Gayatri-Mantra Meaning & Benefits, 4 Ways to Discipline, Gunas, Veda-Vyasa (86)
Gayatri-Mantra Meaning & Benefits, 4 Ways to Discipline a Human, 3 Gunas, Veda-Vyasa (86)

Summary:

Lesson 86 brings humility & removes subtle pride/arrogance. It shows us nothing is mine, like fame, knowledge, speech, memory, ability to contemplate, patience, capacity to forgive. What is a deva? Dangers of gambling? Glory of Arjuna, Vyasa, How to discipline and silence.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10: Verse 34, 35, 36, 37, 38.


Revision:

  • CH10 title is Vibhūti-Yoga. Wherein Krishna (representing Īśvara) says:
    • Because of My yoga (māyā), remaining as nimitta/upādāna-kāraṇam in potential…
    • When this potential becomes unstable (because of time still ticking in potential), then…
    • Māyā projects the jagat of apparent duality, using it’s 3 guṇa śākti.
    • What do we mean by “unstable”?
      • Imagine a mind that’s very peaceful/stable. Meaning it’s sattva-guṇa dominant.
        • When raja-guṇa arises (because of saṃskāra/vāsana), then mind extroverts.
      • In same way, māyā is pure sattva-guṇa.
        • When raja-guṇa arises (because of total saṃskārās), then…
        • … māyā projects a jagat (according to total saṃskārās).
        • And various jagat manifestations is what we call: vibhūtis.
  • Therefore, Arjuna is a tourist on bus going through jagat of vibhūtis.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 34:

mṛtyuḥ sarvaharaścāhamudbhavaśca bhaviṣyatām |
kīrtiḥ śrīrvākca nārīṇāṃ smṛtirmēdhā dhṛtiḥ kṣamā ||

I am death, the destroyer of everything; (I am) the source of future prosperity. Among ‘women’ (I am) fame, prosperity. Speech, memory, intelligence, fortitude and patience.

 

  • ahaṃ sarvaharaḥ mṛtyuḥ asmi: Whatever jīva has acquired, I am one who takes it all away at time of death.
    • mṛtyuḥ puts end to something.
    • Śaṅkara says, 2 types of death:
      • 1) Dhana-hara: Takes away wealth.
        • Title, land, possessions, money.
      • 2) Prāṇa-hara: Takes away life.
    • Whereas, mṛtyuḥ is sarva-hara: takes away everything (whole universe).
      • Previously, Lord Yama (V29) enforces discipline. Puts end to adharma. Whereas mrtyuḥ puts end to everything; the good, the bad and the ugly.
    • VERSE: I am Īśvara in form of destroyer (Rudra). Everything resolves into myself at time of pralaya.
  • udbhavaśca bhaviṣyatām:
    • 2 desirable ends for human being:
      • 1) Udbhavaḥ: that which happens in plenty & desirable way.
        • IE: Any pleasant experience. EG: Comfort.
        • Dharma, Artha, Kāma.
      • 2) Mokṣa: most desirable.
    • VERSE: Who am I (Bhagavān)? I am prosperity for those yet to taste dharma/artha/kāma. Their prosperity belongs to Me.
      • Thus today’s puṇya, is NOT yours. Because capacity to gather puṇya is My manifestation.
  • kīrtiḥ śrīḥ vāk ca nārīṇāṃ smṛtiḥ medhā dhṛtiḥ kṣamā:
    • Firstly, what is a devatā?
      • EG of devatās:
        • Lakṣmī: presides over wealth.
        • Sarasvatī: presides over knowledge.
        • Pārvatī: presides over śakti.
      • When we say “Everything in manifestation is associated to a deva/devatā”, we mean:
        • Every aspect of manifestation is governed by laws which intelligently interact with surroundings. EG:
          • Earth rotating around own axis.
          • Earth rotating around sun.
          • Skin punctured, blood vessels contract, proteins released to form clot.
          • Lightening: frozen droplets bump into each other. Create electric charge. Bottom of cloud NEG. Earth POS. Lightening.
          • Thermodynamics 1st law: Heat added. Some stays, some leaves.
          • So laws are various aspects of Īśvara’s intelligent cause (nimitta-kāraṇam).
            • These laws are called devās/devatās.
      • VERSE: Among female devatās (among words in fem. gender), I am:
        • Kīrtiḥ: fame born of dharma (virtues / good acts).
          • Possibility of mass recognition belongs to Īśvara.
        • Śrī: Wealth, health, knowledge, everything desirable.
        • Vāk: speech which is: hita (good), satya (truthful), priya (pleasant).
          • Can be either used for:
            • Fear-spreading, meaningless conversations, OR…
            • Impart well-researched knowledge, discipline, chant name of Lord.
        • smṛtiḥ: capacity to remember good advice WHEN needed.
        • medhā: power to receive, retain and reflect upon the essence of a subject.
        • dhṛtiḥ: perseverance, patience, fortitude.
          • Ability which makes one continue despite repeated failures.
          • Not letting your long term goal be tarnished by short-term hardships..
          • Paramarthānanda calls: saṃsāra rubber-ball.
        • kṣamā: Often translated ‘forgiveness’. Actually, capacity of not getting disturbed.
          • Mind doesn’t undergo significant changes when praised/criticized. Neither elated/depressed.
    • Remember: Next time someone claps because of your vāk (speech), kīrti (fame) and śrī (greatness)… that too belongs to Bhagavān.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 35:

bṛhatsāma tathā sāmnāṃ gāyatrī chandasāmaham |
māsānāṃ mārgaśīrṣō'hamṛtūnāṃ kusumākaraḥ ||

Moreover (I am) the Brhatsama among sāma-mantras; I am the Gāyatrī among Vēdic mantras; I am the Margasirsa among months; I am spring among seasons.

 

  • bṛhatsāma tathā sāmnāṃ: Among sāma-veda mantrās, I am mantra called Bṛhad-sāma.
    • It’s auspicious and melodious mantra glorifying infinite Bhagavān.
  • aham gāyatrī chandasām: Among various meters, I am gāyatrī meter. Gāyatrī has 2 meanings:
    • 1) gāyatrī-meter: (see Vedic-meter)
      • Many meters (chandas) in Veda, like: uṣṇik, anuṣṭup, triṣṭup, etc.
        • Among them, I am gāyatrī meter.
      • About meters:
        • Anuṣṭup meter called: śloka.
          • Has 4 pādas (lines).
          • Each pāda has 8 letters/syllables (akṣaras).
          • Total 32 akṣaras.
      • About gāyatrī-meter:
        • Has 3 pādas. Each has 8 akṣaras. Total 24 letters.
        • EG: gāyatrī-mantra:
          • Om: 1 akṣara.
          • Pāda 1: tat savitur vareṇyam = 7 akṣaras.
          • Pāda 2: bhargo devasya dhīmahi = 8 akṣaras.
          • Pāda 3: dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt = 8 akṣaras.
          • Total of 24 akṣaras (syllables): om (tat sa vi tur va re ṇyam) (bhar go de va sya dhī ma hi) (dhi yo yo naḥ pra co da yāt).
      • Why is gāyatrī-meter more exalted?
        • First mantra of Ṛg-veda in gāyatrī.
        • Makes up 25% of Ṛg-veda.
        • Every devatā has gāyatrī-meter attached.
    • 2) gāyatrī-mantra: (source)
      • Most popular mantra of all time because contains summary of entire brahma-vidyā.
      • Meaning:
        • Om: Īśvara, ultimate cause, and includes the 3 worlds:
          • Bhūḥ (bhūr is when used with sandhi), bhuvaḥ, suvaḥ: 3 worlds. Gross, subtle, unmanifest. (sthūla, sūkṣma, kāraṇa).
        • Tat (that Lord), vareṇyam (is the most worshipful).
        • Dhīmahi: we either:
          • Meditate upon that Lord as a sādhana, OR…
          • Recognize that Lord through brahma-vidyā.
          • Meaning:
            • Initial stages of spirituality, mantra is chanted as sādhana.
            • Later mantra is contemplated upon.
        • We contemplate upon devasya savituḥ: one who is self-effulgent and all-knowledge.
          • All-knowledge is symbolized by savitā (sun).
            • Because sun’s brilliance leaves no trace of darkness (ignorance).
            • Thus sun always likened to ātmā/Īśvara.
        • Yaḥ (that Lord), who is bhargaḥ (all-knowledge), pracodayāt (may He brighten), naḥ dhiyaḥ (our minds).
      • Mantra Translation: We are meditating upon the effulgence of Sun God, which activates our intelligence. Memory increase, viveka sharpens & vairāgyam improves, leads to niṣṭhā-jñānam.
      • Once know depth of this mantra, you have studied all Vedas.
      • Technical: Braḥmana Initiation:
        • Child is initiated into gāyatrī-mantra, after prostrating to elderly or scholar.
        • Child gets up and introduces himself as:
          • I am born in family of this ṛṣi.
          • I follow this dharma-sūtra (EG: āpastamba-sūtra, bodhāyana-sūtra), for purpose of performing various rituals.
          • I have studied this branch of Veda.
          • Practice still maintained by brāhmaṇas.
          • He may never have opened the Veda, but can say “I studied Veda” because gāyatrī-mantra chanting is equivalent to study of one Veda.
      • Main glory of gāyatrī-mantra is it contains essence of Veda.
      • How did gāyatrī-mantra come?
        • Brahmāji wanted to take essence of Veda and compress it into a single mantra.
          • Because as age turned rajasic, people had less time to chant whole Veda.
        • So Brahmāji created 3 pādas (lines) which summarized each of 3 main Vedās (Atharva-veda mainly for rituals).
          • Line 1: Ṛg-veda.
          • Line 2: Yajur-veda.
          • Line 3: Sāma-veda.
      • Accordingly, chanting gāyatrī-mantra, is equivalent to chanting 3 vedās.
      • It’s said, without chanting gāyatrī, then other mantra chanting, will not be fully effective.
        • Whereas, chanting gāyatrī, no other mantrās needed.
  • aham māsānāṃ mārgaśīrṣaḥ: Among the 12 months of year, I am Mārgaśīrṣa (Dec 15 – Jan 15).
    • Earth food related: Earth is rich in nutrients (after rainy season) and ready for planting/sowing.
    • Astrologically related:
      • During this month, sun goes to house of Capricorn.
      • End of this month, southern solstice comes to end.
      • Month is astrologically conducive to religious activities / spiritual sādhana.
  • ṛtūnāṃ kusumākaraḥ: I am Spring among the 6-seasons, when flowers blossom and people are most happy.
    • Each season lasts 2 months:
      • Spring (vasanta), Rainy-season/monsoon (varṣā), Autumn (śaradā), Pre-winter (hemanta), Cold-winter (śiśira), Summer (grīṣma).
    • Today, English 4-seasons has overshadowed Vedic.
    • During Spring, important Vedic fire ritual (jyotiṣṭoma) is performed.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 36:

dyūtaṃ chalayatāmasmi tējastējasvināmaham|
jayō'smi vyavasāyō'smi sattvaṃ sattvavatāmaham ||

I am gambling among all deceitful practices; I am the brilliance of the brilliant; I am effort; I am the virtue of the virtuous.

 

  • asmi dhyūtam chalayatām: I am gambling among all deceitful practices.
    • Chala (gambling) is anything with element of deception. Consequences are…
      • Addiction: like card games, alcohol, extreme sports.
      • Incurs loss. Robs discrimination. Causes irrationality.
        • EG: In mahābhārata, Dharmaputra (Yudhiṣṭhira) was embodiment of dharma.
          • Hooked during game of dice with Śakuni. Lost property, wife, brothers.
          • If Dharmaputra can forget dharma during gambling, then ordinary man stands no chance.
  • aham tejas tejasvinām: I am brilliance in those who are brilliant in any field of knowledge.
    • Meaning whatever brilliance, person enjoys, it does not belong to him/her.
    • All brilliance belongs to ātmā (Awareness), which is limitless in power and knowledge.
      • Thus if haven’t shifted identity to ātmā, then any ownership of “my” brilliance is a false-claim.
        • Why? Because to ajñāni, “my” refers to antaḥ-karaṇa, which learned everything from outside.
          • Antaḥ-karaṇa / memory / world = Īśvara’s glories.
        • 2nd interpretation: I am the brilliant discrimination, which easily resists gambling (chala) temptations.
  • jayaḥ asmi: I am the victory of the victorious. The success of the successful.
  • vyavasāyaḥ asmi: In those who have clarity of understanding because of their EFFORT… I am both, the effort & clarity.
    • What is EFFORT? Sheer hard work.
      • EG: Margot Fonteyn was greatest ballerina in world. Was asked about her effortless grace.
        • She said “It’s effortless now. Behind this grace/spontaneity, is years of grueling practice”.
  • satvaṁ sattvavatām: In sattva-predominant minds, I am that sattva-guṇa.
    • Everyone is mixture of sattva, rajas, tamas.
      • Sattva: accounts for contemplativeness, enquiry, knowledge, happiness.
        • Leads to inclination of: dharma, mokṣa.
      • Rajas: ambition, energy.
        • Leads to inclination of: artha, kāma.
      • Tamas:
        • Neither spiritually nor materially inclined. Lazyness.
        • Śāstra recommendation: First cultivate materialistic desire, then refine to spiritual.
  • Order: Sattva-guṇa mind > applies EFFORT (vyavasāyaḥ) > leads to: spiritual victory (jayaḥ).
    • Thus when inclined to enjoy spiritual success, remember that too belong to Īśvara.

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 37:

vṛṣṇīnāṃ vāsudēvō'smi pāṇḍavānāṃ dhanañjayaḥ|
munīnāmapyahaṃ vyāsaḥ kavīnāmuśanā kaviḥ||

I am Krishna among the Vrsnis; I am Arjuna among the Pandavas; I am Vyāsaḥ among the sages and (I am) sage Sukracharya among the seers.

 

  • vṛṣṇīnāṃ vāsudēvaḥ asmi:
    • Krishna has been speaking of himself as Īśvara.
    • Now Krishna talks of himself as an avatāra with physical body, and called Vāsudeva (son of Vāsudeva, Devaki putraḥ).
    • VERSE: Amongst my people who are called vṛṣṇikula (Yādavas), I am Vāsudeva.
      • Meaning, Yādavas see Kṛṣṇa as jīva, and not Īśvara.
    • QUESTION: Why is Krishna most glorious avatāra, despite other avatārās?
      • According to Paramarthānanda, Krishna avatāra main purpose is to dispense brahma-vidyā.
        • Other avatārās, main purpose was to destroy asurās.
  • pāṇḍavānāṃ dhanañjayaḥ: Among Pāṇḍavas, I am Dhanañjaya (Arjuna). Because:
    • Arjuna considered most accomplished among brothers in mental/physical abilities.
    • Favorite of great men like Bhīṣma, Droṇa. Dearest friend of Lord Krishna.
    • Attracted even celestial beauty Urvaśī.
    • Arjuna is first receiver of Gītā śāstra, directly from Bhagavān.
    • Why did Krishna give Gītā specifically to Arjuna and not Dharmaputra?
      • Because Arjuna asked for it. Thus most qualified.
  • ahaṃ vyāsaḥ munīnām: Among scholars, seers, and those with capacity to think & retain, I am Veda-Vyāsa.
    • He wrote Mahābhārata.
    • Authored 18 Purāṇās.
    • Considered incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu.
    • It is said, all knowledge in world is only a fraction of his total knowledge.
    • Brought together dispersed Veda mantrās and compiled them into 4 groups; sake of preservation/protection.
      • Rule was: Each family retains and studies ONE (selected) Veda, and passes to next generation.
      • Dividing into 4 makes study of each Veda easier. 12-years per Veda.
    • Called Veda-Vyāsa because re-arranged/compiled the Vedās.
      • His original birth name: Kṛṣṇa-Dvaipāyana.
    • Also wrote Brahma-sūtras, which tackles opposing Vedāntic view, thereby establishing Vedic vision.
    • Vyāsa is called sutrakāra. Ādi Śaṅkara is called bhāṣyakāra.
    • Tradition holds that Lord Śiva was Ādi Śaṅkara. And Lord Nārāyaṇa was Vyāsa (Bādarāyaṇa).
      • Since Vyāsa dwelt under the Badara tree (Indian jujube/Ber), while contemplating, became known as Bādarāyaṇa, and work known as Bādarāyaṇa-sūtra (Brahma-sūtra).
    • Without Vyāsa, none of Upaniṣads would have been retained.
  • Kavīnām uśanā kaviḥ:
    • Kavi: can see into 3 periods of time: past, present, future. Meaning ESP (Extra-sensory-perception).
    • Among such kavi-seers, I am Uśanā (Śukrācārya).
    • He is guru of all asurās. But they wouldn’t listen.
    • Uśana also created famous work on ethics: Śukra-nīti. (sample ethics).

 

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 38:

daṇḍō damayatāmasmi nītirasmi jigīṣatām |
maunaṃ caivāsmi guhyānāṃ jñānaṃ jñānavatāmaham ||

I am the rod of the punishers; I am diplomacy of those desirous of Victory. I am silence among secrets and I am the wisdom of the wise.

 

  • daṇḍaḥ damayatām asmi: Among various methods of discipline, I am daṇḍaḥ (rod of punishment).
    • 4 ways to discipline person who strays from path of good (harming self/others):
      1. Sāma: Warm and friendly advice. So they follow the rules.
      2. Dāna: Giving him something will keep his away from wrong.
      3. Bheda: Creating doubt in her mind about her action.
        • How? By education. Let her see how it is not in her own best interest.
      4. When nothing else works, Daṇḍa: punishment to deter him from repeating wrong action.
        • How NOT to punish?
          • With humiliation, unfair guidelines.
          • Causes rebellion, seeking revenge.
        • How to punish?
          • Firstly, if don’t correct child’s mistake, then likely makes bigger mistake in future.
          • Thus punishment can involve: restricting, grounding, physical.
    • Meaning, those who enforce punishment for sake of discipline, I am that discipline.
    • Similarly, if one has self-discipline, I am (Bhagavān) that discipline also.
  • Nītiḥ jigīṣatām: Amongst the victorious, I am nītiḥ (diplomacy/strategy), which leads to success.
    • When achieve victory (free of himsa), it must come with framework of justice. Else not considered victory, but cheating (which creates resentment in society).
      • I am that order of justice, which leads to dharmic victory.
  • maunaṃ ca eva asmi guhyānāṃ: Among devices which maintain secrecy, I am the best device – silence.
    • 2nd interpretation: maunam (SILENCE) also represents paramātma, which even witnesses the silence-of-sound.
      • Thus, I am paramātma among the secrets. Reason why CH9 called: Rāja vidyā rāja guhyam: King of knowledge/secrets.
  • jñānaṃ jñānavatām aham: OF those with ātma-jñānam, I am that knowledge because of which jñāni is free.
    • Therefore any namaskāra to jñāni, is never claimed as own, but quietly handed over to Īśvara.
    • How to “hand over” to Īśvara?
      • Virāt-bhakta’s buddhi:
        • Īśvara is nimitta/upādāna-kāraṇam of everything.
      • Jñāni’s buddhi:
        • Owning to past practice, the buddhi remains objective. Meaning there is neither:
          • (a) Handing over anything (because if reality is non-dual, what is there to hand over and to whom?), nor…
          • (b) Owning anything.
        • Because both are mithyā.

 

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

Recorded 10 March, 2020

 

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