Wednesday, August 27, 2014

tAraka mantra, OM and meaning of mantra 'OM namo nArAyaNAya' in tArA-sAra upanishad

Following are the extracts from tArA-sAra upanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar (Source)

(Chapter 1 explains 'OM Namo Narayanaya' as tAraka mantra. nArAyaNa is not a personal deity but OM itslef and is chidAtmA, seated in heart as GYAnasvarUpa. This is confirmed in chapter 2)

Chapter - 1 

2.Then Bharadvaja asked Yajnavalkya: “What is Taraka ? What is that which causes one to cross (this mundane existence)”. To which Yajnavalkya replied: “Om Namo Narayanaya" is the Taraka. It should be worshipped as Chidatma. Om is a single syllable and of the nature of Atman. Namah is of two syllables and is of the nature of Prakriti (matter). Narayanaya is of five syllables and is of the nature of Parabrahman. He who knows this becomes immortal. 

Through ‘Om’, is Brahma produced; 
through ‘Na’ is Vishnu produced; 
through ‘Ma’ is Rudra produced; 
through ‘Na’ is Ishvara produced; 
through ‘Ra’ is the Anda-Virat (or Virat of the universe) produced;
through ‘Ya’ is Purusha produced; 
through ‘Na’ is Bhagavan (Lord) produced; and 
through ‘Ya’ is Paramatman produced. 

This Ashtakshara (eight syllables) of Narayana is the supreme and the highest Purusha. Thus is the Rig-Veda with the first foot (or half).

(Chapter 2 explains OM as tAraka mantra)


That which is Om is the indestructible, the supreme and Brahman. That alone should be worshipped. It is this that is of the eight subtle syllables. And this becomes eight, being of eight forms. 

‘A’ is the first letter; 
‘U’ is the second; 
‘M’ is the third; 
Bindu is the fourth; 
Nada is the fifth; 
Kala is the sixth; 
Kalatita (that beyond Kala) is the seventh; 
and that which is beyond these is the eighth. 

It is called Taraka, because it enables one to cross this mundane existence. Know that Taraka alone is Brahman and it alone should be worshipped”. 

1. “From the letter ‘A’ came Brahma named Jambavan (the bear). From the letter ‘U’ came Upendra, named Hari.

. From the letter ‘M’ came Shiva, known as Hanuman. Bindu is named Ishvara and is Satrughna, the Lord of the discuss itself.

3. Nada should be known as the great Lord named Bharata and the sound of the conch itself. From Kala came the Purusha himself as Lakshmana and the bearer of the earth.

4. Kalatita is known as the goddess Sita Herself. That which is beyond is the Paramatman named Sri Rama and is the highest Purusha.

All this is the explanation of the letter Om, which is the past, the present and future and which is other than these (viz.,) Tattva, Mantra, Varna (colour), Devata (deity), Chhandas (metre), Rik, Kala, Sakti and Srishti (creation). He who knows this becomes immortal. (Thus is) Yajur-Veda with the second foot”.


Then Bharadvaja asked Yajnavalkya: “Through what Mantra is Paramatman pleased and shows his own Atman (to persons) ? Please tell this”. Yajnavalkya replied:

1. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord described by (the letter) ‘A’ and is Jambavan (the bear) and Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

2. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord described by (the letter) ‘U’ and is Upendra (or) Hari and Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

3. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord described by (the letter) ‘M’ and is of the form of Shiva (or) Hanuman and Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

4. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana, the Lord of Satrughna of the form of Bindu and the Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

5. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord, and is Bharata of the form of Nada and the Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

6. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord, and is Lakshmana of the form of Kala and the Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

7. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord, and is Kalatita, the Goddess Sita, of the form of Chit and the Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

8. Om. He who is Sri-Paramatman, Narayana and the Lord that is beyond that (Kalatita), is the supreme Purusha and is the ancient Purushottama, the eternal, the immaculate, the enlightened, the emancipated, the true, the highest bliss, the endless, the secondless and the all-full – that Brahman is myself. I am Rama and the Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah; Salutation to Him !

Hari Om Tat Sat !

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brahman divides into four parts during creation, preservation and destruction

In viShNu purANa creation, preservation and destruction is described.

We will take verses VP 1.22.26-27 into consideration. Verse 2.22.23 says that janArdana, during creation, preservation and destruction divides itself into four parts. Later verses describe four parts assumed during creation, preservation and destruction of the world.

VP 1.22.23: [That] janArdana divides itself into four parts while creating and preserving the universe and by dividing itself in four forms destroys the world.
Now, the four parts are described w.r.t. guNa-s. First it starts with creation (rajas), then sattva (preservation) and lastly tamas guNa (destruction)

VP 1.22.24-25: With one part becomes unmanifested brahmA ji, with second part marici, etc prajApati, [lord's] third part is kAla and fourth is all beings.

VP 1.22.26-27 Then that puruShottama with support (getting in tune with) sattva guNa preserves the world. During that time, from first part [1], viShNu [deity of preservation] form preserves the world, with second part, assumes the form of manu, etc and from third assumes the form of kAla (time) and from forth is present in all bhUta-s (all bodies, i.e. is present everywhere).

[1] The literal meaning is - from first part becomes viShNu and preserves the universe.

The word unmanifested brahmA ji indicates that brahmA ji was present even during first creation of universe and later on stayed in unmanifested form. This is also confirmed in kurma purANa.

VP 1.22.28-29: and in the end [when time for destruction of universe has come], that unborn bhagavAn taking AdhAra (support) of tamo guNa (tamas guna), with one part takes rudrarUpa, with second [part] agni (fire) and form of death, with third kAla and with fourth stays in all bodies and worlds (omnipresence)

Hari OM

Saturday, August 16, 2014

God sees bhakti and not our riches

It was the auspicious occasion of the Jagaddhatri Puja, the festival of the Divine Mother. Sri Ramakrishna was invited to Surendra's house in Calcutta; but first he went to the house of Manomohan in the neighbourhood.

The Si Ramakrishna was seated in Manomohan's parlour. He said: "God very much relishes the bhakti of the poor and the lowly, just as the cow relishes fodder mixed with oil-cake. King Duryodhana showed Krishna the splendour of his wealth and riches, but Krishna accepted the hospitality of the poor Vidura. God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf."

The Sri Ramakrishna sang:

And, for that love, the mighty yogis practise yoga from age to age;
When love awakes, the Lord, like a magnet, draws to Him the soul.

Then he said: "Chaitanya used to shed tears of joy at the very mention of Krishna's name. God alone is the real Substance; all else is illusory. Man can realize God if he wants to, but he madly craves the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'. The snake has a precious stone ( A folk belief in Bengal.) in its head, but it is perfectly satisfied to eat a mere frog.

"Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on earth."

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna on Escaping one's duties

Mr. Viswas had been sitting in the room a long time; he now left. He had once been wealthy but had squandered everything in an immoral life. Finally he had become indifferent to his wife and children. Referring to Mr. Viswas, Sri Ramakrishna said: "He is an unfortunate wretch. A householder has his duties to discharge, his debts to pay: his debt to the gods, his debt to his ancestors, his debt to the rishis, and his debt to wife and children. If a wife is chaste, then her husband should support her; he should also bring up their children until they are of age. Only a monk must not save; the bird and the monk do not provide for the morrow. But even a bird provides when it has young. It brings food in its bill for its chicks."

Balram: "Mr. Viswas now wants to cultivate the company of holy people."

Sri Ramakrishna (with a smile): "A monk's kamandalu goes to the four principal holy places* with him, but it still tastes bitter. Likewise, it is said that the Malaya breeze turns all trees into sandal-wood. But there are a few exceptions, such as the cotton-tree, the aswattha, and the hog plum.

"Some frequent the company of holy men in order to smoke hemp. Many monks smoke it, and these householders stay with them, prepare the hemp, and partake of the prasad."

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna