Om Namah Shivaya! ૐ

73

O Arunachala! Stupefying me, as if with magic powder, Thou hast taken away my intelligence and shown me Thy wisdom.

The soul's intelligence is in fact, no intelligence; it is nescience. It is ignorance posing as knowledge. Hence, its removal is difficult. Only God's Grace can help to remove it. Grace can work wonders like magic powder. The magician strews some wonder powder on the patient; the patient loses his initiative and will, and becomes an instrument in the hands of the magician. He no longer sees with his own eyes; he sees with the eyes of the magician. Similarly, the Lord who is the greatest magician (mayin) overpowers the devotee-soul with His magic spell, grace, so that the soul may have her ignorance, which is mistaken as intelligence, destroyed. When this is done, God's wisdom, which is the supreme knowledge, is revealed to the soul. Here, there are not the distinctions of seer, seen, sight and object. This knowledge is not a modification of the mind. It is Pure Awareness (chin-matra) which is God, the Self.

74

O Arunachala! In the common space, where there is neither going nor coming, show me the battle that is waged by grace.

The common space here spoken of is the limitless nondual Reality, Brahman. The ether of the heart is a symbol for it. Here, there is no bondage, no duality, no birth, no death. It is the region beyond transmigration. Brahman is the Infinite, unlimited Reality. Since there is no duality there, there is no question of going and coming. Birth and death, and all change can belong only to individuals. But there is no individualism in Brahman which is one only, without a second (ekam, eva, advitiyam). Gaining this Brahman is the goal of life.

How is it to be gained? By battling against and conquering plurality, or the notion of plurality and its cause, nescience. This battle can be successfully waged only with the help of God's grace. The devotee-soul here prays for a sight of this battle royal between the darkness of ignorance and the light of wisdom, the success of the latter assured with the help of divine grace, which is only another name for wisdom.

75

O Arunachala! Rid of the attachment to the body made of the elements, let me ever behold Thy splendor and be united with it through Thy grace!

What conditions the soul and makes it limited is its attachment to the body. The body and the mind are products of the elements which constitute the not-self. On account of nescience the soul thinks, 'I am the body; the body is mine'. It is this false identification that involves the soul in transmigration. When this false identification is removed, the soul realizes its true being in the non-dual Reality, Brahman. Brahman is sat, chit, ananda, the supreme splendor. The soul is the same splendor apparently imprisoned. When this imprisonment is removed through grace which is the same as knowledge, the soul realizes the truth of non-duality.

76

O Arunachala! When Thou dost administer medicine for delusion, why should I (continue to) be deluded? Be Thou resplendent as the Gracious Hill of Medicine!

Delusion, ignorance, is the cause of bondage. That is the basic malady from which the soul suffers. God administers the cure for this malady. He is Himself the physician (bhishak) and the medicine (bheshajam). That being so, why should the soul despair? The ultimate Reality in the form of the Aruna Hill is the supreme medicine for the soul's illness. The mere thought of it will cure the root disease of bondage.

Alternative meaning of the words: malaimarun didani malaittidavo: Thou who hast the Daughter of the Mountain (Parvati) on Thy left side! Why shouldn’t Thou shrink from administering the medicine that will cure the disease of delusion?

~ Arunachala Aksharamanamalai