Friday, September 4, 2015



Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in the month of July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon.
Sri Krishna is considered as the one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura. The sole objective of Sri Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma which are narrated deeply in the Bhagwat Geeta.

The birthday of Hinduism's favorite Lord Krishna is a special occasion for Hindus, who consider him their leader, hero, protector, philosopher, teacher and friend all rolled into one.
Krishna took birth at midnight on the ashtami or the 8th day of the Krishnapaksha or dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Shravan (August-September). This auspicious day is called Janmashtami. Indian as well as Western scholars have now accepted the period between 3200 and 3100 BC as the period in which Lord Krishna lived on earth.

How do Hindus celebrate Janmashtami? The devotees of Lord Krishna observe fast for the whole day and night, worshipping him and keeping vigil through the night while listening to his tales and exploits, recite hymns from the Gita, sing devotional songs, and chant the mantra Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

Krishna's birthplace Mathura and Vrindavan celebrate this occasion with great pomp and show. Raslilas or religious plays are performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha.

Song and dance mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over northern India. At midnight, the statue of infant Krishna is bathed and placed in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the blowing of conch shells and the ringing of bells.

In the south western state of Maharashtra, people enact the god's childhood attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach. A similar pot is suspended high above the ground and groups of young people form human pyramids to try and reach the pot and break it.
The town of Dwarka in Gujarat, Krishna's own land, comes alive with major celebrations as hordes of visitors flock to the town.

THE HOLY PLACE ; PUSHKAR ( Rajsthan ,India )

The description of pilgrimage places in the Tirtha-Yatra section of India's great epic, the Mahabharata, suggests a grand tour of the entire country. The pilgrimage begins in Pushkar, sacred to the god Brahma, and continues in a rambling clockwise direction throughout the subcontinent, ending in Prayaga (modern day Allahabad). As indicated by Pushkar's position as the starting point of the grand pilgrimage, the worship of Brahma was considered highly important at the end of the 1st millennium BC.

The common assumption of there being only one temple to Brahma is untrue. There are at least four major temples of the god still in use today. These are at Pushkar in Ajmer, Rajasthan; Dudhai in the state of Madhya Pradesh; Khed Brahma in Kerala; and Kodakkal in the Malabar region of Kerala-Karnataka. Other deities have long eclipsed the cult of Brahma, and this waning of importance may be attributed to the fact that the function of Brahma - creating the world - has been completed, while Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) still have relevance to the continuing order of the universe.

Mythological literature describes Brahma as having sprung from the lotus originating in the navel of Vishnu. Brahma then becomes the source of all creation, the seed from which issues all space, time and causation. His consort Saraswati was manifested out of him and from their union were born all the creatures of the world. He is the inventor of theatrical art, and music and dance were revealed by him. He is sometimes depicted with four heads representing the four Vedas and the four Yugas (great epochs of time), and other times as Visvakarma, the divine architect of the universe. Saraswati is the wife of Brahma. Literally her name means 'the flowing one'. In the Rig Veda she represents a river deity and is connected with fertility and purification. She is considered the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and skills. She is the goddess of the creative impulse, the source of music, beauty and eloquence. Artists, writers and other individuals involved in creative endeavors have for millennia come on pilgrimage to Pushkar to request the inspiration of Brahma and Saraswati. According to the theory that shrine myths are often metaphorical expressions of the specific power of a pilgrimage place, the lake, hill and area of Pushkar have a spirit or presence that awakens and stimulates the human capacity of creativity.

There are five principal temples in Pushkar, all of relatively recent construction since the earlier buildings were destroyed by the Mugal emperor Aurangzeb in the late 17th century. Numerous bathing areas, known as ghats, surround the lake and pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy waters for a cleansing of both body and soul. During most of the year Pushkar is a small, quiet town. Each November, however, more than 200,000 people arrive, along with 50,000 cattle, for several days of pilgrimage, horse dealing, camel racing and colorful festivities.


Historians have formulated several theories regarding the transmission of Indian culture to Southeast Asia: (1) the ‘Kshatriya’ theory; (2) the ‘Vaishya’ theory; (3) the ‘Brahmin’ theory. The Kshatriya theory states that Indian warriors colonised Southeast Asia; this proposition has now been rejected by most scholars although it was very prominent some time ago. The Vaishya theory attributes the spread of Indian culture to traders; it is certainly much more plausible than the Kshatriya theory, but does not seem to explain the large number of Sanskrit loan words in Southeast Asian languages. The Brahmin hypothesis credits Brahmins with the transmission of Indian culture; this would account for the prevalence of these loan words, but may have to be amplified by some reference to the Buddhists as well as to the traders. We shall return to these theories, but first we shall try to understand the rise and fall of the Kshatriya theory. It owed its origin to the Indian freedom movement. Indian historians, smarting under the stigma of their own colonial subjection, tried to compensate for this by showing that at least in ancient times Indians had been strong enough to establish colonies of their own. In 1926 the Greater India Society was established in Calcutta and in subsequent years the renowned Indian historian R.C.Majumdar published his series of studiesAncient Indian Colonies in the Far East. This school held that Indian kings and warriors had established such colonies and the Sanskrit names of Southeast Asian rulers seemed to provide ample supporting evidence. At least this hypothesis stimulated further research, though it also alienated those intellectuals of Southeast Asia who rejected the idea of having once been ‘colonised’ by India. As research progressed, it was found that there was very little proof of any direct Indian political influence in those states of Southeast Asia. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Southeast Asian rulers had adopted Sanskrit names themselves—thus such names could not be adduced as evidence for the presence of Indian kings.

 The Vaishya theory, in contrast, emphasised a much more important element of the Indian connection with Southeast Asia. Trade had indeed been the driving force behind all these early contacts. Inscriptions also showed that guilds of Indian merchants had established outposts in many parts of Southeast Asia. Some of their inscriptions were written in languages such as Tamil. However, if such merchants had been the chief agents of the transmission of Indian culture, then their languages should have made an impact on those of Southeast Asia. But this was not so: Sanskrit and, to some extent, Pali words predominated as loan words in Southeast Asian languages. The traders certainly provided an important transmission belt for all kinds of cultural influences. Nevertheless, they did not play the crucial role which some scholars have attributed to them. One of the most important arguments against the Vaishya theory is that some of the earliest traces of Indianised states in Southeast Asia are not found in the coastal areas usually frequented by the traders, but in mountainous, interior areas.

The Brahmin theory is in keeping with what we have shown with regard to the almost contemporary spread of Hindu culture in southern and central India. There Brahmins and Buddhist and Jain monks played the major role in transmitting cultural values and symbols, and in disseminating the style of Hindu kingship. In addition to being religious specialists, the Brahmins also knew the Sanskrit codes regarding law (dharmashastra), the art of government (arthashastra), and art and architecture (shilpashastra). They could thus serve as ‘development planners’ in many different fields and were accordingly welcome to Southeast Asian rulers who may have just emerged from what we earlier described as first- and second-phase state formation.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


The cults of Krishna and Shiva The further development of Vaishnavism is characterised by the rise of the Krishna cult. Krishna was no longer regarded as only one of the incarnations (avatara) of Vishnu, but as the highest god himself. The Bhagavata Purana, perhaps the greatest of all Puranas, which was composed in the tenth or eleventh century, was devoted to this elevation of Krishna. The mysticism of the Krishna cult found its most vivid expression in the poet Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda, composed around 1200 either in Bengal or Orissa. The poet describes in emotional and erotic terms the love of Radha and Krishna. The quest of the soul (Radha) for the unificationwith god (Krishna) is symbolised in this way. At the same time, god is visibly attracted to the soul—hence his being praised as Radhakrishna, the god who is identified by his love. Nimbarka and Vallabha, two South Indian Brahmins, settled down at Mathura (near Brindaban) which is associated with Krishna’s life on earth. Here they pursued their metaphysical speculations concerning this relationship between Radha and Krishna. To them, Radha became a universal principle which enables god (Krishna) to communicate with this world. Not much is known about Nimbarka’s life. Vallabha lived from 1479 to 1531. He was the founder of the Vallabhacharya sect, which became known for its erotic Radhakrishna cult. Vallabha’s contemporary was Chaitanya (1485–1533), who is still revered today as the greatest saint of the Vaishnavites. Born in Navadvipa, Bengal, he was the son of a Brahmin and was worshipped even in his lifetime as an incarnation of Krishna. He spent the last two decades of his life at Puri in Orissa, devoting himself to the ecstatic worship of Jagannath, the highest form of Krishna. Often in a state of trance for hours, he would also swoon or rave in emulation of Radha distressed by Krishna’s absence. After his death he is said to have merged with the statue of Jagannath. Neither a teacher nor a philosopher, Chaitanya left it to his followers to record his sayings. At his behest Mathura was chosen by his disciples as the centre of the Krishna cult. This was a very important decision because, in this way, Northern India emerged from several centuries’ eclipse by the rapid development of Hinduism in South and Central India. The region now began to regain religious importance. During the reign of the Great Mughal, Aurangzeb, the Rana of Mewar secretly removed the statue of Krishna from Mathura in order to install it more safely near his capital, Udaipur, where the temple of Nathdvara is still one of the greatest and richest centres of pilgrimage in India, even today. The head of this temple is regarded as the highest priest among the Vaishnavites. Shaivism also gave rise to many popular sects. They all agreed that the ‘Great God’ (Mahadeva) was the very foundation of the universe, but they gave different answers to the great question about the relation of god to the individual soul and to inanimate matter. They also had very different rites with which they distinguished themselves from each other, as well as from the Vaishnavites. In North India the most prominent school of thought was Kashmir Shaivism, founded by Vasugupta, a renowned teacher, in the early ninth century. Vasugupta advocated a kind of monism which, in contrast to that of Shankara did not regard the real world as illusion; rather, it was an emanation of the divine spirit. Shiva becomes compared to a painter who creates the image of the world within himself and needs neither canvas nor colours. Because this school of thought aims at the recognition of Shiva in this image created by him, it is referred to as
the ‘philosophy of recognition’. It is said that this cosmology was also influenced by Mahayana Buddhism. The most prominent exponent of Kashmir Shaivism was Abhinavagupta, who lived in Kashmir in the eleventh century and was also known for his writings on the theory of Sanskrit literature. Kashmir Shaivism was nearly eradicated in its birthplace when Islamic conquerors overran Kashmir in the fourteenth century. But even today many pandits belong to this school of thought which provides an unparalleled combination of monist philosophy, the practice of yoga and the worship of the Great God. South Indian Shaivism—originally shaped by the thought and poetry of the Nayanars—produced in later medieval times the school of Shaiva Siddhanta and a famous reform sect, the Lingayats. Shaiva Siddhanta (‘the definitive system of Shaivism’) can be traced back to the Nayanars, but it attained its final form only in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. With this new system the Shaivites could match the overpowering influence of Ramanuja’s Vaishnavite philosophy which had put them on the defensive for quite some time. This system served the same purpose of reconciling earlier orthodoxy with the ideas of the Bhakti movement. But even though both Vaishnavism and Shaivism had now achieved a new synthesis, the conflict between Brahmins and heterodox popular movements arose again and again in the course of the Middle Ages and spawned new sects. Whereas the Christian church in Europe fiercely suppressed such sectarian movements (e.g. the Albigensians), Hinduism usually absorbed or reintegrated these sects. The Lingayat sect is an exception to this general rule.......




The emergence of India’s temple cities The history of the temple city of Chidambaram illustrates this transformation of a local to a regional sacred place whose fame spread throughout India. Chidambaram is identified with the cult of Shiva as the ‘King of Dancers’ (Nataraja). The origin of the cult seems to have been the worship of a stone at a pond which subsequently became the temple tank. The stone was later identified as a Shiva lingam and was worshipped as Mulasthana (‘The Place of Origin’). There was also the cult of a goddess whose shrine was called Perampalam (‘Great Hall’). In addition, there was a Cidampalam (‘Little Hall’), associated with a cult similar to that of Murugan, a god served by priests who dance in a state of trance. The whole sacred complex was called Puliyur (Tiger town’) in Tamil. There is no reference to Chidambaram in the early Sangam literature of the first to fifth centuries AD or in the early epic Sanskrit. The identification of the local dancing god of Chidambaram with Shiva seems to have been established by the sixth century at the latest: Appar and Sambadar refer to the dance of Shiva in the Little Hall at Chidambaram in the early seventh century. The Chidambaram Mahatmya composed in the twelfth century provides insights into the subsequent evolution of the cult and also shows the process of Sanskritisation. The upgrading of the cult of the lingam and the Sanskritisation of the name of the temple town were the first achievements. Both were accomplished by inventing a legend according to which a North Indian Brahmin, Vyagrahapada, a devout Bhakta of Shiva, came to Chidambaram in order to worship the Mulasthana lingam. A Brahmin by that name—meaning ‘Tiger foot’—was mentioned in Late Vedic texts and so, by making this saint the hero of the legend, the Tamil name Puliyur (‘Tiger town’) was placed in a Sanskrit context. In the tenth century the ‘King of Dancers’ was adopted by the Chola kings as their family god, which meant that the reputation of the cult of the dancing Shiva had to be enhanced by inventing a new legend. Vyagrahapada’s worship of the Mulasthana lingam was now regarded as a mere prelude to the worship of the divine dancer who manifested himself at Chidambaram by dancing the cosmic dance, Ananda Tandava. The fact that the cult had originated in the ‘Little Hall’ while the neighbouring hall of the goddess was called the ‘Great Hall’ was felt to be somewhat embarrassing; the legend had to correct this imbalance. The Tamil word Cid-ampalam (‘Little Hall’) was therefore replaced by the Sanskrit word Cid-ambaram (‘Heavenly Abode of the Spirit’)—nearly a homophone, but much more dignified in meaning. Shiva’s cosmic dance performed for both Chola kings and humble Bhaktas now had a new setting in keeping with the greatness of the god. This etymological transformation, so typical of Hinduism’s evolution, then provided striking metaphysical perspectives. Chidambaram was praised to be the heart of the first being (purusha) ever created and at its innermost centre (antahpura) was the Brahman, the impersonal cosmic essence. By alluding to the Vedic myth of the Purusha—whose sacrifice had engendered the universe—and by equating this Purusha with the human body, the priest could now interpret the divine dance of Shiva as taking place in Chidambaram, the centre of the cosmos, as well as in the hearts of the Bhaktas. By this kind of Sanskritisation the autochthonous cult of a local god was placed within the context of the ‘great tradition’. At the same time the heterodox Bhakti movement was reconciled with the philosophical system of the Brahmins, who had taken over the control of the temple.


The Bhakti movement While Shankara evolved his monist system which gave a new lease of life to orthodox Brahmanism, a popular movement emerged outside the confines of orthodoxy and sometimes even challenged this orthodoxy deliberately. This Bhakti movement emphasised the love of god and childlike devotion to him. In contrast with the Brahmin emphasis on right action (karma-marga) and the philosopher’s insistence on right knowledge (jnana-marga) the path of love and devotion (bhakti-marga) aimed at self-effacing submission to the will of god. Earlier evidence of this mystical devotion can be found in the Bhagavadgita when Krishna says to Arjuna: ‘He who loves me will not perish…think of me, love me, give sacrifices to me, honour me, and you will be one with me’ (IX, 31; 34). The Bhakti movement started in the sixth century in Tamil Nadu where it had decidedly heterodox origins. It then spread to other parts of southern India and finally also to northern India, giving an entirely new slant to Hinduism. The protagonists of this movement were sixty-three Shaivite and twelve Vaishnavite saints, the Nayanars and Alwars. Among the Shaivite saints Appar is praised as one of the most famous: he is said to have defeated many Buddhists and Jains in learned discussions in the early seventh century and to have converted the Pallava king, Mahendravarman, to Shaivism. Other great saints are Appar’s contemporary, Sambandar, then Sundaramurti and Manikkavasagar, eighth and ninth centuries AD respectively. The writings of these saints were collected in the ‘Holy Scriptures’ (Tirumurai) of the Tamils, which have also been called the ‘Tamil Veda’. These scriptures are the quintessence of the Shaivite religious literature of southern India. The eighth book of this collection is Manikkavasagar’s Tiruvasagam. The twelfth book, added much later, is the Periya Puranam. Composed by the poet Shekkilar at the behest of the Chola king, Kulottunga I, in the early twelfth century, it is devoted to the lives of the Tamil saints and is still very popular in Tamil Nadu. The nature of the Bhakti mysticism which inspired these saints can best be explained by referring to their writings. Manikkavasagar, whose life was spent in a continuous pilgrimage to the sacred places of southern India, describes his love for Shiva in these moving words:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


THE YAMUNOTRI....Origin of River Yamuna..



With this article we want to visualize the meaning of YOGA , by giving reference of our two most esteemed religious scripts BHAGWAD GEETA and YOG VISHISHT, it has been commonly realized that the present meaning of YOGA is just taken on the basis of physical exercise and  elasticity of human body to improve endurance of our physical body . Its commonly observed that yoga is represented as tough asanas or gymnasic version of original asanas ESPECILLY OF WOMWEN JUST TO LURE PEOPLE (mostly by yoga guru from west AND COMMERCIAL YOGIS ) but it should be made in mind that the aim of YOGA is much higher. It should not be limited only till the development of the physical body but to refine our mind and soul to achieve the ultimate stage of everlasting peace. By siting these examples we want to give a brief ideas about the power and perspectives of yoga which our  religious scripts show, our sages worked for thousands of years to visualize the meaning of YOGA, they practices numerous sadhnas to achieve higher stage of ultimate bliss. We are giving an idea by two esteemed religious text BHAGWAT GEETA and YOGA VISHISHT

Bhagwan  Shri Krishna defines yoga in The Bhagavad Gita, , as Clear, discerning, totally voluntary, dynamic participation in one’s life in everlasting, primal, revealing, the archetypal light and fueled by love. Heightened sensitivity and awareness of all life around us and within us, and an outpour of love in reciprocation with life’s wonder and beauty.  By the different forms of yogas we can achieve pure, determined force that moves us toward the mysterious and secret, and connects us with the wonderfulness of existence, of being and of all life.
Then Krishna tells Arjuna that four types of people turn toward him: those who are distressed, those desiring knowledge, those seeking personal gain and those possessing knowledge.
“Among these, the person of knowledge, who is constantly absorbed in yoga that is solely an offering of love, is exceptional. For I am so dearly loved by the person of knowledge, and that person is dearly loved by me” (7.17)

Yoga is a heightened sensitivity and awareness of all life around us and within us, and an outpour of love in reciprocation with life’s wonder and beauty.

 One of the gratest sage Maharishi valmiki in  a verse of YOGA VISHISHT says “When the mind is at peace and the heart leaps to the supreme truth, when all the disturbing thought-waves in the mind-stuff have subsided and there is unbroken flow of peace and the heart is filled with the bliss of the absolute, when thus the truth has been seen in the heart, then this very world becomes an abode of bliss”
He whose mind is firmly established in peace through the practice of yoga has the right vision of the truth. To see that the supreme self is without beginning or end, and that these countless objects are in fact the self and no other, is the right vision. Erroneous vision leads to rebirth; right vision ends rebirth. In it there is no subject-object (knower-knowable) relationship; for the self (consciousness) is the knower, knowledge and the knowable, too, and the division is ignorance. When this is directly seen there is neither bondage nor liberation.
Liberation is attained when one arrives at the state of supreme peace after
intelligent inquiry into the nature of the self and after this has brought about an inner awakening. Kaivalya or total freedom is the attainment of pure being after all mental conditioning is transcended consciously and after a thorough investigation.

Hopefully this will give atleast an idea about long range and definition of YOGA (atleast superficially ), because YOGA is such avast field that it cannot be explained in few line, our sages spent thousands of year in sadhna and research for this, and its very humble effort of ours to tell something about YOGA
Valmiki’s YOGAVASISTHAFrom a Translation by Swami Venkateshananda
Edited by Dennis B. Hill
 Shree bhagwad geeta


Trimbakeshwar temple is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas at Trimbakeshwar are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm (Shiva).All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri.Three sources of the godavari originate from the brahmagiri mountain. Introduction of the holy place Shri Trimbakeshwar
500 years back from now there was built a city which later on became famous as Trimbakeshwar. In the period of the Peshwas regime Nana Saheb Peshwa had instructed to sonstruct the Trimbakeshwar temple and developed and beautified the city of Trimbakeshwar.
There is a mountain named the Brihmagiri Mountain 18 K.M. from the city of Nasik in the Nasik district. This is one of the parts of the Sahayadri Vallies. The city of Trimbakeshwar is located in the bottom of this mountain. This is a beautiful natural place with the cold weather as it is situated 3000 ft. above from the sea.....


This Ātman, which is Brahman, is fourfold, and can be approached and attained by a fourfold process of selftranscendence. We now propose to take up these stages, one by one, by way of analysis and synthesis. The first stage of approach, naturally, is that which pertains to the degree of reality presented before our senses. All successful effort commences with immediate reality. We, generally, say, ‘you must be realistic in your life and not too much idealistic’, which means that our life should correspond to facts, as they are, and we should not merely idealise or live in a world of dream. The mind will not accept what it does not see or understand; and no teaching, whatever be the subject of the teaching, can be undertaken without reference to facts, facts which are a reality to the senses, because, today, at the present moment, we live in a world of the senses. We cannot reject what is real to the senses, as long as we are confined to their operation.

The Māndūkya Upanishad, therefore, takes this aspect into consideration and commences the work of analysis of the self from the foundation of sense-perception and mental cognition based on this perception. What do we see? This is the first question, and what we see is immediately the subject of investigation. Scientists are engaged in what they see and their enquiries and experiments are restricted to what is seen with the eyes. Science does not concern itself with the invisible, because the invisible cannot be observed and, therefore, cannot also be an object of experiment and investigation. What do we see? We see the world. We see the body. We do not see God, or Īsvara, or Brahman. Wedo not see Omkāra, Praṇava, the Creator, Preserver, Destroyer. All the things which we hear are not seen by us, and we cannot accept sermons based on invisibles unless a satisfactory explanation is offered first in regard to the visible. ‘Can you tell me what this is before me? Then I can accept what you say in regard to that which is above me.’ This immediacy of consciousness, this sensory fact which is presented to us in our day-to-day experience is comprehended within what may be called the waking life or jāgrat-avastha.

All our life is confined to the waking experience, and we are not concerned so much with our experiences in dream and sleep as with those in the waking state. To us jīvas, mortals, individuals, humans, whatever is presented in the waking state is real, and to us life means just waking life. Our business is with facts presented in the waking consciousness. So we shall begin, first of all, with an understanding of the way in which we begin to know the world as it appears to us in the waking life.   The waking consciousness is the first foot of the Ātman, as it were, the first aspect or phase of experience that we are studying and investigating. The waking consciousness is jāgaritasthānah, that consciousness which has its abode in the wakeful condition of the individual. And what is its special feature? Bahihprājñaah: It is conscious only of what is outside, not conscious of what is inside. We cannot even see what is in our own stomachs. How can we see what is in our minds? We are extroverts, aware of only what is external to our bodies, concerned with things which are external to the bodies, and busy with those objects which are other than our own bodies. We deal with things, but allthese dealings are with ‘other’ things, not with ourselves. This, is the peculiar structure of the waking consciousness which is engaged in action, and is busy with other things, but not with itself. We are worried over others, not ourselves.

We are engaged in the study, observation, experimentation and dealing of other objects and persons; not ourselves. This is the peculiarity of the waking consciousness, conscious only of what is external. Saptānga ekonavimśatimukhah: Seven-limbed and nineteenmouthed is this consciousness. It looks as if it is a Rāvana multiplied, with so many heads, as it were. Seven limbs this consciousness has, and nineteen mouths it has, and it eats the gross – sthūlabhug. It swallows, consumes what is gross. And what is its name? Vaiśvānara is its name. This is the first foot of the Ātman. This is the outermost appearance of the Ātman.  

SWAMI KRISHNANANDA The Divine Life Society Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, India


The first mantra of the Māndūkya Upanishad describes the nature of Omkāra and its connotation in relation to the whole universe. Now, it also denotes some object, as was pointed out earlier. It is a Universal Name which refers to a Universal Form in such a manner that the Name and the Form coalesce to constitute one Being. As the Name is Universal and the Form also is Universal, they have naturally to blend into a single existence, because we cannot have two Universals standing apart from each other. There is, therefore, the Universal Name coalescing with the Universal Form; nāmā and rūpa become one in this experience-whole. That experience is neither nāmā nor rūpa, by itself. It is both, and yet neither. God is not merely a form denoted by a name, nor is He an object that can be described by any person.

As all persons are included within the body of God, there is no naming God by any other entity outside it. Hence, in a sense, we may say that God is nameless. Who can call Him by a name? Where is that person who can call Him by a name! As there is, therefore, essentially, no name, in the ordinary sense of the term, that can designate God, He cannot also be regarded as a rūpa or a form which corresponds to a nāmā or a name.

There is an indescribable something which is designated ultimately by Omkāra or Praṇava, and, being indescribable, it is visualised by a name that conveys the best of possible meanings. Though it may itself have no name, and it cannot also be said to have any particular form, we, as jīvas, individuals here on earth, cannot envisage it in that transcendent nature. We have to conceive it in our mind before we can contemplate or meditate upon it for the sake of realisation. This meaningful and suggestive designation of that indescribable, transcendent something, is Brahman, the Absolute. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015



 •Atman is theantaryamin(Divine power) as the ultimate source of all the distinct aspects of external nature as well as inner faculties of humans and other beings.
•Atman is to be realized (anyone can) from direct personal knowledge through the practice of disciplines austerities of very arduous and exacting nature. The grace and guidance of realized Guru is required.
•Atman thus realized in the pure space of the enlightened seer’s heart is of the nature of indescribable bliss.
 •The human life is completely fulfilled with the realization of Atma





The Vedas, in their form as the Samhitās, constitute an introduction to the subject dealt with in the Vedānta or the Upanishads. The Upanishads are secret teachings containing wisdom beyond the realm of the earth and revealing proclamations of the great sages of yore on the nature of Reality. Among the Upanishads, the Māndūkya may be regarded as the most important, and it is aptly said – māndūkyam ekam eva alam mumukshūnām vimuktaye - for the liberation of the mumukṣhū or seeker the Māndūkya alone is enough; and if you are able to understand the true meaning of this single Upanishad, there may not be a necessity to study any other Upanishad, not even the Chhāndogya or the Brihadāranyaka, because the theme of the Māndūkya Upanishad is a direct approach to the depths of human nature. It does not give analogies, tell stories or make comparisons. It states bare facts in respect of man in general and Reality in its essential character. A very comprehensive Upanishad is this, containing only twelve statements called mantras, in which the whole wisdom or knowledge of the Upanishads is packed into a nutshell. The Upanishad commences with a prayer. All Upanishads start with a prayer – prayer to the guardians of the quarters, the deities or the manifestations of God, who rule the whole of creation, that we be blessed with health and understanding in order to go into the secrets of the Upanishads, to meditate upon them and to realise the Truth proclaimed in them.   The Māndūkya Upanishad is attributed to the revelation of a great sage called Māndūka. That which pertains toThe Māndūkya Upanishad is attributed to the revelation of a great sage called Māndūka. That which pertains Māndūka is Māndūkya. The Upanishad or the secret teaching revealed to the sage Māndūka is the Māndūkya Upanishad. It commences with a solemn declaration:  

Ōmityetadakṣharamidam sarvam, tasyopavyākhyanam,   bhūtam bhavatbhaviṣhyaditi sarvamomkāra eva;                                          yaccānyat trikālātītam tadapyomkāra eva.  

The Imperishable is OM, and it is ‘all this’. Everything else, whatever be of the past, present or future, is like an exposition, explanation or commentary on the meaning of this great Truth – the Imperishable Om. Sarvam Omkāra eva: Everything is Om, indeed. This is how the Upanishad begins. Ōm ityetadakṣharam idam sarvam: All this, whatever is visible, whatever is cognizable, whatever can come within the purview of sense-perception, inference or verbal testimony, whatever can be comprehended under the single term, creation – all this is Om



The theme of the Mandukya Upanishad is an exposition of the Mystic Syllable, Om, with a view to training the mind in meditation, for the purpose of achieving freedom, gradually, so that the individual soul is attuned to the Ultimate Reality. The basis of this meditation is explained in the Vidya (meditation), known as the Vaisvanara Vidya. This is the secret of the knowledge of the Universal Being, designated as Vaisvanara. Its simple form of understanding is a transference of human attributes to the Divine Existence, and vice versa. In this meditation, one contemplates the Cosmos as one's Body. Just as, for example, when one contemplates one's individual body, one simultaneously becomes conscious of the right eye, the left eye, the right hand, the left hand, the right leg, the left leg, the head, the heart, the stomach, and all the limbs of the body at one and the same time, and one does not regard the different limbs of the body as distinguished from one another in any manner, all limbs being only apparently different but really connected to a single personality, so in this meditation, the consciousness is to be transferred to the Universal Being. Instead of one contemplating oneself as the individual body, one contemplates oneself as the Universal Body. Instead of the right eye, there is the sun. Instead of the left eye, there is the moon. Instead of the feet, there is the earth. Instead of the head, there is the heaven, and so on.

The limbs of the Cosmic Person are identified with cosmic elements, and vice versa, so that there is nothing in the cosmos which does not form an organic part of the Body of the Virat, or Vaisvanara. When you see the vast worldbefore you, you behold a part of your own Body. When you look at the sun, you behold your own eye. When you look above into the heavens, you are seeing your own head. When you see all people moving about, you behold the various parts of your own personality. The vast wind is your breath. All your actions are cosmic movements. Anything that moves, does so on account of your movement. Your breath is the Cosmic Vital Force. Your intelligence is the Cosmic Intelligence. Ycur existence is Cosmic Existence. Your happiness is Cosmic Bliss. Though the Mandukya Upanishad gives certain symbolic instances of identification of limbs with the Cosmic Body, the meditator, in fact, can choose any symbol or symbols for such form of identification.

The creation does not consist merely of the few parts that are mentioned in the Upanishad. There are many other things which may come to our minds when we contemplate. So, we can start our meditation with any set of forms that may occur to our minds. We may be sitting in our rooms, and the first things that attract our attention may be the objects spread out in the rooms. When we identify these objects with our Body, we will find that there are also objects outside these, in the rooms. And, likewise, we can slowly expand our consciousness to the whole whole earth and, then, beyond the earth, to the solar and stellar regions, so that, we reach as far as our minds can reach. Whatever our mind can think, becomes an object for the mind; and that object, again, should become a part of the meditator's Body, cosmically. And, the moment the object that is conceived by the mind is identified with the Cosmic Body, the objectceases to agitate the mind any more; because that object is not any more outside; it becomes a part of the Body of the meditator. When an object becomes a part of our own body, it no more annoys us because it is not an object at all. It is a subject. The object has become the Cosmic Subject, in the Vaisvanara meditation.