Similes and Analogies used by Sringeri Acharya (Post No. 2340)



Compiled   by London swaminathan

Date: 18 November 2015

POST No. 2340
Time uploaded in London :– 15-54
( Thanks for the Pictures )



Carpenter and Spiritual aspirant

A carpenter, however intelligent he may be, cannot function properly if he squats on a rickety seat or has blunt instruments or does not know how to use them effectively. Similarly a person who wants to launch into the most subtle and difficult of endeavours, namely, to achieve progress in the field of spirituality, must have a strong and healthy body, senses capable of effectively functioning and a strong and healthy mind capable of controlling and directing properly the body and the senses.

 mirror dirty

Mind and Mirror

The mind is like a mirror and, if it is pure and steady, it will reflect clearly the Self. If the mirror is coated with dust and is shaky, it cannot reflect the object before it. The dust which darkens the mind is SIN and its shakiness is due to DISTRACTION. The sin has to be eradicated by the performance of the prescribed good deeds known as Karma and the distraction by the practice of one-pointed devotion known as Upasana.


Image Worship

Nobody who engages himself in in image worship ever commits the mistake of limiting god to that image. He knows clearly that the image is resorted to for the purpose of establishing contact with the intangible universal godhead who can manifest himself in any form.


Nobody who wants to write is immediately able to able to write small letters and in a neat hand. He has to begin the practice of writing big letters on sand or on rough sheets till he gets some proficiency. Similarly, the aspirant who wants to contemplate on god has to begin by concentrating his mind on a gross visible image of God.


Sweetmeat shop

If we take some children to a sweetmeat shop and ask them to select what they want, a child may prefer to have a ring shaped sweetmeat, another a rod like one, another in the form of a peacock, another in the form of a chair, and so on. We know all these are made up of sugar and it is not material to us what form each child choses. We know also that, once the children put the sweetmeats into their mouths and begin to taste them, the particular forms will easily dissolve themselves leaving only the taste of sugar and that this taste will be common to all the children though the forms through which they obtain it are quite different from one another. Similarly, our religion recognises that forms of Gods are necessary and that the forms lose their significance when the Godhead in them begins to be realised.



If 50 people contribute Rs 3 each to honour a Pandit, the total amount will come to only Rs 150, though they all may sincerely feel that this is not an adequate remuneration for the valuable discourse of the Pandit. Any amount of sincere feeling on their part will not affect the arithmetical truth that 50 multiplied by 3 is only 150. It is quite open to the Pandit also to say and feel that this 150 is a1000 to him; but his saying or feeling so will not in any way swell the cash. So truth is one thing and concept is quite another. Our Dharma is Truth and therefore eternal; it is not a concept liable to variations.


Other similes used by the two previous Shankaracharyas of Sringeri Mutt are covered in my earlier articles.


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