Since time immemorial volumes have been written, songs and poems have been composed, on bhakti, devotion. Chanting of these songs and poems evokes various bhiivaniis in the devotee. While giving expression to gentle feelings such as love, joy, sadness, devotion, etc., it transports the aspirant into the dimension of deepening stillness. As viicika karma, verbal action, chanting plays a stupendous role in a devotee's life. Adi Sankaracarya has blessed us with a treasure trove of such prayers and compositions that have distilled the very essence of Vedanta. One such is the Priitaesmarana stotram.
Swami Tattvavidanandaji has unfolded the verses in his inimitable style and clarity. Swamiji says, "There is a difference between knowing and learning. Knowing means the verses become a living thought and ushers in antahkarana vikiisa, inner transformation ... " Swamiji exhorts about ignorance - the 'only darkness in life', the source of irrational 'definitions and formulations' - and enlightens us through this stotram.
"What 'is', is reality but we have notions of what it should be. Truth is none other than the Self, you. When this is not understood, life becomes a process of 'becoming', which denies the joy of being "
"It is moha, delusion, to search for happiness in the world... The striver is seeking for none other than his true Self... Knowing the essential nature of oneself immediately brings an end to the bondage of samsiira, life of becoming." "One must be tremendously creative in the mind to gain truth of the Self. ... vacasiimagamyam ... Words and mind work in tandem. Words have an amazing power to convey information but they have their limitations. Language is a tool employed by the mind to capture the empirical world. Reality is not a part of the empirical world; therefore, words cannot capture it. ... When I say with all humility, "I do not know," that moment speech ends and the mind resolves into the Being. It is not an experience, which belongs to the mind ... It is 'experiencing', which is the timeless Being. In experiencing there is communion with isvara, the Reality."
Chanted at dawn with devotion, this stotram will be a source of inspiration. Imbibing Swamiji's vision will provide guidance for the rest of the day.
We gratefully acknowledge the editorial assistance of Smt. Jayshree Ramakrishnan, New Jersey, Sri P. Suryanarayana, Secunderabad, and Sri Puppala B., Secunderabad. We are thankful to Sri S M Sinha, Secunderabad, for the beautiful cover design and printing of the book.
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