SrImadbhAgavatam - Mangala shloka

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jul 25 14:41:50 CDT 2000

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya

Vakratunda mahaakaaya  kOti sUrya samaprabha
Nirvijnam kurume deva  sarva kaaryeshu sarvadaa

Srimadbhaagavatam opens with a mangala shloka or the invocation (which
will be given below )
Invocation is a regular custom which is a vestige of the vedic culture,
a heritage from the Rishis. We start all our auspicious undertakings
with the invocation. By auspicious we mean that which is capable of
bestowing maximum happiness to a large number of people which lasts for
a very long time. The objectives of an invocation are (1) Sampradaaya
rakshana – ie, to maintain and follow the noble tradition set up by our
forefathers, Gurus and other great people. It gives us a protective
feeling that we are on the right path. (2) Nirvijna samaapti – the
successful completion of the task undertaken. We pray that we may have
enough strength to overcome the obstacles which may come in our path of
completing the work. (3) Antahkarana shudhdhi – to calm our mind, to set
the mind on the job on hand and to keep away the distractions.

The invocations are of threekinds – (1) Vastu nirdEsha which describes
the vastu, a substance which always exists, ie, the ‘sat’ or the
Brahman. (2) Namaskaara or the salutation offered to God or Guru or
anybody whom we respect a lot. The word nama.h indicates our total
surrendering to that higher being . Na-mah may also mean to drop the
‘ahankaara’ or to say na-mama. (3) Ashiirvaada – a prayer expressing the
desire that Glory of God may spread everywhere ;  good may befall

The mangala shloka is :

JanmaadyasyayatOnvayaaditaratashchaarthEshwabhijna.h swaraaT
tEnE brahma hridaaya aadikavaye muhyanti yatsuuraya.h
tEjOvaarimridaam yathaa vinimayO yatra trisargO mrishaa
dhaamnaaswEna sadaa nirastakuhakam satyam param dhImahi.

On splitting the words :

Janma aadi asya yata.h anvayaat itarata,h ca arthEshu abhijna.h swaraaT
TEnE brahma hridaaya aadikavayE muhyanti yatsUraya.h
TEja.h vaarI mridA yathA vinimayO yatra trisargO mrishA
DhaamnA swEna sadA nirasta kuhakam satyam param dhImahi

The gist of the shloka :

He from whom the creation, sustenance and disoolution of this world
(appear to take place) ; he who seems to be the material and efficient
cause of it ;  he who is omniscient and self effulgent ;  he who
revealed to brahmaa the vEdAs making him the aadikavi ( the first and
the foremost poet) , the wisdom of which (of vedaas)  make the scholars
wonderstruck ;  he upon whom this trigunaatmic ( of the three Gunaas)
world caused by the fusion of fire, water and earth is superimposed ;
who by His own light of Consciousness destroys always the ignorance (
respomsible for this make-believe world ) ; that Supreme Truth I
meditate upon .

( Oooooh, it was really very tough for me to translate the above
shloka.  It is very enigmatic in its meaning. The words in it are
capable of diverse interpretations. I  read so many interpretations of
it and atlast arrived at this as the most suitable one ! )

Explanation :

Yata.h = from whom, from which brahman
Asya janmaadi = the creation, sustenance and dissolution of this world
Anvayaat  = by whose presence ( following whom )
Itarata.h ca = and by whose absence
 it takes place , such a brahman we meditate upon.

Here the “ anvaya-vyatirEka “ bhaava applies, ie, “ yat satwE yat
satyam   yat abhaave yat abhaavaha ”  That which is there by his
presence, and that which can not be there when he is absent. Here the
kaarya – kaarana bhaava is implied. Only when the kaarana swaroopa
brahma is there his kaarya roopa  world exists; without Him the world
can not exist. OR  we can also apply here the “ anuvritti – vyaavritti ”
condition, ie, He remains in his own swaroopa ; yet, appears as
different roopas.  Though in the vyaavahaaric world, no effect can have
one and the same nimitta kaaranaa ( instumental cause ) and upaadaana
kaarana ( material cause ) [ for making a pot a potter  is the
instrumental cause and the mud is the material cause ; potter himself
can not become the pot, nor can the mud prepare the pot by itself ]
Since Brahman is omnipotent it is possible for him ( during our dream
don’t our mind create the dream and also become the things present in
the dream? ) “ sarvam khalu idam brahmam ” – material cause He Himself
is ; “ yatOva imAni bhOtAni jAyantE ” – instumental cause.

Abhijna.h = the sarvajna ( the manufacturer should first have the
knowledge of the thing that he wants to produce. ) Brahman is the very
swaroopa of knowledge (chit swaroopa )

Swaraat = the self effulgent ( we require sun’s light to see things.
But we don’t require any light to see that Sun ! he is self luminary )

TEnE brahma hridAya AdikavayE  =  He illumined the mind of brahma with
vedic revelations
muhyanti yatsUraya.h = whose wisdom is a great wonder to even the sages
or scholars
yatra trisargO  tEjO vAri mridAm vinimayO mrisha = in that parabrahma
the resultant of fusion of fire, water and mrit which makes the satwa
raja and tamas filled world a fallacy

dhaamnaa swEna sadAnirasta kuhakam = in whose light of consciousness
this fallacy or illusion gets destroyed.

Satyam param dhImahI = I meditate upon that supreme Truth Brahman.

By dissolution of the creation we mean the four types of pralaya :
(1) the total dissolution of the manifested world ( praakrita pralaya )
(2) the partial dissolution (naimittika pralaya – the great natural
calamities ) and
(3) the daily dissolution in our deep sleep (nitya pralaya )
and the salvation or the jnaanOdaya is the Atyantika pralaya – the final
dissolution of all gross and subtle bodies.

There is a shloka which describes why this compoition of Vyaasa is
called the Bhaagavata

ArthOyam brahmasUtrAnAm bhArathArtha vinirnaya.h
GayatrIbhAshyarUpOsou vedArtha paribrinhita.h
PurAnAnAm sArarUpa.h sAkshAdbhagavatOdita.h
DwAdasha skanda samyukta.h shatavichEda samyuta.h
GranthOshTAdasha sAhasra.h srImadbhAgavatAbhida.h

This is the gist of BrahmasUtrAs – the second sUtra “janmAdyasya

” is
included in the mangalashloka

Like MahAbhArata in this also everywhere there is victory of the Good
over the evil.

The meaning of the Gaayatri mantra is also in this – By “janmaadyasya”
we are indicating the cause of this universe corresponding with the word
“savitu.h” there. “Swaraat” is self effulgent like the sun God there.
“param” here relates to “varEnyam” there. “dhaamna swEna “ relates to
“bharga” there. “dhImahi” with “dhiyO yOna.h” there. Hence “
gaayatryupakramO yatra tatra bhaagavatam vidhu.h”

Bhaagavata gives the gist of all other puraanaas.

The Lord Naaraayana himself has uttered these shlokaas thro the mouth
of  Vyaasa.

It contains 12 skandaas.

VichchEda means dialogue or question and answer session, between  King
Parikshit and Shuka muni as also that between Shounaka and Suuta

Grantha is a set of 32 letters Here since the composition contains both
prose and poetry every 32 letters is considered as a Grantha. ( In a
previous message I had told that it contains 18000 shlokas. It is not
so. Sorry.) It contains 18000 such Granthaas.

As Vyaasaa’s work contains all these features it is called “Bhaagavata”.


Dear members, any comments / corrections / suggestions / further
contributions are most welcome.
I thought I would be brief. But I could not hold back any information as
I felt all the points were very relevant here.  I will allow some time
before I send my next post on this. ( I think I myself need some rest
now !!! )

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya

Latha Vidyaranya

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