The Mother Divine
Change Font Size 
Edited, compiled, and translated by VDN Rao

Chapter IV

Unity of the Elemental Self and the Supreme


1. Te khalu vaavorthva retasoti vismitaa abhisametyochuh, Bhagavaan namestetva anishaadhi, twam asmaakam gatir anyaa na vidyata iti; asyako vidhir bhutaatmaano yenedam hitvaatmaaneva saayujyam upaiti taan hovaacheti/ Vaalikhilya sages who were of extreme chastity and ‘baahyaanatara shuchi’/
Of external and internal cleanliness then approached Bhagavan Prajapati in awe and veneration stating that there could be no other excepting Him to clarify as to what could be the methodology that once a Being on earth on the termination of life, the Inner Self would merge into the Elemental Self to whom the Pancha Bhutas or the Five basic Elements of Earth-Water-Fire-Air- and the Sky are anchored to!

2. Athhayatraapi uktam, Mahaanadeeshuryamaya ivaanivartakam asya yat puraakritam, samudravelava durnivaaryam asya mrityoraagamanam, sadasad phalamayaih paashaih paangur iva baddham,bandhana - stasya ivaassvaatantrayam, yam avishayastasya iva bahu bhayaavastam, madironmatta iva moha madi- rottam, paapmaanaa griheeta iva bhraamyamaanam, mahoraga dashtaa iva vishayadastam, mahaandha -kaaram iva raagaandham, indrajaalam iva maayaamayam, svapna iva mithyaadarshanam, kadalee - garbha ivaasharam, nataiva khsanavesham, chitra bhitiriva mithyaamanoharamiti athoktam/ Shabda sparshaadayo hyaartha martyenarthaa ivaasthitaah, yeshaam saktastu bhutaatmaa na smareta param padam/

Neither the flows of rivers nor the tides of oceans are irreversible and more certainly the call of death. All the Beings in Creation are prisoners of one’s own doings, far worse than a lame person disabled to walk straight, or like one in the stronghold of death. Such persons are always exposed to dangers like an intoxicant with the liquor of ‘maya’ the make belief or delusion; he or she is like one smitten by a cobra with poison of passions and obsessions, like a person in dreams and delusions, like an actor changing his dresses, like false appearances devoid of reality, like objects of sound and vision totally misleading. But the Infinite Elemental Self is neither with earthly senses of the Beings as experienced by them nor the thick cover of Maya the Make Believe that the mortal Beings are subjected to since that Self is far superior than even the Pancha Bhutas that had been Its own manifestations and offshoots. The mortals however are subjected to ‘marana dharma’!

3. Ayam vaa va khalvasya pratividhir bhutaatmaano yad vedavidyaadhigamah svadharmasya anucharanam; shvaashramesa evaanuktramanam, svadharmasya vaa etad vratam, stambashaakhe vaaparaani;anenorthva bhaag bhavati anyathaavaan iti esha svadharmobhihito yo vedeshu na svadhar-maatikramenaashramee bhavati, aashrameshvevanaavasthas tapasvee vetyucyata ityetad ayuktam,naata- paskasyaatmaa-jnaanedhigamah karma siddhir veti; evam hyaaha:tapasyaa praapyate satvam,satvaat sampraapyate hyaatmaa,yam aaptvaa na nivatataa iti/

The only path to secure the knowledge about the Elemental Self is to pursue one’s own ‘svadharma’ or the precepts of own ‘varnaashrama’. Bhagavad Gita states vide karma yoga, chapter 3 stanza 35:
Shreyaan svadharmo vigunah, paradharmaat svanushthitaat, svadharme nidhanam shreyah, paradharmo bhyaavahah/

Discharging one’s own prescribed duties as per one’s own ‘Varna’or of Braahmana-Kshatriya- Vaishya-and Service Classes of Society rather than pursue the duties of other classes.
Even destruction or death pursuing one’s own class duties should be preferable rather than assume the duties of others as the latter would be risky and dangerous . Hence the pursuit of the regular duties as prescribed in the Vedas. Varnaashrama vidhis are only relevant to the specific branch of the tree of the Samsara and deviations could be self destructive. Further the duties prescribed for ‘Chatur Ashramas’ of brahmacharya- vaivaahika-vaanaprastha -sanyaasa too are equally relevant and the kind of austerities which are prescribed too are worthy requirements. That is why prescription:
tapasyaa praapyate satvam,satvaat sampraapyate hyaatmaa,yam aaptvaa na nivatataa iti/

It is by the practice of austerities as relevant to one’s own varna and ashrama dharmas would generate ‘satvam’ or truthfulness and truthfulness alone leads to the perception of the Eternal Self; indeed that illustrious person alone reaches such a unique destination, from where there is no return!

4. Means to attain Brahman: Vidya- Tyaga-Tapas or Knowledge-Austerity- Meditation
Asti Brahmeti brahma vidyavid abraveed, Brahma dwaaram idam ityevaitad aah,yas tapasaapahata- paapmaa, Aum Brahmano mahimeti etaitad aaha, yah suyuktojasram chintayat, tasmaad vidyayaa tapasaa chintayaa chopalabhyate Brahma, sa Brahmanaah, sa brahmanaa para, sa Bramanaa para etaa bhavati adhidaivavam devebhyascheti, akshayyam, aparimitam,anaamayam, sukham ashnute ya evam vidvaan anena trikena Brahmopaste athayaih paripurnaabhi bhutoyam rahitascha tair vaiva muktastva atmaanneva saayujjyam upaiti/

To know that one does not know but desires to know yet remains unknown is all what all knows! Brahman is he who realises the ‘vidya’ of Brahman and hence the statement by Kenopanishad: II.2-3:
Naaham manye suvedti no na vediti veda cha, yo naastadveda no a vediti veda cha/ Yasyaa matam tasyha matam yasya na veda sah, anijnaatam vijaanataamvijnaatamavijnaantaam//

He does not know about Brahman, but that he does not consider that he does not know either; since he who claims that he knows indeed does not know. It is known to him to whom It is unknown; he does not know to whom It is known. It is unknown to those who know well and known to those who do not know! The Supreme is not an object even of extraordinary knowledge but of intense introspection and Self Realisation; it is neither by perception nor comprehension but of intuition alone.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III.iv.2 :
evam evatad vyaapadishtam bhavati, yadeva saakshaad aparokshaad Brahma ya aatmaa sarvaanatah/ Na drishter drashtaaram pashye, na shrute shrotaaram shrunuyaat, na maater maantaram manaveetaah na vijnaater vijnaataram vijaaneeyaah, esha ta atmaa sarvaantarah, atonyaad aartam/

Brahman is present in every Being; ‘ you cannot see the one who enables you to see things, since vision enabled normally is different from that particular ‘Self’ enabling to see everything as different. Similarly what one hears or thinks or hears or knows by way of vision, capacity to hear, the thoughts and the knowledge are all self sourced; thus one’s Self within is that very Self; everything else perishable ; this gross body consisting of organs and senses is perishable but the ‘Antaraatma’ or the Consciousness is imperishable and everlasting’.

Mundaka Upanishad vide III. ii.3-4 is emphatic in stating that the Self is not attained by one who has no strength and determination and that the Source of Brahman is unattainable except by the ‘paripaktvata’ or climactic fruition of yoga, karma, tapasya and truthfulness. Further:
Naayamaatmaa pravachanena labhyo namedhaayaa, na medhaayaa na bahinaa shrutena, yamevaisha vrinute tena labhastasyaisha aatmaa vivrinute tanum svayam// Naayamaatmaa balaheenena labhoy na cha pramaadaattaapaso vyapyalingaat, etairupaayair yayate yastu vidvaamstashaisha aatmaa vitate Brahma dhaamaa/

The Self is not possible of accomplishment either ‘pravachanena’or by sermons, nor ‘adhyaaya’ or extensive and intensive study, nor even by ‘bahudha shrutena’ or by way of extensive teachings of Vidvans or Learned ones of knowledge and erudition; this is available by passionate thirst and unique dedication as a Singular Mission of Life! ‘esha atmaa tasya vivrinute svayam tarunum or Self Revelation is possible by one’s own gift.

All kinds of spiritual disciplines including knowledge, absence of delusions as created by Maya, high level of abstinences are no doubt the pro-active factors, but the Will of Almighty would be the Supreme factor!

In view of the above, the entry breakthrough to realise Brahman to steer clear through the ocean of ‘samsaara’ and free oneself from all the evil provocations of the mind as driven by panchendriyas and strictly observe abstinence and austerity as the stepping stone. This is to be backed up by Vidya or knowledge of Brahman. Then meditation of ‘Aum’ as the magnificence of Brahman. This enables the Realisation of Hiranya garbha the agent of Brahman and the ‘alter ego’ Maya. Hiranyagarbha Brahma operates by various Divinities or the Functionaries through whom the former operates; the Panch Bhutas or the Five Elements operate as the connecting strings of the ‘Charaachara Jagat’ as the controllers of Panchendriyas plus the Praana the Sustaining Energy as also the ‘Kaal chakra’ the time cycle. Vidya or the knowledge of what is Brahman is thus the starting input, while ‘Tyaaga’ or austerity is the means and ‘tapas’ or deep meditation-introspection is the ‘grand finale’ the Bliss of Brahmatva and Absorption into the Magnificence!

‘Aum’ is the true reflection of Srishti the Universe. Atharvana Upanishad states:
Sarvaan praanaan paramatmani pranaamayateeti pranavah/

Once Pranava recital is taken up then the ‘dehendriya praana mano buddhi’ or the body parts, life’s energy, the mind and its variations get stirred up and rejuvenated.

Sarveshaameva mantraanaam Pranavah praanamuchyate/ or Pranava is the very Life’s force, and in reverse sense praana is pranava uitself literally! Pranavaadaparam japtvaa kadaa mukto bhavishyati/ or there could be no worship nor puja nor any ‘mantra’ without AUM! Omkaara comprises A kaara-U kaara- Ma kaara.
Prashnopanishad vide V.6-7 stanzas are quoted: V.3-5) Sa yadi eka mantram abhidhaayeeta, sa tenaiva samveditastura jagatyaam abhisampadyate; tam Richo manushyaolak upanayante, sa tatra tapasaa bhahmacharyena shraddhayaa sampanno mahimaanam anubhavati// Atha yadi dvimaatrena manasi sampadyate sontariksham yajurbhir unneeyate soma lokam, sa somaloke vibhutim anubhuuya punaraavarte// yah punaretam trimaatrena Om iti ethenaiva- aksharena param purusham abhidhyaa - yeeta, sa tejasi Surye sampannah;adhaa paadodaras-tvachaa vinirmuktah sa saamabhir unneeyate brahma lokam, sa etasmaaj jeevaghanaatparaatparam purishayam purusham eekshate: tad eatou shokam bhavet//
Even if one does not fully realise the true import of the Single word OM nor comprehend the constitution and basis of it, by one’s thought and partial meditation of it should enlighten the person concerned and ensure the attainment of birth next on earth. Rik Veda Mantras ensure human birth, and that gives ample possibilities of ‘tapasaa brahmacharyena shraddhayaa’ or meditation, self-control and faith leading to application of mind to the Basic Truth and Reality. More intensive meditation on the OM mantra- comprising three Letters viz. A-U-M, if coupled with another letter viz. ‘U ’ signifying the mind as also the relevant Yajur Veda would elevate a virtuous person to Soma Loka or the world of the Moon and turns around to human birth again. Further meditation by the third syllable ‘M’ of the word OM to ‘Param Purusham’ or Hiranyagarbha Brahma then, one would get unified with and identified by Surya Deva in the Solar Orbit resplendent with extraordinary luminosity. Then just as a serpent gets rid of its skin, then the enlightened person concerned deep in meditation gets rid of his sins on account negative deeds and once led by the Saama Veda Chants is purified and qualified from the pursuit of the Supreme). Further: Omkaara contains ‘chatush paada’ or four feet, ‘tri sthaana’ or three places, and ‘pancha devata’ or five Gods; indeed if one is not aware of the meaning and status is not worthy of being a ‘dwija’ especially a brahmana! Omkara comprises ‘ashtaangaas’ or eight limbs viz: Vishva, Taijasa, Paagjna, Pratyagaatma relevant to Ishvara Bhagavan; and further ‘Chatur Maha Swarupas’ Virat Swarupa- Hiranyagarbha; then Avyaakrita or Maya; and ultimately Paramatma! Omkaara is also ‘Chatush Paada’ or four feet viz. Akaara-Ukaara-Makaara- ‘Ardha Maatra’! AUM also comprises ‘Tri sthaanas’ viz. Jagrata avastha- Swapnaavastha-Sushuptyavastha split again into Hridaya the heart-Kantha the neck-and Bhru Madhya or the Center of the forehead. Indeed the paramountcy of ‘Omkara’ is described by Smriti- Shrutis severally.

Bhagavad Gita sums up vide Chapter 8 stanza 12-13:
Sarva dwaaraani samyamya mano hridi nirudhyacha, murdhnaa dhyaaya -atmanah praanamaasthito yoga dhaaranaam/ Omityekaaksharam Brahma vyaaharan maamausmaran, yah prayaatityajanam deham sayaati Paramaam gatim/

Whosoever is able to control the limbs and senses and stabilise the mind by ‘Yoga dhaarana’ and concentrate one’s thoughts and aim at Paramatma by reciting AUM and unite praana the life energy into ‘brahma randhra’ shall indeed accomplish Him! Thus Omkaara is like an unfathomable ocean into which all kinds of meditations and worships of various forms of Paramatma merge into and whosoever is steeped into all types of Devas with no barriers of kula- mata-linga-vayo bhedas or differences of caste-faith-sex-age reach the Almighty alone indeed!

Taittireeya Upanishad vide I.v.1-5 and I.vii.1 is quoted respectively: The purport of the Celestial Symbols of ‘Bhurbhuvatsvah mahah’: I.v.1-2)

Bhurbhuvah suvareeti vaa etaas tisro vyaahrutayah, taasaamu ha smaitaam chaturteertham mahaachamasyah pravedayate maha hati, tad Brahmaa sa Atmaa angaanyanyaa Devataah, Bhuriti vaa ayam lokah,Bhuva ityantariksham, Suvariti asou lokah/ Maha iti aadityam, Adityenavaa va sarve lokaa maheeyante/ Mahaityaadityah Adityena vaava sarve lokaa maheeyante, Bhurati vaa Agnih Bhuva iti Vaayuh, Suvarityaadityah, Maha iti Chandramah Chandramasaa vaava sarvaani jyotimshi maheeyante/

As the ‘Vyahritis’ or qualifying features of ‘Maha’ or Brahma are: ‘Bhu’ or the Earth, ‘Bhuva’ or the Intermediate Space, and ‘Svaha’ is the extra-terrestrial world yonder or the higher worlds. Now, if Bhu is Agni, Bhuva is Vayu, Svah is Surya then Maha is Chandra and the last is what the luminaries sparkle and glorify! Indeed if Vyahriti is called the trunk of the body of Hiranyagarbha Brahman, then the limbs are: bhu or the legs, bhuvah or the hands and svaha is the head!

I.v.3-5) Bhuriti vaa Ruchah Bhuva iti Samaani Suvariti yajumsi, Maha iti Brahma, Braahmana vaava sarve vedaa ma maheeyante/ Bhurita vai Pranah, Bhuva ityapaanah suvariti vyaanah maha ityannam annena vaava sarve praanaa maheeyante/ Taa vaa etatas chaturdhaah chaturasro vyahritayah, taa yo veda saeda Brahma, Saveshmai Deva balim aavahanti/

The word ‘Bhu’ connotes Rig Veda, ‘Bhuvah’ Saama Veda, and ‘Svaha’ for Yajur Veda while Maha is ‘Om’ or Brahman. Also ‘Bhu’ is the ‘Praana’, ‘Bhuvah’ is ‘Apaana’, ‘Suvah’ is ‘Vyana’, and ‘Mahah’ is ‘Anna’ or food. Thus the ‘vyahritis’ of Brahman are expressed in four significant viz. Brahman as Tri Lokas of ‘Bhurbhavassvah’; as three Devas of Agni, Surya and Chandra; three Vedas of Rik-Saama-Yajur and three Pranas viz. Apana-Vyana-Suvana. Indeed he who absorbs these details attains supremacy of Brahman to himself as Devas offer a variety of gifts to him.

I.viii. 1: OM is truly symbolic of Paramatma I.viii.1) Omiti Brahma Omiti Sarvam Omityetad anukritirha sma vaa aapyo shraavatyetraa shraavayanti/ Omiti Saamaani gaayanti, Omshomiti shastraani shamshanti, Omityaradharyuh pratigaram pratigruh -nati/ Omiti Brahma prasouti Omityagnihotram anujaaneeti, Omiti Brahmanah pratyakshan aaha Brahmopaapna vaaneeti Brahmmaivopaapnoti/

Om is the most distinguishing expression summing up and signifying the Reality yet unknown! It is the Sum of anything and everything even as it is the beginning and the end of Creation, occurring again and again. By the mere sound, the word Pranava is empirical but supplemented with the Supreme, it envelopes the Universe plus more! Hence Om is Brahman. When Priests offer oblations to Agni along with the chanting of relevant mantras to specified Devatas, all the formulae and established procedures are practised accordingly: Rig Veda mantras set to tune are the Saamas i.e. those that are not so set are the Shastras. The recitation of ‘Saamas’ with Om as in the case of ‘Om Shom’. The priest Adharvu for eg. in charge of Rik mantras seeks permission with the request ‘may we pray!’ and the reply would be: Om, this would please us! In other words: ‘Omitya - dharyuvuh pratigara pratigruhnaati’ Thus the permission to perform the Sacrifice is secured with the word OM. When the prayer is thus offered with veneration to attain Brahman then indeed the Karta would attain Brahman for sure!

The relevant passage of the Verse does signify the words:

Aaakaashaat patitam toyam ythaa gacchati saagaram, sarva deva namaskaarah Keshavam pratigacchati/
5. Te hocur Bhagavaan abhivaadyaseeti abhivaadyaaseeti, nihitam asmaabhir etad yathaavad uktam manaseeti, atthottaram prahmam anubhruhiti, agnir vaayur aatityaah kaalo yah praanonnambrahma rudro vishnur iti ekenyam abhidhyaayanti ekenyam;shreyah yah sosmaakam bruhiti, tan hovaachati/
Vaalikhalya Maharshis further questioned Prajapati: Bhagavaan! Indeed you are the Guide and the Singular Teacher. We do appreciate what you have clarified to us in so many matters relating the methodology of accomplishing Brahman. Now, could you guide us about another clarification as to the various Divinities and their ‘inter se’ seniority among them! For instance, agni-vaayu-surya-kaala-praana- anna-Brahma-Rudra- and Vishnu!

6.Brahmanovaa vaitaa agrasya tanavah parasyaamritasya shareerasya tasyaiva loke pratimodatee ha yo yasyaanushaktah ityevam hyaah;Brahma khalvidam vaa va sarvam/Yaa vaasyaa agrayaa stanavastaa abhidhyaayed archayan nihnuuyaccha atastaabhih sahairvopari upari lokeshu charati, atha kritsna- kshaya ekatvameti purushasya, purushasya/

Prajapati clarified that the various celestial variations and trimurtis mentioned were but the forms of Parabrahma; indeed that Brahman is unknown, permanent, all- pervasive, endless, unborn, and eternal. Whosoever meditates and worships whatever form of aspect of that Paramatma that very trait and variation reaches Him alone. The Universe is subject to dissolution- revival-preservation and re-dissolution again followed by the cycle repeatedly with the hierarchy of the supporting forms. Worship to each and every aspect or form of that Brahman finally reaches from the agents to the Supreme Master!
Chhandogya Upanishad vide III.14.1 is quoted:

Sarvam khalvidam Brahma tajjvalaaniti shaanta upaaseeta/ Atha khalu kratumayah Purusho yathaa kratur asmin loke purusho bhavat tathetah pretya bhavati, sa kratum kurveeta/

This Universe in totality is Brahman from whom it is born, exists and dissolves; hence one ought to meditate with tranquillity and with sincerity; as he exists with conviction and faith, so does he depart; indeed he or she shapes one’s own destiny for sure!