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Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit

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Veeraswamy Krishnaraj: Tolerance with love is to speak in tongues of all faiths, hold in the heart the Truth of all faiths and see

all faiths in the face of humanity.

 

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About the author:

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D; F.R.C.P (Canada) is a board certified pediatrician in active practice until the end of 1998. He immersed himself in study of Hinduism in depth. He has sufficient knowledge and understanding of Hindu religion that he is confident to publish this book. He kept the words simple, supple, illuminating and to the point, while retaining the original flavor, beauty and grace. Compound words in Sanskrit are a nightmare for the beginner, as they are spliced together compactly in one continuous stretch of characters. He parsed the compound words into digestible syllables or words with superscripts and sequential numbers and rearranged the words in the verse in a readable form in English. In this book, he claims ownership of shortcomings and cedes the rest to Bhagavan. 

This book is good for students, and devotees reading the Bhagavad-Gita in Satsang (true company). Two verses nestle in two boxes in one page with no break or carry-over to the next page. Diacritics help the reader enunciate the words like a Sanskritist. The English words are reader-friendly. Wherever there is a need for elaboration, an addendum supports it.

Simplicity, authority, universality, and profundity are the hallmark of the Bhagavadgita, the Bible of the Hindus. The Bhagavadgita is the Song of the Lord. It provides guidelines for daily living with no dogmas and ritual overtones. It encourages and supports your individuality. It also explains the consequence of errant ways. Total surrender to Bhagavan releases the devotee from the ills of life on earth. Hinduism as a term is an external appellation from non-Hindus. Its true name is Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Law or Eternal Order) commensurate with Rta (Cosmic Order). The beauty about the Bhagavadgita is its appeal is universal.

 

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03/22/2015

 

 

Chapter Eight: Brahman The Imperishable 

 

 

What is Brahman?

It cannot be seen by the eye, and yet it is the eye within the eye. It cannot be heard by the ear, and yet it is the ear within the ear. It cannot be smelt by the nose, and yet it is that which makes the nose to smell. It cannot be uttered by the mouth, and yet it is that which makes the mouth to speak. It cannot be grasped by the hand, and yet it is that which makes the hand to grasp. It cannot be reached by the feet, and yet it is that which makes the feet to walk. It cannot be thought by the mind, and yet it is the mind within the mind. It is the Primal One without past or future. Its form is free from age and sickness. It manifests as father and mother. It blossoms as the Self-Existent. It cannot be described as one or two. No artist can portray It. It is That which lies 'twixt good and evil. It ever abides in the hearts of the wise. It permits no distinction between Vedanta and Siddhanta. It is That which dances at the zenith beyond the realm of sound.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most renowned contemporary spiritual master

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What is Brahman?

 

It is That which sees, hears, smells, speaks, grasps, walks, and thinks. It has no beginning, middle or end. It is the pulsation in the heart and the universe. --Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 

      Swami Vivekananda:

The truly spiritual see spirit as spirit, not as matter. Spirit as such can never become matter, though matter is spirit at a low rate of vibration. It is spirit that makes nature move; it is the Reality in nature, so action is in nature but not in the spirit. Spirit is always the same, changeless, eternal. Spirit and matter are in reality the same, but spirit, as such, never becomes matter, and matter, as such, never becomes spirit. Matter, as such, never becomes spirit as such, for it is simply a mode of spirit, or spirit at a low rate of vibration. You take food and it becomes mind, and mind in turn becomes the body. Thus mind and body, spirit and matter are distinct though either may give place to the other; but they are not to be identified.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume 9     [  Page : 280 ] THE GITA-III*

 

 

 

Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) was great Advaitin who was also equally at ease with Persian, Arabic as well as Sanskrit literature. He happened to be in Lucknow in 1905 when Muslim Maulanas came to him to get enlightened on Hinduism and their own religion.

He had a dialog with them about God.

 

 

 

 

 

The Vedas say that the Trinity originated from Brahman; for the Saivas trinity came from Mahesvara; for the Bhagavatas the trinity came from Mahavishnu. The Puranas say three gunas (Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas) agitated the cosmic egg, generating Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva with their respective functions Creation, Existence and Destruction.

 

 

 

Dr. Radhakrishnan writes on the different perspectives on Brahman. Page 19 Bhagavadgita.

October 31, 2013

Rāmānuja (eleventh century A.D.), in his commentary, refutes the doctrine of the unreality of the world and the path of renunciation of action. He follows the interpretation given by Yamunācārya in his Gītārthasaṁgraha. Brahman, the highest reality, is Spirit, but not without attributes. He has self-consciousness with knowledge of Himself and a conscious will to create the world and bestow salvation on His creatures.

He is the sum of all ideal predicates, infinite and eternal, before and above all worlds, without any second. The Vedic gods are His servants created by Him and appointed in their places to perform their ordained duties. The world is no deception or illusion but is genuine and real. The world and God are one as body and soul are one. They are a whole but at the same time unchangeably different. Before creation, the world is in a potential form, undeveloped into the existing and diversified manifestations.

In creation, it is developed into name and form (nāmarūpa). By representing the world as the body of God, it is suggested that the world is not made from something alien, a second principle but is produced by the Supreme out of His own nature. God is both the instrumental and the material cause of the world. The analogy of soul and body is used to indicate the absolute dependence of the world on God even as the body is absolutely dependent on the soul. The world is not only the body of God but His remainder, Īśvarasyaśeṣa, and this phrase suggests the complete dependence and contingency of the world.

All consciousness presupposes a subject and an object which is different from consciousness which is regarded by Rāmānuja as a dependent substance (dharmabhūtadravya), capable of streaming out. The ego (jīva) is not unreal and is not extinguished in the state of liberation. The Upaniṣad passage, tat tvam asi, "that art thou," means that "God is my self" even as my soul is the self of my body. God is the supporting, controlling principle of the soul, even as the soul is the supporting principle of the body. God and soul are one, not because the two are identical but because God indwells and penetrates the soul. He is the inner guide, antaryāmin, who dwells deep within the soul and as such is the principle

of its life. Immanence, however, is not identity. In time as well as in eternity, the creature remains distinct from the Creator. Rāmānuja develops in his commentary on the Gītā a type of personal mysticism. In the secret places of the human soul God dwells but He is unrecognized by it so long as the soul does not acquire the redeeming knowledge. We acquire this knowledge by serving God with our whole heart and soul.

All consciousness presupposes a subject and an object which is different from consciousness which is regarded by Rāmānuja as a dependent substance (dharmabhūtadravya), capable of streaming out. The ego (jīva) is not unreal and is not extinguished in the state of liberation. The Upaniṣad passage, tat tvam asi, "that art thou," means that "God is my self" even as my soul is the self of my body. God is the supporting, controlling principle of the soul, even as the soul is the supporting principle of the body. God and soul are one, not because the two are identical but because God indwells and penetrates the soul. He is the inner guide, antaryāmin, who dwells deep within the soul and as such is the principle

of its life. Immanence, however, is not identity. In time as well as in eternity, the creature remains distinct from the Creator. Rāmānuja develops in his commentary on the Gītā a type of personal mysticism. In the secret places of the human soul God dwells but He is unrecognized by it so long as the soul does not acquire the redeeming knowledge. We acquire this knowledge by serving God with our whole heart and soul.

Perfect trust is possible only for those who are elected by divine grace. Rāmānuja admits that the paths of knowledge, devotion and action are all mentioned in the Gītā, but he holds that its main emphasis is on devotion. The wretchedness of sin, the deep longing for the Divine, the intense feeling of trust and faith in God's all-conquering love, the experience of being divinely elected are stressed by him.

The Supreme is Visnu, for Rāmānuja. He is the only true god who will not share His divine honours with others. Liberation is service of and fellowship with God in Vaikuntha or heaven.

Gītārthasaṁgraha. Brahman, the highest reality, is Spirit, but not without attributes. He has self-consciousness with knowledge of Himself and a conscious will to create the world and bestow salvation on His creatures.

 

Madhva (A.D. I199 to 1276) wrote two works on the Bhagavadgītā, called the Gītā Bhāṣya and Gītātātparya. He attempts to derive from the Gītā tenets of dualistic (dvaita) philosophy. It is self-contradictory, he contends, to look upon the soul as identical with the Supreme in one sense and different from Him in another. The two must be regarded as eternally different from each other and any unity between

them, partial or entire, is untenable. He interprets the passage "that art thou" as meaning that we must give up the distinction between mine and thine, and hold that everything is subject to the control of God.1 Madhva contends that devotion is the method emphasized in the Gītā.

the control of God.1: madīyaṁ tadīyam iti bhedam apahāya sarvam Īśvarādhīnam iti sthitiḥ. Bhāgavatatātparya.

 

Nimbārka (A.D. II62) adopts the theory of dvaitadvaita (dual-non-dual doctrine). He wrote on Brahma Sūtra and his disciple Keśavakāṣmīrin wrote a commentary on the Gītā called Tattvaprakāśika. Nimbārka holds that the soul (Jīva), the world (jagat) and God are different from each other; yet the existence and activity of the soul and the world depend on the will of God. Devotion to the Supreme is the principal theme of Nimbarka's writings.

 

Vallabha (A.D. I479) develops what is called śuddhādvaita or pure non-dualism. The ego (Jīva) when pure and unblinded by illusions and the Supreme Brahman are one. Souls are particles of God like sparks of fire and they cannot acquire the knowledge necessary for obtaining release except by the grace of the Supreme. Devotion to God is the most important means of obtaining release. madiyam tadiyam itt bizedam apahaya sa1'vam isvaf'adhinam iti sthitifr,. Bhagavatatatparya. Bhakti is truth associated with love.

 

 

Brahman, derived from the root brh, to grow, become great, means the Being of unlimited greatness, supreme perfection. Sankara derives Brahman from the root brhati, to exceed atisayana. It means eternity, purity, intelligence. Its main features are being, consciousness, infinity and freedom. While these are the primary qualities, svarupa-laksana, there are the qualities of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. These have a meaning when Brahman is looked at from cosmic point of view. They are the tatastha-laksana.  (As you see, Sankara does not specify Siva as Brahman; Brahman is impersonal.)

For Ramanuja, Brahman is Narayana. He is free from imperfections, comprises within Himself all auspicious qualities and enjoys originating, preserving, reabsorbing, providing and ruling the universe. The Highest Reality is determinate and the world which is the manifestation of his power is real. (For Ramanuja and the Vaishnavas, Brahman-Narayana is a personal God.) Dr. Radhakrishnan, The Brahma Sutra. page 233-234.

 

Brahman from the standpoint of the individual soul is presented as follows. Nyaya Book one, Chapter 1, Verse 22: "Release is the absolute deliverance from pain." Explanation: Absolute deliverance is non-recurrence of rebirth and that is final release. This condition of immortality, free from fear, imperishable (unchanging), consisting in the attainment of Bliss, is called Brahman.  Radhakrishnan page 361, Indian Philosophy.

 

Tatastha-laksana

Tatastha =  is derived from Tatas meaning a slope, a bank, margin. The bank of a river is  land and river; It is covered with water when the river rises, it is dry when the river recedes; thus the bank is both land and water; it belongs to both.  Isvara's Tatastha or marginal transitional Sakti, maintains  a relationship with both the spiritual world and material world.  Likewise, Jiva (We the people = Embodied souls) has one foot in water (spirit) and one foot on land (matter). Brahman's svarupa Lakshana is transcendental and eternal, while Isvara's tatastha Lakshana is accidental.  No one really knows the (svarupa Lakshana) qualities of Parabrahman. Let me give you an example.  Water in liquid state is its intrinsic natural own state in ambient room temperature; that is Svarupa Lakshana (primary essential physical quality of water). When you submit water to cold stress, it becomes ice and stays as ice as long as the cold stress is maintained; that is Tatastha Lakshana (accidental or marginal quality).  Accidental quality is transient; once the cold stress is removed the ice cube comes back to its original liquid state of water.  Likewise Mayabrahman or Isvara reverts back to Parabrahman, when He is not creating, maintaining or destroying the universe.  Jiva also has Tatastha Lakshana because he is part spiritual and part matter. 

Let us take another example. 

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus trains people to be clowns. When Mr. XYZ is home with his family, he is his own man and nobody's clown; that is Svarupa Lakshana (one's own essential quality).  When he is all padded, painted, powdered, dressed and fitted with clownish and bulbous nose, ears, oversize shoes, and shoved into the circus ring, he becomes a clown for the duration of his act; that is Tatastha Lakshana.

 

8.1:  Arjuna said:

What is Brahman? What is adhyātma or Self ? What is karma? O Purusottama, What is adhibhūta? What is adhidaivam?

 

Adhyātma is “Self ”. Karma is action. Adhibhūta is the material world. Adhidaivam is god. Purushottama is the Supreme Being. First, there is the Absolute Self (Brahman); second, there is the controller Isvara; third, there is the Blueprint, Hiranyagarbha; and last, there is the Prakara (Cit and Acit or the sentient and the insentient). This is the scheme of creation, according to Brahman. Isvara is the manifest form of the unmanifest Brahman; Hiranyagarbha is the blueprint of Cit and Acit; it is also a name for Brahma. Chapter two in Panchadasi explains what Brahman is. Objects and beings are defined by genus, species and individual. Brahman does not fall into these categories.  He is the creator of categories and beyond the categories. He is one without a second (ekam eva advitiyam). He has no parts, names or forms. Only created entities have names, forms, and qualities; He is uncreated. He is like Akasa (ether) partless. Maya is the power that exists in Brahman in a potential form and is the material cause of the universe. Maya is not Brahman but only his power. Before creation, Brahman was darkness enveloped by the darkness of Maya. Maya is not the whole constitution of Brahman, but only a part of it just like clay is only part of earth. When Maya expresses, Isvara emerges from Brahman.  Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness and Bliss). Maya conceals only Bliss. Sri Krishna addresses Arjuna like this: "I support this entire universe with a fraction of Myself or My energy." (10.42 BG).  Maya creates this world as a painter would draw objects using different colors on a canvas or  wall. The first modification of Maya is Akasa (space or ether) which has the quality of sound which does not exist in Sat (being or existence) portion of Sat, Chit and Ananda. Brahman is more pervasive than Maya which is more pervasive than Akasa, which is more pervasive than air. Maya is beyond perception but its expressions are perceived.

When you subtract the body from an object, sentient or insentient, you arrive at Brahman, which is Pure Consciousness and awareness, according to Panchadasi (3.21). When you strip away all the sheaths, Matter (Anna), Life (Prāna), Mind (Manas), Intelligence (Jnāna) and Bliss (Ānanda), what is left is the Witness or the Self (Pure Consciousness)-- IBID, 3.22.

I am sure you have a question like this: Do you mean to say that if your subtract the body from a stone, there is Brahman or Pure Consciousness?  Yes. Isvara (Brahman) has as His body, the Cit and Acit (stone in this instance...). Consciousness sleeps in stone, feels in flora, senses in fauna and thinks in man. Sentience runs parallel with consciousness.  If you take a man in deep sleep, he is a stone because his mind does not exist; he is not aware of his surroundings; his body senses are on a low or absent alert, or rendered hypoactive to perceive only a high-grade stimuli; his muscles are toneless; he has no speech, no hearing, no sight; and all his biological functions are under autonomic control.

The Uddhava Gita, a discourse by Krishna, elaborates further what Self is.

Dialogue 5, Verses 5.7 to 5.13.

 

The self-luminous Self is Consciousness akin to fire. The fire is different from the burning log. While the log by itself cannot dispel darkness, flame can do it. Though flame and log are two entities, the flame takes the form of the log. Similarly, Self assumes the form of the body and takes on its attributes; thus ignorant people think that the Self and the body are the same. This identification of the Self and the body is the work of mysterious power of Maya with its co-conspirators Gunas, which are the cause of human bondage and Samsara (birth and rebirth). Knowledge of the Self breaks the bonds. Krishna suggests that one should stop identifying with the body and start identifying with the Self. Here Krishna gives an analogy within an analogy. Guru is the kindler of fire; the aspirant is the log; Guru's Bodhana (teaching) connects the two and induces the fire of knowledge; the interaction produces the spark, the flame, and the fire of knowledge which brings Bliss. When all this is taking place, there is an automatic attenuation or removal of Maya caused by the Bodhana of the Guru. Eventually the fire itself dies for lack of fuel; similarly the knowledge itself dies; only the eternal Self remains.

 

8.2:  Who is the Adhiyajna in this body? O Madhusudhana, at the time of departure (Prayāna-kale) from life, how can the self-controlled know You?

 

8.3:  Sri Bhagavan said:

Brahman is supreme and imperishable; Its nature is (declared as that) of the Self; and Karma is the name for the creative force that makes visible all living material beings.

 

Bhūta-bhāva-udbhavakarah: creating - living beings - production/ becoming visible

Bhūta-bhāva: creating living being. Udbhava-karah: productive, birth, becoming visible.

 

Without karma, there is no material body, because zero-sum karma leads to liberation of the soul and the complete divestiture of the physical body.

Those who believe in Karma can visit the temple dedicated to Chitragupta in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.  Chitragupta is the one who keeps a record (of all people and gods) of what we think, say and do. Each carries a variable load of Karma and appropriate fruits. The following legend describes the birth of Chitragupta, the chronicler of Karma. Paramesvara (Siva) wanted to record all deeds of men and devas in order to dispense suitable fruits for their Karma. He asked Parvati to bring a golden slate so that he could draw the outline of a man. Siva drew the picture of a man and Parvati begged Siva to give life to the image; Siva obliged and Chitragupta was born to record the deeds of all sentient and supersentient beings like angels, celestials, men and gods. Indrani, consort of Indra, the god of lightning and thunder, asked Siva to bless her with a child. Siva asked Chitragupta to become her offspring. Chitragupta knowing his portfolio of a chronicler, told Siva that she would remain barren in the then-present birth on account of her Karma. Siva sent Kamadhenu to Indra and asked Chitragupta to become her son, which he carried out. The child was born on a Sunday in Chitra month. Another source tells that Chitragupta was born of the Sun god and Nila Devi. Siva asked Chitragupta to work for Yama, the god of death and keep a record of thoughts, words and deeds of celestials, gods, and men. When a said being dies, his soul goes to the court of Yama, where Chitragupta recites the written record of  good, bad, and indifferent deeds of men. He is a meticulous faithful chronicler without fear or favor. The idol shows a Palm-leaf book on his left hand and a steel stylus on his right hand. He lives with his wife Karnambikai and is celebrated on full-moon day in Chitra (Chitra Poornami day--middle of April to middle of June). Egyptian Osiris, god of the underworld is the Yama of Hindus.

That is the story of the Chronicler of Karmic deeds.

Notes: In Post Vedic mythology Yama is the Restrainer, Punisher, the Appointed Judge. His abode is Yama Pura in the nether world.  Chitragupta reads an account of the departed soul from a book called Agra SamdhAnA (A Register of Human Actions) to mete out a meet punishment.  Yama wears blood-red garments and sports a glittering sable hue and appearance. He rides a buffalo and holds a club and noose.

Chitra Purnima

By

Sri Swami Sivananda

THE TWELVE months of the Hindu year, based on the lunar calendar, are named after that star during whose ascendency the full moon of that month occurs. The full moon day of Chaitra month, that is, the Purnima during the ascendency of the Chitra star is particularly sacred to the Chitra Guptas, the recording angels of the Hindu pantheon.

A special worship is offered to these celestial representatives of the god of death (Yama), and an offering of spiced rice is prepared and later distributed as prasad or holy sacrament. A fire worship is done at the close of the ritualistic worship. By the performance of this religious observance annually, these angels of the other world are greatly pleased and judge man’s actions with more sympathy.

The psychological effect of this worship, done on the very first full moon day of every year (Chaitra is the first of the twelve months), is to vividly remind us of the higher power that maintains a constant watch over every act of ours on this earth-plane. This memory serves as an invisible check on one’s conduct. The conception of the Chitra Guptas as located within each shoulder is a powerful inducement to keep oneself engaged in constantly doing good actions only.

The term Chitra Gupta means “hidden picture”. A true picture of all our good and evil actions is preserved in the ethereal records. The Hindu personifies it for the sake of worship. The real significance of the worship of the Chitra Guptas is beautifully brought out in the following story connected with it.

Brihaspati is the Guru or preceptor of Indra, the king of the gods. Indra disobeyed Brihaspati on one occasion and the Guru relinquished his task of instructing Indra in what he should and should not do. During the period of the Guru’s absence, Indra did many evil deeds. When the compassionate Guru resumed his duty again, Indra wanted to know what he should do to expiate the wrongs he had done in his Guru’s absence. Brihaspati asked Indra to undertake a pilgrimage.

While Indra was on pilgrimage, he suddenly felt the load of sins taken off his shoulders at a certain place (near Madurai in South India), and he discovered a Shiva Lingam there. He attributed the miracle to this Lingam and wanted to build a temple for it. He had this constructed immediately. Now he wished to perform the worship of the Lingam; the Lord Himself caused golden lotuses to appear in a nearby pond. Indra was greatly pleased and blessed. The day on which he thus worshipped the Lord was Chitra Purnima.

When you perform worship on the Chitra Purnima day, remember this story. If you have intense faith, if you feel with a contrite heart that you have committed sins on account of ignorance, if you pray with faith and devotion to the Lord to forgive your sins, if you resolve never to commit them in the future, and if you resolve to be obedient to your Guru and never to flout his counsel, then your sins will be forgiven. There is no doubt about this. This is the significance of the above story of Indra. Meditate on this story on Chitra Purnima day.

The Hindu scriptures prescribe elaborate worship of the Chitra Guptas on this day. The Deity is invoked in an image or a kalasa (vessel filled with water) and then worshipped with all the rituals and formalities of the worship offered to God’s image. Meditate on Chitra Gupta, reciting the following verse:

Chitra guptam mahaa praajnam lekhaneepatra dhaarinam;
Chitra-ratnaambara-dhaararn madhyastham sarvadehinaam.
 

Then offer ritualistic worship with incense, camphor, flowers, etc. Feed some Brahmins, the poor and the needy. Give bountifully in charity and receive the Lord’s blessings.

 

 

8.4:  Adhibhūtam is perishable, Purusa is Adhidaiva, and I am Adhiyajna in the body, O the Best of embodied beings (Arjuna).

 

Adhibūtam, being matter, is a product of prakriti; therefore, it is liable to change and destruction. As opposed to Adhibhūtam, Purusa or Adhidaivam is noumenal, immutable, constant, cosmic, all controlling and Self itself. It is Sat (Being or Real beyond change). Krishna declares that He is Adhiyajna (sacrifice in the form of body on this earth); and this Self,  seated in the heart within the individual self, is its controller, chronicler, and modes of consciousness. (See supplement section on the modes of Self and levels of consciousness.) Adhiyajna means that all the sacrifices made to the gods reach Lord Krishna. The Lord is an embodiment of all the Yajnas performed by four kinds of devotees:  Relief seeker, Atman Seeker, Wealth Seeker and Knowledge Seeker. 

Garuda Purana (11.12.11-12) states that among all living beings Brahmavadin (the propounder of Vedas) is the best followed by, in descending order, Brahmana scholars, men, intelligent animals and animals. Arjuna is the best of the embodied beings because he is a Vedic scholar.

 

 

8.5:  At the time of death, he, who remembers Me when leaving the body, goes to My being. Of this, there is no doubt.

 

  Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

Bhakti and saranagati are two means (= upaya  = sadhana) to attain mukti. Bakti is accomplishment by our efforts. In saranagati, Bhagavan Himself is the upaya. We accept Him as our upaya. Now coming to the concept of antima smriti - this is remembering / meditating bhagavan during the last moments in the death bed in order to reach His lotus feet. This is mandatory for a bhakti yogi but not for a saranagata. In the case of saranagata the responsibility of remembering is on Bhagavan . He remembers His saranagata and escorts the jiva to Srivaikuntham. This is as per the 4th phrase of Sri Devaperumal to Sri Ramanuja ' antima smriti varjanam' and varaha carama sloka.

Bhakti = Devotion; mukti = liberation = Vaikuntam = Vaishnava heaven; Saranagati = Surrender; Upaya = means; Antima = here it means 'time of death'. Smiriti = remembrance; antima smriti = remembering the Lord at the time of death; Saranagata =the one who surrendered to Bhagavan Krishna.

 

Here is a real-life incident that tells that one can go to Krishna's Being through a life time of remembering Him; it is not compulsory to remember Him at the time of death. This revelation came from Lord Varada as revealed to Kanchipurna.  --Excerpt from the book, 'Ramanuja's Teachings in His Own Words' by Yanunacharya -  Page 12.

 

Mahapurna was a real-life Sudra saint, a contemporary of Brahmana Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE). One day Ramanuja wanted Mahapurna to teach him a few great truths after obtaining them from Lord Varada Himself by putting himself in communion with Him. Lord Varada revealed these truths to Kanchipurna for the benefit of Ramanuja.

(1) I am the Superme Truth (ahameva param tatvam).

(2) My view is distinction (darśanam bhepamevaca),

(3) By faith shall men reach Me, their salvation . (Upāyeu prapattissyāt).

(4) Thought of me at time of death is not compulsory (antima smriti varjanam),

(5) Release from Bondage follows immediately on death of the body (dehāsvasāne mokañca).

(6) Choose Mahāpūrna for your Ācārya (Mahāpūrnam samāśraya).

 

Ramanuja requested Kanchipurna to teach him Bharadvaja Samhita which stated, "Yogis are born among all castes and so caste odium shall not hold in their cases, for they have seen their soul's Lord."

 

            There is story in the Puranas and Narayaneeyam about a Brahmana Ajamila with evil ways. He left his legally married wife and associated with another women and had ten children by her. He named one of his sons, Narayana, after the Lord. As Death’s (Yama) ruthless messengers came to grab him, Ajamila yelled out unknowingly (of its effect) for his son, Narayana, which prompted the arrival of the messengers of Narayana at his deathbed. Yama’s servants tied him up and were about to haul him to hell. But the emissaries of Lord Narayana stopped them (Minions of Yama), who read out loud a rap sheet of evil deeds perpetrated by Ajamila. The Lord’s emissaries pointedly told the Yamas’s messengers of the utterance of the Lord’s name Narayana by Ajamila at the time of death. That utterance has the expiatory power, destroys all sins, and makes the utterer eligible for residence in Vaikuntha, Lord’s abode and heaven. Yama’s servants went back to their master and told him about the incident; subsequently, Yama ordered his servants to leave the devotees of Narayana alone and never to approach them. Out of fear of causing any irreverence («Àº¡Ãõ) to Narayana (Vishnu), the Lord of Death calls each minion individually and tells him in a hushed reverential tone that each one should hereafter not approach the Vaishnava Sattvikas (virtuous devotees of Vishnu) because he is not the master of Vishnu's devotees.  Such is the greatness of BhAgavatOthmars (the great devotees of Vishnu).

           நாராயணா. Alvars recommend chanting his name, Narayana, while going to and getting up from the bed. Call him by his name until you sleep. Benefits from chanting though unuttered in sleep are obtainable to the devotee.

 

Gandhi, when he was shot by a lunatic Hindu fanatic, knew he was mortally injured and uttered ‘Hey Ram.’   Tirunaama Vaibhavam: the greatness in the utterance of the God's name assures deliverance. Bhagavan is like a gold nugget but his name is like a gold ornament. Bhagavan is renowned like the gold nugget, though one cannot wear it on the head as a crown. The name of God (example: Rama, Govinda, Krishna) is very much adorable and wearable. The glory of the name of Bhagavan is greater than the glory of Bhagavan Himself. He may not come to the rescue but the utterance of His name has immediate effect.

    When Draupadi underwent the humiliation of being stripped naked by the Kauravas, she uttered the name of Govinda. Govinda did not appear in person to protect her but the utterance of His Naamam (name of Govinda) offered the instantaneous effect of endless sari. Krishna Himself says, "It is not Me but the Govinda Naamam which helped Draupadi from the humiliation of stripped naked."

Hindus utter the names of Ishta-devata, when they trip, sneeze, fall down, and yawn and this is recommended in Bhagavatam 5.3.12.  It is like saying 'God Bless,' when someone sneezes.

Achoo, achoo.---gezhunteit!

 

Mat Bhāvam: My being

 

The body of the Lord is made of the universe and beings. Puranas consider the human body as the microcosm of the body of the Lord. Human body parts and the cosmos in its parts (Garuda Purana, 11.32.105-119).

Soul of the foot = Atala

Dorsum of the foot = Vitala

Knee = Satala

Calf = Talatala

Thigh = Rasatala

Genitalia = Mahatala

Hips = Patala

Navel =Bhur

Pit of the stomach = Bhuvar

Heart = Svar

Throat  = Mahar

Mouth  = Janas

Forehead = Tapas

Anterior fontanel  = Satya

Shoulder Blade = The Mount Meru

Lower angle of hips = Mount Mandara

Right angle of hips = Mount Kailasa

Left angle of hips = Himalaya

Upper surface of hips = Mount Nisada

Right side of hips = Ghanda-madana

Left side of the hips = Ramana

Bones = Jambu Dvipa

Marrow = Saka dvipa

Flesh = Kusa dvipa

Head = Kusa dvipa

Skin = Salmali dvipa

Hair = Gomeda

Nail = Puskar dvipa

Urine = Salt ocean

Milky exudates/ secretions = Milky ocean

Phlegm = Wine ocean

Marrow = Butter ocean

Lymphatic fluid = Rasa ocean

Blood = Curd ocean

Excreta = Water ocean

Vital fluid = Sugar cane juice ocean

Sound area = sun

Spot  = Moon

 Eyes = Mars

Heart = Mercury

Navel = Jupiter

Vital fluid = Venus

Navel area = Saturn

Mouth = Rahu

Feet – Ketu

 

 

 

 

   

8.6:  Whatever one remembers of being at the time of giving up the body, similar being he becomes O Kauteya, having always remembered that being. 

 

You are what you think; therefore, thought is action, being and becoming; what one thinks, one becomes. Such is the power of thought. The dominant thought at the time of death is preconditioned by a lifetime of thoughts. One may not think of God for the first time at the time of death; thus, the thoughts that come at death are thoughts entertained in one's lifetime. To reiterate, when physical body dies and all the kosas or sheaths fall, the only entity that stands is the causal body or kārana sarīra, which carries the memory of the thoughts and aspirations, entertained at the time of death and a chronicle of karma.  

 

8.7:  Therefore, always remember Me and fight (yudhya). You will reach Me without doubt, if your mind and intellect intent on (arpita) Me.

 

Krishna says that everyone should always think of Him, as one performs his duty. This thought will come to the fore at the time of death and help the individual soul attain the feet of Krishna. Here “yudhya” means that Arjuna should fight the enemy according to his dharma.

 

8.8:  He, who is steady in constant practice of meditation on the Supreme Person with the mind not distracted otherwise and always thinking of Me, reaches the Divine Me.

 

8.9:  He, who meditates on the Kavi ( the Omniscient: sage, seer, or poet), the ancient, the (inner) controller, the one smaller than the smallest, and the supporter of everything, and whose form is inconceivable (acintya rūpam), is sun-colored (Āditya-varnam) beyond darkness [attains the Supreme].

  कविं पुराणमनुशासितार-: मणोरणीयांसमनुस्मरेद्यः ।

सर्वस्य धातारमचिन्त्यरूप : मादित्यवर्णं तमसः परस्तात् ॥८- ९॥

kaviṁ purāṇam anuśāsitāraṁ aṇor aṇīyāṁsam anusmared ya
sarvasya dhātāram acintyarūpaṁ ādityavarṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt 8.9

kavim1 purāṇam2 anuśāsitāram3 aṇo4 aṇīyāṁsam5 anusmaret6 ya7
sarvasya
8 dhātāram9 acintya10 rūpam11  tamasaḥ13 parastāt14 8.9

 

ya7 = He who; anusmaret6 =meditates on; kavim1 = the Omniscient [the sage, Seer, Poet]; purāṇam2 = the beginningless;  anuśāsitāram3 = the Ruler of all;  aṇīyāṁsam5 = subtler;  aṇo4 = than the subtle;   dhātāram9 = the Protector; sarvasya8 = of all;  [of] acintya10 = inconceivable; rūpam11 =  form; āditya-varṇam12  = of the color of the sun; parastāt14 = beyond; tamasaḥ13 = darkness [attains the Supreme]. 8.9

 

Kavi commonly means a poet. In this instance, it means the Omniscient. He is sun-colored. The sun takes on various colors from dawn to dusk. The solar rays are the gods and the priests, who kindle the fire of sacrifice in the sky and offer oblations to the rising sun at dawn. The sun is the sign of God with many names. The rays of the sun are the warriors fighting the demons of darkness and prevail over them. Dawn is both a sacrificial field for the Sun and the battlefield against the forces of darkness. There is a lot of symbolism in this verse.

The gods have chosen another sacrificial ground in Orion, where they perform sacrifices. The concave square pit on earth (Vedi = वेदि = வெடி--in the midst of the three fires-) and the dark areas of the moon are the little Orions. In the Orion pits, they offer sacrifice and defeat the dark forces of winter to usher in the salubrious spring and summer.  Vedi = वेदि =  வெடி = Shallow bed dug out in the sacrificial court (Monier Williams). It is narrow in the middle like the waist of a woman.  See the diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translation of Rig Veda, tr. by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1896], at sacred-texts.com

Rg Veda was composed around 1700–1100 BC.


HYMN L. Sūrya (Sun).

1 HIS bright rays bear him up aloft, the God who knoweth all that lives, Sūrya, that all may look on him.
2 The constellations pass away, like thieves, together with their beams, before the all-beholding Sun.
3 His herald rays are seen afar refulgent o’er the world of men, like flames of fire that burn and blaze.
4 Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Sūrya, maker of the light, illuming all the radiant realm.
5 Thou goest to the hosts of Gods, thou comest hither to mankind, hither all light to be beheld.
6 With that same eye of thine wherewith thou lookest brilliant Varua, upon the busy race of men,
7 Traversing sky and wide mid-air, thou metest with thy beams our days, Sun, seeing all things that have birth.
8 Seven Bay Steeds harnessed to thy car bear thee, O thou farseeing One, God, Sūrya, with the radiant hair.
9 Sūrya hath yoked the pure bright Seven, the daughters of the car; with these, His own dear team, he goeth forth.
10 Looking upon the loftier light above the darkness we have come To Sūrya, God among the Gods, the light that is most excellent.
11 Rising this day, O rich in friends, ascending to the loftier heaven, Sūrya remove my heart's disease, take from me this my yellow hue.
12 To parrots and to starlings let us give away my yellowness, Or this my yellowness let us transfer to Haritāla trees.
13 With all his conquering vigour this Āditya hath gone up on high, giving my foe into mine hand: let me not be my foeman's prey.

 

 

One should meditate on the Lord. He is the sage, the most ancient and the timeless, the ultimate inner controller of the soul, the one smaller than the smallest, the supporter, and the sustainer of this universe. He is of an inconceivable form, sun-colored and beyond darkness of this material world.

Brahma Sutra: Section 1 (1-8) reflects what Bhagavan says here in this verse.

1.2.1  सर्वत्र प्रसिद्धोपदेशात्

    sarvatra prasiddhopadeśāt

Sarvatra = everywhere;  Prasiddha = well known; upadesat = because of teaching.

According to sacred texts, I am well known and all-pervasive.

This Sutra refers to ChAndogya Upanishad III.14.  The text is as follows:

All this is Brahman, who is the beginning, the middle and the end. One should worship Him with tranquillity. Purpose makes a man. Worshipful Purpose stays with him on his departure from this world.  (Man is thought, word and deed, which determine his after-life and next life.) Brahman is mind; His body is life-breath; He is Light-form; He is Truth; His Atma is space; He contains all desires, all odors, and all tastes; He is all this--the world; He is without speech, concern, torment or pain.

This is Brahman talking: I remain in the heart, smaller than a grain of rice, a barley corn, a mustard seed, a grain of millet, and a kernel of the grain of millet. This is Myself in the heart, greater than (jyAyAs) than the earth, the atmosphere, the sky and all these worlds.

The individual soul says: I encompass all acts, all desires, all odors, all tastes, and all worlds without speech, care or concern; my self abides in the heart. That is Brahman, with whom I merge on leaving hence.

Thus said Sandilya, who pronounces that the individual soul and Brahman are one. SAndilya says beings and matter come from Brahman, by whom the beings live and into whom they repose. What happens in our next life depends on karma of this life.  The Great Soul (Atman) is immanent and transcendent.  The end of man's journey is merger with the Self.

There is no person who can describe the Lord better than the Lord Himself. He is as luminous and self-effulgent as the sun itself and transcends the darkness of this material world. Vishnu is sun-colored according to this verse. The sun, the moon, and the fire receive light from the Lord. The sun-color (Āditya varnam) connotes three aspects of the Lord: the physical light of the sun, the light of the individual soul (or jiva or monad or ātman), and the Light (Jyoti) of the Self or the Lord.

 

8.10:  At the time of departure, with the mind fixed (on the Lord) in devotion, by the strength of yoga, with his prāna fixed between the eyebrows, he attains to Purusam and Divyam.

 

Prāna is life and breath; Purusum is the Supreme Person; Divyam is divine. This particular moment in the life and times of a yogi is penultimate. He is in full control of himself and concentrates his attention and life-breath on the glabellar locus. According to the Kundalini yoga, the glabellar plane is the Ajna Chakra, which is the seat of the mind. The yogi who rises to this level of attainment resolves (burns) all previous prārabda karmas, receives Vijnāna or the intuitional wisdom and knowledge, and earns liberation in this life: This is jivan mukti (liberation while alive); and he becomes one with the divine. Such a person is Ramana Maharishi.    

  Glabella = Trikuuti = bone of the forehead or protuberance.

Go to Kundalini Power for details. Glabella = spot in the forehead between the eyebrows.

 

8.11:  I shall briefly explain to you the path, which the Veda Vidahs call Imperishable (Aksaram), desiring which the ascetics practice bramacharya. They enter Aksaram by freeing themselves from passion.

 

Veda Vidhas are those proficient in Vedas. Aksara is the imperishable word AUM.  Brahmacharya or celibacy is one of the angas, limbs, or steps that an ascetic has to climb, before he can be called an ascetic.

The angas are eight in all:

(1) Yama, Abstinence (Don’ts)

(2) Niyama, Restraint (Dos)

(3) Asana, Body Postures

(4) Prānayama, Breath Control

(5) Pratyahara, Abrogation of contact with sense objects

(6) Dharana, Concentration

(7) Dyana, meditation

(8) Samādhi, Union or Absorption  

8.12:  Controlling all the gates of the body, holding the mind in the heart, fixing the his own life-breath in the head, and established in yogic concentration, (continued)  

The body, a nine-gated city, has two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth and one excretory or evacuative and one generative organ. 

Prana or life-breath as the basis for the proper functioning of the senses is a manifestation of Brahman. Prana by itself is not a whole, as Brahman is a whole (PUrna) and as such is the Life of life (Pranasya Prana).  The bodily organs interact because Prana is the common denominator. The medium of interaction is the guna, which has three components: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva (quality of purity or goodness) has a steadying influence; Rajas is motion and passion; Tamas is darkness. Rajas and Tamas have to be suppressed for Sattva to take the upper hand and control the senses so that Prana and senses act in a medium of Sattva. Holding the mind in the heart is cognizing the Supreme Witness (the World Soul) in the heart or Anahata Chakra; fixing the life-breath in the head is channeling the Prana up the Susumna Nadi to the head above the Ajna Chakra; this is the migration of consciousness from wakeful state (jagrat) to Turiya Consciousness, which is the sine qua non of Yogic concentration.

 

8.13:  Anyone, who utters the monosyllable OM of (Sabda-) Brahman and leaves the body, remembering Me, attains the Supreme goal.

 

 

 

Sabda-Brahman is OM. Param Brahman is Supreme Brahman. AUM also represents the Hindu Holy Trinity, A: Brahma, U: Vishnu, and M: Siva. AUM knows neither fear nor death because of which men, gods, and asuras take refuge in it; they sing it sotto voce and have no fear of anything. In Sanskrit A and U combine to form O sound and M gives that resonance. OM is the syllable, the utterance of which helps a soul to penetrate Brahman proportionate to the degree of belief in it, detachment, abrogation of desires and contact with sense objects, and awareness. Its power diminishes with exegesis (critical evaluations). Upanishads (Mundaka 2.2.4) mention that OM is the bow, the jivātman is the arrow, and the Brahman is the target. (A bow must be strong and tensile in that the faith is strong, one has depth, and breadth in Vedic wisdom and life is lived by Sattva. One should sharpen the arrow with devotion; the mind is the tip of the arrow; the goal (target) is silence and stillness.) When the arrow hits the target, it becomes one with the target; the atman becomes one with Brahman when it merges with It.

 

 

Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) was great Advaitin who was also equally at ease with Persian, Arabic as well as Sanskrit literature. He happened to be in Lucknow in 1905 when Muslim Maulanas came to him to get enlightened on Hinduism and their own religion.

He had a dialog with them.

One of them asked about 'Om.'

 

 

8.14:  He, who remembers Me constantly lacking extraneous thoughts and is absorbed in Me constantly, O Partha, is a Yogin to whom I am easily accessible.  

 

His qualities are Jnana (Knowledge), Bala (strength, Tejas (splendor), Virya (Energy), Aisvarya (sovereignty, opulence), Saulabhya (Easy Accessibility), Sausilya (Gracious Condescension), Vatsalya (parental love), Krpa (Compassion), Audarya (Generosity), and Bandhuttva (Friendship). There is no God like Lord Krishna or Narāyana according to Alvars, for the above reasons:  

 

Note: Vatsalya is a two-way relationship between man and God. God can act like the tender loving cow (parent) towards its newborn by licking the calf clean (forgiveness of sins). Alternatively, the devotee can be the tender loving mother: Yasoda’s love for Baby Krishna. 

 

8.15:  The highly perfected great souls, after coming to Me, do not go back to rebirth, which is impermanent and an abode of miseries.  

 

 

 

From Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna

46. When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one; but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again; but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again.  

47. A grain of boiled paddy does not sprout again when sown. Only un boiled paddy sends forth the shoot. Similarly, when one dies after becoming a Siddha, a perfect man, he has not to be born again, but an Asiddha, an imperfect man, has to be born again and again until he becomes a Siddha.

 

 

 

8.16:  O Arjuna, from the abode of Brahma down, all worlds (beings) are subject to return (to rebirth), but for the one who comes to Me, rebirth does not exist, O Kaunteya.

 

 Here is a note of dissonance from the noted journalist Christopher Hitchens on reincarnation, hell, heaven....

It (Faith) would have to give up the idea of an eternal, unalterable authority figure who is judge, jury and executioner, against whom there could be no appeal and who wasn't finished with you even when you died.  Dec 2010

 

 

8.17:  They, who know that a Brahma’s day is one thousand Yugas and a Brahma’s night is one thousand Yugas, understand (the meaning of) day and night.  

 

  Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy

1. During every day of Brahma 14 manus rule. We (are) in the Vaivasvata manvantara which is in the second 50 years of Brahma. Approximately 71 caturyugams pass during every manvantara (manu's period). We are in the 28th caturyuga of vaivasvata manvantara. 2. We are in the day of brahma now. The first three worlds (bhU: bhuva: suva: ) get destroyed during the night of brahma . As we, who live in bhU:, we are alive in the day only. 3. Yes the countless avataras may get repeated in the same order or in any other order which Bhagavan thinks fit.

 Prof. Shastri: Śivapurāa, Book 1 page 43, Motilal Banarsidass publishers.

Yugas: Kta yuga ended with the destruction of the Haihayas by Rāma Jāmadagnya; Tretā Yuga began with Sagara  and ended with Rāma Dāśarathi's consecration at Ayodhyā and closed with Bhārata war; the Kali age began immediately after the passing away of the great heroes of the Bharata war, kṛṣṇa and Pādavas and with the changes in the political condition of Northern India that ensued. End.

Each Kalpa has a presiding deity.  Sadyojāta presides over Śvetalohita, Vāmadeva over Rakta, Tatpurua over Pitavasas, Aghora over Śiva, Īsāna over Viśva-rūpa. Footnote 2, Book Two Śivapurāa.

 

 A Nimesha of Krishna (blinking of eye of the duration of 0.4 seconds) is equal to a lifetime of Brahma, 311.04 Trillion earth-years.

One Brahma's day is one Kalpa made up of one thousand Yugas or periods. There are many Yugas. The period preceding a Yuga is called Sandhya and the period that follows it is Sandhyansa. Sandhya and Sandhynsa are of equal duration for a particular Yuga though they vary according to a particular Yuga. See Table.

One night of Brahma is one Kalpa made up of one thousand Yugas or periods. Therefore, there are two thousand Yugas in one Brahma's day and night. In earthly terms, these two thousand Yugas are 8,640,000,000 years long (8.64 billion earth-years). There are four Yugas:  Krta or Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvāpara Yuga and Kali Yuga. According to Srimad Bhagavatam Book three, Krita Yuga had the highest Dharma, which diminished progressively by a quarter in the following Yugas with proportional increase in Adharma. Dharma, compared to a cow, has four legs: Severe penance, Internal and external purity, Compassion and Truthfulness. As opposed to Dharma the four legs of Adharma are falsehood, violence, discontent, and discord.

Bhima, one of the Pandavas (5 brothers) was fathered by the Wind god Vayu. He set out  to bring his lovely queen and consort the flowers of paradise. He crossed mountains, rivers, forests in search of the flower always watched by the invisible Yakshas and Gandharvas of heaven. Bhima saw a very tall pole obstructing his path. Later he found out that it was the tail of his younger brother Hanuman (Hanumat, Anjaneya- born of Anjana and Vayu). Hanumat = heavy-jawed semi-divine being with a physiognomy of a monkey.  The west is of the opinion that Hanumat belongs to prognathous hero of forest tribes who helped the Aryans in their movement in South. His other name is Anjaneya, after his mother. In his encounter, Hanumat tells him of the Yugas he knew. Author's note: If Hanumat was a prognathous hero, how is it that we don't see his heavy-jawed descendants?

Table: The Four Yugas

Krita or Satya : Action and Truth. All goodness and virtue. Perfect age. One religion. Identification of the individual soul with the Great Universal Soul was the religion of this Yuga.

Rg Veda was one.

Dharma was dominant. No Varna system. Long life span, 100,000 yrs. Golden age- Krishna (Narayana) of white color. Narayana was the refuge of all and all sought refuge in Him. No sexual reproduction. A mere mental wish is the begetter. One Veda. No gods, no demons, no Yakshas, no Rakshasas, No Nagas. Men were not bought and sold. People were neither rich or poor. There was no labor; all desires came to fruition by the power of will.  The people were free from desires. There was no disease, , no hatred, no vanity, no sorrow, no fear. All people were blessed.

Treta : Age of three: Three parts goodness and one part evil. Also the third age from distally.

Life span, 10K yrs. Silver age– Krishna of red color. Knowledge more than Dharma is the working principle. Reproduction by palpation or touch.

Dvāpara: Two-sided.  2 parts of goodness, 2 parts evil. Rg Veda in four parts.  Truth declined. Desire, disease and catastrophes are the order of the day. Decadence and sin are prevalent.

Life span 1K yrs. World Soul, Krishna of yellow color. Human miseries abound. Varna system active. Sexual reproduction is the norm. Puranas are popular. One Veda became four Vedas.

Kali: Age of Discord. 1 part goodness, 3 parts evil.  Iron age.

Life span 100 yrs, Krishna of black color 25% Dharma and 75% Adharma. Perversion in all fields common.

 

It appears as if the skin color of Krishna was symptomatic of the deterioration of Dharma from Kreta to Treta to Dvapara to Kali Yuga.

In Kali age, the Dharma-cow has short stubby legs, only one-fourth its original length in Krita Yuga.  

Table: The Yugas   1 day of Divine Year is equal to 360 Years of Mortals.

All in Divine years. for Conversion to years of Mortals, multply by 360.

Yuga Sandhya (Pre) Yuga Sandhyansa (post) Total: Divine/Mortal
Krita 400 4000 400 4800 X360 = 1.728M
Treta 300 3000 300 3600 X 360 = 1.296M
Dwapara 200 2000 200 2400 X 360 = 864,000
Kali 100 1000 100 1200 X 360 = 432,000
All these Yugas as depicted below are in years of the Mortals

Yugas

Duration

Standards

Color

Disposition

Krita Yuga

1,728,000 Years

Age of Perfection

White

Over

Treta Yuga

1,296,000 Years

Age of Triad

Red

Over

Dvāpara Yuga

864,000 Years

Age of Doubt

Yellow

Over

Kali Yuga

432,000 years

Age of Vice

Black

Present

Maha Yuga (total)

4,320,000 years

AUM

AUM

AUM

Note:  AUM is space filler of empty boxes. 

 

Kali Yuga lasts for 432,000 years; this is a magical number in many cultures. Early settlers in Iceland in 8th and 9th centuries  established settlements 432,000 Roman feet apart in terms of cosmic relationship.--Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, Page 94.

Kali Yuga started at midnight of 02/18/3102 BC. These Yugas are cyclical in nature starting from Krita Yuga. Lord Krishna was on earth by the end of Dvāpara Yuga. As you notice in the table, Krita Yuga is the longest, four times longer than Kali Yuga, the Treta Yuga three times longer and the Dvāpara Yuga is only twice longer.  

Brahma's Life and Times

Brahma’s Life Span: 100 Brahma years (311.04 Trillion earth-years.)

Table: The Kalpas

Brahma Units

Kalpa Units

Man-years

One Day of Brahma

1

 4,320,000,000 (4.32 Billion)

Day and Night

2

8,640,000,000 (8.64 Billion)

1 Month

60

259,200,000,000 (259.2 Billion)

1 Year

720

3,110,400,000,000  (3.1104 Trillion)

100 Years

72,000

311,040,000,000,000 (311.04 Trillion)

 

Brahma's day precedes a night of equal duration. There are two thousand Yugas or periods in Brahma's one day and one night, which last (4.32 billion years X 2) 8.64 billion earth-years. His Kalpal one-day (4.32 billion years) consists of one thousand cycles of all four yugas and there are fourteen Manvantaras in one Brahma's day. Each Manvantara has its own Manu, Indra, and Rishis. Manvantara means period of Manu and there are 14 Manus in a Brahma’s day, 5040 Manus in one year and 504,000 Manus in one Brahma's lifetime of 100 Brahma years. Brahma and the attending Manus and Rishis come and go, but Maha Vishnu remains forever. To restate these figures in another way, each Manu has his term and power lasting for 71.42857 cycles through a set of four yugas (one Maha Yuga or Chatur Yuga) and in human terms for 306,720,000 years. 306.72 Million or 71.42857 cycles = 4.2941 Million (4.32 Million years a cycle of one Maha Yuga.) Each Manvantara has his own retinue of descendants, seven Rishis (Sapta Rishis), gods, Indra, and Ghandharvas. It is like change of administration in Washington, when a new president is sworn in. When the day's work comes to fruition, Brahma retires for the night with an infinitesimal amount of soporific called Tamas (One of the Gunas or modes). When he retires, the whole universe (the three worlds, Bhu, Bhuvah, and Swah) is absorbed into him. These worlds are consumed by fire emitted by the serpent God, Lord Sankarsana and the heat is intense and felt in the world above. It gets so hot in the upper Maharloka, the abode of Bhrgu Muni, that he moves to a higher and safer location namely Janaloka. The oceans swell and swallow all three worlds. In the midst of all this devastation, Lord Hari, surrounded and praised by Sri, Bhu, Rudra, Sanatkumara and others, the usual residents of Janaloka, reclines on His Snake-bed in the ocean with His eyes closed as if sleeping and unconcerned, but in reality in meditation and full awareness  (Yoga-Nidra = sleep meditation with full awareness, one of the Vishnu's Yoga māyās.)  

Brahma is past middle age now. That means Brahma had been around at least 155 trillion years. In Brahma's life, there are two halves. In the beginning of the first half, the Lord and the Vedas appeared in the first millennium of the Kalpa called Brahma Kalpa. The seventh Manu, Vaivasvata,  reigns over us now. The future 8th Manu is Savarani with the 8th Indra being Bali according to the promise made to Bali by Vishnu as Vamana, the Dwarf.

 

The name of next kalpa was Padma Kalpa because the lotus flower grew out of the navel reservoir of water of Bhagavan Vishnu. The first millennium of the second half goes by the name Sveta Varaha Kalpa, because the Lord incarnated as a White Hog or Boar, lifting the earth from the Rasatala, one of the netherworlds; Hiranyaksa hid the earth in the netherworld. He is now in the second half of his life and the duration of the two halves of life of Brahma (311.04 trillion years) is less than one nimesa (less than one second) for the beginningless Lord, the Soul of the Universe (Vishnu). Time resides in Vishnu and thus He is not under its sway.

When Brahma goes to sleep in the (Brahma's) night, all planetary systems below his abode, Brahmaloka, are inundated with water. He dreams about Maha Vishnu who directs Brahma to rejuvenate the universe again. A Nimesha of Krishna (blinking of eye of the duration of 0.4 seconds) is equal to a lifetime of Brahma.

 

 

8.18:  From Avyaktat, all living entities become manifest at the beginning of the day. At the arrival of night, they dissolve into the unmanifest.

 

Avyakta is totipotent, unmanifested and undifferentiated stem substance. Avyakta (of Brahma) is another name for Sūkshma sarīra of Brahma, which is the subtle body. Purusa is above it and the intermediate substances between avyakta and the manifested world are linear, cascading, branching and reproducible both forwards and backwards. The process, named Māyā, is enzymatic and transformational. Avyakta is Prakrti or matter. The primal matter or stem substance is Ākāsa or Ether. Prāna is the primal force or the all-purpose energy or enzyme in evolution of material (Ākāsa) from one substance to another substance or according to Sankya from the fine to the gross material and conversely. The following elements explain what is fine and what is gross: Oxygen and hydrogen, two invisible (fine elements) substances, combine to form invisible substance water vapor, which in turn condenses into water (gross substance), which in turn freezes into ice. In projection or evolution, the Ākāsa, the primal substance of the universe, becomes Prakāra in all its forms (Cit and Acit, both sentient and insentient forms). The universe of the insentient and the sentient is made of nine substances, such as earth, water, light, air, ether (Ākāsa), time, space, soul and mind. This Ākāsa is (sometimes called) undeveloped, imperishable (aksara) and māyā. Prāna energizes Akāsa for its evolution. Prāna is more than mere breath, it is life-breath, it is a force, and it is a phenomenon.

 

The days and nights of Brahma: Two kalpas, one in the beginning and one at the end of the first half of life of Brahma (Brahma and Padma kalpas), marked the first half of Brahma’s life. In Brahma kalpa, Lord Vishnu taught Brahma the Vedas, at which he became proficient; in the Padma kalpa, there sprang a lotus bearing all the worlds from the water-laden navel of Sri Hari (Vishnu). The beginning of Vārāha kalpa marked the latter half of Brahma’s life, when the Lord incarnated in the form of a boar. All these kalpas in the time frame of the Lord is a mere fraction of an eye blink, described here as Nimesah, a second. The Time resides in the Lord and has no control over Him. Brahma meets his maker at the end his life at the age of one hundred Brahma years. Each celestial being except for Lord Narāyana has a life span of 100 god-years, which in human terms is of a variable time for each being. For example, one god-year is equal to 360 earth-years. Please do not confuse god with Lord Vishnu, who is the God of gods and all living creatures. Therefore, a god lives for 36,000 earth-years or 100 god-years. Brahma is above the gods and the longest living being except for Lord Narāyana (Vishnu), and lives for 100 Brahma years equal to 311.04 Trillion earth-years. These 311.04 Trillion earth-years is a Nimesah or a second for Lord Narāyana, who is eternal and beyond Time. The second half of Brahma's life began on 02/18/3102 B.C at midnight. 

 

8.18: From Avyaktat, all living entities become manifest at the beginning of the day. At the arrival of night, they dissolve into the unmanifest.

 

8.19:  The host of beings, taking birth again and again dissolves against their will on the arrival of night O Partha and comes into being on arrival of day.

 

The day and night referred to here are those of Brahma; Brahma lives for one hundred Brahma years, after which Brahma dies and a new Brahma is born. The new Brahma creates Manu, gods, Sapta Rishis, asuras, human beings, animals, and the universe. At death, the soul going up the artery from the heart leaves the body from the top of the head, anterior fontanel area, or brahma-randhra, which is the point of first entry for the soul. (Anterior fontanel is the soft spot on the head of an infant.)

It is common knowledge the Greater and the lesser souls live in the spiritual heart, which is on the right chest, though the soul's point of entry and exit are on the crown. The soul climbs up the shaft of sun's rays and reaches the sun, when the rising soul is in the “know” and the one not in the “know” takes other paths and reenters another body by the anterior fontanel. Katha Upanishad 2.3.16 (That is the unfortunate soul with a load of karma and without a road map.)

The days and nights of Brahma: Read the commentary appended to Verse 18, Chapter 8

 

8.20:  But higher than this unmanifested nature, there is another unmanifested eternal being, which is beyond dissolution, when all beings perish.

 

Here Krishna refers to Avyakta as the one higher than the unmanifest namely purusa and Prakriti. Avyakta is unmanifest and imperishable. There is no day or night in Avyakta; it is eternal (sānātana).

 

8.21:  This Avyakta is Aksara. That is the highest and supreme state. Those who reach My Supreme abode never return to the life of birth and rebirth.

 

Krishna declares that His abode is beyond and higher than that of Brahmaloka and that of Purusa and prakriti. Krishna's abode is higher than Avyakta and Aksara, meaning the Unmanifested and the Imperishable. Once a devotee reaches Krishna's abode, there is no return to samsāra. By Bhakti, Prapatti, Saranāgati, and or yogas, a devotee, or a yogi can attain the abode of Krishna or Isvara or Narāyana. 

Spirit was the first entity; It is called a person. The unmanifest and the imperishable Avyakta come next. The atma Mahan, the Great Soul of the universe and the firstborn according to Sankara, comes next. Rg Veda equates Hiranyagarbha with the firstborn and the soul of the universe. Ramanuja considers Atma Mahan is the individual self and performer, which is pervaded by the Great Self. The Light (Purusa) acts on Prakriti, which comes out of Avyakta, and the universe unfolds. Ramanuja considers that Avyakta is inanimate Prakriti; superior to Avyakta there is an object of human interest. This Supreme (the most Superior object) is the Unmanifest and the Pure Knowledge called Pramanas. It means that nobody else knows this subject or knowledge, which is eternal, enduring, not subject to origination or annihilation. It is understood only vaguely.

 

8.22:  This Supreme, O Partha, can be gained by exclusive devotion to Me, in whom all beings exist, and by whom all this is pervaded.

 

Brahad-āranyakaUpanishad 2.5.15: This Self is the Lord of all beings, the king of all beings. The hub holds the spokes of the wheel; the hub of the Self likewise holds together all beings, all gods, all worlds, all breathing creatures, all these selves (jivatmas).

  

8.23:  O Best of Bharatas, I will disclose to you the time when the departing yogis do not return and the time when they do return.

Return means rebirth.

 

8.24:  The paths of the departing souls, who attain the Brahman because of Brahman knowledge, are the fire, the day, the bright half of the month and the six months of sun’s northern passage.

 

    Fire and smoke are the paths taken by the departing souls. A VairAgin, indifferent to worldly desires and objects, takes the path of Light in the fire, while others take the path of smoke in the fire.

 

Chāndyogya Upanishad 4.15.5 and 5.10.1-2

The knower of Brahman, at the time of departure, reaches the Brahman by following the paths of the deities presiding over the fire, the day, the bright fortnight of the waxing moon and the six months of sun’s northern passage. These deities take the soul in the fashion of a relay race handing over the soul to the deity in the next relay station. The light and time are the common factors; the deities of fire, day, bright fortnight, and six months of sun’s northern passage travel progressively longer distances, carrying the soul. Thus, the soul lands in the abode of Brahma for eventual attainment of the Supreme or returns to the earth in the embodied form. This is the “Path of Light” for the passage of souls which are endowed with Brahma knowledge (Brahma-Vido Jnāna), but not realized knowledge (Vijnāna), possessing which would have liberated them right here on earth. He, who practices austerities and goes on the path of deva-yāna, never takes a birth again in this world. He, who practices actions and ceremonies with expectation of a reward, goes on the path of pitr-yāna to the land of the ancestors and returns to the earth.

 

8.25:  Smoke, night, also the dark (half of the month), the six months of sun's southern passage are the paths the departing yogi takes, attains the lunar light, and returns (to earth after a sojourn). 

 

The paths of the departing souls, attached to desires are the smoke, the night, the dark fortnight, and the six months of sun’s southern passage, reach the light of the moon and return to earth after a sojourn.

Chāndyogya Upanishad 5.10.3

Again, the deities presiding over the smoke, the night, the dark fortnight, and the six months of sun’s southern passage take the departed soul who wallows in desires, in a relay fashion to the light of the moon, where he resides for a while, but returns to the earth. Once the positive karma from meritorious deeds is spent, he comes back to the earth in a mutable form that transforms from one substance to the next substance: space, air, smoke, moisture, cloud, rain, rice, barley, trees, and plants. The fate of soul trapped in the plant kingdom depends on the merit of the animal or person who eats or sows the vegetable matter. From this stage onwards, the soul takes residence in an animal or a person depending on the deeds.

Chādyogya Upanishad 5.10.8 says: He, who is wise (Vijnānam) takes the path of the gods and goes to the gods; he, who works with expectation of a reward, takes the path of the manes and returns to the earth as a person; he who does neither continues to ride the wheel of life as animals.

 

Ramakrishna Parmahamsa says the following with ref. to this and other verses.

Saying 10.  A Pandit: The Theosophists say that there are 'Mahatmas'. They also say that there are different planes and spheres like astral plane, Devayanic plane, solar sphere, lunar sphere etc., and that man's subtle body can go to all these places. They say many other such things. Sir, what is your opinion on Theosophy?

 

The Master: Bhakti alone is supreme--Bhakti or devotion to God. Do they care for Bhakti? If they do, that is well. It is well if they have God-realization for their aim and goal. But remember, to be engrossed in such trivial things as solar sphere, lunar sphere, astral sphere etc., is not genuine search after God. One has to do Sadhanas (spiritual practices) in order to get devotion to His lotus feet; one has to weep for Him with the intense longing of the heart. The mind should be gathered up from the different objects and concentrated exclusively on Him. He is not in the Vedas or Vedanta or in any scripture. Nothing will be achieved unless one's heart yearns for Him. One has to pray to Him with intense devotion, and practice Sadhanas. God cannot be realized so easily. Sadhanas are necessary.

8.26:  Light and darkness are the two eternal paths of this world. By (the former) one, he goes, not to return; by (the latter) the other, he returns (again). 

 

8.27:  A yogi, knowing these two paths, O Partha, is not deluded. Therefore, O Arjuna, at all times be steady in yoga.

 

8.28:  Knowing all this and going beyond the studies of Vedas, performance of sacrifices, tapas (austerities), and charities, which (collectively) result in fruits of merit, the yogi attains the Supreme eternal abode.

 

End BG Chapter Eight: Brahman the Imperishable

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