Gayatri Siddh Peeth
Shree Raam - Gayatri Dhaam
Kharesar Dhaam, Kanpur, UP, India
My Pilgrimage to Gayatri Mantra-2
By Dr Manohar Abhay [Feb 12, 2006]
Contd from Prevous Page
Against the above
backdrop, the scientific interpretation done by Dr. Trucit Vora reads as
A number of spiritual scholars have personified the Mantra. It is portrayed as the goddess seated on a red lotus, having five heads, ten eyes, ten arms equipped with all weapons. The goddess is also shown as accompanied by a swan and having a book in one hand while conch in the other. Indeed a beautiful projection well decorated with multiple meaningful symbols. Many a learned scholars have also suggested that while chanting the mantra one should wear yellow clothes and sit on a yellow mat facing east. On a covered wooden seat make a mound of rice grains dyed yellow. On the mount, place a coconut and tie a sacred red- thread around the latter. Also apply a mark of red vermilion. On the right side, place red rose- petals, a lamp (Deepak) and a conch (Shankh). Place on it incense, Ghrit Deepak (lamp filled with clarified butter), flowers, rice- grains, vermilion etc. Thereafter, start chanting the mantra and all your wishes would be fulfilled. All your desires for worldly possessions, wealth and material benefits would be realized and you would overcome all of your ailments and diseases.
In Quest of the Reality
The aforesaid process of worship appears to be very good. But, there lies a latent danger of limiting the chanters' sojourn to certain rituals, practices and simply to idol worship for limited gains. His entire attention is likely to be focused on the personified form of the mantra rather than on invoking its inner power. There are four important aspects of the mantra which need to be recollected viz: ((1) Tat VareNyam (that adorable); (2) Bhargo Devasya (glory of God, the destroyer of obstacles; (3) Dheemahi (we meditate); (4) dheeo yo na Prachodayat who may stimulate/ sharpen our intellect). The entire emphasis of the Mantra is on meditation. But, upon whom to meditate: why to meditate; what purpose the meditation would serve. Many similar questions arise at this stage.
On revisiting the Mantra, it would be observed that the meditation is of the glory of 'that' (tat) which is most adorable and the purpose is to get the intellect stimulated/sharpened. Again there arise two very vital questions: who is 'that' and why to get the intellect stimulated.
Prior to meditation comes concentration-- concentration of mind. Because that most adorable can be realized by the mind alone (katho. VI-ii-8) in the highest state of meditation when the five instruments of knowledge stand still together with the mind and the intellect itself does not stir (katho. VII-ii-6)
The mind has two important layers: one, the outer layer which receives reflections/impulses from the world of objects through the gates of knowledge, the five senses. The second is the inner layer which reacts to the reflections received by the outer layer. The former is known as manah or manas (mind) and the latter one as buddhi (intellect). Both the layers, the mind and the intellect, should work in unison. But, it seldom happens: chanachalam hi manah krisna, says Geeta(see ChapterVI/34).
The mind verily is restless, it is turbulent, strong and obstinate. It moves along with the objects which it likes and stays back from what it dislikes. Sense organs reflect the impulses received from the world of object and our motor organs act according to the directives given by the mind. If the mind and the intellect are in unison correct directives would be provided. Otherwise, the turbulent mind would lead to the pathways where it wants to go. The senses should reflect the object which brings the subtle body closer to the supreme goal of life. This needs to set in motion a process where the senses are centered in the mind and the latter is rooted in the sharp intellect which is centered in the cosmic intellect (chittah). The next higher stage is the union of chittahÂ with the Peaceful-Being (Shaant Aatman) known as Isvara. This long journey is more subtle than concentrating on a personified figure and making offerings of material things in abundance. Only those who wish worldly success or satisfaction from sense-objects make sacrifice to gods because satisfaction is quickly obtained from actions in the world -of -objects, says Geeta (kaankshantah karmaam siddhim yajanta iha devataah. IV/12).But, those who are on a pilgrimage passing through gross to subtler than the subtle islands of higher knowledge do not indulge in practicing rituals only or performing outworldly actions. Their voyage is to gain wisdom which is enveloped by ignorance (ajanaanenaa vritam janaanam | Geeta:V/15).
There are five fundamentals for an effective meditation viz: (1) the goal; (2) sensory withdrawal; (3) concentration; (4) breath control; (5) and the mantra. Elaborating these five elements, Acharya Pranakrishnanda Avadhut of the Anand Marg says: a mantra when chanted internally resonate with the individuals initiative rhythm and gradually transforms it into the infinite straight line of supreme peace. He further says, by the repetition of the proper acoustic vibration following the breath with sentimental understanding of the meaning, the power of the mantra awakens the spiritual potentiality in the mind and body and it brings the ego in the union with the Supreme. Concentration therefore, should be on the Mantra rather than on any worldly object or an idol.
The meditation, on the other hand, needs to be on the glory of the most adorable whose radiance shines in the savitur. In vedic literature, Savitur is known by multiple names (pushanney karshey yama surya prajapatya-Isa-16). It is pusha as it nourishes the world, a sole seer because it commands or moves alone. It is controller of all, as it is Yam (lord of death). It is surya, because its rays absorb prana (vital force) and Rasa (juice). Here the prayer is not made simply to the Lord of light, the sun that we behold in the space but to "that" ("tat") who is here in man and who is yonder in the sun (sa yasachaayamam purushye yschaa saa vaaditye -Taittriya V (III-10). Who is pure and like the light within the body (antah-saeerye jyotir-mayo hi subhro-MundakV--III-1).Who is inside of all this and (also) outside of all this (tadantrasya savasya tadu sarv syaasy bahyatah -Isha.5).Whose face, in the center of the radiance, is covered with the golden disc (hiraNmayen pAtreNa satya syaapihitam mukham -Isha 15) and most propitious is His face (tejoyate rupam kalyaantam tatte pashyaami yo asaa vasau puruShah so.ahamasmi-- Isha-16). The prayer thus, is to discover the truth, the Absolute Reality, through Savitur (tattuam pushann paavrnu satyadharmaay drastye--Isha--15).
Thus the purpose of the meditation is to realize the Absolute Reality-to see the Self-indwelling who is seen by the subtle seers through their sharp and subtle intellect alone (drashytye tuavyayaa budhayaa sukchma yaa sukcham darshiarbhi:katho. III-22). The emphasis is on subtle and sharp intellect He is not seen or gained by the weak nor by the insincere nor by those practising penances or austerities but by wise men who strive with vigour, attention and prosperity (naayam aatmaa bala-hinena labhyo-mundaka III .ii-4). With weak intellect one can not realize the Self - indwelling. By means of the light of the intellect, says shruti, one should know the truth of the aatman (see Mundak III-i-9). He is seen repeats upanishads, neither by following certain rituals nor by practicing penance but by meditating upon that most adorable when the intellect becomes calm and refined (na-anyair-devais-tapasaa-karmanaa vaa - Mundak III-i-8).
Mantra and Worldly Wealth
While there are many Mantras where the divine power is prayed to provide material comforts, in Gayatri Mantra, as has been said earlier, an appeal is made to foster and sharpen the knowledge yielding faculty, the intellect or the discriminating power. When one is endowed with sharp intellect, the material things are not far beyond his reach. And also, 'for who's indeed is wealth' (Kashyas Dhanam), says Upanishada (Isha 1). None can be satisfied with the wealth, replied Nachiketa when he was offered, by Yama, wealth and long life, herds of cattle, gold and horses and fair maidens with their chariot and musical instrument. All this, Nachiketa said, is transient and wear out the vigor of all the senses (shvuabhaavaa mataraya sya yadant kait tatsarvye indryaanaam jaryanti teja - Katho-I i-24). Therefore, one should pray that intellect which brings him closer to Tejas- - the splendor rather than things which are transient. By getting sharp intellect one can gain knowledge and by right knowledge that Self is gained.
When the intellect is purified by the serene light of knowledge, through meditation, he can see Him who is without parts (gyaan prasaaden vishudh satva isatastu tam pasyantye niskalam dhaayamaanah - Mundak, V-III-8). All the doors and windows of prosperity are opened. He is neither trapped in the worldly problems nor does he tread a wrong path. The sharp and righteous intellect provides righteous solutions to his problems. The wisdom of Bhrigu (Taattriy V-III-5) tells us that the spirit in men manifests itself as intellect and perfect bliss is Brahman (vigyaanam brhamyeti vayjaanaat vigyaanaadh yeav khalivemaani bhutaani jaayantye). Starting from Annam, men's quest for perfect bliss passes through Prana (vital breath), Manas (consciousness), Vijnana (intellect). Yetam vijaan mya maatamaana mupasaynakramya - Tattriya, V-III-1). Then he proceeds to the Self which consists of understanding/intellect and then to the Self which consist of bliss and goes up and down the worlds eating the food he desires and assuming the form he desires. He who knows this becomes rich in food . He becomes great in offspring and cattle and in the splendor of sacred knowledge and great in fame (mahaanbhavapti prajyaa pashubhiarbrahman varchsen mahaankeertya-Taittiri V-III-10).
Verily, it is not for the sake of the wealth that wealth is dear, said Yajnavalkya (Brihadaranyak IV-II-1-9), when his wife enquired: ' Would I be immortal through it, if the entire earth filled with wealth was mine.' 'For the sake of the Self is the wealth dear, said the Seer'. It is the Self that should be discovered or realized, not the material wealth. The sharpening of intellect in essence, is illumination of our subtle world of consciousness. In our inner world Savitur, the bestower of light is Aatman. As the entire solar system moves around the Sun, in the same way, the entire subtle world of our senses, mind, intellect, and ego revolves around Aatamn (the spirit or the soul). Without this centers of radiance all other physical elements, the body, senses, mind intellect are all dead or meaningless, as the universe is dark and dead without the Savitur.
Light of Lights
By getting the intellect sharpened, the Gayatri Mantra invokes our voyage to self-realization. However, getting the intellect sharpened or stimulated is not an end in itself. It is the brilliance, the intelligence or the thinker behind that needs to be explored. The intellect is just an instrument, a means to move further, it is a pathway, a by lane that leads to the end of the tunnel where shines a very pleasing, pleasant, soothing and cool light. When the intellect is stimulated or purified or sharpened, the Self shines forth in its own resplendency (see Mundak-III- i-9: eso-anuraatma cheats veditavyo). The subtle truth of the Aatman within the body is revealed only with the backup of a purified intellect. The bondage of the non-Self, says Adi Shankara in his famous treatise VivekachUDAmaNI, springs from ignorance. This bondage can be destroyed neither by weapons nor by wind, nor by fire, nor by millions of acts (desireful acts or rituals enjoined by the scriptures) except the wonderful sword of knowledge that comes of discrimination (vivekachUDAmaNI-147).
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