Saturday, April 08, 2006

"The more you talk and think" by Seng Ts'an

The more you talk and think about it,
The further astray you
Wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
And there is nothing you
Will not be able to know.
To return to the root
Is to find the meaning,
But to pursue appearances
Is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
There is a going beyond
Appearance and emptiness.

- Seng Ts'an


At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! that's mayavadi!

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why you got Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja's picture up there??? bogus!!!

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Madhava Gosh said...

Wow. An old school ISKCON knee jerk response complete with buzzwords. It is almost refreshing after years of nothing but splinter sect squabbling to hear it.

Here is the same concept wearing different clothes "It is fruitless to see and talk of the material modes of nature and their resultant so-called happiness and distress as if they were factual. When the mind wanders during the day and a man begins to think himself extremely important, or when he dreams at night and sees a beautiful woman enjoying with him, these are merely false dreams. Similarly, the happiness and distress caused by the material senses should be understood to be meaningless." Still see it as mayavadi?

As for Bhaktisiddhanta being bogus, you are welcome to your opinion, but ACBSP considered him bona fide so I will too.

Did your mentor/guru encourage you to think and talk while chanting japa?

At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm glad you enjoyed my old school knee-jerk response. The poem still sounds Mayavadi but much less since your contextualisation. Thanks.

Of course Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur isn't bogus. His picture next to a mayavad poem is bogus. That's all.

But I didn't mean to annoy you or challenge your philosophical insight. Its probably way deeper than mine - certainly less reactive/dogmatic/overbearing.

please forgive my offensiveness. Sometimes the anonymity of the internet makes me feel invulnerable. Quite stupid actually.

I'm humbled ... (if that were possible)

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Madhava Gosh said...

Your most recent reply has totally disarmed me. Curse that humility weapon! It is undefeatable. May I learn from your example.

I doubt my philosophical insight is really that deep. I just have been able to build through imitation a large and sophisticated construct that enables me to pose as having some true insight. Mostly it is smoke and mirrors. And being undogmatic and unreactive is something that I have only gotten around to trying out in the very recent past.

I certainly see how a cruising the internet speed read of the poem would make it appear mayavadi. Perhaps the poet himself saw it that way. My experience with the poem was slower. It caught my eye, and I savored it for a while, turning it over and over again, but with the assumption that somehow Krsna was there in it.

My understanding is that the mayavadis get to the brahmajyoti realization, but their error is they stop there, and deny any thing beyond. Devotees see, or at least have been encouraged to see, that beyond that are more personal forms.

So it was the last lines

"At the moment of inner enlightenment
There is a going beyond
Appearance and emptiness."

Take "appearance" to mean the material conception viewed through the senses. Even the mayavadis see going beyond that, but they stop at the "emptiness", so I took going beyond emptiness to mean going beyond mayavadi realization to see that Reality is the opposite of emptiness, which means form. That form we would call Krsna.

So then the question was, how does not talking and not thinking about it enter in for a devotee? So I went to what is really the true wellspring of realization, chanting, and in japa I had been taught to not talk, and not to think of anything but to focus on the sound vibration only. All philosophical constructs, any scripture, and cultural patterns, these were all merely tools to get us to the point where we chant purely and it is the pure chanting that takes us to the true root meanings, the inner realization of Krsna.

So the next step was to find a picture of a devotee chanting japa so I went to Google image and the most attractive picture I found was of Bhaktisiddhanta.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think perhaps your eye's were tinted with the salve of love thus you were seeing Krishna where I could not. The words of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaḿ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaḿ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi


I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.


The Śyāmasundara form of Kṛṣṇa is His inconceivable simultaneous personal and impersonal self-contradictory form. True devotees see that form in their purified hearts under the influence of devotional trance. The form Śyāma is not the blue color visible in the mundane world but is the transcendental variegated color affording eternal bliss, and is not visible to the mortal eye. On a consideration of the trance of Vyāsadeva as in the śloka, bhakti-yogena manasi etc., it will be clear that the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the full Personality of Godhead and can only be visible in the heart of a true devotee, which is the only true seat in the state of trance under the influence of devotion. When Kṛṣṇa manifested Himself in Vraja, both the devotees and nondevotees saw Him with this very eye; but only the devotees cherished Him, eternally present in Vraja, as the priceless jewel of their heart. Nowadays also the devotees see Him in Vraja in their hearts, saturated with devotion although they do not see Him with their eyes. The eye of devotion is nothing but the eye of the pure unalloyed spiritual self of the jīva. The form of Kṛṣṇa is visible to that eye in proportion to its purification by the practice of devotion. When the devotion of the neophyte reaches the stage of bhāva-bhakti the pure eye of that devotee is tinged with the salve of love by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, which enables him to see Kṛṣṇa face to face. The phrase "in their hearts" means Kṛṣṇa is visible in proportion as their hearts are purified by the practice of devotion. The sum and substance of this śloka is that the form of Kṛṣṇa, who is Śyāmasundara, Naṭavara (Best Dancer), Muralīdhara (Holder of the Flute) and Tribhańga (Triple-bending), is not a mental concoction but is transcendental, and is visible with the eye of the soul of the devotee under trance.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Madhava Gosh said...

Nice verse. Probably doesn't apply to me, but kind of you to give me the benefit of the doubt. You were quite swanlike to find that verse.


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