A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd
Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith
Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd
LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 2 )
Is there life after death ?
“ What will happen to me after death ? ”
Through Part ( 1 ) @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ we are laying out a consistent basis for reincarnation and life after death, as a matter of fact and not of speculation or mere belief and faith that the Death – Burial – ‘ Day Of Judgement ‘ process proposed in monotheistic religions demand, which billions of their followers are taught of and abide by, even though the thesis beggars belief, calling on huge imagination and immense leap of faith.
The reasoned “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can, involved positing three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. Every man can observe the living body is preserved by vitality that inert bodies lack. In human beings, with a developed nervous sytem and brain, the body is pervaded and acted upon by the mind, which is absolutely non-material and has a nature entirely other than that of the inert body.
It is so far established that the human being is not just the body with which one is identified during waking hours. That, the brain is not the mind, though certain phenomenal happenings in the mind and brain might be concurrent ; that, we derive all our experiences through and of the body but all experiential phenomena actually takes place and is perceived in the mind.
Humans are mental beings that have a vitality powered physical body to sense and act, experience and learn, think out and know. Even the Vitality behind all manner of cyclic effects is a programmed form of energy, essentially non-material, which enables life forms to digest, respire, recharge, purify and excrete. An effect of the divergent ways, nature and laws particular to matter and mind is evident in transaction analysis The three ego states – child, adult and parent – are nothing more than subconsciously qualified ego-individual-being pervading the mind-body complex while it is awake. The body follows the “thermodynamic direction” of time, from past to present, child to adult to parent… but the respective impressions in the mental space do not age or die, unless consciously dealt with, adequately and in certain completeness ending upon our self.
Mortality, death, loss of form and ultimate disappearance is natural to all bodies in material space, as their normal course. The regular phenomenal effect is inevitable and does not require the slightest human intervention, if we are willing to wait. But what is “Death ?” It is the cessation of life functions in the body… the loss of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, that carries our cognition faculty and our ability to think, know and recall. But is it “cessation” of “directed vitality” or its mere “separation” from the body that it had preserved and kept alive until then ?
We know material forms destruct in time. The forms in mental space however are not subject to the same norm, as can be observed in our direct experience : the knowledge we acquire consciously and clearly when we are younger keeps fresh forever if our brain, the doorway to mental space, is not damaged or atorphied; the subconscious impressions from past arise with the same effect in our present, whether auto-qualifying the unaware ego with urges and compulsions or raising those surreal dreams during which our subconsciously impressed memories are revealed.
We are now in a position to answer the questions :
Is there life after death ?
What will happen to me after death ?
The clear conclusion is that the material body will die and there would no “life” for it as it was before. It will degrade and breakdown into atoms and molecules that will find their use in forming other life or inert forms. But the “subtle” combination including the individual form departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The subtle being includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The immobilised and lost but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, inclusive of its potential organs and functions. Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material body, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul – and is reincarnated in another body in the material space in due course of time.
The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that oversees the transmigration. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age and another death !
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Next Part… a discussion on Moksha – liberation from the transmigration cycle.
To be continued …
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( 23 ) A Benediction At The Election Of A King – BOOK III : HYMN IV
O King ! Shine as the lord
The sole ruler of the people.
For, to thee has come the splendour of kingship
Let all regions of the heavens invite thee.
Here, invite the waiting men
And acknowledge each, as they bow before thee.
O King ! The clansmen have elected thee.
These five celestial regions have elected thee.
Rest thou on high, on top of this power supreme.
Thence, as a mightiest amongst us
Award us all with the treasure of your great deeds.
O King ! The kinsmen shall now invite thee
And thou shall go to meet them.
But with thee shall go Agni, as an active herald.
Let women have your good in their heart
And their sons be friendly, disposed well towards you.
Thou, O Mighty One, shalt receive tributes in abundance.
First the Asvins, Varuna and Mitra…
Then, the Universal Gods and Maruts shall call thee.
Thence, O Mighty One, direct thy thought
To spreading the wealth …
To giving the gifts of your treasure to us all.
Speed to us hither from the farthest distance.
Propitious unto thee be the Earth and Heaven.
Even so hath Varuna, the Lord, asserted…
He himself has called thee : Come thou hither.
Welcome to the tribes of men, O Indra !
O Indra, Varuna deems thou accordant.
To his own place has he called thee
Saying, “Let him adore the Gods.
“Let him guide the clansmen.”
The bounteous paths, O King, all in concert
Have given thee room and comfort
In sundry places and forms.
Let all of these call thee hither
In unison and harmony.
Live thy tenth decade here, O King.
Be a strong and kind ruler.
( 24 ) A Prayer For The New Year – BOOK III : HYMN X
The First Day has dawned.
May Yama be with the cow
With blessings for her to pour forth her milk.
May she be rich in milk
And provide for us through many a coming year.
… she, whom the gods accept with joy
… she, who is the Consort of the Year
Bring abundant happiness to us.
And look upon as representating the Year,
Vouchsafe us children to a long life
And bless us as to enhance our wealth.
Whose light first dawned upon us.
She moves, established in the midst of others.
Great powers and glories are contained within her.
A first-born bride, she conquers all
And bears us children, being her own.
As it made the annual oblation ready.
First Ashtakā ! may we be lords of riches
With able and cultured children
And good men about us.
And is lined with fat :
Accept our oblations, O Jātavedas !
Tame animals of varied form and colour —
May all the seven abide with me contented.
To nourish me and make me prosper.
May the favour of the Gods attend us.
Filled full, O Ladle, fly thou forth.
Completely filled fly back again.
Serving at every sacrifice
Bring food and energy to us.
Thou art its lord and consort.
Vouchsafe long lives for us children.
Bless us to enhance our wealth.
And Lords of the seasons.
Over the year, its parts and groups
Years, Half Years and Months…
I offer to the Lord of all existence
Beings and things.
To their several groups
To Months and Years.
To Dhātar, Vidhātar, Fortune
And to the Lord of all things existing.
We sacrifice and adore the Gods.
Wealthy in kine, may we retire
To rest in our modest homes.
Brought forth her offspring…
The great and glorious Indra.
With him, the Gods subdued their adversaries :
The Lord of Might became the Dasyus’ slayer.
Thou art the daughter of Prajāpati.
Satisfy thou our hearts’ desires.
Accept our sacrifice gladly.
( 25 ) A Blessing On Barley Crops – BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI
Spring high, O Barley
And become much
Through thine own magnificence.
Overflow all storage vessels.
Let the bolt from heaven forbear
From striking thee down.
We call upon the God who heareth us.
Raise thyself up, like heaven on high
And become immeasurable
As the sea.
Let thine out-turns be beyond measure.
Beyong measure be thy gathered heaps.
Exhaustless be the givers of thee
And exhaustless be those
Who eat of thee.
( 26 ) A Blessing On Cattle – BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI
O’ My Good Man !
Vayu collected these cattle for us.
Go thou, find their sustenance
And keep them in Tvashtar’s care :
May Indra bless and comfort them
And Rudra look after them
So that they would surely increase.
And make a pair by marks upon their ears.
This sign the Asvins have impressed :
Let these increase and multiply.
Even as mortal men have done
Do ye, that these may multiply in thousands.
O Asvins ! Now, pray, make the mark.
( 27 ) A Benediction On A Newly Built House – BOOK III : HYMN XII
Here, I fix my firm-set dwelling.
May it overflow with clarified butter.
May it stand in safety.
May we approach thee, O House
With all our people
Good men, free of charms
And dwell within thee.
Stand thou on firm foundation
Wealthy in horses
Rich in kine and gladness
Wealthy in nourishment
Milk and fat that rise up (in sacrifice)
For great felicity and good fortune.
With lofty roofs and full of clean corn.
Let the young calf and the little boy approach thee
And milch-kine stream homeward in the evening.
May Brihaspati, who knows, show the way
And may Indra protect it.
May the moist Maruts sprinkle it with clarified butter
And may King Bhaga make our corn farms laden with grain.
Thou sheltering, kindly Goddess was established by the Gods.
Clad in thy robe of grass, be thou friendly, kindly disposed
And give us wealth, with good men about us.
Strong and shining forth afar, keep off our foes.
O House ! Let not those who dwell within thee suffer.
Let us dwell within thee through a hundred autumns
With all our men and folks in the family.
The calves have come with all the beasts
To drink from this crock hither
Foaming with jars of curdled milk upturned in it.
And pour out the molten butter blent with nectar
Bedewing these thirsty beings with a draught of ambrosia.
May abundance itself guard this dwelling
And fulfill all our hopes and expectations.
That kills all cause of illness and disease
With Agni, the immortal one
Here I enter and make the house my own.
( 28 ) A Merchant’s Prayer For Success In His Business – BOOK III : HYMN XV
I stir and animate, Indra the merchant .
May he approach us and be our guide and leader.
Chasing ill will, wild beast and highway robber
May He who has the power
Give to me the riches I seek.
The paths that go between heaven and earth
May they all rejoice with me
Through these oblations I offer
Of milk and clarified butter
That I may be rich
And make profit by my purchase.
I offer butter and my longing
For strength and conquest.
And, with prayer for strength
I adore this holy hymn
To gain a hundred treasures.
We have trod this distant road.
Favour us in our effort to sell and barter.
Make our merchandise exchange deals profitable.
Accept the twin offerings in our libations
And grant that they be propitious.
Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.
May this wealth grow for me, not less.
O Agni, upon this sacrifice
Chase away those that hinder our profit !
Herein, with this libation
May Indra, Savitr and Soma
Prajāpati and Agni give me splendour.
Over our bodies, kine and lives.
As to a stabled horse.
Joying in food, O Agni
And in the growth of our riches
May we, thy servants, never suffer.
( 29 ) A Farmer’s Song And Prayer To Speed The Plough – BOOK III : HYMN XVII
Wise and devoted to the Gods
Skilful men fast bind the ropes to the plough
And lay the yokes on either side.
Sow the seeds in the furrow formed.
Virāj, vouchsafe us while we sense plenty with restraint !
Let the ripe grain come home with drawing of the sickle.
Traces on the oxen
Stilts on the ground hold it right and steady.
Shear out for me a cow, a sheep
Get a rapid driver the cart
And a blooming woman, plump and strong !
May Pūshan guard and cherish her.
May she, well stored with love
Yield lovingly for us
Through each succeeding year.
The men happily follow the oxen.
Suna and Sira ! Pleased with our sacrifice
Make the plants bring abundant produce to this man.
May the plough furrow happily.
Happily be the traces bound.
Happily may the driving – goad ply.
Bedew ye both this earth of ours
Auspicious Sitā, come thou near :
We venerate and worship thee
That thou mayst bless us and bestow prosperity
And bring to us abundant fruits for our efforts.
Let Sitā be bedewed with oil and honey.
Turn thou to us, O Sitā, with the wealth of milk
In vigour and strength
And pouring streams of clarified butter.
( 30 ) A Jealous Wife’s Incantation Against A Rival – BOOK III : HYMN XVIII
From out the earth I dig this Plant and Herb
Of most effectual power
Wherewith one quells the rival wife
And gains the husband for oneself.
Auspicious thou, with expanded leaves !
Drive thou the rival wife away
And make my husband only mine.
But dalliest not thou with this husband of mine.
Far into the most remote distance
We drive the rival wife away.
Aye, mightier than the mighty, indeed.
Let my rival be beneath me
Lower than the lowest dame !
And it is thou who art truly victorious.
And, as victory attends us both
We will subdue the emulating bed-mate.
With the conquering Plant
And laid the Mightiest One beneath thee.
As a cow hastens to her calf
And water on its way
So too will thy spirit speed to me,