The great sage Aungirá said, –
Sa vedaetatparamaḿ Brahmadháma
Yatra vishvaḿ nihitam bháti shubhram
Upásate puruśaḿye hyakámáste
The one who has known the Supreme Brahma has really known Him as the refuge of this universe. The One Who is the ultimate refuge of each and everything, animate and inanimate, movable and immovable, from the Supreme creation… Brahma – to the lowliest blade of grass, is the supreme goal, the final beatitude. The universe has been created within Him and is indeed radiant with His radiance. That the universe is created within Him is not all that can be said. It is the transformation of His own Self. It is evolved by Him. He is the substance as well as the cause of this universe. It is the cooperative creation of the sixteenfold distortions (ten sensory and motor organs, the mind and the five Tanmátras or inferences) and the eight binding factors of Prakrti that are there as the cause and effect of His qualitative manifestations. The seeds and potentials of this universe are also inherent in them. It is for this vastness that He has been called Brahma, which means Great (Brahatvád Brahma). Then again the One who makes another great, the One with whose thought and bearing the small unit establishes itself in the vastness, is also called Brahma (Brḿhańatvád Brahma). When this world is within Him, then He must necessarily be greater than the world. Suppose there is a box in a room; then the room must be greater than the box. That is why there is space for the box, otherwise it could not have been accommodated. That in which this universe is implanted is naturally greater than the universe. The entire universe is pivoting around its knower, its Nucleus, in a cyclic order in the vast body of Puruśa. Revolving thus in this cycle the one who progresses towards the knowing Entity by virtue of one’s spiritual force attains unity with Him, becomes one with Him. They become Brahma themselves, and that is why He has the quality of making one great.
Brahma is effulgent in white radiance. The Shruti says that Puruśa and Prakrti are indivisible and inseparable. Where Prakrti (the operative principle) is active over Puruśa, Puruśa is of white radiance. In the Gáyattri mantra the word, “Bharga”, is used in the sense of white radiance, and that is why this “Bharga” and Saguńa Brahma (The subjectivated Transcendentality) are inseparable. The inseparability of Brahma and His Radiance is fully substantiated by the real meaning and analysis of the word “Bharga”. It is trilateral, the combination of three letters, viz., “Bha”, “Ra”, “Ga”.
“Bha” – Bhásayatiimállokániti, i.e., by which the world is illuminated.
“Ra” – Raiṋjayatiimátáni, i.e., That which provides happiness for the living beings.
“Ga” – Gacchatyasmin ágacchatyasmád imáh prajáh, i.e., That in which the entire creation merges after emanation therefrom.
The Shruti says, –
Bheti bhásayate lokán Reti Raiṋjayati prajáh
Ga ityágacchatyajasraḿ Bharagát Bharga ucyate.
Generally speaking, the word, “Bharga” is used verily in the sense of Brahmic effulgence. Now the question arises, whether Brahma and His radiance are two different entities. If we say Ráma has such and such qualities or Shyáma has such and such qualities – aren’t the individuals and their qualities two absolutely separate entities? Such distinctiveness is not applicable to limitless, integral, Brahma, who is without a second. Brahma and His radiance are not two separate entities, for He is autophanous – self-luminous. Citing the instance of Ráhu’s(1) (Dragon’s) head we have to say that He is characteristically radiant.
This creation is triple-attributional. The game of the three attributes goes on in everything and everywhere in the universe, and they have not spared the human body. The region below the navel is dominated by Tamoguńa (Static principle), the region from navel to throat, by Rajoguńa (Mutative influence) and the region from throat to Trikuti (the junction of the two eyebrows, where the seat of the mind is located,) by Sattvaguńa (Sentient influence). Normally, a particular region in the body becomes more active in accordance with the Vrtti or epithymetic influence or the inter- and intra-ectoplasmic occupation of an individual. When a Sádhaka is established in his/her mental seat by virtue of his/her hearing, thinking and profound meditation, he or she being then established in Sattvaguńa (Sentient quality), realizes the Supreme Being in His Super-white glory, as is the wont of Sentient quality. When one goes beyond the mental sphere, one merges in the objectlessness of the Nirguńa Brahma in the Brahmarondhra (An aperture in the crown of the head) and thus reaches beyond the scope of colors. Bharga or white color also disappears from him. A desireless person, who worships this Supreme Puruśa absolves himself from the momenta of rebirths due to mind being objectless or desire-free. Such an individual goes beyond the cycle of ordinary birth and death. In other words, one’s mental force goes beyond the stars (’Shukrá means Venus, a planet) due to one’s being established in the Supreme Entity.
Kámá yah kámayate manyamánah
Sa kámábhirjjáyate tatra tatra
ihaeva sarve praviliiyanti kámáh.
According to human longings and desires or according to human propensive pursuit, their minds take form i.e., they will gradually acquire the like Saḿskáras or reactive momenta. They first see within themselves what they aspire for and then let their minds flow towards it. Thereafter the external organs i.e., hands and feet, etc., set about achieving it. And so it is generally seen that the desires that they had been giving indulgence to throughout their lives, come hurtling over to them in a condensed form at the last hour, i.e., their mind-stuff takes the like mental form for the last time in order to shape itself into a fitting medium of the like Saḿskáras. Even during the life-time as well it is seen that the mind-stuff of a drunkard, which imbibes within it an indomitable desire or Saḿskára for wine, turns into a vantage ground for undergoing the next Saḿskáras or momenta of pleasure and pain. That is to say, such a person gets scent of the wine shop by the sheer propulsion of his acquired mental propensity, if he happens to go to a new and unfamiliar place. A man who has cultivated dog-like or swine-like desires all his life, dies with the same dog-like or swine-like frame of mind. Thereafter with the help of Prakrti’s Mutative force he acquires the form of a dog or swine in order to undergo the dog-like or swine-like Saḿskáras. The great ascetic, King Bharata, died thinking of a fawn, and that was why it is written in the Puráńas (Indian mythologies) that he had to take the body of a deer at his next birth.
But he who is fully satiated, i.e., he whose longings and desires have consumed themselves, obliviates even the possibility of any such thought-wave later because of the absence of any Saḿskára. Such all-satiated persons are indeed self-purified. How can final satiety possibly come unless and until that Whole – that Supreme Spirit – is achieved? Hence he who has attained full satiety has indeed reduced all his Saḿskáras to nothingness right here in this world and so he has gone beyond the cycle of life and death.
From the inanimate to the animate goes the process of evolution. Take a piece of stone for instance. It has neither the power of action nor the sensation of mind. What is the reason? It is because hitherto there has been no manifestation of mind in the stone at all. Thought-wave or sensation can take place or an action can take a form only if there is a mind. Take, for instance, trees and plants which are more animate than stones. There are activities in them. They grow, draw the vital juice from the earth, maintain their species by creating seeds in their own bodies and enjoy and suffer pleasure and pain, when taken care of or smitten. We see in them the manifestation of consciousness or animation, for the mind has awakened in them. Thus progressing on the path of psychogenesis or mental development we see in humans the greatest manifestation. Just as during the Cosmic thought-process the evolution takes place from the subtle to the crude, similarly the unit retroverts step by step from the crude to the subtle, towards the same Absolute Consciousness from where it had come. It is just like the waves of the sea rippling back from the shore to the ocean from where they had originally come. Now, just how much should a person strive on his return journey? He has got to be alert, so that he may easily end the journey in his characteristic Self. Then alone shall we call him self-purified. Then alone shall he become saturated with Brahma, within and without.
To become self-purified one has got to make some effort – this effort is what is known as Sádhaná. The greatest Sádhaná is that which comprises three aspects viz., devotion, action and cognition. Medium Sádhaná is that which comprises two aspects i.e., devotion and action, and the inferior Sádhaná is that which consists of only tall talk (cognition or knowledge cannot exist singly without action and devotion – whatever may exist will be merely the debris of knowledge). The ability of a Sádhaka cannot be based on his common or worldly knowledge alone. It can only stand on the firm base of his knowledge, devotion and action (Jiṋána, Bhakti and Karma). By firmness I mean unflinching intensity of zeal and earnestness. By just saying that Rasagollá is sweet, one cannot get the taste of a Rasagollá (a spongy and juicy sweetmeat). One has got to make some efforts to obtain it and eat it.
Náyamátmá pravacanena labhyo na medhayá na vahuná shrutena
Yamevaeśa vrńute tena labhya stasyaeśa átmávivrńute tanúḿ syám.
By tall talks alone one cannot achieve Brahma. An almanac forecasts that there will be so much rain this year. But mere knowledge of such a forecast will not save the crops of a farmer. No amount of squeezing the almanac will produce even a drop of water. One has got to do sádhaná to habituate one’s mind to Brhamaward projection in order to attain Him.
Anubhútiḿ viná múd́ho vrthá Brahmańimodate
If a person, without Anubhúti or intuitional susceptibility, studies scriptures a million times or lectures on Brahma, his Brahma will ever remain a bookish Brahma, not the Brahma of one’s conception or realization. Just as one seeing in water the reflection of fruit dangling overhead from the branch of a tree cannot taste the fruit, similarly an erudite scholar, versed in the six philosophies, will remain far away from Brahma if one refrains from Brahma-Sádhaná. No matter how vastly learned you may become in worldly knowledge, without Sádhaná you can know nothing about Brahma, for along with your knowledge of these lores, a vanity of knowledge will also grow in you. With this result, you will go on enhancing the volume of your burden unnecessarily by habitually giving importance to your small ego. This burden becomes the cause of your sufferings and enjoyments, not of your salvation. Ácárya Shaḿkar said:
Vák vaekharii shobdajharii shástravyákhánakaoshalam
Vaeduśyaḿ vidúsaḿ tadvat bhuktaye na tu muktaye
You will come across many such people who do not practice spiritual meditation themselves but will run after great spiritual men in order to hear their sermons. These people are totally wrong. Only running after great men will be of no avail. A person has got to establish himself in the path of realization of Brahma by doing sádhaná himself. God does not bestow His mercy upon anybody after seeing how great a speaker he is or how many books he has read. Only one who has devotion can exact His mercy. The great devotee, Maharśi Nárada said.
That is, Brahma can be realized by achieving even a tiny bit of God’s grace or that of a great person. Take a very intelligent boy for instance. If his teacher does not teach him how to read and write, he will not be able to become a great scholar in spite of having the potential for becoming one. Similarly, all persons have the ability or potentiality of achieving spiritual development or of establishing themselves in the Brahmic stance, but for want of a worthy guide it cannot take practical shape. That is why a spiritual Preceptor or Sadguru is necessary – his grace is indispensable. His grace is but God’s grace, for God is the ocean of grace.
Náyamátmá balahiinena labhyo na ca pramádáttapaso vápyoliuṋgát
Etaerupáyaeryatate yastu vidváḿ stasyaeśa átmá vishate Brahmadháma.
Those who are weak, i.e., who have neither spiritual nor mental force, do not achieve intuitional knowledge. The timid and cowardly remain remote from Brahmabháva or cosmic ideation. You may have seen that bribe-takers or liars will talk ill of Ánanda Márga out of fear of following the principles of Yama and Niyama.
Another great trait of a Sádhaka is his self-confidence. “ I must have fulfillment” – “I must attain final beatitude” – this strong conviction is the stepping stone to success.
Phaliśyattiiti vishvása siddherprathamolakśańam
Dvitiiyaḿ shraddhayá yuktaḿ tritiiyaḿ gurupujanam
Caturtho samatábhávo paiṋcamendriya nigrahah
Śaśt́haiṋca pramitáháro saptamaḿ naevávidyate.
He who has taken the determination to attain final beatitude cannot be indifferent to Sádhaná. Indifference to mundane duties or flying above the world with a resolute detachment is but a mental disease. Those who want to give themselves up to divine contemplation in the cave of the Himalayas, leaving their homes, are misguided. The word, Sannyása, means to dedicate oneself for the attainment of God. When Brahma is everything, whatever you are, you must behave properly with everything around you. Hence to be callous about family and society is completely contrary to Brahma Sádhaná (Divine Contemplation). One cannot know Brahma through showy, superficial knowledge. You can only attain Brahma, when your knowledge has become strong and powerful through austere devotion to Truth. Only the soul of the one whose knowledge is identified with austerity, enters the abode of Brahma. Ultimately the united qualities of sedateness, mental and spiritual force, firmness, devotion to Truth, knowledge, the proper use of mundane things etc. will certainly enable a Sádhaka to attain unity with Brahma.
krtátmano viitargáh prashántáh
Te sarvagaḿ sarvatah prápya dhiirá
The word “Rśi”, means a Sádhaka who has cultivated Brahma within himself. So long as a Sádhaka does not attain Brahma, there exists in him a feeling of incompleteness. Suppose you want a thousand rupees. If you are given a thousand rupees, will you be contented? No, you will then ask for more. Such is the characteristic of human mind. Man has a limitless thirst. He keeps on harping ceaselessly, “I am hungry.” The hunger for a thousand will change into hunger for a lakh, and hunger for a lakh will make room for hunger for a crore. Thus the amount of hunger goes on increasing until a limitless amount of money is attained. This limitlessness is inherent in Brahma, and so your hunger can be satiated in Brahma alone. Hence when a “Rśi” attains complete self-control (krtátman), he goes beyond the sphere of attachment and detachment, and attains full realization of his characteristic Self. He becomes imperturbably tranquil, i.e. he reaches the stage which lies beyond the momentum of rebirth or regeneration. Attachment and repulsion exist so long as the proclivities of fascination and contempt exist. For instance, a puritanical sádhaka will consider wine as an object of disdain and will regard touching it as an act of impiety. A wine addict, however, regarding it as an object of greed, will run after it with total disregard for all social conventions and norms. But he who has become really desireless as the result of self-realization, will keep himself above these two. He will take wine as medicine under medical advice, otherwise he will carefully keep it away from the sight of people. He will have neither attachment nor aversion for the wine.
If you go to Kanyákuḿarii (Cape Comorin), you will see on one side the restless surging waves of the Bay of Bengal and on the other the tranquil Arabian Sea. The Bay of Bengal is not very deep and so there are as much waves as roars, and the Arabian Sea, which is very deep, remains calm and meditative. Similarly, he who is satiated of knowledge and desireless, remains calm and tranquil. Why on earth should he indulge in self-publicity? To whom will he publicize himself? Such acts are the antics of common, avaricious people with beggar-like mentality. Man who has attained Brahma will see His Glory in everything and feel that nothing is separate from Him. Where is the fear of any Saḿskára or reactive momentum for the one who has surrendered himself to Brahma?
Abhaypade práń sanpechi
Árki shaman bhay rekhechi.
The Sádhaka who has known Brahma loses himself – merges himself in Him. He does not have to undergo the cycle of births and deaths any more.
Gatáh kaláh paiṋcadasha pratiśt́há
Deváshca sarve pratidevatásu
Karmáńi vijiṋánamayashca átmá
Pare’vyaye sarva ekiibhavanti.
Human existence is concerned with sixteen factors, (Kalás), from which there is no means of escape, so long as human desires are efferent or extrovertive – so long as he is busy, seeking the objects of happiness from this material world. There are ten organs, (five sensory organs, e.g., eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, and five motor organs, i.e., speech, hands, feet, anus and generative organ), five práńáh or internal vital airs, viz., Práńa, Apána, Samána, Udána and Vyána (Nága, Kúrma, Krkara, Devadatta and Dhanaiṋjaya – these five external Váyus or airs do not belong to the sixteen Kalás for these are the resultants of the internal airs themselves), and Ahaḿtattva (ego) – sixteen in all. The sum total of fifteen Kalás of a theopathic Sádhaka get merged in their original causes. All these gods(2) or organs finally lose themselves in their respective counter-gods, i.e., controlling powers.
Behind each manifestation of the indescribable games of sound, touch, form, taste and smell that are going on in this vast universe, there is a significant expression of some particular forces. These forces we call gods. Playing and frolicking on the boy of the Macrocosm, each of these forces is activating and controlling the human body as a whole and individually with each and every action and sentiment of the human limbs and parts. The forces that activate the ten organs, through which one acts, are called of the senses. After death each of the organs of an emancipated Sádhaka gets merged into its own god. His deeds, his soul become ensconced in the Viijnánamaya and Hirańyamaya kośas, the fifteen kalás and the counter-gods of the gods (what we call gods in reference to unit bodies are known as counter-gods in their pervasive sense in reference to the Macrocosmic Body) – all merge in the Supreme Being after the demise of the Sádhaka. In other words, the emancipated Sádhaka attains a place beyond the pale of life and death. He becomes one with the imperishable Brahma in His final beatitude.
The union of a Sádhaka with Brahma has been elucidated through an excellent example. Just as a river giving up its name and identity, completely merges in the sea and thereafter cannot maintain its own existence except that of the sea, similarly a Sádhaka, after merging himself in Brahma, can no more think of himself except Brahma.
Yathá nadyah syandamánáh samudrestaḿ gacchati námarúpe viháya
Tathá vidvánnámarupádvimuktah parátparaḿ puruśamupaeti divyam.
Seeing the Ganges we can identify the water of the Ganges. Similarly we can recognize the water of the Yamuná or the water of the Sarasvatii but once they merge in the sea, we cannot separate them nor can we distinguish the one from the other. Nevertheless, they are all there. They all have lost their respective names in the identity of the sea. Similarly when a knower of Truth merges in the Supreme Being, his petty sense of existence loses itself, and, attaining unity with the Supreme Entity, he becomes Supreme Himself. Spiritual practice is meant for the expansion of the soul, not for the annihilation of it and so Samádhi does not mean suicide but self-oblivion.
Sa yo ha vae tat paramaḿ Brahma veda Brahmaeva bhavati;
Násya brahmavit kule bhavati;
Tarati shokaḿ tarati pápnánáḿ
Guhágranthibhyo vimkto’mrto bhavati.
He who has known Supreme Brahma, becomes Brahma Himself, for the unit takes on the very form of its object. He who has Brahma as his object, goes to the world of Brahma after death, i.e., becomes Brahma Himself. In the family of such a Brahma-knowing one, is never born a non-Brahma-knowing person. The word, Kula, is derived from the root Ku + lá + dá. “Ku” means world and “la” means to hold. That which the world holds is called Kula. (Its third meaning being the unit force or Jiiva-shakti.(3) The lowest part of the vertebral column or spine is also called Kulakuńd́alinii). The word holds the human family and that is why the family or lineage is called Kula. Here the word, Kula, is used in the sense of Brahma-sútra (Divine link), which is denotative of hereditary preceptor-disciple relationship and by which the creation is held – or which is held by the creation. It is claimed that the intuitional knowledge is thus preserved hereditarily. The knower of Brahma goes beyond the sphere of all pains and inequities. When through Sádhaná or spiritual practice the Kulakuńdalinii-force pierces through the heart, the Sádhaka gets emancipated and attains deathlessness and thereafter goes to the region beyond the reach of death for all eternity.
Elsewhere in the Shruti it is said:
Bhidyate hrdayagranthishchidyante sarvasaḿshayáh
Kśiiyante cásya karmáni tasmińdrśt́e parávare.
Násájiivo na ca brahmá na cányadapi kiiṋcana
Na tasya varńáh vidyante náshramáshca tathaeva ca.
In such a condition can we at all call the emancipated Puruśa a unit being? This great man, [[whose guhágranthi [anáhata cakra] has been pierced and who has merged himself in Brahma due to the absence of saḿskáras [mental reactive momenta], has attained a position even above Brahmá, Viśńu and Maheshvara]].(4)
Brahma is not classifiable under any Varńa or color, but His thoughts are of course coloured. Colour co-exists with the sound that necessarily exists in the thought. These colours and sounds are indicative of different guńas or qualities.
Varńa Quality Colour
Bráhmańa Sattva (Sentient) White Kśatriya Sattva plus Rajah Red (Sentient plus Mutative) Vaeshya Rajah plus Tamah Yellow (Mutative plus Static) Shúdra Tamah (Static) Black
Brahma Himself is beyond all colors. So He is above the four Varńas or Áshramas like Brahmin, Kśatriya etc. The end of Varńas (colors) and the beginning of Avarńa (Absence of color) takes place in the Trikuti (the seat of the mind) and so in the Sádhaná of the Avarńa (or colorless) we have got to recognize and accept the Trikuti directly or indirectly.
Na tasya dharmo’dharmashca na niśedho vidhirńa ca
Yadá brahmátmakaḿ sarvaḿ vibháti tata eva tu.
To the knower of Brahma Dharma and Adharma (piety and impiety) have no distinction. He is not even cognizant of discrimination between Scriptural sanctions and inhibitions. To him all have become one. There is nothing to accept or shun. The knower of Brahma will keep himself engaged in the meditation of Brahma all the time, awake or asleep, standing or sitting, eating or fasting. Constantly he will keep himself absorbed in thought of Brahma. All his acts, small or big, are dedicated to undergo the consequences of his deeds. The body to him is but a machine, through which his suffering and enjoyments of past deeds are done but no new action or its consequence can touch him.
Tadá dhukhádi bedo’yamábháso’pi na bhásate
Jagat jiivádi rupeńa pasyannapi parátmavid.
Pleasure and pain are but the distortion of mind. In Samádhi (suspension of mind) comes the full equilibrium. At that time not a semblance of pleasure or pain remains save an attitude of absolute happiness.
Incidentally a story flashes across my mind. Pańd́ita Rámanátha of Navadvipa was a self-oblivious man. The King of Nadia, with a view to giving him some financial help, had once asked him, “Are you in want of anything?” The Pańd́ita had then been absorbed in the world of ideas. He took the word “want” for his want of knowledge and replied, “Yes, I did feel the want of an explanation of a shloka but now it is clear to me.” The Mahárájá then said, “No I am talking about want of money.” Rámanátha replied, “Look, you had better ask my wife about domestic affairs.” Then the Mahárájá enquired of the wife. As is husband, so is his wife. She informed the King point blank, “Look, there is rice in the house and there are plenty of leaves on the tamarind tree. My husband relishes the stew of those leaves immensely. I don’t know of any other necessity.”
That is why I say, the greater the height reached by a person, inspired by a great ideal, the lesser shall be his sense of pleasure and pain. A wonderful show! People get dumb-founded at it but the magician himself remains unaffected as the secrets are all known to him. The spectators get stunned and overwhelmed by such a demonstration. The magician also sees the magic play but he does not get affected or overwhelmed. He only witnesses the play. Why? His only duty is to see if the play is being enacted properly. This world is also a magic play like this. Similarly the knower of Brahma only witnesses this game but he remains unaffected, by it. He remains unattached in spite of his being in the midst of the world, living beings etc., – in spite of his being in the midst of sufferings and enjoyments. Maháprabhu Caetanya had said to his dear disciple, –
Sthir haiṋá grhe yáha ná hao bátul;
Krame krame páy loke bhakti-sindhukúl.
Markat́ vaerágya ná kara lok dekháiṋá;
Yatháriiti viśaya-bhuiṋja nirásakta haiṋá.
Antare niśt́há kara báhya lokavyavahár;
Avashyai Krśńa tomá kariben uddhár.
* * *
Na tat pashyati cidrúpaḿ Brahma vasteva pashyati
Dharmadhar mitva va rta ca bhede sati hi bhidyate.
The knower of Brahma is like Consciousness itself. He has a thorough grasp of all objects. To a person of average intelligence water and ice are two different entities, but one who knows a little knows that ice is only a crudified form of water. Similarly where an average person sees a big difference between a pot and a potter or the religion and the religious, the knower of Brahma sees only the homogeneous oneness among them. Are the world and Brahma two different entities or are they indivisible? Is the one true and the other false? Is the difference that appears between the two, the truth or the lack of it? Such questions or such ways of thinking would never arise in the mind of a person with a Cosmic outlook.
Bhedábhedastathá bhedo’bhedah Sákśa Parátmana
Násti svátmátirekeńa svayamevásti sarvada.
Whether the world and Brahma are two separate entities or one singular entity – such thoughts are wrong in themselves. The knower of Brahma feels that the world is indeed His own manifestation. He knows that all is He. Rámbábu and Shyámbábu are two entities in common parlance but do you know how that difference looks from the Cosmic perspective? No more than the difference between man and human being, between sea and ocean, between wife and better half. From a sádhaka’s standpoint distinction does not exist. If I think of London in my mind, is there actually any difference between myself and that mental London. That is my own mental form, isn’t it?
The knower of Brahma then feels that as Brahma he abides in all objects – the nucleus of every thing. He feels that there exists no second entity in the universe. “No tasya pratima asti,” i.e., He has no comparison. Comparison calls for two objects and this means that there are two Brahmas. Hence Brahma is incomparable. Brahma is beyond the scope of words and mind and yet even that verbally and mentally incomprehensible Brahma is attainable by effort. You have got to touch Him with your innermost heart of hearts, got to hold him with your intuition, got to attain him by merging your soul in the Supreme Soul. His body is not a quinquelemental, finite entity that you can see with your eyes. He is indeed subtler than the subtle, vaster than the vast. To see Him you have got to use the lens of knowledge, moving aside the blinding obstructions or bondage of Avidyá or the forces of microcosmic distraction. If a salt doll goes to fathom the sea, it will certainly melt and become the sea itself. Similarly if the knower of Brahma goes to fathom Brahma he will merge in the Sea of Brahma and become Brahma Himself “Brahmavid Brahmaeva bhavati.” Constantly absorbed in the thought of Brahma, you too will become Brahma. Constantly thinking of a cockroach you will eventually become a cockroach. You cannot see Him with your crude eyes, for He is super-sensual, He has no pedigree or family line. This is so because He is unborn, beginningless and without causality. He is shapeless and formless. He has no form, for to ascribe a form to Him would be to impose a limit of demarcation around the infinite entity. As soon as the limitless Brahma is given form and turned into a limited entity, He ceases to be Brahma or the Great.
Acakśurshrotramatyarthaḿ tadapáńipadaḿ tathá
Nityaḿ vibhuḿ sarvagataḿ susukśmaḿca tadavyayam
He has no crude eyes but He sees everything with His cognitive vision. He has no ears, but He hears everything with His cognitive ears. Since nothing is outside Him He has no motor and sensory organs, but He does everything by dint of His imagination. For example, if you imagine a tree in your mind, its shadowy likeness will impress itself on your mental plate and a sense of visualizing the tree will be aroused in your mind. Does any independent tree actually exist outside you. Similarly Brahma is observing, hearing and doing everything by virtue of His thought-projection. He is an eternal, perpetual Entity beyond the purview of past, present and future. Being without beginning and end, He is called Vibhu or Eternal. He is subtler than the subtle and beyond all kinds of destruction.
Bráhmaevedamamrtaḿ tatpurastád brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ caeva pashcát
Brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ dakśińe ca brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ cottaraḿ ca.
The characteristically deathless Brahma is present in front of us, behind us, right and left of us in fact – everywhere. It is impossible to run away from Him. We are completely surrounded by Him.
Umásaháyam parameshvaraḿ prabhuḿ trilocanaḿ nilakánt́haḿ prashátam
Dhyátva munirgacchati bhútayonim samastasákśiim tamasah parastát.
Parama Puruśa is with Umá, Umá means Prakrti His operative principle. Brahma is the combined name of Puruśa and Prakrti. When the influence of Prakrti expresses itself upon the Puruśa, the cosmic thought process goes into action and by virtue of this activation by Prakrti, the sound of oṋḿkára can emanate. But when Prakrti is inactive, i.e., when Puruśa is predominant, in that case the Oṋḿkárá sound also stops. By a slight transposition of A. U. Ma the three constituent letters of the ideogram ([DEVANAGARI CHARACTER] or Oṋḿ), i.e., placing, “A” at the end, we get the word UMÁ. That is why Umapati (Pati means husband) means Puruśa. Brahma, in conjucation with Prakrti, is the cause of creation. In a particular content He may also be called Iisvara, means Controller Brahma is the controller of the organs and their gods directly and indirectly. His cognitive eyes are not two but three, i.e., He is the seer of all the three – past, present and future. He is Niilakańt́ha or blue-throated, i.e., the vast bluish sky is in the region of His throat. His initial extroversion or expansion from the subtle to the crude is the sky. The sky is of blue color and is capable of imbibing and carrying the sound. Hence Niilakańt́ha is a very suitable epithet for Brahma. His throat is not limited and demarcated like that of a unit. The entire creation is within Him. His depth is unfathomable and hence He is calm and tranquil. Reaching the original cause of all elements by virtue of their meditation and ideation the sages eventually attained the very Brahma Himself. His place is above all extroversive forces. He is all-knowing, all-witnessing and self-effulgent.
Sa Brahmá sa Shivah sendrah so’kśarah paramah svarát́
Sa eva Viśńu sa práńah sa kálágnih sa candramá.
He is the Brahmá i.e., when He is engaged in the act of creation, He is known as Brahmá. As Shiva or Consciousness He is the witnessing Entity of the mundane affairs. He is the Indra of the universe, i.e., the greatest of all. He is effulgent in His own effulgence – Svarúpena rájata iti svarát́. For His all-pervasiveness He is known as Viśńu. He is known as life itself because the existence of all entities is ingrained in His Entity. It is because of His possessing the inexhaustible power of destruction that He is known as Kálágni or the fire of destruction. He is called the moon, for He is shining in the Hrdayákásha or the firmament of the heart as the great and noble Intellect. Briefly speaking, all that you can think of concerning the worlds are within Him. He is the seed of all the Tanmátras, i.e., the generic essences of physical elements like sound, touch, form, taste and smell. The germ or sprout is verily His expression.
Sa eva sarvam yadbhútaḿ yacca bhavyaḿ sanátanam
Jiṋátvátaḿ mrtyumatyeti náhya panthá vimuktave
He is all that exists in this universe – all that exists in all objects. What ever has taken place, is taking place or will take place are all sustained in His existence, vibrated in His vibration, echoed and re-echoed in a thousand and one in his sound. His voice is the cosmic voice that establishes the beings of the mortal world immortality. His voice surges as the seed of the world, as the germ of the world, as the fruit bearing world-like tree. [It is] said in the Bible, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.”
The vedas also sing the many glories of this vast mystic syllable or sound, oṋḿkára. The all merciful God has been teaching the fundamental of all learnings through the medium of this oṋḿkára. A person transcends death as well as all cares and woes for all eternity by the supreme being. There are two ways in which this can be achieved – through thought and through meditation of God at every step of his evolutional sport.
All are false, only Krśńa thrills
Pray, O mortals, Death at your heels.
(1) Ráhu being the head itself. –Trans.
(2) Of the countless number of veins or tubular organs of the human body, thirty-three are most important. The controlling entities of these thirty-three veins or tubes are called thirty-three gods, vid, eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajápati. The Chief manifestation of the Cosmic Force is called Indra, which controls the human body entirely.
(a) The eleven rudras: Ten organs (sensory and motor) and the mind. “Rudra” means that which makes one cry. At the time of death when all the organs merge into their corresponding counter-gods, the mind becomes inactive and the human body becomes still and immobile. Due to this near and dear ones of the dead person cry piteously. These eleven gods make the human cry, and hence they are called Rudras.
(b) The eight vasus: Vasu means the habitat of the units; that is to say, those that are receptacles, shelters, or objects of the organs are called Vasu. The sun, the moon, the stars, the sky, the ether, the air, the fire and the earth are the eight Vasus.
(c) The twelve Ádityas: Áditya means Collector. Here it means that all those which takes or take away the consequences of deeds and life. Every moment the duration of life is being reduced, and the unit is being compelled to undergo the process of metamorphosis in order to enjoy or endure the consequences of his deeds. All these are taking place through the passage of time. Hence time is Áditya, for it takes away the life and the consequential moments of deeds. The twelve months are the twelve Ádityas.
(d) Indra: Indra means lightning, thunder or actional force.
(e) Prajápati: Prajápati means Yajiṋa (sacrifice) or action.
Some are of the opinion that the veins of the human body are uncountable. Others say that they are a few crores, as if they had counted them all. Many people say that the number of veins totals thirty three crores and so the gods are also of the same number. Truly speaking it is due to ignorance and blind faith that the controlling nerves and veins of the human body have been converted into thirty-three crores of gods, having so many different names and forms. Shaḿkara said in reference to gods –
Yájiṋavalkya said –
Dyotate kriidate yasmádudyate dyotate divi
Tasmáddeva iti proktah stúyate sarvadevataeh.
The gods are of two kinds – (1) Daehik Devatá (the physical gods). The manifestation of soul is accomplished through the organs, and so the organs are called Daehik Devatá and (2) Brahmik Devatá (Cosmic gods through whom the whole universe is manifested and controlled). Both are thirty-three in number. Each of the Cosmic gods is the counter-god of the respective physical gods. These physical gods get merged into the counter-gods, which again merge in Brahma, and that is why the liberated Sádhaka becomes Brahma Himself.
(3) Author’s footnote on the other two meanings of kula omitted here. –Trans.
(4) It is the Supreme Brahma Who is the creator of the universe and to create is also an act. Where there is action, there is sound. The prańava or Oṋḿkára is indeed the sound of the creative thought-process of the Supreme Spirit and he who has merged himself in Brahma due to the absence of Saḿskára or reactive momentum, has attained a position even above Brahmá, Viśńu and Maheshvara.
Of the three letters (A, U, Ma) of the Oṋḿkára “A” (অ) is the seed of creations, “U” (উ) is the seed of stability or preservation and “Ma” (ম) is the seed of destruction. “A” being the creative alphabet, Brahma is called Brahmá (Brahma + a) in reference to creation. Suppose a man’s name is Rámbabu. His son will call him “father” and his pupil will call him “sir”; these are but the titles of Rámbabu applied to his specific occupational conditions, Actually Rámbabu is one, Saguńá Brahma imbibes three chief acts, viz., creation, preservation and destruction. These acts of creation, preservation and destruction are taking place in the psychic sphere of Brahma. With the termination of its thought process all the manifestations of these three kinds of acts will also cease. For instance, when we think of Bhagalpur, a clear picture of Bhagalpur gets projected on our mental plate and when we give up the thought of Bhagalpur, the picture of Bhagalpur gets lost in that very mental plate. If afterwards we cease to think at all, the mind also loses its existence. So Brahmá, Viśńu and Mahesh are the nomenclatures of the different psychic acts of Brahma Himself. When a Sádhaka, having gone beyond the mental stratum, gets ensconced in the immutable, pure Brahmic region, he certainly enjoys greater importance or superiority over these three gods. That state is the characteristic state of the unit – the supreme state of Shiva or Cosmic Transcendentality. Asked to reveal his identity, Lord Saḿkarácaŕya said –
Manobuddhyahaḿkáro cittani náham
Na ca shrotrajihave na ca ghráńa netre
Návyoma bhúmirna tejo na váyuh
Cidánandarúpo’shivo’haḿ shivo ham.
Not mind nor I-feeling nor ego am I
Nor ear nor tongue nor nose nor eye
Nor air nor earth nor sun nor sky
The Soul Eternal am I, am I.
post-Bhádra Púrńimá 1955 DMC