V Subrahmanian, Friday, September 4, 2015 6:22 am

The Pra?nopani?at – Part 11

The Fifth Question has been asked. The question is about the meditation on the syllable ‘Om’. Respected Sir, supposing a rare one commits himself to the meditation on the syllable ‘Om’ throughout his life, that is up to the death, with extreme concentration by withdrawing himself from the external objects, that is, by controlling the senses, making the mind one-pointed, surfeit with devotion to Brahman in the syllable ‘Om’. He maintains the ?tman-thought flow without break, by carefully avoiding the thoughts of non-?tman to intervene, just as a lamp placed in a windless location glows unwavering. Such is the way the word ‘meditation’ is used in the mantra 5.1 (that has been stated in Part 10 of this article series) is to be understood. What are the disciplines the meditator endows himself with? The list of the vows is given out:

Satyam (sticking to truth), brahmacharyam (celibacy/continence), ahims? (non-injury), aparigraha (non-acceptance of objects that are not essential), ty?ga (renunciation of possessions), sanny?sa (renunciation of worldly ties), ?oucha (purity of body and mind), santo?a (contentment with what is had without any special effort), am?y?vitvam (free from beguile), etc. These are the several vows grouped under the main disciplines called ‘yama’ (self-control) and ‘niyama’ (observances). These are essentially to be followed for the effective conduct of the s?dhana aimed at an exalted goal such as liberation.

Satyak?ma asks to know what destination that an aspirant taking up the above-described s?dhana, strictly maintaining these vows, reaches. This is asked since there are indeed many destinations, loka-s, that are attained by a s?dhana involving the combination of action (karma) and meditation (jñ?na, meaning up?sana).

Mantra 5.2

????? ? ????? ? ?????? ??????? ??? ????? ? ?????? ???????? ? ????????????????????????????????????? ? ? ?

????? to him ? he ? indeed ???? said ???? this ?? however ??????? O Satyak?ma ??? higher ? and ???? lower ? and ?????? brahman ??? which is ????? Om ??????? therefore ???????? a knower ???? by this ?? alone ?????? support ?????? one of the two ??????? attains

2     He replied: O Satyak?ma, the syllable AUM is the Supreme Brahman and also the other Brahman. Therefore he who knows it attains, with its support, the one or the other.

To the question of Satyak?ma, the venerable ?ch?rya Pippal?da, replied: This is what he would attain, O Satyak?ma – This Brahnan which is both Supreme and lower. The Supreme Brahman is Satyam, the Eternal, Imperishable, called the ‘Puru?a.’ The lower Brahman is called ‘Pr??a’, the first-born. This is verily the syllable ‘Om’ since it is having for itself the symbol ‘Om.’ In other words, the Supreme and Lower Brahman is meditated upon with the symbol, prat?ka, ‘Om.’ The Higher or Supreme Brahman, as not capable of being pointed to by using words (sound), etc., and free of all attributes, is impossible to be apprehended by the mere mind. The Supreme Brahman is devoid of sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Hence, it would be impossible to point to It by describing the sound, etc. attributes. When, however, the syllable ‘Om’ is employed as a symbol, means, just as one would meditate on an idol of any deity such as Vi??u, by imbibing devotion, bhakti, then Brahman, the meditated upon, becomes realizable to the aspirant. The same holds good with the apprehension of the lower Brahman as well. Even though the lower Brahman is not as extremely subtle as the Higher Brahman, yet, being a cosmic entity, no form can be attributed to it. Hence there is the need for a symbol such as ‘Om’ to realize even that. Therefore alone both the Supreme and the Lower Brahman get the name, by courtesy, ‘Om’. Thus, the knower, by resorting to ‘Om’ alone, which is the means to attain the ?tman, by intensely meditating on ‘Om’, attains either the Supreme (param) or Lower (aparam) Brahman. The syllable ‘Om’ is the closest support one can resort to with respect to Brahman.

Mantra 5.3

? ????????????????????? ? ????? ????????????????? ????????????????? ? ????? ?????????????????? ? ???? ???? ???????????? ???????? ??????? ????????????? ? ? ?

? he ??? if ????????? one letter alone ?????????? meditates ? he ??? by that ?? itself ???????? enlightened ??????? quickly ?? itself ???????? in the earth ??????????? born ??? him ??? ?ks ??????????? the world of humans ???????? lead ? he ???? there ???? by austerity ???????????? by celibacy ???????? by faith ??????? endowed ???????? greatness ??????? enjoys

  1. If he meditates on one letter (m?tr?), then, being enlightened by that alone, he quickly comes back to earth after death. The ?k verses lead him to the world of men. By practicing austerity, chastity and faith he enjoys greatness.

Even though an aspirant does not know all the ‘m?tr?s’ (letters/constituents) of the syllable ‘Om’, yet by virtue of meditating on the ‘Om’, he certainly attains to an exalted goal. Just because he does not possess the total knowledge of the syllable ‘Om’, but only a partial knowledge (as to what the constituents of ‘Om’ are), he is not denied the fruits of both action (karma) and meditation (up?sana). What indeed does one get as the reward to such (partial) knowledge of the syllable ‘Om’?

Even though an aspirant, not knowing the complete aspects of ‘Om’, meditates devoutly without break, on even one aspect (letter) of ‘Om’, then, by virtue of even that meditation qualified by just one letter, becoming enlightened, quickly, without delay, he attains to this earthly world. That is, he attains a human body in this world. Many are the bodies/species that are possible on this earth. As a result of his meditation the ?k mantras lead him to the human body/world. The first letter of the syllable ‘Om’ that is meditated upon is the ?ks alone, that is, is of the form of the ?g veda. Consequently that aspirant, born as the foremost among the twice-born (Br?hma?a), endowed with tapas (austerities), brahmacharya (celibacy/continence), ?raddh? (supreme faith), enjoys great glory. Never does he end up being one devoid of faith, or reckless in action. In other words, he sticks to the do-s of the scripture and never falls into the don’ts. Thus someone who has not attained the goal of yoga, even though dedicating himself to its practice, never comes to grief. He indeed has applied himself with utmost faith and diligence to Brahman, even though endowed with partial knowledge of the syllable ‘Om.

Mantra 5.4

?? ??? ??????????? ???? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????? ? ? ??????? ???????????? ??????????? ? ? ?

?? again ??? if ??????????? with the second letter ???? in the mind ???????? meditates ?? he ?????????? intermediate plane ?????? by the Yajur mantras ???????? led ???????? to Soma loka ? he ??????? in Soma loka ???????? greatness ?????? having enjoyed ???? again ??????? returns

  1. If, again, he meditates on the second letter, he attains the mind and is led up by the yajur verses to the intermediate space, to the plane of the Moon. Having enjoyed greatness in the plane of the Moon, he returns hither again.

Here is the case of an aspirant endowed with the knowledge of the two letters, who meditates on the second letter of the syllable ‘Om’. He concentrates on this letter with the locus as the mind which is the abode of dream, and which is also the object of meditation. As a result he attains an identity with the presiding deity of the mind, Soma. Upon death this aspirant is led by the Yajur mantras whose abode is the plane that is intermediate between the earth and heaven. The Yajur mantras are of the form of the second letter of the syllable ‘Om.’ The Soma loka has for its support the intermediate plane. The Yajur mantras lead the aspirant to this Soma loka enabling him to get a birth therein. There he enjoys the glories appropriate to that loka and upon expending his pu?ya meant for that enjoyment, returns to the world of humans.

Mantra 5.5

?? ??????? ?????????????????????????????? ??? ??????????????? ? ????? ?????? ??????? ? ??? ????????????? ???????????? ??? ? ?? ? ??????? ???????????? ? ?????????????? ?????????? ? ???????????????????????? ??????? ???????????? ? ????? ?????? ???? ? ? ?

?? he who ???? again ??? this ??????????? by third letter ??? ‘Om’ ??? thus ???? this ?? alone ??????? letter ??? supreme ??????? Puru?a ?????????? meditates ? he ????? in effulgence ?????? sun ??????? attained ??? just as ??????? snake ????? from slough ????????????? separated ??? thus ? verily ?? indeed ? he ??????? from sins ???????????? freed ? he ?????? by the S?ma mantras ???????? is led ?????????? to brahma loka ? he ???????? from this ???????? essence of j?vas ????? greater than ??? great ???? in the body ??? residing ??????? Puru?a ?????? realizes ??? that ??? these ?????? mantras ???? are about

  1. Again, he who meditates on the Highest Person through this syllable AUM consisting of three letters, becomes united with the effulgent Sun. As a snake is freed from its slough, even so he is freed from sin.

Part 1, Part 10, Part 12

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