Bhagavan Glories: Himalaya, Omkara, Agni, Bhrigu, Peepal/Bodhi Tree, Narada (84)
Bhagavan Glories: Himalaya, Omkara, Agni, Japa, Peepal/Bodhi Tree, Narada (84)

Summary:

Lesson 84 resumes with glories one can turn as objects of meditation, thus cultivating a focused & clear mind over time. We learn practical symbolism of Hindu deities & principles, like: OM, fire, japa (mantra repetition), etc…

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10: Verse 23, 24, 25, 26, 27


Revision:

  • Krishna revealed Himself as Īśvara. Consequently, Arjuna now addresses Krishna as:
    • Infinite indweller of all (Puruṣottama).
    • Creator of all (bhūta-bhāvana).
    • Master of the world (jagat-pati).
  • Arjuna asks (V12-18) for Krishna to show His divine glories. About 80 glories are spoken between V19-39.
  • How do these glories help Arjuna?
    • Expands Arjuna’s earth-stuck vision. Creative thinking.
    • Helps remove psychological obstacles: passion/greed/anger/jealously/competition.
      • How? Mind recognizes that Īśvara is one Self of all. Thus bhakta rejoices seeing other’s vibhūtis (glories).
        • Why rejoice? Because they are also my glories. (“My” refers to ātma. Not ahaṁkāra).
  • Outcome of listening to Īśvara’s glories:
    • Just as mother is never tired of seeing and talking about her infant…
      • In same way, the love-filled heart of bhakta, makes him/her think and talk about Bhagavān’s glories non-stop. Mind not pulled by lower drives of likes/dislikes.
        • When speaks to others, voice is filled with emotion of love-respect-reverence.
        • Sparkle in the eyes.
  • Glories revision:
    • Sun & Moon:
      • Sun is light/life-giver. Moon is tide-giver. Both give seasons.
      • Sun: presiding deity of vision (wisdom and physical).
      • Moon: presiding deity of emotional mind.
    • Sāma Veda:
      • Veda are source of eternal truths. Never obsolete.
      • 3 vedas are in prose/poetry. Sāma is sweet and melodious.
        • EG: Bṛhat-sāma-mantras (praise of Bhagavān as Indra).
    • Mind:
      • Travels faster then light.
      • Capable of willing, desiring, enjoying/suffering. Caring/loving.
        • Worst enemy/best friend, depending HOW it’s used.
    • Indra:
      • King of devās/devatās. Also presides over rain and ability to work (karma-śakti).

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 23:

rudrāṇāṃ śaṅkaraścāsmi vitteśo yakṣarakṣasām |
vasūnāṃ pāvakaścāsmi meruḥ śikhariṇāmaham ||

I am Śaṅkaraḥ among the Rudras; (I am) Kubera among the Yakshas and Rakhsasas; I am Agni among the Vasus and I am the Meru among the peaked mountains.

 

  • rudrāṇāṃ śaṅkaraḥ ca asmi:
    • Rudra: associated to removal of sorrow (or) obstructions related to growth/change.
    • VERSE:
      • There are 11 rudra devās related to (macrocosmic) Rudra-Śiva.
        • They are: Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajita, Vrisakapi, Shankar, Kapardi, Raivata, Mrigavyadha, Sarva, Kapali.
      • Among 11, I am Śaṅkaraḥ. (One who blesses). (Not referring to Adi Shankara) (Mentioned in purāṇas/śruit).
    • In tradition Śaṅkara is looked upon as Śiva. Hence both worshipped by desirers of mokṣa (destruction of ignorance needed).
  • vitteśaḥ (Kubera – Lord of Wealth) yakṣa rakṣasām:
    • I am Kubera, presiding deity of wealth.
      • Different from Lakṣmī:
        • Īśvara from standpoint of wealth = Lakṣmī. Wealth itself is Lakṣmī.
      • Celestials:
        • yakṣa: Guard wealth hidden in earth. (Can also be interpreted in negative sense: beings who are very fond of acquiring wealth and hoarding it.)
          • EG: Killed 4 holy pāṇḍavas who wanted to drink from river.
            • Symbolism: environment is more important then even the person.
        • rākṣasa: Amassed wealth via malevolent acts.
      • VERSE: I am Kuberaḥ, the governor of wealth (according to law of karma) for yakṣa & rākṣasa.
      • Therefore don’t condemn wealth. Also ordained by Īśvara’s grace.
  • asmi ca pāvakaḥ vasūnām:
    • There are 8 vasūs:
      • 5 elements + (3 cosmic laws) sun/moon/stars. (Bṛha Upa + M.Bhārata).
    • VERSE: Among the aṣṭa-vasūs, I am agni deva.
    • Symbolism of agni (fire):
      • Fire is the best purifier.
        • Relatively also: to purify anything, heat it!
          • EG: Food, boiled water.
        • Śāstric angle: purifies the mind by fire of self-knowledge.
    • Vedic tradition application:
      • Start day with lighting a candle.
      • Keep flame nearby.
      • When worshipping flame (which is agni deva), one is asking for removal of mind impurities.
  • ahaṃ meruḥ śikhariṇām: among all peaked mountains, I am Meru. (1 | 2)

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 24:

purodhasāṃ ca mukhyaṃ māṃ viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim |
senānīnāmahaṃ skandaḥ sarasāmasmi sāgaraḥ ||

Oh Arjuna! Know Me to be Brihaspati, the foremost among priests; I am Skanda among the commanders and I am the ocean among the reservoirs.

 

  • mukhyaṃ māṃ viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim: Know Me to be Bṛhaspati, the chief among priests.
    • Job of priest is to help person gain puṇya in future, by performing rituals. EG: Marriage.
    • Among the celestial priests, I am above all in rank, Bṛhaspati.
      • Guru of Indra (king of devas). Who also bows to Bṛhaspati.
  • Senānīnām ahaṃ skandaḥ: Among army of gods, I am their leader/commander, Skandaḥ.
    • Also called: Lord Subraḥmaṇya, Ṣaṇmukha, Kārttikeya. Most worshipped in South India.
    • Son of Śiva & Pārvatī, and younger brother of Gaṇeśa.
    • Why worshipped?
      • Invoked for protection from any fear. Meaning Skanda’s glory is Īśvara’s.
    • Purāṇa story:
      • Skandaḥ means: one who flowed out.
      • Lord Śiva couldn’t defeat some rākṣasās (great adharmic strength; ignorance).
      • Śiva produced avatāra from his 3rd eye called Skandaḥ. 3rd eye represents jñānam.
      • Meaning jñānam (Skandaḥ) flowed to remove stubborn ignorance (rākṣasa).
  • Sarasām asmi sāgaraḥ: among all the reservoirs of waters, I am Sāgara, the ocean.
    • You can worship any body of water; but I am the ocean, from which all other bodies LEND their existence and ultimately come back to.
    • NOTE: “Ocean” excludes “flowing rivers”, which come later.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 25:

maharṣīṇāṃ bhṛgurahaṃ girāmasmyekamakṣaram |
yajñānāṃ japayajño'smi sthāvarāṇāṃ himālayaḥ ||

I am Brighu among the great sages. Among words I am (the word OM consisting of) one syllable. I am japayajñā among yajñās, (I am) the Himalayas among the mountains.

  • maharṣīṇām Bhṛguḥ aham:
    • There are 7 ancient maharṣis (L80 – house holders) – directly born of Brahmāji's mind.
      • Amongst these 7, I am the most glorious, Bhṛgu.
    • Purāṇa story:
      • Bhṛgu tested trimūrti’s (having 3 forms of One Īśvara) to see which is most patient.
        • Brahmāji / Śiva (Maheśa) both lost temper.
        • Then kicked Viṣṇu’s chest – infront of His consort Lakṣmī (Goddess of Wealth). Stunned silence by unheard of behavior. Viṣṇu calmly said, “My heart is hard. Forgive Me if I hurt your feet”.
          • Symbolism: Īśvara’s sustenance has such patience, even with most disrespectful.
            • Unlimited forgiveness: giving sinners 2nd chance to improve.
            • Infinite compassion: because none born knowledgeable.
    • Bhṛgu wrote Bhṛgu-saṁhīta. Gives future of all beings, in form of impeccable astrology. (Info)
      • Bhṛgu readers ask for birth details (date, time, place of birth). Then perform math calculation based on provided details, and search for corresponding Bhṛgu leaf, according to 27-40 Sanskrit stanzas.
      • Bhṛgu Praśna: Client asks Q. Puts finger in square marked with number.
      • Drastic changes in life at age: 22, 24, 26, 28, 32, 36, 42, 48 , 60, 72.
  • Girām asmi ekam akṣaram: Among all words (speech), I am single syllable OM.
    • Words:
      • OM doesn’t belong to any language. It is universal sound, consisting of 3 sounds: A-U-M.
      • Meaning words in all languages, are wrapped in one syllable OM.
        • EG:
          • When mouth opens, first makes “a”.
            • Try saying any letter without “a”.
          • When rounded (meaning word/sound is sustained), “u” is produced.
          • When closes, “m” is produced.
      • Summary:
        • All sounds modifications of “a”.
        • All words are combinations of: a-u-m.
        • Thus OM encompasses every sound/word in manifestation.
      • Thus OM is perfect name for Īśvara:
        • Because covers all possible sounds/speech of jagat.
          • It doesn’t exclude any names/forms.
            • EG: Saying Rāma, excludes Kṛṣṇa/Śiva.
      • A-U-M refers to jagat’s (micro/macro) 3 conditions:
        • A: Manifestation.

          • Also: waking world. (Mixture of thought/unmanifest).
            • EG: Waking state. Sometimes mind thinking/blank.
        • U: Sustenance.

          • Also: thought world. (Series of unbroken events).
            • EG: Consistency of thoughts.
        • M: Unamanifest.

          • Also: unmanifest/resolution (laya).
            • EG: Deep sleep. Nothingness.
      • How to use OM as means of self-inquiry (ātma-vicāra):
        • Out of silence: (1) Word manifests (2) Sustained (2) Into what? Into the same silence.
          • Similarly, out of Īśvara: (1) Sṛṣṭi (2) Sthiti (3) Laya – resolves into Īśvara.
        • Meaning, OM has 2 functions:
          • (1) Meditation: Discerning 3 conditions of anything, and the ever-present substratum.
          • (2) Jñānam means by which Īśvara is revealed (Māndūkya).
      • Why is Omkāraḥ (OM) the greatest word? Essence of entire Vedās / universe.
  • yajñānām japa-yajñaḥ asmi: Among all types of spiritual sādhanās, I am japa yajñaḥ.
    • Why Krishna chooses japa yajñāḥ?
      • Can be practiced by all, irrespective of background, education, gender, time, place, qualifications.
        • Caste: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra.
        • Stage of life: Brahmacārin (student), gṛhasta (householder), vanaprastha (retiree), saṃnyāsin (renunciate).
      • Involves no himsa to environment OR to self. EG:
        • Getting up early for sūrya namaskāra = self-himsa (don’t want to wake up early).
        • Other rituals require costly materials, which damage environment and produce waste.
    • Japa definition:
      • Repetition of any sacred word.
        • EG: Om nama śivāya.
      • Word:
        • Ja (Janma): end to cycle of rebirth.
        • Pa (Pāpa): Pāpa.
      • Purpose: Removing all pāpa, which eventually ends saṃsāra (rebirth).
  • sthāvarāṇām Himālayaḥ: among the mountains, I am Himālayaḥ, which offers nature at it’s best.
    • Also abode of:
      • Sages. EG: Nārāyaṇa.
      • Holy lakes. EG:  Manasarovar.
      • Holy places. EG: Kederanath, Badarinath.
      • Holy rivers. EG: Gaṅgā, Yamunā, Brahmaputra.
    • Definition:
      • Hima: snow.
      • Ālaya: abode.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 26:

aśvatthaḥ sarvavṛkṣāṇāṃ devarṣīṇāṃ ca nāradaḥ |
gandharvāṇāṃ citrarathaḥ siddhānāṃ kapilo muniḥ ||

(I am) the fig-tree among all the trees; (I am) Narada among the divine sages; (I am) Citraratha among the Gandharvas and (I am) Sage kapilaḥ among the siddās.

 

  • aśvatthaḥ sarva-vṛkṣāṇāṃ: (I am) the sacred fig-tree (Peepal/peepul), among all the trees. (source)
    • Buddhists call: “bodhi tree”, where Buddha attained nirvāṇa.
    • Why worshipped by Vedic culture? Represents abode of trinity.
      • Root of tree: Brahmāji is invoke.
      • Middle of tree: Viṣṇu is invoked.
      • Top of tree: Śiva is invoked.
      • Thus worshipping it symbolizes: worshipping Īśvara’s 3 faces (roles).
        • NOTE: Trinity symbolism here is different from CH15, where aśvattha represents saṃsāra (tree of bondage).
    • Other facts:
      • It’s twigs used in vaidika fire rituals.
      • Worshipped by couple wanting children.
        • Couple will perform ritual to marry aśvattha and (it’s wife) neem tree.
  • devarṣīṇām nāradaḥ: among celestial ṛṣis, I am Nāradaḥ.
    • What does ṛṣi mean?
      • One who knows.
      • Called mantra-draṣṭaḥ (seer of mantra).
        • Meaning for every mantra, there is a ṛṣi.
          • EG: Sage Viśvāmitra is ṛṣi of: gāyatrī-mantra.
    • Among all, Nārada is most mentioned (All 18 purāṇās, many Upaniṣads). Only purpose to turn all towards śreyaḥ (path of Bhagavān) – in strange ways.
      • EG: His devotees include: Prahlāda, Vālmīkī, Dhurva.
    • In Chāndogya Upaniṣad CH7, Nārada is disciple of Sanat Kumāra.
      • Receives bhūman vidyā (brahma-vidyā). Brahman is called bhūman (abundance).
  • gandharvāṇāṃ citrarathaḥ:
    • Who are gandharvās?
      • Citizens of gandharva loka.
      • Where most creative forms of art, dance, music, sculpture is known.
    • I am the king of gandharvās, known as Citraratha.
      • One of 16 sons of Kaśyapa (king & great artist).
  • siddhānāṃ kapilo muniḥ: Among great siddhās (people with powers from lengthy practice), I am sage Kapila.
    • 4 types of people possible, who are associated to spirituality:
      1. Got siddhis. No self-knowledge.
      2. Got self-knowledge. No siddhis.
      3. Have both.
      4. Have neither.
    • Who is kapilaḥ muniḥ?
      • Has both (siddhi & ātma-jñānam).
      • REMINDER: Siddhis and ātma-jñānam have ZERO connection.
        • Jñānam alone is required for liberation. Siddhi is unnecessary.
    • In Bhāgavata Purāṇa:
      • Kapila is avatāra of Bhagavān.
      • In well-known portion “Kapila Devahūti Saṃvāda”:
        • Kapila, as young boy, teaches Vedānta to his mother Devahūti.
    • CAUTION: This is not Kapila ṛṣi, proponent of Sāṃkhya philosophy (totally diff from Vedānta).
    • How to get siddhis? 5 Ways:
      1. Precious stones.
      2. Special herbs/plants. (Auṣadam).
      3. Mantra:
        • Apply puraścaraṇa: (name of process)
          • Find mantra prescribed for siddhi.
          • Find out how many letters in mantra.
            • EG: Om nama śivāya: Om na ma śi va ya = 6.
          • Multiple num of letters by 100,000 (1 lakh)
          • Chant that many times.
        • Principle:
          • Mantra is like atom. Stored energy. Each time chanted, releases little energy.
          • Puraścaraṇa is like atom bomb (big release).
      1. Yogic siddhi meditation:
        • Concentration the mind on specific region. EG: Chakra-focusing.
      2. Janma: Owning to past life work.
        • EG: Rajmohan Nair passes electric current.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 27:

uccaiḥśravasamaśvānāṃ viddhi māmamṛtodbhavam|
airāvataṃ gajendrāṇāṃ narāṇāṃ ca narādhipam||

Among the horses, know Me to be uccaiḥśravas which emerged (during the churning of the milky ocean) for nectar, to be airāvataṃ among the great elephants, and to be the king (nara adhipa) among human beings.

 

  • amṛta udbhavam: Born of churning for nectar (brahma-vidyā).
    • Famous story in purāṇa: (1 | 2 | 3 )
      • Devās and Asurās wanted immortality. So they churned the milky ocean (Cosmic form) (symbolism: sattva guṇa) to extract amṛta (nectar). Process called: Samudra manthan.
        • They used “Mount Mandara” (symbolism: sādhana), as churning rod. And serpent “Vāsuki” (symbolism: aham kāra), as rope.
        • Churning rod kept going down.
        • Had to pray to Viṣṇu. Who came as avatāra Kūrma, in tortoise form, to hold the churning rod.
        • 14 things came out. Examples…

          • Special white horse Uccaiḥśravas, which was given to Indra.
          • Lakṣmi: principle of prosperity. Became Viṣṇu’s wife.
            • Symbolism: Viṣṇu represents sustenance. Meaning abundant with prosperity, if live according to dharma.
          • Halahalam:
            • Symbol of psychological/unconscious impressions arising during meditation, in pursuit of liberation.
          • Brahma-vidyā: fought over by devās/asurās.
            • Viṣṇu in form of Mohini lures asurās to hand over amṛtam, which was given to devās.
      • Symbolism of churning of ocean:
        • Just how devās/asurās went great length to churn the ocean (total potential), the sādhaka must churn the (sattvic) mind through consistent sādhana. Only then glory of “ātma-jñānam” comes, or discipline, or other benefits…
  • uccaiḥ śravasam aśvānāṃ viddhi mām: Among the horses, know Me as Uccaiḥśravas (Indra’s white horse, often called vahana of Surya – the Sun-God), which came out of the milky ocean.
    • Symbology:
      • Horse is a vehicle.
      • White is sattva guna.
      • Meaning, your life which is operated by mind (vehicle) should be sattvic.
  • airāvataṃ gajendrāṇāṃ: among elephants, I am the white celestial elephant Airāvata (also came from milky ocean), which Indra also rides.
  • narāṇāṃ ca narādhipam: amongst human beings, I am king.
    • In Vedic times, king protected dharma. Thus seen as representative of Lord.

 

Keywords: agni, aham kara, ahamkara, airavata, ashta-vasus, ashvattha, asta-vasus, asuras, asvattha, atma, atma vicara, atma-jnanam, avatara, bhagavata purana, Bhrgu, Bhrigu, bhrigu prashna, Bhrigu samhita, bhuman, bhuman-vidya, bhuta-bhavana, bodhi tree, brahma-vidya, brahmacari, brahmaji, brahmana, Brhaspati, Brhat-sama-mantras, Brihaspati, Brihat-sama-mantra, Bṛhaspati, Citraratha, devas, devatas, fire, gandharva, gandharvas, ganesa, ganesha, gatyatri, grhasta, grihasta, Himalaya, ishvara, japa, japa yajna, jnanam, Kapila, kapila devahuti samvada, karma sakti, karma shakti, Kartikeya , Karttikeya, kashyapa, kasyapa, krishna, krsna, ksatriya , kshatriya, Kubera, kuberah, kurma, lakshmi, laksmi, maharsi, mahesa, mahesha, mantra-drashta, mantra-drasta, meru, moksha, Narada, naradah, narayana, omkara, pandavas, parvati, Peepal, peepul, prahlada, punya, puranas, purascarana, purashcarana, Purushottama, Purusottama, raksasa, rakshasa, rama, rishi, rudra-shiva, sadhaka, sagara, sage visvamitra vishvamitra, samnyasin, samsara, Samudra manthan, sanat kumara, sanatkumara, sankara, sannyasi, shankara, shanmukha, shudra, skanda, Skandah, Skandaḥ, srsti shristi, Subrahmanya, Subraḥmaṇya, sudra, surya namaskara, Uccaihshrava, Uccaihshravas, vaishya, vaisya, valmiki, vasuki, vasus, vibhutis, vishnu, visnu, yajna, yaksa, yaksha, ganga, yamuna

 

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission

Recorded 25 Feb, 2020

 

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