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RE: Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi - doubt!

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 16:35:11 PDT

Prasanna_Venkatesh writes:
> * In the above transliteration, there is no reference to Lakshmi in Lord's
> hands. Is it found in the Ma:ndu:kya Upanishad in the later part??

The mANDUkya upanishad is very brief and does not contain explicit
descriptions of the forms. Exceedingly terse as it is, the mANDUkya 
explores the various state of consciousness (waking, dream, deep or 
dreamless sleep, and the 'fourth' or unconditioned state, corresponding 
to liberation) and associates them with the 'praNava' or 'OmkAra'.

For some context, see this translation of the upanishad:

  http://www.philo.demon.co.uk/mandukya.htm

Symbolically, the upanishad describes each state as being 
associated with one 'foot' of OmkAra or Brahman. What this 'foot' 
means is not very clear. The waking state is associated with the
first foot, known as 'vaiSvAnara', and is aware of external objects.
The vaiSvAnara has seven limbs, and nineteen mouths, and enjoys 
gross objects. Next, the dreaming state is associated with the
second 'foot', the 'taijasa', and is aware of internal objects,
and also has seven limbs and nineteen objects. As you can see,
this is very cryptic, and each commentator has tried very hard
to make sense of this.

Is each foot a manifestation of the paramAtmA that supervises
a particular state of conscioness? This is how the Visishtadvaita
commentators take it, and they associate the 'seven limbs and
nineteen mouths' description with an Agamic form of Narayana.
Sri Gaudapada, the prAchArya of Sri Sankara, on the other hand,
takes this analysis entirely non-theistically and relates it
to self-analysis . 

The analysis of these four states is an oft-repeated topic in
Indian philosophy.  

aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,
Mani


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