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Sarasvathi : Part 2

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri Aug 14 1998 - 08:01:04 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :
 
In my earlier posting , I mentioned about writing 
about the inner meanings of the Vedic References to 
the word , Sarasvathi .In this posting , I will cover
the Vedic Understanding of the word Sarasvathi and make some 
observations on the Sacredness of BhagavAN HayagrIvan 
and some of the confusion related to the name being 
linked to an AsurA or AsurAs and the Tantric cult 
worship in Tibetean Buddhism , which is a second
generation  off shoot of Vedic theism . I will state 
at the outset  that Budhdism and Jainism are considered 
as avaidhika or Veda Baahya Mathams and their 
glaring deficiencies have been pointed out by 
the three Darsanams connected with AchArya RaamAnujA , 
Adhi Sankara and SriAnanda Theertha . There is no 
special reason hence to dwell here on the Veda Baahya 
mathams emphasizing the concept of Soonyam and 
NirIsvara Vaadham such as Buddhism . This is not 
for belittling  Buddhism or Jainism , but
to put things in perspective for our discussions .

VedAs and Upanishads as PramANams for Us
******************************************       

In our source literatures , VedAs and Vedic Literature 
take precedence over PurANAs and IthihAsAs .Latter two take
their authoirty from the VedAs and Upanishads . Whenever
in doubt , our AchAryAs have gone to the VedAs and 
the Upanishads for answers to our doubts . Brahma Soothra
commentaries are such examples .There are atleast three
levels of intrepretation of the Veda Manthrams : the most
superficial (literal ), intermediate and esoteric . 
When studied in depth with the support of VedAngAs 
and Upanishads , one gets a better understanding of 
the greatness of the timeless message enshrined 
in our VedAs .

BhagavAn HayagrIvA & VedAs 
***************************
Sri Hayagriva Upanishad is one of the  108 Upanishads ,
Just as NarAyaNa , Nrusimha Taapani , Raama Taapini ,
VaasudEva, Varaha , Gopaala Purva and Gopaala
Uttara Taapini Upanishads for celebrating the glories
of Sriman NaarAyaNA . Sri HayagrIva manthram is 
enshrined in Sri HayagrIva Upanishad in answer to
Sri Jaganaathan's question . That Swami Desikan
was initiated into this MahA Manthram by none other than
Garuda BhagavAN at Thiruvaheendrapuram to bless our
SampradhAyam with the great works that support and sustain 
us is enough proof for me . In my own personal life ,
I have ample proof for the greatness of this Manthram 
and the anugraha sakthi of the sacred HayagrIvan as it
has come to me from the PeetAthipathis of Sri Nrusimha 
Peetam . I will salute the Vaibhavam of Sri HayagrIvan
in a separate posting tomorrow . 

VEDIC PRAYERS FOR UNIVERSAL CONCORDANCE & CESSATION OF STRIFES
***************************************************************
It is appropriate therefore to reflect on the majestic 
and ennobling thoughts covered by two Saanthi Paatams
of VedAs as we  hit yet another  bump in the road in 
our discussions in the Bhakthi Group :

Veda manthram 1 :

bhadram karNObhi: sruNyAma dEvA :,
bhadram pasyEma akshabhiryajathrA : , sthirai rangai:
sthushtuvAsasthanUbhi: , vyasEma dEvahitham yadhAyu : 

This prayer is addressed to the Vedic Gods like BrahmA 
and Indra and to Godesses like Sarasvathi .This prayer is
for always seeing that which is Good (Auspicious ), for
having a healthy physical frame to pray to the celestials
and thereby leading a long and prosperous life .Actually ,
this prayer is to the antharyAmi Brahmam residing inside
the frames of these celestials for Veda Sampath .

The first word , "Bhadram " is the important word 
enshrined in the powerful NrusimhAnushtup manthram ;
To me , this prayer is for Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan ,
the AntharyAmi Brahmam of this universe and its beings
as indicated by Sri Ramesh SarangapANi of Delaware .

Veda Manthram 2 :

sam nO vaatha: pavathAm matharisvA sam na sthapathu
Soorya: , ahani sam bhavanthu na: sam rAthri prathidhIyathAm 

( Meaning ) : May the winds bestow on us what is good ,
May the rays of the Sun grant us that , which is for
our good , let both the day and night grant us happiness .

Here Happiness stands for the joy arising out of true
knowledge about the Brahman and the destruction of 
ViparItha Jn~Anam .

The Upanishads as part and parcel of the VedAs have 
similar prayers that salute the ideology of concordance
among all the creations of the Lord . These prayers 
are not for an individual and his/her well being , but
is for the welfare of the entire world .That is the Vedic
speech to be discussed later.

Let us therefore exchange Information in the spirit of
concordance and resolve conflicts to expand our understanding
of the glories of our Kula dhanams on this Rangam (Stage).

Goddess Sarasvathi as a Vedic Triumvirate for Vedic Speech
***********************************************************

In Vedic parlance , division of doctrines , divinities into 
a three fold classification is very popular . ChanandhOgya
Upanishad refers to this three-fold partition for those
with names and forms :taasAm thrivritham thrivritham 
ekaikam karavANIthi ( Ch.U: VI.3.2-3) . This means :
This aforesaid Brahman entering these deities as the individual
Self , which is THE SELF, evolved the differentiation of 
the (various ) names and forms( naama roopa VyAkaravANithi).

These three fold differentiation for Vedic Speech according
to the Vedam is :

IDA , Sarsvathi and Bhaarathi . Here IDA is praiseworthy 
speech ; Sarasvathi is the speech full of Knowledge ;
Bhaarathi is the speech full of Vedic lore as understood 
from the following manthram of Yajur Vedam :

tisrO dEvIrbahirdhagum sadhanthviDA Sarasvathi Bhaarathi
MahI gruNAnA -- Yajur Vedam : Canto 28.19

( Meaning ) : May IDA orILA , Sarasvathi and Bhaarathi 
or MahI , three mighty forms of speech (eulogies ) 
fill this sathas ( Yaaga sAlA ).

AitrEya BrAhmANam points out distinctly that Sarasvathi
is the Divine Speech ( Ait.Br. II.24; III.1,2) . She
is the Goddess of the Word in a symbolic sense . 

The word Sarasvathi also refers to the Supreme Brahman as well .
The commentators have agreed with this intrepretation 
of the Lord's name as Sarasvathi on the basis of conviction
that there can not be any one associated with Brahma VidyA 
or supreme knowledge that redeems us .It has been pointed out
that " Our Lord has manifested Himself in His creation and 
in His word ( Vedams ) as Knowledge Personified " ( Saras: 
prasmasithA jn~AnaadhaayO guNA vidhyanthE yasyaam saa 
SARVA VIDHYAA PRAAPIKAA VAAK ). 

Derivation of the Word Sarasvathi 
***********************************

The word takes its birth from the root " Sr" ,
(gathou) meaning to move or to flow. When the 
particle mathup is added , we get the word "Sarasvathi" .
Saras also means knowledge of transcendental kind 
and the One in whom such knowledge is sustained 
is Sarasvathi .The connection to Supreme Brahman 
and Sarasvathi is hinted at Rg. Vedic Manthram :

SarasvathIm dEvayanthO havanthE 
SarasvathIm adhvarE thAyamAnE I
SarasvathIm sukruthO ahvayantha 
SarasvathI dhAsushE vaarya dhAth II

(Meaning ) :" Men aspiring for transcendental knowledge 
invoke the Lord Sarasvathi ; when one aspires to 
undertake sacred works for the good of all (adhvaraa),
they also invoke SarasvathI . This Sarasvathi blesses all
of them who dedicate themselves for the noble ends. "

BTW , It is interesting to pint out the SanyAsis of 
Adhi SankarA lineage are take on the suffix of 
Sarasvathi , BhArathi et al to denote their Vedic
connection . 

In the post-vedic period , the name Sarasvathi 
was given to the wife of BrahmA in PurANams and 
IthihAsams that I wrote about earlier .

OTHER VEDIC REFERENCES TO THE THREE FOLD  FORMS OF SPEECH 
**********************************************************

ILA SarasvathI MahI tisrO dEvIrmaYObhuva:
barhi:m seedhanthvasthridha: --Rg Vedam : I.13.9

(Meaning ) : May the three undecaying Goddesses , 
givers of the delight of enlightened speech ,
ILA , SarasvathI and Mahi , sit down upon
the sacred grass ( ThUppul ) of this Yaj~nam .

( To be continued ) .

Daasan , SadagOpan