Sunday, November 30, 2014

SIGNIFICANCE OF OMKAR, OHM

Photo: THE PRANAVA 'AUM' : 

====== From Prasna Upanishad And Katha Upnaishad ====== 

(PART- 2)


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.    

(Concluded. )

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.   



"Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"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.

(Concluded. )

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.