Sanskrit lesson,Sanatana scriptures.ॐ
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ॐ हरे कृष्णा हरे कृष्णा कृष्णा कृष्णा हरे हरे। हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे॥
The Five Fires, called the 'Panchagni's, mentioned here, are not actually fires in the physical sense. They are meditational techniques.The Fire, here, is symbolic of a sacrifice which one performs through contemplation. Here by ‘fire’ the Upanishad means the various processes of manifestation, or, we may say, evolution.There are various stages of manifestation. Here, a specific type of manifestation is under consideration for the purpose of meditation.
How the birth of an individual takes place ? how a child is born, is the actual question on hand.
We think that the child is born from the womb of the mother. We know only that much, but this is the least type of knowledge that one can have about the birth of a child.The child is not pushed out of the womb of the mother, as if by magic. It is a tremendous process that takes place throughout the cosmos. The whole universe is involved with action even if a single baby is to be born somewhere. So what produces a child is not the father or the mother. It is the whole cosmos that produces the child.There is also no such thing as 'my' child and 'your' child. If this secret is known, no one will say such things. It is neither yours nor anybody's. It belongs to that from where it has come i.e. cell of the universe. It has not come from the seminal essence of the father or the mother, as it is believed. The cosmos is reflected in every body. That is why we say " Yatha Pinde Tatha Brahmande" - the macrocosm is in the microcosm. Here is the philosophical background of the vidya, called Panchagni-Vidya.
Chhandogya Upanishad :
"The Yonder World, O Gautama, is indeed the Fire. Here, the Sun is the fuel; the Light-rays are the smoke; the Day is the flame; the Moon is the coals; the Stars are the sparks." (5.4.1)
"In this Fire, the deities offer faith. From this oblation arises King Soma." (5.4.2)
The Upanishad tells us that the universe finds the cause of the lowest event in this lofty realm, in an invisible region, which is called the "Yonder World". By "Yonder World" we mean the celestial region, regions which are super-physical, beyond even the astral realm, which are the causes of what we observe in the atmospheric region.
The world, which is called the celestial realm, is itself the sacred fire into which oblations are offered.The fuel, which ignites the fire and causes the flames to rise up in this sacrifice, is the sun. As smoke rises from the fire in a sacrifice, we contemplate the rising or the emanation of the rays from the sun, symbolically. As the flames shine, so is the shining of the daytime due to the fire of the sun in the sacrifice. We may compare the embers, remaining after the flames subside in a sacrifice, to the moon who is something like the subsidence of the flames of the light of the sun, or we may even say, the comparison is made because moonlight arises generally when the sun's flames subside. Compare the stars to the sparks which are ejected from the flames of the fire, because they are scattered, as it were, in the sky. Now, this is a sacrificial mode of contemplation on the higher regions of the cosmos.
"Parjanya is, indeed, the Fire, O Gautama. Of that, the Wind is the fuel, the Cloud is the smoke, the Lightning is the flame, the Thunderbolt is the embers, and the rumblings of Thunder are the sparks." (5.5.1)
"Into this Fire, the gods offer the oblation of King Soma. Out of that oblation, arises rain." (5.5.2)
The next stage of the descent is a realm which is symbolically represented here as the world of Parjanya, or the deity of rain. The rain-deity represents the region below, grosser than the higher regions or the heavens, or the "Yonder World" mentioned earlier. That gets stirred into activity, further on. That, again, is to be contemplated upon as a sacrifice.
The principle of rainfall, we may call it the rain-deity, Parjanya, is the fire in the sacrifice. The fire is stirred into action by 'vayu', the wind that blows. We consider the wind as the fuel which ignites the fire of this sacrifice. When there is such a stimulation taking place in the atmosphere, clouds are formed. As smoke rises from the fire of a sacrifice, as an effect of the flaming force of the fire, the clouds, 'abhram', forming themselves into a thick layer are the effect of this internal activity of the atmosphere by the action of the wind etc. in a particular direction. The clouds are the smoke of this sacrifice. The brilliance of the flames in this sacrifice is the flashing forth of the lightning, 'vidyut', through the clouds.The clap of the thunders may be compared to the embers remaining after the subsidence of the flames in a sacrifice. The rumblings of the clouds after a heavy rain, the slowed or mellowed down sounds we hear later on in various directions, are the sparks, as it were, of this fire.
In this fire, the contemplative sacrifice of rainfall, deities offer the oblation of their action. The bhuta-sukshma, as they are called, or the subtle elementary potencies, are the Soma-raja, or King Soma, mentioned here.The subtle potencies which our actions produced get mixed up with the 'tanmatras' - shabda (sound), sparsa (touch), rupa (colour), rasa (taste), gandha (smell). And then it is that we get involved in the higher realms; we get vitally connected with our actions for reasons obvious, and our actions are related to the consequences they produce - 'apurva'. The 'apurva' gets mixed up with the elemental subtle forces called tanmatras, and so we are involved in the tanmatras in this manner.There is a cycle, as it were, a wheel rotating in the form of give-and-take between the deities in the heaven and the human beings here. We give something and we are given back something. Nature gives us what we give to it in the form of our own deeds in this world. The rainfall, which is the cause of the production of food in this world, is one of the important links in the cyclic chain of give-and-take, or coordination and cooperation between the individuals and the whole of Nature.
"The Earth is, indeed, the Fire, O Gautama. Of that, the Year is the fuel, the Sky is the smoke, the Night is the flame, the Quarters are the embers, the Intermediary Quarters are the sparks." (5.6.1)
"Into this Fire, the gods offer the oblation of rain. Out of that oblation, arises food." (5.6.2)
Rain falls on this earth.We contemplate the whole earth as the fire in another stage of the Cosmic Sacrifice. The earth is a sacrificial fire. The productive capacity of the earth depends upon another factor, viz., the cyclic changes produced by the process of time. The year is the time factor involved in the capacity of the earth to produce foodstuff. And because it is the inciting factor in the production of foodstuff in the world, it is called 'samit', or fuel, for it is what causes the blazing of the fire of the sacrifice. Just as smoke rises up from the fire, we contemplate the whole sky as if it is a dome that is rising from the earth. When we look up, it appears as if the sky is rising dome-like above the earth, and we may contemplate as if it is a smoke rising from the fire of the earth. Even as the fire is the cause of the rising of the flame,the earth is the cause of night and day phenomena which is the flame of the fire in the sacrifice since its rotation causes day-night. The quarters are the embers, because they are calm and quiet, undisturbed as it were, by the movements that take place in the world. So, it is the subsidence of activity, like the embers after the flame subsides. Like sparks from the fire, which move in different directions, we have the intermediary quarters of the heavens which are in different directions, as if they are sparks in the sacrifice. The intermediary quarters are of lesser importance and, therefore, they are called the sparks.
THE PANCHAGNI VIDYA :
======== From Chhandogya Upanishad ============ "Man, O Gautama, is the fire, speech is the fuel, 'prana' is the smoke, the tongue is the flame, the eyes are the embers and the ears are the sparks." ( 5.7.1)
"In this fire the deities offer oblation of food. Out of that offering, the vital seed (semen) is produced." (5.7.2)
At this fourth stage of sacrifice, the fourth sacrifice is of man himself, who is involved in this entire activity. Man is the fire and his tounge acts as the flame of fire through which it accepts the oblation i.e. takes the food. Man consumes the food of the world and energises himself and produces virility.
"Woman, O Gautama, is the fire, her sexual organ is the fuel, what invites is the smoke, the vulva is the flame, what is done inside is the embers, the orgasms are the sparks." (5.8.1)
"In this fire the gods offer semen as libation. Out of that offering the foetus is formed." (5.8.2)
The fifth oblation is woman whose union with man brings about the birth of a child.This oblation is the immediate cause of the rise of the effect in the form of the baby that lies in the womb of the mother. Here, the womb of the mother need not necessarily mean the human mother, though the description is human, to serve as a sample of the illustration. Any cause which gives birth to an effect is the mother that produces the child.
"Thus in the fifth libation water comes to be called man. The foetus enclosed in the membrane, having lain inside for ten or nine months, or more or less, is born." (5.9.1)
"Having been born, he lives whatever the length of his life may be. When he is dead, they carry him to the fire of the funeral pyre whence he came, whence he arose." (5.9.2)
The Celestial Region, the Atmosphere, the Earth, Man and Woman - these are the five stages of the Fire which becomes the object of meditation known as the Panchagni-Vidya. By the interconnection, combination and harmonious adjustment of the structure of these five levels of manifestation, birth takes place.The first oblation is the universal vibration in the celestial heaven; that is the first sacrifice, and that is the first oblation. The second oblation is in the second sacrifice which is the reverberation of the vibrations in the celestial region felt in the lower regions of the atmosphere, as the fall of the rain. The grosser manifestations which are the events that take place in this world are the third oblation. The fourth and fifth oblations are Man and Woman respectively as discussed above.These are the Five Fires.
When the span of life is finished, there is what we call the death of the body, the extrication of the prana from the individual embodiment. And these Fires take the individual to the destination to which it is bound after death. Again, these Fires are there in action; they are never absent at any time. The Five Fires are nothing but the five degrees of the manifestation of universal law. In the same way as one was pushed into manifestation into this particular life, one is put out of existence here, and then taken through the same process of manifestation into other realms. The process is the same, because the Five Fires work everywhere in all the realms of being.Wherever you are, in whatever realm, in any form of birth whatsoever, these laws operate, and they catch hold of you, and condition you to certain limited forms of life.
These Fires are not to be regarded as individual events. This is the purpose of the vidya in the Upanishad. The Fires so-called are diviner manifestations of a cosmic character, and there is nothing local, physical, earthly or binding in any of these sacrifices. They are all processes of a vaster Nature in which the individual is integrally involved.
So these are the oblations symbolically offered in the sacrifice of meditation which is called the Panchagni-Vidya.This is a secret which the Kshatriyas knew and the Brahmanas did not know. King Pravahana Jaivali was reluctant to part with this knowledge because it was a guarded secret for him and for his community. And now he exposed this knowledge to the Brahmana known as Gautama who came to him as a student, and having explained in detail these mystical doctrines of meditation - the Panchagni-Vidya - he concluded by saying that the food oblation offered in the Fire of Man, which gets converted into the seed, is what rises up as the child by birth. This was one of the questions the king put to the boy who approached him in the court.
SHIV LINGAM : ONE OF THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD MOTIFS
Please Read The Actual Explanation Here ......
THE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SHIV LINGAM :
=========== Must Read And Share ===========
“Lingam” is one of the most misunderstood motifs of Sanatan Dharma. It has been subject to such a bad smear campaigning by Westerners, especially missionaries, which even Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as a stylized phallic symbol.
THE MISINTERPRETATION :
This is not only misleading but also base less. Such misinterpretations are done in later Vedic period and popularized much later, when Indian literatures actually came into hands of foreign scholars. It was difficult to interpret the language and a word may have different meaning depending on the context. Some of the easy interpretation may be misleading. Many foreign scholars are of the view that the phallus symbolizes the linga, sexual organ, of Lord Shiva and the basin in connection with it represents the yoni, or vulva, of Goddess Durga. In a sense, the linga united with the yoni symbolizes creation.
Evidence From Agama Texts :
Expression ‘linga’ in the Agama context signifies ‘symbol’ (chinha). Derived from the root ‘ligi gatyau’, it refers to movement, and words having been movement as their etymological meaning have also connotations of knowledge (‘sarve gatyarthah jnanarthah’).
Linga therefore means that by which the Divine is cognized or approached (‘lingyate jnayate anena iti lingam’).
The Agama texts also bring out another valid explanation for the word ‘linga’:
linga in its primary sense is broken up into ‘lin’ (to dissolve, to get merged, to destroy) and ‘gati’ (to emerge, to go out).
Linga is so called because all phenomena are dissolved in Siva at the time of cosmic dissolution, and it emerges from Siva once again at the time of creation. (Ajitagama, 3, 16-17).
Literally, in Samskrit, Shiva means Auspiciousness.
Shiva also means one in whom the whole creation sleeps, after dissolutionand Linga also means exactly the same thing. Thus Shiva(and Linga) is, what is there after the destruction of all the creation,(Pralayam) and before the beginning of the next cycle of creation. Hence it is a symbol of Auspiciousness and of 'that' which is beginningless and endless, the GOD Himself.
From Shvetasvatara Upanishad :
One of the first uses of the term ‘linga’ in association with Shiva is found in the Shvetasvatara Upanishad – it says that Lord Shiva, the Supreme Being, has no linga (sign or symbol). In simple terms, it is impossible to define Brahman or that is Alinga.
From Skanda Puran :
Another authentic reference comes from Skanda Puran where lingam is clearly indicated as the supreme Shiva from where the whole universe is created and where it finally submerge.
आकाशं लिंगमित्याहु: पृथ्वी तस्य पीठिका। आलय: सर्व देवानां लयनार्लिंगमुच्यते ॥ .......... (स्कन्द पुराण)
" The endless sky (that great void which contains the entire universe) is the Linga, the Earth is its base. At the end of time the entire universe and all the Gods finally emerge in the Linga itself.Now this should clarify the settle the doubts once and forever."
THE PERFECT REBUTTAL FROM ATHARVA VED BY SWAMI VIVEKANANDA :
Swami Vivekananda gave by far the best rebuttal to Western claims that it might be a symbol of phallic worship, by giving proof from the Skambha Sukta of Atharva Ved 10:7 .
Swami Vivekananda gave a lecture at the Paris Congress of the History of Religions in 1900 during which he refuted the statements of some Western scholars that referred to Shiva linga as phallic worship. Vivekananda’s words at the congress were in connection with the paper read by Mr.Gustav Oppert, a German Orientalist, who tried to trace the origin of the Shalagrama-Shila and the Shiva-Linga to phallicism.
To this Vivekananda objected, adducing proof from the Vedas, and particularly the Skambha Sukta of Atharva-Ved Samhita, to the effect that the Shiva-Linga had its origin in the idea of the Yupa-Stambha or Skambha—the sacrificial post, idealized in Vedic ritual as the symbol of the Eternal Brahman.
In that hymn a description is found of the beginningless and endless" Stambha or 'Skambha' and it is shown that the said Skambha is put, in place of the Eternal Brahman.Afterwards, the Yajna(the sacred fire)and its flames gave place to the conception of the brightness of Shiva's body. The Yajna's smoke was symbolised as Shiva's dark matted hair, the soma plant used in the Yajna was symbolised as Shiva's Blue Throat (Neelakantan)the ashes of the Yajna became the ashes applied to Shiva's body and the ox that used to carry on its back, the wood for the Yajna, was conceptualised as the carrier (Nandi)the Vahana of Shiva. Just so, the Yupa Skambha in time was symbolised as the Shiva-Linga and was deified to the high Deva -hood of Shri Shankara. In the Atharva Veda Samhita, even the sacrificial cakes, are also extolled along with the attributes of the Brahman.
Swami Sivananda's View :
Swami Sivananda, also explains why equating Siva Lingam with the phallus is a mistake. According to him, “This is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of the Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex-mark. You will find in the Linga Puran:
—" The foremost Linga which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc., is spoken of as Prakriti (Nature).”
The Identity Of Brahman And Shakti :
Another interpretation considers Shiva Lingam to be divided in two parts – Shiva (Brahman) and Shakti . Thus Shiva Lingam are symbols to represent the aspects of the union / identity of Brahman and Shakti. From one view Shiva is Shiva and Shakti both.
According to some people, the Shiva Lingam generally signifies the magnificent light that is the indication or identity of Lord Shiva. This light or flame is solidified and makes the Shivlinga. The lower base of the structure is said to represent the lamp and the upper section, the flame. Now it is not possible for a common man to pray to Brahman which is beyond any characteristic. Human beings need a form to worship. In Sanatana Dharma, each individual has the freedom to define the Supreme Being or Brahman in the most convenient way he/ she is comfortable.
Many of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu is known to have worshipped the Shivlinga including Lord Ram, Parashuram and Krishna. In the ‘Mahabharata’, one comes across the incident of Arjuna's invocation of the holy Shiv Linga and his attainment of the great weapon Pashupathastra.
In most Shiva temples, the bull Nandi is depicted facing the sanctum, symbolizing the human soul Jeevatma yearning for realizing its oneness with Paramatma, the ultimate reality.
====== The Suddhadvaita Philosophy of Sri Vallabha ======
Introduction The philosophy of Sri Vallbhacharya is Suddha Advaita or pure monism, because he does not admit Maya like Sankara, and believes that the whole world of matter and souls is real and is only a subtle form of God. Those who bring Maya for the explanation of the world are not pure Advaitins, because they admit a second to Brahman (Supreme Reality). Vallabha holds that Brahman can create the world without any connection with such a principle as Maya, but Sankara traces the universe to Brahman through the power of Maya. Hence the philosophy of Vallabha is called pure monism or Suddhadvaita.
Vallabha expounded this system in the Anu-Bhashya, his commentary on the Brahma Sutras. He called it Suddha Advaita or pure monism as against Sankara’s Kevala Advaita and Ramanuja’s Visishta-Advaita. Vallabha was a Telugu Brahmin of South India. He migrated to the north and developed the views of Vishnuswamin who belonged to the thirteenth century. His system of thought is known by the name Brahma-Vada.
Vallabha says that the entire universe is real and is subtly Brahman. The individual souls and the world are, in essence, one with Brahman. Jiva (individual soul), Kala (time) and Prakriti or Maya are eternal existences, but they have no separate existence apart from Brahman.
Vallabha was a great Sanskrit scholar. He settled down first at Mathura and then at Varanasi. He preached with great zeal the Vaishnava creed and philosophy. He was the founder of the great Vaishnava Mutts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. His followers are found in great numbers in Nathdwara.
Important Works of Vallabha
Vallabha accepts the authority not only of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras, but also of the Bhagavata Purana. The important works of Vallabha are Vyasa-Sutra Bhashya (Anu-Bhashya), Jaimini-Sutra Bhashya, Bhagavata-Tika, Subodhini, Pushti-Pravaha-Maryada and Siddhanta-Rahasya. All these books are in Sanskrit. He has written many books in Braj Bhasha (Braj language) also. The scriptures are the final authority for Vallabha.
Stress on Worship and Grace
Vallabha’s religion is a religion addressed to the worship of Vishnu in the form of Krishna. It was derived chiefly, like the system of Chaitanya, from the Vaishnava philosophy propounded by Ramanuja. It is centred round the conception of a personal and beneficent God who is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Lord Krishna is the highest Brahman (Supreme Reality. His body consists of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). He is called Purushottama.
Vallabha’s followers worship Bala-Krishna (Krishna as a child or boy). They have Vatsalya-Bhava (the attitude of parent and child). Vallabha lays great stress on Pushti (grace) and Bhakti (devotion). Maha-Pushti is the highest grace or Anugraha which helps the aspirants to attain God-realisation.
God – The Only Being
According to Vallabha, God is the Absolute or the Purushottama. He is perfect. He is Sat-Chit-Ananda. He is infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He has all the auspicious qualities also. The Sruti texts which say that He has no attributes, mean that He has not the ordinary qualities.
God is real. There is no other reality besides Him. He is the only Being. He is the source for this universe and all souls. He is the first cause and the only cause. God is the material as well as the efficient cause of the universe. He creates the world by the mere force of His Will. Brahman manifests Himself, of His own Will, as the universe and the individual souls, but He does not undergo any change in His essential nature. Things come out of the Akshara (Sat-Chit-Ananda), like sparks from fire. Brahman (Supreme Reality) is the Creator of the world. He is also the world itself.
God is personified as Krishna, when He possesses the qualities of wisdom and action. He appears in various forms to please His devotees.
The World of Nature and the World of False Relations
Creation is manifestation of Brahman. The universe is the effect of Brahman. The universe is as eternal and real as Brahman Himself. The inanimate universe is filled with Brahman. The world is not an illusory appearance. It is not different from Brahman in essence.
Jagat is the world of Nature. It is not illusory. It is real. It is God Himself in one form. But, the Samsara or temporal involvement is illusory. This is created by the soul around its ‘I-ness’ and ‘mine-ness’. The separation from God on account of egoism makes the soul forget its original true, divine nature. Samsara is a product of the soul’s imagination and action which play around its "I-ness’ and ‘mine-ness’. On account of its selfishness, it puts itself in wrong relations with other souls and with the objective universe. It creates a web of its own and gets itself entangled in it.
This is an illusion, because the web has no reality. This samsara, the world of false relations created by the soul, is alone Maya. Samsara or Maya rises because the soul, which is not apart from God, tries to set itself up as an independent reality or entity in its own right. The self which is something apart from God is illusory. Its body is illusory and its world also is illusory. All this is samsara. It is very different from the world of Nature.
Jiva and Brahman Analogy of the Spark and the Fire
The Jivas are not effects. They are Amsas or parts of God. They issue from Him spontaneously as sparks from fire. Brahman is the whole. The Jiva or the individual soul is part; but, there is no real difference between Brahman and the individual soul, because the individual soul is of identical essence with Brahman. (According to Ramana, the parts are really different from the whole). The soul is one with Brahman. It is as real and eternal as Brahman.
The individual soul is not Brahman screened by the veil of Avidya. It is itself Brahman, with the attribute ‘bliss’ being obscured or suppressed. Ananda or bliss is suppressed or obscured in the individual soul. Ananda and consciousness are suppressed or obscured in matter or the inanimate world. When the soul attains bliss, and the inanimate world attains both consciousness and bliss, the difference between Brahman and these vanishes.
The soul is both a doer and an enjoyer. It is atomic in size, but it pervades the whole body by its quality of intelligence, just as sandalwood pervades even the places where it does not exist by its sweet fragrance and just as a lamp, though confined only to a part of a room, illuminates the whole room.
Classification of Souls
There are three kinds of souls:
The pure (Suddha) Jivas. The divine qualities (Aisvarya) are not obscured in these souls by ignorance. The worldly Jivas (Samsarin). These souls are caught in the net or clutches of Avidya or ignorance. They experience births and deaths on account of their connection with gross and subtle bodies. Mukta Jivas or liberated souls. These souls are freed from the bonds of Samsara through Vidya or Knowledge. When the soul attains the final emancipation, it recovers its suppressed qualities and becomes one with God or Brahman. The world appears as Brahman to one who has realised the Truth or Brahman.
There is another classification of souls, viz., Pushti souls, Maryada souls and Pravahika souls. All these are different from one another in their origin, nature and final end. They all issue from God with their differences.
The Pushti souls are the highest, as they issue from the Anada-Kaya or the bliss-body of God. These souls are the Amsa (parts) of His body. God is the Amsi (the whole). These are the souls of grace. They have the divine seed in them which bears fruit in the end. They ultimately reach the goal through the grace of the Lord. They have communion and fellowship with Lord Krishna. They develop Bhakti (devotion)through the grace of the Lord. Bhakti is the means and the end in itself.
The Maryada souls are generated from the Vak or the Word of God. They are governed by law, not by grace. They perform their ritualistic duties, at first with selfish interests. Later on, they develop Nishkarma-Bhava (unselfish attitude) and do their ritualistic routine without any self-interest. This purifies their mind. They reach the Akshara, which is a kind of vestibule to the abode of God. Afterwards they attain the supreme abode of God.
The Pravahika souls issue from the mind of God. They are the Samsaric Jivas. They are souls neither of grace nor of law. They are in continuous motion (Pravaha).
These three kinds of souls have further sub-division and cross-divisions into Pushti-Pushti, Pushti-Maryada, Pushti-Pravahika, Maryada-Maryada, Maryada-Pushti, Maryada-Pravahika, Pravahika-Pravahika, Pravahika-Pushti and Pravahika-Maryada.
Pushti Marga or the Way of Grace
The way of life and salvation preached by Vallabha is called Pushti Marga. The soul of man has become weak and lean on account of sin. It is, therefore, in dire need of the grace of God for its uplift and emancipation. God’s grace gives Pushti (nourishment) and Poshana (strength); and hence the name Pushti Marga or the Way of Grace.
The individual soul can attain the final emancipation only through the grace of God. Bhakti is the chief means of salvation. Jnana is useful. Maha Pushti or the highest grace removes great obstacles and helps in the attainment of God. The Bhakti (devotion) generated by special grace is known as Pushti Bhakti.
The Four Kinds of Bhakti (devotion)
This Pushti-Bhakti is of four kinds:
Pravaha Pushti-Bhakti Maryada Pushti-Bhakti Pushti Pushti-Bhakti Suddha Pushti-Bhakti. Prava Bhakti is the path of those who while leading the worldly life, perform works which will lead to the attainment of God-realisation. Worldly life is compared to the flow of a river (Pravaha).
Maryada Bhakti is the path of those who are rendered fit to attain knowledge which is useful for worship, through the grace of the Lord. They know all about the ways of God. They depend upon their own efforts to obtain knowledge.
In Pushti-Bhakti, the devotees lead a life of self-restraint. They hear discourses about the Lord. They do Kirtana and sing His name. The do Japa (repeated recitation) of Mantra.
Suddha Pushti-Bhakti or the Purest Type of Devotion
In Suddha Pushti-Bhakti, the devotees do Kirtana and sing the Lord’s name. They praise God. They develop a strong passion for doing these. This kind of devotion is generated by the Lord Himself. The Lord’s grace descends on the devortees. Then they develop a liking for God. This liking grows into Prema Bhakti (love for God). The devotees acquire knowledge about God. Then they get attachment to God (Asakti). Then they develop a strong passion for attaining God. This is the ripe condition of love and Asakti. It is called Vyasana. This strong passion, or Vyasana, leads to the attainment of the highest bliss, the Summum bonum or the end.
When love for Sri Krishna becomes intense, the devotee sees Lord Krishna everywhere. Hence everything becomes an object of love for him. He identifies himself with everything. The Gopis had this experience. They saw Krishna everywhere. They saw themselves also as Krishna. This is a Para Bhakti or supreme devotion which becomes akin to the knowledge or Brahma-Jnana of the Vedantins or Jnanis. The inner and outer world is full of Krishna or Purushottama for such devotees. The fruit of this devotion is admission to the eternal sports or Lilas of Sri Krishna.
The Supreme goal is not Mukti or emancipation. The highest goal is eternal service of Lord Krishna and participation in His sports in the celestial Brindavana. Those who have developed Vyasana, or strong passion for God, reject with scorn the four kinds of Mukti. The Maryada-Bhaktas attain Sayujya Mukti, i.e., they become one with Sri Krishna. The Pushti-Bhaktas reject Mukti and take part in the sports or Lilas of Sri Krishna. They choose with intense delight the eternal service of Sri Krishna. The Bhaktas assume the forms of cows, birds, trees and rivers and enjoy the company of Sri Krishna, which bestows infinite joy. These sports are similar to those which Sri Krishna did in Vraja and Vrindavana. Some of the devotees become Gopas and Gopis and join the sports in the celestial Vrindavana.
Different Kinds of Liberated Souls
The liberated souls are of different kinds. Some have freed themselves like (Sage) Sanaka. Some dwell in the city of God and attain salvation through the grace of the Lord. Some others develop perfect love and become the associates of God.
MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PRANAVA ( AUM KAAR) :
THE PRANAVA 'AUM' :
====== From Prasna Upanishad And Katha Upnaishad ======
This letter AUM (OM), indeed, is the (inferior) Brahman (Hiranyagarbha); and this letter is, indeed, the Supreme Brahman. Anybody, who, while meditating on this letter, wants any of the two, to him comes that. -Katha Upanisad, I.ii.16
This medium is the best; this medium is the Supreme (and the inferior) Brahman. Meditating on this medium, one becomes adorable in the world of Brahman. -Katha Upanisad, I.ii.17
From Prashna Upanishad : IV (Up. 5)
1. Then Satyakama, son of Sibi, asked him: ‘Venerable Sir, if among men any one meditates on AUM to the end of his life, what world does he win thereby?’
2. To him he said: “Verily, O Satyakama, this syllable AUM is both the higher and the lower Brahman. Therefore, he who knows it can reach by its support either the one or the other.
3.“If he meditates on one element of it, he is enlightened even by that and comes back quickly to earth. The Rik verses lead him to the world of men. There, endowed with austerity, chastity and faith he experiences greatness.
4. “If he meditates on two elements, then he becomes one with the mind and is led by Yajus formulas to the intermediate space, to the lunar world; having experienced greatness there he returns here again.
5. “But if with the three elements of the syllable AUM he meditates on the highest Person, he becomes one with the light, the sun. And being freed from his sins, as a snake is freed from its skin, he is led by Saman chants to the world of Brahman. He sees the Person who dwells in the body, higher than the highest assemblage of life. On this subject there are these two verses:
6. “These three elements, each by itself, are within the sphere of mortality. But if they are united and not separated from each other and are enjoyed in actions well performed, internal, external or intermediate – the knower is not shaken.
7. “With the Rik verses one gains this world, with the Yajus formulas the inter-space, and with Saman chants that which the sages know. With AUM as the sole support the wise man attains to that which is tranquil, undecaying, deathless, fearless and supreme.
Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Advaita Ashram From Mandukya Upanishad, First Mantra:
"AUM, the word, is all this (phenomenal universe). A clear explanation of it (follows). All that is past, present and future is indeed, AUM. And whatever else there is, beyond the three fold division of time,- that too verily is AUM (OM)."
__ The first chapter of Mandukya Upanishad discusses Turiya by means of the Vedic symbol AUM. The restless mind cannot think of the transcendental Reality without the help of a concrete symbol. Thinking is possible only through symbols.
The student is asked to imagine four parts in Brahman, or Cosmic Reality. They are called four quarters. The first three- gross, subtle and causal- constitute the phenomenal world. The fourth, so called only in relation to the three just mentioned, is transcendental, being beyond time, space and causality. It is Turiya, or the unconditioned Brahman.
Brahman and Atman (Self) are identical. The gross aspect of Brahman has its counterpart in the waking state (Vishva) of Atman, when the external world is perceived by means of the sense-organs;
the subtle aspect, in the dream state (Taijasa), when the internal world, created by waking experiences, is perceived;
and the causal aspect, in deep sleep or dreamless sleep (Prajna), characterised by bliss and the cessation of mental activity.
The transcendental aspect of Atman, or Pure Consciousness, which is its true nature, is the same as Turiya.
Like Brahman, AUM also has four parts, called letters. The first three are A, U, and M, corresponding to the first three quarters of Brahman and Atman. In addition to these there is an undifferentiated sound of AUM, which comes after the first three letters are pronounced.
Devoid of all characteristics, it is not any particular sound, but the substratum of all sounds. It is the same as the unconditioned Brahman, or Turiya. Turiya is here figuratively called a quarter. In reality it does not denote any part. It is Brahman Itself, which does not admit of any differentiation. The knowledge of the fourth quarter is realised by merging in it the previous three. That is to say, the waking state is merged in the dream state, the dream state in dreamless sleep, and finally, dreamless sleep in Turiya, or Pure Consciousness. Thus through meditation on AUM one can realise Brahman both in its cosmic and in its acosmic aspect.
[Note: "Unconditioned Brahman": For explanation, refer to Page ‘The Nature of Reality’, see column on the left].
The four quarters are like the quarters of a coin, and not like the four feet of a cow. A large coin, for instance a silver dollar, can be divided into four quarters. But these quarters are not essential or intrinsic characteristic of the dollar; they are designed to serve a practical purpose. That is not true of the four feet of a cow, which are essential parts of it. Atman (Self) is partless. Therefore the four quarters mentioned in the text are superimposed upon Atman as the quarters are superimposed on the coin. Again, the waking state merges in the dream state, the dream state in the dreamless sleep, and dreamless sleep in Turiya. The three preceding states are the means of realising the fourth, or Turiya. The attainment of Turiya is the object of philosophical inquiry. Turiya is not a part of Atman.
In our next post we will discuss the three states of consciousness viz. Jagrata (Waking state) ,Svapna (Dream state), Shushupti (Deep sleep) and how its realted to the three letters of Aum with reference from Mandukya Upanishad.
There are six suktas dealing with time or Kala. The sages knew the distinction between the methods of marking time and the abstract concept of time itself. The seasons mark the passage of time.
But the Atharva Vedic sages declare in the hymns (19.53) and (19.54) that time is an abstract entity which causes all the dynamics seen in the universe.
Atharva Ved 19.53.6 declares that time created earth, the sun burns in time, all existences are defined in time.
Atharva Ved 19.53.7 declares that the concept of mind exists in time only because we know the mind by the changes in our thoughts etc and all changing entities exist in time only.
ATHARVA VED 19.53 Time (Kala)
" Time drives (as) a steed with seven reins (rays), thousand-eyed, unageing, of abundant seed. Him mount the poets that know holy hymns; his wheels are all worlds (or beings). "
[ Note : Steed with seven reins : Time is compared here with the Sun and its seven rays]
" This Time drives seven wheels; seven are his naves, his axle is immortality. He, adorning (anointing) all these worlds, he, Time, moves on as foremost Deity. "
[ Note : Time drives seven wheels : Time operates past, present and future and also the four directions.]
"A full vessel (of wealth) is set upon Time; we see him, verily, though he is in many forms; he faces towards all these worlds; they say that he, Time, is in the highest space. "
" He alone assembled the worlds (or, beings); he alone encompassed the worlds (beings). Though their father, he became their son; than him there is no other majesty higher. "
" Time created farthest space, Time also these realms of earth; impelled by Time, what has been and what is to be take their several positions."
" Time created lordship, in Time the sun shines; in Time are all beings; in Time the eye looks abroad to different things. "
" In Time is thought, in Time Prana (life-breath), in Time name [as that which does not leave man at death] is concentrated. All creatures here rejoice in Time when it arrives. "
" In Time is the sacred ardour [tapas], in Time the Supreme, in Time the Divine knowledge (Brahman) is comprehended. Time is the lord of all, he who was the father of the Lord of Creatures, Prajapati. "
" By him it was sent forth, by him it was born, on him it is founded truly Time,having become the divine knowledge (Brahman) , supports Him that is in the Highest. "
" Time created creatures, Time (created) the Lord of Creatures in the beginning; from Time the self-existent Kashyapa, from Time sacred ardour [tapas] was born. "
ATHARVA VED 19.54 :
" From Time originated the (cosmic) waters, from Time the Divine knowledge (Brahman), sacred ardour (tapas), the directions (of space); by Time the sun rises, in Time it goes to rest again. "
" By Time the wind blows purifying, by Time the great earth (exists), in Time the great sky is set. Time, (who was their) son, begot of old what has been and what is to be. "
" From Time the stanzas- (of the Rig Ved) originated, from Time the formula (of the Yajur Ved) was born. Time set in motion the sacrifice, (as) an inexhaustible portion for the Deities. "
" In Time the Gandharvas and Apsarases (are established), in Time the worlds are established. Upon Time this divine Angiras and Atharvan both stand. "
" Having conquered by the divine knowledge both this world and the supreme (heavenly) world, both the holy worlds and (their) holy separating divisions, (in short) all the worlds, this Time, the highest Deity, marches on. "
Please note that Vedas belong to an era when the only cult, community or religion was that of humanity (another very poor approximate of word Manushyata). While Vedas elaborate on a large number of deep subjects and provide a complete framework to reach up to ultimate levels of bliss and truth, following points summarize what it takes to become followers of Vedic religion. Regardless of one’s knowledge, views, ideology or intellect if she or he follows these points, she or he is following the Vedic religion. If one does not follow any rituals, any tradition or any norms, but adheres to these points, she or he is following the Vedic religion.
This alone is the religion that Agniveer wants to preach, and this alone is the true and only way to bliss.You would find many of these points common in various cults and religions. That is because Vedas remain the original source of everything good. Whatever is good in these other cults is inherited from the Vedas. Thus if one is following any good practice, it is Vedic dharma. No one can survive without being Vedic for a moment. The effort in life should be directed towards eliminating the unnecessary additional waste that is not Vedic and yet we keep pulling like a donkey.
So here is a summary of Vedic religion. Embrace them and live a life of bliss beyond imaginations! (To review original Hindi text, please visit Introduction to Vedas (Hindi) and review chapter named Vedoktadharmavishaya.)
1. The last Sukta of Rigveda (10.161) summarizes the whole essence of what humans should do to imbibe the Vedas. The entire Vedas have to be understood in context of this Sukta which emphasizes on the most differentiating trait of human beings – unity – in purpose, method and approach. Here is a summary list of the dictates of Vedic religion in this Sukta:
Rigveda 10.161.2 – walk together in the path of truth without bias, injustice and intolerance – talk to each other to enhance knowledge, wisdom and affection without malice and hatred – keep working together to enhance knowledge and bliss – follow the path of truth and selflessness as exemplified by noble people
Rigveda 10.161.3 – Your analysis of right and wrong should be unbiased and not specific to particular set of people – You should organize together to help everyone enhance their health, knowledge and prosperity – Your minds should be devoid of hatred and should see progress and happiness of all as one’s own progress and happiness and you should only act for enhancement of happiness of all based on truth – Work together to eradicate falsehood and discover truth – Never ever deviate from path of truth and unity
Rigveda 10.161.4 – Your efforts should be full of enthusiasm and for bliss of everyone – Your emotions should be for one and all and love everyone the way you love yourself – Your desire, resolve, analysis, faith, abstinence, patience, keenness, focus, comfort etc all should be towards truth and bliss for all, and away from falsehood. – Keep working in synergy to increase each others’ knowledge and bliss.
2. Yajurved 19.77 - All humans at all times should have passion only for adoption of truth and rejection of falsehood. This should be a continuous process and one should keep detaching faith from what one discovers to be false and keep attaching faith to what one discovers to be true based on analysis, logic, facts and evidence.
3. Yajurved 36.18 – Humans should never hate any other living being and interact with each other with love and affection – Humans should consider all living beings as their friends and work for prosperity of everyone
4. Yajurved 1.5 - All human beings should resolve to accept only truth and reject the falsehood. Even the prayer to Supreme should request only eradication of falsehood and embrace of truth alone.
5. Yajurved 19.30 – When one resolves to adhere to truth, she becomes eligible for bliss and truth. When she becomes eligible, she starts getting rewards in form of knowledge and satisfaction. Such rewards strengthen the resolve and enhance the faith towards pursuit of truth. As the faith enhances, so does the bliss and knowledge one gets. And eventually this leads to ultimate bliss or Salvation.
6. Atharvaved 12.5.1,2 – Shrama – extreme efforts and Tapa – desire to withstand challenges and troubles happily for sake of one’s goal – are the two basic characteristics of humans that they should never leave. – Through Shrama and Tapa, humans can unravel the greatest mysteries of the world and understand the knowledge of Brahma or Supreme – Shrama and Tapa should be utilized to adopt truth and reject falsehood – Shrama and Tapa should be utilized to enhance one’s wealth and prosperity of the nation – Shrama and Tapa should be utilized to gain fame based on truth alone
7. Atharvaved 12.5.3 – One should use one’s own things and not steal from others – One should ensure that everyone trusts each other completely. Trust cannot come without passion for truth and hence truth should be adhered to in all situations – One should make greatest efforts to protect true knowledge, scholars and innocent people – One should indulge in extracting best benefits through Yajna – by selfless acts of general benefits for all, promoting true knowledge and applying this knowledge in all fields – One should never be lazy and continue putting efforts for the Yajna
8. Atharvaved 12.5.7-10 (These mantras provide a complete snapshot of Vedic religion)Oja – Bravery in following truth Teja – Fearlessness Saha – To follow truth regardless of happiness, sorrow, loss, gain Bala – To continue increasing physical and mental strength through study, Brahmacharya, discipline, exercise etc Vaak – To speak sweetly for propagation of truth Indriya – To direct all the 5 sense organs, 5 action organs and mind towards truth and righteousness and away from sins Shree – To put all efforts and plan for creation of a powerful country based on truth, justice and honesty and bringing down those rulers who are corrupt, impotent, devoid of self-respect and selfish Dharma – To continuously accept truth and reject falsehood and bring benefit for all human beings and living beings through this process Brahma – To promote scholars and noble people who would propagate knowledge Kshatra – To promote brave people who would protect nation and people, and severely punish those who harm innocent people or attempt to denigrate the society Visha – To promote commerce and trade and work towards propagation of global economy devoid of discrimination Twishi – To promote and publicize noble virtues and truth alone Yasha – To work for global fame based only on truth and noble virtues Varcha – To establish a sound education system for all men and women Dravinam – To explore for more and more wealth based on above traits, safeguard the existing wealth, enhance the safeguarded wealth and investing wealth to promote knowledge and noble virtues Ayu – To put all efforts to increase one’s lifespan Roopam – To wear good clean clothes take showcase dignity and respect Naam – To work towards setting examples so that others are also inspired towards path of truth Keerti – To propagate true knowledge so that we also get fame Prana Apana – To control breathing patterns to eliminate diseases and enhance longevity Chakshu Shrotra – To use sense organs to continuously explore truth and reject falsehood Paya Rasa – To have drinks that enhance health and vitality – like milk, water, medicines etc Anna Annadya – To have good food that is beneficial for health as per methods of medical sciences Ritam – To worship only the ultimate Ishwar who is Supreme and none else Satyam – To have no absolutely differences in what one knows, speaks and acts upon Ishtam – To desire only total bliss through worship of one and only one Ishwar through noble acts as described above Poortam – To plan and act for fulfillment of Ishtam as defined above Praja – To educate masses and new generation in all true fields of knowledge and actions Pashava – To care for animals as well
The mantra uses ‘Cha’ meaning ‘and’ several times to emphasize that apart from those mentioned above, any other trait that promotes truth and wisdom and eradicates falsehood and grief from among masses should be readily adopted.
Other texts based on Vedas elaborate this subject of religion or Dharma in greater detail and so do many other mantras of Vedas. Some of the other excellent elaborations on Dharma are found in Taittriya Aranyak 7.9,11; 10.8; 10.62,63; Mundakopanishad 3.1.5,6 and Purva Meemansa 1.1.2 which states that whatever is advised by Ishwar in Vedas (as explained above) is Dharma.
(You can read them in detail in Rigvedadibhashyabhumika or Introduction to Vedas by Swami Dayanand in Chapter named Vedoktadharmavishaya. Its a compulsory reading for those desiring to understand the Vedas.)
The definition of Dharma or religion as per Vaisheshik Darshan 1.1.2 is “ Whatever leads to happiness and ultimate bliss or Moksha for entire world – alone is Dharma”.
All human beings should follow this religion or Dharma alone and reject everything else that does not comply with it, or are unnecessary additions over it. This alone is the religion for all human beings. Humans do not have two religions. So accept only this religion, as described above, and reject everything else!