offerings अर्पणम्

September 25, 2015

DAYANAND SARASWATI; an irrevocable loss (15 August 1930 to 23 September 2015)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — arpanam @ 1:53 am
Dayanand Saraswati

Dayanand Saraswati

Once a Vedanta teacher, on his deathbed, saw that his student was in deep sorrow about what would, inevitability, ensure. The Vedanta teacher told the student, if my teachings have the been worth the salt, then your sorrow is not  in keeping with the wisdom, that the teachings stood for. The student not only realised his folly but also the fact that his teacher, walks his talk, as he experientially knows that death is not an end for life but only a blip in life’s external covering.

Passing away of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, on 23 September ’15, brings me to similar ambivalence, where the loss is not accompanied by dejection.

Dayanand Saraswati was true to his name, an embodiment of compassion, daya, that flowed, relentlessly, from one who had discovered the “knowledge” of his being, as wholeness, ananda, and then choose to share this “knowledge”,  and remained a devotee of Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge. (He highlights these two aspects, of the link provided below, in the TED talk he had delivered). For last several years, he had failing health but that could not deter him to share the wisdom, he dearly upholded. He kept teaching, with utmost sincerity, to whosoever came to  him for guidance, despite his debilitating physical infirmity. He lived till the end of his life’s journey,  a compassionate teacher of Advaith Vedanta.

Dayanandji had his way with words.  His inimitable style of imparting the wisdom of  Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita and the Bhram Sutra, the three canonical works of Advaith Vedanta, made him a communicator, par excellence. He had unparallel ability to expound the subtelities of these abstruse texts in a lucid way, so that the listener could easily relate to his exposition. He used a contemporary idiom to communicate this ancient wisdom. Thus these esoteric teachings  got a wide audience, ranging from orthodox, monks to cutting edge, scientists. His contribution to make Vedanta relevant, in this day and age, will be remembered as his most remarkable legacy.

Though he used a modern parlance, to reach out to a wider audience, he never diluted the profundity, in the contents of the original ancient texts. He remained emphatic that that Vedanta is a ‘pramana’, an irreplaceable, means of knowledge, to know the Truth, of the Self. It’s not an ideology, like most other philosophies, a product of some intelligent philosopher’s mental construct. And as the knowledge of the Self can undo the shackles of ignorance, the root cause of human sorrow, therefore this knowledge has deep significance in spiritual aspirant’s life. Knowing this very well, he gave this wisdom the place it deserved, and upheld it in  highest echelons of human endeavour.

To regret Dayanandji’s passing away would not be a tribute to his teachings. He taught that death is an error in understanding “life” and sorrow, vis-à-vis, death, is illegitimate. But still  the passing away of outstanding teacher of Advaith Vedanta, is a matter of regret.

My deepest regrets.


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