A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … concluded
Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith
Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … concluded
LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 3 )
Is there life after death ?
“ What will happen to me after death ? ”
Liberation : The First Primordial Delusion
Through Part ( 1 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ and Part ( 2 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/journal-atharva-veda-part-iv/ we laid out the “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can. We posited three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The three Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. The Mental was more fundamental than the Material, and Causal more than the Mental.
Every man can observe the living body is preserved by something other than itself – Vitality, which inert and “dead” bodies lack. It is the non-material Vitality that keeps the material body organs operating, diverse health and vigour imparting processes going, and cognitive functions of the nervous system and the brain powered. In human beings, the nervous sytem and developed brain opens across a node into the Mental Space, to which all cognition and feelings are carried by the Vitality. These inputs or stimuli are perceived by the “agent,” the individual self conscious being, the “person” to whom the presentation comes to mean and affect. In reaction, emotions arise, the intensity of which depends upon the how much the input feeling or information means to the individual. Concurrent with the emotion, coursing on vitality in the very body, arises the desire and consequent will that may either prompt animal action, human restraint or rise into the deliberating zone of the mind.
This is what life is – in the mind; how its signs are – of vitality. It is an absolutely different universe from the material one about us in nature, purpose and laws. It is non-material, in Mental Space. Here, the individual living being has its own assigned domain, called the mind. The mind has three parts : Vital, Deliberative and Intellectual. The first is the grossest and most proximate to the brain – nerves node through which the Vitality courses. It is the part that first manifests with the creation of nerves. The Deliberative part is subtler, more free of the gross, that surfaces in the domain with the formation of the brain and becomes available to the individual. The third, the Intellectual part, opens in the presence of the fully developed brain.
Though life is not of the body, senses being outgoing and organs of action being of such value to survival, procreation and sensual gratification, and form being the localised identity to the rest of the universe we find ourselves in, human beings identify themselves with the body, concern themselves with the phenomena in material space, and readily, compulsorily, allow themselves to claimed by it. But, even so, we reserve our deepest bonding, closest and most fulfilling relationships with beings that have access to the mind and its capacities … because we are similarly endowed and it is that which makes us of one species. That we are the body is the first primordial delusion upon human beings.
Liberation : True Knowledge ( I )
This knowledge we perceive and validate within ourselves, of the Three Great Spaces in and of which the entire universe is held, is our own. The beholder of this truth is as differently empowered from how the materialist is as one looking at the entire panorama is from another viewing through a pinhole ! There is impermanence in the material world; objects are endlessly preserved its the mental space.
In continuity with our discovery, we observe that mortality or death is of the nature of loss of material form alone. The cessation of life functions in the body, of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, is “separation” of the tripartite Mind from the body, which its Vital part had preserved and kept alive until then. The “subtle” combination including the individual-ego-self departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The unit includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The lost, immobilised but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, along with its vital organs and functions, then potential.
Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material form, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul. The attenuated individual self hovers for the duration it takes for it to live through heavenly and hellish emotional consequences of its moral and immoral actions in life as it was, quite as mortals live through their own subconscious impressions in dream. After the “ Karma “ expose is over, the subtle self reincarnates with its morally laden conscience as another body in the material space.
This then is the nature of the Mental space : knowledge. All forms in it are non-material, whether of the individual being, which is but an ideated sense of separately existing self, or of impressed knowledge and empowerment. Its purpose is to preserve the individual self’s journey in truth, both in life and afterlife. It is the indelible realm where the laws of karma are operative and come to fruition, where the acquired learning, impressions and desires of the individual self are safeguarded, for it to take it forward from one opportune lifetime to another. The Mental Space is also the incorruptible school and authentic source of morals, the codes for mental and behavioural conduct essential to spiritual evolution and abiding happiness that humans are eternally advised to uphold in life.
In truth, the Mental universe of the individual self is more real, infinitely more real, than its material one. But the individual self forgets, on account of the mesmerising effects of its physical birth, its several identities in life, multiple opportunities to diverse experiences, and its attachments to objects and beings that please. Though no religion is the original source of codes to moral life, the few which originated in the East have institutionalised them in their belief and practice, and serve to remind men of their essence. Once in a while, a practitioner rises to that origin in the Mental Space and comes back shining in its truth to re-proclaim them in contemporary terms. I know of several in the land of my birth.
The individual self and the tripartite mind never dies of age. Its journey is without a beginning and continues endlessly through the transmigration from one body to another until, in one of its lifetime, it acquires enough memory and truth in its own regard to outgrow the subtle body. Its life then becomes his last; the mind form, its domain in the mental space, detaches from the self for all purposes except as necessary for the physical-spiritual momentum to come to its end upon death of the form. The individual self unifies with the Soul and transmigrates no more !
Liberation : True Knowledge ( 2 )
The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that looks over the individual self in life and oversees its karmic consequences and its transmigration in afterlife. 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, to another death !
The Soul is One, not many, as is claimed in common parlance in such terms as : my soul, his very soul, the soul of the man, etc. It is the I-witness-consciousness, free and pure, without the least karmic impression, pervading the Causal Space from which the manifestation of the material and mental universe proceeds, and to which all detached knowledge impressions aggregate. The same Soul reflects in each ideate impression of the individual self in the Mental Space and vests it with its own separate – I – consciousness.
The Soul witnesses the sense of separation in the individual selves with an immense wonder at its untruth, for it is forever filled with its own undifferentiated awareness of being infinite. Some call it God, a nomenclature I might agree with provided it excludes the “ Person ” superimposed on it. Except for the degree of Truth respective to each, the Soul is as much a phenomena of the Causal Space as the individual self is of Mental Space. There is no sense of agency or doership in the Soul. Witnessed in absolute wakefulness, the universe is its dream that instantly comes true.Bliss infinite is its only attribute.
It is not impossible for anybody to validate the truth of these matters of fact, but well nigh. For, it is impossible to be awake during deep sleep ! There are prescribed paths to travel the inner way consciously, laid out in Raja-Yoga. There is not much that can be said in this regard, hence.
Liberation : True Knowledge ( 3 )
One is lodged in the true nature of the Self, sans I or universe, when identity with even the Soul-I-consciousness is cut asunder… The Self is absorbed in itself. It is consciousness pure – unthinkable, indescribable. Or, not even that. There is no word for That.
* * *
( 31 ) A Song Of Harvest
BOOK III : HYMN XXIV
The plants of the earth are rich in milk
And rich in milk is this, my word,
So from that which is rich in milk
I fetch hither a thousandfold more.
I know Him who is rich in milk.
He has made our corn abundant.
The God whose name is Gatherer
Him we invoke
Who dwelleth in his house
And, who sacrifices not.
Let all the five races of mankind
All the five regions of heavens
Bring abundance hither
As the stream brings drift after it rains.
Open the well with a hundred streams
With a thousand streams that exhaust not.
So too, cause this corn of ours to be abundant
With a thousand streams.
Gather up, O Thou with a hundred hands !
Pour forth, O Thou with a thousand hands !
Bring hither abundance
To the corn that is ripe
And to those yet not prepared.
The Gandharvas claim three sheaves.
The lady of the house has four.
We touch thee with the sheaf
That is the most abundant of them all.
O Prajāpati ! Adding and Gathering
Are thy two attendants.
May they bring abundance hither
Abundant wealth that does not exhaust.
( 32 ) On The Means To Obtain Immunity
From Taxation In The Next World
BOOK III : HYMN XXIX
I bring to you freedom from hate
Concord and unanimity.
Love one another
As the cow loves the calf
That she has borne.
One-minded with his mother
Let the son be loyal to his sire.
Let the wife, calm and gentle
Speak words sweet as honey
To her man.
No brother hate his brother
No sister be unkind to sister.
Unanimous, with one intent
Speak ye the words in friendliness.
That you sever not
Nor ever bear hatred for each other
That spell we lay upon your home
A bond of union
For unanimity among the men.
Intelligent, submissive, rest united
Be friendly and kind
Bearing the yoke together.
Come, speaking sweetly
Each one to the other.
I make you of one intent
And of one mind.
Let what you drink be common
Share your food together
With one common bond
I bid you.
Serve Agni. Gather around him
Like the spokes about the chariot nave.
With binding charm, I unite you all.
Obeying one sole leader
Be of one mind.
Even as the Gods, who watch
And guard the ambrosia
May ye be of kind heart
At morn and eve.
( 33 ) A charm to restore virile power
BOOK IV : HYMN IV
Thee, O Plant, which the Gandharva dug up for Varuna
When his virility had decayed …
Thee we dig up, that causest strength.
Ushas (Aurora), Sûrya, (Sun), and this charm of mine;
The bull, Prajâpati (the Lord of creatures)
Shall arouse him with his lusty fire !
This herb shall make thee
So very full of lusty strength
That thou shalt, when thou art excited
Exhale heat, as a thing on fire does !
The fire of the plant
And the essence of the bull
Shall arouse him !
Do thou, O Indra, controller of all bodies
Place the lusty force of men
Into this person !
Thou, O Herb, art the first-born sap of the waters
And of the plants.
Thou, moreover, art the brother of Soma
And the lusty force of the antelope buck !
Now, O Agni, now…
O Savitr, now…
O Goddess Sarasvatî, now…
O Brahmanaspatî, do thou stiffen the penis
And render it as a bow !
I stiffen thy penis, as a bowstring upon the bow.
Embrace thou the women
As the antelope buck mounts the gazelle
With ever unfailing strength !
Bestow upon him, O Indra
The strength of the horse
Of the mule, the goat and the ram…
And the strength of the bull on top.
( 34 ) A Lover’s Sleep-Charm
Book IV : HYMN V
The Bull who hath a thousand horns
Who rises from the sea,
By him, the strong and mighty one
We lull the folk to rest and sleep.
Over the surface of the earth
There breathes no wind
There looks no eye.
Lull all the women
Lull the dogs to sleep…
With Indra as thy friend !
The woman sleeping in the court
Lying without, or stretched on beds
The matrons with their odorous sweets—
These, one and all, we lull to sleep.
Each moving thing have I secured
Have held the eye and held the breath.
Each limb and member have I seized
In the deep darkness of the night.
The man who sits, the man who walks
Whoever stands and clearly sees…
Of these, we close the eyes shut
Even as we close the house shut.
Let the father sleep.
Sleep, o dog.
Let the master of the house sleep.
Let all her kinsmen sleep.
Let all people who are around and about sleep.
With soporific charm, O Sleep
Lull thou all folks to slumber.
Let the rest sleep till break of day
I will remain awake till dawn
Like Indra, free from scathe and harm.
( 35 ) A Parting Traveller’s Address To The Houses Of His Village
BOOK VII : HYMN LX
I, prudent, bring power and a win a treasure for you
With amicable eye that strikes no terror.
I come to these houses with praise and kind thoughts :
Be not afraid of me.
Be glad and joyful.
Let these delightful houses that are rich in power
And are stores of milk
Replete with wealth and standing firm
Become aware of our approach.
These houses we invoke
Whereon the distant exile sets his thought
Wherein dwell many a friendly heart :
Let them be aware of our approach.
Thus I greet ye, of ample wealth
My friends, who enjoy delightful sweets
Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !
O ye Houses, fear us not !
Kind greetings to the cattle here
Kind greeting to the goats and sheep !
Then, of the food within our homes
Kind greetings to the pleasant drink !
Full of laughter and felicity
Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !
O ye Houses, fear us not !
Stay here, and come not after me :
Prosper in every form and shape.
With happy fortune will I come
Grow more abundant still
Through me !
( 36 ) Sacrificial Incantation
BOOK VII : HYMN XCVII
As we have elected thee, skilled Hotr
As our sacrifice proceeds today
Come to the firm seat, o most mighty !
Yea, come in firmness
And, knowing the sacrifice
Approach the Soma.
O Indra, the Lord of Bay !
With steeds, princes and with favour
With the portion of Brāhmans
That is destined for God
And with the goodwill of gods
Who merit worship.
O Agni ! O God !
Thou hast brought hither the willing gods
Whom thou now must send
To their own dwelling-place.
O ye, Vasus !
When ye have eaten
And have drunk the sweet juices
Endow this man with precious wealth.
O Gods, who, pleased with me
Have come to my libation !
We have made your seats of easy access.
Bear thou and bring hither your treasures
And, partaking of the rich warm beverage
Mount thou to the heaven.
Go to the sacrifice, O Lord of Sacrifice !
Go to its master !
Go thou to thy birthplace !
Go now, with Svāhā !
O Lord of the Rite !
This is the sacrifice for thee…
Libations charged with vigour
In the hymnal pit. Svāhā!
Vashat ! To paid and yet unpaid oblations.
Ye Gods, who know the way
Find and pursue it !
O Lord of the Mind !
Lay this sacrifice of ours in heaven
Among the Gods.
Svāhā in heaven !
Svāhā on earth !
Svāhā in the space in between !
All Hail ! I have paid offerings to the wind.
( 37 ) An Initiation …
BOOK VII : HYMN CV
Leaving humanity behind
Making the heavenly word thy choice
Address thyself to furthering and guiding the men
With all thy friends.
( 38 ) Benediction On A Warrior
BOOK VII : HYMN CXVIII
Thy vital parts I cover with thine armour :
May Lord Soma clothe thee with immortality !
May Varuna give thee what is more than ample !
And may the gods rejoice
In thy triumph !
* * * Concluded * * *