From The Upanishads

 

The first and the penultimate mantrs of the Ishopanishad, one of the oldest perhaps, at least 4000 years before present.

“”The value of the Upanishads, however, does not rest upon their antiquity, but upon how it connects us to things valuable in ourself : our origin, where we are not yet divorced from this whole that includes us. That is its all-important value for all times and people everywhere.”

Sounds and means so very contemporary even today … Here

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The Spiritual Content Of Vedas

English: Student learning Veda. Location: Nach...
Student learning Veda. Location: Nachiyar Kovil, Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu. http://parampara.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adapted from Dr Kenneth Chandler’s Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

What is Rig Veda and the Vedic literature ?

What is the Vedic tradition really about ?

It is as if we have been on an archeological dig on an ancient site in the Indus Valley and find a treasure room of vast extent, filled with books that are about an ancient science. As we decipher these ancient codes, we discover a body of knowledge more advanced than any science known to humanity today. Such is the excitement of the rediscovery of the Veda.

If the European scholars got the dates of the Vedic tradition and the invasion theory entirely wrong, neither did they understand anything of what was going on in the Vedic tradition. It takes direct experience to understand its transcendent revelations.

Veda means knowledge, the one structured within the inner silence of consciousness itself. It is knowledge unravelled by oneself when conscious of itself, of its own nature free of all physical-mental-intellectual terms. It exists on the reverse of how we are otherwise directed, away from ourself. The unbroken Vedic tradition yet holds the ancient, and now lost, knowledge of that conscious method of going within, like turning the sight away from objects in order to look at itself.

We too can experience the Veda deep within our own consciousness; if we do not, it because we are out of touch with the method of going within, of giving up our ‘individual’ occupation with differentiated consciousness of finite being and transiting over to our primordial, undifferentiated stillness and its infinite homogeneous depths. It is on the way that Vedic knowledge arises of its own accord in seer consciousness … of knowledge pure, of inclusive perspective to being in truth, and of human moral values at their source. With this experience, the seers know and declare that the Veda is eternal and safe forever in its transcendent realm.

The Veda is expression of the knowledge the seer passes by while transcending beyond the individual consciousness formed in gross and subtle receptacles available in the mind-body complex, or during the descent from that undifferentiated sublimity. Whilst cleansing the seer’s own mental and intellectual universe of all flaws and taints, the direct experience also retains the awareness of that oneness pervading all creation. It is not localised to individual awareness, as is confirmed by several seers contemporary, before and after; it is universal. Anyone else too can gain the same transcendental experience of the infinite, unbounded silence, and confirm the truth.

The infinite silence is not seen, as one sees an object separate from the self. It is what the seer becomes — the undifferentiated infinite. Since the Veda is structured in consciousness itself, which is not individual but universal and all-pervading, it exists within and is available to everyone. Every individual consciousness grows out of the vast ocean of universal consciousness, which is the Veda. By diving within our individual consciousness and beyond, to the infinite sea of universal consciousness, we can experience the self-interacting dynamics by which the world is created within the eternal sea of consciousness. This is to witness the mechanics of creation. Veda is this mechanics of creation.

The Vedic tradition grew out of a discovery of a way to go within consciousness and directly experience the Veda, which exists deep within it. It is only through this experience that there can be genuine knowledge of the Veda at all. It is for this reason that the seers laid out the method for everyone to go within and directly experience the silent expanse of consciousness. The method is as sacred as the Veda itself, for without it there would have been no way to verify and affirm the truth through unbroken tradition since antiquity. It has enabled humanity to access the silent, unconditioned, universal consciousness that underlies and pervades all manifest objects in the physical world.

The Vedic tradition therefore contrasts starkly with the monotheistic religions of the Book, principally Christianity and Islam. They offer no solid foundation – the method — for knowledge and understanding of their respective personal and personified God or Allah. Adherents of those religions are asked to keep faith, believe and pray; there is no tradition of exploring the fundamental inner silence of pure consciousness itself, that every human being is heir to. As a result, no one in those religions has the direct experience of that level of reality—the silent foundation of universal consciousness— which they write and speak of, exhort and preach about, but without the authority of personal evidence.

The Veda reveals the reality of consciousness through a constant stream of aligned expression, which was meant to be heard and repeated, contemplated and mediated upon, till the same essence of the revelation at source was imbibed and absorbed enough to yield its indescribable reality. The Vedic tradition carries knowledge of that spiritual method over time; amazingly, in fact, through six millennia or so. And Vedic civilisation was raised on that uniquely mystical experience, connecting the universal with the ephemeral !

The Rig Veda and the Vedic literature are a systematic expression of consciousness and the knowledge of consciousness. The Veda tells us something about our own consciousness, about our human potential to be in and to experience a universal field of consciousness that underlies all created things. The essential meaning of the Veda escaped the Western scholars. They failed to appreciate that, to people nurtured in Vedic tradition, the esoteric fulness signified in the Veda and eclectic means that seers have revealed through the ages are of immense practical import, far greater than any other method of knowledge.

Which is why the Veda is preserved as expression of deep knowledge and has survived over many thousands of years in virtually perfect condition, and that it holds the secret to unlocking new knowledge and a new approach to knowledge that will enhance civilisations everywhere more than any other discovery in the history of mankind.

Veda pathashala students doing sandhya vandana...

Story Of Vedic Civilisation

How Ancient Is The Vedic Tradition

Dr Kenneth Chandler

Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

Astronomical References in the Rig Veda and Other Evidence

Evidence from other sources known since the late nineteenth century also tends to confirm the great antiquity of the Vedic tradition. Certain Vedic texts, for example, refer to astronomical events that took place in ancient astronomical time. By calculating the astronomical dates of these events, we thus gain another source of evidence that can be used to place the Rig Veda in a calculable time-frame.

A German scholar and an Indian scholar simultaneously discovered in 1889 that the Vedic Brahmana texts describe the Pleiades coinciding with the spring equinox. Older texts describe the spring equinox as falling in the constellation Orion. From a calculation of the precision of the equinoxes, it has been shown that the spring equinox lay in Orion around 4,500 BC.

The German scholar, H. Jacobi, came to the conclusion that the Brahmanas are from a period around or older than 4,500 BC. Jacobi concludes that “the Rig Vedic period of culture lies anterior to the third pre-Christian millennium.”

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, using similar astronomical calculations, estimates the time of the Rig Veda at 6,000 BC.

More recently, Frawley has cited references in the Rig Veda to the winter solstice beginning in Aries. On this basis, he estimates that the antiquity of these verses of the Veda must go back at least to 6,500 BC. The dates Frawley gives for Vedic civilisation are :

Period 1. 6500-3100 BC, Pre-Harappan, early Rig Vedic

Period 2. 3100-1900 BC, Mature Harappan 3100-1900, period of the Four Vedas

Period 3. 1900-1000 BC, Late Harappan, late Vedic and Brahmana period.

Professor Dinesh Agrawal of Penn State University reviewed the evidence from a variety of sources and estimated the dates as follows:

Rig Vedic Age – 7000-4000 BC

End of Rig Vedic Age – 3 750 BC

End of Ramayana-Mahabharat Period – 3000 BC

Development of Saraswati-Indus Civilization – 3000-2200 BC

Decline of Indus and Saraswati Civilization – 2200-1900 BC

Period of chaos and migration – 2000-1500 BC

Period of evolution of syncretic Hindu culture – 1400-250 BC.

The Taittiriya Samhita (6.5.3) places the constellation Pleiades at the winter solstice, which correlates with astronomical events that took place in 8,500 BC at the earliest.

The Taittiriya Brahmana (3.1.2) refers to the Purvabhadrapada nakshatra as rising due east—an event that occurred no later than 10,000 BC, according to Dr. B.G. Siddharth of India’s Birla Science Institute. Since the Rig Veda is more ancient than the Brahmanas, this would put the Rig Veda before 10,000 BC.

Attempts to date the Rig Veda based on astronomical evidence have some merit, but the conclusions are hotly debated, and probably not entirely free of conjecture. Some contemporary scholars take them quite seriously as a method of dating the Rig Veda, but the evidence is inconclusive at present.

Evidence from Sthapatya Veda Architecture

Perhaps the most interesting evidence for the antiquity of the Vedic tradition comes from architectural remains of towns and cities of the ancient Indus-Saraswati civilisation. The Indus Valley Civilisation flourished, according to the most reliable current scientific estimates, between 2,600 and 1,900 BC—but there are cities, such as Mehrgarh, that date back to 6,500-7,000 BC. These dates are based on archeological field-work using standard methods that are commonly recognised in the scientific community today. Over 1600 settlements have been found in the vast Indus/Saraswati region that extended over 25,000 square miles.

The most well known cities of the Indus valley civilisation, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, were built of kiln-fired brick and laid out on an exact north-south axis. This means that the main streets of the city ran north-south, and the entrance of the homes and public buildings faced east. The cities were also built to the west of the rivers, so that they were on land that sloped east to the river.

These facts, which may seem trivial on first glance, turn out to be highly significant. The ancient architectural system of Sthapatya Veda prescribes detailed principles of construction of homes and cities. One of the main principles of Sthapatya Veda is that cities be laid out on an exact north-south grid, with all houses facing due east. Another is that the buildings be oriented to the east with a slope to the east and any body of water on the east. Most of the cities of the Saraswati and Indus valley followed these principles exactly.

These early cities were planned and constructed according to exact principles that align the microcosm of human dwelling to the larger cosmos. They applied laws of nature that are set out in Sthapatya Vedic architecture. When the principles were codified into a system is open to question, but since the building and city planning were done according to Sthapatya Vedic principles, it is reasonable to conclude that Sthapatya Veda was known and practiced during the ancient period of Indus-Saraswati valley civilisations. The system called Sthapatya Veda architecture may have preceded this period, or may have been codified later, but the cities were built according to Sthapatya Vedic architecture.

Since these cities were constructed as early as 6,500 to 7,000 BC, this would suggest that Sthapatya Veda may have been known as early as that. This gives another reason to put the origins of Rig Vedic tradition even before that time. This is another bit of evidence, which is not noted in previous literature, that may establish the great antiquity of the Rig Vedic tradition.

Archeological research has shown Indus Valley civilization was an outgrowth of an earlier agrarian civilisation. Richard H. Meadow of Harvard University has shown for instance a gradual shift from the hunting of game to the raising of sheep, goats, and cattle called the humped zebu, which were apparently domesticated in the Indus valley.

* * * The city of Mehrgarh, lying to the West of the Indus river near the Bolan Pass, between ancient India and Afghanistan, was first inhabited from 6,500 BC to 7,000 BC by a largely agrarian people who cultivated barley and cattle.

* * * The Rig Veda frequently mentions barley and milk cattle, and may have come from this agrarian period that was precursor to the Indus-Saraswati valley civilisation.

Yoga in the Ancient Indus Valley

There are still other reasons to think that the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro was home to a civilisation that knew the Vedic tradition. One artifact from Mohenjo-daro is a seal with a figure of a seated deity, in lotus posture. Mark Kenoyer describes this figure as “seated in a yogic posture.” Kenoyer characterises it as a deity with three faces, his feet in a yogic posture extending beyond the throne, with seven bangles on each arm, and a pipili plant adorning his head.

Here is further evidence that the Indus valley civilisation was not pre-Vedic. Rather than being overrun by “Indo-Europeans” who composed the Rig Veda, the Indus valley was apparently intimately linked to the Vedic tradition, and its kings practiced yoga. If the practice of yoga was known at the time of Indus valley civilisation, yoga must have been practiced in India before 1,900 when the Indus Valley settlements were withered by drought.

If the Indus valley civilisations practiced Sthapatya Veda architecture and Yoga, then the Vedic tradition was well established in India during the Indus valley civilisation which flourished, archeologists think, around 2,600 BC. The Indus Valley civilisation is thus either contemporaneous with the Vedic tradition, or the Vedic tradition was its predecessor; but in no case was the vast Indus Valley civilisation, extending over 2,500 square miles and 1,600 settlements, destroyed by outside invaders. The Indus-Saraswati civilisation may have been a successor to, or late remnant of, an earlier Vedic civilisation, which built their towns and cities on Sthapatya Vedic principles in the Indus valley and introduced yoga. It was the drying up of the Saraswati in around 1900 BC that ended Indus-Saraswati civilisation, not Aryan invaders.

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Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – IV

Truth in one’s knowledge

Love in one’s heart

Beauty in one’s eye

Leads to … Perspective …

to raising consciousness right up to the start of Big Bang

and witnessing time and space evolve in form and faculty

Values Orientation

Moral Strength

Right Action.

The Householder

What does our readiness to gain the mandate to change or transform mean, and involve ?

Since happiness is the very destination of our quest, we are duty-bound to orient ourselves individually to how it would best serve our own well-being and the common welfare.

Yet how do we proceed, what do we focus on ? Truth-realisation is fundamental to rise of long-scale wisdom, to avoiding that tread on which misery trails our good intentions.

The monotheistic religions have no concern with truth. What they seek is followership, the numbers in submission. Both Christianity and Islam abhor freedom of quest, without acceptance of their tenets that bar such curiosity in the first place, and definitely have no place for the challenging questions.

The Hindu has been fortunate : there is no regulator to pry into or question his individual quest. But the problem of diversity remains before the individual : what and which to pursue ?

In the Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu is highly eulogised and a secondary place is given to Lord Shiva. In the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva is immensely praised whilst Lord Vishnu is assigned a secondary status. In the Devi Bhagavatam, the Divine Mother is given prominence over Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. All this is done in order to create in the aspirant an intense and unswerving faith in his own favourite Deity. It seems to be declaring : there is nothing that is not absolute; pursue precisely what suits you. All Deities are one; they are different aspects of the same truth. It is simply absurd to believe that the anthropomorphic Shiva is inferior to Vishnu, or vice versa.

In the same manner, in Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna praises Karma Yoga in one place : “The Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action”—V.2. 

In another place, He praises Raja Yoga : “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action. Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!”—VI.46. 

In yet another place, Lord Krishna praises the path of Bhakti Yoga : “The highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within whom all beings dwell and by whom all this is pervaded!”—VIII.22. 

Again, He praises Jnana Yoga : “Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal”—VII.18.

But this embracing of diversity, primacy to individual nature and proclivity, becomes a cause for conflict to the linear, logical rationality of the thinking person. A beginner is confused when he comes across these seemingly contradictory verses. It is with some contemplation that we realise … Krishna is praising each path to the same Yoga in order to create interest in the aspirant in his own particular path, as it suits. The Gita is a book for the people of the world at large. It was not meant for Arjuna alone. Each Yoga is as efficacious as the other.

Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattva. The former is relatively a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but stepping stones to success.

Just as coloured dye stands out more clearly only when the original material is pure white, so also the instructions of a sage penetrate and settle down only in the hearts of aspirants whose minds are calm, who have no desire for enjoyments and whose impurities have been destroyed. For this reason an aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of keen discrimination, dispassion, control of the mind and senses, and aversion to worldly attractions, before he can practise the three-fold Sadhana of hearing the scriptures, reflecting upon them, and meditating upon their significance. Discipline and purification of the mind and the senses are prerequisites for aspirants on the path of Truth-realisation.

Even when the nature of Truth is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities would either disbelieve or misbelieve it, as was the case with Indra and Virochana. Therefore knowledge, as it is, arises only in him who has purified himself by austerity, either in this life or in a previous birth. The man waiting for his libido to crank up will do just that.

Devils can also quote scriptures, as most people in the West and inspired ones in the East are doing. Unwittingly, they are following the Virochana school. They are evil-doing, deluded and the vilest of men. They cannot understand that there is no truth without freedom and diversity. 

May Truth grant them a more subtle and purer intellect !

The highest unity is realised only upon embracing the diversity about us.


Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

THE SANATAN WAY

The world capitalises on our need to be happy in a variety of ways : by the economic order in which food is available to those who either have land and money for inputs to grow and harvest or have the money to buy it in the marketplace; it keeps billions on our planet hungry and deprived, and enslaved. There are regions where water is sold by owners of fresh water bodies and clean air to breathe can be had only in costly air-conditioned areas. Governments and oligarchs big and small buy up natural resources held untill then in common and, as “property owners,” do as they please untill the environment is too polluted and is no longer self-generating, leaving the “public” more in want of fish, firewood and animals, even air and water that was earlier consumable and freely available till then.

Then, there is the ubiquitous media and “urban” advancements – food, gadgets, civic amenities, security, transport, communication, entertainment, lifestyle – that get propagated to multiply people’s needs, create where there was not, which again ropes in a much larger population that perpetually feel disatisfied, constantly aspires to enter the set graded channels and end up either enslaving, being enslaved, or becoming mediates in between.

The apparent priviledges of the masters too is less real than it seems : they might have more than they need, but the needs multiply, with real risks to their wealth and income; that it all might disappear in a jiffy or diminish alarmingly for any number of causes, leaving them rather poor. If not enslaved by bigger cats in business, there would be robbers and killers on the prowl, or taxmen and politicians who may or may not be humoured unless the stakes are met on the high. Money itself begins to enslave the masters and dangerously too, like a man astride a tiger !

Apart from material causes, rather as perceived material causes, images or impressions in memory, or imagination, trigger the same persistent emotional distress – pain, want, anger or despair, nowhere thoughts, darkness in awareness and inadequacy of being. Every craving that issues of recall and takes us over, everytime we are lost in the maze of thought or are unable to extend it to light, we suffer the same smallness of the slave, of being a mere for-other distressed robot under remote control. Occasionally, some of us meet a guide or chance on our own the ability to hold the dissatisfaction in our very hand and summon the intuitive will to take the grapple on to the next level, where our purity of being fills us with manifold more moral strength and intellectual acuity required to wring the truth out of matters in our subconscious and those thrown up by out mental ground.

Few are fortunate and sagacious enough to remove themselves from this worldly game of being in the master-slave trap, of ensnaring and entrapping others into it. But it continues blatantly for the billions in every secular and religious walk of life; yes, every ‘faith’ plays by it, more or less. 

In the Sanatan way, its varnashrama society codifies the “householder” period of life during which the man is expected to fulfill two goals : acquire income and wealth and attain physical pleasures and sensuous joys. The period covers approximately 25 years, one-fourth of the total, after he has gone through the rigours of leading a celibate life and educating himself in a whole range of disciplines including dharma, which equips him with moral clarity, ethical norms, and a well-etched perspective of matters in truth and the ability to discriminate between right and wrong.

Unlike the contracted souls of bleak, colder climes in the West with fewer hands, less sunshine and deficient resources, which conditions tethered them to survival-induced barbary amongst themselves and compelled them to colonise faraway lands and its populations, the agriculturally rich energy-surplus tropical lands fostered far more expansive and embracing ways of life in the Indian subcontinent. The Sanatan way evolved with the refinement of the thread of thought from Vedic antiquity, its culmination in the Upanishad era and popularisation through the Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas and, above all, the Bhagavad Gita. 

Though there were codified norms laid out by various authorities for public behaviour and conduct in private, the evolution of both the community and the individual was more an integrated and inherited affair, with rules and values perspective even the unlettered were aware of. The elite and the laity grew into the Sanatan way without an elaborate enforcement bureaucracy or judicial vertical, and fell in step in accord with their nature and station. The community was responsible for the welfare of its people; and individuals for themselves, for each other and the community. 

A community of people that lives responsibly must have collective institutions and agreed processes to educate and skill its people in diverse arts and sciences. It must also value truth : as God to theists and as pure knowledge to atheists. The truth is self-evident to the man unified with himself, his day and his environment, his people and his time. How the man’s being expands with thought and action issuing from the unified self, and contracts of segregagtion or alienation, also yields his moral and ethical values. The book merely records them and makes it formal.

The Sanatan way, and the Hindu country, produces scriptures and saints. Untill history began with kings and monuments, and truth was no longer evident : it only remained in debates and arguments. People were no more responsible for their karma, for living out the consequences in their awareness in order to learn, know and remember, and transcend with their awakening. Instead, men and women came to be seized by concerns of wealth and power, slave and enslave !

Karma is the thread vibrating between our immortality and now, over the seen and unseen. It spans the five sheaths of our being across the three great spaces, in our life and death and beyond through umpteen iteration of forms gross, making or unmaking the subtle untill its unity with the causal and ultimate turning away for liberation absolute. Our preoccupation with the body, with material possessions and worldly station only distracts us from the primary task here and now : of attending to the karma pulsating in the unseen. The shrink is of no help … for he only takes his norm and references from the mundane.

Journal : Spirit In The Eye

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

 

Part V : INDIA (1924)

The motley figures of hell are being trampled down by the powerful feet of the White Guards. Red and green “guardians of the entrances,” many-armed and with horrible grins, are threatening the violators. In explosive gasps flare up the gold tongues of the primeval flame. The misty aureoles of lights are glowing. . . .

With cold respect or else with a clerical sense of the scientific, do we examine the Tibetan and Nepal banner-paintings in the British Museum, the Musée Guimet in Paris, or the Field Museum in Chicago. But in a completely different attitude do we ap­proach the same paintings on this site, and they speak to you quite differently. Every gesture of Buddha’s hand is of vital meaning for the local world. The good and evil entities with their endless symbols are transformed from ornaments into a living epos. The images are enfolded in a stirring harmony of tones. The finest of these are of ancient work although the new paintings are also at times excellent. 

Let us predict for these images a great future—just as twenty years ago the future importance of the old Russian ikons was predicted. Merited attention has been given to the Chinese and Japanese art. An elaborate literature has expressed this free art concisely. But after a study of classic Egypt, after the subtlety of Japan, after the romance of China and after the arabesque of the Persian and Mogul miniature, now appears a new object for study and admiration. 

The art of Central Asia is coming to the fore. In the fiery fantasy; in the dignity of the fine form; in the intense and complex gradation of tones is manifested this completely unique and striking art. But in its quiescent expres­sion this art responds to the mystery of the cradle of humanity. In itself it forms Asia, to which in time shall be directed inquiries and researches. Only, it is necessary to knock upon the doors of this beauty without threats, without weapons, without pillage. With full readiness must we gather the pearls of profound and anonymous achievements; without superficial scientific hypocrisy and without bribed treachery. 

To study the life of a nightingale by first killing it — is it not barbaric ? 

One remembers keenly some objects discovered by Kozloff in Kara-khoto in Mongolia. Especially does one recall the wondrous image of the woman’s head. If such a people lived in the silenced cities of the deserts — how far were these places from being a wilderness ! 

Wisely, wisely did the deserts succeed in guarding for pos­terity new treasures, and not only material treasures. . . . One must recall not only the swords of the Tartar in measur­ing the life of Central Asia. There are also the tents of all travelers and searchers. Even to the Khan’s camps were sum­moned the finest of artists. 

I remember how badly fared one young doctor who was sent to Urga in Mongolia for service. Poor soul, he knew not what and how to search. If the young generation could realize what treasures were prepared for it, and lie at the edge of the road — unlifted. Sometimes it is only a question of lifting up the treasures. 

A little shepherd boy found 120 pounds of gold in Scythian objects, because he was attracted by the glimmer of metal which sparkled on the slope of the hill, washed off by the rain. How many such sparks are glimmering ! But often our eyes are dulled by laziness. 

The blessed Maitreya is always represented crowned by a wreath, in a great image. In Tashi-Lunpo, the monastery of the Tashi-Lama, three years ago there was placed a gigantic image of Maitreya, bearer of the new age of universal Unity. This idea has been invoked with the new approaching era of Tibetan chronology.

During the service in the temples, smoking Tibetan tea is passed around. Therein is the idea of the grail in this filling of the vessels before the Blessed Image. One must never leave the vessel empty — this is contrary to the custom of the East. Then the gigantic trumpets are sounded, like the voices of storm and thunder, with their summons to the future. Backs adorned with their purple mantles are bent low, thinking of the future. And like a fiery field, under the image of the Dream of the World, one hundred and eight fires (108) are glimmering. 

In a special compartment are guarded the masks of the keepers. Is it possible that these frightful visages can symbolize the way of benevolence ? However, these are not symbols of benevolence but symbols of earthly elemental forces. For there is the heaven and the earth. Even the physical world of Tantrik teaching, which has been so degraded in modern understanding, must be conceived sub­limely. The teacher, Padma Sambhava, would not have pro­claimed only a physical teaching. 

I look upon an ancient painting of the Monastery Daling. Here are the acts of the teacher, Padma Sambhava. All his forces are represented in action. Here is the teacher as a black-hatted lama with Solomon’s Star upon his headdress, striking a dragon. Here is the teacher summoning the rain. Here he saves a drowning one; he charms small evil spirits; weaponless, he conquers beasts and by a magic weapon he smites a tiger, first covering his head with the sacred triangle. Here he makes harmless the serpents; here he conjures the stormy current; and he sends rain. Now he fearlessly converses with the gigantic mountain spirit. Here the teacher flies above all mountains. Now out of the shelter of the cave he hastens to comfort the world. And finally in the circle of a poor family, he prays for a be­nign sea voyage for the absent master of the house. No matter how clouded is his teaching now, its foundation stills gleams through. 

Or again, another ancient painting: “The Paradise of Padma Sambhava.” The teacher sits in the Temple surrounded by the Righteous Ones. The Temple stands upon a mountain separated from the earthly world by a blue river. Across the river are stretched white hatiks (scarfs) and upon them the self-denying voyagers are crossing to the temple. A clear picture of the illuminated ascent ! Of course, his commentators have besmirched even this manifestation. How encrusted with false grimace are all religions ! 

Of course, the teacher, Tsong-kha-pa, is still nearer. He rose beyond the confines of magic. He forbade the monks to have recourse to magic powers. His teaching — that of the Yellow Lamas — seems less spoiled. 

On New Year’s Eve, February 4, after sunset, the fires in the monasteries upon the hill dart up. And the ringing gongs and the far-away drums reverberate. … In the morning are held the dances.

India Travelogue From A Century Ago …

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part III : INDIA (1924)

The Tibetan tailor is making kaftans. He takes all measure­ments with his eye, but most astonishing is it that the kaftan comes out well-fitting. And all this is not done without care ! The quality of gold for the trimming, the color of the lining and the length—all this is thought out. The local homespun is very narrow and one is astonished how evenly they can smooth the many seams.

If we take the accredited historical data of the last century it is astonishing how definitely the folk-consciousness was freed from the obvious survivals of the middle ages. Those who defend such survivals should examine these historic paths and convince themselves and realize that what is occurring now is not acci­dental but under rational guidance and control. He who fails to recognize this rationality, cannot understand evolution.

In sudden support of fundamental Buddhism, the realist of realists, Huxley says, “No one but a superficial thinker rejects the teaching of reincarnation as nonsense. Like the teaching of evolution itself, reincarnation has its roots in the world of reality and is entitled to the same support commanded by every con­sideration which evolves from analogies.”

Two beautiful characterisations of Buddhism : “As a lion unafraid by noise. As a wind beyond being captured by a net. As a lotus leaf impervious to water. As a rhinoceros treading in solitude !” — “The study and manifestation of energy in all its forms. Energy of armament. Energy of application in action. Energy of dissatisfaction giving birth to the eternal striving which brings man into the cosmic rhythm.” So said Asanga.

Where, then, is the inactive pessimism ? Where is the philos­ophy of despair, as Buddhism is sometimes called by persons of small comprehension. How many books have been written under the false romanticism of the nineteenth century ? How many scientists, not versed in the languages, have fed their minds with these vague sour conclusions ? And now there has appeared again an image — Buddha, with a sword, with leonine daring, armed with all energies, within the universal structure, cosmic in striving.

“Watch the movement of the stars, as one who participates in them, and constantly consider the transmutation of one element into another, because such a process purifies one from the grime of earthly life.” So reflects Marcus Aurelius.

So also says an educated Hindu from out the Himalayas.

L. Horn writes : “With the acceptance of the teachings of evolu­tion, the old forms of thought everywhere are crumbling. New ideas arise in the place of outlived dogmas and we have before us the spectacle of a general intellectual movement in a direc­tion becoming ever more strange — parallel with eastern philos­ophy.

“The unheard-of speed and variety of the scientific progress current in the last fifty years cannot but call forth an equally unprecedented hastening of thought in the broad non-scientific circles of society. That the highest and most complete organisms develop out of the simplest organisms; that upon one physical basis of life stands the whole living world; that there cannot be traced a line which divides animal and vegetable kingdoms; that the difference between life and non-life is a difference in grada­tion and not substance — all this already has become commonplace in the new philosophy. After the recognition of physical evolu­tion it is not difficult to say that the acknowledgment of psychic evolution is only a question of time.”

The observation of the East astonishes and rejoices one. And not the obvious power of observation which leads to a dead stereotype; but observation, fine and silent in its substance. One remembers how the teacher asked the newly arriving pupil to describe a room, but the room was empty and in a vessel was swimming only a tiny fish. In three hours the pupil wrote three pages, but the teacher rejected him saying that about this one little fish he could have written all his life. In technical imita­tion is revealed the same sharp observation.

In the adaptation of the meter of a song, in the character of a call, in movements, you see an all-powerful culture. Somewhere the Hindus, en­veloped in their mantles, were compared to Roman senators. This is an inane comparison. Rather liken them to the philos­ophers of Greece, and still better, call them the creators of the Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, Mahabharata. For neither Rome nor Greece existed when India was flourishing. And the latest excavations begin to support this indubitable deduction.

In the Tao Te Ching are drawn the following subdivisions of the types of scientists : “Scientists of the highest class, on hear­ing about Tao, seriously bring their knowledge into life. Scien­tists of the middle grade, on hearing about Tao, sometimes observe it. And sometimes lose it again. The scientists of the lowest class on hearing about Tao, only laugh loudly at it.”

Lao Tze knew.

Hindus regard objects of art with fine understanding. From a Hindu, you naturally expect an interesting approach and un­usual remarks, and so it is. Therefore to show paintings to a Hindu is a real joy. How captivatingly they approach art ! Do not think that they are occupied only in its contemplation. You will be astonished by their remarks about tonality, about tech­nique, and about the expressiveness of the line. If the observer be long silent, do not think that he has become tired. On the contrary this is a good sign. It means he has entered into a mood, and one can expect from him especially interesting deduc­tions. Sometimes he will tell you a whole parable. And there will be nothing vulgar or crude in it. It is astonishing how transformed are the people of the East before the creations of art. Indeed it is more difficult for a European to enter into the current of creation and as a rule he is less able to synthesize his impression.

In the epic designs of India all can be coördinated. If in the crowd, your next neighbor should be a skeleton, pale with lep­rosy, you are not frightened. Next to you will lean a Sadhu, colored with blue stripes and with a head-dress made of cow dung. You are not surprised. A Fakir with toothless cobras will cheat you. You are smiling. The chariot of Juggernath crushes the crowd — you are not astonished. There is a procession of fearful Nagis of Rajputana with blades like curved fangs. You are calm.

And where are those for whose sake you have come to India ? They do not sit in the bazaars and they do not walk in processions. And you will not enter their dwellings without their consent. But do they really exist ? Are not leisurely authors writing about them only for the sake of being unique ? Yes, yes, they exist, and there exists their knowledge and their skill. And in this sharpening of human qualities is being exalted all human substance. And no leprosy will turn you away from India.

All that takes place at the metapsychical institute in Paris — the experiments of Nötzing and Richet in ectoplasm; the experi­ments of Baraduque in the photography of physical emanations, the works of Kotik in the exteriorisation of sensitiveness and the attempts of Beckhterev in thought – transmission at a distance — all this is familiar to India. Only, not as unbelievable novelties, but as laws long since known. They speak little on these themes, because of the dearth of scientifically enlightened fellow – conver­sationalists.

The ancient method of Hinduism and Buddhism is to open the doors to him who knocks, but not to call any one and not to coerce any one. But the quality of the knock also must be powerful. In the practical teaching of Buddhism, inde­pendence of consciousness is sharply emphasized, and as its consequence, an unconquerable forbearing and all-conquering patience. The greatest patience will win a victory. So let the ignorant deniers immerse themselves in the true East to learn and to absorb the power of containment.

Two characteristic episodes are related about the Tashi Lama. When he was in India, he was asked whether he possessed any psychic powers. The Tashi Lama silently smiled. In a short time, though closely surrounded by guards and officers, he sud­denly disappeared. All search was in vain. Finally, after a considerable period of time, the officers saw him calmly sitting in the same garden and around him were running, in fruitless search, the guards.

This incident reminds me of Gorki, who many years ago told me that he himself saw vivid images of Indian cities upon the blank metallic leaves of an album, which was shown to him once in Caucasia by a Hindu. With all his realism, Gorki absolutely affirms that he saw in vivid colors that which the Hindu pointed out to him. Greetings to Alexei Maximovitch !

Attraction by thought is astonishing. The desire was expressed to have an old Tibetan Buddha, but this is already difficult now. We spoke and thought among ourselves how to get it. In a few days came a lama and brought an excellent Buddha : “The lady wanted to have a Buddha and I am told to give the Buddha from my house altar. I cannot sell the sacred image — accept it as a gift.”

“But how did you know of our desire to have a Buddha ?”

“The White Tara came in a dream and told me to bring it to you.”

And so it happens.

Recently we read in the Statesman that the lowest castes of India begin willingly to accept Buddhism. Rabindranath Tagore, in a talk with Gandhi, spoke against castes. Out of the mouth of a Brahmin this avowal is significant. Many significant and beautiful signs.

Special attention must be given to the Puranas — therein are many most valuable indications : “When the sun and the moon, and Tishya and the planet Jupiter are in one mansion, then the Krita (Satya) age will begin.” So does the Vishnu Purana point out the age of Maitreya.

Lamas are constantly coming to us. They spread paintings on the lawn; and chantingly pointing with a little stick, they relate a whole epic. The vivid colors of the paintings merge with the natural colors of nature. The visual reactions have been valued since long ago. A nun comes. She sits at the threshold and throwing back her handsome head she chants her prayers. We can only distinguish “Tra shi sho !”

Altogether the ques­tion of language is very difficult. All these mountain dialects somewhat resemble Tibetan. But still the difference is very great and the number of dialects of the small tribes is also great. Finally from Lhasa comes Kung Kusho of Doring to salute the house of the Dalai Lama. The Kung (this is a title like a duke; remarkable is the coincidence of Conung, Kung, King) is an important old man with a wife and daughter, round of face like a Ukrainian; with numerous servants; on big black mules shod with silver are high saddles and many-colored horse blan­kets. On their foreheads they wear vivid red caps with the image of Chintamani. In 1912 the Kung was attacked by Chinese soldiers. They almost wounded him. They killed his secretary. This led to a revolt in Tibet. The Kung is astonished and rejoices at our Buddhist objects. We are breakfasting. We are making Tibetan dishes. We speak of the movement of Buddhism. He is a very ceremonious old man.

Interesting are the tales about the attacks of the cavalry of Kham and Golok. Wild riders do not need reins. Their horses, as in ancient narratives, take part in the battle with teeth and hoof. During battle, the riders take off their khalats up to the waist. Helmeted, with swords, lances and guns, this avalanche is borne onward. Sometimes they disappear under the stomachs of the horses. If all means of attack are exhausted the riders take stones from the ground and fight with screams resembling laughter. There is one sign which at once quiets this avalanche. Of course every tribe has its particularities in battle and by not knowing them one can weaken the best force. Tibetan women in songs, and in life sometimes, are not behind in manifesta­tions of courage. They throw hot water on the enemy; they meet the temporary conquerors with derision.

Near Ghum stands a high rock. It is said that on its peak is lying a significant prophecy. In each stupa are enclosed significant objects. It is wrong to think that the bookshelves dis­played in temples to some travelers comprise the entire book treasures of the monastery. Besides these official volumes of teachings everywhere in the secret recesses of the abbot there are manuscripts of unusual interest. One thing is dangerous. Often these hidden places are harmed by dampness, or mice, or are simply forgotten during some hasty evacuation. Often a lama will tell you : “I have written down the prophecies but I do not carry them with me. They are lying under a stone.” Then some unexpected event happens; the lama hastens to put his sack on his back and depart; and the invaluable manuscripts are lost.

Some idiomatic commands are characteristic : “To put on trousers” means to get ready for a march. Idiomatic terms often bring difficulties into negotiations. Once an ambassador spoke in very high terms about “the hair of Brahma.” Nobody understood him and the negotiations had to stop. However, he had nothing else in mind than the river Brahmaputra. Often the languages taught in universities do not help in the local places.

A Chinese book, “Wei Tsang T’u-Shih,” thus describes the Potala : “The mountain palaces are glowing in a purple sheen. The luster of the mountain peaks is equal unto emerald. Verily the beauty and perfection of all objects make this place incom­parable.”

We are reading of the builder of the Potala, the fifth Dalai Lama, named “Ruler of conjurations, eloquent, holy ocean of fearlessness.” It is he, who on becoming His Worthiness the Dalai Lama in 1642, built Potala, the red palace, Pho Brang dMarpo, on the red mountain Marpo ri. He also built the remarkable monasteries Mo-ru, Labrang Garmakhiya, and many others. He also erected on the rock the colossal relief of Buddha and the saints of Buddhism. During his rule Mongols entered Tibet the second time. Gruber, the Jesuit, dislikes very much this strong leader, although he finds that he was cautious in his methods, assiduous and devoted to art and knowledge.

Unusual is the end of this Dalai Lama. According to one version the Dalai Lama died in the eighties and his death was hidden for a few years in order to give opportunity for various political matters to be adjusted. According to another version the Dalai Lama voluntarily abandoned his rule and hid himself for several years in the very same seclusion in the Himalayas.

History is paralleled by the following ancient legend : “Every century the Arhats make an effort to enlighten the world. But until now not one of these efforts has been successful. Failure has followed failure. It is said that until the day when a lama will be born in a western body and appear as a spiritual conqueror for the destruction of the century-old ignorance, until then there will be little success in dissolving the snares of the West.”

The Chinese emperors lived according to the astronomical seasons of the year. For each season of the year there was a special colored garment. Each period of the year used to be spent in a special part of the palace.

The method of Buddhist teaching reminds one of the method of the Kabala, that of not imposing, but attracting, and pointing out the best way. They speak about a remarkable monastery, Mo-ru, and about the special learning of the lamas of that monas­tery. For the three summer months the lamas go away to the west for meditation.

During the “hearings,” the lamas often cover their heads with cloth. This recalls “biblical” ceremony. It recalls the statement of Damis, the pupil of Appolonius of Tyana, of how Appolonius, when he heard a “soft voice,” always wrapped himself com­pletely, from head to foot, in a long scarf of woolen texture. This scarf was kept only for this purpose. From altogether other times, the very same details reach us. Contemporaries were astonished how strangely Saint Germain sometimes “wrapped himself up.” Let us remember also the warm shawl of Blavatsky. Lamas carefully observe a certain condition of tempera­ture which is favorable to the induction of different manifes­tations.

Lady Lytton came to see the pictures. In the Lytton family splendid traditions remain from their celebrated grandfather Bulwer-Lytton. Then came Colonel Bailey. Then came the whole Everest Expedition. By the way, they persistently wanted to find out whether we did not ascend Everest. In the painting, “Burning of Darkness,”* they recognized the exact image of the glacier near Everest, and they did not understand how this characteristic view, seen only by them, could have come into the picture.

A page of the true East : “Again they will come with the ques­tion, ‘How shall one deal with obstacles ?’ One person is hin­dered by the family; one by a distasteful occupation; one by poverty; one by the attacks of the enemies. A good rider likes to show his skill on untrained horses and prefers obstacles to a smooth path. Every obstacle must be the birth of possibilities. When difficulties appear in the face of obstacles, they result precisely from fear. No matter in what attire a coward would garb himself we must find the page about fear.

Friends, so long as obstacles do not seem as the birth of possibility, so long do we not understand the teaching. Success lies in the enlarging of the consciousness. It is impossible to come near in the presence of fear. The ray of courage shall lead above the manifestations of obstacles, because now, when the world knows where to go—the seed of blood is growing. If the path is strewn by bones one can go courageously. If peoples speak in unknown languages— it means we can open the soul. If one has to hasten—it means that somewhere a new enemy is ready. Be blessed, obstacles, through you we grow.”

India, I know thy sorrows, but I shall remember thee with the same joyous tremor as the first flower on the spring meadow. From thy Brahmins we shall select the greatest who understood the Vedic wisdom. We shall select the Rajah who strove for the finding of the path of truth. We shall notice Vaishya and Shudra who have exalted their craft and labor for the upliftment of the world. A boiling kettle is the forge of India. The dagger of faith over a white goat. The phantom flame of a bonfire over a widow. Conjurations and sorcery.

Complicated are the folds of thy garments, India. Menacing are thy vestures blown by the whirlwind. And deadly burning are thy inclement rocks, India. But we know thy fragrant essences. India, we know the depths and finesse of thy thoughts. We know the great Aum, which leads to the Inexpressible Heights. We know thy great Guiding Spirit.

India, we know thy ancient wisdom ! Thy sacred scriptures in which is outlined the past, the present, the future. And we shall remember thee with the same tremor as the most precious first flower on the spring meadow.

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

VEDANTA : I

“Every drop of water would find its way to the ocean.”

I could have done without introducing Vedanta but not without acknowledging the source of the line of progression I embarked upon one day decades ago. There is nothing in life that would have prompted me to take to the reality without and within this inclusive, cosmic fulness. It peeps into man, into each manifest being inert and alive, right since it all was yet unformed and unexpressed. Religions present this simple immanence as the “other” to us and renders it fictional, as yet another something in the humdrum of diversity we are situated in, or someone above the crowded multiplicity we end up dealing with. It was Vedanta that showed to me the way to that enveloping infinetely transcendent immanence that itself projects and permeates this living, breathing, pulsating reality we are priviledged to embody, view and experience.

Vedanta called aloud to me, “It is there, here and everywhere.” And that, it was attainable through this being expressed as us, the I – handle in our psyche at its source, the self I was never without. I remember that resonance when its meaning reverberated within me, filling me with an assurance my spirit was starved of and a trust to authenticity and harmony that was then singularly absent. The call itself was the culmination of humanity’s progressive rise into the truth millennia ago. And as effectively did I, over a period of about 12 years, when I allowed myself to be drawn by its rarefied reach.

The truth perspective of Vedanta is outlined and detailed in the Aranyakas, which include the more familiar Upanishads, the body of thought meant for reclusive and retired forest dwellers given over entirely to spiritual pursuit. It is what the Vedas ultimately lead us up to, after the Samhitas and the Brahmanas exhaust the revelations and purifying rituals to go along with them. The Bhagwad Gita and Brahma Sutras are different treatment and presentation of the same body of truth exposed in the Upanishads, and are hence considered authoritative Vedanta texts : the Gita being more pleibian and the Sutras more scholarly in their respective structure, context and content. These works have spawned a series of commentaries and clarificatory texts over time, right upto modern times, either to refresh that pinnacle of profundity where there is no more subtlety to unravel or to offer perspectival interpretations to suit different natural orientations in human subjectivity – devotion and reverential oneness, friendly and empathetic unity, or the formless undifferentiated being-witness infinite.

Vedanta concerns itself with truths that are superceded, not negated, by ones of higher or more subtle order. In contrast, a whole body of scientific facts have validity only until they are displaced by discovery of more ‘factual’ ones of the same material order. Truths are more subjectively intimate perceptions occasioned by a holistic integration of our multi-layered experience. That dimensional direction towards our within is important in the context of truth. Science, on the other hand, must point outward and insist on objectivity involving rational reductions, physical instruments and measures, and peer group validation of its repeatability and falsifiability. String theory speculations are less “scientific” in comparision.

Too, Vedanta is not a philosophy, which is largely a body of thought, speculative in nature and scope. We have, in any case, not had a philosopher proper in our midst since a couple of centuries now, while humanity has chosen to lay more and more of its lot with science that, in turn, is increasingly focused on areas having application in commerce and technology, with a promise of return on investment. Historically, it does seem that the natural philosophies and principia of yore morphed into the starker, more hard core, scientific treatises of modern times. Today, the only notable ‘ philosophers ‘ we still find occasionally on the horizon are all men of science !

The degree of truth is measured in terms of unmanifest cosmic drives it signifies and the manifest effects it engenders. Its hierarchy orients in the inverse, from the expressed to the subtle, and corresponds to the extent of its real equivalence and conceptual validity. A truth valid over the longer scale is superior to one that holds true for mere minutes, a particular environment or just one species. In simplistic terms, the one which holds good over the entire time scale, the whole of space and all of being, is termed the Supreme Truth.

Whilst Vedanta mentions truths of various kinds in passing, it lays at the very outset its primary focus : the Supreme Truth, its nature and facts, its meaning to man, especially the means and ways for an individual to realise and attain it. It would be clarifying to remember that the truth spoken of in the context of Vedanta is not the opposite of ‘ lie.’ A lie is a dream-like human construct, a creative representation of truth, a fact of the moment that gets contradicted in time. Conversely all truths, other than the Supreme, are illusory in comparison. Higher the truth, the more inclusive it is; and everything it includes are its expression, even if they are in apparent conflict with each other.

Truth is existence and the Supreme Truth is existence infinite. Humans sense the consciousness in their own very existence, and universally in all living and semi-living beings. The same consciousness is sensed or observed to configure itself to different forms of knowledge, identities, ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings, organs and bodies. The difference among these forms lies in their capacity to reflect upon itself and animate the body with their will. In other words, the ‘formed’ knowledge could be fixed or programmed, instinctual but aware, or reflective and with a measure of control over its adjuncts, depending upon the intellectual and mental-vital endowment of the being. Besides, it is sensed that every form of being, animate and inanimate, comes to be on account of convergence of several pre-existing inputs and much energised cooperation at very specific actuated processes respective to manifestation of each form of being. The science we glean of it is the knowledge that pre-exists its discovery.

Vedic ancients hence appended their understanding of the Supreme Truth and described it as ” existence – consciousness – infinite ” or ” existence – knowledge – infinite.” They address the more universal and particular forms of beings anthropologically, but never without the sense of the infinite behind them. Further, in the phenomenal realm, a universal desire and pursuit for happiness, that is, for freedom from need, pain and want is seen to characterise all animals, including man. The same desire was projected and is now proven in plants All human motives, drives and actions are aimed at having happiness in some form or another – satisfaction, pleasure, joy, delight, fulfillment, contentment or peace. The descriptor for the Supreme Truth was thus modified to include this manifest aspect innate in existence; hence : Existence – Consciousness – Bliss – Infinite.

Vedanta suggests that whilst phenomenal truths, finite in their extention, having qualities but limited validity or lifetime, can be observed, studied and contemplated upon objectively and known, obtained or attained, the Supreme Truth is not an object accessible to our senses and mind. If it helps, we may go back to the facts at the origin : one, all truths are superceded in time; and, two, the Supreme Truth alone remains beyond the limits of form and space, and is transcendent of the of time and its effects. In other words, if we were to negate all forms in our vision, all emotions in our experience, all thoughts in our mind, all finite knowledge in our intellect including that of our own self… our own very consciousness would be subsumed in the Supreme Truth, since that alone is not superceded.

Traditions since antiquity admit of all manner of ways of ” uniting ” with the Supreme Truth. Very broadly, it spells the perspective to human needs, goals and endeavour within which such an exercise could be pursued : ethics and moral strength, livelihood and material abundance, sexual and sensory fulfillment, and liberation from all past impressions, present desires and future wants… which “liberation” subsumes in union with the Supreme Truth, the summum bonum. It allows for exceptions from the order or hierarchy of the nature of purposeful exertion, depending upon one’s moral excellence, freedom from sensory desire and focused drive to wipe the inner universe clean in order to maximise conditions for ultimate subsumption.

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part V

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … concluded

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Part I @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/journal-atharva-veda-part-i-29-2/

Part II @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/journal-atharva-veda-part-ii/

Part III @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/

Part IV @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/journal-atharva-veda-part-iv/

 

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 Praj
āpati ! 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 spell through which gods bade

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.

 
Sleep, Mother.

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 refreshment, full of charms

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 !

Connect us with kine, with spirits

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 * * *

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part IV

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Part I @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/journal-atharva-veda-part-i-29-2/

Part II @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/journal-atharva-veda-part-ii/

Part III @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/

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 !

* * *

Next Part… a discussion on Moksha – liberation from the transmigration cycle.

To be continued …

* * *

( 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.


May the Night who approaches as a cow

she, whom the gods accept with joy

she, who is the Consort of the Year

Bring abundant happiness to us.


Thou, O Night, whom we revere

And look upon as representating the Year,
Vouchsafe us children to a long life

And bless us as to enhance our wealth.


This Night is the same

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.


Loud was the wooden pass-gear’s ring and rattle

As it made the annual oblation ready.
First Ashtak
ā ! may we be lords of riches

With able and cultured children
And good men about us.


The shrine of Il
ā flows with oil

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.


Come thou, O Night !

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.


This Year hath come to us, O Ek
āshtakā!

Thou art its lord and consort.
Vouchsafe long lives for us children.

Bless us to enhance our wealth.


I worship the Seasons

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.


I offer to the Seasons

To their several groups

To Months and Years.
To Dh
ātar, Vidhātar, Fortune

And to the Lord of all things existing.


With clarified butter and libation

We sacrifice and adore the Gods.
Wealthy in kine, may we retire

To rest in our modest homes.


Ek
āshtakā, burning with zealous fervour

Brought forth her offspring…

The great and glorious Indra.
With him, the Gods subdued their adversaries :

The Lord of Might became the Dasyus’ slayer.


O Mother of Indra and Soma !

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.


As we invite thee, O Barley

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.


Take thou the iron axe

And make a pair by marks upon their ears.
This sign the Asvins have impressed :

Let these increase and multiply.


Even as Gods and Asuras

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.


Even here, O House

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.


Thou, O House, art a spacious store

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 Savitr and V
āyu establish this House.

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.


O Queen of the home ! In the beginning

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.


Thou, O Pole, mount the pillar in due order.

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.


To this House, the tender boy has come.

The calves have come with all the beasts
To drink from this crock hither

Foaming with jars of curdled milk upturned in it.


Bring hither, O Dame, the pitcher full

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.


H
ere, I bring Water that is free from all impurities

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 many paths that Gods are wont to travel

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.


With fuel for thou. O Agni !

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.


O Agni, pardon our repeat submission.

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.

Make our ventures prosperous and enhance our income.
.
Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

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 !


Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.

Herein, with this libation

May Indra, Savitr and Soma

Prajāpati and Agni give me splendour.


We sing thy praise, O Hotr-priest Vaisv
ānara, with reverence !
Keep thou watch over our children

Over our bodies, kine and lives.


Still to thee, O J
ātavedas, ever will we bring oblation

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.


Lay on the yokes and fasten well the traces :

Sow the seeds in the furrow formed.
Vir
āj, vouchsafe us while we sense plenty with restraint !
Let the ripe grain come home with drawing of the sickle.


The sharp share of the plough bringeth bliss

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 Indra press the furrow down

May Pūshan guard and cherish her.
May she, well stored with love

Yield lovingly for us

Through each succeeding year.


Happily let the share turn up the soil

The men happily follow the oxen.
Suna and Sira ! Pleased with our sacrifice

Make the plants bring abundant produce to this man.


Happily may our steers and men work.

May the plough furrow happily.
Happily be the traces bound.

Happily may the driving – goad ply.


Suna and Sira ! Welcome ye to this laud.

Bedew ye both this earth of ours

With the milk that ye have made in heaven.

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.


Loved by the Visvedevas and the Maruts

Let Sitā be bedewed with oil and honey.
Turn thou to us, O Sit
ā, 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.


O Victorious Plant ! Sent by the Gods !

Auspicious thou, with expanded leaves !

Drive thou the rival wife away

And make my husband only mine.


Indeed, he hath not named her

But dalliest not thou with this husband of mine.
Far into the most remote distance

We drive the rival wife away.


Stronger am I with you for support, O Stronger One !

Aye, mightier than the mighty, indeed.
Let my rival be beneath me

Lower than the lowest dame !


I am the conqueror with thou

And it is thou who art truly victorious.
And, as victory attends us both

We will subdue the emulating bed-mate.


I have girt thee, my Man !

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,