II Sri Adi Śaṅkarācārya - श्री आदि शङ्कराचार्य II
Sōpānaṁ : 22 Đ Secret of Rebirth :

At Dusk,Acharya & the Brāhmaṇa began their Conversation.
The Topic of the dialogue changed gradually from Bhiksha, the weather & Pre-Sanyasa days, to
Karma &
Upasana ;

Then it took off to the
The Panchagni-Vidya, and finally reached the first sutra in the 1st Pada of the 3rd chapter of The Brahma Sūtras :

तदन्तरप्रतिपत्तौ रंहति सम्परिष्वक्तः प्रश्ननिरूपणाभ्याम् ।।3.1.1।।
As stated in the Bhagavad-Gītā ;

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |

“That which is night to all creatures, there, the enlightened is awake”, throughout the night, waves of divine presence arose inside the cave, surpassing the flow of Bhagirathi outside.
Purnatirtha &
Other disciples stood in awe, listening to the amazing dialogue.
The power of the presence was very dense.
Profound discussions on Vedanta took place & the topic was Rebirth.
Brāhmaṇa : In Kaṭhopaniṣad, Naciketā asks Yama, “While some are of the opinion that the jīva continues to exist even after the death of the body, some others say it does not.”
Which of these is Correct?
You say that even gods were haunted by this doubt. You yourself must
reveal to me the truth about this. On this subject there is no one else who knows better. - What is your opinion?

Acharya : Swāmin ! Śruti gives the following answer :
यथा कर्म यथा श्रुतम् ।
The jīva carries all its Karmavāsanas & enters other wombs.
Śrutii warns us that ‘one who sees multiplicity goes from death to death’ -
मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति ।

Brāhmaṇa : In that case, Śruti’s declaration that there is neither birth nor death - न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि।- will become a contradiction.
Acharya : Yes, that the self has no birth or death is conclusive statement of the Śruti. Birth & Death are only relative and is the result of ignorance.
But just as a dream torments one, till he Wakes up, Rebirth will certainly occur until one attains Self-Knowledge.
The miseries of the present body are only for this Life.
But the continuing lingasarira (subtle body) makes on suffer until he is liberated.
Therefore, although the statement ‘न जायते…’ of the Śruti is absolutely authentic, the statement in the Gītā that
“just as one discards worn out clothes & accepts new ones, the jīva gives up the bodies that are worn out by Karma & accept new ones, to enjoy the fruit of Karma” & the declaration of the Śruti stated earlier, indicate Rebirth in order to explain the cycle of Life.
Brāhmaṇa : What is meant by jīva ?

Acharya : jīva is the limitation that accepts the Gross, Subtle & Casual bodies as ‘ I ’.

Brāhmaṇa : How did the jīva arise in the ever-pure Consciousness ?

Acharya : Just as impure Froth & Bubbles arise in Pure water.
The Froth and
the Bubble are not different from Water.
But as Water is Pure & Froth is Impure they appear to be different.
In this manner space emerged in the undifferentiated Supreme Self.
It expanded further to form
Water &
The Five Mahābhūtas - महाभूत are formed in
this order.
The Earth is made up of all the 5 elements.
This process is termed पांञ्चीकरणम् - Panchi-karanam.
Rice, Wheat, other Cereals and Herbs & Trees grow on the Earth.
Lohitam & Suklam ( Ovum & Sperm ) are formed in women & men who consume them as food.
By the force of
desire born out of ignorance, they are implanted in the womb at the appropriate time after getting purified by sacred mantras.
Entering the Womb,
It grows into Kalalam in One night,
Budbudam in 2days,
Karkandhu in 10days,
& a Head in 1 Month & is born in the 9th 0r 10th Month.
Here he again becomes one with
a Name,
a brahmachari,
a grhasta,
a vanaprastha &
a parivrajaka by the super imposition of samskaras.

Oh ! The Astonishing Power Of Māya !

Listening to this profound & highly perceptive dialogue, Padmapada standing at a distance prostrated
from there itself.
At the end of the long conversation, Acharya called Padmapada & said with a smile, “ Please give a comment ( Nirupanam ) on our dialogue”.
Padmapada said : “ Bhagavan! What can I say in-between, when divine beings are conversing ?
शंकरम् शंकरम् साक्षात् व्यासो नारायण: स्वयम ।
“Sankara is Bhagavan Shiva himself & Vyasa is Narayana Himself ; What shall I, a servant, say about their discussion? Obeisance to Bhagavan Sutrakara !”

Thus he prostrated before the elderly ascetic
regarding him as Bhagavan Vyasa himself.
The sage got up ignoring the words & act of humility and said to Acharya.
“I am leaving.
The thought of giving up the body has arisen within you. But the time has not come yet.
You must remain for another 16 years for the welfare of
the World.
Gods & Sages in their subtle forms are with you to accomplish that.
Until then no harm will come to your Life.
You must go to Prayag and meet the Purvamimamsaka, Kumarilabhatta.”

शंकरं शंकराचार्यं केशवं बादरायणम् ।
सूत्रभाष्यकृतौ वन्दे भगवन्तौ पुनः पुनः ॥
“I offer obeisances again & again to SrI VedaVyAsa, author of the Brahma Sūtras, who is none other than Bhagavan Vishnu,& Sri Adi Śaṅkarācārya, the commentator on those Sūtras, who is none other than Bhagavan Shiva.”

Thus ends the 22nd Sōpānaṁ.

I ओम् तत् सत् I
I Om Tat Sat I

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