[Advaita-l] A Perspective - 19 (cont)

Kuntimaddi Sadananda ksadananda108 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 11 04:36:10 CST 2010

>From Vedantic point, Om! represents nirguNa turiiyam, the unqualified
Brahman, and bhuuH, bhvaH, suvaH represent the qualified or saguNa Brahman,
vishva, taijasa, praajnaH, respectively.  Hence together with Om, they
represent the four paadaas of Brahman. Thus from the point of meditation the
meaning is - I remember the nirguNam Brahma who alone is manifesting in the
form of saguna vishva-virat, saguna taijasa-hiranyagarbha, saguNa
praajna-IswaraH (the paired terms represent micro-macro aspects of waking,
dream and deep sleep states from the point of vyashTi or individual jiiva,
and samashTi or total cosmos– Ref. MaanDukya & kaarika).

Gayatri mantra: First we will provide the general meaning of the mantra. It
is an invocation of suurya devata or sun-god. According to this, mantra in
anvaya form is– yaH naH dhiiyaH prachodayaat savituH devasya tat vareNyam
bhargaH dhiimahi. Dhiimahi means we meditate upon. vareNyam bhargaH sacred,
adorable, brilliant or effulgent. We meditate upon that which is the most
sacred or effulgent devasya savituH – the sun god.  We meditate on that
whose effulgence alone enlivens (pracodayaat) or energies our intellect
(dhiyaH). Hence we meditate upon that sacred effulgent Sun God which
activates all our intellects. We need to go Gita for reference to this
meaning –

yadaadityagatam tejaH jagat bhaasayate2khilam|

yacchandramapi yacchaagnou tat tejo viddhi maamakam||

The light and the energy in the sun belong to Me, says Krishna. Hence you
can look upon the Sunlight in the early morning as pratyaksha or direct
symbol of the Lord. Source of every light in one way or the other comes from
the Sun. Without the Sun no life can get energized. Glory of the sunlight is
said in Gita:

gaamaavishya ca bhuutani dhaarayaamyahamojasaa|

puShNaami chouShadhiiH sarvaaH somo bhuutvaa rasaatmakaH||

It nourishes everything on the earth; the plants and the beings,
charaacharam, movables and immovables. Here the brahmachaari-student is
interested in – dhiimahi - meditating on the sun-god to nourish his
intellect just as He nourishes all the beings on this earth.

Vedantic meaning: Here dhiimahi means we meditate upon – indicates the
nidhidhyaasanam – tat bhargaH vareNyam – referring to sat chit ananda
swaruupam. We meditate upon the sat chit ananda swaruupam – on what –
savituH devasya – of the Lord – IswaraH – tat padarthaH – IswaraH – We
meditate upon the sat chit ananda swaruupam of the Lord. This meaning is
arrived as follows: Here the word savituH – means that which procreates the
universe – suuyate iti savitaa – Lord says maayaadhyakshena prakRitiH
suuyate sa charaacharam| Suu means to procreate. Savitaa means that which is
creator of the universe – primarily the material cause – upaadaana kaaraNam.
Next – devasya – that which is effulgent or chetana swaruupam – intelligent
principle, that is, nimitta kaaraNam. Hence Lord is invoked both as the
material and intelligent cause.  Hence savituH devasya – implies Lord both
as intelligent and material cause of the universe. In - tat savituH –the
implied meaning (vaachyaartham) of the word  - tat is:  tat refers to Ch. up
– 6th Ch.  tat tvam asi – starting from sadeva soumya idam agra asiit
–ending upto aitadaatmya idagam sarvam, tat satyam – hence tat refers to sat
swaruupam.   tat bhargaH vareNyaH – bhargaH means that which is light or
effulgent.  That which is capable of removing darkness – hence the implied
meaning is chaitanya swaruupam. Darkness also stands for ignorance. It is
ignorance of objective world also ignorance of one’s own self – or muula
avidya. It, in the form of vRitti or thought, removes the darkness of
ignorance. Objective knowledge takes place in the form of vRitti or thought.
Every thought as we discussed before is nothing but existence or tat or sat
in the attributive form representing or imaging the attributes of the
objects outside. Hence, as existence, or tat, it provides the basis for the
vRitti or thoughts of the objective world. Since the vRitti is revealed by
the light of consciousness or savituH devasya by the process of reflection,
when one shifts the attention to that light of reflecting consciousness, one
can gain the knowledge of the truth. Thus it removes both the ignorance
centered on the objective world as well as the primordial ignorance centered
on the self. Hence it removes the samsaara caused by ignorance. VareNyam –
means that which is worth choosing by all; it is  – varaNa yogyam. That
which everybody chooses is happiness or ananda swaruupam.  Hence vareNyam
means, it is Ananda swaruupam or puurNatvam or fulfillment.  This is one
purushaartha that is common to all.  Hence tat means sat swaruupam, bhargaH
means chit swaruupam and vareNyam implies aananda swaruupam – hence tat
bhargaH vareNyam implies  sat chit ananda swaruupam – hence we are
meditating on the sat chit ananda swaruupa Brahman. Meditation here means
recognition by my mind that the saakshii swaruupam as the very basis for the
whole universe of objective and subjective world.

Now we note the grammatical transition in the mantra where it shifts from
sat chit ananda swaruupam Brahman to saakshii swaruupa aatma in the mantra.
It starts with the neuter gender Brahman and the mantra comes to masculine
gender aatmaa – Yah is masculine gender and refers to aatma, while tat
refers to neutral gender Brahman. Thus we have mahaavaakya embedded in the
mantra with the change in the gender. Thus the meaning of the mantra is -

We meditate on that all pervading sat chit ananda swaruupam which is the
cause of the universe, which is also behind our intellect as saakshii
swaruupam or  kshetrajna swaruupam, as knower of all fields. Such a change
can be also noted in the Tai. Up ananda valli – where it starts with
Brahmavidaapnoti param .. first defining Brahman and switching to aatma as
tasmaat vaa etasmaat aatmanaH aakaaShaH sambhuutaH indicating oneness of
Brahman and aatma. It can be viewed as the all-pervading Brahman - as though
entered into jiiva - anupraviShTa ruupaH -  as aatma or soul – this is the
implied meaning of yaH. Thus we have - That Brahman who is the
material-intelligent cause or creator of this universe is the same as -I am-
is now in the form of the self -Yah – as witnessing consciousness or
saakshii swaruupam – aatma.  Thus the mahaavaakya, tat tvam asi, is imbedded
in the mantra. Next - naH dhiiyaH – all our intellects – or that which is
involved in all the knowledge process where we have discussed before the
perceptuality condition that the existence and the consciousness get united
for me to be conscious of the existence of all objective knowledge-
– be illumined. Saakshii illumining directly the intellect as chidaabhaasa
and chidaabhaasa indirectly illuming the world of objects.  Thus jnaana
prakriya or process of how knowledge takes place is also indicated.

Thus, according to this interpretation tat savitur vareNyam bhargo devasya
dhiimaH indicate Brahma chaitanyam, dhiyoyona prachodayaat indicate aatma
chaitanyam - dhiimaH –meditation on the implied mahaavaakya or identity
relation - as tat tvam asi.  This idea is actually contained in the famous
tai. Up. mantra also in the bRiguvalli – sa yaschaayam puruShe,
yaschaasaavaaditye, sa ekaH. Comparing with gaayatri, sa yachaayam puruShe –
is dhiyoyonaH prachodayaat,  yaschaasaavaaditye is tat savitur vareNyam
bhargo devasya dhiimahi – sa ekaH -  the abhedena dhiyaamaH – we meditate on
the oneness. Thus gaayatri meaning from Vedantic angle is simply - tat tvam
asi –mahaavaakya, and therefore gaayatri dhyaanam becomes nidhidhyaasanam –
hence gayatri is recommended for all. It contains the essence of Madukya,
Taittireya and ChanDogya Upanishads.

My prostrations to Swami Paramarthanandaji for enlightening me on the
essence of gaayatri mantra.

Hari Om!


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