[Advaita-l] Bhramara -keeTa nyaaya in the Bhaagavatam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Feb 10 06:24:47 EST 2020

In Vedanta the idea of 'constant contemplation of X by Y will result in Y
becoming X' is taught by the analogy of 'bhramara keeTa nyaaya'.  The wasp
brings in an insect, its victim, and places it in a hole from which it
can't escape. The insect, out of fear, keeps thinking of its predator and
over time, assumes the form of the wasp.

This analogy is used by Shankara in various works, as shown below, to
convey the idea that the aspirant, due to intense nididhyasanam, becomes
Brahman itself.

In VivekachudamanI;

सति सक्तो नरो याति सद्भावं ह्येकनिष्ठया । कीटको भ्रमरं ध्यायन् भ्रमरत्वाय
कल्पते ॥ ३५९ ॥

अपरोक्षानुभूतिः -
भावितं तीव्रवेगेन यद्वस्तु निश्चयात्मना । पुमांस्तद्धि भवेच्छीघ्रं ज्ञेयं
भ्रमरकीटवत् ॥ १४०॥

आत्मबोध:  -  जीवन्मुक्तस्तु तद्विद्वान् पूर्वोपाधिगुणांस्त्यजेत् ।
सच्चिदानन्दरूपत्वात् भवेद् भ्रमरकीटवत् ॥

This analogy is stated in the Srimadbhagavatam to drive home the idea that
one, constantly meditating on the Lord, assumes His form:


tayā vihṛtya bhūyas tāṃ grasaty evaṃ maheśvaraḥ // (21.2)
yatra yatra mano dehī dhārayet sakalaṃ dhiyā / (22.1)
snehād dveṣād bhayād vāpi yāti tattatsvarūpatām // (22.2)
kīṭaḥ peśaskṛtaṃ dhyāyan kuḍyāṃ tena praveśitaḥ / (23.1)
yāti tatsātmatāṃ rājan pūrvarūpam asaṃtyajan // (23.2)

If out of love, hate or fear an embodied soul fixes his mind with
intelligence and complete concentration upon a particular bodily form, he
will certainly attain the form that he is meditating upon.


O King, once a wasp forced a weaker insect to enter his hive and kept him
trapped there. In great fear the weak insect constantly meditated upon his
captor, and without giving up his body, he gradually achieved the same
state of existence as the wasp. Thus one achieves a state of existence
according to one’s constant concentration.

Om Tat Sat

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