Jivanandana of Anandaraya Makhin (Study)
by G. D. Jayalakshmi | 2019 | 58,344 words
This page relates ‘Advaitic aspects of Act I’ of the study on the Jivanandana (in English) which is a dramatic play written by Anadaraya Makhin in the 18th century. The Jivanandana praises the excellence of Advaita Vedanta, Ayurveda (medical science) and Dramatic literature as the triple agency for obtaining everlasting bliss.
Advaitic aspects of Act I
The play proper (Act I) opens with Vijñāna (Śarmā) meeting Dhāraṇā. The conversation between the two brings development not only to the plot of the drama but to the Advaitic aspects that the playwright is about to present.
Dhāraṇā being the power of absorption and concentration, has been depicted here as having been appointed by Jīva to go through the entire city (body), to find out the alien influence.
It is declared that the day to day happenings around us are very clearly known to Dhāraṇā through samādhi and she has great potency (I.22):
nikhilaṃ jagataścaritaṃ vijṣātaṃ te samādhinaiva bhavet |
tanme mahāprabhāvā bhāgyenāsāditā bhavatī ||
Yogins perceive everything through the power of contemplation (I.22/23; p.26):
praṇidhānena yoginaḥ sakalamapi pratyakṣayanti |
Again, through the words of Vijñāna Śarmā (I.23), it is explained, how Dhāraṇā (concentration) develops into dhyāna; and the Yogic posture of a person in Samādhi is also described.
Adopting the svastikāsana, keeping the hands on the knees, bringing the eyes to concentrate on the tip of the nose, keeping the torso straight and steady, letting in and out the breaths (pūraka and recaka), one allows himself go into Samādhi:
kṛtvā svastikamāsanam karayugaṃ vinyasya jānudvaye
nāsāgrārpitatārakā natamṛjūkṛtyavalagnaṃ dṛḍham |
citte me kṛtasaṃyameva kurute dhūrtā mahat kautukam ||
Vijñāna praises Dhāraṇā as a powerful Yoginī (yoga-siddhimatībhavatī). Dhāraṇā being the power of concentration and observation is deeply attached to the Jīva and is also a faithful assistant to Buddhi.
Dhāraṇā also is the awareness of glories of the Supreme and provides hita to all who seek Him. (I.24):
buddhyā mahatya kṛtasāhacaryā deve nije darśitabhūribhaktiḥ |
parapravṛttiṃ vidatī mahimnā sādhāraṇā tvaṃ tvahite hite ca ||
Using his exceptional skill, the dramatist plays with the usage of the words and brings out the Advaita ideas in these verses (along with the description of dramatis personae).
Further, Dhāraṇā absorbs the inner thoughts of living beings. Hence, through Dhāraṇā, the ways and means of relieving one from the toils of saṃsāra (duḥkhavimukti) becomes the object of a Yogins concerned about the world.
A Yogin in Dhāraṇā is compassionate (I.24/25; p.28):
tava na kiṣcit prāṇināmantargatamaviditamasti | yoginyāstava duḥkhiteṣu kathameṣāṃ duḥkhavimuktiḥ syāditi cittaparikarmaviśeṣaḥ karuṇā bhavatyeva |
Not only that; just as the heart of the Yogins get filled with compassion, their mind and words too are filled with satya which is the second of the ten types of Yamas (I.24/25; pp.28-9):
yogāṅgeṣu yameṣu vāṅ्manasayoḥ yathārthatvarūpaḥ satyaṃ nāma dvitīyo yamo'pi tathā |
To attain such a stage of a Yogin, it is imperative that manas (mind) is completely under one's control. Mind is like the wind, ever moving with vigour and often changing its directions.
It can be easily overpowered by the six inborn enemies–
Hence by various means, one's mind has to be guarded against the onslaught of the sense organs and directed towards the right path (I.32):
sarvasmin viṣaye niraḍkuśatayā yaddurnirodhaṃ manaḥ
prāyo vāyuriva prakṛṣṭabalavat sarvātmanā caṣcalam |
tat kāmādibhiruddhatairupahataṃ saṃpreritairyakṣmaṇā
tatsauhārdamupetya yadyapi punarnaḥ prātikūlyaṃ caret ||
Mind can be controlled only with great difficulty; it should be strongly engaged in the great task (mahativyāpara) of controlling the sense organs through yama, niyama, nidhidhyāsa and so on: (I. 32/33, p.39):
ātastadapi mahādhikāreṇa vaśīkṛtya mahativyāpāre viniyojya...
The com. Nandinī explains this as (p.39):
āsmāddhetoḥ | tat-mano'pi | mahādhikāreṇa-viṣayanivāraṇa-nipuṇānāṃ vicitraprabhāvāṇāṃ vivekādīnāṃ balavatā niyogena |
To engage the mind in yama, niyama and other practices it is also advisable to involve the manas in listening to the greatness of the Supreme Lord and to immerse in thinking about him. The author being aware of this fact makes Jīva listen to the narration of Vijñāna Śarmā about the great exploits of lord Śiva and Devi Pārvatī; Jīva himself is strongly drawn towards the Supreme Powers as he enumerates their great qualities of mercy and compassion. Their vātsalya towards the bhaktas raises in Jīva the hope that he shall be protected by them and in their upāsanā lies his salvation.
Directed by Dhāraṇā, Jīva along with Buddhi should reach the (hṛḍ) Puṇḍarīka (pura) to obtain the grace of lord Śiva and goddess Śakti. Without their blessings it becomes difficult for Jīva to obtain liberation.
The upāsanā of Śiva and Pārvatī becomes imperative to achieve mokṣa (p.58):
bhaktavatsalayoranādidampatyorupāsanayā sampādanīyā siddhiḥ |
Vijñāna (Śarmā) informs Jīva that the right place to conduct the upāsanā is the Puṇḍarīkapura which is the hṛdpuṇḍarīka. The hṛd-puṇḍarīka is considered to be the abode of the Supreme Brahman; and it is at the centre of one's body. In that hṛd-padma is the daharākāśa; the Jīva has to meditate on the Supreme in this daharākāśa; says the Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad. This place is called as brahmapura in the Chāndogya–Upaniṣad. This Puṇḍarīkapura has to be reached through the path of manas (manodvāra).
On entering this place, one has to take recourse to Śivabhakti; acquiring bhakti leads to the attainment of mokṣa.
Śivabhakti is the repository of Paramānanda (I.47ab):
śakyaṃ tat khalu puṇḍarīkanagaraṃ gantuṃ manodvāratastatrāste śivabhaktirityanupamā kāpi pramodāspadam |
When once Jīva is attuned to bhakti then feeling one with the Lord becomes possible. Enjoying the trivargas in this world and obtaining the fourth puruṣārtha, namely, mokṣa becomes imminent.
(Śiva) Bhakti helps the Jīva in surrendering to the Lord completely and thereby attain brahmanirvāṇa (I.47cd):
dṛṣṭvā tāṃ tathā paricayastasyā vidheyastvayā
catvāro'pi bhavanti te karatalaṃ prāptāḥ pumarthā yathā ||
(Śiva) Bhakti is peerless and pleasing to the heart; by adopting bhakti which is a variant form of cittavṛtti, all the desires of the Jīva get fructified (I.48):
tāmadvaitāṃ svarūpeṇa bhaktiṃ hṛdayaraṣjanīm |
svīkṛtyahaṃ bhaviṣyāmi prāptākhilamanorathaḥ ||
Buddhi and Bhakti
Generally, buddhi (intellect) does not concur with Śivabhakti; hence, in the play Buddhi (the queen) feels piqued at the description of (Śiva) bhakti; hence Buddhi accompanies Jīva to Puṇḍarīkapura. Buddhi united with Bhakti would lead Jīva to mokṣa The natural intellectual disagreement of Buddhi with the feeling of bhakti is considered here and the dramatist finds a way to nullify this by making Jīva propitiate Śiva and Pārvatī in the hṛḍpuṇḍarīka, through Bhakti. As Buddhi accompanies Jīva, then naturally buddhi will merge with bhakti and make it easier for Jīva to get mokṣa.
Footnotes and references:
The com. Nandinī on the text defines Dhāraṇā as—“dhāraṇā nāma manasa ekāgratā” and cites Hemacandra, I. 21/22: “dhyeye cittasya sthirabandhanaṃ dhāraṇā”
Act I.39-45 and dialogues in between narrate the various exploits of lord Śiva and goddess Pārvatī bringing to the fore their bhakta-vātsalyatā and also the efficacy of their upāsanā.
Mahānārāyaṇa Up. 10.78: dahraṃ vipāpmaṃ paraveśmabhūtaṃ hṛtpuṇḍarīkaṃ puramadgyasaṃstham | tatrāpi dahraṃ gaganaṃ viśokastasmin yadantastadupāsitavyam |
Chāndogya Up. 8.1: ātha yadidamasmin brahmapure daharaṃ puṇḍarīkaṃ veśma dahare'smin āntaramākāśastasmin yadantastadanveṣṭavyaṃ tadvāva vijijṣāsitavyam ||