This hymn was spoken out by the five-year old Dhruva right in the presence of Lord Vishnu who not only appeared before him in recognition of his severe penance but also sparked him on to speak by touching his right cheek with His divine Conch, the Conch which overflows with Vedic wisdom. Sage Narada describes to Dhruv the prema swarupa of Sakshath Manmatha Manmatha in Srimad Bhagavatham:
“Prasadhabhi Mukham Shasvath, Prasanna vada nekshanam
Su nasam, Su bhruvam, Charu Kapolam, Sura Sudharam
Tarunam Ramaniyangam, arunoo stekshana adharam
Pranatha (a)shrayam runnam, Sharanyam karunar navam
Srivat sankam, Ganashyamam, Purusham Vanamalinam
Sanka Chakra Gadha Padmai, Abhi veptha Chattur Bhujam
Kiritinam, Kundalinam, Keyura valayan mitham
Kousthuba bharana grivam, pita kausheya vasasam
Kanchi galapa paryastham
Lasath kanchana nupuram (anklets),Padyam naka mani shrenyam
Darshaneeya thamam Shantham, mano nayana varjitham” – SB 4.8.45
The Lord appears after an intense penance from Dhruva. This stuti is an extraordinary piece of 12 verses occurring in the 4th skanda of Bhagavatam. Though the Bhagavatam contains many such hymns in praise of the Lord, this one has a unique place , because it was given out by the blessed little boy who first dared not speak a word but was immediately prompted from within by the Absolute Itself. In this sense this hymn is the pinnacle of praise. It may be supposed to be the authentic voice of the Lord Himself on Himself. Naturally it contains the cream of all vedic and vedantic teaching. Usually exponents of Bhagavatam do not find the time to go into this fully. They concentrate only on the first verse. We shall go through all of them verse by verse. Each verse is given in original, followed by a translation and a commentary.
y’ontaH praviSya, mama vAcaM imAm prasuptAM
anyAMSca hasta caraNa-SravaNa-tvagAdhIn
prANAn-namo bhagavate purushAya tubhyaM ||
My Lord, I make my prostrations to You. You are the One who has entered into me as my inner soul making me speak. My speech has been dormant all along. You are the One who makes my ears hear, my hands work, my feet walk, my tactile senses to feel, my life to vibrate – all by your Glory, my Lord, who wields Infinite Power.
The words ‘antaH praviSya‘ (= entered into) go back to the vedic source:
‘Having created the world, He entered it; Having entered it, He became the Truth as well as the opposite of it — tat sRshtvA| tad-evAnu-prAviSat|tad-anu-praviSya|saccatyaccA-bhavat ||
– TaittirIya Upanishad
Here the ‘entering’ has to be understood carefully. It is not as if the world was separate from Him and then He entered it. He is the world and so there is no question of ‘entering’ it. The ‘entering’ is an understatement due to paucity of words. This is where words fail, even for the Upanishads, to describe Him and His glories. The commentators emphasize the prefix ‘anu‘ in the word ‘anu-praviSya‘ in the Upanishad and say that this is an indication of the characteristic of Immanence (= antar-vyApti) of the Lord; it is not a physical ‘entering’ or a ‘becoming’ but it is a case of ‘being’. The Lord is within us ever from Creation. The very reason why He can never leave you (“thu akela nahi hai re manav”).
This whole universe has Him as its Life-spirit, says the Lord in the Gita (VII – 5):
jIva-bhUtAm mahA-bAho yayedam dhAryate jagat.
There are two facets of the Spiritual Energy, the Energy of the Lord. One is called the Supreme (parA-) and the other is not-so-supreme (aparA-). The former is the one which gives life to all beings. And the latter is what makes matter what it is. This latter is made up of the five elements plus Mind plus Intellect plus Ego – these constitute the eight-fold aparA- prakRti as it is technically called. prakRti, is simply the Cosmic Energy of the Lord. The parA-prakRti is what makes our life tick. The infinitesimal fragment of this parA-prakRti is the life in us. It is what makes this material body and mind have life, it is what rejuvenates our senses, it is what enlivens them, in short, without it there is no life. So Dhruva says: You are the One who are making me speak, you are the one who is making my eyes see, my mouth speak..
Otherwise; I did not know how and what to talk. You are the one who has given life (sanjIvayati) to my speech and made me give out this poem of praise. All this you are doing by your dhAma, i.e., your own Glory, Your Majesty and Your Will. To such a life-giving principle as you are, I make my prostrations.
And he uses the word namaH as anybody would do in this context. The word namaH in Sanskrit has an esoteric connotation. In simple terms it means ‘prostration’. But that is only in the translation, which is convenient, but not faithful. The combination of the syllables na and ma in the word has been interpreted by scholars to denote the self-negating expression na-ma-ma, which means, ‘not mine’. In fact it is even declared that there is a significance in the syllable ‘na’ preceding the syllable ‘ma’; Man is so so feeble-minded and so possessive that if he says ‘ma’ first, which signifies ‘mine’ he may not have the heart to say ‘na’ (signifying negation) later!
This expression of humility before the Lord has to be repeated infinite number of times so that it may get into our system and serve as a vAsanA, even in our next lives. More so, when one offers worship to the Almighty the word namaH gets added significance because it constantly reminds us that what we possess is not ours, it is all His. Very compassionately therefore, the Upanishad says:
If one worships Him with namaH, at his feet do desires prostrate.
taM nama ity-upAsIta |namyante’smai kAmAH || …..taittirIya-Upanishad.
– meaning, desires obey him who worships God with the word namaH. Usually it is the desires that control us and make us their slaves. If only we can find a way of desires listening to us and our discretion, half the battle is won. This is exactly where the Upanishads become most relevant to daily life. Worship Him with namaH, says the Upanishad — then you will not have to worry about your desires. Strategically, then, this is the Way!
ekas-tvameva bhagavan-nidam Atma-SaktyA
mAyAkhyayoru-guNayA mahad-AdyaSeshaM |
nAneva dArushu vibhAvasuvad-vibhAsi ||
You are just one, O Lord, but by your own Power called mAyA Sakti consisting of the three guNas, you have caused the mahat principle and all its successor phenomena. Having thus created and entered all the diverse forms (as their inner Light) you appear as many, even as fire appears as diverse in different logs of burning wood.
mAyA the projecting Power, is the first sprouting from the Lord. In the scientific world we think it is the big bang that was the first event in the cosmic evolution of things. You are not supposed to ask what went on before the big bang. In Vedanta mAyA is the origin of everything including the explicit manifestation of Time (= kAla). It is that which projects this universe and hides the Reality. The Reality is called sat. What we see or experience in the form of the universe is (relatively) unreal and so is called asat. The three constituents of mAyA, namely, the three guNas (satva, rajas, and tamas), make up the universe. So the substratum of these unreal objects is the Reality of the Absolute. The Lord through his mAyA has projected the universe and has ‘entered’ it. It is significant that the vedic word ‘anu-viSya’ itself is used here signifying the immanence of the Absolute . That is why the entire teaching of the philosophy boils down to the formula: What you see as the universe is, in reality, brahman, not the universe. Put in a more simplistic way this says: It is God that is everywhere. All religions say that God is everywhere. But the immanence theory of Hinduism says much more, namely, there is nothing but God anywhere. Even when we see the Sun shining, it is not the Sun that is the Agent for the shining, but it is the Almighty that is shining through the physical object called the Sun; (Gita 15 – 12):
yadAditya gataM tejo jagad-bhAsayate’khilam |
yac-candramasi yaccAgnau tatejo viddhi mAmakaM||
That Light which is residing in the Sun and which illumines the whole world, and that which is in the moon and in the fire-know that Light to be Mine
One of the standard mantras that is repeated when we wave the lighted Arti before the Lord at the end of ritual worship, says: (SvetASvatara-Upanishad: 6-14)
tameva bhAntam anubhAti sarvaM,tasya bhAsA sarvam-idam vibhAti
Everything owes its existence to His Existence; all that shines shines because of His Light.
The same idea is expressed in the thought that the Self is the Light within and it is because of that Light we see what we see and we feel what we feel. The illuminating analogy for this is a lamp placed within a covered basket (or pot) with several holes in it. The light from within the enclosure of the pot passes through the holes and lights up the outside. We are told by the scriptures that the physical universe that we see is the manifestation of the Light within us, namely the Self. For more on this thought process, go to the Hymn to the Guru, particularly the fourth verse in that hymn.
The Ultimate Supreme is the only one that gives the sanction for the expression of anything in the world, whether animate or inanimate. By itself the Supreme has no name or form. But since it is immanent in everything, it appears as the diverse objects of the universe. Fire shows itself in various forms, depending on the size and shape of the object which burns . So also the Lord appears now as this and now as that depending on what object we are looking at. cf. katha-Upanishad: (II – ii – 9):
agnir-yathaiko bhuvanaM pratishTo
rUpaM rUpaM prati-rUpo babhUva |
rUpam rUpaM prati-rUpo bahiSca ||
Just as fire, though one, having entered the world, assumes separate forms in respect of different shapes, similarly, the Self, inside all beings, though one, assumes a form in respect of each shape; and (yet) it is outside.
The Upanishads do not tire in giving analogies. For more analogies on how this Universe has brahman immanent in it, without brahman undergoing any changes by itself or in itself, go to Absolute As It is.
tvad-dattayA vayunayedam acashTa viSvam
supta-prabhuddha iva nAtha bhavat-prapannaH|
tasyApavargya-SaraNaM tava pAda-mUlaM
vismaryate kRta-vidA katham Arta-bandho||
O Lord, O friend of the distressed! You gave the vision to Lord Brahma who thereby visualised the universe (to be created by Him) as one who woke up from sleep. How can one forget your divine feet which is the sole refuge even for those who are liberated?
Before we proceed further we need to have a little introduction to the remaining verses. The whole hymn is in praise of brahman. But brahman is not describable in words, say the scriptures. In fact they describe it only in negatives, such as: it cannot be indicated, it cannot be related, it cannot be specified by categories, it cannot be delimited by characteristics, and so on. So how do you then glorify the brahman or describe it in a hymn? And here the Lord Himself is doing it through the mouth of Dhruva. So first brahman is described in terms of taTastha-lakshaNa, i.e. in terms of definitions which are only indicative, not specific. In other words, instead of directly pointing out to brahman which is a tall order, even for the vedas, one looks at the created universe and infers the Almighty behind. Thus verse Nos. 3 to 9 indicate brahman by dwelling on its creative power rather than its essential nature as It is. The svarUpa-lakshaNa, definition-as-it-is, is taken up in verses 10 and 11. It is interesting to note that, this little boy who is giving out this hymn, has put so much organization into this poem of praise, by separating the two ways in which brahman is traditionally referred. Rightly may we conisder the poem as an inspired one coming out of his mouth by the inspiration through the vedas which the divine Conch passed on to him.
It was You who gave the divine sight to the Creator Himself to recall how He did the Creation in the previous cycle. Let us note here that the Hindu theory of Creation and Dissolution is a phenomenon of recurring cycles. Once Creation starts it is Brahma’s day. When everything dissolves in the Infinite Absolute the day-time of Brahma is over and Brahma ‘sleeps’ as it were. The next morning there is another day of manifestation, that is, creation – which will end up in Brahma’s evening by another dissolution. Each such day of Brahma is called one kalpa. On the beginning of every such day, it is the Lord that has to ‘sanctify’ Brahma with the necessary spiritual power to create the universe.
For more on this go to Cosmic Day of Brahma
The words ‘tvad-dattayA’ are significant. It is the Lord that sanctioned the Creator Brahma the knowledge of the Vedas which are eternal. How does a new-born child get the knowledge and strategy to suck the milk out of the mother’s breast? It is a vAsanA from previous births, granted by the Lord. Maybe Science will one day isolate the gene that is responsible for the capability of the child to suck milk. (Probably, it has, already). But even then, is that the end of all questions? Why does that gene have that property? What or Who gave it that property? This kind of questioning will continue for ever in the scientific world. It is only an infinite regression. Ultimately after every finite stage of our knowledge we have to end up with the concept of ‘tvad-dattayA’ (given by You, Oh Lord). This is a sound illustration of the taTastha-lakshaNa that is being elaborated in these verses. We cannot see Him through ordinary perception but it is He that is the ultimate reservoir and source of everything that we think we know or do.
In mathematical terms we may describe the relation between Science with its understanding of the universe on the one hand and God the almighty on the other hand as follows in terms of the two lakshaNas, taTastha-lakshaNa and svarUpa-lakshaNa. The latter is given by the scriptures as satyam-jnAnam-anantam brahma ( See the Absolute As It Is). The former is only an approximation, given by scientific understanding of the universe as of a particular time. It is like summing up an infinite series in mathematics. In Mathematics we know that, for instance,
1 + 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/6 + 1/24 + 1/120 + 1/720 + … + 1/n! + … = e
This simply means that the infinite series on the left sums up to a number called ‘e’. This latter number is a very important but complicated number. Its value lies between 2 and 3. Its actual value has infinite number of decimal places. Now if you take 10 terms of the above series and actually add them up you will get a number approximately equal to e. If you take 100 terms and sum up again, you will get a better approximation to the same e. Thus the larger the number of terms of the series you take and add up, the better you get an approximation to e. But whatever number of terms you take, even if it be in millions you will never get the actual value of the number e. This is what is happening in the approximation of Science to Spiritual Reality. However forward Science may move in terms of understanding Reality, there will be questions at the end for which you will have to resort to the concept of ‘tvad-dattayA’!
nUnaM vimushTa-matayas-tava mAyayA te
ye tvAm bhavApyaya-vimokshaNam-anya-hetoH |
arcanti kalpaka-taruM kuNapopa-bhogyaM
icchanti yat-sparSajaM niraye’pi nRNAM ||
You are the One who can grant the release from birth and death. But if people worship you for other benefits and ask you, who are a wish-fulfilling tree, material pleasures to be experienced by the body, which is itself no better than a corpse, their intelligence has certainly been confounded by mAyA; because the material pleasures can be experienced even in hell.
We are all of crooked intelligence, says this verse. Why? The Lord is a wish-fulfilling tree who can give even the final release from births and deaths. Instead of asking this of the Lord we ask from him all sorts of mundane transitory realities. Remember, Dhruva came to the forest to do penance, to see the Lord and ask of Him how he can get onto the lap of his father – the ‘privilege’ denied to him by his step-mother. But now, the very Lord that is speaking through him has probably made him forget that mundane triviality.
The most significant word in this verse is bhavApyaya-vimokshaNaM, meaning ‘the release from birth (bhava) and death (apyaya)’. On the face of it this means the release from the transmigratory cycle. But it means more. It means release from three bondages which cause this transmigratory whirl. They are kartRtvaM (the feeling that I am the doer), bhoktRtvaM (the feeling that I am the experiencer) and ajnAnaM (Ignorance of the Reality). The first one is the series of thoughts like: I did this , therefore I am meritorious; I did that, therefore I am sinful. The second one is the series of thoughts like: I am happy; I am sorrowful. These two feelings of agency as the doer and agency as the experiencer are caused by a further root cause, namely Ignorance. This Ignorance is that of not knowing the Self as different from the body-mind-intellect. It superim poses the things that pertain to the body-mind-intellect on the Self behind. The Release that is talked about in the verse is the release from these three basic causes of samsAra.
The fact that we are of such crooked intelligence is itself due to the play of mAyA. Otherwise why did Man eat the apple in the Garden of Eden? The three bondages mentioned above constitute a vicious cycle that is exactly the doing of the mAyA. The latter is nothing but prakRti working in the presence of the Lord. cf. Gita: (9 – 10):
mayA-dhyaksheNs prakRtiH sUyate sa-carAcaraM
In My supervision and control, prakRti produces the moving and unmoving world.
yA nirvRtis-tanu-bhRtAM tava pAda-padma-
dhyAnAd-bhavajjana-kathASravaNena vA syAt|
sA brahmaNi sva-mahimanyapi nAtha mA bhUt
kiM tvantakAsi lulitAt-patatAM vimAnAt ||
What bliss one gains by meditating on your lotus feet or by listening to the stories of your devotees, that bliss is not obtainable even in the experience of brahman; what to speak of those who are catapulting down the abyss caused by the eternal sword of Time?
So far the Lord has been indicated by His taTastha-lakshaNa. Before we go to the svarUpa-lakshaNa in the 10th verse, the hymn swings the thought process to bhakti – which is the only path to understand Him as He is and what He is. cf. Gita (18- 55):
bhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti yAvAn-yaScAsmi tatvataH
By Devotion one understands Me as to What I am and Who I am.
This verse is one of the earliest authorities, in terms of the cosmic chronology of events, for the concept of bhakti as the most ideal path to moksha. It extols bhakti over and above even the so-called experience of the Absolute State of enlightenment, denoted by the glorious name of brahma-anubhavaM. The Bliss that arises from that transcendental state is spoken of as the Infinite Bliss in all scriptures and by all great seers. Here Dhruva says even that pales into insignificance before the bliss that one enjoys in the three major activities of devotion, namely, Meditation of His form in the mind, Singing by the mouth in praise of His Glories, and Bowing by the body to Him in obeisance. cf. Vishnu sahsra-nAmaM – preliminary verses:
meditating, praising and bowing
The mind that attaches to God automatically liberates. The thesis here is that such a mind is already experience the transcendental experience of bliss, it need not wait for the so-called mukti.
bhaktiM muhuH pravahatAM tvayi me prasango
bhUyAd-ananta-mahatAM amalASayAnAM |
neshye bhavad-guNa-kathAmRta-pAna-mattaH ||
May my association be with those noble souls whose minds are pure and in whom bhakti is overflowing incessantly. By that very association I will easily cross dangerous and sorrowful ocean of samsAra, intoxicated as I will be with the nectar of the stories of Your Glory.
This sets up the tradition of sat-sangh, the association with noble souls. In all of Hindu religious literature (and there is no reason to suppose it is otherwise in other religious literature) the value of such association is never superseded by any other religious value. It is the only force which inexorably produces the attachment to the divine. The very strange and powerfully distracting (ulbaNam) abyss of samsAra can be crossed very easily (anjasA) by the spiritualising effect of sharing of the Lord’s stories and exploits with like-minded souls of devotion. Every one of their activities, consciously done or unconsciously, is an eloquent expression of the surge of divine love and proclaim it to the whole world. They are like the neem tree which purifies the very air we breathe. That is why Narada confidently says, (Narada-bhakti-sUtra No.68):
parasparaM lapamAnAH pAvayanti kulAni pRthVIMca ||
Conversing with one another with choking voice, tearful eyes,
and horripilation, they purify not only their families
but the land which gave birth to them.
te na smarantyatitarAM priyamISa martyaM
ye cAnvadas-suta-suhRd-gRha-vitta-dArAH |
Oh Padmanabha! They do not get involved in the memory of either their mortal body, or its necessary accessories as kith and kin, friend and foe, property, money and spouse; because they are already immersed in the association with noble souls whose minds are lost in the fragrance of Your divine feet.
This verse characterises divine love, also called Spiritual Love (see the entire chapter on The Art and Science of Spiritual Love starting from ‘The non-Absolutist School’). The finest example of this was that of the gopis to Lord Krishna. cf. Bhagavatam.10-30-44:
tan-manaskAs-tadAlApAH tad-viceShTAs-tadAtmikAH /
tadguNAn-eva gAyantyaH nAtmAgArANi sasmaruH ||
Their hearts given to Him, they talked of Him alone, they imitated His sportful activities,
they could not think of themselves as different from Him. Singing His glories all the time,
they could not think of their own homes.
The Gita praises this kind of spiritual Love as the Acme of bhakti . It refers to this as total involvement and complete commitment to the Divine, in Gita (5 – 17):
tadbuddhayas-tadAtmAnaH tannishTAs-tat-parAyaNAH |
gachanty-apunarAvRttiM jnAna-nirdhUta-kalmashAH ||
Intellect absorbed in That Absolute,
their Self being That Itself, established in That Self,
with That for their supreme Goal, they go whence
there is no return, their sins dispelled by knowledge.
It would be quite appropriate here to recall the classic instance from the Ramayana where Sita, left alone as Ravana’s captive in the Asoka grove, is counting days in the expectation that Her Lord would one day come and redeem her. This is how Hanuman who, having located her from his hiding place on the trees, describes her state of spiritual yearning for the One Spiritual absolute, Rama. (Valmiki Ramayana: 5 – 16-25):
naishA paSyati rAkshasyo nemAn pushpa-phala-drumAn |
ekastha-hRdayA nUnaM rAmam-evAnupaSyati ||
She does not see the rAkshasis
nor does she see these trees laden with flowers and fruits.
Her heart is centred on one single object (alone)
and she is undoubtedly seeing Rama and Rama alone all the time.
martyAdibhiH paricitaM sad-asad-viSeshaM |
rUpaM sthavishTaM aja te mahad-AdyanekaM
nAtaH paraM parama vedmi na yatra vAdaH ||
Oh Ultimate One! The Birthless One! I know only this magnificent material form of Yours which has causes like mahat and the like, which is full of gross and subtle elements and which is constituted by the world of animals, mountains, trees, birds, reptiles, gods, demons and humans. I do not know that which transcends all words, (that which is behind all these).
Dhruva comes back to the taTastha-lakshaNa but now refers to the Transcendence aspect of the Lord. Verses 1 and 2 emphasized the Immanence aspect, verse 3 started the taTastha -lakshaNa, verses 4 to 7 were overcome with the bhakti aspect which that taTastha-lakshaNa prompted and he now continues the taTastha-lakshaNa. And in recalling the transcendence aspect of the Lord he points to the dizzy heights of philosophy in the same way one points to the Transcendental Absolute by the indicative character of the taTastha-lakshaNa. He says in so many words; I see You in the universe but I don’t see You who are transcending the universe. In saying this he is echoing the sentiments expressed in the famous nAsadIya-sUkta of Rg-veda. We quote below from the corresponding portion of the yajur veda, where there is almost a repetition of the nAsadIya-sUkta:
ko addhA veda ka iha pravocat | kuta AjAtA kuta iyam visRshTiH ||
arvAg devA asya visarjane na| athA ko veda yata AbabhUva ||
iyam visRshTir-yata AbabhUva | yadi vAdadhe yadi vA na ||
yo asyA-dhyakshaH parame vyoman | so anga veda yadi vA na veda||
Who verily knows and who can declare it?
Whence it was born ,and whence this manifold creation sprang?
The lower gods who came later into being would not know.
Does the Creator, from whom everything came, know?
Does He know whether it was His will or not that formed it?
The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven,
He verily knows it — or perchance He knows not.
So Dhruva says: This entire universe, animate and inanimate, the gross as well as the subtle is pervaded by you, but You are said to transcend everything. You are said to be beyond words. Of the five elements, Earth, Water and fire can be visually seen – these constitute the sat; Air and Space cannot be visually seen – these constitute the asat. The entire universe is made up of the sat and the asat. But You are beyond both. Also sat represents the concrete effect, namely the Space and the other elements. And asat represents the subtle Cause behind, like the Unmanifest. You transcend both. Thus You are beyond Cause and Effect. You are not comprehensible by words. You cannot be delimited by finite expressions. Such a one as You are is beyond me. What I see is what I know.
Dhruva is only giving expression to the Rgvedic thought which has now become classical – namely, the relationship between the universe and God, that is, the question whether originally there was Existence (sat) or non-Existence (asat), is undecidable (anirvacanIyaM) because,
yukti-dRshTyA-tvanirvAcyaM nAsadAsIditi SruteH
nAsadAsIt vibhAtatvAt nosadAsIcca-bAdhanAt ||
By human logic it is undecidable. The nAsadIya sUkta also says so. Originally it could not have been non-existence, because now it exists; it could not have been Existence, because the universe came into being later and that means whatever that existed has changed.
kalpAnta etad-akhilaM jaTareNa gRhNan
Sete pumAn svadRg-ananta-sakhas-tad-anke
garbhe-dyumAn bhagavate praNato’smi tasmai||
I prostrate before the Lord, the Purusha, who is fixed in His own Self, who absorbs the entire universe at the end of the kalpa in His own stomach, who sleeps on the folds of AdiSesha, his friend, and in Whose navel rises the stem of the Golden Lotus from which Brahma came out.
The phenomenon of the Lord withdrawing everything unto Himself at the end of the kalpa and releasing them at the beginning of the next morning of Brahma is mentioned in all the Hindu scriptures. cf. Gita: 9 – 7:
sarva-bhUtAni kaunteya prakRtiM yAnti mAmikAM
kalpa-kshaye punastAni kalpAdau visRjAmy-ahaM||
All beings go into My prakRti at the end of a kalpa; I send them forth again at the beginning of the (next) kalpa.
(It is the qualities (= gunas) inherent in Prakrti, not as something separate but as the constitutents which make up the Prakrti, that gives matter its substance. The qualities are something like strands of the twisted rope of Prakriti. There are, as it were, two Prakritis, both emanating as the power of Brahman, the Absolute Reality. The Superior Prakriti (paraa-prakriti) contributes to the spark of the spiritual undercurrent vibrating in each living being.
The inferior Prakriti (aparaa-prakriti)is the Energy that gives rise to Matter. This is also called in the literature by its various names:
mAyA, because it deceptively hides the spirit behind matter and projects falsity;
pradhaana, the most fundamental, because under the will of Isvara, God, it produces the five elements and then the universe;
avyakta, the unmanifest, because it is not perceptible to the senses;
jada, the insentient;
avidya, cosmic ignorance;
kshara, the perishable, because it alternates between manifestation and non-manifestation; and kshetra, the field, because it is the base of all action.
Paraa-prakriti also called paraa-sakti, the supreme power of Brahman, also known as cit-sakthi, the power of cognition, or pure consciousness or pure spirit, is the source of all energy. It is the abstract form of Brahman to be known and realised by intuition. A tiny fragment of it appears as jiva, the individual soul, on the one side and isvara, God, on the other side.
Jiva is Matter in association with spirit
Isvara is spirit viewed in relation to Matter
Jiva is spirit under a material envelope
Isvara is Brahman conditioned by our intellect.
Jiva is under the constant spell of mAyA
Isvara is in complete control of mAyA or avidyaa.)
The words kAncana-loka-padma-garbe are significant. The Creator Brahma woke up in the stem of the golden lotus which sprang from the navel of the Lord. For this reason he is also called hiraNya-garbha (Golden Conception). As Hiranya-garbha He has a great charge, namely, the charge of the golden container representing the reservoir of all our vasanas. This is the one that brings forth our repeated births in the trans migratory cycle, so that we may exhaust our vAsanAs. But instead of exhausting them we add further to the reservoir. And naturally the true phase of Reality is hidden from us because of the opaqueness of the reservoir of our vAsanAs. The isa-Upansihad therefore contains almost as its last verse a prayer to the Sun-God, who represents this hiranya-garbha, to give us the vision to transcend our individuality brought on us by our vAsanAs.
(Cosmic Day of Brahma the Creator – Those people who know the day of Brahma, which is of duration Of a thousand (mahA-)yugas and the night
Which is also of a thousand (mahA-)yugas They know day and night –bhagavad-Gita, VIII – 17
Creation is just a manifestation of what was unmanifest before. sRSTi and samhAra, creation and dissolution, are only two events in a long cyclic succession of events. There is no beginning or end. This alternation between manifestation and non-manifestation is what appears as the passage of time. Manifestation is when the universe of names and forms appears and non-manifestation is when it disappears. The only Ultimate Reality is brahman. Even Brahma, the Creator (mark the distinction between this word in the masculine gender and the word brahman, in the neuter gender) is only a manifestation of brahman at one point of time. He is the womb from which the entire universe becomes manifest and He is the One into which the entire universe dissolves. Each period of this manifestation of this Universe is a day of Brahma. From one day of Brahma to another day, that is, from one period of manifestation to another such, many things survive in their latent forms. Among these are the vedas – it is in this sense that the vedas are eternal – and the complex of prints of individual minds with their store of impressions called vAsanAs. These survive the nights of Brahma, the period of non-manifestation. The lengths of these cosmic days and nights in this long cycle of events have been elaborately described in the scriptures. The units mentioned therein are fantastically large and a modern mind may be tempted to dismiss them as a concoction. But the consistency with which different scriptures written by different people at different times in the past reveal these magnitudes of the yugas, is remarkable.
As detailed in the bhAgavata purANa – as well as in various other purANas, though with slight variations – the eternal flow of Time goes through cyclical periods of manifestation of the universe and equivalent periods of non-manifestation. Each such period of manifestation (or non-manifestation) is called a kalpa of Brahma the Creator and is equivalent to 4.32 billion human years. This is subdivided into 14 manvantaras. Each manvantara has a manu ruling over the Earth and an indra ruling over the heavens. We are now in the seventh manvantara of this kalpa. The previous six manus are listed on the ensuing page. The present manvantara is called Vaivasvata manvantara because Vaivasvata Manu is the Lord of the Earth now. Each manvantara is divided into 71 mahA-yugas of 4,320,000 years each. We are in the 28th mahA-yuga of this manvantara.)
tvaM nitya-mukta-pariSuddha-vibuddha AtmA
kUtastha Adi-purusho bhagavAn-stryadhISaH|
drashTA sthitA-vadhimakho vyatirikta Asse ||
You are ever-liberated, perfectly pure, the Omniscient Self, the Immutable, the most Ancient Person, the One with all divine attributes, the Lord of the three worlds and guNas. You, though being the uninterrupted Witness, by your Cosmic Vision, of the state of intelligence and also the Lord of all sacrifices, are ever aloof from the jIva, the individual soul.
Now we come to the svarUpa-lakshaNa of the Lord. As explained in The Absolute As It Is, satyam jnAnaM anantaM is the definition of the Transcendental Absolute. Satyam ( Truth) is the same as sat (Absolute Existence). jnAnaM (Knowledge) and cit (Consciousness) are the same. anantaM (Infinite) and Ananda (Bliss) are the same.
These three facets are presented in EACH of the lines (lines 1, 2 and 4) of this 10th verse of Dhruva-stuti. Since the gAytrI itself is a presentation of these three facets of the Absolute in its three lines, this 10th verse is taken to represent the gAyatrI.
Yasmin virudha gathayo hyanisam pathanthi,
Vidhyadhayo vividha shakthaya anupoorvayath,
Thadruhaa viswa bhavameka manantha maadhyam,
Ananda mathra vikaramaham prapadhye||
You are the fine mixture of opposite qualities,
And in you the powers like knowledge ,
Appear in unbroken succession and you are,
The cause of this universe which is indivisible,
Without any end and without any beginning,
And which is only bliss and I take refuge in you.
Sathya seersho hi Bhagwan sthava Pada Padma,
Seesthadhaanu bhajatha purushartha moorthe,
Apyeva marya Bhagwan paripathi dheenaan,
Vaasreva vathsaka manugraham katharosmaan.
Oh God who is the personification of truth , the worshipping
Of your lotus like feet is the true blessing ,
Oh God who controls the duties and blessings of life,
Oh God , You look after the down trodden,
Like a cow nourishes its calf and bless them..