An Invocation to Truth

An Invocation to Truth


Partha Desikan


You are parama, way beyond all possible thought and description. You are that indeed. Tat



Somewhere, eons ago, your sankalpa floated me, an idea becoming an infinitesimal entity. Right out of yourself, so I believe, and therefore there is this inalienable bond. Aham brahma atilesam asmi.  My origin has to be my destination. Nothing less is satisfactory. Do not the wise call you Nara ayana, the human journey, the human destination?


They identify you as parabrahmam, they call you the Truth, Tattvam, Tat and Tvam, and they find you in me when I contemplate you and also in the contemplation process.

‘Narayanaparam brahma tattvam Narayanah parah. Narayanaparo dhyata, dhyanam Narayanah parah.’


I roamed around in your prakriti and gathered enough material and circumstance to lose myself into a life-form, while losing several degrees of my initial freedom. It kept modifying itself ever so slightly every time I entered a new mortal body of which it became a driving spirit. The gunalesas, which I kept acquiring, effectively cloaked your central presence in me and my ‘I’ became a little different ‘I’ with every guise I put on. A combination of some residual balance of good in my karmic account and your unfailing grace seems to have given me in my present circumstance the bare knowledge of where to look for you, the ultimate Satya, to offer my gratitude. The answer is, everywhere, of course, and especially deep within me.

‘yat cha kinchit jagatyasmin drsyate sruyate api va. Antarbahischa tatsarvam vyapya Narayanah sthitah.’

For inspiration I have only to think of the form of eternal and auspicious Siva, Paramesvara, the ultimate Acharya, Dakshinamurti, who knows the ultimate within and beyond him because of unending penance, who communicates by mouna with eyes closed and who showers compassion when his eyes open to bless us. Vedanta Desika refers to his loving form as ‘Dakshinyaramya Girisasya Murtih’ The special third eye can burn away all our littlenesses. Sage Vyasa and his associates in several of their puranas quote him in conversation with sages or with the Mother principle disclosing facets of you, telling us truths about the Truth.


Acharya Sankara sees you in Siva and himself in you when he talks about himself, ‘I am not this, I am not that, I am Siva.’ Because of the total nature of his delinking with his mortal identity, it was easy for him to exclaim, ‘Aham brahma asmi’. While he had transcended the potential of his mere mortal lifespan of forty years right in his childhood, he had a very active human life, full of contemplative learning, philosophical searching and finding, some conquests in debates on Truth, ritualistic pilgrimages, establishment of religious orders and devotional rituals, and composition of powerful philosophic treatises on brahma-jiva relationship famous as the advaita doctrine apart from devotional hymns on you. Your paraphrase of your Vedic revelations, the Bhagavad Gita was very close to his heart. He practised both jnana yoga and bhakti yoga with conviction and even chose to surrender to you through the hymn Lakshminrsimhakaravalamba stotra.


Later acharyas of eminence, Ramanuja and Madhva emphasized the unique para characteristic of brahmam (you) in Narayana form, and the devotion and surrender to you as the preferred paths for liberation, rather than the non-dualistic identification path of Sankara’s advaita. Their compositions also included philosophic deliberations of jiva-brahma relationships and a very large number of stotras. Vedanta Desika recommended total surrender to you as the most preferred path. Bhagavad Gita was close to the hearts of all these eminent sadgurus.


And of a large number of other sadgurus over the ages, both sung and unsung! Coming directly from the horse’s mouth (I mean yours during Krishnavatara, not necessarily in Hayagriva manifestation!), your Gita became a close fit with several enlightened minds, whether they overlapped with each other or not!


I offer my grateful homage to you, O Truth, however differently you may be seen by different wise sages. I need to be freed and taken back into the light and the safety of your fold, whether some one else sincerely tells me that I am essentially just you or that I am somewhat different.

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