Friday, February 3, 2012

KNOWLEDGE OF BRAHMAN AND THE PRAYER MANTRAS



 

KNOWLEDGE OF BRAHMAN AND THE PRAYER MANTRAS

(From Mahaanaaraayana Upanishad)

(I-DISCOURSE BY N.R. SRINIVASAN, FEBRUARY 2012)

It is one Consciousness which pervades the entire world from its most insignificant to the highest expression. The Consciousness transcends all the divisions. The divisions could be made or occurring naturally. The divisions are the cause of various conflicts, sufferings and insecurities. We must gain the knowledgeof this Consciousness by Dahaeravidya in which all the divisions fade away like a distant dream. To abide in this knowledge of one Consciousness is the true benediction of life. Prajnaanam Brahma--Brahman is  Absolute Consciousness.


Daharavidya contains bunch of mantras from Vedas and Upanishads and deals with the spiritual knowledge that throws light on Brahman and also the prayer mantras for meditation on the Supreme Being. All forms of worship are directed only towards Brahman who is the final destination for all liberated souls to merge with the Supreme Soul. Daharavidya is contained in Mahaanaraayana Upanishad of Krishna Yajurveda. Some of the mantras contained in it are found in Kathopanishad, Svetaavatara Upanishad and Rigveda. Its theme is also reiterated in Bhagavadgeeta. Lord Krishna said in Bhagavdgeetaa that he will be content with one leaf, or one flower or one fruit or even little water when offered with devotion for his worship. Mantrapushpa is a sacred spiritual flower and would be more pleasing to him than all other flowers of the material world. Daharavidya is a Mantrpushpa and it is unique for it contains mantras from various Upanishads and Rigveda.

 
The cause of the Universe is called Brahman. He is also known by the name Sat, Akshara, Aakaasa, Jataveda, Paramaatman, Narayana, Bhooma, more often as Aaatman and sometimes Agni, Praana, Rudra, Aaditya as traced in various Upanishads. The world is created by him, sustained by him and dissolved back into him. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is the inner Self of all called Aaatman or sometimes Jeevaatman. He is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. He is the Lord of all creations and is also the substratum of all creation. All our prayers, meditations and worship are directed to him only for he is the ultimate goal for all.

 
He is meditated upon in his visible form called Purusha. Fire is his head, the sun and moon are his eyes, the quarters are his ears, the Vedas are his speech and the earth is his d feet as described in Purushsookta, the hymn in Rigveda. He is also described as having thousand heads, thousand eyes, thousand hands and thousand feet in his cosmic form indicating his omnipresence everywhere and in everything. He is bright and brilliant, of golden hue, with all the parts of the body of golden color, and his eyes resembling fully blossomed red lotus. He sees, hears and knows all but none can see or hear or know him. He is perfection personified. He is the ultimate goal of all.

 
In Bhriguvallee, (discourse given earlier) sage Bhrigu tries to describe Brahman by scientific approach and logic. Mahanarayana Upanishad here tries to expound him from various sources of Upanishads and Vedas by what it calls as Daharavidya, Knowledge of Brahman, in its exposition of him. These are contained in the following mantras of that Upanishad. These Mantras are sacred for meditation on Brahman and Daharavidya is a unique Vedic Mantrapushpa, since Mahanarayana Upanishad has compiled and edited all these Mantras from other Upanishads and Rigveda. These Mantras are suitable for silent meditation as hinted in the text of these Mantras.

 
Mahanarayana Upanishad includes Uttara anuvaka of Purusha sooktam about which we have dealt in detail in previous discourses. These are also intended for meditation on Brahman. This Upanishad also includes Hiranyagarbha sooktam whose theme is the same as Purusha Sooktam and Daharavidya. Therefore, though a Sooktam this Sooktam is included here. Mahanarayana Upanishad does not also call this Sooktam but "ityashtau", the eight mantras.

 
Mahanarayan Upanishad contains only 150 mantras which should be convenient to recite as daily Paraayana (Sacred chanting). In its special style this Upanishad walks you through the Vedas and other Upanishads which enables us focus on important sacred mantras for chanting whose meaning gives in a nutshell the entire wisdom contained in Vedas. It also caters to the needs of all religious traditions (Sampradayas)—Saiva, Vaishnava, Sakta. It even includes Ganesh Gayatri and "Twarita Rudra", Rudra for quick chanting, though many feel it leans more towards Srivaishnava Sampradaya based on Srivaishnava interpretations.

 
DAHARAVIDYA

 
*Anoraneeyaan mahato maheeyaan aatmaa guhaayaam nihitoesya jantoh |
Tamakratum pasyati veetasokoe dhatuh prasaadaan mahimaanam-eesam || 1 ||

 
The Supreme Spirit is stationed in the cave of the heart of the individual's soul. He is subtler than the subtle and greater than the great. When the individual Self realizes that Paramaatman who is without any attachment to karma, who is great and who is the master, then this individual soul gets freed from all grief on account of the grace of that supporter. He is the master of all (Eesam).]

 
[This mantra is repeated in Katha Upanishad and Svetaavataara Upanishad. In this Mantra the nature of Brahman is expounded. The Supreme Spirit is residing in the cave of the heart of all Jeevaatmans. The heart referred here should not be confused with human heart. The Self stationed in that spiritual heart of Jeevaaatman (which itself subtle) is subtler. It can enter that subtle heart though it is all pervasive.]

 
Sapta praanaah prabhavanti tasmaat saptaarchishah samidhah sapta jihvaah \
Sapta imae lokaa yeshu charanti praanaah guhaasayaan-nihitaah saptasapta || 2 ||

 
Seven sense organs, seven fires, the sacrificial fuel and seven flames are born from Paramaatman. The sense organs move in these seven worlds that are deposited by the creator in groups of seven and seven. [The seven flames are Kaalee, Karaalee, Manojavaa, Sulohitaa, Sudhoomra-varna, Sphulingini and Visvaruchi. These mean black, terrible, having the speed of mind, very red, colored like thick smoke, emitting spark and having innumerable sparks. They are the form of tongues of fire. The seven fagots (samits) used in fire sacrifice (yagna) are Asvattha, Udumbara, Paalasa, Samee, Vikangata, Asanihitavriksha and Pushkaraparna. These are fagots from sacred and medicinal plants. Mantras 2 to 7 are found in Mundaka Upanishad also. It looks as though this Upanishad has collected various ritual Mantras and Mantrapushpas from various Upanishads and Vedas]

 
Atah samudraa girayascha sarve-asmaat syandante sindhavas-sarva-roopaah |
Atascha visvaa oshadhayoe rasaascha yenaisha bhootas-tishthanty-antar-aatmaa || 3 ||

 
All oceans and mountains are born from him. Rivers of all magnitude and forms flow out from him. All herbs and juices are produced from him for this Paramaatman abides as the inner-self of all these. [This Paramaatman is the inner-self (antaryami) of even those non-sentient entities. Therefore all these oceans, mountains, rivers like Ganga, Jamuna etc., emerge out of him alone]

 
Brahmaa devaanaam padaveeh kaveenaam-rishi-vipraanaam mahisho mrigaanaam |
Syeno gridhraanaam svadhitir-vanaanaa(g)am somah pavitram-atyeti rebhann || 4 ||

 
Among Gods He is Brahma; amongst poets he is the foremost that renders the guidance; amongst the intelligent he is a Rishi (seer); amongst the animals he is the mighty bison; amongst the hawks he is the eagle; amongst the destructive weapons he is the axe;. He delights like the Moon. He is the effulgent and he is the most celebrated amongst all purifiers. [In Bhagavadgeeta Lord Krishna says whatever is celebrated and great in this universe, it is all his manifestation only in parts. It is also made clear here that Brahma and other gods are all his creation only. This Mantra is also found in Rigveda addressed to the deity Soma in sacrifices]

 
Ajaam-ekaam lohita-sukla-krishnaam bahveem prajaam janayantee(ga)m saroopaam |
Ajoe hyoko jushamaano–anusete jahaat-yenaam bhukta-bhogaam-ajo-anyah || 5 ||

 
The one unborn (Jeevaatman) is happily stationed by the side of another unborn (prakriti) of the red, white and black color which is creating manifold creatures similar to itself. The other unborn Jeevaatman discards that unborn (Prakriti) which has been experienced by it.

 
[Aja represents flame, water and food which have the colors that are the modifications of the three entities. (Human races are also of these colors or their modifications.) The un-enlightened Jeevaatman which is unborn (eternal and clouded by Maaya) follows Prakriti, identifies with it and feels that it is enjoying. An enlightened Jeevatman which is unborn (eternal) discards Prakriti considering that worldly pleasures are insignificant and of temporary nature. Jeevaatman is always eternal be it is enlightened or not. When it is tainted with Gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) it is reborn. When it get rids of them it is liberated.]

 
Ha(g)msas-suchishat vasur-antarikshasad hotaa vedishad-athitir-durona-sat |
Nrishad vara-sadrita-sad vyoma-sadabjaa gojaa ritajaa adrijaa ritam brihat || 6 ||

 
The Sun (Hamsa), all that shines, the wind in the atmosphere, the fire on the altar, the house-guest, the Antaryamin (Inner-self) in individuals, the in-dwellers in the divines above, the one which resides in the world of Truth, the resident of celestial sky, birth of water, creation of earth, nature and origin sacrifice, emergence of mountains, all these are due to the manifestations of the Great Truth in them, that is Brahman.

 
[The laws of karma are operative even in Svarga (ritam) and others]

 
Yasmaat-jaataa na paraa naiva kinchanaa-asa ya aavivesha bhuvanaani viswaa |
Prajaapatih prajayaa samvidaana streeni jyotee(ga)mshi sachate sa shodasee || 7 ||

 
All effects are born of Brahman and none else. There was nothing prior to that whatsoever. He entered into them as inner controller (antaryaamin) after creating them. One, who is master of all and worshipped by all, has entered to the three luminaries, the Sun, the Moon and the Fire. This one alone has entered into eleven sense organs and five elements, the sixteen evolutes.

 
[Since there was nothing before the Supreme Spirit all the things were assuredly created by it only. Bhagavadgeeta also mentions the Sun, the Moon and the Fire as three luminaries. The Supreme Spirit functions through all these which are its creation only. They get their luminosity from Brahman only.]

 
Vidhartaara(g)am havaamahe vasoh ku-vidwaanaati nah | Savitaaram nri-chakshasam || 8 ||

 
We invoke with our prayers the Lord who created this world, who sustains this Universe and who imparts knowledge to people. May that lord grant us all wealth all times!

 
[Eye in human beings symbolizes the knowledge imparted by the Supreme Being]

 
Adyaa noe deva savitah prajaavat savees-saubhagam |
Paraa dushvapniya(g) suva || 9 ||

 
Oh resplendent God Savitar! You have blessed us with prosperity in the form of off-springs. Please be merciful to discard the fear caused by bad dreams!

 
[This is a prayer for progeny and destruction of fear from bad dreams.]

 
Viswaani deva savitar-duritaani paraasuva |
Yad bhadram tanma aasuva || 10 ||

 
Oh Resplendent Lord Savitar! Thou art the cause of Universe. Please grant us that which is ultimately beneficial and good!

 
[The Rig-Vedic prayer mantras 9 and 10 are oft repeated at the end of all rituals. We often do not know what is good for us. What we think good for us may not be good for us in the long run. So we pray to the Lord to grant us that which will be for our good. In Bhagavadgeeta Lord mentions two kinds of happiness—Sreyas and Preyas. Preyas is that which brings temporary pleasures. Sreyas is the one that will bring everlasting peace and happiness called also Bliss. Sreyas is to be sought after from the Lord. Kathopanishad also elaborates on these two types of happiness]

 
Madhu vaataa ritaayate madhu ksharanti sindhavah | Maadhveer-nas-santhva-oshadeeh || 11 ||

 
I am desirous of reaching Paramaatman. May the winds blow and shower bliss on me! May the oceans likewise be blissful to me! May plants and herbs also be blissful to me!

 
[Madhu means honey which is sweet and brings happy feelings to one who eats it. Therefore madhu here means happiness. The happiness sought after here is the Eternal Bliss, the final goal of all, to be in the company of the Lord after liberation and not temporary worldly pleasures.]

 

 

Madhu naktam-utoshaci madhumat paarthiva(ga)m rajah | Madhu dyaur-astu nah pitaa || 12 ||

 
May all things shower sweetness like honey on me day in and day out! May all elements on earth be likewise sweet to me! May the heavens of my ancestors (pitruloka) bring joy to me always!

 
Madhumaa-nnoe vanaspatir-madhumaa(ga)m astu sooryah |
Maadhveer-gaavo bhavantu nah || 13 ||

 
May trees and plants that provide food be sweet to us! May the Lord Soorya (Sun God) be always sweet to us! May our cows be sweet to us!
[Mantras 8 to 12 are prayers to the Lord seeking granting wealth, progeny, cattle wealth, ultimate good (sreyas) and friendly environment from all natural elements.]

 
Ghritam mimikshoe ghritamasya yoni | ghrite sritoe ghritamuvasya dhaama |
Anushvadham-aavaha maadavasya svaahaa-kritam vrishabha vakshi havyam || 13 ||

 
Paramaatman, who is like the melted butter, makes everything sweet and tasteful. This melted butter alone (ghee) is the material cause of the universe. This universe merges in melted butter. That is the exclusive abode of this universe. Oh Paramaatman, you are having Agni (fire) as your body; you accept and carry the oblation offered with the mantra "svaahaa'. Make it similar to Svadhaa. Delight all those deities that are subservient to you in this fire oblation by each utterance of Svaahaa.

 
[Vrishabha means Agni here though generally understood as bull. Ghrita may also mean water, as fire produces water. Brahman is often referred to as "Yajnapurusha" and so he is having fire as his body. God of fire is always invoked in sacrifices and requested to carry all oblations to the desired Deity as well as Brahman.]

 
Samudraad-oormir-madhuma(g)m udaarad-upaa(ga)m sunaa sama-mritatva-maanat |
Ghritasya naama guhyam yadasti jihvaa devaanaam-amritasya naabhih || 14 ||

 
Pleasant waves are born out of the ocean. By chanting the secret mantras slowly it acquires the status of divine nectar (amrita). That is the clarified butter (ghee). The secret name of ghee is "the tongue of the Gods", the support of divine nectar.

 
[This is in praise of clarified butter so essential to sacrifice. When milky ocean was churned for getting divine nectar, sweet waves were generated. When secret mantra is chanted slowly it becomes clarified butter (ghrita). It is then enjoyed by Gods. The secret name of clarified butter is divine nectar (amrita) and tongue of the Gods is its place of landing. When mantras are chanted slowly with only lip movement without producing sound it is called Upaamsu.]

 
Vayam naama prabra-vaamaa ghritena-asmin yajne dhaarayaamaa namobhih |
Upa Brahmaa srinavacchasya-maanam chatus-sringo-avameed-gaura etat || 15 ||

 
We shall call the name of that by the term Ghrita (clarified butter). We shall pay our obeisance and glorify it in the sacrifice. Oh Lord who is being praised, who is ever pure and who is propounded by four Vedas, please listen to this: "Parabrahman or Paramaatman only created this most supreme Ghritam".

 
[Ghrita, clarified butter used in fire-sacrifices is glorified here. Veads are referred to here as four peaks—chatussringah. Brahman is the cause of Ghritam. It is therefore symbolically addressed as Brahman.]

 
Chatvaari sringaa trayo asya paadaa dvae seershe sapta hastaaso asya |
Tridhaa baddho vrishbho roraveeti maho devo matyaa(ga)m aavivesa || 16 ||

 
Four Vedas are four peaks for the Parmaatman; The eternal, the liberated and the bound souls are the three feet: The pure Satva and Triguna Satva are the two heads; The Mahat tattva and others that are causes and effects are the seven hands. The most glorified Vaasudeva assuming the forms of Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha (Four Vyuhas) makes everything designated with name and form. Such celebrated Lord has entered into all entities, sentient and non-sentient as Antaryamin (inner-self).

 
[This Mantra appears to refer to Agni but ultimately Agni takes everything to Brahman only. Hence it is directly addressed to Brahman]

 


[Vedas are one of the greatest gifts to humanity that India or the world has ever produced. A few Vedic mantras like the Gayatri mantra are commonly practiced that have afforded great reverence, yet the rest of the ten thousand verses of the Rigveda are seldom examined or recited.

May I draw your attention to the above  Rigveda mantra which I chant daily during Veda-parayana of Mahnarayana; 




“Chatvari sringa trayo asya pada dve seershe sapta hastaso asya | tridhaa baddho vrishabho roraveeti martyaa maho devo aavivesa || Rigveda IV.58.3.” 

The syllable Om or Brahman   conceived as a mystic bull  has four  horns, three feet, two heads and seven hands.  This bull connected in a threefold manner, eloquently declares the Supreme. The Self-luminous Deity has entered the mortal everywhere.  

This only suggests Brahman is Kaalpurusha or Time, symbolizing   the Yuga number or cosmic age of 4 3 2 0000000 (4320,000,000 million) years which is one Kalpa. We are now in Svetavaraha Kalpa. The mantra suggests only the numbers in order 4, 3, 2 and 7 zeros but we must understand   the true depth of the riddle language of Vedas. It defines what a Kalpa is in mathematics. Vedic mathematics is a wide subject.

Here the Pranava declares the Supreme Reality eloquently. The declaration here implies the presence of Paramaatman in all creatures and his sustaining   of them. The first line of the mantra talks of numbers 4+3+2+7=16. This represents the human being who  constitutes 10 sense organs, Manas (mind)   and five elements (panch bhootas ) mentioned elsewhere as Shodasee or 16. These are bound by three that means three Gunas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

Again 16X3=48. Chamakam asks us to meditate on 48 the ending even number. That implies Human being as Self must  meditate on Parabrahman.  We have 24 names of the Lord represented by 24 letters of Gayatri  adding up to 48; Sanskrit letters are 48;  first letter “A” represents Siva and last letter  “H” represent Sakti. It also represents Saguna Brahman and Prakriti.   

According to Bhattabhaskara the four horns are the four adjutants of the sacrifice, Adhvaryu, Hotri, Brahmana and Udgaatri(4); the three (3) feet are Gaarhapatya, Aahavaneeya,  Anavaahaaryapachana; the heads  are the institutor of the sacrifice and his wife or the Praayaneeya and  Udayaneeya (2) ; the seven (7) meters  headed by Gayatri are  the seven hands. The body of the sacrifice is bound in a three-fold   manner by three savannas or ceremonies connected with the extraction of Soma. The Yajna grants desired objects. So it is Vrishabha. The noise produced by bull compares to the chant of the three Vedas at the sacrifice.  The Lord himself entered human beings (Shodasee) through the sacrifice in which He is worshipped.  You can thus see how deep the meaning can be fore this Rigveda Mantra]

 
The gods meditated Upon Brahman in the form of nectar or cow's clarified butter (ghee) that incarnated in three forms as Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha (Three Vyuhas) glorified by those who praised. Indra took resort to one Vyuha of the three; Soorya took resort to another.
Others meditated upon the vyuha (Emanation) that manifested from Vasudeva who is present, with great love, for that one which is most enjoyable. Gods meditated upon the clarified butter of cow (Ghrita) as Brahman of the form of divine nectar.

 
['Tridhaa aahitam' refers to three emanations (vyuhas) of Vasudeva--Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. The Mantra clarify that different aspirants meditated upon different emanations manifested from Vasudeva.]

 
Yo devaanaam prathamam purastaad visvaadhiko rudro maharshih |
Hiranyagarbham pasyata jaayamaana(ga)m sa noe devah subhayaa smrit-yaa
samyunaktu || 18 ||

 
May Lord Rudra, the Omniscient, who cast his glances on Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) the foremost amongst those born (first born) and declared "May this Hiranyagarbha become the greatest of all", unite us with an auspicious mind.

 
[Rudra here relates to Paramaatman. He is called Rudra because he drives away the disease of Samsara. (rutaat traayate iti rudrah).]

 
Yasmaat param na-aparam-asti kinchid yasmaan-naaneeyo na jyaayo-asti kaschit |
Vriksha iva stabdho divi tishthaty-ekas-tenedam poornam purushena sarvam || 19 ||

 
All this is completely pervaded by that Purusha, who has no second entity, more celebrated than him. There is no subtler or greater entity than him and he stands still like a gigantic tree in heaven. [This mantra is also found in Svetaavataara Upanishad. He is called Purusha. Entire universe is pervaded by him. He is the most subtle and greatest of all. Brahma, Rudra and the Universe are like a string of straw before him.]

 
Na karmanaa na prajayaa dhanena tyaagena-eke amritatvam-aanasuh |
Parena naakam nihitam guhaayaam vibhraajate yad yatayoe visanti || 20 ||

 
That immortality which the sages attain, that immortality which is stationed in Paramapada which is above heaven cannot be attained by rites or by heredity or by wealth. But it is attained by some through self-surrender (saranaagati) and renunciation.

 
[Immortality is not attainable by religious rites performed for gaining results. It is gained only by complete surrender to the Lord. Even who follow Bhaktiyoga should adopt saranaagati, complete surrender at the feet of the Lord as said in Bhagavadgeeta (Sarvadharmaan parityajya maamekam saranam vraja)]

 
Vedaanta-vijnaana-sunischitaarthaah sanyaasa-yogaad yatayas-suddha-satvaah |
Te brahmaloke tu paraanta-kaale para-amritaat parim-uchyanti sarve || 21 ||

 
Those who have renounced the world (recluses) and have gained the knowledge of Upanishads, whose minds are purified because of the complete surrender to the Lord, become freed from all bonds, by reaching Paramaatman in his abode after physical death.

 
Daharam vipaapmam para-vesma-bhootam yat pundareekam pura-madhya-sag(g)stham |
Tatraapi daharam gaganam visokas-tasmin-yadantas-tad-upaasitavyam || 22 ||

 
That small lotus of the spiritual heart, which is opposed to all that is defiling and which is the dwelling of the Paramaatman, is located in the middle (center point) of the body of the seeker. Even there, the small space which is within the dwelling and which is characterized by freedom from sin and others and that which is within that space both need to be meditated upon.

 
[The body is the city of Brahman. there is a small abode here that is the heart. That space and that within that space both are to be meditated upon. Dahara is small ether which is Brahman.]

 
Yad vedaadau svarah prokto vedaante cha pratishthitah |
Tasya prakiti- leenasya yah parassa mahesvarah ||

 
The Pranava, Om is ordained to be chanted at the beginning of Veda and also at the end of it. The letter A into which it merges is the source of it. Paramaatman is denoted by that letter A in AUM.

 
[Mahesvara is Paramaatman. This meditation on him is called Dahara -upaasana. The seed of the Pranava is the letter A (akaara). The Pranava is the seed of the Veda. Mahesvara is the ultimate cause of this universe. He is the cause of all other causes of this universe. Geetaa also says so:
"Yo maam ajamanaadim cha vetti lokamahesvaram"]    

 

 

 
*Note—"Anoraneeyaan mahato maheeyan"—Smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest.

 
A thing of measurable magnitude cannot be at the same time ever abiding and absolutely stable. Anything that has a magnitude which can be measured no matter how small the magnitude, is perishable, not abiding. The ultimate Being, is stable, and this Being as Self or Aatman in individuals and therefore it is magnitude less, is smaller than the smallest like a point (anu). Therefore we feel Aatman to be nowhere located, at no definite spot and yet as it were, everywhere in the body. The Self in individual seems to be present wherever a particular mental function or movement is directed, that is wherever attention is directed.

 
It is paradoxical that Aatman is "greater than the greatest". We experience universe as something expanding, spreading itself in boundless space and we feel that we can reach out beyond the universe, beyond every limit which may be imagined in space. It would be impossible to have these experiences if the Self were only infinitely small like a mathematical point. In order to have wide reach-ability in space, Aatman need not be infinitely great. A limited greatness would equally serve the purpose. But whatever is of limited extent and therefore of a measurable magnitude is perishable and cannot be abiding. But Aatman is abiding Being. Aatman therefore must besides being infinitely small must be infinitely great. Upanishadic texts say Aatman is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. That means Aatman is beyond all space, every-where and no-where.

 

 

 

HIRANYAGARBHA ITYASHTAU



 

Hiranyagarbah samavartata-agre bhootasya jaatah patireka aaseet |
Sa dadhaara prithaveem dyaumutemaam kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 1 ||

 

The Supreme Being was residing in his abode Vaikuntha before creation. He created number of things at the time of creation and became their sustainer. He supported the earth, the Nether Worlds, the Heaven and the worlds above. May we offer our Self or Aaatman in the form of oblation unto that resplendent Lord!

 
Yah praanato nimishato mahitvaa-eka id raajaa jagato babhoova |
Ya eweso asya dvipadas-chatushpadah kasmai devaaya havisha-vidhema || 2 ||

 
May we be able to offer the oblation of our Self to that Supreme Being, the Lord of all, who became the one supreme ruler of all living beings moving and non-moving on Earth, and who rules from within all two legged (bipeds) and four legged (quadrupeds) creatures thriving on the earth.
[Supreme Being has his name as "Kim" as nobody knows his name or person]

 
Yah aatmadaa baladaa yasya viswa upaasane prasisham yasya devaah |
Yasyac-chaayaa-amritam yasya mrityuh kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 3 ||

 
He who presents himself to those who seek refuge in him, he who gives strength to experience him, he whose divine command is obeyed by all beings implicitly, he to whom all Gods like Indra and others are subordinates, he to whom immortality follows like a shadow and he to whom the God of Death (Yama) is subservient, may we offer our oblation of Self to that Lord of all!

 
Yasyeme himavanto mahitvaa yasya samudra(ga)m rasayaa sahaahuh |
Yasyemaah praviso yasya baahoo kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 4 ||

 
To whom these towering slow-clad mountains like Himalayas are subservient, on account of the glory of whom the animate beings residing in the ocean and on earth are subservient to him, to whom these main directions and individual living in these directions are subservient and to whom these main directions and the intermediary directions are his arms, to him, that Lord of all beings, may we offer our Self as oblation!

 
Yam krandacee avasaa tastabhaane abhyai-kshetaam manasaa rejamaane |
Yatra-api soora uditau vyeti kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 5 ||

 
Whom the dual deity (dyava-prithavee), heaven and earth shining by light founded for the protection of the world, crying on account of the evil forces (asuras), but at the same time looking up with their eyes hopefully with respect for the termination of that fear, and ruled over by whom the sun rises and sets, to that s Supreme Being may we offer our Self as oblation!

 
Yena dyaur-ugraa prithavee cha dhridhe yena suvah stabhitam yena naakah |
Yo antarikshe rajaso vimaanah kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 6 ||

 
By whom the powerful sky and terrestrial regions were made solid, by whom the blissful heaven was established firmly in its place, by whom the world of Brahman and others was made highly delightful, he who reside in the supreme abode called Vaikuntha, which is beyond all egoistic region (rajasic) with the unfathomable glory of his prime nature and auspicious disposition, unto him may we offer our Self as oblation!

 
Aaapo ha yan-mahateer-viswaayan daksham dadhaana janayanteer-agnim |
Tatoe devaanaam niravartata-aasur-ekah kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 7 ||

 
The vast casual waters capable of creating the four faced Brahma, the first born and which were forceful in bringing forth the cosmic egg, pervaded all entities. He who is the originator of those waters first became the supporter of all entities, being the sole breath of all Gods. May we offer our Self as oblation to that Supreme Being!

 
Yaschid-aapo mahinaa parya-pasyat daksham dadhaana janayanteer-agnim |
Yo deveshu-adhi deva-eka aaseet kasmai devaaya havishaa vidhema || 8 ||

 
He looked at these waters by the virtue of his greatness in such a way they would be capable of creating the cosmic egg as well as others. He the creator of this vast universe was by his very nature the one God over all other gods and divines. May we offer our Self as oblation to such a Supreme Being!

 
[This is the prayer for self surrender called Saranaagati and Aaatma samarpanam (offering the Self itself). This teaching from these mantras is echoed in Lord Krishna's last advice to Arjuna his ardent disciple and closest friend--Leaving all Dharmas behind surrender to me alone—"Sarva dharmaan parityajya maamekam saranam vraja"]

 
Maa noe himseejjanitaa yah prithivyaa yo vaa divam satya-dharmaa jajaana ||
Yaschaapas-chndraa brihateer- jajaana kasmai devaaya havishaa viddhema ||

 
Father of the world–may he not destroy us who with Truth as his Law made the heavens and produced waters vast and beautiful. May we offer our oblation to such a Supreme Being!

 
[Rigveda Samhita contains the last two mantras and calls it Hiranyagarbha Sooktam which also ends with "havishaa vidhema". The last mantra does not end with these words. Mahaanaarayana Upanishad has repeated only first eight mantras and does not call it a Sookta.]

 
The concluding Mantra is as follows:

 
Prajaapate na tvadetaan-yanyo viswaa jaataani pari taa babhoova |
Yat-kaamaaste juhoomas-tannoe astu vayam syaama patayoe rayeenaam ||

 
Prajaapat! No one but you surrounds all these creatures (in creation). With what desire we offer to you, let that be ours. May we be rulers over riches! [Here Prajaapati means Hiranygarbha]

 
[This Sookta starts out with the speculation that in the beginning, there was a golden embryo, which arose as the One Lord of Creation (Rigveda 10:121). The last mantra in Hiranyagarbha Sookta speaks of Prajaapati as the other name of Hiranyagarbha. The creator God Prajaapati as the specific name of a specific God occurs only in the later texts of Vedic tradition. Hiranyagarbha certainly refers to the Supreme Principle just like the word Prajaapati from the above and not to four-faced Brahma. The lord who is to be worshipped with all oblations and worship is none other than the Antaryamin (inner controller) of all entities, the Lord of Lakshmi. Vishnu Sahasranaama praises Vishnu by the name "Hiranyagarbah Satrughnah". Usually these eight mantras are chanted together with the last six mantras of Mahaanaaraayana Upanishad.]

 

 
VAISVADEVA MANTRAAH

 
Om tad brahma | om tad vaayuh | om tad aatmaa | om tat satyam | om tat sarvam | Om tat puror namah ||

 
OM is that Brhaman. OM is that Aaatman. OM is that Truth. OM is all that. OM is that primeval cause that existed before creation. So, our obeisance are to that OM (Pranava).

 
Omantascharati Bhooteshu guhaayaam visva moortishu | Tvam yajnastvam vashatkaaras-tvam-indras-tva(ga)m rudras-tvam vishnus-tvam brahma tvam prajaapatih ||

 
You are called by the name OM within the cave of the spiritual heart of all living beings as their controller of inner self. You are Yajna, Vishnu, Vashatkaara, Rudra, Brahma and Prajaapati.
[All entities in the universe other than the Supreme Principle have him only as their inner-self and so whatever deity you worship it signifies that Supreme Principle that is Paramaatman alone. The name of Brahman is OM and in word or object that is signified by Om is Brahman alone].

 
Tadevagnih tad vaayuh tat sooryah tadu chandrmah |
Tadeva sukram amritam tad brahma tadaapah sa prajaapatih ||

 
That is verily Agni (Fire God). That is Vaayu (Wind God) That is Soorya (Sun God). That alone is the Moon. That is Indra (Lord of the Devas). That is Nectar. That is Brahman. That is Water (Varuna, the presiding deity of waters). That is Prajaapati (Creator).

 
[The one Lord who is the Antaryamin (inner Controller of all beings) is worshipped through the worship of various deities. All deities are Vibhutis (emanations) of that One Supreme Principle. One should worship any deity with this full knowledge to attain liberation. This mantra expounds that the Supreme Principle is the inner-self (antaryamin) of all gods and is worshipped through their worship.]

 
Om bhuoor-bhuvas-suvar-mahar-janas-tapas-satyam |
Tad brahma tadaapa aapoe jyotirasa amrtiam brahma bhoor bhuvas suvarom ||

 
The seven worlds Bhooh, Bhuvah, Suvah, Mahah, Janah, Tapah and Satyam are having Brahman as their Inner-self (Antaryami). That is Brahman that is water. Water, Fire, the quality of taste, the liberated soul are all contained in Brahman (Brahmaatmaka). The three worlds Bhuh, Bhuvah and Suvah are OM or Brahma.

 
[There are Yajna Mantras in Andhra Version using all these names with added suffix Swaaha to chant while offering oblation]

 

 
AAPAH DEVATAAMANTRAAH

 
Aaapoe vaa ida(ga)m sarvam visvaa bhootaanyaapah |
Praanaa vaa aapah pasava aapoe-amritam –annam-aapah |
Samraad-aapoe virad-aapah svaraad-aapas-cchandaa(ga)m |
Syaapoe jyotee(g)shyaapas-satyam-aapas-sarvaa |
Devataa aapoe Bhoor-bhuvas-suvar-aapa Om ||

 
The waters are praised here as the deities. Samraat signifies the master of the world. Waters are everything. Therefore the hymn glorifies water as:
"All this is waters. All the entities are waters. The animals are waters. The Vital Airs (life's forces) are waters.
Waters are nectar; Foods are waters; waters shine brilliantly; waters are self illuminant. Waters are not having any other to rule over them. The Vedas are waters. Truth is waters. All gods are waters. Bhooh, Bhuvah, Suvah are waters and OM. [In all Vedic rituals water occupies an unique position]

 

 

 
AADITYA DEVATAAMANTRAAH

 

 
Aadityoe vaa esha etan-mandalam tapati |
Tatra taa richastadrichaam mandala(ga)m sa richaam loko-atha |
Ya esha etasmin mandale –archir-deepyate taani |
Saamaani sa saamnaam mandala(g)m sa saamnaam loko-atha |
Ya esha etasmin mandale-archishi purushas-taani yajoo(ga)mshi |
Sa yajushaam mandala(ga)m sa yajushaam lokas-saish
Tray-yeva vidyaa tapati ya eshoe-antar-aaditye hiranmayah purushah ||

 
Aditya(Sun), who illumines the orb is verily this. There are the Riks (Veda) and that is the circle of riks (mandala) and that is the world of riks. The flame that is blazing is the orb of the sun and there are Samans (Samavedic mantras) and they are the orb of the Samans; they are the very world of the Samans. And again, there is the Purusha in the flames, in the orb of the Sun. They are the Yajus, and that is the orb of the Yajus; and that is the world of Yajus. It is indeed the truth contained in the three Vedas that is glowing out like this.

 
[The Upaasana (worship) of Brahman through the medium of orb of the Sun is taught here like the Brahmoepaasana taught above. In the flames of Aaditya are present the three Vedas with their circles and worlds which the Yogis perceive and realize Brahman upon contemplation].

 
Aadityoe vai tejaa ojoe balam yasas-chakshus |
Srotram-aatmaa manoe manyurmanur-mrityuh satyoe |
Mitroe vaayur-aakaasah praanoe lokapaalah kah kim kam |
Tat satyam-annam-aayur-amritoe jeevoe visvah katamah |
Svayambhuh prajaapatih samvatsara iti |
Samvatsaroe-asaavaadityoe ya esha purusha esha |
Bhootaanaam-adhipati brahmanah saayujya(ga)m salokataama-
Apnotyetasaam-eva devataanaa saayujya(ga)m |
Saarshitaa(ga)m samaana-lokataam-apnoti ya evam vedet-upanishat ||

 
Aaditya (Sun God) is verily luster, power, strength, fame, eyes, ears, intellect, mind, anger, mantra, death, truth, friend, air, ether, vital forces, the savior of the worlds, who, which, what, that truth, food, life span, immortality, the Self in the individuals, the world, the celebrated Self (Katamah--Paramaatman), The Self-born, the Lord of all people and Samvatasara. Samvatsara is verily this Aaditya. This purusha is the overlord of all animate things. One who meditates upon Brahman like this will become one with him and attains Him in this very world. He who meditates upon Him like that attains equality with gods with the same opportunity to enjoy his bliss and the status to command respects in all the three worlds—Bhoor, Bhuvar and Suvar lokas. This is the sacred teaching of the Upnishad.

 
[Samyak vasanti sarvabhootan asmin iti Samvatsarah—all entities exist in this and so this, so he is Samvatsara]

 

 
This discourse is prepared by drawing considerable help from the following publications and several of my previous discourses delivered at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville, TN for the Vedanta Class:

 
  1. Dr. N.S. Ananta Rangacharya, Principal Upanishads, Volume 1, Bengaluru, India.
  2. Swami Devarupananda, Mantra Pushpam, Ramakrishna Math, Khar, Mumbai, India.
  3. Hans Heinrich Hock, An Early Upanishadic Reader, Motilal Banarasidass publishers Private Limited, Delhi, India.