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Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism

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#1
FIRST MUSING

Once Prajapathi went to his father and asked him. "Father, I want to know how you created the Universe". Brahma said, "I am the whole universe. By knowing me you will know the universe." Saying so he disappeared.

• Prajapathi surveyed the creation that consisted of this world, the middle region and the heaven. He brooded over his father's words and said "All I have is this creation before me and if I know the essence of this creation, then I would know my father." So saying he looked at Prithvi, this earth. The earth is dark and could not be seen but for the fire in it. So he discerned that Agni to be the essence of the earth, as but for the Agni the earth will not be important. Prajapathi therefore extracted Agni as the essence of the earth.

• Then he turned his attention a little higher. He saw the space called the Anthariksham or the middle region. There was thunder and lightening, there was so much noise and movement of the manes, the dead ancestors. The noise and motion is indicative of their unease and fear of having lost their dear ones and their restlessness to get back to them. These were possible by the air or Vayu (as one would observe in Vayu’s motion a eerie noise of fear). Prajapathi knew Vayu as the essence of space and extracted it.

• Then he turned his attention higher and looked at Dhyau the heaven. It was bright and in its midst the Sun was shining brilliantly. He knew the Sun or Aadhithya to be the essence of the Heaven and extracted it.
Prajapathi brooded over these three gods - Agni, Vayu and Adhithya.

• As he fixed his attention on Agni, he saw Brahmanas were pouring their oblation on Agni "Saying the Rigvedhic Manthra "Agnimeele Purohitham." He knew that Rigvedha as the essense of Agni and extracted it.

• And he looked at Vayu and saw the Yajur Veda and its Brahmana held Vayu in place and so Prajapathi extracted Yajur Veda as its essence. (The Yajur Veda Brahmanas are essential parts of karma kaanda).

• And Prajapathi turned his attention to Adhithya. The Sun was shining brilliantly because it was chanting Utgitha (OM) and realised that Sama Veda that teaches Utgitha to be the essence of Adhithya and extracted it.
Now Prajapathi brooded over these three Vedas.

• As he brooded over the Rig Veda, he realised that the great utterance, "BHUHU" brought about the Rig Veda and so he extracted Bhu as its essence. (Bhu is also indicative of its future effect the earth, Prithvi).

• Then as be brooded over Yajur Veda and realised that the great utterance "Bhuvaha" brought about the Yajur Veda and extracted Bhuvaha as the essence of Yajur Veda. (Bhuvaha is the praana. Bhuvarlokam is a place where the praanas that have left the bodies get collected).

• As be brooded over the Sama Veda, Prajapathi realised that the great utterance "Swaha" brought about the Sama Veda and and extracted "Swaha" as the essence of Sama Veda. (Swaha is indicative of the Self which is self-luminous. One needs no other light to know one’s own self).
Now Prajapathi was left with these three Vyahrthis (or great utterances) as the essense of all that he has brooded over. Yet he was still nowhere near knowing his father or how he created the universe.

• So he brooded on these three Vyahrthis. He found that the essence of Bhuhu was the Thamasa Guna, and he extracted it. (Thamasa Guna is indicative of darkness, ignorance and needed the light of Agni to be known).

• He found out that the essence of Bhuvaha is the Rajo Guna and extracted it. (Bhuvaha is indicative of the motion of praana represented by Vayu).

• And he found out that the essence of Swaha is the Sathva Guna and extracted it.

And As soon as he had extracted all the three gunas, he found himself enveloped by them and this thrigunas became his upadhi or conditioning and instantly he found himself to be one with his father Brahma. The entire art and scheme of creation was instantly known to Prajapathi as he now found himself to be the entire creation. (The manthra – Bhu swaaha, agnaye idam na mama; Bhuva swaaha vayave idam na mama; Suva swaaha Sooryaayai idam na mama; Bhurbhuvaswa swaaha Prajaapathyai idam na mama should be understood as above).

The three gunas thus pervade the whole universe and Brahman is its support. There is nothing in the universe that is exempt from the play of the gunas. This is the truth. This is the truth.
_________________
Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#2
Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism - Discussions thread

Please post your discussions on my musings in this thread. Thanks, Anbu
 
#3
NOTES ON MY FIRST MUSING:

The curiosity to know the origin of the universe is as old as the human beings so the first person to raise the question has to be Prajapathi son of Brahma. The answer that Brahma gives out is important for it sets out the fundamental nature of the creation viz. that He is the creation. This is unlike the Genesis of the Bible (that remains the basic belief of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims on creation) where the Creator sets himself as apart from the creation. So here we have two contrasting notions of God and His role.

Secondly the method set out by Prajapathi is the efficient means of extracting the essence and discarding the chaff. Take for example his first extraction. He raised the question: What is it that makes the worlds important. The answer easily came as the Gods that rule the worlds. To give an example, let’s ask the question who made Mauryan dynasty important. The answer easily is Ashoka.

Again the question of is why the Gods are important. Because the Vedas extol them. So Vedas became the essence of the three Gods of the worlds. Why the Vedas are important? Because they were given by the Trimurthis through the utterings called Vyahrithis. So the great Vyahrithis became the essence. Why are the Vyahrithis so important? Because they were brought out by the three Gunas that remained the driving force of the Trimurthis. Without Brahman, the one without a second, nothing exists and so Brahman is the Aathma of all.
 
#4
SECOND MUSING

Hari OM

I really don’t know how to begin this musing. In story telling we always begin by saying “Once upon a time”, but this happened when there was no time! Yes, it was when Shiva was all alone delighting in His own glory of Kaivalyam (loneliness). He is the absolute, the one without a second. Should we say He was bored when he said “Dwitheeya Aathmam Bhavathi” (let me have a second self)? We do not know what prompted Him to say for there was no cause and effect then. But then could there be another for He is the absolute, the one without a second? If there is another then He can no more be absolute as he would be a ‘relative’ to the other. That would indeed be a fall from the glory that He never has to share with another. But then His wish is his own command! And it has to happen. And it did happen with the birth of the mind! We always say ‘my mind’ as if it is an object but no one has ever succeeded in pointing it out to the other. This mind is surely then the subject – the opposite of object – and indeed the other self! Shiva is, shall we say, no more bored because there is now someone who is always talking to him. That is why we are now listening to this talk of the mind called thoughts all the time.

Shiva LOVES His mind and she (did I say she? yes it was She!) makes him proud. He was never proud before. This was the beginning of the sort of rule that everyone listens to his wife and so is a proud ‘grihastha’. It does not matter that this listening would be contrary to wisdom because surely you would listen. Sita said to Rama that she wanted a golden deer that she had seen. Rama told her that there is no such thing as a golden deer in this Prakrthi. That was his wisdom and conviction and so he told her. However he who was convinced that there is no such thing as a golden deer, himself set out in search of the golden deer! Such is the power of the consort! All of these happen because she makes him proud. Therefore she is called ‘Ahopurushika’. There is this implied story in this name Ahopurushika described by Adi Shankara in Soundarya Lahari. The story was that Ambaal was tossing Shiva into the three worlds of Waking, Dream and Deep Sleep. Vexed by this, one day Shiva used his powerful intellect, turning it into a thrisul and pierced the three worlds. Ambal asked him “Shiva, who destroyed the three worlds?” Shiva beat his chest said “I”! As soon as he said “I”, the ahamkara revived the three worlds and lauched Shiva back into it!

Yes, the mind was dragging Shiva that he couldn’t concentrate on his own Self. That is why we are forgetful of our true Self, driven around by this mind. So Shiva decided to tie Ambal to Himself just as one would tether a cow to a post. “Maangalyam thanthuna nena mama jeevana hethuna”. By this thread I give you please be the cause (more aptly purpose) of my life! Even today we celebrate and re-enact this event whenever there is a marriage between a boy and a girl. This mind, Ambaal is the true loving consort of Shiva. She is a real Pathivratha, for she never leaves her husband.

One day she shook Shiva from within as it would happen when we shake in horripilation. Or was it the shaking like the one who does so by the drinking of a pleasant intoxicant? Whatever it was, she caused Shiva to see three images of himself. What a illusion she has caused him! Therefore she is a great Maayini and she is the cause of all causes! Indeed there is no cause beyond her.

To these three images that issued forth of Shiva, the great Maayini said, “I name you Brahma, Vishnu and Rudhra. I want you to create and I shall remain the Shakthi behind you.” Brahma was the first one to come out and said “I will create first”. So saying he said to himself, “Let me create everything so there will be nothing left to create. I will put the other two fellows out of business of creation.” He then meditated on what could be that which will be all creation. Suddenly he said “Aha!” “Everything needs space to exist. I shall be the all embracing space.” So saying he let out a great utterance (Vyahrithi) “Bhuhu” and BECAME SPACE. All that are in the space are in the domain of knowledge. So the space indeed is Sathwa Guna.

It was the turn of Vishnu next. He said to himself “What! This fellow Brahma has created everything. What is there left for me to create? He was a little upset but soon he got himself composed. “Alright” he said, “if I know who this Brahma is, then probably I’ll have a way out.” He then meditated on Brahma. Suddenly he realized that Brahma is static. There is no place else apart from Brahma so Brahma is motionless. He also understood that Brahma has only inside and no outside. He said “I have to create something that has no inside but outside and not static but dynamic in nature.” Then he uttered the vyahrithi “BHUVAHA’ and BECAME TIME. Time occupies no space! Time is motion. Anything that goes in time is lost. When someone is dead we say “kaalamaayittaar”. If space is existence then time is its antithesis. However time as motion causes things to live. You live through the motion of breath, called inhalation and exhalation. You live through the opposing heart function called systole and diastole. You live because of assimilation and dissimilation and so on. Indeed the entire universe functions by the struggle of the opposites (dwandhwam = the motion of the opposites against each other). Thanks to Vishnu the motion or shall we say the motive power this world is protected.

Those that are in motion are difficult to apprehend. You see a young man and some 30 years later you see him but not recognize him. Anything that is subject to Rajas is uncertain. Time is indeed Rajo Guna.

Then it was the turn of Rudra to create. He was indeed baffled at the task before him. He said “I have to do exactly what Vishnu did. I will meditate on them both. Perhaps then I will have a way out.” And so he meditated on both. He found out that both space and time are objects. An object is the one that can be pointed out. Having come to this conclusion he let out the great utterance “SWAHA” and BECAME AHANKARA OR “I”. “I” is the subject as opposed to Space and Time that are objects. Then Rudra went to sleep and the entire world of objects melted into nothing in the darkness of ignorance in his sleep. He is indeed the destroyer! As he woke up again the world of objects got projected into being. He thus revives the creation and sustentation. Thus Ahankara became the cause (and effect) of the world. Ahankara is avidya (ignorance), Ahankara is the causality. Ahankara is thus the Thamo Guna.

(When Mahaperiava said "Ahankaarathai vidu", was he not suggesting to us a way to escape from this samsaara?)

“Ecellent Creation!” exclaimed Maaya. “This creation cannot be sustained if even one of you is absent. You will always be together in this enterprise.” So saying she put them together into a single body. So they became one body with three heads (Trimurthy) or could we say that the creation is like a stool with three legs? Surely you could find everything in sets of three in this creation.

Anyone who knows the creation as God Himself and not as a creation apart from Him indeed becomes immortal.
_________________
Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#5
Aum

NOTES ON MY SECOND MUSING

The first Musing highlighted the fact that the thrigunas are the materials of the world by a process of deduction. The second Musing brings to the fore the concept of Maya as the cause.

The following sloka from Dhakshinamurthi Sthothram of Sri Adi Sankara was the inspiration behind this musing.


Bhijasyaantharivaankuro jagadhidham praangnirvikalpam punaha
Maayaa kalpitha desa kaala kalanaa vaichithriya chithreekrutham|

Mayaaviva vijrumbayatyapi mahaayogeeva yaha swachayaa
Thasmai Sri Gurumoorthaye namaidam Sri Dhakshinaamurthaye||

Hari OM,
Anbu
 
#6
Brahmaivaapnothi Param. The knower of Brahman attains the Supreme. What is this Brahman? Sathyam Gnanam Anantham Brahma. He is Existence that unlike other existence does not rise and fall into space. As infinite He is beyond space and space cannot reach Him. And again unlike other existence that rise and fall in time, He is beyond time and time cannot reach Him. Unlike the Ahankara, the ego that alternates between consciousness and unconciousness, He is absolute Awareness and so the ahankara the causality cannot reach Him. He is truly beyond this manifest and unmanifest Prakrthi.

So we say: “Narayana parovyakthaath, andam avyaktha sambavam.” This absolute that we call as Narayana is beyond the unmanifest and this universe came out of the unmanifest.

You may ask, “It is alright to say that Brahman is great and knowing Him is Supreme. But what is the use of attaining the Supreme?” Our scriptures say, "Sosnuthe sarvaan kaamaan saha". To this Brahmana i.e. the knower of Brahman all the desires are fulfilled.

We talked of the Trimurthis and they in turn caused more of them. Together they are called Ashta Murthis also called Bruk Devas or Great Gods.

Now what are the eight manifestations? "Thasmaath Aathmana Aakaasas samboothaha." From this Self, the space arose. "Aakaasa sareeram Brahma" says another upanishad. Having created the space, he entered it and the space became his body. "Akaasaath Vaayuhu" From the space came the air. A Vedic passage says: “Praanaath vaayurajaayatha.” When a person lives he is called a ‘praani’ for he is breathing. When he is dead we say, “praanan poyiduthu”. This means that the body without the Praana disintegrates and Prana has the capacity to live with or without body. We find in nature that a person creates his own dwelling place. And Prana created its own abode by generating Vayu is the idea given in the Veda. This is the second manifestaton.

"Vayoragnihi" From the air came fire. We find that when hydrogen is burnt using oxygen we see fire and it results in water. Therefore Fire is the third manifestation. And "Agnoraapaha". Water is the fourth manifestation.

"Adhbhyaf Prithvi.” From this water arose the earth. This is the fifth manifestation. "Prithivyaa Oshadhayaha" From the earth came vegetation. This is the sixth manifestation. "Oshadeebyonnam” From the vegetation came food. This is the seventh manifestation. "Annaath Purushaha". From this food came the person the individual jeeva. This is the eighth manifestation.

The universe is beginningless and was never created. It either remained manifest or remained unmanifest. This takes place in a cycle. But the Lord being beyond is the cause of this manifestation or unmanifestation. This universe as a product of karma is inert. Karma Thajjadam says Bhagavan Ramana. The universe being inert cannot therefore manifest by itself. It is the Lord who manifests it. For what purpose? It is not for any benefit for Himself but to help the jeeva transcend this universe by attaining Gnana or wisdom of Self-Realisation.

By pleasing the eightfold manifestation that includes the pancha boothas, the vegetation, food as Anna Lakshmi or Annapoorneswari and the Jeeva as Adhithi or guest, one is sure to attain greatness in this world, so says our scriptures.
 
#8
The popular concept of Ashtamurthys are the Pancha Bhoothas, Sun, Moon and the Jeeva. I have substituted Oushadham and Annam in place of Sun and the Moon. Both versions have Vedic support.
 
#9
Aum

FOURTH MUSING


The following is Vedic proof of the Para Brahman indicated by the letter OM. The proof uses the method called Swaroopa Lakshana ie questioning the nature of each and extracting its essence.

The Veda says:
“ Eshaam Bhoothaanaam Prithvi rasaha.”

What is the essence of all objects?

Earth is the essence of all objects. Whether you talk of Nuclear physics or astronomy or micro biology or even poetry you talk of objects that are all centered on earth. Therefore earth is the essence of all objects.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha

The next question is: what is the essence of earth?

It is the water. Astronomers scan the sky for world with water out there because nothing can be called the world if it has no water. Therefore water is the essence of earth.

“Prithivya Apo rasaha.”

The next question is: What is the essence of water?

It is the vegetation that water gives rise to.

“Aapomoshadhayo rasaha.”

What is the essence of vegetation?
Of the herbs which give rise to food, the human body is the essence because the human body is made of food only (Annamaya kosa).

“Oshadheenaam purusho rasaha.”

What is the essence of human body?

Let’s investigate this a little bit. Let us say there are 10 guys out there. And who among them would you pay attention to? You would pay attention to a guy who would say something even if it be calling your attention like “Sir”. Therefore, of the human body the organ of speech called Vaak is the essence.

“ Purushasya vaag rasaha.”

Now there are 10 guys out there, all saying something. Who would you pay attention to?

You would pay attention to the one who is knowledgeable, one who is a vidwaan and ignore others. Therefore it is the Veda composed of Riks that is the essence of Vaak or speech.

“Vaacha rg rasaha.”

Among the vidwaans, or among the Vedas which is the essence?

Among the vidwaans you pay attention to the one who would convey to you in a congenial manner, the most congenial of all is the music. That which is music to the ears is Saaman. That is why it is “Naadhabramha mayi Vidya”. Vidya covers the entire sum total of all worldly knowledge, the knowledge that covers both the world and its controller. This is Hreemkaaraswaroopam. “Hreem” indicates space, time and causality which in turn indicate Brahma, Vishnu and Rudhra who form the Trinity or the Universe. They know themselves as the Universe and it is therefore the Vidya.

“Richaha Saama rasaha.”

The next question is: What is the essence of Saaman?

Utgitha is the essence of Saama. Ut means Aum. You might have seen many of our elders start any writing with the letter U (the fifth Tamil vowel) on top or at the beginning. This is indicative of Ut the singing of which is called Utgitha. Saama Veda deals with Utgitha. Utgitha is the letter OM

“Saamna udgithO rasaha.”

This Utgitha is the essence of all essences, it is Supreme, and it is competent for the highest place.

“Sa Esha Rasaanaagum Rasathamaha , Paramaha, Paraadhyaha – Yad Udgithaha.”

This is the way we negate each one, beginning with objects, to its essence and finally arrive at the Supreme, the essence of all essences, the Brahman.

The Lesson therefore is:

Narayanaparovyakthaath. Narayana is beyond the unmanifest.
Andam Avyaktha sambhavam. This manifest world came from the Unmanifest.

And our Vedas declare: Brahmaivaapnodhi Param. The knower of Brahman attains the Supreme!
 
#10
Aum

FIFTH MUSING.

“Naiveha kinchanaagra aaseeth. Mrthyur naivedhamaavrudhamaaseeth,
asanayayaa. Asanaayaa hi mrthyuhu.”

In the beginning there was nothing whatsoever. This universe was
enveloped by death called Hiranyagarbha because of hunger. And hunger is
death.

Why so?

The beginning we are talking about is the beginning of time called ‘Kalpa’. This beginning also happens to be the end of the previous kalpa. Time indeed is a phenomenon that has a beginning, life and end. Like all phenomenon, it is cyclical. Well then, What is a kalpa? A kalpa consists of 4 yugas called Sathya yuga, Thretha yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali yuga and like the day succeeds another day, a kalpa succeeds another kalpa. The principle of entropy works through the four successive yugas during which Dharma loses its glory steadily and at the end of Kali yuga complete adharma prevails.

Why and how did the previous kalpa end?

In all periods of time, what sustains the creation is the Dharma. Prakrthi is made up of opposites and so there is also adharma that opposes Dharma. Whenever adharma takes an upper hand, Vishnu as the preserver incarnates to restore Dharma to its glory. As it happened at the end last Kali yuga all orders broke and complete anarchy prevailed. Vishnu the preserver felt that the restoration of Dharma is impossible in such condition and so he decided to end the adharma by totally destroying the creation!

He knew that food sustains the creation and so he decided to sap the food by means of Vedic Karma. He sapped the food of all living organisms and they died and merged into Prithvi from where they had arisen. He then sapped the food of Prithvi and Prithvi died and merged into water from where it arose. He then sapped the food of water and so it merged into fire. He sapped the food of fire and it merged into air. He sapped the food of air and so it merged into space. He finally sapped the primordial sound that is the food of the space and the space collapsed and merged into him. What remained then was this great destroyer, this Mrithyu, this death completely devoid of food and in great hunger. So we say hunger is death.

We do not know how long this death remained as death because there was no time to measure. As we said before there was nothing at all except death.

“Sa vai naiva reme, thasmaadhekaakee na ramathe; sa dwitheeyamechathu.”

In fact He did not at all feel happy. Therefore one (still) does not feel happy being alone. He desired a mate.

Do you not say “I have every mind to do this” or “I have no mind to do this”? Thus we know that without mind nothing can be done. "May I be possessed of a mind" desired Hiranyagarbha and he produced the mind. This mind became his consort that is why at the time of marriage the bridegroom takes an auspicious thread and says, "Maangalyam thanthunanena mama jeevana hethuna.”, "by this you become the cause and reason of my life", and ties it round the neck of the bride as the neck is the residence of the mind. From then on the void is filled by the wife even to this day.

With a wife with him, Hiranyagarbha is now qualified to perform a yagna, because only a Grihastha, a man with a wife, is qualified to perform Vedic Karma. For, again, without a yagna nothing could come about. The yagna he performed is called Brahmahooth. Since there was nothing besides him, he himself became the pasu or sacrifice. From this yagna came Virat or Brahma the creator. Brahma then embarks on the creation called Pravrthi.

He churned his mouth and rubbed his hands and produced fire. Whatever is liquid in the world He created from his seed. Soma the Moon (who has a liquid body) is indeed the food. And fire is the eater. This universe is this much only. The food and the eater. This mortal created Agni and Soma the Gods who are immortal. Therefore this is a surpassing creation!

He created from his mind seven Prajapathis called Saptha Rishis known
as Marichi etc. and asked them to create. They first created women whom they gave away in marriage to each other. Then they produced two sets
of beings called Devas and Asuras. Devas were few in number and were
good guys and the Asuras were many but were bad guys. They fought each other bitterly for world domination. Not satisfied with this state of affairs, Brahma called the Prajapathis and told them, "Look, if your creation is so self destructive, then there is no hope for creation. So I want you to go back and do it again."

So the Prajapathis went back and this time produced Yakshas and Rakshasas. The Yakshas are merry go lucky guys like the hippies who sang and danced and roamed the universe. Brahma looked at them and shook his head. He was unimpressed of their creative abilities in furthering the creation. Then he turned his attention to the Rakshasas who were cruel to others and were even cannibals. Brahma's hair shot up in shock and utter disgust. When the hair curled Snakes and vermins were produced. He was not at all satisfied with the creative process that had taken place so far. So he said to himself, "These Prajapathis are useless, let me create more Prajapathis out of my mind" and he created 4 charming young men known as Sanath Kumaras. Brahma asked these new Prajapathis to create. Being smart as they are, these young boys asked Brahma, "Father, what are you going to do?” Brahma replied, "I am going to reflect on the Self." The curiosity of the boys increased and they asked of their father if reflecting on the Self is superior to creation. Brahma replied that it is the parama purushartham or the ultimate objective of any being. That answer proved disastrous for Brahma for the children told the father they would rather know about the self which is superior rather than embark on creation. That is why the maxim in all times is that a Brahmana who sets out to know his real Self cannot be faulted for not performing karma.

The Sanath Kumaras then went to Dhakshinamoorthi and surrendered to him and Dhakshinamoorthi taught them the knowledge of the Self in silence (mouna vyaakyaana prakatitham) by means of Chin Mudra indicating that the jeevathma and paramaathma are one and the same. Thus Dhakshinamoorthi became the first guru. “Dhakshinamoorthy samaarambam, Sankaracharya madyamaam, asmat acharya paryantham, vande guru paramparaam.”

Now back to Brahma, who found himself at square one, sighed to himself "There is no point in delegating any work to any Prajapati. They are all useless, I will take over the job of creation myself", he declared. He instantly split himself like a pea into two, as male and female. The female was shy and wanted to hide herself from the male and she became a cow. The male became a bull and united with her and from them the cows were born. Then she turned into a she-goat and he changed to a he-goat and propagated. Then they took the forms of mare and stallion and propagated. In this manner they continued to reproduce. She became a Nari and he became a Nara and propagated the men and women. This way he set out the great pravaham of pravrthi.

From the unmanifest world He manifested the world of names and forms. So even now this manifest world is of names and forms only. This Supreme Self penetrated into all these bodies just as a razor lies in its case. People do not realize It when they view it from its particular function such as when it is breathing, it is called Prana. Because such a view is incomplete. He is the eye of the eye, ear of the ear, and mind of the thoughts. Eye, ear and so on are only names due to functions. If we know each aspect then our knowledge is incomplete. So the totality called the Self alone should be meditated upon for knowing of which everything else is known.

“Thadhethathpreyaha puthraathu, preyo vitthaathu preyonasmaathsarvasmaath antharatharam”

This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than all other objects because it is the nearerst than all.

Why dearer?

Because all others will perish but not the Self.

This self (before the realization of its eternal identity) was actually Brahman and it knew only itself as “I am Brahman” and so he became the Universe. Whosoever among the Gods, sages and men realize this then they too become Brahman.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha


.
 
#11
Aum

SIXTH MUSING

As you know this Virata Purusha projected Agni (the God of Fire) out of himself while he remained a Brahmana on earth in the form of Manu. Therefore both were Brahmanas. He was alone on earth without other castes. Without the protection of Kshathriyas and other helpers he did not prosper. Therefore he created a noble form, the Kshathriya consisting of those who are kshathriyas among Gods – Indra (the king of Gods), Varuna (the king of the animals of water), Soma (the king of Brahmanas), Rudra (the king of beasts), Parjanya (the king of lightning), Yama (the king of manes), Mruthyu (the king of diseases), Isana (the king of luminaries) etc. Kshathriya is considered superior so in Rajasuya yaga the Brahmins adore the kshathriya from a lower seat. However the kshathriya quickly restores the higher position to the Brahmana because the Brahmana is his source. Therefore anyone who denigrates a Brahmana becomes more vicious like the one who would insult his superior.

He did not prosper still.

Why?

Because there is none to procure wealth.

What is the need for wealth?

Wealth is required for the performance of karma.

Why perform karma?

Karma is to be performed to secure this earth.

Why secure this earth?

So he can come back.

How does he come back?

Through a son.

How does he get a son?

Through a wife of course.

So desire consists of wife and wealth. And desire is this much only, nothing more! A man with a wife working hard to get wealthy is a Grihastha. He is the Samsaaree!

Now back to Virat. He created Vaisyas – those classes of Gods who remain in groups. They are the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adhithyas, the thirteen Visvadevas and fortynine Maruts.

He did not prosper still for want of servants. He therefore created Pushan the Sudhra God. The earth indeed is Pushan for it nourishes all that exist.

He did not prosper still!

Why?

Because he feared that Kshathriya being fierce would become unruly. In order to overcome this he specially projected this excellent form called Dharma. Kshathrasya kshathram Dharmam. Dharma is fiercer than the fierce! Dharma is therefore the controller. There is nothing higher than Dharma in this prakrthi. With Dharma on his side a householder can contend with even a king who is most powerful. This Dharma is actually the Truth. What is known as Truth, when practiced becomes Dharma. And this Dharma cannot be practiced without one identifying himself with one or the other of the four varnas with which he was born to perform his karma.

This way the fourfold varnas – Brahmana, Kshathriya, Vaisya and Sudhra – were created. Virat became Brahmana among the Gods only as Agni and among men as Brahmana. He became Kshathriya among men through the divine Kshathriyas, He became Vaisya among men through the divine Vaisyas and he became Sudhra among men through the divine Sudhra. Therefore people desire to attain their objectives among the Gods through Agni and among men through the birth as a Brahmana since Virat assumed these two forms.

Now this self, the Grihastha, is verily the support of all beings. It is by performing the Vedic sacrifices in the fire that he becomes the supports of the gods. By reciting the Vedas he supports the sages who gave him the Vedas. By offering to the manes and desiring children he becomes the support of the Pithrus. By giving food and shelter to men he becomes their support. By giving fodder he becomes the support of the animals. Even the beasts and birds and ants feed in his home and he is their support. Thus supported all of them in turn wish for his welfare.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#12
Aum

NOTES ON MY SIXTH MUSING (I)

The Sixth Musing has raised some important concepts that need some elaboration. The first one is Varna. I had written on this Varna last year and posted in another blog but then it was in relation to stating our differences with the secularists. I was wondering if I should post the same writing or write merely on Varna per se without reference to the secularists. I felt it would add clarity if I posted the old version rather than write new one. So here it is.

Caste and the Secularists

We are talking so much about castes perhaps without knowing what they are. The following article of mine published in SAAG forum in Jan 2005 gives my understanding. Hope this helps our readers.

"Caste is a misnomer that the Europeans applied to the social divisions that then existed when they first saw them in India. [Spanish casta, race, and Portuguese casta, race, caste, both from feminine of casto, pure, from Latin castus] Today's caste proliferation has nothing to do with Hinduism but to the secular government's policy of reservations in the field of education and employment. The imputation of this caste proliferation to the Brahmins or Hinduism per se is a motivated misinformation. The ills that you see today lie with sections benefiting from the man-made caste laws. The secular government alone is responsible for this mess of caste proliferation.

The four varnas that Hinduism talks about is based on 'Guna' or the stuff with which everything is made. The entire universe is made of this 'Guna' stuff that is three in number - called Sathvam, Rajas and Thamas. It is very difficult to explain in great detail in this blog and needless to say that without detailed explanation it is easily misunderstood. Having initiated the discussion, I do not wish to run away without saying something about this Guna. Sathvam can be compared to transparency, clarity, light, knowledge, subtleness, dispassion, love and so on. Thamas is the opposite of Sathvam in character indicating opaqueness, darkness, confusion, ignorance, grossness, passion, lust etc. Rajas can be compared to motion, work, order and disorder, anger, violence, pride, deceit, etc. You can say, for simplicity's sake, that mobility is its character. These three Gunas pervade the whole universe and the absence of even one will collapse the world.

The world can be divided into broadly two categories viz. those that are sentient and those that are inert. By sentience it is meant that it has (sense) perception and by inertness it is void of or dormant of sense perception. For example, a human being is sentient and a rock is insentient. However you also notice that there is varying degree of sharpness in their sentience among the sentient beings. Such degrees of sharpness are attributed to the intellect. So the animals though sentient are devoid of intellect. They are driven by their instinct. While animals move around, the plants which are seen to be sentient compared to a rock do not move from its fixed spot.

Now coming to humans, we see varying degrees of intellectual prowess from those of extremely imaginative ones to those quite dull-witted. The secularists who shout from the housetops about the equality of men and/or women often lose sight of this fact. Why don’t they listen to the Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shah who said that not everybody needs a microscope? We Hindus treat all living beings by our instinct of Ahimsa and not by secularists’ pretensions and professions.

A society needs both intellectuals as well as men who won’t be bothered about it. This is because they both contribute to the well-being of the society in their respective ways. Hindus understood that between these two extremes there are others who would also constitute a society. They who are between the intellectuals driven by Sathwa Guna and the dull-witted driven by Thamasa Guna are the Kshathriyas and Vaisyas driven by Rajo Guna. Since motion does not exist by itself but only with something else, for example you see motion only when something moves such as the water flowing or fire burning or wind blowing etc., so the Rajas has to cling on to either Sathwam or Thamas. So you have two categories viz. Sathwik Rajas and Rajasic Thamas. Since Rajas moves, Sathwic Rajas moves from Thamas to Sathwam and Rajasic Thamas moves in the opposite direction from Sathwam to Thamas. So intellectually you have a person who would go from ignorance to knowledge by sacrificing immediate gains for Truth and you have a person who would move abandoning reason to convenience. You see these two categories of people also and the society needs them (If they were not needed they wouldn’t be there). These are the fourfold varnas that you do see in society. Thus the all pervasive Guna constitute humans in the way described above.

A knower thus unmistakably sees the play of the Guna in people and he sees it as naturally residing in each individual as his driving force. The Guna is not inherited from the parents but attained by the ‘Aathma’ or soul (I hate to use the world ‘soul’ for it connotes a created entity whereas ‘Aathman’ is uncreated and eternal) by his poorva karma or actions in prior births. Thus a person is a Brahmana or a Vaisya for example, not by being born to Brahmin or to Vaisya parents and it does not also mean that a Vaisya is not born to a Vaisya and so on. However the Hindus do not abandon lineage as everyone has inherent pride in his heritage. Try asking M. Karunanidhi who badmouths Hindus by sheer ignorance, to abandon his family and friends. Actually many of DMK men themselves have voiced objections to making DMK a family property of Karunanidhi. We call this “Abimaanam’ or attachment. Some may say it is deceit or cheating! (People have a tendency to tell others but not to themselves and Karunanidhi is a prime example.)

It is a fertile ground for a person to manifest his Guna in his own environment, for example, a person with a Vaisya Guna (Rajasic Thamas) can easily manifest himself in the company of Vaisya parents and Vaisya community. Hindus see that also as a karma-phala. The secularists contend that everyone can do everything and so a Vaisya need not be a Vaisya and Sudhra need not be a Sudhra. To confine a person to a sect is a human right violation they say. Very well, try it out. I have no problem. We Hindus say that you can do what you want but the outcome will always be the same. It is also true that there is no gain without pain. The truth of this is for a person to find out for himself. But however much the secularists might cry aloud, not many people would risk abandoning their traits. It is their nature. If a person abandons his nature he would soon find out he is a fish out water when he abandons his nature.

My problem with the secularists is that they, in the name of advocating human rights, themselves become violators of human rights by forcing others to abandon their nature. If I say ‘be yourself’, I mean it out of the clear knowledge that trying to be someone else is wrought with pain and suffering in the end. By saying ‘be yourself’ I am not condemning anyone to be a Brahmana or a Sudhra. But the secularists by abandoning the natural variety in the name of misconceived equality, forces oneself to abandon his nature and ask him to be different from who he is. This is clear human rights violation. In our concept it is adharma.

A person who cannot learn beyond his parrot like repeation is difficult indeed because he cannot be taught. He doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Hindus call him ‘aparaadhi’. An aparaadhi will have to learn by experience. More difficult indeed is a person who knows, yet he does things contrary to the knowledge. There is nothing to teach him and none for him to learn. He is a man of wanton disposition called ‘abhachaari’. Punishment is to only recourse to contain him. The secularists form the above two varieties."
_________________
Sri Gurubyo Namaha
Anbu
 

silverfox

Active member
#13
Dear Anbu:
Wow! What a discourse! You are certainly a highly knowledgeable scholar!
I thought I was understanding everything until I came to the paragraph below. This is where I got lost. Are you saying that 'varnas' are not by birth and that people are sticking to their caste (varna) because they want to? Sorry, when I read your discourses with such deep meanings, I easily get lost!!
Thank you.


["It is a fertile ground for a person to manifest his Guna in his own environment, for example, a person with a Vaisya Guna (Rajasic Thamas) can easily manifest himself in the company of Vaisya parents and Vaisya community. Hindus see that also as a karma-phala. The secularists contend that everyone can do everything and so a Vaisya need not be a Vaisya and Sudhra need not be a Sudhra. To confine a person to a sect is a human right violation they say. Very well, try it out. I have no problem. We Hindus say that you can do what you want but the outcome will always be the same. It is also true that there is no gain without pain. The truth of this is for a person to find out for himself. But however much the secularists might cry aloud, not many people would risk abandoning their traits. It is their nature. If a person abandons his nature he would soon find out he is a fish out water when he abandons his nature.]"
 
#14
Hari Om!

Dear Silverfox,

You are right to conclude that the varna is by birth. Exception do take place in nature but exceptions are exceptions ie. they are rare and their logic can indeed be proved in terms of karma and karma-phala. I dealt with it for those who are fond of pointing out to exceptions. Logically therefore exception proves the opposite.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha
Anbu
 
#15
Aum

NOTES TO MY SIXTH MUSING (II)

Again the following was a posting in another blog last year but perfectly fits as Notes to the Sixth Musing. This was a letter written to one Sri Akhmed who abandoned Islam and took great interest in learning Hinduism.

Dear Akhmed,

I agree with you that the word 'caste' is a misnomer. Caste is a cliché of the secularists, Christians and atheists to denigrate Hinduism. Caste is a stereotype to brand people in bad light. And the word 'varna' should not be equated with caste as you would be falling in the same trap of the clichés and stereotypes. Pl. read my topic 'Caste and the Secularist' posted earlier wherein I have amplified the term ‘Varna'. You have written: "Anyone who pursues path of knowledge is a Brahmin. Anyone who is ready to fight to uphold dharma is a Kshatriya." Such a statement appears to be correct on the face of it, but what is important to know from my topic 'caste and the secularist' is that a person is made up of a 'guna' that is the driving force of who he is such as a Brahmana or a Vaisya etc. The significance of this statement is that it contradicts the secularists' contention that every person has a choice to belong to whatever ‘varna’ he wants to belong and since wanting is fickle, a person could want to belong to any and all the four varnas at different times! The 'guna' is one's innate tendency and it cannot change. Even his thinking is driven by this 'guna' stuff. The wise one is content with who he is and enjoys the world and his janma or life while the not so wise is angry and tries to change the world or himself or both and gets really messed up. He is often violent in expressing his anger.

The 'varna' is not unique to Hindus, it is actually universal. The Hindus admit it while others do not. These four varnas are present among, Jews, Christians, Muslims and anyone else you can name. The varnas are present in Heaven too! The 'guna' that is the driving force pervades the entire universe.

The general grievance of the secularists is that it is unfair that someone is a Vaisya or a Sudhra while another is a Kshathriya or a Brahmana. This stems from their idea that man was created, of course they added the word 'equally’ later! To them everyone looks alike and therefore they are equal. We call this ‘Dehaathma Buddhi’ the idea that a man is his body nothing beyond! However it is for them to ask their creator why a person is created/born blind and mute while another is not, why a person is born a prince while another is born a pauper. It is for them to ask their creator why everyone is born a sinner for no fault of his own. I AM TELLING THIS TO POINT OUT THE POVERTY OF THEIR RELIGION. It is only the Hindus who hold a view that stands to reason and that is the law of Karma and reincarnation.

According to the Karmic Law your 'poorva karma' or the actions of your previous incarnations or births brings their fruits called 'karma phala'. If you were to enjoy something then it is due to your punya karma. Conversely paapa Karma brings dhukkam or misery. In order to enjoy and/or suffer the fruits of karma, you are equipped with such means as your nature, your body, your mind and your world. Bhagavan Ramana says: "Karthur Aagnaya Praapyathe Phalam" i.e. by the ordainment of the creator the fruits of karma take place. These fruits are proportional to what you have done, nothing more, and nothing less. There is also a byproduct in this: With the body the 'bhoktha' (i.e. the enjoyer or the sufferer) in the process of enjoying or suffering acquires a taste for the enjoyment or suffering for example the smell lingering in a flower basket even after the flower is removed or the onion smell that lingers in your hand even after you have eaten onion sambar hours ago!. This is called 'samskaara' that a person carries with him. This enables him to long for another birth to carry on with the tasting yet again! That is the reason for the claim that the person is born again in his own family due to his attachment with the members of his family. When you see a child enjoys/suffers, you can easily infer the result of past karma. If this is not the case then the child would be suffering something for which he was never responsible. That is a fault called 'akrutha abyaagamam'. Also a person does good and bad karma and dies before he enjoys or suffers the fruit of that karma. If such fruit of karma does not follow him into his next birth then there arises the fault of 'kritha vibranaasam' i.e. those karmas getting destroyed without yielding fruit. These faults never arise in God's ordainment.

The Hindus explain this way why someone is born a prince or a pauper and so on. Neither the western religions nor the rationalists have any explanation as to why you are who you are.

Now let us pick up this thread of grievance of the secularists that it is unfair that someone is a Vaisya or a Sudhra while another is a Kshathriya or a Brahmana. The secularists and Christians ignore THEIR God’s unequal creation but would impute it on their fellowmen and clamor to change it. That is their sense of justice. If you are born once and no more THEN this grievance is valid, but if you are born again and again due only to your actions, then you are what you yourself made yourself to be. YOU ARE YOUR OWN CAUSE, NOT OF THE CREATOR, NOT OF YOUR FELLOWMEN AND NOT BY ACCIDENT.

Forgive me for being tedious, the ‘Guna’ of a person changes from birth to birth but not within each birth. You have posed an intriguing question if a person is also belongs to his Varna by parentage. Most likely yes, for that is a conducive soil to manifest his Guna but it is certainly not an absolute truth. Exception is also part of nature.

Please ponder: In this endless travel in time, you and I and all others have taken many births as Brahmanas and Kshathriyas and Vaisyas and Sudhras and animals and plants and what else!

Am I advocating fatalism? Not at all. THE HINDUS MAINTAIN THAT YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU LIKE. All you need to know is, it is one’s Guna that is at work in all his actions including liking!"

Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#16
AUM

NOTES ON THE SIXTH MUSING (III)

Now let’s try to understand some of the characteristics of the four Varnas.

The Thamasa Guna has an opaque character indicating the nature of the Sudhras. Those possessed of it see things different from what they are. In other words, they are veiled by avidya and they are driven by inertia. It does not mean that they cannot know or they cannot do anything right. Quite the contrary. They can know and do excellent things but only at the bidding of others.

·The exquisite carvings of our cave temples and sculptures are done by Sudhras. Any evidence of greatness of any society be it in the great temples of India or the Pyramids of Egypt or the great wall of China, were all built by Sudras, but they were told to do so. They do not have the initiative and they always get carried away. They band together among themselves. The modern day union leaders exploit this feature to organize them, collect subscriptions from them use this banding feature to extract money from the employers. (Both the employer and the union leader belong to Vaisya Varna. See below.)

·A Sudhra is the one who will build a great dam across a river for the benefit of humanity or will set fire to a bus full of college girls just because a certain politician told them to do so. They are a tremendous power by themselves, but because of their lack of discrimination, they are exploited or harvested by others - in very large measure by the Vaisyas.

The opposite is the Sathwa Guna that has a transparent character indicating the nature of Brahmins. Satwa Guna generates knowledge and wisdom.

·Because of the clarity of Satwa Guna the Brahmins can see things as they are. This makes them feel pacific, at worst resigned and at best quite content.

·Though they have initiative, they seldom use it for their own advantage. They are adept in using the initiative on behalf of a yajamana who is either a Kshathriya or another Brahmana or sometimes even a Vaisya.

·They lack materialist pursuit even though they are capable of winning a world or amassing wealth but would easily sell them for a fee. Such is their contentment!

·They are highly independent and therefore are incohesive among themselves in terms of a material pursuit. However they would be seen to band together for spiritual pursuit. (This is because Agni Devatha is their spiritual counterpart of the Heaven and they are all united by Agni).

Now we will deal with Kshathriyas and Vaisyas, who are driven by Rajo Guna.

·A Kshathriya is made of Rajo Guna with Sathwa Guna as the underlying factor. This makes them hold on to a view as sacrosant, otherwise known as truth or Sathyam and would enforce it by his command and would even die for it. Thus he is a good keeper of the word and therefore be a reliable body guard, a Rakshaka and a King.

· “Bahu Rajanya krithaha”, says Purusha Sooktham. Kshathriya rose from the arm of Virat signifying valour and strength.

·At the same time, his passions signified by Rajo Guna make him a great family man and man of society and an increaser and protector of the tribe. He is witty and charming and a man given to partying and fun. He likes limelight. He respects hierarchy and enforces them. Thus his protective abilities reach the world of manes and that of Gods.

·Because of of his Guna a Kshathriya seeks clarity and would be a good judge. Because of Sathwa Guna he likes to be associated with Brahmanas and a great protector of them indeed. Thus the maxim “Asathoma Sat Gamaya, Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya, Mrithyorma Amriutham Gamaya” would greatly apply to the Kshathriyas though the maxim is common to all.

Now, who is a Vaisya?

·A Vaisya is made of Rajo Guna with Thamasa Guna as the underlying factor. Thus he has an opposite character to the Kshathriyas. This means he does not hold anything sacrosant. That is why a Vaisya, a businessman would not hold on to anything as value but keep trading them in order to increase wealth.

·A Vaisya, because of lack of passion, never seeks limelight and would not enter into any controversy. He is always positive and thus prone to mislead others.

·A Vaisya besides being a good businessman, by the play of his Guna, is well suited to be a diplomat or a spy and is capable of doings things that are to be done in discreet or stealth or behind the curtain.

·A Vaisya because of the Rajo Guna seeks the company and audience of Kshathriyas but only for the purpose of increasing his wealth. He is a good ally of the Kshathriya for he provides the Kshathriya with the wherewithals. He generates immense wealth under the protection of a powerful Kshathriya and he is prone to cheat a weak king.

·Because of the underlying Thamo Guna a Vaisya is associated with the Sudhra whom he persuades to labour hard and produce. Because of this Guna he is stingy and exploitative.

·A Vaisya has a spiritual side that appeases the Gods to increase his wealth. Thus he is a donor for temples and for the cultivation of the music and the dance that are associated with Gods and wealth.

Thus you will know the difference between a man who is less impressive but has a lot of money in his pocket and a man who is well dressed up and talks bravely but has little in his pocket. The former does not enjoy what he has and the latter enjoys despite not having any. The underlying Thamo Guna or Satwa Guna causes this as the case may be of those driven by Rajo Guna. This is the difference between a Vaisya and a Kshathriya.
There is an important aspect of the Guna play. A person born in one Varna can follow the Dharma of what can be termed as a lower Varna but not in the reverse direction. This is by taking Sathwam to be higher than the Thamas, though in terms of wordly needs both serve their purposes and therefore are equal. The higher and lower classification would be only in terms of knowledge of Reality such as transparency and opaqueness of the Anthakarana or mind. A Brahmana can therefore follow the Dharmas of other Varnas with ease i.e. he can follow Kshathriya Dharma, Vaisya Dharma or even Sudhra Dharma, a Kshathriya, likewise can follow Vaisya Dharma or Sudhra Dharma but not Brahmana Dharma, a Vaisya can follow Sudhra Dharma but not Kshathriya Dharma or Brahmana Dharma and Sudhra can only follow his own Dharma and not of anyone else.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#17
AUM

SEVENTH MUSING

“Brahma vaa idhamagra Aaseeth, Thadhaathmaanamevaavethu, Aham Brahmaasmithi| Thasmaathtthathsarvamabhavathu.”
This self was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It only knew itself as ‘I am Brahman’. Therefore it became all.

We talked about the great ‘creation’ (the actual word to be used is ‘manifestation’) from that Mrithyu called Hiranyagarbha to the four Varnas, Dharma and the Panchaagni Homa called Grihastha. Let us now continue our discussion on the creation of food.

“Yatsapthannani Medhya Thapasajanayathpithaa”|

The father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites.

Here father means not only Hiranyagarbha but every father subsequent to him. Medha means knowledge of the Veda through which the results were produced as otherwise it is not possible to produce. Thapas means Karma through which they were produced as enunciated in the Brahmana portion of the Vedas. This would then translate into desire (let me have a wife) for results viz. the projection of a world

Now we are stating the varieties of food. “Ekamasya Saadhaaranam.” One is common to all eaters. Since this food is common to all one should not take more than his share for that would cause grief and pain to others. Those who take more than their share would therefore become robbers and sinners. There is a Vedic Manthra that says: “I eat that person as food who eats food without giving part of it to others.”

“Pasubya Ekam Praayachathu”|

He gave one to to the animals. What kind of food is this? It is the milk. How is it determined that the animals are owners of this food. Because men and animals first live on milk alone.

“Dwe Devaanabaajayathu”|

He apportioned two foods to the gods. That is why even today we make one oblation in the fire and the second one as neivedhyam at the end. Why two foods to the gods? Because they have two bodies. They are Sookshma Sariram and Kaarana Sariram and the bodies are made of food only (Annamaya kosam).

“Threenyaathmane Akurutha”|

He fixed three foods for himself. Why because he has three bodies. They are the Sthoola Sariram (gross body), the Sookshma Sariram (the subtle body) and the Kaarana Sariram (the causal body).

Note: the Devas do not have the gross body.

The Praana or vital force represents the gross body without which a body is dead and it disintegrates into pancha bhoothas. This gross body is known in the waking state.

‘Vaak’ or speech represents the Sookshma Sarira that is known in the dream state. Main feature of this state is the understanding of events that take place. Vaak represents understanding.

‘Manas’ or mind represents Kaarana Sariram. Being ignorant of the Real Self which is beyond cause and effect; mind becomes the residence of cause and effect. Thus this mind causes the projection of one’s world when he wakes up and its dissolution when he goes into deep sleep. Because it is ignorant, it does not know of its own existence and of the world in deep sleep.

In the case of Hiranyagarbha the manifestation of the three worlds called earth, sky and heaven, the three Vedas called Rig, Yajur and Saaman, the three different beings called Devas, Pithrus and Manushyas and three members of the family called mother, father and child came about from Vaak, Manas and the Vital Force.

On what basis did it happen?

These are what is known, what is desireable to know and what is unknown. Whatever is known is a form of the Vaak or Speech for he is the knower. Whatever is desireable to know is a form of Manas or Mind for Mind is what is desireable to know. Whatever is unknown is a form of Praana or Vital Force for Vital Force is what is unknown.

Here ends our meditation on the foods and their manifestations.

SRI GURUBYO NAMAHA
 
#18
Thank you for this posting Sri Anbu.

Judging by the way Prajapathi went about extracting the essences of substances and matter, I am curious about the question itself.

Was the question - 'Father, I want to know how you created the Universe?'

Or was it - 'Father, I want to know you'?


Anbu said:
FIRST MUSING

Once Prajapathi went to his father and asked him. "Father, I want to know how you created the Universe". Brahma said, "I am the whole universe. By knowing me you will know the universe." Saying so he disappeared.

• Prajapathi surveyed the creation that consisted of this world, the middle region and the heaven. He brooded over his father's words and said "All I have is this creation before me and if I know the essence of this creation, then I would know my father." So saying he looked at Prithvi, this earth. The earth is dark and could not be seen but for the fire in it. So he discerned that Agni to be the essence of the earth, as but for the Agni the earth will not be important. Prajapathi therefore extracted Agni as the essence of the earth.

• Then he turned his attention a little higher. He saw the space called the Anthariksham or the middle region. There was thunder and lightening, there was so much noise and movement of the manes, the dead ancestors. The noise and motion is indicative of their unease and fear of having lost their dear ones and their restlessness to get back to them. These were possible by the air or Vayu (as one would observe in Vayu’s motion a eerie noise of fear). Prajapathi knew Vayu as the essence of space and extracted it.

• Then he turned his attention higher and looked at Dhyau the heaven. It was bright and in its midst the Sun was shining brilliantly. He knew the Sun or Aadhithya to be the essence of the Heaven and extracted it.
Prajapathi brooded over these three gods - Agni, Vayu and Adhithya.

• As he fixed his attention on Agni, he saw Brahmanas were pouring their oblation on Agni "Saying the Rigvedhic Manthra "Agnimeele Purohitham." He knew that Rigvedha as the essense of Agni and extracted it.

• And he looked at Vayu and saw the Yajur Veda and its Brahmana held Vayu in place and so Prajapathi extracted Yajur Veda as its essence. (The Yajur Veda Brahmanas are essential parts of karma kaanda).

• And Prajapathi turned his attention to Adhithya. The Sun was shining brilliantly because it was chanting Utgitha (OM) and realised that Sama Veda that teaches Utgitha to be the essence of Adhithya and extracted it.
Now Prajapathi brooded over these three Vedas.

• As he brooded over the Rig Veda, he realised that the great utterance, "BHUHU" brought about the Rig Veda and so he extracted Bhu as its essence. (Bhu is also indicative of its future effect the earth, Prithvi).

• Then as be brooded over Yajur Veda and realised that the great utterance "Bhuvaha" brought about the Yajur Veda and extracted Bhuvaha as the essence of Yajur Veda. (Bhuvaha is the praana. Bhuvarlokam is a place where the praanas that have left the bodies get collected).

• As be brooded over the Sama Veda, Prajapathi realised that the great utterance "Swaha" brought about the Sama Veda and and extracted "Swaha" as the essence of Sama Veda. (Swaha is indicative of the Self which is self-luminous. One needs no other light to know one’s own self).
Now Prajapathi was left with these three Vyahrthis (or great utterances) as the essense of all that he has brooded over. Yet he was still nowhere near knowing his father or how he created the universe.

• So he brooded on these three Vyahrthis. He found that the essence of Bhuhu was the Thamasa Guna, and he extracted it. (Thamasa Guna is indicative of darkness, ignorance and needed the light of Agni to be known).

• He found out that the essence of Bhuvaha is the Rajo Guna and extracted it. (Bhuvaha is indicative of the motion of praana represented by Vayu).

• And he found out that the essence of Swaha is the Sathva Guna and extracted it.

And As soon as he had extracted all the three gunas, he found himself enveloped by them and this thrigunas became his upadhi or conditioning and instantly he found himself to be one with his father Brahma. The entire art and scheme of creation was instantly known to Prajapathi as he now found himself to be the entire creation. (The manthra – Bhu swaaha, agnaye idam na mama; Bhuva swaaha vayave idam na mama; Suva swaaha Sooryaayai idam na mama; Bhurbhuvaswa swaaha Prajaapathyai idam na mama should be understood as above).

The three gunas thus pervade the whole universe and Brahman is its support. There is nothing in the universe that is exempt from the play of the gunas. This is the truth. This is the truth.
_________________
Sri Gurubyo Namaha
 
#19
Dear Sri Anbu,

I agree with the point in your first paragraph. Great interpretation.

The "method" of Prajapathi's extraction that you explain is somewhat vague. "What is it that makes the worlds important?" could mean different things to different people. So I don't see how the answer "came" "easily". To use your own example, 'Who made the Maurya Dynasty important?" - your answer is Ashoka. But my answer would be ChandraGupta Maurya, the first king of the Dynasty and Chanakya's disciple.

The reasoning in your third paragraph, to me at least, spirals into a different direction. I will first summarize what you wrote and then write my opinion.

Gods-Vedas-Trimurthis-Vyahritis-Gunas-Brahman this, according to you, is the linearity of the order of importance.

Gods are important because the Vedas say so.

Vedas are important because the Trimurthis (I am assuming this is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) said so through their Vyahritis.

Vyahritis are important because three types of Gunas drive them.

But Gunas don't exist without the Brahman.

So Brahman is the essence of all.

Let me try an analogy.

Gandhi was important because the British said so.

The British were important because the press said so.

The press is important because it is driven by ideals of peace, freedom and democracy.

But these ideals do not exist without love.

So love is the essence of all.

If all that we had to know was that Gandhi was powered by love why are all the intermediaries important?

Applying the same question to your point,

If all that we had to know was that the Gods were powered by Brahman why are all of the intermediaries important?




Anbu said:
NOTES ON MY FIRST MUSING:

The curiosity to know the origin of the universe is as old as the human beings so the first person to raise the question has to be Prajapathi son of Brahma. The answer that Brahma gives out is important for it sets out the fundamental nature of the creation viz. that He is the creation. This is unlike the Genesis of the Bible (that remains the basic belief of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims on creation) where the Creator sets himself as apart from the creation. So here we have two contrasting notions of God and His role.

Secondly the method set out by Prajapathi is the efficient means of extracting the essence and discarding the chaff. Take for example his first extraction. He raised the question: What is it that makes the worlds important. The answer easily came as the Gods that rule the worlds. To give an example, let’s ask the question who made Mauryan dynasty important. The answer easily is Ashoka.

Again the question of is why the Gods are important. Because the Vedas extol them. So Vedas became the essence of the three Gods of the worlds. Why the Vedas are important? Because they were given by the Trimurthis through the utterings called Vyahrithis. So the great Vyahrithis became the essence. Why are the Vyahrithis so important? Because they were brought out by the three Gunas that remained the driving force of the Trimurthis. Without Brahman, the one without a second, nothing exists and so Brahman is the Aathma of all.
 
#20
Dear Chintana,

Pranaams. People like me overlook the fact somethings need explanation. Therefore your first question is quite pertinent one. Let me explain.

Prajapathi wanted to know from his father how to create the world. Why? Because he had observed that all fathers were teaching their trade to their sons. He also knew that his father is referred to as the creator a title such as a potter, weaver etc.

By his answer the Father did not admit that he is indeed the creator! Instead he said "I am the creation." If there was a creation then there must be a creator. This is how the westerners understand. However when the Father says he is the creation, the implication is that there is no two such as the creator and the created.

This has left Prajapathi with only one recourse viz. that he know his father to understand what he and others have held all along as a 'creation'.

Thus Prajapathi has got two clues which are (a) that his Father is the creation and (b) if he has to know what he set out to know in the first place then he has to devise the method himself. So he is clear of (a) the goal which is to know his father because he stands corrected that the creation is non-different from his father and (b) the path to that knowledge is Vicharam or inquiry. So he devises the method of inquiry that would lead to the very essence of what he had all along known though as creation. Because that very essence has to be his father for the Father has admitted it.

It does not matter if Chandra Gupta Mourya or Ashoka make the Mauryan Dynasty important. I just picked Ashoka because he is known world over and the Govt. of India picked his Chakra to be part of the the national flag. What matters is to know that there is certainly an essence that would make something else important. Suppose if I have said 'Prana' is the essence of the body because the body would be unimportant without it. (I am not asking you to argue that something other than Praana is the essence! We have to understand that understanding is always developed under narrow confines to lead us to higher knowledge. Let me give you an example. What we call a day is the single revolution of the earth on its axis. You cannot impose this principle on Mars or Venus because what is an earth time is not the same for others. Also there was a time when there was no earth and there would be a time when there would be no earth. We do not bring those things into consideration when we talk of the time in our daily life.)

your final question is why are the steps important. It is the same as you answer to a math question in your exam. You don't just give the answer but tell the examiner how you arrived at the answer and to prove that each step the right one so the final answer is inescapable. This method is called Vichara.

This story of Prajapathi extracting the essence of the universe step by step to know the Father is nothing that I made up. It is from the Chandogyopanishad and I have made it into a story without in the least disturbing the message of the Veda.

I clarified this to the best of my ability.

With Narayana Smrithi,
Anbu
 
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