Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pancha Brahma Upanishad

Pancha Brahma Upanishad
(Part of the Krishna Yajur Veda)


The Pancha Brahma Upanishad deals with the five fold aspect of Pancha Brahmas (Siva). The Upanishad explains the significance of the five divinities, namely Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana, their respective attributes, functions and colors. The five fold aspect of Brahman or Siva is represented by the five syllables hidden in the Panchakshari mantra, "Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya." The Upanishad also reveals the fact that every form in the universe contains the five fold aspect of Brahman and that Lord Siva exists in the hearts of all beings.

The Upanishad:

Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together; May we work conjointly with great energy, May our study be vigorous and effective; May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any). Om ! Let there be Peace in me ! Let there be Peace in my environment ! Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Om Shanti ! Shanti ! Shanti !

Next Paippalada addressed (Mahadeva) ‘What is That which came to exist at first’?

2. (He replied). Sadyojata. ‘What is that O Lord’, ? ‘Aghora’. What is that, O Lord? ‘Vamadeva’. What are those, O Lord? ‘Tatpurusha.’ What are these, O Lord? ‘Isana, the instructor of all the Vidyas.’

3. He is the Isana (ruler) of the past and the future and of all the gods.

4. All the Secrets, whatever they have with colors, divisions and energies, the Lord Mahesa gave out to him (Paippalada).

5. Adoration to Mahadeva, Maharudra.

6. O Sakala, hear from me, whatever are the secrets of secrets in the world (a teacher says to his pupil).

7. Sadyojata, which bestows all the desired objects, represents Earth, Pusha (the sun), Lakshmi, Brahma, Trivritsvara (sound), Rig Veda, Garhapatya fire, the mantras which have seven notes, yellow color, and Kriyasakti.

8. Aghora, which destroys all the multitude of sins, which pacifies evils, and which bestows all prosperities, represents water, the moon, Gauri, Yajurveda, cloud color, Sandrasvara, Dakshinagni, the mantras with fifty syllables, protection and Ichchasakti.

9. Vamadeva, which gives the great wisdom, represents Agni, Vidyakala, Samaveda, Svara with eight notes, Dhirasvara (majestic sound), Ahavantya fire, knowledge and dissolution energies, and white color mixed with darkness. He, whose brightness is equal to that of crores of suns, possesses full consciousness and is the leader of the three states (of consciousness). He distributes the fruits of all actions to men, who are in the three states of consciousness, and also bestows on them all the prosperities. He, whose mantra is Eight syllabled one, resides in the center of eight-petalled lotus (of the heart).

10. Tatpurusha is with eight letters (Aa, Ka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa, Ya, Sa) and is in the eight petal lotus and is normally surrounded by air, the five fires, who is the leader of the mantra energies, and who has the fifty letters and their notes, and Atharvaveda. He is the head of crores of the Ganas (Elements) and whose body is the whole universe. His color is Red-which gives the desired objects. He is the panacea for all kinds of diseases, the cause of the creation, preservation and destruction &c., and the possessor of all the Saktis. He is above the three states of consciousness, the fourth (Turiya), and existence, consciousness and bliss himself, He is worshipped by Brahma, Vishnu and others, and the Supreme Father of all.
11. Isana should be known as the Supreme Ruler and the witness of the intelligence. He is the Ether unmanifested, and to be worshipped by the ‘Omkarasvara’. He is all the Devas, calm, and above the calmness, and beyond the ‘Svara’ (notes). He is the presiding deity of the letters ‘A’ and other Svaras, and whose body is the Ether itself. He is the cause of the five functions (creation &c.) in the great form of the five Brahmans (Sadyojata &c.). He remains (at the time of dissolution) involving the five Brahmans in himself, and also remains after absorbing all the manifestations of his own maya in himself. He shines by his own glory transcending the five Brahmans. He shines in himself in the past, present and future depending on none else.

12. All the Devas, do not realize him, bewildered by the maya of Sambhu, the Mahadeva, the Guru of the universe and the Cause of all the causes.

13. His form will not stand before any. He is the highest of the highest, the support of the universe, the person, by whom the universe is manifested and in whom it is involved. He is the Supreme Brahman, calm, he is the Supreme abode and I am that Brahman itself.

14. One should understand the five Supreme Brahmans, Sadyojata and others; whatever we see and hear all are the five Brahmans. These five are, as it were, the division of one Brahman. Thus understanding the one as five he reaches Isana (the fifth). The learned should absorb all, which are in the form of the five Brahmans, in his self and realize that ‘I am they’, and he reaches Brahman, becoming immortal. He who knows thus, becomes freed from the bondage; there is no doubt in this.

15. Sambhu is in the form of the five-syllabled mantra (Panchakshara). He is the Supreme Brahman. Knowing the Panchakshara as consisting from the letter ‘Na’ to ‘Ya’, one should repeat the mantra.

16. One should realize the universe as Panchakshara in the nature of the five Brahmans.

17. He, who studies this vidya of the five Brahmans with devotion, attaining the state of the five Brahmans, shines himself in five forms.

18. Thus Mahadeva, addressing Galava, the great Soul, blessing him and disappeared there.

19. By hearing which alone, the unheard things become heard, the unthought, O Sakala, and the unknown is known. Just as by knowing one lump of earth alone, O Gautama, all the Earth is known as the effect (pot &c.) is not separate from the cause (Mother Earth); just as by knowing one jewel alone, all other metals one known; and just as by knowing one nail parer only, all other iron made things are known, as they are not in nature different from their cause, so is the effect (the universe) not separate from its cause (Isvara). The effect becomes always eternal in the form of its cause. The saying as different is indeed false. The cause is only one, and he is not separate (from the effects) nor with both forms (separateness and non-separateness). The idea of separateness is false, as it is impossible to find out the cause of difference. Therefore the cause is only one, the eternal and second less. This second less cause is, surely the Pure Consciousness itself.

20. In this city of Brahman (Body) there is, O Sage, a small lotus like house. In the center of it, there is a subtle ether. He is Siva, Sat, Chit, and Ananda. He should be sought after by those desirous of Salvation. As He is residing in the heart as the witness of all, without differences, Siva is called ‘Hridaya’ (resider in the heart), the liberator from the Samsara.

It shines at the beginning, middle and end without any causative reason. All those devas who are all under stupor by the illusion of Maheswara would not understand properly that Mahadeva who is the teacher of the universe, is the cause of all causes. His shape does not appear before the eye. This world is shining because of that Parathpara Purusha in whom the world exists. It merges in him. That Ishana aspect is the Para Brahman which is the upper boundary of peace. The knowledge that the Para Brhaman is oneself and the rise of Sathyo Jatam (birth of truth) is Para Brahman. Whichever is seen or heard is the soul of Para Brahman. 

The existence in five shapes is called Brahma Karya (activity). After understanding Brahma Karya, Ishana is appreciated. After putting the fact all that is originating from Para Brahman in ones soul, the wise man experiences and understands that "It is me" and becomes Brahman as well as deathless. There is no doubt that the one who understands this Brahman becomes freed (emancipated). 

One should chant the Panchakshara Mantra which is from Na to Ya (Namasivaya) and which is of the shape of five letters and is Lord Shiva's body. After understanding the philosophy of the soul of Pancha Brahma, One should understand that every form is the form of those five. One who studies this knowledge of the soul of the Pancha Brahma would shine himself as Pancha Brahma. This Upanishad tells that Lord Shiva, who grants salvation to one, from this day- to-day life of the world, exists as witness without differentiation in the heart of all beings and is called Hrudayam (That which exists within). 

Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together; May we work conjointly with great energy, May our study be vigorous and effective; May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any). Om ! Let there be Peace in me ! Let there be Peace in my environment ! Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me ! 

The Panchabrahma Veda Mantra

One of the greatest and most sacred of all mantras, the Pañchabrahma Mantrāṇī, is found in the Kṛshṇa Yajurveda, Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 10.17-21. Here its five verses are cited in reverse order (21 to 17), just as they are chanted during puja. This is a lucid translation by Sabharathnam Sivacharyar, based on the 12th-century translation by Ugrajyoti Sivacharyar in his priestly manual Vedartha Nirnaya Manjari, giving the enhanced meaning of the mantras in the context of the Saiva Agamas.

ईशानस्सर्वविद्यानां ईश्वरस्सर्वभूतानां ब्रह्मािधपतिर्ब्रह्मणोऽधिपतिर्ब्रह्माशिवो मे अस्तु सदाशिवोम्।
īśānassarva vidyānām īśvaras sarva bhūtānām brahmādhipatir brahmaṇo’dhipatir brahmā śivo me astu sadāśivom

Lord Ishana—the Supreme Lord and Revealer of all knowledge and spiritual disciplines, the nourisher and controller of all living beings, the Directing Lord of Sadasiva, He who is the guiding and directing authority for the eight Vidyeshvaras, who directs Brahma, Vishnu and others—may He present Himself in this Sivalinga. By such benign presence, let there occur absolute purity and auspiciousness in me. Om.

तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्।

tatpurushāya vidmahe mahādevāya dhīmahi tanno rudraḥ prachodayāt

As guided by my guru, I realize the form of Siva known as Tatpurusha. I meditate with pure mind and refined intellect on the Great Illuminator. Let Tatpurusha—who cuts asunder the limiting bonds of the souls and by this act comes to be known as Rudra—guide, enlighten and strengthen my organs of knowledge and action and my internal faculties.

अघोरेभ्योथघोरेभ्यो घोरघोरतरेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यस्सर्व सर्वेभ्यो नमस्तेऽस्तु रुद्ररूपेभ्यः।
aghorebhyotha ghorebhyo ghora ghoretarebhyas sarvebhyas sarvasarvebhyo namaste astu rudrarūpebhyaḥ
Salutations to Lord Siva who manifests Himself in countless benign forms, in frightful and terrifying forms, and to all those countless forms of Rudra (eulogized in the Sri Rudram hymn). Salutations to all such manifestations of Lord Siva.

वामदेवाय नमो ज्येष्ठाय नमः श्रेष्ठायनमो रुद्राय नमः कालायनमः कलविकरणाय नमो बलविकरणाय नमो बलाय नमो बलप्रमथनाय नमस्सर्वभूतदमनाय नमो मनोन्मनाय नमः।
vāmadevāya namo jyeshṭhāya namaḥ śreshṭhāya namo rudrāya namaḥ kālāya namaḥ kalavikaraṇāya namo balavikaraṇāya namo balāya namo balapramathanāya namas sarvabhūta damanāya namo manonmanāya namaḥ

Salutations to the luminous Lord who sportively creates everything. Salutations to the One who is eternally the Eldest, transcending the great cycles of time. Salutations to the One whose lordship excels all other Gods. Salutations to the One who wards off the sufferings of all living beings. Salutations to the One who is Eternal Time. Salutations to the One who sets into operation the divisions of time and maintains the worlds in an orderly way. Salutations to the One who, being the source of strength, strengthens the auspicious forces. Salutations to the One who, being the wielder of strength, withdraws the strength of inauspicious forces and extirpates them. Salutations to the One who guides all souls to ultimately reach Him.

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः। भवे भवेनातिभवे भवस्वमां भवोद्भवायनमः।।

sadyojātaṁ prapadyāmi sadyojātāya vai namo namaḥ bhave bhavenātibhave bhavasva māṁ bhavodbhavāya namaḥ

I submit my mind, speech and body totally and repeatedly to Lord Sadyojata, who manifests Himself and instantaneously creates bodies and worlds, who appears to devotees in the forms contemplated by them and yet transcends such forms assumed by Him and who has a retinue of Deities formed of millions of mantras. May He make my form as of His own form.

Here ends the Pancha Brahma Upanishad, as contained in the Krishna Yajur Veda

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third tithi (Lunar day) of the bright half (sukla-paksa) of the month of Vaisakha. The presiding deity of this auspicious day is Sri Visnu and his worship is performed with great devotion on this day. It is on this day that the doors to the Sri Badri-Narayana Temple are opened and the all the Gods headed by Brahma, Siva,Indra, Kuvera etc. Worship Sri Laksmi-Narayana. Many pilgrims start their pilgrimage to (char-dhama) the four holy abodes (Gango-tri, Yamuna-tri, Badrika-asrama, and Kedarnatha) from this day.

AKSHAYA TRITIYA - The Legend of this auspicious day is actually connected to the AKSHAYA PATRA given to Draupathi, by SUNGOD, which will ever give food. This day is celebrated every year on third day of the bright half of Vaishakha month. Now read the legend-

This Akshaya-patra is said to have been given by the Sun god, and it is the same pot that Srimati Draupadi used to cook in. It is said that from the time of turning it upwards, the pot will provide unlimited amounts of foodstuffs for the satisfaction of the Lord. Then from the time after cleaning it and placing it upside down it stops providing. 

Once, while the Pandavas and Draupadi were living here during their exile, he invited Maharsi Durvasa and fed him a sumptuous, delicious meal with great honour.Durvasaji was satisfied and requested Duryodhana to ask for a boon. With folded hands, Duryodhana said, “Maharaja Yudhisthira is my elder brother. Please accept his hospitality at his residence together with your sixty-thousand disciples. But you should go and be their guest after midday, during the third prahara. The Pandavas are currently living in Kamyavana.”

Duryodhana knew very well that the Pandavas served their guests very carefully.Draupadi had a pot that had been given to her by Suryadeva. The cooking done in that one pot could feed innumerable persons to their satisfaction, but once Draupadi ate and cleaned the pot, that pot could no longer provide any further food. Draupadi would feed any guests as well as the Pandavas, and then clean the pot without fail before the third praharaDurvasaji and his sixty thousand disciples were to arrive there during the third prahara so that the Pandavas would not be able to feed them. Duryodhana expected that the very hot-tempered Durvasa rsi would curse the Pandavas and thus burn them to ashes.

Maharsi Durvasa is fully aware of the glories of the Pandavas, who are krsna-bhaktas. However, it is difficult for even the demigods to understand his contrary activities. Only he knows what, when and why he does what he does. Thus, he and sixty thousand rsis reached the residence of the Pandavas in Kamyavana in the afternoon. Upon seeing him, the Pandavas became very happy. Maharaja Yudhisthira worshipped him and requested him to accept his hospitality. Maharsi said, “We are now going to take bath in Vimala Kunda and will come back very soon. You should arrange for our meals. We will eat here.” Saying this, Durvasaji left to take bath together with his whole entourage

The Pandavas now became very concerned. What arrangement could be made to feed these rsis? They called Draupadi and asked her if she could arrange to feed a gathering of sixty thousand, but her pot had already been cleaned and turned upside down. She considered hard what to do to save the Pandavas but could think of no plan. At last, she began calling out to her dear friend Sri Krsna in a very distressed voice. How could Dvarakanatha not come upon hearing her call? He immediately appeared in front of Draupadi and said, “Sakhi, I am very hungry! Give Me something to eat.” Draupadi answered, “You are hungry and I have nothing at home. My pot has been cleaned and is lying upside down. The very hot-tempered Maharsi Durvasa together with his sixty thousand disciples are about to come to take their meal. When he finds that there is nothing to eat, he will annihilate the Pandavas. This will be unavoidable, therefore, first please arrange for them to be fed.”

Sri Krsna said, “I cannot do anything without eating and drinking, so please bring your pot.”

In a very sad voice Draupadi said, “There is nothing in the pot. I have cleaned it very thoroughly.” “Still, you please bring it. I want to see.”

Draupadi brought the pot and put it in Krsna’s hands. Krsna looked into it and became joyful. A very tiny piece of leafy vegetable was stuck to the side of the pot.

Sri Krsna scraped it off with His nail and put in His mouth. He then filled His stomach with water poured by Draupadi’s hands. Trpto ’smiTrpto ’smi! (“I am satisfied! I am satisfied!”) He exclaimed, and he began to pat His stomach with His hand. He even belched in satisfaction. Sri Krsna then sent Bhima-sena to quickly go and call the rsis.

The great warrior Bhima, club in hand, started towards Vimala Kunda.

Maharsi Durvasa and his disciples had been bathing in Vimala Kunda when suddenly their stomachs felt so full that they all started belching as if they had eaten a meal. When Durvasaji saw Bhima coming towards them, the memory of the incident with Ambarisa Maharaja entered his mind and he became very frightened. He and his sixty thousand disciples quickly fled to Maharsi Loka through the celestial pathways. Upon arriving at Vimala Kunda, Bhima could not find the rsis anywhere. He returned and told Maharaja Yudhisthira and Sri Krsna, “I searched everywhere but could not find them.”

After learning what had happened from Sri Krsna, Draupadi and the Pandavas became free from anxiety. If Sri Krsna is satisfied, then the whole universe is satisfied. This is indeed this episode’s message to the world. This lila of Sri Krsna took place here at Kamyavana.

Another legend says, "On this day Shri Krishna has blessed his friend Shri Kuchela with all prosperity. Untill then Kuchela was living in utter poverty. When Krishna has eaten one mouthful of parched rice prepared by Kuchela's wife, He blessed 'Akshaya' meaning without diminish or without depreciating.

Kubera, the treasurer in Heaven received his wealth on this day from Siva. It is on this day Lord Siva blessed Goddess Lakshmi with wealth. In fact Lord Siva made Kubera as Lord of wealth and Lakshmi as Goddess of wealth. Kubera worshipped Lord Siva in the temple at Sivapuram. Buried underneath the land surrounding the temple are thousands of Sivalingams. Just by stepping on the ground here, or by worshiping here, your bad money karma will be dissolved, they say.

According to  another legend, the "Akshaya bowl" which creates unlimited food was given to the great king Yudhishtira on this day. This event happened at the Thirumanthurai temple. Also on this day Avatars (Gods incarnation on the earth plane) were blessed to rule their countries. They received wealth on this day. Two people were born on this 3rd moon. One is Parasurama, the warrior Brahmin who destroyed all his enemies and then became a sage. The second one was Annapurani, a special form of Parvati who feeds the hungry. Annapurani fed Siva on this day. Siva disguised himself as a beggar (for Bikshaatana) and approached Annapurani for food. Siva’s begging is a symbolic act. He is the lord of the Universe. Why should he beg? The answer is he begs for all his beggars (the impoverished lots, like us!!).

Also as per another legend connected with Arasar Koil,  Lord Ganesha seems to have gifted the Akshaya bowl (divine vessel of inexhaustible food) to Garuda (the Vehicle of lord Vishnu). Garuda worshiped Lakshmi who happens to reside in this temple and Goddess Lakshmi offered this Akshaya bowl in gold to Garuda. Garuda while worshiping Lord Surya Narayana (the Sun God) offered food to the deity in this golden Akshaya bowl. All the above incidences happened in Arasar Koil temple only in the previous Yugas, mind you. 

In this temple, Lord Ganesha is in front of Goddess Mahalakshmi' s Sanctum and is known as Akshaya Vinayakar. He is also known as Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy. Since it was Lord Siva who on this day bestowed Kubera as the Lord and Lakshmi as the Goddess of wealth, worshiping Lord Siva on this day and chanting the mantra, “Om Namah Sivaaya” will bring in abundance and prosperity in one’s life. Let the Srivaishnavite's differ on this, and chant "SrimathE nArAyaNa namah: ".

Feeding the poor is the most important charitable act. Also donation of umbrellas and chapels (sandals) for poor children are recommended by some. Poojas and charity acts will yield good results on this special 3rd moon day, i.e.3rd day from new-moon day known as Tritiya, a day for charity.

  1. If you do charity, you will conquer the pain of death.
  2. If you help the poor and down-trodden, you will be blessed in your next birth.
  3. If you give clothes to poor people, you will get over diseases.
  4. If you give fruits, you will get higher position in life.
  5. If you give butter milk, buttermilk, etc, you will progress in studies.
  6. If you give grains, you will not die untimely.
  7. If you perform " Deva tharpaNam", you will get rid of poverty.
  8. If you give curd rice, you will get over your negative deeds and you will progress in life

IN THE OLDEN DAYS Sumangalies (Housewives) used to FEED BHRAMINS ON THIS DAY after performing puja and prayer to Lord Krishna and Lakshmi.

But of late for the past 2 decades, it is celebrated for some other reason and people start buying Gold, Silver, Properties ect. This practice has been started by the business people who sell jewellery and other things. Nowhere it is mentioned that gold and silver are to be purchased on this day.

Akshaya Tritiya, is now considered one of the four most sacred days of the year. The word Akshaya means that which never diminishes - hence beginnings made or valuables bought on this day are considered certain to bring luck and success. All over India people celebrate weddings, plan new business ventures, long journeys and other events on this day. Like Diwali, Dussera and Gudi Padva. Akshava Tritiya is reserved for buying gold, silver and other assets. On this day jewellers keep their shops open well into twilight time to entertain their buyers. Akshaya Tritiya or Akha TeeJ is traditionally the birthday of Parshurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. The Puranas tell how he reclaimed land from the sea along the west coast of India by his valour

Even today Goa and the Konkan are called Parshurama Kshetra. He then settled 96 selected families there, called Shahanavkuli Brahmins, who are said to have created the cultural heritage of this nart of India. In India gold is regarded as the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. Buying gold and jewellery is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya, considering it now as one of the most auspicious days of the year.

Why Is Akshaya Tritiya So Auspicious?

1.Astrological Importance- Do you know what is the astrological significance of akshaya thritiya? It is considered as one of the most important time (tithi) of Hindu astrology. It is believed that the sun and the moon become equally bright on this day.

2.Beginning of the Epic- You can never ignore this important significance of akshyaya thritiya. Sri Vyasdev started to dictate the great Indian epic, Mahabharata, and Lord Ganesh began to write it down without asking second time. Definitely, it is an important cause to commemorate the day.
3.Birthday of Goddess Annapurna- it is believed in Hinduism that this holy day is the birthday of the goddess Annapurna. People, basically, who are related to cultivation, celebrate navanna on this day which is an occasion of having new and healthy crops.
4.Regain of Wealth- The old Hindu Purans are consists of many stories. On this day, Kuber, the keeper of gold and other wealth of the heaven, worshipped Lord Shiva and regained his post. Thus it is believed that if you worship Lord Shiva and donate something, for his blessing, you get double.
5.Parshuram’s Birthday- The importance of akshaya tritiya is never ending. This day is the time when Parshuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, appeared on the earth to establish justice by demolishing the tyranny of Khastriyas.

6.Never ending Wealth-
 You already know the occasion is named on idea of never diminishing health and wealth. So, the mythical significance of aksahya thritiya lies in another charming story. Lord Krishna’s poor friend Sudama came to meet him with a hand of rice and received never ending wealth from Him as blessing.

7.Another Mahabharata Reference-
 In Mahabharata, it is the day when the King Yudhistir received ‘Akshaya Patra’ to quench the hunger of his kingdom. On the list of significance of akshaya thritiya, it is also important.
All these stories are based on faith and myths which are age old Indian culture from ancient time. If you carefully go through all the points, it will be clear to you that all stories are denoting the fulfillment of wish, getting blessings of God and the accomplishment of human life.