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Mantra Pushpam -- Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Oct 16 1996 - 04:10:40 PDT

 FOURTH DAY OF NAVARATHRI--1996
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Dear Sri Vijay Srinivasan and fellow members 
of the Prapatthi/Bhakthi group : 

It gives me great pleasure to attempt a translation of 
the majestic and marvellous mantras of Mantra Pushpam .
The effort to translate this extraordinary conception of 
the centrality of "Aapaa: " is   equivalent to describing the 
wind-blown fragrance of a divine flower.May this meager
attempt be blessed by the Veda Purushan invoked by the 
Rks of Purusha ,NarayaNa and VishNu Sookthams !

An introduction to Manra Pushpam was covered in the earlier
posting ( May 14, 1996 ). Sri Vijay Srinivasan kindlly recovered
that for me and forwarded it .For the sake of continuity , I will
summarize what I referred to in that posting and  
add a few more points here to serve as a prelude to 
the observations onnthe individual rks of Mantra Pushpam ..

INTRODUCTION
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The mantras of Mantra Pushpam are part of the Surya Namaskara
Prasnam (SNP) of the Taittiriya Aaranyakam . There are 32 anuvaakaas 
(sections ) in Surya Namaskara Prasnam. The eighth anuvaakam 
is a prelude to the concepts enshrined in the text of Mantra
Pushpam that we find as the twenty second anuvaakam of SNP .
The twenty  ninth anuvaakam of Maha NarayanOpanishad  of 
KrishNa Yajur Vedam is another excellent reference  to the
subject matter of Mantra Pushpam .   

The anuvaakams preceding the eighth of SNP deal with the 
measures of TIME . The eighth  anuvaakam starts off by staing 
that all of the units of TIME enter in to WATER , which in turn 
enters into AGNI , which ultimately merges with the energy of
Surya Murthy at whose center is Sriman Narayana . The eight
forms of Agni merging as one with Surya Murthy is also covered 
in this anuvaakam .

The 22nd anuvaakam celebrated in Bhagavad AarAdhanam 
daily deals with WATER as the most fundamental of " ELEMENTS ".
The relationship between WATER and MOON , AGNI , SURYA ,
VAYU , STARS and TIME are described and celebrated here . 
The  Mantra Drishtaa visulaizes the entire world as floating in the
immensity of WATER . The Mantra Pushpa Rks are linked with the 
most sacred AruNa Kehukam rites . There are 12 panchasats
( individual mantrAs) in this anuvAkam .

Mahaa NaarayaNOpanishad : Twenty Ninth Anuvaakam
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The above anuvaakam summarizes the thoughts that are 
elaborated in the Mantra Pushpam . Hence we will study this
anuvaakam first . The text of the AnuvAkam is as follows :

aapOHO vaa idhagum sarvam viswaa bhuthaanyApa: prANaa
vaa aapa: pasava aapOannamApOamrutamApa ; samradApO
viradApa: svarAdApaschandhAgum syApO jyothigumshApO 
yajugumshyApa: satyamApa: sarvA devathA aapO bhur bhuva: 
suvarApa Om II

Swami Vimalanndha's excellent translation following 
that of SayanA and BhattabhAskara is provided below :

" VERILY ALL THIS IS WATER . ALL THE CREATED BEINGS 
ARE WATER .THE VITAL BREATHS IN THE BODY ARE WATER.
QUADRUPEDS ARE WATER. EDIBLE CROPS ARE WATER .
AMBROSIA IS WATER. SAMRAAT IS WATER . VIRAAT IS WATER.
SVARAAT IS WATER . THE METRES ARE WATER. THE LUMINARIES
ARE WATER. VEDIC FORMULAS ARE WATER. TRUTH IS WATER .
ALL DEITIES ARE WATER . THE THREE WORLDS DENOTED BY 
BHUH : BHUVAHA: AND SUVAHA : ARE WATER. THE SOURCE OF
ALL THESE IS THE SUPREME DENOTED BY THE SYLLABLE OM ."

Swami Vimalanda points out here  that the Para Brahman is eulogized as
WATER ( aapa: ).His resplendent and multifaceted effulgence is 
referred to in this rk  as Samraat( perpetually shining ) , 
Viraat ( manifoldly shining ) and Svaraat ( self-luminous) 
according to Bhattabhaskara . 

Sayana intreprets Saamrat as " SuthrAtmA HiraNyagarbha:" .
Viraat as the "BrahmANda dEha Purusha :" visualized 
by the Purusha Sooktham . . Svaraat is intreprepreted 
by Sayana as " avyAkruthAbhimAni Iswara: ". Sayana 
concludes with a reference to the  revelatory statement  
of this rk as " apAm mula KaaraNam PraNava Prathipadhyam
Brahmaiva " . The source of all these (described in this rk
such as vital breaths, the three worlds et al ) is the Supreme ,
denoted by the syllable OM . This then is an apt introduction
to the thoughts elaborated in the Mantra Pushpam rks.

Sequel to Mantra Pushpam: the 7th anuvAkam of SNP
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