay that grows and decays but he sees himself as untouched by the changes of the body. This non-identification with the body is a practise for a sadhaka. For jnani, its natural.

How to practise this ? Please see.
Suppose the body is sick. There are some sensations which are not comfortable. If one is unaware of all the sensations, as in deep sleep, there is really nothing to do. When one is aware of the sensations, one "sees" the sensations. One is the witness of the sensations. Its important to observe that one does not "Remain a Witness", One is the Witness. There is no choice here. I am the Witness.
Then one can observe what kind of vocabulary is going on in mind.
The vocabulary that goes on in the mind casts a web and thats where one has to be careful.
Lets see whats happening.
At first there is just a sensation. Pain, lets say.
Its a nameless sensation, to start with.
And there is discomfort. One has to "Zoom into" this process ... as if rewinding a tape slowly ... to see what happened.
Sensation and the brain automatically sends "Fight" signal.
Please see. Certain reactions are inwired into the brain for faster response. So the brain immediately says "React" and we shout "Ah!"
This far it fine. This is discomfort. Same thing happens if we chew neem leaves. The brain's internal reaction spontaneously sends us a "vomit" reaction. The body reacts to it.

Next ? We say "I am uncomfortable". "I dont like this", "I cannot bear it" etc. This mental talk. Please observe. It is this mental talk by which we are "dragging" the pain into suffering! We are first dragging the pain onto ourselves and converting it into suffering through this process. When this is not done... when we do not drag this onto ourselves and say "I suffer", one remains with the nameless Sensation. The body reacts as it should. One does not bother to change it!

This is non-identification with the body. One looks at the body as a statue or a inanimate object. One does not believe it has "Feelings" etc. By stopping to believe this body is alive, one sees it as jada in the true sense. The body has absolutely no demands and we have to see this clearly.Suppose someone puts my finger in fire, instantaneously it moves away... and an inanimate object's reaction to another inanimate object. One stops to see "Feeling" there. Or one stops to drag the body's reactions to oneself. One simply divorces oneself from that body and its movements.
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 17, 2012, 04:14:25 PM
One should stop believing the idea that "i am this body"  --- this brings about indifference. This is the teaching of Mandalasa when she said "This body is not yours and you are not of this body". A part of this understanding is to look at hte body as a breathing statue. These things develop slowly. One should Start seeing like this: The Self, which is Awareness is me.
And I shine through this body and all bodies !

This needs to be taken within and being seated with this vision, one has to start looking at the world. This cognitive change takes place only after long preparation for most of us. The preparation is in terms of understanding and also in terms of living it. Both have to be done simultaneously. when we have a living example like Sri Ramana, it makes the living this idea easier.

We need to develop indifference: towards body, towards events, towards the happenings... an eye of indifference has to be developed based upon the understanding that I Am Awareness -- unconcerned with all this. This Nischaya, or Conclusion, has to be Dradha, Firm. Firmly we need to develop these ideas.
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 02:59:44 PM

त्वम् कँचुके शीर्यमाणे निजोस्मिन्
तस्मिन् देहे मूढताँ मा व्रजेथाः।
शुभाशुभौः कर्मभिर्देहमेतत्
मृदादिभिः कँचुकस्ते पिनद्धः॥

You are in the body which is like a jacket that gets worn out day by day. Do not have the wrong notion that you are the body. This body is like a jacket that you are tied to, for the frutification of the good and bad karmas.

To stop identifying with this body is very important. Saints like sri Ramakrishna used the word "this" for the body, rather than "me". The point is to recognize that this body is like a vehicle for us. We sit in the vehicle and travel in this world, the vehicle is always distinct from us. If the vehicle breaks down, our movement is restricted but "we are not affected"!

When we start to look at this body as a jacket , its a meditation to undo the identification with it. Suppose there is a pain, who complains ? Please note that its not our intention to foolishly spoil this jacket. The jacket is there, it can be used. When it gets worn out, its cast away.

This body is a byproduct of our karmas. When a particular body is given , certain enjoyments become possible and certain troubles also come along with it. So If I have a dog's body, i cannot appreciate Rabindranath Tagore's poems. I simply do not have that kind of a body. And i I am born as a human, I do not enjoy the kind of energy that an elephant has. So a body is given to us by God based upon the kind of prarabdha karma that is enfolding.

We have a human body and this is a wonderful chance to know the Truth and free ourselves from all suffering! We should be careful not to miss this point. Lets not identify with this body and loosen the bondage !
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 03:55:46 PM

तातेति किँचित् तनयेति किँचित्
अँबेति किँचिद्धयितेति किँचित्।
ममेति किँचित् न ममेति किँचित्
त्वम् भूतसँघँ बहु म नयेथाः॥

Some may refer to you are Father and some others may refer to you a Son or
some may refer to you as mother and some one else may refer to you as wife.
some say "you are mine" and some others say "you are not mine"
These are all references to this "Combination of Physical Elements", Do not identify with them.

As even looking the body as a jacket or a dead log of wood was a meditation for a sadhaka and natural for the jnani ... all these statements are meditations for sadhakas and natural for jnanis. These are practical and one needs to apply them with care in the day to day life. When someone says "You are mine", one should be careful not to get carried away. And when someone says "You  are not mine" again one should maintain that viveka that these are transitory relationships based upon this combination of elements called Body.

When it was said, in an earlier verse, that : You do not have a name... it is to say that name is incidental only. That is to say that it is given for an operational purpose only. Its a super imposition, which should be "used".

when a person says "udai is a fool", for example, here ... the words "udai" and "fool" evoke certain mental state. The words "udai" and "fool" are useful for operational purposes, but when they create "automatic" reaction from me, they become a burden. To see myself as nameless is to create a "gap" between the words with their emotional conditionings in the mind and ME. To see myself as nameless is not to disable me from entering my name in a passport certificate. Please observe this. To see myself as nameless is to distance myself from the automatic web of emotions that get generated based upon those names. That gap or distance gives me the freedom to "act" rather than "react". So I heard some swamiji explain: "if someone says You are a Monkey"... we have the mental space to "act" on it and not "react" . To react means to simply shout back "Oh, ya? You are a Donkey!". Thats a reaction. But to act means to verify if really I am a monkey and then respond "Yes, I and everyone of us are descendents of monkeys but then its not right to address us as monkeys because we thinkg we are more evolved and our species has got a different name" :) Thats a response.
Please observe the difference. Mind, as i said, is wired in such a way to react rather than act in many circumstances. When I do not remain with the "nameless and wordless Presence" ... when I do not remain as Awareness with a clear gap from the mental/emotional world ... the thoughts "Carry me".

What applies to name also applies to the various "Relations" like father, mother, brother, son, wife, daughter etc. They are all words with a lot of emotions, ideas etc . Just the word and all those ideas pop up in mind. I should have the mental space to not get "Carried away" by the thoughts that arise due to all these relationships. Which is possible if I do not see myself as defined by those relationships! Which is to say, that I relate, but I am not defined by the relationship.

Lets zoom into this a little and see it more carefully...
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 05:23:43 PM
Never is a relationship a bondage. But we make all relationships into bondage. We will explore this very carefully, but what exactly is a relationship ?

All our relations are in the mind and they are all with reference to the body. When a child is born, the body is there, but no relations are there for the child. I may feel this child is my son or daughter, but the child does not feel any relationship. As the child grows, he is fed with memories and thoughts and out of those memories and thoughts certain relationships are formed. So now the child has a father , a mother, a relative, a friend, a brother or a sister etc. As the child grows up he picks up new relationships which are nothing but mental roles he picks up. The role is simply a collection of thoughts, ideas, memories etc which are all based on the body.

Lets take a simple example to see how relationships are formed. What happens is a teenager sees a girl and the first perception he has is a simple perception of the girl, nameless simple perception. Then the next thought, "she is beautiful", "I would like to befriend her" ... and very soon he is in love with her!! That relationship of a lover is simply a combination of his thoughts, ideas, memories etc. All based on some words. And words act as triggers for all the thoughts related to the relationship. This needs to be observed.

And then, suppose, the girl leaves him. The thoughts of the girl are there in his mind, but the girl is not there to relate to. And he is suddenly in intense suffering. When the thoughts of the relationship is there, but they cannot be expressed as the body itself is not available, the person is missed. This is exactly how we miss someone. Any word can trigger those memories and the moment those memories are there, there is suffering !

The thoughts of the related person along with the person's physical presence are both required to correspond. The sweet moments in any relationship are remembered and when the person cannot related there is intense disappointment and sorrow.

Now if the thoughts and memories related to a relationship are not there, where is the relationship ? the physical presence with no related thoughts would leave the person non-responsive. the thoughts without physical presence makes the person disappointed. Both are problems.
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 05:37:42 PM
I need the thoughts to respond in a relationship. And yet, when thoughts are there, they should not "Force" me to respond. Always thoughts are wonderful as suggestions, problem starts when they start to "drag" us with them. Thats when we say, I am forced by my emotions. Emotions are like a flood of thoughts. And a person gets carried away in that stream of thoughts landing himself in troubles.

Friends, lets observe impartially. Are thoughts a problem ? Mental conflicts are a problem - not thoughts. When there is a conflict at the mental level, thats a cause for stress. For example, suppose i am seated in a garden and I hear some sweet chirpings of birds. That is not a "burden". However if i hear a noise thats disturbing , then it becomes a problem. Do we see this ? The sound of temple bell... is that a problem ever ? It is like a pointer to Silence. Its like a Prayer that Shows us the God called Silence ! But if there is a bulldozer sound thats a disturbance, because we "fight" with it -- there is a collision.

no event "collides" with us to create a conflict. for example, I am eager to watch a TV programme and the power goes off ! The event and corresponding thought take place in the mind, unless i am seated with closed eyes and am in deep meditation. The thoughts happen. Anyone who cannot be in meditation for the whole day, have no choice here but to face the thoughts. Only in deep and seated meditation one can [probably] do away with thoughts. During the day to day activities, the thoughts are there. A event takes place and the corresponding thoughts happen in the mind. No choice here ! Thoughts do not seek our permission to arise. Do we see this ?

When these thoughts arise... I am waiting to watch a TV Programme and the power goes off... simple event. Now true to the event, there is a thought in my mind. and the "wanting person" who was eager to watch the TV programme... feels "unhappy". This person "collides" with the "Event" . suppose there is also another person who is simply seated ... not wanting anything... and the same event takes place... there is no "collision". The Event did not create mental conflict. Mental conflict always needs a mental Form, a Person to Collide with the happenings or events!

In this verse, the mother says, "You have no Relations"... One has to see oneself as "Asangah", the One who has no relations at all. One has to "be" like that. And being like that, no relation or events related to the relations "Collide" with us! Without collisions, since the thoughts related to the relationships are there, one can function comfortably. There is no burden!
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 05:42:56 PM

That I am in a relationship is not a problem. It just means that I have various thoughts related to the relationship. A person who thinks these thoughts are causing a problem for him, tries to move away from the relationship. Really speaking its not the thoughts that cause a problem but a mental conflict is a problem. The thought is fine... but when it starts to "drag" me then its a problem. When the thought "hits" me thats a problem.

and I get hit by a thought when I am a thought. A thought cannot hit the body, neither can the thought hit the space like awareness. A stone hits a physical form, not the space. A thought can hit a mental form, not the mental space which is Awareness. When I see myself as nameless Self, which is the Wordless being -- the Awareness itself. I remain as the Awareness and then no thought collides with me! I remain Asangah.

All relations are with the body and i am not the body -- the body is like a jacket. So now, none of the thougths related to body/relationships can hit me or collide with me !

so I revel as awareness unaffected by mind and everything that happens in mind !
This is the simple but beautiful teaching!
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 06:30:21 PM

सुखानि दुःखोपशमाय भोगान्
सुखाय जानाति विमूढचेताः।
तान्येव दुःखानि पुनः सुखानि
जानाति विद्धनविमूढचेताः॥

The deluded look at objects of enjoyments as giving happiness by removing the unhappiness. The wise clearly see that the same object which gives happiness now will become a source of unhappiness.

su-kha... good-Space or good mental space.
duh-kha ... bad - space or bad mental space.

bhoga is indulgence. The deluded think that by indulging in the objects that appear to create comfortable situations [ie, sukha], they will become happy and unhappiness will be gone. But the wise can see that the same objects become sources of discomfort when one indulges in them for long!

This is so for any object. Take any sense indulgence. Excess indulgence makes the body diseased or averse to the object. This is because the objects do not have "Happiness". When a person runs after an object for happiness, its not the object that he is running after. Its the happiness he derives from the object that matters. Its the sense of fulfillment that he derives by obtaining the object that makes the object important.

The fundamental error we commit in seeking objects is equating Comforts with Happiness and Discomforts with Unhappiness. This is a totally mistaken understanding. For example, to eat a curry thats not tasty is not comfortable. Thats so for anyone, be it Ramana or me. To take bitter medicine is not comfortable. But a Ramana would not allow the discomfort to get converted into unhappiness. Thats the most important point to observe. We should also not convert a comfortable situation into "Happiness". If we do this, it becomes a habit. We need to be very careful here. Brain has certain predefined responses. For example, if my tongue is too sensitive, too much of masala etc would make the curry uncomfortable. When there is discomfort, it is not equivalent to comfort. Discomfort is not equal to comfort, but I do not allow the "Equanimity" of mind to get disturbed when there is discomfort. When there is comfort also I do not allow the equanimity of the mind to get disturbed. Which means I maintain an attitude of samatvam,equanimity. This is very important. I remain relaxed and do not "Collide" with the situation. Which means that when discomfort arises, I try to set it right and if its not possible, I bear it without using such words as "I am unhappy, i cannot bear this, this is not acceptable" etc. Such vocabulary is used to "Fight" with the situations, isnt it ? So I accept the discomfort, when its unavoidable.
When comforts come, I make sure I am not addicted to them. That is I make sure I do not use such words as "Without this I cannot live" , "this makes me fulfilled" etc.

Its also delusion to think that by replacing the objects of discomfort with objects of comfort we gain happiness. The happiness quotient of a person is determined by the ability of the person to remain as Self.

The objects do not have happiness to give us! They are like a dry bone. Sri Ramakrishna used to tell this story: A dog was chewing a dry bone and it felt the blood oozing out of its own gums. The taste of the blood prompted it to chew even more ... All sense enjoyments are like this. Happiness comes from within and not the objects. the objects do not have any happiness to give us. We simulate a mental condition using those objects and find happiness. Thus we get into a dependence.

If we clearly see, Happiness is in Relaxed Being as Awareness: detaching from the body. We are already fulfilled, we have already reached... no where to go, nothing to do ... in being thus there is happiness. Happiness is to Just Be! Happiness is not in the sense objects. We simulate a temporary just be like state when we indulge in the sense pleasure. And then we think that the object is giving us that happiness. Thats the mistake of a deluded mind.

A wise person sees that the object cannot be the source because we fail to get happiness at other tiems from the same object. so the happiness has to be with me and not the object of pleasure. Knowing this, one has to simply Relax into one's own being [which is awareness] ... and remain as a nameless entity without identification with the body and without any hankerings for anything ! that absolute detachment is Happiness ! 
Title: Re: Mandalasa Upadesha
Post by: Tushnim.Asanam on October 18, 2012, 07:08:25 PM
यानँ चित्तौ तत्र गतश्च देहो
देहोपि चान्यः पुरुषो निविष्ठः।
ममत्वमुरोया न यथ तथास्मिन्
देहेति मात्रँ बत मूढरौष।

The vehicle that moves on the ground is different from the person in it similarly this body is also different from the person who is inside!
The owner of the body is different from the body! Ah how foolish it is to think I am the body!

This is the last verse of the mandalasa upadesha. This poem is so beautiful! Its beautiful because it introduces us to ourselves. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said "Just Be" and thats a wonderful suggestion. Just be is not really a "instruction", its to say "dont take yourself to be anything other than the Being thats 'I AM'". It can be read as "Relax and Be , without 'Becoming'".

Becoming is to take myself to be a "mental entity" , "I am intelligent" is becoming. " I am fool" is another becoming. Ramana says , "I AM", remain with that, no need to become anything else after that. That "intelligent", "fool", "spiritual" etc are words and those words have a certain mental connotation. When I say mental connotation, I mean they invoke various thoughts. And those thoughts collide with "me" if I remain as a "person" in mind. I should remain as the Space Like Awareness within - totally untouched by any thoughts. Relaxed and remaining as Awareness, atonce there is pure Bliss.

The body has no sense of "I AM" and it does not feel owned by me. Only, I drag the reactions and feelings of the body onto myself or collide with those states and create problems. This is the essential teaching of Mandalasa upadesha: You are Not the Body and Body is not You. Remain as the Nameless Awareness and there can be no mental conflicts with what ever happens ! Thus be Free, Just Be!

What a teaching and what a joy to share this with everyone !

OM! Sri Guru Charanarpitamastu!
Harih Om!


  1. Namaste sir..can u send me notes on shatashloki by shankara..have seen them on this earlier

    1. Dear Viju Jaidhara ji,
      :) I have not written Shatashloki notes.


  2. Hi Tushnim. I really love this text and would like to find the original source. I can see there is a great closeness to Markandeya 23.11 onwards but do not find the shuddhosi, buddhosi first verse there. This is intriguing and also verse 17 is not included in the Madalasa lullably. Is there an established tradition for this text. Please let me know. I am very interested in this.
    My name is Julian

    1. Hi Julian,
      thank you for the comment. I am also not really sure where these verses originate from. I was of the opinion that they are from Markandeya puranam !

      But these are fantastic verses. There is a very nice commentary on this by swami suddhananda of samvit sagar trust.

      Udai Shankar

    2. Hi Uday,

      You mention commentary on Mandalasa by swami suddhananda of samvit sagar trust. Is this commentary online or is it in a book?


  3. Very beautifully explained the stotras which gives the essence of the Vedas and Sanatan Dharma.

  4. I stumbled upon your blog post when i was searching for "Madalasa putra upadesha"
    Wealth of Knowledge.. Thanks for detailed explanation.

  5. very nice verbatim translation. Thanks!

  6. Absolute knowledge,wonderfully explained.thanks a lot dir the effort