Answers and Beyond #11

In this series of “Answers and Beyond”, we shall read, understand and enjoy Sri Swamiji’s lucid answers to some thought-provoking questions posed by various devotees. 

Sri Swamiji’s Answers to Questions Asked by Devotees

Question 1:

Vedantis call Bhagavan Nirguna and Bhaktas call Bhagavan Saguna. What is true?

Answer 1:

Both are true.

Question 2:

Truth is always one. How could both be true?

Answer 2:

There was a lion doll made of wood in a home. The child that lives in that home, looks at it with a mindset that it is a wooden doll. A carpenter who works with wood came to that home. He said that the lion doll was made of good teak wood.

A bhakta’s state is that of a child that enjoys the outward appearance. A Vendanti’s state is that of the carpenter who looks at the underlying wood. So truth is one but the difference is in just the viewpoint.

Question 3:

Is reaching Sri Vaikuntam through Archiraadhi Marga (Saalokya Mukthi) greater? Or, is attaining Moksha (liberation) through realizing the Nirguna Brahmam  (the formless) greater?

Answer 3:

Both are great. If you ask me,  I would not call one greater than the other. Both are the same. It is according to everyone’s taste.

Question 4:

If it is not possible to reach God while leading a worldly life, what is the plight of normal people?

Answer 4:

Only those who want to have a darshan of Bhagavan in person should keep themselves away from worldly life. It is enough for others to lead family life righteously, surrendering to a Guru and  chanting the divine name.

Originally published in Tamil Madhuramurali Magazine, Nov 1996 issue.
Translated by Smt. Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville FL


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