You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1996

Mantra Pushpam -- Part 3

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Oct 19 1996 - 20:02:11 PDT

SEQUEL TO MANTRA   PUSHPAM: 8TH ANUVAAKAM
***********    **********    ***********   *********** ********

In the previous section associated with MahAnarAyNOPanishad ,
we were instructed that the source of the  water principle is 
the syllable OM denoting the self luminous Purusha . Another 
passage of MahAnArayaNOpanishad explains further how 
Parama Purusha created the Water and for what purpose and 
how water serves as the central principle . That portion of the Upanishad 
is as follows :

ARDHA MAASAA MAASAAM RUTHAVA:
SAMVATSARASCCHA KALPANTHAAM I
SA AAPA: PRADHUDEH UBEH IMEH
ANTHARIKSHAM ATHO SUV A: II

Here the ancient Vedic teaching pertaining to
the Parama Purusha being the source and support 
of all the principles and objects of the Universe is
revealed . This passage states that the Smallest unit of time
(NImesha/time talen to wink one's eyes ) to the largest
(Samvatsara /an Year ) were born from this
self luminous Purusha . None of the units of time are thus 
permanent or independent. Then the Upanishad goes on to
state that He milked water (Aapa: ) and the other two (viz)., 
the firmament(Anthariksham ) and the heaven (suva: ) . 
The purpose of His milking these triad implies that they were
generated by the Purusha for " the sustenance and enjoyment of 
the transmigrating souls through the agency of time on the earth 
and in the firmament and in heaven ." 

With the introduction provided by the above mantram of the upanishad,
we can now focus on the 8 th anuvaakam of the Surya Namaskara
Prasnam (SNP) serving as a sequel to the Mantra Pushpam  passages
housed in the 22nd Anuvaakam of the SNP . The relevant passage of the 
8th anuvaakam starts off asking the following questions :

Where does this cloud enter and rest ? Where does the assembly of 
time known as the year(Samvarsaram ) reach laya ? Where does the day 
find its resting place ? O Lord ! what about the night ? Where do the months , 
pakshas(half months ) , muhurthaas and Nimeshaas seek as the place of 
merging ? Where do the sources of water go , when the ponds and rivers dry up ? 
What is the power principle behind these phenomena ?  Now the Upanishad
answers the above questions and states that time and its units enter 
the water principle. Latter in turn enter and merge with the Lord 
known as Surya NaarayaNan. That powerful and universal controller 
absorbs the water and the time that is embedded in it and in the next
cycle generates them again . This revelation provides the sequel 
to the relationships described in detail by the different manthraas 
of the Mantra Pushpam that we use every day in Bhagavad AarAdhanams.

TWENTY SECOND ANUVAAKAM & MANTRA PUSHPAM
------------   ----------------  ---------------  -------------  -------------

The recitation of the Mantra Pushpam has a majestic and 
sonorous effect that is almost mesmerizing . There are 12 
mantras in the Mantra Pushpam housed in the 22nd Anuvaakam..
The first set includes the panchaasats( individual mantrams)
78 to 84. The second set covers the two panchaasats from 85 to 86 . 
The second section is connected to the yagam known as 
AaruNa Kethuka sayanam (AKS ). The third and  final section
consists of three mantras from 87 to 89and is also associated 
with the AKS . We shall attempt to understand the meanings of 
the three sections .

The mantras of the first section ( Rks 78-84) instruct us that 
Water is the aadhaaram ( base or supporting principle) and 
Aadheyam (containing principle ) for all units of time and 
created beings as well as vital breaths, edible crops, truth
and Vedic meters as indicated by the twenty ninth anuvaakam of
Maha NarayaNOpanishad. These Rks declare that the person
who meditates on Jalam or Aapa: as Sarva Devathaa Svarupam
is bound to gain all auspicious fruits . Such a decalration finds its 
echo in the Sandhyaa Vandana Mantram starting with :

" AAPOHISHTAA MAYOH BHUVASTHAA NA URJEH DHADHATANA  ---
AAPOH JANAYATHAA CHA NA: " 

(Meaning ) : " O waters , verily You are bliss-conferring.
being such, grant us food , and great and beautiful insight
(of the Supreme Truth ) . Further make us in this very life 
participants of that joy of Yours , which is most auspicious , just like
fond mothers (who nurse their darlings with nourishment). 
May we  attain to that satisfactory abode of Yours , which You are 
pleased to grant us . Generate for us also the waters of life and 
pleasures on earth (during our sojourn here ) ."

The aboveTaittiriy Samhita rk captures the spirit of the elevation of
Aapa: as the Sarva Deva Svarupa principle known as Jalaabhimaani Devathaa.
For the Jnanis, water is not the thirst quenching and body cleansing 
element , but has divinity implicit in it.