Sridaksinamurtistotram is one of the important Prakaranangranathas of Sri Adisankarabhagavatpadacarya. This supreme teaching combining melody and profundily conceived in the form of adoration to God Sridaksinamurti contains the quintessence of Advaita Philosophy.
Sri Suresvaracarya whom Sri Adisankarabhagavatpadacarya installed as the first Pontiff of Daksinamnaya Srisaradapeetham has recognized the grandeur of Sridaksinamurtistotram as a text on Advaita by his equally classical commentary called Manasollasa Tattvasudha by Svayamprakasayatindra is another standard commentary for this work. To make this classical work on the doctrine of the Advaita understandable to the modern mind a very explicit and lucid exposition based on the above commentaries was undertaken by Professor D.S. Subbaramaiya at the explicit command of their Holinesses Jagadguru Sankaracarya of Daksinamnaya Srisaradapeetham Sringeri.
The ideas and concepts brought out in this exposition are well supported by pramanas quoted from the Prasthanatraya the Bhasyas the Vartika and a large number of standard works on Advaita to arouse the interest in Samskrta knowing readers and to introduce them to the source books. For persons with knowledge of English this book is bound to be of immense use to understand the meaning and import of the work.
Prof. D.S. Subbaramaiya is a rare combination of modern scientific knowledge and traditional Advaita Vedanta. A close research associate of Sir C.V. Raman he taught physics at the central college, Bangalore, for over three decades. A naisthikabrahmacari he studied Vedanta under great traditional masters and he is at present teaching Vedanta leading a life of piety and contemplation.
This studpendous work offered with deep devotion at the Lotus Feet of their Holiness was very much appreciated by his Holiness Sri Sri Mahasannidhanam and His Holiness Sri Sri Sannidhanam. As per their directions the work is being published in two volumes the first of which is coming out now.
Sri Shankara Vidya Kendra Paschimi Marg, Vasant Vihar New Delhi has sponsored the publications work and the interest shown by the institution in bringing out the volumes by sponsorship deserves appreciation.
The printing work has been co-ordianted by Sri H.N. Narasimhiah and with the co-operation of Sri H.C. Srinivas, Sri V. Subrahmaniam, Sri S.H. Subbanna and a team of Srinivas, Sri V. Subrahmaniam Sri S.H. Subbanna and a team of other devotees he has been able to organize effectively donations and subscriptions and to get the volume printed. The help extended by Sri H.N. Subba Rao, Aravinda Parimala works Mysore and Sri H.S. Subramanya I.R.S. merits special mention, Shri D.S. Krishnachar of Prabha printing house Bangalore has taken special care and interest in printing this volume in a very attractive style in a short time deserving rich appreciation.
It is hoped that this masterly work will appeal to the minds of researches and critical thinkers in Oriental philosophy and that it would act as a valuable guide on Advaita.
Sridaksinamurtistotram the supreme teaching is a precious gift from the Acarya Sri Sri Sankarabhagavapada to the humanity seeking a way out of the turmoil and strife in the ocean of Samsara in which it is immersed. The sruti which shows the way out proclaims that it is only to him who has supreme unalloyed devotion to Isvara and likewise to the Guru that what is said by way of instruction would give rise to enlightenment resulting in emancipation.
To secure this end one has to be clear about what is conveyed by the terms Deva, Guru, Parabhakti oneself and the like. Atman alone is undoubtedly the dearest as is evident to everyone. If by Parabhakti this supreme love is what is meant the question arises as to how this can be directed at all to the Deva i.e. Isvara or the guru if they are different from oneself would be relegated to the status of non self the insentient and seeking enlightenment from such objects would be futile.
Also the relation between the enlightenment that is ought and this parabhakti should be clear if one has to take to sadhana assiduously. Where has one to start and how to proceed? Such hardles are cleared are cleared and the whole course rendered smooth by the humn which centres basically round the notion that Isvara Guru and atman are one and the same though appearing as different in parlance.
It is this one consciousness which is sridaksinamurti the Brahman Atman that is the self of the seeker as also the goal that is sought after the self effulgent shine that confers the required knowledge as well. As addressed to this one consciousness that is oneself the seat of supreme love as well about the existence and shine of which there is no veil doubt or illusion the supreme devotion and the search for the supreme knowledge the progress easy. As the eighth sloka points out one has to shun all concoctions obtaining in parlance such as cause effect and other relationships and differences etc and one has to take his stand on what is supremely beloved and well known in order to fathom the so called unknown the notion of maya provides the key to puzzles one is confronted with.
The hymn shows all these very clearly though it employs statements that are laconic in the manner of sutras. The conferring of knowledge in devotional languages enables a sadhaka to develop with adoration the traits of krtartha emanating from the realized one who sets the model whose outpourings are this hymn. Abounding in such aspects the hymn conforms to the usual style of Sri Sri Acaryapada to unravel whose meaning great ones have to be approached. In this regard the commetaries the Manasollasa by Sri Sri Suresvaracaryapada with the tiks by Sri Ramatirthpada and the Tattvasudha by Sri Svayamprakassayatindrapada help in a large measure.
This venturesome attempt at understanding the hymn and making it accessible to the modern mind has been undertaken at the explicit command of their Holiness Sri Sri Jagadgurumahasvaminah of Sri Srngeri Saradpitham who desired that it should take the form of a vedantaprakaranagrantha. Though one feels unequal to the task being aware of the inadequacy of the equipment literary philosophical and spiritual it has been undertaken being certain of the continuous guidance and inspiration from Sri Sri Mahasvaminah verily the one consciousness Sri Sridaksinamurtisvarupa appearing variously in the guruparampara. Matchless is the loving care of the guru parampara bestowed in respect of developments in spiritual and secular aspects of my life all the while blessings me with personal instructions. So is the abounding grace in handing me Sri Mallikere Subrahmanyasastrinah and Mahamahopadhyaya Pandirtaraja Ve. Br. Sri V.S. Ramacandrasastrinah sastraic studies under whom have lasted continuously over a long period as also in securing for me by mere wish a team of devoted friends working assiduously in the guise of students.
The hymn is too well known and has all along been held in great reverential adoration by the wise. In a short compass of ten verses, Sri Sri Bhagavatpada has graciously brought out an inviting manner. Pointing at every step to Brahmavidya the Mahavakyartha the basic but hidden experience the endeavour of the hymn is to establish the ardent seeker in Sarvatmatva as proclaimed by the hymn itself. It draws attention to the vedantic method which is to search and find out directly as to wherefrom the knowledge of anything whatsoever stems. All other systems in the guise of enquiry as adopted by them invariably forge one aspect of the objective universe with another like the cause effect relationship etc drawn from parlance.
To facilitate the search the mind must be cleansed of its accretions which have crept into it on being exposed to the viewpoints of other systems atheistic as well as theistic. This is done by pointing out that the other systems are all based upon fallacious arguments due to ignorance. Reorienting those very concepts in which the seeker is entangled is to serve the intended purpose of liberating him from all concoctions by the method of superimposition and negation. While the hymn is addressed primarily to the seeker of the highest competence the method of accommodating those of laser caliber is also indicated.
The present study of the hymn based on the commentaries is an attempt at understanding the significance of the hymn in greater detail. Incidentally this might help in making the teaching of the hymn accessible to sincere seekers who have not had the opportunity of studying the originals in samskara and who are influence by the modern thought. With this in view the English language has been chosen. The ideas and concepts brought in this detailed exposition are sought to be supported by pramanas quoted from the prasthanatraya and the bhasyas theron sutasamhita, Vivekacudamani, Vartika Sansksepasariraka, Svarajyasiddhi, Advaitasiddhi Sarvadarsanasangraha, Pancadasi, Siddhantabindu, vedantasiddhantamuktavali, Guru gita and several others.
English translations of all Samskrta passages are also given. Original passages are quoted profusely to arouse interest in Samskrta knowing readers. The intention is to introduce the seeker to the source books in Advaitasastra and to provide an access to the most important passages in them on all topics dealt with.
It is by no means an easy task to fathom the depth of meaning hidden in the apparently simple language employed in the hymn. Every topic discussed starting from its usual aspect in parlance, is shown by enquiry to culminate in its absolute aspect Brahman atman with a view to redeem those who are victims of partial views. All faculties of the mind intellectual emotional and volitional are thus sublimated. The last three stanzas have been taken up for detailed discussion earlier since they speak of the goal viz Sarvatmatva qualifications of the seeker and the methods of Sadhana. The topic of Yoga Nadis Cakras and meditations pertaining to them which has been dealt with in the Manasollasa has not been considered here in all its wealth of details. The intricacies thereof may have to be learnt directly from the preceptor.
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