Thursday, May 27, 2010

GAYATRI MANTRAM

ॐ भूर् भुवः सुवः तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यम् ।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धियोयोनः प्रचोदयात् ॥

Om Bhur Bhuva Suvah, Tat Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat

Meaning: We meditate on that most adorable, most desirable and most enchanting luster (effulgence) of our supreme Lord, who is our creator, inspirer and source of eternal Joy. May this light inspire and illumine our intellect (and dispel the darkness).

Summary of the Mantra: Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Word for Word Meaning (Ardham) of the Mantra: Aum = Brahma; bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy (prana); bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings; suwaha = embodiment of happiness; tat = that; savitur = bright like sun; varenyam = best & choicest; bhargo = destroyer of sins; devasya = divine; dheemahi = may imbibe; dhiyo = intellect; yo = who; naha = our; prachodayat = may inspire;

Enlightened (word) Meaning (Bhavam): Aum: The primeval sound (from which all sounds emerge); Dheemahi: We meditate upon; Varenyam: the most adorable, most desirable or most enchanting; Bhargo (Bharagh): luster or effulgence; Tat: of that; Devasya: supreme (Lord); Savitur: from whom all creations emerge (also means the Sun God who is the source of our life); Bhur: who is our inspirer; Bhuvah: who is our creator; Suvaha: who is the abode of supreme joy; [Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvaha are also considered to mean three lokaas or worlds namely Heaven, Earth and lower worlds]. Yo: May this light; Prachodayaat: inspire or illumine; Naha: our; Dhiyo (Dhiyah): intellect (activities of it)

Meaning of Gayatri Mantra

Rishis selected the words of various Mantras and arranged them so that they not only convey meaning but also create specific melody and vibrancy through their utterance. Gayatri Mantra inspires wisdom. Its meaning is that "May the Almighty illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path". All the problems of a person are solved if he/she is endowed with the gift of righteous wisdom. Once endowed with far-sighted wisdom, a man is neither entangled in calamity nor does he tread the wrong path. A wise man finds solution to all outstanding problems and challenges. Only those persons who do not think correctly find difficulty and take wrong steps due to foolishness. Gayatri Mantra reiterates the need to be righteous. The teachings incorporated in the Gayatri Mantra fulfill this purpose. The implication of this Mantra is that we must propel ourselves towards righteous wisdom.

Essence of Gayatri Mantra

The Gayatri Mantra, which derives its name from its metre, is the essence of Hindu philosophy in the form of a common prayer. In its Vyahritis, it recognizes that the supreme spirit, designated by AUM, is immanent in the universe-in all the worlds known to us. In the universe all things obey the commands of GOD – what we call the laws of Nature. The evolution of planets and the stars, the recurrence of seasons, the growth and decay of trees, the ripening of fruits and the behavior of birds and beasts – all are subject to the will of the immanent God (Nature). But there is a single exception to this common rule. And that is the mind of man. For, man is endowed with a will of his own. He alone has the freedom in the universe either to obey or disobey Nature. His highest happiness consists thus falling into line with rest of the universe and making his will coincide with the Will of the Creator. But man, in his ignorance, thinks that his happiness consists in going according to his own will even when he knows that it is against the divine law. This is his fundamental ajnana, from which arise his sin and sorrow and all those that thwart his material and spiritual career. So his best prayer should ever be that his free will might be prompted not by his own desire prompted activities, but by the will of the immanent Sprit and that he should be a willing instrument in its hands. And this is what exactly the Gayatri Mantra teaches us. This mantra may be described as containing the essence of Jana-yoga, Bhakti-yoga and Karma-yoga.

Gayatri is both a prayer and a mantra. It is a prayer in which the worshipper prays for the light of Jnana-not for himself alone but for all. It is also a mantra, which embodies the deity Savitri, the mystical Sun, who is the light of all lights, who symbolizes the highest Brahman. Initiation into Gayatri mantra is thus called Bramhopadesam. It is to be devoutly wished that all would look upon it as their sacred birth right and use it as a sadhana for self-realization irrespective caste, creed or religion. The meditation on the mantra may be said to be an endeavor on the part of the individual consciousness to grow into divine consciousness. Thus the Gayatri mantra may be said to contain the quintessence of universal religion.

Remember, today is the most auspicious occasion of our life. Human life can be compared to a four-storied mansion. The four stories are: Brahmacharya (celibacy), Grihastha (householder), Vaanaprastha (recluse) and Sanyasa (renunciation). Today we are laying the foundation for the mansion of our life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once we make the foundation strong and sturdy.

Man is born four times in his life. He is born for the first time when he emerges from his mother's womb. He becomes a Dwija (born for the second time) when he is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra (Wisdom). He becomes a Vipra through the study of Vedas (Discrimination of what is real and unreal – Viveka) and ultimately becomes a Brahmana when he recognizes the principle of Brahman (Non-Duality which means equality of all). One should aspire to be a Brahmin not by virtue of birth, but by virtue of actions alone. For this, understanding of Gayatri Mantra is a very essential first step.

From here on my theist friends may continue to read. Those who are atheists may choose to read or not!

Gayatri is Sarvadevata Swarupini
and Sarvamantra Swarupini (embodiment of all Gods and goddesses and all Mantras). It is said, Gayatri Chaandasaam Matha, meaning Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas. Gayatri has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi. Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayatri, it protects the one who recites (follows) it. Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of the life principle. When Gayatri acts as the protector of life forces, she is known as Savitri. Savitri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi to sanctify his life.

Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi are latent in everybody. Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvah in the Gayatri Mantra refer to body (materialization), life force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body, which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvaha refers to the life force, which makes the body move. Suvaha refer to Prajnana Shakti, which sustains the life force. This Prajnana Shakti is known as the Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiance. All the three, viz., materialization, vibration and radiance are present in man. We are not one, but three - the one we think we are (physical level), the one others think of what we are (mental level) and the one we really are (Atmic level).

Gayatri is the embodiment of the mother-principle. When you show your back to the sun, your shadow will be ahead of you. It will fall behind you only when you stand facing the sun. Similarly, Maya (illusion), who is like your shadow, will overtake you when you turn your mind away from Wisdom (God). It can be overcome only when you turn your mind towards God.

Gayatri is known as Panchamukhi, meaning she has five faces. What are they? Aum is the first face; "Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha" is the second; "Tat Savitur Varenyam" is the third; "Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi" is the fourth; "Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat" is the fifth. The Gayatri has three parts: 1.Praise, 2.Meditation, and 3.Prayer. First, the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and lastly, an appeal is made to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. "Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat" relates to the aspect of prayer. Gayatri Mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily understand the Gayatri Mantra. One may be initiated into understanding of the Gayatri Mantra at any age. Of course, the earlier it is, the better. Understanding and applying the essence of the Gayatri Mantra will sanctify man's life.

Gayatri Mantra is highly sacred. As has been pointed out repeatedly, Gayatri Mantra contains the essence of all the Mantras of all Gods and Goddesses. Just as single thread runs through all the flowers in a garland, the same divine power exists in all of us, the forms of God. Understand this unity in diversity. Develop faith in EQUALITY. Do not get carried away by what others say. Follow the dictates of your conscience. If you have the strong desire to excel, contemplate on Him with unflinching faith and understand the fundamental principle of equality. Then you can certainly see HIM in every one. Ever remember the kriti 'Marugelara O Raghava' by Sri Tyagaraja Swami. I shall try to explain this in my subsequent posts.

Tatvamasi

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Profound Instruction For All from Gita

Geetha's Unique Message in a Single Verse

It has been unequivocally determined by the previous acharyas in disciplic succession from the four authorized sampradayas (Vedas) that in order to realize the eternal spiritual truths, which apply to all created beings, Knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita is essential. As long as ones foundation in spiritual life is not substantiated by the divine revelation originally spoken by the Supreme The Paramaatma (Lord Krishna), known as the Bhagavad-Gita and this knowledge has not been firmly established within the consciousness of a living entity, then regardless of how intelligent or advanced in culture and technology one may appear to be he will not possess a complete and comprehensive understanding of spiritual reality.

The Paramaatma gives five levels of instructions in the Bhagavad-Gita. The first level is the general teachings for everyone. Then in a very sublime way, He gives four more additional levels of teachings each more exalted than the previous. These teachings although extensive are delineated in a condensed form revealing only the essence. How are we to understand what is the essence? The following example will illustrate this for you.

When one milks a cow the first thing one does is bring the baby calf to the mother so she can give it a little milk. This first milk is like the general teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. Afterwards the milkman finishes milking the cow and puts the milk into a pot. This milk is like the confidential teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. But on the top of this milk there will be some cream. This cream is like the more confidential teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. Yet if we take and churn the cream it will become butter. This butter is like the most confidential teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. Still if we take the butter and heat it on a low fire it will slowly turn into pure golden ghee. Ghee is the essence of milk. From this essence we cannot obtain anything else. This essence is like the most confidential verse of all in the Bhagavad-Gita. But you must remember and consider that to turn milk into ghee is no ordinary endeavour and also to acquire the understanding and realization necessary to comprehend the essence of all 700 verses of the illustrious Bhagavad-Gita is also no ordinary endeavour. These points should be thoroughly contemplated and reflected upon.

So after the general teachings there are the confidential teachings and then the more confidential teachings and then the most confidential teachings and then the most confidential teaching of all which The Paramaatma reveals in the following most confidential verse in the whole Bhagavad-Gita.

Sanskrit (transliteration)

man-manaa bhava mad-bhakto / mad-yaaji maam namaskuru

maam evaisyasi satyam te / pratijanae priyo'si mae //


(Gita, chapter 18, verse 65)

Anvaya (word meaning)

man-manaa bhava: absorb your mind and heart in Me, mad-bhakto: become My devotee, mad-yaaji: offer propitiation to Me, maam namaskuru: give humble obeisance unto Me, eva:
surely, yesyasi: (you) will reach, maam: to Me, satyam pratijane: I promise this in truth, tae : to you, priyan : very dear, asi : being, mae : to Me.

Translation

Absorb your mind and heart in Me, become My devotee, offer propitiation to Me, or just give humble obeisance unto Me, and surely you will reach Me. I promise this in truth to you, (you) being very dear to Me.

The Paramaatma first gives the topmost instruction man-mana bhava absorb your mind and heart in Me. But if you are unable to do that then The Paramaatma alternatively advises mad-bhakto become My devotee. But if it is not possible to do that then The Paramaatma suggests mad-yaji
offer propitiation to Me and if you cannot even do that then The Paramaatma gives the final request of mam namaskuru
just give humble obeisance to Me. This final request gives everyone a chance because if one can at least humbly offer their obeisance to the Supreme Lord then the previous three instructions will gradually manifest themselves eventually due to the effect activated by the rendering of this last most simple form of devotion.

Who are those who are dear to the Supreme Paramaatman? The Paramaatma reveals that those who contemplate the Bhagavad-Gita are very dear to the Supreme Lord. One who contemplates the Bhagavad-Gita with their intelligence will propitiate the Supreme Lord by that very act as a performance of sacrifice to Him in acquiring this spiritual knowledge and wisdom. So we who now engage in contemplating this sacred scripture are also dear to The Paramaatma. The Paramaatma is so merciful that he accepts even the contemplation of the Bhagavad-Gita as propitiation to Him.

Man-Mana Bhava

Man-mana bhava means absorb your mind and heart in God. This is the paramount instruction not easy to achieve and accomplish in this world. For a person to absorb their mind in any singular activity then the eyes, the ears and all the senses must be completely focused solely on that activity. If the mind cannot concentrate in this way then it is more or less considered to be uncontrolled. Sometimes our minds are peaceful. Sometimes our minds are agitated. Sometimes our minds desire sense enjoyment. Sometimes our minds desire relaxation. Sometimes our minds are pondering about the future. Sometimes our minds are lamenting over the past. Sometimes our minds are thinking about loved ones and sometimes our minds are thinking about God. This is the conditioned state of human beings everywhere. But if someone's mind is fully absorbed in the name, form, qualities and phenomenal pastimes of the Supreme Paramaatman then this is the most exalted form of worship of all.

When will this be possible? First and foremost there must be sraddha or faith. Without faith nothing can be accomplished. We get up and begin our day each morning solely because of faith. You may wonder what kind of faith allows us to even get up out of bed each day? We will tell you. Faith that the sun will rises each morning. Faith that the air we breathe each second will be full of oxygen. Faith that the water we drink, cook and wash in will be fresh. Faith that our loved ones are well, Faith that the Earth will continue to revolve, faith that we will exist tomorrow. Faith in God. In so many ways we are nonchalantly taking faith for granted but the actual fact is that we are always constantly exhibiting firm faith.

Even firm faith though is not enough to attain the level of absorbing ones mind and heart in God. Along with this faith there must be ruchi or inspiration or it still will not be possible to achieve this. But even with faith and inspiration it will not be enough without aasakti or spiritual attachment and only then at this point can we begin to absorb our minds and after in the stage of bhava or devotional ecstasy we can absorb our hearts also until we attain the stage of prema which is divine transcendental love. The only way we can attain this is if our heart has been purified; but purity alone is not enough to accomplish this. There must also be something very special, something very wonderful, and something very precious accompanying our purified heart and this is the sublime presence and delightful fragrance of loving devotion. If loving devotion is accompanying our purified heart then we will surely be successful in this endeavour.

The Paramaatma gave these paramount instructions to Arjuna while on the battlefield at Kuruksetra. It was very difficult for Arjuna to follow this primary instruction while preparing for war. As it was difficult for him then it is also difficult for us now. We are also at war. You may wonder what we are at war with? We are at war with the tendencies of our own minds, which are very restless and unpredictable by nature.

The Supreme The Paramaatma was the divine driver of Arjuna's chariot but the only driver we have is our imperfect intelligence. Arjuna had an invincible chariot given to him by the fire god Agni that could not be destroyed. But we only have a fragile and perishable human body, which is subject to old age, disease and death. Arjuna had his intrepid Gandiva bow to subdue his enemies. But we have only an undetermined will. Arjuna had a quiver of unlimited arrows that would never become empty but we have only our unlimited desires. Arjuna had so much help and assistance but still he was unable to follow the instruction man-mana-bhava, absorb your mind and heart in God.

Arjuna replied to The Paramaatma that he was about to engage in warfare with so many enemies on the battlefield in front of him. "How will I be able to absorb my mind in this way if I have to absorb my mind in conquering my enemies? I do not see how it is possible for me to do this."

We also have so many enemies opposite us and we are mostly absorbed in them. What are our enemies? They are the desires of the mind, the eyes, the tongue, the stomach and the sexual organs. Our desires are so strong and prevalent that we cannot conquer even one of these desires let alone all of them. There is aphorism in India, which says: If there is no bamboo there will be no flute. The desires of lust, greed, anger and envy are all formidably arrayed against us showing no mercy and it is very difficult for us to overcome them. But anyhow we must endeavour to surmount them one way or another anyway if we are to be successful in our spiritual life. If for some reason due to extenuating circumstances beyond our control we are unable to absorb our mind and heart in The Paramaatma then we can try our level best to follow the advice of the next instruction mad-bhakto become My devotee.

Mad-Bhakto

The Paramaatma being very merciful then gives the advice of mad-bhakto - become My devotee. Arjuna reflecting on this said it is very easy for one to say they will become a devotee but to actually be one is not so easy.

To actually become a devotee of the Supreme The Paramaatma there is one requirement that is an indispensable prerequisite and that is one should not have even the slightest material desire that is not directly connected with the service of The Paramaatma. For the attainment of bhakti or loving devotional service to The Paramaatma there cannot even be the slightest trace of any material desires in our hearts. Otherwise it is not possible to attain bhakti. Loving devotion comes solely from the heart and if our hearts are influenced, then a logistical brain with analytical mind spoils all the loving devotion and all our efforts for bhakti are ruined.

Also without karma no one is even able to live. We are always engaged in some form of karma or fruitive activities consciously or subconsciously. Even when we are sleeping we are performing some karma - our hearts are beating, our stomachs are digesting the food, we are changing positions, we are dreaming. Karma is unavoidable. Without these different forms of karma we cannot live even for a second. So since we are always engaged in so many activities how can we neutralize the reactions that are attached to all of these activities that are covering our devotion?

Know that our actions will never cover our devotion if all that we do is for the ultimate satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Actually all the Vedic scriptures confirm that The Paramaatma is the Supreme Lord of all. In the following authorized Vedic scriptures we find these verses.

All the incarnations are either plenary portions or expansions of plenary portions appearing in various universes to protect the theists; but The Paramaatma is the original supreme lord and the source of all. Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 1, chapter 3, verse 8

The Paramaatma is the supreme absolute controller, whose form comprises immortality, omniscience and bliss. He is without beginning, the origin of all, the cause of all causes and the source of the Vedas. Brahma Samhita, chapter 5, verse 1

Always we need to remember The Paramaatma and always do all that we do for the sake of The Paramaatma. This is the complete understanding of what The Paramaatma means when He says- mad-bhakto- become My devotee. When one uses jnana or knowledge for the service of bhakti then by that process itself it becomes bhakti and when one uses karma or actions for the service of bhakti then by that process itself it also becomes bhakti. This is very confidential information. One performs the very same action in the exact same situation but due to the intention and quality it becomes bhakti. In general everything that we have and everything that we do should be done for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. This means connected directly to Him in His service or service of his creation - the fellow men. Spiritually inclined and pious people all over the world are following this maxim.

The nine ways to perform bhakti in devotion to the Supreme The Paramaatma:

1)sravanam - hearing about The Paramaatma 2) kirtanam - glorifying The Paramaatma

3) smaranam - remembering The Paramaatma 4) pada-sevanam - attending at the feet of lord

5) archanam - worshipping The Paramaatma 6) vandanam - praying to The Paramaatma

7) dasyam - becoming a servitor to The Paramaatma 8) sakhyam - becoming a dear friend to lord

9) atma-nivedanam - fully surrendering unto The Paramaatma

Learning to perform through any or all of these nine types of bhakti is the topmost knowledge because it allows us to establish a personal relationship with the Supreme, The Paramaatma. Bhakti is extremely difficult to attain in life because it also requires that we have some sukriti or pious merit from a previous birth. Without pious merit from spiritual activities performed in a previous birth it is not possible to attain the platform of loving devotional service in this life.

There are two distinct processes within these nine types of bhakti:

1) vaidhi-bhakti -devotion strictly following the rules and regulations

2) raganuga-bhakti -spontaneous loving devotion from the heart

Devotion works in these two ways and we must always follow them both. Externally we must perform vaidhi-bhakti in devotional service attentively following all the regulations and injunctions ordained by scripture while internally we will be performing raganuga-bhakti in devotional service within our mind and heart in so many sublime and wonderful ways. With tears flowing from our eyes due to feelings of separation from the presence of The Paramaatma we should conceive our heart as a beautiful scented flower and offer that flower by our minds and hearts to the lotus feet of The Paramaatma.

One absorbed in raganuga-bhakti should perform devotional service in this manner. Overwhelmed in a great mood of separation from The Paramaatma while having the one pointed desire of uniting with Him eternally we should see all the realizations within our hearts in the form of flowers and collecting them all string these wonderful realizations together just like a flower garland and humbly offer them to the lotus feet of The Paramaatma. Great enthusiasm and eagerness to have the association of The Paramaatma is a prerequisite for attaining bhakti. This expressed in hearing and glorifying the Supreme Lord and is also further sub-divided into two types:

We should have firm faith and complete attachment in our devotion and also to the object of our devotion, which is The Paramaatma. When our inspiration reaches a certain level of attainment it will mature within both of these our heart will never deviate. All this is also included within the advice of mad-bhakto - become my devotee.

Arjuna after reflecting on this second instruction and contemplating the situation on the battlefield concluded that it would also be very difficult for him to engage in devotional service in this way and follow the advice of mad-bhakto while fighting a war and so he humbly requested The Paramaatma to give him a method of salvation more simple and easy.

Mad-Yaji

Then The Paramaatma seeing Arjuna still needed something simpler, then suggests mad-yaji - offer propitiation to Me. Yaji refers to yagna or propitiation by the performance of austerities in sacrifice unto the Supreme The Paramaatma. Even if one has not developed real love for The Paramaatma as yet, if they have at least a little faith they can still execute some austerities in sacrifice. These austerities are the medicine and the treatment to directly disengage us from attachments and alleviate our material entanglement. When one is hungry and thirsty the taste of food and even water will be delicious. Food will be satisfying only to the degree that one has hunger. Similarly if there is no devotion in our activities then they will not be appetizing for The Paramaatma and He will not be satisfied by our individuals' actions. The Paramaatma reveals that if someone simply offers to Him with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water He will accept them and He will always accept the love we have for Him with in our hearts. So in this way following the path of devotion store this love in your heart like a treasure chest and always offer in everything you do to The Paramaatma. In the Vedic scriptures it is written that the ultimate reality for all living beings in life is to develop pure unalloyed, loving devotion to the Supreme The Paramaatma. This devotion must be free from any duplicity or ulterior motivation and must be engaged in consistently without interruption to totally satisfy the self.

It is the Supreme The Paramaatma to who we must learn to humbly endeavour to please, just as a loving wife always tries to please her loving husband in every way by everything she does. Arjuna contemplating the suggestion of mad-yaji - offer propitiation to Me, then concluded that it was also not possible for him to perform this on the battlefield and so he beseeched The Paramaatma for still a more simpler way.

Mam Namaskuru

The Paramaatma knowing that Arjuna still needed something even simpler, requests him at least to: mam namaskuru - just give humble obeisance to Me. What The Paramaatma is revealing here is that we should offer our obeisance without the false ego attached? What is the false ego? The false ego is the 'I am syndrome'. This is totally our false identification with the physical body, when in truth we are all eternal spiritual beings. So we must offer our humble obeisance to The Paramaatma with the realization that we are all pure, eternal spiritual beings.

Offering ourselves to The Paramaatma with exclusive surrender. This is the actual meaning of The Paramaatma requesting mam-namaskuru - just give humble obeisance to Me. Arjuna realizing that he could fulfill this final request offered hundreds of obeisance to The Paramaatma. The supreme knowledge about The Paramaatma is to be learnt from the preceptor by 1) pranipatena-submission 2)
pariprasnena-relevant enquiry 3)
sevaya-sincere service.

Now all of these four instructions have become united harmoniously and this is the supreme secret, the most hidden treasure, the most confidential instruction of the Bhagavad-Gita. If anyone earnestly and sincerely follows the instructions of this single verse with great faith and love in a mood of humility following any or all of the nine branches of bhakti fully surrendered to the The Paramaatma, then by His mercy they will surely cross over the vast ocean of birth and death in the material existence and attain pure love and devotion in the spiritual worlds eternally in association with the Supreme, The Paramaatma.

Extending the above core principles, in realizing our chosen goals, to our day-to-day material activities and for success in our endeavours, is now absolutely easy and no better formula for success can be worked out than the above four fold approach. Men of highest class are the ones who completely
absorb themselves in the task they undertake. The next class of beings is the one with perfect devotion. Next in the scale are the ones who carry out their works with dedication of worship and duty. The last in the class are the ones who constantly have the urge to excel in their work.

"Fix your mind upon Me ( totally absorb in perfectly accomplishing the task), be devoted to Me ( approaching with unflinching love and totally enjoying what is chosen as the task), sacrifice for Me (work like a bull for achieving the task). Bow down to Me (at least hold the task as of high priority and constantly try to complete it). You shall come, surely then, to Me (the fruit of the task) alone; truly do I promise to you, for you are dear to Me. "

Is this not the profound secret and enough message for mankind to achieve the whole world? Our Einsteins, our Aristotles, our Veda Vyasas, our Susrutas, our Alexanders, our host of other men of Himalayan achievements are all none other than those who assimilated these messages to the core and who totally absorbed themselves in their fields. This will be the path of light for generations to come. Let us try and script our own sweet success story, how ever small it may be.


Tat Tvam Asi



Saturday, October 31, 2009

GURWASTAKAM – Part 2 of 8

Dear Friends,

In the last week's post we have seen the introduction and the first slokam of the Gurwastakam. Now we shall go through the second slokam of this Gurwastakam.

Slokam 2

కళత్రం ధనం పుత్ర పౌత్రాది సర్వం

గృహం బాంధవాః సర్వమేతద్ధి జాతం |

గురోరంఘ్రి పద్మే మనశ్చేన్నలగ్నమ్

తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ ||


कलत्रं धनं पुत्र पौत्रादि सर्वं

गृहं बान्धवाः सर्वं येतद्धि जातं

गुरोरंघ्रि पद्मे मनश्चेन्न लग्नम्

ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं


kalhatram dhanam putra poutraadi sarwam

griham baandhavaah sarwam yaetaddhi jaatam |

Guror anghri padmae manaschaen na lagnam

tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim ||

Word to word meaning

Kalhatram = Amicable Spouse/Wife

Dhanam = All the wealth required

Putra Poutra = Sons and grandsons (children)

Aadi Sarvam = All progeny (santhanam) etc.,

Griham = Pleasant Home

Baandhawaah = Very affectionate kith and kin

Sarvam = every associated happiness

Yae tat hi = on their own (without any effort)

Jaatam = Granted to us - unasked for, unless

Guror = Belonging to the Guruji (Almighty)

Anghri = Under surface of the feet

Padmae = Lotus like (very prosperous/gentle)

Manah = of heart and soul

Yaen = Whosoever

Na = does not

Lagnam = Fix his attention

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means Those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!

Tatah= Plural of Tat (that) means - those

Kim =Are of what avail or significance!!

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means Those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!!!

The purport or Bhaava

Of what avail even if we are blessed with (all the eight forms of Lakshmi)

  • Most amicable better-half (Griha Lakshmi)
  • All the wealth beyond our needs (Dhana Lakshmi)
  • Children and grand children – (Santhana Lakshmi)
  • Pleasant home and fertile fields (Dhanya Lakshmi) etc.

What all we ever need is readily granted to us without any special effort of us (born with a golden spoon in the mouth in all aspects). OK, unless we treat our fellow man as equal to us in all respects and follow the values inculcated and path trod by the Guru, what is the use in the above attributes?

This concludes the second slokam of Gurwastakam. We shall see the third one in our next post.

Please view the short video clip of the second slokam by clicking the player below.

Till then best wishes to you all.

Dr Sarma



video

Saturday, October 24, 2009

GURWASTAKAM - Part 1 of 8

An immortal creation by Jagad Guru Sri Adi Sankaracharya

All time message urging us to dedicate ourselves to the values inculcated by the Guru

About this Astakam

  • Who is the Guru? – The Supreme Almighty – The Guru of the Gurus and of course, His incarnations in the form of Great Masters like Veda Vyasa, Adi Sankara, Annamacharya, Tyagaraja swamy, Pothanaamathya, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa & many, many…
  • What is their unique message? – The whole mankind is one and the same Almighty reflecting variously. External differences in us are mere names, are futile and void.
  • Astakam is a composition of 8 verses. Similarly - Chatushkam (4), Panchakam (5), Shatkam (7), Satakam (100)
  • Gurwastakam – From the Lord – 8 immortal stanzas for us to understand and apply in our lives.


Pallavi or the Repetitive Message

గురోరంఘ్రి పద్మే మనశ్చేన్న లగ్నమ్

తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ ||

गुरोरंघ्रि पद्मे मनश्चेन्न लग्नम्

ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं

Guror anghri padmae manaschaen na lagnam

tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim ||


Meaning of the Pallavi

Guror = Belonging to the Guruji (Almighty)

Anghri = Under surface of the feet

Padmae = Lotus like (very prosperous/gentle)

Manah = of heart and soul

Yaen = Whosoever

Na = does not

Lagnam = Fix his attention

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means - those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!

Tatah= Plural of Tat (that) means - those

Kim =Are of what avail or significance!!

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means - those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!!!

Whosoever does not follow the path tread (the values inculcated) by the lotus feet of the Guru, meaning- if one does not follow the great message - that our fellow men and animals are no different from us in any way whatsoever - then everything else that we possess is null and void, a big naught and has no avail at all. What are "those useless things" let us see in the verses that follow.

Slokam 1

శరీరం సురూపం తథావా కళత్రం

యశశ్చారు చిత్రం ధనం మేరుతుల్యం |

గురోరంఘ్రి పద్మే మనశ్చేన్న లగ్నమ్

తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ తతః కిమ్ ||


शरीरं सुरूपं तथावा कलत्रम्

यशश्चारु चित्रं धनं मेरु तुल्यम्

गुरोरंघ्रि पद्मे मनश्चेन्न लग्नम्

ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं ततःकिं


sareeram suroopam tathaavaa kalatram

yasaschaaru chitram dhanam maeru tulyam |

Guror anghri padmae manaschaen na lagnam

tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim ||


Word to word meaning

Sareeram = The physical body

Su roopam = is very handsome/beautiful

Thadha Vaa = Similar is also

Kalatram =spouse/ better-half

Yasa(h)s = fame and name are

Charu = indeed very much

Chitram = extraordinarily great

Dhanam = Riches / possessions

Maeru = golden mountain 'Meru parvatam'

Tulyam = are equivalent (in value)

Guror = Belonging to the Guruji (Almighty)

Anghri = Under surface of the feet

Padmae = Lotus like (very prosperous/gentle)

Manah = Of heart and soul

Yaen = Whosoever

Na = does not

Lagnam = Fix his attention

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means Those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means - those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!!

Tatah = Plural of Tat (that) means Those

Kim = Are of what avail or significance!!!


The purport or Bhaava

Of what avail even if we have

  • The most handsome and charming appearance
  • Equally beautiful and attractive better-half
  • Very astonishing name and fame and
  • Incomparable wealth and riches

Unless we treat our fellow man as equal to us in all respects and follow the values inculcated and path tread by the Guru, what is the use in the above attributes?

This concludes the first slokam of Gurwastakam. We shall see the second on in our next post.

Please view the short video clip of this first slokam below.

Till then best wishes to you all.

Dr Sarma




video

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maneesha Panchakam - The five gems

मनीषा पञ्चकं

जाग्रत्स्वप्न सुषुत्पिषु स्फुटतरा या संविदुज्जृम्भते
या ब्रह्मादि पिपीलिकान्त तनुषु प्रोता जगत्साक्षिणी,
सैवाहं न च दृश्य वस्त्विति दृढ प्रज्ञापि यस्यास्तिचे
च्चण्डालोस्तु स तु द्विजोस्तु गुरुरित्येषा मनीषा मम ||

ब्रह्मैवाहमिदम् जगच्छ सकलं चिन्मात्र विस्तारितम्

सर्वं चैतदविद्यया त्रिगुणया सेषम् मया कल्पितं,

इथ्थं यस्य दृध मतिस्सुखतरे नित्ये परे निर्मलेः

च्चण्डालोस्तु स तु द्विजोस्तु गुरुरित्येषा मनीषा मम ||

शश्वन्नश्वरमेव विश्वमखिलं निश्चित्य वाचागुरोरः

नित्यं ब्रह्म निरन्तरं विमृशता निर्व्याज शान्तात्मना,

भूतं भावि च दुष्कृतं प्रदहता संविन्मये पावके

प्रारब्धाय समर्पितं स्ववपुरित्येषा मनीषा मम ॥

या तिर्यङ्नरदेवताभिरहमित्यन्तः स्फुटा गृह्यते

यद्भासा हृदयाक्षदेहविषया भान्ति स्वतो चेतनाः,

ताम् भास्यैः पिहितार्कमण्डलनिभां स्फूर्तिं सदा भावय

न्योगी निर्वृतमानसो हि गुरुरित्येषा मनीषा मम ||

यत्सौख्याम्बुधि लेशलेशत इमे शक्रादयो निर्वृता

यच्चित्ते नितरां प्रशान्तकलने लब्ध्वा मुनिर्निर्वृतः

यस्मिन्नित्य सुखाम्बुधौ गलितधीर्ब्रह्मैव न ब्रह्मविद्

यः कश्चित्स सुरेन्द्रवन्दितपदो नूनं मनीषा मम ॥

Purport of the five gems of Maneesha Panchakam

  1. Oh! Let's learn that the indwelling (pratyag) atman is distinctly shining with in all the three states; namely the wakeful, the dreaming and the deep sleep states. It is the invisible thread embedded in us and it is the witness with in all from the Creator up to the tiny ant. It is not a cognizable object in spite of any amount of material intelligence. It is very much the same in one and all irrespective of any caste, creed or kind! The great one who inculcates this concept is the real preceptor. This is my perfect conviction.
  2. I am none other than a part and parcel of the Brahman (The Absolute). I am dwelling on the pure and infinite Brahman and that I am the very Brahman. This universe is glittering with infinite glow by the power of the chaitanya or unlimited sentient energy of the Absolute. Apparently the universe is assumed (by us) to consist of diverse and different things, due to (our) ignorance (avidya or nescience) borne out of the three gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). He who firmly believes with perfect understanding of this Unity in diversity, for me, he is the adorable great Master, irrespective of whether he is a Brahmin or an outcaste. This is my perfect conviction.
  3. This entire universe, apparently continuing, is perishable and impermanent as per the decisive proclamation of the Lord. The Brahman, indeed, is permanent, everlasting and is undifferentiated and peerless, if one analyzed carefully with an untainted, unaffected, peaceful and tranquil intelligence. The differences in our physical bodies are the products of imprints of all our previous sinful/good deeds, pertaining to the past, present and future. The one who perfectly reduces these imprints to ashes in the flaming fire of knowledge is the best informed. This is my perfect conviction.
  4. The Self or pure consciousness is experienced clearly within by all animals, human beings and the gods alike as the 'I'. It is by the reflection of this pure consciousness that the mind, sense organs and the body which are insentient, appear to be sentient. External objects are perceived only because of this. This Self is, however, concealed by this very mind, senses and body which are illuminated by it, just as the Sun is concealed by the clouds. A person of perfect realization and wisdom due to his complete and clear understanding ever meditates in his mind on this supreme consciousness. Such a person is the real preceptor. This is my perfect conviction.
  5. The Self (Brahman) is the eternal ocean of Supreme Bliss. A minute fraction of this Bliss Supreme is adequate to satisfy the Indra and other celestials. Only by meditating with a perfectly calm mind on this Bliss Supreme, and not by any other special means, the sages experience adequate fulfillment. Whose intellect is ever unified with the eternal ocean of this Bliss Supreme, he is not a mere knower of the Brahman, but he is the Brahman itself. Such a person, whosoever he may be, and no matter at all, his feet are worthy to be worshipped by the Indra and all other gods. Certainly and emphatically, this is my perfect conviction.

The Epilogue

दासस्तेहं देहदृष्ट्यास्मि शंभो

जातस्तेशो जीवदृष्ट्या त्रिदृष्टे

सर्वस्यात्मन् अत्मदृट्या त्वमेव

त्वेवं मे धीर्निश्चिता सर्वशास्त्रैः ॥

O! Lord, the three eyed one (who is the all knower of the past, present and future)! In the form of this physical equipment, the body, I am the servant of You and thus of all. In the form of the life principle with in me, I am the part and parcel of You and thus of all. In the form the soul, You are within me and similarly in every other being or animal or thing that I behold. I have arrived at this conclusion after thorough reflection in my intellect - illuminated by all the sacred texts.

This concludes the sacred teaching Maneesha Panchakam by Jagad Guru Sri Adi Sankarachaya

Maneesha Panchakam – Part 8 of 8

Dear Friends,

My greetings to you all. We have seen the fourth slokam of the Five Jewels of Maneesha Panchakam in our previous post of Part 7 of 8. Now, we will see the fifth and final verse of these 5 important slokas. These are recited extempore by the learned man in reply to Lord Shiva.

The Fifth one is as follows:

యత్సౌఖ్యాంబుధి లేశలేశత ఇమే శక్రాదయో నిర్వృతా

యచ్చిత్తే నితరాం ప్రశాంతకలనే లబ్ధ్వా మునిర్నిర్వృతః

యస్మిన్నిత్య సుఖాంబుధౌ గళితధీర్బ్రహ్మైవ న బ్రహ్మవిద్

యః కశ్హిత్ససురేన్ద్ర వందితపదో నూనం మనీషా మమ ||


यत्सौख्याम्बुधि लेशलेशत इमे शक्रादयो निर्वृता

यच्चित्ते नितरां प्रशान्तकलने लब्ध्वा मुनिर्निर्वृतः

यस्मिन्नित्य सुखाम्बुधौ गलितधीर्ब्रह्मैव न ब्रह्मविद्

यः कश्चित्स सुरेन्द्रवन्दितपदो नूनं मनीषा मम ॥


yathsaukhyaambudhi laesalaesatha imae sakraadhayo nirvrithaa

yachchiththae nitharaam prashaanthakalanae labdhvaa munirnirvrithah

yasmin nithya sukhaambudhau galithadheer brahmaiva na brahmavidh

yah kaschit sasuraendhra vandhithapado noonam maneeshaa mama ||

The word meaning is as follows

yat = The Self (Brahman) is

ambudhi = the eternal ocean of

soukhya = Supreme Bliss.

laesa laesatha = A minute fraction of

imae = this (Bliss Supreme) is

nirvritha = adequate to satisfy

Sakra adayo = the Indra and other celestials.

prasaantha kalana = Meditating with a perfectly calm

chittae = mind only

yat = on this (Bliss Supreme)

na ithraaam = and not by any other special means,

munir = the sages

labdwaa = experience

nirvritha = adequate fulfillment.

Yasmin = Whose

dhee = mind (intellect) is

nithya = always (ever)

galitha = identified (unified) with

ambudhao = this eternal ocean of

sukha = the Bliss Supreme,

na brahmavid= is not a mere knower of the Brahman, but

brahmaiva = is the Brahman itself.

Sa = Such a person (as described above),

yah kaschit = whosoever he may be (no matter at all) -

pado = his feet are

vanditha = worthy to be worshiped by

surendra = by the Indra (and all other gods).

noonam = Certain (definite)

maneesha mama = this is my firm understanding.

The Purport or Bhaava

The Self (Brahman) is the eternal ocean of Supreme Bliss. A minute fraction of this Bliss Supreme is adequate to satisfy the Indra and other celestials. Only by meditating with a perfectly calm mind on this Bliss Supreme, and not by any other special means, the sages experience adequate fulfillment. Whose intellect is ever unified with the eternal ocean of this Bliss Supreme, he is not a mere knower of the Brahman, but he is the Brahman itself. Such a person, whosoever he may be, and no matter at all, his feet are worthy to be worshiped by the Indra and all other gods. Definite, this is my firm understanding.

Please view the small video clip given below,

That is all for now, Bye till next post,

Regards,

Dr. Sarma

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Maneesha Panchakam – Part 7 of 8

Dear Friends,

My greetings to you all. We have seen third slokam of the Five Jewels of Maneesha Panchakam in our previous post of Part 6 of 8. Now, we will see the fourth of these 5 important slokas. These are recited extempore by the learned man in reply to Lord Shiva.

The THIRD one is as follows:

యా తిర్యఙ్నర దేవతాభిరహమిత్యంతః స్ఫుటా గృహ్యతే

యద్భాసా హృదయాక్ష దేహవిషయా భాన్తి స్వతో చేతనాః,

తాం భాస్యైః పిహితార్కమణ్డల నిభాం స్ఫూర్తిం సదా భావయన్

యొగీ నిర్వృతమానసో హి గురురిత్యేషా మనీషా మమ.


या तिर्यङ्नरदेवताभिरहमित्यन्तः स्फुटा गृह्यते

यद्भासा हृदयाक्षदेहविषया भान्ति स्वतो चेतनाः,

ताम् भास्यैः पिहितार्कमण्डलनिभां स्फूर्तिं सदा भावय

न्योगी निर्वृतमानसो हि गुरुरित्येषा मनीषा मम ||


yaa thiryagnara dhaevathaabhirahamithyamthah sphutaa grihyathae

yadhbhaasaa hridhayaaksha dhaehavishayaa bhaanthi swatho chaethanaah,

thaam bhaasyaih pihithaarkamandala nibhaam sphoorthim sadhaa bhaavayan

yogee nirvrithamaanaso hi gururithyaeshaa maneeshaa mama.


The word meaning is as follows

yaa = That which (the inner consciousness)

sphutaa = very clearly

grihyatae = is perceived

aham iti = as the 'I'

anthah = within

thiryangn = all the animals,

nara = the human beings

devathaabhir = and the gods too.

yad bhaaasa = by the effulgence of

swatho = this pure self,

chaethanaa = the inner consciousness

vishayaa = the sense objects are

bhaanthi = perceived (illuminated) by

hridaya, daeha = the mind, the body and

aksha = eyes etc., sense organs.

thaam = The very mind, body and sense organs

bhaasai hi = though illuminated by this (consciousness)

pihitha = apparently cloud this consciousness,

arka mandala = just as the effulgent Sun is

nibham = concealed by the clouds (caused by the sun).

yogee = That person of perfect realization

nirvrutha = with complete and clear understanding

spoorthim = due to his wisdom,

sadaa bhhavayan = ever meditates on this

Maanaso hi = verily in his mind.

maneesha mama = My firm understanding is

yaesha = that Great one with this concept

Gurur iti = is the real preceptor.

The Purport or Bhaava

The Self or pure consciousness is experienced clearly within by all animals, human beings and the gods alike as the 'I'. It is by the reflection of this pure consciousness that the mind, sense organs and the body which are insentient, appear to be sentient. External objects are perceived only because of this. This Self is, however, concealed by this very mind, senses and body which are illuminated by it, just as the Sun is concealed by the clouds. A person of perfect realization and wisdom due to his complete and clear understanding ever meditates in his mind on this supreme consciousness. Such a person is the real preceptor. This is my perfect conviction.

I request you to please view the short video clip given below

That is all for now, Bye till next post,

Regards

Dr. Sarma