Author Topic: CHAPTER 5 - SECTION 14  (Read 222 times)


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« on: April 06, 2019, 04:35:33 PM »
5.14.1. The meditation on Brahman as possessed of different limiting adjuncts such as the heart has been stated. Now the meditation on it as possessing the limiting adjunct of the Gayatri has to be stated; hence the present section. Gayatri is the chief of the metres. It is called Gayatri because, as will be said later on, it protects the organs of those who recite it. Other metres have not this power. The verse Gayatri is identical with the vital force, and the latter is the soul (Because it helps their utterance.) of all metres. The vital force, as has been said, is called the Ksatra on account of its protecting the body by healing its wounds; (and Gayatri saves the organs of its reciters. So) Gayatri is identical with the vital force. Hence the meditation on Gayatri is being particularly enjoined. There is another reason. It is the cause of the birth of the Brahmanas, the noblest among the twice-born. From the passage, ‘He created the Brahmana through Gayatri, the Ksatriya through Tristubh, and the Vaisya through Jagati’ (Va. IV. 3, adapted), we know that the second birth (At the time of his initiation into the student life with the holy thread etc.) of the Brahmana is due to Gayatri. Therefore it is chief among the metres. The passages, ‘The Brahmanas, renouncing their desires,’ ettc. (III. v. 1), ‘The Brahmanas speak of (that Immutable),’ etc. (III. viii. 8), ‘He is a Brahmana’ (III. viii. 10), ‘He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, and a knower of Brahman’ (IV. iv. 23), show that a Brahmana attains the highest end of his life; and that Brahmanahood is due to his second birth through Gayatri. Hence the nature of Gayatri should be described. Since the best among the twice-born (the Brahmana) who is created by Gayatri is entitled to the achievement of his life’s ends without any obstruction, therefore this achievement is due to Gayatri. Hence with a view to enjoining a meditation on it the text says: ‘Bhumi’, ‘Antariksa’ and ‘Dyaus’ make eight syllables, and the first foot of the Gayatri has eight syllables. The syllable ‘Ya’ (in the word ‘Varenya’) should be separated to supply the eighth syllable. The particles ‘ha’ and ‘vai’ indicate some well-known fact. So the above three worlds, the earth etc., constitute the first foot of the Gayatri, because both have eight syllables. The result accruing to one who knows the first foot ot the Gayatri consisting of the three worlds is as follows: He who knows the first foot of the Gayatri to be such wins as much as there is to be won in those three worlds.

5.14.2. Similarly ‘Rcah,’ ‘Yajumsi,’ and ‘Samani,’ the syllables of the names of that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, are also eight in number, and the second foot of the Gayatri has likewise eight syllables. So the above three Vedas, Rc, Yajus and Saman, constitute the second foot of the Gayatri, just because both have eight syllables. He who knows the second foot of the Gayatri to be such, consisting of the three Vedas, wins as much as that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, has to confer as result.

5.14.3. Similarly ‘Prana,’ ‘Apana’ and ‘Vyana,’ these names of the vital force etc., have also eight syllables, and they constitute the third foot of the Gayatri. He who knows the third foot of the Gayatri to be such wins all the living beings that are in the universe. The Gayatri, as consisting of words, has only three feet. Now its fourth foot, which is the import of the verse, is being described: Now the Turiya apparently visible, supramundane foot of that Gayatri is indeed this, viz. the sun that shines. The Sruti itself explains the meaning of the words in the above passage. The word ‘Turiya’ means what is generally known as the fourth. What is the meaning of the words ‘apparently visible foot’? This is being answered: Because he, the being who is in the solar orb, is seen, as it were; hence he is so described. What is the meaning of the word ‘supramundane’? This is being explained: Because he, this being in the solar orb, shines on the whole universe as its overlord. The word ‘Rajas’ means the universe produced out of Rajsa, or activity. The word ‘upari’ (lit. above) has been repeated twice to indicate his suzerainty over the whole universe. It may be urged that since the word ‘whole’ serves that purpose, it is useless to repeat the word ‘upari’. The answer to this is that it is all right, because the word ‘whole’ may be taken to refer only to those worlds above which the sun is observed to shine, and the repetition of the word ‘upari’ removes this possibility. As another Sruti says, ‘He rules the worlds that are beyond the sun and commands the enjoyments of the gods as well’ (Ch. I. vi. 8). Therefore the repetition serves tto include all. As the sun shines with splendour, in the form of suzerainty and fame, so he who knows the fourth, apparently visible foot of the Gayatri to be such shines with splendour and fame.

5.14.4. That Gayatri with three feet which has been described, which comprises the three worlds, the three Vedas and the vital force, rests on this fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot, because the sun is the essence of the gross and subtle universe. Things deprived of their essence becomes lifeless and unstable, as wood and so forth are when their pith is burnt. So the three-footed Gayatri, consisting of the gross and subtle universe, rests with its three feet on the sun. That fourth foot (the sun) again rests on truth. What is that truth? The eye is truth. How? For the eye is indeed truth --- it is a well-known fact. How? Therefore if even today two persons come disputing, giving contradictory accounts, one saying, ‘I saw it,’ and another, ‘I heard of it --- the thing is not as you saw it,’ of the two we believe him only who says, ‘I saw it,’ and not him who says, ‘I heard of it.’ What a man hears of may sometimes be false, but not what he sees with his own eyes. So we do not believe the man who says, ‘I heard of it.’
Therefore the eye, being the means of the demonstration of truth, is truth. That is to say, the fourth foot of the Gayatri with the other three feet rests on the eye. It has also been stated: ‘On what does that sun rest? --- On the eye’ (III. ix. 20).
That truth which is the support of the fourth foot of the Gayatri rests on strength. What is that strength? The vital force is strength. Truth rests on that strength or the vital force. So it has been stated that everything is pervaded by the Sutra (III. vii. 2). Since truth rests on strength, therefore they say strength is more powerful than truth. It is also a well-known fact that a thing which supports another is more powerful than the latter. We never see anything weak being the support of a stronger thing. Thus, in the above-mentioned way, the Gayatri rests on the vital force within the body. That Gayatri is the vital force; hence the universe rests on the Gayatri. The Gayatri is that vital force in which all the gods, all the Vedas, and rites together with their results are unified. So, as the vital force, it is the self, as it were, of the universe. That Gayatri saved the Gayas. What are they? The organs, such as that of speech, are the Gayas, for they produce sound (This is primarily true of the vocal organ, but the whole group is named after it.). So it saved the organs. Because it saved the organs (of the priests using them), therefore it is called the Gayatri; owing to this saving of the organs it came to be known as the Gayatri. The Savitri or hymn to the sun that the teacher communicates --- first a quarter of it, then half, and finally the whole --- to the pupil, after investing him with the holy thread at the age of eight, is no other than this Gayatri, which is identical with the vital force, and is the self, as it were, of the universe. What the child receives from him is now explained here. It saves the organs of him, the child, to whom it is communicated, from falling into hell and other dire fates.

5.14.5. Some, the followers of certain recensions of the Vedas, communicate to the initiated pupil the Savitri that is produced from, or composed in, the metre called Anustubh. Their intention is being stated: They say, ‘Speech is Anustubh, and it is also Sarasvati in the body. We shall impart that speech Sarasvati --- to the boy.’ One should not do, or know, like that. What they say is totally wrong. What then should one do? One should communicate that Savitri which is the Gayatri. Why? Because it has already been said that the Gayatri is the vital force. If the child is taught about the vital force, he will be automatically taught about speech, and Sarasvati, and the other organs as well. Having stated this incidentally, the text goes on to praise the knower of the Gayatri: Even if a man who knows as above accepts too much as gift, as it were really there is no such things as too much for him, for he is identified with the universe --- it, the whole amount of gift received, is not enough for even one foot of the Gayatri.

5.14.6. He, that knower of the Gayatri, who accepts these three worlds, the earth etc., replete with wealth such as cattle and horses, will be receiving only the first foot of the Gayatri, which has been explained. That acceptance will counterbalance the results of knowing only its first foot, but will not produce any additional sin. He who accepts as much as this treasury of knowledge, the Vedas, (has to confer), will receive only its second foot. It will set off the results of knowing only its second foot. Similarly he who accepts as much as (is covered by) all living beings, will receive only its third foot. It will match the results of knowing only its third foot. All this is said merely as a supposition. Should any one accepts gifts equivalent even to all the three feet, it will wipe out the results of knowing only those three feet, but cannot lead to a new fault. Of course there is no such donor or recipient; it is imagined only to extol the knowledge of the Gayatri. Supposing such a donor and recipient were available, this accpetance of gifts would not be considered a fault. Why? Because there would still be left the knowledge of the fourth foot of the Gayatri, which is among the highest achievements of a man. This is pointed out by the text: While its fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot the sun that shines is not to be counterbalanced by any gift received, as the other feet mentioned above are. Even these three are not to be thus counterbalanced. All this has been said as a mere hypothetical proposition. Indeed how could any one accept so much as gift --- equivalent to the three worlds, and so on? Hence the Gayatri should be meditated upon in this (entire) form.

5.14.7. Its salutation, the salutation of the Gayatri --- literally, the word ‘Upasthana’ means going near and staying, or ‘saluting --- with the following sacred formula: ‘O Gayatri, thou art one-footed, with the three worlds as thy first foot, two-footed, with the three Vedas as thy second foot, three-footed, with the three forms of the vital force as thy third foot, and four-footed, with the sun as thy fourth foot. Thus thou art attained or known by the meditating aspirants. Beyond that thou art without any feet, in thy own supreme, unconditioned form. Thou has no foot (Pada), that is, means of attainment, for thou art unatttainable, being the Self described as ‘Not this, not this.’ Hence salutation to thee, the fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot --- in thy relative aspect! May the enemy, the evil that stands in the way of my realisation of thee, never attain his object, of obstructing this realisation! The word ‘iti’ marks the close of the sacred formula. Should the knower of the Gayatri himself bear hatred towards anybody, he should either use the following sacred formula against him in his salutation to the Gayatri: ‘Such and such --- naming him --- may his, Devadatta’s desired object never flourish!
-- in which case that object of the person, Devadatta, against whom he thus salutes the Gayatri, never flourishes. Or he may salute the Gayatri saying, ‘May I attain that cherished object of Devadatta.’ Of the three Mantras given above --- ‘May the enemy never attain,’ etc. --- anyone may be used at option according to the intention of the aspirant.

5.14.8. In order to enjoin the mouth of the Gayatri a eulogistic story is being narrated in this paragraph. --- The particles ‘ha’ and ‘vai’ refer to a past incident. --- On this subject of the knowledge of the Gayatri, Janaka, Emperor of Videha, is said to have told Budila, the son of Asvatarasva, ‘Well, you gave yourself out as a knower of the Gayatri --- said you were one --- then why are you acting contrary to that satement? If you really were a knower of Gayatri, then why, alas, as a result of your sin in accepting gifts, are you carrying (me) as an elephant?’ The adverb ‘nu’ indicates deliberation. Thus reminded by the Emperor, he replied, ‘Because I did not know its mouth, O Emperor. My knowledge of the Gayatri, being deficient in one part, has been fruitless.’ (The Emperor said), ‘Listen then, fire is its into the fire, it, that fuel, is all burnt up. Similarly, even if one who knows as above, that fire is the mouth of the Gayatri who himself is identified with the Gayatri and has fire as his mouth --- commits a great many sins such as those due to the acceptance of gifts etc., he consumes all those sins and becomes pure like the fire, cleansed of those sins due to the acceptance of gifts etc., undecaying and immortal,’ because he is identified with the Gayatri.