Sagun Nirgun

17: Non-duality

Jagadguru Shankaracharya is the Acharya of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. He brought all the philosophical paths under one roof. Through his powerful literatures he accomplished the grand task of amalgamating karma, bhakti, and knowledge. In one of his famous compositions he says, “O Lord! There is only you. No duality exists. But even so, I love singing your praises. It makes me ecstatic.”

“I am dependent on you. You are independent. For example, the breath we take is dependent on the air, but the air is independent of the breath. Ripples are formed because there is an ocean, but ripples cannot independently exist. The body made up of 5 elements is dependent on the existence of the 5 major elements. Hence as long as the body exists, I will chant your name. The truth is I am yours and you are mine. I surrender unto you.”

Upon hearing Shankaracharya’s ardent prayer, Lord Kashi Vishweshwara appeared before him in the form of a tribal man. Shankaracharya became ecstatic and exclaimed “Shivoham, Shivoham, I am Shiva I am Shiva.” The Lord took His true form and blessed Shankaracharya. It is these blessings that Shankaracharya’s Advaita philosophy became the pinnacle of Vedantic literature with its logical subtlety, depth, completeness and perfection.

Another incident quoted in the Shrimad-Bhagwatam involves a conversation between Lord Shree Krishna and Uddhava. The Lord says, “Uddhava, you and I are one. Even then, you like to sing my praises. Devotees like you are very dear to me and it is for you that I take on a form because I want to see my devotees, I want to hold them in my arms and to be able to do that, I have four arms” and the Lord embraces Uddhava. Uddhava becomes ecstatic and exclaims, “One without a second.”

Sant Shree Dnyaneshwar very beautifully summarizes this experience as follows-

“The attributeless, formless, immutable, eternal omnipresent, omniscient Lord has become the seer, the enjoyer, the experiencer of His devotees’ love.”


Guru’s Grace >>

<< Ant