YOGA

When unconscious became conscious this is Samadhi

Samkhya Philosophy – Srimad Bhagavatam Purana December 12, 2010


The Samkhya Philosophy.
An extract from chapter 291 of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

“In the beginning Brahman was, and nothing else. Brahman the soul of all
souls, the Lord of Prakriti, the cause and the effect blended into one. He
was the Seer and, in the beginning there was nothing to be seen. The
Brahman was self-luminous. Prakriti was in Him. The power of the
Manifest Himself was in him.

In the beginning, the Gunas (attributes), Sattva (truth), Rajas (passion) and
Tamas (ignorance) were perfectly balanced. They were in equilibrium.
Another powerful aspect of the Brahman is Kāla, time. Now, because of the
passage of time, the balance in the Gunas was upset, disturbed. There was a
throb of unrest and this disturbance had in it, the germ of creation.
The power because of which the Purusha (Spirit) creates the universe is
called Prakriti (Ādi Shakti), the active aspect of the Brahman which is all
consciousness, awareness.

This consciousness manifested itself in the form of Universe ruled by the
three gunas and their sway. The original soul, the Universal Spirit altered its
appearance, meaning, it became the cause as well as the effect, the Seer as
well as the seen, the Doer as well as the Deed.

The disturbance in the equilibrium of the Gunas was the cause of the
manifestation of Prakriti. Out of Prakriti was evolved the Mahat-tattva
(=buddhi,’intellect”). Mahat is all light. It swallowed the darkness which
had enveloped everything during the great annihilation, the great Deluge
during the previous Kalpa.

The Mahat tattva became transformed into the
Aham-tattva (sense of individuality, ego).
Aham-tattva is Kriya Shakti, the power of action.
Aham-tattva is seen to have three aspects:
Sattvic Aham-tattva which is also called Vaikārika (subject to change),
Rajas Aham-tattva which is also called Taijasa (brilliant),
Tamas Aham-tattva which is also called Tamasa (darkness).
Out of the Sattvic Aham-tattva is born the mind, Manas.
Out of the RājasicAham-tattva are born the Indriyas, the sense organs.
Out of the Tamasic Aham-tattva are born the five Maha-bhutas (material
elements).

The essential features of the Aham-tattva are again three:
Karya- action itself because of the Tamasic aspect.
Kartutva- the power of becoming a performer of action, as a result of the
Sattvic aspect.
Karanatva- causing the performance of the action which is the result of the
Rājasic aspect.

Peace, which is Shānti, anger which goes by the name Raudra, ignorance
which is named Avidya, are again three more characteristics of Sattvic,
Rājasic and Tamasic Aham-tattvas.
Because of the Sattvic Aham-tattva the mind begins to function. The power
to think is there and out of it are born perception and desire.
The Karmendriyas, the organs of action, and the Gñyanendriyas, the
organs of perception are born of the Rājasic Aham-tattva. Out of the
Tamasic Aham-tattva are born the Maha-bhutas, the elements, and the
Tan-matras (objects of the senses).

The first is the Shabda matra, sound, the subtlest of the five: in association
with it is born Ākāsha, the sky, ether.
Ether conducts sound and it is, like sound, all-pervading.
Sparsha Tan-matra occurs next: the sense of touch, and in association with
it, Vāyu, the air which, again, permeates everything. Sparsha has in it the
quality of Shabda also. Vāyu conveys sound as well as touch, both these
sensations. Incidentally, the air is slightly more tangible than the ether, and to that extent, it is grosser than ether.

Then is formed Rūpa Tan-matra: what can be perceived since it will have a
form. With this Tan-matra, in association with it was born Fire or Light.
Rūpa Tan-matra now has three qualities, Shabda, Sparsha and Rūpa. It is
evidently more gross than air as it is more tangible.

The next Tan-matra is to be formed is Rasa Tan-matra and complimentary
to it, water. Water has four qualities: Shabda, Sparsha, Rūpa and Rasa.
The last and the grossest of them all is formed last. Gandha Tan-matrā, the
sense of smell, and with it is born the Earth. The Earth has all the five
qualities in it, Shabda, Sparsha, Rūpa, Rasa and Gandha.
Prakriti is also known as Saguna Brahman (having attributes) as against
the Nirguna Brahman (attribute-less) which is the Brahman in the
absolute form. The power underlying the five Mahābhūtas is collectively
known as Dravya Shakti; the power lying in the Indriyas is known
collectively as Kriya Shakti, the power of Prakriti and the Ishwara
presiding over this is known as the Gñyāna Shakti.

Prakriti is made up of:
Priťhvi Earth }
Āp Water }
Tejas Fire or light } The five Mahā-bhūtas (gross elements)
Vāyu Air }
Ākāśh Ether or sky }

Gandha Smell }
Rasa Taste }
Rūpa Sight } The five Tan-matras (subtle elements)
Sparśha Touch }
Śhabda Sound }

Śhrotra Ears }
Tvach Skin }
Chakshus Eyes } The corresponding Indriyas (senses)
Rasana Tongue }
Ghrana Nose }

Vāk Speech }
Pani Hands }
Padam Foot } The Karmendriyas (5 organs of action)
Upastham Generative organ}
Payu Excretory organ }

The Antah-karana (internal organs) is of four kinds: Manas, Buddhi,
Ahamkāra and Chitta. These twenty-four features namely the five Mahabhutas,
the five Tan-matras, the five Indriyas, the five Karmendriyas
along with the four Antah-karanas comprise the Saguna Brahman.

Kāla, time, is also considered as the twenty-fifth feature. Some thinkers
deem Kāla to be that ultimate end of which men are frightened, men who are
ignorant of the glory of Ĩshwara and who are caught up in the web spun by
Prakriti, men who are deluded by the ego which manifests itself and
becomes all-powerful.

Ĩshwara who is without the Gunas who is the cause of the manifestation of
Prakriti is the twenty-fifth feature. With His Māyā and with the help of
Kāla, Ĩshwara inhabits every living and every created being: the living
beings as Purusha and the outside as Kāla which is the end of everything
and the beginning too.

The supreme aspect of the Antah-karana is reflected in the Mahat-tattva
which is all light. Purursha is ever found in the Mahat. This is to be
worshipped as Vāsudeva (Shri Krishna), the highest Purusha. Ananta, the
thousand headed, who pervades the Bhūtas, the Manas and the Indriyas
has to be worshipped Sankarshana (Shri Balarāma) in the Aham-tattva
Sankarshana has to be worshipped since he is the Ahamkāra in its absolute
form: the Ego before any transformation takes place.

Manas Tattva is the power of thinking, particularly in the field of feelings,
Kāma or desire, likes and dislikes, mental bondage and similar feelings.
This aspect of the Aham-tattva is worshipped as Aniruddha (Krishna’s
grandson), dark and charming like a blue lotus, flowering during the season,
autumn when the skies are blue and not marred by the rain-bearing clouds.
Chitta is the Buddhi which functions through the brain of created beings.
This is more intellectual than emotional and Pradyumna is the form in which
the Chitta is worshipped.

The Adhishtata, the controlling power, for the
Mahat-tattva which is worshipped as Vāsudeva is Kshetra-gñya. For
Ahamkāra worshipped as Sankarshana, the Adhishtata is Rudra.
Chandra (moon) is the Adhishtata for Manas which is worshipped as
Aniruddha while Brahmā is the Adhishtata for the Chitta or Buddhi
which is worshipped as Pradyumna (God of Love, Krishna’s son).
Vāsudeva is also said to represent the Vishva (intellectual faculty),
Sankarshan, the Taijasa (life energy, spirit, power),
Pradyumna, the Prāgñya (intelligence), and
Aniruddha, the Turiya (the fourth state of pure spirit).”

 

What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm December 6, 2010


City of Brahman

What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm.
Within the city of Brahman, which is the body, there is the heart, and within the heart there is a little house.
This house has the shape of a lotus, and within it dwells that which is to be sought after, inquired about, and realized.
What then is that which, dwelling within this little house, this lotus of the heart, is to be sought after, inquired about, and realized?
As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart.
Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars.
What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm.

-Chandogya Upanishad

 

Upanishads July 4, 2008


Upanishad means ‘to sit down near’ because they were explained to
the students, who sat at the feet of their teachers. In general
Upanishads proclaim salvation by knowledge and realization, rather
than by faith and works. Selfish desires are obstacles to the seekers
of Truth (the Higher- Self, also called as Brahman). A seeker of true
Divinity will attain salvation when he realizes the Truth, the all-
pervasive Brahman. The universe came into existence because of a
primeval desire of Brahman. Now it is the duty of the humans to
restore it to the state of things before creation…. Honesty is
especially extolled. He who has not denounced evil will never obtain
Brahman. The worldly perceptions of smell, taste, touch, hearing and
sight makes one separate from the True Self. When one can transcend
these perceptions there is no consciousness of anything other than
Self. This is immortality.

There are six great sayings (Mahavakyas) from the Upanishads that
give the basic insight into its philosophy. They are as follows with
a brief analysis of each:

Aham Brahmasmi
“I am Brahman”: Vedic knowledge teaches that our own “Self” is the
true Divinity. The Truth is within us, in our own heart. This states
the identity of the inner most consciousness of the individual with
the supreme Divine.
Ayam Atma Brahma
“The Self is Brahman”: This states that not only individual soul is
Divine but all beings are identified with the Absolute Truth.
Tat Tvam Asi
“That art thou”: Whatever we see or think about, we are That. We are
the ultimate Thou and I in all.
Prajnanam Brahma
” Knowledge is Brahman”: Supreme intelligence is present inherently
within us and is capable of returning us to the Divine. Our
understanding of the truth is the Truth itself.
Sarvam Kalvidam Brahma
” The whole universe is Brahman”: Not only the consciousness in you
and I but also the `principle of being’ are all Divine. The entire
universe is Divine, which includes our Self.
So `ham
“Here am I”: This identifies the Divinity in our Self in something
that happens naturally like breathing. “So” is inhalation and “Ham”
is the natural sound of exhalation.

These are the six statements of the identity of individual
consciousness with the Divine reality. They all merge into and derive
from the word “Om (Aum)” or the Divine word “I Am All”. All of these
statements point to the fact that whatever or however we worship, be
it an image, book, an idea or even a God, it is the knowledge that
the Truth is within ourselves that will ultimately lead to self-
realization. Self is the true Divinity. This is the essence of
Upanishads.”

Neria Harish Hebbar, MD
May 4, 2002

 

SHRI DEVI GITA June 28, 2008


SHRI DEVI GITA
by Shri Giridhar Madras

Introduction:

Devi gita constitutes the last ten chapters of the seventh Skandha
of the Devi Bhagavatam. In the puranas, one will find several gitas
and many mahatmyas. The differences are that in the mahatmya, the
glorification of the deity is by recounting the various deeds of the
God and offering praise to the divinity. A gita, on the other hand,
is a direct revelation of the truth from the disciple, which often
includes the manifestation of the cosmic form. While mahatymas
emphasize bhakti, gita stresses a balance of bhakti and jnana.

Specifically, we are interested in discussing the Devi gita. To
avoid any confusion and also be aware, there are two other devi
gitas. The first of which is found in the Kurma purana. This is a
conversation with Parvati and Himavan, introduced by Lord Vishnu as
Kurma. Goddess Parvati is praised here by 1008 names and She grants
him two cosmic visions and instructs him. The other devi gita is
found in the Mahabhagavata purana, which actually refers to the
conversation of Parvati and Himavan as Parvati Gita. The narrator of
this section of the Mahabhagavata Purana is Lord Shiva. However, by
Devi gita, we refer only to the gita found in the Devi Bhagavatam.

Setting:

The setting of the Devi gita is introduced by Janamejaya’s query
to Vyasa regarding the supreme light who became manifest on top of
the Himalaya mountain. Vyasa talks about the demon Taraka, who has
obtained a boon that he can be killed only by the son of Lord Shiva,
knowing fully well that Sati has immolated herself. Therefore, the
gods became scared and went to Himalayas and worshipped Her asking
to born and marry Lord Shiva. Shakti then appears before them and
grants them a boon that her manifestation will be born as Gauri as
the daughter of Himavan. Himalaya becomes choked with emotion when
he hears that She, whose belly contains millions of universes, is
about to become his daughter. He requests as follows, “Proclaim
to me your nature, and declare that yoga conjoined with bhakti and
that jnana in accord shruti whereby you and I become one.”

This sets the scene for Devi Gita and the teachings.

Brief summary:

In the Devi gita, following Himalayas request, the Devi proceeds to
describe her essential forms. The Devi declares that prior to
creation, She is the only existent entity, the one supreme Brahman
and is pure consciousness. Then She outlines the basic evolution of
the causal, subtle and gross bodies of the supreme Self when
enjoined with maya. The treatment here is very similar to that of
Vedantasara and Panchadasi, but in much more simpler terms than the
latter. Then She reveals Her forms (both the frightful and pleasing)
to the gods and Himalaya. Then follows a detailed summary of the
yoga, the stages of bhakti and the ways to attain Her.

Simplicity and Profoundness:

Devi gita is both simple and profound. It is different from other
gitas in the respect that statements are clear and can not be
reinterpreted according to one’s taste. For example, several
commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita of Krishna,
wherein each commentator feels differently regarding bhakti and
jnana. For example, it required Madhusudana Saraswati to explain
krama mukti in clear terms (though Shankara mentions it also) of
bhakti. But Devi Gita is clear: “Even when a person performs
bhakti, knowledge need not arise. He will go to the Devi’s Island
(similar to Brahmaloka). Till the complete knowledge in the form of
my consciousness arises, there is no liberation.”

Similarly, the word of ‘coming’, ‘going’, ‘becoming’ cause confusion
since one can not become Brahman, if one is already one. The Devi
Gita provides a clear explanation that all these terms are
applicable only as long as one in maya. It is the clarity of these
terms and the simple explanation of complex vedantic and
philosophical questions that makes Devi Gita unique.

Start of chapter 33:

The Devi said: “O Giriraja ! This whole universe, moving and
unmoving is created by My maya shakti. This maya is conceived in Me.
It is not, in reality, different or separate from Me. So I am the
only Chit, Intelligence.

There is no other Intelligence other than Me. Viewed practically, it
is known variously as Maya, avidya; but viewed from the point of
Brahman, there is no such thing as Maya. Only one Brahman exists, I
am that Brahman, of the nature of Intelligence. I create this whole
world on this Unchangeable eternal Brahman and enter first as Prana
within it in the form of chidabhasa.

O Mountain ! Unless I enter as Breath, how can this birth and death
and leaving and retaking bodies after bodies be accounted for! As
one akasa is denominated variouslty as Ghatakas, patakas, so too I
appear variously by acknowledging this prana in various places due
to avidya and various antahkaranas.

As the sun rays are never defiled when they illumine various objects
on earth, so too, I am not defiled in entering thus into various
high and low antahkaranas. The ignorant people attach buddhi and
other things of activity on Me and say that the Atman is the doer.
The intelligent people do not say that. I remain as the Witness in
the hearts of all men, not as the Doer.”

SHRI DEVI GITA
Shri Giridhar Madras

1) Sri Mata
— Sacred Mother (feminine); the Seer, the Seen and the Seeing.
— The Knower; the Measurer (masculine)
— “For Whom all creatures are born.” Taittiriya Upanishad 3. 2

Sri Lalita Sahasranama, C. S. Murthy,
Ass. Advertisers and Printers, 1989.

“The Saktas worship the Universal Energy as Mother; it is the
sweetest name they know. The mother is the highest ideal of
womanhood in India. […]

Mother is the first manifestation of power and is considered a
higher idea than father. The name of mother brings the idea of
Shakti, Divine energy and omnipotence. The baby believes its mother
to be all-powerful, able to do anything. The Divine Mother is the
Kundalini sleeping in us; without worshipping Her, we can never know
ourselves. All merciful, all-powerful, omnipresent – these are
attributes of the Divine Mother. She is the sum total of the energy
in the Universe.

Every manifestation of power in the universe is Mother. She is Life,
She is Intelligence, She is Love. She is in the universe, yet
separate from it. She is a person, and can be seen and known – as
Sri Ramakrishna saw and knew Her. Established in the idea of Mother,
we can do anything. She quickly answers prayers.

She can show Herself to us in any form at any moment. The Divine
Mother can have form (rupa) and name (nama), or name without form;
and as we worship Her in these various aspects, we can rise to Pure
Being, having neither form nor name.

The sum-total of all the cells in an organism is one person. Each
soul is like one cell, and the sum of them is God. And beyond that
is the Absolute. The sea calm is the Absolute; the same sea in waves
is the Divine Mother. She is time, space and causation. Mother is
the same as Brahman and has two natures; the conditioned and the
unconditioned. As the former, She is God, nature and soul. As the
latter, she is unknown and unknowable. Out of the Unconditioned came
the trinity, God, nature and soul – the triangle of existence.

A bit of Mother, a drop, was Krishna; another was Buddha. The
worship of even one spark of Mother in our earthly mother leads to
greatness. Worship Her if you want love and wisdom.”

Swami Vivekananda, “Inspired Talks, My Master and Other Writings”,
Wed. July 2,1895, Ramakrishna- Vivekananda Center, NY, pp. 48-49.

“The Goddess is the great Sakti. She is Maya, for of her the maya
which produces the samsara is. As Lord of Maya she is Mahamaya.
Devi is avidya because she binds, and vidya because she liberates
and destroys the samsara. She is praktri and as existing before
creation is the Adya Sakti. Devi is the Vacaka Sakti, the
manifestation of Cit in Praktri, and the Vicya Sakti or Cit
itself. The Atma should be contemplated as Devi. Sakti or Devi is
thus the Brahman revealed in the mother aspect (Srimata) as creatrix
and nourisher of the worlds. Kali say of herself in Yogini
Tantra: “I am the bodily form of Saccidananda and I am the brahman
that has emanated from brahman.”

K. K. Klostermaier, Hinduism: A Short History,
Oneworld Pub., 2000, p. 211.

THE PRIMEVAL ENERGY

One of the unique features of Hinduism is the fact that it conceives
Divinity also as Mother Goddess. When Divinity has no name or form —
which is the most important declaration of the Upanishads, the next
logical step is to recognize that the Supreme has no specifity in
terms of gender. The Upanishads transcend the gender-specific
connotation and invent the unique Sanskrit word tat, meaning ‘that’
for that Supreme Reality. And therefore they argue, whatever reason
or rhyme we have in referring to God by a masculine pronoun, the
same right there is for us to call God by a feminine pronoun. The
energy of every Cosmic Divinity is taken to be feminine and thus
arises the interesting concept of primordial power or the
[[Parâshakti] ], which means ‘Power Supreme’.

BRAHMAN TO BE KNOWN, SHAKTI TO BE WORSHIPPED

The primordial Parâshakti is therefore the ultimate dynamic energy
of the transcendental Brahman, than which there is no other
existence. In fact it is technically wrong to say that She
(Parâshakti) is the Energy of Brahman, because the nature of
Brahman does not allow any attributes or predicates.The moment we
attribute anything to Brahman we have already delimited and
circumscribed it. When we talk of the Energy of the Ultimate Reality
we have already descended one step from the supreme pedestal of the
Unmanifested Attributeless Ultimate.

But the beauty of the concept of Parâshakti is that She is
transcendent beyond anything that is finite and immanent in
everything there is. So while we predicate it and relate it to other
things, it is still the Ultimate Supreme that can be talked about.
While Brahman has only to be cognized, Parâshakti can be
worshipped with a name and form. She is the Divine Will personified.
She is the Conscious Power beyond everything. She is the Presence,
invisible and constant, that sustains the world, linking form and
name, holding them in interdependence. There is nothing impossible
for Her. She is the Universal Goddess. She is all knowledge, all
strength, all triumph and all victory. She is the Goddess Supreme
(Maheshvari) who brings to us the total state of illumination.

Devi Mahatmyam

 

 

 

 
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